To Love a Cop

BY : Shehanitan
Category: Final Fantasy VIII > Yaoi - Male/Male > Seifer/Squall
Dragon prints: 948
Disclaimer: Belongs to: Squaresoft. Profits: None

Warnings: none
Beta: none
Notes: I’m so happy to see you all! It warms me to see how many of you that’s still with me. Seeing how we have embarked on another long journey I will ask for your patience already.

Please read “Behind the scenes” too, since I’m sure it will at least make half of you chuckle ;)

I’m a bit surprised how many of you have associations to FF7. Sorry to tell you, this is not a crossover or I would have said so. Then again, I guess some of the characters are similar. But trust me on this, if I mix in characters from other FF games, I will put up the crossover warning.



2


The big man was staring down at the unconscious youth. Raijin scratched a hand through his thick, black hair and sighed. The brunet had thrown a small hysterical fit when either hospital or police was mentioned. Since Squall, after some prodding he had gotten a name, looked ready to bolt at any chance given Raijin had taken him home.

What else was he supposed to do? He couldn’t have left the youth to get a phone and call the police since Squall wouldn’t have waited around for him. He couldn’t drag him off to the hospital since Squall would protest as violently as he could manage in his state; and he couldn’t just leave him there on the bench.

When the youth had completely broken on him, Raijin had almost panicked. There had been no use trying to get any sense from him. Squall refused to explain why he was on that bench in the park all alone with three bags and the evidence of some very harsh beatings or worse. He even refused to acknowledge that he wasn’t from Esthar even though the language he spoke was clearly Galbadian.

In hind sight, Raijin was sure he could have hauled the youth to the hospital or the police and Squall wouldn’t have put up very much resistance. Not when he broke like that. But Raijin hadn’t. He took the bags in one hand and Squall’s hand in the other. It had been surprisingly easy to lead the youth home.

Somewhere along the walk either exhaustion or something else had made the brunet shut up or shut down completely. He was little more than an animated corps when they got home. He ate a sandwich, but Raijin had almost needed to chew it for him. There had been no other option than to get him in bed.

Raijin had managed to get the shoes off, anything else made the brunet too upset even if he hadn’t explained why. He also hadn’t relented his grip on the backpack. Raijin had left him to fall asleep like he was.

That was almost sixteen hours ago. When Squall had shown no sign of stirring in the morning, Raijin had called his boss, whom also happened to be his friend and business partner. He had tried to get only a few vacation days, however the sly bastard had made him take two full weeks. It just so happened that Raijin liked his job, he didn’t take vacation days hence he had so many accumulated that soon Aran would have to pay him both his salary and the money for the vacation days. The tight-fisted bastard hated to unnecessarily spend money… The end result was the same. Raijin had a good two weeks ahead of him with nothing to do. Except solve this Squall-mystery.

The big man sighed again and strolled over to the large bed. After sixteen hours of uninterrupted sleep, he started to get worried that something was seriously wrong. He worried that there was more than bruises. Like broken insides or bones or a concussion?

He deliberately sat down heavily at the edge of the bed to make it rock. Squall was breathing evenly in sleep, his pulse was strong and even, he was not feeling hot to the touch. So no fever that could be injury induced. Simply extreme exhaustion or maybe shock? Probably both. The brunet had been in a state of shock, Raijin guessed.

For a moment he just sat there and watched Squall sleeping. He looked very young but that could be the pale complexion and bruises deceiving you slightly. It could also be the slight hollowness of his cheeks and the dark circles around his eyes adding to it. Raijin went through the two bags. There were no illegal things in them. Just clothes and personal belongings and art stuff. That did surprise him a little. Otherwise the luggage looked like what a tourist might take with him. Or a fugitive. Raijin wasn’t a fool, even if there were those who thought so.

It was easy to take the backpack from the unresponsive youth. That one showed a different story altogether. He found a bundle of Estharian money and as he went through them to see what amount it was, he almost choked at the sum. There was three months salary in that bag and Raijin’s salary was high. He found some fruits and sandwiches and an unopened soda, he also found the rests of a flying ticket.

