Mentally unstable writer is back. To be honest, my whole inward angst hasn't exactly disappeared, and the last fic I wrote succeeded in putting me in a good mood until later that day when I got dumped. But no fear, fandom, I'll be alright (or at least say that I am), and hopefully writing this will help me feel a bit better, as I really wanted to use writing as a form of venting. Contains vague references to a time when I could say I was genuinely happy, because no matter how much he hurt me and how much he's hurting me right now, I smiled a lot more when I was with him.
To whom it may concern, I hope I was someone special to you.
Of Things Implied
Six times Leon gave a silent "I love you," and one time he didn't.
i. » hello
Leon didn't flinch when he heard the clap of thunder outside and the increasing pitter-patter of the rain that accompanied it. His steel blue eyes, though directed at the coffee table in front of him, were empty. The gunblader slumped forward sitting on the sofa, arm acting as a support as he cradled his chin in his palm. The clock on the wall let out a specific chime that echoed through the desolate apartment, signaling that it was now 4 o'clock in the morning. Leon hadn't bothered trying to get to sleep that night, choosing instead to lump and brood over last night's events in his living room. His eyes flicked once again to the vast expanse of grey clouds outside his window before returning to the coffee table once again. A bad move, considering the fact that the half-empty bottle of vodka seemed to wink at him as it rested on the wooden surface despite the lack of efficient lighting. He heaved a heavy sigh, running his hand through his hair. Though he wasn't much of a drinker, she had loved the stuff.
And once again, the brunette was sent spiraling into memories of her and what they had, what they could have had, and what he had apparently just lost. Really, it seemed impossible to escape her even though technically she had been the one to leave.
Tifa Lockhart: martial artist, former bartender/terrorist, friend of the rest of the gang, owner of a haunting yet enchanting smile...The list could go on and on, but it would always end with self-proclaimed light of Cloud Strife.
That's right, Cloud Strife. Not him, no matter how hard he longed her to be.
And that's how this whole mess had arisen.
Come to think of it, her first words to him had been "I'm looking for a blonde guy with spiky hair. Have you seen him?"
How fitting, considering her last words from a few hours ago.
"Leon, let me go. I have to find him. Please..."
She had been ready to board her gummi ship, ready to set after him once again. Apparently she'd witnessed Strife and Sephiroth vanish after the one winged angel had tangled with the Keyblade master. Had she gone to leave a few months ago, he probably wouldn't have given a damn, but throughout her stay in Radiant Garden, she'd pervaded his defenses. Leon didn't know quite how it had happened, but he assumed it had been a baby-steps approach. It started off with small talk while working and had escalated to long conversations over drinks and so on. And eventually, the line between acquaintance and something more had been blurred. But before that 'something more' could be categorized, it was too late.
It struck him when his grip stayed solid on her wrist, her efforts becoming more and more frantic.
He was in love with Tifa Lockhart.
"Looking for him is all I know, Leon."
And just like that, she broke him.
His hand lost all its strength at her words, falling loosely to his side. She didn't say anything more, brushing past him towards her ship in the hangar.
"Tifa," he called, the sound of her steps on the metal floor ceasing.
The woman met his gaze, expression unreadable.
"You always have a home here," he said quietly, feeling her analyzing him. "Any time you're in town or if you need a place to stay..."
"I'll be here waiting for you." Leon finished, flashing her a sad smile. 'I'm sorry I-'
Her eyes, shining like raw rubies, widened as she caught his underlying message. She seemed to hesitate for a moment, frozen in place biting her bottom lip in inward struggle. In the end though, she had left him. Left without another word and took off to the dismal grey skies.
'I'm sorry I couldn't be the one.'
That's when the rain had really begun to pour mercilessly over him and his aching heart.
Picking up the bottle of vodka by the neck, Leon took a long swig, savoring the trailing burn down his throat. And in spite of himself, he wondered if she was somewhere in the endless galaxy enjoying a bottle of her own. She had, after all, admitted to keeping a secret stash in the cockpit of her ship.
A series of rapid knocks on his door temporarily brought him out of his sulking, staring blankly at the door for a moment before choosing to move. He set the bottle of Vodka down, the quiet clink of glass against wood prelude to his heavy footsteps. Visits at ungodly hours weren't uncommon with all the problems Radiant Garden still had to eradicate, especially the Heartless. Losing himself in combat actually sounded like a good idea right then...
