Disclaimer: Disclaimer: For shido, thanks for the inspiration and encouragement ^_^


By Almasy

"If we shadows have offended,
Think but this - and all is mended -
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding, but a dream..."

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Nights Dream (Act V, Scene II)


Okay. So the group all know about our dreams involving Laguna. What they don't know was that I've had others. One in particular, actually, that still brings a flush to my face. I guess you're wondering why the anal Squall Leonhart didn't instantly report these happenings to Quistis so that they could be properly analysed in order to aid the mission. I could, of course, say that there were more important things to be worrying about at the time. Just who the Forest Owls were, for example, and why all the mystery that had been created around them. Why Cid was behaving so oddly, for another thing. Yes, there was more than enough on our plates and this could have been a perfectly good reason for my not speaking up. It wouldn't have been true, though.

You want the honest truth?

These dreams bear no relation to our current mission whatsoever. Not unless my rabid sexuality has anything to do with supporting the resistance in Timber or assassinating a Sorceress, anyways. My dreams, ones I'm hoping the others didn't share, are about one thing and one thing only, and it certainly had nothing to do with piano-playing lovelies or excavation sites. My sleeping-visions are about sex.

Not so unusual for a seventeen year old male, I suppose. Even a cold-hearted, silent one. I know the others think I've never even had a hard-on, that I wouldn't know a woman if one stripped off her clothes before me. It's a lot easier for me to pretend I'm inexperienced sexually than behave like a rabbit on heat, quite frankly, but that doesn't mean I don't have my desires. It's just that they're quiet, like me, and none of them involve naked women.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

Just another little thing the others don't know.

The first time I had one such dream was, funnily enough, also the most potent of them so far. It happened not that long ago now, a little while after we'd had the first joint vision of Laguna, where he oh-so-eloquently put the moves on Julia. I'd deemed him a moron then, but that didn't mean that I didn't find him an attractive moron. There is something about his bumbling nature, the sweet, unassuming persona, that made him very appealing to me. Not to mention the fact that he has killer green eyes and a mass of silky, raven hair. I didn't feel like mentioning it to the others right then, but silently I agreed with Selphie. Sir Laguna is indeed hot, even if he is on the silly side.

So, that's my feelings towards our imaginary man covered. We'd just gotten off at Timber, a little fuzzy from being unconscious, and despite our sleeping, in need of rest. Feelings of unpleasant nausea still remained amongst the three of us, and the failed attempt at the Presidential Campaign had taken a lot out of the party. Although I felt it important to go straight to the TV station, in order to further help the Forest Owls and put paid to the rather ridiculous mission, I couldn't deny us all an hour or so of much needed shut-eye. Rinoa kicked up a fuss about it at first, but I had the final word, and made good use of it. We checked into the Timber Hotel for a couple of hours to recuperate before we'd head out to the TV station. I suggested to Rinoa that she might use the time to surprise us all and come up with a plan with a genuine hope of success, at which point she was forced into silence and we settled down to sleep.

I must have been thinking of Seifer. It's the only way I can explain why he came into my dream. It was a habit I'd gotten into; musing over my rival before I finally fell asleep. Not really surprising, when I think that he usually had his arms around me at the time. Yes, we were lovers. Damn good ones at that, when we weren't fighting or arguing or squabbling or anything else involving a lot of shouting and aggressive gestures. The only time either of us got any peace was when night fell, when we both liked to cuddle into each other for warmth and there was no room for the usually entertaining wisecrack-exchanging and taunting. We were still good lovers, though. Maybe we still will be, if I ever see him again. It was exactly the way I liked it, you see. Argue, make up. Argue, make up. It helped me release a lot of inner pain, yelling my head off at Seifer, and my furious words didn't seem to affect him. It was very therapeutic, especially seeing as I seemed to get a hell of a lot of sex out of it. Almasy always was a kink. Perhaps my anger got him off. Still, I've been thinking about Seifer much more since...well, everything. It feels like one minute, we were both in that SeeD exam, fighting the same enemies, following the same code of combat, and the next...he was flying in out of nowhere, doing his own thing, and winding up the property of the most dangerous woman on the planet. Blink, and I suspect you'd have missed the show. I still don't really understand why he did what he did. I mean, it was just like him, swaggering in like a hero and doing what everyone else wished the had the balls to attempt.

But for Rinoa, though?


