Yes, I know, odd title, but you'll see soon why I chose this title. This one-shot is actually quite long coming to think of it. I've also got exams this month, but I had already typed this up several days before.
I recently got into Kingdom Hearts and I bought the game for the Playstation 2. I particularly disliked it when I first played it because I, a) got a headache after running around like mad trying to find fish, a seagull egg and two coconuts etc at the very start of it, and b) I had no clue what I was doing until I consulted a guide. Lol, I think I'm okay with it now, as long as I take a regular break in between hours for fifteen minutes and so, and ahem. I'm still a rookie of the game though.
I like this pairing - Cloud and Yuffie – a lot. I don't know much of the Kingdom Hearts plotline and I haven't even went up to the Coliseum part yet in the game so I don't actually know if Cloud leaves it or not to go to Traverse Town or something, and neither have I played Final Fantasy VII before (just Final fantasy X), so this one-shot is an AU, and please beware of OOC-ness. In fact, there's quite a lot I don't know about a lot of characters…
I just thought I'd try and give this a shot.
Basically this story starts off in the morning, progresses during the afternoon, and finally, the evening – the ending (like all in a day's work lol). It is Leon's and Yuffie's time to go Heartless Hunting (and slight training) around Traverse Town in the Second and Third Districts, and the Alleyway. Yuffie decides to give Leon a love letter while they're at it. Hope y'all like it.
When Apples and Oranges Fall in Love
By Fish and Chips
Yuffie had been brave – okay, reshape that sentence – Yuffie was always brave, but this time, no matter how much she had plucked up courage, she had failed to do so many times previously and given up hope after the twenty third try. Until now, with Aerith's help – well, along with some other girl's help, Yuffie had sculpted her masterpiece perfectly. She had spent all yesterday's night, without any sleep, food or drink – locked up in her room, in her bed with a torch shining on her pillow under the duvet, scribbling on an A4 lined paper pad.
"Yuuuussss!" Yuffie cackled to herself quietly as she completed the last sentence. "It's finished! Finally!" She kissed the paper numerous times, before hugging it closely to her. And she switched off her torch and went to sleep.
And the next day….
"Oh… I wonder what happened here?" The flower girl asked, as she cleared all the messy eraser markings and pencil sharpenings away from her roommate's desk. She tutted slightly and sighed. Aerith was getting fed up – fed up with seeing all these dirt marks of pencil on desks and tables – especially on Yuffie's desk. Yuffie had been a troublemaker over the past week, always taking her dinner up to her room and leaving food under the bed, or just shoved behind a cupboard as if it would 'dispose' of it.
"What is she doing nowadays….?" Aerith muttered to herself as she glanced at the girl on the bed, who was snoring rather loudly. "Funny, she's usually awake at this time for breakfast." Yet, Yuffie had refused to disclose much to Aerith. She had claimed it was 'Personal Issues' and was currently always residing in solitary confinement for sensible reasons.
Yuffie found Aerith at the hallway, taking out the old, wilted flowers from a pretty vase at the corner, and holding out a new bunch of flowers. Once she arrived beside Aerith, she looked around suspiciously before finally looking back at Aerith. "Aerith… " She started nervously.
The girl took a deep breath, and muttered quietly, "What other ways can you express love to others?"
Aerith dropped her newly picked bouquet of flowers onto the ground and stared slightly wide eyed at the ninja girl in front of her. "I don't think I understand what you mean, Yuffie…." She replied as she gathered them up again carefully.
Yuffie sighed and dropped her head low, before dawdling sluggishly over. She looked around the hotel suspiciously once more, seeing that it was completely empty and quiet, before whispering into Aerith's ear. "I mean… other than kissing, hugging and the usual stuff…. How else can I show people I… er… I mean… how can people show they love each other?"
"Er…. Give them gifts…?" Aerith suggested. Hmm… very strange behaviour coming from Yuffie was displayed before her very eyes. Perhaps the young girl was finally now a young adult?
"Gifts…. Of course!" Yuffie exclaimed brightly. "I just know what I have in mind!"
"They should come from your heart too." Aerith said with a smile.
"Is there anything else?" Yuffie asked curiously.
Aerith blinked. "Umm….. a love letter." She said with a smile.
Yuffie seemed to have struck gold – by the looks of it, Aerith believed. "Luuuuuuuv…. Letter……" She repeated slowly.
"Why, Yuffie? Have you got a crush on someone?"
Yuffie immediately leapt back and her eyes shifted to the sides cautiously and began tuggingat her scarf even though it was hung loosely around her neck and down her shoulders. "Er… No… It's just… uh… I have a friend, who likes… her friend… and because I am her friend. I am trying to get her together with the friend she's always uh…. Liked…" She babbled. "Anyway, thanks Aerith."
Aerith giggled. "No problem,"
Yuffie ran back to her room.
Aerith giggled to herself again as she picked up some of Yuffe's garbage which were discarded messily on the floor, including scrunched up balls of paper littering the rims of her bed. A torch lay beside a blunt pencil, and an A4 pad was snuggled in between Yuffie's arms comfortably. Aerith decided to leave her alone, and left the room with the bin bag. She entered the kitchen, to see Cid there, who seemed to have woken up with a bad mood.
"That Cloud lad was hogging the bathroom all to himself." He said crossly. "Thinks he owns the place of some sort."
"Cid, go check up on Yuffie while you're waiting." Aerith suggested as she tied the knot of the bin bag.
Back in Yuffie's room, Yuffie was having a dream. Of Squall. They were at a beach…. Walking along the sandy shores with no-one to disturb them. The sun was bright and dazzling, seagulls were crying and circling them, waves swept up to their bare feet in the sand and back… the whole atmosphere… scenery… perfect…… Everything. Just like she wanted. So perfect…… He gazed into her eyes affectionately, held her close to him, held her hands tightly within his and said:
"Yuffie, wake up."
