What a waste of a perfectly good Saturday, Sora thought, sighing. He had been sprawled out on the living room sofa for thirty minutes, listening to his mother moving around in the kitchen. Bright sunlight streamed in through the open curtains, bathing the entire house in warm light. According to the weather channel, it would be a beautiful day, highs in the sixties, maybe even the last warm weekend of the year. It was exactly the type of day he’d long for all winter, until the seasons came around again. But it’s no fun when you’re by yourself.

He sighed again, and rolled over. After breakfast, he’d tried calling Wakka, only to find out that he was at wrestling practice. A call to Tidus’ house had informed him that he was at basketball team tryouts, picking new members. Sora had cursed his own lack of athletic involvement and hung up, resigning himself to solitude. Even Kairi had abandoned him, coming down stairs and announcing that she was going to meet Selphie and her friends at the mall. She’d left him to his place on the couch, bounding happily out the door. What a day. His eyes slid toward the kitchen, wondering what his mom was doing.

Lazily, he sat up and walked over to the kitchen, peering inside. Sonja was at the sink, bright yellow gloves pulled up to her elbows as she washed dishes. Sensing his presence, she looked over her shoulder and smiled. “Good afternoon, Sora honey.”

“Morning, Mom.” he said, with all the cheer and energy of one long dead. He leaned against the doorframe and sighed heavily.

Sonja’s face took on an expression of concern. “Hey, why so down? Do you miss your friend already?”

Sora jolted, his cheeks heating. He’s not just my friend anymore… But, I don’t really miss him… I’m just bored as hell. He shook his head. “Not really. I’m just so bored. There’s nothing to do.”

Sonja laughed and turned around fully, lifting her gloved hands from the soapy water. “Oh, I don’t know about all that.” She crossed her arms and raised one auburn eyebrow. “The bathroom needs to be cleaned, the living room needs to be vacuumed, the glass needs to be wiped, the floors need to be mopped, and these dishes still need to be washed.” She favored him with a sympathetic smile. “I know, it’s hard to be young and bored, without a care in the world. So, I will trade places with you, and then you will have plenty of things to do.”

Sora gulped and smiled sheepishly. “No thanks. I get your point, mom.”

Sonja nodded. “I thought you’d understand.” She turned back to the sink and continued to wash the dishes. “Honestly, it’s too nice a day for you to be moping around the house. Aren’t one of your other friends at home?”

Sora frowned. Other than Wakka, Tidus, and Riku, he didn’t have any friends. Well, except for Squall Leonhart. His cheeks heated again. But I don’t know his number, or his address, and it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to be calling him anyway, and oh man… He shook his head vehemently, and then felt stupid when he realized his mother couldn’t see him. “Um, no. Everybody has something to do except for me.”

“Then go find something to do.” Sonja replied simply.

“Like what?” asked Sora.

“Go to the mall. You might catch up with Kairi.” Sonja suggested.

“No way, mom! Guys don’t hang around the mall with girls.” Sora protested, appalled. Especially not with the cheerleading squad. That was a good way to get the rumors started. But then, he supposed that when school started on Monday, and everyone found out about him and Riku, the rumors would start anyway. I wonder what Squall will think? He was surprised that the thought worried him.

“Well Sora, honey, you can either run joyfully from this house into the lovely day, or you can skip joyfully upstairs, toilet brush in hand, and set to work. What will it be?” Sonja smiled warmly.

“Alright, alright. You win.” Sora conceded. “I’ll stop bothering you. I guess I’ll just go wander around downtown or something.”

Sonja nodded. “Good choice. Have fun, and stay out of trouble, okay?”

“I will.” Sora assured her, and turned to go upstairs. As he ascended, he wondered where he’d go once he made it downtown. He opened his bedroom door and headed to his closet. Changing quickly into a red t-shirt and a pair of dark blue jeans, he gave himself a cursory look over in the mirror. It’s not the height of fashion, but it’ll do. At least the silver dragon on my shirt looks cool, anyway. He headed back down the stairs, feeling self-conscious. If I’m going to be dating Riku, then maybe I should give more attention to clothes and stuff. I mean, he’s just so high-profile. He glanced briefly at his mother before leaving the house. And what will she think? She’ll probably just wonder what took me so long. He sighed, put his hands into his pockets, and began to walk.

The neighbor’s kids were out on the lawn, playing tag. He waved to them, and they grinned and waved back. One of them was caught in the distraction and cried out “No fair! I was waving to Sora!”

