The New Flesh

Chapter Twenty

By Scarlet Fever

Enough time had passed that people didn't think about the Inaudax or Iudicium every moment. It had been a few months shy of two years. Seifer was sitting on the deck of his apartment in Balamb. He was back at school, but had changed his long forgotten major of virology, and was now studying history and mythology, wanting to learn everything he could about the ancient Sorceresses of Iudicium's time and before. The sun was beating down warmly.

"Here," Zell said quietly, handing Seifer a cold bottle of beer. Zell sat on the chaise lounge beside his lover.

"This chair is too small for both of us. Get out."

"I guess we'll just have to sit closely together," Zell said, smiling brightly. He pulled an envelope out of his pocket. "This came from Squall and Nida today."

Seifer yanked the envelope out of Zell's hand, which caused the short blonde to make a disgruntled noise. Squall and Nida had left Esthar after only a couple weeks. They had both wanted to vanish for a while. Everyone stared at Nida wherever he went, and for someone who had been such a wallflower his entire life, he just couldn't handle it. They had purchased a run down house outside of Dollet, near the beach and far enough away from town that they didn't have to put up with people. They worked on renovating it with Rinoa's help, which was readily offered even if they didn't want it. She lived in Dollet, having sold her parents mansion in Deling City, and lived in an apartment in downtown Dollet. She'd wanted to be near Nida, as well as Dollet's old world library and art scene. She also visited Daisuke Nomura readily, because she'd become interested in studying law.

Seifer tore open the envelope, and saw that it was Squall's writing. His letters were always more business-like than Nida's, and much shorter.

Seifer & Zell:

I'm just writing to tell you that Nida and I will be in Balamb starting on August 4th. Quistis is having a meeting for SeeD, and although both Nida and I are on leave, we're still going to go. It might be about the new funding initiative that Trabia Garden is trying to start up. Since you aren't a SeeD Seifer, we figured that we would have dinner with you guys while in town. We've planned on staying for a few weeks. It'll be nice to get away from Rinoa, although Nida doesn't think so. He's happy for her company. But, she's showing more interest in spending time with Daisuke, which I think bothers him a little. I'm just glad she hasn't got interests in Nida anymore.

How is the historical study going, Seifer? And, Zell... I saw the news article in the Dollet Tribune about that little run-in you had with that guy from the anti-magic initiative. I'm surprised he even bothered, because nobody takes them seriously. We'll talk to you when we're about to leave for Balamb.


"That's next week..." Zell murmured, looking at the date of August 4th.

Seifer snorted. "They live out in the fucking boonies. I'm surprised it got here at all."

"Maybe they'll be wearing goulashes and have possum on their breath," Zell said laughing.

"Or be wearing glitter make-up and have semen on their breath."

Zell bit his lip to hold back a chuckle. "You can be such a catty bitch sometimes." Zell cuddled up next to Seifer, then groaned. "Shit... we have to go to dinner with my Mom tonight. I forgot." He looked at his watch. "Fucking hell... We only have half an hour for our reservation!"

Seifer groaned, folding up the letter and putting it back in its envelope as Zell clambered out of the chaise lounge. "You're such a scatterbrain, Chicken Wuss."

"Shut the fuck up!" Zell cried from in the apartment. "You forgot too!" He then poked his head out. "And, don't call me Chicken Wuss!!" There was the sound of rummaging around. "Come on. We have to shower together if we want to make it in time."

"What a chore," Seifer teased. Before he went into the apartment, where Zell was dashing around and cursing like a sailor, he looked across the horizon, seeing the mountains in the distance. The Temple of Iudicium was still being guarded by some Esthar forces, but it had been silent ever since Tevedes had turned to stone. Seifer hadn't been there in over a year, and had no interest to see the statue. Edea and Ellone had done study on it, and there was no magical energy permeating from the statue. None at all, and there hadn't been any in two years. Ellone had given up working on it earlier than Edea, because she was trying to work on her relationship with Irvine, which was still very rocky, even though Selphie had been gone for two years. Seifer continued to stare out at the mountains, the sky turning orange with the sunset. He was snapped out of his reverie by Zell's voice calling impatiently from in the apartment.

"Hurry back, my darling," he called sarcastically. He poked his head out, and tapped the face of his wristwatch with an aggravated finger. "I don't want to lose any more time."


The End.

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