Tifa Lockheart (beatrush18) wrote in ffvii_ac_rpg,
Tifa Lockheart

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Tifa and Cloud -- Midnight Chat (1 of 2)

((Sorry, I should’ve posted this on like… um… Sunday, but work (and being social… o_O I... have a social life? What is this? Teeee heee.... *cough* Anyway...) has been owning me lately, so my apologies. Again, backdated… but Tifa and Cloud wake up in the middle of the night, talk about Jenova (>.<), and a few things about the baby... CLOUD IS GIDDY *SQUEE* ...And stuff.))

Cloud: Sleeping soundly, Cloud shifted slightly on the warm bed, one of his arms rising from being under the blanket to settle against his pillow with the appendage curled around his head. He turned his head enough to snuggle his face into his own arm, settling back comfortably on his back and dozing off into a heavy sleep again. His hair falling into his closed eyes and with muscles relaxed, he hardly takes notice of the weight settled in next to him, warming one side of his body more than the other. His left arm trapped under Tifa's weight, he is forced to keep the position on his back, a position he had been in for most of the night.

Twitching in sleep, he grunts and comes awake suddenly, eyes snapping open to cast a soft blue light over his features. He sits up only a small bit, unable to make it the whole way unless he disturbs his lover next to him. Looking around the room, he yawned and reached down to pull his boxers up higher to actually be settled properly on his hips before flopping back down on the pillow and pushes his hair from his eyes. He hated worrying about Jenova in the middle of the night, trying to push those thoughts out of his mind.

Slowly, he turned onto his side facing Tifa's sleeping form, raising his free hand to push back dark locks of hair behind her shoulders again. He stared down into her face, studying her relaxed features before his eyes dart downwards, scanning the length of her body which is close to his own. He hadn't given too much of a reaction since the ultrasound, keeping his hidden pride away from sight and simply trying to carry on as normal, though he was more than aware that his presence at home was more pronounced and apparent. He knew she noticed, but so far, he had done well to keep from losing his dignity aside from the panic attack in the hospital.

Tifa: Tifa clenched her eyes shut tighter when she felt Cloud move from his position on the bed. Her head was resting on his shoulder, one hand resting on his chest, and the other resting underneath his arm that was under her head, so when he shifted, it jarred her slightly from her sleeping state. Not wanting to wake up, she snuggled up closer to his body, a small smile on her lips from the feel of him against her. It was the way she slept every night, always wanting to feel him close to her, and it was very comfortable and relaxing. Most of the time, she was able to just fall back asleep when he moved, figuring that he was just moving about in his sleep, but this time it was clear that he was awake by the way he moved her hair, so she forced herself to wake up.

Slowly opening her eyes, she saw that he was looking straight at her, so she smiled at him and chuckled. "Hi," she said softly, lifting a hand and running her fingers through his blonde spikes. It was always amusing to her how his hair never looked more tousled after sleeping, whereas it sometimes looked like she stuck her finger in a socket. It also depended on if she went to sleep with her hair wet or not, but nonetheless, her hair never fell the same way like his did.

She stretched her legs out as she turned to look at the clock. "It's only midnight... are you having trouble sleeping?"

Cloud: He almost regretting pushing her hair back as it was clear that she was going to wake up thanks to him not settling back in right away. Still, he couldn't hold back the tilt of his lips upwards when her eyes opened to regard him, the simple word making him shake his head. He bent his head down toward her touch, taking a moment to relish the feel of her fingers raking through his soft hair which looked about the same as it did every other day. "Hi," he replied softly and settled in on his side so that he was looking straight on with her face. Her hair was already a little messy, but he thought that had happened more for her demands for intimacy than actual sleeping.

He didn't look over her shoulder towards the clock, not entirely caring what time it was. He was tired, but he knew he would fall asleep again in his own time. "I'm alright, just woke up that's all. I decided to take some time to watch you sleep, but that doesn't seem to be happening anymore." He lifted his hand again and pushed back a few more locks of her hair then trailed his fingers down the gentle curve of her neck. His hand then left there to arrange her tank top again. "You should be getting as much sleep as you can. I'll go back to sleep soon, Tifa."

Tifa: She closed her eyes again and exhaled as he continued to touch her hair, almost thinking about going back to sleep. It was late, and she was rather tired and comfortable, so she simply scooted up closer to him. "Why? Do I talk in my sleep or something?" She knew that wasn't the case, but she wasn't sure how watching her sleep could be all that entertaining. Of course, she did enjoy watching him sleep, but when it came to lately, she was too tired to do that.

