memesss ([personal profile] memesss) wrote in [community profile] bakerstreet2012-05-28 12:06 am

The Cuddle Meme

 The Cuddle Meme

❧ Post a blank comment with your character's name, canon, and any preferences.
❧ Use RNG to choose your cuddle scenario (or choose your own).
❧ Cuddle!


① Sweet dreams
It's been a long day and all you want to do is sleep or just rest your eyes for a bit. Hopefully whoever is close by doesn't mind if you use them as a blanket.

② Stormy weather 
The heavy rain, thunder and lightning won't be letting up anytime soon. Luckily, it's the perfect weather to stay indoors and snuggle up close and keep warm.

③ Lazy dancer 
It's the end of a party, or maybe it's only the two of you, but the tempo is slow and the lights are low. Let your dance partner take the weight and just sway.

④ Surprise attack
Time to invade someone's personal space. Are they working too much and need a distraction? Maybe you just wanted to brighten their day. Either way, they won't see it coming.

⑤ Movie night
It can be on the sofa or in a darkened theater, but you've got your popcorn and someone to settle against during your favorite movie.

⑥ I love you, man
It's totally platonic, really. You're just very good friends, no matter what people like to think. But you just love your friend so much you want to hug them, whether they like it or not.

⑦ Jeepers creepers
Welp. You were just frightened. Was it a spider in the washroom, a ghost in the attic, a bad dream? Either way, you're looking for someone to cling to right now, and who better than that person right there?

⑧ Hurt and comfort
Whether you're sick in bed, just been dumped or suffered a traumatic event, you need someone to wrap their arms around you and make everything go away.

⑨ Sunday morning
Maybe you just had a wild night. Maybe there’s just not enough space at your place and you need to share your bed. Or maybe you just got really tired and someone else happened to be there. Doesn't matter because now the person with you looks way more comfortable than any blanket or pillow. Drape to your heart’s content.

⑩ Moment after
You just had incredible, vigorous sex (playing out is totally optional) and if you weren't a cuddler before, you are now. You're probably too exhausted to do anything else anyway. Just enjoy the moment.

⑪ Ménage à trois
Or four, or five. Get a group and cuddle away.

⑫ Player's choice 
Pick one or make up your own!
anonfantry: (not to be loved)

cloud strife ❄ crisis core: final fantasy vii

[personal profile] anonfantry 2012-05-27 11:54 pm (UTC)(link)
[ OG-size ([personal profile] kinetosis) also available for even more awkward ]
beyourguide: (hesitation)


[personal profile] beyourguide 2012-05-28 05:38 am (UTC)(link)
At first she's more worried about keeping her charge warm. After all, it's not every day you get stuck halfway up a mountain in an old shack with only an old wood stove to make an attempt at heat. Especially since she figures he's a city boy and wouldn't be used to weather like this. Her activity, fussing over him as reluctant as he was about it and doing her best to make the shack a shelter keeps her warm to an extent as well. But once everything's done and there's nothing to do but wait, the cold she's been ignoring reminds her it's there with a vengeance and no matter how much she wraps her arms around herself or shifts as unobviously as possible she starts to get the shivers. Even locking her jaw doesn't help and standing near the stove only warms small sections of her at a time. The fact she's stopped her almost constant chatter is just as much indication as the fact her lips are a little blue at the edges just how cold she's starting to feel. For the hundredth time, she tries to tuck her arms a little closer and curls her fingers under them. It's rude ignoring her guest though and so she pulls in a shaky breath and turns her head to look at him in the corner.

"You warm enough?" Her voice comes out a little weak and shaky but she is sincerely worried about him and his thin city blood.
anonfantry: (confused enough by life so thanks a lot)

[personal profile] anonfantry 2012-05-28 06:01 am (UTC)(link)
He's given up on the rickety stool by the door; a few more minutes on that, anyway, and he's half certain the soft, moldy old wood would've given, no matter how lightly he tried to sit. And trying to sit lightly, in his wounded and rapidly nearing exhausted state, isn't any such easy feat. A little easier, now, since he finally caved and saw fit to let her dress what could be reached of his (fortunately minor) injuries without more than a token undressing.

He knows it's paranoid (beyond, even) to think, but there are a few telltale scars he won't let her catch a glimpse of any sooner than his face, can he help it, lest she somehow divine his identity from, of all things, that.

Crazy, probably, but he's already played it thin. There's no telling when his luck will give out, now.

It very nearly does, just for his overthinking it, in fact - when he almost answers her aloud, slightly numb, forever clumsy lips already parted on the first half of a patently neutral Fine, before he catches the word and snaps it back. With a start, Cloud rights himself and nods, sitting up a little straighter against the frigid wall at his back, the equally icy floorboards under him. If he really were just some clueless city kid, doubtless he would've given up holding his ground, by this point. He'd be hugging the stove, maybe, or insisting they start another fire (but even a city dweller should know, he'd suppose in his country ignorance, that suffocating on smoke isn't such a fine way to go).

Or maybe that they should huddle up.

Now there's a certifiable thought.
beyourguide: (cut open)

[personal profile] beyourguide 2012-05-28 06:24 am (UTC)(link)
She kind of wishes he was hugging the stove because even though he's got a lot more layers on than her, he's hurt and - yeah, still convinced he's got thin city blood. If she's freezing he must be even worse off and it's her job to keep him safe. A job she's, granted, been questionable at managing so far as far as she's concerned and it makes her frown as he pulls himself up straighter and nods. Is he slipping into shock? Or starting the first stages of hypothermia? The worry has her turning to face him, trying to curl her shoulders closer inward, the single strip of her that had been warm next to the stove almost immediately losing that heat and the part that's near it now a long way from thawing enough to feel what little the stove is putting out. She's really starting to feel utterly miserable and it's not her natural state at all but the cold has a way of seeping in and taking over everything.

