All VG Cats Characters belong to Scott Ramsoomair.
All Your Heart Are Belong To Me
Aeris was pissed.
That was more of an understatement. To say she was pissed would be like comparing it to when she lost in Street Fighter or had to put up with annoying fanboys at Blizz-Con. A hot, headache inducing yet disturbingly routine emotion. In fact, being pissed could simply be described as Aeris, plain being, Aeris. So for her to be pissed was nothing new. Hell, sometimes she welcomed it but this was different.
She was goddamn furious.
The pink cat's sneakers pounded roughly against the pavement with each step becoming more and more aggressive. The party she had left so enraged was quite the commute on foot, a car or public transport being the more logical choice. She didn't care though. Aeris had been walking for more than twenty minutes and she felt no fatigue. It was as if her rage was fueling her, a never tiring engine of malice and ire. She needed to get this out of her system by the time she got home though it seemed quite clear that it was going to last well beyond that.
Aeris could feel the vein in the left side of her head throbbing and she was sure that it had formed some sort of tumor from the repeated bouts of stress caused by her roommate. Her hands clenched into fists and her teeth grinded together almost painfully at the thought of him.
The grey cat in question was following her though he kept his distance. He jumbled the keys in his hoodie pocket for the mere reason that he needed to fidget with something. He always found himself squirmy and fidgety when he knew he was in trouble with Aeris. Like a child waiting for his parents to find out he broke their favorite lamp and the impeding punishment that came with it.
He hated it.
Leo sighed and ran his fingers through the tuff of a mess he called hair (he had recently grown it to look more like Link from Ocarina of Time), his bangs waving slightly in the October breeze. He knew he had screwed up. Bigger than usual which was, in itself, an unbelievable accomplishment.
Leo had seen Aeris mad at him before but never like this. He was sure that if she had the ability to grow hundreds of feet tall she would be destroying all of Toronto like a new character from Rampage. His green eyes watched from afar as her pink tail swatted back and forth making her agitation very clear, even from behind. The ashen coloured feline had tried to get her to take the bus home. This wasn't the best time or area to be out alone in the dark but she wanted nothing to do with him. Not wanting to leave her out by herself, despite the fact that Aeris could knock out just about anybody that gave her trouble, Leo trailed after her.
He was sure she knew he was following her. If anything it probably made her more upset. Leo frowned at that.
He thought that they were past this. During their younger days, fighting was a fairly standard day for them. Leo would do or say something stupid and Aeris would beat him within an inch of his life and then they would play video games, eat, sleep then repeat. It wasn't the best relationship in the world but she was his best friend, his only friend and he put up with it simply because...well, no one else would put up with him.
Throughout Elementary School, High School and University, this was just how things were. He was never good at making new friends. Most didn't share his obsession with video games like she did. But as Leo got older, he got a little braver and soon found himself standing up to Aeris' abuse. He smirked at the memory of her face when he demanded for her to treat him with respect, treat him as a friend and not some sort of punching bag. Aeris was clearly surprised but she smiled at him and crossed her arms across her chest saying,
"Wow Leo. You got some balls after all. Alright, let's make a deal. I'll start treating you the way you want to be treated if you stop being so damn retarded."
And for a while, he actually was able to live up to his part of the deal.
It was hard of course. Leo had never been much of a thinker or good decision maker. Aeris was sure that he would revert back to his normal self and she could get in some punching practice on his kidneys. But to her astonishment and to a lesser extent glee, Leo was turning himself into a pretty decent cat.
He had turned his grades around in his last year of University, showered regularly, stopped chewing with his mouth open, started to eat properly, no longer wasted ridiculous amounts of his AND hers money, could have a decent conversations and had ceased with the momma jokes.
Clearly miracles do exist.
Leo found himself smiling at that despite the current situation. Aeris was constantly beside herself at his transformations. And to make things better, he found that he was no longer receiving abuse, physical or verbal. He and Aeris' relationship had finally molded into a normal one. One where two friends could simply enjoy each other's company without the fear of stupidity or rage. They still had their occasional bickering when playing games but it was more like laid back teasing than fighting. It often left both of them in fits of laughter at the end. In fact, when Leo thought about it, Aeris seemed to put in large effort to spend time with him outside of the gaming world on purpose.
