Title: Sanguine
Beta: Fishuu
Summary: Giftfic. Nine (and possibly ten) times Zell made Seifer bleed. Zell/Seifer.
Warnings: Um. Seifer/Zell, obviously. And language. Proceed with caution.


Zell could hardly remember the first time he made Seifer bleed. A little hazy, a little fuzzy around the corners like one of those ancient films or photographs Selphie sometimes pushed into his face. Ifrit'd burnt those memories to a crisp, so all he was left with were flashes of almost-instances, dim feelings and vague smells. But sometimes, if he concentrated hard (Ha, you can concentrate? Didn't know you even knew what the word meant – Fuck off and die, I can too concentrate! – Go ahead and prove it then, Chickenwuss), he could remember enough.

Six years old at the orphanage, sunny day outside, frolicking on the beach with the rest of the gang, kicking up sand, making sand castles, splashing in the water – having a good time. Up until the point Seifer crept up behind him and dumped a crab down the back of his shirt and, hell, that'd hurt. After a brief panic attack with Seifer standing off on the sidelines laughing his stupid ass off, Zell'd launched himself forward and threw a right hook right into Seifer's face, watched that sneer disappear as teeth clicked and he went down, blood flowing out of his nose and blooming on the wet sand like crude roses. One, two, three . . . and he's out for the count!

Except Seifer got right back up, grinning past the lurid red streak over his lip, and tackled him into the ground. Shoved Zell's face into the dirt and told him to "Eat worms, Chickenwuss!" It'd taken Matron forever to get Seifer off, and by then, Zell was way too terrified to try again.


He could recall the second time easy, because it wasn't even that long ago. Still a slight crisp to the edges, but Ifrit'd mostly left that one alone.

Day he arrived at the Garden, aged thirteen. Sparkling and new and ready to learn (Virginal, you mean? – Asshole, 'snot like you weren't when you got here), and in the first physical combat course, Instructor O'Malley, the hand-to-hand teacher, paired him up with a familiar face that'd haunted his nightmares for years.

Miss me, Chickenwuss? Seifer said, a glint in his eyes and his mouth twisted into a sneer so sadistic that it made all other sneers crap in their pants.

Zell swallowed.

I'm going to kick your ass so badly you won't be able to pick your stupid face out of a lineup!

In the end, though, it hadn't been quite that bad. Zell had limped off with a twisted ankle and a split knuckle. And Seifer'd had enough bruises to last him a lifetime and a sullen gash oozing blood across his right cheek.


One word: Hotdogs. (God, Dincht, you sound so fucking gay – Bite me – What, again?).

A few months into his first year, and it was the first and last time Seifer'd ever caught him speeding, though it wasn't for lack of trying, that was for sure. Seifer'd been waiting outside the cafeteria for him to come whooshing by with the promise of hotdogs wafting in his nose and sizzling in his ears, and bam! – out went a foot and down went Zell, head over heels.

He slid a couple feet forward on his belly and groaned as a shadow fell over him. He peeked up. Yeah, it was Seifer, all right.

Speeding's a serious violation, Chickenwuss. You know that?

W-wait, what?

Oh, you don't know yet. We're the newly appointed members of the Disciplinary Committee, see? – and then this huge hulking guy stepped out from behind Seifer, and all Zell could think was eep!

Yeah, we're part of the Committee, y'know? The guy crossed his arms, glared down at him in a threatening manner.

Zell gulped and considered his options. The escape route was too far away, and there was nobody around to save him.

Still, steel yourself up for the run . . .

He flipped up so fast Seifer couldn't even react (oh, baby! – martial arts training for the win!), and kicked him in the groin.

The rest was history.


And immediately afterwards, in the disciplinary room, with Seifer sitting across from him, smirking with his arms crossed and his feet on the table like the counselor wasn't glaring at him from over her glasses.

Mr. Almasy, I thought you'd learned your lesson the last time you were here.

Gee, actually, I can't remember, would you believe it? Been in here so many times it's all blurring together. Refresh my memory, would you?

She glared some more, then turned on Zell. He jumped and tried to melt into the chair.


He took a breath. I—

He was speeding. As a member of the Disciplinary Committee, I confronted him, he turned violent. I can hardly be expected just to stand there and take it, can I?

Mr. Almasy, hold your tongue.

Pause. Then: Yes, ma'am.

Continue, Zell.

He did. After he finished, the counselor gave Seifer a look, then got up, picked up the phone, and dialed a number.

Seifer smirked, the calm before the storm. Only warning before he launched himself across the table and body-slammed Zell to the ground.

Fists flying, feet kicking, and it was amazing that they'd both got out with only black eyes and split lips.


The fifth time was especially memorable, at least for him . . .

After the midterms, and everyone was relaxed and happy and ready to partay!

So there was a get-together that night and Zell partook of his first bottle of alcohol. And his second. And his third and possibly his fourth.

And then after that all he could remember was rubbing and touching and kissing and touching and it was mmmnice and—

Best to forget, actually.

Woke up in someone else's bed with a massive headache the next morning that made him want to gouge his eyes out with blunt pencils. And, ugh, stomach rotting and what was that sticky stuff? Staggered upright, stared back at the bed where there was a little browned blood, panicked and the first thought that flew through his mind was that Ma would murder him. He ran into the hallway still half-naked in only his boxers.

