People always seem drawn to Cloud. Barret has never known why. (Gen, ficlet.)
The way Tifa is acting hasn't escaped his notice. It's damn strange, but Barret can't really say he's surprised by it; it's a bizarre team they got going on here, and none stranger than the source of Tifa's worries.
It's surprising, but in their group of talking animals, last living members of ancient races and people with prosthetic limbs, Cloud is the one who stands out most. Who're you gonna be looking at when they enter the room: a giant stuffed Mog, or a skinny blonde guy? But Cloud is always the one people seem drawn to, no matter what weirdo he's with.
And Barret finds it a little unnerving, he's gotta admit, that even when he thinks of it like that it still isn't so weird. He's got that pokey head, that giant sword, and eyes so sharp and blue they could probably cut steel. People notice.
Watching him now, he looks harmless. Sitting in that goddamn wheelchair, his head drooping and his eyes rolling... Barret looks away, and sees the same emptiness in Tifa's face. This whole thing makes him feel claustrophobic. He hates being here, seeing them both existing, but only just.
"Barret," Tifa says, and he frowns as she manages a weak smile. "You look like you've seen a ghost."
Shit. Close enough, he thinks, but doesn't quite have the will to say it.