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

Chapter Eight - Back Home (prompt: Proclivity)

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: 2006-11-20 - Updated: 2006-11-20 - 2084 words

After my discharge from the army, I had nothing to do but loiter away time, searching for Laguna (and now, essentially banished from Galbadia as I was, my range of search was diminished, though not by very much), or searching for myself. With the prospect of the entire world ahead of me, I did what any sane man of his mid-twenties would do.

I went home. Back to Centra, and my tiny beach village and my still ungodly huge family. I had gone, in nearly fourteen years, from being the youngest of eight-/seven/-to being a middle child of ten, it seemed; and my mother, still as beautiful as I remembered, had aged proudly into her fifties. When she saw me, coming up the dirt road from the bay into the village, she did nothing more than stare at me, and I at her, before calling raucously for my sisters and brothers and father as she raced toward me.

"Oh, my beautiful boy," she bemoaned, hugging me tightly. I smiled into her hair (for I was taller even than my father, for all the good things Galbadia had offered to me), and told her, in this quiet, revered voice, "I'm home, momma. I'm home," as all my sisters and brothers and my father poured out of the house to swarm us, and several of the neighbors peeked out to see what all the commotion was about.

There was much cheering and noise from my siblings, welcoming me back-and, for the three new youngsters, meeting me for the first time in their lives-and asking me what had become of me and the like. My father, knowing what had 'become of me' (insomuch as one could without speaking with me for fourteen years), watched from the back of the crowd that was our home-bound family. His eyes cut at me, much as they had all my young life; I looked away, and smiled at everyone, laughing.

"Let's get inside, and I'll tell everybody everything." The girls congratulated the idea, leading the way in. My brothers clapped me on the back, smiling and being far more friendly than I ever remembered them. My mother collected her discarded rake and the youngest of my siblings, and hurried inside, saying she'd put the kettle on.

My father stopped me outside the house, scowling a little. I inclined my head, more out of fear of his wrath than any true deference. When he spoke, I could hear the sneer in his voice.

"Fourteen years, Kiros. You do not write, you do not come to see us. Your mother ailed for months after you left." He came closer then, gripping my shoulder with one hand and turning up my chin with the other. I could not really look at him-not with the health and education I exuded, and the obvious contempt he held for those things that I had gone out and received. "Do you hate your country so much, Kiros? Your /family/?"

"I came back," I tried defensively, but my father scoffed and dropped all connection with me to throw up his arms in distaste for my argument.

"You might as well have not bothered/, boy," he snapped. My stomach clenched in anger and distress; this was my /father/, after all, the man whom everyone said had always been my one true supporter in my childhood, and here he was, saying I would have been better off ignoring my history for the rest of my life. But he continued, even more harshly, "When my son deserted us for the Galbi, when my son chose /that life-the life of a killer-when he did this, he stopped being my son. You are not my child, Kiros. And, though my wife will have you in my house, I want nothing of it. You are not welcome, nameless-Kiros."

In all reality, there was nothing appropriate for me to say there. But years pent up in the military, being told what to say; and anger over my weaknesses; and his very own words broke me of the way I had been from childhood-so soft and quiet-and I hissed to him, in the most venomously pained voice I could manage, "Then it is very good I am here for your wife and daughters and sons, /old man/, and have other business elsewhere, or I'd press my welcome over long."

"And what other business could you have, nameless-Kiros?" He grabbed me again when he said that.

There were, of course, many things more appropriate to say than what I did, considering who I was speaking do and the animosity between us at the moment. But my mouth was ahead of my head, and locked to my heart, and I found myself telling him, "I have to find my lover."

(Of course, Lover in the language of the Centran islands means a thing completely different than that anywhere else. Had I said Lover in Galbadia, had we been Galbadia, someone might have asked, "Oh? And who is she?" But in Centran, Lover is reserved to unwed men of rather ambiguous morals whom one beds with until after the age of marriage. To have a Lover after the age of nineteen is to incriminate one's sexuality. And, of course, I did just that with my words.)

He dropped my arm, and, with the proclivity of a much more well-born young man, I marched into the house just as my mother was beginning to pour the tea.

She smiled, pecked me a kiss (standing on her toes), and said, "I was wondering how long you'd dawdle. What were you and Teig talking about, Kiros?"

"It was nothing, mother," I told her, and settled at the table, surrounded by my siblings once more. It was comforting-if not comfortable, now-to be home again, with all that energy and bustle around me. We drank tea, and I told them about Galbadia and all the things I'd done in the army. There was a brief debate on the Galbadian encroachment into Centra, and a general condemnation of my morals for not visiting when I was briefly stationed on Centra nearly a year before.

My father came in, but walked straight passed the kitchen. My mother, thinking this peculiar, excused herself to make sure he was alright. I tensed a little, watching her walk off, but was appropriately distracted when the youngest of the new children (a boy called Malem, who was thirteen and the twin of the youngest girl) asked if there was anyone waiting for me anywhere.

