Disclaimer: the characters and places contained herein do not belong to me and I make no claim or money from this. I can't even claim responsibility for most of the idea because it came from both Race Ulfson and the song "Hurt" covered by Johnny Cash.

With many thanks to Pixie, Rain and Astraea.

This fanfiction is dedicated in its entirety to Race Ulfson, also known as the beta babe who usually previews all my stuff and tells me where I've fucked up.


Chapter 2

By Darksquall

What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end

Hurt Johnny Cash (covering NIN song)


Six hours had passed before they finally got around to putting a brace on Squall for his back and wrapping up his shoulder. He hadn't moved in all that time, and Seifer had to hold his wrist to convince himself that the steady rhythm on the display screen of the heart monitor really was Squall's. It was, and though it was fainter than he really would have liked, it was even and stable.

Squall's skin was hotter than hell to the touch but he didn't let go until the nurse tapped him lightly on the shoulder and explained that they needed to work on the prone brunette.

Seifer took the opportunity to call his boss from a pay phone in the lobby, explaining he couldn't make it in because a friend had been in an accident and could he take the week off to make sure he was resting? The boss didn't mind, and Seifer hadn't had any time off in over a year, he could afford to take some time to watch over Squall.

That done, he headed for the vending machines, dropping a gil piece into the slot and selecting a strong black coffee, extra sugar. As the machine whirred and whined plaintively, finally producing that oily glop that all vending machines attempted to pass for coffee, he happened to glance up. Squall's doctor was just visible around the corner.

And he was talking to shoulder-wound.

Seifer edged closer cautiously, keeping as close to the wall as possible to remain out of sight, coffee forgotten for the moment.

"All you have to do, is make sure the goth kid in the private room doesn't make it." Shoulder-wound gave the doctor a smile that Seifer's mind could only term 'slimy' and pushed a wad of hundred gil notes into his hand almost as thick as Squall's wrist. "Shouldn't be too hard should it?"

"I...I don't think..."

"Either take the money and do it, or I'll make sure you don't make it." Shoulder-wound's expression darkened, his voice dropping to an almost inaudible level. "Your choice."

"I'll do it." The doctor folded the bills tighter and stuffed them into a pocket. "Don't worry, he won't leave the hospital alive."

Forcing himself to remain calm only through sheer force of will, Seifer turned and headed back to the private room where Squall was resting. His first priority was to get Squall out of there and get him somewhere safe, ripping shoulder-wound some new and exciting holes would come later.

The nurses were just finishing up as he strolled as nonchalantly as he could manage back into the room. Squall was still out cold, his head lolled to one side and his hair covering his face. "Is he okay?"

"He'll be fine, he just needs to rest." The nurse gave him a flirty little smile. She was pretty thing but with Squall Leonhart in the room she had no chance of even getting a look in. "A few weeks in bed and gentle exercise and he should be fine. He'll need to take it easy for a while though."

"Thanks." Seifer muttered begrudgingly and returned to his perch.

The nurses left and, satisfying himself that the coast was clear, Seifer carefully unhooked the mask from his charge's face. The nurses had already removed the heart monitor to patch him up, so it was nothing to wrap him up in a blanket to keep him still and warm and carry him down the hall.

Galbadia General hospital was built like a rabbit warren. He knew the morgue was in the lowest level of the hospital from a news cast twelve months or so before when there'd been a small fire. The security there would be lowest, he'd be able to get Squall out without having to cause too much damage.

No one stopped them. No one even paid attention to them.

It was inherently sad that Seifer had no trouble carrying Squall out of the hospital, nor any trouble getting him into a taxi. He was so light, so still, the tightly packed muscle half wasted away to a slender frame, wrapped in alabaster skin. He was even paler than Seifer remembered.

The driver gave him a strange look as he settled the brunette rigidly in the back seat, protecting him and supporting him with one arm. "No beds." Seifer explained casually. "Told me to take him home, been waiting so long to be signed out he fell asleep." Seifer folded a hundred gil note and leant over the seat to tuck it in the driver's shirt pocket.

"Ahh, poor kid." The driver smiled in the rear view mirror and pulled away from the hospital, heading for the address Seifer gave him.