Sora tried not to laugh, and picked up his pace. Cars passed him, people with their windows down, listening to music. This is what I need, a good walk to clear my head. He’d been feeling uneasy since he’d returned to his house last night, his mind lingering on Riku and what they’d done. The goodnight kiss in his bedroom had seared itself into his memory, replaying over and over. The tantalizing feel of Riku’s weight over him, moving against him was something he doubt he’d forget anytime soon. It had taken him forever to fall asleep, his pulse racing as he lay in the darkness, remembering.

He snorted and shook his head. And after all these years. After all the time I’ve spent fending Riku off, all it took was one football captain to make me give in. He frowned. But that’s not all. It was also guilt that he felt, guilt for liking Squall Leonhart in that way, after he’d told Riku countless times that he wasn’t attracted to men. But Squall had come along and proved him wrong. I mean, I owe it to Riku, really. I did tell him that if I changed my mind, I’d let him know, so shouldn’t he be the one that I date? He blushed furiously. I mean, it’s not like I could date Squall, anyway! He’s my teacher, already! But… he’s so gorgeous… Feeling embarrassed and exhilarated all at once, Sora began to run.

It is a beautiful day, he thought an hour later, somewhat awed. People were everywhere in the city, out enjoying the last nice day of the year. It made him feel warm. Maybe I’ll go catch a movie. Yeah, I think I will, he decided, liking the idea immediately. The multiplex was only two or three more blocks away. I should probably go get something to eat first, though. I think the grocery store is right around this corner.

Sure enough, he saw the familiar tan building, the word Safeway written across the front and sides and huge red letters. He jogged across the parking lot, careful to avoid the parked cars. He slowed as he reached the automatic doors and walked inside. The air-conditioner felt nice after his brisk journey, and he sighed contentedly and ran a hand through his hair. So, what do I want? he mused, walking around. He avoided the produce section, not in the mood for fresh fruits and vegetables. I need something small and portable that I can sneak into the theater, without getting caught. His eyes lit up as he reached the snack aisle. Aha! Chips and candy. Quickly he selected a bag of Nacho Cheesier Doritos and a king-sized Kit-Kat, and glanced around, feeling that something was missing. He wandered down the beverage aisle, and frowned, realizing that there was no way he could smuggle a twelve pack of Coke into the theater. Hmm, too bad they don’t sell sodas by the can, but there’s always the vending machine up front. His course of action decided on, he headed to the checkout lines. The express lanes were closed, so he chose the cash only line, and stood patiently.

A strange, yet appealing scent invaded his nose, and he looked puzzled. Something smells sort of familiar, but I can’t quite figure it out. He glanced around, and then his eyes happened to fall on the man standing in front of him. He was wearing leather pants. Oh my God… He had never in his life seen anyone wearing pants like those. Black leather clung desperately to the enticing curves of the man’s form, giving the impression of a living statue sculpted from onyx. He’s an Adonis. Painfully, Sora averted his eyes. Riku’s influence, no doubt. I’ll end up just like him soon enough. Still, he found his gaze returning to the man in front of him, feeling that there was something he was overlooking. I feel like I should know him. Let’s see, he’s tall, and he’s well built, and he has long dark hair… Ah… Oh shit! Squall Leonhart?! His heart lurched at the revelation. Right in front of me?! In leather pants?! Sora felt somewhat faint and leaned on the magazine rack for support.

Squall glanced around. “Are you having a problem-” Wait, is that… Sora? He turned around fully, his expression concerned and confused. “Sora, are you alright?” He placed a steadying hand on his shoulder.

Sora took another step closer to sudden death. “I’m super.” he squeaked. Now it all makes sense, after all, I’m not usually in the habit of staring at men’s asses. He looked staunchly at the ground, not trusting his ability to remain standing if he took a look at the whole picture. Not just Squall Leonhart, not just black leather pants, but Squall Leonhart in black leather pants!!! His form-fitting white t-shirt was mostly irrelevant, but it didn’t hurt either. Alright, I’ve got to get myself together. With firm resolve he straightened up and looked Squall in the eyes. His nerve almost faltered against those beautiful gray irises, but he held strong. “I wasn’t expecting to run into you this weekend.”

Squall stared back at him. “Neither was I.” But I’m glad I did. He’d missed Sora’s presence after school more than he’d realized. I probably look like a golden retriever right now, I’m so pleased to see him. He glanced at the items in Sora’s hand. “Had a junk food craving, did you?”

Sora shook his head. “Um, not exactly.” He jumped as he felt Squall gently tug the items from his grasp. Huh?! “What are you doing?”

