Having No Light
Title: Having No Light
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts 2
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Characters/Pairings: Leon, Repliku, full cast
Rating: MA Overall
Summary: Leon finds a remnant of Organization XIII's crazed ideas. Claiming that he owes Sora a favor, he adopts a nameless stray.
Notes: Originally posted by sockpuppet J.Synth.
"Riku?" Leon knelt down to shake the shoulder of the still figure, completely unsure why Sora's companion was slumped in one of Radiant Garden's alleyways.
"Not my name," came as a thin reply. At least the young man wasn't dead. Though as Leon pulled 'Riku' to his feet, he could almost believe the claim.
Still, as thunder rolled overhead, Leon wasn't going to waste any time arguing.
The trip back to his house was quiet, save the rumbling above and the sound of the rain on the paving stones he was mostly dragging 'Riku' along. Every few seconds 'Riku' would try to take a few steps and fail, clutching helplessly at Leon's jacket and whimpering like a man in intense pain.
Finally, the dead weight too much for him, Leon simply scooped the teen up into his arms and carried him the last few blocks to his house.
"I'm Leon," Leon said as he slammed the wooden door behind him and glanced at the too-skinny form laying still in front of the electric furnace that was thankfully putting off a useful amount of heat. "You have to have a name."
"No." A bit of movement, pained. "I'm not real. I believe that now. I was never real. I died..."
Leon shrugged off his jacket and hung it on the single hook on the wall. Either towels or a blanket - he wasn't sure. And a healer, despite the rain. Surely the rambling was just a fever.
"You need to get those wet clothes off," Leon said. "I'll help you, since you can't..."
"Can't I go back to being dead?" Aqua eyes met Leon's, pleading. They were not the eyes of the same young man that Sora had introduced him to.
"You aren't Riku," Leon said, slipping his hands under the tight material of the teen's shirt and pulling it upward, trying not to notice cold skin against his own warm hands.
"Told you that."
"I know," Leon said. "But either way, you need something dry to wear. And a strong healer."
He could feel each rib under his hands, prevalent as though the teen was half-starved.
"Don't help me..." Hands grabbed at his, weak and almost traitorous as they fell away a moment later. "Warm."
Carefully, Leon pulled a few blankets from where they were hiding the tattered remains of a half-unstuffed easy chair and slid the young man onto one of them, trying to look away even as he pulled soaked pants over a swollen and likely broken ankle.
"Stay here," Leon ordered, racing to the bathroom to grab a towel.
"Can't really go anywhere else," the youth rasped in reply.
But when Leon returned, he noticed that his guest had moved, curled closer to the heater and tangled in the blankets.
"Here," Leon murmured, kneeling down to dry the teen's hair, almost surprised at the slight purr of appreciation that snuck from behind the otherwise indignant lips of the youth.
"If you promise not to leave, I'll get someone to look at your ankle," Leon said once he'd thoroughly soaked the towel.
"I can't walk."
"Your body is covered in bruises and scratches and I think you have a broken ankle," Leon commented. "But you're alive. I don't think that not being able to walk would hinder you if you wanted to leave."
"Don't even want to be alive."
"Stay there," Leon said as he stood. Grabbing the pile of wet clothing from the floor, he threw it in the general direction of the kitchen, hearing it smack wetly against the tile. Aerith didn't live far and he knew that she'd be more than willing to do a little patch work on the teen, even if she couldn't do much with his ankle.
"Kurai," Aerith muttered, tying the bandages around the young man's arm. "Hmm. I think that's not a bad name for you."
Leon simply sat back, surrounded by gauze and alcohol. What Aerith had not been able to heal with magic, she had taken to patching up with bandages. Even the teen's ankle was wrapped - not broken but instead badly sprained, something just as painful and crippling as a break.
"Kurai?" he echoed, glancing over at Leon as though Leon would explain. Leon simply shrugged. He'd learned over the years to not question Aerith or the things she said.
"From an archaic language that both Ansems chose to pepper their works with," Aerith continued. "It means 'dark'. Or, literally, 'having no light'."
There was an uneasy silence for a moment.
