Imperfect Life
July 2003

 

Small feet waded through the growth of wild flowers and weeds while green eyes scanned the field in search of a familiar form.  In time the blonde boy set his eyes on another child sitting in a tight ball under a gathering of thin trees, the small boy almost unnoticed in the spotty shade.  Hesitating only slightly, the fair haired youth continued forward to the brunette, his footsteps purposefully loud to announce his presence to the other boy.

"You weren't at our spot," he said to the seated brunette.

The boy didn't glance up at the words, and instead tightened his hold around bent legs as he shifted away from the blonde.

"Come on, you still mad at me?  It's not my fault I'm older than you..."

"... ..."

"Look at me, Squall."

"... ..."

Squatting next to the boy, the blonde tried to steal a glance at the face pressed against the raised legs.  "Please?  I don't wanna leave with you mad at me."

"You promised," came a muffled voice filled with hurt and accusation.

"It's not like I wanna go.  Matron says I haveta.  And you always tell me to do what Matron says."

The brunette looked up sharply, his blue-gray eyes moist but no tears flowed.  "Not this."

"Sorry.  I tried..."  Sighing, the larger boy sat heavily next to the boy and wrapped his arms around him.  "Matron says when yer old enough, you get to come, too.  Then we never haveta be apart."

Sniffling, the small boy leaned into the hug.

"You'll see.  Everything will be good."  After a short time of sitting in silence, the blonde then said, "Um, I kinda have to go.  I tried to find you earlier, but you weren't in the normal spots..."

Abruptly, the large boy was shoved aside with enough force to land him on his back.  He looked up with wide green eyes at the brunette straddled over him, the boy's lower lip trapped between his teeth in an uncertain expression.  Before the blonde could ask anything, the smaller boy quickly leaned down to kiss the slightly parted lips.  The kiss didn't last long, the brunette then up and running in a direction away from the orphanage.

Dazed, the blonde continued to lie on his back for some time before slowly getting to his feet.  He walked at a lagging pace to the small building that had been his home for years, but no longer.  Alone in the flower field, no one witnessed him angrily wiping away his tears.


[Seifer]

With the smell of hotdogs and other mystery meats ripe in the air, I enter the cafeteria feeling rather good with myself.  There's nothing quite like leaving Garden for a day or two to escape the nonsense of classes and teachers.  It rarely fails to lift my mood.  Sneering at the idiot card players wasting their time on a simple game, I make my way to the back table where Raijin and Fu are in plain sight.  Dropping into an empty seat, I turn to greet my friends, but I'm instantly met with the unusual event of both DC members scowling at me.

"Well, nice to see you, too," I growl out.

"Rage," Fujin hisses in an oddly low tone.

Raijin's expression falters slightly.  "Come on, Fu.  We gotta give Seifer a chance to explain, ya know."

"Explain what?" I ask, not entirely happy with the idea that I should have to explain anything to my friends.

"Fer blowing off Leonhart last night.  He hung around yer place for hours."

"Why was he... Whoa, wait a fucking minute here.  What do you two have with Leonhart?"

"FRIEND."

I stare at the duo, not quite believing my ears.  "You... you both are now suddenly friends with Shiva's Lover?"

Raijin scratches the back of his head.  "Yeah.  Since you told us to play nice, we found out he's a decent guy, ya know.  And with you gone all the time, we've hung out a bit."

"I haven't been gone so much that you've needed to rely on Leonhart."  Truthfully, I haven't a clue why I'm feeling jealous all of the sudden.  Fuck, I can't even tell what I'm jealous about, whether because Squall took my friends, or because my posse has gotten close to the ice princess when Squall doesn't allow anyone close.  Well, aside from me, of course.

"Actually, you've been missing 'bout half the week fer the past couple of months.  It gets kinda boring without you, ya know."

I frown at the words, not realizing that I've been spending that much time in Timber with my latest conquest.  "Sure you aren't exaggerating about that?"

The big guy shakes his head.