But when the warrior opened his front door, the individual on the other side hadn't been the frightened civilian like he had expected. Instead stood none other than Tifa Lockhart, raven tresses plastered to her face by rainwater. Her breathing was uneven, suggesting that she had hurried over, but the intensity of her crimson irises didn't falter.
"Hey," she said simply between her breaths, mustering a smile that melted him then and there.
"Hey," He replied, still trying to register what exactly was happening. Was this a dream? Had he fallen asleep on the couch?
"What are you doing here?" Leon asked finally, still in a slight daze. She attempted to brush her stray locks of hair away from her face.
"Well I was in town," the fighter replied sheepishly. "And remembered someone special to me mention I could stop by any time," She looked at him sincerely. 'I came to see you, silly.'
He stood stunned for a moment, trying to conjure up an appropriate choice of words. Eventually, he settled with, "You could have at least given me a heads up. My place is kind of a mess right now, you know..."
And there, without warning, she lunged forward and threw her arms around his neck, burying her face in his chest. Leon's initial frigidness gave way, wrapping his arms around her waist in turn and held her, ignoring the ticking of the clock.
"What about Strife?" He asked, feeling her pull away slightly at his words to look at him. It was an unavoidable question, they both knew. She mused for a moment as he patiently awaited her answer.
"I figured it was time for a change of scenery," Tifa began, eyes twinkling with a new-found light. "I'm tired of chasing after the same cloud."
He debated on asking her to elaborate, but found it unnecessary when she ended with the words "I want to endure a squall."
And then he kissed her right then and there, the sound of the rain dissipating from his ears.
ii. » fever
Unfortunately, Tifa's tango with the forces of nature on her way to see him had left her with a nasty cold.
"I'll be fine, really," she insisted, flush staining her features indicating sickness. She was huddled under the starch-white blanket of his bed, pulling it up for more coverage. "You guys have a meeting today, right? You have to be there."
Leon frowned, pulling up a chair so he could join her from bedside. "Forget the meeting, I'm keeping an eye on you," he persisted, planting his feet firmly on the floor for emphasis. It was amazing how vulnerable she looked right now, gripping the blanket as if her life depended on it. It was also hard for him to suppress a smirk knowing that she was in his bed in one of his clean shirts after having had to change out of her sopping wet garments.
"I'm a big girl, you know," the martial artist commented with a smirk, reminding him that she wasn't exactly down and out just yet. "I can make my own soup from a can and everything."
"That's true, but what am I going to if your virus-infested snot gets all over my bed?" the gunblade-wielder retorted, earning him an offended huff. "I was kidding."
"Whatever," she pouted in faux annoyance. Still, he didn't move an inch, causing her to sigh. A man with a code of chivalry was nice and all, but she could take care of herself. She thought she had made that fact obvious when she had first fought by his side. "You're going to be late."
He tilted his head to the side, brown fringe falling over his eyes, "I told you I wasn't going."
"Don't be difficult," Tifa stated. In truth, she supposed his behavior was normal. When someone close to you is sick, you don't exactly leave them to fend for themselves. However, Tifa wasn't used to actually being cared for, having had to rely on no one else but herself when she used to wander.
"Fine, I'll make it easy then," the brunette replied, leaving the chair and walking around the perimeter of the bed. The woman rolled onto her back as he did so, assuming he was headed for the bathroom or something in order to socially prepare himself. What she didn't expect though, was for the springs of the mattress to adjust to some newly-added weight as he joined her. "Scoot over," he said, ignoring the bewildered look on her face.
"What are you doing?" She asked quizzically though not displeased, especially when he chose to wrap an arm around her frame.
"You're cold, right? Body heat," he answered simply, feeling the feverish but pleasant warmth of her back against his chest. The view of his T-shirt ending mid-thigh on her wasn't bad either.
"Leon, that process is usually done naked."
Tifa elbowed him playfully in the ribs before freeing herself from his grasp in order to rotate and face him.
"Fine, you can stay under one condition," she began, propping her chin up with her palm and ignoring the fact that it was his room.
"You're not allowed to kiss me on the lips," She declared with a grin, an exasperated look overtaking the male's face.
"Seriously now?" He replied, clearly distraught. The woman nodded almost tauntingly, mouth looking twice as delectable now that he couldn't have it. But there was little he could do, so he settled for wrapping his arm around her once more in silent defeat. A quiet chuckle left her lips.
"Dummy," she laughed lightheartedly, meeting his confused glance with a mischievous one as she shifted her position so that she was straddling him. "I didn't say you couldn't kiss me other places, you know."
