Author's Note: Pov switches between Seifer and Zell.  those marks mean someoneís dreaming, I wasnít going to tell you that but it looked too confusing.
By Purple Penguin
~Itís been a while~
~Since I could~
~Hold my head up high~
~And itís been a while~
~Since I first saw you~
~Itís been a while~
~Since I could~
~Stand on my own two feet again~
~And itís been a while since~
~I could call you~
~And everything I can remember~
~Has fucked up as it all may seem~
~The consequences that I render~
~Have stretched myself beyond my means~
~Itís been a while since~
~I could say I loved myself as well~
~And Itís been a while~
~Since Iíve gone and fucked things up just like I always do~
~And Itís been a while~
~But all that shit seems to disappear when Iím with you~
Itís been a while. By Staind.
I look at the red spray paint on my door to my hotel room. I bowed my head and entered my room ignoring the message. It wasnít the first one Iíd received, maybe I wonít bother scrubbing it off this time, I donít want to give them to satisfaction of watching me remove it or painting over it. My doorís had so many new coats of paint since I came to live here. I sat on the bed; I just wanted to sleep and forgot.
I donít expect to get let back into garden, Iím not brave enough to go back but I get desperate sometimes. All my friends, all the people I care about are there, Fujin and Raijin my only friends and then thereís him.
No matter how much I deny it I know I will go back for him. I regret all Iíve put him through, all the hurt, and all the pain Iíve caused him. Thereís no way heíll ever let me back in to garden. Squall has Rinoa now, he doesnít need me.
Squall and Rinoa supposed to be the perfect couple, I canít see it but then Iím biased. I still love him, I will always. The war when hard on me, many say I deserve it. They think I was willing? How can someone as proud as I was willingly obey the orders of a sorceress? They obviously donít know me at all. I lay back on the bed and closed my eyes.
[ I grabbed my wallet and headed out the door towards the front gate, I ignore the stares of people, they donít matter to me. There arenít many people that I care about the opinions of, I stepped out the front gate and saw one of them. He leant against a trunk of a tree; he looked so peaceful in the sunlight. He wasnít wearing his leather jacket and his eyes were closed. He was beautiful.
I was so glad Iíd had the courage to go back to garden and tell him how I feel. I wasnít brave, I was desperate, I had nothing else to lose.
His eyes opened and shot me that cold glare.
Heís sexy when he does that, he shivered slightly in the cold air so I took him in my arms and leant in to kiss him.]
Then I woke up. I slowly opened my eyes and quickly screwed them tightly shut again. Damn it, I always wake up before the good bit. Iím better off asleep, in my dreams I can be with the one I love, in my dreams I had enough courage to go back and tell him how I feel.
In reality Iím nothing. Nobody will want me, Iím too pathetic, too scared to go back to garden, to terrified to see the look of loathing on his face as he turns me away from garden.
Everything Iíve ever done was to get someone to notice me, to get Squall to notice me. I became the bully, everyone just started to see me that way so I went with it and started to bully innocent cadets, like Zell. All it did was make everyone hate me, Squall, Zell, everyone. I do love Squall and I never hated Zell, in fact if anything I liked him, he never went down without a fight. I sometimes wondered why he didnít just hit me.
I think of garden, maybe I will go back someday. Everyoneís probably glad Iím gone, bet they think Iím dead and I wouldnít want to disappoint anyone.
I remember my joy when I heard that Raijin and Fujin were coming back to garden, I thought heíd be with them. Of course he wasnít. I hope heís okay, I hope heís happy, I hope he has someone to love even if itís not me, like I wish it was. I wish I could see him, even if he still taunts and teases me. Iím so stupid to fall for a bully, he thinks Iím nothing but a pathetic wanna-be fighter. Iíve always admired his strength, Heís always had my respect and my love and he always will. All I want is to see him, to see if heís okay, Iíd given up long ago of ever having his love. Iím not stupid or dense like some people think, I know he loves Squall. Seifer looks at him with the same look in his eyes that I know I have when I look at him.
Squallís got Rinoa, the perfect couple apparently. Good luck to them, but I want Seifer to be happy, I hope he can get over the commander, maybe heíll have better luck than me, but he always was stronger than me in everyway.
Iíve asked Fujin if heís alive and where he is but she just sneered and told me that Seifer didnít deserve anymore cruelty. I told her I would never hurt Seifer but she just sneered and didnít believe me. I understood. She was a good friend; Seifer was lucky to have her.
The days passed by slowly, time dragged along.
Until one day I was on my way to get some hot dogs when I saw a crowd gathering around the front gate and someone was shouting, someone female, sounded like Fujin. I ran down to check it out, I couldnít believe what I saw. I pushed through the crowd and came face to face with the man I loved. He looked so different; he seemed defeated, hurt and sad. I felt so sorry for him; he wasnít the Seifer I knew heíd lost his pride. The crowd taunted him, telling him he shouldnít have come back, that they wished he were dead. How could they? Werenít they seeing the same thing I was? I wanted to run to his side and tell him how glad I was to see him alive and well. Raijin and Fujin stood around him protecting him from the angry crowd. I wanted to help.
