This is the final chapter, so enjoy! And thanks to all of you who've given feedback and those who've just followed the story.
-Disclaimer: Square owns these boys, I've just borrowed them for my amusement.
"Cloud!?" Sora yelped when he opened the door. "You're back!"
"And you're still as loud as ever," Cloud smirked at Sora, who pouted.
"Hey Cloud," Leon said as he came up behind Sora. "So did you bring them?"
"Leon I'm a delivery boy now, do you think I would come all the way back here if I didn't have them," Cloud sounded slightly irritated that Leon seemed to have such a low standard for him.
"What are you guys talking about?" Sora was totally confused. What would Leon ask for that would bring Cloud back to Radiant Garden. Cloud only ever came to visit on holidays and that was only the really important ones.
"You haven't told him?"
"It's a surprise."
Cloud just nods, "By the way Leon you'll need to be careful with one of them."
"Let's just say it's smaller than it should be."
"Got it. I'll come look at it. Sora stay here."
"Leon…" Sora did a full out pout to try and persuade the older man.
"No. You'll find out in a minute anyway."
Leon walked with Cloud to his motorcycle. "So is it the runt of the group?"
"Yeah. You always did tend to choose those," Cloud said as he glanced at the house.
Leon chuckled, "Leave Sora out of this Cloud. Besides, that one's for him."
Cloud arched an eyebrow, "That explains it. So is Sora living with you?"
"Yeah for about a month and a half now."
Cloud nodded before handing Leon a rather large crate. "Keep them inside for a couple months. Don't leave them unattended or outside for more than a half-hour until they get bigger. I'll be back to check on them in three months, by then the little one should be well enough to be able to do just about anything. Try to keep them together too, most don't like being alone."
"No problem." Cloud got on Fenrir, "Take care of Sora okay?"
"I will. Bye Cloud."
Cloud waved a hand before speeding away.
Sora was sitting on the couch waiting for Leon to come back in. Okay so he was more bouncing than sitting. He jumped up as Leon came in the door. "Wow that's a big box! What's in it?"
"Open it and find out," Leon said as he set the crate down in front of Sora, who immediately started to figure out how to open it.
Several minutes later he still hadn't opened it. "Leon this is rigged!" Sora accused.
Leon pointed to the lock on the side of the crate, "Cloud put that there specifically so you could open it easily."
"Oops. Guess I didn't see that," Sora stood up and summoned his Keyblade and pointed it at the lock. A small ball of light appeared at the end of Sleeping Lion and around the lock. The lock then unlatched, allowing Sora to open the crate.
"Leon what is it?" Sora asked as a three-foot light gray bird with black eyes walked out of the crate. It walked over to Leon and started rubbing against his leg.
"It's a chocobo," Leon said as he knelt beside the chocobo and scratched its head. "They make good pets and when they get old enough you can also use them to get around. There should be another one in there."
"Really!?" Sora decided to see for himself and crawled into the crate. Sora found himself staring into bright blue/green eyes. "So there you are," Sora said to the chocobo. "Why are you hiding in here? It can't be all that fun inside this box all by yourself. Beside you have to meet Leon."
"Don't worry he's not as scary as he looks."
"I heard that."
"Whoops said that a little too loud," Sora laughed as the chocobo started chewing on his hair. "Let's get out of this thing, it kinda a tight fit with both of us in here."
"Kweh!" The chocobo seemed to agree.
When Sora backed out of the crate Leon said to him, "Just for that you don't get any sugar for a week."
"WHAT?! That's not fair!"
Sora looked down at the chocobo that had finally come out. He was a brilliant cobalt blue color.
"Kweh!" The gray one ran up to it and started looking it over, making sure it was okay.
"Wow, that looks familiar." Sora smirked at Leon.
"Quiet," Leon said, pretending to sound annoyed. "Now what are we going to call them?"
"Good question." Sora looked at the blue one closely.
