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Convolutions of an Evil Mind
madamhydra
madamhydra
COI - Random COI drabble
41 hisses or Hiss in my ear....
Comments
kittychan1986 From: kittychan1986 Date: February 21st, 2007 02:57 am (UTC) (Link)
You tell her, Seph! I have never liked Tifa, because Tifa, Unlike Cloud or even Seph, had full control of her memory and sanity. It was her choice to stand back and let Cloud belive he had the right of it. She made him beelive that they were best friends when she was just as much a bithc to him as everyone else in his home town. Yuffie keeps suprising me though, i want to see what leads up to this scene badly! Amazing Job, Madam!
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: February 21st, 2007 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm really trying hard to keep Tifa from being the cliche 'dog in the manger' yaoi-fanfic-bitch. Unfortunately, it can be rather hard at times. -_-;;;

::slithers onto character soapbox::

As I see it, Tifa's main fault is not really pure selfishness, but more of ignorance and unrealistic expectations. At least in COI, she was basically the town princess -- spoiled by her father, fawned over by the town's adults, admired by the other kids, etc. While growing up, she didn't treat Cloud badly herself, but she repeatedly ignores clear evidence that others were doing so.

More importantly, never having suffered the sort of abuse Cloud does, COI-Tifa simply doesn't 'get' just how damaging and devestating such treatment can be, especially to a child.

After the first Nibelheim massacre, Tifa no doubt started to learn about the seedier and unpleasant aspects of life, especially when living in the Slums and running a bar. However, she's still hasn't experienced such things herself. Intellectually, she knows that things like physical abuse and rape happen, but she still doesn't quite grasp the psychological implications. For example, in chapter 7, Tifa tells Yuffie that she knows Cloud was mistreated in Nibelheim, but again, she doesn't really grasp the potential consequences of that mistreatment.

Howeer, Tifa's not stupid, nor is she unsympathetic. Once someone clearly spells things out for her, she gets the idea. But she's not the sort to understand it instinctively.

Second, COI-Tifa has issues about unrealistic and idealized expectations. Her relatively pampered and sheltered childhood leaves her with a tendency to view life rather like a romantic fairytale -- a brave hero riding to her rescue, a quest to save the world, etc.

Again, a lot of that got knocked out of her after Nibelheim, but it's still there and it colors how she views the world. Subconsciously she sees Cloud as her 'heroic brave knight', so when he exhibits behavior that doesn't fit into that image, she's at a loss how to handle it. Fairytale heroes aren't supposed to be mentally unstable or suffer nervous breakdowns, etc. So instead of trying to resolve the issue about Cloud's inconsistent memories, she dances around it and/or pretends that the problem doesn't exist.

Growing up as Nibel's 'princess' and later as the gorgeous bar owner of Sector 7, she's used to men being interested in her. She's not really a stuck up bitch, but she expects people to do the work and pursue her. Also, both as a fighter and a woman, she's used to winning and being the first pick. So you can imagine how frustrating it is when Cloud doesn't behave as she expects.

That explains why COI-Tifa gets so defensive when she sees Cloud being friendly with Sephiroth, when he's still fairly reserved with her.

Again, Tifa isn't willfully selfish or stupid. Unfortunately, she doesn't think outside her usual 'box' unless someone bluntly explains things to her.

Whooh! ::slithers off of soapbox::
kittychan1986 From: kittychan1986 Date: February 21st, 2007 03:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
So Tifa is one of those people who bats her eyes says "I understand" when they really have no idea what's going on.

Her image of Cloud as the epic hero is not surprising, he seems to always show up and help when she needs him. I just....have this frustrating image of her poking her finger into a still healing wound without even thinking about it. Like her comment about Aeris in chapter...7, I believe. CLoud is doing the smart thing and not blindly rushing into the situation, and Tifa is throwing a little fit because Cloud isn't instantly listening to her. I understand the character motivation and what sits at the root of the problem. But she needs to grow up and embrace the fact that she's not living in a fairytale, which one would think, by now, would have sunk in. Hopefully, after this, she will manage to embrace the fact that other people have feelings too.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: February 21st, 2007 03:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
But she needs to grow up and embrace the fact that she's not living in a fairytale, which one would think, by now, would have sunk in. Hopefully, after this, she will manage to embrace the fact that other people have feelings too.

