Title: Crazy in a Good Way
Author: Page of Cups
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts
Warnings: Fluff, fluff, and more fluff
Theme: 11. Gardenia
Disclaimer: I so don’t own Kingdom Hearts it isn’t even funny. Sometimes I do in my hallucinations, but I have problems, so that doesn’t count.
Author’s Note: I don’t know anymore than Cloud does. Sometimes I wonder why I post these things.
Being in love, Cloud discovered, made you do crazy things.
They weren’t normal crazy things, either. Being in love didn’t make him want to jump out of planes or anything. They were the other kind of crazy things. The kind that when you do them make you wonder who you’ve become in the process of falling in love because before Cloud might have snickered at the thought of calling someone baby or feeling lost if he slept in an empty bed. He laughed at the cheesy lines he heard Leon say to Sora and ragged on him about it later. He thought people had problems calling someone just to hear their voice and the very thought of ever telling anyone that he loved them was terrifying. He couldn’t imagine committing or raising children or even owning a dog, because he sure as hell couldn’t even take care of himself half the time.
It wasn’t that Cloud was self-degrading enough to think no one could ever love him and that he’d be alone forever, brooding. He just couldn’t see himself in that kind of lovey-dovey situation, holding someone’s hand, feeling like he could just kiss them forever and be content. It wasn’t even a question of masculinity; Cloud was perfectly comfortable in his masculinity. He just couldn’t see himself melting into a mushy pile of goo over a lip pout and a few eyelash flutters like Leon did. He couldn’t believe that the cutesy voice Tifa gave Rude would ever work on him.
Don’t be mistaken. It wasn’t like Cloud had never been in relationships before. He’d been in a quite a few. There had been plenty of attractions to people. He’d even been in the butterflies in the stomach scenario once or twice. It just never really got past that point, and Cloud just figured he wasn’t that type of guy that got all sweet over someone else. It just wasn’t his relationship personality and that was that.
When he started dating Riku, nothing was different. Sure, after some time together he liked Riku a little more than anyone else he’d dated before. He enjoyed the attention and affection Riku showered on him on a regular basis. Riku was a great kisser; the sex was amazing. They held hands sometimes and once or twice Cloud would catch himself staring at Riku, completely enamored with him over something trivial like the way he looked when he laughed or how incredible and captivating his eyes were just before he kissed him. It was these incidents that were a step up from anything he’d experienced before that led him to the conclusion he was really falling in love with Riku, but nothing crazy. Nothing that made Cloud stop and wonder who he was and what he’d done with the real Cloud.
And then it happened one day, almost a year into their relationship, as Cloud was heading over to Sora and Riku’s place to pick Riku up that he stopped in front of a small flower shop and considered going in to buy Riku flowers just because. It just happened, just like that, and Cloud suddenly realized that somewhere along the way he had actually fallen in love—real love that was nothing like he thought love was—with Riku and being in love made you do crazy things. Like stop in front of flower shops and consider going in just because. And when that realization hit it snowballed into reflections over the past year that made Cloud’s blood run cold and his heart race as he wondered when the hell he became the kind of person who stopped in front of a flower shop just because.
In retrospect, Cloud figured he must have looked like an idiot or a creepy stalker standing outside that flower shop and just staring, but he couldn’t help it. Because Cloud had just realized that not only was he in love—like real true love—but he was doing those things he wasn’t supposed to ever do, and he had no idea who he’d become, and how long was he doing these things?
Cloud took a breath and tried to be systematic about this. Logical. Something that made sense as opposed to buying flowers just because and considered the evidence.
Case Study #1: Domestication
Cloud had always assumed the basis of his lack of love-induced gestures had nothing to do with not being in love; he just wasn’t a domestic. As previously stated, he never thought about committing to one person, raising a child, or even getting a dog. Evidence that Cloud still wasn’t a domestic kind of person lay in the fact he still didn’t want to raise a child or get a dog. The jury was still out on committing to one person. He had been with Riku for quite a while, and he didn’t intend on leaving any time soon, but how was he supposed to know if he was going to feel that way for the rest of his life? Till death do us part was a long time and he wasn’t about to just jump the gun on something like that. That was serious, heavy business.
Then again, he had been shamefully thinking the other week how adorable Riku looked cooking dinner and there was this little side of him that had felt awfully soft lately when Riku did something small like fold his laundry for him. There was also that thing where he’d been thinking about asking Riku to move in together, and that was a step toward commitment if Cloud had ever heard of one. Strangely, the thought wasn’t as terrifying as he’d been expecting. Okay, so he’d gotten a little domestic. He still wasn’t adding his name to an adoption wait list or picking out china patterns or anything. He was going to be okay. Moving on.
