It was a cool, slightly-cloudy day at Radiant Garden General Hospital, and in the south-end of the building, one of the offices was open.
Sitting in this office, behind a shiny wooden desk, was a young man with shoulder-length brown hair that hung in his grey-blue eyes, he had tanned skin and was wearing a simple black suit with a loose light-blue tie. In his hands, he held some x-ray sheets in front of his face, the light from the large glass window behind him shining on it, and thus, into his eyes.
Blinking and changing the angle of the x-ray sheet, the light reflected elsewhere and he stared intently at the images.
The name described in gold, embossed letters on the shiny wooden door that hung open, leading to the office this young man was sitting in, was – Squall Leonhart, MD. Head Of The Department Of Diagnostic Medicine.
Squall, more often called 'Leon', swapped the x-ray sheet he was looking at for a different one that lay on his desk; staring at the sheet intently for a few moments, before picking up the square-framed glasses that were hooked on the handle of one of the desk drawers before him and slipped them onto his nose, staring at the x-ray for a few more moments in silence.
A blonde young man, possibly the same age as Leon, maybe older, appeared in the doorway and leant his shoulder against it.
This young man had short blonde spikes of hair that stuck up in every direction imaginable, yet, it seemed to be somehow ordered and tidy, falling into his bright blue eyes and brushing his gently-tanned skin. He wore a suit, much like Leon's, except his was just a little tighter in all the right places, he wore no tie, the first few buttons of his shirt undone, and he had a white doctor's coat over his suit.
His name was Cloud Strife. Head of the department of oncology, and also a right ass.
Both Leon and Cloud were, in their own words: 'reluctant acquaintances'. They disliked each other with a passion, but found the other's company comforting, since they knew each other better than anyone else in the hospital, even though Leon had worked there for six years, and Cloud, eight. Neither of them liked making friends, so they stuck with the ones they had.
They knew perfectly well what pushed the other man's buttons, and they either chose to push them or not, depending how they were feeling that day. Knowing perfectly well that the other knew you better than you yourself did, brought with it a mild ounce of respect.
"Earth to Doctor Spectacles," Cloud hummed in a sing-song voice, the side of his head against the doorway, his hands in his pockets, a bored look on his face.
Lowering his x-ray and glancing over it, Leon sighed. "What do you want?" he asked, sounding not even mildly interested or enthusiastic, raising the x-ray in front of his eyes again.
"I'm hungry. I want to eat your liver," was the deadpan reply.
"My liver is in use at the moment. Try the organ-donor's truck."
"It's too far away. I want yours. I've got my own scalpel and everything."
"Try one of the nurses', I'm sure they'd be delighted to give you one of their body-parts."
"I have no idea what kind of diseases they have. Since you're frigid, your organs are free of all STDs and those kinds of nasty things. Give me your liver, Leonhart. I'm wasting away," Cloud gave him a particularly dejected look. But, it didn't work, since the brunette's attention was nearly completely on the x-ray in his hands again.
"I'm not frigid," Leon snapped.
He tried to ignore the very loud, obnoxious snort he heard from the doorway.
"Whatever," smirked the blonde. "I want something to eat. Care to watch me devour a human corpse in less than three minutes?" he asked blandly.
"Are you asking me out on a date?" Leon asked, eyes still on the image before him.
"Despite how pretty we must look together: no," Cloud answered flatly.
The brunette shrugged. "Okay, then. But, I'm not letting you eat any of my organs," he said, placing the x-ray sheet onto his desk again, looking at the blonde over his glasses.
Cloud gave him the charming, sweet and oh-so-innocent smile that had all the nurses fawning over him. "You sure?" he asked. "You only need one lung," he pointed out as Leon rose to his feet and slipped his glasses off his nose.
"I like having two lungs," replied the brunette flatly, plucking his doctor's coat off the back of his chair and slipping it on. "Can I have your victim's heart?"
"No," replied the blonde. "You can only have it if you eat it."
Leon nodded. "Fair enough."
With that, the diagnostician slipped out of his office with the oncologist half a step behind. Strolling through the hallways of the hospital, the two men were in mutual, but comfortable silence.
Their prior conversation was basically complete and utter bullcrap, like many of their other conversations –which made onlookers really wonder when they were joking, and when they weren't–, but, translated loosely, it just meant that Cloud wanted to go to the cafeteria with Leon as company so he didn't get bugged by the ever-fawning nurses, and that he'd pay for some of Leon's food if he ate anything.
Not many people knew their 'language', so, the onlookers often just ignored all the speak of Satanism, eunuchs and lesbian porn.
Slipping through the hallways, people constantly coming and going, occasionally bumping into them, the two men came to a stop in front of the elevators and the blonde man rose a knee and jabbed the 'down' button with it. The button was basically easily reached by people in wheelchairs, but one hell of a pain in the ass for people who were perfectly healthy.
