Disclaimer: Plain and simple. FFVIII belongs to Squaresoft, which I am not a part of.


Part 8

By Drakon Sword

(Seifer's POV)


I knew that Squall was nervous, and unsure. I was the first time. He's unsure because he's not fully sure what he is supposed to do. That's understandable. I didn't either, but I'm not letting him get away. He is going to learn how to do it, and control it.

I intend to stay at his side the entire way. That is, if he lets me.

As I turned away from him, I clench the sphere of contained power inside of me while closing my eyes. I could see the swirl of power as the sphere expanded, uncurled, and started to drift to throughout my body as I released it. The gold, yellows, oranges, and reds pulsing as it started to coarse through my veins.

Then my body physical shape started to change. Bones shrank, grew, changed shape, and others split into two. It didn't hurt. It was normal. Natural. It was like crackling a joint back into place. A lot of noise, but no pain. Just a satisfying movement.

Fur began to cover my skin. I could feel my skin prickle as orange toned fur with black strips began to cover my body. My noise and mouth changed to became a snout. A black noise appeared as my ear moved farther up my head, and became furry. Whiskers slipped out around my nose. Nails grew black and long to take their place on my paws.

I was almost complete.

Then my tail grew. Long and orange with rings of black down its length. I swayed it back and forth to loosen the tight muscles from its growth. I couldn't help, but let out a roar of satisfaction when my transformation was complete. It took less then a minute, but it felt like an eternity to be release.

My human form was like a cage to my tiger side.

I then turned to look at Squall, whose eyes were wide in shock, admiration, and fascination. His eyes were baby blue with his warmth. Yet the tinge of silver was there. I could sense his ability twitching to be released.

The lion wanted to be free.

I curled my lip to smirk the best I could as a tiger, and I believe I faired pretty well. I trotted over to him, and rubbed up against his leg in an affectionate, loving way. Much like a pet cat does to there beloved owner.

" . . . wow! How did you do that?" Squall asked as he kneeled down, one of his hands drifting behind one of my ears. I purred as he scratched behind my ear, and gave a gentle lick with my strong tongue on his opposite arm. My tastebuds were filled with the taste of salt, light traces of soap, but mostly dominated by the taste of him.

Something that I could easily get addicted to.

:Simple, actually.: I mind-spoke to him. He snorted.

"Easy for you to say. I've never done it before." Squall muttered, but his hand not at all drifting from my ear. I moved out of his reach, and sat in front of him. His ministrations were not helping my concentration. He watched me, ardently.

:It's hard the first time. It took me awhile to learn. I'll help you.: I told Squall, and he nodded. He folded his hands in his lap, and waited for further directions. :Close your eyes.: I spoke as I also closed my own.

Using my mind, I took his, and together we went deep into him. I searched for his sphere of light in the darkness. Squall wasn't sure what exactly to do, but was confident in walking beside me. However, in most ways, he was leading me. He knew where in was subconsciously.

Then we found it.

It was beautiful. There it was. The sphere of his power. I could feel the pulsing energy surround the ball of power. Swirls of greens, blue, jades, and silvers. I wanted to touch it, but I didn't feel I had the right. It was his soul, not mine.

Without a word spoken between our minds, Squall knew my hesitation, and lead my to the sphere of power. Together we touched it, and it was then I felt one with him. I had always felt close to him, or that he was a part of me, but when I touched that part of his soul, I knew we are.

We are opposites, yet the same.

The same, yet opposites.

Mirror Images.

Then the swirls of colour burst as the uncurled, and began to drift throughout the darkness. I watched as Squall left my side as his body started to mould to his new form. To change into a lion. I could hear the creaking of bones, the re-moulding of muscles, the growth of fur, the shifting of various parts, and everything else that would make him the lion.

I gently pulled my mind out of his, and looked at the lion before me. The bluish grey eyes meant mine radiating warmth, and relief.

Squall is a gorgeous lion. He is as a human too, but he looks more at home in this form. Just as I feel, and I know he does. He's not a large lion, but the mane gives the illusion that he is larger. His muscles are toned, and I can see them rippling under the layer of thin beige fur. Large massive paws with black claws slightly prodding from the tuffs of tan fur.

I couldn't help, but smile at the lion before me.

My lion.

:That was . . . that was amazing.: Squall murmured in my mind, sounding like he was still lost in the sensation of the transformation. Like I said, it doesn't hurt. It natural, and it's like scratching that itch you just can't reach. Or popping that bone back into place. Complete instinct.

:I agree. You look utterly fabulous in fur, my dear.: I replied, sounding like a rich obnoxious old hags that buy fur coats. Squall just laughed in my mind, his eyes glowing with joy as he begins to make his way over to me.

:I've never . . . never felt so . . . alive.: Squall continued to murmur in the dazed fashion as he rubbed his cheek against my own. I returned the gesture as a purr vibrated through him. I believe he is aroused. The transformation does have that effect. It was hard when I was on my own. My best friend was my right hand for awhile there.

