So like many of my other stories, I had to go through the ENTIRE story just to put the dash lines back into the story!
I apologize for the lateness though!
Cloud's hospital stay ended up being extended to 3 weeks. On the bright side, he can stand on his own now without much problem.
Though he now wished he was hospitalized again because he believes his family will kill him faster than Sephiroth…
When it was time for Cloud to go home, they all came. And the car ride was filled with stupid amounts of bickering that Cloud just wished he was deaf.
On the bright side, the house was sparkling clean when he got home…much to Cloud's surprise. Then fighting between Vincent and Leon started again about 'Sora being a slave.' And that reminded Cloud that he still needed to ground Roxas, which he did the moment he remembered.
"What are you being grounded for?" Sora asked after Cloud went to break up the fight between Vincent and Leon.
"Oh…uh…something…just stuff…" Roxas wasn't sure why but despite Sora knowing all the stuff he's done, he still doesn't want to actually TELL Sora, "But um…are you going to tell Dad about you and…?"
Roxas lightly slapped himself from that response.
"S-Sora…" he grabbed the boy and held him at the shoulders, "I highly suggest you not to…at least not right away. Let Dad calm down first and…you know. Feel at home again."
"Oh…okay! I guess I can do that!"
Feel at home indeed…so to make it more homey, Cloud kicked Vincent out.
Leon was technically next to go but…Cloud gave him a hug, a kiss, and a thank you. Which were 3 more things than he gave Vincent. Still Leon was worried about him but Cloud simply said he had his kids to take care of him.
"So Dad, still traumatized?" Sora asked only to get nudged by Roxas. Cloud was laying on the couch after all the standing and walking since he got back. After all, he's been in bed for 3 weeks, his legs fell asleep. But its dinner time and the twins (mainly Sora) made the food this time and put it on the table next to the couch and waited for Cloud to sit up again.
"I'm alright…" Cloud replied with a sigh and he swung his legs over before scooting himself forward and onto the stool so he can eat.
"Good! Because there's something-" Roxas cut Sora off with another nudge,
"Dad, you know we will take care of you to the best of our abilities," Roxas started talking while Sora felt his stomach and glared at Roxas, "But knowing you, you'll just say you're fine. Now please don't hesitate to call us when you need something. But to help things get back to normal…is it okay if we have friends over sometime?"
Cloud gave Roxas a long stare as he slowly chewed. He lightly sighed after he swallowed and took a few blinks before replying.
"I could've sworn I grounded you both."
"But…" Sora shuffled his feat and pouted while Roxas looked down in disappointment.
"Just this once?" the younger blonde lightly pleaded with his eyes for once.
"Well…I'll admit, I like how you know me, Roxas. I could use the normality back. So sure, you may. As long as they're friends I actually know."
"Of course," Roxas nodded, not expecting Cloud to actually change regarding being protective of his children, "So how about…Riku? Sora, wanna call him up?"
"Ow…" the boy was still rubbing his stomach and side where Roxas nudged him hard, "Why don't you do it?" he almost spat.
The blonde only shrugged with a "fine" and pulled out his cell phone. He pressed two buttons, put the phone to his ear, and walked off.
"When did you have Riku on speed-dial?" Sora asked and went after him.
"Wanna come over? Well not exactly," Roxas leaned against the wall and Sora was giving a look. But Roxas just ignored it and continued, "Yeah I think Sora's still grounded but it's not like I am too…well I kind of am too actually…well Dad said yes so I guess it's okay so long as we stay inside?"
Sora continued giving Roxas a look but the other just simply waved it off as he conversed with Riku.
The following day, Riku did come over but he quickly picked up on 2 things:
1. Sora looked like he was on drugs
2. Roxas seemed a lot more happy and relaxed for once
Riku only raised a brow at Sora's daydream-like state. It's no wonder he was kicking his best friend's butt at this game.
"Hmm?" The blonde was reading a book on the side without paying much mind to the pair.
"Can you please take Sora's place? Normally I like beating him but its only fun if he actually gets annoyed when I win."
Roxas stared for a moment before putting his book aside and sat himself between Sora and Riku. He lightly pushed Sora away and took the controller from the boy who didn't seem to mind at all,
"Can I go on your laptop, Roxy?" he asked with his cutesy voice and Roxas made an irritable noise, knowing his brother just wanted to see if Axel is on.
After a bit of playing and Sora being completely silent, besides with a few occasional giggles, Riku and Roxas took a break from beating the crap out of each other at games.
"So who's Sora talking to?" Riku asked, expecting only a handful of people Sora would spend a long time talking to online.
"Probably Axel," Roxas replied with a sigh, still doing what he can to avoid sounding like he's 100 percent against it…even though he's about 99 percent against it.
"…Axel…" Riku repeated and Roxas could hear a disturbance in that voice, "Axel…" he said again, as if it make sure he heard right.
"Yeah, he wouldn't leave Sora alone for the longest time," Roxas put his chin in his hand, as he stared at his video game shelf, seeing if there's something else they can play, "Until finally it just turned to them talking without me even knowing about it."
"Sora…" Riku practically growled and Roxas turned to see Riku getting up and yanking Sora out of the chair. The blonde only sweat-dropped once Riku started giving Sora the same exact lecture Roxas gave the brunette before.
"Axel's a good guy!"
"He's too old!"
"You can't trust him!"
Yup, same exact thing, almost word by word that Sora and Roxas shared before…
"He's going to take advantage of you!"
"No he won't!"
"How do you know that?"
"How do YOU know he will?"
