Notes: Hey! Zierra? I think that's your name, I can't remember the spelling exactly. Well, THANKS for the review! I mean it! *laughs happily* You've motivated me to go ahead and start this chapter after I posted the last one and seen your review. So, thanks to you, this chapter will be posted today, too! Well, I'm glad that I creeped you out, I admit that writing it is a little creepy, too. *smiles shyly* I love picking on Squall, I know exactly how I want this shit to fly and then come to a conclusion. I'm not done writing yet, so you have more of this story to read AND review! Nice, aren't I? Oh, and don't always jump to conclusions about what happens in my story, because you're bound to be surprised all over again.....ha ha ha....

Terminal Recovery

Chapter Twelve - Solemn Roadtrip

By Tori Singer

It figures that it would be raining, it matches the mood in this car completely. We no more than pulled out of the town when it started pouring. Lightning flashed across the sky, lighting up the dark clouds above head. And here I thought it would be a sunny day...

I look across the backseat to Squall, who was just sitting there, staring ahead. I sigh, how can we pull you out of this before it's too late? I mean, you've been stuck in time compression and everything else, but you always managed to pull through. Why not now? Why can't you just look over at me and smile?

"Ok, you need to take the road on the left up here...." I hear David talking to Matt. His nose was buried in a road map. I hear Matt snort at his lover.

"But, wouldn't that take us toward Galbadia Garden?" I almost laugh as David furiously looks at the map again. He laughs nervously.

"Oh, I guess you're right. Well, then, we turn right at the next crossroad!" I almost feel better, knowing that they were with me. I wonder what it was like, having to kill your own lover and brother? I didn't want to think about it. I then pondered, did David and Matt kill everybody that turned like this? I shut that out of my mind. In their shoes, I probably would've done the same thing.

I stare out the window at the falling rain. I was just so depressed. I wonder what Squall's soul is doing, if anything at all. I sigh, unable to bring myself out of the blue funk I was in. I could hear Squall yelling at me, telling me to suck it up and be cheerful again. I almost smile at the thought. I guess Squall would be mad at me if he knew how depressed I was. I stop, suddenly thinking of something. I was talking about Squall in the past tense, like he was already dead. That was Squall's worst fear, wasn't it? I shivered.

I watched the river as we passed it, heading toward Timber. It was filling slowly on account of the rain. I hoped it didn't rain too much, we wouldn't want a flood now would we? I'm suddenly grateful that David and Matt came with me. Now Squall and myself wouldn't have to walk or ride an expensive train. But, I will volunteer to put gas in the car. It's the least I can do. I lean back in my seat, my eyes drooping. I was beginning to feel tired after staying up all night, scared and losing hope.

I can't keep from yawning. David turns around in his seat to look at me.

"You can sleep if you want, I'll wake you up when we get to Timber." He offers, his usually happy expression now somber. I smile weakly at him. I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep, not with Squall suffering like this.

"Thanks." I tell him, scooting over and laying my head on Squall's stiff shoulder. He never moves, just stares ahead. I can smell the saddlesoap on his leather jacket. I had him dress in his old clothes, it just made me feel better for some reason. I stare at Griever hanging from his neck. It seemed to be just as lifeless as Squall. I sighed and closed my eyes, letting my weariness take over.

"Hey." I twitch, opening my eyes. David was leaning over me from his position in the passenger seat. I blinked, had I fallen asleep?

"How long have I been asleep?" I ask, sitting up off of my still lifeless friend. He looked like he'd never changed positions since we got in the car.

"About an hour or so. We're in Timber." I look out the window. He was right, there was the hotel. I noticed that Matt wasn't in the car.

"Where'd he go?" I nodded toward the empty driver's seat. David plopped back in his seat, pulling out his road map.

"I think he needed to piss, he didn't say." I sit back in my seat before deciding to get out. I needed to go to the bathroom. I look over at Squall, I wonder if he gets hungry or anything?

"Um, do you have to go to the bathroom, Squall? If you do, you can go you know." I get out of the car then. I'm surprised when Squall gets out too. He follows me through the rain up to the gas station. We go in, and I head to the bathroom. I stand in front of the urinal, letting myself go. I watch as Squall does the same, looking forward blankly. It confused me, he had no soul, but he still moved and everything. It was totally creepy.

I wash my hands before leaving, Squall doing the same. I see Matt at the counter, paying for something.

"Hey." I greet him, walking up next to him. He looks at me and grins, putting two packs of cigarettes in his pocket.

"Sorry, I can't drive without my smokes." I nod and follow him out the door, Squall's steps behind me. We run through the rain to the car, getting in quickly. Squall walked, slowly getting drenched in the downpour. When he was finally in the car, Matt drove off, leaving Timber behind us. I held my breath as we got closer to the large bridge.

