Title: 'Twas The Night
Disclaimer: Twas the night before Christmas and all through FF, not an author was writing about anything else.
Summary: Sora just wants his boyfriend to have time for him. Cloud wants his boyfriend to say 'I love you'. And Selphie wants everybody to have a happy Christmas. Between the late shifts and the angsting, will Christmas be ruined for this group of friends, or is there still hope? RikuSora LeonCloud TidusSelphie
Author's Note: Um, yeah, see. And, really, I should be downstairs wishing my Mommy happy birthday, but I did that already and, besides, I'm sick and sick people shouldn't get out of bed.
Category: Romantic Humor. And some angst.
Spoilers: I want to be Sora in Part Two. So bad.
Feedback: Well, since this is a Christmas and I'm-sorry-I-have-yet-to-update present, you really don't have to review. But I'd love you if you did.
Setting: Somewhere in Japan that isn't Destiny Islands – although we really have no proof that Destiny Islands is in Japan, anyway. Except for, you know, the Japanese names.
Date Begun: December 6, 2005
Date Posted: December 24, 2005
Selphie ignored the call of the manager as she climbed up the shelves, trying to reach the prize at the top. It was all Tidus had been talking about for weeks on end.
"And it's got, like, sixty billion zillion new graphics and a ton of new features!"
"They added this new mode where you can play as the furniture and kick butt as a sofa!"
"And THEN when I beat the game for the tenth time, I challenge Sora to it, but he was all like, 'No waaaaaay, the only one I lose to is Riku' and I was all, 'Oh, come ON! That just means you're used to losing' and he got all pouty…"
"Man, if I wasn't broke as hell from shopping for everybody, I'd go buy it right now. Maybe Mom'll get it for me for Christmas, huh?"
So, on this beautiful winter morning, she had woken up to find that school was cancelled because of snow, gone to the Harada residence, dragged Sora out of bed kicking and screaming, and forced him to go with her to the mall to go shopping. It wasn't like he had anything else to do.
Cloud, as far as they knew, was enjoying the snow day by doing god-knows-what, Leon hated shopping and had threatened her with a zucchini last time she'd begged, she couldn't take Tidus to shop for his own present, Kairi was hanging with Namine, Wakka was out with Tidus, and Riku was working at his job at Blockbuster.
That left everybody's favorite bubbly male brunette, Sora I-hate-waking-up-in-the-morning Harada.
Her fingers grazed the case of Dogs of the Military XIV, but she couldn't quite reach up far enough to grasp it.
"Selphie, what the hell are you doing?" Sora's voice called from below. "Get down from there right now!"
"I can't reach the game!" Selphie called back, stretching again. "It's too high!"
"Please, Miss!" The storeowner shouted again. "Please, just get down and ask someone to get it for you!"
She looked down to see Sora standing in a girlish pose – hands on his hips and lips ready to pout. "Selphie, we can go buy the game somewhere else. Just come down before you hurt yourself or break something and make me pay for it."
"Ah…" The storeowner laughed nervously. "There's no need to take your business elsewhere…"
Sora gave the man a dry look, then glared up at Selphie again, but the brunette girl was ignoring him, trying to get a better footing on the lower shelf so she could reach the game.
The boy sighed heavily, then turned and wandered the store until he found a giant ball bin. Grunting a bit, he pushed it over to the shelves.
"Hey, you can't—"
"Unless you want to be in the news because a fifteen year old girl died in here, I suggest you help me." Sora snapped, looking up and then adjusting the location of the ball pit so that it was directly beneath his companion.
Selphie took no notice.
"Almost… got it…" She murmured, her fingers grazing it one more time. She wobbled as something shook beneath her and gasped, looking down. The shelf her left foot was resting on was unstable.
Uh oh. Not good.
"Coming down!" Selphie announced just as the shelf broke and she slipped, wailing as she fell from the high altitude and landed with a THUMP in the conveniently placed pit of balls. Some tumbled out, making a bouncing mess across the floor while Selphie tried to find her way to the top before she died from bouncy ball suffocation.
Sora folded his arms. "I told you to get down."
A few minutes later, Selphie's head poked up above the balls and she glared at Sora. "I'm shopping. My personal safety is unimportant!" She announced, shifting and trying to climb out of the ball bin. "Tidus is my huggly-snuggly-bunny-bumpkins and I want to get him this game."
