DISCLAIMER: The characters aren't mine, they belong to Squaresoft (I can only wish they were mine) I ain't makin' one red cent, or any other cent of any color, I'm as poor as a church mouse (hey who came up with that sayin' anyways…I mean how can you tell if a mouse that lives in a church is as poor as say a mouse livin' in an apartment building?) Please don't sue, cuz all ya'll get is my kids' broken toys and dirty laundry, and I do mean clothes, this ain't the mafia!!! Ya I know my grammar needs major help…if some English instructor was reading this, they would probably faint dead away…please excuse my lapses in grammar. *grin*

Warnings: : Language, sexual content, and anything else my wicked little mind can think up.


Chapter 4

By LaughingWolfGirl

They sat there, staring into each others eyes, not saying anything, just wearing a bemused look on each of their faces. Irvine took a deep breath and smiled, opening his mouth to speak, when the waitress came back with Seifer's food and a look of surprise on her face at seeing him sitting there with the blond.

"Oh did you decide to sit over here? Were you ready to order your food now, or did you need more time Sugar?" She asked, while flashing him her flirty smile, hoping he would flirt back.

Irvine looked at her smile and smiled back automatically, before he realized how he was smiling, he looked over towards Seifer, but the other's attention was on his plate, Irvine smiled inwardly in relief. He immediately ordered his food and off the waitress went to get if for him. After she left, Seifer lifted his head and looked back at Irvine with his brow wrinkled in confusion. Irvine cocked his head to the left slightly, asking him without words what he was confused about.

"Do I know you, you seem familiar to me, but I can't place you?" The blond asked. Seeing that Irvine was going to speak, while wearing a strange look on his face, he hurriedly spoke again to clarify what he had asked, not wanting to anger or spook the cowboy off.

"I'm sorry if we've met before and I can't place it, my memories have pretty much turned to mush and I don't remember most of what I should."

Irvine thought for a moment, before answering, not knowing how Seifer would take being in the company of one of his former orphanage mates, or how he would feel about Irvine's involvement of his downfall. But he figured it was better to be upfront about it all, rather than try to hide it and have Seifer remember something on his own. So he answered with complete honesty.

"I'm Irvine Kinneas, we were in the same orphanage as children and I'm now a Seed at Balamb Garden, I was with Squall and the others at the battles with the Sorceress and yourself." He sat back and watched as Seifer seemed to close up upon himself, his eyes, which a moment ago, were open, were now shuttered, his open face from a moment ago, became a mask of arrogance. His whole body seemed to be preparing for an assault. Irvine watched all this and felt his heart sink, but his optimism came through for him again and he sat up with a serious look and spoke to Seifer once more.

"Ya know I don't hold anythin' against ya, I know ya were controlled and it wasn't your fault. I came over here, because to be honest, when our eyes met, I felt something, something that I haven't felt before, and I think that ya felt it too. I don't mean ya any harm. Ya don't have to be afraid"

"Who said I was afraid," Seifer sneered, using his arrogance as a shield. "I ain't afraid of nothin', especially some skinny cowboy."

"Now that's just your arrogance talkin' but I bet that ain't the real you, I saw the real you a moment ago, he was lookin' in my eyes and talking to me. Why don't 'cha let me talk to the real Seifer huh? "

Irvine asked, hoping that Seifer would believe him and open up the way he had been a moment ago, the cowboy sat there watching the different emotions play in Seifer's eyes, he could see fear, anger, pain, wanting, and the most beautiful of all to him, hope. It looked like Seifer was going to open to him slightly, when his mask of arrogance fell and he sat there waiting and watching.

/Well at least he is willing to listen, even though he looks ready to bolt. What else has this man been through since Ultimecia's downfall to make him become this way. /

As they sat there they began to talk, or more precisely Irvine talked, Seifer listened. They began to learn of each other, both unleashing their pent up feelings and hungers, knowing instinctively that the other understood. They talked of their days in the orphanage and Irvine helped him with the memories that he had forgotten. They sat there long after they had eaten, both absorbed in the other, neither willing to end the moment, afraid that this was a dream that they would have to wake up from and never have these feelings come again.

