Little Black Book
By Alexis Logain
"Whoa! This is where you live?!" Seifer's mouth fell open as he walked into the spacious studio that Squall leased out. It was slightly decorated, the colors focusing on black, gray, white, and red. Next to the door was a fully modernized kitchen that was separated from a dining area with a black marble bar. Squall tossed his keys onto it while Seifer wandered around the contemporary loft. He stopped and stared at the massive entertainment center; jealousy ran through him. Compared to this place, the Commander's quarters were like living in a shack. A dirty, run-down shack. With termites. And a leaky roof. In the middle of his mini-pity party, Seifer could hear the beep of Squall's answering machine.
"You have…13…new messages," it announced.
"I've been gone for a day," Squall grumbled. Seifer grinned and moved on to inspect the floor-to-ceiling bookshelf. On the middle shelf, separating the rows and rows of books, was a shelf composed of several plants and - surprisingly enough - picture frames. They littered the entire shelf and Seifer felt a tug of something on his heart that he hadn't stopping being a moron in time to be a part of the photographs. Seifer frowned at the men and women who were smiling and laughing with the brunette and at one man in particular who seemed to be especially close to Squall. He had tanned skin and white-blonde hair that was tinged with sky-blue highlights. He seemed to like fuchsia…lots and lots of fuchsia.
"Lion - it's Pandora," a sultry voice called from the speaker of the answering machine, startling Seifer out of his internal grumble at the blue-haired man. "Where are you? Come out and play - you know where to meet us."
"Message deleted. Next message: It's Pandora again. Honestly, what's the point of having a cell phone if you never turn it on? Anyway, you know who just showed. Lookin' stoned too. Bad time to come. Call me." Seifer glanced at Squall who was frowning at the machine with an intensity that almost made the blonde pity it. Almost. And only 'almost' because the concern he felt at Squall's reaction outweighed the pity for an inanimate object. He looked tense. So tense, in fact, that Seifer was surprised Squall didn't explode right then and there. Swallowing hard, Squall's hand moved out and touched a button, Seifer's eyes following it the entire time.
"Mr. Leonhart - did you know that with only three easy payments of - "
"Message deleted. Next message: Squall, it's Eric Ericson. I'm calling to confirm your lecture next week. I know the students are really looking forward to it…" The man rattled off the number where Squall could reach him and the brunette finally snapped out of his frown to study the calendar that hung on the wall thoughtfully. Seifer could practically hear the man's brain working and calculating.
"I put myself through the University here in Esthar and got a degree to study the affects of GF use on the human brain and body. I'm working on my Ph.D." Squall turned to look at Seifer after his reply.
"A Ph.D. in six years?"
"Yeah." His cheeks pinkened slightly and made Seifer's mind plummet right into the gutter…not that it had that far to drop to start with… While it was wandering through dirt and sexual thoughts, his brain decided that Squall's look was very adorable - cute even. Wait, what? Cute? Hot, maybe. Sexy - oh hell yeah. But cute? On Squall? Uh, no. "All the advanced classes we took in Balamb-G were equivalent to a lot of college credits and I've been doing a lot of research with Dr. Odine and…uh, well, yeah." What? Oh yeah, conversation. They were talking. Well, actually, Squall was talking and he was staring like a moron.
"Cool." Good response. Universal response. "So, should we start calling you Dr. Leonhart now?" Insert hot, sexy grin/smirk here and watch Leonhart pinkened again.
"Awww…spoil my fun," Seifer mock-pouted. "Got my hopes up to play doctor and everything. You're no fun."
"Next message: Hey Squall!" Laguna's voice exclaimed in the air. Whoa. Whatever that man was on, Seifer wanted some. Especially for 06:00 when he had to report for duty. Anything making anyone that chipper had to be some good shite.
"Message deleted." Seifer's eyebrows rose at how quickly Squall deleted the message from his father. Interesting.
"Squall, it's me," Matron's voice floated through the loft. It was a soft, soothing sound. "I'm here at Balamb-G. There's an hour left until the ceremony starts. Where are you?"
"In fucking traffic," Squall grumbled as he deleted the message.
"Professor Leonhart?" a quiet voice asked the answering machine. Seifer raised an eyebrow in question and Squall shook his head - don't ask. "I just wanted to tell you that I got an 'A' on my last exam. Thank you so much for helping!" A soft smile split onto Squall's face and Seifer couldn't help but stare. Wow - a genuine smile. He looked so young and carefree…so…perfect. So…edible. …Damned libido. Uh, Squall - where's the bathroom again? And of course, the thought of doing that with Squall around wasn't exactly helping the situation any. Damned hormones. Weren't they supposed to go away after puberty? And wasn't 24 technically after puberty? Okay, so maybe some people would disagree about Seifer being mature and post-pubescent - Squall being one of them. But hey, Seifer wouldn't mind proving to Squall just how grown up he was.
