Author's Note: Yea! I finished this story! Now I can get back to my studies. Oh, one more thing, just like at the movies, the credits will be at the bottom.
Disclaimer: For the last time, I do not own Kingdom Hearts. I never will own Kingdom Hearts. Square and Disney own Kingdom Hearts. (But I do wish that I owned Leon/Squall)
Chapter Eight: Revelations
When Cloud and Aerith came to the full realization that Yuffie had been lying about her amnesia that day, they began to brainstorm about what could possibly have made her want to do that.
"Okay, let's think about this for a minute," Cloud began. "Yuffie's been acting like she has amnesia, but for how long? And why?"
"I think yesterday she really didn't remember, but today..." Aerith trailed off. "Today, she remembered everything. She knew this morning at breakfast. I know she did. Remember, she knew what she wanted to order without looking at the menu?"
"Yeah. So, yesterday, it was genuine. But today it was an act." Cloud furrowed his brow in thought. "Why would she feel like she needs to pretend to have amnesia?"
"Oh my gosh!" Aerith yelled excitedly, covering her mouth with her hands. "We've been treating her differently. All of us have. Even Leon."
"So, are you saying that she's doing this because she wants the attention?" the blond asked confusedly.
"Yes, but she's not craving attention from you, me, or Cid."
"You don't think...No, she couldn't possibly love...He would never..." Cloud stopped, dumbfounded. "There has to be another reason, Aerith."
"No, Cloud, there's not. You've seen how much gentler he's been with her. And this morning, before breakfast, he nearly kissed her. That has to be it!" the Flower Girl said. "What else could it be?"
"I don't know, but we better find out before she gets herself into trouble." Cloud slid out of the booth at the café and pulled Aerith out with him. They began hurriedly walking toward the exit to look for Yuffie, knowing that it was only a matter of time before Leon discovered the truth. And knowing him, he would be furious at the lie.
Leon still stood in front of the hotel door, where Yuffie had blown up at him. He felt as though he had been standing there for an eternity, but in all actuality, it was only five minutes. He kept replaying the scene in his head:
"Why didn't you tell me? Why did you lie about it? Damn it, Yuffie! Answer me!
"Why?! Why?! How can you possibly ask that?! You must be stupider than I thought, Squall! Before I had amnesia, you hated me. Don't try to deny it! I know you did. But while you thought that I had no memories, you were kinder to me than you have ever been before. Do you know what it feels like to know that the man you love hates you? Do you have any idea how much heartache you've caused me? You're the cause of all my pain!"
Leon still couldn't believe it. "She thought that I hated her? I've been such an idiot!" he mumbled. "How could I have been so stupid? Of course she would think that with the way I've been treating her." Wait a minute, the voice in his head said, did she just say that she loved you? What are you waiting for, go get her! "No, I can't," he told himself. "I'm the cause of her pain." He knew what he had to do.
He was still standing there, arguing with himself when Cloud and Aerith caught up with him. "Um, Leon, where's Yuffie?" Aerith asked quietly, fearing the answer.
Forcing himself to pay attention, he muttered, "She ran off when I found out she didn't have amnesia."
"I was afraid of that," Aerith said.
Turning to look at her angrily, Leon yelled, "You knew? And you didn't tell me? How could you--" but he was cut off with the glare Cloud sent his way.
"We just figured it out ourselves, Leonheart. So, go cool off while we think about what to do," the blond said angrily. "After all, Yuffie wouldn't have run off if you hadn't been so angry with her," he continued accusingly.
Aerith put her hand on Cloud's arm to calm him down. "Cloud, we can't lay the blame on him. It's just as much his fault as it is hers. She shouldn't have lied." Turning to Leon, she asked gently, "Now, Leon, what did you Yuffie say before she ran off? It might help us find her before she hurts herself."
"She said that I hated her and that I'm the cause of her pain," he answered quietly. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to my room to pack."
"Pack?! Where are you going, Leon?" Aerith inquired confusedly.
"I'm leaving Traverse Town. I need to go someplace where I can't hurt her anymore." With that Leon turned around and briskly walked through the hotel doors, slamming them on the way.
"Cloud, we need to hurry up and find Yuffie. Come on." She grabbed Cloud's arm and dragged him away from the hotel, knowing it was useless to try and stop Leon.