It was during those times that Leo saw a side of Aeris he had no idea existed. He found the pink cat to be funny, sweet, witty and talented outside of video games. He used to give her a hard time about her writing but once he actually sat down and read them, Leo found it to be quite good, though he still had no love for yaoi and slash. The smokey pelted feline also discovered her growing improvement in drawing which was already of high quality. Her love of anime and stand-up comedians and the way she laughed. Oh how she laughed.
Its sound began to hit Leo in the gut like her fist and it coaxed something inside him to stir.
Leo growled and slapped his palm over his face, running it down the length of his muzzle. This was by far not the best time to have this rise up in his head and he gave his brain a shake to loosen said thoughts. But like so many times before, it was a futile effort.
Leo noticed many things in the new Aeris but not as much as he noticed just how beautiful she was.
He hated to admit it but he would often catch himself staring at her while she sipped her morning coffee or sat on the sofa, her fingers dancing over her Xbox controller. It was an embarrassing pleasure that he had a hard time refusing. He couldn't help himself. She was a gamers wet dream come to life. Even now as she stormed ahead, yards in front of him, he could make out every curve and detail as it had been etched into his mind.
Her legs were long and slender and were shown off well in her dark navy jeans. Leo found himself staring at her behind which was shown off just as well. Her belt that jangled a few Mario Kart icons, sat well on her hips that swayed just the tiniest of ways even during her march of fury. Her fall jacket that stood out against her fur, a deep violet, hid her womanly curves that he knew she was secretly self-conscious about. Growing up playing video games that depicts most women as large chested fitness models seemed to of had an impact on her though Leo had no idea why. Sure, she was no Lara Croft or Mai Shiranui but she was still, at least in Leo's opinion, a total babe.
But Leo's newfound affections for her went beyond physical. He had a connection with Aeris that had grown far beyond the limits of video games. Leo found himself wanting to know more about her likes, her dislikes, fears, wants, needs and dreams. He often fantasied about just sitting on the couch with her, arms wrapped around her slender frame and watching Electric Playground or just enjoying the quiet. Leo had wanted many things in his life, most of them revolving around games but he now had found a new desire, one that ached deep within his chest. And that desire was in the form of the pink cat in front of him.
Although right now he was certain that her fondest desire right now was to rip his head off with her bare hands like Kratos to Helios in God of War III.
Leo noticed that they had entered the familiar surroundings of their neighborhood, houses lined up side by side, lights on illuminating the warmth inside. Leo grimaced at that. Mostly because he knew that warmth would not be there when he arrives at his own house. He watched as Aeris stomped up to their driveway and straight up to the front door. She didn't so much as open it as practically kick it down.
Leo slowly walked up to the front door, stopping just a few feet away. He stared into the darken house deciding whether or not he should actually go in. Sighing again and scratching the back of his head, Leo figured that there was no point delaying the inevitable. He walked through the front door and softly closed it behind him. When he turned around, he started to speak for the first time since the incident.
"Look Aeris, I'm sor-"
He didn't get to finish however as a cheek blistering slap ricocheted off the left side of his face. He stumbled back a bit and pressed his hand against his stinging cheek, a look of surprise on his face. Aeris didn't even give him time to say another word as she pushed him back against the door roughly.
"What the hell is wrong with you Leo!" She screamed, her whole body shaking with anger. "Of all the times to revert back to a fucking idiot, why tonight!"
"Do you even realize what you did Leo! We could have been fired!"
"But he laughed it off. Everything was fine." Leo finally managed to say, hand still on his cheek. Aeris scoffed a disbelieving laugh. "Don't you know anything Leo! You think he would have made a scene in front of all those guests! He had to be civil with you! I guarantee he wanted to wring your damn neck! You know how long I've wanted that promotion for! You knew I was going to ask for it tonight and you pull your typical bullshit and fuck everything up as usual!"
