Author's Note: Another revamped (revised) fic of Koorime! Because she can't write for crap when she needs to and it all comes out as mush ;p Yes, and I shall stop referring to myself in the third person. This is the kiriban to Sue for being the 3000th Visitor to Noire Sensus, thanks Sue :) I'm sorry this is so late, I've been un-inspired and bogged down by work. I'm just taking a little free time. This is fanfic contains male homosexual themes other wise known as yaoi. If you don't like such things then you shouldn't be here. Leave now or stay and be enlightened >:) I promised to acknowledge Necromage for letting me borrow her title for this fic, I like it, it's cool, ne? ^_^ Ah, the evilness of it all. And I do realise that three paragraphs of setting for different scenes are exactly identical, it's supposed to be like that. Alright?! Good. Cos N-chan thought I hiccuped (the nerve!), so just t'let ya know. Read on if you like hot bishies and Squeiferness ^_^
Feedback: Flames will be fed to my Stefi-chan and fanmail will earn you my love. ^_^
DISCLAIMER: Characters of Final Fantasy VIII are the property of Square and I claim no rights to them. I GET NO PROFIT FROM THIS! The only profit I get is psychological, I get to play puppetmaster and exploit them in my own little world, heh heh. ::cough cough:: Did I say that out loud?
When Darkness Falls
The clock of life is wound but once
And no man has the power
To tell just when the clock will stop
At late or early hour
Now is the only time you own
Live, love, toil with a will
Place no faith in tomorrow
For the clock may then be still
People thought it was hate. A bitter, lifelong rivalry that had no real grounding. They neglected to look beneath the surface to what lay beneath.
Behind every quarrel there's always a deeper reason, a driving motivation that pushes people to take action.
It wasn't hate. Far from it. Squall didn't know what went on in Seifer's head, but he knew that on his part at least, there was never any loathing. Perhaps distaste, but that was as far as it went. People never would have suspected that Squall actually admired him, his equal; his nemesis. The only person who could generate any real emotion in him, whether it was negative or otherwise.
Seifer pushed him to be all he thought Squall was capable of. Squall never realised this, always mistaking the harsh attitude, teasing and training as some ego trip. In the end, Seifer would always come out on top. It only spurned Squall on more, which was exactly what Seifer wanted.
Out of all the orphans amongst them, Seifer was the only one Squall would tolerate. Ellone didn't count, she was already his sister and he loved her unconditionally.
But his emotions were never to withstand the onslaught of GF power and years more of endless training and drills. Over time, Squall began to forget little things. What the orphanage looked like. The stories Elle would tell him before tucking him in at night. Eventually, the little things gave in to great masses being sucked away into the inky abyss.
He no longer recognised his beloved sister. He forgot the orphanage entirely. With those memories, went his childhood, the last fleeting moments of joy he knew. He lost the truth. Absorbed the lies that people told him; the shy child was pushed aside. A cold, bitter young man stood in his place. He knew nothing of the old Seifer he once knew. His mentor, his friend. One of the few on whom he could rely.
A strange relationship developed that was neither wholly hateful or warm, but neutral, comfortable. Saying that they had the same interests would not justify it; to say that they repulsed each other would also be incorrect. They were driven to the same fate. Which of them would seize it, was the question. If people looked beneath the surface, they might have seen this. But they would probably never know the real reason behind their so-called "rivalry". Judging by their misleading behaviour towards each other, their friends would never have guessed that a long time ago, things were remarkably different.
The sky was choked with darknened pillows of mist that wept endlessly on the tiny orphanage by the sea. The churning surf crashed against the wet sand, augmenting the sky's tears with its broken waves. Beyond the reach of nature's cry, a young man in dark leather stood on the broken steps of the orphanage, welcoming the rain that soaked into him. He glanced between the turmoiled ocean, and back to the structure before him. In his mind's eye, he saw small children running through the mud, laughing jubilantly as they paid no heed to the young Matron who called to them from the warmth of indoors.
Squall blinked and the image was gone. In the place of the orphanage, he saw dilapidated planks of marble set upon each other, overrun by ferns and weeds, all that remained of his first home. Without thinking, Squall let his steel blue gaze drift to a particular spot of the orphanage where a crumbled pillar wavered, succumbing to age and the weather's harsh treatment. Buried emotions swelled within him as he was taken back to a time where life was simple and held simple pains... through the eyes of a child.
