Boys Like You

BY : angelofinnocence
Category: Final Fantasy VIII > Yaoi - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 996
Disclaimer: I don't own Final Fantasy VIII, nor any of the characters from the game. I make no profit from the writing of this work of fiction.

Boys Like You

Chapter Six: Brave New World

Squall woke early the next morning, the light pouring in between the slats of his window rousing him. The windows below were covered by heavy curtains, keeping the brightness of the sun from being as intrusive in the den area of his room and Squall almost wished he’d thought to cover his bedroom window with the same opaque fabric. The brunette wrinkled his nose as the light crossed over thick lashes before heavy lids fluttered open, pupils narrowing in the brightness. He blinked a few times before he stretched out, uncurling himself, pale arms reaching up above his sleep-mussed head, fingers flexing as a yawn took over his face. Relaxing from his stretch, he sat up and glanced at the digital clock set on the nightstand; it was just passed nine o’clock.

He slid from beneath the blankets with all the grace of a large cat, leaving the duvet in a rumpled pile on the mattress as he padded silently to the top of the loft stairs. He peered down, warring between surprise and relief upon seeing his impromptu guest still asleep on his sofa. A small part of him had been afraid that the tall blonde wouldn’t be there at all, asleep or otherwise. Seifer had been relatively intoxicated the previous evening and Squall had worried that if Seifer had wakened, now sober, would have decided that the situation was too dangerous for his reputation and disappear before the brunette had had a chance to wake.

Squall was relieved that his worry had been unnecessary as he looked over the other boy still sprawled there on his sofa, tangled in the brunette’s childhood bedding. The lithe teen found a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth, shaking his head at the picture Seifer presented, all long limbs, open mouth and soft snoring. It was pretty clear that he wouldn’t be up anytime soon. Squall turned away from the half-buried blonde, still smiling to himself as he went through his closet into the en-suite bathroom.

‘Should have enough time for a shower before he wakes up,’ he thought idly as he used the toilet. He flushed and washed his hands before pulling his over-sized shirt over his head and dropping his shorts and underwear to the floor in a haphazard pile. He turned the steamy water on stepped into the glass-enclosed shower, not bothering to pull the sliding door that separated bathroom from closet closed. He wasn’t exactly in the habit of closing himself in considering he’d never really had to worry about anyone walking in on him before. His dad rarely came up to his loft anymore now that he was a teenager and he wasn’t accustomed to having any other guests in his room.

He sang as he washed his hair, “Hey Jude, don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better…” His melodic voice rose over the static of the shower spray as he sang to himself, swaying unconsciously as he went through his regular bathing ritual, in a better mood than he’d woken up in in a long time.

Seifer woke to the dull hum of running water accompanied by the vague sound of someone singing. He stretched leisurely, eyes remaining closed as he yawned. He’d lost his shirt sometime during the night, one of his pant legs had ridden up and was brunched around his knee, and he was missing the sock on the opposite foot, but he couldn’t remember ever having woken so pleasantly after a night of drinking.

A quick glance at his surroundings reminded him of just where he’d crashed the night before and he smiled unconsciously, scrubbing one hand through his bedhead before he tossed off the covers. His bladder was making a serious complaint and it took him a moment to recall just where Squall had said the bathrooms were located. The brunette singer’s was obviously in use, but he vaguely remembered the other youth saying there was a second one on the main floor.

He fidgeted a minute, hesitating to navigate the unfamiliar house on his own, almost hoping that Squall would finish showering in the next ten seconds so that Seifer wouldn’t have to do just that. When the lilting tones of the other boys singing voice continued without pause, the burly blond let out a rough groan and reluctantly slipped from the sofa. Choosing to forgo finding his missing shirt and sock in lieu of relieving his aching bladder, he half-staggered his way out of the room, back to the end of the hall and down the stairs, and through the kitchen, squinting in the morning light as he tried to remember exactly where Squall had said the other bathroom was. So concentrated was he that he completely missed the other man seated at the breakfast island.