If he put on that sort of display for a woman, then I'm secretly a Chocobo. Seifer's even more of a man-whore than I am, and the occasional bout of flirting to annoy me is the closest he'll get to a female. If you want to know a secret, girls frighten Seifer. He can't understand their lack of logic, for one, but he also used to say that if he said to girl half of what he said to me, he'd soon find himself bereft of his genitals. A gruff 'hn' was always more appealing to him than a sharp slap about the face, when he'd helpfully point out the chunkiness of his lover's thighs; that's why he used to say he'd always adore men but never love a woman. Maybe I should have kept a closer eye on him psychologically, after all, but that's another matter. What's important is that Seifer didn't hold Hyperion to that man's throat in order to make Rinoa Heartilly swoon. Why he did do it, I don't know, but I'll be damned if that's the reason. Even if, in some freak accident, Almasy went straight, he sure as Hyne wouldn't be gagging for Miss. Heartilly. Fujin is where I'd lay my money, but Rinoa's altogether too...frilly for Seifer. No, his dramatics were something I couldn't quite fathom. I wasn't able to sleep, despite the ache of tired limbs, because of all of this wondering. 'Where is Seifer now...? Has he been killed after all?' No. I still can't bear that idea. He'll have escaped that, he must have. There's no way in the world that he'd have allowed the death sentence to claim him. Not Seifer. I know Quistis has her sources, but I'd go so far as to say I'd know if his heart had stopped. We've been linked every step of the way, our fates tied, our blood mixed, our souls entwined. I'd *know*, damnit, if one half of me was gone.

That's what Seifer is to me. He's my dark side, and I'm his light side. We're a yin yang, whatever. All I know is that we make up two halves of the same whole, and neither of us can function without the existence of the other. We'd be devoured without the balance we supply each other. I haven't been devoured. Seifer lives, I know it.

This didn't mean I was comfortable with not knowing his location, though. If he isn't dead, he rests most likely on the wrong side of this battle, and it made me uneasy not having his arms around me or his lips whispering words into my ear. I didn't like the feel of the bed without his body in it, and I tossed about irritably. At some point, I must have been exhausted enough by this process to fall into slumber whether I liked it or not, because the dream started soon after.

"What's with all these fucking shrubs, anyway?" Seifer growled, as we made our way through the forest leading to Deling City. It was startlingly familiar; -I was trekking down the same paths as Laguna, Kiros and Ward had in the first dream-, except for the fact that I wasn't Laguna, and my companion was none other than a very agitated Seifer Almasy. He suffers a bit from hay fever, and wasn't exactly impressed at the tracks we were making through endless fields of greenery.

"Shut up, Almasy." I muttered. "Jeez, and you call Zell a wuss."

He sniffed, wounded, but his rough footsteps through the foliage told me he had not stopped following me. I felt a touch guilty, I had to admit; he did seem to be feeling really under the weather just then. It's unusual that Seifer complains about his ailments at all, still being in the macho state of being more open to a painful death than to admitting weakness. I hadn't helped cure him of it, and I turned back to apologise. Noting the soft look in my eyes, he smirked widely and waved one hand. "Just don't." He instructed. "Apologetic doesn't suit you."

"Forgot that you like me bitchy and stubborn." I snorted. "Fine, I won't bother."

I couldn't have slowed down all that much, but in a second he was upon me. Funny. I hadn't even heard him rush towards me, yet there he was, clinging onto my back and licking his tongue slowly down my ear. "You're even cuter when you're mad..." He whispered huskily and I rolled my eyes in despair.

"Do you want to get there today, or what?" I snapped, unable to contain my building annoyance. Seifer is very good at distracting me, especially when I have to concentrate on something. It makes me pretty angry, an emotion which he absorbs like a happy sponge.

"Get where...?" He murmured, keeping one arm diagonally placed over my chest, the other hand skirting up my t-shirt to stroke my bare stomach. It was then that I suddenly realised that I didn't know the answer to his question. Maybe it was his skill at distraction, but I just couldn't remember for the life of me why we were here or where we were supposed to be going. The words had just fallen out of my mouth. I rubbed my forehead in confusion; no longer in a rage, but very much bemused by the situation.

"I don't know..." I admitted under my breath. "I thought we...I..."

"Oh, good." He breathed. "Then it's up to me. And I vote that we stay here." The bottom of my earlobe was covered with tiny nibbles to punctuate his words.

"Hmm..." I sighed; a sleepy confession to how nice his strange gesture felt. "I thought the flowers were bugging you?"

