Premonitions II-A: The Long Week of Hell

BY : Hippo_and_Friends_with_Benefits
Category: Final Fantasy VII > General
Dragon prints: 1604
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VII or any characters therin. I am making no money off of this work.

Chapter 18: Preparations

10:00 a.m.

Tifa sat across from Cloud at the diner after breakfast. She was quiet for most of the time, and it was reasonable. She knew where her father was now. She knew both the location and the coordinates. All she needed was a means of getting there.

She then checked her emails on her phone, and suddenly started to laugh.

"What's so funny?" Cloud asked.

"An email I got from Shera," she laughed. "About how the human body was first built."

"Go on," he requested.

"At first all the body parts said they wanted to be the boss. The feet said they should be the boss because they carry the rest of the body. Then the lungs said they should be the boss because they breathe. The heart said it should be the boss because it pumps blood. Then, finally, the brain said it should be the boss because it controls everything else in the body. So all the body parts agreed but one: the anus, who said it should be the boss. Everyone laughed and made the brain the boss anyway. So the anus went on strike and blocked up the body. Eventually, all the body parts couldn't take it anymore, so they gave in and let the anus be the boss. So all the body parts worked all day while the anus just sat there and passed out the shit. The moral of that story is that it doesn't take brains to be the boss, any asshole will do!"

Cloud and Tifa began to laugh hysterically in unison. It was something they both needed, as it had been one crazy time. It was hard to believe that one of them almost died the previous night.

Gradually, Tifa's laughter subsided. She checked her cell phone again. She then gave Cloud a melancholy look.

"Everything in Costa del Sol is booked," she said sadly. "And with Junon destroyed, it's the only coastal town in the world."

"We'll keep looking," he assured her. "I know they'll be another way."

Anything Cloud said made Tifa feel slightly better, but it did not change the reality of the situation.

"This has officially become one long week of hell," she sighed.

They paid the bill and walked, hand in hand, back to the house. After the previous night, Tifa wanted to spend as much time with her man as possible. When they got inside, she took a look outside the patio, and gasped.

"What's wrong?" Cloud asked as he ran to her side.

Tifa seemed surprised, but not upset.

"Look!" she exclaimed.

Cloud took a look into the backyard.

The arch, under which they would take their wedding vows, had been set up. So had the chairs, neatly and facing the arch.

Reality of the next day was sinking in. She would be going from a Miss to a Mrs. in no time at all. The day she had been secretly hoping for, ever since she had been reunited with Cloud at the Sector Seven Station, was almost there.

"We'll be married under there tomorrow," Tifa said as she took Cloud's hand, tears threatening her beautiful chestnut eyes.

And then, both of them spotted someone in the backyard.

It was Elena, who seemed to have set everything up while they were out to breakfast.

And then, she spotted them. She had a garment bag in her hand as she ran to the patio.

"Sorry!" she apologized as Cloud let her in. "I was hoping I'd finish everything before you came home!"

"Elena," replied the surprised Tifa as a tear escaped. "No need to apologize! Did you do all this yourself?"

"Well," Elena answered, "Tseng helped."

"Thank you!" Tifa tearfully said.

Despite their history, she was happy it was in the past. She felt truly blessed to have a friend like Elena.

"I delivered the dresses to all the girls," Elena continued. "Except one." She then flaunted the garment bag.

Tifa felt her heart race.

"Is...is that..."

"Yes," replied Elena with a smile. "It's your wedding dress."

Tifa simply wanted to stand there and cry tears of joy and bliss. She was getting married. More and more reality of that was setting in.

Elena then turned to Cloud. There were still a couple of loose ends on her mind.

"I need a few minutes of girl time," she requested.

"No problem," Cloud replied.

Tifa led Elena upstairs to what used to be the master bedroom of Tifa's old house, where they hid the wedding dress in the closet.

"He'll just need to stay out of there," Elena warned.

"He wouldn't peek anyway," Tifa assured her.

It was then that Tifa noticed that Elena had a smaller bag in her hand; the garment bag had been previously concealing it.

"Okay," Elena began, "I really need to ask you something. Please don't take it the wrong way."