I smiled, and said, "Yes. I'm going after them when I leave." He bemoaned my leaving. One of my older sisters (who I remembered had married and had children before I had left, but now looked harried and perpetually forlorn; I supposed she had lost both husband and children) looked up from her tea and asked me if it was a good Centran woman.

I laughed a little, almost unsure, and picked at a nail as I said, "Ah, no. Not as such."

"So a Galbi, then. Or is she from another place? Balamb? Trabia?" My laugh turned a little hysterical, and I drowned it in the last of my tea. My sisters watched me intently. My older brothers laughed a little.

Oyu, the younger, shook his head and clapped me on the shoulder. "Now, now, Mezia. You mustn't pressure a man like that. It drives him off, makes him second guess his priorities with a lady." He grinned at me, and asked in a mock stage-whisper, "Is she beautiful in bed?"

"That isn't any of your business, Oyu," someone called. My older siblings laughed; my younger siblings exchanged glances of confusion with each other, and sympathy with me, for no doubt they knew well the random needling exchanged in our family.

Someone else from my siblings said, "Oh, look now. He's all bright, like a spark-bug. See what you've done, Oyu? You've embarrassed him."

"I'm not embarrassed," I muttered into my tea cup. I wished they'd change the subject, but they all seemed rather fixated on finding out about this mysterious woman I had taken to in the past fourteen years. I wished, then, I could find that same anger that had allowed me to snap at my father, but it was right out of me, and I found myself simply confounded as to how to break such news to my brothers and sisters.

"Oh, come now, Kiros," the sister closest to me (and closest to my own age) consoled, rubbing my shoulder. "We won't mind who it is, you know. Though, you will have to bring this peculiar someone down to meet us some time, if they're so wonderful to have you so tongue-tied."

"They are," I told her, and she smiled. Oyu laughed merrily.

From somewhere else in the house, my mother shrieked, "No, Teig! You're /lying/!" and I knew my stay had been cut drastically shorter.

One of my sisters rose, and I halted her with my words: "It is a man I am with now," I said, quietly and under the din of our parents fighting. "It is a man. He is from Trabia, and his name is Laguna, and I love him."

"You're lying/! He wouldn't /do such a thing!" My mother's words, even directed at someone else, stung brutally. My siblings were silent, staring at me with this stunned uncertainty that seemed to make the silence between my mother's words ring. Everything was very still for a moment.

Mezia was the first to speak after that.

"Well," she chuckled unsurely, "That certainly does explain why you ran off when father tried to marry you off."

"Mez," I murmured, looking up at her. She was smiling uncertainly at me, trying to look happy for me but affected a more detached, slightly disgusted visage. As though I had chosen to be like this. As though I had made the conscious effort to shun our upbringing and scorn our mother's name by taken up with another man.

I moved from the table, muttering a shaky, "I'm going then," before anyone could say anything. My brothers were watching me with open disgust, my sisters with bewilderment as they drew my younger siblings away from me. To see the hatred buried in their eyes burned at me.

I wondered why this had been a good idea.

As I left the house-for the second time in more than the majority of my life-and began down the dirt road, my mother came after me with tears in her eyes. She grabbed me, sobbing, tugging my arm to her chest and bemoaning, "Oh, my boy, my baby boy. Teig tells such lies about you. But, oh, I know better. You would never do such a thing, would you? Oh, my boy, you haven't done such a sinful thing, have you?"

There was nothing for me to say, so I said nothing. My mother pulled me around, looked up at me with pleading eyes, coughing on her tears. That, perhaps, stabbed at me more than hearing her deny the truth my father had told her.

"I'm ... not sorry, mother," I told her then. She wailed for a moment, launching at me and hugging me tightly around the chest, babbling about how she hoped the gods would have pity on my soul because I was such a good son, always so good, and there was no need to condemn me just yet, because there was time for me to right my ways. I told her, into her hair, murmured quietly, "Mother ... momma. I love him. Please, try to understand."

"Shush, shush, the Gods are listening, Kiros. Be still, and take it back, please." She was becoming quietly hysterical. I pulled her off, holding her apart from me.

"I can't-. I'm not sorry, mother. I love you. But I can't-." She wailed again, hitting my arms, sobbing. I let her go, and she came to me again, hugging me once more.

"Oh, my boy, my beautiful boy, why do you do this to me?"


"You will take this," she was saying over me, pulling a leather cord off her neck and slipping it over my head, a religious crest, one of the Sea God I had grown up worshiping (and had never stopped, even when an Officer had threatened to have me shot for pagan paraphernalia). "You will be safe." She kissed me-the crest-and sobbed a little. "Oh, my boy-."

"I have to go, now."

And I never looked back.
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