"Scissors," Aerith requested, holding her hand back to where Leon was sitting. He handed the implements to her and nodded.
"Kurai. It isn't bad," Leon said. "For someone with no name found during a thunderstorm at night."
"It is a good name, isn't it?" Aerith giggled. "Has all the same letters as Riku's plus one."
"She just knows things," Leon interrupted. "Don't question it."
"And Mr. Kurai is definitely staying here with you," Aerith said. "Absolutely no walking for at least two weeks and another two weeks of crutches after that. Foot elevated."
Leon raised an eyebrow. He hadn't exactly intended to keep his stray. "Me?"
"You have more room than I do," Aerith said as she snipped one last bandage and tied it. "If you can get Mr. Kurai some clothing - a robe should do - I'll see what I can make from whatever pitiful things live in your fridge."
"Fine," Leon agreed, getting to his feet and heading back down the short hall to his bedroom. He didn't have an exceptionally large wardrobe to begin with, but he knew he had something that would work for Kurai.
A little digging and he'd found it, a gift from Sora from a land with dragons. Colorful silk poured over his fingers as he pulled the robe from his closet - he'd never even tried it on despite Sora's pleading, but he could easily imagine Kurai looking at home in the regal garment.
Aerith had already started digging things from the kitchen when Leon returned and he could smell the dead odor of whatever he'd last spilled on the stove being burned away.
"Here," Leon said, holding the silk down to where Kurai was propped on his side, watching Aerith in silence.
Kurai hissed in response as he reached upward, pulling his arm back quickly. "Can't..."
"Right, sorry." At least with Kurai covered, he no longer had to avert his eyes from bruises that strayed down Kurai's body.
And somehow he managed to get Kurai up onto the sofa, equally threadbare but not losing as much stuffing as the matching chair. His eyes met Kurai's one last time as he gathered up the damp blankets from the floor and marched off to hang them in the equally damp basement to ferment until the sun decided to force away the night's storm.
Aerith was humming when he returned, stirring something that smelled fairly good from a distance. Better than her usual cooking, at least. He knew not to let Kurai eat much, no matter how hungry the teen was.
"Why?" Kurai asked softly, halfway through watching Leon pack up Aerith's medical kit.
"Why help me?" Kurai demanded, reaching down limply in Leon's direction as though Leon had stopped paying attention to him. Leon was curious just how needy the young man was. It was almost amusing, really, how tangled Kurai was between wanting to live and wanting to die.
"I think Sora would want me to," Leon replied as he snapped the case shut. "And since I lost count of the running tally of how many times Sora and I have saved each other, it's safer to assume that I owe him one."
"Sora..." Kurai said almost wistfully. "He won't come here, though."
"No," Leon said. "He's in his own world. With Riku."
"Ramen!" Aerith announced loudly, holding out bowls. "Mr. Kurai, can you use chopsticks? Leon doesn't seem to have bothered washing any silverware this year."
"Yeah," Kurai said. "Riku could, so I can. I think."
"You don't have to be Riku," Leon said as he retrieved a pair of bowls from Aerith. "From now on, you're Kurai."
Leon stayed on the floor to eat, offering Aerith the easy chair. When Aerith had first arrived back at the house to find Kurai curled even closer to the heater, she'd managed to wrangle a bit of his story from him.
And if Leon hadn't dealt with the Organization firsthand, he might not have believed that one amongst them was capable of creating a perfect replica of a person. But these were the men who created heartless and sacrificed themselves.
"Eat slow," Aerith ordered Kurai, watching him closely. "When was the last time you had a good meal?"
"Never," Kurai replied. "I remember eating but... I've never eaten."
"Never?" Aerith repeated. "Eat very slowly, then. Wouldn't want you to get it wrong."
"Aerith..." Leon didn't want to antagonize Kurai - obviously Kurai had enough problems without Aerith heaping on an extra layer of tactless direction.
But Kurai laughed. "Didn't get anything else right. Might just screw this up, too."
Leon resigned himself to his noodles. Kurai would be a work in progress. And likely the end of his sanity.
Drink Lemonade! Tip Your Waitress!