A/N: Written for a friend who requested all of these elements, although possibly not in this order. Also, Leon and all of the FFVII characters in KH (with the possible exceptions of Zack and Tifa) are supposed to be from Radiant Garden, so that's the way they're written here. (i.e without FFVII backgrounds)
"No. Just... no."
Leon paused mid-sentence at Cloud's quiet yet vehement denial. The other man was flat on his back, head and shoulders underneath a metal contraption he claimed was – or would be – a motorcycle. Both hands covered in grease, one holding a wrench of some sort, Cloud resumed dismantling the ill-used machine, seemingly taking Leon's sudden silence as acknowledgment.
"Why not? This could really help augment the restoration fund."
Pausing, Cloud shifted just enough to raise up on his elbows and pin Leon with his too-bright stare. "Trust me. I've known Aerith for far longer than you. She is the sweetest, kindest, gentlest, most deviously evil person in the known universe." Placing one hand on the bike's frame he slid underneath again, bending his knees to brace himself as he tackled a particularly stubborn nut. "I don't want any part of her scheme," he gave a slight grunt as he forced the nut to turn despite the amount of grime and rust accumulated around it, "and neither should you."
Frowning, Leon dropped into a squat to better see Cloud's face. "I don't get it. Sephiroth you go looking for, but Aerith scares you?"
"It depends," came the bland reply. "In general? No. In specific cases... yes." The words were punctuated by the scrape of metal on metal as Cloud continued to work.
Smiling a bit now – Aerith could be somewhat impossible with her endless cheer and guileless manner, but Yuffie was by far the more dangerous of the two to his way of thinking – Leon reached out to smack Cloud's knee with the back of his hand. "You have to be kidding me. Even if this is Aerith's idea, what could possibly be the downside? At worst, nobody shows; at best, we make enough to continue the restoration work."
Cloud sighed, and let his hands drop to rest on his stomach. "Does she want something we normally wouldn't do?" he asked.
"Well... yes," Leon admitted, "but since it's for a good cause–"
"Of course it is," Cloud interrupted, "and her reasons always make sense at the time. It's only later, when it's too late to back out, that you realize she's talked you into something that's going to destroy your masculinity and self-image."
"What?" Leon exclaimed, stunned at the disgruntled yet factual way Cloud said it – as if it weren't mere conjecture, but actual experience talking. Then he realized that it was, and burst out laughing.
"Cross-dressing when we were twelve," Cloud ground out in explanation, body rigid with remembered embarrassment and indignation. "Something about rescuing Tifa from a dress fitting. I don't even remember all the details, but Aerith convinced me it was the only way to sneak into the shop." Lifting his head slightly, he glared at the still-laughing Leon through the shell of the would-be motorcycle, and then rolled his eyes. "Yes, I was an idiot. I was twelve. What's your excuse?"
"Just because Aerith tricked you when you were kids doesn't mean she's up to anything now."
"Aerith," Cloud assured him, thumbs beginning to tap a slow, thoughtful rhythm as he stared at the ceiling, "is always up to something. Nine times out of ten, it's something for your own good. It's the one time it's not that you have to worry." Ignoring Leon's continued chuckling, Cloud tried to figure out why his gut was insisting that this scheme of Aerith's would inevitably prove to be a Bad Idea. "How many people live in Radiant Garden?"
"I don't know exactly," Leon replied, "it's mostly just the restoration committee and shop keepers at present. Maybe a couple hundred?"
"Hmmm... and how many of those are women?"
"Not many," Leon answered, suddenly wary. Cloud's tone held an element of discovery and no small amount of amusement. "Why?"
And the moment after he said it, he got it.
"I can't believe her!"
Sitting up, Cloud laughed openly. "What, that she'd con you into a bachelor's auction with only a bunch of men as the prospective bidders?"
Standing, Leon frowned down at him, adopting his typical serious-and-brooding posture. "She might have been planning to bid on me herself," he suggested, more than a little desperately. Please, oh please, let that be her plan.
"Uh-huh," Cloud agreed, reaching for a rag to wipe the grime off his hands, "that's why she sent you over here to recruit me."
"Well... that's because... Tifa...?" Leon was grasping at straws, and they both knew it.
"Right." Cloud shook his head, voice flat. "And if Tifa and Aerith could fund the restoration effort on their own, they would need to host a bachelor's auction... why?"
Leon sighed. "Because Aerith is the sweetest, kindest, gentlest, most deviously evil person in the known universe," he replied, palm to his face in resignation.
"Exactly." Tossing the rag aside, Cloud reached for a bottle of water. "So you can tell her to count me out," he said with finality, twisting the top off and taking a long swig. "And you might want to warn Sora and Riku to say no, too."