one passing night

the evening is spread out against the sky

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[006 ☿] Beaches and ice cream and igloos, oh my
ami ♥ towards the future
waterfell wrote in onepassingnight
[As summer starts to peak, the beach is a great place to be, and it's bustling. Everything for a day of fun is here: nets for volleyball, plenty of people swimming or sunning themselves, kids chasing or running away from the waves, sand castles, and... a giant igloo.

Somehow, the beach-goers seem to accept this. The snowy dome digs stubbornly right into the sand, arrogantly ignoring the beating heat of the sun like a challenge. The very air around it radiates cold. Catchy pop music with sly lyrics comes from inside, where it's cold enough for the workers to wear parkas and ice skates.

The workers make graceful looping designs as they skate the food to the customers - ice cream in very distinct flavors: "Sailor Mercury" (blueberry with a hint of blackberry), "Sailor Mars" (strawberry and cherry, quite strong), "Sailor Jupiter" (mostly a mix of mints with a touch of watermelon), "Sailor Venus" (peach and mango), and even "Sailor Moon" (rainbow sherbet).

There's a second, personal igloo nearby. There, just outside its entrance, Mizuno Ami is relaxing on the beach. She
deserves it. She reclines lazily on a low chair, book in hand, with a small basket of sandwiches nearby and even a tropical fruit drink right within her grasp.

A small crowd vies for the sunbather's attention, admiring her swimsuit (a modest but stylish one-piece), inviting her to join a game, showing off their own efforts, or offering ice cream. All in all? Perfect.]

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[Cloud felt... awkward.

Awkward was a very good word for it. For starters he was wearing a lot less clothing than usual. It wasn't that the few scars that the mako hadn't taken care of were showing or even that he was concerned about the way his body looked it was just...

he was wearing a lot less clothing than usual.

It took him out of his comfort zone. Though, granted... board shorts were definitely NOT a silky dress so he supposed it was all relative. He was also feeling awkward because -

because he was alone.

Wandering aimlessly down the beach he was aware of the families that were here, the groups of friends, the partners. And he didn't have any of that with him here. Sure, he had a day lay over here while he waited for his delivery package to arrive for him to take on the next leg of its journey and granted, it had seemed like a shame to hole himself up in his hotel room all day long when just outside was a beach and ocean. But he was still acutely aware that he was definitely on his own and that his family was an entire ocean away. It just didn't feel... right, being here without the kids and Tifa. So he was only vaguely paying attention when the beach ball escaped the guys showing off with it in front of a pretty girl and it came careening toward his head.

His hand still came up and his fingers curled as it slapped into his palm with a 'smack' as he fielded the projectile. He was in the process of tossing it back to the group of guys and ignoring their hanging jaws when he noticed the girl they were showing off for.]


ooc. chocobo feather shorts it is though on a slightly less... enthusiastic Cloud. Curtsy of ObstinateMelon on dA

psh, you could never be late. not when you're bringing this guy. and chocobo-patterned trunks. XD

[One large reason for the one-piece suit, though Ami was modest by habit as well, was the large scar across her chest from a bid to free herself of Metalia's dark energy once they understood its consequences and Metalia's purpose. She'd followed his footsteps again, she knows now.

The people hanging around her aren't
real - they never are - and they melt into the backdrop without it quite being possible to notice just when or how they left, or where they went. Ami tosses a casual smile up at Cloud and her characteristic greeting.]

It's been awhile! Cloud. [And she's glad. Glad for the reality, glad that it's him. She'd wanted to see him again.]

Edited at 2011-05-30 07:44 am (UTC)

it IS hard to go wrong with chocobo-patterened trunks

[his own lips relax and the very edges of them curve upward for her too. It has been a while, though he has no idea how long or short it's been. At least this means he kept his promise. Even if he didn't need a promise to be glad to see her again.]


[his brief nod is his expression of that as well as the quiet hum. Suddenly the beach doesn't seem to large and he doesn't feel so awkward. Then his eyes will focus in on the cover of her book and he'll ask:]

What're you reading?

they're a win in any season.

[The promise kept is everything to her: continuity, believing a so-called friendship can last, develop; and not shatter and break and end.

Maybe that's not 'so-called', anymore. Maybe.

Ami startles and smoothly covers the identifying features of her book cover with a hand as she answers lightly.]

No, it's nothing. [Mizuno Ami does not waste time reading paperback novels.]

[one of his pale brows goes up, just a little, at her quick cover and his blue eyes shift from her face back down to what little is showing between her fingers of the book cover. His head tilts just a little to read last two words of the title on the spine where her fingers don't quite cover.]

