Warning: This fix contains a male/male pairing so if this offends you, please don't read it.

Disclaimer: Squall Leonhart and Cloud Strife belong to Square Enix.

Plot: AU. Leonhart is an expert assassin, Cloud has to protect his latest target. Romance ensues.

The bright sun glanced off of the glass skyscraper.

The building had been constructed in 2015 - it was still very modern; it's glare caused many passers-by to squint irritably and use their hands to shield their eyes.

Standing on the roof of the towering building and quietly smoking a cigarette was Leonhart.

Real name or alias, he had a reputation and a scar that ran diagonally across his face.

He was young, handsome, patient brunet and his specialist job meant that he was financially stable.

Taking a final drag of his cigarette, he dropped it and crushed it under his boot.

Leonhart raised his rifle until it was level with his eye, scanning through the sights for his target.

He was one of the privileged few people with a license to kill, and he had become an exceptional assassin.

His favourite weapon was his pistol; it had served him well in all commissioned assassinations but that day he had brought his new rifle to practice with.

The brunet's latest target was Mona - an ageing pop idol, her music was popular with the younger (and in Leon's opinion, tone deaf) generation.

The assassin had been hired by her husband - Leon hadn't really cared about the reason why he wanted her dead (He was mentally selecting the most suitable gun at the time) but the old man seemed passionate about getting revenge.

Leon was contemptuous of people - especially his clients. The idea that two people that were once so deeply in love would wish their partner dead a few years later?

'Why even allow yourself to fall in love anyway?' Leon thought grimly.

All of his clients were once lovers with the target he'd shot, what pissed him off the most was the lack of remorse in their eyes when he collected the cheque.

'And people think my job makes me a monster.' He thought bitterly, frowning slightly.

His shoulders tensed. Mona had just left the restaurant on the opposite side of the road.

Looking down at her, he instantly recognized her from the unflattering photo he'd been given as a reference, he had also noticed her round face was plastered all over buses, magazines and billboards - it was impossible not to.

In his opinion, she wasn't very pretty; her eyes were laden with pearlescent eyeshadow, her puffy lips were always glazed with sticky gloss, her hair was frizzy and a deep red.

Mona was shaped like an hourglass; her wide waist tapered down to thin calves and she tottered around on high heels, resembling a tipsy piglet.

She favoured faux fur, it lined most of her garments and accessories - a look that had recently become fashionable.

Her voice didn't suit her either - for such a prissy looking woman she was surprisingly loud.

In an interview she revealed that Gloria Gaynor was her inspiration - she did inferior covers of most of her hits which she liked to call "Tributes".

Leon couldn't fathom why she was so well-loved, it was as if he were immune to her charms.

"Makes my job easier." He muttered, carefully taking aim.

A figure in black suddenly blocked the direct route to her heart.

Sighing irritably, Leon lowered his rifle.

Down below, standing directly in front of the diva stood a man about the same age as him - perhaps a little older.

The wind rustled the golden spikes on his head, proving that they were softer than they looked.

Leon concluded that he was a model - probably Mona's latest boyfriend.

He continued to watch with interest as the newcomer scanned the clearing street.

Mona began to raise her voice at him, loud enough to reach Leonhart's ears

"Get out of my way" she snarled.

The blond still didn't move.

"It doesn't seem safe, Mona" His voice was barely audible.

She frowned at him

"Don't be ridiculous, there's no-one around!"

"I think there is..."

"Well I'm not paying you for your thoughts, Mr Strife!"

"I know; you're only paying me to protect you - But I think you're in danger here!"

Leon sighed; she had protection - and Strife seemed to take his job seriously.

Technically, this guy was an innocent bystander and unless he were to point a gun at Leon too, the assassin couldn't shoot him, it wasn't his job.

The marksman cursed under his breath as the couple walked away with Strife continually shielding her body, much to Mona's annoyance.

'There's always tomorrow' Leon thought, reclining and lighting another cigarette. Not many targets had thought to hire a bodyguard, let alone such a professional.

'This should be fun.' Leon liked challenges.

One bullet is all it takes Leonhart to kill his target. That's why he had earned the reputation for being on of the greatest assassins in the world.

It was nice to be respected.

'And well paid' Leon thought with a smile.

