Summary: The coldest of acquaintances, the worst of enemies, the greatest of lovers... what are they exactly? And what is it about Seifer that makes Squall feel so vulnerable?

Disclaimer: Everything belongs to Squaresoft. Except for the plot and storyline, which is my own.

Archive: Lark, Lady Tempest, you don't have to ask. Everyone else, you better... or else... I'll sick my pet Aragorn on you.

Notes: The last hurrah. The long good-bye. This will be my final Final Fantasy story for the foreseeable future. Sorry, guys. Ya gotta end it somewhere, and it's definitely gotta stop here. The muse is going into retirement. This is written for Kuttnerstark, a great lady who requested this story for being my 100,000th hit to Lover Boys. Congrats to her!!


By J. Marie

"Don't touch me."

Seifer Almasy grimaced slightly as Squall Leonhart slapped his hand away. The smaller brunet gave Seifer his coldest glare and then turned back to watching television. But Seifer was not a man easily put off. He ran a gloved finger down the curve of Squall's neck, and onto his broad shoulders. Squall shivered before turning around and punching Seifer in the stomach. Seifer doubled over in pain.

"I said, don't touch me," Squall hissed, and then slid down to the other side of the couch, so he could glare better at the television screen. Television was a rare treat, and one Squall had learned to enjoy over the past year.

Seifer straightened himself up, his jade green eyes flashing in irritation. "I want to fight you. Stop being such a fucking couch potato, and get up and come with me to the Training Center," the blond rumbled, sliding down the couch so he was breathing into the side of Squall's face.

"You always want to fight me when you're horny, Seifer. Why don't you try getting yourself a goddam girlfriend, and leave me the fuck alone?"

"I had one. She dumped me for you."

Squall sighed. The conversation inevitably returned to Rinoa whenever given opportunity. How he loathed teenage melodrama. Yet, one of the worst parts of being a teenager was that his whole life was nothing but melodrama.

"Yes, and she dumped me for my father. So much for true love. Can we please move on now?"

Seifer worked his jaw. "Doesn't it bother you...? Doesn't it bother you that the bitch ran off to go fuck your own daddy?" he demanded, his hot breath hitting Squall's smooth cheek.

"Look, it didn't work out between Rinoa and me. It was partially my fault for generally being an all around prick. Romances built over adventures don't tend to last long. We had nothing in common. Rinoa and Laguna got along famously. They even like the same fucking color. She’s the daughter of his first love, for crying out loud. It was inevitable that two people who got along so well would eventually form a relationship, particularly when one half's boyfriend is as unpleasant and anti-social as I am. They actually, genuinely love each other, and I respect that. Contrary to popular belief, Rinoa is neither bitch, whore, or slut. Granted, she might not be the brightest soul in the world, and her fashion sense, or lack thereof, leaves something to be desired, but she's a truly nice, compassionate woman with a lot to offer. She's a romantic, and she was very young when she dated us. She thought she loved you, but she didn't. She thought she loved me, but she didn't. She actually loves my father, and I'm happy for both her and Laguna."

"Christ on a crutch, Squall, how fucking long did it take you to memorize that shit?"

"About a year's worth of therapy sessions. Doesn't make it any less true. Unlike you, I dealt with my issues. It's been a year since we broke up, two for you. I'm nineteen, she's nineteen, you're twenty. Can we please all grow up and move on with our fucking lives?"

Seifer fell back against the couch dramatically, sighing loudly. Squall cast a glance at the taller blond. Seifer was like some Nordic god, with smooth sun-kissed skin, and golden blond hair. His eyes were a pale green that appeared blue in the dim light of the television and his profile was perfection. Seifer was tall, well over six foot, with a lean, muscular body to match. Seifer's masculine beauty made Squall want to retch.

"I liked you better when you dealt with all your issues by locking yourself up in a room and talking to yourself in your head," Seifer finally announced.