Squall smirked at him, and tossed the packages onto the conveyer belt next to his own items. “Don’t worry about it. They’re on me.”

“Um, thanks.” Sora managed, blushing. “That’s really nice of you.”

Squall nodded. “Don’t worry about it. I can afford a few things, even on a teacher’s salary.” He turned to the checker.

The checker was a pretty girl of high school age. Her brown hair was styled in a short, boyish cut that flattered her large dark eyes. Her name tag read ‘Yuffie.’ She smiled at them. “Good afternoon! How are you two doing today?”

Squall nodded curtly, but Sora smiled back at her. “We’re good, how about you?”

“I’m great!” Yuffie chirped. She chatted animatedly with Sora as she rung up Squall’s purchases.

Squall rolled his eyes, irritated. Will she never shut up? And does she have to smile at Sora so much, and look so interested in what he’s saying? He huffed and looked away, ignoring Yuffie’s high-pitched giggles at something Sora told her. Damn, she’s really eating it up. I mean, I know Sora is a good-looking kid, but she could stand to have a little more tact… He flushed. Did I really just think that?

“Okay, your total is forty-three dollars and seventy-five cents.” Yuffie announced cheerfully. “Sir?”

“Oh right.” Squall mumbled, and dug his wallet out of his back pocket. He absently fished out a fifty dollar bill and handed it to her. Do I really find Sora good-looking? He stole a brief glance at Sora. A sudden tightening in his stomach attested to the affirmative. Well, so what. I could consider a lot of people attractive. But I don’t…

“Here’s your change.” Yuffie said, and handed the money to Squall. “Have a nice day!” She turned to Sora. “And I’ll see you at the game!”

“You bet.” Sora replied, grinning. He looked up surprised, as Squall pressed the change into his hand. “What’s this for?”

For your company. “No reason.” Squall responded, and picked up the bags. He began to walk away, pleased to see that Sora was following him out of the store. He probably just wants his candy and chips. “So,” he began, stalling. “What did she mean she’d see you at the game?”

“Oh, that.” Sora said. “She’s from Midgar High. They’re our homecoming rivals this year. I’ll be at the game because Wakka and Tidus are on the team.” He shrugged. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t bother.”

“Ah. It seemed like she was quite taken with you.” Squall suggested, as they crossed the parking lot. Much to my annoyance.

Sora laughed and shook his head. “Maybe she was. But it doesn’t matter because…” Because of Riku… I’m not single anymore.

“Because why?” Squall prompted. Don’t tell me, he’s not attracted to females. Although it won’t matter to me either way.

Sora scratched awkwardly at his hair. Heh, I’m not quite ready for that confession yet. “Because I already had plans. I was going to go catch a movie downtown.”

“By yourself?” Squall asked. “That’s no fun. Believe me, I know.” Lord, I’m so pathetic. “Where’s your opinionated best friend, anyway?”

Where’s my jealous boyfriend, do you mean? Sora blushed furiously. “Ah ha! Riku is out of town, remember? I told you yesterday morning.” He’s gone now, but when he gets back…

Squall nodded, feeling relieved. “Oh yes, I remember now.” He shifted the bags in his arms.

Sora’s eyes lit up. “Oh! Need help with those? They do look kind of heavy.”

Squall lifted an eyebrow. “Hey, I’m stronger than I look. I think I can handle a few bags.” He deposited one in Sora’s arms nonetheless. “But since you so graciously volunteered…”

Sora rolled his eyes playfully. “Whatever.” He shifted the bag, resting it against his chest. “Where are we taking these anyway?”

“To my apartment. It’s not far.” Squall replied immediately and then blanched. Is it really appropriate for me to have him in my apartment? It’s all innocent, right? He’s just helping me with my groceries. The tension in his muscles suggested otherwise.

Sora’s eyes widened. I’m going to see his apartment? Wow… “Oh… cool. I can always catch a later showing of the movie.”

Squall began walking faster, his thoughts racing. I hope it’s not a mistake. “What movie were you going to see?”

Sora shrugged and walked beside him. “I don’t know. Whatever was showing at the time, I guess. Just so long as it’s not a chick flick.”

Squall snickered. “I’m definitely with you there.” He resisted the urge to kick at stones as he walked. I always feel so at ease around him. It’s weird. “It’s nice out. Usually I wouldn’t be so comfortable in these pants.”

In those pants, indeed! Sora thought. “Are they really comfortable?” he strangled out.

Squall nodded. “Yeah. Especially this pair. They’re really broken in, and more comfortable than my jeans. Ah, this is the building.” That was fast.

