Disclaimer: At the beginning of chapter one.

Interesting Reviews: Thanks DSC, I think that's what your name said. I had just been reading a bunch of stories where Squall was turned into a blubbering baby. I guess it got on my nerves so much that I let a little of that defensiveness slip into my story. Sorry about that. I'll try to fix it. And I didn't mean to make Quistis seem like that, but she gets worried over everything, I just meant she was taking it to heart about who was going to keep everyone in line and whatnot. Oh well, what's done is done. Thanks everyone for reading! Oh and on a short note, I guess that since it's been awhile since the war, that Squall had grown stronger. And I didn't think that Quistis knew exactly how to do the delicate computer work that he does. Don't worry, I didn't take it as a flame or anything, I'm actually glad you wrote that! Thanks! ~_~

Terminal Recovery

Chapter Four - Denial

By Tori Singer

Squal still wouldn't talk to me. The entire train ride lasted three hours and Squall never said a word, just stared out the window when he wasn't coughing. I felt bad for him, though. But, it was for his own good. I stood and sighed when the train pulled to a stop. I glanced out the window at the dust blowing in the wind. How nice, I always loved the sights of Winhill.

"Come on." I urge my commander to follow me. He just stares at me before standing. I hold my breath as I walk to the open doors of the train. I was so damn nervous! We got off the train, holding our bags. The town was pretty run down since we'd been there last. There was the store, it sold everything you could think of, considering it was the only shop for miles around.

I spotted the small house off to the side, down a little dirt road. That was where we were headed. It belonged to Xu, but she was letting us use it while Squall recovered. I turned to my friend, who was looking around, obviously not impressed.

"Um, you wanna buy some clothes or head on over to the house?" I asked as calmly as possible, watching Squall stretch, revealing more of his taunt skin. I held my breath, waiting for him to answer. He yawned, looking like a bear waking up from hibernation. He was probably worn out. But he surprised me.

"I'll check out the store." He said before walking toward the building. I contemplated on what I should do before following Squall. I didn't know if he meant alone, or if he didn't mind if I tagged along. He glanced back at me but didn't say anything. Hopefully that was a good thing. A bell on the door let everyone in the store know we'd come in. Not that there was anybody else besides the girl behind the counter. She looked at us in surprise. I guess not many people visited.

"Hello! Welcome to Winhill, my name's Katy!" She greeted us as if she'd never seen another human in a long time. I grinned lazily and waved, Squall just nodded. He could put people off in the coolest way....

"Hi." I offered her, following Squall to the clothes section. This should be quick, Squall wasn't the type to dally in a store, was he? Nah, I thought as Squall looked through some shirts. How wrong I was.

"Are you done yet?" I asked for the umpteenth time. I heard the commander sigh in frustration and walk away. I groaned and hefted my bundle in my arms. Yeah, he's been shopping for hours and I'm stuck carrying everything. I mean everything you can think of. Pants, socks, shirts, boxers, I mean sheesh, am I his personal slave. My body tingled at that thought. I don't think I'd mind being his slave...

I bring myself out of it when I see Squall head toward the counter. I sigh in relief and follow. I stand next to him as the lady starts pulling the stuff out of my arms to ring them up. I waited patiently. Ten minutes later, she's handing me all the damn bags. I mumble and grumble but I hook all the bags on my arms. Squall pays her and starts out the door. I wobble unsteadily before following out the door. He didn't even open the door for me! I'm beggining to think that this is his personal revenge for being drug out here. I get to put up with it. Ugh.

I try to look around all the bags as Squall walks in the direction of the house. I'm glad he's decided to get settled in, my arms are killing me! We walked up the short dirt covered driveway and up to the front door. Squall turns to me and steps to the side.

"You've got the key." He smirks at me. I groan and try to reach into my pocket with all the bags on my arms. It's harder than Hell and I'm struggling. He's loving it, the prick. He's just looking at me without mercy as I finally get the key. I stick it in the lock and turn, the old door coming open. It wasn't even locked! I turn and glare at Squall who just looks away innocently. I'm fuming by the time I set the bags down in the living room, next to the small sofa.

I look around the house as Squall shuts the door. There's a little dust everywhere, Xu said she hadn't been there in a while. The living room is pretty plain. There was the maroon carpeting, which covered the whole floor up to the kitchen. The small kitchen was bright. White tiles and a brown table with yellow designs in the middle. The cabinets are all yellow. A refrigerator and a stove, that was all the applicances besides the coffe maker.

