Defining Love

BY : DB2020
Category: Final Fantasy VIII > Yaoi - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 1160
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.

Warning: This story contains adult themes, graphic situations, and swearing. There are mentions of male pregnancy, Squall being the one who had the baby. Finally, I am not committed to keeping Squall exclusively with Seifer during every interaction, which means sex.


Defining Love
Chapter One

It was very difficult for Seifer Almasy to accept that he could suffer from physical ailments in the afterlife. Then again, maybe that’s what Hell was all about.

For a long time he remained motionless, sprawled out on the cold ground. The deafening sound of rain splattering against what he could feel was concrete filled his ears. The torrents of water had long since soaked his beaten clothes, numbing his skin and then slowly spreading the coldness deeper.

He couldn’t help but wonder just how badly he’d fucked up. There was a frightening sense of life in his body, refuting his assumptions of being dead. He’d been wandering aimlessly without a clue how to set things right or reach a world that wasn’t turned upside down, and his mind logically concluded that he couldn’t possibly be alive.

Time compression was an intimidating process, more so in action than theory. His initial panic and desperation had left long ago, replaced by a coolheaded calmness and determination to just keep trying. However, that middle area of being calm and confident was all too soon replaced by defeat, the firm belief that he’d never find a way back home and was doomed to wander aimlessly for all eternity.

Slowly, he opened his eyes. Given the intensity of the downpour, he was surprised at the brightness of the sky. While thick clouds of grayish white made it impossible to even tell where the sun was, it was still too bright for his eyes to handle.

Squinting, he raised an arm to drape over his face. He was beginning to shiver. He knew he should move, but the fact that he was still breathing and his heart was still pounding hadn’t settled in completely. He still needed time to grasp the concept, and then worry about what came next.

The blond knight’s thoughts were interrupted by the sudden lack of rain hitting his body. Though he could hear that it was still coming down heavy, it wasn’t falling on him. The distinct sound of pellets hitting the stretched waterproof fabric over the wire frame of an umbrella stood out from the sound of rain hitting the ground.

Reacting instinctively, thinking that perhaps he was in Hell where he’d meet all his enemies, he rolled away. Though his hand went to his hip for Hyperion, it flexed around air and nothing more. His blade was not with him, and hadn’t been since his last encounter with Ultimecia, but he was trained to react with the assumption of always having his weapon on hand.

“Easy,” drawled an unfamiliar voice, smooth as silk but still irritating to his particular mood at the moment.

Jade green eyes narrowed with the intent of using his bare hands to snap the speaker’s neck. Seifer focused on the stranger. He first noted the long shotgun that could have easily taken him out before he even registered footsteps approaching, which he was slightly angry at not having done anyway. Holding a black umbrella, the source of the rain’s barrier moments ago, was a lanky man with wavy auburn hair. The oddly colored eyes that watched him intently captured him for a moment longer than necessary.

“I’m Irvine Kinneas,” the newcomer greeted. “I’m not looking for a fight. I’m just the welcome wagon.”

Sneering, Seifer straightened up, hardly caring that he was unarmed and this Irvine Kinneas had a long ranged weapon on hand. It was another few seconds before it finally registered that he’d seen the pretty boy somewhere before.

Glancing up and down the gunman’s frame, he mentally replaced the black suit with something more casual and wholly bazaar. “Cowboy,” he muttered after a moment of concentration.

Making as if to tip his absent hat, Irvine smirked. “I’m honored you remember. We haven’t officially met.” His words were soothing in their calmness, as if he were the last person to ever pose a threat.

Gaze narrowing further, Seifer reminded himself that it was probably intentional. If he didn’t know any better, he’d have thought that tone of disarming calmness was the charm of a sorceress. “Where the fuck am I and why do I get the impression that you knew I’d be here?”

Bowing his head ever so slightly, Irvine was quick to answer, “We are in Esthar, at the Sorceress Memorial. I didn’t know for certain whether you’d be here, seeing as the last five tries turned out to be wrong, but Dr. Odine predicted your return.”

