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Having No Light

Title: Having No Light
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts 2
Part: 3/??
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Characters/Pairings: Leon, Repliku, full cast
Rating: MA Overall
Summary: Cloud complicates things.
Notes: -

"I have had enough heaving bosoms for the better part of this week," Kurai announced from the sofa before Leon had even gotten in the door.

Leon shrugged. "I think the most interesting thing I have is a history of Vieran armor and weaponry. You're the one who asked if Aerith had any books she could lend you."

"Yes, and I've learned to regret that, quickly," Kurai noted. "Do all girls read that stuff?"

Leon kicked off his boots. "Yuffie rather enjoyed the history of Vieran armor and weaponry."

Kurai frowned.

"Would you like me to ask if Cid has anything more appropriate for an idle-minded young man?" Leon tried with a smile. He knew exactly what Cid's normal reading material consisted of and with any luck wouldn't have to smuggle any of it home for Kurai's perusal.

"No," Kurai said quickly. "Perhaps, um... the weaponry?"

"Thought so."

"Cloud stopped by," Kurai said a few seconds later. "He wants you to meet him in the castle basement later. Tear out... 'that stuff'."

"Is that what he's been up to?" Leon asked. "He's been gone for awhile. Again. How do you...?"

"I remember him," Kurai admitted. "He kept calling me 'Riku' and then frowning because I wasn't."

"I'm sorry," Leon quickly said. He knew how much slips-of-the-tongue bothered Kurai, even though they were proving unavoidable at times.

"You don't have to apologize for him," Kurai commented. "He seemed kinda happy when I said I was a replica. Muttered something. Guess he didn't quite figure out that I remember him. I did call him by name."

Kurai shifted, swinging his legs down to skim along the floor. He stretched. With just a few of the bandages he'd had only a week prior, he was looking far healthier than Leon wanted to admit.

In a way, his guest had to be one of the best things about returning home each evening. If not the best.

"May I ask what you remember?" Leon asked as he sat down in the chair across from Kurai. "Of Cloud. We're known each other for a long time."

Kurai frowned for a moment before smiling. "You sure you want to know that?"

Leon raised an eyebrow. "I'll see if I can bring you a book or something."

"And dinner?"

"I'm not working tomorrow," Leon commented. "I'll meet Cloud after dinner. What do you want?"

"Less memories that aren't mine."

Digging for a minute in the hall closet for books he'd not-quite unpacked after his last move, Leon found the thick, beautifully illustrated volume he'd been seeking.

As if Kurai needed any more ideas.

Cloud, if anything, was exceptionally skilled in destroying everything. When Leon figured out where the noise was coming from, he wasn't surprised to see that Cloud had already gone to work as a one-man demolition crew in the large heartless-production chamber.

Why they hadn't destroyed the machinery before was anyone's guess. But it seemed senseless to keep it - especially knowing full well that it had been functional til the end.

"Cloud!" Leon called, pulling his gunblade from his side and holding it out.

"Leon." Cloud turned, his eyes narrow. He jumped over a pile of rubble, metal meeting metal as he swung his sword to crash against Leon's blade.

A perfectly pulled parry.

"When did you come back?"

"When did you start taking in strays?" Cloud asked in response.

Leon sighed. "You don't have to stay here. You can stay with me."

"On the floor?"

"In my bed, like when we were seven. You were seven," Leon corrected. "I was ten. Unless you've caught cooties from wherever you went."

Cloud kicked a piece of decimated metal.

"Fine. Cid's paying a good price to have this cleaned out. Thought you might want to help."

Leon nodded. He knew. He'd set the entire thing up, save for finding Cloud to accept the offer. That was purely serendipity.

"And I get a percentage?" Leon asked as he started surveying the scrap-metal. Dragging it all out would be the hard part.

"Yeah," Cloud said. "'Course. Not sure what this kinda scrap is good for, though."

"Neither am I," Leon admitted.

The demolition, thankfully, went smoothly. Dragging the metal out for scrap and the rest for hauling off to the wastelands would have to wait, though. It was the middle of the night by the time Leon and Cloud made their way to Leon's house. The mood had continued to lighten as they walked, leaving them laughing almost too loudly for the time of night. Any bystander would assume they'd been drinking, not just bringing up tale after tale of the other's spectacular childhood failures (because even in the instances of success, they tended to get caught by someone's mother).

