Disclaimer: Don't own em, only the plot.
Title: Paper Cut
Author: Cami of Queenscove
Rating: PG-15 around, I guess. For man kissing/touching.
Pairings: Zelos/Lloyd, hints of Sheena/Raine
Lloyd opened his eyes slowly to be met with darkness. His feet and hands were cold, having been exposed to the cold wintry air. He slowly bent his fingers, clenching his pillow tightly and stretching his back in order to get more comfortable. With a sigh, he released the tension in his body and closed his eyes, eager to return to his dream filled world.
Lloyd opened one blood shot eye. Blinking slowly, he glanced about the room. The fire must have gone out soon after he fell asleep. Slowly edging his hand under his pillow to reach for the dagger he made sure to sleep with, he searched the room for signs of a disturbance. Finding the world still for all save himself, he again shut his eyes peacefully, and drifted off into wonderful, blissful sleep...
Lloyd's eyes shot open.
He turned his head slightly towards the only one he knew could be the cause of the commotion. The culprit, a loud, boisterous red head, was moaning excessively from his bed on the other side of the room. Lloyd furrowed his eyebrows in annoyance. The party had spent a snowy night in Flanoir after sending their resident doctor off to heal Altessa. By some odd misfortune, he had managed to get himself stuck rooming with Tethe'alla's flamboyant chosen.
"Zelos..." Lloyd muttered, his voice a deadly murmur.
Lloyd propped himself up on one elbow, sitting up in his bed. "What are you moaning about, Zelos?"
Zelos moved to look at him, his features barely perceptible in the darkness of the cold Flanoir night. He blinked slowly. "I didn't know you cared, Lloyd dear."
Lloyd bit his lip in annoyance. "You're keeping me up."
"Oh?" Zelos asked, and Lloyd could feel the smile etch across his face.
"Not like that, you idiot."
Zelos snorted. "I know, my love. You take things much to literally, you know."
"Meh," Lloyd muttered. "Stop moaning."
"But – "
"Meh. Stop talking."
"But my – "
"What did I say, Zelos?
"My finger!" the red head exclaiming, thrusting his pinky through the darkness of the room.
Lloyd frowned, a look of incredulity crossing his features. "What?"
"My finger. It's bleeding."
Lloyd raised his eyebrow skeptically. "So?"
"So?" Zelos cried in outrage. "I could die!"
Lloyd snorted despite himself. "You're not going to die from a little cut on the finger."
"But... It hurts," Zelos whimpered. "What if it gets infected? What if my beautiful pinky gets gangrene and spreads an icky disease through my perfection and I have to amputate my whole arm?"
Lloyd stared at him through the shadows.
"Then you'll have to be the mysterious one armed masked swordsman." Lloyd could practically feel Zelos scowl at him across the room at mention of his eccentric getup. "Now please shut up and go to sleep."
"Do you always so quickly resort to begging, Lloyd dear?" Zelos shot back. "Or is that only when you're in bed in the same room as me?"
Lloyd's nostrils flared.
"Zelos... is being stupid something you have to work on or does it just come naturally to you?"
Zelos snorted audibly. "It comes quite naturally, Lloyd my dear," he remarked half-heartedly, rolling over to lie on his back. "And that was a bad comeback."
Lloyd grinned in spite of his better nature. "Fine. Go to sleep."
"Meh. My finger hurts."
"Suck on it."
"You suck on it."
"That's – gross."
Zelos sniggered softly. "I love you, Lloyd."
"Yeah, yeah. Love you too. Go to sleep or I'll make you go with Raine on one of her archeological expeditions."
"Oooo... scary. I'm shaking. Really I am." He turned to face Lloyd, a smile plastered on his face. A look crossed his face as the smile faded into a more thoughtful expression. "Actually," he commented as an afterthought, "that is pretty frightening. Never mind me."
"I usually don't. Now that I've effectively scared you into silence, go to sleep."
Lloyd smiled serenely as he sighed deeply into his pillow. There was nothing stopping him now from a nice, warm night, huddled safely under the covers with no one to yell at him or cause a distraction or –
pounce on him.
"Ooof," Lloyd moaned as he felt a solid figure jump into his bed next to him. "What the hell, Zelos? Get off me!" he exclaimed, shoving the (shirtless) red head over to the other end of the bed. "I told you to go to sleep!"
"I know..." Zelos started, tapping his index fingers together and pouting. "But Lloyddd! My finger is really bleeding!"