I close my eyes as we pull onto it, after paying the toll. Four bucks just to cross the bridge, it was a jib, I tell you. Well, we'd have to pass through Fisherman's Horizon to continue on to Esthar. I wondered if we'd stay the night in FH. I'd like to get to Esthar as quickly as possible, but I didn't want someone to fall asleep at the wheel and kill us all.

"Hey, just out of curiosity, are we gonna stop at FH?" I ask, leaning forward in the seat. Matt glances at me before turning back to the bridge.

"Umm, that's up to you, it doesn't matter to me. It will take about two days from here to reach Esthar, so I guess it wouldn't hurt to stay the night, lest I fall asleep at the wheel." He grins at me in the mirror. So, it'll take two days? That leaves us approximately four or five days to get to Esthar, so it wouldn't hurt to take the nights off.

"Alright, we'll stay in FH tonight." We agree, falling into silence. I listened to the deep thunder, nothing else to do. I look over at Squall, noting that there was no change in his posture. Oh man, this was bugging the hell out of me. I wanted to hear him speak, just to say anything at all....

His last moments run through my mind. I had just stood there as that smoke ran through his body, stealing his life.... He had been so full of life, always leading, knowing what to do. Everybody kind of followed him, even if he made the wrong decisions. Well, you can't be perfect, and Squall was far from perfect. That just made him seem more wonderful to me. I sigh in despair as he doesn't even look at anything. It's like the lights were on but nobody was home..... This trip can't get any worse.

"Row row row your boat! Gently down the stream!"

I was wrong....

Fisherman's Horizon slowly came into view. It looked like a large port from the distance. I actually liked the place myself, it was quiet and peaceful. I never mentioned that to anybody, had no reason to I guess. As we got closer, my stomach started to rumble. I grimaced, it was this damn stomach of mine that caused all this to happen. I stop, it was really my fault that Squall ended up like this...

"Damn..." I mutter, clinching my hands into fists. If only I'd stayed in bed, not gone downstairs, we'd still be at the house, happy and.....he would be as he was. My breathing turns ragged as I bite back tears. It wasn't like me at all to cry, but I just couldn't stop it. I forced them back, trying to get ahold of myself. I was feeling sorry for myself and I needed to stop.

We got closer to town, paying another tollman. Another four gil, it's not cool. The rain slowed to a drizzle, I was almost sad, I'd gotten accustomed to watching it fall. It was late evening, I'd say around seven or so. We pulled into town, watching for the hotel.

"We can park and get checked in. Then, we can go look for a restraunt." I hear Matt say, but I wasn't listening much. I was staring around the town, it had been awhile since I'd been here. Matt pulled into a small garage, next to the hotel. He killed the engine and then looked at us.

"Ok, I'll go get us checked in and everything. I'll get two rooms, we'll share one and you and Squall can have the other, ok?" I didn't have any complaints, other than I'd be sleeping with the living dead.

"David, you and Zell go get us a table at a restraunt. I saw one down the street that looks like it'll be good. Uhh, Squall can go with you, I guess." I almost laughed. I wondered how Squall would act in the restraunt?

"No prob, man." I waved, getting outta the car. Matt headed inside while the three of us walked toward the restraunt. David made small talk, mentioning anything that came to his small mind. Squall followed behind, he looked like a robot. I stopped and turned to David.

"Uh, doya' have any sunglasses or something?" I ask him. He frowns in confusion before pulling a pair out of his jacket pocket.

"Yeah, why?" He asks as I take them from him. I walk up to Squall and I put the sunglasses over his eyes.

"Oh." I hear David say behind me. There, now Squall didn't look so creepy. We went inside the restraunt, our clothes damp from the slight rain. A waitress came up to us.

"Table for four." David tells her. She looks at us strangely.

"Uh, someone else is coming later." I tell her as she looks Squall up and down. I curb my urge to pull her hair out as she checks out my man. I ball my hands into fists and force a smile.

"Can we have our table, now?" I clench my teeth through my fake smile. She smiles at us before ushering us to a table in the corner. Squall follows me after I tell him to. I feel stupid, leading my friend around like a dog that needed to be told what to do. We sat at the table, picking up the menus. Well, Squall just sat there, so I decided that I'd order for him.

"Hmm, everything looks so good..." I hear David's stomach growl as he speaks. I laugh at him, looking at the choices on the menu. I'm disappointed that hotdogs aren't on the menu, I miss those long juicy.... I start salivating at the thought.

"I'll have the roast beef special." I hear David tell the waitress. She looks over at Squall.

"And what'll you have, handsome?" I grit my teeth. Who does she think she is?! I'm shocked when I hear Squall speak softly.

