Ai no Fantasy

Pairing: Zell x Seifer, Squall x Nida, a bit of Raijin x Zell

Completed: Not Yet

Author's note: I'm not a Japanese man, so I don't own Final Fantasy. Also, this was revised and edited in May of 2005.

After the wars of the Desert, people lost a sense of time or ethics. Morality had ceased to be; as if man had reverted back to a shell of lesser humanity with a crueler conscience. In this place people were taken against their will at a young age and made pets of other humans, a slavery less forgiving than prior exhibitions of this sport. The lesser humans were sent down to live mediocre lives with heavy, moist breathing down their necks, one that could kill them, break their bones, steal their lives and families for the sake of fortune. The breath that tormented the common folk was that of a more fortunate class.

An elite few ran and used the world as it saw fit. As the nature of these individuals is twisted my power and greed, they soon find themselves buying people, Pets to soothe their own need to exude dominance. Politicians, businessman, and the military elite were the first to admit to this practice. Businessmen were also the ones to compete with each other on the number of pets they could muster. The military heads, on the other hand, were the last to be found in the middle of such a display.

A man by the name of Cid was the authority on Pets. He owned over four hundred and even raised some from the zygote. His collection was fed, bathed, cared for, and trained by older pets, the more experienced variety that were too good to be sent to whorehouses as older pets were. Once a pet lost its master s affection, it would be doomed to service the common folk until it killed itself or died. All pets in Garan were registered by Cid personally and inspected by his closest men.

As the popularity of pets soared, the black market swelled. Most Elite owned at least one and at the most twenty. A-class Pets were hard to find outside of the market, and B-class Pets were everywhere. A proportion of b-class pets were actually common folk who had messed with the elite and were caught, or were just too pretty for their own good. Both of these had their minds wiped and obedience training became obsolete.

The slums of Garan were crowded that day with festival processions and anti-Pet rallies. Commoners congested all flow of traffic and regulation, which made things a bit easier for the blonde and his gang to move materials around. They usually just stole bikes and guns, but this mission called for movement of Pets to an airbase far outside the constraints of the city. They had most of their goods out with less than a second glance from any authorities. The truck was ready to depart from the warehouse when the driver s radio went off. Code Blue! Code Blue! Squad leader is being followed by a copper! High tail it back to 4th and 98th before more of them come!

Shit, Irvine spit out of the window and yelled back into the radio. Stormy! Where the hell are you? Get that asshole off of him in four minutes or I m leaving with the shipment!

He heard a soft curse and a grunt of acknowledgement on the other side of the waves. Smirking, he started up the truck and toyed with the radio dial. Tails, you there yet?

Yeppers! I ve almost got the cop down. Wait, no. Stormy just got him. We ll be back with the last of the shipment in three minutes, the excessively peppy brunette said.

In less than three minutes, three motorcycles sped in and the doors closed behind them. The first motorist tore the helmet off of his head and swore at the third, What the hell were you doing, Dincht? You might as well have been waving a flag around that said look we re stealing shit !

Fuck you, Squall, I was covering Selphie. She was the one trying to race that other guy on the way up here.

What! she shrieked.

Enough! Irvine growled. Load that one up so I can get out of here.

With a few sneers, the three complied. Soon after the semi pulled out of the warehouse and onto the long empty highway.

Squall stalked out without a word to either of his friends as Selphie tried to solidify the next deal with her counterpart. So we meet this guy Eros at the diner on 54th tomorrow at seven. Don t be late. I don t want our customers thinking we slack off.

I ve got it, already, Geez. I m going back to my place. Tomorrow s going to be a long day, I feel it.

On the other side of town in a spacious office near several assistants, an older man with glasses falling off of his nose puzzled at the screen before him. Fujin! Is this data correct?

The gray haired woman peered at the screen and uttered, Correct.

He pulled at his chin in concentration. Get me the special ops. leader, Amsley now.

