Something In Between

Part 2

By fyre byrd

The last thing Squall expected to see when he returned to his room at four AM was Seifer sitting up at his desk, his face lit dramatically by the yellow glow of a lamp that threw strange shadows across the papers he'd been working on.

"Good morning," the blonde man said pleasantly, rubbing his index finger against his forehead and inadvertently leaving a pencil smudge there. Squall let the shock melt away from his face.

"Are you okay?" he asked, dropping his jacket and his gunblade belt at the door and coming over to examine Seifer closely. Seifer's green eyes sparked gently like a banked fire. He was clearly tired, but still genuinely amused by his room mate's concern.

"You've got pencil there," Squall said and rubbed Seifer's forehead gently to wipe it off.

"You know, I wanted to be mad at you," Seifer told him, sighing and dropping his pencil on his desk. "I stayed up all night waiting for you so I could really give you a piece of my mind, but you never make it easy, do you?"

Squall just stood there looking like a lion in captivity, out of place and lost. Seifer took pity on him instantly.

"Zell told me something today that really upset me." Squall's eyes suddenly avoided Seifer's, they turned a deeper, more distant blue as if they'd frozen over.

"What did he tell you?" Squall asked evenly.

"He said you'd asked Cid behind my back to let us continue sharing a room. He said he thought we were sleeping together because he knew you had a ting for me." Squall looked completely frozen now, a statue carved from ice that would shatter if yourstruck it and Squall was just waiting for that final blow. "Why didn't you tell me?" Seifer asked.

The statue melted a bit, enough for Squall to frown. "I didn't want to make unreasonable demands on you. You were unwell and my priority was to see to your recovery," Squall said stiffly.

"Didn't it ever occur to you," Seifer asked gently, "that if you'd have told me it might have helped my recovery?" Emotions swirled rapidly across Squall's face like ribbons of light in running water.

"You didn't seem to need some other burden on you. I just wanted you to be all right." Squall stuttered out uncertainly. "Seifer, are you trying to tell me something?"

"I'm telling you that I  . . . have feelings for you too, you fool. Weren't you listening in Kadowaki's office when I poured my heart out?"

"But that was then. I thought . . ."

"Well, and Zell was right. You've all but beat me over the head with your feelings without saying a word. Who else would have stood by me all this time when I was in such a miserable state? We've been sleeping in the same bed for months. I must be an utter fool."

Squall drew closer to Seifer, pulled by the pain in his harsh words and put his hands on Seifer's shoulders. "Don't talk about yourself like that. It hurts me to hear you like that." Squall's words were uncertain and hesitant as if they were the first he'd ever spoken in a new language. Seifer smiled faintly.

"We've been through a lot together, haven't we Leonheart?" Squall nodded and squeezing Seifer's shoulders, drew him up out of his chair.

"So, you aren't angry with me then?"

Seifer laughed lightly and the rich tone seemed to disperse the dark shadows in the room for a moment, leaving only warmth.

"I am, a little, but only at myself. You're right, you know, about me not being ready. I don't know how much I can give you Squall. My fear still surprises me at the most inconvenient moments." Squall smiled a little.

"If you're the Seifer I know, then I have the feeling that you won' let a little bit of fear conquer you." His mouth straightened and he grew serious, "but I won't hurt you, not ever. I'll always ask. How's that? If you say no, then I'll stop right away."

Seifer nodded and moved closer to Squall so as to better see the shifting lights in his eyes. Squall reached up and slid his fingers down Seifer's cheek to rest beneath his chin. Standing on his toes, Squall kissed Seifer gently on his lips as he had once before when Seifer was in the midst of a nightmare.

"Is that okay?" he whispered.

"Yeah," Seifer replied equally softly.

Squall kissed him again, his tongue sliding between Seifer's trembling lips and being met with a passionate response. The liquid noises of their lips meeting was the only sound in the room. Squall was surprised by the depth of his longing for Seifer's lips. He wanted to feel the texture of every surface of them, wanted to consume every bit of the blonde-haired man that he could, but he reluctantly pulled back and asked, slightly breathless, "how about that?"

"Yeah . . . That's okay." Seifer responded, his eyes still half-lidded and his body inclining towards Squall as though he were the sun from which Seifer drew his nourishment. Now Seifer bent his head and wrapped his arms around Squall and kissed him longer and deeper than they had before so that every inch of their bodies met and Squall could feel their teeth pressing together against their lips as Seifer sucked rather savagely at his tongue. When they parted again, Seifer was gasping for breath and a fine film of moisture had gathered in his eyes and caught sparks from the lamp. Squall slid his arms up Seifer's back so that they were joined completely, as close as they could be. "It's okay, Seifer. This is real."

"I know," he replied thickly, feeling Squall's soft brown hair brush his chin.

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