- Dec 12, 2006
- Running for daylight, sleepless...
Yeah, I thought this was dead too. XD Here's the long overdue next chapter, and I swear, it's not going to take anywhere near this long for the next one. Sorry if this one just seems really random and out there; I got the idea for a club scene, and I had to go with it. Next will be better, cause I'll be back in the story. Until next time!
(Just One Yesterday ch. 7)
The club was packed when they got there. Zack spun a slow circle, taking in the people surrounding them as the music blasted, the bass pulsing in their chests. Arching an eyebrow at Cloud, he said wryly, â€œI thought we were having a meeting, not going to a party?â€
Tifa laughed, drawing the attention of the other three as she said, â€œWe are meeting with the others, Zack. Itâ€™s just that Yunaâ€™s also something of a performer, and sheâ€™s working tonight. So, take a second to unwind, will you? Weâ€™ve got a little time before everyone gets here, and stepping back from the problem for a moment can help you see it better, sometimes.â€
â€œThatâ€™s exactly what I keep telling my students.â€
Tifaâ€™s head whipped around, and she heard a surprised laugh from Aerith as another small group walked up to them. Pointing each of them out, Tifa said, â€œAerith, Zack, Iâ€™d like you to meet some of our friends. This is Rinoa, Squall, Laguna, and I assume that youâ€™re Raine?â€
Tifa caught it out of the corner of her eye when Zack stiffened slightly at the mention of Raineâ€™s name; what surprised her, however, was that the woman seemed to tense slightly as she said, â€œYes, thatâ€™s me. Iâ€™ve heard a little bit about you; itâ€™s Tifa, correct? And youâ€™re Cloud?â€ At the affirmation from them both, Raine smiled and said, â€œItâ€™s nice to meet you.â€
â€œI know Tidus and Yuna are bound to be here; but do you know who else weâ€™re waiting for?â€ Rinoa asked. She smoothed a hand across the front of her dress, and Tifa couldnâ€™t help the slight smile that snuck onto her face. The skirt brushed against the tops of Rinoaâ€™s knees, a sheer, thinner fabric extending a couple inches further, and even Squall was dressed for the club; even though he looked good with his shoulders exposed, he still didnâ€™t look as good as Cloud. Tifa knew she hadnâ€™t been the only one to have the idea to dress for the club. Really, Zack should have known something was up!
â€œWe sent the call out to everyone, but it could take a little time for them to get here.â€ Cloud put a finger to his collar as he spoke, and Tifa saw the way his eyes scanned the room really quick before falling back on the others. Some old habits die hard, Tifa supposed, but even she could see that Cloud seemed to be relaxing pretty quickly. Tifaâ€™s next thought was a mental slap as Cloud continued, â€œHowever, maybe we should split up and see if we can find Tidus and Yuna. Yuna shouldnâ€™t be too difficult, but Tidus might be a different matter, especially if Jecht is here.â€
Squall scoffed softly, and even Laguna gave a short bark of a laugh as he said, â€œNo kidding. There might be a difference of opinion between me and Squall, but those two are just about impossible to have in the same place without a baby sitter to make sure they donâ€™t kill each other. You girls look for Yuna; weâ€™ll track Tidus down.â€
They stuck together long enough to make plans on a meeting time and place, than they split off into two groups again, the guys in one and the girls in the other. Tifa led the way, winding her way around the outer edge of the dance floor, keeping a close eye on the three behind her while also keeping an eye on the stage through the press of bodies. She was pretty sure Yuna would be up there; if not now, than certainly very soon.
"Tifa; to your right!"
A tug on her arm got her attention enough that Tifa was able to hear Rinoa's shouted directions over the pulse of the bass. Looking to her right, Tifa saw that they were next to the entrance for backstage - this far away from the audience's view of the stage? That was a little strange, - to see the familiar crown of Yuna's hair as she talked to another blonde that Tifa recognized. Raising her arm, Tifa called, "Hey, Yuna! Rikku!"
Somehow, Yuna heard her, despite the distance. A smile spreading across her face, Yuna started making her way over even as she shouted â€œTifa!â€
Rikku was tight on Yunaâ€™s heels, and all of the girls were talking and laughing as introductions were made. Yuna held up a hand, putting a halt to the conversation as she said quickly, â€œItâ€™s so good to see you again, Tifa, and congratulations, Rinoa. Squallâ€™s a great guy; itâ€™s about time that he popped the question.â€ There was another quick round of smiles, then Yuna turned more serious as she turned to Aerith and Raine; Yuna was still polite, but the edge in her voice was unmistakable as she said softly, â€œItâ€™s nice to finally meet the two of you, but you shouldnâ€™t be here.â€
Raine seemed a little surprised, but she kept her composure as she said, â€œI believe that that fact had already been establishedâ€¦ Yuna, is it? But thank-you for pointing it out to us again.â€
Rinoa giggled a little as Rikku said, â€œI think I see where Squall gets it from.â€
Yuna shook her head, letting the others say their piece before she continued, â€œForgive me; that isnâ€™t what I meant. Itâ€™s justâ€¦ I used to be a Summoner, and the Summoners of Spira are held in high regard. We protected this world, and made sure that the souls of the dead were Sent to the Farplane, their final resting place so that they could be at peace. I can senseâ€¦â€
Tifa waited a moment, but Yuna just shook her head, a look of confusion in her heterochromatic eyes. Gently, Tifa prodded, â€œYou can sense what?â€
Before Yuna could answer, a buzz vibrated at Tifaâ€™s hip, drawing her hand up as Tifa dug out her phone. Flipping it open, she saw that she had a text from Cloud. Tilting her head to the side, she said softly, â€œThey found Tidus already?â€
â€œI think Auron said something about keeping Jecht outside until he could chill his brainâ€¦â€ Rikku said softly, seemingly answering a question that Tifa hadnâ€™t heard. However, Tifa wasnâ€™t paying attention to the conversation; she was studying the text that Cloud had sent her.
