Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to the Final Fantasy series. They belong to Squaresoft.

Let Me Make It Alright

Chapter 41: "Alright"

By Angry Angel

After a brief jog through the facility, Seifer had managed to catch up with Squall in the hallway, shorty before their apartment door. The brunette was already clutching his key card in his left hand, ready to swipe it across his door scanner and disappear out of view and trouble.

In the end, he never got around to it.

With acute swiftness and the advantage of surprise on his side, Seifer had taken a swift hold of Squall's bony left wrist. Without granting the brunette the slightest chance of reacting to the unexpected onslaught, Seifer had already yanked his fragile body around and let it thud against the wall. When Squall's back connected sharply with the cold metal tapestry covering the hallway, his hand lost hold of his key card and his sight blackened momentarily at the harsh contact of delicate bones with concrete.

Squall's breath had been torn violently from his chest at the surprise, leaving him winded and gasping for air in shock as he felt Seifer gradually moving into him. Startled at the sensation, he haphazardly tried to raise his right hand in a miserable attempt of pushing the other away, but it was to no avail. The blonde was claiming his second wrist with repetitive ease, now firmly pinning both of the shorter boy's arms against the wall behind him.

Staring in disbelief out of wide, truculent grey eyes, Squall dimly realized that he was trapped.

For the length of a moment, the younger gunblader was too stunned to do much of anything. Seifer was towering merely an inch in front of him, while keeping possession of his arms so effortlessly that it brought Squall's insides to a boil. He tried to struggle free of the confining hold, though he soon had to realize that it was but useless. Seifer was using the advantage he held over Squall in both size and strength all too wisely, and there was no way that the smaller brunette would be able to twist his arms free by mere physical endeavour. The more he fought, the further Seifer edged towards him. In the end, the blonde's large body was folded almost completely against Squall's, every inch of it a means of molding the petulant SeeD against the wall.

Hissing in frustration, Squall lowered his gaze from Seifer's stoic, unimpressed face and gave his captured wrists yet another angry, if futile, tug.

After about another minute of further inane resistance, the brunette Garden Commander finally managed to call himself to mind who he was and what hidden strength was bound in him. Quickly replacing his disarrayed mask of utter imminence, he deliberately darkened his gaze and funnelled his keen mental energies in the best display of menace that his cornered self could come up with.

Seifer noticed the change in Squall's posture immediately and flicked his glance aside. When he saw the familiar nocturnal glow intensifying in the palm of Squall's trapped left hand, he snarled ironically and fixed Squall with a pitiful green stare.

"You can ultima me all the fuck you want, Squall, I'll still make you tell me what the hell is wrong with you."

Silently measuring their strength and their position in this struggle, storm grey eyes were burning wrathfully into dauntless green ones. The breath that escaped Squall's lips was laden with hate, fury and shock; sentiments reflecting in both speed and force of the innate ritual of sucking air through gritted teeth and pushing it back out, while he was inwardly shifting in anger and annoyance.

It was only too easy for Seifer to read those heated emotions in each of Squall's movements and the obfuscation of his natively ethereal aura. There was, however, one riddle that Seifer couldn't decipher, one sensation that he didn't wholly understand. Oh yes, he knew that Squall was angry over something that he had done, but what was that smouldering, unsteady glow caught in the depths of those rancorous storm blue eyes that so frantically tried to hold his gaze?

'Could it be...'

He had seen that glow before, so many times. Still, it took him a fraction of forever to unveil its real meaning.

'No... it couldn't... why would he...'

When truth finally dawned him, his formerly narrowed eyes fluttered wide at his hideous mistake.

"Squall..." he whispered leadenly.

..::: Pain. :::..

There was pain, no matter how desperately Squall was trying to hide it behind his crumpling façade of anger and resentment. For the first time, Seifer truly understood that he had hurt Squall. He hadn't simply stirred his temper like he had originally assumed, he had seriously made something inside Squall ache. More frantically now, he was frisking his memories for something, anything, that he had done to provoke such touching agony.

Above all, though, he was searching for a means to undo his mistake and make everything alright again.

Squall didn't comprehend the sudden change in Seifer's voice and eyes, but he knew that his own defenses were caving in. Being so close to this man wasn't doing his bitter mood any good, and his own nervousness belied every cold thought towards the blonde that he had so desperately tried to conjure up.

He wouldn't be able to hold out much longer.

Seifer and Squall were consumed by each other and the cryptic difficulty of their emotions, but even so, the quiet melody of a song, which was carried softly from a small speaker in the ceiling, finally phased into their ears and their attention.

