Salvation's End

BY : Grieving Leon
Category: Final Fantasy VIII > Yaoi - Male/Male > Squall/Zell
Dragon prints: 1179
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VIII, nor the characters therein. I don't make money off this story.

Salvation’s End

Chapter 21: Mission Advancement

Zell followed Nymphic into the kitchen, which was large and sleek, numerous appliances, beautiful blue and purple swirled countertops, looking like something straight out of an Estharian palace.

“Daddy!” Dommy said happily, smiling from where he sat at the kitchen-bar, a half eaten sandwich on a shimmering green glass plate in front of him.

Nymphic smiled with bizarre compassion at his son, but Zell was more concerned with where Squall was and if Squall was okay.  The blonde SeeD had regretted letting Squall take that tour when Gaff returned to the upstairs office without the submissive brunette.  Zell almost flipped his level and killed everyone, except Gaff had quickly said (to Nymphic) that Squall was with Dommy in the kitchen.

“Hey, little one,” Nymphic said to his son, crossing over the green and blue stone floor of the large and extravagant kitchen.

Daniel sat next to Dommy, the bodyguard with his own sandwich.  The 30-something man stood up and said “Sir,” to Nymphic, but the Snuff Lord waved at him dismissively so Daniel sat back down to finish his meal.

“Squall made you a sandwich?” Nymphic asked Dommy, now standing beside his glittering son, a gentle hand on the teenager’s shoulder.

Dommy nodded happily.  “And he’s making cookies.”

Zell noticed Squall standing next to one of the three separate stoves in the kitchen, the brunette man’s arms loosely crossed as he watched the father and son with a delicate smile.  

“Cookies?” Nymphic asked Dommy.  

Zell almost dashed forward as he headed to his brunette love, needing to get back to Squall’s side; the heart in the blonde man’s chest was full of blood and adrenaline, ready to burst at any moment.

The teenager nodded while Squall said “Just chocolate oatmeal clusters.”  The Snuff Lord turned to Squall, the evil man still oddly smiling.  Squall said “No-bake.  I told Dommy I’d make him something fancier later, when I had more time.”

Dommy laughed softly and said “I was helping, but he told me to eat.”

Nymphic assessed Squall, who smiled at him before turning back to stir the melting sugar-chocolate concoction.  The Snuff Lord saw Zell place a hand on the brunette’s back and whisper to him, too soft for the evil man to hear, but Squall replied loud enough.

“Of course,” Squall said sweetly to his boyfriend.  “...Did you finish reading the contract?”

The hand dropped away and Zell nodded.  “I was about done when Gaff came in.”  He stepped back, turning to look at Nymphic.  “Sorry, I should have brought it with me when we came down here.”

“You were, no doubt,” Nymphic replied with a ghost smile, “as eager to find Squall as I was to see Dommy.”  The evil man then turned to Gaff and said “Go get the contract, bring it and a pen down here.  ...And the Squall’s folder.”

As Gaff headed off to follow Nymphic’s instructions, Dommy spoke.

“You’re going to take the job?” Dommy asked Zell.  The teenager’s light blue eyes glittered, and Zell saw the same thing Squall had seen earlier: Innocence that looked very out of place in the horror pit, especially with that disgusting monstrous man standing beside Dommy.

With a nod, Zell said “Yea, looks like it.”

Squall went about dividing globs of the melted but thickening dough onto tinfoil he’d already laid out onto the countertop.

“Awesome,” Dommy said happily.  “I was telling Squall that he could come over and swim and other stuff with me, but that might have been strange if you’d decided to turn my dad down.”

“You want Squall to come over?” Nymphic asked, looking down at Dommy.

“I told Dommy,” Squall said, gaining the evil man’s attention, “that was up to you.”

“I don’t choose my son’s friends,” Nymphic replied.

“See!” Dommy said happily to Squall.  

With a small smile, Squall nodded once to the Snuff Lord.

“He’s so nice,” Dommy said to Nymphic.  The smile the boy had began to dwindle away and he said “Squall said people threw beer bottles at him.  Called him bad names.  He’s gotten harassed and threatened.”  The boy paused, looking utterly miserable.  “Like how I got sent that note.”

Nymphic was near ready to order Daniel to kill Squall for dare making his son even think about that note, but Dommy kept talking.

“But Zell protects Squall,” Dommy said, his smile returning.  “Like you and Daniel protect me.”

Nymphic’s rage died out immediately.

Squall had crossed over to the kitchen-bar, holding a small bowl with some of the melted dough and a spoon.  He smiled at Dommy’s glittering face, setting the bowl down.

“The cookies will harden in a few minutes,” Squall said.  “But you can taste that in the meanwhile.”

“I heard,” Nymphic said as Dommy squeaked and picked up the bowl of melted no-bake cookie dough, “that you were quite the chef.”

Squall frowned in embarrassment and shrugged awkwardly.  The brunette man mumbled “I learned so I could cook for Zell.”

“Sir,” Gaff said, walking back into the kitchen, holding the folder, contract, and a pen.  He walked to where Nymphic stood and set it all onto the bar countertop.

