DISCLAIMERS: I don't own anything from the Final Fantasy universe but this story idea. I do however own the games, but that's not important. :P
A/N: With the inclusion of Laguna in Duodecim and the fact that I can't get enough thinking of scenarios between Squall and Laguna before the game comes out, I decided to finally write one. :D Plus it's a change in pace from the other story I'm working on. LOL
I tried to make this as legit and seemingly possible from what little tidbits I've seen from the trailers with translations (for the 88 interaction), so I hope this is okay. There are also mentions from FF8 (obviously), but not that big.
Anyways, I hope you enjoy the read and reviews are appreciated! :)
"AHA! I can hide there!"
Of course Laguna wouldn't actually believe he was 'hiding.' He was merely taking cover to come up with a 'suave plan' to take care of those crystallized dummies or dolls or...whatever they were called. Diving into the pit and hiding behind the huge boulder, Laguna crouched down and pressed himself against the rock with his gun at the ready. Should he really have to fight, Laguna wanted to have the upper hand with a surprise attack.
...That was his brilliant plan...
Suddenly, crystallized warriors came into view and Laguna held his breath. They were searching for him; he knew that much. Laguna counted five, maybe seven manikins surveying the area for any signs of life. It was creepy that these mockeries resembled the other warriors; be it of Cosmos or Chaos. He hadn't met all of them yet, but just looking at the manikins was disturbing in itself. Lifeless dolls whose only purpose was to fight... What a sad existence.
They scanned the rocky terrain for a few minutes then retreated. Laguna waited tensely a moment longer before finally releasing a loud exhale. He slumped unceremoniously to the ground and placed his gun beside him, exclaiming, "Oh thank Cosmos they're gone!"
His relief was short-lived when a shadow loomed overhead. Laguna quickly looked up to see the glassy face that resembled the Warrior of Light…or something. The manikin struck down his sword to attack Laguna, but he was quicker in dodge rolling out of the way. Laguna slid to the other side of the pit, grabbing at his side to pick up his gun...except all he grabbed was air.
"Huh?" Laguna looked down at his side before peering in front of him, realizing where his machine gun disappeared to. As the manikin jumped down from above, Laguna could see he left his weapon in the spot he was sitting at just seconds ago. He groaned, realizing he was weaponless and at the mercy of the enemy!
The manikin stalked towards Laguna and the man shot his hands up, instinctively trying to reason with his attacker, "You wouldn't really attack an unarmed opponent would ya? Let's not be hasty here!"
The manikin ignored his ramblings, once again raising his sword to strike. Laguna scoffed and quickly resolved to jump out of the way when the manikin suddenly staggered forward. Confused, the manikin turned around only to be assaulted from its front. It violently recoiled before falling to the ground in a helpless heap. Laguna blinked in confusion before it finally dawned on him that the manikin was dead.
He scrambled to his knees, crawling towards the crystallized fake, How...?
Without another option, Laguna scanned for the source of the manikin's swift end. It stood with his back facing Laguna: A young man clad in black leather. His weapon, a blade with the hilt resembling that of a gun, was outstretched in his right hand. The younger warrior slowly relaxed his stance, holding the gun-sword (no, that was a gunblade right?) to his side.
Laguna blinked again before finally standing up. He was overwhelmed with relief that he grinned at the newfound stranger. He was probably another warrior siding with Cosmos! Laguna greeted in gratitude, "Boy! You sure saved my butt! Thanks a lot buddy!"
The other man remained silent. He tilted his head slightly to look at Laguna from behind his bangs before looking forward again. He willed his sword to disappear and without another word, began to leave.
"H-Hey!" Laguna called out, attempting to run up to the younger man. He took a few steps out of the pit before remembering his machine gun. Laguna cursed to himself and ran back to pick up his forgotten weapon of choice. Sticking his head out of the pit, the younger man was already some feet away now. Laguna continued to shout and run after his savior. Not getting a response, Laguna opted to sprint the rest of the way, taking hold of the younger man's jacket once it was in reach. He took in shallow breaths of air and bent down to regain his stamina, "G-Geez! Are you a track runner or something?"
Once again the younger man stayed quiet. He shrugged Laguna's hold off his jacket, but stayed put. Laguna heard him turn around as he spoke evenly without emotion, "What do you want?"
