Squall walked around his new ship with a pen and clipboard writing down things that needed fixing on the ship and to get it moving. So far it was a long list. He sat down in the pilot seat, it tilted dangerously back and would have fallen back if a hand hadn't reached out and caught it.
Squall looked back in surprise. "Hello."
"That's another thing for your list." Kiros said."
"When do you sneak in?"
"I was looking for you, it's getting dark and you're still here."
"It's still early it's just Esthar gets dark sooner." He looked back at Kiros. "You're always around, not stalking me are you?" He joked.
The dark man looked worried for a moment. Had he let his attraction or whatever it was for Squall affect his judgement?
"Do you want me to go away?"
Squall smiled. "It was a joke, trust me I'd rather hang around with you than Selphie or someone equally annoying." He added the broken seat to his list and stood up.
"Something you wanted? Or is this a social call?"
"Laguna has a surprise for you."
Squall frowned. "Should I be worried?"
Kiros chuckled. "A good surprise."
"It's not the intentions that worry me it's the outcome."
"Done with your list?"
Squall sighed. "Yeah... until something else breaks. I hope Laguna knows that this will take forever to fix up."
"I think that's the idea so you'll always come back to Esthar even after your holiday here is over."
"Shall we go?" Kiros asked.
"Where is this surprise?"
"And do you know what it is?" Squall asked as they walked back to the palace.
Kiros half smiled. "I have a vague idea yes."
"It's a surprise."
Squall frowned. "Well is it a good surprise?"
"I think so, yes."
"... What is it about?"
The dark man chuckled. "Can't you just wait and see?"
"I don't like surprises, they either get me killed if it's mission related or something horrible like- double dates." He shuddered.
Kiros opened the door to Squall's room and both of them stepped inside.
"Come on in." Laguna called from the other side of the TV where he squatted on the ground.
"What are you-" Squall started to say.
"Don't put me off, this is technical stuff. Kiros you fill him in."
The brunette glanced at his new dark friend.
"It's not rocket science Laguna, anyone can set up a DVD player." He looked at Squall. "He thought you could do with something to watch."
"But I don't have any DVDs."
"I have a huge collection, you can borrow any ones you want." Laguna said.
Squall took a seat on his sofa and patted the space beside him for Kiros to sit with him, which he did.
"And I shudder to think what you have in your collection."
Kiros smirked. "Like your pack of sing-along DVDs."
"That was ages ago when I was much younger."
"Younger huh? How younger? A Month? Two months?" His friend teased.
Squall's lips twitched into a smile.
"No! It's been at least-" He paused to think. "One year... in... a few months."
Both men on the sofa sniggered, Laguna smiled too, glad to see Squall actually laugh and act like he was enjoying himself.
Laguna looked back at his pile of wires. "Don't distract me."
"Yeah better not or he might blow it up."
Thank you for that vote of confidence Squall." He put a plug into the DVD player and switched on the TV.
"It's all snowy," Squall said.
"Hmm?" Laguna looked up at it. "Hang on I'll fix it."
"Have you plugged the DVD player into the TV?" Kiros asked.
"Yes, yes, yes I know what I'm doing."
Kiros shared a look with Squall. "Why am I not sure about that?"
"Why is everyone picking on me?" Laguna asked. "I know what I'm doing!" The picture flicked onto the screen.
Both Kiros and Squall nodded slowly as if waiting for it to go wrong.
Laguna looked up nervously. "Um- Squall we planned a dinner for tonight with us three if you want to come also Ward and his fiancée and -err-err- my-err-err-"
"Girlfriend?" Squall filled in for him.
"So Kiros and I will be third wheels?"
"Well technically you'll be fifth and sixth wheels." Laguna joked.
"But seriously it'll be fine I want you to meet- everyone."
Squall nodded. "I met Ward fiancée already."
"She thought I was terrorist."
"Oh." Laguna looked puzzled.
"So does she have a name?" Squall asked.
"Huh? Who?" Laguna asked without looking up.
"You're girlfriend, does she have a name?"
"Oh! Right, yes she does."
Squall looked at him. "So...?"
Kiros laughed. "It's Olivia." He told Squall.
"Will you come to dinner tonight then? It's in my rooms."
Squall glanced at Kiros. "You going?"
The dark man nodded. "Yes."
"Well so will I."
"Great, the ladies have volunteered to do the cooking."
Kiros looked at Squall. "He's been banned from entering the kitchen after a small fire incident."
"It wasn't that bad, just an accident I had with a frying pan." Laguna explained. "Kiros can cook he's allow to help out sometimes." He pouted. "It's not fair."
Squall grimaced. "Maybe it's genetic." He muttered. "Bad cooking." He added at the odd looks he received.
"I might have- poisoned a few people once."
The two older men sniggered.
"But I was forced into the social thing so really it was all their fault!"
"All done!" Laguna announced. "...I think." He eyed the DVD player that had no lights on it. "Ah, I see the problem hang on."
He switched over two plugs, putting the last one in the socket and... the TV went off and the lights.
Squall could heard the dark man beside him muffle a snigger and as his eyes adjusted he could see Laguna pouting on the floor.
