Word Count: 814
Characters: Leon, Yuffie, Sora, Cloud, Goofy, Donald, Phil
Notes: Written for
"That's Cloud!" Sora said, dropping down onto the Coliseum's steps next to Leon. The kid was pointing and waving at someone leaning against the statue farthest from the doors - some guy with hair even spikier than Sora's, who was having more luck with ignoring the kid than Leon was. "He's really strong, I fought him in the last tournament!"
Leon made a noise of acknowledgement, not really listening, which Sora seemed to take as his cue to start giving Leon a blow-by-blow account of the fight. He managed to pick up the most important details despite himself: Sora thought he was going to die (Sora was supposed to be the keyblade master and he thought he was going to die in the one place where he couldn't. That was reassuring.), and Cloud had been strong, really strong, but Sora had still beat him (Leon nearly asked how close it had been, but Aerith had made him promise not to pick on Sora.).
Sora was starting on a tale that involved Cloud, Hercules, and a giant three-headed dog when Yuffie shrieked inside the entry hall. Sora had his keyblade out almost as quickly as Leon snatched up his gunblade - there was hope for the kid yet - both of them turning and starting for the doors -
Yuffie flew out of the Coliseum and thumped into Leon chest almost hard enough to knock him back down the steps. He teetered on the edge, empty hand flailing for something to grab - he might have been able to get his balance and help her if she'd just let go -
A huge hand grabbed at his wrist and hauled him back onto his feet. When he managed to prise Yuffie off - he found himself thinking, crazily, of how she'd missed cling to people like their shadows off her list of traits a ninja needed - it turned out that Goofy was the one holding him up, and there weren't any enemies in sight. Well, if you didn't count the guy with goat legs that followed Yuffie, looking at them all like they'd just loosed the Heartless on him.
Yuffie grabbed Leon's other wrist, tugging on it like she wanted him to gut her on his gunblade, and said "He says we can take part in the tournament! There's supposed to be treasure if we win, come on Leon, we've got to get inside!"
"What about the preliminaries?" Sora asked, at the same time Leon said "We?"
"Well, yeah, I need someone to back me up while I win the treasure," Yuffie told Leon, before patting Sora on the head - if she'd not been higher up the steps than him, she probably wouldn't have been able to reach. "And the preliminaries are only for the kids, professionals don't need to do them."
Leon tuned out the argument, stumbling back again as Goofy started to brush him off, and found himself looking over towards the statues. Cloud had come out from his hiding place, and was only now lowering a sword nearly half his size. He looked like he was watching Yuffie and Sora scuffle on the steps, expression unreadable from this distance.
"Hey Sora," Leon started, before he glanced down and saw Yuffie clinging to Sora's back and Sora reaching over his shoulders to pull at her cheeks. Leon groaned and covered his face with his hand, trying to think of what Aerith said she'd do if he picked on Sora. Why did the keyblade choose a kid...? "Forget it."
Sora nodded cheerfully enough, until Yuffie did something to make them fall headfirst down the steps. When Leon glanced back towards Cloud, Cloud's jerked his face away, like he hadn't wanted to get caught watching them, and then he was slinging the sword over his shoulder and vanishing round the corner of the building.
"You said he was strong, didn't you?" Leon called down the steps after Sora. He didn't look at the kids, because if he did he was going to change his mind about this.
"Cloud?" Sora's voice sounded muffled, then Yuffie squawked and Sora's voice sounded clear again. Leon wasn't going to look, because anything that made Donald wheeze in laughter like that wasn't something he needed to see. "Sure! He's really strong!"
"Fine." Leon turned and slung his gunblade onto his shoulder. "Yuffie, come on."
"Come o...? Where are we going?"
Leon glanced back at her over his shoulder; Yuffie's head was poking out of a tangle of limbs, her and Sora both staring at him in complete bewilderment. Leon raised his eyebrows and jerked his head at the doors of the Coliseum. "Didn't you want to win some treasure?"
Yuffie stared at him for a long time, then she scrabbled away from Sora and bounded up the stairs after him.
Really strong, huh. Well, he'd see.</cut>