A sigh, a frown, a lift of an eyebrow. "You have to pull back the reel, like this." And Squall demonstrates the fishing move perfectly, an air or relaxation over him, before he notices that open stare of hunger raking over his form. "Seifer, you're not paying attention."

"Hey, I'm paying real close attention; just look at my pole."

He gestures obscenely at his rod.

" … then pick it up."


"I didn't mean that one."


He dramatically kneels down on one knee, much to the amusement of Quistis and Rinoa, and winks at the silent gunblader before pulling out his floral love prize. "Squall, accept my everlasting affections—"

Squall, who always seemed impeccable, sneezed like a possessed elephant, with tears in his eyes. "Seifwu, I hab awugies!"

Love hurts—literally.


"Hey, Squall."


"You're supposed to say 'what?'".

" … what?"

"Marlboro butt!"

" … "

" Hahahaha …. Hahaha …"

" … "

" … hahaha … haha … "

" … "

"Damn it, laugh a little."

" … "

" … "



"Moomba butt—now go away."

" … har, har, har."


Scrawny was a sadistic little bastard.

Seifer knows that without a second thought: The little kitten he had rescued from an alley trashcan was damn smarter than he looked at that time, and he couldn't believe that he had been fooled by those cute button eyes that screamed for warmth and love and care.

In reality, they screamed for rebellion.

It doesn't take a genius to know that the brat's intentions were not of innocence; that much, he can tell, because there was no way the irritated blonde could get close to Squall without a fucking claw threatening to maul him over. Possessive, definitely yes, wary, hell effin' si, obstructive …

Disgustingly true.

And he wants to choke him and send his now chubby body flying over the ramparts of Garden; he has several dreams about cynical bouts of surgery he could perform to change him into some mutated freak of nature as an excuse to skewer him alive. Anything for him to at least get in a five-hundred foot radius of the oblivious lion—

—who doted on him like crazy.

Comprehending hindrance was impossible on several levels: For why couldn't he get a nice back-scratch anytime he wanted? Why couldn't he shower adoration on Squall's face with his tongue? Why couldn't he get to spend all the time in the world in warm arms, complete with soft breaths and nimble fingers? Why couldn't—

And why the hell was he jealous of a damn cat?

But he finds the little shitbag okay: He finds him to be okay when he reminds Squall to come for dinner with an insistent meow; he finds him to be okay when he pulls a small smile to the sound of a satisfied purr; he finds him to be okay in the mornings, singing a delicate serenade and drawing the sun from a glimmer of teeth; he finds him to be okay when he looks dead on into mercury orbs as if he knew what laid behind the ice.

He's okay, Sseifer figures, the three of them snuggled together on the couch, content, languid, lazing about while watching reruns of "Kick Chickie's Ass in Jeopardy". It's okay when he's like this, because Squall is nestled against him, because Seifer finally doesn't have to sleep on the couch anymore, because the damn creature suddenly seems not so bad—silent, calm, breathtakingly wise for all his impudence.

He's okay because Squall is.

And that's okay with him.


"Damn, Squall: Your gunblade's huge."

A smirk. "I know."


Seifer likes to imagine the mornings, a thousand miles away.

He likes to think of hot coffee and cinnamon rolls at seven a.m.; he likes to smell the scent of the sea over gun oil and chocolate cookies; he likes to wake up to a fat cat wedged between his and Squall's face; he likes to go fishing with his own ocean in tow.

He likes the mornings.

Even when he's a thousand miles away.

But it's okay because he knows that someone would be waiting for him, chewing on a ballpoint pen while staring blankly at the window; it's okay because he knows that someone would use his face as a gunblade target as a straightforward sign of longing; it's okay because Scrawny would not be able to scratch him anymore, and make it known to that someone.

It's okay because a thousand miles away, Squall likes to imagine the mornings.

And it makes the absence that much more worth it.


"Shit … I think it's damn sexy that you need both hands for your gunblade."

"High maintenance is essential for potency."

"Oh, I know."

"Still: too bad you only use one."