"So …" Laguna drawled out, looking over at the other man once he took another swig of his beer. "How about some good, old-fashioned—"


There went attempt number 500, 243, 243, 242.

Well, at least he tried.


Always, Laguna comes on Thursdays.

Always, Laguna really does come at 1:00 p.m., dragging a round of drinks and some idiotic excuse to make Squall leave the paperwork-hell he calls an office; it doesn't work for the first thirty minutes, but after consistent ramblings of things the latter had no idea about, he relents and holds his hands out for that stupid fishing pole that's covered with chocobo print. And then, they leave for some godforsaken island that had more monsters than actual fish.

Squall doesn't say a word.

They get there, with the older man actually running out into the sand that partially melted the soles of their shoes, and Squall kind of really dislikes his black jacket, black pants, black boots, and black undershirt—he eyes that frilly luau shirt Laguna had tossed in his direction before it had been tramped thirty times; he eyes the innocent flip flops that scream for being used; he eyes the rainbow shades, the large bottle of suntan lotion, the cargo shorts, and the somewhat distorted ukulele; he eyes himself in the mirror of Ragnarok.

Sighing, he blames parental pressure.

Later, while Laguna chatters about how excited he was for this trip, though he came to see Squall every single Thursday, he waves his hands around and gets ready for "The Greatest Catch: By Laguna Loire"; Squall simply tells him to hurry up and get the aloe vera bottle, narrowing his eyes at the enormous splotches of redness that cover his pale flesh, and he curses himself for giving into the silly Moomba-based attire. The idiot merely beams and ruffles the teen's hair as he scuds back to their ship, and Squall believes that he himself was the greatest moron out of the two of them.

One, two, four, five—five hours pass, and their fishing poles still caught giant adamantoises instead of the animals that had fins, tails, gills, and were considered 'edible'. He's tired of building coconut fortresses and U.F.O. sightings; he's tired of saving the older man from drowning in quicksand; he's tired of waiting; and he's tired of feeling stupid.

Until one of their lines twitches.

But he looks at the 'fish'—and he looks at the dark sky. The little thing was no bigger than the palm of his hand, nothing but a tiny glob of slim that gasped for air. Their entire day had been for naught, just to snare a tiny piece of bait. Laguna blinks, frowns, blinks again, and scratches his head; there's anything but noise between them, and Squall catches the disappointment on the other's face, the slight hunch of his shoulders. Laguna refuses to look in his direction—only the awkward chirps of the grasshoppers fill the void.

Yet, Squall sighs.

And quirks his lips upwards.

Laguna stills, opens his mouth, turns, and looks at Squall—the younger man's faint chuckles ebb away into the cool air, but he is able to hear the beginnings of them, and he is incredulous; the teen tosses the gross critter back into the water, shrugging: he twists to his side, mindful of the painful sunburns, and smiles: smiles at the childish sand creatures they made; smiles at the failed attempt at creating a bonfire out of magazines; smiles at the off-tune ukulele, the white sunblock streaks beneath both of their eyes, the awkwardness of it all; he smiles at the 1:00 p.m. in Balamb Garden, trying to close the door in a certain someone's face.

He smiles at their chocobo-print fishing poles.

And Laguna smiles the brightest on Thursdays.


Sports car model MOFSH-245:

8-cylinder engine: check.

Combat operations management: check.

Artificial intelligence: check.

'Number One Daddy' bumper sticker: chec—

Okay, now he was pushing it.


"Squall, I'm on t.v.!"

Why was he even surprised?