In the corner of Tifa's bar is a table leftover from Meteor; I'd helped her bring it here when we went scavenging for makeshift materials to create her new 7th Heaven. One of the legs is just a couple of millimeters shorter than the others, so for a while, I'd squeezed wads of paper or matches underneath it to keep it from wobbling.
The table is old fashioned and wooden; I'm sure that it may have looked quite lovely in a place like Elmyra Gainsborough's home, but on the plate it looked so out of place that I instantly took a liking to it. It was the only thing I would help Tifa carry back, though she really wanted metal things. It's filthy, with ages old wads of grey gum stuck underneath it, and deep cuts on the surface. It's rotting, too. Until Tifa was able to find tables made of metal, it was our biggest one, but even after she fixed the place up to make it look modern and appealing, I liked to sit at that one. She'd moved it to a dark corner when she got new furniture and is always irritated when I prefer to sit there, rather than with her in the light.
"Where are you going?" She asked me one day, a low-traffic Sunday in which she expected me to stay home and play with Marlene and Denzel, who I still regarded blankly and uncomfortably.
She sat next to me at the wooden table, her legs crossed with a bowl of rice and beans in one hand, chopsticks in the other, watching the static on TV. She was very careful not to actually touch the table. She'd jumped when I made a move to leave, and I knew that she'd sat there, on the outside of me by the door, to prevent me from leaving in some way. As I pushed past her chair, I touched her shoulders.
"For a ride," I said, and I know she's expecting me to say 'wanna come?' "Why?" I asked instead, letting her know that she isn't invited, nor is it any of her business where I'm going. For a moment, she got quiet, understanding my gesture, and said, "…I just thought you might want to help Marlene with her little project."
I kept my facial expression unchanged, not wanting to cause more tension. Marlene was attempting to recycle every single piece of scrap metal she came across, which in my head, meant that she might as well bulldoze Midgar in its entirety. I know she's a child, but I haven't the slightest idea how to approach that. I've tried, for Tifa, and failed. I suck with children.
"Later, maybe," I say, plainly, then make for the door. "If anyone calls for me, I'm not even in Midgar."
Without saying anything, she turned and went to her clean bar and started wiping it down, mad. I left, ignoring her.
"Come today," he'd asked me as I stared into space, listening to Tifa eat. "You miss me, don't you?" More of a confirmation than a question at all.
Before this, he spoke to me only as I slept, so I stopped sleeping. As I would doze, leaned up against the wall in the bar, I could hear him whisper in my ear, and I would jolt myself awake, suddenly paranoid with heat rising in my flesh. The dark parts of my skin would bubble and pull me towards the door, and when they dripped, they formed a mass that struggled towards the outside world before dissipating into the linoleum.
Soon after, I heard his voice all the time—or even remnants of it. When the dark circles around my eyes came, Tifa had forced me into bed with a spell, which made the whole situation worse: then, I came to him without even taking myself. This was the first time we'd met since Meteor; he didn't seem sorry, and nor was I.
The white had the effect of snowblindness, and all I could see were his eyes and the outline of his hair. My arms were light with no weapon and I stood uneasily.
"Where is my sword?" I asked him awkwardly, knowing that no one else would be there to answer.
"And why would you need that?" he said smoothly, his voice as it was six years ago, different than the insane man who set my home ablaze and ran my mother and first love and me through. When he spoke, I knew that he was several feet from me, but I felt his breath on my fourteen year old ear and the bumps on my arm turned up in response to his wispy touch.
"Because you're here," I responded. I attempted to push some kind of hostility in my voice, but I found none.
"You can have your sword," he said reassuringly. "It's your dream."
"My dream?" I shook my head slowly. "This is a spell."
"Right, Cloud." To hear him say my name was like prickly heat, needling its way up my spine; when it reached the base of my neck, I recalled it as the tip of his tongue. I forced my eyes open and he was still there in front of me, the serene look on his face effortlessly calming my own tense facial expression.
"But it's still your dream."
He stepped into my shadow and the color came to his form, his outline hardening and the sharp features of his high cheek bones and thin nose gained contrast.
I started talking before he could get too close. "But if it's my dream, then that means it's also—"
I woke up then, the words, "my dream" on my lips.
Author's Note: This is a sort of bounce-back from about a year of creative inactivity. I haven't been able to write shit since I've been in California, and what fandom better to bring me back to my senses than Final Fantasy VII, my eleven-year obsession that I haven't written a thing for?
For those of you that are 'in-the-know' with FFVII doujinshi, this story was inspired by KiKi/Beni Fujiwara circle's collection, which mainly focus on the darker aspects of Cloud and Sephiroth's psychosexual relationship.
Those of you familiar with KiKi comics know that they're intense, sexually graphic and violent (usually all at the same time). This story is going to be along those same lines, so don't read it if you're sensitive to that kind of stuff. In addition, my English sucks really bad right now, since English has not been my primary focus for the past year now. Please bear with me on that.