Still thinking of you

BY : ryushinuki
Category: Final Fantasy VII > General
Dragon prints: 518
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VII, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

ryu-chan: hmmm, i need more reviews. i'm feeling so unloved! if i get 10 reviews total i'll post the next chappie!
Rufus: shut up Cloud *pulls out the frying pan again* be a man and except the torchure given to you.
Cloud: oh, listen to phillisophical Plato over there, sheesh!
Sephiroth: put me in the story!
ryu-chan: NO! *steals Rufus' frying pan*
Sephiroth: eek!
Cloud&Rufus: ha ha!

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of FF VII or their elements... except me. Steal me, and I'll hunt you down.

~Still thinking of you, chapter four~

It was around five in the evening when Rufus finally gave up trying to make a deal with a contractor from Kalm Town. They wanted more mako than their reactor could hold, just in case the reactor blr ler leaked or something like that. Rufus had blandly said at least ten million times by now that mako leaks were caused by having too much in the reactor to begin with, but the contractor didn’t care. He wanted more mako, and that was all there was to it. Rufus sighed and rubbed his temples, and spoke through the phone line again.

“ Look sir, you’re not understanding what I’m saying. Too much mako upsets the balance of the reactor components and causes back flow, which leads to leaks. I’m sorry, but we can’t give you a back up supply of mako unless you purchase a back up unit.”

“ You’re just saying that to try and suck more of my money, aren’t you? Admit it! You don’t need a back up unit, it’s just a hoax to squeeze money out of your buyers.” Oh my GOD, this man is going to get himself shot one day, Rufus thought heatedly.

“ No sir, look… you NEED a back up unit for extra mako storage or else a melt down will occur, leaving you helpless to fumes and intoxication. Mako is highly poisonous sir, as I am sure you well know that.” A small leak had happened in Kalm a few months back, killing two people and knocking out several more with the fumes. A small growl could be heard from the other end of the line.

“ Grrr… all I want is more mako! That’s it!”

“ Yes, and you NEED a back up unit for it!”

“ Oh yeah? Well what if we just bought a bigger reactor? Would that work? Huh?”

“ No sir, it would not. In the event that a larger reactor would leak, your town would fry and quite possibly be removed from the map. That, and reactors don’t come any larger than what you have.” The man was practically screaming at Rufus now, who was losing control of his rage at the nincompoop who ignored quite possibly everything he said.

“ Well I heard Neibelhiem had a larger reactor than us, so why can’t we have one? Their town is smaller than ours!”

“ That’s because their reactor gives power to Rocket Town as well as Neibelhiem, and quite frankly sir, I’m sick of trying to deal with you and your petty arguments. I’m transferring you to the secretary who’ll put your order though. Thank you.”

“ Wait a second, you cant -!” Rufus hung up the phone. He sighed; an orange-gold sunlight was pouring through the window behind him, and he swiveled in his chair to face the city below. Cars sped by without a care, trees swayed in the breeze, people chatted with each other happily below on the streets as he watched, longing to be among them. He ached to be down there, if even for a moment, just see it for himself up close, smell the fresh air…

“ You know, it’s really pathetic to see you slobbering against the window like that, Ruff.” Rufus blinked and turned around, only to see Cloud leaning against the door, arms crossed and a smirk across his face. For some reason, Rufus was drawn into him more than usual. He was wearing a midnight blue T-shirt with khaki pants, and black Birkenstocks poking out the bottom. His eyes twinkled in the sunlight, and the gold highlighted his hair so that it looked like liquid fire. He was, truth be told, quite stunning. Rufus smiled, mentally slapping himself for thinking such things.

“ You look nice this evening. Any occasion?” Cloud shrugged.

“ Well maybe. Might go eat out, pick up some girls, I dunno.” Rufus gave Cloud a skeptical look.

“ No offence, but you don’t seem the type to go skirt chasing,” he said with a laugh. Cloud smiled, and walked to the desk.

“ Oh stuff it, Ruff,” he said, sitting down in a big puffy chair in front of the desk. Rufus leaned back in his own big puffy chair, crossing his legs and putting the pads of his fingers together in a very business-like manner. He tilted his head around his hands, a smile on his face.

