Title: Absolutely Fucked
Fandom: KH2. Post-KH2..
Disclaimer: No implied ownership, no financial gain, only fanwork.
Characters/Pairings: Leon/Riku, Sephiroth/Cloud, Sora/Kairi, Full Cast
Summary: Revenge of the Lightcycles, Revelations, Smut, and attack of the plot. Notes: For kingdom_xiii on LJ. Claim - Riku/Leon, Theme Set - Light, Theme - Wisdom.
"Stop yawning," Cloud said as he glared at Leon for a moment, as if he had fought off a yawn of his own to provoke the comment. "Don't you sleep?"
"Not last night," Leon replied. "One of Cid's generators blew at about one. Sitting in the water, it was on fire anyway. At least the power grid didn't become unstable. We thought it might..."
"Should have called me," Cloud commented before shifting his focus to the computer screen. "And don't I get a turn? I have an idea for a motorcycle."
"Lightcycle," Leon corrected, chuckling. Three days had passed since the four-man races with Riku and Sephiroth and ever since, Leon had been itching to get back and interact more with the program.
"Whatever," Cloud said.
They both started laughing - nervously at first.
"You should have called," Cloud reiterated. "I'm not going to lie and say that we could have really helped, but we might have - Seph and I."
"At the time, I didn't really think about it," Leon admitted. "Cid had me... and Tifa..."
"Never mind," Cloud said quickly. "Sure you three had it under control."
"Not much to control when a big hydroelectric generator is on fire despite being surrounded by water," Leon said. "Cid yelled when Tifa cast a water spell into the darned thing. A hydroelectric generator... Well, it was that or let it burn out. Either way, Cid's team has a job today."
He chuckled as he picked the exact shade of neon for his cycle and asked the system to save his progress before adding his cycle to the selectable racing choices.
"Your turn," he said, stepping aside. "And you can't still be that upset with Tifa - most men would be happy to have a beautiful woman follow him across worlds."
"Compared to Tifa, I feel safer with Sephiroth," Cloud replied as he loaded the file containing his own prototype lightcycle. "It's been awhile since we worked on these - Tron was just creating the program, then."
There was a pause - silence as Cloud tinkered with the computer. Leon walked the length of the room twice, trying not to yawn again. He wasn't so much tired as he couldn't stop yawning.
"Do we have an operator?" Cloud asked suddenly, yet almost on cue. With the feeling he was being watched, Leon did suspect that someone else had arrived.
"We do," Leon admitted. That, originally, had been his idea - a necessary operator just in case there was a system error, or worse. He hadn't forgotten the feeling of having Sora trapped in the machine and didn't want to have to relive that any time soon. Tron had agreed, and together they'd nitpicked through a series of safety caches, including the requirement of an operator.
"Rikku," Leon replied. "Faerie girl Rikku, I mean."
"Oh." Cloud didn't look away from the screen. "Hey, this thing has new weapons options!"
"I am constantly evolving this program, since you all seem to enjoy it," Tron's heavily digitized voice informed them.
Leon chuckled - he forgot that usually, the system's microphone was left on, just in case.
"You're in trouble, Leon," Cloud said softly as he clicked at a couple of the keys on the keyboard.
"Aren't we playing as a team today?" Leon questioned. The idea of going up against Cloud wasn't particularly appealing after the crazy night he'd had.
Both men turned to see a human-sized Rikku standing in the doorway, looking as though she'd been there for awhile but had only just decided that they should know of her presence.
"You're..." Cloud paused as he looked over at her, not down.
"I can change back once you're in," Rikku commented as she walked across the room. "Too annoying to hit buttons otherwise, silly. Thought you'd be used to that."
Cloud blushed ever so slightly, but enough that Leon noticed. Spending most of his time with a faerie who preferred a more intimidating size surely should have left him accustomed to the possibility.
"I don't think we've been the same size for quite awhile," Leon said quickly, intervening between the pair. He knew that Rikku was rather well-in with the dealings between the faerie villages and often relied on her for information as more and more of the different races who had once lived in happy isolation from one another attempted to become good neighbors in the wake of the Heartless and everything surrounding that chapter of history. "Since you decided to shrink me..."