.. Wipe those tears away from your eyes ..
.. Just take my hand, don't have to cry ..
.. It'll be alright ..
.. Baby, I'll make it alright ..

After a first initial moment of surprise, Seifer could see how something inside Squall was faltering at the gentle power of those unexpected words, words sung by a man they did not know and whose voice they had never heard before. The brunette fought bravely for his composure, but regardless of his inward struggles, his body was trembling forcefully when he snapped his head aside to stare at anything but Seifer.

When the light of the lethal incantation slowly faded into the ivory of Squall's hand, so did the anger in his cast-down eyes, and his formerly hard gaze grew clouded. There were no tears in those dulled grey windows to his soul, but deep inside, he had been crying for far too long.

.. Don't let the world get you down ..
.. Reach for the love that is all around ..
.. It'll be alright ..
.. Baby, we'll make it alright ..

For once, Seifer was at an utter loss for words. They were standing in the middle of a deserted hallway, Squall firmly trapped between him and the wall, both of them listening to a song that was breaking their hearts in its simplicity and the way it fit them all too perfectly.

'"Reach... for the love... that is all around"...?'

Squall drew a jagged lungful of air, his eyes so wide when he finally glanced back up that Seifer lost himself in an enthralling maze of endless grey and blue. Unguarded and mistrusting, hopeful and cracked in spirit, so many contradictions were in said eyes, as were in the relationship of Seifer and Squall itself.

..::: Seifer and Squall. :::..

Rivals, friends and young men that had no idea of life and love and the theurgic bond that would probably weld them together until the end of their time.

Never reaching out, yet never letting go.

.. I'll pick you up when you're feeling down ..
.. I'll put your feet back on solid ground ..
.. I'll pick you up and I'll make you strong ..
.. I'll make you feel like you still belong ..

If anything, Squall's life had been a void of loneliness and martyrdom before Seifer's return; a mere shadow of a fragile boy's existence cut off from the stream of life, barely a jagged blueprint of an eighteen year old hero that should have been shining brighter than the sun.

Should have, yet never had.

Throughout months of darkness, death and life had melted together infinitely and joined into a fatal alliance that had had little rivalry. Eventually, its power had grown so strong that Squall had decided that he no longer cared whether he lived or died. At some point, he had simply given up, and surrendered his will to the dark spirits that sought to destroy his present and his future.

It all had seemed futile, somehow.

But then, out of nowhere, there had come hope, softly bathing everything in light that had once threatened to collapse into shadow.

..::: Hope :::..

Somehow, hope had always shone in the color of Seifer's eyes.

No matter how low Squall had ever fallen, Seifer had always picked him back up. No matter how frozen his heart had been, Seifer had warmed it with the simplicity and complexity that was love, saving Squall's life in more ways than either of them would ever be able to understand.

Strong, kind and selfless, Seifer had finally become the knight that he had always wished to be.

.. Cause it's alright ..
.. Yeah it's alright ..
.. Let me make it alright ..
.. Make it alright ..
.. Stay with me tonight ..
.. Stay with me tonight ..

One knight had battled all shadows, all demons and all fears, and when Squall's breath was gently setting in his chest like a leaf that was floating to the ground ever so softly, Seifer realized that none of his efforts had been in vain. Maybe he would never be able to give sound to his thoughts, to tell Squall just how deep exactly his feelings ran, but maybe it was alright, even so.

Either way, he would not let go.

Even the coldest of all hearts needed a little bit of warmth, and even the smallest of lights could drive out the darkness, that much Seifer had learned in the turbulent weeks that he had spent with his delicate friend, the secret desire of his heart.

And thus he swore, that before his soul would be buried under the earth or soar free in the sky, he would show Squall that he was loved, if not by words then by actions.

Actions that spoke a language that even the ice prince would understand.

.. Cause the words, well they're just not enough ..
.. Afraid of feeling and in need of love ..
.. To make it alright ..
.. Baby, we'll make it alright ..

Seifer sighed as he calmly studied his opposite's ethereal features, and he let his conscience drown in the song that assured them that everything would somehow be okay. An unknown voice knew so well just what to say, knew so well how to crystallize those confusing feelings in Seifer's heart. It also knew of Squall's haunting fears at the concept of love and need, and it knew of his one true wish that would bleed from one mere night into infinity and beyond.

..::: "Stay with me tonight." :::..

Maybe it was magic, maybe it wasn't, but above all things, it was working.

