This just kinda popped into my head one day, then it danced around in a corset, toga and cowboy boots till i wrote it because that's a vile burning image.

Disclaimer: I do not own kingdom hearts, if I did, there'd be less disney and more yaoi.

Cloud BGM: If You Were Gay

Time freezes. Take a Polaroid.

We're all lying sprawled on the L-shaped leather couch of the Leonhart living room. In the way of friends who've all hung out together for what feels like ever, we're heaped on each other like puppies in a basket. I'm nestled in the corner one knee bent so the heel is resting on the edge of couch. Aerith is leaning on that leg, her head resting on my knee as she talks to Yuffie, whose legs are on Aerith's lap.

Axel and Roxas sit on my other side. They aren't sprawled on top of each other. Guys don't do that the way girls do. Just the same they find ways. It's funny to watch them. The way they try to find tiny ways to touch each other in public without someone (like me) noticing. It's cute, how in love they are. Just the same it makes my heart constrict in my ribs, life can be so cruel.

Rikku, Yuna and Paine sit on the floor leaning against the couch. My other leg hangs over Rikku's shoulder, she doesn't mind, one of her hands loops up to rest on my knee. Paine is lying on her back, her legs up on Rinoa's lap… Rinoa, who is flirting with Leon. I try not to look; the sight eats at my heart; because he's responding, in his own reserved way. If you didn't know him, you'd say he was emotionless. You just have to see the signs. Me, I know 'em all, and he's way into her.

I focus my eyes on the TV screen instead. And watch as my friends virtually beat the crap out of each other. When that round ends, I steal the controller out of Axel's hands before someone else does. Just now, I feel like beating something.

By rights I shouldn't be angry. Then again, by rights, I shouldn't be in love with my best friend. But hey, like I said, life is cruel.

Time skips ahead a little, and Rinoa's hand rests on his knee as she leans over to reach for a beer. Oh the joys of being legal (1), we finally don't have to hide our deep alcoholism from the parents. We're on summer break from school right now. It's our last summer before college, so naturally we've been spending time together like we're glued like this. By rights, Rinoa shouldn't be here. She's a new edition to our little group. She's friends with Paine from college (Paine is a sophomore in college, Rinoa is a freshman), her parents moved here recently. Paine introduced us all and since, she's been invited to absolutely everything. I'm not bitter or anything though, not at all.

Time skips ahead again; the room is emptier. Axel and Roxas left, they drive off together, and I know the partying isn't done for them. Yuffie and the three girls on the floor left too. So it's just me, Leon, Aerith and Rinoa. I try not to mutilate Rinoa's character too badly, I don't think I succeeded.

Aerith, the only person who knows of my little secret, glances at me out of the corner of her eye, her character died a while ago so it's not like she needs to look at the screen, and smirks a little. Smirking is not really one of Aerith's usual expressions, it doesn't work on her. Some people, simply cannot smirk, take for example, Leon's little brother, who you'll meet later. Other people shouldn't smirk because they cause all people in the immediate vicinity to want to jump them. Take for example, Leon. God, Leon…

As I'm thinking all this and recording it for future perusal (photographic memory has some definite bonuses after all) Leon's shoulder is digging into mine. The heat and pressure sends my brain into orbit and I'm amazed I can focus enough to kick Rinoa's ass. In case you're getting the wrong impression here, I don't want Leon. Well, that's a lie, I do. But that's not what this is about. This is me, being hopelessly, desperately, eternally in love with my best friend, who by the way, is straighter then a ruler and sort of a homophobe.

To be fair, he's fine with them in theory, but the idea of one say, sitting next to him on his couch freaks the crap out of him. Not that he says that, or even probably consciously, thinks it. He just has that typical straight-guy mentality of 'They might be attracted to me; hence they will clearly throw me to the ground and have their way with me.' Straight girls assume this of lesbians too, I'm told. I don't get it but, hey, how could I?

In line with said inexplicable mentality, guys don't hug; which is why I'm so happy over the fact that Leon's shoulder is bruising mine as he pummels the buttons on his controller. I'm not just being obsessive, I swear. Well, okay, yeah, I am, but I'm justified, in my own way.

It's getting late. We're all blinking and stretching our eyes extra wide to try and keep them open. None of us get up to leave. Rinoa because she wants Leon, Cloud (i.e. Me) because there's no way in hell I'm leaving her with him without me as a chaperone, if I can help it. And Aerith because she's trying to keep me from killing Rinoa, she has a remarkably calming presence. Not that I would kill her in front of Leon; that would just get him mad at me.