Leaning lazily against the wall beside the elevator like he had done against the diagnostician's doorway, Cloud let out a long, ever-suffering sigh.
"If you die from starvation before we get there, can I defile your dead corpse with cold, sharp, metal instruments and other odd toys we have in abundance in this hospital?" Leon asked, watching the blonde with mild interest.
"Give my sullied remains to the nurses. I'm sure they'd find good uses for them," replied Cloud, a smirk melting onto his face, eyes half-closed.
There was a musical 'ding!' from the elevator, and the doors slid open. A sharp yell shooting from the small, box-shaped transporter, making the blonde oncologist jerk in surprise and poke his head into it and raise his eyebrows.
A clearly-in-labour young woman sat in a wheelchair in the elevator, clutching her husband's hand like she wanted to crush it to dust, sweat pouring off her face. A young med-student stood behind her, holding the handles of her chair. Quickly, he wheeled the pregnant woman out of the elevator, and past the two interested department-heads.
Leon sniggered as the med-student tried desperately to get to the maternity ward before the woman started giving birth in the damn chair. "Run, Axel!" Leon called, a cheshire grin plastered on his face.
"Fuck you, sir!" the med-student yelled back, quickly pulling one hand quickly off the handle of the wheelchair to give Leon the finger over his shoulder, before he slapped his hand back onto the chair and sped the screaming woman around the corner.
The two department-heads stepped into the now-empty elevator, Leon jabbing the button of the floor of the cafeteria and Cloud gave the smirking brunette a long, amused look. Leon raised an eyebrow questioningly at the blonde, who let a wide grin take over his face.
"You certainly have a way with children," Cloud hummed, the elevator doors sliding closed.
"Are you implying something?" Leon returned interestedly.
Translation: 'That wasn't very nice.' 'Are you saying you wouldn't have done the same?' 'Point taken.'
"So, where's your patient?" Leon asked finally, slipping his hands into his pockets as the elevator slowly descended through the hospital. The two of them often swapped information about their patients. It was basically the only thing to talk about in the hospital, other than the terrible picture-quality on the porn-channel.
"Surgery," answered the blonde, glancing at his watch lazily. "There's too much cranial pressure. Either she's going to have to have a hole bored into her skull; or her eyes are going to pop out, and her skull explode." A dreamy look came over Cloud's face. "I told them to page me if she was going to explode. I got some popcorn for the occasion."
"I pity your psychiatrist," sighed the diagnostician, rolling his eyes. "His fee must be enormous." Leon blinked. "Hell, his psychiatrist's fee must be enormous."
"I have a feeling I'm being insulted," said Cloud.
"I have no idea what you're talking about," replied Leon.
There was another musical 'ding' and the elevator doors slid open again, this floor a little busier than the one they had left, the two men stepping out, dodging a gurney with an old man lying on it, and walking down the hall, in the direction where the smell of fresh food was floating from.
Shouldering the door of the cafeteria open, Leon held it open for an elderly lady, who smiled in thanks, and also for Cloud, who just gave him a smug, flirtatious smirk.
"Not a date," Cloud sang under his breath as the two of them walked over to the long table of foods and drinks, the brunette giving the blonde a sharp pinch in the side out of irritation, which made Cloud squeak, frankly, like a girl.
Glaring at the brunette as he rubbed his side, the blonde plucked an iced-coffee out of the fridge, only to have it stolen by Leon fluidly. Cloud sighed, grabbing another one.
"How's your patient?" the blonde asked, taking a plate of pizza and a small cup of icecream, dropping it all with his iced-coffee on the table at the end of the line, where there was a cash-regester and a pretty little nurse standing there.
Leon placed his iced-coffee beside the blonde's and picked out a doughnut and an apple, placing them all together, slipping his hands into his pockets again. "He's all right, skin sloughing off and peeing blood is normal for the bipedal humanoid species, right?" he asked, voice bored as Cloud gave the petty little nurse his money and a wink, making her blush and accidentally get her numbers mixed up.
"I heard he's the spawn of the devil," smirked the blonde, the nurse finally giving him the correct amount of change.
The two men picked up their purchases and moved to a small table beside the wall-length window, placing their things down again and seating themselves opposite each other. "Where'd you hear that?" Leon asked, taking a bite out of his doughnut and slipping his apple into his coat-pocket.
"Nurses talk," Cloud replied airily, picking the olives off his pizza and placing them in a small pile on the brunette's plate. "But, truthfully," he grinned, licking the grease off his fingers before grinning at Leon, placing his chin in his hand. "Is he really related to the only woman Squall Leonhart dare fear?"
Leon pursed his lips in an unamused fashion, taking another bite out of doughnut.