:Come. Let me show you how you got out at night.: I said, moving away to jog near the garden. Squall followed. I could feel his delight as he ran beside me. The wind flittering through his mane, caressing our bodies, and filling our senses with scents of the monsters and animals around us.

I lead him to the garden, and stopped under his window of his room. His room was up on the third floor, but a tree was there so someone could get up to the roof if they could jump, and move quickly enough. If someone had enough skill, or had feline grace and speed, they could do it without too much effort.

:This is . . . where?: Squall asked, looking up all the floors, his voice was doubting. I gave a sniff at the tree, and I caught his scent. Actually, the tree was covered in his scent, and if I was correct, there were claw marks that I was more than willing to bet were his.

:This is how you did it, Leonhart. Follow.: I exclaimed as I climbed the tall tree using my claws till I came to a branch that was capable of holding my weight. I then hopped up the branches causes the leaves to rustle, and some to fall to the ground were Squall watched and learned.

Once I was high enough, I jumped onto the roof with grace that only a feline creature could ever have. I gave a quick sniff, making sure no one was around, or watching. No one was in sight, and no one seemed to hear my landing. Mind you, not many of the windows were open, and not many rooms were over on this side.

:Coming?: I asked looking at Squall over the edge of the roof. He growled under his breath, and made his way up the tree. He did it fairly quickly. Actually, much faster then myself, but he has been doing it for at least a year. He has had practice.

He smirked as me the best a lion can, and waves his tail haughtily once he is beside me. His nose is in the air, but I know he is joking. He made it up in half the time as me. Squall also has less weight to haul up, but I don't bother getting into it. I just give him a lazy swat that he swiftly moved out of the way, giving a little chuckle (or the best a lion can, which wasn't too bad).

Then we move in the shadows to the next level. Jumping again we are near his window. I place my two front paws on the ledge, and nudge the window completely open from its couple of inches that Squall must have left it open. I hop in, and Squall follows on my heals.

I look around the room which is obviously his bedroom. It's nothing extreme. Much like his dorm room. A bed, a closest, a dresser, and his gunblade. What else does he need? There are various items on the dresser. A photo of Ellone with his father and friends, another of the gang after the defeat of Ultimecia (I assume), and another of the two of us.

It was one a couple of months before the sorceress' war. Squall is standing with his hand on his hip as he glares at the camera dressed in his normal clothes with Lionheart at his side. I beside him with my arm over his shoulder as I smirk, my patent Almasy smirk, and one leg curled over the other as I leaned against Squall. I'm also dressed in my usual trench coat and clothes while I hold Hyperion with my other hand. We look like friends. We were friends.

We are friends. If not more . . .

I transformed back into my human form when I turn back to Squall. He follows my lead, and also transforms his body back to the Squall we all know and love. However, I love him as a lion too, but this form you can do so much more with.

"I really have to introduce you to colour." I muttered as I flopped onto his bed of black sheets.

Oh wait!

They're silk.

"Whatever Seifer." Squall sighed as he rolled his eyes. I take it he has heard this from the others. I tempted to think Selphie. She is the artist, and decorator of the gang. She knows colour, and like them bright. She would be appalled by this.

Bare light grey walls, black furniture, and a simple silver lamp with a grey shade. He is boring in those sorts of ways, but not because he is. He just doesn't see the point. I guess I wouldn't either if I'm the Commander, and I didn't live with anyone. I doubt that he is hardly in here. Always off with other business. It's workable and he can sleep here, that's all he needs. Not entertainment, or much comfort. It just works for him.

"So you kept a picture, eh?" I said, waving at the photos of us on his dresser. Squall is sitting on the ledge of the window, letting the cool evening breeze caress his skin. He frowns at me in confusion, before realizing what I meant.

Then a small blush appears.


I've never known Squall to blush, but it's not tomato red, or his complete face. Just a tinge of pink on his high cheekbones. Enough to let you know that he's a little embarrassed and caught guard. However, it's possible to mistaken it for a sunburn, or a heated face from a hot day, which is why I may have never seen it before.

Maybe he was a blusher!

"Ya, well, it's the only one I have of you and I had one of everyone else." Squall muttered, looking back out the window. I smiled, and arched an eyebrow as he spoke. I knew it meant more than that, but wasn't going to push.

"Nora took that, didn't she? The one with the crossbow?" I asked, looking back at the picture. It was a pretty good one of us, considering we both hate the camera. We avoided it at all costs.

Actually, I remember a time when Nora (photography was her hobby) was running around taking photos for an assignment she had coming up, and Squall dodged into a closet, while I slipped behind a tree in the hallway as she ran past after her latest victim for her project.

