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Make a Wish
"Relax..." Squall started, then broke off as the door to the bath opened to emit a haze of steam and a still damp Laguna, barefoot and with a clean shirt only partially buttoned, his head half obscured by the towel he was rubbing vigorously across his hair.
"There's confetti in the drain," he was complaining as he wrung the water from his hair. "Remind me about this when Selphie's birthday comes around, will you?" Catching sight of both of them, Laguna paused, the end of the towel trailing down across one eye. Squall's face was its normal mask butZell was certain there were a dozen different things chasing themselves across his expression as he looked up at the older man.
Laguna glanced down at himself, then back at the two of them. "Either I've broken out in spots or... am I interrupting something?" He looked at Squall quizzically, gesturing hesitantly back towards the bath. "I can get out of the way..."
Squall's gaze slid back towards Zell, silently questioning with the faintest arch of one brow. Zell took a deep breath and carefully leaned down to set his glass on the floor, finding he abruptly wasn't nearly as drunk as he had been a few moments before. "Fuck this. Squall, get up."
To his rather numbed surprise, Squall did, wordlessly moving to stand beside a thoroughly confused looking Laguna. Zell, getting to his own feet, tucked his hands securely beneath his elbows and took a hard look at both men.
Bare feet and boots canceled out most of the difference in their heights. Laguna's hair, wet, was a uniform black that stuck out in disarrayed spikes from his head and trailed damply down around his neck. He kept looking from one to the other of them, frowning, eyes wide. "Squall? Zell? What's wrong?"
Squall kept his eyes on Zell. "Well?" he drawled softly.
Zell kept staring for another minute, then finally shook his head, wincing as the room tried to take up spinning again with the motion. "You don't look a damn thing like each other," he declared firmly.
Laguna made a strangled sort of surprised noise. Squall, who looked as though he had been prepared for just that, caught the older man's elbow before Laguna could slip. "It's alright," Squall said mildly. "I just told him."
"And that's alright?" Laguna gasped, clutching at the towel over one shoulder like a lifeline. "I mean... you... we... Zell?"
"That's about what I said," Zell told him, raking a hand through his hair. "This is just... weird. Fucking bizarre."
"Here." Squall, one hand still on Laguna's elbow, shoved the older man gently towards the bed. "Sit down before you fall down. Zell..."
"Nah, I'm okay."
Squall might almost have grinned, the very edge of his lips turning upwards. "That scotch wearing off yet?"
"Getting there," Zell growled sourly. He tilted his head towards Laguna, who had dropped down onto the edge of the bed, still clutching the towel, his eyes huge. "Now maybe you wanna explain again why you just gave us both heart attacks?"
Squall gestured for Laguna to scoot over, sinking down beside him on the bed. The older man ran a hand through his hair, smoothing back the damp strands of it. "Explain?" he prompted. "I thought... I mean..." he trailed off, shutting his mouth rather sharply.
Squall waved a hand slightly. "I know. But Zell can keep his mouth shut." Gray eyes slid towards Zell. "Can't you?"
"Absolutely," Zell vowed.
"Right." Squall leaned forward, his elbows propped against his knees. "And if I'm out on mission, nine times out of ten it's Zell with me. If anything happens..."
Laguna reached out, almost grabbing at Squall's arm, and Zell watched as two shades of color slipped from the older man's face, his voice serious. "Don't. Don't say that."
"It could happen," Squall said firmly. "And if it does, Zell will get ahold of you. Period."
Laguna looked a far cry from happy, concern openly visible on his face. "Promise," Zell said quietly, and meant it.
The older man's eyes flickered towards him, then back to Squall. "It won't happen," he repeated stubbornly, reluctantly letting go. "It won't. You're both better then that." Sighing, he scrubbed both hands across his face, tugging the towel off of his shoulder and pitching it towards the chair. "That's why you told him?"
Squall shrugged slightly. "You've got power of attorney. Unless something happens nobody needs to know that - but if it does, I don't want it getting lost and everybody forgetting to even tell you until it's too late."