Last he picked up a passport. Not to his surprise Squall’s picture was fitted to the name “Kei Clearwater”. It also stated that Squall was twenty nine years old, which no one looking at the youth right now would believe. Of course, Squall could be one of those lucky guys who just didn’t show his age as one should.

He hadn’t needed all that to conclude that Squall was from Galbadia anyway. He had guessed as much the previous evening. Putting all these things together there was only one conclusion, Squall was running from someone.

Figuring out who this was, that was tricky. He could have seen something he shouldn’t have, and gotten a beating to keep quiet. Maybe he ran on his own violation, or maybe he went to the police. If he was a protected witness, then the police should have had care of him. Obviously they didn’t. Since Squall so vehemently didn’t want to go to the police or a hospital, it seemed he had done something he shouldn’t and was running because of it.

The idea that the youth would be a criminal and would have done something so gruesome that he had to flee the country was laughable. There were few alternatives left. Maybe he had been with the police, and something had gone wrong. Maybe the bad guys had caught up to him and Squall had simply fled. However, such an idea sounded like some movie cliché.

In his mind it sounded far likelier that there was some love drama involved. Either he had tasted a cookie that wasn’t his to taste, or the pretty boy had gotten the wrong kind of attention. One too many beatings and Squall had decided to flee from this abusive person. If this person was someone of any authority it made sense that Squall would avoid anything public.

Raijin sighed. It was better to wait for the youth to be awake and somewhat refreshed so he could make sense.

He rose and left the bedroom. He left the door ajar just in case the brunet woke up in a hysterical fit. For a moment he stood and stared at his apartment. It was… kind of… messy? Big shoulders slumped. Well, he didn’t really have any excuse not to clean the place…

*****

Waking up was like getting out of water. It even popped in his ears like he had been awake for a while but his hearing came a half minute later. Then another half minute later, his body truly came awake. It hurt. Everything hurt. It ached and throbbed and he almost whimpered in agony as he moved around.

He contemplated staying in the nice bed. Just shift to his other shoulder to relieve the ache in the one he was laying on. But as awareness crept up on him a feeling of flight did too. Move. Move. Squall slowly got to a sitting position. It was a pure battle of will, mind over body, which made the full move possible.

Half of it was his body just being brutally battered, the other half was him having slept in the same position for who knew how long. Once in a sitting position, he swung his legs over the edge and just sat there. Squall stared dumbly at the room. He had absolutely no recollection of how, where or why.

It took long blessed seconds for his mind to catch up to his body. Then he remembered Seraph. And the girl. His stomach twisted as the reality caught up with him like the kick of a horse. The rescue, the escape and the flight in a plane. From the moment he paid the cab driver though, his memory went increasingly fuzzy and confusing.

He had no idea how long he had wandered around the streets, although the ache in his feet said a very long time, and he had no memory at all of this place. His heart rate slowly picked up together with his breathing. How had he gotten where he was? Where was he? Why? Who had brought him there? He lurched to his feet.

Sudden, throat strangling and chest squeezing fear assaulted him. Had Seraph found him? Had he been assaulted, drugged and dragged there? Or was it Seifer? He didn’t want to imagine himself back in the sadists clutches. He didn’t want to hope that it was Seifer because if it wasn’t…

The agony of that made it hard to breath and for a moment he wasn’t sure he’d be able to find back to normal breathing. Suddenly music pierced his panic. Some pop band from a radio, he thought. The door to the room was ajar. Then… he couldn’t be in the clutches of someone bad, right?

His stomach didn’t agree. It was in a permanent hard knot but perhaps that was part hunger? Squall located his bags and silently went through his backpack. He calmed somewhat when he noted that everything still seemed to be in it. He couldn’t know for sure no money had been taken though. Squall had no clue how estharian currency worked or what value they had. He didn’t understand their different gil markings and whatnot. They had half quarter gil and full quarter gil and this and that and he had made a fool of himself in a shop already.

He was fully dressed, even his jacket. No boots though. Squall bit his nails. They had to be close to the exit. The exit had to reasonably be outside the bedroom. He had to go out and see where the soft music came from. He needed to know whose apartment this was. From the window he saw a nice street with clean apartment buildings and a park, about five floors down. It seemed to be a sunny warm day. He thought it had rained only one day since he arrived but wasn’t sure.

