Choosing Life
October 2002

 

|Squall|

"Do you know where my shoes are?"

"In the closet, I would imagine."  The blonde head never lifts as he flips through some weapons magazine.

"I looked."

"Then how about near the back entrance?"

"Those are my boots.  I want my sneakers."

The unintentional whine quality to my voice makes Seifer glance up, that irritating smile in full form.  "Let me get this straight - you're about to cry over not finding the right pair of shoes?"

"I am not."  I palm the moisture from my eyes.  "Shit, I hate this.  Just grab Hyperion and get him the hell out of me."

"Sorry, I think I'll leave that for the professionals.  You're almost there, Squally boy.  One more month."

Crossing my arms, I glare at Seifer.  "Easy for you to say.  You only had to fuck me while I was drugged out of my mind and your job was finished.  Meanwhile, I'm fucking tired from waking up every half-hour to take a piss when I can't even see my fucking dick anymore.  I was crying this morning because I had damn blueberry muffins instead of poppy seed.  Now I can't find my fucking sneakers, the only shoes that still fit comfortably.  And I swear, he's practicing your stupid gunblade moves anytime I'm about to get a moment of peace!"

His amused smile never falters through the unintentionally tearful rant, during which Seifer stands up to walk around me and encircle his arms loosely below the bulge of stomach.  Chin resting on my shoulder, he starts to rock me as if we were moving in a slow dance.

"We're both gunblade masters.  Why assume those are my moves he is testing out?"

I sniff, completely sick with myself for breaking down into tears yet again.  "He's doing it one-handed."

"Never could break you of that two-handed habit.  Always afraid the blade would go flying from your grasp."

"I hate you."

"Think we've covered that one before.  Next?"

"I want sleep."

"According to those books that Laguna brought over, we're not allowed to sleep for another eighteen years.  Sorry, love."

Sighing at the one term I could never get him to stop calling me by, I lean back against Seifer.  "Why do you put up with me?"

"Because I'm expecting payback in the form of unending, mind blowing sex once the kid is tossed out of the house."

"Dream on, Almasy."

"Truthfully though, I'm having a blast."

If it weren't for Seifer's continued swaying, I would have stopped in shock.  "I suggest not joking with me."

"I wouldn't have believed it either, but it's amusing to watch your two sides battle it out."  Showing no fear, he chuckles at my growl.  "Once I was able to keep a blade out of your hands, you haven't been hard to deal with.  And I think you've talked more in the past few months than in your entire lifetime.  I don't know.  Guess I feel kind of special for receiving privileged access to those thoughts of yours"

"... I've been selfish."

"No, you've been pregnant."

Closing my eyes, I savor the soothing motion of being rocked by the larger man.  I think half the people in B Garden would have laughed at me if I suggested this calmer, gentle side of Seifer existed.  The rest of Garden would have checked me for a high fever.  I've come to the conclusion that the more insane I get, the more mature the blonde becomes.  It's as if we form some kind of scale - as one side unbalances, the other adjusts to maintain the tricky equilibrium.  Makes me a bit worried about what will happen once I regain my normal state of mind.

"Ah, there they are."  He releases his hold and walks over to the coffee table.  "I must have left them under here when you fell asleep on the couch the other night."

Holding back the untrue comment that he purposely hid the sneakers just to see me cry, I more fall than sit on the couch and stick a socked foot in his face.

"Would I please help you?  Why, yes, my royal Ice Princess.  I'd love to since you asked so sweetly."

"Just put on the shoes, slave."


I can't suppress the tiny shivers that course through my body, and it isn't from the chill of the room in addition to the lack of decent clothing.  Sitting on the examination table, I can't help but feel the three sets of eyes peering at me.  Dr Kadowaki introduced me to these colleagues of hers, assuring me both that the man and two women were required for the cesarean to proceed smoothly and that they would never speak of this in public.  Though by the look behind one pair of glasses, I know I will be receiving numerous requests to let him do a research paper on me.

A warm hand settles on my shoulder as Dr Kadowaki directs me to lie down so she can do the ultrasound as she has done many times over the months.  Over an hour has already been spent on this examination, and I just don't care anymore.  My nerves are completely on edge by the strangers prodding me with fingers and questions, never really letting on that they consider me human.  Right now all I want is to be in bed with warm sheets covering and hiding me from the world.

"And there he is, dear.  Looking very handsome, if I say so myself."

I spare a neutral glance at the screen, otherwise not responding to the doctor's comments.  With my senses on high alert from anxiety, I easy overhear one of the doctors whispering to her coworker that my lack of interest is exactly why men shouldn't bear children.  Already spending so much energy on maintaining an indifferent mask, that statement almost breaks me.

Rougher than her normal light touch, Dr Kadowaki wipes off the excess cream from my stomach.  "I think you've gone through enough for one day, Squall.  Go back to your room for some rest."

