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Like A Man

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These men that I've been seeing
Put their soul up on a shelf
You know they could never love me
When they can't even love themselves

Irvine clicked the 'send reply' button with a deep sigh. He felt Selphie leaning on the back of his chair, the faint scent of her perfume drifting pleasantly in the air.

"Hello Cowboy. Hard at work?"

"Just answering emails. Since I left Galbadia the whole place seems to have descended into chaos."

"Well, not surprising really. What with Martine running off, having to fight Balamb and being deprived of the Sniper Slut of Galbadia." She ran her tongue along the edge of his ear, completely disarming him of any response he might have made to that. "Still, cool to have email on a space ship. You really can keep in touch wherever you go, these days."

"Whether you want to or not. I mean, a friend's a friend, but I'm beginning to think they rely on me too much. Here's me saving the world from certain peril, Rinoa no sooner rescued from space than she's sealed up in some kind of sorceress containment device, and I get Fradin mailing me every other day with 'she really doesn't love me and I can't blame her, I know I'm a complete nerd'. If it's not him it's someone else with 'I've been on three dates and she won't put out, should I dump her?' They just have no idea." He shook his head sadly.

"Three dates isn't much."

"It is in Galbadia," he smirked.

"Oh. So what do you tell them?"

"Just common sense stuff. You know, 'go talk to her', 'get her drunk', that kind of thing. But they no sooner get over one disaster than they're whinging on about something else."

"They don't appreciate you, do they sweetie?" Selphie kissed his neck. "Poor baby."

"You know, there's room in the world for a whole web site dedicated to the problems of the male population of Galbadia Garden."

"Mmm… sounds interesting. I'm looking for a new project."

Irvine was watching the external monitor. Squall was sitting on a rock, tracing patterns in the dirt at his feet with the tip of his gunblade.

"And that's before we even think of the male population of Balamb," he murmured.

Selphie followed his gaze. "Oh. Oh, yes. Now, that one is a challenge."

There was a pause, as they both watched the grainy image of their Commander brooding to himself.

"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Irvine said, eventually.

"It's time," said Selphie. "It's definitely time."

* * * * * * *

But I need someone to love me
Someone to really understand
Who won't put himself above me
Who'll just love me like a man

Irvine sat back in his chair, feet up on the control panel, watching Squall out of the Ragnarok's window. He was still brooding, of course, and damn fine it looked too. Irvine had grown accustomed to that frown, those intense grey eyes, the always-taut body, ready to explode into violence at any second. He wasn't sure what he'd do if he ever saw Squall actually smile. But he could imagine what it might look like, happiness on that pretty face. And he wanted to see if he was right.

"Why doesn't he just go fetch her?" Zell demanded, impatiently. "Why do we have to hang around here while he makes up his fucking mind?"

"I think he's having trouble working out what's for the best," said Quistis. "I mean, for Rinoa, even. She did insist on going, and she's terrified of her powers. Maybe he thinks if she's in this containment thingie she won't have to worry. That she'll be safe, in a funny kind of way."

"Bullshit," said Zell. "She was doing that woman thing women do when they want something. They go all self-sacrificy. Like when you want to go to the skate park and they want to go to a movie. If you ask she'll say 'oh, that's okay, we can go to the skate park,' but that's just so you can be all gentlemanly and say 'no, no, we must go to the movie.' Classic mistake is to take her at her word. Classic. That way sulking and stroppiness lies. Ain't that right, Irvine?"

"What?" Irvine dragged his eyes away from the window.

"Zell," Quistis looked at him over the top of her glasses, "are you actually telling me you'd take a girl on a date to the skate park?"

Zell looked slightly panicked. "Er… no, no, just an example. You know, of somewhere chicks might not want to…"


"Irvine… help…"

"Sorry Zell, you're on your own." Irvine swung his legs off the control panel and stood up. "It can't be good for Squall, worrying about this on his own. I'm gonna go talk to him."

