Cloud Smiles


Cloud Smiles

Cloud Strife Fan Community

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Omnichallenge 2
Rollin Gwen
bofoddity wrote in cloud_smiles
username: bofoddity
medium: fanfiction, icons (17 fics, 13 icons)
challenge number(s): 1-30
disclaimer: Neither Cloud nor Final Fantasy VII are mine.

I've been lurking in this community ever since July, but I didn't feel like introducing myself until I had something to offer to the community. So here is my offering, as well as my submission to the Omnichallenge 2.

01. Child
"Don't make me go there."

His mother didn't look at him as she gave him a bouquet of roses. “You need to let them know you're sorry." She stood up from her crouch. "Nobody's going to bother you out there. Go."

He went, biting his lip.

He walked over to Tifa's house in silence, taking every step as slowly as possible. But the distance closed too soon, the house looming over him as he knocked.

Above, the curtains of Tifa's room remained closed as the door opened.

"Mr. Lock-"

The door slammed shut, the rose petals fluttering against the impact.

02. Smile
"So," Zack said, "why don't you give me a smile?"

Zack showed him how by grinning wide, eyebrows quirking high for emphasis. He had TV-commercial teeth, Cloud noticed, pearly white and disgustingly even, probably flashing by will. But Cloud would resist.

After all, there was money at stake.

Zack gave up with a sigh, hanging his head low as he mumbled:

“I bet you stored depression for this.”

The laughter came out before he could stop it, his victory fading quick, but when Zack grinned up at him like he had never even stopped, the loss didn't feel so bad.

03. Nibelheim
Of all the hopeful who dreamt of becoming SOLDIER, Cloud was the only one who never felt homesick.

He didn't talk to others all that often, still suspicious of all those who were nice to him, but he listened as the other troopers talked about their homes and family, how much they missed waking up in their own beds. Even Zack, SOLDIER already, still felt like an outsider.

Cloud would think about Nibelheim, the cold dark winters and the chillier people, and conclude that even if these people eventually shunned him the city itself would always feel warm to him.

06. Book
For some reason, the scent he associates the strongest with Sephiroth is the smell of old books.

Maybe because the library in the mansion was the last place he saw real Sephiroth in, the one who was a leader and a war hero, although he was already crumbling down by then. But that memory isn't even his for real. Cloud Strife, a trooper, knew Sephiroth only as an image, a voice, not somebody you could get close enough to smell, touch even less.

But when he brushes his fingers over pages yellow with time, he can almost imagine touching skin.

07. Family
He shocks himself by feeling hostile when Marlene reunites with Barret.

Tifa tends to be the only person to notice when he's being more silent than usual, so it's her who approaches him, one eyebrow lifted in a questioning arch. He pretends not to notice, harder when he realizes that her eyes are laughing at him.

"I'm sure she still loves you," Tifa says gently, touching him on the shoulder as his eyes narrow at her words. A moment later he relaxes, reaching for her hand to entwine their fingers together.

Maybe some day he'll stop fearing abandonment so much.

09. Friend
"You'll be fine."

That's what Zack used to tell him, even when he was closed in a glass tube and couldn't tell whether that faint voice really was Zack or just an echoing memory. He chose to believe it was real, though, too stubborn to give into Hojo's glee about him being all alone in the world.

That was in the dark, and now he is in sunlight, and Zack isn't saying anything at all.

He shudders at the feeling of Zack's cool, damp skin, and refuses to admit that Hojo was right all along for a very long time.

12. Promise
Tifa is barely breathing when he returns to her, heaves of her chest slow and painful. For some reason the near absence of blood terrifies him more than the opposite. After all, bleeding is something one can prevent.

Death isn't.

Somewhere above, Zack groans, but at least he is alive enough to react to his surroundings so Cloud concentrates on Tifa, lifting her up and carrying her to a safer place. He watches her eyelashes flutter, her brown eyes glaring dully in his direction. She's saying something.

He blocks the words, unwilling to hear how badly he has failed her.

The world was saved, he was back to his own self, and he no longer needed his uniform.

Yet he kept wearing it long afterwards, even though it felt wrong now, the symbol of the SOLDIER on the belt buckle heavy against his stomach. He couldn't tell who he was disrespecting more, Zack or himself.

If he only knew how to set himself free.

The solution, as strange as it was, came when the blade of Buster Sword suddenly cracked and the entire sword became useless, indicating that it was finally time to leave all parts of his past behind.

15. Jenova
"It's not gone yet," Aeris said after Jenova disassembled before them, and remained quiet until they made it to Costa Del Sol.

