a/n: FLUFF WARNING YOU GUYS. FLUFFFFF. Or at least, I think it's pretty fluffy. I don't know. Me and fluff aren't homies at all. I mean, fluff is so gangsta that it makes me fully white. But! I have figured out that writing gushy-ness is funner to write when it's late and I am goofed out. xD Hope it's enjoyable regardless~!
»Physical AT R OCI T IE S«
Touch, touch, touch, shoulders, thighs, stomachs, knees. Hand to arm, nose to chest, chest to back, hair to eyes, touch, touch, touch.
Was today National Touch a Bodily Appendage Every Other Second Day? Honestly.
Tifa couldn't keep up with how many times she felt Cloud's fingers, arms, or those other slight slip ups along his body.
But be warned, it's all G rated.
..Okay, so maybe not technically, considering everything.
Because, you know how it can be. On those certain days where awkward touches just happento happen - be it above the torso or below - and can become either whispering and fleeting or tortuously slow with almost sexual implications.
But let's take a step back for a second.
One: The G rated-ness has become borderline PG.
Two: Aforementioned 'One' should be stated false, because that last touch was definitely not PG.
Three: Rating of this is now PG-13 and will not go any higher.
Four: Hot Damn. Maybe this shouldn't even be mentioned.
Five: Just forget all of the numbering until number six.
Six: Cloud is too considerate to let his hands wander with his brain unattended.
Seven: Tifa, even though she feels those abhorred tingles up her arms every time, acts with her brain.
Eight: The bar is tight and packed, and it's merely the fate of a Friday night for them to be so close.
Nine: Both of them don't feel tension of any sort because, come on, everyone knows they are both very unattractive individuals.
And Ten: Tifa is very much satisfied with the little, tiny things Cloud does on day to day basis because her heart is just so big that she doesn't need that dumb thing called romance and loves that he isn't leaving again because of the woe is me I shall not be forgiven ever because I don't deserve it and have relations to clouds (and we all know that clouds are actually condensed droplets full of weepy raindrops), and, since this is well known throughout the entire universe over and over, it has to be true even though she is a girl and has estrogen/hormones/testosterone (can Cloud kick like that? No I don't think so) and chemical reactions in her skull that make her want to grab -
So again. Tightness equals uh-oh. And being behind the bar is just so stifling.
But since all you people are wondering with urgent need to read details-details! about our favorite two instead of meandering thoughts and tangents from the person typing this, let's take a step back even further into the real world of Seventh Heaven.
The morning seemed normal, everyone in the household going through the same routine subconsciously set up by the repeats of each day.
Wake up. Make breakfast. Say bye to Cloud. Take kids to school. So on and so forth.
Tifa didn't notice the start of the touches, because they were the fleeting and normal types.
Handing him a plate of breakfast, finding his beloved comb and giving it to him, walking past him through the doorway to the car. Their fingers brushed with ease.
Then they became a tad more pronounced. Him forgetting a package in his office at lunch and her walking out of the bathroom, when he threw away his lunch plate and she came from the back room. They all ended with a collision of their bodies.
And then came the night, where more pronounced became completely ridiculous.
The first instance started when Tifa was reaching for the batch of clean, back up glasses in a cabinet too high for her arms. She felt him edge up behind her saying, "I'll get them," before she could brush him away and ultimately fail.
One of his hands were wrapped around her side, pushing against the counter top, and his other was showing off the few inches he had on her envious arm that was still stubbornly reaching up. He took care in placing each glass into her awaiting hands. Sighing, she backed down and let her feet take their spots onto the floor, only to realize her whole backside was rubbing the whole of his front side. She stiffened, her feet involuntarily shifting and her back arching inward only to create very odd posturing that made her tip into his chest.
She gasped a little and his hand that had been pushing from the counter was now wrapped around her torso, his hand gripping her ribcage.
"Tifa, are you okay?" Well. To make matters worse, his breath tickled into her ear canal and she had to suppress a shiver and had to manage standing up straight.
"Fine, fine," she breathed, grasping the next glass with forceful need. She took a step forward and leaned against the jut from the counter. His hand moved away from its placement on her stomach and back to its earlier position.
When he came down with the last glass, she grabbed a few from the counter and dashed away to make drinks.
Another time she had to reach a customer on the right side of the bar, and the only obstacle between her and that one customer was the body of Cloud. Now, behind the bar, there was a good, wide space. But with Cloud's semi-bulk and a few boxes sticking out from the cabinets, the width kind of disappeared.
