Always You
June 2003

 

[Squall]

With my overly dressed daughter held safely in my arms, I resist words of sympathy to the five-month-old.  She simply stares back at me with familiar green eyes, her smile also clearly belonging to her father.  A shame she doesn't realize that she should feel embarrassed at being dressed up like this.

"A-aw, Squall, she's adorable.  Where did you find that outfit?"

Wide green eyes shift to the sound of Rinoa's voice, the child's small smile fading into something more intent as Azura tries to figure out this new person.

"Seifer got it with Selphie's help."  Shifting my hold on her, I adjust the frilly white dress that most likely won't be worn a second time, but I had reluctantly surrendered to the excuse that today is a special day and our small flower girl should look her part.

"The way I heard it, Seifer found it all by himself."  Quistis grins from the doorway.  "He was apparently very proud of the find, too."

Rinoa laughs.  "Figures he would hide behind Selphie.  So, is the groom nervous yet?"

"Why would I be?"

"'Cause you're getting married, silly.  This sort of thing doesn't happen every day."

I look at her dryly, but say nothing.  I've given into the fact that neither she nor Selphie will understand that this is a mere formality.  Seifer has already pledged his life to me several times over within the past eighteen years, so this is nothing new except that our family and friends will be witnesses to the vow.  I'm just happy to have talked my father out of making this a huge event in the capital city.

There's a sing-song warning of "it's time, it's time" before Selphie pops into the room, her smile painfully cheery and bright.  "Everything is ready to go, guys.  We just need our groom and bride's maids in place, and then it'll be show time."

At her obvious joy, I can't help a small smile which I quickly attempt to hide while placing a gentle kiss against my daughter's forehead.  Azura squirms a little with an amused gurgle, her tiny hand lifting up to press against my cheek.  Selphie steps up in front of me, her eyes warm with a silent question.  Nodding, I let her take the baby girl from my arms.  It's still hard to see someone else handling my daughter, but I've gotten better over the months.  It has helped to have Isan and Seveyn around, and then there is also Selphie who constantly comes up with a reason to visit her 'favorite niece'.  Seifer likes to think that she is simply jealous.

Standing with a stretch, I then reach back to put on the black tuxedo jacket that had been resting on the couch armrest.  After adjusting my dark gray vest and tie, I look up and find myself the center of attention for three identical adoring gazes, which is a little disturbing given their matching cream-colored dresses.  What is it about weddings that make people so strange?

An eyebrow raised, I ask, "Aren't people waiting for us?"

That seems to wake the three women, Rinoa hooking her arm into mine as we head outside.  Truthfully, I haven't a clue what the plans are for this wedding, Seifer demanding that he'd take care of everything and that I only had to show up dressed formally with Azura in tow.  Knowing that it would be simpler to go along with his whims, I've stayed out of the way of preparations, trusting Seifer to keep my father and Selphie from going overboard.

So when we step outside, I'm momentarily confused by the lack of people, knowing that at least thirty people should have been invited from our contacts through Garden over the years.  Maybe more people considering spouses and the like.  Rinoa seems amused by my confusion, her leading me to the back of the large house.  My eyes widen further when I finally realize where we are going - up the worn trail to the small cliff that overlooks the expanse of desert.  Or more importantly, to the place where Seifer first returned to me.  Sentimental bastard, making people climb up this hill just so he can have the setting he wants.

Eventually reaching the top of the incline, I pause at the sight of numerous people seated in rows of chairs, nearly every person well known by me.  It's almost awkward to see this physical representation of how far I've moved beyond the loner image of my youth.  My eyes then settle on white curtains held up by tall stands, the flimsy barriers sectioning off a small area just beyond the main aisle.  It nearly makes me laugh that, true to superstition, Seifer has hidden himself away since our own version of a bachelors' party last night.  I think the man has been spending too much time with Selphie to take this wedding so far.

Rinoa pulls slightly on my arm, forcing me to lean over so that she can place a kiss on my cheek.  "We're so happy for you both."

When the raven haired woman leaves my side, Quistis steps up to kiss my other cheek.  "Save a dance for me at the reception."

I nod, already reaching my limit for such affectionate attention.  Hyne, and this is just the beginning.

