Little Black Book

Chapter Nineteen

By Alexis Logain

When Seifer awoke in the morning, he swore that the band from the previous night was still playing - only now, they moved into his head. His skull throbbed and his mouth felt like someone took out all the skin and stuffed it with dry cotton.

"Good morning, sunshine." Zell's voice rang out in the air like some sort of cursed banshee, making Seifer wince and hold his head. "Here, drink this and take these." Seifer did both without question, downing a few pills that he hoped to Hyne were aspirin and gulping down a glass of lukewarm water. "I grabbed your uniform - Cid said he wanted a meeting first thing. Some official thing."

"Thanks," Seifer gasped, his voice raspy. With bloodshot eyes, he managed to struggle into his uniform and chug the cup of coffee that Zell had brought to him - lukewarm, sweet, and very strong. The caffeine hit his stomach and coursed through his veins and a cool towel pressed to his face helped soothe the tiredness and blotchiness of his eyes.

"You look like shit, man," Zell commented.

"Yeah - bartender let me finish a bottle of scotch all by myself," he murmured. "Was gonna tell Selphie to double his pay…now I'm gonna have her cut it."

"Well, if it's any consolation, we had to pry Squall away from the bar with the jaws of life," Zell laughed. "When you took off, he was in pretty bad shape. He plopped down and started drinking. Quis and I dragged him up to his room kicking and screaming like some little girl. She's up there now, trying to wake him up."

"What's the meeting about?" Seifer didn't want to talk about Squall - it was too complicated. His pride wouldn't let him admit it, but he knew Squall had been right about that one.

"Dunno." Zell grinned at him again - something that looked entirely too much like a toothpaste add - and led him out of the room. The halls were quiet, but they usually were at 06:00 in the morning. Only the faculty and staff of Balamb-G were up that early. They took the stairwell because it was closer and cooler and it felt good to Seifer's muscles to be used and stretched after a night of abuse. They went right into Cid's office, past where Quistis and Squall were waiting near Xu's desk. Quisty looked like she couldn't decide whether or not to be concerned or amused while Squall looked absolutely miserable. Cid smiled as Zell ushered Seifer in and then left, leaving just Seifer and Cid alone in the office.

"Good morning, Seifer." Cid's greeting was friendly and warm.

"Well, it's morning," Seifer grinned. "But I still have yet to decide if it's good." Cid laughed a bit and gestured Seifer to sit down.

"Now, I'm sure you want to get straight to the point and so I'll do that." The grin was gone and all that was left was a very serious man. "I'm retiring. And I know you've heard me claim it before…but now I feel secure that I can. I didn't want to before, because then I'd have nobody to fill a very important position. But now that Squall's back…"

"He must be very thrilled, sir," Seifer strangled. Oh, but of course! Squall comes back for two weeks and already he's the new Headmaster. That was definitely the last straw. Seifer was transferring to the Island Closest to Hell.

"What do you mean?" Cid asked, frowning.

"About being promoted to Headmaster." Cid blinked then laughed.

"Squall would shoot me if I tried to give him the position," Cid grinned. "Besides, he doesn't have the right personality for the job. He's too…"


"Well, so are you," Cid pointed out. "But he doesn't have the right people skills. You, well, you could charm a starving man out of his last meal. If you put your mind to it. You've done a lot of maturing over the past few years and I didn't want you to have to train someone to do the job of Commander while learning the ropes of being Headmaster. I've always planned on giving you the job." Seifer gaped at him. He couldn't believe this was happening. Then a grin spread across his face. He'd get to order Squall around. This was excellent.

"I…I'm honored, sir."

Cid nodded. "Good. I held a general assembly informing the school that I was planning on retiring and that if they had a suggestion as to who should succeed me, then they ought to email me. Well my boy, almost every email wanted you in the position. And I agree." Cid stood and moved to look out the large window that sat behind his desk. "I'm tired, Seifer. And I want to go home. I miss my wife and I miss my land and I…I'm tired. You six were always the most special to us - we felt like you were our actual children. And now you're all grown up. You're in relationships and are very close. Except Squall…but he always excluded himself, even as a child." Seifer pulled himself out of his chair and moved next to Cid.

"You were like parents to us, too," he whispered. "And I know that everyone is very greatful to have you two." The emotion in the room was somewhat choking for a man who wasn't used to an excess of emotion, and Seifer pulled Cid into a quick embrace before clearing his throat. "So, uh, when would you be retiring?"

"As soon as possible. I'd like today to be my last day, actually."

