when or if I started shipping it
…It’s…it’s really hard to figure out when I started shipping it. It started with me seeing comments about Cloud/Barret that seemed joking in a clerith/cloti argument, and people kept referring to it as a joke pairing, and eventually it was like well wait why is the thought of them being a couple so laughable, it could work! I’ve been interested in it for a couple of years, I guess?
what makes me happy about them
Gold Saucer employees were rude not to let them in the play. (Though I can imagine Cloud and Barret starting to hear the “100th couple” announcement and just whipping their heads to stare at the employee like WHAT DID YOU SAY and so the employee hastily decided they must have been mistaken, they really don’t want to get in an argument with these two…)
More serious thoughts– I think what really sealed them as a possibility was Case of Tifa, where it becomes apparent Cloud and Barret are consulting each other about some big stuff without always including Tifa in it; I’m sure mostly because they don’t want to burden Tifa with more worries, but it just made me think they’ve really come to trust and rely on each other. Especially when one of the matters is Barret leaving the bar and putting Marlene in Cloud and Tifa’s care. Though other aspects of this bug me (the fact they decided to have Barret leave in the first place, guh), it tickles my Cloud/Barret shippiness that Cloud knows he’s bad with children but apparently went “okay Barret, if that’s what you need to do” and not “ohhhhh, no, do not make me assume responsibility for YOUR kid so you can stomp around the Planet for an undetermined amount of time”.
Like the whole thing is still a bad decision in my book, but it’s a heartwarming bad decision on Cloud’s end. :|b (I still like to imagine that at some point after AC Cloud talks to Barret and is just like “…Okay. I’ve had a few revelations lately. Passing one on for free: if you haven’t found what you need yet, it’s because you left it at home. Get back here already and tell Marlene you’re staying.” and that’s why we see Barret riding with Tifa in Dirge and all)
what makes me sad about them
Cloud has to, and will, get on his tiptoes to get in Barret’s face. Seriously I just imagine any occasion where Barret’s managed to get Cloud’s goat must be comedy gold for the rest of AVALANCHE.
things done in fic/art that annoy me
THE LACK OF FANWORKS.
things I look for in fic/art
Not really common enough to have annoyed me in any way; what does occasionally throw me off is coming across an OGC-based fic that was written so long ago that my basic ff7 assumptions need to checked at the door. (For example, a Cloud/Barret writing challenge that was canon…except “Cloud” wasn’t his real name. Threw me off soooo much.)
who I’d be comfortable with them ending up with, if not each other
I REALLY CAN’T BE PICKY HERE but I mean part of the fun of it is their different temperaments, so it’s always good to see them butting heads.
my happily ever after for them
Barret would have to be with Tifa, there’s really no one else I can easily picture him with. So Cloud would be with Aerith or Yuffie or chocobo breeding…yes.
One moment: they’re both at Marlene’s school graduation and Cloud’s hissing at Barret to stop bellowing, Marlene saw them already and now everyone else is looking at them too, and Barret’s just like “MY BABY GIRL’S GRADUATING!!” and not listening and Cloud resigns himself to being stared at for now. But he’s still smiling a bit because it is a great day for Marlene, and Barret’s pride and happiness is infectious.