"Well, good luck," said Quistis. "You know that he won't talk back, right?"

"Oh, that's fine," said Irvine. "Right now, I just need him to listen."

Quistis' eyes widened. "Really?"

Irvine nodded, and winked at her.

"Oh, and Zell," he said over his shoulder as he reached the door, "explaining male perspective to women - never good. Trust me on that one."

* * * * * * *

I've never seen such losers, darlin'
Even though I tried to
Find a man who could take me home instead of
Taking me for a ride

"Hey Squall."

Squall might have grunted in reply. Or not. Irvine sat down on the step next to him.

"Thought you might need a friend."

He definitely grunted that time.

"It must be a real hard decision, Squall. I'm not gonna tell you what to do. But if you need me, or anything, I'll be right here. Just in case."

Squall flashed him a look, and for a second it was definitely a 'fuck off out of my face' kind of look. But it quickly softened, maybe because he knew from experience that for all his compassion and understanding, Irvine never fucked off anywhere unless he really wanted to. And maybe, just maybe, because he was secretly pleased to see him there.

True to his word, Irvine remained silent, and watched as Squall went back to fiddling with the chain on his gunblade. He was systematic in this task, alternately twisting the links so they formed a strong, tight spiral, and then letting go, smoothing his fingers along from the spot where they attached to the handle of his blade to the lion charm at the other end, straightening the chain to a flat line. Twisting, smoothing, twisting, smoothing.

He was breathtakingly beautiful, even in his grimmest mood. Not handsome, Irvine reflected, beautiful. Just on the masculine side of androgyny; his pretty face, slim hips and long legs complemented by hard, toned muscle and the gritty confidence with which he carried himself. It was no wonder all the girls were after him: not just Rinoa, Selphie and Quistis, but an impressive number of the cadets in Garden. Irvine had noticed the way they swooned around their Commander, while he continued to brood, worry and snap at them, completely oblivious to his own charms.

Strangely, perhaps, for someone as communicative and sociable as Irvine, he also appreciated Squall's quietness. Granted, the resolute, surly silence got a bit much sometimes, but the lack of empty chatter and mindless commentary on the trivialities of life was a pleasant change from some of Irvine's friends at Galbadia. And Zell, come to that. Much as Irvine loved the chatterbox, it was definitely for his loyalty, easy affection and skill as a fighter rather than his conversation. With Squall, Irvine enjoyed a kind of manly, companionable quiet, knowing that if Squall said anything at all, it would be well worth listening to.

"You may as well go back inside with the others."

Well, not always.

"I'm fine right here. I like being with you."

Squall looked startled, which at least was a change from the frowning.

"Are you taking the piss?"

Irvine smiled. "No. Why should I?"

"Mnf." Squall started to close down again, went back to his smoothing and twisting.

"You know, you could use a friend."

"No, thanks."

"More to the point, I could use a friend."

"You have lots of friends. Selphie, Quistis, Riona, Zell, all your mates in Galbadia. I'm no good at being a friend."

"Maybe. But I want you to be my friend."

"Irvine, where are you going with this?"

"Nowhere," Irvine smiled lazily. "Nowhere in particular. Except… hey, do you feel like walking? You've been cooped up forever. Might do you good."

Squall scowled, ready to say no, but he was feeling kinda restless…

"OK. Why not?"

"Good." Irvine stood up. "Come on, then."

* * * * * * *

And I need someone to love me
Well I know you can
Believe it when I tell you
You could love me like a man

They walked in silence for a while. The day was getting old, cool shadows falling across the Estharian plains.



"Have you ever … loved someone? I mean, really loved someone?"

"Well, love's a very complicated word…"

"No, no bullshit. You know what I mean."

"What, real, gut-wrenching, painful, beautiful, consuming love? Yes," said Irvine, simply. "More than once."

"How do you live with it? How do you feel like that, and still function as a human being?"

"It depends. Sometimes it makes it easier to live. Sometimes it makes it harder. But you just live."