"You s-should-" mortified by the chatter in her teeth, she locks her jaw down, cheeks flushing which only serves to emphasize just how pale her face has gotten otherwise. She's determined though. "You should move closer to the stove. If you f-freeze it'll look bad on my resume."
anonfantry: (see the world with my own eyes)

[personal profile] anonfantry 2012-05-28 06:52 am (UTC)(link)
His knees are already as close up to his chest as they'll go, for certain, but still he hitches them a little higher by where he's stuffed his gloved hands into the crooks, at the sound of her voice. Even through the leather, his fingers are a little numb going on a lot, and though the rest of his uniform looks quite cozy, in this weather, the material's too light to do him more than a slim margin better. At best, he'll outlive her by a handful of minutes, with the rate they're going.

The blizzard in Modeoheim was a light breeze, compared to this - true cold, real cold, the kind that gets not just under your skin but into your bones. The kind that lives with you 'til it sinks the whole ship.

He's already shaking his head, though, before he's really conscious of the effort. Because she's close to the stove, and he doesn't want to risk it, and maybe it'll only go on a little longer, before it clears-

And maybe elfadunks will fly and he'll wake up safe at home in his bed, all the years since he was nine a stupid fever dream, and there'll still be time.

He's not that optimistic, even if a part of him is still holding out hope that somebody might notice how long they've been gone, the inclement weather...

Tipping his chin in her direction, Cloud manages to mime some vague picture of concern (or maybe just curiosity, if he isn't that sympathetic a city boy, yet, in her mind). She's the one who looks cold. It should be her sitting closer.
beyourguide: (cut open)

[personal profile] beyourguide 2012-05-28 07:57 am (UTC)(link)
Tifa knows no one's coming for them until the weather's settled. If it's this bad here, the narrow paths leading up will be even worse, wind battered and slicked with ice, and - and there's no one in the village that will follow after her when she wanders off into the mountains anymore...

On a less wistful, fairy tale note, she also remembers the 'great' Sephiroth leaving the trooper they'd lost when the bridge had broken behind without a backward glance and she really doesn't see how any malfunction in some rusty old reactor that's been broken forever anyway couldn't wait just a little bit longer to find someone that might still be alive.

Maybe the guilt from not standing up to him and saying something like that is eating at her a little too.

Which is just all the more reason she isn't going to lose this trooper, no matter how much of its sharp cold and creeping ice Mount Nibel decided to throw at them.

The chin tilt from her silent charge though catches her a little bit by surprise. It almost looks like a question and her eyebrows scrunch down over her eyes as she looks blankly back at him. It would be so much easier if he could talk but she isn't about to be rude enough to say so. Is he expecting her to do more somehow? Because she really can't think of anything she hasn't already done. Or...

Or had that been a return gesture of concern about her?

She hesitates, shifting from foot to foot even if she can't really feel them anymore, watching him silently. Maybe he isn't such a jerk after all, or maybe he is and it's just that it's hard to be a jerk when you're both miserable and freezing. Giving in because, no matter how brave and practical she's trying to be the truth is that she's a little scared and a lot cold and she really, really doesn't want to be alone in this, she inches over to him and sinks down onto her heels in front of him, arms still tucked up tight against her chest. Taking a risk that maybe admitting to being less than perfect in front of him will win an ally instead of an eye roll, she manages a shivering:

"I'm freezing."
anonfantry: ((it's cupcakes and strippers)

[personal profile] anonfantry 2012-05-28 09:24 am (UTC)(link)
He's been away a few years too long, to be hoping for anything like salvation, in this mess - but he does it, anyway, and it isn't Sephiroth he hopes for. The thought makes him antsy to check his cell again, even though the reception won't have improved just by thinking of it, and he pushes the notion away as firmly as he wants to push back that cold, through sheer force of will, alone. This far up the mountain's a checkerboard of dead zones, and those black squares cheat at the edges to overlap more than their fair share of the white; "spotty" is an optimistic estimation of service.

(So maybe he's not quite so great a pessimist as he makes himself out to be.)

The impulse is easy enough to overcome, but the careful fidgeting is impossible to stop, completely - especially so when she scoots over to him. Then it's almost an urge to flee, altogether, as the initial horror of coming home begins to creep back out of the not-so-deep, dark place he thought he'd shut it all down inside the first night after passing through those painfully familiar gates and into his own personal hell. Nothing is ever that easy, though. The same way he won't be saved by the guy who called him a weirdo for wearing his helmet, just the other day, who's been watching his back so long now he's very nearly forgotten how to think it strange that anybody should bother.

He doesn't move away, but he does seem to have finally frozen over. The talent's almost innate, after all the time he's spent going straight-backed rigid anytime somebody barks an order in his vicinity, and he stares right through her for one second, from under the safe shelter of that dimly glowing visor.

When his eyes focus again and he sees what she means, in the too-pale tint of her lips (pale to begin with, but they all were, weren't they - grown up close to the sun but under the constant veil of fog, Nibelheim didn't make much by way of tans). In the tremors that should've been obvious - especially since he'd grown up watching out for them, himself - would have been, had he not been so busy trapping himself up inside his own mind.

He nods hastily, uncertain what she's expecting, no guesses leap to mind. Agreement seems a safe enough gambit, though, even as he swallows concern. It's only a figure of speech, after all. No one really freezes - not inside stuffy little shacks with miraculously intact windows. Not in a passing storm, not people with friends no more than an hour's walk away.
beyourguide: (Default)

[personal profile] beyourguide 2012-05-29 03:57 am (UTC)(link)
Tifa's not planning on letting either of them freeze - or lose any fingers or toes either - but the truth of the matter is that they're in bad shape this way. They're not in the worse shape this way, they've got shelter from the wind and they're both dry and they're not alone but... but.

At least her companion, who she's mentally dubbed Clyde, is agreeable if his nod is any indication. It's a step up from before, or maybe she was just making assumptions before. Her mind feels a bit foggy around the edges and she tries to hunker down a little bit more into herself as she watches him, locking her jaw to keep her teeth from chattering until it aches. His skin looks pale too this close but he's not shivering and for the first time she wonders if maybe he wasn't born in Midgar. Maybe he came from somewhere else, just like Cloud, and joined the army with hopes of getting out of some backwater town with no future. It makes her like him a little bit more even though she knows she's just making things up in her head now.

