....and for that, this rp is GOLD! XDDDDDDDDD (muse abuse... y’all should try it)
Rufus: Stepping out of his car, which had been carefully parked as far from any other cars as possible, Rufus looked around apathetically before crossing the sparsely occupied parking lot in front of the Cafe Amour... or whatever that cheesy little place was called. From what he understood the cafe had good coffee, but... the name.
Perhaps he was getting too into the semantics of everything. Perhaps he was just trying to get his mind off of whatever it was Tifa Lockheart wanted to "discuss" with him.
"Discuss" sounded so formal. So serious. And sure she had giggled nervously on the phone and said it wasn't anything too important, but... Rufus had his doubts. Things hadn't gone all too well the last time they had met, from what he could remember -- that semi-drunken haze. He doubted that she was altogether that excited to be the best of friends so soon after that fiasco. No. Something was up.
It was in this daze of thought that Rufus entered the cafe, barely hearing the bell-like sound that alerted the waitresses and baristas of his entering. He nodded courteously to a waitress before taking a seat, trying to ignore the look of shock that crossed her face when the Rufus Shinra entered and graced common folk with his presence, and sending her off on her way by simply stating, "I'm waiting for someone."
And then he sat back. Staring out the nearest window. Waiting and waiting. And pondering whether it was such a good idea to be this early. He just hoped that Tifa, too, would decide to be early rather than late. Patience was never his strong suit.
Tifa: Looking at her watch, Tifa grimaced a little and picked up her pace. She was running late, and she knew that Rufus Shinra was never late for anything, nor did he tolerate tardiness. In fact, there were times if she believed that Rufus was allergic to being late. It wasn't even the fact that she had been so nervous to meet Rufus at the small little cafe that day, she just had a hard time getting herself up and out the door to be social. The pregnancy was taking its toll on her, and she had never felt more exhausted in her entire life. She hated the fact that she found herself falling asleep on the couch randomly... it wasn't like Tifa to do that. She had always been full of energy but... she knew that it was just 'normal' and 'natural.' Just part of the road to motherhood.
Now she knew she had to tell Rufus about it all. She wished she had a plan... or at least a small little idea of how she was going to drop the bomb on him, but she didn't have the slightest clue. It needed to be done by her though, she didn't want him to find out via word of mouth or tabloid that she was carrying Cloud Strife's child. The media was bound to find out about it sooner or later, especially when she was further along and her belly was showing more, or if more people started to find out about it. Finding the news out that way would've only made things worse, and she would be afraid that he would never want to speak to her again. Hopefully by hearing it from her mouth, he would be... better about it. Not fine with it, but at least he wouldn't overreact? Even then she couldn't be sure.
Reaching the door to the small cafe that she had tea with Kristoph in all those months ago, she quickly had a look around and saw Rufus already there, which she expected. Making her way over to him, she said, "I'm sorry if I'm a little late, I hope you haven't been waiting for me for too long." Quickly sitting down, she smiled at him and said, "But I'm glad that you could make it."
Rufus: Rufus blinked at her voice, having somewhat zoned out a bit just sitting, staring out the window. She must have come from a different direction, he inwardly surmised, as he hadn't noticed her passing by the large windows. Either that or Rufus was just that distracted at the moment. But either way it was a bit of a shock to see her there, finally. Late, but what was he going to say about it? She wasn't his employee. She was nothing more than... what was she anyway?
Looking her in the eye a moment before turning back to see if a waitress was around, Rufus decided the only thing he could call her was a friend. Even if it sounded strange to think it, there were no other classifiable words and anything less than that would end up hurting her and -- why was he still thinking about this? Internally shaking his head he managed a smile, "Quite all right. I've been... catching up on the scenery." Which wasn't entirely a lie. Interesting people walked by that street.
It still didn't help how incredibly stupid and strange that sounded, but... whatever. The waitress was coming by, odds are realizing that the person whom Rufus had been waiting for had finally arrived.
"I'll have a triple macchiato," he ground out. It wasn't really morning. At all. But Rufus had a tendency to sleep in when he wasn't going into work and... he hadn't nearly had enough caffeine for the day. Feeling relatively chivalrous, he then gave Tifa a sidelong look and nodded his head, "Go ahead. It's on me today."