"Go ahead," Tifa permitted, wondering what the question was.

"You still plan on surprising Cloud in the hot tub wearing only your bikini top?" Elena asked.

"Yes," replied Tifa with a smile.

Elena blushed slightly.

"So, then..."

"Go ahead," Tifa assured her. "If there's a way to make it more special, I'm all ears."

"Do you shave?" Elena then asked, blushing slightly more. "You know, down there?"

Tifa shook her head.

"I got you something," Elena announced as she handed Tifa the bag.

Tifa slowly reached into the bag, and gasped as she pulled out the contents.

"A bikini wax kit?" she asked.

"Well," Elena said, "I respect your privacy wishes, so..."

"A do-it-yourself bikini wax kit?" Tifa asked once she double checked the box.

"Well, you want your lady parts to look good for Cloud, don't you?"

"I suppose," Tifa admitted. "But...is it painful?"

"Oh yeah," Elena replied.

Tifa briefly hesitated. She knew Cloud wouldn't judge her about how she looked, but still, she wanted to be...sexy.

"You know what?" she said. "I'll try it right now."

"Right now?!" Elena asked in surprise.

"I do want the pain to be gone by tomorrow," Tifa justified.

"Good point," agreed Elena.

Deciding to give Tifa some privacy, Elena went back downstairs.

"Is she okay?" Cloud asked when Elena reached the parlor.

"Just fine," Elena assured.

She then stood there innocently, waiting for it to start.

Cloud stood there, perplexed at what Elena could possibly know that he did not.

"Aarrrrrgh!" Tifa suddenly shouted from upstairs.

Elena blushed again.

"You might want to ignore that," she giggled.

Cloud stood awkwardly before the silence was interrupted again.

"Aaarrrrgh! Shit!" they heard Tifa's voice yell.

"What's going on up there?" Cloud asked.

"You'll find out tomorrow night," Elena replied. She then looked at the stairs. "One more should do it."

"Aaarrrrgh! Dammit, Elena!" Tifa exclaimed in pain.

Elena began to laugh hysterically.

A couple of minutes later, Tifa came down the stairs, one step at a time, and giving Elena the evil eye.

"You'll thank me for this," Elena assured her. "Trust me."

MEANWHILE...

Karnak, Anez, Yesha, and Lechar sat at the blue, square table in the room with cerulean walls and dark and light blue tiles.

"It seems that we've failed," Karnak began. "Tifa Lockheart is alive and well."

"But I broke all her limbs!" Yesha protested. "You were there! You saw it!"

"I did indeed," Karnak concurred, "and I blame myself. I should've thrown my foot on her neck and finished the job. But I wanted her to suffer. I should have at least stayed until she bled out."

"How did she survive and heal so quickly?" Lechar asked. "It doesn't make any sense."

"God only knows," Karnak replied. "It looks like I grossly underestimated her."

"It's only a matter of time before she comes to this Island," Lechar said. "She could expose us."

"Not to worry," Karnak said. "I still have one last trick up my sleeve. "This time, we won't be taking any more chances."

"Let's hear it," Yesha said.

"She's tested me long enough," Karnak said. "When she does arrive here, capture her, and take her to her father. Then, execute him before her very eyes. Wait for a few moments while she grieves, but don't let her out of your sight. Then, kill her as well."

Lechar, Yesha, and Anez nodded in unison.

"Anus," continued Karnak as he chuckled slightly, "she'll probably come in on the bottom floor. That's your territory. You think you can capture her?"

"That's Anez," Anez replied in an annoyed tone of voice, "and yes."

SOMEWHERE ELSE...

Tifa continued to stare out the patio at the altar that Elena ad set up for them. She would blink constantly, wondering if it was real, but, every time she did so, it would remain. Another wave of emotion ran through her as she realized that, in less than twenty-four hours, Cloud would become her husband in that spot, and the rest of their lives would then begin.

She then went over to the sofa and joined Cloud, who was already sitting there. She kissed him, and rested her head against his shoulder.

"One more day," she said happily. "Can you believe it?"

