The Feel Good Drag

Hollow Bastion will never be restored to its former glory. The once majestic towers lay in ruins, and the ones still standing are covered in battle grime and filled with nothing but dust and debris and cobwebs. Almost nowhere within the castle is free of Heartless, and it is a nigh impossible feat to go anywhere outside the castle without seeing one. Take a step, block a Defender. Take another step, kill a Shadow. Rinse and repeat, and never sheathe your weapon or you will die.

But Leon still tries. It is for this world that he left to help other worlds in the first place, and it was for those memories that he came back. He makes trips more frequently than ever, now, forever bringing in more and more supplies to help the residents of Hollow Bastion with rebuilding. It is common for the town to eat meals altogether, for safety and simply because there are so often people who cannot feed themselves. Community spirit is high, even if morale is low.

Yuffie loves her excursions to Traverse Town and other worlds where they have allies, and comes back with a load of new stories as well as some luxuries Leon won't waste his time on. Aerith is more sensible, returning with supplies nobody else even knew were needed until they had them, and more often than not with a special treat. It's largely thanks to them that the townsfolk haven't just up and cleared out already, really.

But one day Cid opts to go on the trip. He usually organises his own times, because he can't stand to not fly whenever the need takes him, so when he offers Leon is taken aback but accepts anyway; he's always got more work to do.

Cid walks into the Library two days later with a young man in tow. It's not his comment - "Look what the bloody cat dragged in!" - or Yuffie's excited yell makes Leon look up from the obscene amount of paperwork he's been immersed in since before Cid left, but the soft gasp and the sheaf of papers slipping to the ground and across the floor as Aerith takes in the scene before her.

Despite covering his face with a red scarf, the man needs no introduction. And even though Yuffie is still yelling and Aerith has taken several steps forward to wrap her arms around the man and Cid's turned away, muttering about the stupid sweet scene, and Leon hasn't said a single word, hasn't even removed his glasses which only help with his hours spent on paperwork instead of with seeing long-lost friends at a distance of several metres, he doesn't really need to. The look in those blue eyes say more than either could actually voice, useless with emotions and words as they are.

Title is courtesy of a band so amazing I don't even know how to finish this sentence. A friend on tumblr - I'm scarecrowbelle - asked for it so I wrote it, although this is kind of gen!fic. Ahh well.

Tally Ko.