Disclaimer: I'm hyper. Wait, that should be in the warnings, right? Uh, okay. I don't own these guys.

Warnings: Shounen-ai, much OOC-ness, and some swearing. Cliches abound. Did I mention my own particular brand of humour? Yup, you'd better run.

Operation 'Rivals in Love'

By Balinese no Neko

"You don't have to tell me, Squall," Rinoa said, sniffing sadly. "I . . . I already know you and I aren't meant to be. I know your heart already belongs to another. I'm sorry for trying to keep you away from him." She pointed dramatically to the door. "Go. Find him. Confess to him your love and bring him back." She heaved a watery sigh. "I—I'll be all right, don't worry about me."

Squall twitched. "What are you talking about?" he asked carefully.

The brunette's wide eyes beseeched him to just get on with it. "Go," she intoned, still pointing. "Go find Seifer and bring him . . . home."

"First off, I can't even do that. And second, I don't think Seifer's in the bathroom." Rinoa quickly redirected her finger. "Nor my closet, although that's certainly where you'd think he'd be."

"Oh, for heaven's sake, Squall!" she burst out. "Just go to him, already! I know you love him and I know he loves you!" She developed the starry-eye syndrome. "Two rivals, outwardly eternally at odds, inwardly burning with unrequited love and passion." She sighed dreamily before abruptly returning to business. She stalked forward, jabbing a finger into Squall's chest. "You two are far more destined than we are, so go find him, rent a hotel room, screw his brains out, and I don't want to see you back here without a hickey or a love bite or something."

Squall just stared at her for a few moments, speechless. "This wouldn't have anything to do with all those manga Selphie just gave you, would it?" She blushed and he nodded. "Thought so. Well, sorry to break it to you, you have it all wrong. Besides," he added as an afterthought, "I already have plans for tonight."

"Cancel them," she said unfeelingly. "I'll make sure they understand." She flexed her fingers ominously and, on cue, a bolt of lightning illuminated the room, casting a frightening silhouette of angel wings on the wall behind her. Thunder growled, heightening the dramatic tension.

"No." The miraculously appearing clouds disappeared as if they had never been and the sun was allowed to shine brightly again.

Rinoa sagged. "Please?"


It was time to play her trump card. "Fujin was just telling me that he's been . . . moping a lot lately." She made large, pitiful eyes at him. "You owe it to him to keep him from doing anything stupid. Drag him back to Garden! Kicking and screaming if necessary!"

Squall glared. "When did you ever talk to Fujin?" he bit out.

The brunette tittered nervously, smoothing her hands down her vest. "Oh, we met last summer, didn't you know? She tells me everything." He snorted and she frowned. "Okay, so she yells a lot of one word sentences at me. That better?"

"Not really."

She tossed her head. "Just go and get him already, will you?"

"No. He's perfectly fine where he is. When he wants to come back, he can, but he has to come."

She tried reasoning with him. She tried wiggling her fingers at him. She tried pouting at him. She tried throwing a royal tantrum and calling him a meanie. Heck, she even tried to find some stairs so she could kick him down them. But it was all for nothing. Squall stood firm by his decision.

Squall's office was just what he wanted. It was small, functional, and—this was very important to him—hard to find. Which was why he was surprised when someone knocked on his door. He debated staying silent in hopes that they would think they had the wrong room or staying silent in hopes of getting the message across that he didn't want to be disturbed. Before he could decide, the door whooshed open and a yellow whirlwind blew inside.

"Squall! You'll never guess who I ran into while he was on the way to Garden to ask if he could come back!"

Squall blinked at the overenthusiastic girl leaning over his desk, her green eyes bright with mischief. Then he groaned and lowered his head to his hand. "Not again," he muttered. "What is it with you people?"

Selphie leaned even closer. "You look like you've been down lately," she whispered conspiratorially. "So I thought maybe having your arch rival back would get the ice in your veins moving again." She waggled her eyebrows suggestively. "And cheer you up, of course."

"Selphie," he said wearily, "I don't go around giving free shows to yaoi fangirls."