"Why isn't she dead?" Leon remembered that his client was still on the other end of the phone.

"Complications arose - my apologies sir!" He replied as cooly and sincerely as possible.

"Well...ground these complications next time. I want her dead." The assassin ignored the man's tone.

The caller hung up abruptly.

Leon walked over to his coffee table, lying upon it was a newspaper clipping he'd found earlier that day; it described a small gig Mona was playing that evening.

The venue looked nice, Leon observed as he came to the doors of the jazz bar.

He was wearing a denim jacket - it made him a little more conspicuous (Denim went out of style in 2010) but he looked good in it.

Luckily, Mona's audience were mostly students studying the arts at the local colleges and everyone was wearing 'expressive' clothes.

Leon sat at a table not far from the stage and close to the door which led backstage. It was a dark corner; perfect for observing without being observed yourself.

Mona came out on stage, disappointment flickered briefly across her face as she saw what a small reception she had.

The assassin shifted his eyes over to where Strife stood, resembling an over-protective big brother beside the stage.

Once the few generous claps had died away, Mona began to sing:

"First I was afraid; I was petrified."

Leon groaned quietly, instantly recognizing the song and secretly stunned that she could actually imitate the original fairly well.

He silently rose from his chair and went through the door to his right.

Creeping towards the curtains from the other side, Leon could feel his cold pistol tucked into the back of his jeans, concealed by his shirt and jacket.

He heard a click on his left, he turned to face Strife pointing a gun at him.

"What are you doing?" The blond asked the suspicious man.

"I'm such a fan; I just wanted a closer look!" Leon replied innocently, smiling at the other man.

'Ah yes, good thinking, Leon!' he praised himself mentally for his cover story.

"I thought you were sat close enough to the stage as it was..." Mr Strife didn't vary his tone.

'Erk!' Leon hadn't realized that he'd been seen. Forcing the smile to stay in place he decided to shut up and keep to his story.

Strife stepped closer, not lowering the gun.

"Are you armed?"

Leon shook his head. From behind the stage curtain they could hear as Mona's voice continued to belt out the lyrics. Cloud stepped closer still.

"I don't believe you" He stated bluntly, his head dipped a little before tilting up to face him "I'm going to need to. Check." He continued in determination.

"Go ahead." Leon disguised his panic with a placating tone.

Keeping one hand on his gun, Strife ran the other over Leon's jacket, not finding anything unusual, he checked the trousers in the same way before straightening up.

This time he lowered the gun and avoided eye contact.

"Sorry." He mumbled "I was mistaken." He admitted.

"I don't blame you for being suspicious, you have to keep your precious diva safe, right?"

Said diva was shouting "I will survive" at that time.

'Not for long,' Leon thought smugly, 'He didn't find my gun'.

Leon extended a hand,

"I'm Leon"

The bodyguard shook it.


"Well, Cloud it was nice meeting you." Leon beamed. "You might like to know; I saw a suspicious-looking character in there."

"Really?" Cloud looked a little alarmed.

"Yeah, seemed really strange! Gave her funny looks. They were wearing some weird vintage gear."

"Thanks, I'll go check it out" Cloud nodded gratefully and walked off.

Leon smiled at his retreating back.

'Idiot. Everyone in the audience looks strange and they're all frowning at her.'

He removed the gun from it's hiding place and stepped towards the curtains once more.

Concentrating on pinpointing the exact location of where the diva was, he ignored all background sound (even the rapidly approaching footsteps).

Before he knew what hit him he was pinned to the floor and his gun was sliding out of reach.

"I knew it!" Cloud said triumphantly "You are an assassin aren't you?"

"I'm THE assassin!" Leon replied arrogantly.

Leon struggled and managed to knock Cloud's gun away too.

"Damn." Cloud reached to retrieve stand Leon took this as an opportunity to free himself and kicked it further away. This time it landed behind some technical equipment.

The bodyguard scrabbled for Leon's gun but Leon grabbed it too and they struggled to wrench it from the other's grip.

"You're a good bodyguard, it's a shame I have to kill you." Leon said through gritted teeth.

"It'll be an honor to be shot by Leonhart, but maybe some other time." Cloud finally pulled the gun from him.

