Soul of a Sinner

BY : Redrum
Category: Final Fantasy VIII > General
Dragon prints: 458
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 5: Something's Lurking in the Shadows



Seifer came to slowly, not even bothering to open his eyes when he felt the sun hitting them. He knew it was late in the morning, but Squall and he had been up so late last night talking, walking along the beach... making out, that he knew he wasn't in any danger of his boyfriend dragging him out of bed yet. Although he had resorted to that on a few occasions before. He'd even made a joke of him putting Seifer to sleep, but Seifer knew that, beyond dragging him out of bed occasionally, Squall was happy he was no longer an insomniac.

Pulling said boyfriend closer, Seifer pressed a few kisses to the back of his neck and heard him murmur sleepily. Seifer just smiled and snuggled closer to him. It had been the most amazing two months, well almost, being with Squall. They'd talked, read together, trained on the roof, just nearly avoided getting caught with last minute explanations; it had been heaven on earth. They still had a good three weeks before the start of their senior year in high school and Seifer was planning on enjoying every minute of it, just like he'd enjoyed his whole summer so far.

Today was Squall's birthday and, being newly freed from being restricted to his room, Seifer had made special plans for them later that day. A moonlight picnic to be exact. Okay, it was sappy, but he knew how much Squall enjoyed it and he loved the man; he would do just about anything to make him happy.

"Good morning Sweetheart," he whispered gently in Squall’s ear; being more prone to sappy endearments when he was half asleep. "Did you sleep well?"

~*~*~

Squall wrapped an arm around the man's neck, tilting his head up, letting Seifer explore his neck with his mouth. "You know how much I hate those nicknames or 'endearments' as you like to call them." Seifer just snorted and continued to feast on his neck. Squall, resigned to his fate, let the other man do just that. "You know I always sleep well. I still think this bed is more comfortable then mine," he answered the previous question, smiling at the little sucking noises.

The past (almost) two months had been... more then he ever dreamed. He knew it wouldn't last forever. He figured he'd have a good five years before Seifer started noticing that he wasn't aging. And then of course, he'd have to move. But he figured that the time they had together would be worth it. It wasn't that long ago that he'd thought the exact opposite. But he knew now that the whole saying, 'it's better to have loved and lost, then to never have loved at all,' was true. Sure, the pain would be tremendous, but at least he would eventually semi-get over it, and would be able to look back on the fond memories. Maybe... if he was desperate enough, he would stick around, but keep out of sight. Just watch Seifer live his daily life. Hopefully he wouldn't be sad for too long... Squall hated seeing the other man depressed. He'd rather take on all the other's burdens, and leave Seifer with just the good feelings. Even if it meant that Squall had to be cut from his life for that to be possible.

A warm tongue slipping into his mouth, stopping his down spiraling train of thoughts. Squall responded eagerly. Now completely used to the frequent kisses they shared. Squall could never imagine *ever* kissing anyone else, even when he eventually out lived Seifer. Or if he did, no one would be able to compare to Seifer. Not with the way he made him feel. As sappy as that sounded, it meant a lot to him, *he* meant a lot to Squall.

~*~*~

They kissed slowly, leisurely, savoring the moment. Then, on an evil whim, Seifer trailed his hand over Squall's side, tickling him suddenly. Said brunet squeaked into their kiss and pulled away to glare half-heartedly at Seifer. Seifer, in turn, grinned sheepishly, still chuckling slightly, and said, "sorry. You're just so cute when you squeak like that. I couldn't help myself." Squall looked for a moment as though he were going to continue glaring at his boyfriend, but then a small why-do-I-put-up-with-you smile spread itself over his features and he snuggled deeper into Seifer's embrace.

Seifer smiled contently and began rubbing his boyfriend's back softly; not having a care in the world, as they lay sprawled on his bed in the warm morning sunlight. As much as he would've liked to stay there with Squall all day, as he had done on numerous previous occasions before, he had other plans for Squall today.

"So," he said after a few more minutes of simply basking in the brunet's company, "would you like to go get some," he paused to glance at the clock on his nightstand, "lunch? Or would you rather wait until they send a search party to come find us?"

~*~*~

Squall sighed, but rolled out of bed, reluctant to leave the warm embrace. He quickly dressed in faded blue jeans, and a form-fitting dark red muscle shirt/hoodie. Straitening out the hood so it laid flat against his back instead of bunched up as it had been, Squall waited for the blonde to stop drooling and get ready. He crossed his arms over his chest, smirking slightly when Seifer's eyes trailed to his biceps, obviously enjoying the way the muscle bulged noticeably. "Hurry up and get dressed. Unless you want to go out there in just your plaid boxers," he smirked.

~*~*~

Seifer tipped his head to the side as if thinking about it and then said, “Tempting…but I don’t suppose Edea would be too fond of it.” At last Seifer also rolled out of bed, stretching lazily before meandering over to their closet. After browsing just long enough for Squall to give an agitated sigh he picked out a black muscle shirt and some gray kakis.

He made a quick stop at his nightstand to comb his hair, but left the gel out, as Squall has stated he liked him better without it. “Let’s get going then,” he said walking back over to Squall and leading him out by the hand. They went through their usual routine of picking out food and went to their usual table near the window. Seifer took a bite into his croissant, surprisingly there were some left over from breakfast, and smiled over at Squall. Gently he reached over and took his boyfriend's hand to gain his attention, “what would you like to do today?

~*~*~

Squall frowned, thinking it over. There were millions of things he still hadn't gotten a chance to do since becoming a human. One thing that stuck out in his mind from watching the children on Earth was the playground they went to. Or more specifically, the swings. They always looked like they had such a fun time on it, screaming out in joy that they could touch the sky. Squall was tempted, but then again, he'd be happy to do anything that related to the normal things that teenagers or children do. "What kinds of things did you do when you were younger that stand out in your mind?" He asked the blonde, turning his hand to link their hands together.

~*~*~

Seifer thought about it for a moment and then a smile came to his lips. "I liked going to the boardwalk carnivals a lot. There's one not far from here in fact. They have all sorts of rides, and games, and food." Seifer glanced at Squall's choppy bangs, picturing him windblown and smiled. "I think you'd like the roller coasters or the swing ride a lot."

~*~*~

Squall had absolutely *no* idea what Seifer was talking about, but he sounded like it had been fun for him. He was curious enough to want to ask what a 'rollercoaster' was and a 'swing ride', but he assumed that the blonde would just laugh at him for not knowing.

"Could we go to one then? I've never been there before," 'I haven't been to a lot of places before,' Squall quietly mumbled to himself.

~*~*~

Seifer smiled warmly at his boyfriend, "sure. Everyone should go to a carnival once in their lives at least. We'll just need to ask Edea first."