It's Sora who gets us all to leave; that's Leon's little brother, I mentioned him before. He staggers in around four in the morning and blinks at us all. Sora's still in high school, but he's actually pretty cool, in a juvenile kind of way.

"Do you people plan on moving in or something?" he asks. He's a bit of a smart ass but really, he's a great kid.

We blink at him, words being something foreign to us. For us, communication exists primarily in button pressing and joystick toggling; the occasional out of game grunt is mind shattering.

Aerith recovers speech first, she always was a quick one, she blinks with surprise at the watch on her wrist and mutters something doubtlessly obscene in Italian because she refuses to swear in English. Italian however, seems to be okay. I'm not sure of the logic there but it works for her.

We stagger en masse to the front door, our legs stiff from disuse, Aerith and Rinoa step outside first, staring at the pale-grey sky, as if previously unaware of dawn's imminent arrival. It wakes them up for some reason, and they hurry to their respective cars.

I'm left staring at the sky, watching the moon and stars fade into oblivion.

Leon shoots me what passes for a concerned look in the Leon-verse, for the rest us it's just a look.

I shrug and stare at the moon, my lips twisting a little, I glance back at him, then the pavement. This is why Leon and I are so close, words, are almost always gratuitous. I know he asked me what was wrong like he knows I told him my parents are doing their normal drunken fighting bit. I'm really sick of that.

He gestures back to the front door, which hangs open to the cool night air. I gaze at it appraisingly. I feel bad about bumming a place to sleep off Leon some nights. He doesn't mind. His dad is ridiculously rich and never there, he likes the silent company I provide, a pleasant counterpoint to his cheerful and talkative brother. His lips twist in a half-smile; he knows what I'm thinking and tells me he doesn't care. So I grin at him and head back inside. Leon is the only one I will smile for. Even Aerith only gets half-smiles and smirks.

We go inside and up the stairs and down the hall and up more stairs and down another hall before we get to Leon's room; which, in case you're wondering, is about the size of my living room. He goes to a closet and pulls out a blanket and chucks it at me. I catch it as deftly as I can, considering it unfolded mid-flight, and turn to the couch along the wall opposite the door, flinging the blanket on top of it. I grab the cushion from one end and put it on top of the other one on the other side. I pull off shirt, socks, pants and drop on top of the couch in just my boxers; I try not to watch as Leon undresses by his bed. I don't succeed. I love the way the muscles in his back flex and contort as pulls his shirt off over his head. Ashamed, I look away.

The rustling sound of cloth tells me he's sliding under the covers, I try not to let that thought run away with my senses. You'd think after years of this I'd be better at controlling it, no such luck.

"Hey, Cloud?" he asks, his voice soft and quiet, as if he doesn't want to break the silence's spell.

"Yeah?" I murmur, my face mostly buried in the pillow.

"You know that Rinoa girl?"

"Yeah," misery settles in to the hollow in my ribs, the one where my heart used to be, before I lost it in a game of luck. The house always wins. The house in this case being Karma, who's a vengeful bitch, she really, really hates me.

"She's pretty cute. Don't you think?"

I clench my teeth and blink my eyes tight shut, as if when I open them, the world will be right. It's not. "Sure."

"Do you think… if I asked her out… she'd say yes?"

I'm wincing now, my fingers curl into a fist so tightly even my short nails manage to dig into my palm, "Sure, Leon."

"'Kay," he says, and that's it; the end of our little heart to heart. Thank god. That was awful.

No matter how much you love someone waking up to them staring at you, will always, without a doubt, freak you out. I blink and glare at Leon, who's sitting on his wheeling desk chair, he's got if flipped around and is straddling it so his crossed arms rest where technically your back is supposed to be. I give him my best 'what the fuck' glare, he stares at me for a bit more, just to prove he isn't cowed by my anger, before reaching behind him and pulling forward a box of pancake mix, he props his chin on it and stares imploringly at me. He doesn't quite pout of course, not even in his own Leon-ly way, but it works just as well, it's not like I'm really able to say 'no' to him.

I glare at him again but I swing my legs over the side of the couch and pull back the blanket just the same. A bundle of black fabric and shiny silver metal collides with the side of my head. I pull at it and realize it's pants, my pants. I actually have a drawer of clothes that I just leave at his house. I pull them on and trail behind Leon down to the kitchen.

One of the things that's really endearing about him, is the fact that he absolutely cannot cook; at all, up until a few weeks ago, cereal was gourmet cooking. Not even hot cereal like oatmeal, that at least involves boiling, no, the pour it into a bowl from the box and add milk kind. He recently mastered the fine art of microwaving frozen food. I'm quite proud of him. I can cook pretty well because Aerith and I got bored one day and she started showing me how. Not that it's hard, you just follow the recipe, people like Leon mystify me.

