Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy 7, any of it's characters and/or references.
Tifa sat alone in her room, she waited for some sign, some omen, that something would go wrong, whether it be Cloud couldn't be found or some one of their friends suddenly fell ill, it appeared to her that this day would never come. But if it turned out that Cloud couldn't be found, nothing on Gaia would stop her from tracking him down wherever he was hiding and beating him to a bloody pulp.
But the thoughts were quickly pushed aside there was no way Cloud would do such a thing, after all he was the one that asked her to marry him, and so here she was, standing in front of a mirror; watching herself in the mirror. The long white dress reaching down to the floor with long fitted sleeves that reached to her wrists, but stopped at her palms exposing her delicate hands. The veil was already covering her face but it didn't hinder her sight.
There was a soft knock on the door that caught Tifa by surprise making her jump a little and taking her focus off her reflection in the mirror. The door slowly creaked open and Yuffie entered; dressed in her bridesmaid dress, an elegant pink dress with flowered patterns around the neck and thin straps holding it on her shoulders.
"Are you ready Tifa?" Yuffie asked.
Tifa nodded, Yuffie came closer and stood near to her looking into the mirror along with Tifa, part her reflection in the mirror was hidden behind Tifa, but Yuffie was not looking at her own reflection but instead that of the bride.
"Nervous?" Yuffie asked, her tone slightly playful but also serious.
"A little," Tifa replied with a slight smile on her lips, "I just never expected this day to come, and now that's it's here I find it hard to believe."
"Do you have everything?" Yuffie asked as Tifa turned to face her, "They're ready to begin."
"Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe," Tifa said smiling.
Yuffie grinned at her, "Well that's good then, that means we don't have to spend last minute looking for everything."
"I honestly don't see why it's so important?" Tifa asked slightly confused and annoyed.
"It's tradition Tifa, you don't want to break tradition do you?" Yuffie asked.
Tifa shook her head in response, "I guess not."
"Well lets' go then," Yuffie finished and walked over to the door and opened it.
Tifa took up the bouquet and stepped outside only to be greeted by the other bridesmaids and the flower girl. All of Crisis Avalanche was there standing at the doorway to the hall where the congregation was gathered well all of Crisis Avalanche except Cloud, Vincent and Denzel, they were already at the Altar with Cloud being the groom, Vincent the best man and Denzel the ring bearer. Barret, Cid, Nanaki, Reeve, Shera, Shelke and Marlene were all present as they stood outside the recently renovated church where Aerith once grew her flowers. The flowers were moved from the inside of the church to the outside where they surprisingly flourished and began growing in abundance.
Barret approached Tifa, she was slightly surprised to see him in a large black tuxedo with a matching black bowtie, and he also wore a black glove over his mechanical arm. Also Reeve and Cid were also dressed in similar tuxedos and Nanaki even wore a bowtie around his neck, but it seemed more that looked like he was wearing a color than a tie.
"Are you ready?" Barret asked Tifa.
Tifa nodded her head.
"Well then, let's get started," Reeve suggested.
Everyone took their positions and lined up at the doorway to the church, Marlene was first dressed in a light yellow dress with long sleeves similar to Tifa's and a small basket of flowers in her hands, behind her was Shelke standing slightly taller than Marlene with Reeve standing beside her, followed by Cid and Shera, then Yuffie standing by herself behind them, then Tifa with Barret.
Nanaki had left and walked around the side of the church so as not to be seen by the congregation and entered the church from one of the side doors, he walked up to the altar where he stood beside Bugenhagen who was standing or rather floating behind the pulpit.
Cloud was standing in front of the church below the step which elevated the altar, he was dressed in a similar black tuxedo that the other groomsmen wore and his hair was still defying gravity. All the pews were filled with friends they had made on their journey a few years ago along with some new ones. However the two front pews; the one on the left and right were kept empty. His fists were clenched and his eyes were on the floor beneath him, he deliberately avoided the gaze of the congregation. It felt strange to him that such an event would have this effect on him.
As if sensing his nervousness Vincent placed his hand on his shoulder, Cloud turned to look at him, "It's gonna be okay Cloud," Vincent said calmly.
Cloud remained silent and turned his gaze on the floor, "It feels strange, I've thought about all possibilities and I shouldn't be feeling this nervous, but yet I am."
Cloud looked around, Denzel was not standing beside Vincent, and instead he found him sitting on the empty pew on his side of the church.
"He was fidgeting too much," Vincent said as he saw Cloud looking at the small boy, "Guess he couldn't take standing so long."
