Title: One Wing
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts
Disclaimer: No implied ownership, no financial gain, only fanwork.
Characters/Pairings: Implied pre-fic Leon/Sora and Cloud/Riku, eventual Leon/Cloud, Sephiroth/Riku, etc. Everyone/Everyone. Full cast.
Rating: MA overall
Summary: The morning after. The mourning after. And about re-arranging the kitchen.
Notes: It's the sexy AU... *laughs* This chapter is for Trysten.
Sephiroth... He remembered everything. Or as much everything as he thought he could remember. The one-winged angel who died at his hands. And now he had one wing of his own.
Yes, he had killed Sephiroth, hadn't he? Somehow?
When sleep finally came for him, it was blessed.
Cloud opened his eyes slowly, wondering why he hadn't been kicked in the side yet. After all, it felt like morning. He moved to stretch in the dark and jumped when his hand hit another warm body.
Leon... Cloud blinked a couple times hoping he hadn't woken...
"Cloud?" Too late. The room was pitch black but Cloud was sure he could see Leon's ice blue eyes shining in the odd light emanating from his own.
"Is it morning?"
Cloud sighed and looked away. That wasn't exactly the best line after the previous evening. The previous wonderful evening, which he hoped would carry through to the upcoming evening...
"You need to go to work?"
Cloud was surprised. He'd figured Leon would have shut down after his question and not bothered talking to him for a week or so.
"Yeah." Cloud looked back over at Leon and smiled, hoping he had good enough aim in the dark to meet Leon's lips with his own. Leon surprised Cloud again by kissing back and untangling an arm from the blankets to reach out to awkwardly paw at Cloud's back.
"You need a Cafe candle," Cloud said once they paused for breath.
Cloud smiled as he tried to untangle himself from the blankets. He didn't even think he'd fallen asleep on the side of the bed he was now on. And he was covered in...
Luckily Leon couldn't see the expression that formed on Cloud's face as Cloud recalled the odd late night encounter they'd shared.
He stumbled over what felt suspiciously like a pile of belts on his way to the light switch.
"Close your eyes," Cloud said as he flicked the switch. He closed his own eyes for a moment as well, though he knew his own Mako blue wonders didn't have the same poor reaction to sudden brightness that Leon's would. It was just something he seemed to do naturally.
When he did open his eyes, he looked over at Leon, who was rubbing at his eyes while trying to untangle his legs from the blankets.
"You getting up?"
"May as well," Leon replied, not giving Cloud another look as he stretched and stood, walking past on his way to the bathroom as Cloud quickly dressed.
Cloud pulled his shirt on and looked around for his cloak before remembering that it had gotten hung on one of the kitchen chairs sometime during the evening. But he couldn't remember exactly when it had gotten hung there. Either way, it had a few new stains on it from the aftermath of pushing Leon up against the table... And pushing Leon back onto the table...
And taking him, just like that, sprawled on the hard wood...
Cloud swallowed hard at the next thought that poked its way into his mind: Sephiroth once had taken him like that, but it had been on a big oak desk. In Sephiroth's office. And it had been so amazingly...
Cloud blinked a couple times before realizing Leon was standing next to him.
"I asked if you wanted breakfast or if Cid was going to feed you," Leon said, looking as annoyed as he could despite being naked and sleep-tousled.
"Oh," Cloud said quickly. "Um, Cid will probably take care of breakfast."
"You, um, coming back here later?" Leon asked after a long pause that had them alternating between looking at each other, the floor, and the table.
"Sure," Cloud said a moment later, trying to smile as he shook out his cloak.
Another minute passed awkwardly without words before Cloud finally stalked over to Leon, kissed him quickly, and silently exited.
Of course, before he made it two feet a hand was on his arm. But it wasn't Leon.
Cloud turned quickly, trying to figure out who would be bothering him so early.
"Yuffie? What are you doing up? It's..." Actually, he wasn't sure what time it was. Time didn't really seem to move correctly and it was always dark anyway. He'd come to rely on everyone else to let him know what it was time to be doing.
"I know it's early but I couldn't sleep because..." Yuffie stopped when she realized Cloud was glaring at her.
"Can it wait til later?" Cloud asked, trying to pry Yuffie's hand from his arm. "I have a few things on my mind."
Yuffie pouted and let her arms fall to her sides before suddenly smiling.
"Lunch! Meet me at the cafe for lunch," she said, clasping her hands and rocking back on her heels quickly. "I need to talk to you."