Selphie laughs, probably sensing my discomfort.  "Don't worry, sunshine.  This will all be a fond memory by tomorrow morning.  Bear with it until then."  She takes one of Azura's hands, waving it carefully.  "Say bye-bye to mommy."

Unamused, the infant pulls her hand from the hold, then reaches out in my direction.  Taking the small hand, I gently kiss it.  "Be good to Aunt Selphie, understood?"

Her response is an odd gurgle mixed with giggling.

Trusting Selphie with my daughter, I walk to the focal point of this gathering.  My three ushers are already there, Zell and Irvine joking around about something or other while Isan talks to his friends and Seveyn, the white-haired youth trying to look as small as possible in his seat.  I've been rather impressed with the young man, pleased that he is gaining a better sense of self-confidence within our unusual family.  Though I'll never forgive him for having it easy when it came to morning sickness.  While we are assuming that his powers are somehow making the pregnancy easier on his body, it's still beyond unfair.

Isan eventually notices my approach, a broad smile brightening his expression further.  After placing a kiss to his boyfriend's forehead, my son quickly strides over my way, soon capturing me in an unexpected and surprisingly strong hug.  Hyne, when did this kid get so big?  In time the hug breaks and he simply looks down at me with a warm smile, everything that needs to be said readable in his eyes.  While he at first seemed indifferent about this marriage, I think either Seifer or Selphie has corrupted his young mind given his increasing enthusiasm over the past months.  It's probably a good thing I gave into this foolishness when I did - I would've been nagged to death from all sides otherwise.

After handshakes and backslaps from Irvine and Zell, we take our places next to the priest of Hyne.  The youthful man smiles at me and asks in a low voice if we're ready.  At my nod, he raises his hand as a signal to the guitar player at the side.  With the start of the music, hushed voices gradually quiet completely as people shift in their seats to look back at the area sectioned off by curtains.

Quistis is the first to walk down the aisle holding a small bouquet of wild flowers, which I wouldn't doubt were taken from the field near the orphanage.  If there's one good thing about all of this, I can hope that it is Seifer getting years worth of sappiness out of his system.  Rinoa comes next from the curtained off area, her smile bright and encouraging as she focuses on me.  Shortly after her, Selphie appears with Azura cradled in her one-armed hold and a small basket of flower petals in hand.  It's annoying how the mere sight of a young child can make adults coo like idiots, but I can ignore it for now.  While Selphie spreads the flower petals along the aisle with her free hand, Azura has gotten a hold of a few of the petals and grips onto them tightly, reluctant to release the new toys.

With the ladies in their places, the song changes to the traditional wedding march.  Seifer comes out from the parted curtains dressed in the white tuxedo made especially for this occasion, and at his side is my father, apparently the one to give him away.  That surprises me for some reason, while pleasing me greatly at the same moment.  I wonder how Laguna must have reacted when Seifer asked him to fill this role in the wedding.  With the thought to ask Seifer about it later, I turn my focus onto the grinning blonde who clearly shows no shame in being the 'bride'.  Such a complete fool.  I notice several of our mercenary friends trying to stifle their laughs, but it's obviously in good humor.  The selected people here know about our relationship well enough and have witnessed plenty of our bet payoffs that this isn't something terribly new to them.

When they reach the end of the short aisle, my father hugs Seifer lightly.  "Remember what I told you.  And best wishes to the both of you," he adds with a slightly choke voice just before hugging me.  After a fond look from the older man, he then moves quickly to take a seat between Ward and Kiros in the front row.

Curious at what Laguna told Seifer, I glance at the blonde, who then chuckles quietly.

"He wants me to call him 'dad' after we're officially wed," he explains.

Shaking my head, I offer my arm to the larger man.  There's no hesitation when he accepts it, his eyes bright with an almost predatory gleam at getting his way.  Even so, I don't bother to second guess about what I'm getting myself into - it'll be the same troublesome relationship that had started at this near exact spot with my impossible declaration that I was pregnant and with Seifer's decision to stay.  And funny enough, that thought makes me happy.