The sky was choked with darknened pillows of mist that wept endlessly on the tiny orphanage by the sea. The churning surf crashed against the wet sand, augmenting the sky's tears with its broken waves. Beyond the reach of nature's cry, a small boy cowered in the safety of the shadowed balcony of the orphanage.
Wild, frightened blue eyes peered out under straight, heavy, brown locks at the gloomy world around him. The little boy knotted his fingers in his faded, yellow shirt as his eyes failed to find that which he was looking for.
He let his gaze drop as silent tears formed beneath his heavy lashes, a frightened whimper passed his lips. "...Sis..."
Perhaps he wasn't so indifferent to nature after all. He raised his eyes to the stormy sky that only seemed to echo his sorrow. "I'm... all alone."
He bit back a sob, steeling himself. "But I'm doing my best...." He trailed off as he seemed to come to the revelation that maybe Sis wasn't going to come back. But that meant that he really was alone. Now he had no one. That meant he could only depend on himself, he had to.
"I'll be okay without you sis," he decided, summoning his courage.
The wind howled in his ears like a faraway Banshee's song of woe. Thunder rumbled in the distance, lightning flashed across the ocean's stirring surface in sparkles of ethereal light.
He brushed away the tears. "I'll be able to take care of myself," he lied.
At this, he fell to his knees, the angry tears now streaming down his pale cheeks full force. He turned to the pillar behind him that offered no comfort, but he held it with his tiny arms anyway, sobbing into the cold stone.
A hand, not much bigger than his own, settled on his shoulder, seeming to offer comfort. The sobbing child was too distressed to care who stood behind him, and turned, flinging himself with a pitiful wail into the person's waiting arms.
Warmth enfolded him as he cried into the dark vest of a person only a few inches taller than himself. Gentle hands combed through his hair as the person laid their cheek on his soft mane.
"She's gone, Squall," the person said. "She's not coming back. Hafta be strong."
Almost out of spite, the brunette's sobs only grew stronger, his arms tightening around the person.
"It's not fair," Squall managed between sobs. "She just left me."
"Don't cry," the voice said gently, entreating.
"I'm not crying!" Squall wailed.
A soft chuckle caused Squall to lift his tear-filled gaze to meet the other's eyes. Pools of flawless aqua framed by a golden crown of hair looked down at him. The blonde had undeniable beauty, far too mature for one so young, but it was masculine, unlike the effeminate brunette in his arms.
"Tell me why, Seifer," the young boy demanded, face settling in an angry pout.
The blonde cocked his head to the side. "Why what?"
Squall narrowed his blue, watery gaze. "Why did Sis leave me?"
Seifer sighed, tearing his gaze away from Squall's to watch the storm rage on. "I don't know. But she left all of us, not just you. Maybe she didn't want to."
There was silence for a moment, the two were still unknowingly entertwined when Squall spoke again. "Then tell me something else," he said.
"Why are you here being so nice to me?"
"Because I'm a really nice guy!" Seifer piped, a silly grin on his face.
Squall glared back.
Seifer rolled his eyes, Squall had no sense of humour. "Well..." he began. "Once upon a time ago, Sis made me promise that I'd take care of you if she ever had to leave."
"When was 'once upon a time'?" Squall asked suspisciously.
"Errm, 'once upon a time'?" Seifer grinned, patting the younger boy's head.
"Okay... Yesterday." He clamped a hand over Squall's mouth when he saw a protest rising. "I didn't know she'd leave, okay? I didn't make her! No matter what you say! It's not my fault, no, it's not!" he insisted, almost sounding as if it were to convince himself.
Squall frowned, that pout returning to grace his features, making him look even younger than his current four years. "I don't want you to bother if you're going to leave me, too," he said finally.
Seifer blinked, surprised at this last remark, but then his jubilant, mischevious face returned. "No way, we're friends, right?"
Squall was speechless. Friends...?
Not waiting for an answer, Seifer went on. "I think we're friends, anyway. In a funny way, and friends don't desert each other, am I right? Of course I'm right!"
