Friday - Part Three
The battle between Cloud and Tifa was starting to take its toll on Cloud but Tifa appeared unfazed. She was unrelenting in her attacks and he could tell she was not holding anything back. Cloud was finding it increasingly difficult to block her blows and not retaliating was leaving him vulnerable. So far she was able to land a few good kicks and punches leaving Cloud sore and debilitated. Especially after she landed her final heaven punch that he was unable to block; that was going to leave a big bruise on his side. He was so focused on blocking her attacks he couldn’t even get a chance to say anything to her.
Meanwhile James, Weiss and Katerina were standing watching the battle between the two. By now Alex had landed the airship on the rooftop and joined his comrades.
“Aren’t we here to help her?” Alex asked as soon as he joined the group.
“I don’t think she needs any help,” James commented watching the sexy girl kick some ass. He was not in any hurry to break up the fight; he could watch this all day.
“Won’t Genesis be pissed if he sees this?” Katerina asked Weiss looking over at him. “He specifically said he didn’t want them running into each other.”
Before Weiss could respond Genesis flew down onto the rooftop next to his comrades. Upon seeing him Tifa stopped what she was doing and looked over. Cloud took the opportunity to quickly catch his breath.
“Tifa,” Genesis called to her and she proceeded to run over to him.
“It’s time to go. Do you have the files?” he asked her as she handed him the memory card and Reeve’s key card. Then Genesis looked at Weiss. “Bring her back to the house,” he directed his brother. They both proceeded to run towards the airship.
Seeing Tifa fleeing Cloud was not going to let her get away from him again. Even if she didn’t remember him he was going to keep trying. If he could just get some time alone with her he knew he could help her remember. He knew her better than anyone.
Cloud was about to run after her when Genesis and the other three drew their swords ready to attack him. They were not going to let him leave that easily. Suddenly the sound of a helicopter could be heard in the distance. Cloud knew what that sound meant but the others looked around wondering where the noise was coming from.
Then the Shinra helicopter came flying up over the building with Reno and Elena hanging out of either end holding machine guns. The Turks opened fire sending an array of bullets directly at Genesis and the others. The four jumped out of the way before the bullets could land a hit. While the two Turks fired at Genesis and James the other two started to attack the helicopter with their swords.
This allowed Cloud a chance to make a break for the airship. By now it had already lifted off and was about to fly away. Cloud ran to the end of the rooftop and jumped just making it onto the top of the shuttle. As soon as Cloud landed he drove his sword into the metal under him in order to hold on. After a few minutes of holding on he looked around for a way in and spotted an escape hatch on top. He turned the latch and opened it jumping inside.
When Cloud entered Weiss and Tifa were sitting in the cockpit with Weiss piloting the aircraft. Upon seeing Cloud, Tifa got up from her chair and walked back to confront him.
Seeing Tifa approach Cloud prepared himself for another attack. She lunged trying to kick Cloud in the torso but he caught her foot throwing her backwards. He had to start defending himself or he risked injuring himself further in such an enclosed space. He was already seriously battered from the last fight and didn’t know how much more he could take. Tifa charged him again and they started struggling. Cloud managed to grasp both her wrists to prevent her from hitting him. She tried freeing herself from his grip but he was too strong.
After a minute of struggling the bay door located at the back of the aircraft opened and the plane started to tilt upwards causing them both to lose their footing. As they slid towards the back of the plane Cloud was able to catch himself on the end of a seat but Tifa was not as lucky and started to slide towards the opening. Cloud tried to grab hold of her but she was out of reach. Just when she was about to fall out of the aircraft Cloud let go of the seat diving after her. He reached her in midair and hugged her tight as she tried to struggle to break free. Realizing there was no point in struggling she gave up.
As they fell through the sky with Cloud holding Tifa he was able to position himself so he was under her in order to try to break her fall. He didn’t know if his plan would work but he had to try. At least then one of them would have a chance at survival and he would rather it be Tifa.
As they plummeted, Tifa wondered why this man would risk his life to try to save her. She didn’t think they were going to make it and the only thing on her mind was her daughter and not being able to see her grow up. Accepting the inevitable Tifa closed her eyes as they plunged into the ocean below.
Genesis was annoyed for letting himself and his team be distracted by the Turks. But at least he could take some satisfaction in the knowledge that they were able to take down the helicopter as it tried to flee. He hoped the Turks were not able to escape before it crashed into the city below.
