A/N: I'm setting this after AC, shall we say about three months something like that. I hope you all like this and I'd love to hear what you think!!
Tifa lay quietly in the warmth of her bed, staring blankly up at the ceiling while she twisted a strand of hair round her finger. The sun shone brightly through the window and broke through the light curtains; she turned her head to the side slightly and stared at said window still twisting a long strand of dark hair round her finger.
She allowed a smile to tug at her lips and she turned her head into her pillow expecting to see a mess of blond hair on her pillow, except nothing was there; only the evidence that on that side of the bed the sheets had been made up. Tifa sighed loudly and looked round her room for any other evidence that the blond warrior had been in her room all night.
Nothing had happened, only the two had slept in the same bed together and nothing exceeded that point. The barmaid didn't want to rush the young man into anything, as she was still afraid he might leave at any point, she decided to let him choose when he wanted to 'advance to the next level'. She was still pretty sure no one else knew about their new relationship, she'd seen the blond had been careful not to give anything away to the two kids that lived with them and it only brought a smile to her face, knowing that Barret's young adopted daughter Marlene wasn't buying any of the young man's lies.
Tifa threw the sheets off of herself and allowed her feet to slip into the light blue slippers she'd left at the side. After giving her room a final glance over she saw no sign that the blond had been in her room that night and she sighed, slightly annoyed by the blonde's constant disappearances. She was beginning not being able to bare their 'secret' relationship under her own roof, and saw no harm in telling her friends that herself and Cloud were very much 'involved' but to an extent. Sometimes, she wondered if this was actually happening, as very often he wouldn't get home until late from some delivery and like this occasion he would rise much earlier than anyone else in the house and leave. It felt like sometimes she didn't have a relationship and only had one at night time. Sometimes as much as she hated to admit it, it felt like he didn't even live here.
She crossed her room and threw open her curtains and stared down at where his bike should be and wasn't surprised when it wasn't there. Tifa frowned again and folded her arms across her chest while she carried on staring out of the window. She bit her lip while she stood deep in thought, deciding she'd have to talk with Cloud when he got home that night and make sure he understood.
The door behind her creaked open and Tifa turned round and smiled at the little girl who stood there who'd poked her head round the door in obvious hope to catch the two adults together. "Morning." She finally cried, walking into the room after seeing no sign of the oldest male in Tifa's room. "Where's Cloud?" She asked suddenly, holding her hands behind her back while smiling up at the brunette.
Tifa smirked slightly, knowing Marlene was far too curious in this matter for her age. "Is he not downstairs?" Tifa mumbled, a smirk still playing on her face. Marlene shook her head quickly and continued to stare up at her motherly figure. "Well, his bike isn't outside, so he must have gone working." Tifa said solemnly, allowing the realization to hit her from her own words.
"I thought he wasn't going to run away anymore?" Marlene asked, pushing herself up onto Tifa's bed and hugging onto one of the cushions that had been placed on the floor. Tifa turned back round from the window and stared at the little girl, remembering the conversation she and Cloud had had. Which had not been long after he'd defeated Sephiroth once again. "He'd said he's stay with us, like a real family." Tifa looked away from the young girl again, annoyed that she had listened in on her private conversation with Cloud but thankful that she'd managed to almost remember Cloud's every words.
"I know sweetie, but Cloud still has to work." Tifa replied, trying to convince herself while she spoke.
"Why can't he work here with you?" Marlene asked quickly, staring at the cushion's pattern and tracing it with her finger. Tifa thought an answer through her head and knew deep down Cloud would never want to just work in the bar, it just wasn't Cloud.
"I think he likes driving and making deliveries." Tifa answered, gazing back at the spot where his monstrosity of a bike should be.
"Doesn't he like you more?" She heard Marlene say in a playful singsong voice. Tifa turned to her and frowned slightly only to make the girl realise she shouldn't ask any more questions. But deep down in her heart she knew the little girl was right.
"Come on let's make breakfast." Tifa said quickly ushering the little girl out of her room and down the stairs into the time-being quiet and empty bar.
Tifa served her umpteenth customer that evening and barely noticed the tired looking blond walk in. She gave him a smile only to receive a small upturn of the corners of his lips making it look more like a grimace rather than a smile. The young man disappeared into the back room and Tifa glanced round her bar, checking she wasn't needed at the current moment before following the blond. She quietly closed the glass panel door behind her and pulled the small curtain across it which she'd put up to try and give herself a little privacy from her customers.
Cloud had collapsed on the sofa at the back of the room and pushed his boots off and allowed them to drop down onto the wooden floor with a thud. "Hard day?" She asked walking towards him.
