The Memory Remains

BY : Vovo
Category: Final Fantasy VIII > Yaoi - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 674
Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VIII, Samurai Warriors, SoulCalibur and its characters are not my property, they belong to Square-Enix, Koei and Namco repectively. I don't receive any profit from writing this fanfiction.

 

Word Count: 4,978

A/N: I'd like to thank Nightlore for beta'ing this story. I think the corrections in this chapter were much needed, the text is much better now. I'd also like to thank the ones reading this story.

This chapter is longer than the first one and there's some mild sexual content in here. Thoughts and flashbacks are in italics.



The Memory Remains



Chapter 2

The morning breeze brushed over Seifer's skin as soon as he stepped outside his apartment and reached the narrow cobblestone streets. It wouldn't take long before he reached Leviathan. The sounds of waves and the seagulls indicated he was close. The store was located in a peaceful place near the end of the pier, at the city's limits, with easy access to one of the roads. He stared at the sea when he reached a street that followed the coastline. The water had a different color from what he was used to see in Balamb. The ocean was so very blue there and the sand was so clear; in Dollet, it was much darker, but no less beautiful because of it. It was just not the same. Yet the smell of salt was the same. Whenever he experienced that smell he could close his eyes and imagine he was home for a brief moment. At some point though, he always had to open his eyes again for reality to hit him.

That's the way life is, I guess.

He was soon facing the entrance of Leviathan; the place clearly making a reference to the Guardian Force with the big blue serpent painted outside. It was funny that he only realized it was a weapon store when he entered for the first time, looking for a job. He had thought it was some kind of restaurant specializing in seafood or maybe a specialized shop for fishing equipment. The weapon store was quite famous in the region, but he didn't have a clue coming from outside.

"Hey, guys," Seifer said as he saw his colleagues already there. There were more working at the place, but those two were the ones who worked the same shift as him, so they were the ones who he saw the most.

"Hey, Adrian," Maxi smirked at him. "Had a good night?"

"Yeah..." Seifer said shortly.

The man curled his lips into a distorted smile and then laughed, "It doesn't sound so good."

"Oh, it was," Seifer passed by him. "Very good, she went to my apartment and... I couldn't get much sleep because of it." He thought about his night rolling on his bed, thinking about what he had gotten himself into. "So is the boss around?" he tried to sound nonchalant.

"Nope," Motochika said as he approached. "I heard he had some stuff to do elsewhere. Good for us," he smiled and winked playfully.

"Yeah, that's great," Seifer agreed.

xxx

It was easy to sneak inside the office and search around, none of his superiors were there and his co-workers had been talking at the public area of the store for most of the time.

When his shift ended, he had finished his other 'job', so he made his way to the store's exit. He saw his colleagues and suddenly felt a pang of guilt; he knew they were going to lose their job soon for what he had found out. He suddenly felt a wave of anxiousness take control of him. When he was starting to think he would have a new life, his past just popped up in leather in front of him. What would happen to him when this was all over?

"Hey, you're gonna leave just like that?" Maxi said when saw Seifer at the door.

"Oh, sorry, um...see you, guys."

"Wait," Motochika said.

Seifer took a deep breath and turned to stare at the other man.

"We're going to a party tonight, wanna come?" the man showed a warm smile. "Come on, you'll like it!"

"Hm... I have other things to do."

"The brunette again?" Motochika asked.

"Yeah, always the same brunette."

xxx

"You seem tired," Seifer couldn't help but comment on it.

Squall didn't frown, and didn't seem disturbed by someone pointing out a brief display of weakness. He just rubbed his eyes briefly and shrugged. "I was doing some investigating. So what did you find out?"

"Leviathan is supplying weapons to an organization they call 'Sunshine'," Seifer couldn't help but laugh in amusement. "A very fearsome name, very imposing," he commented sarcastically and then saw the look on Squall's face for him to return to the important details. "It seems the owner of Leviathan is the brother of the leader of this Sunshine, they call him Calypso. Have you ever heard of it?"

"Not really, I'll ask Quistis to do some research."

"It seems there's gonna be a delivery tomorrow," Seifer continued.

"Delivery?" Squall arched an eyebrow.

"Yes, a special delivery it seems." Seifer saw Squall narrow his eyes slightly and could almost hear the gears in his brain working. "It's something big isn't it?"

"What?" Squall seemed confused.

"For the commander himself to take this mission," Seifer pointed out.

Squall remained silent for a moment, pondering upon his words, "I don't know. I still don't know how big it is," he finally said.

"Then why were you appointed to this mission?"

Squall stared at Seifer.

Because it involved you, Squall thought.

