Ai no Fantasy

Pairing: Zell x Seifer, Nida x Squall

Completed: Not yet

Author's note: I'm not a Japanese man, so I don't own Final Fantasy. This chapter is rated R. It contains sexuality. Thsi story was edited and revised in May of 2005.

Without thinking, Zell had lazily flipped through all the net channels without taking in a single word that was said. He had been sitting in the living room for six hours and could not think of anything else to do. He had thought of shadowboxing for while, but he did not want to stink up the flat with his sweat. There was soaking in a bath all day, but that would make him all pruny and gross. But then again, there was always cooking. He could not cook that well, but he could try.

He rose and flopped over to the refrigerator. Cooking will take about an hour for something good. He should be home about then. Seifer. He s not master ; he s Seifer. Just Seifer. He hasn t made me do anything since I got here, and it s been over a week. It s nice not being expected to do anything like that. I m glad I told him how I feel about this, he seems to understand. Anyway, where are the cookbooks? Doesn t he have any? he thought as he wrestled through the shelves and underneath the countertop. After clearing out all the unused frying pans and cookie sheets, he found a bright green book with the words gourmet for bakas on it. Perfect for me, he smirked at himself in the books shiny cover. Leafing through the pages, he found an octopus and sashimi salad, blackened cod, and wasabi cheesecake recipes. Smiling almost too much, he found all the ingredients in the overstocked refrigerator then began preparing the cheesecake. First things first, he rolled up the sleeves of the shirt he found in Seifer s hamper. Every time he tried to roll, pull, tug, or pin the sleeves up, he failed miserably. Frustrated, he threw the confounded thing on the floor with a huff. A moment later, he felt guilty and placed the shirt gently on the couch. Seifer still had not gotten him anything besides underwear in the way of clothes. Maybe he s trying to tell me something, he contemplated. Nah, he gave up. He s just been busy with the riots.

As the cheesecake started to settle, he put the cod in the oven and mixed the oils for the salad. This should be great. I ve never even had oils like this before. I hope Seifer at least doesn t hate it. This is my first time cooking anything more complicated than waffles.

In a bit over an hour, he had the cheesecake finished, the salad decorated with a wild orchid and was waiting for the cod to finish cooking. Seifer still had not come home, so he still had time to set the table.

Pacing around the kitchen in a ninny like fashion, he pulled his hair back in his hand in concentration. He leaned his back against the brown counter s ledge and bit on the skin at the end of his thumb. I hate being impatient sometimes.

The doorknob twisted and Seifer waltzed through in the middle of a political thought only to have his concentration broken by the smell of sesame oil and fish. He threw his heavy coat onto a chair and headed for the kitchen. Zell?

He nearly jumped in reply. Sorry, I didn t know you were here. It s almost ready. Sorry I used your stuff without asking, but I was bored and decided to do something productive.

Seifer merely smiled. I ll go set the table, he walked to Zell and planted a kiss on the top of his head before finding the plates.

Less stunned at the kiss then how he had been when he first started receiving them a few days ago, he touched the place that had been kissed knowing that he liked Seifer s kisses. Something about them bothered him though. Maybe it was the placement. Maybe it was the hesitation in them, as if he were afraid he would be swatted away. Whatever the reason, he knew he had a cod to season.

When all was done and futzed with, he brought the plate into the living room to find nothing. Puzzled, he turned around to find the plates in the large room to the side. They had always eaten on the couch in front of the giant screen, like he had at home. Instead, he found Seifer seated at the end of a long table. He sat the plate in between them and sat across from him. Why are we sitting here? I thought this was a conference room.

Since we re eating a proper meal for once, I thought we d eat in the dining room, he stated.

Zell processed the information as he picked up his chopsticks. He had only eaten in front of the screen or at a restaurant his whole life. The whole concept of a dining room was foreign. As he had been learning things like this that were so basic but so different from his old way of life, he began to realize how far apart their worlds really were.

What is this? It s delicious, he took in another bite.

You really like it? he asked a bit in disbelief.