“Details,” the blond ordered.

“It’s raining, we really should get some place drier.”

“Fuck that,” Seifer hissed. “What’s going on?”

“Time compression,” the gunman stated simply. “I can explain more as we walk. Sooner or later you have to go somewhere, let’s make it sooner.”

“Lead the way,” Seifer said, refusing to close the distance between them and needing some gesture of peace, such as the gunman’s trust with a turned back.

**

Mildly drier and significantly warmer, Seifer stared out the passenger side window of the sleek Torama Cruiser. With patience, he listened to the driving gunman, soaking up the words with forced discipline. The constant whir of the windshield wipers dancing back and forth was soothing, filling the awkward moments of silence that were allotted to let him cope with everything.

“Seven years since the end of the Second Sorceress War, and since you were last in our time.”

Having gone through becoming a knight and traveling through time, Seifer was hardly surprised at the end result. Still, he wouldn’t be spoon fed anything without question. “There were weird places, like deserts surrounded by some sort of bubble… different dimensions, I think. I don’t know how long I was walking through them, but it sure as hell wasn’t seven Hyne damned years.”

“Different dimensions,” Irvine mumbled to himself in thought. “I’m not the theorist here, so I don’t know much. Still, considering you might have been wandering through time, it wouldn’t be surprising if seven years went by here and you were only walking around for seven days.”

“It was a lot longer than a week,” the blond returned with a weary sigh.

“You look older than when I last saw you,” Irvine stated with a laid back air as if they were discussing the weather.

Solemnly, Seifer fingered his shaggy hair. He’d first noticed when toweling it dry. “I know,” he muttered, becoming a little angry. He wanted a mirror to make sure he hadn’t become some old man and lost his youthful good looks. While he only played a narcissist, he still didn’t want to suddenly find out that the prime years of his life had been stripped away. Death would have been better.

Making it to the city’s border, Irvine shifted to settle in his seat more comfortably. “Becoming lost was a consequence we were prepared for. It was a matter of focusing on a specific point of return, and then just leaving it up to the process to sort us out and know to place us in the correct time. You, being the traitor, were not informed of this.”

Seifer bristled at being called a traitor. “Let’s have it out now cowboy. You wanna string me up for a hanging in all this?”

Chuckling, Irvine shook his head. “No, the world has moved on since the war. I’m just calling it like it is. You became Ultimecia’s knight, own up to the title.”

“Fuck off,” the blond hissed. “Get to the damn point already.”

“Certainly.” Casting a glance to the side, he met striking green eyes and smirked. “Squall was lost too, but Rinoa managed to retrieve him easily enough. We’d honestly counted you as a lost cause, having no way of finding you unless Rinoa learned to control her powers and had another stroke of luck like with Squall.”

Seifer scoffed in response, not caring for the unabridged version.

“Anyway,” Irvine continued, a hint of amused understanding in his violet-blue eyes. “Dr. Odine became obsessed, and about three years ago he said he’d figured out how it all worked. This was the six time we were out at some random location, and I must say I’m shocked that the doc was right.”

“Lucky me,” the blond commented wryly.

Though Irvine hadn’t been sure what to expect, he’d thought it would have been along the lines of a silent and avidly listening knight trying to understand the magnitude of the situation. Yet, Seifer Almasy was calmly disregarding everything that should have muted the man with shock. There was a subtle antagonistic feel to the blond man’s words that was steadily becoming more irritating. “I was chosen because I don’t anger easily, but you’re making it difficult,” the Galbadian drawled in annoyance.

“And I’m not even trying,” Seifer input sarcastically.

The car came to a screeching halt. “Listen Almasy, there are a lot of things you don’t know. But the fact remains that you’re alive and well, show a little appreciation for the fact.”

At the angry horns beeping, Irvine sped up once more, his supposed anger dissipating.

“Give me a day or two to remember that fact,” the now former knight replied solemnly.