Suddenly the sound of a door opening was heard on the half that Cloud and Vincent were standing, they turned around to see Nanaki make his entrance, the red-furred beast walked and stood beside both of them, "They're ready to begin," He said as he walked past them and headed up to the altar where Bugenhagen stood in long priest robes reaching down to the floor.
As Red took his place by the altar, Vincent motioned for Denzel to take his place, however the young boy also dressed in a small black suit similarly Vincent, was too busy looking up at the ceiling and didn't notice Vincent, his hair was also neatly combed much to his dismay but still blond after his escapade to get it like Cloud's earlier in the week, the spikes had been removed but the dye couldn't be washed out so easily.
It was the sound of the organ filled the cathedral, once the melody filled the halls Vincent became even more desperate to try to alert Denzel to take his position however the boy's attention was shifted to the organ in the opposite corner. It's only when the doors at the entrance hall opened his he rush forward and into his position. Vincent sighed inwardly but Denzel only grinned at him and Cloud. Cloud looked down at the boy and smiled but all their attention as well as the congregation was switched to the entrance of the church where little Marlene in her yellow flower dress was walking down the isle and sprinkling the flowers she had in her basket on the floor as she walked along.
After she reached halfway down the isle, the organ the bridesmaids and groomsmen started down, first was Shelke and Reeve, then Shera and Cid and by the time Yuffie stepped forth Marlene had reached the front of the church and stood on the opposite side of Cloud, Vincent and Denzel. Yuffie walked down the isle along not accompanied by anyone, after all she was the maid of honor and Vincent was Cloud's best man who was standing beside him. As they reached the end of the isle they filtered off, the groomsmen went to Cloud's side and lined up behind Vincent, while the bridesmaids took the opposite side with Yuffie standing in front but leaving a significant gap between her and Cloud that was left reserved for Tifa.
The tune of the organ changed to the classical 'Here comes the bride' and it was then Tifa came into view at the entrance of the church being accompanied by Barret on her arm. When Cloud's eyes found her his clenched fists immediately loosened. Her eyes also found him, the sight of her left him breathless, her long white wedding dress reaching down to the floor, her veil over her eyes, but he could still picture her without it and she looked beautiful. Her steps were confident as she came closer to him and suddenly to Cloud he realized that there was no more weights on his shoulders, his nervousness had disappeared. This was Tifa, the Tifa he had admired as a child, whom he had made a promise to, and whom he loved since his eyes first saw her so many countless years ago in Nibelheim.
Even the sound of the organ playing its tune was deaf to Cloud, the only thing he saw was the woman he loved stepping closer and closer to him and soon to be his wife. It was the same for Tifa, she took no notice of the congregation or the sound of the organ, she could make him out through her veil and saw Cloud standing there by the altar in his black tuxedo and spiky blond hair. The crimson-eyed female fought back a giggle after she saw him and realized his still refused to co-operate. She also fought the urge to separate her arm from Barret's and run in Cloud's arm to embracing him while he embraces her.
Finally she reached the front of the church and Barret released her arm giving her away to Cloud, she took her place in front of Yuffie and standing directly facing Cloud and holding her bouquet with both hands. Cloud couldn't help but smile at her before he reached forward and lifted her veil to see her. The sight was more than he imagined, he was left in awe, she was beautiful he knew that but now she seemed even more beautiful, the young male couldn't help but stare.
After releasing Tifa, Barret took a seat on one of the empty pews. Cloud however couldn't take his eyes off Tifa. She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen but now it seemed as if she was heavenly or ethereal, her long black hair reaching halfway down her back, the long white dress reaching down to the floor and thin, long sleeves that clung to her hands, but stopped at the wrist. She appeared more feminine than he had ever seen, and he had to fight the urge to just lean in and kiss her.
Tifa looked up at Cloud to see him smiling down at her, his eyes shining, it seemed he was smiling more and more recently, when she saw him lick his lips she knew what he was thinking and he couldn't help but giggle softly.
"We are gathered here today to join these two in holy union," Bugenhagen began, his voice echoing through the halls addressing everyone, "Cloud Strife and Tifa Lockhart."
And so the ceremony began, all eyes were on the pair and Bugenhagen spoke, however the couple's eyes were on the other as if entranced by each other. Tifa couldn't help but smile widely and Cloud also couldn't help his smile down at his bride.
