the bridge or the pulley


Trouble was spelled with a capital T, and came in the form of a blonde brat with pants slung far too low and a vest that was far, far too small.

Why would anybody ever want to wear that, Leon couldn't even begin to comprehend. He wanted to make the statement that he would never understand today's youth – but that reminded him of his age – so he settled with 'I will never understand fashion' while he absently rubbed the leather of one of his many belts.

One thing for sure, though, was that this was quite possibly the worst birthday present, ever.

Leon had just turned 25; to himself he noted that it was a quarter of a century. He had plenty to show for it, a heart and body scarred by battle, a position of leadership, he had loved and he had lost and people looked up to him. He felt just as old as a quarter of a century should.

When his friends had asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he asked for a little peace and quiet, which was all he ever asked for.

Several days later he had found a boy on his doorstep, pack slung over a shoulder, complete with jaunty pose, green eyes already fresh with disrespect. He looked disturbingly familiar, like a childhood friend maybe, but then Leon blinked and the years washed away the memory again.

"Yo," said the boy, "Need a place to stay. Flower girl said to ask you."

Before Leon could ask, "where are your parents" the pack had already been dropped unceremoniously in the middle of his hall, and the boy had turned to him saying, "So which room's mine?" which proved to Leon that either his friends hated him, or never listened to him anyway.

"He'll be good for you. Youth keeps us young," Aeris had said, a twinkle in her eye. Had she been laughing at him? She must have been.

They didn't consider that maybe Leon didn't want to be kept young. They were inconsiderate like that, his friends. Maybe he wanted to grow old and wrinkly and cranky, spending his days yelling at animals and small children and going to bed early. Because maybe they'd finally stop bothering him then…wishful thinking. They'd probably still want him to rebuild things and fight the good the good fight even when he was 86 and decrepit.

Sending him this boy - it was as rude as getting someone a pet as a present, as if assuming that they would want something to take care of and clean up after for X amount of years. Leon had never wanted a pet, couldn't remember wanting one even as a young boy. He wasn't the type.

He didn't speak the language of youth, and didn't particularly care for 'Leon' this and 'bastard' that. And 'lamer,' even – there couldn't be a lamer insult than 'lamer.' He didn't see himself as a soft spot for lost causes – leave that to Aeris, or Yuffie, even Tifa – someone who would be better at the job.

Pup, Leon called the boy in his head. After all, puppies broke things and ate all your food and were just like little punctuation marks of chaos in your life. And when he was especially pissed at the arrogant little brat, he amused himself by imagining him with soft ears, a little tail that wagged.

At least he was housebroken.

"Hey! What're ya laughing at, dickweed?!"

Seifer was no name for a dog. It was a name for a boy; a bratty, irresponsible, disrespectful boy who really was very irritating and impossible. It fell from his lips, easy as a memory.

Puppies made up for their indiscretions: ruining your furniture, chewing your shoes, piddling on the carpet. They came when called, tails wagging, bouncing and full of joy. They had boundless energy and poured unrestrained affection. Seifer messed up Leon's life: was loud and noisy and messy and he never cleaned his room. He left the toothpaste uncapped and the toilet seat up. This was all without apology, and he liked to kick Leon and call him names.

Yuffie would have brought a little lost dog home, maybe. But he thought that if he did have one, he would never name it something ridiculous, like, say, Angelo. A respectable dog deserved a good, respectable name.

There was nothing redeeming about Seifer, but he opened the door to his home all the same. As he went through the living room, picking up the jackets and strewn magazines, as Seifer flashed him a grin and a quick wave, running out of the house, Leon wondered who had adopted who, exactly.


Seifer was a teenager. It was in his nature to want things.

Seifer wanted a great many things. He wanted to be noble. He wanted to be brave. He wanted to be strong and formidable and to be a saviour.

This much was obvious to Leon.

There were some less than noble things that he wanted, as well. There had to be. These were obvious as well, in stranger ways, and Leon tended to ignore some of them, if not all of them.

It scared Leon that Seifer got what he wanted, more often than not, despite the best of his efforts.

"Teach me," he said to Leon, and it was not at all a request.


You can't blame him. He is, after all, only a boy.

He is just a boy, he is just that. He doesn't know what it's like to have blood on his hands and he has grand dreams.

He is just a boy. Oh but he is more than that. He takes to the gunblade in a flash of metal and heat, his muscles coiled and flowing. How could a child born and raised in twilight be such a thing of the sun?

So if he is too brash, too hasty, was loud and tended to interrupt, rude and without manners – who had taught him any? - it was only to be expected.

Just a boy, after all, all jumpiness and energy, too much for Leon's quietness. He was all attitude and ego, a heaping amount of disrespect for authority. He was sometimes graceful, often awkward, because his arms and legs kept on changing on him.

