Author's Notes: This fic was sort of an experiment and quite quite difficult to write. It's set a little after the game, before the party they have in the credits. Possibly to be continued in a song fic arc. Slowly. Between other fics. Since this one drove me bonkers for weeks.

Warning! Song fic, I don't own Thoughts of a dying atheist by Muse either. deathfic-ish overtones but not a death fic.

Disclaimer: To my disappointment I don't own them. If I did I'd make them film porn all day.

It felt like the end

By darksquall

Eerie whispers,
Trapped beneath my pillow...

The silence was as thick, heavy and tangible as the morning fog that lay over Balamb harbour before the dawn. Even in the deathly quiet, Squall didn't feel as though he were alone. Something had invaded his old dormitory, crept in between dust motes and beneath the stale air, settling itself comfortably within the four walls he'd once shared with an upper classman.

This was the first time he'd entered the familiar room in two months. Ultimecia had been dead for less than a fortnight and they were due to celebrate in two days time; but already the tedious duties of being active commander were beginning to read their ugly head. Like the complaint that his old room was haunted.

Squall would have scoffed six months before. Before battling sorceresses and mythical guardian forces, finding draw points of some of the most potent and powerful magics on the planet spells such as Ultima which were so destructive they almost scared him, facing creatures that shouldn't even have existed and finding the strength, the raw power within himself of his limit break to defeat them.

All in all, he considered his horizons somewhat broadened from what they had once been.

The silence was breached by a hushed, garbled whisper that was human and not all in the same breath. Squall'd locked the door, scanned for electronic equipment and even gone so far as to shut off all power to the room so there was absolutely no explanation for the human sound that he could rationalise to a satisfactory standard.

He believed the student who'd refused to sleep in the room. And worse, he knew the voice, knew it intimately though the words had been unclear.

It was Seifer Almasy.

Squall lay back on the bed which had once been his, his head resting on the pillow as he had so many times before. Seifer's voice was no stranger to this old room, was no stranger to his ears. Even in the faint chill of his room, he could still feel the warmth of Seifer's body over his. He knew it was only a memory. He'd feared that Seifer was dead and lost forever after the war, something he was sure would relieve some people.

He was not relieved. He needed Seifer and he was ashamed of it.

Squall had always thought he could take or leave sex; his hand was faster and didn't care whether he didn't feel up to cuddling or company. It didn't care if he fell asleep with his back to it. It didn't make him care or whisper his name so huskily he couldn't help but shiver. It just didn't make him care.

Not like Seifer did.

How he could feel so much when Seifer was just there he had no idea. He'd never dared to admit it to himself before, too afraid of letting someone in who could leave and hurt him.

Squall rolled onto his side, curling up tight. They'd slept together in this bed, tangled up and yet still managing to consume the entirety of the small space. When he closed his eyes he could still remember the feel of Seifer's breath against the back of his neck, stirring his hair. And he could still hear the sweet, sleepy groans when Seifer realised that they had to get up no matter how tired he was from the previous night's escapades. It felt like a lifetime ago and yet, like only yesterday. His scar itched maddeningly at the thought; as though he needed reminding that it was present.

Every time he looked in the mirror he saw it. And he was reminded of its perfect mate.

As if he could ever forget Seifer Almasy.

You won't let me see
Your memories.

Squall looked up as a draft from an unknown source blew out the candle, plunging the room into a treacle thick darkness and making his breathing seem even louder somehow. He'd bought the candles instead of an electric lantern; they couldn't be tampered with to produce sounds.

Rolling into a sitting position, he retrieved the box of matches he'd purchased from inside his jacket pocket and lit the candle. The sulphurous smell was reminiscent of the fire cavern where both he and Seifer had acquired Ifrit. He remembered Seifer boasting about managing to complete the trial in twenty minutes the first time he attempted the exam for SeeD, or rather, he remembered being accosted for fast, hard sex immediately after Seifer's return. They'd barely even gotten into his bedroom before Seifer was stripping and preparing him. Being fucked against your door wasn't exactly the kind of thing you forgot, even with six Guardian Forces eating your memories.

