Cloud and Tifa's date at the golden saucer, with a twist at the end. All the dialouge is from the game so it belongs to square enix not me. Same with all the characters etc.
Cloud tossed and turned in the themed bed. Why were they stalling here, in the Golden Saucer? They should be out looking for Sephiroth, not enjoying themselves in this theme park. He'd spent half an hour on the Slam Dunk machine just to get enough GP to stay in this ridiculous hotel, themed to look like a haunted house. It was idiotic, it really was. Besides, the whole place was run by ShinRa Inc, why should they give their hard earned Gil to the organisation they were trying to fight?
Another flash of artificial lightning lit up the room. It was no good; he'd never sleep like this. He rolled out of the themed bed, (made of fake stone and designed to look vaguely medieval) and walked over to the window, looking out on the plastic gravestones that led to the other areas of the Golden Saucer. Just then, there was a knock on the door. Before he had time to ask who it was, Tifa walked in. She looked slightly nervous.
"Cloud..." she said, staring at her boots.
"What's wrong?" he asked. He knew it couldn't be anything serious, or she would have woken Aerith, who was sharing her room. Tifa looked up at him for a second, and he could have sworn she was blushing, probably just a trick of the pointless candle chandeliers that lit the room.
"I... I thought about what I was going to say... but... it's kind of embarrassing..." she mumbled, staring quickly back at her apparently fascinating boots. She took a deep breath, looking up at him, and smiled nervously. No, he was sure now, it wasn't just the candles, she was actually blushing.
"Hey Cloud!" she said, a little too loudly, with the sound of someone who had rehearsed what they were going to say in their head one too many times.
"Why don't the two of us sneak out of here and spend some time together?" she gabbled, all in one breath, then looked at him hopefully. Cloud stared at her in confusion. They'd been friends since they were tiny, why was she so nervous about asking to hang out with him? Maybe she thought he'd be angry, she was his best friend, she'd probably picked up on his unhappiness that the group insisted on wasting time here... He smiled slightly; she did look quite sweet, looking so hopeful. Her face lit up, and she grabbed his arm.
"Come on, let's go!" she grinned, as she dragged him out the room.
"Hey!" said Cloud in surprise, but it was half hearted. She must have taken his smile for a yes. Well, he had nothing better to do; he was hardly going to sleep in this joke of a hotel.
They both shot out of the rainbow coloured pneumatic tube, landing neatly. The bright lights and loud music were a sharp change from the gloom and silence of the haunted house hotel. An employee shot them a cheesy grin.
"Tonight's enchantment night! All the attractions are free!" she said brightly, then, getting no response from the pair, added "How 'bout it you two? There's going to be an entertaining show in Event Square!" Tifa turned to Cloud, childish excitement written on her delicate features. "Come on!" she squealed "Let's go!" Cloud had never seen Tifa like this; she was acting like a giddy teenager. But then, he never knew her when she WAS a teenager, he missed those years, away in Midgar training to be in SOLDIER. He quite liked her like this, letting go for once, enjoying herself. Maybe this trip wasn't such a waste of time after all... He nodded, and together they ran over to the tube marked Event Square and jumped in.
They emerged in a large auditorium, already pretty full with couples whispering and chatting excitedly. Tifa ran forward, but she was stopped by a small man in a light blue suit.
"Congratulations!!" he shouted. Cloud winced and covered his ears.
"You are our 100th couple today!" he beamed at them. Tifa blushed again, and Cloud was about to point out that they weren't a couple exactly, but was interrupted. "You two will be the leads in tonight's show!!!" announced the little man.
"Wha?" gasped Cloud incredulously. If this man thought he was going to get Cloud Strife up on that stage he had another thing coming.
"Oh, now it's not hard. Just play it however you want and the rest of the cast will cover for you." added the man quickly, obviously sensing Cloud's reluctance. He started round the side of the arena, and looked back when neither of them moved. "Come this way" he smiled encouragingly.
"H, Hey!" Cloud spluttered. He hadn't agreed to this, he was not going to agree with this...
"Sounds like fun!" Tifa smiled wickedly at him. "Come on Cloud, let's give it a try." She opened her eyes wide and clasped her hands in a perfect imitation of Aerith's simpering manner, and Cloud couldn't help but smile again. Tifa grinned happily at him and ran off after the little man. Cloud rolled his eyes and sighed, looks like Tifa had managed to get past him again.
