"Awkwardity: Not A Word"

7:37 pm

I'm now sitting in my room wearing a neck brace after that son of a bitch Genesis tried to decapitate me with his arm. I look like an idiot. I feel even worse.


One more time: O-wwwwww.

Okay, I feel better now. Actually, no, not really. Everything still hurts.

7:41 pm

Apparently Sephiroth had gotten ejected from the game after his little outburst.

Sephiroth losing his cool? And getting ejected? Cue music marking the end of the world. Truly a first. Unheard of. So unheard of in fact that the media spent more time talking about that than the actual victory itself or my injury and Genesis' deliberate attempt to kill me.

Apparently Loz had followed in good ol' Sephiroth's footsteps and gotten ejected as well after he'd tried to take out Genesis himself.

How sweet of them, looking out for me like that. Wow, do I feel loved. Too bad Tifa wasn't on the football team.

'How the hell would she be effective at all?.'

'She could just lift her shirt when the opposing team has the ball?'

'You make more sense when you're on pain meds, you know that?'

7:44 pm

When I came to in the training room I overheard Loz and Sephiroth. Went a little something like this:

Loz: Yo, Seph… Hey, uh… listen…

Sephiroth: What is it?

Loz: Look, about earlier... remember? About earlier when I went off at you, I'm sor-

Sephiroth: Yeah, yeah, don't worry about it. It's cool.

Loz: So… we're okay then?

Sephiroth: We're okay.

Loz: Cool. So, um…

Sephiroth: What?

Loz: Hug it out? To patch up any remaining hard feelings?

Sephiroth: Loz, if you touch me, I swear I'll kill you.

Needless to say. There was no hug.

Even Loz wasn't that stupid. I mean he was stupid, but not to that extent.

And then guess who came rushing into the training room moments afterwards?

Tifa? Yeah. Right! Don't I wish? Aerith? Um… how about… not! Vincent? GOD NO! Reno? Cue involuntary shudder.

It was the one, the only, the annoying Yuffie.

Yuffie: Get the hell outta my way! Where is he? Is he all right?

Barret: Hey, you can't be in here! Who are you?

Yuffie: He's my brother.

Barret: He said he's only got one older brother.

Yuffie: Yeah? Well I'm adopted.

Liar. So the little bitch manages to stay, right?

Yuffie: Hey, dummy. Wake up, stupid dummy. Dummy, how many fingers am I holding up?

Cloud: Yuffie… Goddamnit... not now. I'm in pain.

Yuffie: That's because the dummy's an idiot. The dummy didn't practice the most important rule of football: ALWAYS KEEP YOUR HEAD UP, DUMMY!

Jesus Christ. Was there some kind of class everyone took about the rules of football when they were younger? Why did everyone seem to know this but me?

'According to my references, it's most likely-no sorry, scratch that, it's DEFINITELY due to the fact that you're a retard.'

'Oh, gee… that makes me feel boatloads better.'

'Glad I could help. Now, please… back to your recollecting.'

Continuing on once more:

Yuffie: God... are you demented or something? What the hell were you doing, looking up at the sky? Are you stupid, stupid? Answer me, stupid.

But all I did was wince. She was scaring me. And then Loz came and saved the day. Well… kind of.

Loz: Whoa! Hey, easy there, toots. The guy just took a shellacking, lay off him.

Yuffie: You mind your own damn business, jock.

Loz: Oh, nice. A chick with a tongue. I like you, woman.

Yuffie: Don't call me woman, man.

Loz: Heh. We should definitely go out sometime.

Yuffie: Um… I don't think so.

Loz: Oh? Why not?

Yuffie: I don't date meat-heads. Besides, you're probably big everywhere but where it counts the most.

You figure it out, folks. Needless to say, the entire room had gone quiet. Even Sephiroth seemed amused.

Loz's incredulous look was priceless. He'd definitely been stunned and it took him a moment to regain composure.

Loz: Baby, I'm big all around. I'm what you call well proportioned. I can even prove it to you if you want. No charge at all for a honey like yourself.

It was Yuffie's turn to falter. I've never seen Yuffie turn so red in ages. She hardly gets fazed.

Yuffie: Ye-yeah? W-well… keep trying cuz you aren't getting anywhere with me.

Loz: Oh, come on! I promise we'll have a good time. You won't be bored with my size. I can guarantee you that.

Sephiroth: Loz.

Loz: Yeah?

Sephiroth: Shut up.

Barret: Thank you, Safer.

7:49 pm

If Yuffie started going out with Loz, Zack would kill me. It's not a question of 'if' but 'how'.

8:01 pm

I wanna cry right now.