Seifer waited until the cab was out of sight before crossing the road and heading for his real home a few blocks up. Squall's head nestled on his shoulder, his body still cocooned by the disinfectant scented blankets. The weight on his shoulder was a familiar one, even a comforting one, and he allowed his heart to ache just a little for what he'd lost long before.

Just a little.

He only had a modest amount of trouble getting the door to his apartment unlocked but none getting Squall to the bed. He stripped back the covers, unwrapping Squall like a present, peeling off the thin hospital gown gently and settling the slender figure into the sheets carefully. Checking Squall's pulse one last time as he tucked him in to satisfy himself that Squall really was okay, Seifer sighed, straightening and smoothing Squall's hair out of habit more than any remaining affection.

"Don't die on me while I'm gone." Seifer ordered the sleeping figure sternly. Bundling up the hospital things and, locking the door as he left, he headed for the furnace in the basement, dumping them inside. In the event that the guys who'd hurt Squall managed to find the cab driver and get an address from him, they'd have an area to search. He didn't want to leave the blankets out there in a dumpster to point them in the right direction.

Squall still hadn't moved by the time he'd returned. How long those sedatives were meant to last Seifer had no idea of, but he was starting to worry a little.

He pulled up a chair beside the bed, and lounged in it, fighting off the need for sleep as long as he could.

He'd been awake for a while now, seconds had melted and pooled into minutes, maybe even hours. Not unable, but unwilling to open his eyes to look for a clock, Squall lay in the darkness and privacy of the world behind closed eyelids. He could still feel the last of the drug in his veins, now slowed and faltering, over ridden by the sedatives that someone had injected him with. His throat was dry, his pulse a thready even beat against his rib cage. He felt like he'd been run over by a ruby dragon.

That had stopped, reversed over him, and trampled him again.

Someone else was in the room with him, he knew that much from the regular breathing of that someone else. They were asleep. Either his mind was playing tricks on him, which was entirely possible on coming down from the high, or that voice muttering softly and those snores belonged to one very familiar man.

Squall opened one eye to satisfy his grumbling curiosity and wasn't disappointed. Beside the bed he lay in, was Seifer Almasy, his chin propped on his chest, larger than life and still as golden, blonde and just as beautiful as he'd always been. He was more muscular than Squall remembered, the sleeves of his teeshirt stretched taut over lightly tanned biceps, and his hair was growing out of it's old style, longer, still just as neat. Sexier.

Squall closed his eyes again, the light streaming in from the window gave the room a hazy early morning feel and his whole body ached in answer to it.

Just what damage had been done he couldn't tell for sure, but his back burned with a measured fire, throbbing with pain. His shoulder was just a dull ache compared to that, and his fingers tingled. Probably from the bandage on his shoulder, he surmised.

He had the most awful, sickening headache. And he knew it would only get worse if he didn't get more. Rapture, the narcotic he'd been using, was highly addictive as well as dangerous.

He heard Seifer start awake in the chair.


He knew he was supposed to be awake for something but the reason eluded him for a moment as he opened his eyes, looking around in a state of almost-panic. Seifer Almasy was not the type of person to panic. Squall, he remembered as his eyes fell upon the bed, He was supposed to be looking after Squall.

The brunette was still there, his eyes barely open. Only a slit of bloodshot white and clouded blue-grey was visible, staring weakly at the ceiling.

Seifer rubbed his face, yawning so hard his jaw almost cracked. "Morning sunshine." Stretching and rubbing his neck, wincing at the crick he'd developed in the few stolen hours of sleep, Seifer sat up in the chair.

Squall looked at him slowly, as though even that took a concentrated effort. When he spoke, his voice was quiet and slurred. "Seif'r?"

"None other." Seifer spread his hands as though displaying himself for his old rival to admire. "You've looked better Leonhart." He said softly, a ghost of his old smirk fading onto his lips.

"Felt better too."

With a heavy sigh, the blonde admitted to himself reluctantly that perhaps the interrogation he really desired would not be the best course of action. Instead he settled for one question. "I just want to know one thing. What the hell are you mixed up in?"

"Nothing." Squall shook his head determinedly.

"Didn't look like nothing."

"Let me rephrase. Nothing to do with you."

"That's better." Seifer nodded curtly, his jade gaze still resting on the prone figure in his bed. "You're wrong, of course, but still a better answer." Leaning forward, he rested his elbows on his knees and peered at Squall intently. "You look like a fucking goth-queen Barbie doll."