[Isan]

Glass of water in hand, I step out onto the front porch and take a seat next to Seveyn before handing him the cold drink.  As he sips at the cool liquid, I wrap an arm comfortably around his waist to then run fingers lightly against his pregnant stomach that is fairly hidden beneath dark clothing.

"How do you feel?"

Sighing, he leans against me.  "Good, but kind of tired.  It's been a long day."

I smile, hearing the words behind that statement.  With so many people around for the wedding, Seveyn has been nervous about someone discovering his unusual condition.  I've tried to explain to him how most people don't like noticing the obvious when it's something that should be impossible, but the white-haired beauty doesn't want to believe me.  And so, I've let him escape most of the reception except for the very beginning with lunch and the dance my father somehow tricked Mom into.  Since then, we've snuck out here with Berkeley and Nuala as company for most of the day, but they had to leave before risking to break curfew.

"Is this what you want?"

Confused, I glance down at his face.  "Hmm?"

Shyly, redden eyes glance up to meet my gaze.  "What your parents have, their relationship... Is that what you want?"

I take a moment before answering the question.  I've wondered such things before, but in a way, their relationship frightens me.  I like to think of my parents as the most powerful persons in the world, which is fairly true given their continued training and use of innate charisma, but I know that it is a case of them being strong together, not so much individually.  Maybe in their youth they were just as powerful separated as they were together, but I don't think it's true anymore.  They both thrive off of the bond between them.  Long ago I've come to terms that if I were to ever lose one parent, the other would soon follow.  Not by suicide, of course, but by simply wasting away from grief or else purposely taking insane risks in battle situations.

The sad thing is that I don't think they even realize just how deeply bonded they are to each other.  I can't count the number of times I'd be having dinner with Dad when he'd suddenly stand to prepare a third plate for dinner, then set it on the table just at the moment Mom would enter the main doorway.  The one time I asked how he did it, he stared at me blankly and said he must have heard my mother coming.  And Mom has done similar things, especially when Dad would be out on various missions where unexpected trouble would arise.  I know Anders has asked me a few times if Mom was physic because of that ability.

Looking at Seveyn, I think of what we have and how it could never compare to my parents' relationship, but that doesn't matter to me.  I'm happy with him.  The way everyday family things are surprises to him makes me smile, and his presence alone brings a sense of comfort and peace.  Why would I need more?

"Isan...?"

I smile, realizing that I must have been silent for too long while simply staring at him.  "I don't think anyone could have what my parents have, and truthfully, I wouldn't want it.  It'd be too much for me.  But," I say while placing my hand beneath his chin, "I think we could have something very special of our own."  With that, I gently kiss him and say quietly, "I love you, Seveyn.  Don't doubt that."

I feel his lips curl into a small smile, him then returning the kiss with a bit more force.  It's a beautiful thing that he has really started to take a more involved role when we're together, though sometimes he still seems afraid to touch me.  But what bothers me the most is that while I'm fairly certain he is happy with me here, I have yet to hear the words.  Some nights I find myself lying awake, wondering if Seveyn doesn't actually love me despite his obvious affection.  It's ridiculous, I know, but I've done the same when it came to my father avoiding such a simple phrase.  Perhaps I have been spoiled by my mother who always makes certain to have his love for me known.

A soft 'ahem' makes me break the lasting kiss and look to my parents who stand next to the house entrance, Dad grinning with a possessive arm around my mother.  Really, they walk far too quietly than should be allowed.

"We're off, kiddo.  Be certain to take care of our kitten properly."

"No problem.  Where is she, anyway?"

"With Selphie," Mom replies with an air that suggests Aunt Selphie kidnapped the young girl yet again.  "We'll call from the hotel."

"Sounds good.  Travel safely, and congratulations."

Mom nods while Dad smiles softly.  "Thanks, kiddo.  See you in a week."

They walk off to the Esmarque, the ship already holding their luggage for the honeymoon.  Watching them, I notice as my father leans over to whisper something, the comment making Mom glare at the taller man before shoving him aside.  I can easily hear Dad's laughter as he hurries to catch up to my mother's fast stride.

Shaking my head, I return my attention to Seveyn.  "Looks like we're playing parents for the week.  You ready?"