“ So, what can I do for you this evening Mr. Strife?” he asked in an overly pompous business voice. Cloud rubbed his chin, a phony look of concentration on his face.

“ Hmmm… welow aow about you and I go out tonight? You know, out on the town,” he answered in a stuck up voice, eyes turned mischievously towards Rufus. Rufus felt his stomach drop a yard. He couldn’t be serious.

“ Well, that could be arranged Cloud, if not for the fact that President ShinRa wouldn’t allow such antics.” Seeing that Rufus was being somewhat serious, Cloud dropped the pompous act.

“ No, I’m serious Ruff. You’ve worked yourself to the bone lately, anyone can see that. You haven’t had the chance to be outside of this tower in months, from what Tseng told me.” Rufus could see that Cloud was deathly serious. He lowered his gaze, letting his hands drop to his lap. It was true: the last time he had been allowed out of the ShinRa Headquarters was a few months back on a company picnic. Rufus had wanted to go play basketball with some boys nearby who looked to be his age, but his father had promptly said no. He claimed it was unhealthy to go galloping about like a child, getting dirty and sweaty when he was supposed to be getting ready to become vice president of the company. Rufus looked back up to Cloud, but he was gone. Instead he felt someone grab his shoulders and turn him around, only to find Cloud’s face a bare two inches from his own. Rufus lost himself in that gaze, feeling his knees turn to liquid. He felt the blood rush to his cheeks, but those eyes were so beautiful, he couldn’t help himself…

“ And I don’t care who says otherwise,” breathed Cloud quietly. He smiled and, taking Rufus’ hands in his own, lifted the vice president-to-be up out of his chair and shoved him out the door, bickering about getting him into an outfit that wouldn’t attract attention.

An hour later, Cloud stood in front of Rufus, looking him over. They had to use of of Cloud’s clothes because all of Rufus’ were business-like and stark white, and Cloud insisted that Rufus have some color. They had finally settled on a red T-shirt, black slacks and a pair of white shoes, compliments or Rufus’ wardrobe. Cloud stood in front of Rufus, making sure he didn’t look like a complete dink in those clothes.

“ Damn, Ruff, you look pretty good in that getup,” Cloud observed out loud. Rufus looked to the floor.

“ Thank you… you’re not so bad yourself, you know.” Cloud shrugged and grinned.

“ Yeah, well, I try. C’mon, let’s get going! There’s lots to do in this town from what I hear.” And with that he pulled Rufus out of his room by the hand and proceeded to walk out the front door. Rufus was anticipating just that very thing when they excited the elevator and walked by the secretary: what if someone recognized him? What would his father say? Luckily, they made it out in one piece, and Rufus was free to take his first look around from the ground.

The city was magnificent. Trees lined the street, and a river ran through right next to them. People walked by, actual people, and Rufus felt free at last. He screamed and jumped up and down, hugging Cloud with everything he could. He broke away and smiled, and ran down the street, taking everything in. Cloud, smiling, followed.

It was unlike anything he’d ever seen. Cars sped by, people passed by, even a cat. So much freedom was on these streets that Rufus felt unable to take it all in. He passed by countless shops: one was selling what looked like materia (Rufus had never really seen real materia before,) another sold weapons, one sold clothes and shoes, and another sold countless items… it was like a paradise. He crossed the street to find something else, he didn’t know what, and came across more stores, each more new than the next: video arcades, restaurants, music stores, sports wear… anything and everything Rufus had never seen was now directly at his fingertips. He was just about to cross the street again when he felt Cloud grab him from behind. He turned around, smiled, and hugged Cloud harder than he ever had before. And Cloud actually hugged back.

“ Thank you so much for taking me out, Cloud. You have no idea what this means to me!” Cloud chuckled, and smiled into Rufus’ shoulder.

“ You know, judging by your reaction to all of this, I’d say I could make an educated guess on just how much it really does mean.” Rufus looked at him and blushed.

“ R-really? You’re not serious are you?” Cloud shrugged.