Quistis knew that, so she showed him the report as soon as she found out. Another SeeD involved in the case would find out about Seifer's situation and the cover would be blown.

"It has something to do with missing people." Squall hoped that would satisfy Seifer.

"What kind of people?"

"People who lived on the streets, they're easier to disappear unnoticed."

"But someone noticed."

"One of them was the daughter of an important guy. She was a drug addict and had been living on the streets for quite some time. They didn't stay in touch, but she was still his daughter. He found out some other people were missing here and there. He went to the police, but there was not much they could do. People like this disappear all the time. They didn't find out what happened, but there is an uneasiness in those people."

Seifer thought about it for a while. "I didn't see anything separated for delivery in the store. Do you think this special delivery could be those people?"

"Maybe." Squall pointed out to the files in Seifer's hand. "Can I have this?"

"Sure," Seifer handed what he had found.

"I gotta go now." The brunet stood up and headed to the door.

"Squall," Seifer saw his intention and felt the need to make the man stop.

The brunet turned briefly, "I'll make sure you get your payment."

"It's not what..." Seifer paused for a moment in a confusion of feelings. "I... I'm..."

"I gotta go." Squall opened the door and left the place in a hurry, before Seifer could finish his sentence, leaving a speechless blond behind.

xxx

Shining silver moonlight over the arid field.

Squall had been at a strategic point to observe the storehouse, waiting for the moment when the special delivery would arrive. Even though he forced himself to concentrate on his task, his mind kept going back to the meetings with a certain blond. He had prepared himself for that, he knew it wouldn't be easy. It ended up being less conflicting than he first expected, but still he felt its influence upon him. Something, there was something, there was something missing, there was something unfinished.

It was then he heard clear footsteps and his body tensed in the assumption he had been caught, but then he turned his head to see a familiar face, a familiar scar. He was dressed all in black, black pants, black shirt, black coat, as if the blond wanted to disguise himself as the night.

"Surprised?" The green eyes saw the look of disbelief in those blue orbs.

Squall saw the scar on Seifer's face contort a little as he arched an eyebrow and smirked. "What are you doing here?"

"You didn't let me finish what I wanted to say, so..." Seifer saw Squall avert his gaze and tried to study his reaction. "I knew you would be here..." he started, but suddenly stopped when he heard a vehicle approaching.

Both of them turned to see the big truck stop by the storehouse. The large metallic gates opened and some men appeared into view. Seifer recognized his boss getting out of the truck and some familiar faces with him. He was sure he had seen those men more than once in Leviathan and he was relieved he didn't find his co-workers there. It didn't mean they weren't involved in it, but there wasn't any evidence that linked them to the organization. It would be too painful to have to fight them. He did all he could not to be too much involved with them, that's why he always turned down their invitations and talked very little about his life, and every time he talked about it he lied. Yet, he could not help but feel somewhat attached to them. They were fun to talk to, and made his hours at the workplace a little better. He didn't have any friends since he had to leave Fujin and Raijin behind in order to try to begin a new life. His life in Garden wasn't so much of a prison, but his every move was always watched. Of course, he couldn't leave the place. The governments still saw him as a treat, and capital punishment had been brought up not only once, but Cid and Garden convinced everyone it was the best place for him to stay. Not long after he was locked in Garden, he managed to escape.

He had been hiding for a long time; he had gone to different places, not staying for too long, vanishing as soon as possible to another location. He had changed his hair color sometimes, left his trademark clothes, but he didn't leave Hyperion behind, it was the only thing he kept. He spent some time living this erratic life, but he started to grow tired of it, so he searched for a place where he could start a new life. Balamb was not an option, for logical reasons. He was known in both Deling City and Timber and he would die of boredom in Winhill. So he chose Dollet. It was a good place, with charming architecture and interesting nightlife, even though he didn't go out much, he enjoyed the atmosphere. In addition, the weather was always nice and it was close to the sea. He loved the sea; he thought he couldn't stay far from it for too long. So he found a cheap place to live and started working for people that didn't ask too many questions about his life. He liked weapons anyway. It would be a good start for a new life; a new life that ended too soon.

"Seifer?"

The blond snapped out of his reverie. "What?"

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah..." His new life had ended. "Yeah, I'm okay. Anything new?"

"They're unloading the truck now."

Seifer gripped the handle of his gunblade, just in case he had to get into action, but he loosened his grip when he saw the content of the cages. "Monsters?"

There were several creatures from different species inside the cages. They were brought inside the storehouse and lined up for inspection. Then the unconscious creatures were separated. Some of them went back to the truck and the others were led to a big heated furnace and thrown into the fire.