"Yuna and I are way better at that spell now," Rikku protested. "Besides, you had fun staying with Zell for the week until we figured out how to change you back!"
Leon swallowed hard and nodded. Once he'd gotten used to the hyper little faerie who constantly buzzed around him and he'd given up on finding his own cure in the treasure trove of tiny books on magic that he was finally the right size to read, things had become fairly interesting.
But that had been left in the faerie village as a mutual decision.
"Yeah," Leon said before looking back at his friend. "You ready?"
"We can tweak from the inside, too, right?" Cloud asked, a rare and honest smile forming on his face.
"Not to the same degree, but yeah," Leon replied.
"All right! I can't wait! I get to watch you race!" Rikku jumped up and clapped her hands before landing clumsily - likely having forgotten her current size.
"We're doing co-op," Leon reminded her as he nodded to Cloud. Time to go.
"Oh, good," Rikku commented as she skipped over to the console. "Cloud spends way too much time fighting to the death."
Cloud's eyes met Leon's for a moment as they stepped over to be digitized.
"What?" Leon asked. "She has a point."
Whatever Cloud said in response, however, was lost between reality and the virtual.
Stretching once in his digital body, Leon glanced upward at the neon and black sky. Ceiling. Whichever it was.
Cloud was already heading towards his cycle, which had just formed in front of him. The blond circled it once as Leon's was being added to the game, touching it lightly as though he was making sure it really was to his specifications.
"And weapons," Leon muttered as he felt the strange weight of a blunt sword being added to his back.
"Don't think I'm going to watch your back," Cloud warned as he swung a leg over the lightcycle.
"Don't think I'll watch yours," Leon replied, knowing that they were both utterly lying.
"It was bad enough that I had to watch out for Sephiroth the other day," Cloud commented, trying to hide the lightness of his tone. "Apparently being able to fly and teleport kept him from learning the fine art of driving."
"As if your crazy behavior is a 'fine art'," Leon shot back as he slipped onto his own cycle.
The countdown began. And then they were off...
The first half-kilometer was smooth, allowing both men to adjust to their new, uniquely programmed cycles. Just as Leon had received an echoing thumbs-up from Cloud, a dozen tiny red dots appeared on his radar screen.
They were being chased by an army.
Apparently Cloud saw the wave coming at the same time, and his expression, Leon knew, likely mirrored his own.
Grabbing his sword, Leon managed to brake and cut down the first of the enemy riders. Cloud spun around, driving right back through the wave despite the warning arrows flashing above that he was going the wrong way.
Now Leon understood why his friend had started with a base model with specifications for tricks - the way Cloud was spinning and plowing down the enemy riders wasn't something that could have been done on the cycle that Leon had programmed.
Not to be outdone, but certainly sure he was going to be outdone, Leon could only keep braking when he could see his own blue dot about to be swarmed by the endless stream of red dots, then swinging his digital sword as hard as he could without wiping out.
Still, he was being hit, as was Cloud. There were just too many enemies - trying to adapt to machines they'd never ridden that they didn't even know worked properly, Leon couldn't help but feel a wave of utter dread once a warning flashed above his radar screen that they were heading into a maze of columns.
This wasn't what he'd told Rikku to do - and he trusted her to not throw them into the insane User-Must-Die mode that they seemed to be stuck in.
No longer were they racing and trying to pick off a few of the other racers. No, they were trying to survive. Even if the pain and 'death' were only virtual, Leon was not about to go down easily.
"Left!" Cloud yelled as he zoomed by and into the column maze via the right entrance.
Leon headed for the same entrance, swerving only at the last second to dart into the left entrance. He could feel the vibration of the crash of enemy riders as they hit the wall of the maze.
Two were still right behind him, and he knew he didn't dare swing at them or he'd miss a turn and go down. Already his virtual health was half-depleted. A crash would likely end it all, in the game mode he was stuck in.
One of the AI cycles behind him wiped out, blinking off Leon's radar screen almost unnoticed.
Smiling, Leon had to chuckle. He was having a wonderful time.