"Shit.  Well, I'll make it up to you both."  Leaning back in my chair, I ask, "And what was that about Leonhart waiting for me last night?"

Fujin scowls further at me.  "YOU ASKED."

"Me?  I didn't tell him... Ah, fuck.  What's today's date?"

"Um, twenty-fourth, I think.  Fu?"

She nods, her one eye still focused on me with clear accusation.

Muttering a mantra of 'shit shit shit' under my breath, I quickly stand up from my chair and rush for the exit of the cafeteria.  After making a quick stop at my room, I decide to first look for Squall in his room before heading all the way to the training center where I figure he should be by this time of the day.  But surprisingly the dorm door opens at my knock, the brunette beauty staring at me with an unreadable expression.

"Hey, there.  I hear you were looking for me last night."

Squall doesn't react in the least to the comment, him simply turning around and walking away as his vague invitation to come inside.  I follow him through the common area and into his own room, myself hitting the button to close the door behind us for some privacy.  Noticing the rumpled sheets of his bed, I frown slightly at the sign that Squall has been spending his free afternoon lying down, which also means that he has been doing some serious thinking.

"Let's end this."

I look up sharply from the bed at Squall's words, but he keeps his back to me.  "What?"

"You're obviously happy with someone else, so there's no need for us."

"Ah, come on.  We don't have end everything just because I missed your birthday.  At least give me the chance to explain?"

He turns around, confusion plain on his face.  "My birthday?"

I resist the urge to laugh.  "Yeah, genius.  It was your birthday yesterday.  Don't tell me that you didn't even remember what day it was."

He shrugs.  "No reason to care about it."

"Well, if you aren't upset about that, then what's all this talk about ending our fling?"

There's a pause before he speaks.  "Last night was the fourth time in six weeks that you've forgotten about meeting with me."

Blinking, I can only stare at him.  Have I really left him hanging four times?

"I don't care who you fuck, but I'm not some toy that you can keep in your room for whenever you want me."

"It's not like that--"

The pure ice of his gaze quiets me.  "Isn't it?"

"No..."

When I can't find the right words to assure Squall about our situation and that he means far more to me than as some boy toy, the brunette turns to retrieve a notebook from his desk and then walks past me for the closed door.  I try to grab a hold of his arm, but he easily dodges the move.

"You aren't leaving this here, Leonhart."

After opening the door, he says, "I promised to meet with Fujin for a study session."

With that implied message that he always keeps his promises, Squall leaves me without a single glance back.


[Squall]

Opening the door to my room, I'm not too surprised to find my lights still on and my bed occupied by the seated blonde.  It was a vague hope that Seifer wouldn't want to stick around to continue our talk, but I should know better when it comes to the man's stubbornness.  I close the door behind me and walk over to the desk to set down my notebook.  Well, at least I got something worthwhile done tonight.  It was a mild shock to learn that Fujin can talk properly when she feels like it, but her request for help in the single course we share was more of a surprise.  Though I have to admit that tutoring her has also helped me get a better feel for the subject.

"Come here."

I don't move at the low voice, nor do I have the desire to point out the obvious that I don't like him ordering me around.

"Fine, stay over there.  I don't give a shit, but you're still going to hear me out."  He sighs, his frustration clear.  "Lately, I've been with this girl in Timber.  It started off with a simple date, but then she found out I'm training for SeeD, so she asked me to teach her how to fight and some other stuff..."

"Are you sleeping with her?" I ask, not too certain why I should care in the first place.

"Yeah.  Second virgin I've ever had."

"... And?"

"And..."  He sighs again.  "I don't want to be gay."

Not expecting such a statement, I turn around with the assumption that Seifer must be teasing me in some way, but his expression is completely serious, perhaps even a bit pained as he avoids direct eye contact.

"You don't want to be gay," I repeat incredulously.

"It's just that we've been together for over a year, and for awhile there it was only you, so that means I enjoy men more than women, but that shouldn't be possible 'cause, well, I'm me, and I can't be gay."  He takes a deep breath to continue with the almost frantic rambling.  "But even though I have this girl all hot for me in Timber, I can only think of you, so I've stayed away.  But now you want to end everything...  Shit, I'm such an idiot."

