Summary: Warriors of Cosmos, meet Laguna. Cuchi-Cuchi-Coo, Squall.
A/N: So, a bit of mixing up of Cosmos warriors from different cycles in commemoration of our ever adorkable president's inclusion in the 12th cycle. I wanted to explain, exactly (not really), the reason Laguna has a ghost card in the game. The quote attached to his card is totally a hint to what happened. Also, a bit of a spoiler as to his connection to Squall, if you've been under a rock all these years.
Just a bit o' fun.
It's somewhat out of the ordinary as the tension that surrounds Squall is infectious, and soon everyone around him is keyed into his heightened level of frustration.
"What's up, Squall?" Zidane frowns, his tail twitching idly, "You're being more uptight than usual." He stands, moving toward the swordsman standing underneath a half-standing arch of stone, his grim face half illuminated by the light of the Lifestream fragments threaded through the air. His news seems serious, or as serious as it can be considering his natural composure.
Said warrior takes in a deep, torturous breath, "There is someone I need to introduce to you all," and speaks as stiff and cold as Shiva herself, "Laguna."
"And how has he come to be here?" Warrior of Light asks, and Squall gives a stiff shrug,
"He's been chosen. He mentioned meeting a woman and had a leg c…He mentioned meeting a Cosmos who told him to meet us here."
"Can he be trusted?" Warrior of Light continues, sitting stately upon a boulder, his eyes glancing at the distance in thought. Squall cringes as best as he can (his complete and utterly controlled expression of apathy his equilibrium state), eyes narrowing for a second and his hands clenching minutely.
"Conditional trustworthiness does not sound like an admirable trait, is he truly someone we can depend on in a fight and in this war against Chaos?"
It looks as if Squall swallows something bitter, "He can fight." Several moments pass before it seems he can continue his explanation. "He can also be depended on to...watch your back and help out...if you don't mind being dragged into even worse situations." The last part is said in a rushed mumble uncharacteristic of Squall, and the rest absorb his description with growing curiosity.
"So, he's bad luck?" Zidane sums up, looking to everyone else in the small gathering for their responses.
Cloud speaks up from the back of the group, looking morose as usual."...So why would Cosmos bring him, if he's going to make things worse? We'd be better off without him..." There's a bit of change in the air, subtle, but having spent enough time around each other fighting for their lives, it's noticeable. What's surprising is that the change is in Squall, and completely contrasts his usual character.
"He's also very lucky, to have survived this long." Squall adds without prompt, his head turned away and his arms crossed almost sullenly.
Bartz darts forward in small bursts, his cape flapping behind him, until he's the closest to Squall, an arm-length away. "Are you defending him?" The mimic asks, smiling. "He must be very important to you if you're willing to defend him like that." Squall doesn't answer, his eyes and face turned resolutely away from his comrades, staring out at the broken world like it holds all the answers.
"Who is he to you, Squall?" Zidane wheedles, eyes sparkling madly, "Your boyfr-" There is the click of a gunblade, and a tell-tale blue glow that begins to grow in Squall's corner, but it is quickly cut off.
"Is he family?" Cecil cuts in smoothly, averting what could be a very destructive situation. His armor's helmet is lifted so his voice isn't filtered by the mouth piece, and is lacking its usual dark, metallic tone. "Your brother, perhaps?"
Zidane grimaces, "No offense Cecil, but I think we've got enough brothers hanging about in this war. And can you imagine another Squall, and an unlucky one at that?"
"That defies comprehension. The world would likely end if there were more than one of an uptight-OW!" Onion Knight shrinks away and drops his thought to look balefully at Terra who stands to his side, hand raised and her gaze reprimanding.
"Well Squall?" Firion walks to join Bartz in his observation of Squall, who is steadily retreating into whatever inner world he has conjured as his far away gaze can attest to. "What is he to you?" He remains silent and stubborn, despite the questioning.
