Author's Notes: um, lots of angst... yeah, I cried when I was writing it... sorta

unbetaed... but not really

Zell's End


By Hecate's Brat

Weeks had past, and dual funerals were held for the two blond men. They were given medals of honour, and bragged about and many attended the wake.

Their story was told, it was almost a story about star-crossed lovers... but, the difference was, these two never became lovers. They never had the chance.

During the wake, or the funeral, everyone found some sort of closure. Quistis came to terms that the two men wouldn't be in the faculty lounge goofing off or prepping their class work for the students.

Squall however, was having a difficult time dealing. He had inadvertently killed one of his best friends and then murdered the other best friend. He had loved both, and now, his icy heart had two empty places.

Its said that time heals all, but for the cold Commander, it only made things worse.

He woke in the night, with visions of Lionheart slicing open Seifer's neck. He woke screaming, panting, and covered in cold sweat.

The emptiness wouldn't leave him, and at times, he embraced it.

Sitting in the dark of his office. He would double over in pain, and cry. He would weep bitter tears for the two men he loved most in his life.

Finally, one day, while embracing the emptiness, while crying resentful tears, he left his office.

He walked the halls much like a ghost, quiet and pale. His pallor pale, almost ashen, his hair had lost its lustre, and his eyes were dead, and cold.

He came to the spot where he had murdered Seifer. Mind you, everyone who saw the event say that Seifer stepped into the blade, but to Squall, it still felt like murder. The blood was on his hands, so to speak. He looked at the spot where Seifer's body fell, where the two gunblades; one pale, the other dark had fallen. Squall could feel more misery pierce his body, and another layer of ice encase his heart. He would not cry here. After that day, he never once picked up Lionheart again, save for welding the two blades together.

Everyone would remember that day, the day the scarred auburn had broken down and given in to the fanatical. He refused to let anyone touch the two blades. He had found and dragged out a welding torch and carefully welded the two together. You couldn't really see the welding; so precise the job was done. All the time while he was welding, he was mumbling comments about 'not being able to do any more damage' and 'that it's the only way.'

Everyone figured it was his way of dealing with losing two friends in such a short amount of time.

They didn't know however, that he wasn't coping with the pain... he was engraving it into himself.

Seifer's belongings were given to Squall, and Zell's were handed over to his broken mother. She cried over the death of her boy, but never, even after Squall told her his side of the story, did she blame the chocolate haired man.

Squall's mental state, was slowly unravelling. Barely anyone could tell, save Quistis. She could feel him slipping further into madness. She would catch him talking to himself and mumbling to something. She told the stoic brunet to go and relax, and that she didn't need to see another friend lost.

And oddly enough, Squall left. He went to his bedroom, with full intent to relax, but what happened there was something different.

The Commander sat on a large comfortable chair, with a book in hand. He leaned in, and let his body relax. A sigh escaped from pale lips and he closed his eyes. A couple more deep breaths and finally he opened his stormy blue eyes. Squall blinked as his gaze rested upon the welded blades.

"Oh, Seifer... I'm sorry. I am."

Squall placed the book on the end table beside the chair, got up, and took down the blades.

"Why did you do it Sei? Why? Was it because Zell died? I could have loved you too you know?"

The long legged gunblader let his fingers run over the dark blade then the pale one.

"I don't know what possessed you to do it... I mean, you could have had anyone... you... " Squall tilted his head and let his fingertips play over the edge of the blade. "At times, I don't think you even saw me... I saw you. I loved you... and Zell. But you're both gone now. I don't even know if you're happy where you are... I mean."

Squall blinked at the blades in his lap. He looked at it as if it was the first time he had ever seen them. He stood up, and placed the blades down. He placed one foot on one blade and gripped the hilt of the other.

"You shouldn't be together like that... you need to... " he began pulling the swords apart. "You need to be apart. You died," he yanked harder. The metal beginning to bend. "Apart, and you should stay that way... "

Squall pulled and yanked at the welded blades. Many pulls later, the blades were pulled apart, and a panting auburn haired Commander sat on the floor with the dark blade in his lap.

"See, now, you can tell me. That other one isn't with you anymore... you need to talk... we can work through this. But you need to talk to me. Sei, please, talk to me."