Cloud just turned and headed through the door to Second District. If anything, he needed a little time before meeting another human being. And going straight to First District would definitely involve human contact before he was ready.
Then again, punching one of the annoying cafe ladies sounded almost like a good idea. He'd seen them out sparring with each another one afternoon, so he knew they at least thought they could be fighters.
And Leon... What the hell was he going to do about Leon? Cloud kicked a loose rock across the stone alley, not noticing it almost hit a yellow-eyed shadow that had appeared a split second before.
"I don't even know what I want from him," Cloud muttered as he turned the corner out into the main area of Second District. The little shadow scampered in front of him, almost underfoot, as he reached the stairs.
"You again? What now?"
The shadow just cocked its head and chased behind when Cloud kept walking. It seemed aggravated when Cloud reached for the door to First District, circling his feet and tugging lightly at his red cloak.
"That's right, you can't follow, can you?" Cloud had half-listened to Leon's explanation of why First District was safe from the dark creatures, but hadn't understood most of it. It didn't really matter as long as he could enter, anyway.
Shaking the creature free, Cloud waved to it as he pushed through the door.
"I'll visit you after work." Great. Now he was talking to a shadow. He walked the rest of the way to Cid's without even mumbling to himself. No amount of words could express the jumble of emotions running around in his body. Leon. Sephiroth. Even Riku...
Cloud paused with his hand clutching the doorknob to Cid's shop.
Leon. Sephiroth. Riku. And it still seemed like he was missing someone. But before he could figure out what else his mind had misplaced, the door flew open and Cloud fell inward, landing awkwardly at Cid's feet with his wing out.
"What the fuck are you doing down there?" Cid demanded, precariously balancing his mug of tea and a cigarette in one hand while the other stayed unconsciously on the door handle.
"I missed my daily kick in the side," Cloud shot back, trying to scramble to his feet.
"Want breakfast? From what Aerith told me last night, I'm sure you're fucking hungry this morning." Cid winked as he shifted his cigarette back to his mouth before closing the shop door and following Cloud towards the cafe.
Once Cloud had left, Leon had walked back into the bedroom and sank back onto the bed, not even bothering to cover his nakedness with one of the blankets. Instead he was lost in his mind, trying to reconcile what had happened during the last day and what had happened in his past.
One thing he knew, he wanted Cloud to come back. Not that he felt himself particularly inviting. Even with Sora, it was just...
Ice blue eyes blinked back to alertness as someone knocked on the door. With a slight noise of annoyance, Leon sat up and surveyed the room for where he'd thrown his pants. By the time he'd reached the door, he had them all but buttoned.
She nodded, her arms wrapped around herself as she looked Leon over.
"Do up your pants. I'm not Cloud," she said, not bothering to ask if she could come in.
"What do you want? I was just going to..."
"Can we talk?" Yuffie interrupted. She crossed the room and sat down at the kitchen table, vaguely curious why it was a little to the left of its normal position. "And do you have anything to eat? I'm starving."
"Eat what you want," Leon said, trying not to be too annoyed with her. He closed the door, buttoned his pants, and walked over to lean against the counter.
"Thanks!" Yuffie exclaimed as she leapt up and bounced over to the fridge. Once she'd sat back down at the table with an armload of food, she looked back over at Leon.
"I'm growing," Yuffie shot back as she looked over what she'd procured. "But the truth is, I skipped dinner last night."
Leon just watched as Yuffie dug into a container with a spoon he'd missed seeing her grab. After a couple of bites, dark brown eyes stared up at him.
"Actually," Yuffie confessed, "I was out all night. I left Aerith a note so she wouldn't worry, but to tell the truth, well... She's the reason I didn't want to be there."
"What?" That peaked Leon's interest. It was almost impossible to get into a fight with Aerith. And surely nothing could have happened that was bad enough for Yuffie to leave.
Yuffie held up a finger as she finished chewing a large mouthful of food.
"Okay," she announced once she'd swallowed. "And this is great by the way. Did you make it? But Aerith, she's been acting weird around me. Like, I think she knows and is creeped out by it."
"Have you asked her?" Leon ran his fingers idly over a small flaw in the countertop.
"No!" Yuffie exclaimed, banging her spoon loudly against the container she was eating from. "I mean, what if she doesn't know and then I told her? Then she might get more weird. Or what if she does know and it's a big problem and she wants me to move out? Or what if she..."
"Yuffie!" Leon snapped. "Take a deep breath. Eat. And then go talk to Aerith."
She made a face that looked halfway between fear and pure shock.
