Authors Notes: Shorter than the last chapter. Sorry it's been so long since the last update. School troubles.

Pleasantly Depressed

Chapter 5 - Of Bedrooms and Nicknames

By Skandranon

Despite all his bruises, Irvine was still chuckling as they reached the door to Squall's room. He couldn't help it. It was just too funny.

The way Selphie had broken down the door when she had heard the word 'horizontal', taking the reinforced steel out with a single shot of Meteor. The look of sweet, innocent confusion in her eyes when she saw them. He had seen the puzzlement and questions running through the back of her brain as she tried to figure out the situation. Then she had smiled sweetly and giggled. "What happened Squall, did Irvine trip? The klutz."

Yeah, there was no way her husband-in-training could have been enjoying being lain upon by a rather attractive man. Nothing to be jealous about. Surely there's a reasonable explanation. Despite that she didn't even give him the benefit of the doubt over that blond whatsername, and he hadn't even enjoyed that.

Well, okay, maybe a little.

And she had completely bought his bull, believing every word when he explained how Squall had already been on the Deck, and Irvine had tried to get him to leave so he could have alone time with his love, and how Squall had tripped over the CD player and knocked them both down. Irvine had hinted that Squall might be a little drunk, and Selphie, like a responsible adult, had sent Irvine to escort him back to his room. "We can do this another time, honey," she had said. Hadn't she been mad at him that morning? That girl and her mood swings.

Squall had been silent the entire trip, quiet in a still way that almost set Irvine on edge. Or it might have been the recent events that were putting him on edge. Either way, Squall was not behaving like a person who was glad he hadn't committed suicide. He looked more like he was sulking.

The door chimed in an aggravating tone as it opened on a dark room. Sidling in, Irvine casually checked behind him to make sure Squall was still there. He wasn't sure he could trust the leather clad stud to not run off and throw himself in front of a train or car or-and he did NOT just call Squall a stud.

After a moment's hesitation, Squall stalked into the room and proceeded to search every corner for some unknown artifact. Considering how clean and Spartan his room was, there weren't many places to check. Irvine looked on in curiosity as Squall finally pulled out a pill bottle from underneath his pillows and fumbled with the cap. Did Squall have a backache like him? Maybe he was smarting from the bruises where the door had hit them after- holy hynelights, that was far too many pills to take! And even more were going down the Commander's throat as he watched.

Marching over, Irvine snagged the bottle and chucked it across the room, where it made an unappealing hollow 'thunk'. "What in the name of Ultima do you think you're doing?! I just got you off that balcony and now you've gone and done this! These aren't Tylenol, you know! You really want to die, fine, I can't stop you, but don't do it while I'm in the room!" Pause, breathe, rant some more. "Sweet Trinity, how many did you take? You better be able to heave those back up, or I'm dragging you down to Kadowaki to get your stomach pumped. You idiot! Overdosing isn't exactly the best way to go, you know. If you're adamant about suicide, you were probably better off with the balcony, or a gun to your head, or... " pause, "...what?"

...And Squall was giving him a look of utter confusion. One more for the tally of 'Facial Expressions I've Seen on Squall Today'.

Irvine was more than a little ticked at this point. All his efforts, wasted at the first opportunity. Still, he had to keep in mind that Squall was suicidal, and shouldn't be pushed. "Now, I'm trying not to get upset here, so I just want to know one thing. Why the hell did you do that?!" Okay, maybe a little pushing wouldn't hurt. Get through that thick skull of his.

Squall opened his mouth as if to reply, then stopped, then started again. "I have a headache."

Oh, a headache...a headache? He took all that, for a headache?! "So not buying that, Mr. Perfect. Try again."

And add annoyed stubbornness to the tally. "I do. And don't call me that."

Irvine forced his hands to stay by his side and not pop Squall one over the head. "Yeah, sure, you took about two dozen pills for a headache. Either you have a tumor, or you're lying through your teeth. And I'll call you whatever the hell I want, Mr. Suicidal Aggravating Perfect Commander Handsome Dude Leonhart Person! I just saved your life back there, and I'm a little pissed off that you don't even appreciate the effort."

Squall looked as if he was about to argue, but then he froze with a look of... um, yeah, Irvine had never seen that expression in his life, so he had no idea what it might mean. Squall blinked, and frowned, and blinked, and... "Did you just call me handsome?"

What? No he didn't... oh fuck, he did. "Um, no?"

Stalking into his room, the sniper hot on his trail, Squall immediately began scouring every corner for his missing pill bottle. He knew he had a large one hidden somewhere that he used to refill his carry-around bottle...ah, there it was. Almost empty, too, he needed a new one soon. Hadn't he just bought this one a week ago? Nevermind, he had the grandfather of all agony churning in his head, and he needed relief now. Dumping a good sized handful into his palm, he chugged them down quickly. Would that be enough? His tolerance was getting higher every day, and lately the pain was worse than every before... ah, fuck it. He upended the entire bottle into his mouth and started swallowing.