Sitting up, I catch the unhappy glare from her dark eyes aimed at the female doctors.  Inwardly I smile, both relieved to know I'm not overacting to the comment and that the good doctor will certainly be speaking her mind about the matter.  One should never upset a mother hen.  I put on a robe from a nearby table and exit the room.  This entire medical floor exists beneath the presidential building, the people more so than Laguna deciding that their leader should be able to receive immediate care without travel.  Sometimes I believe the people of Esthar simply enjoy to spoil their royal president.

I take the far elevator that leads directly to the wing of private rooms for the president's exclusive use.  There is another wing somewhere else for guests and the like, though I consider it strange when the country was sealed tight for almost twenty years.  Perhaps the building was designed for Adel's use originally.  Either way, I now have a private room to call my own within these walls.  Without need of thought, I walk straight there from the elevator.

"Oh, hey, Squall.  Done already?  I thought it was going to take the whole afternoon."

I stop briefly to look at the blonde who was exiting the bathroom, but chose not to answer as I then continue towards the large bed and lie down.  Hyne, I hate being on my back.  Seifer, oh so perfect when he wants to be, holds back his questions and joins me on the mattress, lying as close as possible without touching me.  It's almost cute when he has that uncertain expression on his face, waiting for me to give some kind of sign for what I need.

Clenching his shirt to pull him near, I bury my head in the soft fabric heated by his warmth.  I cry.  For once it's not from hormones or general frustration, but truly my own emotion.  There's a burning ache in my chest, and I want to scream out loud to make it go away, but instead it's the tears that find their way out of me.  A strong hand rests against the back of my head, not massaging or hugging but merely showing his support for when I'm ready.

My voice is rough when I finally manage to speak.  "I chose wrong."

"About what?"

"About all of this.  I'm not fit to be a father, let alone... Hyne, what am I?"

"A mother.  Just because you are the exception to the rule that women give birth, it doesn't make you anything less.  And who the hell is filling your head with ideas that you aren't able to raise a kid?

"It's the truth.  A man called Shiva's Lover just can't--"

"Oh, shove it.  Take it from the guy who gave you that nickname - it's a fucking lie.  Now, who told you this?  One of those doctor bitches, wasn't it?  All high 'n' mighty because of some pathetic letters at the end of their names."

"You're biased."

"That just means I know you.  Face it, you'll be a great mother, father, or whatever the hell you want to be called.  Just in your own way.  Don't worry, I'll certainly make up the balance."

I'm not certain whether to take that as a threat or a promise.  "You're going to make a horrid father, aren't you."

"Damn right.  The way you'll be overprotecting the brat, someone will have to toughen him up."

"Me overprotecting?"

"Look at the way you handled Rinoa, carrying her all the way here from FH.  Better yet, jumping into space without a plan of how to bring her back safely.  What were you thinking?"

"Clearly, I wasn't," I mutter in reply.  In truth, I couldn't stop replaying the vision of Rinoa as she leaned over to revive the man we had battled with, Seifer walking away without sparing a glance at me.  It had cut deeply, especially when I was just then coming to terms with my condition.  I needed Rinoa at that point.  To smile at me, tell me everything would turn out fine.  And among our group, she's the only other one who knows about this second side of the blonde bully.  I needed that connection back to him.

"Whatever you want me to believe.  Mommy."

I cringe.  "I am not going to be called 'mommy'."

A deep, conspiring chuckle comes from him.  "You know, I think I like the sound of that.  Maybe I can make it his first word."

"You wouldn't."

"Payback's a bitch, Headmaster.  Don't tell me you didn't expect some kind of revenge for making me your lackey."

"But... mommy?  That's... that's just--"

"Absolutely perfect in so many ways."

"At this rate, you do realize you won't live long enough to witness his first birthday."

He kisses my forehead.  "That's the man I worship.  Stop worrying so much."

"... ..."  It's always so simple for him.  'Do what your guts tell you and you'll survive just fine, pretty boy.'  No thoughts.  No reason.  Only his romantic dreams giving him the goals to strive for.  Sometimes I wonder if those dreams were put on hold so he could take care of me.  I'm too afraid to ask.

"Come on, Mommy.  Time for dinner."

And I swear, the moment I find Lion Heart, his romantic dreams will end permanently.


It's annoying to stare at the blue screen that blocks my view, knowing my body is being attacked in a way I would have never imagined only a year ago.  Focusing on the beeps of nearby monitors, I zone out the tones of the doctors speaking.  No use getting upset over their comments now.  Though, it's not like I'm clear headed enough to truly want to focus on those words.

Standing with his back firmly to the surgery, Seifer watches me and speaks random nonsense.  He has already stated his refusal to see me sliced open and bleeding before him ever again.  Not that I can blame him, but damn it, I want to know what's happening while my midsection is numbed from pain.  This is my body, and I'm just not comfortable having people do whatever they want to me.

"Absolutely incredible," I hear the male doctor state.

Though I feel barely anything, there is the mild sensation of some pressure and pulling.  Then eventually there is the healthy cry of one cold and unhappy kid.  Unable to resist any longer, Seifer looks over his shoulder at the scene taking place.

"Shit, he's... he's so purple."