She blinked. Squall?
"Yuffie, it's (beep) twelve o'clock of the goddamn day."
Wait… Leon's voice seemed to have changed, and so did his appearance. Since when did Leon swear so much? He sort of twisted into this familiar blonde… and soon, thunder clouds appeared as the sun disappeared along with the fluffy clouds….
"ARGH!" She screamed and jerked upright to come face to face with Cid. They stared at each other for a few moments, before Yuffie quickly shoved her A4 pad under her pillow (yet he had already seen it), and she pulled the covers that were falling off her leg onto the floor back up to her shoulders. She glared at him vigilantly.
"About time ya (beep) woke up." He said in irritation. "What's gone into ya? You're put out like a (beep) light these days." Boy, was he polite or not? Yuffie was used to hearing him swear in the morning.
She slumped under the covers and grumbled under her breath. "Didn't you knock?"
"I did, but ya didn't reply, and yer door was unlocked so I welcomed myself inside." He replied in a matter-of-factly.
Yuffie flopped back onto her bed and covered her face with the covers, not caring if her feet were exposed for him to see. "Go away, Cid. I'm tired. Let me count sheep in peace."
1 sheep… 2 sheep… 3 sheep….4 sheep…. 5 sheep….. 6 sheep….7 sheep…
"Since when did you (beep) count sheep?" He said with a raise of his eyebrow.
Yuffie didn't care at all. She was in an extremely foul mood – well, she seemed to have toned down over the last few seconds of counting sheep in her mind. Cid just had to ruin her perfect dream of her and Leon together…. To be honest, although Yuffie liked Leon a lot; she had never ever had a dream about him… until today, and now it was all gone. It was also seemingly to be a blur in her mind also. She delved her face into her pillow.
8 sheep…. 9 sheep…. 10 sheep….
"You brat. Get up now."
"Curse you, Cid." She mumbled, hoping he would hear, but he didn't. It came out all muffled. "Mumph hoo fid." She sighed, knowing that the only way to get him out the room was either by using force, or just to give into his demands. Yuffie decided to stay in bed. "Five more minutes…"
Cid grabbed her by the ankles and yanked her roughly, making her whole body almost fly off the bed, but Yuffie clung to the bed bars tightly and didn't give in. "Get up, you lazy bum, Leon won't get off my back until you're (beep) awake, he's looking for you." Cid said, he was really pissed with her.
She jerked back up and grinned widely. "Really?"
Cid gave a nod. "You're on duty with him today, taking on those (beep-beep) Heartless, aren't you?"
That seemed to have gotten her off her butt. She did a one hundred and eighty degree twist in the air from her bed and landed on the ground on her feet. "Oh yeah… crap, I totally forgot!" Then she turned to Cid who seemed slightly amused. Yuffie looked at herself; her pyjamas weren't very startling… they were just consisting of a light matching sweater and trousers, both white with prints of lions on them. "Stop staring at me like that!"
She pushed him out of her room and slammed the door shut. Cid scratched the back of his neck as he stared at her door for a while, before turning to go to the dining room. He found Leon sitting at the very end of the table impatiently waiting, his fingers constantly tapping on the plate with his cold tea, making a very loud 'clacking' noise. "Is she awake?" He asked when he noticed Cid coming in.
"Yuffie's been acting weirdly." Aerith said as she sat down in an empty seat near Cid.
"I'd say." Leon agreed as he leant back in his chair that it creaked slightly. "She went postcard-hunting for hours yesterday even though there should be no more around these days."
Aerith thought. "Postcards?"
"I don't give a (beep) damn. Just leave the brat." Cid said as he took another swig of his Red Bull.
"But she's always waking up so late in the day. Something's up with her." Leon added.
It was silent again.
"We should just leave her alone for some time. I think she'll be fine." Aerith said as she took a sip from her cup. "Oh, where's Cloud gone now? He just took off after having a cup of water."
"He told me he was going Heartless Hunting, even though we're on duty today." Leon replied.
After that, Yuffie came marching into the dining room with a wide grin plastered over her face, dressed in her normal attire of the usual green top, shorts and scarf, long stockings and hefty kicking boots, she didn't look any different – but they still eyed her blatantly to see if they could find out why Yuffie was acting so strangely lately. "Morning."
"Left just before you woke up to go Heartless Hunting."
"Oh. Morning Squall."
"About time you woke up, come on, let's get going." Leon said irritably as he got off his chair. "Here, get something to eat first."
"Aye, aye, Squall!" Yuffie wolfed down two slices of toast and a mini can of Cream soda in the fridge.
"Will you both (beep) shut it? I'm trying to (beep) concentrate." Cid interrupted quickly. He was reading the newspaper, particularly on an article about shoplifting and security.
"Shouldn't you be at your shop?"
"It's closed. It's a Sunday."
"But I thought you had a Clear-out sale on Sunday."
"Used to. Not anymore, brat."
"But – "
"Okay, okay, I'm coming."
Aerith waved at them cheerily from behind the counter. "I'll have dinner for you when you come back."
Leon sent his thanks and they both left the hotel. "Come on, Yuffie. We have a big day ahead. There have been sightings of a new type of Heartless lurking around."
"I'll say." She chuckled to herself as she followed him behind, her hands holding a pink envelope. Yes, a very, very girlish colour which Yuffie disliked a lot… but hey, it spices up the feeling, right? Yuffie fingered the special shuriken star she had kept in store. It was her favourite; it sliced through as much enemies and utterly destroyed them in one swipe. She kissed her 'baby' weapon and happily tucked it back in.
"To Squall, love from Yuffie." She murmured to herself.
