Seifer, Zell, and hating the holidays. Yaoi, set after-game.
Seifer hated the holidays. He hated the greed and the false cheer and the fake good wishes and the sudden need everyone had to pathetically try to make up for being bastards for the rest of the year. (In Seifer's opinion, true bastards regretted nothing.) Yeah, Seifer hated the holidays. Really. Truly. With a passion he reserved only for mind-sucking Sorceresses, gawking crowds, and Squall Leonhart.
Spending the holidays in the presence of said Puberty Boy (even just across the room, which was part of the unspoken truce that they'd worked out) was a sign that, just possibly, Seifer had died when he wasn't looking and ended up in hell.
Getting dragged to a /holiday party/, of all things, just confirmed it.
Seifer downed the last of his drink and scowled. As parties went, this one was particularly pathetic. Standard Balamb function, the kind he'd happily skipped whenever possible when he'd been a student, because it consisted of everyone standing around talking to their friends like usual, just with punch and bad hors d'oerves added in. Crap parties like this had never gotten interesting unless Seifer or someone else made them interesting. And Hyne help anyone who got to the interesting-making before the Disciplinary Committee did.
Evidently the quality of mischief-making had gone downhill considerably since Ultimecia, though. Hell, no one'd even spiked the punch yet. Seifer wished that they had. It might make the night pass a little faster.
Or at least make him not care quite so much at the looks he was getting. The little sidelong glances out of the corners of the eyes. He was, after all, going to go down in history as Ultimecia's Knight, much as he wished it wasn't true. He'd made a sick kind of game out of counting the responses. Right now the Do You Know Who THAT Is? gawkers were leading, with the Don't Let Me Catch You In A Dark Alley, Almasy folks coming in a close second. That was ok, though. Though he wasn't quite as much of an attention whore as he'd been when he was younger, the curious looks he could deal with, and the malicious ones....well, he probably deserved those, though Seifer wasn't going to let any unblooded punk know it.
He guessed he was still enough of an attention whore that the ones that pissed him off the most weren't the gawkers or the angry ones, but the ones who just fucking ignored him. And that the ignoring assholes were mostly old instructors who'd treated him like shit for years before he'd ever laid eyes on Ultimecia...well, that just pissed him off more. Quistis had fallen into that category, when he'd gone over to have his yearly snark-a-thon with Squall. Selphie had smiled, but Seifer knew that mind control or not, she'd never really forgiven him for Trabia. Hell, Irvine had been the closest thing to civil, and that had mostly been because he'd settled for smiling kind of helplessly and keeping his mouth shut. Leonhart, at least, had known how things were supposed to go. Seifer'd made a snide remark about the commander's chair and the relative width of Leonhart's ass, Leonhart had crossed his arms and said, "Whatever," they'd glared daggers at each other for awhile, and everything had been right with the world.
Not that he cared or anything. Why the hell was he here, again?
"There you are! Are you actually trying to hide behind the fountain?"
Oh yeah. Because he was whipped by a whirlwind with a pair of baby blues and a chocobo's crest.
Zell plopped down on the bench next to him, a glass of punch in one hand and something pastry-like that looked like it contained way more powdered sugar than any chickenwuss should be allowed in the other.
"I'm not hiding, Dincht. In case you hadn't noticed, all the other seats were taken--" which was true, hell, even his bench had been occupied until he'd glared at the two kids necking on it long enough "--and like hell I'm gonna stand all night."
"Mmngh," Zell replied, drinking from his little plastic cup of bad punch, eyes darting around. He offered the pastry thing to Seifer, and Seifer took it just because if he didn't Zell would eat it, and Dincht certainly looked like he didn't need any more sugar. Zell looked back at him, voice dropping. "Ready to go?"
Fuck yes. But Seifer'd learned a thing or two about dealing with Zell (or maybe just dealing with people) in the past year or so, and knowing when to insist that no, really, he was ok with sticking around if Zell wasn't finished having fun was one of them.
Seifer shrugged. "Doesn't matter to me. What, you done already?"
Of course, Zell had learned a thing or two, too. "Yeah," he said, casually. "You seen one party you've seen 'em all, right?"
Which didn't mean that Zell hadn't been having a ball bouncing around with the other heroes, Seifer had noticed, but that was just Zell. Just like it was just Zell to suggest leaving when he would have been perfectly happy staying and getting dragged into singing carols until midnight.