Case Study #2: Mushy Pile of Goo
Cloud was not Leon. Cloud did not revel in the cute voice. It just didn’t work. The very sound of whining made him want to kill people. It never worked for anyone in the past to just saunter up to him, pout, and get their way, and it didn’t work for Riku, either.
Unless he got that sad look on his face when it didn’t work, because then Cloud felt guilty. Like he may as well have just kicked Riku and blurted out that he hated him or something, because that look of disappointment Riku got when Cloud shot him down really sucked. Riku was a master of the disappointed look, though, in Cloud’s defense.
Like the pie incident. Cloud had never felt so bad for eating a pie in his entire life. It wasn’t like it was a big deal. He and Riku were out on a date, decided to rent some movies, and stopped for snacks. So they went back to Riku’s, Riku left for the bathroom, and Cloud ate his pie. He was hungry. It was that simple. It wasn’t like there were devious intentions. But Riku came back, they put on a movie, and halfway through Riku grabbed his pie and asked where Cloud’s was. Cloud said he already ate it and Riku got that sad look.
“Oh,” said Riku. “I thought we would eat them together...” His voice trailed off in that horrible way Riku’s voice often did when he sounded disappointed. “It’s kind of stupid, huh? It’s just a pie.”
And what did Cloud say? “No. No, it’s not stupid.” He put his arm around Riku and hugged him, feeling like he’d killed Riku’s beloved pet or something.
Was it stupid Riku was disappointed Cloud already ate his pie? Probably, but even a few weeks later Cloud still didn’t really think it was stupid because Riku had looked disappointed and that was all that mattered.
So Cloud had become a little victim to the mushy pile of goo. It just happened that it was fairly easy to guilt him. Marlene and Denzel did it all the time. Riku just happened to be a grown adult that could make him cave, too. It wasn’t that bad; it was in Cloud’s personality type. And just because he caved when Riku smiled wasn’t fair, either, because Riku had a really nice smile and could get someone who wasn’t in love with him to murder kittens if he tried hard enough. He was going to be okay. Moving on.
Case Study #3: The L Word
There was no point in discussing this case study. Cloud started noticing around the seven-month mark that every time he was with Riku he started blurting out the scary love word once every three or four hours. He was still waiting for Riku to tell him to stop saying it so much.
And he had become strangely happy the first time in month five when Riku called just to hear his voice.
He was tagging ‘baby’ on the end of sentences like Reno tagged on ‘yo’ in month six. Cloud had tried to stop, but it kept slipping out of his mouth, so he just violently pretended it wasn’t happening.
And it might have slipped out of his mouth a few days ago that he could have just laid there in bed, holding him, and kissing Riku forever and he’d be happy.
He got the idea to move in together an hour after he got off the phone with Riku two weeks ago and couldn’t fall asleep because he kept thinking about how empty the bed was and fighting off the urge to call Riku back just to hear his voice.
And now he was standing in front of a flower shop thinking about going in and buying Riku flowers just because.
So being in love could make even him do crazy things, Cloud decided, when he showed up for the date carrying a bouquet of gardenias.
“You...brought me flowers?” said Riku.
“The girl at the shop said they stand for loveliness and purity.”
Riku smiled. “Okay. So...what did you do?”
“What do you mean?”
“Flowers usually mean you’ve done something wrong, right?”
“Huh? No. I don’t know. I just...I love you.”
Riku nodded. “I love you, too.” He eyed Cloud and then frowned. “You really bought me flowers just because you love me?”
Cloud nodded. “Yeah. I don’t know myself. I was walking over here and I saw the flower shop and I was like, ‘I’m gonna buy Riku flowers just because.’”
Riku bit his lip. “How long did you freak out over that one?”
“Hard to say. I didn’t time it.”
Riku nodded again, a slightly amused smile on his lips. “I see. Well, thank you.”
“I’m sorry about the pie.”
“Never mind. You wanna go?”
“Yeah. I’m just gonna...put these in water...or something.”
“You hate them.”
“No! I just...” Riku smiled, wrapped his hand around Cloud’s neck, and kissed him. “I love you.”
“You can tell me if you hate them.”
“I don’t hate them. I just wasn’t expecting them.”
“I love you, too.”
“I know. I also know it’s hard for you to deal with that.”
“I’ll get better.”
“Thank you for putting up with me.”
“You’re worth it.”
Riku moved to put the flowers in water and Cloud decided it wasn’t his fault if he was turning into a mushy puddle of goo over one guy. It was Riku’s fault for saying stuff like that and making him feel so good all the time and looking so cute trying to find something to substitute as a vase for unexpected flowers. And really, when he considered all of that, it wasn’t such a bad thing that being in love made you do crazy things because at least when you did those crazy things, they were crazy in a good way.