My thanks to Damion and Howling for inspiring me.

Seriously, Leon decided. This was getting old.

honk honk

What did I just say?

With a loud, nasal sigh of exasperation, Leon rose to his feet, reaching to the harness on his back.

"Something wrong, Leonhart?" came a chipper voice from behind him.

"Take your hunk of junk and leave me alone," he promptly answered.

"Don't talk about Fenrir like that - you'll hurt her feelings," the latter countered in turn. Still, from the sound of the revving machine, it was obvious they weren't going anyway.

"Strife," Leon began again. "If you run me over one more time, I will unload every last ammo clip from every last weapon I own upon you and your beloved 'Fenrir'."

... honk honk

Leon let his weapon arm drop to his side, the other coming up and smacking his forehead in exasperation. At last, he turned around and sent Cloud a withering glare. The latter - seated behind one of the bases' many ATVs - revved up the machine again in response.

"Fenrir" purred obnoxiously.

"Strife, why are you doing this?" Leon asked, not bothering with trying to run - he wouldn't get far anyway.

Cloud merely smirked. "I got bored."

Glaring, Leon jabbed a thumb back outside the fort perimeters. "Seriously...if you need something to do, take a hike down to the enemy base and steal something."

"Too far away, too dangerous, and Fenrir could get filth all over her. You, on the other hand, are a knock away. Pun intended."

"Seeing how you haven't noticed the past twenty-seven times you ran me over in the past hour," Leon growled out. "I'm on guard duty. If the enemy gets through here, I'll need as much of my health as I can manage if I intend to put up a fight."

"Guard schmard," Cloud replied. He brought up a finger and rapped it against the pole, just so that it chimed. "I still say it's just a stupid flag."

"This flag is important," Leon snapped.

"Why is it important?" Cloud tilted his head to the side as Leon went silent. "Didn't think of that, did you?"

Finally, Leon sighed heavily again as he brought his hand up to smack his forehead once more. "Fine. Don't guard the flag. Don't do anything of remote importance. Just...let me alone to my miserable existence."

Cloud shrugged, and then replaced his hands on the controls. With a low rumble, "Fenrir" made a three-point-turn and zipped back out.

Suddenly alone at last, Leon sighed with relief and juggled between firearms for a bit. And then it occurred to him...Cloud had backed down too easily.
Something was off.

And then "Fenrir" lit through the opening, pegged him in the midsection, and sent him flying across the room. The air was filled with cackling as Leon hit the side of a bunker - and then a wall - with an ominous crunch.


"Seriously, this is getting old."

"Says you. Now get off so I can chase you across the compound."

Currently, "Fenrir" was cruising along the interior of the base, Cloud once again "her" driver as Leon stowed away behind him.

"It's exactly why I'm staying put."

"No, really, get off."

"I don't intend to."

"Leonhart, take your hands off of Fenrir's love handles right this instant, please."

"I'm holding handlebars, Strife," Leon kindly informed him, still hanging on from the back as Cloud zipped through the base for the tenth time and counting.

"I wonder what your flag would think of you, having flings on the side like this," Cloud suddenly commented.

"For the last time," Leon snapped. "I am not in love with the flag! It's just important that I guard it."

"No need to get defensive, I'm not the type to judge-" Cloud paused as he detoured for yet another lap, "-I'm just curious - how would it work out, and what would the children look like?"

If Cloud weren't moving so fast, Leon would have let go at that point. Neither did. From his seat, Cloud leered.

"I'm sure you'll make a fantastic mother; after all, you've always liked having a stick up your b-"

"Damn it, Strife!" Leon lifted a hand to punch Cloud in the back of his head, and then Cloud suddenly reached backward and shoved him off. Before he could blink, Leon found himself on the concrete, just as Cloud turned the bike around and sat there with a smug, predatory smirk.

"Run for your life," Cloud suggested.

"...oh, hell, not again..." Leon replied in all - or lack of - gratitude.

Seriously, it was all getting old. If it were old cheese, it would be mold.

Therefore, when a volunteer was called for to infiltrate the enemy base, Leon was more than glad to offer himself up. Being run over continuously by an unsupervised motorcyclist did that to you.

Now, at long last, he was behind enemy lines. Now, if the bases were structured similarly, the objective had to be in the same location...

And then his attention drifted to something else.

That...the enemy had that, and they didn't. He wondered why the enemy never bothered using that sooner.

Now posed the get the objective, or to get...that.

He looked around to see if he was spotted, and checked a second time for hidden snipers. When he found none, he made his decision and dashed across the base.

It was just a stupid flag, anyway.

Cloud decided that he was bored. Very bored.

Ever since his favorite hit-and-run victim slipped off on that mission, he had few choices but to drive around aimlessly within the safety of the base. Finally, there was a beep - something was approaching the base, and from the color of the little blinking light, it had to be Leon.

Grinning, Cloud revved up and headed outside. And then he stopped dead in his tracks.

"Fenrir" squealed uncharacteristically.

"Hello, Strife."

" have a tank," Cloud pointed out conveniently. "You have a tank. Holy shit on a pogo stick you have a tank. Why in the name of any justifiable and summon-able divine force do you have a tank."

At last, the gargantuan vehicle before him responded. By lowering its gun to point at him, spiky head and all.

"Goodbye, Strife."

There are many things you can do when you are faced with a tank, and especially if it is about to hit you with a type of projectile that guarantees maximum pain. One is to pray you've been a good little child and take it. Another is to attempt a McGyver-esque manner of saving yourself. Yet another is to turn tail and flee while shrieking like a school girl.

Cloud chose the final option.

"So we agree, then," Leon smirked as he spoke - victory tasted so good. "No more of this nonsense, and neither of us gets hurt."

Cloud muttered something darkly but otherwise voiced no objection. Still smirking, Leon hefted the rocket launcher he had also "acquired" onto his back, and climbed the ladder up to where the flag was.

At last. Peace. Oh yes, did this feel good.

Taking a deep breath, Leon let it out again with a contented sigh. Here he was, alone at last on the watch with the flag by him, safe from the enemy's grimy paws. Safe from even his own team. Here, in this place with his solitude, he was king.

Suddenly, he heard it: the sound of an engine. way. We had a deal. No...freaking...way...!

Leon was still screaming with great profanity as "Fenrir" cleared the height and knocked him clean off his perch, sending them both into the concrete before coasting off again.

"TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!" Cloud was hollering as he drove off. Prying himself off the crater in the ground, Leon ripped the launcher free from his back as he aimed after the fleeing vehicle.

"I warned you, Strife," he growled. "This. Means.War."

Seriously, it was getting old.

And yet, some things just never change.