'Answer it.'


'Answer the damn phone.'

'I'm too scared. I don't wanna do it.' Thanks to caller ID I already knew who it was.

The moment of dread looms. It's now time to face my fears. Maybe if I continued letting it ring, the person on the other end will give up?

'Fat chance.'

My conscience was right. Not this person.

I took a deep breath and braced myself before answering the phone. "Hello?"

Zack was quiet for a moment before he said, "Why didn't you tell me you were on the football team? How could you not tell me that?"

And hello to you too, big brother. "Oh, so you saw?" I feigned surprise.

"Don't play stupid, Cloud," he remarked irritably.

"Look, it's no big deal."

"No big deal? I turn on the TV and see my little brother nearly getting his head knocked off the rest of his body. What the hell were you doing?"

I started to get mad. I didn't need this shit right now! "Look, I'm hurt and the first thing you do when you call is criticize me!" Good, Cloud, good, be aggressive. Guilt trip him.

It worked because he sighed. "You'r-I'm… you're right. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Cloud. Look, are you all right? How's your neck?"

Now he was in protective mode. I hated that even more.

"I'm… fine. For now at least."

Moment of silence.

"Look… I'm sorry I got angry. It's just… I can't believe you didn't tell me. Something this big happens and… and you don't even let me know?"

I let out a long, silent breath and shut my eyes. "Zack… I just… wanted to do this on my own… you know?"

He was quiet for a bit but then I heard him whisper, "Yeah, I do."

Okay, folks, you don't need to hear the rest of this. This is a personal moment between brothers. Shoo!

8:38 pm

Goddamnit! I just get off the phone with Zack and now some other idiot's calling me.

"What?" I barked.

"Um… Cloud?" Her sweet voice was unmistakable. It immediately sent my body in a numb state and I temporarily seemed to forget all about the pain and soreness in my neck.

"Hey… uh… Tifa. Hey. Um… what's up?" Stupidity rears its ugly head once more.

"Sorry, but I'm just calling to see if you're still up for studying tonight. I know it's kinda late but I called earlier and you weren't picking up."

She called earlier?

'Check your missed calls, dipshit.'

"Oh, well I was at the game earlier so that's probably why I didn't pick up."

'Getting your ass kicked. Tell her.'

'Shut up.'

'Tell her.'

'Shut. Up.'

It seemed to dawn on her. "Oh hey, that's right! Oh my God, I'm so sorry I forgot! I totally wanted to watch you play but I was busy earlier!"

Phew. Thank God for that. "That's okay," I said, relieved she hadn't witnessed my pathetic performance and my outstanding puking record.

'Or you getting your ass kicked.'

"Did you guys win?" she asked.

"Huh? Yeah. Yeah. Um… it was, I think… 65-13 at the end."

Yeah. 65-13. It would've been 65-7 had my fumble at the end not have been returned for a touchdown. It's like, not only did I get my clock cleaned, but to add further insult to injury they scored as a result of my epic fail, too. What a great way to make your debut!

Strife's stat line: 3 pukes. 1 reception. 1 fumble. 1 touchdown for other team.

I can just picture it now when future pro teams decide to scout me.

Presenting you, the amazing Cloud Strife. Wide Receiver. Skills include vomiting excessively due to the pressure of the grand arena, having a knack for never keeping his damn head up and last but not least, having the amazing ability to hand points to the opposing team. A 'can't miss' prospect!

Now that's marketable.

"Cloud? You there?" Tifa erased my thoughts of stardom.

"Yeah, yeah. I'm here. Sorry but what did you say?"

"I said that's fantastic. You guys did a great job. I'm sure you played amazing. I'm sorry I missed it." I'm not. "Maybe I'll catch the highlights later."

"No! Uh… no. It's not-I mean… it's not that important really. It wasn't that great of a game. Seriously."

"You're so modest…" she said with a sweet giggle. "So then…"

"So then…" I mimicked playfully.

She laughed some more. "So, um… do you think we can still do a little study session tonight?"

My eyes lit up and I almost broke out into a dance but then I remembered I wasn't supposed to move. "Yeah, of course!" Shit! Too eager. Way too eager. Time to tone it down, Strife. "Um, I mean... if you can make it here soon."

I heard shuffling on the other end. "Um…" I loved it when she let her thoughts linger like that. "Yeah, absolutely. I'll be there in like, 15, maybe 20 minutes. Is that okay?"

I nodded.

'She can't see you, doofus.'

"Of course it's all right. Hey uh… you remember my room number, right?"

"Mmhmm. I don't forget things easily." That sent chills up and down my spine. "I'll see you soon, okay? Bye."