"No, you didn't. At that point of time, all we did was fight like lions over a pride. Now when you try to start a fight, I tell you to fuck off. Get laid, Seifer. If not for yourself, do it for the rest of us. It's hard to relax in the Garden on SeeD downtime when one of your fellow SeeDs does nothing but pick fights and be obnoxious because he hasn't had his dick sucked in over a year."

"Fuck you, Leonhart."

"That's my line."

Seifer was suddenly back to being in Squall's face, breathing on the brunet's cheek. The press of his lean body made Squall flush for a moment, before he caught himself. A gloved hand wound through Squall's hair, gently massaging his scalp.

"I still want to fight you," Seifer whispered into Squall's ear. The electrifying sensation of Seifer's hand on him suddenly made Squall's stomach drop, and he felt naked, vulnerable.

Squall shook Seifer off and landed a punch in Seifer's groin. "Don't fucking touch me anymore! Christ, Seifer, you're invading my personal fucking space. Again. You're on probation, remember? Cid let you back in if you promised to behave yourself. And you'll be gone in a blink if he finds out you keep molesting me," Squall scowled at the blond man who was doubled over again and holding his crotch in pain.

Seifer slowly stood up, his green eyes flashing. "Careful, Squall. Keep on reacting like that, and I might think you enjoy me groping you," he hissed back and stalked out of the room.

No doubt to burn some sexual tension off by killing T-Rexes.

Squall sighed irritably when he laid his lunch out on the cafeteria table, only to find Seifer standing far too close behind him. Squall wondered again why the bastard had to stand so close to him.

"Mmm, hot dogs. The edible phallic symbol. Never took you for a cock lover. Figured Zell was more the type," Seifer rumbled in his deep baritone as he reached around Squall and picked up the hot dog and took a bite of it.

Squall forced himself not to get upset. He refused to allow himself to sink to Seifer's level. In truth, Seifer was acting like an angel compared to his former violent nature. His brainwashing experience as the Sorceress' Knight had calmed him down. To an extent. He would always remain the most egotistical, selfish, foul-tempered, stubborn, immature bully in the whole world. At least in Squall's opinion.

"Enjoying my edible phallic symbol?" Squall asked sinuously, trying to make his light baritone sound deeper.

Seifer put the hot dog back on the plate and cocked his head, running his eyes up and down Squall in a blatantly sexual manner. Squall suddenly felt hot.

"Bet you'd prefer me to be swallowing the real thing, wouldn'cha Leonhart?" Seifer smirked.

Under that intense green gaze, Squall suddenly felt naked. Seifer's words only seemed to bore through his flesh. He trembled for a moment before catching himself and stepped away from Seifer.

"Keep the fucking thing...I'm not hungry anymore," Squall hissed, and stormed out of cafeteria, feeling unexplainably vulnerable.

Squall barely ducked the swing of Hyperion and lost a few strands of chocolate-colored hair to the razor-sharp blade. He gasped and rolled when Seifer swung backwards, again trying to remove Squall of his head.

"Watch it, Seifer!!" Squall yelled angrily, swinging wildly at Seifer and missing.

But Seifer wasn't paying any attention. He was sneering angrily, his green eyes flashing. His swings were deadly, meant to kill or maim. He beat past Squall's block and sliced Squall's bicep. It wasn't until he noticed he'd drawn blood that he stopped.

Squall held his wounded arm in anger, glaring hotly at Seifer. The blonde seemed unrepentant, and merely took a step back and turned his face from Squall.

"This was a training session, not a fucking fight for life. Where the fuck do you get off coming at me like that?? I was fighting you according to the rules, and you just went fucking apeshit on me!" Squall hissed.

"Got your attention, didn't I? Just about the only way to, lately," Seifer said evenly, pulling out a cigarette and lighting it with a Fire spell.

Squall poured a potion down his throat, feeling the familiar tingle of the healing magic affecting his cut. He glared at Seifer as darkly as he could muster. "What the fuck is that supposed to mean, Seifer?" he sighed.