It certainly makes it easier for her to go ahead with her plan.

Searching, wishing she could at least see his eyes under that stupid helmet, she pulls in a breath that sets off another round of shivers. She's got a whole list of logical reasons and explanations but when she opens her mouth, the embarrassment shuts her down and what comes down is the striped down version without all the preamble she'd planned.

"Could we share body heat?"
anonfantry: (well it seems like so long ago)

[personal profile] anonfantry 2012-05-29 05:14 am (UTC)(link)
His flush, full from crown to chin, is practically instant - and perhaps that's the cold beginning to sink into him for the same hold it has on her, after all, slowing his mind to delay the meaning of her very frank suggestion breaking over him. Not that it matters, as, like his grim appointment of their approximate, individual arrivals in the Lifestream, the interim's too short to make much difference. The heat that follows the blush is almost a cruelty, in itself, as well, thin and inadequate and all too rapidly fleeting.

And then he's still got no reprieve from the fact that she expects an answer (because it was a question, not a suggestion, or even really an offer, because he's just slightly less ill off, in this situation, and isn't that one hell of a cosmic joke). The inside of his lip hurts before he realizes he's bitten down on it, numb only seconds before, and he forces his own jaw to unclench, even though he can't answer her that way.

In the end, it's not much of a judgement call, at all. He has no reason to believe she even remembers compelling an impossible promise out of the scrawny little outcast (no change there) full of big ambitions that he'd been, back then when the night sky full of stars never used to make him feel anything but cold and he had no excuse to hide his face. But that's more his burden, anyway, his responsibility. He feels numb in a different way, when he shuffles farther toward the corner furthest from the dimly burning stove, ducks his head and pats the ground next to him. The hand he uses is tucked back in just as hastily, as if there's any danger in bumping into her, now - as if she hasn't just suggested what he was beating himself up over even so much as facetiously considering, mere moments ago.

Well, done is done, and he'd still really rather not die so pathetically - for now, at least.
beyourguide: (orly?)

[personal profile] beyourguide 2012-05-29 05:57 am (UTC)(link)
His blush is a bit of a surprise because there's really no way for him to hide that that's exactly what that flush of red over his pale skin is and in that second of red, she goes from being unsure about whether he's acceptable or not to outright liking him. That blush makes him approachable and a companion that's in the same pinch she's in and so it's okay between them and they can be friends and it's not weird then. The further movement, head duck, ground pat, settles her new found friendliness more completely.

He looks so awkward.

Not to mention he's missing the whole point of sharing body heat if he thinks sitting next to him is going to do the job.

It has her smile coming back, weak because she's still freezing and still embarrassed by how forward this is even if she keeps telling herself it's just being practical but it's true and she shakes her head.

"Over closer to the stove. Where it's warmer, kind of, and we can add wood without having to move." It's her turn to shuffle over and pat a spot for him. Come on, little Clyde, see how innocent this is? Nothing up her sleeve at all. The look she gives him is earnest and hopeful and one that's worked on the adults in the village for years when it comes to getting what she wants without actually having to ask for it.
anonfantry: ((let's just crawl out of here together))

[personal profile] anonfantry 2012-05-29 06:53 am (UTC)(link)
If his blush was obvious, maybe his grimace is, too - though, with any luck, she'll take it as entirely the fault of moving again, wounded, after sitting so still for so long. His bandages are practically frozen stiff, and it's not as if it doesn't hurt him, to push back up to his feet and stagger over to where she's insisting they sit.

(And, no, it still hasn't occurred to him that there might necessarily be more to this than crouching close in individual huddles, for the moment. Perhaps once there's no rope left at all, to climb down into this veritable ravine he's dug himself - or the both of them, really.

Eventually he'll realize he's already going hand under hand through empty air.)

Settling again, he's at least marginally mollified to find he can still sit on her far side from their paltry source of heat, his tired and iced over mind having elected this the most reasonable plan of action. She's in far more desperate need of the warmth, though, and between the two of them (he and his new counterpart, the equally bulky and uncomfortable-looking wood stove, that is) must be the most strategical and beneficial position. He isn't nearly as cold as she must be, even if he is fearfully so (as the shiver that accompanies the thought seems to verify - standing up lost him a good deal of his meager accumulated warmth, too).

...Not that he would've done any different, had both his feet already been taken with frostbite and his nose and ears going next. Not for that hopeful expression she turns on him without a thought.
beyourguide: (holding my heart out)

[personal profile] beyourguide 2012-05-29 07:20 am (UTC)(link)
She watches him carefully, focusing so that she can pay attention past the blurry parts of her brain, worried about how his leg is and how he walks and how frozen he might have become, over there in his corner alone where she couldn't see him as clearly. He settles down again though without falling over and it's closer to the stove. She does notice that he takes the other side of her and again, there's a little spark of pure like that flares up inside her. He's really not a bad guy after all and she really was wrong about him. She'll have to find a way to apologize without actually saying anything at some point. At the moment though, she catches his shiver and, already doing it continuously herself, she knows she made the right decision. Careful, with numb fingers that fumble too much for her liking, she manages to feed some more wood into the stove, careful not to smother the fire and then she shifts over to where he's sitting.

Slim brows come down and she frowns but it's not at him so much as gearing herself up to be brave enough to do this. The longer she hesitates the more awkward it's going to be when she does it and so the only thing to do is simply take the plunge. She's got a couple of ideas about how this will work but - he's a stranger. They're both freezing, what she's going to do is sensible, he even seems like a nice enough guy (now) but - he's still a stranger.

If he wasn't a stranger though... if he was someone blond and blue eyed she's been waiting for... someone who made her a promise and is going to keep it (somehow. impossibly.)... It makes her brave enough to drop down next to him and begin the process of scooting closer.

If she pretends he's not Clyde but another boy she's had her stubborn heart set on for two years now - and it's easy to pretend when he's wearing a helmet that hides his face - if she pretends than it's easier for her to be brave. Her back bumps up against his side first and then she shifts, turning sideways to lean a shoulder carefully into his chest, avoiding bandages as her body settles against his.

