Somatic Memory

BY : DB2020
Category: Final Fantasy VIII > Yaoi - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 1050
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.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Warning: Yaoi lemon and Squall is out of character. He will be back to normal, so for now just concentrate on Seifer’s character instead.


Somatic Memory
Part I

“There’s been an accident,” Zell Dincht announced into the headset he cradled against his ear, too rushed in making the call back to Balamb Garden to slide the device into place properly.

“Accident?” Quistis Trepe’s voice sounded on the other end.

“It’s Squall,” Zell stated, unsure how to explain the circumstances properly.

Mild concern turned to worry as the head instructor waited for further news.

“We’re bringing him in now. Something went wrong with Selphie’s limit break. I’ll explain more when we get there, but for now just make sure Dr. Kadowaki’s ready.”

“How badly is he hurt?” Quistis questioned, voice near trembling despite the need to remain composed.

“It’s pretty bad baby. You might not even recognize him.”

There was a gasp from the other end. “Sweet Hyne,” the young woman exclaimed. “Hurry Zell, I’ll be waiting in the infirmary.”

“Okay baby, we’re almost there.”

---

A limp form wrapped in a long brown leather duster was cradled in Irvine Kinneas’ arms. Carrying the unconscious commander in rushed steps from Ragnarok’s lowered ramp, the gunman grit his teeth as he tried to hurry without dropping the smaller man. The damply clothed form in his arms was barely drier than himself after being out in one of Esthar’s seasonal rainstorms, but his coat was likely to keep Squall warmed, not to mention hidden from view.

Zell trotted along side the lanky cowboy, hands stuffed in his shorts’ pockets and an unusual expression of serious regard marring boyish features. “What’ll we do?” he questioned with an air of hopelessness.

“We’ll fix it,” Irvine affirmed confidently, a farce to keep himself from despairing. There was an anguished look to violet-blue eyes. “It’s all my fault,” he mumbled sadly. Clutching the covered body in his hold tighter, he silently apologized to Squall over and over.

“It’s not your fault man,” the spiky blond assured. “We all should have been paying a bit more attention.” While he hadn’t actually been in the field with them, he’d been goofing off on the ship when he should have been doing maintenance, subsequently staying dry but also guilty of slacking. He regretted making complaints about the rain and feeling content as he watched his three friends go out and deal with it.

“Yeah,” the gunman agreed hesitantly, not really feeling that it was any less his fault.

Breaching the crowded blockade of cadets ambling around during lunch recess, Zell walked ahead to make a path. The pair ignored curious glances, rushing to make a beeline for the small hospital wing.

“Maybe we should have taken him to some place in Esthar,” Zell commented.

Shaking his head, Irvine reasoned, “Dr. Odine would probably experiment on Squall if we brought him in like this. There’s only one doctor I’d trust to treat me or anyone I know.”

“I hear ya man,” Zell agreed.

“Zell, Irvine,” Quistis called from up ahead, just outside the infirmary’s entrance. Eyes wide, she stared at the bundle in the gunman’s arms. “Is that him?” she questioned dumbly.

“Who else darlin’,” Irvine drawled, not slowing as he continued past the blonde woman.

The first composed reaction came from Dr. Kadowaki. Setting out an array of supplies, she hardly spared the group a glance before ordering, “Set him down on the bed.”

With great care, Irvine eased the commander onto the pristinely made bed, his arms beginning to feel the burn and feeling light at the loss. Jaw clenching and unclenching, he slowly removed his coat.

Quistis moved to join the two boys, hovering at the edge of the bed. Peering down at her commander, she blinked several times before taking her glasses off. Eyes wide in shock, she left the bedside to retrieve a tissue from a nearby box on Kadowaki’s desk. Taking a minute to thoroughly clean the already clean lenses, she set her wire framed glasses back into place. Returning to Irvine’s side, she stared down once more, expecting to see something else.

“Is that…” she began but trailed off, tilting her head to the side in the hopes that a different angle might set things right.

“That’s him alright,” Zell informed dejectedly. “It was an accident.”

Three pairs of eyes stared intently down on an unconscious Squall. Dressed the same as always, the damp white t-shirt clung to the brunet’s torso and the black leather pants fit as snuggly as usual. The trouble began at the top of the brunet’s drying mass of thick chestnut-brown hair. Furry cat ears stuck out like triangular tufts of wayward strands, sharpened canines were just visible past slightly parted lips, and half inch nails that were akin to claws adorned lax fingers.

The breaking point for the head instructor was when she finally noticed a long dark brown tail lamely strewn beneath the young man. “Sweet Hyne,” she exclaimed, a hand going to her mouth.

“I know baby,” Zell said in a consoling manner, turning to sling an arm around the shocked woman.

“Oh dear,” Dr. Kadowaki said as she approached. “Now I’ve seen everything.”

“Can you fix him?” Irvine questioned pleadingly.