Zell, who was standing next to Squall, grabbed folder and handed it to Squall, then looked through the papers to find the end of the stack where he signed in long letters ‘Zell K’Oz’.  Zell had not finished reading the last two or so pages, but he didn’t feel like bothering with the rest of the legal jargon.

After swallowing a mouthful of no-bake cookie dough, Dommy said to Zell “Your face tattoo is awesome.”

Setting the pen down, Zell looked up to Dommy and grinned.  “Thanks!  I got it... when I was about your age.”

“Wow!” Dommy said, stirring the spoon in the small bowl for another bite of the dough.  “I’d say I want one, but...” He turned his light blue eyes to his father, smirking at the worried evil man, “I don’t want to give Daddy a heart attack.”

Nymphic shook his head at Dommy, his large hand patting the boy’s shoulder.  “Maybe just wait a few more years?” he said in a half laugh.

Dommy nodded at him while smiling with amusement.

Looking at Squall, Zell softly said “We’d better get going, baby.”

Turning his attention away from his father and focusing on Zell and Squall (more so Squall), Dommy asked “Leaving so soon?”  Some of the glittering the teenager exuded faded.

“They have a lot to do,” Nymphic said to his son.  “They just got a new place to live. And they have only until next Monday to move and settle in before I need Zell here.”  After getting a nod from his son, Nymphic reaching into his back pocket for his wallet: He retrieved a business card and handed it to Squall, explaining “When you know your new phone number, call here and you can tell Dommy.”

With his free hand, Squall accepted the card gingerly.  “Thanks.”  He slipped it into his pocket, honestly pleased that Nymphic had not argued about the ten year age difference between him and Dommy or that they’d become fast friends.  Meeting the boy and coming into the boy’s good graces had been another nice surprise; perhaps this undercover mission would be over before the month was out.

Zell gently took Squall’s free hand to lead his lover to the exit, but Squall stopped him, clutching the manila folder to his chest, and said “I should wash those dishes.”

“Nonsense,” Nymphic said, waving his hand.  “I’ll tell the maid to come do that.” He stepped away from Dommy and motioned towards the hall behind that led to the entrance.

Dommy jumped off the barstool and slid passed his father, throwing his arms around Squall.  Squall released Zell’s hand and turned to hug Dommy back, smiling softly as he rubbed the teenager’s back with the single hand.

Rage trickled through Nymphic, but the man tried to soothe himself with the knowledge that Squall Amyst was utterly in love with Zell K’Oz.  There was nothing sexual in the way Squall held Dommy, the teenage boy hugged Cain often times enough that Nymphic knew that his son liked the chaste physical attention.

“I’ll miss you,” Dommy said, stepping back from Squall, keeping Squall’s one hand in his to squeeze gently.

“I’ll miss you, too,” Squall replied, milking his Amyst persona dry.  Of course Squall liked the kid well enough, but Leonhart was never one to be more than agreeable to even his closest friends.  “I’ll call you, I promise.  And don’t forget, if you’re ever scared, Daniel and your father, and all the other guards, they all are here to protect you.”

The teenager nodded and released Squall’s hand.  “Bye.”

“Bye,” Squall replied then turned and took Zell’s waiting hand to hold.

A few minutes later, Squall and Zell were crossing down the cement steps that had led up to the mansion entrance.  Zell looked over to the right at the only car that was parked out here.  The blonde man reached into his pocket and retrieved the keys and pressed the unlock button.  When the car flashed its lights, the doors unlocked and Zell knew that car was the first of his massive signing bonus.

“There were a lot of cameras in the mansion,” Squall said to Zell, who was very distracted by the car.  “All over.  I don’t think there was a single angle that wasn’t covered when I was walking through.”

“Did you get to see the pool?” asked Zell.  The blonde man was amazed that Nymphic had given him a brand new luxury Galbadian Charge, deep red, Red Dragon hide seats and wrapped steering wheel, and a top of the line radio system.  

“No,” Squall replied as Zell opened the passenger door for him.  “I just meant it was pretty intense, all the security that was everywhere.”  He slipped into the car.

Zell, distracted enough he missed Squall’s point, shrugged.  “He is a powerful man, of course he’d have a high tech camera system.”

Setting the manila folder down onto is lap, Squall held in a heavy and annoyed sigh as Zell shut the door.  The blonde man then skip-ran around the hood to the driver’s side, opened the driver’s door quickly, and flopped heavily in.  Zell said happily “This car is super nice, huh?”

While Squall had already looked around the best a Level 3 could in those few seconds before Zell sat down, he did not have the ability to Scan the car like Zell could.  “Yes,” Squall replied, staring at Zell.  “Does it have a security system?”

“Well yea,” Zell replied, holding off turning the car on.  “You saw me turn it off before we got in, baby.”

Squall continued to stare at Zell, who eventually frowned at him with confusion.

Finally after a few seconds, reality hit Zell and his sapphire eyes widened.  “Oh!” Zell said and his cheeks filled with blush.  He quickly looked down to the center car console and cast Scan.  Seconds later, Zell lifted his sapphire eyes back up to Squall and said “...Sorry.  There aren’t any bugs or anything.  No cameras.”