Seifer and Squall watched as the ill-fated monsters met their end in flames, but there was nothing they could do. It wasn't illegal to kill monsters, even though there was a suspicious cause for that.

They watched the entire activity until it finished and then the truck moving towards the road's direction, carrying the approved sample and a van with the rest of the men following behind.

When the place was empty, Seifer and Squall found their way in to investigate the area. After some time, they realized there was nothing that really helped them in the case.

"Can we go now?" Seifer asked. He was tired, it was almost dawn.

Squall nodded and walked out of the place, followed by the blond.

The first rays of light were rehearsing its appearance and the horizon seemed to display an uncertain mix of colors.

Seifer watched the brunet walking ahead of him. He walked slowly, but with assured steps, crushing the dry earth with his boots, creating munching sounds.

"Squall?"

The brunet stopped and then turned, an indescribable expression on his face.

Seifer waited until the blue eyes were fixed on him. "I'm sorry. That's what I wanted to say. I never said it before."

The blond watched as the blue became a hazy gray as the brunet turned his face away. Seifer took some decided steps forward and made Squall look at him again.

"I'm really sorry, do you understand?"

Squall moved swiftly away from the heat of Seifer's body and stopped when he could no longer feel the warmth of the blond. "I understand," he said in a not so confident tone, but he hoped Seifer would be satisfied with the answer and... and what? Leave him alone?

Seifer sighed in frustration, but realized there was nothing much he could do at the moment. Squall was like that. "I'm going now, okay?" He stared at the brunet's unmoving back. What was he expecting? A reaction? Just because... it would be the last time they would see each other? Seifer didn't think about it when he left the Garden, didn't really think about what he was leaving behind. But at that moment, he felt that there was something... unfinished. Even so, he willed himself to turn and walk away from the place. There was nothing there anymore, it was better to leave his past behind.

"Wait."

The blond stopped, still not sure if he had really heard Squall telling him to-

"Wait... Seifer."

"What is it now?" the blond asked without turning.

There was a moment of hesitation, but Squall finally said, "Do you wanna come with me?"

"What?" Seifer turned to stare at Squall in disbelief.

"To continue the mission."

"Why are you asking me that?"

"Because I might need help."

"You can handle things on your own."

"Maybe not," Squall confessed. Even though he was capable enough to accomplish most tasks on his own, there were still some moments he really needed help. He had learned that he couldn't really live on his own.

Seifer seemed to ponder upon the topic for a moment. "I don't think it's a good idea."

"I don't think you were born to work as a clerk. You were trained to become a SeeD, you were trained to fight."

"Yeah, and I fucked up everything... Now..."

...let me go.

"What you're gonna do now?"

"I don't know," Seifer started to walk.

"Don't you miss it?"

Seifer stopped when he felt an electric current course through his body before he turned in confusion. "What?"

"The thrill."

If Seifer missed it?

"You don't need to come back to Garden. I'll only ask for you to help me in this mission."

"Only for this mission?" Seifer half-smirked. He felt a slight dizziness overcome his mind, he felt confused, sucked into a whirlpool of excitement and despair. He could feel the rush of adrenaline already. Squall was right, he was carved for battle. "Let's go get them."

xxx

It was Seifer's day off and he still woke up early. He had packed the things he needed the night before, just a few changes of clothes and his beloved gunblade, he didn't need much more.

He stepped out of his apartment and breathed in the fresh morning air. His footsteps led him through familiar streets near the ocean; he would have some time before meeting the SeeD commander. They had agreed to meet at one of the city's entrances, near the road they would take.

That smell of salt coming from the sea... for how long he would be away from it? Could he return to that place when everything was over? When would it be over...?

The morning sun, the sound of his footsteps in cobblestone streets. How would Motochika be doing that morning? Would he be playing that peculiar instrument he called shamisen? Maxi would arrive later that day, he would probably be at the port that morning, practicing with his nunchaku.

Seifer went to the docks, but didn't see any familiar faces, just shadows of unknown ones loading and unloading the ships. He decided to head downtown, where there was a café he liked. The blond indulged himself in eating a fluffy croissant for breakfast and drink a strong black coffee to warm his body. He watched as some people walked around calmly, carrying fresh vegetables home and drunk artists coming back from their nightly adventures, stumbling happily through the streets. That was a peaceful portrait of a life, a normal life, a life that wasn't his.

The young man lifted himself off the small round table at the mezzanine of the café, it was time to go back home and pick his things.

xxx

The dry earth creaked under his boots as he leaned against an old wall. The cement was cold against his back, but the air was steamy hot around him. There was a cruel round sun above him as he stared at the orange horizon, the sky was burning. Seifer brushed off small droplets of sweat that was covering his forehead and was thinking about taking off the trench coat he decided to bring. His new black trench coat... he just couldn't help himself, he eventually bought a similar model to the one he used to wear.

