After meteor and Sephrioth had been defeated, the new President (President Reeve) wanted to throw a big celebration in honor of Avalanche for everything they had done. It was held in the newly remade city of Midgar. Everyone from all over came to celebrate.
It had only been a month since meteor, and the former Avalanche members had all been staying together in a house in Kalm. It was nice and everything was going well, for that time anyway.
"Hey good man can you bring my friend and I another round of drinks!?" The young ninja exclaimed.
"Of course" the waiter replied.
"Uh" the crimson eyed girl began "you know what, we're fine we've had enough. Thanks!" The waiter gave a slight nod and a smile and walked off to another table. "Aww" the teenager whined "Tifa why did you do that? We're the guests of honor! Take advantage of it!"
Tifa let out a small giggle "I think you've done more than your share of taking advantage," she explained while inspecting the empty glasses on the table. "Hmph!" Yuffie pouted while childishly crossing her arms. Tifa couldn't help but laugh at her younger friend.
"Is this seat taken?" a voice said from behind the brunette. A voice she knew all too well. She whipped her head around with the brightest smile on her face. "Cloud there you are!" She said in her angelic voice. The blonde gave a smile "yeah sorry I'm late, Cid and I got cornered by some people asking us endless questions." A look of sympathy crossed his face as he looked away in another direction. "I got away, but as for Cid.....well, let's just hope for the best." Tifa let out a sweet laugh while hitting him playfully on the arm. "You left him, how could you!?" The ex- soldier shrugged "hey he's tough, he'll be fine." Tifa ran a hand through her hair. "Well hopefully the rest will be too, wonder if they caught." She turned her gaze to Yuffie's direction, who was trying to make a house out of toothpicks. She turned back to Cloud and leaned in slightly causing him to do the same as she began to whisper "Uh yeah she's had one too many of these" she whispered as she pointed to the empty glasses before them. "I don't think she's going to make it through the night." Cloud smiled and took a quick glance at Yuffie. "I think your right" he whispered back.
About twenty minutes later the rest of the group had came. Being questioned and smiled at in every direction. They finally made it to the table with the rest of their friends. They talked, laughed and reminisced all throughout the night. But finally the party began to slow down and people began to leave, but the group still remained at the table. Yuffie was sober now but was getting a headache, so she had her head resting on the table. Cid lighted up another cigarette , Vincent was lost in his own thoughts as usual, Barett was cursing at Cid about something, Tifa laughing quietly while telling Barett to stop with the language, and Nanaki sat quietly and listened to it all. Cloud deep in thought looking at all his friends.....no, his family. They had been through so much, and everything together, just being here like this was enough for him...or not.There was something missing. But he didn't know what. He didn't want to leave them, but he had too. To find out why there was still an empty space inside him.
"Hey Spikey what's up?" Yuffie asked groggily. Cloud looked around to notice all eyes were on him. They must have noticed him zoning out.
"Are you alright?" Tifa asked sweetly while lightly placing her hand on his arm. How could he tell them he was leaving? How? What would they say? Cloud took a deep breath.
"Everyone" he began "I don't know how to say this, but since were all here I might as well just say it now." He took a quick pause and then started again "I'm..i'm not going back to Kalm. I'm leaving." Tifa who still had her hand on Cloud's arm gave a squeeze without noticing. Yuffie lifted her head from off the table.
"You are? Why?" she asked innocently. Cloud looked down "I can't really explain.....it's just I have too." Cid put out his cigarette.
"Well" he started "I can't say much.....i'm going back to Rocket Town."
"What!?" Tifa exclaimed.
"Come on you can't be upset, we all knew this was a temporary thing, we all had lives before." Barett nodded.
"Yeah, and I've been thinkin of getting Marlene and going back to Corel, they need me there."
A long uncomfortable silence fell over the room. Yuffie cleared her throat uneasily "I uh, I guess theres no since in saying but, I'm going back to Wutai, I have too, I'm going to be Lady Kisiragi, you know in my fathers place. "She explained quietly "When Chekhov explained to me the situation there I agreed to go back, It seemed like the right thing to do." Nanaki nodded "And I shall be returning to Cosmo Canyon, I need to finish some things my grandfather started."
