The Seventh Month
One Fine Day
It had been seven months. Seven months since I had helped defeat Ultimecia and became an unwilling hero. Seven months since I first kissed Rinoa out on that balcony.. Seven months of being Commander. Seven months of boring relative peace. Seven months of having a father. And seven long months of the same routine feeling almost happy yet still missing something. Seven months
At first I was happy for the first time in my life. I was still afraid of people leaving me but through the war I learned you sometimes have to take that chance (not saying it was easy though). The biggest test of this is when President Loire asked me to come to Esthar to see him. It was a couple days after the Victory, and I assumed that this was a business meeting. The Lunar Cry left monsters roaming around many parts of that continent. SeeDs had already been dispatched for preliminary recon. When I arrived at the palace I was a bit surprised to find that I was ushered to the President's personal quarters and not his office. For a minute or two I was actually afraid he was going to hit on me or something. I'm not blind, I just tend to ignore people and things. Yet it is very hard to ignore somebody when they are looking at you with love and adoration in their eyes. I was just about to tell him politely how happy Rinoa and I are together when it hit me. "Oh Hyne...." I muttered unable to think of anything else to say. Laguna was my father. It all made sense. My connection with 'sis'. Ellone always making me view his past. Hell, I looked like him. The time line fit perfectly....why didn't I see it before, especially with Raine.... my Mother?
I looked up from my thoughts to see Laguna limping around looking nervous. Oh shoot I better say something. I guess I spooked him. Well in my defense he was creeping me out first. I looked at him once more. He was still hobbling around clutching his leg. Nervous habit. "Your my Father?!" perhaps I sounded a bit more shocked then I should have but as an abandoned orphan who had just gone to hell and back Family is a hard concept to grasp. I suddenly had a father and a royal one at that. Laguna might say he is president, but he's their king plain and simple. Hyne....did that make me prince. I definitely did not want that...I could barely handle being Commander....Cid was already training me for Headmaster. All those lives in my hands, now a whole country could be left up to me... I killed my goldfish, I can't handle a country....All I wanted was the easy life of a mercenary. Follow orders, sleep, train, kill.....Not paperwork, decisions that effect thousands, and speeches.... I hate being in the public....
All of the sudden I found breathing very difficult. Laguna noticed this and stopped staring at me trying to form some sort of response. I hadn't even noticed he stopped pacing. He slowly moved towards me and sat down on the couch beside me. "I had a whole speech ready, I didn't expect you to just guess like that before I was ready. Oh well, can't blame you for being smart and figuring it out. Yes Squall, I am your father."
I don't really know what I was thinking at that moment. I honestly believed my brain was short circuited from shock. I managed to utter out "Why?" to me it sounded incredibly weak and angry. Hyne what was happening to me. I was the Lion of Balamb (Great the newspapers even got me calling myself that) I don't act all emotional, especially not with a stranger....wait, he's not really a stranger... He was looking at me trying to figure out what I meant by my last spoken thought. I could have been asking why he was sitting beside me, why he decided to tell me this, why he left me, why wasn't I enough for him. I was stuck in my thoughts when I felt a shy arm encircle me for a hug. It then pulled me in for a proper embrace. I tensed immediately. Why was Laguna hugging me. The last thing I remember was giving him an icy death glare. Well, I guess it lost its touch when I started to hyperventilate, and maybe Laguna has an immunity to it. I was about to push back from him when he started talking in a gently whisper into my hair. He was telling me the truth, he was answering all my whys. I had to respect him for that. Against my better judgment I felt my body begin to relax within his hold, I was still breathing hard, and if I didn't know myself better I'd say I was on the verge of tears, but I do not cry. As he continued on that little orphaned boy inside of me was reaching out for a father he never knew of but always dreamed of .
I can't say I've forgive him or agreed with his choices but I feel he deserves a chance, that I deserve a chance at a family. I don't remember how long he held me and talked to me in a comforting voice. I do however remember every whispered thought and emotion. I for my part barely said a thing. I didn't really had to. He answered any question I could ever think to ask without any prompting. At the end of it all he explained to me why he had to tell me I was his son. After seeing me and what I had become, and seeing how I was he couldn't let me go again. At this statement I pulled back from him. He looked at me expectantly and a bit afraid The only thing I could think of to say to that was "tell anybody what just happened and how I acted and you will not live to regret it, president or not. I then gave him my most chilling glare. I have seen grown men cower in fear and flee before it. Having the title 'Ice Prince' certainly has its advantages, one being making people stay away with just a look. Anyway after seeing how despondent he looked with my threat and glare I couldn't help but soften my look and add something that had been nagging at me to be asked. "Tell me about my mother." I stated it more as a command then a request, but I would swear Laguna looked as though he was about to break into a happy dance. Hell, I don't think I would have minded that much, anything to break the tension. Anyway I had wanted to say that just because I'm curious about my mother didn't mean I was not going to kill him,, but I just couldn't force myself to crush this man's hope.
