Author's Notes: The first set of italics is what Squall hears muffled through a door. The second set is him dreaming.
DISCLAIMER: Okay I want to say this now and get it over with. I got the story structure for this story from a book called Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey. She is my goddess author and I love her to death. While I was reading it one night, I got the idea for a prequel to the game and decided to write it because I wanted to give props to my fav author. There were 4 specific scenes that I needed from the book to make this story work.
The scenes are:
1. Savil teaching Tylendel about shielding and their conversation before he leaves.
2. Vanyel overhearing about Tylendel (if you read it you know what I’m talking about).
3. Vanyel seeing Tylendel read a book through the window.
4. Tylendel comforting Vanyel after his nightmare.
I’m really REALLY nervous about posting this because I don’t want flames about me ‘stealing’ Misty’s work. It’s hers, not mine! NEVER MINE! I just own the books and read them over and over cause I love them so much. I’m only doing this because they gave me an idea. All of the aforementioned scenes are hers that I have changed to fit the FF8 world, the rest is my own crappy writing ^_^ I hope you enjoy it all the same because it’s a fic, and I don’t get paid for this anyway. ^_~
Uncertain Memory: With You
Part Three - The morning after the SeeD Ball. (Still Oct 1997)
By Elise Maxwell
Squall exited the training center soaked with sweat. The event last night caused unwanted dreams and made him uneasy about seeing Seifer again. In the dream, he’d been standing in a desert when he suddenly came upon a canyon. Seifer was standing on the other side, beckoning him over…
Squall shook his head, trying to forget the beautiful face burned into his mind. He had to get ready for the training mission he was to be sent on.
Soon enough he had stepped out of the shower in his dorm, and dressed in his black leather pants and a white t-shirt. Squall pulled a pack out from under his bed to stuff it with the essentials for his mission. He had just stood back to run his hands through his wet hair to tame it when he chanced to glance out the window.
Seifer was sprawled carelessly across the grass outside, in the courtyard of the garden. Squall watched from the safety of the window curtains, perplexed by his conflicting emotions. The breeze was playing with the boy's spiky hair, the same way it had in his dream, the way Squall wished he could.
He shivered and closed his eyes. Hyne. Oh, Hyne. Why me? Why now? And why, oh why him?
He clutched the fabric of the curtain as if it were some kind of lifeline, and opened his eyes again. Seifer had changed his position a little, leaning his head on his hand, frowning in concentration. Squall shivered again and bit his lip, feeling his heart pounding so hard he might as well have been fighting the boy in question. No girl had ever been able to make his heart race like this...
The thought made him flush, his stomach twisting. Hyne, what am I? He will- oh Hyne. He'll tell everyone, get me kicked out, say that I've gone crazy. Maybe I have gone crazy.
Seifer smiled suddenly at something he was reading; Squall's heart nearly stopped, and he wanted to cry. He then gripped the Griever pendant around his neck. If only he'd smile at me that way- oh Hyne, what in the hell am I thinking? I can’t trust him.
He turned away from the window, invoking his blank mask with a sick and heavy heart
If only I dared…
Spring 1998, a few months after the training mission.
Squall sat in the hallway outside of one of the teachers’ offices, his head in his hands, his hands pulling at his hair fretfully. Why did it always have to go all to hell?
While he’d been gone on the training mission, Squall had found something that made him feel so much more complete. A GF—one called Griever. The GF accepted to junction with him and help him forget, for that’s why he was named—to help one forget sadness.
Of course, the teachers recognized that Squall had been junctioned for far longer than he should have been, and with a wild GF. They took it away… and it felt like they buried his own blade in his heart.
“I see a cadet has asked you to help petition for Griever back,” the teacher commented thought the door next to which Squall was sitting.
“Cadet Leonhart has asked me to help him.” Quistis answered.
“I’m told he found the GF when he was on a training mission quite a few months ago and it was only recently they found that he had it.”
“It’s his Guardian.” Quistis’s level voice floated through the door.
“He’s too young Ms. Trepe, you know it.”
“Squall’s almost a gunblade master! I know he can control Griever.”
“He doesn’t have the experience.” The teacher with authority countered. “If he were older, and had graduated at least 2 years ago he could have it. Mr. Leonhart will just have to wait. Just because he found it doesn’t mean he can control the strongest Guardian Force known to man.” The man sighed. “Just the fact that he had it junctioned for months straight leads us to believe that his memories might be suffering.”
“That was the point you dimwit,” Squall muttered.
“Did you ask Cid?”
“He wants to guarantee Squall’s safety, and we can’t do that.”
“I see.” Quistis sounded somber. It was something he didn’t want to hear. He was starting to lose his ability to block out his emotions and now he’d lost his Guardian Force to them.
“I understand, but that was months ago. There’s no way he can petition to get it back now. He’s better off with Shiva or Quezacotl.”