Leo felt his back being pressed up against the door even more. Each shout and curse was like a force, pushing him backwards. If he wasn't so terrified he would have made a Skyrim joke. Aeris proceeded with her rant, getting louder and more vicious.
"When the hell are you going to grow up! We aren't eighteen anymore Leo! This isn't like screwing up an order at McDonalds! This is our careers here! How has that not gotten through your stupid fucking skull!" She screamed.
By this time, Leo could feel himself getting angry. She wasn't even giving him a chance to apologize much less let him even speak. She was treating him like a child and he was sick of it back then and he was sick of it now. He pushed himself off the door and tried to speak but again Aeris cut him off by reaching over and whipping the door open. She reached into his hoodie pocket and took his keys then pushed him hard on his chest, sending him stumbling out the front door.
"You stay the hell away from me until I can stand to look at your face again!"
She then slammed it so hard that the very house looked like it shook. Leo tried to open the door and found it was locked. He banged on it angrily but no response was received. The cat growled and he gave the door a kick in frustration. He walked out to the driveway and leaned against the small Volkswagen they shared but not before pounding his fist against the hood. Leo stuffed his hands in his pockets and began to fume.
"This is complete horseshit." He thought bitterly. "I get it. I screwed up but how can she just go back to treating me like garbage after all this time? I actually thought she had finally begun to respect me and treat me like a real friend. Maybe I really am retarded for ever thinking that this would ever last."
Leo looked up to the clouded sky catching the silver glint of the moon behind its dark curtains. He rubbed at his forehead and let out a small moan of vexation. Perhaps he just needed to calm down. Mentally he began run through the upcoming games he was looking forward to and projects at work he needed to get done sooner rather than later. Despite his efforts, he eventually came back to his anger.
"No. No goddamnit. I'm not going to let this go like I've done for years. She has no right to do this. It's time she gets a dose of her own medicine." He thought and waited in the cold night air, his ire building with every minute.
Aeris burst into their living room and ripped off her jacket, throwing it against the wall. She began to pace back and forth, swearing and ranting with every step.
"I can't fucking believe him! How could he have done this on tonight of all night!"
Aeris swatted a few video game boxes off the couch arm and picked up her Xbox controller. She reached back and flung it against their book case which ironically held more games than books. The controller crashed into them and sent an avalanche of games from all systems falling to the ground in a messy heap. Aeris stared at the pile and sighed heavily, some of her anger dissipating with the action. She walked over and fell to her knees, cleaning up the mess. As she put away game after game, she paused when her hand came across a very familiar one.
Aeris gazed at the cover of Dungeon Guy 2 and ran her fingers along its edge. Her mind found itself breaking away from the haze of anger and remembering a fond Christmas memory a long time ago. She hated to admit it but this game was very special to her and it had nothing to do with gameplay, graphics or replay value.
Aeris snapped out of her stare and shoved the game back into the shelf. She wouldn't let that memory make her forget about tonight. Leo had gone and done the stupidest thing he's ever done a few hours ago and that was a stretch even for him. Aeris just didn't understand how things were going so well then just fall apart. She let her head fall into her open hand and let out a ragged breath, the night's ordeal replaying in her head like a movie.
Both Aeris and Leo knew from the moment that they could pick up a controller that they wanted video games to be a part of their lives for a long time. It was only natural that they would pursue a career in them. Both felines had taken courses at University for programming and graphic design, Leo the first and Aeris the latter. They had been very fortunate to land positions with Sony's Canadian branch and not only could they get the inside scoop on all upcoming games but actually help create the kinds of games they loved to play. It was a dream come true for any gamer.
They were also fortunate enough to have an employer like Edward Shaw. A kind, amusing and passionate man who took a chance on the two right out of school. It was hard to believe that he would be so willing to just open up the doors for them and even more unbelievable was that he actually liked Leo. Leo might be an idiot but he knows video games and his input have been valued greatly by Shaw since he was given his first project. Strange or not, Aeris could not have been happier. She and her best friend were doing what they wanted to do for a living and having fun. Life was goddamn perfect.