Cloud had his back turned toward the opening of space, rummaging around and looking for the wine a customer ordered. Tifa pounced on the opportunity, took the newly made drink in her hand, and walked forward.
But just as she was about to pass, Cloud had turned around, oblivious to her inner turmoil against his muscles.
The space narrowed dramatically and Tifa felt herself twisting to accommodate the change. Somehow, her footing made her face the wrong direction and she slid, chest to chest with him in half a second.
And, you know, it really sucked. Why had she decided on not wearing that black zip-up vest? Yes, the thin, cotton tank top was much, much cooler, but today was not the day to have that on. She needed more material asap.
In that half second, however, their eyes had locked. Their brush had gone in agonizing slow motion, and she could feel each thread of fiber inside his stomach tense with what she felt.
Their thighs met, her nose almost poked his lips. If she had stopped then, in the center of him and the sink right behind her, the thing Cloud would feel would be the vibrations coming from her pulse.
It really was amazing how she hadn't stepped on his toes. She liked being called nimble, but in the moment, she wouldn't mind being the world's biggest klutz.
She tried to give him a smile, ignoring the heat latched from her forehead to her neck. She wanted to let her vocal chords say 'sorry', but her mouth opened and her trachea shut down. It was, however, a good thing he looked as flushed as she did. She liked knowing that she wasn't the only one affected.
But the third time's the charm.
They were both rummaging through the stocks in the back room, helping each other find a special edition of Kokomo red wine for a particularly snooty, uptown patron.
"I could have sworn I left it in this one..."
"Are you sure it's not further back?"
"I'm pretty sure."
He was hovering again, and she couldn't concentrate. The lights on the ceiling started to flicker.
"Well, I'll look over here."
"I'll go through this one one more time."
Now that he was gone, she found it easier to read the labels.
After a few more minutes, she found a bottle brandishing the name in bright, bold relief.
"I found it!"
She turned around, beaming. And as luck would have it, the light's fuse burned out.
She started a little at the sudden darkness. Cloud cursed, and she heard a thud.
"Cloud?" she let it out as a whisper.
There were scuffles across the room. "Stay, Tifa. I'll find you."
She frowned, placing the bottle onto the floor a safe distance, or what she thought was a safe distance, away.
"How 'bout I meet you halfway?" She raised her hands in front of her, walking with cautious ease while feeling the air around her. She was searching for the faint glow of his eyes.
"Tifa, I don't think that would be a good -" he sounded a lot closer than he should have been. She shifted her hands toward the direction of his voice and still had no glimpse of his blue orbs.
"- idea." She heard something slide a tiny bit on the floor, and his voice was definitely not in the same area as it was just a second ago.
"Cloud, what -" she turned again, her direction lopsided and nowhere near sure anymore. She put her hands down by her waist, "- where did you -"
She hit the side of a very warm wall, making her ricochet back, her feet slipping as if she were on roller blades. Her hands were reaching out in vain, swinging and trying to find something to grasp.
..So maybe wanting to be the world's biggest klutz wasn't the greatest thing she had ever thought of.
But she was able to grapple something, and it felt like a forearm. Too bad her heels were the only things still attached on the ground, and it didn't really matter that she was still falling. The arm stuck to the body was falling with her.
She was ready for the impact to lash across her back as she hunched her shoulders and tensed up. But the fall ended up not being so bad when she felt two arms curl under her and cushion the landing.
She let out a breath, also hearing a light grunt above her face. She peeked up through her lashes and...oh.
There were those eyes.
Uh-oh. There were those eyes.
There was a blunt closeness between hers and his. She could see every speckle they contained with the curtain of secrecy around them. This, if she thought about it, was like a deleted scene from a movie. No one could see it and it would be discarded with the extra film.
Unless, of course, it was in the batch of kept deleted scenes and placed in that 'special features' area.
But for right now, they were backstage, hidden away from the world beyond the door.
She felt his moist breath prickle her cheek, and it was only then that she realized how they were positioned. Her knees were raised like pyramids, hugging his hips on either side. His arms were still twisted beneath her, their heat seeping easily through the white of her top.
And the thing that took the cake was how she was strapped, pinned under him and sandwiched by the floorboards. His chest was colliding with hers, and each breath they took made them press that much closer. The thin line created by their bodies were thrumming with undulating heat.
