Love Potion

BY : voltress
Category: Final Fantasy VIII > Yaoi - Male/Male > Squall/Zell
Dragon prints: 917
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VIII, nor the characters therein. I don't make money off this story.


Love Potion



Day One

Squall strolled down the corridor to the cafeteria.  He ignored people as he went, pretending -- for the most part -- to be reading the report he carried, but he was honestly too tired to process the words yet.  



The day never started for Squall until he’d had his first cup of coffee, that black liquid swirling with dark chocolate flavoring and one packet of sugar -- sweet but not too sweet.  



Almost to his destination, he was stopped twenty feet from the entrance to the cafeteria’s main hall.



“Squall!” Rinoa said happily.  



“Uh,” Squall replied, and although he didn’t want to make eye contact with her, he knew he had no choice.  They were supposed to be trying to date, trying to figure out their future now that Time Compression was over and Ultimecia was dead.  



“Here!” Rinoa said, holding out a tall, white Styrofoam cup with a red heart drawn on it.



“...”  Squall stared at her, waiting.



She practically beamed.  “Your coffee, Headmaster!” she said.  



Maybe Rinoa knew how Squall liked his coffee, after all they’d had breakfast together a lot recently.  Reluctantly, Squall accepted the cup.  Steam emanated from the dark color, and Squall was relieved that she hadn’t put milk in it.  Maybe it would be his favorite dark chocolate semisweet coffee.



A smile twitched on Squall’s face and he honestly meant to smile, but it wasn’t the easiest for him.  “Thanks,” he said softly.



Rinoa nodded.  “Tell me if you like it.”



He lowered his eyes to the dark liquid before bringing the cup up to his lips.  It didn’t smell like his normal chocolate-flavored coffee, and inwardly he sighed, but he knocked the cup back anyway for a sip -- he might as well pretend it was what he wanted.



“Squall!” Zell called from Squall’s right, the hyperactive blonde quickly heading to the cafeteria for breakfast.



Squall felt the liquid fill his mouth and he turned to look at Zell.  As the coffee flowed down Squall’s throat, his first thought was that it was far too sweet and too plain, but maybe with a hint of strawberry or something he’d never had in coffee before.



“How’s it going, baby?” Zell said, coming to a halt where Squall and Rinoa were.



The Styrofoam cup lowered from Squall’s lips and suddenly he couldn’t pull his eyes off Zell.  The background seemed to vanish and the tattooed man’s sapphire eyes seemed to shimmer in a way that entranced Squall.



“Eh, Rinny,” Zell said.  Squall’s heart swelled as he looked at the worried expression, the pinched eyebrows and wrinkled nose, on the sweet and compassionate blonde man’s face.  “You look horrified....” Zell said to the sorceress.



Absently, and while still staring at Zell, Squall took another drink of the coffee.  The world seemed to spin around Zell Dincht, who was now standing with his muscular arms crossed, frowning at whoever was standing to Squall’s left, but... Squall couldn’t remember who that was and it didn’t matter.



“Zell,” Squall said airily, as though he’d never said a more beautiful word in his entire life.



The beautiful, sparkling sapphire spheres turned away from the other person and met with Squall’s heart-shaped cloudy eyes.



“Ah ...Squall?” Zell asked, his frown fading as his eyes began to widen.  “What’s up?”



The cloudy grey-blue spheres slowly looked over Zell’s body, over Zell’s shoulders, over the crossed muscular arms, over the blonde man’s crotch, then down to the calves visible under the extra-large shorts -- then all the way, just as slowly, back up.



“I, uh, gotta... go,” Zell said.  Had Squall just looked him up and down like a chunk of meat?  Naw, that’d be weird.



“You look,” Squall said quickly before Zell had a chance to step around him, “nice today.”



Zell tried to smile, but his eyes were still watching Squall with worry.  “Thanks, baby.”  He then looked away and began to walk around Squall and Rinoa.  He was about to shake his head when Squall spoke again.



“New hair cut?” asked Squall.



Zell stopped and turned back to Squall.  Rinoa was still standing next to the Headmaster, the look of horror still on her face, staring at the back of Squall’s head.



“No,” Zell said.



“New shorts?” asked Squall.



Zell rubbed the back of his neck.  “Naw,” he said.  He then glanced down to his clothes before turning back up to Squall.  



“You look,” said Squall, a half smile on his face as he spoke, “really... good.”



“I’ma go,” Zell said plainly, “eat some hot dogs.”



“Of course,” said Squall, his voice soft, like a melody.  “See you later!”



Zell stepped backwards, frowning.  “Uh, yea.  Right.”  He then quickly turned and ran into the cafeteria.



Squall let out a soft sigh as he watched Zell run.  He took another sip of the coffee, unable to pull his eyes away from where Zell was standing in the food line.  The blonde man was rubbing the back of his neck, shaking his head.  Squall couldn’t imagine anything more adorable than Zell at that moment while the sexy blonde stood there.



“Squall,” someone said.  



“Un?” Squall mumbled.



Someone’s hand was on his arm.  “Squall!”



“...Uh, yea?” Squall mumbled, turning his head but unable to pull his eyes off Zell’s body.



A hand was on his cheek, forcing him to turn his head further. “Squall!” that voice said again.



