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seiferzell

The Problem With Pants, Chapter One

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Nov. 17th, 2015 | 11:44 am
posted by: skittles4zell in seiferzell

Title: The Problem With Pants
Rating: PG for now, maybe R later
Characters: Seifer/Zell, Selphie, Squall
Word Count: 1,956
Tags: language, poor Seifer, post-game, shenanigans
Summary: Seifer is looking rather bummy after the war, and Laguna thinks a makeover of sorts will help his image. Selphie, of course, volunteers. Zell doesn’t. Shenanigans ensue.
Notes: Prompt fill for perkyandproud who requested “after the Game, the PTB decide Seifer needs an image makeover. His choices are Selphie (she volunteered) and Zell (who didn't). Bonus points if Seifer finally learns to smile!” Also added “Whoever handles PR for Esthar or the Gardens convinces Laguna it's a good idea and he, in turn, convinces Squall (who is sadistic enough to agree).”



In the chair next to Seifer sat a plain looking blonde woman, the Estharian Public Relations Director. She had her hair wrapped into a tight bun that would make Quistis jealous, and her navy blue pantsuit had ironed creases over which Xu would drool. All in all, she was boring, and Seifer was uninterested.

They’d found him bumming it off the coast of Balamb in a rocky cave - two cadets on their first search-and-rescue mission led by the aforementioned resentful Quistis. Word had it she’d been feeling more like a babysitter these days than the formidable blue mage she thought herself to be, and that hadn’t help her indignant attitude. Somehow or another, however, she was able to let bygones be bygones and gently escorted him back to Garden. Seifer had the sneaking suspicion it had something to do with her eagerness to claim the role of Headmistress once Cid stepped down.

Thus, there he sat in a cushy leather chair with Blondie PR next to him. In front of them sat a rather stoic-looking Squall, current Commander and Resident World Saver #1.

“- - if we could just alter his image,” she was saying, pleading with Squall who, for whatever reason, seemed to have Seifer’s back.

“There’s no reason to alter his image,” Squall replied.

Seifer should have been offended they were talking about him as though he wasn’t there in the office with them, but he just didn’t have the energy to even offer them that. He was tired, maybe even lingering on the side of malnourished. He’d been home – if he could even call it home yet – for a little over a week, and Laguna had sent Blondie PR to persuade Squall into changing Seifer back into some semblance of a productive member of society. He was just shy of his 20th birthday, a shadow of his former self. His blond hair was shaggy and in dire need of a cut, and his jaw and cheeks were scruffy with patches of a beard. Seifer looked homeless, and Laguna thought fixing his appearance would help people hate him less.

He rubbed at his cheeks, feeling the scruff in question. He didn’t much care for it; it was only there because he hadn’t had the means to do away with it. That, however, didn’t mean he was about to let Blondie PR come in and do anything about it.

“I don’t understand why I’m meeting such resistance here,” she pleaded, her voice wavering with annoyance. “Just look at him.”

Squall turned an emotionless glance Seifer’s way, and Seifer offered a shrug of his narrow shoulders. The old Seifer would be annoyed that Squall was so accommodating, that he hadn’t shown any animosity when the trio had hauled Seifer back through Garden’s gates. He’d simply signed off on some paperwork, declined any interviews with curious media outlets, and offered Seifer a small, single dorm. But this new Seifer knew defeat. He knew he couldn’t very well raise holy hell and not find himself locked in a Silence cell, left there to die. No one cared about him anymore. Two years did a helluva lot for the world. They had busied themselves with rebuilding, and SeeDs had been policing the world with their snazzy GFs.

Maybe that’s why they’d been so kind to him; they didn’t remember they were supposed to hate him. They only looked for him because it had been a written reminder on paperwork, a scribbled note on the calendar: Find Seifer Almasy.

“We plan to enroll him in classes, get him back on his feet. We don’t have strict dress code standards here. He isn’t running the halls naked.”

Seifer snickered here, amused at New Squall’s sense of humor. Rinoa must have been rubbing off on him.

Blondie PR sighed, exasperated. “At least a haircut?”

“What does it matter to you?” Seifer asked, finally breaking his silence. “You’re leaving tomorrow, on the first train outta here. You literally won’t see me ever again.”

She could only blink at him, clearly caught off guard by his words. “But I - -“

“He has a point,” Squall agreed.

Blondie PR turned to look at Squall, back to Seifer, then back to Squall, her mouth opening and closing with shock. “Can we compromise on something? You know there will be news outlets everywhere looking to get an interview with you, to do photospreads with him. Don’t you want him to represent Balamb Garden with dignity?”

Her Estharian accent was beginning to grate on Seifer’s nerves, but before he could speak again, Squall replied, “I’m pretty sure we’ve got it under control, but thank you.” She opened her mouth to reply, but Squall was already on his phone, “Xu, can you please have Miss Shanda escorted out? Our meeting is finished.”

*

News travelled fast within Garden’s walls, no surprise there, as it was home to hundreds of teenagers. They may have been trained killers, but at the end of the day, they were still gossipy. Seifer wasn’t immune to it, and Selphie cornered him as soon as he was finished in Squall’s office.

“Seifer! Hi!” She waved energetically and jumped up and down beside the elevator, waiting for him.

If he hadn’t had the energy for the meeting with Squall and Blondie PR, he most certainly didn’t have the energy for Selphie. “I’m just on my way back down, so…” He let his words trail off, hoping she’d catch his drift.

She didn’t. “I’ll go with you!” Selphie smiled and pushed the call button before he had the chance. She hummed a tune and swayed on her feet as they waited for the elevator to arrive.

