Cold air tainted the now translucent glass as what remained of their small ‘family’ gathered around the television, attentively watching another Christmas movie with a title she could not recall. The lights adorning their small tree flickered in a corner, like precious stones shining on a blanket of emerald beauty. Despite the medley of laughter and joy that filled the warm, cozy atmosphere, Tifa’s attention was elsewhere, somewhere far away from their small home. Her eyes were fixed on the wooden door in the distance which she usually kept ajar in warmer weathers for a certain… someone.
Snow came after much anticipation from the youth of the city, but joy was the last thing on her mind when she saw the cold crystals. To know that someone was still out there in the harsh cold troubled her to no end. All she could think of was her longing for him to return from the lengthy delivery he had been assigned.
Silently, she ascended the flight of stairs and peeked into his office. Slim digits searched for the light-switch as eyes were fixated on the leather chair tucked neatly behind the wooden desk, occupied by piles of organised documents. With a melancholic sigh, she approached what was known as his working space and rested her hand upon the dust-adorned chair. The overwhelming stillness was disturbed by her presence and she suddenly felt consumed by a sense of nostalgia that she could not escape.
"He better come home soon…" With a heavy sigh, she left the room and returned to the warm space below.
"It’s bedtime!" She chimed, adorning a bright smile that appeared untainted by her melancholic feelings.
He still had yet to completely bring his body about. The lean of the powerful muscles that composed him remained lax beneath layers of leather and metal. Any tension she exuded flowed through him, ever redirected by his overwhelming calm, to suffocate her with her own nervousness. Sephiroth’s level gaze was unchanged even by the slander she exuded; he never expected any of them to understand. The only difference was now a bemused flicker split the thin line of his lips. Then he spoke, voice lowly toned and habitually projected so that she would without a doubt hear every word.
"Why are you pretending to be sad?”
Hatred coursed through her veins, accompanied by a trembling coldness which claimed her spine. Unclad digits tightened and the sharp sensation of nails conquered her palms. She watched him with knuckles tainted with ghostly white, an indicator of the pressure and hatred that had erupted inside. Forgotten memories of his haunting tone returned, bringing with it the fabric of pure disgust she had always possessed for this.. man. Her stubborn tongue began its curse as she spoke in a low hiss.
"I am not pretending anything! You must be destroyed. There are no places for the likes of you here.”
The ex-SOLDIER paused to slowly pivot on the heel of his boot. Without quite turning all the way his eyes sought her out. His taller frame cast a bold and far longer shadow over her smaller but nonetheless determined stance. She had called him by name as if surprised to see him; weren’t they all, he thought, though the irony was not enough to alter his expression. Sephiroth watched her as she tensed, doubtlessly about to speak again, and in the depths of his mako enhanced eyes he lacked any regard for her life.
How convenient that he should run into her here after speaking to Cloud earlier. She would become a worthy invitation for his favored adversary.
Words and anger condensed at her throat, failing to move past her lips. Her tongue froze upon seeing the monster she had loathed. Brows furrowed to convey what her words had failed to as she watched him —cautiously and fearfully though the latter she had tried to hide. Crimson optics could almost see the blood that had drenched his hands and the flaming orange hue that had danced upon his visage that fateful day.
Fists clenched as she read his features, recalling the expression of disregard and ignorance he had wore long ago.