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: Again, odd things happen. The puzzle pieces are being placed. The full picture is coming into view.
Notes: It's the sexy AU... *laughs*
The hot water ran over his body, tracing odd lines over his muscles on its way to the drain.
He didn't know what he wanted. Or, more correctly, he never could really tell anyone what he wanted. He claimed to be a loner... But he cherished the time he had with Sora, and Aerith and Yuffie. They didn't cling, often.
It was nice to have someone who... No, Cloud was just a heartless... One who was going to make him forget the shadows that lurked outside his door.
Little did he know that at that moment, as slightly soapy streams of water trailed down his body, Cloud was a shadow outside his door.
Cloud walked through first district, not seeing another person until he noticed a small body curled in a doorway. At first he thought the girl was asleep, but the second he got close, her eyes snapped open.
"What do you..." She stopped, meeting Cloud's eyes. It was the girl with the braided hair that he'd bumped into earlier. Of all the miserable luck. This was not his night.
"Sorry," Cloud mumbled, walking away. His feet were cold. And the girl's idea of sleeping in a doorway seemed functional.
Cloud turned to see the girl standing up and shrugging off a pair of blankets. "What?"
"Take one of these," she said, offering a blanket. "You look cold."
He didn't say anything as he took what was offered.
"You don't have anyone to stay with? Where's your clothes?" The girl kept asking questions. "Get thrown out?"
With a glare, Cloud turned and left. He knew he should thank the girl, but now was not the time. The last thing he wanted was a long conversation, and that's about what it seemed like he was going to end up with, if he stayed.
"See ya?" The girl was settling back down to sleep.
Cloud turned the corner, realizing he'd walked right to Cid's shop. And the doorway here would more than suffice. Once he'd figured out how to cover both his body and wing with the small ragged blanket, he let his thoughts wander to the events of the day.
Leon was on his knees in the shower, oblivious to the water raining down on him as he replayed the afternoon in his mind. His hands were nothing compared to how Cloud's mouth had worked over him earlier, but without the blond here...
He didn't think to curse himself for shutting the other man out. At the moment he was lost within pleasure, no matter where it came from. Each motion of his hands over his slick arousal recalled some vivid memory of being intimately touched. Or touching. Cloud had been desperately hard in his hands.
He let out a low moan as orgasm overtook him, spilling himself over his hands only to be quickly washed away. Maybe... Cloud didn't want a relationship. That much was clear. Maybe... He could allow himself a little fun.
Surely Cloud was somewhere safe for the night. Turning off the water, Leon stumbled from the shower to dry himself quickly and fall into bed.
A sharp kick in the side woke Cloud from a dream of the past. He opened his eyes only to realize Cid was standing over him, cigarette in one hand.
"What the fuck are you doing?" Cid asked. "Crazy bastard."
"Sleeping," Cloud replied slowly, trying to memorize some of the dream, but it was gone too quickly. There had been something, someone. He sighed.
"In my fucking doorway? You'll scare off customers."
"Thanks, Cid." Untangling himself from the blanket, Cloud stood up slowly, stretching his body out, wing last. Folding it back against his body, he threw the blanket over his shoulders, half to hide the black oddity and half to block the chilly morning air.
"Get in here," Cid said, putting his cigarette between his lips and using both hands to pull Cloud inside. "Just why the fuck are you half-dressed and sleeping out there?" The pilot paused. "Do I even fucking want to know?"
"Well..." Cloud wasn't sure how to explain, really. "Um..."
Cid hit himself in the head with one hand after he closed the shop door. "I don't want to fucking hear this, do I?"
Cloud sat down on the threadbare sofa and stared at his feet, which were quite dirty by this point. "I accidentally got locked out." It was the truth. He was locked out, and it was an accident he'd upset Leon enough to get locked out.
"Where are your fucking clothes?"
"I wasn't wearing them." There was no way to lie around that fact, anyway.
"I'll find you something to wear. Fuck. Why didn't you knock? Or go to the cafe?" Cid was walking into the back of the shop.
"Cafe?" Cloud asked loudly.
