Diclaimer: I don't own FFVII
A/N: Wow, it's been awhile since I've felt such an urge to write a super fluffy cloti. I mean, I did a Zack Tifa one the other day, but I think my muse is returning. Anyway, Tifa may be a slight bit of OOC, but whatever, Fanfic is fanfic. I hope you all enjoy though!
The relief that hit her was short lived as the techno-Soldier explosion had caused Cloud to fall, leaving him clinging onto a piece of metal. Tifa choked on the air that fought its way into her lungs. Oh gods, what should she do?
"It's gonna blow!" Barret called out next to her, but sounding so far away. Tifa kneeled as far to the edge as she could, feeling herself beginning to panic.
"Barret!" she called out, close to hysterical, "Can't you do something?"
"Not a damn thing." He answered, his tone so calm it actually angered and frightened her at the same time.
"Cloud! Please don't die!" She called out, meeting his mako blue eyes, while hers began to tear up. "You can't die! There's still so much I want to tell you!" Gods, she couldn't begin to describe how many things she had to tell him! How she missed him, how proud she was of him, how she loved him.
His eyes held more emotion than she'd seen lately, and she choked back a sob. "I know, Tifa." The reassurance in his tone almost broke her right then and there. Gone was the woman she'd spent years building to be tough as nails at this moment. No, at this moment, Cloud, her Cloud, was going to die!
"Hey, you gonna be alright?" Barret called out to him, getting more anxious to go.
"You worry about yourselves!" He called back, struggling to pull himself up. "I'm all right, but take care of Tifa!"
What? Her mind screamed. No!
"All right." Barret agreed. "Sorry 'bout all this."
"Stop talking like this is the end!" Cloud shouted at him, still struggling, but giving Tifa one last look of reassurance.
"Alright, then. Later." Barret moved to run away, but Tifa refused to go anywhere without Cloud. No way. They were a team, and she wasn't going to leave him. But right as she was going to voice these thoughts out loud, an explosion from her left happened, and all she could see was her spiky haired Cloud fall. She screamed out, and tried helplessly to reach out for him. She felt her right hand slipping over the edge, but she didn't care. All she could see was Cloud. Still falling. Falling. Falling. Falling.
With a gasp, she woke up in a cold sweat and instantly found a pair of blue eyes looking at her with concern. Without a moment's hesitation, she jumped forward and wrapped her arms around the shoulders of the man in front of her, clutching the hair at the nape if his neck. "You're safe." She whispered, hating how her nightmares always left her so weary and empty when she woke up. She'd been getting them since the defeat of the remnants… since Cloud had died… and been returned to her once more. It wasn't a shock to have her nightmares return since she'd started getting them after incident at the Mako Reactor all those years ago, and especially after Meteor. Even though it didn't surprise her, it still left her unnerved.
Before, however, she was used to dealing it on her own; Barret there occasionally to console her. Lately, though, since Cloud had returned and been uplifted by his burdens, he'd begun to notice the changes. He'd question about her sleeping habits, about her lack of eating, and even about the bags that had formed under her eyes.
Though touched by his concern, Tifa felt like these nightmares weren't something to be shared. Especially since almost all of them happened to be centered around him.
"You're crying." He stated, pulling away to look at her face.
She flushed at the sudden closeness and prayed he wouldn't notice. "It was just a nightmare." She said softly, looking down. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to wake you." She glanced at his bed a little ways away from her. They'd decided to share a room since Denzel had asked about having his own.
Cloud frowned. "Don't worry about that." He said, looking upset. " How long have you been having these nightmares, Tifa?"
"Cloud, it's fine, really." She insisted, unused to all this attention and concern from him. The thought made her guilty even thinking of it that way, but what was even worse was that it was true. These past months were the only she'd ever had Cloud so… aware of her.
"It's not fine." He argued, his tone suddenly stern, making her feel like a child caught with her hand in the cookie jar. "You're in pain, Tifa. Of course it's not fine!"
