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Private a familiar story

Discussion in 'Pandopolis City' started by Tifa Lockhart, Oct 10, 2019 at 5:23 PM.

  1. Tifa Lockhart

    Tifa Lockhart Final Fantasy

    Posts:
    24

    oct 25 – @Zack Fair

    Tifa sighed, leaned the broom in her hand against the wall, and used her freed hands to brush the bulk of her hair back behind her shoulders. The back of one hand then wiped across her forehead, before she went to the window and peered out at the Pandopolis streets. It was the one day a week where Seventh Heaven didn't open until evening, giving Tifa the day to catch up on chores around the bar, run errands, and maybe, maybe, relax a bit. She she still needed more workers, to take some of it off her shoulders, since customers weren't a problem. Perks of inheriting a preexisting establishment from a... previous incarnation of herself.

    Cloud and Aerith were here, and it felt like she was starting to settle. However much a part of her wanted to fight that sentiment. People had always been more important to her than where she was, and she supposed this shouldn't be different. Even if she did wonder, if Sephiroth would come back for her, for her friends...

    But maybe she was thinking too hard about those friends, because she saw someone pass the shop, right before her eyes, from her past. From that last week or so in Nibelheim, before Sephiroth burned it all. She thought she saw Zack Fair, the SOLDIER, walk straight past her bar. And for several moments she only stared after him through the window, blinking with disbelief. By the time she actually moved for the door, he was down the block, and she had to jog after him.

    "...Hey! Zack!"

     
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  2. Zack Fair

    Zack Fair Final Fantasy

    Posts:
    6


    Zack....

    had no freaking idea what to do.

    Walking down the street at a languid pace, he raised his hands and folded them against the back of his head, pressing back on his netted fingers as he strode along the sidewalk, eyes wandering all around and taking in very little. Things had happened way too fast for his comfort. He knew he was in Pandora, and he knew that whether Cloud was here or not, he was beyond Zack's ability to help...

    He knew there was no ShinRa, which was great and all, but it felt like the ground hand dropped out beneath him, and Zack wasn't exactly falling with style. He felt like he was just flipping and spiraling through the air, trying his best not to get himself killed. It was hard to explain, even to himself. He didn't want ShinRa to be a thing, and he sure as hell didn't want to die...

    But that was what he had made his peace with. He'd been ready for that. He wasn't ready for a brand new world, with brand new rules, and people. He wasn't ready to face it all without Angeal's sword, which was the one thing besides Cloud that Zack really cared about at the moment.

    He wilted as he walked, feeling like a failure and wondering what Angeal would think of him now. He wanted to say that the older man would understand and would be sympathetic, and he probably would be, because Angeal was basically the nicest person ever, but Zack knew what Buster Sword meant to him. To his whole frigging family.

    And he'd lost it.

    Groaning angrily, he pressed the heels of his hands against his eyelids, hard.

    Then, hearing his name from behind, Zack turned on his heel, looking surprised and slightly on edge until he recognized the face behind the voice. Well... sort of. If he squinted, it looked a lot like... "Tifa?" He hazarded a guess, tracing the familiar lines of her face with his eyes and making connections where a few years of growing up had changed things. "Hey! Tifa!" Beaming in delight at seeing anyone familiar to him, Zack rushed forward and grabbed her into a tight, excited hug, eagerly picking her up off her feet and spinning in a circle.

    Then, abruptly, he remembered exactly when he had last seen Tifa, and Zack dropped her and staggered back with wide eyes, hands raised to shoulder height in a bid to look as harmless as possible. "Sorry. I'm so sorry. I just... forgot. Sorry." As far as he knew, she probably still hated his guts for being part of SOLDIER.

     
    Tifa Lockhart likes this.
  3. Tifa Lockhart

    Tifa Lockhart Final Fantasy

    Posts:
    24

    The delight at a familiar face, in this world where there were precious few of them, was shared. Still, Tifa hardly expected the exuberant hug that came at her next, arms tight around her, boots leaving the ground. She gave a little shriek, but managed to hook an arm behind his shoulders and cling for dear life until he set her down again.