Sir, she replied and scampered off to make arrangements.

Well, well well, Cid pondered. It s been a long time since I ve seen one of these. Better let him know before this gets out.

Fujin returned with a tall, muscular blonde following close behind her. Sir.

Thank you, Fujin. Amsley, come with me, he ordered getting up from his old maroon chair.

Quietly, he obeyed even though the old man was a lower rank than him. He knew to respect his elders as he would a superior officer.

The older man led him into a dark conference room with a projector on the far wall and no windows. Amsley sat down in a chair on the left side of the screen and waited for old man to get the computer ready and start. He was used to the man s proper way of giving him information. Many times, he d briefed him in this room on Pet thievery, threats on Pet manufacturing plants and training schools, and once even a mission to kill the man who threatened his family. This however, was not an ordinary mission, but a briefing even Fujin was not present for. The air hung thickly, and the screen lit up.

This is the first place this Pet was spotted, Cid narrated as a black and green map lit up one the screen. The beeping dot was located past the central city walls and in the western slums. This is the first time we ve seen this pet in Garan.

Amsley watched as a blonde boy walked happily was a group of people his age down a crowded market square. Nothing seemed suspicious, yet. Cid continued, This Pet has no special implants or biology. He is strong, but as you can see, he won t be a problem for you to take down.

If this Pet isn t a threat, then why do I need to capture him? he asked. The tone in Cid s voice was getting to him. It was as if he had found a new addition to his collection.

This Pet isn t registered. I have never seen him before.

That can t be. All Pets are registered at conception or when the police bring them in. How can a Pet not be registered?

That s that you are going to find out. I want him back here by tomorrow at 0800 hours. Is that clear?

Hn, he stood up and headed for the door.

All the information I can give you is this: He s part of the group called Guardian. They are responsible for many unsolved cases of Pet thievery. Do not hesitate to kill his partners to get him.

He nodded and headed out of the room without a second glance at the old man. Yes, the man does want this Pet unscathed. But why would one rouge Pet mean that much to the old one? he thought.

After an entire night of uninterrupted rest and a cup of coffee, Zell sat at his meager kitchen table with a paper in hand. He normally wasn t interested, but he hadn t heard from Irvine since yesterday. Maybe the deal went sour and he was dead. God, he hoped not.

Discovering nothing about his friend s whereabouts, he stepped into a hot shower and let the water beat against his skin, turning it red, making it tingle with life. Nothing else made him feel more relaxed than a hot steamy shower. Something about the coming day made him anxious, edgy. He did not know who or what would run into him that day, but he would have to be ready. He just needed that shower to prepare himself.

As he leaned against the back wall and let the shower mend his nerves, a taller man waited in the shadows of the dark bathroom and watched him caress his battered skin slowly. He hugged himself insecurely for a moment then splashed his face with a handful of water. This expressive boy fascinated Amsley on sight. Every movement seemed to tell him about some part of his soul. Some new crevice of his mind was revealed in his newly reddening skin, pinking cheeks. The boy pulled his hair back from his face only to have it flop back into it the next moment. After watching the boy lather up and brush it all away with his nimble fingers, Amsley decided to get the whole thing over with lest he find himself tangled in the caress of the young man.

Just then, the shower door swung open and a towel wrapped up around his body around which a larger body held him close. At first, he was too shocked to moved or look at the face of his captor; the hold was sincere, welcoming. As soon as he tried to move on the other hand, the hold became restraining. He looked up to find a scared taller man holding him with a neutral look on his face. Who the hell are you! What are you doing in my bathroom? Zell tried to slide out of his towel or kick out of the grasp, but ended up a bit tired from the hot shower.

Get some clothes on. I d recommend you bring nothing of value with you. You probably won t be back here for a while.

What are you talking about? he stared at the blue eyes above him past his sakura colored cheeks.

You will find out soon enough. Do not resist, his tone was stern, and dripped with a trained omniscience.