Then a black car appeared in his view; a shining piece of power in the form of metal. Seifer watched as the vehicle approached and then stopped some feet away. He straightened himself and saw a leather-clad brunet walking towards him before he could walk in the direction of the car. For a moment, he stood paralyzed. It seemed Squall was wearing new leather pants-he assumed by the conditions of the fabric-and they looked to be clung more tightly to his body than his old model. And he was wearing a tight black t-shirt with the silvery gleam of Griever over it. He wore just one belt around his hip, a large black one with a silver buckle. And to finish his outfit, he was wearing black boots and sunglasses. For a reason Seifer wouldn't admit, the brunet was quite a sight, but he brushed the feeling away when he saw Squall standing right before him.

There was a small silence, while they stared at each other. Seifer caught an almost imperceptible arch of a dark eyebrow and assumed Squall was inspecting him.

"I just thought I needed to bring a trench coat and decided to put one on instead of carrying it around. I was going to take it off, when you arrived, I'm not a masochist, you know."

Squall seemed to be confused about the comment, but shrugged. "Are you ready to go?"

"Yeah, I've been waiting for quite some time."

"It was the rental shop..." Squall started but decided the details weren't important, so he turned and walked to the car's direction.

Seifer stood in place for a moment, before following the brunet. He put his clothes at the trunk and put his warped up gunblade in the back seat, before taking the passenger's side. He saw Squall turning on the engine and the following movement of the car. The blond inspected the impeccable interior and assumed it must be a rather expensive vehicle, nothing to ostensive, but still very fine. It smelled of cleanliness and leather.

The landscape moved slowly outside at first, but then rushed in front of his vision in blurry shadows. He stared at Squall for a moment, and the brunet seemed to be concentrated on the road ahead. Too concentrated. Of course it was like Squall to be focused on the task at hand, but driving surely wasn't the most dangerous thing he had done.

"I think we can reach the next meeting point in two days," Squall said as if he knew Seifer was then staring at him. Even though his gaze seemed to be fixed on the road.

"In time for the next horror show." Seifer remembered what had happened the night before, the monsters being thrown to their death in the fire, the smell of burnt flesh.

"Do you think it will be the same thing? I think it was specified that there was another kind of shipment."

"You don't miss a thing. But I bet it's another sick sight we'll see." Seifer turned his gaze to the road and saw some cars passing by their side.

Squall opened his mouth to say something, but then closed his lips again, remaining silent.

Seifer stared at the brunet again and saw Squall focused on the road but there was something that seemed strange; he seemed tense for some reason. If they were in another time, he would just ask what was wrong, but at that moment, he felt uneasy to ask for some reason. He stared back at the landscape beside him, the flashes of things passing before his eyes. Even though he wasn't looking at Squall, the brunet's presence was still strangely overwhelming.

xxx

After hours of driving, they had reached a small hotel in the beginning of the evening. They decided it was better to stop there and rest for the night, because the other hotel would be too far away. Both of them headed to each room, after they checked in, leaving each other for a while.

When Seifer stepped outside of his room, it was already dark, not so dark as in the late hours of the night, but a faint darkness that meant the light of the day was over. The moon was already up in the sky, watching the world below with curiosity.

Seifer headed to a small restaurant beside the hotel, his hunger too evident for him to ignore it any longer. He stepped into the place and saw a modest restaurant with simple furniture. Everything seemed outdated, old like past. There were a few truckers eating gloomingly at the counters and tables, excessively silent and with heavy expressions of fatigue. There was a man behind the counter, who seemed to be the owner of the place. He had cynical lips, but tired eyes and stared emotionless at the shaky image on the screen of and old TV. He would expect the restaurant to have those annoying bright lights those places used to have, that sick white color, but instead, it was scarcely lit. It seemed some lamps had been burned out but no one cared to fix it. The place was mostly illuminated by the lampposts beside the road and the moonlight that entered through the large windows.

The blond searched for an available table-and that wouldn't be hard to find-but something caught his attention. There was a brunet sitting at a table beside the window. He was staring at the road through the glass and some of the lights of the cars that passed illuminated his face for brief moments. The brunet had a contemplative expression, as he watched the movement of the road and his lips seemed to be moving slightly, almost as if he was humming the slow song that was playing through old speakers. The singer sang something about being crazy for loving someone and Seifer smirked in amusement at the idea of Squall humming that song.

Seifer walked towards his direction and realized the brunet had already ordered his dinner. There were neglected pieces of a steak and scattered green pieces of a salad in the plate in front of him.