Leon has no business taking in a boy. He is not a handler of them – he doesn't even know how to handle adults.

And one day, this boy would be big and tall and muscular, harsh in his beauty, and strong, certainly strong enough to press one against a wall in a deep green garden, to be tongue and teeth and not to listen so well when one said no because there was a yes folded inside of it.

Now where had that come from?

For now he is wool hat pulled down over spiky blonde hair and arrogance and eyes the colour of glass that has been tossed by the ocean, that you would want to pick up from the sand, to take home in your pocket.

"What're you starin' at?" the boy huffs. "Ugly bastard."

Leon shakes his head. He is, after all, only a man.


The boy moved like light. His muscles were young and fresh and the sweat dripped off him like leaves in spring, and the sun made him golden all over, and it occurred to Leon, he thinks that he will never die.

Because he believed this, he always lost at the end. Sometimes on his knees, sometimes on his back, sometimes down on one knee, his throat trembling before Leon's blade.

The next time that he was down, his eyes blazing, spitting sparks and curses, angry, defiant, Leon looked into those eyes, and he realized, he thinks that I will never die.


Seifer has taken to locking himself away these days, hours in his room with the door closed and music blaring, hours spent in the bathroom doing God knows what.

Except…well, Leon's not God, far from it, in fact, but Leon knows.

It's not as if it's all that difficult to figure it out.

Today it's the shower, the water running, running, running, on and on and on. It's normal for a boy his age, when his developing body is a mystery, growth spurts and growing pains, coming hard and wet into his own hands for the first time and wondering what this liquid is, it isn't piss, and waking up with his thighs and sheets sticky with that same liquid that smells alkaline and strange.

The image is emblazoned clear in Leon's mind, staring at that closed bathroom door, listening to that rush of water: Seifer with his forehead pressed against the tile and his hand trailing down his wet body to brush against the body part that is really confusing, these days.

And maybe his young hand would be shy upon his erection, not wanting to know the shape of it, maybe he touches himself with shame, making the soap foam thick so he wouldn't have to look at it, so that he can pretend that he is just washing.

And the boy would feel weird and hot but he can't deny the sheer goodness of it, it feels like flying, the feelings coursing through his body, his muscles, his skin, his veins, the hardness of himself in his hand, small hips pumping, skin sliding.

His cheek would be slick against the tile, and maybe there would be grooves in his flesh after this is all over.

Leon can practically hear the schlick of a hand wrapped around soapy, eager flesh, the small, breathy groans the boy probably makes, water pouring over his face and body.

He would be inelegant, of course, as they always are at this age, knowing only how good it feels to thrust against something, to have something warm and wet around his cock, no idea of the other areas on his young body that can burn with pleasure.

And when he splatters it probably is mind-numbing, as incredible as it is since he's first started having wet orgasms, his whole body shaking, panting as he presses his forehead against the shower wall and lets the warm water wash all that hot white desire down the drain.

Seifer finally exits the bathroom, with only a white towel slung low on his hips, his blonde hair wet and tousled, long lashes dark and wet, eyes as bright as the sun glinting on the surface of the ocean.

"What are you trying to do, dry up Hollow Bastion?" Leon asks him.

"Ah, fuck off," says Seifer, shaking the water out of his eyes. His cheeks are pink and flushed, his mouth particularly soft and red, as if he's been biting his lips, to keep from crying out.

Leon locks himself in his own room, for several hours afterwards.


Seifer often wakes up, crying "Squall." Ask him what he dreamt and he will say that he doesn't remember. Leon only means to reassure him, a little pat, really, given freely if awkwardly, and on some nights that is more than enough; it gets him pushed away. On other nights, though, he finds himself with an armful of boy, lashes on his neck and his shirt collar soaking up tears.

There is babble sometimes, people and places that he feels he ought to know but doesn't, words to him, just words, words, words, words.

There are also the nights where Seifer cries "Squall", but this is in another type of way entirely. The shaking is the same, the pretence that it is another nightmare, that the trembling young body just needs comfort, and Leon ignores the hardness pressing into his hip.

Seifer usually greets him with scowls (but sometimes smiles) in the morning, with whining for coffee and whining even more when he's told no, he can't have any, it'll stunt his growth. Leon serves him breakfast just as he likes it: bacon and eggs sunny-side-up, with a side of silence. The fork clinks on the plate. He sips his own coffee and pretends to read the paper.

Leon doesn't mention his own dreams, which are full of sweat and blood. He looks at Seifer and sees someone else, someone he wants him to be and someone that he hopes that he will never become.

At the end of the day, it's still just Seifer, always Seifer, calling his name.


Leon has an iron resolve. He is quite proud of it. He would spit-shine it, polish it like his gunblade if he could; he keeps it healthy by spitting and shining cruder things with fantasies at night.

