Cloud: Fencer Earring
Christmas Without You
Leon knew Cloud wasn't going to be there even before Cloud himself did.
Christmas was a time of family, and friends, and being social. Cloud didn't like those kinds of things. Everyone he considered family was taken away from him, and he'd been so afraid to show his friendship for fear that Sephiroth would kill them for so long that he still hesitated in showing any affection for them. He could never really hope to be social enough to survive all of the social calls that had to be made. So when one morning he woke up and found a note from his lover stating that he'd be back soon, he wasn't really surprised, and went about his day like normal.
Until Yuffie found him, anyway.
"Squally! How could you just let him go off and not stop him?!" Yuffie exclaimed, glomping the brunet and holding on tightly.
Leon, quite used to her attacks, sighed and carried on shoveling the sidewalk in front of Scrooge McDuck's store. "That's Leon, and I was asleep at the time, Yuffie. You know Cloud; he can be silent when he wants to. Now, if you want your Christmas present, you'll get off of me."
She let out a whine but swung her feet to the ground nonetheless. "You're no fun, Leon! Don't you know that Christmas is the time of year when you're supposed to let ninjas get away with everything?"
"Um, you used that excuse during Halloween, and I allowed you to get away with it as long as it didn't cause me extra work and I didn't have to clean it up," the brunet replied, absently reaching up to pat her on the head, before he returned to his shoveling. "Now go make yourself useful. Go help Merlin and Cid put Christmas lights up before they murder each other. …Or Cid falls off the roof and hurts himself again. Aerith can only heal him so many times."
Yuffie sighed and began trudging away, looking miserable at her new assignment. "Fine…"
Leon sighed as well and continued to shovel, then glanced over his shoulder to see she was just making her way around the corner. Rolling his eyes in defeat, he turned and called out, "Hey, Yuffie!"
She turned and gave him the look of a kicked puppy. "Huh?"
There was only a slight hesitance before he stated, "Maybe Santa will reward you for your good deed and leave an extra present!"
"…Yeah! Maybe he will!" she cried, absolutely beaming at him, before turning to run on to the borough.
Leon smiled, then turned back to shoveling the walk; Scrooge wasn't paying him to chat with ninjas.
But when he felt something ramming into his back and sending him face-first into the snow he had yet to shovel, he felt that focusing solely on shoveling might not be in his best interest. "Ow."
"Leon! Listen, I can only stay for a few hours, and give everyone their gifts, 'cause I need to get back to the islands, but I realized you never met Riku and—"
"Sora, he's face down in the snow. Let him up first."
He decided that whoever this Riku was, he loved him forever for not being air-headed like Sora and not as easy-going as Kairi. He groaned as he stood up, then dusted off all of the snow from his body. "Hi, Sora."
The spiky-haired teen beamed at him. "Hi, Leon! Oh, you'll never guess what I got you! You're gonna love it! And don't get mad if Yuffie uses my present for unintended purposes, okay? So, what are we going to—"
"Aerith and Tifa are baking cookies. Why don't you go help?" Leon asked, raising an eyebrow. "And could you ask that they have a mug of cocoa ready for me?"
Sora nodded determinedly. "Right!"
"I'll stay here and keep Leon company, okay Sora?" Riku asked, shoving his hands in his pockets.
The brunet hesitated, then nodded. "Okay. Have Leon show you to Merlin's!"
"No problem." The older teen watched him walk away, then sighed and turned toward the man. "Sorry about that. He gets really touchy-feely near Christmas."
"Yeah, I know," Leon sighed, beginning to shovel again. After a pause, in which both men were silent, he asked, "Do you think Sora would like a Crystal Crown?"
Riku raised an eyebrow. "That helps with magic and health, right? I'm sure he'll love it." His lips curved into a smirk. "Though I'm sure he'll love anything you give him. He thinks very highly of you."
"Yeah. He should stop that," the brunet replied, earning a laugh. "Really, I'm not as awesome as he thinks I am."
"That's yet to be determined," the islander stated, then glanced around. "…Dude, you're practically scraping the top layer of cement off."
"Scrooge likes his walk absolutely spotless."
Riku stared at him for a moment, as if really asking if he was serious, before rolling his eyes. "So cast Fira on the ground to get it dry and let's go! It's freezing out here!"
"You're the one who volunteered to stay."
"Well, now I'm unvolunteering!"
Leon knew that Cloud wasn't going to be there before Cloud himself did.