Yes, it s wonderful.

He watched him take another bite, then another before answering. It s sashimi salad. He finally took a bite and quickly ate the rest of the food on his plate. That was good. I ve never made that before. Oh! I ll go get the Cod.

Seifer watched him go, pondering how the boy could cook so well for a commoner. He had not had food this good in a long time. Despite all the things he did not know about his culture, Zell just kept surprising him.

A piece of cod and two slices of cheesecake later, Seifer reclined in his chair watching the other blonde put the dishes in the washer, almost happily, as if the chore were a pleasure. That was wonderful, Zell. Please cook more often.

Zell nodded, I ll try to make it as good as it was today. He hung his head and massaged his shoulder lightly.

Watching this, Seifer instructed Zell to wait in the living room. In the mean time, he drew a bath with a thick layer of bubbles and sprinkled a few red rose petals on the surface. An ex-lover of his had done it for him. He was surprised at how relaxing it had been.

When the bubbles had settled a bit, he poured a bit of scented oil in the mixture and called Zell to the door. Obediently, he walked through the open door into the dim bathroom lit only with white candles and the light of the tall blonde s eyes. What s this for?

This is in return for dinner. Relax, I want you to enjoy yourself, he smiled reassuringly at him.

Seeing the sincerity in his eyes, Zell shoved away a bit of his inhibitions around him. Almost seductively, he sauntered over to the side of the tub and disposed of his oversized attire. Keeping eye contact with Seifer, he slid into the hot bath. The temperature was hot, but not uncomfortable. Seifer s eyes, while they did not stray from Zell s body, did not make Zell uncomfortable. The bath was definitely big enough from two, but he knew that would turn sour pretty quickly. He sunk under the water, wetting his tired eyes and hair.

Seifer placed his arm on the ledge of the tub and laid his head to rest on it. It was nice to see him warm up to him finally. He had wanted so badly to feel the boy calm down, to be at ease around him. The day before, he had gotten Zell to smile at him, find pleasure in his company. While he was happy about the progress, he wanted more. Berating himself for being selfish, he realized Zell had not come up from under the water. As frantically as Seifer could, he reached into the water and found nothing. He groped blindly in the water finding nothing. Has he disappeared? he thought. A moment before yelling his name in fear, a wet blonde head popped out of the water in the furthest corner from him. Seifer gave him a relieved look, then a scolding one.

Scared you didn t I? he smirked wading closer to him.

A bit, he sighed.

Why? he pulled the hair out of his face.

I might have made the water too hot and you passed out or something. I don t want anything bad to happen to you.

His already pink cheeks hid his blush. He let all the muscles in his body relax as he listened to Seifer speak.

What are your parents like Zell? he asked quietly.

Ma was always nice to me. I don t remember her much though. She died when I was about ten and I never met my father. Ma never talked about him either. I was adopted a few times, but the parents never wanted to deal with me, really, just put me to work.

Put you to work? he asked.

In the slums, you adopt children even if you can t afford to feed them. A child is a source of very cheap labor. Lots of merchants have child laborers.

I didn t know that, he admitted with a hint of shame. He should have known a thing like that, but he had not experienced the world the way Zell had.

It wasn t bad in my section of town though. Most of the children who were adopted were raised by a bunch of old women with a bit of extra cash. They were like cats to them. At least they were out of the orphanages though. Those things were like jails for unwanted children. I bounced from family to family until I was sixteen when I ran away and found my own way to get along. A few of my friends however weren t as lucky. They were in those places until they were seventeen.

He thought of the group he dealt with to get to Zell. Was that them? he thought. I ve always felt quite fortunate about my upbringing. My mother was an author and my father was a military official. He helped promoted me up the ranks to where I am today. They re both still alive, but quite senile in a home far from the city, far from the noise that drove them mad.

Zell perched in the corner of the warm bath as close to the tall blonde as he could get without getting him wet. Do you visit them?

