"I know he's Sora's friend, but I just don't like him."
Leon shifted a large beam of wood to the side and sat down on a rock to eat his lunch. The Restoration Committee had started working on the outskirts of town, rebuilding the first houses to be destroyed during the war. Work on the main town was going well so Leon, taking Cloud with him, had moved his efforts outwards and was trying to find salvageable buildings.
"I think he's alright," Cloud shrugged, opening the flask and pouring two mugs of tea. "He's a little withdrawn, but from what Sora tells us, that's understandable. Remember what I was like when I first came back?"
"There's a big difference, Cloud," Leon snorted and sipped his tea. "I liked you before you turned to darkness."
"I know he's your friend, Sora," Riku said, stretching his arms skywards in an attempt to work the tension out of his muscles. "But I don't like him."
"It's Leon!" Sora gaped at his friend, disbelievingly. "What's not to like?"
Since the two young men arrived, they had been working hard to clear the road out of town so the large carts carrying timber and stone could pass through to the outskirts. As soon as they arrived, Sora volunteered to help and Riku reluctantly offered his services as well.
"He's bossy. He always tells people what to do and how to do it."
"He's the leader, Riku."
"He is not."
"You're biased because you fancy Cloud."
Sora dropped a tree branch and, blushing furiously, swatted Riku's arm.
Leon arched his back as fingernails scraped down his spine. His hips snapped forward, almost of their own accord, as he drove himself into the body beneath him. Tight heat surrounded his cock and his lips crashed down against Riku's. Both men were panting, their frenzied coupling in the forest a testament to their raw need and desperate hunger. Leon's hand snaked between their bodies and curled around Riku's erection, stroking and jerking him to completion, his own orgasm fast approaching.
"Riku," he breathed his lover's name as he reached his peak. "Riku."
"I hate that kid!"
Leon stomped into the living room and scowled at Cloud, who raised his eyebrows questioningly.
"What's wrong now?"
The answer was the plastic handle of their coffee jug, tossed on the floor at his feet. Only when he looked down did he notice the damp stain over one of Leon's legs.
"He broke the coffee machine. I don't know how he did it, but when I went to get a cup, there was a crack in the jug. I only noticed when I picked it up; the crack spread, the glass shattered and now, there's coffee all over the kitchen floor."
"And your leg," Cloud pointed and suppressed a snigger. "Besides, how could that be Riku's fault? The coffee maker is pretty old."
"Have you had coffee today?" Leon snarled, knowing full well that Cloud stuck to tea first thing. "Has Sora?"
"Well no, but-"
"But nothing. Riku booby-trapped it, knowing that I'd be the only one to drink coffee," he glared accusingly at the handle, channelling his rage at Riku towards the object. "Where is the sneaky little shit anyway?"
Cloud shrugged his shoulders and looked towards the window.
"They went out."
"That asshole!" Riku exclaimed, throwing his hands up and looking to Sora for sympathy. "He did this on purpose, you know."
Sighing at yet another round of I-hate-Leon, Sora sat down next to his friend and peered down at the list of instructions that sat on his lap.
"It's not Leon's fault that the roof needs repaired."
"No, but it is his fault we're stuck doing it. He knows I hate heights."
"How?" Sora asked softly. "You never speak to him, so how would he know you hate heights."
"I don't like it up here," Riku whispered and clung onto Leon's upper arm. "It's not natural to be this high up."
"It's okay; I won't let you fall."
As if to prove his words, Leon curled his arm around Riku's waist and pulled him close. He could feel the younger man tensing and tried to distract him by kissing his neck."
"I suppose," Riku conceded. "This isn't too bad."
Fears of falling were forgotten as the kisses grew in intensity, Leon working his way up, over Riku's chin to his lips.
"I'll keep you safe," Leon murmured, pulling away for just a moment. "I promise."
"Okay, so everyone knows what they're doing?"
Leon finished giving out the duties for the day and cast his eyes over the assembled group. A few people nodded, some smiled back but one just glared at him, hatefully.
"Alright then," he said, gathering up the various plans and blueprints that lay scattered on the table in front of him. "Let's get to it."
The workers filed out of the room, leaving only Leon and Cloud. As soon as they were alone, Leon frowned and opened his mouth to speak. Cloud held up a hand.
"Before you say it; yes, I did see the look he gave you, no, I don't think it was warranted and yes, Riku is a pain in the ass but really Leon, you're the adult here," Cloud patted his friend on the shoulder before dispensing some advice. "Get over it."
"That's easy for you to say. You're not the one who has to put up with his tantrums and sulking."
"Nor do you. I've never seen you two say so much as two words to each other."
"Who made him boss anyway?" Riku seethed as he trudged along the well-worn path to the castle. "And please, remind me why we're doing this."
"He's the boss because he's a natural leader and we're doing this, Riku," Sora said, forced patience evident in his voice. "Because we're guests. Good guests. Cloud and Leon offered us a place to stay while we're here and we're repaying them by helping out the committee."
"I don't see why we couldn't have stayed at Merlin's. At least there, I don't have to worry about encountering Lord Grumpy-Pants around the next corner."
Torn between laughing at Riku's nickname for Leon and whacking his friend over the head with the nearest rock, Sora settled for grimacing and tugging Riku's arm.
