A/n: Wow, almost a month since my last update. Sorry guys, I've been working on my other fic, 'Ice'. It's up to 13 or 14 chapters of RufusxTifa goodness!! Anywhoo, please read and review!

Disclaimer: You know the drill... FF7/Greek stuff, not mine, duh. Idea for story *is* mine.


It was finally getting late in Costa del Sol, the sun was hovering just above the ocean, the sky full of color, all reflected in the water. It looked like a painting. Tifa sat on the beach, watching the sunset after an afternoon of surfing. It had definitely cleared her mind. This was beginning to feel like a vacation, and it was just what she needed.

When the sun had finally set, she started back to the villa. That one question still pervaded her mind. Who had brought her here? She sighed. "Ah, that's not important right now. I need to plan on what I'm going to do for the rest of the time I'm staying here." She thought, and instantly she saw the Golden Saucer peek over the mountains and hills of the island. It was brightly lit and hard to miss. "Oooooh."

She strode into the villa; smile big on her face, but it was an unsatisfied smile. Paradise was beautiful, but she wanted to share it with someone. She wondered if she was allowed to contact her sisters, just to let them know she was doing all right.

Mr. Cunningham soon brought her dinner to the room she was staying in. "Tonight, the cook decided to make his specialty: popcorn shrimp. There is a salad with three saucers of different kinds of dressing, I wasn't sure which you favored. And if you are in the mood for dessert, the cook's assistant has whipped up a lovely cheesecake. I also brought you lemonade. It will work nicely with the shrimp."

Tifa was, by far, shocked that these people would work so hard to please her. She giggled. "Oh, come on, you guys are gonna make me fat. You shouldn't pamper me with all this rich food." She grinned.

Mr. Cunningham shrugged. "We treat all of our guests with the utmost courtesy and yes, we spoil them mercilessly." He smiled at her.

"Uh, Mr. Cunningham? Would I be able to call my sisters? Just to tell them that I'm still alive? I'm sure they're worried about me." She asked cautiously.

He shrugged again. "I'm sorry, I can't answer that for you right now. But I will make it a point to ask the master for you the next time he arrives. Eat up now!"


It was 3 in the morning. She couldn't sleep. She tossed and turned. Once again it felt as though someone was watching her. She sat up and looked around, gasping at what she saw there.

Two eyes shone in the dim moonlight, only the shadowy profile of a face could be seen. The person hadn't jumped when she suddenly sat up, only continued to watch her.

"What... what are you doing in here? Who are you?" She asked, frightened.

The person merely sat and continued to watch her.

"Am I dreaming again? I've seen you before..." She whispered.

"No, you are not dreaming. I saved your life. If you had stayed at your own home, ShinRa would have destroyed you. It may be a while before you can go home. It's not safe right now. I'm sorry I woke you. Try to go back to sleep. I will be gone again in the morning." The voice was a man's. He got up to leave, but Tifa stopped him.

"Wait... I have some questions. Why can't I know who you are? I mean, how do you expect me to stay in a strange place when I don't even know you? What's with all the secrecy? I do thank you for the pampering... but how did you know I'd be in danger? Why did you save me?" She asked the questions in somewhat rapid succession, and didn't realize that she sounded nervous.

The shadowed man chuckled. "For safety's sake, I cannot reveal who I am to you. It might leak out. As for not knowing me, yes, I agree, but I am attempting to make you as comfortable as possible. I trust that you have no complaints? I knew you'd be in danger because I have resources in the ShinRa building. I saved you because I know what President ShinRa is capable of. Your reputation is too good to be scarred by that rat of a man. Just trust me, Ms. Lockheart. As soon as this blows over, you are free to go, and you'll never have to worry about President ShinRa or who I am again. Now, you need to go back to sleep. And I need to get back to my work. I didn't mean to wake you. I've heard of your beauty..." he chuckled again. "You're quite famous. I had to see for myself again, as I didn't get to when I brought you here. The rumors are true."