Tifa: She crossed her feet at the ankles as she studied him, trying not to seem extremely nervous to be in his presence. Nervousness around Rufus Shinra wasn't normal for Tifa, but this was something she had never had to do before. In fact, even though she was nearly seven weeks pregnant, she and Cloud had kept it relatively to themselves, so she didn't have to tell anyone about it yet. But now... she had a feeling that after this, she would start to tell more people. It was nothing to hide. In fact, it was something to be excited over, Tifa knew that. It was just... new.
Looking out of the window, she smiled. "Ah yes, the sport of people watching never gets old, I will agree with you on that. Why do you think I own a bar?" She chuckled at the end of her statement, knowing that it was the complete truth. Drunk or not, people were entertaining to Tifa and she loved to socialize with everyone. It was a talent more than anything to be able to talk to just about anyone; friends, people passing by on the street, people in lines in the grocery store... Tifa just loved to interact with people.
When she noticed that the waitress was standing over her, she opened her mouth to order, then heard Rufus' offer to pay. She was touched, to say the least, so she said, "Oh, Rufus, thank you. You know that you don't have to do that." Giving his arm a gentle pat, she turned her gaze to the waitress and said, "I'll have a mocha frappuccino, please." Once the waitress walked away, she turned back to Rufus and decided to make some small talk.
"So, how have you been?" She started, hoping that it wasn't an awkward way to start the conversation. "From how long it took you to return my phone call, I take it that things are still hopping at Shinra Headquarters? Have you found anything interesting about Jenova as of late? She's been... quiet." It wasn't an odd conversation to be having, for she was generally concerned about any information about Jenova. Since Cloud returned from finding the cure for her, she had been so wrapped up in him that Jenova was almost out of sight, out of mind. Almost.
Rufus: "As long as they keep to themselves, people are interesting," he murmured half to himself. It was the truth, at least in the way Rufus viewed interactions. Not that he was completely antisocial, more that he enjoyed his space. Peace and quiet. Less stupid people bothering him with questions and interviews and wanting to take pictures. It was trying. And maybe he was, at times, a bit antisocial. What of it?
"It's nothing." He smiled a little, knowing full well that Tifa would say those very words at him offering to pay. But it was in his nature and it wasn't like he was hurting for money. Still he was a little thrown aback by her not insisting on paying her own. She did look a little tired. It was almost worrisome. But she had insisted there was nothing wrong and Rufus supposed that he had to believe her. He had no reason to believe otherwise. After all, times were tough. He was sure that he himself didn't always look all that great. At least her appetite for froofy coffee drinks wasn't at all diminished, he thought to himself as he willingly made himself not pull away when he felt her touch his arm. Some things were still strange.
Scratch that. A lot of things were still strange.
Watching the waitress trot off to fetch their drinks, he turned back to Tifa and gave serious thought to her question. Right. He was busy with work. It wouldn't seem too great to tell her that he hadn't answered her phone call because he was laying about the house sipping -- what was it? An aspirin-orange juice cocktail? No, it wouldn't sound good at all to admit how bad he felt the day after that drinking fiasco. Coupled with the fact that he had gone into work and hid in a dark corner of his office most of the day. "Just general company business. Getting ready for cooler weather. Have to make sure we can handle that kind of demand for power." It wasn't a lie. Just... well, it wasn't on their list of ultra-important things at the moment. Given a few weeks, however.... "Nothing Jenova, however. It's kind of... unnerving. You haven't heard anything, right? I'd assume Strife would have brought something up..."
Tifa: Chuckling softly, she nodded her head in understanding, although she was more interested in people coming up to her and holding a conversation with her instead of them staying away from her. It was a difference that she had with Rufus, but perhaps it was just her upbringing and the fact that her bar did provide her with an unlimited amount of social time if she wanted it. Of course there were times when she wanted her privacy and to be alone, which was more and more often recently. Or rather, alone with Cloud and not being bothered by the outside world. "I'll give you that, although I don't mind being bothered every once and a while."