Leon remained on the floor, sitting up to meet the blond's gaze.

Cloud broke eye contact and tossed the gun over the curtain.

"Oh no, not I!" Mona still hadn't finished her song yet.

"My gun!" Rage welled inside Leon.

"You'd rather I had shot you?"

"No! But I love that gun!" The marksman raised his voice.

"Then go get it!" Cloud said simply.

Leon stood.

"I'll see you later" he grumbled in reply.

It took Leon an hour to recover his gun once the show had finished.

Luckily no one had picked it up.

'That idiot - now he knows what I look like, how can I approach her next time?' Leon thought darkly.

There was the gentle ambiance of chinking plates and cutlery.

Mona had already started eating her freshly served lobster and Cloud had a modest plate of salad before him.

The bodyguard took a sip of water and scanned the room - he hadn't seen Leonhart for the last few days but their confrontation had made him uneasy.

The diva hailed a waiter for a refill of champagne, the man approached and poured from the bottle.

Cloud continued to look around the room, his eyes finally returned to his table as the waiter finished filling her glass.

He didn't get a "Thank you" from Mona so Cloud nodded at him politely.

The bodyguard instantly recognized him - he had even gone to the trouble of hiding his scar with foundation.

Leon looked blankly at him, straightened up and walked away.

Cloud's eyes followed his movements before flickering to the champagne flute.

'Could it be poisoned!' Cloud thought.

He stood up quickly and tried to take Mona's glass of her. But she was having none of it.

"It's only my third glass, jeez Strife! I can handle my drink!" Her speech was slurred.

She was surprisingly strong under influence and it was a struggle to pry the glass from her chubby little hand.

Trying your best not to create a scene whilst playing tug-o-war with glassware is easier said than done.

As if trying refused to take sides in this private duel, the champagne flute leapt off the table and onto the floor.

It lay there bleeding champagne onto the plush red carpet "A plague on both your houses".

Cloud felt a little guilty, Mona huffed and summoned the waiter again.

Leon bent down with his back to Cloud and began mopping up the spillage.

Mona was complaining to Cloud but only 5% of him took it in, the remaining 95% focused on silently lifting the gun out of the back of the waiter's jeans.

'Who keeps it hidden in the same place twice?' The bodyguard thought, stowing the weapon in his pocket.

Leon left to dispose of the shards of glass and Cloud politely excused himself inspite of Mona's protests.

Cloud actually did enter the gents' but only to remove the bullets from his nemesis' gun.

As he came back through the door he noticed the lobster tank on his right.

It was a huge tank filled with water, fish and crustaceans - just a little taller than him.

The bodyguard thought that such tanks were cruel. They were cramped and the inhabitants were under constant scrutiny of passers-by. He wondered if Mona would like to be on Big Brother before Leonhart shot her.

He stopped suddenly.

Leon was standing on the same side of the tank as him, watching Mona's table - he hadn't heard the blond approach.

Cloud continued walking until he was right behind the assassin.

Unable to think of a dry, witty comment, he cleared his throat.

Leon spun around and jumped back.

"C-Cloud? What are the odds of meeting you here?"

"You got part-time job, Leon? Shooting people for Millionaires not paying well?" Cloud crossed his arms and frowned.

"Sh! Don't say that in here!" Leon looked around in alarm but no one had heard them, the tank made their conversation inaudible.

"Isn't poison a bit of a cowardly method?"

"Hm? What poison?" Leon looked genuinely bemused.

"You didn't poison Mona's champagne?"

"No…that's quite a good idea though…" Leon laughed but when he saw Cloud's worried face he sobered up, "Relax, It's not my style.".

"I always shoot them, don't I?" He continued, putting his hand behind his back to get his pistol.

He couldn't find it. "Give it back."

Cloud shook his head.

Leon looked vexed.

"I don't see why you protect that woman anyway! She's rude to you, ungrateful and she can't even sing."

Cloud shifted his position a little, the guy did have a point.

"It's just my job."

"Do you have a crush on her or something?"

"No!" Objected the bodyguard.

"Don't worry I won't tell anyone." Leon grinned slyly.

Cloud frowned; he didn't like being teased.

He turned to face the lobster tank and threw Leon's pistol up and into it.

