Warrior, I Am

Chapter 9: Sharing is Caring

Disclaimer: I do not own any of this. I don't even own the title-I think the Care Bears do.

0-0

They sat by the lake that day. It was an hour before noon, and they had grabbed their lunch early. They took the bags (filled with food yet to be discovered and regurgitated) and sat at the shore. It was cold even as the sun beat down on their backs. Being in close proximity with the water did nothing to help that. Damp sand clung to every part of her lower body. She didn't complain (that much) though because she knew that it was most likely going to be the last, crappy-location moment with Cloud.

"What're we supposed to be doing, really?"

Cloud was digging in his bag with an odd look on his face. "'S'all this stuff in here that doesn't look edible…"

"Are you ignoring me?" Yuffie sighed, watching belatedly as Cloud sorted through the brown bag as if it were a magician's hat. "Hey, there's only so much stuff to look at. Are you ignoring me?"

"Why would I ignore you?" Cloud was holding a small pudding cup and sniffing it.

"Are you going to eat that?" Yuffie quipped, getting annoyed fast.

"Why wouldn't I?"

"I hope it gives you indigestion," Yuffie condemned. She sighed. Darn Cloud. What was he doing? They were trying to enjoy their last moments and all he could do was stick his nose in some sludgy poo. Darn Cloud, darn the pudding, and darn Laguna for trying to separate them at all.

"What's you real name?"

"Indigestion," Yuffie snapped in response. Cloud stuck his finger in the pudding with a smile.

"Ah. I see the similarity to 'Yu'," he said as he sucked on his digit thoughtfully. Yuffie's eyes nearly became cross-eyed watching him do it. She wanted to slap herself for saying such a dumb thing and slap him for looking so devilishly sexy. What was worse, he probably wasn't intending it! She never, ever thought that seeing a man suck one of his fingers would produce such a pleasant reaction from her.

"What's your real name?"

"I'm not telling," Yuffie said, watching as he re-dipped his finger. She shot a dirty glance at the pudding cup, suddenly hating the dessert. She wanted to be the one that Cloud stuck his—

"Whoa!" Yuffie yelled, nearly throwing herself back. What was that about? Talk about a walk into NC-17! Yuffie shook her head and focused on anything else-trees, the water, the nippy breeze. Cloud looked on in amusement.

"You're so odd," Cloud murmured. "Guess your name isn't that important anyways…"

Yuffie was quick to agree with him. She didn't want him to know because she knew it would be another piece of evidence against her. "
Don't ask personal questions like that."

He snorted. "I was asking for your name. I hardly think that's cause for blushing."

Yuffie harrumphed and pulled out a sandwich. "Well, then, do you have any siblings?"

"No."

"Cousins?"

"None."

"Everyone has cousins," Yuffie said. "I think you're lying to me. Do you have parents?"

"I already told you that I didn't."

She peered closely at him as he ate his pudding without utensil assistance. "Nuh uh…don't think you told me that one."

"Sure?"

"I'm positive, Mr. Strife." She watched him closely and wondered how much he would decide to tell her-not that his lies were getting her that far to begin with. "So you have no family whatsoever?"

"Guess not."

"Argh!" Yuffie groaned, chucking a piece of bread crust at him. It whizzed by harmlessly, missing the target. "How do you not know these things? Are you a compulsive liar?"

"What is this, an interrogation room?" He put his pudding down. "I'll ask you a question, and then you can barrage me with yours."

"Fine."

Yuffie picked disinterestedly at her sandwich, slightly upset that she couldn't get any straight answers out of him. He was as elusive as ever, never letting her have one little peek into his personal life. She hoped that-if he let her-when she discovered the story of his life it wouldn't be terribly boring. She had waited so long for it that it would disappoint her if it was anything short of cataclysmic.

"How old are you?"

Yuffie talked around a mouth of bread and meat. "Seventeen."

Cloud's look became peculiar for a moment. It wasn't upset, but it wasn't exactly pleased either. Did he think she was too young? Heaven forbid, too old? "How old are you?" She countered.

"Twenty-one."

"Yikes," Yuffie said a little over a mutter. It was a juvenile thought, but somehow she felt decades away from him. She always had a belief that being a teen and being a twenty-something were always vastly different, and the idea stuck with her even now. It was ridiculous though, seeing that they were only really four years apart. She'd seen couples with at least ten years between them.

Despite her short time with Cloud, Yuffie's mind wandered over to her commander. How old was he? Would he make that face too if he found out about her age? Would he even care about such a thing?