I can't help a grin at his unusually goofy smile.  The proud father.  Hyne, I never thought him the type, but he has certainly proved himself to me over the past difficult months.  And now... I don't think I've ever loved him more than at this moment.  Taking the hand near me, I regain the blonde's attention.

"Love you."

The smile vanishes momentarily in surprise before returning even broader than before at the words I had never said out loud in our previous years.  It's so peaceful at that instant with Seifer beaming at me and the life we created testing out the limits of his small lungs in the background.

Then without warning, it was all gone into darkness.


Knowing I'm awake, it is somewhat disconcerting to require effort in order to open my eyelids.  They refuse my demands for some time before dim light replaces the darkness.  Staring at the familiar ceiling of my room in the presidential building, I lie there doing nothing, not even thinking.  It feels nice to simply be for the moment.

Turning my head to the side, I find Seifer sitting still in a nearby chair, elbows on his knees and head in his hands.

"Seifer..."  It's harder than I would have thought to speak.  Water would be nice right now.

He jerks up straight in his chair, green eyes wide as he stares at me for several heartbeats.  Slowly he stands up to tower over me, a couple fingers tracing along my cheek as he looks at me with redden eyes.  Only once before have I seen such an expression on his face, eons ago on the night Isan was conceived.

"Isan... The operation... Did something happen?"

His eyes narrow.  "You asshole.  Never say you love me again.  Never."

Both the words and the tone of them frighten me, but I don't dare let that show in my expression.  Not trusting words, I can only stare at the blonde in hopes that he would explain, though I almost dread the meaning behind the harsh demand.

Dropping to his knees, Seifer rests his head on the mattress while one hand grasps blindly for mine.  "You were dead for two minutes.  The Phoenix Downs and Life spells couldn't revive you.  That guy doc then used some machine to pump electricity into you, and your body would jerk up from the table... I couldn't..."

The sight of a tear running down his face unbalances me - Seifer does not cry.  And yet he is over my brush with death.  A death he couldn't prevent.  I wouldn't be surprised if he believes himself directly responsible for it.

"Why then?  Why just after telling me...?"

"Seifer--"

"No.  Just, don't ever say it again.  I know it anyway, so words are rather meaningless."

Liar.  But for now, I'll let him hide from his fears of causing me more harm within our lifetimes.  "Get me some water and then I want you to lie down.  When's the last time you slept?"

He stands to follow my order.  "A few nights ago.  Couldn't the night before the operation and last night, well, can't let some idiot keep an eye over you."

While he goes into the bathroom, I sit up to lift the sheets and loose shirt in order to look at my stomach.  A thin, horizontal line remains from the cure spells they probably used on the incision.  Noting the lack of typical muscle definition, I feel pathetically weak.  Being pregnant, I had an excuse.  But now, even though only a day or two past the delivery, I hate this evidence of degraded strength.

"Here."  Seifer hands me the glass of water, then crawls over me to lie down on his side of the bed.  Strong arms wrapping protectively around my waist, he almost forces me flat onto the mattress.

"Go to sleep.  I'll lie down once I finish this."

He frowns a little, but then relents as his eyelids close.  Sipping the refreshing water, I watch as bit by bit he relaxes into deep sleep.  He's so handsome when he isn't trying to maintain the badass image.  Almost soft in appearance.  Hoping not to wake Seifer, I carefully move back so that I can lean against the headboard while watching him.

Some time later, a soft knock sounds before the door opens quietly.  "Seifer, I thought I told you--"

"Shhh."

Dr Kadowaki blinks at the sight of me awake, then continues with a lower voice.  "Oh.  I didn't realize.  How do you feel, dear?"

"Fine.  Seifer's exhausted, though."

"His own fault for that one.  I told him to use another room and I'd wake him the moment you were up."

"Isan..."

"Softly snoring in the next room.  If you're up for it, I can bring him in."

Why does the mere thought of my son bring a smile to my lips?  "I'd like that."

"Would you mind if a visitor comes in as well?  She's been a worse wreck than Seifer."

She?  "I don't mind."

Dr Kadowaki goes back out the door, propping it open with her foot as she speaks to someone sitting directly outside.  The words are too soft for me to hear, though a small disagreement seems to take place.  A deeper tone that I recognize instantly as Laguna's joins in the discussion.  Eventually the door is pushed wide open for the visitor to come in.  Edea appears in the doorway, Laguna ushering her forward.

"Matron."

At the sight of me, fresh tears flow from her already redden eyes.  With long, quick strides she is suddenly hugging me, one arm cradling my head close to her chest as the other wraps around my shoulder.  Confused, I look to my father for any kind of explanation, but he only shakes his head before leaving the room.

"My child, how will you ever forgive me?"

"You haven't done anything, Matron."

"Which is to my shame.  If you had died..."  She kisses my head.

"Explain."

Edea hesitates before speaking.  "I remember some of my time under Ultimecia's control.  The reasons she desired Ellone, for instance.  And what she had planned for you.  I swear, I had thought the spell failed or the baby lost after all you went through.  You never let on that you were hiding this.  Just recently when Cid mentioned Dr Kadowaki taking her first vacation ever, did I connect it with your disappearance."

