Ingredients: Miscellaneous pairings (S x Sq, S x Z, I x Sq and uh, more?), AU, OOC, angst, Shonen-Ai themes (maybe even June ^-^). For creaminess, mix in some adventure, weird fantasy themes, romance and gratuitous amounts of barely clothed hotties. Heat up via swanky sex, then serve.

Summary: Study buddies Seifer and Zell visit a museum. There they stumble through ancient ruins into a war-torn fantasy world with subservient guys in skirts. Fun huh? Now all they have to do is find a way out before they are sucked into a quest to save the world.

Author’s Notes: Took me long enough to finish this... Yay, time for random babbling on my part. Okies, so chapter four was a whopping big chapter. This one is… well, kinda big too. Kinda like two chapters in one b/c I've been mad slacking. Glad to hear ppl's input on my dilemma with the pairings. What have I concluded? I'm sticking with what I planned but will be writing a REAL Seifer x Zell fic. What does that mean? It means there will be Seifer x Squall but only for a bit… hee hee hee, a somewhat long bit. I wanna have a conflicting love story! MUAH HAH HAH!

Disclaimer: Um, hopefully you know that I don’t own Squaresoft or their characters. If you don’t then, Seifer and Zell are NOT lovers. Seifer is actually Zell’s pimp and every other weekend Zell becomes some lucky person’s gigolo. There, that’s the truth… except for part about weekends. He’s pimped out by Mack Daddy Seifer 24 7 ^0^

Quick note: Thoughts are in (parenthesis)~! Hey hey, Seifer x Zell lovers… this story still is S x Z but notice how I posted an S x Sq warning! Muahahahah. Okies, I feel bad that I cheated you guys out. I know how it feels to have my fave couple in a fic be split apart and rematched with other charas~! I get mad pisssst and I whip out a bass guitar via FLCL style and go haul ass on someone… it's the least I could do.

A Quikie Dedication: Eeeek! To my dearest Puppy eater. She's back and probably will help beta this fic and sentimental again!

Rivaling Cygnet

Chapter Five - It has deepened...

By Julie a.k.a Raruku-chan

Noises were distant, muffled as if they were miles away. His head hurt. It throbbed, beat and echoed like a dying storm.

He slowly opened his eyes, only to be greeted by the never-ending stretch of blue sky all compacted into one man's eyes. Blinking once, then twice… he got up from where he lay.

"What the hell are you doing, laying next to me?!" Squall snarled at the lazily smiling blonde. The latter continued his annoying grin and propped himself up on the pillow.

"Felt like it. Woke up and found that you were shivering. I'm almost positive that Dincht snatched all the blankets. That boy never had a tolerance for cold… usually during the winter he'll be muttering something about his rigid nipples." Seifer laughed. Squall narrowed his eyes.

Why was he being so friendly? Seifer's hands gently rubbed against Squall's neck, petting him like a tense cat. The hairs on his neck rose. Angrily, Squall batted Seifer's hands away.

"Back off! Where do you think your hands are?!"

Seifer smirked.

"Where else would they want to be…" he laughed. Squall paled at the comment. Outside of their tent, rustling was heard.

Zell burrowed further into the blankets that he hoarded. He grumbled softly about breakfast, perhaps dreaming he was back home. Kinneas stood over him, smiling. His foot nudged the shorter blonde's huddled form.

"Wake up. Your friend sounds like he's healed." Kinneas murmured to the dead-asleep Dincht. All he got in response was a muffled grunt. The body was kicked again and the mention of the revived Seifer was said louder.

The blonde jerked up, his blue eyes lit up happily. (He's up! He's going to make fun of me, call me names… but that's all cool. I'll just get the upper hand for now by sneaking up on him while he's in the tent.)

Zell jumped up and ran to the tent Seifer slept in. With a wide, ecstatic grin on his face, he almost tore off the canvas door to the small beige tent.

"HEEEEY! SEIFER!" His electric blue eyes shined with excitement as he saw Seifer, his dearest friend and tease, lying on a velvet blanket. The shimmer died down as he saw the catty brunette whom lay beside his love interest.

"Someone's cheery this morning." Seifer smiled, stretching his legs beneath the deep blue sheets. He looked up into Zell's eyes. The eyes had initially expressed happiness, yet now they were clouded. "How are you feeling, Dincht? You don't look so happy."

At that, Zell's eyes softened a bit. Maybe the stupid jerk still cared about Zell and not the sleek brunette lying next to him. He kneeled by Seifer, extended his arm, and grabbed a fistful of Seifer's shirt.

