The Farron-Leonhart residence was an architectural masterpiece—somehow managing to look both homely and modern. A lot of praise could be given not only to the seasoned travelers and owners, Squall and Lightning, for their meticulous attention to detail, but also to the wellspring of patience and imagination their architect was blessed with the weight of such perfectionist hawks perched on their shoulder and their hands-on approach to building their perfect home.
Indeed, there was an almost Galbadian aristocracy to the house's exterior, yet one would say the colors were of Bodhum's hue. That roof, in particular, appeared almost Alexandrian in its shape and design despite its solar panel covering (a feature Squall felt was redundant and unneeded, but Lightning refused to power the generator herself with magic, so they compromised that she would only do so in the case of an emergency), with apparently wooden windows and a balcony straight from Dalmascan royalty. Then, there was the porch—clearly inspired by the open-ness of Besaid—while the veranda at the back was straight out of Winhill with its floweriness.
One would expect that such a Frankenstein should look like a monster, but there you go; wellspring of patience and imagination.
The interior was, thankfully, much easier to envision. It had everything a typical house needed, and then some—a gym in the basement; a mini-library facing the west that tripled as the reading room and Squall's study; secret rooms filled with gadgets and armaments.
Past the front door was a small space to park one's footwear before laying one's feet in the white carpets that extended everywhere except, obviously, the places it shouldn't—the kitchen and dining room, toilets and bathrooms, and laundry room.
The toilets were peculiarly accessorized, to note. After all, not many houses had heated toilet seats and bidets, Jacuzzis with thermostats, and water-free urinals.
Yes, water-free urinals.
That was for Squall, obviously.
Lightning had vehemently insisted on the urinals.
Oh yes, Lightning had insisted of their architect under threat of bodily violence—"Your children's, children's children would be so lucky to sit straight after I'm through with you."—that urinals be integrated into the Farron-Leonhart residence in a way that didn't make visitors wonder why such a commercial thing was there in the first place; Lightning didn't want to explain herself. The stubborn Squall was her husband; their many years dating had taught Lightning that there were just some dogs—lions—that never learned new tricks.
Not for the lack of trying. Gods, did Lightning try every conceivable way to train her husband to lower that damn seat!
Lightning had thoroughly chewed his ear off after the second, just-as-embarrassing time she fell into the toilet in the middle of the night—"You viscous dropping from an adamantoise's asscrack! How many times must I tell you to keep the seat down?!"—but Squall had remained nonplussed against her fury before firmly answering, "You need the seat down; I need the seat up. You don't see me complaining about the seat down. Do it yourself."
Sometimes, Squall could be a very insensitive jerk.
Lightning had boiled and stewed over the next several days until Squall made a minor concession that he would at least try to bear it in mind—especially when they were about to sleep. He had also given her one of his sensual back rubs, so there was that, too.
Nota bene, whoever said that makeup sex was the best really knew what they were talking about.
Still, despite his concession, Lightning had fallen into the toilet several more times before finally learning to put the seat down when she needed it.
How did this story relate to the Farron-Leonhart residence's urinals? It is quite simple, really. Lightning didn't want any of her children to share her watery fate.
Lightning felt disgusted just thinking about it…
…which brought her to a very unusual situation, flash-forward many years later and two children later.
"I need to pee!" Came Raine's strained proclamation from behind the door, followed by a series of impatient banging. "I need to pee now!"
"Coming!" Quickly closing the tap despite not finishing her shower, Lightning hurriedly wrapped her body in a towel, uncaring if her hair was dripping water and foam all over the marble floor before hastily throwing the door open.
Frantic as she was, it didn't occur to Lightning to ask Raine why she didn't rush to the other toilets but, knowing her little troublemaker, the eight-year old was watching another action flick on the telly in the bedroom, subduing her natural urge until the commercials set in before bolting to the nearest haven, occupied or not.
Lightning barely made it out of the way as a brown blur darted past her, a white t-shirt smacking the stunned mother in the face when she turned her attention to her youngest daughter.
"What the?" Lightning trailed, peeling off Raine's shirt and absently hanging it on the door's handle. Her ears picked up the scraping of the plastic stool—stool?— that her children used to access the sink, against the floor.
Why did she need the stool?
The answer became all-too apparent—and stupefying—when Lightning found her youngest daughter with her panties down and standing over the urinal.
"…Raine?" Lightning began, eyebrow twitching at the contented sigh that left Raine's lips as the young girl relieved herself. "The hell are you doing?"
The little brunette, apparently finished, reached out for the roll of toilet paper while explaining. "Wiping myself, mommy."
"I meant before that." Lightning remarked, still twitching.
"Peeing." Raine huffed, a small scowl on her embarrassed face at having to explain herself. "I thought that was obvious."
"While standing up?" Lightning pressed, not hearing her daughter's snark.
"Yeah." Raine nodded, tossing the used tissue in the bin and pulling her panties up.
"You were peeing… while standing up."
"Yeah." Raine nodded again, dragging her stool across the floor before parking it in front of the sink.
Lightning finally shook herself out of her stupefied stupor and weakly asked, "Why?"
"Because," Raine began with a mighty huff. "Daddy does it."
Lightning's body shivered. If asked, Lightning would be uncertain whether it was because she was feeling cold due to her damp near-nakedness having her shower interrupted, her disturbed state at witnessing something so uncanny, or her bubbling rage at Raine's flippant admission of the culprit.