Leon turned his attention to the light gray chocobo. Now that it was certain his friend was okay he had gone back over to have Leon scratch his head. "Quicksilver."
"Huh?" Sora was confused.
"My chocobo's name. It's Quicksilver."
"Well at least one of us has figured out a name. I still don't have a clue!"
"Think about all the different worlds you've been to and the people you've met. Maybe you'll come up with something. Or you could call him 'Jerk' if nothing else," Leon was smirking evilly.
"It's been a month already! Let that go!"
"But it's so much fun teasing you about it still."
"Tags get him," Sora told the two-and-a-half-foot blue chocobo.
"Kweh!" The newly named Tags went over and started pulling on one of Leon's many belts.
"Hey, hey! Leave those alone! All right I give. I'll stop teasing you just call of your crazy pet."
"Come here Tags." The chocobo immediately ran back over to Sora, who started running his fingers through the bright blue feathers.
"By the way, where'd the name Tags come from?"
"In Traverse Town there was this one Dalmatian that used to follow me around when I went to visit. He was always tagging along so I called him Tags. I can tell my chocobo is going to be the same way and follow me around so that's why I called him Tags."
"Told you you'd come up with something."
"Yeah you did."
"Hey Sora, Cloud said there's some rules with these two. First you are probably going to have Tags go with you everywhere for a while especially since he was the runt of his clutch. Two is neither of them can be left alone for very long. And three it's a good thing you and I live together because according to Spiky, chocobos like being by other chocobos."
"I've called him that since we were kids. Just don't tell him I told you his name."
"I would never!" Sora's smile was evil though his voice was innocent.
"You have to stop hanging out with Cid and Yuffie. Their sarcasm is rubbing off on you."
"Kweh!" Both Leon and Sora turn to look at the little blue chocobo.
"Okay I'll see what we have. Hey Leon what do chocobos eat? Leon?" Sora was concerned with the way Leon was looking at him.
"You understand him?"
"Yeah. He said he wanted something to eat."
"You definitely are the most unique person I've ever met Sora. Most people don't understand chocobos at all. And those who do, have spent years around chocobos to just get a rough grasp of what they say. In less than ten minutes you meet your first chocobo and you understand him."
"You mean you can't figure out what Quicksilver is saying?"
"I know what he's saying because I've been around chocobos before but it took me awhile before I understood most of what chocobos say. Cloud however was like you and picked it up what his chocobo was saying immediately."
"Kweh!!" the blue chocobo started pulling on Sora's pant leg, telling him he wanted attention and now. "Kweeeh!"
"Right food. So what's for dinner Leon?"
Sora and Leon were sitting side by side on the roof of their house looking at the night sky. They had already count down the sun, which had become part of their daily routine, and now watched as the stars came out.
"You know I'm really glad we do this." Sora said as he leaned against Leon. "It helps knowing that even though they're gone, I can still carry on with some of the things we used to do as a family. I miss them," Sora sighed.
Leon put his arm around Sora's shoulders, "I know you do."
"I wish you could have met them. I think you guys would have gotten along. Dad would have asked if you liked Blitz Ball, which I would have warned you to say yes. Just trust me if you said no my dad would ask what's wrong with you then try and convince you it's the best thing on the planet. My mom would probably have got hearts for eyes and said that I have the most attractive friends. She then would have properly introduced herself before going fangirl again. My mom's always been like that. I, of course, would have to protect you and say your taken or something to get her to stop. Might not work in your case though," Sora said thoughtfully.
"And why's that?" Leon was glad Sora was beginning to talk about his parents again. It was proof he was healing. Besides, Leon wanted to know more about Sora's family.
"Well for really good looking guys, which you fall into that category, she's more… what's the word I'm looking for, ah! Persistent, that's it."
So according to Sora Leon fell into the category really good looking, he might have to look into that. "What could possible make her go fangirl over me?"