The finished eating quickly and, of course, got the go ahead from Edea to venture outside. They walked hand in hand down the sidewalk with the warm sea breeze ruffling their hair. They rounded a corner they came up on the board walk with its many booths, rides, candy shops and what not, flashing brilliantly. "Here we are," Seifer said with a grin as he paid their admittance fee and Squall gapped slightly at everything. Leading Squall a few steps inside, he asked, "so where do you want to go first?

~*~*~

Squall was amazed at the brightness of everything. And the amount of people jam packed into one big space! Starting to get a bit nervous, the brunet walked a bit closer to Seifer, slightly reassured by the warm hand holding his. Though they were attracting some attention from people near by... and not all of them were exactly nice.

Squall looked up at Seifer, biting his lip and frowning slightly. "I have no idea what is here, so you'll just have to guide me around," he finally said, giving a very small smile; still tentative from the amount of people pressing into him on either side.

~*~*~

Seifer grinned, sensing Squall's nervousness and trying to reassure him. "No problem. We can start with the Ferris wheel first, you'll be able to see everything from there." He gently lead Squall through the crowd, pointing out and explaining some of the game and candy booths that they passed; promising to return to them later. It didn't take them long to find it and the line was thankfully short. There were many people there, but most of them for a concert scheduled further down the beach. The person attending the Ferris wheel was nice enough, obviously not as close minded as a few others they'd passed, and as soon as they were seated the Ferris wheel began to turn. Seifer chuckled softly as Squall edged closer to him, and slipped an arm around his waist. "What do you think?"

~*~*~

Resting his head against Seifer's shoulder, Squall glanced outside. The mass of people looked like ants, but over all, the lighting of the place also didn't look as bright from up here, making it seem more 'out of this world'. Squall smiled when he felt the other man rest his head against Squall's. "It's nice. Very peaceful up here." His smile grew when Seifer chuckled softly. The Ferris wheel began to move again, occasionally stopping for those people at the top to get a good look.

When they reached the ground, Seifer thanks the man operating it, and lead Squall with an arm around his waist, making the brunet a lot more comfortable with the feeling of this many people. The small ride had taken long enough that most of the people were now gone, obviously down to the entertainment further down the beach, away from the rest of the carnival.

Seifer led him to a large metal contraption. Eyes wide, Squall looked up in surprise. It was huge!

~*~*~

"This," Seifer said, with what he wanted to be an innocent grin, but was really more devilish than anything else, "is a roller coaster," he explained, grinning at Squall's gap. "Come on," he said softly, leading Squall to the back seat, the one that just happened to go the fastest. They sat down next to each other and with some minor instruction on Seifer's part to Squall, they both managed to get buckled in and secured. Just in time too, for at that moment they pulled away and started up the initial climb of the roller coaster. Seifer gently took Squall's hand in his and chuckled mischievously as they neared the top. If this really was Squall's first time on a roller coaster, he was in for a rather interesting ride

~*~*~

Squall, tense and nervous, gripped Seifer's hand. The ride up wasn't so bad, it was actually pretty slow. But the feeling of being almost flat on his back as they climbed up the large hill was making him even more tense. A whispered, 'relax' barely registered to his mind.

The slim brunet didn't even get a chance to look over top of the hill before they plummeted down. A scream was caught in his throat. Squall clenched his eyes shut, gritting his teeth to stop himself from yelling out loud. The rushing sensation of wind flying into his face screams of laughter and fear, and the way his insides seemed to jump into his throat made flashbacks of when he was on Earth, visiting one of the humans in his care, and something had hit him, causing him to lose his balance and damage his wing. He'd plummeted to the Earth, nothing and no one around to stop his fall. He'd been hurt, severely, but he hadn't died. Though he had wished it was possible, just for the pain to cease. All he could think about was his plummet to the Earth...

~*~*~

The ride came to a halt rather quickly, as thrill rides tend to do and Seifer, who would've normally been laughing breathlessly was looking over at his pale, trembling boyfriend with great concern. "Squall?" He said softly, brushing his finger over said boyfriend cheek lightly, "are you okay? You look so pale, for you I mean."

~*~*~

Squall wrapped his arms around himself, trying to blink away the images that the ride had provoked. Feeling an arm go around his waist, and leading him into a quieter section, said arms went around him, bringing Squall closer to the other's chest. Squall sighed and laid his cheek against the man's broad chest. A large, warm hand rubbed up and down comfortingly on his back.

A few minutes passed, quiet words of nonsense whispered into his ear made Squall finally calm down. Wrapping his arms around Seifer's chest, Squall spoke hesitantly, not wanting to lie. "It reminded me of... it reminded me of when I fell from a long distance... I know it doesn't make sense... but the image and the feelings have stuck around for a long time. They're hard to get rid off."

~*~*~

"Squall, I'm sorry," Seifer murmured, holding him close, "I didn't know." Seifer remained like that for some time, his arms wrapped around Squall and murmuring comforting words until he stopped shaking.

Pulling back slightly, Seifer looked down at Squall with an extremely worried expression. "I'm sorry Squall. I'll try to keep away from rides like that. Are you alright?"

~*~*~

Squall smiled weakly, touched by the amount of concern and worry that Seifer was showing, but still a bit weak from reliving that moment of his life (or was that un-life?). "I'm fine, really," he added when the blonde raised a doubtful brow. "It's silly really, it happened a long, long time ago," 'more like a few months... but it *feels* like more.' Wanting to change the subject, Squall continued, "why don't you show me some of those games?"

~*~*~

Seifer was anything but convinced that Squall was fine, but sometimes changing the subject was the best thing for him. "Okay," he said softly, leading Squall through the rows of games that lines the board walk.

After browsing the various options, they ended up at the ring toss during which Seifer managed to accidentally hit the guy tending it three times and Squall cleaned everyone out, walking away with a small, gray wolf, stuffed animal. "You know, for someone who *claims* not to have done that before, you certainly were good at it," Seifer commented as they meandered through the carnival, passing the Ferris wheel again and coming up on a simple boat ride through a tunnel like ride.

~*~*~

Squall chuckled and hugged the cute (not that he'd ever admit it) toy to his chest, leaning into Seifer when he slung an arm around his waist. "I just have better hand to eye coordination then *some* people," Squall laughed when the blonde jabbed him in the side, hitting a ticklish spot directly.

~*~*~

Seifer grinned, but did not further attack Squall; he'd do that later. They meandered through the boardwalk a little longer, catching some street performers and trying a few more games. They didn't win any more prizes, but they had a lot of fun.

After some time, Seifer spotted a cotton candy vender and managed to steer Squall over. The vender handed him an extremely large bag of blue fluff and they started to make their way back along the board walk. Seeing Squall's confused expression Seifer explained, "it's a sweet," then, delving into the bag and holding some out to Squall, he asked, "do you want some?"

