Hey again! This is just a holiday fic that I came up with during a dream I had on Saturday. Weird huh? But anyways, I hope you like this! Please review at the end if you would~
Warnings!: This story contains a boyXboy relationship, Holiday/Christmas stuff, Disney characters that I try to keep as 'in character' as possible but probably failed, a Lion King 2 spoiler, a mini POTC spoiler, and yeah..other stuff that I'm probably forgetting to mention. xD
And generally, I hope everyone is having a good holiday season. ;]
Leon was in the main Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee room helping set out the last minute Christmas decorations. His co-decorator, Aerith was going about placing little decorations around him; like holiday candles, containers of quick grab candies, and various plush reindeers and santas. Cid had somehow gotten a Christmas CD to play on the giant Computer at the front of the room, making the calm atmosphere of the room complete with gently playing holiday melodies. However there was one song on the CD that the retired pilot loved and thus had to play it, LOUD. Both Aerith and Leon knew they'd have to evacuate the room immediately once that song came around, lest their ear drums be blasted on instant with the thunderous crescendo of 'My favorite things'.
But for now, the song was far down the track to be playing anytime soon, so the two companions remained calm as they set about their own tasks. The rest of the loud mouths of their group where all off somewhere. Yuffie, procrastinator as she is, was upstairs in her room wrapping up gifts. Cloud, while not a loudmouth but wasn't too much into the Christmas cheer, was outside brooding around town, doing his very best to avoid any and all Christmas carolers around Hollow Bastion that deemed him worthy of some Yule tidings. Cid was out in his garage tinkering away at various mechanics. Merlin was busy off on different worlds, reporting that he had to send all his greetings to friends; from the past, present, and future. Tifa was once again trying to stalk down Cloud.
And being so close to Christmas, everyone was off from work and school, meaning the restoration team itself had no pressing work either.
This is why Leon was helping out Aerith in the first place. He was never one to simply sit around when there was nothing to be done. No, he didn't relax. If there wasn't anything to do, he'd make there be something to do. So he tracked down the ex-flower girl and asked if she needed any help. Aerith suggested that he make some paper snowflakes so they could hang them up from the ceiling. To Leon it was mundane, but it was better than nothing.
He was just beginning to fold out the triangles for his fifteenth snowflake, when the front door slammed wide open.
Just barely refraining from dropping the paper out of surprise, Leon quickly glared at the unexpected intruder.
"Sora, how many times were you told not to slam the door open?" Leon asked rhetorically.
The spiky haired sixteen year old looked to Leon apologetically, but the look was slightly thrown off by the almost panicked look in the teen's eyes and face.
"Sorry Leon, it's just a habit. But hey! Why are all the stores closed here? I mean why? Why Leon, why?!" Sora asked frantically.
Leon stared at the boy calmly. He saw the minimal trembles going down the younger boy's body and immediately went to action.
Getting up from his spot on the couch he quickly wiped his hand across the seat to move all the completed snowflakes to the side. Then turning back to the teen, he placed both hands on the other's thin shoulders and directed him to the couch, then gently pushed him down to sit.
Once the boy was sitting and staring up at him, confused, Leon began to speak.
"Inhale, Exhale, Sora. Relax, then speak." Leon then realized that he still had his hands on the boy's shoulders. He immediately retracted them, but not so fast that it appeared like he was shocked. Plus, he didn't want Sora to somehow interpret that he was disgusted to touch him. Oh, that was far from the truth of the matter.
However Sora didn't seem to notice the inner turmoil Leon now drove himself into. Instead, he followed the older man's instructions and slowly inhaled and exhaled a breath of air. Not surprisingly, he felt much better afterwards.
'Well it's Leon. Of course he knows the perfect solution to everything. He's smart, caring, kind, handsome…' At the last of his thoughts Sora visibly opened his eyes in shock. Now was not the time to start listing off the immaculate qualities of Leon, especially when said Leon was right in front of him looking puzzled.
"You okay?" Leon asked after a while when Sora still hadn't said a word. Very uncharacteristic of the energetic teen, that was for sure.
"Oh I-" Sora started, but then remembered quite quickly what he came here for. "Presents! I need to get presents! At the stores. But all the stores here are closed! Why? It's Monday, isn't it?" Sora asked, beginning to grow frantic once more.
Leon was just about to tell Sora to calm down again, but Aerith beat him to it.
"Sora, you need to calm down. Here drink this, it's tea." She talked quietly, but her worry for Sora was evident in her words. It was a known fact that over the years, she had begun to see Sora as a little brother and cared for him deeply.
Sora sipped at the offered tea distractedly, trying his hardest to not begin thinking of his current dilemma. Plus, it was obvious he was worrying the other two by getting worked up, and the cycle of trying to get him to stay calm would never end.
"Ah, thanks Aerith. It tastes good." Sora spoke after finishing his drink.
Aerith laughed softly. "I hope so. You finished it in one gulp."