Some part of Seifer's pride kind of wanted to growl at being coddled, but the rest of him knew that that would just be stupid and hurt Zell and maybe start a fight, so he just nodded and stood and said, "Well, if you insist...."
Zell grinned and bounced up onto his heels. "Good." He looked way happier about that than he should have. Seifer had to wonder if there was some kind of chocobo-brained plan in the works, but he was distracted when Zell turned his head. Seifer snerked and ran his thumb over the near-perfect lipstick print on Zell's cheek. "You gettin' lucky without me, Chickenwuss?"
Zell blinked, turning back at the touch. "What? ...OH. Uh...." His face reddened as he tried to wipe off the offending mark with his sleeve. "Selphie kinda ambushed me under the mistletoe. Cornered. All avenues of retreat cut off. It was a massacre, man."
"Irvine should keep a leash on his girl," Seifer said. Not that he was possessive or anything.
"Are you kidding? She was using him as part of the barricade."
The rest of Balamb G was pretty dead. Most everyone was either on leave or at the party, and the halls were quiet enough to hear the hum of the Garden's engines as they made their way back to the dorms. After the warmth and noise of the party, it was a welcome relief, as far as Seifer was concerned.
Zell's room was even better, mess, sweaty gym socks, and all. It was quiet and didn't have anyone looking at Seifer like he was a bug in their parfait.
Not that he cared or anything.
He laid his trenchcoat over the desk chair that was serving as his dresser for the moment. He rolled his head to shake the tension out of his neck and wandered over to the window, staring out over the ocean while half-listening to Zell. Seifer was pretty sure it had to do with Zell visiting his Mom in Balamb for the holiday.
Wait, that had been a question he probably should have been paying attention to. "Sorry, what?"
Zell smiled, toeing off his sneakers. "Never mind. I'll ask you later." He came up behind Seifer, his hands finding Seifer's shoulders and digging mercilessly into the tight muscle there.
Seifer cursed softly, but after a few minutes the tension started to yield to Zell's hands, bleeding away until the insistent pressure felt good instead of hurting. His eyes closed as Zell's strong fingers moved along his spine.
A few long, sleepy minutes later, and Zell's arms twined around Seifer's waist, hands burrowing under Seifer's shirt to rub circles over his stomach. They stood like that for a long minute, Zell pressed up against Seifer's back and Seifer's hands on Zell's arms, holding him there. He never would have admitted it, but after such a long night, this was...this was good.
Zell nudged Seifer's shoulder with his chin, looking around his shoulder at him. "That wasn't all that fun for you, was it?" He looked sheepish. "Sorry. I didn't think about that."
"I wouldn't have gone if I didn't want to," Seifer said. And he wouldn't have. But Zell had wanted to go, and hell if Seifer was going to purposely avoid it like he was afraid or something. Like hell he'd mope around Garden waiting for Zell to get back. Like hell he'd fucking hide from the bastards. He had his pride, after all.
"Yeah, but you wouldn't have gone if I hadn't," Zell pointed out. He shrugged, the little frown line forming between his brows. He didn't like it when people treated Seifer badly, and he wasn't nearly so clueless that he couldn't have seen what was going on down there. It'd only taken one interference that'd had Seifer pissed at him for days to teach him to leave it alone, though.
A smile stole across Zell's face. "You and Squall seemed to get along, though."
Seifer grinned, tiredly. "Puberty Boy and I understand each other. We always get along."
"Heh. Yeah. Like two cats in a sack."
"Yeah, well, what can I say, Leonhart started it."
"Yeah, what, ten, fifteen years ago?"
Seifer turned his head to look at him. "You remember it?" It wasn't a trivial question, after all. They'd gotten used to only one of them remembering something from that far back. Finding something that they both remembered was a rare treat.
"Of course I remember it," Zell said, laughing. "Everyone got out of doing chores for a week because Matron made you two do them. All because you...." There was the frown again, of concentration this time. "....pushed Squall? Damn, I can't remember at all."
"No," Seifer corrected, "I punched Squall. Then I pushed him, and then I sat on him. And that was after he refused to give me back my...." Seifer tipped his head back, eyes closing. Damn the GFs, anyway. "...shit, what was it...I always carried it around."
"Mmm...." Zell nuzzled at his shoulder. "Can't remember."