The assassin and the bodyguard watched it sink slowly to the bottom.

Leon cursed and rushed at Cloud, clenching his collars and pressing his back to the glass.

Cloud looked back apathetically which made the assassin feel slightly ashamed. Sighing, he released his grip.

"Can't you find a safer way to disarm me?" Leon managed through clenched teeth.

"Relax, Lobsters can't fire guns."

Leon smiled a little despite himself.

"I really should bring more than one gun..." Leon mumbled, rubbing the back of his neck.

Cloud handed him back a handful of bullets and picked up a net with a long pole that was propped conveniently nearby.

"Give us a head-start?" He asked, handing the assassin the net too.

Leon smiled slightly and nodded,

"See you later." He began peering in the tank to locate his weapon.

Over the next few days Cloud felt like he was being watched - well, he knew he was being watched.

He had heard that Leonhart wasn't the type to give up and also there was a rumour that he rarely spent longer than a day for each mission.

Part of him wanted to see the assassin whenever he looked over his shoulder - the man livened things up a bit.

He had spent the day following Mona around, choosing fluffy additions to her wardrobe and ignoring anything in good taste.

Cloud thought she'd taken a wrong turn when he found himself in a large bookstore - the diva wasn't the most literate of people.

Mona hurried over to a friend who she'd seen through the window, the fellow diva looked just as lost and dazed by the amount of fiction as Mona did.

Cloud sighed as they launched into a loud conversation; he knew no matter how fast that they gossiped they could be there all afternoon.

He headed for the "new releases" section and looked at the titles.

'"Supreme"?' he thought, lifting the book off the shelf 'Sounds cheesy.'.

Within a few minutes he was engrossed with the book; the plot was so compelling that he forgot where he was standing.

His concentration was broken when he heard tutting behind him, he looked over his shoulder and saw Leon.

The assassin was holding a book in his hand, wearing a plain white T-shirt and leather pants.

"I can't believe you let your guard down; I actually managed to sneak up on you this time!" Leon seemed pleased.

Cloud's heartbeat slowed down a little, he looked over to where he'd left Mona.

She was fine - it didn't look like she'd come up for air yet and fans kept approaching them for photos.

"I'm sorry!" Cloud blurted.

Leon looked blank "Why are you sorry? We're on different sides, remember?"

"Oh yeah..." Cloud's mind was still groggy from being yanked back to reality, "Why didn't you shoot her just now?"

"Ah. I called it a day when I lost you two in NEXT, I just happened to come in here too."

"I thought crime never sleeps..." Cloud mumbled.

Leon looked a little annoyed.

"It's not illegal" He huffed.

Cloud looked amused.

"Did you get your gun back?"

Leon nodded and produced it from his trouser pocket.

"It looks cleaner than before." Cloud said, smiling.

"What do you mean 'cleaner'? I polish this every day! It's always this shiny."

"You need a life." Cloud said in an amused tone.

"Yeah, but that's too much hassle - maybe I'll just guard someone else's..." Leon countered, innocently.

They made cold eye contact for a few seconds.

"So what're you reading?" Leon asked, blinking and stepping closer.

"Uh...Nothing, just browsing."

"What's that in your hand?"

"A book."

"Can I see?"

Cloud shook his head.

Leon sighed "I'd better get back to work..", placing the book that was in his hand onto a small table beside him then cocking his gun as he spoke.

The bodyguard looked over to Mona "You said you'd called it a day!".

"Apparently crime never sleeps." He started to aim.

"Please! Don't!"

Leon lowered the gun. "That's not always going to work...".

The blond breathed a sigh of relief and Leon took the opportunity to lift the book from his hand.

"Heh. You don't seem to be the type to be into romance novels."

"I'm not." Cloud snapped.

"You seemed to be pretty into it! You don't need to be embarrassed - I also like this author, see?" he indicated the book he was holding when they met.

Cloud picked it up and read the blurb; he didn't like to admit it but the book sounded good.

"I'm going to buy it, you can borrow it sometime." Leon said after watching the other's face closely.

He still didn't let go of the book Cloud had been reading.

"Did you like this?"

Cloud nodded shyly.

"Right. I'll buy it for you." Leon began to walk towards a counter.

