Disclaimer: If I owned Final Fantasy, you wouldn't be coming to this site to read this amateur story. I'd also be earning money for this, which I'm not. All this? This is mostly for satisfaction, though possibly inciting a Squall/Lightning revolution is always a plus =]
Perhaps Squall had a mild case of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but it was always on a slow day like this when her husband's idiosyncrasies manifested.
Opening the door to their shared study, Lightning was quick to spot him. Squall was perched on the windowsill with a leg drawn up close towards his chest—which he used to rest the arm cradling the book that had so-fascinated him.
"I'm back." Lightning called out to him as she shut the door behind her quietly before approaching him. Her eyes spied the piece of line paper distinguishable from the book's leaves, and the pen held between his fingertips.
"Welcome back." Squall greeted her, rising from his study and closing his book in the process. "How was it?"
"The baby is developing fine." A gentle hand instinctively settling on the slight swelling of her stomach, the gestating mother answered with a soft smile—even as her idiot-sense faintly tingled when her keen eyes caught the title of Squall's book. "She's developing fine."
Squall tilted his head to the side, a frown creasing his brows. "I still think you should have called me first."
Lightning rolled her eyes at her husband's inability to let minor details go. "Serah was more than happy to accompany me. Besides, you were still finalizing your paperwork, right? You need your rest." Stopping before her pouty spouse, Lightning's eyes were once more drawn to the book in his hands, "Speaking of which, shouldn't you be asleep until this afternoon?"
"It can wait." Squall assured his wife, his arms instinctively drawing her into his embrace.
With a sharp but graceful tug, Lightning snatched his book and raised it between them with a half-amused, half-accusing glare, "And thinking up baby names can't?"
A part of the former Brigadier General did find her blockhead husband's avid interest in their soon-to-be firstborn's development endearing but, as time went on, Lightning was starting to feel frustrated by his constant worrying. Really, it was as if she had suddenly become a fragile woman in Squall's eyes after the test result returned positive those many weeks ago.
The way Squall fluttered about made Lightning wonder exactly who the mother was between the two of them. Really, when her husband had promised her that he would be right there beside her every step of the way, she didn't think he would take that promise literally!
"Yes." Squall answered curtly. At the twitch on his wife's lips, Squall answered her silent demand. "We've never had children before-"
"Obviously. This is our first."
"-so we have to prepare for every possibility." Squall ignored Lightning's snide interruption. "Everything needs to be thought out carefully. Methodically."
"Including her name?" Lightning asked him with dubious eyes.
"Especially her name." Squall affirmed in a tone that held no uncertainty.
Another snarky remark would have left Lightning's lips, but there was something in her husband's resolute stare that made her pause and think.
It seemed that, unlike her, Squall had been giving this a lot of thought. Dismissing his efforts on the basis of its seeming triviality was in poor taste and, besides, maybe Squall had seen something she had not?
Additionally, they had decided that they would pick their firstborn's name together—they just hadn't had the time to do so over the past weeks…
Worse comes to worst, Lightning would just put her boot down with her mother's name attached.
Uncoiling herself from Squall's embrace, Lightning slipped her fingers between her husband's own digits before lightly dragging him back towards the sunlit windowsill.
"Come on." She ushered him, tugging at him more firmly so that he would sit himself first.
Squall wordlessly complied. A soft smile plastered itself on his lips when his wife nestled herself inside his warmth, resting her back against his chest.
"Talk to me." Lightning urged him after she had settled herself comfortably. A quiet smile blossomed on her lips when one of her husband's strong arms held her—its hand lovingly fell against the mound of her growing womb.
Plucking the baby book from Lightning's grasp with his free hand, Squall retrieved the paper he had been scribbling on.
"I have several suggestions."
A page-full, in fact. His script divided into three columns, one had to wonder just how much time Squall had taken to conjure this extensive encyclopedia replete with concise descriptions.
Lightning combed through the list her husband had made, silently testing each name on her tongue.
For better or for worse, none of the names he had chosen struck out. Lightning felt she would even have to commend him for choosing normal, feminine names.
Like Primrose, Gale, and Storm.
Even Misteltein had a nice ring to it.
Lightning inwardly smiled. She could just imagine her daughter's proud and confident introduction years from now- "You may call me Misty."
"So what do you think, Lightning?" Squall's quest for approval brought Lightning back from her daylight-fantasy.
