50 SENTENCES: CLERITH STYLE
diaphaneity: Of such fine texture as to be transparent or translucent; characterized by delicacy of form.
theme set: epsilon
you are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie
you're in the arms of an angel. may you find some comfort here.
Funny, he was usually the sedate one: now it was Aerith who'd sit for hours on end, waiting.
The night breathed on him (cold, snow, icicle puffs) and it stuck to his gloves, cooling her too-warm skin as he caressed the curve of her cheekbone softly.
Sora, he was so, so young-- bright blue eyes, feathery spiked hair... and when no one was looking, Aerith let her eyes unfocus so that the sun would turn his hair gold, and maybe she might be able to sneak a peek at Cloud's ten-year-past persona before Everything Happened.
Cloud can't believe he's lasted this long-- then he sees her face amongst shelves and shelves of books, still familiar after so many years, and the yawning maw of time he's spent away suddenly becomes an inconsequential bit of trivia.
Darkness and light were supposed to be opposites, straining away from each other, not clasped in a tight, desperate embrace.
He reached forward, brows furrowed in intense concentration, and brushed his fingertip along her lips, transcendent and evanescent as the flutter of a moth's tawny wings.
"Cloud," Aerith said softly, turning up his chin to meet his downcast eyes, "life is not a solitary pursuit."
Never in a thousand years had Cloud thought he would be the one leaving her-- and then Sephiroth came to the Bastion, and he found himself spouting assurances and praying (to who?) that they would be true.
Mickey grinned at Aerith and commented, "Hope you still got all that light, 'cause you're gonna need it to get him to come around!"
Cloud never did learn to look on the bright side; he just looked at her instead.
Aerith has a talent for blurring things-- taking the sharp, pained edges of life and turning them hazy and effervescent, smudging away your shortfalls until you're nothing but your absolute essences of color and feeling and affect.
He's ashamed, so ashamed; Aerith reaches out once more and runs her fingers along the leathery wing arcing from his back, and feels his violent trembling under her touch.
Leon smacks into the wall, hard, and Aerith can just tell he's concussed-- and Cloud expertly takes command (not a moment too soon, since Yuffie's already lost without Leon).
Aerith didn't even have time to scream as the rock crumbled beneath her, and she started to fall-- then a black-gloved hand snapped out, snatching her (once again) from the chasm.
It was clear to anyone with eyes how much Cloud needed her-- but only Cloud knew just how much she needed him.
Cloud's eyes (intensity of a laser, circled in the hard black-charcoal rings of an insomniac, bluer than anything in nature ever was) encompassed a whole new degree of piercing.
No one else saw the silent, tiny cries (I am BREAKING, I am UNRAVELING, deep lacerations of pain still cutting) and therefore it is Cloud who takes Aerith's hand, leading her away from the battlefield, encircling her in strong arms as her tears soak his sweater through.
His is black, charred, like a charcoal briquette-- and yet, there's still a tender pink middle that's blistered and in pain (don't touch, it hurts!) and it's scraping off the nasty black burns that hurt him so badly-- but Cloud allows himself to hope that maybe, when she's peeled the crinkled black soul-strips away completely, the blistered skin will start to heal.
Cloud is no good with words, so he takes a mental picture of Aerith lying fast asleep next to him (soft moonlight painting silver filigrees over her iced-peach-porcelain skin) and he hopes that in time, maybe a thousand words will come to him.
Cloud is pulling on his traveling jacket, gently closing the door shut behind him (such finality in that tiny snick of the closing lock), when Leon suddenly draws up next to him and hisses, "I know you're an idiot, Strife, but I didn't figure you were heartless."
Olympus Coliseum-- he's about to strike the finishing blow against this Key-kid-- and then there's a flash of pinkgreenfawn, gentlekindsoothe, reminding, Miss Gainsborough (who else?) and the vision so entrances him that he doesn't even move as the giant black paw comes down like a wrecking ball.
There were things about Cloud that were old, well-worn, calloused... then there was the childlike curve of his face, or the naïve wonder of his hands as he toyed with a lock of her hair.