They spent the first hours just wandering around aimlessly in the second district, which was extremely lonely and cold in the mornings, Yuffie felt that this was ideally not a place to present the letter and her gift to him here, it didn't lighten the mood. She was also growing bored of just sitting on a bench staring at the door at the end of the alley that led to the third district. The heartless were pretty quiet today.
Sooner or later, they decided to split up. But before Leon left her….
It's now or never….
Leon was bending over looking at something on the floor just a foot away from her. Yuffie began to sweat immediately. She got a good view of his behind – since he wore so many belts around his waistline, it seemed to be covered in belt straps, and she bit her lip.
Stop thinking those thoughts, Yuffie!
Leon moved slightly.
Her arms which seemed permanently stuck to her sides with superglue rigged into motion, and she bet them up, making an imaginary creak of metal (as she believed), her right hand clutching the letter. Yuffie's mind was spinning. This wasn't like her at all, all of a sudden; the cogs in her mind seemed to have spun slowly, making her function all wrong. Her cheeks felt so flushed and she began tugging at her loose scarf again.
Oh god oh god oh god oh god.
She wished her shuriken would suddenly jab her so sharply she'd move, but they were tucked far safely in her belt. Her feet seemed to be rooted to the ground. The letter was now in front of her, her both arms over her head.
"Uh… Leon…. I uh… er…. Have… uh…"
Leon turned back and inspected her worryingly. "What's wrong, Yuffie?"
She looked up and tried to remain normal. "I have a le – (coughcoughcough)!"
"Sorry I didn't get that."
Leon didn't understand what she was saying, but he smiled. "Oh, you found a postcard again, did you? You know where the mailbox is, send it after duty hours and see what you get."
Yuffie's goofy smile faltered slightly, and then… slowly, she fell backwards stiffly like a board, arms still holding out with the letter, the silly smile still plastered on her face. Then she sighed and let the letter fall out of her hands over her face. Yuffie sprawled over the ground in disappointment.
"Yuffie, the street's dirty, if you're tired, go to bed early next time." He shook his head and offered to lift her up.
She ignored him and remained in her daze.
"You should stay in the second district then, because it's near the hotel, if you're in any trouble, you can call for help, or if you're hurt, Aerith can cure you." Leon instructed as he slung the gunblade over his shoulder.
"What about you?" Yuffie mumbled from the ground.
"I'll go into the third district."
"Oh… okay then…"
As soon as Leon walked out to the middle of the district to cross over, a huge shadow covered Yuffie's body, which was still lying on the ground, unmoving.
Life is meaningless now….
Unfortunately she couldn't see because of the letter covering her face, all she could see was pink.
"Yuffie, look out!"
"Huh?" She took off the pink letter, to come face to face with very, very, very large, bright, eerily glowing red eyes. She screamed, and rolled out of the way before a claw came crashing on the ground. Yuffie egg rolled over to the bench as bits of debris and slab flew around. "WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!"
The shadow thing was huge, as tall as the hotel and blocked out most light – of the lampposts. It had these wavy black tentacles for arms and jaggy teeth that protruded over it's lower jaw. It seemed to move like a snail with the slime…. But it definitely did not have the speed of a snail. Leon ran over to Yuffie and held his gunblade at a fighting stance.
"That's probably the new Heartless people have seen lately, Yuffie, get ready!"
"Sure thing!" Yuffie decided to take out her sorrow on this bulky thing. Whatever crossed her path today was sure gonna be dead meat…. Yuffie was to ensure that. "You've pressed the buttons on me, boy!"
Immediately everything went into battle mode, Yuffie was continuing attacking it with her stars, aiming them at the back, the front, the head, the legs and the arms whilst Leon gave it striking slices with his blade. Yuffie was beginning to get tired. Nothing seemed to faze this dude!
Yuffie landed beside Leon as she realised she had ran out of throwing stars – they were all stuck on the Heartless' body! Leon delivered a sharp cut at one of the tentacles, and suddenly, this yellowish powder of some sorts floated into the sky from the cut tentacle, all over Leon. He sneezed, and then suddenly, his eyes closed and he flopped back on the ground. Yuffie bent down beside him.
"Leon? Wha – "
A hand quickly covered Yuffie's open mouth and she almost screamed. She began squawking nervously and squiggled under the grip.
"Calm down, it's me."
She stopped wriggling and looked up into blue eyes. "Fwoud?" – Yuffie's muffled speech.
Cloud had used his left hand (coughcoughmetalclawhandthingycoughcough) to cover Yuffie's mouth, and his right was clutching around her waist tightly to hold her back; his red cloak seemed to help him shield from the powder. Yuffie flinched in disgust and tried to push his hand away, but the powder still lurked around the atmosphere so she stayed limp like a rag doll in his arms.
"It's Pollen. It's put Leon to sleep. You put him somewhere safe while I take care of this." He commanded smoothly, he let go of her waist and unsheathed the hilt of his mammoth size-of-a-blade.
"Fwy Thood I –"
"Just do it."
"Gut ai vanna thelp oo."
"Yuffie, just listen to me."
"Fwine, fwine." She tied her scarf securely over her own mouth and Cloud let go of her, and then went off to fight.
Yuffie was in charge of dragging a snoring Leon to the side, under the bench. She cured him of the status ailment with the spell 'Esuna' and then she decided to join the fight, leaving Leon to wake up by himself. Cloud was managing well, he was sure not to cut any tentacles, and he had removed his red cloak so he could move more easily around to match the Heartless, it had fast and nimble limbs!
"Is that the best you can do?" Yuffie didn't exactly know why Cloud was taunting this Heartless, but she believed he probably had a plan up his sleeve – or cape. And then she thought again – Did Heartless even understand English?
It did; apparently, it gave a loud roar of rage and doubled its strength.