Half carrying, half guiding me towards the stream somewhere in the middle of the forest, he replied smoothly, "What flowers?"

"Seif?" I ask, suddenly awake again and very aware that I was not governing my own movements. "Seif...? Where are we going? I thought we were staying here...Seif?" My questions were in vain as he continued to hoist me through leafy branches, before wading bravely into the calm, cool waters of the stream. I squeaked in panic as the water reached his waist and thus touched my legs, and tried to find a way of clambering out of his arms and back onto dry land. It's not that I don't like swimming, per se, but I'd rather not be fully clad in leather whilst I'm doing it. Seifer, for another thing, is a dangerous swimming companion. He finds a lot of humour in dunking people.

"Just cooling us both off, babe." He quipped. "Don't know about you, but so much walking around has got me all hot and bothered."

I twisted myself round to glare at him, and it was then that I noticed that he wasn't wearing his trench coat. In its place was a tight, black short-sleeved shirt and a pair of light stonewashed blue jeans. Weird. Very weird. Very Seifer, yes, but it was strange to see him without that goddamned archetypal coat. I looked down at my own body, half expecting it to be clad in different clothes to the ones I usually wore. This suspicion turned out to be correct as I took in the skimpy white vest and the burgundy-coloured leather pants. Perhaps it was at that point that I decided I must be dreaming. I wouldn't be caught dead in red, thanks very much. Not in this lifetime. I squeaked my disapproval, and he responded by stroking the tight fabric lovingly with a vicious smirk.

'Damn,' I thought, 'if this is a dream, I can't kill him.'

"It suits you." Seifer nodded approvingly. "Brings out the fact that you're blushing beautifully."

"Fuck off." I growled, as much an expression of irritance as an instruction. "And put me down somewhere dry."

"I didn't know you were scared of water." Seifer commented innocently. "How intriguing."

"I'm not." I pouted. "And you're frightened of flowers, so you can hardly start trying to pull the 'wimp' card."

It was his turn to scowl, which he does rather sexily, actually. I squirmed in the vain hope of distracting myself from him, trousers being tight and all.

"They. Make. Me. Ill." He retorted gruffly. "What does water do to you, exactly? Hmm?"

Still squirming, I found enough release in his strong grip to curl myself against him, tightening my legs around his hips in an effort to stay out of the water. Fuck him feeling my erection, I mused, I am *not* getting wet. Wrapping my arms securely around his neck, I placed my forehead against his and whispered,

"Water is fine. I like water."

"So much you're finding every possible way of staying out of it." Seifer commented wryly. "Not hugely convincing."

"Will you shut up? I am going into the water, alright? Jeez, but you're bloody pushy."

"I can get worse."

"Spare me. I'm coming in, okay?"

"Now?" Seifer loosened his grip suddenly, and a sadistic grin touched his lips. Remember what I said about dunking? Point proven.

"Seif!" I howled, scrabbling to climb back upwards and away from the surface of the water. He'd caught me with strong hands, but I was still dangling perilously, and not liking it one bit. "Dry. Land. Now!"

"I thought you said you were joining me?" He smirked, raising an eyebrow.

"All I want to do is get my clothes off first!" I shrieked, and finally understanding the reason for my stalling, Seifer very quickly deposited me on the nearby bank and watched me expectantly. I glanced at his soaking wet trousers and boots and rolled my eyes in despair, half hoping he'd join me in undressing so that I didn't feel completely moronic. His persistent, hungry stare put this hope to rest and I resignedly started removing my clothes. It's not that I minded all that much. It's a familiar routine to me from our days in the Orphanage, plus exhibitionism gets my thumbs up. The breeze felt nice against my bare skin as he watched me approvingly, that slight touch of awe in his eyes as always at my bravery. He doesn't have the same courage as I do about revealing my body in public places. I think he may have been fighting not to reach out and touch me, as his sharp intake of breath indicated.

"Hyne..." He breathed softly, before he regained his composure and looked down with a husky, "My, but you *do* enjoy arguing, don't you?"

I ignored the comment and started towards him, feet feeling somehow refreshed digging into the unbroken soil. Taking his hand, I cast him a serious look.

"Coming in, then?"

