Yet again, another odd title and story like When Apples and Oranges Fall in Love. It's another Cloud and Yuffie one-shot. I really do enjoy writing about them – not to mention, muck up their lifestyles and personalities, therefore, watch out for OOC-ness! Especially around Cloud; You have been warned! I also realised how OOC Leon had been in When Apples and Oranges Fall in Love. This one shot is also an AU. It's something I thought of when I realised that it's summer! Woohoo!
This time, it's the annual Charity Day, and Cloud and Yuffie try to raise money by opening a lemonade stand each. Whoever earns the most money wins! I somehow thought of this idea when I remembered a Bring and Buy Sale for charity my Primary School held every year.
Cloud-y Lemonade with Yuffie-Pips
By Fish and Chips
The annual Charity Day that was hosted at the second day of the second month to help raise money for people who had lost their homes to Heartless never appealed to Cloud much. Mainly because a) he wasn't the type of guy to participate in fairs, and b) Yuffie always ruined his day, and c) Cloud…. Just wasn't also the type of guy to have 'fun'. Whatever Cloud chose to do, Yuffie would copy. No matter what it was – the three legged race (she teamed up with Aerith while he teamed up with Leon), the gun-shooting contest (Yuffie cheated by using a slingshot), the two metre dash (Yuffie only finished 100 metres before quitting), Performance hour (Yuffie belted her voice out loud and clear and broke all the glass champagne cups on display) and recently – the Hide and Seek (Yuffie hid in the sewer and won).
Deciding to do something easier this time, Cloud found himself pushing open the doors to Traverse Town's small public library and searching up the cookery section; he was aware that Yuffie was following him, but paid no attention to her. He merely thought of her a little, naïve girl who happens to have taken his form as an example, perhaps… as an aniki (big brother)… perhaps? Yet, Yuffie never called him that, nor did she act towards him like as if he was one. Cloud found the right book and flipped it open, of course, he could've asked Aerith for a recipe, but this time, he wanted to do something by himself entirely for a change.
"You're going to do a lemonade stand?" Aerith asked him the day when he told her.
"Oh, well, I'll go and find some recipes for you, I'm sure – "
He held his left palm up (or in this case, his metal claw). "That's not necessary. I'll make my own by myself."
Aerith blinked, and then smiled briefly. "Oh… well, okay. Good luck, Cloud."
Yuffie looked at the blonde man standing quietly, his nose stuck in a book. She gaped at the title and felt like retching.
How to Make Lemonade in Less Than 10 Minutes
"No way, Cloudy's making lemonade?" She murmured to herself, scratching her chin; then she clasped both her hands together and a shadow fell across her face. "In that case, nihihihi…. I'll do that as well!"
She looked up. Cloud was standing beside her, the book in his hands. "…. What are you doing here?"
"Er…. " Yuffie quickly glanced around the quiet library. "… I'm uh… looking for a book."
"Yes." She said, with her chin sticking up. "I'm looking for a book on how to make er…. Egg rolls." Yuffie got up and quickly marched over to the shelf just behind the one Cloud was in.
He shrugged inwardly and returned to his shelf, aware that Yuffie was spying on him from behind, though her nose was stuck in a book on how to serve Italian dishes for weddings. Instantly, he knew she was lying. Cloud snapped his book shut and took another one out, before, stepping out and walking calmly towards the checkout point.
Yuffie slithered over, and hid behind a stand when he turned back (common following scene here, people). Cloud raised an eyebrow, and then walked again; Yuffie clambered out from the stand and tiptoed over; Cloud turned back once again, and she threw herself under a table. The person sitting at the table instantly 'eeped' when something touched her legs, and looked down. Yuffie gestured at the girl with her hands waving arund.
"Yuffie, what are you doing?" Cloud said; he was beginning to get rather annoyed now.
She crawled out from under the table and laughed nervously. "…. Following you."
He sighed, and led her by the arm to a quiet corridor. "Look, if you're going to do a lemonade stand as well, I might as well ask if you want to open it with me."
Yuffie blinked and snatched her arm away from him. "As in… we both do business together?" That sounded rather wrong to her.
She gave him a suspicious look. "Well, I guess we could – wait, hold on just one minute!"
"I get what you're doing!" She pressed at him fiercely. "You're saying that you're better than me! You're saying that your lemonade will be a lot better than mine!"
"WHAT?" Cloud gave her a glare.
"Don't 'what?' me, Prissy-boy! How dare you make a mockery of my profession by suggesting such a thing! Me and you – lemonade stand – together! Well, mark my words, Cloudy! I will make a lemonade stand, and it'll be much, much, much, very much better than yours! I'll make more money than you, just you wait and see!" Then she marched towards the exit, leaving a very, very confused Cloud. She turned back just before she stepped out from the doors and bellowed at him, "You just wait and see!"