"Ah." Glancing over his scribbles again, Lightning concluded, "I think these names are tame."
"You sound surprised."
"Shouldn't I be?" A scoff left her breast before she eased herself further against her husband's chest, resting her head against his shoulder so she could catch a glimpse of his dry stare. "You normally pull stupid stuff on days like this."
Her husband's lips abruptly flattened, and Lightning could almost swear that his muscles twitched.
Idiot-sense was tingling again.
"Did you just hesitate?"
"No." Squall intoned quite sharply before quickly adding, "Lightning, which name do you prefer?"
"I'm not sure. All these names just roll off the tongue." She set the paper down atop Squall's book and sighed. With a playful smirk, she threw out a halfhearted suggestion. "Maybe we should just give her all of them?"
"I think we should." Squall quickly hummed his agreement.
"…that was a joke, schoolboy." Lightning deadpanned. Yup; her idiot-sense was pretty much blaring now. "A name that long would scare all the other children away."
Or make their daughter the butt of many jokes, to which Lightning would make sure to swiftly end.
"That's not a bad idea." Squall mumbled thoughtfully.
With her ears so close to his lips, Lightning managed to catch his words. "Say that again?"
Squall knew when his wife was testing him. "Twenty-one names are much too long to be reasonable."
"I thought so." Lightning closed her eyes and nodded to herself triumphantly. It was always reassuring to know that her blockhead husband could be trained. "So," Her eyes fluttered open to prod at her husband, a warm-sort of amusement dancing in her sapphire orbs. "Which name do you prefer?"
"Any is fine." Squall answered curtly.
There it was.
A loud, blaring siren loud enough to raise the dead.
"I see…" Lightning took her time gathering her sanity; she took her sweet time bracing herself. With a long sigh, Lightning's eyes narrowed at her husband with dull accusation. "And is there anything else?"
Let the boot drop.
Leveling his wary wife with an indomitable stare, Squall began, "I want to suggest a nickname."
Despite the innocence of Squall's statement, his wife still remained wary. Lightning knew better than to relax so soon—with her husband's idiosyncratic logical leaps, any manner of crazy was possible.
It took Lightning a second before her lips finally curled into a frown. "Not possible." She rejected him swiftly. "While it's nice that you're willing to honor your friend, that name-"
"No." Lightning stressed, eyes narrowed at his interruption. "As I was saying-"
"You did not just suggest our first daughter's nickname to be so vulgar!"
"You're right." Squall amended. That was taking it too far. "Willie."
Lightning quickly tried to slap the silly out of her husband's nose.
It didn't work, but at least she felt somewhat satisfied.
"As I was saying," Pre-empting his interruption, Lightning raised her hand again warningly. When Lightning saw her husband's mouth snap shut, she continued, "Those names are too masculine, you realize? There's no way in hell I'm allowing that."
Especially not the last two!
"What about Boggart?"
"What about Mushussu?"
"She might get cursed!"
"Zodiark sounds nice."
"At least name her Ultima!"
Having had enough of his senseless suggestions, Lightning quickly slapped a hand against his lips.
"Just- just stop, Squall." She pleaded her husband tiredly and began massaging her temples with her free hand. "Seriously. It's like you're trying deprive our daughter from having a social life."
The muscles on her husband's torso tightened, and this time, Lightning didn't miss it.
Slowly lowering her hand, Lightning shot him an uncomprehending and disbelieving look. "You're- you're not seriously trying to turn our daughter into a hermit, are you?"
"Not…" Though his face flushed at his wife's accusation, Squall nonetheless admitted, "Not entirely."
"Squall…" Lightning trailed off in a warning tone. It was the same tone as before—the silent, non-negotiable demand that Squall explain himself thoroughly, or else.
Faced with that tone and those eyes, Squall could only sigh deeply, and comply.
"I've been thinking-"
"Sometimes I wish you wouldn't…" Lightning groaned.
"I've been thinking," Squall tightened his one-armed embrace on his snippy wife. "About the future. Our daughter's future."
"…and?" Lightning prodded him when she felt the trepidation in his voice.
"She's likely going to be as stubborn as us."
"That's a given."
"So, if we tell her not to date, she'll likely not listen."
She struggled to comprehend that logical leap.
"I won't allow her to date until she's ready." Squall told his wife firmly.
"Squall… schoolboy… husband." Lightning felt another headache coming. "Our child is not even born yet."
"But we need to prepare!"
