Disclaimer: The game and the characters aren't mine, but this story and plot definitely are.

Author's note - What can I possibly say? I have never updated this quickly before. This is it. The final part of Darkened Ice. I might cry now. I don't want it to be over. I really enjoyed making this story and I got really involved in it. I hope you guys enjoy this last part. I guess the only thing to remember is this takes place well after the last chapter....but I think you can figure it out.

Epilogue: A Complete Family

He remembered the night vividly. The moonlight filtered through the sheer material of the blinds casting a pale glow on their bed. He'd been unable to sleep and from what he could tell she'd been sleeping restlessly. He opened his eyes to admire the contours of her face the moon had illuminated. She was sweating. He automatically checked to see if she had a fever. Under his hand, she turned her head to the side as a weak groan escaped her lips. Her face contorted with pain as her eyes shot open. It was at that moment that he realized what was going on.

"Squall! Its time!" She cried out to him but he was already a step ahead of her. He pulled on an old pair of pants over his boxers and then his boots. She sat up slowly and pushed away the comforter. Squall had thought he was ready for this moment. He was wrong. He fumbled with the phone as he tried to dial the infirmary. It seemed to take near an eternity for Dr. Kadowaki to answer.

"Rin's gone into labor," Squall said quickly as he clutched the phone tightly with one hand and tried to steady her with his other as she stood up. "We're on our way." He hung up the phone, slid on his glasses and helped Rinoa put a robe on. She took his hand and leaned on him for support as he helped her through the deserted halls.

Dr. Kadowaki had responded with such calmness that it nearly drove him mad. How could she be so calm? He had been nervous the entire way down the hall and even for the first few hours in the infirmary. But now that it was time, he was on the verge of panic. Rinoa's loosely braided hair was drenched in sweat, as was her face and palms. He didn't know what to do or how to react. He knew she was picking up on his feelings because she tightened her grip on his hand and pulled him down so that he was sitting at her bedside.

"I need you here," Her voice became sharpened by another contraction. At her encouragement he remained at her side, barely keeping from crying. He didn't know what to do. Should he be doing more? "You're doing just fine," Her voice came out weak and strained. She took a few ragged breaths, further worrying him. His heart had nearly stopped when he heard their baby's first cries. He couldn't see it, Kadowaki was holding it out of view while she cleaned it up. His eyes then drifted to his young wife. She lay practically exhausted in his arms. His eyes began to fill with tears; she'd made it where his mother hadn't. She could sense his relief and opened her eyes.

"You did it," His voice was barely a whisper as he kissed her forehead. He grimaced as she released the grip she had on his right hand and forearm. A small smile graced her lips as she took a few deep breaths and lay back on her pillow.

Dr. Kadowaki returned shortly after and gently placed the small infant in Rinoa's arms. "Congratulations, its a boy," Kadowaki smiled as she began cleaning up. Squall admired the mother and son from his spot at the bedside and didn't volunteer to do anything more.

He leaned a little closer to get a better look at the infant. "Want to see your Daddy?" Rinoa smiled as she took hold of one of Squall's arms and pulled him closer. He hesitantly leaned down to get a better look.

"Why don't you hold him?" Kadowaki asked. Squall tried to decline but he discovered he wasn't given a choice. Before he'd realized it, the doctor was placing the small child in his arms and instructing him on how to hold him. Squall waited until she'd left before he lightly brushed the thin blue blanket back from his son's face and looked over his pink skin. He would have dark hair, more than likely like his mother's. Squall noticed with a small bit of satisfaction that they would have the same nose. He grinned sheepishly as the small infant cracked its eyes open just long enough for Squall to notice that they were mismatched. "He's just a little early, which is why he has a low birth weight. But that's okay though. Other than his weight he is a very healthy baby."

Squall had been protective of his son when it came to everything. He brought his mind back to reality and out of the past when he heard a pair of inconsistent footsteps carefully making their way down the stairs. There was a loud knock at the door that momentarily diverted his attention.

"Squall can you get that?" Rinoa called from the room above his head. "I think its your father." He paused at her statement. He'd remembered how Laguna had responded very clearly. The poor guy hadn't a clue he was a grandfather whenever Squall had called him over for an alleged dinner. Squall smiled at the thought as he remembered the older man's face whenever he'd stepped into the room holding the baby. It was that day that Squall realized how truly soft hearted the man was. Squall had hesitantly let the older man hold his son but he didn't let him get more than an arm's length away.

