yaoifantasy's challenge:
Oneshot(?) Pre-game non Au. Zell x Seifer angst.

Seifer's character basically a huge asshole (like always).

He uses and abuses Zell, who loves him dearly.

Zell knows that Seifer doesn't love him, just keeps Zell around because
Seifer wants sex and basically control over another human life.

Zell + Squall, but Zell never goes with Squall.

NO kissing Squall or touching of any kind.

Zell ~doesn't~ love Squall.

Squall wants to help Zell, but in the end he can't break Zell from Seifer.

Squall and Zell ~are~ friends. Zell knows that Squall wants to be with him,
but Zell loves Seifer too much. Zell is willing to take all the abuse Seifer
puts him through. But don't make Zell's character weak.

Squall and Seifer ~never~ gunblade spar, perhaps some verbal exchange,
but no physical contact between the two.

Seifer ~doesn't~ love Zell. But he likes having total control over Zell.

Squall ~doesn't~ get involved with anyone. (No Nida, Irvine, Quistis, etc)

No happy ending, AND Zell stays with Seifer.
Disclaimer: Yeah, like they'd be seen with me.

Warning: Pretty graphic self-inflicted violence, and sex in later chapters. This
chapter R or NC17 for violence and sexual implications.

This is in response to yaoifantasy's(Julie's) challenge, listed above.

Complete Me: Miserable
Chapter One: I Want You To Want Me
Squall shuffled into his side of the dorm, carefully putting away his gunblade before
allowing himself to collapse on the bed. He groaned softly, and ran one gloved hand
through his filthy hair. If he had to kill one more grat he would go insane, he was sure
of it.

Muffled bass thumped from his roommate's side of the dorm; Zell loved synthmetal,
the harder the better, and his parents were apparently willing to pay for the cable
hookup. Squall had never actually seen a 'radio', but he'd heard stories from the
older SeeD, and the idea of free music sounded glorious.

A lyric slithered into hearing, a low moan of "carve your name into my arm, instead
of stressed I lie here charmed," that made Squall chuckle wanly and sit up on the
hard, SeeD-issue mattress. He made his slow-footed way to Zell's door, hoping
that the younger cadet's boyfriend would be remarkable only in his absence.

Tapping lightly, Squall nudged the door open with his shoulder, and poked his head
around the frame. A pillow almost immediately flew past where his head should have
been., and he ducked reflexively.

"Damnit, Squall," came Zell's strained voice. The younger boy had been tied to the
bed, spread-eagled and naked, and was currently the shade of plum wine. Seifer
shot a glare at Squall, daring him to laugh, hand poised to reach for another pillow.

Squall sighed, somewhat disappointed. "Like the naked leads the blind," growled
the stereo, and a tiny smirk curled the corner of Squall's lips.

"Just reminding you that we're supposed to study later," Squall said, averting his
eyes from the two naked boys.

"Whatever, Leonheart," Seifer smirked, rallying from his coitus interruptus with
his usual sarcasm. "I think you just wanted to see Chicken Wuss here in all his
naked glory."

"Hardly," Squall snorted, still not looking at Seifer, more for Zell's comfort than
his own. "And stop using my line," he continued, turning to leave.

"Keep joking like that and someone might mistake you for human!" Seifer called
after him, never one to relinquish the final word. Squall rolled his eyes, and returned
to lolling near-helplessly on his bed.

He'd definitely gotten grat-crap on his gunblade. That would have to be cleaned
beyond the usual post-battle wipe-down. And his leathers were itchy with the stuff.
Squall squeezed his eyes shut, and sighed. At least his junctions to Sleep and
Silence were full. And Shiva was a happy weight nestled somewhere near the
center of his brain, a frigid presence radiating an unfamiliar warmth.

He rolled onto his side, facing the wall, unwilling to begin the laborious process
of cleaning his battle gear. The instructors became highly annoying, at times.
Keeping him in the Training Center until 8pm seemed excessive. For that matter,
why hadn't Zell and Seifer been at the training session? Were lovers exempt,

The wall was markedly unexciting: his two other jackets, one leather and one
uniform, and the empty hanger for the third. A strip of backing for the hanger
bar. A cubbyhole stuffed with books. He let his eyes drift shut. It wasn't really
fair to blame their absence on Zell. Everyone knew that Sefier somehow had
the Faculty in his back pocket, though whether through blackmail or sexual
favors, or both, no one could be sure.

And Zell was the one who suffered for it.

Not that Squall kidded himself, laying there, exhausted but sleepless, staring
at an utterly blank ceiling; Zell's moans, penetrating even the music, couldn't
be taken for anything other than pleasure.