With a sudden movement belying his great size, Seifer slammed Squall back against one of the trees in the training center, Hyperion pressed against Squall's smooth, creamy throat. Seifer grinned nastily at him, pressing his face into Squall's.

"I mean that you never fucking notice me unless I'm fucking trying to kill you. Had to scar your face just to get a fucking rise out of you. Why do you ignore me, Squall? Why won't you ever let me in? You let everyone else in, but you still keep me out. Why?" Seifer asked, his eyes half-mast and his lips dangerously close to Squall's.

Wild thoughts flashed through Squall's mind, thoughts he didn't really want to dwell on at the moment. "Because you're a violent, pushy son of a bitch," Squall hissed.

Seifer's hand trailed up his thigh suddenly, causing Squall's breath to hitch, and then stop completely when Seifer's hand pressed into his hip, almost brushing his groin. Heat rose between the two young men.

"I would be nice for you. I could be nice for you. I want to be nice for you..." Seifer whispered, brushing his lips against Squall's the barest friction of moist flesh touching. Fire coursed through Squall's veins and he could hear his own heartbeat thundering in his ears.

There was a rustle in the bushes and Seifer drew off Squall, brandishing his blade as a Grat popped out, waving it's vine-like tentacles. Squall took the opportunity to escape.

But he couldn't escape the inevitable feeling of vulnerability.

Squall sighed contentedly as he tried to relax in the Jacuzzi. He was completely alone, and let the steaming, rolling water ease the tension from his aching muscles. He just wanted to work out the kinks in his body and let the potions he used after battle sink in better.

"Rough day at work?"

Squall opened his eyes and was visibly relieved to discover it was only Quistis Trepe descending into the Jacuzzi, not Seifer.

"Not really," Squall shrugged.

"Rinoa and Laguna are getting married next month. I got the invitation last night. You?" Quistis asked carefully, studying Squall underneath her blonde lashes.

"This morning."

"You going?"

"He's my father. Kinda have to."

"Well, it's not like he was there for you."

"He didn't know where or who I was until I was already fourteen and in SeeD. He thought it was pointless to interrupt my life at that time. Thought I wouldn't want him. It's not his fault, Quistis."

Quistis was actually smiling. "I'm so proud of you. So many opportunities to be immature and unreasonable, and you haven't taken one," she said.

"Yeah, well saving the world does that to a guy. 'Sides, you can't hang around Rinoa for a year and not have a little of her compassion rub off on you. Even if it didn't work out between us."

"I think it was more a personality difference than anything. I mean, to be honest, what did you and Rinoa truly have in common? Someone like you needs someone who can understand you, agree with you. Not necessarily be just like you, just be...similar..."

Squall wondered if Quistis was trying to hit on him again, but then dismissed it. She'd been dating Irvine for a solid year and three months. And he knew that like he and Rinoa, Irvine and Selphie didn't work, and Irvine moved on and found someone that truly suited him. And Selphie was dating Nida.

"I don't need anyone."

"There goes the Squall we all know and love. I wondered where'd he got off to. Seriously, Squall. It's been a year. Why don't you try dating?"

"Never been any good at it."

"You've never been on a date, unless you count all the times Rinoa dragged you out into public. How would you know?"

"Don't like people. And they don't like me."

"People like you just fine."

"Just not interested."

"Well, I know someone who's interested in you. Been interested in you since the days in the orphanage. But you always turned him away."

Squall actually stared at Quistis for that. She was casually leaning against the Jacuzzi wall, her blonde hair plastered to the side of her beautiful face. " 'Him'???" he demanded.

"Please, Squall. You're not stupid."

Squall narrowed his eyes. "It's not like that between us. In fact, there's nothing. We're nothing. Not even friends," he hissed, a warning tone creeping into his voice.

