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 4: Court Yard

The court yard wasn't too bad. The grass was a lush green, nicely cut. Large trees were scattered here and there. Flower beds lined the cement paths. A basketball court could even be seen, obviously for the patients that were less weak or drugged up. Benches were placed in various locations, usually underneath the larger trees. But the incredibly huge and shiny black gate that ran all the way around to premises, broke any allusion of this place being something that is peaceful and a place where people actually wanted to go to. Who wants to go into a mental institution? Unless a person commits their selves, then it's just their fault. And there every crazier then the drugged up patient next door.

Sighing, I continue to scan the large yard. That damn nurse told me I would be able to find the brunette ie coe court yard. She never actually said where..

Wandering down the path aimlessly, the cement walkway twisting around the large red brick building, I finally spot the sullen man when I round the second corner. Smirking, I stride over.

When I finally reach him, my smirk falls. They actually have him fucking chained to the bench, and his wrist is still chained to that damn arm rest. I wipe the frown off my face and proceed to lean against the tree situated just in front of where Squall is. "Why you out here?" The man looks up at me, then back down to his lap. Looking down too, I find him holding a small book.

"What'ca reading?" I hear him give the tiniest of sighs before he puts a book mark in the novel and closes it. We stay silent for several minutes. I frown. I know the guy isn't deaf. "What. Are. You. Reading?" I pronounce slowly. He frowns in agitation. It's obvious I'm already annoying the hell out of him. Deciding to see how far I can get, I continue talking. "Do. You. Understand. Me?" I hear the chain rattle as he shifts his arm. Heh, he probably wants to hit me.

Okay, now he's just pissing me off. Straitening myself from my casual position, I bend forward and place my hands on either side of the wheelchair. I see him tense. I start to have second thoughts when Squall looks up, something burning in his eyes, madness? I don't think it's too smart to be placing myself so close to someone who's actually chained. Oh well, it's not like he could seriously hurt me. Maybe bite me, but sur sure he's had his rabies shot.

"I asked you a question. Several actually." The brunette frowns, I suddenly notice the red slash running across the bridge of his nose. I don't know how I could have missed it before. "Where'd you get the cut?" He frowns further. The scar twisting more. I put my weight on my left hand, and use my other hand to run a finger down the wound. He flinches back, blue-grey eyes widening. What, no one ever actually touched the scar before? Tch, baby.

I retreat back until I'm standing tall. Giving him enough personal space after so violently going against it. "So, where'd you get it?" Squall sighs, turning his head to the side. Dark chocolate coloured tresses falling from their place behind his ear, to cover his pale face. "Touchy subject?" He lifts one shoulder. Oh ge! An answer! Let's all jump for joy. Idiot.

I crouch down, and rest on my ass. The dry grass cool against my thin pants. "How long have you been here?" He looks up through choppy thick bangs. I see him lift one finger from the corner of my eye. "One year? That's it?" He frowns, but nods. "I would have thought you'd been here for years. Why's everyone so jumpy around ya?" He sighs, looks down and lifts that damn shoulder again.

I sigh. "You can talk can't you?" He pauses for a long moment, so long I almost think I'm not going to receive an answer. Well, the best an answer I can get out of this guy. And there he goes again, nodding. "So your doing this to annoy me right?" He looks up at me, a thin dark eyebrow cocked. Finally he smirks, and lifts a shoulder. "Tch, bastard."

I let out a chuckle and recline backwards on my elbows. "So, your not a retard then. Glad we cleared that up." He frowns again. "Well, you gotta admit. It's pretty weird to be in a mental hospital and not have someone think your retarded. Like that blonde guy in the lounge yesterday. Jeez, how many drugs is that guy on?" The brunette looks like he doesn't know whether to be insulted by my first comment, or smirk at the latter.