Cloud would have loved to tell her that she was wrong, and he knew that others wanted that too, all of them shaken by the unnatural creature they had just faced. Even Barret, who tried to hide that fact behind exaggarated sneers. But of course Aeris was right. Just like Sephiroth was out of their reach, they would face Jenova again.

Maybe then, it would look inhuman enough for Cloud to stop thinking of it as a mother.

19. Meteor
Tifa alerts him to her presence by sliding her hands on his shoulders, her touch hesitant in a way that makes him ache. He turns to smile at her, feels grateful that she avoids pointing out how hollow that smile is by smiling back.

For once, it's he who speaks first: "I thought it was just part of my delusion. A punishment, in a way"

"It's not a punishment," she says, carefully lifting her hand to his cheek.

He looks up to the sky again, tracks the red glow of the Meteor with his eyes, wishing he could believe her.

20. Bar
"I hate you."

Zack laughed, ignoring his discontent frown. "I think the correct expression goes 'I love you'." The older boy slapped him on the back as they stepped in the bar, pointing at the SOLDIERs sitting by the counter. "You said you would die if you ever ran into him at the HQ, so you should be grateful that I'm giving you a more lively option. Come on, let's go and say hi."

Cloud swallowed nervously, following Zack's pointed finger to great Sephiroth who was ordering a drink, feeling himself pale as the ice-green eyes turned to his direction.

23. Wolf
He doesn't know if it's a real thing, and he never turns around to find out. It exists as a noise most of the time, soft thumps of paws following him around, and he has sketched an appearance for it in his mind: skinny thing with dark grey fur, with trickster's laughing eyes.

He keeps himself in movement, discovers that pretending that nothing is following him is surprisingly easy.

Only once, he acknowledges that it's there by talking to it:

"So, why do you follow me around?"

He waits, and listens how the silence breaks to sound of retreating steps.

24. War
When he finds the first trace of Geostigma from his arm, he does a good job for ignoring it for entire day.

He kept moving, not even bothering to cover his arm. The mark wasn't that noticable yet, and maybe it wasn't even there. Maybe he was just out to punish himself. Maybe he had some impulse to make things more miserable than they were. Maybe he was afraid of happiness he felt now, with Tifa, Denzel and Marlene. Because happiness was such a fragile thing.

Apparently that was true.

He sleeps outside, with lone sleeve drawn over his arm.

26. Flower
"Do you think she would mind?"

He winced inside at the pathetic crack of his voice, looking away from the understanding on Tifa's face. Instead, he sought the sight of the flowerbed of the church, trying to remember if the flowers growing there were the only ones he had ever seen there. To his shame, he failed.

Tifa patted him on the back, giving him an encouraging push. Sunlight seeped in from open doors, illuminating them both. "I don't think you really needed to ask."

He hesitated for one more moment before kneeling down, uncurling a fist full of seeds.

28. Dress
It wasn't until after Meteor when they finally had time to go through Aeris's belongings.

She hadn't carried much with her, just like the rest of them didn't, and Cloud couldn't imagine her mother feeling any sort of gratitude over getting Aeris's weapons and Materia. Aside from those, there was barely anything else to give. Maybe she too felt too guilty to keep things that had nothing to do with their grand battle with her.

Except for the dress she had worn in Don Corneo's mansion.

He gathered red silk into his hands, remembering how beautiful she was that day.

29. Future
"Do you think she hates me?"

Barret was much better at sounding casual than Cloud was, so he almost missed the hint of anxiety in his voice. They were sitting in the bar together, watching as Tifa tied braids into Marlene's brown hair. Marlene kept looking over to them, smiling to Barret.

"She has more reasons to hate me," he murmured, thinking about all the secrets he kept. His own behavior still made him cringe. "But she doesn't, and we should worry about our future instead."

That soothed Barret, and after a little while, Cloud started to feel better himself.

30. Turning 30
His first grey hair wisps down the side of his forehead, faint silver contrasting with gold.

He separates the silvery-white strand from the rest of his hair, peering at it carefully. His mother told him that the men on his father's side greyed early, and compared to them he was actually late. Back then those words were used for comfort, after one of the neighbours had mocked him that he would look like a child forever.

His mother and the neighbour were both right and wrong, and as he returns to his birthday party, he doesn't feel bad at all.

OmniChallenge 2 - Icon Themes

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04. Song 05. Blue 08. Card 10. Routine 11. Moment 13. Practice
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16. Run 17. AVALANCHE 18. Adult 21. Reunion 22. Heaven 25. Peace
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27. Photograph

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took 22 - i liked it! will credit if use

Do you like the game more then the movie? ^_-

I'm glad you liked it. ^^ I liked the movie well enough, but the original is still the best.

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