Combat Diary Prologue

By EmperorSteele

NOTE: This story is not related to any of my other fanfics, nor those of any other people. All FF7 Characters Tm and Copyright SQUARE. All other characters... well, I guess they're mine!

Cloud looked worried. And because of that, his long-time companion and dear friend Tifa felt a sense of dread as well. There stood a man who had faced off against a madman with the power of a god and won, a man who mastered any challenge, no matter what. So for Cloud to seem worried was a reason to have pause indeed...

"Tifa..." Cloud started, "What'll we do...?"

Tifa stood her ground, surveying the situation. It looked like the odds were impossibly stacked against them. It was as though Sephiroth had succeeded in becoming a God and began to mock the two life-long friends. But they knew better.

"Let's start.... HERE!" Tifa immediately sprang into action, choosing her target. Cloud detected her course of action...

"NO WAIT!" he tried, but to no avail. Tifa soon paid the price for her folly...

...As a pile of boxes tumbled down upon her, spilling potions, accessories, and other trinkets all over the place.

"Tifa, that box was holding all the others in place!" Cloud said complainingly. Tifa muttered some profane word which was incomprehensible under all those boxes.

All those boxes. After AVALANCHE's adventures, Cloud packed up most of the items they had acquired and threw them into the basement of his Villa in Costa Del Sol. However, everything was packed randomly and was in a rather disorganized state. Cloud knew he had to sort through everything sooner or later, and the onset of Spring seemed the perfect time for, well... spring cleaning.

Tifa had agreed to help her friend and came from her home in Corel to do just that. Barret declined, saying something about having just one hand not being very helpful for packing and unpacking boxes. However, Tifa still had no idea they had accumulated so much... junk. What good were 90-odd megaelixers without the threat of any WEAPONs or Power-mad god-wannabe's? It didn't seem like a lot when the team was traveling around the world, caring just what they needed, leaving the rest in their buggy or the Highwind. But now, stored in dozens of boxes inside a cramp, hot basement in Costa Del Sol?

Tifa sighed. Cloud had finally managed to unbury her from the entrapping boxes, but she didn't feel any better about the fact that now HiPotions, Ability Sources, and Phoenix Downs were spilled all over the floor. She looked at her childhood friend...

"This sucks..." She said lamely, her face already wearing an expression of defeat.

"Yeah, I agree. But it's gotta be done sooner or later, right?" Cloud replied with one of his trademark shrugs.

"Well, couldn't we of at least gotten Cait to help? I mean, he IS a robot and wouldn't mind..." Tifa thought aloud.

"Nuh uh, I tried calling Reeve about that. He has Cait busy rebuilding the towns where Midgar once was. Providing shelter to the homeless is a tad more important that organizing all this..." Cloud answered, looking around. He got on his knees and started to pick up the pieces of glass on the ground, while Tifa went to got a mop that was sitting in the corner.

Tifa looked the mop over. "Why did Cid ever insist on using this thing as a weapon, anyway?" she asked herself, yet loud enough for Cloud to hear.

"I dunno..." Cloud said, discarding the shards into an empty box, "Something about it having better balance than the spear he was using before..."

After several minutes of cleaning and small talk, the room was back to the way it was before, minus about four boxes of junk...

"Man, that was an unneeded distraction... not to mention that we kicked up a lot of du... dus... ah.. AH-CHOO!... dust... Dammit, I HATE dust..." Tifa complained, stomping her foot on the ground. Cloud looked at her sympathetically. When Tifa looked as though she were about to sneeze again, Cloud looked around frantically, and found a tissue sticking out of one of the boxes. He quickly pulled on it and gave it to her just as she sneezed again, "AH-CHOO! Th-thanks, Cloud." And with that she blew her nose into the tissue. She looked at it annoyingly then rubbed her nose... "Hmm, kinda tough," she said as she discarded it. She then noticed that Cloud was preoccupied with the box he had gotten the tissue from.

"What's in there?" she asked.

"More of those worthless tissues... HEY! That 'Championship belt' I won for kicking ass at the Battle arena!" Cloud said as he presented a large leather belt enamored with fake gemstones. He rummaged through some more and finally came back out, producing a book, "And Dio's most-likely-B.S. Autobiography -which I ALSO won- for kicking ass at the battle arena..." Cloud then began to just flip through the small, hardcover volume of "Gambler". It didn't contain much that interested him. He discarded it and sorted through the box again, finding the "Combat Diary", and started flipping through that. It was a tad thicker than the "Gambler", and also had a hard, textured cover. Soon, he started flat out reading it. Tifa, who'd been sorting through boxes the whole time, suddenly became aware that she was doing all the work and Cloud wasn't doing squat.

"HEY! I'm here to H-E-L-P, not be your maid!" she said, throwing a 1/35th soldier at Cloud. Of course, it did nothing but bounce off Cloud's head harmlessly with a squeak. Cloud looked up...


"You're sitting there reading while I'm doing YOUR housework! Way to treat a friend!" Tifa whined somewhat sardonically, stomping her foot and throwing her arms down. Her hair bounced up a bit and continued to swing slightly for a moment.

"C'mere..." Cloud said with a smile. "This is real interesting," he patted the stone floor next to him. With a sigh of regret, Tifa walked over next to him, sat down, and looked at the pages. She too, became drawn into the stories within.

They sat and read for a few minutes, mostly just bits of details of forgotten battles, but it still made for some good reading. They soon noticed a large section was book marked, which seemed to indicate that it was one story instead of a bunch of little battle tales.

"Should we read it?" asked Cloud. He looked at Tifa hopefully, yet also with a smug grin.

"I dunno..." Tifa responded slowly, "We have a lot to do..."

"It can wait..." Cloud said, holding the book with his right hand, and putting his left arm around Tifa. Tifa welcomed the closeness and scooted a little closer, taking the book in one of her hands as well...

Chapter 1

Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic