After a final glance at the sleeping seer, Seifer carefully closed the door to their room and stepped lightly down the narrow hallways of the inn. Raking fingers back through wet hair, he growled out a sigh as distracting thoughts about Squall continued to plague him. It wasn't like the fighter to lust after a man, and yet, somehow, the dark-haired seer wasn't simply a man. With a vague smile, Seifer thought that Squall would probably approve of such a description. But then he quickly wondered whether the blind man would prefer to be simply normal, just another man living life one day at a time. Even so, the blond had difficulty imagining the stubborn person as 'normal' in any sense of the word. The smirk returning, he thanked Hyne that Squall wasn't a swordsman like himself. While Seifer would have appreciated the worthy challenge the dark-haired man might have been, it would have made winning first place in tournaments just that more difficult.
Eventually Seifer found his way to the suite belonging to the owners of the inn, the thoughts about Squall fading somewhat to the back of his mind. The scent of hot cider was heavy in the air, the nostalgic smell making the fighter smile fondly. He knocked lightly at the unlabeled door and waited for the inevitable.
The door opened a bare crack for a brief moment before it flung open wide as a brown-haired woman leapt out from the doorway to tackle the far larger man in a hug. Despite the woman's smaller size, Seifer found himself pushed back a couple of steps.
"Sefie, you're really home!"
Chuckling, Seifer wrapped an arm around the woman. "What, didn't believe Irvine when he said the bum was back in town?"
"You know how he lies," she said with a smile clear in her voice. A muffled 'hey!' quickly followed from inside the large suite, making the hazel-eyed woman smile wider.
"A-ah, so that's how he got you to marry him - he lied about his wealth and charm."
With an overly cheerful 'yep!', Selphie then pushed herself out from the man's hold to step back a pace. Still smiling sweetly, she abruptly slapped the blond hard against his cheek.
"What the fuck was that for, woman!?"
Pointing a scolding finger at Seifer, the petite brunette said, "That's for leaving without saying 'goodbye' to me, you stupid boy. I should slap you again for staying away for five years without a single word to us, but I'll just have to think of some other form of torment. Maybe I'll make you collect eggs in the morning as a payment for staying here..." she muttered in thought.
Seifer tried to hide his wince, wishing that the young woman hadn't remembered how much chickens seemed to hate him. "Selphie, baby girl, you don't hate me that much, right? And you know that you'll just end up with broken eggs that way."
"But the entertainment value should be worth it," she said with a frightful grin. Grabbing a hold of a muscular arm, Selphie then led the larger man inside. "Enough of that for now. There's hot cider for you, and oh, you didn't bring your friend?"
"He's sleeping. Didn't Irvine mention he was sick?"
She pouted. "Well, yeah, but I thought you'd at least introduce us first."
"And I told you that the guy looked dead on his feet, Selph." Irvine turned around in his seat on a couch and grinned at the blond. "Looks like you have already taken advantage of the springs."
Seifer scoffed as he pulled out of Selphie's grasp and sat in a large sofa chair. "No time for that yet. I had to get a certain pain in the ass kitten to bed."
Irvine chuckled. "Kitten? And how did he deserve being called that?"
"Long story, but I've got to warn you, he has sharp claws, so watch your step around him."
Eyes dark purple in the evening light narrowed vaguely. "I'll remember that."
Seifer didn't have the chance to consider the odd expression as a mug of cider was handed to him by Selphie. As she held one out to Irvine, she asked over her shoulder, "Are you hungry, Seifer? I haven't heard if you already had dinner on the road."
"I'm good," he said before sipping at the warm liquid, a satisfied sigh escaping him. "I think I want to hit the sack early tonight anyway, but first, we have some catching up to do. So where's the old man?"
"Pa died last winter," Irvine stated in a flat tone.
Green eyes widened. "Ah, shit, I'm sorry. I didn't think anything could stop that ox. What happened?"
"Pneumonia or something. You know how he never did well in the cold weather and it finally took him this time. But I'm okay with it now. In a way, it was a good thing, clearing my head about life and what's important. I proposed to Selphie about a month later," he said, wrapping an arm around the smaller woman's waist. Selphie smiled weakly at the words, her hazel eyes warm as she gazed at her husband.