She rested her elbow against the table and held her chin in her hand, hoping that her coffee would come soon. Caffeine would definitely perk her up a little for it had been a few weeks since she had any... It was then when she put two and two together, and realized that drinking a large quantity of caffeine was bad for her, so she cursed in her head at herself. Even before she left the house she reminded herself to get something without coffee, such as a milkshake, but the words slipped out of her mouth so quickly when she ordered that she didn't think twice. And Rufus said he would pay, so she didn't want him to think that she didn't like what she had ordered. However, the doctor did say that she didn't have to stop completely... just cut back. One drink wouldn't kill her, she hoped.
Focusing back on the topic of Shinra and business, she nodded politely, listening intensively to what he was saying. "I could imagine that the change in the weather is a big time for an electrical company, I understand that. People heating their homes and so on." She felt the corners of her lips perk up a little for it occurred to her that it was the first time that they had talked about the electric part of Shinra. Mostly business related conversations dealt with Jenova or Sephiroth or the fate of the world. Shaking her head, she tapped her fingers against her cheek. "No, we haven't heard anything either, which is very strange. It's been... months and I'm imagining that Jenova isn't thrilled with the fact that her favorite son was killed by her arch nemesis. We're keeping a look out, so hopefully we'll be able to catch her before she strikes." That was partially the truth, although she knew that she and Cloud hadn't been keeping a close eye on Jenova. In fact, they hadn't been paying much attention to anything but themselves.
She wasn't sure if being selfish about it all was supposed to make her feel bad, but it didn't. She wanted to enjoy a normal part of life such as start a family, but it still didn't stop the fact that she was worried that they would be unprepared if she did strike. Especially with starting a family, didn't that make them more of a target? "You do know that if Cloud and I hear anything, we'll be sure to let you all know."
Rufus: Rufus grinned slightly at Tifa's apparent agreeance on people keeping her distance. That was another thing about her he had noticed. She seemed to want to find common ground. Some way to relate. And sure, everyone had to want their space every once in a while, but he had a feeling... just from interacting with her and seeing the way she dealt with others, that she would much rather be surrounded by friends and even bar patrons, than be left alone for too long. She almost seemed to thrive on it, at least in comparison with himself. Sure, sharing the estate for the time being was good -- much more interesting, but it wasn't as if Rufus had been wasting away in loneliness otherwise. He just couldn't imagine Tifa living alone like that. Perhaps that was why she had always held such an establishment. Why she had decided to take care of orphaned children. Why--
Well, it would be stupid to think that she wasn't living with Strife. They had lived together before and now more than ever, they would have reason to. They had been together during that party. Realizing he was delving into internal monologuing, Rufus snapped back at attention, noticing the way he had been fiddling around with a napkin and thankful that she too seemed deep in thought. For whatever reason.
He cleared his throat. This... wasn't easy. It had almost seemed easier drunk. These strange little silences. But business. Business he could do. He raked fingers through his hair and affected a smile that generally came out when discussing deals with town leaders, mayors, shareholders, whatever. "Well, we're mostly thankful that the past few winters haven't been altogether that harsh. Hopefully this winter won't be too bad either but we can't get our hopes up and... while not using Mako is good for the planet it's lack isn't so great in keeping people from freezing." All points of truth. He had a feeling that soon enough, if they didn't get some of these problems figured out, they'd be scrambling. That was a headache waiting to happen. But for now they had Jenova to deal with. He'd be no use to the company if she ran amok and killed him after all.
"I suppose it's good... and bad to not have heard anything from her. At least... if she gets keen on attack one of us will probably be the first to know..." Which, wasn't entirely that great a notion, when Rufus stayed up late thinking about it but... at least they were capable, he and Strife. Sort of. "But I guess all we can do right now is wait since... I'm unsure how wise it would be to go after her at this point..."
Tifa: She noted the smirk on his face and smiled back, wanting to tell him flat out what was on her mind. He didn't have a clue to why she asked him to meet her at the cafe... how could he? It's not as though she would call him there and inform him that she was now dating Cloud. No, he was a smart man, he no doubt already inferred that on his own. He knew that she was happy, and by that, she knew that he knew that meant she was happy with Cloud. He just didn't know the extent of her happiness. Although... the fact that she was happy made him feel content made her think. In their short relationship... was she able to get through to him that much?
