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No title.
(2014-02-23 - Now)
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Tifa Lockhart Another day in the bar. SHe hasn't seen Zack since he sent her a message on her phone. Yeah, she has a phone, a 'MaBelle' of course, the only thing that works cross-dimension around here. She was a bit worried about him of course, but she figures he'll be fine, and he'll come back when his business is done. Or she'll meet him during some random travelling. Being an adventurer does that, you get around alot. And that allows you to get dressed into many nice things too. Not to mention getting out of that leather dress once in a while. That chinese dress looked fabulous on her.

She's hmming along as she works, cleaning up the tables with a rag as she sways to the music heard overhead. There's always much to do in the bar, or the inn part of it. Changing beds is usually Aerith's work though.
Zack Fair Zack Fair is not fine. Zack Fair is not fine at all.

Zack stumbles through the doors of the Cloud Nine. He's dressed as he always is - in that SOLDIER First Class suit, the Materia Blade close at hand. Except, unlike usual, he's not swaggering, since he's stumbling. The Materia Blade is a crutch, on which he is leaning heavily as he limps inside. That's particularly strange - he looks like he's nursing wounds, not exhaustion, but his body appears utterly untouched. His clothes, too. Is that some kind of SOLDIER magic?

He doesn't seem to recognize where he is for a second. It's almost like instinct - like a bird returning to the nest, or something. Zack stares, his bright Mako-tinged eyes unseeing, clouded by a haze. Then he fumbles to the floor, the Materia Blade spinning out of his hand, only to *thunk* against the wall harmlessly. The SOLDIER supports himself with his hand, but he's still down on his knees, and his arm is shaking. It shouldn't be - SOLDIERs can lift much more than their own body weight, and Zack isn't nearly that dense.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart blinks as she hears the door chime. And then before she can even realize who it is, if the chime didn't get her attention the crash on the ground would have. She drops the rag on the table and quickly moves to help you up, at least so you're not laying down at least. Or on your knees. "Zack! Are you alright?" He doesn't LOOK alright, not entirely anyway. Definitely got her concerned.

She's pretty strong, if you couldn't tellby looking, you can tell by how she slings him over her shoulder to drag him over to a chair, leaving the sword there for now. She'll go and pick it up in a moment, right now making sure Zack is okay is more important. She moves to get him a glass of water too. "Here, take this." She's not sure of what's affecthing Zack, but she'll make sure he's not thirsty at least.
Zack Fair Zack stares at her for a really long moment, like he doesn't quite know who she is. His eyes are unfocused, fuzzy, as he stares up into hers.

It takes him a really long moment to finally blink, and when he does, his eyes sharpen up, and he puts on his usual tough grin. Or he's gritting his teeth. Hard to tell. "Hey, beautiful...aren't you a sight for sore..."

Zack considers.

"...everything," he decides as he slumps down onto the floor. He's sitting, now, at least, as Tifa offers him the water, and he drinks it gratefully, slurping it down in a single go. Zack normally drinks a lot very quickly, though, so that's not out of the ordinary.

Zack sits there for a moment, just breathing in and out. Then he reaches up and grabs Tifa by the hand...and, if she doesn't resist, pulls her into a kiss. A really, really deep kiss.

His other hand wraps around the back of her head. His right hand. But he doesn't actually touch her with it - he just stares at it for a moment, like he's checking his watch. Finally, he releases her from the kiss, a wide grin on his lips.

"...hi. Sorry. Need to...check my phone...for a second."
Tifa Lockhart This is where it gets complicated.

First of all, its not like she hates Zack. She just didn't think they were at that point of their dating process. But hey, she did get him on a few dates and he didn't get anything for it. Maybe he wanted to bank on those in a single time.

But no, this is different. The look he gave her didn't seem to match what she remembers, and while he's flirty, its like he doesn't remember her either.

So... she doesn't slug him for that one. But for different reasons. She lets him kiss her, but doesn't really answer him. She just pulls back, and stares with a frown "... What happened to you?" She moves away, going to pick up the sword and setting it against the wall while you... 'answer your phone'. She's definitely concerned.
Zack Fair "I got...attacked," Zack exhales as he flips up his PHS. He taps on it for a second, then looks at his arm again. A moment later, he exhales and looks over at Tifa with a wide grin on his face. Yeah, he remembers her.