Finally, and Squall was certain his heart cracked as it happened, he pulled his eyes off Zell and turned to whoever was standing with him.  Oh, that’s right, Rinoa.  “Um, yes?” Squall said.  His head swirled around with confusion.



“Oh my Hyne,” she said softly, staring up at him.



Squall frowned at her.



“You..” she mumbled.  “You should go to your office.”



Squall turned to look down at the Styrofoam cup in his hand.



“I’ll come see you a little later,” Rinoa said.



The coffee was too sweet and all Squall wanted to do was go into the cafeteria and get into line to order himself his normal cup.  But that might offend Rinoa -- after all she was supposed to be his girlfriend.   But... Zell was in line.



Squall quickly turned back to the cafeteria to see Zell had moved up and now a few people were behind the blonde martial artist.  The blonde man was bouncing happily as he got his food, obviously talking to the cafeteria woman who was laughing.  



An icy-cold hand reached into Squall’s chest to squeeze his heart and all he felt was pure agony.  Zell.  Squall wanted to be the one who laughed and joked with Zell, wanted to be the one who made Zell bounce and smile.



The person with Squall was talking again, but Squall didn’t care to listen to them.



He felt tears begin to fill his eyes and he looked away from Zell.  He frowned sadly and sniffed in.  His chest was so tight.  His gaze lowered to the coffee again and he knew it wasn’t worth getting a different cup.  Life was meaningless without Zell.  Slowly, Squall turned away from the cafeteria and began to head towards the Garden’s main hall so he could go up to his office.



He didn’t want his delicious chocolate coffee.  He didn’t want coffee at all.  He didn’t want joy at all -- not without Zell.



Squall’s legs felt as though they were made out of stone, heavier and heavier each step he took away from where the light of the world was.  He wanted to turn and run back to the cafeteria, run to Zell and pull the blonde into his arms.



“Hey, Squall,” Seifer said.



Squall looked up: The large egomaniac blonde man was a few feet from him.



“What’s with the fag cup?” Seifer asked.



Squall stopped walking and frowned at Seifer.  “What?”



Seifer pointed at the Styrofoam cup in Squall’s hand.



Squall lifted up the cup and saw the hand-drawn heart on it.  Oh, that’s right, Rinoa had gotten him coffee this morning.  He sniffed sadly and handed the cup to Seifer.



“It’s coffee,” Squall said softly.



Seifer sneered.  “Drink it yourself.  I don’t want your nasty bitter coffee.”



“Rinoa got it for me,” Squall said with a sigh.  “It’s some weird strawberry thing. Way too sweet.”



The sneer faded and Seifer half smiled as he said bitterly “Won’t your girl get pissed if she sees me drinking your present?”



“I was just going to throw it away,” Squall said.  He began to lower the cup back down but Seifer quickly stepped forward and took it.



Strawberries were, after all, Seifer’s favorite.  He’d never had strawberry coffee, never even heard of it before, and he liked the idea.  Besides, stupid-ass Squall was just going to toss it out.



Squall stared at the cement ground, unable to get his feet to move again.



“I turned that report in last night,” Seifer said, bringing the cup up to his lips.



“Report?” Squall asked, turning up to Seifer.



“Yea,” the blonde man said before knocking the cup back.  The coffee flowed into Seifer’s mouth and down his throat.   “You know, about the new... SeeD Discipline Office... I set up.”  Life vanished from comprehension as Seifer fixated on the sadness etching out from the Headmaster’s cloudy eyes, and Seifer’s heart began to ache.



“Oh, yea,” Squall said softly.  



Seifer stepped closer to Squall, feeling as though his own heart might break in two.  Squall looked immaculate, like polished marble, beautiful in its absolute perfection.  Seifer didn’t know why Squall was hurt, but a wave of devotion hit Seifer hard and he knew he had to take Squall’s pain away.  



Gently, Seifer put a hand on Squall’s shoulder, at the base of Squall’s neck, on the soft fur of the man’s coat.  He caressed this thumb on the milky flesh of the perfect Headmaster.



“What’s wrong?” Seifer asked softly.



“...” Squall’s cloudy grey-blue eyes looked up at Seifer, glistening in the light.



It was all Seifer could do to control himself, prevent himself from pulling Squall into his arms and kissing the stoic man deeply.



“Do you think,” Squall asked, “I’m pretty?”



A huge smile appeared on Seifer’s face.  “Hyne, yes,” Seifer said with a heavy breath, moving his hand to caress Squall’s neck and cheek.



“Like... a girl?” Squall asked.  He would never have asked anyone that, especially not Seifer “Mr. Ego” Almasy, but all Squall could think of was whether Zell might have thought he was pretty, whether Zell might have liked to touch Squall, whether Zell would push those beautiful lips to Squall’s.



Seifer’s body was almost pressed against Squall’s.  “Yes,” he said softly, looking down with devotion, feeling swirls of adoration overcoming his normal narcissistic outlook.  “You are beyond comparison, Squall.”



Squall bit his lower lip, looking from Seifer’s face to the man’s strong chest, which was less than a foot from him.  But Squall didn’t even question Seifer’s proximity at that moment: Zell was the only thing he firmly believed existed.