“Do you remember everything from when you were a child?”

Quirking a brow, Seifer regarded the longhaired man curiously. “As much as a person can.”

“Not long after the war began, it was discovered that Guardian Forces have amnesic effects on the brain. If you remember being raised in an orphanage in Centra, then you should remember me from back then as well.”

Frowning, Seifer stared forward out the windshield, his eyes drawn to the swaying motion of the wipers. “You’re Irvy?”

“The one and only,” the gunman stated proudly. “Fate can be cruel like that. We were all together as kids and then things turned out the way they did…” he trailed off, not needing to explain further.

With wide eyes, Seifer turned his attention to the smirking gunman, wondering if he’d even know if he’d forgotten anything. He tried to find blank spots in his past, but there weren’t any.

“Like I said, it was the GFs,” Irvine reiterated, knowing that feeling of doubt all too well.

Raking a hand through damp blond hair, the ex-knight gave a heavy sigh. It was bad enough that so much was being thrown at him all at once, but now he couldn’t even keep a firm grasp on what he already knew. His memories were vague, even when he actually tried to focus on them.

Noticing the look of concentration, Irvine assured, “It’ll take a while to remember it all, but it will come back if you keep trying.”

“Where are we going?” Seifer questioned, choosing to ignore his memory problem for the moment.

“Odine’s lab, to make sure you’re in good health.”

“Dr. Odine is a nutcase. I’m not letting that little shit near me with a needle,” the blond returned firmly, hardly caring that he wasn’t exactly in a position to argue.

“Then how about a cute nurse in a sexy uniform,” the gunman drawled, a certain glaze coming to his eyes.

Eyeing the longhaired man with a mixture of distain and confusion, Seifer eventually nodded. “I might consider that,” he agreed under the assumption it was just a bad joke.

**

“Like hell I’m gonna let that messenger girl come near me with that thing!” Seifer growled as he pointed accusingly at the copper haired woman wearing some cosplay get up and holding a rather large syringe.

Sticking her tongue out, Selphie pouted. “I’m a nurse! A nurse!” she shouted.

“Darlin’,” Irvine placated as he loosed the knot of his tie. “Settle down, it can’t be good for the baby.”

Bottom lip trembling, the flippy haired woman set down the fake syringe and gently rubbed her growing belly, easily seen with the nurse’s costume that hugged her form tightly. “I wore it ‘cause you said you wanted to play doctor.”

A light blush coming to his cheeks, Irvine coughed. “Yes well, that’s a slightly different matter.”

Rolling his eyes, Seifer impatiently waited for his presence to be acknowledged once more. He’d been brought all the way there on the assumption that he’d have his blood pressure taken and all the usual check up shit done, then have the rest of his questions answered. Instead, the crazy messenger girl toddled along, making as if to stab him with a needle.

“A real physician will be here soon,” the gunman stated as he saw the look of rising impatience on the ex-knight’s demeanor.

“Well, while we wait, how about you continue telling me more of what’s happened,” the blond suggested with a biting tone. Where the hell were Raijin and Fujin when he needed at least partially competent people nearby?

Selphie approached the tall blond knight, staring at him intensely. “You should change. You’ll catch a cold wearing those clothes.”

Defiantly, Seifer straightened up, crossing his arms before his broad chest. Though torn in various places and wet, there was nothing but hospital gowns to change into. He’d stick with his blue vest and baggy military pants.

“You and Squall, I swear!” the short woman declared with an air of defeat. “Get up,” she ordered as she approached the bed.

Sitting on the edge of the pristinely made bed of white sheets that he didn’t feel like dirtying, Seifer glared. “Nurses shouldn’t steal the patient’s bed,” he stated without moving.

“I’m pregnant, and I wanna lie down.”

With a huff, Seifer suggested, “Then you should find your own room.”

Big green eyes stared for a long moment before softening with amusement. “Quisty was right,” she spoke over her shoulder to the gunman. “They do deserve each other.”