"Lion baby," the voice that Seifer could now identify as Pandora's purred. Damn. She should go into the phone-sex industry. She'd make millions. "Listen, wherever you are, it's probably a good place to be. Dante spent the night in detox for smashing a little black convertible to bits while under the influence. Then he used his own influence and got out. Fucker had the gal to call up here and ask for us to pick him up. Call me babe - I wanna know what you did to fuck this asshole up this much…so I can do it too. Luv ya - and Eric does too. Lata'."
"Message deleted. Next message: Squall. It's me. Pick up the phone. Come on… I know you're home. You weren't out to play last night - I was very disappointed. Dammit, pick up the fucking phone! You damned little asshole. I swear I'll make you pay for this - for everything. You hear me?! EVERYTHING!" Seifer's vision went red while Squall calmly deleted the message. How the hell could he stay so fucking calm? By the time the next four messages were done - all from the same guy and altering from apologetic to begging to mushy and loving, and then back to threatening - Seifer had stalked across the room and ripped the damned machine out of the wall. Squall's mouth fell open - bad Seifer, bad. No cookie - as Seifer dropped it into his hands.
"I'll buy you a new one" Seifer told him, his voice hard. "Who is he?"
"None of your business." Classic Leonhart - no fucking way.
"Back off, Almasy. I can deal with it. I don't need you to protect me anymore." And for some reason, that hurt more than a slap across the face or a knee to the groin. Why?
"Squall - "
"I gotta pack. Don't touch anything." Oh, Seifer's fingers itched to touch - but nothing that was near Seifer. The blonde watched through distorted blue glass as a fun-house-esque Squall rummaged for clothing behind the glass wall that enclosed his bedroom. Then it started: pounding on the front door. Squall's body tensed and Seifer wished he had Hyperion. As he moved to the door and saw the blue-haired man from the photos glare at the door, Seifer's stomach clenched.
"The man from the answering machine, Squall," Seifer said quietly. "What does he look like." Be patient. Patience was a fucking virtue right? …Too bad it was one he evidently didn't have. "Squall?!"
"Tall. Blue/blonde hair. Dark eyes. His name is Dante and he's…he was my boyfriend. Two years this coming August."
"Open the fucking door, Squall!" Dante screamed through the thick steel of Squall's door.
"I'm gonna fucking kill him," Seifer declared and began unlocking the door.
"No!" Squall yelled.
Three things all happened then: Squall ran into the front room of his loft, Dante shoved the door open, and Seifer froze. And for the second time in two days, a fist landed in his face. Only this time, it barely hit him and it was his attacker that landed on the floor, bleeding. Oh yeah, that felt good. Two things then ran through the blonde's mind: his logic telling him to back off and let Squall deal with it - it was his fight, after all - while his instincts said to beat the living daylights out of Dante. While logic may separate man from animal, you can't ever deny that the animal still lives within the man. Especially when six feet and two inches of well-muscled man launches and lands on stunned prey. Fuck logic - go animal instincts. Oh hell yeah.
"Seifer - no!" Squall was on him too and it was a giant tangle of limbs and muscles and Seifer was so confused as to who was who and what was what. Then he was being pulled off of Dante and hauled to his feet. The other man pulled himself off the floor and Seifer stood, defiantly, in front of Squall - protecting him. Forever and always. …Where did that come from?
"So you are cheating on me," Dante spat. "He's quite lovely - all muscle and fire. But he won't love you. Nobody ever could."
"Shut up," Squall scowled.
"You're a worthless slut - all men want from you is that hot piece of ass," Dante growled. His eyes were glazed over and Seifer knew he was high.
"I think he said to shut your fuckin' hole," Seifer growled back. This asshole had best be shutting up or no amount of restraint would be able to keep him from murdering the blue-haired man. Dante moved closer to Squall. Bad idea. Seifer's fist landed across his face with a satisfactory THWUMP! Dante landed on his knees, his dark eyes watering.
"Gods, Squall…I'm so sorry…" Dante's voice broke as tears dripped down his face. Squall moved past an astonished Seifer and knelt down in front of Dante. What the hell…?
"I know," he replied softly. "So am I." Dante looked at Squall, his expression hopeful, and placed his hand on the brunette's cheek. "You need to leave, Dante. Go and stay gone."
"No… NO!" The hand slid down and wrapped itself around Squall's neck. Dante sneered as he squeezed violently. "You're mine!"
"No, he's not." Seifer knew he was intimidating. Especially standing there with a long, sharp knife - liberated from Squall's kitchen - that was pressed to Dante's throat. "Let him go." The neck was released and Squall collapsed, gasping for air.
"You've trained him well," Dante sneered to Squall as the brunette climbed to his feet, Seifer moving with him, several steps away from Dante.