So...maybe the tank top was kind of nice.
But there was a sinking throb in her chest as she looked away, unable to keep up with his piercing eyes. He was going to get up, and the awkward memory would be awful and fresh in their minds. How would she be able to look at him the rest of the night? She was already blushing fervently, and it was a very great thing that the lights were out. At least for right now.
She was waiting, expectant for his wonderful pressure to leave her, his hand to help her up, and the weird silence that would follow as they helped each other find the exit.
It was surprising then, after a few seconds passed, that he still had not moved. Not that she was complaining or anything. No, no, not at all. She just wasn't ready to see what she saw, tilting her eyes up to his again. Her pace was painstakingly slow. But as his glow connected to hers, she watched them flicker. They kept flashing, like lightning striking in the same spot again and again.
Or perhaps it was more like the flame of a candle in the middle of a hurricane.
Whatever it was, it encompassed her mind. She couldn't look away anymore. The lightning had struck her and she was forever paralyzed.
Her mind was playing tricks on her. His eyes had magnified. Unless, of course, his face had just got closer.
Oh. His face had gotten closer. All of a sudden, her thundering heart was now boom-boom-booming.
She felt his arms tighten with security around her, the muscles above her tensing in a gentle rhythm above her middle. His forehead had connected with hers, his nose dipping by the slope her cheek made, and his lips were folding down, hovering so, so close - like he had been doing all day, making her nerves build up and up as they reached her lips and made them explode in anticipation.
He was about to press down, all the way down, completely and fully...
When the lights flickered back on.
He stopped, stiffened into a cardboard box. Her eyes flew open, and her nostrils could have flared in anger. All she was able to see was the blur of yellows and blues, and perhaps a few freckles. Neither of them had noticed the startled murmurs in the next room, or the sighs of relief.
But even through the rush of emotions she was feeling, her throat was still disabled.
"C-Cloud." She didn't know where she was going to lead this, her cracked voice cracking the tension, musk filled atmosphere.
Turned out, she didn't have to lead it anywhere. Her speaking was all that he needed, it seemed. And it being his name could be considered an added bonus.
Everything collapsed in a second, as if he would have lost his nerve had it been a second longer.
His lips pushed passed their ever lingering hover, his pale brushing against her rosy pink. He was slow and gentle, and she savored the tempo. She let him take all the initiative for once.
After a few moments his male instincts must have taken over, because he was gaining speed and she could taste his confidence grow and grow.
Speaking of taste...oh. She did alright.
His tongue slipped past and into her cavity, and she let out a little squeak. He reminded her of the metal that surrounded Fenrir, tasting his engine heart in his mouth. He reminded her of the crisp mountain air, refreshing liquid heat dripping to her toes.
Her fingers twisted into his hair, the swords of gold feeling like adventure.
She felt his hand trailing from her back onto her torso, her body arching up -
Three loud bangs on the door shook them awake from the make-out session.
"YOU LOVEBIRDS COMING OUT ANYTIME SOON?"
How did they not notice all the angry sounds reverberating through the wooden door?
Tifa smiled, a blush tickling her throat, and looked to the front of the room. She looked back to Cloud, who hadn't moved. He was smiling too.
"I guess we should finish up," he nodded to the shadows coming through. His voice was still breathy.
"Yeah, I guess so," she sighed out, eyes blinking into focus.
He stood, untangling, and held out his hand to her. She took it, her clumsiness still with her, apparently. He steadied her, keeping his hand around her as they walked.
"You've sure lost your footing a lot today." He was smirking. It was...really nice.
Tifa almost tripped over, a thought flooding her mind. He smiled and kept her standing.
She paused her walk, stopping him too. He looked at her.
She looked up at him, very suspicious. "Did you trip me?"
He stared. "I think you did that to yourself."
"No, earlier," she said. "When the fuse went out."
He looked away, and she detected amusement. "You were the one who bumped into me, Teef."
Her eyes widened. She found the lie in the tone of his voice.
"Cloud Strife, you - !"
But he opened the door, and before she could say anything else, she turned her head and caught sight of a bad perm and too many floral patterns. It was the snooty lady from earlier.
"Later," he whispered. And he led her through into the bar, placating the lady with his still-flushed face and apology.
Tifa found herself excited, and perhaps a little baffled. Because we all know what later means, right?
And in between the glances the rest of the night, the touches evolved into very intentional indeed.