NOTE: This fic contains spoilers. If you have not finished
Final Fantasy VII, this fic may spoil some or all parts of
the end of the game. Please read at your own risk.
Final Fantasy VII (C) 1997 Square Co., Ltd. All rights reserved. Final Fantasy and Square Soft are registered trademarks of Square Co., Ltd.

An original Final Fantasy VII fanfiction
by: Mark Eymer (

Final Fantasy VII:
Childhood's Love

As I open my eyes to a new day and rise to greet the opportunities ahead of me, I look over to my left. There she is. I never dreamt a day like this would come about. But it has. I am now able to live out my fantasy of waking up next to an angel. My angel.

Content just to watch her sleeping form, I roll onto my side and take in her beauty. Tifa Lockheart's true beauty is on the inside. Her outward appearance is pleasing to the eye, and, in its own rites, is breathtaking; however, this wouldn't count for a whit had the beauty of soul which she possesses not been there.

She has been my childhood fantasy for as long as I can remember. Joining Shinra wasn't to fulfill my dreams of becoming the next Sephiroth... those dreams weren't what I wanted. Nay, becoming powerful would only have been for her. Almost like everything I've done. All for her.

And now, here she is. My Tifa.

Rising from the bed, I slip into a pair of pants and silently pad from Tifa's bed to the door. Opening it as quietly as possible, I try my best to avoid making any noise lest I wake my slumbering goddess.

This morning begins much like the past few have. I retire to the bathroom for a good many minutes whereupon I methodically go about my business; thereafter retrieving my favorite sword and heading outside to practice.

Only, this morning I'm not there for practice. A strange nostalgia has set in and I'm feeling the effects of it now. Looking around at Nibelheim and the crisp blue sky above it, I can't help but think back to when I first kissed her. Nostalgia, love and a mixture of memories always seem to lead me back to the time when I first touched heaven. To the time when Tifa and I came together.

We had recently been invited to Cosmo Canyon in remembrance of the late Bugenhagen. Partly out of respect for the passing of a great man, and partly out of respect for that man's adopted grandson, Nanaki, Tifa and I decided to accept the invitation.

Besides, Nibelheim is only a short distance away and this would be a wonderful opportunity to gather with our old companions of times past.

Truth be told, I'd have thought our tight knit, stay together until victory or death group would have kept in at least some semblance of touch after such a major feat as saving the world, but obviously I was mistaken. In all actuality, Tifa and I were the only ones who saw much of each other anymore. This was in part because we each lived in the same place, Nibelheim. Our... rather empty hometown.

This did tend to make Nibelheim lonely. No people but us two inhabited it. The destruction of the town 6 years past had rid the area of its original inhabitants and after the nosedive Shinra, Inc. took shortly after the onslaught of the Diamond Weapon, the actors who lived in the current facsimile of Nibelheim left as well.

To cope with the loneliness, Tifa and I had moved in together and were living at her house. One does need human interaction, and the best way to fulfill that requirement seemed to be shared quarters. Naturally, I had no problem what so ever with this.

Now, while explaining about our living arrangements I neglected to mention what the rest of the gang was doing. The main reasons we hadn't kept in touch had been that they had been too busy. Go figure. Tifa and I were rather bored and had, several times in fact, tried to visit one of our old friends.

Aeris was dead. Nothing would ever change that fact and, having to accept her death as a means of saving the Planet, we laid her memory to rest. I can safely say that Tifa and I, at least, have only fond remembrances of her.

Barret had moved in with Elmyra, Aeris' adopted mother, and Marlene, Barret's own adopted daughter, shortly after Meteor had been averted. That group had since moved from Kalm back into Midgar where, along with the other inhabitants of the Midgar slums and under the leadership of Barret, everyone was banding together to rebuild Midgar from the inside out.

Cait Sith, controlled by Reeve, became Barret's honorary second in command and was currently helping the former AVALANCHE leader to rebuild Midgar. Reeve himself, is, to the best of our knowledge, lounging around La Costa Del Sol sipping Pina Colada's and making good use of Villa Cloud. After a few more payments towards his 300,000 gil debt I expect Villa Cloud to be renamed Villa Reeve.

Vincent had managed to take up residence in North Corel, near the cave where he had encountered Lucretia's ghost. With the help of a golden chocobo, fondly named Terra, Vincent made a weekly visit to this area in remembrance of his lost love.