Wow, can a guy act anymore alive? Laguna thought with surprise. Shaking his head, he stood back up after catching his breath, "Nothing much, I just wanted to thank—"
Blue eyes bore into his emerald green eyes. Radiant steel-blue eyes… Familiar.
Laguna snapped out of his daze, hearing the annoyed tone in the younger man's voice. He once again focused on the younger man's face: Unruly brown hair with bangs framing his face, eyes as blue as a stormy sea, a dark scar running across the bridge of his nose…and a thin frown plastered on his face. Sighing, the younger man glared, "If you've got nothing to say, I'm leaving."
The older man's eyes widened, realizing he was being rude, "Wait! I'm sorry. I didn't mean to stare. Uh, yeah! Thanks for saving me from that munchkin!"
The brunette rose an eyebrow, "Munchkin?"
"Yeah! You know? Those things working for the bad guys?" Laguna informed, surprised this person didn't know what the heck those crystal-like figures were.
"…You mean manikin?" the brunette responded after an awkward pause.
…Manikin? Laguna thought. It was then he realized he mixed up his words…again. Shaking his head, Laguna quickly justified, "Manikin, munchkin! You know what I mean!"
"…Whatever," was the other man's response. He once again turned on his heel to leave, but Laguna instinctively shot his hand up and grabbed the brunette's jacket a second time. The brunette sighed in aggravation, "What is it now?"
"Are you travelling by yourself?" Laguna asked while ignoring the irritated look the brunette gave him. When he received no response, he attempted, "You know, I think it'd be safer if you travelled with someone else."
Again, the brunette raised an eyebrow, "Like you? You weren't travelling with anyone."
"I got separated from the guys I was with!" Laguna defended. He let out a sigh of his own before smacking his fist against his palm, "Oh yeah! You're another one of those 'Cosmos Warriors' right? I am too!"
The brunette stared before his voice drawled out sarcasm, "That's a surprise…"
Laguna twitched, but disregarded the comment. Mustering a grin, he offered his hand, "The name's Laguna. What's yours stranger?"
"…Squall," the brunette answered after peering down at Laguna's palm.
Hmm, not much of a talker, Laguna thought, dropping his hand when Squall didn't take it. Maybe he didn't know what a handshake was? Clearing his throat Laguna pressed on, "Well then Squall! How about you and I travel together to find the others? Sound like a plan?"
"Sorry, but I'd rather go by myself," Squall responded without removing the frown on his face.
Laguna was taken by surprise. Squall seemed so set on that decision…but why? The former soldier inquired, "Huh? But isn't it lonely?"
"It's better than having a liability," Squall remarked with a ready answer. He looked away, "Lonely or not, the main objective is to win the war; not make friends."
"Well…I guess," Laguna scratched the back of his head in uncertainty.
Squall had a point, but to win a war, you needed to know who your allies were. After all, no one had the power to actually win a war by themselves. He looked at Squall again, contemplating a reason to change his mind.
There was something about Squall that Laguna found interesting… Maybe it was the lonesome nature that Laguna wanted to break or maybe it was his weapon of choice. Squall's gunblade was quite similar to the ones back in Laguna's original world, so maybe they came from the same one. But somehow…it was really Squall's eyes that attracted Laguna. They mirrored her eyes; the one who was waiting for him back home…
"If you want to travel with someone, do it with someone else," Squall's voice once again snapped Laguna to reality. Squall turned to leave a final time, but when he moved, the brunette suddenly winced.
Laguna was on alert, placing a hand on Squall's shoulder when he hunched over, "What's wrong?"
"It's nothing…" Squall retorted, struggling to stand up again. He tried to act unfazed, but it only worsened his façade when he started to cough roughly against his palm. When he withdrew it, there was blood staining his glove.
Laguna's eyes widened, "You're coughing up blood!" Squall knitted his eyebrows together while looking down at his hand and Laguna obviously knew he was frustrated, "Maybe we should—"
"There is no 'we.' Leave me alone," Squall snapped, glaring at the older man. He shrugged Laguna's hand off before attempting to walk. Squall took a few steps forward before finally collapsing to his knees. Laguna ran up to him and kneeled by the time Squall coughed against his palm some more.
"Listen, I really think you should give yourself a time out! You're obviously sick or something!" Laguna rationalized in hopes that the brunette would listen. Observing the symptoms Squall was suffering under, it was obvious that if the condition wasn't treated right away, things would only get worse later on.
