To This One Night
January 2003

 

It was an odd realization to Seifer that the cold stones of the castle looked highly welcoming for a change.  But in the next moment he knew it was because of the person guarded inside the barrier of harden earth that the old place actually looked warm and appealing instead of just a place to call home.  The dark horse he rode was walking rather slowly as they reached the main gates, the beast worn from the rushed ride home.  The young prince had to admit that it was probably foolish to make the mad dash back, but it had already been nearly two months since he had seen his nymph last.  Another day or two wasted on riding was too painful to consider.

Once beyond the gates, Seifer quickly dismounted and let some boy take the horse away.  Already, his attention was focused on the single goal of getting to his chambers and into bed with a mass of warmth to curl around.  Adjusting the strap on his shoulder, he figured it might be a little bit difficult with the injured arm, but he wouldn't let a little pain get in the way of obsession.  Then running a free hand through stiff hair, Seifer sighed at the realization that he should probably bathe first before much else.  Smirking, he wondered if Squall would be willing to give his battle weary lover a hand with the washing.

"Seifer!"

The man snapped out of his daze at the call of his name, then smiled at the sight of the two approaching blondes from the entrance of the castle.  But once he notice the rather stern expressions on their faces, the prince frowned.  "Did something happen?"

The moment she was within range, Quistis slapped the large man, long nails scrapping the unshaven cheek.

"Ow, fuck!  What the--"  Then he noticed a trail of moisture flowing from the blazing blue eyes.

"Such a... how could you just... you're horrible!"  The woman was actually trembling from her anger.

"What the fuck is this about?"

Aurel placed a hand on the enraged woman's shoulder, hugging her loosely.  "Calm down, dear, and let me handle this."  Taking Quistis' place before Seifer, the golden queen smacked the flat of her palm against his ear.

"Shit, have you gone crazy, woman!?"

Unlike the younger woman, Aurel was cool in her fury, crystalline eyes making the prince shiver.  "Have you any sense, child?  What were you thinking just leaving here like that?"

"It was an urgent summons.  You know I had to leave immediately to take control of the situation down south."

"Without telling the boy?"

"He was fast asleep, and since he didn't even wake during the chaos in my chambers with the messengers, I decided rest was more important for him.  I left a note for him to speak with you.  Didn't he get it?"

The queen sighed in frustration.  "He can't read, Seifer."

"Wha, what do you mean?  He's in the library all the time.  And what would that have to do with anything?"

"He's a slave, child.  When would he have gotten such education?  As for the library, that boy doesn't have many options to entertain himself while you are in meetings with your father and the rest most the day.  In the end it comes down to the fact that he didn't know where you were for over a week."

Understanding was slow to come into the green eyes.

"Seifer, he thought you left him."

"Why the hell would he think that?!"

"I don't know.  We noticed the boy was depressed with you gone, but thought it natural for his condition.  Then one day he hands me a crumbled message, embarrassed beyond words at the necessity to ask me for help.  After I read it to him, he just had this far away look and hasn't returned since."

"... What do you mean 'hasn't returned since'?  He left?"

"No.  He simply sits and stares out the window all day long.  While he eats if we put something before him and handles other necessities, he just... isn't there.  I don't think I've heard a word from him in weeks.  It isn't the least bit healthy for him or the baby--"

Hearing more than enough, Seifer brushed past his mother without apology, ready to run inside and quickly find Squall.

"He's not in your chambers, child."

At the words, the large man stopped and turned quickly.  "Then where the fuck is he?"

She shook her head.  "I don't know.  He vanished this morning.  The last few times he's done this, the boy had managed to come back by the following day, freezing to the touch and filthy as can be.  Perhaps he wanders outside to--"

But the blonde man started running by then, fairly certain of Squall's location.  Boots soon on stone echoed loudly as he sprinted through the halls, the man barely avoiding the scattered servants cleaning obliviously.  The prince muttered various curses at both the stupidity of his dancer and the throbbing of his wounded arm.  Reaching the steep staircase, he forced himself to slow some to avoid tripping on the narrow steps, but he still reached the highest floor in record time.

Breaths coming hard and blood rushing to every part of his body, Seifer slammed open the single door of the tower and stumbled into the room.  Barely a moment later and he was staring wordlessly at the prone man resting on the damaged mattress, the blue-gray eyes focused on the view beyond the destroyed wall as if there hadn't been anything to disturb his peace.  Eventually Squall's gaze shifted to examine the intruder, but there was nothing in his expression that suggested recognition, let alone emotion.

Seifer walked to the bed.  "Squall..."

The dancer winced, curling tighter on the bed.  "Stop."  The voice was rough from disuse.

Sighing, the prince followed the order.  "Squall, I'm sorry--"

Hands reached up as Squall clutched his hair, palms covering his ears slightly.  "Go away."

"No.  Not until I at least explain--"  Thoughts of what he was going to say died at the sight of tears flowing from the stormy eyes, Seifer only once previously witnessing the sight when the dancer first suffered through the changes within his body, after too much time spent trying to deal with the agony.

"Go away.  Please, go..." he spoke softly, eyes closed as if in pain.

