Jan '05'

Disclaimer: All the Final Fantasy characters in this series of ficlets and/or short stories belong to those talented people at Square/Enix or whatever they are called now.

This is a series of Valentine's Day fics. Not all of them will contain smut, but they all are from the FF8 fandom, and the main pairing is, of course, Irvine and Squall. This will also be generally silly, have sappy moments and will hopefully be fun for you to read and fun for me to write. Enjoy.

This is YAOI - boys with boys, caring, desiring, kissing, hugging, groping…um, yeah…but that’s why you’re reading this, yes?

Book of Love: Voucher 14
By Garden's Gnome

Squall awoke alone. There was a time he liked waking up alone, his space his own, but now he was beginning to hate it.

Over the course of his relationship with Irvine, the two men spent more and more whole nights together, whether it was in Squall’s rooms with his king size bed or the guest room that Irvine had been given when he’d first arrived at Balamb Garden with its large double bed. Rarely now did they sleep apart and whenever they did, Squall always slept badly.

Dragging his still sleepy body out of bed, Squall wandered towards the kitchen and pulled open the fridge door, standing motionless as he stared at the carton of juice that Irvine had brought a few mornings previous, remembering how Irvine had opened the carton and shared some with him before putting it in the fridge. He really did miss his lover on the rare mornings that they woke apart. Grabbing the juice, Squall shut the door with his foot and leaned against the counter opposite, taking a drink straight from the carton like his lover was fond of doing, closing his eyes as he pondered what he had to do during the day.

Normally he and Irvine would have breakfast together, either here on in the cafeteria, but today the Galbadian sniper had predawn targeting classes followed by a cross-country shooting course assessment for some of the newer cadets who wished to use a rifle as their weapon of choice. Squall doubted he would see his lover for lunch, and hoped that Irvine wouldn’t be too tired to hang out after filling out the class reports that needed to be lodged after each weaponry assessment carried out at Garden. If Irvine was tired, or thought Squall was too tired, then they wouldn’t even have dinner together. It rarely happened but on occasion when both of them were too tired and fell asleep before the other arrived, they would wake up alone, each unwilling to disturb the other‘s sleep.

Breathing out a quiet sigh as he tossed the empty juice carton in the trash, Squall reached out and slid the Book of Love across the counter so that he could flip through the pages. Just over a quarter of the pages had been torn out and already used, all of the vouchers leaving a image in his mind that made him smile. Idly leafing through the book, Squall came to the last page without actually choosing a voucher for the day. Moving back to the last page, Squall looked at the words on it. Love Voucher: Invent Your Own. Above the words was a long dotted line. Squall tore the page out and placed it next to his wallet so that he’d remember to pick it up when he left for the cafeteria. However, he decided that a shower and real clothes would be good, rather than wandering the halls in just the pair of boxer shorts he was currently wearing.

The hot shower did much to help Squall wake up and soon he was leaving his room and on his way to the cafeteria for breakfast. He didn’t have to be in his office for another half hour, enough time for food but not enough for a jog through the training center.

In the cafeteria, Squall thought of joining Zell, the tattooed man sitting alone at a window table and staring off into the distance. Squall could see that the blonde was thinking about something…or someone. Over the past couple days since Seifer had gone to Winhill on a mission, Squall had seen Zell staring at nothing at odd times. It was obvious he missed Seifer’s presence at Garden, the two blonde men spending more and more time together, much like Squall and Irvine had at the very beginning of their relationship. Except that they now rarely spent time apart, unlike this morning seeing as Irvine decided to return to his own room the previous night to prepare for his dawn class.

Grabbing some coffee, Squall made his way to his office, deciding to order some breakfast to be brought up to him. He needed to distract his mind from thinking of his lover.

Entering the office, Squall opened the large curtains, letting the early morning sunshine into the room and across the large desk. A square of white paper stood out against the dark surface as Squall approached the piece of furniture. Picking up the page, the brunette easily recognised his lover’s writing and the words of ‘love you, call me now’ that were scrawled across the paper.

Dialling Irvine’s number, Squall smiled sadly when the words ‘sound only’ showed on the vid screen as the sniper greeted him.

“Morning, Commander.”

“Good morning, Irvine,” Squall said and then wondered at the greeting. “Are you in the middle of something?”

“No, love. We’re just having something to eat and then doing some more assessment. I’m guessing by the time showing on my phone that you’re having breakfast in the office.”

Squall winced at his boyfriend’s knowing tone that carried a hint of disapproval. “You know I only do this when there’s no one downstairs to have breakfast with.”

“Where is everybody?” Irvine asked, a quiet slurping sound following the question.

“None of the gang was in the cafeteria except…” Squall paused.

“Except Zell?” Irvine guessed.

“Yeah.”

“Still moping?”

“Yes he is. It’s not hurting any of his classes so I haven’t said anything about it,” Squall told the other man.

“If he and Seifer were cadets I would suggest giving them a shared room and then see how long it took for them to get together properly,” Irvine said, Squall clearing imagining the smirk that would be on the cowboy’s lips.

“If Seifer hadn’t been sent to Winhill…”

“You did ask if you should send Zell there too but he’s needed here,” Irvine said. “He can start his love life when Seifer gets back.”

“Which won’t be for about another week at the earliest,” Squall said with a sigh.

“He will survive, Squall. We did when you went to Esthar for a month cause Cid decided you needed to know your father better.”

“If Laguna wasn’t my father I think Cid would have gone himself,” Squall said. “Cid seems to think that just because he’s my father that he’ll give Balamb Garden more things than he would anyone else.”

“Which he does,” Irvine said, obviously grinning.

“Will you be over for dinner?” Squall asked, changing the subject.

“Sure,” Irvine promised, “if I’m not too tired.”

“I should just have you…” Squall started to say and then stopped.

“Have me what, Squall?” Irvine asked.

Squall pulled the latest voucher out of his back pocket.

If I had you move in with me then this wouldn’t be a problem. We wouldn’t be to tired to go visit each other cause we’d be already there.

We wouldn’t have to wake up alone ever again.

Squall hummed quietly as he grabbed up a pen and began to write on the voucher’s dotted line.

“What is it you want me to do, Squall?” Irvine asked, hearing nothing but the soft humming and the scratching of the pen. “What are you doing?”

“Just choosing today’s voucher,” the brunette told his lover.

“Something specific you want me to do when I get back, babe?”

“Yes. I’ll be expecting you after you read this,” Squall said, placing the pen on the desk and looking at what he’d written before folding the piece of paper again. “I’ll either be in my office still or in the apartment.”

“That good is it?” Irvine asked, his voice purring across the phone line.

“Oh yes. I do hope you’ll like it too,” Squall murmured quietly.

“I’m sure I will, love,” Irvine said just as quiet, hearing the seriousness in the brunette’s voice.

Squall stared at the piece of paper for a moment until the blinking of the incoming call light caught his attention.

“Irvine, I’ve got to go. I’ve got an incoming call from Dad for that conference chat with General Caraway that I mentioned last night.”

“Sure. I’ll be by later. Love you.”

“Love you too, Irv,” Squall said, disconnecting the call and opening the vid screen to chat with his father.

“Morning, son, how goes you day?” Laguna asked with a cheerful smile.

“It just got better, dad,” Squall answered as he tucked the love voucher in his pocket, the words of ‘move in with me’ briefly flashing before the brunette’s eyes as he turned his full attention to the Estharian president. “Lots better.”

To be continued…

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