Keeping her eyes closed, she was quiet for a few moments and just enjoyed the way that he was touching her, allowing a pleased noise to escape her throat when his hands reached her neck. "I know I should, but I'm awake now. Besides, we went to bed kind of early tonight, so I've already gotten some sleep." Opening her eyes, she leaned forward and gave him a gentle kiss on the lips before pulling back and simply smiling. "It's been a while since we've just laid here and talked. Most of the time, I usually just pass out. Give me about two or three more weeks and I'll feel a little more energized and like myself."

Cloud: Cloud quirked an eyebrow at her question, letting it slide by him with a simple shrug of his shoulders. "No, you are quiet, but I happen to think that you are very beautiful when you sleep. I like to watch it, that's all," he replied and noted the lessening space between them absently. He didn't mind in the least, allowing the trickling thought that soon she would be unable to scoot more than her swelling belly against him and have to stay at arms length everywhere else. The thought sent a silent thrill through him, though he tried to hide it by wrapping his arm around her waist lazily, allowing his fingers to trace small patterns on her back.

He let out a soft 'hmm' sound of consideration, getting the feeling that she would not be going to sleep unless he began to try to again. He raised an eyebrow at her revelation of gaining energy back, letting out a near exasperated sigh. "Great... back to being jumped every ten minutes then in two to three weeks. I suppose I'll just bask in your lesser activity level while it lasts," he remarked dryly. His eyes dropped from her face to the darkness where her belly lay hidden from view, trying to imagine what she would look like in two or three more weeks. It was obvious from touches she would start to really show soon, a weakness he knew he would have. "So... what do you want to talk about then?"

Tifa: With a small nod of her head, she chuckled. "Well, that's good. I don't want to say anything embarrassing while you're watching me or anything. I have a lot of good dreams." She left that open ended, hoping that his imagination would take it the rest of the way. It wasn't that hard to figure out what she meant, knowing exactly what they did before going to sleep every night. Flicking her eyes up to him again, she added, "But thank you for the compliment. You're sweet." It was very hard to stay awake with his soothing touches, but she was enjoying the moment and didn't want to fall back asleep just yet.

Playfully making a face at him, she said, "Cloud. I highly doubt that you are complaining about it." Feeling a little insecure, she narrowed her eyebrows and added, "...are you?" He never seemed to argue with her when she wanted to be intimate, although it would be interesting if he ever did turn her down. She halfway wondered what she'd do in that situation, but she just hoped that never would be the case. Perhaps if he was sick, but he had always been rather healthy, so it didn't seem likely that she would have to find out. With a smirk, she put her hand on her belly and said, "It's not my fault you released the inner minx inside of me, or something. Besides, if it wasn't for my persistence, we wouldn't be expecting a baby on April 16th." Rubbing noses with him, she continued, "we could talk about that. We really haven't talked too much about it and there's so much to plan still before the baby arrives."

Cloud: "Why would you care? You say things to embarrass yourself when you're awake, so I'm not sure how you could be embarrassed if you did it in your sleep," Cloud remarked and pulled his arm out from under her and tucked it under his head, yawning again before once again relaxing. He didn't have to think too hard on what kind of dreams that Tifa had, given he knew exactly where her mind wandered more times in the day than a normal hormonal teenager did. "Sweet like candy, I'm sure," he said, adding, "probably why you lick me so much." He traced his fingers up the length of her spine and closed his eyes for a moment.

He let out a peaceful noise and waved a hand in the air dismissively to push aside her question, more than aware that she was probing for his feelings on how much she jumped him. He didn't even bother to open his eyes again as he said simply, "I wouldn't bother to waste my time complaining. I have better things to do." He never argued with her on when she wanted to get intimate, mostly because he has his own tactics to getting away from it if he wasn't interested which she probably never noticed. Unlike Tifa, he knew how to be subtle, but he usually never found the need to ignore her need for intimacy. He snorted and shook his head against his arm. "Your inner minx? I did nothing of the sort... it was already out long before I came along." He opened one eye at the mention of baby, the eye again glancing downwards for a moment before he tried to shrug and only half succeeded.

He pushed some spikes of hair out of his eyes and yawned. "Persistence is what you call it, hmmm? More like we didn't use protection and natural processes took place... ones I wasn't expecting. I would have used protection if I had thought it necessary." Of course, he had to wonder if Tifa would have actually let him use any. "I... suppose we could talk about that if you wanted to. What about it?"

