Title: Poker Night
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts 2
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Characters/Pairings: Leon/Cloud, Aerith, Yuffie
Summary: No one ever wins at Poker Night, which isn't really about poker anyway.
Notes: for Emily, as a long, long-belated Cafe hitfic. Also, from my first GenPrompt Bingo card - 'Poker Night'
Aerith insisted they not call it 'Poker Night', even though they were definitely playing poker. No one ever brought more than a handful of change and either they were all so good - Yuffie's proclamation - or so horrible - Leon's assessment - that they could play all evening on just that. On occassion, Yuffie didn't bother with her own change and just used Leon's.
Cloud bounced between a sort of exasperated amusement and actual enjoyment, though Leon wasn't ever going to comment on that fact. Not when it had taken weeks to convince Cloud to start coming. Honestly, they were all old friends. The cards came second to keeping in touch, which had been hard at first when pulled in different directions with Radiant Garden's restoration.
Aerith told stories. Yuffie told stories. Leon complained with as much good nature as he could muster. Cloud listened and nodded and hinted that eventually, he might detail more of where he'd been and what he'd done. No one pushed.
Leon looked forward to Poker Night, but not enough that he'd ever mention it outside of Poker Night. He didn't want to risk losing his thing. During the days, he was pulled in a thousand directions and asked for a thousand directions and Poker Night was his quiet reprieve.
That night, Yuffie was failing out early, having bet too much with too few cards to back it up, and Aerith was stalling for such long periods that Leon was fairly sure she kept forgetting it was even her turn. Cloud was acting as dealer and didn't bother prodding her on.
"I think I need to fold," Aerith said with a little headshake. She glanced up and back out Leon's kitchen window. "It's getting late anyway."
"I'll walk you home," Yuffie said quickly. "I'm getting nowhere and my head's not in it. No one's fault, just... tired, I think. Long day."
Leon nodded. He knew all about long days. A handful of pleasantries later and he and Cloud were the only ones at the table, a small pile of coins, buttons and other baubles between them.
"Want to keep going?" Cloud asked. Leon nodded and watched Cloud shuffle the deck. Aerith was the one who couldn't shuffle. Cards always ended up on the floor. Yuffie could flat out do magic tricks. Cloud just... shuffled. And dealt, in silence.
When Leon looked at his cards, he had two pairs, which he figured was good enough. At least for the low-caliber games they managed.
Cloud pushed a couple of coins into the pile and swapped out a card. Leon caught him frown.
"We don't have to keep playing," Leon commented.
"I don't know what else I'd do with myself for the evening," Cloud admitted.
Leon promptly said something stupid, mostly because it was late and he spoke before he really thought, which wasn't a common thing for him. But also, he knew he could laugh it off as a joke--
He'd forgotten that Cloud could move that fast, leaving cards and coins and buttons on the table as he was pulled up and out of his chair and into a deep, needy kiss. Leon dug his fingers into Cloud's hair, keeping Cloud close until finally he needed to catch his breath.
"I--" Cloud looked a little like he was expecting rejection.
Leon gestured in the direction of his bedroom. If nothing else, it was late and they could figure out this new twist in their friendship with their clothes still on.
Though he did steal a peek at Cloud's cards the next morning, abandoned on the table with the coins and buttons and baubles. And Leon couldn't help but smile. He really had won, finally, at Poker Night.
Drink Lemonade! Tip Your Waitress!