“You sure?” asked Squall, and although he knew Zell had cast Scan and therefore was sure, he was attempting to emphasize to Zell that they were still SeeD and undercover and this car was not really theirs.

“Yea,” Zell mumbled, turning back to the steering wheel to push the keys into the ignition and turn the car on, which roared loudly.

“Odd that Nymphic wouldn’t bug the car,” Squall said, looking around at the beautiful interior.

“Well, I’ll check every day,” Zell said.  “Incase they add some eventually, like to throw us off.”  He reached into his jean pocket and pulled out a crumpled piece of paper, straightening it out to read it over.  “So,” Zell said after he’d memorized the address.  He handed the paper to Squall.  “We’ll check out the condo.  Then we’ll head back to our apartment and start packing.”

Without bothering to answer, Squall looked down at the crumpled paper to read over the typed letters: 1337 Siege Lane, Suite 803.

The wrought iron gates swung open as Zell pulled his luxury car forward.  While Zell knew he shouldn’t enjoy the car, he allowed himself some small pride that he’d managed to bring K’Oz up from a lowly struggling bouncer in East Dollet to working for a rich and powerful man as a bodyguard.  And now, K’Oz could give Amyst everything the submissive brunette could ever possibly want.  All the hard work was paying off.

Squall folded the crumpled address paper nicely in half then slipped it into the manila folder with the furniture brochures.  He then turned his grey-blue eyes up to the window to watch the scenery pass as Zell drove.

“So Dommy is a sweet kid, huh?” Zell said.  “I mean, I remember the profile I read on him, but he’s sure more than I expected.”

Squall stayed silent still, just listening to Zell.

The blonde shot a quick glance to Squall, then looked back to the road ahead and said “You liked him, right?  I thought you two were going to hang out.”

Closing his eyes, Squall breathed out a soft sigh.  He then opened his eyes and turned to look at Zell.  In a rough voice, tired and worn down, Squall said “I can use him to have access to the mansion.”  He then turned back to the window.

“Oh,” Zell said.  ‘Of course,’ he thought. ‘The mission, our goal.’  “Sorry,” the blonde man mumbled.  Zell also wanted to ask Squall about the condo, wanted to ask if the brunette was happy Zell had gotten one for him, but Squall seemed annoyed rather than excited.

They drove silently for awhile, for as long as Zell could bare it.

“Did I do something wrong?!” Zell blurted out after he turned a corner, the car rolling onto Siege Lane.

“What?” Squall said, turning away from watching the scenery to see Zell frowning unhappily.  “Why would...? No, Zell.”

“Why aren’t you saying anything?” asked Zell.  He noticed the condominium structure that held their new home, and where the parking entrance was, which he turned the car into.

The brunette man stared at Zell for awhile, watching the lowered brow and pouted lips of his best friend.  Finally, as the car slowly drove passed parked cars in the parking garage, Squall said “I used it all up.”

“What?” Zell said, turning to pout-glare at Squall, who sighed back.

“Please,” Squall said.  “Just let me be grumpy.”

The glare and pout vanished and Zell smiled, even though he would have rather stayed upset awhile longer.  He pulled the car into an empty space then said with amusement “Grumpy,” raising his sapphire eyes back to Squall’s half sneer.

“You have any idea how nice I had to be?” Squall mumbled, cloudy eyes locked on the dashboard.  “To get Dommy to be my friend?  So that I could get invited to that house?”

Zell’s smile widened.  

Squall said “Can’t I just-”

“Be as grumpy as you need to, baby,” Zell said happily.  He then bounced out of the car, shoving the keys in his pockets as he shut the door and dashed around to help Squall who was very slowly getting out as well.

Once Squall was standing, holding the manila folder against his chest, his grey-blue eyes locked with the sapphire spheres.  They stood, Zell smiling brightly while Squall barely held in a scowl. A few seconds passed before Squall looked away and stepped to the side to let Zell shut the car’s door.

The brunette man knew that there would be surveillance in this building as well, and Nymphic mentioned a guarded elevator.  So he attempted to shove away the grumpiness as he held one hand out for Zell to take.

The blonde man happily accepted Squall’s open palm and then led Squall towards the well labeled elevators.  A guard was stationed inside the elevator, and the man asked for ID, then the guard stepped back to allow Zell to use a key to access the eighth floor.

The ride up was short enough and the two undercover SeeD easily found their way to 803, unlocking the door and stepping in.

“Oh wow!” Zell said, bouncing inside.

“You think,” Squall asked softly as the door shut behind him, “that there’s cameras in here too? Like in the elevator and hallway, and like at Nymphic’s mansion?”  He figured that was an acceptable way to tell Zell to Scan the damned condo and be on the look out for cameras like in their previous apartment.  Squall would look around as well, but the Scan spell would be far more accurate than Squall’s rusty and only Level 3 eyes.

Zell stopped his triumphant jaunt around the gigantic living room and quickly looked around for cameras, using a Scan spell.  He then dashed to the adjacent family room and did the same, Squall following after.