Their faces were brought close to each other, as Zell pulled the taller blonde closer to him. So close, in fact, that their foreheads touched. The flutter of lashes and even huffs of breath tickled Seifer's cheeks.

"I was feeling scared but a little brave… because if I didn't, I'd fall apart at the idea that you might not be there for me anymore. I guess that's why… why I was friggin' sad to see you… see… you with…" Zell had grit out.

His voice had hushed to an angry whisper. A glare was shot at Squall. Before he could darken his harsh glance, two hands and strong arms dragged Zell from his kneeling position. Warmth surrounded the smaller blonde.

Slowly, Zell turned his head to face Seifer, whom had abruptly embraced him. Oceanic eyes closed slightly to complement one of the warm, caring, and rarely shown Almasy smiles. Melting in the Seifer's gaze, Zell snuggled further against the chest to be soothed by a steady heartbeat.

"I'm fine you dumbass. As long as your existence plagues this dimension and ours, I'll be there to harass you… but in all honesty, Dincht… I'd never forget you. You mean much to me… putting aside all that masculinity and shit, you do mean… aw, hell. You get the point right? You got me feeling fuzzy right here…" Seifer laughed while pointing to his stomach.

"Probably something you ate, man." Zell perked up slightly. His voice was muffled through the fabric of Seifer's shirt.

The rumbling laughter against Zell's blonde head made him grin again. The world be damned if anything were to ruin this moment of peace.

A movement on the side sent Zell's world straight to a one of the bitter levels of a personal hell. The rustle of cloth caught the attentions of both Seifer and his shorter, jealous companion.

"Sor…sorry." Squall muttered. He was clearly embarrassed to be caught in the almost intimate exchange between the two. "I'll be leaving now…"


"Listen… Se…" the sleek brunette hesitated. Zell grunted, (what the hell was exchanged between these two?!)

"His name is Seifer. As I recall, you were leaving. See yah." Dincht gave Squall a look that practically cut him in half.

"Yo, lay off the invalid. Besides, I think Kinneas would be unhappy to see you act cruel towards his pet." Seifer smirked.

"Oh and I'm SURE that he would be pissed to see you drape over him." Zell grumbled.

"What was that? Is that jealousy I smell? Cute, real cute. Don't you think that is adorable Squ…" Seifer looked around and noticed he left. "Great. Where is he?"

"Who cares?! I don't." (It's nothing, Dincht. Nothing could possible happen between two random strangers… right?)

"That's quite obvious Dincht. So… what happened while I was asleep?"

"Well, we left Winhill kingdom and now resting and getting supplies in a small town by the borders of the Dunes. I think Kinneas and his crews are packing everything up… I guess they'll start moving again in a few hours before the sun comes up. Damn… it was fricking hot yesterday, even before the sun rose to its peak. How hot can it get?!"

A large hand pat the spiky head that bopped up and down as it relayed the previous days of toil and travel. Zell would purr, but he did not want to sound stupid or too coy. He settled for a hitch in his breathing and a soft sigh instead.

"Alrighty. I guess lots of water canteens are a priority. Mister KingAss seems to like you more, so it's your job to get us some water. This is just in case he decides to be a jerkface and strand us somewhere." His hand balled up into a fist to give Zell gentle noogie.

"Hmmm… I think around this time Kinneas isn't too busy. Guess I can bug him."

"Good job, slave."

"Hah, you think I'm your slave, Almasy. When in actuality, it's the other way around…" Zell smiled and got up to leave.

"Riiight, keep on living in your own dream world, love slave. Quit your babbling and go do my bidding."

"Love slave, eh? Oh yeaaah… let's fight on it… whoever wins gets the looooser as a loooove slave. Prepare to get an asswhupping, Assmulchy…"

Happy bantering between the two continued. It filled the stuffy desert air with a clashing yet sweet sound. Good friends were hard to find among this caravan. Real slaves and their masters were the only members that reigned.

Squall sat behind the tent, sulking as usual. He heard their laughter. He tried to convince himself it meant little to almost nothing.

Quietly, he rubbed his legs. A few weeks had passed. Someone had bathed him during that duration of time. He could smell a hint of lavender and another herbal bath salt that was rubbed into his skin.

He could not begin to comprehend the taller blonde. The shorter one was easier to understand. Zell was emotionally driven and longed to have the one named Seifer as something more than a friend.

Meanwhile, Squall could hardly decipher the taller blonde. He bitterly relayed the events, (What was with the touchy-feely warmth crap this morning? He's messing with me. The sooner I get back to Winhill, the quicker I can forget about this legendary child shit. Love at first sight? Yeah right a trite, ridiculous load of…)

"Why good morning, beautiful child of mine." A silky voice abruptly stopped his unvoiced and angered slew of thoughts. "My, my… you smell quite ravishing. I see the flowers and roots I gathered were a perfect match to your…"

"Go. Away. Now." Squall hissed. He tensed.