~*~*~

Hesitantly, Squall leaned forward and took the small little cloud from Seifer's fingers into his mouth. Leaning back, he grimaced as it melted on his tongue. How could anyone eat that? It was *too* sweet. Ignoring Seifer's loud laughter, he ran his tongue across his teeth, trying to get the taste out of his mouth. He mentally checked off 'cotton candy' (as the big bright letters stated over the stand) on his 'what not to eat or do' list. He'd also added roller coaster rides. He'd never do either every again.

Seifer handed him a small bag of hard candies (that he'd bought at the small place near the cotton candy stand) to get rid of the taste, he was still grinning as Squall quickly popped one into his mouth. Sucking on the candy, he was glad it didn't taste horrid. It was actually pretty good. It tasted like strawberries and was easily ridding him of the flavor of the other treat Seifer had given him.

Still sucking on the candy, Squall looked up at the other man, now munching on that horrid candy. "Warn me the next time something contains that much 'sweetness'." When Seifer just chuckled and leaned down to kiss him, Squall placed a hand over his mouth, "not when you're eating that. It's disgusting," the blonde mock-pouted, but shook his head in amusement when Squall ignored him.

"What other things did you do that stand out in your mind?" He asked. Hoping that this time it wouldn't be as crowded or noisy. But he was also curious as to what Seifer had done as a child and even now, for entertainment. He still didn't know much about the other's past. He wished he could tell him of what he'd done... but he knew he wouldn't be able to unless Seifer somehow figured out his true identity. Which was highly doubtful. By the time he did (if he ever did), Squall would be forced to move to another location where people didn't know him so he didn't stand out in a crowd for being so young looking when, technically, he should be older looking.

~*~*~

Seifer tilted his head to the side and thought for a moment. “Basically a lot of the same stuff I do now. Kendo, reading, sneaking around and breaking the rules,” he paused to grin at his boyfriend and Squall only rolled his eyes and continued munching on his candy. At that particular moment, they were passing the swing ride Seifer had mentioned earlier; it had just begun to turn. “Would you like to try that ride next?” Seifer asked gesturing towards it, “there’s no sudden drops or jarring movements like on roller coasters.”

~*~*~

Squall frowned, looking up at the big contraption. It didn't look too bad... though it looked like it was picking up speed. The slim brunet finally nodded hesitantly. Seifer wrapped an arm around his shoulders and led him into the line. Squall leaned against him comfortably, and mumbled, "it looks like they're about to fly out of their seats...” while he frowned.

Seifer chuckled and tightened his grip around him. Soon, the ride was done and the line started moving. Seifer waved him ahead to find a seat while he talked to the perky looking girl controlling the ride.

Squall sat down on the hard seat, looking down nervously when people kept walking by, asking if they could take the seat, and he would keep mumbling that it was reserved. Seifer finally showed up and plunked himself down beside the older man. When he wrapped his arm around Squall's shoulder, the brunet leaned against him and wrapped his arms around the blonde’s waist.

The ride went pretty smoothly, with Squall shutting his eyes, though not as tight as he had done on the rollercoaster ride. For one, he wasn't scared. And Seifer had been right; there were no sudden drops or jerks that reminded him of falling. Instead, he was reminded of the smoothness that could almost be compared to flying. The ride didn't seem to go as fast as the previous one, so he could only assume that Seifer had talked to the girl about slowing it down some. But it didn't take away from the ride at all. At least, Squall didn't think so. He was actually enjoying himself. It was nice to know that there were things out there that could stimulate the feelings he got while flying.

~*~*~

Seifer looked over at Squall and smiled slightly; his eyes were closed, but he seemed much more relaxed. Leaning closer to the brunet, Seifer placed a small kiss on his temple and whispered, "open your eyes." Squall hesitated slightly, but he did open his eyes after a few moments, almost smiling. 'Another place he looks in his element,' Seifer thought with a smile, 'in the air.'

The ride came to an end shortly after and Seifer and Squall meandered back to the games. After another half an hour or so, Seifer was smirking mischievously and he leaned closer to Squall to whisper, "would you like to get some dinner?"

~*~*~

Squall frowned at the smirk, it was obvious the blonde was up to something, but nodded. He *was* getting hungry. Seifer grinned and wrapped a loose arm around his shoulder, guiding him out of the carnival. They walked back to the orphanage at an easy pace. Occasionally stopping because Seifer had an urge to kiss him in the middle of the street. At least there weren't that many people around. Though the few walking along the streets either glared or ignored them. Though there were a few women that looked at them with interest and aww. Some even whispered nonsense about them being cute. Squall, cute. Ha! The two didn't go together.

Sighing, Squall leaned against the other man as they walked into the orphanage. Going into their dorms, Seifer went into the shower, while Squall grabbed a towel, form-fitting charcoal grey slacks, and a loose, crimson t-shirt. As he waited for the blonde to finish his awfully long shower. When he hard singing, he chuckled and shook his head. It wasn't that Seifer had a bad voice, since it was surprisingly good, but to hear him singing in the shower... well, it wasn't an everyday occurrence, that was for sure.

When Seifer finally got out, a towel wrapped around his waist, Squall went into the bathroom, passing his hand softly across the hard stomach, making it twitch, before slipping into the shower. He smiled when he heard Seifer's growl of frustration. Shedding his clothes, he stepped into the hot shower.

~*~*~

Seifer changed quickly into his familiar leather pants and lose fitting, black silk shirt; not bothering with shoes. After checking at the door once to make sure Squall was still in the shower, he sneaked into the kitchen and retrieved a picnic basket he'd been hiding, with the help of Edea, from Squall.

Smirking to himself, he snuck out onto the beach to a spot far enough away from the orphanage so they'd be able to see the stars and Edea wouldn't notice the bottle of rose whine he's slipped into the basket when she wasn't looking. He didn't know if Squall drank, but it was a very mild drink that tasted rich.

Seifer took great care in setting out the hunter green cashmere blanket, the basket, plates, food, two presents for Squall neatly wrapped on his plate, and-of course-a few candles (the ones in their own holders, not the long stick ones, since they would probably topple over).

Seifer stepped back for a moment to admire the scene, it was perfect and being in the fridge for so long the candles would burn very slowly, just what he wanted. With one last smirk, Seifer made his way casually back into their dorm just as Squall had finished getting dressed; except for shoes. Squall looked at him quizzically, but before he could question him, Seifer took his hand and pressed a finger to his lips. "Come with me," he said quietly, smirk as set in his features as ever, "I have something for you."

~*~*~

Squall frowned in a mixture of curiosity and apprehension. Seifer just smirked, and grabbed his hand, dragging him out the door and down the hall to the entrance. Looking over at the tall blonde, his curiosity grew. Why was he so dressed up? And where the hell was he taking them?