There it was, the Squall Glare. One eyed and not quite it's old intensity but there was that 'you've pissed me off. I hate that' look. He could forgive the lack of intensity if Squall was injured. "If I could tell which one of you to hit, I would" He muttered darkly, his voice intensely angry for just a heart beat.

Seifer's full lips twisted into a half smile. "Later. Right now you're going to keep your ass in that bed until you heal. You almost went to that little iceberg in the sky last night, Leonhart."

"You should have let me."

The jade green gaze focused on him narrowed. "There's a lot of things I should've done. But then, I've never been good at doing what I should, right?"

"Right." Squall scowled, as much at himself as at Seifer.

"I'm not fucking around, Squall. If you fight me on this, I'll have to kick your ass. Be smart. Stay here where you're safe." The blonde stood, lazily scratching his belly.

"Safe. Right. Whatever." The soft, quiet voice sounded so tired, so... old for a moment. World weary and heavy, as though the responsibility forced onto him at such an early age had tainted him.

"Don't piss me off Squall, I'm serious." Seifer shot him an annoyed look and stripped off his shirt to hunt for a clean one. He watched with more worry than amusement as Squall attempted to sit up, wincing and giving up quickly. His back must have been hurting him, Seifer surmised. "Glad to know I won't have to tie you to the bed."

"Where am I?" Squall glanced around the blue and grey room that somehow managed to not feel cold.

"My place." Seifer bent over at the waist to hunt through a pile of clothes, cursing as the hunt for clean socks continued to be a futile one, the garments eluding him more efficiently than Squall avoided military haircuts or clothing without buckles.

"Wow." Squall said dryly, looking around as much as his prone position would allow, at the chaos surrounding him. The carpet was dotted with pieces of clothing, a few magazines stacked on the dresser. "It might actually be cleaner than your room was."

Looking back, still bent over and continuing his futile search, Seifer eyed Squall. "I don't have a laundry service, sue me."

The view had improved, Squall had to give him that much. Seifer's body had been toned for his age when they'd been at garden together but now every muscle was improved, sculpted into perfection over time. "Whatever."

"Maybe I can set you up to fluff and fold in bed, hm?"

Squall positively glowered at his blonde rival. "I don't fluff."

"So you say." Seifer snickered softly. That was his Squall, the Squall he remembered with fondness from his days of training, teaching and trysts with moody brunettes between the sheets of a too small bed. "I say I can talk you around it."

"And Rinoa can hold an intelligent conversation." Lifting his head to peer into the darkness under the covers Squall noted that he was naked. He felt vaguely relieved to see that not all that much had changed, whenever he was with Seifer he invariably ended up either injured or naked. No amount of bench pressing by Seifer, or change within his own life had done anything to adjust that. It was reassuring.

"I didn't want to wake you up to get you dressed last night." Seifer had noted his investigation and looked unduly sheepish.

Squall half wondered what Seifer had done, to wear that expression. Tugging the blankets higher, he shot Seifer an 'I believe you, honest' look and tucked his good am beneath the covers again. He didn't want to look at the marks on the inside of his wrist, at his shame, his guilt, his craving. They reminded him of what he'd become, something he hated and despised. He didn't want Seifer to see that in him, didn't want him to be driven away like half of his friends had been.

"Later, I'll help you clean up some and I'll find you something... clean... to put on." Seifer glanced around at the piles of clothes in varying states of grimy, clean and able to fit Squall the stick may have been a stretch of his resources.

"Where are my clothes?" Squall asked.

"Likely in the hospital dump. They were leather ribbons." Not that the image of Squall wearing nothing but leather ribbons wasn't appealing, but he could barely imagine Squall accepting it. Seifer made a triumphant noise and came up with a pair of clean socks, perching on the edge of the bed to pull them on his cold feet. He hated having cold feet, always had, always would. Squall had hated it when Seifer used to stick them on his legs in the middle of the night.

"Fuck." He'd liked that coat. Someone would pay.

"Relax. Soon as you're better, we'll go kill a few cows for you." The smirk faded, Seifer's expression softening as Squall glared at him again, both eyes this time, but still weak compared to how it had once been. He paused for a moment, and when he finally spoke again his voice was softer, almost caring. "Squall, I saw you last night. I watched those two bastards hurting you. You're going to stay right here until you heal, you got it?"