"I can buy my own books!" Cloud protested.

"I know you can but I'll buy you this one." The assassin proceeded to do so.

He handed the blond the bag with his book in.

"Let me know if you enjoy it, Cloud. I'd better get going."

He looked a little awkward.

"Okay, thanks Leon." Cloud replied.

Leon's cheeks turned a little red.

"We're almost acting like friends."

"Yeah..." Cloud agreed sadly.

"If our careers weren't so opposing we could be." The assassin looked genuinely disappointed.

"Mr Strife!" Mona bustled up to them.

He turned to her.

"What did you wander off for? I could have been shot!" She was fuming.

He blinked at her dumbly.

"I'll see you later." Leon murmured into his ear and left the shop.

"Who was that man? Is he your boyfriend?" She craned her neck to look around for Leon.

Cloud smiled briefly at the thought, but wore a serious expression when she looked him in the eye.

"We had better get going, Mona." he advised.

Leonhart's client sounded pissed off; "I'm beginning to lose my patience."

"I'm very sorry, sir. Problems keep cropping up." The assassin was trying to be vague and it was easy to make excuses over the phone.

"I think you're incompetent.".

If you intend to insult Leonhart and survive, don't criticize his skill.

"Well I think you're a lazy b******, I quit." Leon mentally added this man to his blacklist.

"Fine. I can find other hit men. Don't expect a paycheck."

The client hung up.

Once Leon calmed down a little he recalled the man's final comments,

'He's going to get other assassins?'he panicked at the thought.

Leonhart was famed for his discretion, his kills were always quick and clean.

Other assassins would fire their guns at anyone standing between them and their target; civilians, children, other gunmen, bodyguards.

Leon cursed aloud and went to get his coat.

The hotel room's door opened a few seconds after he knocked.

"Leon?" Cloud was surprised to see the assassin hadn't adopted another disguise.

'Not that he doesn't great in casual clothes' he thought taking in his appearance.

"Hey, Cloud...can I come in?"

"If you want, but Mona has her own room though." he nodded to the door behind Leon.

"Firstly, what kind of bodyguard tells the assassin that? Secondly, I'm not here for Mona," He replied impatiently. "I'm here for you."'

They blushed as the words hung heavily in the air like an awkward confession of love.

"I didn't mean for that to sound like a romantic movie cliché - I'm not here for you in that sense!" Leon said quickly.

Cloud looked disappointed.

"Don't look at me like that, Cloud." He said quietly.

"Look at you like what, exactly?" Cloud crossed his arms and scowled.

Leon shrugged "You looked really depressed when I corrected myself just now…"

"No I didn't. You're so arrogant, Leonhart! Not everyone is madly in love with you - myself included." Cloud didn't know that shouting a lie loudly doesn't make it a truth.

"Not even a little bit?" Leon teased.

Cloud wasn't expecting that bold reply and chuckled before he could stop himself.

"Oh, so maybe you do love me, just a very small amount?" Leon asked hopefully.

"Even less than that." Cloud joked.

"Well I suppose it's a start." Leon leaned closer so that his forehead touched Cloud's.

"It's better than nothing, right?" The blond asked as he wrapped his arms around Leon's torso.

"I'm grateful that you love me even a tiny bit." Leon smiled at him.

They kissed.

The next morning warm sunlight flooded into the room.

'We forgot to draw the curtains." Leon thought, sleepily.

"I hope no-one saw us" He mumbled.

"We're ten floors up" The blond sat in bed next to him told him as he yawned and shuffled closer "It's fine."

Despite Leon's contentment he had a nagging feeling in the back of his mind.

'Why did I come here last night?...' he thought to himself.

There came a knock at the door;

"Mr Strife? Are you up?"

Cloud and Leon recognised Mona's voice and exchanged panicked looks.

Wisely, they fell silent.

Cloud watched the door whilst Leon remembered his purpose for visiting and began loading his pistol.

"What're you doing?" Cloud asked, looking hurt.

"Just let me do this." Leon hissed pointing it at the door.

"No!" Cloud pushed down on the barrel.

"Strife? I'm coming in!" Mona hollered from outside.

Cloud looked up from their struggle;

"No! Don't come in!"