Cloud gawked at her. That… didn't just… happen.
The whole library was staring at him.
With a twitching eyebrow, he closed his eyes briefly, lowering his head slightly that the lower half of his face was covered by his cape; he opened his eyes once again and stared boringly out across the street.
The beverages were all set out in front of him; in polystyrene cups set neatly on paper plates, half full with the sweet, yellow fizzy liquor resting inside. Several full flasks were sitting in the portable refrigerator behind the counter. It wasn't easy; but Cloud managed to make good lemonade, with Aerith being the judge; she gave him a positive response and he was determined. His stand was rather reasonable too; Leon and Cid had helped prepare some of it; which included painting the sign and hammering away at planks of wood. The stand was set up in a corner of the street, where they had taken notice that a reasonable amount of people walked past to and fro. He wondered how Yuffie was doing. She hadn't spoken to him for the past few days before the Annual Charity Day. In fact, he hadn't even seen her go to the kitchen at all or make her own stand.
Why don't we look at the snickering girl on a different block on the street? She too, was also standing in a stall that was wavering in the wind; it was rather poorly built, with several nails about to pop off if the stand jerked anymore in the breeze. Yuffie cackled as she set out her lemonade on the counter. It was a weird… golden brown colour, and it bubbled and gurgled weakly in the cups. Her flasks just had ice packs lying beside them in a bid to keep iced.
Yuffie had her own secret recipe with her own secret ingredient….
"Cloud's so unapproachable, who's going to buy lemonade off him? I still can't believe he's really doing this – but I'll win for sure. Loser, loser, loser Cloud!" And she began to snigger to herself again.
Even though they weren't supposed to be rivalling one another in this lemonade thing; well, Cloud knew he wasn't competing, but Yuffie thought she was. She thought – whoever sold the most lemonade would win – but isn't this all for charity as well? Heck, Yuffie just wanted to beat down Cloud. Both of their lemonade was selling for five munny pieces a cup and an extra five if customers wanted a refill.
Yuffie couldn't stop laughing. How in the world was Cloud going to sell a single cup of lemonade? No-one ever dared to go near him in the street. They were intimidated by his looks and clothes, and not to mention, the big, bulky sword he carries around. It's no wonder. If anyone pissed him off, Cloud could just rear his ugly side and chop off that unfortunate person's head. And not to mention, Cloud had this impenetrable barrier, and he's also the type of people who think you're wasting his time when you even talk to him. Yuffie just ranted and raved at him for the heck of it, throwing in random subjects and lame jokes (A/N For more reference about Yuffie's 'jokes', look at 'When Apples and Oranges Fall in Love'). Cloud also had little patience against Yuffie. She laughed again – this was going to be easy!
She switched her 'closed' sign to 'open'. "I'm ready!" She said happily. "For my first customer… who will it be?"
At that point, Yuffie noticed a small group of people walking down the street, towards her way.
Meanwhile, Cloud's stall was quiet, except from the annoying bird that was twittering in his ear – the spot he had chosen was just beside a tree with low branches… he rolled his eyes. The lemonade lay untouched; it had already been about five minutes… He could hear the carnival down several blocks from him. Aerith, Leon and Cid had gone there. Aerith and Leon were doing the three legged race, and Cid had built this novelty Gummi Ship for kids to play around with – perhaps this had been a bad idea? Cloud shook his head, no, he had to try something new, and he wasn't going to give up either.
A figure came at the end of the road. She was carrying large, various bags in her hands and looked tired to the bone, hence the sweat dripping down her forehead and that weary look on her face. She caught sight of him, before stopping. Cloud stared back at her. Awkwardly, she dragged herself over to him.
"You sell refreshments here?"
He nodded briefly. "Five munny a cup."
"Phew… thank god for that." She dropped her bags onto the street and wiped her forehead with her sleeve. "I'm parched."
"Take your time." He said, as she fiddled around her pockets for her purse.
She fished out five munny pieces, and handed it to him. Two of the pieces fell on the counter. "Oh, I'm sorry, I'm so clumsy."
"That's okay." He said, as he collected it in a tin. In exchange, Cloud handed her a cup.
"Thanks." They stared at each other for a few seconds. The girl gratefully accepted the cup and drank it up greedily. She was lost in his eyes; that blue hue… so… brilliant in the sun… she had to shield herself from becoming bedazzled from them, and gawd…. He… he… he was hot – with a capital 'H' in bold, italics, underline – whatever! – he was so… So. So goddamn hot! She began to sweat. Everything about him…. That hair… she couldn't really see his entire features because he was a lot taller than her therefore she couldn't see much because of his cape… but still….