Sora looked slightly sheepish. "Sorry. But really, why are the shops closed today?"
"Everyone has the next couple of days off due to the holiday. That means all the stores are closed…Did you not finish your shopping?" Leon asked.
"Um, well no…not really." Sora sighed in defeat. "I've gotten some gifts, but not everyone. I've had school all this month and was busy studying for all the quarter finals, so I didn't get a chance to go to the mall or anything."
"But you had the weekend to shop, right?" Aerith questioned.
At this Sora flushed in embarrassment. "Well, Friday was the last day of school, so um, in celebration I took a nap…I ended up sleeping the rest of Friday and most of Saturday. Plus the mall was packed with last minute shoppers so I didn't really want to go into that chaos, and on Sunday barely any stores were open so I decided to come here and shop. But all the stores here are closed too." Sora sighed at the predicament he was now presented with. Sure he could defeat a thousand of Heartless on his own, but when it came to locating, buying, and wrapping gifts, in that order, for friends and family in the deadline of twenty-five days, he was lost.
"Have you tried the other worlds you've visited? I'm sure you could find some presents there." Leon suggested quietly.
Aerith and Sora looked at Leon. In amazement Leon saw that both of their faces lightened up and broke into smiles at about the same time.
"That's a great idea Leon." Aerith praised in her gentle voice.
"That's fantastic!" voiced Sora enthusiastically. "That'll definitely work! Thanks Leon!" The boy grinned up happily to the taller brunet man.
Leon had to fight the blush and smile willing to come on his face from having made the boy so happy. However he managed to keep his face indifferent and gave a slight inclination of his head. "Don't mention it."
Sora smiled at the aloof reply of Leon. If he was a few years younger and had just met Leon he would've been affronted by some of the indifferent words Leon would say. But now that he had gotten to know the man better, he simply accepted that that was who he was; carefully keeping everyone at a safe distance. But when Leon did let down those barriers and belayed other emotions once in a while, Sora was always thrilled.
"Hey Leon, maybe you should go with Sora to the other worlds." Aerith innocently suggested. She had observed both the males in the room and knew that there was some chemistry going on. Maybe this shopping experience would allow them to realize that chemistry they shared themselves.
Leon glanced at Aerith. Was that a mischievous glint in her eyes he saw? Impossible. It must have been the lighting.
"Are you sure? I'm not done with all the snowflakes yet." Leon reminded the girl.
"It's fine, you've made enough. Thank you. But I think you should go with Sora. I'm positive it'll be fun."
"Yeah Leon, do you want to? I'd like it if you went with me." Sora crossed his arms behind his head, going into his trademark aloof look. However it was really a cover-up to maintain the emotions he had bubbling up inside. The possibility of having Leon come with him on his trip made him want to scream with joy.
Leon looked to Sora and his posture. Okay so maybe this wouldn't be a big deal. It's just accompanying the boy you like as he goes off to several worlds. You go there, get presents, come back. It's simple. So there was absolutely no reason why he should be embarrassed as hell of the prospect of being alone with Sora. None. Obviously he's not thinking about it, so you shouldn't either. Right.
"Whatever." Leon responded.
"So…I was thinking we should head to Port Royale first. Then maybe later we could swing by Pride Lands. Then we'll see where we go from there." Sora stated as he expertly maneuvered the gummi ship away from a floating asteroid three times as big as the ship that surely would've hit them in the next second.
"Right, okay. But Sora, do me a favor and just concentrate on driving." Leon wouldn't admit it but he was holding the arms of his chair in a very non-relaxed way. Several times he had to remind Sora that they were actually being hit by missiles from Heartless and Nobody ships. Each time Sora flippantly responded that they would find a health gauge floating around somewhere, eventually. Luckily for them they did, although Leon would've felt much safer if Sora stopped treating their flight through space as an arcade game and more in real life-or-death terms.
Sora jutted his lower lip in a form of a pout. "Jeez Leon, I know what I'm doing. I've been flying gummis for what three years? You don't need to worry."
"I am not worried." Leon barely was able to force it out when he noticeable cringed once he felt the starboard side of the ship ram into numerous enemy ships. In the background he could hear the obnoxious bleeping of the low health bar all inside the ship, alerting Leon what he already knew; that they were all in trouble with Sora behind the controls.
"Don't worry, I can fix it!" Sora stated confidently, not seeming to grasp their dire situation at all.
Leon didn't deem that with a response, as all attention was now focused on Sora's hand as it innocently neared a covered red button on the control panel.
'Oh great Shiva, what does that do?' Leon thought in dismal panic. His hands tightened into an even tenser grip onto the leather chair arms in preparation for the unknown.
Just when Sora's finger was about to press down on the mystery button he stopped. Leon looked to Sora in explanation when he saw the image of a planet outside the dashboard monitor and front window.
"Ah man, we made it." Sora stated disappointedly. Leon himself couldn't have been any more grateful as he was in that moment.