"Your blood." I jump in my seat, looking at David for answers. The waitress steps back.

"What?" She asks, blinking. I stutter.

"Uh...he's been sick, he'll just have whatever he's having." I nod to David, my heart thumping in my chest. David's eyes were wide as saucers as he inched away from Squall. I did likewise.

"Uh, four orders of that roast beef." I sweatdrop, wanting her to go away. She does after giving us strange looks. I stare at Squall, who didn't move.

"What the fuck?" David whispered to me. I shrugged, my eyes wide.

"Did Joey say anything?" I asked him. He shook his head quickly.

"No, he wouldn't even move or nothing." I was confused. What the hell was up with Squall? I continue to stare at my stalmate friend when Matt slides into the seat next to David.

"Uh, what's everybody doing?" He asks us, we must've looked like white sheets because he was looking at us weirdly.

"Um, Squall spoke." David tells him. Matt's eyebrows shoot up.

"Oh? What'd he say?" I bite my lip. David just grins nervously.

"Uh, nothing important, but how did he talk? Joey or any of the others never did." Matt thinks a minute before shrugging.

"I don't know, the others didn't move or talk or do anything when it happened to them. This is new to me." I feel strange after hearing him say that. Did something different happen to Squall?

"Well, maybe Mikey didn't get enough of his soul?" David piped up. Matt shrugged.

"I dunno." I was disheartened. What did this mean? Was there a chance that a little bit of Squall was left in this body? I didn't know, so I just stayed quiet til' our order came.

Dinner was silent, nobody said anything during the meal. Squall even ate, and for a while I could just pretend that he was his old self, enjoying a meal with his friends. Then I'd look at his sunglasses and remember what lay beneath. I sighed, taking another bite from my sandwich. This whole thing just stank. I hated what has happened. We should've left when we had the chance. I shouldn't have been so stubborn.... It's all my fault...

"You look so glum, Zell. At least try to enjoy this trip." I knew that David was only trying to cheer me up, but it just made it worse. I offer him a small smile, leaning back in my seat.

"Thanks you guys. I'd probably go nuts if I'd had to go by myself." I was really grateful, I felt better with them there. David grinned cheekily before finishing his sandwich. When we were done, we played a round of rock, paper scissors to decide who left the tip. We tied twice, finally ending it when Matt and David did paper to my rock. Damn.

"Looks like I have to tip the wench that was checking out Squall." I hated the idea, but I lost fair and square. I pulled twenty gil out of my pocket and set it on the table. We stood after that, leaving the restraunt. I sighed, feeling better with food in my stomach. We strode over to the hotel, getting in out of the rain. It must've picked up again when we were eating dinner. Lightning flashed in the distance, followed by a loud clap of thunder.

I hurried inside when the rain turned to a downpour. We made our way to the small lobby, Matt leading the way. He waved to the woman behind the desk, heading toward the stairs. We followed, climbing the long set of stairs. At the top, Matt pointed down one of the hallways.

"You and Squall's room is there, it's the second door on the left. Ours is this way." He handed me a small key before lugging his bag toward his room. David followed him. I turned to Squall.

"Guess it's just you and me." I joked, disappointed when Squall didn't even flinch. I sighed and headed to the room Matt had pointed out. I went inside, Squall following me mindlessly. I locked the door behind us before looking around the room. It was.....quaint. There was a big bed against the wall and an armoire in the corner. There was a small bathroom to the side, also. I set my bag of clothes on the floor next to the bed. I headed to the bathroom.

I was annoyed when Squall followed me. I was trying to piss but it was unnerving with him standing in the doorway. I finished quickly, washing my hands. I look in the mirror at my exhausted face. I stop when I see Squall's reflection, or rather, the lack of it. I turn around, he's still standing behind me, but, he's not in the mirror at all.... The fuck?

I'm even more shocked when he walks over to the shower. He reaches in and turns on the water. He steps inside, clothes and all. I watch him stand under the scaulding hot spray, just staring forward, he was even still wearing his sunglasses.

"Squall?" I call out, walking over to him. He doesn't look at me, the steam rolling off his clothes from the hot water. I grab his arm, flinching at the hot material. I pull him out of the shower before turning off the water. I turn to him, but he just stood there.

"What the hell's wrong with you?" I whisper, pulling his jacket off of him. I completely undressed him, feeling slightly embarrassed. When he was naked, I handed him a towel, which he accepted without question.

"Uh, dry your hair." I mumble, watcing him run the towel over his hair. I turn away, leaving the room. I rummage around in my bag, trying to find something for him to wear. I come across a large t-shirt and a pair of shorts. I pull them out, they'd have to do. Squall enters the room, holding the towel out in front of him.