She swallowed, her throat having closed up. "Fine!" She whisper-shouted, as to not wake the children, angry he had made her cave so easily. He was always doing that. "I- I've been having them since I was 16. Are you happy? I say it's fine because that's all I know! All I can be is fine or I'll lose my mind, Cloud! I- I've lost so many people and they haunt me all the time! You haunt me all the time, Cloud!"
By the end of her little rant, she had buried her head into her hands, immediately embarrassed at her behavior and confession. And especially her accusation toward Cloud, who was only trying to be there for her.
It was quiet a long time and she sniffed, waiting for him to move away from her in pity or anger. "Please, just leave me, Cloud." She finally pleaded pathetically, eventually finding enough courage to lower her hands to her thighs.
Cloud didn't move. He looked torn, and she felt a hundred times worse. How could she be so selfish to lay that all on him? What was she thinking? Usually she was so secure. Right now, all she felt like was Yuffie, wearing her heart out not just not on her sleeve, but smack dab in the middle of her forehead. It was too much for her to handle. "Cloud, please!"
After searching her face, he stubbornly replied with a solid, "No."
She furrowed her brows. No?
"I'm not leaving you like this." He told her, seeing her pursed look. After a long silence, Cloud sighed and spread his fingers out so the tips of them grazed her bare thigh. "Tifa,"
And just like that, her defense was crushed. Everytime he spoke her name just like that, she was putty in his hands. She didn't like the weakness it implied, but she didn't care, either. She loved hearing her name spill out of his lips just like that.
"Talk to me." He pleaded, his voice releasing a hint of emotion. "You've always been there for me. Let me do the same."
"… I don't know what you want me to say, Cloud." She told him, honestly. "That every time I close my eyes now, Sephiroth is there? Killing you? Always killing you? That the most dreadful nightmares I've had are the ones where I know I've suddenly had you leave me forever?"
"Yes," He replied, his tone just as hard. "I want to know, Tifa. I want to know every bit and piece of you."
She felt her stomach twist in the most delightfully painful way at his intimate declaration, igniting more fire in her. "Do you want me to say, that all this time, I've been waiting for you to come back to me, and now that you have, I'm the one who's running away?"
Cloud's eyes softened, giving the only indication of his feelings, as he reached out and ran his thumb over her cheek. He nodded. "Yes."
"Then that's what it is, Cloud." She admitted, hating the way her face submitted to his touch. "These nightmares, they're really just a mockery of how all this time, every time I try to get you to come back to me after I've lost you, I end up pushing you further away. Whether it be by words or actions, I end up pushing you away. I… I'm protecting myself, for I lose you again. Don't let me lose you, Cloud."
She heard him inhale but his hand didn't waver. "I won't leave you, Tifa. I'll want you forever. Even after you've stopped wishing me to stay with you. I won't… I cant…" His gaze was fervent and unwavering, leaving her skin hot and cold all at once.
"I won't ever stop wishing that, Cloud." She whispered seriously, enclosing her hand around his, bringing it down onto her lap, while cupping it between her other one.
"Then, I'll never leave you again." He told her. And by the intensity in his eyes, she knew he would fight to keep his promise. He leaned forward, nuzzling the crown of her head, and placed a tender kiss there. "Let me take the nightmares away."
"Okay." She whispered, pulling his face down toward hers. "Help me, Cloud. Make them go away. Please."
She could feel his pulse race, almost hear it, as she closed her eyes. His breath felt hot against her cheek and she almost whimpered.
"I will." He told her, brushing his lips over hers. "I will."
She ran her hair through his spikes as she planted her lips on a scar just above his left brow, breathing out.
He grunted, sliding his hands down her arms. "Tifa,"
Oh gods, she never wanted him to leave. She knew he'd keep his promise. He always did; and for forever, that's all she would want to hear… Her name off of his lips just. like. that.
Wow, done! Hope you guys liked it! Wanna review... please? Pretty please? :D