Lightning groaned; there was actually fire in her husband's normally stoic eyes!
"And where do these names come in?"
"I figured that, given our daughter will most likely be as stubborn as us," While Squall wasn't really a believer in karmic justice, he did live through at least two ordeals that one might conclude was orchestrated by fate. "If we gave her a name like that, then we'd be able to weed out most of the prospects."
As the old adage went, it simply was better to be safe than sorry.
"You, Squall. If you named her." Lightning corrected him sternly. All this idiocy was on him; she washed her gunblade clean of this! "And how exactly does a weird name weed out any prospective suitors?"
"It would scare them." Squall answered her confidently. "Think about it. Imagine her would-be boyfriend's father asking him if he's dating anybody and he answers that he's thinking of dating Zack. Or Boggart."
Though floored by her husband's logic as she was, Lightning still couldn't stop the mild headache from coming.
"Squall… you're thinking about this too much."
Would-be boyfriend and his father!
"No." The budding mother placed her boot down. "No buts. We are not naming our child any of what you just suggested—no matter what."
She glared at him fiercely as if to punctuate her declaration.
Lightning inwardly shook her head. It seemed her husband really had too much time if he could think of silly worries just like this…
"Alright," Lightning began after she organized her thoughts, "Two things are going to happen now."
Peering up at him, Lightning raised one finger imperiously.
"The first is that, since I can't trust you to think about this rationally, we will not use any of your suggestions for our first child's name."
It was clear that the news greatly disappointed her husband, but Lightning would not budge just from a little tough love. This was for both theirs and their daughter's sake.
Raising another finger, Lightning continued, this time in a warmer tone.
"Secondly, to prevent any further stupidity like this from happening…" Squall couldn't quite pinpoint when it happened, but Lightning's face erupted in a lovely shade of pink. "I want you to be with me wherever I go."
Squall blinked. "Huh?"
"You heard me." Though Lightning couldn't tame her embarrassment, she nonetheless tried to continue as stoically as possible. It made her even more endearing to her husband's eyes. "Wherever I go, you're going to chaperone me. Even to my checkups."
Her hands fell against her husband's arm, and she tightened her hold on them. She loved the strength in them—she loved how secure it made her feel, even if she'd take that secret to the grave.
"This will prevent you from thinking stupid stuff." Somehow defying all logic, Lightning could feel her face staining even darker. "So? Do you accept your punishment?"
At his wife's tone, Squall could only smirk at her knowingly. He cupped her hands and threaded his fingers between hers. "I suppose I have no choice but to accept."
It annoyed him that he couldn't name their first child but, at least, he achieved his second objective. Now, he could be there with his wife every step of the way.
"I need an answer." Lightning prodded him with half a frown.
With a small smile on her lips, Lightning reached upwards to grasp the hairs on the back of her husband's head and pull his lips closer to hers and seal the deal.
Pulling back just shy of a breath, Squall had to ask. "So? Have you decided on a name?"
"Yeah." Lightning nodded her head, stealing a chaste kiss, "And I won't allow you to deny it."
"Oh?" It was Squall's turn to peck on his wife's delicious flesh.
"Mhm." She bit his lower lip, and Squall lingered just a tad bit longer. "We'll use my mother's name."
Squeezing his wife briefly, Squall's hands caressed the small mound on his wife's stomach affectionately, wondering just how his firstborn would look like, and deciding to just accept everything that would come with her.
He claimed his wife's lips once more.
"Averia is a good name."
The two of them stayed in each other's embrace until moonlight crept through their library's window.
A/N: I felt didn't belong in SCE. Speaking of which, SCE's been updated with Theme 48, and its completed version can be found in my AO3 page. The link is located in my profile =)
Just saying o/
Anyways, on to my comments on this.
I've had this idea for a while now, but I never found the time to write it up because of my studies. When I did find the time to write, I didn't have any inspiration because I was tired. When I did find inspiration, I was on my way to dreamland. When dreamland is over, I'm back to the first conundrum. Graduate school has created a vicious cycle!
Rest assured, I don't plan on abandoning any of my Dissidia stories until I've written everything I've been meaning to write. And yes, I do still have quite a few tales left unwritten. I'll whittle this behemoth down eventually but, until then, thanks for your patience!
The name Averia was rumored to be Lightning's original name. While I myself don't know how or where that rumor started but, since it suited my purpose, I decided to use it.
Until the next update!