Sora swallowed hard and didn’t reply. As they entered the apartment building, his eyes remained riveted to Squall’s backside. When he came to a stop in front of the stairwell, he nearly died. “Um, why aren’t we taking the elevator?”

Squall snorted. “That thing is slow as hell and not worth the effort. We’re only going to the fifth floor. We can make it.” He pushed open the door and stepped inside. I still can’t believe I’m showing a student my apartment. And why do I keep thinking about it like it’s a date?! He started up the stairs.

Sora followed quietly, his eyes faithfully following the movement of Squall’s body. Riku would fall over and die if he were here. Riku… A pang of guilt struck him at the thought. If Riku is really my… boyfriend… then I shouldn’t be thinking about Squall that way. Not that I should anyway. He’s my teacher after all. Resolve strengthened, Sora stared determinedly at the ground as they went up, only lifting his eyes when they exited the stairwell and started down the corridor.

Squall stopped in front of his door and shifted his bag to his hip as he fished around in his pocket for his key.

“You can fit a key in those pants?” Sora blurted out. “Um, I mean, because they are pretty tight.”

Squall felt his face fill with heat. Heh… so you noticed, did you? He was somewhat horrified to realize that he had wanted Sora to notice. That was the whole reason he had brought attention to the pants, back on the sidewalk. That can’t be healthy. But still… I wonder if he was staring at my ass the entire time… Okay, now I’m just being sick! Irritated with himself, he turned the key in the lock. “You’ll have to excuse the place. I didn’t clean up before I went to the store.” The knob turned easily and he pushed the door open. He flipped the light switch and they stepped inside.

Sora looked around, awed. It was his first time inside an apartment, and he’d always expected them to be cluttered and run-down. It wasn’t so. Squall’s living room was cozy, but not confined, with a black leather couch, flanked on either side by small black end tables. An aquarium sat on a stand against the wall, small fish swimming casually in the bubbling water. A modest entertainment center contained a television, video cassette recorder, and stereo. Sora couldn’t help but feel impressed. It’s so nice, and so… mature. Then again he is an adult. “It’s great.” he said, after a moment.

Squall shrugged. “Well, it’s not the Waldorf Astoria, but it’s where I live. Come on, let’s get these groceries put away.” He led the way into the kitchen, flicking another light switch and setting his bag down on the countertop.

Sora followed suit, setting down his bag and glancing around. The kitchen was so clean even his mother would’ve been impressed. The countertops were practically empty, the sink free of dishes. The only food items in sight were the boxes of Corn Flakes and Raisin Bran on top of the white fridge. “You like to keep things pretty clean, huh?”

Squall sighed. “Yes, you could say I’m a bit of a neat freak.” He began removing groceries from the bags, carefully putting them away as he went.

“So I see.” Sora watched for a few minutes. I should probably leave now. He glanced at his watch. “Well, I…”

“Would you like to stay for lunch?” Squall interrupted. Suddenly he didn’t want Sora to leave. He was tired of spending his weekends home alone. I know it’s lame, but for once, I’d like the company.

Sora blinked. What? “You want me to stay for lunch?” Not that I don’t want to, but…

Squall looked away, feeling strangely embarrassed. I was a fool to ask. “Never mind. Forget I said it. It’s a pathetic idea.”

Sora shook his head. “No, it’s not. I mean, I am sort of hungry. Plus you’d save me the hassle of buying popcorn at the movies.” Although I don’t really care about the movies anymore. “Besides, what’s pathetic about having lunch with a friend?” He grinned brightly.

“Alright. That was a little too cheesy for me to handle.” Squall proclaimed and ruffled his hair. The texture was surprisingly soft despite it’s spiky appearance. I could grow to like this.

Sora stiffened at the contact. He touched me…

Squall noticed and pulled his hand back quickly. What the hell am I doing? “Sorry. That was inappropriate and unprofessional.”

Sora shook his head. “No, it’s not that.” It’s just that your single touch does to me what Riku did yesterday afternoon, only with less effort. He settled down onto a stool. I wonder what Riku is doing right now? Probably thinking of me.

Squall leaned on the counter. What is he thinking about? “So, what’ll it be?”

“Huh?” Sora asked, startled. “I get to choose what’s for lunch?”

“You are my guest.” Squall explained. “Your wish is my command. At least for today.” He smirked. “So don’t let it go to your head.”

Sora stuck out his tongue. “Whatever.” He considered for a moment, resting his chin on his palm. “Hmm, let me think…”

“Don’t hurt yourself.” Squall teased.