He smiles while placing a hand onto his pregnant stomach.  "I hope so."


[Seifer]

Leaning against the hallway wall, I watch with a faint smile as Squall hands the bellhop a tip for leading us to the suite and carrying our bags.  My lion looks absolutely gorgeous in that tuxedo, certainly turning several heads when we were checking into the hotel, but for the first time that I can remember, it didn't bother me in the least.  People can look all they want, but that's my ring on his finger and no one else can have him.  Fuck, this feels so much better than I thought it would.

The bellhop leaves with a quiet 'enjoy your stay', and Squall steps into the large honeymoon suite without a glance my way, assuming that I'd follow.  It takes almost a full minute before he comes back out to the hallway to glare at me.

"No."

It's so hard to not laugh at his expression.  "But Squall, I'm your bride."

"And you're damn heavy.  No."

"What, afraid of hurting your back, old man?  Come on, you've carried me before."

He presses a hand over his eyes.  "Why are you taking all of this so far?"

"Because it's fun to watch you squirm."

After studying me from between spread fingers, he sighs in surrender.

When he steps close enough, I place a hand at his cheek to stop him from bending down.  "I want a kiss from my husband first."

That softens his eyes some before he meets me in a rather forceful kiss.  Teeth and tongues clash as his body presses against me in all the right areas.  A hand at his lower back and the other on an ass check, I try to pull him even closer to me despite the impossibility.  While one of his arms rests lightly on my shoulders, his other hand buries deep into my short hair, pulling with just the right force for that touch of pain to increase the pleasure of our joined lips.

When we finally part, Squall doesn't even give me a moment of breath before he bends down to hook an arm against the back of my knees, the quick move making me suffer the brief sensation of falling until I find myself in his arms.  It must look ridiculous for someone of my height and body frame to be carried by such a smaller, leaner man, but who gives a fuck.  Judging by Squall's look, he seems to be finding his own humor in the situation.  I suppose he could technically throw me off the balcony like this, but there are far more creative ways of killing me if he really felt like it.

I'm half-surprised when he doesn't drop me onto the floor the moment we are beyond the threshold, Squall easily able to carry me to the large, immensely comfortable looking bed despite his earlier protest.  As he sets me down, I keep my arm hooked around his shoulder with a hand pressed against the back of his head, pulling him down for another lasting kiss.  He doesn't resist the move, biting my lower lip slightly before meeting my tongue in a satisfying duel.

Squall is the one to abruptly break the joining while stepping away from the bed, making me whine in disappointment.  "We have to call the boys," he says while removing his tuxedo jacket and draping it over a chair.

I'm tempted to ask a childish 'now?', but I know that it won't get me anywhere.  "Alright, but keep the rest of your clothes on."

He looks at me curiously, then shrugs to say he'll follow my whims for now.

While he tries to figure out how to get an outside line, I roll off the bed to grab the champagne bottle I had requested to be ready for us upon arrival.  The chilled bottle opens with a loud pop, the unexpected sound making Squall jump and spin around in a defensive stance.  I just smirk at him, unthreatened by the annoyed glare.  As he dials home, I pour the expensive liquid into two long-stemmed glasses.  For the meantime, I leave the drinks waiting on the small table and shrug off my tux jacket.  Haphazardly folding the suit piece, I toss it into the chair where Squall had placed his jacket, the noise of the thrown piece of clothing attracting the brunette's attention.  With the phone held against his ear, apparently ringing our home in Esthar, Squall gives me a look of 'behave or else'.  Now when will he learn that that look doesn't work on me.

With an exaggerated smirk, I hook a finger into my tie, loosening it slowly before removing the damn thing.  The somewhat awkward move succeeds in its purpose as stormy blues stay focused on me while he speaks into the phone.

"Isan?  We've made it to the hotel.  If you need us, ask the front desk for Almasy and they'll patch you through."

While my vest slips from my shoulders, a pleased hum escapes me at the thought that Squall is officially an Almasy now, though we have agreed that for his presidential campaign, he should stick to 'Leonhart-Almasy'.  Don't want to confuse the masses too badly this first time around.  After tossing my vest into the same chair as our jackets, I toe off my painfully formal shoes while also undoing the buttons of my shirt.

