A Weather Lion
Leon often imagined things that have never happened. It was pieces of memories, broken vision of a place that he never visited and spending time with people he never knew. Among all the people whose name he never knew, there was Cloud, as aloof as ever, drifting aimlessly among them. The stranger thing was the fact that he was seventeen there while Cloud remain twenty-one, a proof of how impossible his vision was.
He would have called himself crazy and appointed a meeting with the local psychologist, but then Cloud admitted that it happened to him too. He remembers things that never happened and let it guide him. Those memories, if they could be called that, were the main reason he was hunting Sephiroth in the first place. He somehow thought that the long-haired swordsman had the answer he seeks, the truth of what those stray memories were. It compelled him to fight with the silver-haired man, because "That was the purpose of that war. For me, it was to finally defeat him. Something will happen then." He said with a determination Leon hadn't seen on him since Radiant Garden's fall.
Apparently, Cloud was crazier than Leon. The boy who had abandoned his own name out of guilt was not somebody who chase after an illusion, no, he kept his ground on cold, hard reality. Somebody had to, because the worlds won't be kind to anybody. Reality was not something you could run and hide from. The truth would always be cruel and somebody needed to be the anchor to everybody else's drifting psyche.
But even Leon has his days. They were far fewer than Cloud's whose life has been completely taken over by the stray memories, but sometimes he liked to entertain the idea of those memories being the truth. In those memories, he was involved in a war. He hadn't remembered the reason for the war, or who they were fighting, but he did remember that none of them knows each other before they were recruited into the war. Some part of him, the one he buried deep inside, like to whisper that it was because they all come from different world.
How he knew, he did not know.
The war went for a very long time but at the same time it was also ended very quickly. He remembered introducing himself for more than ten times to the same person, and that person commenting the same thing as he always did, but the situation was never the same. The amount of people in his side was frequently decreasing, many people lost in the process of re-starting the unending war, and yet, nobody realized it. None of them knew those fallen people and it was like they never existed in the first place.
Their leader, or perhaps it was the one who summoned them, told them that the war would never stopped unless they managed to defeat the enemy. They did manage to defeat the rewinding cycle after so many failed attempts, though he could never remembered anything else after that. He knows, however, that they were supposed to be sent home.
Something went wrong, his sleeping mind would tell him, and he will then wakes up from his imaginary dream.
Another day started. He has no time to thing about fake memories his mind makes up in it's free time. He has many responsibilities and a mountain of work to attend to. Even if his work did not occupy his time, Yuffie usually did with her pranks and loudness, so he really didn't have any time to do anything else. Peace, something he desperately needed to be able to think clearly, was something he never have anymore.
"Hey." Leon turned to the blond swordsman. He was waving his hand slightly, as if to awkwardly attempt a greeting, and stopped to sit beside the gunblader. The orange glow of sunset illuminates them both as they waited for each other to start a conversation. That was one of their problems, or so Yuffie told them, the reluctance to speak.
Even after the orange tinted sky was turning black, both man just sit there and waited. The place was peaceful and hidden, so there was no chance of Yuffie ruining their precious peace. Of course, the possibility of the ninja girl finding their few rare hiding place was not low, but it was a thought for latter. The fear would ruin their rare moment of harmony.
Finally, after all the stars have taken their place in the blanket of night, did Cloud started to talk.
"I think I gave up hunting Sephiroth." He told the brunet, voice barely heard over the howls of night wind. Radiant Garden's nights, especially in this place, was especially windy. It was a miracle that he heard Cloud's ridiculously small voice at all, though he was suspicious that the younger man did that on purpose.
"Why?" he grunted. A part of him wanted to taunt Cloud, maybe makes a few remarks. That's what you get for chasing after an illusion, his mouth moved to speak, but he restrained himself. What the chocobo-head did was not his concern, though Aerith liked to argue otherwise.
The blond man shrugged, sky-blue eyes casted far into the horizon. Leon allowed him a few moments to think about his answer. Hopefully, it was because he finally realized those horrifyingly disgusting look of obsession and other thing Leon vehemently disallowed his brain to process that Sephiroth has been sending his way. Even Aerith has commented about it, and she was by far the most polite of them all. Cid responded by cursing, Yuffie by doing…things he rather forgotten, and Tifa's main reason for chasing after Cloud who was hunting Sephiroth was to protect him.
Poor girl, pining after a clueless guy lusted by that kind of fiend. At least Cloud's ignorance proved that he's not in that kind of relationship with Masamune's wielder. Yuffie and Aerith giggled at the notion, though everyone else would rather eat their brain inside-out for even suggesting the idea.
"I guess…" Cloud started and Leon stopped his dangerous track of thought. He pretended that he has been impatiently waiting for the answer and not thinking about screwed up love triangle of a lunatic. They both knew that was not the case, but Cloud was kind enough not to comment on his lack of attention. "I guess I've stopped hunting him because of Tifa." He ended uncertainly and was silent once more. Leon know him enough to not say anything and let him finished thinking to continue his answer.
