If she were truly honest, he thought, she would say that toy is her favorite. Not that she had any other toys in her possession, as far as he knew. Of course, if he were truly honest as well, he would be forced to say that the toy was his favorite as well – just for different reasons.

But when he watched her slide her fingers into her mouth after getting herself off, as if she were a judge at a cooking show sampling a well-rounded jelly, he had to admit it beat the toy. By miles. Goodness knew, there was nothing like good, old fashioned, organic masturbation. However, he would have rather died than admit that to her – she wasn't supposed to know that he knew that she got herself off on a regular basis.

It all began one humid night so hot that it felt as though the air boiled. He was restless in his room, unable to settle down. He had paced the room for hours, laid on the bed with his hands behind his head and solved multiple math problems, listened to "sleepy music" (according to Marlene), all to no avail. That's when he heard her.

There were no deep moans, groans or screams, like there were in the movies. Tifa's were light – like fluff from a pillow, he thought – and came in short, gasping breaths. Occasionally, the rhythmic breaths were punctuated by a needy, short but very sweet cry. At first, he hadn't been sure what he was hearing. He put his ear against the wall between their rooms and listened for several long minutes before he decided she was doing what he imagined her doing. At that moment, he had experienced a searing surge of jealousy – who is in there helping her make such noises? He had thought.

Cloud had crept out of his room that night and crawled as silently as he could into the attic. He had crawled over her room and discovered a convenient crack in the floor of the attic. Cloud remembered having promised Tifa a while back to repair the crack in her ceiling, but the sight that greeted him made him swear to himself that he would never commit such a blasphemy.

Though he had to lay his head down on the floor and crane his neck to his right in an uncomfortable position, he could clearly see her on her bed. To his relief, there was not another man in the room with her, just herself. A thin sheet covered her, and both hands working at the place between her legs. Tifa's eyes were half-closed, her legs were spread wide under the sheet and she was lifting her hips off the mattress. Her mouth was open– begging to be deeply kissed, he thought – though no noises came out.

She had been – very noisy – on the loud side earlier, but at the moment of her orgasm, he noticed how silent she was. The thought barely registered in his now arousal-muddled brain, but all he could think was how stunning her orgasmic face looked. He had to clench his legs closed and stave off an erection at the sight and sound of her coming.

The first time he watched her, after she came off her peak, he watched her body go absolutely limp. Then…and then…his lips parted in shock as she drew out an oddly shaped, bright orange toy from underneath the sheets.

For days afterward, he contemplated the implications of the toy and Tifa. Gentle, soft-spoken, protective, motherly, no-nonsense Tifa? The fact that Marlene and Denzel slept in the room directly across from hers only seemed to complicate his thoughts, contrasting his new image of her with a picture of her cuddling both children in her lap. Clearly, he had never imagined his best friend to be a sexual creature, though, in retrospect, the realization was quite a Duh! moment.

He soon learned her pattern – after a particularly stressful, long evening of working the bar, he could count on her cadenced pants about half an hour after the bar closed. He also learned to wait in the attic for her. One half of his mind waited impatiently for her to begin; the other half was absolutely repulsed by his behavior.

Cloud spent a great deal of energy covering up his newly found habit. Oh, he certainly never told her that he watched, but there was something in the way she talked to him at the breakfast table, before the kids woke up, that told him that she might – or might not – know.

But he dared not ask if she knew. This was his best friend in question here – the one with whom all his secrets, all his history, all his personality oddities were absolutely safe. But there was just something different about admitting that he watched, enjoyed and even competed with her self-ministrations.

One evening, she didn't wear the sheet.

She had been particularly tired that night. After she kissed Marlene and Denzel good night, she came to bid Cloud good night.

He was sitting at his desk, recording information from the receipts of his delivery service in a ledger. He watched her enter his room – never any locked doors where she is concerned – and lean over to give him his good night hug.

"Sleep well," she whispered with a smile. He smiled back, but didn't answer. He didn't, usually.

Cloud watched her shut the door behind her and heard her open the door to her own. The shower started a moment later. Now, he thought.

Cloud muffled the noise of his footsteps and avoided the creaking floor boards and entered the attic. Lying down next to the crack in the floor of the attic, he waited on his back, hands behind his head, for her to approach the bed. He didn't have to wait long.

He heard Tifa quietly close the door to her bathroom and rolled over onto his stomach to look –

- she's always been beautiful, but she's more beautiful without her clothes on, one half of Cloud's mind said.

She's your best friend. Best friends don't look at each other like this, said the other half.

Looking never harmed anyone, the first half argued.

Maybe not, but this means you're a pervert, doesn't it? Said the second half –

- and she was perfectly naked, walking about her bedroom as freely as she might fully clothed in the rest of her home.