The flame flickered briefly, growing very low before burning up again. Then it went out completely, as though someone had snuffed it out. With a sigh, he lit another match, bringing it to the candle wick and lighting it.

Again the flame grew low.

"Leave it." Squall requested. "I believe you're here."

The flame burned up again, flickering smokily. For a few quick heart beats it remained high, and then burned low again.

"Seifer." He hissed. "Leave it."

At the name the flame burned bright and clear once again. If a candle could be smug, this one would most definitely be it.

Without Seifer around, he was sure there would be some semblance of peace within Garden. He was sure that he'd get over the absence that made his heart ache as though it had been shattered and wrongly pieced back together eventually but he was so tired of watching people walk away. Of being the one left behind and forever lost. Like his sister to the white SeeD. Like Rinoa, all be it briefly. Like Seifer to Ultimecia.

He wasn't going to loose Seifer a second time.

"Come on Almasy, are you going to let them win?" Squall murmured as he rose to his feet, keeping his eyes on the candle. "I'll help you if I can."

He was sure the amused chuckle he heard was only in his imagination. Ignoring it regardless, he closed his eyes, attempting to picture Seifer.

His heart almost stopped in his chest when he couldn't picture Seifer's face, just like when he'd found himself lost in time.

When Rinoa had pulled him back, he'd been dead. Lost to the blissful peace of the final silence, her magic had awoken him. Even now he felt both the void in time, and the void of death calling him back. The holes in his memory would someday be the death of him, he was sure of that, and now he felt as though he was about to loose someone because of it.

That wouldn't happen again.

Ordering himself to calm down his heart had begun to thunder in his chest when he'd realised that he couldn't picture Seifer any more he took a deep breath and began to rebuild the mental image of his old rival and sometimes lover's face. A strong jaw, lips almost always curled in a knowing smirk as though he'd known some day Squall would have to do this and realise how handsome he really was, how much he loved the arrogant blond. Eyes the colour of jade and dotted with silver flecks. He'd never realised how much he liked Seifer's eyes or how much he liked it when they were on him.

If he wasn't careful, that Hyne awful song of Julia's was going to be stuck in his head again. Why couldn't GF's consume the songs that dwelled annoyingly in your mind rather than memories? He wouldn't be pressured into reconsidering using them then. Not that he planned on giving up his own but he had students to think of now.

Red gold eyebrows, a shade darker than the neatly smoothed back hair, a few errant strands always escaping him and curling over his forehead. The final piece he lingered over. He was beginning to regret it, regret the blinding anger that had filled him and forced him to retaliate. Seifer's scar slid into place like the final piece of a jigsaw puzzle.

There was a loud thud of a sound and an impact against his chest knocked him from his feet, and up against the wall behind him.

He crumpled down onto the bed, the wind knocked from his body.

I know you're in this room,
I'm sure I heard you sigh.

Squall sat up warily, struggling for a moment to catch his breath, dragging a hand through his hair.

"Leonhart..." He heard Seifer's voice whisper into his ear once more. There were more words that followed, ones he could barely make out as human though he thought one of them might have been "help".

"What do you need Almasy?" He whispered, only then noticing that the candle had been snuffed out once more and the room plunged into the treacle thick darkness again. As he lit another match to return the light to the room, he noticed his gloved palm was wet with blood. Where his head had stuck the wall behind him there was a dark red stain. "You'd better appreciate this."

He touched the flame to the wick and waved it out; reaching up to pull back the blind that covered his old window. The sky outside was unnaturally black and no lights could be seen from Balamb in the distance. Whatever had invaded the room had control of that too.

Somehow he couldn't imagine a man like Seifer lost in the void between this world in the past. Seifer had always seemed so confident, so sure of himself and his place in the world that he never thought he doubted himself.

Though it could have been a show he supposed. A front, the arrogance, the self-assurance. Like his own cold front. Like the mask he himself put up so they wouldn't see how broken he was on the inside. Just what was Seifer really like on the inside? Was he as vulnerable as Squall himself felt ?