Tifa: Pouting slightly, she wasn't sure how to take what he said. "I don't embarrass myself. I just say what I feel and sometimes what I say is a little blunt, but there's no point in hiding it. You're the one who has told me on numerous occasions that I'm transparent as a piece of glass, Strife." She shifted her position a little when he moved his arm, propping herself up with her elbow as she continued to look down at him. "You are sweet, but that's not the reason why you're so lickable." To prove her point, she leaned down and licked his cheek. "You don't taste like candy. More like..." Looking up at the ceiling, she had to think about it for a moment. Unable to come to a decision, she licked his cheek again just for kicks. "Face soap and sweat. Not the flavor of candy that I would pick up at the grocery store if I had a choice."

She brushed his bangs off of his forehead and shook her head at him, letting out a soft scoff. "You know that if you were to complain, you would hurt my feelings and I would take it personal. I just hope you mean by 'I have better things to do instead of complaining about it,' you mean 'getting right on it and taking off my clothes.'" She raised an eyebrow, trying not to sound a little hurt at the way he was being so nonchalant about their intimate time together. "I figured you would take that as a compliment, but I guess not. Take it the way you want to."

Her eyes flicked down to her belly then back up at him, her lips curving down into a frown. "Well, fine. Think of the conception of our first baby the way you feel is appropriate, but I think our ways of thinking are a little different." With that, she turned on her other side so she was facing away from him and hugged the pillow. "Just drop the subject then if you're going to make it seem like such a burden."

Cloud: Cloud snickered softly and nodded his head several times in an attempt to soothe her, rubbing his hand against her back a bit more rigorously to show that he had been joking around and not meeting to offer slight to her. "You are transparent, Lockheart. You failed Subtlety 101 and 102 in school, that's for sure..." he paused to lean forward and press his forehead against hers, "plus, I know you too well anyway." He blinked when she licked him, lifting his eyebrow again as he waited for her verdict on how he tasted, not entirely surprised with the honest result. "It would have been nicer if you had lied and said 'after shave' instead of soap." He poked her in the shoulder. "Now stop, you've picked me up at the grocery store. Candy there."

He looked under the blankets at his current state of dress then back over at Tifa, giving a futile shrug of his shoulders. "I can't exactly get much more naked than I already am at the moment, and you know I would never lie to you about my complaints. Besides, you're as undressed as I am, so I doubt any more stripping is actually needed." He decided that playing innocently stupid would at least win him points for effort if nothing else. His eyebrows drew together at the sudden downplay of his words, not used to the sudden turn of normal joking to seriousness. He remained silent and contemplated his words again for any slight he might have unintentionally caused.

His hand hung in the air as she suddenly turned on him and faced away, leaving him with the distinct impression that she was giving him the cold shoulder. But... Tifa never gave him the cold shoulder. He admitted that it stung considerably, and he slowly withdrew his hand, uncertain on how he should proceed. He could leave her alone for the night and hope whatever happened dissipated or he could risk bodily harm and try to get her to warm up to him again. Both could have been terribly dangerous, but he felt bad about making her upset in the first place. He knew the reason though, as much as it made him uncomfortable to admit... he knew what he would be like if he opened up too much. It would be like the tranquilizers all over again only worse. "Tifa... it's... not a burden."

Tifa: "Yeah, yeah, those classes conflicted with martial arts, so I had to choose the ones that would help protect myself and aide in saving the world. I figured that it wouldn't be necessary to dodge around the fact that I was strong enough to take someone down when I needed to. I could bluntly tell them that I was going to win and they were going to lose, and it wouldn't be far from the truth." She shrugged her shoulders when he put their foreheads together, staring into his eyes. "Soap is more accurate though, so no need to lie. Perhaps if you had to shave more often, you would taste like aftershave, but that's not the case is it?" To show that she didn't mind his lack of facial hair, she placed her hand on his cheek and rubbed her thumb over his smooth chin. "All right, all right. I'll give you that. However, it's better that I take you home instead of someone else."

Shaking her head at him playfully as he looked at her under the blankets, she chuckled. She wasn't embarrassed, for she didn't have a need to. He had seen her with less clothing on than that, and she would be lying if she said that she didn't like him to see her naked. "It is possible though, so don't rule it out." Her frown didn't change as he looked at her; she wanted him to realize what he said and how it hurt her.

