DISCLAIMER: None of these characters belong to me - I'm at the shallow end of the creative pool and can't create my own so I'm borrowing the FF8 cast - please don't sue!


Part 2 - Bound at the Hilt

By Kyrri

Seifer stood in the Training Centre, staring at the place Squall had just vacated. Shock played across his handsome features. Why had he done it? Because you wanted to see how he would react, a small voice in the back of his head chided. If he would react at all... and because one can only live on hope for so long...

Well, now you know how he reacted and you can't take it back... What's done is done! He sighed, running what had happened through his mind again as he ran his hand through his short blonde hair - it could have been worse...

How? That sarcastic little voice asked. Squall could have been totally unresponsive - at least he had reacted. For a moment Squall had kissed him back, for a moment Squall had wanted him.

He's seen it in the SeeD Commander's eyes - Squall had wanted him, but he had also pushed him away. Seifer closed his eyes in defeat. He had moved too quickly, he should have been more subtle; he should have waited longer before making a move.

Seifer snorted. He should have waited longer... He had been waiting for years. He'd wanted Squall ever since they were kids. He'd loved Squall ever since they were kids, but Squall would never return his feelings, and now he had spoiled even the little he had had.

He had worked long and hard to regain the SeeD Commander's trust after the last of the Sorceress Wars. It had been difficult to return to the Garden after what happened, but to his surprise Squall had stuck up for him - explaining to Headmaster Cid and all the students that he had not been in control of his own actions; that he had been under Ultimecia's spell.

It had also been Squall that helped him deal with all the hate mail he received. Squall had been there for him, had supported him - had actually pretended to care. No, Squall had cared - he'd cared so much he'd tried to hide it.

He'd actually tried to be subtle about what he did... And Squall and subtle didn't go together well. Seifer smirked; maybe this wasn't such a lost cause as he originally thought.

Then again... his smile disappeared - he knew well what Squall thought about relationships between members of the same gender. There wasn't a person in the Garden that didn't know... Not since Squall found out about his father's relationship with his Advisor, Kiros. The SeeD Commander had gone ballistic and it hadn't gotten any better, even after he had gotten over the shock of finding Laguna and Kiros in bed together.

Seifer winced remembering - Squall's face hadn't betrayed anything, but Seifer had become somewhat of an expert at reading Squall Leonhart over the years that they had been friends and rivals. If you wanted to know what Squall felt you didn't look at his face - you looked at his eyes.

They were, after all, the windows to the soul. Steel - the blue-grey depths of Squall's eyes could have been described no other way. Cold, hard steel. Unyielding and unforgiving. Utterly devoid of any emotion save anger, hatred and disgust. Squall had given the Lionheartless glare an entirely new meaning that day and his father bore the brunt of it.

Poor Laguna! Seifer shuddered - Squall's usual glare sent grown men running for the door - this had been worse, much worse! Seifer had practically felt the room temperature drop below freezing point, shivers running up and down his spine as if Shiva stood right behind him, blowing her icy breath into his neck.

And Squall hadn't even been looking at him, hadn't even glanced his way; Frosty's gaze had been fixed on Laguna's quailing form. To the man's credit he had stood there, reasonably still, only shifting his weight nervously every now and then as he made a valiant effort to return Squall's gaze.

Silence had stretched between them, cold and threatening until Laguna dropped his gaze - that's when Seifer realized that their positions were reversed... Laguna felt intimidated by Squall - father feared son. But Laguna wanted his son's respect and acceptance - he needed it.

Seifer had studied Squall, even as Squall scrutinized his father, some strange emotion warred with the anger in his eyes - dark clouds starting to edge over the steel as the storm started to brew.

Seifer had desperately wanted to escape before it broke, but to his amazement it hadn't - Squall merely stared at Laguna before nodding his head and turning to go, leaving Seifer to follow miserably after.

Laguna had Squall's respect, but his acceptance... that would take some doing. The blonde gunbladist shut his eyes, remembering the storm clouds that had misted Squall's vision, swirling madly in silent confusion, anger and rebellion.

No, Frosty would never accept this, he would never accept the fact that it wasn't wrong for those of the same gender to love each other - to want each other - and that meant that he would never accept Seifer as anything other than a friend and he had ruined his chances of even sharing a friendship with Squall - it would never have been anything more...

Amused laughter rang out from behind him, causing Seifer to nearly jump out of his skin, his eyes flying open as he spun round, shocked. He nearly did a double take when he saw who was considering him, her back pressed against one of the trees.