That was basically an affirmation on the brunette's part, causing the blonde's grin to increase tenfold. "Divulge your information, dear sir! When do I get to meet her?"
"Hopefully, really, really soon," Leon huffed, sipping his iced-coffee, glaring at Cloud over the small carton. "She nearly slapped me."
Sniggering breathily, Cloud took a bite out of his pizza, waving a hand in a circular motion, silently telling the brunette to keep talking. Rolling his eyes and placing his iced-coffee down, Leon huffed and popped some of the olives Cloud had put on his plate into his mouth.
"The patient had a seizure. She thought it was my fault, because I got the diagnosis wrong." Leon finished off the olives, swallowed and sighed. "She had her hand raised too. I think the only reason she didn't slap me was because the kid woke up."
Chewing thoughtfully, the blonde swallowed after a moment. "What's she like?" he asked.
"You talking breast-size or personality?" Leon replied, deadpan, ripping his doughnut in half.
"Double-D-something, and PMS-on-acid," the diagnostician replied woodenly.
He flat-out ignored the high-pitched sigh from the blonde.
"Double--" began Cloud, his voice half an octave higher than it usually was.
"D, yes," finished Leon, eating his doughnut, half of it left.
Again, he ignored the high-pitched, almost awed sound from the oncologist.
"You really need to get some, Strife," Leon sighed, leaning back on his chair, staring pitifully at the doctor opposite him, who was finishing off his pizza.
"I get some 'some' all the time," Cloud replied, licking his fingers offhandedly before wiping them on his napkin. "The fact it's you saying it to me is a little strange, since I haven't seen you date anyone in years."
The diagnostician rolled his eyes. "Why is it when sex comes up in a conversation, you always turn it back on me?"
"'cause you need sex like fish needs water. Have you seen how up-tight you are? Shove a piece of coal up your ass, and you'll get a diamond within a week."
"Do you have these fantasies about my ass often, or is it just a one-off thing?"
Raising a hand, Cloud ripped off a piece of Leon's doughnut and popped it in his mouth. The brunette didn't really care, staring out of the window beside him, over the city around them. After a few minutes of calm silence, there was a sharp tap on Leon's shin and the brunette looked up at Cloud, about to say something about kicking being rude, but, at the blonde's blank, stunned expression, he closed his mouth again.
"... Is that her?" Cloud breathed, his eyes fixed on the door that was the only way to enter the cafeteria, a ways behind Leon.
The diagnostician turned around and immediately whipped back around again, hunched over and threw his arms over his head.
Standing in the doorway was Tifa Lockhart: temporarily away from her beloved son's bedside, no doubt on the nurse's orders. She wore a skirt that accentuated her long legs, a very tight white sweater that almost made her large bust seem bigger than it was, and her long black hair pooled around her shoulders.
The oncologist let out a quiet cough. "She's nice," he admitted, watching her walk over to the line of tables that had the food, his bright blue eyes catching every detail of her body and movements.
"She's a she-devil!" Leon hissed into the tablecloth, only just looking up a little, still cowering, staring at the 'she-devil' in horror. "She said she had a partner, but, I can't really see how someone can put up with her reign of terror."
"... Let's see what I can find out..." hummed Cloud, eyes still fixed on Tifa. The blonde had a major in psychiatry and behavioural sciences, so Leon didn't ask what he meant. He already knew. Cloud was good at picking people apart, often jabbing nerves tactlessly and earning his fair share of enemies because of it.
The blonde's blue eyes watched Tifa's every movement as she picked up a tray and a pear from the table. "Divorced recently," Cloud said suddenly. Leon blinked, straitening up and listening intently.
Tifa's hand hovered over the icecream and picked out one covered in sprinkles. "Few months at most. She's still a little upset over it." The pretty lady's hand hovered over the chocolate cake before moving away. Cloud blinked. "She's got a new partner, though."
"Oh?" asked Leon, eying his blonde colleague.
"And the reason you didn't become a psychiatrist is...?" murmured the diagnostician, an eyebrow raised at the blonde man sitting opposite him, before looking back at Tifa.
Cloud just continued watching the young lady with much too much stuffed into her tight little sweater, answering Leon with a noncommittal wave of a hand. "I don't want to talk for days on end to some emo, acne-faced teen claiming his daddy diddles him and that his mummy chops up their neighbours and cooks them in pies."
Staring blankly at the blonde, Leon sighed. "You were ignored as a child, weren't you?" Cloud gave him the finger, and the two of them went back to watching the she-devil.
Tifa opened the fridge and her hand tapped at the orange juice, thinking. "Ah, the new partner is younger than she is." Tifa bypassed the orange juice and grabbed the strawberry milk, and Cloud immediately let out a quiet, low whistle, turning back at Leon.
"Speak," the brunette demanded, taking in the blonde's almost dreamy eyes and smug smile.