Squall rolled his eyes.
Seifer continued. "I'll always be here for ya, Squally," he beamed.
Squall stared back, too shocked to say anything. Shock turned to wonder as Seifer unconsciously traced an invisible line diagonally across Squall's flawless brow.
"I'll be here, even if everyone else leaves you. Promise."
Another stormy morning saw two young men challenge each other in the precious moments between the downpours. One with dark hair and cold, dead eyes adjusted his black jacket as the wind blew harder. Lightning struck down somewhere close by, thunder was quick to follow; the rain came down in thick torrents. Through the harsh downpour, the brunette looked his opponent squarely in the eye. The tall blond raised his gunblade in mock salute, his other arm steadying his balance. A dark smile crossed his features, but it was more grim than malicious. "Never forget, Squall. No matter how good you get, however far you go..." He raised the deadly blade to eye level. "I made you."
Squall shook his head, his mouth set in a firm line. Clasping the gunblade before him, he took on a defensive stance. If it makes you feel better, keep saying that.
The blond's gunblade sliced through the wailing winds with a high note of danger. Lightning danced on its edge, testifying to its strength. That blade was met with metal backed up by equal strength and determination, sapphire met aqua as the sky erupted in white fire. The heavens shed its tears of anguish as the two waged on, matching blow for blow.
Crimson and gold flames leapt from Seifer's gloved fingers, sending Squall to his knees. Shaking the dancing lights from his vision, the brunette looked up to find Seifer before him. Thunder rumbled in the heavens. Its ethereal source cast the blond's hair into golden streaks, illuminating his form in a halo. Seifer stared down at Squall, both unreadable. But as the lightning flashed again, it lit something in Seifer's eyes that Squall barely glimpsed. It was gone before he could perceive it.
The moment was broken as the skies cried out once more, assaulting the earth with spears of light. The cold steel ripped through Squall. With a pained cry, he was once again sent to his knees. The agony that ensued became a dull throbbing as the crimson tide stained his vision, he forced himself to look up to Seifer's smirking visage. Cold rage replaced the shock. The air crackled with power as he surged forward. With a cry of fury he swung blindly. There was the sound of tearing flesh, a pained curse.
Planting the tainted blade in the earth, Squall leaned against it shakily, the dizziness returning. His head spun as he looked at Seifer, fallen before him. The blond turned. Blood coursed its way down his brow, his expression was a mixture of shock, pain and strange pride. Squall frowned weakly as he thought he saw Seifer smile, reaching out to him. Instinctively, Squall extended his own hand to the offering.
As their fingers met, even through the rough leather, there was the electric charge Squall always acknowledged. But this time there was no hostility in it, there was nothing. Distorted images of the world around him spun by him even as he clutched at Seifer's hand, leaning on his own gunblade for suppport. Blood mixing with the few peeking rays of sunlight through the ominous clouds, Squall moaned as the earth came up to meet him, his head ringing with a thousand sirens. It was then that the clouds won over the light. Just as his conscious mind surrendered, a pair of strong hands grasped his shoulders. And then darkness fell...
Squall clutched at his head in pain, feeling as if it had been impaled on a slick, iron stake. One of his pale hands came up to press against the flowing wound at his brow. He dimly acknowledged that he no longer wore gloves, more aware of the spinning sensation that only intensified the harder he pressed his brow. Succumbing to the white hot agony rushing through his veins, he fell to his knees upon the black ground. One hand braced against the black shadows, the other clutched at the wound that refused to cease its flow.
This is it. Squall bit his tongue as another wave of shuddering pain washed over him. I'm gonna bleed to death. I'll die here, and nobody will know. It was then that he blinked, taking in in his surroundings properly, momentarily forgetting the pain. Just where was 'here'?
Black. All around there was nothing but the same, endless abyss. The inky shadows gave no way to light at the end of any tunnel. There were none. Squall glanced up and below. Nothing. Maybe he was already dead. A hollow, detached sadness clung at his chest as he contemplated his death. He wasn't panicked, but it made him sad. What happened now? Would he stay in the darkness for eternity? Alone?
