Notes: Well, we're getting closer to the end. Finally. I'm glad that a few talented artists contacted me about the picture I want to do for the story! It's killing me! I really want a picture, but I have no artistic ability, at all. So, I have to rely on others for that. I've never had someone do an art for one of my stories, it's kind of exciting. Well, on with the few last chapters. There will be a few more chapters and then an epilogue. Hope you all like it, and please review!

More notes: I'm considering doing a threesome lemon in this chapter. I don't know yet, would that make them all seem like sluts? Or just trying to cope with the current events? I'll decide as I write this, ok? Hope you all like my decision. Don't hate me, pwease? *pouts*

Terminal Recovery

Chapter Seventeen - Preparing

By Tori Singer

I couldn't believe we'd come this far. I just keep thinking about when I pulled that little short straw, that little straw that changed my life forever. What would have happened if someone else had drawn it? Would Squall be in the position he was in now? Would things be a lot different? I didn't know and didn't want to think about it. The few moments we had together was worth a lifetime in my heart.

I stood on the docks, watching the sunset. My bare feet felt slightly cold on the wooden docks. I stared out at the water, dyed orange with the fading sun. I briefly wondered where in the ocean the Ragnarok was floating, endlessly. Suppose it drifts close to FH? Would they bring it in their docks? Would they explore the ship and find Squall's dead body? I shrug at my thoughts, I needed to put it all behind me. I just need to go back to Winhill, back to where itall started. Then, when it was over and the souls were free.....I could go home, back to garden. Things would never be the same.

I stared down at my clenched fist. I was holding a few white feathers I'd found on the dock. I threw my hand in the air, letting the feathers float into the wind. I felt a calm feeling flow over me. I smiled as I watched the white spots disappear from view. I needed to let go of the past and move on with the future. I still had so much to live for. Squall...would have said the same thing, in his own words.

I turn from the view, walking back down the docks to where my friends were waiting. They didn't say anything, they didn't need to. We all understood eachother's position and feelings. I let them wrap their arms around my shoulders as we walked back to the hospital.

"Ready to go?" I come out of my thoughts at David's soft voice. I turn from my stance at the window and nod at him. I look around the room before following David and Matt out the door. I was finally released to leave the hospital. Now, we just had to ride the train to Timber and then to Winhill. I remembered when Squall and myself rode the trains to Winhill, when we first arrived. He didn't deserve to die, hell, none of the people that died deserved it. But, it was how life went on. It was to give the survivors hope.

After checking me out at the desk, we left the hospital. I took a deep breath of the sea air. It was nice, being back home. I briefly looked back at Ma's house as we walked toward the train station. I vowed to come back after it was all over, to come see her and tell her of this adventure. It has been an adventure....

"Hey, your car's back in Esthar, isn't it?" I ask out of the blue, remembering my bags in the trunk. David thinks a minute.

"Yeah, it's still there if it wasn't destroyed in all the uproar and Matt's bad landing skills." We laugh at Matt, who just huffs and keeps walking. I thought about the brown book in my bag. I didn't know who's it was, and I'd never gotten to read it. I guess I could, after it was all over. If we survived, that is. No, I couldn't think like that, we had to survive, in order to save any other wandering souls.

I straightened my shirt before boarding the train. Matt had offered to pay for the tickets. He's being so nice all of a sudden. I think I understood why, though. He still had his other half, and mine was wreaking havoc somewhere unless he was dead. I sighed, picking a seat in the back, next to the window. Nobody looked up from their seats, they were just wrapped up in their own lives and problems. If they only knew what goes on in this world...

David and Matt sat in the seat in front of me. I watched the top of their heads scoot closer together. They were whispering something to oneanother. Words of love? Promise? Stuff I no longer had any interest in. I turned my vision back to the window, watching the scenery start to change. We left the small island and went into the underground tunnel toward Timber. You could see the large windows outside of the train, enabling you to see under the ocean.

It was pretty cool, if you looked hard enough, you could see small schools of fish before they swam away, frightened by the foreign objects in their home. I leaned my head against the glass, letting myself drift to sleep.

"Zell? Wake up." I could hear a voice, and it sounded eerily familar.

"Squall?" I whisper, trying to open my eyes. I'm unable to. I am laying on something. It's grass, I think. Is this another dream?

"Zell, listen to me. The sun has set, I do not have much time left. I need your help, or this thing will be blown out of the water." I didn't understand what he was saying. I couldn't hear very well, and I couldn't see or move.