"Going under, more like." He murmured, kicking off his army boots and following me into the crystal-like stream. The water was heavenly against my naked skin, just warm enough to be comfortable, and I gasped before smiling contentedly. He has surrounded me, both of us up to our shoulders in the clear liquid, treading easily. The water made ripples around us as we moved towards and away from each other, checking out of surroundings before curling up together in the centre of the stream. I cupped water in my hand, let it run down over his blonde hair as he shrugged off his soaking shirt, throwing it back towards the bank. He didn't even check to see where it landed as he ran damp hands throw the strands of my hair, letting water wash all over him as he brought me towards him for a kiss. The water elevated me above him as we hungrily took in each others' lips, both of us getting wet all over in the embrace. I purred against his mouth, coming to rest against him with my legs as before, hands roughly tearing at his hair and face. I felt his hands all down my back in response, and began to lose myself in the sensuality of his skin and the water. I probably would have achieved it, were it not for the interruption.

What interruption?

"Hello, there!" A voice cheerfully called from the bank.

That interruption.

Startled, the pair of us broke apart and turned towards dry land. Guiltily, I looked up to see who had seen our mischievous acts, and nearly choked when I found myself staring at none other than Sir Laguna. Hey, this may be a dream, I muttered, but I'm still halfway towards getting laid. Nobody is going to ruin that, not even this rather hot specimen of humanity standing on the shore.

Seifer, of course, didn't recognise him, but from the way his eyes lit up, I could tell that he agreed with me. Rather gorgeous man watching him feel up his naked and hard boyfriend? No problem! I blushed furiously, and wondered how such an embarrassing situation as this could be resolved, ideally without anyone seeing me in this rather excited state. At least Seifer had his trousers to hide it, the bastard.

"Aren't you a couple of water babies?" The elder man smiled in a friendly fashion, typically unaware of what was going on. At least Laguna can be relied on for his unbelievable innocence. He probably thought we were getting some exercise, for crying out loud. Seifer looked bemused, perhaps wondering if the apparent naivety was a front for a hidden pervertedness. The thought brought a smile to my face. Laguna was the type of person I could well imagine being a virgin at 95. He was about as sick minded as Santa's Elves. And twice as pure.

"Water...babies..." Seifer stuttered in disbelief. "Um, yeah..."

I'd never seen him so speechless. Incredible. Wondering if perhaps Laguna had slyly slipped Seifer some silence magic whilst I hadn't been looking, I spoke up. "Just taking a swim. Water's nice, today."

"It looks divine." If the older man suspected anything, he didn't show it. "You don't mind if I join you, do you?"

Welcoming a stranger into waters beneath which I was naked didn't exactly sound like my idea of fun, but I couldn't think of a suitable excuse to say 'no', so I nodded meekly. This was turning into one hell of a strange dream. I mean, Laguna's stunning and everything, but being naked with him on only our third meeting was a bit unnerving. Seifer didn't seem anywhere near as apprehensive, probably because he wasn't naked and was hoping that Laguna soon would be. Seifer could make a living out of being a professional pervert. Nonetheless, be both had to try to pretend we weren't openly gawping as Laguna gracefully disregarded half of his clothes and waded into the stream. I watched the same smile pass his lips as the one I'd made when I first got into the water. ...Weird.

"Ooh, delicious." He commented, sinking back into the lapping waves and moving his arms languidly. His eyes met ours for just a second and we smiled politely in agreement, as if it was his stream and we should rightfully be praising it. A few moments passed, in which we both watched our new companion close his eyes in satisfaction, letting the cool water dampen his long, raven hair. His body covered in silken droplets, he looked like some long lost God, bathing in a mythical fount. Seifer was all out gaping as I shuffled nervously beside him, the teasing sway of water against my groin becoming painful and the sight of our pretty friend not helping matters. Aware that he had me to relieve but nowhere private enough to do it, Seifer began looking about with a concerned, thoughtful frown.

"Is something the matter?" Laguna asked lightly, craning open one eye at the noise I was making; little squeaks of desperation at Seifer.

"I think..." Seifer began, seeming at a loss for words. "...it's a bit cold for him."

Oh, good one, Almasy(!) I rolled my eyes.

"Really?" Laguna exclaimed, and I wasn't surprised to see an astonished look that came over his face. "It's plenty warm enough for me. Is he cold sensitive?" His smile was open and warm, and he didn't seem at all suspicious of Seifer.

"Oh, yes. Very much so." My lover overcompensated. "I think I might get him dried off and warm again."

"That's probably a good idea." The older man nodded sympathetically. "We wouldn't want him catching a chill."

