When: ...before stuff happened?
Where: The apartment.
Leon: Leon frowned into the fridge for a long minute before sighing and closing the door. Yeah. No food. One of two things would have to happen to fix that. Leave a note for Aerith, or go and shop himself.
...Well, since the latter wasn't going to happen, he'd have to leave a note for Aerith. And munny, since he wasn't in the pratice of freeloading. And the process of trying to locate a pencil and paper kept his mind reasonably distracted.
Rinoa: She was considerably happy. Really, she was. It was weird. She hadn't been for such a long time and now here she was, in an apartment with a girl and two men, one of which she'd once known, but was starting to get to know again.
And she was happy.
Just standing in the doorway to the kitchen, watching said man, she was happy.
Leon: ...There was no pencils there. He frowned, turning around, and saw Rinoa in the doorway. He tilted his head to the side, raising his eyebrows a little, resisting the urge to smile.
"...How long have you been standing there?"
Rinoa: She smiled a little, secretively almost, and pushed herself from the doorway, entering the room, going over to him. "For a while. What were you looking for?"
Leon: "..Pencil." Leon rolled his shoulders back a little, unconciously reaching up to sratch the side of his head a bit in a sort of sheepish gesture. "I was going to write a note to Aerith, letting her know we're...ah. Running low on supplies."
Rinoa: ...okay, he was so cute right now.
Not that she'd say that out loud or anything. "Do you want to go to the store?" She could go out of the apartment, it would be nice. And she wouldn't be alone, which she knew was what he worried about.
Leon: No. Not really.
"...Do...you want to?" He knew she didn't like being cooped up here much. So, if she wanted to get out..he'd go out with her.
Rinoa: She'd be content with staying in too, it wasn't that. But if they needed stuff, she wouldn't mind going out with him. Shaking her head, she gave a small smile. "Answering a question with a question?"
Leon: "..Well, I don't mind either way." He'd rather not go to the store. Stores were full of people, who stared. They seemed to make a habit of that in this town.
Rinoa: "No, you don't want to go." She guessed. He would've said okay at once if he didn't mind. Some parts, actually a lot of him, were like he had been before. That, at least, comforted her. And she could talk to him now, more than she could before she had gone to meet Laguna.
"We can do something else. Or nothing at all."
Leon: Leon shrugged his shoulders a little. "Whatever." Although it wasn't altogether cold, like his whatever usually were. He just didn't care. He just....liked being around her.
Rinoa: She smiled again, trying not to seem too amused at his responses and jumped up on the counter, crossing her legs in front of her, looking at him. "Okay. What do you want to do then?"
Leon: Leon found a chair and sat down, leaning back in it. "...I don't care." He was hardly decisive.
Rinoa: Staring at him for a while, first out of annoyance, then because she was contemplating what they could do, Rinoa eventually straightened up and uncrossed her legs, jumping down on the floor instead. "Okay. Do you have a pack of cards?"
Leon: "...Probably?" Leon raised an eyebrow, watching her for a moment before standing himself. "I wouldn't know." He didn't really actively seek out cards.
Rinoa: "So helpful." She shook her head, grinning and started off towards the living room, trying to reason out where the cards would most likely be. "You've lived here longer than I and you've never played cards with anyone?"
Leon: "Not much longer." Leon frowned. They'd all been kind of dumped. "...And I was too busy with other things." Trying to track the heartless movement was a hell of a lot harder than it sounded.
Rinoa: He was hopeless, really.
But she didn't mind. She actually kind of liked it. He was steady, consistent, predictable, safe. "Heartless." She guessed, going through a cupboard, looking for the familiar flash of spades or hearts.
Leon: "Yeah." Leon shifted, a little uncomfortably, before going to sit down on the couch.
Rinoa: She had no luck. Finally giving up, Rinoa went to sit down next to him, drawing her legs up under her, shifting on the couch to face him. "Is it hard? To fight them, I mean."
Leon: Leon looked over at her, shrugging his shoulders a little. "At first. But I was just..." He paused, trying to remember how old he'd been when Hallow Bastion had first been laid upon by the heartless. "...Seventeen, or so... When I first faced them. We were all just a bunch of kids..." He frowned.
Rinoa: She looked at him for a while without saying anything, then smiled slightly, looking down at her hands. "You were seventeen when you were named Commander of Garden. I was sixteen when I started on the work for freeing Timber. We managed allright."