"It makes me a little bit nervous that she's been so quiet. Well, perhaps the fact that they've all been quiet adds onto the nervous factor, because I know that its not like they just decided to give up and realize that this was a battle that they weren't going to win. No, something tells me that they didn't give up before and they won't give up now..." She trailed off when the waitress came back with their drinks, thanked her, then looked down at her drink. Swirling the straw around to mix the whipped cream into the frozen drink, she looked back up at Rufus to continue. "Going after her wouldn't be wise, especially since we don't know if she's been planning something. Waiting around makes me uneasy too though."
Being pregnant and knowing that Jenova was around was rather scary to Tifa, for she could only imagine what Jenova would do if she found out. Turning Cloud Strife's child into her own personal puppet would probably cross her mind, and it terrified Tifa more than anything. She had a hunch that Cloud feared it too, yet it was a topic that remained quiet between them. Tifa was too afraid to even bring it up. Perhaps the worst part about it was, the further along Tifa was in the pregnancy, the less likely she would be able to protect herself. Training now, even though she wasn't even showing yet, still worried her. She didn't want to overdo it at all.
Having Cloud go out and try to get rid of the Jenova problem also weighed on her. What if he was killed in the process? It wasn't the first time she had that thought, but it still made her shudder as she took a small sip of her drink. "This isn't something that needs a rash decision, I believe we all know that. This is something that we will need a well worked out plan for... once we know what we're fully dealing with and why she's been so quiet. I'm sure she hasn't taken up knitting. We'll be fine though once we get a hold on the situation, don't you think?"
Rufus: "No... no. Quiet with them is definitely not a good thing. Jenova... I think we should know by now... doesn't take vacations. She doesn't sit still unless she's working on a really good plan. And it seems the longer she's quiet... the worse what she has in mind turns out to be..." How long had she been quiet before she sent out those Geostigma "zombies?" Weeks? Months? It seemed so long ago and yet the image was fresh in his mind. The bulging eyes. The gore. The marks of a disease that Rufus all too well remembered. And that had been the last he had heard from her. The last they had dealt with anything involving their entire group had been Sephiroth.
He had to take calm himself then and there, take a deep breath. But thankfully the coffee had arrived and it generally had a somewhat calming effect on him. How other people could become jittery with the stuff was beyond his wildest imaginations, but perhaps working with such a large company since his early to mid teens and drinking the stuff since as long as he could remember -- well, to say he was dependent on coffee was an understatement. He was downright ferocious without it at times. Taking it from the waitress he was thankful for the larger size, taking a good sip and savoring the taste and full-bodied aroma, before turning his gaze back at Tifa. "No. It wouldn't be wise." He shook his head. "Though I'm not entirely sure I like the notion of letting her have her move next... we don't know. And chances are whatever she's planning won't be something we'll like." He hated this. It was like playing chess with a complete stranger. With an opponent he couldn't see. Because even if his opponent was someone good at least he would be able to gauge slight changes in mood but this... was something entirely different.
"I'm not sure I like sitting back... this inactivity. I think I'd rather be doing something..." He muttered halfway to himself. "Get a few shots in at her." He could feel the corners of his lips turning up in a small, quite unfriendly smile, but held back a little. "Do something myself and not hang back hoping that someone else will take the hit for me." He took another sip and stared out the window a moment. "No. She's definitely up to something. I trust that you two are keeping a look out. Not putting yourselves into stupid, heroic situations. We all need to watch out backs. At least she's usually flashy about these things...
And I doubt very much that she has any interest in knitting. Or crocheting. Embroidery..."
Tifa: Why can't you just say it, Tifa? She asked herself, keeping the smile on her face to hide her thoughts. She was trying to stay focused on the Jenova topic, it was very important, but it was clear that there were things on her mind. Rufus, no doubt, had probably noticed her odd behaviour and began asking questions in his head. As a matter of fact, he must've found it odd that she wanted to get coffee in the first place knowing it had been months since they had spent time alone together. Was this the first time since the break up? Tifa thought about it for a moment and wondered why that thought hadn't reached her mind at all since planning this. Now was not the time for her to be loosing her nerve, so she slowly exhaled the breath that she didn't even realize that she holding in. She needed to be calm, build up to the news, not have her hands shaking the way they were.