She guffawed at him. "Um… t-this is really g-g-good, c-can I getta refund – I mean, refill?" She quickly changed her words and laughed awkwardly.
Gawd! He is hot. H-A-W-T!
Immediately, the girl shook her head to and fro to stop those thoughts. He's just a guy at a random Charity munny-raising lemonade stand, goddamnit!
"Sure." He said, in that same… cool and…. alluring tone. The girl shivered and inhaled it all in. "That'll be five munny."
Hastily, she gave him the munny and he gave her another cup. She drank it again. There was a silence.
"So… uh… Is this for charity?" She asked, jerking slightly.
Cloud nodded. This girl was acting weird. He took note of her twitching eye and jerky behaviour.
"Cool. Yeah, yeah. I've just had a hectic day at the fair. Your lemonade… very, very good." Then she twiddled off down several feet away from him after recollecting her bags, and then she quickly ran up to him again. "What's your name?" She asked him quickly.
"It's Cloud," He replied. "….. Yours?"
"I'm Peeko, it-it was nice meeting you, so uh… yeah, bye, good luck." She said, and then she ran down the street in a hurry.
Cloud blinked at her retreating back, and then looked back at his tin. He's made some cash already. Suddenly, sensing something, he looked back up dangerously, just at the horizon where Peeko had left.
She was running towards him again; the bags gone, she waving at him. "Hey Cloud!" She yelled happily. "I brought some friends!"
And following behind her, was a stampede of screaming girls, skinny, fat, short, tall…. You name it.
Cloud's eyes widened.
And somewhere else…
Yuffie was bored.
She yawned and looked at a fly buzzing around her, before swatting it away with her hands.
Her tin was empty, even though there was five munny pieces scattered in it. Her previous customer was a snappy business man who raised his eyebrow at her when she presented out her lemonade to him yet he still accepted it anyway – probably out of sympathy. Yuffie had put her most apathetic face she could ever muster; for some reason, Yuffie believed that she had scared him into buying lemonade off her because she wailed and yowled at him, reminding him of the poor people who were homeless on the streets with no clothes or munny thanks to the heartless.
Other than that guy, other people had passed, but they didn't want to get lemonade. "Hmm, what's wrong with it?" She said to herself, holding one cup. "It tastes nice and smells nice, sure doesn't look nice, but I've tried it."
Immediately, with Yuffie's new Customer Alert Senses, she spotted two giggling girls down the lane. "HI THERE!" Yuffie shouted at them happily, waving with both her arms. The two girls sidled up to her. "Do you wanna try out my lemonade? It's only five munny a cup!"
One of the girls smiled and took out her purse. "Sure, why not – "
Her companion butted in rudely. "No, don't spend your munny here, I heard there's a cute guy down the street selling some lemonade for the same price, buy it there."
Yuffie tried to resist the urge to strangle this girl. Instead, she sent the most lethal deathglare included with daggers at her, and looked hopefully at the girl who was debating whether to buy or not.
"Well, who can argue with that…Yeah, but – " The other girl replied, then she looked at Yuffie.
"Please, buy a cup! Girls help girls, right?" Yuffie said, almost desperately.
She shrugged. "I guess you're right. It's still for charity. I'll still buy a cup." She handed Yuffie the five munny.
"Oh, thank you thank you thank you!" Yuffie gave the girl a cup; her companion dragged her down the street.
Yuffie's smile faded into a deep frown as she chucked her munny into the tin. "I can't believe I had to do that! How degrading! Just what is Cloud up to?"
Back to Cloud…
"I'm next Yay!"
"No, I'm next!"
"Can I get a refill?"
"I'll have two refills!"
"I'll buy all your lemonade!"
"I'll buy your stand!"
"I'll employ you!"
"I'll buy you!"
Cloud tried to ignore that last comment.
Sheesh, who knew working could be so frantic? Thanks to Peeko and her pals, who brought more friends along, and they brought more friends, and they brought more friends and so on, Cloud and his stall was somehow surrounded by a whole horde of the population of girls from Traverse Town screaming and throwing their munny in the tin, even if they never got served yet – all that in less than an hour. He had already used up around three to four two litre flasks now. He had only prepared about twenty flasks, he guessed they would be all be gone in about an estimated four hours.
Peeko was already onto her twelfth cup. "Fill 'er up, Cloud!" She said happily.
"Sure." He refilled several more; they were already snatched out from his view in less than seconds. More girls rushed up. He had to refill them again… He was glad it was busy, and Peeko was helping him raise money for money, but he needed… an assistant. Somehow, his thoughts landed back to Yuffie again.
"Your name's Cloud?" A girl shrieked.
This brought him back to business.
"It's sooo cool!"
"I love your hair!"
"And your cloak!"