The second, final red dot blinked out behind him just before the exit to the maze came into view. Once he sped out into the open (save for a sharp, sharp immediate left turn), Leon glanced back. Cloud was right behind him.
"Race you!" Leon yelled as he dropped back just enough that he knew Cloud could hear him. He was going to have to ask Tron to program in some sort of headset communication for future co-op races.
"And them!" Cloud replied, pointing quickly at his own radar screen.
Sure enough, red dots filled it again.
Something had to have happened to Rikku. They had to get to the end of the race. They had to get out of the computer.
"Tron!" Leon yelled.
"I cannot abort the program with you inside," Leon heard in response. At least Tron was watching and likely trying to do what he could. "You are within three kilometers of the end of the track."
Leon jammed on the brakes, letting the enemy riders wash around him before he began plowing them down. Just before they got to Cloud who was banging away at his control panel.
Even if he'd programmed his lightcycle for speed over control, Leon knew he was allowed a little slack on the rule. He started zigzagging through the AI enemies just as Cloud managed to spin around and begin another assault. Together they began to make progress.
Watching each others' backs.
"Tron!" Leon yelled again once he saw the finish line appear on his radar.
Looking over to where Cloud had pulled beside him, Leon could still see red dots swarming his radar, but all back far enough that they were in the clear.
His health-bar was blinking; barely a visible sliver compared to what it had been in the beginning.
As they passed over the neon on the ground, the radar cleared. Leon hit the brakes for one last time, not at all surprised as he didn't even get the chance to bring his lightcycle to a proper stop before being forced out of the virtual and back into reality.
Cloud was coughing, beside him, almost startled as he dropped to his knees on the metal floor.
"I didn't do it!" Rikku cried as she ran towards Leon, still human-sized. "I programmed it all right, I know I did, and then..."
"She's telling the truth," Cloud managed to say. "It's my fault. Someone wants my attention."
"What?" Leon asked as he offered Cloud a hand up, off the floor. "Are you okay?"
"Fine," Cloud replied before half-pulling Leon down to his level as he stood. "Just a little irritated that someone dared aim a spell in my direction."
His blue eyes narrowed, scanning the room once.
"Where?" Rikku asked before quickly reverting to her faerie form. "Oh..."
"Here --" Cloud lunged across the room, closing a hand around something that only he could sense.
"Wings!" came a low, pained cry. Shimmering into view was a silver-haired faerie wearing all black, dangling by black-feathered wings that were pinched tightly between Cloud's fingers and thumb.
"Yazoo, you shouldn't be here," Cloud said coolly.
"Hurts..." Yazoo replied, struggling.
"That's the point," Cloud stated, holding Yazoo up to his eye level. "I'll assume my services are needed. But what's with the violence? I have a phone."
Leon had always wanted to describe the sound of the faerie-human transformation as a 'poof' or 'bamf' or some other noise grabbed from a drawn children's book - it was the closest to what his very human ears heard.
So with a poof (or bamf, depending), Cloud was knocked to the floor, grasping at nothing as Yazoo lay on top of him. Silver hair poured over them both as Yazoo kicked his legs to the sides, straddling Cloud in a nearly indecent pose.
"As if Mother would let us give up the old ways," Yazoo said, his face just inches from Cloud's as he leaned over and put a hand on either side of Cloud's head. "Besides, I like a little violence."
Cloud grabbed a handful of that silver hair and yanked, hard. Yazoo cried out and slid to the side, swinging a fist that Cloud easily caught before reversing their positions.
"Well let me know when you've had enough," Cloud deadpanned. "Besides, all you had to do was ask."
Leon realized he'd been standing there, arms crossed, with Rikku at his side. He knew Cloud well enough that stepping in hadn't been necessary.
"Trickery is so much more fun," Yazoo noted with a pout as Cloud let him up. "I'm still partial to when we shoved you into Hades' service. That was so entertaining to watch..."
Either Cloud was ignoring the comment or plotting further violence for a later time, as he didn't respond other than to hold up a hand as a half-wave before heading towards the door.
"Another time, Leon," Cloud said. "Get some sleep."