"Squall..." Laguna's expression was stricken. In a rare display of emotion Squall leaned over, pressing a light kiss to his forehead.
"It'll be alright," he said softly. "It just doesn't hurt to have a plan."
Laguna swallowed, dropping his head. His fingers combed distractedly through the wet strands of his hair. "Yeah. Right, good." Zell wasn't sure, by his tone, if he was trying to convince himself or the world at large. Squall said nothing and they sat in silence for a few moments.
"Heavy stuff, for a birthday," Zell commented at last, breaking the quiet.
"Well," Squall admitted after a moment, with a deliberately lighter tone, "that was part of the reason."
Laguna glanced up, blinking. Zell, staring at Squall, crossed his arms over his chest. "I know that look," he accused, "and I wish I didn't. What the hell's going through your head?"
Squall leaned back on his arms, expression unfazed. "You both asked what I wanted for my birthday."
"Well, yeah," Zell replied sourly. "You're impossible to get anything for."
Laguna flushed. "I didn't exactly have much forewarning," he protested.
Squall rolled his eyes towards the ceiling. "You don't exactly ever look at a calendar either," he countered.
"I still don't like that look," Zell interrupted sharply, "but fine, I'll bite. What do you want, and what does it have to do with letting me in on this little secret?"
There was a moment of hesitation, Squall's gaze still fixed on the ceiling above him. "I wanted you to know what I was asking for."
Zell's glare was getting worse by the second, along with the tight tension at the pit of his stomach that he was trying to ignore. "I'm going to regret this," he predicted dryly. "Spit it out, Squall. What do you want?"
Squall pushed himself up, his gaze meeting Zell's. "Right now?" he inquired lightly. Before Zell could answer he raised a hand, palm up, forstalling the outburst. "Just... watch."
Zell's quick intake of breath was lost under the muffled sound of surprise Laguna made as Squall turned, capturing the older man's face between his hands and sealing their lips together.
Zell abruptly found he'd forgotten how to breathe.
It wasn't just that it was the first time he had seen them kiss, Squall not being a very large fan of public displays. It wasn't that it was long or open mouthed or drawn out or even watching all of the little things like the moment Laguna stopped resisting, his eyes shutting and his hands coming to rest on the back of Squall's neck. It wasn't the sound of their breath or the sight of them or even that is was Squall leaning into the kiss with a hungry intensity...
It was knowing, really knowing, just what he was witnessing that pulled the breath out of his lungs and sent every coherent thought streaming out of his head.
When Squall broke the kiss, drawing back slowly, a strangled noise came from Zell's throat.
Laguna was wide eyed and pale, mouth working without any sound. Squall turned his head towards Zell with a firm hand. "Your turn," Squall said firmly. "Watch." Sliding off the bed, he got to his feet.
Zell found his voice in paniced desperation. "Squall, wait..." A step back found the unyielding edge of the desk against his hips and before he could gather any more coherent protest Squall had closed the distance between them, the other man leaning into his space even as Zell tried to lean back.
Squall leaned down, eyes dark, his voice a soft whisper just between the two of them. "Zell?"
Zell drew a breath, hot and cold at once, too aware of the heated flush spreading across his cheeks and the press of the other man's body and the sensation of Laguna's stunned eyes on the two of them. "You're fucking insane," he hissed. He reached up to sink his fingers into the soft hair at the nape of Squall's neck, meeting the kiss halfway.
Ice and lightning, like a storm between their lips, drew a ragged sound from Zell's throat as Squall's tongue slid across his own. Strong hands slipped around his waist to draw him closer, the buckles of Squall's belts biting into his stomach through the fabric of his shirt. Breathless, Zell closed his eyes, sinking into the sensation and letting the other man do what he wanted.
Hot breath was exhaled across wet lips as Squall broke away, tiny nips testing flesh in a lingering caress. "Like that?" Squall whispered, his voice low in a way Zell hadn't imagined it could be.