"Be good little kitten. I meant you no harm when I bathed your lovely, slim naked body a few nights ago. Surely I would not wish the one and only Child to smell horrid. And might I add that it was no task at all for me to wash your lithe form. I was indeed quite pleasure as I soaped your ivory skin." Kinneas approached the kneeling form.

"Don't you dare think of touching me ever again…" Squall spat. Kinneas ignored him and proceeded to drag the petulant child onto his feet.

"Oh, really. Don't you dare think you can speak to me, your future master, that way. I am hardly pleased that irritating blonde, Almasy, gets to own you."

"Own me? Hah… amusing."

On the outside, Squall tried his hardest to appear apathetic… yet within, his heart beat faster and his breathing was quiet but rapid.

Ownership over him? Does that mean the rumors about his father's death were true? He hardly knew the man behind the thick clouds of dark gossip.

"You know the legend? I presume you do, child. If I kill you…"

"My golden eye will harden into an orb and my tongue shall become a scroll. I get it, now leave me."

"No, you're wrong. If I kill you, I will get nothing. I am not bonded to you. That Almasy fellow is. He must go through trials to receive a blade meant for killing you. At least that's what most people say. Once that blade cuts through your lean yet pliable body… the orb and map are obtainable. Until then… I'm bent on convincing the bastard that you're better off under my care as my future top whore of my caravan."

Squall frowned and narrowed his eyes. His one golden eye flickered under the embers of the sun. A new day was coming and the band of travelers must go on their merry ways.

"Whore for you? Fuck off." Squall scoffed. Kinneas smirked and tightened his hold on the latter. "Let go."

"Must you always complain like a kept bitch? I cannot wait to break you in." he snickered as he brought Squall close enough to lick his cheek.

Sand flew up as the sound soft pattered of feet came closer to the pair.


"C'mon! Calm down; get off my back Selphie… jeez. It's bad enough I got a wedgie and sand down my briefs. Damn that asshole, Seifer."


"I'll throw you off, Selphie. I mean it. You're cute and all but… hey, it's Kinneas! How's it going… ow, Selphie watch the hair." Zell approached them with a giddy critter on his back.

"Heh heh, she adores you." The bard smiled and rubbed her reddish ears. "Be nice, Selphie. Only pull out some of his hair, not all of it. Baldness is quite attractive this season."

"HEY! No one messes with MY spikes." Zell growled, his fangs showing. Kinneas laughed and claimed he was only joking.

The bard and the chicken continued to converse happily. Soon they walked away from the tents and towards the center of the hustle and bustle.

The child was easily forgotten. Squall stood rooted to the sand, soaking in the echoes of the laughter and joy that had been around him. It had become so cold, too cold in fact. His eyes misted over with ice as they very often did.

A warm hand encircled his waist. It pulled him into a darkened tent. He was pissed, sad, and couldn't do much. Where was Griever? Kinneas probably took it.

Gently, the hands placed him on his back. Squall looked up into the same eyes he wanted to rip out their sockets this morning.


"Is it true."


"That I have to kill you?"

"You heard."

"No shit, why the hell would I be asking you if I didn't?! The bard KingAss and you were chatting it up right behind the tent we slept in."

"I don't know. I hated the legend. Never cared to hear about t."


"Either way, I know I'm screwed."

"I don't want to kill you or anyone. I want to go home."


"Sorry about this morning. I wasn't really putting moves on you, honest. You are damn pretty for a guy, but I'm not interested in you. The last few nights were friggin' weird. Did you have the feeling of being trapped in strange dreamlike states?"


"Thanks for the input."

"Why do you think I even care about what you have to say?"

"For starters, I grabbed you and there was none of the usual prissy `hands off, prick' response from you. By now, you would have gotten up and left."


"I pegged yah, didn't I?"

"Wow, you sure did."

"Quit the sarcasm."

"Me? Sarcastic? Nooo…" Squall rolled his eyes and turned his body over on the thin mattress.

"Bite me."

"It's true then, pets do resemble their masters. I'd say that Dincht has you whipped and on a spiked collar with a cute pink leash."

"Cute. Now come closer so I can slap you."

"Save that for your master." Squall laughed softly.

"Ahem, back to the topic I was talking about before… The last few nights and weeks or how ever long we have been unconscious, I saw things… your memories and dreams. They were rather depressing."


"I liked it better when you teased me."


"I saw bits and pieces of you while we were `bonded'. I don't want to kill you nor own you… but I do want you to be happier. I lost my father too."