All his life, Seifer had been waiting for the right moment in time, the moment to offer all he was and ever had been to the boy that he loved, and when he felt Squall's frame easing against his own and saw the defenses collapsing in those mesmerizing eyes, he realized that this was what he had always been waiting for.

..::: "To make it alright." :::..

Ever so slowly, he leaned forward and inclined his head in reverence, softly brushing the shorter brunette's cheek with his own blonde hair and sun tanned skin. His fingers loosened their formerly firm grip on Squall's wrists, then languidly moved to trace the thin scars imprinted into snow white palms, gently rubbing the skin of the boy that was trembling at his very touch.

.. Where will you run to ..
.. Where will you hide ..
.. I know the pain comes from deep down inside ..
.. But it'll be alright ..
.. Baby, I'll make it alright ..


'I won't let you run away this time.'


.. Let me make it alright ..
.. Make it alright ..
.. Let me make it alright ..
.. Make it alright ..
.. Stay with me tonight ..

"... Let me make it alright..."

A smile stretched Seifer's lips in silent beauty, and his eyelids fluttered close as he breathed those words into Squall's ear with the gentleness of a man that would never risk to break someone he held so dear. Without any rush, he let his mouth travel along the other boy's cheek, his lips and nose caressing and worshipping beautiful ivory skin with a touch that was as light as air. Everything faded in relevance at that mellow feeling of Squall's creamy skin against his own, and when Seifer's pale crimson lips finally met with Squall's, all but that careful kiss had ultimately ceased to exist.

.. It's alright ..
.. Yeah, it's alright ..
.. Stay with me tonight ..
.. Stay with me tonight ..

When Seifer's mouth softly closed over his own, Squall's body went rigid. His eyes wide in shock and surprise, he was overcome by emotions rushing through him with the force of a tidal wave.

Seifer was kissing him.

Even in his wildest dreams, Squall had never hoped for such a gentle display of affection. In the matter of an instant, all his pain and anger had been thrown aside by the least expected, and yet most powerful resolution that Seifer could have possibly come up with.

A kiss.

Squall's mind grew hazy, reason and thought running through his hands like intangible sand and water. He felt as if he had just been born anew, an innocent child that was bare of any idea of how to react to what Seifer was doing to him. He didn't know what to think, what to say and what to do, and least of all, he remembered how to breathe.

Somewhere deep inside of him, though, Squall was starting to understand.

You know what to do.

You have done this before.


No "but". You know.

' ...… '

Maybe it didn't even matter. His body was starting to answer entirely on its own, innate senses finally kicking in as Squall allowed himself to close his eyes and part his lips in an infinite gesture of trust and desire. And though familiar the act of moving his lips in silent innuendo might have been, the sensation, however, was entirely new. Squall could not recall to ever have tasted such bitter sweetness, such moist sway and potency that seared through his whole body and seemed to burn him from the inside. His lower back sent tingles up along his spine as he arched into the heat of the touch, and his legs grew dangerously weak.

As thoroughly as Seifer was captured in the moment of kissing Squall and skilfully discovering the brunette's mouth with his tongue, he did notice the other trembling more violently as their contact became deeper. He had expected Squall's initial rigidness, but he had almost gasped in heartfelt joy when the brunette had actually reciprocated his kiss.

A kiss that Seifer had been craving for longer than he could remember.

Fortunately, Seifer realized immediately what Squall was in need of when he felt the brunette's legs quivering beside his own. He released the slender wrists with a smile against Squall's lips, then ran his hands along the boy's raised arms with gentle pressure. Languidly, he travelled across Squall's shoulders and down his chest, each of his strong fingers grazing the fine cloth of the SeeD's shirt and feeling for the milky skin beneath it. While Seifer was exploring every arch and hollow of his lover's body, Squall was still trembling against him in a pandemonium of sensations, so the blonde sprawled the fingers of his hands and pushed them behind the shorter boy's back, fiercely embracing Squall to offer both closeness and support.

'I'd never let you fall.'

It was impossible to say who of the two men first noticed the rising hardness of one of them, but Squall was the first to react upon it. Breathlessly, he broke the heated contact of their lips at the feeling of something pressing sharply into his hipbone, and his eyes glanced up feverishly.

As soon as their faces had eased apart and he could make out the sanguine green of Seifer's eyes, he felt himself shutting down inside. Desperately, he tried to prevent the unpredictable, but there was nothing at all that he could have done. The look in those familiar emerald depths commenced an unstoppable chain reaction of heavy defenses that rose immediately when Squall recognized the blonde's expression.