Seifer sighed. Most of his memories were useless or stupid, but they were /his/, dammit. One benefit of getting kicked out of SeeD: at least he wouldn't lose any more. He shook his head, eyes turning forward out the window again to stare at the dark. "Shit. How can you stand it?"
"What, the GFs?" Zell shrugged, and Seifer could feel it against his back: a long ripple of muscle. "It's not so bad. I mean, people don't really remember things from when they were that little anyway, do they?"
Seifer hmmmed noncommitally. It wasn't just things from when they were little, though Seifer didn't say anything. He'd caught Zell forgetting something that had happened just a few months before, a few times. Zell had cut back on the GFs, but he'd had Quez continuously junctioned so long that the doctors weren't sure if they even could get her out...and didn't know how bad they'd hurt Zell in the process. Seifer just hoped that Zell didn't wake up one day not knowing his own damn name. He didn't bother saying any of that, though. It wasn't like Zell didn't think about it, too.
Zell's hands started to stroke over his stomach, slow and easy. "Mmm...." Seifer leaned back a bit, enjoying how Zell shifted to take his weight. "Frisky, chickenwuss?" As if he couldn't tell from what was pressed up against the back of his thigh.
"Do you really want to start calling me names right now?" Zell's fingers were rough, callused. The backs of his hands where his gloves usually covered, by contrast, were surprisingly soft.
"Mmm...point." Seifer's eyes slitted shut as those fingers slid further up. Fuck, he loved the feel of Zell's hands. In a minute he'd turn around and toss the chickenwuss onto the bed. Yeah. In a minute....
"Especially since I'm close and have the leverage, and you always sucked at hand-to-hand?"
He could hear the grin in Zell's voice. He'd come a long way from the crybaby that Seifer remembered. Come a long way from the spazz that Seifer'd picked on at Garden, too. That was ok. Seifer'd come a long way from the bully he'd been back then. Well. Kind of. But still. It's not like Seifer could let that comment slide. "Yeah, right. You and what army, chickenwuss?"
It wasn't that Seifer wasn't expecting it, because he was. And it wasn't that he didn't try to counter it, because he did. It was just that he was tired and...well, he had always sucked at hand to hand. Too high a center of gravity. And in that one area, Zell'd always kicked his ass. Which was why one second he was standing there thinking, "ok, he's gonna shift his weight here and grab here and--" and the next Zell's hands were hard on him and the world was blurring in front of his eyes and all right, maybe he flailed a bit as he was thrown totally off balance and then bounced a bit as his back hit the bed.
Zell threw his leg over Seifer's hips, kneeling astride him with a grin that was half his usual manic self and half the cat getting the canary. "No army. Just me, baby."
Cheeky bastard. Nothing for it, then, Seifer thought. He ran his hands up Zell's thighs, enjoying the view as Zell stripped off his shirt and the feel of him as Zell wriggled a little bit under the caress. "Wouldn't have it any other way."
Later, curled up in the dark on Zell's much-too-small-for-two-grown-men bed, Seifer was just starting to doze when Zell spoke up again. "So.../would/ you want to go with me tomorrow?"
"Hngh?" Seifer yawned, his fingers tracing idly over the dark lines of the tattoo winging over Zell's back. He contemplated licking them again. "Go where?"
"To see my ma."
The fact that Zell sounded quiet and hesitant registered before the words did. Zell just didn't do quiet and hesitant. "...does your ma even know that...?" That you're seeing anyone? That you go for guys? That you're fucking me?
"I...guess she will after tomorrow?" Zell's fingers tapped restlessly on Seifer's chest, his eyes turned up to meet Seifer's, uncertain. His hair was starting to droop over one blue eye, tickling Seifer's skin.
Well. A parental visit. He'd never done one of those before.
He smirked and closed his eyes, pulling Zell in a little closer so they weren't quite so in danger of falling off the bed. "Guess she will." Seifer pressed a finger against the worry line between Zell's brows until it relaxed. "Yeah, sure."
Zell's smile, after all, was worth any amount of parental disapproval. Any amount of stupid holiday parties. Worth a lot of things, really.
Whipped, Seifer thought as they rearranged themselves, yawning, into a semi-comfortable position to sleep, Seifer spooned against Zell's strong back. So very whipped.
He supposed that was ok, though. You know. All considered.