Disclaimer: Squaresoft owns all the characters. I don’t own anything.

Knowing Innocence

(Working title)

Chapter 3

By Purple Penguin

The same, repetitive music droned on and on. Would it ever end? I sat on my bed grinding my teeth in frustration, my hands clamped to my ears. I swear in a minute I’ll go crazy. For hours now my annoying but seriously cute roommate has been in his room listening to that crap. What can he be doing to that lack of beat?

Zell had been my roommate for two days now. To start with, I followed him around like a lovesick puppy, but then the annoying little things started to get to me. He can’t sit still for five seconds, he listens to terrible music, he’s messy, forgetful, clumsily etc. I tried not to notice, to focus on the cute part but I never was tolerable.

That’s it. I’ve had it; it’s too much. I stood angrily stomping to Zell’s door, I knocked but he couldn’t hear me over the noise. I walked straight in practically knocking the door down. I was all ready to shout at him, really tell him off, make him feel small. The sight before me, took my breath away.

“What? He asked, turning the music off.

Zell had a punch bag tied to the ceiling. He stood in front of it, naked from the waist up; he was all sweaty, his hair plastered to his head.

I stood there unable to move, unable to speak, my mouth hanging open.

“What is it?”

Oh yeah, I was supposed to say something. What was it?

“I....c-could....you....t-the m-music....”

“You want me to turn it down?”

I managed a feeble nod.

“Sure, no problem.” He smiled that adorable smile and I think I melted.

I pressed my palm against my forehead. I’m going crazy. His smile dissolved into a look of concern, he lay a hand on my shoulder.

“Are you okay?”

I felt worse, he was so close and I had trouble tearing my eyes from his chest.


I looked up at his face and his eyes met mine, he was so beautiful, I never wanted to look away.

When the front door opened we both jumped back from each other looking guilty. I wondered what he had to be guilty about, I was the one drooling all over him, he wasn’t doing anything wrong.

“ZELL!” A short, ball of energy bounced into the room.

“There you are, I’ve been looking for you for two days.” She put her hands on her hips, faking a look of anger. “Have you been avoiding me? Quistis told me this was your dorm.” She turned to me. “Is this your boyfriend?” She didn’t seem to stop talking.

I looked down, feeling my face grow hot at her comment.

“Ooh Zell are you blushing?”

I glanced up to see Zell’s cheeks were as red as my own. He looked even cuter if it was possible.

The strange girl noticed my blush. “You’re blushing too. Did I interrupt anything?”

I felt my cheeks get redder. The blonde pointed to the girl. “This is Selphie.” She offered her hand to me.

“Seifer.” I told her as I shook her hand.

She happily bounced on the spot. “You’re cute. Are you single?”

I’ve never been called ‘cute’ before and I hope I never do again. “Yes, but gay.”

“All the best ones are gay.” She turned to Zell. “You’re gay, you must be glad to have a roommate who looks like that.”

I was used to Zell being loud, happy, hyper and annoying, but around her he seemed to shrink. She was so hyper that she drowned him out. He stood there looking embarrassed and uncomfortable.

“Anyway Quistis and the red headed girl asked me to ask you if you wanted to get out of here for a while.”

“Will you be there?” Zell asked, sounding afraid.

“Nah, I’m busy.”

“Thank god.” He mouthed to me.

I smiled as he edged around the girl like she had a contagious disease or something. She started jumping up and down insanely, causing Zell to latch himself onto me. “Save me Seifer!”

I laughed out laugh. He was over reacting a bit; at least she was friendly if a little scary.

“You two would be ssooooooooooooooooooo cute together!”

I expected Zell to back off when she said that, but he seemed to cling more. I decided to save him from the scary hyper girl.

“We have to go meet Quistis and Xu right?”

“Yes!” I never seen him run so fast, even when he’s going to get hotdogs. He sped out of the room, dragging me with him.