"Do you really have a sister?"

Yuffie jolted. She had forgotten all about that. Which was safer: simply saying yes, or lying her guts out? She couldn't even decide which would benefit her more.

"No," she said, probably damning herself. "I lied about that. Hey, I thought it was my turn anyways?"

"You wasted it by asking me my age." Cloud thought for a moment, his body still. "So you have no female siblings whatsoever?"

Yuffie's brows crinkled. "Well, I have one girl cousin. Her name's Rikku."

"What does she look like."

"She's blonde with green eyes," Yuffie said. Now she felt like she was being interrogated. Yuffie couldn't fathom why he would be so curious about such a thing. Of course, there was the option that maybe he was madly in love with her cousin. Maybe he was just sucking information out of her for the time being, and when he was done he'd toss her in the trash.

"That must've been you, then," Cloud said with finality.

"Huh? What did I do?"

"I visited your dad's dojo, once."

Yuffie's mouth made an 'O' in surprise. "Really?"

"Yes. I wanted to train."

"Why didn't you?"

Cloud heaved a soft sigh. He leaned back on the palms of his hands, and Yuffie worried that she was being too nosy. She wouldn't blame him if he called her out on her impudence. She certainly wouldn't have put up with her own questions.

"Location," Cloud stated. "I don't leave close by. I couldn't commute. I was too young." He glanced sideways at Yuffie. The wind blew his bangs across his clear, Adonis face, making his appearance even more startling. Yuffie had to wonder how many times Cloud was unaware that he looked like a modeling god. How many women had looked at him in longing and he hadn't even realized it? "I remember you, though."

Yuffie cringed. If he was 'too young', then she was even younger. She wasn't exactly putting her younger years on a rotating pedestal, to say the least. Even she had to admit that she was a terrible delinquent as a child. Making a myriad of babysitters cry because of her mayhem was not something she was particularly proud of.

"I remember a little girl that came in and kicked Mr. Kisaragi in the shins. She said, 'I don't ever want to be a ninja like you!' and she ran away."

Yuffie's face contorted. How embarrassing. Talk about a devil child. "That couldn't have been me," she vehemently denied. Maybe if Cloud's memory was blurry enough, she could pull off the lie.

Cloud's memory just so happened to be as clear as a diamond. "No, that was you. A mop of brown hair, crap-colored irises….I think you gave me a dirty look before you ran out, too."

So the cat was out of the bag. Now Cloud knew that Yuffie was a senile child who went around and kicked old men in the shins. She was hoping that little bit of information wasn't going to make it on his profile of her. And who said she had crap-colored irises!

"Well, I want to be a ninja now," Yuffie said, as if a renewed love for it would cover up her nasty past. It was true, to some extent. She often found herself wishing she hadn't been as lazy as she had. As she walked home during the late hours of the night, she regretted not learning to protect herself. In some other time line, when she wasn't idle and listless, she might've been known as the Great Ninja Yuffie.

Cloud 'hm'ed her an answer. She slouched her shoulders and decided not to pursue the subject further. Yuffie knew personally how well first impressions stuck. She just hoped he wasn't clinging too stubbornly to the young shin-killer that she used to be.

Yuffie folded her legs beneath her, Indian style. She tugged up her pant legs so that they were bunched up at the junction of her legs. Rocks coupled with dirt and sand ingrained themselves into her skin, making small and slightly painful indentations. She dug into her bag, then thought better of it. She unfolded her legs, took off her shoes and socks, and stretched her legs out before her, wiggling her small tan toes. Her trousers were still hitched up to her knees.

"Time is fleeting," Yuffie murmured. "Doesn't it feel that way?"

"Only if you don't make use of it," Cloud contradicted. "This is enough, isn't it?"

Yuffie jutted out her bottom lip and wiggled, waved, and bent her toes in every which way. "No," she said quietly. "It'll probably never be enough. My god, I don't even know if you have parents!" Yuffie rolled onto her knees, making the rocks bite back in spite. She leaned toward him, balanced on her hands and knees. "I don't know what your favorite color is! Or why you're here! I don't know anything about you! You're no better than a guy I met on the street."

Cloud leaned forward too so that his weight was propped on his hand. Yuffie liked to fancy that they'd both have a colorful multitude of rock-shaped bruises once they were done. "You know my name," he whispered. The hand not on the ground reached toward her. Yuffie almost believed he was going to cup her cheek, but he seemed to catch himself just in time. Instead he took a lock of her soft hair, rubbing it in between his thumb and index finger. "You don't want to know the real me, Yu. I'm not someone you want to be around for too long. I'm—" He saw the objection in Yuffie's eyes. "Just listen. I don't want you to know me in the past. Just be with me now."

