Since this is Chapter Four you should know by know that I have nothing to do with the true owner of these characters, Squaresoft, other than some friendly copyright infringement. If I were doing this for money I would hopefully be making enough to run a site that takes NC-17, if not X. As you can see, I am posting this here with an R rating.

aoi warning, as with everything I write. Bad words, cheerful depictions of alternate lifestyles, some violence, the palest of lemon. And abuse of the Free Press.

Happily Ever After

Chapter Four - Pools and Politics

By Race Ulfson

I can't say we spent the entire next day making love. For one thing, Squall and I were both exhausted, so sleeping took up a good 10 hours. Then there was eating and personal maintenance, although at least one of the showers and certainly the bath should probably be allocated to making out time.

It was a good day.

All too soon I was wake again, this time with Estherian sun stabbing me in the eyes, and it hit me that this was the day of Laguna Loire's big welcome party. I owed the guy; he and Squall got me out of Galbadia and the awaiting fair trial and certain execution. And Loire was gambling on me, not just the money he was pouring into my education, but also politically. I hoped he knew what he was doing. I wished to Hyne I did.

I pulled the pillow away from Squall's gunblade enhanced grip and hid my head under it. Squall rolled over with it and draped across my chest.

"Quit stressing," he mumbled.

"Easy for you to say," I grumbled, trying to smooth Squall's silky chocolate hair down and out of my face. "You're used to hanging with the President of the most powerful nation on Hyne's World."

"You know some pretty important people yourself."

"Yeah, but I don't think I can throw your Dad's legs in the air and get the same reaction." I met his eyes and could tell we were both thinking the same thing. Okay, that's just wrong. The guy's old enough to be my father for Hyne's sakes.

To change the subject, I beat Squall with the pillow and that led to some retaliatory tickling and that led to some other, more pleasurable activities. Some things you never get tired of.

I was lying there with Squall on top of me, idly scratching his back, when I saw the time and sighed. "We gotta get it together. I hate this political shit."

Squall snuggled. "They say when you meet new people you should imagine them naked."

"Sure, I need to be formally presented to the President of Esther with a hard on."

"Oh, I think you should wear more than that."

"Sure, I'll wear a smile to go with it."

"Much better."

It occurred to me that I didn't have anything to wear. I felt like Rinoa, but it was true. "I don't own a tux," I told Squall. I didn't even own a tie.

Squall rolled his eyes at my expression. "It's a pool party. Wear your shorts."

So that is how I came to be formally introduced to President Loire and my new country of Esther wearing swim trunks and flip-flops. To my credit, the President himself was dressed in baggy cut offs, sandals and a deeply hideous tropical print shirt.

He greeted me with a half hug, half handshake and his typical breathless whisper. "I hope you don't mind I invited the Tilmits." Loire, true to Galbadian custom, used Selphie's name instead of Irvine's. "It's a welcome to Esther party and I felt we should welcome the New Addition, too."

So Loire neatly managed it that the kid stole most of the spotlight. Not even the most jaded of the press would rather badger me about old news when there was a perfectly adorable newborn to photograph. Trabian already had his daddy's smile, Hyne help us. Guard your daughters. Guard your sons, too.

Selphie helped the distraction by telling a truly hysterical recount of the Crown Prince delivering said treasure. Irvine, still on crutches, took the friendly ribbing from Loire and the others with his famous groin tightening scuff and smirk.

Quistis got her share of attention, mainly due to her swimsuit, or lack there of. Something about a leggy blond in a teeny bikini causes every breath she takes to be an object of fascination for heterosexual men. Every deep breath, anyway. Even Squall looked twice.

Zell avoided taking his bow for fixing the ship and saving Irvine's fool neck by diving into the pool. I must say the hyper little guy looked the most natural of us all, with his surfer tan and sculpted body. And butt ugly low-slung jams. He and Loire must shop at the same spots. There can't be two sources with those fabrics. How many blind weavers can there be?

Squall dodged most of the questions from the press with far more grace and aplomb than his old "Whatever" and glare combo. I guess some of the Old Man's people skills were rubbing off. I could tell he was tensing up, when Selphie went into a recount of her and Irvine's wedding. The crowd was howling.

I made my way over to him. "Was it really that funny?"

Squall rolled his eyes. "Selphie's stories are always better than life."

I wanted to put my arm around him, but I wasn't too sure about Esther's official views on openly gay activities. Not that it could be too bad considering the President. It was Squall I didn't want to upset. He was already wearing his comfort clothes; all in don't touch me black. Some of the partygoers might have wondered that Squall wasn't dressed for swimming, but with his lily-white skin I could understand why. Also there were still some ugly scars he no doubt didn't want to explain.