Clearing her throat, she took another sip of her drink. "You have to wonder if there is anything that we can do, you know, to thwart her next move." It was a question that she had asked herself a lot over the past months, almost a year, since she found out that Jenova had returned again. Since that time, Jenova had continued to grow stronger and make several direct hits on Shinra and AVALANCHE, making her presence well known, and like Rufus said, 'in a flashy way. Not only did she watch her sons taunt and torture Cloud, leaving him when they assumed that he was dead, but there was the zombie incident at Shinra Headquarters, her presence at Shinra where she destroyed many people... no, she wanted to be known. Slinking into the shadows was not Jenova's style. "It just makes me really nervous."
Tifa winced a little at Rufus' mentioning of keeping a look out. She knew that her personal life was taking over all of her thoughts and really taking a toll on all the life threatening aspects that were on Gaia. After everything that they had all been through, having a 'normal life' was far from reality, but she wanted something close. As close as possible. In fact, the planet could've stopped moving and Tifa wasn't so sure if she would've noticed at times. Her leg started to shake, so she placed her free hand on her thigh to calm herself down. "I can assure you that we're not putting ourselves in a dangerous position..." She wasn't so sure of that statement, so she bit on her lower lip for a moment before chuckling nervously.
"You know, thinking of Jenova sitting in a big, squishy chair trying to knit is quite possibly the most entertaining thing I've ever thought of in my entire life, and Rufus, I'm pregnant." She wasn't sure why she connected it to another train of thought... perhaps hoping that he wouldn't hear it? No, there was no way he could've overheard that news, no matter how quickly she was speaking. She purposely looked up at him at the last three words so she could make eye contact and he would comprehend it all.
She just wasn't sure how he was going to react.
Rufus: He raised an eyebrow at her general nervous demeanor. It had been noticeable for the most part and yet suddenly seemed to spike for lack of a better description. Was it all this talk about Jenova? Certainly it made Rufus feel nervous but he had been sure to keep it somewhat to himself and while Tifa wasn't one to hide her feelings... well... it just seemed odd. And while he wasn't altogether too great with reading emotions he was good at gauging things like this and Tifa was... something was up.
"It's... probably something I wonder about every day..." He stared down at his drink a moment. Perhaps that sounded overly dramatic or stupidly heroic or something, but... the thought of sitting around and waiting to see if she would make anyone explode or if she would go after his Turks. If she would go after Tifa or Cloud or anyone. If anyone would fall trying to do something stupid like keeping the president safe... No. "We should do something. It's just a question of what..." He smiled weakly at that. It sounded so stupid. "I'm new to this kind of stuff. I'm sure... eventually. Maybe... we'll come to something. Or she will. Either way eventually we'll know what to do."
And hopefully none of us will die with all this 'waiting and seeing.' he thought , attempting not to grimace. But wasn't waiting and seeing... didn't that in itself put them all in a dangerous position? They couldn't get out of that position, it seemed. So long as Jenova still continued to roam and plot and act on her crazed thoughts of revenge and world domination. No. There was no way to escape at this point in time and Tifa herself didn't seem altogether that convinced of her own words.
The thought of Jenova being at all artsy in a homey sort of way was... well... so absurd it made him let out a small ‘heh’ under his breath. Knitting. Sometimes Tifa could be so... ...
He opened his mouth. Closed his mouth. Opened it again. That.... didn't compute. Something. Perhaps he had heard wrong. He hadn't been sleeping too well. Running both hands through his hair, Rufus looked back to her, eyebrows raised in incredulity. "I... What?"
He shook his head.
"I'm sorry. See..." He laughed, then and there, unsure what else to do, and then flicked back some not-so-wayward hair again. This wasn't funny and yet he found himself laughing, managed to calm himself. "I've... I've... been out of sorts. Did I just... You're. ...What?"
Tifa: She pressed her lips together and watched his reaction to her news, knowing that the ‘business’ topic of Jenova was over with for the moment. Tifa expected the conversation to switch whenever she decided to inform him of the pregnancy, so she kept her eye contact on him so she didn’t seem put off or upset by his reaction.
She let out a small sigh when he continued to look at her and she knew that he wasn’t sure what to say. What was there to say, really? She wasn’t going to fill his mouth with any words though, she wanted him to have a little bit of time to let it sink in and not do or say anything irrational.
