Squall was dressed in black casual trousers and a navy dress shirt. He didn't own suits or tuxes they were unnecessary and stupid. He never went to parties unless he was forced to like tonight. Smart leathers was Squall's version of smart dress, he owned smart leathers, casual leathers and what he called his shabby clothes for dirty jobs like painting or dealing with that small maintenance problem they had a while ago at garden involving Zell, his pet goldfish and a localised flood.
He stood near the door for almost an hour too scared to go in, this was his hell. Braing monster infested caves was a piece of cake but this? He shuddered.
A hall full of decorations with people in it, strange people that expected him to talk to them and actually hold conversations. He cringed, maybe if he found a nice dark corner to hide in no one would see him standing there or they would realize that he didn't want to be disturbed.
A waitress smiled at him and handed him a glass of champagne. He tightly smiled back and took the glass. She didn't go away like he thought she would.
"You look familiar, don't I know you?"
"I don't think so." He said quickly.
She frowned. "Really? What's your name?"
Squall hesitated, if she knew who he was she would never leave. "Alfred." He said quickly. "My name's Alfred..." He looked around the room.
"Oh I'm Candy. Name doesn't ring a bell." She frowned.
"Maybe you just think I'm someone else." He said.
"Maybe." She started to walk away. "Nice to meet you Albert."
He rolled his eyes, she couldn't even get his fake name right.
"Albert?" Another girl asked with a smirk and folded arms. "That's funny I thought your name was Squall Leonhart."
He shrugged. "Don't suppose you'd believe I have a twin would you?"
She smiled. "It's okay Candy has that effect on people, I won't tell her. You can hang around with me if you like, I'll protect you." She smirked.
"Thanks but I can look after myself."
"Well then maybe we can look after each other, would you like to dance with me?"
"I can't dance."
"That's not what I've heard." She held out a hand. "I don't bite."
"But I might." He muttered under his breath. "Look I really don't think-"
She grinned. "One dance? Please?" She applied the puppy dog eyes.
Squall mentally noted that she wasn't half as good at it as Zell was.
He sighed. "I was waiting for someone."
"Well dance with me until they show up."
He grimaced, knowing that would never happen but she had a hold on his arm and was dragging him towards the centre of the hall where a few other couples were dancing though most of the others were older looking.
He sighed as she arranged his arms and reluctantly started to move to the annoying orchestral music.
Once dance didn't seem to be enough for this girl, he had tried to run away at the end of the first and second song but she had a firm grip on him. Though he probably could get away by force but he didn't think Laguna would approve too much.
During the third song he pulled away as far as she would allow. "I think I see that friend that I was waiting for."
She let him go to look for himself. "Where?"
As soon as the octopus grip was gone he disappeared into the crowds. "Squall? Squall?!"
He weaved through a group of people to hide.
Laguna walked up to Kiros. "Have you seen Squall? I thought he'd like the party but there's no sign of him."
"I saw him dancing with a girl a little while ago."
"Really?!" Laguna perked up with grin. "Did he look like he was having fun?"
The dark man smiled in amusement. "Well, fun is such a strong word." He chuckled
His friend looked confused.
"He looked like she was forcing him to kill his best friend." He clarified.
The president sighed. "That's wrong with him? Can't he at least pretend to have a good time?"
Kiros tapped his friend on the arm. "Either I've just spotted your son or that pillar has grown arms." He sniggered.
Laguna shook his head and headed in the direction of Squall's visible arm holding a half empty glass of champagne.
"Squall? Squall?!" He called.
"Shush!" The brunette pulled his father behind the pillar with him. "You'll give me away."
"The girl who can't stop dancing and talking about my heroic deeds, I don't feel too heroic now."
"I'm not surprised you're hiding behind a pillar from a harmless girl!"
"Harmless?" Squall scoffed. "Also there's an annoying waitress who keeps calling me Albert."
The president gave him a confused look. "What?! Why?"
"That's what she thinks my name is."
"Why?" He gave Squall a suspicious look. "Did you tell her that was your name?"
"No." He frowned. "Of course not.... I told her it was Alfred."
Laguna rolled his eyes. "Why?!"
"She wouldn't go away if she knew who I was!"
"Squall! You're 17 you act like you're 77! You should mingle and have fun, meet new people."
"I can have fun on my own."
"What about dating? You're not still with that Heartily girl are you?"
The brunette sighed. "No, she wasn't my type." He pushed past Laguna. "I need some air." He walked out onto the balcony that overlooked the city, all the houses and shops below.
"Having fun?" A friendly voice asked.
"Oh yeah, great fun." Squall hissed sarcastically., glancing over at Kiros as the taller man stepped up beside him and leant on the balcony.
"Why don't you tell him?"
"Do you think it will make any difference? He'll be setting me up with men instead."
"Isn't that at least a little better though."
Squall just frowned.
The dark man chuckled. "I was just asking why Albert?"
"I don't know, why not?"
Kiros shook his head with a smile watching Squall sip from his glass.
"How many of them have you had?"
"Dunno, I lost count, 3,4, 9 maybe." He saw the disapproving look. "Don't look at me like that."
"Sorry I think it's like my job."
"What, to act like my mother?"
"To help Laguna keep an eye on you."
Squall snorted. "I've managed 17 years fine on my own, don't bother." He downed the wine then licked his lips. "I need another drink."
"I think you've had enough."
"I can handle another if I want."
"Really?" Kiros held up a couple of digits in front of Squall's face. "How many fingers am I holding up?"
The brunette rolled his eyes. "Two."
The older man nodded.
"See? I'm not that drunk." The brunette stuck his tongue out at him, disproving his statement a little.
"Squall!" Laguna called.