Shaw had invited most of the staff to his house for a celebration wrap up party for the company's latest game. The man was an avid collector of swords and medieval replicas and items all out for display throughout the house. Leo looked like a kid in a candy store when looking upon blade after blade. It worried her slightly but she had grown to trust him. Obviously that was a mistake.
She remembers everything going well and talking with someone from marketing when suddenly a loud crash was heard. Fear gripped her when a certain individual entered her mind that could have caused it and she and many others ran into the next room. They found Leo standing in the middle of the room with a katana in his hand and what looked to be a very old vase broken into a hundred pieces on the floor. Aeris practically ran up to him ready to throttle his neck demanding to know what happened. Leo, in his infinite wisdom, decided that he wanted to re-enact his favorite scenes from Metal Gear as Gray Fox and ended up knocking the vase over in his passionate rendition. When Shaw finally saw what and heard happened, Aeris thought she was going to pass out. He was going to fire Leo and her. And if she was lucky enough not lose her job, there was no way she would be getting that promotion now.
To her surprise, he merely laughed and waved off the whole thing. He said something along the lines of "never liking that vase anyway". Aeris apologized up and down for Leo's accident thinking that he would fire them for sure. But Shaw insisted that it was fine so long as nobody was hurt and that he was glad Leo was having fun with a bunch of junk that just sits around collecting dust. The party went on as if nothing had happened but Aeris was convinced that Shaw was secretly furious. There's no telling how much that vase was worth.
Just the very thought of the events made her blood boil as she got to her feet, tail twitching again. She made her way to the front window where she looked out to the front yard. Aeris could see Leo leaning against the car, arms crossed over his chest. The fuchsia feline sneered at the very sight of him yet she found herself staring. Something she had caught herself doing more than once no matter how anger she was with him.
Leo Leonardo the Third was an idiot. A veritable Sultan of Stupidity. A child living in a man's body. And Aeris has had a crush on him for as longer than she wanted to admit.
Ever since they had made the deal years ago, Aeris began to see something new in Leo. She wasn't sure at first what it was but she liked it. She could go out in public with him and not be embarrassed, rely on him for the simplest tasks and actually trust him. The times where she would yell at him would start becoming few and far between. It was like some sort of wonderful dream. Oddly enough, she began to actually spend time with him outside of video games. She didn't know why but there was this…want, to just be around him and have fun. It was around this time when the staring would begin.
Whether he was in pure concentration during a game or sitting upside down on the couch watching TV, Aeris found her eyes focused purely on him. His fine ashen pelt, emerald green eyes that reminded her of Fox McCloud and lazy smile he always wore were imprinted in her brain. His current look to appear more like Link had a rather large effect as Aeris had always found the Hero of Time sexy as hell. The embarrassment of all this was too much to handle and just as weird to boot.
Things got even more embarrassing and weird when he left for Japan for three months.
In order to get a more advanced training regime for his programming, Shaw had Leo sent overseas to learn from the best. Aeris was jealous of course but still happy for him as he had always wanted to visit the birth place of Shigeru Miyamoto.
It was the longest three months of her life.
Aeris did have other friends other than Leo but even when she was with them, she found herself thinking about the grey cat. She would wander around their house, feeling bored and…empty. Games seemed to lose their luster after a while and even watching True Blood wasn't as enjoyable without Leo there to complain about it. She missed him more than she felt she should. Way more. Leo would often call her on video chat and she would plant herself in front of her computer for hours just talking with him. She remembers laughing quite hard when he told her that he brought his Wii with him but no games as he figured he would just pick some up there. Unfortunately he was unaware that Japanese discs don't read on North American consoles. Only one game could be played and that was Wii Fit, a game that he despised. Hearing him grumble about it and what better things he could be playing made her miss him all the more.
She had to restrain herself from jumping into his arms when she picked him up at the airport.
