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: 3,464.

A/N: Sorry for the long wait, my job is to blame. Special thanks to Nightlore for being my beta ^^



The Memory Remains



Chapter 3

The morning breeze caressed the brunet's face in a not totally unpleasant way. He preferred the chill over the oppressing air of the hot afternoon that would come. Squall walked with heavy steps under a blue sky and found a blond already waiting by the car. He saw a green gaze lift from the ground to meet his and he felt he couldn't face it.

Seifer was leaning back on the car and had his arms crossed in front of his chest. He arched an eyebrow as he saw the brunet approaching. His mouth opened for him to say something, but somehow, he felt he didn't know what to say. There was something strange in Squall's behavior. Of course, he had never been the talkative type, keeping quiet when he didn't have something important to say, but he was unnervingly quiet at the time. Squall never had a problem at staring at someone in the eye and he had walked past him, entering the car as if Seifer wasn't there.

"So you're not much of a morning person as I thought you'd be," the blond said when they were already inside.

Squall turned to the side, but didn't look at Seifer in the eye. He just shrugged and started driving.

"Yeah, you always make me feel so comfortable," Seifer muttered as he stared at the window. He watched as a red mountain range passed by his vision and occasionally saw a lonely withering tree passing quickly. He breathed in deeply, trying to intake as much air as possible. It suddenly felt so hard to breathe, there was something oppressing in the atmosphere in that car. He looked at Squall and saw him staring straight at the road. Seifer felt a sudden anger build up in his chest, burning its way to his lungs and remained stuck in his throat. For a moment he wanted to set that anger free and shout. He wanted to shake Squall by the shoulders and urge him to tell what the fuck was wrong, but he contained himself. He noticed that the skin under the brunet's eyes were some shades darker than usual. "You look tired," he finally said.

Squall shifted his gaze slightly and then went back to stare directly at the road, but his body seemed to relax just slightly. "I didn't sleep well, that's all," he said softly.

"Did you have trouble sleeping?" Seifer asked in curiosity, but he wasn't sure if Squall would answer that question. As he anticipated, the brunet kept quiet. "Okay, I see you don't want to talk about it..."

Seifer gave up, he knew that there was no way to make Squall speak if he didn't want to.

There was a brief silence once again, before a ringing sound echoed inside the car. Seifer saw Squall pick up his cell phone and look at the screen to see who it was, he than accepted the call and put his cell phone on his ear. He waited for the other person to speak before answering, "I'm okay."

There was a brief pause, before Squall continued. "I was busy with the mission last night."

That made Seifer arch an eyebrow in question as he listened quietly. It didn't seem to him that Squall had been that busy with the mission the previous night, but then he might have been doing some research, that would explain the lack of sleep he had too.

"No... I didn't have time to check on my cell phone last night," Squall continued. "Yeah, I'll see it."

Seifer paid attention to Squall's behavior while he talked. By the tone of his voice and the fact that he actually accepted to be talking to this other person, it must be someone important to him. The blond wondered who the person was.

"I'm not busy right now, I'm just driving." There was a brief pause and the shadow of a frown appeared on his face. "Okay, I won't talk while I'm driving anymore," he answered in slight annoyance. Then his expression softened again and he continued, "Okay, I'll check it." He waited some more before finally saying, "Bye."

Squall stared at the screen with an indescribable expression as he seemed to be lost in the message he was reading for a moment. Then he returned his cell phone to his pocket and kept driving.

"Who was it?" Seifer asked before he realized that the question might have sounded a little blunt and he knew Squall didn't like to answer this kind of personal question... if it was a personal question.

Squall remained silent for a moment, but then answered after a time of reluctance. "Rinoa."

"Are you two dating?" Seifer stared back at the window, trying to look nonchalant.

There was a brief pause while Squall was pondering on his answer and then he said, "I don't know."

"You don't seem very enthusiastic about it."

"...I have doubts."

"Doubts?" Seifer turned to look at Squall again. The brunet seemed to have some sort of a confused look on his face and a slight frown. Squall opened his mouth to say something, but no words came from it and he closed it again.

Seifer decided it was better not to press Squall if he didn't want to talk about it, so he averted his gaze once more and turned his face to stare at the window again. He saw the trucks lifting brown dust from the road and the dry earth asking for rain beside them. The area didn't have much vegetation so he could see the bare soil cracking under the sun. He had been distracted for a while, counting the simple houses that came into his view occasionally, staring at the hypnotizing reddish brown of the landscape, lost in thoughts, when he suddenly felt something different. He turned to look at Squall and saw the brunet staring at him. The young man in leather didn't say a thing, he just stared in mesmerizing blue and Seifer felt his gaze locked to it. He couldn't avert his eyes, he felt paralyzed for a moment. Seifer willed himself to avert his gaze and he was finally able to break the spell after a while. He stared at the window beside him as if it would save him. The moment had been brief but that silent stare seemed to have affected him more than a thousand words would.

xxx

It was night when they had finally reached a hotel. Seifer felt so tired after all those long hours inside the car, he was relieved to stretch his legs for more than a few minutes, but the thing he felt he needed more was a good rest. He turned off the lights of his room and was ready to go to bed when he heard a knock on the door. Seifer wasn't expecting that, but opened the door without much hesitation. He knew Squall must be the only person to go to his room at that late hour, but he still was surprised in seeing him at his doorstep. Seifer saw that Squall had taken off his leather attire and was wearing much more comfortable clothes. His hair was wet, making it seem slightly darker and some small droplets of water slid over his pale skin. The blond let the SeeD commander come in and felt the fresh smell of soap as Squall passed by.