"You really have to ask?! Well for starters, my mom loved darker haired guys. Which doesn't make sense since my dad was a blonde, oh well. Another thing is probably your scar."
"My scar? You're joking right?"
"Nope. My mom always thought scars were hot; I just think they're cool. Unless they're on me! Anyway, my mom also was a sucker for leather and considering with the exception of your undershirt, you wear solid leather you get big points. Your eyes would also be a major factor. My mom loved blue eyes. She was so happy when she found out my eyes were blue as a baby. Dad said she almost threw a party to celebrate that fact. Though I think your eyes are a nicer color than mine are. Mine are pure blue without really any other color. Yours on the other hand, are a nice dark blue/gray. They fit your personality really well and I love it when you smile because your eyes soften, making them even better."
"Odd, I always thought your eyes were better."
"Huh? How do you figure that?!" Sora was genuinely shocked.
"Your eyes always seem to be full of light. I envy that. My eyes are dark like you said and can't even compare to yours."
"Funny how we find others' traits better than our own."
"Yeah it is. But I do have one question for you Sora."
"And what's that?"
"What would you have done to help me get away from your fangirl mother?"
"Hmm. Well since you are my best friend I guess I'd do just about anything to help you out."
"That's good to know." Leon noticed then that Sora was shivering. Which wasn't surprising. Sora had started staying with Leon late July, Leon's birthday had been August 23, Sora moved in officially at the very end of August, Tags and Quicksilver came during mid-September, and now it was almost November. Radiant Garden always started getting cold around now. "Sora do you want to head inside? You're shivering."
"I want to stay out and watch the stars a bit longer."
"Well in that case, come here." Sora obeyed and Leon pulled the teen to him. Sora smiled and leaned back into Leon, he was warm now.
It never really occurred to them that they'd been doing things like this more and more often. It was minor things at first, like Sora leaning against Leon when they were sitting or Leon slinging his arm over Sora's shoulders as they walked. But over time it had steadily progressed. Now you commonly found Sora in his current position, his back pressed against Leon and Leon's arms holding the boy close. And when the two watched TV Leon was notorious for playing with the smaller brunette's spikes and generally messing with his hair, which Sora never objected to.
"This is nice. Just the two of us out here looking at the night sky," Sora said as he interlaced his fingers with Leon's.
Leon looked at their joined hands and noticed how well they fit together. "This is another perfect moment."
"Uh-huh. Now all we need it for Tags or Quicksilver to wake up and start yelling that they're hungry. Something always seems to ruin these moments."
"Not this time. Our chocobos are going to be out cold after all the running around we did today. So let's just enjoy the time we have."
"Works for me." Sora said as he settled into a more comfortable position against Leon. "You know I can't smell leather without thinking of you anymore."
"Where did that come from?"
"I just noticed that when I smell leather I think of you. I was smelling your jacket when I noticed that fact."
"Is this a bad thing?"
"No! I like it. Now I have something other than a Keyblade to help remind myself of you."
"Sora I'm not going anywhere, stop worrying that I'm going to leave you."
Sora turned to look at Leon, releasing his hands. "I can't help it! I always thought mom and dad would be there but they're gone now. And I'm just as attached to you as I was to them! If I lost you Leon I don't know what I'd do…" Sora trailed off and looked away.
Leon gently grabbed Sora's chin and made the teen look at him. "The feeling's mutual. Sora you mean everything to me. I don't know when or why it happened but I don't really care. I promise I'll do everything in my power to make sure that I'll always be there for you."
"Thank you." Sora smiled at Leon, who nodded and dropped his hand. Sora then realized they had done it again. Gotten remarkably close without either of them really noticing. It surprised Sora when he found himself leaning in just a little more. He didn't know why he was doing this or why he didn't have any problems with Leon, another guy, being so close. Sora did know that if it was anyone else he would have been very uncomfortable but this was Leon. His best friend, his sparring buddy, and the man Sora knew he could always rely on and vise versa. He just wished he knew what he was feeling right now for Leon. This was so confusing!