Yuffie, still holding out for Cloud's dark and explosive history, slowly nodded in consent. She knew she was lying to him in a way. She knew that if she found a file on him she'd be the nosy little twerp she was and gobble it all up. She also knew though that Cloud was a man who wanted his secrets to stay in the shadows. So even though she was a nosy little twerp, she decided that maybe she would put that on hold if Cloud really didn't want her to know.

But still…

"I want to get to know you," Yuffie tried insistently, even if it would probably be the last time she ever would. She tentatively placed her hand on Cloud's. He shook his head at her and guiltily pulled his hand away.

"No, Yu." He gave her a small smile for her. He knew that she knew that she was the only one that received such a smile. It was a gesture reserved for only her. "If it were some other place, some other time…maybe. But not here."

"I don't understand," Yuffie pressed. She was trying to grasp something that he was dangling in front of her. She didn't understand. Why was it so hard to tell her? What was the worst that could happen? She was fine if his past was drab and boring. "Please, just tell me!"

"I don't want you to get hurt," Cloud said tangentially. When Yuffie was obvious gearing up for more arguments, his eyes turned cold. He stood up, taking his bag of food with him. "Kisaragi," he addressed her frigidly. He was looking down at her, and Yuffie suddenly felt like a small child. "I don't want to know you any more than I do."

Confusion painted her puppy-brown eyes. "But why?" What did him knowing about her have to do with her wanting to know about him? It didn't add up correctly.

His eyes were ice in comparison. "I don't want to be around you any more than I have to."

Yuffie quickly swapped the words around. "You don't…want me?"

She held her breath. Was Cloud really going to answer that? She was hoping he was going to take it as a rhetorical question but…

"No."

A slap in the face.

Yuffie abruptly stood up, her equilibrium feeling dangerously off balance. She couldn't look at him for some reason. Her hands shook as she bent over and picked up her bag. She collected her trash and wadded up her lunch. She pulled on her shoes and socks, her stomach growling inconspicuously. She had never really eaten anything.

"I'm—going—to throw—" She glanced around helplessly as if expecting someone to step in for her. When no one did so, Yuffie let out a low moan in frustration and began stomping away from Cloud without a backward glance. Her bag was crushed between her clenched fingers.

If he didn't want her around, then fine.

He wasn't ever going to see her again.

0-0

"What if I run away?" Squall asked bluntly. He was trapped in the enclosed space of a train cab with his stark-raving mad father, and jumping out of the ninety miles per hour vehicle wasn't looking too unfriendly at the moment. He had to keep the window all the way open just to keep his brain from boiling over.

Laguna chuckled. He was fascinating himself with an optical illusions book, and was currently enthralled by the old woman/ young lady picture. "Hee-hee! These things are genius…and running away would be useless. I gave your picture to every household in the city with a hefty sum on your head if they find you. You won't get out of there alive, what with all those subsidized old grannies chasing after you."

"Bastard," Squall growled under his breath. The scenery whizzed by at amazing speeds and he had to concentrate just to keep his bile down. "I know why you put me on this train," Squall added. "I thought you said I had a month to choose my own woman?"

"Well, you do. I just thought it would be good if your own search were to be interspersed with some choices of my own. Maybe you'll end up liking someone that I pick after all."

"Fuck you."

Laguna just smiled behind his book. With the speed the train was going at now, and the duration that Squall was staring out the window…he'd surely be putty in the girl's hands. The boy was so angry that he didn't even notice how sick he was making himself. Romancing a man on the verge of puking wasn't going to be hard for this particular woman.

"Oh, don't be so upset," Laguna consoled. "This girl really isn't all that bad. She had a history of…temper, but she's also very rich."

"Temper?" Squall sighed, rubbing his head. "Does that mean she's senile?"

Laguna giggled behind his book. Squall wanted to run a dagger through it. "Senile, maybe. Aggressive, definitely. I should've told you to steel-bar your trousers."

Squall looked considerably alarmed at this comment. He wasn't exactly jumping at the prospect of being raped by some womanly behemoth. Squall hoped his father wasn't sending him to Big Bertha. If he was….well, he could always file an annulment that made Laguna just some other man on the street to him.