Cloud managed to hit the Heartless onto its side. He leapt up and, using his hefty blade, he was about to his technique that finished most of his opponents. Yuffie tried to help. She tried throwing more Shuriken stars at it; the Heartless squealed slightly as some of the stars managed to dig into its body, the Heartless jerked back up onto its feet and reflected the stars – the other shuriken stars landed on Cloud in mid air. He took a slight tumble. "Ow! Watch where you're aiming!"
"I am! You just move around to them too much!" She protested. "And my aim is perfect! You're just lame!"
Well, he had to move to their direction, that was where they were aiming at – the Heartless. The Heartless had about five or more tentacles attacking from every side and it was extremely hard to dodge. Yuffie didn't blame him once she figured that out… but she didn't blame herself either.
"Yuffie, use your Scan technique on it!" Cloud shouted.
"Okay!" Yuffie got up, held her right arm out with her palm facing the Heartless, and then used her left hand to 'zoom' over her eyes (a bit like a Sailor Moon pose – hey, Rikku and Kimahri from Final Fantasy X all had poses when they scanned, lol).
The scan was in progress….
Anemone Heartless. Vulnerable to Thunder, immune to poison, sleep, dark, silence and petrification. Watch out for Aqua Breath. P.S Do not cut tentacles as they release a very dangerous toxin. Results may vary if you DO cut them.
Cloud managed to hear all that as Yuffie shouted out whatever her scanner was progressing to her. Yuffie was still scanning however, and she looked at Cloud.
Cloud Strife. Vulnerable to memory loss, hugs, spiky things and contracts. Extremely unemotional and cold, but he'll unravel himself in time. On the good side, he is extremely delicious! Good luck!
Yuffie blinked. "Something's wrong with my scanner…But it is right on some things…" Then she looked at Leon who was slowly waking up.
Squall Leonheart. Prefers to be addressed by his friends as Leon. High HP, strength and guts. Immune against Yuffie. Has a nice personality, a good fighter and makes an overall loyal friend. Also extremely delicious!
"Hmm, it's gone all bonky. I can try and fix it with Cid's help…" Yuffie mumbled as she closed her scanner. She then turned her attention to Cloud. "Here, I'll help!" Yuffie threw a remaining shuriken star at it.
The Heartless pencil rolled over slightly to avoid the star flying towards its way, and then – Chhk! A freshly sliced tentacle squirmed around on the floor, releasing a green powder, this time.
Yuffie blinked. "Ehehehe…. Oops." She laughed nervously and quickly covered her mouth in time.
Cloud's cape sat in the corner and he put his hand over his mouth, but being so close to the Heartless; Cloud began to cough once the dust settled all over his blonde hair and over his head and body, and he fell to his knees in a coughing fit.
Yuffie ran to retrieve him, and dragged him by the feet, over to the bench – not caring if he bumped his head on a couple of slabs on the way. Yuffie squealed. "Oh no! They're all out! That means I'm in the game now (get it? Huh, huh? Okay that was bad….)!"
"Heal…. Cloud… I'll fight it." Leon said as he got up. "You. Stay here and keep an eye out. Don't throw any more stars."
She pouted. "But I really wanna help!"
"You can help by healing Strife – for starters."
"But I don't know what status he's under! What if I use Esuna and it hurts him even more?" Yuffie wailed helplessly, waving her arms around.
"Just do… something." Leon groggily walked up to the pitch and engaged battle. "Observe his symptoms or something!"
Yuffie looked back at Cloud sprawled over the floor, gagging and spluttering as if there was no tomorrow, well, there wouldn't be any for him if she didn't find out what was wrong with him. "Hmmm." Yuffie was inspecting him closely. "Victim seems to be in perfect shape… he's clutching his throat…. Thrashing wildly… face turning blue… oh god, he's losing oxygen!" She turned to Leon. "What do I do, what do I do!"
Leon was battling fiercely and dodging blows coming his way; he was still pretty tired, after all, and often couldn't defend. "Give him some air!"
"Air? Uh… okay!"
Yuffie opened his mouth once Cloud cracked an eye open to glare/glower/give her an extremely fierce look that seemed to say 'touch-me-and-you-die' at her. Cloud was shooting deadly daggers at her but she ignored them (sighs, if looks could kill). "I should probably wipe my mouth first…. But since you're dieing…"
Cloud seemed to inch away from her. He knew how immature and irresponsible Yuffie was sometimes – wait, he rephrased that - He knew how immature and irresponsible Yuffie was all the time.
"Stay still!" She shrieked at him and she dragged him back over.
She bent down and began blowing into his mouth. Then she got back up and shook him gently.
Cloud seemed to turn green as his head lolled back.
"Okay, you need more air." She blew into his mouth again.
"YUFFIE! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!" Leon shouted. The Heartless gave a shrill cry and swiped at him. He dodge rolled away.
"You said to give him some air!"
"I know, but – " Another swipe, Leon leapt to safety. " - I meant CPR!"
"Mouth – " Leon leapt up and delivered the blow with a small blast of Thunder magic. " - to mouth!"
Yuffie paled and almost joined Cloud in writhing agony. She clenched her tiny fists and shook them at him threateningly. "No way! No way! I'd rather do the can-can at this moment wearing a fluorescent flamenco skirt with stilettos while shouting my dirty secrets, or have a shuriken jammed up my ass, correct way up, than kissing HIM! Like as if I'd ever give any thought of doing that horrendous CPR thing with him! Call me back in a million year's time!" And she crossed her arms over her chest and looked away.
The Heartless began to blow up into different glowing floating orbs, and faded away. Leon quickly collected the huge amount of Munny it burst into and several boxes of Mega-Potions before quickly returning back to the sidelines. "I didn't know you felt this strong towards Cloud."
"Well now you do!"
"But he's dieing!"
"No, he isn't!"
"Then what do you think is wrong with him?"
"He's just… er…. Uh… eh…."
"Fine, if you won't perform CPR, I will."