"And when it ends? When they go away and leave you?"

"They don't, always," Irvine said, gently. "Sometimes they stay."

Squall shook his head. "Not with me. Why would anyone want to stay with me?"

Irvine's breath caught in his throat.

"Do you really want me to answer that?" he said.

Squall stopped walking and looked at him, grey eyes unusually vulnerable under his long lashes. "Can you?"

"Oh yes. I really can. Only I don't think you're ready to hear it."

"Try me. I want to know. Why would anyone want to be around someone as cold and heartless as me?"

"If you were cold and heartless," Irvine looked at Squall with steady violet eyes, "they wouldn't. But you're not. You're passionate and loving. You're just frightened of getting hurt."

"Passionate?!" Squall snorted. "Don't make me laugh."

"Alright, then, if you're not passionate, why are we here? Why did you work so hard to be the best SeeD the world has ever seen? Why did you risk your life to rescue Rinoa from space? Why are you ready to risk it all over again? Why do you want to save the world so damn much?"

Squall was silent, chewing on his lower lip, his gaze carefully avoiding Irvine's.

The evening breeze wafted Irvine's duster around his legs as he stood watching Squall. It ruffled Squall's hair, too, fringe in his eyes as usual. He looked so hot standing there, all that black leather and attitude…

"Has Rinoa said something to you? About … how she feels?"

Squall nodded. "I don't know what to do. I don't understand what she wants, not really." He shook his head. "I'm no good with women, Irvine. I understand battles, and weapons, and I'm even learning how to be a good leader. But she just… confuses me."

"You're not the first man to be baffled by a woman, Squall. It happens to the best of us. I guess we baffle them, too. I know I drive Selphie nuts sometimes."

"I just don't know what to do. What does she want of me?"

"I can't answer that. But I can tell you, love isn't always complicated."

Squall looked at him at last, raising an eyebrow.

"Is that what you want, Squall? Uncomplicated love?"

Squall frowned, uncertainty rather than misery, for once. "What do you mean?"

"Something like this…"

Before Squall had a chance to register what he was doing, Irvine reached out a hand, ran long fingers through Squall's hair, cupped the back of his head in one hand.

"Kinneas, wha…"

Then he dipped his head, and claimed the kiss he'd been waiting for since he joined the mission in Galbadia all those weeks ago. There was resistance, of course; Squall pressed his lips tightly closed and tried to push Irvine away. But not very hard. Irvine persisted, putting his other arm around Squall's waist, one fingertip just touching bare skin at the gap between jeans and shirt. Finally, finally, Squall groaned and relaxed his mouth into Irvine's, using the hand he had been pushing against Irvine's chest to grab his duster and pull him closer. Irvine's fingers gently stroked the back of Squall's neck under his soft, dark hair, stealthily slid his tongue inside his mouth. Squall tasted of peppermint, smelt of outdoors and felt like heaven, pressing his hot, hard body against Irvine's.

Irvine kept kissing, pausing only to snatch breath when absolutely necessary, and diving straight back for more. Eventually it was Squall who pulled back, fluttering his eyes open, clearing his throat.

"Gods, Irvine…" he grimaced slightly, readjusting his leather jeans. "You trying to cripple me?"

Irvine grinned a wide, lazy grin.

"Not just yet," he drawled.

He noticed a flicker of thought in Squall's eyes.

"Irvine, what…"

"Uhuh. Oh no you don't. No thinking. You're mine, babe." And just in case Squall felt unusually chatty, he covered his lips with his own again, tongue straight in this time, chasing Squall's round his mouth.

Squall pulled back again.


"Why are you doing this?" Squall's eyes narrowed. "What's in it for you?"

"Oh, Squall, babe, how can you stand there and ask me that?"

"You like women."

"So do you. But I like men, too. Hyne, Squall, I just like people. That's not a problem, is it? You sure seemed to be enjoying it a minute ago."

