A/N: Another oneshot addressing something that once more wouldn't get out of my head; a scene from the lives of the Leonhart family. While I loathe playing around with OCs, I've enjoyed writing about Squall and Lightning's children, and thus entertained more ideas into their lives. This story is its own oneshot, as its premise wouldn't exactly fit in SCE.
For those that haven't read Tiny Titans yet, Squall and Lightning are married and have sired two daughters, Averia and Raine Leonhart, the latter being one-year younger. For those interested in how they look like, Yurei and Eirlys-Tylluan have generously drawn up their design; links can be found in my author's page.
mikeymike, to answer your question, 'Averia', according to the Final Fantasy Wiki, was what Lightning's name was originally supposed to be. Whether this is accurate, I don't know ^_^;
Hope you'll enjoy this one!
A pink haired girl cried when she burst into the room, her blue eyes glistening with unshed tears. The brunet looked up from his desk and frowned worriedly, pushing his chair backwards as the eight year old circled the table and leaped into her father's arms, burying her face in his chest as her body shook with her suppressed sobs.
Squall rubbed her back awkwardly at first, not knowing how to comfort his eldest daughter, before sighing and giving her a reassuring hug as he tried to piece together what made her upset.
"What's wrong?" he asked comfortingly, or as comforting as he could. Even after these eight years, he was still awkward when it came to verbally reassuring upset people. Lightning was easy to appease, as she understood him, even though she teased him about his awkwardness every now and then.
The little girl pulled back, looking up at her father, before suddenly burying her face in his chest again when she felt her tears about to fall. Squall frowned at Averia's reaction before he began to affectionately stroke her hair. He felt his eldest daughter tense up, her arms, wrapped around his chest, tightened tighter, and he rested his cheek against the crown of her head.
"It's alright to cry." He spoke softly, trying to soothe his distressed daughter. Averia's arms tightened even more in response, and he felt a growing wetness on his chest. Squall continued to rub circles on her back and the little pinkette let out a few choked sobs.
Eventually, her grip around his chest loosened and she pulled back, and Squall looked on worriedly at her red cheeks and eyes. "What's wrong?" he repeated softly, and Averia chewed on her bottom lip, tears welling up in her eyes again, before taking a deep breath and speaking.
"Ceo… Ceo did…" she choked out, trying to speak over her dry throat. Squall tightened his hold, pressing her cheek against his chest as he continued rubbing her back. Gathering her guts, she suddenly wailed. "He said I'm a freak! And I have cooties!" She started crying again, balling his shirt in her tiny fists.
Squall's brows knitted as he tried to decipher what was wrong. He tried to imagine why Cecil's son would say that, and why Averia acted the way she did. He stared at the pink hair framing the top of his eldest daughter's head and mentally sighed. The 'why's didn't matter. What mattered was getting his little princess (he inwardly cursed Laguna's influence, though seeing as his eldest enjoyed being called a 'princess', he couldn't berate his father about it) to smile again.
"I'm sure he didn't mean it." Squall spoke sincerely. "He was just…" he trailed off briefly, trying to think of Ceodore's motive and said the first thing that came to mind. "…being a boy."
Averia craned her head upwards, sniffling once and rubbing her eyes with her palms as before her baby blues widened in wonder. "Were you like that daddy?"
I was actually busy hunting down Gnats to be bothered with teasing other children. "… Of course I was."
The little pinkette squinted at him and he held his breath, recognizing the look his wife gave him when she sensed he was hiding something, before she sighed and pressed her cheek against his chest once again. "Silly daddy." She berated him softly with a small smile, and Squall decided that it didn't matter if she did see through his white lie. "But thank you."
Squall ruffled the top of her hair, making her scowl up at him.
"Hey!" she shouted indignantly.
The brunet looked around before returning his gaze back to his pouting daughter. "Where are your mother and sister?"
"Mommy's trying to stop Rainy from beating up Ceo." Averia muttered as she tried to straighten her hair.
Squall blinked owlishly. "Hn. Your mother should let Raine get a hit in at least."