As they stood on the rooftop Genesis pulled out a small computer like device from his jacket pocket and inserted the memory card Tifa gave him. She managed to get all the files he requested but right now he was looking for one in particular. The other three were silent as Genesis studied the information in front of him. After a few seconds of reading a surprised look appeared on his face.
“What is it?” Katerina asked noticing Genesis’ expression.
“It’s under the building,” Genesis informed them. He was very surprised by this because he was certain that due to its size they would have concealed it in the Midgar ruins or in a secure facility somewhere.
“Wow, they must have a big basement,” Alex commented.
“Good thing we called in Plan B,” Katerina remarked. “All we have to do now is stroll down there.”
At first Genesis was worried that by calling in Plan B so soon all the chaos would make it harder for Tifa to secure the files and would alert the others to their plan before they found what they were looking for. Lucky for them Reeve had it hidden right under their noses so all the worrying was for nothing. He had his doubts but again Miles’ plan worked. Tifa was able to secure the files exactly as predicted and they were able to take control of the two Headquarters with little resistance.
“Let’s go,” Genesis told the others as they exited the rooftop into the building.
When Cloud and Tifa fell out of the aircraft Weiss considered doubling back to look for them but something was telling him not to. The chances of locating them in the massive body of water was slim so he decided to go back to the house and update Miles.
When he reached the house he found Miles in the kitchen cooking dinner. Weiss walked in through the back door and sat down at the table. Miles waited for a few seconds and looked at the spiky haired man.
“Where’s Tifa?” he asked Weiss. He was expecting her to be with him.
“Bit of a problem there,” he informed the scientist casually. “She fell out of the plane on the way here.”
“What?!” Miles turned away from the stove looking at Weiss very upset. “How did it happen?”
“Simple. The bay door opened and they fell into the ocean,” Weiss said bluntly while leaning back in the chair. “I circled back looking for her but they fell from 3000 feet…” He lied. He didn’t say it but he figured there was a good chance they were dead anyways.
“They?” Miles asked wondering who exactly he was referring to.
“Tifa and her boyfriend,” Weiss replied with an evil grin trying to make Miles angry.
Miles glared at Weiss. He didn’t like Cloud being referred to as her boyfriend. If they were alive finding them would be like finding a needle in a haystack. He was concerned about Tifa and equally concerned that the more time she spent with him the greater the chance she will figure out the truth. Over the last few months Miles had become very accustomed to the way things were and he didn’t want to let it go. At least not without a fight.
“Did she recognize him?” Miles asked Weiss.
“She was fighting him when they fell out so I don’t think so.”
“Good,” Miles said turning back to the stove. He tasted the sauce he was cooking then turned off the burner. “We’ll leave before dawn tomorrow. I still have a few things to take care first,” he added then left to go get Chloe for dinner.
Cloud awoke to the sound of a campfire cracking. Without opening his eyes he knew he was lying on the ground and it was nighttime. His whole body ached. The last thing he remembered was holding Tifa and hitting the water. He must have been knocked unconscious by the impact. He opened his eyes and looked over to see Tifa sitting on the other side of the fire gazing into the flames. He was relieved to see she was okay. She looked preoccupied with something like she had a lot on her mind.
Cloud slowly sat up and looked over at her. Noticing he was awake she was now watching him with her big brown mako eyes.
“Thanks for saving me,” she said to him with a serious expression. She was sitting with her legs bent in front of her and her arms wrapped around them like she was cold.
After they crashed into the Ocean Tifa spent hours swimming to shore with Cloud. It was late by the time she reached land and she was exhausted so she started a fire before it became too dark.
“Thanks for pulling me out of the water,” Cloud said back.
He really didn’t know where to start. He had so much to talk to her about but didn’t want to scare her away or start another fight. He missed her so much all he wanted to do was go over and hold her. Realizing he was staring at her Cloud turned his attention to the fire.
There were a few seconds of awkward silence while they both watched the fire. Tifa looked over at Cloud who looked deep in thought. Looking at him she couldn’t help but feel that there was something about his eyes that seemed familiar. This was the first time she had a familiar feeling since she was told she had amnesia.