Just as he finished the last mouthful, the bottle was suddenly knocked out of his hand. Opening his eyes in surprise, Squall found himself facing a very angry-looking Irvine. Why would Irvine do that? The bottle was empty now anyways, and he wasn't likely to die from an overdose anytime soon, since he was used to taking so many...and Kinneas seemed upset about something, maybe it had to do with Selphie showing up on the balcony...why had she shown up, anyway? Maybe Irvine invited her there for something...and his mouth was moving. Dangit, Irvine was talking to him, and he couldn't hear him over the ringing in his ears. Why hadn't he noticed Irvine was talking? If Shiva was here, she would have pointed it out for me. Strange, to find out how much I depended on her. When did I start needing her to tell me if people are talking to me? Seems like that would be something a person can do on their own. After all...wait, is Irvine waiting for me to say something?

Yes, it looked like he was. Squall had no idea what to say, but before he could think of something, Irvine began talking again, at a lower, less vicious volume, and Squall was relieved to discover that he could hear him again. "Now, I'm trying not to get upset here, so I just want to know one thing. Why the hell did you do that?!"

Why the hell did he do what? Oh, Irvine probably meant why did he swallow the whole bottle of pills. Well, what was he supposed to say? Because, Irvine, I have been suffering from massive headaches for as long as I can remember, and I've no idea why, and right now I've got the worse headache of my entire life, and I think it's affecting my hearing. Squall opened his mouth to say just that, then paused. Better edit that down a bit. "I have a headache."

Irvine looked relieved for a moment, then he did a double take. He actually did a double take. And it was funny as hell to watch. The controlled rage seeped into Irvine's expression again, and he crossed his arms in a way that declared he wanted a full answer and it better be good. "So not buying that, Mr. Perfect. Try again."

Well, what was I supposed to say? It's the truth. The shortened version, maybe, but true all the same. Besides, it's none of his damn business. Did he just call me Mr. Perfect? Strange nickname, but I suppose it's better than Puberty Boy. It's still worse than Ice Prince, though. "I do. And don't call me that." It's not that bad a nickname, really, though it would be better without the Mr. prefix. Why Mr.? Why not, Sir, or The Perfect Something Or Other, such as The Perfect Gunblader, or The Perfect...Leonhart, or... I dunno. It's hard to think up nicknames for yourself, and no one will call you by whatever you make up anyway, so what's the point? Damn, I'm thinking a lot. Is Irvine saying something?

"...Handsome Dude Leonhart Person! I just saved your life back there, and I'm a little pissed off that you don't even appreciate the effort."

Appreciate? Appreciate?! I wanted to jump, damnit! He screwed the whole thing up, and I can't even trust him not to tell Kadowaki! It'll get put on my permanent record, and she'll give me a mandatory vacation, and make me see a fucking shrink! ...Damnit! Squall opened his mouth to say just that, and screw the editing, when the first part of what he heard registered. Handsome Dude Leonhart Person? Okay, that was the oddest sentence...half-sentence, I've ever heard Irvine say. Did he just call me handsome? He thinks I'm handsome. No, maybe he was talking about someone else...but he said Leonhart. He thinks I'm handsome? Why the hell would he call me a dude? He's a Galbadian, for crying out loud, they don't say dude. He thinks I'm handsome? He needs to cut down on the adjectives. Three is way too many for one noun, especially when the noun is person... he thinks I'm handsome? Squall was vaguely aware that he was supposed to be upset, horrified, or... something, but mainly he felt... he had no idea what he was feeling, but if he had to name it, he would name it... numbly flattered. Rinoa's the only one's that ever called me handsome before. And I couldn't really trust her judgment on the matter. After all, she left me for Zone. Irvine thinks I'm handsome? "Did you just call me handsome?"

And Irvine looked like a chocobo in the headlights. "Um, no?"

Oh. Damn, got all worked up over a miscommunication...waitaminute... Squall put one hand on his hip and glared at the other man accusingly. "Yes you did."

"No I didn't."

"Yes you did."

Irvine's face took on that eager honest look it got whenever he was trying to lie to someone but knew they could see right through him. "No, I didn't. You didn't hear me right. Besides, it's not important. What's important is that you just swallowed... sweet Hyne, we need to get them out of you quick. Can you make yourself throw up?"

Sure, whenever the headaches are accompanied by nausea, it always makes me feel a bit better to throw up, but I'm not about to tell you that. "Yes. And don't change the subject. You called me handsome."

Irvine grabbed Squall's arm and began pushing him towards the bathroom rather insistently. "That's not important right now. You get in there and you heave those back up."

Squall leaned into the pushing, remaining as firmly planted as he could, considering that Irvine was taller and more muscular than him. His shoes began sliding along, squealing as they went. "Yes it is. You think I'm handsome?"

"Damnit Squall, not now! Go throw up!"

This is most ridiculous conversation I've ever had. Not including that time I had to convince Selphie that I would make a terrible merman. Now that was freaky. "The pills aren't going to hurt me. Answer the question."

"You throw up, then I'll answer the fucking question!"

They had made gradual progress across the room, and were at the doorway of the bathroom now. There was a little ridge of wood on the floor that marked the threshold... Squall didn't know what it was called, but whatever its name, he had his feet planted against its side. Irvine couldn't slide him along any further. It helped a bit that Squall had both his hands gripping the doorframe. "Answer the question, then I'll throw up."

"Throw up first!"



"No!" Push.

"YES!" Shove.

"NO!" Push more.

"YES!!" Shove more.

And the door to the hall said, "Man, I wish I had a camera."

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