Community Service Well Spent

BY : Redrum
Category: Final Fantasy VIII > General
Dragon prints: 473
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VIII, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Chapter 12: I Don't Want to Live Anymore

"Seifer Evan Almasy!" The scream penetrates my dreams. A quiet voice, obviously Quistis, tries to hush them. What the fuck? "Get out of bed this instant mister! You're supposed to be at school!" Fuck... it's my aunt and uncle (actually it's my foster parents, but I never felt comfortable calling them mom or dad, but they wanted me to call them something besides just using their names. Something about a show of authority or something).

I feel Squall shift beside me. Oh shit, they woke him up. Leaning over I gently whisper in his ear, deciding to ignore the small shiver that flows through his slim form I try to coax him back to sleep. "It's my foster parents. I kind of ditched school to come see you. They'll probably drag me back to the school and I'll get a few detentions. But I should be back soon. Just try to go back to sleep, okay?" He nods. I place my lips on his cheek in a chaste kiss. I frown when I taste the faint traces of salt.

I wish I could stay and comfort him more, but aunt and uncle are mad enough as it is. And they aren't afraid to physically drag me out of the bed if they have to. I've got to get out, before they create any more of a scene and disturb Squall anymore then he already is. He doesn't like yelling, even if it's not directed at him, I learned that the hard way.

Giving him one final hug, I get off the narrow bed. I growl when uncle grabs the back of my collar, dragging me out of the room. I take one last glance at Squall, but I't 't bother saying another goodbye. I sigh and twist myself out of the larger man's hold, mumbling that I can walk on my own. I'm probably not going to be able to see Squall for several days. Maybe I can sneak out though... hmmm...

[Squall]

I try to hold the tears at bay while Seifer's guardians drag my last hope out the door. A low 'ping' sound barely registers to my ears.

[Quistis]

Damn it! I couldn't stop them from dragging Seifer out. I wish I could have. But the only people allowed to do that are security. And I don't think they'd stop the kid's foster parents from taking him out of here and back in school, where he was supposed to be in the first place. I know it's partly my fault, but what was I supposed to do? I know Squall wouldn't have let me comfort him. So I called Seifer. I knew he'd be able to get through to him. He'd be able to help Squall.

I know Squall trusts me more than the other nurses, but he still doesn't trust me on the level that he does with Seifer. I don't think he ever will. I think he trusts Seifer completely. If the kid does anything to break that trust... I think there'll be no hope in earning it back. Squall doesn't seem like the forgiving type to me. He's still mad at his dad for placing him in this place, and it's been a little over a year. I can tell he's the type of person that holds grudges. Even if he does need to be in here.

"Quistis Trepe, your needed in room 140. Quistis Trepe, room 140." I sigh and look over at Squall. Or rather, the small huddle that's covered by the thick comforter. I wish I could stay...

"I'm going to have to go now Squall. I should be back later tonight to give you your medication. Try to get some sleep until then, okay?" He doesn't give any sign of hearing me. I don't have time for this... A small sigh escapes my parted lips. "See you later." I softly close the door behind me on my way out. Time to go visit Zell Dincht. I finger the syringe at my side. I wish I didn't need to use this, but the boy needs it. I erase the frown off of my face, and continue dohe hhe hallway.

[Squall]

I don't want to be here anymore. I don't want to live. Why should I live when my mother is dead? It wasn't her fault all those times... she was drunk. I even remember her telling me that alcohol lowers a person's self control. So they end up doing things that they didn't really want to do. So, it's not her fault. It's the alcohol's fault.

I sigh and turn over in bed, trying to get comfortable on the hard mattress. I miss the bed I used to sleep in when I was younger. Hell, I miss the whole house. I sigh again and rub my eyes, trying to clear the remaining tears from them. I can't believe I let myself go like that. Especially in front of Quistis. I don't mind Seifer being there, since for once I actually felt safe. Even when someone else was touching me. Which usually isn't the case. Ever since... I haven't really let anyone touch me.

I never did really like people touching me when I was younger, except for the times mom would hold me when I had a nightmare. But she was different. She never even forced me to talk back then. I'd talk when I wanted to. Unlike dad and Ellone, trying to force me to talk about what happened. Or the many therapists I saw. Why the hell would they care? They weren't there for me at all. They didn't even like mom.

