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: angst
Beta: none
Notes: Back with a second chapter and other news. I’ve started up my old and dead Livejournal. If you want to yell at me to update, please leave a comment on the livejournal and not as a review entry. The AFF Mods get a little annoyed when seeing such reviews and they HATE when I speak too much to my readers in the pre-words to the chapters.

In addition. I’ve gotten a minilaptop to be able to work on my fictions in those gaps between work. Sadly enough some of the letters don’t really work as they should. I’m working on learning to write on it and would appreciate it if you pointed out words that miss letters. I try to go over the chapters before posting but not even spelling programs see them all.

Ok, that’s it. On to the chapter.



3


Squall woke up with a start and sat bolt upright in the bed. For a breath constricting moment he didn’t know where he was. Then he took in the bedroom and dared to take a deep breath. Raijin’s bedroom. Raijin’s apartment. Still a strangers place but not so much. Nothing dangerous. Yet.

The sun hadn’t breached the sky yet and was making the outsides grey with pre-dawn. The room was dim because of it. Squall threw off the bedcovers and got to his feet. Chased. He still felt chased. Still felt that heart pounding need to move. He dragged a hand through sweaty hair and tried to assure himself that the nightmare had been nothing but. He didn’t even clearly remember it so it shouldn’t stay with him like it did.

For long minutes he stood there in the middle of the room. Body slightly trembling, heart and breathing slowly easing down, sweat cooling on his skin. It had been the same thing for four days now. Squall blinked. Four days? It had gone four days? Right at the moment he couldn’t remember what the man had done or said to make Squall stay.

The need to do something, to move, wouldn’t leave him. He gathered some clothes and sneaked out to the bathroom. In the livingroom Raijin was snoring on the couch. The guilt squeezed Squall’s chest. He felt bad every time he lay down in the nice bed and Raijin didn’t. It wasn’t Squall’s apartment, not his bed and yet Raijin slept on the couch.

Inside the bathroom and behind a locked door some uneasiness let go. Perhaps, which Squall had suspected before, Raijin took the couch to keep an eye on the door and prevent Squall from leaving. That would be a good guess if the man intended to do something, anything. He had yet to accept Squall’s money. He had yet to demand anything else. He had yet to… Squall shook his head and clenched his jaws.

Don’t think that. If the man had wanted sex, he would have mentioned something days ago. It was just so damn confusing and frustrating. What did he want with Squall? Why let him stay?

The youth took a hot shower. Even after four days of daily use of the thing the water still felt as good as that first time. Hot, clean. He would scrub himself down every time even though he knew there was nothing but sweat to wash off. He didn’t use the shampoo that often though and was careful with the soap. Neither of those was his.

The bathroom was steamy once he shut off the shower. Guilty feeling again. He dried and dressed, then tried to clean up the mess. There was no window in the bathroom so getting the steam away was difficult without turning on the fan in the kitchen. The pools of water were easier. There wasn’t much to do really.

As he was done he stood there, staring at the door. Uncertainty, anguish. Every time. Every, bloody time he was to open the door those uncertainties assaulted him. It was so stupid! Sure, a locked door made him feel better but why? In a bathroom? Where was the reason in that? He couldn’t very well stay in there forever!

So he unlocked it and opened the door hastily, as if he could surprise his fears by the sudden move. Raijin was still sleeping so Squall sneaked back to the bedroom. He tidied his bags, not that there was much to tidy up. Making the bed didn’t take very long either.

There was a full body mirror in the room next to the closet, this day he padded over to it. In the light from the rising sun, he could make out his own features pretty well. He didn’t like what he saw. He looked… scared. Hollow. He hadn’t been very vain before but Squall hadn’t detested himself either. The bruises were pretty much gone, compared to how he had looked in… Seifer’s mirror.

The brunet jumped as the radio was suddenly turned on and the fridge opened and closed. Raijin wasn’t really noisy, it was just Squall’s own damn nerves. After four days of pretty much the same you’d think he’d relax a little by now. He should have gotten used to the man. But, today as the days before, his stomach knotted at the thought of going out there.

That second day had been pure hell. Shame, such humiliation and shame. Even now he couldn’t actively think of his own behavior without that burning in his face. It had only gotten worse by the man coming into the bedroom to ask if he was alright and if he was hungry.