"Your eyes – they're beautiful!"
He coughed and brushed his hair back with his hand to relieve himself. These girls… were too flattering for him. They swooned and screamed at him when he touched his cloak, about to lift it off. It was beginning to get in his way. From the corner of his eyes, he thought he spotted a negligible glint hovering around the area, but shrugged it off – it flickered and whisked away.
Yuffie collected her remote controlled FLY-Bot and tampered around on its wings – FLY-Bot was indeed, a robotic fly, it was small enough to zoom around the area and not be seen – and of course, for spying as well. She had used it to fly over to Cloud's stand to check up on things (spying!). How she got one was not a mystery, with Cid being a mechanic… She immediately connected it to her portable black and white TV and switched it on.
The sight disgusted her. Girls were screaming and throwing their munny into the air – basically, Cloud's stand had become like a munny haven. Any beggar down the road could crawl through and just pick up some munny on the ground. She growled under her breath. How dare Cloud take advantage of girls! She had an image in her mind – Cloud – dressed in a black tuxedo and white shirt, not to mention a cape, laughing sinisterly as girls surrounding him were chained and locked up in cages.
All the girls belong to me!
"I'll save them," Yuffie muttered under her breath. "If it's the last thing I'll do, I'll save those poor things from that blonde hedgehog." She tampered with her FLY-Bot again; and sniggering to herself, quickly tiptoed over behind a corner shop, just opposite Cloud's stall. "This'll make them run." She made FLY-Bot clutch some kind of minuscule opened sack of powder in its legs, and she pressed onto the remote controlled. FLY-Bot buzzed off towards the stall.
"Itching powder, it'll make them scratch themselves like monkeys that their skin will grow red. Then they'll stay away from Cloud's stall. Nihihihi!"
She didn't care how much of a dastardly and evil little girl she was.
FLY-Bot whizzed through the dangerous web of girls, hoping not to get stuck in a sticky situation; its owner, Yuffie, tried hard to keep it upright; it was so small (why do you think it's called FLY-Bot then?), Yuffie had to use binoculars to keep track of its movement. Eventually, she pinpointed to a jug of lemonade sitting on Cloud's counter, and snickered. FLY-Bot was commanded to hover above it, and she made it shake itself. The bag of powder was somewhat about to tip -
"Eeew, there's like, a fly pestering the lemonade."
Peeko grabbed a newspaper from behind Cloud's counter, rolled it up, and before Yuffie could make FLY-Bot whizz away –
FLY-Bot was batted away and the powder flew all over the ground. Yuffie screamed. "FLY-BOT!"
FLY-Bot's remains landed on the ground and were stomped on by the customers. Yuffie's jaw dropped.
"Fly-Bot……" She wiped her eyes. "Don't worry; I'll give you a proper burial!"
Peeko was struggling with several flasks she brought out from the fridge, she struggled feebly, and they were about to drop from her hands – when Cloud quickly grabbed her hands and helped her move them up to the counter. She thanked him. He had 'promoted' her to be his assistant for the time being, after all, Peeko said she wanted to help him with the stall because she didn't really have much to do; Cloud was glad that someone had decided to help him.
Yuffie ran towards Cloud's stall. He noticed, and looked up. "Yuffie?"
"Out of my way! Out of my way!" Yuffie pushed through the girls and eventually found the squashed metal pieces that once made up FLY-Bot. She scooped them up in her hands. "Look what you did!" She shouted at Peeko, who was behind the counter, with Cloud.
Yuffie gasped at them both. "Oh… Oh ho ho ho, so this is what I see! Cloud, Lemonade and… and…. Her - !" She pointed at Peeko, who blinked in confusion. "You… You… " She began furiously at Cloud; the whole stall became silent. "You cheater!" She screamed at Cloud, and then she pointed to their hands.
Peeko immediately gaped at her, then at Cloud. Then at their hands – they were still 'holding' hands. Her face grew tomato red and Peeko quickly pulled back. "Oh no, you've got it wrong, Cloud and I weren't – "
"You're not allowed assistants!" Yuffie bellowed at him. "That's cheating!"
Peeko and Cloud sweatdropped.
Oh, so this was what it was about…..
"Don't you have your own stall to attend to?" He asked her, with his half-lidded eyes staring at her small form.
"Yes! But-But… why would you care anyway?" She shouted at him furiously, she didn't care if he was this intimidating tall and brooding man glaring over her; Yuffie had learnt to stand up for herself, especially against cold, nasty and mean men… wait, Cloud wasn't mean, he was actually quite gentle in person – wait, why was Yuffie thinking about this now? They were enemies! Yuffie inwardly gasped; she was thinking apathetically of the enemy! Noooo! Le gasp! Yuffie gulped - Au secure! (…er… I think that means 'help' in French by the way…)
His calm, husky voice brought her back to reality. "I wasn't caring."
