Melt Down of the Heart
The sun had just barely begun to peek above the horizon, heralding the noonday hour and already the day felt like a blistering inferno. That was the joys of summer on the continent where Esthar lay nestled amidst parched and cracked land. Where the ground got so hot you could see it simmering in the rays of sunlight that beat down on it. Heat waves were a common occurrence, but the proud city had been particularly brutalized over the past few weeks by a severe scorcher with no end to in sight. Not even the barest hint of a breeze blew to bring relief. Only the foolish would dare venture out of their house on such a day.
Standing in what would be the Quad/garden area of the new Garden being built on the outskirts of the city, Squall Leonhart absently brushed sweat soaked bangs out of his eyes and surveyed the day's progress. Due to the current weather conditions, the schedule had been slowed to a crawl, but Squall didn't mind. He enjoyed the opportunity to throw himself into his work and just forget about things.
This day, however, was proving to be too much even for the young SeeD Commander. He had dismissed the work detail a short while ago after having worked during the cooler --if they could even be called that-- hours of the morning into early afternoon. No sense in jeopardizing the workers, risking heat stroke or something worse. Besides, the perceived compassion only worked in his favour, affording him more respect and loyalty than he ever thought possible.
Not bad for only just having turned eighteen.
Now, if only he could avoid the hero-worship of those waiting to begin their training in the new Garden, or the packs of girls 'eligible' who constantly hovered about, life would be more bearable. Squall could easily do without the fawning, the constant vying for his attention, the hungry eyes that lingered over him where ever he went in the city, sizing him up like the grand prize of a lottery or something. He had left Balamb to get away from all that. Squall wasn't like Zell or Irvine or Selphie or Seifer who sucked up the attention like a needy vacuum and thrived on it. Even Quistis had grown to enjoy the attention.
No, Squall only desired the complete adoration of one person, of one man who would forever be out of his reach. Why? Because he was forbidden fruit, taboo, even in a world where same sex relationships were as common as heterosexual relationships. Where Squall had grown up, the type of love he longed for was ridiculed, called wrong, frowned upon. For Squall was in love with Laguna Loire. His own father.
Not that Squall could, or would, ever see him that way. He would never be able to reconcile himself to that, to calling the dark-haired man he wanted 'dad'. Yeah, so, the man had donated his seed, creating Squall's very life. Big deal. The man hadn't been there during Squall childhood, hadn't contributed anything into shaping Squall into the man he had become. Laguna hadn't been the one to patch up skinned knees after a nasty fall from a tree, or had soothed away Squall's fears after a nightmare, or had congratulated him after passing a particularly grueling test. Matron had been the one to do those things, the one to guide Squall through life's trials and tribulations.
Laguna Loire had waltzed into his life after seventeen years of absence and, not knowing who the man was, had stolen Squall's heart with one glance. Inane babbling, klutzy ways and all. They were polar opposites, yet Squall found himself drawn to Laguna's bright and cheery smile like a moth to the flame. Rinoa's charisma paled in comparison to the President of Esthar's. She had never managed to completely fascinate Squall the way Laguna had.
Then a bombshell had been dropped and Squall had learned that Laguna was his biological father. Had even demanded DNA tests to prove it. They did. Conclusively. Needless to say, Squall had been crushed. Had withdrawn back into himself. Like a fool he had stayed with Rinoa, hoping that she could replace that aching void in his heart. The only thing that stupid move had accomplished had been to make him even more miserable, more closed off from everybody. So after only three months, Squall had broken up with her, finally admitted to himself -- and her -- that he could never love her the way she wanted him too.
With a frustrated sigh, Squall wiped away more sweat and grabbed up his shirt from where he had thrown it earlier. Slipping the white tank top over his head, Squall began to slowly make his way back to the Presidential Palace and his suite of rooms there. Too caught up in his brooding, he missed the looks cast his way from those who had ventured out into the heat to catch a glimpse of the 'Lion of Balamb'.
So then, if having Laguna as a lover was out of the question, why was he in Esthar? Why did he subject himself to such torment?
~Because I'm a fucking, masochistic idiot that's why~ he thought bitterly, absently putting one foot in front of the other, moving through the city by instinct. He knew the route by heart, had walked it everyday for weeks now. And everyday he had the same thoughts, working himself deeper and deeper into another depression.
Squall had pulled himself out of the frying pan, only to plunge straight into the fire. That's what he had done by moving to Esthar. At Laguna's request no less. Once there, however, Squall had become quite resourceful in finding ways to avoid the older man. When not busy, Squall spent the majority of his time holed up in his rooms, reading, playing video games, having the occasional rare chat with Seifer, etc. Anything to keep his mind occupied.