Hearing something beneath the words, Seifer took the few strides forward and knelt at the bedside.  Without hesitation he wiped away moisture from from the closed eye and left his hand there to rest on the cool cheek.  At first Squall had flinched at the touch, but then blue-gray eyes opened wide to stare at the chest directly before him.

"I'm not going anywhere."  When there wasn't a reply, Seifer continued.  "An important base was taken in the south.  I had to personally oversee the counterattack, my duty and all."

"You're hurt."

"Yeah, my fault for trying to sneak up on the wrong guy.  It's nothing serious."  Seifer smiled at the hesitant hand that touched the tightly bound forearm.  "Really, I should be fine enough by next week."

"You're hurt..." Squall stated with a hint of awe.

"Fuck, don't sound so happy about it.  I know I was an idiot to not tell you anything, but I was in a hurry and it never occurred to me that you'd take it so badly."

Eyes narrowing, he looked up into green eyes.  "You left..."

"And I'm back.  Don't tell me you really thought I could stay away from you."

Leaning forward, Squall rested his forehead on the broad chest.  "No one ever comes back."

Though confused, the prince thought it best for the moment to hold back his questions for another time, and instead only wrapped his arm around him in comfort.  Something fragile about Squall was exposed, and he doubt it was anything intentional on the dancer's part.  The mixture of the unusual pregnancy and depression couldn't do anything good for the man.  After a time, the prince pulled Squall back gently and stood up from the ground.

"Let's go to our rooms.  The sun will set soon enough and it'll be too cold up here."

Squall frowned.  "It was hard enough getting up those stairs."

Seifer smirked at the return of irritation in the quiet voice, and then held out his uninjured arm.  "But I'm here to help now."

The dancer sighed before making free use of the arm and pulled himself up from the mattress.  Green eyes widened at the first clear view of Squall, the rounded midsection grown much larger in the past two months.  That sight alone made him realize how close the birth of their child should come.  His arm freed from Squall's grasp, he stroked his hand along the proof of life.

"You're huge."

He scoffed lightly.  "As if I need to be reminded."

"Have you thought of names yet?"

"Names?"

"Yeah, a name for our child.  For some reason, I keep thinking there's time for that later, but I just realized how far along you are.  And I figure you must have been thinking about it more than me."

"Why should it matter to me?"

Seifer looked up sharply at the words, disbelief filling his expression.  "This is your child as well.  Don't ever think differently."

"... ..."

A sickening feel settled in his stomach as the prince realized that Squall was still set on leaving in another six months.  The man didn't have a breath of hesitation before basically saying that he would be deserting his child.  Seifer could understand the lack of emotion where he was concerned, but holding apathy for an innocent child, their child... that made him ache inside.

The blonde raised his hand to run his fingers through dark hair filthy with dirt and ash.  "I missed you."

Squall stayed silent at the words, but leaned into the touch.

"We better go downstairs.  Mother and Quistis are worried about you.  And I think you deserve a nice warm bath."

He nodded, not speaking as Seifer lead him out of the room and helped the unbalanced man down the large staircase.  As they moved carefully, the prince spoke of the last couple months, but his mind was battling with uncertainty.  Truthfully, when Kiros had declared Squall pregnant all those months ago, Seifer hadn't really believed the possibility of a child or understood the responsibilities.  But at that moment he had instantly recognized the opportunity to keep the dancer close without a high possibility of refusal.  The deal of a year was a rather spontaneous decision, Seifer only wanting plenty of time to persuade the dancer that he wasn't the typical aristocrat.

Back then he never considered how much further he could fall in love with his dancer, nor the chance Squall would leave him broken.

~<>~

Boots stepped heavily on stone, the sound echoing through the section of corridor.  There was a brief pause in the rhythm as leather scraped on the floor during a turn, and then the pacing resumed.  Seifer's attention was split between both ignoring the noises beyond the nearby door and yet needing to know what was happening.  He kicked the leg of an empty chair as he passed it, trying to vent some frustration.

"You do realize chairs are made for sitting."

"Shut the fuck up, Irvine."

Leaning back in his own chair, the longhaired man smiled weakly.  "Everything will be fine."

As if to deny his words, a scream filtered out from the closed door.  Seifer's steps didn't falter at the sound, already hearing the painful cries since early that morning.  Instead he relied on the clunking of his steps to partially cover those unwanted noises.  Moments later when there was the sound of a quiet click, the prince stopped in place to intently watch the opening door.  Quistis slipped out looking pale, quickly closing the door behind her.

"Hey, are you all right, lovely?"  Irvine open his arms for her, the woman quickly taking comfort in her husband's hold.

"It's horrible.  They can't use anything strong for the pain.  It's just too much--"

Irvine shushed her, violet eyes watching Seifer carefully.  There was only a flex of jaw muscles before the blonde man resumed his pacing, letting his thoughts drift away from the moment at hand.  Only the day before, Squall allowed himself to truly smile at something stupid the prince had mentioned.  After the disaster of Seifer's absence, that relatively broad smile was the first sign that the dancer had partially forgiven the blonde.  Then today the contractions had started while they were sharing breakfast.  The prince figured it must be near sunset by now.

