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.

Cloud maneuvered Reno around his room until he was able to dump the redhead onto the bed. He sighed heavily, leaning down to remove Reno’s shoes and socks before moving his legs onto the mattress as well. He had already pulled Reno’s jacket off and had it hanging off a chair where he had also set the Turk’s goggles and EMR.

He had decided to just let Reno sleep it off in his room since he didn’t really know where the Turk lived anyway.

Cloud stood back for a minute and just looked Reno over. The redhead looked troubled, even as he slept. His brow was creased in apprehension and his eyes moved restlessly beneath their lids. Cloud sighed and sat down, knowing that even if Reno got sleep, it wouldn’t be restful. The Turk was strong, stronger than most people ever gave him credit for, but even he couldn’t fight off dreams.

Cloud remembered that quiet well… he had only just begun to sleep without nightmares, during the last few months after Sephiroth’s second fall.

Slowly Cloud extended his hand, brushing it over Reno’s forehead and down his cheek, repeating the motion a few times. It seemed to soothe Reno, at least a little bit. It brought a small smile to the blonde’s face.

Cloud really wasn’t certain why he was suddenly feeling so… protective? … Attached? …Concerned? … for Reno. Was it just his sympathy?

There was a quiet chuckle from somewhere behind him and Cloud rolled his eyes. He didn’t bother looking, he knew who it was.

‘C’mon, Cloud,’ Zack’s amused voice rang in his head. ‘You know it’s not sympathy.’

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Cloud responded, removing his hand from Reno and placing it on the bed. Zack just laughed.

‘Oh really? I wasn’t blind back then you know… you always had an eye on him, even back in SOLDIER. What? You thought I never noticed? I’m insulted.’

“No you’re not,” Cloud answered, keeping his eyes trained on Reno and catching the amusement in his old friend’s tone. “Besides, you’re wrong. I wanted to be friends with him maybe… but you were the only one back then.”

‘Don’t lie Cloud,’ Zack’s voice became frosty. ‘Don’t lie to me, and don’t lie to yourself.’

There was a heavy sigh, before he continued, his voice softer.

‘I may have been the only one when we were together, but you know you’ve always liked him. Just like you knew how I felt about Aeris…’

There was a long silence between the two, Cloud just looking over Reno’s face, contemplating Zack’s words. He felt the vague pressure of a hand on his shoulder and almost winced. He wanted nothing more than to reach up and grasp that hand, but he knew that he would find nothing solid there to hold.

‘Just do me a favor, ok? Think about it. And if the opportunity arises, take it. Don’t let fear stop you.’

Cloud closed his eyes as he felt the familiar presence fade. Sometimes he wondered if it was a sign he was going mad that he continued to see and talk to loved ones after they’d died. He tried not to linger on that thought as he tucked the blankets a little more firmly around Reno.

He slowly made his way downstairs, wondering where Tifa and the kids were. He soon found an answer in a small note that had been left on the bar.

Took the kids to stay at Barret’s for a little while. I figured you could use the quiet. Take care and get some rest.

Cloud almost rolled his eyes at the hidden message in the hastily written note. ‘Take care of Reno and make sure both of you get rest.’ Even when she wasn’t there Tifa was still mothering. He chuckled and shook his head, knowing that her ‘mother hen’ mentality had pulled him through some rough patches, and who knew, maybe it would help the redhead too.

Unable to find anything else to do, Cloud headed back up to his room. He stole a few blankets and a pillow from Tifa’s room and set himself up on his floor. It wasn’t long after he settled down that the emotional currents of the day took their toll and Reno’s even breathing lulled him to sleep.

Kuragari: ok, so I know it’s kind of short but I wanted to update. I know it takes forever and I’m sorry but thanks for hanging in there with me ^^.

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