"So. You got scary," Leon says, empty potion bottle clinking as he sets it down. He's not sure if he's joking.

Cloud doesn't laugh. "You got trigger-happy," he retorts.

"You come into my city, flapping that thing around-" Leon nods at the wing stretching out from between Cloud's shoulder blades. "What was I supposed to think?"

Cloud makes a noise in his throat that might be dismissal, might be amusement. "That I was a refugee, maybe."

Leon looks him over. "You're not our usual," he says flatly, and there's a beat of silence. He realizes that, maybe, this isn't how he wants to have this conversation. "I'm sorry I attacked you." Pointed.

Cloud turns his head, watches him with slow appraisal. He nods after a moment. "How's the burn?" he asks.

"The potion's kicking in." Leon experimentally passes his gloved fingers over the welts on his sword arm, winces slightly. "You got me pretty good."

"I'd apologize," Cloud says, "but you were shooting at me."

"Fair enough."

Cloud doesn't smile, but there's something unmistakably amused around the corner of his eyes. It's been nine years, and everything has changed, and this should not be this easy.

Leon lets it be.


A/N: so i heard stellar and zeff were back and i couldn't resist drabbling a little. nothing serious, just feeling out these nerdlords again.