Leon looked at his surroundings in wonder. He didn't understand it. He felt as if he and Sora stuck out like sore thumbs in this different looking place. It just seemed more dark and sinister than he was used to, not that it was an unsafe dark per say, it's just that it had more unbiased detail, maybe.
"Whatever." Leon muttered as Sora asked him what he thought of the place.
"hmm? Well I think it looks different. I mean, I never was here before in the daylight. It was always dark when me, Donald, and Goofy came here. But besides that, it always felt off. I guess it's just different looking than what I'm used to seeing...I don't know." Sora ended perplexed. He really didn't know how to explain the weird feeling of just not blending into their surroundings at all. At least without Donald and Goofy they didn't stick out too much. He loved them and all, but their entire color scheme looked too 'bright' for this down-to-earth atmosphere.
Sora looked up in slight surprise when he felt a hand upon his shoulder.
"I get what you mean." Leon spoke in assurance. He gave a slight squeeze, before walking ahead down the concrete stone pathway of the fort.
The Keyblade wielder indulged himself in giving a happy smile towards Leon's retreating back. Quickly he gathered his wits and ran, trying to catch up to the man.
After a minute Leon and Sora found themselves in the Market place. Up on top of the hill just outside the shops lied the governor's house. Sora was beginning to ponder if he should say hi to Elizabeth, given the fact that the red and white coated guards outside the gate didn't look too inviting.
"Hey, Solan! Long time no see."A man with a red bandanna and crazy dreads falling around his head hollered.
Both males turned around. One had a look of mock annoyance and the other in masked confusion.
"It's 'Sora'! Gosh, nice to see you too Jack." Sora said with a little agitation for another made up word Jack conspired as his name.
"My deepest apologies." Jack stated with a mock bowing. Once back in the upright position he grinned to Sora and then to Leon. "So, who is this dashing gentleman before me?"
"Oh, this is Leon. My friend and leader of the Hollow Bastion Restoration committee." Sora grinned; obviously proud of the fact that he knew Leon in close terms.
Leon almost flinched as Sora's words of 'my friend' reverberated in his mind. Maybe all he had thought was wishful thinking. After all, he really should be more grateful that he was even considered a friend in the teen's eyes. Besides, surely no one could ever put up with him in an actual relationship.
Jack slightly stared in amusement as he saw various emotions flash through Leon's face and then abruptly vanish. Yep, there was definitely something going on. He would even bet the Pearl and his right hand that this Leon wished to correct Sora on their 'friend' relationship.
"Hmm. Looks to me that 'your friend' has quite a chip on his shoulder." Jack stated pityingly. "But never the matter. What brings you mates here in Port Royale?"
Sora looked up in confusion at Jack's words to look at Leon's face. However Leon had wiped all visible traces of having any inner musing and just stared neutrally, like always.
The boy gave a mental shrug and then responded to the Captain. "I need to get a present. I was thinking maybe a sword from Will's shop."
"Oh, a present! How I do love presents. And who might this present go to? A special someone, perhaps? Lass or lad?" Jack spoke as flippantly as ever to Sora, but the Captain had slyly looked to Leon when he said 'lad.' Leon gave a stare to Jack, daring him if he were to lead him into the conversation somehow.
"It's just for a friend." Sora responded with a dismissal wave of the hand. "He really seems to like swords and I know how Fenrir is his trademark and all, but I bet it's a pain sometimes to lug around. So if he wants he can have a lighter weapon to carry around."
"For Cloud huh? I think he'll like it." Leon responded finally. He was a bit wary of the spontaneous Captain who seemed to pick up on things quite well, but he wouldn't let it get to him. He'd let Jack make his own conclusions if he wanted to.
Sora smiled at Leon. "Yeah, I think so too." He didn't know why, but he thought that maybe Leon didn't like Jack. He supposed it was simply because of Jack's rather obnoxious tendencies; you either had to get used to it right away or just cut your losses right then and there. No one was about to change Captain Jack Sparrow anytime soon.
"Well then. I suppose I should escort you two gentlemen. I myself haven't checked on Mr. Turner in a while. I'm sure it'll be a great surprise for him." He grinned towards the two and began to lead them off, randomly talking about his latest adventures and close calls.
Behind them Sora and Leon were quietly discussing.
"Hey Leon, you alright?"
Leon glanced down to Sora in slight confusion. "I'm fine Sora. Why do you ask?" He continued to listen to the even sounds of their feet walking upon the dirt pathways and the general hustle and bustle going around them with the rest of the inhabitants of Port Royale.