“I understand, I just don’t know if he will.” His friend sighed.
Squall glanced down at the chain he’d made to look like the GF he’d found. Griever was like nothing he’d experienced before. Never had he felt so comfortable with anything in his life. It had never retaliated or shown any sign that it had an inability to follow commands like they said it would. Griever trusted him and was the only thing that understood him. Now he couldn’t have it back and the thought scared him. He’d be alone again. It didn’t matter; Griever couldn’t help him forget his feelings for—
“Thank you.” Squall heard Quistis and the other teacher share niceties as she readied to leave. He had to compose himself. She couldn’t see him like this. He sat back and looked away from the door, blinking away the tears and trying to look detached.
“Squall?” She was outside of the door now. He couldn’t look at her. If Squall looked at her, all of his walls would come crumbling to the ground. He didn’t need that now. He needed to be the strong Lion that everyone had pegged him to be.
“Look at me.”
No, he couldn’t. It would only make the pain worse.
“I command you to look at me!” Quistis barked, her teacher mode kicking in.
Squall’s teeth gritted as his gaze turned to her—the gaze that went fuzzy when he saw her serious face. Hot tears poured down his cheeks without his bidding as a strangled sob escaped his lips. A hand went to Quistis’s mouth as he turned his face away, covering it with his hands.
Before Quistis could offer any words of comfort, Squall suddenly stood and stalked away, wiping his eyes oh the arm of his jacket. With a feeling of betrayal, he let his hand grab the Griever pendant at his chest and rip the chain from his throat. The strength of his anger whipped it back down the corridor, past the blonde who stood rooted in her spot. If he didn’t have Griever, all he would be was completely and utterly alone.
Seifer stopped and blinked. What the— He looked down at his feet to see something silver shining. He stooped down and retrieved a chain. Upon closer inspection, he recognized it as having the pendant that Squall always wore around his neck. What fight had Squall gotten into this time?
He looked up to see a scared but relieved looking Quistis. “What’s wrong?” Seifer slipped the chain into his pocket as he rushed to her. He sat her down on the bench outside the office and listened to what had happened. When she finished he pulled the chain from the pocked of his jacket and stared at it.
“Why does he love the GF so much?” Quistis wondered aloud.
“He thinks he’s all alone.” Seifer sighed and shook his head, his hand wrapping around the pendant as he made a silent promise to fix the broken chain along with Squall’s broken heart.
“What do you mean?” She looked at him bewildered.
“Quisty, do you remember the orphanage?”
“And some things are hard to remember because of the GF’s right?” Seifer asked.
“That’s just a theory,” she replied, going into her teacher mode again.
“But,” he interrupted her, “Squall has had one GF—which he’s been junctioned to for about 3 or 4 months straight—and has gotten used to it.” Seifer sighed. “He probably started to forget all of the times at the orphanage. He’s probably forgotten that we were all friends by now.”
“Is that why you tease him?” Quistis frowned thoughtfully.
The blonde boy smiled softly at her. She’d forgotten some things too. “No, but I’ll explain it to you later.” He stood, slipping the chain in his pocket. “I’m gonna be late for class if I don’t go now. I’ll see you around.” He waved and started off toward the elevator, wondering if Squall would show up for their next class.
Later that night:
Seifer snuck around the hallways humming 'Secret Agent Man' for no reason—and had no clue as to why—other than the fact that he felt snarky. The Garden Staff were on patrol but since Seifer wasn’t doing anything against the rules and was just leaving the training center, they didn’t stop him or reprimand him.
He stopped in front of the sign for the dorms and stretched. There was nothing like a good workout to tire you out before bed. Seifer smiled at the ceiling before sighing and walking into the dorm area. His room was right next to Squall’s. There was a door adjoining their single rooms but they both kept it locked. Seifer hoped that one day they wouldn’t have to do that.
The blonde yawned and leaned his back against the door to his dorm. Damn, that T-Rexaur sure took his last bit of energy. Seifer frowned as a slight noise entered his ears. He was suddenly wide-awake and alert, as the sound grew louder. He gradually realized that it was the sound of someone crying. Seifer stood stone still, trying to figure out where the sound was coming from. He took a few silent steps to his right. No, it was fading. He went left and past his door.
Seifer stopped and his eyes went wide as he stared at the door to Squall’s room. It couldn’t be… He pulled the chain out of his jacket pocket and stared at it, knowing that this had to do with the scene he’d pulled earlier.
Squall cried out in pain suddenly, causing Seifer to react. He had to get into the dorm!
It was so hot. Too hot. Squall wandered through the desert for what seemed like hours. He didn’t know where he was. He was trapped. He had to find the end of this desert.
