Disclaimer: I do not own Dissidia: Final Fantasy, nor any part of it.
Author's Note: Okay, this is my very first one-shot. Not as fluffy as I wanted it to be, but I do hope you like it anyway. This was quite challenging for someone like me who is so used to writing longer stories... well, story, since I only have one posted for now, but I'm working on a new story, which is also consisted in chapters. lol
Well, here's a CloudxTerra fic. Hope you all like it! ^^
Oh, and all kinds of reviews will be very much appreciated. Thank you!
The Esper and the self-proclaimed SOLDIER had been traveling for a long time now, so long both heroes have lost count of hours, or maybe even days. Since the time they found each other, they had been searching for Terra's lost friend, Onion Knight, whom she parted ways with after she lost control of her power. And after Cloud helped her take over it through a battle, he agreed to help her search for the little warrior, whose safety she was greatly worried about.
But even as a magical being, Terra too was capable of getting tired, especially for someone like her who often have sudden instances of sleep attacks.
Cloud had gotten used to it over time and he was more than willing to help her find a good place to pass her slumber, and wait until she wakes up. But now wasn't exactly a good time, for they were wandering at a potentially dangerous place where many mannequins were roaming around. It was called the Lunar Subterrane, a venue he heard most about from his gentle friend known for switching classes, Cecil Harvey. As quiet as it was, they were most prone to battles and attacks from infamous enemies.
The blond Buster sword wielder scanned the place and searched for a safe spot where his Esper friend can rest for the moment. Then, he found a cave-like shade, a bit far from where they were standing. It could be a dangerous path, but fairly tolerable.
"Does that look good to you?" Cloud asked Terra, with his usual plain voice that masked his pure concern for her as he pointed at the spot's direction.
The girl with emerald green hair nodded. "That should be fine with me." She said tiredly as she walked with her blonde companion towards the supposedly safe area. Gliding now would cost much more energy than walking; that was how exhausted she was.
Cloud, the one with keener senses, knew that danger was all around them. Lurking above the huge boulders were powerful fiends, waiting for the right moment to attack the two warriors of harmony.
I'll deal with you later, he thought, silently threatening the mannequins. After I bring her to that cave, make your move and you're all dead.
It did not take long before they finally reached the place. Terra immediately sat down, ready to rest, though it was evident in her eyes that she was fighting sleep. Cloud put his Buster sword on the ground before sitting beside her, his knee folded where he rested his arm.
"You can go sleep now." He told the Esper.
Terra nodded. "I know, but..." She trailed off and looked at the lunar landscape before them, surveying it as if searching for something. "I couldn't rest, for some reason. There's something here, I just know it. I can feel it. It's nothing nice." She said, in a worried tone. "I can't rest knowing that you might be in danger. I can't afford letting something happen to you, knowing that Luneth isn't exactly safe as well." She sighed. "I can't lose two of my friends just because I wasn't able to do anything about it. I just... I have to stay up and make sure you'll be okay."
Cloud stared at her, stirred by the concern she expressed not only for her lost friend, but for him as well. He wasn't even sure he deserved her care, nobody had cared for him like that before. It was visible in her eyes that she needed her sleep so badly, but she was battling it for him; him and his safety, even if she knew he was more than capable of handling himself. Though what she said was true, trouble was all around, and it could sprang out at any moment.
But she didn't need to know that, even if she could sense the enemies just as good as he could. She needed her rest.
Cloud shook his head. "There's nothing here." He lied. "Just go sleep. You need it." He said in as much less words as possible.
By this time, it was obvious that Terra couldn't resist lying down and closing her eyes. Finally, she nodded. "Okay." She laid on the hard, cold ground and began with her slumber. "Just promise me to stay safe." She murmured.
Cloud hummed in his throat and nodded. "I promise."
The blonde chose to stay up, for he was not exactly as tired as the girl beside him. Also, he was warily watching out for the lurking enemies that might endanger his presently vulnerable friend. So far, those menacing entities he encountered earlier were calm enough not to attack just yet, but he couldn't let his guard down. He remained cautious for the unpredictable.
He glanced down at Terra, who was sleeping peacefully. He had never seen anything as serene as she was. Most of his life had been a turmoil, full of confusion and dark pasts. But the tranquil scenery she was making, though small, was enough to move him and feel just as calm. It was wonderful, how she could look so undisturbed despite the uncontrollable power inside her that can cause, if he calculated correctly, massive destruction. She would hate that, for sure, but she was definitely capable of such thing. He realized it especially after they fought; the magic in her was immensely powerful. And it was no wonder why most of Chaos' minions were so keen to make her one of them.
Besides her power, everything about Terra had said that she never wanted her skills. And if anything, she wished to use them for a good cause, such as maintaining harmony across the lands.
She could easily deceive anyone; with her lighthearted nature and nice personality, no one could think what she can even do. But what concerned him more was how she could be so prone to confusion. As much as she can deceive, she could easily be tricked by anyone who may pretend to be deemed worthy of her trust.
For some reason, he felt drawn to her, as if he understood her. She claimed that someone had been controlling her, a clown with a name of Kefka. He had heard of him, and he could see some, if not many, similarities between him and his nemesis, Sephiroth. That son of Jenova had been so fond of controlling him as well, which was why he often called the blond fighter a "puppet". Often, he would find himself lost and useless, incapable of helping anybody because of Sephiroth who destroyed his past...