Zell was not frightened by the man before him, but had as expected a very unsettling feeling. Whatever was going to happen to him that day was going to be quite unpleasant.

Cid tapped his fingers on his keyboard looking for the missing Pet. Finding that he was on his way to the office accompanied by Amsley, he was very pleased. He sipped at his morning coffee patiently waiting for their footfalls.

Once he heard them arrive, he smiled at the young man before him. He was about five foot five, blonde hair, which sagged at the sides of his face with evaporating water, and had a black tattoo on his right cheek. It was not at all distasteful; if anything it made him look exotic. If he were planning on selling him, he might even catch a higher price because of it. Thank you, Amsley, he said to his loyal friend then turned his attention to his shorter counterpart. Welcome. I ve been expecting you.

You mind telling me what this is all about? This guy wouldn t tell me anything, he motioned toward the taller blonde who s expression did not change.

I see. What is your name, son? he inquired half-heartedly.

Santa fuckin Claus. A hand gripped his shoulder and he changed his answer quickly. Zell Dincht, a right. Now why did you insist on kidnapping me? he eyed the old man.

I have a bit of bad news Zell. You, my boy, are a Pet.

The blonde merely stood silently beside the other blonde and felt his skin slowly pale. He was just a commoner. Had they found out about Guardian? What the hell was going on?

I know this is a shock for you, but I am interested in you. Why weren t you registered, Zell? How could you not know for so long that you were a Pet? he asked nonchalantly.

Zell sat down in the chair behind him. I don t know, sir, the shock still apparent in his voice.

Well, you now belong here in my collection. Your new Pet number is 467209. I will let you rest in your new chambers after Raijin has inspected you. You have a lot to learn boy. I pray you learn it quickly.

With that, Fujin helped him up and out of the room but not without the ever-constant watch of Amsley.

Cid redirected his attention to the blonde who would have normally been out of the building by now. Thank you again for bringing this one in. I have a lot of research to do on him. I want to see how quickly one this old will break. If he doesn t break in two months I might have to erase part of his memory. Poor thing. Anyway, I ll call you when I have another job for you. I m sure you have official business to attend to.

He lurched over the desk and stared at the old man with unintentional menace in his eyes. You know how long I ve been looking for a Pet right?

Yes, ever since you became a captain. That s when you first came to me. All the ones I ve showed you, you never liked, he replied still half interested.

None of the ones you showed me were special. They were all cultured the same way. Put in the same rooms, trained, already broken for my pleasure. I want this one, Cid.

He nearly jumped out of his chair at hearing the young man s demand. His glasses jumped off of his nose and unceremoniously onto the desk. Wha. . . What?

I want this one. This Zell, 467209, whatever you call him. He isn t broken.

No, no, no. I have yet to conduct research on him. He s a commoner. Maybe when I m done with him, you can have him.

I ll give you however much you want for him. I don t care that he s a commoner. I ll let you do some testing on him if you re good.

Don t talk that way to me, Amsley. I m not giving this one up! his nose wrinkled in anger.

Good, have him to my house by the end of the day, unharmed and no memory missing. I ll send the credits to the main office, he pulled away from the old man s desk and headed to the door.

The old man knew the boy could be confiscated and given to Amsley if he resisted too much. Although he hated it, he had to give in. Fine, but I get to test him!

Not yet, he replied and walked briskly out of the office.

In a padded white room with a single painting on the wall and simple bed for comfort, Zell sat down, scared. He felt like a child being left at school for the first day, except he knew there were no cookies waiting for him at home, no mother to cling to when the mean boys pulled at his hair and called him a Chocobo. At the end of the day, all he had was himself. I can handle it. Make me move crates all day, fuck me, use me, worse. . . I can take it. Do anything you like, but you ll get yours. One day, I ll have my revenge! he swore to himself silently. The cotton sheets chaffed his skin. Everything made his skin crawl. The thought of all the things that have probably been done in this very room ate at him. As much as he did not want to be there, he knew there was no way out of it. He could fight, but the guards would come in and make sure he was complacent. No way out.