Squall shook his head, weakly shooting back, "I don't need to…"
The dark haired man slowly smirked, gently helping Squall up. He took one of Squall's arms and threw it around his shoulder as he forced Squall to lean against him for support. Laguna's free hand was at Squall's belt to help him walk as they headed back in the direction of the pit.
It was quiet for a moment before Laguna chuckled, "Did anyone ever tell you how stubborn you are?"
"…Shut up," was Squall's warning before Laguna laughed again.
When Laguna said he was stubborn, boy was Squall stubborn! It took a lot of energy just to settle him down.
Every attempt to helping the brunette was for naught as he insisted to taking care of himself even after more visible injuries were found underneath the brunette's jacket. There were cuts all over his arms and bruises on his sides. Laguna couldn't believe Squall was hiding—more so carrying—the injuries instead of healing them. When Laguna posed the question to the brunette, he turned away to say that he was scarce of healing supplies. Squall almost bashed the older man's head with the sharp side of his gunblade when Laguna snorted a laugh.
"Okay, okay! I'm sorry!" Laguna apologized, wiping an amused tear from his eye. He grinned at Squall while feeding the fire in the makeshift fire pit, "You look like the kind of guy who's prepared for anything. I never expected someone like you to run out of supplies."
"I was scavenging the area for items alright? It's not like you'll find a shop where we are," Squall bitterly countered, his gaze on the flickering flames. He leaned against a boulder with legs crossed. Squall's arms were exposed with his jacket resting on his shoulders for warmth. The bandages wrapped around his arms were visible when the brunette gripped a potion (courtesy of Laguna) with his hands resting in front of him.
"Hmm... A treasure hunt sounds like fun. Too bad you were attacked," Laguna nodded in thought, sitting across Squall on the opposite side. When it was discovered Squall had been poisoned, the brunette elaborated that, before confronting the Warrior of Light manikin that attacked Laguna, he fought a smaller manikin with the ability to cast bio. Squall's poisoning was probably caused from that experience. The older man administered the antidote accordingly, but by the time it took effect, Squall became more adamant about taking care of his own health.
Squall sighed, resting the back of his head against the boulder, "Not like I was asking to be."
"I know," Laguna gave him a sympathetic smile, "I don't think any of us were expecting to be pulled into a war between gods."
"Yeah; and we're stuck with the dirty work," Squall glowered with a frown.
I wish he'd stop doing that, Laguna sighed, bothered that Squall never smiled. Sure Laguna came across other faces that were strictly all-business such as the hardened Kain or the no nonsense Lightning, but not seeing Squall smile nagged him like no tomorrow. Leaning forward, Laguna attempted, "Do you have a happy face?"
Squall twisted his face in slight reprimand, "What?"
Laguna pointed to his mouth and grinned, "You know, a happy face! I haven't seen you smile yet!"
"Why do I have to smile?"
"I dunno. You might look younger if you do."
"…That's a stupid insinuation," Squall shot down and gazed at the fire again.
Laguna put a hand to his heart and pretended, "Hey that hurts. No need to play the bully."
Squall rolled his eyes before pulling his jacket closer against his shoulders, "Grow up."
"Honestly Laguna, stop acting like a big baby."
The older man mused, thinking of his past. She would always place hands on her hips when Laguna vexed her. She'd frown at him before it melted into a smile and teased him playfully with those brilliant blue eyes of hers. Laguna smiled to himself contently before releasing a sigh. Thinking of home always made him happy. It reminded him that he had somewhere to return to after this silly power struggle was over. Soon, he'd be back in that cozy little town with faces he loved seeing every day.
He gazed upwards to see stars lighting up the night. It was a good thing Laguna forced Squall to rest otherwise he'd still be wandering around with those injuries. Besides, Laguna was happy enough to have found company for a little while. He peeped over in Squall's direction, seeing the young man deep in thought. That never-ending frown was still on his face, although it was somewhat 'softer' looking if possible. Laguna decided that it was Squall's passive look.
Eyes that resembled the ocean… That's what they reminded Laguna of. He couldn't get Squall's eyes out of his mind. They were mysterious, striking, and really very pretty. Squall was definitely younger than him, but already he was so cynical. It made Laguna wonder how Squall turned out the way he did. The dark haired man wanted to ask, but he had a feeling he wouldn't get an answer. Instead, he just stared at the brunette from time to time when he wasn't looking. Yes it was rude to stare, but Laguna couldn't help it! Squall reminded Laguna a lot like her, albeit, a lot more stubborn.
