Gratitude Finally Shown

[Squall]

The door bangs open and the blonde enters the room with a flourish. I pretend to sleep as I lay with my back facing him. The door closes quietly, I resist a snort of amusement if he thinks his loud entrance wouldn't have woken me up already. I hear him toe off his shoes (as I've told him to do countless times when he enters my dorm), and the gentle rustle of clothing can be heard when he takes off his trench coat. He walks across the carpeted room, sock clad feet barely making a sound.

The bed dips when he sits on the end. I try not to frown when I feel his gaze upon me. He lets out a dry chuckle. "Squall, I know your awake." I stubbornly keep my eyes shut. "Your breathing is too fast for you to be asleep." How the hell does he know that? He must have watched me before; just so he can pull off stupid stunts like this. I sigh quietly and open my eyes. I groan at the sudden light that pierces my eyes, but Seifer's face comes into my vision as he kneels beside the bed. The light behind him almost creating a halo affect on his blonde locks.

"How you feeling?" I try to appear indifferent when I raise my eyebrow at his stupid question, but a sudden tickle in my nose causes me to scrunch my face up. Seifer quickly puts a tissue under my nose when I sneeze. I frown at him thinking I'm some kind of invalid, but decide to let him play mother hen for the moment. I didn't really feel like moving anyway.

He chuckles when I remain still. Throwing the tissue into the already half full waste basket, he sits down on his knees and rests his head on crossed arms on the bed. I sigh and turn over onto my back, avoiding his eyes. I wish I could get up and walk out the door like I always do when I'm uncomfortable, but I'm just too... tired to rise from the bed. I hate feeling helpless like this. I should be able to take care of myself. I don't care if I have a hand suddenly cut off, or I just have a some stupid fever, I should be able to take care of myself.

A cool washcloth is placed on my forehead and I give a small sigh at the small comfort that object brings. Seifer takes another cool washcloth from the night stand and gently runs it along my heated face. My hand flies to my stomach when sudden nausea over comes me. The kneeling man beside me stands to help me up in a sitting position and quickly places a previously cleaned bucket in front of me. I feel him look away (his heated gaze no longer felt on me) as he tries to give me privacy when he knows I'm already embarrassed enough as it is. But the gentle hand on my back, rubbing large circles, doesn't stop.

The nausea quickly passes and I resist the urge to fall back onto the pillows. Instead, I slide back until my back rests against a pillow covered headboard (Seifer put at least twenty pillows around me, I don't know why, but at least my back isn't against hard wood). I rest my head back against the cool board and peer at the blonde man from beneath thick lashes. I watch him as he goes to the bathroom to clean out the bucket and re-wet the washcloths. He comes back out and places the bucket near the bed, out of my vision so I don't have any sudden urges to vomit just from looking at it (he'd already learned his lesson from the first time).

He looks hesitant, but eventually summons up the courage to climb up onto the bed with me. Sitting cross legged beside my stretched out, blanket clad legs. He starts talking about his day, his baritone voice calming me for some reason as I close my lids. A whispered, "Good night," barely reaches my ears as I feel myself succumb to darkness.

[Seifer]

I smile when I see Squall finally nod off. I know he gets calmed by my voice, even if he doesn't say anything and sometimes summons up the energy to tell me to shut up.

I get off the bed slowly, praying for the bed springs not to make a noise as I stand; Squall is a fairly light sleeper, but fortunately for me he's been a pretty deep sleeper ever since he got sick. I still don't want to take the chance of waking him up though. Bending at the waist, I gently move Squall so that he's fully lying on the bed. He always moves so that he's sitting up when I come into the room, since he doesn't like to appear vulnerable. Even though I've seen him at his worse, I let him continue with that small defiance.

Arranging the pillows so the fluffiest one is behind his head, I pull the thick navy blue blanket up to his collarbone. I carefully pick u the the chair from behind me and bring it closer to the bed while I place my elbows on my knees, slouching as I watch Squall sleep. I bring a hand forward, hesitating before I gently tuck a strand of chocolate coloured hair behind his ear. I sigh quietly and lean back into the uncomfortable chair. Preparing myself for a long and uncomfortable sleep, or until that next time Squall wakes up.

My thoughts go over the past week, thinking back to the first signs of sickness. We were both in my room, having become best friends since we put our differences and hard past aside, when he started hacking. He tried to stifle it, but his shaking shoulders and hard breathing were pretty hard to miss.

Since then I've been taking care of him. He should be getting better any day now. His coughing isn't so bad now, but he's still running a low fever. If anything that will be cleared up in the morning and the only thing left should be a light cough and sneezing. I always try not to laugh when he sneezes. But the way he scrunches up his face before he sneezes.. well, it's cute. I smirk. Who ever thought I'd be using 'Squall' and 'cute' in the same sentence?

Looking at him from beneath my lids, my smirk grows into a smile when I think of my strong feelings for my best friend. Squall being so naive, he'd never realize someone liked him until that person actually kissed him. Maybe I should try doing that sometime? At least I know he's gay. We've talked about it occasionally in the past, but we both tend to skirt around that issue. He blushes too much when he talks about it and I tend to stutter. Yeah, who knew, the great Seifer Almasy stutters? At least he doesn't make fun of me for my nervous habit. He teases me about a lot of things of course, but I do the same thing to him. I love the banter we have between each other and I wouldn't change it for the world.

I want to confess my feelings for him... but I just don't want to loose his friendship. It means the world to me and I couldn't stand to loose him again.

My thoughts become hazy as I eventually succumb to sleep.

My eyes spring open when I feel a warm hand on my knee, shaking my whole leg. Bringing my head back up, I crack my neck to the side to get rid of the stiffness.

"Sleep on the bed. You're just going to get stiff there." I look down at Squall and find him turned on his side, facing me. Dark locks mused from sleep. I blink sleepily, and refusing to deny a once in a lifetime opportunity, I crawl over Squall to rest on the other side of the bed. My lips curve in a small smile when the brunet sputters at my actions.

Deciding to risk more contact, I hesitantly move closer to his side of the bed. I place a hand on his waist, not daring to pull him against me. My eyes widen when Squall shifts backwards to press his back against my chest. In a slight daze, I wrap my arm around his waist, pulling him closer (if that was possible). He sighs and presses his cheek further into the dark pillow. I barely hear the whisper that comes from his parted lips.

"Thanks Seifer." I smile when he finally thanks me for everything I've done for him the past week. And knowing Squall, he's probably also thanking me for everything I've ever done for him.

I loosen my hold when Squall moves. My thoughts of him moving away from me are cut off in my mind when the brunet turns in my embrace to face me. He looks at my face, not quite meeting my eyes. I raise an eyebrow in question, and feel the other one unconsciously shoot up when he leans forward and presses a chaste kiss on my moist lips. He quickly pulls back and presses his head into my chest.

My surprise finally ebbs away and I smile when I feel his heated cheeks pressed against my open shirt. I always knew the Ice Prince had it in him to blush.

I doze off with a small smile on my lips, dreams of different outcomes to my confession towards him in my mind. All of them ending with us lying on a bed, no clothes separating us. I tighten my grip around Squall and let myself fall asleep to pleasant dreams and soon to be future happenings.

End.