"Today?" Seifer repeated, bewildered.

"Yes, I think that you can start right away."

"Right…away?" Whoa. This was happening way too soon. What if he messed up? What if he wasn't prepared? What if the school had been lying and they decided to mutiny as soon as he takes the position? What if…what if Squall gets pissed and huffs away and then there isn't anyone for Commander and Seifer has to do both?

"I've been giving you all the responsibilities for years now. Granted it was a gradual change, but you never really noticed it. You practically do my job and your own now…but now we've got Squall here to do your job so I think you can handle mine." Seifer managed to make his way back to the chairs across from Cid's desk and slump into one.

"But…but…isn't that a little soon, sir?"

"Not at all," Cid grinned. "I've got the paperwork started and as soon as you, Squall, and I have that little conference, then I believe all will be well."

"Will you…will you at least stay until the end of the week to make sure I don't blow anything up?" Cid laughed and Seifer grinned. He had been waiting for this for a very long time now. And it was finally happening. It took a lot of control not to let his inner-teen out to do a happy dance. Hell, he may very well do one anyway…but when he's alone - that wasn't anything that anyone really needed to see.

"Sure I will, son. Sure I will."

Now…how to tell Squall. An evil little smirk worked its way across Seifer's face and he couldn't feel happier. The doors slid open and Squall made his way into the room, his face drawn and tired looking.

"Good morning, Squall," Seifer rang out loudly.

"Seifer," Squall replied. "You seem rather chipper this morning."

"Nah - just on a caffeine buzz. Zell makes wonderful coffee; I understand why Quisty married him now. That and he's great in bed." Squall seemed a little confused by how open he was being with Cid in the room. Apparently, he couldn't believe that Seifer and Cid were actually friends. Jerk.

"Well, you learn something new every day," Cid commented while Squall rolled his eyes. Seifer glared at the brunette. "Shall we get on to the reason of this meeting? I know partially why we're all here. Would you like to explain it to Squall or shall I?"

"We've cleared it up, sir," Seifer told him. "It's not worth going back over."

"I…see…" Cid said slowly. Squall blinked at both of them.

"Are you talking about…what I think you're talking about?" he asked.

"Yes. And it's not really all that necessary. You know where I stand and I know where you stand in regards to the subject," Seifer hissed. Yeah, he knew where Squall stood - on top of a fucking pedestal.

"Seifer, you were going to ask to be transferred to Galbadia-G," Cid exclaimed. The blonde scowled and knew that there'd be a look of shock on the brunette's face. "I saw the transfer request forms from Zell's room."

"Don't worry, sir, I'm not planning on leaving anymore. But there's nothing to discuss." Seifer's voice was firm and Cid nodded, glancing over at Squall. "Unless you don't remember it, Squally. Want me to go back over it? I could make a diagram or something."

"You know, this makes me uncomfortable too," Squall scowled.

"Really? I didn't think anyone with an ice heart could feel anything," Seifer tossed back.

"Like Cid said," Squall replied slowly. "You learn something new everyday." The room was quiet for a few moments until Cid spoke up again.

"Well, I think it would be prudent to continue onto the other parts of our agenda," he said. Seifer frowned, wondering what Squall had meant. He had basically two options as to what the brunette was insinuating: 1) That Squall had learned Seifer didn't think he could feel anything…which wasn't really true, but the blonde didn't really feel like going over minuet details or he had option number 2) Squall did feel something. Something big. And oh dear sweet Hyne…

"And that would be?" Squall prompted and Seifer snapped back down to earth before his line of thought had him dragging Squall onto the desk for a nice little romp. Oooh, kinky. Seifer added that to his list of things to try.

"Security. President Loire is furious at what happened and is claiming that our security is too lax. I was hoping one of you would have an idea." Seifer scowled.

"With all due respect, sir," he began. Cid tensed - Seifer only went into Commander mode when they were alone if he was going to say something that wouldn't make the Headmaster very happy. "I've been telling you that we needed to improve security. And it wouldn't have happened if you had taken my advice years ago," Seifer added. Cid gave him a look that was just annoyed enough to piss the blonde off. "We've had an unpermittable number of cadet pregnancies in the past year due to easy accessibility. It's really easy to sneak out of this place - believe me, I know. There have also been plenty of anti-war vigilantes who've come in here, trying to shut us down. And there was that SeeD who was raped and almost murdered in her dorm room last year, for Hyne's sake! And now that pretty boy here gets attacked by a psychopathic ex-boyfriend, the whole world is all shaken."