Sora looked up to Leon and then down to the ground in embarrassment. "Well, it just seemed like you were uncomfortable. I mean, I know Jack can act the way he is and…"
"Sora, it's fine. I know he's your friend so I'll tolerate him. Don't worry about me." Leon spoke evenly. However hidden inside him was almost warmth spreading throughout his body. Having Sora concerned about him really made him feel alright. He noticed that he didn't even have to pretend on this fact. With everyone else he had to be reserved, and if need be he'd say 'I'm alright' or 'it's okay' just to relieve their own tensions, regardless of the issue if he really was fine as he appeared to be. It's just what one had to do when you were 'Leader'. You didn't just have yourself to worry about; you had your companions…friends to care about too. No, when it came to those kinds of relationships you always had to put yourself second to the needs of others.
Leon stared down at Sora. He noticed that the boy was curiously watching a flock of chickens and laugh when one ruffled its feathers so it looked all fluffed up. However the laugh slowly died as Sora's face grew serious. Just when he saw that Sora was going to look up at him, he quickly shifted his gaze upright and forward.
"Hey Leon..." Sora started hesitantly. Up ahead he noticed that Jack was still entertaining himself by talking aloud, and making rather questionable motions as he passed by several female bartenders. He almost laughed when most of them took turns slapping him.
"Yeah Sora?" Leon responded once it seemed that Sora was distracted by a certain person who was making a scene. Oh how Leon just wanted to slap that man back into some kind of sense. Alas, he thought of Sora and resisted.
"Oh! Right, sorry." Sora grinned up in embarrassment. "Well I wanted to say thank you…You know for putting up with him" he didn't even need to point to Jack; they both knew who he was referring to quite well "this trip, and…me. You know, for all these years. And um, yeah."
"Sora you don't need to thank me. I had nothing else to do." Leon immediately flinched at how those words sounded. How could he be so stupid! He just wasn't good at saying nice things. He didn't even know why he bothered. He'd just be better off alone.
Leon blinked when he felt warmth enclose around his left palm. He looked down, and even though he knew what it was, he was still shocked to see Sora's hand clasped into his.
He looked towards Sora's face in slight surprise and confusion. Surely Sora didn't mean…he liked him?
Sora's blue eyes looked to Leon's, trying his hardest to remain calm but was probably failing miserably. Gosh, even his hand was getting sweaty! Now of all times!
"Leon, I still appreciate it. And you. I like how we've grown closer over the years. And…I want to worry about you. You're a great guy and…I'm happy I know you." At the end of his sentence Sora ducked his head, blushing madly. For sure he had let out far too much. Did Leon now know? How would he react? Surely he'll take his hand back any time now and call him a delusional annoying kid. Why did he even say that? I mean he knew that when he saw Leon grow more distant and quiet, he had to say something. Anything…But he was also sure that anything other than an almost love declaration would've worked just as well!
Leon looked at Sora's state of embarrassment. Heck, if they both weren't wearing gloves he'd probably feel the sweat on his hand. Not that he could blame the kid. Leon was willing to bet that if he was that age he'd be in the same predicament.
Leon flinched. Ah, that age difference thing has once more reared its cruel head. But now was definitely not the time to dwell on 'happy thoughts'. He had to reassure a very uneasy, yet very adorable, blushing Sora.
He squeezed his hand gently, and watched as Sora blink in shock at the feeling.
The Keyblade wielder then looked to Leon, still with traces of blush on his face. Cerulean blue eyes widened when he saw the gentle, very small and almost unnoticeable, curvature of Leon's pale lips. Leon was smiling. Smiling at him.
Leon looked at Sora, and the boy's widening of eyes made him want to smile a bit wider. And he did.
"Sora…Thank you." Leon responded gently.
Although those words were simple, Sora knew how much Leon meant in them. Leon cared for him too.
Leon smiled as understanding dawned on the boy, and watched as he was greeted with a big smile and just a cheery outlook from the boy.
Yep, Leon thought. With Sora he didn't have to pretend. He knew he was alright. They were going to be just fine.
"About time you two scallywags got here. I was about to fetch young Mr. Turner here to retrieve you." Jack spoke in his same whimsical manner.
He was lounging outside of the old and almost camouflaged Blacksmith shop with Will Turner at his side. They were the only ones outside, so Will had the misfortune of talking with Jack alone. It clearly showed that he was already worn out by the Captain's usual tendencies, but considerably brightened in relief once he spotted Sora walking towards them. Although Will was a bit perplexed when he saw the teen's hand holding onto a hand belonging to a much cooler and older man at his side.
Will turned to Jack in question. The Captain grinned so that it showed one of his false gold teeth and held up his hand. He wrapped his middle finger and index together, indicating that the two males were quite close.
Will's eyebrows lifted and muttered a drawn out 'ah'. He looked back to the other two males that now stood in front of them.
"It's good to see you Sora. And who might your friend be?" Will asked politely.
Before Sora could open his mouth and respond, Jack took over.
"Why tis Leon; Sora's 'friend and leader of the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee.' The gentleman next to me is Will Turner, son of Bootstrap Bill Turner, and I-" Jack paused for dramatic effect. "Am THE, Captain Jack Sparrow."
A tense silence fell upon the over grandiose introduction. Surprisingly the mood was broken by the equally quiet Leon.