Squall shook his head. "But… you and Selphie…"

"She's cool." If she was here now you'd already be flat on your back naked. "We have kind of an … open relationship. Now, do you have any more questions, or can we get back to making out? Because to be honest, the main reason I'm doing this is that I wanted you since I first laid eyes on you at Galbadia Garden, and I'm not sure I can wait any longer."

That shut him up.

Irvine wasted no more time, reclaiming that luscious mouth, willing Squall to blank his mind and, just for once, to give in to pure, sweet, lust.

Squall relaxed into his arms and started kissing him back with enthusiasm.

Oh yes. At last.

* * * * * * *

They all want me to rock them
Like my back ain't got no bone
I want a man who'll rock me
Like my backbone was his own
Well I know you can
Believe me when I tell you
You could love me like a man

Squall slid his arms around Irvine, underneath his duster, pulling their hips together. They fit together perfectly; Squall was a few inches shorter than Irvine, making his upturned face just the right angle to kiss, but his long legs meant their hips were almost level, and it was easy to push hardness against hardness, through leather and denim. Irvine wanted this moment to last forever. He loved kissing, soft and wet, building tension and desire, perfect anticipation. And kissing Squall was like nothing he'd felt before, so deep and sensual; he could taste the edges of the love Squall had kept locked in his heart for fear of being hurt, for such a long, long time…

This time they both pulled back, just to breathe. Squall tentatively reached out a hand, pushed the loose hair back from Irvine's face, a gesture so intimate it made Irvine want to cry.

Well, that or strip Squall naked and nail him right here on the ground.

Possibly both.

"Irvine… someone could come along at any minute, right?"

Irvine shrugged. "I guess. Does it matter?" He tried to keep his voice casual, but at the same time he was almost holding his breath. This was the part of his plan he hadn't really thought through. In the absence of any privacy on the Ragnarok, he'd simply hoped it would do to get away from the ship, not really thinking about how exposed the Estharian Plains were. Fuck, even a forest would be handy. But there was no cover at all.

"It wouldn't be a good idea if Zell or Quistis were to come looking for us," said Squall, and Irvine's heart sank, "but I have an idea."

"Oh yes?" Something about the look on Squall's face told Irvine that he'd detected his disappointment, possibly even enjoyed teasing him. Well, well, well.

"When we came here in the car, on the way to the launch site, it ran out of gas. We abandoned it not far from here. It should still be there."

Irvine smiled a relieved smile. "Lead the way, Commander," he said. "Of course, this is why you're in charge, you know that, right?"

To Irvine's delight, something a bit like a smile tugged at the corners of Squall's lovely, soft mouth.

"Come on, Irvine," he said. "Before I change my mind. This way."

Squall was right, the car was still there, and at that moment it looked as inviting as a Trabian hot tub. Irvine scanned the possibilities it presented with a practised eye, and was taken completely by surprise when Squall pushed him against the driver's door and kissed him, harder than before, plunging his tongue into Irvine's welcoming mouth with an urgency that Irvine quickly shared. He stroked the side of Squall's face with the back of one hand, enjoying the mixture of soft skin and faint stubble; bullied Squall's lower lip with his teeth, trailing his fingers down his vulnerable, pulsing throat.

"Hyne, Squall. You're so hot…"

Squall's eyes fluttered open and met Irvine's. "You ought to know," he said, "I've not done this before." Irvine was used to hearing words like these, usually whispered with shyness, even apologetically, but Squall's voice came steady and as authoritative as ever. "Show me what you want."

"You're doin' just fine," said Irvine, tracing tiny circles with one fingertip over the pulse at Squall's throat. "You know what feels good, dontcha? What feels good to you'll more than likely feel good to me." He licked a line from Squall's breastbone straight up his neck. "We're more alike than you think."

Squall groaned and threw his head back, exposing his pale throat to Irvine's lips and tongue, hair falling out of his eyes for once. So, so beautiful. Seffie would love this. It's a shame she's not here, really. She's wanted him even longer than I have.