"Hey, don't ignore us! It can't be that bad. Unless he's your old man or something…" Tidus pushes the question forward, not expecting as much of a reaction as he receives. There's a subtle crack in Squall's countenance, one that attracts attention (it certainly isn't normal to see him hold himself that stiffly, no matter how stiff he is accused of being) and he holds onto the few moments he can before answering the question that arises to the forefront of their minds.
"Laguna is...my father." There is a moment of utter stillness at that, and then the conversation continues explosively.
"Your...old man?" Tidus questions, a tint of understanding coloring his voice. "Is he a complete jerk too or something?"
"A father, how is that possible? He'd have to be a slab of stone-" Onion Knight cuts in snidely, wincing as Terra makes to slap his shoulder in reprimand. "You shouldn't say that. It's rude to both him and his father."
"I grew up thinking I was an orphan, and just met him recently. I need to make that perfectly clear." Squall stresses lowly, his eyes emphasizing what his voice can't.
Zidane pushes past both Firion and Bartz and looks at Squall, curiosity pushing its limits. "So he's your dad, what's the problem? We can always use a new fighter in this thing." Squall pushes past the small crowd and walks until he stands nearest to Cloud who stands the furthest away from them all, near the Throne of Sanctuary, and completely visible in the light of the world.
"The problem is...he's…" Squall takes a deep breath, but is cut off by a voice a short distance away. The figure of a man appears, strikingly similar to Squall, but the tone of his voice and vision of his excitedly waving hands tell a wildly different story.
"Squall, you intro'ed me yet? I'd like to meet any friends you have, 'cause any friend of yours is a friend of mine!...Unless you're embarrassed, you know, 'cause I'm like not Gen Z and all. But it's all cool! We'll be battle buds before this is all over. Rags' bullets and me'll make sure of that!"
"...a moron." Squall ducks his head, murmuring the phrase which goes unheard, and slowly becomes the piece of stone he's been accused of being on a bad day.
"I think my mind is melting, " Zidane stage whispers, looking between the rapidly approaching figure and the quietly dying Squall in obvious awe.
Onion Knight, for once, has no words for the situation, grabbing onto Terra's arm like the child he truly is. Laguna is now but a few feet away, and the aura about him is bright.
"So, am I late to this shindig? I told Squall to go along so that I could get used to this place and get a feel for the terrain, and you guys could know about me coming along, 'cause it wouldn't be cool to just drop in without a warning, you know? Like party crashing, but war-style." To everyone's horror, he directs this to Warrior of Light, who seems to be staring at Laguna as if he's a strange animal of whose likes he's never seen before.
"Why can't my dad be like that?" Tidus says aside to Cecil with a shake of his head , but with more thought quickly amends,"...but with a little less of that." Cecil stands beside him, politely attempting to pretend he isn't being mentally bludgeoned, and moves to place a consoling hand on the petrified Squall.
"...how?" Cloud, usually imperturbable, stands back and watches the proceedings with more interest than he is used to.
"As hard as I try, I can't see it." Bartz tells Firion who nods, slightly wide-eyed. "It's like Squall through a mirror that's been broken and Holy-ed a few times, and then put together again with Flan paste by a blind Elder..."
Warrior of Light attempts to rally his manners," And you are…Laguna?" A thumbs-up is his response, as well as a blinding smile.
"Yup! Laguna Loire, Presidente of Esthar, but you all can just call me Laguna. Mr. Loire makes me feel so old." He starts laughing nervously, and looks expectantly at them all with a wide smile. At a general and subdued greeting from those gathered, he notices Squall and approaches him in concern.
There is a general, unspoken consensus that it will not end well.
"Squall, you all right?" There is no response, and group watches with bated breath as the two opposites interact. Squall's self-imposed petrification does not stop an eye from twitching."You know, I think that girl, Selphie, told me you got like this sometimes."
Laguna strokes his chin, thoughtful, before smiling in triumph. "And I know just how to cure it!" The Universe seems to sputter at this point, and what Squall thinks could not get worse soon does.
"With some of ol' Laguna's Triple C Treatment-Get ready for it! Cuchi-Cuchi-Coo!"
And his world ended in whimper.
A/N: Could you think of better way to end it? I'd be willing to listen.