Into Thin Air drabble (2015-06-18)

“You think I didn’t grieve for you?” Windy spits at her stupid brother, so small and so trusting of everyone else except for her, “You think just because I’m wearing this suit, because I didn’t choose to start bombing random buildings, that I don’t love you? That I stopped being your sister?” She hates that they even have to have this conversation, but she hates that they’re having this out in front of fucking Lockheart and the rest of the ragtag band of AVALANCHE terrorists even more.

Cloud says nothing. Because he’s always been taciturn and shy but in this case it’s probably because to him Windy’s just some stranger with a similar face. Worse, a ShinRa stooge with a similar face. As far as he’s concerned, he doesn’t owe her anything.

Windy shakes off that thought, straightens his back, and continues his tirade, “You are my brother, Cloud. You will always be my brother. I have always tried to help you. Even now. Even now when you don’t remember who you even are, much less who I am. When you think of me as an enemy. I don’t need you to like me back, and I don’t need you to love me back, and that fucking,” zie chokes out, voice thick in hir throat, “It fucking tears at me, okay? But that doesn’t mean I won’t help you.”

Zie’s trying not to cry, but is obviously failing spectacularly because zie can feel the twin trails of wetness on her cheeks. In her peripheral vision, blurred as it by her tears, she can see the rest of AVALANCHE shift uncomfortably but remain in their watching. His hand, bereft of his bow, clenches compulsively around empty air.

And still Cloud says nothing.

“We’re the Strife twins. We were the pariahs of Nibelheim and we traveled half the world to go try out for SOLDIER and fail out because they’re sexist prigs and you had more heart than skill and I helped you through all of that. And I’m sorry I wasn’t there when General Sephiroth went mad and burned our shitty hometown to the ground and nearly killed you, and I’m sorry I wasn’t there when that asshole Hojo faked your death and spent the last four years experimenting on you, and I’m sorry I wasn’t there when you were apparently wandering around in a catatonic state for anyone,” zie pointedly does not look at Lockheart, “to pick up and indoctrinate. But I’m here now, okay? And if you want to blow up my employer’s property then I will help you do that. If you want to kill Hojo, I will more than gladly help you do that. So please–”

“Windy,” Cloud finally says, brow furrowed.

“What?” Zie responds immediately, both in confusion and for clarification.

“Your name is Windy. Not Winter.”

“Yes…”

“Not Wind, either.”

“Okay?”

“Cloud and Windy Strife,” he adds, unhelpfully.

“Excuse you, it’s Windy and Cloud Strife. I’m older,” she argues automatically, before biting off whatever else she was going to say because…

Cloud steps closer, hand outstretched. Zie freezes, eyes opened wide, as he carefully brushes away hir tears.

It’s not very comfortable, the fabric of his gloves rough against hir face, and it’s not very effective either because it’s still obvious that zie had been crying, but it’s the thought that counts.

~

A/N: I haven’t actually played the game so I don’t know shit. That being said, I personally don’t hate Tifa. I just think that Windy, having grown up in Nibelheim alongside Cloud and Tifa would not like Tifa very much as a kid and then especially not after her honest misunderstanding basically brainwashed Cloud.

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