Jan '05'

Disclaimer: All the Final Fantasy characters in this series of ficlets and/or short stories belong to those talented people at Square/Enix or whatever they are called now.

This is a series of Valentine's Day fics. Not all of them will contain smut, but they all are from the FF8 fandom, and the main pairing is, of course, Irvine and Squall. This will also be generally silly, have sappy moments and will hopefully be fun for you to read and fun for me to write. Enjoy.

This is YAOI - boys with boys, caring, desiring, kissing, hugging, groping…um, yeah…but that’s why you’re reading this, yes?

Book of Love: Voucher 25
By Garden's Gnome

The quiet patter of steady rain falling onto already wet cement was a welcome white noise that drowned out every other sound around the lone figure that stood under a tree in the deserted quad. Blonde hair damp with droplets of water that occasionally fell from the leaves above him, Seifer’s green eyes looked out at the night-time view of the rain soaked land that surrounded Garden. It had been a long day that included working early that morning in Winhill, travelling across two continents to get home and then a long debriefing and talk with his commander when the tall blonde had wanted nothing more than to retreat to his room and sleep, except for one thing. He wanted to see Zell.

Returning to Balamb Garden just after lunch, the green-eyed blonde had been on his way to interrupt one of Zell’s combat classes just so he could see the martial artist when Quistis had found him and dragged him to Cid and Squall for a debriefing. Following the debriefing, Squall had contacted his father in Esthar so that Seifer could tell Laguna of the repairs do to the town he loved so much. It had been another couple of hours before Seifer had been able to excuse himself from father and son and go looking for Zell. Arriving at the tattooed man’s room, Seifer had glared at the door when there was no answer to his repeated knocking. Frowning at the other blonde’s absence, Seifer had slid the voucher he’d found in his room a few weeks previous under Zell’s door and had headed to the quad to wait.

Standing under the tree, Seifer let his thoughts wander over the many phone conversations he’d had with the energetic blonde while they had been apart. Nothing had been said about their confessions to each other on the afternoon that Seifer had left for his mission in Winhill with Fuujin. Instead they had talked about their likes and dislikes and about things that had happened while Seifer had been in Dollet before he and his friends had returned to Garden. His chats with Zell had covered everything and anything that didn’t directly concern them and their feelings for each other. Seifer found he couldn’t help but wonder if Zell truly did feel something for him or if he had only said those words so that he didn’t feel uncomfortable. And so he waited in the rain for the man who could mean everything to him…and who could hurt him the most.

The heavy splash of someone running through the rain brought Seifer out of his dark musings, making him turn and face the entrance back into the main area of Balamb Garden. Out of the misty rain jogged Zell, dressed in his old cadet uniform that soon became wet across the shoulders. The tattooed blonde slowed to a walk at the edge of the tree, eyes scanning the darkness for Seifer. The taller blonde said nothing as Zell’s eyes adjusted to the darkness, distant light from the lamps scattered around the quad providing little illumination under the tree.

“Seifer?” Zell called out hesitantly as he looked around.

“Here,” Seifer replied, holding his breath as the shorter blonde turned towards him.

“You’re back,” Zell said, relief obvious in his voice. “Why didn’t you come let me know you were back?” he asked.

“I was going to,” Seifer said, slowly walking to where Zell stood. “Quistis caught up with me in the hallway to the classrooms. Otherwise you would have been giving your students a lesson free afternoon,” he said as he stopped in front of the other blonde.

“Is that why you left me this?” Zell asked as he withdrew the voucher that Seifer had left for him earlier from a pocket in his uniform.

“After I finished talking with Squall and Laguna, I went to your room but there was no answer.”

“I was in the shower, Seifer,” Zell told the blonde, his blush almost invisible in the near darkness as he put the voucher back in his pocket, the words Love Voucher: A Walk in the Rain unreadable in the poor lighting.

“Ah,” Seifer said as he moved that last step forward and wrapped his arms around Zell’s shoulders, pulling the other blonde against his chest.

Zell went into Seifer’s arms unresisting, briefly rubbing his cheek against the taller blonde’s chest as his arms went around Seifer’s waist and held him close. “I missed you,” Zell said quietly.

“Me too,” Seifer said, resting his cheek on top of Zell’s rain damp hair. “I think I made Fuujin a little nuts talking about you cause I overheard her ordering Squall to bring me home.”

“No way,” Zell said as he pulled back to look up at Seifer’s face.