Still, it was funny to see Seifer, pissed-off with the mother of all hangovers, walking around with that odd gait for the rest of the day.


After Seifer's betrayal, and it was impossible that he wouldn't pound him into the ground now, even if it meant he'd get killed, because Zell was fucking furious. Seifer'd lied to them all, made them think he was dead and then he came waltzing back in on the wrong side! (And that was a blow that Zell'd never thought would sting, how could he do that?)

In Galbadia Garden, after Squall'd snapped at Zell to follow him and Irvine because they had to find Seifer before he ended up destroying the entire fucking world with his superiority complex, they found him in one of the upper chambers, sneering and smirking and smiling and Zell had never wanted to punch anyone more, just wanted to feel his fist connect and see the head turn away in pain, wanted to wipe that smug expression off his face because how could he betray them (him? – no, definitely them) like this . . . ?

He got his chance, all right. He hadn't expected to feel guilty about it afterwards though.


Hey, Dincht! Pounding footsteps down the hall and Zell flinched but stopped anyways, pivoting slowly on his heel and reminding himself that Seifer had reformed, wasn't going to beat him up . . .

It'd taken some convincing to get him back, probably a debate the size of Seifer's ego. In the end, though, maybe it'd been Quistis and Rinoa and even Squall (no details from him about his role in the entire thing, only a glare and a 'whatever' and some things never changed) who pulled it off, running down to the piers in their free time to talk to Seifer about getting him a position back at the Garden. He'd refused, initially – repeatedly. Getting him back had been nothing short of a miracle.

Seifer drew up alongside him and smirked. Zell didn't think Seifer was capable of anything but a smirk, but that was besides the point, because he did look like he was trying to make it a nice smirk.


Thought we'd take a whirl around the Training Center. Pause. Unless you're scared, with just the edge of white teeth showing. Chickenwuss was tacked onto the end wordlessly.

And how could he have thought Seifer had reformed? (Reformed, my ass. It wasn't any of them, least of all puberty boy. I came back 'cause I wanted to and fishing's fucking boring – Then why'd you do it then, huh, huh, huh? Hey, waitaminute, I saw you fishing last week! – Oh, fucking hell, just shut the hell up, Dincht).

In the Training Center, with the grats chittering all around them and the faint bellow of a T-Rexaur blending into the continuous rush of the waterfall roaring in the distance. And then Seifer, whirling and rushing at him like a typhoon, like fucking Valefor, with his boots kicking up the dust, trademark trenchcoat flapping in the artificial wind. And no matter how many tricks Zell pulled, he never hit him.

Well. Until Seifer stumbled and looked down, and then Zell was on him like a chocobo that just spotted some especially delicious greens.

And afterwards: I win, oh baby! Can't touch this!

A roll of the eyes as Seifer wiped away the dribble of blood from the corner of his mouth. Green eyes, Zell noticed. He wondered how he'd never noticed them before.

Yeah, nice job on the fucking cheap shot.

Hey, 'snot my fault youdidn't pay attention to where you're putting your feet!

Yeah, yeah, whatever.

They stared at each other, then burst out laughing.

Shit, he wheezed, I'm turning into Commander Puberty.


She was soooo pretty and graceful and nice and smart and funny and—

You tryin' to score on that girl, Dincht? and Zell jumped at least sixty feet into the air.

When he crashed back to earth, Seifer laughed. Shoulda seen the look on your face, looked like you just shit your pants.

Zell glared, then went back to watching Her. Like a goddess amongst angels, she was. (Your poetry sucks, Dincht – Oh, yeah? I'd like to see you do better!)

And he ignored Seifer, but then Seifer went ahead and invited himself down to the table anyways. Leaned forward on his elbows. Which one?

Zell refused to dignify that with a response. Clearly, it could only be Her. Finally, though, he gave in to Seifer's pointed stare, and said, The one by that bookshelf, isn't she – hey! Why're you asking me anyways? You're not trying to steal her, are you? You are trying to steal her!

Oh, please, I have my standards.

They got kicked out of the library for brawling and Zell brooded while Seifer grinned, grinned, and grinned, and said, She's way below your level, Dincht. You can do better than that.

Mumbled insult. You're a jackass.

Seifer kept right on going like he hadn't heard him. Hell, you look better alone than with a girl like her. Trust me, you're nice to look at.

And then he left and Zell blinked and thought, What?


The last time, the last time.

A hand gripped his shoulder, and Zell spun around, threw a punch right into Seifer's face – see how you like that, ha! – and felt something in him sigh as his fist connected with Seifer's jaw.

Seifer staggered back, finger swiping at his split lip. What – the fuck, Dincht? What was that for?

Zell just stalked right off, because Seifer was a fucking bastard and deserved whatever he got and—


First time Seifer'd ever used his name (Wait, you still call me Chickenwuss! – What's it to you, Dincht?) and he faltered from the shock of it.

And then Seifer grabbed his wrist and before Zell could react – and Zell could react very fast – Seifer pulled him back and—

Oh, he breathed, and he could taste the blood, iron-hot against his mouth. First time for this too.

Seifer murmured against his lips, Sorry, and Zell could feel Seifer's heart beating against his chest, hopeful and sanguine, and he muttered back, Yeah, you better be.