Squall sighed and decided he would just follow the younger man. He knew he wouldn't lead him into anything *too* embarrassing. Though he still didn't understand why he was dressed up.

A sudden thought flashed through his mind. Shit... he'd forgotten that this was his supposable 'birthday', the one written on the birth certifiquate. A wave of guilt washed over him, suddenly knowing why Seifer was doing all these things for him. Today wasn't even his real birthday... just some false date on a piece of paper. August 23rd... He didn't even know the exact date of his birth, since calendars weren't invented then and time knew no meaning.

The brunet sighed and hung his head, trying to get past the quilt that came when he was all but smacked in the face with the fact that he had plainly lied to Seifer. God... he didn't *want* to lie. He only wanted to tell the truth, or at least half-truths, to protect those around him. But could he really tell Seifer that he had been born centuries ago, before the human race even knew the meaning of deception? No. he couldn't.

~*~*~

As soon as they were outside, Seifer stepped behind Squall and whispered, "close your eyes." Once he had done so, Seifer lightly placed on hand over his eyes, the other around his waist and gently lead him down the beach.

At some point, he was temped to tickle or otherwise distract the brunet, but he reminded himself that he had other plans. He led him barefoot through the ankle high surf all the way down the beach until they neared the picnic sight. Once they stood before it, Seifer's hand fell away from Squall's eyes. Squall's small gasp and gap expression, caused a smile to curve over Seifer's lips. Pressing a gentle kiss to the curve of Squall’s neck he whispered, "happy birthday Squall."

~*~*~

A stab of quilt went through his stomach, but he was able to ignore it from the warm feeling of Seifer's arms wrapped around him and the sight of the beautiful setting. A light brown whicker basket sat on top of a hunter green blanket, two small plates rested on either side of the basket. White candles gave off the vague scent of vanilla, even with the sea breeze drifting towards them nearby. Squall suddenly wished that he had bothered to put on a sweatshirt, or that Seifer had warned him they were going to go outside.

Arms still wrapped around his waist, the tall blonde guided him to the blanket and sat him down. He quickly sat across from him, lying on his side so his curled knees brushed against Squall's where they were crossed.

Squall glanced out into the ocean, and then back at the glowing candles making everything seem softer. "Thank you," he said truthfully. Though he didn't deserve this... not for lying to the other man. Someone who cared for and about him.

~*~*~

Seifer smiled warmly up at his boyfriend; it was good to see him happy. “You’re welcome,” he said softly, catching Squall’s gaze before leaning over and taking the long, thin, neatly wrapped parcel that he’d place on Squall’s plate earlier and offering it up to him. Squall looked at the present in surprise, one eyebrow rising with obvious suspicion towards his hairline. Seifer just chuckled, “go one. If I was going to kill you off, I’d do it with a lot more class; I’d poison the food.”

~*~*~

"You can't kill me off," Squall mumbled distractingly, not seeing Seifer's dark blonde eyebrows raise in question. Picking up the gift and setting it in his lap, the brunet carefully ripped the dark blue paper off of it. He gasped in surprise when he saw the sword. He ran a finger along the handle, running his fingers across the small Griever pendent similar to his necklace (that he still wore everyday. He only took it off while he was sleeping and when he was taking a shower). He looked up at Seifer, frowning. "I can't accept this." He looked down at the sharp blade again. "This is your second favorite sword... you just can't give it away like this."

~*~*~

Seifer grinned up at Squall and gently covered his hand with his own. Sitting up, he used his free hand to raised Squall's gaze to meet his and leaned into kiss him languidly. Pulling back, he murmured, "yes you can. I've seen you when we spar, I know that you enjoy it; I couldn't imagine someone better suited for that sword. Besides," Seifer continued, caressing Squall's face lightly, "I really care about you, Squall. I want you to have it."

~*~*~

Squall sighed and leaned into the broad hand, enjoying the feel of the slightly scratchy calluses against his smooth cheek. Taking his hand out from underneath Seifer's, he wrapped his long fingers around the blonde’s neck and brought him down. Kissing him lightly on the lips, Squall murmured, "thank you," before kissing him a bit more fiercely, enjoying the rumble of a low moan that was building up in his chest.

Seifer broke the kiss off with a gasp. Squall allowed him to, breathing heavily himself. The blonde pulled a square package from the basket and handed it to Squall. Frowning, the brunet took it and unwrapped the blue-grey paper. His eyes widened at the picture on the plastic cover. Lightning striking down a tree, splitting it in half with a ferocious gleam. Squall looked up at Seifer and held the package up. "What is this?" He asked, looking down at the compact plastic questioningly.

~*~*~

Seifer smirked down at Squall and said simply, "it's a CD that plays the sounds of a thunderstorm. You seemed so at home in the first storm, and every one after it, I figured it would make an interesting gag gift." There was little chance of a thunderstorm that night, however. The sky was impossibly clear, and all the stars were portrayed beautifully sharp.

~*~*~

A CD... okay. That didn't explain much. But obviously, somehow, this plastic thing-no 'CD', somehow produced the sounds of a thunderstorm... he had no idea how.

"Thanks," he said uncertainly. Seifer chuckled and leaned in to kiss him again, more like brushing his lips over Squall's fuller ones, before retreating. The brunet set his 'CD' to the side with the beautiful sword, making sure it was placed carefully on the large blanket, before looking back up at Seifer. He tilted his head when the other man pulled various items from the basket and set it out on the plate. Squall reached out to pick the plump red grape off the vine, but Seifer smacked his hand. Squall frowned in confusion, rubbing his hand and mock-pouting.

~*~*~

Seifer glanced over at Squall as he set out their food and smiled, "wait until I'm done." Once the last bit of food was out, save for the chocolate covered strawberries and rose whine that was their dessert, Seifer turned back to Squall with a smile. "Now you can eat," he said, taking a grape and lifting it to Squall's lips with a smile.

~*~*~

Squall rolled his eyes, but parted his lips to let Seifer plop the grape into his mouth. Long fingers briefly ran along his lips before retreating to grab another grape and pop it into his own mouth. Squall licked his lips and swallowed, enjoying the sweet juices left on his tongue. He went to reach for another grape, but got another slap on the hand for his actions. Squall frowned and looked up at Seifer, who was waggling a finger at him. Squall just rolled his eyes and accepted his fate of being hand fed.

~*~*~

Seifer fed Squall as such for pretty much the remainder of the meal, although he was fairly certain that Squall snuck a few bites in edgewise just to spite him. Seifer just smiled however and kept on feeding Squall and himself until they'd eaten most of the food he'd brought along.