Squall frowned at the emotions stirring in him. So what if he did? It wasn't as if he he'd been doing a whole lot in life. But he wasn't finished yet. There was still a huge, gaping hole in his life that he had to reclaim before he could cross over. But how would he get back?
He spun wildly, searching the infinite shadows for any sign of an opening. For anything. The slightest twinge of panic gripped him. He would go insane here before he'd get back. Squall shook his head, brown locks swaying lightly. Was he alone? Again? Why did that sound so familiar? He didn't know why, but it scared him. A kind of distant paranoia that was creeping ever closer. He tangled his hands in his hair, growling in frustration.
He started when he heard the soft utter of a cure spell, and the fading traces of the lights. He paused. Reaching up, he touched his brow where his wound would be. Nothing wet met his fingertips, but he felt the definite bridge of a scar. He froze as gentle hands met his shoulders, sliding over the skin lightly. Squall moved to turn, but the person caught his wrist, spinning him back round, refusing. When he was embraced from behind, the paranoia was chased away to be replaced by nagging curiousity.
"Don't turn, Squall," the voice purred in his ear, barely a whisper. Squall felt that he should have recognised that voice, but all escaped him as the person held him. The hands that massaged his shoulders were gentle, but with an undertone of undeniable strength.
The darkness seemed to close around them, if that was even possible. The lingering fear of what lurked in those shadows was abandoned as the abyss wrapped them in its shroud of sultry warmth. Time was lost, merged and forgotten, like everything else. Squall dimly registered the soft hands removing his dark jacket, the rest soon following. Soon, the warm skin of the other was pressed to him, and Squall let his eyes slide shut.
"Tell me I know you," he murmured, as he was laid down.
The response was sad, a finger traced over the scar on his brow. "You used to."
The darkness enveloped them both as the stranger knelt down over him, one hand running lovingly over the smooth planes of the brunette's chest. Squall bit his lip. If only he could still see, if even the barest flicker of light had remained before the shadows entrapped them... He could have seen the person.
He lost his trail of thought as a soft pair of lips met his own in a ghost of a kiss, and then left him all too soon. Squall frowned, reaching for them. The darkness refused it. It weighed him down as he moved to sit up, he sensed the other move closer, mould themself to him. He reached for them again, smiling triumphantly as his hand was met by warm skin. They were real. If he couldn't see, then at least he could feel.
Squall let his hand slide over the warm flesh, the hard muscle revealing it to be the person's back. Trailing up the spinal cord, the brunette tilted his head to the side, wondering what the person would look like. As they pressed their face to his neck, Squall's hand slipped higher, fingers combing through their short mane. Frowning, he leaned closer, inhaling their scent. Light musk, but definitely masuline. Squall smiled darkly; this was a guy. And surprisingly to himself, he didn't give a fucking damn.
Lying back, he held their face in his hands. For a still moment in time, he imagined that he really could see their face. That he would study their features as they stared back at him, but with what eyes? In his mind's eye, he caught a flash of a distorted image. The sea breaking waves upon the beach, the shallows melding into the dark depths of the waters. He caught that moment where the two depths met, where the blue merged with the soft greens and basked in a perfect, aqua hue. Squall looked back to the person in his arms, eyes finding only shadows. Once again, he forgot his thoughts as those lips covered his again, harder and almost desperate.
The next few moments seemed to pass in a single moment, Squall remembered little after that, much to his frustration. But there were fragments. And those were good enough. The memory of moving against each other, their cries swallowed by the emptiness, but echoing in the other's mind. Lightning upon pure, sweet fire that swept through him like a tsunami, all too fast. He wished it could have lasted longer. He wouldn't have minded if he died in that moment. But his lover wouldn't allow it, those hot, demanding lips closed over Squall's own as a wounded cry ripped from his throat. That kiss brought him back from oblivion and only seemed to send him back again. Prematurely breaking the savage kiss, his body locked in a bow, as the last thrust reached that place deep within... He embraced his shadowed lover as he fell back against the darkness. Squall moaned into his soft hair when he felt the warm rush within him moments later.
Strong arms encircled him, and Squall sleepily accepted the embrace. One question refused to let him rest. "Who...?" was all he could manage.
