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 28
By Garden's Gnome

Squall awoke slowly, groaning as his body shook off the last remnants of whatever Dr Kadowaki had poured down his throat before Irvine had tucked him into bed the previous day. Or at least the brunette thought it was the next day, around mid afternoon if his body clock was correct. He’d slept a whole day.

“Hey, thought I heard a noise,” Irvine said softly as he came into the bedroom from the bathroom and sat down next to his lover, taking one hand in his and stroking the skin.

“I feel like I’ve been run over by a flock of stampeding chocobo,” Squall said as he weakly flexed his fingers around Irvine’s.

“Dr K said you’d probably be sore today,” Irvine said, smiling as he helped Squall sit up for a drink of water.

“What the hell did she give me?” Squall asked after he’d finished half the glass.

“Some concoction that included a few drops of a remedy and a sleep potion. I wasn’t expecting you to sleep this long but I guess your body needed it.”

“So what’s wrong with me?” Squall asked.

“Aggravated cold…bordering on flu. She told me that you don’t get sick very often but when you do…”

“It hits hard and fast,” Squall finished Irvine’s sentence. “I usually get a lecture from Dr K after I’m really sick, something about not pushing myself when I’m not feeling well.”

“She’s right, you know,” Irvine said, brushing some of the hair out of Squall’s eyes and the stroking his cheek. “We shouldn’t have been out in the rain like that either.”

“Probably not,” Squall agreed tiredly as he turned towards his lovers touch and closed his eyes.

“Hang on, don’t you go back to sleep. You’re having a bath and something to eat first,” Irvine said, pulling back the blankets and gathering the brunette into his arms.

“But I just want to sleep.”

“Well you can’t, otherwise it’ll be a waste of a voucher,” Irvine said as they went into the bathroom.

“I’ve already had this one,” Squall said, looking at the bubble filled tub.

“No, that was a bubble bath and champagne,” Irvine said as he leaned Squall against the bathroom sink and helped him to undress. “This one is just the bath. See.”

Squall leaned his head back against the mirror behind him and read the voucher that Irvine had torn from the book. Love Voucher: A Bubble Bath.

“You chose a voucher yourself?” Squall asked as Irvine dropped the page to the counter and helped him step out the shorts he’d slept in.

“I figured you’d appreciate this more than some of the others,” Irvine said as he lifted the naked brunette up and gently lowered him into the warm water.

Squall sighed happily and closed his eyes as the water enveloped his aching body, muscles slowly relaxing as the water and tub supported his weight. He started slightly as a cloth began moving over his shoulders and chest and then relaxed and smiled as Irvine continued to wash him. The slow, lazy strokes of the soapy cloth over his skin lulled Squall into a light doze, the brunette confident that Irvine would stop him from slipping too far into the water.

Smiling down at the face void of any tension, Irvine continued to clean his lover, carefully making sure that he washed every bit of skin. He’d spent most of the night awake, watching the brunette sleep, patting his warm body down with a cool cloth as he sat in a chair pulled close to the bed. Dr K had assured him that everything was fine and that he could sleep but he hadn’t been able to. Not until Squall had reached for his side of the bed in his sleep, a frown marring the brunette’s smooth brow as his hand met with bare sheets. The sniper had never undressed so fast, sliding into the bed and pulling Squall to him, the other man snuggling against his side with a soft sigh and a hint of a smile playing at his lips. When Irvine had woken up the next morning, the sun had been high in the sky and Squall had still been curled up against him.

A new scent drifted into the bathroom and Irvine turned his face towards it. Matron’s chicken soup was warming up out in the kitchen, Zell having told Headmaster Cid that Squall was sick, Cid then phoning his wife to ask for some of the soup that she had made whenever the children at the orphanage got a cold. Seifer had delivered it to a surprised Irvine an hour ago, complaining that he’d been evicted from the commander’s office because Zell had work to do and wasn’t appreciating Seifer sizing up Squall’s desk. Irvine had just smirked at the blonde, making sure to keep that bit of information to pass onto his lover, and telling Seifer that the desk had already been broken in. Seifer had left muttering something about how he wouldn’t be surprised if every surface in the commander’s office had seen more action than him.

Pulling the plug, Irvine gently shook Squall’s shoulder. Blue eyes blinked sleepily up at him.

“Done already?”

“You’ve been asleep for ten minutes, Squall,” Irvine said with a grin as he helped Squall to stand and then supported his lover while towelling him dry.

Clean and dry, Irvine carried Squall back into the bedroom and sat him on the bed.

“Don’t worry about clothing,” Squall said as he fell sideways to land on his pillow, attempting to pull his legs under the covers.

“Okay,” Irvine said as he helped Squall get comfortable. “I want you to eat before you sleep though.”

“Whatever,” Squall mumbled as Irvine left the room.

Irvine had to wake Squall up again when he returned to the room with two bowls of soup a short while later.

“That smells good,” Squall said as a tray was placed across his lap.

“From Matron,” Irvine said, watching like a hawk as Squall carefully lifted a spoonful to his lips and slurped.

“What?” Squall asked, watching his lover out of the corner of his eye.

“Just making sure you’re right to eat on your own.”

“I’m sick, not an invalid. Of course I can feed myself,” Squall grumbled between more spoons of soup, feeling a little stronger with each mouthful. “Ever wonder what she puts in this?”

“I’d like to think she puts love into it and that’s what makes us get better quicker but I know she puts a couple of drops of elixir in it just before serving.”

“How?”

“I rang her to thank her for the soup and she told me,” Irvine said with a slight shrug. “It tastes just like I remember it.”

“Yeah,” Squall agreed. “Makes sense now why she gave all of us some even if only one was sick. Matron wanted to make sure we stayed healthy. I‘m already feeling a little stronger.”

“As any mother would,” Irvine said, smiling. “You have every day off until you’re well enough to work again.”

“Which could be tomorrow at this rate.”

“Maybe, maybe not,” Irvine said with a smirk.

“What’s that smirk for?” Squall asked looking at his lover. “What do you know that I don’t?”

“Just that Seifer’s been eyeing off your desk and wondering how Zell would look spread out on it.”

“What’s been going on?” Squall asked.

“Nothing…yet,” Irvine said as he finished his soup and placed his bowl on the floor. “Zell’s kicked Seifer out of your office so he can concentrate. Seifer’s not happy.”

“I vaguely remember Seifer going through the voucher book,” Squall said with a frown as he gave his bowl and tray to his lover to also put on the floor. “Think he’s planning something?”

“Don’t know. But you agreed to the voucher he tore out and gave to me,” Irvine said Squall grabbed him and pulled him lower on the bed. “This coming weekend we’re going away,” Irvine said as he pulled the covers over them.

“We are? Where to?” the brunette asked as he arranged his body half over Irvine’s.

“Don’t know yet…still trying to decide.”

“Could we go to Esthar and pick up our kitten that dad is looking after for us?” Squall said, yawning and rubbing his cheek against Irvine’s chest.

“You’re going to make me spend our weekend away from everyone else in Esthar?” Irvine asked as he wrapped an arm about his lover.

“I will be out of contact and Zell will be in charge. That means giving him all the codes and keys to the Garden.”

“All of them?” Irvine asked, looking down at the top of Squall’s head.

“Yes, even the key for the third drawer on my desk,” Squall mumbled on the edge of sleep.

Irvine watched as Squall’s breathing evened out. He knew exactly what was in that drawer and why it was locked and only he and Squall had keys to it. He just hoped that Seifer appreciated what his lover was doing for him. Placing his lips to Squall’s hair, Irvine breathed in the scent of his warm lover and followed him into sleep.

To be continued…

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