Cloud: His talking back must have surprised her given the way her head turned in his direction. He even admitted his own surprised as he normally just allowed her to nag him without much of a response as her naggings were generally for his best interests even if he didn't see it. At her snapping back at him, he turned his face away and hid his eyes under his bangs. He was slightly thankful that she decided to drop that conversation about the past, but the dull throb was still there when he thought about it. Again, he simply fell into silence and let her have at him verbally.
He thought he could feel the heat of her anger towards him, and he continued to hide his features behind his bangs. He could see it from her point of view, that this news should have been a happy moment had it been actually true. He just couldn't see it. He didn't like to have to stare at his own mistakes, even though he knew them well enough. They hadn't used protection, but he never thought that he would have to. Maybe he didn't bother out of some dull hope that a moment like the one he was currently in would come to pass? He doubted he was actually thinking beyond the moment the first time, but he had to wonder about all the other ones where he had even thought about it once and passed it off as irrelevant and pointless.
He closed his eyes a moment and lifted a hand to rub his forehead in aggravation. He sighed a breath from his nose and just wanted to ignore this situation until he was ready to think about it, but he knew very well that Tifa would not let this go. Did she want to get his hopes up? He finally turned away and walked over to the bed, thinking of sitting but deciding against it at the last moment. "You make a valid point," he offered softly despite it paining him to admit it. "I don't know what you have to do... it's too unreal."
Tifa: It were times like these where Tifa hated being unable to read the thoughts that were going through his mind. Once and a while she could read the looks in his eyes, but knowing that he was looking away from her, she couldn't even do that. Guessing wasn't very fun either, but she did know that the denial was too strong. She wasn't sure when it became so strong... when they had that conversation on the couch many months ago, he seemed excited for it. What changed his mind? Was it the fact that Zahna was infertile? She wiped that thought of her mind as quickly as she possibly could. Maybe he should've taken his own advice and let the past remain in the past... but she didn't dare say that out loud. Mentioning what happened three years ago was enough pain to inflict.
She followed him to the bed, folding her legs underneath her so she could sit on them, then rested her hands in her lap. "I do that from time to time, don't sound so surprised," she said, unable to even perk up a smile. Scooting closer to him, she put her hand in his and gave it a gentle squeeze. "Well, it is real and you have to believe me." Using her other hand, she cupped his cheek and forced him to look into her eyes, then forced herself into the tiniest smile. "You don't get a choice in that. Give me about another month and a half and I will be showing... and in 36 weeks, the baby'll be born. Don't tell me that it'll take you that long to believe me, I won't be able to handle it. Besides, the ultrasound appointment is in three weeks, so we'll be able to see the baby then. Still, though... waiting three more weeks of having this excitement all by myself? No, I don't want that. I want to share it with you. This is something we need to go through together. We've gone through a lot together… this is just the best thing yet." Moving her hand to the back of his neck, she pressed his forehead against hers so she could look into his eyes. "Allow yourself to be happy and know that you have accomplished a goal that you have wanted for so long. This is real."
Cloud: When she followed him to the bed, Cloud turned his head a little to regard her out of the corner of his eye, noting the small smile on her lips. "I'm never surprised by you anymore," he said softly, most because he could read her like a book. She also made it clear her feelings on the matter, not that he blamed her. He set his shoulders when she moved closer to him, not withdrawing from her touch and instead shifted his hand back more to hers to show, that despite the argument, he still loved to touch her.
He nodded his head at her words, still feeling that uncomfortable twist of his gut, but he turned his face down when she urged him too. He didn't seat himself beside her just yet, and he managed to shuffle his feet in his discomfort to her words. He didn't like the fact that he was going to be her way or no way at all, leaving him with no time to think it over in his own time. The timeline that she set for him made the thoughts no less difficult, but instead nearly brought him to seating himself out of confusion and the spike of hope. "There has to be a choice..." he murmured and hung his head into her hand, leaning into the touch. "I just... can't believe in this as much as I want to. Getting my hopes up about something like this... it just cannot be true. I know what you are saying and how you feel about this... I know you would make a wonderful mother and want to be one..." He trailed off, not knowing where he was going with it anymore.