“Hey guys,” someone said to the right of Seifer, interrupting the large blonde man from his plans to kiss Squall.



Squall turned away from Seifer’s chest to where Irvine was walking up to them.



“What are you two doing?” Irvine asked with a half smile.



“Mind your own business!” Seifer snapped.



“Oh,” Squall said absently.  He lifted the papers he’d been carrying and looked at them.  “I need to go to my office.”  He then slowly turned away from Seifer and Irvine, back on his sluggish trek to the elevators.



“Squall!” Seifer cried out.



Squall stopped three feet from Seifer and turned back around.



Seifer didn’t know what to say.  He wanted to chase after Squall and beg Squall to let him just stand near him.  He hated the idea of breathing without being able to smell Squall’s delicious scent.



Squall smiled a decent but meager smile at Seifer.  “Bye,” he said.



“Bye,” Seifer said, his voice quivering a little.  He wavered, but knew Squall had important work to do, and Seifer needed to respect that.



Squall had already turned back around and had begun walking again to his office, and Seifer watched with lovelorn eyes.



“Wow, Seifer,” Irvine said as he stood with the egotistical blonde man.  “What drugs are you on?”



Seifer turned to the cowboy and frowned deeply.  “Fuck off,” he snapped and then turned to walk back to the cafeteria, lifting the sweet strawberry coffee up to his lips.  



After taking a small sip, Seifer looked down, while walking, to examine the dark liquid in the Styrofoam cup.  Squall had drank out of this cup, had his gorgeous mouth against the cup edge, and the liquid had flowed over Squall’s tongue.



Seifer breathed out heavily as he looked up.



Irvine had joined Seifer, as he was also heading to the cafeteria for breakfast.  He saw the Styrofoam cup and the little heart hand-drawn on it.



“You know that cup has a heart on it, right?” Irvine asked with amusement.



Seifer turned and sneered at Irvine.  The cowboy was trying to belittle the cute cup Seifer had gotten from sexy Squall.



“Squall gave it to me!” Seifer snapped.



“And you took it?” Irvine asked, trying not to laugh.



Seifer kept frowning but looked back forward again as he said “It’s strawberry coffee.”



“Wow, really?” Irvine said.  “I didn’t know they made that.”



“Strawberry is my favorite,” said Seifer.  It was beyond his normal poise to offer information to people, and certainly beyond his ego to offer information to Irvine -- Squall was the only person he’d ever really confided in.  But the fact that Squall had given him the heart-cup and that it was his favorite flavor swelled Seifer’s chest with vanity.



“Let me have a sip,” Irvine said.



Seifer’s brow lowered and he sneered at Irvine.  “Fuck off,” he said angrily.



“C’mon,” Irvine said. “I didn’t even know they made strawberry coffee.”



“Never in a billion fucking years!” Seifer growled.



Irvine scoffed but he was smiling.  “Why?” he asked.   “Cause Sqwally-poo gave it to you?”



Seifer wanted to strangle Irvine, and he might have if he hadn’t been holding the coffee Squall had given him.  He wordlessly glared at Irvine, debating how fast Irvine would run if Seifer set the coffee down.



Irvine, still smiling, stepped back from Seifer and shook his head.  “I’ma go find Selphie,” he said with a light laugh.  He turned away from Seifer and looked around the cafeteria for Selphie.



Thank Hyne,” Seifer thought as Irvine left.  He lifted the delicious coffee up, immediately imagining his lips were touching the same part of the cup that Squall had drank from, and turned to walk towards the food line.



He didn’t even get four steps when one of the younger kids, maybe 12 years old, barreled into him, the coffee spilling everywhere -- all over him, the kid, and the floor.  The cup was also crushed.



“WHAT THE FUCK!” Seifer yelled at the kid.



The younger kid looked up at Seifer with his eyes wide, mouth half open.



“Are you fucking kidding me!” Seifer yelled.  He was pretty sure he was going to mutilate this kid.  The delicious coffee had been wasted and the heart-cup destroyed.  “I’m going to beat the fuck out of you!”



“Ah!” the kid screamed and ran from Seifer, out of the cafeteria.



Seifer watched the kid run, the blonde man’s teeth grinding together, but he was unwilling to look stupid by chasing the kid.  But for fucking sure his Disciplinary Committee students were going to go after that kid for the rest of that kid’s SeeD career.  



~*~



Squall couldn’t read the information in his reports as he sat in his office.  He’d tried, for the life of him, he’d tried.  But each word on every report distorted and became “Zell”.  Over and over, all Squall could see was “Zell”.  The periods looked like little hearts, the commas looked like little moons, question marks like shooting stars.



Leaning forward, setting an elbow on his desk, Squall put his chin into his palm and held up another report, reading “Zell” over and over again.  Thinking even the name of the sexy tattooed blonde man sent shock waves through Squall.



He’d always appreciated Zell’s friendship and the close bond they shared throughout Sorceress Ultimecia’s plots of world destruction.  Squall had eagerly and readily dove into danger to save Zell’s life, and Zell had done the same for him.  And now, Squall understood what he truly felt for Zell.



As Squall sat in his office, reading Zell’s name over hundreds of times, Squall was certain his chest would crack open from the swelling of his heart.  