“Oh, shut up.” Sora replied automatically and blushed. You’re not supposed to tell your teachers to shut up. But then, he is my friend. He resumed thinking about lunch. “Well, it has to be healthy.”

“Naturally.” Squall agreed. “This is not McDonalds.”

Sora tapped his cheek with one finger, his blue eyes wandering. “And it has to taste good, and it should also be quick, because I don’t want to take up too much of your time.”

Squall waved a hand dismissively. “I don’t mind.” It’s not like I have anything better to do.

Sora’s eyes lit up. “I’ve got it!”

A few minutes later Squall was standing in front of the stove rolling his eyes. Healthy. He says that a grilled cheese sandwich is healthy. Sighing, he flipped the sandwich with the spatula.

“What kind of fish are these?” Sora called from the living room. “They’re really cool-looking.”

Squall flipped the sandwich again. “They’re koi. They come from Japan.” He removed the sandwich from the frying pan and placed it on a plate next to the finished ones. Not just one sandwich either, but two apiece. My arteries are going to pop. He set the frying pan in the sink and ran cool water over it, leaving the oven vent on to take out the smoke.

“Why do you only have fish?” Sora asked, walking back into the kitchen. “You don’t like cats or dogs?”

Squall quickly scrubbed the frying pan and rinsed it. “They’re alright, but too high maintenance. And this building doesn’t allow pets other than fish or small animals like hamsters.” He replaced the pan in the dish drain and turned off the stove vent.” And I hate hamsters.” He looked in the fridge. “What do you want to drink? Coke?”

“Eww! Soda with grilled cheese?!” exclaimed Sora as though Squall had said something unthinkable. “Are you nuts? You’re supposed to drink milk with that.” he informed Squall matter-of-factly.

“So sorry. How could I have been so careless to forget such a thing?” Squall said with exaggerated distress. “Maybe because I stopped eating these things once I got out of middle school and realized that they could very well kill you.”

Sora snorted. “Even water can kill you if you drink too much of it.” He peered at the plate. “Um, you only made four.” He looked up. “Where’s yours? Or are you not hungry?”

Squall raised an eyebrow. “Surely you jest? I mean, how many of those can you eat, anyway?”

Sora stared back at him, unblinking.

“Oh come on!” Squall said. “You’ve got to be shitting me!” He crossed his arms and glared at Sora defiantly. “You cannot possibly intend to eat four grilled cheese sandwiches by yourself.”

Sora simply stared.

“Sora…” started Squall warningly. No way in Hell am I going to let him eat all those things. He’ll go into cardiac arrest before my very eyes! “I mean it.”

Sora stared.

A few minutes later Squall was back in front of the stove, flipping another grilled cheese sandwich. “Goddammit!” he muttered.

“Hurry up!” Sora called from the living room. “I’m starving.”

“You can always start without me.” Squall suggested. “That way, you should be well into your heart attack before I get too comfortable.”

“Very funny.” Sora called back. “Can we eat in here, or do we have to eat in the kitchen?”

Squall considered. He never ate in his living room, but for some reason it didn’t bother him to let Sora do it. “We can eat in there if you want.” He removed his sandwich and placed it on a plate next to the first. “Just don’t make a mess.”

“I’m not an infant, you know.” Sora shot back. “I’m sixteen years old, and I’ll be seventeen in April.”

Don’t remind me, Squall thought and then blanched. Why should I care how young he is? I mean, it’s not like I’m planning on dating him. He cleaned the frying pan again and returned it to its place. Finally. He picked up his plate and went into the living room.

Immediately Sora left his spot by the aquarium and returned to the sofa. He had already set his plate and the glasses of milk on the coffee table. “It’s about time.” He plopped down on the leather cushions and began eating his first sandwich.

Squall watched him apprehensively and then sat down and started on his own meal. “If I die from eating this, I’ll hold you personally responsible.”

“Then don’t choke.” Sora quipped.

Squall ate his sandwiches quietly, reflecting that he hadn’t enjoyed a Saturday so much in a long time. With Sora next to him on the couch, the sunlight shining in through the drapes, and the fish tank bubbling softly in the background, he found himself wishing that he had more days like this. Once he finished, he merely watched Sora. He really is amazing. I wish he was older, though.

Sora finished his last sandwich and smirked triumphantly. “There. I told you I could eat four.”

“You sure did.” Squall said warily. “And I’m just wondering, where do you put it all?” He looked Sora over slowly. “I mean, you look pretty good, to me.”

