Turk Tribute
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-between Me and You-

They always tell you that the past is the past. That if you atoned for you past actions, you should follow with forgetting it.

But was it all that easy?

Even now, in the next morning as he laid on his side of the bed, gazing to the sleeping woman in front of him who chose to be held the rest of the night, he felt that he had done something to her that couldn't just be apologized for. He lifted a hand to the swelling on her face, carefully hovering a finger over it, and his eyes turned illed and wronged.

Already he was sure Tifa had passed the 'Forgive and Forget' phase last night, and yet somehow he was afraid she wasn't exactly forgiving him or forgetting the whole event. Maybe he was just being delusional, but as the pit of his stomach churned with agony of what may be later on in their relationship, he couldn't help but feel pitiful.

Feeling suddenly over-protective, he wrapped his arms closely around the woman, but carefully so that she wouldn't wake. He was already feeling sick; sick of feeling that his future with Tifa was already in the beginning of its destruction.

He didn't want to leave the woman he loved, and he loved her so much. Never had he met someone who would easily distract him with a kind word, or a kind look. Never had he met someone who thought of him as a regular person aside his shady past and the connections he had with certain groups of people. Never had he met someone willing to love him back in return.

He froze in his spot for a minute as a hand crept up against the sides of his ribs before ending up on his back, just under his shoulder blade. He smiled knowing that the woman was now awake; it was a small habit of hers to always place a hand on the certain spot on his back when in an embrace, and even a little thing like that was special to him.

"Reno.. I gotta make breakfast," she droned off sleepily as she attempted to open her eyes; he watched her in amusement.

"I don't think you can do it, you're still asleep," he replied to her as he gave her a light kiss on her forehead. Slowly his troubles for his future dissipated for a later time.

She gave a grumble and leaned over to his cheek to return his kiss, and slowly sat up to wake, "Like I'm going to let you cook and mess my kitchen up."

He watched her with the same delight he had every morning as she stood up out of bed wearing a pair of white pajama pants and an undershirt, "You and your precious kitchen... For your information, I happen to know how to fry eggs," he sent her a lopsided grin as she cocked her eyebrows at him in disbelief.

"I remember how that went for a while," she shook her head to him and fixed her hair behind her ears before heading to the doorway and downstairs. She stopped on her first step and turned to Reno on the bed, "You are coming down, right?"

Waving her a gesture that meant he was, Reno watched her disappear through the door before he reluctantly stood up to his feet, stretching his aching body from sleep. He grabbed his white beater shirt, and while placing it on, he spotted his nightstick on the dresser in front of him. He hesitated to pick it up as he finished dressing, and finally he reached a hand to it and slowly brought it up in front of him.

He kept his gaze at it, almost transfixed by some hypnotizing force, and moments passed before he heard the phone ring and Tifa's voice answering it. Diverting his eyes to the door, he could pick up Tifa raising her voice slightly as she talked on the phone, and that only meant one thing.

Moving his eyes back to the night stick in his hands, he turned towards the small garbage bin on the side of the dresser, threw it in, and headed downstairs.


~-~-~




"What is it? What do you want now?"

He reached the kitchen area and found the woman striding nervously on an invisible line as she slowly became irate to the caller on the phone. Immediately he came to the kitchen and stopped in front of her with a hard look.

She gave him a quick sideways glance before moving her eyes to the floor, "Would you just please get to the point? I-I'm a little busy," she spoke on the phone as calmly as she can, and yet her eyes burned in fury of the one on the other line.

Reno anxiously waited as to what the certain caller wanted from Tifa, knowing that if the woman was getting irritated by the minute that whatever the caller had to say was not anything she would want to hear.

There was a long silence between the conversation with Tifa and the caller, and Reno speculated that the caller had asked her a serious question. He moved forward to her, catching her eyes in an instant, and he verified his prediction by her expression.

"I'm.. I'm sure they wouldn't mind if I didn't come.." Tifa spoke in a different tone now; more low and shameful, "--it's not--!.. No, I.. I just don't think I should go any ways."

By now, Reno was getting more anxious and as irritated as Tifa was, and hastily he tried to verify the caller by lip synching her the question.

Tifa's eyebrows dropped as she continued to talk on the phone, but at the same time telling him who it was, "Listen, Cloud, I'm not sure if I'll make it.. but I'll try, all right?"

Reno scratched the back of his neck as his guess of the caller was answered. He muttered in a low voice, making sure only Tifa could hear him, "What's the idiot want now?"

Ignoring him, Tifa continued to talk on the phone in a low voice, "No, I don't need a ride. I'll find a way. Yeah.. okay.. bye," she dropped the phone back and sighed as she faced the contemplating Reno beside her.

"Guy's got a lot of nerve calling you, huh?" Reno commented, crossing his arms as he leaned on the wall. He knew Tifa and Cloud had issues against each other long ago; something Tifa had never really cleared him up on, but he guessed it had something to do with the spikey-haired twit not accepting her.

Continuing to ignore him, Tifa kept her eyes at the pan filled with oil that had been sizzling for a while, "I want to know if you would come with me to Midgar. We have to leave today."

"Midgar?"

"They're holding a sort of.. reunion a couple of days from now, and Cloud's asking me to come."

Reno gave out a small 'tch' from his lips and cocked his head to her, "I thought you hated the man, so why bother going?"

"Well.. I tried to tell him I didn't think it was a good idea for me to go," Tifa let out, turning to him with a face of hopelessness, "But, even so, it would still be wrong to just miss it because of that."

Reno kept silent and shook his head in disapprovement.

"So.. will you come with me?" Tifa tried again, her eyes moving downcast to her feet once more.

Reno knew that no one, not even their neighbors, knew that he was with the ex-Avalanche, that the two of them were an item. Tifa never bothered to tell any of her 'heroic' friends, which was all fine to him, and the neighbors just assumed Reno boarded with her. And the thought of coming with Tifa to a reunion with her close friends was terrifying and unthinkable.

"I really don't feel like getting burned by your friends, so I think I'll skip this one out," he spoke with confidence, knowing that he truly didn't want to go to Midgar.

The woman across him became quiet, and without words, she turned around to tend the breakfast she was cooking. Reno watched her as she walked away, and obviously, once again, he had made her upset.

"Tifa? Is that okay?" he asked her cautiously yet demanding an answer from her.

"Do as you wish, I don't care," she said in a dull tone and moved her bowl of scrambled eggs into the frying pan.

Silence became their longest visitor during breakfast time, and as they ate, none of them seemed to want to acknowledge the other across the table. It wasn't until Reno noticed that Tifa just left him by himself in the dining room to head upstairs and pack. He gave a deep sigh before standing up from his unfinished breakfast and follow the woman to the room.

~

a/n: Conflict! Tifa is once again upset at Reno.. hmm, sounds like their relationship is a bunch of bull if conflicts keep popping up, huh? lol. Any ways, thanks to all those who reviewed and so far liked the story. For the reader who thinks this may be rushed because Tifa and Reno are already together, I assure you it won't. Also, sorry this chapter was a little short. I'll lengthen the next one really nice ^_^.