The sun stood high at the sky, gazing down and torturing every living thing with its intense warmth. The car didn’t like it. He cursed and abandoned the hood of the thing, returning to the shadows inside the car. He drank some water and stared straight out the windscreen. The car was beyond help and they were at least seven miles from Dollet. He could walk it, probably be there before sunset, too. “Seifer?” A whimpering from the back alerted him. He turned around to look at the confused youth. Squall blinked and moved slowly under the blanket. He had the moves of one who couldn’t really feel his own body parts and was so drugged he hardly knew where he were. When the blanket didn’t want to loosen around the sweaty body, Squall whined and made a sobbing sound of hopelessness. He had probably already forgotten he had called out for Seifer or that Seifer was inches from him. It hurt almost physically for Seifer to see Squall like that. Weak and shaking from the effort of untangling from a blanket, pupils big and dilated, confusion so clear in those blue eyes. “Hey, easy love,” he said lowly to not startle the little thing. Squall jumped anyway and made a whining noise when Seifer grabbed him to untangle him from the mass. Too blue eyes blinked at him. “Seifer?” Squall wondered faintly. “Yeah, just me,” he answered and tossed the blanket on the car floor. Squall moved languidly and disoriented, but mainly he tried reaching for Seifer. Seifer helped him and grabbed his hand. Squall grabbed him with both hands and almost curled up around it. He was shivering and his skin had a film of sweat. Hyne, had they drugged him good? So, Squall had acted very hysterical and dangerous, but that didn’t need to continue? A small voice in the back of his head wondered what would happen when all of the drugs were gone. Would Squall snap then? Seifer sighed. Better get to do things now while Squall was still dazed. Never knew what he would do later. He easily withdrew his hand even if it made Squall whine and sob and reach after him. “’eifer!” he sobbed and again something sharp and painful stabbed in Seifer’s chest. That silly nickname he hadn’t heard in years. A child’s nickname. Desperate eyes searched for him. “It’s okay, I’m here.” He said low, which didn’t calm the youth. Seifer quickly went out of the car and opened the trunk. In the backpack, he had a change of clothes for Squall. When he opened the backseat door, Squall had curled up to a tight ball and was sniveling and swaying even if he lay down. Seifer hushed and reached inside. “Squall? Easy, I’m here,” he said. A tear streaked face turned to him and Squall crawled to Seifer’s embrace, shaking and sobbing like a child. Hyne. How was he supposed to manage this? He hushed Squall and stroked his back until the sobs subsided and the body relaxed so much it seemed as if he were asleep. Seifer held Squall at an arms length and searched the blue eyes. A little gray had returned to them and the pupils were contracting a little more. Good. “I got some clothes for you. You wanna change?” He wondered. Squall only blinked and stared at his lips as if he didn’t understand a word. Then he slowly nodded but Seifer had a feeling he didn’t understand anyway. He sighed and straightened to unpack the clothes. To say it was tricky to clothe the full-grown youth was an understatement. Squall were too weak to properly stand on his own legs and from time to time he would start shaking and mutter incoherent things Seifer didn’t even try to put a meaning to. Fortunately he had predicted that this part could be tricky. He had only brought with them a couple of jeans a sweeter and boots. He could buy clothes later, and it was better this way. Squall almost passed out in the backseat when they were done. He was cold and warm and sweaty. Seifer didn’t know but suspected that the drugs gave him a easy fever or something. While he let Squall rest in the car he packed the few necessary things. Further away he saw a Thrusaevier circle. It kept its distance to the car, because the car had “monster-away” thing. He sighed. That too was a problem. He was a damn good fighter but he couldn’t drag on Squall and fight at the same time. And what if Squall freaked out in the middle of a combat? Seifer looked down at the backpack. He didn’t have a GF in stock and had decided for a long time ago to take care of himself in battles. Like on the good old days. Around when Laguna was in the military. Then GF’s were unique. Ifrit had been persistent on staying with him, saying they worked well together, and… Seifer could agree with that but… Ifrit was far away by now and the fire elemental hadn’t been too much help anyways. Seifer sighed and seated himself beside Squall. Squall didn’t move but kept sleeping or dozing or whatever he did. Frustration started to grit on his nerves. He could put Squall to sleep, make a dash for Dollet, return with a car before midnight and that would be that. But the sleep spell could wear off. Something could hold Seifer, like all monsters or a grumpy car rental manager. He could wait a couple of hours and see how well Squall could walk by his own by then. But every still hour meant a hour closer to get found. Seifer glared at the icy crystal where Shiva swirled around in. Squall had at some point, as light as only he could, told Seifer he had boosted the GF to incredible heights. Like teaching her Spd, Recover, HP+80% and Enc-None. Now, you needed to know that the ice elementals didn’t have ANY of those traits naturally. You had to look for all kinds of items and stuff and forge them in some way and give them to the GF in order for them to learn the ability. And all of those very good abilities took VERY good items and stuff. Seifer snorted. And