Sora blinked. Eh?!

Squall flushed, horrified. “What I meant to say is, you’re so slim to eat so much. That’s all.” That’s not all. He does look pretty good. He rubbed his eyes. Now I know why I was worried about bringing him over. He stood suddenly and took the dishes. “I’d better get these cleaned up.”

“I’ll help.” Sora offered, standing.

“No.” Squall said sharply. “I mean, you’re still my guest. Just relax. I’ve got it under control.” Do I really? He went into the kitchen, his heart pounding, as he set the dishes in the sink and turned on the water. Where the hell are all these thoughts coming from?! What the fuck is wrong with me? He scrubbed the dishes, not wanting to think about the nature of his thoughts and what they could mean. So what if he is mildly attractive? That is not for me to notice. I am his teacher for crying out loud. I have a responsibility to uphold. He mentally reassured himself as he cleaned, restoring order to both the dishes and his thoughts. He took longer than usual to dry the dishes and replace them in the cabinets. Now, I’m going to go back out there, and I’ll act normal until he decides to go see his movie. He walked into the living room.

Sora stood by the aquarium again, seemingly mesmerized by the movement of the koi.

Squall joined him. “What is it with you and my fish?”

Sora smiled and didn’t look up. “I don’t know. They’re just so cool. They have all those different colors and they’re really shiny, even for fish. I just can’t stay away from them.”

Squall smirked. “Well, would you expect me to own anything less than cool?”

“Of course not.” Sora answered, finally looking up.

Squall felt as though an electric current had gone through him. It’s that look again. Oh God, it’s that look, and he’s right here, and I’m too close, and Dear God… I think I want him. All… because… of that damn… look.

“Are you alright?” Sora asked softly, his eyes concerned. He looks like he’s going to fall over or something.

No. “Sora…” Squall hardly recognized his own voice when he spoke. “Do you… have any idea what it does to a man when you look at him… like that?” He has no idea. He can’t know, or he would’ve stopped by now.

“Like what?” Sora managed. He’s so close to me. He picked up the scent of Squall’s skin, some woodsy mixture that called to mind images of rough, unexplored forests and mountains. The bubbling of the aquarium suddenly seemed painfully loud to him.

“Like this.” Squall said, and fixed Sora with a look that conveyed all of his loneliness, months of sexual frustration, and pent up desires. And I thought it was inappropriate what I was doing earlier. He channeled every lustful thought and hazy erotic dream into his stare, needing just once to put his scattered musings to light. Is this really for his benefit, or mine?

Sora quailed under the intensity of Squall’s gaze, flattening back against the wall. His knees were turning to water as signals raced through his nerves, his body responding instinctively to the heat in those gray eyes. That look alone… If he looks at me like that long enough… He closed his eyes.

Squall leaned in closer, unrelenting. “Open your eyes.” I need to stop this before it gets out of hand. “Look at me.”

As if in a trance, Sora’s eyes opened slowly. He returned Squall’s look, helpless to disguise his thoughts. What’s happening to me?

“That is the look I’m talking about.” Squall murmured. “I can’t have you looking at me like that, Sora. It causes me to have… indecent thoughts.” Thoughts that I am beginning to want to act upon. “You don’t want me to get the wrong idea about you, right?”

“I can’t help it.” Sora whispered. “You’re just so… you make me feel…” He shuddered.

Squall forced himself to remain calm. The way that he shuddered like that… oh my God… “I understand. But still, you’re going to have to try. Try for me, okay?”

Sora nodded slowly. “I’ll try.” I don’t know if it’ll do any good, though. He swallowed. Still, if it upsets him that much, I’ll make myself stop. I don’t want him to say we can’t be friends anymore…Besides… “I mean, I was going to have to stop anyway. Riku was bound to notice eventually.”

Squall bristled. Fuck Riku. “What’s so important about what he thinks?” he asked with forced neutrality.

Sora averted his eyes and laughed weakly. “Ha, well… He’s my boyfriend. So, I guess he’d get pretty mad, and he’d have a right to be mad.”

Even though he had suspected it, he found that he was still entirely unprepared for the news, a realization that unsettled him greatly. Boyfriend? That delinquent? Squall cleared his throat. “Oh. Congratulations.”

Sora tried a small smile. “Thanks. It’s just beginning really. I mean, we started yesterday, when I went to his house…” He trailed off and turned beet red, realizing that he didn’t want Squall to know the cause for his relationship.

