Title: The Matchmaker's Handbook

Author: Slashapalooza

Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts. I just like to kidnap the characters and make them dance like my little puppets. You should try it. It's fun and you even get reviews for it!

T for Teen. Meaning your younger brothers and sisters shouldn't be reading this unless they want to be corrupted early. And your parents shouldn't be reading this unless you want to get grounded.

Summary: AU Sora Harada is the leading expert on love, even though he's never gotten a date in his life. Then when he receives a letter from someone who has a huge crush – on him! Will the matchmaker finally meet his match? RikuSora LeonCloud TidusSelphie

Author's Note: Yeah, yeah, I know. "OMG, that bitch is starting ANOTHER story when she hasn't updated her others yet? What the hell is that bitch smoking?' The answer is – I snort pixie stix. Kidding, kidding! What can I say? I've got so much inspiration these days that I can't stop starting new stories. You're just lucky I didn't post all the ones I've started in the last few days or we'd all have story overload.

Let's see. Romantic humor? Can anybody tell that I'm a hopeless romantic who has a romantic comedy movie archive larger than my trust fund total? Anybody? Anybody? I can't help it! I'm a Fluff Fan, okay? OKAY! All my other friends look up fanfiction that makes them break out in tears and walk around depressed for days on end, but it's not my fault I prefer stories where everybody skips along merrily down the road, cries a teensy bit, then has a happy ending. I grew up being fed fairy tales. My Dad says I'm sheltered. –cough- Uh… moving on…

None for the game. At all. Except for, you know, Naminé is in this story. Not sure how big a role she'll play, but she's here. So, for those of you who haven't played KH: COM – Nanimé is this quiet blond girl. The end.

Feedback: Is very much appreciated.

Japan. Somewhere. How about Kyoto this time, not that it matters.

Date Begun:
August 21, 2005

Date Posted: September 5, 2005

Rule #1:
Potential Relationships Could Be Hiding Right Under Your Nose


Bringing you all of the news with none of the tact!

Volume 4, Issue 2

First Page

An editorial by Selphie Tillmet

Do you want to see some good entertainment? Do you want to be moved to tears, both of sadness and laughter? Do you want to see quality acting, theater at its best? Well, then, you'd be better off watching I Love Lucy reruns on TV Land because Saiyuki High's presentation of La Boehm was an absolute embarrassment!

Never before in my life have I seen such bad acting! The leading lady, Yuna Nandaba, who was playing the part of Mimi, not only failed to project her voice so the people in the back could hear, but she also kept forgetting her lines! And the leading man, Tidus Mihada, seemed distracted, his eyes more on the audience than on the play.

I beg you, Saiyuki High Drama Club, if you are not going to do it right then please nix any future play plans. We'd all be much better off.

Five thumbs way down, baby. Until next time. Selphie.

Next Page

The Matchmaker's Handbook
Are you unlucky in love? Having problems finding your perfect match? Or maybe you just need help with a current beau. Either way, send your pleas in to the matchmaker! He'll give you the advice to help you snag your sweetie or keep your cuddle bear under control.

Dear Matchmaker,
My boyfriend and I have been dating secretly for months now. The thing is, my parents think he's totally wrong for me because he has a bad reputation. They'd freak if they knew. Is this a sign that we're not meant to be, or am I just over thinking this whole thing?
Hiding But Happy

Dear Hiding,
Think about why you two are really together. Is it because you're honestly in love, or is it because the feeling of defying your parents, in secret or not, gives you a bigger rush? If it's the latter, then it's not worth it. If it's the first, invite me to the wedding!

Dear Matchmaker,
I really like this. She's like amazing – in a sugar-high, extremely insane sort of way. However, I don't think she'd even glance my way. As a matter of fact, I think she might believe I'm involved with someone else. What should I do?
Love For Lunatics

Dear Looney,
This girl you speak of wouldn't happen to be Selphie Tillmet would you? If it is, try luring her with sugar, although, don't blame me if you get one of your limbs ripped off in the process. Anything standing between Selphie and sugar has a good chance of being devoured.

Bottom of Page

Also known as 'you didn't hear it from be, but…'
By Kairi Hotaka

You didn't hear it from me, but rumor has it that two certain male long-time rivals have something a little deeper than rivalry going on. Maybe just the total opposite. However, being that both have hated each other since, ah, birth not to mention the deep-rooted family rivalry, I'd say the likelihood of this rumor is slim to none. Still, it's fun to imagine.