“I don’t know yet,” the middle aged woman commented solemnly. “First, let me check his vitals, then you can walk me through what happened.”

“I docked as quickly as I could!” Selphie Tilmitt cried as she rushed past the automated door, the smooth hiss indicating it closed behind her. “Is he gonna be alright?” she asked earnestly, jogging the short distance to the bed. A near sopping mess, her usually bouncy hair was lifeless and flat, while her yellow jumper clung to her small body.

“If he’s not dead, then there’s nothing to worry about,” the doctor assured. “I’ve treated this boy enough times to know he’s got more lives than a cat.”

Bright green eyes blinked in quick succession. Smiling, Selphie laughed. “That was good,” she commented, quickly sobering at the serious gazes on her friends’ faces. Apparently this was no joking matter.

Intoning an indifferent sound of agreement, Kadowaki gave up on trying to lighten the mood. “If you’ll all please step away,” she directed sternly.

“He’s just asleep, not konked out or nothing,” the spiky haired boxer stated. “We had to sedate him.”

“Sedate?” the doctor questioned while reaching out to take the commander’s pulse. “What happened?”

All at once, the three witnesses began to speak, each talking over the other until Kadowaki straightened and held a hand up for silence. “Irvine, please explain,” she requested.

Sighing heavily, his worries hardly soothed, the gunman solemnly took his hat off, revealing disheveled tresses of long auburn hair. Holding his hat to his breast before beginning, he gave another sigh and told the story. “Well, it’s like this,” he began as though about to tell a long tale. “We were up against a Torama near the outskirts of Esthar. Everything was going fine. It was me, Squall, and the little lady fighting. Zell was back at the ship keeping an eyes on things.”

“It’s all my fault,” Selphie cried, scuttling close and kneeling at the side of Squall’s bed. She draped herself across the commander, wishing her mistake away. “I turned Squall into a cat-boy!”

“Continue,” the older woman said, giving the dramatic young woman a sardonic gaze.

Hesitating a moment, Irvine did as instructed. “Squall was going in for the final hit, but the two of us,” he gestured to the lamenting woman half laying atop of an unconscious Squall, “we had our limit breaks at the same time. We’d been fighting for a while and weren’t paying much attention. Without thinking, I let loose on the critter and killed it. Selphie was in the middle of incanting her spell, and Squall was already in place to strike too. That’s when it happened.”

“My limit break hit Squall!” Selphie cried, sniffing back the beginning of watery tears. “It was gonna be funny. I wanted to turn the Torama into a kitten… I’ve been working with Quistis on blue magic and wanted to try a little something out.”

Frowning, Kadowaki thoughtfully stared at the sleeping young man. “And you can’t turn him back?” she questioned.

“I don’t know how,” Selphie admitted. “We tried to cure him, but nothing worked. Besides that, he got all worked up and we had to put him to sleep.”

“He’s not all there,” Irvine added. “It’s not just his appearance that’s been…” he searched for the right word, “changed.”

“I see,” the older woman murmured. “In any case, I can’t have my workspace crowded like this. I’ll ask one of you to go to the library and assist me in a little research, and the rest of you may pace the halls outside if you must.”

“I’ll see what I can find,” the head instructor announced, knowing blue magic better than anybody.

“Me too!” Selphie called as she broke away and stood with a determined gleam in her eyes. “I gotta fix it.”

“Books,” Zell mumbled in a crestfallen manner. “I’m no good with books.”

Shaking her head, Kadowaki kindly suggested, “Why don’t you and Mr. Kinneas get some coffee from the cafeteria? When you’ve settled down, maybe you can be of some help in here.”

Perking up, Zell gave an enthusiastic nod, wondering if he might trade the coffee in for a hotdog.

“Maybe one of us should stay here,” the auburn haired gunman suggested with a wary look toward the sleeping brunet. “He was pretty vicious. Selphie ended up using a cure on all of us by the time we managed to put him under. There’s no telling what’ll happen when he wakes up, which could be very soon if he’s junctioned with enough resistance to sleep spells.”

“I’m sure I’ll be just fine,” the good doctor stated without room for question. Gesturing for the small group to run along, she shooed them toward the door.

Alone with her patient, the older woman gave a heavy sigh and shook her head. “Goodness gracious Mr. Leonhart. Just when I think I’ve seen everything from you.”

---

Seifer Almasy strode through the halls of Balamb Garden, chin raised for the sole purpose of letting everyone else know he was above them. While life after the war was much the same, he did have to work slightly harder to prove how much better he was. Still a cadet, he hardly let that affect his arrogant attitude towards his superiors. In a show of good faith, and partly because Trepe demanded it, he actually wore his uniform from time to time. Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, he had his moments of acting like a well-behaved cadet.