"Just tell Selphie that I trust the both of you and to go home to her own family.  Hyne knows her boys have probably destroyed their house by now."

I laugh while removing my cufflinks, not surprised in the least that Selphie is trying to get away with caring for our kitten, not to mention fussing over the lab rat.  She knows full well that we want the boys to suffer with Azura this week.  I shrug off the unbuttoned shirt and my undershirt quickly follows such that I'm finally bare-chested and the shirts are tossed vaguely in the direction of the chair.  Glancing at my left side just above my hip bone, I lightly finger a faded scar that was once much more pronounced to signify the depth of the original wounding.  The icy eyed bastard still never holds back in a fight, even when it should be a simple spar.  Wouldn't love him for anything less.

"Don't worry about cleaning up until the morning.  Seveyn needs his rest after today."

I grin, thinking about how Squall will need plenty of rest himself after this week of vacation time.  My white pants unbuttoned and unzipped, I then thumb the waistband to quickly remove the piece of clothing, slipping off my socks at the same moment.  Straightening, I look directly into stormy eyes that are slightly wider in curiosity.  With a smirk, I adjust the remaining white g-string, then retrieve the two glasses of bubbling champagne.

"And I think I'm about to be disconnected here," Squall states with an amused glint to his eyes.  "You'll both do fine."

The moment Squall accepts one of the long-stemmed glasses, I steal the phone with my freed hand and hang it up without hesitation.  My lion doesn't say anything immediately, savoring a sip of champagne before meeting my gaze directly.

"Selphie was about to ask something."

"And I care?  Sit down."

Taking the remaining chair empty of clothing, he sits with a regal grace.  "Azura was crying."

"Babies tend to do that," I mutter into my glass before taking a sip, instantly pleased with the sweeter flavor of this brand of champagne.

Before Squall has the chance to say anything else, I lean over to steal a kiss as my reward for letting him call home in the first place.  He humors me, our champagne tingling and sweetened tongues meeting for an interesting taste.  Our lips eventually separate, but I continue to lean over the softly smirking man.  I love the rare chance of seeing my lion dressed formally, him truly looking like a man of power as he sits assuredly before me with the glass still in hand.

"What's this about?" he asks while lightly fingering my slowly building arousal beneath thin white fabric.

"It's about this being our honeymoon," I state before bending in close to attack his neck.

Squall relaxes fully into the cushioned chair, his head leaned far back as he gives me more skin area to tease with my mouth.  Blindly I place my glass onto the nearby table, freeing my hand to undo the knot of his tie.  Leaving it around his neck, I move onto the vest and shirt, only undoing the buttons in order to open a path to smooth skin.  Moving down from his neck, I run my tongue down the crevasses of bone and muscle.  I push the opening of his clothes wide enough to reveal his right nipple, and I then tease it lightly, only to pull back and blow cool air along spit damped skin.  There's only a faint twitch of a shiver, his skin prickling from coldness.  With a firm press of my warm tongue, I lick away the goosebumps.

As I travel lower, I kneel to the floor while also attacking the button and zipper of his black pants.  I nearly laugh when I discover that he didn't bother with underwear, the man either afraid I'd rip something in a rush or else he is as eager about this week of fun as I am.  I reach up for my glass, and then hold it up in a toast.

"To us and forever."

His breath not quite as steady as normal, Squall clinks his glass against mine.  "Now I'll never get rid of you," he mutters into his glass before savoring a long sip of the amber liquid, his grin barely hidden by the action.

Sipping some of my own champagne, I swallow only a small amount while leaving the rest in my mouth.  Pulling out his penis from his open pants, I directly place the redden head into my mouth and coat the tip of his beginning arousal with the fizzing champagne.  Squall hisses quietly at the rather cool liquid surrounding sensitive skin, but doesn't attempt to pull away.  Teasing the skin with my tongue and champagne,  I eventually swallow the remaining liquid as to better focus my attention on the hardened length.  The hint of sweet alcohol adds an unusual taste to what I know clearly is Squall, and as always, I worship that flavor.