I shake my head and frown. I've really got to stop thinking some time. I wonder when Seifer will be back. His foster parents sounded pretty angry, so he'll probably be grounded or something. I sigh and stare ahead where the blonde was located only minutes before.

A small glint catches my eye. I look down at the mess ess and find the small brass key that Quistis had given to Seifer. It must have fell out of his pocket. So that's what that sound was just before Seifer left.

I lazily pull my hand from the comforter and pick up the key with my index finger and thumb. Clutching it tightly in my hand, I think about various things. From the flashback to the time Seifer left and the barely heard speech from Quistis.

I wince and look down at my closed fist. Unclenching my slender fingers from the key, I find a shallow mark in the palm of my hand. I press my other finger into it and wince at the sting. My lips curve as I turn the brass key, looking at the sharp edge.

My grin grows and I slowly drag the key down my forearm. The white line soon turns a light pink. I draw abstract sketches on the smooth canvas of my pale arm. Funny how I never realized that I was as pale as a blank page before. Hmm... Maybe that symbolizes something? I shrug mentally, and press down harder.

Closing my eyes, I drag the key up and down my arm. I wince every now and then when I run the sharp object over open cuts. I sigh and open my eyes. The key drops to the stained sheets. Trails of blood flow down my arm and seeps over the sides to collect on the now red sheets.

My eyes widen. Everything but the blood in front of me escapes my vision. A sudden wave of dizziness hits me. My lids grow heavy and my vision blurs. I can't stop myself from blacking out. The last image in my mind is of the blood. And it reminds me of that day...

[Squall's Dream/Flashback]

"Put your balls away and take one last lap around the field!" Coach Cid yelled, his booming voice reaching across the whole field. I gladly drop my soccer ball into the bag and start jogging around the field on the gravel path way. I always did love running. The feel of wind sweeping through my too-long strands, the rush of adrenaline when I win the race that I strived so hard tain ain for. The feeling of finally being free. Nothing could beat that feeling. The only way I would stop running is if I got seriously injured. And if I did... I don't think I could live. I can't live without feeling as free as I do when I run. I've never been able to recreate that feeling.

I pump my legs harder, feeling the pleasant burn run through my strong calves. The anticipated rush flows through me. My problems are totally gone from my mind. In their place is only a blank. A pleasant nothingness. "Watch your step princess!" A scorning voice breaks my peace and calm. My vision focuses, only to meet with the rising gr. I . I fall, a gush of air leaves my lungs, but I don't make a sound. Even as I feel the trickle of blood running down my calves from the open wound on my knees, and the stinging sensation of the small rocks lodged into my palm. I sigh and slowly get up, trying not to wince when pain shoots up my legs. I think I might have sprained it.

Mocking laughter reaches my ears, but I don't bother to turn back to look. I know the usual gang that likes to bug the hell out of me. A right bunch of idiots. All of them have nothing better to do then to pick on me. But it's not like I don't deserve it. Who wouldn't pick on a 14 year old boy that still looks like a girl, when all the other guys around him are bigger and stronger then him? I may have powerful legs, but that doesn't mean I can stand up to them. I'm only 5'2, definitely nothing to be proud of. They all work out frequently at the gym, and it doesn't help that half of them are older because they failed gym two years in a row; too busy looking at the girls to concentrate, even though gym is the easiest thing to pass.

I sigh, knowing that it's inevitable and that there's nothing I can do about it since the teacher seems to like turning his back on everything they do. Saying, 'boys will be boys'. Knowing I can't run the rest of the way like I normally like to do, I limp the short distance to the finishing line.

"Don't you ever run Leonhart?" I sigh and try to stand straight, but end up favoring my right leg. "What? Trip over your own feet again?" I nod, looking down. He snorts. "Go take a shower. Next time, why don't you try running for once?" I ignore him and head towards the locker room. All the while trying not to put any weight on my leg.

