And so the last chapter begins...
but before that, a special thanks to my reviewers who actually don't think my descrition of fight scenes are too terrible (really, thanks :D) :
ObsessiveCompulsiveValkyrie, Kisdota-The Freak Gamer, LovelessGenesis, kitsune13, and vx-Luna-xv
OCV and I are also looking for supporters to convince SquareEnix to get going on the FF7 remake (yes, I'm an obsessed fangirl). If any of you are interested in helping/have any ideas, please PM either of us. :D thank you.
Disclaimer: Plot's mine. Characters...not so much.
His leather gloved hands searched through his pant's pockets for the ringing object. Even through the thick material, his finger tips traced the cold outer surface of his phone, and he brought the object out and to his ear. He gently pressed a button and listened. "Hello?"
"Cloud! Cloud! Cloud!"
He had to hold the phone away from his head to prevent going deaf. The loud, high voice continued.
"What happened? You fought Sephiroth? Did you win? Why didn't you call us?! We would have helped!" Yuffie gave a long sigh. Cloud could hear her rustle on the other end of the phone, obviously trying to mask some of her energy. "Well, come on! Tell me!"
"Yuffie, everything's fine. He's gone now." He gave a light sweep through his newly washed and dried hair. The spikes fluffed up from the contact, making him shake his head as bangs fell into his face. "Alright?"
"Alright?!" A loud grunt came from the small ninja's mouth. "Just next time the evil maniac comes by, pleeaaase give us a call, okay? I may act like I don't like you, Chocobo Head, but Tifa would be so sad if you were gone."
Cloud only nodded, but Yuffie still had the intuition to continue. "Anyway…" her voice was slightly softer this time. "…Did you talk to Vinnie yet? I saw him at the wedding and we kind of made up a bit. I mean, he still wouldn't dance with me or anything or let me wear his jacket…or eat his wedding cake, but I really think that eventually he will come…"
"Yuffie, I'll call you if he says anything."
There was a slight pause, strange for the restless ninja. "…You'll call? You'll call me?"
Yuffie immediately burst into a fit of laughter. "HA! You sure Sephiroth didn't knock your head against a wall? You okay, Cloud?"
His voice was stern. "Yes, fine." The laughing fit was beginning to get on his nerves. "Goodbye Yuffie." Cloud flipped the black phone shut and placed it down on his desk. He rubbed his eyes forcefully, trying to remove the evident marks of sleep. His fingers flipped through the stack of papers on his desk-- future deliveries, past bills, children's art work.
A smaller, thicker piece caught his attention between sheets of mundane notes. It was only one photo, one simple piece of paper with mirror images of people he knew. People that were once strangers, but now some of the most important things in his life. He rubbed the edges delicately with his finger tips, taking in the background, the people, the expressions, everything about it.
The familiar ring of his phone was heard again. He looked briefly at the time. 4:23 am? I should sleep. But he had the urge to answer the call first. "It's Cloud."
"Hey! Hear ya ditched my wedding."
His face paled a little at the sound of Cid's voice. "Sorry, there was an emergency…"
"Ha, just messing with ya! I'd get out of that damn place too if it wasn't for the missus here. So, you got him?"
"Yes. It's done." It's over. "The rest of your wedding went well?"
The pilot sighed. "Eh, I guess. Everyone was worried where the hell you and Teef ran off to. I thought you just were…you know, but that asshole Shinra explained the deal." Cid gave a soft chuckle. "Gotta admit though, the best part was after the wedding, if you know what I mean…"
"…yeah." The younger man rubbed his hair. "Are you calling for anything specific?"
"I'm calling for you. Jeez, me and Shera were worried about your sorry ass. But you're alive, aren't ya?" Cid barely waited for a reply. "Did ya hear? Valentine's staying at Kalm."
Cloud blinked and made a mental note to tell Yuffie, "Why?"
"Hell if I know. The ninja approached him at the wedding and he just walked off, whispering something about Kalm. I thought maybe he talked to you."
"No…can't say he did." Cloud shrugged to himself. Vincent's actions didn't normally make any sense.
