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 9
By Garden's Gnome

“Why are we sitting in the surveillance room?” Squall asked as Irvine pulled a chair next to his.

“It’s the best I can do on short notice,” the sniper said waving the latest voucher in front of Squall’s face. The brunette could make out the words Love Voucher: Take Out To The Zoo as it was flicked over his nose.

“This is not a zoo.”

“I know love, but with you taking your father and Kiros back to Esthar tomorrow, this was all I could come up with. Humour me?” Irvine begged.

“Whatever,” Squall said, leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms.

“Great, let’s get started.”

Expecting some animal or nature tape to play as Irvine tweaked with some of the screens, Squall was surprised when the fuzzy lines reformed into parts of the Garden, showing students going about their daily routines.

“What are you doing?” Squall asked the now grinning Irvine.

“Your zoo,” the sniper said, gesturing at the screen.

“You haven’t been eating hotdogs with Zell again? Squall asked, reaching out to feel his lover’s cheeks and forehead for some sign of sickness.

“No love,” Irvine said, catching and kissing the brunette’s fingers. “I’m taking you to the zoo.”

Squall gave the sniper a look that told the other man that his lover thought he’d finally lost his mind. Irvine just grinned and directed his attention to the screen, Squall following his example. He jumped a little when Irvine started to speak.

“For many years people have wondered about the creatures called SeeD that live at Balamb Garden. Wondered about their eating habits, how they choose their friends and partners and their mating habits. Today we shall discover these mysteries.”

“You are no safari guide,” Squall said, rolling his eyes at Irvine’s fake hushed tone of voice. “And I thought this was supposed to be a zoo. You know, many different species, not just the one.”

“Selphie’s from Trabia. Does that count?” Irvine asked as he spotted the brunette woman wander across one of the screens, heading for the training center.

“I’ll allow it,” Squall said giving Irvine a sidewards glance and managing to stop from smiling when his mind pointed out that Irvine was from Galbadia. “You may continue.”

“Thank you so much,” Irvine gushed and then snickered.

“As is known by regular creatures not part of the Garden society, Balamb Garden is not the only one of it’s type. These sanctuaries for the SeeD creatures exist in Trabia and Galbadia also. As not much is known about the other two Gardens, we shall focus our attentions on Balamb, starting with their eating habits.”

Irvine hit a button and a screen flickered and Squall looked down on the cafeteria and it’s usual lunchtime rush.

“At certain times of the day SeeD, both initiated and fledgling, gather for sustenance and social purposes. See how they form little groups, often sharing food while they talk. But at gatherings such as these, there are always some who miss out.”

Irvine and Squall both snickered at the familiar sight of Zell racing into the cafeteria and waiting in line, bouncing from foot to foot, only to get to the front of the line and find out that there were not hotdogs left.

“Those few who do not arrive in time to receive part of the feast provided by the feeders of the Garden, usually end up leaving and seeking food else where…Or have Seifer walk up with a plate full of food just for them,” Irvine said, surprise obvious in his voice as they watched Seifer lead Zell to a table in the distance.

“Seifer’s got it so bad,” Squall said with a grin as the two blondes sat down facing each other. Unfortunately from the angle they sat at, Irvine and Squall could only now see Zell’s face.

“We’ll come back to them,” Irvine said as he pointed to another camera. “Selphie’s in the training center.”

Dark green surrounded the camera they now looked through, the foliage growing around the camera almost blocking the view of events in the training grounds.

“Ahem…To hone their fighting…battling…hunting skills, the creatures of Garden often disappear into this densely vegetated area, seeking out it’s inhabitants to do combat.”

Both men watched on as a T-Rexaur crashed out of the trees and into the petite brunette, holding their breath as she was tossed to the ground.

“It’s unlike Sefie to get caught unawares,” Irvine said, leaning closer to the screen to watch. “Should we go help her?”

“No, she’s got help already,” Squall said pointing at the screen.

Irvine sighed with relief as Selphie was helped to he feet by Raijin, both of them moving into fighting positions. The T-Rexaur really didn’t stand a chance against the pair, their combat skills honed to near perfection during the sorceress war, even though Rai had been fighting on the wrong side at the time. The pair got in two hits each before Raijin finished the dinosaur off, standing beside the large body after the dust had settled, one foot on it’s head as Selphie cheered him.

“Of course, the Training grounds are also a place for SeeD to show their prowess to each other in hopes of catching the attention of a potential mate.”

“No. Not Raijin and Selphie?” Squall asked his lover as the two in the training center moved out of view.

“Anything is possible, Squall. Look at us…look at Seifer and Zell.”

“Speaking of the blondes, they’ve finished lunch and disappeared.”

Irvine and Squall peered at the screens Irvine had set-up for this ‘zoo trip’, looking for any sign of the other two men. Quistis walked across one screen and Irvine stopped to follow her, flicking from camera to camera until she walked into the infirmary.

“Ah, there she goes.”

“Found them,” Squall said, making Irvine forget about what Quistis might be doing.

“Where?”

“The Quad.”

Changing the camera linked to his screen, Irvine and Squall now had two different views of the blonde men, one from behind and one from the side.

“Do they even realise their hands are that close?” Irvine asked, noting that their hands were practically touching.

“Probably,” Squall said with a shrug. “Doesn’t seem like either of them want to ruin the peaceful moment though,” the brunette pointed out when he noticed that they weren’t talking, just watching the clouds pass overhead.

“We have to help them get together,” Irvine said.

“No, we have to leave them alone. They’ll figure it out when they’re ready. We did,” Squall said, giving his lover a soft smile.

“Yeah and it took you kissing Rinoa to figure it out.”

“But it was you I crawled into bed with later,” Squall whispered as he slid off his chair and sat down on Irvine’s lap.

“How…why me?” Irvine couldn’t help but ask, reaching up to cup Squall’s face in his hands.

“What if I said you remind me of me and I’m in love with myself?”

“Squall!” Irvine said, shocked until he heard Squall’s laughter. “Why you…”

The brunette laughed and squirmed on his lover’s lap as he was tickled, not trying too hard to get away from the fingers tormenting him. It ended when he finally managed to press his mouth to the cowboy’s, Irvine’s arms wrapping around him and holding him close.

“Why me, Irvine?” Squall asked as their lips parted, looking deeply into lavender eyes.

“Well, you’re sexy,” Irvine said, pressing a quick kiss to parted lips. “You’re in charge around here and being with the man in charge means great perks,” he added and mock winced when Squall punched his arm. “Because I like you, Squall. I liked you enough to think I could love you and I wanted to know if it would work.”

Squall smiled gently down at his lover and reached behind him to press the button that would reset the cameras to their proper sectors.

“No more zoo?” Irvine asked.

“Well, I though you’d like to explore the mating habits of the elusive SeeD Commander and his Galbadian consort,” Squall said with a grin as he headed for the door.

“Mating habits…I like the sound of that,” Irvine whispered into his lover’s ear as he slipped an arm about the brunette’s waist and pulled him close, the two men walking out of the room together.

To be continued…

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