Lucky for him, having his own 'place' spared Squall the embarrassment of having Laguna or anyone else hear him moaning the older man's name at night. Quite convenient having his own bathroom on those nights that he would have to climb out of bed and shower, cleaning up after cumming into his hands following a particularly erotic dream starring none other than... Laguna.
Then there was the fact that Laguna insisted that they take every possible meal together. Not particularly a morning person, breakfast was the easiest for Squall to deal with. He tended to spend them in a blur, still trying to wake up, letting Laguna babble away as was his want. Lunch was generally taken on site at the new Garden. With the weather being the way it had been, that had become less and less the case over the past few weeks. Like now. Dinners...were just sheer hell.
Squall would find himself studying Laguna, his meal all but forgotten. He could listen to his voice for hours, loved the sensual way Laguna moved when his leg wasn't cramping up, enjoyed the way his eyes would sparkle as he prattled on about this, that or what not. Hence Squall's problem. He wondered if anyone had figured out yet why he lingered on after everyone else had cleared out. It would be too embarrassing for him to get up with a raging hard on. Squall cursed himself for being too weak to just say no and stick to it. But, damn, pleading eyes that Laguna would turn on him were so hard to resist. And with each passing day Squall found it increasingly harder to do.
Heaving a deep sigh, Squall finally looked up when the change in lighting registered, taking note of his surroundings. Abruptly he changed course when he discovered his feet had lead him straight for the dining hall. Not in the mood to lunch with Laguna, Squall exited through a secret side door, stepping out into a private garden hidden away deep within the bowels of the palace. Within the open air quad, the shade of several enormous trees mercifully blocked the sun's harsh rays and the heat didn't feel quite so oppressing.
With only one door, cleverly disguised at that, and no windows overlooking it, Squall felt reasonably safe that no one would find him. Laguna, Kiros and Ward were the only other ones who knew of the place and they were generally too busy to take time for a visit. That suite Squall just fine.
Lying flat on his back in the plush grass, Squall pillowed his hands behind his head and stared up into the sky. Watching a few wispy clouds drift by, Squall's mind ran in circles, trying to come up with a solution to his predicament. Nothing. Desperate to talk to somebody, anybody, Squall knew he could not for fear of losing what little friends he did have if they found out his 'dirty little secret'.
Hell, the more he thought about it, the more his body demanded that he track Laguna down, drag him to the nearest bedroom and proceed to have his wicked way with him. However, the logical part of his mind told him that just would not do. Selfish and improper in most peoples' minds, it could very well destroy what relationship...or whatever the hell one would call it...that he did have with Laguna.
Snarling in frustration, Squall sat up and yanked his tank top off, tossing it carelessly to the side. He pulled his boots and socks off then stood, undoing his pants and letting them fall to the ground to pool around his now bare feet. Stepping out of the pants, Squall strode purposely towards the clear pond shimmering in the center of the garden and dove into it's inviting depths.
The chill water hit him like a slap in the face, but it had the desired effect that he'd needed. It calmed his body down. After swimming a few lazy laps to work off the excess tension, Squall then settled down on the built in benches in the shallower end of the water. Closing his eyes, Squall tilted his head back, resting it against the side of the pond. Relaxed and a little on the drowsy side, Squall finally managed to block out all thoughts of Laguna and returned to watching the clouds drift by.
With a heartfelt sigh, Laguna Loire, President of Esthar, fell against the door to his private garden in relief and slid down it's cool length. Leaning forward, some strands of dark hair falling loose from it's confining ponytail, he proceeded to rub his calf. Damn, stupid cramps anyway.
And damn Kiros and Ward for their incessant teasing.
There were times, like now, when they put the limits of their friendship to the test. Of course, Laguna should have known better than to ever drink with his old buddies in the first place. In the afternoon no less! In the past it had always led to some embarrassing confession or another by one of them, and boy, had Laguna's mouth spewed out a really good one this time. Laguna couldn't really put the blame on the alcohol either. He wasn't drunk. Just tipsy enough for his tongue to loosen up and run away from him. On the bright side though, neither Kiros nor Ward had been disgusted or horrified at his confession. Laguna almost felt, almost, that he could have dealt better with the mess if they had turned their backs on him.
Just thinking about their remarks still made his earn burn. Well, Kiros' anyway, but he knew what Ward was thinking just by that unholy glint the burly man got in his eyes every time he had looked Laguna's way. It made Laguna want to scream.
"I am never drinking again!" he vowed softly to himself, nodding his head vigorously. Then closing his eyes, Laguna leaned back against the door, listening to the soothing sounds of the birds singing in the trees, the splash of the water from the pond... The splash of water?!