"They're always open, whether the sign says so or not!" Cid yelled back before reappearing with an armload of clothes, which he threw over to Cloud. "Get dressed. We'll get breakfast."
"I can't afford..." Cloud began, happily finding himself some socks in the pile.
"Fuck it. I'm buying," Cid said. "And I expect to hear what the fuck caused you to be out in the streets last night too."
"Can I cut this?" Cloud asked, holding up a shirt. "My wing..."
Cid nodded, producing a pocketknife. "Aerith was talking about that last night. Weird fucking thing, but it looks good on you."
Cloud smiled for a second before remembering it was Aerith who'd caused his problem. He quickly slashed the shirt and put it on, arranging the blanket back over his body afterward. Cid had even found him a pair of shoes to wear, thankfully.
"Thanks, Cid," Cloud said as he tied the laces on the ugly things. They were better than nothing though.
"Let's go eat. I want my morning tea."
They were no sooner to the cafe than the black-haired waitress appeared with Cid's tea.
"You're late," she chided, setting a cup and teapot down before turning to look at Cloud. "And you!"
"You two have met?" Cid asked.
"I know every body in town," the waitress replied. "This one was here twice yesterday and I thought I'd helped him out..." She trailed off when she realized Cloud still hadn't looked up.
"Leave me alone," Cloud said slowly, eyes on the moogle-made candle.
"I'll deal with him," Cid said, waving the waitress away. "The usual. And the same for him."
"Tea?" she asked, snapping the candle out with her bare hand.
Cloud looked up and after a moment he nodded.
The waitress sauntered off the second the candle re-lit, only to appear a second later with another cup. She poured straight from Cid's pot.
"I have another one on for ya," she said, sitting down and smoothing her long black button down skirt and white apron. "Now, what happened to the plan?"
Cloud glared at her. "The plan changed midway."
"What fucking plan?" Cid demanded, lighting a new cigarette off the candle.
"This is not your business," Cloud cut in.
"Well it should be," Cid replied. "It's all our business after you ended up sleeping on the street. Either of us would have taken you in no matter what time of night."
"I needed to be alone anyway," Cloud replied, annoyed at the constant questioning. His eyes darted across the cafe as he noticed the girl with the braids sit down at another table. Their eyes caught and she waved quickly.
The waitress saw the girl too and quickly excused herself.
"Everyone in this town is crazy," Cloud said after a moment.
"What makes you say that?" Cid asked, leaning back, tea in hand.
"That girl, the waitress, Leon, you, me... We're all crazy," Cloud explained.
"You're the crazy one. The women who run this place are nosy but willing to help anyone, especially those who are new in town. That girl probably just lost her world. There's nothing wrong with me. And Leon..." Cid paused, putting the pieces together. He choked on a swallow of tea. "Leon?!"
Cloud put his head down. This was going to be a horrible day. Luckily the blond-haired cook appeared just then with two plates of food. She glared over at her co-worker, who was lost in conversation across the room. "Here you boys go. Need anything else?" She set the plates down and smiled.
Cid shook his head and poked at Cloud, who finally looked up. "I wouldn't know where to begin."
The woman laughed before heading back to the kitchen. "We're always open, if you figure it out."
"You want me to what?" Cloud couldn't believe his ears.
"You're fucking broke and you already explained you can't bash shadows for money," Cid replied. "This will help us both."
Cloud grumbled. The last thing he wanted to do was spend eight hours a day rearranging various sizes of guppy blocks, or whatever they were.
"Eight hours a day moving gumby blocks? That's..."
"Gummi blocks," Cid corrected, putting out his latest cigarette. "You can start now, if you'd like."
After a few brief thoughts of other things he could be doing, like explaining to Aerith and Yuffie where his borrowed clothes were or trying to con Leon into giving his sword back, Cloud nodded, and began his new job.
Sometime after noon, the black-haired waitress came running into the back of the shop with a bag of food, which she quickly handed to Cloud.
"Lunch!" she said, before scurrying off without asking for payment.