You didn't hear it from me, but rumor also has it that there's a little hanky panky going on in our very own school. Mr. Edagawa, our resident English teacher, and Ms. Umagi, who teaches Music, were spotted getting it on in the teachers' lounge. Not that way, you perverts, but both did leave sporting some serious hickeys.

You didn't hear it from me, but rumor has it that we're getting another couch installed in the girls' bathroom, as well as a brand new vanity. Uh… not that there was a couch and vanity in there before, boys. Actually, you know, forget I said anything.

That's all for now! Tune in next time for more Saiyuki Gossip. But, remember, you didn't hear it from me!

Last Page

Kairi Hotaka

Sora Harada

Selphie Tillmet, Wakka Obana, Naminé Daimyo, Michiru Takahara….

"Aren't you guys done yet?" Riku Masaki asked, playing with a lock of Sora's hair. The brunette impatiently pushed his hand away and went back to examining the pictures he'd taken.

Kairi hit Riku on the head with a pen. "No. Being on the newspaper staff is a lot of work. Now leave Sora alone and go away, unless you actually plan on doing something."

"Well," Riku replied, smirking at Sora. The brunette was still ignoring him. "If Sora's free tonight, then I'll definitely be doing something."

Sora didn't even bat an eyelash.

"Okay, now this is getting annoying," Riku muttered, placing his hand in Sora's hair and giving a tug.

Sora winced, finally looking at him with confused blue eyes. "What?"

"You're ignoring me. It hurts. My old heart can't take it," the white-haired boy dramatized, placing a hand to his heart and giving Sora a wounded look. "Is this how our friendship has deteriorated? You're ignoring me in favor of pictures? And they're not even pictures of me."

"Since we already came out with the last issue, Kairi wants to get the next one in the works," Sora murmured, rubbing his head slightly. He grinned in his usual carefree way. "What'd you think of it, anyway?"

Riku pulled his copy of the Saiyuki High School newspaper out of his backpack and leafed through it until he came to the romance column. He folded the paper and pushed the page into Sora's line of vision. "Who does this column?"

Sora frowned. "How should I know? Kairi's the one who would know that, not me. I just take the pictures."

"Don't even bother. I'm not telling," Kairi piped up from her desk, her fingers racing over the keyboard. "I have to protect the students' right to privacy and that includes the Matchmaker. So just drop it."

"You write the gossip column and you're preaching about protecting the students' right to privacy?" Riku asked, raising an eyebrow.

Kairi didn't even look at him. "Shut up, I'm not telling."

Slightly miffed, Riku put the paper back in his bag and hopped up onto Sora's desk. "Hey, how about you and me go out to eat or something?"

"I still have work to do, Riku," Sora pointed out, gesturing towards the pictures on his desk. "I have to go down to the swim meet and—"

He was suddenly cut off as a very irate blonde boy burst through the door of the newsroom, his angry blue eyes searching until they landed on Selphie. The girl was busy playing Pinball on her laptop and didn't notice the new presence in the room.

"Selphie Tillmet," Tidus hissed, kicking the door closed behind him. "Can I talk to you for a moment?"

"Not now. I'm winning," Selphie answered, her full concentration on the computer screen. Tidus walked over and pulled her power chord out of the electrical outlet. Since her laptop was on low battery already, the screen went blank.


"Better luck next time," Riku said in amusement.

Selphie's eyes were practically flaming. "Who. Did. That."

Tidus met her glare for glare. "I did!" He shoved his copy of the newspaper into her face, the paper folded to her editorial page. "Why the hell did you write such a bad review for our play?"

"Because it was a bad play!" Selphie argued, snatching the paper out of his hands and tossing it to the side. "If you want a good review, try not to screw up a classic opera like that!"

"We didn't screw it up! How is it our fault that you fell asleep half-way through!"

"There's one problem right there! You should have been paying attention to the opera, not to me! I can sleep wherever I damn well please!"

Sora grabbed his coat, coughing. "You know, Riku, on second thought, let's go get some food."

"I knew you'd see things my way," Riku replied with a smirk, hopping off Sora's desk and heading for the door.

Sora hadn't realized how hungry he'd been until he'd had his first bite of a McDonalds double cheeseburger. He ended up finishing his meal and half of Riku's before he was finally full.

Riku chuckled in amusement. Sora was totally insatiable sometimes. A statement which brought on a truckload of very dirty thoughts. He quickly shoved them down and smiled. "Wow, Sora. Sure you don't want me to buy you another, oh… ten meals?"