"My condition wasn't your responsibility."

"You don't understand.  Ultimecia knew Seifer's thoughts.  She knew impregnating you wouldn't be an issue, but your death... Seifer would have never been able to kill you after the birth of a child.  In fact, she was worried he would regain his senses from such a situation.  She cursed you to die once the child was born, no magic able to revive you.  The ultimate Knight would be hers and Seifer in grief would that much easier to control.  And I knew this."

Yet another person trying to take blame when it's not hers to claim.  "But you didn't know I was pregnant."

"Nonetheless, I should have been more observant."

Hands on her waist, I gently push her from me to form eye contact.  "Matron, I'm alive and well.  I have a son, more so Seifer's child.  I'm happy."

The light brown eyes blink away moisture before narrowing as she smiles weakly.  "Foolish child, seeing things so plainly.  And I should be comforting you instead of this."

"He forgives you already," comes a mutter from the pillow.

I look at the blonde from the corner of my eye.  "I thought you were sleeping."

Seifer rises up on his elbow.  "Like I could with this noise.  Matron.  Good to see you relatively well."

"Seifer.  It truly pleases me to find you here with Squall."

He grunts out something resembling an 'of course' statement. 

According to the blonde, he had made peace with Edea a couple months after the incident, but I can still feel the tension between the former sorceress and knight.  A shame since Matron is the only mother Seifer knows.  With myself holding just vague images and stories about my own mother, Edea certainly has an important role in my life.

The door opens once again, Dr Kadowaki holding a bundle of blankets in her arms.  With a soft pat to my shoulder, Edea leaves the room to give us privacy.  After softly spoken instructions, the doctor lets me hold my son for the first time.  His head is too small, too fragile lying on my open hand as his eyelids flutter open to reveal green eyes muted with gray undertones.  He considers me briefly before yawning and closing his eyes once more.

Seifer rests his head on my shoulder to look at our son.  "Are you sure he's ours?  I don't see a scar on his forehead."


|Seifer|

For the millionth time this morning, I remind myself I love this banshee within my hold.

"Damn it, Squall!  Would you get in here already?"

Finally I hear footfalls heading in this direction.  "Thought you said you could handle it."

Merely the sound of his mother's voice compels Isan to tone down his wails to quiet, shorter cries.

"And that was over twenty minutes ago.  You could have come over to saved me at any point, ya know.  Take the brat and--"  I turn to find the brunette leaning against the door frame, blue-gray eyes hinted with a look I haven't seen in a long time.  "Mmm, I've missed the leather pants."

"I was afraid they wouldn't fit yet."  He undoes the lower buttons of his shirt, separating the ends to show the low waist line.  "But miraculously they do."

"Squall, I'd love to, but we have a small problem here."  I move the crying Isan to my other shoulder.

"We?  I'm fine, myself."  Another button slips from its hole.  "In fact, I feel really good."

"Don't make me drop your only son."

"You won't."

All the buttons undone, he opens the white shirt to reveal the body I will never stop worshipping.  After only a few weeks of some training in addition to the typical teenage metabolism, Squall's figure is lean but still has a softer, more feminine appearance.  As always, it's irresistible.  The shirt slips off his shoulder closest to me, the urge to nip and taste the exposed skin just barely won over by the whimpering cries at my ear.  Smirking at my disadvantaged position, he wraps his hands around to the back of his neck and then rakes thin fingers up through the thick, recently shortened hair.  His pelvis pushed forward and arms reached high above him, he stretches along the doorframe.

"Isan, do you see what your mommy is doing?" I say softly into the small ear, though my eyes are fixed ahead on the delectable sight.

Lowering his arms, Squall places a finger against his mouth in a shushing sign, eyes blazing at my continued use of the hated parental term.  He then takes the finger into his mouth and sucks on it lightly.  Taking it back out, he runs the moist finger along his chin and continuing down his neck to the chest below.  With closed eyes and a slightly parted mouth, he takes a cold puckered nipple between his finger and thumb, rolling the nub gently. 

Meanwhile, his other hand that had been resting on his head with fingers clutching the dark locks in time with his ministrations, makes its move, raking trimmed nails along skin, over ribs, and to his bare stomach.  A long finger plays with the rim of his navel, the muscles clenching at the ticklish feel.  Eventually the hand travels the short distance lower to cup the leather constrained bulge.

"Nh, Seifer..." he moans, eyes half opening to peer at me through thick lashes.

My mouth feeling dry, my only response is the painful twitch of my cock.

"Put Isan to bed, and then it's my turn."

Blinking back into reality, I look over at the little guy on my shoulder.  "When did he fall asleep?"

"Sometime between nipple and navel.  Now hurry."

Despite the blood rushing through my body, I manage to carefully place our son in the crib and cover him with a couple small blankets.  After a whispered wish for sweet dreams, I tackle the teasing brunette still leaning in the doorway, forcing him further back into our bedroom.

"Are you going to be doing that every time I have to calm him down?"

"You try too hard.  He doesn't like quick movements."

"Now, who did he get that from?"

