Oh my gosh, my first fan fiction is finally being published! And it's FF7! I feel kinda proud of myself! XD
But anyway, I'll cut to the chase so we can move along.
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy 7 or any of the characters that appear in this story. All rights go to SQUARE ENIX and Tetsuya Nomura, the characters' designer.
Anyway, hope you enjoy!
It was the end of a typical work day in Edge at the 7th Heaven Bar, and Tifa Lockhart had just finished closing up shop for the day. She walked through the dining area of the small bar, picking up leftover plates and beer glasses and taking them to the kitchen to be washed. As she loaded the dirty dishes into the sink, she heard the muffled sounds of Denzel and Marlene outside, happily playing and enjoying themselves. It was a sound that Tifa heard everyday, and yet it seemed like one of the most pleasant sounds in the world to her.
As she finished up the last of the dishes, she heard another wonderful sound; the sound of a motorcycle pulling up out front, as well as the muffled but happy cries of Marlene and Denzel. She turned around to see Marlene fly through the door and into the kitchen, Denzel following quickly behind her.
"Tifa, Tifa, Cloud's home!" the girl announced happily, as the blonde ex-mercenary walked into the bar.
"Welcome home Cloud, how'd the deliveries go today?" asked Tifa, flashing him a warm smile as he walked in.
Cloud sat down in one of the stools at the bar across from her as she dried off the last of the dishes. She smiled as the kids eagerly found seats next to him, ready to hear just where he had gone to today.
"They were alright. I had to go all the way to Kalm to get some gun parts to Barret-"
"You saw Daddy?" asked Marlene excitedly, her already wide smile growing wider at the sound of her adopted father's name.
"Yep, and he wanted to say hi to you and Denzel. You make sure to give him a call," Cloud answered, with the smallest of smiles on his face.
"I'm gonna call him right now! C,mon Denzel!" Marlene shouted as she got off her stool and ran up the stairs to the phone, dragging Denzel behind her. Cloud still had the smile on his face as he watched the two leave.
Tifa had noticed that lately Cloud had begun to smile more often than he used to. They were always very small smiles; you could hardly notice them at times. But it was a good sign to Tifa. A sign that Cloud was finally starting to let go of the rough patches in his past, and that his heart had begun to mend. It made Tifa happy to know that her childhood friend, who she had grown to love dearly, was starting to become his old self again. Of course, Cloud didn't know that she had fallen for him, but she was perfectly alright with keeping it that way, if it meant that she could stay by his side. She couldn't help but watch Cloud, as his attention had been focused on the two kids as they ran upstairs, that tiny smile still on his face. Unbeknownst to her, she began to look over his handsome features, from his stoic, slightly angular face, to the his muscular arms and shoulders. She was so busy studying him, that she almost didn't realize that Cloud had noticed her staring.
"What?" he asked, his bright sky-blue eyes now focused on her.
Tifa looked away sheepishly, turning her face away so he couldn't see the bright red blush that now flushed her cheeks.
"Oh nothing, I was just spacing out. Long day today," she laughed as she tried to suppress the pounding in her chest, and the burning blush on her face.
She stole a glance back at him, to find that he was no longer sitting at the bar, but coming around into the kitchen. He came right up to her and, to Tifa's surprise, took off one his leather gloves, and placed his hand to her forehead.
"You sure you're alright?" he asked, a hint of concern leaking from his voice, "You're face is red. You don't have a fever do you?"
Tifa, trying to compose herself, took his hand away and gave him her best smile.
"It's alright Cloud I'm fine. I told you it's been a long day. The bar was really busy today."
Cloud looked her over for a moment, then replied, "Then...maybe you need some time off."
Tifa was about to reply when the kids came running back downstairs and into the kitchen.
"Hey Cloud, where else did you go today?" asked Denzel, clearly eager to hear more about Cloud's day.
"Well actually, I had to deliver some paperwork to Reeve Tuesti on the way back and he gave me something. You two sit down at the bar will you?"
The two eagerly complied, and immediately jumped into a bar stool across from Tifa and Cloud. Cloud then reached into his pocket and pulled out four slips of paper, handing two of them to Marlene and Denzel, and another to Tifa. Tifa examined the slip of paper in her hand. It was a LIfetime Pass to the Gold Saucer, a place they had visited on their journey three years ago. Marlene and Denzel's faces immediately brightened when they looked over the tickets.
"Wow, Gold Saucer! I wanna go!" exclaimed Marlene excitedly.
"Cloud, how did you get these?" asked Denzel, the same excitement plastered all over his face.
"It told you, Reeve gave them to me. And I thought you guys would want to go for the weekend," Cloud explained.
The kids happily agreed to go and Cloud then looked over at Tifa.
"How about it Tifa, you wanna go? We could all use a vacation I think."
Tifa wasn't quite sure what to say; it had been such a long time since they had last gone on an outing as a family. And the idea of going on vacation for a few days really sounded nice to Tifa. Plus, it would give her the chance to spend more time with Cloud and the kids.
Tifa smiled and said, "That sounds like a great idea. I think we should go."
The kids cheered happily, and soon they were both running back upstairs to their rooms to start packing for the trip.
"Wow, I had no idea the Gold Saucer was even still open."
"I'm glad you wanted to go Tifa."
Tifa looked up at Cloud, a bit surprised at his remark.
"Of course Cloud, why wouldn't I want to go on a family vacation?" Tifa replied. "So what brought this on exactly? You've never been the type to plan family trips."
"Well, I just figured that you've been working so hard lately, and I've been doing a lot of work too with the delivery business. And I figured that since we don't get to spend much time together as a...a family...I figured that this would be a good thing for us. We can both take some time off of work...and try and have some fun," Cloud shyly replied.
Tifa wasn't sure what to say, since this was the first time Cloud had even suggested planning a trip for them. But this was a good thing, because now she knew that he definitely wanted their family life to work, and definitely wanted to be more involved with her and the kids.
After a moment of silence between the two of them, Tifa smiled and said, "Alright Cloud, so when do we leave?"
Right, well that's the end of Chapter 1! I hope you guys enjoyed reading it.
So anyway, if anyone liked this story, please comment/fav. I want to know the opinions of anyone who reads this, so please don't be shy. But if you do have to flame, please keep t to a minimum. Thanks a bunch! :D