Encounters.

Stupid Squall and his stupid, stupid rules and his stupid missions. Why me? Why did I have to take the Dollet mission when everyone else got to go on holiday or at least have time off if they have nowhere to go like Quistis and Squall not that they would go anywhere it was enough of a surprise to see your step out off their offices.

The mission had come up at the last minute or so Squall had said and he needed someone reliable to take it on.

Zell snorted. Bullshit! Reliable? He meant he wanted a doormat, someone to dump this on someone who wouldn't complain too much or at least not to his face.

Yeah good old doormat Zell to the rescue and now here he was pottering around the tomb of the unknown king searching for- for-

Oh hell he didn't even know what he was supposed to be looking for.

An unknown disturbance has plagued the town. He snorted, knowing the rich snuck up people of Deling it was probably a hedgehog. What a waste of Seed time. Galbadia had soldiers in Deling so why couldn't they deal with this? Probably had better times to do, better leave it for doormat Zell.

He stopped his mental ranting when he stepped in what looked like monster remains, chopped up pieces of some creature lined the pathway in sort of trail. He wrinkled his nose. Something had killed this monster, something big too he thought by the huge slash marks and with how the creature was torn up.

He got up from his crouched position slowly looking all around in case this thing came back for seconds. He thought for a second that he was large enough to count as desert too; he frowned and shook his head not wanting to think of himself as something's lunch.

He jumped when someone bumped into him knocking him to the stone ground, it was a monster but it wasn't looking at him it was backing up and had accidentally knocked into Zell. The little blonde prepared for a fight but the creature lashed out its long tongue at whatever was in front of him, lunged forward into the darkness and meet the pointy end of a- spear? Or a sword? Or a- Or a…. Gunblade.

He saw the long blade get pulled free from the monster corpse and he stared at the back of the man who had put it there clad in long grey trench coat and short golden hair.

"S-Seifer!"

The blonde jumped a little having just noticed he was there he stared for a moment. "Chickie? That you? What are you doing here?" He held out a hand to help the other blonde to his feet.

Zell studied the offered hand as if he expected it to bite him. "Squall sent me." He told the hand and let Seifer help him.

"You haven't changed I see, no need to thank me for saving your life back there."

Zell's jaw dropped. "What! I didn't need saving, especially from you."

Seifer scoffed.

"That thing was no threat to me."

"Yeah 'cause I killed it."

"No! I wouldn't have run into it at all if it wasn't for you! It hit me when it was running from you!" He scowled. "I see you don't change either. What are you doing here anyway?"

"I got posted here."

"Posted?

Seifer flashed a badge and Zell's eyes widened. "You're with the Galbadian military!" He studied the badge. "What's the S stand for?"

"Secret." He eyed Zell. "That means you can't go blabbing to anyone."

Zell scoffed. "Like I would, most people think you're dead and buried anyway."

Seifer wiped his blade clean and sheathed it.

"So no one knows about you?"

"Only a few generals including Caraway… and Rinoa."

"Rinoa? She knows? You two aren't?"

Seifer grimaced. "God no! I'd rather fuck a Grendal than stick my cock in her!"

Zell wrinkled his nose as he followed him. "So what do you do?"

"Pest control." He smirked at the little blonde. "And you're a pest." He grabbed Zell by the arm.

"Hey! Watch it! What are you doing!" He yelled as Seifer dragged him along, half lifting him off the floor.

"I'm taking you into custody."

"For what?"

"Trespassing."

"What? You bastard you can't do this!"

"Ooh insulting your superiors."

"Like fuck you're my superior!"

"Disrespecting authority."

"What?"

"Like to add anything else to the list Chickie?"

Zell seethed, mouth open thinking of all the things he wanted to say but then snapped it shut receiving a smug grin from Seifer. "Good boy Chickie." He kicked open an old wooden door and pulled Zell inside.

The smaller man frowned as his feet hit carpet. The room was quite dark lit by one lone bulb in the centre of the room. The carpet looked like something a little old lady would have not a muscular twenty year old monster killer. Two battered arm chairs sat together facing an old black and white television. The far corner of the same room looked like it was used as a kitchen there were a couple of surfaces, a hob, microwave, fridge and sink.

The other side of the room had a small narrow single bed with a table beside it that held a rather flowery lamp.

"You live alone?"

Seifer nodded leading Zell to one of the chair and pushed him into it.

"You're staying for dinner."

"I am? Oh okay." He watched Seifer walk to the fridge. "What exactly is dinner? You got anything in there?"

The taller man looked almost insulted. "Yes! I do get paid you know… though not much."

He started to fill to plates or rather bowls with a little of everything. "You still eat everything right? You always used to act like a walking talking rubbish bin." He sniggered.

"I like my food if that's what you mean."

Seifer handed him a bowl and plastic yellow cup of water.

"Thanks."

The taller man sat in his own chair with his own plate of food. "Tell me about garden."

"Huh?"

"Well I've been out of the loop lately, how are Raijin and Fujin?"

"Fine. Fujin's a Seed and Raijin's a Guardian."

"A what?"

"It was this thing that Quistis thought up, lots of good fighters like Raijin-" He glanced at the blonde. "And you- couldn't make Seed so they become guardians that looked after everyone mainly cadets on missions instead of sending loads of instructors now they only need one and some guardians."

Seifer scoffed. "Sounds like a glorified babysitter if you ask me."

"You would say that."

"Anyone miss me?"

"Fujin set up a memorial for you."