He heard the softest of sighs. One of Seifer's he knew, one that he always heard when Seifer thought he was thinking too much, the one that if he were awake enough to hear, warned him that he was going into 'internal monologue mode' as he'd heard Quistis term it. Something Seifer had always disarmed with a kiss, a caress, a well placed insult. Whichever was most appropriate at the time.

Squall stood slowly, his back aching from his short, sharp flight across the room. His head complained at the movement, throbbing with nauseating intensity. He'd only been let out of the infirmary a few days before, kept in for observation and tests for over a week. Going back was not an option if he wanted to remain sane.

Feeling tears of anger and regret prick at his eyes, he sighed in something that felt like annoyance. He wanted Seifer so badly, needed him so much, and longed for him to come home.

What kind of a home would garden be to the arrogant blond who he needed more intensely than anything he'd ever wanted in his entire life after the war? Seifer was theoretically a criminal, though Squall was doubting that he'd been a volunteer in the effort. He was even beginning to doubt the validity of some of his own actions and decisions as Rinoa's knight.

A movement caught Squall's eye, drawing his attention to the mirror set on the back of the door. For a split second, caught and illuminated by the light from the candle, he could have sworn he saw his old rival's face.

"Seifer..." He whispered as he took a step towards the source of a brief, glimmering hope that had begun to form inside him. "...I need you."

A rush of air swept through the room, tugging at his hair, sending a shiver along his spine. The air was cold, colder than the chill that had overtaken him the first time he'd junctioned Shiva and smelt faintly of cinnamon and spice. The scent of Seifer's favourite cologne made him ache with longing and, dizzy and feeling more lost than he ever had before, he collapsed to his knees.

He knew the cold. Cold, ice was his friend, it kept him from feeling and it bought him no small measure of comfort, reminding him of Shiva, the only constant in his life. But this bone chilling bitterness was the cold of the void in time, and was no friend of his.

Floating in between
Where our worlds collide
scares the hell out of me, and the end is all I can see

A cool gentle touch wound its way beneath his shirt, stroking his belly with a tenderness that Seifer had once touched him with. Slow, gentle strokes of invisible fingers teased the skin of his stomach and traced the fine lines of muscle it found there. Squall found he couldn't fight it, no matter how hard he wanted to as his invisible attacker slid the cold hand higher, finding and brushing against one nipple.

Whether it was Seifer or some twisted phantom sent to imitate his lover, Squall wasn't sure, but as the icy fingertips brushed and teased his nipple into a peak, he couldn't help a moan of Seifer's name spilling from his lips in an uninvited plea. He wanted more. He wanted everything.

For months he'd denied himself pleasure. Focusing his energy into battle, into fighting and training himself to finally defeat the sorceress. To stop her and save...

He'd fought for Seifer. Underneath all of it, his motives were as selfish and cold as everyone had thought him before he'd saved the world with a gang of orphans and a sorceress. He almost chuckled in disgust at himself as his unseen lover's hand pushed him back, a second hand fumbling over his belts.

If anything had made him believe that invisible figure really was Seifer, the hurried fumble of fingers on the buckles of his three belts was it. He felt a little afraid as the cool hands eased the black leather of his pants apart and brushed against his rapidly hardening cock. When he tried to reach out to the figure, his fingers just brushed through cold dense air. How could he fight what he couldn't see? What he couldn't touch.

"Seifer?" He gasped, arching into the touch wantonly. The fear of the unseen assailant lit along his veins like Quezacotl's Thunder Storm, making him hotter, harder. He could barely breathe as the cool touch enveloped his cock, caressing him in long, smooth strokes.

The touch didn't tease him or linger too long over the movements, giving him just what he needed.

Squall heard Seifer's voice whisper his name again, sounding so close he could almost believed he could reach out and touch the handsome blond. As the freezing presence enveloped him, cradling him in its eerily comforting touch, a palm slid under the leather that covered his ass and fingers brushed against his opening.