Scandalous Thunder?

[ooc. I'm wildly assuming for the lutz. Feel free to have him simply teasing her and it being an entirely different title]

[... Cloud, that was not nice. Ami is not used to being teased, not friendly teasing at least, and for a second she's clearly at a loss for how to react. Finally, she settles for a blunt question of her own.]

Are you saying I shouldn't read what I want?

[After holding his gaze long enough to make her point, she moves her fingers.]

Look again.

[Whether she was really reading something more innocent, or changed it with a quick illusion, the title displayed is innocuous.]

we don't get them often - but he does have his moments ;)

[he watches the very hidden mental scramble and, maybe, that's a bit of a smirk at the edges of his lips. It's all right, Ami. He's not used to being the one that gets to tease. His pale brows lift at her question. Frankly, he's not one to judge what she reads. One of the first women he remembers spending any time at all with read bomb manuals in her spare time because they made her happy. At her words, he gives a grunt and reads:]

A Field Guide to Astronomy.

[he nods as if 'of course, what else would it be'. His blue eyes just might have the hint of that smirk at the edges of their color as he lifts them back to her face despite how dry his voice and serious his face is.]

Must have misread it the first time. No thunder being scandalous at all apparently.

>D also, notifs are slow again, so I'll try to keep an eye out, just as a heads-up

[Ami is usually with medical texts. The astronomy books, however, are a very close second: still academic and not embarrassing, but an interest of her own instead of the long course of study and exams.

A small, reluctant smile forms before she can stop it.]

So this isn't a time to read anymore! [She speaks breezily.] Shall we do something else?

(ooc: she actually does enjoy astronomy specifically in anime XD)

no problem - this is the last one of the night for me

[he catches that small smile and it's enough for him. At her question though he'll dubiously lift his head and look around. There's... a lot to do at the beach but he's no necessarily sure about any of it. If he had the kids he'd let himself follow - or be dragged around by them. If Tifa was here she'd have something organized to do even if it was just nap time. On his own... he's not good at the whole 'play' concept.

And he already knows Ami well enough to know she's got a bit of a mischievous streak.

Between those two he's pretty sure he's going to regret it when he admits to a slightly lost:]

I don't know.

[ooc. heh - it was just a guess but it seemed to make sense. Glad Cloud and I got it right!]

Edited at 2011-05-30 09:52 am (UTC)

kk <3 hopefully tomorrow LJ will be working well

Just come swimming.

[Which will turn into 'splashing' and probably 'Ami creating a few small tidal waves to completely drench Cloud and claim victory'. She's not known for playing entirely fair - though she maintains that playing at her highest level is fair.]

The water is clear today. I feel like enjoying it.

(ooc: You did!)

Edited at 2011-05-30 10:04 am (UTC)

[Cloud glances toward the water. It looks brilliantly blue and it makes just the edges of his lips relax from the slight pensiveness they'd tightened into. He knows how to swim. Getting thrown in ice cold mountain lakes will do that to you. And he's pretty sure this water is warmer than that.

As long as he's in it and not on it, Cloud's usually okay with water. So, even though he suspects there will be foul play, he'll still give a short nod and a quiet sound. Water sounds nice.]


[At first, there's no foul play at all. Ami runs towards the shoreline and her feet slap the water, kicking up light splashing until she's about knee deep.]

Hurry up! If you're slow, I won't wait for you!

[She calls this challenge back to Cloud over her shoulder.]

[his lips curve a little at her challenge but he's not going to run. He does follow at an easy pace though, enjoying the way the sand feels under his bare feet and, even more, the way the water feels once it hits his toes. It's... he doesn't really remember the last time he walked barefoot on a beach and not in combat boots. He's always meant to take Tifa and the kids to Costa del Sol but there just never seemed to be the time for it...

He wades in slowly, taking his time as the water moves up his legs. There a brief moment that brings a twitch but then he reminds himself that his feet are on a solid surface and that's salt he smells, not mako. The horizon's wide and open without a single confining glass wall and when he inhales it's salt air and wind, not liquid green down his nose and throat. It's okay and the moment passes.

No tubes.

No mako.

He's okay.

With a brief head shake at himself, he dips a hand into the water in front of him. He lifts his eyes to where his companion is. His lips shift.]

If I go to slow you'll just circle around and run past me again.

Planning to cheat your way to a win that way? Shouldn't have told me!

[The retort comes easily along with a wagging finger. The same hand then scoops its way into the water to splash some at Cloud.]