“Nothing,” Zell said, pausing to turn to Squall.  He held out his hand, wanting to hold Squall’s hand again, and Squall submissively accepted.  The two then walked into the dining room, through there and into the kitchen.  Zell had been planning on just quickly going from room to room to search and Scan but he couldn’t help stopping in the kitchen.  “Nymphic sure knew what to get for you, Squall.  Look at this kitchen.”

While the kitchen was not the Estharian Palace gigantic kitchen at Nymphic’s house, it was extravagant nonetheless, with top of the line adamantine appliances and black marble countertops and grey stone floors.  

Still holding Zell’s hand, Squall said “At least,” in a mumbled tone, though he’d meant to speak louder, “I don’t have to pick out new appliances.”

Zell stopped his happy assessment to bring his sapphire eyes to Squall’s face.  He could tell the brunette was teetering on ‘grumpy’ but trying to look like his happy Amyst persona for a little while longer -- at least until they finished their search of the new condo.

Squall halfway held up the manila folder, still keeping it against his chest.  With defeat, he said “I have to decorate this place.”

Zell burst into laughter.  “I’ll help.”  He reached forward and snagged the folder from Squall, tossing it onto the black marble countertop.  “C’mon.”  Then, still holding Squall’s hand, Zell pulled Squall from the kitchen to search through the rest of the condo.

As they went through the rooms, Zell asked “How’d you decorate our last apartment?”

“Um,” Squall mumbled.

“There’s no cameras or anything in this area, baby,” Zell said.

“...Quistis and I picked it out together,” Squall mumbled awkwardly.  “So it was all bought before we moved here.”

“Oh.”  Zell didn’t like the idea that Quistis had picked out furniture with Squall, and a small pang of jealousy rippled through him.  He stepped into the Master bedroom, searching it and the Master bathroom, dragging the brunette man along with him.  Then Zell released Squall’s hand and turned to look at his High Commander.  “All clear.”

Squall, though, was looking over at the single piece of furniture in the room (in the entire condo): A large king size mattress laying directly on the floor, no box-spring or bed frame.  On the plastic-covered mattress was a set of white sheets and a separate mattress-cover, both items still wrapped in their packaging as well.

“Nymphic told me he’d sent the mattress here, so we’d have a place to sleep tonight.”  Zell paused then quickly added, “Oh he also said he paid off my debts!  So we don’t have to worry about that anymore.  And the contract had this clause about how you won’t be allowed any jobs anywhere Nymphic has stake in.”

Once Zell finished speaking, Squall let time pass while taking a few slow breaths while still looking at the mattress, then finally mumbled “Least I don’t have to pick out a mattress.”

“So, back to the apartment?” asked Zell, still watching Squall.  “Clothes and stuff?”  Before Squall could answer, Zell added “We can take some of the furniture, too.  So we don’t have to pick out new stuff.”

“Fuck that,” Squall replied too quickly.

Zell laughed softly and Squall turned to look at the carpeted floor with his brow lowered.  

“Uh...I don’t want to carry anything heavy,” he said, only admitting that because he knew Zell would take delight in it.

And the blonde man did, laughing and stepping to Squall, placing his hands onto Squall’s waist to pull him close.  

Looking up, Squall gently set his hands onto Zell’s shoulders, those gorgeous sapphire eye sparkling up with laughter and love.  Squall had meant to slowly caress Zell’s chest and shoulders, to slowly lower his mouth down against Zell’s -- who was very willing, Squall knew.  But the blonde man gave Squall no time for seduction, no time for slow foreplay.  Instead the blonde man yanked Squall to him and mashed their mouths together.

With his eyes closed, Squall felt Zell’s tongue penetrate his mouth and the powerful brunette SeeD allowed himself to find solace in his continued submission to his blonde partner.  Zell hungrily kissed Squall, his hands tightly gripping the brunette’s slender waist, the blonde’s heart swelling with devotion and love.  

Zell wanted to throw Squall onto that plastic covered mattress and his mind swirled with the thoughts of what kinds of sounds it would make as their bodies thrust together.  But he knew Squall was socially worn out, ‘grumpy’, and would only feel better after getting some things accomplished.

So, finally, with much regret, Zell pulled his tongue and lips from Squall and opened his sapphire eyes to watch Squall’s beautiful face.

The brunette man stood, eyes closed and lips parted, for awhile longer.  Then slowly, he opened his cloudy eyes too.

“Clothes?” asked Zell, looking up with an expression Squall had seen a thousand times from the blonde man: No smile, eyes focused, and every fiber in the blonde’s body waiting for an order.

Squall lightly caressed a hand over Zell’s tattooed cheek, earning a small smile from the sweet blonde man in return.  “Yes,” Squall said, “and Little Zell.”

A grin burst onto Zell’s face.  

“...I love you, Zell,” Squall said, a ghost smile on his lips.

A half second pause passed, the air thickening while Zell stared up in worship.  Then the sapphire eyes closed and Zell thrust himself to Squall’s chest, hugging Squall hard and with desperation.  “I love you, too,” he replied, nuzzling his cheek against Squall’s collarbone.