Though interested in the meaning of the woman’s comment, Seifer ignored it. “Seven years have gone by and you haven’t even begun to tell me what’s happened.”

Smiling brightly, Selphie took a seat beside Seifer. “Irvy and I are married, we have two children and a third on the way.”

Suddenly realizing his mistake, jade green eyes cast a pleading glance to the gunman. He knew he was in trouble when the lanky man simply shrugged and leaned against the wall as if it was going to take a while.

“I work from home designing really awesome ammunition for the new ship models that come out. Irvy works at the Presidential Palace. Quisty is Head Instructor at Balamb Garden. Zell left SeeD right after the war to open up a restaurant in the Town of Balamb. Me and Irvy came here about six years ago because of Squall, who-”

“Sorry to keep you waiting,” interrupted a middle-aged woman in a long white lab coat.

“Kadowaki,” Seifer breathed in slight relief and surprise.

“Who else,” the older woman returned with a smile. “It’s been too long Mr. Almasy.”

“Keep going Tilmitt,” Seifer commanded. “Though keep the personal crap to a minimum. Tell me about Fujin and Raijin.”

Placing an index finger to her temple and mumbling incoherently, Selphie attempted to appear deep in thought. “Hmm, let me see,” she muttered. “Oh, that’s right. A fishing business… somewhere in Fisherman’s Horizon… I think.”

“Nnh,” the blond intoned to show he was still listening. Offering his arm, he complied with the necessary procedures of a check up. Though he felt fine, perhaps rather tired, he couldn’t deny to importance of making sure he had all his organs in place after what happened.

It wasn’t long into the storytelling that Seifer began to realize there was one person in particular that was being left out. “What’s Squally-boy been up to exactly?” he questioned directly.

Faltering noticeably, Selphie shifted in her reclining position on the bed. “Well,” she began almost nervously, throwing a looking of uncertainty to the gunman. “Him and Rinoa split a while back. I already mentioned that she’s working at the orphanage with Ellone and Matron. Oh, did I tell you that President Loire is his dad?”

Frowning at the information, Seifer was tempted to inquire further about the Estharian President being that father of someone he grew up with in an orphanage, but he saw the diverting tactic easily enough. “That’s nice, but what about pansy boy?” He was only interested because it seemed like something was being hidden, which meant there was something worth knowing.

“Show a little respect,” Irvine barked from his place across the small room.

Glaring, Seifer expressed his feelings at being talked down to. If given a fair chance, he could kick the gunman’s ass in a heartbeat. Still, a rather dark thought dawned on him. “He’s not dead is he?” The moments of silence that followed almost left him feeling guilty.

“Of course he’s not dead,” Selphie assured. “But, it’s not really our place to say much.”

“I don’t think he’d mind,” Kadowaki input casually, not even glancing up from her clipboard she was scribbling on.

“Oh, he’d mind,” Irvine refuted. “Squall’s pretty uptight about it. You know how he gets when it comes to putting responsibility on someone else’s shoulders.”

“It’s unhealthy,” the doctor chastised, as if Squall were in the room with them.

“Still, we respect the leader’s wishes,” Irvine declared firmly.

Seifer glanced sidelong at the pregnant messenger girl as she struggled to sit up and place a hand on his shoulder. “When you’re discharged, we’ll take you to see him.”

“The twins have been going nuts lately,” Irvine remarked to his wife, an understanding passed between the two of them.

“With respect to my posse, Raijin and Fujin will be the first I see,” Seifer stated without room for argument.

**

Standing tall, the former knight stared out into the ocean. The setting sun cast a reddish glow on golden blond hair. The recently cut strands were back to their normal length, slicked back as always. Though the familiar weight of his long grey coat was missed, it was too warm for it anyway. Instead, he stood in a new blue vest and sleet grey slacks.

“Quite the motley crew you have!” Seifer called from the end of a rickety pier, watching as the small fishing boat made its way into dock. Considering the citizens of Fisherman’s Horizon were constantly constructing something, the waterlogged harbor was surprising. Though, he figured the general mindset of not fixing what wasn’t broken must have influenced the priority for construction.