"If anyone here sees just cause why these two should not be wed," Bugenhagen spoke, as the eyes of the members of Crisis Avalanche narrowed and scanned the crowd as if warning the congregation not to dare speak up "speak now or forever hold your peace."
A loud roar rippled through the cathedral and suddenly everyone was taken back, except for Cloud and Tifa who were off in their own world. Nanaki stood on all fours at the front of the cathedral, "And the person who objects gets eaten" he added bearing his fangs so the entire congregation could feel a chill crawl up their spine. Bugenhagen sighed but, the rest of Crisis Avalanche were all on the same page with Nanaki.
No one spoke, the silence from the cathedral was deafening and it was soon time for the vow's, Vincent somehow sensing that the two was off in their own world calmly placed his hand on Cloud's shoulder, it didn't seem like much but it was enough to cause him to wake from his trance to see Denzel standing between them with a small pink cushion in his hands. Cloud took the smaller of the two rings.
"Cloud," Bugenhagen began, "do you take Tifa Lockhart to be your lawfully wedded wife to love and to cherish, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do u part?"
It was a simple question with a simple answer, for a brief moment Tifa felt her heart stop mid-beat, she wanted to hear his answer, two little words that she longed to hear and as her heart finished the beat they came removing all doubt from her mind.
"I do," Cloud said, his voice not loud yet not silent but also crystal clear. Cloud looked down into Tifa's wine coloured eyes, how could he have ever had once been doubtful, he wanted her, he wanted her selfishly, he wanted her for himself, and to never let go ever, looking into her eyes now he realized it was as plain as day.
"Tifa," Bugenhagen said addressing her "'Do you take Cloud Strife to be your lawfully wedded husband to love and to cherish, for richer for poorer, in sickness and health, till death do you part?"
Suddenly Cloud felt his nervousness return, he had forgotten she had to accept him also, but it would be ok…right? He loved her, and she loved him, he tried his best to be everything she wanted, she had always been there for him, always supported him always sacrificing for him, she would say yes...although he had to admit it was what he wanted to hear.
Tifa was lost in Cloud's cerulean eyes, she tried to breathe out the I do, everything seemed so surreal, it couldn't be happening, she was actually marrying Cloud, it was a dream come true for her, like living a fantasy, and so with the couple lost in each other's eyes, Tifa finally spoke.
"I do," She said, with those final words sealing their union.
Yuffie was struggling from jumping and shouting, it was pain to see she had a hard time keeping her emotions under check and a brief shriek was heard. Vincent even dared to smirk when they finished their vows. Denzel and Marlene were also struggling to keep from giggling.
"Then, by the power invested in my, by the lifestream," Bugenhagen said his voice echoing through the halls with authority, "I now pronounce you man and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Cloud Strife, you may now kiss the bride."
"Yahhhh!!!" The shriek of Yuffie could no longer be contained as she cried out as both prepared to kiss, even the other members of Crisis Avalanche seemed rather tense and expectant.
Cloud moved forward a bit and wrapped both his hands around her waist in effect pulling her into him, Tifa rested her hands on his shoulders and closed her eyes as his lips descended onto her's. It was both eternity and a second, it was pure bliss for both, the kiss deepened slightly and Cloud could feel Tifa smiling into the kiss.
Once both pairs of lips had touched all the members of Crisis Avalanche erupted following Yuffie's display as she shrieked even louder almost jumping into the air, Barret immediately stood up cheered, "Finally, about time!" He nearly shouted ecstatic with glee and began clapping, followed by Cid and Reeve, even Vincent clapped as his lips made a full smile. Nanaki responded by roaring as loud as he can nearly frightening the congregation. Upon seeing the reaction from the members of Crisis Avalanche the entire cathedral erupted into an ovation with loud cheers and applause.
Tifa and Cloud separated and turned to look at their friends. They were all smiling, Denzel's and Marlene's jaw were nearly on the floor after seeing both of them kiss. The couple took their first steps forward as Mr. and Mrs. Strife, Tifa's arm wrapped in Cloud's. The rest of the entourage followed each one forming back the pair they entered with, and Yuffie pairing with Vincent who were third in line after Denzel and Marlene. For once Vincent didn't seem to mind Yuffie's hyper activeness and left her alone, actually he seemed to be fond of her optimism.
Cloud and Tifa smiled at each other as they exited the church, both could not be more content or fulfilled, both their dreams had finally come to pass.
Enjoy my little one-shot? Hope you did, well take care all you readers, hope you can take some time off to post your thoughts, but thanks for reading.