A steady metallic click reverberated through the bar. Open, close, thwick, thwack, over and over. Its accompaniment was the tingling of glass against glass, a wash cloth screeching in protest, the low hum of running water.
“If you have something to say just it.”
The lighter finally snapped shut. “Look, I ain’t one to talk about feelings.”
“But you’re going to.”
“Goddammit, Tifa. I just think you deserve better, ok?”
“I’m sorry, since when did you become the expert on my relationships?”
“Since I’ve been watchin’ ya pine after Spike from day one and he’s only had eyes for Aerith.”
One of the glasses slammed against the bar. “It’s none of your business, Cid.”
“You said if I had something to say–”
“Well now I’m saying drop it.”
“Fuck that!” The wooden chair scraped harshly against the floor. “Not when I gotta watch ya mope and look after him like he’s some kid.”
“He’s been my friend since childhood!”
“Which means not his damn nanny!” Cid started towards the bar.
“I don’t know how it was where you grew up, but in Nibelheim friends took care of each other.”
“But you’re not thinkin’ of him as a friend.”
“What does it matter how I think of him?”
“Cause all your doin is lettin’ him lead you on. You don’t want to let go of your damn feelings cause you’re hopin’ he’ll finally look your way but that’s not how it fuckin’ works. He’s moved on and you need to too.”
“And what do you know about feelings!? The way you treat Shera like–”
“Don’t fuckin bring Shera into this.”
“Have you seen the way she looks at you?”
Her laughter interrupted him this time, one hand holding her side and the other gripping the edge of the bar. “Oh that’s rich. You have no room to talk about leading others on.”
“Fuck it.” The old pilot turned to leave.
“Yeah, sure Cid, walk away.”
And he did, pulling out a cigarette and lighting it before he had even left the bar.
Tifa’s bar was the only good bar in Edge. Or so Cid told himself. It was really the only bar in Edge right now, but there could be twenty different bars and his ass would still be parked on this bar stool each evening. Construction was going well and Cid was more than happy to lend a hand out here. He'd sure as hell wasted enough time resting his ass in Rocket Town so it felt good to be doing something useful. Between the WRO and construction, having some downtime with a refilling glass and a pack of smokes was heaven. That it was in her presence made it better. That he couldn't take his eyes off of her was another.
It was, as he told himself countless times over, pathetic. Even if she was available, that didn’t mean he had a chance in hell. Yet here he was every night. Cid flicked the ash off his cigarette and found his gaze lingering once more, even as the patrons around him started to slowly make their way out and leaving empty glasses and filled ashtrays in their wake. As always, he started to help clean, gathering glasses and setting them on the bar while dumping out the ashes.
The first time he did this, she insisted he didn’t have to, but he told her it was no problem. Insisted it wasn’t. He was just helping out a friend and goddamn Tifa, you do enough, let me help. She hadn’t questioned him since and he preferred it that way.
Cid enjoyed meals with Tifa. Shera tried to insist on it when they'd been living together, but something about someone else cooking for him never really felt right. Probably because he'd always been helping his parents growing up and that you pretty much did everything yourself in the army.
However, it was a lot more fun to cook with someone he was finding. And even more fun to eat with them. Between the two of them they'd made a pretty delectable spread of bacon-wrapped pork, potatoes, steamed vegetables and gravy — probably one of the healthiest meals he'd had in awhile.
A sneaking fork hovered just at his peripherals and quick as lightning Tifa stabbed one of his vegetables, taking it for herself. Cid gaped in disbelief at the theft. Not that he was now short a vegetable, but that Tifa had even done it. His blue eyes met hers, mouth agape. Oh, it was payback time.
His spoon darted over and scooped up some of her mashed potatoes.
“Hey!” She jerked towards him, arm outstretched, but he maneuvered his arm away and ate it before she could do anything.
“Thas wha you ge,” he said, mouth full of potato.
A determined fire set in her eyes and soon enough the two were warring over each other’s food, forks battling mid-air to reach the other’s plate. Treachery was introduced when Cid tickled her and snagged some of her bacon, the most holy of foods. Tifa had her own retaliation planned: a kiss.
It caught Cid completely off guard and the food was forgotten. When it ended, Tifa pulled back with a smirk and a long strip of bacon.
“Ah… you!” He pointed his fork at her in accusation. “Dammit, that’s cheatin’.”
“Ah!” She held up her finger. “Swear jar.” She pointed at the jar that was labeled ‘Cid’s Swear Jar - Rainy Day $$’. It had quite a few gil in it already.
“Two!” Another finger was held up.
“Ahhhhh—!” Reluctantly, the pilot stood, but before heading over to pay his dues he snagged a part of her bacon and quickly walked away.
The newly made piano room was useful for many things. Listening to Tifa play was damn relaxing and if he opened the window he could hear her while he worked in the backyard. More than that, it made her happy, and that was why he added on the room in the first place.
“Here, like this.” Tifa played the tune again, fingers dancing deftly along the piano keys. Cid sat next to her, their legs pressed close and his attention drifting between her and her hands.
“Can you show me again?”
Grinning, Tifa rolled her eyes and started the riff again, this time slower. “You just need to—” Her fingers jolted along the keyboard, the sound disjointed and off-key, as Cid began to nibble and kiss her earlobe. “Mmm, ahh, Cid!” She squirmed, elbow nudging his chest playfully.
“I thought you were showin' me that again.”
“I can’t like this!”
A few more kisses as his arm curled around her waist. “Like what?”
“Me?” Now he nuzzled her neck, planting yet more kisses to her skin. The next moment, he moved her to sit sideways on his lap.
Tifa’s hands settled on his broad shoulders. As she adjusted herself, a few of the piano keys behind her depressed before she moved closer to him. “Yes. You.”
