Once a Knight


By Race Ulfson

The air was cold and the bite of the wind brought color to Squall's face, making him look animated, excited, and happy.

Ok, it wasn't the wind, although I knew him well enough to know he'd claim it was. Part of the reason was the big arrogant blond standing off to my right, growling into his cell phone. The burdens of being an important, famous, Healer. Funny how almost no one remembers how Seifer came to Esthar, practically a criminal after the Second Sorceress War.

Oh, well, like I have room to comment, considering that's what I was after the First one.

I moved a little to let the giant plush Mog shield me from the wind. Seifer hasn't figured out how to cure old age yet. He better get on the stick, or like me he'll be old before he knows it.

I grinned at Squall, watching him pace. "Maybe she got delayed."

Squall rolled his eyes. "No, they are right on schedule." Not a lot of 30 year olds can get away with juvenile gestures like that. He can because he still looks 18. I can because I never grew up.

Besides, being the President has its perks. Like finding out who was on the train we are waiting on and showing up with my 2 oldest friends, bunches of balloons, and a giant stuffed mog.

Ward gestured and I tried, for the dignity of my office, and for the sake of my only son, not to jump up and down like Selphie as the train pulled up. Rinoa was waiting and nearly stepped off even before car was completely stopped.

Rinoa smiled widely at us all, but it was into Squall's arms she placed her bundle. She kissed him on the cheek. "Congratulations, Dad."

"I'm Dad," Seifer said, stuffing his phone in his pocket and moving to join my son and new grandbaby.

Squall didn't even quibble, he just held the baby tightly. "Beautiful."

"I know you said any baby who needs a home," Rinoa said. "But when I saw those eyes and that hair, I knew which one was for you and Seifer."

Seifer offered a finger to be held by a tiny mittened hand. "Perfect."

Kiros, Ward, and I all surged forward. "Hey, let your old Pop see his new grandbaby!"

Squall reluctantly let me hold my new darling. "This is your grandfather," he whispered. "Don't believe a word he says."

I noticed the large blue eyes with just a hint of storm gray, the soft down of red gold curls, and the pink snowsuit. "What are you going to name her?" Really, she was the prettiest baby I'd ever seen.

"Her?" Squall echoed.

Seifer took his arms from around Squall and held them out. I let him take her back, being the expert and all. He took a quick peek, earning a fussed protest. "Definitely a girl. And wet, too."

"That was Laguna. Babies always pee on him." Kiros laughed.

I sighed. It's true. One of my major objections to politics.

Squall turned to Rinoa. "A girl?!"

"Girls are great," Seifer said cheerfully.

"You didn't specify." Rinoa said weakly.

"Because I thought you'd bring a boy!"

"What do you want to do? Send her back?" Seifer shook his head.

That was just dirty. For a good cause, but a low blow. I frowned at Seifer and he winked back.

"Oh, look, the train's leaving. Must run! Bye!" Rinoa jumped back onto the train and waved wildly.

Squall looked at us helplessly. "But I don't know anything about girls!"

"Do what men have been doing for thousands of years, Squall," I said, always happy to give fatherly advice. "Smile and nod."


((For Pix))

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