Author's Note: Guys, it's the end! I'm very sad it's over, but I'm happy with how it turned out. If anyone would like to see a sequel and has some suggestions, leave a review or send me a message. I have an idea for a sequel, but nothing firm. :D Anyway, thanks for reading my first chaptered fic and the reviews and support made this a fun experience! Thanks guys! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I own nothing, I am paid nothing, but I enjoy playing with FFVII's characters! :D
Tifa looked up when she heard the front door of the bar open and smiled when a familiar red head entered. He smiled when he saw her looking at him as he closed the door.
"Hey babe! What's shakin'?" Reno asked as he made his way over to the bar.
"Not much," Tifa asked with a smile. "How are you?"
He grimaced as he hopped up onto the bar and looked down at her. "Looking for a job really sucks, Teef. Does Spiky need an extra hand?"
Tifa laughed softly. "I think you two would kill each other after a few hours together."
Reno smirked and nodded. "Yeah, probably. How about you? You got any job openings?"
"Well, I could do with a bar back," she said before smiling. "But it involves handling all my booze and I just don't trust you with that."
He covered his heart in mock desperation. "Babe, I'm hurt."
"Aw, did I hurt your feelings?" she asked with a smile.
He nodded with a wicked grin curling around his lips. "I think you should kiss me and make it all better."
"Okay, but didn't Loz already threaten to rearrange your face if you kissed me? And he is a Picasso sort of artist," Tifa said sweetly.
"Damn, totally not worth it," Reno said as he cleared his throat.
"Hey why don't you ask Jake for a job?" Tifa asked seriously.
Reno dropped the joking as well. "I could do that. Do you think Rufus will let him hire me?"
Tifa rolled her eyes. "Rufus doesn't own the world, no matter how much he may want to."
"I got off lightly, Teef," Reno pointed out. "The old Rufus would have had me killed for what I did."
"That's the thing," Tifa said. "You didn't do anything wrong. They were going to kill Cloud and Loz in a vain attempt to stop Sephiroth. You did the right thing in trying to give us as much of a head start as possible."
"I'm glad someone appreciates my efforts," Reno said with a smile. "So how is everything going between you and Sideburns? Are we going to hear any wedding bells soon or what babe?"
Tifa laughed and shook her head. "Seriously Reno? Loz and I are taking this slow. We're just having fun and for now that's enough."
"And Spiky? What's he think about all this?" Reno asked.
"Cloud is actually picking up Fenrir right now from Loz," she said with a smile.
Reno raised his eyebrows in surprise. "Really? He willingly let Sideburns touch his bike? They've come a long way."
Cloud stepped into the workshop and immediately spotted Loz at the back. "Hey, Loz."
Loz looked up and smiled. "So, what do you think?"
Cloud smiled slightly. "I like it. I don't know what you did to the engine but it sounds brand new."
"You just have to show it some love," Loz said with a shrug. "A good cleaning doesn't hurt either. I think when I tuned it I was able to get you a little more torque out of those pistons."
"Well, it's great, whatever you did," Cloud said. He looked over Loz's shoulder and smiled slightly. "Is that it?"
Loz looked over his shoulder too and smiled as he looked at Tifa's old bike. "Yeah. It's pretty kickass too."
"Tifa won't even recognize it," Cloud said as he stepped closer and examined the now blue, almost black bike.
"Do you think she'll like it?" Loz asked nervously.
"Are you kidding?" Cloud asked. "She'll love it."
"I hope so," Loz said with a sigh.
Cloud turned and looked at him. "You once asked me if I could ever forgive you and I said maybe one day."
Loz nodded and leaned on the edge of his worktable. "I remember that."
Cloud nodded and held out his hand. "I think that day is here." He waited for a moment as Loz looked at his outstretched hand. Cloud smirked slightly before saying, "Isn't this how regular people seal a deal?"
Loz smirked at Cloud asking him the same question he had once posed to Cloud. He reached out and shook his hand. "I promise I won't let you down, Cloud."
"You better not," Cloud said seriously. "I still love Tifa and I always will so you better not hurt her or we'll have problems."
"If I hurt her, you'll have to wait in line to kick my ass," Loz said dryly. "Right behind Marlene. She is very much like her father."
Cloud nodded and smirked. "That she is. Are you almost done?"
Loz pushed away from the table and nodded. "Yeah, I'm just about to turn it on and see if I have to do anymore tuning. Did you give Jake the money?"
Cloud nodded. "As soon as it's up to your standards, we can go."
Loz straddled the bike and turned the key. He smiled and looked at Cloud who smiled as well. Loz revved the engine, listening for any sound that was out of place. He finally cut the engine and looked up at Cloud.
"Sounds good to me," Loz said with a smile.
"Then let's go," Cloud said.
Reno was putting the chairs on the floor in Seventh Heaven when Cloud and Loz walked in. Reno smirked when he saw them smiling and Loz was even laughing.
"Aw you two as such a cute couple," Reno said as he made kissing sounds.
"Shouldn't you be looking for a job?" Cloud asked pointedly.
"I'm trying to convince Tifa to hire me as her bar back," Reno said with a wink.
Cloud's eyes widened slightly. "Tifa! You're not seriously considering hiring this walking hormone as a bar back are you?"
Tifa appeared in the doorway and smiled as she walked over to Reno before putting her arm around him. "Well, he's kinda cute and he always pays me lots of compliments…it's kinda nice!"
Loz and Cloud looked at each other and each raised an eyebrow before turning their glares on Reno.
"Yikes! If looks could kill I would have just been drawn and quartered babe!" Reno said. "I'm just helping out since I have no life anymore. Besides, you two were late and I didn't want to miss out on our surprise, yo!"
