Drop in the Ocean
My lover's gone
His boots no longer by my door
Laguna picked up the neglected book; blowing across the covers to reveal the faded gold script on its surface. He hadn't looked at it for over six months. He didn't want to: the memories too painful to relive.
He'd lost the only person that mattered to him, and this was all he had left. There were no photos, (He'd always said he was camera shy) no remaining clothes (he was tidy...only owned 2 shirts)...all that remained were a few scribbles in a forgotten diary.
"Damn it!" the greying man cursed, dropping the book to wipe the tears from his face. Even holding the book was painful. But something had told him to read it. To find it and open it...retrace the steps.
He left at dawn
And as I slept I felt him go
He picked up the book, opening to the final page; falling to his knees as he read the tear stained page.
He told me he loved me.
Strange how two Loire's could be hurt with the same words inside the same stone walls.
He told me he loved me.
Then he left.
Returns no more
I will not watch the ocean
Laguna looked out of the arch window and to the stone house a short walk from the lighthouse; the place where they had spent their final night together. And now he was gone forever.
My lover's gone
No earthly ships will ever bring him home again
The former president bowed his head, his brown locks falling over his shoulders as he wept silently; the book falling once more to the floor and landing open.
I told him today. He took it better than I thought. No shouting (like I had expected) but just the same indifference that made him the famous "Lion of Balamb", not letting any of the shit he's obviously dealt with phase him. He'd just nodded (and smirked a little when My Leg cramps flared up...) and left.
I think I'll take him camping...it's what normal fathers do with their sons, right?
The tall man walked into the brightly lit office, smiling at the dark haired man.
"I take it that means he took it well, yes?" He asked having discovered the truth accidentally on a little trip to the pub. Laguna nodded goofily, a child like grin spreading across his face.
"I'm gonna take him camping!"
The dark man raised an eyebrow in amusement. "Little old for that, don't you think?"
Laguna poked his tongue out at his Vice President. "Well then, what do you suggest?"
"Get to know the boy. Talk to him. Invite him to dinner...I don't know."
Laguna stopped to think for a moment, scratching the back of his head and looking at the ground for inspiration.
"Dinner..." He looked up. "I'll have dinner with him. Boy I come up with some good idea's..."
"Your genius surprises me every time." Came the retort as a smirk crept onto Kiros' face.
Laguna pulled the coat tighter around him as the cool sea breeze blew into the draughty lighthouse. The pages of the book below flicking wildly in the wind until it landed on another entry. The man looked down and began to read, ignoring the feelings that had already begun to stir again.
Spent another day with Squall today. I think he's starting to relax a little around me. (I know I am with him.) I'm rather enjoying spending time with him. I think for our next I'll take him down to the Cape of Good Hope...I wonder if the orphanage is still there?
"So, it's alright. Thanks Edea. I owe you one." The president hung up the phone and looked up at the door. Squall stood there leaning against the doorframe, dressed in his jeans and a white shirt, with his arms across his chest.
"Edea?" he asked, keeping his stoic expression on his face, though Laguna could see that his eyes were smiling.
"It's ahh..." Laguna paused, trying to thing of a good lie and keep the trip a surprise.
"It's nothing. Just organising for Balamb Garden's headmaster to come visit this fair country of...ahh...mine." He smiled. Squall nodded, seemingly buying it.
Both looked at each other for a moment, in silence, before Laguna spoke.
"Say...you doing anything...umm...Wednesday?"
Squall shook his head.
"Good. Have a bag packed for 4 days and meet me at the air station at 9am"
Laguna remembered that he didn't bring more than a bag's full of clothes, (His entire wardrobe) and his Gunblade. Of course, he'd realised early on that Squall never went anywhere without his gunblade.
Laguna picked up the book and flicked to the next page. Heartache be damned, he was going to get through it...
Squall was quiet for the entire trip to the orphanage. I know there's something wrong, and I also know that there's no way I'm going to get him to talk without me prodding him. I guess I'll wait until we're settled in at the orphanage before I ask him.
I've found that you never mess with Squall when he's tense (Or pissed... there's a black eye I'll never forget...) Maybe it's not the best time to tell him after all...
It was ominous outside. Thunder was cracking in the distance and Laguna could see that it had started to rain outside. He unzipped his bag and pulled out a small bear, placing it softly on the pillow.
By the time Laguna had unpacked, Squall had gotten the fire going and was now nowhere to be seen. Lightning flashed, and looking out the window he could see the silhouette his son standing in the rain, staring at the ocean.
Squall didn't notice the older man walk up the beach towards him; neither did he notice the water lapping at his feet. Laguna's shoes crunched in the sand as he took a position next to Squall and begun trying to find the spot in the distance that the younger man was fixated upon. He tried not to notice the tears that were mixing with the rain.
"It's over." The boy breathed, not caring to look at his companion.
"What is?" Laguna asked, genuinely drawing a blank as to what Squall was talking about.
"Me and Rinoa...It's over."