He was utterly in love with Zell Dincht.



~*~



Rinoa sat in her dorm room, eyes wide, tapping her fingers on the pages in the old grimoire she’d bought in Esthar.



At the top of the page that she had flipped to was the title “Love Potion” written in cute swirly letters.



Her intentions had been good, maybe sweet even.  And frankly she hadn’t honestly believed the love potion would work.  She’d never heard of one before, at least not outside of fairy tales, so the idea of the love potion working was ridiculous.



Her plan had been to give Squall the love potion-spiked coffee, have him say it was good (to humor her, she knew), and then for her to giggle and tell him he was now under her spell.  As a joke!



But Rinoa had seen the look in Squall’s eyes after he took that sip and his eyes set on Zell.  She saw the hearts practically form out of his cloudy spheres.  And the way he spoke to Zell, looked at Zell!  Rinoa couldn’t believe it.



She was just thankful Squall listened to her and went up to the Headmaster office to do work.  Although Rinoa did see the heartbreak in every body movement Squall made as he walked off.



Rinoa’s next move was to think for awhile, standing in that hallway a few feet from the cafeteria, arms crossed and foot tapping.  The only person she could trust was Selphie, Rinoa had decided, so she rushed into the cafeteria and scanned the room, desperate to find the hyper little girl for support.



Selphie wasn’t there, nor in the Quad when Rinoa checked there as well.  Eventually Rinoa went back to her own dorm to read over the Love Potion page again.  



Three hours later, Rinoa had scanned the entire book and reread the Love Potion page a hundred times, no antidote or cure anywhere in sight.



~*~



“Squall like freaked me out earlier,” Zell said to Selphie.



“Oh?” Selphie replied.  They walked together through the halls, to the Quad to work on another festival Selphie had designed -- Fall Festival!



“I wish you’d come to breakfast,” Zell said, his eyes slightly wide and he shook his head.



Selphie half smiled, a few crinkles on her nose.  “What’d I miss?”



“He like...” Zell said, a half sneer on his face.  “I dunno, Selphie.  It was embarrassing.”



Selphie snorted a laugh.  “What did he do?!”



“He said I looked nice,” Zell said awkwardly.  “And it kinda felt like he was... looking.  Like, you know, looking.”



Selphie roared with laughter.  “He must have been messing with you.  Maybe you had a dirty shirt on or something.”



Zell’s awkward sneer faded and he frowned as he looked down at himself.  No, his shirt looked clean.  He then raised his arm and sniffed himself: Well, he smelled clean too.



Selphie shoved Zell lightly.



“I guess you’re right,” Zell said softly.  “It was just...”  He didn’t bother finishing the sentence and he sighed.  “I’m just stupid.  He had to have been messing with me.”



“Hey, cowgirl,” Irvine said as the two hyper SeeDs approached the main area of the Quad.  “Sup, Zell.”



Selphie walked to Irvine and wrapped her arms around his middle to hug him.  “Sorry I missed breakfast,” she said to him.



Irvine hugged her back.  “It’s alright.”



Selphie stepped back a little, one arm still around Irvine’s waist.  Zell was standing near the couple, hands in his pockets.



“I’m actually bummed I decided to go into Balamb to order decorations first thing,” Selphie said as she shook her head.  “Zell was telling me the funniest thing.”



“Aw,” Zell groaned, taking his hands out of his pockets to cross his arms.  “Don’t tell Irvine...”



Selphie glanced to the tattooed blonde and smiled then turned back to look up at Irvine. Selphie said “Apparently Squall was hitting on Zell.”



Irvine didn’t laugh, like Selphie had expected.  Nor did he even smile.  He turned to Zell, whose cheeks were deep red.



“He was just kidding with me,” Zell mumbled halfheartedly.



“What?” Selphie said to Irvine, her smiling fading as the auburn-haired cowboy frowned at Zell.



“I saw Squall with Seifer earlier,” Irvine said.



Zell looked up to Irvine’s light blue eyes.



“Seifer was...” Irvine paused to shake his head.  He let out a light laugh before he continued, “almost hugging Squall.  And they were so close to each other, it sure looked like they were gonna kiss.”



“Ew,” Zell said, sneering.



“But they didn’t kiss, right?” Selphie said.



Irvine turned to her.  “Well... Like the next moment Squall walked off like he was on some serious sleeping pills or something and Seifer ... man it was weird.  It was like Seifer was going to cry as Squall walked away.”



Zell shifted his weight, arms crossed again.  “What the hell?”



“Selphie!” Rinoa called out.



The three SeeD turned to watch Rinoa run towards them, down the stairs and across the open Quad.



“Selphie!” Rinoa said happily, out of breath but smiling.  “I really need to talk to you.”



“Is Squall gay?” Selphie asked.



Rinoa’s smile vanished.  “Uh...”  She looked from Selphie to Irvine, and from Irvine to Zell who was blushing deeply.  Rinoa smiled weakly at Zell and said “Oh, um, about that earlier with Squall.  He was just... tired.”



“What about Seifer?” Irvine asked.  



Rinoa turned quickly to Irvine and her dark brown eyes went wide.  “Seifer?!” she asked.



