The Sun in the Flower (FFVIII, Seifer/Squall)
Fandom: Final Fantasy VIII
Rating: PG (Seifer swears, it's not my fault)
Note: For tanoshi_ame. A companion piece to the drabble All that Glitters.
The Sun in the Flower
by Renata Lord (snowlight)
Looking up from his book, Squall saw the pile of yellow bouquets in Seifer's arms and actually smiled.
"Oh, I suppose it's one of those times again."
Seifer grunted in response and shut the apartment door behind him. He unloaded the flowers on the sofa and strode into the kitchen. Trailing behind him, Squall made himself a cup of coffee as Seifer went around the cabinets looking for something that would resemble a vase.
"Those really do look like the sun."
Nothing can stir women's hearts quite like a redeemed bad boy, especially a handsome blond one who oozes masculine charm. Seifer understands this. As Quistis would say, he practically revels in the knowledge of it. (Oh, does he ever.)
A few years back, however, even the great Seifer Almasy was perplexed by the sudden appearance of sunflower bouquets at his office's door. All of them were delivered by the premier floral company in Balamb, each sent by a different woman. It was as if Seifer had declared to his legion of female fans that sunflower was his favorite thing in the world, sliced bread and peanut butter both rolled into one.
At first he bought the flowers back to the apartment he shared with Squall, figuring that their otherwise stark rooms could use some color. But for quite a while the flowers just kept coming, and it became obvious that the apartment had no use for any more of them. (And when Seifer complained about it, the reply he got a straight-faced Squall was that at least these weren't lilies.)
Fortunately, after a case of first-class SeeD espionage in the form of bumping into Selphie who was reading the newest issue of In Vogue, Seifer finally discovered the source behind the flower power mania: Apparently, the world's most popular women's magazine decided to do an issue titled "Sex&Danger: the Men of SeeD". Gracing the cover was none other than Mr. Almasy himself, in a picture that had him standing in front of an endless sunflower field. In the background, yellow petals crashed into each other like waves on an open sea.
He'd forgotten all about that photo shoot, but holding the glossy magazine in his hand, Seifer had to admit to himself that he looked pretty much like a sex god.
Eventually the bouquets were replaced by letters and chocolates, the more conventional tokens of affection. But a year later the first movie about the war hit the silver screen, Seifer got portrayed as the dark and brooding antihero who embraced his destiny no matter where it took him, and kaboom, sunflowers started to rain down on Balamb again. Over the years it became an inside joke of sorts amongst the Garden staffif you wanted to know how a particular movie about the war fared, you only had to check the amount of flowers piling up at Commander Almasy's office door. (The Headmaster had his share of fan mail too, just usually not flowers.)
"Didn't Selphie get us a big clay jug when she came back for a visit last time? What the hell happened to it?"
"Cerberus broke it the very next day. You got a laugh out of it, if I recall correctly." (Somewhere in the bedroom, a large white dog with a mismatched name stirred uneasily in its sleep.)
"Well, fuck," Seifer ran a hand through his hair in apparent frustration but didn't stop looking. "What the hell am I supposed to do with them now? To the trash can?"
Finishing his coffee, Squall went back into the living room and picked up the flowers. They had become a familiar sight by now, but they made his heart glad all the same. It was nice knowing that people appreciated Seifer (even if, a domesticated part of his mind added, only he got to keep him).
"We can find a place for them. Somewhere. Anyway, I ate already but the spaghetti is on the counter top if you want any. "
Seifer made a noise that meant he would argue with Squall but he wasn't in the mood for harmless bickering. Soon after, the rummaging sound was replaced by the sound of a man hungrily devouring Trabian sausage spaghetti. Squall vowed silently to himself that if Seifer does not clean his own dishes again, he will get an asskicking that's been a long time coming.
Before then, however, he could permit himself to return to his book, and smell the sun in the flower.
A/N: Okay so this turned out to be so much utter FAIL in terms of expressing my original intent. I really wanted to tie in the whole sappiness known as "other people see Seifer as the sun that brightens up Squall's life, but to Seifer the exact opposite is true." But eh, if it won't come, it won't come. So there.