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

Chapter Five - This I Do Swear (prompt: Vagary)

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, Laguna, Other - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2006-09-04 - Updated: 2006-09-05 - 1990 words

Laguna married Raine in spring. It rained the night before, and in the morning, the hem of Raine's dress was soaked. But Laguna couldn't stop smiling. He looked like an idiot, standing in front of her and holding her hands and barely even listening to the town elder that had begrudgingly agreed to wed them.

I was his best man. He had kissed me the night before, told me that he was really happy, and that he hoped that I could be happy for him.

With gold on his finger and love in his eyes, I tried to be happy for him and Raine. And it really wasn't all that hard, I suppose. But it hurt a little. It was hard to remember if Laguna had ever smiled that much for me.

Of course he has, I tried to tell myself. He must have. He does. And he did then, laughing and smiling and hugging me tightly. He said he wished Ward had been here, still holding me, and when he pulled back, that stupid grin on his face, his hands stayed on my shoulders. He laughed, almost hysterically.

I asked him, "Are you sure this is right?"

He nodded, smiled, got swept up in trying to make the people of Winhill like him. Raine, sitting on the back porch of one of the houses that sided the field they'd held the wedding in, laughed a little and patted the wood of the porch right at her hip.

She had a wonderful smile, Raine. And she smiled as I sat beside her.

I complimented her beauty, and her smile got a little more pressed. She told me, "You don't have to be nice to me, Kiros. I'm not entirely sure I expect it."

"Why wouldn't you expect it, Raine?"

"Because you love Laguna, and I've taken him away from you."

The vagary of the statement caught me off guard. It seemed like one of those bad movie scenes, where the character would slip up with a 'How did you know?' and the villian would laugh and say 'I didn't. But I do now!', but I couldn't really see Raine saying something like that, even if she was just speculating on the relationship between Laguna and myself.

I schooled my expression as quickly as possible, but she had seen the surprise in my eyes. She tilted her head to the side slightly, as she was sometimes wont to do when she was trying to figure something out, and touched my hand.

I told her, "I want to be happy for him. Really, I do." I smiled. "You make him happy, Raine. Happier than I've seen him in a long time."

"That's not true." She squeezed my hand gently, and informed me, "Laguna was so sad after he got better. He used to sit by the window and watch the square for ages. While he was sick, he was always asking where you were." Then, she laughed a little, blushing slightly. "I thought you were a woman for a while. He described you to me once, after he'd broken the fever and I asked who you were. He said that you were the most beautiful person he knew."

". . . oh." I wasn't sure whether I wanted to ask if that was true. It might only break my heart, I supposed. After all, no matter what he had said of me then, he had chosen Raine to spend his life with.

Raine continued, as though she hadn't even paused. "When you showed up, asking for him, I was surprised. I hadn't thought Laguna was . . . . Anyway, he was right. You are very attractive. And, on that level, I can see why he loves you."

A burst of jealousy and anger made my face hot, and I looked away from her, shaking off her hand. I stood, my back to her, but didn't walk off.

She kept talking. "I'm not entirely sure what he sees in me though. I mean, next to you, I'm just so . . . /frumpy/."

I turned slowly, years of sisters being told to look their very best and complaining to me every time they thought they didn't catching up with me in a sudden rush. I looked her over slowly, sitting there in her cream colored dress, arms crossed over her knees, face attentive. She had slightly wide-set eyes, but they were a clear blue-green color. And her hair was a lovely dark brown, cascading in the slightest waves. She had make-up on, a rare occurrence from her normal clean face, so her lips were pouty and red, and the lids of her eyes a pale blue.

"You're not frumpy, Miss Raine," I found myself saying, no longer able to look at her. "You're beautiful. And Laguna has always loved beauitful women."

From behind me, I heard Laguna coming, so it was no surprise when he tossed an arm around my shoulders and chimed with a certain perverse energy, "Hey! What are my two favorite people talking about it?"

"It's nothing," I began, but Raine was smiling, standing up and brushing off her skirt.

"We were talking about you, of course."

"Oh?" He blushed, dropping his arm for a moment before rubbing the back of his neck. "Nothing bad, I hope. Whatever it is this tomcat's blaming me for, I didn't do it."

"Who said it was him blaming you for anything?" They had such an easy banter, Raine mock serious and Laguna so shy and stupid with her. I wondered if they'd even notice if I left.

And that night, while I packed and while Laguna should have been enjoying the virtues of a married man, I looked up for only a second to see him standing in the door, eyes stunned and wide, staring at my half-packed luggage and quietly, uncertainly asking what I was doing.