Behind him, Yazoo only smiled as he tossed his hair. And with an equally indescribable poof, he transformed back into his regular size and zipped to Cloud's side.
"That family is so messed up," Rikku commented before flying over to sit on the computer console.
Leon yawned. He'd actually forgotten about the previous night until Cloud had mentioned it. But between that and the virtual battle for his life inside the computer, the idea of an eight-hour late-morning nap did sound rather nice.
"You think?" Leon replied. "That was... Sephiroth's brother, right?"
"Half-brother," Rikku corrected. "But yeah. Can't tell ya which half, either. I don't know."
"Does it matter?" Leon questioned.
"Depends on the errand Cloud's going on," Rikku said before stretching. "So, about my fee..."
Leon knew there was no negotiating out of that little detail, so he dug into his pockets for the little gem chips that Yuffie had given him the day before in exchange for storing yet another half-dozen boxes in his basement.
And then, almost happily, he headed towards the upper-levels of the castle to catch a quick nap before heading home.
The problem, Leon realized when he opened his eyes to note that the mid-morning sun had drifted to peer in the high guest-room window as the late-afternoon sun, was that near-exhaustion did not lead to quick naps.
Crawling off the too-soft bed to grab his jacket, Leon was surprised to see Riku dozing in an easy-chair on the other side of the room.
"Riku?" he questioned softly, trying to tread softly for no reason he could think of once he thought twice about it - he was attempting to wake Riku up, after all, so there was no need to be overly quiet.
He almost missed the book Riku was half-clutching in slumber. Carefully he reached to put it on the floor, still opened to the page Riku had been reading.
Aqua eyes finally met his, sleep-blurred and almost confused.
"How'd you find me?" Leon asked as Riku yawned and stretched.
"Had a little help," Riku admitted. "You left in the middle of the night..."
"One of the hydroelectric generators..."
"I know," Riku interrupted as he stood and reached to wrap his arms around Leon for a few seconds. "I went to work and Cid told me... let me leave early, but you hadn't gone home."
"Cloud and I had already planned to play with the lightcycle program," Leon admitted, leaving most of the events of the morning out. "I didn't think I'd actually end up sleeping for more than an hour."
Riku started laughing. "Sounds like Sora... gonna take a little nap on the beach and five hours later needing to be rescued from high tide."
Leon frowned for a moment before picturing the scene and finally breaking a smile. That was Sora, after all. And he wasn't competing with that memory, or any of Riku's memories. That much he knew. That much...
"One of Sephiroth's brothers stopped by as well to send Cloud on an errand," Leon said as lightly as he could. "Are you sure you aren't related to that family?"
"I have the same color hair as Aunt Freya," Riku replied. "I'm just as likely to have her blood as faerie blood, thanks. Don't think that Maleficent didn't check around for missing relatives the first time I dealt with her. She kept commenting that I looked like her sisters' children, just like Cloud kept telling me that I..."
Riku turned and walked over to the window. Pushing the curtains aside to look into the light, he sighed.
"There wasn't anything to it," he said. "I should have explained that weeks ago - watching you get all uncomfortable when Cloud would touch me. Nothing. Just two damned men wanting to feed on the darkness we could get from one another."
"You don't have to tell me," Leon said. Another lie. So much to get past but Leon didn't want to admit that deep down, he wanted to know.
"Isn't that really it?" Riku commented. "We fought and fucked and walked off in our own directions towards what we wanted - really wanted. His worked out for him. Mine..."
Awkward silence took over for a minute. Leon swallowed hard.
"Well," Riku continued, "I'd be lying if I said I didn't regret things. You wanted stupid things when you were younger, right?"
Leon didn't reply - most of his youthful desires had been aimed at material possessions that also hadn't been quite as fulfilling once he'd finally gotten them. His battle with the darkness that took his home hadn't been quite so personal.
Another minute passed. He nodded.
"But how did you find me?" Leon walked over to the window and rested a hand on Riku's shoulder.
"The guy downstairs washing the windows told me," Riku replied. "Said you'd gone in but not left. After that, I just started checking rooms."