Seifer's jaw clenched in annoyance. "Yes. You will."

Squall kept his gaze on Seifer, eyes narrowed into slits. "I have something to finish."

"I didn't say you had to live here forever." Seifer turned slightly to face Squall. "I said until you heal."

"I can't stay here that long." A back injury could take weeks, maybe even months to heal properly, he just didn't have the time to wait that long. Priest and Brent could get away, the laboratory where their drug was being created could be moved. Already the itching, crawling need for a fix was making him edgy, he didn't want to let Seifer see that side of him.

Seifer stood, his patience fast wearing thin. "Oh yeah you can." He glared at the heart breakingly pale brunette, his anger blinding him to the trembling of Squall's hand that held the covers over his chest. Only Squall could rattle his cage so efficiently, so quickly.

"No, I can't Seifer."

Seifer turned then, leaning to brace his hands on the edge of the bed, holding his face barely a breath away from Squall's. He was close enough to see every line in the dark blue-grey of Squall's irises, every inherent swirl of colour. "I wish you'd trust me, just once."

His former lover was quiet for a long time, glaring right back at him, stormy blue grey meeting enchanting jade green. Finally, Squall turned his head away. "I used to trust you." He muttered, his voice pained.

"Yeah." The flash of hurt across Seifer's face was unstoppable but as always, he recovered quickly and silently thanked Hyne that Squall hadn't seen it, hadn't seen the vulnerability. "Yeah you did. And that's my fault. But that was then and this is now."

"And now I'm not worth trusting."

Seifer snorted as he straightened and headed for the kitchen, his voice floating after him. "Bullshit, Leonhart." Despite the brunette pissing him off, Squall could not follow him to continue the fight. He was satisfied that he had won a small victory. Sometimes that pale little bitch had been more tenacious than a terrier with a bone, stubborn little fuck.

It was true. Squall had never stolen from his friends at Balamb but he had done just about everything in his power to attempt to push them away. Selphie barely spoke to him anymore, Quistis would just give him the I'm so disappointed in you look, and Zell... Zell still looked at him like he was a hero, even when he was as high as a kite and muttering like a mental patient. Irvine gave him the pity look, and he hated that even more than the disappointed one.

He lifted the covers to survey the damage now that he could see straight. His body felt like one massive bruise, but everything below his waist seemed in perfect working order, if sore. He had a stiff brace around his lower abdomen, to support his back he guessed, and his right arm was in a sling. Flexing his fingers, his shoulder throbbed a little harder. Must have been broken.

Seifer returned with a tray of bread, cheese and a glass of fresh orange juice. He almost chuckled as Squall pulled the covers back down too quickly, his hand striking his chest and making him wince. "You need to eat, at least a little."

"I'm not hungry."

"Yeah, I know. The drugs probably messed you up some. C'mon though." Seifer coaxed, sitting on the edge of the bed once again. Patience had never been his strong suit and Squall had always been able to wear it whip thin within moments with a well placed glare and a few soft words. "Just a little."

"No." Squall said, more firmly this time. "I don't want anything."

The reply was almost a snarl, only Seifer's will managing to keep it from being that angry, he knew it would only make the ice princess even more stubborn. "You're going to eat something if I have to force feed you, god dammit."

"I'll drink." The brunette surrendered a little, his voice sounding just a little more broken to Seifer's ears. "I don't think I could keep anything down if I ate."

"Fine. Drink the juice, then."

"Help me sit up and I will." He sounded almost disgusted that he had to ask for help from Seifer Almasy.

Seifer set the tray to one side. "Put your hand on my shoulder and don't strain your muscles. Let me lift." He scooted closer to the prone figure, setting one hand on Squall's side to avoid putting pressure on the bound shoulder. When Squall wrapped his good arm around Seifer's neck, Seifer insinuated his arm between Squall and the bed slowly.

Being so close to the most infuriatingly stubborn and yet, still beautiful thing he'd ever seen after so long, to feel Squall's eyelashes flutter against his cheek as he pressed down over him to support him hauled up all those old feelings and threw them in his face. Even the smell of him, that faint scent of sandalwood and leather balm, was enough to make him ache with need for the brunette once again. "Ready P.B.?"