The fact that he was currently sporting an arm with a bullet lodged in it didn’t seem to impact his cocky demeanor in the least, though it did wonders for causing everyone to jump out of his way slightly faster than usual. Thanks to his injury, his uniform jacket was ruined, but it would give him a plausible excuse to wear a t-shirt that didn’t itch like crazy instead.

Headed toward the infirmary, the blond silently cursed his fate at being partnered with such inept gunbladists. If he didn’t take his field test in a week, he’d give in to the urge to fight the all mighty commander, court marshal or no court marshal.

What sort of monkey pulled the damn trigger on accident? What moronic klutz was stupid enough to not know if the safety was on or not? He knew it had been an accident, because invoking his wrath was a dead wish, but he was no less annoyed by it.

Striding through the automated door, Seifer felt compelled to announce his entrance with more than a hydraulic hiss. “I’m dying doc,” he declared loudly. “Patch me up.”

Jade-green eyes scoured the small wing. Nearby was the doctor’s desk, littered with the day’s patient reports. Slightly farther away was a large row of filing cabinets with every cadet’s medical history. Kadowaki still seemed to have some general dislike for computers. The white walled, ritualistically sanitized infirmary contained a sum total of ten beds, each separated with curtains hanging from the ceiling. With an endless supply of potions, there weren’t many surgeries going on. Though, he was pretty sure there was some operation room on the second floor.

“Mr. Almasy,” Dr. Kadowaki called out with obvious exasperation. “Take a seat and wait your turn.”

Seifer placed the woman to be behind curtain number one, which just so happened to be the only entirely closed off area at the moment. Glancing from his bleeding right arm to the curtain that kept the woman from view, he wondered whether it would be wise to actually wait. “There’s a bullet in my arm. I think it’s silver. You know how us sorceress knight’s are weak to silver.”

“Say so when you first come in,” the older woman chastised, attention effectively drawn away from the sleeping commander. Casting the curtain aside, the sound of the metal rings sliding against the securing bar above, the doctor came into view. “It’s werewolves and silver if I recall correctly, but who knows what you are when you stand there so calmly.”

Grinning, Seifer approved of the woman’s astute observations regarding his endurance for pain. “I guess I’m just cut above the rest. I barely feel a thing.”

“Oh?” Kadowaki intoned, approaching to give an initial examination. Reaching out, she grasped the wounded arm, tugging at the makeshift rag tied just above the wound in the upper part of the ex-knight’s arm.

“Ow! Dammit, be careful,” Seifer hissed.

Smiling, the older woman directed the blond brute to take the second bed over. “I’ll put you to sleep first.”

“Good,” the ex-knight grumbled. “I hate needles.”

“You and every other cadet,” the doctor complained, tired of the constant need to stock up on sleep powder. While prying a bullet from wounded flesh was hardly the job of a local anesthetic, it would still be nice to not always have to put he patients to sleep for as little as tying a few stitches.

Settling in on the next closest bed, Seifer happily relaxed, hardly caring that he had blood flowing off onto the stark white sheets. “So, who’s behind curtain number one?” he questioned, loud enough so that the person could hear him.

“A friend of yours,” Dr. Kadowaki announced with sarcasm.

“Like that narrows the list,” Seifer retorted, grumbling to himself when the older woman didn’t seem to pay him any attention.

“Take this,” the dark haired doctor said, proffering a small paper cup for the former knight’s use. “All of it,” she added when handsome features cringed in disgust. Sleeping powders were a nasty taste of rancid that couldn’t be masked by any flavored liquid. It was best to take it with a little bit of water, having the taste concentrated, but down the throat in a couple gulps.

Before Seifer could comment, he was limp against the bed in sleep, blissfully undisturbed by the less than careful extraction of the bullet. The next thing he knew, he awoke to the potent scent of a smelling salt’s ammonia and the terrible aftertaste of the sleeping powder in his mouth.

Wincing at the pain in his arm, jade-green eyes found his wound tended. Cleaned of most the blood, all that was left was an angry red suture job.

“Drink this,” Kadowaki ordered, holding yet another paper cup out for the blond’s use.

Grunting his acknowledgment, Seifer grasped the potion and downed it gratefully. With a sighing exhale, he wallowed in the heavy lethargic feel of still being under the sleep effects, though now without the cutting pain of any wound.

“You can rest a while longer. You were only out for fifteen minutes. It should take about another forty minutes before the powder wears off completely,” the doctor advised. “I’m leaving the stitches because I know you have a record of reopening wounds.”

The all-familiar bell of the intercom sounded within the infirmary. “Would Dr. Kadowaki please report to the training center? I repeat, would Dr. Kadowaki please report to the training center. That is all.”

“Oh dear,” Kadowaki murmured, wondering why she still expected quiet days while stationed at a mercenary base.