"I've already met you." Leon stated, not too friendly. It was obvious that meeting the Captain once was more the enough for him.
Jack quickly held up his hands and started doing his trademark hand motions.
"Indeed. And yet I did not get the chance to speak of the pleasures it is to meet you. Thus I give them to you now." He explained, unfazed by Leon's less amiable disposition.
"Whatever." Leon stated finally. But then thinking that he could afford to be a bit more civil, at least for Sora's sake, he relented. "It is…nice…to meet you too." 'Absolute lie', Leon concluded mentally.
He then turned to Will. "And it's nice to meet you as well Mr. Turner." Because this man obviously wasn't like his over zealous friend, Leon stuck out his unoccupied hand in greeting.
Will took the offered hand and gave it a firm shake. "Will is fine, Leon. Nice to meet you."
Leon nodded and retracted his hand. He looked down to Sora and smiled when he beamed up at him. The teen grasped Leon's hand in a gentle squeeze, relaying his approval.
The blacksmith noticed the little exchange and made a slight cough in embarrassment for the third party. Jack however looked all smug, as if knowing he was right all along.
"So um, Sora. Jack tells me you need a sword? I think I've got just the one for you." Will spoke, successfully dispelling the little moment the other two were sharing.
"Oh really? Can I see it?" Asked Sora distractedly. He couldn't believe he was so distracted with Leon to notice his other two friends. Ugh, and he himself knew what it was like to be in the third wheeler's shoes. Heck, Riku and Kairi always made goggling eyes at each other, even when he was with them!
"Ah, it's right here actually." Will offered as he held out the sword and sheath he was carrying in his right hand.
Sora glanced at the sheath and then gingerly grasped the handle. Slowly he pulled it out. Once withdrawn he held it up and admired its cool beauty. The afternoon sun glinted off the point of the sword's blade and ran down its shaft. The hilt itself was beautifully made, with intricate silver spirals that were easy to grip, and the guard had such interesting swoops that complimented the whole look of the sword.
"It's awesome." Sora whispered in admiration. "You made this Will?"
Will gave a good natured laugh. "Of course I did. But I am pleased that you like it so much Sora. I myself am quite fond of the sword."
Jack suddenly came up behind Will and grasped both of his shoulders. "Why Mr. Turner, I'd say that bony lass of yours would feel mighty jealous if you were to talk of swords so fondly in her presence."
"Wha-? Jack? Oh Elizabeth knows well my fondness of swords but they're in no way a competition of my affections for her." Said Will confidently.
Jack released the man's shoulders and gave a noncommittal shrug. "Fair enough. Denial always is a popular trait in a pirate."
Will slightly glared at Jack but then gave up. Really, he didn't have much to argue on him being a pirate. But that was another story.
"Uh Will, how much is it?" Sora asked. He had handed the sword for Leon to inspect, and it appeared that the older man was also in awe of the blade.
Will blinked at Sora but then recovered himself. "Oh no Sora, it's free." Once he saw Sora try to protest he continued. "Yes, free. I had to repay you for all your help with the Heartless, Barbossa, and of course helping me rescue Elizabeth. I only wish I wasn't so late in repaying you."
Sora looked at Will in slight indignation. "Will, we're friends right? You don't have to 'repay' me or anything. I'm just happy to help." He replied, and smiled.
Will offered a smile in return. "Yes Sora, we're friends. Thank you. However, it is still free. Besides, what with all the past Heartless attacks recently the demand for swords has increased. I've been quite busy and well off. Although I do wish it were under different circumstances."
Sora nodded and wrapped his arms around his head. "Well, that's true. I do appreciate it Will. I know my friend will like the sword." He looked up to the sky and noticeably gave a start.
"Oh, we have to get going! I'm sorry, it was really nice seeing you and all, but we have to hit another world or we'll never finish getting all the presents." Sora spoke in a rush. "But wait, I have presents for you! Hang on."
The group of men watched as the younger boy stuck his hand into his right pocket and came out with three individually wrapped packages.
Leon quietly mused how on earth he didn't notice any bulge in the boy's pants before. He deduced that Sora must have some pretty deep pockets.
"Here, one for you, and you. The other one is for Elizabeth, so Will could you give it to her? Oh, and go ahead and open them. Merry Christmas!" Sora added after he had passed out the respective gifts.
Will was the first to say anything about his gift. In his hand was a plastic container looking like a cute and jolly Santa. Inside were individually wrapped chocolates.
"Why thank you Sora. Chocolate is actually very expensive around here. Thanks a lot."
Sora looked towards him in amazement. "Seriously? Wow, I couldn't live here at all then. Chocolate is my life."
"As if you need any more sugar." Leon teased quietly. The boy looked up at him in slight indignation. "What's that supposed to mean!" Sora said. Leon just smirked and gave a miniscule shrug.