The girls all 'ooohed' as they glanced at Yuffie.
She blinked. "Well, neither was I!" She barked at him.
The girls 'awwwed' as they looked back at Cloud, who looked unfazed.
Yuffie stomped back to her stall; no-one had touched her lemonade – she had taken the tin of munny with her when she went to Cloud's stall just in case. Yuffie slumped against her stall and sighed as she put the metal scraps into a separate tin. A couple of girls had followed her over from Cloud's stall and now stood in front of her at the counter.
"Hey, are you alright?" A girl asked.
"Yeah, I'm fine." Yuffie replied glumly.
"What's all this about by the way?" Another asked.
"…. Just… a competition." She murmured.
"Competition? About what?"
"About who sells the most lemonade." Yuffie replied glumly. So far, she hadn't made a lot of money.
"Like, I thought this was for charity."
"It is, but still – "
The girls began to giggle.
"What's so funny?" Yuffie demanded furiously, sitting back upright.
"Oh, we so know, you, like, totally, dig Cloud."
Yuffie turned green. "NO I DON'T!"
"Look, you're even smiling – "
"I'M SMILING BECAUSE YOU MADE SUCH A STUPID SUGGESTION!"
"Well, sorr-ee if we struck the wrong chord, sheesh, can't you take a small joke?"
They sighed. "Well, good luck with your stall."
They left. Yuffie was in peace. She frowned, and tightened her forehead warmer around her head – that's it – she just had to sell lemonade, no matter what! Furious and determined, Yuffie spotted a short boy with extra thick glasses and a runny nose; he looked younger than her one year, but who cared? Yuffie didn't care.
"YOU!" She screamed at him, pointing at him with her index finger.
He looked to the side and back, then pointed at himself. "Who, me?"
"Yes, you, you scrawny pipsqueak! What's your name?"
"Uh… it's Maroka – "
"I don't care!"
"But you just said – "
"Get your puny ass over here right now! You're my new assistant!"
Yuffie can't believe she just did that. She was now stuck with a guy who kept borrowing hankies and blowing his nose all over her. She quickly sprayed disinfectant all over her. But despite his unhygienic-like appearance, Maroka-whatcha-ma-call-him was quite a good salesperson/assistant. Maroka-blah did clean up pretty well though, it was only after several more minutes after snivelling and snorting did he stop, then he would begin sneezing again would have to blow his nose. She was thoroughly impressed with his negotiating skills. Yuffie had already made more than thirty munny pieces with him beside her.
"Maroka-man, consider yourself hired." She said, shaking his hand, and then she quickly wiped it on his shirt.
"Why am I working here anyway?" He whined.
"Cos' if you don't, I'll shove this shuriken up your ass!" She screamed threateningly at him. "NOW GET BACK TO WORK OR YOU WON'T GET PAID AT ALL!"
"But I'm not getting paid – "
"WHO ASKED FOR YOUR OPINION? YOU SNIVELLING LITTLE WOTSIT! WHO'S THE BOSS AROUND HERE? NOT YOU FOR ALL I KNOW!"
And Yuffie wasn't a too shabby manager either.
A few minutes later, of complete silence, with no customers, Yuffie was about to burst.
"Why isn't anyone here yet?"
"Maybe it's because it's getting late, Yuffie-sama."
"No, you shut up and stay in the sidelines; you should be seen, not heard. Aha! I see someone now!" Yuffie spotted a middle-aged woman strutting down the street towards them.
"Hey, we should wait if she comes over."
"What a lame idea." Yuffie said, rolling her eyes. Yet, Yuffie waited. The woman passed their stall without even looking back. "Right - !" Yuffie leapt out from her stall, grabbed the woman from behind.
The woman shrieked. "ARGH! Help me! I'm being – "
Yuffie quickly hauled her over to the stall. "Shut up! Now, you buy lemonade, or else!"
The woman's eyes widened. "Um…. "
"Didn't you hear the last part of that sentence? Buy lemonade, or else!" Yuffie barked at her loudly.
"Yuffie-sama – " Maroka-whatsit said helplessly. He couldn't believe his boss had just kidnapped a woman off the streets and to their stall. "Uh… what she means is, uh… if you buy some lemonade, you'll help us a great deal in raising money for charity."
"Charity? Well, er… that sounds heavenly." The woman was shrinking under the stony glare Yuffie was giving her. "Okay, I'll buy a cup."
Meanwhile, Cloud had finished selling all his lemonade. The sky was darkening, now he wondered how Yuffie was doing. Peeko had gone home; claiming that she didn't want to get paid, and left to make dinner for her family. The screaming fan-girls had retired home as well when he had told them that he was finished selling lemonade, and when they asked for his number, he gave them Leon's number instead.