Once the sounding of shoes clicking on the tile floor was gone, we both poked our heads out to see if we were home free. However, Nora was quick and not at all stupid. She had a way of playing people, and knowing them inside and out.

*Snap!* *Snap!*

The most feared rivals were caught on film as wusses hiding in a closet and behind a tree.

It was pathetic.

However, Nora was pretty cool. She was the type that everyone liked. She kept to herself for the most part, but knew how to have fun. She promised not to show anyone the photos, and to give us the flim when she could. This was after she had stopped laughing. All Nora wanted was a little fun, and a laugh. Not to mention, a little power trip over us. She did keep her promise, but I suspect that she has a couple photos of each tucked away somewhere. I liked her and everything, but she's a mysterious, sneaky, and quite dangerous if you get on her bad side.

"Ya. That was the day of Track and Field Day. Remember? You had a team of 2 or 3 people, and had to run around to different events to which you won prizes. We were paired up by Quistis. I swear, she wanted us to get together long before." Squall said, sounding like he was also drifting back into our past.

To think that it was hardly two years ago.

Man, I feel old, and I'm barely over 20!

"If we weren't on the same team, we would have argued forever about the events. Being on the same team we worked together. Besides, I always suspected Quistis was kinky. Maybe she wanted to get together so she could watch us have mad monkey sex!" I exclaimed as Squall spun on his seat, to gap at me.

"Seifer?!" He yelled, shocked as he blinked at me. I just shrugged my bare shoulders, grinning. He shook his head at me, and my hentai thoughts.

Like the thought never crossed his.

"You know, that was actually kinda fun. Remember Zell being put with Opal and Joachim?" I asked, already starting to chuckle at the memory. I watched as Squall's body start to rock as he laughed.

"Yes! And when Opal used her Limit Break, Zell ended up in a tree because he wasn't listening! Zell screamed like a girl which got everyone's attention as he flew in circles. Then landed with a thump in the tree, and was knocked out. They had to get a ladder to get him out of the tree and into the Infirmary! He was so pissed when he woke up!" Squall laughed, holding his sides. I shook my head.

"Opal shouldn't have used her Limit Break. Tornado Wind in such a small area with so many people? Mind you, Joachim shouldn't have cast Aura on her, but hey! It was a good laugh!' I replied, shrugging. Squall looked at me with a quirked eyebrow.

I had teased Zell about that for weeks! Nora had pictures too.

"Poor Zell." Squall muttered, shaking his head as he turned to look back out the window. 'Poor Zell', my ass. A nice ass, if I do say so myself.

"So Nora gave you the photo?" I asked, nodding to it.

"Ya. We needed one for your funeral, and since we were so good at avoiding cameras, I went to her for one. She gave me that one, and cropped it. She later gave me the original photo, framed. Actually, she gave it to me as a gift for my birthday." Squall said, sounding grave. That's when I knew that all those things he did after the war for me, and it hurt him more then he was willing to acknowledge.

"Where's Nora now?" I wondered, watching him as he sighed.

"She graduated, and is now at Trabia helping with the rebuilding of the garden there. She's the one that reports to us with the latest news up there. Photos included." Squall said, rolling his eyes as he grinned at me. I scoffed.

"Whatever are you to do? No one to take photos, or 'Kodiak moments' anymore?" I wailed sarcastically, placing the back of my hand over my forehead as I leaned back like I was fainting. Squall chuckled as I straightened.

"Worry not, Seifer. Selphie has taken over her place, and is much worse because she tends to use the video camera, and doesn't give up as easily. At least Nora gave you the photos and film to burn if you pleased." Squall growled slightly. I was impressed. It took more than talent to be worse then Nora.

"Blackmail?" I asked, and Squall nodded.

"Nora was good at finding you in dangerous and incriminating positions, but she kept them to herself, or gave them to you. Selphie likes to tease, and use it as forms of blackmail when she feels it is necessary. Especially when she wants to go out for the evening." Squall muttered, his voice gruff. I wasn't going to ask, but I could safely assume she had taken some incriminating photos of our Squall, and blackmailed him with them to go out clubbing with the gang.

I think I like Selphie.

We sat in a comfortable silence as we were lost in our own thoughts. Memories of the past when we were at school together. Not all good, but compared to our latest memories, I think we would go back to the 'good old days' anytime. The freedom we had. The innocence. The fun. The laughter. We were so untouched by the world as its evil. The evil that we did see was nowhere near as bad as what we just experienced not long before.

I, for one, never want to experience that again.

I also would never curse anyone with the same experience.

Squall then moved away from the window, and beside me. I look at him as he sat with grace that only a feline could possess, and looked up at me with those impossibly blue eyes. I hardly saw them this blue, and when I did, I treasured the moment in my soul.

"I missed you, Seifer. It wasn't the same without you," Squall said, simply with complete honesty. I felt my heart skip at beat.

I missed you too, Squall. More then you will ever know . . .

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