Zell tried to swallow, the muscles in his throat barely working. His hands, cupped tight around Squall's neck, felt numb. Somewhere, in the back of his mind, a startlingly sober realization was struggling to come to the forefront. Squall had just kissed him. Squall Leonhart had just voluntarily kissed him. In front of his, Squall's, lover, who was still watching as his son crowded Zell up against the desk, tiny brushes of hot lips falling across his mouth and jaw as Squall bent down, tongue flickering along Zell's cheek. And somewhere in that assessment Zell's brain had short circuited, language failing him completely as he leaned up, chest pressed to chest and feeling the sharp metal ridges of Squall's Greiver pendant embedded in his flesh.
An exhale puffed against his ear, followed by the blunt nip of teeth. "Take that as a yes," Squall breathed. And then just as abruptly as it had happened the other man stepped back, letting go, and Zell had to catch himself against the edge of the desk to remain standing.
"Squall..." Laguna's voice was anything but steady. The older man was still seated on the bed where Squall had left him, hands clenched white knuckled on the covers. Zell found he couldn't meet the other man's eyes and dropped his own to the toes of his shoes, taking deep breaths.
Squall sighed softly, raking a hand through his hair. "We won't," he said quietly, not looking at either of them. "If you don't want to - either of you - we won't." He bit the last words off sharply, lips pressed thin, and there was a trace of flush across his cheeks.
There was something like a stiffled squeak from Laguna. Zell took another breath, trying to steady his voice, and dared to look up again. "You're serious?"
Squall met his gaze steadily, head cocked slightly. "Yes."
Running a suddenly dry tongue across his lips didn't help; it just gave him the taste of alcohol and Squall, fresh and strong in his mouth. Zell leaned his weight back against the desk, trying to look as though he didn't need the support. "Who do you want watching?" His voice cracked on the last word but he was past caring.
Squall's gaze slid from Zell to Laguna and back again. "Both," he said, and his voice had dropped another notch, husky at the edges. Zell shivered, feeling the sound drop from his ears to his groin like the liquid heat of a vibration. "Neither. Whatever you're comfortable with."
For that low, heated tone in the other man's voice, Zell could fairly easily imagine himself doing just about anything Squall wanted. And by the look in Squall's half hooded eyes, the cool facade splintering to show the fire in their depths, Squall knew it.
Zell closed his eyes, swallowing hard. "Just tonight?" he heard his own voice ask. When he opened his eyes Squall shrugged slightly, head tilted in assent.
One night of fantasy. He couldn't begin to imagine himself with Laguna, but he could only too easily recall the image of Squall kissing the older man and the memory alone made the muscles in his legs shaky. One night of unbelievable reality to fuel a lifetime of fantasies.
Zell could feel himself grinning, something wild and a little reckless in the expression. "Alright."
The facade broke further and for one instant he glimpsed what might have been honest surprise in Squall's eyes. The other man recovered quickly, nodding once, then turned to look at Laguna.
The older man had one hand clenched on his thigh, fingers dug sharply into the muscles. "You're trying to give me a coronary," he accused a bit testily, his voice breathless.
"You're in better shape then that," Squall replied easily. Zell watched, feeling the hitch in his own breath as the other man went back to the bed, dropping down to his knees on the floor, elbows resting on Laguna's thighs as he leaned forward to say something too soft for Zell to hear.
Laguna's reply was strained. "I don't know. You really..." Squall interrupted him, voice low, and Laguna broke off to swallow. Green eyes looked up, meeting Zell's for a moment. Laguna's cheeks were flushed a bright red but he didn't look away. "Alright," he echoed, the word cracking. Clearing his throat, he ducked his head slightly. "Yeah, okay."
Zell felt the motion of his lungs seize up for a moment. Squall looked back across his shoulder, one brow arched in mute question. "Zell?"
There were butterflies in his stomach the size of malboros. Zell gulped, hard, then pushed himself away from the desk. "Right here," he managed through a dry throat. "Your show, Squall. Where do you want me?"
Squall leaned up, a long stretch from knees to shoulders. He was smiling, just a little, and as abnormal as the expression itself was the quality of it, something as lazy and smooth as his lowered voice, sent shivers through Zell's spine. "Use your imagination," Squall suggested.
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