Abruptly Seifer paused in mid-step, his heart stopping at the sound of a cry.  It certainly wasn't Squall.  He couldn't move until he heard the door opening behind him.  Turning slowly, the blonde found his mother leaning against the doorframe, a loud bundle of blankets in her hold.

She smiled tightly.  "Never thought I'd see the day.  My child has his own son now."

"A... a son?"

Tired eyes brightened at the mix of awe and uncertainty in the deep voice.  "Take hold of him for me.  Anna and Kiros still need my help."

The wrapped baby was placed into large arms, Seifer worried about harming the small life.  "How is Squall doing?"

"There is an unexpected complication, but Anna thinks everything should be over within the hour.  We'll let you see him at the first moment possible."

Seifer frowned, but didn't argue.  He had already lost that battle several times in the morning, Kiros himself once literally throwing the prince out into the hallway.  The slim man was stronger than he appeared.  But in the brief moment while the infant paused his screaming in exchange for breath and the door was still closing, Seifer could hear the dancer pleading from the bedroom further inside, "...no more, no more..."

Renewed with fresh air, the boy wailed even louder in the arms of his father.  "Fuck.  Quisty, what should I do?"

The woman immediately looked better than when she had first left the room, the amused smile on her lips at the sight of the clueless man helping her appearance greatly.  She slipped off Irvine's lap and went to Seifer's side.  "You have to move a little, and hold him close.  He's probably freezing out here."

Stiffly, the prince rocked with the crying infant in his arms.  "How can something so small make this noise?  And should they be this tiny?"

"He does seem rather small, but he is a couple weeks early.  And this is a rather unusual situation."

"Come on, kid.  Give me a break and quiet down."  In defiance, the boy screamed louder.  "Quisty, you've got to take over.  He already hates me."

She laughed.  "Oh no, you have to learn this yourself, Daddy."

Blinking, Seifer examined the redden face a little more closely.  Eyes too large for the tiny body opened once briefly, green irises blurred under a flow of tears.  "Ah hell, I am a father."

It was long going, but with Quistis' soft words of reassurance, the prince managed to coax his son to a state of rest, random murmurs of complaint escaping the pouting lips.  All the while, Seifer kept one eye on the door to his chambers, worry growing in his chest as time went on.  He couldn't understand what was happening inside that would make it unwise for him to be with Squall, and worse, continuing to make him cry out in pain occasionally.  Gnawing at his lower lip, the prince hoped there hadn't been serious damage to his dancer during the birth.  His attention returning to his son, he noticed faint bruising was coloring apart from the flushed skin.  Obviously, the birthing event hadn't been easy on either the bearer or child.

Unrealized silence was abruptly broken with strong crying, and given his child was asleep with his arms, Seifer was momentarily mystified by the occurrence.  Then slowly, green eyes looked up to gaze stunned at the closed door.

"Oh loving gods, don't tell me..." Quistis' voice was full of both wonder and pity.

Seifer couldn't find the breath to agree with her sentiment.

Soon enough, the door was again opened by Aurel, the golden hair woman looking exhausted but pleased as she beamed at the softly whimpering bundle in her arms.  "Well, this little one didn't cause us nearly so many problems.  I suppose her big brother cleared the way."

"...her?"

Crystalline eyes glanced up at the blonde man.  "About time we got a daughter in this family."

"Gods, two...  What the hell am I supposed to do with two kids?"  He shook his head in disbelief, not quite digesting the information before moving onto what worried him most.  "How is Squall?"

"Resting.  Kiros says you may come in, but you aren't to disturb his work or bother the boy with too many questions."

Nodding, Seifer somewhat reluctantly handed his son to Quistis and then walked inside the main room of his chambers.  As he approached the bedroom, his steps slowed bit by bit until he stood at the open doorway.  Green eyes narrowed at the sight before him, a mixture of anger, helplessness, and fear flooding his body.  Squall was on his back near the edge of the bed, his legs bent as Kiros knelt before him.  While the damage was blocked from view, the stains of blood on the sheets and floor suggested that something wasn't right.

Seifer willed himself to move and he walked up to the bedside, waving the midwife aside.  He sat down on the edge of the mattress before taking over the woman's task of wiping a cool cloth along overheated, sweaty skin.  Squall's eyes were tightly closed, his breaths rather heavy as he still clutched the sheets, now somewhat torn from the strain of the day.  With his free hand, Seifer brushed his fingers through the tangled hair and moved strands moist from sweat away from his face.  After a time, perhaps noticing the different touch, the dancer looked up at the man to his side, eyes tired and troubled.

"Please," he whispered, his voice gone from overuse.  "No more..."

"That's right.  No more.  You've done more than we could have hoped for today."

Eyes were closed once again.  "Hurts..."

Seifer turned to the healer.  "Kiros, can't you give him something now?"

"I did, but I image the pain isn't so easily forgotten.  A human body just isn't capable of handling such an assault.  We assumed the pregnancy potion would have helped, but his blood was probably too dilute with its elven component.  There's some bad tearing here."

"Will he be all right?"

The dark man sighed and paused at his task of sewing the wounds.  "As long as there isn't serious damage where I can't see.  Laguna is working on a curative potion as we speak.  It should help to speed up the healing process as well as drive off infection."

