Premonitions II-A: The Long Week of Hell

BY : Hippo_and_Friends_with_Benefits
Category: Final Fantasy VII > General
Dragon prints: 1580
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VII or any characters therin. I am making no money off of this work.

Chapter 26: Deja Vu?

6:00 p.m.

"Guess what?" Yuffie said, after she and Zack sat down from another slow dance.

"What's that?" Zack asked.

"The hotel I'm staying at has a pool," she announced.

"Sounds like you're in Rocket Town," he observed.

"You got that right," she confirmed.

This means she'll want me to walk her back through Mount Nibel, he realized. "I suppose I can do that. It looks like it's calmed down in the last five years. Plus, I now have Karnak's buster sword. I'll manage.

"Hey!" Yuffie suddenly exclaimed, looking around the tent. "Where's Cloud and Tifa?"

Zack scanned the tent, and noticed that the bride and groom were missing. He then immediately turned his attention to where Tobin had been sitting, and noticed that he was now gone as well.

"So it's begun," he said.

"What's begun?" Yuffie asked.

"Tifa texted Cloud about it late last night," Zack replied. "Cloud showed me the texts this morning. Now they're finally acting upon it."

"Acting upon what?" she inquired. "I'm totally confused."

"If I tell you, can you keep it to yourself?" he requested. "This is supposed to be a surprise for everyone."

"Thief's honor!" she assured him as she raised her right hand.

Zack leaned in and whispered the answer.

"Oh my God!" Yuffie squealed as she placed both her hands over her heart. "That's so beautiful!"

"Shhh!" he reprimanded.

"Do you think they'll say yes?" she asked.

"We'll know by seven," Zack replied.

MEANWHILE...

"No," Tobin dismissed as he shook his head. "I can't do that."

"Says who?" Tifa asked.

"I do," Tobin insisted.

Tobin, Cloud, and Tifa were seated outside the tent on the guest chairs near the altar. Tifa had quietly tapped her cousin on the shoulder and summoned him outside once she and Cloud had decided that it was time. They had decided to asked Tobin first, and he had quickly confirmed how he felt. Still, he was skeptical of going through with it.

"Tobin," Tifa insisted, "I read the journal. I know all you've been through. You deserve it."

Tobin was silent with a full heart. This was one event of the day he had certainly not been expecting.

"Tobin," Tifa continued, "Cloud and I texted each other about this late last night. We both agreed that it's right. We'd be so happy if you went through with this."

Tobin solemnly looked at both Cloud and Tifa.

"So would I," he admitted. "But it's your day."

"And maybe we want to share it with you," Tifa insisted. "Both you and I were hoping for this for years."

"But it's your day," Tobin repeated. "You planned it. You paid for it. Everyone's here for you."

The wedding gown-clad Tifa looked her cousin in the eyes.

"Tobin," she continued, "if it wasn't for you, we never would have found my father. He would've died at the Gulag. Your journal gave me my father back, and no plans or any money could have taken care of that."

"And I never would've found my best friend," Cloud added. "Zack would have died there as well."

Tifa then glared at Cloud.

"Best platonic friend," Cloud quickly corrected himself.

Tifa glared again; they had been platonic long before they were romantic.

"Best male friend," Cloud corrected himself again.

"That's better," Tifa said as she folded her arms. She then turned to her cousin. "So, Tobin, what do you say?"

"It would be really short notice," Tobin said.

"Please," Tifa insisted. "I read the last chapter of your journal. I put professionals on standby."

"You did?"

Tifa nodded.

"Tobin, it would mean a lot to us if your story had a happy ending as much as ours did. Deep down, you want it."

Tobin sighed.

"You're right," he admitted. "I do. Ever since Xing, I realized that I do. But I never thought it would be possible. And in any case, here and now?"

"Tobin," Tifa continued, "I know this isn't the perfect time to tell you this, but...you know how you might have been getting premonitions lately?"

"I know, I know," Tobin replied. "I know we're living in an alternate timeline. Zack and I were talking about it while you and Cloud were getting your pictures taken. But I don't see what it has to do with this."