She reached for the blankets and pulled them closer to her chest, scooting a little closer to the edge of the bed and further from Cloud. For him to act that way... it was so insensitive. Not to mention quite a shock for her since it was rare that she was hurt by his words. "Well, you're making it seem that way. I thought you wanted to start a family... that it was one of your goals. Newsflash, it's one of my goals too and all you can say is 'I would've used protection if I would've known that I would get you pregnant.' Tell that to the baby when it's born." With a 'hmph' she opened her eyes and stared at the wall, setting her jaw in anger.

Cloud: "True enough, and you do a mighty good job beating on people and winning." Cloud managed a small grin, having borne more than a few bruises from her punches to know just how hard she could hit and didn't need subtlety to sugar coat those. He looked aside and finally shrugged his shoulders, somewhat over the fact that he would probably be well into his thirties before he would actually have to shave more than once a week. Even now, it was pathetic that he had no facial hair to speak of. "You're rubbing it in... I can save the world, but I can't even grow my own goatee. I suppose I'll accept soap though..." He feigned being hurt before giving up and laying back comfortably.

Her continued coolness made him terribly uncomfortable, as he couldn't really think of a time since they had been together that he had managed to somehow dig himself a hole like this. He didn't even really know what he had done to upset her so much, but he didn't want to look confused or it could make the situation worse than it already was. He wasn't sure it could get much worse with her moving away from him and leaving the warm space she had filled every night since this had become their room for months empty. He did pick out his mistake in her snappy reply, and he winced and slipped back to the far end of the bed until his back pressed against the wall, leaving a mile of bed between them. She was very angry, and he was doubting that I'm sorry was going to cut it.

He played with the blanket with his fingers as he desperately tried to think of something to smooth things over. He did want a family, but... the timing and the fact he hadn't expected it had been difficult for him. He wanted a family badly, so much so that it ached that he couldn't just let loose and show his joy over the occasion. Now he was hurting Tifa by his reluctance. "Tifa... I know it is a goal we share, but... the timing... Jenova is still out there, and I don't believe she and her children are quiet for no reason. I... you're a target, and you know I would protect you all that I can..." He stopped and cast his eyes to the bed, thinking he might have just made things worse. He wanted her forgiveness, but her ire was strong against him. "Tifa... I'm... I'm sorry."

Tifa: She bit at her lower lip when she felt the bed move as he moved further away from her. It wasn't the reaction that she was expecting from him, but then again, they had never been angry at each other like this, so she wasn't sure what to expect. When he denied the fact that she was pregnant, there was a distance like this, but it shouldn't have happened again. He had visual proof of the baby now, she was barely able to fit into her pants anymore, and she thought that he accepted the fact that she was pregnant. 'Accepting' wasn't enough for her anymore. This was something to be excited over.

Hearing the talk about Jenova, she let out a long exhale. "What, you think I don't know that? God, I had this same conversation with Rufus, but I didn't think I would need to have it with you." She shifted her legs up closer to her chest and she hugged them, becoming a little cold since she wasn't cuddling with Cloud. "I know she's out there. I know that I'm a perfectly good target. But... I don't want to put my life on hold because she's out there. If it's not her, it'll be something else," she drawled, as if she was reading something off of a script since she said basically the same thing to Rufus. "I know you'll protect me, you don't have to convince me of that. But don't let that hold you back from the feelings that you should be showing about this pregnancy."

She wasn't sure what to say. She could tell that he was sorry and it made her feel a little bit guilty, but she was sick of his neutrality when it came to the baby. "It's just funny how you haven't shown it at all during the 14 weeks that I've been pregnant, with the exception of when you were hit with a tranquilizer. I try to get some kind of positive reaction out of you, try to make you excited about it, but you don't show it. I feel like I'm forcing you to be happy about it, and how do you think that makes me feel? Huh?" She didn't bother turning around, she was too busy trying not to get up and walk downstairs or something. "Let me tell you something, Cloud. Ever since I found out about this pregnancy, I feel like I'm alone in my excitement. Don't do this to me. Now's your time, Cloud... tell me how you really feel about this baby."

