LeonxAerith claim at 1sentence complete :)
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts
Pairing: Squall "Leon" Leonhart x Aerith Gainsborough
Notes: Minor spoilers for both KH games in regards to these two characters (though not for Sora's story)...this set is done under the premise that the FF characters still remember their worlds from their original games; thus, though being familiar with FFVII and FFVIII is not necessary, these will probably make far more sense if you are at least familiar with the previous non-KH love interests of both characters :) And I am SO sorry I held onto this claim for as long as I did...if you have been waiting on me I really am truly sorry :-(
He felt a sickening sense of déjà vu, lost in space, in time, and when he finally landed he was nowhere he’d even seen, and more alone than ever.
He had lost his home and he knew to seek the King, so he began to wander the town where he had landed—a sort of haven for travelers—looking for others like him.
He saw a figure in the depths of the town that seemed to float down the lonely streets, almost translucent with the way she reflected the moonlight, and he almost thought he was seeing a ghost.
# 32 Eye
She’d seen him watching her from afar and her heart nearly stopped, but his eyes were missing that glow, replaced instead with an emptiness she knew all too well.
# 25 Shadow
When they met, she saw in him two other warriors she had known—and one she had loved, and she didn’t know if she was seeing him or just a shadow of her past.
He learned her story after Yuffie once said she imagined Cloud should have black hair to match his dark moods—she had fled the room, and when he found her she was crying, and he knew those tears could mean only one thing, for he cried them as well.
She had been the first to arrive in Traverse Town, as though her soul had left her planet before those of her friends.
There was so much time she couldn’t remember, and the change had happened so suddenly—as though she had blinked, and opened her eyes on a whole new life.
There was a childlike innocence about her in almost everything she did, but he later came to learn that this girl was far from sheltered, harboring just as many demons as himself.
Most of the memories she carried with her were of him, mixed only with the friends who had traveled with her, and the feeling she’d been responsible for something very important.
The first time she saw Sephiroth she felt a strange sense of foreboding, and when she mentioned it to him, he looked to Cloud and the two forbade her from ever going near the failed God, though they refused to tell her why.
She remembered so little of her past she often thought she must have lived her youth in a different life.
She felt she was constantly moving up and down, trying desperately to find something in the middle to hold on to.
# 45 Naked
He had built a fortress around himself, impenetrable to nearly everyone, so that in comparison she came across as skinless, inviting in anyone who needed a friend.
Nobody could tell him the destruction of his planet wasn’t his fault, because they all felt the same guilt, that they could have done something to stop the evil.
She made only a few attempts at tearing down his walls, but what she managed to glimpse was enough to tell her never to break in unless he was there to guide her.
He always expected her to drag his feelings out as the first woman to access his heart had done, but her gentle and patient nature often surprised him into revealing just as much.
He was always running—running into battle, running from his past, and she made it her goal to teach him how to walk.
His memories weighed him down, threatening to crush him, but seeing her—seeing all of them, triumph over their tragedy, gave him the drive he needed to continue fighting.
She longed to erase the shadows from her dreams, wishing she could grip the present as tightly as he; he thought the same of her.
# 24 Now
They both searched for their pasts, afraid to admit to the future, neither truly letting the moment endure.
She guarded Merlin’s book religiously, claiming it was her duty as a mage, but he wondered if it wasn’t really because the gentle light it emitted somehow called out to her.
When it rained, she would stand outside and close her eyes, letting the sensation engulf her until her entire body flickered with a sea-green glow that traveled to the rain, giving new life to everything it touched.
She felt like at some point she had drawn attention to herself to help mask her pain, but lately she just wanted to be alone—there were fewer shadows to follow her outside of the spotlights.
At first she wanted to be near him because he wasn’t familiar and she could escape her memories more easily without the others, but she grew to love his company for far more than that.
She asked him once about his wings, but his eyes grew dark and sorrowful, before he somberly claimed they were merely for luck.
Whenever she felt foolish, she would flush and turn away—a reaction he had seen so many times in an increasingly distant past.
When he was younger he believed there was only one person you were supposed to be with, but lately he wondered if that person couldn’t somehow appear twice, just in different forms.
He had always been afraid of change, but lately found himself hanging on to every difference.
He found himself growing annoyed whenever she spoke in private with Cloud—not because he felt threatened, but because they seemed to have a connection he could never understand.
Sometimes when he watched her, he thought he could see her blending in, fading into her surroundings, and he wondered if she was really…real.
He frequently worried he was making a mistake by moving on, but Cloud would laugh and tell him to consider it a blessing, before disappearing to continue chasing his own past.
When she gave an order, he would see her entire face change, her eyes and hair growing dark, and then she would return, and he was never quite sure who was really standing before him.
She wanted to get angry when she’d catch him looking at her in a way that clearly stated he was seeing another—but she knew how her heart still jumped if she saw Cloud’s sword, or Sora’s dark spikes, and she couldn’t stay upset for long.
Seeing her angry always made him laugh at the familiarity of fiery outbursts against his cool demeanor.
Helping Sora was not enough—she craved a greater impact, and he found that hunger contagious, fueling the passion behind the restoration.
It seemed that even in his new life he was shoved into a position of authority against his will, but she saw his struggle, and urged everyone instead to try and make decisions as a team.
Every time she found herself in battle, he swore it was the last time—though he knew he secretly needed her there.
They were swarming around him, and he found himself lost in space, watching them descend by the thousand, but then he would hear her voice, only it sounded so different, and all he could do was fight the onslaught, not sure of which battle he was actually fighting.
He felt he had a duty to protect their kingdom—especially to protect her—if he ever wished to be free of his debt.
He thought of everything she had taught him, about himself, about life, and about love, and he had to believe she was a reminder sent by her, granting him forgiveness and giving him a second chance for salvation.
They all devoted themselves to the restoration of the Garden, and after everyone quit for the night they walked together, searching, though for what they weren’t sure.
Their relationship was seen as false, based solely on faded memories, but to them it was precious, almost reverent, and in the fallacy, amidst the tears, they were able to find hope.
They were both waiting on ghosts, watching the stars for lights that had long since gone out.
# 26 Good-bye
She almost wept to think about his pain—she had at least had the chance to say good-bye.
He knew he could never dance with another, but whenever she was frightened he would hold her and sing songs of hope, consoling her with such rare moments of tenderness.
She gradually learned to adjust in spite of her sadness, but he could never abandon the hope of one day going home.
When she saw him read and re-read the letter she wept; wept that his angel might soon come and reclaim him, and wept knowing hers could never do the same.
The wings flew off the page, and he wondered—almost hoped—he’d only imagined them, for it was easier than wondering what it meant.
She needed to feel needed, and he needed somebody to be his light in the storm, and in the middle of pain, doubt, and loss, they found they really just needed each other.