Squall ducked down behind Kiros. "Hide me."
"Pretend I'm not here." He heard the other man sigh.
Laguna came onto the balcony and looked around. "I thought Squall was here."
"So did I." Kiros muttered. Squall slapped him lightly on the back of the thighs.
"Kiros have you seen Squall?"
"... Just missed him." He told his friend reluctantly, he didn't like lying to Laguna but seeing his son getting drunker by the second was not going to impress him either.
The brunette frowned. "Do me a favour, keep an eye on him for me."
His friend nodded. "Of course."
"I have to go mingle with the stuffy people."
His friend smiled. "And pretend like you know something."
His friend frowned playfully. "Hey!" He turned and went back inside.
Squall stood up from behind Kiros as soon as Laguna had gone. "I really need a drink."
Kiros gave him a look.
"I'm not drunk... yet."
The dark man turned to face him. "Look, don't fuck this up. It's important to Laguna."
The brunette shrugged. "Fine fine." He watched Kiros leave the balcony and go back inside then walked back inside him. He snagged a couple of glasses from a passing waiter then disappeared into the shadows to hide.
He could see a lot from his hidey hole. Kiros was talking to an older man looking a little bored but masking it well, the dark man shifted from foot to foot discreetly. Squall smirked and downed his remaining wine and putting the glass on a tray of a passing waitress. He moved move behind his pillar and watched Laguna walk pass him with two official looking men in some sort of uniform, not a very flattering dress code of purple and black. He giggles slightly then clapped a hand over his mouth and glared at the glass he was holding.
"This is your fault." He told the wine.
He could not be seen giggling, Squall Leonhart, the ice prince did not giggle. Not ever.
He sipped his drink thoughtfully, this was defiantly his last glass.
He jumped as a girl suddenly appeared beside him or maybe he just hasn't noticed her before, people were starting to blend together in the room. He grimaced. Kiros was right he was drunk.
"Hi!" The girl beside him cheered. She had blonde pigtails and a large grin that lit up blue eyes. She reminded him of a cross between Quistis and Selphie. She cocked her head at his lack of response.
"You're Squall Leonhart right?"
"He winced. "Maybe, why?"
She raised a hand and slapped him around the face.
"Ow! What was that for?"
"For dumping the sweet Rinoa girl."
"If you think she's sweet you date her."
The girl giggled. "Silly."
Squall winced. Why were the insane girls attracted to him? He could really do with a Quistis type of girl right now. Cool, calm, laid back and sensible. He liked Quistis if he was straight he'd date her for sure. Maybe he could find himself a Quistis man. He sniggered at the thought. A guy who had Quistis qualities and a cock everything he needed.
"I like you."
Squall blinked. "You just hit me."
"But that was from Rinoa not from me, I like you too much to hit you."
"Oh joy." He muttered.
"I think we'd be a good couple."
Squall's eyes widened. "I don't think so."
"You're not my type."
She grinned. "But that doesn't mater, you're my type."
Squall frowned. "I doubt that I am and just because you like me doesn't make me like you."
"It just doesn't work that way!" He snapped in annoyance and walked off leaving her standing there.
Kiros was still looking a little bored so the brunette went off to save him. As he walked up the other man seemed to recognize him instantly and introduced himself holding out a hand for Squall to shake. The brunette ignored the hand and waited until it had dropped back down to the man's side before he turned to Kiros. "We have important business to discuss-" He looked over his shoulder at the other man. "Alone."
The balding man blinked and nodded excusing himself to leave the two men alone.
Squall allowed a small smile. That technique never failed.
"That was rude." Kiros said folding his arms.
"I saved you."
"From dying of boredom."
The older man's expression softened slight. "Well, you could have done it better."
A girl with pigtails ran up behind Squall.
"Friend of yours?" Kiros asked.
"Ahh!" The brunette jumped, seeing the same girl that he thought he'd lost.
The girl linked her arm through Squall's and grinned at Kiros. "We're a couple."
"Are you? How nice." The dark man smirked. "Well why don't you take your new boyfriend out to the balcony to see the stars?"
The girl beamed. "That's a great idea."
Squall glared Kiros. "I'm never going to forgive you for this."
"Have fun." He waved.
Once out on the balcony Squall pulled away roughly. "Look I'm not interested."
She linked their fingers together. "It's okay honey we can still be happy together."
"We can't-" He lowered his voice. "I'm gay."
"Gay. You know, I like men not women, not girls."
"Oh." She looked thoughtfully for a second before grinning again. "But we can still go out right?"
"No! I don't like you, I can never like you."
She cocked her head. "Why?"
"Haven't you been listening?"
She blinked at him.
"I am gay!"
There was a gasp from behind him causing Squall to turn and look into the very shocked eyes of Laguna.
"Oh hell." He muttered.
"Squall?" His father asked. "You're gay?" He studied him. "Are you drunk?" His tone sounding like he was more concerned about his son getting drunk than his sexuality.
"Umm-" The brunette managed before bolting off through the crowds of people.
"Squall! Come back!"
The brunette ran past a bewildered Kiros. "What happened?" The dark man asked his friend as Laguna ran into him.
"He ran away." He said, sounding highly put out.
"What did you say to him?"
"Me? Why'd you-" He dropped his defensives and sighed. "I accused him of being drunk and I think he's gay."
"Ahh." Kiros nodded. "He told you?"
Laguna blinked. "You know? I didn't know." He pouted slightly. At 44 Laguna could still pull off a good pout and good puppy dog eyes too. "Does he know that you know?"
His dark friend nodded. "He'll come round, maybe you should talk to him."
Laguna looked sheepish. "Now?"
The president nodded. "Right, okay... If I can catch him." He walking away from his friend who chuckled at him.
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