After rucking up the sheets for several minutes, Squall finally heaved himself
to his feet, and began the lengthy process of stripping down: first to peel out
of the sticky leather jacket, then the sweat-soaked tee. The belts jangled to
the floor, and he promptly kicked them under the bed, too frustrated with
exhaustion to bother retrieving them. Then the leather pants, with a pause
around his knees to unlace his mother-loving boots and toe them onto the
blue and beige tiles.

Squall stretched, fingertips reaching for the ceiling until his toes curled against
the cold tile, ribs increasing their span in a back-arching yawn. He settled back
onto his heels, sleepily mouthing the yawn, becoming silent just in time to catch
the tail-end of a screamed name; he sighed wearily, and turning from Zell's wall,
he gathered up a change of clothes and a few supplies, wrapped a towel around
his waist, and set out for the showers.

Once the door *shush*ed closed behind him, he settled into his usual mask of
indifference, and began the infinitely-long pad down the hall. It was worse than . . .
Well, actually, Squall couldn't think of anything in either his personal history or
cultural tradition that could possibly be worse than parading mostly-naked through
the boy's side of the dorms.

The *only* way to make the catcalls worse was to go to the showers still dressed.

"Hey, Squall-baby, lookin' good!" Nida called out, obviously on his way back
from the cafe, belt loosened and spirits high; that boy could get unaccountably
surly when he was hungry. Squall ignored him, as per usual, eyes fixed on some
uncertain point in the distance.

A few more whistles followed him down the hall, but it was fortunately late enough
that most cadets were studying or preparing for bed. The showers were about
half-full, the other members of his class lined up tiredly in the billowing steam.

"Hey," Ian said, poking his head from beneath the stream of water. "Good kills today,

Ian Cullahey was a senior classman. He would graduate soon, probably with a high rank.

Anyone would be thrilled to receive even a neutral comment from Ian.

"Whatever," Squall said softly, setting his towel and clothes on a free

"Yeah, I know," Ian snorted. "Whatever." A few other cadets laughed, and then they
all disappeared back into the steam, turning their backs on the dark-haired boy.

It was a bit like being knifed in the lungs, if the knife in question were very small and
sharp. A sudden, quick gasp, just like that.

Squall gathered up his bath kit and stepped up to a shower head, hand reaching for
the hot water faucet. The water ran cold for a brief second, then blasted out a gout
of steam and began to pour out, scalding. The momentary prickle of feeling vanished
with the heat; Squall blinked, letting his pale skin flush red. Then he opened the cold
tap, and began lathering his hair.

Grat-crap was nearly impossible to clean out, and Squall cursed as he struggled with
a particularly bad patch that had somehow penetrated down to the roots. Maybe
grat-crap's ability to cling was another method of defense . . .

Squall finished with his hair, and moved on to the one reason he even bothered
showering anymore: green-tea body wash. The stuff smelled absolutely heavenly.
It was like ambrosia after several hours of both the grat-crap and his own stink.

Measuring out the amber liquid carefully into his palm, he lathered first up and then
down his right arm, then in sweeping circles to cover his chest and belly, and then
switching hands he began the other arm, with pauses just to sniff the released
perfume. His calloused hands were rough on his silk-pale skin, still thin and nearly
translucent in spite of constant training.

Every fucker on his hall told him he had skin pretty as a girl's.

He swept both hands down his thighs and around to his ass, turning as he went
beneath the cascade, letting the water rinse him clean. When he was done, he
smelled exactly like green tea. Exactly like his earliest memories.

He liked the feeling.

Perhaps the others had learned to leave him be during his showers. Perhaps
they just didn't care. Either way, when he creaked the shower knob to OFF
and stepped to his bench to towel dry, he was alone. It was quiet with the water
silenced, with only the occasional echoing drip and the whisper of eddying steam.
A sink ran briefly in the outer room, the outside door *shush*ed open and closed,
and he was truly alone.

He towel-dried his tired body carefully, slowly, wanting to delay his return to his
dorm until Seifer had left. Though able to behave normally-- okay, his behavior
was only relatively normal, but he tried-- Squall in truth wanted to either freeze up
or start throwing sharp objects whenever he saw Seifer and Zell together.

It was getting worse, this confused feeling. It came all the time, in the halls, in class,
not just when he caught them together in bed but when they were fighting in the Quad
or throwing food at each other in the Cafeteria. It was *always*, and it was becoming

He was alone. Alone, alone, alone. Not just in the showers. In his life.

He dropped the towel, damp terrycloth falling in folds to the damp plascrete floor,
and settled onto the bench, still naked. The polished wood was cold in the humid
air, and chocobo-flesh climbed his thighs and back. He shivered, once, and then
ignored the chill. It was nearly nine, according to the digital wall stamp; the
confrontation with Seifer must have taken longer than he'd realized.

With classes beginning as early as six in the morning, he had a reasonable
expectation of solitude. However, he had learned caution from a number of near-
misses in the past, and so retreated to a far corner of the shower room, where he
was hidden by a row of lockers.

