Laguna and Squall at that little barbecue place. Silliness and cute. (yaoi implied)
Author's Notes: Goes after "Free at Last", which is set in/based on BlackRose's "Afraid to Love" arc.
"You're worse than a five year old."
"Mmmrm?" I looked up at him, in the middle of licking barbecue sauce off my fingers. GOOD barbecue sauce. "What?"
Squall propped his hand on his chin, his elbow resting beside his plate. "You got more on you and the table than you got in your mouth."
I frowned, pointing a sauce-smeared finger in his direction. "I did not! Just because I eat ribs with my fingers, like a NORMAL person. Not everyone feels the need to eat their barbecue with a fork and knife, which I still don't believe you did--"
"I didn't feel the need to bathe in barbecue sauce." He waved a hand at my side of the table, which, I have to admit, was rather messier than his plate of perfectly denuded bones. I couldn't help it if I'd run out of napkins.
I scowled at him as I nibbled the meat off my last rib and then licked my lips. "I thought that was the idea, to get me all messy again." I dropped the bone back on my plate and started sucking sauce off my fingers. Slowly. His eyes fastened on my mouth, and oooh, I love it when his eyes get all dark like that.
He opened his mouth, lips starting to curve in a smirk, but was interrupted by a small voice behind him. "Mr. Leonhart, sir?"
Squall turned, so we both could see the boy standing behind his chair. The kid looked about ten or so, with dark hair and nut-brown skin. He was clutching a book to his chest, and was watching Squall with big, nervous eyes.
Squall looked a bit taken aback. "Yes?"
The boy's mouth opened once, closed, opened again, and finally he blurted out, "CouldIhaveyourautographif'snottoomuchtroublesir?" The book was thrust forward, eyes squinched shut as if he expected Squall to just as likely to do violence to it as sign it.
Squall blinked down at the book, with its little attached pen.
I choked a bit, bit my lip, and hid my smile in my drink.
Squall looked at the kid for another few seconds. "Sure."
The kid's eyes lit up brighter than Deling Arcade when Squall took the book and turned it to find a blank page. "Really? Thanks!"
Squall blinked at a page. "You have Zell's signature." I stood up and craned my neck so I could see Zell's signature signed below a simple, surprisingly good drawing of a figure on a surfboard, a wave curling up behind it.
"Yeah! I met him last summer. He went surfing with me!" The boy thrust his chest out, looking proud enough to burst.
A few tumblers fell into place in my head. "Oh, really?" So THAT'S how Squall'd found this place....
"Yep! Thanks! I can't wait to show my ma!"
The same thought, I'm sure, flew through Squall's and my minds at the same time: busted! Luckily, ONE of us is good at dealing with people.
"What's your name?" I asked the boy.
"Teema! Teema Noroka."
"Well, Teema, you know that now that you picked Commander Leonhart out, you've got a big responsibility."
Teema's eyes went even wider. "Really?"
I nodded. "Mmm hmmm. SeeD have to keep a low profile, you know, keep their heads down, right? Otherwise, how can they carry out all the important secret missions, right?"
Teema nodded so hard I thought his head would fall off, then frowned. "Oh. OH! Yeah! Secret mission, right! So...so I guess I shouldn't tell anyone, huh?"
Bright kid. I nodded again, solemnly. "It's a big responsibility. The entire mission could rest on you."
"Really? Woooow." Teema's eyes were like saucers.
A sound halfway between a snort and a cough sounded from Squall's chair, but I ignored him, looking seriously at Teema.
"Sure you can handle it?"
"Yeah! No problem! I won't tell a soul, I swear!"
"I thought so. I took one look at you and could tell that you're a smart boy and could handle this just fine. Don't you think so?" This last said, of course, to Squall, who looked like he was caught between mortification and outrage.
He stared at me for a second before my pointed looks and Teema's worshipful expression pushed him into coughing and saying, "Yeah."
I beamed at the boy. "See? Pure secret agent material, that's you."
"Wow! Thank you! Thank you very much!" Teema nearly tripped over a chair as he backed away, eyes still big on Squall and I.
Squall looked pained. "Secret mission?"
I shrugged, still beaming as I watched the kid dash off down the street. "Hey, it'll keep him from having the whole island knowing that Commander Leonhart's here. And I AM amused, by the way, that he recognized you, but not the President of Esthar."
"You can have my share of the fame, honest." Squall sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose in that stressed way he had. "With my luck, I'll have Quistis haranguing me because she's getting calls from the police, wondering why we didn't notify them about a SeeD mission on their island."
I snorted, dragging a finger through the sauce on my plate. "Oh, c'mon, we just made his day. He'll probably go to his grave not telling a soul. It'll be fine." I raised my finger to my lips, sucking slowly. Just to bring the conversation back around, you know.
Gratifyingly, that stress line between his eyes smoothed out as his eyes fixed on my mouth again. "You finished?" he asked, the barest hint of a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.
"If I ask for the check, do you think you could refrain from deputizing the waitress?"
I scowled and threw a bone at him.