The sky began to darken to gray and he finally came upon the edge of a cliff. Squall peeked over the edge to see that there was no end in sight for the bottom. He happened to glance across the way, not to see Seifer standing on the other side, but to see the blonde lying on the ground in a pool of blood—stabbed with his own blade. Horrified, Squall turned around and found himself not on a cliff in the desert anymore, but on top of a high and very small bluff.
He glanced around panicked finding that there wasn’t another cliff anymore. How would he get off? Where was he supposed to go? What was he doing here?
Squall fell into a sitting position as everything began to get cold. He shivered and looked around again. It was hopeless. He didn’t have his GF’s and he was so completely alone. Who would know where he was?
‘Who said that?’
Squall turned his head to see the looming figure of a woman. His eyes widened as his gaze took her in. He scrambled backwards realizing she was a sorceress—and by the looks of her—a very powerful one. Suddenly Griever emerged from the mist behind her, just as ominously as she’d appeared. Squall’s mouth tried to work but he couldn’t say a word. His very own GF had turned on him.
He didn’t have anyone left. Now he was alone. Tears coursed down his cheeks as he drew his knees up under his chin and curled in on himself. The betrayal hurt so much.
Her power lashed out at Squall and he cried out in pain, this time physically.
No… Let me die. It hurts too much to live… Kill me. I don’t want to be alone anymore.
Squall struggled out of his dream being shaken by a pair of scorching hands on his shoulders. He blinked a few times, disoriented and confused. Where was he now? His vision began to clear as he started to shiver uncontrollably.
“Hyne, Squall. You’re a fucking icicle.” Seifer grabbed the blanket that had been thrown on the floor during Squall’s dream and wrapped it around the chilled boy.
“I—” the brunette tried to start, only to realize that his voice was hoarse and that tears were still escaping from his eyes. The blonde tried to wrap his arms around the smaller boy as Squall shied away from him, but Seifer did it anyway—just holding him to keep him still.
Squall closed his eyes, trying to shut Seifer out, but the dream came back to him—every little detail bored into his mind. He blinked and it was gone. There was only Seifer, still holding him and looking into his eyes with a concern that Squall never thought they could harbor.
He stopped struggling and stared at the sheets. “Go away.” He knew Seifer would make fun of him sooner or later. Might as well get it over with.
“Why?” The blonde asked. His voice purred softly, so gentle yet hesitant.
Squall’s vision was turning gray, the desert was coming back to get him. Soon all feeling would be lost again and all he felt would be pain.
“Squall,” Seifer chided, pulling him closer. “I wouldn’t hurt you. I couldn’t hurt you.”
The brunette coughed and tried to breathe. His chest was tight from screaming and from the proximity of his rival. He wanted to get rid of the cold, but the warmth scared him—rejection haunted in the shadows.
“Don’t worry. I’m just trying to get you warm,” Seifer explained as if he’d read Squall’s thoughts and didn’t give a damn. “I don’t want you to get sick now. I wouldn’t have any competition.” His eyes sparkled when Squall smirked sadly. “Just relax and tell me what’s wrong.”
The boy’s shoulders dropped as he saw Griever looking at him in contempt again. A choked sob escaped Squall’s throat and he gritted his teeth. He couldn’t stop the tears anymore than the shivering that still wracked his body.
Seifer didn’t seem to care. He just held Squall. No words of contempt or pride spilling from his mouth. Genuine compassion was all that he was giving, and it was received gratefully. He tightened his grip on the boy and pulled Squall closer, to rest his head on his shoulder.
“Just cry yourself out. I won’t tell anyone. If I do you can kill me with my own blade.”
That same image hit Squall and he surrendered every bit of his crumbling appearance and just sobbed into Seifer’s shoulder. His pride was shattered as he gripped the sides of the gray coat and the tears were absorbed into Seifer’s vest. He didn’t know what Seifer was saying but the soft words comforted him in his grief filled haze.
He cried until there were no more tears, and all his barriers were gone and the walls he’d built up to keep everyone out so he could be with alone with Griever—gone. He wouldn’t be alone with his GF. But they’d taken it away, and now he really was alone. Was that what he’d wanted all along—to be alone? No, that’s not what he wanted—not what he needed.
As the crying subsided, the shivers still wracked his body and Seifer’s warmth had begun to invade him. Hyne, this is what he’d wanted, to be warm. All he ever wanted was to be able to feel something.
“Finished?” Seifer asked as the last of the trembling left his body. The blonde reached over to flip on the lamp resting on the bedside table. Squall buried his face into Seifer’s vest at the appearance of light. He then realized whom he was snuggling up to and reluctantly pulled away and sat back closing his eyes against the glow.
Two warm hands cupped Squall’s cheeks and he blinked at Seifer who was inspecting him. The blonde turned him toward the light and he winced away, not used to it yet. He must have looked like hell.
“You’re a mess Leonhart. Big cherry nose with puffy eyes.” He grinned. “You’re a regular clown.”