The girl drew back in false surprise. "Why, Squall, I'm ashamed you'd think something of me! I'll have you know that I'm as innocent as . . . as . . . ."

"As Irvine?" he suggested dryly. "As those manga you smuggled into Rinoa's bookcase so she'd read them and help you with your little plan? That innocent?"

"Squall Leonhart, what's gotten into you?"

"Nothing," he said, smoothing his face into the expressionless wasteland he cultivated for diplomacy, fighting, and beating the pants off everyone in poker. Literally.

She pouted. "Well, something should," she declared.

Squall sighed in exasperation. "For the last time, Seifer and I aren't going to have a mad, passionate, yet unbelievably tender and fulfilling, secret relationship filled with lots of sweaty male sex just to make you happy, all right? And stop bothering Seifer. When he wants to come back, he's more than welcome to." He turned back to his paperwork. A few minutes later, he glanced up, annoyed that the brunette hadn't left yet. "Selphie, get your mind out of the gutter and stop drooling all over my carpet."

"Yo, Squall, s'up?"

Squall cringed and wondered if he could conceivable hurry up the line in front of him enough that he could rush out of the cafeteria with his lunch before Zell caught up to him. No such luck.

"Squall! You okay, man?" The blond clapped him on the shoulder, peering with some concern up at him. "Ya didn't answer me."

"I've never answered you before, Zell, what difference does today make?" he muttered.

Zell scratched the back of his head, puzzled. "Yeah, I guess you're right. Hey, what's with that anyway?" Squall pointedly stared at the back of the person in front of him in the line and didn't answer. "Nemmind, then. You'll never guess who I just saw!" The short blond started vibrating with anger.

"You saw Seifer," Squall said flatly, his lips twisting just a little.

"Say what? Hey, how'd ya know?"

Squall felt his lips twist even further. How had he known? Gee, could it have had something to do with Rinoa trying to bully him into finding Seifer? Or maybe a hint had been dropped when Selphie had invaded his office and told him, point-blank, that she had bullied Seifer into coming to Garden. "You're vibrating," was what he said.

"Huh? Whatcha talking about?"

Squall gestured at his clenched fists. "You met Seifer and he called you Chicken-wuss. That made you see red and you're still angry enough that you're shaking."

The blond frowned. "It coulda been something else!" he protested indignantly.

"Uh-huh, yeah, right, I believe you."

Zell shrugged. "Believe what you want. I just wanted to, you know, tell you that It's all right with me that Seifer's around again. I mean, it's not quite all right, but I'm not even going to try to come between you, so, you know, just in case you were wondering or anything, I'm behind you all the way, and I will cheerfully pound into the ground anyone who has a problem with your relationship. Or the one you're gonna have, anyway. Just so, I guess, you two know I'm not freaked out by this or anything. I mean, it isn't my choice of lifestyle, of course, but I ain't judging you or anythin'."

Squall stopped dead. "Zell," he began carefully, "what, exactly, are you talking about?" A moment's thought had him raising his hand to stop whatever explanation might be forthcoming. "On second thought, shut up and leave me alone."

"T'ch! Fine, be like that." And with that, the blond wandered off. "Try to be nice to a guy, try to tell him you're open-minded and junk, and this is the thanks I get."

Squall stalked the halls, looking for one particular blonde head in particular. "Quistis," he growled, standing stiffly in the doorway of a handy classroom, "you'd better not have had anything to do with any of this!"

The blonde Instructor looked up from grading papers in surprise. "Wha—?" Then she nodded knowingly. "Ah, I see what you're saying." Then she shrugged. "Sorry, Squall, blame Irvine and his 'Radar of Luuuuuurve'." Her imitation of the cowboy's drawl was uncannily accurate. "I tried to tell them, but they didn't listen."

With a sigh, Squall came all the way into the classroom and took a seat in one of the chairs, slumping forward and thunking his head against the console. "Make them leave me alone . . . ."

"Sorry, Squall, no can do." Quistis calmly picked up another assignment and started grading it. "I've been sworn to secrecy about what they're doing and I've also been banned from interfering. That's what I get for trying to stick up for you and Seifer."