"Bye..." I squeaked.

'Way to end it on a good note, you worthless sack of shit.'

8:41 pm

I am now brushing my teeth so rigorously I can feel my gums start to bleed.

8:46 pm

How do I want to look? Do I want to dress casual or should I go a little flashy? Actually, no, that's a bad idea. I mean, I don't want her thinking I'm being too desperate or something. Does that make sense? Am I making sense? Am I thinking too much? What should I do?

'Kill yourself.'

9:04 pm

I finally heard the knock at my door. She was a tad bit late but I could forgive her. It was Tifa after all!

I decided to go for grey sweat pants and a plain cotton t-shirt.

'And a neck brace.'

Right... and a neck brace… which, if it weren't for the physician stressing how important it was to keep on, would've been removed the moment I'd known Tifa was coming over.

Exhaling, I braced myself and opened the door.

No. No. No. No. No! Why? Oh why? Why? Why does she make this so difficult? Is it on purpose?

Based on what Tifa was currently wearing, I knew we wouldn't get much studying done. Black skirt ending just above her knees? Check. White summer tank top hugging all her luscious curves snugly and exposing just a hint of cleavage and the naval? Check. Lovely and intoxicating cherry scent making its way to my nose? Check. Bright and vivid cherry red lips just begging me to taste them? Check.

Cloud Junior's inability to contain himself as he springs to life? Check.

My eyes widened as I noticed the bulge in my pants beginto grow. "Hey! Tifa!" I remarked hurriedly. "You look great! Make yourself in; I just gotta quickly go use the bathroom!"

She just stood there with a blank look on her face as I bolted into the bathroom and slammed the door shut.

9:06 pm

Did I tell Tifa to 'make herself in'? What the hell did that even mean?

Oh shit... Did I also admit she looked great? Idiot!

9:08 pm

Almost there. Almost back down. Come on, Cloud Jr. Come on, little guy.

9:09 pm

'Are we ready?'

'Um… I think so.'

'Be sure before you step out into the unknown, young one. We don't want another crisis on our hands.'

9:10 pm

Okay. Ready. Tifa's probably getting a little suspicious and anxious right about now, too.

Okay, just picture her one final time and get used to her image. Nothing shocking here, Cloud. Nothing shocking here at all. You've become desensitized to it. Man up. Go out there. Conquer your fears!

I opened the bathroom door and stepped out. Tifa stood by my desk, smiling a beautiful smile that practically made me melt. It looked like she'd been standing the entire time, like she'd been unsure of what to do.

Suddenly, her smile became a frown as she moved towards me. I instinctively took a step back so she stopped. "Cloud, oh my God! What happened?"

Huh? Oh yeah, right! "Oh, you mean this?" I pointed to my neck brace." She nodded worriedly. "Just a little accident at the game today."

"Little?" she questioned in disbelief. "Cloud, you're wearing a neck brace. You don't wear those if it's just a 'little accident'."

I brushed it off. "Really, it's fine. Don't worry about it." That's it, Cloud, play the role of the tough guy. Chicks love that shit.

Tifa shook her head slowly, the look of concern growing larger by the second. "Don't be silly." She took another step towards me and I froze, turning rigid. What the hell was she doing? "Here, let me see it?"

What? No! I shook my head. "No. Seriously, I'm fine."

"Seriously, let me just see it."

But I couldn't let her touch me because if I did I probably wouldn't be able to handle it. It had taken me long enough to recover after just staring at her.

"Cloud…" she began exasperatedly.

"Tifa…" I mocked playfully.

She giggled and took another step closer. I took another step back and… hit the goddamn wall. Stupid wall. One of these days... I swear I will end you!

Note to self: terminate wall.

"Here, let me just have a look." She was so close now, her body only a couple of feet away from mine. I could reach out and wrap my arms around her. And nothing was really stopping me, except logic.

I tensed up and stopped breathing the moment she brought her arms up to carefully remove the brace. My body was on fire and I felt like I was about to experience a nuclear blast.

Her eyes grew more worrisome when she saw the red marks circling my neck. "Cloud… this doesn't look like nothing. What happened? Tell me."

Can't… breathe…

'Talk, idiot.'

"I just... got hit," I barely made out.

"Cloud?" Her eyes widened . "Cloud you're so warm! Here, come lie on the bed." She grabbed my hand and pulled me gently over to the bed, sitting me down. I obliged like an obedient dog.

"I'm okay now, Tifa…" I lied, trying my best to get her to stop.

She wouldn't comply as she sat down beside me, our sides touching. Again, I tensed up. Why couldn't I relax? Damn, from what little I could feel of her, she was so incredibly soft!