So that's what had been gnawing at him on the way over here.
"Come inside Squall we can talk abou-" the boy ignored him, and continued with his own speech.
"I knew we were having trouble, but I didn't expect it to end the way it did." Squall shivered and brought his arms up to hold his jacket closed. "I hoped that we would still be friends if I told her the truth..."
Truth? What truth? Thought Laguna as the brunette spilled his troubles.
"The last month I've been seeing someone...getting to know them..."
I wonder who it could be? Laguna placed a hand on Squalls shoulder, urging the boy silently to continue.
"I told her about this person and she...she stormed out. Not giving me a chance to explain." He looked over to the greying man, his eyes as dark as the ocean itself.
"She rejected me. And now...I don't think...I can't tell this person how I feel. I don't want...don't want..."
Laguna pulled the boy in close, allowing him to cry onto his shoulder. The older man wrapped his arms around the boy's waist, trying to give him a feeling of safety.
"Come on, let's get you inside before you catch your death out here." Leaving one of his arms around Squall for comfort, he slowly moved him toward the large stone house.
"NO!" Laguna shouted, slamming the book closed. Hyne, he so didn't need this right now...
Hyne seemed to disagree: the wind blowing into the dimly lit room and opening the diary to the next page.
I put a record on earlier, hoping that Dido would calm him.
He's sleeping now: so peaceful; so beautiful.
It's getting hard for me to keep my eyes open...He'll not wake until morning and the fire will keep him warm...
But I have to watch him, just for tonight...keep him safe.
Laguna felt his eyelids get heavier.
Maybe if I just rest them for a moment...
Laguna was woken as something pressed to his lips. Soft, and warm...A small moan escaped his throat before he opened his eyes. His head snapped back instantly as Squall's face entered his vision.
"Shit! Squall!" he shouted as he pushed Squall away from him. The boy instantly frowned and wrapped the blanket more firmly around him.
"...don't want to be rejected again..." he whispered before heading back to the fire.
Laguna stood quickly, turning the boy around and pressing a palm to his forehead.
"Shit, Squall, you're burning up."
He must be delirious, otherwise he wouldn't have...
Squall shrugged off Laguna's hand and sat back down in front of the fireplace, keeping the blanket securely around him.
Squall had started to rock backwards and forwards in his chair, still staring into the still-glowing embers when dawn broke. Laguna woke, cursing himself for falling asleep again before turning his attention to the dishevelled figure that had remained unmoved during the night.
"How're you feeling?"
"..." The boy continued to rock in his chair, the pace quickening. Laguna stood and walked to the back of the chair, placing the palm on his son's head again.
"Fevers gone." He said after a moment.
"Squall..." Laguna walked around the chair to look into the brunette boy's face. "If there's anything bothering you, you know you can tell me, right?" Squall looked up, gazing deep into the Presidents hopeful green eyes.
"The offer is there, and I'm not going anywhere." He stood, smiling at the boy, before starting across the room.
"...Laguna? " the soft voice called from the chair. Laguna turned around, remaining stationary.
"...do you...do you hate me?" He asked, with much trepidation in his voice.
"God, Squall, no! What on earth gave you that idea?" Laguna stepped forward and watched the boy turn in his chair to face him.
"Last night...I...kissed you..." Squall's voice had begun to quiver.
"And you pushed me away..." A solitary tear rolled down Squalls cheek. "You have every right to hate me...I shouldn't have thought that you..."
As Squall finished, Laguna pressed his lips hard against the brunette's, silencing any more words and stopping any more tears that would have escaped. After what seemed like hours for the two men, their faces parted and both blinked in disbelief at the other.
"I could never hate you." He smiled, licking his lips trying to seize the lingering taste of the kiss. He wiped the tear from Squalls face before capturing the boys lips again. Squalls mouth opened, inviting the older man to explore with his tongue. Laguna hastily accepted as he pushed the rug from Squall's shoulders.
I never did tell him...not that I needed too anymore...
Laguna wiped the tears from his eyes. This wasn't fair. He shouldn't be forced to remember something he would rather forget. It was the happiest moment in his life up until that point, but the aftermath always appeared in his mind. More vivid and more disturbing than they were at the time.
He looked at the door. He needed a walk. A long one. Laguna placed the book on the table and walked over to the door. He pulled his coat closed before opening turning the handle and walking out into the chill, night air.
The president closed his eyes as his feet squeaked in the damp sand, trying to ignore the visions swimming in his head. Every detail of the relationship that had bloomed between the two men: remembered in every intimate detail; as if it were only yesterday that they had occurred.
Laguna looked down at his hands, the phantom feeling of the thin biro he had used for the next, blotchy entry playing on his fingertips. He swallowed, remembering the words he had scribbled in the diary.
"I love you."
He loves me! Hyne only knows just how hard it was for him to say those three simple words. And Hyne shoot me where I stand if I don't love him.
I know people see what Squall and I do as wrong. But 18 years we didn't know each other...not to mention we're two grown men able to make our own decisions...