Leon: Leon tilted his head in a slight nod, although he was still frowning, and he tilted his head back to look up at the ceiling. "It's still absurd to expect teenagers to...save the world."
Rinoa: "Sora saved the world, didn't he?" She leaned back into the soft sofa, closing her eyes. "And he was barely a teenager."
Leon: Leon made a noise which could have been agreement, or just some form of grunt, and looked back at her. "He had help."
Rinoa: "Yeah, but he was still 'the one'." Here, she made quotation marks and an overly dramatic way of speech before smiling softly again. "We all had help. We had Cid, Laguna, and eventually Edea. There's a reason behind everything, isn't there?"
Leon: "I suppose."
Rinoa: "Like being here." She fell silent after that, suddenly embarrassed. It wasn't like she had intentionally meant to imply anything that could be interpreted as something of a romantic fashion, or just, charge the atmosphere, but only after she'd said it did she realize it could be taken the wrong way.
Leon: Well. Despite Leon's attempts to...not be dense, that was kind of not happening, so that totally went over his head.
"...This is just luck. We didn't even know Twilight existed when we left Traverse."
Rinoa: "...luck, huh." She frowned, but didn't try to push her other thoughts. Because they were bad and made him uncomfortable, she knew.
"So we couldve ended up anywhere? Nowhere?"
Leon: "Yup. But it was better on staying on Traverse and having our hearts stolen." He'd seen too many people fall to that fate.
Rinoa: "But they're here too. It's not like they're going to stop coming either. Not from what I've seen." Laguna, of course. Of everyone who could've been possessed, she'd thought he was the least likely candidate.
Leon: "Yeah. But here, at least, they aren't overrunning the town. I've seen numbers like they were in Traverse before." He frowned a little. "...I'd be surprised if Traverse is even still there."
Rinoa: "Swallowed by darkness?" She questioned, not needing an answer. It made chills go down her back and she shivered, her feet slipping back down on the floor.
Leon: Leon nodded, looking away from her again. "Most worlds have been."
Rinoa: Even ours. Mine. She bit the inside of her lip and stood up, going over to the window, looking out at the streets in the dull twilight of the town. The fact that she'd never see anything again, not Timber, not Deling, not her olds schools or Garden or the place where they'd had their base got to her.
It was impossible to relocate and save worlds, wasn't it? Hollow Bastion, from what she'd heard, was still in darkness.
Leon: "...Once Sora closes Kingdom Hearts again...The worlds will return. They aren't gone for good." He'd seen that look on her face. There were some things he could figure out easy enough.
Rinoa: She didn't turn around, but she tried to smile. "Sounds easy enough." When they returned, what would happen? Would there be a Squall in her world, in Garden, waiting for her? Would she be sucked back into Time Compression, forced to watching him die over and over again?
She didn't know. And she wasn't sure she wanted to find out.
Leon: "...Yeah. Easy as sin." He frowned, leaning back. If it was so damn easy, they wouldn't have wound up stranded without worlds again.
Rinoa: "Will you return to Hollow Bastion?" She turned to look at him now, trying not to let too much emotion show on her face.
Leon: "...I don't know." He frowned a little more, reaching up to absently trace his scar.
Rinoa: "Why wouldn't you?" She followed his movement and went to the side of the couch, leaning her knees against it's side.
Leon: "I'm.....not sure where I fit anymore." He frowned, avoiding looking at her. "Hollow Bastion or...the other world."
Rinoa: "Oh." She muttered softly and without a second thought, crawled onto the couch, sitting on her knees beside him, looking at him. "You still have time. To figure it out. Or not. You don't have to be in either."
Leon: Leon made a noise of affirmation, before turning to look at her, a corner of his mouth twitching slightly. "I'll think about it when the time comes."
Rinoa: She nodded, smiling a bit at his almost smile and reached out to put her hand over his, just for a little bit. Just to feel his skin. "Just don't feel obligated to go where I go. Or anything."
Leon: Leon looked down at her hand but didn't say anything. Instead he turned his hand and threaded his fingers through hers silently.
Rinoa: Rinoa looked down at their joined hands too and she smiled at the sight, aware of the pale crimson colour rising on her cheeks. She didn't even want to stop it, really. She leaned against the back of the couch, closing her eyes and just sat there for a little bit, enjoying the silence.