"You wouldn't believe." He muttered quietly, leaning back into the cushioned sofa and sighed a sigh of relief. "There were monsters on nearly every single road." He mumbled again, his eyes closed and his hand ran through his spiky blond hair that bounced back into place.
She smiled meekly at him and found herself unable to remain quiet anymore. "Cloud?" She began, slowly lowering herself down onto the coffee table behind her and rested her elbows on her knees. She watched the blonde's eyelids flicker open to show his amazing mako glowing azure eyes. He hummed once in reply and straightened himself up in his seat. "I think we need to talk." She added looking up at him and seeing the puzzling gaze in his eyes. She opened her mouth to speak only to find she didn't have to right words in her head. "I don't like, how you don't want to tell anyone about our relationship yet." She said slowly holding her head down and rested her hands in her lap. She watched his gloved hands reached forward and entwine with hers.
"If it's really hurting you, then okay, we can tell everyone." He said quietly, looking into her face but not able to see her eyes from her dark bangs.
"It's not just that." Tifa spluttered out, surprised with herself that she'd even said that. She watched Cloud's hands leave hers and he heaved himself up to the edge of his seat. "You leave early in the morning, before I even wake up and then sometimes you come home when I'm already asleep so I never see you." She paused and looked up into his eyes and saw the slight hint of annoyance in them and was beginning to find it harder to read him. "You said you were going to stay with us."
"I am staying with you, I just, have to work, you know I do." He said quickly as soon as she finished, making Tifa wonder if he knew this was coming. "Don't make me say it Tifa.". She knew what he meant, when he asked her not to 'make him say it'. If it wasn't for Cloud's business she'd have nothing and the Seventh Heaven would have closed down long ago.
"But, I'd rather have you here with me and struggle along, instead of you disappearing early in the morning and coming home late." She whispered reaching out herself this time and grabbing his hands. "Don't you understand?"
"Of course I understand, but." He paused himself and looked down into Tifa's delicate hands which he knew could knock a man unconscious. "I love going out and making these deliveries." He muttered feeling slightly childish at his words.
Tifa threw his hands out of hers and she jumped to her feet his last words burning her to the core. "It's all about you in this relationship!" She screamed, taking Cloud aback as he stared up at her from his seat. "Haven't you realised? It's just about you, you don't want to go out together, you don't want to tell anyone we're together, not even the kids, you won't even have a relationship in the bedroom and now you won't give up this one thing for me, so we can start a proper family!" She shouted and looked down at the blond whose cheeks had blushed slightly. "I've given up a lot for you Cloud, I've been here for you all along to help you get rid of your demons and it felt like you didn't want me at all. I've given you your space; I've let you choose how this relationship goes and now I'm bored of it, I've had enough."
"So have I." Cloud snapped getting to his feet, standing taller than the woman besides him. She laughed sarcastically and turned round and glared at him.
"How is it possible for you to have enough you've not been through as much as I have!" She cried and saw the pained look on his face, as if she'd just stabbed him through his heart. She wished for the words she'd just said to disappear as if she'd never used them after realising what she'd said.
"You think you've been through more than me?" Cloud cried jabbing his thumb into his chest while he glared at her. "You think my life has been perfect compared to yours?" Tifa looked down at her feet, never remembering Cloud being angry and was glad she couldn't. "Well, I'm sorry if I've made your life as bad as mine!" She looked back up not realising Cloud had put his boots back on. He pushed past her and threw open the door, the glass threateningly shaking in the wood, Tifa raced after him noticing her customers had fallen deadly silent.
"That's it, just run away. That's all you've ever been good at!" She screamed as she watched him mount his bike and disappear.
She steadied her breathing and turned round and saw the faces of her customers staring at her. She looked back at each of them and they all returned to their drinks. "I'm very sorry." Tifa mumbled out getting small nods of forgiveness from her customers and she made her way back to behind the bar and sat down on a stool, holding her hands in her lap.
"Don't worry about it." Tifa looked up and her eyes were met with a handsome looking man who smiled at her. "It happens to everyone." He smiled again, which made his eyes crinkle at the corners.
"Thank you." She said back, not remembering when she served him. She watched him take a sip from his drink and she noticed his expensive looking suit and his shoulder length dark hair that had been cut to perfection. She turned her head sharply back round when his dark eyes had met hers.
"Kenji, Kenji Sawyer." He said with a sophisticated smile as he held out his hand. Tifa reached for his hand and held on tightly as he shook it firmly.
"Tifa Lockheart." She smiled and he returned it.
"So, need someone to talk too?"
So, what do we think?? Do we think it works??
I get bored of reading just happy, happy CloudxTifa stories, I'm not saying I'm not a CloudxTifa fan but I like to think it isn't pretty perfect. If you know what I mean, because well FFVII isn't much of a fairy tale.. so what do you think, Clifa fans please don't burn me!!