Author's Note: Thatís right, no Ďactualí sex in this one. Iím kind of shocked myself.
To Save A Lion
Voices. Like the sound of muted laughter and muffled words. Pulling at me, coaxing me out of a dreamless state and flinging me back into the conscious world. I fought against it, not quite ready to come awake yet, but the nagging feeling wouldnít dissipate. Some inner demon was shaking me awake, whispering in my ear, warning me that something just wasnít right.
Bolting upright in bed, the sheets sliding down my body to gather at my hips, the hazy shroud of sleep quite like a mantle began to slide away as well. Becoming more oriented with my surroundings as I came to terms with the fact that sleep wasnít forthcoming, I could hear them more clearly. Not wanting to eavesdrop, but unable to ignore the uneasy feeling in my gut, I listened. Voices getting louder and growing hushed again. It almost sounded as if one were warning the other to be quiet. Something was definitely wrong here. I heard a shout and a low, insistent tone following close behind, and it wasnít Squallís voice.
I stepped into a pair of jeans, running a hand through my hair, attempting to right it. I decided to forego any other clothing, I mean, who was going to be running around the halls at this hour? Unless I wasnít the only one whoíd heard the sounds coming from next door. Nah, itís too late, everyone was asleep. Like I should have been.
I crept out into the hallway, looking both ways just to make sure no one was around. The low florescent lighting was a shock to my eyes, so accustomed had I grown to the darkness. Dammit. I really should have stayed in bed and minded my own business.
So there I was, middle of the night, adorned in a pair of low slung jeans with sleepy eyes and hazy thoughts and I lifted my hand to knock before something occurred to me. Suppose nothing was wrong. Suppose Squall had aÖguest? I discarded that thought almost as soon as it appeared. Squall was intensely private and he was too much of a stickler for the rules to have invited someone into his room at this hour. Which left only one alternative. Someone was in Squallís room, and they hadnít been invited in.
I knocked once, sharply, vowing silently that Iíd go away if he told me to. No answer. I knocked again and called his name softly, not wanting to wake anyone else.
No answer. And I know damn well that he could hear me in there. I checked the doorknob. Locked, as I imagined it would be.
"Squall?" Just a little louder but he still didnít answer, but thenÖanother muffled sound and I knew that he had heard me.
I braced myself against the door and pushed up hard against the doorhandle. It opened with an almost imperceptible crack and I let it swing back against the hinges.
The scene that greeted me was one that almost stopped my heart. It caused a surge of rage to build inside of me the likes of which Iíve never experienced. Squall was there, eyes pleading, spirit broken, trussed up to the headboard of his bed like a carthorse. And beside him, with a mocking smile and an arrogant stance was Seifer Almasy. The look in Squallís eyes told me at once that this wasnít something that heíd willingly submitted to; the look in Seiferís spoke volumes of his enjoyment. It felt as though fire were coursing through my veins as I clenched my fists. I regretted leaving my gloves behind; Seifer always fought dirty.
I stepped into the room and pushed the door closed tightly. I took another look at Squall, utterly dominated, humiliated. Heíd averted his eyes. My heart ached for himÖagain. Then I turned my attention to Almasy, cloaked in his own self-serving arrogance as he always was.
"You sadistic bastard." I could hear my voice tremble, with fear or rage, Iím still not sure. Probably both, but I knew he wouldnít care. Heíd only need tohear the catch in my voice to label me a coward.
"Go back to your room, Dincht. Weíre a little busy right now." He smirked at me and I felt my forearms tense of their own volition, as they always did before battle.
"Iím not going anywhere, you sick fuck. Youíve got ten seconds to get your ass out of here or Iím going to let you know how it feels to be somebodyís little bitch."
Something flashed in his eyes then, and my body tensed in response as I realized heíd just acknowledged the gauntlet Iíd thrown.
"Yeah? Youíre going to let me know how it feels, huh?"
I narrowed my eyes at him, willing him to simply vanish. Yeah, right.
"Yes, I am."
I amused him, I could tell. Bastard. But I wasnít afraid of him, not really. I was never afraid of him in a physical sense, but Iíd always known he was walking the edge between sanity and true sickness. He could be unspeakably cruel. Iíd witnessed it first hand and while Iíd thought never to place myself in his path again, there I was. With nowhere to turn.
"Well, here I am, Dincht. Do your worst."
I glanced at Squall then and the light caught the single tear that hung suspended from the corner of his eye. Hung for a fraction of a second before it fell, landing soundlessly on the disheveled bed. I shuddered to imagine what had been going on in here before Iíd arrived, but with Seifer still fully dressed, I didnít think the party had been going on long.
I advanced on him, my hatred in my blood warring with the longing in my heart. I wanted to go to Squall and release him, hold him, anything. But first I wanted to dismantle Seifer. His arrogance was no match for my fury and I think heíd been aware of that the second Iíd entered the room.