Tifa… Leon has heard about their meetings from Sora. It was interesting, to say the least. The story just proved how unstable Cloud was, if hunting a dangerous man because of a dream wasn't proof enough. He needed Tifa as his anchor to reality, as a bridge to them. He needed her to stop him from destroying himself.
"She was the one I was unconsciously searching for. When we were little… She wasn't real enough for me. Back then something was wrong. But when I saw her again, how she looked now, my heart finally accepted her. Something told me that she, now, was the person I've always waited for. She was my light, the one who protects me from the corrupting darkness." He said finally, eyes filled with renewed vigor as he speaks of how precious the black-haired beauty was to him.
Leon frowned when he realized he felt what Cloud said about Tifa even until now. The feeling of 'wrongness' have always plagued him when he was around their friends. He didn't belong here; even though it was the only place he could call home. Somehow his heart refused to let him accept them, as if the space they supposed to fill was already filled, there was no space left for them.
Leon snorted. "Well, good to be you. No longer searching, huh?" He whispered below his breath and hoped that Cloud hadn't heard it. He wondered why he was being so bitter about him. Cloud is his friend, if anything he should be happy for the blue eyed man. But… there was something in the back of his mind that refused to do so. Something that told him he shouldn't be here and instead search for his own 'right' too.
"Hey, Leon… Do you know any Tidus?" Cloud suddenly asked and Leon felt strange. He wanted to answer yes; yes he knows a Tidus and Cloud should too. But he doesn't, even if his whole being protested and a hazy image of a cheerful boy so fixed on continuing his 'story' surfaced in his mind. They were not quite close, but no mere acquaintances either.
But there's no way Leon was going to admit that he somehow knew somebody he never met in his whole life. "No. I don't." He answered gruffly and it gained him an uncertain nod as the response. They both were silent once more, enjoying the peace and quiet surrounding. After a while, Leon couldn't help his curiosity and asked. "Why?"
"Nothing. Sora told me about his friends yesterday and the name struck me with familiarity. Well, more than Wakka and Selphie did anyway. I thought you might… Leon?" The wielder of First Tsurugi turned to stare at the petrified older man. He frowned slightly, concern displayed clearly on his pale face. He almost got up to shake the older man awake, but Leon's deep voice stopped him.
"Did you just say… Selphie?" He asked shakily, mind assaulted by memories of a strong girl he had forgotten growing up with. She always wears yellow and cheerfully loud and so stubborn in her wish, annoying and endearing at the same time. Her name was much more familiar to him, despite what Cloud had said about it, than Tidus.
"Yeah, Kairi's best girl friend. Is something wrong, Leon? You look pale."
He knew what's wrong. It was all because of the stray memories, the one buried even deeper in him. Not about the war, not about the people with him and Cloud, and not even about the ethereal blonde lady in white. No, these memories were even older and hazy than those, but just as precious to him.
Yuffie's cheerfulness reminded him of another girl, a young woman clad in yellow. The name Cid brought the image of a more polite and cleaner man than the Cid he knew. Sora was similar to a blond boy, whose hair was just barely tamer than Cloud's, and his rivalry with Riku reminded him of his own more violent relationship with a white-wearing blond gunblader who was always with his two goons.
Those people, who have fallen earlier in the war, were the ones who refused to let go of him. They occupy his heart and wouldn't let his friends in. The people he knew before the war, the ones he was trying to regain and come back to.
They were his friends. His friends from his real world, the one he originated from.
How could he forget?
Leon's eyes widened and he suppressed a gasp from coming out of his mouth. His original world, where he was supposed to be a seventeen years old mercenary and was just dealing with his moronic father before being brought to fight the gods war. His original world, which was not Radiant Garden and had none of the friends he had now as its inhabitant. His original world… where she awaits him. Or perhaps not, since she was one of the many who had fallen during the war. Maybe she was thrown here too, just like all of Cloud's friends and those fairies and…
Cosmos must've failed in sending them home. Or he wouldn't have the memories of growing up in Radiant Garden replacing his memories of Balamb Garden. It was funny how his childhood remained the same even during the second time. He was turned back into a child when he was sent here, so maybe the age of his allies were changed too.
That surely would make his life easier. Searching for people you wasn't sure how to describe because they maybe not quite the age you remember them as.
Well, at least now he knows that he's not going crazy. Neither was Cloud, but the younger (older?) man never had any problem accepting those memories as 'truth' in the first place. The blond man was already surrounded by his original friends and wouldn't feel anything wrong with his current life. It was far too similar to his real one. That's why it will be hard to get him to remember.
Hopefully, he'll be able to find Tidus. Sora said that his world was destroyed, but the blitzball player should be able to survive that incident. With Tidus, who also lost most of his original group, Leon wouldn't feel as left out.