I just realized that now he was back and I still couldnít be close to him or touch him or tell him how I felt.
The crowd died down to muttering and mumbles as Squall walked down the hall with Rinoa tagging along.
ďThe traitor's back.Ē
ďLock him up!Ē
The crowd mumbled all sorts of things like that.
I watched Seiferís eyes when Squall showed disgust on his face. I saw his heart break and I became angry. How dare he? Squall had everything now, he had friends, he was a hero with a great job, a beautiful girl and he had everyoneís respect. Did he have to make Seifer feel bad?
I felt sure Squall was going to turn Seifer away, there was no way I was going to let that happen. Iíd waited so long for him to come back, even if he hadnít come back for me like he did in my dreams.
ďSquall, let him stay.... Please.Ē
ďWhat!?Ē The brunette turned on me.
ďYes, he belongs here.Ē Rinoa added.
I was surprised but pleased, Squall was more likely to take her side than mine.
Seifer just looked confused, I could understand that. We must be the last people he thought would defend him. Heís teased me all my life and he threw Rinoa to Adel but she cared I could tell.
Squall wavered slightly.
ďIf he canít come back then we walk too.Ē Fujin threatened. Rajin nodded in agreement.
I didnít miss me cue. ďMe too.Ē
Squall frowned at me; he wasnít impressed with that. Reluctantly he was forced to agree. Squall and other SeeDs shooed the crowd away and everyone left. I watched Fujin threw her arms around Seifer, grinning at him. He smiled but it wasnít a real smile, I saw the pain. The whole Squall thing had hurt him badly. Rinoa had waved at him before she followed Squall.
The blonde spotted me watching them. ďThank you.Ē He whispered and tried to smile but he didnít really achieve it.
ďNo problem.Ē I smiled a genuine smile, one I havenít used since he left. Iíve saved it for him.
I turned away to leave him to celebrate with his friends.
I leaned on my door in shock. I couldnít believe that I was back, it was like my dream only I saw the disgust on Squallís face, he hates me. Zell was the one who argued for me and Rinoa. I donít understand, I hurt them both. They shouldnít care, well maybe Rinoa because I used to date her but Zell? It didnít make sense. He had smiled at me, a real smile not that manic grin that he used for everyone. He should hate me, I deserve worse.
I sleuthed Hyperion and headed for the training centre. It was after curfew so everyone should be in their rooms. Someone said I should feel at home in the training centre with all the other monsters, I donít know who it was, one of the crowd.
At least monsters were nicer than people to them I was just like all the other people, no different. The thoughts swirled in my head as I slashed at grat after grat. Squall hated me; he wanted me dead, how could I live knowing that? The guy that meant to most to me in the whole world wished I were dead.
I gripped the fence as I panted for breath, as I stood there my pants slowly turned into sobs. I couldnít stop, the tears kept coming, I fell to my knees burying my head into my arms.
I was so stupid, I should never have come back, it was worse I got to hear the taunts, see the disgust, I got to see Squall look at me with loathing. Nobody wanted me; no one will ever want me after what Iíve done.
I was surprised when I felt gentle arms wrap around me drawing me close to a warm chest. I didnít care who it was I just buried my head into the strangerís shirt, wrapping my arms around them. I almost thought that Iíd fallen asleep and that this was all a dream. A gentle hand stroked my hair.
ďShh, itís okay, no need to cry.Ē The voice was male; he kissed me lightly on the head.
I looked up finally curious to know who cared. I saw two bright blue eyes shimmering with unshed tears. I frowned; slightly confused until a caught sight of the tattoo that decorated his left cheek. I lifted a hand to trace the design.
ďZell.Ē I whispered.
He rocked me gently. ďShh.Ē
I held onto him like he was the only one in the world at that moment. I didnít understand but I wanted to feel loved and wanted and I did feel that in his arms.
He pulled away finally. I didnít want him to but I understood that he had better things to do than coddle me. He held me so that we faced each other, our faced mere inches apart.
ďWhy?Ē I asked.
He stroked my hair. ďI love you.Ē He whispered.
I thought Iíd misheard for a minute but I could see it in his eyes.
ďI-I-Ē I didnít know what to say, I didnít love him but I did care. I wondered if I should say it anyway to stop him from leaving me. I opened my mouth to speak but he cut me off.
ďItís okay; you donít have to say it. I know you wouldnít mean it.Ē
ďPlease donít leave me.Ē I must have sounded real pathetic but he smiled sweetly.
ďNever.Ē He held me close and he never let go.
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