Laguna's eyes snapped open and he peered in that direction. He was positive he'd be alone in here, able to wallow in the misery of his own making. No one else but Kiros, Ward and...Squall...knew of the place.
There in the pool sat the very reason for his problem. Squall. The boy who had stolen his heart. His son. Laguna had tried to be a father to him, tried real hard, but quickly discovered that he could just not think of the brunette that way. There was just something irresistible about him, something that made Laguna want to wrap his arms around him and kiss him senseless.
A lot people would call his desire unhealthy.
But they weren't looking at Squall right then with his normally messy, but oh so sexy hair wet and plastered to the sides of his head, head tilted up towards the sun, golden rays playing over his skin, sparkling off the drops of water still clinging to him. Squall's eyes were closed, apparently sleeping, lips slightly parted and inviting. Before he even knew what was happening, Laguna was on hands and knees crawling towards the younger boy.
Laguna had been about to run his hand through Squall's hair when his arm was suddenly seized and everything tilted as he was flipped over Squall's shoulders. He let out an undignified squawk before hitting the water with a splash, sinking under it's cool depths. Coming up spluttering, brushing wet hair out of his face, Laguna's wide eyes met with wild grey as Squall assumed a defensive stance.
"Whoa! Hey!" Laguna shouted, throwing up his hands before him, hands outspread in a peaceful gesture. He knew Squall's training was good, he'd watched Squall train countless times, but he did not want to get turned into minced meat right then! "It's me, Squall, Laguna!"
It took several long moments for Laguna's words to penetrate through Squall's finely honed defensive instincts. Moments in which Laguna felt positive he would end up with a broken nose or ribs or worse. Then, to his infinite relief, Squall lowered his fisted hands, relaxing his fingers, blinking owlishly at Laguna in the bright afternoon sunlight.
Laguna made a mental note to never, ever sneak up on a sleeping Squall again. Not if he valued life and limb...which he did most fervently.
Then Laguna's leg cramped up as the intensity of the situation finally caught up to him. He lurched forward with a groan, chanting 'Not now! Not now! Not now!' in his mind. He'd already made a big enough fool of himself in front of Squall for one day, no need to make to compound it with embarrassing body quirks.
Just when Laguna was certain he would be taking another unplanned swim, strong arms wrapped around his waist and hauled him to his feet. He leaned gratefully into the support Squall offered, rubbing at the offending leg, still cursing silently at the injustice of it all. To be in the arms of the one he yearned for and not...
Abruptly Laguna stilled his movements immediately picking up on the change in the way Squall held him. Hell, it came as quite a surprise that the boy hadn't let him go already. He knew from experience that Squall tended to shy away from any kind of physical contact or open affection. Not that he was complaining! Beggars cannot be choosers and Laguna would take what he could get from Squall.
Still, even the fact that Squall hadn't relinquished his hold on him did nothing to prepare Laguna for he did next.
Squall leaned in close, pressing his cheek against silken hair, one hand coming up to run through long, darks locks, marveling at the feel as the wet strands slipped though his fingers. From the moment he had first laid eyes on Laguna, Squall had wanted to do that. He inhaled deeply, breathing in the older man's scent, pleasantly surprised at the faint citrus smell that overlaid that scent which was inherently Laguna.
Closing his eyes, a soft sound of contentment falling from his lips, Laguna leaned in closer to Squall. Of their own accord, his arms wrapped around Squall, slender fingers gliding up along glistening skin, delighting in the shudder he felt run through the younger boy...no man. He could no longer think of the dashing Commander and highest ranking SeeD as a mere boy. Squall had saved the world after all, became the story book heroes that girls often dreamt of.
Titling his head back and turning slightly, Laguna pressed a soft, open mouthed kiss against the cheek that had been nuzzling his hair only moments ago. The skin felt smooth, warm against his lips, like he had often imagined it would. Pleasant sensations traveled like liquid lighting through his veins, stirring him to life, making his wet pants suddenly, infinitely more uncomfortable than they already were.
With a start, Laguna came back to himself, eyes snapping open in disbelief over his actions. This was Squall! Squall, who could seriously hurt him if he knew just how Laguna loved him. He started to draw back, ready to flee before Squall fully realized what had just happened. But, with the subtle flexing of muscles, Squall's grip tightened around, keeping Laguna held in place.
"Don't go," Squall whispered in his ear, voice low and husky with...with... desire?
Could Squall want him as much as Laguna wanted him? That thought had never even entered Laguna's consciousness. He had thought Squall straight, and, well, there was that small, but majorly important fact that Laguna was technically his father.
