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Silence of Balamb
By The March Hare
It was quiet, but not entirely. A shadowy figured checked the corner with his eyes before stepping around it. The train station was eerily void of people and life. Perfect, too perfect. Something was up, and it was in his pants. Damn, there he went thinking of that stoic little brunette again. All right, let’s try again, and this time, concentrate on the task at hand.
There had been an outburst of illness in the area. Millions… no wait, probably something closer to dozens, had to adapt to sign language for their voice had mysteriously gone… missing. He knew who was responsible. It was obvious, in fact, to everyone but the man assigned to the job. Poor Squall would never catch him, but the chase was well worth it for the humor to others. Zell was the guilty party, but Squall’s main suspect? Hardly. That damn ditz was questioning Seifer.
Why wasn’t it Seifer? Duh! The man had been locked away months ago on charges of insanity. The statuesque blonde was no doubt sitting in his big golden birdcage humming along to classical music. There went his pants again. Damn, damn, and double damn! This concentrating thing was just not working! Irvine shifted in his black chaps. There was a faster way to remedy this little problem. Standing on his tiptoes to peer over the window frame, Irvine “concealed” himself in the bushes. Unfortunately, his hat made his presence a slight bit more obvious than he assumed.
Inside, Irvine’s eyes swept every inch of the room, or what he could see of it. It was dark, and therefor had no lights. The lamppost outside opened a small yellow window on the floor, exposing three and half pairs of socks, a pair black pair of bondage pants, a red pair of bondage pants, and a navy pair of bondage pants. If it were a Dr. Seuss were the narrator instead of Irvine, that last sentence might have come out a little differently. In any case, back to the spying. Uh… I meant, “researching”, right. Among the various pants and socks, a right hand twitched in the hat-shaped silhouette. Was it attached? Or just a freak science experiment gone wrong… Negative. Squall was just sleeping on the floor with no clothes. Irvine’s eyes grew wide, stretching beyond a normal human being’s capability, until he accomplished an official cartoon outtake. A thin trickle of blood from his left nostril completed the effect. His chaps were even more uncomfortable now.
Squall shifted in his sleep. What time could it have been? And why was Irvine standing outside his window with a classic anime nosebleed. Irvine didn’t matter for the moment, instead, his thoughts shifted to the location of the nearest lavatory. Then his thoughts shifted to the question of relocating there versus falling back asleep on the floor and mopping up the mess later… When he didn’t have a three-day hangover.
Luckily, Squall opted for the bathroom. When he returned to his warm spot, the brunette swore quietly that he would seek revenge on the caged blonde for daring him to drink so much. He had a job to do, damn it! And if Squall didn’t drag his ass up soon he’d be fired from it. The sun was rising and its ruby tendrils seemed to reach behind his eyeballs and suck out his brain. It hurt, to say the least. None-the-less, Squall pulled his body up into a sitting position…sort of. Three feet from his five o’clock shadow, seven A.M. shadow that is, were a partially decent pair of black silk boxers. He swung a hand at them, trying to hook some part of the slick fabric within his grip. Oh Christ, it had nearly slipped his mind! But not so lucky, for this was an “undercover mission”. Meaning, that bastard Cid had used it as an excuse to make him wear the most ridiculous he had ever seen on a man. Not that it was a ridiculous outfit by itself; it just belonged on someone of the opposite sex.
Selphie had cheered in her genkiest voice “But you look so pretty!”
Quistis had nodded and held up a camera. Darting away form the boxers, his agile hands soon found the equally midnight garter belts, ladies underwear, and stuffed bra. God, this was his most humiliating job yet, and he didn’t even know how to put on the stockings right. At least the rest of the outfit wasn’t so risqué. A plain white button up blouse and navy skirt that reached his knees. There was a jacket that matched the skirt, but it was too hot this morning. Squall slung it over his shoulder and headed out the door.
Slightly startled by his discovery, Irvine stepped away from the bushes outside the Balamb Hotel and greeted the boy…err… girl. “Morning, off to H.Q.?” Squall scoffed and pulled down the hem of his skirt. “Oh please, that’s such a cliché. It’s only the Garden. And yes, that is where I’m heading…after I find a coffee shop.”
“Mind if I follow you conspicuously from four feet away?” He asked, falling into said step behind the cross-dresser.
“I’ll pay for your coffee…”
“…Fine, but we have a long day of hunting, err, tracking ahead of us, so don’t fall behind.”
Irvine bowed as he opened the door to the shop for Squall.
Squall snorted and went in, dodging the hand that reached for his bra strap. “My hero…”
“I do try.”
“Get to the point, Headmaster.” Squall glared ahead in his uncomfortable chair in Cid’s office.
“The point is, that I want you to go down and see a patient being held at the Happier Days Mental Institution.” Cid leaned back in his overly comfortable and put his feet on the desk. Almost…Almost… If Squall would just uncross his legs...
“And who might that be, Headmaster?” Shifting in his chair slightly, Squall unpeeled the exposed portion of his legs from the cheap leather.
Cid’s chair slid out from under him and the older man went sprawling to the floor. “Ah, I believe you know him; Doctor Almasy.” He said, climbing back up. For a few moments, Squall contemplated the meaning behind this. He did know Almasy, and had been to see him quite often since his imprisonment.
Irvine spoke up. “Seifer isn’t a doctor, sir.”
