Little Black Book

Chapter Seventeen

By Alexis Logain

His head hurt. His back hurt. His eyes hurt. And every time he glanced up at Squall - who was doing his best to ignore him - his heart hurt too.

"Squall…" No response. Damn that boy is good at ignoring people. "You can't keep on pretending I don't exist."

"Sure I can," came the flippant reply.

"We have to talk about this sooner or later."

"Talk about what?" Seifer's eyes narrowed. Self-centered asshole. Who the fuck was he to think that he could just screw around with Seifer's head and then ignore him.

"I told you - I won't be toyed with. Stop messing around and talk to me, dammit," Seifer exploded. "We can't keep avoiding yesterday forever!"

"Like I said: talk about what?" Squall finally looked up and he looked very tired. "I never made any promises. It didn't mean anything and I never said that anything would happen because of it. I said that we were attracted to each other and that it'd probably happen again. And it did. Now stop clinging and acting like some sniveling little teenage girl and get on with your life."

"Squall…" Hyne - he was such a fool to think that he could make that stupid iceberg feel anything besides annoyance. Ever since they were little… Squall had to be the least affectionate person on the damned planet…arrogant little bastard. Which brought up the question that Seifer didn't really want to address - how did he feel? Was it love or was it some twisted fantasy? He finally got Squall to react to him physically…how long would it take for some emotional response? Well, let's see…he'd had feelings for Squall since he was 12, which means that it took twelve years of his life for some physical response. There was no way in hell that he'd waste another twelve waiting for Squall to love him. No fucking way.

"Commander Leonhart?" the small intercom in the office buzzed. "There's a man at the gate who is here to see you."

"Must be Eric," Squall muttered under his breath. "Send a SeeD escort to bring him to my office." Oh great - yet another person who had Squall's trust and respect who wasn't Seifer. The blonde scowled.

"I'm going to go get lunch - you want anything?" Seifer stood up and stretched a bit, looking at the brunette, waiting for his answer.

"I'm good…" Well he didn't have to sound so fucking distracted. Glaring at everything and everyone, he stalked out of the cramped office and to his quarters. His quarters, dammit. Why the hell should he be pushed out his space - his rooms that he had been in for almost six years - just because that egotistical bastard came crawling back. A chill crawled over his spine…that's probably what Squall had been saying when he came back to Balamb-G…oh great, now he was starting to think like him. Dammit…

Ripping off his stuffy blue shirt and pulling out of his slacks, Seifer stalked into his room in his boxers and socks, his shoes near the door. And when he began to dig through his drawers only to realize that they had been overtaken by Squall's things, he saw red. Ripping the drawers out and throwing the clothes everywhere, Seifer went to the closet and found all of his things stuffed in the corner in boxes while all his shirts hung just over them. He groped around for something that was suitable for traveling and slid into a pair of snug jeans and an old Commander uniform jacket that he had ripped the sleeves off of. Tugging off his boots, Seifer began to jam clothes into a duffel bag at random. Fuck this shit - he was going out. He was going to drive and leave…it's not like they needed him around anyway. He'd be back in a few days…maybe. Grabbing Hyperion's case and a travel bag, he stuffed some more of his clothes into it and ignored the little voice in his head that was telling him to stop running away.

He slammed his way out of the Commander's quarters and had made it down the elevator and was almost in the Parking Area when the intercom crackled and buzzed all throughout Balamb-G.

"Commander Almasy - if you're still in the building…you need to get up here!" It was Xu and she sounded frantic. "I repeat: Seifer - get here now!" What? Did Squall need someone to wipe his ass for him? Grumbling he turned and made his way back to the elevators, the students keeping a wide berth from him. Nobody wanted to mess with Seifer when he was pissed, something for which he was eternally greatful. He stepped off the elevator and saw Xu hovering outside of Squall's office. She saw him and hurried over.

"What's going on?" Seifer demanded.

"I'm glad you brought that," she murmured, gesturing towards Hyperion. "You're going to need it. Some guy…he came here to see the Commander and Squall just said to send an escort down there to bring him up here and then the escort left and the guy went nuts and totally ballistic and started screaming and then…" A cold chill wrapped itself around Seifer's body, reaching in and squeezing his spine. The gunblade case dropped to the floor, missing it's cargo and Seifer stepped into Squall's office with the weapon in hand.

"Awww, and here's the pretty boy now." Holy Hyne on a stick…Dante.

"Xu - put out an immediate alert. Contact the Ragnarok and see how soon Quistis and Zell can make it back. Get Selphie and Irvine up here now," Seifer ordered.

"No," Squall whispered. "Keep them out of this."

"What the fuck do you want, Dante?" Seifer demanded. Squall had that broken look again and dammit he was just starting to get over this. Dante was huddled over him, his strong hands holding Squall's arms behind his back. The brunette had a nasty bruise growing along the side of his face and Dante was using him as a shield. Seifer was glad he had Leviathan and Pandemona junctioned. He may have a need for them.