"That's okay," Sora said, taking Riku's words seriously. "I couldn't finish ten. Maybe eight. But not ten."

Riku tried not to roll his eyes and instead changed the subject. "The pictures in the newspaper were beautiful."

Sora beamed. "Thanks. I took, like, hundreds because I couldn't decide what I wanted the picture to say, or whatever." He glanced at his watch. "Oh, do you want to come with me to the swim meet? It starts in about an hour."

"Who's competing?"

"Leon and Cloud. They're going up against each other to see which one of them is going up against Hamori High School at the competition two weeks from now." Sora explained, waving a hand dismissively. "Then again, they look for any excuse to argue."

"You taking pictures for the paper?" Riku asked, starting to pick up the remains of his meal.

"Duh. Kairi's a slave driver, I tell you. She might as well have a whip in her hand for all the—" Sora saw the perverted look spreading on Riku's face and sighed. "Don't even go there."

Riku looked innocent and tossed everything into the garbage, getting up and pulling his car keys out of his pocket. "Let's roll. Maybe if we get there early enough, you can get an interview with them, too."

"Good idea, Riku," Sora said with a grin, practically racing out to Riku's bright blue BMW. It was Riku's pride and joy, the result of begging his father to work in his garage since Riku was old enough to hold a wrench and know what to do with it. And all that working in the garage seriously saved him on car repairs since he could do it all himself.

Riku got into the front seat and started the car. "Fasten your seatbelts. I'm getting us there in less than two minutes."

Sora blinked. "How're you gonna do that? The school's five minutes aw—" He was cut off as Riku slammed his foot down on the gas and the car jetted out of the parking lot. Sora sank down in his seat and fastened his seatbelts, murmuring prayers under his breath.

Kairi had kicked them out of the newsroom for 'disrupting business', but that didn't stop Tidus and Selphie from arguing.

Tidus was still pissed about the bad review for the play. It had not been that bad. Sure, he'd been a little distracted so what she said about him was true, but Yuna had been sick with a fever that night. If anything, she performed as well as she could considering the circumstances.

However, Selphie was in no mood to listen to him as she was still mad about her game. "Do you have any idea how hard it is to even get close to a Riku Masaki high score? There's a slim to none chance! And I was five points away from beating it when you had to come barging in, you idiot!"

"I'm the idiot? What about you Ms. Sucky Review? You didn't even interview any of us to get our side of the story? What kind of reporter are you?" Tidus hissed.

"Hello!" Selphie said as though it should be obvious. "A biased one? Geez, all you do is put on fancy clothes and get up on a stage to lie in front of millions of people, and you act like it's such a hard thing."

Tidus rolled his eyes. "There's more to acting than lying, stupid."

"Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot the makeup," Selphie responded, sarcasm dripping off her words.

"No. You forgot memorizing your lines, getting in character, rehearsals, practice, scene changes, creating the background, and how hard it is to bring a story no one cares about to life!" Tidus near-shouted. "But, of course you wouldn't know anything about that. You don't know anything about acting or the drama club at all, and you never will."

Selphie puffed out her cheeks in annoyance. She hated it when people talked down to her like she was some sort of moron. She especially hated it when they had a point.

"Yeah, well…" she began hesitantly before allowing her anger to spur her on. "I bet if I did know all that drama club stuff, I'd still do a better job than you and Yuna did!"

Tidus raised an eyebrow. "Oh really?"


"Well then. You're on."

Selphie blinked in total confusion. "I'm on… what?"

Drugs is my guess, Tidus thought, but didn't say out loud. Instead, he said, "The bet. You're on. You join the Drama Club and perform in the next play. If you do a good job, you win and I'll stop badgering you about the review. If you do a bad job, you write a retraction for the next issue. Deal?"

Selphie frowned slightly in thought. "How about, if I do a good job, you do whatever I want?"

"Deal," Tidus agreed easily. He held out his hand. "Shake on it."

"But how will I know if I've done a good job?"

"Ask someone else to write your review for you. Someone brutally honest and completely unbiased in either of our favors."

Selphie frowned again, thinking. Then she grinned. "Riku Masaki. He's as brutally honest as they come. Although, we might have to pay him to do this extra work."

Tidus held out his hand again. "Whatever. Deal?"

Selphie took it and shook. "Deal. You're going down, Drama Drone."

Cloud pulled down his pants and glared daggers at the brunette across the room. Said brunette wasn't even looking in his direction, although he had to be aware of Cloud's fierce gaze. But, then again, that was just like Leon. Too high and mighty acknowledge anyone 'beneath' him.

