Categories > Games > Final Fantasy 8 > More Braids than Brawns

Chapter One - All In The Family (prompt: Imbroglio)

by sumthinlikhuman 0 reviews

A look at the time and life of one Kiros Seagul. ~A Series of Shorts for Fated_Children on LiveJournal~ (Rating for certain chapters; warnings include sex, alcohol, language)

Category: Final Fantasy 8 - Rating: R - Genres: Drama, Humor, Romance - Characters: Kiros - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2006-07-24 - Updated: 2006-07-25 - 999 words

I was the youngest of seven children. There were two older boys in my family, and four girls--at least, that's what we told everyone. Really, there were five girls, but one of them had died, so we weren't supposed to talk about her anymore. My parents had also come from large, extended families--and I'm sure there were many dead sisters in their families--and their parents as well. In fact, as far as I was concerned, it was the family tradition that the mother and father try to have as many children as possible before they reached their thirtieth birthday.

Today was my mother's thirtieth birthday. And she was pregnant. As much as the family as could be gathered--for a good deal of them were away on the ocean for deep sea fishing or simply traveling--had gathered in our home for this announcement.

I was used to large family gatherings--one had to be in a family this size--though I did not particularly relish those occasions that called for any number of adult relatives to be brought into the house (though I never did mind when an Aunt or Uncle brought along their children; I particularly enjoyed when my eldest sister brought over my nephew, who was older than me). There were reasons I didn't enjoy family gatherings. Many of them centered around the pure imbroglio that ensued from such meetings.

But mostly it was because it always seemed that I was a topic of conversation.

Today, on the announcement of my mother's pregnancy and to celebrate her thirtieth birthday, the favored topic of conversation any time I so much as looked into a room appeared to be my pressing need to be married off to the closest available virgin in the village.

"We should, of course, keep the marriage in the family," my Grandmother's cousin was saying in a cold voice, flipping her long black hair over her shoulder and giving my mother an interesting look. "My daughter's youngest is just about his age. They would make a good match."

"He is only ten, Renia," my mother muttered, rolling her eyes a little. I swelled happily at the thought that she would defend my age. But then she continued, "Besides, I have seen your granddaughter. My Kiros and her would make a horrid match."

Grand-cousin Renia seemed to think this a great insult, for she huffed and fumed and refused to talk to my mother for the rest of the night. Then again, Grand-cousin Renia did that anytime /any/body disagreed with her master plans to 'keep the bloodlines going' in our family, so my mother didn't seem particularly offended.

Later, I heard my Uncle Hayjay telling my father, "You really should be thinking of finding him a wife soon, or at least encouraging him to court. He needs a girl in his life, to help him get over Melea."

Melea was my sister. She had died giving birth early in the year. She was my favorite sister, but everybody kept telling me that I couldn't say any longer that I had five sisters, that it would confuse people, because Melea wasn't my sister any more. She was dead.

"He needs time, Hayjay. When he is over Melea, I will speak to him of marriage."

Grand-cousin Renia, who had been walking by at the time, seemed to think this quite peculiar, and, when I found her later, she was talking with some cousin or another; something of how I had harbored 'wanton affections' for Melea, and that they needed to marry me off as soon as possible before I decided I wanted to 'take advantage' of my other sisters.

By the time dinner rolled around, just about everybody was coming up to my mother or father or me, and talking about marriage and Melea and something about calling in Estharin specialists because I was a little sick in the head.

My mother, devastated that her special evening had been ruined by talk of my forfending marriage, sent everyone home in a fit of tears. While she stood in the doorway, watching the last of them go, she pet her stomach consolingly, like the baby in there was crying.

I tried to apologize for whatever I had done to upset everyone who had upset her. She smiled, and shook her head and said, "You would not understand. You are still only a child, Kiros."

But that didn't stop me from being sorry that I had loved Melea. I told my mother, "I will stop loving her. Will that make things better, if I stop loving Melea and I forget about her?"

My mother, she just touched my hair and smiled very sadly and said, "You look a lot like her. People are just sad she is gone, and you remind them of her." She smiled and told me, "Do not get confused by us adults, Kiros. Just be who you are."

For a while longer, I tried to console my mother, telling her that I would do whatever she wished, if she would just stop crying. After a very long while, my father and eldest brother took me aside and said that she did not need consoling, just time alone.

While that time passed, my brothers spoke to me of the girls in the village. Whenever they brought up a name, I would shrug a little and make some comment--"She is pretty enough" or "Her family is well off"--because I wasn't all that interested in girls. I was ten. Too young for thoughts of marriage, when even my older brothers weren't married.

They left me, and I returned to my mother. She still wouldn't stop crying, but she smiled and held me in her large chair, stroking my hair and humming softly a lullaby that she had only ever song for Melea and I because we were the youngest.

And on that night, I learned to hate having the family home for celebrations.
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