“I hate to tell you,” Irvine said to the girl, “but he was practically humping your boyfriend earlier.”



“Oh Hyne,” Rinoa said softly, unable to tear her eyes off of Irvine.  Seifer too?!



“Are they dating?” Selphie asked, dropping her arm away from Irvine.



Rinoa turned her wide-eyed expression to Selphie.



Selphie’s eyes went wide and she leaned slightly towards Rinoa.  “Are you their beard?!”



Rinoa sneered with confusion. “What? Beard? What?”



“You know,” Selphie said quietly.  “Dating Squall so that he and Seifer don’t have to tell anyone they’re together.”



“What...?  No!” Rinoa said.  She stepped forward and took Selphie’s hand.  “You have to come with me, I have to show you something.”



“Okay,” Selphie said, holding Rinoa’s hand tightly.



As the two girls walked away quickly, Irvine and Zell heard Rinoa say “I did something bad, Selphie.”



Irvine hooked his thumbs into the belt hoops on his pants.  “What the hell could Rinoa have done that caused Seifer and Squall both to go gay?”



Zell glanced to Irvine and frowned.   The tattooed blonde hated the idea of Seifer and Squall dating.  Like he wanted Seifer’s grubby hands all over Squall.  Not that Zell was gay!  He had a girlfriend, after all!  C’mon!  It was just, Squall could do a billion times better than Seifer.



~*~



Selphie had her head cocked to the side, hands on her hips.  “That might explain Squall,” Selphie said to Rinoa.  “But why’s Seifer suddenly gay?”  



“He must have drank Squall’s coffee,” Rinoa said.



Selphie raised an eyebrow at Rinoa.  “So they share coffee?”



Rinoa glanced down to the open grimoire and pressed her full lips together.  “Well, that’s,” she said, looking back up to Selphie, “the only thing I can think happened.”



Selphie stepped forward and looked down at the open grimoire again.  “So, you,” Selphie said, turning back up to Rinoa’s chocolate eyes.  “You managed to make a working love potion and turned not only Squall gay, but Seifer as well?”



Rinoa crossed one arm over her abs, under her breasts, and lifted the second hand to press the side of her index finger against her lips.  She moved the hand away from her mouth before she said “Yes!  And there’s no antidote!”



Selphie burst into laughter.



“It’s not funny!” Rinoa said.  “My boyfriend has goo-goo eyes for Zell!”



Selphie laughed harder.  She then said, still laughing, “W-w-why make a love potion for your own boyfriend?!”



“It was supposed to be a cute joke!” Rinoa said with a whine.



Selphie pressed her hands together, holding them up against her chest.  “It’s a funny joke!”  She continued to laugh.



“Help me!” Rinoa said.



“I dunno how to undo a love potion!” Selphie said, laughing and holding her hands apart.  “What do you want me to do?!”



“Ah!” Rinoa whimpered then dropped her face into her palms.



Selphie put her hand on Rinoa’s shoulder, smiling widely.  “Let’s... make more love potion!”



Rinoa lifted her head from her palms.  Her brow pinched as her chocolate eyes widened.  “Why?!”



“It’ll be fun!” Selphie said with an evil half smile.



“You’re welcome to it,” Rinoa said.  “I’m not touching that potion again!”



“I’ll drug Irvine with it,” Selphie said, reaching to grab the grimoire.



“That didn’t work so well when I drugged my boyfriend,” Rinoa said softly.



Selphie scoffed.  “I’ll do it when we’re alone,” Selphie said, holding the grimoire tightly to her chest.  “And lock our dorm door.”



Rinoa looked at Selphie, unsure.  



“At the very least, we can see if the potion works,” Selphie said.



~*~



Zell walked into his personal large SeeD Commander dorm and immediately pulled his shirt off, kicking his dorm door closed behind him.  He was sweaty from the hours of exercise and all he wanted was a nice hot shower to relax his muscles.  



He tossed the shirt over the side of his couch and reached down to unbuckle his belt. He stepped out of his shoes and kicked them away.  Zell was a clean person, his dorm was always tidy! But he’d worry about how it looked after his shower.



The belt was undone and Zell was about to unbutton his jeans when someone knocked on his dorm door.



With a heavy sigh that puffed up Zell’s cheeks, he turned and redid his belt while heading back over to the door.  



“Squall,” Zell said after the door was open.  Immediately Zell wished he still had his shirt on.



Squall stood, almost frozen, a ghost smile on his lips and his eyes were sparkling at Zell.  Seconds passed as Squall’s cloudy eyes intently stared at Zell’s awkward and unsure half smile.  Then Squall looked down to Zell’s bare and sweaty chest, and instantly the brunette man’s smile widened.  



Squall seemed to breathe heavier as he looked over the perfectly sculpted pecks and abs.  A very small half-laugh left Squall as he finally looked back up to Zell’s face.



The blonde man’s sapphire eyes apprehensively watched Squall.



“Sorry to bother you,” Squall said -- in possibly the softest, sweetest voice Zell could ever imagine.  Then Squall held up his left hand, showing Zell a gold foil-wrapped rectangular box with a big blue ribbon.  “I bought something for you.”



“Oh,” Zell said.  He swallowed and carefully reached forward and gently took the box from Squall.  “Er, thanks.”