It's awkward but she's determined - even if her face is bright red and she's staring fixedly at his suspender strap so there's no possible way to catch eyes.

"You have to put your arms around me." Because you should have years ago, Cloud. Heroes aren't supposed to make promises and then leave without a kiss. Even little kids could have shared a cheek kiss. She can pretend, can't she?
anonfantry: (you're a ghost)

Tifa you monster

[personal profile] anonfantry 2012-05-29 09:16 am (UTC)(link)
You have to put your arms around me.

If the careful lean of her shoulder pressing insistently into his chest hadn't done it, already, that seemingly simple request would've surely been the straw that seized him up so neatly he'd even stopped breathing. As it is, he doesn't think he can start again - let alone summon up the will to not only move his arms, but actually wrap them around her. It seems far more likely that he's simply succumbed to the elements and that this weird, alternate reality wherein Tifa is not only alone with him, again - but huddling close for warmth - must be a part of that. This sort of thing certainly isn't possible in any reality he's ever known to be true, and that leaves him with-


An ill-timed, misplaced memory floats to the surface before he quite recognizes that that's what it is, but the echo of familiar laughter ringing in his head spurs him into some sort of action - so maybe he should be thankful, instead of mildly resentful, even with the remembrance of further embarrassment lingering on like the bitter aftertaste of all the other times when he didn't know what to do.

The motion is so broken and halting that he jerks away from her, at first - if only for the second it takes him to start. Then, like some wind-up toy soldier that's all broken up on the inside but still determined to move for some inexplicable force of will, he manages to get an arm around her. It's impossible to relax, though he knows just miming the action won't do either of them any good, and so Cloud attempts at least to let the weight of the limb rest on the curve of her back, stiff as he remains. Even close up as she is, the (suddenly meek and uncertain) rational voice in his mind still insists that there's no chance she can hear the violent, staccato beat of his heart so clearly as he can, himself. Not unless she presses her ear to his chest, and if she really does that, he thinks his chances of leaving this outpost as anything but a popsicle may well dwindle to naught.

He doesn't know if catastrophic heart failure is a possibility at sixteen, but he's paged through enough old medical manuals in his aimless research to know that stranger things have happened.

Holding on only to be laughed out of the Inn, back in town, doesn't motivate him much - but the thought of Tifa trudging home through the drifts alone (only to be attacked by another monster or caught in an avalanche or) gets his other arm around her. No romantic thoughts under that bucket he calls a helmet, not at all. Just the immediate and pressing concern of her proximity and the fringe of blond she might glimpse if she looks up from that angle, the hair he really should've gotten cut, again, before coming back to this apparently cursed place. Except-

Well, no. That isn't exactly fair. It's he who's cursed, and this is just more proof of the fact.
beyourguide: (holding my heart out)

it's the point of her existence

[personal profile] beyourguide 2012-05-29 02:36 pm (UTC)(link)
That fringe of blond is perfectly safe because there's no way Tifa's going to manage the courage to raise her head to even try to look anywhere near Clyde's face. It's one thing to know this is the sensible solution but it's another thing entirely to snuggle up with a total stranger - a boy! no less. Not that she thinks anyone will judge her for this - because no one's ever going to know and if Clyde tells she'll pop him in the nose so hard he'll never be able to text a message around the swelling - but even if they did find out she's just being practical. But - he's still a boy and a stranger and if he's awkward and jerky about holding her she's no less stiff and awkward about being held.

Except then she shivers because the fabric of his shirt drags over her bare skin and reminds her body how cold it is. It's the drag of that fabric and the weight of his arms around her though that sets off more than just shivers. In that split second it doesn't matter that he's a stranger, just that he's solid and she all but thumps forward into his chest, frozen hands tucked up between them, barely remembering to worry about his wounds and the bandages at the last second.

She's not alone. She doesn't have to do this alone. At least, just for a minute, it's okay if they're in this together and she's not the one in charge and responsible for everything. She presses her froze nose into the fabric of his shirt near his shoulder and shuts her eyes. It's okay, it's okay, it's okay.

She has taken people up and down the mountain before and she is the best guide in the town. She's had to deal with monsters and snow and blocked paths before. She's just never had to deal with anything this serious before and she's never been so cut off from a safe retreat back home if she decided to take it. She's never had so much depending on whether she makes the right choices or not. She can do this. She knows she can. She can keep them safe until she can lead them back down the mountain. It just - doesn't seem as overwhelming if it kind of feels like maybe possibly a little they're doing it together even if it really is all her responsibility and Clyde might not even have ever even seen snow before today.

"Thank you." She can pretend she's saying it because he's sharing his warmth and she is grateful for that. Really though, she's chickening out, because it's easier to do that than trying to find a way to tell him it's really for simply being there for her. That would be too awkward to try to explain.
anonfantry: (and the world is on fire)

if only dw had devil horns and minions, too. even I've been forgetting you're an evil mastermind

[personal profile] anonfantry 2012-05-30 02:09 am (UTC)(link)
His heart takes another of those stuttering, stumbling leaps that can't possibly be healthy, as if her falling in toward him knocks it bouncing off track, but even as his stomach drops out through the cold, splintering boards beneath him (and right off the face of the Planet, after that), it's quick to resume its maddening pace. She's close enough, now, that he's imagined the faint, flowery scent of some perfume or shampoo, under all the cold and dust and the smoky, cloying smell of burning wood. Imagined or not (and he thinks, he's sure, it is), it hits him with a wash of giddy lightheadedness, too close to outright hysteria to feel quite right.

That idiot dizzy spell passes just as quick as it comes, though, and as a deeper shudder wracks him, he wonders if it mightn't be better for them both if he did just pass out. (Or maybe pretend to.) Horrible as a fact, but unavoidable nonetheless, there's no way she can't feel the too-rapid rate of his pulse, pressed into his chest like that - he could almost make it believable, even, if he felt his head make another attempt to detach from the whole doomed operation completely. And then she could huddle as close as she liked, and he wouldn't have to worry-

And perhaps it's not the worst plan in the world, except for one tiny little detail. Leaving her alone, or even pretending to, is too cruel even for Clyde the Mysteriously Mute Trooper. For that, he wouldn't be able to forgive himself.