Tears fell from the storm colored eyes. The soft splatting of water hitting metal was heard above the soft sobbing.

Squall closed his eyes and let the tears flow again.

In his mind however, he began to see images, blurry at first, but they quickly went clear.

It was Seifer, cleaning his blade in the lobby, by the directory. He looked up from the black blade that crossed his thighs. A familiar blond filled his view. Zell. It was Zell practicing his shadow boxing, just like when Squall met him and considered him loud. It was before they were dispatched to Dollet. Before the exam.

Zell turned, looked at Seifer and smiled. Squall could barely feel his lips smile then turn to the trademark sneer that Seifer wore.

"Chicken-Wuss." Squall whispered in a voice that sounded like an imitation of the scarred blond's.

Zell sighed in his mind and jogged away.

'Oh Zell. I'm sorry. I don't mean to hurt you. I really don't. I just can't get past being an asshole.' Seifer's thoughts filled Squall's mind.

The scarred brunet's fingers danced along the edge of the blade.

The images ended, only to be replaced with more visions, and this time, emotions; raw and vivid were there too.

Squall's eyes fluttered closed, his fingers still trailing over Hyperion's edge.

'I WILL talk to him... and I will be nice to him.' The tall blond walked behind the shorter blond. Emotions of deep adoration flowed through him. 'Just talk to him. He won't bite... even if that's what part of you wants.'

The shorter blond spun on his heel and glared at the tall-scarred man. 'What do you want? Going to tease me? Taunt me? Fuck off.'

Seifer could feel hurt run through him. He deserved it though. He was always mean towards Zell.

Another vision. The palm of his hand running gently over the blade.

It was him. Squall. Squall remembered that day, that look. His eyes puffy from crying. It was the day that they found the letter from Zell. The suicide note.

Squall's body shuddered at the intense hatred that he felt from Seifer's mind.

The words of disbelief, a bit of hope. Hope that he could find Zell alive, and that it wouldn't be to late to save him. The fight. 'Fuck, Squall, get out of my way! I need to find Zell! I need to save him.' That thought repeating through Seifer's mind while Squall pushed at him. Yelled at him.

He could feel the panic as he ran through the Garden looking for the tattooed blond.

The horror as he slipped and fell in Zell's lifeblood. The empty feeling of losing the one person you loved. The one you loved, but never got to share your feelings with.

Tears rolled down Squall's face, falling onto the dark blade of Hyperion. The vision continued on, and a slice in Squall's wrist appeared. Bright blood, spilling.

It was Seifer looking for Squall, finding him in the hallway. The fight, the battle, which was, almost one sided. Seifer's realization of not being able to win this came over the cold brunet, and his choice to die rang clear and true in Squall's mind. It in a way settled Squall's thoughts, now knowing that he didn't kill his blond opposite, and that Seifer did actually step into the blade.

Squall never felt the dark blood slide from his wrist over the blade and onto the floor. His eyes were on the final vision. His hands moved, as if of their own accord. His hands switched the blade. From left to right the dark blade went. The un-slit pale wrist slid easily over the blade. More blood issued forth.

Just a few feet away from him, stood the two blond men of his life.

The two men he loved greatly. The two men who drove him to madness.

They stood, holding hands, fingers intertwined. They were looking in Squall's direction. Neither of them said anything, but just watched.

Squall stood still. He could feel intense emotions stream over and around him. Hatred, jealousy, annoyance. The hatred gave way to love; the jealousy gave way to adoration. The annoyance gave way to devotion. Tears welled anew upon the cold Commander's face. He could feel such strength, and love from the two.

It looked as if they were waiting for him. Waiting for him to join them, to be a part of that love.

The auburn man reached his hands out to the two blond men, only to find them turning away from him. He could feel the darkness close in around him. Could feel the icy cold hand of death touch him.

Squall's body slumped against the bed, blood pooled around him. Hyperion sitting on his lap as if he were cleaning it. The visions ended, and Squall died.

All he ever wanted, was to find love with Zell, hell, even Seifer. But that love would never be within his reach again.

Maybe, a small part of him could take solace in the fact that even though the two blond men were dead, they were together.

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