Yuffie turned green as well. The thought… Cloud and Leon…. Mouth to mouth. She felt sick as she watched Leon shifting over to an unconscious Cloud. Leon moved to Cloud's side and bent down….
Oh my god, he's really going to do it!
Their lips were going to touch….
"Nuuuuuu!" Yuffie pushed him away. "Don't! You'll scar me forever!"
"I'm glad you see things my way." Leon said with a smirk.
Yuffie mumbled a string of curses. "I hope I scar you too in some way." She grumbled at him. Leon didn't hear. His attention was focused on Cloud. He seemed to be fading, fast. She stared at his slightly parted lips and suddenly, she felt all shrivelled up inside, and then, her heart began pounding furiously. Yuffie's body heat reached MAXIMUM and she almost felt like erupting like a volcano.
Fuck, what the hell is this feeling? I only get it when I'm near Leon!
She really, really, really, really didn't want to do this. But she didn't want Cloud to die either, well, not this way. She hoped she would somehow miraculously annoy him to death. She closed her eyes as well, and then, their lips made contact with each other.
Gawd… his lips are so dry! YUCK YUCK YUCK YUCK! I wish I had Vaseline!
She quickly detached her lips away from his once she could feel him breathing normally again. Yuffie slumped on her spot, a bit dazed, and her lips were trembling. Leon observed this; she looked liked she was about to burst into tears. But all she did was seem to mumble something incoherently to herself.
"Hm… that's weird. He's not healing. Try Esuna." Leon suggested.
Yuffie looked at Cloud, who still seemed knocked out cold. "…. Esuna." She mumbled. A warm glow appeared on his face from under her outstretched palm, and soon, Cloud was back to being pale and impassive. He sat back up and stretched a little. "What! You're feeling better now!" Yuffie exclaimed surprisingly and furiously at him.
He nodded slightly. "I feel better."
"Guess Esuna did work, after all." Leon said, his finger tapping his chin thoughtfully.
"I tried to tell you two that I was poisoned." Cloud replied in a deadpan way. "What happened anyway?"
"I managed to destroy the Heartless while Yuffie performed – "
"You shut your geggie!" Yuffie screeched at him (geggie means your mouth by the way).
Yuffie and Leon both glared at one another as Cloud exchanged them both glances, Yuffie seemed to glower like mad at him, and Leon seemed to try not to laugh. Yuffie twisted her head to Leon slowly. "Ya hear that?"
Leon gave a little nod.
There was a slight silence between the two.
"You made me – I – You – He. It was all for nothing?" Yuffie shrieked at Leon, her face growing all red. And that my first kiss too! LEEEEOOOOONNNNN! HOW I WISH TO STRANGLE YOU AT THE MOMENT!
"But I. Must. Remain. Calm…" Yuffie said to herself. D'oh. I just had to scream that out!
Leon scratched the back of his head with a small smile. "Well, you two seem to be in top shape. What are you doing here anyway?"
Cloud looked up. "…. Heartless Hunting."
Leon blinked. Figures… "Okay, I'd better check the Third District for any more of those Heartless. I'll see you guys later."
"Oh no you don't! You're staying here until we talk this over!" Yuffie shouted angrily as she stood up.
"Yuffie, people are going to hurt if we don't clear the area." Leon replied calmly.
"Then tell them to take another route – or live somewhere else!"
"That's the point, they don't have anywhere else to live. Yuffie, stop being so selfish!"
"I'm not selfish!"
"You're acting it, you're acting it like a little girl that just lost her dolly or something right now."
"I'm not a little girl! If I am, then you two are old fogies!" Yuffie pointed out. Cloud and Leon raised an eyebrow.
"Look, I don't have time for this. I'm sorry, okay?" And he turned away.
"Leon! Get your belted ass back here!" Yuffie screamed. "Are you listening to me!"
Too late, Leon opened the doors and scooted away, leaving Yuffie screaming another freshly woven string of curses at him; she rarely lost her temper like this, especially towards Leon.
Cloud was wondering what was wrong with her.
"Well, Mr I-was-poisoned-but-I-lived, I have a lot of reasons, Number 1 - Apparently you just had to be poisoned, Number 2 - Leon ran away from me, and finally, Number 3 - I just lot my first k – " Yuffie paused. Why the hell should Cloud know that she lost her first kiss to him? Why the hell should she tell him that she kissed him in the first place anyway?
"So everything is basically my fault then?" Cloud said boredly as he got up from the ground. He dusted himself and gave a hand out to Yuffie, she snorted and got up herself.
"Yes! It's. All. Your. Fault!"
And she stomped on his foot.
Well… she hoped it would make him feel agonizing pain but because of his large shoes, it only felt like a slight, dull flattening from the laces. "Was that supposed to hurt me?"
"Yes! Now stop stating the obvious!" Apparently, Cloud was beginning to get on her nerves without realising it – well, that's what she thought anyway.
Yuffie crossed her arms over her chest again and jutted out her lip in a really, really, moody pout. Cloud tried to contain his amusement. A comfortable silence spawned between them; Yuffie wanted it to keep it this way; she was trying to calm down, and Cloud was back to being Mr Boring. They sat side by side each other on a bench, staring off at the Third District door; as if Leon would emerge out and fix this whole fiasco… but sometimes…. You need to sort out problems by yourself.
After a half hour of complete silence, Yuffie felt as if she was going to explode. Cloud was just staring off into space – she wondered how anyone could be so boring in his or her life. She left to go an empty toilet stall in the district; she shut the door behind her and sat on the toilet seat. "If this keeps up I'll turn crazy." She said to herself. "I know, I'll abandon him and leave him to do Heartless Duty, I mean, he is volunteering, right? I can't stick with him until the evening."