"Well..." he was just about to sit opposite me when there was a knock at the door. Laguna didn't even get a chance to answer before the door swung open silently and a thin graceful man walked in followed by a very large and tall man. I don't know why the sight of seeing Kiros and Ward still with Laguna made my lips curl just ever so slightly in a smile but they did. After decades they were still close friends and it made a little bit of hope linger in my heart that told me that maybe it is possible for people to stay together and not abandon them.
"I see he hasn't killed you yet." Kiros stated in a smooth voice to Laguna while taking in the scene around him and staring at me. I know that I hadn't really let any tears escape, but I'm sure my eyes were still a bit red anyway. I also couldn't help but feeling my thoughts and feelings were on display to that man. I hate that with a passion.
"Ah, well it was close there for a bit, but we managed all right." Laguna answered standing up from his seat.
"Ward wants to know if the cub's staying for supper then?" Kiros asked most likely voicing the reason Ward was there. All three of them were then looking at me, I guess they were expecting a reply, but I was still trying to process the 'cub' part. What the hell was that? Seven months later, and I still can't bring myself to ask who thought of that stupid nickname and why.
At the time after deciding I didn't like the nickname I was in the process of giving them a dirty look when a voice broke into my thoughts.
"Well I was actually wondering if you wouldn't mind spending a few days. That way I could have time to answer all your questions and maybe you could tell me more about yourself and the time you spent at the orphanage." He looked so damn hopeful when he said that last part. I didn't want to give him false hope, but I did want to learn about my mother, and Winhill and I figured it would take longer than a couple hours. Also there was no point in putting off the inevitable, might as well get this supposed bonding over with so I could go and get back on with my life. It's not like I was committing to being his son, or even liking him by staying a few days and wringing him of all his knowledge of my life.
Laguna must have thought I wasn't listening because he was just starting to repeat his question when I pulled out my cell phone. He stopped talking just as I greeted Cid who had just picked up. "Sir, this is Commander Leonhart.......Yes Sir, everything is fine here......No sir, I'm actually calling to extend my time away from Garden.......Yes sir, I know I have never asked for leave before......No sir, I wasn't aware I have never missed a day since enrolling unless I was in the hospital ward......No sir, I'm not harmed or dying......Yes sir.....No Sir...... Goodbye sir" With that I put my cell phone away and gave the three people staring at me a glare as I shifted my weight to my other leg. "You have me for three days..." Seeing that everyone still looked in shock even the always collected Kiros I decided that I needed to be a bit more direct. "Supper?"
At this Laguna started half leading half dragging me to the dinning room. Talking non-stop about things he wanted to tell me and show me. I was already starting to regret my decision to stay before we even sat down. How the hell am I related to this guy kept running though my head.
Surprising enough the three days went by almost painlessly. Even though he was still a bit klutzy and goofy, he did have a mind for detail and a writers gift for explaining things. On a few occasions he even managed to weasel stories about my life out of me. Which anyone will tell you is an amazing feat. One of my mottos are why use two words when one will do, and why use one when a good facial expression will work even better. So it was that every time I shared something about me no matter how small I swore he was going to crush me in one of his bare hugs, or start dancing in joy. For the last day I actually invited Rinoa over to the palace. She had lunch and dinner with us, and she and Laguna actually got on real well. Not surprising though considering who her mother was.
Rinoa was sort of funny when I first told her about Laguna being my father. She was a bit shocked to say the least, but was very supportive in any decision I had about it. One time I called her to tell her that I didn't like him, and he was annoying, and she said he probably deserved it and that he probably was driving me crazy. I appreciated how she would do that for me, even if she did tell me in the end to suck it up and go talk to him again. The next time I called I was telling her how I just had a few great hours with him. All of a sudden Rinoa couldn't stop saying nice things about him. It was funny and I think she knew that was just what I needed. A person who would listen to what was going on but not judge me or try to change my mind. Just agree with what I had to say and then subtly tell me to grow up if that's what I needed.
I can't quite yet think of Laguna as Dad, but I have stopped calling him President Loire or Sir. I have accepted the fact though that I will always have a place to turn to if I need it and an ear to listen, or just the silence of my Presidential Palace bedroom. He gave me my very own bedroom, which is actually bigger than my whole dorm (kitchen, living room and bathroom included.) Actually I'm pretty sure the palace bathroom is bigger than my dorm too. Sort of depressing when I consider I have the largest room after the headmaster.
When I got back to B-Garden and told the orphanage gang they had guessed something like that already. Not surprising considering they weren't dumb and could put two and two together.
Hard to believe that was seven months ago. Ever since then Laguna and I try to see each other once every couple weeks. I find myself almost looking forward to those get togethers. Who would have guessed? I don't know if I fully forgive him yet, but he was good company, and a nice change from all the paper work here at the Garden.
~~~~~Hey, thanks for reading, right now I'm typing up what happened to Squall in the past seven months that led up to the day this story really starts at. This was the intro and how I found out Laguna is my father chapter. The next one is the how much work my job really is and how it's boring. It will also probably be the how Rinoa and I were in love, but lost it somehow chapter At the end of that one Seifer should show up. The third one will be the how Seifer changed my world, and is driving me crazy chapter. But we'll see. Please review so I know it is worth working on. By the way this is my first fic, and I hope everyone enjoys it. ~~~~~~~~~