In a swift movement that nearly resulted in falling overboard, Raijin Former stood with mounds of thick rope in his arms and stared at the blond knight in shock.

Manning the helm, a silver haired woman surveyed the area as if expecting some sneak attack. At length, her single red eye focused on Seifer. Now a captain, Fujin Berren stared with a tirade of emotions at the man she would have followed into the depths of the underworld. It was the very same man that she and Raijin had pined for over the years and eventually given up for dead.

“Holy shit!” Raijin called out in greeting, deep laughter following. Barely managing to keep from abandoning ship to reach the pier sooner, the burly man settled for waving enthusiastically and causing noticeable wave action from the bow moving under his heavy muscle mass.

The fact that Fujin didn’t yell at the enthusiastic man was an expression of her own excitement. Though, the wide smile on her face, which she valiantly tried to dismiss every few seconds, belied her equaled feelings to Raijin’s.

In a more collected manner, Fujin saluted and then gestured away from the pier to indicate where they’d be docking.

Seifer returned the salute and followed the sailing woman’s line of indication before making his way to it. Pacing his steps, he timed it so he arrived just as they docked.

In a warm welcome, Seifer first found himself crushed by Raijin’s powerful arms, gripped fiercely to the point that his ego began to take a beating. There were very few people who could boast about having greater physical strength than himself, which was why he was friends with the burly fighter.

Next came a more stubborn Fujin, a woman who prided herself on being in control of herself and the world around her. Thin lips pressed firmly together, her crimson-eyed gaze soaking up the sight of her returned idol. “SEIFER,” she called out in disbelief.

“Yeah, it’s me you old hag,” the ex-knight stated with an easy understanding of the question behind her short utterance.

“NATURAL,” the silver haired woman cried with amicable annoyance, reaching a hand to touch her whitish hair. Raijin never dared to make fun of her hair color. Only Seifer had ever made fun of it, nicknaming her an old hag. Hearing the title again nearly brought her to tears.

“Come here,” the blond man said before giving his own version of a crushing hug to the woman’s smaller frame. It was unbelievably satisfying to see them again, their trio reunited.

It wasn’t long before the three sat around a worn, but sturdy wooden table in Pops’ Pub. A forty-year-old establishment run by the son of the original owner whom everyone had called Pops, Raijin and Fujin swore it was the best haunting place when in need of a drink and decent atmosphere.

With the traditional mugs of piss yellow beer and a head at least in inch too high, Seifer watched in amusement as Raijin took a swig and wound up with a mess on half his face.

After a painful kick to the shin from Fujin, the burly fighter eased up on the race to become smashed and wiped his face with a bare forearm, which earned him yet another sharp kick. Wincing, he waved his female counterpart off in a show that he didn’t need any more discipline.

“I guess we should start with an apology, ya know?” Raijin said in an uncharacteristically solemn tone.

“Stupid asses,” Seifer muttered. “If this is about running to Leonhart like a pair of Chicken-wusses, then I know why you did it.”

“NEGATIVE,” Fujin said, drawing the attention of a few customers who weren’t regulars and therefore unaccustomed to hearing the terse and loud form of speech she used.

“We don’t regret that, ya know? But, we like gave you up for dead, ya know?” Raijin clarified. “It’s been like forever. We never thought we’d see you again.”

Seifer just laughed. “As if I’d care about that.” For the first time, he was beginning to feel appreciation for being back. After losing hope himself, he couldn’t have been happier to wind up back where he belonged, even if so much time had gone by.

It had been a week since he was lying on the ground near the Sorceress Memorial. In his mind, he’d estimated his time spent wandering through compressed time to be around a month. There hadn’t been night or day, just seemingly never ending expanses. To his surprise, Kadowaki estimated his age to currently be around twenty-five years old, which meant that seven years had indeed been stripped away from him almost instantly. How he was able to survive, or return for that matter, was still a mystery. His body showed no signs of malnutrition or fatigue after his relentless walking and often jogging.

