Squall Leonhart was more animal than human.

He had a muscled frame under his worn leather. His messy, shoulder-length brown hair was like a mane of a lion's, brushing his tanned skin and falling into his grey-blue eyes that shone with sardonic lights. He looked at home in open plains and scrubland, and whenever he was in a room, it was almost like a magnificent golden lion in a cage far too small for it.

An insult. Wrong.

He'd been justly dubbed 'Leon'.

He used to be a mercenary; renting off his expertise with a blade or gun for the highest price. But, after a run-in with an elderly detective, he had been swayed into helping the police with interrogations and moving away from killing for a price. All he really needed to do with the weak-minded people was stand in the room, and they'd spill every detail they could think of.

Cloud Strife was like a serpent.

He had a smooth, pretty exterior, but underneath those shiny scales and skin, he was all muscle and power. His spiked golden hair, soft skin and glowing blue eyes almost seeming artificial, a fake skin. A mask suiting the situation.

He stayed perfectly still on the interrogation chair, his hands neatly interlinked on the table in front of him. His head was slightly bowed, eyes staring silently at a chip in the grey plastic surface of the table. The people behind the observation mirror couldn't even see him breathe.

It was like he was dead.

Leon was told to get whatever he could out of the blonde man after he'd been briefed on the situation, and the detectives standing behind the observation mirror were barely breathing when the door of the interrogation room opened.

Two titans, in their own right.

Who would win?

Closing the door with a quiet click, the brown-haired mercenary could immediately feel that something was different about the person sitting in the chair in the centre of the room, compared to the others. The usual people he had to interrogate had emotions coming off them in waves. Fear, anger, smugness, superiority, horror... But this man...

He had nothing.

He was just there.

Usually, all Leon would have to do would be stand there and stare fixedly at them, and they'd spew their stories and confessions, just to make him stop. But, the mercenary somehow knew it wouldn't work with this one.

Cloud's blue eyes were on him. It wasn't a challenging gaze, nor an inquisitive one. Just a gaze. The blonde man still had his head slightly bowed, his hands clasped on the table. Like a snake curled around itself; calm, waiting, watching.

With slow, graceful strides, Leon walked across the cold floor to stand in front of Cloud, the table between them. No movements were spared. No unneeded twitches, no useless shifts. All movements having a purpose. He stood in front of the other man, both titans silent.

Leon's head shifted minutely to one side, his eyes still fixed on Cloud, before it shifted the other. A lion prowling around it's prey. Watching it; sizing it up. Looking for weaknesses.

"Where are the children?" the mercenary asked. It was the first time he'd ever uttered a word during an interrogation. His voice was a soft, deep, rumbling growl. Like the guttural snarl of a big cat, his lips barely moving, the tiniest glint of white teeth being seen. The lion was baring his teeth.

The blonde's golden head shifted ever so slightly upwards. A snake rearing up for the strike. His eyes never left the mercenary before him. A slow smirk spread across Cloud's face, perfect teeth for show. Poison-drenched fangs.

"I don't have them," Cloud murmured. His voice was gentle, soft, breathy. Like the whisper of scales over silk. One of his fingers twitched. A quiver of a rattling tail. A warning.

Leon placed his fingertips on the tabletop, leaning forward and hunching ever so slightly. A lion ready to pounce. "You were seen with them," he growled softly, his hair falling over his shoulders and brushing his cheeks. "All of them."

A pink tongue swept over a soft bottom lip. Tasting the air. "Mere coincidence," smiled the blonde, blue eyes staring up into grey-blue ones, alight with carnal delight. Fight. Bite. Kill. Eat. Die.

It never took this long to get information. The blonde was too much like him. Too alike: knowing all the same tricks, the same nuances. He probably had the same kind of mindset. The lion glared down at the serpent half-buried under the sand. How big was the serpent? How thick? Could it twist around him and suffocate him, or was it too small and thin to do so?

He didn't know.

Brushing at the sand covering the serpent's body with a paw, Leon rose his hand and slowly curled it around the blonde's throat.

The detectives probably didn't like the thought of being sued, so that talked to him through the intercom between the interrogation room and the observation room. "Leon, please. Hands off the suspect."

The snake twisted slightly in the sand, ripples shadowing in the red dirt, outlining the possible body of the serpent. "Leon, was it?" Cloud breathed, the hand still curled securely around his throat. He was smiling, his canines glinting in the sparse lighting coming from the single light-bulb and flitting in through the barred window. Poison dripped from those jagged, serpentine fangs and clung to the sharp tips.

"Yes," Leon replied, ignoring the repeated call of the people in the observation room. If this man was like him, there was only one way to get him to tell him what he wanted to know.

The lion rose a clawed paw and slammed it down on the snake.

