A new chapter! Can you believe it!? I should be writing faster, since it’s the holidays and all >.<. But I have been a bad girl (I should have my wrists slapped), not only is this chapter un-beated (bad bad bad kafers, so impatient) , but I wrote the whole of chapter 5 before this one ^^;;;. If anyone would like to beat this chapter for me, I’ll let them read chapter 5 before anyone else :D.
Anyways, even better for the rest of you, I’ve finally made a site for all my fic’s to go on! It’s http://www.octobermoon.net/paperback-trash/ and you can read a spoiler for chapter 5 there ;). And look at some pretty pretty pictures of Squall I drew XD. Well, enough of my ramblings, on to the story!
Chapter 4 - Down at the local pub…
Odin: All-father, Valfather. The oldest and most important of the gods. - Snorri Sturluson's Edda
Squall resisted the urge to scratch his eyes as he followed Irvine into the club, but they itched so much! Irvine would kill him if he managed to rub off his eye liner, and he's rather scratch his own eyes out than suffer Irvine's patented Nipple Crippler of Doom. Again.
It was quite chilly when they'd got outside, so Squall had slipped his favourite bomber jacket on, thanking the gods for giving him an excuse to walk around with a bit more covering. His face heated up with embarrassment just thinking about ravelling his top (tatters of fabric), to anyone. He hoped Irvine got very drunk and slept in the gutter all night, because he was certainly not going to let him back in the flat after this. But there was no going back now, since Squall never backed down from anything.
The club was actually another old inn, painted black with a rather tacky (in Squalls opinion) purple neon sign above it, reading: Odin. The blackness of the walls on the outside and the inside made the club seem to merge with the night, its shape fading away like a ghost. Squall shivered. He seriously wondered how he got himself into these situations - he never broke mirror's, always threw salt over his shoulder, never killed money spiders..... he sighed.
Oh course, what Squall didn't know was that it was a special day. A day that corresponded to times past, of things that came before, of dark omens and lost powers.
But we'll worry about that later.
Right now Squall was eyeing up a hefty looking bouncer, a big Irish guy called Matt, who was giving the crowd a rather distasteful look. Irvine walked past him with a slight tip of his hat, and Matt nodded his head in way of greeting, ignoring Squall as he walked into the club. Squall drew a breath of relief - bouncers we're much scarier in real life than they were in films.
Squall chocked as Irvine led him through a throng of sweaty bodies to the bar, the loud grating music assaulting Squall's ears. He realized why Irvine liked this place - the band was playing Ska, bouncing around on a small wooden stage that looked like it was about to crack under the pressure.
The air was just as smoky and suffocating as Squall had predicted, and his eyes began to water as he sat down on a stool as far from the loud speakers as possible. Irvine shook his head in annoyance, watching Squall as he tried to hide his face in his fluffy coat collar.
"You’re going to boil to death in that!" Irvine yelled into Squall's ear, trying to be heard over the loud music. "Take it off! Join the party! Meet some people for a change!!"
"I'm fine!!" Squall shouted. He was actually sweating like a pig, but he wasn't about to tell Irvine that.
"Suit yourself!!!" Irvine shrugged, and then walked around so he was standing behind Squall.
Without warning, Irvine grabbed the back of Squall's beloved jacket and yanked down, hard. Gasping in surprise, Squall failed his arms, trying to fight Irvine off.
"Irvine! What the f~ PISS OFF!!"
Squall's protests fell on deaf ears and Irvine continued to wrestle with his friend. The American had always taken the physical means of solving life’s problems, since he didn’t believe in tactfulness or underhandedness – the direct approach was always the way. In Squall’s case, the direct approach was not short of throwing him at some nice young man in the mosh pit and letting them get on with it.
Squall was having none of that. He was starting to get really ticked off with Irvine’s behaviour, dragging him half-way across the city to some sordid, rat filled, hole in the wall.
Just as he was about to give Irvine a proper piece of his mind, the jacket came off. Whooping with triumph and getting more than just a few odd looks, Irvine was outta there. Waving the jacket like a flag, Irvine ran strait into a mass of people milling around in front of the stage. Squall had just enough time to see him disappear somewhere between the band and the balcony.