Cid grinned up at her. “Guilty as charged.” And continued to kiss her.
The cockpit of the Tiny Bronco Mk II was a bit bigger than the last, allowing space for Cid’s legs to stretch out and over the edge, one boot hooked on the edge. It was even big enough to accommodate Tifa curled next to him, body half on his as they napped in the afternoon sun.
Despite the awkward position, the two looked more than comfortable. Possibly because they had shoved a few pillows under them and Cid himself served as pillow enough for Tifa, his broad chest and stomach supporting her form.
When she stretched, arms sliding up along his chest and towards his shoulders, her stomach turning to lay flat against his, Cid stirred. Still groggy, he looked down just in time to catch a kiss on his chin.
“We need to get up.” Even as Tifa said that she stretched to kiss him again, mouth warm and inviting under the evening sun.
“Can’t do that,” Cid murmured against her lips. Wide hands came up to hold her waist.
“You’re on top of me.”
Tifa laughed and made to move, but found him holding her tight.
“I can’t get up if you don’t let me.”
His arms wrapped around her back and pulled her against his chest once more. Turning his head, he nuzzled into the crook of her neck. “Mmm, that’s the idea.”
They had been arguing about somethin’. His smoking, or cursing, one or the other. Maybe both. Hell, he didn’t know. Then the axis of his world shuddered to a halt when he found himself inches from her, a pair of wine rose eyes meeting his blue. The silence held them both, the spaces in between them filling with each other’s presence. Her warm breath teasing his skin, his pulse quickening, time slowing to a crawl.
He shouldn’t. Didn’t have to clarify what he shouldn’t do. His body knew what it shouldn’t do. But she was pounding in his bloodstream, a beat rush, dynamite on his skin. Pull away. Put out the fuse.
A slip of pink darted from her mouth, wetting her lips before letting white teeth pull at the soft flesh. Fuck. He had to…. go. Cid exhaled, taking a moment to breathe her in, before letting his eyes close. This couldn’t happen. There were too many damn—
Tifa’s hand pressed against him, stilling his thoughts, and found its way up. Cid didn't have to open his eyes to feel her fingers fit delicately against his abs and slide over his chest, the material of his shirt dragging with the motion. In its wake, she left tension and heat, hand trailblazing a path that ended at his jaw. He turned, shying away, but her other hand stopped his motion.
A ghost of a whisper passed between them, unspoken words caught in both of their throats and only their memories carried on soft breaths. The space in between them was quickly shortening. If he opened his eyes now, would he get drunk off of those wine rose eyes?
Tenderly, her soft lips pressed against his, and he inhaled her. It was the last bit of friction, the igniter to this flame. His fingers found her waist, his thumbs pressing into her thighs. Just to hold her, to keep himself steady.
Her lips stretched against his and he mimicked her motions. It was a space of three heartbeats before his hands tightened and pulled her against him, her hands simultaneously sliding behind his neck and intertwining. Their kiss only deepened as the moments passed.
His teeth hooked softly into her lower lip, pulling down gently and eliciting a soft sigh that shuddered from her chest. He was more demanding after that, his hands sliding down her backside and picking her up. Tifa adjusted to the action and hooked her legs around his waist. Neither knew where they were going, but two heavy steps brought them to a counter that Cid sat her on. Kisses bleeding seamlessly into the next, her fingers curling and tightening in short strands of blond hair, the counter creaking under their weight, they found themselves lost to the frenzy of the moment as if worried that if they stopped the world might come crashing down around them.
The thrum of the shower woke Cid before anything else. He turned in the bed, sleep logic somehow dictating he would find Tifa there only to have his hand sweep across the empty bed sheet. His eyes creaked opened to find himself alone. Right, the shower. With a sudden thought coming to mind, Cid rolled out of bed.
It was a few steps to the bathroom, the door creaking open and closed behind him. Tifa gave a soft good morning through the hum of the water as he stripped and entered behind her.
“Mornin’,” Cid replied sleepily, hands resting on her waist to pull her close and press a kiss to her shoulder.
From her waist, his calloused hands smoothed over her stomach to cup her breasts. His mouth stayed on the curve of her neck, her back to his front while he teased and pleasured her until her soft moans arched towards the ceiling. Her head turned just enough that he could lean down to claim her mouth with a heated kiss. Her arm reached back, fingers sliding over the muscles of his shoulder and neck before curling through wet blond strands.
There was no hiding how hard he was, especially not as he felt it press against her thigh, but Cid kept his focus on her. Keeping one hand to hold her against his broad chest, the other dipped down between her legs. As soon as his finger slipped between her folds, Tifa’s chest hitched.
He entered slowly, pumping the length of his finger inside of her and drawing her sighs out into long moans. In the next stroke, another finger joined the first, stretching her slick walls around them. He felt her go limp and her legs spread, her soft pleas and the rock of her hips begging him to go deeper, encouraging him. As her hips moved, his responded, causing his length to slide teasingly between her legs.
"Goddamn, Tifa," he breathed against her neck. How badly he wanted to be inside of her and feel those walls clench tight around his cock rather than his fingers.
Her hand was on his wrist, keeping him there. "Don't stop," she murmured. "Ah- Ah- ! Cid!"
His hand left her breast to lift her leg, bearing more of her weight on him but allowing his fingers deeper access. The hum of the shower did little to cover the slick sound of his fingers pumping in and out of her rapidly or her the crescendo of her moans as she threw back her head and shuddered against his entire body. Even as she came, body twitching in the aftermath of her release, Cid held her against him for a moment longer to relish the feeling of her walls contracting around him. Once she was still, he slowly slipped out of her and brought his fingers to his mouth with a hum. Tifa turned in his arms, face flushed from both the lingering heat between her legs and the hot shower.
“I hope you weren’t planning on stopping there.”