"Huggly-snuggly-bunny-bumpkins?" Sora echoed blankly, mentally promising that if he ever started calling Riku by such horrifying nicknames, he would shoot himself.
"Uh huh!" Selphie said, squeaking as she tumbled unceremoniously out of the pit and landed in a heap on the floor. "Oww"
Sora rolled his eyes playfully and reached out his hands to help her up. "You're silly, Selph."
"Did I ever tell you the story?" She asked, eyes sparkling as she got to her feet. "It was just two months ago…"
"I know, Selphie. You told—" Sora began, but didn't get to finish as Selphie was already swimming in her memories.
"You can't distract me, now, Tidus! I'm kicking your ass! WACHA! FEEL MY LASER BEAM OF DOOMINESS!"
"What is it, punk!"
"Wanna be my girlfriend?"
"I said, do you want to be my girlfriend?"
"I… what? You… what?"
"Girlfriend. You know. Like, date?"
"Because I… like you and… stuff…"
"So, do you?"
"Argh—Selphie, get off!"
"YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!"
Selphie's eyes were still sparkling as she finished remembering that magical day. She'd gained a boyfriend and come off her high in time to kick his ass.
"Hey, I need to go to Blockbuster to pick up a copy of Howl's Moving Castle. Coming?" She asked, snickering when she saw the way Sora's face lit up and she was willing to bet it was because of a certain silver-haired worker and not because of the movie.
Sora nodded furiously. "Yeah!"
Cloud's popcorn-filled hand stopped half-way to his mouth as he tilted his head back and peered at the door, wondering who the hell was coming to disrupt his Disney movie marathon.
Yes. It was true. Cloud Strife was addicted to Disney movies and he'd beat the crap out of anyone who dared… find out. He had a reputation to uphold, after all.
He grabbed the remote and pressed the 'stop' button, dropping the popcorn back in the bowl and regretfully leaving Hercules for later as he went to answer the door.
The door sung open, blasting Cloud with a wave of cold air that made him shiver as he was wearing nothing but a pair of black pajama bottoms. He blinked at the visitor, his lips curving into a happy smile instinctively.
"Leon…" He breathed. "Hi."
"Hey," Leon replied nonchalantly as he stepped inside, dressed in leather pants, combat boots, and a black leather jacket. Cloud smiled inwardly as he noticed that Leon was wearing the black scarf Cloud had spontaneously gotten him.
The blonde shut the door and then turned to his companion, immediately melting as his lips were captured into a thorough kiss.
He sighed happily as Leon pulled away and grinned. "What was that for?"
"Nothing. Watching Disney movies again?" Leon raised an amused eyebrow as Cloud turned pink. "So, yes? Which one?"
"Hercules." Cloud muttered, stomping back over to the couch and sinking down. He peered at Leon over his shoulder. "Wanna watch it with me?"
Leon shrugged. "Hades is badass."
"Pegasus kicks ass, though."
"He's a flying horse, Cloud. God, you're so gay." Cloud looked at him flatly. Leon chuckled. "Right."
Cloud pressed play and the Muses continued singing their praises of Hercules the hero who was so great and wonderful and had his own doll and sneaker line. Leon was silent beside him.
The silence gave the blonde time to think about the things his brain had been avoiding. Like… Leon and their entire relationship.
"See? I showed up. Can I go now?"
"Noooo, of course not! You haven't even met him yet!"
"Remember! I told you my friend was bringing a friend? Le-on, do you ever listen to me?"
"No. So, who's—oh. Hi. I'm Leon."
"Cloud. Nice pants."
He really had to thank Aerith and Yuffie for dragging him to that club. Well, Aerith, really, since she had been the one to drag him kicking and screaming out of his house. However, Yuffie had been the one to convince Leon to come. It made him tingle pleasantly every time he closed his eyes and thought of him and Leon ending up talking all night, sharing drinks, grinding on the dance floor, exchanging numbers…
"What the hell? What were you just watching?"
"Was that—was that The Little Mermaid!"
"I said it was the Little Mermaid 2…"
"Oh. Heh. Heh heh."
"Don't laugh at me, Leon! It's not—"
"Oh. Eheh. Thanks…"
Cloud gave Leon a sideways glance, unsurprised to find the brunette resting half-against the arm of the couch, propping his head up with his arm, and dead asleep. He appreciated the small effort, really, but he knew Leon had no patience for talking, singing animals and happy endings.
The world just didn't work that way. It was pointless to pretend, he said.