When he remembered.

It was too difficult for him to read every little emotion that was echoing from Seifer's incandescent presence, but his own feelings connected with that deeply terrifying image, he recalled only too well. They overrode everything joyful in the matter of an instant, plunging the happiness that Seifer's kiss had erected into a void of fear and darkness.

It wasn't the lust in those deep green irises that scared him, it was the dire recklessness.

Seifer had done terrible things to him in a hazy past that Squall could not clearly remember, at a time that those gems of jade had been shining with the same, twisted light. Images of torture, rape and indignation flashed in strobes before Squall's inner eye, and the fear that seized his heart instantaneously was colder than a rush of ice.

"No... don't... don't come near me."

Seifer was surprised when he felt Squall's arms retracting from the wall, and when he saw the sudden change that the brunette had undergone. Squall's face was stark as the orbs of his hypnotizing eyes were showing a lot more white than was usual; an old and unmistakable sign of mortifying fear.

'Fear? Why?'

Frowning, the blonde loosened his embrace and brought one hand to Squall's face, where he cupped the other's chin in concern.

"Squall? What's wrong?"

..::: "Squall... you are mine, and I'll make you suffer." :::..

Shuddering violently at the ghastly resonant voice inside his head, Squall used his hands in a vain attempt of pushing Seifer away. The taller gunblader, however, wouldn't move as far as an inch, and Squall started to feel caged more than anything.


Frantically, the brunette forced his breath through ground teeth, his eyes so wide that Seifer could see his own reflection in them.

'Fuck, this isn't good.'

Squall's heart was pounding in his chest so harshly that it sent a rush of blood to his head and to his ears, blanking out every concerned sound that escaped from Seifer's lips. Underneath the sensational overload, Squall wanted to close his eyes and run away, but neither seemed possible at the time being. Seifer held him captive with both his arms and his gaze, and at Squall's current mindset, both could turn out to be very dangerous.

Seifer, however, knew nothing of the perilous hazard he was meddling with. He was still trying to figure out why Squall would go from kissing him passionately to telling him to stay away, the latter with an air that was most unsettling.

"Squall, what-"

"Get away from me!!"

Even if Seifer would have seen the blow coming that was dealt to his jaw, there was probably little that he could or would have done to intervene. Therefore, he was met with a crushing right hook, one that was so forceful in nature that it sent him stumbling backwards against the opposite wall and out of Squall's reach. Gasping, he saw nothing but stars and quizzical blurriness, and he had to wrestle up his most renegade strength to be able to remain standing.

As soon as Squall's fist had connected with Seifer's face, something inside the brunette had snapped. Wide-eyed, he witnessed how the blonde was sent backwards and almost driven to his knees, his former luminous expression now that of utter disbelief and lack of understanding. The shadows of fear and fell evil that had been coating Squall's mind had disappeared almost as quickly as they had emerged, and they left the brunette feeling hollow and with the bitter comprehension of having made a terrible mistake.

'What have I done...'

His dark blue eyes were dancing with panic when he reverted to the only thing that he vaguely remembered how to do: run away. Subconsciously, he bent down and picked up his lost key card with trembling fingers, then swiped it across the scanner with the mechanical quickness of experience. The moment his apartment door opened, he fled inside, knowing neither why he wanted to vanish exactly in there, nor what had driven him to punch Seifer in the first place.

All he knew was that he was scared to the bone.

Outside, Seifer was calling his name.

"Squall! Squall, wait!"

Cursing, the blonde grasped his head and sank to the floor, his back still connected to the wall behind him. The power behind Squall's blow had almost knocked him out on the spot, and his vision was yet anything but clear. He had merely seen Squall's shadow disappearing quickly from his shredded sight, and that realization alone had churned his insides to a mess of fright and horror.

Burying his aching head inside his hands, he drew his legs closer to his knees and let out a horrified gasp.

"Hyne, what have I done..."

Blood was pounding beneath his temples, and his lips were still tingling with the pungent sensation of loss. He wanted to cry over his own stupidity, and his throat was burning under the strain of holding back the tears. So long had he waited, so long had he hoped, and for what?


He could still see Squall's shocked and dismayed face in front of himself, and his hands tightened painfully until his knuckles turned white.

'You fool. You goddamned fool. You really thought he was interested in you? He was disgusted by the very look of you. Fool, you're good for nothing.'