While holding Zell tightly, Squall thought about how he still hadn’t even scratched the surface of understanding if Leonhart loved Dincht, but Squall did to say those three words to Zell, to get Zell’s affection while giving Zell comfort.  No doubt the blonde man was swooning for the life Nymphic had presented, the Amyst-K’Oz life with kids filling those empty rooms and sitting around their non-existent dining room table.

Squall knew that since he couldn’t seem to find Leonhart’s emotions anymore, if they were even separate from Amyst’s, no doubt Zell was similarly lost.  No vacation could undo this mission, Squall had accepted that last week in Deling City.  So Squall would continue to play house with Zell while also working on the mission.  Maybe it was double duty, or maybe it was simply what Squall really wanted.  But answers were not required, not now.  And the brunette man would give Zell anything to stay happy and for Zell to keep protecting him with that powerful, perfect, Utopian body.


Fynt shook his head over and over, staring down at his desk in that warehouse, the vile man lost in a maze-work of thoughts.

“Sir?” Jiece said to his boss.

Not that Fynt understood love or could even use it properly in a sentence, but he thought that he loved Jerome -- not sexually, but like family.  Jerome had been completely devoted, Fynt’s right hand, they had been boss and subordinate for years and years.  

“I don’t understand,” Fynt mumbled to himself, still shaking his head.

Jiece sneered at Fynt with uncertainty.  

“He just never came back,” Fynt said, still navigating through that thought-maze.  “But,” he growled, his forehead wrinkling as he frowned.  He looked up to Jiece, who was a decent subordinate but still no Jerome.  “The attack on Fufu was complete.”  

“Yes, sir,” Jiece replied, the sneer transforming into more blatant worry.  “Video and everything done.  Fufu was killed.  Even though Denrick resurrected him, Fufu’s sanity was broken from the torture, he’s useless.”

“But where’s Jerome?” Fynt asked in an oddly childlike voice.

“No one knows, sir,” Jiece said.  “He just never came back.”

“Why?” Fynt asked but he immediately looked away from Jiece, his evil gaze turning to the window that allowed him to look down at the warehouse’s first floor.  He began to shake his head again.

“That attack on Denrick,” Jiece said, trying to distract Fynt from his psychosis, “was nothing sanctioned.  It turned out to be a simple bouncer from the Pink Pony.”

Fynt didn’t care.  He stood up and walked slow, broken steps to the single window to look down.  Maybe watching the rape and torture below could soothe him.

Jiece stepped up next to Fynt and said “It’s actually worth you looking into, sir.  ...Nymphic ended up hiring the bouncer.”

The words penetrated into Fynt and he briefly forgot to be miserable Jerome was gone.  “The bouncer that attacked Denrick?”

“Yes, sir,” Jiece replied.

Fynt looked away from the slaughter below and brought his evil gaze to his 23-year-old assistant’s face.  “What did Denrick get in return?” asked Fynt.

“Nothing,” Jiece said.

Fynt turned away from the young man and looked back down at the slaughter boxes.  He laid his hands on the large window’s sill, carefully thinking it over.  Finally, after at least a minute of silence, Fynt said “Clout... has signed on with me to aid in Nymphic’s downfall.  I wasn’t banking on Denrick, but I’ll discuss with Clout whether he thinks Denrick is amenable.”

Jiece nodded silently.

Fynt smiled and laughed lightly.  “So long as Denrick doesn’t want Dommy, too...”  The evil man turned to look at Jiece. “Since Clout’s got an eye for the boy.”  The man looked back through the window, happily thinking over the positive turn of events.

Jiece didn’t really want to ask but he had to: “Sir, did you want me to take over Jerome’s duties?  Contact Clout for you?”

Anguish enveloped Fynt’s face as he cringed, eyes practically watering.  “...I’d briefly forgotten.  ...Jerome.”

“If you have someone else in mind, sir,” Jiece said softly, watching Fynt with hidden caution, “I’ll get them here ASAP.”

“....No,” Fynt said softly.  He sighed heavily.  Jiece was no Jerome, but he’d have to do for now.  “You worked with Jerome, you know what to do.  Consider yourself promoted.”  He took another pause, eyes focusing on the scenes below again.  “...Set yourself up a team.  Use Jerome’s files.”  Then Fynt quickly looked at Jiece and said eagerly “If you get any information about where Jerome is!  What happened to him!”

Jiece nodded quickly and said “I will tell you while doing everything in my power to bring him back to you.”

Fynt smiled at Jiece.  “Good,” said Fynt, then he looked back down.  “Send up the woman in box three.”

“...As is?” Jiece asked, a knot in his stomach, wishing he didn’t have to ask.  Jerome would have known what Fynt wanted and how.

“Um,” Fynt said, tilting his head to the side as he started down.  Then he grinned and his eyes lit up while he said “Surprise me!”

With that, Jiece turned and slipped out of the room.  While he considered Fynt to be completely fucking crazy, the young man could not deny the opportunity for money and power this organization had given him.


Zell carried the bolt of new medium sized cardboard moving boxes up the stairs as Squall followed behind him.

“You know,” Zell said, climbing passed the second floor of that old and dingy apartment building, “I’m sure glad all the stores here in Dollet are open so late.”

“Well,” Squall replied, only bothering to speak because he was speaking to Zell, “at least here in East Dollet.”