Will smiled at the little display. Then he remembered the person next to him and stared at Jack. The Captain seemed a bit speechless. Confused, Will looked down into the package and immediately laughed.
"A working compass! Sora it's genius." Will praised in amusement.
Sora grinned. "Well the one Jack has doesn't even point north. If he's going to be out on the sea and all, he needs a compass!"
"Definitely." Will said. "Well thanks again Sora. I hope you have a Merry Christmas." He waved to the already retreating form of Sora with Leon in tow. Obviously they were in a hurry to go to another world, as they said.
Jack finally seemed to get back to his wits and gave a single wave. "Much obliged Sora! Be merry, aye?" He hollered.
Sora laughed. "Aye, Captain."
Once it was just Will and Jack standing in front of the shop, they both stood and watched the spectacle of the gummi ship go into warp speed as it blasted off towards space somewhere.
"Well that was amusing." Jack supplied finally.
Will casually turned to Jack. "So Jack, what are you going to do with the compass? Will you use it? I know the one you have is quite special to you."
Jack smirked. "Aye, Mr. Turner. But I suppose Old Captain Jack Sparrow can learn some new tricks. At least, to humor the lad."
"You always are a good friend Jack." Will smiled in fondness.
"Naturally." Jack looked like he went to ponder something for a moment then continued. "Now about that chocolate..."
In a Planet far far away….Leon was not human. He was a feline, a lion to be exact. Now Leon generally assumed himself to be a pretty accepting guy. Like when he found out he alone had to save the world and all his people, he was pretty accepting. Or when he discovered his slightly broader scope of sex appeal than the straighter man, he took it in stride. However finding himself all of the sudden standing on all four legs and was in possession of a tail no less…he thought he deserved to draw the line somewhere.
"Sora, I'm a lion." Leon stated blandly.
Sora, in his dark brown cub form shuffled his paws so that he could see Leon behind him. He looked at Leon's form and gapped.
"Geez Leon I'm one too but you…You were made to be a lion."
Indeed Leon's form was beautiful. Silky dark brown, almost black, fur enveloped his powerful yet lithe form. His biceps still were as thick as ever in order to carry the strength the once human, now lion, possessed. Like Sora, on top of his head was still the same hairstyle Leon had as a human. Around his thick mane and neck was the necklace of Griever, shining slightly from the sunlight peeking through the cracks in the cave's walls.
Leon's eyes widened at the hidden compliment. "Whatever." He said finally, after coming up with nothing better to say.
Sora looked to him and smirked. Did he just ruffle Leon's feathers…or fur rather?
Leon saw the smirk and frowned. So Sora thought he bested him? There was no way he'd let Sora get away now, embarrassed free. And he knew just the thing to make him squirm.
"Hmph. That may be so…but I know that You definitely make the cutest cub ever." Leon had now positioned himself in front of Sora, unintentionally towering above him with the new height advantage.
Sora had blushed at the cute comment, but now that he looked up and saw the daunting stature of Leon the lion dwarfing himself, he was kinda apprehensive. Only apprehensive because there was no way he'd admit that he was a little bit intimidated. After all, Leon was only a bit taller than Simba and plus…it was Leon. He'd never hurt him or anything; he trusted the man unconditionally.
Sora looked to the side, to break off the gaze that he had with the older male. Why was it he always thought deeply about Leon when the man was practically right in his face? All Sora knew was that it was definitely embarrassing and served to make him blush even more!
"I am not a cub, I'm a lion. And anyways, we should stop by Simba's. It's getting pretty close to nightfall so we should hurry."
Leon glanced down at Sora and smirked. "Whatever you say Sora. But just as long as this Simba isn't anything like Jack…I'm fine with the plans." He debated for a second and then made up his mind.
Slowly he lowered his head and nuzzled the top of Sora's head with his nose. He noticed that the contact instantly made Sora freeze. Deciding that he should stop, Leon began to retreat until he felt Sora nudge his head up. And the low rumble of Sora was enough of a sign for encouragement. Leon smiled but pulled back anyways.
"Come on Sora, we have to reach Simba's. Remember?" He stated teasingly. And with that Leon dashed off around the cave's corner and was gone.
Sora, left in a disappointed and blushing state stuttered. If he remembered that Leon didn't know the way to Pride Rock he didn't show it. All thought was trained on catching up to Leon before he could beat him to their destination. Oh and he was so going to get it!
Leon looked down his left flank at Sora in amusement.
"I still can't believe you bit my tail." He said for about the fifth time in the past five minutes.
Sora glanced up to his companion at his right and blushed. "Well how else was I supposed to stop you? You just had to show off and keep running, even after I called your name. Ten times! And besides, it's not bleeding so you don't have to keep complaining!" He muttered with embarrassment.
Leon was still smiling at Sora's obvious embarrassment. Okay so he did feel bad at being amused by this fact. However, it wasn't his fault for teasing the kid so much. If Sora didn't blush adorably each time, maybe he would have considered relenting on the poor kid. Maybe.
