The Situation Room
By: Miroir du Symphonie
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts
A/N: Well, the purpose behind this oneshot is twofold, actually. As stated in a few other A/Ns and on my profile, I'm running a contest for GB. Every 25th reviewer wins a 1000-word LeonxCloud fic, and they can either request a plot or let me decide. The first winner of this contest was the lovely XxTypoMasterxX, and this is their prize. Every American knows what's going on today, though - the last voting day and the decision of the people on who's going to be our next President. And in the spirit of Election Day, I chose this plot.
I want to make it clear, however, that none of the characters in this fic are meant to represent any of the candidates or IRL people involved in the presidential election. I dislike using real people for fanfic in general, first of all, and associating yaoi with the current candidates or anyone involved with that business is more than a little creepy. The election just inspired me, and that's all there is to it.
This is dedicated to XxTypoMasterxX, with congratulations and thanks for being the first winner, and also to my beta Oblea for her help with this.
Happy Election Day to my American readers, and here's to a better future for our country. To everyone (American or not) I hope you enjoy this! And don't forget to drop me a review when you're done. :3
The Situation Room
The sky overhead was a dusty blue, sleepy sunshine sending reluctant rays over the tops of bleak skyscrapers. Filtering down through the maze of metal, it found its way to sidewalks and streets, welcomed with owlish blinking and turned faces. The day was a cold one, bloodless fingers tightening threadbare scarves, fumbling feet hastening to reach dark hovels that would bring no relief.
He'd had the option of several beautiful views, and yet he'd chosen the one that faced the slums. So he wouldn't forget.
From so high up, the milling people looked like ants, insignificant in size and function, easy to crush. Yet those who chose to pool their power became an insurmountable force, building momentum until it embraced him or swallowed him whole.
They still mattered, poor as they were, and he couldn't—shouldn't—overlook that.
With a sigh, he turned away from the sad sight, leaving the generously sized balcony and closing the French doors behind him. A lavender aroma greeted him as he entered the room, pleasant and subtly inviting. Despite the coffee he'd had earlier, he felt drained, and took his comfortable chair with a tired sigh.
Leon's office was compulsively neat, folders forming neat rows in the cabinets, rows of books lining the immaculate shelves. The furniture was cherry wood and softly gleaming, free of dust, hard work from some underpaid person bringing the surfaces to a shine. His desk was equally tidy, documents stacked in neat piles for his perusal. A small sectioned container for pens and paper clips sat just within reach, next to a plain-looking lamp.
The only personal touches in sight were two framed photos, innocently resting beside the stapler.
The first one was a sight he'd grown up with: wildly spiked hair the same shade as his, eyes the color of trapped oceans. And an infectious laugh—frozen in the photo but wafting through his mind. He'd been afraid that the younger brunette would grow up spoiled: Sora had been born much later than he had, when their family was making money hand over fist. Unlike Leon—who came around when his parents hadn't found their feet yet—his sibling had never known anything but luxury.
But the kid had surprised him. Sora was kind, very down-to-earth, and absolutely hated using the family money—even getting a small job to pay for his own wants. Leon couldn't have asked for a sweeter, nicer, and more loving sibling. It helped that the kid had worn nothing but campaign shirts for months and babbled about his brother to anyone who would listen.
Smiling, he ran a finger over the frame, brushing away imaginary specks of dirt. Sora was well into his twenties by now, married to a pretty redhead and no longer the gangly teen that beamed up at him here. He would need a new picture.
His gaze moved to the next photo, and his smile faded, even as heat began to burn in his stomach and move progressively downwards.
There were a lot of pictures of this particular person that circulated through the public eye and had been doing so for months. So Leon couldn't understand why he'd chosen this particular shot—hastily taken and blurred by a nervous hand. Maybe it was the rawness of the picture that intrigued him, unchanged by the art department or computer program tricks. Or maybe it was the serenity on the person's soft features: eyes closed in delight, face almost glowing with rare relief.
His eyes roved over parted lips, the flush of arousal cooling to a bitter chill. With his current standing in society, he could ask for damn near whatever he wanted and have it presented on a platinum platter by adoring crowds. And yet his only real desire—to capture those lips, feel them smile against his own—he couldn't fulfill.
For to do so would undo every hard-won victory they'd gained up to this point. To do so would disappoint thousands and vindicate thousands more, curling scarlet script signing off the document that would ruin both their lives. To do so would proclaim them unfit to step into that office and would send their country to hell.