"Okay...I'm okay. Sorry about that, Tifa. I didn't really want...okay, no, I mean, I /definitely/ wanted to do that, I just didn't want to do it *yet*. Uh, like that. It's complicated." Zack moves over slowly and slumps against the wall next to her.

"...but I totally did want to do that. Just, y'know. At my pace." He laughs and brings his hand up to his forehead. "I've always been an at-my-own-pace kinda guy. Always preferred that. But it's been weird, lately. Hard to keep to that stuff."

"Sorry. Forgive me, okay? I hope it doesn't get in the way of our date plans." He flashes another big, broad grin up at her.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart shakes her head at, moving behind the counter to get two glasses. One is your favorite beer, the other is a glass of cool water. She places the beer in front of you on the table, as she leans down... and presses another kiss to your lips, mostly to catch you off guard... as she dumps the glass of water over your head right after "Now we're even, hope that cooled you off." She smirks as she moves away from the table to get the mop.

"You got me worried there, this is more like the Zack I know. What happened to you? Who attacked you that you couldn't brush off and left you in that state?" She seems ready to hear the story at least, as she cleans up the spill she made.
Zack Fair Zack picks up the glass off the floor seconds before Tifa plants another kiss on his lips. His eyes widen. Hey, he'd thought she'd been mad at-


Zack finds himself soaked. His black hair spills down over his back, flattening itself out, and he coughs as he sets the beer down. "Apfffthhh...pffffth....h-hey!" Zack protests, but it's a weak one. He got off light and he knows it. She could've kicked his butt six ways to sunday for that stunt. Heck, he probably would've.

When she starts mopping, Zack stands. He's a bit wobbly, but not too much so. He puts his hand on the mop and shakes his head. "Hey, let me do's my fault the floor's soaked, anyway."

Zack visibly shakes his head for a moment and stares at the wall. "I...dunno, honestly. I was just...I had a mission come in, y'know, something to get done, short window to do it in. I've been seeing a lot of Heartless all the way up the road, ever since I woke up with Ramza's team...but this time I'd almost swear somebody was running 'em. Chasing me down. Got a weird message, too, on my phone, back on Valentine's Day? 'Show Someone You Love Them'."

"So far, I've been getting lots of missions like these. They just kinda...come in. Usually on a time limit, too. This one was the weirdest. But I've...basically been running since Valentine's Day." Zack shrugs and closes his PHS, stowing it in his pocket. "'cause I couldn't think of anybody else I'd rather kiss, and I couldn't think of any other way to show somebody I love them."

He suddenly blanches. "Not that I'm saying that! I don't mean that I...I mean, we don't know each other's just, I didn't..."

Zack hangs his head, wet hair drooping over his face. " *totally* not what I meant. No matter where I go, foot-in-mouth syndrome, huh?" He laughs.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart listens to the story...

Then she laughs.

She refuses you the map though. She's the one that dumped the water and you're barely standing as it is.

"Well then, I'll take that as a compliment. Out of all of the girls you flirt with I was the first choice." She's taking it lightly enough it seems, but not mockingly. "There are plenty of ways to show someone you care thought, but if you were running out of time, let me be your savior." She smirks, twisting the mop into the pail.

"It looks like you had it rough. Anyway, don't worry about it. Next time you want to kiss me, I expect something a bit more long drawn and romantic than crashing through my front door."
Zack Fair Zack still holds the mop. If she won't give it to him, then they'll mop together. That's fine by Zack. He just holds one end, and she can hold the other, and they can move it along the floor and clean up the mess they both caused.

Unless she breaks it, or jerks it out of his hands completely, or pushes him through the wall.

"Yeah, well..." Zack shrugs and looks away. "What can I say? Being chased by Heartless across the World of Ruin kinda gives a guy a sens of perspective."

"So you're not mad, huh. That's good. I was a little worried. You're a pretty great girl, Tifa...I'd hate to just shut myself out of your life because of something stupid like that."

