askerian: Serious Karkat in a red long-sleeved shirt (Default)
askerian ([personal profile] askerian) wrote2010-09-15 02:44 pm

FF7 - Restore - end of chapter 7

Another shortish bit, but I didn't want to post the last tiny section alone so the ones before it had to wait for it to be written. XD;


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"Tadaahh! WAUGH."

There were ways to break a long, heavy, brooding silence, but likely none as good as a previously invisible trap in the ceiling suddenly bursting open and a small thief somersaulting through. She landed awkwardly at the end of the mattress, and went bouncing straight into Barret, who caught her by reflex before she could slide to the ground.

Everyone blinked at his armful of Yuffie, clean of makeup and free of stiff, embroidered layers. On first glance it was like nothing had happened.


On second glance her grin was a little brittle. But she obviously didn't want it noticed.

"Hi guys! How's it going? Sorry it took so long, people kept nagging me--"


This time it was toward the head of the bed that everyone turned.

Barret and Reeve went for water at the same time. Cloud was only aware of them peripherally. Tifa's eyes were open.

"How do you feel?" he and Denzel asked together. She smiled tiredly.

"Tingly. Thirsty." Her fingers twitched on the blanket. Cloud wondered if it was confusion or nerve damage. "Yuffie?"

"Tifa!" Yuffie bounced out of Barret's arms and knelt at the other side of the bed. Her enthusiasm faltered there, and for a long second she seemed more lost than anything. "... Are you sure you're okay?"

"Are you okay?" Tifa's voice was weak, but determined. She struggled to push herself up. Cloud helped her lift her head so that Denzel could slide a pillow underneath. Barret helped her drink, smiling like he did at Marlene, fondly.

Yuffie grinned. "Oh, sure. I just had to listen to a dozen old goats telling me I should 'lessen my workload' and let them handle stuff -- more like they wanted to take over but shyeah right. As if D-- as if no one warned me 'bout that trick."

Reeve relaxed visibly. "That's what I wanted to talk with you about ..." Cid cleared his throat meaningfully; Reeve coughed in his fist. "I'm sure it can wait, though. How are you doing?"

"Good, good, I'm--"

"Good?" Denzel suggested, an eyebrow up. Yuffie stuck out her tongue at him.

"We are very glad to see you," Nanaki said diplomatically.

As they bickered, Cloud took Tifa's hand and flexed her fingers, and asked her to grip. "Tingling still?"

Her grip didn't seem to have weakened much. He couldn't feel his own fingers in very short order.

"A bit. It's passing."

"Yeah, I'd say so," he replied dryly, shaking blood back into them.

Yuffie turned back to them and ran her fingers down Tifa's sleeve. She was only in the black under-kimono thing by now, rumpled and belt undone. "Sucks that it got all dirty," Yuffie said. "You looked pretty nice."

So she had seen them after all, Cloud thought.

"You too," Tifa started to say, but Yuffie had already turned to the rest of the gang, who hadn't changed out of theirs yet.

"The rest of you guys, sorry, you just look weird. Hm, no, Cloud's kinda hot. All warlordy. And Denzel is cute."

Denzel reddened a little and grumbled that he so wasn't.

"I think she's insulting us, Barret," Cid commented, since Reeve wore a Midgar-style suit and Nanaki, of course, wore nothing but his bangles and mane ornaments. Barret straightened up and gave her a fake threatening look.

"... I bet it's nothing on Vince, though!" she replied, retreating quickly to the other end of the room. "Haha. I mean, it's a good thing he didn't bother -- him wearing white, he woulda imploded."

"I didn't," Vincent said, opening the corridor door.

He'd changed into his own mourning kimono, long dark hair combed smooth and tied in a low tail between his shoulder blades. His claw was hidden, tucked in the kimono's front like a sling, the sleeve hanging empty.

"I would have changed earlier," he said quietly, "but it's harder to fight in these."

She stared at him, speechless. He stopped in front of her and bowed his head.

"I am sorry for your loss."

Yuffie burst into tears.


They traded Yuffie around for a bit after she had let a stoically enduring Vincent and his soggy kimono go. Cid and Barret ruffling her hair and looking embarrassed and sorry in about equal measures, Reeve rubbing her back, Nanaki nuzzling her hand until she rested it on his head and scritched him; she ended up on the bed hugging Tifa for all she was worth, Tifa hugging back as tight as she could as Denzel awkwardly patted her shoulder.

Cloud put his hand on her head and waited for her sobs to die down, as the rest of Avalanche found places to sit on the queen-sized mattress, or, like Vincent, perched on the footboard, just barely out of reach.

Yuffie turned in Tifa's arms and scrunched her eyebrows at Nanaki, last to still stand on the floor, and patted the bed.

"I fear I would finish it," Nanaki said, eyeing the sagging frame under Barret.

"Shaddap and come here," Yuffie ordered, voice rough with recent tears. Nanaki leaped on without another comment, landing with as much care as he could across Tifa's legs. The bed groaned.