Finally making it te loe loud room, I quickly (as fast as I can move while limping, anyway) find my locker and sit down on the long wooden bench. Unlocking the combination without really thinking, I pull open the locker and grab my bright blue towel. Pulling off my sweaty clothes I stuff it into my black gym bag, and toss it into the locker, slamming the door shut when I'm done. Wrapping the towel around my waist, I head towards the showers.

Seeing the room full of guys I sigh and keep my head down as I try to find a shower head away from them. "Oh look, it's Pris Scs Scar." It's not my fault I have all these scars... well, it's not all my fault. I didn't create the long thin red scar that runs across my chest. Starting from my left shoulder and running jagged across my chest and down to just underneath my ribcage on the right. I got that from mom's first boyfriend after dad left her. He's the one that made her drink more then she usually did.

I sigh and step underneath the shower head. Turning the water to lukewarm, I let it rush over me. Carrying the hard earned sweat down the drain, leaving me feeling more refreshed. I don't take the time to savor it as I usually do since the guys are still in here, instead I quickly turn the taps off when all the sweat is washed off and I'm as clean as I can get without using soap. Leaving the shower room, all the while ignoring the many taunts and teasing about my height, effeminate features, and the many scars, I limp towards the bench, sitting down in front of my locker.

I dry myself off and quickly change into my usual black loose-fitting jeans and light grey top. Grabbing my gym bag I stuff the wet towel into it and zip it up.

A loud bang breaks the mumbles coming from the showers. I look up and meet the eyes of a tall brunette from grade 10. His violet gaze doesn't leave mine as he sits down beside me and opens his locker. "Hey." I nod in greeting. Slinging the strap over my shoulder I move to stand up. He repeats the motion and removes his shirt. My eyes widen at the well developed chest and stomach. My gaze rests on his broad torso longer then what would be considered normal and I hear a low chuckle. I quickly look down.

Slender calloused fingers rest underneath my chin and lift my head up gently. He meets my gaze directly and winks. My lips curve off their own free will before I can stifle the urge. He smiles back, and steps , co, continuing with getting unchanged. I sit back down numbly.

"So, I'm assuming you didn't know you were gay?" What? Who said I was gay? I look up into his smiling face. "It's kind of obvious when you find yourself checking out another guy's chest. Nothing wrong with it though, so don't let anyone else tell you otherwise okay?" I nod. At least I'm not considered abnormal for checking out someone of the same gender. I'd heard of others being gay, I've even gotten a few winks every now and then from other guys, but I always thought they were looking at someone behind me. It's not like I'm attractive at all. Why would someone want a guy that's underdeveloped and smaller then average?

"My names Irvine. There's not many other kids your age that are open about their sexuality, but I know quite a few older kids that you would probably like. There's a blonde that would really like you. He's into the quiet types. What do you say?" I nod.

"Sure." He grins and slips on his gym uniform. A plain white shirt and bright red shorts that go to mid-thigh. He has really beautiful legs. The sudden thought makes me blush. He laughs and ruffles my hair.

"You're cute. If I didn't already have a boyfriend I'd definitely give you a call." He smiles at me and leaves the locker room.

I grin and stand up again, slinging the heavy bag over my shoulder. I turn to leave, but a loud voice stops me.

"I always knew you were a fairy." My eyes widen and I try to limp to the exit quickly. "I don't think so faggot." A large hand grips my wrist and pulls me back. I'm forced to turn around and grunt when a fist connects with my nose. "And to think, we let you into our showers. You probably enjoyed that you little fag." Another fist hits me in the gut. I breathe sharply, but don't allow any noise to escape my clenched teeth. I'm not going to allow them the pleasure. Irvine wightight, there's nothing wrong with being gay. But there's always going to be some stupid asshole that thinks other wise.

The rest of the one sided fight passes by in a blur. I probably blacked out a couple of times. But after those first few punches I only remember waking up on the nurse's table.