A swishing noise fell in his ears and his head turned to the door. A tall dark man with a notebook and some sort of small kit bounded in and locked the door behind him. He was two times Zell s size and built like a mountain. The smaller blonde stood up, almost breaking into a fighting stance, but repressed his primal desire to fight his way out.

The dark man smiled. I need to examine you before I can let Cid do any testing.

Zell was hesitant to ask, Examine me?

He nodded. This goes much faster if you don t ask questions and comply to my requests quickly, he set down his kit and opened it. He pulled out an empty vial, needle, and a long piece of rubber. Raijin knelt beside the head of the bed and told Zell to lay down. After tying the band around Zell s arm, he swabbed the inside of his elbow and pushed the needle into the vein to draw blood into the vial. Tell me if you become dizzy, or see dots in your vision.

This isn t so bad, he thought. They probably just don t want to be in the same building as someone with a disease or something. His blood exited his vein without a problem. No dizziness, not colored dots, all was well.

He pulled the needle out slowly and put a bandage on the wound. Fetching a box of juice from the kit, he handed it to him with a smile. Rest for a few minutes, you need to regain your strength.

The blonde nodded at him and closed his eyes. The worst is yet to come, isn t it? he asked.

I don t know, some people like it. Don t worry, it ll be my pleasure. I m gentle, he smiled warmly.

Zell could not bring himself to think too hard about what it could be. All he knew is that he did not want his little nap to end.

After a few minutes of acting like he was sleeping, the taller man shook him, Time to get up and stretch.

As instructed, he stood up and mimicked his movements. Stretch your arms up as high as they can go, try and reach your feet, etc.

Okay, you re all warmed up. Now take off your clothes and put them on the bed, he ordered as politely as possible.

Shrinking back into his subconscious, he replied quickly. All of his will to disobey fell back into the deepest part of his mind. He was a Pet. He had to get used to that. The only way he would learn that was if he stopped fighting. He wished this was not a lesson he would have to learn. Stripping with his back turned to him, he bit his lip, trying to bury the humiliation. Failing, he turned back around, holding himself sheepishly. He looked at the floor.

Look at my face, he commanded.

Zell s gaze crawled all the way up his body like molasses falling down the side of the counter. His eyes were about halfway closed and his cheeks were fighting to stay pale. When his sea blue eyes reached Raijin s all he saw was analysis. No lust, no laughter, no emotion at all; as if he were inspecting a vase he wanted to buy. He was not sure which was worse: being looked at with lust by someone you did not love, or being looked at as an object, being looked at like a Pet. Raijin approached him slowly and lifted his arm to feel the glands in his armpit. He pulled out a device to listen to Zell s heartbeat and breathing, measure the amount of air that flowed in and out. Then he felt on the glands on the underside of his chin and neck. He scribbled a few things down in the notebook and told him to turn and cough. Nothing really new. Nothing that had not been done before, but why would he enjoy it?

Raijin stopped poking and prodding for a bit and scribbled some more things down. He then put gloves on and placed a clear cup in his pocket. Kneel on the bed and face the wall.

Oh, no, Zell screamed in the far reaches in his mind. He knelt thinking, He s not gonna. . .

Before the possibilities truly sunk it, he felt Raijin pushed his shoulders forward so he was resting his palms on the far end of the bed, like a dog sitting on the floor waiting for a treat. Then his ass was lifted into full view. Whatever he was thinking of asking was answered as a lubricated finger felt its way inside of him. His mind was lost in the fight to stay still and not get excited.

Relax, he cooed, holding Zell s side to steady him. Finding the boy s prostate, he felt his whole body tense, not letting himself shake in pleasure. You don t have to feel shame or hide tears now. I ve seen it all before, but I need you to relax and come for me.

