Dedicated to Wolf Fangs! Tis a Squaerith, which now that I think of it was never actually requested by Wolfie… oh well. Here one is anyway- the most uncanon pairing you may come across in the Kingdom Hearts fandom! I hope you enjoy the total clicheness of such an uncliched couple… much thanks for the inspiration, and any reviewers just request a couple you'd like to read about!

Disclaimer: don't own it. Shaddup already.

Dedicated to: Wolf Fangs

And The Rain Came Down

"It's cold. You shouldn't be out here without a jacket."

She sighed, and turned slightly to see the man with long dark brown locks and a leather jacket join her. "I know…"

"You're thinking about him again." It was not a question, just a statement.

Another sigh. "Leon, I know he's dead, it's just…"

He almost smiled. Typical Aerith. Worrying, even about the dead. He supposed that was a callous attitude he had, calling someone who had been such a good friend simply 'dead', but it was the truth. Why beat around the bush if you can be straight to the point? "You miss him." Before she could reply in any way, he added "You think this rain's going to turn to sleet soon?"

She shivered, her mind back on the weather. "Maybe," the attractive brunette answered as she watched it fall. The scene was grey and bleak, except for her pink dress and the cluster of potplants beside the doorframe she leant against.

This time he did smile, noting how the only contrast to the drab weather and setting was her and her plants. Always hoping for Spring, Aer. That's you. Always hoping for the best, even if it never comes. "Aer, Spring won't be here for another season. Remember that."

She turned and gave him a brilliant smile, her usual one that never quite reached her gentle green eyes. "I know that too… but I can always wish, right? And most of my plants, my babies, never even realize that Spring isn't here." As if to prove her point, she nudged a small terracotta pot by her left foot with one not-so-dainty but serviceable leather boot. The tiny geranium growing in the soil already had little pink buds, and one was ready to unfurl.

"That's because of how much you pamper them, Aerith!" He informed her.

She smiled at his banter. "Well, they're my babies! Why shouldn't I pamper them?"

"Um…" he scratched his head. "You pamper everything except yourself. Why don't you give yourself a break sometime? You've always got meals ready for Yuff and I, hardly ever eat yourself-"

"I'm never hungry." Her automatic response cut him off mid-sentence. She flushed and put a hand to her cheek. "Sorry… please go on, I didn't mean to interrupt." As if to deny her emphatic denial, her stomach growled audibly. Her surprised expression changed quickly a sheepish grin, and Leon smiled knowingly inside. "Well, maybe I am hungry…" she allowed. "But I want to stay out here a while longer."

He moved to stand just outside the think oak doorframe, leaning against the wall. Aerith's plants were shaded behind his long leather-clad legs, protected form the harsh wind that rose this time in winter. "Mind if I stay with you?" he asked her with a small, genuine smile, crossing his arms and relaxing as he turned back to watch the thick rain spatter the cobbled space in front of their small house.

"Uh… sure." She acknowledged quickly, with a light blush. He's always so kind… I don't know why other people think he's heartless, or if he does have a heart, that it's made of stone.



He twisted his head slightly to look at her with his disconcertingly piercing blue eyes. "You know Cloud's fine, don't you? That he's not in pain or anything, now that he's gone…" His arms were still crossed.

The flower-loving girl was caught off-guard for a moment. "Ah… hm… yes…" she said, flustered.

The Gunblade wielder moved across to touch her gently on the arm. "Because he is okay. You don't have to worry. Do you think he'd want to worry?"

The woman bent her head, letting her long braid swing over her face to hide unbidden tears. "He wouldn't…" she whispered.

"Hmph." He made a small noise, and looked away again. "Must be nice to have someone care so much for you."

She glanced at him, curious. "What do you mean? You're respected by everyone, surely you know that."

"Well… there isn't actually anybody who cares for me like that. I know, if I died, you and Yuffie would probably cry and all-" he ignored her horrified gasp "-but in the end, it wouldn't be like you and Cloud. There isn't anyone like that. Not for me."

"There was…"

His head gave a sharp jerk of acknowledgement. His profile sternly gazed out at the rain, not showing any emotion. "Was. That's the key word."

Aerith didn't know what to say, as the tall man continued. "You know… I would have liked just one person to love me, instead of simply respect me. Everybody respects me, everybody fears me, even Yuffie fears me sometimes- but no one actually loves me. And it's taken me a long while to realize that." His face displayed a small grimace of irony, of self-mockery.

She touched his arm in silent sympathy, thinking. He said it's time to let go… Cloud said to find someone… but it's so sudden… even if he left so many years ago… I still find it hard to believe that Sephiroth actually killed him… She sniffed as quietly as she could.

Leon heard it, but made no comment. She's only dealing with it the way she knows how to… without worrying anyone else.

Cloud even said that if he's gone, it's best to move on… "Leon?"

He glanced at her, impassive face revealing nothing, although he was a little startled at how suddenly serious she looked, her brow furrowed and biting her lip in concentration. But nothing could have prepared him for what she said.

"Somebody does feel that way about you, you know."

Like he had done to her before, she caught him completely off-guard. "Um… that's good to know…" He flushed, although it couldn't be seen in the late twilight.

She smiled shyly, and moved in closer to him, waiting until he put his arm around her before relaxing back with a small sigh. All that could be heard was the patter of now gentle rain.

Together, they watched the rain come down.

We both have to move on...

Well guys, whaddya think? My fourth writing piece in two days… >smiggles> is anyone proud of me? I ish proud of myself, if no one else is…

I hope you all enjoyed it. It was rather fun to write… although I think this might deserve to be called a drabble rather than a oneshot… it IS kinda short, apologies… >rueful grin>

Well. Ja ne! Merry Christmas to Wolf Fangs and anybody else who reads this!

Australian Made And Owned"