"Ahh, I see you're awake." I turn my head and look at the dark haired women. "You were out for awhile." The nurse takes off my shirt. I wince, wishing that she had done it while I was unconscious. A fleeting thought of Irvine passes through my mind. I smile softly. The nurse suddenly places a cotton ball filled with rubbing alcohol on one of the numerous wounds scattered across my chest. I hiss and cling onto the bed sheet. Fuck that hurts! All my previous happy thoughts about the tall brunette quickly flow from my mind. He'd have been able to protect himself against that guy. Fuck it was only one guy. And I couldn't even stand up for myself. I'm so fucking weak it's not like it's even worth trying. Even a twelve year old girl could probably beat me up if she wanted to. "It's your own fault you know." I know it is. If I had been able to take care of myself, this never would have happened. "Boys are always getting into fights these days. You should really learn how to walk away." It's kind of hard to do that when a fist is flying towards your face. There's only so much you can do.

The nurse prattles on, but I ignore her, trying to retreat into myself to ignore the severe pain made worse by the damn alcohol she keeps pouring onto my wounds. The whole time I chew my lip, trying to focus on that pain instead.

I spend the next half hour trying not to cry at the humiliation of yet another person seeing the numerous scars on my chest and the mind numbing pain that courses through my body. Finally, the nurse tells me that I'm fine and that I should head home instead of completing the rest of my classes. I nod and limp out of the sterile room.

The usual half hour walk home takes an hour due to the numerous injuries that I've collected. Dragging my bag along behind me, I finally arrive at the steps. Taking them one by one, I open the door; mom never locks it anymore. It's not like we ever have company now anyway. She stopped having boyfriends when her drinking ended up taking so much of her time.

I close the door softly behind me; I don't want to wake mom up if she happens to be passed out. Maybe I can sleep through the night this time. I walk down the hall and glance towards the living room. gh sgh softly when I see her unconscious on the couch. Continuing down then hall, I go into my room. Sharp stabs of pain seep through my body every time I take a step, no matter how slow or carefully I walk.

I leave the door open. There's no point in closing it. Mom always barges in, and unfortunately I don't have a lock, or I would have used it a long time ago.

The soft blue walls calm me as I carefully climb into bed, clothes and all; I'm way too tired to get undressed. I rest my head on the large downy soft pillow and close my eyes for much needed rest. I really hope mom doesn't wake up, I need to sleep. Maybe I can heal easier and faster while I'm sleeping, that and I can ignore the pain coursing through my body.

Several hours pass before I awake. I stifle the surprised curse whesee see mom sitting on top of me. I frown when I notice that all my clothes have already been taken off me. Please God. not again. Please.

"I see you're finally up." Obviously. She runs a finger along my chin. I try to jerk away, but the stab of pain that runs up my spine reminds me of my earlier injuries. Fuck I wish I could fight her off. I'm too fucking weak. I'm always too weak...

"I know you like it." I wish she was the type of drunk that just passed out or something. Instead she acts as though she's not even drunk. Although she is more vulgar and she never fucks me unless she's had a ton of beer. Maybe I should try dumping them down the si- "Where did you get these bruises?" I turn my head to the side, trying to ignore her.

I suddenly find myself looking at the opposite wall; a stinging sensation on my cheek just registers to my mind. I frown and look back up at her, trying not to wince at the strong smell of alcohol coming off her breath. "Answer me." It's not like she hasn't done any worse.

"I got them at school. A bunch of guys wer-"

"That's your own fault then." What's the point in answering someone if they just interrupt you anyway? "You certainly didn't get those effeminate looks from me. Your father always did look like a girl. Even when he grew that ugly goatee of his. You'll probably never even be able to grow any facial hair because you look so much like a girl." Like I didn't already know that. The assholes at ol tol tell me daily enough that it's engraved into my fucking head.

Mom leans down farther, hazy eyes trying to focus on mine. "It's your fault that your father left. If it hadn't have been for you, we'd still be together. No... Instead he leaves as soon as I give birth. Ends up fucking some other woman and having a child with her. Can't be bothered to see you because he doesn't want to see you. Doesn't want to have anything to do with you. No matter how good you are in school, no matter how athletic you are... even if you had millions of friends and you were happy, he still wouldn't want you. No one wants you; I wish you would just move out already. You're smart enough; can't see why you can't get a fucking job and move out."

She moves her lips to mine. I clench my teeth and try not to cry. Please mommy... I know I'm not wanted... but... can't you just pretend, just once?