Seifer stared blankly ahead, convinced that if he kept his silence, she would move her energy parade somewhere away from him. He hadn’t interacted with Selphie much pre-war, just the unsuccessful Dollett mission and the few subsequent events that followed that before he decided to play for the opposing team. Somehow, though, he knew Selphie. Remembered her spunk from their childhood days, knew how incorrigible she could be when she wanted something, knew he should probably avoid her until he had regained his strength and vitality.

The elevator dinged, and she clamored to be inside first, ensuring she had first dibs on the buttons. “Where ya headin’?”

“Same as you, it looks like.” He nodded at the brightly lit button she’d already selected.

“Yes!” She thrust a fist triumphantly into the air; Seifer held the elevator’s railing as it rattled with her movement. “Rumor has it you’re in the market for a makeover.”

Seifer’s grip on the railing tightened his knuckles white with pressure. “Where’d you hear that?”

Selphie shrugged nonchalantly. “I hacked Squall’s email and saw his thread with Laguna. No big deal.”

He wanted to laugh. It was so absurd. Sweet, innocent Selphie. Delicately deadly, a silent hacker who had a thing for pizazz and all things shiny. Before he could ponder further on the implications that came along with Squall’s hacked email, the elevator came to a stop, and the doors slid open to reveal their destination. Seifer stepped out, and Selphie followed. Because of course.

“Well? That’s what the meeting was about, right? With what’s-her-face from Esthar?” She peered up at him as she walked beside him.

Seifer needed food. He was too hungry for this conversation. He steered his course towards the cafeteria. “Yeah, what’s it to you?”

He could practically feel Selphie’s energy increase with his affirmation of what she already knew. “I wanna help!”

Seifer stopped abruptly in the middle of the hallway and crossed his arms over his chest. “Squall said he isn’t doing it.”

Selphie’s responding grin looked dangerous, and it made Seifer nervous. “That’s what he told you, of course. And probably what’s-her-face, but not what he told Sir Laguna. Trust me, you’re getting a makeover whether you like it or not.”

*

Seifer had never been so mortified in his entire life. And that was saying a lot when he considered his life up to this point. Selphie had been right; Squall had not only lied to Blondie PR but also to Seifer. Honestly, he should have known better than to trust Squall, the sadistic son of a bitch he was. Squall put on a good front, pretending to be all stoic and emo and apathetic towards the world, but Seifer knew him better than that. Squall was enjoying his position of power over Seifer, and he’d played nice only to weasel his way past Seifer’s already compromised defenses.

He stood a foot off the floor on a platform, stripped down to his plain white briefs. Straight ahead, three reflections of himself stared moodily back at him as a gray-haired man fussed around his nether regions, too close for comfort. Nearby, Selphie stood with her hands clenched in front of her face, starry-eyed with enthusiasm.

As if their presence wasn’t bad enough, Zell glumly sat cross-legged on the floor, picking at his dirty sneakers. He was refusing to make eye contact with Seifer, and Seifer had never been more grateful for small favors. Zell had joined the three of them late, mumbling and grumbling incoherent words as he entered the fitting room and plopped down beside Selphie’s feet. Seifer didn’t have the desire to try and translate Zell’s complaints.

“C’mon, Seifer! This is exciting, isn’t it?” Selphie asked from her place beside the three mirrors.

Seifer thought of all kinds of different things he’d deem “exciting.” Standing there, cold and exposed, was not on his list. He looked wearily down at the tailor. The gray-haired man – Seifer hadn’t bothered to remember his name – worked busily around Seifer’s body, gathering measurements and taking notes. “Chicken-wuss doesn’t seem excited,” Seifer said, acknowledging Zell at last.

Zell’s blond spike bounced as his head shot up. “Don’t even start with me, man.”

Selphie gave Seifer a disapproving look while giving Zell a kick with her small brown boot. “Shush.”

Zell sighed and untangled his legs to stretch them forward, leaning back on his hands.

“Lemme guess,” Seifer started but grimaced when the tailor wrapped the measuring tape around his inner thigh. This had to be some kind of joke. The situation was just too comical. Embarrassment aside, he continued, “Resident World Saver #1 enlisted the help of Resident World Savers #2 and #3. And only one of those two is actually enthusiastic about it.”

The martial artist glared. “We have names, asshole.” He evaded another kick from Selphie. “It doesn’t take two of us to babysit you and clean you up. You’re a grown-ass man. Just wasting my time, is all it is.”

Seifer had never really hated Zell, contrary to popular belief. He had never particularly liked him either, but hate was a strong word, and he reserved strong words and emotions for people who actually mattered. Zell had never mattered. Despite this, Seifer still felt annoyed at Zell’s words. “Too bad you’ve got the hots for ol’ Squally boy. Maybe you’d be more apt to tell him to fuck off when you disagreed with his requests if you didn't want in his pants so bad.”

Selphie’s green eyes widened with shock, and Zell hopped up in an angry flash. Even the tailor stepped back with surprise.

“What’re you sayin’?!” Zell demanded, face red and fists tight.

“Zell,” Selphie tried to calm him down with a hand to his arm. “You know he’s just trying to get a rise out of you. Don’t let him.”

Let him?” Zell asked incredulously. He laughed, harsh and surprisingly sardonic. “I let him live. I won’t let him do much else.” With that said, Zell stormed from the room without a second glance Seifer’s way.

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Comments {3}

Oberin Hilexander

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from: gargoule
date: Nov. 20th, 2015 02:40 am (UTC)
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don't mind me.
just running around screaming and squeeing and shit like that.

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