“I hope you like it,” said Squall, his voice still the soft, sweet tone.  The cloudy eyes never left Zell’s face.



Zell didn’t know what to do.  He was embarrassed at the way Squall was staring at him; Squall had never looked at him like that before.  “I’d invite you in but,” Zell said, and he could have sworn Squall looked as though he were suddenly devastated.  “I was about to take a shower.”



Squall nodded.  Was Squall actually sad?



“I smell terrible, baby.” Zell said quickly.  He didn’t want to crush Squall’s feelings; the stoic brunette hardly ever stopped working, let alone had fun.  “And, to be honest, I’m embarrassed my room’s kinda messy.  I don’t want you to see that.”



“I’ll clean it for you,” Squall said quickly.



Zell was taken aback, shocked and flustered.  “I’d never ask you to do that,” Zell said.  “You got better things to do than clean up after me.”



“I’d do anything for you,” said Squall.



They both stared at each other, seconds passing as neither said anything.  Zell felt his heart beating faster.  Squall was honestly looking at him with the softest expression Zell had ever seen.  The cloudy eyes looked desperate, hungry but yearning for absolution.



Zell lowered his eyes away from Squall’s intense gaze.  The blonde man swallowed and the tension vanished in his body.   He turned back up to Squall.  He wasn’t sure what Squall wanted or why suddenly Squall wanted...whatever it was.  But Zell felt himself teetering towards finding out if he wanted it too.



“You want to come to the Blitzball party I’m throwing Sunday?” Zell asked.  It was three days away, and Zell already had let everyone know about it but he hadn’t directly invited Squall.  Squall didn’t like Blitzball, and Zell was fairly convinced Squall never socialized other than in awkward moments when Rinoa would drag the brunette man out.



“I’d love to,” Squall said quickly.



One second went by as the shock penetrated through Zell.  Then he smiled at Squall.  “It starts at one.  Selphie’s coming over between eleven and twelve to help me set up.  You’re welcome to come over early too.”



Squall stepped backwards, an honest smile on his face.  “I’ll be there,” he said.



Zell nodded.



“I--” Squall said.  The man then swallowed, the smile gone, desperation filling his eyes.  



Zell smiled at Squall.  “I’ll see you tomorrow.”



Squall smiled again.  “See you tomorrow,” he said, airily.



Zell then shut the door, his eyes glazing over in thought.  He remembered the gold foil-wrapped present in his hand.  He lifted it up and looked down at the large blue bow.  Gently he pulled the bow off, imagining Squall sitting in his dorm while delicately wrapping the gift and tying the girly, loopy bow.



Zell kept the blue ribbon in his hand as he undid the gold foil to find a black velvet rectangular box.  He turned the box longways in his hands and then opened it.  



Laying in purple silky material was a gold chain necklace.  Gently, Zell lifted the necklace from the box and slid his thumb over the smooth, tight-knit chain links.



Turning quickly, Zell headed to his bathroom and flipped the light on.  He set the box and wrappings on the counter then moved to put the chain on.  It hung down to the top of his sternum.  The chain was beautiful, and just thick enough that Zell didn’t feel girly wearing it.  While biting his lower lip, Zell gently caressed a hand over the smooth chain and his collarbone before he turned to start his shower.



~*~



“Look!” Selphie said to Rinoa as they stood in the raven-haired girl’s room.  Selphie pointed at Irvine, who held the vial of love potion that Selphie had made.



“No!” Rinoa yelled as Irvine took the drink, looking directly at Rinoa.



All three waited wordlessly.



“So, Rinny,” Irvine finally said.  “I’m not in love with you.”



Rinoa frowned.  “Wha...?”



Selphie rolled her eyes.  “I told you that he already drank some in our dorm and it did nothing!”



Irvine shrugged and put the cap back on the little jar with the potion.



“That can’t be right,” Rinoa said, staring at Irvine.



“I’m not in love with you, Rinoa,” Irvine said plainly.  He looked at Selphie.  “I love Selphie... always have.  But,” he looked at Rinoa, “the potion didn’t make me go all crazy like Squall and Seifer are acting.”



Rinoa didn’t know what to say, she didn’t understand.  If it wasn’t her love potion that drugged Squall this morning, making Squall fall in love with Zell, then what the hell was it?!



“Maybe they’re just gay?” Selphie said with a shrug.



“I dunno,” Irvine said to her.  “I mean, something’s up for sure.  Seifer was... really weird about Squall.  If I hadn’t called out to them, I think Seifer would have kissed Squall.”



Selphie put her hands on her hips and stared at Irvine.  “Well, what else did they share?”



“You must have done it wrong!” Rinoa said quickly, interrupting the couple’s conversation.



Selphie sneered at Rinoa.  “I did it right!”



“No!” Rinoa said, turning to the grimoire that Selphie had returned and was now back sitting on the girl’s desk.  “I’ll make it again!” Rinoa said.



Selphie looked at Irvine, who smiled back.  Selphie rolled her eyes.



Twenty minutes later Rinoa was done.



Selphie sat on Rinoa’s bed, kicking her feet.