Squall starts grabbing his bags and heading up the stairs next to the front door. I take pity on him and I grab the rest of the bags, following him up. There were four doors in the upper area of the house. Squall opens one door and then closes it. He looks at me.

"Bathroom." He answers bluntly. I roll my eyes and follow him on down the hall. He opens another door. It's a spare bedroom. He goes inside and sets his bags down. I follow suit. I then turn to leave.

"Zell." I freeze and listen.

"Yeah?" I say finally. I don't hear anything. I begin to wonder and I turn around. Squall was sitting on the bed, looking at me with a very small smile on his face. You could barely tell it was there.

"I hope you have a nice time." My eyes widen. What?

"Um, okay?" I mumble, backing out of the room and away from that pleading stare. What was he trying to say? I'll never understand that man. One minute he's brooding and griping, the other he's being very confusing. I roll my eyes at his slight immaturity before heading downstairs. I grab my duffel bag that I'd left next to the sofa.

I explored the other two rooms, finding one of them to be Xu's bedroom. I quickly left, not wanting to intrude into someone else's territory. I looked at the other bedroom. It had light purple wallpaper. I grouch to myself. Should've figured Squall'd get the blue room. I shrug and throw the bag on the bed. I start to unpack, refolding the shirts that had tumbled loose on the trip. I come across the bag of medicine that Dr. Kadowaki had entrusted to me.

It had a few bottles of pills in it. There was a paper with instructions. It said that Squall was to take this pill three times a day right before he ate. The other was only two a day. In the morning and before bed. I decided to give them to Squall, he could handle it. They were his pills after all. I left my room and headed across the hall to my friend's. I didn't bother knocking, he was just probably putting his clothes away.

"Hey Squall." I said as I entered the room. What met me was a beautiful sight. Squall had nothing on but a pair of boxers. I watched Squall slightly turn red before grabbing a pair of pants off the bed. I averted my gaze and thrust the bottles toward him.

"Here, your medicine." I said quickly, trying not to look at him. I heard him walking over toward me. I stared down at the bare feet in front of me. I felt his hands around mine as he takes the bottles.

"Thanks." He mumbles and turns away. I sigh in relief that I hadn't done anything stupid. I hear him chuckle. I look up at him. He darts his eyes to my crotch and then back at my face. I immediantly know what he was looking at. I waste no time in leaving, shutting the door hard behind me. I stare down at my traitorous organ, who was indeed making himself known. I quickly go to my room, embarrassed beyond belief. He had to know now, he HAD to. I groaned and plopped down on my bed. This sucks.

I don't know how long I laid there, but the sun was starting to set. I must've fallen asleep. I wonder what Squall was doing. I remembered the incident in the bedroom and groaned. I didn't know if I could go down to dinner. But my growling stomach wouldn't leave me alone. So I dragged myself up and off of the bed. I left the room, silently hoping that he was asleep or something.

I made my way down the stairs. I could smell something delicious. Uh oh, that meant he was up and cooking, when he was supposed to be relaxing! I turned the corner and entered the living room. I could see Squall in the kitchen, sitting at the table. He was reading something and had a plate of sphaghetti sitting in front of him. He took a bite and finished reading the paper. He looked up at me when I entered.

I tried not to look him in the eyes as I sat at the table. I watched him eat for a minute.

"You know you're not supposed to do anything strenuous." I piped up, catching the naughty undertone of that statement. Squall looked at me without much expression. But, the twinkle in his eyes told me that he was thinking the same thing. He finally laughs a bit, which surprises me.

"I didn't know that opening a can of sphaghetti was very hard." He laughed at my look. I glanced over at the stove, no pots or pans out. I felt akward under his gaze regardless. My stomach growled again, causing him to snort softly.

"You gonna eat something?" He asked, turning back to his paper. I stood and started rummaging through the cabinets. I found nothing that looked appealing, so I checked the refrigerator. There was nothing in there. Guess I'd have to go to the store. I went back to the cabinets and finally settled on a can of chicken noodle soup.

It didn't take long before I had the soup piping hot and was settled at the table. Squall had finished a while before and was now intent on reading the paper. I wondered if it was this town's newspaper or something. I wondered what there was to do in this town for entertainment. Probably not much. I should look around the house for board games or something. But, would Squall even play a board game with me? Probably not.