Cloud: Cloud couldn't hold back the wince as Tifa spoke of the conversation with Rufus. He knew that she had gone out to coffee with Rufus to explain about the fact that she was pregnant, but he had never pressed for details about it since he had never wished to intrude on their rebuilding friendship. He felt the further he was away from the conversation or being in it, the better and easier it would be for Rufus to accept. Still, her manner of delivery stung, like this was a pre-made speech that she had memorized for occasions just like this. Perhaps he had just been hoping that she would even glance back at him, but it appeared that she was reading off of something that she might have said to Rufus first, since... he was certain that if Rufus reacted to anything, it would be the timing of the pregnancy rather than the fact that Tifa was pregnant.

Another wince made him turn his face away and forced him to remain silent to commenting on her speech. She was angry at him for holding back, and he probably deserved this wrath as it came at him. He had forced himself to keep his distance so as not to overreact or show to the world that he was having a hard time keeping his hands off of her, only getting occasionally brief times when she was sleeping. He doubted that she wanted to know that either, so he simply fidgeted with the blanket at the sudden dropping of the ball in his lap. He was more than aware that one wrong move would upset her further, but if he faked anything, she would know and be hurt more than she was now. He somehow managed to get closer to the wall anyway, feeling it somewhat ironic that he was one of the strongest men alive... and he was cowed by his pregnant lover so easily.

He shifted uncomfortably, glancing over at Tifa's back as he contemplated his answer carefully. He had to step gently or risk getting himself battered again verbally. "I..." he faltered immediately and looked to the bed again, picking at the sheets. "Confused..." he admitted. "Happy but dreading... ecstatic but holding back..." He sat up on the bed and looked out the window by pulling up the drapes a bit. "I feel like... if I show it, people will know. If people know, Jenova will find out... and you'll get hurt. I've wanted this so badly that I don't know what to do with it... I've never gotten anything I've really wanted."

Tifa: The silence in the room hurt Tifa even more, for she wanted him to answer her, and she wanted an answer that very second. She had gone on long enough without knowing exactly what it was that he was feeling, so now that he question was up in the air, she wanted an answer. She was perhaps being a touch brash for the wrong words would've driven her further into anger, but she needed to know how he felt.

Her features softened as he spoke, feeling a little guilty for her actions and the way she spoke to him, but she was going to explode if she didn't. She propped herself up by her elbow again, looking down at her hands, almost too ashamed to turn and look at him. She understood what he meant, but she needed to hear it from him instead of filling in the blanks herself. "I've been feeling the same way. Kind of. Yeah, I've been a little more open about the way I'm feeling, but... I'm terrified of what will happen if Jenova finds out, but I'm so excited for this baby that it hurts too. I want this baby to grow up in a safe environment, but it's not like we can take it back. I wouldn't want to take it back even if I could. This excitement... I'm sure you understand what I mean when I say that it's hard to express. Being with you... starting a family with you... Cloud, those are things that I've always wanted." She bowed her head and let out another sigh. "Perhaps the only things that I have ever really wanted."

Shaking her head, she rubbed her face with her hand that wasn't propping her up. "It's clear that we're worried about the same things, excited over the same things. So, why can't we go through them together? Don't hold your feelings back, that's all I'm asking of you. It... hurts more than you could ever know."

Cloud: Cloud was given the distinct feeling that she was not going to bombard him against with harsh words, but he knew he would have tolerated it if she did go after him again. He had probably brought this on himself for holding back for so long in the pregnancy, only making himself more available but offering little support as he should have given how big of an obligation this child was. He just knew what he would have been like if he had opened up and let her see what he could be like when he had something that he really and truly wanted in his life and at his grasp whenever he wanted it to be. Things would change if he did that, and it would increase the chances that someone would find out that shouldn't.

He turned his head at her words, risking a glance to her back before turning his eyes back towards the outside. So, Tifa was scared about Jenova too, a hefty risk that they were both taking. He should have killed Jenova again, to buy them some time so that Tifa would not be so vulnerable. Once the baby was born, it would leave Tifa as a protector to the child, and he could properly take care of Jenova... and perhaps that was the answer. If he killed Jenova, the threat would subside for a time, probably enough time for the child and Tifa to hide away until he could get Jenova off the planet entirely. He knew that he could take out Kadaj and the brothers and turn his attention to Jenova before something horrible happened; it was his duty.

Slowly, he drew a leg up to his chest and rested an arm on it, letting the drapes close again. "I will protect you... at any cost to myself," he said softly. "This baby is another future that I have to protect, that I want very much to protect. I cannot allow a threat to risk this happiness for you... or me." He tilted his head to the side as his eyes flicked up and stared at the outline of his sword in the corner before he looked over at Tifa. "I... will try not to hold back so much..."