It was one way to be remembered he supposed distantly as the icy touch slid into him gently, brushing against his prostate firmly enough to make his whole body shiver with pleasure. Found well fucked and frozen after daring to spend a night in a room reputed to be haunted by the majority of the student body.

The coldness suddenly pushed into him, stretching him open and soothing him all in one motion. The cool touch of the fingers froze his blood in his veins and chilled his very bones as it filled him, and made him yearn for more. He shivered, rocking his hips onto the touch eagerly in spite of the chill, his hard cock weeping as it throbbed evenly. His whole body was so eager for attention, waiting to be taken, to be consumed and possessed again.

"I want you here." He whispered, breathlessly.

In a heartbeat the touch that had filled him and caressed him so familiarly, the gentle exploration of his body and teasing of his senses was withdrawn, and the room felt empty once again. He found himself lost for a moment, stretched out on the floor of his old room and feeling foolish for allowing himself to be treated like that, teased almost to the point of release and then left to himself again.

Being alone was what scared him most of all. Not death, not the void between time and life... The simple knowledge that he was alone, with no one to miss him, no one to need him, no one to be there for him filled him with such dread that he could barely breath. The fear lay like a weight on his chest, feeding from the empty feel to the room.

And it scares the hell out of me, and the end is all I can see

Seifer's face wavered into view in the blackened window briefly, a myriad of golden and red tones, as though the candle were close to him. Then it was gone again.

This was it, Squall realised as he watched Seifer, feeling more helpless than he had in his entire life. The pressure began to build up within the four walls, climbing so high he could feel it behind his eyes and in his ears. The voice that had been but a whisper so far all evening had suddenly become a roar that surrounded him, the garbled noise seeming to come from everywhere and nowhere all at once, making him dizzy with its intensity and confusion.

"Let him go." Squall growled softly as he fumbled with his clothes in an effort to regain some sort of order. He squeezed his eyes tight shut as he covered his ears. With some of the noise blocked out by the meagre protection offered by his palms, he felt stronger. "Let him go." He commanded again, opening his eyes to glare right into the mirror where he'd seen the clearest image of Seifer all evening, not letting the movement in the other reflective surfaces in the room distract him any more.

It felt almost as though Seifer were all around him, his presence suddenly as strong as it would have been if he'd been in the room with Squall, the scent of his cologne, the heat of his breath against the back of Squall's neck. He couldn't ignore it anymore, couldn't stand knowing and feeling how close Seifer was and not being able to see him, to touch him.

Balling his hands into fists so tight that his leather gloves creaked dangerously, Squall glared at the mirror. "Give. Him. Back." He snarled again, his shoulders burning with the tension of the effort he had to exert to hold himself still. He didn't have a target for his rage or the attack he so desperately wanted to perform, a limit break at the periphery of his control tempting him like Siren's song,

Another loud snap cut through the air, knocking him backwards into the bedside table, making the alarm clock crash to the floor and with a single hollow ring as the mechanism broke. Steadying himself, bracing himself for another impact.

One last time the young commander ordered the ghosts and guardians to return his old lover, his voice filled with all the strength and authority that his position required.

"Let him go."

And it did.

And I know the moment's near,
And there's nothing you can do

In the mirror he could see Seifer, dead eyed and clear. Squall almost feared him dead from the lack of expression and emotion in those beautiful, emerald green irises. Eyes that had been so full of life, so full of feeling Squall had found himself hypnotised by them time and time again. He couldn't breathe for a moment as within the mirror, a silver-blue light began to shine.

It burned hotter than a firaga spell, or a flare, so intense that Squall had to shield his eyes from the light. When it dimmed and subsided again, Seifer was reaching through a hole in the mirror, waiting to be helped.

Seifer's once tanned skin was now grey and clammy, his lips tinged blue with the cold or lack of oxygen and which of those it was Squall had no particular desire to find out and slack, his mouth hanging open as he stared ahead, unseeing, unmoving.