Sighing heavily, he seated himself down on the bed silently, leaning his elbows on his knees and rubbing his forehead with his hand again. "I am happy... with you, with the children here. I just... don't know..." He shook his head and then looked down to her flat stomach, tentatively reaching a hand out to touch it. His fingers drew along her abdomen slowly, biting his lip at the feel of her shirt pulling at his fingers as they passed by. Despite himself, his lower lip quivered a little before leaning down and burying his face into her neck, his shoulders shaking.
Tifa: If the mood in the room was a little lighter, she was sure that there would've been a small smirk on his face with his statement. She never could surprise with him anything because she never gave him a chance to be surprised. She wore her heart on her sleeve and spoke the thoughts that were on her mind, making everything about her transparent to him. It made things easier on her, and on him, she assumed... no room for guessing or miscommunication. Trying to smile a little wider, she rubbed her thumb over his cheek gently, doing her best to cheer him up a little, but she wasn't sure if it was possible at the moment. Not until he kicked his denial off to the side.
"No, there isn't a choice," she shook her head and spoke softly to him. "You're not getting your hopes up because it's already true. No more hoping, just looking at the fact that we're going to start a family and accepting them. Our own family, Cloud. Starting from scratch... well, four weeks ago we started from scratch and now we're just going to wait a few months and then we'll be able to experience raising our own children. Our own flesh and blood..." She was starting to become repetitive, so she figured shutting up was the best course of action. She wasn't sure what else she could say to convince him otherwise, his mind was so made up for him. He was just about the most stubborn person she knew besides herself, so she knew that nothing she could say was going to make it better. He had to convince himself and she wasn't sure how else he could do that in her presence. Leaving him in the room wouldn't help, because that would lead to solo angsting and just more convincing that he would never be a father.
With a small nod of her head, she listened to him and agreed. The way that he acted around her and the children, it was clear that he was happy with everything... but shouldn't this make him even happier? As he touched her stomach, she felt her smile widen and even felt tears well up in her eyes. Underneath his fingertips, their baby was growing, and it made her actually chuckle a little, still in awe of the whole thing. But, when she looked up at him, she could see the look in his eyes and her expression fell. He wanted to believe her so badly, but he just couldn't.
"Cloud..." she whispered as she saw his lip quiver, then she wrapped her arms around him as his face went against her neck. One hand rested against his back as the other went to the back of his head, rubbing his hair slowly, trying to soothe him. Turning her head a little, she kissed him on his temple before resting her cheek against his forehead. She wasn't sure what to say anymore, so instead she just held him close to her.
Cloud: Cloud winced again at the confirmation that he had no choice in the matter, and that it would always be her way. He shook his head a little, but he forced himself to listen to what she had to say, allowing himself time to digest the information in his silence. He bit his lip again at her words, feeling the spike of want growing as she tried to convince him about this concept. His mind still refused to admit that he should believe in this, but she was so insistent that it was getting difficult for him not to take in her enthusiasm and brunt way of forcing... he wanted to believe her. He knew that he wanted to believe her, but it was difficult for him to admit that it was a possibly.
The smile on her face when he touched her stomach drew another wince from him, but he didn't draw his hand away. His eyes closed at her chuckle, and he knew just how happy she would be if this turned out to be true, that she deserved more than anyone that he knew to have this moment be hers and hers alone. He had ruined it well enough. His other arm slipped around her waist and hold himself to her side before the hand on her stomach slid around to hold her more tightly to his side. How was he supposed to believe in something he had done a wonderful job convincing himself that would never happen to him?
He refused to let out all of his confused and frustrated emotion on her though, simply holding himself close to her and hiding his face away in her hair. He was thankful that she let this drop in exchange for just holding him, and he shifted ever closer. "...I want to believe... but..."
