Fipp: I've had this idea for a while, but never had any initiative to write it until I saw the scene in 'Advent Children Complete' where Marlene imitates Barret.

Not Always Prepared

Barret Wallace didn't really consider himself a brave man (except the times where he was being an general badass!).

He had led AVALANCE, partaken in a journey that led to him the center of the Planet where he fought a would be-god from crashing Meteor into said Planet, battled a giant dragon two years later, and helped take on an entire army the next year.

So, yeah, there was very little that could worry Barret.

But all those challenges, all those battles, all the spilled blood and shed sweat could in no way prepare him for what was happening to him now.

"Pour me another Tifa," Barret said from where it sat in his folded arm.

"Are you okay Barret?" Tifa asked, cleaning another glass before going to prepare her friend another drink.

"Nah," Barret grumbled and peeked his eyes from his arm. "It's just gone all wrong."

Raised eyebrow. "What's gone wrong?"

"I think I'm a bad person."

"Huh?"

"I mean, I must be really bad, or have done something . . ."

"Barret, what are you talking about?"

"I was talking to Marlene earlier,"

"Okay." Tifa had spent years bartending. She was basically a trained therapist, except, she didn't get paid one-hundred dollars an hour to listen to peoples' problems.

"And I suggested that we go see this movie that I know she wanted to see."

She already had an idea what Barret was about to say.

"B-But, she said that she didn't want to see it with me. She said she'd rather see it with her friends. She hates me."

Tifa offered a reassuring smile and patted Barret on the head. "She doesn't hate you. She's just growing up. It's natural for all girls when they grow-up to not want to be seen with their parents."

"No. It's me. I think it's 'cause of my hand. It shoots bullets. I'm horrible."

Tifa gave him his drink. "It's not your hand, and it's certainly not you."

"Why does she got to grow up? Shelke don't grow."

"Well, Shelke's a special case."

"I still think she hates me."

"Shelke?"

"Marlene." Barret thought for a moment. "Though, I think Shelke hates me too."

"Let's handle on problem at a time."

"A'right. We'll stick with Marlene first."

"Right."

"And why she hates me."

Tifa sighed in annoyance. "Barret, stop worrying about her. It's just a phase."

. . .

"I thought of something else."

"Barret, we-"

"She said she's gonna go on a date with someone."

"Really? I didn't know that." Tifa did know that. She was the first person to be informed about it. "With who?"

"Some boy," Barret cringed when he said the last word. "Worse than geostigma."

"You don't mean that."

Barret grumbled to himself.

"I'm gonna have to shoot him, ain't I?"

"Barret, we've talked about this before; No shooting any potential boyfriends Marlene may have in the future."

"Right," . . . "What if-?"

"No. Under no conditions are you too shoot anybody."

Barret grumbled to himself and stood up from his seat and walked to the door."

"Where are you going?"

"If I can't shoot at Marlene's boyfriends, I'mma gonna at least shoot at Cloud!" He barged through the door. "Yo Spiky! Get your ass over here!"

The moment the door shut, she heard bullets being fired, bullets being deflected off swords, someone protesting about being shot at, and yelling to 'Stop being a whiny bitch!'.

Tifa sighed to herself and continued to work on this perfectly average day and mused on something;

While Barret could handle almost anything, the prospect of his daughter growing up totally unnerved him.