Cloud kissed the top of her head in response.

Tifa then sat up. There had been something she had wanted to tell him.

"You know," she began, "I learned something in the journal that I think you should know."

"What's that?" Cloud asked.

"You know how you were semi-conscious after you were rescued from the tube?"

He nodded.

"I barely remember it, but yes."

"Cloud," she began as she gently stroked his back, "Zack really risked his life for you. I mean, he carried you for miles and fought off a lot of monsters to keep you safe." She paused. "You wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him."

And then, a knock sounded the front door.

"That would be Elena again," Tifa said as she stood up, made her way over to the door, and answered it.

But it was not Elena.

"Ah, Tifa," greeted the Continental Governor. "I'm relieved to see you're alright."

Tifa gave her an understandably suspicious look.

"I can assure you," the Continental Governor continued, "that Victor Karnak is not with me. I have nothing to do with what he's doing. I didn't authorize that violent attempt on your life last night. He's currently suspended without pay."

Tifa was silent. She was unsure whether to trust her. And then, she realized the obligatory reason she was there.

"But, in the meantime," the Continental Governor continued, "I've only come to rehearse the wedding."

Tifa felt somewhat relieved. As questionable as Bismarck's ethics were, it was obvious that she was only there to help.

"Come on in," Tifa invited.

"A see you've changed your wardrobe," the Continental Governor observed. "Cute jeans, by the way."

"Thanks," Tifa said as she led her to the patio.

MEANWHILE...

"No way!" laughed Yuffie. "We have so much in common, Shiko!"

An hour earlier, Yuffie had met Shiko at the tea house. He stood six feet tall and seemed really grown up. So Yuffie invited him to sit down with her, and the rest wrote itself.

"So," Yuffie continued, ready to set the trap, "I have a wedding to go to tomorrow. How would you like to be my date."

"Sure!" Shiko replied happily.

"Great!" Yuffie said with a smile. "It's in a backyard, but there's going to be a D. J., a dance floor, and a bar. But you're not over twenty-one, are you?"

"No way!" Shiko laughed as he shook his head. "I'm not even thirteen yet."

The smile immediately vanished from Yuffie's face.

"Wait a minute," she said in an upset tone of voice. "You're twelve?"

Shiko nodded; still smiling.

"But you're so tall!" Yuffie exclaimed in disbelief.

"I know," Shiko replied. "I grew fast."

Moments later, the humiliated Yuffie ran out of the tea house. She did not stop until she got inside her house and locked the door behind her.

She sighed and placed her hand to her head, wondering how she could have been so stupid. She then looked up at the bridesmaid dress that was hanging from the closet door. She had less than twenty-four hours.

"There is one other person I could try," she said to herself.

She then pulled out her cell phone and went through her contacts, stopping at and pressing one she had not used in a while: Tobin.

Tobin's phone rang fourteen times before Yuffie, who was unaware of his fate, finally gave up.

She sighed.

"I guess Yuffie Kisaragi's going to this wedding alone."

SOMEWHERE ELSE...

"And when I say 'you may kiss the bride,'" continued the Continental Governor, "well, that's pretty self-explanatory."

Both Cloud and Tifa nodded in unison.

"And then, I present the new Mr. and Mrs., you walk the aisle together, go for pictures, and the reception starts," the Continental Governor finished. "Any questions?"

"Not really," Cloud replied.

"I'm good," Tifa added.

"Oh," continued the Continental Governor. "I almost forgot. Who's your maid of honor? I need to know the witnesses."

"Elena," Tifa replied.

"Last name?" asked Bismarck.

Tifa blushed.

"I actually don't know," she replied. "She used to be a Turk."

"I'll look it up," the Continental Governor said. "And your best man?"

Cloud gave Bismarck a solemn look.

"Zack Fair," he replied. "In absentia."

Tifa smiled; she felt he deserved it as well.

"Fair enough," the Continental Governor said. She then took a look the bride-to-be. "Can I talk to Tifa for a second?"

"No problem," agreed Cloud as he went back inside and closed the door.

The Continental Governor then gave Tifa a sincere look.