"You're really okay with me being here." She opened her eyes again, looking at him, her sight slightly obscured by the couch.
Leon: Leon watched her, his gaze soft. Lucky no one else was around, because there was no way he'd ever hear the end of it from Cloud. But it was them, and that was...nice. He was kind of amazed how calm she made him feel. Like everything wasn't about to fall to pieces. Which he was always a little worried about.
Rinoa: "Good." She smiled brightly, squeezing his hand. Because I'm not going anywhere unless you throw me out.
Leon: He smiled back a little, squeezing her hand back. He was still getting used to this whole smiling thing. Aerith was right, he really didn't do it a hell of a lot, and it was kind of weird when he did.
Rinoa: Weird? Yeah. Kind of scary? ...perhaps a little. But she really really thought he should do it more often. It was a really nice smile.
Rinoa drew herself up slightly, just to pull herself closer to him and resting her chin on his shoulder, still smiling, although a little more lazily now. "So you're sure you don't know where the cards are?"
Leon: Leon tilted his head enough so he could look at her, raising his eyebrows a little. "No idea."
Rinoa: "So you just sat and stared into the wall all day, thinking?" She questioned, frowning slightly. Although that would fit his personality, she had doubts it wouldn't make him crazy in the end.
Leon: "...No?" There was the gunblade swinging, and the pacing too.
Rinoa: "What did you do for fun then?" She stopped herself, shaking her head, realizing how the word 'fun' did not particulary suit him. "Entertainment. To not die of boredom?"
Leon: Leon sighed, tilting his head back. "I told you. We were too busy to be bored much."
Rinoa: She realized her defeat and shifted so that her back was against the couch, her chin no longer on his shoulder. "...sorry." Rinoa just couldn't imagine sitting inside an apartment or wherever they had been, planning strategic steps for the next battle they were to be involved in all day around.
She'd been all about her work when it came to Timber, but she'd allowed herself to have fun too. Then again, he was Leon, he was Squall, so she shouldn't have been surprised in the slightest. "Do you just want to sit, then?"
Leon: Leon shifted so he could look at her, feeling a little like he'd done something wrong. "Not really."
Rinoa: He wasn't really giving her much to work with. She was used to it, but they were defining something that was supposed to have been defined already, a long time ago. Squall had not minded much of what she proposed at the end, but she didn't know how Leon was going to act at all times. She couldn't read him as easily.
Which he probably thought of as a good thing, she knew.
Looking back at him, she gave a small smile. "I know I asked you before, but if there's somewhere you have to be or something you want to do, you should be there or do it. I'm not here to stop you."
Leon: Leon shook his head. "There isn't. So far the Heartless haven't done much other than be a common annoyance." Of course, that meant that there would be something eventually, and the sooner he talked to Sora about it, the better. Of course the teen would have to show up and be in one spot long enough for Leon to pin him down before that happened.
And he still wasn't comfortable with leaving the apartment without knowing she'd be watched after. Not after that whole...Laguna thing.
Rinoa: Right. "Okay." She fell silent, averting her gaze, just giving a small nod. It would've been easier if there was anything he wanted to do, or something he wanted her to tell him. She had never had a problem with talking before, but now, when there was nothing to do but talk, she felt herself stumped for words.
Leon: "...You should ask Aerith where the cards are, when she gets back." He knew that there were cards, and if she was THAT bored, Aerith could probably hook her up.
Rinoa: She glanced at him, but found herself not averting her gaze like she had earlier. "It's fine. It's not that I'm bored. ...I just don't know what to say to you, most of the time." She had never been one for keeping things to herself, not when they were bugging her anyway.
"You say there's nothing particular you want to do, but when I ask if you just want to sit, you say not really. And I know you're not much of a conversationalist, so I try not to talk too much and I'm really failing that one right now."
Leon: "I don't mind if you talk." Leon said slowly, tilting his head down briefly before looking at her again. "I....like hearing your voice." Not to mention, for someone who was so quiet, the awkward silences between them made him more uncomfortable than most things.
Rinoa: "But I can't talk constantly about nothing. ...well, yes, I can, but that even bugs me after a while." She gave him a confused smile with a small headshake. "Though that's sweet."
Leon: "...Tell me more about your....our...world then?" He raised his eyebrows a little. "..Might help me remember more."
Rinoa: She turned her head away, thinking a little. "Uhm, well. What do you want to know?"
