Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy

Nightmare

"Cloud." Tifa mumbled as she tossed and turned. "Please. No!" her eyes shot open and she sat up breathing heavily and covered in sweat.

She put her head in her hands and trembled. Every night she had the same dream, Cloud losing the fight against Sepheroth, and every night it got worse. Tonight he died.

Tifa shook herself, trying to get rid of the effects of the dream. Sepheroth is gone. He's not coming back. She thought as she pulled the covers off and got out of bed. It was 5:30 in the morning. Nobody would be up at this hour so she decided to get up and make herself some coffee.

She left her room and walked as quietly as she could past Cloud's room and Marlene and Denzal's room, down the stairs and into the bar of the 7th Heaven. She made herself some coffee and sat down on one of the bar stools.

A few minutes later she heard someone coming down the stairs and looked up to see Cloud standing there. "Hey. What are you doing up?" she asked as he walked in and sat down next to her. He shrugged, "Couldn't sleep and I heard you walk by and decided to join you."

"Want some coffee?" she asked, indicating the coffee in her hand. "Sure." He responded and she got up to get another cup.

"So why are you up?" Cloud asked.

"Same as you. Couldn't sleep. Decided I'd get some coffee and get ready for the day." She said as she handed him the coffee. She knew she should tell him about the dreams but she didn't want him to worry.

They sat in companionable silence for a few minutes until she heard someone coming down the stairs a second time. Marlene walked in with a blanket wrapped around her and clutching a teddy bear.

"What is it Marlene?" Tifa asked as Marlene climbed into her lap.

"I had a nightmare." She said, snuggling closer to Tifa. "What about?" Tifa asked as she rubbed her back soothingly. "Monsters." Marlene replied. "It's alright. You're safe with me." Tifa said then began humming a small lullaby. Looks like I'm not the only one having restless dreams. She thought as Marlene slowly began drifting off to sleep.

She continued humming until Marlene was fully asleep then Cloud got up and took the little girl in his arms. "I'll put her back in bed." He said, turning to walk back up the stairs. "Thanks." Was Tifa's reply. He took Marlene to her room and put her back in bed, covering her up and making sure Denzal was sleeping peacefully before going back downstairs.

He walked into the bar saying, "They're both sound asle-" he stopped when he saw Tifa had fallen asleep at the counter, head on her arms and one hand still around her cup.

He sighed and gave a small smile before gently picking her up and walking out of the bar.

She snuggled deeper in his arms and mumbled incoherently. He carried her up the stairs and into her bedroom.

He laid her down on the bed gently and pulled the covers up around her and tucked them under her. He stroked a lock of hair from her face then turned and headed towards the door.

"Cloud, no!" he heard her mutter and he turned back to see her writhing on the bed. "Sepheroth, please don't! CLOUD!"

He ran over to her and shook her. "Tifa. Tifa wake up." Her eyes shot open and she sat bolt upright. "Cloud." She whispered as he sat next to her on the bed. "It's alright." He whispered as he wrapped his arms around her. "I'm right here." She wrapped her arms around his waist and buried her tear streaked face into his chest.

"You died this time. I was scared. It was so real." She whispered as she clung to him for dear life. "I keep seeing the fight. I keep seeing you losing. I know Sepheroth is gone and isn't coming back but I still have fears that he will somehow." Her voice trembled.

He stroked her hair while his other hand rubbed small circles down her back. "Have you been having these dreams every night?" he asked. She nodded. "It's why I'm always up before everyone else. I'm scared to go back to sleep, I don't want to see it again." She clutched fistfuls of his shirt as more tears fell.

"Why didn't you tell me?" he asked, resting his chin on the crown of her head.

"I didn't want you to worry about it."

"But if you had told me I might have been able to help." He said, tightening his hold around her. "I care about you and want you to tell me when something is wrong."

She looked up at him. "You really do care for me?" she asked. He bent his head down and captured her lips with his. It took a moment for Tifa to comprehend what was happening and get over her shock but then she took her arms from around his waist and wrapped them around his neck instead, closing her eyes. They broke apart for need of oxygen and Cloud laid his forehead against hers. "Does that answer your question?" he asked and she smiled mischievously. "I don't know. Maybe you should explain it again."

He kissed her again and she melted in his arms.

"Yes." She moaned as he kissed down her neck. "I think that answers my question." He moved up and kissed her lips once more before breaking away.

"You should get some sleep." He said, lying down and bringing her down to lay beside him.

She trembled.

He gave her a gentle kiss on the forehead. "Don't worry, the nightmares will not reach you." He pulled her closer to his side with his left arm wrapped securely around her waist. "I'll protect you."

Tifa smiled and laid her head on his chest, listening to his rhythmic heartbeat. "I love you." She said as she drifted off to sleep. He kissed her head again. "I love you too. And I make this promise. I will always protect you."

With that said he relaxed into the pillow and drifted into a peaceful slumber.

A few hours later

"Tifa." Yuffie called, opening the door to the 7th Heaven. She walked in and looked around, Vincent came in behind her.

"That's weird. Tifa's usually up by now." The young shinobi said, heading towards the stairs. She headed up and peeked into Marlene and Denzal's room. Both children were sound asleep. Cloud's room was empty. She turned to Vincent. "Cloud sure left early." She said, turning the doorknob to Tifa's room. She peeked inside and her eyes widened before she smiled and motioned for Vincent to look inside. Vincent gave a small smile, (Something he hardly ever does) at seeing the pair on the bed. He closed the door before Yuffie could make up her mind about waking them up or not. He knew she'd tease them mercilessly.

"Leave them alone for awhile. I'm sure they'll be down soon." He said, steering Yuffie away from the room. She looked up at him and pouted. "Why don't you treat me like that?" she asked. "Because you're annoying and can't hold still long enough." He replied as they walked down the stairs. When they reached the bottom she wrapped her arms around him and looked up at him. "But that's why you love me right?" she smiled. He kissed her. "Does that answer your question?" he asked when he broke away. Yuffie grinned, "Not quite." She said, stretching up and kissing him again.

End

A/N: So. How was it? This is actually my first Final Fantasy fic. I have never actually played Final Fantasy VII I've only played Dirge of Cerberus but I kinda figured out what happened. So if any of you readers out there can tell me what happened in the game and how that flower girl Aeris died I'd really REALLY appreciate it. Anyway I hope you enjoyed the story, I know I enjoyed writing it. Tell my what you think and hit that review button. Oh and please don't forget about my request for someone to tell me what happened in FF VII. Thank you. Criticism is welcome.