Seeing nothing to respond with, Seifer drank from his mug and used the moment of silence to think about the man who had been a second father to him. While the reasons as to how it came about were fuzzy to the fighter, he had been taken in by the Kinneas family around the age of five. Nearly a decade followed of peaceful times with the new family, Seifer and Irvine becoming closer as friends rather than brothers. During that time, the old man Kinneas had taught Seifer how to wield a blade, something Irvine had no interest in to his father's regret. With a vague smile, Seifer said a silent thanks to the old soldier for the crucial lessons.
"Anyway," Irvine said, breaking the heavy silence, "What brings you into town after all this time?"
Seifer shrugged. "I wanted some place to think for awhile, and I couldn't imagine a better place than here."
"Glad we can still be of some service, then," Irvine stated in part humor. "And what about this kitten of yours - Squall? Have you been with him long?"
"No. Just little over a month, I think." Looking directly into violet eyes, he then asked, "Why do you think you know him?"
Irvine shook his head. "It doesn't matter."
Seifer growled. "Don't you give me that shit, too. When I ask something, it's because I want to fucking know. I don't care if you think it's important or not."
Eyebrows rose in amused surprise. "Feeling a bit touchy lately?"
"I'm tired and frustrated, but it's no concern of yours. Would you just tell me what you know about Squall?"
After a long sip of his cider, Irvine said softly, "Sometimes we forget things for a reason."
"What's that supposed to mean? That you don't remember him after all?"
"No. Apparently you are the one who forgot about him."
Though about ready to drink from his cider, Seifer paused in mid-motion to stare at Irvine from over the raised mug. "He was here in Drasberg? When?"
"Five years ago. Just before you left, actually."
After frowning in thought and finding no memory of the dark-haired youth, Seifer asked, "Are you certain?
With a smirk, Irvine replied, "Well, unless you have two blind men following you around with those same eyes, then I suppose I could be mistaken."
While at first caught off guard by the original statement, Seifer had to admit to himself that it was more than probable that Squall could have been following him those years back, only a couple of years before his sword, Hyperion, had been purchased through the seer's meddling. Even so, it didn't explain Irvine's comment about him forgetting the blind man, a person Seifer was unable to force out of his mind in the last weeks. It seemed impossible to forget such an individual.
Irvine sighed before setting his mug on a small table. "By your look, I know what you want from me, but I'm not certain if I should tell you about back then. It'd probably do more harm than good."
Fixed onto the violet eyes wavering with indecision, Seifer said in a firm voice, "Tell me."
After studying the man in front of him, Irvine sighed a second time before looking to his wife. "I'm sorry, love, but this is kind of personal..."
Selphie waved her hand and stood from the couch. "I understand. It's late, anyhow, and I have breakfast to prepare in the morning. Don't take too long," she finished with a soft, encouraging kiss to the long-haired man. Turning to the blond, she said with a warm smile, "Goodnight, Seifer, and welcome home."
The fighter nodded his thanks, but remained focused on the seated man as if worried the other would run off given the chance. As it was, even after Selphie had disappeared into a back room, Irvine took his time before speaking, his eyes closed in thought or perhaps memories. After long moments of only the sounds of rainfall breaking the silence, the auburn-haired man finally began to speak.
"It was a rainy day back then, too, but nothing like this downpour. Just the annoying light drizzle that makes the day feel cold and grim. You were missing since morning without a word to either Pa or me, something you hadn't done since you first moved in with us. I was still looking for you when it started to get dark, and that's when I bumped into this scrawny kid. He had this large cloak on which covered most of his face, and the whole thing was sopping wet from rain."
Seifer closed his eyes briefly, easily imagining the younger form of the seer he knew. But he couldn't focus too hard on the oddly clear picture in his mind, his attention still tuned onto Irvine's words.
"Before I had the chance to apologize for knocking into him, he asked me for directions to the church. I tried to point the way, but he interrupted to ask for clearer directions given his blindness, which I hadn't noticed because of that damn hood. I told him how I could lead him there later, but that I was busy looking for someone. Without hesitation, he said something like you had gotten yourself into trouble and I had to lead him to the church. It wasn't until later that I realized I should have been bothered by him knowing both of our names without even seeing me, but I guess I figured you knew him.