Fairly sure that Riku was leaving as much out of his story as he'd left from his own, Leon just nodded. He couldn't remember any maintenance cards being filled out for washing the windows on the castle, either, though Cid could have added that just to give someone a job for a day.
"You could have slept on the bed, too," Leon said. "It's far too soft, but..."
"Didn't want to wake you up," Riku interrupted. "Cid told me all about the fire before he decided to kick his feet up and take a nap once his team had checked in."
"Probably left a cigarette burning, too," Leon stated. Riku's answering chuckle was enough. He'd worked alongside Cid for so long that nothing the man did surprised him, whether it was an astounding fit of genius or a tirade of cussing.
Almost without thinking, Leon slid his hand lower, along the soft fabric of Riku's dark shirt, to rest just above the waist of Riku's pants.
"Have any idea what Yuffie is doing with six cases of books?" Riku finally asked. "Six more cases of books. She was dragging them down into your basement when I got home."
"Maybe they're Aerith's," Leon suggested. Yuffie, for the most part, used books to prop furniture level.
"I was going to ask, but she was too busy trying to explain that your basement was her basement and I shouldn't get upset," Riku continued.
Leon slid his hand lower, to where he could just push up Riku's shirt enough to find skin.
"For the time being, my basement is her basement," Leon confirmed.
"So you and Cloud got to play with the creation program, right?" Riku asked suddenly, pulling away and walking back towards the bed. "How was it?"
"There are just a few little bugs to be worked out," Leon admitted, almost wanting to laugh. Now that he wasn't in virtual mortal peril, the thought of testing their cycles in a round of User-Must-Die mode was quite humorous.
"Can I try?" Riku asked quickly before pausing. "But not today. I felt weird for hours after those races we did. Wouldn't want you to go through that twice."
"Weird?" Leon asked. He had felt more heavy than anything, at first, but even that hadn't been particularly troubling.
"Like I was in the wrong skin," Riku explained. "Went away, though."
"You didn't mention that."
Riku shrugged before glancing quickly at the bed. "Let's go home."
Other than a few comments about the lightcycle program, they walked in relative silence. No one, Leon noted afterward, had been washing the castle windows.
The house was dark and Yuffie was nowhere to be seen when the arrived home.
"Dinner?" Riku asked as he pulled his boots off.
And then Leon remembered a very important little fact that he'd quite nearly tucked away so far in the recesses of his brain that it had nearly been forgotten - Riku had been forced into the wrong skin, another body that wasn't his...
"Mind if I take a shower first?" Leon asked in response. Warm water and a change of clothing sounded a bit more appealing than food, especially if Riku was the one cooking.
"Go ahead," Riku said quickly. "I was just going to make sandwiches. Aerith brought over a ton of food again, along with fresh bread. You didn't notice last night?"
Shaking his head, Leon kicked off his own boots and headed towards his bedroom to get something to change into. Up until Riku had moved in, his fridge had generally been a last resort when all of the restaurants were closed. Certainly he couldn't imagine a habit that involved opening it randomly to see what had been left there.
Just as he'd peeled off his clothing, Leon heard the door close.
"What happened to dinner?" Leon asked as he turned to see Riku blocking the doorknob.
"You always know when to stop asking questions," Riku said softly. "Thanks."
Except, Leon knew, he more than made up for that with the surveillance contract he had with Paine. Trying not to feel guilty, Leon just nodded.
"But I should tell you..."
"Tomorrow," Riku said quickly. "After we both get home. It can wait."
Curious but willing to allow one more secret, Leon walked over to Riku, reaching behind him for the doorknob.
Riku grabbed Leon's wrist and held it, shaking his head.
"I almost woke you up earlier," Riku admitted. "I wanted to. Really."
Leon took a step back. Riku did not let go.
A moment later, Riku's mouth was against his, not so much kissing him as using the whole of his body to back Leon to the bed and onto it, the crush of their lips together and the connection between their tongues almost more of a side-effect.
Pulling at Riku's clothing, Leon found skin quickly in the same way he had before. He pushed Riku's shirt up, one hand on Riku's back and the other on his chest to find sensitive nipples as Riku moaned into the not-quite-kiss.