He awkwardly attempted to find a position that wouldn't lean his weight on her. Yuffie felt blindly for his ruff and pulled him closer, making him flop on his flank across Tifa's and Cloud's laps.


"You're not too heavy like that," Cloud said, smiling faintly as Denzel sneaked in a caress to his red fur past Yuffie's strangling attempt.

"I am not a stuffed toy," he complained quietly, but made no move to free himself.

"Aww." Cid grinned. "Think we should hurry and take a picture."

The bed resisted Yuffie and Nanaki's attempts to swat at him -- fouling each other's movements, they didn't go far.

Then Barret did it for them, his hand cuffing the back of Cid's head, and with a quiet whimper of abused steel, the bedframe sank to the floor.


"So what's that big secret you've got?" Cait Sith asked the next day from his perch on Denzel's shoulder, as the group paused in the middle of the Da Chao paths to watch the scenery unfolding below. They'd pretended the walk was for Tifa's benefit, a need to get some exercise after her ordeal, though the second they were out of sight of the town Cloud and Cid had to play crutches.

Cloud was carrying her now. Tifa looked grim and weary and it wasn't all because of the poison. He took the time to sit her comfortably on a rock, then took a couple of slow steps away, distancing himself. He didn't want her caught in the crossfire; in the end it had been his decision.

Yuffie had been whisked away by the ninjas tailing her to sleep in some undisclosed location; Vincent vanished soon after, no doubt to track her down. The rest were present, if not all physically so. He flicked Nanaki a look; Nanaki lifted his nose to the breeze, and nodded. "We weren't followed."

Alright. He placed himself so the jagged rocks would block line of sight no matter how good the binoculars. They were as alone as they could possibly be. Reeve would know not to review Cait Sith's gathered info in public.

He nodded to himself. It would have to do.

"Aeris came back to life."

He could see the uncomprehending confusion on their faces at first -- a good person, coming back to them after being taken too soon, too brutally? It couldn't be right, life wasn't that fair, they must have misunderstood -- then the blooming astonishment as they realized they hadn't.

He didn't want them to start asking questions now, or at his next revelation; he wanted to get it all out, all at once. There would be screaming afterwards but there would be screaming no matter how he said it, and at least he wouldn't have to scream over them.

At least he wouldn't have to watch them start to feel happy -- the fall to 'betrayed' would only hurt more. He finished his concise announcement before any of them could start smiling.

"She brought Sephiroth along." And before they could reel back from the whiplash, "I'm going back with the first ship. We need to decide who's coming with."


[identity profile] 2010-09-15 03:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Good chapter. More thoughts, criticism and speculation to follow later. But for now, not much to say besides it was a good conclusion, if a tad on the short side between the recovery and the reveal.

[identity profile] 2010-09-21 01:10 am (UTC)(link)
Forgot to mention Zack; he will get pouty.

[identity profile] 2010-09-15 03:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh jeez.

This is just awesome. Your handle on Yuffie is fantastic which is saying something, seeing how little we've been able to see of her in Restore -- it really leaves me hoping that we see more of her in the future!

But it's things like this:

She stared at him, speechless. He stopped in front of her and bowed his head.

"I am sorry for your loss."

Yuffie burst into tears.

THAT MAKE ME WANNA BAWL. I adore this odd friendship Vincent and Yuffie seem to have so much ;^;

AND AW, THE BED SCENE. I wish I could just sit here and ramble on about everything I liked, but. ...that would be pretty much this entire post l-lol ><"

Damn you, cliffhangers /FLIPS A TABLE

...better yet...

(屮ಠ益ಠ)屮 彡 ┻━┻

There we go.

ANYWAY, beautiful end to a chapter! Can't wait to read more! :3

[identity profile] 2010-09-16 03:05 am (UTC)(link)
WOO! I'll be looking forward to more Yuffie then! :D

[identity profile] 2010-09-16 02:18 am (UTC)(link)

[identity profile] 2010-09-16 03:05 am (UTC)(link)
oceanandspace: a blue moon reflecting on the ocean (Default)

[personal profile] oceanandspace 2010-09-15 04:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Cloud. I'm going to teach you a word. A very simple one, at that.

Repeat after me: Tact. Taaaact. T.A.C.T. TACT!

Oh my God, there are so going to kill him ;p (after a long, blank moment, of course)

On the other side, me, I was like: MWAHAHAHAHAH! Go Cloud! XDDDDD

[identity profile] 2010-09-15 05:09 pm (UTC)(link)
(pokes screen) Where's the rest? There's going to be now, right? So, where is it? I'm WAIT-TING!!!!

[identity profile] 2010-09-15 07:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Yuffie! Auuugh! *needs to hug her, and has never, EVER had this impulse before in any 'verse. Congratulations I think?* And I can't even blame Vincent for breaking her, because he didn't even do anything wrong! *needs to hug 'em both*
edenfalling: stained-glass butterfly in a purple frame (butterfly)

[personal profile] edenfalling 2010-09-15 08:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Cloud, with the stealth kamikaze good-news-bad-news announcement technique! Oh dear, there's going to be a lot of yelling as soon as the others have a few seconds to absorb the information.