"Why-!" Lightning sharply turned her head away with a tight smile, mentally counting down from ten—a natural habit when dealing with her little troublemaker—before repeating in a calmer tone, facing her daughter. "Why are you trying to copy your father?"
Raine, who had mounted the stool and just finished washing her hands while her mother gathered her wits, was now wiping said washed hands with the nearby towel. The little brunette stared at her mother oddly. "Well, if I was a boy, I wouldn't need a little brother."
"Herp?" Very eloquent of Lightning, true, but the mother of two could be excused. If she was expecting an answer—anything at all—it was most definitely not that. "What—what makes you say you're having a little brother?"
She and her husband were still working on—that is, discussing the issue. They were going to tell their children when the marker turned pink.
"Honestly, mommy," Raine actually had the gall to tut and shake her head, folding her arms in a very Lightning-esque fashion. "I'm not stupid. I can hear you two thumping in the night."
Lightning's skin erupted with color of mortification, red wildflowers blooming all the way down to the tips of her toes. It was testament to Lightning's many years of experience that she was able to evasively remark, "And… how does that relate to you thinking you'll have a brother?"
"I'm not really sure." Raine confessed thoughtfully. "Avy overheard you and pops talking—and that the thumps meant I was getting a brother."
"I see." Lightning's heart finally began to slow down. Maybe—maybe her eldest was just blindly shooting in the dark? "And how does Avy know what the thumping means?"
"She won't say." Raine pouted. "I don't understand it either, but Avy says I'll understand when I grow up."
Curses. Averia really knew.
Dear Etro, dear Hyne, dear whoever gods above mocking her family life—please stop!
"Can I go now, mommy?" Raine interrupted her mother's inner mourning insistently. "I think my show's up."
That snapped Lightning back to reality.
"…give me a hug first." The mother of two crouched down, her white towel hiking up her thighs in the process.
Raine narrowed her eyes at her mother's moist skin but, seeing the look on her mother's face, sighed and closed the distance between them to wrap her smaller arms around her mother's shoulders.
Lightning pressed her hand against Raine's nape and embraced her youngest daughter tightly, whispering softly in her ear. "Even if you'll have a younger brother, always know that your father and I still love you and will never replace you. You're still our Raine, alright?"
The little girl in her arms shifted, and Lightning could feel Raine pout. "Avy said that too."
"Your sister is a wise girl." Lightning offered Raine a smile, pulling back slightly to gaze at her youngest reassuringly.
"Um." Raine agreed, cheeks flushing with an adorable shade of embarrassment. These touchy stuff—they were Avy's thing-!... but they did feel nice. "Avy knows everything."
"Yeah. It's scary how fast she's growing."
No sooner had Lightning spoken did a girlish scream drown the house-
-followed by a loud thwack.
"What in the world?!" Lightning almost cursed, instinctively holding Raine closer for whatever it was that-
"That was Avy!" Raine boomed from her place against her mother's bosom.
The dull thuds of footsteps racing across the house sounded before the door to the bathroom slammed open to reveal a teary-eyed and naked nine-year old Averia.
"Mommy!" The little girl cried, throwing herself against her mother and sister.
Raine instinctively escaped her mother's reach before she could be bowled over—wincing at the smack her mother's head made when it impacted with the floor. Glancing down at the lying form of her sprawled over their mother's front, Raine offered a sympathetic rub on Averia's back.
"Shhh-shh. I'm here. Tell me what happened?" Lightning quickly tried to calm her eldest, ignoring the throbbing of her head.
"Daddy- daddy-! He-!" Averia babbled incoherently.
Lightning inwardly groaned; gods, what now, Squall?!
"Daddy saw me naked while I was brushing my teeth!" Averia bawled.
This time, Lightning did outwardly groan.
Dear gods did Averia grow up fast!
"…Where is your father now?" Lightning finally managed to inquire about her hapless husband.
He probably didn't even know what hit him.
"I don't know." The little pinkette confessed. "I think I might have left him in my toilet."
Lightning stiffened—she suddenly recalled the loud thwack that followed Averia's wail.
"I—I need to go check on your father." Lightning excused. "You're alright now, right Averia?"
"Yes, mommy…" Averia crawled off her mother and accepted Raine's hand to help her stand.
Lightning also stood and fastened her towel around her body securely. Glancing at her daughters, she told Raine, "Look after your sister, alright?"
Raine pouted—Lightning could actually see the protest in her blue eyes forming—but finally sighed; her show was probably over by now, anyway. "Yes, mommy."
Lightning hurriedly shuffled out of the master's bathroom. She quickly climbed the flight of stairs—her ears picking up the sound of running water while her nose picked up a distinctly minty scent like the mouthwash her children used.
"Squall!" The Farron-Leonhart mother burst into the toilet and found her husband calmly washing his bloodied nose in the sink.
"'uat?" Squall glanced at his wife with bloodshot eyes.
"What the hell happened to you…?" Lightning asked in concern, cautiously reaching out to grab his hand and pull it away from his face so she could get a better look at his injury. She blinked in disbelief at what she found. "Did Averia break your nose-" her eyes caught something off to the side, "-with a bottle of mouthwash?"
"Un." He affirmed, wincing when she aggravated the broken bone.
Lightning shook her head slowly as her hand began to glow with healing magic just as Squall's free hand made to shut the tap.
"Fuck," Lightning shook her head slowly. "Squall, are you sure we should be having a boy?"
Squall pressed his eyes shut tightly.