"Hey Squall?" Laguna interrupted the silence. He heard the brunette grunt in response and Laguna continued, "Do you have a reason to go back to home?"
The question caught Squall off-guard as his stoic expression changed briefly to a surprised one. Laguna thought it a miracle Squall could flash a different face. Squall wrestled with himself if he should answer the question or not. Slowly though, the brunette began, "To go back to a familiar environment and…see familiar faces."
"You're friends?" Laguna inquired curiously.
Squall nodded slowly, "…Yeah."
Laguna joked with a grin, "Girlfriend too?" When he saw Squall tense for a moment, Laguna's jaw dropped, "Wait I was right? You do have a girlfriend?"
"What's your reason?" Squall deferred, trying to force the attention elsewhere. He glanced at Laguna seriously, waiting for the older man to answer.
Squall's eyes once again entrapped Laguna, reminding him of the sole reason to get back to his world. Laguna smiled proudly, "I want to get back home to my family!"
"Family?" Squall asked.
Laguna nodded, "Back home to my wife and little Elle!"
It was silent for a moment before Squall commented, "…You're married?"
The way Squall implied the question made it out that he couldn't believe Laguna was, but the older man was too engrossed with memories to notice, "Yup! I miss little Elle. She's the cutest little girl you would ever meet! And then there's my wife…" Laguna softened his expression at the thought of his wife, Raine, "She's beautiful, strong-willed, and stubborn…like you. I miss her a lot and I wonder if she's worried about me; or better yet, mad at me. That's why I gotta get home. Don't wanna worry them anymore."
Squall never replied and Laguna turned to him curiously. Did he fall asleep? He glanced at the younger man, only to find him staring back. They continued staring and Laguna's leg started to act up. He cursed himself mentally for getting a leg cramp in the middle of the conversation and tried to fight the urge to cradle his poor, aching leg. Why it was cramping now, he didn't know. Could it be because Squall was focusing so intently? If so, then Laguna was probably getting nervous.
Finally, the brunette looked away and Laguna relaxed slightly; casually massaging his right leg. It took another moment of silence before Squall spoke again, "Do you wonder what it would be like if you didn't meet them? Your wife and…and Elle?"
"Hmm…" Laguna thought with a finger to his chin. Life without Raine and little Elle? No, that was impossible. Laguna shook his head, "I've never wanted to think about that. Maybe it came up once or twice, but something like that I'll have to admit is scary."
"Scary?" Squall repeated, looking back at the fire. He suddenly whispered, "Yeah, I guess so…"
"But you know, that doesn't mean I'll never get to see them again!" Laguna explained, trying to think positively. He never thought Squall would look disheartened by his answer! Maybe the young brunette suddenly got homesick because of how Laguna answered the question. If that was the case, Laguna wanted to fix his mistake, "We may be worlds apart and far away, but I'll see them again soon when this is over. It's not like we said good-bye forever."
Squall shrugged, "Sure, whatever."
Laguna had hoped his answer was sufficient, but instead it fell flat. What was biting at Squall? He examined the brunette more closely, placing a hand under his chin to think. Was he homesick? Of course he was! He was just a teenager! But what else? Was Squall just being extra quiet? Was he tired? Maybe he was hungry.
"Why are you staring at me now?" Squall sighed out of irritation, glaring at Laguna with a frown.
The older man ignored his question for a moment to compile his thoughts. From what he could gather, Laguna let out, "Squall, are you afraid of being forgotten?"
"What?" the question confounded Squall.
"Are you scared of fading away and no one would remember?" Laguna expanded. He mentally patted himself on the back, thinking he got the right answer. Squall's blank look was evidence enough, so Laguna began to comfort, "You shouldn't be thinking that way. Of course people will remember you! You have friends, so how could they possibly—"
Laguna flabbergasted for Squall's voice sounded so icy. Looking back at the younger man, it was a surprise to see Squall's glare so frigid. His eyes were completely grey now and his expression was past any look of warning. Squall's expression was contorted to a look that could practically kill on the spot. Feeling nervous again, Laguna gulped, "Squall—"
"You don't know anything about me, so don't act like you do," Squall monotonously glowered. He gritted his teeth, his grip on the potion tightening. Squall glared a little longer before darting his eyes away in disgust.
