By Purple Penguin
“What the hell?!” the short, blonde yelled.
“What’s HE doing here?! How long has he been hiding here?!”
“Remember when I said a friend was staying here? Seifer has nowhere to go.”
“Since time compression.”
Zell began to pace the hallway. “Why doesn’t he go back to garden?”
“You’re kidding right? They’ll never except him again and it’ll... kill him to see Squall again. Squall will probably kill Seifer for all he’s done. At least that’s Seifer thinks.”
“I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but they were lovers before the war.”
“Oh that, I know about that.”
Fujin stared at him her eyes wide. “You know? How?”
“Squall told me. He agreed to keep my secret so I agreed to keep his.”
“You have a secret? Do I know?”
“No. I can’t believe Seifer thinks Squall would hurt him. I have to get him back to garden.”
“He won’t go.”
“Wait till Squall hears Seifer’s been hiding here all along.”
“You can’t interfere. Seifer still loves Squall.”
Zell grinned. “Good we need our commander back. He’s even more quiet than usual. He’s falling apart!”
Fujin snorted. “What? Squall the iceberg?”
“He disappeared at lunch yesterday; we were all worried. I found him, curled up in a ball on the balcony crying his eyes out. He kept whispering Seifer’s name over and over.”
Fujin was silent, speechless.
“Seifer’s staying with me. Tell Squall and I’ll tell Seifer what you just told me.”
“Great!” Zell grinned excitedly.
“By the way, what secret don’t I know?”
“Someone I had a fling with doesn’t want anyone to know. It would ruin his womanising reputation.”
She smirked. “So the cowboy’s Bi is he?”
“Don’t you dare tell anyone. He’d kill me.”
“My lips are sealed.”
Squall sat in his office half-heartedly sorting through paper work. Time usually seemed to be slowing down, but because Rinoa had forced him to have lunch with her it seemed to be double it’s normal speed.
He was dreading it. She was a nice girl, but she wanted to live the fairy tale. The princess and her knight defeat the enemy and live happily ever after. But this isn’t a fairy tale. The princess isn’t as perfect as she thinks she is and the handsome knight is gay and in love with the enemy’s knight.
Zell had gone to Balamb to see his mother yesterday, Squall was supposed to meet him there in an hour. He wasn’t sure why but he’d gotten a really weird phone call from Zell.
“Squall! You gotta come meet me in Balamb!”
“What? Zell is that you?”
“Yeah. In 30 minutes....”
There was a voice in the background, a female voice definitely not Zell’s mother.
“Make that 1 hour.”
“Zell, wait, why? And who is that?”
“Doesn’t matter. Look promise me you’ll come meet me.”
“I can’t I have lunch with Rinoa.”
“Sure you can. You’ll prefer being here than with Rinoa trust me.”
“Great! Knock on a door in my street number.... 123.”
Rinoa wasn’t happy when Squall had rearranged their lunch to a quick half an hour. Especially when he only excuse was he had to meet Zell in Balamb and he didn’t even know why.
The dark haired girl sat in the cafeteria with Selphie.
“I’m worried about Squall. He doesn’t socialize with people enough.”
“Although he is meeting me here.... Do you think that’s a good sign?” She asked Selphie.
Selphie nodded her gaze not leaving the tiled floor.
“Yes, you’re right. Thanks, Selphie, you’re a great friend.”
The short girl looked up. She hadn’t been listening to a word Rinoa just said but somehow the girl hadn’t noticed and had happily chatted along to herself.
She looked up to see Squall walking towards their table. She smiled and excused herself from Rinoa.
Squall looked over to his sort of girlfriend. She was more like a mother to him really, organizing his life, getting him to share his problems, making sure he was eating, getting him to socialize.
He was so lonely and Rinoa seemed the only one willing to be with him. Maybe he was little selfish lending her on as he knew he was gay and could never love him back. She was filling the dark void that Seifer had once filled. She was his replacement.