Lloyd let out an exasperated sigh. "Let me see, you idiot." Roughly, he grabbed the Chosen's hand. It was smooth and cold to the touch, without callous or abrasion. Lloyd bent over to examine the so called "cut." Blinking, he looked up in surprise.
"Hey. You do have a cut."
"And – you're really bleeding. Kind of profusely."
"That's what I've been trying to tell you! I could die!"
"What the hell were you doing to get a cut like this?" Lloyd asked, grimacing at the blood that was inching slowly down the side of Zelos' palm.
"Erm. I was writing a letter."
"You were... writing a letter," Lloyd repeated slowly.
"Yes. So I suppose it's a glorified paper cut."
"You were writing a letter... in the dark."
"You were sleeping. You didn't notice the light."
"Who were you writing to then?" Lloyd asked skeptically, raising a challenging eyebrow.
Zelos frowned as he looked away. "None of your business."
Lloyd felt a hint of curiosity rise in him. "Who was it?" he asked, a slight grin replacing his expression of previous disbelief.
"I told you it was none of your business."
Lloyd looked appraisingly at him. Zelos glanced away. If he saw that look... if he had to withhold from the infamous "Lloyd gaze"... He wouldn't be able to... couldn't... look...
Of course, he looked.
"I was writing to you," he blurted out quickly. Lloyd drew back.
"That's a surprise. What were you writing to me about?" he asked, cocking his head quizzically at Zelos.
"Uhm. Nothing. None of your business."
"Can I see it?" Lloyd asked, a large grin encompassing his face.
"Whhyyyy?" Lloyd whined, sounding remarkably like the red-headed Chosen.
"Because. It's just stupid stuff. You know... How sexy I am, how hot Sheena's boobs are, the usual. I wasn't going to give it to you anyway."
"Aww..." Lloyd pouted. "But no one writes me letters. I want to see it!" he exclaimed, jumping up from his spot on the bed, only to be held down forcefully by Zelos' grip.
"No! It's..." his voice broke off. "It's not for you to see."
Lloyd looked at Zelos, frowning softly. "Zel-"
"Lloyd! I need a bandaid!"
Lloyd blinked. "What?"
"For my finger, dumbass," Zelos said dryly. "Or did you forget that I was bleeding?" he asked dangerously.
"Oh. Right. Go... get one."
Zelos looked at him incredulously. "You're kidding, right?"
Lloyd stared at him. "Why would I be kidding?"
"I'm bleeding here! I could lose all my blood, faint in the middle of the hallway, and die! Really, I thought you would have cared more for my safety, Lloyd. That was careless of you."
"Zelos. It's a paper cut."
Zelos, ever the dramatic, flung his arms in the air. "But you yourself said that it was bleeding profusely."
"Yes. For a paper cut."
"Oh fine," he spat, throwing the covers off him and into Zelos' face. "Shit, it's cold. Why don't you ever wear anything warmer?" he asked offhandedly, glancing at Zelos' bare chest. "Trying to impress me with your feminine looks?" Lloyd snorted as his bare feet touched the stone floor. "Ahhh... cold."
Zelos laughed dryly as he snuggled himself under Lloyd's covers. "Haha. You're a riot. We all know you enjoy it when I sleep half naked."
"Oh, I get so excited. It makes me just want to pounce on you," he muttered sardonically as he strode towards the door. "Make yourself useful and light the fireplace. I'll be back in a minute. Hopefully I won't be interrupting Raine and Sheena's sleep. I don't know why they always have to keep the first aid stuff with them." Lloyd glanced at Zelos. "Speaking of which, why can't you just use first aid to heal that?"
Zelos shrugged. "'M too tired."
Lloyd rolled his eyes. "Whatever. I know you just wanted an excuse to bother me. I'm okay with that." Shooting a grin at the man as he opened the door, he winked.
Zelos blinked as Lloyd left the room. "What a – weirdo," he muttered softly to himself. "He becomes more like me every day."
Zelos had just finished relighting the fireplace by the time Lloyd returned, rosy faced and out of breath, bearing a bandaid, a small bottle of alcohol, and cotton swabs.
"What happened to you?" the Chosen asked inquisitively, blatantly smiling at the younger boy.
"Raine... Sheena... oh dear gods... that was... I thought I was going to die!"
Zelos laughed heartily. "Didya catch them in the act?"
