Disclaimer: I do not own anything except for the plot.

Pairings: Cloud.Yuffie
Summary: Yuffie mourns. And Cloud reaches out to her.

w a k e me up when this is all o v e r

Cloud leaned against his room wall, crossing his arms and closing his cerulean-blue eyes. He tilted his head back, his spiky blonde hair brushing against his shoulders. Absently, he knew he should cut it--it was getting a bit longer, after all. But right now, he was too busy focusing on the soft whimpers coming from next door.

There was abrupt silence, and then a loud sniffle.

Every night. Every night, Yuffie sat in that huge room of hers (hell no, that's my room. i need the space!) and cried. It pained Cloud to think of the girl, petite and hunched over, clutching her legs to her chest and sobbing in a secluded corner. The first time, Cloud had gone to speak to her, striding over to her room as fast as he could and slamming open the door.

She must've heard him coming, because the mauve-eyed girl (blissfully ignorant to the red rings around her eyes) grinned. "Can't you knock, Spiky?"

Of course. Yuffie would never admit to crying.

Cloud ran a pale hand through his blonde spikes, sighing. He never got any sleep anymore, what with Yuffie crying in the room right next to him. He pictured her again, her short black hair disheveled and messy, her hands clutching at Aerith's ribbon (the one memento that she had of the flower-girl). Aerith had been like a second mother to Yuffie.

But then, Sephiroth...


Another sniffle.

Cloud pushed off the wall, heading out of his room as quietly as possible and opening Yuffie's door swiftly. The girl looked up, as fast and alert as always, the tear tracks that Cloud knew had been there--gone. "Damn. Learn how to knock, Spiky! What if I had been changing, huh?! I don't want you being a pervert and trying to sneak a peek!"

"..." Cloud's eye twitched with annoyance, but he shook it away and strolled over to Yuffie. In public, outside in the daylight, she was still good ol' Yuffie, laughing and joking while everyone stared at her somberly. She could still draw smiles from Tifa and Cid, make Cait Sith and Reno laugh, or confound Vincent and Red XIII with her constant defiance of logic.

This was the only time she allowed herself to mourn.

And so, ignoring Yuffie's confused 'Whaaaa?', Cloud made her stand up and pulled her close.

This, of course, was very much confusing to Yuffie, for Cloud was never one to show affection. But as she felt warm arms surround her and hold her tight, Yuffie clutched Cloud's shoulders. "Why?" she whispered against the cloth of his black shirt. "Why?"

Cloud could feel Yuffie tremble briefly, knowing that she wanted an answer, that she wanted comfort. She had been trying. She had been trying to be strong.

Cloud closed his eyes, gently stroking Yuffie's hair.

"It's okay."

And with that, Yuffie burst out crying.

OH MY GOD. How stupid of me. Boo.

I was in an extremely sappy mood, and this popped up into my head.


.oblivion's pen