"I'll tell you," Tifa replied. "When Cloud and I fell into the Lifestream, we both got a look at the old timeline. I'll just say this: in that old timeline, I made a mistake that you're in danger of making right now. I didn't do something that I should have, and I regretted it for the rest of my life. Don't make that mistake, Tobin, or you'll have the rest of your life to regret it."

Tobin sighed and sat back in his chair. "Zack told me about that mistake, too." He paused, and took a long look at Cloud, followed by a long look at Tifa. "Alright," he said. "I'm in."

"We're halfway there," Tifa said as a smile appeared on her face.

"But," Tobin continued, "what if..."

He could not finish.

"Don't worry," Tifa assured him. "If things start to not go as we hope, Cloud and I will jump in!"

Tobin sat in his chair for a few moments, getting his head together. This would be one of the biggest decisions of his life.

"All right," he finally said, as he exhaled deeply. "I'm ready."

He slowly got up out of his seat and began to make his way back to the tent, his heart racing as he did so.

Cloud and Tifa were behind him, with the latter holding onto the former's arm. The easy part was over. Now, they could only wait and see how it played out.

Tobin then took a deep breath, and entered the tent.

Cissnei was sitting at the table, completely oblivious to the conversation that had just occurred outside.

Tobin began to tremble slightly as he approached the table, wondering what she would say. He already knew how he felt about it, but, whether she felt the same way, there was only one way to find out.

"There you are!" she greeted as soon as she noticed him.

Tobin, at a loss for words, simply nodded as he sat down. He would have to think on how to word it.

Cissnei quickly caught on; something was most definitely on his mind.

"What's wrong?" she asked.

Forget it, he thought. There's no way to work up to it. So I'll just say it.

"Aren't we forgetting something?" Tobin asked.

Now you've started it, he thought. You have to finish it.

"I don't think so," Cissnei replied. She looked down at her feet. "My shoes are on."

Just bring up what happened before you left for the Island Gulag.

"Remember what you said?" Tobin reminded her.

"This morning or last night?" she asked.

"Before Zack and I left for the Gulag," he clarified.

"Why bring that up?" she asked skeptically. "We're at this beautiful wedding. Why ruin it?"

"Do you remember?" he pressed.

Cissnei rolled her shoulders.

"I remember saying how crazy it was to go there," she replied. "I was right, wasn't I?"

This will take a little more effort.

"And what you said after you said it was crazy?"

"That I would hide your journal, which I did," Cissnei replied.

"And after you said that?" Tobin pressed once more.

Here we go, he thought.

"But what's bringing this up all of a sudden?" she asked. "We're at your cousin's wedding! Don't you want to enjoy it?"

Tobin looked her in the eyes. It was time to walk her through it.

"You were so mad that you said if I came back alive..." he began.

Let's see if she remembers the rest.

Cissnei lifted her head slightly and became silent for a few moments.

Tobin could tell that she was thinking.

Then, she lowered her head again, and made eye-contact with Tobin. Her eyes began to widen at the realization. She then began to open her mouth.

"...we'd have to get...married," she finished.

She then sat there in silence, realizing what she had demanded of him three weeks earlier. She did not know what to say.

"Well," Tobin continued, "I made it back alive. And the Continental Governor is right here. So are all our surviving friends."

Cissnei's mouth became dry. Her hands started to tremble.

He's not saying what I think he's saying, is he?

"Tobin...are you...serious?"

"A promise is a promise," Tobin insisted.

Cissnei began to perspire slightly on her forehead.

Yes, I did say that, but...

"Tobin, I was...just..."

"Just what?" Tobin pressed.

"I really wasn't expecting you to come back," Cissnei protested. "I thought you were going to your death. I had to talk you out of it somehow!"

"Then why did you say we have to get married?" Tobin inquired. "Why not have me take you to gold saucer, or clean the apartment?"

"Because..."

She tried to think of a good answer.

But she could not.

Cissnei closed her eyes and lowered her head.

Why did I say that? she asked herself. He has a good point. Is there...maybe something I didn't know...about myself?

She then raised her head and looked at Tobin.