I won't let you win that easily.

[his lips ease into a small smile at her teasing and he simply lifts a hand to keep her tossed water from getting in his eyes, not about to retaliate. Instead he just shakes his head at her with the smile going just a little more relaxed. He lets his feet take him a bit deeper into the water.]

Wouldn't think of it. You'd make the water into ice cubes.

[and then he launches himself into a shallow dive that barely breaks the surface of the water, letting himself enjoy the simple feeling of being submerged without restrains or stagnant liquid congealing around him.]

[This dream is made for reminders of painful things despite the lighthearted setting, it seems.

How long since he was there, since he was with her, since she relied on him, since they found a way to laugh together even in the darkness? Since she played in the water with him like this? Yet it produces a sharp pang of longing

She tries to swallow it down, shake it off. She tries for that usual flippancy, that casual lack of attachment.]

Shouldn't I do what I want with the water? After all, it's mine.

[he surfaces but doesn't stand up, instead content to roll onto his back and look up at her, shaking his head to clear the water out of his eyes. His hair remains unimpressed and the spikes, water damp, still refuse to droop.

Something in her eyes though... It's familiar enough to someone that lives with half a step in the past himself even if he doesn't know what it is or what it means to her that she's being reminded of. So his voice is even softer than usual as he says:]

And you're the water's.

[She'd put aside pride and told Kunzite it would be painful for her if he disappeared. It hadn't stopped anything. He had died as he had planned, leaving her to honor his memory in her own, flawed ways.

If she were still the sort of person who could make her words and feelings reach someone, it could be different.

But though her mind is distracted with the morbid thoughts, she tries to keep up with the lighter action of the simple day in the water. She considers Cloud's words, but denies them.]

It's mine like my weapon is mine. [Though in reality, he's right; her connection to the water is too deep to truly say she owns it.]

[he gives a little shift of his head, indicating that he'll trust her own judgement of her abilities. She just reminds him more of Aerith with her innate ability to touch the planet, belonging to it even more than it belonged to her than to one of the rest of them using materia to borrow power but untouched and untouchable by the magic they tapped.

Except for Yuffie of course who would probably claim she had materia in her blood if it occurred to her.

Still relaxed in the water, he holds up a hand just a little, liquid cupped in his palm.]

I've seen you create ice when there's no water. Can you make water disappear?

I can do it.

[When she truly exerts herself, it's a darker side of her power, the ability to wither and shrivel her enemies away to nothing. Here and now, it's simply another point of pride as the water in Cloud's hands evaporates to prove the point.]

Anything that can be done with water. I can do it. [She's even honed her powers by immediately supercooling water - a feat that takes great precise control.]

[Cloud was actually thinking of how much of the human body is made up of water... and what the sudden removal of all of it could do. He imagines it would be a very ugly thing to watch. When you fight, you fight to win though and so he doesn't really blink. He also doesn't indicate that's why he was asking. Instead he nods and lets his hand splash lightly back into the water. His answer is mild.]

Good. Then you can dry out our clothes once we get out of the water.

[And Ami, needless to say, is well aware of the same percentage. She can not only take that away, but was once taught blood-bending, an art using that same water in the body to control it.

She has few qualms about what she does to win. Her battles are too serious for that.]

I'm not your servant. [The retort comes easily as her lips make a little, amused pout.] I'll do my own and let you worry about yours.

Unless you behave well.

Edited at 2011-05-31 10:11 am (UTC)

[he's already semi-floating, heels resting on the sandy bottom of the ocean, most of his body close to the surface and now he slings his arms behind his head, the picture of relaxed. And, he's relaxed - if not as relaxed as he looks. This is still a strange place, he doesn't have his sword and there are a lot of people around. The look he flashes her doesn't indicate any of that however. Instead it's a little smug and the very edge of his mouth smirks.]

Who's misbehaving?

Then it's just incentive to continue being good.

[Oh, Cloud. You made that one easy.]

You could float on these waves, you know. They'd carry you out with the tide eventually, though.

[Cloud's eyebrows go up the smallest bit. He's been nothing but the picture of 'good', Ami. His mama raised him right. And besides, he really doesn't often have the desire to be 'bad'. Snarky, yes. Badly behaved, not really. It's too much effort.

His head shake is immediate though at her suggestion and there's the smallest touch of the skin around his eyes tightening.]

I - don't like floating.

[there's the smallest relaxing at the edges of his lips as he consciously lets it go]

The tide can go out without me. Unless you wanted to get rid of me but there are faster ways to do it.

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