I'm sorry this took so long!! >.< Bad Kafers! I've been so busy with my exam's *cough* *cough* and other things, I haven't even had time to think of my poor fic ::hugs::. But good news: I now how this is going to end, yay! I've planned each chapter from here on (hopefully they all won't be as boring as I found this one >.<;;), and man, is it going to get interesting or what! Mwhahaha.... Ahem, and if we didn't need any more confusion about the pairing, here's (real) Chapter 3:
Chapter 3 - Dear dear diary
Frigg: foremost of the goddesses, wife of Odin, mother of Baldur - Snorri Sturluson's Edda
When Squall walked home that night, he was more miserable than he'd been in a long time. His gut grumbled with hunger and other anxieties, least of all a deep feeling of failure and depression.
The good things in his life seemed to fade into the background as he contemplated his worthlessness, hive total lack of confidence. He would never get what he wanted.
These thoughts clogged his mind as he passed a group of ducks in the park, ignoring them as they waddled towards the river. Since it was September, the dark hours came early, and the street lights where already on. The moon was out, half-cast, but the light of the stars was blocked by the artificial lights of the city, out for the night at some local bar. The noise of drunken partiers and clubbers followed Squall all the way home, but he was used to that.
Down by the river was slightly quieter, the image of the moon waning and waxing in the quicksilver surface of the water. Squall stood for a moment to observe a family of swans swim straight through the image of the moon, splitting it into a million pieces.
Irvine first got the feeling that something was wrong when Squall entered the house without shouting a greeting. His morose appearance and hunched back made Irvine sit up and take notice, as a dark cloud seemed to follow Squall into the sitting room.
Irvine's second clue was when - instead of sitting down on the sofa to watch a bit of TV with his flatmate - Squall made for the kitchen. Since it was Irvine's turn to make dinner, this didn't really make a lot of sense, and Squall never ate until the proper mealtime. He wasn't really a snacker, like Irvine, and was quite slim because of it.
However, Squall had never been happy with the way he looked. He body was all sharp edges and harsh lines, his face angular to a point. A lot of people described his features as pretty - Squall saw them as weak. When he looked in the mirror, he didn't see any reason why Seifer should like him. His muscles weren't anything to brag about, his face was marked with a horrid red birthmark, and his lips were always bleeding because he bit them so often. He'd had many problems with his self image through his life - he had been both anorexic and bulimic, but those days where long over, and he always carefully monitored the amount he ate everyday. And Irvine, out of a brotherly consideration, always watched to make sure Squall was ok.
Today he definitely wasn't ok.
Irvine's third and final clue was when Squall, head bent and face shadowed, came out of the kitchen clutching a whole packet of MacVities chocolate digestive biscuits, went into his room, and slammed the door behind him.
Irvine hesitated only a moment before getting up slowly to follow him.
No lights in the flat were turned on, so the corridor leading to Squall's room was quite dark, apart from the pale blue glow of the TV. Laughter could be heard coming from a program Irvine had been watching, but he ignored all that as he placed his head next to Squall's bedroom door.
He rapped once, "Squall? Hey, Squall, are you in there?" he spoke softly, suddenly realizing how dumb he sounded. Of course Squall was in his room, he'd seen him walk in!
Ignoring the fact that he was a complete retard, Irvine tried not to break the moment and twisted the knob very slowly, easing the door open a crack.
Squall was sitting on his bed, the only light in his room from a mismatched lamp on his bedside table, one he'd gotten at a car boot sale. The harsh light from the lamp cast half of his face in a dramatic shadow, making his body almost disappear into the darkness. In the time it had taken Irvine to come find Squall, he had already changed out of his uniform and into an old pair of jeans and jumper. The jumper was a dirty orange, totally swamping Squall's small frame, bits of thread sticking out at odd angles, as if the jumper had seen better days. A book, which Irvine supposed was Squall's diary, was balanced in his lap, a chocolate biscuit poised as if he had been in the act of lifting it to take a bite.
Squall managed a half hearted angry glare as Irvine's head poked around his door frame, splitting the floor with a line of blue light from the hall.
Squall gave Irvine look. "Go away" he said shortly.
