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 20
By Garden's Gnome

It was cool inside the gift shop as Irvine wandered between the shelves, occasionally picking up a small trinket to look at it more closely. Not that he was shopping for a gift. He was looking for a card, a nice card, as requested by Squall earlier that morning.

Thinking of his lover brought a smile to the Galbadian’s lips. He could still feel the twinge of his muscles from where the brunette had claimed him the previous night with every step he took. Then this morning, Squall had taken the time to gently rub cream over the tired muscles when Irvine had grimaced while getting out of bed, followed by a lazy breakfast while they discussed things to do.

Pulling the voucher out of his pocket, Irvine read it once again. Love Voucher: A Nice Card. Looking at all the different types of cards on the shelves, Irvine pondered what his lover would consider ‘a nice card’. Would it be a silly one that made them both laugh or something romantic? Wandering to the shelf that was specially set aside for Valentine’s cards, Irvine was surprised to find Nida standing there with a couple of cards between his fingers as he read another one.

“So who’s the lucky gal?” Irvine asked, grinning as the shorter man jumped in fright.

“Hyne, Irvine, don’t do that!” Nida said, bending to pick up the cards he’d dropped.

Irvine crouched down and helped by picking up the card that had landed between his feet. Eyes quickly scanned the words and opened the card to see what the inscription inside said.

“What do you think?” Nida asked as Irvine handed the card back.

“It’s a Valentine’s card. It’s romantic and sappy like it is meant to be,” Irvine said and watched as Nida’s face fell.

“So you don’t think she’d like it?”

“Who are we talking about?” Irvine asked with a small sigh, turning to the shelf and looking at the brightly coloured cards that were mostly in shades of red.

“Selphie.”

Irvine almost dropped the card he had picked up. Turning to face the other man, he watched the pilot of Balamb Garden closely.

“You like Sefie?” he asked, suddenly quite serious.

“Yeah,” Nida said. “She’s so full of energy and nice and daring. You should’ve seen her during our SeeD exam…” the dark haired youth said as he stared at nothing dreamily.

“Right,” Irvine said quietly, drawing the other’s attention back to him. “Have you told her that you like her yet?” the sniper asked.

“Er…no…I was going to do that at the Valentine’s Ball that the festival committee is working on.”

“That’s right, there’s going to be a dance,” Irvine said. “I wonder if Squall remembered about that?” he muttered to himself.

“Pardon?”

“Well, Selphie is the head of the planning committee but she’s about to be sent to Winhill to help Fuujin finish a monster population study,” Irvine explained.

“Oh,” Nida said, lips turning down as he frowned sadly and began to put the cards back.

“Hey, hey,” Irvine cut in, stopping the pilot from placing all his cards back. “You can still give her a card.”

“But I won’t get to see her on the day. What’s the point?”

“The point is that I think you’d make a nice couple. You’re the pilot of Garden and she loves to fly so you already have something in common…kind of. Anyways, I’ll remind Squall about the dance and see what I can do about getting Selphie back here in time for it.”

“Really?” Nida asked, eyes brightening at the offer and Irvine’s nod. “Thanks Irvine. It helps to you don’t mind. I know how close you all are. I really like Selphie…Do you think she’d like one of those voucher books that you got for Squall?“

“How do you know about that?“ Irvine asked. No one outside the gang knows about the book.

“Well, Selphie told Quistis, Quistis told Xu and Xu told me.“

“You guys gossip about us?“ Irvine asked.

“Yeah, you make such a cute couple,” Nida told the cowboy with a big smile. “So, should I get her one of those books if she decides to be my girlfriend?“ the pilot asked, fidgeting with the card in his hand.

Irvine’s brow creased a little as he thought of a book full of vouchers in the bouncy brunette’s grasp. It’d be safe as long as she used the vouchers on herself and not others in Garden.

“I don’t know, Nida. There might be another Seifer/Zell episode if she gets her hands on a whole book.“

“What happened with Seifer and Zell,“ the pilot asked.

Irvine opened his mouth to tell Nida about Selphie and the photocopied vouchers when the other man’s watch beeped loudly.

“Oh hell, I have a flight and navigation class to teach. Got to get back to the Garden. Catch you later.”

Irvine watched the other man go to the counter and pay for the card he’d chosen. Nida was a pretty nice guy, grounded in a way that might calm Selphie down a little. He just hoped that Nida didn’t decide to teach the petite brunette woman how to fly the Garden or life would get interesting for everyone.

Turning back to the shelves full of cards, Irvine looked at the array of romantic cards and walked away from them, deciding that it was too early to get a real Valentine’s card for his lover. Perusing the other shelves, Irvine smiled when a small card no bigger than the palm of his hand caught his eye. On the front was a cartoon of a lion and a mouse, the small grey mouse holding a single yellow flower out to the lion. Opening the card, Irvine frowned when he found no words inside. If he wanted the card he would have to provide his own inscription.

Briefly looking over the other cards for possible inspiration, Irvine grabbed up the tiny envelope that went with the card he’d chosen and walked towards the counter. Handing over his gil to the young girl, Irvine borrowed a pen to write with.

Leaving the store a minute later, Irvine patted the pocket he’d put the card in, the words written on it making him smile and whistle cheerfully as he walked down the street to the store he’d left Squall in earlier.

Squall. Thank you for being mine. Love Irvine.

To be continued…

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