Another silence fell. "Wow" Yuffie spoke up "So that's it? This is really it? This is...goodbye?" Tifa placed her head in her hands trying to take in the information her friends had jus given her. "For met it is." Vincent spoke quietly. "I'll be leaving tonight, I have many questions that I need answers too, the sooner I leave the better."
Tifa pushed her chair away from the table and stood up "excuse me" she said while turning to walk away.
"Teef" Cloud said while catching her hand "Don't walk away." Tifa snatched her hand away with tears in her eyes. "Why not!?" She screamed with pain in her voice. "Everyone is leaving anyway , what does it matter if I walk away now." She turned and ran away out of the room.
Yuffie was breathing hard trying not to cry. But it didn't work and soon tears were streaming down her face. All her friends were shocked to see her like this.
"This sucks!" she sobbed. "Just when I actually start to get attached to you dumb people, we're all going away!" She wiped the tears from her face. "I mean sure yeah, I knew this couldn't last forever, but I guess..." She stopped suddenly "I'm going to find Tifa." She said and quickly left the table.

' This can't be happening' Tifa thought to herself as she stood outside on the balcony. Cloud was leaving Kalm? He was leaving all his friends, he was leaving her. She wiped the stay tears that escaped from her eyes. How could he leave me? Doesn't he know how much I care about him? How much I love him? The brunette let out a deep sigh. 'No, how could he know. I've never told him, it's my fault. I was so scared of being rejected, and now I may have lost him forever.'
"Tifa?" A small voice broke into her thoughts. Tifa turned around to greet her friend with a small forced smile. She didn't bother to hide the tears that were in her eyes. Actually she was surprised to see Yuffie was crying too. Tifa had a shaky hand gripping the rail of the balcony; she was too unstable to walk over to Yuffie. She didn't trust her balance right about now, she feared she may just crumple to the floor. Yuffie slowly walked over to her and placed a hand on her shoulder.
"Are you okay?" She asked shakily. The crimson eyed girl's voice caught in her throat. She couldn't speak, no matter how hard she tried the words just wouldn't come out, instead a sob escaped as she continued to cry.
Yuffie embraced her tightly as she let the tears fall from her eyes. "It's okay Teef, really, you'll see." The ninja said between sobs.
Tifa pulled away from her friend and smiled "yeah, I know, its just" "your going to miss him a lot." Yuffie finished. Tifa looked away with a bit of embarrassment. "I love him." She said quietly. Yuffie smiled "Well let him know Tifa!" Almost as if on cue Cloud stepped out onto the balcony.
"Hey" Cloud said uneasily. Yuffie smiled and whispered to Tifa " Im going to go." Tifa nodded as the young ninja turned around to leave placing her hand on cloud's arm before she exited. Cloud looked at Tifa, she looked so tiny and frail. She didn't have that same energy like she had earlier in the evening. And he hated himself for it. She was this way because she was upset about them leaving.
"Tifa Im sorry" the blonde said sincerely "I didn't want to upset you, or anybody else. The last thing I want to do is make you miserable." Tifa smiled "I know Cloud" she walked towards him until they were only a few inches apart. "I know this is something you have to do, and I understand" She said quietly "But I want you to know that no matter what, I'll always be here for you, that won't change." She took a deep breath "Because I....I" she hesitated "Because what?" Cloud asked with a raised eyebrow. Tifa looked at the ground and then back at him "Because I want what's best for you, and I want you to be happy." Cloud smiled "Thanks Teef, I only want the same for you also." He pulled her in for a tight hug and kissed the top of her head. Tifa held onto him tightly never wanting to let go. She scolded herself inwardly for not telling him that she loved him. But also she felt she did the right thing. If she told him he may just feel obligated to stay so he wouldn't hurt her feelings, and she didn't want that. She wanted him to do what he felt was right. She loved him so much, but if being away was what made him happy, then she was happy for him, even if her heart felt like it had been smashed into a million pieces. She just held onto him, and for now that was enough.