Standing on the edge of the world

A/N: Before the next chappie starts… I would like to thank ALL of you people who have reviewed Standing on the edge of the world. You guys really thank you… you kept the story alive. THANKS:D

Chapter 2: The girl in the bar

Tifa stopped breathing. Was it Cloud? Was it the same Cloud as 6 years ago? Cloud hadn't changed that much. He still had blond hair, still blue eyes and still tough looking. Still the same attitude like no one could defeat him. What was he doing here?

"You know what daddy. He defeated the two men just from his motorcycle! His huge sword was ready for battle! He was so cool daddy!" Marlene said. She was extremely happy! She had never been on a motorcycle! "And he just used a few attacks! That was so cool daddy!" normally she would be shy, but apparently she was very impressed.

Tifa petrified. This was Cloud. "Cloud?" she hadn't seen him in 6 years and look now... he was wearing a black cloak that only showed his muscles on his body. His big sword was something new... but not unfamiliar. Cloud always carried big swords... but he had changed it. This one was bigger than the one she had seen 6 years ago. But it wasn't his body that screamed after her attention… it was his mako green eyes. They showed manners, stubbornness and of course Cloud.

"I'm Barret. Thanks for saving my daughter" Barret said, "Where're ya from?" he asked.

"I'm a former member of SOLDIER" Cloud answered, "...but nothing to say about it" he didn't want to talk about it. He didn't want to remember. His mission was to find this group Avalanche and crush it. After that… maybe he could go on some holiday… He could visit Zack… or maybe go to Wutai… he didn't want to spend his holiday with the Turks… their only job was to make problems.

Tifa was shocked. This Cloud wasn't the same Cloud as 6 years ago. Yes some small signs but this Cloud was echoing of knowledge about battles. "Cloud?" she asked. What had this Cloud tried? What had this Cloud fought against?

"Tifa" Cloud nodded his head politely. "You don't know any place I could stay... I need some time to think," he said.

"Sure. Jack is renting out some rooms. But if you don't have the money" Tifa started,

"I have the money. It doesn't matter" Cloud answered harsh, he wasn't a kid anymore. He had earned enough by being Sephiroth's partner. He wasn't that weak kid anymore. He had become a great warrior. Yet he still felt that something was missing. There were still so many things he didn't understand.

"How have you been?" he asked carefully. He didn't need to remember all the things he had done when he was a kid. He was… Someone else now…

"Fine" she answered. "What about you? I haven't seen you in 6 years?" she asked.

Cloud looked away, "I was in Wutai" he simply answered. Nothing else was said. He didn't want to explain why he had been in Wutai.

A strange silence appeared in the crowded bar. Cloud felt everyone were staring at him.

Marlene slowly walked closer to Cloud and fast stole a few shinning jewels, "what's this?"

"Hey" Cloud fast stole it back, "It's called Materia. I use it in battles" he fast placed it in his belt again.

"Shinra use a lot of this crap?" Barret asked.

"Maybe. Materia is almost everywhere. And each Materia have different strengths" he knew a lot about material… his teacher had taught him a lot. His teacher… Sephiroth. His first try on using Materia had almost killed everyone near him… Sephiroth still laughed of it…

"I don't get it" Barret informed, "Materia? Just suckin' out the life of the planet," he said.

Cloud shook his head, "Using Materia are useful. Each Materia carry different powers. I carry a few spells like fire, ice, bolt and earth. Else I have healing spells like life, cure and foggy escape" he kneeled down and handed Marlene a Materia, "This is my favourite… Its normally working together with Chocobos" he smiled, "Chocobo mog… so if you get in trouble summon. Don't worry I carry the same Materia. A friend gave it to me. I have 3 Chocobo Mog Materia" he smiled. That friend had been Zack. In the beginning when they started working together Cloud had been the weak one. Zack had said the exact words to Cloud "so if you get in trouble just summon".

Marlene stared at him then she took it, "Thanks!" she yelled. "I have to show my friends!" she stormed out of the bar.

Barret stormed after her… probably telling her to be careful with the Materia.

"You surely know a lot" Tifa said, "When did you learn all that? From SOLDIER?" she asked.

"Yeah" he replied. "They gave me a great teacher," he mumbled. No! He shouldn't have said that. Whatever… he had to lay the bait out. Avalanche had to react on his bait!

"Who was your teacher?" Tifa asked curious.

"Sephiroth" Cloud answered. Yes the same Sephiroth that after Nibelheim refused working with others than Cloud and Zack… but Zack had returned to his home village.

She jumped a few steps away, "Sephiroth?" she asked shocked. "The popular Sephiroth that every boy dreamed of being like when we were kids?" she asked.

"Yeah" he answered.

"Why didn't I read about you in the newspaper?" she asked. She had looked… she had been worried.

"I managed to sneak of before they managed to write down my name or take my photo," he answered.

"I thought you wanted the attention?" Tifa asked. She felt strange… it was like Cloud was hiding something for her.

"No. It didn't matter. Sephiroth always worked hard for SOLDIER and I was the only guy who was able to work with him. I guess we knew each other" he stared up in the roof remembering, "We knew our weakness and our strength…we always fought… I think it was the only thing we had in common. We just fought… I never asked why… I just did it… In the end it was like being a robot"

Tifa stayed silent for a few seconds. Was this really the same Cloud? Was this really the same guy? She really didn't know Cloud… Not the new Cloud.

Barret entered the bar, "You worked with Shinra?"

"Yeah" Cloud answered. He stared back at Barret, "Sephiroth and I used to work together"

"What changed?" Marlene asked.

Cloud stared down at the little girl. She had just asked the perfect question… what had changed? Nothing had. He was doing this mission to crush the Avalanche. Maybe after this mission he could seriously consider taking a holiday. "Sephiroth wanted different things" he mumbled. Maybe he could contact Zack and they could go to Wutai and get drunk together? Cloud sighed. Who hadn't changed Zack had changed. He returned home to his parents. Even Sephiroth had changed… maybe it was because of all the death all of them had seen… or maybe was it really true Sephiroth didn't feel anything everything seemed to amuse him. Even death. Cloud sighed. He had changed himself. He was no longer the kid searching after adventures. He had changed too.

To Be Continued

A/N: You liked it? Please review… and the chapter was a little bit longer… but all talk… after all. I hope it's okay?


Amarant Rose Coral.