"Well I'm glad you were damn lucky again. I'm gonna head back to my girl now. Don't go fucking anything up while I'm on my honeymoon."
The dial tone came quicker than Cloud anticipated, encouraging him to smile. Light blue eyes glanced back down at the desk. He looked at all of his friends faces, stopping at one in particular. Cloud's heart felt heavy with a sudden emotion. Just the image of her face made his chest feel tight.
The airs in his lungs escaped.
"Cloud, you're still up?" Her small hands moved onto his back, slowly rubbing his shoulders, releasing any tension, but elevating his heart rate. She moved her thumbs against his shoulder blades and dug in deeply with just the right amount of pressure. Cloud sighed and leaned his head back, flush against Tifa's upper abdomen. "You should get some rest. Aren't you tired?"
Suddenly…no. "How's Denzel?"
Her hands lightened their touch, "He finally fell asleep." Tifa removed her hands completely and sat on the nearby chair. "Barret called. He wanted to check on you and let us know he has Marlene."
Cloud nodded and moved out of his seat. "Tifa…"
She cocked her head to the side, "What is it?"
The blonde didn't say another word. He shifted down to her level and grabbed her around the waist, hoisting her up and letting her white legs wrap around his torso. Their lips swiftly met as Cloud moved down the hall and towards Tifa's room. The door was silently shut behind them, as both made their way deeper into the room and across the cold wooden floors.
Cloud dropped her light body gently on the soft surface. His gloves fell off easily before he lightly combed through Tifa's dark brown hair. "Tifa." Cloud's voice was soft, his breathe mostly forming the word.
She replied with a soft kiss, trailing from his cheekbone back to his lips. Cloud couldn't suppress the smile, the overwhelming feeling of easiness, of affection. His electric blue eyes flashed at her face, noticing the slight shadows and contours of her cheeks and brow.
To her dismay, Cloud rolled to her left, back flat against the bed. "You could have died."
"I didn't." Tifa touched Cloud's pale cheek and smiled. "Don't even talk about it." She moved her head back down to his chest, black hair spanning across his body.
"Alright." The heavy sensation from his chest was now gone, replaced by something soft, something practically weightless.
"Thank you…for visiting him for me. And for helping him…back there." Her head was lowered down, wavy bangs brushing softly against her pale cheeks. She couldn't bring herself to look at him, which made her confused. "I think…I think I was wrong."
The man placed his hands on his hips. "Oh? You're not wrong about a lot of things. What is it?"
"I was wrong about… you." She glanced up briefly, catching his blue eyes with her green. It was then she saw him. She felt him again.
"Hey..." His energetic voice focused her attention. He was lightly scratching his black, spiky hair. "…I was just wondering. It's been so long, and you still wear it?"
Her eyes narrowed at the statement. She couldn't exactly change her appearance, not here. But realization soon came when she noticed his eyes looking at her hair. She fingered the pink ribbon lightly, feeling a warm sensation on her hand. "I never took it off. I couldn't."
His expression, for once, was absent of its typical smirk. It was much more innocent than that. "…I…I Aer…" He stopped himself when something behind him caught his attention. There were two people walking in to the church, one blonde and the other with dark brown hair. "Hey, look who's here! Shall we go pay…"
"No!" She caught his arm, the first time she's touched him since… "I think we should stay hidden now."
She gave him a small smile, barely visible from her lowered face. "It's just now I understand it, and…I'm happy."
The sword was boosted back up, properly standing tall and proud, a true landmark for a hero.
"Is it okay now?"
Cloud turned back around to the girl behind him. Her hands were placed behind her back, and her face had a shining smile. "Yeah." He sped across the water to the other side of the church, a firm lightness in his step. He immediately grabbed Tifa's hand and laced his fingers in between her own. "I'm…ready."
A/N: I hope you guys have enjoyed this series! It's been really fun to write! Expect...something from me in the near future. It may be a crossover or a one shot or a normal series or...well that's all I'd ever do, so yeah.
Reviews = love.