Irvine grinned, a little wolfishly. Oh well, sorry Selph. I'm here, and I know you'd want me to enjoy myself… I'll save you some for later…

He supported Squall's head with one hand, and kissed him deep, sliding his other hand around his waist, underneath his T-shirt, feeling cool, silky skin over hard muscle. Squall's arms folded around Irvine's neck, stretching out his upper body, intensifying the effect of Irvine's fingers as they slid up his spine, massaged his shoulder blades.

Squall was sucking gently on Irvine's tongue, sliding back and forth just a little, his hips pinning Irvine firmly against the side of the car, the black leather of his jeans squeaking softly when he moved. Irvine stopped touching Squall's skin for a moment, reached out and opened the rear passenger door to the car.

"We really need to lie down now," he whispered.

"The back seat folds down," Squall said, "there's a lever somewhere."

Irvine raised an eyebrow.

"Quistis and Selphie were messing around," Squall explained, probably unaware of exactly what image that concept produced in Irvine's mind. "Look, there it is."

Irvine turned to flick the lever, letting out a gasp as Squall pressed himself against his back, leaning over to lick his ear.

"Oh babe, steady," Irvine whispered. "If you keep doing that I won't be responsible for my actions."

"Good," said Squall, sliding one hand across the zip of Irvine's jeans. "I don't know what I'd do the day Irvine Kinneas went responsible on me."

"Hey," objected Irvine, "no fair. I'm not always…" there was the unmistakable sound of his zipper being yanked down, "unghh… fuck, Squall…" Irvine let himself fall forwards, bracing himself with his arms on the now fully expanded rear seat of the car, as Squall slid one hand inside his jeans. "Oh, my."

Then Squall took his hands away to push Irvine properly inside the car, wriggling in next to him and pulling the door closed.

For a moment Irvine wondered exactly when Squall had taken control of the situation, but he didn't dwell on it. It all felt far too good to worry about. He rolled onto his back and shuffled his arms out of his duster, as Squall shrugged out of his jacket, before leaning over him, straddling his thighs, his necklace dangling over Irvine's heart.

"Take your jeans off," his Commander commanded.

"Fuck, that would have been easier before we got in the car," Irvine realised aloud.

Squall shrugged. "I'll help," he offered, generously, and leaned down to kiss him. Exactly how that might help Irvine wasn't sure; in fact it made things all the more difficult on account of causing his fingers to tremble and his dick to get so stiff it was particularly tricky to free from his jeans and underwear. But somehow he managed it, kicking clothes and boots to the floor. Meanwhile Squall had pushed Irvine's shirt up under his armpits, breaking their kiss briefly to pull it over his head.

There. Less than two minutes in a car with Squall Leonhart and he was naked. This really was the stuff of fantasies.

Squall - still fully clothed - sat back on his heels and sucked one finger, looking like something from a porn film, then traced wet circles around Irvine's nipple. "That good?" He asked.

Irvine nodded. "Tickles," he admitted.

"What about this?" Squall licked his finger again, stroked down his chest to his belly.

"Still tickles," said Irvine, the hard muscles over his midriff quivering as if to demonstrate the fact.

"And what about…" again, Squall sucked his finger into his mouth, licking it wetly, "this?"

He touched the tip of Irvine's cock, spreading precome over the end with his wet finger.

"Oh fuck…"

"Does it tickle?"

He was smirking. Squall Leonhart was smirking.

" Only… good. Good tickle... hnng…"

Squall shuffled further back, so he could extend his experiment a little further.

"What about this?" he went for the direct approach this time, not using his fingers at all, just licking Irvine's cock from root to tip, then taking the head between firm, wet lips.

"Oh Hyne… veryveryverygood… um… Squall…"


"You sure you've not done this before?"

Squall shook his head. Well, that's what it felt like, anyway.

"Oh. Just … ch..checking."

Squall raised his head, letting Irvine's cock fall out of his mouth, planting a kiss on the end before he sat up.

