Why Cloud Shouldn't Be With Tifa or Aeris
By Janet Monstwillo
Okay. I'll try to make this as nice and organized as possible.
Case Against Aeris
While one might think that the character with the big sword and the character in the pink dress belong together just because that seems to fit right into the fantasy theme, that's not really the best reasoning in there. From the events in the game, we know that:
(1) Aeris had some sort of interest in Cloud, from her actions and her words.
(2) Cloud had some feelings for Aeris, if not entirely expressed while she was alive, certainly expressed at the moment of her death and afterwards.
So we need to examine what could be the thoughts behind each of these two points. (Bear in mind that I'm talking about who should be with whom in a perfect romantic world where everyone ends up happy in the end.)
Aeris' Interest in Cloud: Well...girls, how would you feel if a good looking guy suddenly dropped down from the sky and into your life? So there was the initial attraction, plus some of the way in which Cloud acted like Zack. But if you've seen the Gold Saucer scene with Aeris as Cloud's date, you'll see that she realizes even then, that the Cloud she had been getting to know wasn't the "real" Cloud. I have a feeling she might be understanding about the situation if she manages to come back from the dead, but her prior interest in Cloud doesn't indicate in any way that she is compatible with the "real" Cloud.
Cloud's Feelings for Aeris: Cloud from the onset seems extremely confused at how to deal with Aeris' attention. He doesn't look like he's very knowledgable in the women dept. I guess shunning by the only girl around back home, followed by spending your sexual peak in a glowing tube might do that to you. He doesn't get the whole "date" thing, even while he's participating in it. However, Aeris' death does do a lot to him. Part of that is probably wrapped up in the fact that a few minutes prior, he had almost killed her himself. Add that to the fact she was killed in his face and he was unable to save her, and you have a massive guilt complex going on.
Aeris was special, and she did end up helping all of her friends and the Planet with her actions. That could cause gratitude...plus Cloud's guilt...plus the immaturity that is inevitable after spending 5 years sealed away from everything...could easily lead Cloud to think he was in love with her. If she were actually around, and these two ended up hooking up, there would be disasterous results when each realizes the other wasn't who or what they actually were in love with.
Case Against Tifa
Aww. The childhood "friends." That's what they were called, but as Cloud's real past gets exposed in the game, we begin to wonder what sort of basis these two would even have for being friends, let alone lovers.
Tifa, are you blind?: I have great respect for Tifa, but I used to hate her. And no, I'm not a stupid "she's a slut" shipper, I disliked her because she was immature and self-centered. From the beginning of the game, we have her reminding Cloud about their promise at their hometown well, under a gorgeous starry sky. What we learn later on, though, is that was the first time the two of them had ever had a real conversation. Tifa was a popular girl in her town (oh no snide comments here, silly gooses), with a group of friends. Cloud spent his childhood on the outside, looking in. The attempt to grab attention led him to fights, and being blamed for an accident involving Tifa just because he was there.
Tifa, in her convincing Cloud that their childhood back home was wonderful, is sort of like a snob you knew back when you were kids that is nice now, and just happens to have a selective memory about when they were a jerk before. She happened to forget that Cloud saved her life, even though she had spent her early years ignoring him, and holds him to some ambiguous promise that she put out because she was self-centered enough to think he'd agree.
I have no doubt that Tifa expresses feelings for Cloud in the game, but her feelings are based on someone she didn't really get to know until they were adults. Therefore, her feelings for Cloud are just as skewed as Aeris' would be. They both saw Cloud in a Zack persona, and not the real Cloud.
Her fabrication of the happy past together with Cloud was the worst thing she could have done. She let him live in a lie, not correcting where he went astray, because to do so, she would have had to realize how cruel she had been in the past. Cloud ended up living in his fabricated life much longer than he would have, had he not been constantly exposed to Tifa.
She may feel close to Cloud because she was the one that helped lead him out of the mental prison he (and she, consequently) had forged. However, she was in his subconscious the entire time. There is no reason to believe that Cloud remembers a second of that. So even though he now remembers the scenes from his past, and knows how he was treated, he doesn't know Tifa's reactions to those memories. He could very well be steaming inside, and although Tifa apologized in the subconscious, Cloud would not be aware of that, and push her away. He might unwittingly push her away, without being able to give a coherent explanation why, but the situation here is not conducive to a trusting, open relationship.
That about sums it up, why I think Cloud shouldn't end up with either of those girls. *holds up wine glass* Here's to hoping the spiky haired dude finds someone new! (Hey, at least Yuffie had the guts to kiss him when she dated him at the Gold Saucer.)
IcyBrian's Fanfic Resource -- Final Fantasy 7
IcyBrian's Fanfic Resource
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