why was he thinking of this now? Maybe because that “Enc-None” trait would make the walk to Dollet feel like an afternoon walk in the park? He glared at the innocent crystal again and then looked to his drugged lover. No, first he would try to walk it at least. Sometimes the monsters sensed your power and backed off without a fight. He patted Squall’s cheek. “Wake up. We need to get going,” he said softly. Squall groaned and his eyes fluttered open. He said something incoherent and Seifer only sighed. He helped his kitten out in the sun and Squall held onto him and closed his eyes in the strong light. When Seifer stroked his hair, Squall burrowed his face against Seifer’s chest. “You up for a walk?” he murmured, but didn’t get any other answer than Squall continuing to cling to him and hiding his face against Seifer. He sighed. Oh, well. Here we go. **** The first attack from monsters had made his kitten to sit down and wail like a child terrified of the loud sounding flashes on a storm sky. It had taken him half an hour to calm Squall down, and then Squall hadn’t wanted to walk, just cling to him with uncomprehending big eyes. When he had succeeding in coaxing the little thing into moving again, it hadn’t taken them more than a few steps until the next monster approached and Squall went rigid like some stone statue and just stood there for a long time. Seifer had to drag him into moving. Then he had started crying and babbling on about Seifer being angry at him and that he “will love him” as long as he didn’t hurt him. And like that he had babbled the last two hours. Getting worse and worse with every attack of monsters. Obviously the violence and blood and shrieking monsters made him scared, plus the drugs was off so nothing numbed his brain. They paused by an oasis. Squall was curled up in the shadow of a tree and had his arms around his knees as he rocked back and forth slowly, staring of in the distance. Seifer looked away with a disgusted curl at his lips as he filled their water bottle. Maybe he had been wrong? Maybe Squall really needed to be drugged silly and put in that machine so they could, hopefully, know what was wrong with him? Maybe Seifer’s actions only made everything worse? What if Squall would never get well because of this? The thought made him feel nauseated and the sandwich he had started eating at only grew in his throat and he could hardly swallow what he had in his mouth. He crawled up to Squall, who didn’t make a sound, only rocked there slowly. “Squall? You need to eat.” He tried and waved the sandwich in front of unseeing eyes. Out of rising desperation he grabbed the slim shoulders and shook him. Squall’s head snapped up and he stared at Seifer with big, terrified eyes. He didn’t even breathe or make any sounds. Seifer slowly held up the sandwich. “You need to eat,” he said softly. For a long time, Squall only stared paralyzed at him. Then he slowly looked at the half-eaten food. “Eat?” he asked, very quietly. “Yes, eat. Here, you must be starving,” Seifer encouraged, but held his voice low and soft, not wishing to scare him. Squall slowly took it with both hands and started to take small bits of it. Seifer exhaled slowly and closed his eyes as he leaned away again. It was okay. Squall was just a little shaken over the monsters. As fast as they got to the calm, quiet Shumi village, Seifer was sure it would be better. “Thank you, Master.” Seifer froze. He looked back at Squall, but Squall was staring down in the ground and continuing taking small bites of the sandwich. Had he heard right? He was surely imaging things, right? Squall hadn’t just now called him “master”, right? “Squall?” he croaked and Squall looked up. Calmness in his face and alert at Seifer’s words. He opened and then closed his mouth, not knowing what to say. “Eh, did… did you say something?” he wondered faintly and Squall blinked but then smiled a little. The smile made Seifer’s stomach turn outside in. It was an… empty smile. It didn’t reach his eyes, it was like someone was moving his lips for him. “I thanked you, Master,” he said calmly in a voice Seifer never had heard. It was a light, soft voice that the perfect submissive used. Seifer slowly moved closer and the half smile disappeared from Squall. He frowned sadly when Seifer cupped his face in both his hands. “No. Stop. That. Now.” He demanded hoarsely. “I’m not your master. You are Squall. Remember? I’m Seifer. You are Squall. Don’t do this.” He begged and demanded. That made Squall look confused and soon the first sound of distress pressed itself past his lips. Squall made a move like he was trying to get closer to Seifer and at the same time try to get away. “Master?” He whined and Seifer rocked him slightly back and forth in the grip he had around his head. “No. Not master. Seifer. You are Squall. You don’t have a master, dammit!” Squall whimpered and his lips shivered at Seifer’s raised tone of voice. Seifer didn’t try to remedy that. Squall continued to whine and slowly started to rock. He searched Seifer’s eyes and attempted to speak several times. That heart wrenching confusion and vulnerability returned in the swirling blue eyes. Squall gripped Seifer’s hands and made a long wailing sound like he was in pain and started to sob and rock even more. When Seifer slowly let him go he curled up under his chin and Seifer embraced him tightly. Hyne. Was that what had happened to Squall? Had someone made him believe he had a master of some sort? But how could he believe Seifer was one? Didn’t he recognize Seifer? Sitting with his crying kitten in his arms he came to the conclusion that he’d rather hold a hysterically crying or screaming Squall than one calling him “Master” and smiling lifelessly at him.
Continue ~ Reveiw