Community Service Well Spent

BY : Redrum
Category: Final Fantasy VIII > General
Dragon prints: 525
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VIII, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Chapter 2: Greetings

Glancing around the room, I try to spot the person the nurse wanted me to 'befriend' (her words, not mine). At the time I thought the description was pretty vague, 'he's in a wheelchair'. But now I can see that he's the only one in the room with a wheelchair.

When I finally spot the large metal chair I make my way over, plopping myself down beside him on the window seat. I scan over him, taking in the pale form and with surprise; the two handcuffs keeping his wrists to the arm rests (the nurse never mentioned that. I wonder if he has anger fits or something?).

My gaze finally rests on his face, and I can't keep the surprise from my own. Although he's incredibly skinny, pale and has dark bruises under his eyes, he still managed to look gorgeous. Thick chocolate tresses frame his face, long choppy bangs casting shadows over his eyes. From far away he could pass as a woman, what with his frail body and longish hair. His jaw is roundish, but at the same time has a hard edge to it. His nose is small, but fits his face well. His lips are rather full for a man's, and look quite red, probably because he's been chewing on his lips. Nervous habit maybe?

"What's your name?" He continues to look out the window (is he deaf?). I don't see what's so interesting. It's only the court yard and beyond the chain mail fence is a large ocean. "I'm Seifer. Can you tell me your name?" He glances down for a second. Following his gaze, I find a small name tag on his right shoulder. "Squall?" He raises an eyebrow, as if to say 'why would I have another person's name on my tag?' I chuckle and glance out the window. A rolling of dark grey clouds are coming in.

I sigh and settle further back into the window seat's corner. Brining my knees up, I wrap my arms around them, resting my chin on top.

We're both silent for what feels like half an hour. Him; staring outside. Me; staring at him. Surprisingly enough, he's the one that breaks the silence first. Well... not really. But he does turn his head to look at me, a scowl on his frustrated face.

We stare at each other for several minutes, not speaking. His eyes are a startling shade of blue-grey. At the moment grey seems to be the dominant colour. I wonder if they ever change to blue? I knew a nice lady that had the exact same eye colour. Though, they weren't so cold looking. And she also passed away a long time ago. I think her name started with an R...

"So.. Squall. What do you do for fun around here?" He continues to stare at me for a few seconds before tilting his head slightly to the right. I follow the silent suggestion and look over. Seeing the short blonde from earlier and a tall man with a peculiar black cowboy hat, sitting at a table playing a game of cards. Beside them, two red heads that look to be twins are playing Scrabble.

Turning my gaze back on Squall, I look down at his metal encased wrists. "What do 'you' do.. to pass the time?" I was about to say 'what do you do for fun?' but Squall just doesn't seem like the type that would bother with anything that's classified as 'fun'.

He tilts his head to the left this time (I'm beginning to think he's a mute). I don't bother to glance out the window, already knowing what's out there. "So, you like to look at the water?" He gives the barest of nods. "Are you mute?" He looks at me for a long time. But eventually turns to the window, obviously an attempt to ignore me.

I frown and uncurl myself from the window. Standing up I walk to the tables. I hear Squall give a small sigh (probably in relief) behind me. I lean over the large wooden table and place a hand at the back of the blonde's chair. I see him tense before he looks up at me. Bright baby blue eyes blinking sluggishly. Man, what is this guy on? The large wound on his face takes up half his face, I try to keep my eyes on his instead of looking at the wound. I don't want him to go all crazy like some people do if you stare at their injuries.

"What's Squall's room number? The boy frowns, an expression that almost seems out of place on his childish features.

"214. Up the stairs and down the right corridor." I nod in thanks and quickly stride back over to Squall. Grabbing the wheelchair's handles, I maneuver him around to face the door. He makes a small noise in surprise before growing silent. Head tilting forward to rest his chin on his frail looking chest. I glance down further and see his hands clutching the arm rests, his pale knuckles ever whiter.

Gently wheeling the chair forward, I make our way towards the exit. Pushing the door open with a hand, I push the chair through with the other. Turning left, I see the stairs and the ramp running beside it. I grab the handles tighter and push it up the steep concrete ramp.

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