His hand was limp, the sleeve of his trench coat hanging in flayed tatters around his wrist.

Even his scar looked pale.

Something deep down inside Squall whispered that it was a trap. As soon as he took Seifer's hand he'd be pilled back into the abyss that had already claimed his life once. He'd be trapped there with a corpse and a death sentence hanging over his head.

The thought made his stomach roll and his heart pound harder, not just for the fear that that place instilled in his veins, but for the thought of Seifer dead. He'd heard that before, heard of his old lover's death and panicked over it, but seen him alive soon after. This was different. There were no sorceresses there to help him, no mother figure to pick him up and set him back on his feet.

It was a death unbecoming for a knight, for someone of Seifer's hopes and romantic dreams. Seifer deserved to die as a hero, in battle, protecting his sorceress... This would not be his romantic dream.

Squall pushed himself forward, every step seeming to take hours as he slowly crossed the room. A hundred invisible hands tried to hold him back, he had no sorceress powers to aid him in his quest, no magic besides the stored spells in his mind and the loaned strength of a handful of guardian forces. He ignored them, every touch that seemed to send electric shivers through his skin, every gentle pain and sudden sting like a thunder spell.

Standing before the portal, Squall looked down at the offered hand. It had been so long since he'd seen Seifer without his gloves that it almost seemed unreal. However, this half dead flesh, this grey-white parody of skin was not Seifer.

But it was all the chance he had to help him.

Look through a faithless eye,
are you afraid to die?

Squall reached out and took Seifer's hand, gripping his wrist tightly.

Seifer's flesh was so cold it almost burned, but he didn't let go. He couldn't, even if he'd tried, he'd sworn to himself that he'd help Seifer if he could and he'd seen nothing to indicate that he couldn't just yet.

When Seifer's fingers flexed and wrapped around his bare wrist as tightly as he gripped Seifer's wrist, Squall's heart nearly jumped into his mouth. He didn't know how something so cold could survive without being junctioned to Shiva. And she was firmly in place in his head. Reassured by the movement after he'd taken a moment to calm himself, Squall began to pull, trying to draw Seifer through the mirror's surface just like drawing a magic spell from a monster.

It felt as though something was attempting to hold Seifer back, the void attempting to keep its prize forever within its grasp, but whatever it was real or imagined it had not accounted for Ultima Junctioned strength, nor the stubbornness of Squall Leonhart.

Slowly, like moving through tar or a slow spell, Seifer's body inched through the portal. Squall could feel his muscles straining, moaning at the effort he was exerting in his struggle to save his former lover and rival from whatever was attempting to keep him. However, now he'd been offered the chance to finally do something, Squall would not give up.

Seifer's head slid through just as slowly as the rest of his body, followed by his shoulders. When he took a sudden breath, as though he'd been waiting for fresh air to be able to breathe again and lifted his head to stare at Squall with fearful, dazzling green eyes, the brunet's grip on Seifer's wrist almost failed.

Without a word, Seifer pulled his other arm free of the gate to the abyss, reaching out and taking Squall's other arm in just as sure a grip as he had with the first. His gaze remained locked with his old rival's, never faltering, never for a moment believing that Squall would fail in this rescue attempt.

Just as Seifer was half out of the portal, his limbs trembling and grumbling at the force put upon his joints as Squall hauled him through, all of the tension and power that was holding him back was gone in a flash.

Squall had no time to compensate for the sudden change and fell backwards with cry of surprise, pulling Seifer on top of him, his body tumbling free of the portal easily.

Dizzy and panting, his muscles burning, Squall opened his eyes to watch Seifer. Hardly able to believe that the blond was suddenly there, suddenly on top of him and real and alive, he didn't think.

He just kissed his old lover and rival as deeply as he could, slanting his mouth down over Seifer's and wrapping his arms tightly around him as though he could ward away the trembling the cold had bought on in Seifer's body with just that kiss.

Seifer simply whimpered and kissed back.