"So..." Seifer closed the door. "Why do I have the honor of your presence here?"

Squall stared at him with a slightly confused gleam in his eye as he seemed to ponder on his words. "I..." he trailed off but stopped. He turned away from Seifer and walked through the room. "We're going to reach their meeting point tomorrow..." The brunet walked to the windowsill and stared outside. He saw some trees surrounding the hotel, a sight that was rare for him to see those days. The green leaves waved slightly with the night breeze as the lampposts' lights illuminated them. If he stared beyond it, he could see the shadow of a mountain range adorning the dark horizon.

Seifer watched as Squall stared in silence at the landscape, the moonlight bathing his pale skin. He seemed to be lost in thought and the blond waited for him to say something, but nothing came.

"You're not here to talk about the mission, are you?" Seifer finally asked.

Squall averted his gaze from the landscape outside and stared down at some invisible point in the air. Then he started to walk slowly again, crossing the room. Seifer heard the wooden floor creak softly under Squall's footsteps and had the impression the world was shaking below him. His heart beats raced and thundered in his chest while he saw Squall staring directly at him as he approached. The brunet stopped right in front of him, just a few inches away, and Seifer could still feel a warm breath against his neck. He knew Squall didn't like to have his personal space invaded, and it was even more surprising to see him invading another's personal space.

Seifer lowered his head slightly and saw himself staring directly into Squall's eyes. He felt the world weighting on his shoulders, pressing him down and his body tensed as if there was something about to explode inside him. A bead of sweat rolled down his forehead while he felt like shaking uncontrollably inside. Yet Squall was still there, staring at him, saying something impossible with his eyes.

"You'd better leave," Seifer felt the heavy words making its way out of his mouth.

There was something that flashed into those blue orbs; they turned to a steely gray as he lowered his head. It seemed he was staring at a point in Seifer's chest and the blond felt still electrified inside. Then Squall turned and left without another word. He just went back to his room without looking back.

Seifer felt he could finally breathe again, but he still felt light-headed. Maybe it hadn't been a good idea to follow Squall. Maybe he should have left his past behind after all.

xxx

The morning was getting warm but it still felt chilling cold as Squall went outside. He felt a shiver run over his body when he saw Seifer standing by the car. That time, both of them did their best to avoid looking at each other. They just got in the car and stayed in mutual silence.

Even though the sun was up in the sky, some clouds watched the golden king, plotting some stormy scheme.

Seifer saw a monstrous truck pass by him and choked on the gray smoke it lifted.

"Why did you call me to this mission?" Seifer asked in frustration. "Really, what were you thinking?" He stared at Squall briefly and felt his chest clench in anger.

The brunet remained silent for a moment; his expression gave away his troubled state of mind.

"Why don't you answer me?" Seifer raised the volume of his voice in frustration. He stared at Squall's face and then stared at the road ahead, sighing deeply. "Why don't you ever answer me?" he muttered quietly.

"Do you want to quit the mission?" Squall asked in a low voice. "Do you want to leave?"

Seifer saw the clouds finally covering the sun and some small raindrops tickling the glass in front of him. "I'll continue this mission until the end." He watched as the dry land received the healing water from the skies and felt himself calm down. "I'll continue on until it's over and then I'll figure out what I'll do with my life."

Squall stared at Seifer and observed him for a while. He seemed much more relaxed as he stared at the rainy world outside.

"Fisherman's Horizon."

The brunet was confused by Seifer words.

"It's where I'll go if things don't work out in Dollet anymore." Then he turned to look inside the car, staring at a random point in the shining panel. "I thought of going to Fisherman's Horizon, but I wanted to try Dollet first."

"Have you tried other places?"

"Hell yeah, I tried a few. I spend some time moving from place to place until I could find somewhere to stay longer," Seifer chuckled slightly. "I thought things were quiet and no one knew of my location." The small smile that graced Seifer's face vanished and he had a somber expression again. "I guess there's no true quietness. Things seem to be silent, but there's always something in the air."

xxx

It was easy for them to sneak inside the large storehouse. The guards had been unprepared, probably too used to the tranquility of the area surrounding the place-that was practically deserted. It had been easy to take care of the security cameras too, so Seifer and Squall found a good spot to wait for what was going to take place.

After some hours there was some movement inside when some men in lab coats arrived. The scientists and their men started to prepare for their experiments. There were several compartments in the storehouse and a furnace that was similar to the one in the first place Seifer and Squall had been.

Sometime later, the sound of a truck arriving could be heard and the large metal doors were opened. The men started to unload large metal cages, but this time, there were humans instead of monsters. They were confined like cattle and some of the bodies were piled up.