Tuning back into reality, her blue eyes wandered over his frame and her mind began to drift again. Leo was never an athletic person and he had the worst eating habits she had ever seen yet he was always fairly thin. She attributed that to the fact that he had the most advanced metabolism. Although in the last year he had begun to fill out noticeably in his arms, shoulders and chest, his trademark blue hoodie fitting tighter than usual. Three months of playing nothing but Wii Fit turned out to be a good workout much to her surprise.
She felt blood rush to her cheeks and she stomped her foot in irritation. This wasn't fair! He had just caused her to blow her top and here she was ogling him.
Aeris moved away from the window and flopped down on the couch. She took a few deep breaths and let her head fall back against the back rest. As if there was some sort of beacon that shone out, Aeris found herself staring at the game shelf, easily picking out Dungeon Guy 2 among the vast collection. That nostalgic feeling returned and she suddenly felt a pang of guilt.
Leo had done a great deal to live up to his end of the bargain and to be honest, she felt that maybe she owed him a little more patience. If Shaw was really as mad as she thought, he would have fired them on the spot wouldn't he? He's always been a great boss and understanding guy. Maybe it really wasn't a big deal. Maybe she…overreacted.
Aeris sighed again and fixed her ponytail. The poor guy must be freezing out there and she was sure that being screamed at felt just as bad. She stood up and walked over to the front door. She'll throw out a quick apology and they'll play some Left 4 Dead and everything will be good. Aeris opened the door to find Leo suddenly standing at the doorway.
"Oh! Leo. Listen, I'm-"
"No, you listen for once!" Leo shouted, an unfamiliar and uncomfortable anger evident in his voice. Aeris took a few surprised steps backwards as Leo slammed the door behind him.
"What the hell gives you the right to go off on me like that! What give you the right to just treat me like shit!" He yelled
"Why is it anytime I mess up, I take a full dose of verbal raping but when you screw up it's not a big deal!"
"Hey! This was a pretty big screw up! We had a deal, remember!" Aeris shouted back, her temper starting to flare up again. "This isn't about that stupid fucking deal!" Leo hollered.
"I thought that my best friend was starting to treat me like a best friend! But it turns out that it all had to do with some stupid pact we made years ago! All those times of hanging out, talking for hours from thousands of miles away and just enjoying being around you was because I was being 'good'! Then the minute I make a mistake you go right back to being an unreasonable bitch!"
"I-" Aeris tried but Leo was far from done as he cut her off again.
"And where do you get off telling me to grow up! Isn't it you who still writes your boy on boy fanfictions and screams bloody murder when dealing with kids online! For someone who considers herself so damn smart, I figured you would realize how hypocritical you are!"
Aeris was silent at this point. Her whole body was frozen as she listened to Leo tear her apart. She was no longer angry. She was…scared. Scared of what Leo was saying was indeed true.
"No more Aeris! I put up with that shit longer than I should have when we were younger but not anymore! If you ever treat me like this again then you can just deal with the bills on your own because I will be gone! You got that!" He practically screeched the last sentence in her face.
Leo turned on his heel and walked away, his head shaking in anger and frustration. Aeris watched him march up the stairs and heard the violent slam of his door. She stood there in silence, the shock still taking hold of her system. Aeris made an effort to step but her legs felt like rubber and she ended up stumbling, her hand reaching out and grabbing the wall for support.
Leo paced in his room for a minute, the anger still burning in his gut. He kicked his dresser and ripped off his hoodie, throwing it on the floor. Upon tearing off that article of clothing, a small ringing sound was heard and Leo stopped. He felt his hand reaching up without even thinking about it and softly touch the bell around his neck. His anger almost seemed to be put on hold as he sat down on his bed, hand still on the bell. Leo felt his mind go back to his sixteenth birthday and Aeris giving him the bell after she beat him for the hundredth time in Mario Kart.
"Don't get all mushy on me. You're still a retard…but you're still my friend."
Leo fell back onto his bed groaning loudly as a new feeling started to well up in his stomach. Guilt. He closed his eyes and exhaled loudly through his nose before muttering.
"I really am a retard."
A/N: Taking a break from another story to do this one. Just felt like doing a VG Cats story and putting it out there. Probably not my best but practice makes perfect right? Chapter 2 up in a bit.