Their attempt at body heat became much more efficient after that.
iii. » games
Tifa frowned at the sight.
There, straight in front of her, was Leon sitting pretty in front of Ansem's computer. Well, not exactly pretty, considering the fact that he was letting out either annoyed grumbles or victorious cheers as he played that one racing game.
Normally she wouldn't have minded, but he had been playing the thing for three hours. Three hours! And here she thought he had been busy, even taking the time to bring him lunch.
Something had to be done.
"Leon," she purred, boots gliding over the room's polished floor and closing the distance in-between them.
"Hn," was his vague response, still absorbed with racing pixels. She wordlessly slipped into his lap, looking at him endearingly as his character suddenly swerved sloppily to the right.
"Can I watch?" She asked sweetly, felling victorious, knowing she had caught his attention this time. His cobalt blue eyes flashed in her direction for a split second and she could suddenly feel a faint hammering in his chest. He nodded, controls a tad sloppier than they had been when she had first entered.
The ebony-haired fighter leaned back, using him as her headrest and smirking to herself when she felt his fingers rest on her side, keeping her in place. She watched him play in silence, his gameplay composure still not fully returned, but getting better. Even if only one hand was now free.
"...Am I really doing this?" he finally said, giving her a weary glance as he realized how utterly lame he was at the moment. Normally when given the choice between video games and an exceedingly beautiful woman, anyone in their right mind would have chosen the latter (had they been male, of course).
"You are," she pointed out, relaxing a bit more in her new cushion. She felt him rest his chin upon her crown, signaling that he was okay with it too, and she watched him play in musing silence. "Do you want your other hand back?"
"No, I like it where it is," the gunblader replied with a content smile. That smile vanished, however, when he felt the soft press of lips against his cheek and his virtual bike crashed into a wall.
iv. » flustered
"Don't tell anyone," Tifa had instructed carefully, looking at him with dead-seriousness in her eyes.
"I won't," he replied, wondering just what she could be so intent on hiding from everyone else. They were in the old castle's library, the smell of old books and dust pervading his senses.
She eyed him one more time before proceeding to a bookshelf against the wall. He quirked a brow, watching as the fighter slid the bookcase a good few feet and uncovering a door that had been behind it. He was aware that the castle had many traps and secret compartments, but he had never thought of actually utilizing any unless they proved to be a useful shortcut. Therefore, he was left completely stunned when she whipped open the door to reveal a vast assortment of alcoholic beverages in just about every size, shape and color. And not only that, but there were even glasses available.
She'd really thought this out.
"My personal stash of favorites," she beamed proudly, plucking a bottle from the shelf. "Share?"
"Sure," he replied. "But why here? Wouldn't it be better if you kept them somewhere easier to get to?"
"I don't want anyone getting to them," she stated, plucking the cork out of the bottle of scotch and pouring the amber liquid into two glasses, handing one to him. "And besides, the castle keeps the stuff cold."
"Ah," Well that made perfect sense.
She slid the bookshelf back into place, a cloud of dust flying up as she did so, before taking his hand and leading him to a more secluded part of the library. The two found themselves sandwiched in-between two bookshelves with a window to illuminate the otherwise dreary room.
The former bartender held up her glass in a silent toast, and they clinked glasses. Leon sipped his tentatively at first, unlike Tifa, who took a rather proud gulp.
They sat there for who knows how long, enjoying the comforting silence. This, he realized, was one of the reasons why he was so attracted to her. With Tifa, there was always the sense that they could say less, but mean so much more. Which was further proved when she spoke her next words.
"Hey Leon," she began, swirling her beverage in her glass before meeting his gaze almost shyly. "I love you."
The brunette felt the heat reach all the way to the tips of his ears and she stifled a laugh. She hadn't expected him to say it back right away, but when he mumbled something that ended with a rushed "youtoo," she grinned cheekily and moved next to him, leaning her head on his shoulder and taking in his scent as well as his positively flustered face.
v. » public
"So do you guys like, kiss in public?" Yuffie asked out of the blue one day during a committee meeting. The entire gang had been there, seated around Merlin's table, but all thoughts of actual tasks to be done seemed to evaporate at the ninja's question.
"Do we?" Tifa asked Leon, who was seated next to her. The news that they were now a couple had reached the ears of their circle of friends already, but she certainly wasn't expecting a question like that to pop up.
"I don't know, do we?" He asked back, brow furrowing as he tried to come to a conclusion. They technically hadn't kissed in front of other people, but there were many instances where he had kissed her in various spots around town.