At least there was a TV. I didn't know how many channels it got, but hopefully there were movies around. Or a radio, maybe. Show off my sexy moves and seduce him into my bed, oh yeah and pull the gunblade out of my ass while I'm at it. I come out of my thoughts when he stands. He puts his bowl in the sink and washes his hands. I watch him glance at me on the way out.

"I'm going for a walk, ok?" I am immediantly suspicious, but I let it slide.

"Don't make me come looking for you." I threaten. He just rolls his eyes and walks away.

"Yes, daddy." He mumbles sarcastically. I grin at that thought. I imagine him under me, saying that. I moan very quietly to myself as he walks out the door. Maybe I should follow him? I slash that thought, I didn't want to die yet. So I just plopped on the couch and turned the TV on. Every channel, which was only four by the way, was really fuzzy and it sounded like the news. I growl and turn it off.

Squall walked around the small town in the fading light. Everything looked a little spooky after night fell. Not that he'd admit it to anybody. He sighed, wishing he could tell Zell how thankful he was. He was glad that it was Zell that came with him. He knew he has been an asshole these past few days, especially to Zell. He didn't want to hurt the little blond.

The commander thought of all his friends back at the garden. He knew that they all meant well but he just didn't want to be weak. He had to be strong, but there was a limit. He didn't feel like he was going to die or anything, but he did feel restricted. He found himself standing in front of the store he'd been in earlier. Maybe he'd pick up some food or something.

He walked in the store, the same bell going off like before. He looked around, hoping to see that girl, Katy or something. She did appear, she appeared to be scared to death. He walked up to the counter.

"Problem?" Squall asked her. She looked at the brunette with a pale face. She looked to be at least nineteen or so. She nodded at him.

"You live in the house on the hill." She said plainly. Squall's eyebrow cocked. That was the problem?

"So?" He retorted. She shook her head.

"You don't understand, you must leave that place immediantly!" This got his attention. He leaned forward.

"Why?" He asked queitly, getting a little unnerved. She grabbed his shoulder.

"A terrible ghost lives in that house!" She told me. Squall tried to keep from laughing. He never believed in ghosts. He patted her arm.

"I'm sure we'll be fine." He told her. She stomped her foot.

"No! You must get out of there! Please, that ghost is very violent." She pleaded with the commander. He shook his head.

"Alright." He told her. He knew it was a lie but he also knew she wouldn't leave him alone otherwise. She looked very relieved, which unnerved him. He forgot all about shopping and left the store, waving behind him. He started back toward the house. A loud scream in the night chilled him right to the bone. It was Zell's. He wasted no time in running to the house.

I wonder how long Squall will be gone? I ask myself for the zillionth time. I shuffle through the house, looking in every cubby space for something to do. I found nothing. I finally decided to explore Xu's room. I knew it was wrong, but no one would know. I opened the door quietly despite being the only one in the house.

It was dark in the room, I couldn't make anything out. I flipped the lightswitch after fumbling for it a bit. The room filled with light, a soft white glare. I looked around, it didn't look like a room that would belong to Xu. It was fitted for a young man. There were rock posters everywhere and strange red spots on the white carpet. This wasn't the same room as I was in earlier I'm sure but this was the only other room up here!

I started to freak out when I noticed a radio in the corner of the room. It flipped on, flooding the house with a loud rock metal song. My heart jumps into my throat and I cover my ears with my hands to drown out the sound. I close my eyes and wish it would just stop. It did, after a minute or two.

I slowly open my eyes, the radio had turned off. I quickly shut the door and turn around in the hall. I scream loudly at the transparent figure in front of me. It's face twisted, turning very hideous. I've never been so terrified in my life. I try to run, to scream again, but nothing works. I just stand there, watching it. Finally, it screeches at me, freezing me to the bone. I feel lightheaded and I feel my head hit the floor. I close my eyes and drown out the screaming.

"Hey." I groan, trying to find my bearings. I open my eyes, expecting that creature again. I sit straight up, looking around. I was in Squall's room, and he was sitting on the bed next to me. I couldn't help it, I wrapped my arms around his neck.

"Squall! You'll never believe what happened!" I start babbling, telling him what happened. He grabs my arms and pries me from his body. He looks at me seriously.

"Zell, you can't expect me to believe that a ghost started playing a radio and screamed at you." He said. It did sound strange, but it really happened! I grabbed his hand, pulling him toward the door. I dragged him across the hall to the room where the radio was. I swung open the door and gaped. Pink wallpaper, white carpet with no stains. No posters, no radio. I look at Squall who was staring at me strangely.