What? he whispered through his teeth clinched over his bottom lip. The skillful ministrations pushed him out of his subconscious and he whimpered a bit.

Just feel me inside you. Let your body do what it wants. Come on, baby, he cooed. The circular motion sped up a bit which forced Zell let out a gasp of desire for more. Tell me what you want. You want it faster or slower, or harder? I can touch you if you d like, his grip on his side slid down his hips slowly and left feathery touches on him.

Ah! he let another gasp. He sounded as if he were about to cry. Damn, he s good at this, he thought loudly. Harder, he whispered.

Raijin eagerly complied. A minute later when he heard Zell s breath become erratic, he pulled the cup out of his pocket and collected his spilled seed in it. Pulling a cap on it, he watched at the blonde shake and fall onto the covers, twitching with a faint post-orgasmic glow. That s all the testing for now, he ripped his gloves off. I ll come back in about an hour to prep you for testing. Good day.

Raijin exited quietly, leaving a tired, naked blonde alone on the bed alone to sulk.

Several hours had passed and the only thoughts that went though Amsley s mind were: Who is he? Is he at the house yet? Why did Cid want him so badly? Then he recalled the first time he saw him in the flesh, his tanned skin, exotic tattoo, and eyes like the water at the edge of a bay. Why did I just stare at him like that? Why did everything in my mind shut down when I saw him? I forgot everything except the need to have him. That s why I held him like that, isn t it? If it were anyone else I would have just thrown the towel at them and pointed a gun at them to hurry their actions. Now, I know I shouldn t have . . . Well, there s nothing I can do about it now. I can t give them their memory back.

Then he heard, Amsley? Amsley?

Yes, Nida? he responded. He berated himself for blocking his friend out unintentionally.

You ve been distant all day. Is something wrong? the concern sat deeply in his dark chocolate eyes.

Not really. My mind s just been working too hard lately. I might take a vacation soon.

Not with the anti-Pet riots we re having. The government won t give you time off, he sighed. I d take over for you while you were gone, but I think Eros would have a problem with that.

He does have a peculiar distaste for you, doesn t he? his eyebrow rose.

It is strange isn t it? he said knowingly. They did have a particularly nasty break up. Ever since then he had been playing a one-sided game up one-up-manship. I guess that teaches me to get a Pet and let the dream of falling in love with someone with a soul die. He was sarcastic, but a bit of spite did escape from his lips.

Nida, he sighed. You know Pets have souls, they just don t have spirit. Pets aren t that bad.

How would you know? his interest perked.

I ll disclose that information at a later time. Now is not the time for that anyway. He thought of the people he d brought in earlier that day. Maybe he could save one of them. I have an idea.

I m all ears.

Come with me to Cid s tomorrow, he said.

Suspicious, he eyed his friend. What for?

Just to look at a few new Pets.

I want to fall asleep and never ever wake up, Zell thought as he lay in the white bed naked and completely alone for the second time that day. If he thought the first exam was bad, but the one with Cid was much worse. The old letch touched him everywhere without a reason, and put him in that machine. The details were foggy, but he felt like his mind had been raped. Every memory that was dear to him or hurt him to recall was brought out and shoved back in for what seemed like hours. Irvine, Selphie, Squall, Quistis, what would they think of him now? He felt used by that old man. At least that other guy was nice about making him feel like nothing. He wanted out. Out of this building if he could. But if that failed, he wanted out of his body. He simply refused to be broken like all the Pets he had seen the drug merchants with. All so slutty and submissive, they looked like robots without souls or hearts. They were not capable of loving their masters let alone themselves. How can a person live like that? Like an object?

The wall he was staring at became less white than it was when he got there. Everything seemed too sterile, so clean. Now everything was stained, dirty beyond words. He wished he saw nothing, heard nothing, felt nothing. If he felt nothing, he would be like the rich people who used Pets. He wished . . . to be safe. His body clenched up tighter into a ball, trying to become smaller, too small to notice. If they did not notice him, they would not hurt him again. Almost laughing at himself, he relaxed again and closed his eyes. How stupid of me.