"I can't really explain what happened at the church... It was dark, as I remember. The church felt tainted by that darkness, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I would've ran off before going in there if it weren't for the boy hanging onto my arm. Then I saw you tied to a column, dark writing of some sort all over you. As we got closer, I could smell the blood. That kid squeezed my arm, in assurance I guess, and told me to help you. But before I could take a step, this woman appeared from behind the column." Irvine breathed a laugh. "It could be an understatement to call her a mere woman. She was an icon of womanly beauty with fair skin, golden eyes, and unearthly grace... but then she smiled at the boy. I've never seen such maliciousness in a simple gesture. She laughed at the boy, but I can't remember what she told him exactly. And then... they fought."
Frowning at the vague description, Seifer asked, "They fought? How the hell can a blind man fight?"
Irvine shrugged. "Heck if I know. They spoke this weird language, and occasionally a light would flash or something like thunder would sound, but it wasn't anything I've seen before. Anyway, I didn't watch them for long. I was terrified and wanted to get out of there, so I ran to get you. But something blocked me and threw me back hard against a bench. I was out for a time, I think, and when I woke up, you were screaming. It took me awhile to locate the other two. It then when I realized that a large part of the church was on fire. Even so, the boy and the woman were still fighting as if the heat of flames didn't matter. As I watched them, the woman drove hand forward and it fucking pierced through the boy's chest," Irvine said while showing on his body where the hand had struck. "But just the moment before that, the boy had taken out this knife covered in bandages and slashed it through the woman's neck. Unsurprisingly, she quickly retreated considering that deep wound of hers, which I swear was pouring out blood. After that, she somehow, poof, vanished into nothing.
"By then, the kid was stumbling over to you. He did some weird hand motions and was able to get close. Using the blood that flowed from his wound, he changed the symbols that were on your body, but you just kept screaming and fighting your bonds. The boy then wrote something on your forehead and you went limp. He called me over and told me to get you out of there. To my shame, I did only that. I left that kid behind in the burning church without a moment's hesitation." Irvine went silent after the admission and pressed a hand over his eyes.
Unable to say anything much in comfort, Seifer stated, "You weren't much more than a kid yourself."
A harsh laugh came from the man. "Yeah, maybe. But it excuses nothing. I couldn't make myself go back to help him out of that church. And Hyne, the flames ate up that building like kindling. I just stood there and watched as he walked himself out on unsteady feet, and then collapsed a short distance away from us. I think Pa was the first person there, and after checking you and me, he went to the boy and..." Irvine paused before saying, "Pa shook his head after looking him over. But even before that, I knew in my heart that the kid couldn't survive a hand through his chest. Without a word to me, Pa took the boy into his arms and walked off."
Wide green eyes stared at Irvine. "You're telling me that this kid died?"
"I thought so... heck, I still remember how limp he was in Pa's arms. But I'll never forget those eyes. When he told me to get your ass out of the church, his hood was pushed back from the fight, and that's when I got a good look at his face. Those eyes are like freaking icicles piercing through your soul. I got goosebumps seeing those eyes again on that traveling partner of yours."
"I wouldn't doubt it," Seifer mumbled. Knowing of Squall's resilient nature, it wouldn't surprise him much if the dark-haired man could have survived such an injury. Pressing fingers against his forehead, he then asked, "What did he do to me? Why can't I remember any of this?"
Irvine bit his lip in hesitation before saying, "I think Pa... knew things. I don't know what, but after I told him about everything that had happened, he just kind of nodded his head as if it made sense. When I asked about you, he told me that you were fine, but I was forbidden to ask or to tell you anything about that day. When I asked why, he said, 'Sometimes we forget things for a reason.' And that was pretty much it. The old mule never let loose anymore information than that, not even about that boy."
Standing up sharply from his chair, Seifer stepped towards the door with a stern expression.
"Don't blame him," Irvine said, causing the fighter to pause in his exit. "While I know you hate to be messed with, I think everything was for the better. The way you were screaming... I thought you were dying. I know if it were me, I wouldn't want to remember whatever made you cry out like that."
Not looking back at the long-haired man, Seifer stated coolly, "It wasn't his decision to make."
Ignoring any further arguments from Irvine, the blond left the large suite and walked with heavy steps to his room. While Seifer knew the blind man was always holding back secrets, it pained him that Squall had hidden the fact that they held a shared history. He planned to drag the details of their past out from the man, but upon entering their room, his anger was lost as he watched Squall resting in a rare deep sleep. Deciding to allow the young man his peace, Seifer closed the door softly and stepped to his own bed, an odd change since the times they shared a bed. For time he laid on his side and studied the sleeping profile of the seer, all the while wondering what other larger secrets the man held. And like that, he fell asleep.
