Disclaimer: I don't own them. I just borrowed them.


By Alexis Logain

I loved to watch him. Watch how his dark hair curled in front of his eyes. Watch how his muscles flexed under physical exertion. Watch the light play over his pale, porcelain skin and his pale, steel eyes glitter with barely contained emotion. I had always loved watching him, but my one true pleasure in life had been cut back over the past year.

I was a slave to watching him - I just couldn't stop. If he was within five miles, it was like I could feel his presence and just couldn't concentrate. I suppose I was lucky that he didn't come around too often.

He came by every now and then. I'm not sure why - maybe it was to visit, to gloat. Maybe he enjoyed seeing me. Maybe he was sadistic enough to show how he was free and he was strong and he had the world at his feet. And all I had was a nine-by-six foot cell and cold, steel bars.

They call me a freak. I suppose it's well deserved. When I was locked up here in the beginning, they tormented me with every single name they could come up with. Then they just settled on Freak. My hair's pure white now and my eyes are constantly blood-shot. The irises swirl with orange and jade. I look like a freak. I am a freak.

And I was this close to having it all.

Well, almost everything. Maybe that's why he comes around, to show me how much I had and how much I lost. I used to have him. Every night and every day. Sometimes we'd sneak off into the mountains or to the beach and...those were the best days of my life. And then I sort of lost it.

I had always been close to insanity. I walked the edge like a tightrope and reveled in the thrill of dancing just beyond completely loosing it.

It's not my fault - not completely. We were sparring and he told me that he didn't think it would work out. That he couldn't handle the stress of hiding everything. I felt lost and the darkness swallowed me up. I was a little boy again who tried desperately to be friends with the shy boy who hated the world. I was the little boy who was rejected by family after family after family. I was the little boy who had nothing and needed everything.

She offered me everything.

She offered me family and a home. She offered me love and power. She offered me revenge. But she couldn't offer me him. She couldn't give me that. And deep down, I always knew that. But I went with her anyway, waving good-bye like I was on a fucking cruise ship.

We fought and I won some and I lost some. Against him, I was never strong enough. They really knew what they were doing in sending him against me - he was my only weakness. And to him, I lost. I couldn't protect her, so she lost too. Only, she had the sweet oblivion of death to welcome her - I had years of incarceration. They found me and arrested me and locked me up in Esthar. I've had doctors and psychologists run test after test after test on me. And I've officially been deemed a 'hazard to society.'

I could have told them that.

I asked him once why he visited me. He sort of shrugged and stared at me. I think it has something to do with when he's in town. He found his dad. He found his place in life and I'm happy for him. I really am. I never wanted to hurt him...it just sorta happened in the process. It's just...he hurt me so badly, that I couldn't help but retaliate.

They tell me to let it all go, to just get over it. How can I when I'm reminded of it every fucking time I look in the mirror? I am a freak. I'm deformed and I'll never be me again. I see that hair and those eyes - her eyes - staring at me from my face with that scar that he gave me...it all comes back to me. It floods my mind and I just can't take it anymore. They took away everything that's reflective and shiny. All I have are dull colors and dull surfaces.

And he walks in, all shiny and new looking. It makes me want him all the more.

It makes me want him to end it more than it makes me want him. I've never thought I'd stoop to suicide - I had always scoffed at people who attempted it. At the people who succeeded in it. I understand now. I never thought death would seem like a better option than living.

And believe me, anything is better than having Big Bubba wanting to be your new friend.

They keep me in solitary confinement now - I've had seven attempts on my life and I've tried to take it just as many. I wanted them to kill me - I never fought back. I took what they gave and came this close to asking for more. He made them take me away. He didn't like seeing me in here, but Daddy Loire wouldn't let him take me out of prison. Loire said I was too dangerous, that I'd hurt someone.

No I wouldn't - just myself.

When I was younger I could see myself in the future - I could see myself doing something big, bein...someone. Someone who mattered. Now I can't see anything. Maybe if he'd just take pity...

"I always thought you couldn't stand the thought of people pitying you, Seifer." His voice was careful and calm. It always was.

"This isn't me. Not anymore," I told him. It had been nearly a month since his last visit and I had heard the guards talking about the construction of a new Garden - one right here in Esthar.