A hand suddenly blocked his vision. Cloud turned to look at the culprit, frowning. "Seifer, I'm about to take off my pants. The fact that you are standing right next to me is kind of disturbing."

The blonde smirked and jabbed his head in Leon's direction. "Didn't look like you were about to do anything seeing as your eyes were busy burning holes in the back of his skull."

"Yeah, whatever," Cloud said, kicking off his jeans and revealing the blue swim trunks underneath. "I just can't stand that guy. I've been preparing for this match all week."

"You're lucky," Seifer commented, sparing a glance at the brunette who was now stuffing his clothes into his locker. "I'd love to get a piece of him."

Cloud's scowl deepened and he pushed his clothes into his duffle bag. "Well, you can forget it. Today he's mine." He headed out to the pool.

The swim team's coach, Cid, was standing by the bleachers in deep conversation with two girls. The first – Aerith, Cloud's best friend since childhood. The second – Yuffie, Leon's personal unwanted cheerleader.

He walked over to the group and handed Aerith his towel. "Well, I'm ready to win this thing."

"Nuh uh," Yuffie argued, poking him in the arm. "Leon's gonna win this thing. You're gonna eat his… water."

Aerith hid her amused smile behind her hand and gave Cloud a kind look. "Do your best. Oh, and, after the competition, your mother wants you to rush home. She's got big news to tell everyone over dinner. She invited my parents over as well."

"Great," Cloud said, rolling his eyes. Knowing his mother, it was probably something stupid like 'The Yamatos have fallen six points behind us in the polls!' Ever since his family had entered the election for mayor against Leon's family, it seemed like that was all his parents ever talked about.

The blond glanced around to find Leon and saw the boy standing in front of the locker room door, talking to a shorter brunette with a camera while another boy – whom Cloud recognized to be Riku, captain of the soccer team – stood by looking bored.

He rolled his eyes. Leon had better not delay the match over something as stupid as that.

"Speaking of elections," Yuffie said, bringing Cloud's attention back to her. "Are you running for student body president?" She smiled. "Leon is. He's awesome like that."

"Leon is running for student body president?" Cloud echoed blankly. "Leon gives a shit about the student body?"

"Well… no, he doesn't… but I managed to persuade him." Yuffie answered, drawing herself up to her full height. "All it took was a little convincing and a little blackmail. But I think he'll make an awesome president. Running things is in his genes."

"Right," Cloud replied, already losing interest. "Whatever you say, Yuffie."

"I'm ready," Leon's voice said from behind him.

Cloud turned around and narrowed his eyes. "You're going down, Yamato."

"Just try not to drown," Leon replied, walking over to the pool and getting into position. Cloud walked over to his place and got ready, too.

"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the meet to decide which one of these two swimming champions will go up against Hamori High for the state championship!" Cid's voice boomed from the speakers set at the four corners of the room. "Leon Yamato and Cloud Strife head to head. Whoever finishes the 100 meter swim first is the winner! On your marks, get set, go!"

Sora bit on the end of his pencil. "Somehow, I don't think I can work with this."

He and Riku were seated on the third row from the top of the bleachers while Sora went over his transcript of the interview with Leon. The boy had not been very responsive at all.

In fact, the interview went something like this:

SORA: So, Leon, how does it feel to be facing your rival, Cloud, even though you two are on the same team?
SORA: Do you think you'll win?
SORA: …Do you speak anything other than Glare-ese?
RIKU: Mark that down as a 'no', Sora.

At which point Sora had just snapped a photo and called it a day. Now, Riku was taking pictures of the match for him while Sora tried to find some way he could make the interview sound better than it was.

Riku tapped him on the shoulder. "I think Leon's about to win."

Sora peered down at the pool. True, Leon was about two inches ahead of Cloud as they made their way through the last lap. But Cloud was catching up fast and the two inches didn't seem like very much.

However, Riku was right. Leon touched the other side of the pool half a second before Cloud. The Leon supporters broke into uproarious applause. The rest of the audience lowered their 'Cloud Is The Champ' posters and groaned.

Sora hurried down the bleacher steps and over to Leon, flipping open his notebook. "Hey, how does it feel to be the champion, Leon?"

The older boy glared at him.

Sora shrank back. "I'll take that as a 'really, really good,'" He squeaked before scrambling backwards and hiding behind Riku. The two watched Cloud hoist himself out of the water and reluctantly shake Leon's hand before people gathered around to congratulate the two on a good match.

