Setting her cup down, Shera gazed out the window to him. His hard, sweaty form wa shunched over the Tiny Bronco, working it's engines into air worthy order. The clanking of a wrench falling into the engine, and a loud curse on his part, those sounds used to cause her ears to ache and her tired body to yearn for sleep. Now they sounded like lullubyes, letting the soft murmer of metal against iron clink her to sleep. Even his subtle snoring, his sleepy laughs when he was laying next to her late at night once awas annoying now amused her. One time she was too tired to venture to their room and stayed on the couch for the remainder of the night, and she felt empty and cold. She had stood up and walked to the bedroom, just to see if he was alright and noticed he was whimpering more than usual, his typical sleepy laughter gone, and replaced with subtle, anguished cries of lonliness and fear. Deciding not to wake him, and ask his dreams, Shera instead had decided to gingerly open the door and slide into her side of the bed.
When she slid under the covers of the bed, and pressed her petite form against his, back to back, his whimpers ceased and the happy slumber sounds she soon adored returned.
Ten long years, she whispered in her mind. The words danced across her brain like fire lit skies, pyro magic like that which can dance across his steel blue eyes when he smiled. The skies can light him up, she pondered gazing at his handome form in the evening light. The dusky colors created a lovely haze about him, precious, yet serene, completely misgiving who he truely was. A hot headed pirate, who still blamed her for missing out on his big chance to get to Space, travel the skies he so adored. Yet now, almost a year after Sephiroth demanded the life of the earth and was stopped by AVALANCHE, Captain Cid Highwind had succeeded his dream of conquaring the skies. He no longer blamed her for the mishap, and now, Shera wondered if it was all in her mind that he did at all. He saved her life then, and let the rocket pierce the air with out him in the driving seat, steering his way into history. He never yelled at her, screamed at her and blamed her for it, so why did she feel the way she did about it?
Maybe because she blamed herself.
She was the one who took any chance of him achieving his dream away. Oh, sure, eventually he succeeded in conquaring the heavens like he always dreamed of, which made her happy that he was in an excellent mood, but still Shera couldn't fathom what else was missing from their relationship. Looking out the window at him again, she watched as his frustration over threw him and as his wrench hit the ground with a loud smash. His shirt, sweat lined and dirty soon followed after wards and floated down on top of the wrench. Another loud bang of him kicking the side of the Tiny Bronco and denting in the metal paneling made her smile.
Gathering up the tea cups and saucers, Shera placed them on a silver tray along with the sugar, lemon, and hot water. Dropping a tea bag in each cup, she sighed and opened the door with her hip. Stepping on the dirt path, she carefully walked balancing the tray in one hand and holding the hot water in the other. Cid looked back on her with his gleaming colbalt blue eyes and nodded, yanking a cigarette from behind his ear and lighting it up with his lighter. The smoke drifted in the air and disappeared from his nose and lips, becoming one with the clouds. Shera watched, almost mesmerized when he sucked on the filtered end and the embers glowed, casting an eerie light on his features. Hopping up on the plane's nose, he cast another look in her direction and smirked, actually the hintest smile on his lips.
"Well Shera, are you gonna join me or let the damned tea cool?" He asked. Another puff of smoke in the air.
"Yes Captain." She whispered, stepping forward. Laying the tray on the wing, she sighed as she began pouring the hot water into a cup and dunking the tea bag in to turn it a deep brown. Adding a sugar cube and a droplet of lemon to taste, Shera lifted the cup and saucer to her own lips before handing it to his outstretched hand. As soon as it was removed from her own hands she sipped her own brew and took an unusually large gulp. The steaming liquid burned her throat and she coughed loudly, shutting her eyes back from the tears that formed.
"Shera?" Cid asked, his voice a low drawl. "Shera? Are you alright?"
"Yes Captain." She coughed, clearing her throat. "Just went down the wrong pipe sir."
"Yeah.. well.. Be careful." Cid muttered, sipping from his own cup. "This $#!+ is hot."