Unless the young man decided to annoy him with the nickname he had created for their little group of three.
But losing his only ally during Father's day would be rather unfortunate. As unlikely as it is, Leon is going to need all the help he could get if his moronic father suddenly decided that even divine power couldn't stop him from getting a gift from his 'dearest son'. Having his greatest ally when that dreaded comes will be preferable over facing the grinning man alone.
Feeling much better already, though with new burden in the form of memories of several lives, Leon allowed himself to smile. It was a small tug on his lips, but bigger than anything he had produced over the last few years. He stood up from the bench, stretching his limbs and turned around to face his companion.
"Let's head back. Its way past dinner." His voice was not heavy with guilt, but relaxed and calm. It was not Leon's voice anymore, the voice of a man burdened with guilt that shouldn't be his and a mature man in his twenties. No, it was Squall's voice once again, the voice of a calm youth tasked to be the only one with a logical head and the responsibility over some people who acted like they're less than five.
He finally knows what's wrong with this life, the life he shouldn't have. And now, he can start trying to fix it, instead of just waiting in the dark.
It felt good to be Squall Leonhart once again.
A/N : Okay, I'll admit that I had no idea where this come from. The idea just strikes me and I feel the need to write it. I think there still are many mistakes and the story was somewhat strange and aimless. Huh, I feel like I'm making a big blunder here…
Anyway, this is just one of the many one-shots I intended to make in this 'verse.. This series will be about the Dissidia (Final Fantasy, actually) characters being stranded in the Kingdom Hearts universe and their lives. It was small snippets of an adventure, because I was too lazy and unpredictable to make a full fic about it. I haven't played the game so my characterization maybe a bit off.
The second one will be about the previous cycle of Dissidia. That one too will be a bunch of one-shots, mostly about the mishap they got themselves into, but have a distinct timeline. Or at least the quantity of the character did.
If you read my 'The war of Life and Death', you will know what I'm talking about.
The first one-shot of that fic will be about Squall again, since I think he's invading my mind now. It will also feature Tidus as his side-kick, Laguna as the Big Bad and Jecht as Laguna's partner in crime. The theme was already featured above and if you know their connections, you will know what it is.
Hopefully, these won't turn into complete trash and will actually help me improved my writing skills.
And now, OMAKE time!
"Hey, Leon!" Sora burst into the control room one day, just like he always do. Only this time he brought his friends to be introduced and Leon's eyes strayed to stare at the brunette girl chatting happily to Kairi. She looked… younger. Not as young as they were back in the orphanage, but not quite the age when they met again. It was strange to see her like that, trapped in from of in-between the time he had known her, but he supposed that's better than her seeing him like this. Or maybe the lack of a long-haired gunner beside her was the thing that bothered him.
"These are my friends! They come back when our world was restored!" The keyblader said cheerfully before starting to introduce them one by one. "That's Wakka, this is Selphie and the one chatting with faeries is Tidus." He pointed at his friends as they introduced themselves.
Tidus, the boy so mesmerized by the three faeries, turned around as he heard his name being spoken. He smiled childishly at the Restoration Committee, but the gunblader realized that his eyes lingered a little longer on both him and Cloud. Does that means—
"My name is Tidus! It means Sun, which many people say I resembled! Nice to meet you all!" The tanned boy said loudly, rivaling Sora's voice in volume and cheerfulness. The boy with red hair, Wakka, chastised him for being so loud, but Selphie only laughed at him for being so childishly loud. They look happy.
The others liked them immediately for brightening their gloomy place. Aerith and Tifa cooed at how cute the children are, while Yuffie was happy to get several more people that share her enthusiasm. The three faeries liked them too and Rikku was circling them with Paine. Yuna doesn't join her two friends in flying around the visitors; instead she sat on Tidus shoulder contently. She looked very happy and fulfilled, as if it was her only wish in life.
The mismatched couple looked very happy together. It makes his bitter heart warmed up a little, knowing their rather tragic story. They look all wrong, but at least they are happy and have a fulfilled life.
Sora turned away from pointing at his friends. He then started to introduce the Restoration Committee members. He heard the others introducing themselves happily, even Cloud who happened to be taking a break from his journey.
"And the scary guy over there is Leon!" The brunet said, pointing to him after he was finished with Cloud. Tidus blinked and frowned, cutting Sora's introduction of Cid off.
"He's not." The blond said, crossing his arms in front of his chest. Everybody turned to look at him, wondering what he meant. "We wouldn't be the Weather Trio if he's named after an animal." He continued, throwing a playful smirk at Leon's— Squall's direction as he did so.
As much as he hated the nickname the younger boy christened to their group, he had to agree. He'd be the odd man out from their group of odd names. Actually, his name would be a lot more normal this way.
A Leon wouldn't fit in with the Sunny and Cloudy.
That's why he needed to be Squall again.