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law of gravity

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It's nice outside for autumn, and the stars are on parade, burning softly against his eyelids. He's almost asleep despite the feel of stone against his back until he feels a familiar prod against his ribs.

"What," Leon says, and doesn't open his eyes.

"You can't just disappear like that, y'know. People worry."

"Like who?"

"Like me, moron." Yuffie punches him in the shoulder and he sits up, scowling. "What's your thing for brooding on rooftops, anyhow?"

"I don't have a thing. And I don't brood."

"Sure," she says and rolls her eyes. Her mouth is drawn into a tight line, but he knows she's not really mad, because her eyes are still wide and dark. She kneels down next to him and stares expectantly.

"What," he repeats, and she walks away, toward the edge of the roof. He represses the urge to pull her back.

"You know what I was doing earlier?"

"I know you're going to tell me regardless," he shrugs.

"You're so funny. I was going through Merlin's books."

"Did you set anything on fire? Shrink anything?"

"Not those books, Squall," she snaps, turning around to stick her tongue out at him. "Just normal books. Stories."

"Anything interesting?"

"I'm getting to that. You're so impatient." She's mostly teasing, now, or else he'd be worried. "There was this one about a man and his son, and how they were trapped in a tower above the ocean. Then one day, the man made a pair of wings, one for him and one for his son, so they could fly away."

"Doesn't seem very safe," Leon observes, standing up. He stretches his arms toward the sky, hearing his vertebrae pop satisfyingly. Yuffie's hair blends into the night sky seamlessly, so he follows the pale line of her shoulders like a beacon and crouches next to her.

"It really isn't. The son dies in the end."

"Ah," he says, then: "You should be wearing a jacket. It's cold tonight."

"It's warm enough," she says, noncommittally. "But can you imagine? Wings, Squall." He doesn't even pause to correct her anymore; it's become bitterly endearing. "I mean, I know we have planes, now, and magic, too, but to do it all by yourself, without wires or motors or spells—think about it, how free." She stands suddenly, flinging her arms out. Her feet are dangerously close to the edge. "Like if I just jumped right now, nothing would happen. I'd just move my arms and everything would be alright. Wings."

Leon, for some inexplicable reason, grabs her tightly around the waist and clings to her; underneath his palms she is warm, warm. Yuffie stares down at him, head cocked in bewildered amusement.

"I," he says levelly, preserving what's left of his dignity, "like being on the ground."

She laughs. "Yeah," she agrees. "Me, too." She lowers herself and pulls him down with her, so they're both lying on their backs, faces skyward.

"Besides," he adds with a yawn, "you'd definitely need a jacket to go flying. It gets chilly up there."

"Maybe I'd just take yours," she says slyly, but he doesn't hear her. She burrows in a little closer to his side.