Characters/Pairings: Seifer, Squall
Rating: R. So fucking R.
Classifications: AU (after game), POV (Squall's), Short Fic
Warnings: Angst (possibly), Disturbing Content (comments of torture), Language, Suicidal Themes (talk of attempted), Slight OOC (lack of attitude?), Mentions of Sex/Rape
Word Count: 1485
Author's Notes: prompt #130 (Journal/Diary) @ ffviii_100, also unbetaed and I apologize for the Cross posting.
I came to spar with him. I banged on his door and pressed the buzzer until he opened it with bleary eyes and a face that held no sneer yet. Seifer looked exhausted and weary and I almost hesitated with my request because of how bad he looked. He blinked at me through sleep hazed eyes before glancing at me and Lionheart at my hip. Instead of telling me to fuck off, he shuffled aside and let me in.
"Give me the luxury of a shower before you beat my ass into the grating of the TC." His voice was rough and scratchy from disuse. I simply nodded and let myself sink into the lone piece of furniture in his living room, a chair that had seen far better days and tried not to think about his lack of attitude.
It was tucked into a corner facing the rest of the rooms. I could see almost everything from where I sat. Could see how tidy everything was, how almost spartan things were. Barren might have been a better word. Beside the chair was a small stand. It held a light and black leather bound book that had papers sticking out of it haphazardly. Some colored sticky sheets and other plain white papers. The papers caught my eye and I looked away from them to see a naked Seifer walking to the bathroom, towel in hand. There were scars running down the length of his backside in various patterns. It made my blood run cold and then the bathroom door shut and my eyes found their way back to the book, to the papers that were held there. Some were crumpled and looked like they were smoothed out carefully later, others had blood splatters on them. One had a burnt singe on a corner.
My hand went for the book and even though I wore my gloves, I knew that the leather would be soft. The sort of leather that you'd want to touch and have against your skin. I put it back. It wasn't right; it wasn't mine to flip through and he had done nothing to deserve such a violation of privacy from me. He was a dick but he didn't deserve what I wanted to do.
My gloves came off and the soft leather was in my hands before I even realized what I was doing.
I shouldn't. This is a violation of privacy. I thought to myself as I slowly creaked open the leather of the book. The papers, despite being dirty or bloodied or crumpled all had Seifer's neat and precise handwriting.
The book itself didn't seem to hold any writing yet, just blank pages and the small scraps of paper. My eyes roamed the writing before flicking upward to the bathroom door, almost as if I were listening for the shower to stop. I could still hear the water running.
One bloodied scrap caught my eye more than others. It had my name on it, among other words: Oh Hyne. Squall, why won't she stop? What have I done to deserve this? Squall, save me. Please, save me. Put me out of my misery.
Again, I could feel the blood run cold through me. The end of the war brought humiliation to him, among countless other things. Barely contained hatred by some, mistrust from others but part of me wanted to know what else he had to endure at her hands besides the "mindfuck" as he called it. Part of me felt that he did it to himself but it wasn't like he knew that she'd treat him the way she did. There were far too many things that he refused to speak of, leaving the company of others if a topic came up that might even remotely brush what he went through.
A page slipped out and landed in my lap. It was thick and darkly colored. I wasn't sure what it was when I turned it over in my hand. There were scratches in it as if someone was counting down or keeping track of something. Neat, straight little lines. Four in a row and the fifth going through them to make five. They totaled eighteen. I turned the paper over again before putting it down where I thought it slipped out. It
left flakes of dark brown on my fingertips and then, as I looked at those flakes, I knew what it was that had coated that scrap of paper - blood.
I could feel my head rise and look towards the bathroom door. I wanted to barge in and ask whose blood it was and what the ticks meant. Instead, I sat frozen to the seat of that ratty old chair and a stray thought passed through my mind, that both that chair and Seifer had seen better days. I shook my head out of the little reprieve it was slipping into and turned back to the book, back to the papers and the little snatches
of Seifer that were left there by his own hand.
I couldn't stop reading them, couldn't flip through them fast enough but wanted to close the book and throw it to the floor. In what? Horror? Aversion? A sense that what I was reading was nothing more than a fucking farce? But it wasn't, was it? They were moments of clarity that he had hung too, scribbled down on the first piece of parchment he could find. Or that's what I told myself.
A bright green sticky note caught my eye; the writing still Seifer's but it was scribbled as though he was writing fast and a bit sloppy. My breath caught in my throat and it left me stunned, like a sharp right hook from someone I wouldn't have expected. My lips moved, my voice was stilled as I read the words: She won't even let me kill myself. I've tried so many times. She brings me back. LET ME DIE!
The last line was gone over repeatedly, the pen digging into the paper to leave grooves of jagged black ink. I ran my thumb over those grooves and again thought of what she did to him. What wasn't he telling us?
Closing the book, I blinked a couple of times, the brown flakes still on my fingertips. I rubbed them on my pants; they wouldn't come off.
"Do you always snoop through other people's shit Leonhart, or just mine?"
I gripped the book tighter and looked at him. "I..."
"Find anything interesting in there? It's a wealth of fucked up shit. Did you get to read it all?" He was bitter and caustic and I know I deserved it. Oh Hyne I deserved it. He continued speaking and I listened. "I noticed you rubbing your hand on your pants. That blood doesn't come clean easy, Leonhart. You know why? It's a mix of mine and hers - more mine though. She stabbed me with those fucking talons of hers, near gutted me and let me bleed. Then she cut her palm and dripped her blood into me."
It felt like lunch was trying to creep up my throat. I swallowed and my mouth felt dry.
"The best part Squall..." He bent over, his lips close to my ear, his breath smelt of peppermint. "The meaning behind those eighteen ticks. Now that is something to break a man, even an Ice Prince."
My tongue darted out and moistened my lips. I wanted to know, wanted to ask, wanted to glimpse just a bit of the terror that he went through. He chuckled and it was low and mean. His words sent waves of revulsion through me.
"It's how many times she fucked me and how many times she scarred me afterward." He stood and stepped back. The towel was knotted around his waist but I could see the marks, the disfigurement that she left there; pale pink on sun kissed skin. My eyes fell to his wrists where so many long scars ran up the length of his forearms. He sighed and looked away.
"Get out. Show and tell is over."
There was a soft noise of that leather book being placed back onto the stand. I could feel my fingers gripping my gloves as I stood. Footfalls of my boots on the uncarpeted floors. I made it to the door before his voice curled in my ears.
"Tell anyone Squall and you'll fucking regret it. I'll make you regret it. Now fuck off."
I left him there; left with the knowledge burning in my gut that he would keep his word if I told anyone. And now, I wonder if that journal has more secrets, if those white pages have actual words on them or if he still uses scraps of paper to write his thoughts on.