Aerith knows he lives (lived?) in past tense only, and so she tells him that she loved, loves, will always love him.
He's consigned himself to silhouette-dom, that's for certain (like he could ever be light)... but he'd live happily if he could be Aerith's shadow.
Cloud hides all the time, this is nothing new; but suddenly there is someone who knows where to find him, and it throws Cloud off so much that when she finally tracks him down in the Crystal Fissures he wraps her in his arms and kisses her hard.
Both Cloud and Aerith share a fascination of fortune-tellers; when Yuffie asks Cid about it he shrugs and simply remarks, "Cait, kiddo."
Knee deep in Heartless, darkness licking at her boots... then there's a black flutter, a sword lowers itself between them and her, and she is swept up effortlessly by dark wings.
His eyes are wide and vacant as he shoots up from the pillow; Aerith lays her hand on his shoulder because that's the Zack-dream look.
Most people think of books when they hear the word library... but Aerith isn't most people.
The blue glow of his eyes is usually attributed to radiation exposure, but there's an entirely different kind of luminescence that casts indigo stripes across her cheeks as he brushes his mouth against the corner of her lips.
She's struck with a moment of uncertainty, a scare, and she blurts out, "Do you love me?" to which he answers, "Aerith, I've never stopped."
Aerith's singing voice is off-key and breathy; Cloud listens all the same.
She turns, brilliant grass-emerald-lime eyes meeting his, the library and its inhabitants blur... and a giant weight resting on his weary shoulders suddenly dissipates into the air.
Cloud is bleeding, there's darkness sticking to him like slime, and yet he continues hacking-slashing-atoning-killinghimself until Aerith wraps her arms around him and soundlessly tugs on the hilt of his sword til the tip brushes the ground in soul-shattered defeat.
Aerith had no idea why the universe had extended her lease on life, but she intended to make good use of her time.
It's a thunderstorm, a bad one: one where the floorboards vibrate gently, where small children awake crying out-- and Cloud sits cross-legged outside, wing drooping behind him, face turned to the sky in a broken attempt at something like purity.
She sees it-- Sephiroth's relentless, cruel mind games, and she sees it tearing Cloud asunder, but he never mourns for himself... so Aerith alone is left to sob for his pain.
"Who's Sephiroth?" Leon asks Aerith, and for once it's Yuffie doing the frantic shushing.
There's an air about him-- a shattered young man, terrified of shadows... but the ropes of muscle and athletic, sleek physique suggest that fangs lurk behind sky-blue eyes.
"Honestly, I don't know why you bother with me," Cloud mumbles, and Aerith laughs softly as she runs a green-tinted finger over the latest battle wound he's managed to acquire.
She's unimaginably lovely, really-- possessing all the soft edges and swirls and understated elegance that he so starkly and awkwardly lacks.
Even as Cloud belittles his own lack of control, he presses her against a bookshelf and kisses her hungrily-- but given the way her hands are twining around him, Aerith doesn't seem to mind much.
It's not only physical, the terrifying exposure... but Cloud realizes that with your wife, it shouldn't be (and that both scares and elates him).
Fenrir got terrible mileage; he still misses it.
Cloud has made a living hurting people, and he wishes with all that's left of his mangled heart that he can keep work at work.
They didn't have much, maybe that was why they held on to each other so tightly (what else is there to hold?)
Aerith remembers quite vividly that she is human as much as anyone, and she truly hungers for him more than what is probably healthy.
There's so much working against them: darkness, light, evil, silver hair and blade, trickles of black darkness, people crying out for a savior, leathery black wings, whispers of a past long gone, and both quietly wonder if they'll make it in the end... but then he places a light kiss on her forehead, she leans into him, and the phantoms of failure recede.
Clerith is pure love (in my book, they're married). Loved it, hated it? Let me know by reviewing. If you liked this, take a look at my other fic, Espy, if you're not already one of my regulars. To any Espy readers... yeah, review, I'll let you know the status of it.
Song lyrics above belong to Sarah McLachlan (In the Arms of an Angel). Sentence set belongs to the 50 Sentence community on Livejournal.