Author's Notes: Not much to say up here. Extensive notes at the end.
–Disclaimer: I do not own them. I never have owned them. I never will own them. Satisfied? My dreams of ever having Squall here in my room have just flown out the window.
Epilogue: Two Years Later
It was the middle of the night and Yuffie was lying curled up against Squall's side, her head resting on his shoulder and one hand lying atop his bare chest. On her the third finger of her left hand there was a thin, silver band with a small emerald set into it. It had taken Squall three months to work up his nerve again after the miscarriage. But he had finally asked the ninja to marry him and a month after that, they were wed in a small ceremony outside with the May sun of the Bastion world shining down on them and the spring flowers in the nearby field providing a colorful backdrop to the scene.
A year after that, Yuffie found herself once again nervously telling Squall that she was late and feeling nauseous the past few days. Her nervousness wasn't caused by the fear of his reaction, but rather the painful remembrance of what had happened nearly a year and a half ago. By then, Aerith's baby had been born, a blonde haired, green-eyed boy who was about six months old at the time. Both Yuffie and Squall adored the baby and had felt the urge to have their own, but were both afraid of a repeat of the year before.
But, after having Aerith confirm their suspicions with the infamous rabbit test, Yuffie and Squall accepted the news with both excitement and worry. Squall became even more protective of his ninja than he had been before, never letting her out of his sight and doing everything for her. And Yuffie let him take care of her and tried not to do anything strenuous. Secretly, they still blamed themselves but wouldn't tell the other.
After the first three months of her pregnancy, Yuffie's worry decreased slightly as she was out of what Aerith had termed the "danger zone." But she was still worried, nonetheless, as was Squall, who still followed his young wife everywhere to protect her.
During her fifth month of pregnancy, the baby kicked for the first time, sending the plate of crackers Yuffie had resting on her stomach all over the bed. After that incident, she quickly learned that putting anything on her stomach would result in a mess. But, being able to actually feel the baby move within her had soothed her worries even more, as they did for Squall as well, who would keep his hands resting on her stomach whenever he could, just to feel the baby kick.
They still argued over whether it was a girl or a boy, Squall still wanting a girl and Yuffie wanting a boy. But, the slightly primitive village around Hollow Bastion didn't have the technology for a sonogram, so they could only place bets and wait patiently for the remaining months of her pregnancy to pass.
They did. And it was in the middle of an icy cold January night when Yuffie awoke to contractions, which in turn woke Squall up when she gripped his arm so tightly that her fingernails dug into the flesh, leaving small, crescent-shaped indentations. What followed after was a long eight hours of labor for Yuffie, which seemed to last a lifetime, and a long eight hours of Squall's hand being crushed as Yuffie held onto it and threatened to maim him for getting her pregnant in the first place.
But, in the end, it was all worth it when Aerith had handed that small, pink blanket-wrapped bundle to the new parents. It was a girl with her father's deep blue eyes and mahogany hair, but her mother's delicate features. They named her Kaori Yuki for her beauty and for the snow that fell in soft flurries when she was born.
And, now, two weeks later, Yuffie was curled up into Squall's side in the middle of the night, sleeping soundly when the wailing cry from the room next door woke her up. Groggily, she raised her head and nudged Squall. "Squall, your daughter's crying," she sleepily slurred, nudging him again, a little harder this time.
"I thought she was your daughter?" Squall replied dazedly, still half asleep.
"When she's crying, she's your daughter," Yuffie mumbled, rolling away from him and tiredly climbing to her feet. She hadn't had a good night's sleep in she couldn't remember how long. Even before Kaori was born, her kicks in the middle of the night would awaken Yuffie. The new mother scampered through the connecting doorway to the baby's room; the door had been left open so they could hear her if she started to cry.
Yuffie gently picked her up and cradled her to her chest, making soft cooing noises to help soothe the baby. So intent upon the baby in her arms, the ninja didn't even realize that Squall had come into the room until she felt his arms wrap around her waist and his chin rest on her shoulder as he looked down at Kaori. "Is she okay?" he breathed into Yuffie's ear before placing a soft kiss on the sensitive flesh below it.
"Yes, she was just scared," Yuffie whispered back, the baby in her arms around quieting and nearly back to sleep again. "I'm afraid she'll wake up if I put her down, though." Tired, and stifling a yawn, Yuffie leaned back against Squall's strong chest and closed her eyes for just a moment.
Seeing that his wife was nearly falling asleep as she stood there, Squall tightened his hold on her waist to keep her from falling and nuzzled her soft, ebony hair. "Yuffie, just bring her to bed with us," he murmured into her hair, placing a kiss there as he did so.
"Are you sure?" Yuffie yawned, not even trying to stifle it this time. Squall didn't vocalize an answer, but instead gently tugged at her waist as he led her back to their room. Reaching the bed, the ninja watched as Squall slipped under the covers and scooted closer to the edge so Yuffie and Kaori would have plenty of room. Yuffie slid in next to him, her back against his chest and Kaori lying in front of her. She sighed when Squall's arm came around her waist; she felt the safest when she was in his arms. Turning her head, she leaned up and gave him a small kiss on the cheek. "Goodnight, Squall. I love you," she murmured.
His arm tightened around her waist, pulling her just that little bit closer to him, and he rested his cheek atop hers so he could gaze upon their sleeping daughter. "I love you, too, Yuffie. And Kaori," he whispered as he struggled to keep his eyes open, not wanting to take them off their daughter.
And that's a wrap. First of all, let me get my thank yous out of the way.
A big thank you goes to all my reviewers. That would be (in no particular order whatsoever):
Aoi-butterfly– :::nervous laughter::: I kinda forgot all about Yoshi in Blind Instinct... uh... we'll just pretend that Aerith set him free before she and Cid came to Hollow Bastion at the end
Emrelle Moon Elendal
And my big Mega-Thanks goes to Vulpes Lapis. She helped me with a lot of the stuff in this story. She always does. So, I command thee to go read and review her stuff. She just updated "How Do I Loathe Thee?" about a week ago. So, GO READ IT!! hehe...
Anyways, I wanted to do so much more with this story when I first started writing it, but I wasn't able to do it. I can only do angst for so long before I HAVE to have the fluff. So, I hope I ended this story okay...
And I already have another story that's been bugging me for a few weeks now. A pseudo-songfic to "On the Way Down." I'm going to try and start it after I get a few chapters of "Honor Amongst Thieves" written. Yeah, HAT is my BIG story as of right now.
I'm rambling. I always do this in my ending story notes.
Okay, I'm shutting up now. The PS2 and FFX-2 is calling my name. I haven't had a chance to play it all week... so, yeah....