It was easier said that done though. Telling her ex boyfriend that she was pregnant with another man’s baby… said man who she cheated on Rufus with to begin with… was not the easiest thing that she had ever done in her entire life, and probably not the easiest thing that Rufus had ever had to absorb either. Especially since the last time they had a one on one conversation with each other in person, she explained to him that she and Cloud were in love with each other.
And now this. Now there was a baby. A baby and no ring, technically, but that didn’t make it any easier to tell Rufus. Tifa hoped that she would be married before the baby was born, but she wasn’t about to rush Cloud into anything if he wasn’t ready or didn’t want that. Having to announce that to Rufus would’ve been doubling the blow of shock.
After he stared at her for a moment, she nodded her head and bit at her lower lip. “I’m pregnant, Rufus,” she repeated simply and quietly. “No one knows but Cloud and I… and you now. I wanted you to know the truth from me, and not from some other source. I was going to tell you at Elena’s, but then…. Well… I didn’t think that it was appropriate to talk about in front of other people or when there was alcohol involved.” She left out the tiny detail that she didn’t feel right talking about it after he basically told her that his happiness depended on hers.
Rufus: Rufus didn't want to make a scene -- say or do anything that would reflect poorly on him. Not so much that he cared what a few patrons in a coffeehouse thought of him but... it would reflect poorly on the company. And try as he might, Rufus found it incredibly difficult to separate his two worlds entirely.
Still... This was a bit much to take in. Especially after talking about something else that was serious yet... incredibly different.
Yet... still related in a way.
"You've... You have got to be kidding me." And yet something in her eyes spoke volumes. This wasn't something Tifa Lockheart would kid about. Especially to him. And suddenly everything made sense -- why she hadn't been drinking at the party. Why she almost seemed to be glowing and happy and...
Suddenly it was altogether too hard to keep a cap on things. To try to be tactful in a response. And before he knew it -- before his politeness checks caught the words, he was speaking. And part of him was numb but part of him was angry. Of all the times... Her. Pregnant. Now?
"Please tell me you're kidding because if not... That must be the stupidest thing you've ever done. Do you have any clue what the ramifications of this are?"
Tifa: “This isn’t something I would joke about, Rufus,” she stated calmly, seeming neutral over the whole situation and not wanting to jump around in excitement like she did every other time she thought of the pregnancy. Now was not the time or place, and certainly Rufus was not going to understand the same joy that she was going through. How could he?
Everything was falling into place in Rufus’ mind though, she could practically see his mind working through it all… through the clues. There was an awkward bout of silence between them, so she tried to fill the void by remaining calm and trying to help him through it. “This is why I called you and asked to talk to you. Like I said, I wanted you to hear this from me, because I’m sure that it’s only a matter of time before it is leaked out. That’s not how I wanted you to find out about—“
She felt her jaw drop, and even scoffed a little in disbelief as he spoke. “Excuse me? Don’t you dare patronize me, Rufus Shinra. I am 23 years old and I can make my own decisions.” The words slipped out before she was able to stop them. Narrowing her eyebrows in anger, she leaned in closer to him so she could lower her voice. “Wanting to start a family is one of them, so how dare you tell me that my decision is stupid.”
Rufus: She was so close to him, and it was unnerving. Personal space. Rufus liked his personal space nowadays more than ever and for her to dare look at him like that. Like he was in the wrong was downright ludicrous. And he wanted to back up in his seat and he wanted partly to leave but that would be stepping back. Backing down. And Rufus wasn't one to turn tail and run.
"I'm not patronizing you," he growled, halfway glaring at her. "I am being logical. Do you even know what logic is? This. This is... insanity." He waved an arm in exasperation before flicking back his hair again and hissing air out from behind clenched teeth. He wasn't getting through to her though, that much was clear. She was just... she was so matter of fact about it. This didn't concern her. This wasn't a big deal, at all. And perhaps that's what bothered him most of all. She didn't get it. Just fifteen minutes before -- what they had been talking about. She didn't get it at all.
"And I can think that this decision is one of the biggest mistakes you've ever made. What you plan on doing with your life? That's great. Have a million kids for all I care." He shot her an accusatory look. "Were you that impatient that you couldn't wait... what? A few months? A year. You couldn't wait though. Funny. I guess I was the mistaken one."
And he wasn't entirely sure how this all spiraled down past the point of no return. But he was just too shocked and too angry to care about being 'nice' anymore.