Before Squall can answer, I press my lips hard against his while my hand moves from his waist to the hardness digging into my thigh.  The groan he produces into my mouth vibrates throughout me, creating a heady feel of power and control.  With stumbling steps, I manage to back him up to the bed and push him onto the mattress with a satisfying bounce.  Still standing, I quickly take off my t-shirt and shuck off the interfering pants, my eyes only getting glances of the man lying passively on the dark comforter.  Stripped of clothing, I get to work on the task of removing the mere two belts securing his pants.

"I love you."

My hands still instantly in their task, panic flooding every sense.  Looking up, I find blue-gray eyes filled with content gazing at me while the corner of his lips curl into a lazy smile.  The irrational fear of his death at those words evaporates to be replaced by cold anger.

"I told you--"

"Seifer.  I can't live a life where you think I'd die from loving you."

"But, you..."  He can't understand the feel of his limp hand sliding from mine.  The realization that I had no power to save him, especially when the fault was mine for the whole situation.  The sight of his slit open body jumping from the table in the attempt to restart the dead heart.  And all of it happening with the echoes of 'love you' within my mind.

"Don't deny that you need to hear those words from me."

"I don't, damn it.  I've never needed to hear words from you.  I know your thoughts without anything spoken."

"You know, but you can't be certain."

"I am about you."

"Are you never going to tell your son that you love him for fear of his death?"

Clutching the comforter and closing my eyes, I can only whisper back at him.  "Fuck you."

He leans up, a cool hand caressing my cheek.  "I love you."

"Please, stop saying that."

"No."  Warm breath graces my lips.  "I love you, Seifer.  I'm sorry it took so long to say."

I dare to open my eyes and look straight into his, my breath halting at the lack of shields in those stormy blues.  There is nothing for me to assume or wonder in connection with his thoughts and emotions, everything bared before me without hesitation.  Hyne, how did I end up with this man?

Grabbing his shoulders, I push him back down onto the mattress and stare into those revealing eyes.  As he lies completely relaxed beneath me, the blue-gray seems to deepen in color as Squall waits for my next action.  So damn trusting, this fool.  Loosening my grip, I run rough fingertips down his body, taking pleasure in every shiver I cause.  I reach the the waistband of the soft leather, quickly releasing him from the pants.  Kneeling between his legs that hang off the mattress edge, I remove the pants entirely and toss them to the side.

Leaning forward, I take his partially harden length in hand and rub it against my cheek.  Straight before me is the thin scar that our son came through into this world.  At times it's impossible to believe it ever happened, that I'll wake up from this dream.  But so far, my dreams have only been interrupted by a piercing cry from Isan or else the alarm clock reminding us it's feeding time.

After a quick lick to the redden head for warning, I take his penis whole into my mouth.  Squall moans as his hips rise once sharply but then still to let me have my way with him.  I adore him for granting me such power.  With a rough tongue and grazing teeth, I work him back to a harden state.  Once the tone of his noises rise in pitch, I draw back with a flick of my tongue against the tip, and then stand up.  One knee on the bed, I place a hand between his legs and insert a finger deep into him.  While I stroke carefully, I bend forward to kiss the shoulder that had called to me earlier, making certain to leave my mark there.

Deciding when he has been driven far enough, I take my place between his legs and pull him to the very edge of the mattress.  With his thighs clamped tightly around my waist, I spare a moment to look at the layout before me.  A faint flush of red colors his face as he gazes at me with barely opened eyes and his white shirt still on but wide open.  Seeing him like this, I start vague plans for his future office in Esthar Garden and him lying helpless in a large chair ordered special for a Headmaster.  The image in mind, I thrust forward into him.

Hot.  Tight.  Beautiful.  Fucking is nothing but move in, slide out and repeat.  Simple motions that create so much pleasure, the intensity increasing all the more when you know that hole belongs solely to you.

Squall comes before me, the white ribbons of cum splattering between us.  His body stretched bow tight for those seconds makes me smile, the taste of power flavoring my mouth as if the passion I cause within the lithe body could break him if I so desired.  One of his hands on my back drifts upward to squeeze the base of my neck, triggering the sensitive spot there to make me release deep within him.

Both of our breaths are ragged as I rest there, still sheathed in the heated flesh.  His hand massages gently in its position until we regain some kind of equilibrium.  Eventually I pull out of him, wrap my arms around his waist, and heave us up further on the bed to lie down fully.  Grabbing a pillow, I pull off its covering to wipe the cum off from the two of us and toss the thing to the side of the bed, not caring about the halfhearted glare Squall sends my way.

"If you have enough energy to do laundry, be my guest."

He sighs then rolls tight against me.  "Set the alarm for two hours."

"Ugh, this is worse than training.  At least then we knew it'd be over in a week or two."

Not getting a response, I look down at his head lying in the crook of my arm, his eyes closed in the attempt to fall asleep quickly and thus gain the maximum amount of rest he can.  Truly, I shouldn't be the one to complain.  Just lately I've been getting up to help with the feedings.  He's still sleep deprived from the months of pregnancy, or perhaps in a sense he is used to this by now.  I can't be sure, the way he holds in much of his thoughts, especially with the effects of hormones disappearing along with the once existing female anatomy.