To avoid such a thing, Squall forced himself to walk out to the kitchen. It smelled like fried eggs and bacon and there was bread being toasted. Coffee was being made in the coffeemaker. Squall had yet to work up the courage to tell the man that he didn’t really like the stuff.

He had been there for over half a week and yet every time he saw the man he was still surprised. Squall just couldn’t get used to a person so big. Raijin was still in his sleeping clothes, although he had thrown on a t-shirt. That too was reason for shame. That second morning, when Squall had meet the man just wearing his sleeping pants, another fit had seized him.

The youth quickly banished those thoughts since they made his stomach churn in shame and he didn’t need red cheeks this breakfast too. Squall stepped into the kitchen and was contemplating how to announce his presence as Raijin glanced over his shoulder. The big man fired of one of those broad shining smiles.

“Good morning, ya sleep better this night?” the man grinned and flipped the eggs.

“Yes,” Squall answered hastily.

He felt he ought to say something more but there just didn’t come any words. The eggs and bacon and bread was finished and placed on plates long before Squall managed to make himself move. Guilty again. He should help with breakfast. He knew where the plates were by now.

Black, steaming coffee was poured and Squall filled his cup with as much milk it could fit. He was just about to start eating as he noticed Raijin staring at him closely. His stomach churned again and some of the fear returned as his appetite slowly disappeared. Then Raijin smiled softly.

“Yer looking better. A few more days of sleep should take care of those bags under yer eyes,” the man grinned before starting to eat.

Squall didn’t know what to say. It felt as if he had slept more in these four days than he had done in months and yet he was still tired. Yesterday he had fallen asleep when they watched tv. Those two first days had been even worse. He had felt so tired and probably looked like it because Raijin had ordered him back to bed after breakfast. He had spent most of the day squirming in that bed in-between fitful moments of sleep.

“What do ya like eating, anyway?” Raijin suddenly asked.

Squall shrugged.

“Anything,” he said instead.

A black eyebrow arched at that but the man didn’t elaborate. It took time before Squall could convince himself that he was starving. He didn’t want to, but each time so far when they ate he would remember Seraph and he wouldn’t get a single bite down no matter how hungry he had been. He’d always feel guilty about the wasted food even though Raijin didn’t seem to mind. Squall banished all thoughts as it was threatening his appetite again.

“Ya up for some outing today?” Raijin asked while he refilled his cup.

Squall gave a sharp yes before he fully contemplated the question. There was such a strong need in him to do whatever the man wanted that he hadn’t listened carefully to the request.

“So what do ya like to your breakfast? Coffee I figure, isn’t yer thing?” Raijin gave a crooked grin.

Squall swallowed and shrugged. Had it been so obvious? His stomach started to knot up again. Was he supposed to help with buying groceries? Well, it was kind of required but still… Imagining walking out of the apartment was suddenly not at all appealing, even after four days cooped up in it.

“Ya done? It’s better browsing for groceries early in the day. Not so much people then,” the man said as he rose to clean away his stuff.

Squall could just sit there and nod. He wanted to somehow protest. Maybe he could do something in the apartment instead? Not that there was anything left to clean after four days of him desperately needing something to do. Raijin was talking to himself and to Squall while he took away the dishes and the food and apparently made a mental grocery list. Before the brunet quite knew how they were leaving the apartment and heading down the stairs.

*****

He put the youth in charge of pushing the wagon. Raijin had guessed it but after that first day it was obvious Squall needed stuff to occupy himself with. Raijin was quite surprised that the brunet hadn’t bolted yet but as the days past he grew more and more confident that Squall wouldn’t. The kid was like a wild horse just caught. Skittish and wide eyed in distrust and fear. Any sudden noise would make him jump, if Raijin made some sharp movement the youth would tense in a fight/flight way.

It worried him because it was all signs of the beginnings of posttraumatic-stress. Raijin knew he had to make the brunet talk in detail of what he had experienced. He knew that if he could make Squall start talking to him this wouldn’t have to go as far as hospital far. However, Squall didn’t trust him quite yet. Quite frankly, he didn’t trust anything.

In the car, on the way to the grocery shop, he had flinched at least two times because of the way different cars were behaving. Raijin didn’t think Squall was conscious of a lot of things he did. Like how he made sure to have his back to a wall or something where no one could come up behind him. That was also a reason Raijin put him in charge of the wagon. That way Squall had something to do and he was forced to often walk in the middle of people and have his back to people instead of a wall.