Cid had returned to Rocket Town to rebuild his dream from ground up. Tifa and I recieved word of his marriage to Shera a short while later. Poor Shera. Also included were his plans for a new rocket which would take him and his spouse into space. As far as we know, he's still working on building the neccesary equipment.

Yuffie, to the best of our knowledge, had gone back to Wutai wherein she had promptly begun growing materia. Returning Wutai to its time of conquest has been her mission all along and finally, her dream may be fully realized. We gladly donated our remaining materia, including our Master summoning and magic materia to her. If I don't see another Mako spawned object again in this life, it will be too soon.

Red XIII, or more acurrately Nanaki, had returned to Cosmo Canyon where he had been made an Elder. As far as we knew, he was peacefully carrying on Bugenhagen's dreams and ambitions. If any man were to be credited with leaving a legacy, Bugenhagen would be that man.

You may now be able to comprehend our immense excitement at the chance to reacquaint ourselves with one of our old companions. We promptly made our preparations and traveled, by land rover, to Cosmo Canyon.

Upon arriving at Cosmo Canyon we were met by Nanaki. Bugenhagen had been buried nearby and after a short talk with our friend, Tifa and I accompanied him to the grave. A greater scientist had not lived before, and probably never would again. While remembering Bugenhagen and his reverance for the planet I shed tears. The planet was now saved. It no longer screamed against the injustice of mankind. Bugenhagen could rest in peace.

We returned to Cosmo Canyon, and after another short conversation, Nanaki showed Tifa and I to our room. Nodding and wishing the busy feline good dreams, Tifa and I found ourselves with nothing to do.

I felt a tad grungy from the days antics. Running around in the world's largest litterbox will do that to a man. Wishing to remove the dirt from the countless places it had become lodged, I announced that I would be taking a shower and headed off. I also recall not wanting Tifa to see the tears still staining my cheeks. Being at Bugenhagen's final resting place had shaken me up more than I thought it would.

The water was relaxing. Having spent the day under the sun, I turned the cold water up so as to cool my system. After exiting the shower, I toweled off and went in search of clothing. Finding some, I called for Tifa but received no reply. I hadn't any idea where she had spirited away to so, after dressing, I bent out the window of the inn and had a look to see if I could locate her.

Locate her I did. She was standing behind the Cosmo Candle, looking out across the horizon at the setting sun. Had I not broken myself from her bespelling visage, I might not have had the gumption to join her. Fortunately, however, I was able to tear my eyes from her form and hence descend to ground level where I quietly made my way to the Cosmo Candle and the object of my affections.

I must have stood there for at least ten minutes, just watching her watch the sunset. She must have known I was behind her, too, because she looked to the ground and then whispered my name.

"Come closer, Cloud," I heard her say. How could I refuse?

Moving closer to Tifa, my nose was suddenly filled with her scent. A gentle mixture of fruits, it seemed, and something else, something distinctly female. Intoxicating. That, to this day, is the only word I can come up with that does justice to her sweet fragrance.

Females are funny that way, I suppose. It's as if each and every pore of their body secretes a perfume of sorts. And if not, then there is certainly no explanation for the phenomena of their aroma. After a hard day of labor, pick any sort, a man would return smelling rather gamely. Tifa, or any other female for that matter, smells like a rose. And if it wasn't enough that they smelled so intoxicating to begin with, then you must also remember that they somehow trail that smell in a tantalizing path behind them.

I soon found myself overcome by Tifa's fragrance and thus sought a method through which to clear my addled brain. Looking at her soft, silken hair was decidedly not the way to go about such a thing.

Another mystery of femininity is their hair. More accurately, how they keep it so beautiful all the time? Even when mussed it's pretty... sometimes moreso.

I suddenly found my hand brushing a few strands of Tifa's brunette hair off her neck. This action must have suprised her to some extent because she suddenly went rigid, as if she was tensing up in preparation for an oncoming battle or some other such thing.

"I.. I'm sorry, Tifa," I barely stammered out. My actions had evidently surprised me as much as they had her. Relief washed over me when she relaxed.

"It's... fine, Cloud. I just wasn't expecting it, that's all." I nodded at her answer, although what good it did from behind her I haven't a clue. She couldn't have been expected to see my agreement, let alone my face, annointed with relief as it was. Upon further reflection, I'm glad she wasn't facing me at that time.