"Squall, I can't....see you. I can't find you, where are you!" I grow desperate, trying to break my invisible bonds. I hear him chuckle.

"You can't find me Zell, that's because I'm always with you, don't forget that. Never look very far for the answer to the quiz, Zell. It's always within' your grasp." I still didn't understand.

"Squall, please, I need you. Don't leave me alone like this!" I thrash, finally able to sit up. I open my eyes and he's there, sitting in front of me on the grass. He looked tired and beat. I reached a hand toward him. He meets it halfway with his own. His hand looks transparent and mine goes right through his.

"What?" I ask, my eyes transfixed on the vision in front of me. He smiles slightly, his face torn between pain and grief.

"This is what's happening to me, it happens to all of us. You need to save us, Zell. We are waiting for you, love." He fades away, leaving me alone on the darkened hilltop. The wind suddenly blows savagely, knocking me off balance. Dark clouds move in and rain starts pouring.

"Squall!" I scream, trying to see through the rain. I jump as lightning flashes in the sky, followed by a loud clap of thunder. Then, lightning strikes next to me, knocking me to the ground.

"Zell! Wake up!" My eyes pop open and I'm staring at the mischevious violet eyes of David.

"Ahh, David." I put a hand to my chest. I look around at the empty train. He laughs at my look.

"We've been trying to wake you up! You must've really been sleepy!" He smiles at me before bounding out of his seat. I didn't see Matt around. The train was still, and I was left alone with my thoughts. I tried to remember most of my dream, but there was some fuzzy spots. Squall was there, I was sure, he was trying to warn me of something. I shook my head to clear my thoughts before leaving the train.

Timber looked no different than the last time I was here. Nothing ever changes anymore. Well, better rethink that, poor Esthar has probably changed quite a bit. I bite my lip, feeling very responsible. I wondered how Laguna was handling it. No one ever informed that guy of anything unless it was absolutely neccessary. I wondered what Laguna would say to 'oh, sir, did we fail to mention that your son turned into a mindless monster and killed half the population and destroyed some of your city?' I almost laughed at the thought.

"What's so funny?" I hear Matt come up behind me. I turn as he slaps me on the shoulder. I flinch a little, it was still sore.

"Nothing." I must've let a few giggles out. David came up on my other side and wrapped his arm around my shoulder.

"At least you're not sulking as much anymore. I love seening your happy side!" I'm touched by David's concern for my well being. I offer him a grin. His face lights up and I just watch, taken by the real beauty of my friend. I was trapped in a mine with this man, I slow danced with this man, I shared a lot with this man. I grin wider at him, hugging him back with my left arm.

And Matt, we survived a lot together. Heh, we both put up with David's singing and annoying skills. We escaped the lab and the Ragnarok without being eaten. Hell, we'd been through a lot of shit together, and now we were about to face the biggest challenge yet, putting an end to it all without fear or regret. We walked toward the hotel, planning to take the next train to Winhill as quickly as possible.

I never did like this hotel very much. I'd seen Squall and Rinoa talking on the balcony one time, and it just never did get back on my good side. I still remember that night, we were making our way to Deling for some information, when we'd stopped at this hotel. It was just us three, they didn't need anymore than that for this simple mission. It was right after the war had ended, when Squall and Rinoa were still hot and heavy. They had shared a kiss that night, with my eyes watching them like wounded prey.

But I wasn't about to sleep in the alley just because I held a grudge against the only hotel in town. I followed them in, letting them deal with the woman and child behind the counter. I stared at the train model in the middle of the lobby. It brought back a lot of memories. Like when we first came to Timber, me, Squall and Selphie. Our first SeeD mission. I laugh softly to myself. That was sure fun, it set a lot of wheels into motion that was for sure.

"You coming?" I'm brought out of my reminiscing by Matt's hand on my shoulder. I looked at him staring at me.

"Uh, yeah." I say, looking back to the train model before following my friends. They started up the stairs, and I just blindly followed, still lost in thought. I remembered when I was getting ready to go on the SeeD exam, when I tried to impress Squall with my agility. He wasn't impressed, typically. He never would shake my hand, though. Oh well, he still showed that he at least cared for me when he came back to save me in the prison. I can still remember the look on his face when he took out the guard.

His face....had been angry, and fierce. I just lost it, grabbing his waist and hugging him like there was no tomorrow. He must've been flustered, because he finally just hit me on the head with the butt of his gunblade. It was a sweet, sweet pain. He saved me, and that was all that mattered. And then, when he trusted me with Matron's saftey. It still hurt that he was going deep into space to save Rinoa and all, but I could deal with it. I was handling my feelings well, then.