The waitress came over several times while the two were absorbed with each other, and each time made some sort of pass at the cowboy, disregarding the looks the blond kept giving her. Irvine, sensing the others shortening patience with the waitress, decided to see if Seifer wanted to leave and take a walk.

"Hey, wanna take a walk, get some fresh air?" Irvine asked with a smile.

"Sure, it's gettin' a bit stuffy in here," Seifer answered all the while looking towards the waitress.

The waitress walked over, smiling at the cowboy, disregarding the scarred blond all together, and asked if he needed anything more today, winking at the same time, giving her words a double meaning. Irvine merely smiled a small smile and shook his head no, and then asked for both his and Seifer's bill. She finished pricing them and gave each his bill, and walked off. Irvine quickly grabbed them both, much to Seifer's consternation.

"Give me mine, you don't need to pay for it!" Seifer said, while holding his hand out for his bill.

"I know I don't, but I would like to." Smiled the cowboy, while still holding both bills close to his chest.

"I would rather you didn't, I don't feel comfortable having you pay for my food."

"Its just breakfast, and it isn't much, I mean its not steak and lobster for cryin' out loud!"

"Still, I don't want ya payin' for it; let me pay for mine, ok?"

The auburn haired cowboy handed over Seifer's bill reluctantly, but still smiling, "I still don't see what the big deal is if I pay, I mean if you wanted to pay, I would let ya."

"The big deal is I just met ya, I mean, we may have known each other before, but if ya really wanna get technical, then we just really met each other, and I'm not about to let someone I just met pay for my food. I just don't do that alright." Seifer stated, while his eyes became shuttered once more and his face closed up.

Irvine realizing that he had blundered, quickly smiled, trying to put the other at ease, to regain the footing he had lost. He realized that although Seifer may have hit hard times he still retained his pride, and would not allow others to perceive him, in what he would consider a weak situation, all things considered. So he rose from his chair placed the gil along with a tip and waited for Seifer to do the same. Once they were done, they walked out and without a word, headed to the docks. Irvine kept looking over towards Seifer, wanting to say something and not knowing what to say to regain his lost footing.

Seifer knew that he had taken Irvine's friendly gesture way to personal; he knew that Irvine had not meant to imply or insult him in any way, but because everything that had happened to him since Ultimecia, he was very sensitive to every nuance of what he perceived as pity or charity or the like and he hated it, would not accept it at all. He saw it as a weakness, and he had enough of those to accept any more willingly. But somehow he needed to let the cowboy know it was all right, he just didn't know how, too many years of hiding behind his walls, letting others perceive him as the Bastard, the Bully, the Psycho; to many years of pushing people away, so that now when he needed those people skills, he found he had none to call upon.

Irvine continued to ponder how he could get Seifer talking or at least listening to him again the way he had in the coffee shop. He finally figured the direct way was the best, so he turned his head towards the blonde and spoke.

"You know I didn't mean any offense back there in the shop, just was trying to...well I'm used to paying or getting stuck with the check most times when I go out with the orphan gang, but it wasn't anything personal towards you at all, and I'm sorry if you felt it was."

Seifer, who had been looking forward turned his head slightly in Irvine's direction, and stayed silent for a moment, then smiled a small smile for the first time that day. It floored Irvine with warmth, because it wasn't the Ex-Knight's usual smirk, this smile lit his green eyes and gave him a boyish quality. It made Irvine's insides quiver with happiness. He couldn't believe how one small smile could affect him so powerfully, he felt like he could take on the world.

"I know you didn't mean anything, I just….well it's hard for me to….," He heaved a deep sigh, knowing what he wanted to say, just not seemingly able to get it out of his mouth, it was like it was stuck in his throat or something. "Aww hell, I just don't like to let others give me charity or stuff, man I know this isn't sounding right, I know what I wanna say but I can't seem to get it out!" He ran his hand through his hair in a gesture of frustration.

"Don't worry about it; I understand whatcha tryin' to say." Irvine replied while taking his hand and slightly patting Seifer's back in agreement. The touch sent tiny currents of electricity from his hand to the rest of his body, and it seemed to affect Seifer as well, from what Irvine could see, watching Seifer's body tense from the jolt of the currents. They both stopped in their tracks and looked into each others eyes, awed by the feelings they were feeling, luckily for them, they had arrived at the docks and no one was around to disturb them.

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