Seifer looked at Squall and the brunet told him to wait with his eyes. They were both apprehensive about what was to come.

The scientists instructed their men to open the cages one by one and separated the bodies in a first selection. There were people of different ages and genders; they were all unmoving, unconscious, and unaware of what was happening to them.

The men in lab coats started to examine the bodies carefully and then separated them in groups. Some of the men and women were taken back into separated cages and led inside the truck once more. The others were led to another place in the storehouse.

Seifer and Squall exchanged glances again. They knew they had to take action before the truck left to prevent whatever fate the people were going to suffer if nothing happened.

Squall stared at the group of men and cast a sleep spell on them. They all fell unconscious to the floor, except for two scientists. So Seifer didn't think twice before leaving his hidden position and rushing over one of them, knocking him unconscious with the hilt of his blade. The other scientist pulled a gun and pointed it at the blond. Seifer stared at him and used the unconscious body of the man in his arms as a shield, in hope it would halt the scientist's intention.

"Don't shoot, I'm warning you," he said in a fierce voice. The scientist kept pointing the gun at him and didn't blink when he shot.

Seifer felt the impact of the bullets and tried to hold himself in place as the madman shot, until Squall arrived. The brunet made the scientist drop his gun and immobilized him.

It was only then Seifer could breathe again, but soon he found himself with a trembling body in arms. He felt himself being pulled down by it and when he laid the man on the floor, he saw the bloody holes in his body. The scientist was convulsing in pain and his eyes seemed to roll around in their sockets. The man was pale and mumbling something unintelligible in quivering lips, before the spasms in his body seemed to quiet down and he stilled.

"Shit." Seifer checked the man's pulse and confirmed his death. He sighed deeply and then eyed the struggling man in Squall's arms. The blond felt such anger build up in his chest that he stood up and walked to the man's direction with a menacing glare. "You son of a bitch!" He saw the man pale as he approached and Seifer didn't think twice before punching the scientist, making the man's face turn abruptly with the impact, his broken glasses flying through the air.

"Seifer," Squall warned when he saw the blond's fist rising again.

"You know he deserved it," Seifer said to defend himself and lowered his fist.

Squall rolled his eyes and brought the man to a chair, tying him to it. Then Seifer helped Squall with the other guards, so they wouldn't be able to escape. After finishing that task, they came back to the scientist's direction.

"Tell us what you know," Squall said in a fierce tone.

The man stared at him mockingly and showed an irritant smirk. "I won't tell you anything."

"You know it's better for you if you cooperate."

The scientist laughed. "I know I'm fucked, so I will not help any of you. I don't want to help you. I want you to go to hell."

Seifer stared at the mocking gaze and felt his blood boil. He grabbed him by the collar, lifting him along with the chair. Seifer stared at him menacingly and saw the confident gaze of the scientist waver for a moment. "So a punch wasn't enough to smack some sense into your head. Let's see how many you need then."

"Fuck you!" the man spat on the blond's face.

Seifer felt the spit burn mockingly on his skin and he punched the man as hard as he could, so hard it made his own knuckle ache. He realized there was blood in his hand and then saw the scientist try to muffle a groan. Blood from the man's mouth started to drip over his pristine white lab coat and he finally spit some teeth. "Now, are you going to cooperate or do you want to lose more teeth?"

"Seifer, stop," Squall said.

"But we have to make him talk!"

"There are other ways."

"What other ways are there to make a man like that speak?!"

Squall remained silent.

Seifer stared at the brunet and saw something strange in his expression. It seemed his eyes had turn to a steely gray color, an icy cold gray, and his gaze seemed to be lost. He had the impression the brunet's body was shaking.

"Squall?" he asked in concern.

The brunet felt an electric wave course through his body and he remembered pain.

There was a voice-

"What is SeeD?"

He closed his eyes and his muscles tensed painfully.

"Squall?"

He couldn't think, just feel...

Squall felt a warm hand touch his shoulder, but he felt it was icy cold and moved away from it as if he had felt an electric wave. He blinked in confusion and then snapped out of his reverie.

The blond stared at Squall in concern. Then he lowered his gaze, remembering the brunet might not approve of his methods of interrogation. "What are we gonna do then?" he asked quietly.

Squall seemed to have recomposed himself from his sudden moment of uneasiness and signaled for Seifer to follow him, so they could talk without being heard by the scientist. "I'll get in contact with Quistis and she's going to ask for Galbadia's Garden help. They will arrive here and clean up this place. You're going to take the car and get back to the hotel."

"Wait, I won't leave you here."

"You have to go or the SeeDs will recognize you."

"But I don't want to leave you alone."

"I'll be fine, I'll wait here until they arrive. You're going to get back to the hotel. I'll meet you there as soon as I can."

Seifer stared at the horizon ahead; an orange glow signaled the beginning of a new day. "Okay. I'll go. But remember that I'm still in this mission." Seifer took some steps in the direction of the sunrise and then stopped for a moment to look back at Squall. "Remember we're together in this."


 

 



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