"I am not complaining. But it still hurts though." Leon flicked his tail experimentally, however he made sure it didn't swing too far. "Yeah, I don't think I should be moving it for a while."
Sora blushed even harder. "It is not that bad!"
The male lion looked down at the cub in contemplation. "Are you so sure Sora? Maybe I should do it to you and let you see what it's like."
Sora's eyes bulged a bit and turned his whole head to look at Leon. "Wha-!"
"Hmm. We're here."
Eyes returning to their normal size, Sora took in the protruding pile of rocks, rivaling the height of an eight story building and agreed. Yep, this was definitely Pride Rock.
Quickly remembering a certain fact he looked to his companion. "Oh hey, Leon. I forgot to mention; but Simba's a lion like us, and he's kind of the king of the whole Pride Lands..." Once he saw the slight glare in Leon's cobalt eyes he finished his thought quickly. "But don't worry, he's cool and everything!"
Leon stopped his glare at the youth and gave a pitying sigh. "Sora, this isn't good. He probably accepts you because you're young. However I am a lion. A male lion. I'm not too studious when it comes to prides, but I don't think alpha lions like other male lions, other than its cubs, anywhere near their den."
Sora looked up at him in confusion. "Huh? Why's that?"
The other male looked down to Sora in amazement. Could it be possible that Sora really didn't know why? It figured; Sora was innocent in its purest form. But he was a teenager. Shouldn't he at least know the distinct facts of nature?
"Well…"Leon started hesitantly. However after a slight deliberation with himself, he decided just to get it over with. "Probably because the alpha lion doesn't want another male to mate with one of the lionesses of his pride."
Sora blinked and then nodded. "Ah, okay. That makes sense…But I still don't think Simba will mind."
"What won't I mind?" A voice asked.
Sora looked up towards the rocky pathway leading up to the den on top. Sure enough, it was Simba as he stealthily jumped down several rocks and right into Sora.
Quickly Sora found himself staring up to a smiling Simba. Sora laughed and nuzzled Simba's head as the other lion nuzzeled his forehead. "It's good to see you Simba."
"Same here." Simba grinned, showing off his fangs. "And who is this?" He gestured his head to the dark lion behind him. Simba supposed he should have been wary of the slight glare he was given, but he figured if Sora; the most carefree and innocent guy he knew was okay with the lion, he was too.
Sora situated himself so he was back on his own four paws and responded. "This is Leon, my really good friend."
Leon stopped his glare of jealousy at the abrupt promotion of his relationship with Sora. It was minimal, but at least he was now 'really good friend' instead of just 'friend plus generic title.' Leon's gaze considerably softened at the idea of their closer relationship.
Simba nodded to the male lion. Okay, was he just crazy or was that lion jealous of him? He did hope this Leon knew that head nuzzling was only a lion's custom of greeting.
"Well it's nice to meet you, Leon. I'm Simba." He then looked up to the rocky splendor of Pride Rock. "And this is my home. You and Sora are more than welcome here."
Leon glanced at Simba and was now embarrassed. Here he was glaring at their, as of now host, and said host was politely greeting him. He never felt more of a jerk than he did now.
"Um, same here, Simba. Thank you." Leon spoke genuinely, and for added measure, gave a slight bowing of the head. Simba was after all king, Leon didn't want to screw up any more royally by not behaving himself.
The king lion just smiled. "It's alright. But why don't you two come inside? It's starting to get cold. We can discuss things in there."
"Woah, Simba! This is a nice place! I mean, as far as caves go." Sora announced as he quickly made himself at home with one of the unoccupied flat rocks at the side of the cave. The other lionesses in various states of lounging perked their heads up at the outburst, but finding that it was only the hyper cub Sora, quickly went back to their own devices.
Back at the mouth of the cave, Simba smiled good-naturedly as Leon stared at his companion in slight embarrassment. Really, Sora could act like such a kid sometimes. Oh well, at least their host hasn't thrown them out yet.
"Why thank you Sora. It was my father's dad who originally found this place. Well more like, took home in. I think it'd be pretty easy to just 'find' this place." Simba spoke modestly.
Sora grinned and nodded. "I know what you mean. I didn't even have to tell Leon directions or anything when we first got here. All I said was that we were heading to Pride Rock, and sure enough, he got us here."
Leon rolled his eyes as he knelt down next to Sora. "It's not like it took a genius to figure where it'd be, once you see a big rock jutting from the ground in the distance."
Sora rolled over so he was turned towards Leon. "Leon you are just so…argh. I don't know."
The darker lion lifted his eyebrow in amusement. "Well that's a new one."
Before Sora could retort with a sarcastic comment, Simba stepped in.
"Hey guys, this is fun and all, but uh, why are you here in Pride Rock?" Simba asked curiously. He knelt down a short distance away from the two, so that they wouldn't have to keep yelling at the other in their discussion.
