Author's Note: Please be gentle with me. This is my first attempt at a fic in this fandom and with this pairing. I've only just recently started playing the games and so my portrayal of them will probably be pretty shaky. Just read and give me constructive criticism if you must, but please, no flames, okay? Thank you.
To Heal Her Heart
Disclaimer: The characters portrayed in this fic are the sole property of Squaresoft and Disney co. I do not own them and am only toying with them for my own amusement.
- Chapter One -
Leon stood, frozen in place despite being surrounded by the enemy. The Heartless closed in on the gunblade wielder and the crumpled form lying at the young man's feet, but still, he did not move. His eyes were glued to his weapon as a look of disbelief seeped into them, wanting to deny the fact that the crimson substance, which stained the metal of his blade, was actually blood.
And not that of the enemy, for you see, Heartless do not bleed. And that fact alone was proof enough that Leon had not struck down one of the vile creatures he and his friends had been fighting.
It was, in fact, one of his own allies.
"Leon, look out!"
Cloud's cry barely penetrated the haze that was Leon's mind at the moment as the blonde haired man leapt over Leon's head, somersaulting in the process, to land between the distracted man and the group of Heartless that were about to attack the unfocused man. One... two... three swipes of his massive sword and Cloud rended the dark forms asunder, effectively ending the battle that had been taking place only moments ago.
In a flurry of pink, Aerith ran over to the crumpled form still lying at Leon's feet. Her hands immediately working to summon any sort of spell to help heal the gaping wound in the young ninja's side.
A wound that had been made by Leon's own gunblade.
"Leon, quick! We need to move her inside." Aerith's usual merry voice was overcast with anxiety as she sent a pleading gaze at Leon. When she did not get a response, in fact, no reaction at all, she tried again. "Leon, Yuffie is badly injured. I can't heal her here. Please hurry!"
Still, he remained motionless.
"Enough of this." Cloud cut in as he realized that Leon was still in a state of shock.
Cloud had seen what had happened from the corner of his eye, as he was just finishing off the last of the Heartless that had decided to attack him. He saw how Yuffie had popped up near Leon, striking down a Heartless that had been stealthily making its way up behind the young man. She had taken care of it easily enough with her shiruken but the ninja had not taken into account Leon's quick reflexes. The gunblade's sharp edge had cut smoothly into the dark haired girl when its owner had turned swiftly and struck out instinctively at sensing a sudden presence behind him.
Yuffie had gone down like a rock with only a small gasp of surprised pain leaving her lips.
"I'll take her." Cloud moved to kneel beside Yuffie, and as easily as he could, gathered her into his strong arms. He tried his best not to jostle her as he cradled her against his chest, her head falling limply to his shoulder and resting there.
Cloud spared one last look at Leon, who just now seemed to be coming aware of his surroundings again. Their gazes locked for a brief instant before Leon turned away, almost as if ashamed. He said not a word, instead simply walked away, not bothering to glance back at the others.
"Hmph." Cloud shook his head, hefted Yuffie into a more secure hold before turning to begin the walk back toward Merlin's house.
Leon walked away quickly, wanting, no, needing to get away from the sight of Yuffie's bleeding body. The image of her blood on his weapon made his heart clench in his chest and a feeling that he did not like in the least overcame him.
He kept his head bowed, eyes trained down to the ground, as he went and so did not see the trio running up to him until they were right in front of him, calling his name.
"Hey, Leon, what's going on? What happened to Yuffie?" Sora asked, looking past Leon at Cloud and Aerith's retreating backs. "Why is Cloud having to carry her?"
"Uh-yah! Is she hurt or somethin'?" Goofy added, earning him a jab in the ribs from his white-feathered companion. "Yow!"
"Of course she is!" Donald scolded in his barely comprehensible speech, "Why else do you think she'd need to be carried?"
Leon held back the cringe that wanted to sweep through his body at the reminder of Yuffie's condition.
Sora shook his head at the two's antics before turning back to Leon, only to blink in surprise when he wasn't there. "What the – "
Turning to look around, the trio caught sight of Leon's back as he rounded the corner of a building.
"Hey!" Sora shouted as he sprinted after the stoic man; Donald and Goofy right behind him. "Leon, wait up! You didn't tell us about Yuffie yet!"
Leon kept walking for a bit longer, but finally slowed to a stop when he realized that his persistent pursuers were not going to give up so easily. Heaving a sigh, Leon came to a halt and waited silently for them to catch up.
"Leoooon!" Sora's voice took on an almost whine that caused Leon to grimace. "What's going on? Why won't you answer me?"
Leon crossed his arms and huffed, not bothering to turn around and face Sora as he responded. "I don't know."
Sora's eyebrows raised in surprise. "You don't…. Why didn't you just say so then, jeez." Shrugging, Sora turned back to the others. "Oh well, guess we'll have to find out ourselves. Come on, guys!"
Leon waited quietly until the sound of their footsteps faded before turning around and looking back in the direction he had come from. He could make out the street that Merlin's house was on, though he couldn't see the building itself. The building that now housed Yuffie as she possibly fought for her life. Leon was no fool. He knew how deep his gunblade had sank into the ninja's body, cutting through flesh, muscle and bone, possibly vital organs as well.
Suddenly, he was running. As fast as he could, he raced through town, unheeding of what direction he took. Every once in a while he would encounter a Heartless, but only briefly as he would strike it down with one swipe as he continued to run… Continued to flee…
How long he ran, Leon didn't know. All he knew was that when he finally did stop, it was in a darkened alley. He was panting for breath, his heart racing as sweat dripped down, dampening his hair so that it was plastered to his forehead and the sides of his face. His grip loosened on Lionheart and eventually the gunblade fell to the ground beside him before he too sank to his knees.
His hands tightened into fists at his sides as he shook his head, eyes squeezed tight as he attempted to banish the image that suddenly flashed before them. The sight of Yuffie's face, her gray eyes glazed over with pain as she collapsed in a heap at his feet. The shocked expression would most likely stay with him for some time.
Her name, when it left his lips, came in an uncharacteristically broken whisper. It was then, and only then, that Squall Leonheart allowed the guilt that he felt to completely wash over him. Throwing his head back, he let out the scream that had been building inside of him since the moment the realization of what he had done had set in.