Title: a nation of two
Theme/day: 9/22) private star systems
Series: post FE10
Character/pairing:
Summary: Post series. Of cohabitation and the roles of Knight and Sorceress which are never quite put away. SquallRinoa
Rating: G
Author's Note: comment_fic: Squall/Rinoa, moving in together / 11) Das Reich der Zwei – the nation of two The Gauntlet.

The title is a reference to Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut.

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Their first place together is a small summerhouse that her father owns, a place which he lends to Squall with suspicious, disgruntled eyes. A part of him is still unwilling to give up the little girl who sat on his lap and begged to be bounced and wore crowns of flowers like a princess. Or at least that's what Quistis says, Quistis who has practically become their personal unpaid therapist. She tells Squall when he's being stupid and whenever something goes wrong, it is inevitably her who is called whenever Rinoa needs to vent that Squall Is Being A Stupid Boy Again.

The house in question is a cozy place with white shutters and blue paint. There are flowers in the backyard, because while Rinoa doesn't have a green thumb, she loves flowers and keeps trying despite the legions of dead houseplants. (She always cries on his shoulder about this I'm a plant killer, she says, I'm surpised I haven't killed Angelo yet.)

He always brings home flowers the day after that. Potted, not the kind you buy in regular florist's shops that men usually give to the girl they love. These too will inevitably die, but she is happy for a little while.

It isn't for lack of care that they die, but surfeit of attention. She waters them too much and chatters away fro she'd once read that plants breathe in the breath humans breathed out. Not only that, at times leaves turn to silver and buds to feathers at her touch. Once, a whole Petunia turned into a gold ring while she talked with him and touched its leaves.

She is as always, mercurial and predictable. The weather changes with her and the days turn cloudy when she is angry. Once, when she was particularly angry at a neighbor (for some snide comment, or something, no one can remember) a whole thunderstorm erupted in a sky which had previously been clear. It is useful at times, for she can make pots of water boil instantly. Ice never freezes their doors, and a single glare would make flood waters recede. In a time where Sorceresses are relegated to folklore, she remains the last in a long line. Sometimes, she doesn't even understand it as she twains her fingers and the temperature goes up. As long as she is happy, the room will always remain comfortable, even if the heater goes out.

Squall is her knight still, even with the world safe. He always will be, and even to protect her from herself if need be. He guards her secret carefully, even if she might let it slip while out buying supplies. If he needed to, he would draw his Gunblade again for her sake. He'd start wars for her sake and die for her sake.

She knows, and he knows that she knows. This connection is what he supposes is called love.

When it grows late, they walk Angelo together. At night Angelo jumps into their bed, and Rinoa always laughs and lets him sleep over their feet even if the sheets get covered in dog hair.

Here with her is a place so separate as to cross lines and borders. He does not view it as a part of the world he lives in, his government job given to him by the father he never knew. Theirs is a place that is sublime in its happiness, where peace and serenity come simply by entry after a long day. Here he can find the meaning of that mysterious word that everyone revered and no one really knew what it meant. With Rinoa anything was possible. Flowers could turn to gold and ice to water to vapor in her hands. And by that magic, even he was learning to open up. Through kisses at the corner of his mouth and impromptu dances in the kitchen to her favorite song, through walks and her hand slipped through his.

Here is a land of him and her and the intimacy and peace that he's never know, but is learning slowly how to feel.