He thinks of Seifer only in the purest of ways. He has to protect the boy, save him from the sharp corners of the world – the blades that deal death and somewhere in there, a deep-seated fear of sorceresses, whether rational or irrational. There is nothing unseemly about it. Just look at Cloud and Aeris, his love for her is pure –she is for holding hands, giving closed-mouth kisses to. Her nudity would be like that of a classical statue – beautiful but serene, untouchable. Maybe you can put flowers in her hair and hold her.

Something is lost in translation, however, when transferring this chaste love over to Seifer. Well, first of all, it isn't even love, really, affection okay, maybe, and secondly, there is Seifer, who takes off his jacket when training and has that stupid expanse of exposed midriff that ripples, just so, who reminds him of someone who is for kissing and rubbing and for many usages of fuck, who looks at Leon all the fucking time with that look in his eyes.

Boys, after all, are not for idolising. They don't sell flowers or want you to dance with them at fancy palace balls; they don't have the stars in their eyes or caught in their hair. They fight and get dirty, come home covered with sweat and mud and scratches and scrapes and bruises in strange and awkward places. There's dirt underneath their fingernails. They pick fights with you and like practical jokes, and just make themselves generally, really fucking annoying – especially this one.

And sometimes they do really crazy things, especially this one, like argue with you just to get you upset, and then when you least expect it, pull you down and kiss you full on the mouth.

So much for that shiny iron resolve.


"There are the birds, you see, and there are bees."

Already Seifer looked confused. Not generally a good sign.

"You…wanted to have a serious talk with me about little flying thingies?"

Leon could feel a headache coming on. He sighed and pinched his brow. Since Seifer has come to live with him, the amount of headaches that he suffers has been upped by 200%.

"Don't be stupid. It's a metaphor."

Seifer rolled his eyes. "Okaaaay."

Leon cleared his throat, and continued. "So, erm. Yes. Birds…like worms. And bees like flowers. And so…ah. The early bird catches the worm. And in life, you have to stop and smell the flowers along the way."

Now Seifer was looking intensely confused. And also a lot like he thought Leon had finally succumbed to the insanity that had been threatening to take him for years. Not that Leon blamed him- he was pretty sure he was crazy. After all, he let Aeris talk him into giving The Talk.

She had actually looked shocked when he suggested that she do it.

"Why not?" Leon had growled. "You can be scarily empathetic when you want to be."
"You don't understand, Leon. I don't have the…let's just say, proper parts."

And she had laughed when he had suggested someone else, say Cloud or Cid.

As if Seifer would listen to him, of all people.

Leon had never had The Talk and he had turned out fine. Seifer was a bright boy, as much as he pretended not to be, and he could figure it out well enough, the same way Leon had. Leon remembered fumbling through his first time, the both of them naked and I guess that's how you do it, the slide of skin on skin and her crying

Okay, bad idea. Very bad idea.

But he was definitely not right for this job. Aeris was wrong; the little brat never looked up to anyone, and especially not Leon.

Leon sighed again, put a hand to his forehead. "Sex. We need to talk about it."

NOW Seifer perked up, his entire body seeming to pay attention to Leon. "We?" he asked eagerly, his voice cracking.

Leon was again shamefully reminded of just how much of a boy he was.

"Yes. I mean no. NO. You and I need to talk about it."

"Oh." Seifer wasn't even bothering to mask his disappointment. Absolutely shameless. What was wrong with kids these days? Leon scowled.

"You see, um," he coughed. "Babies are made when...well, there's usually a man and a woman involved. And they should be married, but sometimes they aren't, and he--"

"I know about sex, Leon," Seifer said, rolling his eyes. "They talk about it at school. An' there're magazines and stuff."

"Oh," said Leon. Relief flooded him. "Okay, then. I guess my work is done here." He got up off the bed to leave but a hand shot out and caught his wrist.

"I really thought you wanted to talk to me about...other stuff," Seifer said, looking up at him with those goddamn sea-green eyes.

Leon looked from Seifer's face to the fingers curled around his wrist. It occurred to him that maybe staging The Talk in the boy's bedroom had been a bad idea.

"I understand," Leon said slowly, "that you're very confused at this point in your life."

"I know about sex," Seifer said, just as slowly, and blushing hotly now, "And…I…I know that I like you."

Leon wanted to choke.

"Ah," he said, instead. It was more dignified than choking. And he wasn't drinking anything, so he couldn't do a spit-take. "So that's what you think."

Seifer cursed. Leon admonished him for it. "Language," he said.

"I'm serious!" Seifer insisted.

"I know you are," Leon said, removing the boy's hand gently. "Or you think you are. You're very confused right now at this point in your life."