"Yes, but that's nothing new."  I walk up to the bed and sit next to him.  "What's wrong with being gay?"

He stiffens at the question.  "Nothing... when it's someone else," he adds with a mutter.

I can't resist a smile.  "What's wrong?  Afraid that you suddenly become weaker?  That you have to develop a lisp?  Or maybe that you'll get fucked for once?"

He looks over sharply at me, his eyes bright with both anger at being insulted and something else closer to true fear.

"It's just a term, Seifer.  Anyway, you would technically be bisexual.  I'm the gay one."

"No, you aren't--"

I shake my head.  "If we're naming things, I'm gay.  I've only been with you."

"And it doesn't bother you?"

"Why should it?"

He smirks weakly.  "You're an apathetic freak.  Does nothing bother you?"

"Broken promises," I say softly before I think to stop myself.

Green eyes widen before Seifer frowns.  "There's been a lot of that between us, hasn't there?"

I shrug, suddenly uncomfortable with the situation.

He reaches out a hand, cupping my cheek before leaning in close.  "No more."

I knock away his hand as I glare at him.  "Don't make impossible promises."

Undaunted, Seifer closes the space between us to steal his kiss.  I know there was a time when I hated his kisses, how it typically starts off awkwardly with some body part getting in the way, and then it continues to that horrid wet point when he pointlessly slips his tongue into my mouth.  Well, that's what I used to think.  Then Seifer began to trick me by placing chocolate in his mouth, coaxing me to be more adventurous.  I swear that to this day, I can still taste the bitter sweetness in his mouth whenever we kiss.

The joining breaks, but Seifer doesn't pull away.  "Fuck it to hell, I think I love you."

I lean back to better see his face, but the open expression does nothing to assure me that he is joking.  "No, you don't."

He grins.  "I have to face it - I love a man."

"No.  You don't."

"Just who are you trying to convince here, Squally-boy?"

I continue to stare at him, not understanding where this suddenly coming from.  He doesn't want to admit that he has a gay side, but he can easily say that he loves me?  Why does he always have to make things so confusing and difficult.

"Hey, I'm not expecting you to say anything back.  It's just something I realized and I had to say it out loud.  You know, make it real."

"... ..."

He laughs.  "And no one will mistake you for a romantic, Leonhart.  Hyne, you're hopeless."

Frowning, I try to figure out what romance has to do with anything between us.

"Oh, and before I forget..."  He leans back to reach into his pocket and pulls something out, the small metallic object then placed in my hand.  "Happy birthday."

I look at the pendant and short chain with some confusion.  "Griever?"

"Yeah, it's for your gunblade.  You know, to give a personal touch."

I smile softly.  "Thanks."

"No prob.  And if you want the other half of your gift, we can do that, too," he says while placing a firm hand at my hip.

My smile widens slightly.  "I thought I was ending this."

"Yes, but that was before I said I was sorry and that it's only you from now on.  The women of the world will just have to mourn their loss."

I stare at him for several moments to judge his sincerity and find the blonde serious in his pledge to me.  "Stupid, arrogant bastard," I whisper harshly before silencing any more ridiculous words from the man.


[Seifer]

"Fucking Hyne, can this week get any worse?" I grumble while collapsing onto the single bed in the dimly lit room.  Normally I'd resist such pathetic bitching, but it truly has been a crappy week and it's only Squall with me, so there's no need to maintain any masks.

As expected, Squall doesn't even attempt to console me, the dark-haired youth instead busy with picking up my droppings of shoes, travel bag, and trench coat.  I have to bite my tongue to hold back the comment that he'd make someone a lovely wife in the future.  I really don't need a black eye in addition to the rest of the shit I've gotten this week.

