edenbound: (Default)
edenbound ([personal profile] edenbound) wrote2012-12-04 08:31 pm

FFVIII: What Other Voices Say

Fandom: Final Fantasy VIII
Main characters: Squall, Seifer
Referenced characters: Fujin, Raijin, Ultimecia
Pairings: Possibly implied Seifer/Squall, or just friendship
Contains: Angst, Seifer's questionable reading material (no, not porn), depiction of mental illness (PTSD?)
Rating: G
Summary: The war's over and Ultimecia's gone, but only in most places.
Notes: For my wildcard on [community profile] cottoncandy_bingo, and the prompt I picked was "Reading to someone". I promise it has a feel-good end.

Seifer's a mess. There was a brief period where he thought everything would be okay, blue skies and happily ever afters for everyone, but it was temporary. It was cruelly slow at first: he'd wake up to Her voice echoing in his head, but there'd be nothing else all day. He'd spend all day convincing himself She was gone only to dream of Her inside his head, pulling him out and changing him the way it suited Her. And then one morning he woke and She was still there, and he felt the electric crawling all over his skin that meant She was close, and Raijin and Fujin looked unfamiliar, and loud noises had him jumping out of his skin.

It got worse. Fujin and Raijin tried to hide it, keep him safe, but then someone said Her name in the square and he --

Well, they got him to some kind of hospital, the sort where they strap you down, with big orderlies that could quite possibly take him down. There's been a blur of medication and people asking him how he feels, and always her voice, always --

"...'and the knight knelt before his sorceress,'" someone said, splitting the dreams open, "'and told her that he loved her and would serve and protect her for the rest of his life.' Seifer, where the hell did you get this crap? You weren't kidding about your romantic dream."

"Where the hell did you find that?" Seifer asks, without opening his eyes, because if he doesn't open his eyes, maybe Squall will stay there and not disappear, another figment of his imagination.

"Under the bed in your old dorm. Most people have porn under their beds, you know, Seifer."

"What about you?"

Squall snorts softly, a little sound of amusement that Seifer suspects he was the first to ever hear, back when he was trying to claw Squall out of his shell, when they first started SeeD training. "Weapons Monthlies."

"You've got to be kidding."

"I'll read you one of those instead, if you want."

But Seifer doesn't want to think about it at all, because just the word gunblade brings back a torrent of memories, the clash of his and Squall's blades, the tearing of skin and the crunch of his blade against Squall's bone. When it was no longer a duel, no longer a kind of dance that they both kept balanced, that they both knew how to control. Before it was real, before he was fighting to kill, and Squall upped his game to match.

"Thought not," Squall says, and Seifer's surprised, because the tone in Squall's voice said he's figured it all out. "I don't like to think about it either," Squall says, then. "I quit Garden."

"You -- "

"You're gonna get better, Seifer. And then we're going to rebuild the orphanage." Without adding, because it's needed again, because of you.

Seifer relaxes back into his pillows, feeling like he's seeing his way clear at last. "Yeah. Yeah, okay."

"Open your eyes," Squall says, and it's not gentle at all, it's an order. So Seifer does, and Squall is still there, he is real, and just to prove it he's got that faint frown on his face, and only his eyes betray any gentleness. It was always his eyes that let him down, that let Seifer in.

"You look good, princess," Seifer says, and realises that his voice sounds hoarse, scraped raw. He realises that he's probably been screaming, and he wonders if Squall was there to hear it. He thinks he probably was, but Squall's eyes don't betray that at least, not now. Squall just glares at him, and that's okay. That's perfect.

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