Gaia, she's beautiful.

She scooted herself on her belly headfirst into the bed, underneath the covers. After several delicious moments of wriggling about between the sheets, of sighing into the pillows, she flipped onto her back and placed her feet flat against the headboard– wait, that's not right. I can't see!

Tifa tossed the sheets off the bed and stretched herself languorously, then reached for the drawer in the nightstand that contained The Toy. Oh, gods, yes, yes, YES.

She did not lubricate the toy as she had done so many times before. No, this time, she dragged it lightly along the inside of her slit– at least, that's what I think she's doing. I can't see! Why is she turned away from me?

She began the vibration on the toy while it was still against her. Tifa's hips lurched in response to the sudden stimulation and she cried out sharply, tossing her head to the side. She trailed a hand from her thigh, up her stomach and to her left breast.

"…me," Cloud heard the tail end of her whisper. He pressed his ear more tightly to the crack in the floor. She squeezed her breast and her thumb lightly played with her nipple.

"Take me," he heard her whisper more clearly.

For a moment, Cloud was blindingly jealous of the toy in Tifa's hand. He frowned at the thought of the toy replacing him – but we don't have that sort of relationship, do we? – but who would he be to stop her now?

He watched her trail the toy lower and lower until – oh gods – the toy began to vanish from his view, her hand along with it. Tifa's legs closed tightly together with the toy inside and her moan was long, strangled and hoarse.

Now Cloud began their game – though she certainly didn't know that she was part of any type of game, and probably would not have consented to being part of it if he had asked her permission. He reached into his loosely fitting sleep pants, took himself in hand and waited until she began pulling and pushing the toy in and out of herself.

Then – Gaia, I'm going to hell for this – he began stroking in time to her motions.

This may be my favorite part of her routine, Cloud thought, his eyes riveted on her entire body. He watched her increase the depth of the toy's thrusts, pushing the thickest and most quickly vibrating portion hard against the peak of the junction betwixt her thighs. He imagined himself in place of the toy –

- no, cannot go there. Not the way things are…but…to have her closing around me, pushing further and further into her, feeling her perspiration rising on her breasts, face, lips touching

- and stroked harder, making sure to give the sharp divot on the bottom side of the his cock extra attention with the hard groove of his fingers, all lined up in a row.

Now Tifa's moans became louder. She's reaching her climax more quickly than she usually does.

"Don't stop, please! Don't stop, don't stop, don't stop dontstopdontstop…" her words melted together.

Almighty Gaia.

Cloud was close. He squeezed his hand, stroked faster and harder. He touched the tiny hole on the head and made tiny circles around it with just one finger.

Tifa was close, too. Her hips bucked, her thighs and calves contracted and she pushed into the toy hard. Tifa's keening cry shattered Cloud's last reserve and he came in his hand while he stroked himself furiously.

She finished first. Again, Cloud thought, though the thought filled him with pleasure.

Their sighs of satisfaction, though a floor apart, might have been easily heard by one another had they been paying close enough attention. He watched as Tifa slowly withdrew the toy and as strings of her essence draped and broke.

I'm going to hell tonight, he thought to himself. He cast one sidelong look through the crack in the floor at Tifa and her spread legs, still facing the headboard.

For some inexplicable reason, he wanted her to know that he dreamed of her, fantasized about her and wanted to be the one inside her. He wondered what would happen if he simply told her about his spying and eavesdropping on her, which had been going on for a few months by now. Would she still want him around? What would she think of him if she knew?

What are the odds that she already knows? Sometimes I think she already knows and other times, I can't bear the thought of her knowing. Should I just find out? Cloud tried to weigh each of decisions while the post-sensual haze had settled on his brain. More than anything else, he needed sleep, but his thoughts nagged at him.

He quietly came out of the attic and walked on the balls of his feet down the hallway, almost passing her room.

I just have to know.

He turned to face her closed door and curled his fingers, poised to knock.

I can't sleep not knowing. If she doesn't know and I ask her about it now and she doesn't like it, I'll probably be finding a new place to live in the morning, he thought.

He raised his hand and rested his fingers against the door. But if she does know…hell, what have I got to lose?

Well, you have your best friend to lose, said the mutinous other half of his brain, but by then, it was too late. Cloud had already knocked and he heard Tifa rising up out of bed, the floorboards creaking, the old handle turning and finally, the door squeaking on its hinges.

As soon as he saw her face, his question was answered. Naked, Tifa stood with one hand leaned against the doorframe, one ankle crossed over the other in a cocky stance. She looked at him squarely in the eye with a delighted smirk on her face. She was still panting and her warm body silk dripped down her inner thighs.

In a gentle tone, she said, "Took ya long enough."