Squall nodded faintly. "Get on with it." He added almost as an afterthought: "And stop calling me that already." He was breathing a little heavier, his fingers tightening imperceptibly on Seifer's shoulder. He needed the blonde almost as much as the blonde needed him.

Seifer lifted him carefully, taking care not to move around too much as he shifted Squall's weight onto one arm. "This might hurt after a few minutes, so be careful."

When Seifer's lips brushed accidentally against the shell of his ear, Squall pretended not to notice. Even though he couldn't prevent the shiver that ran through him. Accidental it may have been, but the tender touch was enough to send a tremor of need and longing through his blood. "What's wrong with me?" He asked, meaning the pain in his back almost as much as the slow burning desire for the egotistical blonde who held him.

"Messed up your back some."

"Fuck." Squall cursed softly. Behind the brunette, Seifer rearranged the pillows to support Squall, setting him back against them gently. The position was already making his back throb harder, and he couldn't hide another wince. "Thanks."

"Here." Seifer turned Squall a little, carefully moving him. No matter how irresponsible and stubborn the little bastard was, he didn't want to see him in any pain.

"That's easier." The dark eyes strafed Seifer once more. "How long have you been here?"

"Long enough." Seifer stayed close, tucking the blankets around his charge and handing him the glass of juice. Even though Squall drank quickly and lowered the glass to rest on his thigh again, Seifer noted the tremble in his hand. "Why aren't you in Balamb?"

"Mission." The word was a short snap of a reply, kept in the most neutral of tones manageable. Sometimes Seifer wondered how Squall could be so unfeeling about something that he was supposed to love, his life, his livelihood.

"Dammit, I should have known. Solo?"

"You know I can't tell you that." Squall gave him a half hearted glare, shrugging with his good shoulder.

Seifer chuckled. "I'll take that as a yes. Look, how about this: give it a few days, get better. Then you can tackle your mission. I'm here, Squall. I can help you."

"I don't think I can last that long." No. He couldn't. He needed more, he couldn't keep going without another fix, another dose to stem the craving and force it down and make the loneliness and pain and fear go away just for a few more hours.

"You got no choice Leonhart."

"Fuck you Almasy." The brunette hissed in return. "You can't keep me here."

That slow, evil grin that chilled Squall's very soul for a very good reason spread across Seifer's lips slowly. "Watch me." He was a beautiful devil, wickedness dancing in his eyes.

"No thanks, I'm not into voyeurism."

"No, exhibitionism is more your speed, I'm beginning to realize." Seifer smirked at Squall. He knew he was being a prick, throwing up his defences and keeping Squall back, keeping him from seeing just what he kept hidden on the inside. He couldn't help it, every time he was near the brunette his temper grew shorter and his arrogance, his desire flared up.

Squall threw the half full glass of juice in Seifer's face.

Seifer snarled his former lover's name, juice dripping from his face down onto the clean shirt. He grabbed the wrist holding the offending glass instinctively and shook the injured brunette against the pillow. "Fucking stupid bitch. Same old, ain't it Squall?"

Pain twisted Squall's beautiful face into a grimace briefly before he regained control, glaring back at Seifer as the glass slipped from his fingers and bounced harmlessly onto the carpet. "Only this time I can't fight back."

Wiping his face on his sleeve, Seifer stood too fast, covering his face with his hands and forcing himself to rein his temper in and push the guilt away to the fringes of his mind where it could be dealt with later, when there wasn't a pissy bitch of a brunette there to rattle his cage, to push and prod and pull and tease. He hated that he was so weak, so easy for Squall to manipulate. "I'm sorry." He muttered into his hands, the sound muffled and distorted before it had chance to reach Squall's ears.

Carefully, slowly, Squall rearranged himself on the nest of pillows, his eyes fixed firmly on Seifer.

When the blonde finally turned to face him, all traces of Seifer's anger had just... evaporated. Disappeared, leaving the features even more handsome. "I'm sorry for hurting you."

"I'm sorry for throwing juice at you." Squall replied on reflex, lowering his eyes to avoid Seifer's gaze. A brief pause heralded the dredging up of old memories, long forgotten and buried, a hundred thousand arguments where they'd been forced to face each other and apologise just as they were. Edea, the orphanage, things he'd rather forget. "This is like being five again."

"We've got lots of practice. Be a shame to let it go to waste." A faint smirk turned Seifer's lips up, his relief at seeing that Squall wasn't really hurt any more than he had been, that he hadn't damaged his old lover again, was tangible.