Also, I love that it's Vincent's simple expression of sympathy that breaks Yuffie out of the brittle shell she's been in. And then they collapsed the bed. :-) That entire scene was sad and hopeful and just adorable all around -- really good job!

Random editorial suggestion: The following paragraph has some slightly odd things going on with the verbs: They traded Yuffie around for a bit after she had let a stoically enduring Vincent and his soggy kimono go. Cid and Barret ruffling her hair and looking embarrassed and sorry in about equal measures, Reeve rubbing her back, Nanaki nuzzling her hand until she rested it on his head and scritched him; she ended up on the bed hugging Tifa for all she was worth, Tifa hugging back as tight as she could as Denzel awkwardly patted her shoulder.

I think it would work better with the following bolded changes to words and punctuation -- They traded Yuffie around for a bit after she released a stoically enduring Vincent and his soggy kimono: Cid and Barret ruffling her hair and looking embarrassed and sorry in about equal measures, Reeve rubbing her back, Nanaki nuzzling her hand until she rested it on his head and scritched him. She ended up on the bed hugging Tifa for all she was worth, Tifa hugging back as tight as she could while Denzel awkwardly patted her shoulder.

But that is mostly me being pedantic. :-)

[identity profile] 2010-09-15 08:25 pm (UTC)(link)
*rolls in shiny*

Cloud: "O btw Aeris in r base unkillin mai dude(s) kthxbai."

Everyone: ...? ...! (:D) ...O.o ?! (cid&barret-#@*&$!?!)

Home now? Time to wake sleeping beauty fer reals? *wriggle* yayness!

(Goes sleep)

[identity profile] 2010-09-16 01:32 am (UTC)(link)
Are you just addicted to cliffhangers, is that it?

[identity profile] 2010-09-16 01:32 am (UTC)(link)
By which I mean, great fic.

[identity profile] 2010-09-16 09:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Hi, my name is Askerian, and I am a, uh, cliff-hanger-writer-aholic?"

...Probably not.

[identity profile] 2010-09-21 01:12 am (UTC)(link)

[identity profile] 2010-09-16 08:54 am (UTC)(link)
That part with Vincent wearing white and the interaction with Yuffie there is wonderful. I want to quote the part I like but it's really too big and it'd be awkward to C&P it all. XD;

[identity profile] 2010-09-18 04:44 am (UTC)(link)
I've mentioned I love the way your mind works, right? XDb

[identity profile] 2010-09-21 01:13 am (UTC)(link)
She totally would, too.

[identity profile] 2010-09-16 03:16 pm (UTC)(link)
♥! It wasn't that bad, honestly. It wasn't a very comfortable chapter to read either, because everyone was kinda on 'edge' and awkward but I think it got the point across. :)

[identity profile] 2010-09-17 04:39 am (UTC)(link)
Yup, I know lol. I wanna see the confrontation later! Moar hearts for you ♥♥♥! XD

[identity profile] 2010-09-16 10:21 pm (UTC)(link)
Yay more Restore! I kinda liked this part because of the group dynamics. ♥ But damn, Cloud. You really know how to drop a bomb on people.


(Anonymous) 2010-09-17 01:02 am (UTC)(link)
this chapter settled my day-after-big-night-unsettled-stomach o0, ah the power of reading pleasure

Thank you so much for updating, I thought that it was very well handled - I don't know, i can't really explain it, but the flow was very nice (as in you handled the different elements in a balanced manner and didn't make them compete + love the Vincent yuffie interaction, t'was heart wrenching)

And Cloud <3, Pshh tact, who needs it when you need to start preparing these people for the shocking (like Sephiroth liking baths or Zack being there -why no puppy mention Cloud?-)

Feed my curiosity, is this during the day time or night time? (and could Yuffie have probably conjured up one of her stealthy ninja stalkers to take a photo?)
ps, sorry bout anon, but it was either review now as anon or no review possibly til the end of the weekend ^^

Re: lovelove

[identity profile] 2010-09-20 12:35 pm (UTC)(link)
haha yeah stealthy ninja probably couldnt be stealthy enough to catch cloud and vinnie unaware)

meh~ for the timing not too important, it flowed enough that the reader could not really notice lack of defining, plus it could have taken place over a whole night -so evening for the cuddles and a dramatic sunrise for the yay!aeris is back but ¬¬ so is sephiroth

(haha well Zack is relevant to those who know him, though i'm sure Cloud is subconsciously trying to shunt Zack into the sidelines so that when Zack craves the attention he will -theoretically- go to cloud cos the other two are being monopolized)

[identity profile] 2010-09-17 02:27 am (UTC)(link)
I swear I feel less miserably sick after reading this. :D

[identity profile] 2010-09-20 09:50 am (UTC)(link)
I'm not sure if I ate something or caught a stomach bug. But, I had the fun of nibbling saltines, ginger and keeping water flowing for a few days there. It wasn't' fun :(