I come out of my thoughts when we enter the room. It was nice, it had brown paintwork and had beautifuly wood furnished floors. The couch next to the window was big and brown. It looked comfortable. The curtains were white and ruffled, drawn back to let the sun in. David plops on one of the beds, sighing in content. That was definately something Selphie would do. I miss her, along with my other friends. I just hope we get this over with soon so I could go home...and break the bad news to everbody. I was sure that Quistis would take over running the garden. She was more than capable.

"Well, we leave in the morning." I hear Matt say from his spot on the window sill. I grin, leave it to Matt to fall into Squall's role. Matt would make a good SeeD, and so would David I think. I wondered if I could talk them into coming back to garden with me. That would be so cool. I thought about bringing it up as I walked toward the small bathroom in the corner of the room.

I shut the door, looking around the small space. There was a hot tub, a toilet, a sink and a mirror. Also, there was a cabinet filled with white towels and robes hanging on the wall next to it. Heh, these hotels were usually good about having quality rooms for their prices. I quickly relieved myself, staring at the small picture on the wall. I almost grimaced. It was a picture of Rinoa and the Timber Owls. They were standing in front of Timber Maniacs, looking happy and all. It said, 'To Timber's Independance!' on a space below the picture. I zipped my shorts.

I didn't think the Timber Owls should get all the credit, but hey, it's their town after all. I decided to take a bath, my hair felt like it was covered in dust or something. I first went to see if anybody needed to use the bathroom. I opened the door.

"Hey any-" I stopped, staring at the two on the bed. Matt looked up from kissing David and grinned sheepishly.

"Uh, yeah?" He asks, trying to hide his slight blush. My heart fluttered in my chest. I suddenly felt the weight of my loneliness sink in as I watched my friends' love.

"Uh, do you have to use the uh, bathroom?" I ask, hoping that my face wasn't too red. David shakes his head, looking at me upside down on the bed. I mouth 'ok' before shutting the door. I took a deep breath, willing my heart to stop beating out of my chest. I shook my head and started getting undressed, willing away the tears of loneliness falling down my cheeks. They say that men weren't supposed to cry, hell, then what was I supposed to do? Laugh?

I sniffed, trying to calm myself down as I turned the water on in the hot tub. I wished there was a shower, but I had the feeling that this was a honeymoon suite or something. I shrug, letting the water fill up. I stood there, my naked body feeling a bit chilled in the air. I turn when I hear a knock on the door.

"Hey Zell?" I hear David's voice through the door. I grab a towel and wrap it around my waist.

"Yeah?" I ask, listening.

"Can we come in?" Matt asks. I cock an eyebrow. Why would they want to come in? Oh well, they probably had something to tell me.

"The door's unlocked." I say, turning back to the filling tub. I hear the door open and my friends entered the small bathroom. I'm shocked to find that they weren't wearing any clothes.

"Um, can we take a bath with you? Please?" David pouts at me. I frown, what was this all about?

"We just didn't want to waste anymore water than was neccessary, besides, it's a big hottub, it's meant to be a group activity." I didn't like the way Matt said that. But, what the hell, it wouldn't hurt anything. I shrug, taking off my towel. I ignore David's catcall as I step into the water.

"Ha ha. Very funny." I say sarcastically before settling in the water. It was nice and warm, and steam was rising from the water. It was relaxing. I scoot over as my friends get in with me. I felt a little uncomfortable when nobody said anything. I looked away, trying to focus on something else besides the two naked bodies in the tub with me. I jump when water splashes my face.

"Hey!" I holler at David, who was laughing. I splash water back at him, two could play that game.

"I just thought you were being too quiet, it was nervewracking!" He defends himself before hiding behind Matt's shoulder.

"Hey, don't drag me into this!" Matt exclaims, dunking David's head under the water. He came up sputtering.

"Why's everyone pickin' on me?!" We laugh at the angry pout on his face. He could be too cute sometimes! I laugh some more before grabbing the washing sponge on the small shelf next to me. I grab some of the body wash and lather it on. I get it wet before slathering my body in soap and the scent of wildflowers.

"That smells good." I hear David say. I crack open an eye and note that he was crawling toward me. I notice the evil grin on my friends' faces. I scoot away, becomming extremely nervous.