While Seifer put the food away, Squall looked over his shoulder, admiring the ocean. Seifer took this time to pull out the chocolate covered strawberries, with the green leaves cut off, and the Rose whine out of the basket. Leaving them within arms reach, he crept around behind Squall and gathered the brunet into his arms, smiling as said boyfriend settled back with a small sigh. Seifer nipped once at his ear before asking, "want some desert?"

~*~*~

Squall smiled and rested his head against one broad shoulder, tilting his head up to look at Seifer from the corner of his eye, while continuing to watch the dark ocean. "Depends on how you're serving it," he said with a small smile.

~*~*~

Seifer sighed dramatically, but smiled at his boyfriend, "okay fine, if you're so bent on not being hand fed you can eat yourself." Picking up the plate of chocolate covered strawberries, Seifer held them in front of Squall with a small smile. "I thought these would be appropriate, considering how fond you are of that strawberry shampoo."

~*~*~

Squall smiled and plucked a plump strawberry from the pile. Gripping the stem carefully between his teeth, Squall turned around in the embrace. Seifer's arms remained behind the brunet's back, still holding the plate full of chocolate covered strawberries.

Leaning forward, ripe fruit still hanging precariously from his mouth, Squall's eyes crinkled in amusement as Seifer finally caught on and opened his mouth, accepting the treat.

~*~*~

They pulled apart, both trying to keep the red juice from falling too far down their chins and Seifer laughing slightly as he finished the strawberry. When he was done, he placed the tray down within arms reach and asked, "would you like some wine?" While indicating the bottle and two glasses to the other side of the strawberries.

~*~*~

Pulling the stem out from his mouth, he set it down in the corner of the plate, and looked down at the whine. The last time he'd seen that, he had almost promptly been kicked out of heaven... damn human getting drunk. No, it wasn't his fault. Hell, he was dead now thanks to Squall.

The brunet sighed and tried to stop thinking of the human that had given the angels enough proof to think he had been condemning the other man. God... he didn't even want to remember his name. It just reminded him that he had failed in trying to save the man's life.

A tongue running up his chin brought him out of his thoughts. Squall frowned when Seifer licked the remaining juices on his chin away. The blonde pulled back, a small glimmer of concern in his eyes showed what his true intentions had been. Squall gave a small smile and quietly said, "thank you." Seifer just smiled and reached for the bottle and glasses. Squall tucked himself against the other man's body so he was less in the way. Enjoying the thudding heartbeat, Squall waited for Seifer to finish pouring the whine into the two glasses.

~*~*~

Handing one glass to Squall and keeping one for himself, Seifer clinked the two glasses together and murmured, "cheers," before taking a sip. It hardly tasted alcoholic at all; one of the reasons Seifer favored it so much. He wasn't a big drinker at all, but for special occasions, a very mildly alcoholic drink wasn't entirely out of the question. "Are you okay Squall?" Seifer asked quietly, placing his glass down, "you seem a little distracted."

~*~*~

Swirling the rich liquid in his mouth, enjoying the slight apple taste, Squall swallowed and shifted to sit between the man's legs, leaning back against his chest while they sipped the whine and watched the waves gently climbing up the shore.

Squall frowned, thinking about the question. He couldn't tell Seifer what had truly been bothering him. Thinking back on a conversation he had overheard while eating with the other man, Squall asked (hoping this time he wouldn't get laughed at for once at his lack of knowledge. Even though he liked Seifer's laughter, one could only take so much of being teased) hesitantly, "what does 'come' mean?" He frowned when a spray of liquid came out of the blonde’s mouth. At least he had missed spitting on him. Looking down at the blanket, he thought, 'well, hopefully the whine can wash out of the blanket. I don't imagine that it belongs to Seifer. It's probably Edea's...'

~*~*~

Seifer looked at his boyfriend with disbelief and for a few moments lost all his ability to speak. When he did regain the ability to speak it was a little forced. "E-excuse me?" Seifer understood that his boyfriend was fairly naive about a lot of things and that was probably because he was anti-social, but was he really so clueless about sex? If he was, then Seifer would have to teach him; after all, just because he didn't know that didn't mean anything, except that no one had ever bothered to tell him... oh, this was definitely going to be interesting.

~*~*~

Squall frowned and swallowed the last of his whine. Seifer motioned to pour him another glass, but the brunet shook his head. Leaning forward, he placed his glass back into the basket and leaned back against the other man's chest, snuggling further in when the blonde wrapped his free arm around his waist. Tipping his head back so it rested against the man's shoulder, eyes half lidded to watch the ocean, Squall spoke, "while we were eating at the dining hall, I overheard a conversation... they said a few words that I don't know, including 'come'. I know what come means, but in the context they used it... it didn't make sense. Do you know what it means?" Squall frowned, tilting his head up to look at Seifer's profile.

~*~*~

Seifer shook his head in disbelief, but smiled affectionately at his boyfriend. "Well," he said softly, leaning his chin on Squall's shoulder lightly, "knowing the gossip habits of the usual teen, they were probably talking about sex," Seifer began casually. He hated when people got all uptight or started giggling stupidly when it came to sex. "Come is a milky white bodily fluid emitted when any given person reaches orgasm. I honestly don't know exactly what it is in women, but in men their come is their semen." He finished, looking over at his boyfriend with a small smile.

~*~*~

Squall frowned, thinking about that. It would make more sense if he actually understood what 'semen' and 'orgasm' was. Placing his hands over Seifer's arms, absently running his fingers along the smooth material. He knew the vary basics of sex. When a man and woman join together, they create a baby. He only really knew two slang words, 'fuck' and 'screw', other then that, everything else they said went right over his head.

He didn't understand the *how*, he just knew that if a man joined their hips with the woman's, they somehow create a baby after a lot of grunting and disgusting sounds. He had accidentally saw the human he had been guarding have sex with his wife, before she died a week later, and hadn't really been able to figure out what was going on. But he knew that the woman had been talking about having a baby. It was too bad that she had died before giving birth to innocent life.

Squall mentally shook his head, ridding himself of the less then happy thoughts. Still running his long fingers up and down the silky material on Seifer's arms, Squall asked, "what is orgasm?"

~*~*~

Seifer raised his eyebrow near his hairline and looked at Squall with complete disbelief. Had no one ever told him anything about sex? Sure, school did some of it, but they never really filled in the gaps. And it really didn't help the way Squall was running his fingers along his arms like that. Was he toying with him? No... Squall hated lying and mind games...

Seifer again struggled to find his voice before he finally managed, "well... it's basically the climax of sex. It's when people come and it... feels very good," Seifer finished at last. He knew Squall wouldn't play innocent because that would be lying, but his imagination, and his hormones, were doing a very good job of filling in the different possibilities of where this could lead and his body was, well, reacting to those images. They hadn't gone farther then heavily making out so far; Seifer had seen for himself how skittish Squall would be and had decided, for the most part, that he could set whatever pace he wanted.

