A/N: What is this? A songfic? Okay, well, in my defense I didn't mean for it to be. But "Wonderful Christmas Time" by Paul McCartney was stuck in my head the entire time I was writing this and after a while the lyrics kinda started to go along with the story, so I just went with it.

Merry (early)Christmas Botbot ^_^ They ran out of mahi-mahi at the store, and someone screwed up at the pet shop so our giant pelican accidentally got shipped to Antarctica. I hope this makes up for it.


Typical

"THE MOOD IS RIGHT, THE SPIRIT'S UP,

WE'RE HERE TONIGHT AND THAT'S ENOUGH.

SIMPLY HAVING A WONDERFUL CHRISTMASTIME,

SIMPLY HAVING A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS TIME."

Leon came back from the restroom, scowling as if he'd rather fight a thousand heartless alone than be at the party. Cloud couldn't blame him, he himself despising being forced to attend such social events. It was Christmas Eve again, and with this time of year came the Hollow Bastion Christmas Party that took place in the castle's ballroom –the only room fully renovated. And -as every other year- both warriors were guilted into attending 'for just a little while, and then you both can slink back to the house.'

Leon watched the crowd of socializing townspeople and idly picked up his glass of eggnog, beginning to down it like water. The lion looked at it after a moment, as if amazed by something, "This is surprisingly good."

"Well I would assume so." Cloud muttered under his breath. While Leon had been away Cid took the liberty of making sure that a good half of the drink was a mixture of rum and brandy, 'to loosen 'im up a bit' the mechanic had snickered. Cloud felt a shadow of dread creep up as he warily watched Leon finish the drink, his eyes a little less clear than normal.

"THE PARTY'S ON, THE FEELING'S HERE,

THAT ONLY COMES THIS TIME OF YEAR.

SIMPLY HAVING A WONDERFUL CHRISTMASTIME,

SIMPLY HAVING A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS TIME."

Cid ambled over in time to refill Leon's drink when he wasn't looking, snickering and sending Yuffie a thumbs-up. If those two were working together then the evening could only get worse; and get worse it certainly did.

Leon hadn't questioned why his drink was magically full, but simply began to consume it sans restraint. The large clock outside the grand double doors chimed eleven –the allotted time when they could officially split- but Cloud couldn't leave, not now that he had someone to babysit.

Leon had somehow acquired a third drink that was much less eggnog than before and was looking at him haughtily. "You know," he started, rocking slightly on his heels, "you reacted quite badly the other day."

"Excuse me?"

The glass was thrown back and emptied, then haphazardly placed on a nearby table, "The other day when you took me by surprise under the mistletoe. You were obscenely awkward when you overreacted at my surprise, blushing like a girl and trying to pretend like it never happened. And in front of the girls and Cid no doubt."

And Cloud stared a little harder than before, because honestly, that was the most hypocritical thing he's heard since he was drunk at the last Christmas party and told Leon that he should smile more. Maybe Mr. Brandy and Mr. Rum were having a love affair in his bloodstream and conveniently let Leon forget that he acted just as gracelessly, looking at him afterwards like he was unsettled and a little disgusted.

Leon continued to look at him as if he believed every ridiculous word falling from his mouth, his eyes out-of-focus and his cheeks flushed with the alcohol. It was almost cute, like dealing with a sleepy child, but not cute enough to cut him any slack. Cloud didn't say anything, just watched him with his normal blank expression and counted the seconds until Leon would allow him to drag his drunk ass back to Merlin's house and away from all the opportunities to make them both look like fools.

"But that's understandable I guess, my looks can be quite intimidating." Leon said after too many minutes for the conversation to even be current. And then he turned to look at him in a way that frightened the blond; but less for his physical condition and more for his self-image and masculinity, as townspeople started to give the pair more space, politely averting confused gazes. Across the room Cid and Yuffie ate it up like a soap opera.

"Leonhart…" Cloud started warningly, but Leon ignored him and looked as if he'd sobered up a bit.

"We're allowed to go back now, right?"

Cloud relaxed a little and nodded, but then let out an unmanly noise of surprise when Leon proved himself to be very unsober as he grabbed Cloud by the front of his sweater and yanked him forward into a kiss.

In front of everyone.

Cloud couldn't remember a time when he'd been so traumatized and embarrassed. The kiss was sloppy and clearly one-sided, and after a painfully awkward moment Leon pulled back just enough to mumble against his lips, "Good, because I can think of a dozen more fun things we could do instead of be at this party."

Cloud fought the urge to groan: this is why he hated Christmas.

"THE WORD IS OUT, ABOUT THE TOWN,

TO LIFT A GLASS,

AHHH DON'T LOOK DOWN.

SIMPLY HAVING A WONDERFUL CHRISTMASTIME,

SIMPLY HAVING A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS TIME."

Retribution

Leon woke groggily, his head pounding with a vengeance and his mouth dry, lips chapped and cracking. His whole body ached, some places more than others, and his stomach protested even the thought of moving. But most mystifying was the fact that his memories of the previous day were fuzzy, dancing just out his reach.

And Dear Hyne…this wasn't his room.

He drug himself out of the bed with a groan and yanked on some of his clothes from the floor, half shielding his eyes from the sharp light as he made his way downstairs to the kitchen. It smelled of freshly baked sugar cookies and bacon, the coffee pot already empty, and Cloud was the only one present. Seeing the blond stirred his memory and gave him the feeling that there was something terribly important he was missing.

"Aerith made the cookies," Cloud supplied softly, having misinterpreted Leon's expression of deep speculation. After a few moments of awkward silence Cloud held out one shaped like a bell, "Would you like one?"

Leon studied it in his exhausted state and nodded, reaching for the cookie. But Cloud pulled it away and began to eat it himself, getting up from the table to start the morning patrols, "Well you can't have one, not after last night."

He watched Cloud walk out the back door with great puzzlement, absentmindedly sinking into a chair. It was with the sudden sight of a familiar carton sticking out of the trashcan that retrieved the suppressed memories, and Leon couldn't help but groan, letting his forehead collide painfully with the tabletop. He gave it a few more smacks for good measure.

"Merry Christmas!" Yuffie chirped loudly from behind him, her tone conveying that she would be having much fun with his condition. He only glared at her from between his hands and she cackled, stomping across the kitchen in an exaggerated effort to be loud as she helpfully started more coffee for him, "Oh, I guess you remember last night then. You two sure are the talk of the town this bright and cheery Christmas morning."


-holds mistletoe up with my rapeface-