Laguna sat on one of the kitchen stools, sipping a mug of arid coffee and reading the morning paper through a pair of silver, wire-rimmed glasses perched on his elegant nose. He was wearing a pair of black silk pajamas with his initials embroidered in cursive on the left breast pocket, an open burgundy robe over top and a pair of navy slippers. He turned to look at Seifer as the youth entered the kitchen, obviously in search of something. A single dark brow lifted as Laguna took in the tall blonde’s disheveled appearance, smiling into his mug as clever green eyes followed the youth over the rim; Seifer looked as if he’d had either a really rough night or an extremely good one. He didn’t seem to have noticed that he had an audience. It was clear to Laguna that Seifer had just woken up.

“Lost?” the elder man asked, taking pity on the youth, setting his half emptied coffee mug back on the marble island top, long fingers remained curled around the ceramic handle of the light green mug, paper still held loosely in his other hand.

Seifer visibly jumped, startled by the sound of Squall’s father’s voice. “Eh? Ah, a bit I guess. Squall said there was a bathroom down here…” he trailed off, scratching the back of his neck sheepishly and attempting to cover his embarrassment with a feigned yawn, face heating with a blush.

“Do you know…? Well, I mean of course you’d know… Um… Where is it exactly?” The tall boy managed finally, feeling self-conscious. The way Laguna was looking at him made him nervous for reasons he couldn’t begin to explain. He felt as if he were guilty of something, but for the life of him, he couldn’t figure out what that something might be. He shifted his weight from foot to foot uncomfortably and fought the urge to hightail it back to Squall’s room, bladder be damned.

Laguna’s smile broadened as jade eyes watched Seifer fidget, obviously uncomfortable beneath his unexpected scrutiny without his son present. Deciding to cut the kid some slack, he gestured with his paper to the opposite end of the kitchen. “Mhmm, through the dining room and to the right,” he directed casually before turning his attention back to his paper. He chuckled quietly, watching Seifer through a slanted green gaze as he made his way to the bathroom. ‘Squallie’s new friend sure is cute.’ Laguna was happy for his son, completely unaware that he was utterly misunderstanding the situation. He sipped his coffee idly as he pretended to read his paper, waiting for the blonde to return so that he could speak with him more and perhaps tease him, just a little. He’d never met any of Squall’s lovers before after all and he wasn’t about to squander the chance to have a little fun with it.

Seifer couldn’t escape to the bathroom fast enough; he could still feel the burn of embarrassment in his ears as he closed and locked the door behind himself, clearly used to his privacy being invaded. As he finished his business with an audible sigh of relief, he heard the water cut off on the second floor and hesitated leaving the relative safety of the bathroom until he was certain Squall would be in the kitchen. Feeling silly staring at the hand towel on the back of the closed door for several seconds, he took a deep breath and left the bathroom, resolved to deal with the former rock star for as long as he might need to until Squall came to his rescue.

Seifer adjusted his pant leg before exiting the bathroom once more, inhaling a deep breath in preparation for his return to the kitchen where Squall’s father hadn’t moved an inch, still looking over his paper and sipping his mug of coffee. The tall teen hadn’t caught on to Laguna’s misunderstood assumptions in regards to his and Squall’s relationship. He ran long fingers through short, sleep-tousled blond locks and pasted on a smile as he moved further into the kitchen area.

Laguna looked up when Seifer approached. “You know, you must be pretty important to my son since he brought you home,” he commented idly, setting his paper flat on the marble counter top, focusing his full attention on the blonde youth.

As a father, Laguna had never tried to oppress his son, allowing Squall to simply be himself, whomever he may turn out to be. Seifer was the first boy his son had ever brought home, but Laguna was not naïve enough to believe that the handsome young man was the first boy his seventeen year old son had been with. It was obvious though that the Almasy boy was something special to Squall since he had gone so far as to introduce the other boy and have him spend the night. Being that as it were, Laguna wanted to know just what kind of boy Seifer was, especially knowing what kind of man his father was. He didn’t want Seifer hurting his son if he could help it.