Tifa: Every time the look of pain went across his face, she knew just how hard he was fighting himself and she felt a stab of pain through her body. At least he was now trying to convince himself that it was true, even if he didn't want to say it just yet. There was nothing more that she could say to convince him, it was all on his own now. She stated the facts, stated how she went to the doctors and told him what the doctor had told her. She was pregnant, no other way to describe the hormones in her blood. There wasn't a physical way to prove that to Cloud in the bedroom though, which is what made it so difficult. He only had her word to go by, and the slip of paper that had the ultrasound appointment written on it.
She held onto him tighter as he brought her closer to him, gently kissing his forehead and stroking his back with her fingertips. "I know, I know..." That was all she could think of to say without sounding so incredibly persistent. Although it wasn't right of her to snap at him like she did earlier, now, when he was trying to work it all out and fight off the denial, it would've only confused him more. She knew he would work through it though and come to realize that it was all the truth, but she just wasn't sure how long it would take. She would stay with him for as long as it took.
Cloud: Trying to work the thoughts out for himself wasn't as easy as it had once been. Normally, Vincent had been able to give him sound advice or hit him with a phrase that would throw him completely into a different way of thinking about something else. It almost felt like the last time he dealt with something like this had been much easier than what he was dealing with now. He sat divided, warring with himself on whether or not it was right for him to get his hopes up in regards to a piece of paper and Tifa's word. He knew she wouldn't lie to him, which should have been reason enough in his own mind to just let this war go and move on but it was such a touchy subject for him that he was having trouble letting go.
The way that she left him alone to fight with himself but stayed by his side helped considerably. In his own way, he knew that he was not alone, just that Tifa no longer had any way to actually help him deal with this issue. Her presence was the only thing that she could offer now, and he took it. Could it be that, despite his denials, Tifa was actually pregnant? A dull thrill shot through him at the thought of it before he was forced to admit that it could be just as equally likely that she did not. Still, that chance, that minor glimmer of something more than adopted children - though he loved Denzel and Marlene dearly - managed to get his attention.
His hand slipped back and rested on her stomach, unable to feel anything that would make this process so much easier. There was nothing, but somehow, a feeling started to creep up the back of his neck. If he never believed, he could never make Tifa happy. Turning his back on this possibility would injure him more in the long-run where he could take a big risk and just let the thought settle in his brain and do whatever it would do to him. He took a risk in forgiving himself for Aeris and Zack's deaths, and that had been the right decision to make for himself.
Drawing himself back, he cast his eyes down and just sat quietly looking terribly alone and lost. He glanced to Tifa beside him then reached out and shoved her backwards onto the bed, shifting over and pushing her shirt up before tugging down the hem of her shorts. He leaned over and scrutinized her stomach silently, pondering before he reached out and poked her in the stomach then stared some more. He then slowly leaned down and pressed his ear to her stomach as if listening for something. "...hello?"
Tifa: She closed her eyes and gently rocked them, trying to make his thinking process a little easier. She was just glad that Reno was somewhere else in the house so he wasn't crawling all over them demanding their attention like he usually did. Even in the middle of the night, he would try to snuggle with them, which only resulted in him being locked out of the room sometimes. She loved the cat to death and sometimes felt a little guilty when he scratched on the door and mewed to come in, but sometimes she wanted to spend a night alone with Cloud without kitty company.
Her eyes opened again as she felt his hand on her stomach, and she stopped moving to back away slightly and look down at where his hand was, yet still kept her arms around him. After looking at his hand for a moment, she looked up at his eyes, trying to see if she could read any of his thoughts at all. It was difficult, nearly impossible, but she knew that he was trying so hard to tell her that he believe her. Maybe it was only for her sake, but perhaps it would eventually cause him to believe himself. He just needed to let himself go a little bit, then the snow ball effect would settle in, allowing the false reality that he could never have children that he created for himself to break away.