"You want me to rub it for you?" she asked.

"W-wh-what?" I nearly had a heart attack. "N-no I-I'm okay. Really."

Licking her cherry lips, she scanned my eyes, as if searching for something. "Here, let me just massage it a little. If the neck's sore, a massage will help soothe it. I promise I'll make it feel better." Oh I don't doubt that. "Just relax."

I wanted to cry right now. I was scared because I didn't know if I was going to make it through the evening alive after all of this. My heart was laboring.

Tifa moved behind me and positioned herself on her knees before she began to gently caress the sore areas around my neck.

Oh shit… I'm in heaven. So this is what ecstasy feels like... I closed my eyes and let myself just get lost to her soft hands and her magic touch.

I felt a familiar stiffness down below once again and I desperately tried to think of something else to quell it.

'Hmm… just think about something really revolting, like a man's ass crack, or more specifically: Reno's. You should be able to pull through.'

9:18 pm

Tifa's suddenly hands stopped. No. Don't stop! Keep going. "How's that feel, Cloud?"

"Awesome…" I replied dreamily before I shook myself awake. "I-yeah… it was nice. Thanks, it really does feel better." Does it ever.

Oh, and guys, the idea of thinking about something completely revolting really does work at keeping the man down under in check. You should try it sometimes. Just picture Rosie O'Donnell in a bikini.

Tifa got off the bed and moved in front of me. I looked up at her and she smiled down at me. "Here, let me just put this back on. She reached down and carefully attached the brace around my neck, ensuring that it fit properly.

At that moment, whether she'd intended it or not, the little vixen had given me a very, very tasty view of her twins.

I glanced. Goddamnit, if the opportunity's there then I'm gonna take it! Whatever, you can all go to hell. Tell me that you guys wouldn't have done the same thing given the opportunity.

Tifa stood back up and surveyed me with a grin. "So…" she began.

I raised my eyebrows in question. "So…?"

"We gonna get started?"

Inwardly, I was kind of disappointed, remembering once more that this wasn't a social visit. "Right, yeah... You ready?"

"Let's do this."

9:43 pm

From my desk I snuck a quick peek at Tifa.

She was so. Damn. Frickin'. Hot!

Picture this: the girl of your dreams, in your dorm at night, lying flat on her stomach on top of your bed, kicking her exposed legs up playfully behind her while reading a chemistry textbook.

Long, slender, sexy legs I might add.

Instinctively, she looked up and met my eyes with a somewhat seductive look. Given the way she was positioned and how hot she looked, I doubted it was intentional. Still... how the hell was I supposed to study like this?

Wait. What if she was trying to seduce me?

'Pull your head outta your ass. She's got Rufus.'

True. 'But… just… LOOK AT HER! You don't pull this kind of sexy shit with a hormonal young adult male in the room all alone with you.'

Okay, now here's a question aimed at the ladies. Girls, do you do this on purpose? I mean, really, do you all just go around acting all innocent but purposely flaunting your seductive curves, fully aware of their hypnotizing powers on us weak minded males? I swear you all have a secret agenda. You KNOW what you're capable of and yet you go off acting all innocent about it. I'm on to you all.

Tifa continued to gaze at me Her lips moved but I didn't hear her.


"Something wrong?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well... you're… just staring. I thought maybe something was wrong," she said with a hint of amusement.

Shit. Shit. Shit. "No…" I didn't know what else to add. Think quick! "I was just… wondering if you're okay with the readings so far." Nice. Smooth, Cloud. Smooth.

She regarded me curiously for a moment, as if trying to decide whether that was the true intention behind my discretion, before nodding. "Yeah. Thanks. I'm getting it so far."

I nodded and let out a quiet sigh even she didn't notice. "If you need anything, just feel free to ask. Don't hesitate."

She smiled once more before returning to her book, playfully adding while kicking her feet again, "I will. Thanks."

Just stare at your damn work. Stare at your damn work and you'll be fine.

10:18 pm

There was a knock on my door.

I glanced over at Tifa in question. She seemed equally confused. "Who's that?"

"I really have no idea. I'm sorry, do you mind?" I got up and headed to the door.

She shook her head. "Of course not. I'm in your room after all. Don't let me interrupt anything."

"Should only be a second." I opened the door. Crap. Aerith. And she was dressed to kill in a sparkly green dress.

"Surprise!" she said before her eyes quickly moved past me and landed on Tifa. Her smile disappeared, replaced by a look of confusion and wonder.

Tifa just stared back with an equal look of confusion and wonder.

Well… This is awkward.