"We're here," Laguna announced as the robotic voice over the intercom droned out the stop. Squall stood up, trying to mask the fact that he was a little queasy. He was praying that his clothes stayed on and that he came out of this relatively unharmed. His father was sending him to his doom.

"It's the big house at the top of the hill," Laguna pointed. The building was hard to miss. A mansion of extravagant proportions, it easy stood out among all the shabby little cottages and houses that everyone else occupied. Squall could easily see why they'd accept Laguna's offer. At this very moment he suspected all the old ladies to be in their houses, ready with chloroform and pitchforks if he decided to bolt.

Squall trailed behind his father without a fight, the thought of being captured by the locals the only thing that propelled him forward. On his way up the hill, all he could think about was murdering his father and how hideous this girl was going to be.

His father knocked on the door, and it sounded like a death toll to Squall. The door squeaked open. 'To hell with the locals,' Squall thought. 'I'll turn into Sephiroth and kill them all if it means getting out of this.'

"I've been waiting for you."

Squall looked up at the girl standing at the door. His stomach did a flip-flop. He felt like he was five seconds away from regurgitating his lunch. His father elbowed him painfully in the stomach and Squall managed to not smile, but cringe.

"Me…too."

0-0

Yuffie felt empty inside. Someone had come and shoveled her insides out. She was a gaping black hole that felt nothing, saw nothing. She didn't want to face any sort of reality, and she knew that the only thing that would make it right would be if Cloud apologized.

She was wandering around camp and Cloud was following her. She was completely aware of that. She was also painfully aware that he was not attempting to approach her or apologize in any way. But he was following her, which meant that he cared to some extent. He cared enough to watch over her.

How long would that last though?

Because she wasn't allowing herself to think about the blonde trailing behind her, Yuffie began to file away faces. As she passed groups of men she would glance at each one of them. After all, she was going to be stuck with two of them for what could be indefinitely. She especially made note of the ones she would like to avoid, so that if she were ever forced into a group with them, she could plead for a trade.

"Yu."

She pretended that was the wind. More faces were filed away. Kind ones. Dirty ones. Ones that gave her dirty looks in return.

"Yu."

"Didn't hear that," Yuffie muttered, spotting Sora. She quickly hurried past him. He was too busy trying to ignore his partner to even notice her.

A hand closed around her arm. It was warm on her bare skin and it make heart pound harder. She had nearly walked all the way around camp. She stilled and Cloud pulled her back closer to him. "Yu, please."

"You don't want me," Yuffie said mechanically.

Cloud's grip softened, and he stroked her arm in slow, meticulous circles. Yuffie shivered and tried hard not to move. "That's not necessarily true," Cloud explained. "That's the problem, Yu. I do want you." When he saw how Yuffie refused to look at him or listen, he pleaded "Yu, please. Just listen."

"Whatever," Yuffie snapped, pulling her arm away. "You can't always change your position when you don't like the outcome, Strife. You have to stick to your opinions, for once."

Cloud's back stiffened. He removed his hand from her arm. "Fine, I will." He stared straight into her brown eyes. "I'll tell you what I've been thinking for a while. You've changed me, Yu. In a matter of days. You did something that no one was able to do in years." Yuffie shook her head as he spoke. Cloud realized that he wasn't getting through, so did the one thing that he knew would work. He didn't even glance around before he took her in his arms. Yuffie tried to push back in alarm, but he didn't let her. Her arms folded easily against his chest and she could hear his heart beat.

"I'm not going to be the same when you leave," Cloud murmured into the top of her head.

Yuffie shook her head, her eyes blurring without any warning. She felt ridiculous. Here she was, with her big apology, and all she could do was sob like a baby.

"Don't say stuff like that," Yuffie murmured into his chest. She was soaking his shirt so much that Cloud felt like his chest was lactating. "I'm not even that important."

"You're more important than you'll ever know."

He put his hand under her chin. Her heart was sent into wild palpitations. Close up, his face was even more clear and smooth. His ocean eyes held no uncertainty or doubt. It was just Cloud.

And Cloud was bending his head toward hers.

0-0

CRASH! BAM!

"Nice to hear that they're getting along up there," Laguna said conversationally to the girl's father. The father, a stoutly man with a terrible wart near his nose, just nodded drowsily and continued to smoke on a long pipe. Laguna eyed him carefully and set down the cup of tea he was holding. He just hoped that Squall wasn't going too ballistic…

He tripped over a chair, sending him hurtling to the ground. Squall quickly righted himself and backed up against the wall, a ballpoint pen in hand. His hair was in disarray and his chest was heaving with effort. His heart was pounding crazily and he felt like he was in a horror movie.