At that point, Squall's fingers ran down his hands and joined with his, and Seifer sighed, some of his nerves easing. Well if this was the path things were headed down, he certainly wasn't going to object. Pulling Squall closer to him Seifer began to trail slow, sucking kisses along the curve of his neck.

~*~*~

Squall moaned and tilted his head to the side, letting the heated kisses go higher up his neck to behind his ear. His fingers convulsed from where they were interlaced with Seifer's hands. "Seifer...” he breathed quietly, panting. Curling a hand back so it was wrapped around the other man's neck, his short nails digging into the flesh, Squall pulled a little until Seifer moved his kisses to Squall's mouth. He eagerly accepted the hot tongue into his mouth, relieved that it wasn't as... wet as their first kiss had been. Sucking lightly on the muscle, he closed his eyes completely, just reveling in the sensations.

~*~*~

Seifer moaned softly into the kiss, running his free hand across Squall's chest and smirking inwardly at the small shiver the movement produced. He broke the kiss with a twinge of regret so that he could move around to kneel in front of Squall, thread his fingers through Squall's hair and pull him into another kiss. Squall then proceeded to climb into Seifer's lap, shifting his balance so much that he had not choice but to lean back onto the sand with Squall on top of him.

~*~*~

Legs straight out behind him, in between Seifer's long legs, his bare feet curled around his ankles, sending delicious tingles up his leg whenever the bare flesh touched his own. Though he was pretty sure it was silly to get aroused by feet touching each other...

Squall moved down slightly, crouching on his knees and putting his weight on his hands on either side of the man beneath him, he trailed kisses along the blonde’s jaw until he reached the spot that made Seifer moan out Squall's name. Giving a small smirk, he suckled on the flesh just underneath the other man's jaw, giving occasional nips along the golden brown flesh that was slowly turning red.

~*~*~

Seifer arched up into Squall’s ministrations, moaning softly. He began running his hands down the brunet's chest, smirking inwardly at the appreciative sounds coming from his boyfriend. After letting his hands rest for a moment on Squall's hips, he slipped them under them hem of his shirt, and then ran his hands back up over his bare skin with a relish.

~*~*~

Squall squirmed when Seifer's large hands ran along his chest, long fingers brushing over his hard nipples, flicking them lightly. Squall broke off from nipping the red flesh, swearing quietly he rested his head against Seifer's collarbone. Panting when the calloused fingers rubbed roughly against his nipples, Squall tried to get his breath back, occasionally taking small licks of the thin flesh in front of him, strangely enough, enjoying the salty taste of sweat collecting in the hollow.

~*~*~

Seifer smiled affectionately down at his boyfriend as his hands continued their lazy exploration of his torso, occasional running over a particularly sensitive spot and causing a hitch in his breath. Smirking triumphantly, Seifer removed one hand from Squall's chest and gently coaxed his head up into a languorous kiss. When Squall pulled back for lack of air, they locked eyes and smiled warmly at each other. Lifting his hand to brush some of Squall's hair out of his eyes and caress his face, Seifer murmured, "I love you Squall."

~*~*~

... What? He... Seifer loved him? The first question that popped into his mind was, 'why?' But he shoved the thought aside. Seifer knew what he wanted, so there was obviously a reason as to why he would love Squall. But... how did he *know?* Squall felt things for the other man.. but he had no idea what those feelings were. How did Seifer put a name to those feelings?

Squall sighed and lay back down, tucking his head underneath the other's chin. Seifer lay tense underneath him, but he felt him relax slightly when Squall ran his fingers up and down the silky material covering his chest absentmindedly. How did Seifer know that he was in love? Squall knew that he really cared for the other man. More then he would ever care for anyone else in his endless life. But was it love? He was so confused...

The brunet sighed, looking out into the dark waves, growing darker with each passing minute. "How do you know?" He asked softly, smiling slightly when he felt Seifer jump.

~*~*~

Seifer tipped his head to the side in thought and chuckled softly. Such a Squall question. "I just do," he replied and after a brief pause continued, "love has never really been something I've had to think about; I just look at someone and it's there or it isn't. I couldn't imagine anyone else I'd rather be with, through good times and bad." Seifer smiled down at his boyfriend, "you're different from every other person I've ever met. You're withdrawn, but you share yourself with me, and that probably takes a lot of trust for you. You don't often see that kind of integrity in people."

With a happy sigh, Seifer leaned forward and placed a kiss to the tip of Squall's head. "That's it," he murmured, "I love you." He paused briefly before adding, "you don't have to feel pressured to say it back or anything; I just wanted to let you know how I feel."

~*~*~

Squall sighed and shifted until he was lying half on the man, and half on the blanket, so he could look into Seifer's turned face. Biting his lip, he frowned, thinking hard. "I *want* to say it, but I don't know if that's what I feel." He huffed in frustration. "I still don't understand how a hu-someone figures out they're in love. I like you, a lot." He glanced down, "more then I ever thought I would," he looked back up, "you're annoying, stubborn, handsome, funny, loud, hot headed, caring, empathetic, accepting, and you know how to speak your mind, even when everyone is too close minded to acknowledge it." He sighed and looked down.

"Maybe I love you... I don't know. I never thought I was capable of it... fuck," he frowned, "a few months ago, I *know* I was incapable of it." He felt, more then saw, Seifer's interest peak at the mention of his past. However slim it was. "Why is this all so damn confusing?" He whispered, frowning and looking down, biting his lip hard and swallowing the lump in his throat.

~*~*~

"Hey," Seifer said softly, gathering Squall in his arms and gently rubbing his back. "Any kind of relationship is confusing sometimes. People don't have a road map to their feelings and can mistake them as well as the next person. You don't have to figure everything out now, these things have a way of taking care of themselves." Leaning back, Seifer brushed a kiss across Squall's temple and pressed their foreheads together.

Even now, Squall rarely, if ever, mentioned his past. It was something Seifer was perpetually curious about, but he never pushed the issue. Judging from Squall's nightmares, even though they had faded some, it couldn't have been the most pleasant of topics. Whether Squall ever told him or not, he wanted to let the brunet know he was there for him, whatever he had to deal with.

~*~*~

Squall sighed, his breath ghosting over Seifer's lips as he closed his eyes, breathing in the scent of the other man and the ocean around them. "They *should* come with a manual," he gave a small smile at the other's chuckle.

Leaning back so he could look into Seifer's eyes without getting dizzy, Squall said quietly, "I don't know for sure if I love you, but I really do like you. A lot." He smiled and leaned in to press his lips against the other man's. They molded their already wet lips together, not bothering with any tongue, just enjoying the sensations.