Tifa: She winced at his words; for those were exactly why she didn't want to tell Cloud about her fears of Jenova still running freely around the planet without a clue to where she was or what she was up to. It was something she was aware of and he was completely serious, which terrified her more than anything. She appreciated his concern and level of protection that he wanted for her, but it made her feel helpless. Of course, when she was more obviously pregnant, she pretty much would be helpless and would have to rely on Cloud. The thought of him dying over her was something that she couldn't stand and made her shiver. The thought of him dying in the first place was a nightmare, but over her? Having to raise the baby by herself? She sat up completely, wrapping her arms around her legs.

"Don't be reckless." It was the only warning that she could give him without sounding like she wasn't going to let him go after Jenova any time soon. She needed him with her now too, so to worry about him going off, not knowing what was going to happen? It was a health risk to her that she didn't want. He still had to go on deliveries, which was fine, but that wasn't a risk to his life unless he ran into Jenova or her sons. Not wanting to think about it, she rested her chin against one of her knees.

She was silent for a moment, not sure if his answer was good enough for her or not. Shaking her head, she sighed and said, "Don't hold back at all." Turning her head a little, she continued to look away from him, but she could still see him with her peripheral vision. "Allow yourself to show the excitement that you want. Even if it's just with me for now... let me see some form of excitement."

Cloud: While he could tell that Tifa was not entirely pleased with the fact that he was willing and completely able to risk himself against Jenova, both she and he knew that it was something that he might have to do in the future. He did not want to lose his life against Jenova without seeing his child first, but he also knew that he could lose his child completely if he did nothing but hide away and hope that Jenova wouldn't notice what was going on. Jenova was an opportunist, and this opportunity would surely attract her attention as much as torturing him would have. He was not afraid to die, but he was afraid to fail and lose what he set out to protect, meaning that he would have to be diligent and watchful.

"I'm wiser than that," he replied softly, and he thought that he was. He was not about to pick a fight that he knew he would lose unless the fight had been brought to him. His times of pranking Loz were over, as the unnecessary risk was too high. He would simply have to find out where they were and take each one out when the opportunity was there, much as Jenova would to him. "I'll pick fights I can win unless... I have no choice."

He turned his head to regard her sitting on the other side of the bed, noting how alone she looked over there. He hung his head so that his hair obscured his face and slowly nodded his head, forcing himself to think about the fact that in the coming year, he would become a father. Tentatively, he set one hand on the bed and slowly closed the distance between them again until he calmly sat himself down beside Tifa and wrapped an arm around her shoulders, pulling her up against his side. He was sure to keep his movements slow incase she reject his physical advancements, though he knew he still showed no outward sign of 'excitement' as he rubbed his hand up and down her arm soothingly. "Give it time..."

Tifa: "I don't want you to think that you have to kill Jenova right away because of this baby. That kind of mindset won't be enough to just win," she replied, continuing to stare out the window so she could keep her attention focused on something. "I wanted to be with you while you take her down, and I know I can't right now. Just... do me a favor. Don't do anything rash and go off by yourself. You know that Rufus and the Turks wanted to help and that is a good alliance to have. They're all strong warriors too who could help. I don't doubt your warrior skills in the least, but it doesn't ease my fears at all." She wasn't sure how Cloud was going to take to that suggestion, but she wanted to throw it out there.

She didn't show emotion as he moved closer to her, even though that was definitely what she wanted. She hated feeling angry at him and to have him move further away from her stung more deeply. Relaxing against him when he pulled her close, she rested her head on his shoulder and shook her head. "I've been waiting since I found out that I'm pregnant." She tilted her head up to look at him for a moment before she tucked her forehead against his neck. "Like I said, I don't want to force the emotion out of you anymore, but why torture yourself into waiting when we're alone? It's not like we have media peeking in our windows or anything, and I don't want this to be a taboo topic between us... because I kind of feel like it is."

Snuggling up closer to him, she turned her body so her side was against his chest. "There's so much to talk about, so much to plan. Don't just nod your head at everything, I want your input as well. I mean, we haven't even talked about baby names or anything like that. I... wanted to wait until I knew that you wanted to talk about it, so I've been putting it off."