"It just what I like," he said. "Feels good, huh?"

Irvine nodded, wondering what lucky woman had done that to Squall at some point in his life so he might know he liked it.

"I could do it some more," Squall offered, generously, "or I could fuck you."

Irvine swallowed hard.

"It's up to you," Squall shrugged, as if he'd offered Irvine a choice of strawberry or raspberry ice cream. "Or… you could fuck me?"

Irvine had to admit to himself that he hadn't really considered being Squall's uke. He hadn't been anyone's uke for a long, long time. But then he hadn't counted on Squall being so… horny. And there was just the faintest flicker of fear in those heated grey eyes when he offered himself that worried Irvine, just a little, that Squall wasn't ready to be fucked just yet.

But Irvine was. Most definitely ready.

He slowly undid the button of Squall's pants, pulled down the zipper and unwrapped him. His cock was just as hard as Irvine's own, so similar in size, and even shape, that it felt familiar as he wrapped his fingers around it, curving comfortably into his grip. Squall gulped, resisting the urge to shut his eyes, concentrating instead on Irvine's violet gaze.

With the hand that wasn't wrapped around Squall's glorious erection, Irvine reached underneath him to rummage in his duster pocket.

He produced a fat tube of Galbadian 'Fun4All' lube and offered it to Squall.

"Be gentle with me, Commander, it's been a while," he said.

Squall took the tube slowly. "You sure?" he said, looking just the teeniest bit nervous.

"Yes," said Irvine. "You OK with that?"

Squall looked down at him for a long moment, and Irvine waited. Squall looked much younger than usual, closer to his real seventeen years than the twenty-something he could usually pass for, his frown gone, face lit golden pink in the light of the setting sun that streamed through the car window. He reached out a tender hand, stroked the side of Irvine's face to his jaw, brushed his lower lip with his thumb. Irvine watched him, his hand frozen on Squall's cock, waiting.

"You're amazing, Irvine," he said. "You're so… easy."

"Um… that's just my reputation," said Irvine. "I'm not all that…"

"No, I didn't mean that. I meant… things are straightforward with you. No games, no lies, no riddles. You're honest. I really like that. And…"


"I want you. I really, really want you."

"Well," said Irvine, carefully. "There's a cure for that."

"Oh no," said Squall. "Not a cure. Because once I've had you, and," Squall brushed his thumb over Irvine's lips so he kissed it almost instinctively, "I am going to have you; once I've had you I'll never want to stop."

"I can cope," said Irvine. "Trust me," he sucked Squall's thumb into his mouth for a moment, lashed it with his tongue, "take me."

Squall leaned over and kissed him, hard and deep. Irvine let go of his cock for a moment to hold him close, their erections pressing against each other, hard heat against hard heat.

Squall sat back on his heels again, flicked the lid off the lube, took Irvine's hand and squirted a generous blob into his palm. Squall watched his face while he spread the cool gel over Squall's cock, his eyes flickering ever so slightly with pleasure at Irvine's firm strokes.

"Ok, babe," said Irvine. "Now, are you gonna fuck me or do I have to beg?"

Squall shifted to kneel between Irvine's thighs, stroked between his legs with one lube-wet hand, sliding one inquisitive finger inside. Irvine let his eyes close, concentrating on the exquisite sensations as Squall explored his body. Then the finger was withdrawn, and he felt the head of Squall's cock pushing gently against his entrance. He pulled his legs back to give Squall easier access, remembering why it was worth doing an hour of yoga every day.

Squall slid inside him in one long thrust with a deep groan, supporting his weight on trembling arms. Irvine arched underneath him, adjusting to the glorious fullness, wondering if this was anything like what Seffie felt when he fucked her. It seemed to have the same effect, at any rate, his body started to quiver and his breath came in short gasps. Squall started to move inside him, long, hard strokes, dipped for a kiss, his mouth hot and wet. Irvine shifted a little to alter the angle of Squall's thrusts, guaranteeing a hit on his most sensitive spot every time. Squall's trembling fingers folded around his cock and started to pump in time with his thrusts.

