Hello again! This is Kanarah J reporting for duty...so to speak. Thank you to all the endearing reviews that have been sent my way (for A Curtain of Violet) and folks, the trite little prolegomena has been recovered, reconstituted and is coming at you: I love all the feedback I've been getting and I do hope that this story holds up to the stature of the other one. Yes, this is a sequel of sorts, but I suppose you could understand the general plot without reading A Curtain of Violet previously. (Though I implore that you do for all my selfish review-hunting-greed)
I would love to summarize what happened, but I've taken up entirely too much space with the author's note, however if so beseeched, I'll include one later...maybe (or perhaps you could just read A Curtain of Violet and submit billions of reviews!)
As always, I don't own a thing except for the plot, so on with it!
The bickering had been left behind. The days of childish arguments from elementary school, middle school, and even highschool had stopped almost completely after the first few months of College. During the time that Leon and Cloud had lived together in the dorms, the two had managed to establish a common ground, an equal space of understanding and tolerance. They had become more interested in getting along rather than causing the small wars that had popped up quite frequently in their shaky beginning.
Now Cloud took Leon into consideration before tossing his dirty laundry across the room to the hamper into which he rarely scored. He never forgot to lock the doors before leaving and he turned his radio down when Leon was trying to sleep. With these new feelings of respect, he began to notice points about Leon's personality. He always knew that Leon was the Chief Executive of clean-living, but Cloud also noticed him carrying out his position absently. He would straiten random objects that Cloud never even knew were out of place. A few times he offered to help, but Leon would never know what he was talking about.
And when Leon was depressed, or upset, he would chew his lip nervously for a time, then mutter something about going for a walk. He would never go out for very long, but when he returned, he would always be in a better mood.
Cloud liked watching Leon sometimes. He would sit on his bed and pretend to read, but really, he was watching Leon scurry around the room tidying up. He smiled—when Leon wasn't looking of course—at the small knit in his brow that formed when he was thinking hard, or at the veil of hair that spilled over his shoulder when he bent down—undoubtedly picking something up off the floor. Sometimes he would go as far as chuckle at the scolding he received when he had done...anything really. He would listen as Leon went on and on, occasionally using his hands to further convey his point. Though it used to irritate Cloud, now he took it as Leon's sort of bizarre form of caring...maybe.
On the other side, Leon had started to appreciate Cloud's company more. Before, Cloud's very existence seemed to set off a certain irritation within him, but now he could carry on a conversation with him without getting angry. Leon even tried to be thoughtful of Cloud before going off onto one of his rants. He would struggle to stay silent to the small messes Cloud left throughout the dorm (and straiten them up himself later on.) He would limit his complaints and try to remember he was only human. As his final act of consideration, when the time came—nothing was perfect—he voluntarily addressed his problems with Cloud's errors with calm explanation. Leon even found this method to be better than the yelling he was used to. Cloud would even apologize sometimes. With that, the warfare was stopped before it even started. Cloud was indeed a very agreeable person when he wanted to be.
On top of being agreeable, Leon found Cloud to be a lot less barbaric than the image he had created of him during the days of their battle-scared youth. He was as simple as he was complicated and as thoughtful as he was inconsiderate. In fact, Cloud showed the signs of having the complex mental state of individuals that possessed intelligence. This Leon found, was a break in all the notions he had conjured up before they had started getting along. He wanted to know more about the individual that he apparently had known nothing about up until now.
However, through this time of peace, He did manage to learn a few things about Cloud through inconspicuous observation, like how Cloud hated tea with lemon, and would only drink it with sugar. And anyone could see that Cloud hated cleaning more than criminals hated prosecuting attorneys. When asked to attend to one of the big messes he had left behind, Cloud would eventually get around to it, but would take quite a bit of nagging, and all the while Cloud would mutter his disdain of the whole idea of straitening something that would more than likely get mussed up again.
Cloud also had the absurd habit of eating cereal with a fork. Not that he would intentionally grab the wrong eating utensil, but he would eat with whichever one he happened to grab unless otherwise brought to his attention. After scarfing down his breakfast—as he always left with the bare minimum of time to get to class—he would sprint to the classroom barely avoiding the tardy bell. Leon would wonder in earnest why anyone would want to go through all the trouble, but after considering whom he was thinking about, it all made perfect sense.
Early morning in the Cafeteria was always quiet and sparsely populated. It was here that Cloud was sitting with his text book wide open studying in haste for a test. As he usually liked to leave—rather get up—at a much later time, this whole experience was new for him. Still, this test was important, and according to Leon, studying was far more crucial than sleeping.
"How goes the studying?"
"I'm going to fail."
"Oh," Leon said, slipping the fork out of Cloud's hand and replacing it with a spoon before sitting down. "You've got a bit more time, maybe you can remember some of it..."
Cloud looked questioningly at the new utensil in his hand, shrugged and plunged int into his cereal. "Why aren't you studying?"
"I have been...all week."
Cloud leaned so far back in his chair it was in danger of tipping over. "I can't believe this...!"
"I hate to say it..."
Leon shrugged. "We had a week's notice you know."
"Yeah, I know. I just got..."
"Well, I'd better let you get back to your...endeavors. Bell rings in about five minutes."
Cloud slammed the book closed and stood to leave. "This really isn't fair."
"Don't be so smug."
Leon flashed a small smile. "We'd better get going, or we're going to be late."