Whoa! Okay… Laguna scratched the side of his head. He never knew Squall was capable of exploding! Then again, he really didn't know Squall. The brunette had a point...but it only meant something was truly bugging him. Why oh why Laguna continued to pester Squall was beyond him, but he just couldn't leave him down in the dumps, "…C'mon Squall. I'm sorry if I upset you. If it makes you feel better, I'm willing to listen to your problems."
"…Okay… How about I guess and you tell me if I'm hot or cold? It's better than me completely assuming right?" Laguna persuaded.
Squall lifted his eyes from the ground, glancing Laguna's way momentarily before he leaned against the boulder again. Scowling, Squall slowly asked, "Why do you care so much?"
"I don't know who you are and you definitely don't know me. We're strangers and yet, you try so hard to get to know me," Squall expanded with his gaze solemn. He lowered it as if remembering something, "It's pointless if you're just going to disappear one day; all that effort for naught."
For a kid his age, he says some pretty depressing things, Laguna sighed. The brunette was a lot more complex than Laguna thought possible. He was so tight-lipped; so against meeting new people and communicating with them. Laguna wondered if Squall's friends had as much trouble just trying to be friends with him. Squall was just so emotionally detached that it was like he was afraid of people…
Laguna blinked, Afraid of people…?
He watched Squall close his eyes for a moment. Even though the brunette looked hardened, Laguna swore he could feel a sense of loneliness. It was there… Squall was just really good at hiding it.
"You are scared."
Squall opened his eyes slowly. Those blue orbs were trained to be unreadable; Laguna knew that now. The brunette asked, "What?"
Laguna prayed to Cosmos and hoped his hunch was right. If Squall started to hate him, it would be like Raine hating him! …Now why is that? Shaking his head to rid himself of tangents, Laguna began, "You're afraid of people, not because they won't remember you, but because you yourself are afraid of getting hurt in general."
The brunette gawked, quickly acting on the defensive, "And why would you think that?"
"Because you don't want me to get to know you," Laguna joked slightly before answering seriously again, "The reason you travel alone is to avoid getting hurt by people. You're afraid of letting people in because they're capable of hurting you, not physically, but emotionally. You've…experienced that enough haven't you Squall? You're already so far away from home and it's only reinforcing those feelings."
"Tch…" Squall looked away and Laguna knew he hit a nerve.
Laguna smiled sadly as he looked at the night sky, "I don't know what you've been through, but it must've been hard. To be separated from your loved ones is hard, but you'll make it back to them. Even with people you've just met, don't be afraid of letting go. It's just a part of life where it concerns people, but you never forget them. You need to believe that in order to stay strong! It's just like a handshake! You know, making promises and oaths with a handshake!"
Squall remained quiet until he corrected, "…You mean a pinky promise?"
Pinky promise? Laguna considered in thought, "Didn't I say that?"
"No," Squall deadpanned, followed by awkward silence.
"W-Well that's what I meant! 'Tomayto, Tomahto!' Clearly a semantics issue that I don't want to get into!" Laguna flustered, crossing his arms with a firm, embarrassed nod of his head.
Squall stared blankly before shrugging without a care, "Whatever."
Huh? Laguna had to blink twice. Did Squall…? Did he just smile?
Laguna watched as the younger man started shifting to lie down on his side. Squall didn't notice Laguna's stare, but he must've been unaware that he was smiling as well…at least a little. Why did Laguna feel the need to hug the brunette? No, no, no. He was married! Such things… Such things shouldn't even be comprehended!
"I wanna go home!" Laguna suddenly cried out loud, causing Squall to raise an eyebrow as if Laguna had gone crazy. He didn't mean for that to come out, but all this confusion he was collecting from Squall was befuddling him! Why did Squall have to look so much like Raine? They were practically siblings!
…Maybe Laguna was the one who was homesick...
"Okay…" Squall said, eyeing Laguna suspiciously, "I get that you miss your family. Calm down."
"S-Sorry," Laguna sheepishly answered with a nervous chuckle. He cleared his throat and rested his gun on his lap. He thought to preoccupy himself, "Listen. You get some rest while I take watch duty. We can switch later on okay?"
"You sure you can handle it alone?"
"Trust me; I got expertise in this!" Laguna gloated with a grin. He bumped his chest with a fist, "I was a soldier back home. Well… I'm not anymore, but I still remember most of the things that were drilled into my head."
Squall hummed before adding, "That's hard to believe, but it's a valid reason for why you're here."