He stood there, clutching his backpack, while trying to make his head stop spinning. Run. Move. The urge to get away was stronger than the lure of food and warmth and human contact. Reason, however, told him to figure out who had brought him there. Squall eased his grip on the backpack as something in it creaked in complain. He hadn’t let it off of his person since the drive from the airport. If he lost it… No, don’t go down that road of thought. It would just bring up a completely different chest strangling, head clouding panic.

He contemplated bringing the backpack with him but in the end left it on the bed. Squall padded to the door. There was light outside and the music was stronger. His hands were sweaty. Don’t think. Just do. The youth silently pushed the door open enough for him to slip through into a short corridor.

There was an open door into the bathroom on his right and an open door to a kitchen on his left. The music came from the kitchen. Further down he saw the exit door since there was a rack with shoes and a hanger for jackets by it. His boots stood out like black blotches.

Squall felt lightheaded. Fear and panic making him want to run. That ever present urge to keep moving making him almost feverish in the need to reach that door. He couldn’t just run past the kitchen however. It took an immense time for him to sneak up to the bathroom door and then the kitchen door.

He stopped to peer inside, not quite at the entrance. He swallowed hard. By the kitchen table a… very big and black man sat. He was dressed in what looked like workout clothes and he was reading something. In a corner a very high tech looking radio stood.

The black or very dark skin color would have been enough to have Squall staring. He couldn’t actively remember ever seeing such a skin color on anyone before. As it was, the man was also the biggest person Squall had ever seen. The youth retreated before being seen. Back into the dubious safety of the bedroom.

Panic/fear/disorientation.

Not for the first time he partly regretted fleeing from the airport. Then he remembered Seraph and didn’t regret it so much. As long as he didn’t think of Seifer which thought just twisted his stomach and chest and throat and made his eyes burn.

He didn’t know the man in the kitchen. He might have a vague recall. Perhaps enough to be sure that this was a complete stranger with no connection to himself or any of the Almasys.

Still, he felt hunted. Chased and cornered. Like a nighttime animal being dragged out from its burrow into bright sunlight. He had to admit though, that nothing had happened to him. He had just been taken to this apartment and let to sleep in this very soft bed after days on his feet or hard concrete.

It just made his instincts scream louder. Why? Why take him to this apartment? Why not the police? The question of why just intensified his overwhelming need to run. In the end the urge won.

Squall snatched up the backpack and opened one of the other bags. He took some clothes. A few underwear and a t-shirt and extra pants. That was all that could fit in the pack. He left money at the bedside table and hoped it was enough to not anger the man. If he didn’t feel cheated he wouldn’t report it to the police, hopefully. Besides, it was just courtesy to pay for your stay, wasn’t it?

The brunet sneaked out of the room again. The big man was still sitting by the table. Squall bit his bottom lip. He knew he was acting suspiciously and he ought to at least say hi. He just couldn’t. The mere thought of talking to that stranger giant made his insides queasy. Actually, being in the apartment, in light and away from safe backdoor alleys made his insides queasy.

In any case he’d never get past without being seen. Fortunately the man turned to stretch after a thermos on the counter behind him. Squall took the opportunity to leap past the entrance, heart in his throat and stomach jumping.

Adrenaline was making him shaky as he as fast as possible unlaced the boots. Damn inconvenience. He didn’t bother lacing them, just slipping into them, then tested the door; and froze.

There in the corridor, less than three steps away, the big man stood. Very, very thick arms crossed over a very broad chest. Fear and panic almost made his head blank. He hadn’t appreciated the sheer size of the man when this had been sitting down.

Squall had thought Seifer was big, Seifer was a dwarf in comparison. Not only was the black man tall enough to tower head and shoulder and some more over Squall, his body was bulging of muscle.

The t-shirt, that would make a nice nightgown for Squall, was straining around the wide chest and shoulders and arms. The pants, which should be the not snug kind, were tightly hugging bulging thighs.

“Ya late to a meeting or something?” the man said in a gruff galbadian with estharian accent.

Squall thought there was amusement or concern in the face. He didn’t quite care because panic was making him lightheaded and the need to run, to flee, was so overpowering he could think of little else. He tested the door handle, it was locked. The man titled his head, the amusement gone.