Upstairs, Squall toweled his hair idly, humming as he stepped out of his bathroom and into his closet space. He dropped the towel to the floor, plucking up a pair of black and red checkered boxer briefs and slipping them on. No longer entirely nude, he took his time dressing, a pair of red skinny jeans molding to his shapely legs and a simple black v-neck tee covered the lithe chest, followed by a black zip up sweater with the album cover for Our Lady Peace’s “Happiness is not a Fish” stenciled onto the back of the heavy material of the hooded garment. He zipped it up halfway before threading a white studded belt through the belt loops of his slim-legged jeans, buckling the double dice shaped buckle into place with practiced ease. He sat on the edge of his bed to pull on a pair of black ankle socks before he proceeded back into the bathroom to brush his teeth and style his hair, entirely unaware of what was taking place between his father and his new crush downstairs.

He’d noticed that the other teen was missing from the lower floor of his room, but had simply assumed that Seifer had gone in search of the second bathroom upon waking, considering his shirt seemed to be half buried under the edge of Squall's sofa and he very much doubted the other teen had left topless as he must be. Thinking nothing more of it, certain that Seifer had not up and left on his own, Squall went about his usual routine.

Seifer swallowed dryly, smile fading from his mouth as Laguna turned his full attention towards him. “Uh well I guess. I wouldn’t say special really. I mean, we talked a bit on Thursday and I kinda ran into him last night when he finished his gig,” he said in explanation; there wasn’t anything too significant about their meeting that Seifer could see, but it was pretty clear that Squall’s father had another opinion on the matter. He felt as if he were being sized up, much as he did when the press agents came calling about his father or when he asked a girl’s parents if he could escort her to homecoming; it was a familiar, albeit uncomfortable feeling.

He crossed his left arm over his torso, rubbing at his right arm self-consciously. “He did say that he didn’t usually bring guests home and… He asked that I keep the address to myself,” he added awkwardly after a second or two of uncomfortable silence from the older man, running his free hand up to rub at the back of his neck.

Laguna’s jade gaze followed the nervous movements, fully aware that his scrutiny was making the boy uncomfortable as he nodded to his words. “Hm, that would probably be for the best. I know that Squall does not always get on well with his peers. Which has me wondering, just why is it that a boy like yourself is interested in Squall exactly?” Laguna wanted to blatantly ask what the blonde’s intentions with his son were, but abstained, opting for a more subtle wording of the question. He didn’t exactly want to scare the Almasy boy off since it was fairly clear that Squall liked him, but he was concerned whether or not Seifer was as genuine as Squall in his interest or if he would only be hurting him. He had good reason to be suspicious after all.

The year before Squall had begun high school had been an extremely difficult one. Squall hadn’t spoken more than a handful of words for a majority of the year in which he had found his mother dead. Laguna had been forced to pull him out of his last year of elementary school and take him to a therapist according to the school’s "strong" recommendation.

Eventually, Squall had begun speaking again, though he had avoided talking about his mother vehemently. When he’d started high school later that fall, he had seemed to be getting better steadily until halfway through the ninth grade when he very suddenly and dramatically changed. He came out as a homosexual which had neither surprised nor concerned Laguna in the least. He’d had his suspicions already at the time, but had said nothing, patiently waiting for his son to come out to him on his own terms. It had never made a difference to Laguna whom his son loved so long as the person did right by him. Raine’s death had taken a serious toll on his son and himself, though he himself had been expecting the possibility of her death for some years before she had finally given in to her depression and ended her own life. Squall on the other hand, had been blindsided by his beloved mother’s suicide; it had completely devastated the thirteen year old, especially after being the one to have found her in the bathroom that had once been on the second floor.

Laguna had been left bewildered as to what to do in order to relieve his son’s pain, already struggling to deal with his own as it was. He assumed the drastic changes in behaviour that Squall had subsequently gone through during his first year of high school had been a product of transitioning to the new environment without his mother’s comforting presence and that his subsequent failed first relationship and promiscuity were the result of some need Squall had to fill a void within himself, to feel in control when he was unable to control the other things in his life, or so the therapist had said. The therapist had also said that there was no way to know how long the behaviour may carry on which had worried Laguna a great deal, but he had assured himself that Squall would be alright, eventually.

