Disclaimer: I don't own FFVII R/R!!

A/N: This is a different non game fic. Completely different reality. Cloti. Duh! Enjoy!


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She hurried up to her room, stumbling on the stairs, along the way. She tore open the door and threw herself into her room, leaned against the closed door and cried silently to herself.

Stupid jackass had some nerve to hit her...

...Again.

Her cell phone went off and she slid over to where her bag was thrown carelessly on the floor.

Cloud . The screen flashed.

She smiled at the though of him. Her best friend, and secret crush. No, not even crush! She was completely in love with him. Yet, she was just too afraid to tell him.

Afraid that after the 11 years she had been friends with him, he would become some distant memory if she told him. She couldn't do that. She hadn't had the courage after all these years.

She shook her head and answered the phone.

"Hello?" She scolded herself for her shaky voice.

"Teef! Thank goodness you answered. I was so worried. What happened? Are you okay? I've been trying to call you for an hour."

She released a shaky breath. "No, don't worry Cloud, I'm fine. Just a lot of work, and I fell asleep."

She absolutely hated lying to Cloud, but sometimes she knew it was the right thing. She could practically feel him nod from his phone.

"Okay. You just left in a hurry. I was worried."

She smiled at how sweet he could be. He had known about her stepfather and how he was abusive. Ever since her father died, her mother had become deranged and very distant, leaving Tifa to "babysit" her son of a bitch step dad Ray.

The only good out of their marriage was the bond of her and her stepsister Yuffie. She was 15 and Tifa was 17. That didn't stop them from crying on each other's shoulders when Ray came home drunk and beat them.

Sure, they could tell people about it to prevent it, but they both agreed that they did not want to go to foster homes. If either of them had any family that would have definitely been the place for them to go, but they didn't.

Cloud had always been there for her. Even if it was, sadly, just platonic. Yuffie had her boyfriend Vincent to help her through her troubles. Vince was a very handsome 18 year old and Tifa had had her doubts about him; But when she saw how kind and devoted he was to Yuffie, she had let her worries at ease.

The boys never did anything or tell anyone about their situation to anybody from the pleas of the girls, and both had reluctantly agreed to keep it secret.

"Oh, my mom needed me here at home to help with something." She replied.

She heard him breath in a deep breath.

"Well, alright..." He didn't sound convinced, but let it go anyway. "Do you need a ride to work?" He asked changing the subject.

Tifa immediately sprang off the floor and looked at the clock.

"Oh no! I completely forgot about that! I'm going to be late!" She yelled frantically digging through her closet, looking for her apron. She worked at a restaurant called 'Wallace Eatin'!'.

Cloud grinned and was glad Tifa couldn't see through the phone, because she would probably smack him for being amused by her rushed antics.

"Don't worry Teef, I'll be there in 15 minutes." He told her trying to ease her hastiness. He heard a shriek and the line go fuzzy for a second, followed be a "Hello?"

"Tifa?" He asked.

"Oh my goodness Cloud! I'm so sorry. I forgot that you.. and then I was looking for my.. and then-" she stopped when she heard him chuckle.

"You need to relax Tifa. I'll see you in a bit." He replied.

"Okay," she sighed while rubbing her forehead. "Thank you Cloud."

He smiled. "Anytime Teef."

They both hung up and sighed, hoping they could tell one another how they felt.

Tifa quickly changed her outfit and went into Yuffie's room to look for the concealer. Ugh, that swelling black eye did not look good.

What could she think of? Fell down the stairs... No she used that last time. Uhm...

Tifa thought of many excuses to tell her boss and finally came up with the classic, "walking into a door" excuse.

Barret Wallace, her boss was definitely a father figure in her life and she loved him to death. He too had known about her issues but kept quiet for Tifa's sake. He loved Tifa like his own and was glad when she would babysit his little Marlene.

After she fixed herself up Tifa heard the roar of the Fenrir outside and rushed down the stairs.

"Where are you going?" Ray asked from the couch.

She rolled her eyes.

"I'm going to work, so we can pay the bills here." She retorted.

"Don't talk back to me you wretched girl!" He snapped, turning to glare at her.

She felt her fist clench and sucked in a breath. "I'm leaving."

She walked out the door and ran to Fenrir.

"Thanks Cloud, I-" she stopped mid sentence when Cloud gently grabbed her chin. She pulled away and heard him sigh.

"It's nothing." She told him.

He frowned and shook his head.

"Tifa, you need an ice pack. It's swelling."

She shook her head and looked at her cell clock.

"No, what I need is to be at work on time. Please Cloud?" She pleaded, desperately not wanting his pity. She hated when people pitied her. She didn't want sad feelings all the time.

He pursed his lips then nodded his head after a couple minutes.

"So... Do you need a ride home?" He asked putting his goggles on while handing an extra pair to Tifa.

"I don't know, maybe Aeris or Elena can take me. If I need one I'll call you ahead of time. Sound good?" She asked putting her arms around his waist.

He nodded.

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A/N: I'm not trying to sound like some counselor, but, if you are going through some sort of physical or emotional abuse, tell someone you trust! :)