She wasn't expecting him to push her back onto the bed, so a small gasp escaped her lips, but once he started to move up her shirt, she knew what he was doing. Her stomach still looked the same, obviously, it would be a while before it was noticeable that she was pregnant, but maybe if he just looked at it? Remaining silent, she smiled as he gazed down at her, then giggled as he poked her. Now she wasn't sure what he was doing at all. When he put his ear to her, she giggled more then said, "I think you've got a while before it can talk back, but why don't you say something to it? It's your first words with our baby, you know."
Cloud: At first, he didn't know what Tifa’s reaction would be to his actions, and he had only hoped that she wouldn't yell at him again or tell him off. Really, he was much too concerned sorting things out for himself that he didn't even look at her expression when he pushed her back down and then investigated her stomach. There had been nothing there, of course. He had just checked, perhaps out of hope or because he was just weird and needed to see. He had been near her stomach plenty of times, but it looked the same yet... he couldn't deny that it seemed a little bit different. It was nothing that he could visually detect, but it just... felt different.
Running a hand down around his own head until he simply curled his arm around her hips and held her close to him. He noted her giggling, and he turned his head so that he looked up at her face, tilting his head to the side a little as if what he had done shouldn't have warranted her laughing at him. He looked down at her stomach again and looked a little sheepish, withdrawing and simply sitting next to her instead. He carefully folded his hands into his lap and just sat quietly thinking about the possibilities of what this could mean, if anything at all. If what she said was true, there was a life growing in her belly.
He cleared his throat and looked aside instead. "Hmmmm, no... I don't have anything to say..." he murmured, more out of nervousness that he had been caught doing something very stupid. He didn't even fully believe, but he had allowed himself to have a moment of weakness about the entire thing. "I don't see anything... but... who knows," he finally offered.
Tifa: She stopped giggling when he looked at her, but she still had the smile on her face as she investigated what he was doing. It was so adorable and really made her excited for when it was noticeable that she was pregnant. It meant losing her figure that she had worked so hard on over her lifetime, but getting a baby out of the deal made it all better. As he looked down at her stomach again, she brushed some of his blonde bangs off his forehead before he moved again.
Not moving from her spot on the bed, she shrugged her shoulders. "Well, that didn't stop me from my little impromptu speech that I gave while I was still at the hospital. You don't have to have a monologue written out." She stopped before going any further, not wanting to pressure him to do anything. He wasn't convinced that there was a baby yet anyway, and she was trying not to push him. One push could've driven him the other way and he could've gone further in denial, so she wasn't going to say anything more about it. He was well on his way anyway.
She placed her hand on her own stomach and rested it there as she looked up at Cloud and said, "Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not there. That goes for many things, you know that." With a small grunt, she sat up straight and gave Cloud a kiss on the lips. "Just because there isn't a neon flashing light above my head that says I love you on it doesn't mean that I don't. See what I mean?" It was almost a bad analogy since there might as well have been a sign over her head, for she made it quite obvious.
Cloud: Cloud quirked an eyebrow at her mention of a speech in the hospital, which clearly gave him the indication about how excited she had been about the entire news. If it had been him, he would have run from the hospital so fast, no one would have been able to catch him. No, that was wrong... he would have made it to the nearest window and took a jump. Still, it was clear that she was already affectionate with the idea. "I think... I will leave the speeches to you then," he said softly. She was better at speeches anyway, and he didn't much like to detail too much anymore. He had had his time of speeches.
He nodded his head slowly to her words, watching as she sat up next to him. He did believe her about that, but it was the fact that he knew that babies were something that someone was supposed to see in order to confirm. His eyebrow went higher on his head at her analogy and he glanced up to the top of her head. "I don't know... I can still see it, so your point is moot. It's a little dim now... might want to change the batteries," he remarked with a dry tone. He would have to actually get her a neon sign for a special occasion because there was one practically there anyway.
He turned aside and let his legs settle back on the floor, glancing to his side at Tifa. "So... what do we do now?"