He sprawled on the cold plascrete, back against a locker, his shower kit and towel
arranged ritualistically at his bare feet. His knees were splayed slightly, and he ran
his fingers across the orderly row of scars decorating his inner thighs, thin white
lines that sent a shiver straight to his cock when touched.

A child's rhyme echoed through his empty head as he stroked his mementoes, a
nonsense verse of isolation and earthworms. A shudder crawled up his spine.

It was never enough that they told him what to eat and when to sleep and who to
fuck and what to think. Then it was how to feel and who to listen to and right down
to how to cut his fucking hair . . .

So he dressed differently; he could afford to, now. So he let his hair grow; they could
no longer prevent personal dishevelment.

But it was still 'rules' and 'regulations' and 'toe the *fucking* line' and he was just
*sick* of it all. They never . . . He couldn't . . .

The razor blade refills were nestled in the very bottom of his kit; they spilled into his
shaky hands, though Squall Leonheartless *never* had shaky hands, felt nervous,
showed emotion. He plucked out a single friend, gulping deep breaths to steady
his fingers as they traced the land of old scars.

It had been days.

This had been building for days.

And Zell and fucking Seifer, he left them naked in Zell's bed, why Zell's bed, why not
Seifer's, why right there in front of him?

His chin touches his chest, naked skin on naked skin; blood runs copper-bright
between his thighs, a ribbon of scarlet on snow white skin. His hands are steady,
now, with the release of sorrow. The blade answers with a wicked tongue, crimson
drying to brown on blue tile.

After a time, the wall-stamp chimed 'curfew', and the fluorescing lights flickered
to black. Squall's head came up slowly; he shook chestnut bangs from his eyes,
his legs moving restlessly as his fingers felt for a tell-tale stickiness, the residue
of his fix.

His head was clear; a locker banged down the row somewhere, and the cavernous
room was filled with the echo of running feet. Squall hadn't been discovered.

Assuming he'd even been missed.

He gulped a quick breath, banishing the thought; his new-found hollow wobbled,
then resumed its inevitable forward march. Carefully thinking of nothing, he gathered
up his tools and shower kit, letting blood run black down his thighs. It wiped off easily
enough with a towel.

The faculty would begin patrolling soon; the grace period was strictly unofficial,
but few teachers punished anyone found on the way to their dorm or trapped in a
restroom. And he could always claim to be on his way to the Training Center.

So he lingered at a center-aisle sink, lathing warm water over the raw wounds,
patting each trail dry with his towel, gently, carefully. He paused mid-wound, leg
propped on porcelain like a girl preparing to shave her calf, and bent forward to
rest his head on his knee.

What was he doing?

What in Hyne's name did he think he was doing?

A sound tore from him then, a ragged breath nearing a sob; he breathed again,
and again, not crying. He didn't cry, couldn't cry.

Everyone said so: Leonheartless.

When Squall's head came up, he was outwardly calm again. He ran a soft hand
over the open cuts, smearing the congealing blood, not flinching at the fizz of pain.

Seifer and Zell would be finished by now.

Seifer would have returned to his own room: he always did.

Squall could retreat into the darkness of his half of the dorm.

He met his eyes in the mirror. His fingertips were stained faintly red, and he ran
them over his gently parted lips, his pink tongue teasing out, tasting copper. He
let his hand fall. No wonder no one wanted him.

Squall turned his back on the mirror, letting chestnut bangs hide his eyes. The wall
stamp read ten fifteen exactly. He let his shoulders rise, fall, in a silent 'whatever',
and gathered up his things.

The walk down the silent hall was long, and lonely. It was a beautiful night; he could
see the dim glimmer of stars through the windows and skylights, and could almost
hear the warm summer breeze that was sure to be ruffling the moor. Crickets and
other, less innocent insects chirped and whistled in the dark.

He paused at hi door, almost unable to enter, unwilling to find Seifer still there; the
older student should, according to custom, be long gone, but he'd been known to
stay for a marathon torture-Zell session. Squall felt the thought shudder through him,
beneath him. He opened the door.

It was silent, but for Zell's gentle snoring. Squall breathed, and crept into his room,
past the gaping mouth of Zell's open door. His things were dropped carelessly onto
the floor, and he crawled naked into bed, feeling almost . . . content.

He could hear Zell's steady breaths as he drifted into sleep.

He'd completely forgotten about helping Zell study.

A/N For unknown reasons, I'm stopping here. Okay, actually this
should've outlined an obsessive personality(not compulsive,
mind you. Just . . .tenacious) as well as a tendency to self-punish.
The graphic nature of this scene will likely NOT be repeated: this
was the establisher. Well, the pattern has been established. Anything
else would be overkill.

There are also a number of allusions to everything from songs to
Shakespeare. Any questions, ask.