“Well, we’re trying to have some semblance to the Silence of the Lambs plot line, so let’s just say he’s plays a pretty good one.”
Indeed he did. In fact, when the ‘doctor’ had been free, that had been his favorite party game.
“Okay, I have no problem with that.”
“So why do you want us to go see him? Does he know something about…” Squall looked over his shoulder cautiously, “…The case?”
“We believe so, but he won’t talk to any of our people. I think you should be able to reach him though.”
“I appreciate your confidence in my abilities, sir, but I worry about his methods of questioning…” Most of which, as Squall knew only too well, involved something of an “exchange”.
“Nonsense! You’ll do fine, now get going before I make you wear something more embarrassing!” Cid called ushering them out.
So they stood outside the asylum in silence: a cowboy, and a cross-dresser.
The cowboy turned to the cross-dresser and said, “So now what?”
Squall looked the old crumbling building over again, then turned back to Irvine. “You wait here. If I’m not back in two hours, go home and forget you ever saw Happier Days.” Then he took in his breath sharply through his nose, and entered.
Seeing absolutely nothing else do to, Irvine plopped down on the grass in front of the sign with a smiling sun and began making daisy chains.
It was dark, just like his room was at the moment…Probably. The smell of musk and sweat smacked into him with enough force to send him stumbling back a few feet. Undaunted, Squall continued through the next three doors, down a big scary stone staircase, and through a bunch more doors until he came to some even scarier metal double doors.
Squall raised his knuckles and rapped thrice.
“Come in, Squall.” Crept from behind the imposing barrier.
Tentatively, he entered the low-lit room that held Seifer’s cage.
“My, you’re doing an awfully good job of walking in heals. Were you practicing before this story?”
Seifer, just as the narrator Irvine had earlier predicted, sat in an elegant chair with his ever-present classical music playing from a record beside him. “Come closer, let me see what you look like in drag.”
“It’s not funny, Seifer. I nicked my leg eleven times trying to shave it yesterday.” Squall walked to the edge of the cage and leaned against the bars in a suggestive way.
Immediately rising from his seat, Seifer rushed to his side and wrapped his hands over Squall’s, pushing closer to his captive. “Was that before or after you drank thirteen shots of tequila, dearest?”
Blushing slightly, he looked away. “…After.”
“Ah, well that shouldn’t matter now, you’ll heal. Why did you come here? Surely not just to see me?”
“Don’t flatter yourself, Seifer, they ordered me to.” Squall pulled just out of the blonde’s reach, and began a slow pace around the cage to the door.
“So you want answers about the silencings, then?” His eyes followed the clicking of each heal with a predatory gaze.
“Yes.” Trailing his hand along the bars, Squall finally reached the door.
Seifer met him there. “I want something from you in return.”
“…And that is?” Fiddling with the latch, teasingly, he smiled coyly.
“Need it be said?”
“Apparently not, just look at all the otakus with nosebleeds.” Squall said, finally opening the cage and settling onto the feather bed inside.
“Well then let’s not waste time talking…” Seifer closed his eyes and ran nimble fingers up Squall’s inner thigh, inhaling the air just above his stuffed chest like it was a bed of roses. Agile workings soon had black lace fluttering to rest over the edge of the chair. The same fingers soon removed Squall’s shirt and bra; his skirt, too, was pushed up to his thin waist. Seifer sat back to admire the offering.
“Squall, How in the Hell did you get boxers hidden under tiny lacey women’s underwear?”
“I’m just special like that and the author is trying to annoy all the yaoi-loving readers.”
Seifer’s eyebrows shot up and he looked around the cage frantically. “Yaoi? Where? I don’t see any.”
Squall shrugged. “Wasn’t my idea.”
“Okay then, where were we?” The sane-challenged blonde ran his hand up Squall’s smooth shins before grabbing the brunette’s knees and squeezing them just over the nerve.
A shriek of laughter rose up in Squall’s throat and his body recoiled into a fetal position.
“You…bastard…” he panted, glaring.
“Never leave yourself vulnerable to my supreme evils.” Seifer cackled from his crouched position across the cage where he had fled to also laughing hysterically.
“Your supreme evil is tickling?”
Seifer looked confused for a moment while his eyes stared off into space. “…Maybe…”
They both broke into more fits of laughter.
“Wow, the author is getting pretty desperate for non-plot points. Should we give her a hand?”
Squall stood from the bed and brushed himself off then looked up thoughtfully. “Sure, why not? You’re it!” He said then ran over and tagged Seifer’s shoulder before darting back away.
Just in front of a large wooden sign with a child-like sun (that in no way could have been painted by a child) painted under “Happier Days Mental Institution”, stirred a strange pile of oddly linked flowers. Irvine sat up and spat out a few too many daisy chains.
The cowboy reached into his back pocket to investigate the cause of his awakening. Two pieces of watermelon flavored gum, a black piece of string, a shard of blue glass, sixteen separate daisy chains, a pack of candy cigarettes, a magazine about hog-tying animals other than hogs, a tape cassette on how to learn French, and another magazine entitled “All the Right Moves”. He had large… pockets. Upon opening the hog-tying magazine to the marked pages, Irvine was reminded of just what marked those pages. Seifer had made a deal to trade them for Pulse Ammo. Putting aside his spy pictures of Squall sleeping at his desk that he had bought off Quistis, he sighed and inspected the other magazine.
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