Seifer closed his eyes and recalled the last times he had seen them. It was painful to see them so out of themselves. He was no longer their son, but just another stranger. Did they even know he existed? I visit them at least three times a year, but they don t know who I am anymore.

The smaller blonde caught the pain in the other blonde s face and pet his hair with his wet fingers. About a year ago a friend of mine was found nearly dead 50 paces way from his bike on the highway. The police were going to drag him to the morgue before he had even died. I found him on his back staring at the sky. He was so distant, as if he was looking at the face of god or something. Then I walked to him and told him he was pretty messed up, he wasn t going to last long. I asked him if he wanted anything done before he was gone. Behind all the blood and the tissue his eyes drifted to me. He almost looked betrayed. Who are you? he asked. He didn t know who he was looking at. I started crying right there over his body. I remember grabbing onto his jacket and sobbing into his broken chest. All I heard him say was mamma until he died a few moments later. Although it hurts to be forgotten in the eyes of someone you love, I know it wasn t his fault.

Seifer opened his eyes and lifted his head, rubbing his cheek into the hand that had slid from his hair to his face. Zell hesitantly caressed it for a moment then let his hand run to wherever it pleased on his face. He felt down the scar on his forehead, letting the ripples retell of the battle that had left its mark. Then, his hand moved above the valiant chin onto the pale lips. Seifer s bottom lip trembled and Zell s hand shrunk away back into the water. Unsure of his actions, he turned his gaze to the bubble-less water. Realizing he was exposed, he covered himself. I should get out soon.

Seifer inspected his wet and nervous fish. Come closer, Zell. I didn t mean to frighten you. I just like your touch.

Zell wanted to stray from Seifer s touch as much as possible. Sometime during the bath he had acquired a rather embarrassing erection. He shook his head and turned the other direction. Don t get me wrong, I want to, but I can t.

Seifer leaned over and pulled the wet body to the side nearest to him. During the move however, the source of Zell s embarrassment rubbed up against his arm. Pleased at a glimpse of the younger man s sexuality, he cooed in his ear to quell the boy s struggle to get away. He held his back to his torso and hugged quietly to settle him. Zell fell into the hug absorbing the attention despite his body rebelling against him. The smell of the dry man against him was captivating. He smelled of cedar and vanilla and felt warmer than the bath. Although he wanted to stay in his arms, he needed to get rid of his problem. As if answering his silent plea, Seifer s hand slowly passed his tough abs and clean belly button to the sensitive organ. Zell gasped at the contact and held tightly to Seifer s other arm. The light teasing of the head progressed into light pumping to which Zell began to rub his face into the side of Seifer s. He panted against the soft cheek over the ripples of water. The motions became faster and faster and his hips began to buck involuntarily against the loving hand. The panting became heavier through clinched teeth and he threw his head back upon the taller one s shoulder and his legs parted farther until he stifled a groan of climax. Seifer continued to pump him gently until all of the pleasure had expelled from his organ. Seifer held him tighter around the chest while petting the side of his face. Seifer . . . Zell panted more as an exclamation than as a way to get his attention.

After his breath returned to normal, Seifer held a towel open and he walk into it, back into the same embrace when they had first met. In a big fluffy white towel, Zell once again felt safe.

Seifer brought him a pair of pajama pants and watched him change and dry his hair. Zell?

Hn? he asked from under the towel.

Will you sleep with me tonight? he asked calmly.

He pulled the towel from his head and eyed him unsure of the nature of his request.

Just sleep, hopefully next to you, he took his hand in his.

Ah, he smiled.

Seifer smiled back almost solemnly.

On the way to the room Zell had never been in before, the possibilities seemed inconsequential. Everything was all right because he now knew Seifer would not do anything he was not comfortable with or make him into anything he did not desire himself to be also.

The next morning, the brunette woke up in the green chair he had fallen asleep in. He d refused to move since he arrived there. Not even Nida could pull him into a bed to rest. He was just too stubborn to admit he was owned let alone that he needed help. The shorter brunette s oration the day before had left him empty, intolerant of his own skin. How can anyone own another without regard for the other s happiness? In an endless fit of fidgeting, pulling at his own fingers, listening to the crunch of the separating joints, footfalls ran into his ears. What do you want?

