Time After Time

Part Four - Forever Ended Yesterday

By J. Marie

Warning!!! This is a shounen-ai fanfiction starring Seifer Almasy and Laguna Loire from Final Fantasy VIII. It is rated PG-13. Sorry it's been so long, but here you go! Hope you like the ending! I went a little sappy on everyone I think, but alas.

Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick,
And think of you
Caught up in circles confusion--
Is nothing new
Flashback--warm nights--
Almost left behind
Suitcases of memories,
Time after--

Sometimes you picture me--
I'm walking too far ahead
You're calling to me, I can't hear
What you've said--
Then you say--go slow--
I fall behind--
The second hand unwinds

If you're lost you can look--and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you--I'll be waiting
Time after time

After my picture fades and darkness has
Turned to gray
Watching through windows--you're wondering
If I'm OK
Secrets stolen from deep inside
The drum beats out of time--

If you're lost you can look--and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you--I'll be waiting
Time after time

You said go slow--
I fall behind
The second hand unwinds--

If you're lost you can look--and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you--I'll be waiting
Time after time...
...Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time

----- Lyrics to Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper



They watched the sunset together, both happy beyond belief. It seemed almost sinful to be this happy.

Laguna giggled softly when Seifer bent down and nuzzled his neck. They were both sitting on Seifer's bed, enjoying the afterglow of their first time together. Laguna was sitting on Seifer's lap, the strong blond's arms wrapped around him.

They had picked out Fisherman's Horizon to visit on Seifer's vacation. It was out of the way, and SeeDs in uniform were not welcome. And it's peaceful nature discouraged those out uniform from entering as well. It was perfect for Seifer and Laguna to be together and forget about everyone else.

"I love you, Laguna," Seifer whispered into his lover's ear, stroking the boy's willowy chest.

"I love you, too, Sei-sama," Laguna giggled back, leaning back and twisting around to place a kiss on Seifer's lips.

Seifer's face darkened a bit. "No. No Sei-sama. No Seifer-san. Just Seifer. We're the same here," Seifer said, a twinge of guilt for starting an affair with his students biting the back of his soul.

"Alright, Just Seifer," Laguna giggled, and just as quickly, the guilt vanished from Seifer's mind. How could he feel guilty about being with someone who refused to let anything keep him down?

"Brat!" Seifer chuckled and kissed Laguna so hard he stole the youth's breath away.

Laguna wrapped his arms around Seifer. "I'm here because I want to be here, don't forget that Sei-chan," he whispered.

"Sei-chan? I like that much better," Seifer grinned, melting underneath the aquamarine gaze that held him. "Care to go for another round?"

Laguna's eyes widened and then he shrieked and giggled as his lover pulled him back down on the bed to be ravished. Again.

"Will you love me forever?" Laguna whispered softly as their bodies met.

"And ever, Laguna," Seifer smiled in the fading sunlight.

They were gone for two weeks.

Seifer knew there'd be questions and accusations. He didn't care. He was only returning to collect his belongings and quit. He had enough of a nest egg set up to take care of him until he could find another job. There had to be someone out there that still didn't hate him. Maybe he could go to Esthar...

Laguna went back to his room to pack as well. If given a choice, Laguna wanted to avoid a fighting career altogether. He much preferred the idea of becoming a journalist. Both young men agreed not to tell Squall. It would only cause problems.

Much to Seifer's surprise, Squall was waiting for him when he entered his room.

Jade green and moonstone gray met across the room. "Squall..." Seifer breathed.

"I was shocked you had sunk so low, Seifer. I guess I expected more out of you. But my own father? Your own student? It's disgusting, is what it is," Squall spat.

Seifer reeled, as if shot. "What the hell are you talking about Squall. I know he's my student, but I'm quitting, I don't want to be here anymore-"

"After all I did for you? Now you leave? And take my father away from me? As if I didn't live most of my life without him already," Squall hissed, his eyes narrowing in the dark.

