Squall stood in front of the president's desk in the presidential palace in Esthar stiff as a board. Since finding out Laguna Loire was his father Squall had avoided Esthar at all costs but of course other people had to interfere. Cid had thought it would be good for him to spend some ‘quality time' with his father.
So here he was stuck in Esthar for a whole month of leave that he didn't want in the first place with nowhere to run. Garden was gone, the Ragnorok was gifted to garden and the Esthar plains were crawling with behemoths he'd be lucky to get to the train station without getting eaten.
"Could you at least try to look happy?"
Squall glared at him. "How can I be happy to be forced here against my will?"
"Well I-I thought we could get to know each other a little better."
"You don't have to be a prisoner here in the palace; I hear Esthar has a great night life."
The glare didn't let up.
"Shops, we have a lot of shops with weapon workshops. Or we c-could have dinner a few nights a week?"
Squall looked horrified at the thought.
"Not just us obviously... I-I mean Kiros and Ward usually-"
"Do I have a room?"
"A room, do I have one?"
Laguna blinked. "Err- Yes of course." He paused before getting up quickly to scurry around the desk. "I'll show you."
They stepped out of the office and down the hall in silence with Laguna franticly trying to think of something to say that Squall wouldn't completely ignore.
They reached the guest's quarters and Laguna lead him to a room at the end of the hall.
"Here we are." He unlocked the door and handed Squall the key. "Is that anything you need me to-"
"Oh well then-"
"Right yes, long trip and all." He stepped back into the hallway.
The door shut quietly without the other man answering.
Laguna sighed, he knew this was going to take time but Squall didn't seem to want to know.
The scarred brunette looked around at the room that would be his cell for the next four weeks. It wasn't too bad really, dark blue carpets, curtains, walls. The living room area had a leather arm chair and sofa with a wide-screen TV. His cabinets and low tables were a deep dark brown.
The bedroom had a large double bed with side cabinets and a large wardrobe. A small bathroom sat beside the bedroom with a connecting door. Shower, toilet, sink. He frowned. No bath. He actually liked a nice bath to relax in especially after something stressful like a long mission when he was sore or after a long conversation with Selphie.
He eyed the patio doors in the living room. That's why Laguna had given him the end room, there was a balcony. He walked up and slipped out the door, the view overlooked the city. In the dark with all the street lights on it looked quite nice.
His stomach rumbled causing Squall to frown as he ran a hand over it. Maybe he should have asked Laguna about dinner first but on the other hand if it mean he had to eat with that headache of a president that he would rather go hungry.
There was a knock at the door and Squall flinched he wasn't in the mood for Laguna right now; he stood there and stared at the door.
The handle slowly turned and someone looked in, not Laguna. Squall breathed a sigh of relief stepping back into the living room and pulling the glass door closed.
He recognized the tall dark skinned man from the visions with Ellone as his father's best friend, Kiros he remembered his name was.
The man at the door smiled. "Sorry to disturb you but I have brought your things here."
Squall was herded off the Ragnorok so fast by guards that he had no bags with him they had taken them all including Lionheart after they had gone on at him about not having weapons in the palace.
The brunette started to walk forward when the other man held out the gun blade case with Lionheart inside. Squall took it and placed it on the coffee table in front of the black leather sofa. The other man followed with Squall's bag putting it on the floor beside the couch.
"I'm kiros btw."
"I know I remember."
"From Ellone's visions."
"Ah." He nodded. "You know she's coming here in a few days."
Squall perked up. "Really?"
Kiros smiled at the slight change in expression. "Yes, she's off visiting some white Seed friends at the moment but when she heard you were staying she wanted to come and see you, she'll be here next week."
Squall face fell. "Oh." He said out loud before muttering. "What am I going to do until then?"
The older man smiled sympathetically, moving to sit on the sofa. "I know you're not happy to be here but Esthar has a lot to offer."
The brunette gave him a doubtfully look. "Like what?"
