Common Ground

BY : Kuragari75
Category: Final Fantasy Anime > Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children
Dragon prints: 600
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy, any of the characters, and no I'm not making any money from this.

Tifa stifled her horrified gasp with her hands, laying them firmly over her mouth as her warm eyes sought out the troubled Turk.

Rude… dead? Strong, silent, dependable, almost-no-sense-of -humor Rude? It couldn’t be! Only the saddened look on Cloud’s face confirmed it. He would never make something like this up, even Rufus wasn’t enough of a bastard to lie about this, and it did explain the Turk’s strange behavior.

It was the barely concealed empathy and understanding in those mako-blue depths that cemented it for Tifa.

He was really gone. It seemed so surreal. He had always been there. He was the other half to the duo… it was always Reno and Rude… always. She couldn’t imagine never seeing his shielded eyes again and she had never even really worked with the Turk. She couldn’t imagine what Reno must be feeling.

The man was truly gone… leaving his sodden, sulking other half behind to wallow until the sun came up. Suddenly, the red-head made much more sense as Reno’s words rang through Tifa’s head.

“I ain’t drunk enough, yet.”

Reno was attempting to drown his sorrow out, to forget what he was now missing. Who only knew what he may end up doing if they let him leave on his own? He shouldn’t be alone tonight.

Tifa felt her eyes mist ever so slightly before she shook her head and began a determined stride towards the bar.

She was quickly interrupted when she was once more yanked back by Cloud. The brunette spun around, prepared to death-glare Cloud until he let her go and try to console Reno... there were two words she’d thought she’d never put together… but once more the look on Cloud’s face stopped her.

This time, it was a steel look of stubbornness. Tifa knew that look, and knew all too well what it meant.

It meant that whatever the blonde was going to say next was something she wasn’t going to like… and she had no choice but to go with it.

“Tifa,” he started firmly, flicking his gaze back towards Reno to make sure the conversation was still private. “You can’t hover. Please, promise me you won’t let him know that I told you. You can’t act like anything has changed.”

Tifa blinked, and then blinked again… and again.

“What?” she half-whispered, half-snarled. “His partner, a man he must’ve seen as the closest thing he’s ever had to a brother, just died! You’re expecting me to just act like everything’s normal?!”

“For his sake… yes.” Cloud practically growled back. He sighed, rubbing at his eyes for a moment and finally letting go of Tifa’s arm. “Tifa… trying to coddle and console him now will only anger him.”

“Then… what can we do?” she asked. Cloud was a man of few words, so when he spoke up, it was better to listen.

“Just… let me handle it… ok?” The blonde’s eyes were pleading, if a little unsure. Tifa had wanted to argue that the last thing the redhead needed was to ignore and forget his grief, but then she remembered. Cloud knew that. He had learned it himself, first with Zack, and then later with Aeris.

Zack, how could she have forgotten about Zack? If anyone understood how it felt to lose a man that was practically your brother, it was Cloud. Though he had blamed himself for a long time for the man’s death, Cloud had eventually dealt with it, and now he was the only one who knew what it was that Reno needed.

It was with that heavy thought that Tifa nodded, heading back to the bar and entrusting the Turk’s welfare to the blonde’s care… for now.

Kuragari: short, I know but I did warn you! thank you to everyone who reviewed and even if you just read this at all.

Frizz: so good to hear you like it! How have you been anyway? I got some drawings done I want you to see… I just need a scanner lol.

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