"Mm, indeed." Seifer agreed, looking triumphantly at me as if expecting praise for his successful solution to our problem. In one glare, I managed to convey the following; that he was completely incompetent, a crap liar, and that he hadn't even thought about how he was going to get me out of the stream without a stitch of my clothing on. Laguna may be naive, but even he's not so innocent that he wouldn't notice the fact that I was a) naked and b) hard. Seifer shrugged nonchalantly, in a 'take it or leave it' fashion whilst Laguna watched us with interest. Being successively nudged in a painful fashion by me, though, Seifer eventually saw fit to do something about my predicament.

"Um, excuse me?" He said timidly to the stranger with a polite, apologetic smile. "Would you...uh, could you close your eyes, please?"

Laguna blinked.

"It's just that..." Seifer glanced at me. I narrowed my eyes. "Don't you dare..." I hissed.

"...he's naked." Seifer dared.

He is never getting any again, I vowed. Ever. He has this one last time to satisfy me and then, finito.

"Oh!" Laguna squeaked. "Well...then it's no wonder he's cold."

"Well, I tried to stop him." Seifer all-out lied, and I added a few years to his abstinence sentence. "He's just a bit of a flasher. Can't help it, you see. It's in his blood, or something. We simply can't stop him taking his clothes off."

Through my rising rage against Seifer, I saw Laguna's expression gradually change as he listened to the younger man. For the first time, I began to see passion in the eyes of this man-child; a hidden heat that had been lost somewhere. He seemed strangely aroused, and it was an odd sight. I'd grown so used to his childish purity that this new, horny Laguna was quite a revelation.

"How interesting..." He breathed, moving a little closer to us both. "If I were you, I'm not sure I'd want to."

Seifer's eyes widened in shock. A pervert after all, it would seem.

"Um." My lover eventually say fit to reply. "Well, yes, I see your point, but I really think that I should-"

But Laguna wasn't listening. Circling around me in pretty ripples, he reached one hand to my face and cupped my chin. There was a predatory look to his face that I believed Seifer had patented. Evidently he wasn't the only one who could muster such a hungry expression. His face was currently set in a glower as he watched the older man walk into his territory, and Laguna soon found a hand gripping the back of his neck.

"Back off." Seifer growled, unable to control the mile-wide jealousy streak he has. Laguna looked up, surprised, then narrowed his eyes.

"I'm sure we can come to some arrangement." He retorted defiantly.

Green eyes darkened, and I saw fit to wriggle out of Laguna's range and place a soothing hand on his bare shoulder.

"He's not much into sharing," I explained. "He doesn't know you. You're being too forward."

"I see." Laguna's tone was genuinely apologetic. "Where are my manners, indeed? I'm sorry, I meant to express that he is certainly very easy on the eyes. It just..."

"...came out wrong." Seifer finished, breaking out into a smile.

"Yes!" Laguna laughed, the intoxicating, light sound filling the air.

"In that case," green eyes flashed as he reached one hand beneath the water. Through its wave patterns, I could see him grasp Laguna's groin with a firm hand, and the older man squeaked, though not entirely with discomfort. "What I meant to say there was that you're not so bad yourself. It just came out wrong."

There was a momentary silence.

"Come here." Gathering his breath, Laguna swiftly reached one hand behind Seifer's neck and pulled him in for a deep kiss. My eyes widened with how strangely arousing it was; watching my lover being thoroughly put in place by the older, attractive man. It was all I could do when they broke apart not to jump on the pair of them. Seifer's eyes hastily went to my face, but he seemed relieved at the expression I was pulling. Hey, if this was a dream, I was entitled to a little dreaming, was I not? And believe me, there were many fantasies rolling through my head at that point.

I smirked provocatively at my lover. "Come on, Seif'." I quipped. "Let's have some fun."