"What's wrong Sora?" Leon asked. He'd seen all the emotions play out in Sora's eyes; his eyes had always been expressive. Leon just didn't know quite what he was seeing in those eyes.
"Nothing. I'm just confused."
"I don't know what's going on between us. One minute we're best friends then we have moments like this and I don't know what we are. Well I mean yes we're still friends but there's something else going on. But I don't know what it is or understand it! Leon what's happening?" That last sentence made Leon wince, Sora had sounded like a lost child.
"I'm not sure I know what's happening either Sora. I don't even know if what we're doing is right. But I know I need you right here so I can hold you close and protect you. And yes I know you don't need all that much protecting, you are the Keyblade Master after all. But to me, you're my Keyblade Master and I refuse to let anything happen to you."
Sora didn't know why but when Leon said Sora was his, he didn't mind. Actually, he was really glad Leon had told him that because he considered Leon to be his, too. However this only confused the boy more and he told Leon that.
"I know but we'll figure it out together," Leon reassured Sora.
Sora nodded before turning back around. Leon rested his head on top of Sora's and stared at the ink black sky covered with stars.
Sora started thinking about what he'd said earlier, about all the things his mom would find attractive about Leon. Had he listed those as actual things his mom would like or had they been what Sora saw in Leon? It was true that Sora's mom had always liked darker hair but so did Sora and Leon did pull off the scar pretty well. And now that he thought about it, he'd always thought Leon looked his best when he was in his leather, though he didn't look too bad in those tight blue jeans he wore every now and then. But leather was Leon's trademark for good reason. And what he'd said about Leon's eyes softening when he smiled was very true. Sora loved when Leon smiled, that was by far one of his favorite expressions. The other one was when he rested his forehead against fingertips. Leon always looked cute when he did that.
Wait, did he just call Leon cute?! Well that answered that question, Sora had listed off what he liked about Leon. Was he falling for his best friend?
The answer was crystal clear when he felt Leon nuzzle his hair. Yep he was falling for his best friend and hard. Sora wanted to know if the feeling was shared.
"Leon do you like me?"
"What do you mean?" Leon was hoping Sora meant do you like me as a friend and not do you like like me. Because it was only about thirty seconds ago that he'd realized what he felt for Sora. His feelings for the boy were far stronger than those of just friends, which at least made trying to figure out what was going on easier. But it made trying to deal with it harder.
"I mean do you like me as a friend, a little brother, something more, or even at all?" Sora said.
"Sora if I didn't even like you at all do you think we'd be sitting here like this?"
"I was just putting that out there as a option. But really Leon, how do you like me?"
Leon sighed before resting his head on Sora's again, "To be honest Sora at first I thought of you as a little brother. If you ever needed help you came to me and you asked my advice about things. When the Nobodies showed up my view changed. You didn't need me to guide you anymore but you did need me there for you, as a friend. And no matter what Sora, I will always be your friend, understood?"
"Yeah. Thanks Leon."
"But after all the Heartless and Nobodies were defeated. I never thought I'd get to see you again. I remember trying to tell myself that you were back home and everything was probably going really well for you. I still was depressed. So it was one heck of a surprise when you came in that morning asking if you could help out.
"Ever since that day, you and I have steadily gotten closer. Now I don't really remember what it was like without having you around all the time. I like knowing that every morning you're going to glare at me because I wake you up at such an ungodly hour and that you'll always stay back to help if there's extra work to be done. But what I love most about all of this," Leon took a deep breath before finishing "is you Sora."
Sora took a moment to process what Leon had just said. "Did you just say you loved me?"
"Yes." Sora jumped slightly when he heard that. One was because Leon had just confirmed that he loved him and two Leon had said that right next to his ear, reminding Sora just how close they were.
"Well that's good, because I love you, too, Leon."