"Huh? What act? They were sleeping and I woke them up when I banged into the dresser. They went postal." Lloyd grimaced. "I'm never getting you a bandaid again."
"Damn. It would have been great if they were... erm..." Zelos looked up at Lloyd, who was looking at him in puzzlement.
"If they were what, Zelos?"
Zelos looked away. "Actually, maybe it wouldn't have been a good idea if you had seen the two of them together. You probably wouldn't have known what to do."
Lloyd stared at him. "Well... I guess they were together... in the sense of in the same bed together... I wonder why they were... Hey, why do you think they were...?" Lloyd's voice trailed off.
Zelos grinned broadly.
"Oh," Lloyd squeaked.
"Hell yeah, hunny."
"One of Martel's few gifts to the world."
"That's hot. Don't deny. We all know you liked it."
"But... it's two girls. Doing... weird stuff."
Zelos sighed as sat himself down on Lloyd's bed. "How can you not see the brilliance in it? You're hopeless."
"Sorry I'm not a pervert like you."
"Oh, you're a pervert," Zelos differed gently. "You just don't know it yet. Now come over here and bandaid me up."
Lloyd grinned as he sat cross legged across from Zelos. "You astound me," he said flatly.
Zelos raised an eyebrow. "How so?"
"Oh... I don't know. You just do," Lloyd answered, unwrapping the bandaid from its packaging.
"That explains a lot."
"Doesn't it?" Lloyd grinned.
"Meh. Lloyd, can I ask you something?"
"Mhhm. What?" he asked, reaching across Zelos' legs to throw the wrapper in the fire. Zelos watched as Lloyd's arm extended across his chest, unintentionally skimming his bare collarbone in his efforts. Warmth rushed to his face as he blushed instinctually.
Lloyd was, of course, clueless.
"Uhm..." Zelos muttered, still recovering. "Uhm... when... this is over... you're... you're going to go live in Iselia, right?"
"Mhhm," Lloyd mumbled affirmatively as he brought himself back to a sitting position. "So?"
"Could I – could I go with you, maybe?"
Lloyd raised an eyebrow. "Why would you want to do that? You have everything here. Besides, you and small town girls? Do you really think that that would work?" he asked, applying a bit of alcohol to a cotton swab and pressing it to Zelos' finger. Zelos hissed painfully.
"Heyyy... Lloyd hunny... that kinda... hurts..."
"So? You don't want to get gangrene and have your arm amputated, do you?" Lloyd grinned as Zelos grimaced. "Now what's this about you wanting to stay in Iselia?"
Zelos looked away, painfully aware of Lloyd's inquiring look. Indifferently, he shrugged. "Everyone treats me differently here."
Lloyd gave him a dismissive look as he peeled the adhesive off of the bandaid. "Isn't that a given, being that you're the Chosen and all?"
Zelos bit the inside of his lip. "I guess."
"I thought you liked the attention," Lloyd mused.
"I – I do," Zelos interjected. "It's just – I don't know. I get tired of it sometimes." Zelos sighed, his shoulders drooping as Lloyd stared at him, bandaid forgotten momentarily.
"You? Really? I guess... I could see someone else getting tired of it, but you? You seem to live on it."
Sharply, Zelos glanced upwards at him. "Well, what people seem to feel and what they actually feel can be different once in a while, Lloyd," he snapped.
Lloyd recoiled slightly. "Jeez... don't get your boxers in a knot. I was just stating a fact. You seem to be happy with your fame. You seem to like girls swarming around you all the time. You seem to enjoy the constant dinner parties with rich people begging you to marry one of their daughters. I never said that was actually how you felt," he replied defensively.
Zelos rubbed his neck with his free hand as Lloyd turned back to his task of bandaging Zelos' finger. A think silence fell over them.
"I feel trapped sometimes, you know?" Zelos said abruptly as Lloyd finished wrapping the bandaid around his finger. "I feel like... I have to be how people want me to be. Like... I don't have a choice in the way I act or the things I say."
"Everyone feels like that sometimes," Lloyd replied, still holding on to his hand. "I feel like people always expect me to be brave and do the right thing. Half the time I'm fighting, I want to run away and not look back, even if it means that my friends are left to die." Lloyd studied Zelos' hand intently before looking straight at him. "Does that make me a bad person?"
Zelos shook his head, the motion barely perceptible. "Of course not."
They both looked away, Lloyd still holding Zelos' hand.
His fingers were warm now.