Cloud shrugged and went to find Cid. They hadn't been charged for breakfast either, something Cid noted happened on occasion. He wondered how the cafe stayed in business for a moment before Cid snatched the bag away to check what was inside. Maybe it was part of taking care of the new people in town.
Leon had collected Cloud's belongings and bagged what he could, setting them near the door. He wasn't sure Cloud would want to stay with him after all that had happened.
But Leon was firm in his resolution from the night before. If it truly meant nothing, he'd play along. Fun was something long lost to him, for the most part.
Just then there was a knock at the door. Leon wondered just how awkward this would be and what end result would be reached. Spiky hair greeted him, but it wasn't Cloud.
"Leon! I'm back for a few days to get supplies - well, I sent the guys to get supplies and whatever. So I have some free time." Sora didn't bother to hide his meaning as he strode into the house and flopped down on the couch, legs apart and head back.
Leon licked his lips as he closed the door.
Aerith and Yuffie had shown up at Cid's midway through the afternoon. Both latched on to Cloud and chewed him out for not showing up that morning.
"Can we take him shopping?" Aerith asked, batting her eyes at Cid.
Cloud looked helplessly at Cid as the pilot thought it over.
"Get him the fuck out of here, but let me pay him first," Cid replied before leaving to retrieve some money.
"We're going to have so much fun!" Yuffie said, clasping her hands and rocking back on her heels. "But why are you here?"
"So I can afford to shop with you two," Cloud replied. He hoped they wouldn't drag him into any dress shops. Aerith would probably get ideas again.
The women took that as an acceptable answer and once Cloud had his day's pay in hand, they dragged him out of Cid's and towards a shop run by three talking ducks.
"This one!" Aerith cried, holding out a staff for Cloud's inspection. "Isn't it perfect?"
"Nice." So far every one Aerith had looked had been 'perfect'. He sighed. "How strong is it?"
One of the ducks, the one in green, Cloud had forgotten their names already, rattled off a plethora of information. Aerith nodded and looked to Cloud.
"Aerith, it's your decision."
"But do you think it'll be okay?" She giggled. "I need my bodyguard's opinion!"
Half an hour later, they left the shop, Aerith clutching the first staff she'd looked at. Once into an open area she twirled it about and leapt at an imaginary enemy. She may not have had the same power she once did, but the form was still there. Cloud smiled, watching her for a moment.
"Go Aerith!" Yuffie yelled. The ninja had stocked up on potions that clicked against one another in their bag as she bounced after Aerith.
"Come on, Cloud!" Aerith called, motioning for him to follow them into second district. "You need new clothes. And I want to stop in the dress shop too." She winked, and Cloud groaned before following.
He had enough money to buy himself a few outfits and new shoes - enough to get him through the month. Actually, once he thought about it, he'd never owned this much clothing. And Aerith had kept the dress shop visit brief, thankfully.
As they crossed back into Third District, they ran into a certain pair of talking animals minus one annoying teen. After exchanging pleasantries each group went on their way.
"That must mean Sora is at Leon's," Aerith said. "You should stop in while Yuffie and I put these things away." She held up the bags she was carrying. "And grab your sword so we can start practicing. I'm so excited!"
Yuffie tagged behind Aerith into their house, bouncing and babbling about how much fun it would be to spar with Cloud again.
Tentatively Cloud knocked at Leon's door, wondering if Leon wouldn't just ignore him. Instead, a moment later the door swung open. "Cloud?"
Cloud looked down at who'd opened the door. Aerith was correct. A rather flushed Sora stood there, blue eyes staring up into Cloud's own.
Yet neither moved. Sora didn't ask Cloud in and Cloud didn't try to push past him to where he could see his things sitting.
"What are you doing here? I figured you'd be at the Coliseum. There's apparently someone new there but I can't fight him yet. But I want to." Sora's enthusiasm to fight showed through his obvious...
Cloud looked away, realizing he'd obviously interrupted a rather private moment. Sora's outfit was baggy, but not totally unrevealing. "I just need my things." He pointed at the pile.
"Things?" Sora turned, noticing the pile for the first time. "Oh. Were you..." He left the question unasked.