The pair was almost at the point of glaring at each other, their own best friend. When was the last time they stood before each other, at the point of shouting at the other like this?
"What's going on up there?" Cloud's voice was heard and Roxas quickly scrambled to his feet to get to the door to reply with a "nothing."
"Um…I'll grab us a snack," he added to his brother and Riku before he left the room. He was glad Riku and himself agree on many things and take in situations and react the same way. At the same time, it also meant he and Riku would have almost the exact same problems with Sora. However, if they have lots of things in common, then Roxas assumed Riku can work it out with Sora such as he did himself.
"…I really kinda do like him, Riku," Sora confessed as he slowly lowered his head after Roxas left.
"…I noticed," Riku responded and folded his arms, "How come you never mentioned this to me?"
"Because…I thought…I thought you would disapprove. Just like Roxas did. I think he still does actually," Sora practically whispered as he walked by Riku, onto the ground and against a wall. The silverette calmly joined the other and added a sigh as he sat.
"We only worry about you, Sora."
"I know…but…I want to learn and experience things on my own," Sora stated as he looked up at his best friend in the eye, "I know you guys want the best for me and want to protect me from the horrible world you guys always describe…but I want to be someone that can also protect others from a world like this. I want to grow up and understand the world like you guys do. How can I do that if you guys won't even let me learn on my own?"
"…I guess…still, you guys need to go slow if you're serious about this. And I mean really slow!"
Roxas was done stacking a small tray of food for himself, his twin, and the guest but as he picked it up he heard Riku's voice shouting at the top of his lungs.
"WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN HE ALREADY KISSED YOU?"
It took a moment for that to even register in Roxas's head but when it did, Roxas practically slammed that tray back down and rushed upstairs as if the house was flooded at an accelerating rate.
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU GOT KISSED?" Roxas demanded as he slammed the door open again. Although before an answer or thought could even cross anyone's minds the ground felt like it was shaking and all of a sudden, Cloud had his hand on the door like the younger blonde's except in Cloud's other hand was his infamous sword while demanding a head:
"ALRIGHT WHO STOLE SORA'S VIRGIN LIPS?"
The spiky-red head found himself shivering, as if the temperature just dropped 30 degrees.
"You okay?" Leon asked as he cleaned a glass for it to be used later tonight.
"I don't know, I just…suddenly feel like I'm in trouble or something," Axel replied before taking a sip of his drink.
The bar's phone rang and was quickly picked up by Tifa and suddenly, Axel felt himself having a sinking feeling.
"Leon, its Cloud, he wants to speak to you," Tifa announced which surprised Leon but he didn't hesitate to walk over to the woman to take the phone.
"Leon…is a certain red-head by the name of Axel over there?"
The scarred man could hear the other ask with gritted teeth but with a clear growl and an urge to kill in his voice. So Leon could only sigh at Cloud's inability to stay put if it involves his children.
"Cloud, before I answer that, may I ask why you're not resting?"
"This is FAR more important! And how did you know…?"
"Easy: you're angry. Now sit down, calm down, and tell me what's going on," Leon suggested in a calm voice, trying to soothe the other.
"You can do up until it gets busy," said Tifa, doing what Leon was doing earlier and the man lightly cringed.
"And I'll try to help as much as I can before I get back to work," Leon added before Cloud responded.
"It's Axel! What else could be-"
"Cloud. Sit. And Breath," Leon cut in and he could hear the blonde groan before hearing the man shuffling about and then hear a 'plop' sound meaning Cloud must've let himself down on the leather couch possibly.
"That man is dead the moment I see him! He kissed Sora!"
"…Just a kiss?" Leon asked with a raised brow.
"No really, Cloud, was it just a kiss? He didn't try to rape him or anything?"
"…Sora doesn't look like he's lying so I'm going to go with no…but he could be manipulating Sora!"
The elder brunette looked over his shoulder to see Axel trying stab a poor red cherry at the bottom of his drink with a fork…and not succeeding very well.
"I honestly doubt that…"
"Leon! At least pretend you're siding with me! The man is a college student!"
"I get what you're saying Cloud, but let's not resort to violence alright?" The man could hear the other grumbling about that suggestion, "By all means I think you do have the right to watch over the relationship with a keen eye though. If you want, I'll keep an eye on him for you when I see him at work," Leon offered. The man still believed Sora was mature enough to understand the age difference between himself and Axel but it's not like Sora isn't completely unaware and naïve about this whole idea…at least Leon hoped that was the case. But on the flip side, Leon did see Cloud's point of view on this…or any parents' view on this. At this point, Leon finally did realize that: Leon+Cloud=being a father of twins. Technically, the man did understand that…but just not fully realize that until recently. If he wants to be with Cloud, he has to be a family man too which means having the best interest in Sora and make sure the boy's making good decisions and take care of him.
"Ugh…alright, that does ease me a little," Cloud admitted with a small sigh, "I guess I'll have a proper talk with that man when I see him!"
"Cloud, don't even think about threatening him with that weapon of yours."
"Do you want grandkids?" Leon asked with a blunt tone.
"What does that have to do with this?"
"Because if you want grandkids, Sora and Roxas will have to walk down the aisle one day and that's not going to happen if you scare off every potential suitor. Better to start breaking the habit now before it's too late."
"I'll break the habit when I feel like it!"
Leon's face met his hand as he lightly shook his head with a groan. They went through a crisis together but it looks likes Leon has to put in an effort on communication and compromising some more…especially since it involves the kids.
Please read and review! I'm missing some inspiration still but hope I can figure something out and get stuff done for next chapter!