Hai there everyone!
The inspiration for this bi-shot, like many, came out of nowhere!!!
So, I hope you do enjoy it! xD
Dedicated to a wonderful generous friend of mine! ^^ I hope you like it!
Another glance. Another five minutes had passed. And, there was still no sign of him. Anywhere.
She sighed, tapping her foot gently against the gravel as she waited outside of the place she was supposed to be meeting him at. She didn't know what exactly to call it; she just knew the name of it was Bave and Duster's. She'd been there a few times before. It was almost like a place where people could eat and hangout, play a lot of different games, and hold your own events. In this case, she knew that her and her date were supposed to have dinner, then go into the Arcade Room as it was called, and play a few games. She also wondered just how the night would have ended. At his place, or mine? No, she wasn't the type of girl to go around having one-night stands, but she'd been thinking about that for a long while now. And, her entire life, she'd been the "tease"--the girl to be so very flirtatious, but never actually sleeping with anyone. That was just fine by her, of course, but she wondered what it would have been like if something were to happen.
She glanced down at her wrist again, and saw that it had been another three minutes since she'd last looked at it. She gulped, her eyes prickling at the corners, before she hurriedly reached up and wiped them. She couldn't believe this. Am I actually being stood up? That had . . . never happened to her before. She had been out dating recently, at the encouragement of her wacky friend, and every time she went out, the guy was always early. Always eager to get to see her again. She knew that, at first, it had nothing to do with her personality. No, it was more like what she had on the outside, not the inside that mattered to a man at first. For some of them, she'd learned that even after a few months of dating, her body was the only thing on his mind. Bedding her . . . She shivered, rubbing her hands up and down her arms. It wasn't from her thoughts, this involuntary action, but from the cold. Nonetheless, what she'd just done fit what she was thinking.
Tifa couldn't dream of sleeping with a man after only knowing him after just a few months. This guy she was supposed to be meeting here, who was running late she told herself, she'd just met him the week before. And yet, I was thinking of sleeping with him! She always thought that maybe she needed to explore the male population a bit more. According to Yuffie, in more ways than one. The woman sighed, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear and wondering what it might be like to actually have sex with a man. Would it hurt? Well of course it would! But . . . wouldn't the pain be worth it? To her, that all depending on who the guy was. And how much pleasure she would get out of it, in the end.
Biting her lower lip, she looked back down at her wrist watch, and sighed. He was late by a full half hour. Every five minutes, he'd text her and say he'd be there in ten. She hasn't seen hind nor tail of him at all. Tifa gulped again, thinking that she was actually being stood up. Great. And he seemed so . . . nice. Don't they all though? And yet, here she was, a woman of twenty-five, standing in front of this place looking like the damned fool she was. Several people had passed by her, looking at her strange. She knew what they were wondering. Poor girl. Her date's stood her up. Yep, tonight she was the poor girl who stupidly came to Bave and Duster's, only to get left here by her supposed date. And she'd gotten all dressed up for the occasion too! A pair of dark jeans, a red sweater that hugged her in all of the right places. Okay so, maybe that's not dressed up. But hell, for something like this it is. And now, she felt like a complete idiot.
Tifa sniffed once, reaching up to wipe her eyes again. I am not going to cry. No, she wasn't. She'd always swore to herself that she would never cry over a man, no matter how much she might love him, or how much she might want to be with him. She'd been independent for this long; she could last on her own for a little while longer right? But . . . who's to say that it wouldn't be nice to have a man in my life? Which was the exact reason why she'd even listened to Yuffie in the first place. Tifa thought that maybe she should start going out and dating. It would be good for her, keep her mind occupied. Especially now. Her father was in the hospital after getting into a car accident, and the doctors weren't sure if he would make it out of there alive. He wasn't responding to the medicine they were giving him, and within a week his condition had deteriorated so much that he's on life-support. Tifa shook her head, beginning her walk away from the door and outward to the parking lot. Maybe . . . maybe I could go visit him instead. Yeah. That sounded better than waiting around here looking the fool.
She blinked, turning around and looking back at the door. There was a woman storming out of the first door with a drink in her hand, and she could see that she was being followed by a man. Tifa gasped; he looked so familiar . . .