“All I know is,” said Zell, “stores in Balamb are closed by like 8:00 PM.”

Squall looked up, meaning to see if they were about to the third floor, but his grey-blue eyes settled on Zell’s ass -- which was about level with his cloudy gaze as they walked up.  The brunette man, even though tired and grumpy, felt a smile twinge on the side of his lips.  Even in those semi-baggy jeans, Zell’s ass was gorgeous.

With a heavy grunt-sigh Zell yanked the third-floor door open then carried the bolt of boxes down the hall towards dingy apartment 308.  

“I hope no one touches my car,” Zell mumbled, lugging the boxes along.

If Squall had been in a better mood, he might have laughed.  As it was, he only mustered a small smile.  “You car will be fine,” Squall said softly.

“When we go back,” Zell said, figuring Squall understood that he was referring to Balamb Garden, “we should get a couple cars like it.  The ones...there...are so old and ugly.”

Squall considered Zell’s complaint as the blonde man set the boxes down to lean against himself while retrieving keys to unlock the apartment door.

“There’s no where to really drive around out there,” said Squall.

“To town,” Zell replied, picking up the bolt of boxes after the door swung open and then the blonde man dragged the boxes in.

Even though Squall did not reply, the idea had already settled into the High Commander’s mind and he would, without ever needing to be reminded again, order a few newer cars for Balamb Garden’s garage -- for Zell.

Zell tossed the bolt of boxes down near the scratched up coffee table and walked to the kitchen for a knife to cut the bindings and for duct tape to put the boxes together.  Back in the living room, Zell cut the stack free and said “I’ll start taping the boxes up, baby, you go figure out what you want to take with us from the kitchen.”

It was easy enough for Squall to pick out the things he’d take to their new condo: The food from the fridge, their plates and flatware, the toaster and other small appliances.  Then from the rest of the house: Clothing, toiletries, Little Zell, lube, and the blankets and pillows from their bed; though he’d still have to order larger blankets for their new, non-lumpy extra-gigantic bed.

“I should call Seifer,” Squall said, trying to sound happy like Amyst would be.  “Tell him about your new job.”  The brunette man wasn’t sure if he was pulling it off very well, since he honestly still felt ‘grumpy’, but at the very least he’d seen the visual quality of the cameras (when he’d been at Fufu’s) and therefore the lackluster smile he currently wore shouldn’t have been noticeable.

“Okay,” Zell called while wrestling with a box, trying to fold it properly before he’d start the battle with the duct tape.  “Actually,” the blonde man said, pausing his losing fight, “I should call at least Chad, since he dropped us off.  Tell him it went smoothly.”

“You want me to do that too?” Squall asked as he dialed the phone.

“’Kay,” Zell said then went back to working on the box.

Squall wasn’t surprised when Genix answered and, similar to the conversation yesterday, Squall relayed to the boy what happened, and the boy relayed it to Seifer.  After their goodbyes, Squall called Chad and told the burly bouncer about the new job, the new condo and subsequent move, then quickly about the car when Chad asked if they needed a ride.  

No doubt, the brunette SeeD knew, Chad was mind-blown by Zell’s fortune, and without any further input from Squall, all of the Pink Pony would soon know Zell was now working for Burno Nymphic himself.

Done with the phone calls, Squall headed back into the living room where Zell sat, working on box number three.  As Squall picked up one of the boxes to bring to the kitchen, he said “You should go to the Pink Pony tomorrow so that you can talk to Roy about quitting.”

“Oh yea,” Zell said, looking up from his work.  “Damn, I got to do that too.  How come there’s so much shit to do just because I got a new job?”

While holding an empty box, Squall shrugged.  “...Aren’t you happy?”

“Hyne yes!” Zell replied, smiling up at Squall.  “I got you your condo, baby.”  The blonde man hoped Squall was proud of that.

After smiling at Zell with compliant approval, Squall took a step back to head to the kitchen again, but he thought a moment and stopped to ask “How’d Nymphic know to get us a condominium?”

Zell shook his head, attention focused back on the battle with the tape.  “Maybe he heard about me asking about condo prices after we got back from our vacation?”

Squall wanted to talk more about that, more about how much Nymphic knew about them, about how Nymphic probably watched videos from their apartment’s camera feed, about Denrick and the possibility of retribution still.  But they were back under the scrutiny of those cameras and any watching eyes (a set of which may have belonged to Denrick, plotting against them that very moment).  So Squall could not talk about things Amyst wouldn’t, and so instead, Squall tried to think of what Amyst should have been saying.

“I love you,” Squall said, smiling meekly down at Zell.

“I love you too, baby,” Zell said, turning up one again, those sapphire eyes sparkling sweetly.

After exchanging that smile and loving look with Zell, Squall walked back to the kitchen, continuing his Amyst charade.  “After I decorate our new place,” the brunette man said, trying to sound happy about it, “I can start planning our wedding.”

“Our wedding!” Zell said with excitement.  

“A big wedding, right?” asked Squall as he began to wrap dishes in kitchen towels to stack into the box.  “All your friends.  A big dance hall afterwards where we can celebrate.”