She blushed in the darkness. "Flatterer. Oh! One more question. Can I contact my sisters? They probably think I'm dead or something. I don't want them to be worried about me."

Silence followed the question. The man seemed to understand her situation, yet was reluctant because of the danger it could bring. He sighed, breaking down. "One call. Thirty minutes, no more. No information on where you are, just tell them you are all right and safe. Are we clear?"

Tifa nodded. "Uh-huh. Um, one last tiny hitch. What do I call you then, since you refuse to tell me your real name?"

Again, silence. "Call me X for right now. It's a bit ridiculous, but it's required for the time being. Now go to sleep." The deep voice sternly said through the darkness.

Tifa did as told, but kept an eye on the figure as he walked out the door. She could tell he was a young man, but that was all. Something was very familiar, but just out of her reach. "G'night, 'X'." She said quietly.

"Goodnight, Ms. Lockheart."


The next morning at the ShinRa HQ, Rufus yawned and strolled into the kitchen. Glad to see Reno not in sight, he immediately grabbed three taquitos for starters on breakfast and hid the other two.

Not five minutes later, a tired looking Reno nearly crawled into the kitchen. "'Mornin' Ruf. I see you got to the goods before I could. Ah well, the early bird gets the better breakfast..."

Rufus scoffed at Reno's appearance. "What the hell happened to you? You look like you haven't slept in a week. I think you should take the day off."

Reno tried to open an eye. "Oh, and you look like a prince yourself? What'd ya do, stay up all night getting off to Teef's picture?" He laughed a bit harder than needed.

Rufus, disgusted, chomped on his breakfast. "No, more like doing research on where the hell she could possibly be. It's like she damn near dropped off the face of the planet. And since when do you call her 'Teef'? I didn't know you knew her so well." Rufus' own fatigue started to bite through his normally calm exterior. He was starting to get frustrated. "Ok, this is starting to wear my patience."

"Look Ruf, if anyone needs the day off, it's you. You haven't quit searching for that girl. If it were anyone else, you would have given up already! I know ya, Rufus, better than anyone. You would have claimed her killed by that kidnapper. But you don't wanna give up on her." Reno finally managed to stand straight up, back popping in numerous places. "Ow..."

Sighing, Rufus shook his head. "No, my father will literally kill me if I don't get this assignment. I just need time. She's out there. She's alive. I know it. I just need time." He repeated. Finally losing it, he pounded a fist on the counter; everything on the surface jumped an inch into the air and fell over. "Damn it!"


The bright sun told Tifa that it was late morning, and that it was time to get up. She yawned and stretched, not surprised to see a tray of breakfast sitting at the foot of the bed. Smiling, she leaned forward to grab the tray and started eating. She remembered her conversation with "X", and was going to call her sisters today. She missed them and knew they were going crazy. Finishing up, she picked up the phone by her bed and dialed her older sister's number.

Aerith answered with a dreary "Hello?"

Tifa brightly smiled and said, "Good morning dear sister of mine! How are you?" She giggled; she had lots to talk about with Aerith.

Aerith's voice suddenly lifted. "Tifa! Oh my God, are you all right? Where are you? What's going on?" She sounded happy to hear Tifa's voice, but still worried.

"I'm fine, Aerith. I can't tell you where I am, because I'm still 'in danger', but I can tell you that I am perfectly all right. I'm being treated like a princess here!" She told her sister about how the household treated their guests.

Aerith gave a sigh of relief. "Well, as long as you're safe. Who are you staying with?"

"I can't tell you that either. I call him 'X' though. But you don't have to worry about me. He's been very polite, along with everyone else in this place. So how have you and Yuffie been holding up?" Tifa queried, taking attention away from her situation. It was hard enough not telling her sister where she was, she didn't want her to ask any more questions. All she could handle right now was listening to her sister's voice.