Riku took Sora's hand. "Let's get out of here and go back to my house. Mom said something about making apple pie this morning."

Sora grinned, any previous traces of fear gone. "Okay!"

It wasn't until about an hour later that the crowd finally began to filter out, having better things to do now that the match was over. The other team members had offered to throw a party in Leon's honor down at the pizza shop, but the brunette had declined. He did not party. Especially not with other people. And they should know that by now.

Yuffie had punched him on the arm and gave him a thumbs up, telling him she had to go baby-sit if she wanted to have enough money to buy that dress for prom and to remind him that he was taking her or else she'd beat the crap out of him. Then she'd offered to give Aerith a ride home, which the girl had calmly accepted, telling Cloud she'd see him later, and the two had left.

In the end, it was just Leon and Cloud in the locker room. Which was just how Leon liked it.

Currently, he had Cloud pressed against one of those very lockers, the blonde's wrists pinned above his head. He smirked. "You were watching me change, you pervert."

"Was not," Cloud insisted, making no move to try and free his hands. "I was wishing you an early death. There's a difference."

Leon snorted. "Yeah, whatever."

"Seifer," Cloud began, ignoring the way Leon's lips curved into a scowl at the name. "Seifer said he wanted a piece of you. Pissed me off." He leaned forward and pressed his lips to Leon's in a chaste kiss before pulling away and smiling. "You're mine."

Leon didn't know how it had all started. It was probably when he and Cloud had both made the swim team, although he knew he'd been attracted to the blonde for a while before that. But seeing Cloud every day shirtless and wet was way too much for his hormones to bear. One day, after practice and all the other boys had gone home, they'd just jumped each other. A month later, they were a couple.

Privately, of course.

If either of their families found out, they'd both be in deep shit. Not to mention what the rest of the team would think. Or, at the very least, what Yuffie (in Leon's case) and Aerith (in Cloud's case) would think.

"I'm yours," Leon murmured, brushing his lips against Cloud's bare shoulder. "I think I like that."

Cloud shivered. "You better. Because, come on, Seifer? No."

Leon chuckled. "You talk too much." And he proceeded to shut Cloud up in a way they both enjoyed.

Riku casually flipped through the pages of the school newspaper until he came to the advice column, reading it for the fifth time that day. It was bothering him to no ends not knowing who it was that did the column. Although, whoever it was did seem to be very love savvy.

His eyes rose from the paper to the boy sitting on his bedroom floor, eating his fifth piece of pie. He and Sora had been friends for years (and years and years and years) and had been together even longer. Their mothers shared a room at the hospital and, even before then, they went to the same pregnancy course.

They had no secrets. Well, except the one Riku had been keeping for the last year and a half. Luckily for him, Sora seemed totally oblivious. He seemed to think that the innuendoes Riku was so fond of whispering in his ear were all a big joke.

Riku wasn't sure whether he should be relieved or discouraged that Sora couldn't seem to grasp the fact that he was in love with him.

"Hey, Sora," Riku murmured, glancing back down at the paper. "Do you know who writes this column? You don't have to tell me. I just want to know if you do."

Sora paused, licking some whipped cream off the corner of his mouth. "Uh, no. Kairi refuses to tell any of us and whoever it is won't speak up." He grinned. "Why do you care, anyway? Planning on writing in?"

Riku watched Sora drown his sixth piece in whipped cream, a thoughtful look on his face. Then it passed and he flipped over to the next page of the paper. "Of course not. I'm not that desperate yet."

"'Yet'?" Sora asked, raising an eyebrow. "Oooh, Riku's got a crush? Who's the lucky girl?"

Riku ignored him in favor of reading up on the sports section.

"Come on, Riku! We're best friends, aren't we? I won't tell!" Sora whined, giving Riku his best pout. However, since Riku's eyes were on the paper instead of on him, the effect was ruined. "Riku!"

"Are you coming to my soccer game next week?" Riku questioned. "We're going up against Takahashi High School and they're currently undefeated."

Sora folded his arms, sulking, but allowed Riku to change the subject. "Of course I'm coming. I know how important your games are to you."

Although, Sora didn't quite understand why Riku insisted upon having him come, or why Riku claimed he couldn't play well without Sora there.

One time, Sora had been swamped with work on the paper and had missed the first quarter of Riku's game. Tidus and the soccer team's couch, Quistis, had come racing to find him, demanding he get his ass in the stands so Riku could lead the Saiyuki High Roadrunners to victory.

For some odd reason, as soon as Sora had appeared, Riku had scored three straight goals for the team.