As Zell worked on the rest of the boxes, he smiled to himself, imagining the Hyne Church and Squall walking down the isle.  Of course, Zell did not expect Squall to wear a wedding dress, but the idea did turn him on.  “I know you’ll wear a suit for the wedding,” Zell said, eyes still on his work.  “But maybe... like if it’s not super weird, we can get a bride dress for you to wear afterwards?”

“You mean for you to fuck me in?” asked Squall.

“Yeah,” Zell said.  “Only if it doesn’t sound weird or stupid.”

Squall set down another wrapped plate into the box, letting his fingers linger over the white linen as he thought it over.  Of course he’d wear a dress for Zell.  Fuck, he’d wear a damned dress at the wedding itself -- their undercover assignment’s wedding -- if Zell wanted.  Whatever Zell wanted.  

“Zell,” Squall said with subdued amusement, “I’ll wear a dress for you.  You can parade me around in it, fuck me in it, spank me in it.  We can pretend I’m your virgin wife.  Anything you want.”

After a pause filled the apartment and while looking down at the boxes, Zell grinned with his nose wrinkled and said “I’m turned on.”

Still in the kitchen, Squall’s mind filled with the image of Zell’s hard and thick cock, fully engorged and throbbing, sticking up from the beautiful blonde pubic hair.  Briefly, Squall closed his eyes and lost himself in the idea of being fucked by that dick while wearing a wedding dress.  All the positions, the texture of the dress, the hardness of Zell’s perfect cock and body.

Opening his eyes, Squall tried to focus back on reality.  His own dick was now hard and would be distracting while he packed, but he wanted to go to that new condo and not get lost here, having sex with Zell -- even if Squall was considering rushing into the living room to suck on the hard delicious cock that was waiting for him.  The brunette SeeD pushed those desires to the side.  If they went to that new condo, Squall could escape being perky Amyst and instead have hours of sex with Zell as his grumpy, stoic self.

Maybe finally, like that first month here, Squall could have a sanctuary, could have a piece of Balamb Garden in Dollet.  With that resolution reinforcing Squall’s task, the brunette man returned to the matter of packing up the kitchen.

They packed up their things quickly enough, Zell carrying boxes out to the car as Squall finished taping up the last.  All that remained in the dingy apartment was furnishings when they were done.  Their old apartment looked empty, and Zell felt a twinge of remorse for leaving it as he shut the front door that final time, locking apartment 308.  Squall had suggested they donate their old furniture, which the brunette man said he’d call about later.  Zell was happy he did not have to worry about that.

“Can’t believe all our belongings actually fit into the car,” Zell said when he climbed into the driver’s seat of the Galbadia Charge.  “It seemed like so much, but now, with it all stacked in the trunk and back seat, it’s like... hardly anything.”

Squall was sitting in the passenger seat, Little Zell on his lap, his bag of library books at his feet.  “It’s going to look like even less once we get to that gigantic condominium.”

The car roared on and Zell pulled out of the broken glass littered parking lot.

Looking out the window at the darkness of early nighttime, Squall said “We should probably throw a house warming party, once we’ve gotten furniture and whatnot.”

“That sounds awesome,” Zell said happily, driving his fancy car with concealed pleasure.  “Jeff and Chad will freak seeing our new place.”

Squall looked down to Little Zell on his lap, moving his right hand to gently play with the mane’s strands of faux fur. “It will be good keeping up those Pink Pony friendships.  K’Oz would have a strong affinity for those people.”

“Right,” Zell said, gripping the dragon hide steering wheel tighter.   He did, beyond the K’Oz persona, have a strong affinity for the friends he’d made at that club-bar.  It suddenly hit him, though he’d always known, that once the mission was over he’d never see Jeff or Chad, Teresa or Jessica, Luke or any of them ever again.  It made Zell sad and he couldn’t wrap his head around how life could be real once the mission was over.

The people from the Pink Pony would all probably be told Zell K’Oz and Squall Amyst were killed.  Or one was killed and the other moved away.  Or maybe K’Oz was arrested and Amyst was left alone, without protection or love.  It was enough to make Zell want to cry, and his sapphire eyes began to water as he drove.

Of course, nothing like that would happen to him or High Commander Squall Leonhart.  They’d just go back to Balamb Garden.  But Zell couldn’t help the heartbreak that suddenly ran rampant through him, shredding his delicate heart.

Squall was staring out the window, chin to palm, elbow against the car door, happy to not have to drag out a conversation.  It was soothing, peaceful, and it allowed him to think about Dommy and Daniel, and how he could use them to stroll through that mansion for evidence and secrets.  The only issue Squall had to deal with would be Nymphic’s suspicions, suspicions that Amyst would be trying to fuck his son or at least some other devious purpose behind Amyst’s actions.  Squall, however, was confident that Nymphic would soon believe Amyst was a sweet and timid gay man, who only took (non-sexual) pleasure in the fact that Dommy was a sweet boy.

Zell sniffed softly without meaning to, gaining Squall’s attention.

“...Zell?” Squall said, moving his chin away from his hand as he turned to half frown at Zell.

“Sorry,” Zell mumbled, a silent tear sliding down his cheek.