Yuffie sat with her arms wrapped around her drawn up knees on the cold pavement behind the crates in the Alley. She sobbed loudly, not caring who heard. That was real smart, Yuffie, she told herself. Your whole little plan backfired in your face, didn't it? And what do you have to show for it? Nothing. Just more heartache.
"What am I going to do?" she asked herself out loud, in between sobs. There's nothing you can do now. You even admitted that you loved him and he didn't even bother to chase after you.
"I have to leave," she told herself, bravely. "I need to get away from him. I need to find someplace to heal." But where? She stood up slowly, wiped the tears away from her face, and began to walk towards the World Exit.
"Yuffie! Yuffie! Yuffie, where are you? You can't hide forever," Cloud called for the hundredth time. He and Aerith had been walking all over Traverse Town looking for the ninja, but could not find her. They were beginning to get worried about her. Who knows what she would do when she was upset. They had already walked around the first two districts, and were now in the Third.
"She's not here," Aerith had said sadly. "Cloud, maybe Cid has seen her. Let's go ask him."
"Okay, it's worth a shot," he conceded, heading towards the entrance to the First District. I hope she hasn't done anything stupid, he silently added.
At the Accessory Shop, Cid told he hadn't seen her. "Hell, she could be anywhere. And I do mean anywhere. I just hope she hasn't taken it into her fool head to go to another world."
Aerith gasped, "You don't think she would, do you?"
"Damned if I know. You know as well as I do how irrational she is when she's upset," the Gummi pilot pointed out.
"Cid, can you find out if her Gummi ship is still here?" Cloud asked.
"Shit, I can find out where she's going if she's left. I put a tracking device on all the ships," he admitted.
"Well, find out then!" Cloud yelled impatiently.
"Hold your horses and give me a minute, would ya?" Cid walked down into the basement of the shop check his computer. "Yup, she took her Gummi ship alright. And it looks like she's headed for--" he stopped, looking surprised and scratching his head.
"What? What is it? Is she okay? Where is she going? Cid, talk to me!" Aerith demanded worriedly.
"She's fine. It looks like she's going back to Hollow Bastion. But she's not alone."
"What do you mean she's not alone? Who's with her?" Aerith yelled, ready to slap the man for dragging out the intensity of the moment.
"Someone's already there," he paused. "Leon's ship arrived there just moments ago."
After Leon had left Traverse Town, he didn't decide immediately where he would go. He thought about Deep Jungle, but he figured he would be unable to put up with a bunch of Powerwilds constantly attacking. Not to mention the stupid Bouncywilds popping my head with those damn coconuts, he added.
"How about the Coliseum?" he asked out loud since nobody else was around. No, that would be the first place they looked. They know you would go there to fight.
"Okay, Agrabah maybe?" Do you really want to be in a desert? "Good point, definitely not Agrabah. And Wonderland's out of the question, too. I can't put up with that stupid doorknob."
Why not Hollow Bastion? They would never think to look for you there. The memories are too painful for them, but you can handle it. He considered this a moment. "Leon, you're a genius," he told himself. So to Hollow Bastion he went.
Leon had stopped his ship at Rising Falls to take a look around. He got out of his Gummi and watched the water flowing behind the ice walls. They still look the same, he thought. He decided to leave his ship here so he could take the long walk to the castle. He really needed the time to think. Picking up his Gunblade and his bag of clothes, he began the slow and cumbersome hike.
Yuffie had left Traverse Town without even taking the time to pack. Clothes were the last thing on her mind when she had decided that she had to leave. I'll just have to make do with what I can find there, if I ever make up my mind about where there is.
She piloted her Gummi ship past all the worlds, trying to decide where to go. After barely escaping Monstro's mouth, she decided to continue her journey all the way to Hollow Bastion. She could spend days at a time in the massive library, reading and forgetting about Squall. "Who needs him, anyway? He's just an emotionless jerk. All he cares about his himself," she whispered to herself. But you need him. You love him, the nagging little voice in her head replied.
She steered her ship into the dock situated above Hollow Bastion and took the first lift she could find to the library. Once there, she began prowling the shelves, looking for a good book to read. Finding one that appeared interesting, she went and sat down at the table under the stairs.