Riku smiled. "Good. Thanks."

Sora busied himself with squirted whipped cream on his pie, frowning when, with a small pwish, the can ran out. He shook it and tried again, but no whipped cream came out. "Damn vindictive whipped cream can. Drop it on the floor just one time…"

He was so preoccupied with the can, he missed the fond look Riku gave him before looking down at the paper again.

"Master Strife, it's for you."

Cloud looked up from his carefully constructed mashed potato volcano and raised an eyebrow at their butler, Edmund. Well, Cloud wasn't sure if the guy's name really was Edmund, but he'd forgotten the name awhile ago.

Besides, the butler answered to Edmund so that was the end of that.

"Somebody called for me? And it's not Aerith?" Cloud asked, looking at the brunette who was busy actually eating her food. He shrugged and got up, taking the phone from 'Edmund' and walking out into the hall to answer it. "Hello?"

"Hey, it's me."

Cloud's eyes widened slightly and he glanced back at the dining room, but no one was even looking in his direction. He turned his back to them and lowered his voice. "Leon? What the—Edmund actually let you—"

"The man's name is Eichi, Cloud," Leon responded. "And I told him I was Riku."

"You don't sound anything like Riku. And he doesn't even call here."

"Shut up. Anyway, sorry for calling in the middle of you constructing landforms out of your dinner—" Cloud decided to let that slide. "—but I really need to see you."

The blonde glanced behind him at the dinner table. Ditch his family and whatever important announcement his mother was going to make just to go see his secret boyfriend?

Well, duh.

"I'll meet you at the park in ten minutes," Cloud said, hanging up the phone. Then, he walked back into the dining room. "I have to go."

"Go? What? Why?" his mother protested. "I haven't even made my announcement yet."

"That was my friend, Riku. His car broke down a couple miles from here and he wants me to come give him a lift. No big deal, but I have to go do this," Cloud lied easily. "Sorry."

His parents exchanged disappointed glances and sighed.

"Alright," his mother said, stirring her soup. Then she perked up. "But if you pass the Yamatos' house, feel free to pee on their front lawn or something equally vulgar."

Cloud rolled his eyes. "Oh, yeah, Mom. And then tomorrow the headlines will read 'Son of Candidate For Mayor Urinates On Rivals' Front Lawn'. Great for publicity."

"Riku is waiting," Aerith spoke quietly, giving Cloud one of her all-knowing expressions. "I'm sure you don't want to leave him unattended for long."

"Uh, right." Cloud coughed and grabbed his coat and car keys, heading out to the family boxer and wondering just how much Aerith knew.

Leon was already sitting on a bench by the fountain when Cloud finally got to the park. The blonde sat down beside him, staring at the fountain without saying anything for a moment before he turned his eyes to Leon.

"Well," Cloud said. "I'm here."

"I noticed," Leon replied. "My parents are pissed off because your family is six points ahead of them in the polls and they were starting to piss me off, so I left before I snapped and murdered them."

Cloud rolled his eyes. "Somehow, I get the feeling that was the big news my Mom wanted to share. She wanted me to pee in your front yard."

"Thanks for the image."

Cloud smirked. "Of me with my pants down? You're welcome."

"Did I interrupt anything at your house?" Leon asked without acknowledging Cloud's statement.

"Nah," Cloud replied, waving a hand dismissively. "My parents invited Aerith's family over and we were having dinner while waiting for Mom to make her announcement. Well, they were having dinner. I was constructing a very complex potato mountain."

Leon snorted. "Wow. You were so busy. How rude of me to interrupt."

"I forgive you," Cloud said sweetly, resting his head on Leon's shoulder. "I think Aerith might know something."

"About what?"

Cloud gestured vaguely. "This. She didn't buy my excuse about Riku."

"She goes to our school. Everybody's had Riku work on their cars or their friends' cars at least once." Leon commented.

"She's probably going to have me on High Inquisition for the next few days. I need to come up with a plausible excuse," Cloud murmured, closing his eyes. "Except, maybe tomorrow. I'm exhausted."

"We can't sleep out here. Someone might see," Leon reminded him, reaching up a hand to gently stroke Cloud's hair.

Cloud yawned, but didn't open his eyes. "So then wake me up when you're leaving."

Leon opened his mouth to protest, but the sounds of soft snoring reached his ears and he sighed. Cloud was dead to the world.

Well, he decided, maybe he could just let Cloud sleep for a little while, then toss him in the pond later. Leon wasn't very willing to move at the moment, anyway.