"Hear that, Squall?  Nothing to worry about."  Seifer brushed a finger along the side of his face..

Releasing one of his holds on the sheets, the dancer grasped the hand at his cheek, but said nothing.

"Everything will be just fine now."


Cradling the baby to his chest, Squall still felt awkward whenever the small mouth would latch onto and suck at the teat for the precious liquid.  Supporting the small head, he massaged fingers along the dark, soft fuzz of hair as he automatically rocked side to side.  Nearly five months had already passed since the birth of the children, and Squall wasn't certain where the time was lost.

The first month had been hellish, something as simple as going to bathroom made into a terrible event.  And then there was the embarrassment and horror of becoming a mother, though Squall would never think of himself as such no matter what Seifer believed.  Throughout the pregnancy, the dancer had been somewhat in denial over the growth of breasts, and the first time he breastfed the children was the most embarrassing moment of his life.  While Laguna assured him that his chest should return to normal once the children didn't need the breast milk any longer, Squall had to doubt his word.  The man was kind and the dancer held no anger at him for the situation, but trust of his intelligence was something else all together.

The months afterward were simply full of caring for the two children, both as different as their names suggested.  Born before the sunset, the older brother was named Sol after the sun.  Born shortly later in the darkening evening, the baby girl was named Selene after the moon goddess of legends.  Ironically, their tempers matched their names rather well, Sol many times louder and more energetic than his stoic sibling.

Seifer only had to leave once since the birth of his children.  Squall smiled faintly at the memory of being wakened in the night by the blonde who was near frantic in his promises to return as soon as possible.  Not burdened with pregnancy or the worry of giving birth alone, the dancer handled the separation with ease.  Though he had to admit to himself that he found relief at the sight of the uninjured man striding into their chambers, his first task upon returning home to kiss 'his nymph'.  Always the fool.

Feeling his nipple slip from the no longer interested mouth, Squall adjusted his robe before moving the boy to his shoulder and patting the back lightly.  Unexpectedly, there was a soft knock at the bedroom door.  Turning, the dancer smiled softly at the sight of Quistis, the blonde woman now the one heavy with child.

"I knocked at the other door, but I guess you didn't hear.  Am I intruding?"

"No.  Let's go in the main room so you can be comfortable."  Still carrying the drowsy Sol, he followed the woman to the collection of cushioned chairs.

She sat down heavily with a sigh.  "I can't believe there's another couple months of this.  How in the world did you handle the stairs of that tower in such a state?"

Squall only smirked at the question, not wanting to explain to her about those two months.  It was hard enough to talk to Seifer about it a short while past, explaining that without the confident presence of the blonde, the dreams had returned in full force, making sleep near impossible.  Going to the tower was a desperate attempt to regain some kind of peace, but being in the room that Seifer loved so much also brought phantoms of the blonde to the depressed dancer.  On the day the prince returned to the castle, the sight of the injured arm was the only thing that identified the man as real to Squall.

"Well, want to hear something adorable?  Seifer is worried beyond reason today.  Nearly cut his own arm off during a sparring match with Irvine."

"... ..."  Squall moved the resting child to his lap and wiped drool from the partly opened mouth.

"He really thinks you are leaving tomorrow.  We tried to assure him otherwise, but he won't hear it."

"Why do you think I won't leave?"

Her fine brow scrunched in confusion.  "Why would you?  You're happy here, and the children adore you.  You wouldn't leave them behind."

"Seifer will care for them."

"You... you can't be serious.  Stop teasing me.  You know I get enough of that from Irvine and Seifer."

"A deal was made.  I'm free to do as I wish tomorrow."

With effort, Quistis got up from her chair to glare down at the sitting brunette.  "How can you say such things?  What am I supposed to do without you?  You're the only one who doesn't hover over me like a fragile egg.  And what about Seifer?  I know you love him."

"You'll be fine without me.  And I don't think I ever thanked you for helping me when I needed it most."

"Don't.  You can't do this, Squall.  Promise me that you'll stay here."

"I can't."

Wide blue eyes stared disbelieving at the dancer.  "You're... leaving us?"

Squall nodded.

"I can't, I won't believe that."  Turning as fast as her body would allow, she headed for the outer door.  "You're worse than Seifer."

Sighing at her exit, Squall lifted the baby boy from his lap so that he could stand and return to the bedroom.  Sol was placed in the large crib, his sister nearby snoring softly with the ragged toy kitten firm in her grasp.  Distractedly, Squall played with the ear of the toy, remembering how ridiculous it looked on the prince's shoulder over a year past.

"Mother is going to have your head for making a pregnant woman cry."

Turning slowly, Squall faced the blonde leaning against the doorframe, the man looking uncertain and worn.  "Long day?"

Seifer smirked weakly before walking forward to take the dancer into his arms.  "Not long enough."

They stood like that for a time, Squall returning the loose hug.  The quiet moment ended with the sound of knocking from the outer room.  Pushing Seifer back, the brunette spoke softly.  "Have a seat on the bed.  That should be the evening snack I asked for."

"Snack?"

There was only a vague smile in reply before Squall walked off.  When he returned shortly with tray in hand, he wasn't surprised by the look of unpleased surprise on the prince's face.  Kneeling, the dancer placed the tray on the floor and lifted the two wine glasses, one with a grape placed on the rim.

