Little Black Book

Chapter Fourteen

By Alexis Logain

When Squall awoke the next morning, he felt tired and cranky and didn't have a good reason for it. He grumbled at Seifer who then immediately shoved a pot of coffee at him. Then he bitched at the blonde saying that not every bad mood he had could be solved with a fucking cup of coffee…but he took one anyway and stalked off to his office. When he got in there, he wished that they had real doors and not those idiotic electronically sliding things that were a waste of electricity just so he could have the satisfaction of slamming it. On his desk were four messages from different parts of the world - mostly just the press wanting to know why he decided to go back to Balamb-G after six years of working elsewhere - and it was only 06:09 in the friggen morning!

Slamming into the comfy black chair he growled about the stupid reporters and their stupid interest in his life. He didn't want them to be interested in his life! His life was boring! See? He gets up, has coffee shoved at him by every human he contacts - instead of a 'Good morning! How are you?' which was really grinding on his nerves - goes into his office, bitches about the reporters, and settles down to do paperwork. Which he really intended to do that day…honestly! But when Seifer came in the room ten minutes later, everything began to piss Squall off again - including that damned tie he decided to wear. Tugging at his clothing and glaring when Seifer offered to help with the papers, Squall pushed the stack off his desk and stomped out of the room. Oh yeah - that's a great way to act your age. Throwing a tantrum. Which led him to hovering outside of his office door almost ten hours later - after taking a jog around Balamb-G…several times and working on the fun little critters inside of the Training Center.

"This is ridiculous," Squall muttered to himself and stepped forward, touching the keypad gently to enter his office. He stepped in, bracing himself to apologize to Seifer only to see Quistis and Zell making out. On his desk. Well, actually Quistis was the one on the desk and Zell was in front of her, one of his hands riding up her thigh. Uh…well, that certainly wasn't what he was expecting to see. He coughed a little in shocked reaction, causing the two to startle apart. "Um…I can…come back if…that'd, you know, be better…"

"No!" Quistis exclaimed and rushed to make sure her clothing was in order.

"I was just coming to get a few files before heading off to Esthar for a little while…" Squall explained and gestured towards the desk.

"Oh," Zell replied, his voice thick. "You'll be gone long?"

"No - just gonna pop in and come back…I've got the Rag here," Squall told him. "It doesn't take very long to get anywhere in that thing…"

"Yeah, I remember. It's been a while since I've been in it though," he told Squall and a tense silence fell over the room.

"So, I'll just - "

"Yeah," Zell grinned, running a hand through his hair.

"Yes, of course," Quistis smiled. Squall moved further into the room and around to the other side of the desk when a thought hit him.

"It really has been a while since you two have been in the Ragnarok, hasn't it?" he asked. The newly married couple nodded. "You guys still remember how to fly it?"

"It may have been a while, Squall," Quistis grinned. "But I will never forget how to fly that thing. It was exhilarating."

"Why don't you two take it?"

"Huh?" The same bewildered response came from both blondes.

"Why don't you guys take the Ragnarok and go on your honeymoon? Seifer told me that you two canceled it completely…and I feel bad because I know the initial reason was because you guys wanted to be here while I was still around. But I'm gonna be around for a while - I feel like this is where I need to be right now. I'm not going anywhere…"

"What about Esthar?" Zell asked. Squall shrugged.

"I can always do a video conference - or email the information. It's a good time to be living in technology," Squall told them. "I'd…I'd really like it if you guys would…"

"We…we'd need to get the time off…" Quistis began.

"I can handle Cid," Squall assured her. She grinned and looked at Zell, who shrugged in response.

"Are you sure?" She was getting giddy. Squall nodded and picked up a slip of paper, tearing it in half.

"Let me do this for you two - I'm sure…" He scribbled on the paper while Quisty hugged Zell excitedly. "Here are the security codes. You'll have to walk a little ways to get to it - she's landed on the strip that's near the Fire Caverns." Quistis launched herself at him and embraced him.

"Thank you," she whispered. Feeling his mood completely turn around, he hugged her back, which he knew startled the pretty blonde.

"You're welcome," he replied. "No go - take it for as long as you want, I don't mind. And that's an order."

"Yes Sir!" she grinned and saluted. Grabbing Zell's hand, she then raced out of the room and Squall grinned widely. That felt good. That felt very good. After running up to tell Cid what he had done, Squall then settled down to start in on the paperwork - most of which was already done - Squall made himself busy and was still grinning when Seifer walked in.

