Cloud wondered if it was worth considering it romance, or simply something borne of hands. Hands wandering, comforting, reaching out to touch and feel, hands that would forgive anything when mixed with a simple sigh.
Neither of them was a perfect man. Leon would likely argue that neither was even a good man, and Cloud knew that he would agree.
He cheated. He crossed lines. He couldn't give the one thing he wanted to - his heart.
And Leon - Cloud wasn't entirely sure what kept Leon from anything past their actions at night.
Cloud paid the shopkeeper for the little charm before refusing a bag and simply clipping it onto his belt. At first he'd had trouble feeling the effects that came with such a unique piece, crafted by a powerful mage who apparently had nothing better to do than smithing and spellcasting. But after years of battle and being taught just what he needed to survive, he could feel power when it passed through his hands.
Turning to leave, Cloud wasn't surprised to find Leon watching him. Cloud almost smiled but thought better of it. Instead he just raised a hand and gestured for Leon to follow him past the shops and past everything, walking behind him in silence until they reached the lingering shadows beneath the castle.
Between broken stone and twisted metal, their silence was loud enough to echo.
"I was looking for you," Leon said, reaching to rest a hand at Cloud's waist, just above his hip. He had to be just inches from that charm but Cloud didn't even glance downward.
"I'm not hard to find," Cloud replied, reaching upward to a smudge of dirt on Leon's cheek. "You were..."
"Learning that Tifa knows how to fix roofs and that Aerith can't walk on one," Leon replied, his other hand rising to catch Cloud's.
"I know," Leon said. "Doesn't matter."
Cloud knew a lie when he heard one. It did matter. But he wasn't going to mention that little fact. Not when Leon was touching him. Not when Leon was leaning in to kiss him, raising that hand from his hip upward to slide along his back, pulling their bodies together.
"I bought you something," Cloud managed, his lips almost touching Leon's as he spoke.
There was a difference between silence and having his mouth covered. Without words, he tried to convey what he could through Leon's kiss. An apology. An offer. A question. Leon's tongue brushed against his and he reached to unclip that chain with one hand as his other gripped a bit of Leon's leather jacket.
He knew where his hands were. He knew where Leon's were. And he knew the soft shiver of transferred power as he slipped the chain onto Leon's belt and let go.
"That's..." Leon pulled away just enough to look down. "I..."
"Felt good?" Cloud asked. This time - this time things had ended up okay. Leon was still touching him. His hands...
"Yeah," Leon replied as he let a small grin pass across his face. "Let's go see if it works."
Pausing as Leon pulled away, Cloud finally managed to chuckle.
And hands commanding weapons were the hands both knew so well.