KYAAA!!! I did a Final Fantasy fic! Okay, I don't actually play the game, so don't sue me if I got anything wrong. I did, however, watch AC though. Anyway, this is sort of one-sided CloTi and implied Clerith. Don't get me wrong, I like Tifa... Buuut... (Yes, there's a catch) I simply adore Aerith! Okie Dokie. Enough about me. On with the disclaimer.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. NOTHING. NOTHING. NOTHING! Sheesh, you'd think they get it by now.
Cloud stood outside the door of the closed bar. His friends... They had called him here, saying that Tifa wasn't herself. He pulled out the spare key Tifa had given him and headed inside. The place smelled musty, like it could use a good dusting. And that surprised Cloud, because Tifa had always liked everything spick and span.
He climbed the stairs and headed for the bar girl's bedroom. He opened the door, and saw no one. He was about to leave when he heard whimpering from the other side of the bed. Going over to take a look, he found Tifa. Despite the condition of the place, Tifa looked well enough. Appearance wise at least.
Her hands covered her ears and she whimpered softly to herself. She looked up, and her eyes met with Cloud's. As soon as they did though, her head shot back down. Cloud knelt down beside her. He gently pried her hands away from her face.
"Tifa, what's wrong?"
She let out another small whimper.
"I see her eveywhere Cloud!"
Cloud did not need to ask whom Tifa was referring to.
"Tifa, it's okay. I see her too."
"It's different! You actually see her, I see only memories of her!"
"They're everywhere Cloud, haunting me."
Cloud tried to get the distressed girl to look him in the eys but she pulled away.
"Tifa... Why won't you look at me?"
Because, Cloud, I see her in your eyes.
"Do you know what it feels like to be in someone's shadow for so long, that you start to believe that you weren't there? That you were never there?" She whispered hoarsely.
Cloud gave a small chuckle, so soft, Tifa could hear it only because of the silence in the room.
He reached over, and held Tifa in his arms. It wasn't like Cloud to do that, but for once ever since this nightmare started, she felt safe. She felt loved.
"You're not alone. Not anymore."
With that one simple name, Tifa's heart constricted, and as it shattered into a million shards, she knew. Tifa Lockhart did not exist. In her place, was the memory of an ill-fated flower girl, Aerith Gainsborough.