Cloud: Cloud felt his shoulders rise as he bristled to Tifa's comment about his current mindset, but instead of rising completely to speaking out, he simply sighed heavily and allowed his shoulder's to droop. He turned his face towards the window again, contemplating how to respond to her lack of faith in his ability to defend himself in battle. He had to remind himself that she was being over-protective of him because of what happened months ago in the forest that nearly cost him his life and now the expectation of a family. He didn't want his pride to get in the way, but he was certain that it had just taken a heavy blow from Tifa's choice of words. "My rash days are over since the run around the world we all got for Sephiroth the first time. I have no interest in running off to show off, if that is what you are worried about."

He rubbed her shoulder with a hand as she finally leaned in against him, and he almost managed a small smile until her next words hit him. His hand paused stroking up her arm, and he again sighed heavily, dropping his touch altogether, leaving him simply sitting beside her. He pulled his legs up and wrapped his arms around them, resting his chin against his knees, trying to figure out just what he had done to deserve this length of battering on all subjects they were touching on.

He let his legs go in time for her to snuggle up more closely, setting his hands on the bed so that he could lean his weight against them as he restretched his legs out. He was about to nod his head in understanding to her expectations, but that was obviously not what she was waiting at this point so held off in case he anger her all over again. His eyes dropped down to regard the blanket pooling around his waist, pretty certain that shrugging instead of nodding would do a wonderful job inciting her ire on him again.

Instead, he remained completely silent and still, aware that wouldn't help his situation any. He tried to think of what to say that might make things better again, coming up with nothing helpful before his mind settled on the issue of baby names. He had thought about that a few times, though never made mention of it, and he had already shortened his list down to what he wanted. He shifted uncomfortably on his hands before suddenly blurting, "Kristoph..." he paused and glanced to Tifa, "...as a boy's name... and Isabella as a girl's name... or Elecia after my mother.

Tifa: She shook her head and furrowed her forehead a little. "Cloud, I... didn't mean that you were going to go 'show off.' I also didn't mean for it to come off like I don't respect your decisions when it came to battle, that's not it at all. It's just that Jenova has been very quiet and we don't know what she's planning." She paused for a second, then nodded her head. "All right, I'm overreacting a little by worrying like this, I'm sorry. I know that you wouldn't jump into the unknown without having a clue to what she's been doing. I know you better than that. I don't mean to get sentimental on you, but I don't know what I'd do without you."

She withdrew her arms when he stopped touching her, trying to figure out exactly what it was that she said that made him react in such a way. It only took her a minute to figure out that it was the way that she was forcing him to show excitement. Even if she said she wasn't trying to force him, she basically was, and it was clear that he wasn't happy about it. Maybe she overreacted a little bit, but nonetheless, no matter how hurt she was with his word choice earlier, she felt guilty. With a sigh, she placed one of her hands around his waist again and the other rested against his chest, tucking her head underneath his chin. "I'm sorry. I have no right telling you how you should react or how you should be feeling. I’ll give you all the time that you need. I didn't mean to second guess your feelings, I know you want to start this family and that's all I really need to know." She closed her eyes as she added, "I don't want to fight, I'm sorry."

At the mentioning of the boy's name, she removed her head from under his chin to look up at him and she smiled widely at him. "Kristoph? You're kidding." After chuckling for a moment, she sat up straight so she was at eye level with him. "When I first started to think about baby names, I instantly knew that if I were to have a boy I would want to name him 'Kristoph.' It's good to know that we think alike in that aspect." Looking up at the ceiling to contemplate over the girl's names, she nodded her head. "I like them both. I honestly couldn't think of a girl's name that I liked for the life of me. But... I really like them both."

Thinking more about naming the baby after Cloud's mother, her smile faded and she looked down at the tiny bulge in her stomach. It was hard not to think about her parents when she thought about the baby and all the preparations, for it was a time when she wished she could talk to her mother or Cloud's mother about pregnancy and birth. She was too young to have a conversation about that when her mother was still alive, but now that she was going through it, it would've been nice to have the insider's perspective. "You know, I wish our parents could see their grandchild when it's born. I just have to know that they're very happy and proud of us."

Cloud: Glancing down at Tifa, Cloud knew that she had not meant harm with her words even if she had unwittingly caused it. He just wanted her to trust his decisions, that he would not run off with a chip on his shoulder and ignore everything that was currently close to him and in his fair for defeating Jenova. He knew more than anyone how tough of a foe Jenova could be, though... he did admit the child form often times threw him as to what he was supposed to do. "No... not yet. I should talk to Rufus about patrolling or something, see if we can catch word of Jenova or her children. I have no interest in running off on my own if I don't have to, Tifa. I will if I must, and I have to trust my skills with a blade and materia if it does come down to me fighting against them all alone."