Quistis smiled and opened her eyes, which were sparkling in amusement. "Only one person could ever get a rise out of you in the old days. Only one person ever made you feel. Only one person pulled the passion out of you, even if he had to wrestle it to the ground and drag it out of you inch-by-inch. Only one person has loved you since the beginning, but you constantly ignore it. Why? Because of some silly sexual stigma? You're lonely, he's lonely. You suit each other. Like fire and ice," said Quistis knowingly.

Squall shook his head vigorously, feeling the old drop in his stomach, the all-too-familiar blush on his cheek. "No. Not like that. Not Seifer. Don't even say it, Quistis," Squall said shakily.

"What is it about him that makes you feel so vulnerable, Squall? Why won't you ever let him in close? Don't you think, if maybe you stop pushing him away, he'll stop pulling you so hard? He loves you, Squall. He always has. I knew it from the beginning. He needs you..."

"I don't want to hear this!!!" Squall shouted and bolted from the room, stopping only to wrap a towel around his swimming trunks.

Quistis sighed and lowered her head. "But you need to, Squall. You so need to hear it..." she muttered to herself.


Squall stared at the mirror in his room, his own porcelain face staring back at him. What was it about Seifer that made him feel so vulnerable? Why was it always Seifer that intimidated him, made him feel so inferior. Always, their rivalry had been about who was better. And Squall had to fight back. Or admit he was weak. And Seifer was his weakness.


It had been so long, so many years. Since they were children. Seifer pushing and shoving, trying to get past Squall's barriers. Always trying so hard, so very hard. Trying so hard he became a bully. Both of them had half forgotten why they fought, why they struggled to be the alpha male.

Why? Why? Why why why why why why why?

Squall turned away from his reflection and buried his face into his pillow, trying desperately to grasp at sleep. It was like sand, and sifted through his finger tips, torturing him with drowsy half-dreams involving Seifer's laughing face and the feel of the tip of Hyperion's blade slicing through Squall's face.

And then the flash of remembered pain changed into the electricity of the brush of lips with Seifer, the heated touch of Seifer's hand on his hip. It felt like their was a burning handprint where Seifer touched him. Molten lava swirled around his head and images of twining bodies, sweat-slick hands, and drowning kisses overcame him before he shoved it away.

It was those images, those feelings that left him the most vulnerable. Because the pleasure always seemed to end in pain. And he kept seeing Seifer's laughing face, and he always bled in the end.


Squall tried to avoid Seifer for the next few days and was fairly successful, as Seifer had been deployed on a three-day mission to Esthar. But when Seifer returned, Squall's personal space was once again invaded.

He should have been expecting it, but he didn't. He had been standing in the engine room, examining the counsel when he felt a gloved hand run up his spine, setting fire to every nerve in his body. Squall leaned into the touch for just a moment before pulling away and spinning around angrily.

"You almost seemed to like that for a minute, Squally Boy. Why pull away? I'd be happy to give you a massage..." Seifer smirked, his green eyes sparkling with insufferable mischief.

"You're getting more and more obvious as time goes by," Squall hissed, looking around. They were in the lower regions, which was normally unattended. No one else there but them. Making Squall all alone.

Making him vulnerable.

"Maybe I'm tired of the games, Squall," Seifer said, pushing Squall back onto the console. A sharp pain stabbed into Squall's backside as Seifer pressed him into the counter.

"Leave me the fuck alone, Seifer, or I swear I'll summon Bahamut," Squall hissed, and put his hands on Seifer's chest, his gloved hands pressed against the soft cloth of Seifer's signature trenchcoat. To his surprise, he couldn't muster the will to push Seifer off of him.

Seifer's hands encircled Squall's wrists lightly and he leaned into the brunet's face, his expression softening slightly.

"I missed you, Squall. You're all I thought about while I was in Esthar. I saw your dad, and he asked after you. He looks a lot like you, you know. The more I saw him, the more I realized how much I wished he was you. I'm tired of playing games, Squall. It's been ten years. Ten years I chased after you...I want you. You have to know that by now. Let me have you..." Seifer whispered.