The little pinkette in his arms giggled at her father's disappointed tone. "Rainy already got him with a few rounds from her XM109."
Squall cracked a small smile, proud of Raine's protectiveness over her big sister and Averia's growing knowledge of their youngest's firearms. "Remind me to buy her more bullets."
Averia giggled again as she stood on the tip of her toes, placing her hands on his shoulders as she stared intently into his eyes, her own blues glittering affectionately. "I love you daddy." She leaned forward and pecked him on the cheek.
"When I grow up, I wanna marry you."
Squall Leonhart was scribbling away at his desk, reviewing and correcting the latest batch of reports and requests for the week, when his wife strode in his study in their safe house in Archades. He acknowledged her presence with a glance, and she returned it with a nod, before he returned to his work as she plopped down on the sofa by the window with a sigh.
Lightning craned her neck towards him, resting her cheek on one hand as she studied her husband.
Several moments passed before Squall finally caved under her stare. The Commander of SeeD sighed, taking off his reading glasses and placed them on his desk before leveling his wife with a cool gaze. "What?"
The pink haired mother smirked, fixing her position so she was sitting upright while continuing to lock gazes with him, not minding as her pink hair and the white curtains danced with the wind blowing behind her from the open window. "I've dropped her off."
Squall's demeanor remained unchanged and his voice remained controlled. "I see."
"Thought you'd like to know." Her voice was smug and cheeky, and he could tell that the pinkette was trying to fish a reaction out of him.
Lightning continued to sit there expectantly, waiting for him to finally be at his wit's end, and her eyes shimmered when he finally relented.
"Is there else anything you wanted?" he asked in an annoyed tone.
She pushed herself off the couch and gracefully walked the steps towards his desk, pressing her hands on the wooden top as she leaned over the table, staring intently into his aloof gaze as she sought an answer. Squall's eyes remained impassive, though she was satisfied to see the sliver of agitation in his steel blue orbs.
"It's nothing." She retreated, leaning back against her chair. "I just thought you'd be interested."
She saw Squall's grip tighten around his pen and she inwardly smirked when he deadpanned, folding his arms. "I trust Averia."
"But...?" she prodded.
Squall looked away and added with great reluctance."... I don't trust Ceodore." To not hurt her.
Lightning sighed with a shake of her head. "Neither do I." She agreed, making her husband's head snap in her direction. She smiled fondly. "You're not the only parent she has, you know." She dug her elbows on the table as she rested her chin on her knuckles.
Squall's posture relaxed as he admitted with a melancholic sigh. "... Averia wanted to marry me when she grew up."
The pink-haired mother blinked questioningly. "When was this?"
"Back when Averia was eight and Ceodore called her a freak."
Lightning easily recalled that memory, as she had just barely stopped their seven-year old Raine shooting King Cecil Harvey's eldest with live rounds. Raine had been grounded for a month, though with Averia sneaking cookies and other assorted goods to the young brunette, which the two parents found out after Raine's punishment was lifted, the earnest Leonhart remained as trigger-happy as ever.
"What really happened that time?" Squall asked offhandedly.
"Apparently, all the children were playing when Cecil entered and Averia's condition kicked in."
"Hn..." Squall hummed thoughtfully, making Lightning's eyes narrow.
"Ceodore was jealous." Lightning looked at him incredulously. "Men's intuition."
The pinkette scoffed. "Anybody ever told you that you give the lamest excuses?" She ignored her husband's scowl as she relaxed in her seat. "But I guess that would explain why he would say such a thing." While Ceodore was normally mild-mannered, he suffered from a major inferiority complex against his parents' achievements which would come out from time to time, though normally he grew more subdued whenever his father was around. She mused absently. "Still, this means that Ceodore may possibly return Averia's affections."
The sound of a pen clattering against the wooden table snapped the pinkette out of her musings. She inwardly laughed at the shock that embedded itself on her normally stoic husband's countenance, and couldn't help the smug mirth from escaping her mouth. "You didn't know?"