Against her intent, her quiet little Thank you only serves to remind him that he's still not doing enough to help, and the last of that hateful, anxious paralysis begins to lose its grip on his limbs. Sitting still so close is all well and good, the very same voice that laughed at him suggests (if in fewer words), but moving keeps the blood flowing. Friction will have to do, with neither of them in any shape to get up and start shuffling about, so he starts to rub his hands (a little mechanically, it's all he can do to keep going) over her upper arms, the way he might've done for himself if he hadn't been too busy being terrified of letting on his identity to think of such reflexive gestures sooner.

His fingers feel stiff and rough to the touch inside his gloves, though, and so after only a second or two, he stops and lifts a hand to his mouth, the glove he tugs almost delicately off in his teeth falling limp into his lap. With his bare hand, he strips the other, then picks them up and holds them out with only a superficial tremor to betray him.


It's the first thing he's said to her, and even as the (hoarse, whispered, hopefully - please - unrecognizable) word leaves his numb lips, he wishes to take it back - but not the offer.
beyourguide: (Default)

DW = deviousness withheld (I'm incognito)

[personal profile] beyourguide 2012-05-30 08:30 pm (UTC)(link)
He's shivering too, though not as constantly as she is and his heart must be working double time to try to heat him up if what she can feel pounding away despite all the fabric in the way is any indication. She thinks that's a good sign though - as long as he doesn't have a sudden heart attack - because if he was really in trouble his heart would be sluggish instead of really... really? fast. She's not sure. She's never been in a situation where she had to pay attention to someone's heart before.

She's just debating whether it's okay to ask him to unbutton his outer shirt so that she can tuck into it as well and maybe trap more heat between them as well as do something about all the exposed skin on her shoulders and arms when his hands move instead. If she weren't already shivering, she would have started a little at the surprise touch and if she wasn't so cold and a little bit sluggish because of it herself, she might have popped him one good in the chin before she realizes that his hands were reaching for her arms, not her chest and he's trying to work heat back into them. It's not the most comfortable thing, cold stiff leather against her bare skin but she's not going to complain, surprised instead by his taking the initiative.

It's... nice. Being taken care of. Even though she's supposed to be the one taking care of everyone instead. His hands pull away almost before he starts though and she frowns against him, wondering if she accidentally flinched or something to make him stop or if he just decided to. Him moving jostles her though, indicative of something else going on and so she shifts around against him, legs pulling up to tuck around behind him a little and looks to see what he's up to just as she finds a pair of gloves in front of her. It has her blinking in confusion but then her eyes go wide and fly up to his face - or the lips and chin of it that she can see from her angle. Because holy crap!

He talked!

Well, kind of. It was all whispered and rough throated and all so maybe he really does have a problem or an injury that keeps him from talking but still -

He talked to her.

There's a little burst of giddiness that goes with the realization, as if she's somehow unlocked an accomplishment or done something of special merit even though she hasn't done anything at all but - Clyde actually spoke to her. It has the little smile slipping out and curling her lips, hint of teeth and the last of a childhood dimple showing and she takes the gloves from him even though she knows it's a sacrifice on his part and it's for her sake. Somehow it seems worse to turn down his sacrifice than to let him have cold hands and she worries that that's selfish of her.

"Thanks." It comes out a whisper of her own and she feels warmer even before she pulls the gloves on her hands where they don't fit and hang a little bit loose but that's okay because they're warm and they've already got his trapped heat and it means they're friends or close to friends or closer at least. When she settles against him again, it's more relaxed and she still tucks her hands up against her chest but suddenly it's not so bad and she's not so scared and pretending not to be because things don't seem quite so overwhelming anymore.

"Sorry. About this. It's not usually so bad up here. Just - the weather's funny sometimes. We'll be okay though. It won't last long."
anonfantry: (☈09)

I should have known, you're in cahoots

[personal profile] anonfantry 2012-06-01 01:16 am (UTC)(link)
His lips thin down to nothing but a slim, pale line when she turns up to see him, and the tremor in his hands becomes more the fault of his frayed nerves and the effort it takes not to drop the gloves and hastily tuck any stray split ends of blond showing below his visor, rather than just the cold. He won't say another word, he promises himself, not if the snow piles up so high outside that their cabin collapses in and crushes him the way it threatens each time a particularly brutal burst of wind buffets the walls from outside. The storm could last forever, and even that wouldn't be long enough for him to regather his courage, after this.

Her smile does him no better, small and bright and almost ecstatic in the strangest way - frayed nerves become shot in record time, and when he nods, slowly, to her thanks, it's nearly on par with an out of body experience, his mind far away and floating in the surreality of it all. Not even his most optimistic picture of coming home could compare to the reality of seeing Tifa smile at him that way - and no hypothetical disappointment comes close to the way it feels to remember she doesn't have the slightest idea who he is. The certainty that he'll never see that look, again, if she finds out.

His hands aren't even passing warm, now, without what paltry little heat remained caught by thick, worn leather, but they're easier to run over her bare shoulders, like this, and in short order, he almost feels a little warmer, too. Sick and terrified and halfway to being numb to it all, but focused and determined, now, as well.

He makes a noncommittal sound of assent when she apologizes, and words aren't in it; the weather'll be the least of his concerns, unless she turns him out into the blizzard.
beyourguide: (holding my heart out)

engineered the whole move. the WHOLE thing just to hide the horns!

[personal profile] beyourguide 2012-06-02 03:09 am (UTC)(link)
When she'd heard that Shinra was sending someone from SOLDIER to deal with the monster problem, Tifa had known exactly how the story was supposed to go. She'd known without a doubt that the SOLDIER that walked through the archway to their town would have blond spiky hair and mountain blue eyes and he'd remember his promise. She would have smiled and he would have smiled and everything else would have just fallen into place. What exactly that falling into place would have been, she hadn't been sure, vague on the details but there had been some kind of change that would have formed at that point, even if it was only letters and - and things would have changed for the better, slipping forward into a future that held more than just a sleepy, frozen town and a sleepy, frozen life.