Cloud twisted out of his grip just before his fist was about to connect to his face and his hands flew up, cuffed to the table, and he swung the piece of cheap furniture around and it slammed into Leon's side, shattering upon impact. Suddenly, the blonde was behind him, and the chain for those cuffs were around Leon's throat.

Hand flying back, Leon grabbed a fistful of the blonde's black shirt and let his knees buckle, throwing the man over his shoulder with all the force he had. Cloud slammed bodily into the wall and was somehow on his feet again within a split second, a crazed grin on his face.

Like Leon's own grin.

Pen two predators together, and they'll kill each other.

The doorknob was rattling. Locked, but trying to be unlocked from the outside. Cloud, the closest to the piece of metal, let one of his feet fly back and it collided with the doorknob, the small ball snapping off and ricocheting off one of the walls.

The predators circled each other, moving slowly, purposefully.

Leon's body was hunched slightly, his head slightly bowed, fingers extended like claws, grey-blue eyes staring unblinkingly on the blonde as he slowly stepped over the sharp plastic shards littering the floor, his mouth pulled back in a snarl.

Cloud's posture was perfectly strait, his chin tilted upwards and slightly to the side, bizarre blue eyes staring down at the brown-haired mercenary, his hands placed flat on his jean-clad thighs, wrists connected by the handcuffs he still wore as he stepped over the remains of the table too, his mouth hanging slightly open, sharp canines exposed to the air.

"You're unlike the others..." Cloud whispered, his breathing coming in slow breaths in and out of his open mouth. "Who are you, really?"

"Squall Leonhart," the mercenary growled, his breath hissing through his teeth.

The snake's eyes lit up with excitement and it's whole body quivered, a tongue flicking out into the air as it's rattling tail sped up it's tempo.

"Oh, I feel privileged to finally meet the lion of the Balamb Garden gang," breathed the serpent, breath trembling with glee. "I'll feel even more privileged when I kill you." Sink your teeth in. Inject the poison. Kill. Kill. Kill.

"Strife of the Midgar gang or not," snarled the lion, his tail ticking from side to side, razor-sharp claws flexing against the soft earth, the snake letting out a delighted hiss at it's title being spoken, "I will be the one to kill you."

And then, there was chaos.

The lion had raw power and force, clawed paws slamming into the opponent, and the snake twisted out of the way nearly every time, sending sharp, sudden blows into vital points in the lion's body. Chaos. A mere blur of instinctual movement, snarls and hisses.

The door flew open just in time to see Leon kick the blonde across the face, making the snake wrench boldly around, but not before Cloud caught the other man's ankle with his own leg and made him crash to the ground.

There was yelling from the detectives who poured into the room, separating the two men as well as they could, heaving Leon out of the door and trying to push Cloud further in, yells, swearing and cries flying through the air in a loud, jumbled mess.

The lion glanced into the cage just before it was slammed closed to see the snake leering at him, glee written over it's scaled face.

The detectives went off on a rant at how Cloud Strife's lawyer, when he arrived, would most definitely sue them for manhandling, and that if Leon was going to act this way any more, he should say so and they could just give him his money and kick him out the door.

The adrenaline pumping through his veins made his whole body ache and his hands shake in his pockets.

It was good to sink his teeth in again, after so long.

Tonguing the small gash at the edge of his mouth, the lion licked his wounds as the detectives continued yelling to him in the confines of the office. He wasn't paying attention. Otherwise, with a single look, he could've shut them up. Completely.

You don't tame the beast.

The beast just learns to take instructions and does so, from time to time.

And then it remembers what made it truly a beast, and goes back to it's feral ways, the knowledge on how to manipulate ones who like to be 'in control' hidden in it's mind.

There was a sharp yell from the observation room and Leon was out of the door before the detective had even looked around. One of the female detectives was in the observation room, gaping through the one-way mirror. Leon looked through it, and immediately tore out of the room, and into the interrogation room, kicking the door open.

It was empty.

The bars on the window were screwed off, just lying on the floor, amidst the shards of grey plastic from the table, and the upturned chair. A deep scratch on the chair called out to the lion, and he looked at it, ignoring the open window and the view outside. There were other scratches on the chair.


I'll kill you later.

The kids are being held by Brother.


A hand unconsciously moved to Leon's inner-thigh, and there was no outline of a switchblade there.

He was ignored as the detectives flew into the room, screaming curses at losing their only suspect and clue, oblivious to the wide, feral grin that took over the mercenary's face as his grey-blue eyes just stared fixedly down at the scratches in the chair, his hand falling to the side.

The head of homicide looked up to see Leon walking purposefully toward the door. "Where the fuck do you think you're going?!"

The lion paused and looked up, his eyes ablaze with a fire that made icy chills shiver down the questioning man's spine, razor-like fangs bared, claws kneading at the soft earth, tail slashing from side to side.


((END. I've had this in my mind for a few days now, and I enjoyed writing this so much, I burst into giggles quite a few times. Read and enjoy!))