"Aerith! Aerith, I'm sorry!" He caught up with her at the second door that actually lead outside. Tifa had completely stopped by now, half-turning around and was paying a lot of attention to the couple who were arguing at the door. She was across the space from them, on another sidewalk . In between her own place and theirs, there was a space where one could drive in to pick someone up, or drop someone off.
"Sorry?! Are you kidding me? Every time I start talking, you space out. What? Do you not like listening to me?"
He bent his head down, one hand coming up and resting on his forehead. Tifa couldn't really see him; he was half-obscured from her vision because of the door. And yet, his silhouette . . .
"Sweetheart, that's not it. I just . . . You know I've been trying to think about some kind of way to--"
"Oh!" The woman placed her hands on her hips, her pink dress ruffling where were hands now were. "So, you've been thinking about him this entire time and not me?" She threw her head back slightly, and Tifa knew from the gesture that was synonymous with a woman rolling her eyes. "This was supposed to be a night out with me so that you could forget about all of that crap. And you just won't let it go!"
He growled then. "Maybe you don't catch my attention well enough."
Silence. Tifa's eyes opened slightly as she finally realized that voice, who it sounded like to her. I've heard that angry tone before . . . And, she couldn't believe he'd actually just said something like that!
And then, red liquid flying everywhere. Tifa gasped, holding a hand to her mouth, not believing that either. "You can forget us! You wanna sit around here all day thinking about . . . about that, go right ahead! You can do it without me!"
And the woman named Aerith in the pink dress began to walk away.
The man swore, stepping out from behind the door and shouting after her, "Good! I can sure as hell think better with you gone anyway!" He growled, looking down at himself. Tifa's eyes widened at the sight of him as he began assessing the damage done to his clothes. A really nice white button down shirt, now splotched with red liquid, and tan pants. She bit her lip, dying to say something, anything. The last time I saw him . . . was on bad terms. Bad terms didn't even begin to describe it. His mom was making them move to another town. She'd gotten a new job there, and she always told him there was better schooling. Tifa . . . she was upset about his departure, but her dad nearly threw a party. I always knew he didn't like him, but I never understood why. And when Tifa told her father she was going to say goodbye, her father wouldn't have any of it.
"I'm going to tell him goodbye, whether you like it or not!"
"Fine! But you better make him think you want him gone for good!"
She knew why he wanted her to trick her old friend; he didn't want her to ever see him again, and if she did, for him to just blow her off and not even look in her direction.
She watched him for a few seconds longer, the scene almost painful for her. She wanted to say something to him, to apologize, even just to say hi. He was still looking down at himself, trying to wipe the stuff off of his shirt that was now seeping through it. What can I say? I can't just go up to him and say, "Hey, how's it going?" and expect him to just . . . be okay with it.
"You . . . want me gone?"
"Well yeah. I never liked you. I was only your friend because I felt sorry for you. All the other kids didn't want to play with you, so I pretended like I did."
"Oh well that's just great. Another person in this town who hates me."
Little did he know how much her own words cut her deeper than he'd imagine.
Tifa shook her head, deciding she had nothing to say to him that would make anything better. She turned around, taking a step away from him, making the move to turn her back on him for, probably, the rest of her life.
She stopped short, nearly tripping. She bit down harder on her lower lip, wondering, Should I turn around? Say something? She thought she might be able to get a hi without angering him too much. Say something! But she couldn't get her body to turn back towards him. It was guilt, and she knew it. She felt terrible for never telling him before that she hadn't meant those awful things she'd said ten years ago.
She heard him sigh. Out of anger, frustration . . . sadness . . . maybe?
"Nevermind. I thought you were someone else. Sorry."
She then heard his shoes grind against the gravel as he turned around. Tifa closed her eyes hard, gulping before turning around and seeing his back. He was walking away . . . back to his car perhaps. He surely couldn't go back into that place with red stuff all over him. She looked down at her watch again for a quick second, coming to the conclusion that if her date weren't there by now, he wasn't going to be.