"Shall we toast?  How did it go...  'To this one night', perhaps?"

Ignoring the offered glass, Seifer placed his hand on the one with the grape.

"Afraid I put something in your wine?"

Green eyes focused on him, the clear depths shining with hurt.

"There is nothing in either.  You know I can't stand alcohol."

Sighing, Seifer took the offered glass of wine instead.  Holding it up, he said brokenly, "To this one night."

They both drank deeply, eye contact never breaking.  Taking the half empty glass from the prince, Squall set the two glasses aside on the tray.  He then picked up the other item on the tray - a small plate of some fruit - before standing up from the floor.  The plate was first set down on the far corner of the bed, and from the various fruits Squall selected a skinned grape.  He moved in front of Seifer and demonstratively put the round fruit onto his tongue, and then with one knee on the bed, he pressed against the prince for a deep kiss.  Rolling the small grape between their tongues, both shared the bittersweet flavor of the skinned fruit.  After a time, Squall was able to safely bite the grape in half, leaving part in the prince's mouth.  Pulling back, the dancer smiled at the sight of hazy green eyes, and then chewed briefly on the fruit before swallowing.

"Undress for me, my prince."

The soft words brought the man quickly out of his daze, a smirk appearing at the order.  Since Squall had only to let his robe drop to the floor, he had plenty opportunity to watch the larger man remove his clothes.  Once Seifer realized he had an audience, his moves slowed while displaying golden skin and the hard body.  The dancer was somewhat surprised that there wasn't the sense of fear anywhere in his mind.  Since that first and one time over a year ago, there hadn't been any kind of intercourse between them.  Given the pregnancy, injuries from the painful birth process, exhaustion from caring for twins, and Seifer's short absence, it would have been more shocking if they had found the opportunity.  Though, Squall admitted to himself, there was also the fear and hatred that he had held for any kind of sexual activities.  Seifer had amazingly sensed that wall and respected it, never pushing further than a kiss or stray touch.

But this one night was different, and the dancer was determined to enjoy this as much as he could.  Or at the least make Seifer happy.

Taking another skinned grape from the plate, Squall pushed lightly at Seifer's bare chest to force him to sit once more on the mattress edge.  Straddling the muscular thighs to sit on the man's lap, he placed the grape in the prince's mouth this time, letting the man suck gently on his finger before reenacting their previous kiss.  The grape split on its own this time from the pressure of tongues.

Seifer hooked his arms up around the smaller man's back, pulling slightly on narrow shoulders for the dancer to lean back.  Following the silent request, Squall sighed when the blonde immediately buried his face into the exposed neck, lips and tongue taking in the dancer's taste.  The brunette couldn't help but savor the desperate touches of the man, Seifer apparently trying to imprint every flavor, smell, and feel into his mind.  For that reason, he forgot to be embarrassed when the prince went lower, taking the nipple of a small breast into his mouth and teased it.

"Seifer!"

Chuckling, the blonde looked up at the flushed face.  "It tastes sweeter than I thought it would.  Those brats are lucky."

"You... how could you...?"

"How could I not?" he replied before leaning down to lick at some escaping beads of milk.

"Gods... please don't."

With a breathy chuckle, Seifer settled with licking roughly around the small breasts.  Meanwhile, Squall shifted his position enough to better rub his arousal along the man's thigh in time with the rhythmic lapping.  Running his hand lightly up Seifer's bent spine, the dancer reached the thick neck and gripped it tightly in a massaging motion.  The resulting curse and burst of hot wetness between them was highly unexpected.

Blinking, Squall leaned further back to look at the prince, a dark eyebrow rising at the sight of red hinted cheeks.

"Well, what the fuck did you expect?  It's been over a year."

"You haven't... in all that time?"

"Since you've been the only one in my bed for a long time, I think you would've noticed if I was fucking anyone."

"You've been away a couple times."

He scoffed.  "Why the hell would I want some ugly, foul solider when I have you?"

After a moment to judge if he was being truthful, Squall smirked and then pushed fingers against the bare chest.  "Lie down."

While Seifer did as ordered, the dancer slipped off his thighs and reached over to get a large slice of melon as well as another grape from the plate of fruits.  After quickly wiping some of the cum from his body with the hanging of bed sheets, Squall leaned over the prince.  He offered him the slice, the prone man taking a small bite of the juicy fruit.  Squall then trailed the ragged end of the melon slice across golden skin starting just below the firm jawbone.  The resulting moist line was followed hungrily with his tongue, the sweetness complementing the salty skin and eventually spots of cum.  While he went lower at a slow pace, he placed the small grape into the exposed bellybutton with his other hand, letting the prince wonder about its placement.

Once reaching blonde curls of hair, Squall moved the slice of melon into the palm of his hand.  He then took the returning hardness into hand as well, squeezing tightly.  Seifer moaned at the move, his arm flung over his eyes as his breaths came in hard.  Laughing inwardly, Squall continued to work on the once spent penis with his hand, but leaned forward to pay attention to other areas as well.  He licked at the skinned grape lodged in the bellybutton, the flat stomach tensing at the ticklish feel.  Very slowly with tiny nibbles, the dancer ate the fruit, sometimes nipping at the rim of the bellybutton instead of the grape or spending time to lick up the light juice.