~ > < ~
Eyes opening, Seifer gazed into a hazy darkness that was lighted by the full moon shining through his window. After a time, he realized that the window shouldn't have been opened to allow such light into his room, let alone the fog of early morning. Turning his head, he looked over to the window, green eyes widening when he saw a small figure sitting on the wide windowsill. Instinctively he tried to move, but his body still hurt from within and resisted the fast movement.
Glaring at the owner of the young voice, Seifer replied, "Thanks for telling me what I know."
The darken figure didn't react to the sarcastic tone, and instead moved soundlessly from the window and stepped close to the bed. From his cloak, the youth pulled out something and tossed it onto the mattress.
Seifer eyed the heavy object and asked, "What's that, and what do ya want?"
"You shouldn't stay here anymore. The beldame is injured, but she'll heal and look for you here. As for that dagger, it belonged to your father, and it's now yours." The youth turned for the window, but stopped to add, "And for Hyne's sake, get stronger already."
After the cloaked form had left, Seifer cautiously reached out for the handle of the weapon wrapped in worn bandages. Removing the cloth, his eyes widened at the sight of silver shining in the moonlight. Gripping the hilt tightly, he pulled the thin knife against his chest and partly hugged the weapon that somehow made him feel protected and safe from the deep shadows around him. Green eyes then shifted to the open window and stared out into the hazy morning.
"I'll show him who's strong," he muttered.
The sound of quick, light knocks woke Squall immediately from sleep, but he didn't move from his position until he could be certain of his current situation. Eventually aware of the softness beneath him and the warmth covering him, the seer remembered the previous night of reaching the inn, feeling exhausted from illness, and being put to bed by Seifer, that later memory causing a small frown. He hated how easily the larger man had handled him, but reluctantly Squall could admit that he had needed the help.
In response to the knocking, the other bed creaked with quiet relief and footsteps trailed to the entrance of the room. After a brief hesitation, the door opened and a painfully cheerful voice sounded from the hallway.
"Morning, sunshine! I remembered that you used to be an earlier riser, so I got worried when you didn't come downstairs for breakfast. And we all know how intolerable you get when you miss a meal." Her voice quieting slightly, the woman then said, "A-aw, your friend is still asleep? Darn, I was hoping to meet him."
"He's not exactly the warm and friendly type, Selph. Especially not in the morning."
A light hearted laughter sounded. "Then it's no wonder you two get along. You were the same way when you first moved in with Irvine. I remember him sulking around my place, always whining about how you weren't the brother he wanted. But enough of that," she said, then stepping into the room. "I've got breakfast for you both."
"Thanks, baby girl. Just set it on the dresser and we'll dig into it later."
As she followed the order, she asked, "What's wrong, Seifer? You seem pouty this morning."
Seifer scoffed. "Don't start with me. Just because you're so full of cheerful energy, it doesn't mean that you can pick on the rest of us for being in a bad mood on occasion."
A knowing hum came from the woman. "Whatever you say. Just don't worry too much about your friend here, or else you'll end up sick yourself, and there's no chance of me taking care of you in that case. You're worse than a grump when you barely have the sniffles, let alone when you get really sick."
"All right, enough from you. Get out of here."
Squall listened as Seifer herded out the smaller woman, Selphie playfully arguing against the supposed rough handling of the man. The fighter didn't seem bothered by the comments as the shuffled footsteps continued, quickly followed by the door slamming shut. After speaking a quiet grumble at the closed door, Seifer took a few steps toward the beds before stopping.
"I know you're awake."
Opening his eyes despite the continued darkness, Squall sat up and placed a hand to his forehead at the throb of pain caused by changing his position.
"How are you feeling?" the man asked, his voice soft in concern.
"In other words, you still feel like shit, yes?"
"It's not that bad. I can travel."
A bark of laughter sounded. "We aren't traveling for at least a week, so get comfortable."
"We shouldn't stay here."
"Why, because that witch will probably attack me again in my hometown?"