His mouth gaped open wide as he took in the long, golden hair, pale blue face and blue gaze of Shiva and a strangled gasp escaped him that sounded vaguely like her name, but could just as easily have been a cough.

His mind skipped ahead before his body could react - Shiva was junctioned to Squall - if she was here that surely meant that Frosty himself couldn't be far away... but Squall had fled only moments before... the light falling through the glass roof of Balamb Garden Training Centre told him differently - quite a bit of time had passed since Squall had left.

Seifer mentally cursed himself for being the worst kind of idiot - he'd been standing there lost in thought for over an hour, utterly open to attack and completely defenceless... he noticed as his hand went to his side searching for the reassuring weight of his gunblade, but finding it gone.

Shiva's laughter filled the air, light and musical, like chimes singing in the wind as Seifer glanced down in horror and shock at his empty sheath - where had his gunblade gotten to?

He glanced up at the GF - confusion written clearly in his jade eyes and his gaze widened in further shock as he realized that Shiva's long fingers were twined around nothing else than the hilt of Hyperion.

But how was this possible - where was Frosty? Shouldn't he be keeping the Ice Maiden in check? She couldn't be here alone - Seifer looked at the GF speculatively, a million questions screaming to be answered. Shiva smiled at him secretively, trailing light fingers over the sharp edge of the blade, cautiously so that the metal would not penetrate icy skin.

Her smile deepened as he met her gaze, her eyes sparkling mischievously, seeming to melt and change, almost as though they hid fire instead of ice. Pale blue hands lifted the weapon, slowly, inevitably bringing its hilt close to icy lips. She placed a silent kiss there - where blade met hilt, pale blue meeting momentarily with metallic black as her gaze held Seifer's.

The tall blonde gaped at her. What was she doing here? What was she doing, period? Where was Frosty? Shiva seemed to be considering him; she had stuck Hyperion into the ground and was leaning on the hilt.

"'Frosty' is in his room and I don't think he will be coming here anytime soon... not willingly at least." Shiva sounded amused, the nickname he used for Squall in his thoughts passing from her lips with silent laughter.

Seifer could do nothing but stare at the GF, his mouth hanging open wide. How had she done that? She wasn't junctioned to him, she was Squall's - she couldn't know his thoughts...

Shiva snorted. "You're an open book, Seif, anyone could read you..."

Seifer shut his mouth with a click and glared at her. "I'm not that fucking transparent!"

Shiva snorted again. "You'd be surprised!"

Seifer merely continued to glare at her, letting the silence convey his anger at her intrusion of his thoughts. Vague thoughts that Squall was nearby and that assaulting a GF when said GF had somehow managed to steal his only weapon wasn't a good idea kept him from further outburst.

Shiva smiled amusedly at him - almost as though she was following Seifer's train of thought and he suddenly realized that he felt cold. Shivers started running up and down his spine, uncontrollably. His eyes focused on the aloof form of Shiva.

How in hell did Squall stand having the Ice Bitch in his head permanently when Seifer couldn't stand the touch of her mind for a matter of moments? Shiva smirked at him, the tendrils of her thoughts digging deeper into his mind as he fell to his knees, shaking violently, his lips turning blue from cold.

"Get out! Get the fuck out of my head!" He yelled at her, crying out in pain from the forced entry he was fighting with all his might - fighting and losing against. He felt himself weaken, his defences start to fail and then she was gone... leaving his mind as quickly as she had entered - though far less painfully.

He raised his head to glare at her. "Why?" he croaked, his head throbbing and spinning round like crazy. She merely smiled and looked at him considering. "Shiva?" he gasped her name, the word scratching in his throat, as she looked him over.

She sounded just like a child when she answered - young and innocent - with a sense of justice that only a child would consider fair. An eye for an eye, her tone of voice insinuated. "You hurt him..." she said simply, as if that was explanation enough for her actions.

Seifer grimaced in pain, not quite comprehending what she meant - he'd hurt who? And since when did a GF act of its own free will? Who could he have hurt for her to take such action? Then the obvious struck him - Squall... But the Ice Maiden's reaction puzzled him - why did she care if Frosty was hurting?

"He's hurting and it's your fault, Seif. And now..." Shiva's lips curved upwards in a small smirk. "You're hurting too." Seifer scowled at her, letting his fingers trail lazy circles around his temples as he tried to rid himself of his fierce headache.

"I didn't mean to hurt him," he spit back, vainly trying to defend himself. Shiva only shook her head. "That doesn't change the fact that you did hurt him, Seif, and I won't allow that!" The Ice Queen moved then, tugging Hyperion out of the ground and placing its tip under Seifer's chin, forcing his head upwards so that he could look her in the eye.