He went on to explain, it's easy to get a crush on your teacher, and you live with me, and you see me all the time, so I can see how you'd think that. Seifer admired him, looked up to him, followed him around and didn't know anything about him. But it's just a little crush. Stupid little crush. It had to be. And there were no girls around, and Seifer probably had no idea, he probably didn't even like guys, really, he was…what was that term – experimenting and why oh why had he chosen Leon for his stupid experiments, he wasn't a hamster, and why hadn't the brat decided to get a crush on someone reasonable instead, like say Tifa or Aeris or Yuffie. Not Cloud, though. Not Cloud. That would be unacceptable. His hair was too spiky.

"I love you," Seifer blurted out, with all the innocent bluntness of youth.

And really, Leon told himself sternly, his heart oughtn't to be pounding like this.

"You are very young. Very naive. And very, very inexperienced."

"I know enough—"

"You know absolutely nothing," he emphasized. Come back in a couple of years when you've seen people die, then come and talk about love. Come back in a couple of years when you know hurt and pain and desperation, then talk about love. Come back in a couple of years when horrible things have happened to you, that I couldn't protect you from, and then talk about love. "So really," Leon said, "it's a silly kid's crush. You're too young to know what it means to want someone."

"But you know what it means," said Seifer. "You want me, too," came the counterpoint.

"I do not!" Leon protested, feeling childish, himself. What horrible thing had this boy done to him? He tried to regain his composure.

"I can tell you watch me," Seifer accused. "You look at me when you think I don't know!"

Leon felt the heat rising to his face. Hand in the candy jar. He didn't do any of that, look or want to touch, he wasn't like that.

"You're imagining things," Leon snapped. "Don't project your feelings onto other people."

"You liked it," Seifer insisted, "when I kissed you." His face was flushed and his eyes were wild, like waves in the ocean, and his body was too close, coming insistently, relentlessly closer.

"I didn't want to hurt your feelings," Leon told him. "But really, now, these childish games have to stop."

With great effort he peeled the boyish arms from around him.

"You don't know what you want, you don't know anything. Do you understand me?" he said slowly. "You're just a stupid, foolish child and I can't play around with you."

"Fuck off," Seifer snarled, pulling away from him now, green eyes filled with hurt, "Fuck off, I hate you!"

"Funny..." mused Leon. "I thought you said you liked me."

He just narrowly avoided the heavy boot thrown at his head.


Seifer gives him the silent treatment for days and makes sure to avoid him, staying out until curfew and then only coming home for bed.

Finally, a little peace and quiet around the house. Leon can finally read his paper, his books, can keep the house clean, concentrate on himself.

Instead, he finds himself turning up the radio all the way and leaving the TV on high volume. He tries throwing his leather jacket on the ground but it seems wrong.

On the fifth day of this, Seifer comes home with a battle wound, the stupid kid, and he's trying to hold it in and he's trying to be brave but his eyes are filled with tears and the only option for Leon is to take him into his arms and Heal him, soothe him and make it better.

It's not serious but it's not superficial either, and there is blood in good amounts – or rather, bad amounts. When Seifer moans like he's dying God all Leon wants to do is hold him, in spite of himself. He's hurt all over, scratched and scraped and bruised so Leon's hands are gentle and tender.

"You said you didn't..." Seifer says.

"I care about you," Leon says. "Because I have to, and you're my responsibility. That's all."

Seifer whimpers softly and closes his eyes against Leon's chest, and Leon's arms tighten around him, with a heart that seems to pound out the rhythm liar, liar, liar.


"I'm not a little kid."

And the plaintiveness and the sullenness in that voice makes Leon want to laugh, to point it out and say, see, yes, you really are. So this is wrong.

"Not really, no," he says instead. He really does spoil the child.

"So stop treating me like one."

"When you stop acting like one, I will."

"Is this acting like a kid?"

Soft, wet touches. The press of a young body, hot with want. A small, soft pink mouth against his neck, open and hungry for it. Seifer's getting better each time he tries. Leon's breath hitches. The boy's always been such a quick learner.

"Would a kid want this?"

The slide of a soft hand across the front of his pants, trying to learn the shape of desire. Leon covers the hand with his own, holds it still, and he's definitely not pressing up into it.

"You don't know what you want," Leon practically growls, resisting every urge to crush the smaller body to his, to teach him all those things that he doesn't know. He won't do it. He'll do the right thing. He's the responsible adult, here.

"I know enough," Seifer whispers, his mouth sweet against Leon's lips.

And his assault is inexperienced and overeager but unrelenting. As always.

Except this time, Leon doesn't push him away.

The boy moves with determination. Leon thinks that for all he is the stronger of the two, he really is damn weak sometimes.


In the summertime, the gardenia blossoms bloom outside the house, the flowers bursting open in swirls of white, waxy petals. Their heavy fragrance hangs in the hot summer air, as heavy as the ghosts of the past.

The boy touches his face with gentle, unsure hands, kisses him, with gentle but sure lips.

"Help me remember," the boy says.

And he, as a man, can't say what he wants to say, that is – "help me forget."