There was silence, but then those gentle, wonderful hands brushed and held his jaw, soft lips met his once more, lulling him into a deep sleep. "Never forget," came the soft answer.
Squall dreamed of aqua seas and a little stone cottage next to peaceful waters.
Seifer stumbled towards him through the flower field, clothes torn and bloodied. Rinoa released Squall's hand as he rushed towards the former Sorceress's Knight. Rinoa's spell was broken. She could do nothing as the sun disappeared, the clouds returning from their brief dismissal. Nature relinquished its tears from past years lost, mixing with the blood that streaked Seifer's face as he fell to his knees.
Squall reached him just as he collapsed. He was unable to restrain the horror he felt at seeing Seifer's state. Fresh from time compression, not even he had been in this condition. Squall's eyes stung as he realised that this must have been what Seifer was reduced to when they defeated him in the Lunatic Pandora. When Ultimecia had pulled Seifer's strings, a slave to the puppetmaster.
Squall bit his lip as he scanned Seifer. There was blood, and far too much of it. Squall cursed himself for unjunctioning his GFs, there was no way he'd get one on in time to cast Curaga. He turned to Rinoa, she was already searching through her magic inventory. Her eyes went wide, she met his blue gaze, shaking her head. And then Squall remembered. Selphie had been their healer, they had taken off all their curative magic to make space for stronger junctions.
Seifer's gloveless hand now grasped his own, forcing Squall to look at him. The blond smiled weakly.
"Don't worry 'bout it. I-I'll meet you... that place," Seifer drew another ragged breath.
Squall blinked rapidly, the angry tears of denial already clouding his vision. He knew it was too late. He had to restrain the urge to hold Seifer to him, that would only hurt him more.
"Where the fuck are they?" Squall snarled, loosely holding Seifer in his arms as he glanced around at the darkened flower field. None of their friends were in sight. "Rinoa, please try to find some curative magic or someone to help. Anyone," he was unable to keep the desperate tone from his voice.
Rinoa nodded, and ran off faster than he'd ever seen her move before.
"Please," Squall tried, clutching Seifer's hand tighter. "Just... don't die, okay?"
Seifer laughed lightly, the action sending him into a coughing fit. Squall paled as more blood spilled from his lips.
"Seifer!" Squall snapped when the blond sighed, resting in the SeeD Commander's embrace.
"Seifer, don't go to sleep!" Squall urged, shaking him as gently as possible. "Hey...!" he trailed off when Seifer opened those piercing eyes and locked them on him. They were so calm, so... content.
Squall shook his head. "Don't you dare go all sentimental and 'die-happy' on me! Just wait a little longer, please! Seifer, just..."
Silence. Squall stared into those aqua depths and saw it all.
Seifer smiled, he knew. He was at last free, his eyes without the golden glaze. And he had made it back to Squall, he'd made things right. Nothing else mattered.
Squall understood. But he didn't like it. Seifer didn't even know...
Squall's eyes went wide when Seifer drew the brunette closer, kissing him softly. Squall tasted the traces of his blood, his tears finally shed. Those aqua eyes smiled at him one last time. The blond nuzzled into Squall's embrace, and was still.
The sky was choked with darkened pillows of mist that wept endlessly on the tiny orphanage by the sea. The churning surf crashed against the wet sand, augmenting the sky's tears with its broken waves. The aqua waters had lost their effervescent brilliance to the turmoiled, gloomy forces of nature. It hadn't stopped raining since that day, a month ago. Squall had isolated himself from his friends; they too were pained by Seifer's death. But none as much as he. And that memory... Of a place and time that bridged between reality and dreams, where he wasn't sure where one ended and the other began. Where he had held him in the comfort of the shadows, too stupid to realise until much later the identity of his lover. He never concluded whether that had been truth or fantasy.
Squall exhaled shakily as he watched the skies above, lightning dancing across the clouds. He didn't hear the thunder that was sure to follow.
He smiled sadly. "Don't worry, I'll never forget..." he trailed off, as his voice shook, almost breaking. Squall squatted before the black, marble tombstone, kissing its cool, surface tenderly. His lips came away wet with the rain that dripped down the slick stone in rivulets.
"When darkness falls, I'll see you again."
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