"Well what do you like? We have the world's biggest shopping precinct."
"A lot of weapon experts live here, I'm sure you'll find out about up-grades."
Squall looked mildly interested.
"The palace have its own ship yard, Laguna tells me you put a lot of work in to the Rag, I'm sure he'll let you have one of the ships to work on if you want."
Squall looked up. He liked fixing up the Rag and it was a good place to hide from his friends sometimes. "Really?"
Kiros grinned; glad he had found something that interested Squall. "Of course, if you ask him."
Squall bit his lip that meant talking to his father. "Would you ask him for me?" He asked.
Kiros chuckled. "He's your father."
"I know, that's the problem."
The older man smiled. "Fine, I'll ask him but just this once." He stood. "Anything else you need?"
Squall hesitated. "I haven't eaten since this morning."
"You should have just asked L-" He stopped. "Never mind." He gestured to the door. "I'm sure we can find you something to eat."
The brunette followed the older man out of the door and towards the kitchen.
"So..." Kiros started in hopes of getting a conversation out of Squall.
He glanced at Squall. "Look I know you're not going to want to hear me say this but Laguna's a good guy you know, give him a chance yeah?"
"We'll see." Was all Squall said.
"So tell me about you."
Squall frowned. "Why?"
"You'll be here for what? A month, how are you going to get to know anyone if you don't talk to them, call this practise if you want." He smiled.
When Squall didn't answer he started it off.
"I guess you've seen my past in full Technicolor right?" He said, meaning Ellone's vision. "You still seeing that girl? Julia's daughter."
Squall made a face. "No."
The older man smiled. "Well then, correct me."
The brunette sighed and shot him an annoyed look. "We broke up a few months ago, everyone tried to talk me out of it but they failed so don't you try."
Kiros held up his hands. "Hey, I was just making conversion. It's okay I'm sure you had your reasons, it just that I heard that you guys were pretty-"
"Perfect?" Squall snorted. "Yeah everybody says that."
The brunette glanced at the older man, he was tired of hiding his reasons he had so long and then he told his friends that he was gay, soon the whole garden knew and most people didn't seem to mind.
He wasn't sure he wanted to tell Esthar though when he only knew a few people. Although if he told Kiros who would no doubt tell Laguna and the president was against having a gay son then at least they could stop this bonding nonsense and he could go home.
"I'm gay." He said quietly, studying the dark skinned man to see his reaction.
Kiros looked at him. "Oh." He turned back to look where he was going. "Yes I guess that would put a dampener on things wouldn't it?"
Squall stared at him, even his friends made more of a reaction than that. Seifer had burst out laughing, Quistis's eyes had got really big and she kept saying things like: Oh, and really, and wow. Selphie had hugged him while demanding to know the details of his love life. Irvine had hugged him too saying things about there being more women for him now. Zell had choked on his food and yelled in a loud voice, "Are you really gay Squall?" In front of half a dozen cadets. Of course Rinoa had burst into tears telling him she loved him and begging him not to be gay.
"What?" Kiros asked as Squall stared at him, looking for any sign that he was horrified and just hiding it really well.
"You don't mind?"
"You don't seem shocked."
"Well I've only known you for half an hour." He chuckled. "I'm sure there are lots of things I don't know about you." He stopped and held out a hand.
"I'm Kiros Seagill, presidential aide and fellow homosexual pleased to meet you." He chuckled as Squall just stared.
"Oh." He finally managed to say.
"Kiros fell into step with him again. "Yep, one of my reasons for joining the Galbadia army."
Squall gave him a questioning look.
"Men in uniforms." He explained.
The brunette's lips curled upwards slightly and let out a small smile when the other man laughed.
"Used to think Laguna was pretty cute."
When Squall grimaced he added. "I said used to."
"No, I know him too well, watched him get lost in his own palace." He sniggered.
Squall rolled his eyes. "I don't think we'll get on."
"You mean you and Laguna?"
"Give it time."