Seifer’s presence gave Laguna hope that maybe, just maybe Squall was finally recovering. The dark haired man laid his chin in his palm as he sipped his coffee, feigning ignorance as he watched the broad teen squirm under his scrutiny.

Seifer felt like he was being given the third degree by Squall’s dad for no good reason as far as Seifer could tell. He didn’t like it. The guy had been so laid back the night before; he wasn’t sure what was prompting all the questions, but it was Squall’s dad and really the questions shouldn’t have been all that difficult to answer. Having his interest in the pretty brunette boy questioned so blatantly made Seifer stop to consider it himself. He was interested in pursuing a friendship with Squall; they seemed to have a lot in common though their worlds were entirely different and the eccentric youth certainly had more depth and personality than the group Seifer’s father approved of, but he wasn't entirely sure if that was all it was. There was something dangerously alluring about Squall Leonhart.

Still, Seifer was straight, totally and strictly heterosexual in all senses of the word. After all, his father was a sitting congressman, aiming for senator the following year and a proud member of the Republican Party in which no son of his could possibly be anything but perfectly normal. Seifer had plenty of pressure on him already from his old man; he could hardly afford to be anything less that heterosexual, no matter how heart-breakingly intriguing and beautiful Squall Leonhart may be. He couldn’t afford to disappoint his father any more than he already had during the past summer.

“His, well… Squall-ness, I guess. He is a pretty unique guy,” he finally responded, floundering for a better explanation. He cleared his throat.

“I mean, he approached me to start with and you know, he just wouldn’t take no for an answer. I’m getting to know him now I guess and the more I do, the more I want to. He’s fascinating.” Realizing he had said far more than he had meant to, Seifer rubbed the back of his neck in a sheepish motion, embarrassment making the tips of his ears burn with renewed vigor.

Laguna’s gaze didn’t waver as Seifer stumbled over his answer, gauging the words to be as genuine and honest as any, if a little vague on the finer details, but perhaps that was because Seifer was still coming to terms with his own feelings; knowing what Seifer’s upbringing must have been like, Laguna had no doubts about the closeted nature of the blond youth. He made a soft noise of approval in his throat before he spoke in return.

“I never would have thought that Almasy’s boy would become friends with someone like my son… I suppose it was indeed Squall’s doing as you said. He certainly has a way with people doesn’t he? He draws them in even when he says nothing at all; he gets that from his mother, I think,” Laguna finally said, pride and a little nostalgia colouring his tone. That particular charisma was going to take Squall far in his future career.

“Would you care for some coffee?” the elder man offered belatedly, as though he were just as unused to having guests as his son and seemingly bringing a

close to his interrogation, satisfied with the boy’s answers for the time being.

Seifer gave an audible sigh of relief, grateful for the break in the uncomfortable conversation. He didn’t much care for talking about Squall when he wasn’t there; he had enough of that at their school.

“Coffee would be great.” He could just make out the sound of Squall leaving his room and heading down the hall, steps faltering ever so slightly midway before continuing on.

“You can help yourself,” Laguna’s voice broke into his musings and Seifer blinked at him, “There’s a rule in our house that if you spend the night, you’re no longer a guest. You might as well be family,” the elder man finished with a sly grin and a hint of mischief glinting in the jade of his eyes. Squall entered the kitchen just as Laguna finished speaking, stormy eyes widening upon catching the tail end of his father’s words. That so called rule was only supposed to apply to lovers and family friends.

“Dad! We’re just friends. We’ve only hung out twice for God’s sake. Besides, we’ve never even followed that stupid rule, even when uncle Jasper visited,” Squall chastised, trying desperately to get his father to grasp the point. Laguna merely blinked lazily at him. Squall released a soft huff as he turned to get a couple of mugs from the cupboard just above the coffee pot.