Please forgive me, Leon. He thought with a slight sweatdrop.
When he collected the munny – he had made three whole tins of munny – he made his way to Yuffe's stall. He was surprised to see that a short boy around Yuffie's height was helping her. Cloud's mouth wrinkled into a small smile.
"You! What are you doing here?" She screeched at him, when she saw him there standing, doing nothing, just… staring. "Coming to spy eh? Well, you've not done a very good job, I can see you here, and over there, oooh, you're such a goner!"
"Yuffie, shut up. I've finished selling my lemonade."
"Don't you 'Yuffie, shut up' me, you prick – you – you - you've what - ?"
"I've finished selling my lemonade. I was just checking up on you. Need any help?"
Yuffie blinked, and then glanced back at Maroka-dude-what's-his-name. He gave Yuffie a thumbs up and finished serving a customer. She laughed nervously.
"What are you doing here? Are you here to steal my secret ingredient?"
He raised an eyebrow, and looked at the stall. "Even if you did, I wouldn't want to. Is that your assistant?"
"Yeah, the little blighter's a lot more useful than he looks." Yufie grumbled.
"Well, I guess you don't need help – "
"Hold it right there, sonny boy!" Yuffie shouted quickly. "You're coming with me – "
"Where are we going?"
"More like, where you are going. Help me run the stall while I go to the loo."
Yuffie snickered and quickly ran away to the far end of the street. "Hah! I am so smart! I'll let him do all the work and I, shall go and watch the Parade and eat grapes while he does all the slave work and I shall take all the credit when he is finished! Hahaha! Hahahaha!"
"I'm right here you know."
She stopped laughing evilly and turned to her right, where Cloud was standing. "Aw…. I better work on my gloating."
Cloud grabbed her by the arm and led her back to the stall.
"Nuuu! Don't take me back there! Noooo!" She begged.
"It's your stall, and you're the one who wanted to do a lemonade stand, so hurry up and finish your business."
"But I've still got four more pails left."
"That's you problem."
Grumbling, Yuffie returned back to her stall, under the supervision of Cloud, who was constantly watching over the customers and the employees of the stall. Yuffie was major-like embarrassed; not only was having Cloud standing there degrading, but having Maroka-guy beside her - who seemed to show a few developing symptoms of a crush on Yuffie - was also degrading.
"Yuffie…" Maroka-weirdo began with sparkling eyes that shimmered with the bright intensity of a million setting suns (why am I being so poetic?). "I want to give you my box of chocolate Pocky sticks as something for you to remember me by. They're my favourite…."
Her eye twitched. "You're too kind."
"Ahh…. Your voice… it sounds like a thousand angels singing…"
Yuffie shrank away from him. "Really - you're too kind." She turned helplessly to Cloud. Help me! She mouthed to him.
He ignored her.
Yuffie glared daggers at him. He batted them away with his 'swords' as he returned her glare. The daggers fell helplessly on the ground; Yuffie was becoming worried when her insults fired at Maroka-in-love-with-Yuffie didn't seem to work anymore except make him like her even more, but then, she smirked to herself when she eyed Cloud from the corner of her eye.
I've got the perfect plan…
Cloud looked up from the park bench just beside Yuffie's stall to see her standing over him. He didn't like the sleazy look she was giving him. To make it worse, she had clasped her hands together and were rubbing them together – that only happened when she was hatching an evil plan.
"What are you smiling about?"
"Oh, Cloud, my one true love, my only love; my looooooove!" She drawled with sparkling eyes – much like the way Maroka-baka's had sparkled before - she fell forward, aiming to fall into his lap; Cloud quickly caught her before she fell on top of him.
"Yuffie, what's gone into you?"
"Cloud, my baby, my darling! How funny of you to say that – why, I am perfectly fine – "
She was interrupted when he put a hand over her forehead. Hmm, her temperature seemed normal. What was Yuffie up to? She attempted to kiss him – puckered her lips and everything – only to get shoved away from him quickly. Yuffie landed face flat on the cement. Maroka-guy was staring awkwardly at them, and sold the second last pitch to a man.
"Cloud! How can you be so mean? After all we've been through?" She wailed, and she scampered up and pretended to 'faint' in his lap, with a hand on her head, in a damsel in distress position. Yuffie clutched onto his leg so he couldn't shake her off.
Cloud's eye twitched visibly. "Yuffie." He hissed. "What are you talking about?"
She grabbed him and held him close tightly, squeezing the air out of him. She made sure Maroka-getting-jealous-now was watching this. Cloud's temperature began to soar.