Her voice was quiet. For a moment, she didn't think he heard her, until he stopped in the middle of the road. His head hung, he stuffed his hands in his pockets with a deep sigh. She was both relieved and frightened by his reaction. Would he be happy to see her? Probably not. Okay, so that was out of the question. But, would he at least . . . stop and talk to her? "Catch up" on the times. She wasn't too sure. Would he . . . would he . . . That was the only phrase she could get her mind to process.
He turned his head slightly, and she caught sight of one crystal clear blue eye. His blond hair, it was still quite strange looking, but she'd always liked that about him. It stuck out at all sides, and when he turned to fully look at her, she saw that there was still that . . . that long yellow lock that went down his face. She bit her lip again, a little more subtle than the first time so that he wouldn't catch on that she was nervous. Of course . . . when they were little, he was always able to tell if something were wrong with her. Surely something like that would not have changed. But, we haven't talked in so long . . .
"Well, aren't you a sight for sore eyes."
She didn't know whether or not to take that as a compliment or . . . an insult. I argue for the latter. Probably deserved that, after all. He looked down at the ground as he walked up to her, and before she knew it he was standing right there, more than within arm's reach. His gaze came back up, and he looked her dead in the face, unblinking. Why was he supposed to be afraid? He hadn't done anything wrong. All my fault. And her father's. Oh yeah, she blamed him heavily for this.
"You . . . look good, Cloud."
He snorted, looking off to the side for a moment before his eyes met hers again. He had a small smile on his face. "Good? With a strawberry daiquiri all over my shirt? Thanks Tifa. Nice to see you haven't changed at all."
She knew what he meant; the lying, that hadn't changed. But, she wasn't talking about his clothes. She meant . . . she meant him. He'd grown up so much since she saw him last. Well, what do you expect people to do in ten years? But damn, he looked really, really good.
"I didn't mean it like that." There was no point in her getting angry with him. No, that wasn't going to help the situation at all. What she really wanted to do was clear the air. Tell him how she really felt three-thousand, six hundred and fifty two days ago. How I still feel now. "How have you been?"
Cloud shook his head. "Can we cut this? Please? Small talk doesn't do anything for anyone Tifa." She shrugged, looking away for a moment and down the parking lot. A breeze picked up, blowing her hair in her face. As she look back at him, she brought some of it from her mouth and tucked it behind her ear. He didn't even move; his spikes she swayed gently in the wind. "What do you really want to say to me?"
Tifa blinked. "I thought you'd have something to say to me, Cloud." More like a lot, but that would work for now. He didn't answer her. An eyebrow raised, but his gaze never wavered from her own, and she could tell from the look in his eyes--there was something he wanted to say. Maybe not now, but definitely soon.
For another minute, they just stood there staring at each other. Then, he moved, sighing and leaning against the brick pillar they were standing near. His arms crossed over his chest, he lowered his head, his chin almost touching his collar with his eyes closed.
"So, what are you doing here?"
That was a question she definitely didn't want to answer. What was she doing here? Getting stood up by a guy I assumed was going to be really nice. I'm standing here like a complete idiot, and now you've shown up, which only makes my day worse. No, she really couldn't tell him that. And make him feel good? Okay well, I'd like to do that . . . to explain . . . No, she didn't want to give him the upper-hand. Make him feel like that's what she deserved, to get stood up. That was really something she didn't think she'd be able to handle at the moment. So, how exactly was she supposed to answer that question? It seems as if I won't stop running out of problems tonight. Tifa gave a long sigh, thankful that he couldn't see her. He could definitely still hear her, and maybe even the hesitation in her voice when she finally decided to answer him.
"Well . . . I'm here on a date."
"Where's your date?"
Another hard-to-answer question. Another frustrating question. Another question that had her praying to just get run over by a car, even though she wasn't standing in the middle of the parking lot. Where was her date? Where was he . . . she wasn't too sure herself. Why don't you ask him? That's what she wanted to say, but once again, that would be giving the him the opportunity to tell her it was something she deserved. So, what was she supposed to say now? Why not just be honest? Why not? He was going to figure it out anyway. Maybe . . . I could tell him it already ended?
"He's left already. Just a few minutes before you came outside with your . . . with your girlfriend."