They entered the darkened kitchen together, Kiros switched on the lights and disappeared into the cooking area, Squall leant on the counter. He appeared a moment later with a collection of leftovers.
"I found a bunch of things; guess you could make a sort of salad." He said, eyeing a pot of cottage cheese in his hand as he set things on the counter.
He put down a dinner plate and started to spoon cottage cheese onto it.
"Thanks." Squall said, getting up from the stool he had been perched on. "You can go, I'm sure I'll manage."
The older man smiled. "Its fine I'm in no hurry and besides you're a guest remember?"
Squall sighed. "Fine but let me help, I hate to feel useless."
"Don't you like people doing things for you?" The other man teased.
Squall didn't answer and started to steal bits of meat from a left-over chicken that Kiros had put on the counter.
They worked in silence for a few moments before Squall glanced up.
"You all live here in the palace?"
Kiros smiled at Squall attempt at conversation. "Yes of course."
"Isn't Ward like married?"
"Engaged." He corrected. "She lives here too, she's Laguna's secretary actually."
Squall blinked. "Oh."
The older man paused before adding. "You know Laguna has someone too, a girlfriend does that bother you?"
Squall shrugged. "Why should it?"
"Well I just thought that-"
"It's not like I knew my mother and anyway she's been dead for almost 20 years." He shrugged again, focusing on the tomato that he was chopping.
"That doesn't mean you don't love her, in your way."
The brunette looked eyes locking with the dark skinned man. Kiros smiled at him, breaking the eye contact between them and looking down at the plate. "I think you're done."
"Your dinner, I think it's done."
Squall glanced down at the full plate. "Oh, right, okay." He started to tidy up the counter. "Can I eat this in my room?"
"Of course and don't worry about tiding up, you made me hungry."
Squall paused, holding onto his plate. "I can wait if you want." He offered, feeling guilty about having the other man help him and then running off and leaving him to make his food alone.
"No it's okay, you go."
Squall bit his lip, the other man seemed maybe a little lonely, he wasn't in a hurry to go home, he mentioned that his friends had girlfriends and didn't mention anything about having someone himself.
The brunette sat back down at the counter. Kiros raised an eyebrow at him.
"I'm eat here."
"Oh really?" He smiled at him.
"Don't you have a home to go to?"
Kiros chuckled. "Yes."
"Someone to go home to?"
The smile faltered a little. "I never got around to that part."
Squall studied him as he munched on some cucumber. "Why not?" normally he wasn't one to pry but if Laguna had a girlfriend and he was a bumbling idiot and Ward had a girlfriend and he was mute then surely Kiros was the best out of the three.
"I don't go out much."
Squall frowned. "Why not?"
"Can't exactly see me going out with Laguna to pick up guys, can you?"
Well Laguna acted gay and he could see his point. It was easier for him as Irvine was Bi, Quistis was a lesbian, Zell was gay but no one was supposed to know and he wasn't sure Seifer was 100% straight either.
"I guess not." Squall mumbled.
"Besides I don't have the time, too much work to do."
Squall raised an eyebrow. "I think that's my line."
The older man chuckled. "Would you get your friends into gay bars?"
"Half my friends are at least Bi anyway."
"At least I don't have parents to worry about what they'll think."
Kiros gave him a look.
"Laguna doesn't count."
"He won't mind anyway, he's friends with me remember?"
"I wouldn't care if he did."
They fell into silence again, Squall just concentrating to his food.
"I'll ask Laguna tomorrow about getting you a ship to work on; maybe you two could work on it together."
Squall grimaced. "I don't need any help."
The older man stopped sticking things on his plate and took an arm full of things away to put back in the fridge. "I think I'm done here, you can go now if you want."
Squall took his plate and got up, the talk of Laguna had irritated him though he understood Kiros sticking up for his friend but it was still annoying. He just got to the door when he heard a voice behind him.
"I'll see you tomorrow then."
He looked back. "Yeah see you." He muttered, leaving the large kitchen behind.
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