"I want what's mine," the man replied. "Squall's mine."

"No, he's not. We've been over this. Back the fuck off and you'll live to see the end of the day." There were papers everywhere - SeeD tests and admission applications - and blood dripped down from Squall's lip. Dante had a gun in his hand - a long, silver thing that looked very deadly - and was pointing it at Squall's skull. Its match was still holstered on Dante's belt; there was a long, blue sword strapped to his back.

"No, you back the fuck off," Dante screamed. "And this little fuck toy here will live to see the end of the day."

"You kill Squall and you'll have nothing left to bargain with. You'll be dead before he hits the floor," Seifer told him.

"You wouldn't dare let anything happen to your precious Commander," was the hissing reply.

"Oh really?" Seifer asked as Selphie and Irvine entered into the room. They were both armed and ready to go; apparently Xu had told them the situation. Good. He was going to have to make sure she got a raise. "You really think I care what happens to him that much? He came back and pushed me out of my job. He took over my living quarters - took over my fucking closet space. It took me twenty minutes to find this shirt; Hyne only knows where my boxers and socks are. He ruined my life and ignored me for most of it - then he used me and my emotions. He left when I came crawling back to Balamb-G, a sniveling, pathetic, worthless piece of shit and because he left, the world wouldn't forgive me. I've worked my ass off for the past six years to fix my reputation…" Squall's eyes widened fearfully while Seifer scowled. The confusion in the room was almost palatable. "And then I finally think I know where I stand with him - and I finally think he knows how I feel, what I want. And he toys with me and says that what happened - which I thought was the best damned thing that could ever happen to me - was nothing. Meant nothing. You think I care all that much about someone who has an icicle stuck permanently up his ass?" There was a shot and a bloom of blood began to spread in Dante's shoulder. He jerked back and Squall shoved his elbow into the blue-haired man's gut, pushing himself away. Seifer was in front of him in less than five seconds, the tip of his gunblade pointing at the man's throat. "I must be stupid, because yeah, I do."

"What's going on?" Irvine demanded.

"Just taking care of some unfinished business," Seifer hissed. "Give me one good reason not to kill this piece of shit, Squall. Just one. And do it now, or he's dead." Dante's eyes filled with fear and he looked up at Squall, who was staring back at him with a deadly expression; the power was in his hands now.

"Lock him up," Squall whispered. "Take away his weapons and lock him up. We'll have someone arrange for a transport to take him back to Esthar." Seifer's booted foot raised and stepped on Dante's wounded shoulder, pinning him to the floor. Blood lust sang in his veins and he wanted nothing more than to just kill that bastard.

"Selphie - you've got the best spells…knock him out," Seifer told her. She nodded, and stretched her Nunchakus as she cast a sleep spell onto Dante. His head slumped back and hit the floor. Seifer resisted the urge to just kill him and moved away; Squall slid down to the floor.

"Guys…who is this guy?" Selphie asked quietly. "What's going on?"

"His name is Dante Rampart - he was an associate of mine in Esthar." Squall's voice shook. "And an abusive ex-boyfriend…"

"Abusive?" Irvine blinked. Seifer agreed with his shock - Squall didn't seem like the kind of person who would put up with any kind of abuse. Selphie knelt down next to Squall and wrapped her arms around him.

"Guys suck sometimes," she whispered.


"I'm sorry he hurt you." Seifer stared down at the brunettes while Selphie closed her eyes. Squall's gaze traveled up and met Seifer's then he turned his head, focusing elsewhere.

"Xu?" Seifer called out.

"Yes, sir?" the pretty Asian woman asked.

"Get Dr. Kadowaki up here - someone needs to mend his shoulder. Make sure she knows he attacked Commander Leonhart and give her explicit instructions to keep him heavily sedated until he arrives in Esthar. Did you get a hold of Quisty?"

Xu shook her head. "No sir. Nobody was responding to the calls."

"They're probably out playing on a beach somewhere. If they try to contact Garden, tell them that everything is fine and not to worry - I'll make sure to explain it to them when they get back." With a final glance at Squall, Seifer turned and followed Xu out of the office. "Tell the Headmaster I'd like to see him as soon as time can allow…" He glanced back to see Selphie still sitting with Squall. The cowboy was frowning at the unconscious man, his gun hanging by his leg. "Hey Kinneas - nice shooting."

"Thanks," Irvine drawled. "You distracted him pretty well. I was startin' to believe all that stuff…you should go into actin.'" Seifer nodded. He decided not to tell Irvine that his little explosion wasn't an act. Eyes were on him - Squall was staring at him, he could feel it. Seifer turned his head just enough so his eyes would meet the brunette's. So, he wasn't the only one who knew it wasn't an act…Squall knew too. Good - let him dwell on that for a while…

"Sir?" Xu called out. She had the phone in her hand. "It's Headmaster Cid…he heard the gunshot while he was in a meeting with President Loire…he's asking for the Commander. What should I tell him?" Seifer moved across the room, glancing back quickly at the doorway to Squall's office, and snatched the phone from her.

