Chapter Five: The Prologue
"What are you doing?"
"Killing things, what does it look like?" Cloud snapped irritably.
"Did I do something to piss you off?" Squall asked, slicing through a pair of heartless approaching from the left.
"Think you'd know if you did," Cloud answered tersely, jumping forward to slice through another.
"You would think," Squall answered flatly.
"Won't your boyfriend be upset if he finds you killing things with another man?" Cloud snapped. He didn't know what had come over him. He knew he had no reason to feel this betrayed. It wasn't as if he'd never been with anyone. Things happen. People change. Time moves on and they had no way of knowing they'd ever meet again. But he wasn't seeing anyone now, and Squall was, and it sucked because Squall seemed so much more important to him than everything else.
"My what?!" Squall got a shallow cut across his arm while exclaiming his surprise. He sliced through the heartless that did it and finished off another three. It seemed that they were hitting a lull. Once Cloud ran out of things to kill maybe they could have a conversation that made sense. "Either I've forgotten way more than I think, or you're completely delusional."
"I didn't know you'd grow up to be a liar," Cloud said. Why? Why couldn't he just shut his big mouth. "I saw you together. I saw you hugging that guy like you'd die without him."
It took Squall a moment. Had he hugged someone recently? And when he realized what Cloud thought, he started laughing. He actually, honestly, couldn't stop himself from laughing as hard as he could because the thought of him ever being involved in that way with Irvine was just so completely ridiculous there was no other way to answer the accusation. "You thought... me... with... haha... hahaha... Irvine of all people? hahaha....Are you completely insane?" Hyne, Cloud was cute. Had he always been this cute?
Cloud paused. "That...was Irvine?"
"Yeah," Squall answered, smirking as he ran through the last of the current group of heartless. "The guys just got back. It's the first I've seen any of them in three years. Of course there was hugging involved. I'm relieved that they're all still alive. Besides, Irvine's practically been married to Selphie since birth, hasn't he?"
Cloud hid a little disappointment that Squall could remember that, but not him. "So...you're not seeing anyone?" he asked. He really hoped that didn't sound as desperate as he thought it did.
Squall considered for a moment how he should answer. Cloud's question confirmed his suspicion that Cloud also felt the chemistry between them. "Well, I guess that depends," he said at last.
"Depends? Depends on what?" Cloud asked tensely, sheathing his buster sword.
It was a bit more awkward to say than Squall wanted to admit, but he figured--hell with it, life is short. "...on whether or not I'm seeing you."
Cloud's eyes widened. Was Squall serious? "Huh?" Oh, yeah, that was a brilliant reply.
Squall sighed and sheathed his gunblade. "I know I don't remember meeting you the first time, or how things were for us as children. That must be hard on you," he said as patiently as he could. "But I know I feel like I've known you forever. I know since I nearly stepped on you yesterday, I've barely thought about anything but you. I figure that's got to mean something."
It wasn't exactly a confession of undying love, but Cloud didn't think Squall was really the kind of guy to make such confessions. That was fine, because he'd be too embarrassed to form a decent reply. And anyway, it would sort of be weird to confess your undying devotion to someone you haven't even known a week, right?
When Cloud didn't answer, Squall pressed on. "I didn't remember the others right away either. Once we were all together again, months passed, and then we got these little snatches. Maybe with enough time, I'll be able to remember you too, but...I can't promise that."
Cloud sighed. "No, the past is fine where it is," he answered. He got the feeling it bothered Squall that he didn't remember more than it bothered him. Details weren't that important as long as their hearts were saying the same thing. "It doesn't matter if you remember me or not."
Cloud took a deep breath before locking his mako eyes with Squall's steel. "We'll just have to make new memories, you know, starting from now."
"Starting from now, huh?" Something about the clumsily offered phrase seemed unreasonably romantic to Squall.
"...yeah." Cloud must have sensed it too, because he broke the gaze first, blushing slightly.
Squall pulled Cloud forward and tilted his chin up to force him to meet his gaze again. Cloud felt one of the brunette's strong arms wrap around his lower back. "That, I can do," Squall said, and pressed their lips together curling his fingers into Cloud's messy blond hair.
Cloud found himself responding eagerly. He wrapped his arms around Squall's neck. Their relationship, he knew, was a little untraditional. There were two days, and also an entire lifetime between them, but if he thought about it the history between them was pretty trivial. After all, they were together again, finally and for the first time all at once. He rested his head against Squall's shoulder and let himself melt a little into the younger man's embrace, listened to the soft rhythm of his breathing. Knowing Squall when they were children, he figured, was only the prologue, and no one ever remembers the prologue anyway. This moment, holding one another tightly and not really knowing what it was that drew them together--many years from now, this is where they would say their story really began.