Dares

"Just look at the two love-birds," Irvine Kinneas drawled, one side of the Galbadian Elite Commander's lips tilted upward as he watched Zell Dincht practically drool over his new wife, the wedding reception at Deling Garden well under way. Then he shook his head and elbowed Head of Garden Network Seifer Almasy in the ribs. "She never once looked sideways at you the way she looks at Dincht, I reckon."

Seifer scowled at him. "Kinneas, shut your hole before I shut it for you."

Janine Larabie chuckled and stepped up close to give Seifer's butt a pat. "Now, now, babe. We all know you've never cared one way or the other for Sally. Who cares if she never knew you were alive?"

Seifer scoffed and gave Janine a shove away. She crossed her arms, still smirking as she regarded him with twinkling brown eyes.

Irvine gave Seifer a nudge, drawing his hard emerald gaze. "Come on now, Almasy. Her sweet little ass never grabbed your attention? Not even once did you ever wonder if she was a handful or a mouthful?"

Seifer tightened his jaw and gave Irvine's smirking face a hard glare. "You're a sad, sick little man, Kinneas."

Irvine chuckled as Janine stepped up close, running a hand down Seifer's arm and drawing his gaze back to her. "It's okay, big guy. She's cute, in a pure way; we don't blame you your little crush."

Seifer almost sighed as he glared down at her. "A crush? You're kidding, Larabie."

"Oh?" she practically purred, stepping in closer. She ran a hand down the front of his SeeD dress blues. "Then I dare you to walk up there and kiss her full on the mouth."

Seifer's eyebrow twitched as Irvine laughed and added, "Sure thing. Right in plain view of Dincht, too."

"To prove what, exactly?" Seifer prompted.

Janine chuckled. "Not to prove anything, really, but to give you your one and only chance to kiss her. Little, pure, defenseless Sally Regal."

Seifer's eyebrow twitched again. "Defenseless? Like hell."

Janine smirked. "Everyone gets to kiss the bride. It's tradition."

"A'yup," Irvine agreed, chuckling. "Tradition."

Seifer focused on Irvine with another hard stare. "The bar's calling you, boy."

Irvine smirked. "I reckon so," he drawled, "and I'll go, but I'm watching for when it gets done." And he walked away, moving deeper into the milling crowd at the Quad.

"Come on, Almasy," Janine pressed, her laughing tone attracting Seifer's focus. "You've always wondered what it's like. Every man has. Even Beita, though he won't admit it." She motioned behind her to Sally in a rose-colored strapless dress of satin that fit every curve. "Now's your chance."

"Fine," he said shortly as he pushed her to one side and strode forward.

Sally stood in the center of a clique of SeeDs and their dates; Jaxon Crest, Squall and Rinoa, Marshal Beita and Ahndra 'Fujin' Kelley, Selphie and Nida, and a couple others. Dincht, of course, stood at Sally's side. Sally noticed Seifer's approach and smiled at him, her eyes crinkling at the corners as she brought up a hand to wave.

Seifer smirked. "Regal. Dincht," Seifer greeted as he came to stand in front of them. He noticed that Squall, Marshal, Ahndra, and Jaxon regarded him with curiosity and suspicion. "Congratulations."

Dincht grinned, his arm tightening around Sally's waist. "Thanks, Seif."

Sally softly giggled and blushed, eyes focusing on the floor as she clasped her hands behind her. "Thank you, sir," she said softly.

"Your performance of the song deserves a promotion," Seifer continued. "Perfect attack."

Sally flushed darker as Dincht agreed with an excited, "Damn straight!"

Seifer focused on Dincht. "Permission to kiss the bride?"

Dincht, still smiling, focused on Sally and drew her close to place a kiss on her temple. Sally giggled. "Sure," he said when he once again grinned at Seifer.

Seifer curtly nodded and took a step forward, leaning down and moving as if to kiss her cheek. But he adjusted his descent at the last moment and kissed her on the lips.

Softly. And only for a very brief moment.

He straightened, noticing Zell's raised eyebrow and Sally's wide eyes as her fingers touched her lips, and then he smirked and turned to walk away. Janine laughed while standing on the far side of the Quad, shaking her head as she watched him approach.

"You big softee," she said under her breath.

"Say that tonight," he dared as he passed.

Janine smirked. "Ooo. Now there's a prospect."

Seifer laughed and left the Quad to check on security.