At least he hasn't held in everything.  Reluctantly I have to admit I'm relieved to know for certain that he cares for me, that I'm not just here for the physical reasons or because I happen to be the unexpected father.  Squall said he loved me, the action more than the words meaning everything to me.  And fuck him for knowing me far too well.


After the loud knocks at the front door, the second warning I have of visitors is the squealing tones that sound remarkably like 'Squall'.  Sighing, I sneak into the kitchen first to grab a few bottles of beer before heading into the living room.  Yes, I know I swore off the stuff almost a year ago, but damn it, I need something to get me through tonight, and since fondling Squall isn't allowed...

"Seifer!  It's been too long."  Rinoa comes straight for me, wrapping arms around my neck.

I hug the dark haired woman.  "Hey, doll face.  And what do you mean it's been too long?  We called you the other week."

She pulls back with a pout.  "That's not the same as in person, and you know it.  So, how are you?"

"Tired."

Before she can question me, I move to the couch where Zell and Irvine had planted themselves while Quistis and Selphie were trying to interrogate the quiet brunette.  Holding up the bottles with a questioning glance, the two men extend their hands out appreciatively.  They take a long drink of the alcohol before Zell speaks up.

"We let Selphie fly the Rag."

And that's all there really needed to be said about that.  While I haven't experienced it myself, Squall has gone into vague details about some frightening flights.  Though ironically, the rough movements had counteracted his morning sickness at the time.

"So spill it, man.  Why the hell are you two way out here?"

I grin widely, but hold back the several snide comments that pop into mind in relation to body odor and general annoyance.  Anyhow, it'd be too easy to get a rise out of the small guy that way.

"Actually, that's why I had Rinoa bring everyone."  Squall motions for the ladies to sit down, myself moving onto the armrest so that Quisty could have a seat on the couch.  "First, I'm sorry for running off."

"Ya better be.  Quistis had to pick up the slack for you, Mr Commander."

"Zell, hush.  Don't worry about it, Squall.  I'm certain you had your reasons for not wanting to talk with us.  Though I am curious why..."  She looks at me, a touch of hurt in her eyes that I was trusted with Squall's secrets while no one else was even allowed a hint.

"Seifer and I are involved.  He had the right to know."

As the seconds counted down to understanding, I take the moment to place the beer on the table, get up from my seat and stand by Squall's side.  An arm wrapped possessively around his waist, I try not to leave much room for question in his previous statement.  Already knowing many details about the relationship, Rinoa smiles with dark eyes warming at the sight of us together.

The first to get a clue, Selphie clasps her hands together as she smiles broadly.  "That's so awesome!  I always thought you two would look hot in bed together.  I want pictures!"

"Personally, I want video--"  Squall elbows me in the stomach.  Hard.

Zell shakes his head, blue eyes wide open.  "No way.  I can't believe it.  Maybe Squall I can get being gay, I mean the looks and leather and all, but Seifer?  It's not freaking possible."

"You two could prove it to us," happily offers the girl from the cowboy's lap.

Before I can accept the request, Squall states firmly, "Not happening."

Irvine and Quistis stay silent during continued begging from the hyperactive girl.  The cowboy just looks amused with that grin of his, but he hasn't seen Squall and I together since childhood so he has little to base judgment on.  The instructor frowns in thought, probably upset with herself for missing something so big between her two problem students.

"Anyhow, that isn't the reason I wanted you here.  I did have a reason for leaving, and decided I was ready to tell you all.  Especially since we've been through so much together."

Five pairs of eyes ranging in color lock firmly onto the brunette, waiting for the answers to their questions over the year.  Instead of speaking right away, he whispers to me that he'll be right back and then walks off.  Eyes switch directly to me, the pressure of their gazes instantly felt.

"Is he dying?" Rinoa asks softly.

"We've told you time and time again.  He is not dying."

"I know that's what you said, but why else would you two be so secretive to the point of moving way out here?  Really, what's wrong with him?"

I suppress a curse at Squall for leaving me alone.  "He's fine.  He just kind of..."  I can't say it.  Out loud, it's too ridiculous.

Luckily I don't need to as Squall returns with a small bundle in his arms, Isan whimpering softly at being wakened too soon before a feeding time.  Instantly the three girls stand up and walk over to see the infant, voices directly going to the cooing tone only babies receive.

"And who do we have here?"

"Isan.  My son."

I could almost hear the heads snap up at the comment.

Rinoa gains her voice first.  "But... when?  With whom?  I thought you only had been with Seifer."

Squall shifts uncomfortably, then looks intently at Isan while he speaks.  "Ultimecia did something to me while I was separated from everyone directly after the failed assassination.  Shortly after, I was impregnated.  The whole situation was too embarrassing to go through in public, so I decided to leave Garden.  When my father found out accidentally, he offered for me to live here.  Isan was born a little over a month ago."

Again there is a long expanse of silence before Selphie speaks up.  "Sweet Hyne, Squall is a mommy!"

