Where Glory Dies

BY : Baby_Chiba
Category: Final Fantasy VIII > General
Dragon prints: 422
Disclaimer: I do not own FF8, or the boys, this is a work of fiction for my pleasure. I make no profit, promise!

A/N: Just a fun fact, I came up with this one-shot idea while opening a can of kidney beans and thinking of how much it resembled dog food. The next chapter of Master of Slaves is almost ready! But until then enjoy this, and check out my other one-shot Gravity Defied. It’s my favorite piece and I’m sad to see that no one really knows about it…

Dedicated to Angels-Obsession and Chemotaxis

Where Glory Dies
By: Baby Chiba

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The weather was a bitter bitch.

Fucking frigid, sodden, and dark, like Shiva’s cunt, Seifer thought as he reluctantly pulled his flaccid penis from the confines of his military issued pants to take a piss.

He hissed sharply as the bitter wind assaulted his naked flesh, willing his bladder to empty faster.

His piss smelled rancid like stale coffee and rotting flesh. The latter of which could be contributed to the blazing funeral pyre that doubled as a fire a few feet away at base camp. His nostrils flared obscenely as he got a generous whiff of it.

Shaking the last few clinging drops of urine from his member he tucked it away and roughly pulled up his zipper.

His boots were caked with mud and ash. They sloshed violently through the muck as he strutted briskly towards the only source of warmth in the desolate wasteland.

He collapsed abruptly onto a damp log, a makeshift bench for the soldiers surrounding the fire, the festering pit of disease that it was.

A land pile of decomposing limbs and faces that retained no semblance of human as the skin peeled away from the muscle and the muscle melted from the bone.

It was rudimentary knowledge… you burned your dead.

He felt no guilt in giving those orders.

Better to burn them fresh then wait until they became bloaters and stunk up the fire pit with all their foul gases.

It was logical.

It was routine.

It was what he had been taught.

He wondered if it made him less human…

In the bleak distance he heard the sounds of dry heaving. Some poor soldier boy with a stomach weaker than his will.

He found nothing morbidly unpleasant about the pyre.

It remotely reminded him of the burnt liver from the cafeteria on Wednesday’s that Raijin had reluctantly become fond of.

He couldn’t distinguish the difference between the smell of sweltering flesh and the charcoal fueling the fire. It was one in the same.

The rustic metallic stench that accompanied boiling blood was one he was utterly familiar with.

Blood was the common denominator.

It was everywhere; it was always.

It was comforting.

Burning hair with its sulfuric odor was the only thing that left a bitter taste in his mouth.

He looked forward to the later part of the evening when the flames got to the brain. It wafted thick in the air like the sweetest perfume.

His chapped lips curled into a smirk. How ironic that the only organ that was worth a flying fuck smelt the sweetest when dying. Some would say it was even poetic…

And the ashes smoldered into the night sky, swallowed whole by dense smoke of ashen gray that left the throat dry like sandpaper with the promise of black lung instead of heat.

White ash littered the ground. It reminded him of snow on a Christmas morning. But it was the ash of human. It belonged to fallen friends, comrades, teachers, and neighbors. The price of war…

Worn peridot eyes scanned around the fire. The fine lines at the corners of his eyes and frowning mouth already deep and hardened, marks from the hardships of war. And though his jade eyes hung heavy from what he had already witnessed, he hadn’t a clue of the horrors that were still to come.

Amidst the stifling silence he listened to the symphony of sounds: the crackle of embers, the awkward rustle of clothing, the cocking of a trigger, the loading of a barrel, the heavy laden sighs that sometimes escaped the lips of listless men.

He gazed upon the assembly of anxious boys that just days ago were sitting obediently behind desks. Now they sat in their own filth, in uniforms mildewed from sweat and darkened from spilt blood.

Destitute faces of young men stretched painfully tight from the threat of death that was ever present. Faces damp with disease and death. A stench that festered in every pore of every soldier, in every crusted scab and fresh, oozing flesh wound.

Each man hung onto the notion of his mortality like a hangnail on his thumb.

Tearing his eyes away he snatched at a can of provisions that would serve as his dinner.

He ripped the rusted top that screamed tetanus off his canned rations with a pop. He grimaced at the brown sludge that was supposed to pass as food. He swirled his finger in it and brought it to his lips.

And it triggered a memory from the past…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was a humid night. His skin was sticky and sleek with grat blood and sweat. He had given up trying to scrap the caked dirt from beneath his fingernails hours ago. His muscles tingled from the residual burn that accompanied wielding his gunblade for hours.

It had been a long day…

Five teams of cadets were sent out into the forests just beyond Balamb Garden as part of a practice drill right before Seed exams. The purpose of the drill was to simulate real life encounters with no protective barrier such as the training center had.

He scoffed at the idea of ‘real’ danger. He had been sneaking out to train in the forests since he was fifteen. This had been a walk in the park.

He looked over the blazing campfire at his partner. Instinctively the corners of his mouth twitched into an impish smirk. Ironically he had been paired up with the same person who had taken every late night excursion with him into the forests since he was fifteen, none other than Squall Leonhart.