For a brief moment Squall succumbed to the panic, letting his head blank out completely and the tremors rack his body. Locked. Closed in. No escape. Cornered.

“Hey.”

Squall jumped at the sudden voice. The man took a step closer. Terror. Merciful Hyne, one of those hands could easily wrap around his head or neck. The man probably weighed two thirds more than Squall. How could a human being grow that big?

If he hadn’t had any say in the matter with Seraph, then he had even less say with this man. Why had he been brought to the apartment if not for that? He was as much a stranger to this man as he to Squall. The brunet too easily imagined himself being forced by this giant. Being beaten and held down and… Hyne.

He was hyperventilating and his sight was tunneling and his strength was fading with the loss of precious oxygen. The man of course took the opportunity to step forward and big hands were on him. Terror overwhelmed him. The panic fully seized him and a strange noise pressed from his lungs as his body started trashing as if possessed. Big arms closed around him and they were on the floor. He was crushed against the man’s body and he just couldn’t get his lungs to function.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, don’t be scared. Calm down, ya’re hyperventilating,” the man said with a desperate edge to the deep voice.

Blackness started to creep in over Squall’s vision. His ears were ringing. He felt one big hand around his throat, pushing the panic higher. Blackness fully seized his sight, but then it slowly returned. Squall was panting, head spinning, body heavy and lame. He came fully out of the darkness and panic still in the tight embrace of the man.

They were sitting on the floor, jacket hanger thrown down and shoes spread all over the place. Squall was panting but the man sounded calm. The panic threatened to return and he made a feeble attempt to get loose. He couldn’t think. Couldn’t get past that seemingly instinctive need to flee. The fear turned to frustration as the big arms were unyielding.

“It’s ok, I’m not gonna hurt ya,” the man soothed again.

Squall made a noise deep in his throat as he was rocked in the strong embrace. A big hand managed to cup his head and stroked his hair. Humiliation! Frustration and fear made him almost sob. He was manhandled like a child. As if those deceiving gestures could trick him!

At some point he exhausted himself and became boneless and panting against the man’s chest. Still he was rocked and his hair and back stroked as if it would help him. Such things had stopped helping him years ago. Still, he had little choice than to work through the haze of hysteria since he wasn’t getting away from the embrace.

“I’m Raijin, don’t know if ya remember that from yesterday? Please calm down, don’t be scared,” the man encouraged and kept rocking Squall’s shaking body.

Easy for him to say. Raijin. Sounded familiar. Raijin kept talking and begging him to calm down and to not be scared. How was he not to be scared? Raijin smelled of some sharp cologne and of some unfamiliar soap or shampoo. His clothes didn’t smell newly washed but not unpleasant. His hands were far too large but they were steady and calming. Squall’s hands were small and pale in comparison. He managed to reason his way through his fear and panic.

The very, very deep voice on the man was actually soothing. Calm and reassuring. At some point Squall was calm enough for the man to feel safe in releasing him. Squall couldn’t meet those dark, dark eyes.

“Look, I’m not gonna hold ya here if ya wanna leave, but please eat something first will ya?” Raijin pleaded.

The far too familiar acid of humiliation and shame churned in his stomach. His face turned hot and red and he couldn’t meet the dark eyes. Hyne, he’d acted like a complete fool! It was a small wonder the big man hadn’t called a mental hospital yet. Or maybe he was just waiting for a good opportunity? The brunet made a weak nod.

They got to their feet. Squall’s legs felt wobbly and a big hand was steadying him. They stood for a moment in awkward silence. Squall eyed the mess he had made of the shoes and jackets. He snatched up his backpack and pressed it close to his chest, then regretted the sudden movement. He must seem like a complete head-case. His face was feeling warm and his ears were burning again.

He couldn’t look up at the man and wondered if he was required to take off his shoes again.

“Ya like coffee? Afraid I don’t have anything else but milk otherwise,” Raijin suddenly said and walked towards the kitchen.

The youth blinked. He weighed back and forth on his weak legs for a while. He’d certainly have a small chance of getting the door open and make a run for it. Raijin was waiting in the kitchen entrance. Opal eyes looking expectantly at him. Slowly Squall walked forward. He’d take off the shoes if the man told him to.