Please, says the boy. Please, again.

Just that word is soft and filled with ten different kinds of want and heartache, and the rush of blood in his ears and the pounding of his heart is far, far too loud, so loud that he almost can't hear the protestations screaming in his head, and he wants to take him, to possess him, lock him up deep inside of himself and throw away the key.

Yours, promises the boy, even if it isn't with words so much as the brush of his lashes, the colour of honey, the touch of his fingertips, light as wings.

Just yours. Only.



Seifer looks younger without his hat.

It's stupid, but it's true.

It's enough to make Leon pause for a moment, again, doubt himself, again, until soft lips press up against his and arms wind around his neck and between the two of them, there is no room for thoughts.

Seifer pants softly against him, kissing him, mouth so eager and wet, not so expert maybe, but wonderful and enthusiastic all the same. He cups the back of the blonde head gently, feeling the arms tighten around him, that body try to burrow even closer, as if Seifer can't get enough of his kisses, as if he wants to breathe him in.

Piece by piece the clothing comes off, like flakes of armour, like cracking open a shell. The coat slides to the floor. The vest that Leon had thought too small, exposing too much, opens up to him and fell back, the pants melt off the hips that they had clung to so affectionately. And then all that was left was boy, smooth young limbs and a tight stomach that quivered under fingertips like something raw.

He tastes like sun.

The hot desire curls in Leon's stomach, twisting around the cold fear there; he's never done this before, not with another man, certainly not with a boy and he never thought that he'd ever touch one this young. But Seifer has this look in his eyes, uncertainty and vulnerability and as if he's expecting rejection at any moment, even with all his gold-and-cream beauty, and it's too easy to open up his arms and take the boy into them, kiss his sweet mouth, his eyes, his hair.

Leon lets his hand travel over the land of skin and muscle, circling around the peak of a dusky nipple until it puckers up, for a kiss. He wonders at all of it, this uncharted territory. He trails over each rib, onto the ridges of the stomach, past the valley of hips and then dips back inside the thigh and up. All is discovery. Seifer takes in a breath and the young land shudders with an earthquake. His youthful erection twitches.

Leon kissed his neck and his collarbone, runs his hands over and over the smaller body beneath him and re-maps his world.

"Touch me," Seifer urges, almost whining for it, greedy for more kisses, nuzzling Leon's face.

"I am touching you," Leon says, teasing, his fingers dipping lightly into the shallow well of a bellybutton.

"Not like that, idiot!" says the brat, putting his hand over Leon's larger one, interlacing their fingers and pulling it down the length of his body.

"Now, that's not very nice," Leon chides, as he cups the hard young cock, giving it a squeeze. Seifer moans and moves for him, awash in it.

He covers the small body with his own, hand moving between them. "Little brat," Leon says, stroking him, learning the feel of it, Seifer nodding in agreement against his shoulder even as his eyes close tight, mouth dropping slightly open with his small noises.

The boy's prick is small and slim and firm and warm in his hand, much different from his own, heavy and thick. It's just as hard though, the tip of it slightly weeping, and Leon runs his thumb over it feeling the slickness and feeling Seifer's moan, and he touches Seifer the way he likes to touch himself, with a twist on the upstroke, with attention to the sensitive underside, with a nail teasing at the slit.

He doesn't want to stop, watching the way Seifer reacts, the way he twists and writhes in his arms, the way his moans push out his breath in little hot bursts.

Seifer tenses under his touch, hips pistoning faster and faster and then he comes, cock pulsing in Leon's hand, his lovely face contorted with pleasure. Hair-trigger, Leon smirks to himself, even as his body gets all hot at the sight of it. He remembers how mind-blowing any sort of touch was at that age. Leon wants to kiss the spot between Seifer's eyes, where his brow knits together, eyes squeezed shut, and he does.

The boy is gasping with it, shaky with it, blushing.

"I-I couldn't help it," he says, angrily, once he's regained his breath. "When you touch that...It's all your fault, you fucker."

And he kisses Leon fiercely, before Leon can even tell him that everything's all right.

It's Seifer's fault, too, Leon thinks, that he's filled Leon up inside so that he can't think of anything other than this. Seifer's fault that he was so sexy in his pleasure that Leon feels himself hot and hard and aching in his pants, his balls heavy with the need for release, that he feels as if he's going to lose it just like this, just kissing the boy with the soft rub of that body against his own.

Just like a teenager again, he would laugh at himself if he didn't feel so needy, if his hands weren't pressing Seifer's body hard against him, if his erection weren't so hard and urgent.

Seifer pulls away, teeth catching on swollen lips.

Leon catches his breath.

"I want to..." the boy lowers his eyes. "I want to suck you," he says.

Leon almost comes in his pants.