The brunet sat in silence with the most astute look of observation creasing his forehead as he studied his can of rations. It was comical to Seifer the amount of attention Squall gave the most insignificant of things.

Seeing Squall’s can of rations reminded him of his burning muscles and shrinking stomach. He snatched his can from the ground and ripped the top off. Immediately his forehead crinkled to mimic Squall’s contemplative look.

“ I fucking hate this shit.” He hissed crudely before throwing the disgusting concoction onto the dirt.

His stomach growled with disappointment.

He snapped his neck up at Squall, whose statuesque position had not changed in the least.

Seifer watched him intently as he slowly dipped his finger into the brown sludge and tentatively brought it to his mouth.

Seifer cringed, expecting Squall to spew it out violently.

Instead he remained calm and collected as he silently gauged the slush floating around in his mouth.

“ Tastes like Alpo.” Squall finally spoke in complete stoicism.

The blonde arched a brow incredulously.

“ How the fuck do you know what Alpo tastes like?” Seifer spat all too aggressively.

Squall focused his eyes onto Seifer without a hint of emotion wrinkling his flawless features.

He blinked twice before answering in that same monotone drone, “ haven’t you ever eaten at the cafeteria on a Thursday?”

Seifer stared blankly for a moment, completely taken aback by Squall’s attempt at humor, the dry tasteless thing that it was.

The deep baritone laughter that shook his frame was in no way attributed to Squall’s joke, but the sheer incredulity of the fact that he tried. He had tried…

It was a valiant attempt, and a valiant failure.

Seifer laughed so hard that tears sprang up at the crinkled corners of his eyes. He laughed so hard he did not see Squall’s lips twitching ever so slightly with the attempt to repress his own laughter.

When the excitement died down into the gentle drone of crickets Squall spoke again.

“ Do you think this is an accurate representation of military rations?” He articulated every syllable with sharp precision.

“ Hell no.” Seifer slurred without any possible time to really consider the question.

The sharp arches of Squall’s brows rose in response, a hint of humanity peeking from behind his tone, “ really?”

Now Seifer considered. Squall could always tell when Seifer was really thinking because his eyes went half-lidded and his lips curled downwards ever so slightly. The insignificant details again…

With a toss of his chin he replied, “ I gotta think so, or else I’m in the wrong line of work.” He turned his eyes sharply to Squall, a mischievous gleam glowing in the green and then added, “ Cause Alpo ain’t my cup a tea.”

It was the brunet’s turn to be amused.

However, the rush of exhaled air from Squall’s nostrils held little semblance to the amused snort it was supposed to be.

Seifer took it for what it was worth. It was the closest Squall could get to laughter. There was an unspoken understanding of Squall’s handicap when it came to social situations. Seifer teased that the brunet been dropped on the head too many times as a child…or killed too many things at an impressionable age. The latter holding more truth for both of them then either was willing to vocalize.

Their relationship was the closest thing Squall had to a friendship.

It was twisted, like him, and he was fine by that.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Seifer dipped his finger into the brownish sludge and brought it to his mouth.

He forced himself to swallow. The first bite was always the worst.

He forced himself to swallow. The second bite wasn’t so bad.

It got better every mouthful. Hell, it even tasted decent…or so he forced himself to think.

He tipped his head towards the moon that lay obscured behind a thin sheen of cloud. He smiled, a distant, forlorn smile. He wondered if Squall, wherever the fuck he was, was eating the same shit, thinking the same thing.

He snorted softly, tearing his gaze from the dim moon.

“ Well Squally-boy, I was wrong.” Seifer whispered under his breath.

He emitted a resigned sigh. Suddenly he felt like Atlas, like the moon he had just been gazing upon was resting on his shoulders. He had come to know it as the weight of war.

He wondered if the war was treating Squall better than himself. He wondered how the brunet had changed since their last real encounter. He smiled bitterly then with the memory.

“ Commander.” A schoolboy soldier interrupted his memory reverie.

He saluted Seifer rigidly before continuing, “ The missiles are being loaded and should be ready to launch within 0800 hours sir!”

Seifer nodded sharply, his eyes glazing over, a trick of the trade he had picked up from the ice prince himself.

The soldier dismissed himself and trotted off into the darkness.

Seifer turned back towards the rearing fire, the heat melting the glaze from his eyes, those sad, sad eyes.

The order stung to deliver.

But he didn’t have a choice.

Orders were orders. He just wished it didn’t have to be his hand on the launch pad.

A wistful rush of breath left Seifer with the last of his reluctance.

“ I’m coming for ya Leonhart, hope you’ve eaten your fair share of rations.”

It was time.

He’d be finding out soon enough where glory lies, and where it dies.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A/N: I drew from Erich Maria Remarque’s, “All Quiet on the Western Front” and Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” for inspiration. Both amazing books I highly recommend!

What did ya think? REVIEW PLEASE!!!


You need to be logged in to leave a review for this story.
Report Story