Having no other sources of entertainment, I just lie back and watch my lion move around the hotel room as he places some things in the closet and others in the bathroom.  For perhaps the first time today, I manage a small smile while focused on Squall.  Despite what I would have believed, it's not that hard to stay loyal to one person.  Hell, I did it unintentionally for months earlier in the year.  But I have to assume that I could only do this for Squall.  He doesn't cling, demand for 'quality time', get jealous or suspicious at the drop of the hat, or any of that other crap that tends to happen within a relationship.  With Squall, I'm allowed to breathe.  He doesn't even mind that I'm still helping Rinoa with her so-called resistance group.  What can I say, I'm not immune to the puppy brown eyes on that girl.  That, and I made a promise.

"You look bored."

My smile widens at the sight of Squall finally approaching the bed.  "Nah, just sulking."

He sits on the edge of the mattress to look down at me.  "You're that upset about the cabin?"

I sigh at the mention of the cabin, now lost from a forest fire that had apparently taken place only a month back.  "It's not really the cabin.  I just really loved having a place to run to when I can't stand Garden, and that was always the perfect place to hide away for a week or so."

Squall hums his understanding, though he can't completely understand the trapped feeling I get at Garden.  While he can handle following orders no matter the stupidity, I can't help but to think that my way would be better.  And plenty of times I have been right, but because I've stepped out of line, my role in finishing missions successfully has been completely looked over, while at the same moment, I've been punished for insubordination.  What-fucking-ever.

"And you have to admit, finding that place was practically a miracle.  I'm not going have luck like that again."

Oddly, Squall shakes his head.  "You've always had strikes of amazing luck."

I scoff.  "Yeah, except when it comes to SeeD exams.  I can't believe I blew it a second time."

He cocks his head in the silent question of 'how did you screw it up this time?'.

"It wasn't my fault I got an idiot as a squad leader," I mutter before explaining.  "The ass wanted to go straight through this large group of soldiers while I saw a better place to go around them.  He didn't trust me, so I went by myself.  I got the leader's head before the rest of the squad could get past the front gates.  But because I didn't follow fucking orders and because cadets weren't technically supposed to go into the enemy base, I didn't get promoted."

"You have too much pride."

I glare up at the brunette.  "It wasn't about pride.  My way was best.  Simple as that."

"You won't become a SeeD unless you control yourself."

"Then I won't become a SeeD," I huff.  "I'm not going to pretend someone is right when things could be done better."

"Your choice."

Sighing, I reach up to place a hand behind Squall's head and rake my fingers within the thick locks.  "You know what else pisses me off about losing the cabin?"

"You lost another place to fuck me?"

A laugh escapes me at hearing the words said in such a dry tone.  "Close, but not quite.  I like to think that our first time was there."

Stormy eyes widen slightly before subtle humor returns to his gaze.  "Afraid to remember your lack of skill?"

"What can I say - you look so much like a girl that I thought it'd be the same as the other girls I've fucked."

Squall only scoffs, and then leans back into my hand as I rub his neck.

"So, enough foreplay?"

He looks at me through heavy lidded eyes, the brunette always a sucker for a firm massage.

I grin at the vaguely annoyed expression.  "Come on, with as much as you talk, this should count as a special moment with us having a conversation."

"I talk with you."

"Hn, that's true enough, but it just makes you seem even quieter when you don't say a damn thing when other people are around."

He shrugs.

"Back to more important matters - comfort me."

Smiling his small, amused smile, Squall pulls my hand away from his neck and leans in closer to me.  "Would you like me to suck you off?"

I blink, and then blink once again before I can process those words spoken in his soft voice.  Not trusting my hearing, I ask smoothly, "Wh-what?"

He frowns.  "That is how you say it, right?"

"If you're talking about your mouth on my dick..."

The pout disappears as Squall nods.

"Holy Hyne," I mutter.  So that's what an instant erection feels like.

Taking my stunned state as a sign of consent, the brunette beauty moves lower on the bed to undo my belt and pants, removing them and my boxers without hesitation.  It's not until he spreads my legs that I wake up from my shock and reach up to stop Squall.

"You don't have to.  I know it grosses you out.  And I haven't even showered after all that hiking today."