"You do?" It was Leon's turn to be startled.
"Yeah, that's why I asked how you felt about me. I thought maybe you felt the same way but I wasn't sure so I decided to let you tell me."
"Well aren't we sneaky?" Leon said, smirking playfully.
"Yep," he was grinning like an idiot again.
"Well I guess it's only fair if I'm sneaky back."
"Leon you're not supposed to tell- Ah!" Sora was cut short when Leon nipped at his ear. "That's not sneaky, that's playing dirty!" Sora said as he turned to glare/pout at Leon.
"No dirty would be this!" Leon started tickling Sora. Leon knew just what to do to make Sora move this way or that and what spots were the best. Soon he had Sora pinned beneath him, making sure the teen couldn't get away.
"Give up?" Leon asked as he continued to tickle Sora.
"I give just stop already!" Sora said as Leon let up, "You're evil you know that?"
"Yes I know. Quicksilver tells me that everyday."
"Smart chocobo," Sora said as he looped his arms around Leon's neck. "Just like his owner."
"Hey who's up there?" The two of them hear a familiar voice call.
"Santa and his elf, who else would be on our roof!" Leon yelled down at Yuffie.
"I better not be the elf, they're short!" Sora told Leon.
"Fine be the old fat guy," Leon told him as he looked at the boy beneath him.
"Very funny Squall." Yuffie said, not having heard Sora and Leon's little side conversation.
"That's Leon!" Both Leon and Sora yelled together, though both noticed Yuffie didn't seem aware of their positions.
"Anyway, Merlin wanted me to get everyone together, so head to his house I need to go find Aerith." With that Yuffie waved good-bye.
"That girl has too much energy." Leon said as he looked down a Sora again, who nodded in agreement. "But before we go…" Leon leaned down and softly kissed Sora on the lips.
Leon chuckled when he saw how red Sora's face had turned when he pulled back. "Did you know you're cute when you blush?"
"Just shut up and kiss me again." Sora ordered the Gunblader, who was happy to comply. Sora's grip on Leon tightened when Leon licked at Sora's lips, which Sora parted for him. The man began to thoroughly explore, which the teen had absolutely no objections to.
Leon gave Sora's lower lip one last nip before leaning away. The older brunette chuckled at the dazed, yet happy expression his companion had. "Come on Sora, we need to head to Merlin's."
The boy pouted, "But I was having fun!"
"And you think I wasn't? We can always continue when we come back home. Meaning the sooner we leave, the sooner we get back…" Leon trailed off as he stared at Sora, who was now where Yuffie had been a minute ago. Upon figuring out Leon's logic the Keybearer had slip out from under Leon and jumped from the roof and was now waiting for Leon to join him on the ground. And rather impatiently at that if Sora's pout was any indication.
Chuckling at Sora's expression Leon landed beside the teen; "You, my friend, are far too cute sometimes."
"What did I do?"
"Nothing except be you," Leon said, pressing a kiss to Sora's temple.
Halloween in Radiant Garden left much to be desired in Sora's opinion. The pumpkins looked happy, most of the decorations looked silly, and everything was really tame. Overall Halloween wasn't scary. There wasn't even one haunted house.
"That's it. For Halloween I'm going to Halloween Town!" Sora told Tags.
"Kweh?" the chocobo made a questioning noise.
"Halloween Town is were it's Halloween like year round! And on the actually holiday, it's awesome! Everything's scary, creepy, frightening, and totally real. Jack Skellington is the Pumpkin King and is always trying to improve Halloween." Sora grinned in excitement, "Last year was great! I don't think I've ever been more scared in my life!"
"Figures you'd be one of those people who likes getting scared," a voice behind the pair said.
"Leon!" Sora smiles happily at the man. "I was just telling Tags about Halloween Town."
"So you going this year?"
"Yep. Radiant Garden just can't compare to Halloween Town. Hey why don't you come too?"