Squall thought back to what Seifer had done to him and set to repeating the move. Moving his hands down from where they had been curled in the soft strands at the base of the man's neck, Squall slowly undid the small buttons, fumbling slightly when Seifer rolled over top of him, separating their bodies by leaning on his forearms and fist, while his knees dug into the blanket on either side of Squall's thighs.

Finally managing to undue the silk shirt, the brunet ran his hands over the blonde’s bare chest for the first time. Exploring the hard muscles packed underneath soft skin. The soft, barely there, chest hair around the other's nipples and the thin trail leading into the pants beneath the other's navel.

Trailing his hands back up the broad chest, he ran his fingers lightly over the perk nipples, smiling as best he could into Seifer's mouth (it was kind of hard to do so with a tongue in his mouth..) when the man's breath skipped. Pinching the hard nub between his fingers, Squall broke off from the kiss and used all his strength to move Seifer higher up, so his face was level with the man's chest. Hesitating only slightly, he leaned in and ran his tongue across the apricot coloured nipple. Meeting no dislike to that, Squall became a bit braver and took the nub into his mouth, sucking and nibbling on it lightly. With his other hand, he flicked his short nail across the peak, scratching lightly and alternating with rubbing it with his thumb.

~*~*~

Seifer moaned softly as Squall attacked his nipples. Damn, for such an innocent, he was one hell of a fast learner.

Trailing his hand over Squall's shoulder, he hooked it under his arm and pulled him up for a brief, deep kiss. Seifer pulled back only long enough to shed his own shirt, and gently lift off Squall's before returning again to his boyfriend's mouth.

Slowly, Seifer worked his way over Squall's chin and down his collar bone with slow, sucking kisses. He very pleased to discover that the small dip in his collar bone made him whimper and claw at his back. Not letting up in his attack, Seifer continued downwards until he reached Squall's nipples and proceeded to attack them in much the same way Squall had.

~*~*~

Moaning, Squall dug his nails into the blonde’s back, trying to seek purchase over the long expanse of slick skin. "Seifer!" He yelped when said blonde tightened his lips around his nipple and sucked. Hard.

"Fuck," he whispered, turning his head from side to side while gritting his teeth. All his muscles felt like they had become stiff, almost like they were waiting for something. And his... well, his groin felt like it was going to explode. If this what orgasm felt like? His groin was starting to burn... along with his lungs from breathing so hard. And it hurt... but... yet; it didn't hurt in a bad way... if that made any sense. It wasn't like being engulfed in flames... though it felt like that was exactly what was happening, but without the pain. God... why did things have to be so complicated for the human body? God really should have provided an in dept manual for him before kicking him out of Heaven.

~*~*~

Seifer smirked to himself as he continued to make his way slowly down Squall's body, stopping at area's he found to be particularly sensitive. By the time he was assaulting his navel; Squall was shaking and babbling incoherently.

Moving his smoldering gaze up to Squall's face, Seifer slowly undid his pants and, seeing no objection, relived him of them. Smiling at the all-to-obvious blush that painted his cheeks, Seifer caressed the skin on his chest and murmured, "you’re beautiful Squall." Then, before the brunet had a chance to contradict him, which Seifer knew he was prone to do, Seifer lowered his head and took his entire length into his mouth (having had plenty of practice), sucking and licking leisurely to prolong the sweet torture.

~*~*~

"Sei-Seifer!" Squall screamed, pressing his fingers into the broad shoulders, trying to anchor himself to *something.* He moaned again and tossed his head back, gritting his teeth; he tried to stop the loud noises coming from his mouth.

In some distant part of his brain, the one that wasn't cloaked in stars and darkness from the mind blowing sensations, he wondered how anyone could take something like that in their mouth, and actually seem to enjoy it, if Seifer's enthusiasm for the job was anything to go by.

Unless he was just faking it... because he wanted to bring Squall pleasure (which he *definitely* was doing), but he didn't particularly enjoy going about it this way. He still didn't understand how someone could want to, or even attempt to put it into their mouth. It had taken several weeks for Squall to get used to even touching his own penis when he was just going to the bathroom. He'd never really imagined it for anything else. Except for creating a baby... but even that, he didn't really know the mechanics of it.

Then there was that conversation he had overheard... and Seifer telling him about 'come' and 'orgasm'. Some of it he was still not to clear about, but so far, it seemed like a pretty pleasant thing. Even if he didn't exactly know when the pleasure was going to stop, how, and.. what exactly happened afterwards.

~*~*~

Seifer chuckled softly around Squall's length, provoking more cries of pleasure from him. One hand gently caressed the skin of Squall's lower abdomen, while his other hand gently massaged his balls. Meanwhile, his mouth continued sucking hard and licking every surface it could reach.

Looking up at Squall through thick, golden lashes, he smiled inwardly. For such a reserved, grounded person, his face seemed unnaturally open, contorted in pleasure. And through everything that was going on at the moment, he could only think, 'what a beautiful creature.' It was a little unlike him to sway so much towards sappy, but there was just no other way to describe it.

~*~*~

Squall cried out when Seifer pressed his testicles up against the base of his penis. Every muscle (including his toes, which curled) in his body tensed, a sensation like ambers dancing across his slick body prickled his senses. He felt his testicles tighten; pressing closer to his penis by them selves, without the help of Seifer's massaging hand. His stomach and thighs contracted, before he experienced his first orgasm, screaming out the blonde’s name over and over again. Fuck... who knew he would be so loud? Hell, who knew that an 'orgasm' could feel like that!

~*~*~

Seifer took in all of his seed with practiced skill, milking Squall’s orgasm to the last. When he pulled back at last he was licking his lips, almost purring, with a cat-that-ate-the-canary smile.

Gently, he crawled up Squall’s limp form and gathered him into a lose embrace, both of them being on their sides. Pressing a kiss to Squall’s face he gently caressed his face and murmured, “liked that did you?” with a small chuckle.

~*~*~

"No, I absolutely hated it," he would have smiled at the husky chuckle, but he was too drained. "So that's what it feels like to 'come'," he whispered, almost to himself. He felt Seifer tense against him and try to move back to look down at his face. Squall tightened his grip and hid his head underneath the man's chin. He shouldn't have said that... the blonde would never believe that he had never 'come' before, and he was now eighteen years old. Definitely not.

Feeling some of his strength return, Squall tilted his head up slightly and started licking and nibbling on the junction between jaw and neck, producing a low moan from the man beside him. He briefly thought about repeating the man's actions and returning the favor, but the idea of wrapping his lips around that. Well, he couldn't do it. Not yet, anyway. Maybe while they were in a bath or something... so he would definitely *know* it was clean. 'Not that there was anything wrong with Seifer's hygiene regimen,' he thought, taking deep breaths to breath in the other man's soft cologne, sweat, and the Irish soap he used.

