Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Final Fantasy 8 characters.

Chapter I: Dreams

The ground remains cracked and grey as it continues to rain. He is in the middle of the landscape, barely standing with the help of Lionheart. His dark brown hair conceals most of his face including the scar that runs just below near his right eye up to the top of his left brow. His knees drag the rest of his body to the ground, and he does not even blink when he hits the ground. He does not shiver even in the cold.

The sound of footsteps that made its way through the static sound of rain was the only signal that could possibly prepare Squall for the sudden touch on his face. Only then does he close his eyes as if to surrender to the warmth before gathering his strength to push himself up from the ground with his hands. What he sees first before raises his head up is the familiar flap of a white gray trench coat drenched with rainwater and mud.

He lifts his face up for the first time, his eyes waking from a trance. The color of storms meeting a field of emeralds and gold. A half-hearted smirk appears only for the sake of familiarity but even then it is no longer mocking. Seifer lets his fingers stay on the other's cheek before brushing a few strands of hair away from Squall's face. No words are exchanged, even as he stands up from his kneeling position, even as the rain dies down, even as Squall reaches out to him…

Squall wakes up with a jerk from his arm. Sweat rolls from his forehead as he turns to look at the time with a blurry red glare of 3:43 AM written on the mechanical clock. He closes his eyes again before getting up from bed and moves into the bathroom to take his first cold shower of the day.

He slips into his usual clothes – white shirt, bomber jacket, leather pants – and brings along Lionheart to accompany him as he steps outside his room in hopes to work away the bitter taste that came in with the morning.

A/N: After years and years of neglecting this, I decided to try and edit everything while not barfing at what I've written so far. Bear with me.