The stage was brightly lit, with a backdrop of twee little houses, and "Gold Saucer" spelled out in clouds in the sky.
"Long, long ago..." began the narrator, "An evil shadow appeared over the peaceful kingdom of Galdia. Princess Rosa was just kidnapped by the Evil Dragon King, Valvados. What will become of her?" The narrator paused for effect, before continuing.
"Just then, the legendary hero Alfred appears!!" There was a smattering of applause, and Cloud shuffled onto the stage, blushing furiously. How had he managed to get talked into this? He looked out into the audience, thankfully the auditorium was dark and he couldn't see their faces, but he bet they were laughing at him. He stood uncomfortably in the middle of the stage, and an actor in a suit of armour twirled on stage, stopping next to him.
"Oh... you must be the legendary hero... Alfred!" boomed the knight dramatically. Cloud shuffled a bit and blushed a shade darker. "Hey, it's your line." hissed the knight. "Me?" Cloud mouthed, desperately hoping the knight was speaking to someone else, as everything they had told him to say seemed to have evaporated out of his head.
"Yea, you" whispered the knight. Cloud just stared at him, at a loss. The knight sighed, and turned to the audience.
"Ahem" he said grandly. Cloud turned to face him, hoping he might give him a clue to what the hell he was meant to be saying.
"Oh... You must be the legendary hero...Alfred!" he repeated. "I know in my soul. Please, please save Princess Rosa!" The knight then knelt towards the audience. "Now... please talk... to the King...!"
The knight stepped back, as a fat man in a blue robe and a paper crown, with a cotton wool beard twirled onto the stage. Why do they always twirl? Cloud thought desperately to himself, panic had caused him to lose the plot completely. Dimly he remembered he was meant to talk to the king, so he ran over to the fat actor.
"Oh... legendary hero Alfred. You have come to save my beloved Rosa..." wailed the king, throwing his arms in the air. "On the peak of a dangerous mountain... dwells the Evil Dragon King, Valvados... whose kidnapped Princess Rosa..." he cried. "But... you can't beat the Evil Dragon King now! Talk to one who can help you..." he added, pointing left.
A man in a green robe with a pointed hat twirled on from the other side of the stage. Cloud ran over, his soldiers brain was actually quite intrigued, how was he to defeat the monster, maybe a sword, or some powerful materia?
"I am the great wizard Vorman." croaked the Wizard. "What do you wish to know?"
"The Evil Dragon Kings weakness" said Cloud, forgetting for a second he was on stage.
"Ahh, the weakness of the Evil Dragon King. It must be, it must be..." Several whispers could be heard from the audience, and someone shouted "Get on with it" The Wizard shot a disgruntled look at the audience.
"YES" He shouted, over the laughter that had erupted. "It must be... True love!"
Cloud groaned inwardly, he might have known. The wizard was still talking but Cloud had stopped listening. Now he just wanted to get this stupid charade over and try to snatch a few hours sleep.
"Oh what is going to happen next?" gasped the knight. "Oh... legendary hero, look!" Cloud turned, just as an actor in a huge green dragon costume bounced on stage, holding a limp Tifa in his arms. For a second Cloud was worried, she did look very limp, but then she looked up at him and winked, just as the dragon dropped her on the floor. Cloud grinned; she was going bright red in the face from trying not to laugh, it was sweet. The dragon was roaring something in the background, but Cloud wasn't listening, he couldn't take his eyes off Tifa. She'd controlled the urge to laugh, and was sitting at the dragons feet, looking up into his eyes, a slight smile playing around her lips. They really were very attractive lips; he bet they were probably soft too...
"Please help me... Legendary hero" cried Tifa, snapping him out of his reverie, but then ruining the effect slightly by turning to the dragon and whispering "Like that?"
"Gaaaah!" the dragon roared. "Here I come, legendary hero... Alfred!" he shook his head a bit, and then added as an afterthought "I already know your name"
"And now legendary hero! Here is what will happen to your beloved." Cloud blinked. She was his beloved now? He thought she was meant to be a princess he'd never met... seemed like the whole play was being made up on the spot.
