“You seem…excited.” He stated, turning and walking back down the street. The sun was barely even up yet and the air was still cool and calm…perfect traveling weather, even though he knew that out on the desert, it was going to get hot.
He couldn’t help but let his eyes linger slightly…her white tank left little to the imagination and when he had first traveled with them, he honestly hadn’t noticed…much.
“Do you have materia with you?” he asked.
“Mm,” she hummed, holding her smile. “It’s amazing what the prospect of a change in scenery can do to a person.” Seemingly oblivious to his gaze, Tifa stretched her arms upward with a deep breath.
Her hues rolled, unamused, at his question.
“Do I have any materia, he asks,” she continued to tease. She flexed her fingers, clad in leather, in front of her and smirked towards him. “What do you think?”
She had some of her more powerful materia on hand, along with a couple summons. Tifa wasn’t silly enough to forget something so important, especially since it appeared they would be traveling on foot the entire time.
Vincent strode around the corner, looking somewhere between his old self and his new self, considering that he was wearing his old black, belted shirt with his black slacks…as well as a pair of military boots.
“Ready?” he asked, as he walked up to her and took her in, “Have a lot of walking ahead of you. We’re heading to Gongaga, stopping in Junon and the Temple on the way.”
It was a long walk…and Vincent was a fast walker, an efficient walker. He hoped, he really did, that this trip would help Tifa step away from her situation and be able to really get back in touch with herself, as feminine as the notion sounded. It was part of the reason he had vanished into the Nibel Mountains after the fight with Omega Weapon.
To find himself again.
Opening the front door the second she spotted his new haircut, Tifa waved towards him and smiled, sporting an outfit not too dissimilar to what she wore back in the time they traveled the world as companions. She wore black leather shorts, white tank top with a black vest and trademark elbow guards, with crimson-colored boots and of course, her simple leather gloves.
Since it was warm out, she could get away with wearing little — plus it made fighting a hell of a lot easier.
Admiring his interesting intersection of fashion, she gave him a nod, adjusting the strap of her bag. “Ready as I’ll ever be. Walking sounds fantastic,” she replied, slipping out of the building completely and locking the door. After brushing some long strands of her hair over her bare shoulder, the barmaid turned back to Vincent and mock-saluted him.
“Lead on, Sir,” she mused, feeling light as a feather.
Tifa couldn’t remember the last time she was this excited. It took her some time to get everything in order; Barret was taking Marlene and Denzel to the Gold Saucer for a few days, while some local friends agreed to fill in as bartenders so she wouldn’t have to close Seventh Heaven.
She had a dufflebag in her hand as she stood by the front door, looking for for Vincent to arrive. The brunette knew how to pack light, putting together the essentials (along with some extra materia). Her friend hadn’t really informed her of where they were going, so she also packed a few small things in preparation of different types of environments.
This is going to be fun, she thought while her crimson hues glanced past her window. I’m finally going to be doing something for myself, with someone who actually listens. This is going to be a brand new chapter for me. A new Tifa Lockhart will be coming back.
The best part was that she would be doing it with someone who had confidence in her ability to better herself. Having that support gave Tifa the confidence to do something like this.
The cheering made him a little awkward feeling and Tifa’s hug even more so. It had been a while since he had had an audience and with all the mako and adrenaline pumping through his veins, he was afraid he’d break something.
“Welcome.” he grunted, giving her back a single pat, his shirt clinging to his chest and back, damp with sweat.
“Alright everyone, enough gawking. Everything’s fine now, so how about you go back to enjoying yourselves!” she called out, waving her hands for people to calm down and resume their evening. Turning back to Vincent, she smiled. “You look like you could use a drink.”
Moving back behind the bar, she filled a glass of ice water for him, holding it out towards him to take. “I see you still keep up on your training. I’ve forgotten how skilled you are.”
It’d been a rather long day… But that was why Cloud shed most of his clothes, the belts, the sword, attachment to his pants and boots… He just flopped onto the couch on Seventh Heaven. Life had actually returned to normalcy for the most part…
He’d actually gotten to say good-bye at long last to two he’d cherished so much, Zack and Aerith… He would forever miss them, maybe that was why since nobody appeared to be here, he let a few tears fall before a small smile appeared on his face. Maybe some rest would do him some good.
If anybody saw him now, laid out on the couch fast asleep, they would be taken aback by the small tear streaks and the little smile that played about his lips, made one wonder what he dreamed of.
Tifa was sprawled out on her bed upstairs, reading the local news. Her crimson hues were glued to the headlines and stories of reconstruction. Of children being reunited with family members after being healed of the Stigma. Of people working together to rebuild and make Edge a better place.
It wasn’t until she heard footsteps from below that her attention was redirected. Glancing outside, she knew that the children were still out with some new-found friends in the neighborhood, planting flowers and playing games. Is Cloud home…? The barmaid’s mind questioned as she sat up and stretched out her arms, before getting out of bed. Her bare feet padded against the floor as she moved into the hallway, carefully walking down the stairs, in case it was an intruder
Turning the corner, Tifa spotted golden spiked peeking from behind the couch cushions. She held back a gasp, deciding to approach and see if he was alright. It seemed he took off his equipment everything out on display as she moved towards the couch. When she got close enough, Tifa found Cloud passed out, with a rather goofy smile on his face.
However, what surprised her most was the tears she saw rolling down his cheeks. I wonder what he’s dreaming about, she thought. He must be exhausted. probably starving, too. I’ll go make him something to eat. She then made her way into the kitchen to make him a deli meat sandwich and some heated-up soup; careful to not make too much noise.
Quicksilver fired when he lunged, the shot rattling bottles and glasses. Fortunately for the man, the shot missed and Tifa nailed him instead. The second man, who’s head had the triple barrels of Cerberus pressed into, gave a quiver and fainted, the blast from Quicksilver terrifying him so badly he had wet himself and gone half deaf at the same time.
Vincent stepped back and grabbed one of them by the collar and drug him outside, literally throwing him out onto the street, anger, testosterone and mako doubling his strength. The act was repeated until all the men were in a pile outside and he returned, closing the door quietly and brushing his hands off.
Tifa watched, slack-jawed, as Vincent took care of the ruffians, making sure they had no trace within Seventh Heaven. There were some cheers when he returned, though they died off as everyone grew quiet.
Walking over to Vincent, Tifa felt her muscles relaxed. Without thought, she pulled him into a gentle hug. “Thank you,” she whispered, before pulling back. “You seem to be saving me in more ways than one today, hm?” she asked, smirking to herself a little.
All ships are AU.
^ this is the most important post for roleplayers