"What?" I ask him, knowing I wouldn't be answered. I stand and take the towel from him and I hand him the clothes.

"Here, put these on." I instruct him, throwing the towel in the corner. I go back to my bag, pulling out a pair of boxers. I quickly change, putting my dirty clothes in a bag. I turn to Squall and laugh out loud.

"Squall!" I laugh again, walking over to him. He had the shirt on backwards and the shorts weren't zipped or anything. It was funny, despite the circumstances.

"Turn your shirt around." I laugh again as he does what he's told. I reach down to zip his shorts. I gasp when he grabs my wrist.

"Squall?" I look up at him, but he still wouldn't look at me. I back away when he lets go of my arm. I rub where he'd grabbed it, it hurt! I watch as he reaches down and zips the shorts. I turn away from him, heading toward the bed. He follows. I get on one side of the bed before covering up. I sigh and close my eyes. I don't hear anything. I peek open one eye and sigh in irritation. Squall was standing next to the bed, waiting for orders or something.

"Um, get in bed?" I try, watching him walk around to the other side of the bed. He climbs onto the bed, laying down. He lays on his back, his arms strictly at his sides. He didn't even cover up. I shudder at the creepiness before rolling over on my side, away from him. I shook a little bit as I tried to fall asleep. It was just so nervewracking, laying in bed with a zombie.

Finally, I turned over and looked at Squall, his eyes just stared blankly at the ceiling.

"Um......go to sleep?" His eyes immediatly closed. I shivered.

Morning finally came as I peeked over the covers. I didn't get much sleep last night, what with a zombie laying next to me. I look over at him, his eyes were still closed. I sit up, looking at the clock next to the bed. It was a little after seven. Ugh, I'm never up this early willingly. I look over at Squall. But, this time I'll make an exception. I scoot out of the bed, heading to the bathroom. I'm relieved when Squall doesn't follow.

When I'm done, I head back to the other room. Squall's still laying on the bed as he was. I get dressed, wondering if he'll wake up soon. Maybe he's waiting for me.

"Squall wake up." I say in his direction. My heart skips a beat when his eyes doesn't open. I edge closer.

"Squall, it's time to get up." He still didn't move. I sit on the edge of the bed, leaning over him.

"Wake up." I say, my face leaning over his. I gasp when his eyes open. They are a bright red. I scoot away from him. He sits up and stares straight ahead. His eyes weren't red anymore. Had I just imagined it? My heart was still beating as he stands. He turns in my direction and doesn't move anymore. I sigh, this was really getting to me. I very briefly thought about leaving him here. But, knowing my luck he'd turn into that monster and come hunt me down. Besides, I couldn't just give up on him.

"I love you...." I whisper to the silence of the room. There, I told him how I felt, even though he couldn't hear me. I watch in awe as he smiles. But it's gone before I could blink. I shake my head, maybe I'd imagined that, too. I shudder, a chill running down my spine. I pick up our bags.

"Get dressed, your clothes are over there." I nod in the direction of the bathroom. He walks away, entering the adjoining room. I hear him rustling around in the bathroom. Soon though, he walks back in, wearing the clothes he had on yesterday. I didn't really have anything else he could wear. I hadn't thought about it when we entered the hotel. Oh well, he'll live.

We leave the room; I lock it on the way out. I head down the stairs with him following me. I reach the lobby, where I find Matt and David waiting. David grinned at us when we came down.

"Mornin'! Didja' get lucky last night?!" He winks at me, making me look away. The nerve of that guy!

"Yeah, I slept with my zombified friend here, though for some reason I didn't get a reaction out of him in bed." I say sarcastically before heading out the door. I hear the lady behind the counter laughing as I left. I didn't care. I'm glad to note that it's not raining anymore. Thank god. We head to the car, glad to get on the road again. Then I remember something as we get in the car.

"Oh hey, Squall did act really weird..." I go on to tell them what all happened last night. I even brought up the part where I said the L word. They didn't chastise me for it, though. I'm glad, I didn't need any teasing or reprimanding. The just listened.

"And here we are." I finish, indicating our current position. David grins at me.

"Well, it sounds like he's trying to find himself to me." I perk up. What did that mean? Matt joins in.

"I don't know, but we'll probably find out in Esthar." I nod, staying silent. Everything will be figured out when we get to Esthar. Well, I hoped to God anyway.....

What if Odine can't help us? What if we're doomed to be killed by Squall or worse?

What if I face a situation where I have to kill Squall??


End of chapter 12.



Notes: This is getting so fun to write! I'm probably gonna start on the next chapter, too. So, see you all later! And you better review or I'm gonna have to be forced to put less dedication into the last chapters! *threatens playfully*


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