I'm standing at the stove, waiting to flip when Sora ambles in. Leon is seated at the table eating happily. I ate mine from this batch already, cooking and eating is a fine art. Sora ignores me almost completely as he stands next to me, staring at the griddle of pancakes like it's his boyfriend Riku dressed in leather pants and no shirt.

Leon does not know about Sora and Riku. I caught them making out on the couch one day, and have since been lightly blackmailing Sora for free illegal downloads. I think he sold his soul or something, since he manages to get perfect quality movies while they're still in theaters, sometimes before they're even released. He also gets me music and smoothly translated videogames. I don't think he minds too much, since he must know I'd never tell. Told you I loved Sora.

Since he's staring at the food like it's his one chance at salvation I jerk my head toward the cabinet where the plates are kept. Sora is pretty good at understand the sign language Leon and I tend to use. You would be too if you lived with a guy that quiet for sixteen years. Not that he was always so quiet, so cold.

I take a break between batches and sit at the kitchen table to eat comfortably for a minute or two, taking the time to apply the proper condiments to my food, not just a quick splash of syrup. Leon, seated at the opposite end of the large round kitchen table, scrapes his chair back along the tile floor, stands up and stretches. The too small shirt he's wearing lifts, exposing pale and toned lower abs, disappearing into a pair of oversized grey sweats.

I feel bad about looking at him at times like this, but really, it's not like he'll notice. For someone who is really intelligent, he's remarkably unperceptive. He doesn't even notice Axel and Roxas, I think even Yuffie is catching on. Leon turns and walks to the bathroom, leaving me in the kitchen with Sora. Who, as Karma, that bitch, would have it, is slightly observant.

As soon as Leon's out of range he smirks at me. He really shouldn't smirk, it doesn't work with that innocent and adorable look he's got going for him. I blink innocently at him.

"You like my brother," he sing-songs softly, taunting me.

Emotional control is useful in times like this; it means I'm not blushing fire-engine red. "Don't know what you're talking about."

He laughs shortly, "Right. Like how you were totally not just staring at my brother's ass?"

I look at him. He knows. I know he knows. He knows I know he knows. And so on. I also know that my days of free, illegal, fantastic quality contraband from Sora are over. Well at least, not without something in return, like pancakes… He smiles happily at me and I repress the urge to stab him with my fork. Resolutely I finish eating and re-grease the griddle.

A few minutes later Riku wanders in (he let himself in through the front door) and stares at my pancakes like they're Sora dressed in leather pants and no shirt. I'm really sick of people ogling my cooking, have they no decency?

I try the head-jerk method of communication but he just raises an eyebrow at me. I roll me eyes and tell him to get a plate. You know, if I wasn't totally in love with Leon, and Riku and Sora weren't going out, I'd so seduce that boy. Riku, that is. He's way too attractive for his own good. I mean really, who lets themselves just wander around with perfectly cut shaggy, layered silver hair that gleams just right in any light and aquamarine eyes that enslave you instantly? Those have to be fake, I console myself, ruffling my average colored blond spikes and squinting my average colored blue eyes. I try not to think about appearances too much, it's just depressing. And besides, Leon, is still the hottest.

I glare at the pancakes as if it's they're fault that I'm so plain, and flip them, they look pretty done. Behind me I can tell that Sora is whispering something into Riku's ear. And he smirks at me (he is one of the people who shouldn't smirk because it looks too damned sexy) as I flip pancakes onto his plate. I twist over my shoulder and glare at Sora, who's kicking his feet and whistling innocently. My lips twist into a snarl, as I add more batter to the griddle.

You know how life can suck, yeah, it does that alot.
Sora BGM: Pretty Vacant-Sex Pistols

I smile happily to myself as I work at my computer. I. Can. Not. Believe. That Cloud is gay for my brother. That is just… beautiful; absolutely fantastic. I snicker to myself as I surf the web. I can't really focus on what I'm doing. Too busy doing mental happy-dances because Cloud… is gay… for my brother. It's ludicrous; and so ironic, considering that whole blackmailing me thing. I honestly didn't mind getting him stuff. It's not like I wasn't going to get most of it anyway, it was just the force issue of it that bugs me. I laugh harder as I keep typing; stupid summer homework. My own fault too, I'm the one who simply had to take summer classes, so I can be in higher classes, with Riku, and graduate, with Riku, and go to college, with Riku. The things I do for love.