What has happened to his famous iron control? He is cold, frozen, smooth as steel. He is ice inside, not fire and sunlight like this creature in his arms. He takes a deep breath and wills his body to calm down.

He swallows hard. "Okay," he manages, sitting on the edge of the bed. He's shirtless already and Seifer drops to his knees, between his legs, cursing to himself as he fumbles with the clasp and the zipper on Leon's pants.

"Language," Leon chides mildly, sliding his fingers into soft blonde hair, and then there's a shy, wet mouth open and sucking against the hot bulge in his briefs, outlining his cock wetly through the fabric and Leon says, "Fuck."

Seifer hums a bit, nuzzling against the fabric, and when Leon presses himself into the boy's face it's because he really can't help it.

The briefs are coming off, finally, and his drooling erection springs up, practically slapping his own muscled stomach, and Seifer's hands upon it are soft and shy, soft hands, not yet calloused from years of gunblade use, and if they tremble a little Seifer would never admit it.

His tongue flickers, unsure, lapping, curling, tasting. Leon feels wet with precum; he's had girls (well, a girl, more specifically, but he can't think about that right now) do this for him before, but never like this, this combination of shyness and enthusiasm, this hunger, this...everything. Everything is purely Seifer and it's all so incredibly hot.

Seifer opens his mouth wide, dark and wet, and those plush lips are beautiful and red, wrapping tightly around his hard cock, and Leon resists the urge to just grab the boy's head, fingers clenching in that spiky blonde hair, and thrust.

Leon's large and he'll never fit, he's afraid, and he's right, Seifer can't take it all and he's gagging and that shouldn't be hot too, but it is, the spring of tears in ocean-green eyes, the look of determination in that young face, even as he pulls off and tries again, the smaller hand wrapped tightly around the part that he can't swallow.

"Shh," says Leon. "Anything is okay. Don't push yourself too hard."

Seifer looks up at him, defiant, and then he swallows determinedly, the part that he can, and Leon almost explodes with the pleasure.

He's amazing, that small tongue fluttering along the underside of his erection, the wetness and the heat of the mouth wrapped around the sensitive tip of it, sliding long and slow. He's either a natural at this or he's had a lot of practice, and the first idea fills Leon with heat and the second with sick jealousy, but that melts into heat, too, in the end.

His entire body stiffens as Seifer works up a gentle suction, lips gliding along the large cock that fills his mouth, hand working the rest of his shaft. He pulls back and swirls his tongue around the head and Leon gasps and twists his fingers into the blonde hair, just as Seifer surges forward again, and he can't help thrusting shallowly into that wonderful wet heat. He wants to plug that mouth full of his cock, fill him up so tightly and so deep that the boy can't breathe, thrust into him and fuck his throat.

He's close, he's dangerously close, watching that blonde head bobbing between his legs, lashes against his cheeks with his eyes closed in concentration, cheeks hollowed from sucking, and then Seifer's soft hands cup his balls and Leon feels himself tumbling, coming explosively, and he pulls back sharply so Seifer won't have to swallow. He ends up splattering white and hot all over Seifer's face, white liquid on his pink cheeks and perfect nose and pouty, reddened lips and pearly white teeth.

It's wrong, how hot that is.

"Whoa," Seifer says, wiping at the dripping cum with his fingers. "You...You didn't have to. I would've...You know." He blushes at his own audacity, ridiculously ashamed considering what he's just been doing, what he's about to do. He laps lightly at the tip of Leon's softening cock and Leon shudders at the overstimulation, hands trembling in Seifer's hair, and Seifer, to prove his point, licks the whiteness from his own hand. "Tastes weird," he observes, making a face. "It's kind of gross," even as he licks it all off, every last bit.

And that pink tongue appearing disappearing between slender lightly-tanned fingers is enough to make Leon's entire body feel the squeeze of desire again, even though he just came.

Seifer tilts his head up for a kiss, and Leon hesitates for a moment before he grants it, tasting himself on the boy's lips, surprised to find desire hot inside him, not disgust.

"Do you want me to...?" he asks.

"Yeah," Seifer breathes, in the same tone that he would say that something is awesome.

Fair is fair, after all, and Seifer's erection is nowhere near as threatening as Leon's heavy cock must have been, so Leon pushes him back onto the bed and slides down his body easily and curls his hand around it, while Seifer looks down at him with almost comical disbelief that this is actually happening.

He licks up the underside of Seifer's erection, just wanting to hear that voice gasp his name. His tongue follows the paths of veins and nerve endings, mouth suckling skin that was impossibly hard, impossibly soft. Seifer's beautiful mouth splits open for him, spills pants and moans like gold coins turning to liquid over his body.

And it's much easier for him to fit all of Seifer into his mouth.

"Oh my god, Leon," Seifer pants, "ohmygodohmygodohmygod."
Flutters his tongue against it, sucking, surprisingly easy, the boy is fresh and clean and doesn't taste a thing like sin, maybe just like skin, maybe just a little bit salty.