"Please? I'll . . . I'll give you a kiss!"

The blonde snickered. "Thanks, but when I said I loved you like a sister, that's exactly what I meant." She shuddered delicately. "Kissing my 'brother' isn't quite my thing."

"Traitor," Squall muttered into the desk.

"Calling me names isn't going to convince me to help you. Now, I suggest you tell them the truth; that should get them off your back."

"But . . . but . . . ."

"No but's, Commander. Tell them the truth, or, Hyne help me, I will."

Squall lifted his head to glare at her before shoving himself out of the chair and stalking out the door. "Traitor," he muttered again.

"I heard that, Squall Leonhart!"

"He's being difficult," Selphie said, crossing her arms and sulking.

"They both are," Rinoa corrected her.

Zell punched the floor. "Well, what do we do now?" he burst out. "They're not cooperating! They have to cooperate if we want to get them together!"

Rinoa frowned. "Are we doing the right thing, guys?" she asked hesitantly. "I mean, Squall wasn't anything near encouraging when I approached him about it. Maybe we should leave them alone."

"Bah," Selphie said dismissively, flipping her hand. "If we left them alone they'd take months to get together." Her eyes widened as she thought of something. "Maybe even years!" She crossed over to Rinoa and reached up to sling her arm over Rinoa's shoulders. "C'mon, this's what's best for them, right?" Rinoa nodded reluctantly. "Of course it is! So we're just going to have to keep at it until they give in to the inevitable and start having hot, sweaty, male sex together!"

"Easy there, Sephie," Irvine said, half-laughing. "Trust me, they will, darling, and I have just the plan to do it."

Zell snorted. "Your last plan had me called 'Chicken-wuss'," he muttered. "I don't see why I had to be the one to meet Mr. Ego."

"C'mon, Zell, this is a good plan," Irvine wheedled. "I promise! And you guys won't even have to do much. I'll be doing most of the work. Okay?"

"Well . . . . Maybe. Let's hear it."

Irvine grinned and leaned forward. "Now, this is what we have to do . . . ."

"And that's your plan?" Zell asked in disbelief, rearing back as soon as Irvine had finished outlining his 'master plan'.

"Do you have a better plan? No? Then that settles it."

"You're the one taking all the blame for this one," Rinoa said with a shrug. "It's okay with me." The other two, after a moment to think about it, agreed.

The cowboy rubbed his hands together. "Right. Then let's get started, people. Operation 'Rivals in Love' is now under way."

Squall quite firmly pressed the button that would shut the door right in Irvine's face. After being talked at for an hour straight on the pros and cons of every lubricant on the market, and quite a few that weren't, he was more than sick and tired of the cowboy's voice.

"Come on, Squall, I'm just trying to help you with your life!" Irvine's muffled voice said through the door. Squall growled and viciously stabbed the button again.

"Then stay out of it, for Hyne's sake!" he shouted, making the other man draw back, before shutting the door again. He turned around and leaned back against it, trying to gently massage his headache away.

"I guess this means dinner's off."

Squall cracked an eye open and glared at the person in his chair.. "Damned straight," he said, scowling. "You'd better not've been encouraging them."

Seifer set the appointment book back down, leaned back in the chair, and propped his feet up on the desk. "Don't worry, I didn't." He started gently swinging the chair from side to side. "This wouldn't've happened if you'd just told them you were already involved," he pointed out.

"They didn't ask," he ground out. "I would've been more than happy to tell them if they'd just asked." He strode forward. "Excuse me, I have a call to make." He leaned over the blond and stabbed a series of numbers into the phone.

"You have reached Irvine's Line of Luuuuuuurve. Press one if you want a date with the master. Press two if you have a question you want Irvine's help with. Press three if you want to leave a message. Press 'call end' if you're a jealous boyfriend/girlfriend looking for revenge and wait for the dial tone. Press 69 to talk to the great master of luuuuuurve himself." Squall rolled his eyes and pressed 69. "Please hold. Irvine will take you call as soon as he is able to."