“ Maybe. Now come with me, I’ve got lots to show you!” And with that said he took hold of Rufus’ arm and dragged him down the street to whatever waited.

By the time they had finished it was now 8:30 PM and the two were just now getting around to dinner. Leading up to this point they had already visited the gaming arcade (in which Cloud had dominated above all else) two music stores, seven department stores, and other countless things. They’d gone to the park, watched four kids play soccer, seen a young couple in love, and climbed a tree to get the kids’ soccer ball down. Rufus had complained about not getting to see everything yet, but Cloud had insisted that they go get something to eat. So they found themselves wandering the streets until they had come across a pizza parlor, which Rufus was ecstatic about seeing as how they made the pizza right before your very eyes from behind glass.
They were seated right in front on a couple of barstools, watching a young man twirl dough on his hand, throw it up in the air, catch it and start twirling it again. Rufus was in a trance: he had never been so drawn into anything before in his life. Cloud watched him with rapt attention. He didn’t know why, but he couldn’t peel his eyes from Rufus’ face. It was just… just so damn attracting. Peaches and cream complexion, crystalline blue eyes, smiling lips… anything and everything about him was so perfect. Cloud’s subconscious wasn’t letting him feel anything that might result in knowing what he felt toward Rufus, but for the time being he just sat there and enjoyed watching his friend and his new experiences.

Rufus had picked out a mushroom pizza with pineapples and extra cheese, which he indulged on watching with everything he had. He wanted to remember how to do this so that when he got home he could tell Tseng all about it and have him make it for dinner sometime. The man behind the glass added the cheese, mushrooms and pineapples, shifted the dough onto a large spatula, and slid it into the oven. He closed it, set the timer, and started work on another pizza. Rufus broke out of his trance, seeing as how his pizza was no longer in sight, and pouted about not being able to watch it cook. Cloud smiled as he listened to Rufus’ complaints, saying how cheap it was to make the pizza for them but not let them watch it cook. He stopped huffing and puffing a while later and looked over to Cloud. Cloud was looking at him with more attention than Rufus saw fit, and there was something… suggestive in his eyes that made Rufus feel all the more uncomfortable. He lowered his gaze, and felt his face grow hot. He felt embarrassed for some reason, and he didn’t know why. It was almost like Cloud liked him in… that way…

“ Um, Cloud?” Rufus was nervous to say anything, lest it make Cloud feel the way he was feeling.

“ Yes, Ruff?” he answered. Rufus shuddered: Cloud’s voice was smooth as silk, sending an electric shuddowndown his spine.

“ Could you maybe… not… look at me like that? It’s kinda scary, to tell you the truth...” Cloud snapped out of his trance as he realized just how he was looking at Rufus. A hard blush hit him right in the face as his hand slipped off his chin sending him toppling onto the counter and knocking over his drink in the process. Pepsi cascaded over the counter top as a dumbstruck Cloud watched it pour off and onto his light khaki pants.

“ Oh… Jesus! I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to spill that! Gods, I’m so clumsy sometimes…” He heard himself say those words, and mentally punched himself. He sounded like such a dope! Cloud’s hands shot for napkins as Rufus shook his head.
“ No, it’s my fault for startling you like that. I do apologize,” Rufus said as he too reached for the napkins.

And then it happened. Skin touched skin, eyes met, blushes came back. Rufus’ hand brushed against Clouds as Cloud’s fingers wrapped around his hand, not the napkins. Rufus felt an electric currant running through his veins as he looked into Cloud’s sea green eyes, loosing himself there. He felt… oddly attracted to Cloud, almost as if… but no, that couldn’t be it. However, Cloud felt his own hand trembling as he realized something. He finally understood the attraction that was between them. He couldn’t be sure if that was certainly the case, but there was no other way of putting it.

… He really was falling for his best friend.

Cloud: you sick bitch, i can't believe you're doing this to me!
ryu-chan: *sighs* ...alright Cloud, tell you what. if you stop griping i'll bake you cookies, any cookies you want, however many you want. ok?
Cloud: ... can they be molasses?
ryu-chan: of course.
Cloud: deal.
ryu-chan: good. r&r!

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