Until she came.
She proved to him that he can help someone, even in his own small ways. She even thanked him after he helped her compress her powers. Though it was just a natural thing for him to do, she considered it as a big help.
Suddenly, it made him feel that his life was worthwhile, after all.
And, as much as he understood her, he felt as if she understood him as well; all of his uncertainties, his hesitations and indecisions... ever since she agreed to help him out find his dreams, he suddenly felt like he could take on the whole world, which was a big step for someone like him.
And he could not have done it without her.
Also, before she finally agreed to sleep, she was worried about him. Terra was gladly sacrificing her sleep for his own safety, as if he was more important, worthy of all the effort. That little moment may be something someone could just easily forget, but not to him. He seemed to have cherished every moment he had spent with her ever since the moment he saw her.
Then, with a precipitous hit of anxiety, he had a sudden realization.
What if I didn't find her? Will her power consume her in the end? What would've happened to her? What about now?
Who would find her a place to sleep?
Who would watch over her?
Who would protect her?
What will happen to me?
Cloud shivered at those presumptions. For a long time, he had dwelled too much about his haunting past. Maybe it was time for him to at least appreciate the present, that she was safe and sound under his care.
And then, worry about the future later on.
Suddenly, he heard a crackling sound of rocks, somewhere neither as near nor as far. His mako enhanced senses told him that there was something approaching them. No doubt, it was those mannequins. Though it could be worse.
Slowly, careful that he might wake Terra up, Cloud grabbed his huge, silver sword and stood up from the place where they were hiding. He held his weapon on his side, heedful of the enemy's presence.
He surveyed the large landscape in search for the fiend who would attempt to harm them, or her. Then, he heard a laughing noise. It sounded like it was a manipulated one, copied from its original owner, drowning in the endless void of darkness.
It sounded unreal.
But it was existing.
Then, for a split second, it appeared, hovering on top of one big boulder. Cloud looked up as he narrowed his eyes in his frown, ready to attack his opponent anytime. It was a mannequin in a shade of red, with a figure of a clown, hopping jovially at its anticipated victory.
"Ah..." It said, in it's voice that gave a familiar sense of danger. "the smell of inexperience."
"Hmm..." Cloud muttered as he drew his sword out. "guess I have to."
And they dashed towards each other, away from disturbing the sleeping Esper.
He had to protect her.
She's what was left for him in this world.
Terra gasped and her eyes widened, her heart pounding furiously against her chest at the last memory of her dream; Cloud's face, bloodied at the explosion of the Trine, as he fought a hard battle against a powerful Kefka imitation.
She inhaled rapidly, catching up with the beating of her heart. The first thing she saw was her legs, lying on the hard, rocky ground. Then, she saw another pair of legs placed close to hers that belonged to someone else. They were clothed with black jeans she clearly recognized.
Slowly, she looked up, and saw a familiar face resting near her. He was sleeping, just like she was a few seconds ago, and the reason for his exhaustion was obvious in his face.
Blisters and bruises were evident on his tired features, and cuts could be seen, which sourced the blood that stained his pale skin. It was an ordinary status... for someone who had just gone to battle.
Terra gasped again. "Cloud."
She called his name, but received no response.
"Cloud?" She called again, with panic in her voice. But still, he did not reply.
"Cloud!" She cried this time and shook his shoulder, desperate for at least a reaction to her call.
Then, thankfully, he finally opened his eyes, though slowly and weakly, revealing his tired sky-blue eyes that reflected even at the dark place.
"Cloud..." She called again, in small relief. "Wha... what happened?" Terra asked as she examined his whole body. More cuts and bruises were apparent, especially on his bare arms. She held them gently, hoping that she could do something about his wounds.
Did I lose control again?
"Terra..." Cloud replied. "Slept well?"
She looked at him disbelievingly, blue eyes meeting worried, purple ones. She inhaled a sob. His brows creased at the sound of it.
"Don't cry. It's okay now." He soothed, with as much comforting tone in his voice as he can muster.
"I.. I told you to stay..." She sobbed at her words.
"I did stay..." He responded.
"...safe." She finished her sentence.
Cloud chuckled. "I did. I won the fight."
"But... you're hurt!"
Terra frowned. It's not nothing, it couldn't be nothing!
"Why did you fight?" She asked demandingly, though mildly, not letting go of her gaze from his.
But he only stared back at her, with sad look in his eyes.
Suddenly, he extended his arms to her, and wrapped Terra in them. His hands, gently stroking her green hair, comforting her from the sad sight she saw of him the moment she woke up.
Terra, who was startled at his unforseen movement, felt her stiffened self involuntarily move closer to him as he softly he pulled her inward. Then, almost automatically, she buried her head against his chest, as if clinging to any sign of comfort from it. For some rationale she couldn't explain, Terra felt warm and safe with him, as he gently and protectively held her still in his embrace.
She closed her eyes, grateful that he was safe for now, at least, and survived whatever battle he had while she was sleeping. She held out her own arms and clemently grabbed his purple shirt from his back.
"Please, don't do it again." She pleaded in a whisper.
Cloud's eyelids slowly dropped down as he reassuringly stroked her hair once more.
"Please, make it real this time."
A/N: Ah! no fluffiness! Please don't kill me! *shields self with her arms*