He'd had a chance to confront him, to stop him, and he hadn't taken it, instead choosing his lover's needs above his own. Thus, Cloud was determined to get his lover the best gift in the worlds.
His journey had started in the Olympus Coliseum. He'd found nothing there, but had gotten an awesome bracer to increase strength and defense for Tifa. He'd then traveled to Agrabah, hoping that maybe they'd having something there that caught his eye. He'd found nothing but a cook book that Aerith might be interested in, as it listed many different recipes from many different worlds.
Not to be deterred, he continued on to Halloween Town (and even peeked in Christmas Town) for the perfect gift. There was nothing that would interest Leon there, but he did find a special bangle that could make the wearer a ghost for as long as their magic allowed. He figured Yuffie would enjoy being able to go through walls and be invisible at will; it would help her carry out her pranks, that was for sure. He'd also picked up some spare gummi parts from Dr. Finkelstein, who had no use for them. They were rare in Radiant Garden, though, and he figured that Cid would like them.
He'd then traveled to Yen Sid's castle, hoping to get some advice on what to get for Leon. He'd left with only two thick books. One was in a separate language, and contained large and elaborate magic spells, for Merlin. The other was a scrapbook that had been put together by King Mickey of all of Sora's adventures; he'd gotten the pictures and stories from Donald, Goofy, and Jiminy. Originally, it had been for Yen Sid, but the old man had offered it to him, saying he really didn't need it; he already knew what happened with Sora. While that had been creepy for him, Cloud admitted it would be a good present for the Keyblade Wielder, and had wrapped it and set it with all of the other brightly wrapped gifts.
Despairing of a gift to give to his lover-muffin but unwilling to give up, Cloud had then traveled to Atlantica, only to swim back to his gummi ship screaming; like hell he was helping with any musical! He'd then tried the Land of Dragons, but had only found some materia that had survived their world being taken over by Darkness and had ended up in some vendor's stall as trinkets. He bought that for Yuffie, figuring that if the bangle didn't last long and she got caught, she'd need the extra help.
He'd then gone to Twilight Town, but that hadn't been very fruitful, so he took a trip over to Port Royal. He'd only gotten a case of rare, expensive liquor for Tifa's bar (but he had to admit, it was really tasty, and he had tons of munny from the slaying of Heartless and Nobodies). Finally, in a last ditch effort, he had traveled to Beast's Castle, hoping he'd find something for his kitten there.
"Aw, wow! A Moon Amulet! I've always wanted one of these!" Yuffie exclaimed, bouncing up and down. "And an expert's ring! Aw, thanks, Leon!" So saying, she flung herself at him and hugged him tightly.
Aerith smiled as she watched her brother figure have the stuffing hugged out of him. "Yes, Leon. Thank you for the new apron and the Angel Bangle. My apron's a little threadbare, isn't it? And I thought that all of the Angel Bangles had been destroyed when Sora locked the door!"
"No problem!" he whispered, trying to pry the overly excited ninja off of him. "I found it in my stuff when I was moving in with Cloud!" He glanced at Cid and Merlin, who were arguing over their gifts, sort of; he'd upgraded Cid's computer and gotten Merlin a book on magic, and were arguing about the defense mechanism of the town and adding magic to it when it had just been upgraded along with Cid's computer. He figured he'd get thanks later, after they'd both calmed down.
Tifa let out a squeal. "A Buster Bracer! Thanks, Leon! I thought Cloud had all of these!"
"…Well, let's just say I got him to part with one of them," Leon replied, finally getting Yuffie to let go. "It took some convincing, though."
She rolled her eyes. "It would. He's over-protective of his things."
"Yeah, but that's one of the reasons we love him, right?" Yuffie asked, smiling brightly. "Besides, that was probably one of the best nights of sex Cloud has ever had!"
"YUFFIE!" The brunet clapped his hands over her mouth quickly, blushing. "You promised to keep that a secret!" he hissed, while his other female friends laughed.
Everyone turned as they heard a knock on the door, and they wondered who it could be; all of the other inhabitants of Radiant Garden were spending Christmas with their little families as well, so unless someone's pipe had miraculously burst two days after Leon had specifically made rounds to make sure it wouldn't happen, no one should be there. However, as the knock came again, both Leon and Aerith stood to get it. Seeing that Leon was dressed (and therefore more prepared to answer the door, as she was still in her robe), Aerith allowed him to get the door.
