Goodbye is only the Beginning

BY : Madisuzy
Category: Final Fantasy VIII > Crossovers
Dragon prints: 549
Disclaimer: I do not own FFVIII, FFVII, Laguna, Vincent, Kiros, Cloud or Squall. If I did they would be naked more often. I'm not making any money from this and all rights remain the property of the original owners.

.............

Vincent and Cloud walked in silence until they were out of sight of the house, choosing a random spot to stop as they both wrestled with what they wanted to say. Cloud had already decided that he wanted to go with Squall, give the mercenary life a try and see where it lead him. He was frightened of alienating Vincent with his decision as he didn’t want to lose his only alley in this new world. While there was a chance that Squall could become a friend, being around the same age as him and they both being fighters, he still needed Vincent’s friendship.

He couldn’t name why or what it was exactly but the Commander of Seed made him uncomfortable and on edge. Vincent had always had the opposite effect on him and his nerves always seemed soothed by the older man’s quiet comforting presence.

“Vincent?” he began, glancing over at his friend who was probably the closest thing to a father he would ever have in his life. “I’ve been thinking about what happened last night and my options here. I know I said before that I’d go with you to Esthar but I’ve been considering changing my mind.” He stopped then, waiting to see how Vincent would react to his words.

The gunman wouldn’t meet his eyes, instead staring off into the distance as he usually did when they discussed something important. Cloud had always thought that it was the older man’s way of making him feel at ease, allowing him the privacy to force out words that didn’t come easy with an intimidating gaze looking through his words.

“You’ve already made up your mind, haven’t you, Cloud?” Vincent deep voice murmured back flatly. As always, the older man saw right through his attempts, seeing the truth clearly as if he had stated it out loud. Sighing the younger man broke off a strand of grass between his legs and let it slide between his fingers absently, watching it as the breeze carried it away.

“How do you feel about me going?” Cloud whispered. The older man turned towards him, something in his eyes that Cloud had never seen there before.

“I worry for your safety. There are dangers there that you are unprepared for,” Vincent answered cryptically, making the younger man’s eyebrows crease in a frown.

“Vincent, there are dangers everywhere and I’m far from helpless. Why the sudden concern for my safety? Is there something more that I should know about?” he questioned, looking into the other man’s ruby eyes as he finally recognized the emotion held there. “Why are you so afraid that I won’t be safe?”

Vincent held his gaze for a few seconds before looking away and standing up. Cloud got up too, stepping forward to move into the older man’s line of sight.

“Vincent, answer my question. If there’s something I should be warned about then please tell me. I can’t be prepared for something I don’t see coming,” he said, his voice rising with his frustration. This was the first time the gunman had ever been evasive with him, as usually the older man was so straight forward that Cloud often was shocked by his lack of tact.

“Promise me you will never let your guard down around Squall,” Vincent’s deep voice whispered, so softly that even though he was facing the other man, Cloud nearly missed the words.

“Why? What did he do to you?” Cloud insisted, his eyes filling with concern. His mind was working overtime, trying to work out what the hell had happened between Vincent and the young Commander. Suddenly, the conversation from the night before flashed through his head, snippets of memory bursting forth to give him answers that he didn’t want to believe and his face paled. Vincent flinched away from his eyes, as if he knew instantly what Cloud had only just put together.

“Vincent did he rape y…,” Cloud’s words where cut off by the older man’s hand covering his mouth.

“Please don’t say it,” Vincent’s voice whispered, so full of sadness that Cloud was left stunned, standing and watching in shock as the older man’s body disappeared in a flash of red cloak to fly away across the fields of green.

**.**

Kiros looked at Laguna across the table in the kitchen, grinning as he watched his lover try and avoid going to talk to his son. Walking over towards the other man, who was intently trying to balance the salt shaker on the rim of his glass, he snatched up both objects to be met with Laguna’s glare.

“Stop putting it off and just go and talk to him,” he scolded, holding both items in his hands. “You always wanted to be a father to him. Time to revel in the joys of parenthood.”

Sighing Laguna stood slowly from his chair, looking as if he was going to face a firing squad instead of the difficult young man that was his son. Kiros felt a stab of sympathy and reached forward to pull the soft hearted man into a hug, trying to show his support. Laguna hugged him back, sighing into his shoulder and making Kiros chuckle softy.

“I’m going for a walk to give you both your privacy. Just promise me you won’t let it escalate, like last night,” he said softly, pulling back to look into Laguna’s blue eyes with a cheeky smile. Laguna rolled his eyes in response, mumbling something under his breath as he headed for the lounge room.

Kiros finished the dishes slowly, ensuring that Laguna didn’t chicken out and come back. Eventually, he walked out the back door, stopping to take a deep breath and feel the cool breeze on his face. Continuing forward, he had just reached the crest of the first hill when he noticed Cloud far off to his right, walking back towards the house with his head down and Vincent nowhere in sight.

The urge to go and see why sprung up in his mind but he dismissed it. Cloud was a stranger to him and he didn’t want to impose by sticking his nose in where it didn’t belong. The young man and Vincent had been friends for years and if Kiros’ help was needed, he was sure someone would ask for it. For once he wasn’t in the middle of the drama and he planned to take a long walk and enjoy the peace while it lasted.

**.**

Laguna sat down on the sofa, waiting for Squall to acknowledge him. He watched the young man for a full fifteen minutes, his face frowning in concentration as he read through the stack of sheets in his hands, finally stopping to sign the last one and glance up at him.

“Dad, is there something you wanted?” Squall asked, his gaze meeting Laguna’s.