That seemed to be the end of it, and the proposal of adding a new neighborhood for the ever-growing population was once again brought to the table. The group discussed the issue for a few minutes before Leon suddenly cut in with a "Hey Tifa,"
She turned to face him, and he leaned forward, pressing his lips against hers for a brief moment before pulling back as if he had done nothing out of the ordinary.
Tifa blinked, certainly stunned at his actions, but let a pleased smile grace her features. The rest of the Restoration Committee, however, gawked in mixed portrayals of astonishment.
vi. » afterglow
It was a ritual of theirs after making love. Basking in satisfying bliss, breathing still ragged, she would always shift until she was beside him, attractive flush still on her face. Then, with all the strength she had left, she would place a soft kiss on his lips and they would both sink into harmonious sleep under the sheets.
Tonight was no different. Leon watched her with half-lidded eyes, as she wriggled from underneath him and giving him a light push to ensure he was on his back. He obliged, feeling her long tresses brush against his arm.
Her eyes shined even though the only light that pervaded the room was from the stars outside the window. He could feel her coming ever closer, patiently waiting for the comforting press of her lips on his own.
But apparently, there had been a change of plans that night, as he observed the whites of her eyes unexpectedly widen. He was about to ask her what was wrong, until he viewed the wrinkling of her nose. In a flash, her face was directed towards the pillow above his shoulder, and he heard her let out a light sneeze.
He turned his head, Tifa's awkward and mortified expression staring back at him. "W-what just-" she began, blushing furiously as misplaced, tousled hair framed her face.
Leon looked at her endearingly, unable to formulate appropriate words. Instead, he enveloped her in a would-be bone crushing hug and proceeded to cuddle the life out of her.
vii. » declaration
Tifa looked up, offering her palm up to the sky and feeling the cold drops of rainwater hit her skin. "I didn't know it was raining," she mused, standing next to a certain gunblader at the castle's entrance.
"Me either." Leon said, frowning at the current state of the weather. Surely they hadn't been in Ansem's study long enough for the weather to change. He had recalled that morning to be rather sunny.
...Well, getting distracted in Ansem's study would have probably been more appropriate, but like that mattered.
"There aren't any spare umbrellas in there by any chance?" the woman asked, preferring to stay dry if at all possible.
"I don't think umbrellas are under the list of priorities for crazed geniuses." The brunette replied, receiving a punch in the arm for his remark.
"I guess it can't be helped then," Tifa sighed, preparing to step into the slick pathway. A shadow hovering over her ceased her actions, and she felt a lump fall on her head. Upon further examination, she discovered the object to be Leon's jacket.
"Use it," he directed, his upper-half now clad in nothing but his white T-shirt. She opened her mouth to protest, but it appeared that Leon had already started towards the direction of town, shirt growing transparent as the raindrops hit him.
"Hey!" Tifa called, starting in a light jog in order to catch up to him, holding up the leather jacket as makeshift cover. Once at his side, they continued at a fast pace, hoping to find some sort of temporary shelter soon. His hand found its way to the small of her back, guiding her as well as making sure she was still there as they kicked up water from the puddles along the path.
The couple chose to take haven in the newly rebuilt bailey, stopping for a quick breather. Tifa removed the jacket from over her head, tilting it so thatthe stray raindrops that had collected on its surface slid off. "You didn't have to," she said, observing his now soaking figure.
"I wanted to," Leon replied, rainwater dripping from his locks. The jacket hadn't provided much coverage, but at least she appeared mostly dry save a few strands of hair that were sticking to her face.
Just like that one time.
Leon tilted his head as he observed her. She slipped on his jacket for warmth, attempting to hold it as close together as she could for warmth. He couldn't help but gaze entranced as her fingers gripped the fur trim, nose buried in the leather as though she was trying to catch his scent while trying to keep warm. He felt his heart nearly jump out of his ribcage.
He was enthralled.
No, he was in love.
"What?" She asked, having caught him staring. Slim streamers of sunlight broke through the clouds, stretching through the window of the bailey behind her and making her appear almost like an angel. His angel.
She smiled that brilliant, inviting smile of hers, and it left him breathless.
"I love you."
I really hope you enjoyed this, readers. The personal touch makes it a really special piece, and I hope with this, I can start the new year with no regrets and no more sorrow and no more lingering feelings. Please review, I love hearing feedback and constructive criticism. And last but not least, happy holidays to you all!