The feeling of vulnerability nearly choked Squall and he turned his face, trying desperately not to melt in the arms around him, against the warm, demanding body pressed against him. "Why...?" was all he could force out of his lips.

"Why? I love you. Always have. Ever since we were kids."


"I don't know, Squall. Love isn't to be explained. It just is. I feel it, in my heart, in my bones. It's not just lust, because I want all of you. I want to hear your sarcastic remarks, and listen to your droll monologues on life. I want to hear you breathe at night. You comfort me. I can't tell you why, Squall. There isn't always a why."

Squall closed his eyes, feeling a million emotions swirl around in his head. He felt Seifer's head rest on his shoulder, felt the hands leave his wrists and arms encircle him.

"I'm so tired of this, Squall. I'm tired of being angry and frustrated all the time because of you. I'm tired of wanting to terrorize the world because I don't have you. I'm tired of pretending I don't want you. Don't you realize, Squall? I told you back in Dollet that'd I'd tell you about my romantic dream one day? That's you. It always has been."

"I thought...I thought the Sorceress' Knight..."

"You thought my romantic dream was to be some crazed psycho bitch's patsy boy toy?"

Squall began to laugh bitterly. "Well, when you put it that way..." he said.

"Don't ignore what I just said, Squall. Don't you fucking dare ignore me. I'm laying my fucking heart out before you. I'm at your mercy. Vulnerable. Isn't that what you want?" Seifer whispered, sounding more like a child than Squall had ever heard him, even as children.

Vulnerable. Now Seifer was vulnerable. But wasn't he, Squall, supposed to feel vulnerable? Wasn't he the weak one? This was so Seifer. Demanding, brutal, unyielding. All or nothing. And leaving everything for Squall to mop up afterwards.

Hot breath hit his neck, and Seifer's hands pressed against his back. There was no squeeze to his hug, no force. Squall could easily push him off and run away if he wanted to. Seifer was leaving it in Squall's lap. Leaving the decision to him.

A first.

Squall wound a gloved hand through the golden hair on Seifer's head, and pressed his nose into the silky, soft strands, breathing in the other man's scent. He felt strangely empowered, yet he never felt more vulnerable in his life. It was a Turning Point. The Big Decision. He knew now, knew why he felt so vulnerable. It was because...

"I think... I might... love you, too."

Seifer's arms tightened around him, but in gratitude, a needy sort of possession, the joy of confirmation. Squall could feel the tension drain from Seifer's body, feel the hot tears spill on his shoulder. Squall put his arms around the muscular blond, and held him for a long time, letting Seifer pull himself back together. They said nothing, and only the sounds of their breaths and the whirr and the click of the engines filled the room.

Strangely, Squall didn't feel so vulnerable anymore.

"Let me touch you..." Seifer whispered after what had to be the better part of an hour.

"I knew we'd get to this part eventually..." Squall chuckled darkly.

"We don't have to... if you don't want to..." Seifer said, audibly disappointed.

"Yes, we do. I want to... I want to feel you," Squall whispered, his voice thick with desire.

Desire. It was their old friend. It was a thing that lay between them, as surely as their unexplainable love. A physical confirmation of something both men wanted, both men needed. The firm, without-a-doubt knowledge that what was between them was real. The sealing of a bargain.

There was the rustle of cloth as Seifer let his trenchcoat fall open, and the squeak of leather as Squall moved up on the control console, careful not hit any buttons or dials. He fumbled around for the lighting switch and turned it dark, so only the dim glow of the engines lighted the room. The darkness comforted him, eased the nervousness of a first time. It was a welcome companion, for some things are best done by touch and feel, not by sight.

Squall felt Seifer's gloved hands pull up his white t-shirt, and run across his bare chest, inciting thrills at every stroke. He closed his eyes and worked on the blue and white vest Seifer wore, struggling to unbutton it. Squall pulled off his gloves so he could manipulate the clasps.