Instead I leaned over and passed on the advice Loire had whispered in my ear as he formally presented me an hour or so ago: "Smile and try to look like you're having fun." At least I got an eye roll out of that.

Loire called Squall over. He was standing by the edge of the pool, talking to some Name interviewer, one of those guys who had asked rude questions of so many famous people some of their importance had rubbed off. Or so he thought, anyway. Like most of the press there, he had hit the buffet and punch bowl at lot harder than had the invited guests.

Loire slung an arm around Squall's shoulder and I think was introducing his son to the Name. I couldn't hear what he said, but the Name's theatrical voice carried just fine, during one of those perfect pauses in everyone's conversation.

"Bit of a come down to go from fucking a Sorceress to being fucked by a Sorceress's Knight, isn't it?"

Where I was standing, I could see everything happen at once. Selphie and Irvine gasped and frowned respectively, I suspect more out of displeasure at the vulgarities in front of their darling than what was said. Quis narrowed her eyes and looked at me like I was to blame. Zell balled up his fists and bounced on his heels in a reaction I'm not too big to admit I missed from the old Chicken-Wuss days. Squall went from lily to glacial white. Laguna Loire took a step back and fell in the pool, dragging his son and the Name with him.

I dismissed the spell I was conjuring and joined the rest of the crowd trying to help.

A short time later I had Squall safely in our room and in my lap as I toweled off his hair.

Kiros had stopped by while he was changing to let me know the coast was clear. Despite the fact that Loire insisted he was merely the president and his notorious fondness for members of the Press, Esther was not and had never been a free or democratic society. There were some things you did not do and calling the beloved Prince and Hero a fag in front of Hyne and Everybody was one of them. The Name had been fished out of the pool, squeegeed off, and politely put on the next train out. Kiros and I agreed that there was no real reason for either of us to return to the party, anyway.

"I don't understand why if someone falls in the pool at a pool party he must immediately go take a hot shower."

I draped the towel over Squall's head and pulled him into my arms. He was shivering in the air conditioning. "It's like when it rains at the beach," I explained. "Everybody runs for cover."

"I never understood that, either."

I held him and tried to warm him. Squall was stiff in my arms, still angry or unsettled. I sighed. "I tried to warn you."

"Don't start."

"Squall, you're famous and I'm nefarious and people are gonna talk."

He pulled away from me. "I said, 'Don't'!"

I pulled him back. "Don't shut me out!"

"Leave me alone," Squall hissed.

Just like that, we were kids again. He was hiding from me and I hated it. Squall started to stalk away, but I grabbed him by the upper arm - and got a slap, not a girly slap, but a skin crackling pimpslap. A sunburst of fury rolled over me and I smiled that old bully smile and threw him with an easy flex of my authority - superior strength - down on the padded bench. He came up swinging and clipped me a good one on the nose. I roared and jumped on Squall, holding him down with my body. He thrashed, but I'm still bigger and heavier. Like I had done so many times before, I grinned triumphantly down at my little rival as he finally stopped his arching and twisting and glared up at the wall, refusing to look at me, out of breath and furious.

"Winner and still champion." I said, gloating.

Squall looked up at me like he had so many times before, flushed, angry, humiliated by losing so easily, and this time my little chocobo brain registered the other emotion in his silver storm eyes.

Like I wanted to do, and should have done, so many times before, I kissed him. No. I claimed his mouth with mine. Nothing that violent, that intense, could be called just 'a kiss'.

Squall melted under me. This was not like the love making we had been indulging in near constantly for the last several weeks. This was going back in time and reliving something we had both been too inexperienced to understand four, five, six years ago. A chance to set some things right between us.

I moved so he wasn't trapped under me anymore, just held, protected. Squall reached up and put his arms around my neck, holding me against him. I could hear his heart pounding. I kissed my way up his breastbone to the pulse throbbing in his white throat. Squall slid hid hands down my body and untied the drawstring in my shorts as I reached for the scented lotion. He lifted his legs, rubbing against me, and soon we were joined.

This time, when I smiled down at Squall, he smiled up at me. His eyes fluttered closed and he tightened all around me. "Don't ever leave me," he whispered.

I kissed him again, gently this time, finding my release with his. "Never happen, Baby," I said.

How could I leave him? I loved him.


I know, it's been forever and I'm bad. This isn't even the scene I intended to write. Thanks to all those who stayed with me!


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