Irvine was not so easily deterred. He was used to Squall acting like a complete anti-social git, because that’s just the way he was. He'd always taken Squall's abruptness for granted, never really wondering why he was like that. Sure, he knew about the orphanage, but the details of that were sketchy and patched, and Squall never really talked about what it had been like there. Irvine had never seen Squall cry.
Hit by a sudden wave of nostalgia, Irvine ducked his head and pushed the door open, ignoring Squall's face as his frown deepened. Walking as casually as his long legs would allow, Irvine crossed the room and bounced onto the bed next to Squall.
Squall squawked. "Irvine! Do you mind!" he grabbed a handful of duvet cover as he glared at his flatmate.
Irvine just grinned, "Not at all buddy," he shuffled to make himself more comfortable. "So, what is it? Bad day at work? I keep telling you man, that job sucks, you should go-"
"Irvine! Just leave it, ok." Squall fumed, "can't you see I'm not in the mood?"
"Hey, hey" Irvine lifted his hands in a kind of peace offering gesture, "touchy, touchy. I was only wonderin', Mr. Doom-and-Gloom." he lowered his hands and regarded Squall more seriously, "what's up with you today? You seem all, I don't know, miserable and junk. Can't you just tell me what's wrong?"
Squall snorted and looked away, "never let it be said you have tact, Irvine..."
"Oi! Don't get off the subject. What's wrong?"
"Like hell!" Irvine's hands flew up in expiration, "I know you Squall," he said, pointing an accusing finger at his friend, "and I know what you’re like. Don't avoid the subject, 'cause you know I won't give up - so why don't you just tell me what's wrong, and, surprise, surprise, I may even be able to help you." he regarded Squall with eyes that suggested he would force the truth out of him anyway if he didn't comply.
Squall simply raised an eyebrow. "Oh really?" he looked away again. "Look, it isn't anything important, or anything you could help me with, so, just go away please"
"Arg!" Irvine exclaimed, clutching his head, and Squall had to hide the little smile that quirked his lips.
Irvine was about to have another go at Squall when a pillow hit him square in the face.
"Murph!" said the pillow as Irvine stumbled backwards. Squall's little smile become a grin as Irvine shook himself like a ruffled goose, face changing from anger to the promise of a challenge in mere seconds. "Alright, you ask for it you, great big poofe-"
Irvine was cut short as another pillow hit his face. Squall was in peals of laughter at the look of indignation of Irvine's face.
"Nice to know my complete humiliation cheers you up so, YOU SCOUNDREL!" he yelled, pouncing on Squall and bashing him with both pillows at once.
"Stop! Irvine! No fair!" Squall yelled between chokes of laughter and gasps of breath. Kicking Irvine in the stomach - "oof! Foul!" - Squall sprang away, grabbing a third pillow from off of the bed. Now standing triumphantly over Irvine, Squall let him have it.
In a flurry of feathers, all three pillows were destroyed as both men tried to desecrate each other. Squall's and Irvine's laughter filled the room, and they both collapsed in a heap of limbs and torn fabric in the middle of the bed.
It was about five minutes later Irvine sat up, and blinked his eyes back into focus. Squall stretched like a cat, popping his shoulder with a very satisfactory crunch, then glanced at the clock. It was 6:48.
"Hey Squall?" Irvine had turned around and was facing his flatmate, a mischievous quirk on his lips.
"Huh? Wha?" said Squall intelligently, inhaling deeply and blinking as he regarded Irvine.
"Come on," Irvine's face split into a grin as he jumped up from the bed and grabbed Squall's sleeve "I know exactly what you need. Follow moi!"
"Oh god, what now? I thought you were supposed to leave me alone..." Squall protested feebly as he was lead from the bed towards the dark hall. He tried to shake Irvine off, but his resolve was weakened, and he let himself be dragged across the room, feeling all the more like someone had dumped a stone in his stomach.
"You wait Squall, I'll have you pepped up and ready in no time. Just you and me, we're gonna have a great time-" Squall opened his mouth to speak as they entered Irvine's room, but he was cut off as Irvine flicked the light on "-There's gonna be the best gig ever down at The Odin, (you know the one, right?), with Chris and his band, best in York if you ask me, and I'm sure I can introduce you to some of the ladies..."