Leon gives Sora a skeptical look, "I'm not fond of people trying to scare me."
"C'mon Leon, just think every time I get scared I'd latch onto you," Sora gives Leon a sly smile "and I get scared a lot."
Leon thought it over. It had only been a few days since the night on the roof but things had become busy for the Restoration Committee so the two of them hadn't had a lot of alone time. Maybe this wouldn't be such a bad thing.
"All right I'm in."
"Yes!" Sora yelled, happy Leon agreed.
"Kweh!" Tags seemed just as excited for his owner.
That's how Leon found himself in Halloween Town two days later. And how he found himself in the tightest leather outfit he'd ever been in.
"Sora what am I dressed as?" Leon asked the now vampiric Keybearer.
"Hmm. Let's see you've got a stake on you're belt, a canteen of Holy water too, and a cross. That joined with that awesome and very hot outfit I'd say you're a Vampire Hunter…" Sora sighed dramatically. "Of course. So basically you're set up to kill me. That's real nice of you Leon." Sora said sarcastically.
"I didn't choose this you know."
Sora didn't get a chance to respond as Jack suddenly appeared in front of Sora and scared the heck out of him. Once Sora recovered from his near heart attack he introduced Jack.
"Jack this is my friend Leon. Leon Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King."
Leon nodded his greeting, which Jack returned before turning to Sora, "I'd say that was one of my better scares, wouldn't you."
"Definitely," Sora smiled. "So is this year going to be even better than the last one?"
"Of course," Jack said smiling. "We have a haunted house specially for you since you wanted one last year."
Sora's face lit up. "Sweet! We'll talk later Jack. C'mon Leon!" Sora grabbed Leon's hand and took off the way Jack pointed.
As the pair climbed the stairway that lead to the house Leon noticed Sora was walking closer to him than usual.
"You okay?" Leon asked the smaller brunette.
"Fine. I just know that if Jack did this especially for me, I'm going to be petrified by the time we leave."
And Sora was right, by the time they exited the building Sora had a death grip on Leon's arm.
"That officially was the most scared I've ever been." Sora said as Jack approached. "It was awesome! But I don't think I'll ever be able to sleep again!"
"Glad to hear it," the Pumpkin says, laughing. "Our parade is about to start, so head to the Town Square, I'll be there shortly."
"Sweet! Can we go Leon?" The young brunette looked up at his companion. Leon nodded and found himself being pulled off by Sora.
About halfway through the parade Sora ended up becoming a part of it while Leon contently watched from the sidelines. Though a soft voice beside him startled the man.
"You care a lot for Sora don't you?" Leon turned to see a young woman wearing a patchwork dress. "I'm Sally by the way."
"Leon. And why would you think that?" Leon was just curious, not defensive.
"Because you look at him the same way I do Jack," Sally said simply.
Leon chuckled, "Looks like I've been found out then."
"Can you promise me something Leon?"
"What is it?"
"Keep Sora happy. He doesn't show it but I can tell that there are things that are hurting him. He's always wearing that smile though so it's easy to overlook."
"I know. That smile of his hides most of his pain and sadness. But I promise I'll do what I can to make him happy."
"Hey Leon!" Sora came running over and tackled the man in a hug. "Did you see? I was in the parade!"
"You sound like a five-year-old but yes I saw you." Leon smiled at Sora's pout, though he still held the boy close to him.
"Meanie," Sora stuck his tongue out at the man. "Oh hey Sally! Have you met my boyfriend?"
Leon looked down at Sora with a slightly shocked expression; he hadn't been aware that Sora would be so open about their new relationship. Admittedly Leon had hoped they wouldn't hide their relationship but in the end the choice had been Sora's to make.
"I have Sora and I think you've found a very good person for you."
Sora grinned and looked up at Leon, "You know what? Me too."
And there you have it. I hope everyone liked the ending. And don't forget to give me feedback.