Yes his friends were annoying but they did their best for him. His friends and his job were pulling him through the pain. It was hard to just forget the love of his life and it hurt a lot but he would never give up easily.
Rinoa waved him over. He faked a smile and sat opposite her.
“Hey you made it.”
Squall nodded blankly. “Sorry I’m late. I’ll have to leave in a minute.”
She didn’t look happy.
Squall reached into his inside pocket to get his wallet to buy a coffee. As he pulled the wallet from his pocket something fell and clattered to the table. He didn’t look at it straight away until Rinoa gasped.
The silver collar lay on the table, glinting in the above lights.
Squall froze and his heart jerked painfully.
“Squall, where did you get this?” Rinoa stared at him in horror.
The reached forward and snatched the collar up before Squall could stop her.
“Did you kill him?”
“Did you kill Seifer?!”
“NOO!! Why would you think...” He reached for Seifer’s collar and studied it for a while before he put it on around his throat.
Rinoa sneered. “That’s sick, Squall. He’s dead you shouldn’t have that.”
“He is NOT dead!!” He shook his head continually. He brushed his fingers over the name that engraved the collar. ‘Almasy’
“He gave it to me. He’d want me to have it.”
Rinoa shook her head in confusion. “The guy you hated gave you his most treasured possession?”
“I’ve got to go.” The brunette jumped up from his seat and ran from the cafeteria. He didn’t know if she would accept the fact that he and Seifer were once lovers.
The brunette slumped in his office chair, a sick feeling building up inside. He knew that feeling all too well. He buried his head into his arms desperate to stop the tears. He would not cry; it seemed he spent his whole life crying since Seifer left. But Seifer was never coming back, so he just had to except the fact and deal with it. It was their anniversary soon, two years they’d been together. What he wouldn’t give just to see Seifer on their anniversary.
With shaking hands he picked up the phone and dialled Zell’s mobile number.
His breath was heavy, but he tried to sound normal, the last thing he needed was his best friend pitying him.
“Squall? Are you okay?”
“Look something’s come up so I won’t be able to come to Balamb.” His voice cracked pathetically.
“What wrong? Are you crying again?”
Squall sighed and tried to compose himself. “Nothing’s wrong. I just can’t come okay?”
Squall slammed the phone down.
Zell stared dumbly at the phone for a second.
“We have a problem.”
Fujin moved up beside him.
“Squall’s not coming.”
Fujin frowned. “I told you he doesn’t care. He-”
“No.” He cut her off. “He was upset again. We have to get Seifer to go to garden.”
“Are you sure about this? It doesn’t sound like Squall to me.”
Someone knocked on the door.
“Squall's changed a lot since you last saw him.”
Zell opened the door to see Seifer standing there.
“He’s not coming.”
“I don’t know but I think he was crying when I spoke to him.
Seifer’s eyes softened. “You spoke to him?”
Zell smiled. “Sure.” He dialled Squall office number and handed the phone to Seifer.
“Hello?” A very sad, tired voice answered. Seifer barely recognized him.
The line went deadly quiet.
“Squall, are you okay?”
“W-Who is this?” A shaky voice asked.
“It’s me. Seifer.”
“No! You’re dead.”
The blonde smiled. “Takes more than that to kill me.”
“Are you okay? I’m here in Balamb with Zell. He told me you were upset. I was worried about you.”
“Sorry I haven’t seen you yet. I miss you.”
A very quiet, shaky voice at last answered. “I missed you, too.”
The blonde smiled with tears in his eyes.
“I wish this was real.”
“I wish this wasn’t a dream.”
“Squall, this IS real!”
“No... it’s never real.”
“I love you.”
“Squall, come to Balamb!”
“Can’t. I’ll wake up soon anyway. It’s always the same. I dream that I hear you, see you, but then I wake up, you’re gone again and it’s like you leave me every time. So I’m left to cry myself back to sleep again.”
Seifer’s heart broke to the sound of sobbing on the other line.
“Shh, Squall. Come to Balamb. I’ll meet you at the entrance. Promise me.”
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