"Stop," says Seifer, pushing at his shoulders.

Leon pulls off and looks at him quizzically. "Don't you like it?" he asks, the evidence of how much Seifer likes it hot in his hand.

Seifer shakes his head. "I do," he says. "Too...too much," he tries to explain, and he blushes so beautifully, the colour like petals crushed up against his skin. "I'll come again."

"So come," Leon says, simply, and takes Seifer into his mouth again, tongue curling, and oh, the boy cries out sweet. His skin is soft but his prick is hard and there's too much spit, it's messy and awkward and he's doing his best to swallow and he silently promises both Seifer and himself that next time, next time will be better.

"No," that voice gasps out, even as his hips buck up, involuntarily, Leon's sure, without Seifer's consent, and that's a beautiful thing in and of itself, his body gone over to pleasure.

It doesn't take much and he's coming again, and the burst of liquid is salty and not so much bitter, foreign and warm but easy to swallow down. He swallows before he thinks to spit. He's never tasted anything like it before but he decides it's infinitely better when his tongue pushes it into Seifer's mouth.

They lay together for a while afterwards, and Leon thinks of rafts with cut cords, floating on a deep blue sea. Sea-green eyes are watching him, sunlight on water, seaweed woven through water, sun and ripples and dark ocean. He closes his eyes, he opens them. There are fingers in his hair, stroking lazily. He feels very young and very old at the same time. Seifer's skin is still damp with sweat. he's pressing close and then ever closer and then he's kissing him. One after another, at first they're short and soft and then not so soft and longer each time and slowly, slowly, hotter and then gone wild.

It's his fault, letting the boy go wild.

"Leon," Seifer breathes, mouth against mouth, as if pressing his name back inside of him. He's on top of him now, and Leon wants to kiss those eyes closed, wants him to stop looking, somehow, but he won't. He can see each individual eyelash. They're dark gold, but some more dark and some more gold.

"Leon," Seifer says again. He purses that soft mouth, swollen with kisses. The words are struggling with his lips. "I want you to...If you could..."

He climbs off and reaches over to the nightstand, opens a drawer. He presses something into Leon's hand - a bottle of lubricant; the boy is prepared. Leon's stomach clenches, and then his chest.

"No," he says, voice shocked with realization. "I'll hurt you."

"I want you fuck me," Seifer whispers to him, eyes closed, lashes brushing his cheek, and then all the blood rushes straight to his cock and Leon can't think, can't do anything but nod weakly.

The blonde gets up on the bed, positioning himself on his side, he's too ashamed to look – either up at Leon or down at what he's about to do, even. Then, with a look of intense concentration, he works his own fingers into his willing, tight body.

Leon is rock hard again, in an instant.

The fingers glisten with lubricant, pushing in, the skin around it flushed pink and stretching – he's done this before - "p-practiced for you," Seifer tells him, breathless, with a hint of a cheeky grin, even in this position, and God help him if that image doesn't make the flames dance under his skin.

Leon reaches out, massages the skin around the stretching hole and Seifer moans, bucking into the touch. His skin is smooth and beautiful all over, his ass firm and round, deeply cleft, sweet as a proverbial peach.

He's on his knees, he's looking over his shoulder, he's spreading for him, his movements are awkward and difficult in this position, and so Leon does what's only polite – he decides to help him out. He is a gentleman above all things, after all.

He is tight down there, hidden down there, sweaty and slippery with it. Leon slides his fingers inside, first one, then the next, like opening a secret.

"There's...a spot..." Seifer explains, face against the pillow – of course he would know something like that, of course he's looked it up, Leon's not like that, he hasn't even thought like that, but still, it's weird, that he feels like the blushing virgin all over again.
And here Seifer thought that he was so wise, that he knew everything.

It takes a while. Seifer's insides are hot and tight all around him, slick with the lubricant, and Leon wants to think about it and at the same time he can't let himself, or else he might just stop, entirely. Some of it gushes out over his questing fingers, as they scissor and stretch him, and he's wet like a woman because that's the only thing he knows how to compare it to, but he's not at all a woman, how can he even think that about Seifer, beautiful in his boyish way, every inch of him perfect, (even the imperfect bits) from his eyes to his lips to that pretty little cock he's had in his mouth, just a little while before.

He's fascinated by the sight, his fingers sliding into that tight little hole.

"There," Seifer cries out, suddenly, his entire body tensing, shivering as if with fever. Towards the front, curving up and then press down, Leon notes for his own records, for future situations (he would almost blush at this thought if it weren't such an inevitable certainty), two fingers sliding together, rubbing over a spongy little bump.

"It's...different when you do it..." Seifer tells him, panting. "Better."