"At least you're not on a roof today, right?"
"You're feeling playful tonight," Leon observed as Riku crawled up the bed to straddle his chest. "Something put you in a good mood?"
"I'm always in a good mood," Riku smirked, inching forwards until his hard cock bumped against Leon's chin. "Especially when I'm about to get blown."
"And what do I get out of it?"
"If you do it well, a face full of come."
Leon rubbed his forehead; he could feel a headache coming on and the last thing he wanted to deal with was a report on how low supplies were running. Earlier in the week, he had given Sora and Riku the task of re-ordering everything but so far, nothing had arrived, forcing work to grind to a halt.
"I don't know how he's managed it," Leon snapped, slapping the table with his open hand. "But Riku's royally fucked up this time."
"What's he done now?" Cloud asked, absently, knowing that this was just another excuse for Leon to bitch and complain about their visitor.
"Oh, nothing important," came the sneered reply. "Only forgotten to place the order I asked him to meaning I'll have to do it now. As if we weren't far enough behind as it is."
"He didn't forget. He gave the order to the moogles, but it's some sort of religious holiday or moogle-appreciation week or something like that, so they're not doing any synthesising right now. I thought you knew that."
For a moment, Leon's anger faltered before coming back, full force.
"How am I supposed to know if he doesn't tell me? I'm not a mind-reader."
"I swear, Sora, he has it in for me," Riku whined as Sora carefully plucked splintered wood out of his hand. "He's all pissed off about the moogles and that's why he has us raking through the dump, looking for junk."
"He doesn't have it in for you! And we're not looking for junk, we're recycling."
All of the old timber and unusable furniture had been kept in case it came in handy during the restoration. Sora and Riku had spent the day sifting through the debris and finding items which could be reused in the current supply shortage. It was hard, dirty work and both were tired, bruised and in Riku's case, grumpy.
"No, it's junk. It's junk, Leon hates me and I want to go home!"
"Oh don't be such a baby!" Sora yanked hard on splinter, earning a yelp from his friend. "You can't go home without my gummi ship anyway, and I'm staying. So there."
Riku would never have believed that Leon would be so gentle, but there he was, being pushed down against the bed by the weight of Leon slowly rocking into him. They made love at an unhurried pace, taking their time to kiss and touch, enjoying the feel of hot skin against hot skin. Their breaths intermingled in that moment when lips parted, just before tongues darted out to slide against each other.
"I'm so glad you're here," Leon whispered, drawing back and halting his movements to look down at his lover. "You make me feel complete."
Gulping at the sentiment behind the words, Riku could only nod and pull his lover into another passionate kiss.
Cloud tilted his head back and closed his eyes. The afternoon sun blazed down on him and for the first time in a long while, he felt truly relaxed. In recognition of all the hard work everyone had done, Leon declared the first day of summer to be a holiday and so, taking the opportunity to spend a little time with someone other than Leon, Cloud invited Sora to do some sparring in the clearing in the woods. Sora had jumped at the chance, not only because he wanted to improve his skills, but also to get away from Riku's complaints. The two men fought until exhaustion, then dropped down onto the ground to catch their breath and enjoy the remainder of the beautiful day. Lying with his head on Cloud's lap, Sora gazed up at the clear sky.
"Hey Cloud," he began, only to be interrupted by the sound of feet, racing through the forest. He sat up and looked around. "What was that? Animals?"
Cloud was on his feet before he could think, his weapon poised to fend off any danger. The noise stopped. He turned to Sora, lifting his finger to his lips in a warning to stay quiet.
"Come on," he whispered, pointing in the direction of the noise. "We'd better investigate."
Silently, the two males crept out of the clearing and into the forest. Another noise reached their ears; arguing.
"You fucked up, Riku! I asked you to do one little thing and you couldn't even get that right."
"Hey! You're the one who said to hit it. It isn't my fault that the end fell off."
Cloud and Sora exchanged exasperated glances and knew that their peace was well and truly shattered.
"I said tap it, not whack it. Hammers are expensive, Riku, and so are nails and thanks to you, we've got to start all over again."
"If you'd listened to me in the first place and used screws…"
Knowing it was likely that their friends would kill each other if no-one stepped in, Cloud and Sora approached the source of the noise.
"Since when were you such an expert on carpentry?"
"I never said anything about carpentry," Riku's voice took on a playful tone. "But I know plenty about screwing."
His eyes growing wide, Sora looked at Cloud who seemed to be just as confused at the turn the argument had taken. They were close enough now to see their friends, facing each other with tense bodies and clenched fists. Before either Cloud or Sora could speak in an attempt to diffuse the situation, the two men in front of them fell against each other and started to fight. Ready to break them up, Sora lurched forward, only to be held back by Cloud.
"Wait," the older man said, pulling Sora back against his chest. "Look."
"What?" Sora peered through the trees then gasped. "Did Leon just grab Riku's ass?"
They both looked. Sure enough, Leon's hand groped and massaged Riku's backside.
"They're not fighting," Cloud muttered incredulously. "They're smooching."
"But I thought they hated each other?"
Sora's question went unanswered for a minute or two as the two males watched Leon tug off Riku's shirt and drop to his knees, pulling the boy down with him.
"Apparently not as much as they claim."