I wonder what you're thinking.

The blond sat at the place in front of the brunet. A blue gaze turned to his direction briefly before being lost in a dish.

Squall shifted in his seat and seemed to lift himself slightly, before stopping and turning back to his initial position.

Seifer was slightly unnerved by the reaction, but said nothing about it. The blond saw Squall's gaze moving back to the road and he made himself look around, just to search for something to look at. He saw a middle aged woman leaned back against the counter and assumed she was the waitress, so he motioned for her to come to his place.

"Is it that bad?"

Squall was a little startled by the question, but turned back to the blond's direction. "What?"

"What you've ordered..." He stared at Squall's dish.

"No, it's fine."

"But you weren't very enthusiastic about it," Seifer stared at the leftovers.

"No, it's not so bad. I wasn't so hungry."

"You weren't so hungry? After all those hours..." Seifer stopped what he was saying when he saw the waitress by his side.

"Hello, young man, what's gonna be tonight?"

Seifer turned to the woman's direction and saw a face covered in too much make up: the red full lips and the colored eyelids gave her an unnatural look, but she had a kind smile on her face, that soothed her expression.

"What do you suggest?" Seifer asked.

"Well, we have something special today," the waitress opened a bright smile. "A delicious steak and salad."

Seifer stared back at Squall's dish. "Hmmm... Is there anything else?"

"Well, we do, we always do, but I have to say that our steak is the best we got."

"Hm..." Seifer stared around in thought. "Okay then..."

"You won't be disappointed, I guarantee," the waitress opened one of those bright smiles and Seifer couldn't help but offer a small smile back. "And you, my dear," the woman continued. "Would you like anything else?" she asked Squall.

"Hmm... No, nothing."

"A coffee, maybe..."

"Yeah, a coffee," he stared at the waitress with a small gleam in his eyes. "Black."

"Okay," the woman smiled in her small victory. "I'll be right back."

It was then Squall heard a loud chuckle. He stared at Seifer and saw the blond offering a smirk. "What?" he asked in slight annoyance.

"You almost don't seem like yourself when you hear the magic word 'coffee'. You almost seem like Zell when he hears 'hot dog'".

"I don't," Squall stated.

"Yes, you do," Seifer teased.

The brunet rolled his eyes and stared back at the window. "What..."

"...ever."

Squall shot a cold stare at Seifer and that made the blond laugh in amusement.

Some things never change.

Then the laugh died down and Seifer was staring again at a brunet who stared at the road.

It didn't take long though for Seifer's order to be placed in front of him and dark steamy coffee to be spilled in Squall's cup. For a place like that, the service seemed to be incredibly efficient. Though Seifer bet most part of it was the work of a woman who blinked at him.

The blond took a slice of the steak and savored it carefully. It really tasted like a steak. "Hm... It's not bad," Seifer concluded and picked another slice with his fork.

"I told you..." Squall said.

"Okay, I got it, Leonhart never lies."

Squall rolled his eyes and Seifer chuckled.

A long moment of silence followed, but it wasn't that awkward silence of before, it was a comfortable silence.

Seifer ate quietly and ordered some beer after. Squall had his coffee cup refilled a few times. They finished their meals and paid the bills and...

There was a gray-blue stare. Seifer was caught by a pair of eyes staring directly at him and he could not avert his gaze. The moment seemed to last for a small eternity, one of those moments when time stops...

Then the flow of time hit Seifer again when he saw the brunet standing up suddenly.

A moment he was there...and the next he was gone.

Seifer found himself suddenly alone in his table, illuminated by the lights of the cars that passed through the road.

xxx

The clothes lay scattered over the cold tiles.

It was wet.

Squall felt the drops of water running down his body as he stood in the bathroom stall. He closed his eyes and felt fingers on his wet hair-long fingers of a male hand. Then there was a hot breath against his ear. His entire body trembled. He suddenly felt he couldn't breathe.

He snapped his eyes open and saw the bathroom tiles staring back at him. Squall breathed in deeply and stared down at an evident erection. He breathed in slowly again as warped his hand around his member, stroking it slowly as he closed his eyes again.

The brunet felt the hot breath again, but then there was a hard body pressed to him. He heard the slam of flesh against flesh resound over the place. Squall pressed his face to the tile wall and felt coldness against his skin. He let out a strangled moan as he increased the rhythm, stroking himself as vigorously as the hard thrusts. And then he felt a familiar rush through his body and spilled his hot seed against the tile walls.

Squall breathed in hard, feeling the air wasn't enough for him to breath, until he opened his eyes again.

He was alone in the bathroom, with only running water as a companion.

 



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