"What are you in here for? Can't you at least answer me that?" Squall just glares. "Fine. Jeez." I shift from my -now- uncomfortable position, and move to kneel before the brunette. I look up at his questioning face. "Is there a way to get this chain off without the nurse having to come out all the way here just to un due it?" He shakes his head. "Oh.. well, do you have a hair pin?" The brunette looks at me as though I've grown a second head. I suddenly remember the belt I'm wearing. I quickly undue it and move the metal things (I can never figure out what there called) so one of the prongs is sticking into the keyhole on the lock that's keeping the wheelchair to the bench.

After several minutes of cursing (from me) and quiet sighs (from Squall of course), I finally manage to un due the damn lock. I look at the brunette for a moment. Pondering something. I finally nod to myself, and move the metal prong to the keyhole on the lock around Squall's wrist. I hear his shocked gasp, before I block out every other sound while trying to undue the lock.

Another several minutes past before I unlock it. I slowly get up, and step back a few inches. The smaller man just sits there. "You gonna stand up or what? I imagine we can't go inside since they'll know I unlocked your locks, and that'll make them beef up the security. So why don't we take a walk around the back here. I'm sure you need a stretch." Squall looks up at me. His whole face blank. He looks down, and slowly stands. hifthifts from foot to foot, almost in awe. Eventually he looks up, and I'm struck by the small smile that lifts the corners of the brunette's lush lips. I smile back and wait for the smaller man to take the first few steps.

"We'll have to make sure to get you back in the chair and all locked up again before the nurse can come, but for now you have the freedom to walk around here and do whatever the hell you like." He frowns slightly, and I see a small bit of sadness flicker across his eyes when I remind him of his eventual fate. He sighs, and starts to walk. I follow him, matching his stride as he aimlessly starts walking down the paths, and on the clean cut grass.

We finally come to a stop when the brunette plops himself down on a rather large rock. I sit down cross-legged, beside him. The shallow pond in front of us catches our dark reflections. Tiny goldfish can be seen swimming around in the clear water. I wonder why they would have a pond here. Considering the amount of drugged up patients here, there's no telling how easy it would be to just stick their faces in the water and drown. But then again, maybe there not allowed out here.

"I'm assuming you don't get out often." Squall glances down at me, staring into my eyes for a few eerie moments. Finally, he shakes his head. "Are you always chained up?" He pauses, looking to be in thought, so I don't pressure him. Eventually, he nods. Almost sadly. I feel curiosity burn inside me. "Why?" He just shakes his head, not even bothering to talk. Instead, he turns back to the water. Ignoring me.

I sigh and lean against the boulder. His calf lightly touching my head before I feel myself drift off.

What feels like only a minute later, turns out to be an hour. I wake up to the feeling of my head being in water. Seconds pass before I finally reel back, sputtering for air. When I regain my breath I turn around, facing the brunette who looks to be offly close to laughing at my expense. "So now your trying to drown the man you let you have freedom for a couple of hours?" The brunette goes tense again. I curse myself silently, (he was just starting to fucking open up too). I look down, apologizing silently. I feel a hand on my head and look up sharply. Only to see the hand fall away, returning to lay in Squall's lap. He shakes his head at me. I smile, and move to stand up.

I stretch out a hand to help the smaller man get up, and he hesitantly takes it. Stepping off the boulder. He quickly lets go of me, walking toward the wheelchair still parked by the bench. He sits down on the chair and waits for me to lock the locks back up. I hear him sigh when the click of the lock around his wrist is heard. I place my hand on his, meeting his eyes directly. "There's always tomorrow." A sudden smile brightens up his face. It's small, but definitely noticeable, compared to his constant frowning. "Do you want to be left out here or...?" He shakes his head and picks the book up again, leafing through the pages until he rests on the page that he left off with.

"You never did tell me what you were reading." I suddenly state. He places a finger in the book, marking his place, before closing it and showing the cover to me. "The Man without a Face." I read out loud. "Huh, I think I've read that book. Must have been for a school assignment." He shakes his head at me, already returning to his reading. "Well, I'll see you tomorrow." He gives a nod, and flips a page over. His thick lashes quivering each time his eyes scan over the sentences. I smile slightly and make my way out the gates. Using the plastic ID card giving me access to and from the building at anytime. I sigh, and make my way home.

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