"Her partner is a girl," Cloud sang gleefully.
Leon's eyebrows shot to his hairline and he flinched sharply, hunching over the table, placing his forehead in his hand and squeezing his eyes shut. The diagnostician tried, desperately, to make the mental images go away.
He vaguely heard the oncologist giggle breathily opposite him, and the sound of the rest of his doughnut be stolen and devoured by said asshole.
Looking up toward the voice, Leon got a good damn eyeful of a very large bust before he rose his eyes just a little bit further upwards to see Tifa staring down at him.
"Hello Ms. Lockart," he said politely and quietly, hoping beyond hope that the woman would keep her psychotic tendencies under control.
"What are you doing?" she demanded, clutching a small bag to her stomach that probably had her purchased food items in it, her pretty little lips pursed together in an angry way, accentuated by her shiny lipgloss.
"I do believe we're having lunch, miss," Cloud interjected smoothly with a charming smile, Tifa's bright brown eyes snapping to him. That, specifically, was the only time Leon was glad that the blonde was a womaniser.
"... Who are you?" she asked after a moment, her voice softer and more gentle than she'd ever used to the brown-haired diagnostician. Leon felt rightly abused.
"Doctor Cloud Strife, dear," the blonde murmured silkily, bowing his head elegantly before lifting it up again, flicking one of his spikes behind his ear with a charming smile.
The diagnostician never admitted it verbally, but, he was sure, if Cloud really tried, the blonde could smooth-talk his way into the palace, kill the royal family, and charm himself out again without a single spot on his record.
"Shouldn't you have a patient you should be dealing with?"
Just like that, the charm shattered.
"Excuse me?" Cloud prompted, looking just plain surprised, eyebrows raised.
"You're a doctor," Tifa stated, shifting a little on her stiletto heels. "You should have patients to tend to instead of having a meal and gossiping."
The blonde's blue eyes snapped to Leon, pure and utter disbelief written in them. The brunette mouthed 'see?', and, indeed; Cloud did see. The only person who could possibly ignore his charm must be the devil.
"Doctor Leonhart," Tifa started suddenly, making the male brunette jump slightly, staring up at her with wide eyes. "Why aren't you in my child's room and figuring out what he has?!"
The brunette who was currently fearing for his life opened his mouth, but was cut off my a sharp 'BEEP'. Both brunette's eyes snapped to Cloud, who dug a hand into his pocket and brought out his pager.
"Ah," gasped Cloud, eyes on the screen of the small gadget, jumping to his feet. "Sorry," he added to Tifa, stuffing his pager into his pocket, rounding her fluidly and pulling Leon to his feet. "I need him. Doctorly stuff happening. Babies exploding, projectile vomiting, pea-soup flying off the walls. You know how it is."
Before the pretty woman could even ascertain what the blonde doctor had even said; the two men had shot out of the cafeteria in a blur of grayscale with a dash of brown and gold.
"Your patient exploding?" Leon asked as he sped down the halls, dodging people and patients, only just jumping over a guy with a cast on his leg. Cloud jumped over the guy just as the brunette cleared him, and he answered easily with a shrug as the two men kept running.
"No, the message said she's fine, actually. Pity. I wanted to see an exploding skull. But, I thought I'd be nice for once and get you out of trouble."
Screeching to a halt in front of the elevators, Leon mashed the 'up' button and Cloud only just stopped before he smashed into the diagnostician. Leon bounced up and down on the balls of his feet as he waited impatiently for the elevator, chewing on the side of his lip as the oncologist ran a hand through his hair and yawned loudly.
There was a 'ding' and Leon only just stopped himself running into the elevator, since the doors hadn't even opened yet. Once the doors had opened, he hurried in, and the blonde quickly followed, only a kid with an arm in a cast was in there with them. The kid's brown hair in spikes that stuck in every direction, a little like Cloud's own, and his bright blue eyes were wide with curiosity. Leon mashed the 'doors close' button, then the one with his office floor on it.
Now believing he was free of the she-devil, the diagnostician sighed happily, slumping against the wall behind him, a lazy smile on his face. Beside him, the kid with the cast just looked between the two doctors with wide eyes, and the blonde male let out another yawn, leaning against the wall beside the buttons.
"Why the hell are you so tired, anyway?" Leon asked, raising an eyebrow at Cloud.
"Had a bad sexual experience last night. Hooker jacked out on me half-way through. She didn't even give me my money back."
The kid's eyes nearly popped out of his skull.
((END. I was thinking about AUs, and this popped into my head. Be glad I refrained from writing any LeonCloud in it. I wrote this all in one day, which is rare for me. I am a fan of House MD, if you can't tell. House and Wilson were obviously doing it like rabbits behind the scenes too. Enjoy.))