Squall bristled again. So what? He cops a few feels off you, and now you think you’re in love? I thought you were smarter than that. He backed up suddenly and looked away, ashamed of his thoughts. Why am I acting this way? It’s unfair to Sora for me to resent him just because of who he dates. “Well, I hope it works out well for you.”

“I hope so too.” Sora murmured. I just feel so confused sometimes.

For a while neither spoke, lost in their own musings.

I wish I knew what my problem was. “I suppose I’d better take you home.” Squall announced finally. I need time to think. “It’s getting kind of late, and your mother will wonder where you are. I wouldn’t want to get you in trouble.” Although, I’m probably the one who’d be in trouble. Especially with my behavior tonight.

“Yeah, you’re right.” Sora agreed, although he knew his mother wouldn’t get upset. “I don’t really feel like going to the movies anymore.”

Squall nodded. “Where do you live, anyway?” The farther the better. Maybe then he won’t walk back out here, and I won’t lose my mind.

Too far from you. “On Destiny Island Drive.” Sora replied, looking at the door.

Damn, not quite far enough. “Ah. I know where that is. That’s not far from the school. So, you can start on down, and I’ll meet you in the lobby.” Squall didn’t turn around as Sora moved to the door and opened it. He waited until he heard retreating footsteps and let out the breath he didn’t notice he’d been holding. I’m afraid… that I’m greatly attracted to him, but that can’t be right. He’s sixteen for fuck’s sake. He scowled. Not to mention, he is my student. Sighing, he went to the closet and pulled out his leather jacket and motorcycle helmet. I remember reading somewhere that men think about sex hundreds of times a day. He snorted as he locked his apartment door. But I’ve never been like that. I don’t chase after ass like some sort of maniac. He descended the steps without looking, his movements agile. Maybe I’m just extremely repressed. But if that was the case, I’d have taken advantage of one of my willing co-workers. That’s not it, then. He pushed open the door to the stairwell and stepped out. So, what is my problem?

Sora stood in front of the lobby doors, his back to him. The dying sunlight filtered in through the windows, illuminating his profile. There was a golden hue cast upon his hair, skin, and clothes, that seemed strangely suited to him. As Squall stared, he turned slightly, looking over his shoulder. “That was quick.” he said nonchalantly.

He says that so calmly… like I’m not just standing here, burning up with some wretched feeling that I can’t even figure out. “Yeah, I can get pretty fast when I want to. I’ve been known to reach speeds as high as two miles per hour.” Is this really sexual attraction?

Sora smirked. “I’d have to see it to believe it.” he teased.

He is my problem. Squall realized suddenly. It’s not sexual frustration, or nymphomania, or anything else. It’s just him. At some point within the short time they’d been acquainted, Sora had gotten under his skin and it was tearing at him from the inside. I don’t know why, but I want him. And dear God, I swear, if he gives me that look again, in this light… I just might break the law.

“So, how am I getting home?” Sora questioned. “Are we going to walk?”

Squall scoffed, roused from his reverie. “I doubt it. We’re going to ride.”

“Ride what?” Sora asked innocently.

Squall’s mind reeled. Heh… Wouldn’t you like to know… Okay! Now that was unacceptable. “My bike.”

Sora laughed. “Am I going to sit on the handlebars while you pedal or something? Won’t I crush the basket? Can I ring the bell?” If I can have this, I’ll gladly give up on my fantasies. Well, maybe not gladly, but I will give them up.

Squall scowled. “You must have me confused with some ten year old girl you know. Don’t make me give you a taste of the back of my hand.” He started off toward the parking garage, willing his pulse to slow. I don’t know which is worse. His ‘come and get it’ look, or that damn smirk.

Sora followed him, snickering. “Yeah right. You wouldn’t dare touch me.”

Oh, I’d do more than touch you, at this rate. Squall shook his head. “Keep on thinking that. When they’re pulling a sheet over you on the ten o clock news, don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

Sora rolled his eyes. “Whatever.” I do wish that he would touch me, though. But I’ll take his friendship. I just wish…

“Well, here she is.” Squall announced, and came to a stop.

“She?” Sora questioned, looking. A huge motorcycle was parked in front of them. It was a glossy black with more chrome than he’d even seen before. The word Ragnarok was scrawled across the side in glittery silver letters. It looks dangerous. Immediately Sora went over to it, and traced his fingers along it’s form. “Wow… So you do have a motorcycle. That is so cool!” He turned to Squall, eyes sparkling excitedly. “I’d heard the rumors, but I didn’t think they were true.” He returned his attention to the bike. “I mean, this is awesome.”

