"This room," Cloud mused out loud, one hand stroking back the wild black-feathered crest of the chocobo resting it's head on his belly as he reclined on the bed that Tifa considered 'his' in a little room above Seventh Heaven, "seems a lot smaller than the last time I was here."
"Kweh…" The chocobo replied, tilting his head to get Cloud to dig his fingers in there and really scratch. None of this petting garbage for him! As long as he could fit through the door, the black chocobo really had no opinion on room sizes.
"Yes, yes, that is a side effect of having your massive feathery butt in here, but seriously…did Tifa put in a wall or something?" Obligingly, the chocobo lifted his head, glancing around the room briefly before dropping it back into place. He warked dismissively – why was this an issue, again?
Cloud, now frowning, worked his fingers down into the fuzzy gray down under the chocobo's feathers, scratching firmly, "You might not care, but…"
"Cloud. You're talking to the chocobo again," Tifa, leaning against the door frame, watched Cloud roll his head over to look at her, concerned. Ever since he'd shown up with that massive beast, he'd been…a little odd. More than normal, at least.
Admittedly, the change seemed… positive. A little friendlier, a little more willing to socialize, and the kids absolutely loved the bird too. But he was also talking to that bird like it could answer back, and attributing all sort s of bizarre abilities to it. Like sabotaging his motorcycle – Cid didn't know how that many feathers could have ended up in the engine, but saying that a chocobo was capable of getting 12 ounces of down in with a sealed piston?
Cloud shrugged from his place on the bed, "I know, I know. What's going on?" The chocobo was watching her now, too, with those laughing blue eyes that made her frown from their familiarity, planted in a chocobo face or not.
As far as Tifa was concerned, the most worrisome part of this whole chocobo situation was that Cloud might be right about the damn bird.
She sighed, "You've got a delivery, and Cid is still swearing over your bike. You'll have to take Z…" She froze, her mouth slamming shut, her teeth clicking together hard enough to be audible as she bit back the rest of that involuntary word. Where had that name come from? Why in the world would she…
But Cloud was smiling at her, though he was trying to hide it, and the chocobo was on his feet, looking back and forth between Tifa and Cloud and warking insistently, almost desperately. This continued on for a few moments, Tifa frozen, Cloud pretending obliviousness, and the chocobo growing increasingly frantic. Finally, the chocobo stopped, flaring his wings and dropping in an oddly human sigh. Then, balancing on one clawed foot, he lifted the other and made a very, very clear rude gesture at the blonde on the bed.
Then he flounced out of the room, gently pushing Tifa out of the way – he got stuck for a moment, put in a fit of scrabbling claws and flapping wings, got himself free – and marched downstairs in a cloud of wounded feathery dignity.
Tifa, holding on to the wall in the wake of this revelation, looked back at Cloud, who was still smiling, "What…that's really him? A chocobo? Really?"
Smoothly rolling off the bed and beginning to collect the small armory he considered a sword, Cloud shrugged again, "I know, I know. I'm clueless about the how and the why of it, but I think it's pretty funny."
Tifa flailed one hand wildly, still not dealing with this well, "What was that whole…thing he was doing?"
Cloud rolled his shoulders, letting the leather of the sword harness settle properly, "Oh, that. Well, I know who he is, and he knows I know who he is, but pretending I don't is entertaining for me and frustrating for him." He stepped around Tifa and started down the stairs, calling back, "And I need to get back at him somehow for propositioning me with a zeio nut."
"…What? What! Cloud, what are you talking about?"