Cloudy eyes widened slightly at the words, but Squall didn't reply to the question. He knew Seifer shouldn't have such memories yet, especially when the man still questioned the existence of dark magic despite the number of times sorcery has been used against him. But there was the potential that returning to Drasberg could have made the blond remember parts of his past, both within this town and further.
Seifer moved from his spot and stepped to where the tray of food had been left. "Why didn't you tell me that we had a shared history?"
Clutching the sheets beneath him, the blind man hesitated before saying, "It didn't matter."
"Fuck it didn't. I like to know when I owe someone a life debt, but it's kind of hard when my memory has been wiped clean."
At the words suggesting returned memories of the more recent past, Squall relaxed with a sigh. "You would have gone insane otherwise. And the spell is designed to allow you to remember things once your mind can properly handle them." Smirking vaguely, he added, "Apparently you haven't been able to handle those memories yet."
"Fuck you," the man growled. "You mocked me back then, too. 'Get stronger already' my ass."
"So, you remember everything?"
"No, not quite. Last night, I had a dream about you visiting me. I'm guessing that it was shortly after that thing at the church, which I remember shit about. Irvine had to tell me everything he could about it." Seifer walked up to the bed and set the tray on the seer's lap, the smell of spice and sweetness making Squall feel hungry. But the food had to wait when the large man sat down on the edge of the mattress and reached out to place a hand on brunet's robe. "He mentioned that you almost died for me."
The blind man shivered as his robe was pushed apart, revealing his chest to the cool morning air.
After a quiet pause, Seifer pressed a hand against the bared skin just above the heart area. "Funny, I thought I recognized something about that longer scar of yours, but she attacked you here, didn't she? Damn, it's pretty impressive that you survived after something like this."
Squall took a deep unsteady breath as he grabbed the warm hand and pulled it away. But Seifer reversed the grasp and held onto the thin wrist.
"Would you tell me about that night? Irvine couldn't explain everything."
"Stupid kitten, it's no longer a secret. Why are you being so closed mouthed about it?"
Staring down at the offending hand, Squall spoke reluctantly, "I had a vision of the beldame. I saw her doing something that would have left your soul in pieces. I tried to warn you, but you ignored me. So I asked your friend for help, and we saved you before any damage was done."
After a brief moment of silence, Seifer chuckled as he rubbed a callused thumb along the branded wrist. "Phft, leave it to you to keep a story short and sweet without an ounce of detail. So, what exactly was she trying to do?"
"I don't know. I used my blood to disrupt the spell that had been placed on you, but there was no way for me to identify the runes or their purpose."
"Hyne forbid there be simple answers." After letting the wrist slip from his hold, the man laughed quietly. "Shit, so you can actually fight? Why haven't I seen anything like that?"
Squall glared forward. "I don't care to show off like some people."
"Is that so? In other words, you don't care for witnesses? Perhaps like the crowd who saw me take down that demon... what did you call it? Gina?"
The seer replied in an annoyed growl, "Worgein."
"Yeah, that's the beast. Could you have handle such a demon by yourself?"
Squall shook his head vaguely. "It takes too much out of me."
"But you can handle a sorceress, this beldame, without any help?" Seifer leaned in closer with the question, his sheer presence alone making Squall feel overpowered and cornered.
"It's not like that."
"Then tell me, what is it like?"
"I know, I know," Seifer said, interrupting the seer. "You aren't going to tell me fucking shit because you can't imagine me believing your word, but... You know, I was furious at you last night. I had such the urge to strangle the life out of you, but when I watched you sleeping, I realized that death wasn't something you feared. Instead, you taunt death with the clear purpose of wanting to die. And the single thing which drove you to that point of insanity is your determination to protect me." Standing up from the bed, he asked, "What can I say, Squall? Thank you? Sorry? I don't know - you tell me."
Squall shook his head. "I don't want to hear that from you."
"Then what do you want? What can I do to prove myself to you?" Seifer asked, frustration clear in his voice.
"Prove yourself? You're the Hero. What do you have to prove?"
"No. Fuck being a hero and fuck destiny. How can I prove myself to you? How can I make you trust me? How can I..." The man turned sharply and stepped towards the exit. "Forget it. Eat your breakfast and don't move a foot out of that bed. I have errands to run, so I'll see you later."
Blinking, Squall stared forward in the direction of the slammed door, not understanding the blond's outburst and sudden departure.
