Henrika- I felt inspired when I should have been doing my homework. Therefore, you get Cloud/Tifa and I get to stay up late trying to study for a test. Oh well, you guys are worth it. Enjoy and review!
It turned into a strange day the moment Cloud Strife stepped into Seventh Heaven and found the proprietor sniggering behind the bar.
Cloud knew Tifa's laughter. He knew that beautiful, chiming noise and treasured it in its rarity. He knew how to make her laugh and was overjoyed that Marlene and Denzel drew it out even more often. And he was happy that her laughter wasn't quite as tainted with sadness as it had been during the past few years. He knew her laugh.
And he knew that Tifa Lockheart did not snigger.
Which was why he knew it was a strange day when he found her doing just that. "Tifa?"
The brown-haired woman looked up at him and her sniggering redoubled. "Hi." She managed.
"What's going on? Where are the kids?" He asked, thinking perhaps they were playing some game with her.
"Upstairs." She breathed. "Getting ready for bed."
"Oh." He looked out the window and saw it was already dark out. "I didn't realize it was so late." His night vision was excellent and he sometimes failed to notice the change.
"That's alright. I saved dinner for you. How's the chocobo ranch?"
"Good. The zolom was causing them a little trouble, but he's back in the swamp now."
"That's good. Do you still prefer Fenrir over chocobos?" She asked with a smile in her eyes.
He sighed. "I like chocobos; I don't like being called a chocobo. And besides, you don't have to clean up after motorcycles."
"Wark!" Tifa chirped.
"You're in a playful mood." Cloud said as he pulled off his gloves and sat down at the bar.
"I had a good day." Tifa said as she poured him a drink.
"Care to tell me what you were sniggering about earlier?"
"I was not sniggering."
"Was not." She pouted.
"Were too. Now what was so funny?"
In response, she started sniggering again. "Cait Sith stopped by today."
"He brought me something that I asked Reeve and the WRO to find in the Midgar ruins."
"Really? What did you ask them to find?"
Tifa ducked behind the bar for a moment. "They found Seventh Heaven, the old one. So much of the dropped plate was destroyed when Midgar was attacked that the bar was unearthed. There's not much left, but they still found some things." She rose with a box in her arms, which she set on the bar.
Cloud pawed through the meager contents: A chipped glass with the name of the bar engraved on it, a photo of the original AVALANCHE in a broken frame, and a chunk of wood from the old bar top. "Amazing." He said. "Though this still doesn't explain what you were so amused by." He said as he swirled his whisky before taking a drink.
"No, but this does." She handed him a loose photograph and Cloud promptly choked.
Tifa whacked him smartly on the back and he regained his breath enough to splutter out in embarrassment, indignation, shame, and a tiny bit of amusement, "Where did…how…this…where did you get this?"
"I'd forgotten how beautiful you looked as a woman." Tifa laughed, though for once Cloud didn't appreciate the melodious sound. In his hands was a photograph of an attractive woman in ablue dress with long blonde hair. Or, as Cloud knew to his humiliation, it was him disguised as a woman so he could sneak into Don Corneo's to "rescue" the woman who was currently laughing at his expense.
"Where did you get this?"
"Cait Sith of course. Didn't I tell you that?"
"Where did they find it?" Cloud ground out.
"At Seventh Heaven. Aeris told me that she took that with one of Shin-ra's instantly developing cameras. You were too distracted trying to get your veil on." She giggled, then sobered for a moment. "After you came to get me at Don Corneo's, they were going to drop the plate so she went back to get Marlene. And after that things just went downhill. We talked about it one day and she said that it must have fell out of her dress on accident. I asked Reeve to find anything he could and this turned up." She brightened. "Thank goodness too. Now I have the proof that you make a lovely woman. Barret and Cid owe me ten gil."
"You bet on me!" Indignation and the slightest bit of pride rising in his shout.
"Sshhh. The kids are probably in bed by now."
"You bet on me!" He hissed loudly.
"And I won." She said triumphantly. "Besides," She said, catching his attention, "Even though you make a stunning female, you make an even handsomer man." She said as she leaned over the bar and kissed him quickly.
"Changing the subject." He muttered. "And I'm keeping this." He waved the photo in her direction. "And using Ultima on it."
"That's all right." Tifa said, winking at him. "I made copies."
Think polaroid picture. And you have to snigger at the thought of our muscular Cloud in a dainty little silk dress.