Running his hand down the long torso, he swirled his index finger around the navel, enjoying the hitch in breath. He hesitated, before timidly opening the fastening of Seifer's pants and sliding them down, using his foot to drag them off as best he could, with a little help from Seifer who lifted himself briefly to tug off his own pants.

Both naked now, skin pressed against skin, Squall continued to lick and nibble at the sensitive spot underneath Seifer's chin, while he continued his timid path down the man's groin until he brushed the wiry curls surrounding the penis. Running his fingers through that briefly, he moved on, admitting to himself that he was only stalling. He curled his long fingers around the mushroom shaped tip of the blonde’s penis and started stroking. He had *no* idea what to do, or what felt good, having never done this to himself. So he closed his eyes and focused on Seifer's moans, grunts, and change in breathing, quickly finding out what felt good to the other man, he changed his pace and grip accordingly. Using long strokes along the penis and gripping tightly, making a closed fist with the hard organ trapped within his hand.

It didn't take long before Seifer came, liquid (or come... whatever they called it) washed over his hand, coating it in its thick, white fluid. He gave one final lick to the blonde’s jaw, before resting against the arm underneath his head, enjoying the live pillow. He didn't know what to do with the fluid now covering his hand, since he couldn't exactly follow Seifer's example, since the other man had swallowed it all. That decision, however, was taken out of his hands (literally), when Seifer grabbed his wrist and brought it up between them. Squall tilted his head up to watch him lick his own come off of Squall's fingers... eww (to use a word he had heard the previous day). He guessed... in a way, it would make sense, since it belong to his own body. But that still didn't explain why he would swallow Squall's.

~*~*~

Seifer continued to lick away at his own essence, oblivious to the strange look Squall was giving him. It was only after he had finished, when he glanced up at him that he noticed. "What?" he asked tipping his head to one side and chuckling softly.

~*~*~

Squall just shook his head, but finally decided to ask. Hell, he'd already asked Seifer enough questions that, if he had been anyone else, would have embarrassed the hell out of him... and he sure did swear a lot when he was nervous.

"Isn't that...” it took several seconds to search for the word, "unsanitary?" He frowned when Seifer laughed. Now, why hadn't he been expecting that?

~*~*~

Seifer shook his head, still chuckling, and looped his arms around Squall to pull him closer. "Only if the person you’re with carries some sort of disease. I don't and you're obviously a virgin, so you couldn't possibly carry anything."

Seifer sighed contently and laid back, pulling Squall half on top of him and gently stroked his back.

~*~*~

Squall sighed and nuzzled his head against Seifer's shoulder, enjoying the gentle fingers stroking his back. He was glad they weren't tracing over the scars running, plain to see, down his naked back.

Wait a minute... naked... out in the open. Wasn't this... wrong? He'd heard about men (and woman) being arrested for public nudity... wasn't what they were doing just that? Even if it was night... and he was comfortable and no one was around... Ahh, fuck it. Squall thought, sighing. He was comfortable and warm and he didn't want to move.

Running his fingers idly through the thin hair scattered across Seifer's upper chest, Squall looked out into the water. The dark sky was merging with the waves, making the whole expanse look like a sea of dark blue, almost black. Like a black pool of nothingness...

Trailing his hand up to Seifer's neck, lightly curling his fingers around the junction between muscular shoulder and neck, Squall whispered, "I love you," with certainty. He knew now.. he didn't know how, he didn't know why, but he knew what he felt, deep in the pit of his stomach, or was that heart? Whichever. He knew that he felt a deep affection for the other man, he felt like he could place his life (even if he was immortal) in Seifer's hands and he would treat it with care, protecting him from the world, even when he didn't need protecting. But it was the thought that counted. And if Squall had been like any other human, he definitely would have trusted Seifer with his life. He wanted Seifer. With his body (though he had to admit it was with some nervousness), his heart and his soul (even if it was damned).

~*~*~

Seifer, who had also been gazing idly out at the ocean when Squall's confession registered in his head, turned and smiled brilliantly down at him. "I love you too Squall," he murmured, hugging him closer and pressing a gentle kiss to the top of his head. At that moment, life was perfect. Squall and he were in each others arms without a care in the world.

And thus it seemed only natural that a strange sense of foreboding should follow Seifer's contented sigh. He hadn't loved anyone (in any sense of the word) since his mother died, and it was a little intimidating, even for him, to make that leap. Of course it was different with Squall. Squall wasn't his mother and he didn't love him like that. But it was still a type of love. And he just couldn't shake off the feeling that he should treasure every moment while he had it.

Seifer knew it was silly to entertain such a thought. Squall and he were both young and healthy; they had their whole lives ahead of them. Still... the world was unpredictable and you never know what could happen. Even if they had their whole lives before them together, it never hurt to savor each moment.

Seifer ran one hand across Squall's back and the other combed his fingers through Squall's silky hair. A small smile crept onto his lips and as he looked down at Squall he murmured, "you really are beautiful you know that?"

~*~*~

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," Squall mumbled, but he smiled softly and shifted to kiss Seifer. Pressing his lips lightly against the other man's before moving back. "I think we should get dressed and go back inside," he paused to look out into the black expanse. "It's getting darker and I'm getting colder," as if to prove the last statement, his body started shivering of its own violation. He didn't want to mention that he was also getting... anxious. Like something was going to happen, but he didn't know what.

~*~*~

"Alright," Seifer agreed, smiling up at Squall, "can't have you freezing to death after all." The parted and began getting into their respective clothes, lounging just a little bit as they packed away the whine and finished off the strawberries. Then, once everything was secure, Seifer picked up the basket with one arm and wrapped his other around Squall. Both of them smiling contently, they made their way, slightly sleepily, back to their warm bed.

~*~*~

Ultimecia watched them go through her screening window and smiled viciously. The blonde had proven much more efficient than she'd hoped. Even if she hadn't made him immune to Squall's aura, the two might still have ended up like this. No matter though, her goal was at hand.

Everything was playing right into her hand. Already the elders had pushed her through the ranks to Squall's former position. She was second now only to them and soon, like Squall might have been had he not 'fallen,' she would be among them. Then she would simply be the council and this kingdom would be hers for the taking.

"Rinoa!" She called harshly, summoning the lesser angel to her bidding. "The time is right. Use your powers to separate them tomorrow for however long it will take for you to kidnap that arrogant blonde. He will be our bait. There is an abandoned stone church twenty miles inland; I can't think of a more apt place for the once- perfect angel to meet his end!"

~*~*~

Rinoa nodded, "I will carry out your orders as soon as possible mistress," and with that, she flapped her wings once and went back to her screen window over the orphanage. She was tempted to speed up time, but she knew that would just call the attention of the elders, and mistress didn't want that. So instead, she waited patiently, waiting for the moment to strike.


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