He stopped at the kitchen entrance and watched as the man poured them coffee and was rummaging around in the cooler. He was still jittery, still on the brink of that chest constricting need to run. He forced himself to sit down. He let the backpack slid to the floor by his leg.

“Ya ok with sandwiches? Don’t got much else anyway. ‘Course, could make ya some fried egg and bacon if ya’d like it?” Raijin rattled on.

Squall shook his head. A sandwich was ok. He hadn’t anticipating the big man doing the sandwich for him and before he could protest he had three of them on a plate before him. His hard knotted stomach managed a vicious growl of hunger. Once he started the sandwiches disappeared surprisingly quickly and he was still hungry. Raijin seemed to have some mind reader ability, because he had already made more sandwiches and pushed them over to Squall.

Squall ate until he couldn’t get a single bite down. He had money to pay for it after all; he could stuff himself with good conscience. The whole time they had been silent, black eyes studying him and Squall looking at anything but the man. Squall was trying to drink up the coffee as Raijin decided to say something.

“I won’t hold ya here, like I said, but ya should go see a doctor. Ya look like someone’s beating bag,” the black man said softly.

Run. The need to take flight reared up again. Hospital meant police that meant bothersome questions. He hadn’t, since the cab drive from the airport and now, stayed in one place long enough for people to ask. Or for people to notice or for people to make contact.

Raijin was giving him a penetrating, concerned look that didn’t belong on a stranger’s face. It made suspicion rear up. Why was Squall there? His money was still in the backpack and no one would just drag a stranger to their house and not look in their bags, right? Squall simply couldn’t come up with any reasonable explanation and it scared him since he had no way of preparing himself.

He wanted away, again. The best way to see if the man was sincere was to try and leave. Squall hurriedly picked up his backpack and took out another handful of money. He wanted to pay his due and be allowed to run again. He reached over the money, without being able to look the man in the eyes. The money wasn’t taken.

“F-for the food and… bed,” he explained.

His voice was rough from disuse and he couldn’t quite hold it without quivering up and down along the octaves. Squall flinched as Raijin leaned forward enough to be able to catch Squall’s gaze.

“And to where are ya planning to run, kid?”

That question made other deadly fears rear their ugly head. The fear that made him feel as if he was standing by a edge and had to jump down in an afoul lot of nothingness. He had had the same feeling when Nida had disappeared. Leaving his teenaged self behind without a notion of how to support himself beside racing. His hand was still trembling a little. His mouth was dry, his eyes burned together with his throat.

He didn’t know. Didn’t know! Hyne, what was he supposed to do? In a country where he couldn’t read a simple street sign? Where he had no grades whatsoever and no chance of getting any decent job? Where he had to avoid authority at all cost and where he knew absolutely no one? The enormity of his situation was enough to strangle him again and make him tremble.

Squall made an insisting gesture with his hand. He was not going to be indebted to anyone as long as he had some gil. He did not want to give this man any easy reason to harass him. With some relief, a big hand covered his. Only to push it back against Squall. Despair welled up. There could only be one answer to that gesture. The man had not found the stash of money or he was rich and only interested in one thing. The apartment was high tech enough to warrant the last.

“Where ya from?” Raijin asked softly.

Silly question. Wasn’t it obvious? Squall, however, wasn’t one to question the amusement of other’s. Especially when he had the huge disadvantage and making his benefactor angry wasn’t top on the list.

“Galbadia,” he answered lowly.

“So who or what are ya running from? Did ya commit a crime back in Galbadia?” Raijin asked with a more stern voice.

Squall shook his head but felt the dread grow stronger. He didn’t exactly have anything to back up his story. Except bruises.

“Did ya steal from someone ya ought not to have stolen from?” was the next question.

Squall shook his head again, feeling the emotional torrent slam against his weak restraints. How on earth had he ended up where he was? When had that life’s road turned down such a dark alley?

“Who beat ya up?”

Squall cringed at the question. He didn’t answer. His throat was too clogged and the humiliation from memories was making his face hot and his gut sick. Raijin gave a low sigh and leaned forward to catch his gaze again.