Tangled, and with feet dangling off the unmade bed, they stayed clinging to one another after the pulled their mouths apart.
"Take your clothes off," Leon finally said as he tried to scoot properly onto the bed.
"Not romantic," Riku commented as he rocked onto his knees to pull off his shirt. "But probably correct."
Leon chuckled as he watched Riku continue to strip. Obviously Cid had found Riku a job where he got a little sunshine, as his skin had gotten noticeably darker during the last few days. That or Riku had taken to lounging on the roof.
"I'm not laughing," Leon replied before reaching to help pull away Riku's pants and throw them over towards his own pile of clothing. "I just wasn't expecting to end up back in bed so quickly."
Riku smirked before pushing Leon back down onto the wrinkled sheets.
Bodies together - skin against skin - Leon couldn't resist pressing upwards a bit. He needed friction for the erection he'd been trying to ignore in favor of touching Riku's body.
"Roll over," Leon whispered before licking Riku's ear. Awkwardly, they managed; leaving Leon sprawled over Riku's body for a few seconds before he sat up and slid down enough to let his erection settle along-side Riku's.
Slowly he leaned down again, kissing Riku's neck softly in trails - making sure his mouth was finding every sensitive spot.
"Leon..." Riku stammered, hands clinging at Leon's back. "What...?"
Words wouldn't do. After all, no matter what underhanded things he was still up to, Riku had revealed a fairly large part of his insecurities, even if he hadn't quite realized what he was doing. And, at least in the bedroom, he was still within the realm of fair play.
"Here," Leon whispered as he thrust a hand up under the pillows to find the dwindling tube of lubricant that had proved more useful within arms-reach than tucked in his nightstand. Grabbing it, he transferred it to Riku's grasp a few seconds later.
"Warm it up," Leon said before sliding his body down a bit to lick nipples still hard from when his fingers had been teasing them.
Riku moaned as Leon continued working downward over the muscle of his stomach before reaching his end-goal. After licking away the pre-come gathered at the tip of Riku's erection, Leon slid to the side.
"Tease," Riku murmured, a slight smile on his face anyway as he uncapped the tube he still clutched. "Might make you regret that."
More than once, Leon had debated the merits of a bigger bed. With his head at the foot of the bed, hands wandering along the edge for something to grab as Riku spread his legs, it seemed like a good idea. But something that he'd never get around to.
He closed his eyes as Riku traced his entrance with a pair of fingers, pressing just a little roughly. But the lubricant helped and before Leon could finish wincing, a moan had replaced any sound he would have made.
"More?" Riku asked as he spread his fingers apart before pushing them further into Leon's body. "Wouldn't be fair to let you come..."
Yet even as he spoke, he pulled his fingertips across the spot that made Leon cry out. Grabbing at the edge of the bed, Leon pushed against those fingers, wanting more.
"No..." Riku said as he pulled back a bit but not fully out. "Not yet."
"Yeah," Leon whispered as he echoed Riku's motion, surprising Riku as he pulled free and pointed at the bed. "Lay down."
Straddling Riku again, Leon grabbed the lubricant from where Riku had dropped it on the bed. Quickly he coated Riku's erection before positioning himself with the tip against his entrance.
"Like this..." Slowly Leon slid down, letting his body give as he took Riku deeper inside.
Riku had his eyes closed, lips parted as though he was the one being fucked - unless he was. Leon smirked for a second. He wasn't sure, exactly, if he'd managed to snag a bit of power away even if it was still his body being taken in the end.
Finally settled with the entire length of Riku's arousal inside of his body, Leon paused, adjusting, before reaching to stroke his own erection a few times to relieve some of the ache that had built.
He'd have no problem coming - not in that position. Riku could just enjoy. Riku could watch - if Riku would open his eyes.
Moving a bit, just enough to slide his body an inch or two, Leon kept touching himself. Finally, Riku opened his eyes, watching as if absolutely transfixed for a few moments before finally thrusting up just a bit.