At her second apology, he relaxed back into his previous position and nodded his head. The pressure to be what Tifa wanted him to feel had been difficult to deal with, as he was more than aware of her want to be openly excited about the baby. He did too, but something held him back, and he couldn't quite decide what it was. Perhaps he wasn't ready to let loose with all of his emotions yet, as he never considered himself a hugely emotional man in these kind of situations. He sighed and rested his chin on the top of her head, slipping an arm back around her shoulders again. "I don't want to fight either... and I will try harder to be excited about this."

He raised an eyebrow, not actually surprised that they had been thinking along the same lines about a boy's name. He knew Tifa's fixation with his middle name, which was why he had thought of it first and knew Tifa would agree. "I knew you would like that one. You always liked my middle name even if you're like the only person that knows it." He thought for a moment that Tifa might not agree to the female names he had picked out, but he was relieved when she seemed to accept them well enough. "And here I thought you would have a list of names a mile long," he remarked dryly. "What with being so excited about it..."

His expression faded back to neutral at Tifa's wish, nodding his head and placing a kiss on her temple. "It would have been nice for them to see it, but... I suppose everything has happened for a reason. Your mother would be proud... your father might have glared at me first then be proud of you."

Tifa: "Mm, that sounds like a good idea. There are a lot of people in the Turks, and if you all take shifts and keep an eye out, I'm sure that you all will be able to find something about her whereabouts." She felt herself shiver, and she wasn't sure if it was because she was cold, or the thought of Cloud having to fight the four of them all by himself. When he was against them all those months ago, he chose not to have his sword with him in order to protect Zahna. If he had his sword with him... she had no choice but to trust his skills and hope that nothing would happen. "You have my support in anything you do, just know that."

With a small smile, she gave a small nod and held onto him tighter. "All right, then we don't have to talk about it anymore, I'm sorry that I even brought it up. I didn't mean to make you angry. Just take your time." At the end of her statement, she tilted her head up to give him a gentle kiss on the bottom of his chin.

"I love your middle name. Not 'like.' Love." She wasn't sure what she liked so much about it, but it could've been the fact that she was the only person who knew it. Or it could've been the way he reacted when she used his full name in context. It was a way for him to know she really wanted something, for she seemed to add it into a sentence, along with batting her eyes or snuggling up with him. Feeling her cheeks flush, she said, "Well... um... I've thought of a few names and everything, but I want to make sure that it fits well with 'Strife' too. I... do want the baby to have your last name..."

Leaning into the kiss, she looked up at him. "You're right. Things do happen for a reason and even if we don't always know what that reason is... things wouldn't turn out the way they do sometimes. If that makes sense." Giving him a playful shove, she chuckled. "There you are thinking that my father hated you again. Either that or you're just thinking that my father would have the mindset of 'someone touched his little girl.'"

Cloud: Nodding his head a little, Cloud had to consider how to best make use of the Turk abilities. He didn't have any form of command over them, so he would need Rufus and Tseng on his side in order to set up any type of patrol. He supposed that he should have a talk with Rufus anyway, given how long it had been since they had met on equal terms where alcohol wasn't somehow involved or the topic of Tifa for that matter, since he did consider that a topic to side-step for the moment. "Perhaps... I'll have a talk with Rufus to see what the Turks could do for a patrol in the area around Edge though... Jenova is the one that might slip by anyway."

He shook his head and gave Tifa a look, not sure why she loved his middle name so much. It wasn't as if it was the most rare name in the world, but he supposed that it fit well with his two primary names as well, and he never liked giving it out to anyone. "Indeed... so you have proven on more than a few occasions," he muttered softly. He noted her flush in the darkness of the room, turning his eyes away out of respect in case he embarrass her further with his comments. He managed to keep his body language neutral at the implied notion of their children having the last name of his family, more than aware of what she was gently pushing for. It was the most subtle she had been about the subject. "Of course it will have my last name. By default, unless under break up or separation, the last name of the father is used on birth certificates."

He nodded slowly, wishing that things hadn't come out this way when it came to their families but aware he could do nothing about it either. He rocked to one side against the shove and brushed hair from his eyes in an arrogant fashion. "He did hate me when I was a kid. He'd give me the hairy eyeball every time he saw me," he said and gave Tifa a shove back. "Besides... he probably wouldn't be pleased that someone touched his little girl."
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