"Give me one good reason!" She yelled back angrily, but she didn't wait for an explanation. He used his other hand too, and forced the gun down under the covers as Mona burst into the room in all her fluffy glory.

She stopped suddenly as her eyes were met with an awkward scene.

Her bodyguard was (at least) half naked and in bed with another man. Their hands were under the duvet over the brunet's crotch and there was a suspicious bulge.

For once the diva was lost for words - her mouth moved a little but she bit her lip.

She finally managed "Uh...I'll come back in a bit."

Then she bustled out of the room in the same fashion she entered.

Cloud let go of the gun and frowned at Leon.

"You slept with me to get to her." Cloud wasn't asking a question, he said it as more of a statement.

"No! I didn't!" Leon protested but Cloud was already pulling on a T-shirt.

Fully dressed, he headed towards the door.

"I hate you, Leonhart."

Leon brought a hand up to his head as the door slammed shut.

How did everything in his life go from perfect to defective in under a minute?

As promised, Mona returned ten minutes later just as Leon finished getting dressed. She stood in the doorway as he sat on the bed buttoning up his shirt.

"Where's he gone now?" She asked.

Leon was unsure if she was addressing him or herself, he shrugged for safe measure. He didn't want to start a conversation with this dislikable woman.

"Hey, you're Cloud's boyfriend, right?"

Too late.

He lifted his head up to face her in response.

"Aren't you that waiter too?"

He didn't reply, but mentally noted that he needed better disguises.

"Do you know when he'll be back?"

She continued her one-sided conversation.

"Hey, want to earn some money?"

Not particularly, his skill made him a millionaire.

"My bodyguard's disappeared so I need someone who can fire a gun, it'll probably just be for tonight."

She was talking like he'd agreed to it, he became more and more vexed with every word she spat from her mouth. Now, she took out a cheque book and pen. Mona scribbled down a sum, ripped it out crisply and held it out to Leon.

There were a lot of zeros - he'd already wasted enough time trying to kill her, he decided that he may as well make some profit from being around this grating woman.

That is how he ended up sharing a limo with Mona.

They were heading to a fairly modest venue, not dissimilar to the café he'd met Cloud in.

Leon was in a foul mood; he was worried about the bodyguard and his thoughts kept getting interrupted by the diva. The only reason he hadn't shot her was the feeling of guilt that pooled inside him whenever he reached for his gun; if he killed her now Cloud's hard work would've been wasted.

"I can't believe he has a lover! I thought he had no social life whatsoever! You know how he's always following me around? Do you get jealous? No need to be - He's not my type!" Mona babbled.

"What? Sweet, brave, caring and handsome isn't your type?" Leon remarked bitterly.

She finally shut up but frequently glared at him for the rest of the journey.

Leon 1-0 Mona.

As they entered the building, Leon noticed at least three assassins trying to fit in.

"Mona, This place seems a little risky." He murmured, glancing around and spotting another three gunmen.

"You sound just like - Mr Strife!"

Leon wondered why she shouted his name, looking straight ahead he saw Cloud.

He approached them;

"I don't think you should perform here." He said bluntly, blatantly ignoring Leon.

He too had noticed the marksmen in the audience.

"Nonsense! I'd better get on stage." She headed for the stage.

"Come to enjoy the show?" Cloud muttered, finally registering Leon's presence.

"Should be interesting." Leon replied simply.

Mona stepped up to the stage;

"When I was young I never needed anyone"

Leon openly winced as she murdered "All By Myself", Cloud struggled to conceal his amusement - he still didn't trust Leon. They were stood either side of the stage, scanning the audience.

The assassins had yet to make a move, Cloud couldn't work out what they (and Leon) were waiting for.

'Maybe I was wrong?' The thought still lingered in his mind when a dozen sprinklers went off across the ceiling. The fire safety devices had been set off by one of the suspected assassin's cigarette. Due to the dampness of the room, the crowd cleared out, leaving only Cloud, Leon, a very soggy Mona and half a dozen hit men.

Guns were simultaneously unholstered.

Leon and Cloud stood on stage now, back - to - back with Mona between them.

The water continued to drizzle generously from above.

Looking over his shoulder, Cloud noticed Leon.

'What's he doing?'

A gunshot rang out.