"Hmm, Defense of the Heart," she said, reading the title aloud. "Sounds like something I need to learn to do." She opened the book and fell into a world of romance and heartache.
After reading for about an hour, she reached for the tissues she had found, and cried to the characters, "Rachel, don't leave him. Can't you see that he loves you? How blind can you be?" She calmed back down and continued reading.
Leon had finally reached the castle gates and decided he had better find himself a room to sleep in before it got too late. Walking into the Entrance Hall, he thought he heard something coming from the library.
"Who could possibly be here?" he muttered under his breath. Figuring he was hearing things, Leon ignored the noise and walked to the lift stop in the back to take him into the main part of the castle.
He continued his trek all the way up to the Great Crest, where the castle rooms were located. Finding one that he liked, he threw his bag down on the floor and lay on the bed. Well, Leon, here you are. All alone in this hell hole? Is this really what you wanted?
Sighing Leon got up and thought about what to do while he was here. He remembered the noise in the library. "What the hell, I might as well go and check it out. I have nothing better to do and I might find something to read while I'm there."
Still sitting at the table under the stairs, Yuffie was completely engrossed in her book. Suddenly, she heard a door slam on the balcony above. Startled, she jumped up, ready to fight if she needed to, and silently crept out from under the stairs.
"Who's there?" she asked bravely, remembering her lost battle with the Heartless in the gizmo shop only a few days before.
"Yuffie? Is that you? What are you doing here?" Obviously confused, Leon came down the stairs to look at her.
"Damn it, Squall! You followed me, didn't you? Can't you just leave me alone?" she yelled, turning to leave the library.
"Yuffie, wait!" She turned back around to face him with her hands on her hips. Leon thought to himself, she's pissed with me. "I didn't follow you. I thought you had followed me."
"Followed you? Why would you come here? You hate this place," she began confusedly.
"I came to get away from you," he explained.
Enraged, Yuffie yelled, "Well, don't worry, Squall. I'll leave you alone, since I'll be leaving now that I know you're here." She started back towards the door, tears falling down her face. Of course he wants to get away from me, he hates me.
"Yuffie, it's not like that," Leon called as he ran after her. It's now or never, Leon. Grabbing her, he turned her around so she was facing him. He noticed the tears falling out of her big beautiful eyes. "I wanted to get away from you because of what you said. Remember you said 'you're the cause of all my pain.' Yuffie," he said gently, "I didn't want to hurt you anymore because I love you too much."
Yuffie looked up at him, disbelief clouding her eyes. "But, I-, I thought you hated me. You were always so mean to me and--" She was cut off by the pained look in Leon's eyes.
"I'm sorry," he said. "I never expected to fall in love with you. I tried to fight it, but it didn't work." He took a deep breath and looked at her, "I love you, Yuffie."
"Do you mean it, Squall?" She looked up at the man before her. "Because, I love you too."
He reached down and cupped her chin. "Of course I mean it, Yuffie. I'll even say it again. I love you." With that, he lowered his head and kissed her, first on her forehead, then the tip of her nose, and finally, her lips.
She leaned against him, sighing contentedly, when she heard a familiar voice coming from the balcony. "See, Aerith, I told you we didn't need to follow them here. It looks like they're doing just fine on their own." Yuffie and Leon looked up to see a smirking Cloud and a smiling Aerith gazing down on them.
"Okay, Cloud. You were right." Noticing the death looks she was receiving from both Leon and Yuffie, she pulled Cloud towards the door and said, "come on. I think they want to be left alone."
"Damn right," Yuffie hollered back up at her. Turning back to Leon, she wrapped her arms around his neck and asked, "Now, where were we, Squall?"
Not bothering to correct her, he said, "Right here," as he kissed her again.
Author's Note: I would like to take this time to thank all the reviewers: VL, Snowri, Rainy Diamond, Annjirika, Yuffie-Penn, Jakotsu-aniki, DBH, and Ellie. I think that is everyone.
You have really encouraged me. I began this story thinking that everyone would hate it, but I was proved wrong by all you kind people. You have inspired me beyond belief. I already have a few more story ideas, although it may be awhile before I have time to write them. So, once again, thank you.