app for onepassingnight
Character name: Cloud Strife
Character fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Contact Info: PM or here
Canon point: Cloud will be taken from after the OG, during the Case of Tifa storyline. Just toward the end of it in fact, as he's getting closer to feeling as if he just might have this whole 'family' thing doable, but he's already contracted Geostigma and just hasn't realized it yet.
Importing development from old game? na
Changes from canon, if AU: na
Cloud is essentially a protector.
From a very early age, perhaps because he grew up with a single mother in a backwater part of the planet, Cloud equated caring about someone with being able to protect them. His driving force for most of his life has therefore been about the need to be strong enough, fast enough, smart enough, on the ball enough, to do so. Surprisingly resilient in other areas of his life, the failures to protect the people he loves are the ones that drag him down and take apart his confidence in his future abilities to do so. His guilt over both Zack and Aerith's deaths, ones he believes he could have prevented if he had only been 'good enough', haunt him deeply. The guilt grows stronger each day as he realizes that his own personal life, which makes him so happy, is one that they should have been able to experience themselves... if not for him.
Cloud has issues with his self-esteem. It started when he was still a child, an outcast from his peer group and continued on into his ShinRa career where he failed to make SOLDIER despite his desperate desire to do so. He sees each failure of his as a personal failure whether it's something that's truly a failing on his part or not. Forgiving of other people's faults, he hones in on his own and digs at them, rarely content to simply accept or let something like that go. Saving the world has done little to change his opinions of himself. He's as determined to try to live up to his own impossible standards as ever though, intent of making sure he 'gets it right' when it comes to his family. Even if he's really pretty lost when it comes to how to do that and is currently falling back on stereotypes in his attempts.
Despite being a warrior, Cloud's focus is on life, not death and he sees his family and his future as his chance. He has everything he wants. He sees a potentially hopeful future with Tifa and the children they've adopted and he very much wants to have it work. His issues however have him constantly second-guessing himself and whether he is both capable of making it work and being what his family needs as well as fearing that he isn't and that he will let them down. He doesn't exactly trust his new found happiness either because he's been happy before and had it taken, violently, away from him. His mother's death, his stolen youth, the loss of his best friend, the murder of the girl he'd promised to protect... Cloud's list is long and there's a part of him that can't fully embrace what he has now because he's waiting, proverbially, for the other shoe to drop.
Given all of that, Cloud is still a stubbornly persistent person. When he sets his mind to something, whether it's to keep a childhood promise or to stick it out with his family and make it work, he won't turn his back on it. He has a narrow minded focus which can easily border into obsession if pushed and once he starts something he'll do everything in his power to see it through. Aware of his mistakes - and even dragged by guilt for them - he will still push forward. It served him well in his hunt for Sephiroth and he's dogged in his determination to make the concept of his family work now despite what he sees as his many faults and false starts. All bets are off once he realizes he has Geostigma and starts hearing voices in his head again because at that point he will assume he's a threat to his family, but for now, he's in it for the rest of his life as far as he's concerned and he's not going to quit despite his perceived inabilities.
Given his withdrawn, almost shy nature, Cloud has a huge heart with room for everything from treacherous robots to thieving ninjas. Possibly because of his own struggles for acceptance when he was younger, Cloud tends to accept people as they are and his ability to overlook faults is a gift. Once his loyalty is give, it's given for good and he'll put himself through a great deal to help a friend. He views everyone that he cares for as a friend and teammate and does his best to protect and provide for them. They may be a rag-tag and motley group but there's no question that they're a team and in it to the very end for each other and Cloud is their natural leader, taking the spot not because he asked but because it suits all of them the best. His ability to cherish others extends to a lesser degree to the rest of the world in general and his job delivering goods across long, hostile distances helps fulfill his need to provide and protect. In helping to both destroy and save the world, as well as thanks to his perceived obligation to Aerith, Cloud feels a great responsibility to the rest of the planet.
At the end of the day though, Cloud is still just a young man figuring out where he stands in the world. He has a dry sense of humor that tends to manifest as snark if he feels the person he's dealing with deserves it or can take it and he enjoys driving fast, playing hard, and the exhaustion that comes at the end of a well done, long day. He feels both awkward around children and yet finds them easier to relate to than adults and he has a need for touch even if he rarely allows himself to instigate it with anyone but kids. He likes being in charge, he likes knowing that everyone is safe and cared for and that it's his doing, and he likes feeling needed. Due to losing over four years of his life during what should have been strongly socially developmental years, he often misses social cues and he's aware of it. He's also not above playing dumb if it's more comfortable for him to pretend he doesn't notice the pretty girl flirting with him. He's confident in his abilities physically and likes to push the boundaries of them just to see how far he can go. He's very much the one to take on the world to protect what he cherishes. At the end of the day, he's got what it takes. Sometimes he just needs a bit of a push to get there.
- SOLDIER type abilities: Cloud is faster, stronger and heals quicker than the average person from his planet. His reflexes are enhanced and so is his endurance.
He also jumps like a frog hopped up on meth and seems to have only a vague acquaintance with gravity.
- Swords: Cloud trained with a rifle while he served in the ShinRa army but his natural affinity and exclusive weapons for years now have been over-sized swords.
- Limit Breaks: Cloud has the ability to carry out special maneuvers and attacks after his body has taken enough beating to trigger them. Most of these attacks are infused with extra energy as well, lending to an almost magic kind of boost to the damage and range of the attacks.
- Materia: Cloud has the ability to use materia, the solidified version of the life energy that flows through his planet. Equipping these orbs allows him to use what is effectively magic and to summon monsters to fight for him. With the rest of the planet giving up mako power - which was essentially draining the life energy of the planet to power their lamps and TVs - Cloud has also cut back on his use of materia. Practicality however has him keeping them available for emergencies.