Yawning, Seifer ignored the older woman, content to take an hour of rest without being lectured by any instructors. The hiss of the door ensured that he was alone, excluding the mystery patient that he assumed was asleep. Rolling over, away from the crimson mess he’d left, the blond settled in more comfortably, hardly feeling up to drawing his bed’s curtain for greater privacy. Staring for a brief moment at the tall white curtain of the bed across from his, he closed his eyes to the sight and easily forgot that he wasn’t in as private a place as his dorm room.

The sudden rustling of sheets from the nearby bed caught Seifer’s attention, though he didn’t care enough to bother opening his eyes. When the movement continued, as though the person were thrashing about, he sighed. The sound of the sheets being shredded was something he couldn’t simply ignore, especially when it was so violent.

“Quiet!” Seifer barked, about three seconds away from pummeling whoever dared to disturb his moment of peace.

It suddenly went quiet, and Seifer once more settled down to go to sleep. However, the ghosting whisper of the curtain shifting snapped him right back to attention. With a stream of foul curses in mind, he sat up and prepared to create an invalid out of the invalid.

Half way between standing and sitting, Seifer went rigid. Staring down at the floor, he watched as a head of dark chestnut hair popped out from beneath the bottom rim of the floor length curtain. There was a slow caution to the way the head turned upwards, revealing to the ex-knight that his target for a beating was Leonhart.

Blinking, Seifer wasn’t sure he was seeing things correctly. Were those furry cat ears he saw pressing low against tresses of unruly hair? Perhaps Leonhart was just having a particularly bad hair day.

Big stormy blue eyes stared warily with pupils narrowed in slits of black. Slowly sliding down from the bed, creeping out of the enclosed area, the lithe figure eased away from the tall blond in paced movements.

Seifer watched, shell shocked, as Leonhart crawled away. Finally, he stood up all the way, which seemed to have been the wrong thing to do. Crouching nearly flat against the cold floor, the younger man seemed to go from defensive to offensive.

“Leonhart?” Seifer questioned, now certain it wasn’t just a bad hair day. “I didn’t think you were the cosplay type.”

Baring his teeth, the crouching creature launched forward abruptly, making to tackle the tall man.

All at once, Seifer had Leonhart pinned to his bed, restraining the violently thrashing boy with brute force. “Settle down!” he commanded in annoyance. “What the fuck’s wrong with you?” Reaching out, he attempted to tug one of the ears off, but found it wasn’t so easily dislodged and caused the brunet to emit a rather low growl of protest.

Laughing, the blond found great amusement in it all. It wasn’t cosplay. “This isn’t cosplay,” he thought aloud. “What in Hyne’s name have you been up to?” Managing to stay the violent kitty, he reached down with an arm and grasped a swaying tail. “Is this thing real?” he muttered in disbelief, tugging on it a few times and laughing when the human-feline hybrid growled some more.

When sharp nails dug into the forearm of his offending arm, he growled his own tune of displeasure. “Chill the hell out. If doesn’t hurt tiny kittens, then it’s not hurting you any,” he supplied in excuse, countering his words about not doing harm by giving a fairly harsh tug on the dark brown tail.

The voice that sounded from the less than normal Squall wasn’t necessarily inhuman, just more carnal in a need to express certain things without words. The demand for freedom and for the bullying ex-knight to stop tugging on his tail was expressed with growling.

“Play nice,” Seifer hissed, attempting to capture the wildly scratching hands that had escaped. When the protesting boy attempted to bite him, he lost his cool. Managing to at least temper himself to only give a slap, he feared it had been too much when all struggling ceased.

Going limp, Squall stopped trying to break free. He simply stared wide-eyed, as though being slapped were the greatest offense ever committed.

“Oh come on, it couldn’t have hurt that bad,” the blond grumbled. “I barely tapped you.”

Frowning, Seifer observed the brunet’s odd reaction warily. After several long minutes of having a staring contest, which he won, he sat back and let the boy up from his hold. Ready for some attack, he was quite surprised when Leonhart continued to lie there.

“Well get up,” he ordered expectantly, gesturing with his hand for the boy to shoo.

Immediately scrambling to move out of the way, the lithe figure slid down to the floor, crouching low and gazing up as though expecting a cookie for his efforts.

Gaze narrowing, Seifer studied the brunet curiously. “Can you speak?” he questioned. When big stormy blue orbs simply stared at him without comprehension, he sighed. “Can you do anything besides scratch a person to death?” he grumbled angrily, lifting an arm for examination.

Appearing as though he’d walked through a patch of thorn bushes, the ex-knight sorely dabbed the end of the bed sheet against one of his forearms. Torn between taking a potion for it and sucking it up, he was surprised when the little cat freak slowly moved to act. On guard, the blond watched carefully as the brunet grasped his arm, his main concern being the sharp nails that had given him the wounds in the first place.

With an almost eager edge, the arm taken into Squall’s care was promptly licked. Tongue lapping indiscriminately along the coppery tasting flesh, it was startling when the ex-knight suddenly yanked his arm back.

