Warning: This story contains yaoi/shounen-ai material. If you do not know what the terms 'yaoi' or 'shounen-ai' mean, then you probably have no business being here. If you are uncomfortable with boyxboy love, then you probably shouldn't be here. You have been warned. This story takes place after the game's end, so if you haven't finished it, you probably shouldn't read it as it does contain spoilers.

From the Beginning

Chapter Four - Close

By Antenora

'That was close. Too close. Far too close.' Seifer murmured softly as he lit a cigarette and leaned back against the wall of the dark alley to which he had fled. His heart was beating too fast and his hands were shaking, but he felt calmer now that he was alone in the dark. Away from the crowd and the noise and the heat and, most of all, away from HIM.


Of all the damn people in the whole damn world to run into, why had it had to be him? Anyone else he could have dealt with. Hell, he'd probably have preferred the low, seductive whisper of Ultimacia in his mind once more to running into the great iceberg of Balamb Garden. Just seeing his former rival after so much time stirred far too many emotions within him. Emotions which swirled through him in terrible haphazard patterns leaving him more confused then he had ever been which, for him, was really saying something.

Who would have thought he'd run into Squall in a club? A military training center, maybe. The Presidential Palace, most definately. But to run into him at a club? Inconceivable. And on the dance floor no less. It was almost laughable. Who would have ever thought that Squall Leonhart, the new headmaster of Balamb Garden, a man who didn't even know the definition of the word 'fun', would be found in the middle of a dance club, dancing with anyone who came his way? But, then again, Seifer could have said the same thing about himself before the whole sorceress thing went down. Time and events like that had a way of changing a man.

And, Seifer had to admit, he'd looked good. Really good. So different from the serious, anti-social prick he had once known. At first, he hadn't even recognized him. All he'd seen was a handsome man, almost pretty really, wearing clothes that were tight enough to turn the head of anyone with a pulse. And Seifer had wanted him. Wanted him desperately.

That's why he had broken the rules he'd set for himelf when he'd entered the club without even a second thought as to the consequences of his actions. Rule #1: Don't even think about dancing with anyone other then Raijin and Fujin. That rule had been out the door the moment he'd seen him. Rule #2: Never get close to strangers. But, of course, he hadn't been a stranger after all. Rule #3: If you see anyone you know, evacuate at once. But, he hadn't really known it was Squall. All he'd seen was this beautiful man who seemed to draw him in like a moth to a flame. Before he'd even realized what was happening he'd been drifting away from Fujin to dance with him. It had been a stupid move. A stupid, unforgivably idiotic move and probably the worst mistake he'd made during his months in hiding.

And yet, he'd enjoyed every moment of it.

In that man he had found a partner who could anticipate his every move, match his every step and than he had screwed it all up. He hadn't been paying attention. He had dropped his guard, strayed from his usual routine and all he'd wanted was to be closer. To feel that lithe body pressed to his own and so he'd made a move. Reached across the distance between them grasped his partner's waist and pulled him closer. How long had been since he'd felt the warm press of another person's body against his own? How long? And this particular person fit against him so well, so completely. But the feel was familar... like something he'd known long ago. Something which smelled of blood and battle and pain. It was heady scent, but something terribly forbidden. So Seifer had opened his eyes to get a good look at the man he held in his arms and that's been it had happened.

Lightening spiking up his spine, crashing through the web of desire their dance had spun about him. He went stiff, his breath coming in sudden panicked gasps as he gazed down into the lazy beauty of Squall Leonhart's face. Squall leaned against him, his face turned upwards, more by reflex then by any desire to see the face of his partner. In a moment he had noticed Seifer's tensing and had blinked his eyes open, his vague gaze focusing on Seifer's face. Suddenly, Seifer was starring down into gray eyes the color of a storm-swept sea. Eyes which he had been certain he would never see again except, perhaps, in his nightmares. He had seen the recognition within them, the utter shock. That had been quite enough.

He'd turned tail and run. Run from Squall's gaze like the coward he truly was. He hadn't wanted to see that innocent shock turn into anger or fear or... hatred. It was one thing to think Squall hated him, he didn't need or want that particular fear confirmed. More then anything he wanted to keep hold of that vague, farfetched hope that perhaps Squall didn't hate him, didn't loath his very existence for the things he had done.

"Seifer? Yo, what're ya doin' out here alone, ya know?"

Seifer opened his eyes and gazed up at Raijin and Fujin, who were both standing over him looking openly converned. "I... I just needed some air, that's all. Are you ready to leave yet?"

"AFFIRMATIVE." Fujin replied, her eyes asking questions Seifer had no desire to answer as she offered a hand to him.

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