'Aggressive my ass,' Squall thought lividly. Aggressive was definitely an understatement in this monster's case. Their first conversation began with him asking her name as politely as he could, and ended with her trying to tear his pants off. Her room was one damn frilly mess, and the only weapons of choice were either a pen or a Barbie doll.

"You don't like me?" the girl demanded as she picked up the many layers of her pink dress to saunter over to him better. Every fold of fat quivered like a waterbed as she descended on her prey.

"Like hell I don't!" Squall snarled, easily dodging the obese female. He jumped onto her bed, the nearest thing to the window. If he chanced a jump out of the three-story high building, the luckiest he would get is two broken legs. If he was unlucky…well then the locals could collect his splattered remains for a portion of the sum.

"If you don't sleep with me, my daddies friends will come and collect you," the girl threatened, pointing a sausage finger at him. She knew she couldn't capture the beautiful, agile creature trapped in her room, but she could force him into submission if he got in arm's reach of her. She always knew that threatening a man to death (literally) always did the trick too.

"Better left to them than you," Squall sneered coldly, inching toward the window. The girl's eyes widened as she realized what he was going to attempt to do.

"NO!" she howled, stopping Squall dead in his tracks with her screech. "You'll die!" She smiled at him and for a moment was lost in a girlish fantasy. "That would be such a shame to destroy a piece of art like you…"

"I'm not something to barter," Squall said coldly, angry with more than just her. This whole day he had been treated like nothing but a piece of meat. All he wanted was to be left alone in solitude. Was that so hard to understand? He didn't want to share a life with anyone.

"In my world you are," the girl said dominatingly. "Now sleep with me or my father will black bag you."

"No," Squall snapped. His foot was on the windowsill. "I'd rather tear out my eyes and splice my intestines up to my heart rather than sleep with a wretch like you," he iterated monotonously. He'd been saying it point blank over and over again how he didn't want her in the least.

"I'll pay you," the girl began to coax, changing plans. Men always loved money, even more so than women and keeping their life. Sure, this man was a god sent from the heavens, but even gods had weaknesses. This man had to fold for something.

"I have all the money I need," Squall bit back at her. His hand wrapped around the frame of the window, gripping it tightly. The heights were reminding him of a roller coaster and it was making him a little faint.

The girl noticed his posture waver. 'Got you, my love,' she thought devilishly. She inched toward a small cage in the corner or her gargantuan bedroom. Squall watched her carefully with a twisting stomach. The item she was opening up looked a lot like an animal cage.

"Say hello to Biddy…"

'Shit.'

It was a fucking snake.

Squall was not afraid of any sort of animal. Animals held no real significant threat to him. There were of course, exceptions. For example, having a fat whale put her lovely Biddy the Snake on the floor so it could slither up and put a strangle hold on his ankle—now that was something to worry about.

"Motherfu—" the snake was cutting off the circulation in his left leg. The damn thing had probably been trained to keep terrified men immobile.

And the behemoth loomed closer.

"Touch me with those sausages and I will haunt you forever," Squall warned as the fingers inched toward his shirt. He knew what she was longing to do and he was definitely against letting her.

The woman chuckled and licked her lips. Squall thought about making himself barf on her just to force her away. "Oh, I don't think being haunted by a cutie like you would be such a bad thing…"

Squall snorted. "I'd put a curse on every one of your fifty fat mounds."

That seemed to do it for some reason. After all, everyone knows a woman is always very sensitive about her weight.

"Screw you!" She screeched, stomping to her door. "I hope they chop you up good!" She was referring to her father's assassins, he assumed. She reached to open her door up, but it swung open before she had the chance to wrap her grubby fingers around the handle.

Laguna stood in the doorway. Squall had never been so relieved to see the bastardly old fart in his life.

"Squall," he sung. "Sorry to cut your time short, but you need to be back at camp. You have to meet your new teammates!" He smiled genially at the girl. "Ms. Cordelia, I hope to see you again soon. I'm sure my son had a wonderful time courting you."

"I never want to see his face again!" she screeched. She grabbed her snake by the tail and in uncoiled from his leg without a fight. Squall couldn't help but pity the animal. It was dragged back into its cage as Squall stormed by her with a grimace.

"Me too," he said, for the second time that day.