Tifa: “Oh, you’re not patronizing me?” She countered, keeping her voice down to a harsh whisper as to not make a scene. That’s all she needed was to hear about this one in the papers later. It had been a while since she was in the tabloids, and she’d like to keep that for a while. Especially since people didn’t know where she was relationship wise… and rumors went around about her and Rufus. ‘President and potential first lady have argument!’ Yeah, that’s all Tifa wanted to read about. “You are telling me that my decisions are stupid. You’re the one who asked me if I was happy the other day, Rufus, and I clearly am. I don’t need you to try to convince me otherwise.”
Looking up at the ceiling, she chuckled and shook her head. “I cannot believe you right now! Are you really saying this to me?!” Tilting her head back down so she could glare him in the eye, she stared him down for a moment before adding, “and you say you’re not patronizing me. Yes, I know what logic is. Perhaps you are the one who is misinterpreting the definition just a little if you look at the way you are acting.”
At the gaze he shot her, she shut her mouth and sat back in her seat a little. Turning her head to look off to the side, she crossed her arms and tapped her nails against her skin. There was still a hint of sarcasm in her voice, proof that she was definitely not pleased with him. “Oh, there it is. There’s the blow that I was just waiting for. I wondered how long this conversation was going to go on before that was thrown into my face.”
Rufus: "Uhhh no." He stopped himself halfway in the middle of rolling his eyes, a reaction that had been purely instinctual and incredibly juvenile, but this whole matter was just insane. It was like nothing he thought would happen. It wasn't clicking. It was driving him crazy. "I'm not patronizing you. Be as goddamned happy as you want, but this? This... this. Ergh." He wasn't sure how he managed to not slam his arm on the table for added emphasis and considering how on the verge of shaking he felt, Rufus wasn't sure how long it would take until he snapped and said something he would really regret.
He laughed a little and shook his head when she brought up logic. Him? Being illogical? Never. "Are you really so caught up in this little happy fantasy that you don't realize how bad your timing is here? It seems to me that I'm the only one here that's being logical because from the sound of it, Strife isn't being all too logical either."
Staring down at his now cold, stale macchiato a moment, Rufus was caught off guard by what she mentioned next. That… came out of nowhere. She was waiting for what? Looking up at her with an eyebrow raised in irritation, Rufus growled, "What... are you talking about? I'm... what?"
Tifa: Uncrossing her arms so she wouldn’t look like a four year old who didn’t get their way, she again leaned in closer to him, tapping the tip of her index finger on the table a few times before simply holding the finger there. “This what!?” She wasn’t exactly sure what he was saying, but she assumed that he was talking about the pregnancy. Putting his sentence in that context, it just didn’t make sense.
“What are you talking about? What timing? Is it because we’re not married, is that it? We’re not engaged either, so is that still bad? If that’s such a big deal to make it all ‘right,’ just give it time, Rufus.” That was something she didn’t want to have to say to him, but she was so angry that it slipped out. She shook her head at him again, completely in disbelief that he would be acting this way. She wasn’t about to tell him that the pregnancy wasn’t planned and Cloud didn’t expect it either, for that only would’ve made things worse.
“You’re what, you ask? You are jealous, Rufus Shinra,” she snapped, pausing for a moment before continuing. “I know that you and I only broke up a few months ago but I thought that you would at least be mature enough to not freak out at me in the middle of a café. I had so much respect for you… all the conversations that we’ve had that touched on the subject of Cloud and I went fine, we were able to at least brush over it like mature adults. But now I feel as though I want to take it all back. You are unbelievable and acting like a child.”
Rufus: He growled under his breath, keeping himself from looking away, but she was leaning in again and he had to give her props, because this was precisely what he would be doing in a particularly bad meeting. Intimidating. But Rufus never got intimidated... did he? He opened his mouth, about to shout This THING -- but that would have been a bit much and for a brief moment, he knew that. Instead he opted to stare at her, blinking only when absolutely necessary and keeping his gaze as strong and unwavering as possible.
"I..." He laughed, but there was little humor in the sound. "I don't care. You could marry him tomorrow or never. Be like one of those hippies down in Cosmo for all I care. Your timing is still horrible. You..."