That last part was a bit hard to say. He looked up at her as she stammered, before she looked away and finished her sentence. Her eyes were now trained on door to the amusement place. One person walked out of a door that led to the side of the building instead of the front, talking to someone on the other end of a cell phone. She looked extremely happy, and started laughing at something the person on the other end was saying. Tifa bit her lip again.
Her gaze snapped back to his own, and he was staring at her with a rather hard look in his eyes. But there was . . . there was something else there. A softness, maybe in the back somewhere . . .
Her hands on her hips, she gave him the same stare back. "Yeah? And just how do you know?"
He raised one eyebrow again, pressing against the wall before pushing himself off of it. Cloud took the one step it took before he was towering over her. She never backed down, and looked straight back up at him. "For one, I never saw you inside--"
"--The place is pretty big. We might have been on the other side--"
"--Two, you don't look . . . worn, like you would have already been on a date tonight--"
"--Maybe he wasn't very interesting--"
"--And three, you always bite your lip when you're lying!"
As they exchanged words, their voices grew louder and louder until he was done. The girl across the way stopped her conversation to look at the two, before covering her mouth with her hand and speaking into the phone again. Cloud growled, turning away from Tifa and stuffing his hands in his pockets. She huffed, crossing her arms over her chest and staring over at the doors of the other side of the road.
"Stood you up, didn't he?"
He was facing her again, a few seconds after saying that. Her jaw dropped, as well as her arms, her eyes nearly bulging out of her head. She wanted to throw a temper tantrum at the moment. "No!" she nearly shouted. The girl standing near the door looked at them again, before going back inside of the building. "No . . ." She crossed her arms, looking at the doors again. He tilted his head minutely to one side as she chewed lightly on her lower lip. He remembered that? Beyond belief it was. She sighed. "Yes." Turning back to him, rolling her eyes, she shifted her weight to one side. "Come on Cloud. Tell me. I told you so, or, You deserve it. I know that's what you want to say."
He shrugged. "I don't want to say that to you." She stopped, stared at him for a moment before regaining her composure. She wanted to ask him something about why, but Tifa decided to keep her mouth shut; she sure wasn't complaining. It was a bit astonishing he didn't want to make her feel bad. If he'd done to her what she to him, she sure would be rubbing it in his face that he couldn't keep a girl. "But what I do want to ask is why are you still standing out here by yourself?"
He looked down at her, arms crossed, as if expecting an answer. She huffed again, turning away. "I leaving, that's what." Her mind screamed at her to do the opposite of what her body was doing, and that was walking away. No you idiot! Go back! Say something to him! She didn't even see the car speeding through the parking lot and riding its way into this little space. Cloud yelled her name, reaching out and grabbing her wrist as she took a step down onto the pavement. Yanking her back, her body collided with his own and he landed against the pillar as the car came to a stop in front of them. Tifa gulped, his fingers still wrapped around her wrist, her hands on his chest. Her eyes widened as she realized their position, before stepping back from him. Someone on the passenger side of the car got out, not looking at them, before walking inside of the building.
Tifa gulped, her hand shaky as she reached down into her pocket to grab her phone. Cloud eyed her for a moment, before watching the driver speed off to find a parking space. He shook his head, hearing her speak to someone on the other line of her phone. From what he gathered, she was speaking to a taxi company. Cloud rolled his eyes. "I could take you home."
Tifa turned her head toward him, her mouth close to agape, her hand still gripping the phone. "No, that's alright," she told the manager of the place before flipping the phone shut. "What?" He repeated his offer, hands in his pocket, his gaze away from her own and concentrating on the door of the facility. She gulped. "Cloud, you really don't have to. I mean . . . it's a bit far from here. And out of your way, I would guess--"
He shook his head again, looking at her. "No. I'll take you . . . well, I could just take you to my place then. Wouldn't want you by yourself this late at night."
Her eyes widened again. His place. We would be . . . alone. How she wanted that.
"Besides, I need to talk to you about the last time we saw each other."
Yaaay! That's over and done with!
Well, the first chapter anyway. Hope you all enjoy it, and I hope to have the second out before Christmas!