He flinches at the term, cold eyes instantly glaring my way in accusation.  I can't hold back my laughter.  "I swear, I said nothing about it."

The action draws attention away from Squall and to me, a pair of eyes widening with increased realization.  Rinoa tries to vocalize the thought, "Seifer, are you...?"

Smirking, I stand proud.  "Just call me Daddy."

"Holy shit," comes the comment from the couch, Zell holding his head between two hands.  "I don't wanna know.  I really don't wanna know."

"Come on, Chickenwuss.  Do you need me to go into detail about where babies come from?"

"No, I don't.  And stop calling me that!"

"I only call what I see, small stuff."

He growls something in response, but he's in too much shock from the previous announcements to bother with real words.

"Squall, can I hold him?"

"Sure, just be certain to support his head." 

He hands the baby over to Rinoa, doe eyes sparkling at the experience of having a small child within her arms.  She goes to the sofa chair to sit down, Selphie standing nearby to play a peek-a-boo game with the wide eyed Isan.  Poor kid.  Meanwhile, Quisty questions the brunette intently about the entire pregnancy, her first question of course being how the child survived within him through Time Compression.

Already hearing the answers to her questions several times by now, I rejoin the guys on the couch, retaking my beer from the coffee table.  Zell jumps with me sitting near him, blue eyes narrowing as if prepared to defend himself.

"Chill it, Chickenwuss.  I'm not going to start humping you simply because you know I fuck men.  Squall and I were an item long before the war crap, so nothing is different in that regard."  I guzzle down some of the warming alcohol, craving the minor buzz.

"...Really?"

"Trust me, you are no where near my type."

He huffs, cheeks full and red.  "Not that.  I mean you and Squall.  All this time, you've been..."

"Fucking like confused rabbits?  Damn right."

Shaking his head, Zell goes into a zoning state to try and figure out this whole scene.  Don't blame the chickie too much.  I'd act much the same way if I was told he has been going to gay clubs every night for a good whipping.

"I'm impressed, blondie.  From the stories I've heard, you don't seem the type to settle down."  Lazy smile in place, Irvine looks far too comfortable with everything happening around him.  Does anything bother the guy?

"To say the least, this wasn't planned for my future.  But... I couldn't let Squall do this on his own."

Zell eyes me with part wonderment in the clear blues.  "You give a shit."

"Of course I give a shit about Squall.  Have you been listening at all tonight?"

The time of chit-chat ends abruptly when Isan starts that little coughing cry of his whenever he feels grumpy without reason.  Squall takes the blanket bound child from Rinoa's lap and whispers softly to his son.  Stormy eyes meet briefly with mine before he turns to the hallway.  The empty beer bottle placed onto the table, I quickly join the man with our friends left behind.

In the nursery, he rocks slowly with Isan held by his shoulder.  Without ruining his rhythm, I step up behind and wrap arms around his waist for our baby slow dance.  The cries already quieting to annoyed whimpers, it doesn't take long before Squall puts the sleeping boy to bed, stroking the dark hair gently before pulling back.

"Are you okay, love?"

He nods.  "I imagined worse."

"That doesn't surprise me.  You know, it won't be the same between you guys."

"We all have to grow up sometime."

"Mmm, but I don't wanna," I mumble against the corner of his mouth.

He turns his head enough for a chaste kiss, the brief taste not nearly enough to get me through the night, but I'll make do somehow.

The quiet moment is ruined with the cry of "Whoot!  I saw them!" as Selphie runs back down the hallway.

"If they are staying the night, remind me to lock the door."

Scowling at the now empty doorway, Squall grunts out his agreement.


I lean against the front of the large desk, arms held across my chest.  Thus far I haven't bothered paying attention to the meeting taking place within this office, but hearing the keywords that signal the approaching end of this mission wrap up, I look to the side as Squall stands with a hand held out straight.

"If you need our assistance again, we are pleased to serve."

The gray suited politician stands as well, but eyes the hand warily for a brief moment while considering what kind of damage that hand could cause.  "Thank you.  We've always been pleased by the success of SeeD members from Esthar and hope to do business again."  He pumps the hand once, then proceeds to slowly flee from the room.

It took me a good few months before I could stop myself from laughing at the way people fear this Lion, though it had been satisfying the way my laughter could make those tight asses move even faster out of the office.

The door slides open before him, a small form instantly running inside.  "Mommy!"

Stunned into place at seeing the four-year-old within Garden walls, the politician man stares dumbly as Isan moves quickly around the desk and tugs on the shirt ends to be lifted up.  Sighing, Squall picks up his son and sets him on the desk top, then smoothes out the wild hair as best he can without a gallon of mousse.

"You know what?  Grandpa took me to see monsters.  Big ones, too!"

Another strides into the room, Laguna scratching the back of his head.  "Sorry about that.  He's still a bit excited about the zoo."  Blinking, he turns to face the extra man in the room.  "Ah, Schmidt.  Long time no see.  How's your old man?"

Snapping out of his surprised state of mind, the man straightens instantly.  "President Loire.  An honor.  My father is doing well.  He speaks of you often."