Growling in anguish, Squall put his head in his hands. He was not the sort of person to shout through a crowd – the one thing he hated most of all was drawing attention to himself – so he could either go and find Irvine, or stay where he was.
He stayed where he was.
It didn’t take long before Squall got severely board. Half an hour of listening to Irvine’s favourite band (who where pretty terrible in Squall’s humble opinion), and having his face buried in his sweaty palms was not fun. He probably looked like he’d drunk to much or something. Actually, come to think of it, looking like he’d passed out didn’t seem like such a bad idea at all. People always left drunks alone, and since Squall really wanted to be left alone, all he had to do was ‘pass out’.
Slumping rather unceremoniously on the bar, Squall folded his arms around his head and waited for this terrible night to come to an end.
So far, this plan seemed to work quite well. On the basis of “I can’t see you, so you can’t see me”, Squall kept his head in his hands, sincerely wishing that he had some kind of magical powers that could transport him from here, into a nice warm bath.
After a long days work, that’s exactly what he needed. He’d fill the bath right to the brim with scolding hot water (in his head, the bathroom was spider free and immaculately clean, the ugly aqua tiles transformed into shining white), then he’d draw a few swirling patterns in the mirror as it fogged up. Then he’d add a mixture of bubble bath and bath salts to the water, the sweet aroma swirling into his pores, relaxing his poor tired muscles.
He was just about to get to the part where he lit a few candles, when he felt an unwelcome presence at his side. Someone had sat down next to him.
Slowly, he lifted his head up from the bar table, squinting as the harsh lighting stung his eyes. It seemed that the band had finished their set and where packing up for the night, so the barman had started playing the latest Karrange CD, blearing it out of the speakers so conversation was just about possible. The person sitting next to Squall seemed to want to take advantage of this fact, smiling down at him from above.
He was an Asian man, probably just a bit older than Squall, with long strands of thick black hair trailing down his back. His eyes where shiny and black, and he smiled with his mouth closed. Squall realized why this was when he spoke – his teeth were horrible and crooked.
“Hi,” he said, still smiling with his mouth closed.
“Hi,” Squall said tonelessly. He was not really in the mood for company at the moment.
The new man had other ideas. “My names Nida. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you around here before…?”
“Squall” Use the least amount of words as possible, that was the trick.
“Squall? Wow, that’s such an intense name. I bet your parents were hippy’s just like mine” He laughed, showing Squall more of his mouth than he’d ever wanted to see.
“Yeah” said Squall, deciding it was best not to mention both his parents were dead. No-matter how brilliant a conversation stopper that was.
“Hey, you look parched Squall. Maybe I can buy you a drink?” Nida gestured towards the barman.
“I’d rather you bought yourself a rubbish bin and shoved it over your head” was what Squall wanted to say, but it came out more like “Err, um, there’s no need...”
Nida placed a sweaty hand on Squall’s shoulder, “nonsense. Ah, Mr. Barman, could you get my friend here a Smirnoff Black Ice.”
Nida didn’t seem to notice the disgusted look on Squall’s face as he ran a sticky hand down his arm. Or the expression that clearly read ‘I’d rather be drinking piss water’ as he was handed his drink.
Cursing Irvine with every atom of his body, Squall took the tinniest possible swig of his drink, with Nida watching on expectantly. Seemingly satisfied, Nida took a hearty swallow of his Irish Stout – quite clearly defining who the girl in this relationship was.
A very familiar sense of dread began to seep into Squall’s stomach.
The words DATE RAPE DRUG flashed through his mind headline style, causing all the blood to drain from his face in one horrifying second. More than slightly panicked, Squall quickly pressed his thumb firmly over the head of his bottle. Nida was giving him an odd look, so Squall flashed him a very fake, cheery smile, slightly mocking Nida’s own closed mouthed grin.
Nida raised an eyebrow, “Are you feeling ok, Squall?” he punctuated these words by placing his hand on Squalls inside thigh.
Squall squeaked indignantly, jumping up from his stool rather too quickly, spilling most of his drink all over his shoes on the way up. Feeling the fingers of blind panic and nausea threading through him, he thought fast for a way to escape.
“I have to go now! I, err, I’m supposed to go and meet a friend… bye!” Squall ran.