“What the hell?” Seifer bit out incredulously, red in the face after waiting slightly too long to react, having simply watched as Leonhart licked him.

Crouching back down, Squall cast his gaze to the floor.

Examining his arm, Seifer glanced at the bowed head of his rival. “A bipolar cat I see,” he muttered to himself. “So is that why you’re here?” When confused eyes glanced up at him, he waved his hand in dismissal. “Never mind.” The answer to his question was obvious.

Standing from the bed, Seifer proceeded to loot from the doctor’s store of potions, easily procuring himself a little something for his scratches. When he returned to the bed, he was stopped in his tracks by the sight of a frustrated Leonhart attempting to unlace a heavy black boot. Rather, the brunet was valiantly trying to pull it off while clawing at the laces, as though not entirely certain that the knotted strings were what kept the footwear in place.

“You gotta be shittin’ me,” Seifer said in complaint, not believing the predicament he currently found himself in.

Seated on the floor still, Squall let his foot drop, the boot thudding to the floor. In an almost pleading manner, he gazed up at the tall ex-knight, silently asking for help.

Seifer clapped a hand to his face, sighing at having to deal with such a problem. “I always said you were no good unless you had a blade in your hands,” he commented, stalking forward to aid the inept creature.

Roughly undoing the laces and tugging the boots off, Seifer tossed the things aside with a satisfying clunk. It wasn’t until afterwards when Leonhart beamed up at him for the deed that he realized he’d just helped his rival.

“Shit!” he intoned in distaste, flopping down on the bed and turning his back to the boy still sitting on the floor. “Go to bed or something,” he grumbled, not caring that his words would not be understood.

Forcing himself to ignore the surrealism of it all, Seifer concluded that there had been some freak accident and that Kadowaki would be back soon to take care of the cat-boy. Rolling over in an attempt to become more comfortably situated, he made the mistake of cracking a lid out of curiosity.

Sitting in the same place and much the manner as before with his knees sticking out and the heels of his feet together, Squall remained posed while staring straight at the blond man. Ears standing up, they were more distinguishable than when pressed low against his head.

Seifer blinked several times, eventually noticing the playful swaying of the dark brown tail behind Leonhart’s back. “What are you doing?” he questioned slowly, noting how the tail stopped swaying and just froze in midair. “Go away.” After several moments of waiting for the brunet to scamper off, the tail began to go again.

Words were futile, so Seifer wondered if he ought to try and express himself in some other way. As it was, he didn’t enjoy dealing with the former commander even when the guy was normal, or as normal as asocial pretty boys went. Now he had to deal with an even odder oddity.

“I can’t even begin to list the ways in which this is weird,” the blond knight spoke aloud, now feeling like he was talking to himself. “Whose science experiment are you?” It was probably the result of something the chicken-wuss had done. As much as he’d like to poke fun at Leonhart for it, he boy wouldn’t understand and there was little chance it was a result of his rival’s own ineptitude.

For the sake of absolute confirmation that it wasn’t fake, not caring that he’d just seen the tail waving about, Seifer reached out and touched one of the ears. He almost laughed at the manner in which it twitched reflexively.

Beaming once more, a sight that was far stranger to the ex-knight than twitching ears and swaying tail, Squall abruptly moved. Hands clawing at the thin white t-shirt that was damp around his smaller frame, he attempted to be rid of the garment.

“What are you doing?” Seifer asked incredulously.

Successfully freeing an arm, the short sleeve torn on one side, Squall immediately ceased his attempts. Staring without comprehension at the blond man, the brunet waited.

“Do I need to page the fucking doctor?” Seifer muttered in thought, angrily fuming over how he had the sudden urge to help Leonhart out. At a second glance, he noticed that the boy’s clothes were damp.

Mulling things over for a couple minutes, Seifer eventually settled on a solution. By helping Leonhart and putting the boy to bed, he’d be alleviated of the problem and be free to take a nap. Rolling his eyes, he gestured for the brunet to move closer. “Come here,” he said.

If it had just been the shirt and shoes, Seifer wouldn’t have hesitated a second time. However, when rid of the white t-shirt, Leonhart started to tug at the bulky belts around his slim waist. Seifer wasn’t certain if the brunet was attempting to help in the process or inform him of what to do next.

Sighing in disbelief, Seifer began to unbuckle each belt. When it came down to pulling the pants down, he drew the line. “The rest is up to you kitten,” he stated stubbornly, purposely not looking up into confused eyes.

At length, when the message became clear, the process of taking off snug leather pants found Squall wriggling on the ground. Kicking wildly, the pants eventually came off after snagging on the socks and being forced away altogether.

Hand clamped over his mouth to keep from laughing, Seifer barely managed to breath correctly. Finding his rival clad in naught but a pair of black boxer briefs helped a bit in sobering him up, especially when that very same rival attempted to climb onto his hospital bed.