Staring at the maroon carpet, he felt a warm hand hesitantly grip his arm and lead him out into the kitchen. You ve got to eat something, Squall, the familiar voice sounded torn between reprimand and concern.

The boy looked up at his new captor with empty questioning eyes again.

After sitting him in a chair before a long mahogany table with a mound of food under his new Pet s chin, Nida returned the gaze, forcing him to speak his thoughts.

How did you know he picked up the fork and dug into the closest pile of food.

You re name? I ve got your file, quite an interesting history you have. It appears you also have a long history of Pet theft, credit laundering, and resisting arrest.

Squall turned a delinquent gaze to him, So what?

I might be able to use you in the future, he spotted the awkward movements in the masticating brunette when he said use . For now, you will stay here. I have to work late tonight; then you will join me in a late dinner. While I am gone, you will be measured for you new wardrobe including the suit you will wear eight days from now at your first formal event as my Pet.

Eight days? Is that how long you have to break me? he continued to munch.

If you have any requests, ask the butler.

Eight days? Zell asked holding his arms out for the seamstress to measure him.

Seifer nodded. You don t have to go. I kind of hope you won t want to so I might ditch this fiasco myself.

You know you can t do that. You re expected to be there. If you go, I ll go.

A large pale hand ran through his hair. I don t want people to look at you like you re a Pet.

Zell let his arms down and sat on the couch, watching the seamstress pack her things. But that s what I am, he said mournfully. What else would they see me as? His eyes traced the carpet all the way up to his eyes. Your lover? he thought.

You re not a Pet, Zell, he turned his head and closed the door behind the woman. You re just Zell. You re my . . . he was stopped by that some nagging question that plagued him in Zell s absence. What are you?

He stood, wanting to reach out to his tall companion and beat the words out of him. What am I, Seifer? his mind screamed.

Following a short period of potent silence, Zell turned his back to him and headed out onto balcony into the freezing snow. Hearing the door close behind him, he wished he was back in his apartment where he could shout and pull as his hair in a frustrated frenzy without him watching. Holding himself for warmth, the stars felt farther away than usual even though he was closer. On the outside looking in, Seifer seemed to be calmly fussing over the same thing. He did not blame him for not answering, nor did he fault him for his unwillingness to let him go. Even if he told him to leave, something would keep him there. Something with wings.

The door opened again to yield only a hot arm to pull Zell back inside. Seifer threw him in a hot shower, letting him soak while the Cocoa was brewing. Zell s foul moods could always be broken by sweets, not that he was sour often around him, but it was something he just knew. After pouring the heated brown liquid into mismatched mugs, he put one on the tables on either side of the royal blue bed. Sitting nude in bed, reading an old copy of the legend of the Firebird and the Fox, he heard the pattering of naked feet along the bedroom carpet.

Ever since the night of the bath, Zell slept in the bed near Seifer. Twice, he tried to sleep alone in the bed only a hallway apart, but failed, always returning to the welcoming warm spot to the left of Seifer s long radiating body. As each night passed, he found himself sleeping closer and closer to his body aching curiously to touch his sleeping skin. Last night, their backs touched, but it was all he needed to satiate his need. Tonight felt different.

The shorter blonde crawled across the bed slinking over the other s lengthy legs to peer over the cover of his book. What s it about? he asked letting his hair flop in Seifer s way.

Smirking, he pushed the smaller one s face to the side like scatting a cat away. Out of the corner of his eye, he watched him lay in the same fashion he had fallen over, staring at the ceiling. The hurt of the earlier conversation reached his eyes for a moment then passed with the roll of his body away from him. Seifer let his text fall onto the floor and gently, but quickly ripped the other blonde out of his solitude and into a fierce cuddle. Smelling like lavender soap and fresh pouts, he did not struggle against him, but rubbed up against him unintentionally conjuring Vaseline lens covered thoughts from the taller one. The big white button-down shirt Zell had worn to bed began to frustrate Seifer. He wanted to feel his skin on his, soft and open like his eyes. In between kisses on his ear, he asked, May I ask something of you?