    He reacted faster than she could regain her footing, backing away as she caught her breath. Her gaze narrowed briefly, before she recognized his concern. Her expression all at once softened. "Zack, it's– it's alright," she replied. "I know you tried to help. I'm sorry I didn't let you, then." One corner of her lips slipped upward in a little smile of assurance. She glanced past him, then, briefly, in the direction he'd been moving.

    "Were you going somewhere? I'm sorry– I just saw you walk past my bar, I couldn't not say something." Her smile widened a bit as she watched those vivid, undoubtedly SOLDIER eyes.

     
    Zack Fair likes this.
  4. Zack Fair

    Zack Fair Final Fantasy

    Posts:
    6


    Zack was glad that Tifa hadn't held onto the grudge he'd seen back then, but he wouldn't have blamed her if she had. He would have understood, actually, and as grateful as he was, he still eyed her speculatively. A few years ago, he would have taken her words at face value. Now he was a bit more jaded. He questioned things a bit more than he had before.

    But that was stupid. Now wasn't the time to get his back up and start worrying over what-if's. She seemed happy, and that should have been enough for him, so Zack gave her a terse, sheepish quirk of his lips. "No worries. Trust me - I didn't do a whole lot to help anyway. Might as well have gotten myself hit by a truck... would have been a bit easier and it would have hurt less." He didn't expect her to really know Sephiroth. She had only met him the one time before things went to shit, and Sephiroth had been... Sephiroth. She probably wouldn't have known him if they'd stayed in Nibelheim for a month doing charity work.

    So, Zack expected her to assume he was exaggerating. He was okay with that. Hell, he was fine with looking a bit better than he would if she knew just how easily Sephiroth had tossed him around like a SOLDIER-shaped rag doll.

    Looking over his shoulder, he hesitated. Then he smiled again, broader this time. "Oh. Nah. No. I'm just sort of walking. Trying to get my bearings, you know...?" He shrugged. "So... a bar, huh? What, did the cowgirl life not pay off for you in the long run? Guess you got your fill of being a professional tour guide..." He laughed, then grimaced.

    "Sorry. Not funny. Totally not funny. Oh! Hey, have you seen Cloud? You remember Cloud, right? Short? Hair's all--" He puffed out his hands dramatically. "Listen, have you seen him? He was really sick when... you know... when I ended up here. I was hoping he might've been pulled in with me an' maybe he got lost. Maybe he'd come find you... just... familiarity, right?"

     
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  5. Tifa Lockhart

    Tifa Lockhart Final Fantasy

    Posts:
    24

    Tifa's gaze briefly narrowed, almost in concern at his words– she couldn't be sure what had happened after everything had happened. Zack had been declared dead, in Shinra's usual attempts to cover everything up. Though in the moment, his attempt to help her had been wholly unwanted simply for the uniform he were, she could see it now, that he'd been victim to Sephiroth, to Shinra's plan just as she had. If there'd been any doubt, the hug had certainly cleared it up.

    So she merely hummed quietly at the comment, her head tilting a little. Her smile continued, a laugh bubbling from her mouth at the mention of her cowgirl days. She lifted a hand, smoothed down the back of her hair, the other hand landing at her hip. "Ah, yeah. It's been a while, huh?" Her grin turned almost guilty– until he mentioned Cloud. And that smile faded.

    Her expression didn't turn unhappy, only a more muted version of before. "Yeah, I know–" Her words cut off as Zack continued, and her gaze narrowed. Sick? She hesitated, sorting through the information in her head, but only a moment belated blinked and nodded. "Yes, he's here. He's... alright." Tifa couldn't bring herself to say something stronger on the matter. She eyed Zack a beat, not in scrutiny but just thinking, then nodded back towards Seventh Heaven. "Why don't you come to the bar, I'll get you a drink, and... we can talk more?"