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 4
By Garden's Gnome

From the moment that he stepped into the rooms that Laguna and Kiros used during their stay at Balamb Garden, Squall knew that something was up.

For starters, Kiros was not there. That tall, dark-skinned man rarely left Laguna’s side whenever they were away from Esthar for both security reasons and personal ones. Kiros liked to know that Laguna was safe. If Squall and Laguna were to have a private meeting, Kiros would escort his president to wherever they were meeting and ensure Laguna had his cell phone before leaving them alone. During this time Squall wasn’t sure where the other man went but was later told by his friends that he went to the library or the training centre, usually followed by a request form asking for more robust monsters to battle with; signed by Kiros.

But on this afternoon, Laguna had been the one to invite Squall over for a coffee and chat about things in general. Away from the offices they avoided discussing business, instead focusing on small daily things and their private lives. It was a chance for them to spend time as just father and son.

“Ah, you’re here,” Laguna said as he walked out from the bathroom. “I’ll just go get dressed.”

Squall watched his father walk into the bedroom and close the door behind him before moving to one of the sofas and sitting with a puzzled frown. This was something different. Laguna usually didn’t worry about getting dressed if Squall caught him fresh out of the shower. Normally he’d tighten his robe sash and wander into the kitchenette, returning with whatever goodies he had set aside for them to have with coffee before going to find some real clothes.

Squall cast a look at the closed door as he stood and made his way into the kitchen. Getting out large coffee mugs and beginning to put a small tray of food together, Squall let his mind wander over his day so far.

Waking up had been generally normal. He awoke just before the alarm went off and had managed to sneak away from his bed where Irvine continued to sleep to have a hot shower. After his shower he had returned to the bedroom to dress, only to be grabbed by a sleepy lover and dragged back into bed for some early morning sex.

Sex with Irvine had caused the brunette to miss his morning run through the training centre but had been a workout in itself.

Together they had gone to the cafeteria for breakfast, knowing they wouldn’t see each other until lunch; Irvine having agreed to accompany a couple of students to the Fire Cavern for training while Squall and Cid would be having their meeting with Laguna from the previous day that had been interrupted by the arrival of General Caraway and Martine.

That was where things had started to feel strange. Squall remembered arriving in his office just before Laguna and Kiros, tensing as his father walked through the door, steeling himself for the usual exuberant embrace from the longhaired man. The hug hadn’t come. Instead Laguna had given his son a strange look, squeezed his shoulder in welcome and sat down on the sofa next to Kiros and opposite Cid. For the next few hours, Squall had been treated to frowns, quizzical looks and small smiles from his father as the four of them discussed everything from the possibilities of restarting the space program to building a new Garden in Esthar. Squall had left the meeting feeling rather puzzled by his father’s standoffish mood.

Pouring heated milk into the two mugs, the brunette had just placed the jug back on the counter when long arms encircled him and he was pulled back against a firm chest.

“Are you still seeing Irvine?” Laguna asked his son quietly.

Squall nodded.

“You know I’m in a relationship with Kiros, don’t you?”

Squall shook his head and turned to face his father as the older man released him from his hold.

“Then how do you explain this if you’re with Irvine?” Laguna asked, handing the brunette a piece of folded paper before reaching around Squall to pick up the tray and head into the living area.

Squall looked at the folded sheet of coloured paper in his hand. Slowly he opened it, blue eyes widening in disbelief. Printed on the surface was one of the love vouchers. Love Voucher: A Cuddle it said in dark print. Squall eyes stayed on the words as he almost blindly followed his father into the other room.

“I’m guessing you didn’t send that to me?”

“No,” Squall said as he dropped the paper on the table in front of them and picked up his coffee and curled up on the sofa, mimicking Laguna’s posture as he wrapped his hands about the mug. “Where was it?” he asked.

Laguna frowned thoughtfully as he sipped at his drink. “That one was on the kitchen counter. There was another in the pantry and two more next to the phone.”

“There are more?” Squall asked.

“Sure, do you want me to get them?”

Squall shook his head. “No, hang onto them. Perhaps you can do something special for Kiros,” the brunette said with a small smile.

“What are they exactly?” Laguna asked.

“They are part of an early Valentine’s gift from Irvine,” Squall said with a light blush. “But this page is not,” he added as he picked up the paper again.

“How do you know?”

“Because I have the whole book. You tear out the voucher and give it to the person who gave you the book and they have to fulfil what the voucher says. All of the pages are plain white. This page was photocopied somewhere,” Squall said, holding up the page and looking at the dark smudges that told of a smudged photocopy screen.

“Oh,” Laguna said quietly. “Think Irvine will know something about it?”

“Possibly. I’ll have to ask him tonight when I give him my own cuddle voucher.”

For a few moments they pondered the page now back on the table and sipped at their drinks.

“So you and Kiros?” Squall asked with a raised brow.

“Ah…yeah…” Laguna admitted, blushing as he shifted his leg uncomfortably.

“How long for?”

“Esthar. After Raine’s death.”

“Ah.”

Squall finished his drink and put the mug back on the table. Turning back to Laguna, he found the older man watching him closely. “What?”

“Um…can I?” Laguna asked suddenly finding something interesting to look at in the bottom of his mug.

“Can you what?” Squall asked, confused.

“Cuddle you?”

Squall stared at his father for a minute, brain not really thinking of anything as he considered the request.

“I…guess,” he said softly.

Laguna’s mug joined Squall’s on the table and the older man opened his arms. Squall crawled over the cushion between them and half reclined, half laid on his father’s chest, Laguna stretching his legs out either side of his son’s body.

“Comfy?” Laguna asked as he wrapped an arm about Squall’s shoulder.

“Yeah,” Squall said, resting his head against Laguna’s chest, listening to the slowing heartbeat. “You know, Matron used to hold me like this,” Squall said quietly as he closed his eyes and enjoyed the hand now carding slowly through his hair.

“Tell me about the orphanage.”

When Kiros returned from the library and hour later, he found Laguna reclined on the sofa, gently running his hand through his sleeping son’s hair.

To be continued…

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