"Alright, is a certain kitty afraid of the water? Why don't you let me help—"

"Stop using this as an excuse to get into the shower with me."


Dating, for Seifer and Squall, Rinoa exasperatedly realized, was like a charging pair of rhinos.

They'd do it often, if one looked carefully enough, and it was also meticulously planned out, from going to the parking lot to roaring home in a loud sports car. It was entirely sweet, in her opinion: taking care of each other like that.

Except, maybe she was taking it too sentimental.

The dates were nothing but alarming: Surprisingly, they weren't weird outings, but the conventional things that were turned over to be more than it should. Something cute would end up totally skewered, with narrowed eyes and competitive flames surrounding the two.

Ping-pong was like an artillery competition.

Swimming had never been so extreme.

Baking cookies looked harder than strategizing a battle plan.

Eating at a restaurant forced them to gain five pounds.

Holding hands turned into arm wrestling.

They were the strangest duo on Earth, bantering and pushing at each other, unpleased with victory until the other conceded loss, which never happened, so they'd be going at it once more. But it didn't really matter: not like this, a small sliver of mirth in the corners of their eyes, a ruffle of hair, a childish exchange that ended up with both of them walking side by side. If one was to look even closer, he or she would see the gleam of wine bottles and gunmetal, a tinge of satisfaction in their gait, a sly hand reaching for another; they'd see a head thrown back in laughter, a small frown, an arm around a defensive shoulder; they'd see the complete obliviousness of the fools, knowing nothing but that single moment.

She'd never seen anything like it.

Aside from intense squirrel-snorkeling competitions, courtesy of S and S Co.

Rinoa sighed.



"Damn—your gunblade is heavier than mine."

A raised brow. "Couldn't figure that out already?"


"Yeah, princess, I know; I can literally see Grievy-kins lolling around in joy at my arrival." Sarcasm was heavily laden in his voice, even through the strong static of the pathetic phone connection. "Just make sure he doesn't keep you up all night—that's my job, if you know what I mean."

A faint scoff at the innuendo. "Is that all you think about?"

"More or less." Squall could practically feel the grin through the tips of his fingers. "Though, at the moment, a big kiss from you would be nice."

Truly, it was hard to resist. "Whatever."

Whatever to the quirk of his lips.

"Atta boy." Immediately, a weird crunching noise filtered through the communications line, ringing shrilly in his eardrums and forcing a foul curse from the other man. "Shit; damn, that hurt." More clipped sounds. "Sorry, babe, but we just had a couple of—Holy fuck!" A large boom echoed out of his cell phone. "Okay, I gotta go, there's some rebels who snuck into the base, but I just wanna tell you that I sure as hell miss you—"

" … Seifer?"

"—and …—you … —night … '"

Kinetic fizz. "Seifer?"

"—god … I'll be— … —next … "

Deafening crashes.

A faint tick of wariness marred his lax brow. "Seifer?"

And then.

"Love you, Squall—"

The line collapsed.

But his smile didn't.

"What an idiot."

Like he wasn't one himself.