"Seriously? Anyone go?"

"We all went, Raijin, Fujin, me, Irvine, Selphie, Quistis everyone."

"But not Squall."

"He would have but he was still with Rinoa at the time and she made this big fuss about you trying to kill her and it would it wrong for Squall to go to your funeral. They've broken up now."

"Thought so she practically lives here now."

"Squall came to his senses and started to date someone- else." He smirked.

"Who? Quistis?"

"Nope." He grinned.

"Selphie?" He asked with a shudder.

"Nope."

"Worse?"

"Depends how you look at it; different is probably a better word."

"Different?" He paused. "We are still talking about a girl right?"

Zell shook his head.

"Ahh well in that case I guess the resident cowboy then."

Zell nodded.

"Always knew Squall wasn't completely straight not when he's that much of a pretty boy."

Zell scoffed. "That doesn't mean anything."

"I guessed the same about you too pretty Chickie." He grinned. "So? Are you a fellow cock sucker?"

Zell frowned. "You're a real asshole you know that Seifer?"

"Why thank you Chickie."

There was a heard thump at the door that made it shake on its hinges.

"What was that!"

"I don't know." The tall blonde got up from his chair, picking up Hyperion, which he had leant against a wall in the kitchen and slowly approached the door.

The door banged open slamming Seifer in the chest and falling on top of the unconscious blonde. A large yellow scaly monster with long claws stood on top of the door crushing Seifer and staring hungrily at Zell.

"Seifer!" Looks like he had just found his town disturbance and it was about to eat him. He prepared himself for the creature's charge but instead it leapt through the air straight at him, he jumped out of the way of the huge body. Large arms swung out and hit the blonde's legs causing him to fall on his ass mid jump right in the monster's path. A long claw lashed out and sliced through the top of his right arm distracting him as a huge hand picked him up and those claws dug into his sides. He gritted his teeth in pain, kicking his legs uselessly. He shut his eyes not wanting to see the thing eat him when the creature suddenly made a squawk of surprise and the grip was gone and it fell dead on top of Zell's legs with Hyperion buried in its skull.

The little blonde breathed a sigh of relief and tried to rise up on his arms to pull himself out from under the monsters, a jolt of pain shot through him.

Seifer frowned in concern, pulling Zell out and half carried him to a chair kneeling in front of him.

Zell pressed a hand to his side and it came away bloody.

"You don't look so good Chickie."

"Speak for yourself." He raised a hand to brush the gash on Seifer's forehead watching him wince.

"Ouch." He said in sympathy.

"Nothing a cure spell can't fix, you on the other hand could do with a doctor."

"I thought no one knew you were here."

"They don't." He grabbed his shirt sleeve and tugged until it ripped.

"What are you doing?"

"Hold this." He put Zell's hand over the cloth that he held to the largest wound.

"Here's the plan Chicken Wuss listen up." He pulled Zell out of the chair supporting him on his worse side leading him out the door.

"I'll take you to the outskirts of town and call you an ambulance I'll stay until it comes."

"Aren't you coming to the hospital with me?"

Seifer hesitated. "Maybe after dark I'll come see you."

"Okay."

At the edge of town Seifer set Zell on the grass and pulled a small phone from his pocket.

The little blonde chuckled.

"What?"

"You have a phone, you have no one to call."

"It's a work phone I get calls to go on assignments."

"In that case should you be using it?"

"It's not like I'm calling my Aunt Milly to chat about old times I'm calling you an ambulance."

"You don't have an Aunt Milly."

Seifer gave him a look.

"In fact you don't have an aunt at all or even a mother or a-"

"Zell do shut up!"

Seifer stayed until the sirens got too near. He stood. "I have to go."

"You will come see me won't you?"

"We'll see."

"You better or I'll have to come and kick your ass."

Seifer chuckled. "Fine, I promise." He said as he walked away and Zell watched him go.

It was dark and Zell was tired but he didn't want to sleep in his little hospital bed or at least not yet he wanted to wait to see if Seifer would come. Being a Seed he got a room to himself, one of the perks. He had been staring at the door waiting for Seifer when there was a tapping at the window. He turned and smiled at the blonde who looked in through the half open window.

He crooked his finger in a come here motion.

Seifer pushed the window fully open and ducked inside. "Hi." He whispered as he crossed the room.

"Hey."

"You okay?" Seifer perched on the side of the bed.

Zell nodded.

"I rang garden."

Zell's eyes widened. "Really? Why?"

"An anonymous call."

"Oh."

"I spoke to Squall and told him you were in the hospital but okay and that you got your monster."

"You mean you got my monster."

Seifer shrugged. "Same thing." He smiled. "Anyway Squall said he'd come down here tomorrow with some of the others."

"Did he recognize you?"

"I think so, the way he said that he was bringing 'the others' like I should know them, you know?"

Zell nodded.

"But I told him it was an anonymous call so…"

"Will I be able to stop by tomorrow before I leave?"

Seifer looked down at the sheets. "I don't think so."

"Okay well-"

Seifer stood. "I should go."

"Right umm- Seifer?"

The blonde looked back. "Yeah?"

Zell sat up and reached out for him planting a light kiss on his friend's lips. "Thank you." He whispered.

Seifer seemed to freeze in shock for a second, it looked like good surprise though. He smiled and pushed but the now non spiked bangs from Zell's eyes. "No problem." He stood straight and crossed to the window before he hesitated again, looking back at the bed.

Zell smiled at him and he returned it before slipping out the window and into the night.

End