A/N: It's been…AGES since I've written any fan fiction. How long you ask? Long enough that I had to pause and think of what email I might have been using at the time and what my password may have been. Heck, it's been ages since I've READ any fan fiction. This site looks SO DIFFERENT from the last time I frequented it. Like the rating system. Mature fics are allowed now? Wonder when that happened, ah well.
Sufficed to say along comes Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts 2 in which "Leon" has become undeniably cooler than he ever was in FFVIII and the bug has bitten once again.
For the record, the majority of the FFVIII cast that shows up in the KH games…call me old school if you will, but I prefer the FFVIII versions. I prefer a Fujin that yells instead of speaks and a bouncier Selphie, and a Seifer that's…well…a pain in the ass, but at least still cool. That said, anyone reading this who has played the Kingdom Hearts Series but not Final Fantasy VIII may find some characters a bit ooc. Heck, they all might be ooc. I don't remember the last time I've written a Final Fantasy Fanfic.
This story will be a sort of FFVIII/KH crossover, I suppose.
Pairing: Irvine/Squall, Leon/Cloud, mentions of Cloud/Zach and Seifer/Squall.
Standard Disclaimers Apply.
He hid his memories in the top of his closet.
He always disappeared for the first snow.
Chapter 1: Someday
'I stopped leaving Hollow Bastion two years ago. It's not that I don't care about defeating Sephiroth anymore, but some things are more important.' Cloud sighed, fingers laced behind his spiky blond head and rolled his eyes to the empty side of the bed. It was four in the morning and Leon had disappeared. With his head propped up on his hands like this, he could see a dusting of snow on the top of the next roof through the window beside the bed and frowned softly, sitting up.
'First snow,' he thought, shivering as he padded across the room to get a robe out of the closet. It was cold, and by all rights he should be dead tired, but this was the third year in a row. The first year Cloud had searched the whole town only to get back at dawn to find Leon curled up in bed claiming he was tired and wanted to sleep in. When he'd told the others at breakfast "I don't think he's coming", some knowing looks were exchanged and a few nods as if everyone was in on the secret but him. For once, Yuffie, who lived for gossip, kept her mouth shut on the matter and nothing could pry it open. Aeris had told him 'I'm sure he'll tell you all about it when he's ready.' The second year, Cloud had frantically looked all around the house and yard before remembering the events of the year before and gone back to bed, feigning sleep, hoping he might be able to figure something out without being told when Leon returned. When morning rolled around and Leon, not really sleeping, didn't stir, Cloud had sighed and said, "let me guess, you're tired?"
"…yeah," was Leon's only reply.
This was the third year in a row and Cloud decided there was no point in bothering. He looked up at the top of the closet as he pulled Leon's robe around him as he sometimes did when he thought no one was looking, inhaling his lover's scent. He didn't doubt that Leon loved him. It was all in the little things—the way he didn't tense when Cloud touched him, the way he got jealous whenever someone mentioned Zach even though the man had been dead for years but wouldn't own up to said jealousy…and especially the way he would look up at Cloud for a long moment when he walked in the door and just barely audibly would say 'welcome home' when the blonde was close enough to hear it without sharing the endearment with anyone else.
This was the first year he noticed it. The empty space that wasn't usually there. Leon kept a box in the top of that closet. It was a little tattered with age, and Cloud instinctively avoided it out of respect for his lover's privacy. Today, that box was gone and Leon was nowhere to be found. He may have a blonde moment from time to time, but today, at 4 in the morning in January as winter's first snow came down outside the window, Cloud didn't have any trouble drawing the connection. The box itself, he noticed in the moonlight, was open and settled in the corner of the room, but whatever had been in it was undoubtedly with Leon, wherever he'd gone off to. He went into the kitchen and made two cups of coffee. He'd only meant to make one, but after three years it had become a habit, like driving to the same place so often that sometimes you get halfway there before you realize you're headed somewhere else. He didn't bother turning on the lights. Cloud watched the scenery out of their bedroom window as he sipped from his favorite cup. There's something he'd always found soothing and romantic about the first snow, especially in the middle of the night. He wished he could share that something with Leon, but as the brunette quietly padded into the room behind him just before dawn, not realizing Cloud was awake and shirked off his jacket, a cowboy hat held carefully between cold fingers, Cloud noticed the furrow of his brow, the downward pull of his lips and he knew it was totally out of the question.
Leon had squatted down next to the box, putting the items back with excess care—a hat, what looked like they might have been some old photos, other small, miscellaneous items that Cloud couldn't quite see beyond Leon's broad back. Cloud waited until he'd put the box back in its proper place to speak, asking "…are you ever going to tell me what this is all about?"
Leon startled and spun about as if he'd just been caught cheating on the blonde—that is to say, horrified at the very thought that Cloud knew about whatever it was, and a little apologetic.
He turned away, took off his boots and leather pants and sat on the edge of the bed for an extended moment before answering, "…someday."
As Leon, shoulders tense, curled up and pretended to sleep, Cloud wondered when this 'someday' was going to come…and if he'd be alive to see it.