Father and Son
By Ezri-Candy

Disclaimer: I do not own final fantasy VIII Or any of its characters…unfortunately.

Summary: After the birth of his daughter, Squall talks to Laguna about the decisions he has made concerning his family and Laguna's place within it. Read Saya first, this is the companion piece to that story.

"Okay Commander, all we need is for you to sign the leave form. I'm transmitting it to you now." Xu said from her small office in Balamb garden as she typed a few commands. "How is Selphie, Sir?"

Blue-gray eyes looked to the teleconference monitor as a rare smile traced his lips. "Selphie is doing well, she's resting now. Still exhausted as much as she tries to say that she's not."

The smile that traced Xu's own lips grew at hearing this. "I bet she is." The dark haired woman watched as her commander picked up the stylus and signed his name on the electronic pad. "How's the baby? Everything went alright with the birth, right?"

"Yes, Laguna was here with her. She is doing well. The doctors say that she is very healthy even though she is on the small side even taking into consideration that she was premature." He pressed the transmit button on his keypad. "Did you receive it, Xu?"

"Yes sir. As of right now, you are on family leave for the next six weeks. The headmaster has already approved the paperwork, of course. He wanted me to let you know that he is having Balamb garden relocate to Esthar by the end of the week to start the upgrades and maintenance."

"Understood. Remember that I am not to be contacted about Garden issues unless there is an emergency." Though his expression was serious, there was a certain look in his eyes that she had never seen before. "Xu, I trust your judgment. If you need assistance though, contact Quistis or the Headmaster first.

"T-thank you sir." She said with a little bit of surprise. She wasn't used to this side of him. She had rarely heard him speak this much in the past unless absolutely necessary.

"Before you go, Squall, have you two decided on a name for your daughter?"

"We have, but it wont be announced until the naming ceremony. Selphie and Laguna are insisting on having one. I trust you'll be there?"

"Of course, Commander! I wouldn't miss it." She glanced to the side as someone entered her office. "Congratulations on your new daughter again, Squall."

"Thank you. Leonhart out." He said and watched as the Estharian seal popped up on the screen. The sound of someone clearing their throat caused Squall to look up, but he already knew whom it was.

Laguna lifted his hand in greeting, giving his son a small, slightly sad smile. "Hey." He said in greeting, sitting on the visitor's side of his own desk. "Just wanted to let you know that the move is finished. Selphie and my little granddaughter have been moved to the medical suite down the hall. They're both sleeping now."

Squall nodded in understanding; discussion on the subject wasn't even needed. Both men knew that for the safety and protection of both mother and daughter, their stay in the public hospital would be brief. Within the presidential palace, there was virtually no risk of kidnappings or hostage situations.

The helpless newborn granddaughter of President Laguna Liore and the daughter of the famous Commander, the Lion of Balamb Garden would make a prized bargaining chip. Taking Selphie, who was still recovering from giving birth that morning only sweetened the deal for any person or group insane enough to attempt to harm them. It was now well known that Squall was the son of the Estharian President. They were still trying to location the person who leaked the confidential information to the World Media Net.

The silence in the office was broken by the elder male as he looked across at his son. "Squall…Thank you."

"For what?"

"You could have easily kept me out of your life…away from Selphie and subsequently my granddaughter. You didn't have to let me have this second chance to have a family again. Thank you."

The younger male stared across at his father, studying the sagging shoulders and blatant pain that shone in Laguna's eyes. It was then that he knew that his decision had been correct. Selphie had been correct. Laguna Liore needed to have family in his life. Sure, he had Ellone, a girl who adored and looked up to her 'uncle,' but it wasn't the same as having his own flesh and blood being a part of his life.

"I think I understand now…"

"You understand?"

Yeah, I think I finally understand why you left me with Matron at the orphanage." Laguna winced and was about to interrupt, but was silenced when Squall held up his hand.

"Holding her in my arms…I realized that if I had been in the same position, being alone with a young child and a newborn, being a soldier during a time of war…I would have done the same. I would have known that my daughter would have been cared for."

Squall watched as Laguna stood and moved to the large window that looked out upon Esthar and sighed. "I wanted to come and get you both…but by the time things had settled somewhat, I thought it was too late. I thought that you had been placed with a family and that if I had come to take you away, that you would resent more even more than you do now."

The gunblade master found himself standing and moving to Laguna's side as he looked over the indigo city as the light of the setting sun cast a fiery glow on the city below. Sharp eyes caught sight of the Ragnarok in the distance as he collected his thoughts and tried to put them into words.

"It will be…awkward for me, Laguna, but I wont shut you out. I don't know how long it will take for me to call you my father, or if I will even be able to, but like Selphie told me a few months ago, 'The past is the past and should stay there.' The normally stoic lion cracked a smirk as he remembered how Selphie had commented that she wanted nothing to do with the past or the future anymore if she could help it because she had enough thanks to 'that freaky, time obsessed, self-centered bitch, Ultimecia.'

It was the first time that he had heard the ball of energy he loved, flat-out call someone a bitch.

Laguna looked over to his son and saw the slight upturn of his lips and felt the weight that had been sitting on his chest ease considerably. "So does that mean you'll be telling me my granddaughter's name?"

"Hn…don't count on it. You'll have to wait until the ceremony like everyone else even though you're helping to plan it. I promised Selphie."

"Awww!" The older man groaned as father and son continued to look out over the vast and prosperous city below, each man feeling more at peace than the could remember in quite a long time.

o-o-Author's Notes-o-o

I was just laying here on my bed and randomly started writing…took about thirty minutes, but I liked what I ended with. How many people have heard their parents say 'when you have kids of your own, you'll understand why I do the things I do' or something along those lines? I think Squall would have done some soul searching while holding his little girl in his arms…and no, Laguna was never told his granddaughter's name.

Don't get me wrong…Squall is still a badass commander when it comes down to it…he's just…off-duty in this.

I might continue to post little excerpts of life for Squall and Selphie after the birth of their daughter, it just depends one what pops into mind. I have a lot of time one my hands now that my job has filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy and I'm collecting unemployment while looking for another…so maybe I'll continue to write -taps lip in thought- I'm just considering this a temporary vacation because to those of you who know me or have read some of my previous author's notes on other stories, you'll understand how much I HATED my job…

Thanks for reading and please review!