He shakes his head.  "I want to, so lie back down."

Smirking at his forcefulness, I move back a little to make better use of the pillows to prop me up.  Squall stares at my clear and very needy erection like one would examine a puzzle before attempting to solve it, but after that brief hesitation, he easily takes the sensitive head into his mouth.  I've had plenty of blow jobs in the past, but something about it being my obsessive compulsive lion placing his lips on my body makes the simple sensations many times more powerful.  Clutching the sheets below me, I resist the need to hold onto Squall's head, myself too afraid to push him further than he'd be comfortable with.

For long, teasing moments, Squall focuses on that one area with his lips and teeth while one of his hand strokes lightly along my painfully hard shaft.  If I were to come like that, I'd be certainly happy enough, but surprisingly he gradually takes in more of my cock, beautifully adding pressure with his tongue.  Before I recognize my movement, I have a hand deeply entangled in dark hair as I coax him for more, but he easily ignores my forceful persuasion and continues at his own pace.  He bobs slowly as he goes further, and when he amazingly deep throats me, I moan in ultimate pleasure.  It's indescribable how it feels to see pale lips spread around my length while I can clearly feel my tip brushing against the back of his throat.  And with him looking cross-eyed in such deep concentration... it's simply too much.

"Holy fucking shit... Pull back before I--"  My breathy words are cut off when he lightly fingers behind my balls, a groan practically erupting from me.  I try a few more times to warn him that I'm only human and that I know he hates cum, but every time I try to speak, he easily silences me.  Granted, I don't mind being silenced by mind numbing pleasure, but I just hope to Hyne that he doesn't hate me for soiling his mouth.

With his name not too clear within my cry of final release, I do my best to not thrust hard in Squall's mouth.  Lying back fully and taking deep breaths, I can't hold back a small whine when the brunette continues to suck lightly as he pulls back.  But the passion of the moment quickly evaporates, then leaving me with an unsettling thought.

Glaring at him with half-lidded eyes, I say, "That wasn't your first time."

He glances to the side with an uncertain look.  "Kind of."

"Who was it?"  Still weak from pleasure, my voice doesn't reflect the hot anger I feel at someone else having my lion.  Sure I was the only one to make the pledge to be faithful, and there's the issue that he hasn't even hinted about whether or not he could love me.  But none of that matters, because fuck everyone else to hell, he's mine.

"... ...?"

"Who was it?  Who the fuck were you practicing on?"

He scowls at me.  "I haven't been with anyone else."

"Come on, Squall.  No one deep throats their first time.  Just tell me the bastard's name and I'll promise to kill him quick."

The uncertain look returns.  "I haven't... with anyone.  I read a little bit about it and they say to practice on... on a toy."

My entire body relaxes once I realize that there's no one else, but instantly my curiosity takes over.  "A toy?  And what toy are we talking about here?"

"A dildo," he mumbles.

Oh Hyne, if I hadn't just spent my load...  "You're telling me that you've been using your spare time to suck on a plastic dick?"

"I didn't want to mess up."

Before he can think to resist, I quickly sit up to grab onto him and then force him to lie down next to me.  Rolling over the slender form, I lean up onto my elbows and grin down at him.  "My lovely perfectionist, this I have to see to believe.  Where do you hide it?  Do you touch yourself while practicing?  Shit, why do we have to be all the way in Timber when you tell me this."

He frowns, but the look is weaken by the faint blushing of his cheeks.  "Why does it matter?  I was going to get rid of it after, well, if I could do it okay on you."

"Don't you dare get rid of it.  I want my fun first," I say as I lean down to attack the sensitive point behind his ear.  "And you were far better than 'okay'."

He hums pleased while arching up against my body.

While I proceed to give Squall my thanks for the blowjob, my mind quickly goes down the side path of all the things we could do with this dildo.  Truthfully, I thought Squall would rather cut off my head before he'd ever touch a sex toy, but hearing this, so many new possibilities have opened up on the creativity level.  I'm almost hurt to think about all the hours that have been wasted with Squall hiding behind closed doors as he practiced.  Well fuck, he'll just have to make it up to me.