Aside from the string of curses that made little if any sense, Squall could tell by the stiff flesh in hand that the prince was enjoying the attention.  In time, there was a disappointed moan when the dancer removed his hand.  Squall tossed the used bit of melon aside and waited until the prince was looking up from beneath his arm before licking the thick juice from his hand.  He smiled at the feverish look in the green eyes.

Sinking to his knees, Squall spread the man's legs wider to make room.  Without warning, he took the juice sweetened erection into his mouth, receiving an odd high pitched noise from Seifer in response.  When the dancer hummed out his laughter, the blonde clutched the sheets and arched forward.  Taking in more of the thick arousal, Squall controlled his gag reflex and relaxed while the prince eventually brought himself back under control.  In reward, the dancer sucked with varying strengths as he moved along the throbbing flesh.

"Squall... fuck, can I...?"

Pulling back with a wet slurp, the dancer first made certain all the sticky juice was gone with heavy licks along the weeping arousal and its base.  He stood up slowly and leaned forward, pink tongue licking the corners of his mouth.  "You want something?"

"Fucking tease," Seifer growled out before grabbing the dancer's wrist and pulling him onto the bed.  The man flat under him, the prince sneered.  "So perfect, my nymph."

Rolling his head to the side and back, Squall gave the man access to his throat and shoulder.  "Do it.  Don't think I can wait."

"Let me know the second I'm hurting you," he mumbled against heated flesh.

"A-ah."

Seifer held two fingers against full lips for the dancer to stuck on briefly, the moistened fingers then finding their way against Squall's anus.  He tried to breath normally as the digits pushed their way in, the feel rather painful from lack of experience and injuries from months past.

"Squall?  I meant it about not wanting to hurt you."

"I'm fine.  Just go further," he replied while thrusting down himself.  Gasping at the press against that special spot, he was amazed that he could truly enjoy it for once.  Misunderstanding the noise, Seifer's fingers started to withdraw before the dancer could tighten around them.  "More."

Grinning in relief, the prince was happy to oblige, curling long fingers within the tight space.  Meanwhile he busied his mouth along the dancer's neck, seemingly obsessed with torturing the spot behind his ear.  After a time, Squall nearly choked at the realization that it was his whimpers sounding in the room.

"Squall..."

"Yes."

Receiving permission, Seifer slipped his fingers from the heat and straddled over the dancer as the smaller man bent his legs.  Large hands gripped his hips firmly before Squall felt the press of hardened flesh against his opening.  The prince pressed in slowly, obviously ready to pull out the moment there was a sound of pain.  Reducing himself to swearing, Squall shoved himself further down on the heated erection, groaning in hurt and bliss.

"Fucking holy shit...!" Seifer growled out, then held there until he could regain some composure and glare down at the dancer.  "If you are bleeding at the end--"

Smirking, Squall interrupted the lecture by squeezing his ass and arcing up into the hard body.  Oddly, he could care less about the pain.  Always before he had to force the hurt from his mind, reminding himself that it would be over soon.  But knowing it was Seifer deep inside of him, the dancer could accept the pleasure that was being given to him despite the pain.  Wrapping arms around the blonde's neck, he let Seifer choose the pace and force of the thrusts.  He knew the prince wouldn't be able to control himself for long.

Never allowing himself to enjoy the experience of sex previously, Squall couldn't last under the pressure of sharp thrusts deep within him, the continuous brushing of his arousal against the hard stomach, and the sounds of bliss from his partner.  Light had never been so bright before.

Blinking in the dimly lit room, it was a surreal moment with Seifer draped over him when it seemed like the prince had been actively moving mere seconds before.  Since he no longer felt the man within him, the dancer figured he must have briefly passed out from the orgasm.  Their breaths came and went at the same somewhat rushed pace, but it was otherwise peaceful in the room.  Daring movement, Squall lifted his arm and ran fingers through very short, sweaty hair.

"Nnh..."

Before Squall could comment on the goofy grin on the nobleman's face, the beginnings of a crying fit were sounding from the crib to the side.  "Move over, Seifer."

"Uh..." he replied before flopping onto his back.

Moving carefully, Squall first wiped himself off with the edge of the bed sheets and then picked up his dropped robe.  Knowing both children had already been fed tonight, he groaned inwardly at the thought of changing a diaper after such incredible and completely exhausting sex.  But without vocalizing complaint, he pulled Selene up from the crib and set her on the side table to be changed.

A short time later, he held a clean and happy infant against his shoulder, swaying slowly to coax her back to sleep.  He turned slightly to glance at Seifer, noticing his drowsy gaze.  Deciding to kill two birds with one stone, Squall started to softly hum a tune Aurel had taught him that, in her words, could quiet the crankiest child.  He smiled weakly when before the song had even finished, he could hear a familiar snore behind him.  The baby girl already asleep shortly before her father, Squall placed her back into the crib, making certain the toy kitten was well within reach.

He then allowed himself one longing look at the sleeping man sprawled happily along a large portion of the bed.  Sighing quietly, Squall moved to pack a small bag.


