Premonitions II-C: Crisis Core

BY : Hippo_and_Friends_with_Benefits
Category: Final Fantasy VII > General
Dragon prints: 757
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VII, Crisis Core, it any characters therin. I am not making any money here.

Chapter 37: Xing: Year Two

September 15, 0004

We were all standing in our gis on the lawn behind the cabin.

"So," continued Zangan, as he looked directly at me. "How old are you?"

"Nineteen," I replied.

"And how old is Tifa?"

"Seventeen," I answered.

"And how tall are you?"

"Five ten," I responded.

"And how tall is Tifa?"

"Five five," I replied.

"And are you a boy or a girl?" Zangan asked.

"I'm a guy," I said in response.

"And is Tifa a boy or a girl?"

"She's a girl," I answered.

"And how much do you weigh?"

"About a hundred and sixty," I informed him.

"And how much does Tifa weigh?"

Tifa folded her arms and gave me the evil eye.

"I don't think that's any of my business," I replied. "Why do many questions?"

In response, Zangan pointed his finger in my direction.

Tifa darted toward me, knelt down, grabbed my legs, and lifted me up over her shoulder.

"Whoa!" I shouted as I looked helplessly at Cissnei and Karnak, who appeared upside down to me.

"At the end of this training," Zangan continued, "your age, weight, height, and gender will no long matter."

"Can you put me down now?" I pleaded.

"This could save your life one day," Tifa said with a grin.

November 22, 0004

One day, I went alone to a restaurant in the town of Xing, and who do I see but Cid Highwind at the bar, drinking a beer.

"Yo!" he greeted, loud enough for the whole bar to hear.

By this point, Cid was a world celebrity. He was almost the first man in space.

I say almost, because he wasn't. The previous spring, he was supposed to be launched into space, but there was one thing he never expected: his bumbling fourteen-year-old intern fucked it up.

What happened was that she was checking one of the oxygen tanks, unreasonably fearing that it might explode. Now, technically, he still could have launched the rocket, but he would have fried his intern in the process. So he stopped the launch himself.

That all being said, another launch was scheduled a few months later, or so I had heard...

"What do you mean, 'cancelled?'" I asked him.

"That's exactly what I mean, kid," Cid replied. "Fuckin' budget cuts. Damned fucking Shera looking out for me too much and being a goddam worry wart!"

"Shera?" I asked. "Oh, your intern."

"See, I don't know if that shit would have really mattered anyway," Cid continued. "Even if that oxygen tank blew up the rocket with me in it, it wouldn't have made a difference."

"Why do you say that?" I asked.

"You sure as shit wouldn't believe me if I told you," he continued.

"You don't want to know what I've seen," I assured him. "Tell me."

Cid downed a shot of vodka.

"I can't die," he replied.

"What do you mean you can't die?" I inquired. "You're saying that if I took a gun and shot you between the eyes, you wouldn't die?"

"Not exactly," he dismissed.

"So you can die?"

"Well," Cid corrected himself, "I always get reborn. I can die, but I'm always back eventually."

He then signaled for another shot.

"You're back?" I inquired.

This was the weirdest drunk talk I had ever heard.

"I could die in battle," he explained as he downed the shot. "Or I could die of a sickness on a deserted island. But, no matter what, I'm always reborn again."

He was obviously drunk. I was starting to wonder if he was going to die right then and there.

"Hey you!" called the bar tender in my direction. "Are you over twenty-one?"

I shook my head, and got up.

I just wanted to leave. It was obvious that Mr. Highwind had lost it.

January 20, 0005

We were bored that day, so we did something really bizarre: we tried to make Cissnei cry. I know that sounds like a dick move, but she wanted it as much as we did. Cissnei, now twenty-two, has still never cried in her life, and was beginning to wonder whether there was something wrong with her.

I gave her an onion to sniff; it didn't do a damned thing. Hell, it wouldn't have counted anyway, as it wasn't an emotional reaction.

Then, Tifa made the supreme sacrifice: she took Cissnei to see a chick flick. It was one where the guy who always had his shirt off died at the end. That failed as well.

Finally, Karnak challenged her to a fist-to-fist martial arts session. He struck her in the face many times. Still nothing.

"Honestly," Cissnei said at the end of the day, "I think I'm physically incapable of crying." She paused, and hung her head. "And I can't even cry about that."

February 14, 0005

One thing we realized on Valentine's Day was that all four of us were single, so we celebrated Single's Awareness Day by going to a traditional Xing restaurant.

"To all singles!" we shouted as we raised our glasses.

Of course, they were all filled with soda, as, of the four of us, everyone but Cissnei was under twenty-one; Tifa wasn't even eighteen yet.

The reason I bring this otherwise uneventful night up is because of what happened as we were getting ready to leave the restaurant. I saw, out of the corner of my eye, Tifa talking to Karnak. I was only able to make out one thing she had said:

"It seems like I've known you for years."

That left me scratching my head.

Later that night, when Karnak had gone to bed and Cissnei was presumably sleeping like a cartoon animal, I found Tifa sitting on the couch.

"What's up?" I asked.

"It's something about Karnak," Tifa answered. "Maybe I like him or maybe...something else."

This was a stunner. Tifa liking a guy other than Cloud? This didn't add up.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"I don't know," Tifa replied. "I just don't know."

May 3, 0005

"Wow," I said in disbelief as Tifa walked me to my room. "My cousin's legal."

"I'm still too young to drink," she replied with a smile.

It was Tifa's eighteenth birthday, and the four of us celebrated with dinner and a movie.

"But, as always," she continued as she hugged me, "thanks for everything."

She then got that sad look on her face.

"Sorry," she quickly apologized. "I know I can't keep dwelling on it forever."

"Don't worry," I assured her. "It's okay."

And then, more tears began to form.

"We went trick-or-treating together every year since I was three. We always went to school together. Tobin, I'm so sorry, but just about every memory of my childhood involves him!"

And then, all of a sudden, the tears stopped.

Tifa quickly dried her eyes, and looked at me.

"Tobin," she began, "something just crossed my mind."

"What's that?" I asked.

"Do you think Karnak could actually be Cloud?" she asked.

"Highly unlikely," I replied. "I remember Cloud being a lot shorter."

"He could have grown," Tifa suggested. "I haven't seen him in five years. He'd be nineteen right now, and he has to be taller."

"But what makes you think Karnak's him?" I asked. "I don't remember Cloud's hair being blue."

"He could have dyed it," she replied. "And I think that's what this feeling is that I have. Karnak's making the vibe. The only time I felt that vibe was was when Cloud was around." She paused. "And that trooper who came right before Nibelheim was destroyed."

Mind you, I was still, at that time, oblivious to both Karnak's creation and Cloud's fate, so I couldn't prove her wrong.

And so it was, at the age of eighteen, that Tifa made the worst assumption of her life.

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