His part in this is helping me with the super advanced courses I have to take to keep up with his too smart brain. Silly Riku. Luckily, he's a good tutor, when we don't get distracted. I giggle a bit more at the thought as I keep writing my paper on some Calculus theory or another, I haven't got a clue as to how I'll actually need this in later life, but for my Riku, I do it anyway.

Said Riku who is lounging on my bed reading a video game magazine; he already researched the topic, explained it to me, and wrote an outline, so I guess it'd be asking too much to get him to write it too.

"Why do you keep giggling over there?" he asks, keeping his voice low and sultry. Bed springs squeak as he shifts over to me, sliding an arm around over my shoulder and down, to trace lazy patterns on my stomach through my shirt. "You sound almost evil," he whispers against my ear, hot breath tantalizing the sensitive skin of the back of my neck and ears.

"Cloud is gay for my brother!" I sing happily, tapping my fingers merrily on the wood of my desk.

"Hmm," Riku murmurs, his tongue tracing the curve of the outer shell of my ear, "You've been working on this forever, I think you need a break." Before I can say that it's only been twenty minutes, he's pulled me backward onto my bed, not like I really mind anyway.

I definitely don't mind when he straddles me and tortures my throat with his teeth. To my shame, I whimper when he pulls away and stands up, "Got to go, love," he murmurs.

I glare angrily at him as he walks away. "Tease," I mutter.

He smirks at me over his shoulder and closes the door behind him.

I sigh angrily and sit up, looks like I'll have to write that damned essay anyway. I drag my feet over to the computer chair and settle on it, sighing miserably. I perk immediately when I hear a soft knock at my door.

"Ha, I knew you wouldn't be gone long. Come crawling back, have you?" I call haughtily, at the knocker, who, I know, must be Riku.

"Not exactly," a voice that is not Riku's smooth purr says, and a blond head pokes in, "Expecting someone else?"

"Cloud," I mutter, kicking the wall in frustration. "If you've come to see if you can still blackmail me for stuff, you're wasting your time."

He shakes his head, and I notice his spikes look limper than normal, wet like he'd taken a shower. He doesn't come in though, he stays hesitantly in the doorway, looking nervous with that damned hair of his. I hate his spikes. His are natural. Seriously, he goes swimming at our pool sometimes, and all he has to do is step out of the water and shake his head, like a dog, and poof, insta-spikes. Mine, take a good half-hour of styling.

"Well, come in then," I snap, loosing patience. Mad at stupid teasing Riku and stupid Cloud's natural hair.

He walks in cautiously, like he thinks I've got booby-traps or something. Please, I'm too busy writing this stupid essay for stupid Riku. Stupid Cloud.

"Um, I was wondering…" he trails off and scratches his head, making his spikes bounce. Stupid natural bouncy hair.

"Oh, out with it, I have an essay to write."

He seems surprised, "Oh, for what class?"

"Calculus," I mutter spitefully, "Which I'm only taking for stupid Riku, who left me here, alone, the tease."

He brightens instantly, probably at my pain, some people just don't appreciate another persons agony. Ironic considering Cloud can be a right emo bastard.

"I can help you with that if you want, I took Calculus sophomore year."

I smile, turn and give him my full attention. Why hello there new best friend. "Really? And what would you be requesting in exchange for that minute favor?" I ask, playing down the happiness the idea of not having to write the essay gives me. "DVD's, MP3's, what?"

"Um, advice actually." He looks awkward as he sits on my bed.

Well good-bye happy bubble, "If you're asking me for advice as to how to get into my brothers pants you may as well walk right back out that door."

Cloud looks properly horrified, "Ahh, no, no, that's really quite alright. That's uh, not what I'm looking for."

"Oh, so you don't want to get into his pants? Hmm, wonder what that whole thing this morning was about then."

"Oh, shut up." Sora: 1 Cloud: 0! I pissed off Cloud! I should write this down, there should be a parade, breaking news, something. Cloud has emotions! "I was wondering if you could help me look, well, hot; or something. Ahh, never mind this was a bad idea, heh, I'll just be going now." He gets up and hurries to the door. I beat him to it. I can be quite fast when properly motivated. And currently I'm feeling like the spider that just landed a fat juicy fly. I keep my evil smile subdued, and lead him back to the bed. Oh, this should be fun.

(1). I made the legal drinking age 18, which it really should be, or 16, it's all good. 21 just sucks

Feedback, please. I'll bribe you with Leon/Riku clones, still working on getting Cloud's DNA...If you want another chapter you should tell me, 'cause I'm easily discouraged.