“Who’re ya running from, Squall?”

Squall’s stomach froze to a hard knot all over again. Squall? He had told his real name? He wanted to recall that the passport stated another. Bloody Hyne! The sudden realization of what disastrous things that slight information could do made him almost hyperventilate again.

He jumped as Raijin rose. Squall grew stiff like a statue as the big man sat down in the chair next to him. Big fingers urged him to look up. The concern was still there. Such a big man shouldn’t be allowed to have such a kind face.

“I’m not trying to hurt ya kid, but I need a good reason to not go to the police, ya know?” the black man stated.

Squall nodded his understanding but his insides where frozen. His head was just spinning. Reason? What kind of reason? Money? Or…? Was the concern he saw real or was it an act? Some part of him said that it was real, another, the louder part, said it was an act. He was a fugitive in the country and Raijin knew it. Squall would probably end up used and discarded like trash.

They were silent for a long while. Squall clutching the slowly cooling cup and Raijin eyeing him. He couldn’t bear the scrutiny. It made his skin crawl, it made him self-conscious, it made him feel even dirtier and smellier than he was. The youth realized just how dirty his hands were. His nails were torn down from nervous biting, the skin was not clean after so long on the street.

Hyne, just how bad did he smell? He’d been sleeping like this in clean sheets. Raijin would probably have to burn them. Squall clenched his jaws hard and his hands even harder as the feeling of being dirty only grew. It came from time to time, those waves. It was enough to make him want to jump into the closest lake or wash down in a bird bath; which he had done once if that wasn’t just a dream in-between sleep and being awake.

Raijin shifted and it was enough to make Squall flinch and snap back from whatever alley his thoughts had crawled down in.

“I don’t need any names or stuff like that. Just the big picture,” Raijin encouraged calmly.

Squall’s throat knotted. The man sounded so sincere. His dark eyes held that unfamiliar concern and kindness. He wanted to tell. He wanted to take refuge somewhere. Yet he didn’t. What if that concern was a simple façade? What if he was dragged to a police station? What if he was found again?

The brunet massaged his forehead as it felt as if his brain was swelling. His eyes were burning. He felt so tired. Why had he not stayed at the airport as he should have? Squall fought back the tears but once he started thinking of the blond it was so damn hard to swallow the pain. A big hand carefully rubbed his shoulder. Squall was far to weary to shrug it off.

“Ya’re not the first one that’s fled an abusive relationship, ya know?” Raijin said softly.

Squall glanced up. If only it was as simple as that.

*****

Awake and somewhat refreshed, the youth had a wild eyed and white rimmed expression. As if he was hunted and had been hunted for a long time. As if he had not truly relaxed for a long time. There was also so much damage in those grey-blue depths that Raijin’s heart ached.

What kind of horrors had Squall gone through for this level of trauma? The brunet was trembling again and was trying to suppress the tears that shone in his eyes. That earlier hysteric struggle had made Raijin think that perhaps he ought to drag the kid to a hospital. The only reasons he hesitated was because Squall didn’t want it and because he knew what would happen. They’d figure out Squall came from Galbadia with a fake pass and just send him back. Or they would buy the story but might still lock the kid up and drug him silly.

Raijin was all for the hospital and medic services of his country but sometimes he didn’t think a person needed that kind of care. Squall, he thought, needed human contact. He sighed softly.

He couldn’t keep the youth in his apartment without some background information. However, it seemed impossible to make Squall talk. Even a little. Raijin was about to threaten with the police again as taut lips moved to make some words.

“There’s… this man…” the youth said so softly Raijin almost didn’t hear it.

Not to his surprise. The held back tears dropped and a trembling hand tried to hide them.

“He… he’s kind of rich and influential and… stuff…”

Raijin could guess the rest. Some fancy-prancy saw a neat tail that he decided to possess. Obviously he took liberties with his fists and apparently Squall had somehow managed to escape the bastard.

“I… this other guy made me go here and I…” Squall continued but choked at last.

Another guy? Raijin arched an eyebrow but Squall wasn’t looking up any longer. Thick tears were rolling down his face and he was hard pressed to subdue his sobs. Some kind of triangle drama? Or simply a friend who managed to get Squall flown over? It didn’t much matter. Raijin understood fairly well what had happened. He didn’t need more than that since Squall couldn’t stomach more.