Laguna opened his mouth to say something, but what, he would never be able to remember afterwards. Soft lips descended on his own and Laguna froze in shock, not responding in any way. This could not be happening. Squall was not kissing him.
Squall. Was. Not. Kissing. Him.
It had to be a dream. Any minute now he would wake up all alone in his room with only....
"Laguna...?" Squall's shy, hesitant voice snapped Laguna from his daze and he turned to see Squall regarding him solemnly. A frown creased his brow and his cheeks were flushed in...embarrassment? Squall stepped back, dropping his arms to his sides, darkened grey eyes averted to nervously study the water lazily rippling about their waists from the sudden movement. "I'm sorry," he murmured, now the one ready to flee, feeling he'd misinterpreted Laguna's reaction, thinking the man would now despise him.
A light touch on his arm and a soft plea to stay stopped Squall mid turn. Laguna's heart ached in empathy at the pain he saw in Squall's eyes just before he turned his face away. Cupping Squall's face in his hands, Laguna slowly, gently urged the younger to look at him. Lightly he ran a thumb over one smooth cheek, wishing with all his soul that his touch could soothe away all Squall's doubts and fears. "How long?"
Heart pounding painfully in his chest, Squall briefly considered deliberately misunderstanding Laguna's question. It would be so easy to simply slip his mask back into place, return to being his seemingly cold and uncaring self and forget anything had ever happened. But in his heart he couldn't. He was slowly dying inside and to turn away the one person who could make him 'feel' again would be emotional suicide. Squall had true happiness within his grasp, something that had eluded him all his life. All he had to do was just reach for it...
"Since the first time I saw you in those dreams from Ellone," Squall admitted quietly. "But I never thought that..." His words were cut off abruptly as Laguna tilted his head back, pressing warm, soft lips against his. Squall let out a soft gasp that slowly turned into a moan as Laguna expertly coaxed his mouth open, slipping his tongue inside to explore, caress him lovingly. Squall melted into the moment, pressing up full length against Laguna, seeking all that the older man had to offer. And for what he lacked in experience, Squall made up for tenfold with the passion he threw into the kiss.
Heart elated with the knowledge that Squall 'wanted' him, Laguna let go of all doubts and surrendered himself over to his desire. Hands came up to rake blunt fingernails over Squall's chest, down over hardening nipples, drawing a shuddered groan from Squall as he slowly backed the youth up against the side of the pool. Sure fingers trailed over ribs, around to Squall's backside to firmly cup both ass cheeks, lifting the brunette up to sit him on the grass surrounding the pond. Long legs wrapped around Laguna's waist, pulling him in close, eliciting a moan from both as their cloth covered arousals ground together.
Squall could only shiver in place of a reply, his whole body tingling in response to the soft fingers that gently traced the scar running diagonal along his forehead. He'd never thought of himself as beautiful... Or that anyone would even find his marred face so, but if Laguna said it, then it must be true. Then all thoughts were scattered as Laguna's lips replaced the fingers, trailing soft butterfly kisses down Squall's forehead, his nose, over his cheeks to his throat.
"Laguna...." Squall gasped out, convulsively jerking against the older man when Laguna bit down on an extremely sensitive spot. Grinning against pale skin, Laguna continued to suck and lick aggressively, loving the way Squall whimpered and clutched at him, his whole body trembling against the onslaught of sensations.
"Do you want me to take you?" Laguna asked, dipping his fingers down past the wet waistband of Squall's boxers.
"Yessss," Squall breathed, burying his face in the crook of Laguna's neck. Deep inside, Squall wanted to cry. The barriers around his heart had been melted away, allowing Squall to let go and accept that which had been freely given. Love. After so long on his own, Squall had someone he could count on. To make him feel safe for a change. He could just be Squall, not Commander Leonhart, didn't have to be the one in charge.
It didn't even matter to Squall that Kiros chose to interrupt them at that moment, demanding Laguna's presence for an important meeting. Squall grinned broadly as Kiros herded a flustered, still soaking wet Laguna out of the garden. Over his shoulder, the older man flashed him a sheepish grin and mumbled about making it up to him after dinner. Dessert never sounded so good.
Suddenly Esthar didn't feel so oppressing anymore or feel like a self-made prison to him. No more would he have to search for other diversions to avoid Laguna. No, now Squall would look for excuses to spend as much time as possible with his soon to be lover. And, from the wicked grin that Kiros had given him, Squall knew he didn't have to worry about the man condemning him for his feelings towards Laguna.
Lying back in the grass, Squall once again stared up into the sky, tears of joy running unchecked down his cheeks. Squall finally had a place to call home.
~*~ Owari ~*~
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