â€œTifa? Is something wrong?â€ Having noticed her silence, Yuna had walked over, tilting her head so she could see what Tifa was looking at on her phone. Tifa twisted her wrist, turning the phone around so Yuna could see the message as Tifaâ€™s eyes roamed across the packed club. The message contained only three letters.
Tifa went up on her toes, searching for Cloud. She found his distinctive hair fairly quickly; Cloud, Zack, Squall, and Laguna were all over near the bar, and theyâ€™d actually found Tidus pretty quickly themselves. Tifa let out a breath of air as she dropped back onto her heels, her eyes clouding over slightly.
Noticing the look on her face, Yuna said softly, â€œTifa? Is everything alright?â€
â€œYuna, can you hold onto what you were about to say, please? Cloudâ€™s gotten himself into a bit of a situation, and I need to bail him out of it.â€ Unable to hold it back any longer, Tifa blew out an exasperated sigh as she said, â€œHonestly; give him a Midgar Zolom or a behemoth to fight, and Cloudâ€™s practically unbeatable. Get a girl flirting with him, on the other handâ€¦â€
â€œCan you blame her, though?â€ Rikku said, trying hard not to laugh. Rinoa went up on her own toes, looking in the direction of the bar as Rikku continued, â€œYou got a real hottie on your hands, Tifa; most girls canâ€™t help but want to pay a compliment to that yummy bit of eye candy.â€
â€œThing is, though, most of these girls are regulars; they know Cloud and Squall arenâ€™t available, just like Tidus!â€ Tifa said. Smoothing the front of her skirt, Tifa said, â€œJust give me a minute, girls; Iâ€™ll be right back.â€
A soft growl stopped Tifa in her tracks. Turning to look at Rinoa, Tifa was surprised at the rather possessive look on her face as Rinoa hissed, â€œNo way in hell, girl. Back off of him!â€
Tifa went back up on her toes as Aerith, Rikku, Raine, and Yuna did the same. Tifa realized that it wasnâ€™t just Cloud that was in trouble. There were several girls at the bar now, and about the only one of the guys that seemed safe from their attention was Laguna. Even Firion was with them; when had he shown up? Almost as if he could feel the girls watching them, Tidusâ€™ head whipped around. Meeting Tifaâ€™s eyes across the crowded dance floor, he mouthed, Help!
â€œIâ€™ve never seen those girls here,â€ Yuna said, dropping down to balance evenly on her feet again. The other girls followed suite as she continued, â€œItâ€™s about the only reason I can think of. Laguna comes here even less than the rest of you guys do, but I know that most of the regulars recognize Tidus. Theyâ€™d know to leave him alone, and theyâ€™d leave Squall and Cloud alone on Tidusâ€™ word, too. Iâ€™m sure theyâ€™ve said something, so whyâ€¦?â€
â€œBecause, all of those guys are varying shades of too nice for their own good; even Squall,â€ Rinoa said. She was already walking away from them, and it was quite plain to them all from the way that she held herself just what her intentions were as she walked toward the bar.
â€œRinoa, hold on a second!â€ Yuna shouted. Rinoa kept walking, her pace picking up. Raising her voice, Yuna screamend, â€œRinoa, stop!â€
Rinoaâ€™s heels dug into the floor of the club as she spun around to face the rest of them again. Folding her arms beneath her chest, Rinoa bit out, â€œWhat?â€
A strangely devious look had entered Yunaâ€™s eyes, and Tifa was starting to wonder at the slightly younger girlâ€™s plans as Yuna said, â€œWe could go over and talk to those girls, but Iâ€™m not exactly sure how well that would work. Tidus hasnâ€™t said much, but heâ€™s been getting a lot more looks lately, even from our usuals. I think it might be time for us to remind them that those boys are ours in a more effective way.â€
â€œWhat do you have in mind, Yuna?â€
â€œLightning?â€ Tifa couldnâ€™t keep the surprise from her voice as the other woman walked up to them. Tifa could only guess that Lightning had come with Firion; even so, when had they slipped in?