"B-but I!" I tried, but he grabbed my arms. He shook me a little.

"Listen, there's nothing in here, you probably watched a horror movie and got scared." He said. I felt offended but said nothing. He wouldn't believe me anyway. What was I gonna do? What happened to the room that I saw? Who was that ghost? I pondered as I followed Squall to the kitchen. I plopped in a chair and continued to think. Squall sat down across from me.

"Don't worry about it." I heard him say. I could hear a hint of doubt in his voice. I gave it a shot.

"You believe me, right?" I pleaded. He sighed and looked at me.

"I didn't see any ghost and didn't hear any music. I just found you laying on the floor, out like a light." I flushed, I hope he didn't think I fainted or anything, which I did....

"It was just so creepy." I shivered just thinking about it. Squall popped his medicine and took a drink of water. He looked better than when he was at the Garden.

"Feeling better?" I ask him. He looks at me and shrugs.

"A little." He stated, crossing his arms. Uh oh, he's shelling up again. I stand and walk over to him.

"Hey, what time is it?" I ask. He looks at his watch.

"Ten after One." He tells me. I was shocked. I didn't know it was that late, or early, whichever. I yawn and scratch my head. I didn't really want to go to sleep, who knew if I'd see that ghost again or not. Squall stood and walked toward the stairs. I panicked.

"You're not leaving me alone, are you?" I ask him, grabbing his arm. He stares at me like I'd just turned purple from head to toe.

"Yes, I'm going to bed." He stated like it was the most obvious thing in the world. I groaned and begged.

"But, Squall! I-" I stopped myself. I didn't want to tell him I was scared. He raised an eyebrow.

"You scared, Zell?" He asked, smirking slightly. The bastard.

"N-no, just a little unsettled." I lied. He bought it and turned to the stairs.

"Goodnight, then." He said and went to his room. I clenched my teeth and looked around, nervous. I slowly made my way up the stairs and walked past Xu's room. I hesitated, debating opening the door or not. I chickened out and ran to my room. I slammed the door behind me and leaned against it. I looked around, paranoid.

Seeing nothing out of the ordinary, I made my way to the dresser. I quickly pulled out a pair of pajamas and changed into them. I threw my old clothes on the floor, planning on taking them to the hamper tomorrow, when it was daylight. I shivered, getting into bed. It was a little darker than I would have liked. I mentally smacked myself. Why was I getting scared over such a stupid thing?

I closed my eyes and laid there, willing sleep to come. It didn't, never fails. I sigh, trying to get comfortable. I feel movement and I open my eyes. I lean up and look down at the foot of the bed. My eyes widened to saucers. There was a dent....in the..bed. Someone...sitting....

"AHHHHH!" I couldn't help but scream as I leap out of bed. I race to the door and make my way to the hallway. I never looked back as I banged Squall's door open.

"Squall!" I scream and jump on him on the bed. He grunts loudly and turns over to look at me. I'm straddling his hips. I'm too scared to think about that now.

"Squall! There There was a! Something was on! My bed!" I get out, panting. He puts his hands behind his head and looks at me.

"What?" He asks finally. I roll my eyes and bounce a bit, irritated.

"Something was on my bed!" I tell him. He frowns.

"I hope you're not asking to share my bed with me." He tells me. I wasn't planning on it, but now that he mentions it....

"Please!" I beg, trying to look like Selphie when she pouts at Irvine. I watch Squall debate with himself. He pushes me off of him. I roll to the edge of the bed. He scoots as far away from me as possible.

"Stay on that side and go to sleep. Don't talk, don't even breathe." He tells me. I quickly get under the covers, looking at the open door. My gaze falls on the door to my bedroom. I'd left it open. I crane my neck to see my bed. The dent was gone from what I could tell. I didn't dare move, I just laid there, staring into the hallway. I heard Squall breath slowly next to me. I look over at him. He seemed to be asleep.

A sound catches my attention. I look at the hallway. I hear it again. It was like something being scooted across the floor, on a carpet. I listen, my heart beating a million miles a minute. It stops and then I hear a thump. I jerk the blankets over my head and shake. I never liked ghost stories or anything spooky. It was my weakness. I laid there all night, shivering and willing the sun to come out....


End of chapter 4.



Notes: Well, I don't know where I got the ghost idea, I'd run out of things to do and it seemed too boring for them to have a 'normal' vacation. This is gonna be fun... *rubs hands together evilly.*


Return to Archive | next | previous