Chapter 9

By Purple Penguin

Zell sat on the captain’s office of the USS Marlene, a cruise ship that had picked they up. They had been in their little wooden boat for hours and Irvine hadn’t woken up, he was worried about his friend. He remembered how happy they all were when torchlight fell on them from the deck of the large ship, it was freezing in the night air, and everyone sat pressed against each other. The behemoth skin and the coats pulled up to their necks. One by one they were helped onto the ship. The vessel was heading for FH.

Zell sat with his blanket huddled around him with a mug of hot tea in his hands. The captain sat opposite he looked to be in his 30s with stubble around his mouth and jet black hair that was pushed back from his face.

“I’m Captain Haddock.”


The man waved a hand. “It’s a nickname.”

“I’m Zell myself and the others were slaves aboard Griever, some of us are headed for Balamb, the others Esthar.”

The man looked shocked. “Griever huh? You’re lucky to be alive son, but you’ve got a long trip to Balamb, trains ran right into Esthar city centre from FH though.” He paused, shifting in his chair. “We have your injured friend in the medical room; he’ll be awake soon.”

“Is he alright?” Zell asked in concern. He hadn’t hit him that hard.

“He’s weak and the cold didn’t help him, you can go and see him if you want. Which one of you is Squall?”


“He was calling for him.”

Zell looked down feeling guilty. “I-I’ll go to him.”

He slid out of his seat and headed for the medical head, following the signs on the walls.

The room was small, cramped and a low bed sat in the corner. The little blonde stood in the doorway fidgeting nervously. His friend lay on the bed, his coat and boots removed and his hair was loose from his ponytail. The blonde took a little step forward but stopped as he noticed his friend move his head slightly to turn and face the wall. Irvine was awake; he ran a hand through his hair and sighed. Zell swallowed and stepped up along side the bed. The brunette looked away again.

“Are you okay?”



“Why’d you do it?”

Zell was taken back by the cold anger in his friend’s voice, the cowboy was always so relaxed, laid back he had never sounded like this before.

“I-I thought it was best, you belong back home.”

The brunette scoffed. “You thought it was best? Didn’t I get a say in the matter?” He turned onto his back. “You couldn’t stand it could you?”

“I-I don’t know what-”

“I was happy for once and you took that away from me!”

“But- I couldn’t just leave you on that ship with all those pirates.”

“Why not?”

“You’re my friend.”

Irvine laughed a humourless sound. “Well don’t do me anymore favours.”


Irvine leant over the edge of the bed, closer to Zell. “Do you even understand? Squall made me happy and you didn’t like it because you didn’t understand! Not everything is up to you, you know! I loved him, I still love him and I will never see him again.” He eyes had fallen to the ground as he spoke but he looked back up into Zell’s eyes, holding his gaze. “That’s your fault!” He rolled onto his back again, staring up at the ceiling.



Zell shuffled out of the room again, feeling guilty and depressed.

The brunette let out a long breath as soon as the blonde had gone. He moved his arms to his face, shutting out the world for a moment. The lump in his throat rose up again, he had managed to push it down when Zell was there, replace it with anger but now...

He squeezed his eyes tightly shut, pressing his hands to them. His palms came away wet as he looked at them and swallowed the lump again. He breath became ragged as he bit back tears. He lay on his stomach, face buried in the pillows, picturing the man he loved in his mind. The silly games that he; Squall and Nida used to play together. His lover and his friend gone forever. The times when it was just the two of them and Squall would hold him close, making him feel safe and loved.

The pillow beneath him started to feel damp and he squeezed his eyes shut tighter. He ran his fingers over the cold sheets remembering his lover’s warm touch, their skin pressed against each other, Squall’s hands on his skin, his lover’s mouth on his body. Their last time together in the shower, his hands and mouth on Squall’s skin.

He blinked and the thoughts faded. What if he forgot? What if Squall forgot? Would he just go onto the next cute guy that came along? He didn’t want to forget Squall, he never wanted anyone else, he just wanted Squall back again. He blinked back the last two tears; he was done crying that wasn’t going to bring Squall back was it?

“I think you should eat something.” Nida set a bowl of soup and two rolls on the bedside table; Squall lay on his back staring at the ceiling, his eyes unblinking.

“If you knew you’d be this miserable why did you do it?”

“He was right.”

“No he wasn’t he only said that stuff to get his own way!” Nida sat on the edge of the bed. “Squall I’m worried about you.”

“Don’t be, it’s better this way.”


Squall sat up, rubbing his head feeling a headache coming on. “At least now Irvine can have his freedom, he has the chance to be normal and meet someone better.”

“You can’t really believe that.”

“What else can I do?”

Nida grinned. “I think I can help.”

Squall cocked his head quizzically.

“You’ll see.”

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