Stunned, Nida sat still for a second - then he went after Squall. You don’t just buy a drink for a guy without getting something out of it, that was for sure.
“Squall! Squall, wait!” Nida yelled, shoving people out of the way as he rushed forward.
Squall had made one fatal mistake when he’d run away from Nida – he went the wrong way. He should have headed for the front door, forget Irvine and his dratted pub. But no, Squall headed strait for the dance floor. Right into the middle of a writhing crowd.
Nida had absolutely no problem with catching up with Squall, since Squall was currently being sucked into the mob of dancers, throwing him every which way. Grabbing his arm, Nida spun Squall around and yelled;
“At least you could give me a dance before you go! Your friend can wait!”
Wrapping a tentacle like arm around Squall’s middle, Nida pulled him closer, washing beer breath right in his face. His features twisted with disgust, Squall tried to wrestle his way free, but Nida’s grip was pretty strong.
“No! No really,” protested Squall, “I’ve got to go now… Arg! Don’t do that!”
Squall shoved away the hands that had been trailing down his hips, heading strait for his groin. It really couldn’t get any worse than this.
“Squall?” said a voice in his ear.
It got worse.
Squall tried to turn, shoving Nida’s hands away as he did.
“You!?” he stared, wide eyed. Standing in the middle of the dance floor, with a surprised expression oh his face, stood a certain short, blond, university student. Squall felt his stomach drop like a stone – this was the guy who had tried to chat him up just this morning! Squall was seriously starting to think he lived a cursed life.
He laughed “Yeah, me. I don’t think we were properly introduced earlier,” he pointed to himself, “I’m Zell Dintch.”
Squall blinked, “Err, hi.”
“Man, this is such a coincidence! I never expected to meet you here, of all places.” Zell laughed again, “At least now I know what you’re into” he winked.
Squall felt his cheeks flame up, “Ah, err, you see-“
“Excuse me” said Nida, stepping around Squall.
Here comes trouble, though Squall
Nida was slightly taller than Squall himself, so he towered over Zell quite easily. Sizing the other man up with a flickering gaze, Nida used his body to block Squall from view, as if he was trying to protect him. Squall threw his hands in the air, expiated. Why does everyone think there some kind of hero after a few drinks?
“What exactly,” Nida said, his courage boosted slightly by the few beers he’d had that night, “do you think your doing with my date.”
Outraged, Squall huffed, “Hey, I’m not-“
But his protests were ignored as a tense air began to starch between Zell and Nida.
Zell scoffed, “What, can’t I have a decent conversation with someone without you interrupting?” he coked his head, giving Nida a rather superior smirk. “And besides, I think I have prier claim.”
“Oh you do, do you -“ Nida looked down his nose at Zell, “- shorty.”
There was a rather large intake of breath, and Squall realized that most of the people on the dance floor had stopped dancing to form a circle around the trio. This was not looking good.
“Very original, asshole,” Zell laughed nastily, “but you’ll have to try harder than that. Besides, why would Squall stick around with an ugly butt monkey like you?”
“You bastard! I’ll-“ Face bright red with rage, Nida’s threw the first punch, missing Zell’s cheek by mere inches. Zell had dodged to the side, twitching away then moving his weight forward so he could deliver a few quick jabs at Nida’s chest. Winded, Nida clutched his stomach.
Despite his size, Zell was actually a very good fighter. He was in fact a kick boxer with several awards under his belt, so making meat out of Nida was almost to easy. Helpless against Zell’s swift kicks to his knee’s, Nida cried out in rage and pain. A couple of burly guy’s made their way out of the crowd, obviously friends of Nida come to his aid, trying to grab Zell as he spun a quick dance of kicks and punches around them. More people tried to move forward through the crowd, causing a surge of people to mass on top of the fighters like some massive wrestling ring. Someone yelled Zell’s name, then all hell broke loose.
Squall was beginning to hyperventilate. People were pushing and shoving all around him, crushing him against tables and broken chairs as he tried to get out. Someone threw a punch strait at Squall’s nose, but he ducked at the last second, causing the drunk to fall over him and bring both of them to the floor. Panicked, Squall shoved the other man off him with shaking hands, scrabbling to his feet as quickly as possible.
