"Oh, hi."

Squall looked up from his place on the floor, and could suddenly feel the sinking sensation of doom. Sora, the little Keyblade master, had discovered that big, bad Squall liked puppies. And now, with the fat, little blob called Rolly sitting in his crossed legs, Squall felt a little… shall we say, embarrassed?


Sora grinned, before opening the door a little wider behind him, letting six more puppies burst through the door, yipping excitedly. Squall's eyes widened slightly, as five of the dogs attacked him upon reaching the door. The swordsman suddenly was wearing dogs as an accessory, with them all hanging off of every limb. "I see you found more… of them…"

Sora nodded, brown spikes flopping slightly. He sat down beside the older brunette, making a small sound to summon one of the dogs. The Dalmatian yapped happily, before plopping into his lap. "I like Lucky," said Sora, making goo-goo eyes at the dog, and scratching it behind the ears. "He's a super dog."

"Super dog?" questioned Squall, raising an eyebrow. He was beginning to neglect the dog in his lap, due to the fact that Sora would probably think of him as a moron for being with the tiny dogs instead of fighting Heartless. After all, that's what a strong person would do. And Squall was supposed to be strong.

Silence ensued. Squall was too embarrassed to talk, and Sora was too busy entertaining Lucky to say much more than the occasional, 'Who's a super dog?' along with some cooing noises.

As Squall had ceased to snuggle Rolly, the overweight puppy snuffed in anger, and waddled its way out of Squall's lap. The man was a little alarmed; he liked the dog quite a bit. But he still didn't want to seem weak in front of Sora. But, the kid himself was treating a dog like a baby. It was a little bit entertaining.

Truth be told, Squall still saw Sora as quite weak, even though the boy had beaten him in fights in the Coliseum and had pretty much single-handedly saved many worlds from the threat of the Heartless. After all, Sora was still just a teenager, with weak emotions and no real thoughts. The only reason the boy had even contemplated using the Keyblade for the greater good was his initial goal to find his two friends- not to save mankind.

And from what Squall had heard about these friends from Sora, they didn't really seem to be worthy of finding. A cocky, 15 year old pretty-boy with real abandonment issues, and a love-sick 14 year old girl who didn't have much of a brain, body or really anything of relevance to offer to the world. But, maybe Squall was just being shallow. It didn't really matter to the man. People were just people after all. If Sora didn't find them, he'd eventually give up like everybody else.

"Aww, did Squally-poo make you mad by not petting you, Rolly-Poly?" said Sora, pulling the fat dog up to his face and letting the dog lick his nose. Squall scoffed at the naïve display. Sora put the dog back down on the floor and grinned.

"It's Leon. Not Squall. Not 'Squally-Poo'." Squall made those annoying air-quotes as he said the last two words. Sora laughed, loudly, and quite a few of the dogs grew quickly alert at the cheerful sound. The younger brunette once again found himself ambushed by a flurry of white and black.

Sora landed on his back when Rolly pounced on his chest. The dog was so chubby, that it pushed the skinny boy down onto his back. Amidst being licked by a dozen tiny tongues Sora managed to mumble out, "Air quotes are goofy, SQUALL. If you're trying to be serious, don't use them, stupid."

Squall rolled his eyes. Nobody called him 'stupid'. Well, nobody except for Yuffie, but she was crazy, and nobody ever really took her seriously. Sora slowly made his way back up to a sitting position, letting Rolly sit back in his lap. The Keyblade master giggled, attempting to calm the dogs down.

"Christ, Sora, you're so skinny that a puppy could knock you over," said Squall, poking said dog in the nose. Rolly gave a confused growl, almost going cross-eyed, trying to stare at Squall's finger. "But, of course, the dog is overweight."

Sora stuck out his lower lip in a pout. "He's not fat, just fluffy. And soft. And squooshy. Like mashed potatoes." To accentuate his point, Sora hugged Rolly, and the poor little dog's fleshy body looked like dough between the boy's arms. Squall couldn't help but laugh, ever so slightly. He immediately stopped upon the questioning look of Sora.

Sora lightly put the dog down, and gave the older man a light-hearted smile. "You know, it wouldn't hurt if you smiled a bit more. It's not like you look ugly when you smile or anything."


Squall stayed quiet and stoic as always. Sora quirked his head a little bit, before pouting yet again. He pulled himself to his knees and crawled towards Squall. The older man leaned backward in surprise, as Sora pulled himself into Squall's lap, sitting cross-legged on the equally positioned man. Sora was small enough to fit comfortably in Squall's lap, regardless of the older man feeling a little scared and oddly excited at the contact.

"At least, I dunno if it's not ugly or not. I mean, I've never really seen it," said the younger, before putting his index fingers between Squall's lips and pulling on either side of his mouth to form a demented smile.

Squall gave him an unimpressed look.

Sora giggled, pulling his hands away and wiping Squall's saliva on Rolly's fat body. The little dog grumbled in displeasure. Sora's smile faded, and the boy looked up into Squall's cold eyes. "Feeling happy… or laughing… It doesn't make you look weak, you know. I mean… it's alright to feel insecure sometimes. It's normal to feel like you aren't good enough sometimes. But, nobody would blame you."

Upon Squall's blank look, Sora laughed nervously. A few of the dogs pawed at the two brunettes, searching for some sort of attention. Sora reached down to the dogs, hiding his head to pretend to look at the puppies, instead biting his lip. He felt like such a screw-up, giving a therapy session to an older guy. Not to mention the fact that he had completely popped Squall's personal space bubble. But, hell, it usually got his point across to Riku, so why not the same for Squall?

"I think… I might try."

Sora looked up, a little stunned at Squall's sudden announcement. The younger boy gave a lopsided grin, throwing his arms around Squall's shoulders and pulling the older man into an awkward embrace. "Yeah, I knew you would!" Sora pulled back, still grinning. Squall was a little bit flustered, not looking Sora in the eye. Sora pulled himself back to his feet, and Squall followed soon after. The man still had a problem with looking Sora in the eye, though. After all, the boy had gotten a little too close, and Squall actually felt some sort of enjoyment from having the brunette hang all over him. And that was a little bit frightening.

"I should probably get going. Donald's gonna get all mad," said Sora, shrugging. He really didn't care if Donald got pissed, but he got the strange feeling that he might have been making Squall uncomfortable.

"Yes, you should." Squall intended to leave the conversation at that, turning towards the door. But he felt a hand on his arm, and slowly turned around. Sora looked a little bit crestfallen.

"I know it's hard to smile, or even fake one, sometimes, but… c'mon. I can do it. So can you," muttered the boy. Squall looked at him. Sora's eyes went to the floor. The puppies caught wind of Sora's feelings, and made their way to the surround the boy. The pitiful look forced Squall's barriers to crumble, and let the light in.

"Don't look so serious all of the time," said Squall, using his index finger to push Sora's chin up. "That's my job."

And then Squall smiled.