Seifer's hands slid back out, and Squall was forced to shoulder off his bomber jacket, feeling cold for a mere moment before Seifer pressed his larger body against Squall's, the body heat rising between them warming him. The white t-shirt soon followed, but Squall didn't notice, so absorbed was he in the feel of Seifer's body pressed against his. How long had he denied to himself that he had wanted this?

Seifer's vest opened, and Squall lost himself in the smooth feel of Seifer's muscular chest and back underneath his gunblade-calloused hands. The sound of Seifer sighing enveloped him as their hands roamed the other's body.

Squall could feel Seifer tugging on his many belts, and softly cursing in frustration. Squall reached down and helped Seifer undo them, breathing softly into the blond's ear. No words were exchanged, as none were necessary. Seifer unzipped the leather pants with a thrilling sound, just as Squall undid Seifer's lone belt and pants.

Squall closed his eyes as Seifer murmured something inaudible, and bent down, falling to his knees as he pushed leather away from his newfound prize. Squall's head fell back and rested against the glass and he groaned aloud as the warmth of Seifer's wet mouth engulfed him. He entangled his hands through Seifer's golden hair, feeling the gloved hands pressed against his bare hips as Seifer sucked on him leisurely, bringing him to full arousal.

Seifer suddenly withdrew, causing Squall to whimper and arch his hips in search of the mouth. He found it again, but it pressed against his own mouth now. Tongues slid against the other as they kissed urgently. Squall could feel Seifer fumbling around in his trenchcoat for something and pulling it out. Squall just grasped Seifer's shoulders as they kissed, content to let Seifer lead this time.

Squall gasped when he felt Seifer's fingers press against him, coated with the contents of a potion. He pushed back, spared the pain of entry thanks to the potion. Only the tingle of the magic coursed through him, soon coupled by an intense pleasure when Seifer pressed something deep inside of him.

"Oh, Seifer..." Squall whispered, barely audible, into Seifer's ear. He pushed back against the potion-covered fingers, eager for more. But Seifer withdrew, causing Squall to whimper again.

He was not left hanging for long as Seifer brought him forward on the console, and pressed forward, so he could slide inside Squall. Squall groaned again, grateful the potion countered the pain. It was a strange sensation.

Squall dropped his head onto Seifer's shoulder, sliding back the trenchcoat and biting firm flesh as he rode back against Seifer's thrusting hips. The sound of their breathing, quickened and made heavy by desire and pleasure, filled the room, occasionally accompanied by a soft moan or whisper.

One of Seifer's hand pressed against Squall's spine, pressing the smaller man closer against him, and the other wrapped around Squall's cock, pumping the throbbing member firmly, encasing it with the leather of his gloves. A strangled cry escaped Squall's lips as he dug his fingers into Seifer's shoulder, and bit harder on the blond's shoulder in pleasure.

The pair rode against each other quietly, eager to complete the act. They came nearly at the same time, the act finishing with strangled cries and stilling bodies as one spilled his seed on the other's stomach, and the other spilled his seed deep within the other. Despite the energy and demand of their love-making, it seemed to calm them both, and fulfilled them.

"So... your place or mine...?" Seifer chuckled after several minutes.

"Doesn't matter. As long as we're together," Squall whispered.

It ended with two lean bodies tangled in white sheets, dimly lighted by the moon, surrounded by a comforting darkness.

Sun-kissed skin complimented porcelain cream, four hands lightly stroking across flesh that wasn't theirs. Golden hair brushed against chocolate, soaked with sweat. Moistened lips sought a matching pair and just as did eyes the color of jade green and moonstone blue. Legs and arms encircled another, and two became one in the dark of the night. A union meant to be, ordained long ago.

And in the night, surrounded by warmth and passion, love defeated their weaknesses.

Vulnerable no longer.

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