[Squall]

I step carefully along stony ground, not wanting to trip in the dark of night, or worse, scuff my new boots.  At least the moonlight is bright enough to show the way, and Seifer's trench coat stands out enough such that I can locate him despite the late hour.  He doesn't look back at my approach, only continues to stare out at the dark ocean.  I walk up next to him and stand there without saying anything.

Eventually, Seifer is the one to break the silence.  "You looked good in that SeeD uniform."

"So you were there."

"Yeah.  Helped out that girl from Timber to meet with Cid."

"... ..."  Right, the girl from Timber.  The other virgin he had.  I shouldn't be jealous, especially since Seifer chose me, but the idea that she still hangs onto him and touches him... I wonder if he has noticed how often I coax him into the shower directly after his meetings with this girl and her group.

"I also saw you making a mess of yourself on the dance floor."

I frown.  "I've been dancing with you too much."

He laughs.  "What, forgot how to lead for that first part?"

I'm tempted to point out that Seifer was the one who signed me up for the damn dance classes in which I typically had to be paired with him and other taller teens given the minority of women in the course.  But I say nothing, figuring that the blonde would only find pleasure in hearing that it's his fault.

A loud sigh sounds as Seifer drops onto his back.  "I give up."

I stare down at him, mildly stunned to hear a surrender from the blonde.

"It's a load of bullshit anyway, making me try again, and again, and again for that promotion.  I don't need to be a SeeD to make a name for myself in this world."

"You're quitting Garden?"

He pauses before answering, "I don't know.  I don't like the idea of being a quitter.  Maybe I'll just wait until they won't let me test anymore."

"... If it means anything, I thought you were right about leaving our post."

"Heh.  Actually, it means a lot."

"I was tempted to not accept the SeeD position if you were looked over."

"And yet, a SeeD you have become."

I shrug.  "I get my own room this way."

After a quiet second, Seifer laughs deeply.  "I've corrupted you, Leonhart.  Get down here," he says with a tug on my arm.

I follow the order, but only sit instead of lie down next to Seifer on the rock hard ground.

"Well, Mr. SeeD, since you're going to be getting that nice load of gil coming your way, how about we put it to good use?"

"I'm not buying that sex swing."

He chuckles.  "You will, but actually I was thinking of something a bit bigger.  There's this area on the far side of Balamb where some condos are going to be built.  Right near the ocean.  I was thinking about you and me..."

"Could have a place to run to?"

"Yeah, something like that."

I look down at him, clearly hearing that he wanted to say something else.

"So, you leave tomorrow, right?"

I nod.

"Squally-boy's first mission as a SeeD.  If you want, I can tag along to keep you safe."

"I don't need you, Seifer."

"Hn, guess not."  He sits up with an exaggerated groan, and then leans against me heavily.  "Well, I'll be waiting here for you to come back.  But if you happen to get your ass kicked, make certain that your final thought is about how much you love me."

"You're an idiot."

"So what does that make you for being with me?"

"A fool," I state without hesitation.

He laughs.  "And that's why I love you."

I'm grateful when he says nothing more and we spend the rest of the night in silence.  It annoys me that I can't manage the same words towards Seifer.  In truth, I'm not too certain that I do love him.  I'm happy with him, and he has continually held up on his promise to show me ecstasy, but I haven't a clue what that may have to do with love.  Maybe I need to pull away from Seifer for a time, find someone else who truly wants me, and then compare how I feel about the two people.  But the sad fact remains that I don't want to leave this arrogant blonde.  Maybe that should be proof enough for me.  Sighing as I move closer to his warmth, I decide that I'll have enough time to figure this out later.  There's the basic mission tomorrow, something that shouldn't take too long given we're inexperienced as SeeD soldiers and would never be given an important mission.  After that, maybe Seifer and I should go to Balamb and look into more information about those condos.