Zack takes his hand off the mop to check his PHS again. Yep. Money in the bank. Tifa can see him check his account, and can see the gil going up. For a kiss? Weird. Zack's not going to question it, though. It's a living.

"...and hey, I thought that was totally romantic. I stumbled in like a knight looking for a princess or something. You know, like out of that play, the one G-"

Who? Zack pauses, cutting himself off - and not voluntarily. He just stands there, frozen for a moment, like he's stuck. Then he comes unstuck a moment later, and carries on.

"-oing on at that bar across from GOBLINS? Loveless, I think?"
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart lifts her shoulders "As far as I know, its not like you've done anything that bad. Its just a kiss, you didn't throw me against a wall and tried to molest me." She points a finger at you "If that ever becomes one of your 'tasks', that might earn you a free flight to the next dimension, without any frequent flyer bonus."

She seems a little concerned at the sudden puase, but maybe you were just looking for the right words too? She can't be sure.

"Plus its not like I hate you. I do like you, but we didn't really get to that point, or at least I thought. Well, anyway, as long as you stay on my good side, I might consider rewarding you with more." She's teasing too. "And you might be a knight, but I'm no princess. I don't think you'll find a princess with my temper, serving drinks and kicking guys to the sidewalk.
Zack Fair It definitely seemed like Zack just forgot what he was saying mid-breath. It doesn't seem like he was searching for a word - it seems like he just shut off for a second. But he's fine now.

They mop the floors for a bit, Zack's hair slowly dripping down to make more mess. Eventually, he just takes off his shirt and rolls it up to squeeze over the bucket, since, hey, it's not like they aren't already cleaning up water.

Zack is almost totally unscarred.

That is impossible for any kind of warrior of any metric, letalone a SOLDIER First Class. Even if they heal fast, having no scars, at all, is literally impossible. Assuming Tifa's even looking at that aspect of it.

"You're a princess as far as I'm concerned," Zack replies cheerfully. "Okay, maybe you run a bar, but hey, that just makes you a princess with beer. And I bet you'd look great in a big ruffle dress."

Zack turns. His hand on the mop moves down to close around hers. His other hand swings around her hips, and he pulls her up against him, a grin on his face. "My lady," he says, attempting a very, very obviously fake accent, "May I have this dance?"
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart wonders about that too. Even she has a few scars after all, and she's not as much of a fighter than Zack is. But she doesn't know how she can ask about it either. 'Why don't you have scars' is a weird question out of the blue.

She eeps a bit as you grab her waist "Can you even stand up correctly?" She pushes on your chest lightly, as if testing your balance, smirking at you. She's pretty easy to grab, with her curves.
Zack Fair "Nah," Zack replies, his grin widening. "Can't dance, either. I figure I can fake 'em both. You can help me through it if I mess up too badly."

He keeps his hand on the mop the whole time as they move. He's slow, and unsteady - since he's injured and all, even if there aren't any visible ones - but he's also a SOLDIER First Class. Even if he's slow and unsteady, he makes it look real freakin graceful. Muscles like a fine machine move carefully, practiced, in time.

But that doesn't mean he's an instant expert. He steps on her foot a couple times.

Music might help, maybe. Zack pulls his hand off the mop for a moment, flips up his PHS, tosses it on the table, and lets it ring. His ringtone is very nice classical. Might be a song from LOVELESS.

"Sorry I scared you." Zack pushes his forehead against hers. "I got a bad habit of that, I guess. I don't take care of myself worth a damn."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart shakes her head, smiling "You didn't scare me that much, It'll take a bit more than that. Like Reize sliding out of the ground and grabbing my feet in the middle of haloween town. Now THAT was scary." She grins, and moves with you. Good thing she has strong boots, your stepping doesn't hurt her at least.

But she lays her forehead against yours, her arms moving aroundyou suppoertively "As long as you don't do anything to try to push me away, I'll be around okay?"
Zack Fair "Oh, well, it's good to know that me collapsing on your floor didn't scare you as much as that Reize kid grabbing your feet," Zack jokes. He laughs, though. He knows she cares. She can tell just by looking at him that he knows.

"Yeah...well, I don't think I'm gonna do that. Doesn't seem like a very smart move, where I'm standing." His grin widens. "If I push you away I'm probably gonna fall on you, and then we're gonna catch the bucket and get soaked and then we'll have to start mopping all over again."