He put a hand at a slim shoulder and squeezed it gently.

“It’s ok,” he tried to sooth.

Obviously it wasn’t ok. He wanted to hug the youth but didn’t think it would be received very well, so he just squeezed the shoulder. He wanted to ask if there had been more than the severe beating recently and if they needed to contact a doctor, but he didn’t. Raijin needed time to think. This was a mayor thing.

“Tell ya what. Why don’t ya take a shower and get into some fresh clothes? It’ll make ya feel better,” he encouraged.

Squall stiffened. Bleary eyes glanced warily at him. Raijin removed his hand and rose.

“Or do ya wanna take a bath?” he asked.

Squall shook his head. Raijin took the lead into the bathroom and dug out fresh towels from a cabinet. Squall had followed like a silent wraith and was standing just outside the bathroom door. If he had been raped, which Raijin thought was highly likely, then Raijin could also understand the wariness.

“I’ll get ya the bags,” he said lowly.

He hoped that the brunet would feel safer and better with his bags close at hand. Or perhaps it was just his backpack he was so obsessive about? After all, it was in that all his valuable things where.

In the bedroom he noticed the money on the nightstand table. He picked them up and counted them. He was quite sure Squall hadn’t intended to leave almost a thousand gil behind. Didn’t he understand the currency? Raijin put them down again. He didn’t need or wanted the money. When he returned with the bags he was afraid he’d find an empty bathroom but Squall stood in the middle with a lost look on his face. Perhaps it was very different from Galbadian standards?

“Ya know how to operate the shower?” he asked but didn’t think Squall would answer truthfully.

The brunet nodded but the eyes said something else. Oh well, he’d figure it out Raijin guessed.

“I’ll be in the kitchen or something, ya just call if ya need anything,” he smiled before closing the door.

Not two seconds later the door was locked. The big man took a weary sigh and scratched his black hair. He walked back to the kitchen and leaned at the counter. What a mess. The proper way would be to go to the police and explain. There would be some legal issues and Squall would have to put in an application for asylum. It would probably be granted if Raijin stepped in as legal person.

Squall would then be able to go to those schools for foreigners so he could learn the language and in a few years put in an application for an Estharian citizenship. He’d probably get a new Estharian name since he was running from this abuser. That was the proper way to do things, but.

If they did do that, Squall would be in the system. If this person had enough influence to go into the systems, they’d find Squall. They could be lucky and this person might just back off in intimidation but Raijin found that unlikely. That left Squall to live like an illegal immigrant. Raijin didn’t mind giving him a place to live, but it wouldn’t be much of a life for the kid.

He wouldn’t be able to take a proper job, not get his own apartment or go to that foreigner school to learn the language. He’d have no social safety net at all. That simply wasn’t any way to live.

Raijin scratched his hair again. Then again, Squall did have that very legal looking passport. If they waited until those awful bruises healed, they could simply try their luck at the immigration bureau. However, the chances of Squall being allowed to stay were much smaller then. Raijin ground his back teeth. He was already considering himself as a part of this, wasn’t he?

This mess could, of course, be solved very easily by Squall high tailing it out during the night. It wasn’t particularly difficult to imagine it. However, it was painful imagining that hurt, lost youth wandering around aimlessly.

Perhaps he could wait for a while. Just let the brunet heal and somehow make him settle down. In a couple weeks or a month they could decide what to do. There wasn’t really any hurry. The black man sighed and glanced at the bathroom door. He could hear the water running so apparently Squall had figured it out.

So he had decided on a course of action. Now he just needed to figure out how to make Squall stay and not sneak away in the middle of the night.



Author’s Note:
I will no struggle to make this shorter than I intend but I will srugle o make it more compact. Sorry to say there won’t be as much hotness n this arc, seeng how Seife and Squall is on different continents…

Anyhow, I’m still delirious with happiness that I still have your support, even after the long beak and the horrid ending to the prequel. Still play FF games, but I don’t got as much time for it. The latest I played was Crisis Core and spirits, it gave me a whole new series of dirty scenes… However, that is a far away project…

Happy late New year!



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