"Like this?" he teases, rubbing his fingers over it, as if trying to press it down, and he's good at it now, oh so good, judging by the way Seifer shivers and moans under his touch, whimpering, almost, whimper-moaning – it makes his dick twitch and leak.

Three fingers don't seem like they'll fit but they do, and Seifer is still begging him, face pressed against the mattress, and who is he to deny him anything. So then his cock, thick, nudging at the tight entrance, pressing forward, the tightness is intense and it doesn't seem like it'll fit, either, but oh, it does.

Then everything is tight and everything is hot and he can't think can't form a thought, only he pushes forward, achingly slowly.

Seifer's breath hitches, but he doesn't say stop or please.

Leon stops anyway, running his hands down the boy's body, touching him. He's trembling, so hard, trembling to stay still? Trembling because it hurts? Is he scared? Leon's terrified, at least, but more than that he's overwhelmed, amazed, because Seifer's somewhat beautiful, every part of him hot, and he's trying so hard to be gentle as he slides in another wonderful inch.

"Leon," Seifer pants. "All of it. Now."

"So...demanding," Leon breathes, heavily, even as he bends down to kiss the side of boy's face.

But of course he obliges, pushing fully inside, pushing until he can't think, trying to take it slow but needing it so much, too much.

"Shut...up...oohh--" a strangled sound in the pure voice, because the boy had tried to snap back, but then Leon twists his hips and smirks a little because he certainly knows how to shut Seifer up, in a variety of ways.

And the blonde shudders underneath him, and he squeezes his eyes shut, making a lovely little sound with each thrust, convulsing so beautifully from time to time.

When Leon bucks into him, Seifer's entire body arches back to meet him, curved like a willow branch. "Oh," Seifer says, and "oh," again.

And he wants more of that, more of those sounds and shivers and those bronzed fingers curling and clenching in the sheets, like a rapidly beating heart.

In this position it's easy to do it, to press down into it, and then Seifer cries out, his boyish voice pure and sweet, and he cries out Leon, and it's even better because of that, enough for Leon to do it again, experimentally, achingly, frustratingly slow.

And then again, to hear the shudder and cry, and again as Seifer pushed himself back onto his length, so large compared to the size of him that it was almost punishing, and the sounds that rolled out of his mouth could have been pain or pleasure.

And on and on until each thrust is agonizing for him as well, until Seifer is writhing, no other word for it, body so slick and sweet beneath him, around him, engulfing him in the sensation – he feels consumed, taken over. The boy collapses, trembling limbs no longer able to support him, and Leon feels as if he's crashing over him, like a tidal wave, over and over again, like water, throwing himself against rock and breaking.

"Fuck me," Seifer mumbles, voice a little muffled by the sheets, but Leon's not even sure that the boy knows that's what he's saying, his eyes squeezed shut so tight, his entire face scrunched up with pleasure and pain, and with a shudder, a tightening of everything, all his muscles all over, he surges forward, pounding into him, pressing him into the bed, his hips slapping against the perfect flesh, his large hands branding finger-bruises on those slender hips - purple-red shadows on skin that was half-bronze, half-cream, from where the sun had kissed it and from where it had hidden away.

And somewhere in the heat and the pressure there's this intensity, this feeling, he is conquered, and it's just as he's feared from the beginning, Seifer has poured into him, filled him up, until he has no room for anything else, there's this infinity, this finality, this sense that this is it.

It's building up, and up, and up up up and then everything, just everything---

crashes, and crashes, burn burn burning.

His orgasm- it's inevitable and all too soon even though it seems like a perfect slice of eternity, guts cramping, his seed pouring out of him in pulses of pleasure. He moves his hand down and wraps it around Seifer's erection, hot and hard in his hand, like something that could burn him, maybe, and he squeezes it and then Seifer is clamping down around him, tight and hot and perfect. Seifer comes, white hot against his stomach, salt on his skin, and then he's slumping completely into the sheets, even as his body continues to shake.

And –although Seifer would deny this later, and probably punch Leon if he ever brought it up - Seifer's sobbing with the intensity of his orgasm this time, pleasure so sharp that it dances on the edge of pain.

Leon pulls out slowly, gathers him up into his arms like something fragile, but he's careful only because he knows Seifer's strong, oh so strong, and he --this boy, he has found him out. Seifer's cheek presses to his damp, flushed skin, and Leon kisses the soft blonde hair, feeling each tremble move through him as well, unsure whether it is the boy trembling or himself trembling, or perhaps it is the universe trembling on its own unknown axis, tender and unsure.

In the moment between dreaming and being, Seifer whispers, "Squall." Leon catches it in his lips, tightens his arms. Daylight twists in the circle of his arms. In this space, the dreams don't come, and there is only the taste of now, and "will be."


"Yes I will come for you. Roll my strength into a ball for you. Throw myself across chance for you. I will be the bridge or the pulley because you are the dream."
--Jeanette Winterson