The mall wasn’t very full. It was early on a normal day and it was the two of them and a lot of old people. They had gotten as far as twenty steps from the entrance and Raijin started to re-think this decision. The youth was clutching the wagon so hard his hands turned white. Grey-blue eyes darted around, drawn to every man-sized rack or shelving. He kept looking over his shoulder and around every corner.

“What do ya eat for breakfast?” he asked to break the tense silence.

It snapped blue-grey eyes to him but he only got a shrug in response. Raijin didn’t let it discourage him.

“Do ya want juice or chocolate to drink?” he continued.

They entered the fruit and vegetable district. The more open space seemed to ease Squall some, however, there was a couple older people by the potatoes. They were calmly arguing about something but the slightly agitated air and gestures put the brunet on edge. Over and over he would glance at them and his mouth pressed together even harder in that stressed line.

It made Raijin wonder just how long the youth had walked around and avoided people. Or perhaps he had been people wary before whatever happened to him? In any case, Squall was eager to move on from the district and away from the, probably, kind and gentle couple.

Raijin soon realized that it would be easier to get a wall to tell him what kind of food it preferred than trying to make Squall reveal that particular secret. All he received were shrugs or “whatever” or “it doesn’t matter”. Anyone else would probably start grinding their teeth in frustration, but not Raijin.

“So what do ya guys got over in Galbadia?” he asked in a futile attempt to get the brunet to speak about anything.

However, the silence behind him was not the usual silence. He turned to find the brunet frozen solid like an ice figure. Raijin had truly never seen such an expression on anyone. Grey-blue eyes were spread wide and yet the pupils were so dilated there was only a slight rim of color around it. The whole body of the youth was so rigid and tense it was shaking in strain, the hands gripped the handle of the wagon so hard it was likely to break.

The black man looked around to try and find the source of the brunet’s terror. He only saw a stressed, blond business man who was probably doing some last minute shopping while getting the orders from his wife over the phone. Or his wife was pregnant and was having a craving fit. The man soon walked down another lane and out of sight, it didn’t snap Squall from whatever daytime nightmare he was experiencing though.

Raijin slowly stepped up to the rigid brunet. He was gasping hard and fast, not quite hyperventilating but getting there. Raijin very well remembered the hysterical fit in the apartment and wondered how on earth he was to snap the youth out of it without touching.

“Squall,” he called calmly.

To his surprise blue-grey eyes snapped to him and there was that wild panic of fight/flight/terror in his eyes. Still he didn’t move, didn’t relax. Just stared at Raijin with that horrible gaze.

“Do ya know him?” he asked calmly.

Squall blinked slowly, some sense of rationality returned to him.

“I don’t think ya do. Ya had a flashback. That stranger doesn’t know ya. Ya don’t know him. Whoever have hurt ya in Galbadia can’t hurt ya here, he doesn’t know where ya are,” Raijin said slowly.

Painfully slowly the terror left the rigid body. The eyes properly focused. Squall started trembling from reaction and he let go of the wagon to hide his face; not before Raijin saw the gathering of tears. Spirits, just what kind of torture had the brunet experienced? Not sure what would be received well, Raijin only squeezed a shaking shoulder hard. It took time and immense effort, but Squall gathered himself again.

For how long they stood in the intersection Raijin didn’t know. He didn’t particularly care either. He wondered though if they should break off and return home. He could finish the shopping on his own. After a while Squall straightened and moved slightly away from him, Raijin easily gave back needed personal space.

“Ya wanna go home?” he asked since he didn’t know for sure what to do.

Squall shook his head quickly and Raijin simply kept staring at him to get a proper response. No way could he have thought that over. Soon enough Squall glanced at him, he had automatically hugged himself once he hadn’t needed to hide his face.

“W-we’re not done, right?” the brunet said slowly.

“Nah, but I can manage the rest on my own after we get ya home,” he assured.

Still Squall shook his head. Slowly he gripped the wagon again. He straightened and took a deep breath as if preparing himself for a physical competition or a fight. The black man found himself in awe. There was some glimmer of strength there. A light of hope that this was something Squall would get over if he just got the means to do it.