"I heard about what Yesha did to you," she began. "Whatever you pulled off to recover so quickly must have been no short of a miracle."

"You can say that again," Tifa said.

"Listen," the Continental Governor continued as she reached into her pocket. "I have a present for you."

"A...present?!" the perplexed Tifa asked.

Smiling, the Continental Governor handed her the gift.

"Keys?" Tifa asked.

"To my motorboat, parked at the pier 127 at Costa del Sol," Bismarck informed her.

"But why?" Tifa inquired.

"I don't know how much you learned on your quest," the Continental Governor said. "If you didn't learn a lot, these won't get you very far."

Tifa felt her spirits raised. The final piece of the puzzle was in place. Now, all she had to do was go there and rescue her father.

These keys will get us to Betelgeuse and beyond! Tifa thought.

A few minutes later, the Continental Governor was gone, having returned to her office for the day.

Tifa stood in the kitchen, staring at the gift.

"She gave you keys?" Cloud asked.

"To her motorboat," Tifa clarified. "Which can take us..."

"...straight to the Island Gulag," Cloud finished. "But why?"

"I don't know," she replied. "Either she feels bad, she wants to get rid of the Gulag but not look like she's shutting it down, or she wants to lure me into a trap."

"And which one do you think is the case?"

"I don't know," Tifa admitted. "But I guess there's only one way to find out. Cloud, there's a story I never told you."

FLASHBACK...

Tifa Lockheart, age twelve, stood in front of the mirror. Wearing a black sleeveless dress that stopped at her knees, she stared at her reflection, full of emotion. Her mother's funeral had just ended. Now that everyone had gone home, she was practicing how to break it to her father.

"I want to live with Uncle Albert," Tifa said to the mirror. "I want nothing to do with you anymore. You killed mom!"

She practiced it for an hour before leaving the room. As soon as she stepped out, she immediately heard the sound of sobbing that naturally belonged to her father. She slowed down, and entered the master bedroom.

At first, Tifa was not swayed.

"I want to live with Uncle Albert," she began.

But that was as far as she got.

"I was going to reconcile with your mom the day she died," Brian said sadly.

Bullshit, thought Tifa as she folded her arms.

He then showed her his cell phone. It was a Dear Jane text he had sent to the other woman.

Tifa gasped and clutched her mouth with both of her hands.

...END FLASHBACK

"My dad's not really a bad guy," Tifa explained. "He regretted what he did, and tried to make things right. It was just too late. But who knows how he felt?"

"You don't have to explain anything," Cloud assured her.

"It was then that I realized I couldn't blame my dad anymore, she said.

FLASHBACK...

The twelve-year-old, funeral-dress clad Tifa buried her head in her father's shoulder.

"I shouldn't have spied on you, papa," she sobbed. "I shouldn't have told her. AND MOM SHOULD HAVE WATCHED WHERE SHE WAS GOING!"

Tifa then began to nearly hyperventilate.

Brian held her close.

"It happened, Tifa," he whispered. "That's all. It happened."

...END FLASHBACK

"It sounded so simple," Tifa said, "but he was right. It happened. And playing the blame game wouldn't have brought my mom back."

Cloud was silent. He had never heard that part of the story. He could see why she was willing to risk it all for her father. She had moved forward from her mother.

"But, yes," she continued, "I'm taking the motorboat to the Island Gulag. It's going to be dangerous, and I you don't want to come with me, I'll understand."

Cloud looked Tifa in the eyes.

"I kind of made a promise to help you if you were ever in a bind," he said.

"And you did that," she pointed out.

"Well," he continued, "you said 'ever.' To me, that means every time you're in a bind. Count me in."

Tifa felt overwhelmed. If there was one person she could ever count on, it would be Cloud. And it was one of the many reasons she was happy to be engaged to him.

"Oh, Cloud!" she said. "You're my star!"

And she threw her arms around her fiancé and kissed him.

"I love you," she said with a smile.

"And I love you," he replied. "And we'll do this together. You've spent weeks wondering whether your father's alive. Well, in a few hours, you will know the answer."



You need to be logged in to leave a review for this story.
Report Story