Laguna scoffed, “That’s because no one’s ever stayed over before and Jasper doesn’t count since we never actually went to sleep, just got drunk and reminisced ‘til the sun came up,” he argued, sipping his cooling coffee nonchalantly, unfazed by his son’s hot denial of any intimate relationship with Seifer. Even if the two teens weren’t involved, it was clear to Laguna that it would only be a matter of time until they were. Squall just rolled his eyes in response and filled the mugs with steaming coffee from the pot.

“Sorry I didn’t rescue you sooner,” Squall said as he abruptly turned his attention to his guest, gaze lingering over the broad teen’s naked chest, smoky depths trailing down over the defined abdominal muscles before he could stop himself. He sucked on his lower lip briefly, tearing his gaze away with some force.

“What do you like in your coffee?”

Seifer blinked once, twice, completely thrown off by the odd interaction that had just taken place between father and son. Squall’s rescue saved him from further confusion. Belatedly, shock flowed through him, followed closely by heated embarrassment. “Uhh…” he breathed as realization settled into his head, Laguna’s angle suddenly quite clear. Squall’s father was under the impression that they had… and that he and Squall were…

He could feel the heat spreading over the back of his neck, looking between Squall and Laguna for a moment. It would be a lie to say that he had not considered what Laguna was implying himself, but he had his own little closet that he wasn’t quite ready to leave yet and he still wasn’t entirely certain if liking the androgynous brunette made him gay or not; Squall may just be a special case or something. Of course, all of that was entirely hypothetical because he wasn’t about to test it out; if his dad were to find out that he was even thinking he might be into guys, he’d kill Seifer. It wasn’t a wrinkle his father would care for in his plans. Just thinking about his father’s reaction to something like that made Seifer uneasy.

“Yeah, good timing. I might have said something incriminating if you hadn’t stepped in when you did,” he said in response to Squall’s words, a crooked smile slipping onto his lips as he forced his mind to settle, focusing instead on the present in which the pretty boy was waiting for him to speak, “Uh, just a bit of cream and like three spoons of sugar.” He could feel Squall’s eyes on him when the other teen looked him over, could feel the interest there, but didn’t say anything in response to it. It wouldn’t do to draw attention to Squall’s behaviour, especially when Seifer wasn’t entirely sure he didn’t like the way the slim brunette was looking at him in the first place. And he’d be a hypocrite if he did since he kind of liked looking at Squall too, at least so long as no one was there to catch him doing so.

The rest of the morning passed by pleasantly, a breakfast of stuffed omelettes and buttered toast courtesy of Squall’s cooking and then a hot shower for Seifer while Squall played his guitar in the lower floor of his bedroom, practicing one of his many songs, one that was particularly emotional for the brunette.

Seifer was dressed in borrowed clothes courtesy of Squall’s father’s expansive closet and plans had been made for him to spend the rest of the weekend with his new friend, which suited the tall blond just fine; it was certainly better than spending it at home all by himself, being that his father was out of the house again on another business trip. Squall showed Seifer the studio in their basement, where the tall blonde realized just how much of a rock star Laguna had been and he saw a picture of Squall’s mother when she had been a young woman. Squall looked just like her, a bra size and hair extensions away from being her clone.

Squall spent that first day in the studio with Seifer, teaching him how to love the piano again and securing Seifer’s assistance for an upcoming music project the brunette had. Weeks passed with secret meetings outside of school where Squall and Seifer became friends, spending as much time as they could manage with each other when Seifer wasn’t busy keeping up appearances for his father and the kids he called friends within their high school.

They didn't talk much during school, texting each other at lunch and when class was particularly boring. Squall flirted with Seifer when they did interact in front of their peers, playing the role of the coy seducer. But outside of school, they chatted, watched movies, played music, and just generally hung out together, steadily becoming closer with one another. Squall smiled more than he had in years now that he spent time with the other male, finally having made a friend. Laguna didn't complain, even knowing who Seifer's father was. He was happy to see his son living; with Seifer in his life, Squall didn't seem quite so lonely anymore.

TBC…



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