"Good to hear.  Well, hate to keep you when you're obviously on your way out.  Travel safely." 

Meanwhile, I would have stayed with the clearer 'get the fuck out of here' type comment.  If he knows what is good for his country, Laguna had better not try convincing Squall to take up the presidential title, since where the brunette goes, I follow.  Unfortunately, the older man doesn't seem to understand the problem with that.

After a quick nod, the politician rushes out to the far elevator, the door soon shutting out the sign of him.

"And you know what?  There was a boat-he-moth.  Grandpa says you fight 'em all the time."

"No, not all the time.  And it's Behemoth."  I adore the way he speaks to our boy, Squall being the only one I know who resisted the baby talk crap, which I reluctantly admit to stooping to.  As with everyone else he encounters, he talks to Isan with plain and honest words.

"Oh... And you know what?  There were dragons, too.  Grandpa says the teeth are bigger than me!"

"Sounds like you had a good time.  Did you have anything to eat yet?"

"Un!  I got ice cream wit sprinkles."

I snicker.  "You are busted, old man."

"Dad, I told you no sweets until after lunch."

"But... but he did that wide eyed look with the pout.  And we did walk around a lot, Isan staying by my side the whole time."

Squall glances at me and mutters, "I know that look well."  He lifts Isan back to the floor.  "You go with your grandfather and get cleaned up so we can have lunch in town."

"Can we go to that place?  Wit the fishies?"

"Since you've been good today, I don't see why not."

"Thanks, Mommy!"  He hugs a belted leg before scampering off with Laguna.

In time with the door closing, Squall drops into his chair and places his forehead on the solid surface.  "Hyne help me, I just realized how I've gotten used to that ridiculous term."

"Oh, give in already.  It's been four years."  I walk around to the other side of the desk.

"This is all your fault, bastard."

"You're welcome."  I swivel the chair towards me.  "Just think of the irony - the most feared man on the planet is mommy."

He tries to look at me as if I were insane, but the small smile reveals his hidden amusement.  "I thought you were the most feared man around."

"Mmm, but I can't seem threaten this one man no matter what I do."  Leaning forward, I lick and kiss along his neck.

"We have lunch plans."

"Knowing Laguna, it'll take until dinner for him to get that brat under control."

"Seifer..."

"I still haven't gotten around to fucking you in that chair."

"And you won't.  Our clients sit there."

"So damn straight laced.  A guy would think I could corrupt you by now."

He gasps when I take the small Adam's apple between teeth and flick my tongue against the trapped portion of neck.  "If you're a good boy, I may change my decision about the elevator."

Suddenly the door opens, and a young voice speaks out.  "Daddy!  Stop eating Mommy."

"I don't know, kiddo.  He tastes really good."

"Nooo.  We're gonna have lunch wit the fishies." 

As expected, the little guy gets me from behind in order to protect his mother.  But damn, the brat almost pulls my leg straight out from under me.  When the hell did he get big enough to do that?  Bending down, I pluck him off my leg and swing him over my shoulder face up, his belly exposed for easy torture.

"Daddy, dooon't!  Stop!"  He laughs loudly at the tickling, the sound reminding me of the days when Squall would laugh in the exact same tone.  It was far too long ago.

"Alright, I won't stop."

"Noooo!  Mom... Mommy, save me!" he sputters out in laughter.

Squall stands up, small smirk in place.  "You have to fight your own battles, Isan.  Or else surrender to the enemy's terms."

"Hear that, brat?  You're going to have to help me wash the car this weekend if you surrender."

"O...okay!  Surrender!"

Immediately I stop the torment and help him slide to the floor.  After a spare moment to catch his breath, Isan looks up at me with a perfect example of the Almasy pout.  Too bad for him that I have a natural immunity.  Hand on his head, I push him forward to the open doorway where Laguna has been waiting all this time.

The hairs on my neck prickle slightly at the feeling of being closely observed, and I turn to find Squall still standing behind his desk.  He looks at us with half open eyes, taking in the sight of his complete family.  Squall told me once that every now and again when he watches us like this, he is wondering if this is the time when we will walk out of his life to never return.  No words could really elevate the fears of a child deserted time and time again.  I should know.  Grinning, I extend a hand out to Squall and coax him forward to join us.  Once he takes the hand, I pull him close to me.

"We can't go anywhere without you, love."

A vague smile appears with a hint of relief in the curl of lips.  "Then let's go eat with the fishies."

 

{Owari}

 

Author's Note - Well, that be all for this ficcie.  While it was Kuja's Moon that pushed me over the edge to do another mpreg, I have to blame Necromage as well for setting me up for the fall by convincing me that I didn't completely screw up the first mpreg I did.  No clue if there will be more mpregs in my future, but at least I'm feeling a bit more comfortable with writing these things.

Anywho, doing this relatively large final part, decided I didn't need an epilogue.  Whee.  I may do a sequel based on Isan, but don't expect anything in the near future.  Someday a plot line will get into my head and demand to be written.  Until then... *runs away*