Irvine still like to pretend that Squall was not totally averse to female's - the words "I would rather be a toad, then go out with a woman" seemed to sail right over his head as he tried to maintain a blissful ignorance. Squall was sure Irvine would have no other reason for living if he couldn't womanize, and to him, turning down a good woman was practically blasphemous. So he kept his mouth shut as Irvine ranted on.
"...and then we can get some drinks, maybe some dinner too-"
Realization suddenly dawned on Squall.
"What? What are you talking about, I promised Chris-"
"You heard me. No way!" Squall wrenched his arm out of Irvine's grip and gave his friend a frustrated look. Irvine knew how much he hated clubbing!
Vexed, Irvine pouted childishly, "But Squaaaal! It's a Friday night! And you never go out to bars with me; I'm only trying to cheer you up man!"
Squall fumed 'Cheer me up?!' he wanted to say 'By taking me to some cigarette smoke filled, hole in the wall? Not bloody likely!', but instead he said "Look, I'm really tired, I've had a long day-" he chose that moment to yawn rather loudly, punctuating his point.
Irvine considered his options "It's mostly a gay bar, you know"
Squall laughed "Sorry, not interested" he stopped thoughtfully and rounded on Irvine, "wait, what would you do at a gay bar?"
Irvine shrugged no committingly, not meeting Squall's eyes. "What can I say? The gigs are excellent."
"Whatever," said Squall, shaking his head.
"Well, if I can't tempt you..." Irvine's face suddenly split into a grin that made Squall very suspicious, for good reason too. "...I guess I'll just keep this!"
Reaching into the pocket of his Tommy Hilfiger fleece, Irvine pulled out a small black notebook, and waved it in front of Squall.
Squall gasped and tried to make a grab for the offending object. "You you- arg! How did you get my diary!?" he spluttered.
Irvine laughed rather evilly as he pulled the book out of reach "Lets just say I'm an excellent slight of hand. Now" he held a finger in front of Squall to stop him from grabbing the book "I knew you'd never agree to come out with of your own free will, you anti-social prick, so I'll make a deal with you."
"No deal!" yelled Squall as he knocked Irvine's hand away and made another grab for his diary. But Irvine was quicker with his hands (bar fights anyone?), and he snapped back with a quick flick of his wrist. Like a shot, he took off to the far corner of the little room, Squall close behind.
Irvine opened the little black book as he dodged around his desk chair "Ooh, look at this - September 14th, I walked past the site today, blah blah blah, Irvine rules and I wish he was my bitch, tut tut Squall, aren't we a naughty boy!"
"IRVINE KINNEAS! Give that back NOW, or I'll fucking kill you!" Squall only ever swore when he was really, really pissed off. Now he was really, really pissed off.
Irvine laughed manically and jumped onto his bed, flipping over a page "Ah, today's entry! September 17th, I'm gonna kill Rinoa, no, actually I'm secretly in love with her, and I really want Irvine to take me to this gig because he's so hot-"
With an animalistic snarl, Squall dived at Irvine and took out his legs from under him. They both went flying, landing with a hard bang on the bedroom floor. Ignoring the pain in his right hip (not more injury to his poor abused body!), Squall recovered quickly and tried to pull the book from Irvine's death grip. They wrestled the black notebook between them, neither giving an inch or giving in. These kinds of fights where pretty common in their flat anyway.
"Give-it-back!" growled Squall, punctuating every word with a tug.
"Don't make me break your nose!"
"As if you could, pansy boy!"
"Hey, chill goddamnit! You'll rip the paper!"
"Get off then!"
"Only if you agree to come with me!!"
"Gaghrrrrrr!" Squall yelled, pulling with all his might. Instead of letting go, Irvine jerked back, making Squall loose his grip. The momentum of his pull made Squall topple backwards, practically rolling over his head, and landing in a heap on the floor.
Irvine stood up quickly, holding the book well away from Squall. He sat on the floor, glaring so furiously at Irvine, he was surprised he didn't burst into flames.
"Right," said Irvine, gathering himself together whilst trying to catch his breath. "Just chill a sec, okay?"
Taking in an angry breath, Squall stood, and held out his hand.