“Alright, but ya gotta tell me what ya wanna eat, ‘cause if ya don’t like it you won’t eat it. Let me tell ya I can’t have someone looking like a bag of bones living in my apartment, the neighbor lady will think I’m starving ya!” Raijin said amusedly to try and get back some cheer again.

“Noodles.”

The tall man looked down in surprise. Squall busily watched his own fingers fiddle with the handle.

“Noodles coming right up,” Raijin said with a grin.

*****

Coming back to the apartment was like entering deep shade after an entire day on a sunny beach. Squall was exhausted. He was so mentally washed through his body ached. He had almost fallen asleep in the car on the ride home and now all he wanted to do was curl up somewhere even if it was only past lunch. While they unpacked the groceries Squall couldn’t help but think of the embarrassing episode in the mall. Still…

For long agonizing, terror filled moments he had truly seen Seraph standing there. Tall and majestic, dressed in his sharp suit, cane in hands, cruel eyes above a cruel smirk in a demonically handsome face. Thinking back made Squall’s stomach coil, his hands started to tremble and sweat and it throbbed inside his head. He banished the thought. Still the feelings remained, like ghost fingers along his back.

When they were done unpacking Squall wondered how he was to ask if he could go lay down for a while. He realized Raijin was staring at him. Those dark eyes that one moment were glittering with amusement and then turned dark in concern.

“Is he hunting you? Is there a chance he might come looking for you?”

Squall flinched at the question because it poked at that harshly pushed away bundle of memories. With an effort of will Squall managed to keep the worst of it down, he had to grip the doorframe though. Then there was another surge of anxieties. Would he get thrown out again? Because maybe he brought trouble with him? Should he lie and say there was no chance of it? Squall wasn’t like that though, but if he spoke truth he might find himself on the street faster than he could blink.

“Look, Squall, I don’t care if ya got some gun crazy psycho after ya. I can handle whatever’s thrown after ya as long as I know what it is, but I need ta know,” Raijin said sharply.

Squall eyed the tall man warily. Something in the man’s posture, something in his eyes oddly reminded him of Seifer. What did Raijin work with anyway? Squall hadn’t asked. His stomach knotted again. Don’t tell him it was another cop or the sort?

“How do you know that? What if I said it is truly the worst sadist you can imagine?” Squall heard himself say sharply, accusingly.

Raijin just stared at him as if contemplating the seriousness of it.

“And what exactly did ya do ta piss him off?”

Squall retreated. He looked away and wanted to crawl away under a table or something. It was so strangely burning in him to tell. To say the names, to tell this gentle giant what that… that monster had done. What might be lurking in the murky water behind Squall. To say what he had seen and been made to do, been forced to. And then, suddenly, he was there.

The memories assaulted him like demons. The smell of wine, of the cologne, of freshly washed sheets. Helplessness, rage and fear and humiliation. He could hear it. The groans and the creaking of the bed, of his own muffled noises. Then he was back.

Squall snapped out of it and stared up at Raijin who had walked up to him and shaken his shoulders. Realizing he wasn’t truly there, but far, far away and in dubious safety only frayed his nerves to the point of a nervous breakdown. Squall was shaking again, slightly but still. He tried to retreat from the grasp but Raijin didn’t let him go, so Squall was forced to look up in those oddly concerned eyes.

“Ya need to speak of it,” the man said gently.

Squall only shook his head. When prompted some animalistic instinct told him to retreat, to run away from it. Raijin’s big hands didn’t let him though.

“Not ta day, not tomorrow, probably not next week, but eventually. No one knows where ya are and I will help ya for as long as ya need it.”

Squall nodded weakly.

“Go to bed, I’ll wake ya for dinner if ya don’t get up before then,” Raijin promised and gently pushed Squall in the proper direction.

When he sunk down on top of the bedcovers and all, Squall didn’t feel as relived as he thought he should have. For whatever time again he regretted leaving the airport. He entered a fitful dream with him trying to walk back from the airplane to the other side of the check-in where Seifer stood. The blond was slightly smiling, hands in pockets. Sun was somehow making his blond hair even lighter. No matter how fast Squall ran or staggered he didn’t get closer and in the end the corridor extended further and further until he couldn’t see his light at all.



Author’s Note:
I just realized that this story shouldn’t be read by anyone currently having issues with their mental health. Reading this story could seriously give you a depression if you’re down in those regions already. I suggest you read “Behind the Scenes” instead!


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