"Uh-oh. Why're you grinning like that?" he wanted to know. Then a somewhat horrified look crossed his face. "Who'd you kill?"

"Nobody," Squall snorted.

"Am I going to be mopping up little Zell bits or something?"

"Only if I had walked into my office ten minutes later," Squall quipped and laughed. Seifer seemed startled by the sound, which only made Squall laugh harder.

"What'd I miss?" the blonde asked.

"I walked in on Zell and Quisty goin' at it," Squall told him with a smirk. "I sent them away."

"Away?" Seifer repeated. "Like, to the middle of nowhere? To the brig? What do you mean 'away?'"

"I mean," Squall rolled his eyes. "I gave them the Ragnarok to go away on their honeymoon. They're officially out of reach until further notice. Cid spluttered about it a little when I told him, but because I'm technically the Commander and gave them permission, there's nothing he could really do about it." Seifer kinda gaped at him, which - under other circumstances - could be a very attractive look for the blonde. "And, I'm pretty much done with these forms. Wanna go get some dinner?"

"Who are you and what have you done with Squall?" Seifer asked, raising an eyebrow. Squall rolled his eyes at the blonde and ignored the remark. "Seriously - when I saw you this morning you looked like you wanted to kill me…and half the planet. What happened?"

"I realized a few things," Squall said, surprised that it was true. "I don't really have a reason to why I did it…I just did." Squall frowned - he knew that was a lie. He envied them - envied how Quistis' gaze softened when she saw Zell and how they always found a reason to touch and smile. He envied their love and lied to himself when he told himself that he didn't want that. He lied to himself when he said he didn't need that.

"So you suddenly turned from the temperamental bastard of the century to a kind, thoughtful young man and lent your friends a very powerful jet for as long as they please," Seifer clarified.

"Yes," Squall replied.

"And you want to go have dinner."

"Yes. All these good deeds are making me hungry." He grinned wickedly at Seifer. "I feel like I need a good protein fix. Know of any good restaurants?" The blonde coughed.

"Whatever it is that you've been taking, give me some," Seifer replied.

"Of all the things I've seen, you on mood-altering chemicals would probably be the most traumatic," Squall retorted and stood up.

"Oh, I've probably experienced worse," Seifer protested.

"Oh really?" No, of course he wasn't flirting with Seifer. He was just joking around - he talked like this with Pandora all the time…well, 'talked' wasn't really the term anyone ever used. 'Joked' or 'kidded around' or…well, 'flirted with…' Oh. Uh…oops? Squall ignored the 'insert shrug here' signals his brain was sending him and grinned at Seifer. "Like what?"

"Like sleeping in Zell's room," Seifer told him. "That was fairly disturbing. So were all the stains on his ceiling."

"He does not have stains on his ceiling…does he?"

"Oh yeah. Why do you think everyone was pushing for him and Quisty to get married? They were going at it non-stop…like bunnies," Seifer grinned and they headed out towards the elevator.

"Where to?"

"…I know this really good place but it's kinda far away…" Squall looked suspiciously at Seifer while the blonde thought.

"How far…?"

"Can I drive?"

"My car? Haven't we already gone over this?" Squall wanted to know. "You can drive my car when hell freezes over."

The elevator doors slid shut as soon as they stepped in and Seifer leaned in closer to Squall and no, dammit, that was not his heart that was pounding. Okay, so maybe it was, but it wasn't because of how close Seifer was to him. It was because of…well, how the hell should he know?! But it wasn't because of Seifer. "Baby, you can ice skate on it." Squall stood very still while Seifer's hand snaked down his hip and into his pants pocket, retrieving his keys. Squall could feel Seifer lean in closer, almost pressing himself against Squall's back, and he could feel Seifer's breath tickle against his

ear."What are you doing," Squall breathed. "Why are you doing this?"

"Isn't it obvious?" Seifer asked as the elevator dinged, telling them they were on the main floor. "I want you."

"I don't want you," Squall declared, his voice catching in his throat.

"No, you just don't want to want me," Seifer replied, confident. "We've been going around this all our lives, Squall. Why not just relax and enjoy the ride?" The blonde strode out of the elevator, leaving the brunette to shudder. Hyne…maybe coming back here was a mistake.

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