“Down,” the ex-knight ordered, pointing to the floor. He felt a twinge of shock when the brunet actually heeded his command. Leonhart was not only his rival, but also a ranked officer. He was still a cadet, despite being older. To have the man seeking his help in getting undressed and then listening to his orders wasn’t quite the fantasy he’d imagined, not that he’d ever fantasized about helping Leonhart getting undressed.

With a frown, Seifer studied the submissive creature, wondering what had changed from the moment when the boy acted like some rabid cat. Was it because he’d hit the brunet? Was it because he could obviously dominate, despite receiving minor injuries for the effort? Glancing at the discarded clothes, he didn’t exactly need to question why the boy wanted to get out of them.

When long nails tugged at the rim of the last remaining garment on Leonhart’s pale body, Seifer intervened quickly. “No,” he ordered, shaking his head when the brunet looked up at him.

Hand retracting from the elastic waistband, Squall sat back on his haunches and waited. Tail swaying, he stared up at the blond avidly.

“Hyne,” Seifer muttered to himself. Standing up, he gestured for the brunet to follow him. Crossing the short distance between the beds, he cast aside the curtain and waved for Leonhart to get up.

Seifer stared fixedly as his rival complied, giving him a nice long look at the man’s backside. It wasn’t that the form fitting briefs outlined the brunet’s ass in a risqué fashion, but that the waistband dipped low enough to reveal a tiny bit of the cleft between shapely cheeks. The dark brown tail that moved about rhythmically was the cause of the undergarment riding so low.

With the image forever imprinted in his memory, Seifer cursed silently before turning away. Stalking the entire three steps back to his bed, he roughly drew the curtain closed as though a solid barrier that would prevent further interruptions. Flopping down on the bed, he stubbornly resolved to take his nap in the infirmary and not be chased off.

It was a whole five minutes of unbroken silence before Seifer felt secure in actually letting himself drift back to sleep. The powder was still coursing through him, his sheer shock at Leonhart’s state keeping him awake. With a stifled yawn, he contented himself to ride out the lasting effects by sleeping and to forget the entire encounter.

---


Irvine and Zell returned to the infirmary in somewhat calmed states. With coffee in their systems and Irvine in a dry set of clothing, they walked abreast from the cafeteria. Intent on checking in with Squall, they planned to then head over to the library to see how much help they could be.

Zell spotted the doctor just around the corner. The older woman’s back was to them, so he called out, “Hey doc.”

Stopping, Kadowaki intercepted the two SeeD as they approached. “There was an emergency in the training center. I’m afraid I haven’t made any breakthroughs with Mr. Leonhart just yet.”

“You didn’t leave him alone, did you?” Irvine questioned warily.

“He was sound asleep when I left him,” Kadowaki assured.

Zell’s eyes widened. “He would have woken up by now,” the spiky haired blond announced before dashing forward towards the automated door. Fearing what he might find inside, he was most afraid of finding that Squall had left.

“Really? Is he that resistant to sleep spells?” the doctor called out after the blond boxer. She hadn’t been gone more than fifteen minutes. Sleep spells were roughly five times more potent than sleeping powder, which could knock a person out for up to half a day.

“He’s that resistant to everything,” Irvine informed, lengthening his stride to catch up with Zell. “One of us should have stayed with him,” he said in reprimand, more so of his own casual attitude than anyone else’s.

“I know,” Zell called back, blaming himself since he’d been the one that didn’t need to change his clothes and because he was useless in the library.

No sooner had the door opened, jolting back and forth as each form passed through, than Irvine declared, “The curtain’s open.”

With a sneaking suspicion, Dr. Kadowaki pushed the portioning curtain of Mr. Almasy’s bed back. Regretting her actions suddenly, thinking she should have simply peeked in first, the older woman cringed while observing the two young SeeDs reactions.

Seifer slept unaware of the sudden activity within the infirmary. Likewise, the very scantily clad and content kitten against his chest breathed deeply in the grips of slumber.

Stunned, Irvine and Zell weren’t sure they could recite their own names at the moment. Their eyes traveled from Squall’s unoccupied bed of torn sheets, to the strewn clothing, to the sleeping couple.

All at once, all the wrong conclusions were made. With blood on the bed the pair currently occupied, it would seem as though a struggling Squall had put up a good fight but had been brutally taken by the ex-knight.

Zell’s youthful face contorted in anger. Raising his gloved fists, he cracked his knuckles. “Let me have a go at him first. You can finish him off with Exeter,” the spiky haired boxer commented lowly.

“Okay, but let me put a couple poisoned bullets in him first. No place vital, just his legs,” Irvine drawled slowly.

Wide eyed, Dr. Kadowaki quickly spoke up, “Now wait just a moment you two. Innocent until proven guilty.” Though she wasn’t quite sure what they suspected Mr. Almasy of.

“The evidence speaks for itself doc,” Irvine informed with a curt nod of his head to each pointing factor.

