fantasia0829, THIS IS FOR YOU. i'm sorry it's quite late, and rushed, and feels mediocre, but i really didn't mean for it to turn out this way. ;_________________________; i still hope you like it. and i promise i'll edit it to make it better when i come back!
WE'VE KNOWN EACH OTHER FOR ABOUT THREE MONTHS, BUT STILL FRIENDSIES, Y/Y? X3 X3 X3
i would love to leave you a belated prezzie that is late, but with better quality. unfortunately, i'm off for a holiday tomorrow, and will only be back sometime next week. TOT
so, comments will be replied to after i'm back. :3
p.s. 'calore' is not an english word. XP the html for this post is screwed. i promise i'll fix it when i'm back. TOT
Title: Calore, forfantasia0829
Pairing: Leon, Cloud
Summary: Here he is, with a classmate who usually communicates in monosyllables with just about everyone, and they are actually drinking tea together.
“We’re counting on you!”
Frowning, and barely able to restrain twitching, Leon grudgingly takes the half-metre tall pile of books, files, and worksheets. Aerith Garrinsbough’s smile is ingenuous to the point of being irresistible. As much as Leon is aching to tell Aerith that he has far more important things to do than travel halfway across town through incessant rain, for the sake of delivering the week’s accumulated assignments to a classmate he has never even spoken to before.
Aerith is already walking away, and Leon tells himself that this is his last chance to turn down the job. His mind reels, his mouth is open, but he cannot find the appropriate words. The happy-go-lucky class president is now wholly engaged in animated conversation with Yuffie Kisaragi.
With a dejected sigh, he picks up the heavy stack, and leaves the classroom.
The incident marked the start of a decidedly abnormal afternoon.
The aforementioned classmate is Cloud Strife, who was diagnosed with a light, harmless fever two weeks ago. Somehow, the low of thirty-eight degrees relentlessly escalated to forty-one degrees (Leon suspects it is the erratic weather), receded to thirty-nine degrees, and shot up again. A whole series of ups and downs, Cid Highwind said.
Leon himself has never interacted with blonde, partly because of the guy’s social shortcomings, partly because of his own reluctance (it really takes two). Cloud is a small, willowy thing, his hair a rumpled mess of fluffy blonde spikes, and his eyes blue, bright with intelligence. At first glance, the blonde will look like an outcast of society, seemingly ignored by everyone in class, but that is hardly the case; his classmates are providing him with the personal space he made blatantly clear he wanted. The blonde was a transfer student who came in halfway through the first term, looking like the shy type. His new classmates did not want to practise the age-old art of ostracising those who did not fit in, so Aerith (she believed it was the duty of the class president to make sure there was no unhappy, lonely student brooding in solitude) arranged for him to join the different cliques, hoping one of them had some chemistry with him (they skipped Leon, because he kept to himself, except for the occasional mingling with Aerith, who was his childhood friend). Eventually, Cloud himself spoke up, telling Aerith that her hard efforts could be channelled into accomplishing something else (hinting that he wanted her off his case).
The rain is worse by the time he arrives in front of Cloud’s house (a monstrously large three-storey house that Leon is sure only the filthy rich can afford), with gusty, freezing winds blowing in random directions. Leon clutches the books and papers close to his chest, within the safety of his waterproof coat, while balancing a severely abused umbrella. He rings the doorbell several times, impatient, cold, and impossibly tired.
Cloud Strife opens the door two minutes later, looking as though he ran a marathon. His usually sharp eyes are half-lidded, and hazy, his skin is an unhealthy, pallid shade. His movements are sluggish, his voice is raspy.
“Thanks,” he says sincerely, taking the load from Leon, who half-expects the blonde to collapse from the weight.
Lightning flashes; a blinding streak through the sky, and the booming clap of thunder follows suit. Leon looks at the horrendous weather above him, and decides that if he wants to get home unroasted, he should make his way to the station now.
He is about to turn, and go, when a hand shoots out to grab his sleeve.
Cloud’s voice is soft, with a tinge of uncertainty this time,
“Stay,” he says, and Leon thinks his blue eyes are glowing in the pale grey of the stormy afternoon, “Stay, and wait. Until the rain stops.”
Leon gets a seat on the biggest (and most comfortable) sofa he has ever had the privilege of coming into contact with, while Cloud makes tea in the kitchen. He brings it out on a tray, a tiny teapot, flanked by two dainty, steaming cups. There is already a bundle of thick blankets, and pillows on the other side of the sofa (Cloud was probably resting there before Leon arrived), and the blonde wordlessly slips beneath the blankets, pulling it around his body. He picks up the cup with visibly shivering hands.
The situation is incredibly awkward, Leon thinks. Here he is, with a classmate who usually communicates in monosyllables with just about everyone, and they are actually drinking tea together. He does not remember Tifa (she was in charge of bringing Cloud his assignments last week) telling him Cloud invited her in to wait out the rain (Leon vaguely remembers it was raining on that day, too), or that Cloud served her fruity, berry-flavoured hot tea.
“TV?” Cloud asks, retreating back to his preferred monosyllabic way of talking.
“All right,” Leon says carefully, watching as the blonde, obviously putting in a great deal of effort, reaches out to swipe the remote control for the glass top of the coffee table, and turns on the large, forty-inch LCD screen hanging on the wall a few metres ahead of them.
The news channel pops on the screen. With the easy, almost homely atmosphere, and the cup warming his icy fingers, Leon starts to calm down albeit. He divides his attention between the news channel, and his only other companion.
Leon does not think the storm is doing wonders for Cloud’s condition; his skin is white, and almost translucent, stretched thinly over brittle bones. He blue eyes take on a drowsy haze that does not go away even though he rubs them. He has set the teacup back on the table, probably conscious of his involuntary desire for sleep. Leon watches intricately as the minutes pass.
By the end of the programme, Cloud is lying, curled up on his side, the tips of his molten-gold spikes almost brushing against Leon’s hand.
Four days later, Cloud returns to school, looking as though he lost a significant amount of weight, but definitely better than he had been the past two weeks and more. Apparently, missing so much of school has done little to affect his grades; he catches up with the syllabus disturbingly fast.
Leon frowns. “I don’t get you.”
“Can I stay, and wait with you? Until the rain stops.”
And when a storm comes as unpredictably as ever, Leon finds himself in the classroom alone, until Cloud comes in, his face empty of expression, almost passive.
Leon gets up, and helps Cloud change seats with an unwitting Tidus (went for Blitzball club activities), so that the blonde is there, right next to him.