- Country Boy: Cloud's used to roughing it and his survival skills are pretty well developed thanks to his years living in the mountains and then later traipsing across the planet.
- Mechanic: Cloud has a knack for bikes at least, having rebuilt Fenrir almost from the ground up. Whether this skill extends to other vehicles is unknown as he's never been motivated to try.
- Tactics: Cloud is a thinking fighter and learns from his battles with his opponents. He's good at using whatever is available to him during a fight be it terrain, weather, or even the side door compartment on Fenrir. He learns from his mistakes and isn't afraid to admit when he's made them.
- Ambidextrous: self-explanatory. Though Cloud is predominantly right handed, he can use his left independently and with just as much dexterity, particularly when fighting with multiple swords.
- Empathy: Cloud is extremely empathetic to others, due in large part to his acute awareness of his own awkward footing in his life. He just has a problem figuring out what to do in response to his observations.
- Details: Due to his own self-awareness as well, Cloud has a sharp eye and attention for details. A great deal of this is because he is aware he often misses social cues and he tends to rely on other people's reactions to figure out what his own should be.
Disguise: Cloud is a master of disguise having not only passed himself off as a ShinRa grunt despite being in a SOLDIER uniform and having no marching or parade ground abilities whatsoever but has even managed to infiltrate gangster hideouts dressed as a woman.
He sat on Fenrir where he'd parked it across and slightly down the narrow street from the bar. It was raining and the awning he'd parked under only helped a little. Midgar rain was always gray, always dirty and it had a tendency to trickle down off of things and find the back of your neck or somehow find a way to soak into your socks. It was leftover from the mako reactors and the destruction that Edge was so haphazardly built on and around, he'd heard and it made sense.
Every time it rained here, he wondered which people he'd known and what strangers he hadn't were part of the ash mixed into the weeping clouds that ran clammy fingers down between his shoulder blades and coated Fenrir's sleek shine with a discolored film that he'd have to wipe away before he put the bike away for the night or the film would discolor the paint and corrode the metal.
He thought he'd forgotten to wipe the film off his of own life a long time ago and now it was too late.
Just a little way from where he sat was warmth and a dry place and solid food. It was smiling faces and quiet greetings and a place that was always kept just for him. His place. Not because he'd fought for it or earned it, but just because the other people in that little house had decided it was so. There were three of them now - waiting for him to get back. Tifa, who he always seemed to make wait. Marlene, who was used to waiting for the men in her life who so seldom came. And Denzel. Denzel who was... waiting for his hero to show up.
He was going to wait a long time for that.
A house full of waiting people. Waiting for him.
Some days he could understand that. Some days he knew he'd done everything right the night before and he could see Tifa's quiet smile of happiness that morning before he went out the door in the morning pre-light. Some days were happy days, with Marlene and her crayons and Denzel out of his sick bed, asking questions about everything in the world. Days like those were the kinds of days that seemed to last all week long and they made his chest feel light. Like... like he was finally doing something important, something right. His family was happy and secure and they knew he loved them more than anything else in the world. Days like those he knew that anything was possible. He'd earn Aerith's forgiveness, he'd prove to Zack that he hadn't died for nothing. Saving the world wasn't enough. That had been about killing someone. Living... making the people he loved happy... keeping them safe... that was what really mattered. That was how he proved he was worthwhile.
Yesterday... hadn't been one of those days though. And now he was sitting in the rain, less than a block from where he wanted to be, wet and miserable and wondering... wondering why he thought he had a right to be a part of that warmth and light and love. Wondering... if maybe they would be better off without him.
He didn't want to be anywhere else. He wanted to be in there, with them. He wanted to feel the press of the children against his arms while he went over the receipts for the day and they gathered close to show and tell him everything they'd done that day and the touch of Tifa's gentle hand on his shoulder when she brought him his warmed over dinner. He wanted to be there. With them. More than anything.
He just - what if he blew it? What if tonight was the night he finally did something so bad that they all decided they didn't need him anymore and went off without him? He knew it was stupid. Tifa hadn't left him even when he'd been nothing but a pathetic drooling mess but... the fear was still there.
What if today was the day they finally left him?
Or got taken away?
The bolt of fear was sudden - and familiar - and no less gut wrenching than it was each and every single time it hit him. His gloved hands tightened on Fenrir's handles and the bike roared to life from its idle, jarring him out of his mental images of Denzel's empty eyes and black coated face, of Marlene's crushed body. Of Tifa in a pool of her blood, sliced open and cold, her silent 'you came too late' still lingering in the air. He swallowed hard against it, knowing it was all in his head. That Tifa was strong and the kids were smart and Edge was safe. But wasn't everywhere always safe - at the beginning?
Firm, he shook his head at himself, water spattering out of his hair. No. He couldn't do that. He couldn't let himself panic. The lights were still showing in the windows of the bar. The open sign was in place. He'd already watched three people duck inside against the lousy night and not come dashing back out screaming. Everyone was fine.
He was fine.
He still let Fenrir roll forward, keeping the pace nice and sane and calm. Tifa would look at him funny and worry if he went wildly tearing into the bar, wide eyed and worried. And then she'd worry. And he hated worrying her. So he took Fenrir down the side of the building and parked it, even taking the time to pull the keys out of the ignition.
But he forgot about needing to rub it down as he silently let himself into the golden light of the bar called Seventh Heaven.
dear_mun linkage (in which I was really lucky to get some great writers to bounce off of)