Sora shifted his gaze away from the darker lion and towards Simba. "Oh, I wanted to get a present for a friend back home. She likes flowers, so I was thinking she'd like one of the tropical flowers here."
Leon looked at Sora for clarification. "So this time it's Aerith huh?" After Sora's nod Leon was content to just sit back and listen for a while.
Simba contemplated for a bit. "A flower huh…" Suddenly he gave a look of surprise after having thought of something. "I know! Why don't yet get one of those swallowtail flowers? They're one of Nala's favorites…..Oh no, Nala." Simba gave a slight moan and hesitantly got up.
Sora looked on in confusion. "What's wrong Simba? And what about Nala?"
Simba glanced down to Sora in confusion but then it dawned on him. "Oh, I didn't tell you. Nala's pregnant at the moment."
The Keyblade wielder blinked and then the statement settled in. "Wha! You and Nala? I thought you were best friends!"
Simba looked away sheepishly. "Come on Sora, we're still friends. It's just, I love her too."
Sora looked at Simba and then grinned. "Aw, I'm just messing with you Simba. I kinda thought something was going on between you two. But anyways, congratulations."
"Congratulations." Leon offered as well.
Simba beamed at the pair of males. "Thanks guys. Yeah, she's pregnant and is kinda moody at the moment. So I should really get back to her…"
Just then a feminine, yet very annoyed, roar originating from somewhere inside the cave sounded in all their sensitive ears. "Simba! Get in here NOW!"
Simba noticeably winced and then looked back to his companions. "Sorry guys, I've got to go. Hey, I won't be able to join you to get the flower but it's blue with yellow swirls and red vines. You can't miss it and Sora, it's at the Oasis. I'd suggest you head there in the morning. And you're welcome to stay here to sleep….Well good night." The red-mane lion said as politely as he could while immediately retreating deeper into the cave.
After Simba left, Leon and Sora observed that the rest of the lionesses were settling down to sleep.
"Hmm, guess we should turn in too." Leon ended with a deep yawn that showed all of his impressive fangs.
Once he was done Leon looked at Sora's grinning face in question. "What?" He muttered.
"Why Leon, what big teeth you have." Sora stated with amusement.
Leon rolled his eyes as he fully laid himself down in a sleeping position. Slowly he closed his eyes, and tried to stop contemplating how he was now a lion sleeping on rock. Although, Leon conceded, the rock wasn't all that bad. It heated up very quickly due to his enhanced body heat, making it somewhat comfortable.
"Um Leon?" Sora asked, hesitant to break the older man out of his musing.
Leon craned his neck over to Sora perched up on his rock. "What?"
Sora gulped at the clipped reply. Okay so maybe Leon was just tired, it didn't mean that he was mad at him or anything.
"Well um…It's kinda cold up here…So…could I sleep next to you?" He asked embarrassed.
Leon stared at Sora for a bit, now trying to block out all impure thoughts out of his head. He would not let on how much this prospect affected him. Although it wasn't as if they could really do anything. I mean, they were in the company of ten other lionesses and plus…they were lions. And Leon supposed that Sora was cold because he just wasn't as big or had as much fur as he had. He definitely didn't want the fact of Sora catching a cold under his watch to settle on his already troubled conscience anyway.
"Sure." He responded cooly.
Sora looked down at Leon in slight disbelief. Really, that's it? No, 'oh Sora you're such a kid. Grow up and just deal with the cold.'? Then again, Sora supposed he shouldn't have such a low opinion of Leon anyways. It's not like there was any instant were the man flat out denied him.
'Okay that's going into a whole different territory.' Thought Sora, halting any further thought as he gingerly knelt himself a short distance away from Leon.
Leon looked down to Sora and rolled his eyes. "It's not going to help if you stay that far away." Without giving Sora a chance to resituate himself, he took his paw to gently hook under Sora's belly and moved to draw him closer. Then, just as carefully he laid Sora down right next to his chest. He stared in amusement as some bits of his mane were now taking refuge on top of Sora's head.
"Ugh Leon, what massive amounts of fur you have too." He spluttered as a stray piece of fur worked its way into his mouth.
Leon gave a chuckle, and Sora interestedly noticed how it traveled through the other and into him.
"Just go to sleep, Sora." He smiled gently. Slowly he laid down his head, effectively trapping Sora into a circle formed from his stretched out paw and head.
Sora looked to Leon as he had his eyes closed. 'So this is what it feels like to sleep next to Leon…' he mused to himself. He smiled and nuzzled gently into his thick mane.
'It feels warm…'
Oh my gosh and thank goodness it ended! Ugh, so many times I just wanted to give up and say; "let's just stop here"! But then I thought, that that way would never allow me to finish this story in time for my personal deadline. (Christmas Ox )
But I hope you enjoyed it! All 18 pages of it. :P
I think I'm going to faint now…
Oh, and please review if you don't mind. ^_^ I'll try to get the next chapter up tomorrow. More than likely, late.