He opened the door to reveal his father and sister. Ellone immediately went in search of her nephew while Squall and Laguna were left alone by the front door. Squall motioned for him to enter and closed the door behind him. He wasn't surprised whenever Laguna pulled him into a hug. It was always something he was never prepared for even though he knew it was going to happen.

"How are you doing Son?" Laguna said as he stepped back from Squall.

"Just fine Dad," Squall answered as he smiled faintly. He then lead the older man down the hall and into the kitchen, where Ellone was trying to talk to his son. The two and a half year old immediately ran over to Squall, wanting to be held. Squall picked the small boy up and looked over his features. His dark hair contrasted with his right, pale blue eye, and at the same time complimented his left green one.

"Pepaw!" The boy cried out as he reached for Laguna.

"Hey there Tempest," Laguna smiled as he lifted the boy from Squall's arms and held him on his hip. Rinoa came down the steps quickly and took hold of Squall's arm. He looked a bit confused as she dragged him across the kitchen. She whispered in his ear and he had to grab hold of the counter to keep from fainting.

"What's going on?" Ellone asked as she stood next to Laguna. Both of their eyes fell on Squall who looked at a loss for words. He turned to Rinoa and pulled her into a hug so that he could hide his surprise from their view.

"Are you sure?" His voce was muffled by her hair. She laughed lightly as she pushed him back so she could see his face.

With her arms still around Squall's neck, she turned to Laguna and Ellone. "We're going to have another baby," She smiled and cried at the same time. Squall took his hand and wiped away her tears. He then kissed her gingerly, unaware of their audience. "I love you Squall Loire," She said just before his lips captured hers again. He smiled as he continued to kiss her.


Ameli Stoncius - *shakes head and smiles* Sometimes I worry about you. Nevertheless, you've been a faithful stalker. Thanks for all of the advice and reviews. I really appreciate it.

aratcorien - Thank you for your encouraging reviews and ideas. Thank you for your support. As far as Ellone goes....I guess she figured out what was going on eventually. lol I didn't forget about her. Only a few select people were told about Rinoa's pregnancy so that it wouldn't look like that was the only reason they were getting married. I just figured it could be understood that sometime either before or after they were married Laguna would tell her. As far as the Caraway-Loire thing. I waited 17 chapters to write that. It was so much fun to write because I just always felt like there should be some kind of tension there.

DBH - I liked what Squall had to say as well. I was tempted to go further but I didn't want to go too far or make Squall look too aggressive. It would've upset Rinoa. Thanks for reviewing, I really appreciate it.

Rinoa36 - thanks for all of your reviews.....and you sincerest honesty on your opinion of Squall's name. lol It does sound funny. Even I'll admit that. But, its something he chose to do for Laguna. So I guess its sentimental? Is that the right word?


The epilogue is now complete. The story is finally complete. Hope it wasn't OOC. But then again....how can you tell if its OOC? I've gradually changed Squall so much over the approximate three years and two months this spans over. I really hope that you guys enjoyed this story. I really enjoyed making it....and reading your reviews. I'm not really sure what to say, I am really pleased with the outcome of this story. I was a little worried for a while. Chapters 5 through 12 were a challenge, I felt like I might have been getting off topic or losing my touch. But you all helped me stay on task. Thanks. I really appreciate your reviews and support.

*looks back at last chapter* I used "really" a lot didn't I? Maybe I need a thesaurus.

Anyway, I hope you guys will give my other story as much attention as you have this one. I'm still not sure which story to do after my second one is finished. It seems that right now there is a tie. One of you wants to see a Quistis fic (which by the way is the most developed) and another one of you wants to see the Zell fic. Anyone else have any preferences? Anyone? Or do I need to flip a quarter? *digs through pocket*

I want to say thank you at least one more time before I submit this last portion of Darkened Ice. ( Ameli Stoncius.......I know you have to be pulling your hair out by now at my over use of the phrase 'Thank you" ) I appreciate all of your reviews and would be even happier if you'd review this last addition. Thanks.