Chapter Two: Breakfast and Battlefields

The next day Leo woke up first, he meandered his way to the kitchen. It was Saturday and Leo wanted to begin such a joyous day appropriately, with an amazing and huge breakfast. He would accept nothing less. And so Leo started up the oven.

Normally this would have been a recipe for disaster. Leo plus a hot stove and dozens of sharp pointy objects equals mass mayhem and widespread pain. But if there was one thing Leo was good at, it was surviving. Leo had lived through dozens of horrifying incidents and had always come out alive somehow. And Aeris hadn't always been around to coddle Leo in her oh so gentle paws.

Before they'd moved in together Leo had taught himself to cook and he was miraculously good. Everybody has a talent, Forest Gump had ping pong and running, Leo had cookingand an apparent indestructibility.

Leo had just put the last plate down onto the table when Aeris walked into the room, rubbing her eyes and yawning. She looked at the table and her eyes widened at the exquisite display or culinary skill that lay before her.

Leo poked his head out of the kitchen, "Morning Aeris" he said cheerily.

"Morning", Aeris managed, dumbfounded. In all the time she had been living with Leo, she'd never seen him cook. She'd kept him out of the kitchen for obvious reasons. She'd also woken up before him for most of that time, giving him little opportunity to get in without her knowledge. Keeping Leo out of trouble was a fulltime job.

"Leo, did you make this?" she asked, still shocked. She almost couldn't believe that he'd made this.

Walking out of the kitchen, rubbing his hands with a washcloth, he said, "Yep, I thought you'd be tired so I made enough for two."

"Enough for two." Aeris repeated.

"Yes" he nodded, smiling. "Apparently we're deaf as well as tired". He laughed as he tossed aside the cloth and sat down.

"Oh, shut up" Aeris snapped lightly as she sat down at the table, though without much conviction.

"Alright" Leo conceded. "Well, let's eat. I didn't make this to look at"

Aeris needed no further encouragement. They dove into the breakfast and before they knew it, it was gone.

Aeris moaned in satisfaction as the warmth from the food spread through her body.

"Pretty good, huh?" Leo chortled.

"Ok ok, that was pretty good." Aeris admitted. "Where did you learn to cook like that anyway?"

"Believe it or not, I did have to live alone for years before we moved in together." Leo smiled. "I know, it must be surprising, you would think that I would have had an entire harem of women at my beck and call. But apparently the women in this city are immune to my sex appeal."

"Ugh", Aeris rubbed her forehead, "I should have known better than to ask." She stood up. "Well, we'd better get started on these. We have a big day ahead of us."

Leo's expression turned puzzled, he cocked his head sideways. "We do, since when?"

"Since right now. Now get dressed" Aeris ordered, shoving Leo out of his chair and toward his room. As an afterthought, she called down the hallway, "And put on something presentable. I won't be seen outside walking around with someone who looks like a total idiot, at least."

That base having been covered, she headed for her own room. She hadn't told Leo, but she'd decided to go and treat him to a new game. Of course, gratitude for breakfast wasn't her only motivation. She wanted the game too and she intended to get full use out of it, but Leo's little gesture had finally convinced her to actually go out and get it.

Leo came out of his room dressed in his customary long-sleeve blue shirt and grey-blue jeans. The shirt had a light blue collar and cuffs. He also wore a dark blue jacket and a grey-blue scarf. Finally, he had his most important piece of clothing, a blue bell around his neck. He couldn't remember a time he hadn't had that collar, he'd feel naked without it.

Aeris hadn't come out of her room yet so Leo sat down on the couch. Just as he was about to turn on the TV, though, Aeris walked out of her room. She was dressed the same as the day previous, except now she wasn't wearing the business jacket.

"Well, let's get going" she said, as she unlocked the door and started to head out, the dishes entirely forgotten in the wake of new game anticipation.

"Ok Aeris."

Leo followed Aeris down to the first floor. It was then that a thought struck him.

"Aeris?" he asked, "remind me why we aren't taking the car?"

"Several reasons" Aeris replied, "the first being that I don't trust you anywhere near that thing, the second being that the exercise is good for us, the third being that I don't like moving it out of the sub-basement, it's a pain in the ass, and fourth because even if it was easy I just don't want to."

She nodded once, sharply, to emphasize her point as she finished.

Leo's ears flattened onto the back of his head.

"But it's cold. I don't want to walk to…" another thought struck Leo, "where are we going anyway?"

Aeris looked up away from Leo up at the sky, feigning disinterest, "Oh, just to go get a game. Now let's go.", and started walking.

Leo's ears perked back up as he began to follow Aeris. "Wait, for real? What game?"

"You'll see." Aeris replied from in front of Leo as they walked. He couldn't see, but she was smiling to herself.

They made it to the store without any trouble and bought the game. They'd bought Battlefield 3. Aeris would have gotten it sooner, but she had chosen instead to buy Skyrim. It had appealed to her gaming style more. Leo would have gotten it, but there had been a little incident and he'd sort of been on probation with Aeris. Part of that meant no new video games.

Leo was dancing along in circles around Aeris holding the game and smiling like an idiot as they walked home. Aeris was smiling to as she allowed herself to share in his happiness. Leo stopped for a second and looked at Aeris to ask her a question

"Hey Aeris?" he ventured.

"Yes Leo."

Aeris didn't sound angry so Leo decided it was safe to ask, "How come you didn't buy this sooner?"

Aeris stopped suddenly and started to grind her teeth. He forgot? "He's already forgotten? God is he dense! How could even he forget that so quickly? How could he forget it at all?"

Through clenched teeth she said, "Because Leo, you almost-", she stopped and sighed to herself. "Never mind Leo, I'm cold, let's go home."

Knowing better than to press the matter, Leo followed Aeris home.

A/N: You read it? Hmm, I suppose that must mean you like what you've seen so far. Intriguing.

Well, if you've liked it so far, just wait until you get to the next chapter. FORWARD!