Even if they were to hold a gun to my head, I doubt I'd ever confess what went on after that point to any of the others. The thought of explaining to them how the three of us ended up ensnared in the bountiful leafy branches of the forest, naked and entwined, brings a scarlet flush to my cheeks. I saw the way their faces went pale when Irvine revealed a few juicy details about his sexual history, and his was conventional; two girls, three girls, even four. To try and describe my dream, the unbelievably good moments beneath a canopy of greenery with an imaginary man and my apparent arch-enemy...I'd need to have ambulances on the line. So I kept quiet, and the memories stayed locked inside my head. I never told a soul about the way Seifer lead me through the quiet, sleepy forest with his coat across my bare shoulders, or the way Laguna conveniently found a resting point for us all; a little bower with soft grassy ground, the sun breaking through the trees all around. I've never satisfied any of them with details of how it all began; both of them feeding on me as if I were an oasis in the desert. I'd never explain about Seifer whispering gratuitous praise into my ear as he traversed his way down my body, land marking different areas with his tongue as Laguna found his own route. I'll take it to the grave with me; their touching one another as they worshipped me, knowing that I was watching them doing it and having the time of my life. Dream. Whatever.

That my memories thereafter mainly focussed on Laguna doesn't particularly surprise me; I'd had reality with Seifer before. This man was new, rich with prospect. Though a little older, he was a sight to behold and he had the experience of a thousand Seifers. He knew it, did the blonde, and he let Laguna call the shots. Grudgingly, and with more than enough sulking, but given the image of both Laguna and myself bare and dripping with water, he didn't seem to want to argue all that much. He backed away a little bit to give us room, and I fixed my gaze upon the dreamlike man before me. Green eyes stared back at me, as if trying to get a message through that I couldn't understand. There was something there, a bond unlike anything I've ever known before, but very much itching at me, trying to force me to understand. I couldn't, and he smiled; a grin reminiscent of the sunshine. I could see him some ten years older, my age, being incessantly pestered by squeaking, infatuated females. He had that warmth, that radiance to his face, that I could clearly envisage him as a heartbreaker. Slowly, I tucked a strand of ebony hair behind one ear and he kissed me gently, lovingly perhaps, if we'd have known each other better. I felt safe with him, something I rarely felt with the more passionate, forceful Seifer, and I enjoyed the contrast between the two. Hearing a subdued growl from Seifer, Laguna chuckled under his breath and guided me into his lap, holding me steady. Firm, knowing hands tended to my spine as he nibbled his way from chin to chest, and I forced myself not to think about why I felt so attached to him, this illusion, this man. Before very long, I was snapped out of my trying not think by the reappearance of Seifer, who curled his way around my back and held me still so that I was sandwiched between them. It was my idea of absolute Heaven; Laguna's gentle touch on one side and Seifer's hot-headed caresses on the other. The perfect mix of sunshine and storms.

I felt like something out of a dream myself, as it happened. I could feel sun pouring in down my skin as I leaned back into Seifer, beams flying from my fingers as I raised them behind me to his hair. Like a dark wolf, Laguna preyed on me as Seifer, like a golden myth, held me up for him. They worked together to capture me and keep me trapped in their net of hungry movements and demonic kisses. I was a happy victim to it all, touching where I could, planting gratitude with my lips where I could, and concentrating on the beauty of it all. I felt high on it, intoxicated with a dream-like sense of perfection. Knowing that it wasn't real only made it stronger; the idealism that can only come with a disconnection from reality flooded the forest scene. There was no fault or flaw between the three of us, every touch like molten fire and every gasp like the song of Lucifer himself. I felt like we were all Gods; no earthly duties held us back but our purpose was to be with one another, to appreciate one another. Laguna's very aim in life was to take his pleasure with me, the boy unknown to him, the boy who was very slowly beginning to wish that he could join him in the dream world. I could have stayed there for an eternity, ensnared and bound between my two naked dreams, either of whom might be lost to me forever when I woke up. I never wanted to wake up. I wanted Laguna this way for the rest of my life, inside and all around me, blessing me with every brush of his skin against mine. I wanted Seifer at my back, his hands where could not otherwise be reached, his words in my ears flooding my veins with confidence and adrenaline. I never, ever wanted to wake up. Wake I did, and lay still in a state of positive delirium until Rinoa's chirpy voice filtered through the doors, bringing reality back to me with a sharp thud.

How could I possibly explain that to Quistis and co.? It'd be unthinkable, even if the future of the Gardens came to my confessing everything I knew about Laguna and his friends. What happened in that dream will be put to rest inside my mind, lying in a dusty tomb for the rest of my days if need be. After all, I can't take a chance on the future. For all I know, Seifer may well be torn from me one way or another, and Laguna was only ever a fantasy. Twenty years or so is too far into the future for me even to envisage just now, but the fact bears heavily on me all the same. In twenty, lonely little years, that one night may be all that I have left of them. It may be all that remains of my mysterious raven God and my lost and battered lover.


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