Chapter 6

By Purple Penguin

“Tomorrow night that’s when we leave.”

“Isn’t that a bit soon? What about Irvine?”

“He’s not going with us and you know it.”

It was early morning, about 5 or 6 in the morning and the temperature had dropped. Their little basement was freezing. Seifer had the blanket cocooned around himself and the other blonde who was pressed to his side trying to get closer to the warmth. Rinoa lay leaning on the boiler, which was warm but not hot like it was usually. The two older men lay curled up together as well, they had agreed to let the girl have the space by the boiler because unlike them she had no one to cuddle up to.

“Well I’ll miss him that’s all, and if he’s the only slave what’s to say they won’t made he work or worse-”

“I don’t think Squall will do that.”

Zell stared at him. “You’re doing it now too.”

“Doing what?”

“Calling pirates by their first names.”

“Just go to sleep Zell.”

Irvine awoke with a shiver, pulling the duvet up around his shoulders. He reached out for Squall but only touched empty sheets. He opened one eye and pulled the blanket all around himself so he was cocooned in it. He listened quietly for movement, there was none. Where was Squall? He shivered again, it was strangely cold. Squall’s quarters where usually so warm and comfortable. Having the captain for a lover really had its perks. He was just considering getting up for a shower when he heard the front door open and he smiled.

“Captain?” A voice called.

The slave froze. Squall had forgotten to lock the door again. He moved off the bed and went to the bedroom door. He saw a pirate that he didn’t recognize moving around the room outside, the man turned in his direction causing him to jump back from the door. Maybe if he hid under the covers the pirate would think he was the captain and leave to avoid getting shot. A lame plan but the only one he had, he dived back into the bed as the door creaked open.

“Captain?” The voice was softer now and heavy footsteps echoed around the room.

Why wouldn’t this pirate just leave? He felt a hand on his shoulder through the covers and he so wished he had had more time to look for a weapon or something sharp.

The pirate jumped in shock as the blanket fell away to reveal the slave. “Where the captain?”

“I-I don’t know h-he went s-somewhere.”

The other man looked at least 10 years older than man and was definitely bigger than him. Irvine watched as the pirate ran his eyes over his body he only wore a thin pair of boxers that used to be Squall’s.

“I-I should go.” He shuffled to the end of the bed and his feet just brushed the floor as a strong arm dragged him back across the bed.

“What’s the rush sweetheart? What afraid of me?”

“LET. GO!” He glared at the pirate in warning flinching as fat fingers gently brushed his cheek. “Or what?”

“You so much as touch me and I’ll make sure that your captain has you shot.”

The older man laughed. “He won’t listen to you, I’m sure he’ll have no problem finding another pretty thing to play with.” The hand on his arm moved to his thigh dragging him back across the bed.

The slave gripped the sheets for dear life trying to pull himself along the bed. He reached out an arm and grabbed hold of one of the pirates hoop earrings; he tugged as hard as he could. The pirate cried out in pain and his grip loosened letting the brunette crawl across the bed, leap off the end of it and run to the door. The older man was hot on his heels. The slave shut the door hard just as the other man reached out for him. The pirate cried in pain as his hand was shut in the door.

Irvine ran out towards the door and straight into another pirate, he struggled.

“Hey, Irvine! What’s going on? Are you okay?”

He stopped struggling at the familiar voice, looking up at the man whom he had run into. Nida watched him with concerned eyes. The brunette hugged him tight.

The commander frowned in shock and confusion but he held the taller man anyway.

“Squall sent me to check on you, what happened?”

They both looked up as the bedroom door shuddered, something hitting it hard.

“What the-” Nida started to say.

“There’s a pirate in there.”

“Did he hurt you?”

“He tried to b-but I ran away.” He let go of Nida at last. “I-I have to go.”

“Wait! Are you’re sure you’re okay? Don’t you want to wait for Squall?”

“I-I’ll come back.” He left the room quickly.

Nida sighed and glared at the door as he started to load bullets into his pistol.

It was still early when the cowboy arrived down in the slave’s quarters. He wandered in and sat against the bare wall on the bare floor in only a pair of boxers and he didn’t even shiver.

“Irvine?” Seifer asked. “Are you okay? What you doing down here this early?”

The little blonde got up too, narrowing his eyes. “Did he do something to you?”

“No not Squall, he wouldn’t.”

The taller blonde slowly sunk to the floor beside the quiet slave. “How did you get that?” He ran a finger over a reddening mark on Irvine’s thigh.

The slave jumped and pushed the hand away. “It’s nothing really. A pirate came to find Squall and he tried to hurt me, but that’s it he didn’t do anything. Nida came in to check on me so even if I hadn’t hurt him he still wouldn’t have been able to touch me.”

The other two gave him alarmed looks. “But what if you see him again?”

“I don’t think- I mean I-I heard gun shots as I was coming down here so-” He trailed off.

Seifer nodded. “Do you want me to come with you to get some clothes.”

For the first time he realized that he only wore a pair of boxers. “N-no that’s okay Squall should be back by now and I want to see him.” He got up onto shaky feet and slowly walked out the door.

The two blondes exchanged looks. “You see? We can’t leave him here, what if this happens again? Only next time it might not just almost happen.”

“Well if he wants to stay what are you going to do? Kidnap him?”

At the look in Zell eyes Seifer started to shake his head. “Oh no, no I was just kidding.”

“I’m not. He’ll want to help us leave when we go and all I have to do is knock him out and then there you go, we can take him too.”

“And what about when we get home?”

“He’ll be fine when he gets away from that pirate, plenty more fish and all that.”

Seifer gave him a doubting look.

“He needs to be able to move on and he can’t do that here.”

“I hope you’re right.”

The cowboy hung back in the shadows of the hallway as he saw the body of his attacker get dragged away. He quickly ducked into Squall’s room, seeing the shadowy figure of his lover standing in the corner of the room.

“Squall?” He almost whispered.

The other man whirled round. “Irvine I was just going to find you.” He pulled the other man in close to hold him. “Are you okay? I’m so sorry.”

“It’s okay, I’m fine.”

“I was only going to be gone for a second I swear it. You know I love you right?”

“Of course.”

Squall kissed the top of his lover’s head, his arms wrapping around him tighter.

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