“Shaddup,” Squall muttered and sniffed his stuffed nose. The blonde handed him a handkerchief and he accepted it with a quiet thanks.
Seifer sobered. “Nightmare?” So the blonde knew he’d been dreaming… but how did he get in?
“Just a stupid dream.”
“Happen a lot?”
“What was it about?” Seifer asked.
“You’ll tease me.” Squall knew the statement was childish, but true. He waited for Seifer to laugh, but he didn’t. He just sat there—waiting.
“I won’t tell anyone.” Seifer held up his blade. “I swear on Hyperion.”
The younger glanced at the blade, and then back at Seifer’s warm jade eyes. He’d never seen them look that way. And before he could stop himself, the words came spilling out of his mouth, telling the elder about the cold, pain and loneliness. He described the sorceress and how she’d taken Griever. Though he left out the part about using and losing Griever in the first place.
After he was through, Squall felt relieved, but that the whole description was so trite and silly. He looked up to see his rival contemplating the words he’d said.
“I think I understand,” Seifer nodded slowly. “Like there are times when being alone is a pain worse than dying. Or times when it’s easier to die than being alone. Am I right?”
The younger boy stared at him, shocked by how intuitive his words were. His heart fluttered as Seifer directed his gaze at Squall’s gray eyes. The brunette was rendered breathless at the flash of emotion he saw in them before the blonde glanced away, looking about the room.
“Holy Hyne on a stick! What did you do to this room?” Seifer stood and stared at all of the things lying on the floor. Some were broken; others were just thrown for good measure. He leaned Hyperion on Squall’s desk and began to pick things up.
“Wait!” Squall scrambled out of the bed as the blonde found his gunblade case missing the blade. His jade eyes searched the dark room and caught on a spot that gleamed.
Squall watched as Seifer looked the blade over and pulled out a cloth to clean and buff it. The younger backed up to the bed as the blonde gave him a stern look. He pulled his knees to his chin and wrapped his arms around his legs as Seifer put Revolver back in the case and leaned it against the wall.
The elder then kneeled in front of Squall, who felt nothing less than terrified at the look in Seifer’s eyes. He curled in on himself, waiting for the blonde to hit him, tease him, or leave him but Seifer didn’t do any of those things.
“Don’t ever treat your blade like that again, you hear me?” Seifer pulled his coat off and pried the brunette away from the bed long enough to wrap it around his shoulders. “I plan on fighting you again someday. You need to get strong, like me.”
The brunette nodded quickly earning a respectful look.
“Squall—” the blonde began, at a loss for once.
“Seifer,” Squall interrupted for the first time, finally taking some initiative and acting on his own. “They took Griever from me. I— I don’t know what to do.”
“I know,” Seifer replied, refusing to look at the younger boy. “Quistis told me.”
“Please stay with me.” He caught the blonde’s wrist has he tried to move away. “I don’t want to be alone anymore.” Squall’s head dropped as the words tumbled out of his mouth. “I want you to keep me warm.”
“You don’t know what you’re asking.” Seifer sneered, trying to throw Squall off, but the brunette wasn’t having it.
“Yes, I do! I heard them talking about you, the girls at the ball. I overheard them say—they said you were—that you don’t sleep with girls, that you…” his voice trailed off as a blush invaded his cheeks.
“Damnit Squall!” Seifer snarled. “I don’t have the virtues of a saint. I won’t take advantage of someone who’s so innocent and beautiful.”
Squall blinked. Seifer though he was beautiful? He looked at the blonde only to see fear and wondered what the boy was thinking.
“Who told? Quistis?”
“Nobody told. I told you, I overheard the younger cadets talking.” He crawled toward Seifer. “What they say doesn’t matter. They may think you’re sick or whatever, but I don’t. Because I respect you too much to let their opinions get to me and I may be insane for asking, but I want you to stay.” He took the blonde’s hand.
Seifer sighed. “Not like my reputation’s golden anyway.”
“It is to me.” Squall let go of the blonde and sat back as Seifer’s hands cupped his cheeks. A rush of hope filled Squall, as bright jade eyes searched his.
“That’s the longest speech I’ve ever heard come out of your mouth.” The blonde shook his head sadly as disappointment haunted in the back of Squall’s mind. Seifer picked the brunette up and placed him on the bed before collecting his jacket and heading toward the door. He hung his gray coat on a peg and returned to the bedroom.
Relief washed over Squall as the blonde stopped in front of him.
“Is this a challenge?” Seifer asked as he unzipped his vest and shrugged it off.
“More like an invitation,” Squall replied quietly as he watched the blonde kick his pants away.
“Then I accept.” The taller boy crawled atop the smaller making little time for small talk. It was unlike Seifer to not want to talk, but then again, by that time they didn’t need any words.
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