However, Cloud couldn't help it. He had to believe that somehow, some way, there'd be a happy ending.
Somehow, some way… Leon might actually…
"I… I need to tell you something, but I…"
"What is it?"
"I… I think I… I mean, I know I…"
"What is it, Cloud? I don't have all—"
"I love you!"
"L-Leon? Did… Did you hear what I said?"
"…I have to go to class."
He hadn't seen Leon until lunch and the brunette had just sat down next to him under the tree and eaten his lunch without saying a word. The next day, he spoke to Cloud as though nothing had happened.
He still did, even four months later. It was driving Cloud crazy.
Cloud's attention drifted from the movie back to his sleeping boyfriend (lover? fuck buddy? friend with benefits?) and he sighed, unable to resist reaching out and brushing a lock of brown hair from Leon's cheek.
"What do you want for Christmas?"
He jumped, his hand snapping back as Leon opened one eye and peered at him in amusement.
Cloud looked back at the TV. "Not sure yet…"
"Okay." Leon closed his eyes again, seemingly going back to sleep.
Cloud sighed and, this time, he didn't take his attention away from the movie again.
Riku… was going crazy. Slowly, but surely, he was.
"So, like, do you have Godzilla here?" The incredible dense, yet beautiful, preteen asked as she twirled a lock of blond hair around her finger.
Riku tapped his fingers against the counter and grit her teeth. "Yes, we do, in fact, have Godzilla in Blockbuster."
The girl squinted in thought. "What about, like… Bruce Almighty?"
"Yes. We have that here, too."
"FOR FUCK'S SAKE, WOMAN, YES, WE HAVE THEM! IT IS A MOVIE STORE! WE. HAVE. MOVIES."
The girl's eyes narrowed as a scowl made its way onto her Passion Pink-covered lips. "Well, you don't have to be all rude about it. I was just asking. God."
"Sorry." Riku muttered. "It's been a long day."
Riku had worked the morning shift, and the afternoon shift, and he was planning to work overtime, too. He was going to have to if he wanted to save up enough money to pay for his half of Sora's Christmas present.
Just the sound of the brunette's name made him want to smile. This, as Sora had pointed out, would be their first Christmas together. As a couple, that is.
"So—hee, stop laughing at me, Ri-ku! Listen! So, we've been a couple for about five months, now, riiight? And on Christmas, it'll be—what—eight months? On Christmas it'll be eight months! Well, and a few days, but—stooop! As I was saying, it'll be our first Christmas! You know, together-together. We should make it special and exchange—I said stop laughing! Rikuuuu!"
Sometimes, it was still so hard to believe that Sora was his. That he could reach out and hug and kiss and just touch the brunette whenever he wanted without having anybody question him or have Sora look at him in disgust. It was unbelievable. He wouldn't give it up for the world.
Which was why he needed this job and the money he could get from it. So he could get Sora a really great present that he'd been planning for months.
He plastered on his most charming smile. "Sorry I was so rude. What movies did you say you wanted?"
"Oh," The blonde said, blushing. "I—hee—okay, so…"
Riku tuned her out and tapped his fingers against the table again, his eyes narrowing as he spotted a familiar face pressed against the glass of the store. No, wait, make that two familiar faces.
"—I forget what it's called, but it's based on, like, this anime about these people with, like, these bounties or something and—"
"RIKUUUUU!" The blonde girl was roughly shoved out of way by the hyper brunette also known as Selphie as she nearly climbed over the counter in an effort to swing a bag at him. "I got a present for my Tidus!"
Sora stood behind her, looking at Riku with a sheepish smile, his cheeks flushed sweetly from the cold. "Hi, Riku. I told her not to make a scene, but, it's Selphie…"
"S'okay," Riku said, smiling at him. "I wasn't doing anything."
"Like, hello!" The blonde cried, stamping her foot, but all three tuned her out.
Selphie shoved past her again to go check out the new releases. Sora walked up to the counter and placed his elbows on it, steepling his fingers, resting his head on them, and looking up at Riku through his lashes. "Are you working late tonight again?"
"Uh huh." Riku replied, glancing at the indignant blond girl now arguing with Selphie before leaning down to peck Sora on the cheek. "Sorry."
"Hey, no need to apologize, mis-ter!" Sora cried teasingly, poking Riku in the chest. "You're bringin' home the bacon for me and the kids!"
Riku smirked and played along. "Bet those ain't even my kids."