"You want me to kill you?"

"I should have died back there...in a way, I did. Just finish what you started..." I was so close to begging, but Seifer Almasy didn't beg. But if I was right and Seifer had died back there...who was I? I still had the height, and some of the build that I used to have. But the spirit was gone. I was a shell. And a crazy one, at that.

"I don't want you to die," replied.

"Please, Squall...end it." There, I had done it. I begged.

"I'm...I'm working on getting you out of here. Dr. Kadowaki looked at your latest tests and said that your mental health was improving - that you can leave soon..." Squall looked kinda hopeful at the news. I scowled at him.

"I don't want to leave," I told him. If the kind of reaction I got here while around a bunch of criminals who barely heard anything about the Second Sorceress War...I could only imagine what kind of reaction I would get out in the real world. And my imagination terrified me. It haunted me with thoughts and images and voices and I just couldn't take it anymore. "They'll kill me out there."

"I thought you wanted to die," Squall said carefully.

"Not like that. Nobody should die like that - you should do it. It's only fitting." I looked at him, my eyes boring holes into his until he finally looked away. I didn't blink. I didn't really need to. "You should have done it when I gave you that scar. You shouldn't have gotten back at me, you should have slit my throat."

"That's not my style," Squall tossed back.

"No, it's mine. Do it - you know you want to. Nobody would blame you. Hyne, they'd probably throw a party in your honor." He moved to the bars where I stood, my bony hands gripping the metal.

"Nobody hates you. They know what she did to you - that she used you."

"No, she offered me everything. I merely took her up on her offer," I hissed.

"She got in your head!" he exploded. "She warped you and twisted you and used you."

"And I loved every minute of it. To have that kind of power licking it's way through my body...it was like sex only constant. The pleasure curled in my veins and went straight to my nerves and numbed my mind. She told me to kill and I did it without a second thought because I'd have more power, more pleasure." I was snarling at him, my face twisted and he stood there, staring at me with cold dead eyes. Eyes that I once was able to make every emotion known to man shine through. "I tortured you for that power."

"Yes you did. And you've expressed enormous amounts of regret and remorse for your actions," Squall replied. "You wept for a week straight. You begged for forgiveness. And tried to kill yourself the day after you got it. I don't hate you, Seifer."

"You should," I hissed.

"But I don't. You need help - more than you can get in here."

"I'll kill you if you let me out."

"Then kill me."

We stared at each other for what felt like hours, but was probably only a few seconds. He knew I wouldn't really kill him - I didn't have the strength for it anymore. I probably wouldn't even be able to lift Hyperion anymore. I broke my gaze from his beautiful face to stare at the floor. He turned away from me - I couldn't blame him - and walked to the end of the hall. There was a blanket there, thick and gray. It looked warm.

"What's that?" I asked. He shook his head and walked back to my cell.

"The...the guards will be gone today. I asked them to give us some privacy." He sounded like he wanted to cry. I never saw him cry before. I cocked my head to the side and he slipped the blanket between the bars. "I...I'm going to go now." I held onto the thick fabric, feeling something wrapped in the soft cloth. It was Lionheart - his gunblade. Frowning at him, I let the blanket fall and held onto the weapon with both hands. Hyne it was heavy. "I could never kill you. I love you too much and you mean too much to me. But you're right...you're...you're not you anymore."


He turned his back to me and I felt tears well up in my eyes. "Hyperion's safe - I'll guard her and keep her in good condition. Lionheart will be buried with you. I already have the gravesite picked out. And what the headstone will say."

He was giving me an out. A way to end it all. I sagged onto the bed, my eyes burning. I could see my reflection in the blue-gray steel. I looked like shit. My eyes were red and glistening and my skin was pale and sickly looking. There were dark shadows under my eyes and my lips were pale and cracked.

"Thank you," I whispered. He nodded jerkily and strode to the end of the hall. He was leaving. "Squall?" I knew he wouldn't turn around, but I also knew he would stop, hoping that I'd ask to come with him, to live. He knew I wouldn't. "I love you too."

Oblivion came shortly after I watched him leave - I had to watch him go, just had to. Like I said, I was a slave to watching him. But a slave no longer. Because I was finally free.

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