"Hey," Laguna pouted, "Be nice."
"Whatever," Squall let out, slipping a small hint of amusement in his tone. He adjusted himself on his make-shift bed and closed his eyes without another word.
Laguna smiled, "Good night, Squall."
He wasn't expecting a quiet mumble from the brunette, "…Night."
As much as it made Laguna feel goofy inside, he uttered no reply. The brunette needed rest and the dark haired man would give him that. After all, he owed Squall for practically saving him earlier and now was the time to fulfill his debt.
He sat by the flickering flames just thinking. And as he sat on guard duty, boredom rising or not, Laguna couldn't help but wish that maybe one day…he and Raine could have a kid like Squall.
In the morning, Laguna found himself alone. Squall was nowhere in sight and his bandages were piled on the ground where he slept. Panicked, Laguna looked around and called out, "Squall?" He searched around the pit, but it was useless.
The young brunette was gone.
"Huh…" Laguna scratched the back of his head as he walked back to the resting ground, "I guess he left…"
He was sorely disappointed that Squall left abruptly. When Laguna thought about it, when did he fall asleep? He was pretty sure he was only trying for a nap after two hours of guard duty, however the dark haired man figured his small nap ended up becoming a full night's rest. Squall didn't even wake him for the switch…
I guess he didn't want to, Laguna concluded sadly. He hoped they could've travelled together. Despite only knowing him for one night, Laguna was already attached to the brunette. Part of it must've been because Squall reminded him of Raine, but the other part was genuine adoration. Laguna really liked having Squall around.
Nevertheless it seemed like Squall thought the opposite. Loner that he was, Laguna assumed Squall wanted to keep it that way; despite the older man's best efforts to make a good impression. Laguna started thinking he must've scared off Squall.
Sighing, Laguna shook his head and decided to pack up; had to get ready to fight some manikins after all. As he bundled his supplies together, Laguna talked out loud to make himself feel less alone, "If Squall took off his bandages, then he must be getting better. That's good."
He hummed a song to diminish the silence in the air and continued to pack. Laguna went over to Squall's spot to clean up the bandages and was surprised to find a note written in the dirt. Laguna stared at it for a moment before apprehending the fact Squall probably left him a note! He wasted no time in reading it. It read:
"You snore in your sleep.
That makes you an easy target at night when you're unguarded."
Laguna blinked before chuckling. It wasn't the message he was hoping for, but somehow, it suited Squall. The young man didn't seem good with words as Laguna was with remembering phrases. He shrugged, Oh well. It's the thought that counts.
As he picked up the bandages from the ground, they revealed more scribbles written in the dirt. Laguna once again paused to read it:
"It's better if we part ways here. I never planned on travelling together.
Hopefully you meet up with someone else knowing you."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Laguna pouted, imagining Squall's unfeeling voice reciting the last line in his head. He moved more of the bandages to reveal additional words in the dirt. The ground looked like it had been scratched at a few times and Laguna pondered if Squall was editing his words repeatedly. It was like the brunette was indecisive on what to write.
When he removed all the bandages from the ground, it revealed the body of Squall's message. Laguna was surprised by its content:
"Thanks for last night.
If we fight in the same battle, as an ally, I have your back out of obligation.
And take that with a grain of salt because I don't care."
A little further down was words of encouragement:
"Raine and Ellone are waiting for you.
You better keep your promise to them."
Laguna smiled sincerely and nodded, "For sure."
With his spirits lifted, Laguna proceeded to clean the area along with erasing Squall's message. He was pretty sure Squall would hate for anyone else to read it. Laguna nodded in satisfaction at his clean up job. He picked up his machine gun and made sure to be on the lookout for manikins before finally leaving.
He began humming again just because he was in a good mood. It was a nice day and no enemy was in sight so far. Perhaps Squall had given Laguna luck as silly as that sounded. A smile couldn't help but form on his face when he thought about the brunette. The kid was taciturn, but his heart was in the right place. Squall's message may have been a little blunt, but Laguna could read that he in fact did care. After all, Squall wrote about Raine and little Elle!
And then he stopped walking to wonder something about the message. Yes, Laguna brought up Elle's name last night, but not her real name. He rather liked calling Ellone 'Elle' because a cute little girl deserved a cute nickname! And Laguna was pretty sure he never spoke of Raine's name out loud.
How did Squall know those names if Laguna never said them?