Notes: I think I have to thank my little Muse Owl again for really starting me on this chapter. I don’t know how good it is, but I hope all of you will enjoy it and review! I loved all the cute emails I got from people threatening me with bodily harm if I didn’t finish!!! (Okay, so you all didn’t threaten me, but thanks for the encouragement everybody!!)

Time after Time

Chapter 9 - Shinshi (gentleman)

By WanderingTonberry

Selphie blinked her large emerald eyes. She had heard him wrong. She must have heard him wrong. How…How…But Seifer hated Zell! This couldn’t be right…She had to check.

“Could you repeat that? I think I heard you wrong.”

Seifer lifted a fine golden eyebrow, eyeing her with a slowly growing irritation. “You heard me.”

“No, I said I heard you wrong! Repeat what you said earlier!”

“You heard me.”

“No, no, no! Repeat what you said before you said that!”

The tall blonde heaved a sigh, resting his head on his arms, gazing at the smooth surface of the portable table. “Does it really matter what I said? I don’t think it makes all that much of difference, if you ask me…”

“It makes all the difference! Now spill!”

“…I think I love him. Happy?”

Selphie blinked her large emerald eyes. Oh yeah, she had definitely heard wrong. Maybe she needed to buy some of those Q-Tips Irvine seemed to own in great abundance. Clean out her ears a little…

“Can you repeat that? I think I heard you wrong again.”

“Oh for Hyne’s sake! Leave me alone!”

“You mean you really do??”

“Yes. Leave. Me. Alone.”

“B-But…Woah…Nostalgia trip…”

Selphie’s ever emerald eyes bugged for a moment, unfocusing. Where had she heard all of this before? It was almost like she was relieving some lost moment in time…Trippy.

“You can’t kiss him, Sephie!” Seifer folded his arms across his chest, trying to look imposing. He blew a few soft golden strands out of his line of vision, trying to hold his composure.

“But why? Girls are supposta kiss boys!”

Seifer looked puzzled for a moment trying to process that statement. But…Apparently boys kissed boys too because he kissed Zell. And well…Zell kissed him too. Therefore, it HAD to be alright!

“ ‘Cause he’s mine!”

Selphie blinked her large emerald eyes.

“But…But yer a boy!”



“It don’t matter! Here, I’ll show ya!”

The tall blonde boy called for Zell, waving him over from his nest of soft blankets and the Tonberry toy he loved so dearly. Only Seifer had the power to do that…And maybe Matron. Zell rubbed a chubby little first over his eyes, a small yawn pulling at his rosy lips.

“Hmm? Watcha wan, Seifwa?”

A wide smile tugged on the little Aryan boy’s lips as he wrapped his slim arms around Zell’s narrow waist. “Ooh…Not much…Just a little kiss. That’s all.”

Zell’s eyes grew wide and seemed to sparkle gently in the afternoon sun. “Weally?” Seifer nodded, lifting a hand to pet the soft corn-colored locks. The smaller boy licked his lips to moisten them, then tiptoed himself up higher. Their lips met with a soft smack, this kiss over almost as soon as it had begun.

Seifer smiled smugly to himself, then lifted Zell onto his back, who giggled loudly, keeping himself upright by folding his arms around Seifer’s neck.

“Toldja. Boys DO kiss boys!”

“You know…” Selphie tilted her head to the side. “I just had the most disturbing flashback…Like in a movie…With the flash of light when it fades out and-”

Seifer heaved a sigh and got to his feet. “I’m going to go shower. Don’t send a search party if I decide to drown myself.” He shoved off from the table and walked toward the separate clearing that now housed a small sheltered area for the storage of bathing supplies and a dark green changing screen of old Trabian design.

“What the…”

Seifer’s ever-changing sea-green eyes narrowed as he passed a Tonberry surrounded by a variety of gears, screws, nuts, and bolts. The small green critter seemed hard at work; a small screwdriver clutched within a paw as it opened up what Seifer could only assume was a portable CD player.

“What the hell…”

He shrugged it off, pushing past the thick bushes. Funny. They had been here for several days and they still hadn’t beaten a sufficient path through the local vegetation. One would almost think that the forest was too wild to tame. Seifer stopped dead in his tracks.


“Seifer…I know you really really really liked that shower…And I know how you hate Mother Nature…Though you really shouldn’t, because all her creations are so beautiful! Well, I’m going off track. But how was I supposed to know that they were going to use the shower parts to upgrade my Discman?? I told them we had scraps on the vehicle!”

Zell lifted one of his soft eyebrows, biting his lip. “Umm…But wouldn’t that keep us from going home if they took something vital?”

Selphie blinked, considering. “Yeah! I guess it would! So it IS a good thing they butchered the shower!”


“Calm down Seifer! You can bathe in the river once we find it!”

“How do you even know there’s a river around here? I don’t think anyone has ever explored this far into the continent…”

“I asked Woodrow! He said that there’s a small river that runs through the trees in a large clearing somewhere north of here! It shouldn’t be all that far from camp!”

“Farther north? If we go any farther north on this fucked place, I’m almost fucking certain my balls are gonna turn into cubes!”

Several Tonberries snorted and laughed amongst themselves, causing Seifer to shoot a horrid glare in their direction. One of them, presumably the one who took apart the shower, stuck out his tongue and made obscene gestures with his tail.