"What do you think you're doing?" I squeak when David grabs the sponge out of my hands. He motions for Matt to come over. I try to escape but David grabs my arm, causing me to trip and fall under the water. My lungs filled with the hot water and I came up coughing.

"You *cough* ass!" I try to insult him, wiping the water out of my eyes. I yelp when someone grabs my shoulders, forcing me to lay against their chest. Well, David was grinning in front of me so I guess that leaves Matt. I struggled playfully, finally admitting defeat. David slinks up to me, grinning ear to ear.

"I wanna wash!" He giggles like a child and I have to smile. David starts running the soapy sponge across my chest, his eyes focused on my body. I look away, feeling a blush creep up my cheeks. I felt more than uncomfortable against Matt's chisled chest. I could feel every breath he took, along with his obvious arousal against my back. He runs his hands along my sides, setting me on fire.

"W-what are you doing?" I ask when David splashes water on me.

"Having fun!" He says before placing his lips on my chest. I watch, wide eyed, as he started kissing his way down my waist. I feel Matt kissing along my neck, causing me to moan. Damn, now everyone was going to know where my ticklish spot was! I lean my head back as David starts running his hands up and down my thighs. It felt weird, underwater. Matt nibbles my ear before whispering to me.

"We're not trying to be perverted, Zell. It's just, it's just three friends having a little fun before dying." I shiver at his words as David goes underwater, wrapping his lips around the head of my erection. I twitch in Matt's grasp, shifting my legs further apart, making room for David. It felt weird, having his mouth on me underwater. It was more, erotic.

"Matt." I breathe helplessly as he starts kissing along my neck again. Did they think I was that pathetic? That I needed a sympathy fuck? I wanted to say something, anything, but it just came out as a gurgled groan. I needed this, this, this comfort from my friends. They wasn't expecting anything from me and nor was I. We were just friends saying goodbye in case worse comes to worse.

David emerges from the water, taking a deep breath. His cheeks were slightly red. I stared at him as he wiped the water from his eyes. He smiles at me before leaning forward, trailing his tongue down my chest, playing with my nipples. I gasp when he grips my manhood with his hand, slowly pumping it under the water.

"Relax, let us do the work." I hear him say against my stomach. Matt runs his hands around my chest, kissing me up my cheek, running his tongue along my ear. I can do nothing but moan as my two friends pleasantly torment my body with their skilled tongues and hands. I briefly thought of Squall and a pang of betrayel shoots through me. Was I cheating on Squall by doing this?

'Go for it.' I thought I heard him whisper to me. It was probably just my imagination, offering me consolation for my sins. I tried to ignore everything except the feelings that my two friends were oozing from me. I grab David's hair, running my fingers through it as he kissed my tanned abs. He quickens his hands, his fingers twirling around the head of my cock. I gasp, gripping his hair tightly. I feel Matt grind against me from behind.

His erection was pushing into my back and I wanted it. I wanted it so bad that I couldn't see straight. But I couldn't, that was something that should be shared between two lovers, not three friends. I felt like I was impeding on their love and trust. I suddenly felt dirty, like I was a weed in a field of roses. I pull away from them, ignoring the hurt look on their faces. I stand, getting out of the water. I wrap a towel around my waist.

"I'm sorry, I just...don't feel right doing this to you guys." I say the truth, leaving them alone in the bathroom. I could hear them getting out, so I left the door open. I sat on the edge of one of the beds, trying to ignore the aching in my crotch. I felt like I'd destroyed something beautiful and important. I gasped when David jumped on top of me, his body wet against mine.

"Zell! Why did you leave us 'hanging' like that!?" He joked, poking his arousal against my hip. I just stared up at him, willing my erection to go away. Matt sat on the bed above my head, laughing at his lover. David sat up, straddling my hips.

"Come on Zell! I want to help you relax, right Matty?" He winked at his love before grinning down at me evilly. I tried to look at anything but his throbbing member so close to my hands. Finally, Matt grabbed my shoulders, hauling me away from David, who yelped and fell off the bed. He pinned me under him, laying across my chest.

"Get him while I've got him down!" I panicked, blushing when David dragged the towel out from under my hips. I struggled, not really wanting to get away but I had to act like I did. I felt David's long hair drape over my thighs as he grabs my member. Something like an electric jolt shoots to my groin, and I moan, leaning my head back onto the bed. Matt smirks down at me from his position on my chest.