She moves back, but I can still feel her revolting breath on my cheek. Tracing a finger along my jaw line, her eyes dart across my face. "At least you have your looks. Of course they won't always be a good fall back. You'll have to rely on that intelligence of yours. No one would want to get into a steady relationship with you anyway. You'll probably end up being a common whore." She sighs and moves back farther. I clench my eyes shut when she starts to undress. Please... no more.

She tugs on my flaccid cock. I wince and open my eyes. "You still haven't grown up." She snorts disgustedly. "At least your father reached puberty when he was supposed to, and he wasn't some nine-year old looking teenager going to high school." I frown. I know I'll never be like dad. Why would I want to be like him? He left mom... he her her this way. And he didn't really leave when I was born. He left when mom's alcohol problem became worse. He didn't stick around to help... he left. Mom keeps getting her facts mixed up. Or... maybe it's because that's how she felt. She felt like he had left her when I was born. She said so herself, I was a huge disappointment. I was unwanted, even then. But why did it take this long for her hatred of me to show? Why now? Is it because of the alcohol? Is it because of me? Am I that bad - that bad that I need to be punished? What did I do? Whatever I did... I want to fix it. Please mommy... please... let me-

Fuck! I hiss when she twists my half hard member, trying to make it hard enough for her to sit on. She sighs in disgust, but finally my cursed penis is hard enough for her to sit on. She quickly pulls a condom over it and pushes up and down, establishing a harsh rhythm. Who ever said it couldn't hurt for a guy to have sex, they didn't know what the fuck they were talking about. And it's even worse when you're already in pain from a beating.

She screams her release; I don't even know how she could get pleasure out of this. It's not like I'm really participating. She stops humping me and slides off, my still half hard member falls to my thigh with a wet 'pop' when it leaves her.

She sighs and stands up, grabbing the condom from my deflated penis, she quickly exits the room. I frown in question... what's going on? She never leaves without the last word...

My thoughts are quickly ceased when she comes back in, strangely enough, with a large knife clenched tightly in her pale hand. What's going on? I frown and try to sit up, but I quickly fall back with a grunt. Moving really isn't a good idea at the moment.

She crosses the room and moves to straddle my bruicheschest, fiddling with the knife in her hands, she looks at me. Slowly she bends down, leaning over me. My dark brows rise, what is she going to do?

She tightens her grip on the knife and brings it up. My eyes widen when she slowly traces it across the bridge of my nose. I lay still, knowing that any slip and 'll 'll end up cutting my eyes or cutting too deep. Her eyes are still cloudy and a large frown mars her usually pretty face. "I'm going to tell you something that I want you to remember Squall." My eyes widen further, but I nod just the slightest bit, stifling the wince when I feel the knife cut my skin in a shallow cut.

"No matter how much you know a person, no matter how much you think they love you or you love them... they'll leave you. You can't do anything to stop that. Eventually, everyone leaves. And you have to take care of yourself. You have to be strong; hav have to rely on yourself, no one else. It doesn't matter how much you think you're in love, they'll eventually leave you. Everyone breaks their promises sooner or later. Even if they promise not to leave you, they will. You'll know better now. Everyone leaves and there's nothing you can do about it. But if you don't become attached to anyone, then you won't feel the loss as much. You won't feel the heartbreak that comes with a loved one leaving you. Everyone leaves Squall. Sooner or later. You have to try to take care of yourself. I know you can't do that physically since you're so fucking weak, but emotionally, you'll be able to. Just build a wall around your heart, and never let anyone in. If you do... if you do let someone in Squall. they'll hurt you. It doesn't matter how in love they are with you, they'll leave you, and they won't look back. Remember this." I nod. Yes. I'll remember. But... the knife. What-

Suddenly she slashes down. My bottom lip gushes blood as I bite down on it, trying to stifle the scream. Horrible agony flashes through me. My head pounds. My vision loses it's focus as the blood travels over my lids. "You 't s't say I've never helped you. This will scar... and then no one will want you. No one will want to look at you, so you won't have to work as hard to push people away so they won't hurt you." She pats my head and leaves the room. This time I hear her footsteps lead her to the couch before the knife clangs to the floor as she passes out once again.