"A kiss!" proclaimed the wizard "the power of true love!" Cloud started, and looked over at Tifa, who had gone red again. Kissing Tifa... that wouldn't be so bad, he'd spent most of his teenage years dreaming of it, but in front of all these people... He walked hesitantly over to her, then, to his relief (or was it disappointment?) she stood up and offered him her hand. He knelt down, and gently planted a kiss on its back. Her palm was rough and calloused from many battles, but the back of her hand was smooth and soft.
"Cloud..." she said softly. "I mean, Alfred" she added hurriedly, remembering where she was. The dragon shouted something before being pulled up into the roof on a string, but Cloud barely noticed. He was gazing at Tifa again, mentally replaying the way her hand had felt, the way she had whispered his name. Suddenly, he noticed the rest of the cast had left the stage. Tifa grinned wickedly at him, and twirled offstage in a passable imitation of the rest of the cast. Cloud smiled back, and twirled after her, as the curtain came down and the audience erupted into applause.
Back in the entrance they both collapsed into giggles. "That was funny" Tifa sighed, once she'd got her breath back. Cloud smiled again, it had been a long time since he'd laughed like that. "Hey, let's go on the Gondola next!" Tifa said suddenly, and she ran over to the tube marked Round Square and jumped down. Cloud shrugged and followed her.
She was waiting for him by the ticket stall. She looked slightly relieved when she saw him, like she hadn't been sure if he'd follow her. "Two please" she said to the girl at the ticket booth. She handed Cloud his ticket and they entered the gondola, which was basically a small wooden shack connected to a rail at the roof. "Enjoy the sights of the Golden Saucer!" smiled the hostess as she shut the door and the ride started.
They sat opposite each other on the wooden benches. Tifa was staring out the window, occasionally gasping at the beauty of the view. Cloud was more occupied with the beauty sat opposite him. He watched as her face was lit by the coloured lights from below. Her dark brown hair framed her face, and her deep reddish brown eyes were wide with wonder. Despite everything she'd been through, Cloud realised, she had still managed to retain an almost childlike innocence; an innocence he'd lost. Perhaps though, tonight, she had helped him find it again, if only for a few hours.
"Oh, Cloud!" she gasped suddenly, and he turned to look out the window. It was a truly breathtaking sight. A firework display had started, and the beautiful rockets burst around the gondola, illuminating the passengers in brightly coloured lights.
"It's really pretty isn't it" sighed Tifa, her face lit by the golden glow of a firework. She's beautiful, thought Cloud suddenly, just completely beautiful.
"Ok, I'm just going to go ahead and say it" she muttered, almost to herself.
"What?" asked Cloud, still gazing at her.
"Aerith would be able to just come out and say it, probably" she sighed. Cloud frowned slightly at the mention of the flower girl. What did Aerith have to do with anything?
"Cloud" she sighed again and he felt a shiver down his spine at the way she said it. She smiled at him sadly.
"Sometimes... being old friends is hard" she said softly "I mean, timing is everything..."
"Yeah..." said Cloud distantly. He wasn't really listening to her anymore; he was watching the way the fireworks reflected in her eyes. He slowly moved his gaze down to her mouth, watching the way she formed the words with her lips, imagining how they'd feel against his.
"Cloud..." she said again. "I..."
"Shhh..." he said softly, gently placing a finger on her lips, then gently running it down her cheek to her chin. She closed her eyes, and he softly pulled her mouth to meet his, running his hand back up her jaw and into her hair. She placed her hand on the back of his neck, as he parted his lips for her tongue. He could still see the lights of the fireworks through his closed eyelids, but the fireworks in his own body were all her.
They reluctantly pulled apart as the ride slowed down as it neared the station. She paused before the tube that would take them back to the hotel.
"Cloud, I really had fun tonight" she said softly staring back at her shoes again. Cloud smiled, and then a thought struck him.
"By the way" he asked "what did you want to say a minute ago..." (Before the best thing that's happened on this entire journey) he added to himself.
"N, nothing" said Tifa smiling slightly. She didn't want to spoil it now, with grand declarations, better to leave things how they were. "Nothing" she said again, more firmly this time.
"Oh, look at the time" the said suddenly, "we should be getting back!" Cloud nodded. He held out his hand for her, and she took it smiling, and they jumped into the tube together.