She spent several more minutes thinking about stuff in the small, enclosed space. To be honest, Yuffie sort of liked it. There was a faint bang, but she ignored it. Then, to her horror –
The door to her toilet opened.
She screamed as Cloud's head peeped out from behind. "Sorry, wrong stall. You should really lock the door."
Her eyes widened and her face burned red fiercely.
"GET OUT! GET OUT!" Thankfully she still had her pants on – she was just sitting on the pan doing nothing.
Yuffie stomped back to the bench where Cloud was. She didn't sit beside him, she chose to sit onto another bench. Cloud noticed, but he didn't say anything. "I'm sorry." He said.
Yuffie stopped automatically gazing at a spider on the floor and looked at Cloud. "What?" She asked, sticking a finger into her ear to make sure she hadn't heard wrong. Cloud – apologizing? Yuffie searched around for a tape/video recorder – of course, she was just faking it (since they might not exist in their world, but maybe, it does). Cloud was a bit annoyed with her reaction.
"You heard me."
"I did?" She played dumb. It was fun! She liked to annoy him a lot; judging why Cloud's character was such a mystery to everyone, and he'd like and preferred to remain a mystery – Yuffie just wanted him to stop being like a rock/boulder/pebble towards others and be more happy, just like her. Yuffie had the positive attitude and the utter most self-confidence in herself than any of the others did, and even an ego bigger than her head sometimes. But who cared? She was living life to the fullest, by being happy - happy, happy, happy -
He glared at her. "…Yeah." He took a mental note at why she was staring back at him in such a funny and disturbing way.
"You said it was my fault." He scratched the back of his neck slightly. "And about the toilet – "
"True, true. But I er… guess… I need to apologize too." Yuffie also scratched the back of her head awkwardly as she interrupted quickly and deliberately.
Cloud blinked uncertainly at her from a park bench length. It was quite awkward talking to someone that far.
"I'm sorry I attacked you with the shuriken stars." Yuffie moved back beside him.
"It's okay. The only thing you did was just destroy my cloak." He pointed at the ripped tears and shredded seams on the red fabric around his neck. He flicked at it, it caught in Yuffie's face and she sneezed.
"I said I was sorry already!" She replied angrily, moving away from his cloak. "Anyway, don't you think that thing needs to be replaced? Look at it, it was worse before."
"I was just kidding, calm down, and do you think I have the munny to get a new cloak?"
"Well, you're not exactly a homeless guy either. Get a job or something." She sad blatantly. But she gave a sideways glance at the cloak. I wonder how it feels like…. Ack, what am I thinking?
There was another silence, before suddenly, Cloud – he did something the most unusual to Yuffie; well, that's what she thought.
He started laughing.
Cloud Strife – out of all people, especially with his type of quiet and unfazed personality which would usually drive people bonkers if they hung around him for far too long – an exception was Yuffie, she was probably the same in a different way; she literally drove people bonkers if they were around her too long. Heh, Yuffie twitched slightly and tried not to laugh. "Who are you and what have you done with Cloudy?"
He didn't stop laughing, but it died down. Yuffie quickly scampered to the far side of the bench.
She punched him lightly on the shoulder from arm's length. "Stop laughing at me already! I'm already humiliated enough for the day, thank you!" She shouted at him furiously as she hid her face behind her gloved hands, her face growing red like a tomato again.
Cloud stopped. "I'm not laughing at you. I'm laughing because you're making me laugh."
"I don't understand. I'm not tickling you or telling stupid jokes you get from Christmas Crackers." Yuffie said suspiciously. "Look, I'll try one. Er… how do you attract a squirrel's attention?"
Cloud raised an eyebrow.
"No? You don't know? Okay, the answer is: You act like a nut."
Cloud gawked slightly.
"See? You're not laughing. I'll do another one, okay? What did the apple say to the orange?"
Cloud closed his eyes. "Yuffie, stop."
"No, it didn't say that. It didn't say anything. Apples can't talk, stupid, let alone talk to oranges. Duh." Yuffie grinned victoriously at him. Cloud groaned inwardly and decided to ignore her so she would drop this subject. Instead, she dropped her smile when Cloud looked back at her in a way. "You know what?" She said, placing her hands on her hips.
"You and I are just like apples and oranges. I'm an apple, and you're an orange. Outside, you're layered, tough and dry (she was referring back to his lips in a coded way), but once penetrated, you're orange and soft inside. And I'm soft on the outside, but hard and tough inside."
Again, Cloud seemed bored and didn't reply, but he did say: "And what would you say if an apple and orange fell in love with each other? Or if an orange fell in love with an apple?"
"What the hell are you talking about? Are you sure you're not poisoned, or are you maybe a bit brain damaged? How can apples and oranges possibly fall in love? And…. If an orange fell in love with an apple then…. er…. It's just impossible, that's what!" She joked, starting to laugh heartily adding that 'hyucking nyucking' sound to it.
"Well, if the apple gave the orange a chance, things might be different."
Yuffie eyed him strangely. Cloud just stared back solemnly without a word. Yuffie had the feeling he wasn't joking; but Cloud never joked around. "You're weird. Okay, question, what do we do now?"
"Stay alert for Heartless."
Yuffie cracked up laughing over the bench, wheezing and gasping helplessly like a fish hauled out of the water onto a boat.
"That wasn't a joke."
"I know." She stopped laughing. "I was just thinking of something… Let's play a game."
Two and a half boring hours later….
Leon looked at the two robot-like figurines sitting stiffly opposite each other on the park bench. "What's wrong with you two? Yuffie, you're not still mad at me, are you?" Then he looked at Cloud. "Cloud? Not you too."