Zell s thoughts came to a screeching halt. Thoughts of how he was molested but two people before he had come to the apartment flooded his mind. Separating Seifer from them was not the problem, telling Seifer was. Zell moved away and hid under the covers like a child. Only after Seifer had joined him in his bed bubble did he speak up. I m sorry.

What for? he petted his back reassuringly between the shoulder blades.

I can t do that now. I want to, but . . .

Zell, I wasn t going to ask you that, he sighed. I just wanted to be skin to skin with you.

He uncovered their heads. Really?

Really, he confirmed.

Oh, I m sorry for making a fuss then, he muttered and unbuttoned his shirt, peeling off the offensive garment.

Happy with Zell newfound trust in him, he could not help but wonder why he was so afraid of being intimate with him. Why are you afraid?

He nestled his back into Seifer s stomach and sighed deeply as strong arms folded about him. The testing.

Testing?

The testing they did on me before you came and got me.

His form twitched at the thought of Cid s betrayal of his word. They tested on you? he sounded cold, vengeful.

He nodded.

What kind of testing? He wanted to get all of the facts before he acted on his rising anger.

First they did a physical and then some, um, sexual testing, he felt the hold on him tighten.

Tell me.

Seifer, I . . . he hesitated.

Please, he cooed and loosened his grip.

After sighing a few times and collecting his scattered consciousness, he explained what had happened; Raijin s abuse, Cid s abuse, that horrifying machine, waiting in that dirty room. Following his account of the violations, there was a tense silence, then Seifer spoke, I m so sorry, Zell. I told them not to touch you, not to do anything to you. Cid gave me his word he wouldn t. I m so sorry. But, don t worry, I ll take care of this.

Finding comfort in his words, he leaned back whole-heartedly into Seifer and fell asleep enjoying Seifer s temperate lips on his skin. You re safe now.

The following days dwindled away with little excitement in both households, but one of them was experiencing a very resistant guest. Squall had been moping and silently fighting with everyone he came in contact with, especially Nida. Every time he grabbed his arm to pull him into bed, he fought the urge to punch Nida in the jaw. His hand got inches from Nida s face, then he retracted it, like his need to rid himself from that place.

The butler entered the room Nida was studying in with a tray of tea and various rice crackers. Nida, what is wrong with your pet? Since you ve returned him, he seems, he hesitated, less compliant.

He s just not used to us yet, Souma. Give him time, he returned to his book.

He has missed you, he replied sitting the tray down on the table beside him. Nida rolled is eyes over the book inquisitively. Smiling, Souma poured the cup of tea and answered his stare, After you fall asleep, he sits by the bed and watches over you and leaves before you wake up.

Less than shocked, Nida smirked behind the green text. Thank you, Souma. You may go.

Souma closed the doors behind him and took his place watching over the brunette in the parlor who was trying on his freshly finished tux for the ball forty some hours away. He twisted from side to side in front of the mirror inspecting himself. Every detail of the suit counted; no strand could be out of place. The fact of the matter was that if he looked out of place, he would feel that way too; but every minuet detail was in order for the big day. Seeing the frail form that resembled his own reflection, he looked broken, but he had is pride somewhere, somewhere in the pocket of this suit. Souma motioned for him to undress and bathe before bed. As directed, he handed over the perfect garment and headed down the hall.

Turning the corner, he bumped into a familiar man nearly bouncing into the wall. Angered, he swung out to attack him but stopped in shock when his fist neared his face. The tall, blonde man that had captured him and showed him to Nida stood proudly over him. Lowering his fist, he walked past him with a nearly inaudible apology. I really am broken, aren t I? I can t even fight the man who brought me back here. I hope you prove to be worth all of this.

Seifer strolled upright into the study greeting Nida with the closing of the door.