"Your father's dead, Squall," Seifer said slowly, not wanting to grasp what Squall was telling him.

"No, my father's alive and well. Don't you get it, Seifer? You're a smart boy, always have been. Elle youthened Laguna before he died. So he could have a second chance at life. In your pathetic obsession with me, you started shacking up with my own father!" Squall's voice hitched and he stood up.

Seifer fell back against his wall, it's support keeping him upright. Tears sprung to his eyes. It all made sense. Perfect sense. Did he really love Laguna for just being an extension of Squall?

"He doesn't love you, Seifer. He loves my mother. He just doesn't remember her. But he's going to now. I left his wedding ring on his pillow. He'll remember my mother. And forget all about you," Squall said vindictively.

And then it suddenly struck Seifer that Squall was acting just like a vindictive child. A vindictive child who didn't want his father leaving him to love someone other than his mother. A vindictive child who was perfectly happy being adored by someone he didn't really want. A vindictive child who wanted everything, and gave nothing in return.

Seifer straightened up. "You're wrong, Squall. I love Laguna for being Laguna. I don't care who's father he is. I love him. And he loves me. You'll see," Seifer said evenly, willing away the tears that threatened to stream from his eyes.

"Nobody loves you, Seifer," Squall returned, his eyes flashing blue in anger.

"Are you so pathetic, Squall? You have everything. A loving wife. A beautiful son. Millions of people who adore you. And you still deny me love? Do you hate me so much that even when you won't love me, you won't let anyone else love me?" Seifer pressed, his own eyes flashing angrily.

"You need me, Seifer. If you leave, you'll have nothing."

"You are that pathetic, aren't you?" Seifer grabbed Squall by the shirt and pulled him up, meeting his rival's eyes squarely. "It's over, Squall. I'm not in love with you anymore. And that's what you want, right? You want me to love you. But I'm not going to stick around and worship you forever. If you wanted me, then you should have taken me when I offered!" Seifer shouted and dropped Squall back down.

It was Squall's turn to reel. He just looked up at Seifer, his eyes filled with uncertainty. Seifer's love was convenient. A thing he liked in of itself. He enjoyed being loved by Seifer, the power it gave him over his rival. Perhaps, with a twist of fate, he and Seifer would have been lovers. But as it stood, Squall had made his decision, and he couldn't have both Rinoa and Seifer. Squall fell to his knees and looked away from the bigger blond.

Seifer put a hand on his first love's head. "You wanted us both. I know you're not doing it out of spite. You're jealous, like any child would be when they think their parents' relationship is threatened. And you thought you would have me forever, didn't you? A part of me will always love you, Squall. But I'm not going to stick around and wait for one rainy day when you fight with Rinoa and might turn your attentions on me. I'm moving on, Squall. And you need to learn to grow up," he said gently, and turned away, grabbing only what he really wanted from his quarters.

"He still doesn't love you, Seifer. Once he remembers my mother, he won't even think twice about you," Squall said from the floor of Seifer's room, looking defeated.

Seifer swallowed and left.

Squall's words ran over and over in Seifer's head like a foul curse.

He stood before Laguna's room. Laguna's roommate was gone for the day, and they were all alone. Seifer gently tapped the access code into the boy's room, nervously wondering why Laguna hadn't responded to his knocking.

Laguna didn't even notice the door opening.

Seifer felt tears spring to his eyes.

Laguna was kneeling on his bed. In his hand, he clutched a golden wedding ring and a wedding picture was held close to his heart. Tears poured down the beautiful boy's face, and he was keening softly.

"Raine... Oh, Raine, I miss you..." Laguna moaned.

Seifer turned away, Squall's words echoing in his ears like a funeral song. He doesn't love you. Once he remembers her, he'll forget all about you.

By the time Laguna came out of his reverie, Seifer was long gone.

Seifer sat at the train station, very quiet and very still. For him, forever had ended yesterday. Laguna no longer loved him.