[Epilogue]

A large, broad shouldered man walked casually towards the cliff's edge, his skin golden in the light of the setting sun.  Instead of watching that colorful sight of the ending day, the man was clearly focused on a lone figure who sat against a whitewashed wall of the lighthouse.  Smirking, the blonde moved to invade the man's privacy, soon leaning back against the tall building to look down at the seated brunette.

"I figured you would be out here."

Brushing aside his thick brown locks, the leaner man smiled vaguely.  "And not lower?"

The blonde scoffed.  "I scoped out the old spot yesterday, and man, I'm impressed that we didn't kill ourselves.  That ledge is tiny."

"Or maybe you're too big."

"Maybe, but I've never heard a complaint from you."

The brunette didn't reply, only leaned forward while crossing his bare arms tightly around his chest.

"Idiot, why didn't you wear your coat?  You know it gets cold once that sun goes down."

Glancing back, the shorter man replied, "You're here."

With a wide grin and a chuckle, the blonde moved to sit on the sandy ground behind the other, his muscular arms then wrapped around the slender body.  "So, from Sorceress' Knight to personal heater for the soon-to-be Headmaster of Esthar Garden.  Yep, I'm moving up in the world."

"Don't forget head chief," the brunette muttered while shifting back into comfortable warmth.

"Hyne forbid I forget that."

There were no more words for a time, both sets of eyes looking ahead as the sunset slowly came to completion.  Silence continued after that, the two men still staring at that point of disappearance while the ocean breeze flowed around them.  That moment of peace, however, was brought to a quick end when the larger man abruptly sighed and dropped back onto his side, bringing the brunette down flat onto the sand with him.  The blonde moved to lean on his elbow and gaze down at the prone man, green eyes easily meeting the halfhearted scowl aimed in his direction.  With deliberate care, a large hand was then placed on the toned stomach hidden beneath an old t-shirt.

"I don't deserve you or Isan," the man said in a low voice.

"If you think you're getting out of this now, 'daddy', forget it."

The blonde smiled weakly.  "I don't want out of it, but... Why the hell did you take me back?"

A shrug came as the only reply.

"Come on, Squall.  I want a real answer for once.  Maybe a few years ago I could handle you just wanting me around, but I need something more."

Frowning, the brunette looked up at the man.  "Why?"

"I don't know.  Maybe it's because we're back at the orphanage, or maybe it's from watching Selph carry around her latest demon, or probably something else stupid.  Either way, I've been thinking about that day for most of the weekend.  I still can't figure out why you'd let me back into your life so simply."

"I was pregnant, thus insane."

"While I'm tempted to believe that, let's try for a real answer."

With an exasperated sigh, the prone man said, "There is no real answer.  I just needed you.  Can't that be enough?"

Green eyes widened slightly.  "Say that again."

There was a vague hesitation before the brunette said softly, "I need you, Seifer."

The blonde's smile was almost shy as he leaned down to kiss pale lips.  But the chaste kiss never had the chance to deepen when a double cry of 'mommy' and 'Seifer' rang out from the direction of the building far newer than the aged lighthouse.  By the time the two men were able to regain their footing, a young boy ran up and firmly latched himself onto the leg of the shorter man.

"Mommy, Mommy.  It's ice cream time."

While larger man laughed, the brunette bent down to pry the child away from his leg.  "Isan, you know it's dinner first, then dessert."

The young boy frowned in thought.  "Oh yeah.  I forgot."

Shaking his head, the slender man stepped forward as his son then ran back to the raven haired woman he had left behind.  The blonde was quickly at the smaller man's side and wrapped an arm around the lean waist as they followed the boy's rushed lead away from the lighthouse.  It wasn't until the lagging couple approached the backdoor of the orphanage that they both looked back at the cliff's edge for a brief time.  Then glancing at each other, their eyes met with silent words of understanding before the two men turned their backs to the ocean and stepped inside to where their impatient son was waiting.

 

{Owari}

 

Author's Note - And another part of this monster of a series is finished.  It was certainly interesting writing this prequel, and I hope the rest of you enjoyed the ride.