After a few more minutes of loathing, he door opened and Raijin frowned at his current condition. Get dressed.

He did not even bother looking at him or covering himself as he dressed. Sauntering shamefully about he headed for the tall man. Standing in his shadow, he stared at the floor and held his right elbow.

Don t let them see you like that, he whispered. Come with me.

Hoping for a jailbreak, he exited the cell and looked around the halls. He did not know where they were going, but he hoped there were no more tests. They walked to parts of the building he had never been before, down the stairs, through the blue hallways, and into what looked like a parking garage. Where are we going?

You ll see, he answered vaguely as they walked toward a white car with the words Pets Corps on it. Thankfully, Raijin sat on the plain black bike next to it and pulled him onto the back. He started it saying, Don t jump off of the back or anything. I don t think you would, that s why we ve not going in the car. He started to back out. Hold on tight.

Zell hugged his broad back and braced himself. As much as he rode bikes around, he hated these slim, small ones. They were unreliable.

Once they got going fast down the expressway, feeling the wind in his hair, all around his body, was wonderful. Every last fiber of his being felt the fresh air saturate inward. His skin s color returned and his worries seemed to fly away, at least for the time being.

Less than ten minutes later, they stopped before a tall pale blue building tall enough to look over the city. It seemed to lurch over him, make him feeling as small has he would have liked to have been back in that horrible stained room. Now that he was that small, he wanted none of it. He followed the tall man into the building. Everything was dark except for the places they were going. The ID panel lit up and read their eyes. They strolled in and took the elevator up. Which level do we get off at? They seemed to be going pretty far up.

At the top, he replied.

He suddenly felt the arms that held him when he was ripped from the shower that morning wrapping around his memory. He felt warm, a bit more relaxed. Then he looked up to see Raijin walking out of the elevator. He followed quickly, almost on his heels. They walked down another bland hallway and went into the last and only door on the left.

Raijin stood at the open door and watched the small blonde gaze around at the huge apartment with a large velvet upholstered couch with matching pillows, huge screen on the other wall, grand dining area to the left. It was like a scene out of Heaven. Zell turned around in circles in awe of the flat. Where are we? Why don t you come in?

You re in your new Master s home. I can t set foot in here, he sounded a bit sad. Try not go get yourself in trouble, kid, he ruffled his hair. See you around.

He watched him close the door behind him. For some reason he didn t quite understand, he was sad to see him leave. He brushed it off quickly to run around the apartment and see everything that was there. The kitchen was stock full of food as the bathroom was full of exotic soaps and oils. He put his arms in the bathroom closet to find fluffy towels. He had not seen a good towel in years let alone felt one in his grasp. It reminded him of his mother. When he was young, he would help her with the laundry, and when he took the warm terry cloth towels out of the dryer, he felt warm and safe. Maybe my master will be nice, make me feel safe. With my luck he ll be an old ugly man with a fetish for boys in fuku. But at least I ll have fluffy towels, he thought. All I can pray for are small comforts.

Venturing out of the bathroom, even though he wanted to shower again, he found the huge red velvet couch to his liking. It was more like a bed really, with large wooden armrests. He buried himself under all the pillows and enjoyed feeling them against his skin, satin, silk, almost every weave. Ooooh! Tassles! he mind sang as he found the golden cords on the corners of a pillow. After sprouting from the mess of pillows, he frowned at himself. I m a toy now and all I can think to do is play in the pillows. Man, I m warped. I need to get out of here and see if my friends are okay. I hope Irvine s not dead. I don t know what I d do if any of them were . . .

He looked at the hideous hospital clothes he was wearing and discarded the shirt in the trash quickly. The pants were at least decent. And his hair was all floppy and down. It felt weird, but vaguely good. He deposited the slippers in the trash while he was at it. Ick.