David started lapping at the head of my cock, making me writhe under my friend's menstrations. I gripped the sheet above me, stretching my legs. I felt his mouth cover my member, and I hissed, unable to see what he was doing. It was so sexy, being pinned down my one and being sucked off by the other.

Matt leans up, running his hands down my chest and stomach.

"Here, scoot up a little." He tells me. I do as I'm told, feeling cold when David's mouth leaves my member. I sit with my back against the headboard. I hear Matt whisper something in David's ear. David moans before smiling at me. He crawls over between my legs, his eyes wild with desire and lust. I grab his head as he continues where he left off. My eyes are blurry as I watch Matt get behind my dark haired friend.

He has a bottle of lotion in his hand. I groan as I realize what he was going to do. I lean my head back, letting it rest against the wall. David spreads my legs as far as they will go before leaning down and pressing his lips to my head. He raises his slender hips into the air when Matt grabs him. I watch, running my hands through the long, dark wet hair of my sexy friend.

I curl my toes as pleasure runs through my body. It felt so good, David really knew what he was doing. I watched as Matt started running his fingers along David's buttocks, wetting his fingers with the lotion. I bite my lip and try not to cum as he starts thrusting his fingers inside David. He gasps around my erection, almost making me lose it then and there.

"God..." I moan out, clenching the muscles in my ass against the warm suction of his lips. I watch as Matt slathers lotion on his member, jacking himself off. I look him in the eye, staring at the lusty look on his face. He pulls his hand away before positioning himself against David's opening. I grunt when David bites unintentionally, Matt pushing into him. I shake with pleasure, watching the scene right in front of my eyes. David grips my thighs hard, pushing back against Matt with his hips.

I'm suddenly reminded of Squall and our first time making love. It was on a kitchen table for god's sake! But, it was enough for me, I knew how he felt and he understood me. I close my eyes, tangling my hands in David's long hair. I felt a tear run down my cheek as I listen to my friends' moans. I was almost ready to cum, I could feel it building up. David wiggled his hands around my ass, pulling my erection further into his mouth. My mouth fell open, my body on fire with desire.

"Please..." I whisper, more tears falling from my eyes. Images of Squall passed before my eyes as my climax hit. All of our memories together, they were released from my body as well as my seed. I take a deep breath as I empty myself into David's willing mouth. I lean back, my fingers unbelievably tangled in his long locks. I hear Matt grunting, thrusting in and out of my friend. David leans up, kissing along my chest.

"David..." I gasp, leaning down and kissing the top of his wet hair. Matt grins at me from behind him, his face slightly sweaty. David groans and whimpers against my chest and I have pity on him. I reach down and I grab his neglected member. Matt takes the hint and leans back, letting David sit up. The dark haired man sits on Matt's cock, looking at me with hunger in his eyes. I lean down and return the favor, grabbing the base of his manhood.

"Ahhh!" He places his hands on my back, bouncing on Matt's member slightly. I reached around him and ran my hands up and down his spine, letting his member fill my mouth. I closed my eyes, imagining that it was Squall I was doing it to. My shoulders shook slightly as I thought of him. I hoped that he could forgive me for this. I heard David moaning louder above me and I knew he'd about had it.

I heard Matt take a deep breath before twitching under all of us. I hear him moan long and loud, filling David with his semen. David wasn't far behind, and I tasted the bittersweet liquid that fell into my mouth. I swallowed it, the after taste actually quite pleasant. I sucked a few more times for good measure before sitting up. David had a content look on his face. Matt placed his hands behind his head and laughed.

"Heh, you were right, it IS more fun with three!" I blush and look away as they have a teasing laugh at my expense. I sit back, thinking over what just happened. I finally smiled at my friends as they were getting dressed.

"Thanks, you don't know how much I needed that." I told them honestly. I did feel better, and now I was ready to sleep. I didn't complain when my two friends climbed into bed with me, snuggling against my sides. David slung his arm around my waist, causing me to grunt.

"Cozy?" I ask sarcastically as Matt wraps his arm around my waist as well. I just roll my eyes as David mock snores, causing Matt to laugh. Heh, this night wasn't so bad, after all. I fell asleep, images of Squall and leather dancing in my head.


End of chapter 17.



Notes: Ok, so it was pretty much PWP, but so what? I'm allowed to have my lemon chapters, so there! *blows raspberry* I like it, I don't know about you but I'm going to the bathroom. *runs away.* Please review!


PS: We're getting really close to the end, now! I hope you like it and stuff, I've been thinking up the end throughout the whole damn story!

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