"Headmaster - it's Seifer…we've had an incident. Someone attacked Commander Leonhart. Xu called for me and I ordered her to get Selphie and Irvine up here as soon as possible. While I had the man, a Dante Rampart, distracted, Irvine saw an opportunity to take the man out. He did not do any lethal damage and we're currently waiting on an escort to bring the assailant into custody."

"Is Squall alright?" Cid asked. "President Loire is very concerned."

"Save for a few bruises, he's fine," Seifer told him. "He looks pretty shaken up though." Seifer paused, gnawing on his freshly healed lip while hesitating. "Sir…there is something that I need to discuss with you - it is quite important. And it's hindering my abilities as a SeeD."

"Go on," Cid requested.

"It's Squall, sir… I…I believe you're aware that my preferences lie with both men and women and, well, sir, I've had feelings for Squall for quite some time now." The Headmaster was silent and Seifer continued. "I do not think that working with him in such close quarters is such a good idea. I'm…I am thinking of asking for an immediate transfer - either to a different position or to a different Garden entirely. But I can't do this anymore."

"Alright," Cid said after a while. "No sir, he's fine. Just a bit shaken, that's all. I have to go, Seifer - the President and I will be down to the infirmary to see Squall. I expect him to be brought down for medical attention. And Seifer? Why don't you take some time off - you've been working very hard. Once everything settles down, go somewhere and relax for a week. When you get back, the three of us will sit down and conference about this."

"Yes, sir," Seifer replied. "Right away, sir." The elevator doors slid open and from Xu's desk, he saw the SeeD escort arrive in full uniform and move in full military precision - part of his doing. Hanging up the phone he approached them, causing the group of SeeDs - six total - to stop and salute him. "The assailant is in the Commander's office. He is to be guarded at all times. Each shift will last six hours; two guards each shift. Dr. Kadowaki will check on him once a day and during that time, the guard will be doubled. Two will enter the cell with her and two will stay outside the doors. He makes any violent move, kill him. He attacks Dr. Kadowaki, kill him. He attacks the guard, kill him. Understood?"

"Sir!" The group saluted once more and moved towards the office where Dante lay unconscious. They stopped and saluted Squall, who was leaning in the doorframe. He waved them on their way and they passed him to retrieve the sleeping man.

"You're really good at that," Squall murmured.

"Good at what?" Seifer asked.

"Ordering people around - you do a very good job as Commander…better than me."

"That's only because I've had practice," Seifer rolled his eyes. His head was throbbing again, his adrenaline rush over. The blonde noticed his bag and gunblade case still on the floor where he had dropped them. Walking over to retrieve them, he watched with a smug grin as the escort dragged Dante out of the room by his heels. They hauled him into the elevator and the doors closed. "Headmaster Cid and President Loire are going to be expecting you to be in the Infirmary when they get there."

"Where will you be?" Squall asked.

Far from here. Seifer raised an eyebrow and shrugged. "That's yet to be decided."

"Why'd you pack a bag?"

"I was planning on leaving." Squall seemed slightly shocked. Seifer understood that shock as well - it wasn't like him to run away from his problems. He sneered slightly - that was Squall's job.

"Because of me?" No, because of the hot dogs they served in the Cafeteria. Hyne, does the boy have a brain at all? "Stupid question, huh."

"Yeah," Seifer agreed. "Very stupid." He slipped Hyperion into its case and called out to Irvine and Selphie. "Please escort Commander Leonhart down to the Infirmary. Headmaster Cid has given specific instructions that he wishes the Commander to be checked over by Dr. Kadowaki."

"Seifer…" Squall's voice broke. He was sorry. Awww, isn't that sweet. The fuckhead was sorry. Seifer scowled at him.

"No. Don't say anything." Irvine's eyes rose at Selphie gaped at Seifer.

"But - "

"Just shut the fuck up, Squall, and get down to the Infirmary. Don't worry, I won't be here to make you uncomfortable anymore. Now go." Squall's mouth opened once again but he shut it when Seifer glared darkly at him. Smart man. Squall didn't budge. "That's an order from the Headmaster, sir," Seifer hissed.

"Which part? Shutting the fuck up or the Infirmary?" Squall tossed back.

"The Infirmary." Seifer raised an eyebrow. "Irvine, Selphie - escort the Commander to the Infirmary. That's an order."

"Yes, sir," Irvine and Selphie replied together.

"Come on, Squall," Selphie whispered. "Let it go for now…just let it go." The trio left the room and Seifer stood still, his heart aching, his head throbbing, and all the energy drained out of his body.

"Sir?" Seifer jumped, startled by Xu's voice. "Seifer…what's wrong?"

"He still hates me," Seifer whispered. And Squall would always hate him…and no matter what he did, no matter how hard he worked…

"No…he just doesn't know what to do with you," Xu smiled. "Why don't you call Matron and ask if you can go visit her for a while? I'm sure she'd enjoy the company."

Seifer nodded. Maybe he'd do that…

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