One of the amateur assassins had shot and missed.

Leon took him out straight away.

This triggered an onslaught of bullets from all angles.

The bangs filled the air, mingling with Mona's distressed cries.

Cloud and Leon fired and hit two more of the pathetic marksmen.

The blond noticed one of the men aiming at Leon and shot him in the chest.

Leon turned to Cloud,

"You're meant to be protecting her!" He called over the continued gunfire.

"You're meant to kill her!" Cloud shouted back, shooting another man down.

"6 o' clock!" Cloud called to Leon, who spun 180 degrees to shoot the remaining assassin.

Neither man saw one assassin rise to his feet, he had been only shot in the arm - it wasn't fatal.

He shot Cloud in the back.

Leon rushed forward to catch him.

"Cloud!" he cried, close to tears.

The bodyguard struggled to remain conscious.

"Crap" Cloud winced "I can't think of anything witty and dramatic to say...".

His breathing hitched and he lost consciousness.

There were another two gunshots and Leon's arm was hit, the other bullet pierced Mona's leg.

Leon's arm was causing him agony and he was losing a lot of blood but he didn't care.

Distantly he heard Mona sobbing, he raised his good arm and shot the remaining assassin through the head.

His breathing slowed and his vision swam - the last thing he remembered was a heavy weight on his back.

Cloud opened his eyes to find himself in a clean white room.

'Oh, a hospital, how cliché.' the cheesy scenario made him embarrassed.

There was a man in a white coat standing beside the bed with a clipboard, Cloud was disappointed to find it wasn't Leon incognito.

'Leon...where is he?' a horrifying thought surfaced in Cloud's head 'He's not dead is he?'

He sat up suddenly, startling the doctor.

"Ah. You're alright, Mr Strife! I knew you'd pull through." The doctor beamed.

"Thanks." Cloud replied distractedly, "What about the people that came in with me?"

"Ah, your girlfriend will be fine - don't worry"

"I...don't have a girlfriend." Cloud replied blankly

"Oh! Sorry, is she your sister?" The doctor indicated the diva in the doorway on crutches.

Cloud shook his head.

"Well could you talk to her anyway please? She's annoying the nurses..." The doctor muttered to Cloud, smiling welcomingly at Mona.

Cloud nodded.

"Great, call if you need anything!" The doctor hurried out of the room.

Mona approached the hospital bed.

"Where's Leon?" Cloud asked, visibly annoying Mona.

"Good morning to you too!" She huffed.

"Aren't you going to apologize for getting blood on my dress?"

The bodyguard looked her over, she had a cast around her leg and sure enough, her white dress had turned a revolting brown colour by crisp, dried blood stains. Some was her own blood but it was mostly Cloud's splattered generously across the bust.


"It's alright - I suppose you and Leon did save my life." She sighed and looked out the window.

"Is Leon okay?" Cloud asked desperately, again.

"As alright as I can be after she landed on me" Leon entered with his arm in a sling.

"Did you just call me fat?" Mona retorted.

"Nah, I said you were heavy." Leon corrected her.

"That's just as bad!" Mona looked furious.

"All I'm saying is you fell on me with enough force to render me unconscious." Leon continued "Manatee." he added quietly.

"How dare you!" Mona whined.

"Cloud, can I shoot her now?" Leon pleaded, walking to the bedside "I'm so glad you're okay."

He leaned in and kissed him.

Mona noticed that they were ignoring her tantrum and looked out the window huffily.

Leon finished the kiss.

"Does that mean you forgive me?" He asked anxiously.

Cloud smiled and nodded.

Leon looked a little sad,

"It was…interesting being a bodyguard for a while but I prefer my own job."

"I understand. I'm not going to quit being a bodyguard either." Cloud sighed.

Leon nodded, "We'll just have to start being more selective over clients."

"My job won't be as fun without you around." Cloud confessed.

"Mine won't be either - we'll have plenty of fun when we're not working though" He winked.

Mona turned pink and cleared her throat.

They ignored her.

"I will survive" Drifted into the ward, it was playing on hospital radio.

Mona laughed "Ironic, isn't it?"

"I hate this song." Leon complained.

"Yeah, me too." Cloud smiled at the assassin.

"You two had better be joking." Mona snapped.