As we walked down the corridor, Zell hugged himself all the way to the girl’s dorm. He was still shirtless and he didn’t have the courage to go back in the room with Selphie. His cheeks grew redder with each lustful look and wolf-whistle from both sexes. We hurried into the girl’s dorm without knocking.

Quitis raised an eyebrow at Zell’s shirtlessness.

“I’m going to kill you! Why did you tell Selphie my dorm number?!”

“You couldn’t have avoided her forever it’s rude.”

“Rude?! She goes out of her way to embarrass me!” He dropped his arms from his chest. “Do you have something I can wear? Something that’s not too girly?”

Xu chuckled. “Oh, I’m sure we have a nice pink, frilly, blouse for you to wear Zell.”

I smiled. I just pictured him in it, not a bad thought. Xu shot me a teasing look. I swear she can read my mind.

The blonde girl passed Zell a checked over-shirt.

“We’ve got some DVDs if you want to watch them.”

“Yeah, okay. What have you got?”

“Nothing new I’m afraid.” She walked over to the T.V, sorting through a pile of DVDs. “There’s scream or titanic?...”

“Something cheerful.”

“Bambi or...”

“You have Bambi?!”

“Christmas present from my mum, before she died five years ago.”

“Oh sorry.”

The evening went on like that. First we watched Bambi; everyone laughed at Xu when she cried at the death of Bambi’s mother. The conversion quickly turned into being about families and backgrounds. Quistis also had no family like me, after she mother died five years ago. Xu still has a dad, whom she goes to see in the holidays. Zell has a family but he said he couldn’t ever go back, he dropped the subject and no one pushed him.

On the way back to our dorm, he was very quiet, studying his shoes intently. I didn’t ask, I did want to know, wanted to help, but I wouldn’t pry. If he wanted to tell me he would. I let us into the dorm. Silently he headed for his room.

“Zell? If you want to talk, I’ll listen.” I offered.

He nodded. “Goodnight.” He disappeared into the bedroom.

I lay on my bed but I couldn’t sleep and there was nothing on the TV. Only a few comedies that I usually like, but I wasn’t in the mood. When I switched the set off again, my thoughts instantly returned to Zell. I don’t know how I feel about him, but I’m really worried about him. I feel like shit because he does and I really want to go comfort him, to make him happy.

I got up and headed for his room. I stood and stared at the door for ages. I leant on it, my ear pressed to the wood. I could hear him crying it hurt me to know he was in pain and I wasn’t doing anyway to help.

Silently I pushed open the door, slipping inside. It was dark, but once my eyes had adjusted to the darkness, I could make out the figure laying, curled up on the bed crying silently. He was clutching a small photo frame. I sat on the bed beside him. He jumped slightly, not having heard me come in.

“Are you okay?” I whispered. It was obvious he wasn’t okay but I didn’t know what else to say.

His bright blue eyes were shimmering with unshed tears as he looked up at me. My gaze moved to the photo.

“Is that your mum?”

The woman in the photo looked to be in her twenties, she was holding a baby. She was smiling brightly; her long blonde hair was tied up in a high ponytail.


I carefully reached for the photo. “She’s pretty. What happened?”

“Mistrust. That’s all it was for her. I kept something from her, she found out from the people in our town. I’ve never lied to her before but I had to this time, I thought she’d side with my dad.”

He paused, fresh tears falling. He shuffled closer to me, gingerly resting his head in my lap, curling up to me. I stroked his hair willing him to continue.

“My dad was an old fashioned sort of guy. He wanted everything to be normal, black and white. I’m not normal, I’m gay.” He lifted his head to meet my eyes. “No offence. My mum would have protected me, I know that now. I should have told her.”

I pulled him up into a hug, he cried into my shoulder for what seemed like hours. Finally his tears stopped falling and he pulled away from me slightly.

“Thank you.”

He wrapped his arms around me. Gently I lowered us to the bed. I fell asleep with his head on my chest.

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