"..." Squall opened his mouth, trying to form words that never came before pressing his lips together, his eyes shut as his brain rebooted. He sighed before picking up his fallen pen. "That's... news." He placed the pen neatly on his pen holder as he scanned the report in front of him for any stains. "How are you sure?"
"Besides the obvious fact that his teasing always upset our eldest?" She smirked. "You can be so clueless at times."
Squall ignored his wife's taunting, already used to her bluntly stating his faults. Instead, he continued reading through the official documents in front of him. Lightning's triumphant smirk softened before commenting. "You're taking this well."
The SeeD Commander's eyes shifted towards her questioningly and she elaborated. "Your fifteen year old daughter is meeting with her second crush," it was no secret that the eldest Leonhart daughter's first crush was Cecil's hair. "who just might feel the same way about her, and you're just sitting there scribbling on your work." Lightning frowned. "How can you be so calm?"
Squall faced her fully, knowing that his wife was feeling anxious since the day before when Averia asked their permission to 'watch the parade with Ceo'. At the time, the Leonhart patriarch didn't read too much into it. While he didn't like Ceodore so much, he was well aware that, if push came to shove, Cecil's son was a capable and responsible man, even more so than his Averia.
"I trust Averia. Everything's under control." he repeated sincerely, and Lightning found comfort in his words. Both knew that both their children were growing up, that they were no longer the little bundles of mischief that innocently hijacked the Ragnarok and shot it outside their atmosphere.
That incident was one heartache they couldn't forget.
Seeing the anxiety in his wife's eyes dim, Squall commented offhandedly as he contiued perusing the reports. "I guess that explains Raine's attitude towards Ceodore."
Raine always clung to her sister whenever Ceodore was around; making sure that the quarter-Lunarian would never have time alone with Averia...
Lightning blinked when she suddenly realized something. "Where's Raine?"
Squall began scribbling furiously on the pages in front of him, ignoring his wife's question. Lightning's eyes narrowed before she stood up from her seat, rounding the table and pushing his shoulder backwards so that he was facing her.
"Squall." Lightning's voice was low and menacing as her eyes peered intensely into his. "Where is she?"
The brunet remained calm under his wife's glare and spoke clearly despite the sweat gathering behind his head. "I don't know."
"But you have an idea." She growled.
Squall's lips remained thin and Lightning suddenly let go of him. Squall swiveled his chair around as he watched his wife bend down to unhook the latch at the bottom of the bookcase behind his desk before standing. She glared at him over her shoulder once, and he took that as his cue to approach her and push the wooden bookcase to the side, revealing a door.
Lightning glared at him again and his countenance remained schooled. "You better hope I'm wrong." She threatened before grasping the handle and pushing.
The metallic door slid open without a fuss and revealed a hidden armory. To Squall, it was their stash of weaponry, ranging from melee blades to the latest model of firearms. To Lightning, it was the biggest clue to the manic Raine's whereabouts. To the one known as Raine Leonhart, this door was the gateway to paradise.
Lightning's eyes quickly scanned the room, mentally running an inventory check for what the most dangerous weapon missing was, and the possible repercussions of said weapon being used. Her eyes narrowed at a particular spot and she glared balefully at her husband.
The trial of Squall Leonhart began.
"Why was this door unlocked?" Lightning's tone was even, but one could detect the undercurrent of danger.
Sadly, Squall constantly stared at the proverbial abyss without blinking. "Obviously, Raine unlocked it."
The pinkette's eyes narrowed at her husband's cheek. "How, pray tell, did Raine get ahold of the keys to this specific room?"
"I may have accidentally left them on the table" Squall shrugged absently, though Lightning could clearly see his ruse.
"Accident." His wife repeated dryly. "I'm sure." She growled before continuing, her voice getting more dangerous with each word spoken. "Doesn't it bother you that Raine, our sweet little psychopath, is running loose with an assorted collection of the latest issue of firearms, one of which happens to be a Satellite Cannon? That if this same Raine has a history of using her firearms against your cadets, what more someone she's shown to greatly dislike?"
