Barret only picked up that something was wrong when Cloud led him into the bathroom. Tifa had a such a cool and hard to read face that he never could read her. He was positive he had a good read on Cloud. 

He decided he was wrong. 

“I just…if I’m right, I don’t want the kids to know,” Cloud said. Which explained how he could be all smiles as he served up breakfast. Cloud wasn’t the best actor, but he certainly could hide something. 

“What’s wrong,” Barret asked. He knew by the way Cloud hesitated it had to be real bad. Cloud treated most bad news like a bandage; just rip it off so he could see and deal with the damage. This was something more. If Barret knew Cloud as well as he thought he did…then Cloud was scared. 

“I felt weird when I woke up,” Cloud said, “and…there was dark droplets on my pillow. When I felt it…I pulled off black goop. It could be…I hope it’s just blood, but…” 

“Cloud,” Barret started. 

“I need you to check,” Cloud said, “If…if I’ve relapsed, if it’s geostigma again…you’re the one who’ll tell me straight.” Barret looked at him a long time. 

“Turn around,” he said at last. Cloud turned and faced the mirror, gripping the edge of the counter. He couldn’t watch in the mirror, just looked down into the sink. 

The seconds were agonizing. It wasn’t that it hurt. Years of patching up Marlene’s scrapes and scratches had Barret’s nursing skills down to a near science. It didn’t sting a bit. The worst was just not knowing. 

Barret leaned forward and wet down a towel. Cloud felt it rubbing firmly, but gently over the back of his head. 

“That’s a nasty cut you got there,” Barret said, “how the hell did that happen without you noticing?”

“But…it’s not?” Cloud looked up finding Barret’s eyes in the mirror. Barret gave him a stern look and held up the messy towel. Reddish brown, but no black. 

Cloud’s legs gave out on him. He fell against the counter. He didn’t realize he was sobbing until Barret started dabbing at his eyes with toilet paper, murmuring quiet comforting words. 

“We are goin’ to a doctor though,” Barret said, “that’s deep and looks like it might need stitches. And I want it cleaned out proper, no Tifa dumping vodka on it and calling it good.” Cloud just nodded, too relieved to argue. 

“Hey,” Denzel said, coming in and holding up a book, “Cloud, this was on your floor…why’s it all bloody?” 

“Son of a bitch!” Cloud said. 

“Language!” Tifa shouted across Seventh Heaven. 

“I told you that bookshelf wasn’t holdin’ nothin,” Barret said, “You’re taking it off the wall.” 

Each character gets a line of dialogue before facing off with Sephiroth, spoken dependent on how you’ve formed your parties. I wish all of them were spoken, because they do such a great job articulating the characters, what they care about, and the direction of their arcs.

Not only Aeris…
Holy is the prayer of AVALANCHE… Of Marlene and Dyne…… And everyone on the planet!

Barret has always fought for the planet and those closest to him, but sometimes in a way that was self-righteous or myopic. Now, he can see and articulate the big picture, and remember they’re fighting for everyone.

Aeris is here… everyone is here… Cloud is here with us!
There’s still many things for us to do… I’m not giving up!!

Tifa struggles at so many different points with doubting herself and hesitating, but she’s certain and determined about this - and knows she can count on “the real Cloud,” there with them.

I’m going to see it through to the end. For our future… And that of the planet…
I understand now, Grandpa. This is my mission!
I won’t let the Lifestream… or the Life of the Planet wither away!!

Nanaki has struggled with his identity and who he will grow into in his life - his “mission” - and sees clearly now that he needs to look to life beyond the home he grew up in.

Hoo-ok……! I can’t be foolin’ around in the bottom of this hell hole…
I still have lots of stuff to do with my life!

Cid was stuck in Rocket Town, tethered to his past disappointment and fatalistic even in his rebellion. Now, he sees hope - and lots of things left to do with his life.

Maybe…maybe I shouldn’t have come…
I don’t need…materia……any…
Nope, I still want it!! This an’ that an’ everything…MINE! And I’m never gonna give any up!!

Yuffie’s a bit more funny and full of moxie, but plays her vulnerability and occasional cowardice against her truest nature - stubborn and unyielding in her drive, even if it is a little selfish.

Cait Sith
Maybe we were a little late in noticing the trouble that we were getting into…
But, there’s still time… We should still be able to get out of it! Even if we can’t get EVERYTHING back to normal!
We should be able to protect what’s most important!!

Reeve now accepts responsibility for his involvement with Shinra. Having objected before, but far too quietly, he’s finally stepping up to listen to his conscience and protect what matters to him. 

I was frozen in time…… But now I feel as though my time is finally about to begin…!
Sephiroth, now it’s your time to sleep between the ages!!

Vincent wrapped himself in his own suffering and withdrew from the world, but has finally found a worthwhile stake in it once again, and therein a chance to start over.

anonymous asked:

15 for the prompt?

15 My friend made me a grindr/tinder profile without me knowing and you liked my profile and then sent me a message which just said ‘Bees?’ and I’m a little confused but intrigued.

Cloud had no idea how to respond. His roommate Zack threw his head back and laughed when he saw the message. He would have regardless of the message. He was the one who put the app on Cloud’s phone.

“This is a bit far to go for a prank war,” Cloud said with a glare in his direction. Zack caught his breath. 

“I know,” he said, “but…you need a hot date, or at least get laid. I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone.” 

“I’d agree with you,” Cloud said, “but Bees?” Zack fell off the couch laughing that time. 

Cloud frowned and looked at his own profile. Zack had picked a really cute picture at least. He’d been honest with the information…he really seemed like he was honest about getting Cloud a date. 

He flicked back to the message. 

“BEES?” it read, nearly shouted at him. It was the first contact he had period. Looks like Zack wasn’t having any luck with helping him. He looked at who it came from. 

He whistled. The man on the other end looked like the usual tough guy…but he had such a sweet dorky smile. Cloud was a sucker for those. 

But bees? Really. 

Cloud decided he’d never get to the end of it. He started typing. Zack suddenly sobered up. 

“You’re replying?” He asked. 

“Well, yeah,” Cloud said, “He’s kinda cute.” Zack snickered again and tried to see over Cloud’s shoulder. Cloud turned away and sent it, sticking his tongue at his roommate. 

Almost immediately ellipses showed up. 

Sorry. Didn’t send that message. 

Cloud frowned. So close. But then again. 

Who did? Cloud asked, now even more curious. It took a little longer for a reply to come and Cloud did not expect the response. 

My kid. 

Cloud thought carefully and replied again. 

Oh. Okay. Wanna do a coffee? They can come too.  He knew the purpose of this app was for sex, but…Cloud really didn’t want that. 

And he liked kids. Once again it took a long time for a response. 

Sure. I’ll buy. Cloud smiled.

Nah, save it and buy them a treat. He giggled a little at the emoji he send back. Zack was watching him, waiting for him to say something as he set up the date.

Like hell Cloud was gonna tell him shit. 

Cloud watched as Barret Wallace walked into the coffee shop. He was holding the hand of an adorable little girl wearing pigtails. Barret walked over, a little shyly. Cloud noticed the little girl eyeing the chocolate chip cookie on the plate in front of him. Cloud pushed it towards the empty chairs across from him. 

“This is for you two,” Cloud said, “buy one get one free and all.” The girl’s eyes lit up. 

“What do you say Marlene?” Barret asked. 

“Thank you,” she said as she climbed into her seat. 

“So Marlene,” Cloud said, “Bees?” She giggled as her father blushed and broke their cookie in half.