Resting my hand back to its original position at my side, I continued looking on as the sun sank lower and lower into the Cosmo Canyon area, painting the surrounding dunes and plateaus with a wash of red. Surreal as the scene before me was, I again found myself losing concentration as a pleasant haze began clouding my mind. My focus was on the portrait around me, and the girl I had cared for since childhood in front of me. Cared for? No... loved since childhood.

Realization swept over me, like a warm light of understanding piercing the fog in my mind. Everything suddenly became clear to me, as if I was finally beginning to comprehend a profound fact. In essence I had actually comprehended something I had denied myself before. I loved Tifa Lockheart.

Astounded at my own narrow mindedness, I almost missed what Tifa was saying completely. Thankfully, however, it registered in the back of my mind and I was able to catch her words, softly spoken as they were.

"It's beautiful," she very nearly whispered. I couldn't help but think of how correct she was as I stared at her, taking her in with my eyes. Basking in her beauty.

I was basking. The setting sun splayed against the brown tones in her hair, lighting them up with an ethereal luminance. The rays also played against her soft skin, highlighting and accentuating the gently sloping curves of her face, and coming to rest on her beautiful neck.

I must have lost touch with myself yet again, because the next thing I remember was placing my lips to the side of her neck in a light kiss. Brushing my lips softly against her skin as if they were rose petals. I'm not even sure if I really touched her. But I must have, because she tensed up again.

Raising my head from her neck I caught her searching gaze as she slowly turned to face me. The red of the setting sun reflected in her eyes, adding to the already crimson color they held. I found myself sinking into those eyes.

"Cl-Cloud..." she whispered, and I couldn't help but smile in response. Had I tried to speak, I probably would have croaked a reply.

Craning my neck slightly, I slowly bent foward and pressed my lips to hers. I felt her arms go around my neck in response. Wrapping my arms around her waist, I brought her closer and deepened the kiss, revelling in the warmth I could feel spreading through me, originating in my chest.

Growing bolder, I gently ran my tongue along the outside of her teeth and felt her open her mouth to my probings. My heart soared. She wasn't rejecting me! I had never known such a wonderful day.

Pulling apart slighlty she whispered my name, "Cl- Cloud..." I looked deep into her eyes and then bent to kiss her again.

I revelled in the feel of my lips sliding across hers. Gently I caught her bottom lip between my teeth and nibbled her as she leaned her head slightly backwards.

I moved my head from her face to her neck and began to again press feather light kisses to her throat as her head fell back further. A sound not unlike a purr escaped her throat, only sending my heart to beating faster.

Pressing my lips to her neck, just below her right ear, I ceased my ministrations and feverishly pressed my lips to her own again for the third time. Caressing her cheek and neck as I ran my lips along hers, my tongue dueled with her own inside her mouth.

Reluctantly, we breathlessly seperated, searching each other's eyes. She began to say something, but I placed a finger to her lips and gently whispered, "Shhh... just let me hold you." I gently placed my lips to her forehead and hugged her tightly.

And there I held her, my childhood love, while the sun dipped below the horizon behind us in Cosmo Canyon.


Fanfic Notes:

To the best of my ability I have tried to write this as a thought provoking piece that, if I've accomplished what I set out to, hits you right there. Yes, you know where I'm talking about. The heart. Anyhow, just to let you all know, this is my first attempt at a first person piece and I would very much appreciate any comments and criticism anyone has to offer. Flames will also be considered, although such things as "Tifa sucks! Long live Aeris!" will proptly be trashed. I prefer Tifa. ;)

    Special thanks go to:
  • Square Soft (ie, Square Co., Ltd.) for creating this utterly addictive and wonderful gaming legacy, as well as for their past Final Fantasies.
  • Numerous authors of RAAC and the FFML for planting the seeds of inspiration in my head, a few of whom as follows: White Wolf, John Walter Biles, Andrew Huang, Joseph Palmer, Caroline Seawright, Zen, Frank Casper, Happosai, Mike Noakes, Nicholas F. Toledo Zu, Krista Perry, Richard Lawson, Gary Kleppe, and Todd Hill. To anyone I left out, these are the first few that came to mind.
    And to:
  • White Wolf and the FFML for being a place wherein I may "publish" my works.
Thank you for reading,

Mark Eymer (