Disclaimer: I owns nothing.
Note: The following occurs when the whole gang is still in Traverse Town, but before they've met Sora. Also, thanks a lot to WishingDreamer5 who has kindly beta read this piece and gave helpful advices.
"Dinner's ready," Aerith called out, setting down the last pair of cutlery as she did so. From somewhere in the house, she could hear quick footsteps, followed by the appearance of Yuffie in the dining room's doorstep.
"Alright! Pasta Night!" Yuffie exclaimed loudly and excitedly, quickly sitting down on her usual seat on the table. Not far behind, sounds of people talking could be heard, as Cid and Merlin too went into the dining room and took their seat, never once stopping their rather heated discussion. Aerith followed suit and sat down and they all waited for the last of their number to make an appearance.
Minutes ticked by, accompanied by sounds of rumbling stomachs and impatient fingers tapping on the tabletop and yet, no one else walked through the door to take the only seat left on the table. Aerith sighed audibly, and motioned to everybody to dig into their food. And although there was much show of gusto from Yuffiie, the atmosphere during dinner was decidedly of a much sombre one.
When they had finished their dinner, Cid and Merlin went back to their bickering, as they left the house to return to their respective places; Cid to his Gummi Ship workshop and Merlin to his magical abode. Yuffie, on the other hand, stayed behind to help Aerith out with the dishes.
"This is the third time this week he skipped dinner!" Yuffie cried out, as she scrubbed at the plate in her hands with a bit more force than necessary. Aerith gently took the now spotless dish out of Yuffie's hands and proceeded to dry it off. "He'll get sick if he keeps on doing this," Yuffie continued on, her voice more subdued this time. "And dinner is supposed to be a family thing," her voice was almost a whisper now.
"Then we'll just make sure he has his dinner," Aerith said, lips pressed into a thin line. "Yuffie, do you mind packing up the leftovers into a luchbox?" she continued, but this time, with a warm smile on her face.
"Ah, so we're delivering him his dinner," Yufie declared excitedly, "And we'll be there to make sure he eats every last scrap of it!" Aerith gave a spirited nod at that and Yuffie replied with even more enthusiastic nods. "Alright! Just leave it to me," she puffed out her chest and quickly finished washing the dishes. And a bit later, when she saw Aerith add in the tenth spoon of sugar into the barley tea that would be packed in together with the leftover filled lunchbox, she pretended not to notice.
Yuffie and Aerith found the person they packed the dinner for in his usual place, in a small alcove hidden deep within the waterways of Traverse Town, practising with his gunblade.
"Hiya, Leon. You missed dinner," Yuffie called out by way of greeting. That caught the attention of the man and he stopped mid-swing to look at the approaching visitors for a second, before returning back to what he had been doing. "Oi, are you ignoring us?" Yuffie prodded again after several moments of silence. "And to think we've gone to all the trouble of bringing you dinner, too," she added with a pout, motioning to Aerith, who was holding a picnic basket.
"I'm not hungry," he said without pausing his movement. However, as if in defiance of his words, his stomach chose that moment to let its presence known with a loud rumbling. It did not go unnoticed, as Yuffie grinned from cheek to cheek and Aerith tried to stifle a giggle behind the free hand that was not holding the picnic basket.
Leon's brow knitted together for a bit, as he silently cursed his traitorous stomach before letting out a long suffering sigh. Relenting, he turned towards the girls, who had laid out a small cloth on the ground and were unpacking the contents of the basket onto it. He sat down by their side, accepting the lunchbox and cutleries offered by Yuffie with a small nod of thanks, while Aerith poured him something to drink from a thermos. When he opened the box, a delicious smell came wafting out, making his mouth water and his stomach reminded him again that he was, indeed, hungry.
Leon ate in silence, as Yuffie chatted with Aerith. He gave another nod of thanks when Aerith handed him the filled glass and without thinking, he took a big gulp from it. The strangled noise he made was enough to pull the girls' attention and they immediately fixed him with curious looks. He swallowed the contents of his mouth with great difficulty before asking with a horrified gasp, "What is that!"
"What's wrong? It's just barley tea," Aerith answered with a puzzled look. And just slightly behind her, Yuffie gave Leon a big grin.
"It's way too sweet," he complained, scowling, altough he was unsure whether he was directing it towards Yuffie or Aerith.
"Really? It tastes perfectly fine to me," Yuffie chimed in happily.
"It tastes alright to me, too," Aerith added, "Besides, you need the energy boost the sugar provides."
"Yep, that's right. So bottoms up, Leon." Yuffie was practically laughing at him. It was at this moment that Leon decided the scowl was for Yuffie afterall. That girl was too annoying for words, but at the same time, he couldn't imagine a life without her. Without any of them, actually.
End note: That should be all. Thank you for reading. :)