A light laughter echoed within his mind. ::My sweet lover, are you truly that blind?::
Stormy eyes narrowed. "Don't speak to me unless you have something to say."
::I believe he wants you to recognize him:: offered the growled voice.
Squall scoffed. "He doesn't need that from me."
::A-ah, perhaps not a necessity, but it is what he desires - to be seen as strong by someone he has judged as his equal::
"I'm not strong," the dark-haired youth stated, and then tuned out the arguments of the voices.
His appetite lost, Squall ate sparsely from the tray of spiced oatmeal and fruit. Eventually he set the tray aside, and then laid back onto the mattress to stare up at the ceiling he couldn't see. He thought about the last time he had been in Drasberg, the differences between the current situation and the past already immense. Certainly, he hadn't the luxury of staying at probably the best inn within the resort town, and being cared for by Seifer was something unthinkable in those years past.
With a frown, Squall thought about the increasing number of touches, the prolonged caress, and other actions by Seifer which suggested an interest beyond the caretaker role the blond had taken upon himself. While such an interest frightened him, the blind man couldn't imagine the fighter truly wanting him for such a service. And in a warped way, the blind man didn't mind those touches which gave a better sense of reality to his dark world. He was also beginning to enjoy the hint of spice which seemed to follow Seifer, a scent that reminded the seer of strength and protection.
"I've been alone too long," Squall muttered angrily at himself, annoyed that he could find anything akin to safety in connection with the troublesome 'Hero'.
Just as he clutched onto soft sheets to pull up for additional warmth, his body became unresponsive and heavy as blurred images assaulted his sightless eyes and forced him to witness the unattained future. The vision filled with urgency left the seer feeling colder than before, but even after the darkness had surrounded him once more, Squall couldn't find the energy to wrap the sheets tighter around his body. Lying on the bed like that, he stared into the continuous blackness of his world and tried to understand the importance of the hazy vision. With a quiet scoff, the seer thought to himself that this was at least one task Seifer could handle without an argument. And yet, for some reason, that knowledge made Squall feel ill.
Carrying a tray with a large bowl of soup and bread, Seifer grumbled his way through the hallways toward his shared room. He didn't bother to knock in order to announce his entrance, not caring in the least if he was going to wake Squall. But that appeared to be a moot point when he discovered the dark-haired man standing in the attached room near the shelves holding spare towels and robes.
Kicking the door closed behind him, Seifer asked, "And what the hell are you doing out of bed? I thought I told you to stay put."
The blind man frowned in his direction. "Where are my clothes?"
"I sent them to be cleaned. We'll only need robes while staying here."
The scowl deepened.
Seifer smirked at the threatening glare before setting the tray down onto a dresser. "Judging by your look, I take it that you don't plan on staying here anymore. And why would that be?"
"I don't want to get in your way."
"And here I thought it was your destiny to annoy me," the blond stated with amusement. "You're not in my way, kitten, so get back into that bed before I have to carry you there."
Squall didn't move immediately, and when he did walk out of the adjoining room, he passed by the beds and continued toward the closed door.
An eyebrow raised, Seifer allowed the blind man to go as far as his side, but then stopped him with a raised arm. Squall didn't fight against the weak hold, but he also didn't turn around at the implied order to move back into the room. Slowly raising his arm, Seifer placed a hand at a pale cheek and made the seer face him.
"What are you thinking this time, kitten?"
Stormy eyes narrowed vaguely before Squall looked sharply to the side. "I have no interest in witnessing your conquests. Have your woman and leave me out of it."
"My woman? What are you talking about?"
The dark-haired man shook his head and looked up at the door with tired eyes. "I saw it, you having your way with someone. Someone you know. It must be done, so go have your fun and leave me out of it."
Seifer laughed. "Trust me, if I had a lady lined up for the night, I wouldn't be here. Anyway, if you had a vision about it, doesn't that mean I should avoid such a situation?"
"No, I felt that this would benefit you."
"A night of sex benefiting me?" the fighter asked with a broad smirk. "Hell yeah, that's the kind of prophesy I wouldn't mind hearing more about. So what does this beauty look like?"
Squall managed to glare directly into bright green eyes. "I'm not some matchmaker, you idiot." In a quiet voice, he added, "In any case, it's not like I could see her."
"You couldn't? But you said you had a vision..."