“Okay,” Rinoa said, handing the vial to Irvine.  “Don’t look away from Selphie at all!”  Last thing she wanted was for Irvine to end up in love with her instead of Selphie!



Irvine nodded, though he didn’t believe Rinoa was going to be any more successful than Selphie had been with the love potion.  He turned to Selphie who bounced off the bed and stood in front of her boyfriend.



Rinoa stood behind Irvine, as directly behind him as she could.



“Ready,” Rinoa said.



Irvine smiled at Selphie, who smiled back.  He shook his head and sighed, then took a large gulp of the potion.  The strawberry-like flavor flowed over his tongue and down his throat, and all the while he kept his light blue eyes locked on Selphie.



The world seemed to shake and then fade out behind Selphie.  It was as though all the light in the world emanated from Selphie and she was the center of the universe.



“Oh Hyne,” Irvine said as he stepped to Selphie.



Selphie looked up at Irvine with surprise.  “Did it... work?”



“You are a goddess,” Irvine said to her.



Selphie beamed, trying not to giggle.



Irvine took one of her hands, ignoring it when someone behind him took the potion vial from his hand.  He reached up his second hand and caressed Selphie’s face.  “You’re perfection and I love you.”



“I love you, too,” Selphie said, smiling.



Irvine lowered his mouth to Selphie’s and kissed her passionately.  Selphie closed her eyes, feeling Irvine’s tongue penetrating into her mouth, his normal horny kissing gone.  Selphie felt her heart beating faster as Irvine continued the passionate kisses, his tongue gently exploring her mouth.



“Told you that you did it wrong!” Rinoa said.



Selphie smiled but she didn’t stop Irvine from kissing her.  Fuck it, she was glad she’d somehow messed up making the love potion, because this was pure awesomeness.



“You know, this is my room,” Rinoa said.



Selphie forced her mouth from Irvine’s but that didn’t stop him as he began to kiss her cheek and neck.



“I’m sorry,” Selphie said with a light laugh, smiling brightly.  “He’s just so... intense.”



“Now will you help me?” Rinoa said.



Selphie giggled as Irvine’s tongue her ear.  “Yea,” she said, still laughing.



Rinoa rolled her eyes and crossed her arms under her large breasts.



Irvine then pulled back from Selphie.  He breathed heavily, looking down at her, trying to focus.  She smiled at him, making him smile, and briefly he forgot that he was trying to think and he started to lean back down.  But he was able to stop himself and he forced himself to turn to Rinoa.



“If,” Irvine said.  He then glanced to Selphie, even though she was in his arms he wanted to see that she was still there with him.  He smiled at her, and she smiled back.  Then he forced himself again to look at Rinoa.  “If you did this to Squall,” he said.  “If you made Squall feel this way,” Irvine stopped and turned to look down at Selphie, “about Zell, then you definitely need an antidote.”



Selphie loved the way Irvine was looking at her.  He then leaned down to kiss her again.  She enjoyed the kiss, her eyes closed, but she knew she had to stop him.  Selphie pushed Irvine from her so she could look at Rinoa.  “And then there’s Seifer,” she said to her raven-haired friend.



“Oh, Hyne,” Irvine said with a laugh.  “Seifer will rape Squall.”



Selphie’s smile vanished and she and Rinoa looked at one another with horror.



“You don’t, like, think he really would,” Rinoa said.



“If he feels like this, he might,” Irvine said, still looking at Selphie.  Then he glanced to Rinoa.  “You know what a self-important prick he is.  And he was just as angry as he always is when I was talking to him after he was drinking Squall’s coffee.”



“Well Squall’s in his dorm,” Rinoa said.  “I called him and told him not to leave or let anyone in.  He told me he wouldn’t.”



~*~



Squall had practically paced a trench into the carpet of his large Headmaster dorm room.  After work he’d stopped by Zell’s dorm to drop that gift off, but now he had nothing to do for the rest of the night.  



He vaguely remembered answering the phone and someone telling him he shouldn’t leave his dorm room that night, not to let anyone in, and that they’d see him tomorrow morning.  But it hadn’t been Zell on the phone, so Squall didn’t care about what they said.



Zell had looked amazing without his shirt on: The pecks and abs were perfectly sculpted from years of hard and obsessive exercise.  And the image of Zell smiling as he’d stood there, half naked, dominated Squall’s mind.



The knock pulled Squall away from the current rendition of imagining Zell in the shower.  



Squall’s heart skipped a beat and he knew it was Zell coming to see him.  He almost tripped as he ran to the door and opened it quickly.



“Hey, Squall.”  It was Seifer.



“Oh,” Squall mumbled.  He looked out past Seifer, down the hallway, but no one else was there.  Squall looked back at Seifer, who was smiling at him.



“Here,” Seifer said.  “I got these flowers for you.”



Squall looked down and noticed for the first time the large bouquet of white roses Seifer held.



“Oh,” Squall said again.  He took the flowers from Seifer and turned to go back into his dorm.  “Thanks,” Squall said softly.



Seifer followed Squall into the dorm, closing the door behind him.  Squall had walked into the kitchen and gotten out a vase and was filling it with water.



“They’re your favorite, right?” Seifer said as he headed to Squall.



