Disclaimer: I do not own Dissidia or any of its characters...

Final Fantasy Dissidia: Scents & Spices

CHAPTER ONE

By Traingham

Author's Note: The first dip into new territory is always the hardest, eh?


"For all the trouble we go through to gather them..." Squall Leonhart started off, massaging his fingers into the raw behemoth steak sitting on the flat stone situated on top of his lap. The coating of salt and garlic mingled with some of the leftover blood that secreted from the pores of the meat as his fingers dug into it, keeping Lightning's eyes transfixed upon the meticulous movements of his fingers. Squall continued while she observed in poorly concealed fascination, "...our stock of elixirs deplete ridiculously fast whenever we purchase cooking ingredients from those moogles."

"Yeah, but I'd like to have some flavor in my meat every once in a while." The former sergeant replied to the SeeD commander absently, her eyes never moving away from the sight of his digits. "It's nothing to worry about, anyway. We budget ourselves with our stock, so by the time we run out of salt and garlic we'll have more elixirs to trade than we did before we made this purchase." Her tongue passed over her lips unconsciously.

Squall peered up to stare at her, noticing the intensity swirling within her eyes as she continued to observe him massage their dinner for the evening. "Light." The black lion halted his fingers and drew his hands away from the large steak, getting a subtle flicker of disappointment to appear in his silent companion's eyes.

She met his eyes with a slight raise of her left eyebrow. "Yeah?"

"Take off your gloves and wash your hands." He tossed his chin in the direction of the brook babbling beside them. "You should take over from here."

"Why?" Lightning narrowed her eyes in confusion. "You're doing just fine."

"Just wash your hands." Squall prompted her, not oblivious to the discomfort present in her body language at the idea of assisting in the food preparation. "You've been staring so hard at my fingers, I'm surprised they haven't burned off." He was met with a defiant glare at first, perhaps because she was embarrassed at being caught staring, but the pinkette eventually submitted to his request, removing her gloves and setting them down beside the rock she was sitting on before rising from her makeshift chair and walking over to the brook. When she returned to her seat Squall passed her the flat stone and she rested it on her own lap, blinking at the large steak as if just then realizing what she had accepted to do.

"...Alright." Lightning grumbled to herself, but just loud enough for Squall to pick up with his ears. The L'Cie held her hands over the steak awkwardly, wiggling her fingers briefly before she pressed them into the steak with such force that the blood stored within bubbled out like a scene out of a horror movie. Her black clad companion watched on apprehensively as she proceeded to dig her fingers through the steak roughly, soaking her fingers into the seasoning and leaving imprinted lines along the surface of the meat as if her intention all along was to plow through it. "So..." She glanced up at him, missing the way he reverted back to his usual mask of stoicism when she did. "...how am I doing?" Her voice came off slightly strained when she spoke, giving him the impression that she wasn't enjoying this task very much.

"Relax yourself." Squall instructed her.

Lightning paused her fingers with a thoughtful nod of her head and resumed again, however, her technique remained all the same even though she appeared to be convinced that she was doing better than before. "How about now?" She inquired, her voice still somewhat strained as she did. She stared up at him in wait for a reply while her fingers continued to mutilate their steak. "So?" She asked him a second time, her movements gradually slowing as the uncertainty in her continued to build.

"Are you tense?"

"Huh?" She stopped moving her fingers. "What do you mean?"

"You don't look very comfortable." He observed with a calculating stare. "Have you ever done this before?"

The pinkette's eyes sharpened in response to his question, taking it a little personally for some reason. "Yeah, I have."

Squall hesitated upon seeing how she responded to his inquiry, but he didn't see this going any other way unless he proceeded with it. "How often?"

"What does it matter, schoolboy?" And now he was sure that he touched a tender spot, because it'd been a while since she called him by her personal moniker for him. "Do you have a problem with how I'm going about this?"

Squall stood from his seat, alerting her as he moved around to stand behind her. "Do you mind?" He asked her carefully, not wanting to sour her mood further by assisting without her permission, but the expression on her face as she stared up at him from over her shoulder told him that she wasn't as annoyed as he thought her to be, especially with how her cheeks faintly tinged with a shade of red.

"...Whatever." She allowed stubbornly, turning her attention back to the steak. "Do what you want."

"Thanks." Squall let a small smile slip before he leaned over, resting his chest on her back as he sat his chin upon her left shoulder. The heat in her left cheek became apparent to him as their cheeks pressed, as did the rise in her body temperature when his hands rested upon her own. "Relax your body, Light." He told her softly, stroking the back of her hands with his thumbs. "There we go..." He cooed when he felt the tension in her shoulders give way so that his body molded against hers. He slid his fingers in between her own and began moving them against the steak in a gentle motion, inciting her to imitate his movements with her own fingers.

"Just like that." The commander continued in a soothing voice as they massaged together. "Be gentle with it; firm but gentle, as you would with all things of value to you."

"Firm but gentle, huh?" Lightning mused, getting lost in the intimate motion. "Like you would with a lover?"

"Exactly." Squall answered her, pulling his chin back slightly so that they could stare into each other's eyes. "Although some partners would disagree with that."

"Not that you mind it." Lightning quipped back with a smirk. "Or do you?"

"Oh, hey...um, guys?" Squall and Lightning pulled away from each other irritably and turned their attention to the one responsible for killing the mood, one Bartz Klauser. The mime didn't appear to read the mood in spite of the glares he was receiving from the both of them, though Zidane seemed to get the message fairly quickly, tugging on Bartz's shirt to inform him of the dangerous atmosphere that was developing. "Zidane and I accidentally overcooked our food, so..." For reasons that escaped the wanderer he felt sweat begin to drip from his forehead as Squall and Lightning continued to stare him down. "...do you mind if we, uh, join you for dinner tonight?"

"BARTZ...BARTZ." Zidane hissed at his friend in a sharp whisper. "LET'S GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE."

"Calm down, Zidane." Bartz told him with a reassuring grin. "Squall will let us join in." He turned his attention back to the two who were still staring a hole into his face. "So, um..."

Bartz stared at them awkwardly...

...Lightning and Squall stared back.

"Heeeeey." The light bulb finally clicked. "I'm not interrupting anything, am I?"

Zidane shook his head, "Too late for that."


END


A.N/ Drabbles...I've never written them, and quite frankly I think they're hard to pull off, but after reading through Sadistic Lunatic's masterful compilation of "SCE" last night I couldn't beat away the inspiration that he filled me with to follow along and contribute to the section. I guess that's the result of reading a good story, Lol.

Anyway, here is the beginning of what I hope to be a fun writing experience. Since the whole Squall x Lightning pairing got stuck in my head the first chapter was predictably about those two, but the rest of the themes should vary unless I succumb to this pairing, and to be honest I'm seriously tempted to. Writing Squall into a convincing romantic entanglement is hard enough, but Lightning-–I just can't help, but rise to the challenge. Well, next chapter should be a Squall x Ultimecia affair since I've been entertaining the idea for while so I hope you guys look forward to it!

Take care,

Traingham...