"Oh, Cloud, my love for you will never die down! No matter how prickly you are on the outside!" She pulled him away from her and he banged his head against the wall behind the bench. "And no matter how cold you may be on the outside!" She bellowed.
Cloud's head made contact with the wall again.
"And no matter how tall you are!" She declared loudly again, so that the guy at the stand could listen.
And again, he hit his head. Cloud was beginning to get dizzy.
"I will always love you no matter what!" Yuffie screamed. Gawd! I can't believe I'm doing this!
"… Yuffie…" He moaned, trying to get his vision straight – but all he could see was four Yuffie's in his blurred vision – as if one wasn't enough.
"My love will set you free, Cloud! Can you not see, my love?"
"… Yuffie – "
"What?" She snapped at him.
"You're hurting me – "
"Sorry." She let go of his neck – she just realised that she had been strangling the wind out of him. Then she continued to clench her fists and shout to the heaven. "I will love you no matter where you go, no matter where you are, no matter what – " Yuffie watched Maroka-really-pissed-off-now storm away from the stall, and Yuffie beamed. She immediately let go of Cloud. "Phew, glad he's gone!" She turned to Cloud.
He gave her an awkward glance as he took several breathss. "So, you have a crush on me, eh?"
"In your dreams, you prick!" Yuffie screamed at him with a shaking clenched fist at him, before getting off his lap and walking back to her stall. There was only one jug left. She groaned. "I should've kept the act up a lot longer."
"I'll buy it."
She looked up. "Cloud?"
He smiled at her slightly. "You've wasted enough energy. I'll buy the last batch off you."
"You… will?" Now Yuffie had the sparkling eyes again as she looked at Cloud – only it sparkled in a different way – with admiration.
"Yeah… and don't do that, really."
"Okay – wait – " She grabbed the batch and disappeared under the counter.
Yuffie popped back up again with another gleeful smile. "Here you go, I put it in a flask, ready to take back home."
"Okay," He said, accepting the flask.
"That's… uh…. Twenty pieces of munny."
He just handed her the small change and inwardly breathed a sigh of relief. Thank god this was over.
"Well?" Yuffie gave him a B-I-G cheesy smile as he clipped the belt over the flask's holster to keep it in place.
He looked up. "What?"
She looked hopefully at the flask, then at him, then at the flask again and then back to him. "…Aren't you going to drink it?"
"Why would I? I was going - "
Upon hearing this, Yuffie snivelled and her eyes began watering. "You-You-You hate me!"
"No, no, no, no."
"Yes, you do!" She screamed loudly and shrilly as her voice could go; Cloud winced; darn her stupid, growing teenage girl hormones! "Don't deny it!"
"Okay, okay, I'll drink it – " He quickly unclasped it and took a quick gulp from the lemonade. Ugh… it tasted weird in a way; it left a tingling sensation in his mouth, and it was also really, really sweet – not too bad, but not too good either. Just what was Yuffie's secret ingredient? Seeing her twisted smile plastered on his face seemed to increase his curiosity.
"Well, glad that's over." He muttered. "Yuffie, coming?"
"Yeah, wait till I collect the munny - " She quickly reappeared back at his side with two tinfuls of munny, and nodded. "Okay, I'm done. Let's go!"
The two walked off into towards the horizon of the sunset. The fair opposite them was about to close soon. Many people had begun to leave.
"Did you even pay your assistant?" He asked out of the blue.
"Nope, don't care, don't give a damn." She replied cheerfully, staring at the setting sun.
"That was quite cruel how you used me just to get at him." He said suddenly; he eyed Yuffie to see how her reaction was like.
Yuffie gawked at him in disbelief. "What, you liked it?"
Cloud looked at her and shook his head slightly. "You're hoping that I say 'no', but if I say 'yes'?"
"I… I don't know yet. Give me some time." Yuffie replied slowly and… shyly. She couldn't stop grinning wildly like the Cheshire cat. Cloud is like, such the gentleman sometimes…. Not.
He thought for a while. "Honestly, why are you always competing against me in Charity Day?"
"Because you're a worthy opponent?" She gave him thumbs up.
"What's that secret ingredient of yours?" He asked, tapping at the lemonade flask.
"Why should I tell you?" She said with half lidded eyes.
"Because I'm… hot?"
Yuffie snorted. "And who said that?"
"Oooh, Cloud. Got some admirers there, have ya?" Yuffie giggled at him, punching him playfully on the shoulder. "Well it's about time you get chased and hunted down by girls around your age, or older or younger for all I care."
"I do, I gave them Leon's number instead of mine."
"Look, I don't want people bothering me."
Yuffie nodded briefly. Loner Cloud, loner Cloud! "You really want to know what my secret ingredient is?"
"Yeah… let's hear it."
Yuffie took a deep breath. "Okay, it's – "
Cloud leaned in slightly.