I walked slowly, wanting him to experience a little uncertainty for a change.
"Youíve gone too far this time, Almasy." I told him, the muscles in my back jumping with every flex of my shoulders. His gaze never wavered.
"Oh, you think this is a new thing?" He glanced over at Squall, derision etched clearly upon his face. "Tell him, baby." He prompted Squall, taunting him. "Oh, I forgot, he canít talk with that gag in his mouth, my fault."
Then he turned his emerald stare back to me.
"Squall likes to play. Sometimes he even begs me for it. Donít you, love?"
I followed his gaze back the bed, where Squall hung bonelessly, head turned aside.
"I donít give a fuck what you have to say, Seifer. Iím not going to play with you."
He regarded me, grinning slyly.
"Pity." He murmured.
I shook my head at him, totally disgusted by him.
"You make me sick." I ground out.
"That really hurts my feelings, Dincht. And here I was trying so hard to impress you."
He moved from behind the bed to stand squarely in front of me, perhaps five, six feet away.
"What do you think you can possibly do to hurt me, Dincht?"
I wanted to kill him, I really did. With nothing but my fists, I wanted to kill him.
"Donít sound so sure of yourself, Seifer. Iíll show you that you bleed red just like the rest of us."
He smiled thinly and motioned to Squall.
"Maybe, but nobody bleeds quite as prettily as Squall does, donít you agree? He knows exactly how to take each measure of pain and make it seem like the most intense sort of pleasure."
Squall shuddered, overcome with the inability to tune Seiferís low taunting voice out.
I flew at him then, my arm a restraint against his neck, pinning him to the wall. He didnít fight me.
"Iíll kill you, Seifer, I swear I will."
"Kill me then."
I pressed harder against his neck.
"Nobodyíd miss you anyway. Youíre nothing."
He flinched, but remained still.
"What are you waiting for?" His voice was almost inaudible, practically a whisper. A chill skittered up my spine. He really didnít care, one way or another, about life. He was like a shell. Hollow inside. I released him, let him fall back.
"Iím not going to let you use him this way, but Iím not going to give you the satisfaction of putting you out of your misery either."
He glared at me, his eyes sparking fire at me.
"You disappoint me, Dincht. You donít have it in you to hurt anyone."
"Iíll do what I have to do." I threw back at him.
He stared unswervingly at me.
"Heís not worth killing you over. I was only having a little sport."
He walked around me, maintaining a wide distance.
"Better keep your door locked, Dincht. You might find yourself with a little company sometime."
He slammed the door behind him, causing the frame to shudder and splinter.
"Fucking Bastard." I muttered as I moved to Squallís side. He sat still and pale, his head hanging so that his silky sable hair obscured his face.
"Squall." I whispered.
He only shook his head, a slight movement meant to warn me away. He should have known better. Iíd have fought Seifer Almasy with all that I had in me to keep him safe. I thought he knew that.
I removed the strip of cloth that kept his lips parted and tossed it aside. He didnít move.
"Why didnít you tell me what was going on?" I questioned him as I removed his restraints, stroking his wrists when they fell free of the lengths of rope.
He shrugged miserably, apparently not having a suitable answer to give me.
I settled him against me, his long frame fitted against mine easily, offering no resistance.
"Why do you let him get to you, Squall? Why do you let him hurt you?"
He lifted his head then and stared at me with those silvery eyes.
"He has to have a reason to live. I canít let him kill himself."
I closed my eyes, knowing Iíd never make him see Seifer Almasy for what he truly was. Perhaps I didnít even know what he was, who he was. But I knew that I wasnít interested in trying to figure him out, either. All I wanted in this world was to give Squall a reason to smile. Something Iíd as yet never seen. Probably never would. But he was with me at that moment and I couldnít really imagine anything feeling so right. Maybe Iíd make him see, in time.
I rubbed my cheek against his hair, reveling in the softness of it, wanting to thread my fingers through it but knowing heíd pull away. He lay his hand on my arm, almost as an afterthought and I pulled him closer.
He moved his face against my chest, I knew he was listening.
"No more. Promise me."
He hesitated, the seconds ticking away on the old clock that hung above the bed before he nodded, a slight movement.
"No more." I repeated as I lowered my mouth to his. He didnít resist.
I could taste the blood on his lips when his mouth moved softly under mine and he moaned quietly.
I could feel his heart beating beneath his thin t-shirt when he tightened his hold on me, his fingers tripping over my skin like a warm rain. When he pulled away, he glanced at me, a look in his eyes that Iíd never seen before.
"Stay." He uttered softly and I held him tight against me. What could I possibly say to that, I ask you? His body, his soul, the faint tattoo of his heart, these were all things I knew. Almost as well I knew myself. He knew Iíd never refuse him. And so I sighed against his cheek and listened to his breathing grow deep and even. I wanted him to know that Iíd give whatever he asked, and this was no exception.
"AlwaysÖ" I promised.
And so it began.
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