It was difficult to describe the look in Cissnei's eyes. It was not nervous, nor was it upset. It seemed more...unsure.

At that moment, Cloud and Tifa appeared from behind Tobin.

Cissnei could tell right away what the three of them had been discussing outside.

"Who's idea was this, anyway?" she asked.

She did not seem upset, but she was curious.

"According to Tobin's journal, yours," Tifa replied honestly.

Cissnei sighed.

"I know what I said," she admitted. "And I don't know why I said that."

Tifa looked at her friend sincerely.

"Maybe something deep down inside?" she suggested.

Cissnei shook her head.

"Tobin's my best friend," she insisted. "You remember the conversation we had that night in Xing, right?"

"I sure do," Tifa replied.

FLASHBACK...

"I just have always seen Tobin as my best friend. Strictly platonically. I love him to the moon and back, but I'm not taking my clothes off."

...END FLASHBACK

"But you did say you love my cousin to the moon and back," Tifa continued. "Tell me, what do you love about him?"

Cissnei sat in silence, seemingly unable to answer.

Maybe this was a mistake, Tifa thought. And now I've humiliated my cousin.

Realizing that, Tifa almost wanted to crawl into a hole and die.

And then, Cissnei began to reply.

"I love how, one morning, he found out I was a Turk and didn't flinch," she finally began.

"Go on," encouraged Tifa. "What else?"

"I love how he let me make sure he was eating breakfast. I love how he always listened to me, even though it drove him crazy."

Tifa smiled. Slowly, but surely, her friend was realizing how she truly felt.

"I really loved how he took me to Gold Saucer for my birthday, and got me that beautiful bracelet," Cissnei admitted.

She looked at her left arm; she had worn the bracelet to the wedding.

"And on that date," Tifa asked, as she looked at her friend sincerely in the eyes, "did you feel a spark? Did you feel tingly inside, and get butterflies in your stomach?"

Cissnei closed her eyes for a moment. When she opened them again, they were wet. She made eye-contact with Tifa, and tears began to fall.

"Yes," the former Turk whispered.

"And now you're crying," Tifa pointed out. "Something you never did until now."

"Actually," Cissnei corrected, "I cried last night. Because I was so happy Tobin came back."

Tifa gently placed her hand on Cissnei's shoulder.

"Oh, Tifa," Cissnei continued has she put both of her hands on her heart, "I do feel that way about Tobin. I do! I just didn't realize it because I wasn't raised to love anyone."

"Well," Cloud began, "we do have everything ready."

Cissnei hesitated for a moment. She realized that she liked the idea. She really liked it. A lot. But...

"I don't know," she replied as she shook her head. "It's really sudden."

"Snooze, you lose," Tobin warned.

Cissnei gave him a look.

"You had to go there," she playfully accused.

"Yes, I did," Tobin replied with a smirk.

Cissnei then became quiet again.

"Tobin, this is for life," she said.

"Your point being?" Sage, who had been eavesdropping that entire time, asked from behind her (causing Cissnei to nearly jump in surprise). "Would you rather just grow old pretending you were just friends when, deep down, you know the truth?"

Reeve, upon spotting his daughter listening in, immediately marched over to her, grabbed her arm, and dragged her away.

Cissnei, meanwhile sat in silence.

She thought about the time they went to Gold Saucer together. She thought about how sad she was when the Shinra recalled her to duty and forced her to leave him behind. She recalled how broken-hearted she was when he had left for the Island Gulag. She recalled how happy she had been to have him in her life for the past seven years. And...

She remembered how she prayed for a family that one night. Now was her chance to have one.

Now was her chance to have one.

Another tear escaped her eye.

"Alright!" Cissnei chocked. "You've talked me into it. Let's do it!"

Cloud and Tifa smiled.

Tobin put his face into his hand and shed a couple of tears of happiness.

"I never told you my real name!" Cissnei suddenly realized aloud.

"Cissnei's your real name to me," Tobin replied.

"And now," Tifa said happily, "you, Miss Cissnei, need to make your way to the back patio. You'll find a surprise when you get there."