After a time of only deep breaths, soft moans, and wetter sounds, a strong hand suddenly strokes through my hair, grasping onto the short strands to end his blow job.  Looking up, my breath catches briefly as I stare into deep blue flecked with gray, Squall smirking softly at being in such a position.  Making me sit straighter with the hold on my hair, he leans down to speak to me softly.

"On the bed."

Standing a bit stiffly from being on my knees for too long, I finish off my champagne before setting the glass aside and walk to the large bed.  Sitting down on the comforter, I watch Squall's movements as he casually pours himself more champagne before replacing the bottle into the ice bucket.  His smirk still in place, he approaches the bedside and puts a knee next to my legs before pushing my shoulder in a signal to lie down.  I follow the silent command, never breaking eye contact with his gaze.  His smirk widens just slightly in a vague warning before he pours the champagne along my body.  I hiss out a curse at the sudden coldness, but refuse to react otherwise to the cheap attack.

With a quiet chuckle, Squall leans down to lick some at of the pooled liquid on my chest.  "Nice.  We should get some of this brand for the house."

I don't bother to reply, coherent thoughts already starting to wane with the feel of Squall being meticulous in his cleanup of the split drink.  Or should that be purposefully slow to torment me?  Either way, I'm a lost man as he removes the champagne, spikes of need throbbing through me at the occasional brush of his erection against my own arousal.  I barely remember the time when I feared letting Squall take me, all my reasons as to why I didn't want his dick within me now seeming beyond childish and illogical.  While I still prefer topping my lion, letting him fuck me has its own bonuses, most of it involving Squall's careful touch.  When I top, he tends to enjoy the rougher side of sex, wanting the sharper feel of pleasure.  But when he leads, he handles the situation as if it were my first time, his hands and words always a soothing force.  While I should probably feel offended by such treatment, it instead has become a rare indulgence of mine to be almost spoiled by Squall, something he could never do with words or other actions.

There's a tug of my g-string being removed, the brunette apparently done with enjoying his champagne and moving onto other pleasures.  Soon spit wetted fingers are deep within me, almost unnoticed as Squall works his experienced tongue along my erection.  He waits an annoyingly long time until hearing the correct moan from me, something that I can only sound when I'm about to throttle the man if he doesn't finish me off.  The fingers slip out from me, leaving an emptiness that will be soon refilled.  My position is adjusted slightly before heat presses against me, entering me without warning as to prevent me from the occasional tensing.

Both of our breaths ragged from the first penetration, Squall waits a moment before starting gentle thrusts to work himself deeper into me.  Like every time before this, it is beyond words how this physical bond feels, something that can no longer be just sex between us.  With every thrust and every moan, it makes me feel more alive than fighting for my life with a gunblade in my hand.  The need for more echoes in my thoughts, more of the driving pleasure, more of Squall.  And yet, those needs are never sated before everything comes crashing down around me.

My eyes eventually open to blurry vision that slowly clears, and the sight of Squall looming above makes me grin lazily.  Trying to regain his breath, he doesn't notice my probably foolish smile until he partly opens his eyes and glances at my face.  Huffing at my look, he awkwardly removes his softened length from me and stumbles a few steps before collapsing further up the bed with his eyes closed.

"Well, gee, love you, too."

He cracks an eyelid open to vaguely glare at me.  "Wet sheets."

At the reminder, I'm suddenly bothered by the feel of the soaked comforter and sticky skin.  Failing at my first attempt of sitting up, I look over at Squall once more, him skillfully appearing asleep.

"Squa-all, carry me to the bath."

He coughs, obviously hiding a laugh at my attempt of Selphie's whine.  "No.  Too heavy."

"You already used that excuse.  Try for number two?"

"... ..."

"Alright, then my turn.  Do you want me sleeping with you in this state?"

After a moment's thought, he frowns and sits up.  "I'm not carrying you," he says with a hand held out in an offer to help me stand.

Since I've already had my way plenty of times today, I don't bother pressing the point.  More so, I really want to get rid of this sticky feeling.  After we half-support each other into the immense bathroom, I pour in a hardy dose of bubble bath into the nicely sized tub while Squall gets around to completely removing his clothing.  Though the bath seems to end up more bubbles than water by the time he is undressed, I easily tug the brunette into the bath to sit between my legs.  Lounging back while the faucet still pours hot water into the tub, I sigh and relax completely with eyes closed.