The acrimony of those unspoken words bore into Seifer's mind like a whiplash; a dangerous brew of regret, self-loathing and execration, burning like wildfire into everything good and gentle that the blonde had thought himself to be.

All too soon, though, Seifer's sour demonisation of himself and his own feelings and actions turned into stale anger.

Just who did Squall think that he was?

Yes, by all means, he had made a mistake by kissing the boy. But even so, did the other really have to punch him? Squall had reciprocated his kiss, in any case. He couldn't be quite that abhorrent then, could he? Then why that uncalled for reaction?

Had he really been so wrong?

"Snotty brat..." the gunblader croaked hoarsely.

He had tried so hard, and Squall had made no attempt at honoring his earnest endeavours. As a matter of fact, Seifer had seen the brunette treat fiends better than his own friend and roommate.


Seifer snarled coldly at the word; an abomination of everything that had really been between them.


Yeah right.

They had never been friends. More likely than not, Squall had doubtlessly grown sick of his presence on their very first day of living together. He was probably still in love with Rinoa, judging by his thoroughly surreal reaction to her appearance.


What was so much better about that girl? Surely, Squall must have kissed her without punching her to the ground.

'Fuck, you could've at least given me a chance. Fuck... Leonhart.'

Seifer's features curled coldly against his hands, and his lips silently formed Squall's last name. Always, he had called the younger SeeD by that name in hope to keep his distance, and now, it sounded like a curse word more than anything else.

In all his frantic jealousy and directionless rage, Seifer didn't even notice how time was flying by. Selphie's zealous voice shrieking from the loudspeakers after her amateur DJ performance didn't even reach his conscience.

Brooding, he was sitting on the floor with his legs drawn close to his torso and his face fixed to a perfect example of petrification, when his eyes suddenly caught a flicker of movement just barely in front of him. Raising his head, he let his features twist into a menacing mask of a frown, his muscles contracting in readiness to lash out at whoever was apparently stupid enough to bother him.

The first thing he really became aware of was a pair of slender, pale legs in thin black shorts. The matching feet were bare on cold tiles, and as Seifer flicked his gaze up, he realized who those lithely athletic legs belonged to. Standing helplessly in a loose fitting, long sleeved white shirt and with his arms slack at his sides was Squall, his face so tight and translucent that Seifer could almost watch how all blood left it.

For an achingly long moment, neither of them said anything. Squall was biting his lips until they hurt, but not a sound made past them. He stood calm like a perfect statue, while Seifer's anger was steadily boiling.

Groaning, the blonde returned his forehead to his arms, which he had crossed above his knees.


The delicacy of Squall's voice hurt him more than anything, but he was too upset to let his real feelings show through his cloak of fury and antipathy.

'Not like my feelings matter, anyway.'

Fueled by his own emotional corrosion, he raised his head again and fixed Squall with a venomous green glare that caused the brunette to flinch visibly.

"Look, what do you want?" he growled callously.

Of course, Squall did not answer him. Seifer hadn't expected anything else in the first place.

Squall would never change.

"Figures," he snarled.

To his mild surprise, though, the brunette finally did open his mouth.

"Seifer... why are you sitting out here?"

It was a stupid question, and both of them knew the answer to it. Nevertheless, the SeeD understood that he had to say something if he wanted to repair any of the damage that he had done. He had spent the past hour or so sitting shivering in their apartment, wishing for Seifer to show up and tell him again that everything would be alright. Seifer, however, hadn't come, and Squall had finally realized that he had to tear himself out of his catatonia if he wanted to have only the slightest chance of being granted forgiveness.

Hope was the only thing he was left with.

"What do you care?"

Squall squirmed at the harshness of the question, but he tried to remain calm.

"Come inside," he said quietly. "It's cold here."

"No, thanks," Seifer bit back harshly. "I'd rather freeze to death."

Overall, Seifer understood his own anger probably even less than Squall did. Really, he was overcome by hurt and disappointment, but being angry at his younger rival seemed distinctly less unnerving than actually making an attempt at trying to understand his actions. He already had enough emotional debris to deal with, he wouldn't be able to handle any more rejection for the night.

Somehow, he had expected Squall to make for a swift retreat at his insensitive display of rudeness, but he had by no means anticipated the brunette to wordlessly slide down along the wall opposite of his, quietly curling into a ball as he pulled his legs against his chest and wrapped his arms around his bare knees.

Arching one eyebrow, Seifer let out a startled hiss of air.

"What are you doing?"

Squall was studying him out of navy blue eyes from beneath veils of dark, half-lowered lashes as he glanced across his arms.

