Shadows In Silence

Chapter One

By Rain

It was two weeks into the new school year when the new boy walked into the classroom. Squall was sitting in the very back, as usual. A drawing pad sat on the desk in front of him. It was blank, except for a few dull marks on the side, where Squall was tapping his pencil against the paper. He was contemplating what he should draw in order to kill time, when the classroom door swung open, and heavy footsteps pounded against the floor.

Everyone in the classroom looked up, including Squall. At the very front of the room, a tall, and muscular boy stood at the teachers desk, holding out several sheets of paper.

Mr. Morimoto, the English teacher, looked flustered when he accepted the offered papers. His graying hair was disheveled, and white dust from the chalk clung to several thin strands of hair. From over the top of his copper-colored spectacles, he observed the new boy, and then turned his attention on the papers.

Girls were whispering all around the classroom. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why.

The muscular boy was gorgeous.

His honey-blond hair was cut short and gelled back. A stray wisp of haircurled down the center of his forehead. Clear, emerald-green eyes scanned the whispering classroom. His eyes, Squall thought, reminded him of the glassy-green surface of a crystallized ocean located in the tropics. They were dazzling, and bright, but with a witty-air that spoke of arrogance. His mouth didn't help banish the arrogant appearance, for it was twisted up in a rather cruel-looking smirk.

Squall let his eyes roam down, past his strong jaw-line, to the slightly-muscular neck that exposed his flawless, golden skin. A silver pendant dangled from a thick chain, but Squall was too far away to see what it was. The pendant rested against a broad, gray-clad chest. And like the rest of the boys body, he was built rather nicely. Judging by the fashionable clothes he was wearing - a fitted gray shirt, and loose black slacks - he was rich as well.

"Well, class, it seems we have a new student in our ranks," Mr.Morimoto announced. "This is Seifer Almasy. He just transferred here from--"

"--St. Petersons Academy," Seifer cut in with an annoyed expression.

If you couldn't tell by the boys clothes that he was rich, you could tell by the way he spoke. It was hard, and condescending; as if he were a king, and he was being introduced by the lowest of all men.

Squall snorted in disgust. He couldn't stand kids like Seifer.

Vaguely, Squall heard Seifer introducing himself to the class. Instead of paying attention to him, he reached into his backpack and pulled out a cassette player. Inside was a tape of one of his favorite bands, The Pixie's. Placing the earphones over his ears, and tilting the head-piece backwards, so that the teacher wouldn't see, Squall pressed 'play', and the familiar tunes of 'Where is my Mind' spilled forth into his ears.

Drawing could wait, he decided. Right now, he wanted to lose himself to the music. He leaned back against the chair, until he was in a half-laying position, and his right foot rested against the back of the chair in front of him, while the left was sprawled out lazily across the floor.

Most kids in school paid no attention to Squall Leonhart. He was just another 'freak', as some of the kids had taken to calling him. For the most part, Squall couldn't understand what exactly made him a 'freak'. He supposed it was because he didn't look like everyone else, or dress likeanyone else. But his clothing wasn't freakish. Even now, he was dressed in a loose-gray cotton baseball shirt - with no design - and baggy-forest-green cargo pants. What was so freakish about that?

Okay, so he had nipple rings, which you could barely see pushing against his cotton shirt. Everyone had a piercing! It was a new trend now, wasn't it? If anything, he thought he'd be labeled as a homosexual, rather than a'freak'.

Why did he even bother thinking about this?

Squall directed his attention to the window that sat beside him. The room was four cornered, with two doors on the right side, and a line of windows to the left. He took a moment to examine his reflection in the window.

Dark, chocolate-brown hair laid in a tousled mess upon his head. Even though his hair was as silky and soft as water, it was nearly impossibleto tame. Cool, gray eyes stared back at him in boredom, hooded by long, thick lashes with a natural curl. His lips were full and heart-shaped,though it was almost always pressed in a thin line, or a frown.

And his body, Squall thought with disgust, often got him mistaken for a girl. His best-friend Rinoa often told him that it wasn't just his body, but his facial features as well. But Squall was convinced it was his body. His skin was a milky-white, completely flawless of freckles or other blemishes. He wasn't too tall, but he was lanky as hell. He had tried working out to gain some weight, but it hadn't helped him much. Underneath the baggy clothes was a cut - taut - body. And still, for some reason, he was sometimes mistaken for a girl.

"You really should pay attention in class," said a voice.

Squall looked up and glared when his headphones were yanked down his ears. To his dismay, Seifer Almasy sat down in the empty seat next to him.

"It's rude," he added in a tone that nearly bordered as narl. He was obviously angry that Squall hadn't listened to his introduction speech.

"Whatever," Squall replied, returning his attention to thewindow.

What a prick, he thought.

"Mister!" Seifer said in a loud voice beside him. "This kid is listening to a walkman!"

Squall turned in his chair to glare at Seifer again. The blond had his arm raised high in the air, and his emerald green gaze was fixed on Squall maliciously.

"Squall," Mr. Morimoto said. "Give the walkman to me. You can pick it up when school is done - after you serve detention."

If looks could kill, Seifer would've dropped dead.

Squall narrowed his eyes in irritation. Reluctantly, he stood from his desk and approached the front of the class, where Mr. Morimoto was waiting with his hand outstretched. After he handed his walkman to the teacher,Squall returned to his desk and shot Seifer a look that said, "I'm going to kill you."