Placing a hand over his sightless eyes, the seer explained, "It's mostly blurs. Like a dream where I understand everything that must happen although I can't see the images clearly."
"Then how am I supposed to find this woman, hmm?"
"You want her, so I can't imagine it being that difficult to figure out who it is. Just go to where your dick leads you."
Seifer smirked at the apparent irritation of the blind man. "I hate to tell you this, but for once, there isn't a woman clouding..." Green eyes widened in sudden realization as he continued to say, "... my mind. But you know, now I'm curious about these visions of yours. You truly can't see any details? Not even, oh, hair color? Maybe a body type? I do like my women with fine breasts."
Blue-gray eyes crossed slightly in thought. "She had dark hair and was shorter than you, but I couldn't see much else."
With an amused grin, the blond leaned in closer to the man and asked, "How do these visions work, anyhow? Is it from your line of sight if you could see, or is it from the viewpoint of some fly on the wall?"
"I... I don't understand."
"Well, are you going to watch me fuck someone just like you did in that vision?"
Clouded eyes went impossibly wide before Squall tried to shove the fighter aside, but Seifer grabbed the man's forearms to pull him in close. Confused by the move, the seer only struggled weakly against the hold and stared forward with a befuddled look that made Seifer grin.
"This is nice, knowing something you don't know," the blond said, and then leaned in to speak softly against his ear. "There is no woman, Squall. There is only you."
Instead of the violent reaction Seifer was expecting, Squall went completely still and his eyes took on a pained look. "No... Don't ask this of me..."
At the distressed words, the fighter rolled his eyes. "For Hyne's sake, I'm not going to force you to do anything."
"Please, no..." the man pleaded, apparently not hearing Seifer's words.
"What am I - the big bad wolf or something?" the blond asked, offended at the panicked gleam in the cloudy eyes. He released the arms within in his hold and stepped back from the seer to give him some breathing room. But the moment he did that, Squall dropped limply to his knees and wrapped his arms around his body in a protective hug. Concern clear in his green eyes, Seifer knelt down on one knee and risked placing a hand on a shoulder, the bare shivers of the lithe body easily felt at the touch. "Listen to what I'm saying and try to trust me for once - I'm not going to do anything to you. It was just a vision, Squall. It doesn't have to happen."
Vaguely, the brunet shook his head. "It should..."
"No, it shouldn't. Not when you're like this." Sighing, Seifer placed a hand beneath the man's chin and made him look up. "Look, you seem exhausted. I don't think getting out of bed was a smart move on your part, especially if you recently had that vision. Do you need help, or can you make it back to bed by yourself?"
Blue-gray eyes looked forward with wariness, but then hardened with typical ice before Squall jerked away from the hold. "I don't want to sleep."
Softly smirking at the common complaint, Seifer placed his hand under an elbow and pulled the seer to his feet. "There's no escape, Squally-boy, so you might as well face your dreams sooner than later. Or did you want some food first? Selphie sent me up with some soup just for you."
"... I can't pretend, Seifer."
"So don't. But whatever you do, don't compare me to any of those bastards who raped you."
Squall lifted his head at that. "It wasn't rape."
"Yes, it was."
"For all the wrong reasons. It was unwanted sex, and therefore rape. I won't let that happen to you again."
Though somewhat surprised at the lack of response, Seifer didn't continue his argument and led the blind man to his bed without further words. But before he could step away from the seated man, a cool hand gripped onto his wrist in a tight hold. Staring down at the hand, Seifer smiled weakly at the renewed steadiness of the brunet. Green eyes then moved up to look into clouded blue-gray, the blond determined to say nothing until Squall spoke first.
"I... you don't..." The brunet shook his head in defeat. "The food... smells good."
His small smile widening, Seifer said, "Selphie's chicken soup is the best I know. You'll love it." He stepped back to retrieve the tray, but the hand on his wrist continued to hold onto him. "Kitten, I'm going to need that arm if you want me to go get your dinner."
Squall hesitated before speaking quietly. "Don't hurt me."
With complete seriousness, Seifer replied, "Never."
The blind man closed his eyes and loosened his hold on the larger man, but didn't entirely release his grasp. The blond stared at Squall for a time, waiting for any other encouraging words from the man, but when none came, Seifer slipped his arm from the weak grip and stepped away from the bed to retrieve the tray resting on the dresser.