I bite my lip harder and grab my forehead. It fucking hurts! I can't even see through the haze of blood coating my face. I fumble for the sheet beneath me and grab the corner to swipe off the blood coating my face. My vision suddenly blurs, and a stabbing pain starts up in the middle of my chest. I frown and clutch at it. But the pain doesn't go away. My eyes start to sting, and I quickly blink them. No! I will not cry! I will not show weakness of any kind. I may as well start now if I'm too learn how to never show weakness when I grow older. And there's no better time then now to start.

I get up, unable to stop the wince at the painful movement and the agony of my bloody skin leaving the sullied sheets with a sound like Velcro being torn apart. I get up carefully, trying to move slowly so I don't put any more strain on my many injuries. My vision goes dark for a second, silver sparks fly across my vision. .. I.. I don't think that's good.

I swipe a hand across my forehead, trying to get the blood out of my eyes. I walk out of the room, not bothering to put on any clothes. I make my way into her bedroom, heading towards her large red oak dresser. I pull out the top drawer and move my hand to the back of the drawer, not noticing the blood stains I leave on the clothes there. My fingers touch cold metal; I wrap the slender digits around the handle and pull it out of the drawer. I knew it would be there. She told me once, when I was younger, that if I was ever in trouble to use it. She said that it would always be loaded.

I close the drawer and tilt my head up, catching myself in the medium sized mirror there. I frown, but the usual faint winkles between my brows can't be seen through the thick layer of blood coating the area. Half my face is covered in blood, leaking from the deep cut across the bridge of my nose. My pale skin contrasts sharply with the crimson liquid. I sigh and look into my eyes. Strange... there's something... missing. The usual blazing swirl of blue-grey is no longer there. Instead they almost look like cold steel. A shiver creeps up my spine, but I squelch the urge to shudder. Blinking, I turn away from my reflection, not wanting to stare at the stranger there.

The pounding starts up again in my head. I frown and continue on, resisting the urge to bring a hand to my temple. It won't help any, so why bother?

It seems like it takes forever to cross the room. My usual long legged stride reduced to baby steps.

I finally leave her room, and clenching the pistol in my tiny hand, I make my way to the dark ratty couch. I move around the large piece of furniture, my body shaking uncontrollably as I finally stand in front of her. I look down at her; half empty beer bottle held in a loose grip, tilted toward the floor so the foul amber liquid leaks out onto the pale carpet. I'll obviously be cleaning that up later. My gaze rests on her face. Drool dangles from her parted lips, my lips curl in disgust. The stench of alcohol around her is so overpowering I have to control the urge to vomit. I'm never going to drink, not if there's a chance that I could end up like this.

I shake my head and lift the small pistol. My hand trembles as I point it at her head. "This isn't mommy". I whisper. The trembling gets worse. But... it's my fault she's like this. I should be the one to put her out of her misery. She's not happy, and I don't think she ever will be while I'm still alive. And since I'm selfish, I don't want to die bad enough that I'll kill myself. Besides... she probably wants to die. The heartbreak would have eventually killed her off anyway. But... maybe she wants to change... maybe she just needs help. But I've tried giving her help! She never accepted it. She never even listened to me when I offered my help. The gun lowers.

Suddenly the smell of sex, blood and alcohol reaches my senses. I frown; no. no one deserves to live like this. Mom would never have let this happen, but this isn't her. This is someone else. This is a stranger who is holding the half empty beer bottle. Mom would never beat, rape, or try to kill me. "This isn't her. This isn't my mom."

I tighten my grip and the trembling in my arm stops. The barrel once again is directed at her forehead. I feel a droplet of blood run down my cheek, or maybe a tear? I shake my head. "I don't want to live like this anymore." Leveling the gun, all signs of trembling now ceased, I pull the trigger. Spurts of red block my vision. I sigh and lower the gun.

I close my eyes and sink to my knees. Resting my head on the couch, blood making the surface slippery, I swipe a hand across my eyes. Large amounts of blood taken away with it. My vision blurs, and I finally black out.

[End Dream POV and Squall's POV]


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