By the time Dr. Kadowaki had declared him fit for discharge, he’d felt almost giddy with excitement to leave. It had finally set in that he was alive and that the war was over with. While he was still sporting a rather sore ego after learning of Leonhart’s nice victory, he was undoubtedly happy to have his own free will back again. When he felt up for seeing the puberty boy again, he’d drop by and maybe even be civil.

At the continued look of regret in dark brown eyes, Seifer assured, “I’d given myself up for dead too.”

“What happened, like, all this time?” Propping his forearms on the table and leaning in a bit, bulky muscles shifted beneath deeply tanned skin, testimony to the sort of work Raijin was involved in.

“I don’t even think that quack scientist Odine could explain it. I swear I kept a decent record of how much time I was gone, and it couldn’t have been more than a month.”

“A month?” Raijin murmured with his undivided attention focused on the blond knight. “Where were you?”

“I don’t have a damn clue,” Seifer answered honestly. “So far as I can wager a half-assed guess, I was between dimensions or times. It was like a desert or something, not hot, but it went on forever. When I reached the end of one, there was fog, and then it was as if I was back at the beginning.”

Frowning, Raijin glanced at Fujin to see if she was listening just as intently. “Did you survive off the land? Ya know, like those adventure people?”

Shaking his head, Seifer fell into pace with explaining things for the hundredth time. “I didn’t have to eat or sleep, but I got tired a lot. Though, it was more one of those things where it’s all in your head. I mean, I could keep walking, but sometimes I’d just lay down.”

Whistling was Raijin’s only response, unable to think of the right words. What could he say to something like that? Seven years had gone by and he’d thought Seifer had died, then their posse leader showed up and said that he’d been walking around in some weird place for a month.

After several minutes of thoughtful silence, where the group sipped their drinks and soaked in the atmosphere, Raijin spoke up in question, “If you didn’t need to eat or nothin’, then do you think you were like a spirit?”

“Don’t know, don’t care,” Seifer stated simply. “I’m back, and that’s all I care about right now.”

“AFFIRMATIVE,” Fujin agreed with a smirk.

Scratching spiky black hair, Raijin grinned sheepishly. “Man it’s good to see you Seifer. I almost expect to wake up any second, ya know?”

Quirking a brow, Seifer stared with mischievous green eyes. “Our friendship is over if you’re saying that you like to have dreams about me. I know I’m sexy, but have a little self control Raijin.”

Blushing furiously, Raijin gaped. “No way man!” he defended with embarrassment. It wasn’t until Fujin’s stifled chuckling turned into stiff laughter that he realized the blond was joking. “Aww, quit it,” he said in annoyance.

“I’m starving and broke, so why don’t you two treat me to dinner,” Seifer input after chugging half his beer and setting the mug down with a chink.

“You’re not broke,” Raijin refuted. “I know all about your brilliant money plans. You’ve been bragging about that shit since we first started those crap jobs with you, ya know?”

Remembering his first job working for some mechanic in Balamb, Seifer was also reminded of how he’d always striven to become self-dependent. When the Headmaster found out, he’d already acquired a fair amount of money, considering Garden had provided all his needs and all his paychecks went right in the bank. When Headmaster Kramer let him continue with part time jobs it was perhaps the only time he’d ever really liked the man. “I was declared dead, so the bank turned my account over to Garden.”

“What! No way. That’s like not right, ya know?”

“I’m just messing with you. Still, seven years and you can’t even buy me dinner?” Seifer complained with mock hurt.

TBC…

A/N I do have quite a bit more written, but am currently debating some alterations. There is a lot going on in this story and I want to make it fit together smoothly. It is a faster pace than my other fics, mainly because of the jumps in time, but I'm trying not to make it confusing. At this point, posting the first chapter isn't premature even if I plan to take things in a different direction later. I have a couple ideas and am undecided how I want it to pan out.


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