Step 39: The Morning After
Step 39: The Morning After
I'm dreaming, somehow I know this is a dream while it's taking place. I wish I knew it's not real when my nightmares come, but I guess that even if I knew that, I might still believe it, because it might have been real in a distant past, or at least similar to the harsh reality.
This dream, although I know is a dream, is very real. Maybe it's wrong of me to call it a dream, it's more like a memory; an event that I know for a fact took place.
In my memory, I'm in Cosmo Canyon sitting around a camp fire with Tseng and Nanaki. We're roasting marshmallows and I keep worrying they'll burn, but I don't say anything.
"I've always thought people deserve a second chance..." Nanaki's words surface in my memories and though we didn't directly speak of it then, I was well aware that he knew who I was.
The scene of the peaceful star filled scenery of Cosmo Canyon is shattered by the buzz of a new day. I stretch, feeling stiff from sleeping on the floor and push myself to get up even if I'm still tired. I wish to go back into that peaceful dream; I haven't slept well in a long time.
I'm caught in the excitement of the morning; the girls are wide awake, I theorize they spent the entire night eating sweets and doing girl activities. Putting make up on each other, bashing men, plotting terrible evils or whatever it is females do when they are left to their own devices.
Denzel looks like a miniature Cloud, that's child cruelty if I ever saw it, but he seems happy about it. "I like it!" His hair is bleached blond and spiked.
"I don't like mine!" Cloud is trying to get his white hair to spike but it falls down on his face reminding me of a certain body of thoughts. I push the image away and focus on enjoying Cloud's misery. "What did you do?"
"I put some relaxer on your hair, miss Cloud," Tifa grins mischievously.
Cloud pouts, "I hope I can wash it off, you're cruel sometimes, you know that?" Not only has his hair lost its spikes, he's also wearing makeup. It's strange; it looks like someone transferred the head of a woman into a man's body.
"I know," Tifa sounds proud. Even more so when Cloud looks in the mirror and sees his hair is not the only problem. He appears to be horrified, as if some terrible memory has surfaced and he wipes the makeup off so harshly, I almost expect his face to be erased, which wouldn't be a bad thing.
Reno has occupied himself in making fun of Cloud, calling him various names, as if trying to find a proper female name for him, "How about Rain, because of rain clouds? Or Lightning, that could be a girl's name."
"Lightning yourself, or is it Rena," Cloud growled back.
Reno stuck out his tongue and continued trying to get himself untangled from the multitude of pink ribbons tied all over him.
Tseng was quietly removing the braids from his hair and cleaning off the makeup, taking his defeat with as much dignity as a man in makeup can muster. Rude is occupied washing his entire head, since he had makeup doodles all over it.
Rufus keeps grumbling and removing decorated hair clips, while complaining about how his face shouldn't be hidden by makeup. My guess is there are pictures of this that will haunt us for the rest of our lives.
"I don't like pink," Reno complained.
"Pink is light red," Marlene reminded, while petting Blaze, who was obviously spoiled.
"Okay then, I only like dark pink then," Reno threw out his counter, if you could call it that. "Seriously red is cool, but not pink."
"I'll bet you like red, that's why you're wearing that red lipstick and nail polish," Cloud tried to get back at Reno for all his teasing.
"Better than purple!" Reno retorts and I observe that while the redhead has red nails to match, Cloud does indeed have purple nails. Rufus' nails are golden, Tseng's are navy blue, Rude's are a bright orange that clash with everything else about him, Denzel was spared the nail torture, the little general seems happy with his Cloud hair, but I still say he got the worse punishment out of all of us.
As for me, after taking the time to notice the state my comrades were left in, I finally break out of my denial to realize that I'm not doing any better. My nails are perfectly manicured in a shiny metallic silver and my hair has beads in it. I don't even want to look at my face because I'm probably wearing makeup, I think I would rather wash it off without looking at it, but all I can do is yawn.
While Cloud and Reno's argument continues, at some point Reno throws out a point that catches my attention. "At least I didn't dress up as a girl to sneak into Don Corneo's mansion!" cloud looks both shocked and horrified, babbling unable to come up with a counter. "That right, everyone knows about it."
What happened next was a little odd I'll admit. I started laughing uncontrollably thinking about Cloud's predicament. I don't think I've ever laughed that loud. As well as I could through the laughter, I requested pictures, which Reno promised to provide, in fact, he offered the entire security video confiscated from the mansion.
Leaving Cloud to threaten Reno's life, I yawned again and as if in a trance, I moved towards the first bed I spot. My mind doesn't immediately register the fact that this is Cloud's bed and by the time I come to the realization, I'm already too comfortable to get up. Once again, sleep takes over and time passes.
xoxox xox xoxox
I wake up sometime later and notice the colorful stains on Cloud's previously white pillowcase from the makeup they put on me being smothered all over it. I stretch and try to blink away any remaining sleep, rubbing my eyes and finding silver in my hand. Silver eye makeup, great, just great, but despite my humiliating predicament, I'm thankful I didn't have any nightmares.
I stumble out of the room, grabbing my clothes on the way, and head towards the bathroom, which is fortunately free. I don't ask or say anything before locking myself in and getting into the shower.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Final Fantasy VII. For Cloud's girl names Rain is a reference to the Sweet Kiwi crackfic series by Snow, Cherri and myself; Lightning is a reference to FFXIII.