Zell blushed darkly at the implications, shaking his head so that his locks fell into his face. He brushed them up with one hand, trying to plaster them to the top of his head. “Selphie?”


“What…um…Exactly did you teach them?”

“Oh! I was reenacting that last party we went to!”

“Selphie!! That was a strip club!!!”

“I know! But I couldn’t leave out that part about how Irvine was trying to fight his way into Squall’s leathers! It was just toooo funny!”

Zell huffed out a small breath of air. “Did you remember to include that Squall was drunk off his rocker and tried to dance his way onstage?”

“Heeey! I forgot about that!”

Seifer cursed heartily as he quickly disrobed in the glowing moonlight. Damn them. Damn all those little green cretins to the Abyss. He rubbed his hard biceps vigorously, desperately trying to restore some warmth to his pale body. Seifer quickly strode to the babbling river, sticking in a single foot.

“Shit, that’s cold!”

Cursing a bit more, he jumped in, the whole while praying desperately he wouldn’t get permanent shrinkage from this frosty experience. He scrubbed and rinsed as quickly as he could, eager to get back to the warmth of his shared tent. His eyes lifted to gaze at the heavens, which weren’t hidden tonight by the usual misty clouds. No clouds. That meant it would be a cold night…

Like it wasn’t cold enough as it was, he thought bitterly to himself. He lifted a foot onto the bank, pulling himself onto the crisp grass. He reached out to an outstretched branch for his towel, finding none. Had he forgotten to bring himself a towel when he was sulking? Damn…

“Hey, Seif! You forgot your…Woah…”

Seifer’s icy eyes snapped to his left, targeting the source of the voice. He coughed lightly, trying to get the bewildered boy’s attention. Seifer rolled his eyes, sighing heavily. Stalking forward, he reached out and took the large dove gray towel from Zell’s frozen hand.


Zell’s mouth opened and closed like that of a fish out of water. He shook his head violently, his mind once again conjuring up pleasant images that sent slivers of warmth through his limbs and legs to only settle in his groin at last. Wow…

“S-Seifer…Man, I’m sorry!”

Seifer blinked. Why was Zell apologizing? Hyne knows he hadn’t when he walked in on Zell not too long ago. Although…Now that he thought about it, he probably should have. Damn.

“Actually, I should be the one to apologize for that little incident in the Shower Clearing…Well, it’s not really the Shower Clearing anymore…Those damn things took it apart to create a fucking subwoofer.”

The smaller blonde found himself laughing at Seifer’s comment, shaking his head. “Nah, it’s alright. Nothing too bad, ya know? I mean, we’re both guys!”

The tall Aryan met the smaller boy’s smile. The almost comfortable silence carried on for a moment before Zell broke it with a soft cough. “Soo…”

“I think we should be getting back. It takes 20 minutes to get out here and the night’s going to be cold. I don’t think I want to be caught out here in just a towel. If I think my balls are suffering now, they’re gonna be nothing more than cold meat treats by morning.”

Zell found himself blushing, but he laughed anyway. He had never noticed it before, but Seifer had a pretty hardy sense of humor. And here he was thinking he was just a prick who had something the size of a Behemoth shoved up his ass! Surprise!

It took but a moment for Seifer to gather his things and then they began walking back together. They engaged in a conversation ranging from airships to the way they liked their cockatrice cooked. All in all, it was a pretty nice walk. Several minutes before reaching the clearing, Zell spoke up on a subject that had been bothering him for a good portion of the day.

“Hey…um…If you don’t mind me askin’…What were you an’ Selphie talkin’ about earlier?”

Seifer smiled softly to himself, stopping to place his bucket of bathing necessities on a large boulder. He took a moment to tighten the knot of the towel around his waist, not wanting it to slip down to his ankles.

“Well…I admitted something to myself. Selphie just happened to be there.”

Seifer would have liked to believe she had nothing to do with his little confession, but he had to give her some credit. Perhaps threats really did make people want to talk to you. Even if it was a ploy to escape further lectures, it was rather nice to finally be able to admit it. Confiding in another had actually felt pretty nice as well.

“What do ya mean?”

Perfect white teeth bit down upon a thin lower lip, worrying it for a moment. Seifer leaned his tall figure against the towering boulder, considering. After wrestling with his pride for a moment, he rationalized that the little one had a right to know.



Damn! Why was it so hard to be nice?? Seifer found himself almost missing the disguise of being a bully. He missed the ability to hide behind a mask of ice, the comfort of being untouchable…Undefeatable…Free from utter rejection...He grit his teeth.

“Zell, get your ass over here.”


Curious, Zell stepped a little closer, letting out a squeak as he was yanked off his feet. He collided with a soft thud and a groan against Seifer’s chest.

“Man, what’d ya do that for?? Do you know how HARD you are? It’s like running into a…”

Zell’s baby blues grew wide as he trailed off. Wait a sec…Was he pressed up against Seifer? Mr. Wet Dream of the World? The Asshole of Balamb Garden? Hey…Seifer’s nipples were hard…Man, those looked good. Wait, wait, wait!!

A small smile appeared on Seifer’s visage, an unsure one at best. He licked his lips slowly, gathering his nerve. Now or never right…? Live in the moment…? Aw, shit. He leaned down and pressed a firm kiss to Zell’s lips, absently hoping that his vitals would be spared should this not go over well like it never seemed to…

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