Tifa - Chapter 2

This content is the second chapter of the Case of Tifa.

Tifa went to see Aerith together with her companions. Aerith who was now at the bottom of the Forgotten City's spring. The world she wanted to save in exchange for her life would surely be all right now. That's what they were told. Tifa heard a voice asking if she was all right. She didn't know if it was Aerith's voice or her own. She couldn't help it but started crying. Right after Sephiroth took Aerith's life, Tifa felt no grief towards her death. There was sadness but that sadness was made into more anger and hatred she had towards the enemy. At least now she understood the sadness and pain she felt, tearing her heart apart as she visited the place. Being a member of AVALANCHE and being with a large group of people gave her these feelings. The tears wouldn't stop.

"I'm sorry, I'm really sorry."

She felt Cloud's hand on her shoulder. He held onto her firmly so that she wouldn't go anywhere. For now, she was just going to let herself cry as much as she felt like. Then she was going to leave the rest to him.

Alone, she just didn't know what she could do.

Tifa and the companions that she was with for the whole trial of the journey separated just as easily as they joined. Vincent left just like one of those passengers that would sit next to you on a train. Yuffie protested. It just wasn't right for them to split up this way after all they've been through as friends. Barret was the one who said to her that they could see each other whenever they wanted if they all lived. Or maybe it was Cid. After promising to reunite one day, Tifa, Cloud and Barret separated from the others leaving for Corel Town. It was Barret's hometown. The tragedies that occurred there because of Mako was what started everything for him. Standing silently for a moment, he told the others not to follow him. He too had to go on living bearing sins.

They also went to Nibelheim, Tifa and Cloud's hometown. They didn't feel any nostalgia. They were reminded clearly of the incident that took place in the town.

"I shouldn't have come, " said Cloud. "It draws me back to the past."

Cloud's words spoke out for the way Tifa felt too.

They then went to Kalm. There waiting for them was Aerith's foster mother Elmyra and the girl that was left in her care, Marlene. Two of Elmyra's relatives had a house in Kalm and that was where they stayed. Barret and Marlene were happy to see each other again. Cloud told Elmyra what had happened to Aerith.

There were no signs how they accepted what had happened but Tifa, Cloud and Barret apologized for not being able to save Aerith.

"You all done what you could. There's no need for you to apologize," said Elmyra.

Tifa and the others couldn't say anything in reply.

Did we really do all we could?

There were many people who arrived in Kalm to take refuge. The normal houses became emergency shelters. The residents of Kalm didn't charge them even though they could. Even the inn provided rooms for the people in need for free. It was like everyone was cooperating to rebuild the world.

"Come on, lets go home," said Cloud.

"Where to?" Barret asked.

"Our suspended reality."

"What the hell do you mean by that?"

"Our normal lives."

"And where do we have something like that?"

"We'll find one." Cloud looked at Tifa and said, "Right?"

"Yeah!" cried the cheerful Marlene. Tifa too nodded but just like Barret, she wondered where they had a normal life.

The four of them arrived back at Midgar. The city had recovered from all the shock and chaos that took place right after Meteor was destroyed. People were on the move again looking towards their future… No, their present lives for the time being. Seeing this made Tifa blame herself again. When she looked at Midgar from the sky she wished everything was just got washed away. She didn't know there were still so many lives here. Tifa couldn't forgive herself for being so selfish. She told Cloud and Barret what she was thinking when they were on the airship. Barret and Cloud understood how she felt and agreed. But they reminded her that no matter where they were or what they were doing, they wouldn't be able to get away from the sins in their consciousness.

"Since that's the case, we'll live on. We'll live on until we pay back for our sins. It's the only way," said Barret.

When Tifa and Cloud were alone, Cloud said to her, "It's not like you to be troubled by your thoughts."

"It's… Just the way I am."

"No. You're much more cheerful and strong. If you've forgotten the way you were then, I'll be there to remind you."

"You really will?"

"Probably," Cloud said blushing.