Instead she'd ended up with something else entirely and, if she was being honest, she hadn't quite forgiven everyone that had come from Shinra for not having blond hair and a secret under a sky full of stars inside of them. She'd been trying though, to be helpful, to make a good impression of her town, to help them do what they needed to do because it was her job and she honestly did want them to think well of her home but also because - if she did, if she was impressive enough - than maybe they'd remember her and maybe she'd come up in conversation sometime and maybe a certain mountain grown boy would overhear it and think of her. Maybe.

This is the first time she's stopped trying so hard.

His hands feel good. Cold but warmer than her skin felt before and it's that he's chaffing warmth and circulation back into her pale skin but it's that she hasn't really been touched in years and it's that he's taking care of her even though it's supposed to be the other way around and it's that they're together in this and it's that he really actually talked to her when he's been mute as long as she's known him... and it's a dozen other small little things that she doesn't think about so much as simply feel. He's been taking care of her this entire time, she realizes belatedly and with a strange little jolt through her stomach. Up at the reactor and again on the way to the cabin and now again by warming her up and giving her his gloves. It's not single-handedly slaying a great green dragon for her but...

but she thinks she likes this better.

So much better.

If only they could do this without him getting hurt. She hates that part of it and she hates that it always seems to be for her sake...

Careful of those wounds now, she curls herself as much around him as she can, moving slow so that she won't jar his hands and risk his stopping, little subtle moves. He's taking care of her and she wants to take care of him too but she can't warm him up the way he's doing to her so there have to be other ways to do it. Her hands shift from where they're against her chest to curl against his and she lifts her eyes from where her head's on his shoulder to look at the triangle of his chin.

"I guess it doesn't snow like this in Midgar. I'd like to visit - one day. It sounds busy and exciting and loud and - not Nibelheim. Anything's supposed to be possible there but I guess you already know that. It must be fun, living where there's so much to do and see and all those people. But - I wonder if it's easier to be lonely there. I'd probably feel lost surrounded by so many strangers.
anonfantry: (don't wait for ground to break)

my god. we've all walked right into your trap

[personal profile] anonfantry 2012-06-03 06:51 am (UTC)(link)
Snow? In Midgar? If he wasn't so busy trying not to move or breathe or shift in any way at all that could possibly give him away (even his hands still, for an instant, as she makes herself more comfortable, before resuming their repetitive motion for warmth), he might have actually laughed.

No, it doesn't snow like this, in Midgar, and even if it did, there'd be little to no accumulation, on the ground. (A fact that should remain so, he thinks, as he imagines the kind of vile, sludgy, mako-scented mush that might drift on those bleak, black streets. Considering the source, any children building snowmen would be liable to get eaten by them.) In his two (and just the start of one) winters' experience, rainy and humid are more like the city's main staples, with a couple of months of potentially dangerous ice somewhere in the middle. Snowfall there comes more like an ornamental dressing on the atmosphere - heavy or light, Midgar's busy inner workings, close quarters, and general overpopulation melt most flakes before they ever touch that ground above the ground. A light dusting is the most inclement he's ever seen the weather, there, save for on the very outskirts.

(It did occur to him, once, that maybe they see it worse in the slums - but the thought was dismissed just as quick. No, the Plate would keep most of it from their homes and businesses, like.)

At any rate, he should be listening - not reminiscing - in case she asks him something important, or has some imminent change of heart over their current position. To him, of course, the latter seems likely, but there isn't anything new in her speaking just to speak spiel. He can still clearly recall thinking much the same of Midgar, himself (or, more accurately, of everywhere else in the world, outside of their suffocatingly small town).

Once she's finished, Cloud shakes his head, back inside that ungainly helmet, and softens a little at the edges, for what little's visible. (And when he lets go of her shoulders to rub his hands together, he cups them close to his mouth to catch his breath, and takes the opportunity to stealthily tuck his hair back behind his cowl. His heart hasn't quite quit its breakneck pace, but this is beginning to feel manageable, at least.)

It isn't that great, in the city, and he's come to find far more dreams find their way there to die than ever to flourish, but even with a voice he wouldn't want to tell her that. Because if somebody had put it like that to him, all those years ago, he might never have left. And even a big city packed with broken hearts and forgotten or forever stagnating ambitions turned out to be a little better than their isolation, here above the clouds. Midgar has its own cap of fog, polluted and smoggy with discontent, but even there he's seen the sun shine brighter.
beyourguide: (Default)

admittedly, it worked even better than I'd intended but I ain't complainin'

[personal profile] beyourguide 2012-06-05 12:19 am (UTC)(link)
She watches him with large eyes, dark in the dim light and, for the first time, those garnet depths aren't conflicted. She's still cold though not as cold as she was but that's not why she finally feels calm inside. She's felt so trapped since Cloud left, suddenly waking up to realize just how small and caught in time their town is and how nothing ever changes, it just eventually disappears. Her safe world still feels safe but it's starting to feel stifling too and she isn't sure how to escape the way Cloud and the other boys did. She isn't sure she's brave enough. She's not even sure that she wants to, not just yet because in her heart she knows she's still just a kid and she's not quite ready to give that entirely up yet even if she's starting to move toward it. She's been trapped, waiting for something to change and yet not wanting anything to just yet. The soldiers from Shinra are change and yet not the one she had prepared herself for and for the first time, she's finally willing to just let them be who they are instead of who they aren't and - she thinks she likes Clyde.

