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He couldn't get drunk, but Cloud theorised that if he believed enough in the power of the alcohol to get him drunk, he could convince his suggestible mind that he really was drunk. Because he was waiting, like a haunted man waiting for the ghost in the house to finally show itself. So far as Cloud knew, nobody had died, although Cid had come close, flirting with every single smoking related illness the Planet could throw at him by the time he was seventy and somehow managing to flip his middle finger at all of them.
He was waiting for the moment when somebody in a board room, brought up on stories of men on the knife edge of gods and monsters, dreamed about the power and prestige of Soldier.'We,' they would say to themselves, comfortable in their office fortresses, 'are different from Shinra. We do not suck upon the blood of the Planet like tics and leeches. Cid, Barret, Yuffie and Tifa had all done as humans were supposed to do.
But, of course, wasn't there also the possibility, whispered one of the more treacherous voices swimming under Cloud's thoughts, that Reeve really had experimented with time, dropped himself into a loop of reality and come out with little more than a migraine?
As much as the new leaders agreed that burning the lifeblood of the Planet was no longer an option, slippery rainbow sheens of oil in paddy fields, tar on tree bark, slicks in estuaries, and banks of thick grey smog rising off the towns made them far from the ideal solution.
Because he was Cloud Strife, Strife Magnet, and nobody with his name should be allowed within a hundred miles of an experiment mucking around with space and time, so said the part of him that was still unabashedly Zack and the part of him that was Cloud enthusiastically agreed." – and I've already tested it on myself."Cloud started and almost dropped the phone. ""I had a go at sending myself a message via Cait Sith to fifteen minutes before I sent it.
Now I have a very distinct memory of Cait Sith activating and telling me exactly what I read off my script that I wrote fifteen minutes later, but! I also have a parallel memory, which is fading even as I speak, where such an incident did not happen at all! " The irony of Cloud, of all people,asking after another person's sanity was not lost to him. There was every possibility that Reeve was finally going senile.
He saw time trying to leave him behind and so, there he would be, in Tifa's dojo, refusing to let his friends to leave him behind as well.
He would hold onto them, despite how much he knew it hurt to remind them that even though they had saved the world, they were all too human – they aged, they decayed, and they crumbled – and Cloud was all too beyond that. Vincent had disappeared three years ago, leaving only the proof of purchase of a new phone on Cloud's kitchen table and a bullet from his pistol, his way of saying 'Gone monster-fishing, will eventually come back', but Vincent's grasp of the flow of time was potentially shakier than Cloud's.