"Oh, fuck, Squall, I can't take much of that… you feel so good… oh, babe…"

"Come for me," Squall hissed. "I want to feel you come all over my hand. I want to feel it."

The very idea, the thought that Squall would say such a thing was enough. Irvine threw his head back and came so hard that the thick white fluid shot up into Irvine's hair and splattered across his chest before settling to flood over Squall's waiting fingers.

"Gods, Irvine…" he expected Squall to speed up, concentrate on building his own pleasure, but he slowed down, still holding Irvine's cock, slick with come, still hard. "Can you do that again? Can you do it twice in a row?"

Irvine nodded. Fuck, with Squall doing this to him he felt like he could come forever. "Just build it up slow," he said.

"Good," said Squall, twinkling eyes giving away far more than the usual serious expression on his face.

Then he lifted his semen-covered hand to his lips and started to lick it clean.

"Oh fuck…" groaned Irvine. "Do you have any idea how hot that looks?"

"You want some?" Squall offered him a sticky palm. "It tastes real good."

Irvine enjoyed the slightly shocked look on Squall's face as he eagerly grabbed his hand and pulled it to his mouth, lapping hungrily.

"You're right," he said. "I wonder what yours tastes like, babe? I'd love to find out someday," Squall started to pick up speed a little, "would you let me? Would you fuck my mouth and come down my throat so I could get a taste?"

"Hyne, Irvine, if you keep talking like that you won't get to come again before I do…"

"Wanna bet?" Irvine took Squall's hand and pushed it back between their bodies, "try me."

Squall closed his fingers around Irvine's cock with a groan and started to pump again; Irvine rocked his hips to meet his thrusts, feeling the pleasure build again quickly. He wasn't sure what was turning him on more, the feeling of Squall fucking him, the perfect pressure on his cock or just the thought, the idea that he was here, in a car in the middle of nowhere, being fucked into oblivion by Squall Leonhart.

Oh yes, that would be it.

This time he made damn sure he brought Squall off with him, pulling his head down to kiss his mouth, his muscles tightening around Squall's urgently thrusting cock. Sure enough, Squall's body stiffened and he screamed Irvine's name as he plunged inside him one last time. Irvine held him close as he felt his come flood his insides, slick and wet, before he allowed himself the luxury of his second orgasm, letting his mind slide away to it's happiest place as his cock squirted its second load into Squall's twitching hand.

* * * * * * *

Come home sad and lonely
Feel like I wanna cry
Want a man to hold me
Not some fool to ask me why
And I need someone to love me
Well I know you can

After a while he became aware of his surroundings again; the pleasant weight of Squall's body lying on top of him, Squall's breath against his neck, and a killer cramp in his left leg.

The first two sensations made him willing to put up with the third for as long as he possibly could. Just when he thought he might actually have to scream if he didn't move, Squall shifted to one side, sliding wetly out of Irvine's body and freeing Irvine to stretch out the offending limb with a grunt.

His heart racing nearly as fast as when they'd been fucking, Irvine lay a soft kiss on top of Squall's head.

"Mmm…" Squall burrowed his nose into Irvine's hair.

Burrowed? Squall? Irvine wondered vaguely whether the phrase 'to fuck someone's brains out' was more literal than he'd thought.



"You OK, babe?"

"'Mmm. You?"

"Great." Irvine stopped worrying and let out a deep, contented sigh. He pulled Squall close, enjoying the feeling of him cuddling into his side, head on his shoulder. He dared to stroke one arm softly.

Funny, sex with men. All that fucking, invading each others' bodies and plundering flesh seemed to come naturally, but it was the affection that felt risky. He was ready for Squall to cringe away from him at any moment, accusing him of something other than lust.

With women, the affection had to be demonstrated before the lust even appeared on the menu. Usually. Except his Seffie, of course. Seffie was love and lust and fun all bundled up in one wonderful bundle. Oh, how she'd love to be here now…

He thought he might have felt something wet against his shoulder.