"I hate bubbles."

I smirk at the image of Squall scowling at the heaps of whiteness that smell something like lavender.  "It's okay, Squally-boy.  I'm not going to tell anyone that you secretly love an occasional bubble bath to wash your worries away."

He scoffs, but leans back comfortably against me without further complaint.  I reach blindly for his hand, then caress the silver ring snugly fitted on his finger, a ring I bought around a year past with high hopes in convincing Squall to marry me.  I wasn't kidding him when I said that I was prepared to marry him within a day of his approval.  Our decision to postpone until now was mostly due to Azura and Squall's unwillingness to leave her for an extended length of time, and like hell I was missing out on the excuse of a honeymoon.

"Let's get our rings engraved," I say out of the blue.

"... What?"

I shrug.  "You didn't really have the chance to do much with the wedding, and you didn't even get to help decide on our rings."

"You know me," he states, suggesting that I picked a style he likes.  Hyne forbid he straight out admit to liking the ring which holds several small, light blue sapphires that are almost hidden by the gleam of silver.  I knew he wouldn't want anything gaudy, but I couldn't resist having the metallic gray and blue gem stones together.

"Come on, Squall.  Don't you have a single romantic bone in that gorgeous body of yours?"

He scoffs.  "And what would you put?"

"Hn, how about 'the property of Seifer Almasy'?"

A quiet chuckle escapes him.  "Figures."

I smirk.  "On second though, I think I'll save that for the tattoo you're getting for our first anniversary."

"Whatever."

"Seriously, though, I'd rather something simple and cheesy, like 'forever bound' or 'love eternal'."  Still stroking his ring with my thumb, I move my free arm to encircle his waist and move him closer against me, his body fitting against mine like only his could.  Vague memories of the past come to mind of Squall and I, some of them of peaceful times like this, others of a bloody fight, but it has always been the two of us, no matter the situation.  "Y'know, I think something along the lines of, 'it has always been you,' would be perfect."

Unexpectedly, Squall stiffens in my hold before he suddenly pushes up to stand and exit the bath.  "I hate it when you play games."

I grab his wrist before he manages to get a foot out of the tub.  "What are you talking about?  What games?"

He glares down at me, icy eyes examining my confused and somewhat angry expression before he says cautiously, "If you saw it, why didn't you just say so?"

"Saw what, Squall?"

"Your ring..."

Still confused I look down at my ring, a twin to Squall's except larger.  It takes a moment before it sinks in what he could be mentioning.  Releasing his wrist, I quickly remove my ring to look at the inner band, the words 'Always You' clearly engraved into the silver.  Stunned, I can only stare at the lettering.

"You really... didn't notice?"

I vaguely shake my head.  I haven't touched my ring since I bought it, only handling Squall's on the rare occasion of needing to convince myself to continue the press of marriage.  Since Squall was the one to place it on my finger today, I really never had the chance to look at it.

Still unable to look away from the engraving, I ask, "When do you do this?"

Squall finally sits back down in the tub, though he face me this time.  "Did you really think that you could hide anything from me?  I found the box probably the week you got the rings.  Truthfully, I almost tossed them.  ... Several times."  He pauses, perhaps remembering the reasons why he was against marriage in the first place.  "Eventually, I decided that marriage or not, it would be nice to have the rings.  With Zell's help, I got it engraved about three months after the baby shower."

Eyebrow raised, I'm too amused to bother with the question of why he stayed silent all this time.  Hyne knows Squall loves to make me suffer.  "'Always You,' huh?"

He shrugs.  "I'm not that creative..."

"Well, I hate to tell you this, Squall..."  I place the ring back onto my finger before looking directly into stormy eyes.  "You could've done so much better than me."

"I know," he says with a hint of a teasing smirk, "but I never wanted to."

 

{Owari}

 

Author's Whining - Whoo, smell that cheese and sap. =P  Anywho, there be the wedding/honeymoon fic of the 'Life Series'.  For those that have demanded SxS should get married, I hope this appeased you. ^_-