Disclaimer: Scrumptiously not mine.
A/N: For KH Drabble's Challenge #219 – 'Shenanigans'. I Googled 'shenanigans' while looking for inspiration. It was bizarre how many different definitions came back (thirty-two entries on Urban Dictionary alone). Hence this fic. Set pre-KHI when the Hollow Bastion Bunch were still the Traverse Town Team. Also owes a debt of gratitude to Inigo Montoya and The Princess Bride.
The Truth Behind the Eyes
© Scribbler, March 2010.
"I call shenanigans!"
Leon's stare was emptier than an open grave before a funeral. It was his patented Don't Bullshit Me look. In fact, it was his Don't Even Try to Bullshit Me Because I'm Not in the Mood look. He didn't say anything. Not a word. Not even that thing where he just said Yuffie's name in a way that made her feel three inches tall. He didn't even grunt, or talk in an ellipse. Usually that bugged her. Right now she would've killed for those dot-dot-dots.
Yuffie squared up. "You can't intimidate me. I'm calling you on this. Shee-nan-ee-gans!" A palm-punch punctuated each syllable, as if her left hand was trying to concuss her right. "Am I going too fast? Keeping up with the kids' lingo, Squall?"
Leon remained blank.
Yuffie spun on her heel, and then spun back. She raised her hand, opened and shut her mouth, hopped from foot to foot. She shadow-boxed, dancing closer before darting away. Nothing got a reaction.
"Did you botox your entire face, or finally perfect sleeping with eyes open?"
Finally she threw up her arms, exasperated. Still Leon didn't respond. Only his eyes moved, following her as she crossed the room.
"But I still totally call shenanigans!" She slammed the door.
She booted it open again two seconds later, half-expecting to find him collapsed, deflated, after releasing the one breath keeping him upright. Leaving rooms was a catalyst for stuff to happen – known fact! As a kid, Yuffie always wondered whether toys really did come to life when you shut the door. Stuff always happened when she wasn't around and she hated missing out.
But Leon met her gaze evenly.
She pointed her index and middle fingers at her eyes, then at him. "Shenanigans," she said in a mystical whisper that, actually, sounded more like she smoked sixty a day. "Shenanigansssss…"
"What are you talking about?"
After prising herself off the ceiling, Yuffie turned to glare. "Shenanigans! And don't creep up behind a girl like that or you'll catch a bad case of being stabbed with a shuriken."
"Huh?" Aerith was nonplussed.
"I'm calling shenanigans. On Leon. Shenanigans! Shenanigans!"
"You keep saying the word. I'm not sure it means what you think."
"Shyeahright. It means somebody is lying. Somebody stole the last piece of cheesecake from the fridge, after I specifically claimed it for when I got back from -" She faltered. "Uh, patrolling. For Heartless. Because they're bad. So I was… hunting them."
"Sounds like you got up to your own shenanigans."
"That's totally not what it means! 'Shenanigans' means dishonesty and treachery and … and stealing other people's cheesecake while they're busy tying firecrackers to… uh… damn." Her mouth had run away with her in frustration. Deciding absence was the better part of valour and winning arguments, she cartwheeled past Aerith, hooking the door with her toe. "You can't stay silent forever, Squall. I will prove it was you. You and your shenanigans!"
"She really likes cheesecake."
Leon didn't reply.
The atmosphere was thicker than custard and twice as difficult to breathe. Aerith excused herself. She'd only ventured into his study to investigate the shouting. Shouting meant arguments or they were under attack, and both meant property damage.
Leon didn't move until it was clear neither girl would reappear. He returned to his desk. Paper covered in battle-plans and rigid handwriting was everywhere. He sat, reached behind one stack, and extracted a plate of glossy blueberry cheesecake.
He paused with a forkful halfway to his mouth, reaching for a book under another pile of paperwork.
He chewed unfalteringly as he flipped dictionary pages, savouring every bite.