That night, she once again couldn't sleep for the feeling of being watched. "You know, if you want to talk to me, you could try coming in daylight, when I'm *not* trying to sleep." She said groggily, sitting up, facing the same shadowed man as before, only this time, he was sitting on the bed.

He chuckled. "Forgive me, but this is the only time I can come to the town. I just want to make sure you are still safe."

"Your butler doesn't keep you up to date on my status?" She asked, rubbing sleep out of her eyes.

"He does, but I like to make sure on my own."

"Right. I think it just gives you an excuse to come in here and watch me sleep. I think you have a crush on me, X." She chuckled.

"Maybe so." He added quietly.

"So, what have you been doing all day?" Tifa asked him, not exactly ignoring that last comment.

"Uh-uh-uh... You know better." He said, an obvious smile engraved in his words.

"Yeah yeah, top secret stuff, right? I don't think this is fair, you knowing so much about me, and I don't know a thing about *you*. So, can't you just let me in on one little itty-bitty secret about yourself? Please?" She leaned forward.

"Hmm. Let's see. What can I tell you that is not important to your safety? I am 23 years old. Is that a good enough secret?" He glanced at her through the darkness.

"No. I could have guessed that. Come on, you can do better." She teased.

He sighed. "All right." He seemed to be amused at her openness to talk to him. "I've never dated a woman in my life." He whispered, as if anyone else was awake to hear him anyway.

She looked at X's silhouette and half gasped, half held in an outburst of laughter.

Knowing this would amuse her, he looked at her, bemused. "Are you laughing at me, Ms. Lockheart?" His hand hovered over hers.

"No... no. Heh, I just can't imagine you, a debonair rich man, not dating anyone in your whole life? That's impossible. You probably have to beat women off with a stick." She chuckled.

"Something like that, but it's not that I'm inexperienced at women, it's just that I don't have time for them. I work all day; I'd be accused of neglecting my mate. So you see, I'm by myself. Not that I don't get lonely, you see. But to be successful, one must work. " His hand finally lowered onto hers.

Blushing into darkness, she put her other hand on his. "Trust me, I understand. Um, do you want to know something that you don't know about me?" She sat by him on the bed, legs swinging over the floor.

"What's that, Ms. Lockheart?"

"I'm scared. I may look all brave and happy on the outside, but inside, I'm scared about the whole ShinRa thing, and, no offense, but I'm a bit intimidated by you, not knowing who you are and staying in your home. But you seem like a nice guy. And your people treat me like royalty. It's funny, but I don't have as many trust issues as I would think I'd have, you know?"

"You have adapted well, Ms. Lockheart. That did surprise me. But I've told you, I want your stay to be as comfortable as possible." He said.

"I know. Oh, by the way, call me Tifa. I'm not fond of formal titles. I'm very comfortable here, X. But there is one thing. I'm kind of lonely. I mean, your people are great, but I can't joke around and go out with them. After you've been to the shops, the beach, you've pretty much done everything. I'm a bit bored." Subconsciously she leaned her head on his shoulder.

X's figure slightly stiffened, as if he wasn't expecting her action. "Yes, I know how you feel. But I'm finishing up some work and I may be able to come around more often, but it will still be at night." He loosened his frame. Her hair had the scent of vanilla; it was soft against his neck.

She chuckled. "We *must* stop meeting like this!" She leaned over to kiss him on the cheek, but it must have startled him because he turned his head toward her, her lips landed upon his.

Both jumped back, and looked at each other through an awkward silence. Tifa was the first to break it.

"So... Care to try again?" She had an unseen grin on her face, a giddy schoolgirl feeling she'd never felt before floated in her chest.

"Sure." This time they both leaned into the kiss, her soft lips pressed against his own.


A/n: Woo hoo! Finally done with this friggin chapter. I'm trying to make these a bit longer, as you can see. It's been awhile since I've updated this fic, but my senior year of high school is killing me. I've got senioritis bad. I can't wait to get out of school! Oh, I'm still working on Ice, so check that out if you haven't already. More next time, and please review!