Leon hushed Cloud when they stepped into his house, though, well aware that Kurai was asleep on the sofa.

"You're gonna stay, right?" Leon asked. Cloud nodded, his silhouette barely visible in the faint light coming in from the street.

Falling asleep beside Cloud seemed about as natural as any other thing - especially when dead tired and not entirely picky when it came to whom was beneath the other half of his blanket. Over the years he'd been forced to share with Cid, Aerith, Yuffie, at least three so-called wizards and probably the better part of a half-dozen others, including at least one faerie.

And certainly, he didn't even pause to think how the situation might look to Kurai.

Only when he woke to the mid-morning sun slowly toasting his face did Leon consider what he'd done. Without thinking, he'd invited Cloud to stay with him after he'd already promised Kurai the spare bedroom. He rolled over and out of the bed, peeling off the clothing he hadn't already discarded and heading towards the bathroom.

Loathe as he was to admit it, the shower was a nice, isolated place to think and besides, he needed a shower about as badly as he ever had.

Kurai was still better on the sofa, for the time being, Leon decided as he let the spray of water from the shower wash over him. He turned a bit, getting his hair wet but not really bothering to reach for the soap. Cloud wouldn't stay for too terribly long. Cloud didn't stay anywhere for long. Not even in the darkness.

Besides, there wasn't even a bed in the spare room, just some piles of unsorted debris, things that had been there when he'd purchased the house, and dust. Mostly dust.

By the time he'd gotten out of the shower and dried off, Leon could hear movement elsewhere in the house. He wondered if Aerith had invited herself over again, or if Kurai was attempting to crash about on his own. It had to be late - he should have checked on Kurai first.

A bit of guilt pulled him out to the main room, where Kurai was patiently flipping through the Vieran armor and weaponry book.

"Morning," Leon said. He frowned a bit when Kurai's gaze met his. There was something there that made him uneasy. He wondered if he and Cloud had woken the teen during the night or if it was something else.

"Bath sounds nice," Kurai said as he closed the book. "Help me?"

Leon nodded before crossing the room to scoop up Kurai. Even with proper nutrition, he was keeping his doll-like weight and physique.

"Did we wake you up?" Leon asked as he set Kurai down on the edge of the tub and turned to dig for the bag to go over Kurai's injured foot to keep the bandages dry. The rest could be taken off and the wounds beneath cleaned. It was a slow task, but Leon didn't mind as long as he stayed focused.

Kurai reached over to turn on the water, running his fingers under it loosely and smiling to himself.

"Cloud?" he asked almost suddenly. "Is he still asleep?"

"Probably," Leon said. "He'll be staying here for a bit, too. But he'll leave again. He always does."

"I know," Kurai said flatly. "I remember."

Leon nodded and reached to help Kurai untie and remove the sweatpants he'd pretty much adopted as his preferred form of clothing. He'd be stuck in the beautiful silk robe for the day, however, because he wasn't the only thing that needed to be washed.

Each time he bathed Kurai, he had to focus on the trivial things - bandages, washing Kurai's hair, anything but the raw lust that Kurai managed to stir in him.

"I like that book," Kurai said a minute later, as he undid some of his own bandages and frowned at seeing blood on a few of them. "Better than the bodice-ripping and such."

"I knew a pair of Viera women once," Leon explained as he leaned back against the wall. The tile floor was cold, but he didn't pay attention to it. Instead he simply watched Kurai ease himself into the half-filled tub and shudder briefly at the water temperature before reaching with both hands to adjust it. "There's nothing quite like being defeated in battle by someone wearing stiletto heels."

Kurai chuckled and slid down to get his hair wet. "I can imagine. I think. I think I can imagine."

Leon smiled ever so slightly. That had to be the most positive thing he'd heard Kurai say during the last few days.

"You'll be able to walk again soon," Leon said. "Maybe you can go find a nice Viera girl of your own."

Kurai frowned. "I thought I was staying here - with you."

And that was exactly when Leon realized that perhaps his one-sided feelings were not so one-sided after all.

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