Sol's Notes: This was actually a challenge fic I did, with the challenge being to write this to the song Amazed, by Poe.
It's easy for her to pretend that she's the way she wants to be when she's with Cloud. It's even easier for her to forget the way words she'd spoken aloud countless times before become jumbled as she tries to relay them to him, and that the air of confidence and assurance she adopted doesn't abandon her the first time he looks at her. His blue eyes, unwavering in their honesty and attention yet so empty when it comes to the one thing she wants to see, have the ability to undo her, to make all the shields and pretences she's wound around herself unravel. It's one thing to stand aside and look at yourself and see what you want to see; it's quite another to realize you're nothing like that image at all.
It amazes her, that when push comes to shove what she gives to him, without even knowing what it is she gives. She loves him, after all, but perhaps in that love is a dependency, a reliance that's crippling her in phases, one little piece at a time. Or maybe that's just her pride, indignant at what she becomes when she's face to face with him. Sometimes when she grows tired and fed up by the nonexistent progress she's made she tries to wall him out, tries to ignore the timbre in his voice that makes her wistful, tries to ignore the way he smiles—a little quirk of the lips—that makes her want to smile back. Always he manages to creep inside her defences, unknowingly insinuating himself back in her mind with a potency that should be shaming. But she loves him, and so she welcomes him back even though he's not really there the way she wants him to be.
The dance continues, and he's oblivious to just how much she cares. She'd walk into hell and back for him; she'd crawl over nails and broken glass just to know that maybe, just maybe, he cared for her too. But she'll never know, because he'll never tell her—maybe there's nothing for him to tell. It's torture for her, but it's a suffering she willingly endures; if she didn't, she'd never know her name falling from his lips, never know that little grin that he saved only for friends, never know that warm light that kindled in his eyes when together they did what friends do. Friendship is the only mantle the two of them can wear together, but she'll never stop hoping for more. The heart thrives on hope, even though the mind suffers because of it.
It's easy for her to pretend he'll love her someday, that she will be the way she wants to be when she's with him. It's easier to say all those things she wants to relay to him when she's alone, when she can imagine the reaction she'd like to see and when she won't falter under the misleading directness of his gaze. When she's alone the fronts she adopts don't fall away; when she's alone she's confident, she's assured, she's calm. It's easy to pretend that one day he'll say her name the way she whispers his in the dead of night when longing overwhelms her.
It's always easy to pretend, which is why she does it so much. It's harder, much harder, to accept the truth. So she'll go on pretending, and he'll go on not knowing until maybe one day things change.