A/N: Ahh, I've really got to say, it feels great to write another one shot. Even though I didn't read through it to make sure it's written properly, but yet I can't be bothered because its 12:15am, and I'm tired. I just wrote this straight in 30 mins, and to be totally honest, i don't think i wrote it very well. but anyway, i'm not here to win a prize, i'm just here to write about Cloud and Tifa :) so, enjoy..
"You're beautiful, do you know that?"
And it never occurred to her; never reached the bearings of her thoughts that he, the one man of whom she thought could never feel what she felt would say the words she had been so longing to hear. It was unexpected, she thought, something out of the ordinary of which she expected, but did not expect so soon.
He held her hand that day as they stood in the water, the kids splashing water around them. They had been cured, given another chance at life and she was happy for them no doubt, but she knew, deep in her heart as she stood and looked down upon him. She knew he would only leave again, because that was his famous 'doing'. His famous escape from large crowds and responsibilities he could not somehow fulfil.
She knew he was not one to keep certain promise as was why she sat late into the hours of the night waiting for him and yet never actually seeing him coming home. Though he would always be there when then sun broke through the horizon and into the crack of the curtain in her room. He would be laying in his bed, sometimes huddled, sometimes flat out. But he would be there, just as he promised.
It was funny, she thought, because every time she was about to give up on him, he would always be there; always be there to regain her hope and dreams again. And it hurt, when she thought of it, for she was always left with certain doubts and uncertainties that he knew well he caused. But he would never care to resolve them; never even want to try for that matter.
She focused her eyes now on her surroundings. It was in the chapel after the battle, the sun was dim, and the crowd around them were celebrating. He called her to the water, and she obeyed innocently as she slipped into the pool and made her way to him. His eyes were casually glancing around the room and for a moment, she saw a small smile appear upon his lips. It wasn't until she heard her voice that she knew what he was smiling about.
But he made no attempt to explain his little smile afterward, instead he looked her in the eyes. In that deep and meaningful way that he always did. His eyes would grow gentle in her captured glaze, and the knots in his forehead would replace themselves with smooth gentle skin. His eyes would lower, and glance wearily at her lips, and she knew he wanted to kiss her. But she waited through his little ministration glances of his eyes upon her face. Because that's what she always did, waited for him, for the right moment when all the planets and stars aligned. The moment where everything happened for one reason and one reason alone.
She did not want to force him into anything he didn't want because that wouldn't be love, it would only make her number two, of which she was not willing to be. But as he stood there in front of her, she noticed something different in his gaze. She realized that for once in their entire lives, his eyes of blue piercing diamonds looked into hers of brownish decent, and he smiled a lazy but contented smile as he looked at her. It was as if he were carefree and that nothing at all mattered to him but this single link of communication that only they seem to have.
She learned a lot in that moment when their eyes connected and their lips mirrored smiles. He was not all that tough and strong as he was in a battle, he was actually much like a little child in a kitchen staring at the cookie jar. He was lost in this large world of chaos and pain but he was not anymore, because he had found her again. He had been given another chance, or so she thought and hoped her thoughts were not going astray as the moment continued.
It felt like a hundred passing days in each second of the moment and she wondered silently how long he was going to remain in this dazed state. But she had to admit she did not mind because she much preferred him staring at her than staring at someone else.
That was when he mumbled something to her. She did not hear it of course from the roaring of screams around them. She leaned in closer as if to listen to him, but he did something she never thought he would.
He grabbed her in that gentle, rough sort of way that only he could pull off and wrapped his strong arms around her small body as if to make up for lost hugs that they never shared. He held her so tightly, but yet gently in that moment and she felt for the first time in her life, complete. She felt like all the stars were aligned, and all the planets at their exact places. She felt the correct moment she had awaited for, but she held back her eagerness to continue the moment. For he was much likely to change, and that, she emphasised, that was when her hope and dreams usually were in fact fantasy or sometimes day dreaming that she had.
He whispered into her ear after several moments of silence.
"I'm sorry," he whispered, and she wondered why exactly he was apologizing.
And so she asked him, "What for?"
"For all the pain I ever caused," he answered.
She smiled in that instant and held onto him tighter because she knew that things would be different from now on. She knew he was going to keep his promises, because he had finally forgiven himself and realized what a complete idiot he was. He had realized his fatal mistakes and had even apologized to her for them.
But she did not seek his apology, she never did because waiting for him was something she had vowed she would always do. Because she loved this man, beyond day and night, sky and ocean; she loved him like the colour blue belonged to the sky, and the clouds belonging to the rain. She loved him like no woman could ever love a man, where all she ever thought, felt, breathed and memorized was of him. Where all that mattered at the very chaos of every battle was his safety alone.
Because to her, he mattered beyond all others.
He was the thing, the solid pillar in her heart that held her up. He was the stone that solidified her soul and gave her courage to smile. He was the heart that she so worshiped to the very depths of this world. And he was the one that she only ever wished to be with because she could not see herself loving another man like she did him.
He must have noticed her sudden silence because he had drawn back to look in her teary stained eyes. He was nervous at first when he began to lift his hand, wanting to wipe away her tears. But he stopped dead in his tracks, and he lowered his hand back to his side as if feeling guilty for making her cry.
He said how sorry he was again, and that he did not mean for her to cry. And she whispered for him to be quiet, because this moment was too entirely perfect for him to say anymore.
But that was when he touched her lips with a single finger, and smiled again before confessing to her words she had so wanted to hear.
"I love you," he said with that lazy smile upon his face, "I always have."
She found herself lost in the darkest of places in her mind which knew no words. She stared like there was no tomorrow because even though her lips were slightly parted, she did not know what to say. Her heart was beating like a thousand beats per second, and for once in her life, he had left her speechless.
She finally settled with a matching lazy smile as she leaned in and rested her forehead against his. She felt finally complete with him because she knew that he knew she loved him too. She wrapped her arms around his neck this time, and looked up into his blue eyes.
"And I love you too, Cloud Strife," she finally said, and he smiled even wider at the mention of his name.
She could not say no more, nor think any more because there was a new beginning for them, and she wouldn't waste anymore thinking. Rather she was going to enjoy this new beginning, she was going to cherish each and every moment with him.
"You're beautiful, Tifa," he whispered one more time to her, "Do you know that?"
Her smile could only widen at the instant he said that, because now she knew that her silly little fantasies were coming true. And all the dreams and hope she had always waited for were all coming true before her eyes.
She did not have to wish anymore, because all was granted and for that, she would always be thankful.