:.:I Don't Have A Son!:.:

It was on one quiet afternoon with their children away when an anxious Squall Leonhart dropped an unusual request on his relaxing wife.

"I want a son." Squall declared, glancing down on the pink crown beneath his chin.

Lightning blinked, turning her gaze upwards from her book to peer at her husband disbelievingly. "Come again?"

"I want a son." Squall repeated, this time looking a bit flustered. "Don't you?"

Lightning continued to stare at him oddly before finally relenting, marking the page she last read before closing her book. It seemed her husband was actually serious about wanting another child from her – a son, too.

Shifting on the space between his parted legs, a spot she nestled in whenever they both had downtime to just sit, so that she could face him fully. "What brought this about?"

"Don't you think it's about time we had a son?" Squall asked as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

It wasn't, and the look Lightning leveled him with reflected that. "You don't force these things, Squall." She chided him pointedly. Honestly, sometimes her husband's common sense was spot on, while other times… "Besides, aren't you happy with the two we have?"

Squall nodded his head. "I am. But it's just not the same."

"And what, pray tell, isn't the same?" Lightning pressed half-seriously. "Bear in mind I'll be the one doing all the carrying and laboring."

"I'm the one suffering your mood swings and cravings." Squall countered while rolling his eyes. Not to mention the broken bones he received whenever she gave birth. He took a deep breath. "I want a son to go camping with."

"What's wrong with camping as a family?" Lightning narrowed her eyes.

"Nothing." Squall swiftly replied- and then wisely changed the subject. "I want a son to play sports with."

"Raine is already in the radar of the Zanarkand Abes." Lightning pointed out, relaxing her features. "The Balamb Fishes-"

Lightning inwardly chuckled at the name; Balamb originally wanted to name themselves Lions, but SeeD had strong-armed the Blitzball club into changing their mind so there would be less association with the wandering mercenary group. Squall had handled the negotiations those many years ago, and Balamb had thus chosen the name to spite him.

"-and even the Academia l'Cies have also expressed their interests. Academia in particular wants to offer Raine a scholarship – if she meets the requirements when the time comes, of course. Really, Raine's probably more boy than any other boys her age I've seen. More intelligent, too."

Squall frowned but said nothing more.

Shaking her head in amusement, Lightning rested her hand on his and gazed into his eyes imploringly. "Tell me, what brought this on?"

"It's hard to explain." Squall started, but quickly shook his head. "No. I can't explain it." He confessed truthfully. "I guess part of me just wants another child."

"Averia's only nine." Lightning interrupted.

"I know." He shot her a dry look. "But that's just me making an unfair excuse. I just want a son."

"Our children are already a handful." Well, Raine mostly, but she made up for Averia, and more. "I don't know how we'll manage with a son." Lightning eyes were downcast as she looked at her waist. "And, I'm not looking forward to feeling bloated and fat and immobile all over again- and don't get me started on labor pains."

"It's not that bad." Squall pressed.

Lightning looked at her husband as if he was stupid. Really, his common sense sometimes…

"Tell you what; you get pregnant then give birth and we'll compare notes."

Squall flushed in embarrassment, having realized just how insensitive he must have sounded. "Sorry."

"Hey," Lightning spoke up supportively, threading her fingers between his. "I'm not saying I'm against it, alright? It's just, there's a lot to think about before deciding to have another child. You can't just say you want a son on a whim."

"I know." Squall did know. But this feeling in his chest…

Lightning pressed her lips against his deeply before pulling back, heart racing like their first time so many years ago. "We'll think this through together, alright?" She told him, her voice hitching a bit.

"Alright." Squall acquiesced.

Smiling in satisfaction, Lightning pulled back and got to her feet. "Good. Now, it's time to get ready. Averia and Raine will be back any minute now."

The door suddenly opened with a click.

"Speak of the devil." Lightning smirked, and both parents turned just in time to see a disheveled-looking Raine with cuts and dirt on her skin and tears on her clothes close the door behind her. There was no Averia in sight, either.

Raine blinked owlishly at her stunned parents before speaking up. "What?"

"What?" Lightning hissed at her little mischief-maker. "You come in looking like that and the first thing you say is 'what'?"

"Ah." Raine beat a fist against her other hand's palm in realization. "That's right. I'm home, mommy and daddy."

"Raine, are you alright?" Squall asked, shooting the inwardly frantic mother a sharp look to remind her not to confuse her worry with outrage.

Lightning sucked in a deep breath while Raine grinned widely. "I'm fine."

"What happened to you?" Lightning finally asked, lightly running her hands across her youngest daughter's skin to inspect her wounds. There didn't seem to be anything wrong—just a few shallow scratches and minor bumps.