The motionless Yuffie didn't budge or even blink – her eyes just locked onto Cloud's emotionless blue ones. He was taller than her – so they both seemed to be eyeing each other down on the bench – Yuffie was unfazed by the fact that Cloud casted a shadow over her tiny form, and stayed strong. It was really intimidating though - Yuffie's eyes were beginning to water. Cloud was staring at her too. Leon thought, perhaps they had finally realised they had hidden feelings for each other? He felt like choking for a time. Yuffie really had grown up!
"Yuffie?" Leon tried again. "It's Banana Night tonight."
This grabbed her attention.
"What? It is?" She left eye contact with Cloud and bounced up and down in the spot. Banana Night was the greatest – when Aerith made every single dessert just out of Bananas, Banana Milkshake, Banana Bread, Banana noodles, Banana rice – okay, you get the picture.
"No, it's not."
Yuffie's smile faltered. "You lied to me! Now I've just lost twenty three Munny pieces to Cloud!" She attacked him on the arm, then at Cloud who had a look of 'what-did-I-do-now?' on his face.
"Well, let's go back in. I've cleared the Third District over the hours, what did you two do?"
"We had a staring contest." Cloud seemed a bit on the bright side.
"And I lost it – thanks to you." Yuffie glowered at Leon.
He shook his head in disbelief. "Cloud, I can't believe you took part in her silly games."
"They're not silly games – they're mental games!" Yuffie exclaimed wildly. "And Cloud's fin enough to play with me, unlike you." She latched onto his arm yet Cloud didn't seem to notice her.
Leon decided not to question this any further. The trio returned to the Hotel, Yuffie in the middle still gripping onto Cloud, somewhat cheerfully humming to herself as they all crammed into the doorway. They spilled over the floor and entered the living room. Leon kicked back on the couch and just lay there like a limp dog filled with fatigue, Cloud silently and moodily stood against the wall, Yuffie kicked off her socks and decided to go exploring before Aerith prepared dinner.
She sneaked into the hall, on the way to Cloud's oh-so-forbidden room. What so forbidden about it anyway? Yuffie glanced back at the lounge; Cloud hadn't moved from his spot and had his eyes closed. Yuffie cackled and tiptoed over to his door, and twisted the knob. It wasn't locked. She opened the door carefully and took baby steps inside, before closing the door behind her and flicking on the light switch.
His room was unusually clean and tidy. Too tidy. A spare cloak sat folded neatly in the corner on top of a chair. His futon was done up in the bed, and the blinds were drawn. Maybe Aerith cleaned his room as she did to others – she didn't care and hobbled to the chair, took the cloak and tried to tie t around herself as Cloud did. It wasn't easy; she was finally done when she tied a knot on her shoulder to keep it from shrugging off. When she was finished, it felt a bit weird; Yuffie waddled over to his wardrobe and opened it and looked at her reflection in the full length mirror.
"Lookin' good, Yuffie!" She cheered to herself happily. "I ought to get one of these." She began to make action man – ahem, action girl poses while admiring herself. Then she began prancing around the way how Cloud moved (except hers was a little exaggerated) and also began talking random things trying to imitate his voice. In fact, she was too busy admiring herself and playing around, she didn't hear the door opening, and someone silently stepping in.
Yuffie leapt up in fright and turned round. "Cloud - ! I – er….." She threw the cloak off her onto his bed and laughed nervously. "Um… just seeing how wearing a cape felt like… er… I gotta go!"
And she dashed past him, but he grabbed onto one of her little brush-like ponytails and she squirmed. "Ow ow ow ow ow! Let go! Let go!"
"If you wanted a cape you should've asked. Here, do what you want with it. I don't need it anyway." Cloud let go of her and she frowned fiercely at him. He gathered the cape in his arms and threw it at her. "And don't go into my room without my permission." He wasn't really angry with her, but Yuffie thought he was.
Yuffie caught it carefully and looked down, scuffling her feet on his floor. "I didn't say I wanted it, and I don't want your things anyway." And she stalked off in a huff over him, muttering about 'getting second hand junk' – although she was holding the cape tightly to her. Then she turned back and yelled at him. "And I do as I please! I have the right!"
Upon retuning to the lounge, she began whining as Aerith called them all to the dinner table. "I thought it was Banana Night today." Yuffie wailed as she looked at her empty dessert plate.
"Sorry, we've run out of Bananas." Aerith apologised. "On the other hand, something came through the post this morning. It's addressed to you, Yuffie."
Aerith handed her a packet. Yuffie ripped it open, and inside lay this weird…. Tin foil wrapped thing. She unfolded the tin foil… to see this star thing plop out. Yuffie looked at the returning address (I know their home was destroyed but I do have hope it's still alive lol).
TreeHouse Number 4
The Middle of Nowhere
She looked at the letter with it.
"To Yuffie. Well, here you go. A Paopu fruit. I think I told you the story behind it once. You said you wanted one, right? From Sora and Kairi."
"Don't eat it, kid, think about how long that thing's been in there." Cid said as he looked at it suspiciously and he prodded it with the toothpick from his mouth. "It'll give you a disease of some sort. I mean, look at that weird shape."
Yuffie frowned and swatted his hand away. "Says you – and it's supposed to be this shape." She looked back at the fruit as if it was gold.
This my last chance!
"Squall, do you want to try a bit?" Yuffie asked as she broke a small part of the fruit.
Leon looked at the fruit in her hands, which was oozing juicy, succulent liquor out from it, all over her nails and fingers. He was put off. "Uh… no thanks."
And Yuffie began crying, almost settling her head into her uneaten plate of food.
"What? What did I do?" Leon said as he pushed his empty plate onto the pile.
"Brat, what's wrong with ya?" Cid asked as he put down his newspaper.
"Yuffie, do you want me to go out and buy some bananas?" Aerith suggested. Perhaps she was still upset about the cancellation of Banana Night?
"No… No…." She wailed. "It's not that…."