Leon: "...If I knew, there wouldn't be much point in asking."
Rinoa: She shook her head. "I mean, what kind of things? Geography, history, the people in our lives?"
Leon: "The people?"
Rinoa: "Okay." She could do this, really. "Garden is huge, a lot of students, though you would probably know Seifer, Quistis, Zell, Cid, Irvine or Selphie best. Seifer was actually the reason why I was at the graduation ball in the first place. He'd told me about SeeD and that I could hire them. But that's not important. Not for- uhm."
Okay, moving on.
"Laguna. You've met him and I swear he's not evil. He's the President of Esthar and he's your-" She stopped herself, saying he was his father would sound weird to her, not to mention to him. "He's Squall's father." That, at least, sounded more suitable.
Leon: Leon frowned a little. Squall's father. No wonder he'd been familiar, and in an uncomfortable way.
Rinoa: She tried to interpret that frown and reached up to his face, tracing her fingers above his brow for a few seconds before letting it rest at his shoulder. "You okay?"
Leon: Leon frowned for a moment longer before giving her a small smile and reaching up to cover her hand with his own. "...Fine. Just processing information."
Rinoa: She smiled again, nodding as she continued, telling him about all of them. Edea, Ellone, Zone, Watts, Nida, Xu, Adel, Caraway, Julie, Raine. About herself, about Seifer, about all of them and how they had saved the world. Or tried to save the world. Time Compression had been too much, they had been lost.
It was easier when she just let the words flow, not stopping. And at the end, she knew she was crying silent tears, leaning against his shoulder. It hurt a lot to think back at everything, but she almost felt relieved when she'd finished.
Leon: Leon had his arms wrapped around her, his eyes closed. He remembered some of it, but it all still felt a little foggy. Far off. And other things he couldn't get a hold on. But for now, she was crying. Just holding her was enough.
Rinoa: As soon as the tears quieted themselves down, she pulled away slightly, wiping the remaining moisture from her eyes and smiled at him. "Sorry."
Leon: He looked down at her, reaching one hand up to stroke along her cheek. "Don't be."
Rinoa: "I keep crying on you. It's not healthy." She tried to make light of the situation, but gave in and hugged him again, burying her face against his chest.
Leon: Leon made a noise that could have been a laugh and stroked his hand along her hair, tilting her head down. "Rather have you cry on me than alone."
Rinoa: "I like that idea better too." Her voice was muffled against the material of his shirt and she enjoyed the feeling of being held, just for a little bit longer before looking up at him again. "Thank you."
Leon: Leon looked down at her, tilting his head to the side. "I'm not doing much." She kept thanking him for things that he just felt were what he needed to do.
Rinoa: "You're here for me. That means a lot." She smiled, somewhat at her own situation and how she felt almost imposing at times. Reaching one of her hands up, she gently stroked the side of his face, marvelling at how much alike and different he was from Squall at the same time.
Leon: Leon watched her, leaning his face in to her touch a little. "...Glad to be of service, then."
Rinoa: Rinoa kept her eyes on his for a while, trying to decide if what she was about to do was wise or stupid, but she couldn't and so she leaned forward, a little hesistant, trying to figure out his reaction.
Leon: Leon leaned forward too, leaning his forhead against hers briefly before tilting his head to kiss her, lightly. It had been a while since he'd dared to do that.
Rinoa: She smiled then, before pulling herself up and closer to him, kissing him back. It was chaste, she didn't have the guts nor really the need to try anything else right now. This was nice.
Leon: It was nice. And he liked being with her. As strange as it was for broody, grumpy Leon to have affection for someone.
Rinoa: Breaking the kiss, she let out a small breath before opening her eyes again to look at him. "...can I do it again?" She wasn't exactly sure why she needed to ask for permission, she just felt like she had to.
Leon: Leon smiled, nodding. "Yeah. You can."
Rinoa: She found herself smiling again, mirroring his as she leaned back in, her hands going around his back to hold him. Hyne, she loved to hold him.
Leon: Leon held her a little tighter. The moments like these were nice. Really nice.
Rinoa: Hoping Cloud or Aerith or Yuffie wouldn't take this moment to come back home, Rinoa bit into his lip softly as she slid herself onto his lap. Much much more comfortable. Yep.
Leon: Leon adjusted to the new position, also hoping that none of the other occupants of the Apartment would decide to show up at this moment.
