Guided by Starlight Chapter 5
By Tifa Strife
Cloud rushed past the people on the streets. All he wanted to do was go home and go to sleep. This day was one that would live inside of him forever, the day Tifa didnt love him anymore. She said she couldnt remember anything after the light from meteor disappeared, only that he held her from falling off the ship. He told her that it was because he loved her and didnt know it yet, because he didn't want to go it alone in this world like before.
As he ran through the streets, with every step his heart screamed for her love. Every passing second he wanted to gather her up in his arms and forget everything that happened.
He reached the house and went inside numb. Somehow he had made it up the stairs and crawled into bed hugging himself as he cried. He sat there the entire night thinking how he was going to go on like this. He had to talk to her and at least tell her everything that went on since when she can remember. He had to make her love him again, and it wasnt going to be easy, but with hope you can do anything. Hopefully she will love him again for who he was, and what he meant to her.
Time passed slowly that night as he sat up wondering what life was going to be like now that he had a second chance. Even though things might never be the same with them again, he was happy she was alive. He would rather see her breathing and living again somewhere near him other than being six feet under in the cold, damp ground.
The next morning Cloud got out of bed and went back to the "Seventh Heaven." He pushed open the door and saw Tifa sleeping with one arm supporting her head on the table. He had to smile, she was so cute.
"Mmm?" she said still sleeping.
"Tifa, wake up. It's me, Cloud." He said while walking over to her.
"Yes, it's me, Cloud. You remember me right?"
Tifa sat up and took a deep breath in letting it out slowly. She opened her eyes and fear struck her right away when she saw his face. She got up and jerked back from his hand when he tried to sooth her.
"Tif, I'm sorry. You want to know your past and I will tell it to you word for word. You just have to trust me though."
She seemed undecided still, but she sat down not taking her eyes off him. She saw how red his eyes were and felt terrible about making him cry.
Cloud looked deep into those eyes of hers. They were so beautiful. The caught the light and glimmered when she smiled or was angry. They had gotten into a fight once and through the anger of it all, he always gave in to those eyes, just to see them light up like that.
"You can't remember anything after the part with the airship, right?"
"Right." She said reluctantly.
"Ok then, we'll start from there." He said.
Cloud got up from the chair and strolled around the room. He picked up a flower from a vase in the corner of bar. He came back to the table and handed her the flower, watching for her reaction. She took it from him examining it once, and putting it down in front of waiting patiently for his story.
He let out a heavy sigh and began to talk.
"We landed the airship somewhere near Cosmo Canyon and watched from there as everything was resolved. Lifestream sulked back into the crevices is had come from in the planet. People were running in the streets screaming with joy over our victory. We instantly became stars. People came from all around just to get a glimpse of the "Planet Protectors", thats what they called us. Soon when the crowds died down and went to get the sleep they all needed, you walked off somewhere, no where to be found. I was getting worried about you when you didn't come back after a long while, so I went looking for you. High and low I searched until finally I saw you standing there, on the ocean's crest, your hair flying in the wind."
Tifa watched him as he was telling her all these things that she had no recollection for. Had she really helped save the planet from this evil doing? She would have never thought it was in her to do these things, but she had, he wasn't lying to her. Tifa looked at her hand to wear a diamond wedding band was placed and turned it round and round her finger making Cloud anxious.
"I approached you asking if everything was alright, and you said you were grateful for all of this:
'Grateful for what, Tifa?' I asked
'Grateful for everything. The sun, the moon, the stars. To be able to live one more day here. I am grateful for having met her and have her in my life even though it was only for a short time.'
'I know what you mean. We all are grateful for meeting her, or I don't think we would have the courage to go on, let alone the guidance from her.'
You were crying, Tifa. You started crying right there in front of me.
'Tifa, what's wrong?'
'Cloud, it is so obvious. I have no where to go, nothing to do. My family is gone and our home is just some doll town. I fought for what I believed in, now what is to become of me? I have nothing anymore.'
You sat down on the sand and cried bitterly. Seeing you cry was more than I could bare.
'You have me, Tif. You and me can make it, just you see. We'll go back to Midgar, or whatever is left of it, and start a bar, just like you had in sector 7! It will be great, we'll be rich!'
You stopped crying when I said that you had me. I cradled you all night long just like a baby. I was more comfortable talking to you than anyone else out there. You were my support system that kept me going. It was dawn when I carried you back to the airship and said our good-byes to everyone."
