"Guess who?"

He automatically puts down his pen in resignation, feeling a warm kiss on his temple that complimented the pair of hands that were obscuring his vision, the smell of hot coffee nuzzling the front of his nose. Maybe it was the endless paperwork on his desk, the loss of focus, or the sheer boredom, but he suddenly perceived a great laziness spreading over his bones, as if he was a dead weight that could melt into his chair."I don't know: Sounds familiar, though."

A snort. "Oh, very smart, princess—really dashed my heart on the rocks."

Reaching for the calloused appendages, Squall haphazardly tugged them away and rubbed none too gingerly at his eyes, pushing rebellious strands of hair from his face. "You need something?"

"What? Can't I see my favorite commander, anytime I want?" Seifer mockingly placed his hand over his heart. "You're on a roll, hurting me like this; I thought we limited your sadism to the bedroom."

" … hn."

"So you say."

And a steaming cup of his favorite beverage was placed in his line of sight. "Okay, time to go, Mr. Mole; I'm tired of seeing you holing yourself up in here, not coming out to get a bite to eat or a breath of fresh air—don't ignore what Doc K bitched at you about; we both don't need another five-hour lecture on our clocks."

"I'm fine."

How stubborn. "It's one-thirty in the morning. One-fucking-thirty—I woke up to an empty bed, Scrawny clawing my ass off at your abrupt absence." He ruffled the mass of thick sepia locks chidingly. "Alone. By myself. Without someone who should've been with me."

" … General Caraway is coming today; already, unit 243 is behind, the exact one he ordered for the presidential parade."

"Yeah, well, I'm pretty sure he himself isn't prepared, not with Rinoa's engagement. So up we go, back to where you belong."


"Har, har, no 'later'".

"Go back."

"Real funny."

"It's important."

"I'm more important."

"It's due at eight."

"You're due right now."

The brunet knit his brows in exasperation. "You're acting like a child."

"The pot calling the kettle black."

One minute, two minutes, a stretch of silence, three, four, six, and said blond shakes his head doggedly before he sighs and rakes his hand through his hair, the staring contest broken off. "Alright, alright—want to do it this way? Then, fine. At least drink this cup of jo and go get a bagel, or something."

" … don't need it."

An eyebrow twitched.





"Scampy, we both know where this is going; so you either eat a whole carton of Chocobo Puffs, or I drag you back to our room and make you fall asleep." Sudden smugness. "That's right—greet the new Marty the Pelican novel, bub, your favorite."

" … " Frowns all around. "You're exaggerating."

"We'll just see about that."

Irritated, the younger male grabbed and imbued the waiting drink, paying no heed to the heat scalding his tongue—this was plain ridiculous. "I'll go back in ten minutes."

"Sure: I'll wait."

Aggravation. "You don't have to."

"Nah, it's fine; do your little thing—I'mma make myself comfortable on the couch."

" … whatever.", which was not truly "whatever", at all.

"Oh, don't do that, kitty-kins; you know I won't leave until you eat something."

"Not hungry."

Total lie.

"Not bright."

"I'm really not."

"The intelligence? Yeah—won't be too surprised if you end up as the main model for Jenny Craig."


He smirks. "Squall."

There seemed to be too many sighs in the last half hour. "You're hungry." That's a statement.

"More or less."

"That doesn't make me hungry."

"What? You can say that after the way you chugged down that one-hundred degree-plus coffee? Kinda making everything obvious, here." Justifying was fun. "And the law is: when I'm hungry, you're hungry. Period. The end. Nada."

If obstinacy was an understatement, he didn't know what the word meant, and it was—severely. "Fine. I'll eat."

Bluntly, submission tasted of ashes, and what an evil leer. "Ohoho, victory is mine. Now what do you want? Donuts? Scones? Toast? Cereal? Waffles?"

"On my terms."

Seifer folded his arms against his chest. "I can never understand you completely: Terms, for some obscenely early breakfast? Hell, if I could bottle the insanity up, I'd be a trillionaire in a bigass yacht." He held up a hand in comprehension. "Don't jump the gun: I'm listening."

Would this work? "You have to eat first."

"Dejeezus, I had a feeling you'd say something—"

"That's all."

" … " Maledictions flittered about the room. "As if I had a choice to argue any further."

Pulling the bangs from his eyes, a small sliver of reprieve flared in the grey orbs—at least, the other knew where the scrimmage line discontinued. "Go ahead."

But then again, this was the one idiot who didn't go home for three weeks until he caught a stupid fish. "I know, I know; give a guy a break, for once—trying to get rid of me that way may work for now, but it isn't a long-term solution." A scowl was plastered on Squall's face when the blockhead plopped onto the chair opposite from his end. "I'm sure you won't mind me thinking of what exactly to consume, Commander Leonhart."

The game was resumed. "Do what you will."

"Oh, so gracious of you."

His clock chimed two.

Squall found that picking up his pen was easy; clearing his eyes was easy; stretching his back was easy; resuming paperwork was easy; scribbling formal dictations was easy. For a long while, the only sounds were words formed on paper, a random bout of taps on the floor by Seifer, the churn of the air-conditioner, and sealed documents, both mouths closed shut to whatever nonsensical thoughts were taking place. It was an ideal setting to work in, the silent man contemplated, devoid of overly noticeable distractions.

Having a scrutinizing dolt in the background, however, hindered those things.

To make it not easy.

In which, he couldn't concentrate on a single sentence.

This would not do.

And the seat shifted.

Nonplussed, the tired brunet creased his brow when he detected a demanding set of hands slammed onto his table, making the various parchments jump, snapping him out of his dazed state. He confusedly looked up to a gleaming set of impish eyes, a nagging line warning him that something was amiss, and it took all he had to not mow off the sinister smile that was currently infesting the air around him; having the taller person incredibly close to him was bad enough, but it got even worse when that damned face pressed against his own, noses touching, a warm breath ghosting the angles of his jaw, the sinful quirk of a laughing mouth. It was now that he realized that any sense of further documentation would be impossible, not when a particular hand had settled on the back of his neck and eased down to trace his spine—futility had entirely won over his limbs.

He didn't know when he spoke. "What are you doing?"

"What am I doing? Aw, gee, what really am I doing? Hm … " An intoxicating scent of sandalwood numbed his senses as the other hand landed on his and eased the writing utensil from his already lax fingers—a lingering touch there, a hint of satisfaction here, a blinding flash of teeth near the corner of his lips. "I was doing precisely what I was allowed to do."

" … " Most likely, that was a white lie.

A very white one.

"I've already decided what I want to eat." The edges of his eyes chuckled playfully at the reflection of his inquiry, mirth dancing in the sensuous gaze he emanated. "And it looks so damn good, all trussed up like that, right here, right there, right in front of me."

His eyes subtly widened.

This wasn't good …

"Be prepared, Pretty Boy, because right now, I have a serious appetite for lions."