"I don't want to be at cross purposes all the time Squall. Let me help you." Seifer entreated softly.

"You can't help me with this. I don't want you to." The raven locks hid Squall's face from him, he wanted to brush them aside so he could see those perfectly beautiful eyes, those lips, that scar. His effect.

"I can. And why not?"

"I don't want you to know what I've become."

"Squall..." Seifer whispered so softly he could barely be sure he'd even said it. He'd never wanted Squall to fear or hate him, just... let him in. "You don't have to worry about something like that. Ever. Don't you remember who I am?"

A gentle smile curled Squall's lips. "Some bastard who doesn't play by the rules, fucker who scarred me, prick who left when I needed him most... All of those sound vaguely familiar."

"Sounds about right." Seifer couldn't keep the smile from his voice, even if it didn't reach his lips in quite the same intensity. "I wouldn't judge you, Squall. You don't remember how much we used to mean to each other."

"I remember." So soft, so distant, just like the ice princess had always been.

"I never forgot. Let me help you. I never could before." Never could, never allowed to, one of the two. Seifer just wanted to go and find Squall's attackers and bring their heads to him on a plate after he'd fucked them up as bad as they'd fucked Squall up.

Knowing Leonhart, he'd love that. Probably think it was foreplay.

"There used to be plenty of things that meant a lot to me. I lost all of them. I don't think I could do that again..."

Seifer shook his head slowly. He hated it when he was made to beg, he hated that he always let Squall make him. "Things are different now, and after last night, your choices have considerably narrowed."

And then the blue grey eyes were on him once more, a storm cloud of anger and hate and pain that almost wounded Seifer as much as the words that accompanied it. "So you're going to keep me prisoner until..., what? I let you help me or one of us dies in the process?" He swept his hair behind his ears and Seifer noticed that the earring had gone. Ripped out in the attack maybe, his earlobe was bloodied and bruised. There were holes for more piercings like dimples in the red tinted flesh. Even as the words wounded him he couldn't take his eyes away from the slender little figure. "I should be grateful there's no electric shock torture chamber. Or is that in the other room?"

"Fuck you Squall." Seifer whispered, his voice a rasp of hurt and anger.

"Fuck you Seifer. I loved you, you bastard." The voice wavered in its intensity, tears of anguish forming at the corner of Squall's eyes. Squall forced them back, made them wait, he couldn't cry now. If he did, he didn't think he'd ever stop.

"Yeah?" The blonde almost cringed, but managed to prevent himself from getting that far. No one knew how to hurt him, where to strike, how hard to hit, like Squall iceberg Leonhart. "Well I loved you too, you selfish little prick. Love you still. Just like I've always fucking loved you, even when you were too wrapped up in yourself to see it."

Seifer let Squall struggle to lay back down.

"Did you tell Rinoa that too?" Squall asked, relief washing over him. The pain ebbed a little, the nausea faded.


"You fucked her though." A half laugh, to hide a half sob at old wounds reopened echoed from Squall's pale lips. "She enjoyed reminding me of that every five minutes after we broke up."

"She was a poor substitute for you, Squall. Just like everyone else has been and will always be. You're not the only one fucked up by what happened between us."

Squall looked at Seifer seriously, silent for minutes, searching him for some home truth before he finally asked. "Why did you go with Edea?"

"Because I had no choice." Seifer didn't miss a beat, it was the truth. He'd always wanted Squall to see it. He found a little redemption in Squall's gaze as it softened, as he was believed. He'd longed for that so much, to see his forgiveness in pretty storm coloured eyes.

"...Fuck I need a cigarette." The prone figure husked and dragged a hand through those once coffee and whiskey locks and sighed heavily.

"You promise to stay in bed?"

"I can't even sit up on my own, where the hell am I going to go?" Squall rolled his eyes in exasperation.

"If you behave yourself, I'll get you a cigarette." Seifer grinned at him.

"Whatever. I'll behave." He yawned, leaving the 'for now' that should have followed hanging in the air.

"Good boy." Seifer smiled, a good smile, one that Squall hadn't seen in the longest time. The sweet side to him.

Squall didn't even have the time to mutter whatever as his eyes fluttered closed, and he drifted into the blissful darkness of a drug induced sleep again.

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