((She's brilliant, she vibrant, she's all the colours and she's none of them – because she's Yuffie.))

He's sober, and silent, and no colour at all except maybe, just maybe, black – he's just like that, because he's Squall.

Never tell him that, though. He might point that big Gunblade thing at you. His name's Leon, now, he tells you, It's Leon.

Whatever, you can't help replying, laughing at him. Who the hell would call themselves Leon Leonhart?

If it was Cid standing there, he probably would've spit on the ground, and cursed, adding the familiar damn ninja to the end.

If it was Aerith, she would probably sigh with a gentle smile, and even gentler admonishments, and an Oh, Yuffie.

If it was Cloud, he'd be equally likely to remain silent or make some sort of comment to make himself feel better, or even come out with something emo or as ridiculous as Let's mosey, but pertaining to the current situation. Yes, he really can be that stupid.

If it was Sora or Riku or Kairi or Ansem or any of the Organisation or Donald or Goofy or King Mickey or the little Gullwing fairies or even a Heartless, you're pretty sure you could get some amusing reaction out of them.

Squall, though, he just tightens his brow for all of two seconds, then turns and walks off without another word, Gunblade dragging perilously close to the stone cobbles from his right hand, hair all swishy-like and hips the same.

You didn't think that, though. Or say it. Nooo. Never.

He didn't hear or notice you think or say it either, so all is well in the world. Pretty much.


There's a butterfly hovering right above your nose, and you want it to stay there. Land, possibly, if you can stay still enough.

That's pretty hard when you're balancing cautiously right on the edge of one of the floating stones at the weird reversed waterfalls – what were they called again? It doesn't really matter anyway to you now, you're just glad they're still there, and that the castle will be fixed up soon.

And suddenly, your job got a whole lot harder when someone grabs around your left ankle and pulls suddenly, shockingly, and you lose your balance and topple over, caught by two strong arms.

There's no time to enjoy the feeling, though, when he sets you back on your feet with the tiniest of smirks and you just have to tell him off. What'd you do that for? You seethe at him. I nearly got it on my nose!

That scar between his eyes furrows for a split second. I have no idea what you're talking about, he says calmly, and turns to walk off. He's obviously just returned from another world. I just thought I'd save a little girl from falling.

Little girl? Falling? Excuse me, but I'm a ninja and eighteen! And you pulled my leg! How was that fair?

You're little. And annoying. And clumsy –

Hardly clumsy, if I'm a ninja! You mock him with your fists at your hips, not at all impressed.

Whatever. He keeps on walking.

…But, wow. You never really thought he had it in him, to make a joke like that.


Tidus is really weird, you think, crouched on the sand with your arms around your knees and your nose all wrinkled up. Pretty stupid, too. Who in their right mind would challenge Riku and Squall to a two-on-one battle, when he's never been outside the Islands for a day in his life?

…Besides you, of course, but that's either stating that you are sane and therefore is a legal insult in itself, or insinuating that you are insane and therefore are bereft of your wits, another equally untrue comment. You prefer to refer to yourself as clinically insane when the going's good.

But seriously. The kid's had his ass whooped halfway to Balamb and back (wherever the hell that is), and he still thinks he can beat them. Honest to gods, Tidus, you're stupider than Sora! You call out, watching him get knocked into the sand yet again.

The Keyblade Master in mention looks mildly affronted at that. I'm mildly affronted at that, he says, confirming your suspicions and sending you into a fit of giggles that just seem to keep coming.

Kairi giggles too, because she's just that kind of person, making Riku, standing swinging his practice sword with nothing better to do suddenly decide to kick sand at her, which means Sora goes all pouty and shakes the sand out of his hair, some of which lands on you.

With nothing better to do, you leap into the air, and wrap your arms around Squall's neck.

The oomph you get from him is quite satisfying, as are the ensuing struggles to get you off my back, dammit!

Even more pleasantly satisfying is the way his attempts subside after a while, and he simply flops to the ground, exhausted from what is probably the first holiday he's taken in years and years.

You're still clinging to his shoulders, but now you decide to slip off to the side and instead lay your head right beside his knee – not on it, oh no, but just beside.

He just looks at you, eyes hooded, then looks away, and you smirk triumphantly.

Bingo, you say, quietly, closing your eyes.

What was that?



You can't believe it.

After all these years, and you still don't trust me that much? You ask eventually, tears threatening to force your façade to crack and break and fall apart and your fists are bunched up and your nose is all screwy and you know you look ridiculous but you don't care.

He doesn't reply, just keeps on unwinding that old bandage, crusted with blood and stained with dirt from previous use. The wound is nearly healed, but that's one damn ugly scar he's going to have, ending just after the sleeves of his short leather jacket do.

I could've helped, you know.

No reply.

Curaga here, remember? Or you could've gone to Aerith, or Tifa – okay, maybe Tifa'd soon as let it rot because of you supposedly always off with Cloud, but that's not the point, any one of us would've helped you!

No reply.

When did it happen? You ask after a moment, tears prickling just behind your eyes. It's making you scrunch them up but again, you don't care.

Just when you think he won't answer, he goes and surprises you again. …Outside the Bailey. He replies shortly. Just after you stormed off.

You know the time and place, now, and you can see it all again, in horrifically clear detail – you throwing that last shuriken, angry because of nothing, angry because he helped you, angry because he was so damn Leon-ish at the time, and then this happened.

You feel betrayed, and yet you feel the guilt too. And you don't know which one is stronger.

Silently, you pad over to him, and he doesn't look up. Even when you take the fresh bandage and start rolling it gently around, up and down the bicep, those beautiful storm eyes don't appear from beneath that shaggy brown lion's mane.

Sorry, you whisper.


Cloud just gave you one of those looks again, and you can't help but puff your cheeks out in an indignant impression of one of the chipmunks Sora's always imitating. Aerith laughs, a tinkling sound that shouldn't be real coming from a human's voicebox but is. Cid grunts, and goes to spit but decides against it when Tifa glares at him. Squall shakes his head, holding up the new leather jacket – long sleeves, this time – that you saved up to buy him for his birthday. He doesn't even know why you're all celebrating his birthday, but you can tell he likes it, even if he hides things like that.

It's just typical Squall. Unchangeable and unpredictable at the same time. Un-everything, if you think about it. That's why you don't think too much, or you might find an un word that doesn't suit him.

This is nice, you say. For once, the lion sort-of-almost smiles from beneath a too-long fringe.


I dunno, this feels like one for Candace. So, maybe, an apology for making you worry, and just something for you to enjoy? And wow, did anyone notice this relationship seems to be more brother-sister…?

Maybe it's just me.

That doesn't bother me in the slightest.


Tally. SilverAuthoress. Rikku. AngelKairi.

-x- crack!pairing goddess -x-