sekiharatae: sexy Cloud (sexy Cloud)
[personal profile] sekiharatae
Title: Pen Pals, Fan Clubs, and SOLDIERS
Words: 950
Note: This is set in the Fidelity universe. I'm not sure why, but my brain insisted I write it. Just how did Tifa find out about Cloud's fan club?

Tifa carefully inspected the small, elegant envelope. Made of heavy paper bearing a floral imprint around the flap, it was far more dainty than anything she would ever have expected to receive, given that she knew exactly two people - both male - who lived outside of Nibelheim, and couldn't imagine either of them sending her anything. Well, no, she could imagine one of them sending her something all too well, but he hadn't as of yet, and was unlikely to start with flowered envelopes and green ink.

She was therefore somewhat dubious about the delivery, even if it was post-marked Midgar. Nevertheless, there on the front, penned by an obviously feminine hand, were her name and address.

Carrying the mail inside to the kitchen table, she used a butter knife to break the seal while leaving most of the imprint intact. Her first real correspondence might be worth saving, provided it didn't prove to be some ridiculous scam.

I may already be a winner! she thought. And if it's an all expense paid trip to Midgar, I'll take it.

Inside were a single sheet of stationery, a perfect match for the envelope, and a carefully folded flyer printed on the glossy paper normally used for magazines.

Dear Tifa,

I hope you won't think me too strange, writing you out of the blue and all, but Zack's told me so much about you that I feel like we're old friends.

Oh no. Is this going to be one of those letters? Tifa wondered, worrying her bottom lip. The kind where she mistakes me for The Other Woman and warns me off? She hadn't the faintest interest in Zack as anything more than a friend. Her sights were firmly set on an entirely different SOLDIER.

He's been filling me in on Operation... well, to be honest it's had so many different names by now that it's hard to keep track of which one we're actually using. I think we may have settled on Operation: Chocobo's First Date, but Operation: Kiss Her You Fool was mentioned more than once as well.

Smiling, Tifa took a seat at the table. Apparently, this wasn't going to be one of those letters at all. She wasn't exactly sure what kind of letter it was, but the author definitely knew Zack, and clearly had a sense of humor.

Now, I don't know what you have planned, but I figure anyone setting out to catch herself a SOLDIER - particularly one who can out-stubborn Zack - can probably use all the advantages she can get. Which is why I think you should take a look at the enclosed flyer.

I imagine having the "inside scoop" on this could prove invaluable.

Good luck!


P.S. I hope to meet you if and when you make it to Midgar. If Operation Whatever works out, maybe we can double date. ~A

P.P.S. I tried to be careful about folding it. I don't think there are any creases on his face. ~A

Even more curious than before, Tifa set the letter aside to inspect the flyer. When Aerith said she'd been careful, she wasn't kidding: the sheet had been folded into precise rows around a single rectangle, roughly the same size as the envelope, which had been left absolutely pristine. There, centered neatly in the uncreased space, was a candid photo of Cloud. It was just from the neck up, but... Guh. He was smiling shyly, just a little, and one gloved hand was self-consciously rumpling those short, fluffy spikes at the nape of his neck. The ones her fingers itched to touch.

Aerith, she thought, you are my new best friend.

After a few moments of unabashed adoration, she turned her focus to the actual text on the thing.

Has Crimson become too flashy for you? Has Silver grown too cold? Is Honor no longer enough to keep you warm at night?

If you're looking for a new SOLDIER to fuel your fantasies, then look no further: the answer is Gold.

Inside sources tell us this unassuming young man has recently outpaced the original three Firsts in terms of simulated kills, and is on track to set the record for shortest time in service before making First himself. Yet his accomplishments haven't changed him. He's still that handsome boy-next-door, now perfectly packaged in a SOLDIER uniform.

Gold is sincere. Gold is warm. Gold is honor-bound, but approachable.

Gold is real.

Join Golden Chocobo, the fan club for up-and-coming SOLDIER Second Class Cloud Strife, and let Gold start fulfilling your fantasies today.

Tifa was in tears by the end, and laughing so hard she could barely breathe. It only got worse when she belatedly realized the imaginary "announcer" in her head was Zack. Oh, Gaia. Poor Cloud would probably be mortified when he found out.

And yet...

The idea that he actually had his own fan club was kind of amazing. Even if it was named after a giant bird. The fact that its crest bore a rather striking resemblance to Cloud's spiky hairstyle was hardly his fault; she had it on good authority that his hair did that all on its own.

Besides, who better to comfort him - to get him through the revelation with his ego intact - than the one girl guaranteed to adore him no matter what?

And he could hardly complain that she'd decided to join, right? The club was made for people like her!

After all, The Golden Chocobo had been fulfilling her fantasies for years. She had dibs.
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