Tifa quirked an eyebrow and looked at all three men. "Surprise? What surprise?"
"Well, we all thought that between the three of us, we had put you through enough to justify killing each of us a hundred times over," Cloud said. "So we got you something."
"Really?" she asked in surprise.
"Yeah, it's outside," Loz said with a smile.
Tifa followed the guys outside and gasped when she saw a brand new motorbike in front of the bar. "This is…the most beautiful bike I have ever seen!"
"Thanks," Loz said with a smile. "I made it for you."
She looked up at him and smiled in surprise. "You made it?"
He nodded. "It's your old bike."
"What? But I sold it to Jake," she said.
"And we bought it," Reno said.
"So we could give it to you," Cloud said. He looked at the other two guys before looking at Tifa's stunned face. "I've been a mopey, self-centered jerk for so long and you never left me Tifa."
"And I nearly destroyed you in a church, kidnapped Marlene, help turn Denzel into a mindless zombie, and killed Cloud," Loz said. "Yet, you saw past all that to see what I could be in this life."
"And I tried to kill you," Reno said. "Never mind dropping the plate in Sector Seven. And you still talk to me and treat me like a friend. So you deserve a token of our appreciation for what you do for all of us."
Tifa brushed the tear that had fallen onto her cheek away before hugging and kissing Cloud, Loz, and Reno.
"You guys are amazing and I love you all!" Tifa said before approaching her bike. She gently ran her hand over the fender and along the handlebar.
"Reno and I can look after the bar tonight, Tifa," Cloud said. "You and Loz should go for a ride."
"But neither of you can tend bar," Tifa said.
"I talked to a bartender who does all the Shinra get togethers and he agreed to come in for the night," Reno said with a smile. "And don't worry, Rufus okayed it. I told you he's really not that bad."
Tifa relented and happily took the keys from Loz. She inserted them into the ignition and started the engine. She looked up and smiled at Loz. "It hasn't sounded this good in a long time. Hop on and lets see what this bad boy can do."
Reno and Cloud watched Tifa and Loz take off on the bike. Cloud went back into the bar once the pair was out of sight.
"Still hurts to see him with her like that?" Reno asked as he locked the door behind him.
Cloud shook his head. "No, but I still wonder how I never noticed just how special she was. I'm happy for her."
"Tifa being off the market is a loss to men everywhere," Reno joked. But then he became serious. "She's a great gal and she is the first woman I have ever been just happy to have as a friend."
Cloud nodded. "She really is one of a kind."
"Sideburns really loves her though," Reno said as he sat beside Cloud on the stools in front of the bar.
"Yeah," Cloud said thoughtfully. He leaned over and grabbed two shot glasses and a bottle of whisky. He poured two shots and handed one to Reno before lifting his own glass. "To the woman we loved, but lost because deep down, we're pussies."
Reno smirked and touched his glass to Cloud's. "I'll drink to that, yo."
Tifa cut the engine and waited for Loz to dismount before doing so herself. She smiled up at the man who had once terrified her. He smiled back at her as he gently placed his hands on her hips and pulled her closer to him. His skin and eyes glowed from the light of the trees surrounding the Forgotten City. His eyes were her favorite feature now. After the mako had faded, they had permanently returned to the pale color they had been when he was just a remnant, but his pupils were still round. And there was a warmth in them that made Tifa melt because it was a loving warmth…love he felt for her.
"You guys are really sweet," she said with a smile.
"You make us that way," he assured her.
"I'm glad you came back," she whispered as she rested her head on his shoulder.
"Me too," he said. He shifted slightly and drew her over to the lake. He lowered himself to the ground and she did the same. He looked at her nervously. "So, I was wondering something."
She looked up at him and nodded. "Yeah?"
"Yeah," he said. "Would you like to help me look for a new apartment?"
She frowned and looked up at him. "Why? I thought you liked being close to work."
He shrugged. "I do. But it's kind of a small. I was hoping to find maybe a three-bedroom place. You know, enough room for me and another adult, maybe a little girl and a little boy?"
Her confused frown melted into a smile. "Are you asking me to move in with you?"
He shrugged as he looked across the lake. "Maybe." He turned and looked down at her. "Is it too soon?"
Tifa shook her head. "No. But I thought you liked having a place for just yourself."
"Well, I was thinking about it the other day," he said. "We have a routine. I go to work, come over to your place and eat with you and the kids, you work and I hang out until closing. Then we go upstairs and play, which is my favorite part of the day, by the way, and then the next day I go back to work and the cycle starts again. I really only go home to change my clothes, so I figured, maybe, we could just live together and I didn't think Cloud would be excited to be living with us. I mean, he seems to be starting to like me and I don't want to wreck it."
Tifa thought for a moment. "How about you move in with me and we'll see if Cloud wants to move into your place? Cloud is rarely home with his deliveries and he has the office at Seventh Heaven so he can still see the kids whenever he wants."
Loz smiled and nodded. "I like the sounds of that."
Tifa snuggled closer to him and smiled. "I love you."
"I love you too," he said as he kissed the top of her head.
They sat there beside the lake just enjoying the silence they shared. As Loz looked across the lake, he saw Yazoo and Kadaj leaning against the trees.
Enjoy living, Loz, Yazoo said with a smile.
You've earned this, Kadaj added before both brothers pushed away from the trees and walked towards the increasingly bright light behind them.
Yazoo stopped and faced Loz once more with a teasing smirk. Oh, and don't cry anymore, Loz.
Loz smirked as they disappeared from sight. He turned and looked down at Tifa and she just smiled up at him contentedly. He rested his cheek on the top of her head and sighed happily. No more crying, Yazoo. I promise, Loz thought to himself, excited to see what his future had in store for him.