Amongst the mêlée Squall spotted a familiar hat. Irvine’s head bobbed through the on coming tide of people, moving away from Squall, people and furniture thrown out of the way in his path. Squall tried desperately to be seen above the mass of people, waving his arms at Irvine frantically.
Irvine must have spotted him, because his course had changed, heading more in Squall’s direction. Attempting to meet Irvine halfway, Squall practically swam through the throng, noticing for the first time that the Barman had gotten on top of his bar, and was shouting at someone down a mobile phone. Probably the police, the thought sent a new thread of dread through Squall’s stomach.
“Squall! Oh man, are you ok!?” yelled Irvine as they reached each other. Squall practically threw himself at his flat mate, grasping his neck and burring his head in Irvine’s shoulders.
“Why the fuck does this always happen to me!?”
Irvine laughed roughly, “I know what you mean. Come on man, let’s get outta here!”
In a short while, Squall and Irvine had managed to make it to a corner of the bar, away from the majority of the fight. It seemed like hours had passed, but the fight had only been going on for a few minutes, and Squall thought he could hear sirens in the distance.
Someone was backed into a table very near to them, falling over his own feet and landing in a heap on the floor. It was Zell.
Nida’s friends were two huge guys named Raijin and Ward, and although Zell was a fairly decent fighter, these guys were just too big for him to take out. Overpowered, Zell knew it was time for quits, but he’s been shoved to the floor before he could make a run for it. Groaning in pain, Zell curled his body into a ball on the floor.
Squall had no idea what to do. He felt like both his feet had been cemented to the ground, and all he could hear was the sound of his own heart pounding in his ears.
“Zell!?” Irvine was yelling “Zell, man, is that you?”
Shocked, not for the first time that day, Squall watched as his flat mate rush over to the fallen Zell. There was a lot of shouting going on at the front of the bar, since the police had obviously arrived and were trying to break things up a bit. At least they hadn’t started using the gas yet.
Irvine was crouched down next to Zell, trying to see if he was alright, but also trying to talk to Squall at the same time.
Squall couldn’t hear him. He could hear anything in fact. All around him, mouths were moving, but no sound was coming out, and the sound of his own pounding heart vibrating through Squall’s body.
RUN, said a voice in his head, RUN NOW.
Irvine could only watch as Squall disappeared into the crowd, fighting his way past elbows and angry faces to the door. It glowed in front of him like a dark hole, panting and heaving as he stumbled towards it.
All the sound seemed to rush back to him as he sped towards the exit, all the colours around him suddenly coming back into focus.
The outside air felt like a sharp slap to the face. Squall gasped as his cheeks flushed with blood, making his birthmark more pronounced, and also reminding him that he had left his jacket back inside. But his hands where shaking too much anyway, and his poor abused stomach rolled with nervous liquid that was very likely to make its way out if Squall went back inside. He could hear the police rounding people up in the pub, but luckily non of them had stayed outside to see Squall make a run for it down the road.
Shivering and wrapping his goosepimply arms around his body, Squall followed his nose into the street. His breath cause great puffs of smoke in the September air, and the chill seemed to wrap around him like an icy film. His teeth chattered uncontrollably.
The Odin was not in the centre of the city, so there weren’t as many people hanging around outside, making it easier for Squall to shuffle on by without being noticed. This was a godsend, or so Squall thought, so he wasn’t paying as much attention as he should have been, thoughts swirling around in his head in a confusing whirlpool. Hurrying along as fast as he could, Squall tried to put as much distance between himself and that awful pub as possible. Trouble was, he couldn’t remember the roads Irvine had taken them when he’d driven them here on his Vesper, and it seemed to have grown even darker since then, the absence of a lot of people and the eerie fluorescent lights making everything look twisted and distorted in the shadows.
Squall didn’t think he could feel any worse until he realized he was lost.
Without looking, Squall emerged from under the yellow street lights, trying to think of a land mark he would recognize as he crossed the road – strait into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
If there had been any pedestrians around that night, the only thing they would have heard was the loud squeal of heavy tires, and the thump of a body on the asphalt.
Ooh, I’m so evil :D. Cliff-hanger! Ha ha!
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