The first thing they done was gather information in and around Midgar. There was a lack of materials but importantly, there wasn't any information being passed around about where to get things. The three of them split up and went around sharing the information they gathered with those who were in need, about where they could get the things they wanted. They helped the people that couldn't move on their own. At night, they slept under a plate in Midgar where rumors had it that it could fall anytime.

One day, Barret came back with a wine jar, a heater and various fruits. They were given to him as thanks for helping someone dismantle a house.

"Just watch," Barret told them as he skillfully started working on some cooking that they've never seen before. The alcohol had been left to stand for two weeks since then. They found out that it was some special wine made in the town of Corel. Tifa and Cloud sipped their wine slowly. Barret was drinking so much that you could probably bathe in the amount he drank. He looked like he was enjoying it as he talked about his memories of the peaceful times. Drunk, he fell into a well. It's been a long time since Tifa and Cloud burst out laughing.

The next day, Barret said in a serious tone, "How about we started a business and sold this wine?"

"We?" Cloud asked, surprised.

"Of course, you idiot! We can't draw customers! Tifa will have to do it."


"You're good at it."

Not long ago, AVALANCHE's hideout was at a bar named Seventh Heaven. It was what funded the members lives and activities. Tifa was the barmaid there or more accurately, the bar's manager. Barret continued.

"From my point of view, the people of Midgar can be split into two types. Those dilly dallying around who still can't accept what's happened to the city and those who are working to live on. I understand how both types of people are feeling. Everyone is facing their problems but they're just coping with it in different ways right? The solution to everyone's problem is wine."

"Why is that?"

"I dunno. But when we were half drunk yesterday, we laughed. We forgot all sorts of things right? That's the moment we're after."

"Yeah, I guess you're right."

"Times like that are important ain't they? Hey Tifa, what do you think?"

Tifa couldn't answer right away. She understood what Barret was saying but, opening up a bar felt like going back to the times of AVALANCHE again. Cloud spoke up.

"Tifa, lets give it a go. If it gets too tough, we can just stop."

"It won't be tough. If Tifa doesn't work she'll end up thinkin' about all sorts of things. Then she'll end up not being able to do anything."

That might have been true.

The three of them made preparations. They decided to build their new business in the new city of Edge that was north of Midgar.

All the people that Barret and Cloud had helped before gathered together. They all transported all the materials that would be used to build parts of the store such as the walls and pillars.

Barret shouted out his orders while Cloud went around correcting them in a low voice. Tifa on the other hand learned how to make Corel's wine and improved it so that it was better to drink. She also thought of the food she could put on their menu using the steady supply of ingredients they could use. Marlene was like a mascot to the people who helped build their bar. It was as if she was emphasizing at how she was going to be the new barmaid. It was hard work solving problems that rose everyday but it was some fulfillment for them. Sometimes Tifa would find herself feeling guilty for her sins when she smiled but, she would always get interrupted as someone calls her over to ask about something.

A few days more and they might be able to open the new bar, Cloud said. Barret asked what they were going to do about the name. There were a few suggestions but Cloud's ones were all meaningless and boring while Barret's ones made them think of monsters. In the end, it was Tifa who had to decide. The two men promised her that they wouldn't complain no matter what the name was. But it was nearing opening day and Tifa didn't have the time to think about it with all the work she had to do. One day, Marlene came and asked them what they were going to do about the bar's name.

"We're still thinking about it."

"I wish it was Seventh Heaven," said Marlene. It was a name Tifa wanted to avoid.

Just having the past in me was enough. There was no need to go to the trouble of making a name that would remind me of it.


"Because it was fun. If we make it Seventh Heaven we'll have fun again."

We had forgotten how adults had ambitions but, Marlene had nothing to do with them. To her, Seventh Heaven was a happy home where Barret, Tifa and her friends were.

"Hmmmm, Seventh Heaven…"

I couldn't erase my past. I could only compromise and live on.

Tifa decided she was ready.

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