"It's – "
Yuffie noticed the stare he was giving her and moved away from him. Cloud followed, and she frowned.
"It's toilet water."
Cloud felt like retching.
Yuffie began laughing maniacally. "That's why I have so many batches – I filled 'em all up with toilet water! And added in extra sugar! Sneaky, eh? Bwahahaha!"
"Yuffie – how could you - ?"
"Just joking!" She exclaimed merrily, skipping forward.
He glared at her.
"Cloud, you don't believe me?" She pretended to be hurt and put a finger to her lip.
"Not one bit."
"But I am joking about the toilet water. I'm not that nasty."
Cloud wasn't sure if she was joking or not – but he had taken a sip already. And you can't change the past, but you can change the future... "Right, Yuffie, you're going to get a taste of your own medicine."
"Oh, I'm so scared. What are you going to do with me? Huh, huh?" She teased. "Oooooh, I'm like, soooooo scared of the blonde, big, bad-ass boy!"
Cloud frowned. Yuffie was like, sooooo asking for it. Darn, she really was getting to him; now he even sounded like her. He really needed to get away from her for a day, which was virtually impossible since Yuffie always followed him and found him wherever he went. Cloud was wondering if she had him on a tracking device. He unclasped the lid of the lemonade flask, and grabbed Yuffie. She squealed and wriggled under his grip. Guess she was afraid of him. "Here then, you drink it!"
Yuffie paled and began kicking and screaming. "Nooo! Noooo!"
"So you have put something in it, haven't you?"
She shook her head desperately at him trying to convince him while at the same time, trying to wrench herself out of Cloud's inhumanly strong grasp, but she was too weak under his strong, muscle-man strength and just flailed around helplessly. She watched the lemonade flask tip closer and closer to her mouth – the yellow liquid seeping closer towards her face – Cloud seemed amused with this – her eyes darted back to the lemonade.
All I have to do is close my mouth!
"Yuffie – " Cloud shoved his own FLY-Bot towards her face (yes, everyone seems to have their own).
Startled by seeing red eyes in front of her, Yuffie screamed, and the lemonade poured down her throat -
Leon picked the phone up. "Hello?"
Leon blinked and looked at the receiver, than put it back to his ear. "Uh – "
"Who are you?" The girl down the phone asked.
"Who are you?" Leon copied the question and diverted it back to her.
"I asked you first – "
"Well I'm asking you now."
"Why have you got Cloud's number?"
"What? This is – "
"I don't care! What have you done with Cloud? Tell me!"
"Look here, Miss, I think you – "
"You kidnapper, give me Cloud!"
"Yes, you evil man, give me Cloud! CLOUD! I want Cloud, goddamnit!"
Leon slammed the phone shut and walked towards the kitchen, passing the corridor, grumbling and muttering under his breath about 'rabid fan-girls'. Aerith was in the kitchen, watching him as he passed her. She shrugged inwardly and began counting the money Cid had raised for the Gummi Ship ride before collecting it all into a tin. Then, she glanced over at Yuffie and Cloud's tins from the Lemonade stand.
"Hello? Hello?" The girl on the other end shrieked. When all she could hear was the dial tone, she huffed angrily, and redialled the number.
Back to the group –
The phone in their house rang again.
"Don't bother picking it up." Leon called as he walked back to the living room. "It's a crazy fan-girl."
Cid looked down from his newspaper and took a drag from his cigarette. "Oh."
Leon made his way back to the corridor again, and passed a rather sweaty-looking Yuffie, who was busy hopping on one foot to another, constantly banging on the bathroom door, shouting the person in there to 'hurry up' and other abuse. "What's up with you?"
"….Sore… stomach." She whimpered, clutching her abdomen and bending forward that her nose almost touched the floorboards.
Leon looked at the 'Do Not Disturb' sign hanging on the door. "Who's in the toilet?"
"Cloud…" She rasped helplessly at him. "Been there… for about… 4 hours already…."
He blinked; just what he needed, Yuffie and Cloud had probably had another argument during the Charity day and now they were hauling the only bathroom in their house. Leon was rather disappointed that he had missed out on seeing Cloud and Yuffie at each other's necks. "What happened?"
"… Drank… lemonade… my lemonade…" She replied throatily, squeezing her eyes shut and re-opening them again. "Cloud forced me… to…. Curse him!"
"Huh, Cloud drank it as well?"
"What's wrong with your lemonade?" Leon asked, he was trying to contain his amusement as he watched Yuffie 'dance' around the landing with her bottom lip bitten down and her eyelids clamped shut.
Yuffie squeaked and cracked one eye open. "Secret ingredient was… laxatives…"
Hope you enjoyed it. Happy holidays, ppl!