Theme 008: Our Own World.
Half the time, Seifer thinks he's crazy.
The other half, he knows he is. That part, he can deal with. That's just life.
But times like this--when he's alone, when Fujin and Raijin are in class without him--times like this don't seem to fit into the same, set patterns of reality. There's silence, around him--silence everywhere--and he hates it but he can't do shit about it, and that drives him even crazier than before. He can't talk to himself--that's 100% crazy--and his only other option is to go hang out with people that are beneath him and that's completely out of the question.
Which just reminds him, of course, whose fault exactly it is that it even is out of the question--guess who put them there and put you here, Almasy, what's wrong with you--and the empty can of soda in his hand crumples with an oddly cheerful crunch as Seifer grits his teeth and moves back toward the window for the 35th time. He looks outside, sees the rest of the cadets training in the quad, remembers why he moved away in the first place, and immediately returns to his desk.
The clock to his right ticks 2:35.
Seifer is waiting on four.
The click ticks 2:36, and Seifer thinks that if he's not insane already, he will be, by 2:37.
He's got that strange urge to break something again, the one he always gets when things get like this, when he gets stuck like this, when time seems to be outside time. He wants to break something, make sure that he's still there, still able to control, to have effect. He wants to break something, anything. Maybe himself.
So he heads for the gym.
Zell looks up and is like oh shit it's Almasy, and automatically half-dives for the door before catching himself and sitting back down, 'cos he's not about to run away or nothin', hell no, 'cos then Almasy would laugh at him'n stuff and he's enough of an ass already. But friggin' hell, why'd he have to walk in right when there was like, no one else in there and he really, really shoulda taken that Psych class but that's like, studyin' and minds'n stuff and--
Wait, why had he been sittin' here again..?
Oh yeahhh, classes like, got out at 3 and some at 4, he thought, and like the gym was always crowded afterward'n he was just here early to warm up 'cos like, he had to kick everyone's ass in basketball again specially 'cos everyone kept sayin' he couldn't 'cos he was short'n stuff but maaaan, he hated being early for stuff 'cos then, he like, had to WAIT, and he'd been waiting for like, SIX MINUTES'n he really, REALLY just wanted to PLAY but like, just practicing shooting was so BORING and--
Ohshit wtf he was forgetting about Almasy--
OHSHIT what was Almasy here for!?
RUN no wait don't run, uhhhh RUN no wait don't--Chickenwuss--wait...
OHSHIT too late now--
Zell stares, and Seifer smirks. He's always not-so-secretly enjoyed Zell's what-the-fuck-do-I-do reactions, and seeing it now printed all over his face somehow lifts his mood just a little, as it always has. Hell, just pissing Zell off all the time makes him feel better, and that's just a fact.
He's not sure why it makes him feel better, though, until he pauses in the doorway, thinking about it. And then, it's pretty simple:
Zell makes him feel like he exists.
Sure, he knows that there's reality, and of course he exists, just like every other tangible object, but he's always felt a bit out of sync with the world, as if he existed on a plane of 1.01 to the world's 1.0. Detachment, all those Garden psych people had told him when he'd been what, 15? Detachment, refuses to care for others, sees himself as something apart from--perhaps greater than--reality. They called him a little bit psycho, he secretly called himself a dreamer.
But when Zell -reacts-, when Zell -responds- like he does, instead of trying to ignore him like everyone else, Seifer can't help but feel as though he's fitting into the world somehow. As if maybe, he's got a place, as if maybe, he can do things, change things, have some kind of effect on the world, negative or positive, if he tried. And maybe that's what he wants. Maybe that's what he wants, just to make a difference.
But Zell's sitting there staring at him, and the basketball in his lap is starting to slide off his knees and onto the floor, and Seifer just smirks and leans against the wall, and says,
Since when were you tall enough to dribble?
WTF!! He just walks in and start bein' an ass again!? WTF did I do--
Wait, it's Almasy, he's ALWAYS an ass.
But WTF why me--
Whatever, it's pointless to ask questions'n stuff, 'cos like hell, he's crazy'n crazy people are all... CRAZY--
Almasy's just Almasy, kinda like all that weird like mysterious science stuff that kinda just IS--
BUT HE'S AN ASS--
Zell immediately stands up, nervousness instantly forgotten, and throws the ball at Seifer, balling up one hand into a fist. He talks before he realizes it, throwing out the challenge and then blinking as he hears the words come out of his own mouth.
Like you c'n do any better!? I bet I could kick your ass!!
Except like, it's not so bad, 'cos like, there was no one playin' anyway and he was tired of waiting and hey, maybe he really COULD kick Almasy's ass at basketball, he'd never seen him play or nothin', and heyyyy, he was always up for kickin' Almasy's ass at ANYTHING, and--
Yeah!!! C'mon! One on one, you'n me!
Zell takes a step forward, leaning forward on his toes to push his face closer to Seifer's as he pokes him in the chest.
'Nless you're scared.
Of you? I didn't realize that anything could be.
But Seifer picks the basketball up again as soon as he's done taking off his coat.
Watch closely, Chickenwuss. I'll show you how the game is played.
He's surprised that he hasn't already left and gone to the weight room like he usually does, but it's been a while since he last played basketball--or any kind of team sport, really--and he's missed the way the ball feels against his skin, bumps cut by lines, sandy from the dust on the gym floor. It reminds him of back when he was younger, when he hadn't felt so damn detached, when he'd been twelve, thirteen, fourteen, and running around with the kids--friends--he'd later decided he didn't need.
Has it really been four entire years since he's played?
But that doesn't matter, because after a few experimental bounces--he's grown at least a foot since then--he's realizing he hasn't really forgotten much of anything. Rusty, sure, but the technique was there--and wait, hadn't he been part of some Garden team, back then, with Raijin--and then he's running across the court, calling casually back to Zell
Keep up, if you can
and he can hear Zell's yelping WTFs behind him as Zell takes off after him--and damn, he's fast--and starts whining about how Almasy you ALWAYS cheat and friggin' hell, I'm gonna beat you ANYWAY and--
And then, there isn't much breath left for talking, round after round after continuous round, and neither of them notice when the bell for 3:00 rings, and by the time they look up, a crowd has gathered, and some of the girls are blowing them kisses and the rest are already placing bets on who's gonna win.
Zell stares, and Seifer smirks, and then they glance at each other.
Your ball, says Zell, and
I think you mean my game, Seifer replies, and all Zell says--or rather yells--is
and then they're off again, tired but refusing to back down, refusing to lose, knowing it's stupid and been going on for way too long when the 4 o'clock bell rings but not giving a shit.
And it's times like this that Seifer thinks he's crazy. Other times, he knows he is. That part, he can deal with. That's just life.
But it's times like this--with his eyes flashing challenge, lips pulled back into an exhilarated grin, and still almost twitching with contained-explosion-energy--it's times like this that Zell reminds him--c'mon, C'MON--that the world is just a little bit crazy, too.