"I've been staying with Leon," Cloud replied, wondering just how that would be taken. Where was Leon, anyway? Cloud finally pushed inside and grabbed what he could of his armor and clothing and heaving it past Sora and out the door. Finally he grabbed his sword and without a word, went out the door himself.
"Um, see you later, Cloud?" Sora said, a bit confused. Leon? Cloud? He paused as he watched Cloud kick his belongings down the sidewalk towards Aerith and Yuffie's house. Together? Sora shut the door and leaned against it, trying to imagine the two entwined on Leon's bed. The thought was...
"Sora? Who was it?" Leon walked out of the bedroom. He wasn't wearing much.
"Huh? Oh, nothing..." Sora said, images burning in his mind.
"He is a hard one to get along with," Yuffie said. "Trust me, we know."
Cloud threw the last of his armor into a pile in the corner of the girls' kitchen and sat down on a chair. Either they were oblivious to what was going on next door or they were purposely ignoring it.
"But you can stay with us if you'd like. Or Cid. I bet he'd take you in," Aerith said, giggling. "Of course, it'd be constant cussing and hearing about those ships he works on."
Cloud groaned before excusing himself to the bathroom to change back into his normal clothes, the ones Yuffie had washed and mended for him.
"Ready?" he asked when he came back out feeling a little better about the situation. There was something about that outfit that was comforting, but he wasn't sure why.
Aerith nodded and picked up her staff. It was long and silver-colored with harsh-looking rounded tips. Yuffie grabbed Conformer and followed the pair out of the house and down into the open area below.
It was full of shadows. Aerith grabbed onto Cloud's arm, forgetting she was armed, but the black creatures scattered, revealing the same girl with the braids fighting a remaining pair. With a quick swipe she finished them, grabbing the resulting money quickly.
"You!" both she and Cloud cried, seeing each other again.
"You scared them off! But how..." She paused, putting her battered sword back in place against her body.
"I have a contract. We can't touch each other. They somehow know that and leave when I show up." Cloud couldn't believe he was explaining to the girl, but... She had helped him out.
"Oh. I kinda wanted to get them, I mean, the money and all..." She trailed off. "You still have my blanket, too!"
Cloud almost smiled, stepping forward and pulling the last of his day's pay from where he'd transferred it to. "Here. I'll give you more tomorrow. And your blanket back."
The girl looked at the money and smiled before excusing herself quickly.
"You know her?" Yuffie asked.
"We keep running into each other," Cloud said. "She was sleeping on the street last night too. Cid said she's new - just lost her world."
Aerith nodded. "There's more all the time."
Aerith seemed to remember quite a bit of her previous training, even if it wasn't on a conscious level. Each move she made was graceful and calculated, but she didn't have the strength to inflict much damage. Cloud barely swayed even when she hit him as hard as she could.
Well, she claimed it was, but Cloud didn't really think she'd use her full force on a friend.
"What if I was a heartless?" Cloud asked, stalking toward Aerith and trying to look menacing.
"You aren't!" Aerith replied, giggling. Yuffie joined in from where she was sitting.
Cloud leapt into the air and stretched out his wing, effectively startling Aerith. She swung at him before he could land and connected twice as hard as she had before.
Cloud still tackled her and knocked them both over. Luckily he could use his wing to break their wall and he gently set Aerith on the ground. "You okay?" He was on his knees next to her, looking at her dazed expression with a bit of worry.
"You scared me!" She whapped him with the staff again.
Cloud rubbed his arm where the previous blow had hit. It hurt a bit. There was hope. With a smile he helped her to her feet and pulled his sword. "Hit me again."
Aerith tried until she was out of breath.
"You got him twice!" Yuffie called when Aerith finally asked for a break.
"Twice?" Aerith repeated, a bit disappointed. "Oh." She looked over at the ninja, who was scrambling to her feet. "You do better!"
"I will," Yuffie replied, not wasting a second as she lunged at Cloud, a battle cry escaping her lips.
Those weren't battle cries coming from Leon's, but none of the three heard them. They were too caught up in old times until late in the evening.
Drink Lemonade! Tip Your Waitress!