Consciously she knows that life's not a fairytale. She knows that people have feelings. Unfortunately, she's still putting people in the same cliche pigeonholes. In cliche fairytales, things are black and white, enemies are enemies, heroes are heroic, etc. That's why she's so stubbornly holding grudges against the Turks and Sephiroth.

COI-Tifa is the type of person who just doesn't understand why a woman would stay with a boyfriend or husband who badly abuses her, instead of leaving the man. Similarly, she can't understand why Cloud doesn't hate Sephiroth's guts and is even willing to work with their enemy.
kittychan1986 From: kittychan1986 Date: February 21st, 2007 05:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Does she even realize how many people she and her friends have hurt through their own actions? How many people died when they blew up the reactors, or were hurt, or lost their homes? She thinks they're doing the right thing, that they're so obviously good, nothing they could do is wrong. Tifa doesn't understand the shades of grey. Neither does Barret, the want the bad guys to be clearly defined, and the good guys to be spotless. Hopefully, Seph can make them understand. Much like in an earlier drabble, the Reno and CLoud one, where she can see that Reno is hurting, but she can't identify with his need to see, embrace and accept what happened to his sister. She can't even put herself close enough to him to offer comfort. (Though it's doubtful Reno would accept it)

I just hate the spoiled princess in her so badly...Probably because I know that person.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: February 22nd, 2007 12:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Does she even realize how many people she and her friends have hurt through their own actions? How many people died when they blew up the reactors, or were hurt, or lost their homes? She thinks they're doing the right thing, that they're so obviously good, nothing they could do is wrong.

Actually, she does realize the results of AVALANCHE's terrorist activities. I came across a scene in the game script when Cait Sith (aka Reeve) yells at Barret about damage done by blowing up the Reactors. It's Barret who's defensive, but Tifa who acknowledges the harm done.

I think COI-Tifa is not that 'blind' in most situations (i.e., it takes a lot less prodding to make her understand reality). Also, in most situations, her expections are less idealized.

It's just when Cloud's involved when she runs into problems and regresses back into her childhood self-absorption. Perhaps it's because her memories and perceptions of him go back to her childhood and her childhood attitudes affect her behavior more strongly when dealing with people from that childhood (e.g., Cloud, Sephiroth, Zack, her father, etc.)
askaram27 From: askaram27 Date: April 2nd, 2007 01:41 am (UTC) (Link)
My GOD, I love how you're treating Tifa in this fic. She's just...perfect. PERFECT! Every confusion, every indignation, every ignorance and flaw, it's all so human and so, so wonderful. I love you even more. Thanks for making Tifa real.
plotbunnydoom From: plotbunnydoom Date: February 22nd, 2007 12:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I feel you've dealt pretty fairly with Tifa. Even in-game, she's pretty cool with non-Cloud related things, and I always liked her. But Cloud is her stupid point, and unfortunately it's a big one.

Sephiroth's honesty, on a side note, is really cool. And I have hopes that Tifa will change if they talk more like this.

However, I hope Tifa does something cool soon. :( She's been pretty hard to put up with since part 6, and I know she's capable of being totally awesome at times.

/end ramble
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: February 22nd, 2007 12:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! It's so easy to write Tifa as a whiny and/or conniving bitch, which I think is very unfair. At heart she's a good person, but like Cloud, her perception of the world has been distorted by her upbringing.

Sephiroth knows that he's responsible for a lot and refuses to make excuses for himself, even though there are damn legitimate ones. He doesn't forgive himself so he doesn't expect anyone else to do so either. Fortunately, he's very wrong about that. ^_-

Because the other guys like Red, Cid, etc. don't have the sorts of issues Tifa does, they don't share her overwhelming animosity toward Sephiroth. So with the others as a constant basis for comparison, she becomes increasing aware that she's behaving badly and unfairly.

So as COI progresses, Tifa doesn't like what she learns of herself and she does try to be fair and reasonable. It's not easy, though. Her growing awareness probably makes things even worse because now she feels guilty and defensive about what she knows is bratty and resentful behavior.
41 hisses or Hiss in my ear....