Squall knew he was in trouble, but he firmly stood his ground, even as his wife stood in front him angrily. "No. Like I said before, everything's under control."
"… Raine will retrieve Averia from the blast zone before firing."
A moment of silence passed before Lightning spoke, her voice leaving no room for argument. "You're sleeping on the couch tonight."
Squall Leonhart was found guilty.
"It's for Averia's safety!" No longer able to keep his emotions schooled, a spark of desperation bled through his voice.
"And I thought you said you trust her." Lightning pointed out wryly, pinching the bridge of her nose to stave off the incoming headache. She walked past him and plopped down on his chair, feeling all her strength leave her.
"I do." Squall defended. "I just don't trust Ceodore's intentions."
"I take back what I said earlier. You're not calm about this." She felt like banging her head on the table as she hoped and prayed that Raine wouldn't pull the trigger until they've retrieved her.
The phone suddenly rang and Lightning picked it up, glaring at Squall to stop his approach.
"Leonhart office. Speak." She didn't bother hiding the anger in her voice.
"Ah Light?" A familiar voice came from the other side and she sighed.
"What is it Laguna?"
Squall folded his arms, trying to think of a reason why Laguna would call.
"Hey, I thought I told you to call me 'dad'?" the man whined from the other side.
"… Just state why you're calling." She spoke tiredly, not in the mood for all this.
"Oh yeah! The space station called. They received a request to fire the satellite cannon," Lightning glared at Squall, who had just figured out why his father was calling. He put on his jacket and walked towards the door with resigned steps. "but the coordinates are at Archades. They've ID'd the weapon to Squall's, and I know your family's in the area for the negotiations, but satellite imaging shows no sign of danger."
Despite Lightning's mood, she was quite impressed how Laguna managed to say all that without any mistakes. "Roger that. Do not give permission to fire. I'm sending Squall to deal with the situation. Hold on."
She placed her hand on the microphone, ignoring the indignant cries from the speaker, placing her palm against it as she spoke to her husband. "Find Raine and bring her back." She commanded lowly. Squall reluctantly nodded, knowing there was no point arguing against her now.
"Oh, and Squall?" he stopped the door from closing halfway at his wife's call. "You're still sleeping on the couch tonight."
Lightning savored the frown on her husband's face as the door closed. While it was sweet that he was that protective of their children, it still didn't excuse his actions. Her husband, the legendary Commander of SeeD himself, had absolutely no tact. At all.
"You still there?" She asked the man on the other side of the phone.
"Yeah. This call isn't cheap, y'know?"
"Oh suck it. Your city made these types of calls possible." She shot back irritably before sighing and cutting the man's incoherent grumblings over the phone. "Laguna, are any of your men in Archades?"
"Yup. Anything you need?"
"Averia is there. There should be a silver haired boy around her age looking for her." Lightning spoke slowly. "I want them to capture and interrogate him. I want to know what he intends to do with your first granddaughter." She emphasized that last point, knowing that would get the gears in Laguna's imagination turning. Still, she knew Laguna wouldn't act without a little more prompting. "That boy abducted Averia."
It technically wasn't a lie, as Ceodore was the one who called Averia out since the Red Wings were also visiting Archades. Abduction didn't always mean kidnapping, after all.
Lightning instinctively held the speaker away from her ear.
"HE WHAT? !" Laguna shouted from the other side. "Don't worry! My men will catch that little rascal for sure!"
The pink-haired mother was pleased when the President of Esthar hung up the phone.
She sunk back into the embrace of her husband's seat with a soft smile on her lips. There were other ways to get around Averia's situation instead of blowing up the cause.
Really, her husband had no tact at all.
A/N: Pretty sure this will be as lowly received as Tiny Titans, but I still hope that whoever read this piece still found it enjoyable. I hope Squall and Lightning's portrayal are still believable in this shot, as, admittedly, I was getting drowsy as I typed this story out.
Thanks for reading!