Leon nodded, knowing that he had to stop teasing both Riku and himself. Riku thrust up, reaching to guide him as he rose and fell to meet the motions of Riku's body. He leaned back a bit, closing his own eyes again as he let Riku's erection penetrate him fully thrust after thrust, angled just right to press at the spot that made him need to reach and give his own erection a few almost-forced strokes before he gave over to the absolute need to come.
Riku was crying Leon's name, grabbing at him and smearing semen over them both in an attempt to share in his orgasm before moving his hands back to Leon's hips to instead focus on careening towards his own.
Words to tell Riku that he was being too rough caught on Leon's lips as he grabbed back at the bed, riding out the last of Riku's harsh thrusts as he watched Riku's body tense and come.
Aqua eyes... questioning.
Leon wasn't surprised when he was back underneath Riku's weight again, being kissed and touched and generally thanked for something he didn't think he ever needed to be thanked for.
The sun was just dipping behind their own roof, no longer casting the long shadow of the house across the alley when Riku finally sat up.
"Should make sandwiches," he said after a minute.
"Should shower," Leon replied. If he hadn't needed one before...
"And I should show you..." Riku trailed off, his eyes wide. "That book! We left it in the castle!"
"Book?" Leon asked before remembering. Riku had been reading a book, and he'd gently set it beside the chair...
"I had a book," Riku said softly. "I gotta go get it. I'll be back."
Before Leon had untangled himself from the blankets to try to follow after Riku, he heard the front door slamming.
Really, Riku didn't need any help getting a book, anyway. The shower sounded so much better.
And perhaps he'd peek in the fridge after all.
Once clean, and just about to do just that, Leon had his hand on the fridge handle when the front door banged open.
"Riku?" he called.
"No, but we have your information," a voice replied.
Leon was quite glad he'd gotten dressed again as he stepped into the main room.
"Too dramatic," came from beside him. He looked over to see Paine sitting calmly on an end, table, her legs dangling off and swinging.
"What do you mean 'too dramatic'?" the man asked as he closed the door and kicked his boots once on the mat. "This is dramatic information."
"Leon, this is Zack," Paine said coldly. "Another student of my instructor."
"You're..." Leon had been seeing the man for days, if only for seconds at a time.
For once, Leon decided, the transformation was definitely a 'bamf'.
"A faerie," Zack said, flitting on transparent wings to stand on the back of a chair.
"He makes up for his lack of stealth," Paine said flatly, "in other ways. I just don't know what they are."
"So what's this 'dramatic' information?" Leon asked. Riku was likely on his way back from the castle already and he was half-afraid that Zack and Paine would still be bickering when he returned.
"We know Riku's secret," Zack said just as the door swung open.
"Of course you do," Riku said as he stepped into the house. He was breathing heavily, clutching the worn, thick book to his chest. "But even if you do, it's mine to tell. Leon..."
There was no room to lie.
"You're the one who meets with the witch," Leon replied.
"She keeps thinking that I'll break," Riku said, his eyes narrow. "She keeps hoping that I'll sell someone out. She even asked about you, because it has to be someone I'm close to."
"Sell someone out...?"
"I lied to you, before," Riku said. He was still gasping for breath as if he'd run the entire distance to the castle and back. "When I said we didn't have a deal. Because I guess you'd call it a deal, in the end."
"A deal..." Paine was on her feet.
"She came to put a curse on Kairi. But I took the curse instead. And came here with Maleficent so she could make sure that it had worked," Riku said. "She keeps asking if I'll betray my friends..."
Riku dropped to his hands and knees, one hand still clutching the book and the other pounding at the carpet like a child throwing a tantrum.
"Don't you get it?" he asked, looking up. "Don't you think I've wanted to tell you?"
"Tell me what?" Leon asked as he knelt down. "The curse? What is it?"
"The curse that I took to save Kairi's life," Riku said. "A curse that cannot be broken, only passed along. That..."
"No." Paine's voice sounded almost muted.
"What?" Zack asked. "You don't mean..."
"So that Kairi will live, so that she and Sora can be happy," Riku began, "I'll die on my twenty-first birthday."
A/N: Please, please do not leave spoilers for this chapter in reviews. Think of the delicious shock and let others experience it!
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