"Shut up, Seifer," Squall hissed.

"Oh, blow it out your ass," was the sharp retort.

"Boys," Cid warned.

"Stop whining like some little bitch," Squall growled, ignoring Cid. Oh, so that's how they were going to play it.

"You weren't complaining about my sounding like some little bitch when we were in the backseat of you car," Seifer commented, his tone hard. Cid's ears went red and he coughed, startled. Oh yeah, he forgot to mention that. Whoops.

"No, I was complaining about the stains you were leaving on my leather," Squall retorted. "And about the unbelievably bad lay."

"You're just used to fucking around with little boys who don't know where to stick it and need to make up for that fact by dying their hair ungodly colors. And Rinoa," Seifer added.

"I do believe we've hit on the same old argument," Squall told him. "But you dated her too."

"Yeah, but I never fucked her. Do you have any idea where she's been? You could have gotten crabs or termites or rabies from that bitch." Seifer frowned. "Hell, I could have gotten those from you from sleeping with her. Dude, that's a really bad thought."

"Yeah, almost as bad as thinking if she'd screw Quistis," Squall mumbled.

"You two are acting like some old married couple," Cid sighed. "I would know, I've been married for almost twenty years." Cid got the most extreme amount of pleasure out of seeing both Seifer's and Squall's faces pale. Stupid sadist. Or was it masochist? Seifer couldn't ever remember which was which. "Are you done bickering?"

"Yes," Seifer mumbled. Squall just gave his patented 'Whatever' stare.

"I take it this is what you two are…working out, shall we say?" Cid questioned. "Are you sure I can't get you to go into more detail, just so I can have an idea at what the hell is going on?

"We're in the process of fucking each other over," Seifer grumbled. "Every time we think we're on the same page, one of us is behind and the other is ahead."

"Isn't that how it's supposed to go, though?" Squall asked with a small, perverted grin.

"Sure, if you're into all that kinky shit. I never really thought about having sex with a book, but that's just me." Seifer grinned.

"You are so weird," Squall muttered.

"Well, if that's not the pot calling the kettle black, then I don't know what is," Seifer retorted.

"I feel like I'm back at the orphanage," Cid muttered. "Children…"

"And you say the strangest things," Squall continued, making a face. They ignored Cid - they always had when they got into one of their…arguments.

"Pot?" Seifer stuck out his hand, gesturing at Squall. "Meet kettle." He placed his other hand on his chest and stuck out his tongue.

Squall raised an eyebrow. "If you remember that out of Matron's sayings, then you ought to remember her telling you not to stick out your tongue unless you're planning on using it."

"Who says I'm not planning on using it?" Seifer grinned and waggled his eyebrows. Cid choked and flat out blushed.

"On topic, boys - on topic," he told them gruffly.

"I can have a proposal on your desk by this afternoon," Seifer offered, returning his thoughts back on ways to improve security. Cid shook his head.

"No, just put it into affect. If it doesn't work, it'll be your problem." Seifer smiled. Oh, it would work alright. The students may hate him for being charge because of it, but it would work.

"Yes, sir." The blonde stood, ignoring the odd looks Squall was giving him. "I'll get on with that right away."

"One more thing, Seifer," Cid said, standing as well. "I'll stick around until the end of the week, but I'll stay in town, that way you can have a permanent place to stay."

"Thank you, sir."

"Tell Xu to put out an announcement for an assembly after the lunch hour. I'll make my announcement then." Squall stood, looking between the two.

"So you really are retiring…" he whispered. Seifer grinned wickedly at the brunette.

"Yes I am, Squall. I want you and Seifer to work out whatever it is that you've got going on between you by the time I leave - it wouldn't do for Balamb-G's Headmaster and Commander to be going at it all the time." Cid frowned while Seifer snickered.

"I didn't think that doing it all the time would be that bad a thing," he grinned.

"Yeah, but we'd never get any work done. And think of the diplomatic assemblies. We couldn't very well keep our dignity with our pants around our legs," Squall told him.

"Nah - we'd just get everyone into it. Have big orgies." Cid plopped down into his chair with a hopeless look on his face. Seifer grinned. "Don't worry, sir. We won't fight all the time. I really do have to get going though - I'm gonna go wake some people up and scare the hell out of the front gate. I'll use the assembly to make the announcement to all of Garden the new…rules and I'll have Xu send emails to everyone so they can see them in writing." He saluted Cid and Squall, then turned to leave. So maybe the morning wouldn't suck as much as he thought it would.

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