Squall broke the kiss first, reaching up to pull the blankets from the bed, draping them over Seifer and holding him tightly. He searched for the words to say how much he'd missed Seifer and how much he wanted to be with him again but they seemed so futile and useless now he was no longer alone that he couldn't bring himself to speak them.

"Leonhart... I..."

"Don't." Squall brushed his lips over Seifer's again, gently and carefully. He didn't want to be thanked when he felt like such a coward, nor did he want to hear any words of compassion or love, nor even lust from Seifer's lips when he felt so vulnerable.

A light of understanding came into Seifer's eyes and he nodded silently, allowing himself to be drawn into the kiss.

Despite the tender caress of their lips, and how good Seifer's body felt against his own, Squall was afraid. He could feel himself closing up again, becoming as cold as the ice that Shiva bought with her when she attacked. He could feel the chance he had at relief and happiness at having someone to stay with him forever slipping away like sand through his fingertips.

It had been easy to pretend he hadn't cared once. Rinoa had helped him, but she wasn't the one he wanted.

It scares the hell out of me, and the end is all I can see

Sliding his fingers under the tattered remnants of Seifer's old trench coat, Squall whimpered a soft, wordless plea. Just like every other time they'd slept together, Seifer instinctively knew what the brunet needed and silently shrugged out of the long coat.

Squall stripped off his jacket and his shirt quickly as Seifer straddled his hips to work open the crossed belts carefully. They had no need for words, no need for worthless promises and oaths, just release and that warmth that came from being held by a secret lover even though they knew the other could never really be there for them.

When they were both naked, struggling under the blankets to remove the remnants of Seifer's clothing from his still cold body without tossing the covers aside, Seifer caught Squall by the chin and forced the younger man to look at him. Averting his eyes briefly to glance at the bed, Seifer enquired whether Squall would like to move without the need for words.

Shaking his head, Squall reached for his jacket, searching out a potion. He couldn't let Seifer fuck him in that bed when it belonged to someone else now. It felt like a betrayal, despite the fact he'd been taken in it time and time again, more times than he cared to count or remember.

With trembling fingers, he slicked Seifer's cock with the potion as the blond stretched out beside him, pulling the covers tighter around them both. The tingle of magic glittered between them, the light absorbed quickly into their bodies but leaving just enough slickness for Squall's plans. When he slid a thigh over Seifer's hip, pressing closer to him and guiding the thick length of his old rival's cock to his opening, he heard a gasp of need and confusion from Seifer that made him look up.

"Squall, stop." Seifer seemed worried, afraid of hurting him, afraid of causing pain that would drive him away.

"Seifer. Fuck me, now." Squall husked, pressing back against the hard length that teased at his opening. The cold fingers had stretched him enough, he wanted something bigger.

Seifer groaned as he buried himself inside Squall's body slowly, pushing into him so carefully that Squall might have very well been made of glass. The pleasure and the heat of his old lover seemed to ward away the bitter chill that had settled in his bones and he finally began to feel warm again.

"Ah, Seifer..." Squall murmured, pillowing his still aching head on the elder man's bicep, muffling his whimper of pleasure against Seifer's skin.

Rolling his hips slowly, Seifer began to thrust into Squall, burying his face against the soft chocolate coloured locks of the smaller man's hair. The awkward angle made every feeling so intense even if he couldn't be as rough or quick with the movements as they would have both liked and it was so hard to remain silent.

No matter what Squall thought, it had never been just sex between them.

Squall wrapped an arm around Seifer, moving with him, arching his back to drive himself as far onto Seifer's cock as the awkward position would allow. His cock rubbed against Seifer's bare stomach as they moved in the old familiar dance of fucking. It was a dance they performed as well as the battle for supremacy and victory that came with their gunblades and knight's roles.

Wrapping his fingers around his cock, Squall worked himself firmly in counter rhythm to Seifer's thrusts. A flush spread over his skin, sweat prickling across his flesh as the pleasure finally consumed him and he came, with a soft cry of pleasure.

Seifer bucked into him once, hard enough to make him whimper, and spilled into his body.