"Not that I mind. I already did the glory and power and war thing once. Mopping's pretty fun, if it's with somebody you like."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart smirks again, palyfully "Oh, I see, so you have experience in mopping with other people hm? I'll just let you know that I'm not fond of threeways, so if I find you mopping with someone else, I won't be your friend anymore."

She grins as she pulls away, but still supports you enough to bring you back to your seat. You still have a beer to finish after all.

She goes to get herself some tea, sitting next to you at the table afterwards "You've been looking at your phone alot. Are you getting your tasks through it?"
Zack Fair "You know..." Zack says, "Honestly? I don't know if I do or not. I don't remember anybody...but then, I didn't remember you, either. And I don't think I'd be able to forget you. You're pretty amazing...if literally nothing else, I don't think I'd be able to forget your eyes."

"I have these...these eyes like the color of wine, yeah? They're deep and warm and I feel like I could just stare at them forever. I could never forget looking into these even for a minute...they'd stick with me. Unless we met in the worst circumstances, like, ever." Zack frowns. His frown deepens as he looks at Tifa. He wasn't being romantic, right there - no matter how romantic that might have sounded, he was serious, and it is clearly bothering him.

"You've got other unforgettable things, too. You're fun, and energetic, and you have a heck of a smile and one serious attitude. So why can't I remember you?" Frustration edges into his voice, and his hand tightens around the mop. "Why am I so sure that I've never met you? Because I *know* - I *KNOW* - there aren't any gaps!"

Zack makes an annoyed sound. It's kind of like a 'hrng.'

"...sorry. I guess that's kinda outta character for the big flirty hero, huh? And it's not what you wanted me to say." Zack's frown flips upwards to an easy smile, the easy smile he's been living behind for a while. "No. I'm not gonna mop with anyone else. So long as you're not gonna mop with anybody else, too."

"'cause...I'm enjoying this. You're a pretty good dancer."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart puts her hands on your cheeks when you say that, staring in your eyes so you can look carefully into hers "You mean from the first time we met in Nibelheim, don't you?" She knew that you were acting off and you couldn't remember. "I don't know what happened to you between the two, when we met and that incident. But obviously it left you in a weird state." She sighs a bit, shaking her head "But you know... it doesn't matter." She looks pretty serious at that too "What happened there is something I'd rather forget myself. But I simply cannot. But I don't let it get me down either. I believe in a brighter future, and it starts by forgetting the past, or rather building upon the ruins of it, making something new with the experience. So it doesn't matter if you don't remember. What matters is that you're here now."
Zack Fair Zack's face turns a bit red as she grabs his cheeks to stare into her eyes. Zack doesn't blush often. He's not really the kinda guy to get bashful. "I...uh, yeah, I do. You keep talking about that...but I *remember* Nibelheim. I remember what happened. I don't remember you there. At all. And while I could've forgotten it, maybe, that doesn't make any sense, I keep saying, you're kinda unforgettable. Even if I only saw you from one side, I'd remember you pretty well."

Zack drops the mop and puts both hands on her hips as she stares at him. "Tifa, I...I seriously don't know how much I can trust myself. That's pretty scary, don't you think? Because you keep saying you were there, and you...I mean, you didn't just pull the words out of thin air. What happened in Nibelheim was terrible. It was a tragedy. Unless you're working with ShinRa to capture me, and I don't think you are, your story pretty much checks out. You know things only ShinRa operatives or someone who was actually there would know."

"So why don't I remember you? Why can't I trust my own thoughts?" Zack bites his lip, hard. "And why isn't there a gap of any kind?"
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart shakes her head, releasing you after a moment "I can't answer that. I have no idea what happened to you. But if its what you want, maybe you should trace back what happened then, and see if anything else is missing from your memories. Like other people maybe. I'm the only survivor technically, but you should remember other people in the village, I'd think. We can work on that."