There was one more round of introductions, than Lightning repeated her question, â€œSo Yuna, whatâ€™s your plan?â€
A glint of mischief showing in her eyes, Yuna said, â€œFollow me.â€
Tifa stood with her head down for a moment, taking one more final, deep breath as she waited for her count. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Aerith and Raine watching her, Light, Yuna, and Rinoa from the sidelines; Tifa knew that Aerith and Raine wanted to help them, but the girls needed flawless teamwork and familiarity for what they were about to do, and they just didnâ€™t have that with Aerith and Raine. Rikku stayed closer to them, opting to stay out of what was happening herself.
The pulse of the bass throbbed in Tifaâ€™s chest, and her head snapped up. She could sense the others behind her, Lighting on her left, Rinoa to the right, and Yuna in the center. Yuna was the performer, but Rinoa knew a little bit too, because of her motherâ€™s career as a pianist. Tifa had good choreography because of the lessons her teacher had drilled into her on the importance of footwork in a fight, and even Lightning knew how to dance; the woman mentioned that dance had been part of her training, similar to how it was a part of Squallâ€™s.
Tifa threw her arms out in front of her before pulling them back to her body as she went for a tight spin, Yuna leading into the first verse of the song. It was a warning to those girls, and it seemed as if the warning stuck in quickly.
That crazy chick donâ€™t know who sheâ€™s messing withâ€¦
Tifa hit her points perfect, trading off with Yuna when the tradeoff lyrics presented themselves, Rinoa and Lightning backing her up perfectly, both in harmony and in dance. Amazingly, club patrons had quieted, moving to the sides of the club to let the girls have room for their routine. Or maybe it wasnâ€™t that extraordinary. Tifa, Rinoa, and Lightning werenâ€™t here often, but the regular patrons seemed to look forward to when the girls would get together with Yuna to perform.
Look in her eyes, sheâ€™s mentally undressing himâ€¦
Whatever their reasoning, there was a path open to the cocktail bar, and thatâ€™s all Tifa wanted. She danced forward, keeping in time to the song as she kept her eyes glued on that group of girls. Laguna and Zack had been fortunate enough to extricate themselves, and Tifa could just see them making their way to where Raine and Aerith were seated.
But Tifaâ€™s main focus was the little redhead that was watching her with obvious disdain in her green eyes. Cloudâ€™s eyes moved between the two of them, his expression moving from an embarrassed wariness to a cautious interest tinged with amusement. The redhead moved closer, flanked by the three girls that had been harassing Tidus, Squall, and Firion, and Tifa couldnâ€™t help the upward quirk of her lips as the girl unknowingly played right into her challenge.
Now listen girlfriendâ€¦
â€œBetter step back right now,â€ Tifa sang; getting between the girl and Cloud, Tifa put her hand on the other girlâ€™s chest, very gently pushing her away from Cloud so he could finally breathe. Yuna, Rinoa, and Lightning were freaking amazing, hitting all the counterpoints just right.
The red head looked positively stunned as she stumbled back, but it was too late for her to recover. Tifa and the girls were already dancing back to the stage again, Cloud and the guys having taken up their own ques to dance with the girls.
Get it on, no one stands a chance, canâ€™t get enough and when we start to dance
The guys jumped up on the stage, Tidus going so far as to do a flip, before turning around to lift the girls up. Not that they needed the help, but hey, choreography. All the time they were dancing, Tifa, Yuna, Rinoa, and Lightning kept singing, and even the low roar of approval from the audience could barely break through the high of a well-executed performance. Cloud was smiling, showing how much he was now enjoying himself, and Tifa caught a glimpse of Zack and Aerith, having moved out of their seats, now on the dance floor to add their own moves.
Let the music play!
The final bars of the song faded away, leaving an echoing silence behind as the dancers just stood there for a moment, letting the rush of the song and the previous situation pulse through them. Then, the audience resumed their cheering, causing the eight of them to turn away from their respective partners to give their dues to the audience before finding their way backstage again.
â€œHonestly, the only one allowed to get my lion dancing is me. Those girls can just leave now!â€
Tifa started laughing as Rinoaâ€™s outburst reached her. Embarrassment flashed across Squallâ€™s face for a moment, and Tifa could kind of understand; of course, that kind of comment had to be the first thing that all of them would hear once theyâ€™d gotten away from the worst of the bass.
Laguna, Raine, Zack, and Aerith had followed Rikku backstage, and Tifa could see three more men behind them. She remembered meeting Jecht, but the other twoâ€¦
â€œEveryone, Iâ€™d like you to meet Sir Auron, Sir Jecht, and Lord Braska, my father,â€ Yuna said. Tifa turned to face Yuna just in time to catch her give Tidusâ€™ hand a warning squeeze, before she continued, â€œAnd theseâ€¦â€
Yeah, introductions themselves were going to take a while. Looking past Auron, Jecht, and Braska, Tifa could see more people coming, the rest of their comrades from the Cycles, and moreâ€¦
Yeah. This was going to take a bit.