There wasn't even a potential First Lady to provide a distraction, or some sort of intimate company. He'd been single for years.
Leon sighed, tracing the figure's image with a despondent finger.
Politics sucked. This whole damn race sucked and he only hoped that he would have something to show for having gone through the grueling, heart-attack-inducing stress.
Feeling suitably depressed, he repositioned the photo—and barely had time to slam it face-down as the object of his dilemma entered the room.
"Good morning, Mr. President."
Struggling to look composed as his heart tried to break his ribcage, the senator allowed himself the small indulgence of a full once-over. His second looked like he'd just stepped off a runway, tailored suit flattering his small frame and heeled boots encasing his equally small feet. Leon knew the man's strict policy of not crossdressing in public, so the boots confused him. Maybe it was his birthday, or something.
The ink stains on Cloud Strife's fingers, however, spoke of signing and note-taking instead of fierce looks and camera flashes. Work that Leon himself should have been doing instead of daydreaming like a schoolgirl. Feeling a twinge of guilt, he managed a somewhat awkward smile in the blonde's direction. "Not yet, anyways."
"It's only a matter of time, Leon, everyone knows that," the blonde said dismissively, shuffling the rather impressive stack of paper in his arms. "I have a few updates for you."
Few? He thought incredulously, inwardly grimacing as he eyed the pile. With a put-upon sigh, he relieved Cloud of his burden, watching as the blonde massaged his wrists. "Thanks."
"No problem. You might want to get those signed and off your desk before tomorrow. Some of them might cause problems for us if you leave them too long." With that sage advice, the vice candidate turned to leave, the click of his shoes rendered silent by the thick carpet. Leon's mind scrambled for something, anything to say.
"Hmm?" The blonde paused near the exit, pale hand curled around the doorknob, azure gaze fixed on him. Leon's steps were hesitant as he drew nearer, close enough to glimpse the emerald flecks that danced though each blue iris.
"I...just wanted to thank you," he began softly, hesitating over each word as if it would singe his tongue. He couldn't count the number of speeches he'd given this summer, and yet his mental dictionary went up in flames for a simple sentence to Cloud. "I....don't think I would have had a chance of winning without you."
"You did that by yourself, Leon," the blonde replied, equally quiet, and he couldn't help but wonder why their voices came out hushed. "You're introducing a lot of innovation. People like it."
"I don't do much of the grunt work, though," he admitted, feeling another tinge of guilt. He had campaign managers, public relations coordinators, budgeters, three secretaries, and Cloud keeping him on task. The only thing he insisted on doing himself was drafting his speeches, and even those were polished elsewhere. "I'm just the face."
A small, secret smile formed on those plush lips that made his heart stumble over a beat. The blonde's smiles were never full, always subtle, and he'd seen them directed at crowds and at himself hundreds of times. This one seemed different, however—less calm and more....something.
But they were adults, and this was an office. Stiff, formal....professional. There was no room for play here, that was the rule.
"A well-liked face," the blonde said quietly, his eyes strangely lit. "I don't think anyone minds."
"Do I what?"
"Mind?" Leon reinforced, his voice soft and husky. At this point, he wasn't particularly sure what they were discussing—a risky, dangerous confusion. No one was supposed to be capable of talking him in circles.
"I've never minded." Cloud's tone had changed as well, taking on a breathy edge as his hand slipped off the knob and toyed with his own suit buttons. His chin was tilted upwards, ever so slightly, and the brunette's steely gaze flitted to his lips—shiny and full. "If I did, I wouldn't try so hard."
"Are we even talking about the election anymore?" he dared to ask, a hand finding its way onto the door beside the blonde's head. His heart had gone for another attempt—it slammed against bone in steadily increasing speeds, pumping out crimson with hot-blooded force.
"Of course we are," the man replied, that oddly iridescent gaze pinning Leon to his spot. "You're just not raising the right issues."
"And what issue should be raised for this election?" His breath warmed the space between them, a space that seemed temptingly small.
Cloud's eyelids fluttered and snapped open. The fierce fire in them changed the first inklings of flush within him to full-blown arousal, hot and demanding. They stood there for long moments, paralytic and fixed, danger below them and just beyond the door. A hair's breadth kept their lips apart, the blonde's quiet words warming his face and heart.
"How much it matters."
They shared their first kiss in that quiet office, encased in each other's arms, lips timidly exploring. Neither saw the white flash, the cruel smile.
Or the perfect picture.