The Oddest Prime, or: Sometimes, Cloud, I Doubt Your Commitment to Sparkle Motion

Wikipedia: Two is the smallest and the first prime number, and the only even one (for this reason it is sometimes humorously called "the oddest prime").

It had been a few months since he first went shopping, alone, with one of the kids.

He had gone with Denzel for a new bike chain because, as Tifa told him, Denzel's at that age when he doesn't want to go shopping with a bunch of girls. He had to think about his reputation.

But Marlene obviously had no such compunctions about shopping with someone of the opposite sex.

Which, unfortunately, was why he was standing in the middle of the market, arms akimbo: giant moogle under one, some fluffy that she specifically told him was a dress, Cloud, duh, under the other. And now she was skipping back and forth between two flustered merchants, cooing over a pair of ruby slippers and calling for him to see if a second pair would be big enough.

He hoped to all that was holy they were for Tifa. Monster dress and a shady couple of hours at Don Corneo's aside, he drew the line at sparkly shoes.

He, too, had to think about his reputation.

But luckily for both him and Tifa, Marlene had simply wanted two pairs: one for now, one to grow into. He calmly tried to explain to her that in a couple of years, she might not want to wear such (stupid) shoes. He told her things go in and out of style, suggested that maybe she should wait a couple of days to see if she really wanted them, cursed that he hadn't packed a fire materia to burn them.

But Marlene wouldn't be assuaged. She told him not to be silly; of course, she'd want them; Tifa could borrow them in the meantime; wouldn't she look so pretty, Cloud? He received an almost puppy-like glare and a childish foot stomp when he simply stared blankly at her and prayed that Tifa had that materia. But when he finally handed over his gil, she happily skipped to the front counter, until she stopped, mid-hop, for a pair of strangely familiar cowboy boots.

This time when she asked for two pairs, Cloud didn't stop her. He even nodded when she exclaimed that she and Tifa would make the cutest pair of cowgirls on the block.

After all, some things should never go out of style.

I dedicate half of this to my friend Cantare, who cleverly suggested the first part of the title, and who, after reading this story, said, "I didn't know you had it in you." (For the record, neither did I.)

The other half goes to Tam for referring me to the OTP wars on LJ, where this was originally posted.

(In short, I'm taking no credit for this story. If you don't like my temporary lapse from writing head-case Cloud, blame them.)

& I don't own FFVII or Donnie Darko.