"You callin' me a slut?"
"I ain't callin' you nothin'."
Sora poked him again. "Double negative! Mrs. Yuchimori would be horrified!"
"NEVER USE A DOUBLE NEH-GA-TEEVE!" Riku and Sora chorused together, laughing at their mockery of their middle school language teacher. Selphie shimmied back over to the counter and slammed a copy of Howl's Moving Castle on it.
"Last one. Ring it up!" She stuck her tongue out at the blonde girl from before, who huffed and stormed out into the snow.
Sora grinned. "So, when's the next time you have some free time? We can go ice skating!"
Riku winced as he rang up Selphie's DVD, laced it in a bag, and handed it to her, holding his hand out for the money. "I, uh, don't. Not until Christmas Eve…"
"Oh," Sora said, face falling. "Okay…"
He winced again. "Sorry, Sora."
"No, i-it's fine!" The brunette plastered on a cheerful grin, though, Riku noticed, it wasn't anywhere near as happy as the one he'd been wearing when he came in. "I can go with Tidus and Kairi and Wakka and Selphie. Maybe we can even drag Namine out of her house to come, too…"
Riku could tell Sora was more trying to reassure himself than Riku, but he didn't mention it.
"You guys'll have plenty of fun without me around to wreck it." He said instead, placing the money Selphie handed him in the register.
"Bye, working boy!" Selphie said, flailing, then grabbing Sora's arm and dragging him towards the exit. Sora managed a sad little wave in Riku's direction before he disappeared through the door.
This was all for Sora. He just had to remember that.
All for Sora.
"Mine's, like, sooo much bigger and badder than yours!" Tidus announced as he eyed the shabby excuse for a snowman Wakka had made.
Selphie had gone out shopping with Sora. Riku was working. Cloud was at home enjoying the snow day. Leon was… scary. Kairi was visiting Namine, who was working on some weird art thing that she wouldn't show anyone.
That left Wakka and, while he wouldn't be Tidus's first choice for a hangout-partner, he was pretty interesting to compete against.
However. His snowmen sucked out loud.
"Yeah, whatever. I'm not done, ya." Wakka replied, pushing some more snow over for use. Tidus sniffed. No amount of snow would make that thing look better than his – which was a little snow replica of Selphie, not that he'd admit it – so he had no idea why Wakka was even bothering.
He plopped down in the snow and shook the white powder from his hair. "I'm so bored."
"You dragged me out here, man. I can just go home right now and leave your ass in the snow."
"Oh, shut up and make Frosty the Snowdork look half-way decent."
Tidus watched the snow soak into his jeans, then laid back, his arms and legs moving rapidly as he made a snow angel right there next to his Snow-Selphie. Er, snowman. Snowwoman. Snow-what-the-hell-ever.
He sat up again and stared at Wakka's snowman.
"Argh, Wakka, do something fun!" Tidus cried at last, tossing some snow in the redhead's direction.
Wakka didn't even bat an eyelash. "Like what?"
"I don't know. Act like a moron."
"You do that well enough for both of us."
"Why you…" Tidus was about to launch a snowball assault on the older boy when he suddenly found himself staring at a gray pleated skirt hanging delicately over black tights and black snow boots. He looked upwards, past the lavender coat and gray scarf, up into the face of one Kairi Hotaka and her ugly green snow hat.
"What are you two doing?" She asked, holding out a hand to help Tidus up. After she'd done so, she peered at the snowman. "Is that… Selphie?"
"Is not." Tidus protested immediately, face flushed from something other than the cold. "Don't you have something you could be doing? Like replacing that lime green eye sore you call a hat?"
"Nah. I was with Namine, but she kicked me out so she could 'work' in peace. She's coming to the Christmas party on Saturday, though." Kairi stared at the snowman again, then shook her head. "I know Riku's at work, but where's Sora?"
"Selphie took him shopping." Tidus answered, still sulking over Kairi's correlation between his snowman and Selphie. Even though it was so true.
"Ah." Kairi hummed, looking at Wakka's snowman. "And what is that supposed to be exactly?"
"Hang on." The redhead kicked away the snow until nothing remained but a pile smaller than an ant. "It's Tidus' brain."
Kairi snickered. "You two are so weird. I'm going home. It's so cold. See you at the party?"
"Ya, we'll be there." Wakka said, waving her off, then grinning cheekily at the glaring blonde. "What? Whaaat?"
END PART ONE