He looked at his reflection in the grand mirror across from the main bedroom door. He looked okay. He wasn t vain. He turned around at the main bedroom door. The large intricately carved oak door. An obese phoenix looking animal stared back at him. He recognized the same kind of carving on the guestroom door, except that one was a tiger. Whoever he was, he had strange taste. Touching the carvings, he heard what seemed to be chirping from far away but brushed it off as his imagination. He was not all that eager to go into that room, so he went into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator. Staring at all the raw vegetables and prime cuts of fish and meat, he could not find an ounce of hunger in him though he had not eaten all day. What s wrong with me?

Closing the door, he thought to return to the couch, the pillows calling him. He pounced on the pillows and curled into the middle of them like a cat. He looked out of the wall of glass past the balcony and out at the stars mournfully. Will I ever see them again from my home? Will I ever watch them with Irvine, carry his drunk ass back to his apartment? Or see Quistis smile at Selphie s overly peppy attitude?

Continuing with this thought train, he listened to it derail as the door swung open. Should I act like I m asleep? Should I get up? Should I hide under the pillows? He watched the door in the same position until someone came in. He held his hand over his mouth when he recognized the tall, slender blonde walk through the door. He watched as the towering man looked around hopefully until his eyes rested on his Pet. He stared at him for a moment, checking for injuries or abuse. Finding none, he closed the door behind him. Zell stood up and walked off of the couch. He walked to stand before him staring at the ground. Sorry, I was on your couch.

He smiled and replied, That s fine. You have to sit somewhere, right? Sorry I didn t introduce myself before. I am Seifer Amsley, he bowed down a bit to look into the smaller blonde s eyes. Once he had captured his attention, he looked up and said, Zell Dincht.

Nice to meet you, Zell. He led him to the couch and sat by him. Zell tried to look at him as much as he could, but it hurt not to. Looking at him was admitting he was a Pet. Seifer grabbed Zell s chin and forced him to look into his eyes. Zell just grabbed the hand and pushed it away. He hugged his legs and said, Look, I know I m supposed to be your pet and everything, but I don t want to be here. I don t want to be a pet. I don t want to be owned. I don t understand it at all. I don t want to turn into one of those soulless sex dolls. He gripped himself tighter. Please don t try and turn me into one, he whispered.

Seifer wanted to hold him and tell him it would all be okay now, but he could not do that. He could not honestly tell him that with the knowledge of what he had done to him already. The most he could hope for were simple pleasures for now. I ll try. I won t turn you into one of those. I didn t pick you because I wanted a soulless sex slave. When I saw you . . .

Zell looked up at him curiously.

I just couldn t let you become one of those things, just something for that old man to play with. You are different, he knew he had said too much already. I m sorry. You must have had a long day. I ll let you rest for now. He stood and offered to show him to the guestroom, but Zell stood and shook his head.

I know where it is. I looked around already, but I didn t look in your room. That s your business. I ll see myself to bed.

Before he could get too far, he grabbed Zell s shoulder softly and pulled him into his warm embrace. He needed to feel him breathing against him to know he was really alive and there with him. His warmth was different than anyone else s. The small blonde held him back loosely, not really sure what to think. After a moment, he let him go and ran his hand through his hair. I ll get you some clothes tomorrow, okay? Just tell me what you d like and I ll bring it home.

Zell hugged himself lightly. That would be nice, thank you. He turned around and headed down the hall. Good Night, he looked as if he were not sure what to call him. The circumstances were strange.

Just call me Seifer.

Seifer, he let the name rolled off his tongue. Good night.

