intraspective: ([Iris] judging princess)
[personal profile] intraspective
This time of night all the good boys and girls were in bed.

At least, they usually were in the stories. Ino knew far, far too much about how Midgar (and life in general) worked to think that being up late was any real indicator of good or badness.

She didn't have to be out tonight, patrolling, and she wasn't officially on the clock anyway (not that that meant much) but she'd been away for the last few weeks, out in Wutai since it was easy for her to pass as a native there, and so she wanted to reacquaint herself with her home.

Midgar was an ugly city, all dark metal, rust, and green smoke skies. She still thought it was beautiful, when she saw the flicker and glitter of mako lit streetlights and the old empty-eyed fallen trains. Beautiful in a lonely sort of way, which suited her mood completely.

There'd been no time, out in Wutai to celebrate her birthday (she was twenty-two now), and while the Turks had offered to take her out tonight, none of them had been surprised when she'd begged off. They could go drinking without her.

As she usually did, when she was in this sort of mood, her footsteps ghosted her to Aerith's church. This time of night, Aerith wasn't there. Aerith was (mostly) a good girl.

Letting the door slip shut behind her, Ino approached the flowers, somehow lit by the moon despite the plate overhead (she knew, she'd gone looking once and it still didn't make sense), and knelt down to touch them.

"Hey," she said, smiling slightly as her hair spilled over her shoulders to touch the flowers too. "How've you been? Being good for your mom?"

[OOC: Expecting one, but open for calls/texts, sure.]

Date: 2016-10-08 12:42 am (UTC)
puppy_fair: (Happy!)
From: [personal profile] puppy_fair
It was one of the quiet nights. There weren't many of those, really, but sometimes, sometimes Hojo wasn't in the lab. Sometimes he was... Zack didn't know where, really. And frankly, he didn't care. Just so long as he wasn't here, wasn't doing things to him or Cloud, Hojo was welcome to go anywhere he liked. But then, on the other hand, Zack dreaded the quiet nights. The quiet nights were the nights when, on the rare occasion that he was lucid enough to put together thoughts, he was left alone with them.

It was just that, sometimes, his thoughts came with somebody else's voice. And sometimes they asked the strangest questions. His DMW glitching, perhaps. After all, it wasn't as though his head hadn't taken more than its fair share of damage here, too.

He smiled at the question tonight, though. Even if that smile was somewhere inside of his own head, he couldn't help but smile.

My mom?

Date: 2016-10-08 12:51 am (UTC)
puppy_fair: (Happy!)
From: [personal profile] puppy_fair
That seemed like such an odd question. An odd way to say it, as well. But then... this had to be a dream. And in his dreams, maybe he was taken care of.

Maybe in his dreams, he could answer questions like that when that familiar voice asked them.

I hope she's well, he found himself thinking, wistfulness in that notion. Will you keep an eye on her for me?

Date: 2016-10-08 01:08 am (UTC)
puppy_fair: (Crossed Arms)
From: [personal profile] puppy_fair
You do, Zack agreed, and he tried so, so hard to keep a pang out of that thought, but somewhere deep down, there was a touch of melancholy. Even when he'd decided that he was going to think pleasant thoughts. Some things were difficult to let go of completely. You protect your own in any way you can.

Sometimes... sometimes, she just didn't know to be there.

He barely had the strength to, but he managed, at least, to wrap his arms around himself. It was cold in here tonight.

Date: 2016-10-08 01:25 am (UTC)
puppy_fair: (Happy!)
From: [personal profile] puppy_fair
And colder still. The fluid that Hojo had Zack suspended in clearly had some sort of chill to it, tonight.

It... was night, right? There were no windows to speak of down here, there was no way of knowing. But sometimes, in moments like this, he almost felt that he could be sure.

You would have tried, though. If you'd known. Right?

Date: 2016-10-08 01:34 am (UTC)
puppy_fair: (Crossed Arms)
From: [personal profile] puppy_fair
I know.

He loved her for it, after all. Zack was silent (more silent, anyway) for a moment or two, and then venture, I don't get to talk to you often enough.

He didn't get to talk to anybody often enough, granted. But that one seemed like it deserved a mention regardless.

Date: 2016-10-08 01:46 am (UTC)
puppy_fair: (Stern zomg)
From: [personal profile] puppy_fair
Birthday? I missed that?

He frowned, there in his mind, and realized that he had no idea how many of those he had missed by now.

You're... twenty, now?

It was a swing and a miss, he was sure. But the passage of time wasn't something easily kept track of. Not down here. He'd lost so much of it. Too much of it.
Edited Date: 2016-10-08 01:48 am (UTC)

Date: 2016-10-08 01:54 am (UTC)
puppy_fair: (Crossed Arms)
From: [personal profile] puppy_fair
Twenty-two, Zack echoed. That meant he had missed... too many years. For the life of him, he had no idea why he could daydream up something like that. This was a quiet night.

It was a quiet night. And now he was torturing himself.

Clearly, he was bad at taking advantage of the reprieve.

It's been too long. I lose track, not even sometimes. Time doesn't mean much anymore, I guess.

Except that Ino's life was slipping by, and he wasn't even a part of it.

Date: 2016-10-08 02:07 am (UTC)
puppy_fair: (Happy!)
From: [personal profile] puppy_fair
I've always been constantly surprised by you, Zack offered, some warmth in his tone that didn't quite make up for how cold his body felt, tonight. I'm glad you're still here. Who would I talk to, if you weren't?

It would be lonely in here, making up conversations in his head with nobody in particular.

Date: 2016-10-08 02:18 am (UTC)
puppy_fair: (Diving)
From: [personal profile] puppy_fair
Well, that struck Zack like a fist to the guts, right there. He actually twisted a little with the impact of it, loosed a mute whimper that was lost in bubbles and mako and the silence of the night.

... Was it a nice wedding?

He didn't know what else to say, to that.

Date: 2016-10-08 02:33 am (UTC)
puppy_fair: (Crossed Arms)
From: [personal profile] puppy_fair
Oh thank Ifrit.

... Really, Zack?

I mean... I want you to be happy. I really, really do. And if you find somebody who...

Wow, this was hard.

... Who MAKES you happy...

Really, really hard.

But, you know. TSENG.

That part was easier.

Date: 2016-10-08 02:44 am (UTC)
puppy_fair: (Crossed Arms)
From: [personal profile] puppy_fair
That laugh was so good to hear. It hurt. He yearned to hear it with his own ears, to see the smile on her face. He ached to hold her again. But to hear her laugh, even in his head, even in his imagination, was closer than he'd been in so, so long.

I hope not. He's so... so Tseng.

Date: 2016-10-08 02:57 am (UTC)
puppy_fair: (Crossed Arms)
From: [personal profile] puppy_fair
Somebody else? Oh?

Zack could spot a crush at fifty paces, apparently unless it involved Tseng's feelings for Aerith.

Date: 2016-10-08 03:02 am (UTC)
puppy_fair: (Look Into My Eyes)
From: [personal profile] puppy_fair
Aerith? Tseng likes AERITH? I had no idea!

... Seriously, Zack. Seriously. You found a freaking camera with his name on it outside the church, once.

...

Which was actually really creepy.

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Yamanaka Ino

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