Fandom: Kingdom Hearts II & some Final Fantasy VIII

Pairing: SeiferHayner

Notes: For those of you who haven't been reading this arc to date—I will be using the FFVIII version of Seifer. Why? Because the only FFVIII that got cooler when KH came around is Squall, that's why, so deal with it. :p However, this does mean that Seifer is considerably older than Hayner in this story. If that weirds you out, well, you've been forewarned.

Story 3 of 3. While each individual story might make sense on its own to some degree, they're best taken as a whole and the order is as follows:

1. First Snow (LeonCloud, IrvineSquall)-Kingdom Hearts

2. For What It's Worth (SeiferZell)-Final Fantasy VIII

3. In So Many Words (SeiferHayner)-Kingdom Hearts

…so, yeah…you should probably read them in order or you may not understand what the hell is going on.

In So Many Words

Prologue: Laughter and Misery

"No, he ACTUALLY said that? Seriously?" Pence leaned forward with a bemused sparkle in his eyes and his lips curled up in a grin as he leaned forward in his seat.

Beside him, Olette had her hands over her mouth and was kicking her legs unable to stop giggling. "So lame…hahaha!" She wiped a tear from her eye.

Hayner grinned. "Well, not in so many words…" he admitted, "but he might as well have. He's such an ass. I'm totally going to kick his ass one day, just you watch." Hayner struck his fist against the air, but then winced and went back to nursing his sore shoulder. Somehow Seifer had bribed him into being his sparring partner. Hayner wasn't sure how it had happened because he was fairly sure the only thing he got out of it was a series of bumps and bruises and his now somewhat battered pride. Well, that and an admission from Seifer that he was in fact an asshole which had kind of taken a little of the sting away. Hayner had found it terribly amusing so of course he'd had to share, but he wondered now if Pence and Olette weren't a little too amused. Or maybe he was the one being weird. Ever since he found out that Seifer's lover had been killed he just couldn't look at the guy the same. Where he'd previously focused on Seifer's arrogance, now he noticed the misery laced behind his eyes.

Sure, Seifer was making it a habit to kick the crap out of him and he was pissed. And Seifer was a complete and total ass…it was just…Hayner was maybe starting to think he understood a little of what made him that way. And the fact that he'd put understand and Seifer in the same sentence really creeped him out to no end. He sighed and rolled to his feet, rubbing his bruised shoulder one last time. "Well, I'm off!" he announced.

"You're not really going to work like that are you?" Olette asked.

Hayner made a scoffing noise. "No sweat. This is kid stuff. Besides, it's only mail delivery."

"Hayner…" Pence started to say. He was starting to really worry about his friend. He was distracted all the time lately and somehow Pence knew Seifer had something to do with it. And these past two weeks he was always sporting a limp or a black eye or a sore shoulder.

"I'm fine Pence, really," Hayner insisted. "I may not be a keyblade wielder or anything, but I'm not a wimp either. I'm gonna prove it to that bastard if it kills me!" he insisted, punching the air and trying to hide the wince as he moved his shoulder the wrong way.

Pence frowned as Hayner headed out calling after him, "you know, it might."

Hayner didn't acknowledge the sentence and Olette and Pence exchanged a look. This, they decided, is what one might call an unhealthy obsession. They wondered how they were supposed to help their friend when he didn't seem to want to help himself…

…and if it was already too late.

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A/N: I'd like to take the chance once again to thank all the people who have followed this arc this far—you know who you are. As I only have a half-baked idea as to where I'm going with this, chapters may be updated less frequently than the previous stories until I figure it out, but you can still expect probably at least 2 chapters a week.