And then he heard those words and something snapped. He was a lot of things but he. Was. Not. Jealous. He wasn't. Not anymore. Not ever again. And people thought he was narcissistic? No. No. No. And it was at that moment that he snarled and stood up from his seat, so quickly that the chair scraped backward a little on the hard floor, a screech echoing through the room and people must have been staring but he didn't care. "You think I'm hung up on you? Is that it? Are you really that inwardly focused you. You--" He brushed back his hair again with both hands, feeling the blond strands pulled back a moment and then falling, most likely out of place -- mostly in his eyes, but that didn't matter. He was so furious he could feel the blood pumping in his veins and he just wanted to grab her and shake the sense into her.
"Mature... adults? Mature adults." He laughed again and then leaned forward, palms pressed down on the table thankfully without as much force as he felt himself capable of. There was still some restraint there. "You're the one out trying to start your happy fucking family with Jenova God knows where. Do you want to get yourself killed? Just tell me. I'll put this out of my mind. But you're wrong. You're the one being a child here."
Tifa: “You keep on talking about ‘my timing’ but I have no idea what the hell you are talking about if it’s not over the fact that I’m not married yet!” Tifa wasn’t even sure if having a child out of wedlock was something that Rufus didn’t believe in or if he was just speaking out of anger. It was a topic that never came up while they were dating. There wasn’t a need, really. The family conversation came up once, but it was just because Tifa was curious if he had plans to have one eventually.
She jumped when he stood up, then leaned back against the back of her chair so she could look up at him. People in the café were clearly staring, wondering what was going on between them… Or, more accurately, see what the conversation was about. However, she didn’t care about anyone else in the room. Who cares if they knew now? It didn’t matter.
His words stung deeply at her and she clenched her jaw and fists out of anger. She misinterpreted what he meant, that was obvious. “From the context of the way you were talking, that’s sure what it sounded like! Come on, Rufus! I talk to your Turks, so if you think I haven’t heard things… The drinking? The smoking? Add in the fact of how you basically told me that your happiness depended on mine at Elena’s party? I wouldn’t call my conclusion a very irrational one.”
It was a low blow and she knew it. She also knew that she shouldn’t have said it. It was only going to make the both of them even angrier at one another for digging up past wounds. Narrowing her eyes at him again, she said, “Do you honestly think that I don’t know that? Do you honestly think that I am that stupid to not have thought about that? Apparently you do. I can’t take it back and I don’t want to take it back. Yes, I want this baby to be protected. I want to be protected. I want everyone to be protected, so nothing changes there.”
Rufus: He hadn't meant to startle her like that... For the most part his standing up wasn't an attempt to scare her or take control of the conversation, more that he had lost control. That he had to do something other than sit there and take it. He was furious, but at the same time he could feel his features soften a little despite himself.
And then she spoke.
Rufus could practically feel the color draining from his face with those words. He was not. This was not. None of any of that had to do with her and Cloud. Maybe in the beginning. That night on the roof. He was past all that. It had been months and to think that was insulting. He was not some insipid lovesick fool. He was stressed. Busy. It had nothing to do with her. "Do not for a second think you have any clue what I go through on a daily basis. Don't for a millisecond." His voice was dangerously low. Growled. But still... he could remember saying that at the party. Words probably half slurred but they hadn't been made up and he could feel his hand clenching, knuckles white. "And I would appreciate you not discussing me or my habits with anyone. Have I made myself clear?"
He stood up straight then, eyeing the exit. Noticing the hushed voices in the background and people were watching. Everyone in there was watching and he almost felt ashamed then and there for making such a scene, but she was going on and on and her voice was almost buzzing in his head and he just kept thinking. Happiness. Hah.
He was distracted. "You know. I don't know what to think about you. You claim to have thought about this and yet you seem so unconcerned. So nonchalant. You were in a fucking coma, alright? She got you then and you could fight. What now? What... when Jenova realizes what you're carrying. How important you are to him. What then? Are you just going to hope she doesn't. You can't will her to leave you alone by wanting to be okay. That is why I say 'bad timing.' That is why I think this was a stupid decision."
He wasn't sure if he was angry or confused or numb anymore, just that his hands were shaking as he shoved them into his pockets and he wasn't sure what to do or say anymore, standing there awkwardly, considering making a quick exit but not wanting to all the same.