“Remember when I came back this morning? I said we needed to talk and I thought we could do that now, if you’re not too busy,” Laguna said, looking at his son as his nerves twisted in his stomach. Squall sighed, putting down the piece of paper and leaning back in his chair.

“Whatever,” he murmured softly. Laguna and Squall’s eyes regarded each other, the older man trying to think of how to broach the subject of that night, while the younger man became restless by the wait. “Was there something in particular that you wanted to discuss?” Squall finally asked.

“We need to talk about last night…and about what happened with you and Vincent that night,” Laguna mumbled, chewing on his bottom lip as he waited for his son’s response. He knew that this conversation was well overdue but last nights events had forced him to stop pretending everything was okay and deal with the issues that were tearing his family apart.

**.**

“I wanted to apologize for losing my temper and upsetting you. That’s why I was looking for you this morning,” Squall ventured, decided that watching his father suffer wasn’t as enjoyable as it used to be. “It was immature and disrespectful of me and I will try not to let it happen again.” Laguna looked shocked at his words and Squall had to stifle the urge to chuckle. His father always did underestimate him.

“Thank you, Squall. I wanted to apologize to you too. I lost my temper and lashed out at you and I’m sorry. I just love you and Vincent so much and I hate to see both of you arguing with each other. I know that the chances of either of you ever getting along with each other are slim, but I can’t help but wish for it.” Squall smiled at his father, knowing that the President was being honest, as usual.

“I understand, Laguna but considering the circumstances, I doubt that Vincent and I will ever be friends. Maybe it’s time that you accepted that,” Squall responded, looking down at his hands.

In his mind, Squall would never forgive Vincent, knowing that he was the reason his father had drifted away and stopped calling him for all those long months. Vincent had somehow managed to turn Laguna’s attention and love away from his son and focus it completely on himself, and for that Squall would never forgive him. Only this morning, Laguna had made him wait while he talked to Vincent, even having lunch with the bastard before he found the time to talk to Squall.

“I also understand that he is your priority now so I will understand if you no longer wish to see me. After all, I did survive without you for seventeen years, so I’m sure I’ll be fine now,” Squall murmured, still refusing to meet his father’s eyes. So long he had wished for a father and when finally he’d received his wish, Vincent had appeared out of thin air to take it all away.

“Squall,” Laguna whispered, suddenly beside him and kneeling on the floor. Laguna’s hand gently took his face and turned it back to face him. “How can you say that? I’m your father and no matter what happens I will always love you and want you in my life. No matter who I am with, you are always my priority. I know that I’ve been a far from perfect father and that I didn’t call you for a long time when I first met Vincent. You have to understand that it wasn’t because I didn’t love you anymore or because I didn’t want you in my life anymore.” Pausing to smile sadly, Laguna ran a hand through his hair before continuing.

“It had just been so long since anyone had wanted me like that and it was all so overwhelming at first. Then, when things calmed down, I was afraid of what you’d think of my relationship with Vincent. I tried to tell you, so many times but the words wouldn’t come out and then I….fuck…well, honestly I was just a big fucking coward. I was worried that you’d hate me for loving another man and be embarrassed and humiliated by me. I was so scared of losing you that I ended up pushing you away. I’m so sorry, Squall,” Laguna finished, releasing his son’s face to sit back on his knees.

Squall kept his eyes on his father, thinking over everything the older man had said. Laguna had always been hopeless at keeping secrets and Squall had sensed that his father was holding something back on the rare occasion they had spoken during those months. Laguna also had no idea that Squall was bi-sexual, only ever knowing about his relationship with Rinoa so the older man had no idea that his son would accept his relationship.

Finally, the Commander realized that he had also, countless times, told his father that he was an embarrassment to him so everything that Laguna said slotted into place and made sense. He frowned as he began to understand how he had completely misread the situation, making assumptions based on his own insecurities and never even giving his father the chance to explain. Squall’s thoughts spiraled as he realized that he had blamed Vincent for something that the man was not responsible for. Fuck…, he thought to himself, his eyes going wide, what have I done?

“I’m so sorry... I didn’t realize… I mean I didn’t understand… I thought he was turning you against me and I wanted you to hate him as much as I did… I wanted you back as my father,” Squall stuttered out, looking at his father and for the first time it clicked just what he’d done in the name of revenge, just how low he’d sunk to hurt a man that he now knew had done nothing more than fall in love with his father.

Laguna opened his mouth to answer, but never got the chance. Cloud had walked in silently while both men were locked in conversation and had grabbed his sword from beside the front door. Striding up behind Laguna, he swung it directly at Squall who managed to throw himself to the side, just before the huge blade sliced the sofa in two. Yanking the blade out of the floorboards gave Squall the chance to stand up, Laguna also recovering from the shock enough to stand up between the two young men.

“What the fuck are you doing?” Laguna yelled, looking at the blonde with wide eyes. He was stunned by the venom that had enveloped those calm blue eyes, the colour darkening as Cloud glared past him, directly at Squall.

“I’m trying to kill that fucker! Get out of my way, Laguna,” he growled, trying to step around Laguna who mirrored his moves to stay between the angry blonde and his son.

“Why do you want to kill my son?” Laguna demanded, taking a step back as the blade was leveled at him.

“I misjudged you, Cloud. I didn’t see that you where a coward who would attack an unarmed man,” Squall hissed from behind his father as he inched his way towards the stairs. If he could just get a little closer, he would have the chance to get his own blade from his room and then he’d be able to defend himself and his father from this lunatic.

“Call me what you will but at least I’m not a fucking rapist!” Cloud snarled, kicking the coffee table over and out of his way as he prepared to launch another attack.

**.**.**.**.**



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