These Lines of Lightning

By Rhino7

Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts, its characters or storyline. This collection is mine, as is Duke. The title is based on a line from Accidentally in Love by Counting Crows, which I have no affiliation with.

I hath returned! And I come bearing goodies! So after this semester nearly killed my muse, the holiday spirit of late has been reviving it. That and kikofreako's collection of drabbles titled Espy. Read it! It's awesome. I don't have near the gumption to resume my full stories, and any dramatic little ficlets I'm working on are coming off as silly. So…I decided to restart my collection of ditties.

This new series will act as a sequel to Good Enough of Me, picking up where that one ended. It will be taking a more romantic turn for Leon and Tifa. I plan on using this collection to begin laying foundation for the full length story I'm writing for them. Enjoy!


101 – The Next Day

The apartment was quiet. It had been quiet for several hours now. Three o'clock in the morning cast a moonlit shadow through the windows. The light filtered in through the blinds and danced over the wooden floor.

Simple furniture filled the living room: a recliner, a table with three mismatching chairs, a coffee table, and an ugly couch. Files and notebooks and stacks of paper were splashed on every flat surface.

For the longest time, only the sounds of the clock ticking and two pairs of lungs breathing kept the place from real silence. The red gold retriever lifted her head from her curled position on the bed. Ears perked, the dog stared at the door, as though waiting for something to happen.

Well, something had already happened, all right, but it wasn't a matter for a dog to consider important. All Duke was aware of was that her master was not happy, and if he was not happy, then how could she be? After trying and failing several times to cheer him up, licking his face and pushing her nose against his hands, she had retreated to the woman's room. The woman wasn't her master, but she was around enough that the dog saw no threat in her.

Until now perhaps.

Sniffing at the air, Duke uncurled her spine and unfolded her paws, straightening up on the bed. Stretching languidly with her forepaws out, rear end in the air, she yawned. Once all stretched out, she hopped to the floor and left the bedroom.

Her claws clicked on the wooden floor as she padded out into the small living room. Master's room was just through that door, but now wasn't—

Ears went higher as the dog sniffed the air. Master and the woman were both in there. That had never happened before. Keening, she ducked her head and snuck into the room. One step, two steps, and then a bound, and she was on the bed too.

The two were sleeping on their sides, backs turned to each other. The woman wasn't wearing that thing she normally had over her eye. She smelled relaxed though. Sniffing at her shoulder with mild interest, the dog turned her attention to Master. He was more deeply asleep than the woman, but not quite as relaxed.

Making a low noise in her throat, Duke touched her wet nose against his neck. When there was no response, she licked his jaw and made another keening noise. Nothing.

With a snort, she gave up. She trotted to her spot at the end of the bed. Turning in a circle and a half, she lay down in the space between the two humans' legs. She rested her head on her curled paws and watched her master's shoulder rise and fall with steady breathing.

Why was the woman in here?

As the dog began to drift back to sleep, a slight noise tapped against the window in the room. Her head went back up. Her ears perked back up. Her eyes glued themselves to the window, where a bird had hit the glass. She watched as the bird landed on the sill, disoriented and bumping into the glass.

Duke barked, springing to her feet. She barked again, the noise filling the bedroom. The woman jerked and rolled onto her back.

"Duuuke…Shut up."

The dog keened, ears flattening briefly before rising again at the bird, which had been dazed by the hit and kept banging against the window. She started barking again. The woman sat up on one elbow, glaring at Master in a way that Duke didn't appreciate. She reached out and nudged him.

"Make your dog shut up."

He groaned, shifting. "Duke, shut up."

Duke barked again at the dog.


"She's still barking."

"I told her to shut up. Not my fault she's disobedient."



Duke continued to bark. The bird fell off the sill…or flew away…the dog couldn't tell. She only knew the bird was gone, disappeared. She stopped barking.

"There…happy?" He mumbled.

Duke looked at him, tail swishing, and plodded up the bed, licking at his arm again.

"Ah, ah, Duke, no." He scolded.

Keening again, she gave a little huff and lay back down on the mattress.

"It's nearly four." The woman said. "The meeting is at six."

Master groaned, "We should get up."

A pause.

"You first."

Neither moved.

Happy to be back where everybody else was, Duke got comfortable and went back to sleep.

The apartment fell quiet again.

Until another bird hit the window.


A/N: I'll be taking prompts for this one. So please let me know what you'd like to see! They can stay with the Alliance-verse I've set up, or they can be straight canon. Please keep it to two per review, and just to warn you, there will be no slobbery, gushy, make out scenes. A turn for the romantic does not imply a swan dive. I'm ready to get this ball rolling.

Happy Holidays!