Cissnei slowly stood up. Overwhelmed with emotion, she hugged Tobin, Cloud, and Tifa in turn.

Then, she made her way outside of the tent, and to the back patio.

7:00 p.m.

Night had fallen. The tent was lit up, as was the arch and the aisle that led to it. A full moon was present, and the stars brightly dotted the sky.

All of the guests had been ushered back to the aisle seats, completely oblivious to what was about to happen. There were a few scratching of heads and some commotion as everyone attempted to asses this situation.

"Is she walking down the aisle again?" Aunt Lara asked.

Uncle Albert shrugged.

"She hit a home run," he replied. "Why run around the bases again?"

Once everyone had taken their seats, Cloud and Tifa appeared, briefly smiled at everyone, and, to everyone's surprise, took a seat as well.

Then, the Continental Governor appeared at the altar, as did Tobin.

"Thank you all for coming back here," Bismark began. "I know this might seem like deja vu to many of us, but I've just gotten word that we have an unexpected surprise tonight."

As she finished those words, the Bach Cantata began to play, and all of the guests, realizing in amazement what was happening, rose to their feet.

A moment later, a beaming Cissnei appeared at the back door. She was in a white, strapless mermaid wedding dress, clutching a bouquet of flowers in her hands. She began to walk slowly toward the altar, where Tobin was patiently waiting.

Cissnei was, indeed, a beautiful bride.

When she was twenty feet from the altar, she closed her eyes.

Just yesterday, I thought I'd never see him again, she thought. And now, we're getting married!

When she was fifteen feet from the altar, she opened them again.

We've both hid our feelings for too long. I sure did, even from myself.

Then, she was ten feet from the altar.

I thought this day would never come! Ever since I was a little girl, I never thought this would happen.

Then, she was five feet away.

Oh, Tifa, thank you. Thank you so much!

And, finally, she arrived at her destination. She handed the bouquet to Tifa before standing beside Tobin, before the Continental Governor.

"Friends and family," Bismark began. "Thank you all for coming out here again on surprise notice. As it turns out, we have had not one, but two couples to join in matrimony on this incredible day. Please be seated."

Bismarck then began to address Tobin and Cissnei.

"Please face each other and hold hands," she commanded.

Tobin turned to face his bride and gently took her hands in his.

Cissnei realized that no man had ever held her hands before.

This is such a good feeling! she thought.

"Tobin and Cissnei met seven years ago in Midgar," Bismark began. "He was an intern, she was a Turk. Business and finance made them roommates, but experience, care, and support made them friends. And soon, they became best friends. When Tobin was sent to train in Xing, Cissnei followed him there to be with him. It was there that Tobin gave Cissnei her very first birthday celebration. Eventually, they were forced to go their separate ways, only to be reunited a few weeks later. A year after that, they were separated again. They were reunited once more, and, tonight, they have decided to never be apart again."

She turned to Tobin.

"Tobin, please repeat after me," the Continental Governor began. "I, Tobin Lockheart," began Bismarck.

"I, Tobin Lockheart," he repeated.

This is happening, he thought. And to think, this morning, we thought we were going to somebody else's wedding!

"Take you to be my wife," she continued.

"Take you to be my wife."

My wife, he thought. That has a great ring to it.

"To have and to hold."

"To have and to hold."

"For better or for worse."

"For better or for worse."

She's seen me at my worst, and guided me through it every step of the way, he remembered. And I will do the same for her.

"For richer or poorer."

"For richer or poorer."

"In sickness and in health."

"In sickness and in health."

"And forsaking all others."

"And forsaking all others."

"To love, honor, and cherish."

"To love, honor, and cherish," he repeated as a tear fell from his eye.

"For as long as we both shall live."

"For as long as we both shall live," he finished.

I know this is for life, he thought. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Bismark then turned toward Cissnei. "I, Alicia Jane Reynolds," she began.

"I, Alicia Jane Reynolds," Cissnei repeated.

So that's her real name, Zack thought from his seat.

"Take you to be my husband."

"Take you to be my husband."

I lost him as a best friend and got him back as a husband, Cissnei thought. How did I ever get so lucky?

"To have and to hold."