She studied Cloud’s face trying hard to remember but nothing. Other than his eyes she didn’t recognize anything about him. She didn’t even know his name. Miles had told her about people from her past but he never mentioned this man. She could tell he was like herself and Genesis because he had mako eyes and was strong. She wondered why he was not working with them. Her friends referred to him as the enemy so there must be something about him that she wasn’t aware of. She had no clue why he was following her or why he risked his life for her.
“So why did you do it?” she asked gazing over at him.
“Do what?” Cloud asked directing his attention from the fire to Tifa.
“Risk your life trying to save me,” Tifa explained. She really wanted to know what his intentions were. Maybe he was just using her to get to her friends.
Cloud paused for a second before responding.
“Tifa, I would do anything for you.” He told her sincerely. He didn’t know what else to say other than the complete truth.
“What is your name?” she asked him. Over the last few months she had grown accustomed to not remembering people but there was something about him that made her feel annoyed with herself for not remembering.
“Cloud,” he replied.
It really hurt him that she didn’t even know his name. He felt so helpless not knowing what he could do to fix her and make her remember. They had so much history together and the thought of her not remembering everything they’ve been through upset him.
“Sorry I don’t recognize that name. So how do you know me?” she asked him. She had no way of knowing if what he was telling her was true but she figured she should ask.
Cloud paused not sure how to answer. He then decided to start from the beginning hoping it might trigger a memory of him.
“We’ve known each other since we were children. We both grew up in Nibelhiem together,” he informed her hoping she might remember.
The only few memories Tifa still had were when she was young but most of it was blurry. She remembered what her parents looked like. She also remembered her father being killed by Sephiroth in the reactor and the hatred she felt towards Shinra. Everything else surrounding that incident was blurry. She remembered that her mother was sick and died when she was a child. She remembered the name of her home town but she couldn’t remember anyone else from her past or even what her hometown looked like. When Miles told her she use to fight against Shinra she believed him because she could remember the hatred she had towards the company.
“Sorry, I don’t remember much from my past…” she informed him.
There was a pause while Cloud tried to think of something that might jog her memory. Then he remembered something.
“When I was 13 years old I asked you to meet me outside by the town well. It was a starry night when I told you I was leaving to go to Midgar to join SOLDIER. You told me if I ever succeed and become famous I had to promise to come rescue you if you were ever in danger.” Cloud looked at her intensely hoping it would jog her memory.
Tifa thought about what he said for a few seconds before answering.
“So did you keep your promise and rescue me?” she asked him a little curious. She was a very independent person and couldn’t see herself saying something like that now but maybe she was different as a teenager.
“No,” he informed her a little disappointed she didn’t remember. “If anything you rescued me,” he added truthfully. Tifa saved him in the lifestream and he couldn’t even be there for her when she needed him the most.
Tifa felt bad. Clearly he felt she had a great impact on his life and she couldn’t even remember him.
“The one time you were in danger I couldn’t even save you in time. That’s how you got that scar.” He informed her.
Tifa was surprised he knew about her scar. She always wondered about it and when she asked Miles he said he didn’t know. Cloud seemed to know so much about her she was starting to think he was telling the truth.
“So, you use to be in SOLDIER?” she asked him changing the subject. It seemed like discussing their past was starting to upset him.
“Not exactly,” he replied.
“So how did you get your mako eyes?” she asked him.
“The same as you,” he informed her. “I was abducted and experimented on.” He had to tell her the truth and hopefully she would believe him.
Tifa glared at Cloud.
“I was not part of some experiment,” she corrected him abruptly.
“Is that what he told you?” Cloud asked scowling. He was so angry at Miles for what he done to her he couldn’t even say his name.
“Yes, Miles saved my life.” Tifa knew who he was referring to.
Hearing his name made Cloud furious.
“He’s the reason you have amnesia!” Cloud snapped starting to become impatient.
“That’s not true!” Tifa snapped back.
She had amnesia because she was injured trying to blow up the Mt. Nibel reactor. It was obvious he hated Miles and she didn’t want to believe him. She decided that she was done talking with Cloud. All she could think about was getting home to Chloe. She missed her daughter so much she just wanted to hold her and never let her go. She proceeded to lay down on the ground next to the fire turning her back to him.
“Goodnight,” she said bitterly before going to sleep.
Cloud felt bad for getting upset. It was not her fault she was fed lies and was manipulated by an evil scientist. He regretted snapping at her and now she doesn’t even want to talk to him. He decided to try again first thing in the morning.
“Goodnight,” he said softly before lying down
on the ground.