Tired and breathless, they slumped together on the floor of Squall's old dorm and clung to each other for fear of falling.

Though whether their fear was of falling into the abyss, or in love with each other, neither dared say.

They fell asleep without saying another word to one another.

And it scares the hell out of me, and the end is all I can see

Squall was the first one to wake when the sun finally began to peek over the horizon. The room seemed to finally be back to normal, and his blond rival was still wrapped around him tighter than an Anacondaur's squeeze attack. At least he was finally warm to the touch again, so warm Squall didn't want to move in fact, but he had to. Seifer had to go before the rest of the garden woke up.

"Seifer, wake up." He ordered softly, shaking Seifer gently.

"Leonhart..." Seifer half groaned, half whined as he released the smaller man slowly and sat up. Rubbing a hand through his hair, he glanced out of the window to see the still dark sky before turning a glare on Squall. "It's not even light yet."

"You need to go before everyone wakes up." The brunet sighed softly and reached for Seifer's clothes, pushing the bundle of tattered material into Seifer's arms before reaching for his pants. 'And before I say something we'll regret.' He added silently as he slid into the leather. He couldn't bring himself to look at Seifer for too long, his heart heavy even though he'd finally found that Seifer was safe and well.

"Thanks for bringing me back." Seifer muttered as he dressed shamelessly. Keeping his emerald green gaze on Squall as much as he could, Seifer dressed quickly. "Even if you are kicking me out straight away."

"I..." Squall paused, letting his hands fall to his side, his belts splayed open like a Grats tentacles. "I'm not kicking you out. I'm just telling you to leave until things calm down and I can announce it properly." He lifted his head to look at Seifer coldly, his silver-grey eyes glittering in the half light, pools of mercury in his alabaster features. "For your own safety."

"Riiiight." The blond rolled his eyes and shrugged into his tattered trench coat. He was being pushed away again, he knew it, and there seemed to be nothing he could do about it.

"Where were you?"

"Dunno." He shrugged and stretched, trying to ease the knots of tension still lingering in his shoulders from his night on the floor. "Dark, bleak, desolate, you'd have loved it puberty boy. Middle of nowhere, all alone... Tell you about it sometime." Seifer paused as a visible shudder ran through Squall's body, catching him by the shoulder and forcing him to turn and meet his eyes. "I'm... sorry. For letting her control me."

"I knew it wasn't really you." Squall shook his head, stuffing his hands into his jacket to hide how much they were shaking from Seifer. "Or... I hoped..."

"Part of it was me." Seifer whispered, ashamed at the admission. "Just... twisted."

"You were always twisted." The brunet muttered, leaning close just for a moment to feel Seifer's warmth and cherish the sensation. It was easy to forget his fears and to forget how cold Seifer's skin had been the previous night as the dawns light began to filter into the room slowly.

"Thanks, Leonhart."

"Don't mention it." Squall allowed Seifer a brief smile but then slipped back behind his expressionless, cold mask. "Go. I'll find you when it's safe."

Seifer paused, lowering his head to brush a kiss over Squall's lips gently. "I'll be in Balamb."

"I'll find you." The younger man promised softly, never averting his gaze from Seifer's, watching him with a lingering sadness. "The morning bell will ring soon, go on. I need to go and delay it."

Seifer nodded just once and cupped Squall's cheek gently, as though attempting to infer his feelings just with that touch. Then he was gone, slipping through the open door, pulling his Hyperion junction from his hip to protect himself.

Forcing his eyes closed and stilling the tears the turmoil of emotion inside of him bought to his eyes, Squall sank to his knees. He hated goodbyes. Even though he had promised to find Seifer again. Reaffirming Shiva's junction within his mind to remind himself he would always be alone and part of him wanted it that way, so he couldn't be hurt or left again, Squall shuddered and lifted his gaze to the door.

It had felt like the last goodbye. It had felt like the end.

And it scares the hell out of me, and the end is all I can see
And it scares the hell out of me, and the end is all I can see

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