"And that makes us what? Lots of people lose their parents. I share nothing with you."

"Touchy, touchy."

Throughout their discourse, Seifer leaned besides the quiet brunette. Squall hated to admit it to himself, but he enjoyed the heat and comfort of the idiot blonde.

Silence is hard to keep. Within seconds it is scattered.

"Yoooo! Almasy I got the wate… oh."

"Hey, just clearing things up with Squall."

"Right… sure." Zell lowered his head, looking at the sand. He turned to leave but Seifer stopped him. "What the hell do you want?!"

"Nothing happened. I don't want down his pants or loincloth or whatever he's wearing or not wearing. I…" Seifer shook his head and changed the conversation. "Where did you go with KingAss?"

A slight blush tinted his cheeks. Zell grinned widely. (Who cares if he did not `fess up a thing… I get the hint that something might be brewing between us. At least I know Seifer doesn't want that stupid brunette.)

"Um… the center of the caravan tents where you can get supplies and talk."

"Nice. Hear anything?"

"Kinneas is a pimp." Seifer laughed at that comment. "No really, he is. The whole caravan consists of either sluts, gigolos, or mack daddies… guess I'll fit in just fine."

"Riiiight, any other brilliant words from the chicken little speaking to me?"

"Not really. We'll be leaving real soon for the ports of some random city planned out on our agenda."

"Till then, let's spend some quality time together." They smiled at each other. Peace resumes in the happy, hot dog and Seifer-filled land of Dincht. That is until unwanted visitor crashes in…

"Where is heeeeeeee?!"

"I thought you were dead."

"Only silenced mister tall, handsome, dreaaaaamy blonde stud."

Before them stood the giggling mage apprentice Heartilly.

"Here for the child right?"

"Of course. The royal guards found me and helped unsilence me. I can use my magick now… hee hee." She twirled some hair on her fingers. "Okies gotta look threatening."

She closed her eyes. Flames flickered through her hair, damaging not one strand. Her eyes opened to reveal a reddish hue. A chant hummed in the air. Seifer grabbed Zell in hopes of running off in the seconds the spell was casted.

A speeding ball of giddiness with furry ears quickly snuffed out the flames.




"Iyaaaah!! It's the cat beastie again! You ruined my speeeell!!" Heartilly sobbed. "My dramatic tension was so dramatic! Then you came along and ruined it too!"

The `cat beastie' lay on top of the mage. Her tail squished back and forth. Selphie then turned her attentions to her favorite prey.

Chicken… easy and small enough to eat…


"Selphie!!" he tried to smack her off.

"Dear god. She's hornier than you are." Seifer smirked.

"Maybe my pet is in heat?" a sly voice chimed in. "Though I doubt it. Come fellow travelers. The journey resumes." The bard stood by smiling at the scene and screaming that occurred. Squall stood behind him, eying the mage silently.

"Squalll!!!" Heartilly eyes watered up with unshed tears. "I'm here too rescu.. oof! Stop biting me, beastie!"

"She's here because of me. Don't hurt her." Squall murmured to Kinneas.

"Sure, only if you accept her pain, pretty child."

Depressed icy blues looked up at the bard. Squall could see his own sad, small face being reflected and distorted in Kinneas' glassy eyes.

"I will…"

The bard smiled evilly and reached out to grab him.

"Ignore the fool. I own him. The person who's allowed to give consent to his words would be me. I don't even know why he talks without my permission. He owes you nothing."

Kinneas glared at Seifer but said nothing, not rising to challenge the blonde's jurisdiction. He would wait for the time to strike.

"Very well then, spoil my fun. I will get him sooner or later. Till then, dearest comrades… off to the Sea Ports of Galbadia." He turned to Selphie. "Take her to our nurses. Let her heal up and be fed well. She will follow her dearest child and us too. As for you,Pitiful Mage, if you use your powers I will severely hurt your child, regardless of what his damned master has to say. "

"Poo." She stuck her tongue out. Kinneas pushed his hand onto her face and knocked her over onto the sand. He then hauled Heartilly up and cuffed her hands with golden bangles. "Eeeek, how pretty!!! Waaaaittaminute. These are…"

"Shut your face. Hurry people… time is wasting. Move." Angrily, the bard stormed off with Selphie and a disgruntled Heartilly in tow.

Silence hung in the air again. It did not hang comfortable like the soft quietness that previously was strung up between Seifer and Squall. The silence was awkward and wobbled in the air drunkenly.

Things felt different. Things had become different. Things will become much more different. Squall shyly turned away from his unlikely savior, Seifer. Zell scowled but said nothing.

~ To be Continued ~

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