She cried during dinnertime, they were watching a sad and cheesy soap flick on the television – and Yuffie cried the hardest. Cid was getting pissed off and she had to move beside Aerith because he couldn't hear the television with all her sobbing and moaning in the background. Leon apologised to her and this made her cry harder. Cloud just watched; and she cried even more. She cried when she was taking a shower and brushing her teeth, and she was still crying when she was sitting in her bed about to go to sleep. By this time, they had given her a million boxes of tissues and a bucket. Yuffie threw away her three hundred and fifty fourth hanky on the floor. She was still clutching the Paopu fruit in her hands. It lay there, lonely and uneaten. Poor thing.
"Stupid Squall! One of these days, I – " Yuffie looked down. "Who am I kidding? He'll never like me the way I like him. I'd better toss this. But that'll be a waste." She took a small nibble, and then, howled even louder and wolfed half of it down. "Never knew sorrow tasted so good." Yuffie clambered out of bed, and onto the hall, where she was making her way to the kitchen over to the bin. She flicked on the light; only to see Cloud was there, getting a drink of water.
"Shouldn't you be asleep?" He asked. He noticed that she seemed to have cleared up a bit, even though her eyes were still puffy red and all wet. She also seemed to be dribbling slightly.
"My bed time hour isn't nine o'clock anymore." Yuffie replied wobbly. She was about to throw the rest of the Paopu fruit into the bin, before Cloud stopped her. "What are you doing?"
"What does it look like?" Yuffie replied tiresomely.
"You're wasting food."
"It's mine. I do what I please. And I please to utterly eliminate this piece of organic health provisions into the oral cavity of oblivion."
He raised an eyebrow.
"I'm going to chuck it in the bin, okay?"
"Wait. I wanted to ask you something."
"Yeah?" Yuffie asked, and she held on longer onto the fruit.
"What did you and Leon actually do to me when I was out?"
"Er… you mean… when you were poisoned and lying there like a bedraggled dog that just got washed ashore?"
Cloud rolled his eyes, then returned her gaze "…Yeah."
"Uh…. Leon… er… performed CPR on you, yeah!" No way would she admit she kissed him.
"Oh." Yuffie noticed that Cloud seemed to have taken more gulps of water, some of the water trickling over his jaw and lips, now Yuffie stared at his chiselled jaw line and rugged features. He noticed her, and deliberately wiped it away in front of her. Yuffie's temperature soared again and she looked away.
"Stop crying, okay? What's wrong with you? You were perfectly fine when you were on duty." Cloud said. He didn't sound unemotional as he did before, now he sounded just… normal in a way. Oh, how he scared her now.
"Don't ask. I wasn't crying either – Great Ninja's don't cry, I was merely, trying to get salt out of my eyes – I spilled some salt into my eyes before." Yuffie knew that was pretty lame. She hoped he would buy it.
"O-kay." Cloud said; he didn't believe a word she just said there.
"Wait – okay, Leon made me upset." She spilled out truthfully.
"What did he do?"
"He wouldn't eat my Paopu fruit so I'm just going to throw it away."
"No, don't. Here, I'll finish it then." He scooped it out from her hands and finished it in one gulp. Yuffie's eyes widened. "But – I - You – How? No – No, no, no!"
"Sorry, were you going to finish it?"
"NO!" Yuffie calmed down after a few seconds of pulling off a tantrum by stomping her feet on the floor. "You know what? It doesn't matter. Thanks for eating the other half of that. Now I know where my destiny lies. Thanks, Cloud." She mumbled sarcastically.
"You're welcome." He replied.
She clenched her fists again, but then she softened. "I'm going to sleep. G'night Cloud."
She returned to her room, Cloud watching her twiddle off into the dark hallway that it made her look as if she was floating. A few minutes later, she re-emerged out, and then went back up to Cloud at the counter. "Here, read this if you dare. Oh yeah, take this too." Yuffie handed him a pink letter and a Shuriken star. "It's my favourite, so you should keep it."
Then she went back into her room and came back out again a few seconds later. "And uh... what you said before… if the orange likes the apple, she'll reconsider it, and might give him a chance." She said quickly, before turning slightly red around the face and she ran back to her room clumsily as she knocked down the vase containing Aerith's flowers, before slamming the door shut behind her.
Yuffie re-emerged once more. "You said you're always looking for a light, yeah? Well… you can borrow my torch when power runs out or something, then you'll be okay."
He looked at her with half lidded eyes but accepted the torch anyway. Yuffie went back into her room and went into Aerith's, probably talking about the broken vase, and then returned to her room. Cloud smiled slightly and looked at the letter. He had a minor bad feeling about it, but he opened it nonetheless. The very front line was scored out messily and Cloud couldn't see whatever name was there. The writing there was in black ink.
I like you a lot. Thanks for cheering me up by eating the Paopu fruit – well, you didn't really, but I feel better.
P.S Thanks for the cape.
It also seemed freshly written, because after the 'I like you a lot' part, it was written in blue ink, not black, and it was smudged slightly too. He blinked. Hmm, this was random. He folded it again, whilst hiding a widening smile stretching over his face and then looked at the Shuriken star for a while, temporarily zoning out.
"Cloud?" It was Aerith. She just emerged from her room and was going to finish washing the dishes, but now she was checking out the broken vase which Yuffie had told her about. She went to the kitchen put on the apron and glanced at the star in his hands.
Cloud quickly shoved it into his pocket and straightened. "Hello, Aerith."
"Are you okay? You've been quiet for the whole evening." She fished out a brush and shovel and began dusting the broken porcelain pot into the shovel.
"I'm fine." He muttered. "Good night." He left the kitchen to retire for the night after Aerith replied the same, and still clutching the letter in his hand, he stuffed it into his other pocket, and smiled as he passed Yuffie's closed door.
"Sweet dreams, Yuffie. I'll see you in the morning." He muttered quietly.