"Fuck you," Seifer retorted angrily. His stomach curled and clenched as Dante's gaze slowly traveled over his body. Oh yeah, he definitely needed to find a bathroom. Only this time, to puke. That was the skankiest look he had ever gotten.
"Gladly," Dante replied sleazily.
"Go home, Dante," Squall murmured quietly. "Go to work, go off a cliff - I don't care. Just go away. Leave me alone. I don't love you. I don't like you. I don't want you. We're over."
"I've heard this before," Dante taunted and climbed to his feet. "And every time, where did we end up?"
"In bed," Squall admitted quietly. Seifer's palms itched to hit Dante. Over and over until rivers of blood poured from his body.
"You're still in love with me," the blue-haired man claimed, stepping closer to Squall.
Seifer turned to glance at Squall and for once could clearly read his emotions as the sudden clarity that, no, actually, he didn't still love Dante washed over his face. Seifer fought to the urge to grin and stick out his tongue. Serious situation - gotta be mature. However, in the middle of his internal happy dance, Dante's expression fell and he glared at Seifer.
"It's your fault," he hissed. "He was mine and you ruined it!" No, actually, you're wrong. And Seifer told him just that, smirking while Dante spluttered in response.
"He never was yours and never will be." Seifer tugged at Squall's arm possessively while the brunette glared silently at Dante. "You leave now and never come back and I won't destroy your life."
"You don't have the power it would take."
Seifer stood tall and Seifer stood proud. "I am acting Commander of Balamb-G. I am close, personal friends with the group of people who saved this planet, as well as the Vice President of this country. You fuck with me and you'll have a group of the highest ranking SeeDs and Estharian Soldiers on your ass. And, trust me on this one, you will be defeated."
"I'm not afraid of you." Dante's voice wavered.
"No? Well, you should be." Seifer's didn't.
"You're going to regret this, Squall." Dante whirled around, his long fuchsia colored jacket fluttering behind him. The door slammed shut with a foreboding slam and Seifer moved forward to lock it. He turned and stared at Squall for several minutes while the brunette fell into his head.
"Well," Seifer began. Squall started and met Seifer's gaze. Dear Hyne, how many times had he been through this? "I understand why you didn't bring him to the wedding." Squall blinked and stared at him. Okay…bad time to joke around. "Bad joke?"
"I gotta pack."
"Can I help?" He looked so vulnerable with his wide gray eyes and pale skin. He looked so tired. The phone rang then and Squall looked entirely too much like a deer caught in the headlights. Seifer snatched it up on the third ring while Squall stayed rooted to the floor. "I told you to stay the fuck away, you damned brainless son of a bitch." Mix one scared Squall with one psychopathic ex-boyfriend and what do you get? One irate, over-protective SeeD Commander who was very used to intimidating people.
"…I-I'm sorry…" a surprised female voice murmured. "Umm…"
"You aren't Dante." Gee, great job of stating the obvious. Moron.
"Last time I checked, no I'm not." She was silent for a moment. "He was there, I'm assuming?"
"How's Squall?" Stupid question.
"How do you think?"
"Good point." Well duh. "Who is this?"
"Pandora." Ohhh! The phone-sex lady. Seifer blinked as she laughed and Squall rolled his eyes, relaxing a little. Huh? Oh. He said that out loud. Ooops. "You know, I get that a lot. And you would be…?"
"Fascinating. I'm Dr. Pandora Beaumont. We've spoken before - about two years ago. I was doing research on Sorceresses and such." One plus one was…come on brain, think…two! A light bulb went off in Seifer's mind and he felt very proud that he made the connection.
"I knew your voice sounded familiar. I got your thesis, by the way. Your theories are fascinating. Although, in my personal opinion, a few are way off. You should come out to Balamb-G some time. I'll do that interview that I've been avoiding." He could practically hear her grinning.
"Don't think I won't. Let me talk to Squall, alright?" Seifer nodded and handed the phone over to the brunette. He smiled when Pandora spoke with him. Good - he needed some cheering up. After Squall told her she could reach him at Balamb-G, he blushed and glanced at Seifer. He hung up and smiled sadly at Seifer.
"Seifer?" The blonde looked at him, eyes wide and curious. "I…" Seifer knew what he was trying to say. Seifer knew he was trying to say thank you but just couldn't. Because somewhere deep inside, Squall had wanted to deal with it by himself. Just as Seifer had wanted to deal with his problems by himself. "I gotta pack."
"I know, Squall," Seifer told him. "I'll just hang on the couch." The brunette nodded mutely and Seifer plopped down onto the soft, leather couch. "You're not alone, Squall. I want to help you…I want to keep you safe." But Squall had already gone to his room to finish packing his clothes. Why did things have to be so damned complicated?
Return to Archive | next | previous