Reaching over to touch Zell’s shoulder, Squall asked “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Zell said, shaking his head.  He felt too foolish to explain to his High Commander why he was crying.

Squall took his hand back, setting it on his lap beside Little Zell.  “...Is it me?” asked Squall, worried that his un-Amyst behavior had upset Zell.

“No,” Zell quickly said, shaking his head, eyes fixed on the road ahead as he drove.  He had to say something, quickly, to satisfy Squall’s worry.  The blonde man blurted out a lie: “I was just thinking about my mom.”

Absently, Squall grabbed Little Zell and held the toy tightly.  He looked away from Zell, bringing his grey-blue eyes to the road ahead of them.  The brunette man’s mind spun with responses, but none of them sounded proper.  

Finally, after letting the silence linger far too long -- and Squall knew it had been too long -- Squall said “I’m starving.  When we get to the condo, I’ll make us dinner.”

Zell sniffed again, nodding without saying anything.

“How’s an Estharian stir fry sound?” Squall asked.

While Zell was still sad from the thoughts of K’Oz and Amyst’s fate, as well as the friendships he would soon lose, the blonde man more than appreciated that Squall was trying to comfort him.  And it was comfort in such an awkward way, stern, just like how Squall Leonhart would try.

Turning the Galbadian Charge into the parking garage below their new condominium complex, Zell took a breath and smiled.  “I love you, Squall,” he said, glancing over to the man who was attempting not to look grumpy.

“I love you, too, Zell,” said Squall in a firm but kind tone, no smile as he locked eyes briefly with Zell.

The car was soon off and in a parking space, and then the two man rode up the elevator, nodding to the guard stationed there doing what was no doubt a dull job.  Zell carried in a box labeled ‘Kitchen’, Squall carried Little Zell and the library book bag.

In their condo, Squall went about unpacking and searching for what he needed to cook while putting perishables away, Zell meanwhile headed back down to the car to slowly retrieve the boxes. (The guard in the elevator allowed Zell to fill the compartment with boxes so that Zell didn’t have to make the eight-floor ride up and down more than twice.)

A little more than hour later, Squall was sitting in the dining room on the floor with his back against the wall, Zell seated next to him.  Each had a plate of stir fry on their laps.  The only noise in the apartment was a soft hum from the washing machine from down the hall, otherwise it was silent.  Back in their dingy apartment on that grungy street, there was always music or TV sounds coming from behind the walls, the clamor of people yelling or fucking or of kids screaming.

Zell had nearly finished his entire plate of food while Squall had barely managed a few bites, and even without cameras forcing them to play their lover roles, Squall set his food to the side and while standing up took Zell’s plate to refill.

The furniture brochures, pamphlets, and magazines were scattered on Zell’s left, the blonde man flipping through them and circling the things he liked -- to help Squall decorate.  If Zell hadn’t been so consumed with the delight he took as he thumbed through the pages, he would have remembered to argue with Squall about being a maidservant.  After all, Zell still considered himself the slave and Squall the master, though perhaps it would take time for Zell to regain the subordinate role -- and perhaps only completely once they were back at Balamb Garden.

Zell accepted the newly filled plate absently and circled another piece of furniture.

Squall, while sitting down, was about to explain to Zell that the blonde man was supposed to only circle a few things he wanted, not half the magazines.  The brunette man stopped, though, deciding it wasn’t worth the argument.  His blonde companion was obviously having too much fun circling three or four things a page, and in the end Squall would just sort it out himself.

“Tomorrow you need to go to the Pink Pony,” Squall said, picking up his own plate to continue to eat.  “Tell Roy in person you got a new job.”

“Okay,” Zell said, sapphire eyes still scanning through the pages.

“And stop by an electronics store to pick yourself up a big TV.”  Squall took a bite of his meal.

“Yea!” Zell said with excitement.  He turned to look at Squall.  “You think all the furniture will be here by this weekend?!”

Chewing, Squall nodded.  After he swallowed, he said “I’ll have it overnighted.”

“We can have the house warming slash Blitz Ball party this weekend then,” Zell said happily, turning back to circle more.

Squall was slightly surprised at how much Zell was enjoying himself, after all, as the legendary SeeD they were privileged.  It wasn’t like Zell had never had access to nice things before.  Squall opened his mouth, about to ask Zell about his Balamb Garden dorm and why decorating this condo was so exciting for the blonde man, but Squall bit his tongue.  He was too tired to start another conversation.  Instead, Squall went back to eating slowly, his grey-blue eyes lowering down.  The cloudy spheres then settled on the library book bag that sat a few feet away.

The brunette man set his plate to the side and shifted over onto his knees to crawl those few feet and stretch to grab the bag and drag it back to where he’d been sitting against the wall.

Zell looked up from his glee filled circling, first to look at Squall’s ass, then to watch with soft amusement as the brunette man retrieved the library book Undone.

Smiling, sapphire eyes sparkling with laughter, Zell said “You going to read that to me tonight?”

Squall paused opening the book at the receipt bookmark and turned slowly to look at Zell’s smirk.  Unable to stop himself, Squall smiled a shy smile back.  


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