Part of him hated Squall for what he'd done, and the other part could only pity him. Mostly what filled his senses right now was hurt and sadness. An inexplicable sense of loss. For both Squall's friendship, and Laguna's love. Now he had nothing.

Part of him thought he deserved that.

"All aboard!" the conductor cried.

Seifer numbly came to his feet, hefting his suitcase. He followed the crowd towards the train station, not noticing the slim figure who came up behind him.

Seifer found his seat and sat down, staring blindly out of the window. He didn't notice when a person sat beside him.

"Jeez, when you're depressed, you're depressed, aren't you?"

Seifer jumped and hit his head on the overhead. "Laguna!!" he cried, rubbing his head ruefully.

"Hello, Seifer," Laguna smiled, and in his face was an impossible maturity.

Seifer looked away, instantly sobering. "I know what you came here for. To tell me that this was all-"

"-the best thing that ever happened to me. And since I can now remember all forty-six years of my life, I'm at liberty to say," Laguna grinned.

Seifer stared at him. "Come again?" he asked blankly.

"I found my wedding ring, and a picture of my late wife. For some reason, that caused my whole life to flood back to me. I remember everything," Laguna said, fondly looking at his finger, which now sported a simple gold band.

"Then why are you here?" Seifer asked darkly.

"Because I love you. I didn't lie when I told you that, Seifer. Just because I remember who I used to love, doesn't mean I have forgotten who I love now," Laguna said gently, older wiser, yet still Laguna in every way. Only his body remained young.

"But you know...who I am now."

"Well, it's a little odd to be in love with a boy young enough to be my son, but well, it's even weirder to be younger than said son. Who has a lot of growing up to do, I might add."

Seifer slowly took in Laguna's eyes, the smile on his gentle face. "I thought forever ended yesterday," he whispered a tear falling from his face.

Laguna leaned over and kissed Seifer gently on his lips. "It did, Seifer. Now is the 'ever' part of forever. And that never ends," he whispered.

Seifer smiled.

Laguna, dredging up his rather incredible savings account, bought himself and Seifer a very small island to retire on. On the island, he had a beautiful house, his own beach, and gardens the size of a small town for him to care for.

And best of all, he had Seifer, the man he loved.

But something was missing from both their lives. A small loss, and ache for something inexplicable. But that void was quickly filled when one fine day, a timid knock was heard on the door.

Seifer was busy trying to fix a broken chair, so Laguna ran to the door, wondering who would visit him on his island. He threw open the door.

Before him stood his son, who was holding a beautiful little boy with a shock of black hair and big blue eyes. Beside him stood a rather petite, but charming and lovely Asian woman.

"Squall! Rinoa! Xavier!" Laguna cried, throwing his arms around his family. Seifer came up behind him, gaping.

Squall hugged his father back, grinning shyly at both his former rival and his father. Laguna took his young grandson in his arms, whirling the giggling child around in joy. Rinoa laughed happily, the tension she had thought would come between them easing from her features.

Squall looked over at Seifer, and Seifer met the man who defined the early years of his life with a wide grin. "Hey, Puberty Boy," he grinned.

"Hey yourself, Mr. Ego. I guess I just came...to say I was sorry," Squall said, looking ashamed, his eyes cast downwards. His wife squeezed his shoulder, proud of her husband for apologizing.

"You were forgiven a long time ago, Squall. Nice to see you back," Seifer smiled, shaking Squall's hand happily, and then drawing his closest friend into an embrace.

"And you better not stay away so long next time!" Laguna cried, hugging his son again, and drawing his daughter-in-law in by the arm.

"We won't...Dad," Squall beamed.

Rinoa clapped her hands. "Even if I have to beat him with a stick over here!!" she cried with a throaty laugh.

They all joined in with the laughter, and never would they have a brighter day, then the day that their family was reunited and old grievances were forgiven and forgotten.

If you're lost, you can look...you will find me. If you fall, I will catch you...I'll be waiting. Time after time.


The End.

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