The brunet opened the door and was greeted with the sight of gifts. Lots, and lots, and lots of gifts. He wondered how someone could hold that many gifts without buckling under the weight or being crushed beneath the mountain of brightly wrapped packages. "Ah… Oh! Come in!" he exclaimed, after the initial shock of answering a door to gifts wore off. He opened the door wider and moved aside for the person to come in.
The being walked over to the couch, then dropped all of the gifts onto it. "Merry Christmas." Cloud paused a moment, taking in all of the shocked expressions, before turning to Leon and throwing him over his shoulder. "I'm taking this."
"Ack! Cloud! What the hell?! Put me down! Wait! I've got to help Aerith clean up, and—"
"Don't worry about it, Leon. I'll help Aerith," Tifa cut in, smiling.
The brunet let out a whine. "Cloud! I've got legs; I can walk on my own!"
"Do you know how hard it is to get a gift for someone who seems to want nothing?" the blond asked sharply, carrying him toward their shared home.
Leon winced as he heard a happy shriek from Merlin's house and the crow of 'materia!' He then turned his attention back to his lover. "What are you talking about? You didn't have to go out looking for a gift for me!"
"That wasn't the only reason I left and you know it," Cloud replied, stalking into their house and slamming the door shut. He tossed the brunet onto the couch. "But I digress. Everywhere I looked, I could find perfect gifts for everyone else, but I couldn't find anything for you! Why are you so happy with everything you have? I can't get you anything that could make you happier, damn it!"
"But… I'm perfectly happy with you," the gunblader replied, frowning. "You don't have to get me a gift, Cloud; we both know that sometimes, you're not the best at picking out a gift."
The swordsman looked a little miffed at that but let it go, instead shoving a long, thin box at him. "Open."
"Ah…" Leon looked up at him through his bangs in confusion, then gently tore the paper away, folding it neatly by his side. Then, slowly, he lifted the lid. He gasped softly and looked up at the blond watching him expectantly. "Cloud! It's dead winter! How did you get two roses? All of the plants should be—"
"Just because the curse has been lifted from Beast's Castle doesn't mean it isn't enchanted anymore." Cloud sat down beside him and pressed a kiss to his cheek. "These roses will only die when our love for each other dies. Okay?"
The brunet blushed but smiled. "Aw, that's so cliché, Cloud."
"You're the one reading all of those cliché romance novels," the blond replied, smiling. "Don't think I haven't peeked at what's got you so engrossed." His smile grew as the blush on his lover's cheeks darkened before his insecurity kicked in. "But… you do like it, don't you?"
Leon chuckled softly. "And here I thought you were never romantic." He turned his head and gave the blond a quick kiss, then stood. "I'm going to go put these in a vase." He hesitated before putting two gifts on his lover's lap, the smaller one on top of the large one. "Here."
Cloud watched the brunet walk away, then looked down at the gifts on his lap. After a moment, he opened the small one, tearing the paper away carefully and opening the box, tilting his head to the side curiously. His eyes lit up at the sight of the silver Fencer's Earring; he'd been planning to get a new earring for a while now, but never really stopped to find one. He switched the plain stud for this new (and altogether more awesome) earring, then tore into the second gift, eager to see what else his kitten had gotten for him.
Said kitten walked in only moments later. "Okay, I set the vase in the window, but—Eep!" He blushed as he was thrown over the blond's shoulder again. "Cloud! What the hell!?"
"I'm assuming you bought me this so we could use it, yes?" the swordsman asked, holding up a box of assorted lubricants. "Let's start with the caramel-flavored one, and I'll show you just how much I appreciate the new earring."
"Ah-! C-Cloud, wait! What about—"
"Whatever it is, it can wait."
Leon scowled, bottom lip jutting out into a pout, before he was thrown onto the bed. "Yeek! What the hell!?"
Cloud smirked, advancing on the aggravated kitten. "Get ready for a merry fucking Christmas, kitty."
And the rest of the night was spent showing Leon just how much he enjoyed his gift.
Happy holidays, readers! Here's the second Christmas Special that is NOT PWP!
And for my dear friend Skye, who asks, "Why not Hanukkah?" Because it was not called Hanukkah Town, it was called Christmas Town. And, if I did write a Hanukkah fic, I'd probably offend many people, because I'm Christian, and know very little about the Jewish religion and its practice. So, Christmas was made for as little offense as possible!