"You know what I like about you, Lloyd?" Zelos asked, his voice a bit strangled from the presence of a foreign hand touching his.
Lloyd's hand, more precisely.
"What?" Lloyd asked, his voice nearly as tremulous.
"I like – that you see me as a nobody. You don't care who I am. You smack me into place whenever I do something you don't like. You yell at me, and scream at me, and it's different than when everyone else does it."
"Why?" Lloyd questioned, his voice a bare whisper. Instinctually, his hand was moving Zelos' fingers closer to his face.
"Because... even though you treat me like I'm no one special... inside, I know... that you... you..."
His fingers touched Lloyd's cheek.
"I... what…?" Lloyd slid his fingers through Zelos' and intertwined them.
Zelos exhaled loudly.
"What are you doing?" Zelos asked, finding his voice momentarily.
"Was I supposed to know?" Lloyd answered, running Zelos' fingers over his lips as he stared at them in reverence. "Answer the… the question," he commanded, brushing his lips against smooth, supple fingers.
"Uhm... You... I know that you... Ohhh... don't do that. Please don't do that."
Lloyd had taken Zelos' finger into his mouth.
"Mhhm," Lloyd responded as he lowered his eyes. Zelos felt the warmth of Lloyd's mouth surround his finger and shivered.
Lloyd removed the finger painfully slowly and drunkenly moved it across his cheek, feeling saliva trail damply across his skin. His eyes fluttered close as he gripped Zelos' hand.
"Answer... the damn... question..."
Breathing became all the more difficult as Zelos struggled with the words. "I... I know... you treat me… nhhh... like a nobody... but you... inside... you make me feel... like I'm everyone... to you... Like I'm... special... because of the person I am... and not because of… Chosen... you... I...like...some... things... about... nhhhh..."
Lloyd had taken Zelos' finger into his mouth again. He tentatively touched his tongue to it, tasting the salty spiciness of Zelos' skin.
"Stop sucking... my finger... Lloyd." Zelos command came out strangled.
"Why?" Lloyd asked softly, removing it enough to speak understandably. "You seem to be... enjoying it." His voice was breathy as he slid Zelos' finger back in.
"Nhhh..." was Zelos' only reply as he removed his finger from Lloyd's mouth and simultaneously leaned over to kiss him.
Lloyd could have died from the feeling of it all.
It was hot, and wet, and darkly drunken with sensation. The only things that touched as Lloyd leaned in were their mouths. Zelos' arms reached out for support as he poured himself into Lloyd. He breathed heavily onto Lloyd's face and bit the boy's lip lightly before running his tongue over it. It was wet but not cold, strong but not overpowering.
Slowly, Zelos' hand touched Lloyd's.
Their fingers intertwined as they kissed, and Lloyd felt the roughness of the bandaid in contrast to Zelos' smooth skin. He rubbed their fingers together and joined their hands on both sides.
Lloyd leaned back onto the bed, releasing his hand from Zelos' to pull him with him. His chest connected with Zelos' bare one, and there was friction. He felt a sudden absence of lips on his as something warm and damp ran across his cheek. From there, it moved to his chin, across his face to the other side, to his eyes and forehead, his nose, and finally, back to his mouth.
Lloyd didn't care that his face was wet all over when Zelos kissed him again.
Zelos panted. "...What?"
"I like some things about you too."
Zelos looked up at him and smiled. "Good to hear it. Random, but good to hear."
Lloyd folded his arms around Zelos' neck. "Okay. Let's stop talking now."
Zelos snorted. "I concur."
And from that point on, things were silent.
Zelos woke the next morning to see Lloyd sleeping soundly, curled up next to him. Smiling softly, he leaned over and brushed a strand of hair out of the younger boy's eyes. It was hard to think that someone could look so innocent after what had occurred the night before...
He kissed Lloyd softly on the forehead before sliding quietly out of bed. Walking faintly over to the desk where he had sat the night before, he reached for the letter that he had hid between two books. Studying the letter for a moment, he threw it into the long extinguished fire place. Calling a breath of magic to his fingers, he lit the letter with his flame, watching it slowly burn away.
"Sorry, Lloyd," he breathed softly. "I guess you won't be getting rid of me after all."
Glancing down at his naked body, he chuckled lightly. His pants and underwear had been discarded sometime during the night, along with Lloyd's "pajamas," leaving him bare, save one thing.
The bandaid Lloyd had used to stop the bleeding was still there.
Comments appreciated, my lovlies.