Shera nodded grimly, and sat down on an overturned crate, sipping from her own cup. The evening dusk had settled now, casting a lovely candle lit like glow upon the two of them. Unable to advert her eyes Shera glanced towards Cid and watched. He sipped his tea and then took a drag off a newly lit cigarette, gazing over the horizon with a distant look on his face that told her 'I am the conquarer.' His left leg fell off the nose, and dangled carelessly beside it, every once in a while clanking against the side of the metal casing. That, entwined with the smell of the tea and cigarette smoke, soothed her frazzled senses and calmed her nerves. Shera had almost forgotten about her previous ponderings unil his niccotine laden voice startled her out of her reverie.
"Beautiful, ain't it Shera?" He whispered, his cigarette still dangling from his lips.
"What is sir?"
"The skies. All of them, in one. Beautiful." Another drag off his cigarette and another sip of tea before he spoke again. "I had them all. That day when we launched into space and flew, I was actually tasting the clouds."
Shera smiled serenely. He still spoke of that day with a hint of nostalgia in his voice, and a slight smile perched on his lips. Always about his experiance beyond earth did he shout with glee that he visioned the stars and saw the sky for what it truely was, a vast ammount of unoccupied space just aching to be touched. Each moment to him was heaven as he kissed away the ground beneath his feet and shouted with extacy when it became farther and farther away from him until the earth became nonexistant, and all that was left was the skies.
"You wouldn't believe it, Shera." Cid mumbled again, drifting off into his own world of fantasy. "All of them, beautiful, like diamonds on black velvet. The Shinra 26 cut through the sky like ice and I was leading the way. I don't know if anything else could have felt that great."
"Really Captain?" Shera asked, taking another sip from her cup and waited for an answer.
"Shera." Cid deadpanned, giving her a strange look. When she met his eyes they were hardened sapphires, cold yet caring. "Why do you still call me captain?"
"Well sir." Shera said, clearing her throat. "I've always called you that. I mean.."
"You can call me by my real name. Do you even know what the #^(& it is?"
Shera smiled at that remark. Only he, she figured, could make a swear word sound like magic. "Okay sir- I mean Cid."
"Yeah.. You go on and call me that from now on. %^$# woman, we've lived togethr for over ten years," A splint of ash came off the tip of his cigarette. "Don't you think Captain and Sir is kinda mandatory?"
"I guess so... Cid." Shera drained the last remaining liquid from her cup and set the saucer down on the silver tray. Picking it up in both of her hands, she bid him a nod and grasped the handles of the tray after he set his own cup down. Lifting it effortlessly, she began her walk back towards the house when his hand snaked out and gripped her wrist gently, but firmly. "Yes?"
"Where you going Shera?" He asked, his gruff voice muffled by the capture of the cigarette in his lips. Another splash of grey matter fell from the tip and onto his knee. Absentmindedly he brushed it off with out taking his gaze from hers. "Stay here a while. At least admire what's left of the sunset."
"Yes sir. I mean Cid." Setting the tray back down, Shera sat back on the stoop across from him, propping her feet up on the overturned crate. A disgruntled sound from Cid caused the hair on the back of her neck to pleasantly stand on end. casting a sideways glance in his direction, she pushed her glasses up her nose and and coughed nervously, twiddling with her pony tail in confusion. "Is something wrong?"
"Yeah." Scooting over on the nose of the plane, Cid pat the metal skin with his hand, resulting in a loud clanking. "Sit over here. C'mon, I wanna be close to you."
Trying to keep her jaw from hitting the floor and breaking her toes, Shera nodded and stepped up towards him, and took his hand when he offered it. Sitting down next to him, his thigh snug against hers, Cid sighed out a heavy breath, dropping his cigarette into a bucket of water he was using to wash the plane. "You know something Shera?"
"Yes Cid?" Shera replied, the name still foreign yet unique on her tongue.
"I never tolja this before but.. You're one hell of a gal." Cid remarked, not bringing his eyes to her. "I mean, lookit all this $#!+ I put you through, and yer still here. Why?"