Not like like of course because that's silly but she likes him best out of them all probably simply because he seems the most accessible. She likes Zack too but he's so over the top sometimes that she wonders how much of it's an act and how much of it's real. It doesn't make her not like him but it does wear her out a little trying to figure it out. Now that she's finally quieted down enough to notice it, Clyde's actually surprisingly comforting because he's just here and so it's okay for her to just be here too without having to do anything extra to be impressive. He's kind of the way she's imagined SOLDIERs to be in fact because, in her mind, SOLDIER are heroes and heroes don't get to be heroes taking care of rusted out reactors and company secrets. Heroes are heroes because they save people. Clyde's saved her at least twice and even got himself hurt while doing it. To her, that makes him a hero but even at fifteen she's aware that maybe that's a naive way to think and certainly not something you tell anyone else, especially the guy doing it. So instead she curls just a little bit more around him, until she's finally tucked in close and wishes she could do more for him because so far he's been doing most everything for her and that's really not fair. Just because she wants to be rescued doesn't mean she wants to not be part of things too. So without moving her head from his shoulder, she offers up her hands in his oversized gloves.

"You can have them back. My hands are warmer now and it's not fair for yours to be cold. I'm sorry I'm not doing more to help. You're taking care of me and I can't think of what to do to take care of you to. I'll make it up to you though. I'll find a way."
anonfantry: (pic#)

can this count as my first cast of final attack + phoenix, because i am reviving things all over

[personal profile] anonfantry 2012-08-18 09:43 am (UTC)(link)
At first, he can only stare, dumbfounded, at the sight of her hands so ungainly in those familiar gloves. The monochrome green filter through which he sees the world all too often, these days, doesn't help to settle their situation any more in reality - but he wouldn't dare remove his helmet just to put a little peace to his mind. He's shaking his head again before he knows it, anyway, breaking through the brief fog of uncertainty in his own mind and going straight to the easiest route. Denial comes like second nature, over matters of inconsequential self-indulgence, and by his judgement, this is nothing more than that. He'd give her the jacket off his back, too, if he thought she'd take it, now (if he had the guts to even offer, if he could just remember whether this one'd had his name printed inside the collar in blocky, black permanent letters when he put it on, this morning - the morning that might as well've happened some time in another millennium, now).

The point is- He won't take back the gloves, shifting back a fraction to cross his arms over his chest and tuck his bare hands between them and his sides. Almost equally as awkwardly, he mimics the motion of rubbing her back, in this way, to build up a fraction of friction; even just the lower half of his expression seems almost expectant in his cautious regard of her, now, as if to say See? They're warm enough. Not that they are, but it's the principle and so long as they don't go numb or black with frostbite beyond a Cure spell's restorative powers, he won't complain.

She doesn't have to make it up to him, either, but he can't find a way to articulate that in any measure of uncomfortably stiff gestures. As far as Cloud's concerned, he's done a pretty bang-up job here holding down the fort, and that's not worth the commendation. The best he expects to find waiting for him back in town is a double hit of Be more careful followed close on the heels by a little What were you thinking. Depending on where he drags himself first, he supposes, he might manage to skip about half of that - his mom, at least, doesn't have to know that he's been gone up the mountain getting caught in blizzards and trying to kill himself over a girl who probably doesn't even remember him.

Hopefully, sometimes, when the memory of that night on the well comes back to him like a big stupid mistake, embarrassing in the bone-deep way only ignorant childhood confidence can ever manage to be.

Another hesitant, assessing glance at her, sitting there pressed up close against him, doesn't help the passing thought to not linger, but it does give him half an idea. The jacket may be out of the question, but he's still got on a bit more than he needs. Accessorizing isn't exactly the Shinra infantry's forte (too may belt buckles and straps and every once in a while on an early morning after a late night, he still gets tangled up in the damn things), but Cloud's a little thankful for the overzealous flair when he starts to undo the scarf around his neck. The tight, high collar of his black undershirt will keep his neck warm enough. She doesn't have anything.
beyourguide: (orly?)

it doesn't seem to be equipped to the right character but I say as long as it works go for it!

[personal profile] beyourguide 2012-08-19 07:21 am (UTC)(link)
She kind of expected the head shake. She'd really used to Clyde shaking his head by this point and she wonders, a little, on the side, if he knows how to nod at all. She doesn't feel mean when she thinks it - just a bit sad, wondering what kind of person shakes their head all the time. She takes his negative though and nods herself silently, tucking her gloved hands back up against her chest. She understands. It's a gift. You're not supposed to argue with gifts because it makes whoever gave it to you feel bad because giving things to people is supposed to make you happy. At least it always makes her feel happy and so she's not at all sure what to do when she can't give anything in return as well. Maybe her being grateful will be a kind of gift too, sharing how nice he's made her feel with him? It always makes her feel better when she knows someone really does love what she's given them, like her dad wearing that silly old scarf she tried to knit for him before she gave up on the idea of knitting, even though they both know it's got too many holes to keep his neck warm.

She's finally quiet too, not trying to fill the silence with chatter and chirping comments. Most people like it when you talk, when you drown out the silence, but Clyde seems okay with it being quiet between them and it's a relief now that she's stopped to not have to keep trying to think of things to say. The look she gives him says she doesn't believe him about his hands though, lips twisting, eyes slanting a ruby look from the tops of their edges. The press of her lips though say she's not going to call him on it or argue the way she would have before to fill the silence. Instead she hunches her shoulders a little more toward him and thinks that, maybe, when his hands settle down, she'll take them between her own and see if maybe she can rub some warmth into them too the way he rubbed warmth into her. He's got very nice hands, because she notices, you can tell a lot about a person by their hands and everyone in Shinra seems to always cover theirs and she wonders if they know that they're hiding, but the point is he's got nice hands and she doesn't want them getting hurt any more than they already have.

Cloud must wear gloves, wherever he is off doing things for the company. She realizes she has no idea what his hands would look like because she didn't pay attention to other children's hands when she was still a child. Back then it was just adult hands that she noticed because it was so often what she saw of them first with head pats and offered cookies and gestures so rampant in her child's world.

Like mama's hands on the piano keys. The first set of hands she ever fell in love with.

Being tucked in close against someone is jogging those old memories because she doesn't get to be physically close to anyone these days and she misses it with only a partial realization of how desperate that missing is. Clyde is nice and solid though and even a little warm where she's tucked in close and he hasn't done anything to scare her by making her feel uncomfortable with looks or touches. When he starts to move, jostling her slightly, she lifts curious eyes to his face before sitting up a bit to give him space to move. It lets the cold that they'd driven off between them back in but maybe it's her imagination or maybe the stove is finally doing some good but it doesn't feel as miserable as it did before.