Hands on her hips, the older woman firmly asserted, “This is my ward and I will not have you two starting anything in it. Now settle down before I make you leave.”

Extracting a smelling salt from a pocket on her long white coat, Kadowaki moved to once more waken the ex-knight from a medicinally induced slumber.

Jerking away from the offending scent, Seifer grumbled his complaint. “Hyne doc, give me a while longer to work the powder off. Missing a lecture or two isn’t gonna kill me.”

“No,” the older woman agreed. “But a couple of over protective friends might.”

Blinking, Seifer yawned and attempted to shake the lethargy in his body. It was another moment before jade-green eyes widened at the sight of furry ears and head of chestnut hair contently resting against his chest.

Gaze narrowing, the ex-knight shot from his place, upsetting the freak of nature. “What the hell!?” he yelled, successfully wiping away the startled expression on Leonhart’s face and causing it to be replaced with something akin to dejection. Seifer held the rest of his agitated anger back when pointy ears flattened against tufts of wayward hair, signaling that Leonhart knew he’d done something wrong.

Pointing to towards the other bed, Seifer directed, “Over there.” His tone was less edgy, though his annoyance only mounted when he felt guilty for yelling in the first place. Since when did he feel badly about treating Leonhart badly?

In an awing display of obedient submission, Squall started to crawl over the blond man, intent on going in the general direction indicated.

“What in Hyne’s name have you done to him?” Zell cried, rushing closer.

A low growl erupted from Squall’s elegant throat while his nearly nude body froze in place. Stormy blue eyes narrowed in a threatening manner.

“I didn’t do jack shit, chicken-wuss,” Seifer announced. His eyes inadvertently cast a glance at the angry kitten, the rabies kicking in once more. Presented with an up close version of Leonhart’s ass, he looked away a little too slowly to sooth his strictly heterosexual pride. Pointedly not glancing south of the border, he scrambled to get up and away before he became a scratching post once more.

Hands held aloft as if in surrender, Zell backed off. “Squall,” he called. “Hey man, it’s me ‘n Irvine.”

“It’s the rabies,” Seifer informed tersely. “I always knew Leonhart was fucked up, but this is more than I imagined.” Running a hand through golden blond strands of hair, the ex-knight made to stalk past the commander’s two bodyguards.

“What happened here Mr. Almasy?” Dr. Kadowaki questioned.

“My nap was interrupted, that’s what happened,” Seifer grumbled. “If you get Leonhart back to normal, tell him he owes me.”

“Not so fast,” Irvine drawled, leveling Exeter at the cocky blond cadet.

“Irvine!” Zell shouted in warning.

Irvine was tackled to the ground, a hostile Squall atop the gunman’s lanky form, mouth gnawing uselessly on the barrel of the shotgun.

“Zell, cast sleep again,” Irvine called, wrestling with the smaller man in an attempt to free his precious gun.

“Morons,” Seifer muttered. Striding towards the struggling duo, he calmly reached out and grabbed a fistful of lengthy hair. Yanking Leonhart back he rolled his eyes at how ridiculous actual SeeD reacted to being attacked.

“Hey!” Zell protested. “That’s the commander!”

“Pipe down, chicken-wuss,” Seifer returned, smirking at the way the other blond’s face went red with anger. “I’m sorry,” he apologized mockingly, releasing Leonhart from his hold. “I meant, Dincht.” He wondered if he should point out that it was the second time he’d insulted the spiky blond.

“Like hell you did!” Zell raged, fists rising as he prepared to fight the ex-knight.

Laughing, Seifer refrained from making any further comments that would lead to his immediate expulsion. “Settle down, or you’ll set Squally-boy off again,” he spoke smoothly, smirking when the short fighter realized the truth to his words. He loved being right, especially when he could rub it in.

Crouched low, hand gently rubbing at his head, Squall remained glued to one of the ex-knight’s legs. With the increasing commotion, his tail stiffened, wrapping around the leg he leaned against like a vine.

“Mr. Almasy,” Dr. Kadowaki spoke up, observing the radical difference in the commander’s behavior. “It would seem Commander Leonhart is only docile towards yourself. Would you please explain what happened after I left?”

Glaring down at the top of Leonhart’s head, Seifer attempted to step away from the clinging cat. Upsetting the brunet’s balance, he only succeeded in having sharp nails dig into the fabric of his slate grey pants. Scoffing, the ex-knight explained, “He wasn’t so docile towards me when he first woke up. Since this obviously isn’t Leonhart, I managed to put him in his place.”

“If you hurt the commander,” Irvine began in warning, finger twitch near the trigger of his gun.

“Relax,” Seifer said with exasperation. “You people act like he’s made of fucking glass.”

“In any case,” Kadowaki spoke up once more, sensing that hostilities would show face at any moment. “Mr. Almasy, it seems I can make use of you, so I’ll ask you stay a while longer. Mr. Kinneas, Mr. Dincht, please find some use of yourselves in the library.”