I spoke slowly. "I haven't seen my family in a while. Thought I might go down and see how everything is." Then, I lied outright. "I think I've overstayed my welcome a bit, don't you? Besides . . . you have a new life now. I should let you get settled in with Raine and Ellone and everything."

I tried to smile for him. "I'll write you, alright? But right now-."

"Why are you leaving?" he demanded, confusion warring with anger on his face. I couldn't remember ever having seen Laguna angry before. I grabbed my things from the drawer I had opened and slammed it shut again, shaking my head a little.

"It's better like this, right?" There was bitterness in those words, heavy and thick; and a pain in my chest like somebody was squeezing my heart as tightly as they could. "You have Raine now. You're /happy/."

"You make that sound like a bad thing," Laguna scoffed, crossing his arms over his chest and leaning against the jamb. He sighed dejectedly, sucking on his tongue for a second, before callously saying, "So that's it. Last straw and all."

"Laguna," I hissed, "you're /married/. What am I supposed to do? Live over the bar with you? Watch you and Raine be happy together every day? Look, I'm glad you found someone who you think you can have a life with-."

"I thought I could have a life with /you/!"

The words hung in the air for a moment, and neither of us moved. I dropped the things I was holding into my luggage, and looked up at him sharply, one brow arched as though contesting his words. He looked ready to try and fix them; it only made the anger swell in me more.

"Go back to Raine, Laguna," I ordered, pointing out the window toward the bar. "It's you're wedding night. You're supposed to fucking her."


"I'll see you, okay?" I wasn't sure if I meant it. I grabbed my things-there was so little, it was hardly even worth it-and pushed passed him. Down the stairs, listening to him follow me without a word-he'd have this stupid expression on his face, like I'd kicked a puppy or something; or maybe he'd look just a little mad.

I opened the door to see Raine leaning against the planting box just outside. She smiled sweetly at me, before catching sight of my bags.

"Oh. Are you leaving?"

"Yes." I stepped away from the house, more sullen than before.

Her voice caught me. "So Laguna didn't convince you . . . ?" And I stopped, turning very slowly. Laguna was hanging back in the door, looking at his hands. Raine was watching me, a slightly crestfallen expression on her face.

I'd missed something.


"Or . . . did you not-Laguna."

"It's okay," Laguna muttered, and I could just barely hear him tell Raine to drop it as he stepped out of the house and started toward the bar.

Raine stepped after him, looking worriedly to me as she called after him in a strained sort of voice, "/Laguna/."

"I said drop it, Raine," he hissed back at her, not really turning, because turning would mean looking at me. In a quieter voice, with shoulders tense, he said, "/Please/," and just kept walking back to the bar.

Slowly, she turned and looked at me. My grip went white-knuckle on my bags. She huffed, and demanded frigidly, "What did you do, you idiot?"

"I did what I had to," I told her firmly. "You should be thankful that I'm as good a man as I am."

"'As good a man'-? Did you see his face?" she roared. Her hands were strong and tight on my arms as she managed to manhandle me around. She stared up at me, growling, "/What did you say to him/!?"

"Raine," I gritted, shrugging her off almost effortlessly. I pointed toward the bar. "The man in there loves you. And I will not stand in the way of that, no matter how much I want to scream at you and tear you apart and remind everybody who cares, and some of those who don't, that /I was there first/."

She was very quiet, staring up at me.

And all the anger just poured out. "I have sat by and watch him destory his life with anything he's thought would be a good idea. There have been other men and other women, and Julia Heartilly/. And I haven't said a damn thing, because I've been too scared or he's looked too happy. But now, I'm saying something: you married the man who loved /me before he even knew he loved women. The man who loved me without knowing a thing about me. The man who loved me even after he found out I was seventeen the first time we slept together. And I'll be damned if, when he stops loving you, he doesn't come back to me."

"If you're so convinced he'll come back, if he stops loving me," Raine growled at me, "then why are you running away? Why not stick around, finally have the chance of rubbing it in everyone's face when it's all true and he goes back to you."

"Because I'm a good man, Raine. And I've sat by for so long that I can't sit by anymore." I choked back the tears studiously. "You tell Laguna . . . . I don't know. Tell him something he'll want to hear."

I turned away, but she grabbed my again, turning me quickly.

"One month," she demanded shortly. "One month/, that's all he wants. He wants to say good bye, Kiros, and he doesn't know how. He /loves you, and I know that."

"No you don't."

"Kiros." And she smiled, very stiffly. Then, she slapped me, hard in the face. "You are not a good man for this, abandoning the man you love." She pointed toward the bar, and whispered, "The man in there loves you. And I will not watch my husband pine at the window and watch the square like he did before you came."


"/Please/. He needs you."
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