Blood on snow.
Squall fell to his knees, releasing a rush of breath that was warm and turned white in the icy air. The cold from the snow seeped through his clothes, into his flesh, and seized his muscles. A split down the palm of his right glove revealed the long gash in his skin. Red droplets slid down the black leather along his fingers and fell to the white snow below him. He tugged off the glove, exposing his skin to the cold. He threw the ruined glove aside and stared at his injured hand. Blood welled up sluggishly, pooling thickly in the center of his palm and running down the sides of his fingers. His nails were painted red with it, it lined the cracks and wrinkles in his flesh. As he stared, a snowflake fell into the small pool of blood and melted.
Squall looked up, peering through the veil of falling snow. The gold of summer glinted strangely in the swirling white of dead winter and ocean-green eyes regarded him from pale skin. Seifer smiled, the expression slowly occupying the pink curve of his lips.
Squall narrowed his eyes and skinned his lips from his teeth. He shivered and closed his right hand into a fist, but it hurt and he sucked in a hissing gasp through his clenched teeth. Seifer chuckled.
“Does it hurt, Leonhart? Let me see.”
Squall looked down at his palm again, then thrust it into the snow. Seifer scowled and glared at the hand that Squall hid from him. Squall’s bare flesh quickly began to hurt in the cold snow, but he kept it there.
“Childish, Leonhart,” Seifer said, shaking his head derisively. “Fine, don’t show me it. I can see that my blade struck home.” And he gestured to the blood-stained snow around Squall, and at the torn glove.
“You cheated,” Squall accused.
“No, Squall. I played dirty, there’s a difference. To cheat, there have to be rules to break,” Seifer stated patronizingly. He looked down his nose at Squall, clearly delighting in the situation... in his position, standing over the injured Squall, his fallen opponent. “Besides, you should have seen that ice spear coming a mile away; you should have felt me drawing my magic.”
“Don’t lecture me, Seifer,” Squall spat. His scathing tone was made less effective by his violent shivering. He wore a tight, black sweater and a torso-hugging black leather biker’s jacket. He could not wear clothing appropriate for the weather because it would have hindered his flexibility in the fight. Still, he was sheathed in wool and leather and he should have been relatively warm. However, he was crouched in the snow, his weight and body warmth flattening the powder beneath him. The snow had caved in on either side of his legs, burying him to above his knees. The wind itself seemed limned with ice as it bit his face and made his eyes tear.
“But, Squall! I am your elder, and one year ahead of you at Garden. It is my duty and responsibility to see to your
education!”Squall’s teeth chattered embarrassingly, his entire body shuddered with the cold. With a cry, he yanked his hand out of the snow. The blood around the cut was swirled with water and melting snow and his skin was red with frost bite. He clutched his right hand with his left, pressing his palms together to staunch the bleeding.
Squall saw Seifer’s eyes widen even through the quickly falling snow that made him blink rapidly. He imagined the picture he made, kneeling in the snow, covered in blood, his hands pressed together as he looked up. Praying, it appeared, to god or the snow or Seifer... his benefactor, his master.
Seifer, sheathed in white from neck to toe, crouched down in front of Squall, resting on his heels. He touched one ivory leather-encased finger to Squall’s chin and tilted his head.
“You’re beautiful, you know,” Seifer said in his low, smooth voice. He drew Squall’s face forward, cupping his hand around Squall’s chin. Squall held his breath, waiting to be kissed. Seifer tilted his face and leaned forward, but he did not move otherwise.
“Close your eyes,” Seifer said. He lifted Squall’s chin so that the kneeling boy’s face was to the sky.
Squall obeyed, closing his eyes. Ice kissed his face as snowflakes fell on his skin, melting as soon as they touched. He felt Seifer take his right hand and wet cold caressed his palm as Seifer rubbed snow into his wound. Squall looked down when Seifer lowered his hand again; his palm was clean, though the slice in his skin still bled. He lifted his face again and looked up into the swirling snow, the white flakes like stars against the dark sky.
“Beautiful,” Seifer whispered.
Squall felt very small, then. He felt his limitations and his imperfections. He was young and weak and slight next to Seifer; and he felt like the blond could make him disappear within one embrace, could conquer him with one word, could kill him with one blow. His anger melted away like the ice that beaded in his hair and he was left feeling vulnerable.
Seifer put one heavy hand on Squall’s shoulder, keeping him down. The warmth of his hand was slight, seeping through Squall’s black jacket and sweater. Squall stared at Seifer, his exact opposite in ivory white, his hair and eyes light where Squall’s were dark. Squall was nothing more than Seifer’s shadow, a mere reflection, a photo negative.
Seifer looked down on him, held him in place.
Squall nodded reluctantly, focusing on the burning pain in his right hand.
“You know what that means.”
Squall sighed and nodded again. “What do you want?”
“Ahh,” Seifer sighed, shifting slightly, but remaining crouched with his rear resting on his heels.
Squall bit down hard to suppress his chattering teeth. He moved as if to rise; he was freezing there where he knelt in the show. Seifer tightened his grip on Squall’s shoulder.
“No, don’t get up,” Seifer said deeply, his voice mocking polite.
Squall complied, staying still in the snow. Seifer’s hands slid along his body and settled on the pale column of Squall’s neck. His fingers curled gently around Squall’s throat, lovingly, but with the edge of a threat.
Squall leaned away from Seifer, kneeling with his back arched and chest up, his arms stretched behind him, his hands buried in the snow. Seifer smiled and followed him. He slipped his fingers into the tousled mop of Squall’s brown hair and put his face very near.
“What do you want,” Squall sighed, his breath clouding between their mouths. Warmth spread through his chest despite the thin layer of snow that coated his body. Seifer’s hands were on him, his hair was a golden glint within the thick veil of swirling snow, his lips two pink curves so near. Squall’s chest was tight, he could take no more than a shallow gasp of air, then he breathed, “What do you... ”
Seifer put his mouth on Squall’s lightly, only just touching, to silence him. Seifer spoke into his mouth, lips moving over his so softly that they tickled the sensitive flesh.
“Just a kiss. Only one... small... little... kiss...” His voice grew more quiet with each word.
Squall managed a breath and then Seifer pushed his lips against his. Seifer kissed him deeply, mouth wide and warm.
Hyne, Seifer knew how to kiss. Squall’s shoulders, which had been hunched up, sagged and his muscles relaxed as the pressure of Seifer’s mouth on his sent every thought from his mind. Seifer nibbled at his lips and slipped his warm tongue against his. He licked at the slick surface of his teeth, pulling at his flesh, caressing the roof of his mouth, stroking his tongue repeatedly. It was impossible not to respond in kind.
Seifer supported him as he slumped back. He gripped his arms and let him fall slowly to the snow. Squall gasped into Seifer’s mouth as snow touched his neck and the cold seeped through his leather coat and sweater. He moaned softly and grabbed the lapels of Seifer’s white leather jacket, then slid his hands to take two handfuls of his wool sweater.
Sweet defeat; Squall lost and was rewarded in one stroke. Seifer’s punishment was pleasure, the boon he always asked of Squall. When he beat Squall in battle, he demanded his due payment... he could dominate Squall doubly by making him enjoy his penance.
A tear burned Squall’s cold cheek, slid over his temple and fell from his hair into the snow. It froze immediately.
Seifer dropped his chest onto Squall’s and lifted his lips. He wiped his forefinger on the wet trail on Squall’s cheek and smiled.
“I love it when I win.”
Squall turned his face and pressed his cheek into the snow while Seifer laughed and ran his fingers idly through Squall’s hair.
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