“Yea,” Squall said, putting the bouquet into the vase.  He moved to set them on the counter.  “White roses,” he said softly, puffing out the bouquet.



“Like your mom grew,” Seifer said.



Squall turned to look at Seifer, mildly surprised that the large blonde knew about that.



“Yea,” Squall said.  “She did.”



Seifer smiled and nodded.  “In Winhill.”



Squall turned back to the white roses.  They were beautiful, each one of them perfect in every way.  Like Zell.  Squall half smiled as he thought about caressing the flower petals over Zell’s bare chest, down Zell’s abs, against the soft flesh of Zell’s inner thigh, and even over Zell’s engorged cock.



“Squall,” Seifer whispered.  He’d moved into the kitchen and stood behind Squall, his large arms wrapped over the brunette SeeD’s shoulders.



But Squall was lost in the thought of Zell, so he didn’t really notice Seifer’s hands sliding down his chest, Seifer’s body leaning harder against him, the large blonde man’s mouth lowering.



Squall closed his eyes as Seifer kissed his neck gently.  Listening to Squall moan out, Seifer kissed more, moving a hand up to Squall’s jaw and pushing it up to expose more of the beautiful milky flesh of Squall’s neck.



“Oh,” Squall continued to moan.



Seifer’s cock had filled with blood and he moved his free hand down to Squall’s waist.



The brunette lion began to rock his ass back against Seifer’s hard on, Seifer pushing Squall forward against the counter.  The blonde SeeD continued to kiss Squall’s neck, to glide his tongue over Squall’s soft skin, tasting the delicious body of the Headmaster.



Squall lifted a hand up to caress Seifer’s cheek, the grey-blue eyes still closed, his mind filled with the image of Zell and those gorgeous sapphire eyes sparkling at him.



“Oh, Squall,” Seifer moaned, rocking his hard cock against Squall’s ass.



The voice snapped Squall out of his daze and he opened his eyes.



“Uh,” Squall mumbled and he struggled in Seifer’s arms, tried to turn himself around, which Seifer eventually allowed.  



“...Seifer?” he said softly, his hands on the large blonde’s shoulders, the blonde man still kissing him.



Seifer lowered his hands to Squall’s waist and picked Squall up, forcing himself between Squall’s spreading legs.  His cock ached and he pushed it hard against Squall’s crotch.



“Seifer!” Squall said and shook his head, pushing Seifer away.



“What?” Seifer said as he stepped a little back.



Squall lowered himself back to his feet and he held his palms against Seifer’s chest.  “What are you doing?” Squall asked.



“I want to make love to you,” Seifer said desperately.



Shock paralyzed Squall.  Seifer moved forward again and began to kiss Squall.  The shock began to fade as Squall grew horrified Zell might find out Seifer was kissing him.



“Ah!” Squall said and shoved Seifer away.  “Stop!”



“But why?” Seifer asked, reaching out for Squall.



Squall moved away from the counter and Seifer, and tried to run out of the kitchen.



“I love you,” Seifer said, reaching to take Squall’s wrist as he chased after Squall.



“Seifer, please!” Squall said, yanking his wrist from Seifer.



“Squall,” Seifer said softly.



Squall stood in the living room, Seifer stepping closer, the egotistical man’s sea-blue eyes staring helplessly at Squall.



“I love you,” Seifer said again.



“I love Zell!” Squall replied.



That didn’t even faze Seifer.  “He can’t love you like I love you,” Seifer said, stepping to Squall and gently taking the brunette into his arms.  “He can’t give you what I can.”  He leaned down to kiss Squall again.



“Seifer, don’t,” Squall said with a whine.



“I won’t hurt you,” Seifer said.  He caressed Squall’s cheek.  “I’ll be gentle.  I’ll make you feel good.”  Again, he moved to kiss Squall.



“I said no!” Squall said, shoving Seifer again.



Seifer released Squall as Squall stepped back, the brunette’s ass hitting the back of the large sofa.



“What’d I do wrong?” Seifer asked, sadness emanating from his eyes.



Squall shifted then crossed his arms, watching Seifer.  “Nothing.”  He paused then said “I’m a virgin.”



Seifer smiled.  He stepped to Squall and put his hands on Squall’s upper arms, looking down into Squall’s grey-blue eyes.



“I love Zell,” Squall repeated.



“I’ll make you love me,” Seifer said with a small half smile.  He caressed Squall’s cheek.



Squall watched Seifer, waiting.



Slowly, Seifer leaned down and tenderly kissed the side of Squall’s mouth.  Then he stood tall and smiled down at Squall again.  “I’ll make you happy.  I’ll make you feel good,” he said.



Seifer then stepped back from Squall and turned to the door to leave.  At the door Seifer stopped and looked back at Squall.  “You’ll see.  Zell can’t do for you what I can.  I’ll give you pleasures you’ve never dreamt of.”  Then Seifer slid out of the room, closing the door behind him.



Squall looked down at the floor, his arms still wrapped around himself.  He was embarrassed and all he could do was pray Zell wouldn’t find out about Seifer kissing him, about those things Seifer had said.  Zell would be so mad at Squall.



~*~



Author’s Notes:



Special thanks to Kev for beta reading for me.  Hopefully now my stories are free of tacky grammatical/spelling errors.



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