"You won't hurt him again, Seif, I'm making sure of that." She glared at him and then she smiled - a cruel little twist of her mouth. "No, you won't hurt him again - you're going to do quite the opposite. You're going to help me make him happy and that means getting rid of Rinoa."

Seifer stared at her. "Rinoa?" he asked, disbelievingly.

"Yes, Rinoa..." she said in disgust. "He'll be much better off without the optimistic little witch! She's driving him up the walls and he's too dutiful to notice how miserable she makes him. If she's not around, he pines... if she's there he wants her to go away just so that he can have some peace from her mindless babbling! She's even driving me out of his scull with her ceaseless prattle!"

She pouted, blue lips turning up at the corners, her jaw jutting out slightly, making her look childish and lost. Seifer couldn't help but stare at her, considering. How could she possibly believe that he could help her force Squall to reject Rinoa? How could she possibly think that he could be able to help her when Squall had rejected him - when Frosty would probably refuse to let him within a ten-mile radius of him after that afternoon?

Shiva smiled again, her eyes sparkling like those of a child who had a secret they simply couldn't keep, before stating bluntly. "He wants you, Seifer. And no matter how hard he tries to deny it, it doesn't make it any less true."

Seifer gaped at her, his shock at her words temporarily overriding his anger at her for invading his thoughts again. It couldn't be true! Could it? He'd hope, dreamed and wished that it could be possible and now Shiva was dangling the very possibility of reality enticingly before him.

So tantalizingly close, but still inexplicably out of reach. What she offered was simply too good for him to let pass. But it would take some doing - Squall thought relationships between the same gender wrong. He was going to have to change that if he wanted even the beginnings of a chance.

He was going to have to force Frosty to experience something other than loathing and disgust. An image flashed through his mind as his imagination took over - replaying every sexual fantasy involving the brunette he had ever had. He grinned ferally as he saw the smaller man writhe beneath him in his mind's eye - this was going to be fun.

Shiva grinned at him, almost victoriously and he realized that she had seen it too. A faint blush coloured his cheeks. "I told you to get out - leave my fucking thoughts alone!" The blush deepened as he realized the truth of his words, watching Shiva as she was desperately trying to contain her laughter, a pale hand coming to rest at her throat.

Seifer managed to regain his composure and glared at Shiva. "Get out, Shiva," his voice was low and menacing, boding ill for any who would dare disobey him.

"Oh, Seifer, tsk, tsk, tsk... so forceful - you're going to make me think you don't like me." Seifer continued to glare at her before replying sarcastically, "What? Me? Never." Shiva didn't reply, she only quirked an eyebrow at him, before saying simply. "Squall's going to Selphie's party tonight, he promised he would."

Seifer nodded, inclining his head, gesturing that he knew. Shiva smiled, her blue lips curving upwards at the gesture.

"Then you also know he's already there. You know what you have to do." Seifer didn't say anything, but his silence seemed to be enough for the GF, who nodded and said simply, "Good!" before disappearing with an icy breath of air.

He shivered slightly; waiting for the air to turn warm again as it forgot the presence of the Ice Queen, as he desperately tried to forget that their conversation had ever occurred. But her words were embedded deeply in his mind, kept there and fanning his emotions into flame with a silent breath of hope. "He wants you, Seifer."

He sighed deeply, not quite believing that the GF had really come to him, not quite believing what she had told him. It had to be some sick little game Squall was playing with him in order to exact his revenge.

Shiva was at Frosty's beck and call, after all, but Squall wasn't cruel enough to play with Seifer like this. He simply didn't have the imagination - and Squall would find it far too distasteful, as it was.

No, Seifer had no choice but to believe the Frost Bitch - he had no other choice at all. She'd played him perfectly and he knew it - dangling his greatest desire before him, giving him the means with which to claim what he wanted.

He smiled ferally - not to take the opportunity she had handed him - he'd never forgive himself, even if nothing came of it - at least he would have tried. Seifer let his eyes trail over the clearing he was in, noticing that Hyperion was still embedded in the earth where Shiva had left it, but not all things where exactly as it had been.

Another blade had been thrust into the ground in front of Hyperion, crossing it perfectly to form an 'X'. The Griever pendant looped loosely around both gunblades' hilts. Where had Squall's gunblade come from?

It hadn't been there a moment ago... Seifer stared at it for a while, before he began chuckling softly to himself. He was going to have to return that...

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