0-0

His forehead was resting against hers. She could feel his breath on her lips. Her eyelids were fluttering opened and closed. His chest was firm and he smelled so damn good.

The first time Cloud's lips touched hers, it was quick and barely noticeable. The second time he seemed to miss the target and laid a quick peck on her chin. The third time though was just right.

When Cloud had grabbed her shoulder, they had been circulating around the backs of the larger tents. The larger tents belonged to the soldiers of higher rank, such as Vincent and Laguna. They towered over the normal tents, effectively hiding Cloud and Yuffie from view. They were completely in their own world, doing something that was completely forbidden.

"Kiss me again," Yuffie whispered. She felt giddy. A tingling sensation was traveling up and down her body, from the top of her head down to the tips of her toes. Her hands were balled into Cloud's skintight black shirt, holding him steadfastly against her. His hands rested casually on her waist.

He chuckled at her request. "How am I going to get on without you here…" he muttered before complying. He could feel the young girl smiling against his lips. The kisses weren't long or passionate, but short and chaste. They were the first ones that Cloud had ever experienced. He wasn't sure if it was the same for Yuffie. She probably didn't realize it, but those few butterfly kisses meant the world to him.

"We shouldn't be doing this," Yuffie muttered after what felt like a million minute kisses. It wasn't that she wasn't enjoying it. Hell, she was loving it. She was aware of time constraints though, and sooner or later they would be assigned to a new group. She also did not want to be caught in the arms of "another man", so to speak. She didn't care any more if they thought she was a homosexual, but she didn't want to put Cloud in that situation too.

Why didn't she think about that before? She didn't know. She wasn't thinking because it would ruin the moment. Being so close to Cloud intoxicated her too much to think anyways. She felt drugged.

"You're right," Cloud murmured against her lips. He kissed her once, then on her forehead. He slowly wrapped his arms around her, crushing her against his chest. He lovingly rubbed his hands up and down her back.

"Do you think we're fickle?"

"Fickle?" Cloud asked.

Yuffie nodded. "Yes; we've only known each other for almost two weeks and we're sneaking off to kiss."

Cloud sighed. "I suppose." He pressed his lips against the top of her head. "But that's life. Life is fickle. To go without acting ridiculous once in a while is to not experience life at all."

"You're profound," Yuffie commented with a smile.

"It's the effect of being around you," Cloud explained.

Suddenly there were footsteps. Yuffie's brain ping-ponged in alarm. They quickly disengaged themselves from one another, standing the proper distance away from one another. Even though they were at a safe distance though, they both looked too rigid and uncomfortable to be innocent.

The soft padding on the grass grew closer. Yuffie damned herself for not detaching herself sooner. They were creeping around behind the commander's tent and this did not look good at all.

"Kisaragi."

Yuffie wanted to die.

It was Squall.

"Yes, sir?" Yuffie answered meekly, too racked up with guilt to even glance at Cloud. She felt that if she even looked at him for a second Squall would know immediately what they had been doing. She felt like a half-naked teenager caught in the act of having sex with some foreign boy by her parents.

"I've been looking for you."

"Me?" She wanted to cower behind Cloud. Even though she couldn't look at him, she could tell that his fists were slowly clenching. He was not ready to relinquish this girl over to the commander just yet.

"Yes, you." Squall sighed, running his hands through his hair, which looked peculiarly in disarray. He brought his hands behind his back in formal military style, his voice monotone.

"You are one of my partners."

Yuffie gasped.

'Uh oh…'

0-0

A/N: I am very tired. Sports are brutal. I write when I can.

Squall and Laguna are such a laugh—at least I think so. And I love Squall. I think he's adorable. I'm sorry if any of you think I'm torturing him with big, scary ladies because I favor Cloud. I do not favor one over the other. I love both of them and they are both very scrumptious.

I assume all of you are smart enough to know that this whole story is not to be taken seriously. A lot of these things couldn't happen. Squall's harrowing episode with Ms. Cordelia is not nearly as realistic (or important) as Cloud and Yuffie's kiss. And yes, I know that a snake probably does not do those things. I don't care though. It's my story!

I actually had to go back to read some old Yuffie/Squall fanfictions because I began to forget about how they interacted. If you have written a Yuffie/Squall fanfic, I have probably read it. I'm a terrible reviewer in that I don't review. I know. But I do read them!

For those of you that love Cloud/Yuffie interactions…I'm sorry, but you're going to have to hold out for those. They won't nearly be as frequent as they were in the past.

Um…that's it!

Review!