Thanks for coming here on your day off, Amsley, he placed his book on the shelf. Seifer respected him for his regality, but he knew aside from their friendship, business flirtation got you everywhere.

It s a pleasure, Nida. What can I do for you?

With a signature smile he answered, It s only a small favor. . .

The seventh day had come and gone in anticipation for the eighth and final night. The winter military ball was in full swing and the pairs had not yet made their ways to their carriages. On one side of town, Nida was expecting to make the ball with a disgruntled date on his arm. On the other, Zell was sitting patiently on the couch for his date to immerge from the bathroom. We re gonna be late! I m getting hungry! I got all dolled up in this thing for you and now you re making me wait around for you re a. . . his whining deceased as the lengthy with slicked back blonde hair stood before him. Every crease of the tux was pressed and holding his shape intimately. Every motion seemed fluid. Every hair sat in place. All of the sudden, Zell s primping seemed fruitless. Uh, you look hot. He stood up awkwardly.

Seifer smirked at the half-witted compliment and kissed Zell on the forehead chastely. Thanks. You ready for this? If you want to ditch this thing, we can just get something to eat and come right home.

Zell refused to take the way out after all they had been through, the progress they made. It s ok, Seifer. Even if I get cat-called and stuff, you ll be with me right? I ll be okay.

The white-clad blonde nodded and pushed his black-tuxedoed blonde toward the door, Then off we go.

Nearing the ball, the other couple sat quietly in the back seat occasionally glancing at each other while they pondered each other. Why did he come with me? Why is he being so obedient? He could have just as easily fought with me and ruined the whole night. Has he come back to me for good? Nida decided to put his questions to the only one who could answer them. His hand slid from his lap to touch Squall s lightly. Squall s head whipped around to see the source of the disturbance only to hide his face before settling his empty gaze on the back of the driver s head. Nida s hand softly grasped his loose one and he quietly asked, Why?

I m testing you Nida.

Bullshit, he hissed.

Squall twitched and settled his anger. Before you caught me I was in love with someone. I betrayed him and didn t tell him I was your plaything until you let me go. Even after you let me go, I couldn t make love to him.

Because of the ring,

No, he replied hearing Nida gasp. You haven t noticed, but he got rid of the ring after I told him about you. I was ecstatic to get rid of that thing and hardened up just by looking at him. At last I could be with the man I would spend the rest of my life with, but when I tried to be one with him, I couldn t remain aroused. So many times I tried, but on the front of my mind was always your face. My love for him had been murdered by your touch. I thought I d be happy by his side, but the me that had fell in love with him died when you first forced yourself on me. You kept on saying, Don t forget you re mine . Every time I cried myself to sleep in his arms your words bounced in my brain.

This is why you returned to me. You now know you re mine. . .

You wouldn t let me forget that if I wanted to, he sneered.

If you still hate me, why are you here? Nida s frustration seeped through. His hand tightened around Squall s.

To see if you re worth all the trouble.

His fingers relaxed against his Pet s. I see, he smiled. Even after all the horrid things done to him, Squall would still never bite the hand that feeds him too deeply. Without the ring, Squall was still his.

Shortly after, the pair arrived at the gala and were announced. The hall was taller and wider than any room Squall had ever been in before. The ceiling was domed with twinkling bits of light illuminating it. Several chandeliers hung lazily from the edge of the dome under which a couple hundred couples danced in exquisite attire. As they entered he saw the fur of several extinct animals clinging to the shoulders of a few women who clung to the arms of a few men who were gazing at all the exposed Pet flesh. Past a few tables in the front row, Nida led him to sit down on a white satin chair. I ll be back in a few moments, he patted his hand and quickly captured his lips in a timid, dominating kiss. Squall stared back wide-eyed as if kissed for the very first time in the school playground by the silent boy who sat in the far corner. Nida released his lips and sauntered off into a crowd of chattering people. Shocked, he sat with his mouth hanging open. Too shocked in fact to noticed what appeared to be Quistis on the arm of a woman in a blue dress.

Part 3