Leaning over the edge of the crib, Seifer fought lightly with his daughter for control over the ragged kitten that she had quickly grown attached to months ago.  It hurt him how much her eyes matched her bearer's, only lacking the cynical hardness that the blonde hoped wouldn't come with age for her.

"He truly left?"

Seifer turned at the voice.  "Quisty.  Sorry, didn't hear you knock."

She shook her head.  "That's fine.  I just wanted to see if...  Seifer, how are you doing?"

"Fine enough.  Helps that I saw it coming, I suppose."

"I still can't believe that he would just leave.  Both his children and you...  I know he was in love with you."

The prince forced a chuckle.  "Perhaps, but Squall doesn't trust love."

"What?  Why?"

"The lessons of life."  At the interested gaze of blue eyes, Seifer sighed before explaining.  "His mother passed away when he was very young, and his father left him to relatives.  They did the minimum for him to life, and then sold him the first opportunity they got.  35 fucking gold pieces.  Less than a work horse.  When he was old enough for tastes of certain lords, they tricked the child with words of love before raping him and he'd watch as they gave his owner a handful of gold for the service.  And then there's me, a guy he started to trust who raped him, forced him into a torturous pregnancy, and deserted him when he truly needed me.  I'd say he has good reason to not hold faith in something that has only given him pain."

"I didn't realize," Quistis whispered.

Seifer nodded to the nightstand at the bedside.  "You know that jewel box of his?"

"Ah, he'd stroke the lid sometimes when you were gone.  He wouldn't tell me anything about it, though."

"His mother left it to him.  Those fucking relatives stripped the thing of anything remotely valuable, but decided to let the boy keep the box.  Guess they wanted to pretend to do something decent.  It wasn't until he was ten or so that he found a hidden compartment in it, finding a note inside.  Personally I think there may have been more, but he got ripped off.  Anyway, all his life he never knew what that note said."

"And you read it for him?"

Seifer laughed.  "It took him half of a morning to ask me, meanwhile I was confused as to why he was scowling at his beloved jewel box all that time.  But he did ask.  It was such a simple note: 'Squall, I'm sorry I can't be there for you.  Know that I loved you with all of my heart and life.'  I read it to him, and he just had this look as if to ask what his mother could have meant by that.  I don't think he even knows what a mother's love could be."

"How horrible...  But, he left the box, right?  Doesn't that mean he's coming back?"

He shook his head.  "No.  He left it because it'd be too annoying to take with him.  I'm certain Selene will love it when she's old enough to understand."

Frowning, Quistis rubbed her swelled stomach.  "I just can't believe he left his children behind."

"Have you ever heard him say 'my son' or 'my daughter' or even 'my children'?"

"I don't understand."

"He never considered them his, Quisty.  In his mind, they belonged to me and he just happened to carry them in his body.  He wouldn't even help me name them."

"No!  No, that can't be true.  He was so good with them."

"Truth is truth.  He did what he had to."

She gnawed at her lip, probably trying her hardest to remember at least one time Squall referred to his children.  "Why did he have to leave?"

The large man shrugged.  "What reason did he have to stay?"

"Seifer, this is Squall we're talking about.  Stop being so... rational about it."

Sighing, he walked up to the blonde woman and wrapped his arms tight around her before pressing his face against her shoulder.  "I'd go insane otherwise."

Returning the hug, she rubbed his lower back.  "I'm sorry.  You're the one hurting now, and I do this.  It probably doesn't mean much, but happy birthday, sweet brother-in-law."

"Heh, thanks."

"Your mother asked me to remind you about the dinner tonight.  She says you don't have to stay for the whole evening, but you need to make a believable appearance."

Pulling out of the warm hold, Seifer nodded.  "I'll see you later, then.  I'd like some time alone with the brats."

~<>~

The plate of food left primarily untouched before him, Seifer eyes were unfocused on the current entertainment of a juggling act.  The twosome had used knives for one of their tricks, immediately bringing the blonde's thoughts to another time.  He remembered once finding Squall practicing his throwing skill on large candles, taking bit by bit from the tops with each blade.  Seifer had mentioned it looked like the dancer held something against a certain body part.  Squall had smirked and asked if it was that obvious.

The sound of scattered clapping brought Seifer's attention back to the bothersome present and he glared at bowing entertainers.  Pushing back from the table, he stood up sharply and then made way to his mother's side.  He waited for her to finish some story to their current guests before leaning over to speak in her ear.

"I'm leaving."

She frowned, but nodded.  "I understand.  Try not to wear yourself out too much over this.  The children still need their father."

"Yes, Mother.  Thank you for trying to cheer me up tonight."  He kissed her temple.

"Anything for my boy.  Happy birthday, Seifer."

After forcing a smile, he apologized quietly to the various lords and ladies sitting at the table, then walked off towards the main entrance of the dining hall.  It was a fluttering of white that momentarily caught his attention, making him look once more at the cleared area for entertainers.  Seifer watched sadly as a dancer moved slowly along the floor, the silky white robe flowing with every smooth movement that perfectly matched the somber tone of the music.  Despite the hurt, it was somewhat calming to view the graceful performance.

