Journeys is a series of 100-word drabbles (or mini-moments, if you will), completely random and unrelated except for every tenth one (the last of each chapter). There should be six chapters, and a couple of these contain mature themes, mentions of sex, violence, etc., but nothing explicit. I'm enjoying this project immensely, and hope you do, too.
(Also, I now have Twitter and plan to use it for fandom-related things, itty-bitty sneak peaks of fics I'm working on, OTP!NaNo flailings, things that don't warrant a full LJ post, etc. Nickname is stellareclipse—feel free to follow me if you're interested!)
Disclaimer: dood, fanfiction. Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, and the characters and universes therein are the property of Disney and Square Enix. I receive no remuneration for this work; it is a parody and as such utilizes the Fair Use clause of the Copyright Act.
"You see that one?" Squall asked, pointing to a quickly fading streak in the sky.
Cloud hummed faintly, eyes continuing to follow the empty path the vanished star would have taken. He'd made a wish, Squall knew. He didn't believe in superstitions, himself, but he earnestly hoped his friend would get whatever it was he'd wished for.
"Not going to wait," Cloud murmured suddenly, and before the other teenager could ask what he meant, Cloud cupped his cheek with a chilly hand and leaned in to kiss him.
That night was the last time Squall saw him for nine years.
Leon drew Cloud back against his chest, shifting the waist-deep water of the Coliseum's otherwise empty public bath around them with soft splashes. He slowly moved his hands up the blond warrior's bare sides to his ribs, pressing tender kisses below the golden hair at his nape, along the tense slope of his shoulder, and finally the warmer, more sensitive skin just above the base of the dark, trembling wing.
"All of you," he whispered again. The words, however softly spoken, echoed in the vast expanse of the hall, and Leon could only hope that they'd sink in this time.
It was strange to think he was in a real relationship now—part of a couple, a team, a pairing that was a far cry from platonic nowadays. It wasn't even a secret anymore, what with living with a know-it-all wizard and a ninja that sometimes really was as sneaky as she claimed to be. He stood up to the initial teasing better than his partner did: Cloud tended to get defensive, but he usually ended up disappearing before things got too confrontational, whereas Leon had learned to brush it off like he did everything else, with a curt "Whatever."
There were four of them in the semi-final match: a swordsman with a massive two-handed blade that he wielded with amazing skill; a spry ninja with enormous shuriken and speed he'd not seen before on someone without Haste cast; a martial artist with skills to rival those of the friend he'd lost back on his own world (plus a lot more class); and himself. Formidable warriors, all. And yet, they lost. To a boy. A scrawny boy with an odd, oversized key for a weapon. It was a humbling experience, and Leon was reminded to never again underestimate Sora's capabilities.
He'd been so accustomed to living alone, eating alone, sleeping alone, being alone—but all of that had changed, over time. Now he couldn't imagine waking up without seeing spikes of golden hair catching the early morning light on the pillow next to his own (because that was all of Cloud that he could ever see in the morning, what with the man's habit of burrowing almost completely under the covers, even in summer). He used to consider relying on someone else a weakness, a liability—but having Cloud in his life had honestly made him a stronger, better person.
Cloud strapped the band of leather high around Leon's upper arm, winching it in tightly to stem the flow of blood staining white cotton and tan skin red. The thinner straps Leon wore on his forearm would never have sufficed, and he couldn't get any of the brunet's confounded belts off so he'd ended up using his own.
Once the tourniquet was in place, he looked back up into blue-gray eyes that continued to bear the pain silently, then knotted his fingers into Leon's dark hair, tugged him in so their foreheads touched, and sighed. "Dodge next time, will you?"
Leon gasped sharply when Cloud scratched his fingernails down his back, likely leaving bright red welts from the burning pain he felt in their wake. He wasn't normally such a masochist, but in the height of passion he found himself growling in Cloud's ear—more—and the demand bled into a throaty moan when his lover obliged, raking his nails again, harder, along the ten aching lines drawn into his skin. In a way, they felt like marks of ownership; judging by the hot rush of breath in his ear, he wasn't the only one turned on by that thought.
Cloud lets out a short huff of a laugh, but it's enough of a hint for Leon to realize his mistake. He twists around and parries the swordsman's attack just in time, but it still leaves him compromised, with a wall to his back, another to his right, and a focused, deadly warrior guarding all possible escape routes. The glint in those sharp blue-green eyes leaves no doubt that Cloud has done it intentionally, and he has only seconds to formulate a plan before the next attack comes in a blur of golden hair, torn red cloth and shining steel.
The three of them were back to back to back, defending against the teeming Heartless that surrounded them in seemingly endless waves. Cloud was on his left, silent and alert with his sword steady in both hands, and Tifa was on his right, bouncing lightly on her feet with her gloved fists raised and at the ready. Later, when the last pink, glowing heart had ascended to the heavens and they were all breathing hard with the thrill of battle and exchanging small, shy grins of triumph, Leon would realize that he'd never before worked with a more compatible team.
"You don't have any friends, do you?" Cloud asked, then sighed and sat down beside Squall without further preamble because he already knew the answer. "I'll be your friend, then."
Squall pushed his hands further into his pockets, frowning a little. "Why?"
The young blond shrugged and scratched the back of his neck. "You don't want to?"
"...Didn't say that," Squall mumbled softly, almost timidly.
Satisfied, Cloud nodded. "Okay. Here, you can have Fenrir," he said brightly, digging in his pocket to hand the other boy a small toy motorcycle. "But only for a while, okay? I want him back."