He's going for his scarf and he's way ahead of her because she hadn't realized he could wrap it around his hands to keep them warm until he was already working on it but she knows how the cold takes fine mechanics away from your fingers first and at least she can be helpful this way. So she slides her hands temporarily out of his gloves left in her lap and reaches up around his shoulders to help with fingers that are still warmed up enough to be a bit more nimble.

"I can help. They sure do make sure you guys have a lot of clothes to wear every day, don't they? I bet there are some places you wish they didn't." It's still chatter because it's her habit and because he won't talk back but it's not the chatter of before because she doesn't keep rolling with it, falling silent again so she can help him pull it clear and automatically straightening his collar afterward as she does.

Outside the wind hunts for cracks in the logs of the cabin but inside... inside Tifa doesn't think it's so bad anymore.
anonfantry: (cause I lie)

look who's talking ms wrong journal. 8)

[personal profile] anonfantry 2012-08-21 10:57 am (UTC)(link)
Her considering look is almost what he'd imagine something accusatory or suspicious might be, on that face, and Cloud feels his heart take another of those sudden, jerky leaps. The kind he'd almost forgotten, for a moment, as his pulse briefly evened in the nearly normal intermission between the shake of his head and her tacit acceptance of the mandate that she keep the gloves, really he doesn't need them. He sees nothing remarkable about his own hands (thin and pale and too small, even with the little buildup of callouses he's managed to accumulate over the past couple of years), doesn't stop to ponder them or hers or anything philosophical like that - just keeps them tucked under his arms until he needs them again.

The brief distance and intervening wedge of cold air doesn't escape him, but it isn't a big deal, either. He puts it to the back of his mind (along with the little tinge of regret, that kind of selfish, always around sort) and there it goes with everything else about this whole situation that's liable to distract him from the task at hand. Which is why, most likely, it takes him a second to recognize there's an extra set of hands in the mix, here.

His whole body jerks, this time, when he pulls away from Tifa, sucks in a breath that has more to do with the hurt that persists in his only temporarily treated wounds than his very real shock. A second before she elaborates, herself, and only one more after he's managed to make himself look like some kind of persistent weirdo, all over again.

Beneath his helmet, he shakes his head - not because it's all he knows how to do, but because it is just a reflex. As deeply ingrained by his own petty self-denial and what he's come to assume good manners are. A little bit of pride might even be tangled up in there somewhere, too, now. He can remove his own scarf; for whatever else he can't or hasn't been able to do, he can do that much- Even if he can't... Quite bring himself to push her hands away, or scramble back across the uneven floorboards to reclaim the precious personal space he might've - were she anybody else.

With his lips pressed into so pale and thin a line that they barely show but to underline what is an unimpressively grave expression cut off by his visor, he shakes his head yet again (only slightly) and holds the scarf out to her. Yeah, Shinra makes a lot of impractical fashion choices. A lot of extraneous bits that he can give up, if he really has to.

In the same rough, barely-a-whisper tone of voice as before, he clarifies, "Don't need it."
beyourguide: (cut open)

so ashamed - I know, it was the utlimate ironic fail

[personal profile] beyourguide 2012-08-22 11:25 am (UTC)(link)
She doesn't react to his jerk away other than the lowering of her brows briefly and a little frown that slips over her lips and then dissipates. She's kind of getting used to him being jumpy too, the same way she's getting used to him always shaking his head. He doesn't do it when she raises her hand or scowls so she doesn't think it's because he's afraid she'll hit him. Which is silly anyway because guides don't hit their charges. Not unless they really, really deserve it. Instead, he flinches at weird moments and she hasn't quite figured out what sets him off. Maybe he's just not used to being touched? Tifa can kind of get that. She hasn't really been touched much since she hit puberty either, like you stop needing hugs and head pats at a certain age or something. Maybe he's been that way too but all his life. Which is kind of sad. Everybody should have someone to hug them sometimes, but she guesses there's not a lot of that in the military.

If he has a girlfriend, Tifa is very disappointed in her for not snuggling him more.

At the moment though, she's more worried about him pulling his wounds, which she's been careful herself not to press against and it has her frowning again, wishing she had something better than a small first aid kit, maybe a potion or even, if she was dreaming, materia. She's pretty sure the SOLDIER in the group have some but they're not here right now and she doesn't imagine Shinra can afford to outfit every single soldier on their payroll with materia as well. Still, she's just about to start fussing over him when he derails her by holding out his scarf. Again, her brows come down over garnet eyes but this time it's in utter confusion and his rasped explanation doesn't help to clear it up for her at all. Instead he get a wide eyed look that's utterly baffled and her hands stayed curled in front of her, not lifting to accept.

"But - you need that for your hands," is the only think she can think of to say.
anonfantry: (do you know what it's like when)

[personal profile] anonfantry 2012-08-27 08:46 am (UTC)(link)
"No. 'M fine," he insists in the same hoarse nothing voice, now only partially affected for the sake of masking his identity. (Not that, on some level, he isn't perfectly certain she wouldn't remember him, anyway. Kids say a lot of things, make a lot of promises - and teenagers mostly forget them.) All that baffled expression seems to do is firm his resolve, as his already dangerously pale lips thin down to a barely-there line.

"You don't... Have as much." The color that blooms now in his cheeks is spotty with the pallid tone of the cold under his skin, but fortunately not too visible, thanks to the shadow cast by the front of his visor. It's blessedly deep in the flickering play of the low fire glimpsed through the little open window of the pot-bellied old stove. Instead of waiting any longer for her acceptance, he makes the decision for her, setting his scarf down at her feet. He won't put it back on; it won't do anyone any good, if it just lies there.

Pulling his knees up closer to his chest, he tucks his bare hands behind them and resumes his standoffish watch. If there's one thing Shinra's taught him to perfect, it's the art of staring blankly ahead at all times. For as long as it takes (or as long as guard duty lasts - there's always plenty of that to go around, when you're just a grunt).

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