Disclaimer: I don't own FFVII. (mopes)
Premise: Placed in-game, right after meeting Cait Sith. This fic covers the tail-end of the explanation and the things we did afterward in my game, along with a humorous little interjection thought up by my little sister. Enjoy!
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TO EACH THEIR OWN
Cloud completed his account of the events leading to their chase with a nod. "…And that's why we're tracking him down. We followed his trail here, but for some reason I don't think Sephiroth came to play games." He sighed, shaking his head.
"Not healthy ones, in any case," Red XIII added.
Cait Sith nodded, holding one furry paw to his chin. "Hmm…sounds like your buddy Seph's pretty cracked." He looked up, emerald eyes meeting Cloud's own sapphires. "Well, if you're sure he came here, then I guess we should check out the place."
Cloud's glowing eyes narrowed. "That's what we were doing, before we ran into you."
"Before you decided that you had to come with us and follow that fortune you gave us to the end," interjected the wolfcat. "And so, we would like to continue, if you do not mind."
The fortune-teller's doll-like eyes narrowed. "Hey, no pets allowed in the park, kitty."
Cloud rolled his eyes and let out a sigh; he had better stop this before they ended up hurting each other. He stepped between them and held out both arms. "Cut it out, you two. Red, if this guy's willing to help, be grateful. We need all the help we can get." He turned back to the doll. "Cait Sith, I would appreciate it if you would be more polite to Red XIII—he's a bit touchy about the whole 'kitty' thing."
"I am not a common housecat," hissed the feline in question.
Cait Sith shrugged, the shoulders of both the cat and the large moogle it rode rolling slightly. He cast his gaze to Red XIII and let out a sigh. "A'right, I'm sorry."
He paused for a moment, considering this, then nodded. "Apology accepted."
The purple cat grinned. "Cool! Now, how 'bout we go check out some o' the games around here? There're some pretty cool ones."
"We aren't here to play," Cloud said sternly. "And besides, we barely had enough money to get in here in the first place—there's no way we'll be able to afford the games." He started forward. "Come on, we'd better get going."
Cait Sith let out a sigh, brow furrowing. "Hey, maybe you should pass through the game area anyway," he said politely. "Y'know, to calm your nerves or something. You seem a bit…uptight."
"That's what I keep telling him," Red XIII agreed. "Cloud's always so serious and stiff…" He spoke as though he was extremely laid-back, and Cloud let out an exasperated sigh. If he was stiff, then Red XIII was dead.
The swordsman fought the urge to scream. "All right! We'll pass through the damned gaming place, okay?! But don't expect to play anything!" And then they headed off, Cloud feeling more and more like the captain of a very motley crew.
Within two minutes the three found themselves in a brightly-lit, obnoxiously-colored room packed full of people. Cloud wormed his way through a group of giggling teenage girls, all of whom requested to either touch his hair, pet Red XIII or "glomp" Cait Sith—whatever that meant. He politely refused and they continued on their way.
"Hey, check this out, Cloud!" Cait Sith called, rushing ahead. Cloud let out a sigh. "Cait," he said, unconsciously shortening the doll's name, "I said we weren't going to play any games!"
The cat looked offended. "It's not a game—it's a fortune-teller. Not as good as me, I'll admit, but I've heard it's pretty accurate."
Cloud looked into the glass box, finding the woman inside to be rather unrealistic. She was far too old to actually be anyone left on the Planet—it was a rarity to live to one's fifties, and she looked to be in her early hundreds. In one hand she clutched a crystal ball—the classic fortune-teller's tool—and the other was extended, fingers bent in some odd gesture—probably something arcane. The blond sighed. "I said we didn't have enough money for—"
"It's only fifty gil," Red XIII cut in. "And I'm a bit curious about these machines—is it possible that their fortunes could actually be accurate?"
Cloud shook his head. "They just spit out a slip of paper. There are about a hundred more fortunes sitting inside that box. exactly like the one we'd get if we tried it. It's a waste of fifty bucks."
"Oh c'mon, Cloud!" the doll exclaimed. "You gotta live a little! Just try it out, just this once. Tell you what—if the fortune isn't accurate, I'll pay you back!"
The blond let out another sigh, determined to say no, but felt himself caving. If Red XIII was interested, he knew he'd end up doing it—for some reason, he had a bit of a soft spot for the fiery wolfcat. One more glance at the animal's golden eye, the one that was not scarred shut, and Cloud gave a reluctant nod. "Oh, all right." He counted out the coins in his pocket carefully and put the allotted amount into the slot.
The eyes of the fake woman lit up—rather artificially, Cloud thought—and a small slip of paper slowly stuck out from a slot in the front, and Cloud took it out. He cleared his throat and read it aloud. "Confusion in matters of the heart run your life—give up on those you feign attraction toward and go for what you really want." His eyebrows arched and he turned back to the felines behind him. "See? This is just a—"
"I think it makes sense," the wolfcat declared. "What with the constant attentions of Miss Tifa and Miss Aerith that you receive, and often ignore in favor of finding more clues toward finding Sephiroth."
Cloud opened his mouth to speak, but Cait Sith cut him off. Was he going to be allowed to talk at all today? The fortune-teller blinked his huge emerald eyes, looking utterly bewildered. "You mean you've got two girls chasing after you?"
Cloud felt his cheeks go hot. "Well…yeah. I guess you could say that…"
"And you're chasing after a MAN?!"
The swordsman's face went from rosy pink to bright red. "You've got it all wrong! That's not—the thing is—well—"
"I also found Cloud's tastes rather strange," the wolfcat said easily, nodding, "but, to each their own."
"I guess so…" Cait Sith said, still looking confused as before.
Cloud let out an exasperated sigh and held a hand to his head. This was going to be a really long trip…