“She did. Fuu’s know for a while that I am crazy for you,” Seifer said, bringing one hand up to caress Zell’s cheek.

Leaning into the touch, Zell looked into Seifer’s green eyes and smiled shyly before burying his face against the other blonde’s chest once more. The searching look he’d just seen in those eyes had left his heart tripping over itself and butterflies in his stomach.

“Did you have any other vouchers, Zell?” Seifer asked suddenly.

“No. Why?”

“I found one on my bed with I dropped off my gear before going to look for you. I thought you might have left it there for me,” Seifer said hopefully.

“Have you got it with you?” Zell asked.

“Sure,” Seifer said as he handed over the voucher.

Walking to the edge of the tree that was closer to a lamp, Zell leaned over a little to shield the paper from the errant drops of water that fell from above. He could just make out the words on the white page and shivered as he read them. The shorter blonde jumped a little as he felt something warm and heavy settle over his back.

“You were shivering,” Seifer said as he draped his coat over Zell’s shoulders.

“Not from the cold,” Zell said as he breathed in the scent left on the coat.

“So you really didn’t leave that voucher in my room?”

Zell turned around and shook his head at the other man. “No, I wouldn’t use a voucher for something this important,” he said quietly, still looking down at the page in his hand.

“I’m important, am I?” Seifer asked, reaching out to pull his coat a little tighter around Zell’s shoulders, hands then moving to the collar to pull the tattooed face closer to his own.

“You know you are,” Zell said, stumbling a little on the wet ground, hands landing against Seifer’s chest for balance as he looked up at the taller man, voucher now crumpled in his fist.

“Good to hear,” Seifer whispered, breath now mingling with Zell’s as he leaned a little closer.

“Don’t tease…mfft…”

Seifer’s open mouth pressed against Zell’s, the taller blonde’s tongue running over the tattooed man’s lips and immediately granted access to the warm cavern beyond. Zell sucked in air through his nose, the scent of the man holding him filling his lungs and making him feel light-headed. Hands abandoned the collar, one moving up to gently cup a bare cheek, the other moving down to wrap around man and coat, pulling their bodies together. Zell gasped against Seifer’s lips at the heated contact of their bodies, his own arms wrapping around the other blonde as he pressed as close as possible. Tongues tangled as the kiss continued, both men trying to devour the other, years of longing coming to the fore. It was Seifer who broke the kiss, nibbling a little as he slowly pulled away from the saliva wet flesh, thumb stroking Zell’s damp and swollen lips as he looked down into passion hazed blue eyes.

“We should go to my room,” Seifer said quietly, not wanting to disturb the moment too much.

“I…” Zell began before halting and biting his lip.

“Nothing is going to happen, Zell,” Seifer reassured the other blonde, easing the abused flesh from between sharp teeth with his thumb, shivering a little as Zell‘s tongue wiped over it. “I just want to be with you, hold you while we sleep, see you first thing when we wake up.”

“Okay,” Zell agreed in a whisper as he pulled away a little and put the blonde’s coat on properly before reaching out to hold one of Seifer’s hands.

Feeling something rough against his palm, Seifer lifted Zell’s hand and pulled the forgotten voucher free. “So you really don’t think Selphie put this in my room?” he asked, lacing his fingers through Zell’s freed ones.

“I don’t think it’s a copy,” Zell said as he ran his finger over the ragged edge and looked at the dark text - Love Voucher: A Big Kiss. “This was torn from a book.”

“You mean the book that Irvine gave to Squall?”

“Yeah, plus it’s not on coloured paper like the others.”

“You have a point there. Do you think Irvine and Squall are trying to tell us something?” Seifer asked as he used their entwined fingers to pull Zell along behind him as he headed back into Garden.

“Nothing we don’t already know,” Zell said as he took the voucher back from Seifer and scrunched it up into a ball and moved to put it in a rubbish bin.

“Hang on, Zell,” Seifer said, grabbing the voucher back. “I’m going to need that.”

“Why?” Zell asked, stopping to look up at the other blonde.

“I think I’ll have a little chat with Irvine,” Seifer said, smiling as he pocketed the still crumpled voucher.

“Should we tell them about us?” Zell asked as they started walking towards the dorms again.

“Nah,” Seifer said as he wrapped an arm around Zell’s shoulders and lead the way to his room. “They’ll figure it out. In the meantime, you can tell me all about the things I missed while I was gone.”

To be continued…

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