"I'm staying here with you," he answered chastely.

Seifer sat dumbfounded at that comment for a moment, at loss for another cruel reply.


Squall shrugged softly, burying his head in the crook of his arms again. His naked feet shuffled across the floor, and even though Seifer was still firmly upholding his barriers of resentment, something inside of him melted at the heartbreaking picture. Once again, he hated himself passionately for his one weak spot, which was, and always had been, the stubborn brunette SeeD commander.

"Don't be ridiculous, you'll catch another cold," he remarked sourly and with the utmost hardness to his voice that he could muster.

The younger boy gave another supple shrug at the statement, secretly fighting down his nervousness. He didn't know what to do to efface Seifer's righteous anger, but he was willing to try all the same.

He had started an avalanche of misunderstandings, and he didn't even realize that he was not to blame.

"Hyne fucking dammit!"

Squall was startled when he heard Seifer's exasperate voice cutting the tense silence that was echoing between them, and soon thereafter, he felt someone grabbing his arm harshly.


Irritated, Squall jerked up his head as he was roughly being yanked onto his feet. Seifer had left the solitary spot across from his and was now towering at his side, one strong hand firmly wrenched into his biceps.


"Just shut up."

Fiercely, and ignoring the hurt expression on Squall's face, the blonde pulled his roommate towards the door. Using his own key card that he had retrieved from the pocket of his pants, he unlocked it and stepped inside with a suppressed grunt, all the while dragging the shorter boy along with him. Squall wasn't exactly resisting, but he was so startled that he was stumbling rather than walking, following Seifer's lead like a strung-down puppet. He knew better than to raise his voice again, but when the blonde released his arm with a sharp and careless thrust, he had to summon his last bits of strength to refrain from breaking down and crying.

'He's so angry. This is all my fault. No wonder he hates me.'

"Go to bed."

Squall snapped out of his musings at the acute order, and his tear-rimmed eyes wandered to Seifer, who was already removing his black shirt. Wavering, the brunette watched how the older peeled out of his clothes and climbed into his bed, all the while not turning around to face him.


"I said go to bed," his opposite repeated scathingly.


"Look, I really don't feel like talking to you right now. Just go to sleep."

Thunderstruck, Squall stood petrified like a stone pillar. Each of Seifer's unkind words burned into him like licking flames of incandescent fire, smouldering deep inside his shattered soul long after their sound had already faded into nothingness.

As his hopeful resistance had been broken at last, Squall inclined his head in defeat.

"I'm sorry."

Even though Seifer froze in his covers at the heartfelt apology, he couldn't bring himself to swallow down his hurt pride and turn around to look at Squall. Instead, he simply stared at the wall in a blank, trying to manually calm his breathing and the incessant pounding of his heart in his chest.

Soon thereafter, he could perceive the soft treading of Squall's bare feet across the floor, but against his secret yearning, the brunette was not coming to join him. Instead, the young Commander hit one of the light switches and plunged the room into darkness, before climbing into his own bed, which he hadn't used in almost a week.

Shivering, Squall curled into a foetal position underneath his blankets and buried his head into his pillow, desperately trying to swallow down the cries that were threatening to erupt from the vulnerable depths of his aching heart. His throat was burning under the strain, but he was too ashamed to give in.

'It's all my fault. I ruined everything. I pushed him away, as always. I ruined it all. I always ruin everything.'

While Squall was drowning in a sea of insecurity and self-contempt, mentally beating himself over something that he had done without really understanding why, Seifer's mind grew more and more clouded. As much as he hated the brunette's repugnant reaction to his kiss, he probably couldn't even blame him. All this time, he had been fooling himself into hoping that the two of them could actually have a future together. A future bare of fears, lies and regrets, a future in which Squall's heart was open to him and the simple glory that was love.

A future which would never come to pass.

They were lying in darkness, seperated by more than just a stretch of floor or carpet, when both of them came to understand that despite their physical proximity, there were light-years and unconquerable obstacles that lay between them, and ancient powers that continually worked on driving them apart.

The Knight and the Lion. The Predator and the Prey.

Fire and Ice. Warmth and Cold.

Illusion and Reality.

Of course.

After all, destiny had never meant for them to be together.

As fragile dreams were dying, and frantic hope was failing, only mysterious azure light witnessed the tears that washed down snow pale cheeks at length, and it thoroughly savored the final crack of a spirit that had fought bravely, but in the end, had surrendered its soul all the same.

Victory had come at last.



=To be continued!=

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