Rinoa: She didn't break it so fast this time, instead adding small kisses to the side of his mouth before pulling away, leaning her forehead against his, her eyes closed.
Leon: Leon smiled a little more, his eyes travelling over her face. "...You're beautiful, you know."
Rinoa: Her eyes fluttered open and she stared at him, somewhat baffled. "What?" There was that blush on her cheeks again. Except it was more unwelcome this time.
Leon: "You're beautiful." He repeated.
Rinoa: ...and it just kept getting warmer in here, didn't it? "Uhm... thank you?" She tried, averting her gaze from his. It made her happy to hear him say that, but she'd never been good with taking compliments from people she cared about.
Leon: She didn't really need to say anything. He'd just wanted to say it. Because it was true.
Rinoa: At his further silence, she looked at him again and smiled, pulling one arm from around his back to brush his bangs out of his eyes, her fingers dancing across his scar. "You're..." She didn't know how to finish. So instead she drew him in again, her now free hand tangling itself in his hair instead.
Leon: She didn't really need to say anything. She'd been talking for the past half hour, and now...Well. This was the good kind of silence.
Rinoa: She felt relaxed now. Safe. She could feel herself sinking further into him, letting her kisses travel across his chin and down his neck, her hand in his hair falling down to draw small patterns at the back of his neck.
Leon: Leon slid his hands along her back, tilting his head down a bit as she kissed along his neck, his brain starting to fail in its functioning. She had that effect on him.
Rinoa: A shiver ran down her spine as his hands moved, but she didn't stop, lazily drawing both hands up, tracing patterns on his white shirt.
Leon: Leon smiled a little, mimicing the patterns she was tracing on his shirt on her back.
Rinoa: She kissed back up his neck like she had before, ending with his mouth again, daring to deepen the kiss now. He hadn't minded any of the things she'd done thus far, but she didn't want to push too much either.
Leon: He really wasn't in the state of minding what she was pushing. One hand slid up her back to brush the back of her neck, and he kissed her back.
Rinoa: She could feel the hairs at the back of her neck stand on end and without much effort, she slid one of her legs over him so she was straddling him. Still kissing. Because that part was too good to give up right now.
Leon: ...Okay. She was straddling him.
...And while he liked that ALL the more than he should... things were waking up that he was failing control of, and, well, in that position it wouldn't be long until she FELT that... so he did the only thing he could really think of, and broke away from her, leaning back on the couch.
"..Rinoa. I...." Yeah. What the hell was he going to say now? Whatever he said, was going to sound dumb. "...I know where Cloud keeps the battleship?" ...Yeah. Dumb.
Rinoa: She pulled away herself, hands leaving his shoulders, going down at her sides instead. It was okay, he wasn't comfortable, she'd back off.
But she couldn't help the small laugh that elicited at his words. "You wanna go somewhere?"
Leon: Leon sighed, running his hand to the back of his head absently. "...Yeah, sure."
Rinoa: She frowned, pulling herself out of her amused state. "I meant with the battleship. Since that was the best you came up with."
Leon: "...Oh." And now he felt like an even bigger idiot. "...No. I...just..." Great. And he felt like he was fifteen and awkward.
Rinoa: "Hey." She shook her head, smiling again. "It's okay, really. If you're not comfortable with this, I can back off." She slid herself back into place next to him. "See? No touching."
Leon: It wasn't that he wasn't comfortable. Well. It wasn't that he didn't want to. He did. He just knew he shouldn't. It would complicate things even more than they already were.
So, he just kept his mouth shut.
Rinoa: The lack of reply unnerved her. Had she done something really wrong, now? Maybe she shouldn't have laughed at it. Or teased him, or... "...say something."
Rinoa: "About not speaking, or about...?" She bit her lip, standing up. "You know what? I should just stop pushing. Sorry. If you don't want to talk about it or explain yourself, that's your thing and it's alright."
Leon: ...Hyne he was such an ass sometimes. But he really couldn't think of anything to say. There wasn't any explaining it.
Rinoa: Yeah, she thought not. Smiling again, she leaned down just to give him a small kiss before disappearing into the kitchen, intent on writing that grocery shopping list.
Leon: Leon sighed, sitting a moment longer before standing himself and heading towards the bedroom he shared with Cloud. Thinking was usually easier when forced in solitude.