war machine.
14th August, 2008.

Cloud has the strangest way of falling in love.

It rarely comes from being wooed. Many have flirted with him to no avail; he's too shy to do much more than stutter an "excuse me" with a slow blush and scuttle away awkwardly. Presents don't have much effect either, as some of the ladies discovered after draining a week's wages.

Maybe it comes after getting to know someone; not usually, though, he's pretty sure. He's known so many people for – well, maybe at least a year, since he hasn't really got many childhood acquaintances to test that theory on. There's Tifa, but – well, that just leads to the next part.

Cloud enjoys fighting, he knows that. He's good at it, and while he might not like killing, or competition-style fighting, it's mostly just the thrill, the adrenaline, of knowing he can beat someone, knowing he's a worthy opponent for most others out there, knowing that if one day he had to fight for his life he could give it, at the very least, a damn good shot.

And just as Cloud can appreciate the art of fighting in himself, he sees it in others. Sparring against Tifa just once made him see her in a whole different light. Tifa's style is an artwork in itself, each move flawlessly executed even if it doesn't always work.

Seeing Tifa like that made her beautiful in his eyes. Even the time she knocked him down and taunted him before stalking off; she had suddenly become something more.

Likewise with Sephiroth. Zack, and even Yuffie and Kadaj and everyone else he's ever had the reason to battle with. Each time, Cloud found himself drawn to them, attracted to his opponent. Most people try to find a connection in some other fashion, like a dinner date or hanging out with mutual friends doing something fun. Well, to Cloud, he doesn't just find that connection in the heat of war; he establishes it so firmly that should the other sever it, part of his soul goes with them. Again, Sephiroth is a prime example. Sephiroth and Zack; when each of them had gone, he had been lost. Lost for so long. So he's probably lucky that so many of the people he's had the pleasure of sparring with have become his firm friends.

And Cloud thinks that maybe the reason for this is that he doesn't really understand anything the way he understands fighting.

Sometimes, this thought makes him even sadder than usual.

Didn't quite come out the way I wanted it to; I think I'll have to write another fic along these lines of attraction so I can get what I want out of it.