After a rather short time, the dancer abruptly dropped to the floor with the sound of loud drumbeats interrupting the softer melody.  With the start of faster version of the same song, the performer stood again with a fancy roll, but the robe was left behind for a more clinging outfit that covered all but bare feet, a flat midsection, and a slit for eyes.

One moment to the next, Seifer found himself several meters from where he was previously, the lithe figure trapped in his arms.

"You do realize you're interrupting."

The prince smiled at the irritated, yet amused voice.  "Don't care."

"Was I that obvious?"

"Saw the stretch marks," Seifer replied, feeling vindictive.

"Like hell you did."

The prince could only laugh at the terse remark and held the dancer tighter.

"Seifer," came a scolding voice.  He looked up to find his mother glaring at him as she approached.  "What do you think you're doing?"

"Ah, sorry."  He turned to Squall.  "Let's go somewhere private."

"Seifer!"

Confused, he looked at the call.  "What?"  Noticing her glare at the dancer, he laughed.  "Oh, don't hold it against him, Mother.  You know how much was my fault in the past year."

She blinked.  "Him? ... Oh dear, Squall?"

"Who the fuck did you think it was?"

Meanwhile, Squall silently removed the veil that hid most of his face.

"I... I don't know.  You only told me he was a dancer.  I never realized that he was skilled at it."  At Seifer's cough, the queen covered her mouth.  "Oh, no.  Don't take offense, dear.  Just think of the times I've been around you, with your condition and all.  And then there was Seifer's rather poor taste to consider."

"Hey!"

She smiled sweetly.  "Welcome home, dear."

"Thank you, my queen."  At her raised finger, he cleared his throat.  "Aurel."

"Much better.  See you at breakfast in the morn."

Watching the retreating woman, Squall said, "Or perhaps I should've asked you first if I'm welcomed here."

"I make a fool of myself in front of all these people and you ask that?"

Stormy eyes swept uncomfortably over the whispering audience.  "We should go."

"As you wish."

A protective arm around his dancer's waist, Seifer led them out the main entrance and directly towards their chambers.  They were silent for most of the walk, the prince happy enough to have the slim man back at his side.  It had been barely a day without the man, but most of that day was spent dreading a future without Squall in his life.  It might as well have been years instead of a single day.

"You didn't ask me to stay, you know."

Seifer took a deep breath and released it with a sigh.  "I was afraid.  I know you once thought yourself as my slave or at least a peasant that should worship his prince.  I didn't want you staying if you would only think of it as a demand on my part."

"You know me better than I thought," the dancer said softly, almost unheard by the prince.

"But you stayed despite your freedom, so that makes it worth infinitely more.  Though I am curious about your performance last night."

"Once, you told me that you could let me go because you loved me.  I guess I wanted to test that."

"Hmmm.  That, and torture me, of course."

"It's only what you deserved."

Seifer smirked.  "Well, I know our little ones will love to see you.  They're hungry."

"Didn't the nursemaid come today?"

"I kind of scared her away."

"Seifer, what were you thinking?"

"That I didn't want our children sucking on some strange woman's tit.  You're their mother, damnit.  And I thought they were old enough to drink from a glass--"

Squall breathed a chuckle.  "I can imagine the mess."

"Yeah, well, it certainly didn't make my day any better."

"If your children die because of your unrivaled idiocy..."

Seifer stopped in place, forcing the dancer to face him.  "I want you to repeat after me: 'Sol and Selene'..."

"What?"

"Just repeat what I say.  'Sol and Selene'..."

Squall glared at the larger man, but surrendered to the signs of ultimate stubbornness.  "'Sol and Selene'..."

"...'are'..."

He sighed.  "...'are'..."

"...'my lovely and perfect children'..."

"...'my'..."  Blue-gray eyes widened at the realization of what Seifer wanted him to say.  He hesitated before continuing, "...my children."

"Close enough.  Seems I'll have to work on getting you to believe it, though."

"...Seifer."

"Yes?"

"You are a ridiculous asshole," he stated while moving in close to the man, resting his head on a shoulder.

"Mmm.  But I'm your ridiculous asshole," Seifer commented while wrapping his arms around the smaller man.

"Maybe one of these days I'll figure out why I would want to keep you."

It was silent for a time as they stood there in the dark hallway, nothing but the flickering flames intruding on the peaceful moment.  It briefly brought back the memory of the first time they meet, Seifer smirking at the thought of the bruise he had for nearly a week.  It was also the first time he let the dancer escape his grasp.  Pressing his cheek against the thick dark hair, Seifer pushed darker thoughts away and instead savored the scent of his nymph.

"Squall.  I don't think I can let you go ever again."

The dancer was silent for an infinite second before leaning further against the blonde.  "Then don't."

 

{Owari}

 

Author's Whining -- Bleh, stupid ending but I can make do.  Whoo!  A story finished and a request done.  Makes me feel like I'm actually accomplishing something.  So, there's your request, Miss D.  I hope you enjoyed, and thank you tremendously for all your help with my ficcies.  Another thanks to those of you who gave me feedback on this piece.  It was really kind of you to take the time to do so.  Hope I continue to produce readable ficcies for you to enjoy in the future.