A/N: Here it is, the epilogue. To those of you who followed these stories from start to finish. Thank you so much! Your frequent and entertaining reviews helped to keep me inspired. I hope you've all enjoyed reading this story as much as I've enjoyed writing it.
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts & Final Fantasy VIII
Pairing: SeiferHayner (and others)
Notes: story 3 of 3. Sequel to "For What It's Worth"
Standard Disclaimers Apply.
In So Many Words
Epilogue: Fairy Tale Ending
"Leon, stop pacing and bend down so I can attempt to do your tie," Hayner complained.
"I'll do it," Seifer offered from where he stood in the corner, arms crossing his chest.
"I'm the best man!" Hayner countered. "It's my job."
"And I don't trust you," Leon informed the taller blonde. He would probably never trust Seifer, but they'd at least managed to tolerate each other nowadays—for Hayner's sake.
"Afraid I'm going to strangle you on your big day?" Seifer smirked. "Good to see you're still a paranoid neurotic."
Leon stopped pacing and sat down, if only in a sour attempt at proving Seifer Almasy wrong. Hayner had to try four times before he finally got Squall's tie just so…and after the third time Squall muttered something about collarless dress shirts. It wasn't that he had cold feet. It was just that the last time he'd tried this whole marriage thing things really hadn't gone well for him at all. He wondered if Cloud was feeling half as nervous as he was.
"Remind me again why I agreed to this?" Cloud asked after getting the air back into his lungs from Yuffie pulling his cummerbund far too tight.
"Because you're in love, love, L-O-V-E," Yuffie teased.
"Not that. I meant agreeing to let you be my best…person."
"Because Tifa is busy with the catering!" Yuffie said cheerfully. "And I promised to tell you where I hid your materia if you let me."
"Oh. Right. In other words, it's all your fault."
"Yup!" Yuffie answered happily. "You can return the favor by being my maid of honor when I'm old and finally decide to settle down. Tifa tells me you look great in a dress."
"ABSOLUTELY NOT!"Cloud protested, fighting the urge to blush brightly and only partially succeeding.
"Hahaha! Cloudy in love! It's so cute," the girl teased.
"Shut up or I'm telling Cid you REALLY want to take a ride on his new Gummi Ship."
Yuffie paled then stomped a foot indignantly. "You don't have to be so mean!"
Neither Cloud nor Leon had any real love for cathedrals in the long run—too many bad memories there—so the wedding was arranged as an outdoor ceremony with a white gazebo and plenty of folding chairs. Cloud was a little indignant about walking up the isle, but after a bit of bickering about who would get that particular role the two men had eventually flipped a coin on the matter and Cloud ended up with the bad end of the deal. At least there were no small children throwing rose petals—both agreed that was ridiculous. He did rush it a little though, and there being no one to 'give him away' soon found himself in front of the brunette—who apparently looked amazing in a suit as far as he was concerned.
Leon took his hands gently. Hayner was trying not to do any happy 'awww' bouncing from his place slightly behind the brunette, and Seifer was sitting in towards the front row this time around—and not hiding behind that silly hat of his.
The shadows toward the back of the group under the shade of a pair of trees with twined roots were reserved this time for Ansem and King Mickey. It was a casual affair and neither seemed like they were hiding so much as staying out of the sun and having a quiet conversation while not disrupting the ceremony, watching the pair exchanging vows, and more studiously the teenager playing the role of best man.
"Not how you expected things to turn out, is it?" Mickey asked.
Ansem gave a non-committal shrug. "If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times. The human heart is an unpredictable thing. It would appear that even death couldn't stop his from loving who it loves. Sort of counts as a happy ending, I suppose."
"Do you think he'll get his memories back?" Mickey asked.
"His memories as Zell Dincht, you mean? No, I doubt it. Never completely. He may have Zell's heart, but he's still Hayner. He grew up in Twilight Town and lived his own life long before they were ever…reunited, so to speak. Any memories he has as 'Zell' are memories of the heart, not the mind. I don't imagine it matters anymore, whatever the case," Ansem replied.
At the front of the crowd, Seifer couldn't repress a soft smile when Hayner looked at him with that silly grin of his. Hayner couldn't help but blush as that tiny smile sent butterflies on parade in his chest.
"I see what you mean," Mickey answered. "Even so, putting Zell's heart into that nobody…whatever possessed you to do something like that?"
Again Ansem shrugged a little. "Curiosity?"
"Curiosity," Mickey echoed.
"Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. It kept those hearts out of the hands of Organization XIII, didn't it?"
"Where did you put the rest of them?" Mickey asked. "Selphie, Irvine, Laguna, Rinoa…?"
Ansem looked a little uncomfortable as he thought about this. "Well…to be honest…I don't really remember. It doesn't matter so much anyway as long as everyone's happy, right?"
"Not exactly a fairy tale ending, is it?" Mickey asked as the reverend pronounced Cloud and Squall 'husband and husband' and Squall actually smiled down at the somewhat shorter blonde, before pressing their lips together to seal the deal.
Ansem thought on this as he watched the blushing newlyweds complain when everyone started throwing rice at them; and as he noticed Seifer use this chance to pull Hayner off behind a tree and gave him a rather firm, adoring kiss.
"Sorry, couldn't help myself," Seifer murmured.
"Impulsive much?" Hayner retorted.
"Love me anyway?" Seifer quipped, planting another kiss on the corner of Hayner's mouth.
When Ansem finally spoke again, his answer was rather definitive. "I think it's close enough."
FREAKSHOW1: Hey, after three stories I think they've earned some 'nauseating' fluffiness. Besides, it's a Disney-based series. Well, okay, the latter really has nothing to do with anything. I just think the boys earned it after all the hell I put them through.
A/N: I FINALLY finished. Goodness! I was starting to think it would never end. Not that these stories weren't fun, but they were really hard at times! My next story will be (I hope) much shorter and will be Kingdom Hearts, Leon x Demyx, so those of you interested, keep an eye out for it. I'll probably start it in a week or two. The working title for that is "ALL YOU WANTED", though who knows if I'll rename it by the time it makes it up here.