Tifa: The answer was fine with her, so she chuckled and nodded her head. "All right. I'm the one out of the two of us who likes to talk anyway." She admitted that freely, because it was the truth. There have been many occasions where she had randomly rambled on and on about things that didn't make sense, yet she kept on going anyway. It was an attribute that she had, and she hoped that it didn't annoy anyone. Besides, she still needed to give him more time, it seemed. It still kind of bothered her, but at least he was trying.
Playfully making a face at him, she rubbed noses with him. "Are you accusing me of being obvious?" Letting out a dramatic scoff and flicked her wrist as if it was the most insane thing that he could've been accusing her of. In fact, she knew just how obvious she was with him, if the way she pounced on him whenever he walked in the door wasn't enough of a hint, the way she told him every five minutes that she loved him or at least kissed him gave it away. It was still a shock that all of Gaia didn't know about it by now. Actually, she was pretty sure that everyone did know about it and came to their own conclusions, but the silence in the papers was rather nice and that was the important part. No need to have her life on display.
She backed up from him a little bit as he moved, then shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know, it's your birthday, so whatever you want to do is fine." Pushing herself off of the bed, she went to the dresser and took off her earrings, then rubbed the lobes a little bit with her fingers. Looking into the mirror to see Cloud in the reflection, she said softly, "Do you believe me? Tell me the truth."
Cloud: Nodding his head patiently, Cloud waited for her to fly into talking about something that he would listen to and possibly offer a little advice to. He didn't mind her nature of talking, and it normally did a good job filling the void where he didn't actually speak at all. She was entertaining at the very least, and it at least made her feel good to get things off of her chest. He thought she would explode if she tried to hold something in for too long, and he did not want to have to be the one that had to clean up that mess.
He quirked an eyebrow and rubbed noses back slightly, shrugging his shoulders a little. "I don't think that I have to accuse you of that... it's plain that you are. I'm surprised we haven't shown up in the papers yet," he said simply. He wasn't actually sure how that happened, but he was glad for it as it allowed them to have time to themselves without the worry of people wanting to know if it was true or if they were fighting or anything. It would have been too much hassle, that was for sure.
He watched her get up, but he made no move to follow, simply remaining seated on the bed and watching her fiddle with her earrings. He shrugged his shoulders, never sure what he was supposed to be doing on his birthday. He looked at his feet until her question hit him, which caused his head to rise slowly and him to peer out from his blonde spikes at her. It took a moment before he turned his head aside and folded his hands together, thinking for a long time about her question and the answer that he would give her. It was difficult to offer a confirmation or denial when he was split down the middle on the subject. Finally, he looked back at her and hesitated before nodding his head a little. "I... think that I'm beginning to. This is... unexpected news."
Tifa: "I don't see you having a problem with it," she replied, knowing all too well that he didn't mind her being affectionate. Most of the time she wasn't crawling all over him in public and just held hands with him or gave him an occasional kiss. If she was any more affectionate, she would've been afraid that she would've grabbed him by the arm and pulled him into the nearest alley way or private place, knowing that she still didn't have self control. She sometimes wondered if that was something that would eventually come to her, or if she was going to be self control-less for the rest of her life. "Besides, Mr. Romantic, you make it clear that you love me too, so it all works out, doesn't it?"
Trying not to stare at him to wait for an answer, she kept her eyes fixated on her earrings and felt her pulse race. She wasn't sure why she was nervous for his answer, but she hoped that he would at least tell her the truth and not just pretend that he believed her for her sake. She wanted him to be just as excited as she was so they could celebrate together or something along those lines. It was too difficult to hide her excitement inside of her, and she wasn't sure if being excited while he was in denial would make him feel worse. It probably would have and that was the last thing that she wanted. Sneaking a glance up to his reflection as she put the earrings away in her drawer, she noticed he was still thinking, then looked back down.
When he did answer, she turned her head to make eye contact and nodded. "As long as you're starting to." She walked over to where he was sitting and bent over so she could look him in the eyes. Giving him a small kiss on the tip of his nose, she rested her hands on her thighs and smiled at him. "It is. But it's the best news that I've ever heard in my entire life. Heh, we're going to be parents."