Disclaimer: I don't own Final Fantasy VII or any of its characters.
Talk to Me
If you had the least idea how much it hurts to see you like this… I can't remember you ever being this way, as if you had been broken. Then again – now, I have problems to remember how you used to be. It's been so long. It's been years since you smiled the last time.
Or maybe I'm wrong in this point… Yes, sometimes in your sleep you were smiling, or sometimes when you were lost in memories. When you remember her. Or when you dream of her.
God, I wish it hadn't happened. I wish I could bring back the time before her death. You were serious back then, yes, but you were kind of happy. Happier than you are now at least.
You know, Cloud – you're not the only one to miss Aerith. We all miss her – I miss her, too. But it's so hard to grieve about her when I see you all the time, still blaming yourself for her death. I think I have to look after you, that the loss is much harder to you than to anyone of us. It would be easier if you didn't think it was your fault, Cloud – and it wasn't, nobody ever blamed you. Aerith herself would never do it, don't you know that?
But there's something else that makes it hard for me. Whenever I think of Aerith, I feel incredibly sad – but a part of me wonders, if I'm not happy about her death. This part tells me that I should be grateful that she is out of this world, out of your reach. This part wishes that you turn to me now, that Aerith is dead.
I hate myself for these thoughts, although I know that they are only lies.
I never wished Aerith to die – god, do you have any idea how much I miss her? Yes, there were times when I was jealous. I feared that you might desert me because of her. Then again, we never were a couple. Most of the relationship we have has always been imagination, Cloud. We never were close friends as kids and we never were lovers later. We were just two kids who grew up in the same town and became close friends later. I knew that things were different between you and Aerith… I didn't want to admit it, but I felt it somehow. But I never hated her – Aerith was my friend, she was as close as a sister to me…
And now that she's gone, I can't even grieve for her properly.
Cloud, I miss her, too. But I can't talk to you about her. I see it in your eyes, whenever I only get near the topic – there's so much self-reproach in your eyes, but also anger at me. In these moments you hate me, because I remind you of your "guilt" which only exists in your imagination. And because you fear that I might say some bad things about her. You know that I love you, don't you? And you fear I want to talk Aerith out of your mind and heart…
That's ridiculous, Cloud! I'd never try to make you forget her!
It's hard for me, Cloud. Yes, I love you. And nothing ever hurt me that much before. But I'm neither blind nor cruel or selfish. You love Aerith not me. It doesn't matter that she died – or maybe that makes it even harder for you, because you were never able to tell her how you feel about her.
It's hard, but I accept it. I have no choice but accept it. I wish I could make you happy, but I know I can't. Nobody can.
All I want to do is stand by your side. I want to help you to deal with her death, Cloud. I don't want to change your mind and heart. I just want to be there when you want to talk about her, when you want to get something off your chest, when you need someone.
But you won't even listen long enough for me to say these things.
I know you will never love me, but why do you have to take away our friendship, Cloud? Why can't we stand side by side, as friends, and grieve for her? For your love and my best friend?
And again… You're not here to listen. It's the air I'm talking to. I practiced to say all these things so often – but I can never tell you. Cloud, I can hardly take this any more.
Let me just stay by your side… please…
Please, Aerith, if you hear me… I beg you, please, if you listen… Make him talk to me again. It's all I wish for, I just want him to listen to me, and to talk to me about his grief. Please, Aerith… my last wish.
AN: It's the first thing I ever wrote about Final Fantasy. I'm quite a Tifa fan, and I used to like TifaxCloud, but after some reflections, reading arguments and watching Advent Children, I started to see the problem in this pairing. I tried to express these thoughts in this one-shot, trying to show Tifa's thoughts on Aerith's death and Cloud's behaviour afterwards. Tell me what you think about this.