"I.. don't know for certain." Shera said under her beath, but loud enough for him to hear. Cid cast a wary glance in her direction, studying her mousy features, and found something strangely appealing about them. He always found something incredibly beautiful about her, unique and different, not incredibly gorgeous supermodel wise, but attractive nonetheless. It was one of the reasons he saved her the day they were going to space, and he lost his chance and a lot of money.
"But hell, you were worth it."
"What was that sir?"
"Cid, and nothing." Turning away, he yanked another cigarette out of no where and lit it aflame with the lighter he magically seemed to carry out of thin air. Another puff of smoke and he was satisfied, satiated, and calm. "Sometime, you gotta fly with me."
"F-Fly?!" Shera gasped out loud. "But I'm afraid of heights.."
"Ya won't be once you touch the sky, Shera. *^#% woman, you're dense." With a smirk tapped ash off the tip of his cigarette and turned to her, taking one of her hands in his. "You always gotta overcome your fears. If'n ya don't, you're not gonna live up to the potential life can give ya."
"I know." Shera whispered. She brought her eyes downwards and stared at the nose of the plane. "But I took a risk once.. and it cost you-"
"Didn't cost me $#!+ Shera." Cid spat out. "And stop %^$#ing blaming yourself for it. Weren't no one's fault but my own, I shoulda' checked the ship before take off started."
"I.. understand." The rest of the conversation was held in an unawkward silence between them, the silent clinking of china when Shera poured more tea into his cup. By now the sun had just a sliver of light decending the mountain tops, casting a lovely shadow across the horizon. Shera turned to look at him and felt her heart leap to her throat at the sight. The miniscule sunlight bathed his features in vivid orange and crimson, giving him an eerie trance like glow that one would consider sinister, but on him, looked perfect.
That's what was missing. She loved him.
"Cid.. Sir.. I'm going back inside for now. I'll see you tonight?"
"Huh..? Yeah sure Shera. Take the tray in will ya?"
"Of course." Shera gripped her hand on the handles of the tray and lifted upwards, beinging it close to her chest. Cid's hand gently snaked out again and grabbed her wrist once more, a bit more carefully this time. With his calloused palm of his other hand he stroked her cheek and ran his hand through the bangs that subsided and framed her petite features.
"You gotta fly with me sometime, Shera." He whispered.
"It's..a promise, sir."
"Cid.. Cid.." She whispered. As foreign as it sounded on her tongue, it was still something nice and new to warm up to.
"Yeah.. Sleep well Shera." He called after her retreating form. Shera smiled back numbly and stepped into the door, closing it behind her and disappeared through the window.
He waited a few moments before mentally kicking himself in the knee for losing yet another oppurtunity to let her truely know just how he felt about her. Just how hard was it to let someone who you've been living with for years on end know that you've fallen hopelessly, incredibly, incurably in love with? He knew how hard it was. He was living with the woman for God's sake, and nothing can change that. The years that passed by with them had turned a little crush he had on the shy, brainy scientist into full blown, uncontrollable palpitations everytime she entered the room.
It was disgusting.
It as annoying.
It was love.
"Damn it Shera." Cid hissed as he picked up the wrench from the floor, throwing his shirt aside. Opening the hood of the plane he began to rework the Tony Bronco's wiring and the engine, pushing all thoughts of her aside. Now was not the time to be thinking of such things. After all, Shera probably hates him for how he treated her all those years, no matter what denials her lips would say. With his luck, her heart would belong to another, and he would die an old, withered man who lived in a universe so far from the skies he worshiped.
"Fly with me, Shera." He whispered to the metal engine he seemingly was possesed with getting to work again.
Inside the house lay a young woman, who set her eyes glasses down on the bedside table and pressed her fingers and palms together in a prayer that one day, she could fly the skies.
And he would be the one to take her there.
I decided to try my hand at ff7. First attempt. Read, review, c'mon, give me SOME feedback.