She thinks as well "I can't ask you if there's anyone else you don't remember, but I wonder if you've met other people that knew you but you didn't know them. Maybe there's a connection."
Zack Fair "I don't know if anyone else is missing, though," Zack reminds her. He hasn't released her. He's still got his arms tight around her waist as he stares into her eyes. It's like he really doesn't want to let go and look away, out of some vague and distant fear of forgetting her the second he turns. Like he'd fall. It's a big, scary difference from the normal Zack, where he's all swagger and confidence. This isn't the guy underneath the confidence - no, Zack is a confident guy, Zack *is* that guy - but this is definitely a side to him that Tifa hasn't seen before.

Maybe he's just more comfortable with her now.

He stops, and turns what she said over in his head. "...yeah, I...I do remember the people in the village. And I remember Sephiroth. He was a SOLDIER, right? I didn't know him very well, I don't think - that's the first memory I have of him."

"...weird." Zack frowns. "You'd think...I mean, I was First Class, and he was First Class..."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart listens to you, letting you take a hold of her for now. You need the reassurance that you're not disapearing, and neither is she. "See, that's a sign of something else going on. You don't have other memories of him, yet you were in the village together. You arrived together. You travelled together. Is that a blur? How about the other ones in your team, there was at least 4 other guards with you, lesser ranked. And go before that, do you remember anything of your time in SOLDIER?"

She's trying to help, but she doesn't want to prod too deeply either. Its complicated after all, maybe its something he rather not remember.
Zack Fair t "...seriously?" Zack asks, staring at Tifa. He still doesn't let go. Admittedly, part of this might just be that Zack is Zack. Even if he's nervous...well, he's stil Zack.

He scratches the side of his head, briefly. "I...don't remember that. I remember going to the village. But I don't remember him being there. He just kinda...showed up out of nowhere, y'know? Like, one minute we were in the reactor, and the next...there's that Sephiroth guy."

Zack frowns. Really hard. "Yeah, I remember time in SOLDIER. I wasn't very close to anybody, though. I didn't have a lot of people I was friends with that I can recall. And I don't remember anyone else on that team, either...four-man team, you said? I don't...really remember anything of that."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart nods, and pokes your forehead lightly "See, there's alot more than me you're forgetting. Something happened to you. We should probably try to figure out what, and if there's a way to undo whatever happened. I can't tell you how, or why... but I'm with you alright?" She smiles, giving all of the comfort she can provide with. That's the work of the barmaid as well.
Zack Fair "You promise?" Zack asks quietly. He's not used to this kind of thing. Intimacy actually scares him almost as much as having to rest on somebody else. They're kinda...connected, though, aren't they?

Zack lets the mop fall to his side. He laughs, awkwardly. "So...does this count a nice, slow, romantic circumstances? 'cause I feel like I oughta kiss you."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart smiles, and simply moves her arms around your neck "This doesn't count as anything romantic, no. But I do appreciate what you said earlier, about my eyes, not wanting to forget about me, and being the first that you ran to when you were tasked with finding someone to show them you like them."
Zack Fair Zack makes a face. "All that and I still don't get a second kiss. Are we at least at even...and not off for dinner? Maybe tonight?"
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart laughs "Who said I wouldn't give you one." She smiles, and just leans in for another, sweet kiss this time, not trying to trick you like before. It doesn't last long either. Whe she pulls away, she just says "That doesn't mean you can do it anytime. Just gotta deserve it." She winks.
Zack Fair Zack...yeah, Zack is perfectly okay with that. He leans into the kiss, his hands going up into her hair to really, really enjoy it. The effect is probably a little bit lost, because his hair is still dripping with water, since he's got a ton of hair and she used a whole glass of water. She'll probably enjoy it more next time, Zack decides, when his hair doesn't look like somebody shot a dog and draped it on his head.

"Then I'm gonna have to do my best to deserve it, huh? Maybe after that dinner tonight that I decided we're gonna go to when I get cleaned up." He makes a face.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart grins "Well I made you this way huh? You can borrow my shower. I won't peek, promise." Wouldn't it be the other way around usually? But that's alright, when she's playful like that its usually a good sign too.
Zack Fair "You totally can if you want," Zack jokes. "As long as you promise me you'll look ultra-sexy for this date." He makes a face, then heads out to shower and change.

This scene contained 32 poses. The players who were present were: Tifa Lockhart, Zack Fair