"I can't do that! I mean, what if she..."
"It's better than living with it bottled up," Leon said, looking back at the tiny flaw in the countertop.
"Take your own advice sometime."
"Whatever." Leon stalked back to his room and shut the door. He didn't even bother turning off the light before lying back down on the bed.
The bed. It smelled different. It smelled like Cloud now. Cloud. Cloud wasn't going to leave him. No...
Leon fell asleep on top of the covers, wearing his only his leather pants and with the ceiling light on, thinking about the fact that Cloud's intentions seemed to be true.
Everyone. Everyone before had betrayed him, left him, used him. Even Sora... Sora was just using him. But he'd gotten so used to it. And he had gotten to the point where he knew he was using Sora too.
He wondered, briefly, in his last coherent moments before sleep, if he could remember how not to be hurt.
"What do you mean you haven't seen her?" Aerith was following the black-haired waitress around the cafe as Cloud and Cid walked over. "I've looked everywhere for her. And you're the only place open all night! You had to have seen her."
"Aerith, what's wrong?" Cloud asked the second he was close enough to be heard.
"Cloud!" Aerith bounded over to him and grabbed his shirt. "Have you seen Yuffie? She left a note and then vanished into..."
"What the fuck are you doing?" Cid asked, finally walking over to the pair after lighting another cigarette to replace the one he'd just put out in an ashtray on the far table. The guest whose candle he'd lit the cigarette off huffed loudly but Cid paid no heed as he gently removed Aerith from Cloud's front.
"Yuffie's missing and..."
"Aerith, I'm having lunch with her. She's fine. I saw her just..." Cloud started, only to be cut off.
"Why didn't you tell me? I've been so worried about her. I mean, I figured she was just going out to hunt shadows, so I waited up, but she didn't come back!" Aerith clutched her hands to her chest. She did look like she'd been up all night.
"Why don't you three sit down and buy some food instead of standing around?" The black-haired waitress had slid up beside them, unnoticed. "This is a cafe, not a soap opera."
"Fuck off, woman. Get me some goddamn tea," Cid replied, mock-glaring back at her.
"Sit the fuck down and I'll get you your goddamn tea, sir," the woman responded without raising her voice, her long skirt swishing around her feet as she turned and walked off, head held high.
Leon blinked a couple times after waking up before remembering there was most likely a ninja enjoying a growth spurt in his kitchen. That girl could eat.
Sure enough, when he opened his bedroom door, Yuffie was still sitting at the table. Only now it was free of dishes.
"What time is it?" Leon asked, scratching his side absently.
"Almost lunch time. I went to talk to Aerith, but she wasn't there," Yuffie said dejectedly. "I wanted to see if you wanted to come to lunch with me and Cloud though."
"You're having lunch with Cloud?"
"Yeah, I ran into him earlier and... You know, I've been meaning to ask this all morning - Did you move the table?" Yuffie seemed to be measuring distances with her eyes as she asked.
Leon put a hand to his head and didn't say a word.
"Leon? Did I say something wrong?" Yuffie stood up, stretching as she did so.
"I should get dressed," Leon mumbled as he walked back to his room and swung the door shut.
Bradey still hadn't quite gotten over her host's appearance. But as she ate the small meal he had prepared for her, she realized he wasn't anywhere near as frightening as he'd seemed the day before when he'd slammed her into the wall.
As calmly as she could, while being scared half to death, she had explained what was going on in Traverse Town and that she was planning on heading back as soon as she could. She also had explained, as best she could, what Sora was doing and that it sometimes took him a week or more to search a world for his friends.
Vincent, as the man had introduced himself, just nodded as he listened to her talk. He had said less as the evening wore on, instead just filling in slight details that Bradey was unsure of, such as the name of the woman in the pink dress who sometimes brought Cid dinner.
He had offered no explanation for any of his abnormalities, and Bradey did not ask. She had already constructed her own explanation anyway, based on her experiences with a very similar looking coworker. One who even had a similar claw, though Cloud's was simply decorative.
Vincent's was not, as Bradey had come to realize when she had caught her host tinkering awkwardly with one of the fingers that did not seem to be bending correctly. Fixing it had seemed to require at least two hands and without even inquiring, Bradey had offered her assistance.
"I can fix things," she had said before taking the precision pliers from Vincent's good hand. "Let me try."
"It was damaged when..." And Vincent had stopped before finishing his sentence, instead he had just leaned back to watch Bradey attempt to fix his claw.
Drink Lemonade! Tip Your Waitress!