Squall sighed. "Only you can blow the power by plugging in a DVD player."
"Don't worry I-" He pushed up off the floor. "I have candles."
"And how are you planning to cook this meal tonight with candles?"
Laguna frowned in thought for a second then beamed again. "You like salad right?"
Squall stood in the doorway of Kiros' apartment within the palace. The dark man handed him a candle and lit up lighting up the young man's face. Squall looked good in candle light the older man realised, even better when he smiled as he took the candle.
"Nice manly candle." Squall teased, eyeing the white wax with little pink flowers. The older man had one of his own that was light pink with white flowers on.
"They were from an aunt whom I never liked."
"When she gave them to me she said 'you're gay so you like pink right?'"
Squall snorted. "That's bull."
"Quite." They made their way to Laguna's place.
"Is this going to be one those awkward evenings where everyone tries to include me in everything?"
"I don't think so, it'll be interesting especially by candlelight." He knocked on the door and a woman that Squall didn't recognize opened the door.
"Oh there you are, I started to think something happened when the power when out." She had thick brown hair, dark eyes and a friendly smile.
Kiros walked in first ahead of him and kissed the woman on the cheek.
She grinned at Squall and held out a hand clad in a frog shaped oven glove, which he thought was a little odd as she wouldn't have used the oven with the power being off.
"I'm Olivia, I've heard a lot about you" She told him.
Squall eyed the glove for a second then shook her hand and nodded in greeting.
"Laguna didn't tell you what happened?" Kiros asked.
"Something about an accident."
Squall snorted. "He blew the lights plugging in a DVD player."
She laughed. "That was the accident?! I was thinking it was something serious. The whole palace was affected."
Another woman was in the kitchen chopping vegetables. "Hello again." He said to Squall.
"Believe me now?"
She sighed with a smile. "Yes okay you were right I was wrong, happy?"
"Very." He accepted.
"Take a seat at the table, hope you like salad not a lot less you can make unless you want a sandwich."
"Salad's fine." Squall said and Kiros nodded with a smile.
The brunette walked past his older friend, hearing him ask the ladies if they needed a hand. Ward was already in the dining room he nodded at Squall.
The table was covered with candles giving the room a nice soft glow, The brunette looked up as his dark friend came in and sat down beside him.
The older man's dark eyes seemed to glow in the soft light Squall studied him giving Kiros a chance to look Squall over. The brunette looked more beautiful in candle light.
"What?" Kiros asked, seeing the younger man's eyes on him.
"Huh? Oh!" He blinked. "No, nothing."
Both men jumped when the door banged open. "Never fear, Laguna is here!" The president announced as he entered, kissing his girlfriend in greeting and sat at the head of the table opposite Ward.
"Where have you been?" Olivia asked.
"Err- Trying to fix the electrics- Well not me personally but- err- you know-" He trailed off.
The ladies joined then at the table.
"Did you tell them how you blew the power?" She asked.
He frowned and turned to look suspiciously at Kiros and Squall who both looked innocent.
"You told them?!"
"He did it!" Kiros nodded in Squall's direction.
The young brunette frowned at his dark friend. "Telltale." He hissed.
Everyone tucked into the food, Laguna offered Squall everything on the table several times over until everyone was fed up with it.
"Let him help himself." Olivia said.
"If he lead hundred of Seeds I'm sure he can feed himself." She offered Squall a smile and he nodded his thanks in her direction.
Later dinner Laguna dug out the scrabble board.
"Scrabble by candlelight?" Squall asked.
"I'll be fun."
"I don't think you can play six player scrabble."
"Well we could do teams." Jenny suggested.
"Great idea!" Laguna grinned. "Squall you can pair with Kiros!"
The brunette and the dark man glanced at each other. "Well I think my team's won already then."
Laguna pouted. "What's that mean? We're not as stupid as we look you know."
Ward signed something at him. "No I didn't just say you looked stupid, at least I don't think I did."
"Well I'm quite good at scrabble." Squall boasted as the board was set out.
"We'll see." Laguna rubbed his hands together.
They organised when they were going to sit with Squall and Kiros pulling their seat together, their knees touched under the table.
The older man glanced at Squall to see if he would move away not that he was complaining but he wondered if Squall minded.
The brunette pulled out letters from the bag secretly enjoying the warmth radiating from the older man.
And either one moved away.
Kiros and Squall won scrabble by quite a bit, Squall had actually looked smug at their victory.
Laguna had pouted and sulked for ages.
Kiros left with Squall. "Come on I'll walk you to your room."
"Why? To save me from the dangers of the hallways?"
Kiros raised an eyebrow. "Was that a joke? Did think you knew what they were?"
The brunette frowned. "Ha ha."
"No don't do that, you frown too much."
"Don't tease me then."
"Laguna's glad that you seem happier."
Squall shrugged. "I guess this place isn't that awful." He risked a look in Kiros' direction. "At the moment."
"Thanks, not bored of us yet then?" Kiros watched Squall let himself in.
"Not yet." He paused in the doorway.
"See you later," Kiros said walking away.
"Bye," Squall replied quietly, watched him leave with a smile.
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