Squall’s eyes followed the movements of Sora’s fingers. Now, I see why they call them jailbait. “I didn’t think people still used the word awesome. I thought that died with the Ninja Turtles.”

Sora turned back around and smirked at him. “Well, you know, they brought back the Ninja Turtles.”

“Lord why?” Squall muttered. Well, it’s now or never. He held out the objects he’d been cradling under his arm. “Here.”

Sora took the jacket and helmet, inspecting them. “What’s this for?”

Squall crossed his arms. “The jacket is so you don’t catch pneumonia. That wind can get pretty bad sometimes.” And so I will freeze in your stead. “And the helmet is so that, in the event of an accident, your head doesn’t crack open and get me sued.” Likewise, I shall sacrifice my skull.

“Oh.” Sora looked concerned. “What about you?”

“I’d probably die. But I can accept that, or I wouldn’t own a motorcycle in the first place. You never know when some asshole is going to merge into your lane and sandwich you between another car or something like that.” He noticed that Sora looked even more upset. Shit, that didn’t help. “Oh relax. We’ll be fine. Put them on, so we can get going.”

Reluctantly, Sora put them on. He didn’t much care for the helmet, it was too large and had a tendency to move. It’s safety, I guess. But the jacket is nice. The jacket was also too large for him, and he felt swallowed up, but the leather and satin lining held the scent that he’d caught back in the apartment. It was warm and comforting, and so undeniably Squall that he knew that he’d never be able to stop his fantasies. Friendship was nice, but it wasn’t all that he wanted. I know that now. I really like him, and I know it’s wrong, but I don’t care.

Squall climbed onto the bike. “Okay. Now hop on, and hold on to my waist, nice and tight. Don’t want you to fall off.” Hell, I might fall off. Why didn’t I think this through? We should’ve taken the bus. He put on his sunglasses, wondering if he was some sort of masochist.

Sora gulped. Well, I did want to touch him… Nervously, he climbed on behind Squall and wrapped his arms around his midsection. His hands rested on impossibly firm stomach muscles which tensed under his fingertips. Eep! He almost let go, but forced himself to relax. Don’t be a pervert. He’s probably embarrassed enough as it is.

It took all of his effort, but Squall managed not to utter a sound. Determined to ignore Sora’s hands on him, he started the ignition. Can I really do this? This is dangerous. Not just physically, but mentally. I know I’m not the first teacher to look at a student the wrong way, but still… Feeding it like this is just asking for trouble. That’s it then. It’ll all stop. I can’t afford to compromise my livelihood over a student that I’ve only known for a week. It would be ridiculous…

“Squall?” Sora asked, leaning forward suddenly. “Are we going?”

He called me by my first name… Squall was made aware of Sora’s warm form pressed against him. Yes, Sora. You’re going home, and I’m going to Hell in a hand basket. I am only a man, after all. Without answering, he floored it, darting between two cars and heading for the exit to the garage.

Sora yelped and clung to him, burying his face in the back of his shirt. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. He shut his eyes and prayed that he would not die.

Squall smirked as they left the garage, heading onto the street. Carefully, he merged, knowing that he was responsible for Sora’s safety in addition to his own. Too bad. I can’t do any stunts. Well… maybe just one. He shot through an opening and weaved around a few cars, relishing the way Sora’s arms tightened around him. Okay, I’m done now.

As they drove, Sora gradually relaxed. Fearfully, he lifted his head and took a peek. The scenery flew by at an alarming rate, the view so much different than when he was riding in a car. The sun was setting, and everything had a warm and peaceful look. Store fronts reflected the fading sun, its light shimmering off of windows and bricks. People strolled around contentedly, seeming to glow as they walked, their movements languid. The sky itself was in lush tones of yellow, orange, and pink, with streaks of lavender fading against the soft clouds. It looked as though the city was under a golden spell, and it had never looked so beautiful to Sora. He sighed contentedly and rested against Squall. This was an extremely cool day.

Squall concentrated on driving, trying not to actively acknowledge his emotions. He poured every ounce of his skill into his handling of the bike, refusing to allow any harm to come to his passenger. Although, he’s not helping much. Every few minutes, Sora would shift, and his blood would heat up, his muscles would tense, and he’d have to bite back the noises that threatened. Damn sensitive stomach muscles… He was both relieved and disappointed when he saw the sign for Destiny Island Drive. Why do I get the feeling that this was some kind of date? He sighed, feeling Sora’s tug on his sleeve that meant their trip was over. And am I wrong for thinking that if so, it’s the best one I’ve ever been on in my life?

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