"Don't be so rude next time, Squall," Seifer hissed as Squall slid into his chair.

Squall did his best to ignore the blond. It was hard, though. His hands were clenched into fists, and he was resisting the urge to smack Seifer across the head. Who the hell did Seifer think he was, anyway?

Class went by without further incident. Seifer was too occupied swooning several girls that inched their desks towards him. Squall had spent the rest of the period staring angrily out of the classroom window. There was no doubt in his mind that Seifer would join the football team and date a cheerleader. He was such a prick! He fit the stereotype of a jock perfectly.

When the lunch bell rang, Squall grabbed his backpack and stormed out of class. At least, so far, Seifer was only in one of his classes. An instantdislike for the blond started in the pit of his stomach. If Seifer was in anymore of his classes, he would kill himself!

"Uh-oh," Selphie said when Squall approached his small group of friends, "you're in a bad mood. What happened?"

Squall said nothing as he threw his backpack down on the bench, glaring.

For those who paid attention to Squall and his friends, they weren't only known as the 'freaks', but the 'bench people' as well. Squall often wondered how people came up with such stupid observations. Just because they hung out in an enclosed area that had several benches, they wereknown as the 'bench people'. He supposed that was what high school was all about: stupid idiots that went out of their way to piss you off.

"Squally is always in a bad mood," Irvine said as he slid an arm around the brunettes shoulders. He delivered an affectionate kiss to Squall's cheek, squeezing him tightly.

Squall grunted, but he didn't break away from Irvine's embrace.

Three months ago, Squall and Irvine decided to start a relationship. They were both aware of the consequences of their decision, but neither one wanted to pretend to be something they weren't.

So far, none of the other students did anything more than call them a bunch of faggots. That was something both of them could live with.

Squall rested his head against Irvine's shoulder and breathed in deeply. His boyfriend smelled like Ralph Laurens 'Polo' cologne, and a hint of his own masculine scent.

Before Irvine had "come out of the closet" he had been known around campus as the ladies man. Squall could not understand whyIrvine would want him, because his boyfriend was absolutely drop-dead-gorgeous. His long, auburn hair was always pulled back into aloose ponytail; his soft, brown eyes were warm and inviting; his face was slender; and his skin was just a shade darker than Squall's.

All the girls wanted him.

Most of them had him.

Squall forced those thoughts out of his head and closed his eyes. Those kinds of things didn't matter anymore. Irvine wanted to be with him now, and Squall was content with that.

"What's wrong, sweetie?" Irvine whispered against his ear.

Squall shook his head, not wanting to talk about it.

Selphie was hopping up and down from foot-to-foot.

"You guys are sooo adorable!" she squealed. Her chestnut-colored hair was pulled up into two pigtails, and her pretty face was shinning brightly by her smile. At that moment, in her pale-yellow sundress, she reminded Squall of one of the Varsity Cheerleaders.

"Are you guys eating lunch today?"

Squall looked up when a couple of his other friends, Zell, Rinoa, and Quistis, approached the benches.

Zell was the one who had asked the question. His hands were jammed into his blue, oversized shorts, and his boyish - yet good looking - face avoided Squall and Irvine. Although he reassured them that he was cool with their relationship, he admitted that he still needed time to get used to it. Irvine had told Squall one night that Zell was probably just questioning his own sexuality. But then again, Zell and Quistis had recently gotten together.

Quistis was cute with her long, blonde hair, and crystal-blue eyes. She was a favorite amongst the boys in their school. However, Rinoa gave Quistis a run for her money. Her raven-colored hair, and sympathetic brown eyes drove the boys wild. No matter how popular both girls were among theguys, there was still the 'freak' barrier that they needed to get over. Squall had no doubt that they would have a fan club if they both wore short-skirts, and tight, revealing tank tops. They both settled on the "skater-girl" look, though: tank tops and baby-tees over fitted jeans or loose slacks.

"It depends on what's on the menu," Irvine said in answer to Zell's question. He grinned at Squall, and licked the outer shell of his ear. "I may have my lunch right now."

Squall blushed a deep red, and he elbowed Irvine in the ribs.

"They're serving hot dogs," said Zell, grinning from ear-to-ear. For some strange reason, Zell had a thing for hot dogs. No one could understand why.

"Ugh," said Rinoa in disgust. "How can you eat that stuff?"

"What?" asked Zell. "It's good."

Irvine began to nibble on Squall's ear, causing an arc of pleasure to shoot through him. He momentarily forgot his irritation with Seifer Almasy, and reveled in the touch  of his beautiful boyfriend.

"So who's coming?" Zell asked jovially.

Once school was over, Squall was happy to note he shared only one class with Seifer. He hadn't encountered the blond since their class together, and Squall hoped to keep it that way.

Before he left campus, Irvine had asked him to stop by his house later on that evening. Squall more than happily agreed, and as he headed home afterschool, he felt as though nothing could dampen his spirits. . . until he opened his bedroom door.

Ever since Squall had been a little boy, he had lived in the local orphanage. No one would let him know where - or what happened - to his parents. All he knew was he had been brought here one day, and he had livedthere ever since.

Inside of his bedroom stood none other than Seifer Almasy. He was staring at the contents of Squall's room in distaste, and several large, expensive suitcases sat on a small cot near the bedroom window. The two of them stared at each other in surprise and distaste.

What were the odds of Squall finding himself in this predicament?


To be continued…

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