By daybreak, Seifer had left his now shared apartment. He did not want to make Nida wait too long to see the new Pets. Something about one of the trio he brought in seemed to fit Nida. He could not really put his finger on it. The boy was wild, seemingly untamable, like a hurricane. Sighing behind his driver, he thought again of the despair in Zell s voice when he spoke of being a Pet, his Pet. Am I that horrible? Does he really think I d do that to him? I could never turn someone into a thing like that. Maybe if I were ordered to, but I couldn t do that to him. Anyone but him. Why do I feel this obligation to respect and nurture him? I could very well have ravaged him right there on the couch like past lovers. But I felt the need to give him time, time to return my affection, he thought.

The car was brought to a halt before Pets Corps. While slamming the door, he caught a glimpse of a familiar brunette out of the corner of his eye. Morning, Nida. Thanks for indulging me this early in the morning, he greeted.

Nida tossed his regal head to the side and smirked. This better be worth it, Amsley. He only used his last name when he was in trouble.

Nida tracked behind Seifer through the building he had been through only a few times. The bland colored walls disturbed him a bit, the way they changed colors every few halls, but the scenery never seemed to change. It was almost making a mockery of humanity s short attention span. He stopped when Seifer confronted an older man he recognized as Cid.

I need to see a young man I brought into the police yesterday. He should have been transferred by now.

Cid eyed him carefully. I ll check my records, he tapped on his computer for a moment, giving the screen strange looks. His eyebrows almost rose to his hairline. Ha! Here he is. He hasn t been processed yet, but he s here in block L-67. He s number 670780. I trust you know you re way around. If you need him for something, tell my assistant Fujin and she ll prepare him. He waved them away.

Taking the hint, The pair made it to the farthest reaches of the building into dismal yellow hallway with only cameras as security. On the second to the last door on the left, they found the appropriate Pet number and unlocked the door. The room was dark and the bed unmade. Only a shadow of hair animated at their entrance.

This is the one I thought you d like, he said flicking the lights on with the panel beside the door.

When the lights rose, the boy on the bed looked up to see his captor and another man. This new man however, did not look like a military man even though he had on a uniform. Something about him seemed fragile, as if the wrong breeze could kill him. Nida looked down at the boy, inspecting him. Not really grabbing the boy s attention, he knelt before him and looked into the scarred boy s eyes. They captured the world s sorrow in them, in a hard ice blue incurable by fate. He just sat and stared back, trying to understand who was in front of him. Nida reached up and pulled his chin from one side to the other, inspecting the familiar scar between his eyes. It was not unpleasant. As a matter of fact, he would look rather mousy and bland without it. He smiled at him and stood up. I ll take him.

A bit surprised Seifer studied his friend. Are you sure? I mean, I m happy you like him, but why so sudden, so quickly?

He patted his companion on he shoulder. Some things you just know.

Fujin, he called through the intercom, we re taking this one.

Affirmative.

Within an hour of processing and inspecting, Nida took the brunette back to his home. It was quaint and plain compared to Seifer s flat. On the walls hung solid colored tapestries with different patterns on each of them. In the living room, the tapestries made a rainbow while in the dining room they showed only metal colors. The bedroom was covered wall to wall with a dark, almost blood red textured drape hung loosely on hooks. Nida took the boy into his library and poured him some freshly brewed tea. Tell me, how have you been?

He refused to respond, but drank the tea eagerly. Expressionless, he stared into the cup and nothing else.

Nida sighed once and poured the boy more tea. I know you have been fashioned into my Pet. I understand that you probably hate me for being your master, but you need to understand that I need you by my side.

He remained unfazed while the explanation continued.

As long as you remain aware of the fact that you are mine, we will get along well. You do not have the rights you did before. I trust you to remember this well. I can only help you so much. Thank you for listening to me.

After listening to his nonsense, Squall put his cup down and lay back in his chair. Exhaling and closing his eyes, he heard the other man lean over him. He could feel his light breath on his chin.

I ve missed you, he whispered.

His eyes jerked open faster than he realized and his head flopped forward almost touching the other man s. His tormented eyes questioned him as loudly as they could.

Welcome home.

Part 2