“What!?” Zell cried in outrage.

Stern gaze narrowing, the doctor leveled the pair of young SeeD with an unwavering stare. “Research blue magic pertaining to both physical and mental transfiguration, and anything else you feel might be helpful.”

With a defeated, ‘Yes ma’am,’ Zell and Irvine took their very reluctant leave.

---

Seifer ushered a cloaked figure into a darkened dorm room. With dangerous hands gripping his arm, he aided in Leonhart’s two-legged journey from the infirmary.

“Why are you the one keeping an eye on him?” Irvine complained as the rest of them filed into Squall’s private quarters.

“I’m not exactly jumping for joy Kinneas,” Seifer reminded with a grunt.

“Don’t do anything weird man,” Zell asserted. “We’ll be checking in randomly.”

“What the hell would I be doing?” Seifer bit out angrily.

“We found him in bed with you before, without his clothes on,” the blond boxer reminded heatedly.

“Hyne, you people get on my fucking nerves,” the ex-knight muttered to himself, loud enough for the others to hear. Roughly, he yanked the gunman’s trench coat from atop Leonhart’s head, almost unable to get it off completely when the kitten reacted by pressing up against him.

Selphie and Quistis were the last two to join the group. Quistis felt along the wall for the light switch, eventually giving illumination to the standard issue dorm room for all commanding officers.

“Seifer,” the head instructor spoke casually. “Please look after him. It’s an unfortunate predicament that none of us wanted. However, we’ll all be trying our best to fix it. We’d greatly appreciate it if you could give us a hand.”

Smiling cockily, Seifer gave an approving nod. “Well said Trepe. Now if the rest of you could just follow her example and show me the same courtesy, I might be inclined to treat the kitten right.”

“Seifer,” Quistis spoke in a more stern tone. “While no one’s asking you to hold his hand or spoon feed him, keep in mind that regardless of the circumstances Squall is still your commander. There is also the possibility than anything you do to him will be retained in his memory once we fix this.”

Jade-green eyes widened ever so slightly. Seifer hadn’t considered that much.

With a small smirk, Quistis gave a subtle nod of approval, assured that she’d gotten her point across.

---
Resigned to his ill fate, Seifer tried to be as optimistic about his predicament as possible. Unable to figure out exactly why Leonhart had taken a liking to him, he’d literally been forced into caring for the freak with a gun pointed at his head. Currently gathering a few essentials from his doubles dorm room, he figured he’d at least have the benefit of using the commander’s private quarters however he saw fit.

The down side seemed to greatly outweigh any positive aspect he could conjure, leaving Seifer in a foul mood as he stalked back to Leonhart’s place with a duffel bag of clothes. He wondered whether he should find a camera and use this situation as blackmail at a later point in time.

With a borrowed keycard, he entered the ridiculously tidy dorm room. With a sitting area that might have passed as a living room if there had been a television, a kitchen nook, and a bedroom with a small bathroom leading off of it, Leonhart’s place was like an oasis compared to the small place he had to share with some newbie cadet. It was rather like an apartment.

Jade-green eyes scoured the premise in search of the kitten. “Hey,” he called out, wondering how much trouble Leonhart could have gotten into in his ten-minute absence.

Muttering darkly about not having come back to garden after the war to become a babysitter, Seifer tossed his bag to the couch and stalked towards the bedroom. When the door slid open to admit him, he knew he was on the right track.

Eyes scanning the dark, windowless room, he easily found what he was looking for in the form of a curled lump on the bed. Feeling along the wall, he found the light switch. With a push of a button, the small room was lit up and Seifer was hastily presented with a decidedly excited response from Leonhart.

Tail swaying playfully and ears perked up, Squall sat expectantly on the bed.

Quirking a brow, Seifer regarded the overeager boy with a dubious gaze. “I think I liked it better when you ignored me,” he commented.

With a heavy sigh, Seifer fought the urge to pinch the bridge of his nose. Realizing that Leonhart’s habit of doing that was likely born of babysitting the band of do-gooders on a daily basis.

Gesturing for the brunet to come to him, Seifer watched as the boy quickly padded over to him on two feet. “So you can walk,” he observed aloud. Figuring the whole four-legged deal had been instinctual, he was amused to find the boy now mimicking his stance. “Monkey see, monkey do,” he murmured.

There was slight relief in knowing he wouldn’t have trouble teaching the younger man the basics, especially if this little alteration in Leonhart became a more long term deal. Naturally, there were a few things that he needed to do right off the bat.

“Come on,” Seifer said. “I’ll show you how to take a piss.”

TBC…

A/N I’m not sure how many chapters this’ll be. Maybe five. The third one is in progress, and I’ll post the second one real soon. I guess it was too ambitious for a one-shot, and I simply can’t avoid detail.


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