He gently stroked back Squall's rumpled hair, but Squall tried to hide his face against Irvine's body, confirming his suspicions.

"Babe, look at me."

"Befineinaminute," came Squall's muffled voice.

Irvine sat up a little, supporting himself on one elbow, and raised Squall's face from his shoulder.

"Squall, babe, open your eyes."

Squall's eyelids stuttered open, releasing a waterfall of tears to spill down his already damp cheeks, breaking Irvine's heart.

"Babe, I'm sorry. I'm sorry." Irvine said. "I didn't want to hurt you… oh, Squall, what have I done?"

Squall shook his head. "'S alright," he whispered.

"No," said Irvine, "it isn't. You're upset."

"Just.." Squall took a deep, shuddering breath. "You just… feel so good."

Irvine frowned, searching Squall's eyes for a clue to what he meant.

"It was OK, then? What we did, it was OK?"

Squall shook the hair out of his eyes. "Oh yes," he said, enthusiastically, his voice regaining some of it's usual timbre. "That was more than OK. It's more that…"

Suddenly Irvine understood. "You care," he said, "it wasn't just sex, was it?"

Squall's face closed down in a flash, he pulled away.

"Squall, it's OK. Don't you understand?"

"This was supposed to be uncomplicated."

"It is. Don't you see? You're the one who's making it complicated. You're trying to run away, aren't you? Just for a minute, you felt good with another human being, and you're scared."

There was a long silence; Irvine watched Squall's back, longing just to pull him back into his arms but not sure whether that would make Squall his forever or piss him off so much he'd be putting his life in danger.

"Help me, Irvine."


"I need you to help me learn how to feel again. I can't be any use to Rinoa, or anyone, like this. I know I need to face up to what I feel but," Squall turned at last, still vulnerable but with a little more of the usual steel in his eyes. "I can't do this alone. It hurts too much."

Irvine nodded. "Anything, Squall," he promised, having trouble breathing past the lump in his throat, "whatever it takes".

Squall whispered, "just hold me."

With a soft cry Irvine pulled Squall back into his arms, kissing away the last of his tears, covering his mouth with his own, stroking his hair, wrapping his naked limbs around Squall's clothed body. At first Squall passively accepted his affection, allowing himself to be cuddled.

Then, all at once he flung his arms around Irvine and hugged him tight, clinging to him with a need Irvine had long suspected but never thought he'd see so raw.

They held each other for a long time, until it was almost dark. Then Squall lifted his head and kissed Irvine tenderly, gratefully, and so long that if they'd been tucked up safe in a nice warm bed Irvine would almost certainly have flipped him over and made love to him all over again.

But, it was almost dark, and they were in the middle of the Estharian plains, and the world needed saving.

"We must get back," breathed Squall. "I need to go save Rinoa."

"Yeah, I know what you mean," said Irvine, lightly. "I've got a few everyday chores to do myself."


Squall started to fidget, pulling the zip of his jeans closed, trying to find his belts in the pile of Irvine's clothes on the floor.

"Are you sure Selphie'll be OK with this?" he asked. "I don't want to get between you two."

"Oh, yeah, Selphie's cool." Although she'll be pissed I got to you first and didn't share.

"I can't imagine Rinoa being that… tolerant."

The memory of Rinoa, covered in champagne and crushed strawberries, popped into Irvine's head to challenge that assumption.

"She might be… different when you really get to know her," Irvine suggested. "You never can tell, with women. They're full of surprises."

"They're not the only ones," Squall ruffled Irvine's hair and threw his clothes at him. "Now come on, you slut. Put your clothes on. That's an order."

Irvine grinned broadly. "Yes, commander. Of course," he purred. "Anything you say."

Dontcha put yourself above me
Just love me like a man
Dontcha put yourself above me
Just love me like a man
Dontcha put yourself above me
Just love me like a man