"Who was everyone?" Tifa said speaking up for the first time.
"Everyone! Barret, Cid, Red XIII, Yuffie, Vincent, Cait Sith. They all had gone their separate ways. Barret went to Kalm with Cait Sith to get Marlene, his daughter, and Elmyra, Aeris's stepmom. After that, Reeve and Barret became good friends, forgetting the past, and made an entirely new company where the people have the say in what's going on with the world, instead of Shinra who controlled everything not caring about the people's opinion. Cid went back to Rocket Town and apologized to Shera for how he treated her all these years. Being the great gal she was, she forgave him and told him she didn't mind. Cid also told her how he felt about her and she also admitted the same. They got married a few months before we did, and now they have a little girl, Shelly. Red XIII went to Cosmo Canyon to take his grandfather's place as the chief elder. Red XIII had grown up a great deal during the time we'd known him and they people back at his home said no one but him could take his grandfather's place. So there he is today, fulfilling his duties. Yuffie had given up her search for materia, although she still does that as a hobby sometimes. She now pursued a new goal, to be a TV anchor woman. Dont ask, we don't know what came over her, but as long as she is happy, we are happy for her. What happened to Vincent is really a mystery. Some say he travels the world seeking salvation in his sins. Others say you can see him some nights standing alone on a hill, his red velvet cape flapping in the wind staring up at the moon. Cait Sith's body now rests in the most famous museum in the world along with other things recovered from the 'The Old Life'."
Tifa watched Cloud as if this were some amazing story that couldnt actually have happened. Like some kind of fairy tale from a long long time ago.
"All that was left was us. Cid dropped us off in Midgar after we saw everyone else off to his or her requested destinations. You and I helped the town's people build a new Midgar. Although it wasnt anything at first and it was hard manual labor, we had a nice community set up after a year. The town was functions great with a school and everything. We build our house along the edge of town with a room for you and a room for me. It was a fairly large house build by me and a few friends in town, and with your sense of style it was very comfy for two people to share. A few weeks later we built the bar a few blocks away from the house. It was up and running the day it was finished and people all over town came to check it out. That night we had a profit to double how much it cost to make. It was around that time when I knew I was falling for you, Tifa."
Tifa blushed and smiled faintly and kept her head down.
"Sometimes you and I would stay up half the night just talking about that went on that day. I couldnt wait for that time because I had you all to myself. Then I had a revelation. That I actually didnt have you to myself, you weren't 'seeing' me or anything. I didnt even know if you knew how I felt about you. One night when we were closing up I knew the time had come that I must tell you how I feel, it was like a bottle inside of me was busting open and I couldnt contain it any longer. So I sat you down next to me, and I took your hand and put it on my heart. You understood me right away, and that was it. That was when our hearts were no longer two, but it became one. One heart beating for two. My destiny was to find you, Tifa. Find you and marry you, have children with you, grown old with you, and then die with you. Everything was for you. I didnt care about me anymore. What was once 'I' became 'we'."
Cloud got down on one knee again and took her hand. He placed it on her heart, then on his. She still felt nothing for him.
"We are the same beat. Please try not to forget that."
"I won't forget it. I just can't feel it. I can't feel anything anymore, Cloud."
"You will. Just give it time."
"I don't want to give it time," she stood up screaming "Do you have any idea what its like not to know who you are?"
Cloud stood up next to her.
"I do, Tifa! I do know what it's like not to know who you are and I hated it. But you, you were the one to let me know just exactly who I was when I was lost. You found me at that train station in Midgar so many years ago and sheltered me. I was lost in the Lifestream once, and you rescued me, never leaving my side. And God help me Tifa, I will not leave you here helpless. I will protect you from anything until you can remember the slightest bit about anything, then you can tell me I can leave, and it is your decision if I can stay. But I will not leave until you remember." He shouted to her.
They stood there a foot apart glaring at each other. The pain was more than enough either can take.
"Let me take you back to the house so you can get some rest. It's still morning and we have a lot of talking to do. We can talk over dinner or something. Besides, it's no use you sitting here watching me burst out like that."
They walked back to the house and Cloud showed Tifa their room. He shook his head and showed her the guestroom, which was originally his old room. She thanked him kindly and closed the door. He put his arm on the wall and rested his head against her door. He could hear her crying softly and whispering to comfort herself. Cloud walked to his room and stood in the doorway.
"Please make her remember." He said to the air around him more than to himself.
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