"Give it back," he said simply.
Irvine raised his eyebrows, "so you agree to come with me then?"
Squall opened his mouth, then closed it again. Carefully, he said: "and if I do, will you swear, on your life, never to ask me to go out with you ever again?"
Irvine was tempted to say 'mother told me never to swear', but he held his tongue. Best not push his luck.
He held out his hand, "shake?" Squall took his hand and shook it loosely, then reached behind Irvine and plucked the diary from his fingers. Turning, he walked out of the room and down the hall, holding his door open as he threw the book onto his bed - resisting the urge to clean up the mess - then grabbed his coat and walked back.
"Well," he said before he could change his mind, "let’s go then."
Irvine just took one look at him and burst out laughing.
"What?" said Squall, annoyed again.
"Give me a break!" Irvine tried to control his laughter and failed, "It doesn't start until 8! And you can't go like that!"
Squall looked down at his torn jeans, horrible jumper and tatty leather jacket. "What’s wrong with me?" he asked, confused.
Irvine wiped a tear away from his eye, "My dear Squall," he smirked, "we need to get you ready...."
Squall stood in the middle of Irvine's room, looking at his flatmate as if he's sprouted horns and a tail. Irvine was holding up a very small, black t-shirt that looked like it would fit a 10 year old girl.
"That wouldn't even go over my head!" Squall exclaimed, holding up his arms to try and protect his upper body.
Irvine just rolled his eyes. "Look, I said you could keep the jeans, but please, that jumper is hideous!"
Squall pouted, "I like my jumper..."
Irvine slapped his forehead in a very comical way, before stepping forward to accost his flatmate. Remembering of course that Irvine has a lot of experience with removing clothing, what happened next shouldn't come as much of a surprise:
Before Squall could even get out a muffled yell, Irvine had wiped off his jumper, thrown it across the room, and popped the skinny fit t over his head.
It fit. Perfectly.
Almost too perfectly in Squall's opinion - the fabric was slightly elasticized, so it stretched over every plane in his chest, accenting his slim waist and slightly pronounced muscles. It was a bit short though, not quite covering his flat midriff. Squall resisted the urge to squeal,'but everyone can see my bellybutton!'.
Instead he said, "I'm not wearing it."
Irvine waved away his complaints with a flurry of his hand, "phew! It looks fine. But, on the other hand, it does seem to be missing something..."
Irvine turned away from Squall and began to rummage around his room, opening and closing draws as he searched. Feeling like he'd been seriously douped, all Squall could do was stand and slouch.
"Ah ha!" exclaimed Irvine, holding up a pair of scissors and some safety pins.
Squall blanched. "Erm, what are those for..?"
"You'll see," said Irvine, opening the scissors with the sound of metal sliding against metal. "Just hold real still, or you'll get cut..."
Grabbing a handful of Squall's t-shirt, Irvine made a long cut across the chest. Squall made a dry sort of panicked sound as Irvine continued to make cuts in the fabric, until it was slashed to reveal just the right amount of flesh. Next, Irvine took up some of the safety pins and placed them at random on some of the slashes, holding the cloth back together.
He stood back triumphantly and gave Squall a thumbs up. "Who needs Punkyfish when you've got Irvine Kinneas!"
Squall didn't say anything. He couldn't say anything; he was still in shock. Taking this as a good sign, Irvine picked up his cowboy hat and placed it on his head. He liked to call it his 'Lady Killer' hat. He'd also taken off his Tommy Hilfiger fleece, revealing a nice, white, long sleeved t-shirt, accompanied by a new pair of pale, flared jeans. His hair was out, unlike his usual ponytail, brushed into shining caramel waves.
Smiling at Squall's shell shocked appearance, Irvine said mischievously, "There's just one more thing you need..."
Squall's eyes widened in horror at the thought of anything more. Irvine's smirk said it all as he held out a little, black pencil.
It said "FRIGG EYELINER" along its side.
Squall took one look at it, then bolted out the door.
Pst: The "I would rather be a toad, then go out with a woman" is for anyone who's had to study Othello for English - all I can say is this: Goats and Monkey's!!
Well, thatís all for now. As they say on those annoying TV series: To be continued....SpOrK
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