Author's Note: I don't own FF7, though I wish I would.

Dedication: None.

To Be With You

Cloud Strife  awoke when the first rays of sunlight shone through the opened curtain and into his face. He groaned and pulled the covers over his head, wondering why his head hurt so much. Then the memory struck him. Lots of whisky, lots of tears and a huge fight were the reason for his throbbing head. A fight…with whom? With Tifa, the blonde now remembered. He remembered the harsh words she had flung at him…

"The only thing you can think of is Aeris, dammit, and she is dead!"

And he also remembered his nasty reply…

"Why do you care, anyway? The only thing you care for is yourself!"

…and tears welling up in beautiful ruby colored eyes…

"That not true…."

…followed by another, mean reply of him…

"Oh, and how could I know that? The only thing you do is working in that bar! You never show love for anyone!"

"Cloud, how…how can you say that? I do show love! I love you!"

"No, you don't. You just think that you love me, but you don't. You don't even know me!"

…and, finally, the noise of running feet, the noise of Tifa running away from his house. From him. Cloud sighed and sat upright, knowing that what he had said to the beautiful brunette had been wrong and evil. He sighed once more and reached for the phone, ready to call Tifa and apologize. Then, he realized that a simple phone call wouldn't be enough. Cloud climbed out of the bed and started to get dressed.

Tifa sat on her bed, staring off into nothingness. The fight she had had with Cloud the night before repeated itself in her mind over and over again. She had confessed her love to him, and what had he done? He had rejected her. In the worst way possible. Accusing her of not knowing him, of not loving him. She knew what she felt! Tears welled up in Tifas eyes, tears that she had thought couldn't exist anymore, tears that were shed hours before. The brunette threw herself on the bed, burying her face in her pillow, and started to sob heart-wrenching. She didn't hear how the door opened.

"Tifa?" Cloud called out. "Tifa, are you home?" No response. Cloud walked over to the closed door of Tifas bedroom and knocked.

"Tifa, are you here?"

"Go away." Came the muffled reply. Cloud let out a little sigh and spoke to the closed door.

"I'm sorry for what I said yesterday. It was mean and…not true." Silence. Encouraged from the fact that Tifa didn't open the door and break his nose, Cloud talked on.

"I never meant to hurt you, Tifa. I understand if you don't want to see me again, but I want you to know…that I feel the same thing you feel for me." Finally, the door opened, revealing Tifas tired face.

"Do you mean that?" she asked after looking at Cloud for a few moments. The blonde mercenary nodded, looking down on his boots.

"Then why were you so mean to me yesterday?" Tifa suddenly screamed at him, causing him to flinch. "Why did you say all those things? Do you have any idea how much you hurt me?!" Cloud looked down on the floor again, and when he spoke, his voice was hoarse with emotion.

"Because I didn't want you to get too close to me. You have to understand, Tifa, I just don't want to get hurt…" The hard expression in Tifas eyes vanished, only to be replaced with a soft one. She gently laid one hand on Clouds cheek, making him look at her.

"I would never hurt you, Cloud." Tifa whispered, tears streaming down her cheeks. And she saw that the eyes of her blonde friend were also glistening with tears. "I…I just want…to be with you…" she then softly spoke. Cloud gently took her hand into his before he pulled her close to him. "I want to be with you, too." He whispered softly. Tifa looked up at him, happiness shining from her eyes, and they sank into a long, gentle kiss.