"I kicked butt." Raine proudly declared with a grin.

A bomb seemed to go off in Lightning's mind.

"What happened?" Lightning demanded, already fearing the worst.

"One of the other kids was making fun of Avy just 'cause she's so much better then him." Raine recollected. "So, I gave them a warning just like you told me to, but, just like you said, boys are stupid, so I crushed his balls with my boot just like you taught me."

"RAINE!" Lightning exclaimed at the proud little girl, as much scandalized by Raine's bluntness as the decisive manner she ended the scuffle.

"Ah!" Raine gasped as if suddenly remembering something. Turning to her father, she explained. "Don't worry daddy. You're a man, so I think that means you're not stupid."

"Thanks." Squall took his youngest daughter's innocent comment in stride. Looking her over, Squall addressed her disheveled state. "One thing. If you ended the fight so quickly, why do you look like there's something more to this story?"

"Ah," Raine blushed sheepishly. "The other boys started ganging up on me."

Lightning choked on her breath.

"But don't worry I busted their balls, too!"

"Raine!" Lightning was almost pulling at her hairs in frustration.

A comforting hand on her shoulder made her snap behind her and she was met by her husband's calming gaze. Sighing away her anxiety, she decided she could chew her youngest out later. For now, he was right. First things first.

Taking a deep breath, Lightning turned her attention back to her daughter and tiredly asked, "How many complaints should I be expecting this time?"

This wasn't the first this has happened, no.

Raine puffed her cheeks out in protest before exhaling in defeat when her mother shot her with her patented glare. "Lemme think."

"Don't mix your words." Lightning corrected absently for the nth time. Honestly, first the mumbling, and now this?

The youngest Farron-Leonhart pouted and then began counting under her breath and with her fingers.

The frown on Lightning's lips deepened when three fingers were extended. That frown transformed into a grimace when Raine moved on to her next set of fingers. By the time Raine exhausted all her fingers, and was now flexing them as she continued her body count, Lightning had already broken into a nervous sweat.

"Fifteen." Raine finally concluded. The smile on her face let both parents know the little mischief was unrepentant.

"How…?" Lightning asked weakly of her little troublemaker.

Raine beamed. "I'm strong. I can look after Avy and me now, so-"

"No!" Already knowing what Raine wanted, Lightning firmly denied before laying down the law. "You're not ready to be enrolled in Garden nor become a SeeD." And neither did Lightning want any of her children to, but she didn't want to be too vocal about her sentiments.

Averia and Raine would soon grow into their own woman, and Lightning wanted them to make their own choices and be the type of mother that could proudly say she respected them. Besides, knowing her luck, vocally protesting would backfire on her the way it backfired with Serah those many years ago.

Whirling on her thus-far quiet husband, she demanded of the observing man. "Squall, don't you have something to say."

Raine's features remained hard with defiance even as her father crouched and leveled with her.

"I'm proud of you for defending your sister and showing that you can look after yourself if the need arises," Squall paused slightly, letting her digest the apple before offering the lemon. "But next time, don't start a fight over something so small. Your mother and I- we taught you how to defend yourself and not to be a violent bully." Squall offered Raine a reassuring smile. "In the end, what those kids told Averia are just words."

"And words can never hurt me." Raine recited her old mantra, and then sighed in defeat. Looking between her parents, the little girl apologized. "Sorry mommy, daddy. I'll try to control myself next time."

Lightning visibly exhaled, all her tension rolling out of her tired frame. Despite the exhaustion she felt, however, she also felt quite contented. Her heart swelled with motherly pride at the maturity her youngest displayed.

She could worry about how she'd apologize to the other mothers later.

"That's all I can hope for. I'll run damage control tonight, but I want you to apologize to those boys tomorrow." Lightning ruffled Raine's soft brown hair, making her daughter swat her hand away and scowl cutely. "You're growing up, Raine."

That comment seemed to make Raine's eyes sparkle.

"Does that mean I can enroll in Garden?"

Lightning smiled sweetly. "No."

Raine opened her mouth.

"You can't use live ammo yet." Lightning interrupted.

Raine's mouth snapped shut before another request struck her and she opened it again.

"No, I still won't give you extra money for your explosives." Lightning denied her firmly.

Raine finally deflated and sulked. "Whatever…"

Squall smiled to himself at how well Lightning understood Raine; even he found it uncanny.

"Alright," Squall began, drawing their attention. "Now that that's sorted, where is Averia?"

"Avy?" Raine creased her forehead in thought. "Ah! She stayed behind. She said she'll be home for dinner, though."