"Who're you calling and why couldn't it wait?" Seifer asked lazily, tugging gently at the Griever pendant. Squall batted his hand away irritably.

"Irvine and I want to know what he's up to now instead of later when it could embarrass us all that much more."

"Are you saying I'm embarrassing?" Seifer asked, affecting surprise.

"You're not. He is." Squall eyed the blond. Then the line clicked and Irvine's voice came on the line. "Irvine, what the hell are you planning?!"

"Now, now, Commander, it's nothing embarrassing. I just locked you and Seifer in there."

Squall suddenly became very, very calm. Seifer suddenly became very, very still. If he was careful, he just might escape notice of a Leonhart looking for rampage.

"Just how long are we locked in here for."

"Only until you guys have sex," Irvine assured him hurriedly. "Don't worry about meals or anything, we'll make sure you get food."

"I see. And this is not embarrassing how?"

"Selphie's not getting access to the cameras to your office and there's no tape in them," Irvine replied promptly. A faint cry of "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?! But Irvy, you promised!" could be heard in the background.

"Irvine. Remind me to kill you." And Squall hung up the phone.

"So what's the verdict?" the blond asked tentatively.

"We're stuck in here until we have sex."

A smile curved the other's lips. "Not a problem. Shall we get down to it? I'm a hungry boy and you promised to buy me supper."

Squall smirked. "They said they'd be bringing us meals," he said. His smirk grew wider as Seifer's smile did.

"Well, we don't have to tell them, do we now?" the blond murmured, reaching forward.

"Not yet."

Selphie kicked the door. "Room service!" she yelled, scowling. Prohibited from watching Squall and Seifer fulfill all of her yaoi fangirl fantasies, she wasn't the smiling bundle of cheer she normally was. She kicked harder at the door. "Open up already!"

There was a thump on the other side of the door before it slid open to reveal a slightly disheveled Seifer. "Uh, hey, thanks for the food, Selphie." He reached forward and tried to grab the tray away from her. She held onto it and stared at him suspiciously.

"You haven't had sex yet, have you?" she asked, narrowing her eyes.

"Um, no, why would you think that?" The blond forced a laugh.

"Your hair's a mess and you're wearing Squall's pants."

His eyes looked a little wild. "No, I'm not!"

"Of course you are!" the brunette insisted. She pointed down. "See? Those are too short for you! And I can see where Squall's belts have rubbed the fabric!"

"Um, okay, maybe you're right. But we haven't had sex yet. Right, Squall?"

There was a low chuckle. "Of course," the other man agreed. Selphie tried to peer around the man in front of her to catch a glimpse of Squall. Seifer quickly moved to block her view. Her forehead wrinkled.

"Heeeey, you're not lying to me, are you?"

Seifer laughed uneasily. "Now why would we do that?" He jerked the tray out of her grasp, stepped back, and shut the door. "Thanks for the food!"

"Maybe we should just tell them we're already together," Seifer muttered, setting the tray down on the desk.

Squall came up behind him and wrapped his arms around the other's waist. "But then we wouldn't be locked in my office," he purred into Seifer's ear.

"Well . . . . There is that."

"Seifeeer . . . ."

"Mmmm, yes, Squaaall?"

"You . . . you didn't come back to Garden jsut because they bothered you, did you?" Squall sounded incredibly hesitant.

"Mmm, that bothering you?" The blond turned around and captured Squall in his arms. "Nope. I'd already decided to come back. Waiting the half hour for you to drive to Balamb was getting to be a pain when I was horny."

Squall looked up into the green eyes, searching for what Seifer wasn't saying. Satisfied, he leaned his head forward and tucked it under the taller man's chin. "I'm glad."

"Hmmm, then maybe I should've done it a long time ago."




Author's Note:

*grins* I'd like to take credit for this idea, but I can't. Let us just say that it's truly an ill wind that blows no good. ^^ I'd also like to take credit for actually being hyper enough to actually write, but sadly, my last sugar rush was due to end three hours before I started writing this. Le sigh.

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