...perhaps I'm just trying to convince myself of that?
Squall took Laguna by surprise; wrapping his well developed arms around the president's waist from behind.
"I love you" The brunette whispered into the older mans ear, casually nibbling at his lobe. Laguna released himself from Squall's grip and turned him around, kissing the boy deeply in reply.
He'd been so happy then. Euphoric. Every waking hour with the man he loved. (Even a few of the sleeping ones), But as he approached the house, all remaining joy he had vanished.
Laguna found himself wondering if he'd ever be happy again as he entered the old stone house.
On the lighthouse table, the cover of the diary fluttered open, acted upon by what little breeze was blowing through the cracks in the wall and in the window, revealing the second last entry written in black ink.
We'll always have the orphanage. And this time it was his idea, not mine...He said he had something to tell me, but not until later tonight. He said he has a surprise for me.
I have a bad feeling about this...
(I know I've neglected this. I just haven't had the time this last year... Love out-weighs everything...)
"Come here." Squall ordered the blindfolded man, who was having trouble wiping the grin from face.
"Can I take it off yet?"
"No!" Came the sharp, playful reply. "Keep it on...you're almost there."
Laguna shuffled slowly over towards the voice.
"What about now?" He asked. He knew the boy was moving; his boots always thumped loudly on the ground.
"Okay. Now." Squall hastily removed the blindfold and kissed him, distracting the older man long enough for the sparkler on the cake to reach it's brightest.
Dawn was breaking on the horizon as Laguna made his way through the tall flowers that grew near the house. The field was seemingly endless, and the times Squall and he had made love there made it even more so.
Up ahead, the clearing Laguna was searching for was coming into view. Hand in pockets, the president made his way towards it.
"You know why." Squall turned to face his lover. "Because it's our anniversary, and because I love you." To emphasise, he captured Laguna's lips with his own.
Squall pulled away and walked to the fire mantle. After a moment, Dido's Thank you filled the room causing the older man to beam.
"You played this for me when I was sick..." He smiled at Laguna. "I thought I'd repay the favour."
Before Laguna could say anything, Squall began to sing.
Yes, Ladies and gentlemen, Squall Leonhart can sing.
"That was beautiful." Laguna said once the song was finished, wiping a tear from his face. "...Laguna? There's something I've got to tell you."
As he reached the Grave, Laguna sniffed, trying to hold back the tears that threatened to flood. He read the epitaph slowly in his mind.
Missing, but never gone
Forever in the hearts
Of those who love him.
Laguna knelt on the cold, wet grass, recalling the final moments he had with Squall.
"Please, don't go." Laguna pleaded, though he knew he wouldn't change Squalls mind; his sense of Duty and love forbidding such a thought.
"Laguna, I have to. Your life is in danger, I'm going to make it safe again." He smiled.
"Besides, I have to come back, don't I?"
Laguna looked at him in curiosity.
"Otherwise, I won't be able to give you this." Squall stepped forward, pulling a small black-velvet box from his pocket, holding it out for Laguna to take. "I love you, Laguna."
Laguna stood there stunned for a moment before opening the box with shaking hands. He'd never been this nervous in his life... He looked down at the silver ring. It was beautiful; the delicately engraved Dragon with precious stones in place of its eyes was just stunning.
"God, Squall, this..." Squall lifted the ring from the box and slid it carefully onto the greying man's finger.
"I want you to marry me..." He placed a glove hand to Laguna's lip, silencing whatever answer he was going to give.
"But when I come back to you. Give me your answer when I return."
Laguna leant forward and kissed Squall deeply.
My lover's gone
I know this kiss will be our last
"Damnit, Squall." Laguna shouted at the stone. "Why did you have to go?" He felt the breeze pick up, blowing the loose strands of hair across his face as the sun began to peek above the flower field. On the wind he could hear the song that had stolen his heart.
No more his song
The tune upon his lips has passed
Laguna pulled the crumpled paper from his pocket and pulled it open.
"You know what this is, Squall?" A tear dropped from his puffy eyes.
"That's right, it's the letter from Quistis that I got the day after they declared you missing in action."
"She just dropped the envelope and left." He scrunched the paper back up and threw it against the cold stone. "I'm no longer Esthar's president...Cid and Edea said I could have this place. Who knows?" He shrugged. "Maybe I'll even fix it up. The view is spectacular...I never really appreciated it before now."
I sing alone
While I watch the ocean
"I will always love you." The older man crying in streams now. "Never forget that..." With that he turned and left, heading back towards the house.
~Come back soon, Squall~
My lover's gone
No earthly ships will ever bring him home again
The dark figure hovered near the stone for a moment; the light from the morning sun reflecting off the dew. He pressed a hand to the etched words, tracing each with a delicate finger. The man stood and looked towards the house where Laguna now slept, and then to the small black-velvet box he held in his gloved hand.
Bring him home again.
Dedicated to my friend Lynn for her vital Laguna-isms :-D
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