"I see." Squall nodded his head.

Lightning blinked. "Did she say why she wasn't coming home with you?"

Raine shook her head.

"She stayed behind to apologize on your behalf, Raine." Squall explained.

"Ah," Lightning nodded in understanding. "That makes sense. She's becoming more responsible every day."

Squall shook his head before throwing a pointed look at his youngest. "Not exactly."

"Daddy?" Raine trailed off in puzzlement.

Glancing at the wall-clock, Squall added. "She'll be here soon."

As if his words were a summoning spell, the doorbell rang. Squall quickly responded and opened the door to reveal a surprised Averia.

"I'm home." Averia greeted with a smile. "Thanks for opening the door, daddy."

"Hn." Squall nodded with a knowing smile. "Where have you been?"

The nine-year old blinked. "Oh, you know. Out."

Squall's smile seemed to grow at her evasive response.

Averia appeared to have picked up on her father's mood as she quickly avoided his gaze and scampered into the house.

"I'm hungry. What's there to-" she caught sight of her mother and the still-dirty Raine waiting in the living room. "Oh." She blinked before realization dawned set in. "Ooooooooh." Averia threw an embarrassed look between her parents before meekly telling her sister, "Rainy, I thought I told you to get changed before mommy and daddy see you."

"They were already here." Raine explained with an awkward smile.

"So," Squall began, ignoring the confusion on his wife's face as he glanced at his eldest daughter; Lightning would understand soon. "Are you done apologizing on Raine's behalf, Averia?"

"Ehehehe, busted." Averia giggled nervously before sighing. "Is Rainy in trouble?"

Glancing at his wife, who nodded in affirmation, Squall alleviated his eldest daughter's fear. "We've spoken to her already, and she understands where she went wrong. So, no, Raine's not in trouble."

Averia looked up expectantly to her mother to be extra sure.

What her husband was referring to earlier suddenly dawned on the mother of two.

While Averia was a very responsible young girl, it seemed the main reason why she did what she did was to cover-up for Raine—and Squall understood that instinctively.

The way Squall understood Averia was just uncanny, Lightning found.

"She's not in trouble." Lightning answered Averia's gaze.

"Yay!" Averia cheered before glomping her younger sister in relief. "Isn't that great, Rainy?"

"Um!" Raine nodded with a small but happy smile.

"However, Raine still has to apologize to all the boys she injured tomorrow."' Lightning reminded.

"I will" Raine declared.

"Alright. Now, freshen up you two while your dad gets dinner ready. I'll be giving your wounds a thorough check when you're clean again, Raine."

"I'm fine!" Raine protested.

"Sure you are." Lightning reassured. "But I just want to be certain."

Averia glanced at the youngest Farron-Leonhart. "It's alright, right Rainy?"

Put on the spot, Raine mumbled. "…whatever."

"Great!" Averia smiled. "We'll be down soon!"

Lightning sighed deeply when her daughters ran off to the shower. Feeling two hands settle on her shoulders, Lightning threw a weary but grateful smile at her husband.

"That was trying." Lightning commented.

"You did a good job." Squall praised. "I'm happy you didn't blow up at Raine."

"She's a good girl. A handful—hell, that's even an understatement—but Raine's a good girl."

"Yes she is." Squall affirmed before commenting in disbelief and pride. "Can you believe she took down fifteen boys in a brawl?"

"Don't remind me." Lightning winced. "I'm not looking forward to what the other mothers have to say. Even though Averia apologized, I'm sure they're expecting something from me." Lightning sighed again before shooting her husband a skeptical look. "And you're sure you want a son?"

Squall thought about all the trouble Raine brought and nodded.

"Yeah. I'm sure."

Lightning offered him her back, and Squall got the message. He wrapped his arms around her waist and nuzzled against the inviting warmth and sweet fragrance emanating from her nape.

His wife shivered in pleasure before whispering suggestively.

"You better get to work, then." Lightning gyrated her wonderful rear against his groin, riling him up. "We can start tonight. I'm gonna need a massage after I'm done with this mess."

Squall ghosted kisses across her flesh and rubbed his growing tent harder against her.

"I've got the oils all prepped." He murmured.

Lightning moaned when her husband kissed a particularly sensitive spot. She reached behind her and grabbed his hair roughly, pulling against his scalp and claiming his teasing lips in a hungry kissed.

"Wonderful." She whispered excitedly. "I can't wait."

A/N: As usual, proofreading will come later.

With this, I've finally baptized my new laptop in the realm of fanfiction after my old one decided to take a journey to the abyss. Ye of great courage and patience, I salute you for enduring with me this long!