"To have and to hold," Cissnei repeated.

"For better or for worse."

"For better or for worse."

I was there for him through his worst, Cissnei thought. If I have my worst, I know I can count on him.

"For richer or poorer," continued Bismarck.

"For richer or poorer," Cissnei repeated.

I went from a Turk to a waitress, and he still finds me a keeper!

"In sickness and in health."

"In sickness and in health."

"And forsaking all others."

"And forsaking all others."

"To love, honor, and cherish."

"To love, honor, and cherish."

I'll do those with all my heart.

"For as long as we both shall live."

"For as long as we both shall live," Cissnei finished.

That was the end of the vows.

"May I please have the rings?" the Continental Governor requested.

Denzel, who had happily agreed to perform his job again, handed her the rings.

She then handed the first ring to Tobin.

"Cissnei," he began, "I couldn't come up with much to say on such short notice, so I'll say what really matters. Ever since you came into my life, it always felt right with you around. I always missed you when one of us was away, and, just last night, when I was rescued from the Island Gulag, what I was looking forward to the most was seeing you again. You always were there for me during difficult times, and, to this day, just being with you makes everything easier. As a sign of my love, that I have chosen you, above all else, with this ring, I thee wed."

He then took Cissnei's left hand, and gently slipped the wedding ring on her finger.

Then, the Continental Governor handed the remaining ring to the bride.

"Tobin" Cissnei began, "I never thought I was worthy of having any companion until you entered my life. I never even knew how to love someone until you showed me how. It's because of you that I've always looked forward to getting home every evening. It's because of you that I never felt alone without ever having parents or any family. I'll never forget how you treated me to my first Halloween. I'll never forget how your treated me to the first birthday celebration I ever had. And, yes, I did say that if you came back from the Island Gulag alive, we had to get married, but now I think I know why I said that. It was because the thought of you not being there made me realize that I wanted you as a permanent part of my life. I can't promise our life together is going to be perfect, but I do promise I'll do everything I can to make you feel like the luckiest man in the world. I don't know what kind of adventures we'll be having in the future, but it looks like I have the rest of my life to find out! As a sign of my love, that I have chosen you, above all else, with this ring, I thee wed."

Cissnei, emotionally full, took Tobin's left hand in hers, and lovingly placed the ring on his finger.

The Continental Governor then turned towards the guests.

Funny, thought Reeve from the crowd. I told them that a strange bargain would seal their fate forever. And it's done just that.

"By the power vested in me by the authority of the Western Continent," Bismarck declared, "I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your bride."

Tobin gently wrapped his arms around Cissnei's waist, and pressed his lips gently against hers.

It was her first kiss ever.

She then threw her arms around him and hugged him tightly.

Her face displayed all of the emotion she was feeling. But she was not crying; she was smiling.

LATER...

In the same fashion as earlier in the day, Tobin and Cissnei were taken to the town square for pictures. Although it was now nighttime, the town was illuminated by house lights, street lights, the moon, and the stars.

After taking around a hundred or so pictures, the new couple, much like their predecessors, requested a few moments to themselves. As soon as they were alone, Tobin wrapped his arms around Cissnei's waist, pulled her in for an embrace, and rested his forehead on hers.

Cissnei smiled and placed her arms on his shoulders.

Oh my God, I'm a wife! she thought.

"We're, like, totally married now!" she laughed.

"I know, right?" Tobin replied.

The newlyweds remained in that embrace for several minutes. It was something that they were both taking in; when they left that morning, they had no idea that the day would turn out like this. It was the most wonderful surprise they both had ever had in their lives.

"We really did it?" Tobin asked.

"We really did it," Cissnei replied.

"So we're even for the Gulag?" he asked.

"Oh, yes!" she answered happily. "We're even!"

8:00 p.m.

Tobin and Cissnei returned to the tent to the same thunderous applause that Cloud and Tifa had received earlier.

Their first dance was also a song from the old world, but this one was fast and upbeat. While it was true that neither Cissnei had never danced before, she and Tobin walked through it as best they could. About halfway through the song, Cissnei signaled all of the other guests to come to the floor and join in the dance.

Sage was twirling her baton the whole time.

As Cissnei's father was long deceased, Uncle Albert filled in for the father/daughter dance.

8:15 p.m.

The time then arrived to toss the bouquet and garter.

Cissnei, who went first, decided to allow the bouquet to fly without teasing the ladies behind her. She did hear the commotion and apparent struggles to catch it. She then turned around to see the results.

Sage had caught the bouquet again, much to the annoyance of the adults.

"Well, it was wrong the last time!" she pointed out.

8:30 p.m.

It was then time for Tobin and Cissnei to cut their wedding cake, which was wheeled out right after the tosses.

Tifa had taken somewhat of a gamble, and ordered the cake baked right after her own was finished.

Tobin and Cissnei both took the knife and cut each other their pieces.

Tobin fed his piece to Cissnei modestly.

Unlike her new cousin-in-law, Cissnei was also modest with the cake.

8:45 p.m

"Who is older?" Cissnei began, as she and Tobin stood at the front of the tent. "I am. He's twenty-two, I'm twenty-five. I'm such a cougar."

There were a few laughs and several groans; not all of the guests knew the new couple that well.

"'Who said 'I love you' first?'" Tobin continued.

"Me," Cissnei replied. "I confessed it to your cousin back in Xing."

"And you never said anything to me?" Tobin playfully accused.

"'Who's the better driver?'" Cissnei continued. "Tobin. The funny thing is, I taught him to drive, and he's still better than I am."

"'Who is the first to forgive?'" Tobin read. He turned to Cissnei, in her wedding gown. "Well, technically, this is her punishment for me running off to the Island Gulag."

The guests laughed again.

"'Who is more of a thrill seeker?'" Cissnei continued. "That's definitely Tobin! He ran off to the Island Gulag!" She then flaunted her wedding band. "And now he's paying the consequences!"

"It was worth it!" Tobin retorted with a smile. "'Who has the crazier family?' That would be me."

"Hey!" Tifa shouted.

"Sometime we'll have a contest on which cousin is crazier," Tobin playfully suggested.

"'Who is needier when they're sick?'" Cissnei continued. "Honestly, neither one of us gets sick. But I got depressed whenever Tobin wasn't around, and him always coming back always made things better." She then rubbed his shoulder affectionately.

"'Who is smarter?'" Tobin read. "Cissnei. It's a little known fact that you have to have an I.Q. of 150 or more in order to be a Turk."

Cissnei began to blush. She was, indeed, a genius, but never seriously took pride in it. "'Who is the best gift-giver?'" she then continued. "Tobin." She flaunted her diamond bracelet. "He gave this to me for my birthday and took me to Gold Saucer!"

"Go Tobin!" Yuffie called from her seat.

"Last but not least," Tobin announced, "'who can hold their alcohol the best?' I really don't know."

"We drank ourselves stupid the night Meteor was summoned," Cissnei admitted. "We both passed out at the same time!"

LATER...

The music and dances had resumed. All food was finished, and the dance floor was well occupied again.

Tifa stood, watching Tobin and Cissnei out of the corner of her eye. She was relieved that they had both said yes, but she truly felt that they deserved it. Cissnei now had a family, and she and Tobin would never pass out of each other's lives again. She did not mind sharing her wedding day with them the least.

"Hey, Tifa?" Yuffie suddenly called from behind her.

Tifa turned around to greet her friend.

"I just wanted to say that was an incredible thing you did for Tobin," Yuffie complimented. "You have to be the best cousin ever!"

"Thanks!" Tifa replied with a smile. "It popped in my head last night. I just had to see if it could happen."

"So are there any more surprises for the evening?" Yuffie asked.

Tifa shook her head.

"No," she laughed. "That's it." She then took a look at the dance floor, and then at Yuffie again. "I'm going to dance," she announced. "Let's go."

"Okay," Yuffie agreed. "But don't dance too hard."

"Too hard?" asked Tifa.

"You need to save your energy for tonight," Yuffie advised her with a smirk.

"Let's go!" Tifa repeated as she led Yuffie to the dance floor.



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