A/n: Hey guys, here again, and I'm starting another Rufus and Tifa pairing fic. WOOT! Anywhoo, this one may get a little graphic, I dunno. I just may end up getting embarrassed and changing it though. Just a warning. This one will have a higher rating because of language and maybe graphic fight scenes. Let the story begin!

Disclaimer: My storyline. No one can sue me!


Rejection was slowly setting in on the once optimistic kick boxer named Tifa Lockheart. Cloud, her childhood sweetheart, had left her to rot here in Nibelheim, not even leaving a letter telling her where he was off too.

But he didn't have to. She already knew where he was headed.

Aerith Gainsborough. The last remaining Cetra.

Cloud left to find her, he felt a strong feeling that she wasn't dead.

When Tifa heard this, she snorted and had the thought in her head as this, "Boy is he gonna be surprised when he gets there and exclaims, 'Oh, Aerith!' and all he finds is a rotting corpse." And she mentally slapped herself for even thinking such a horrible thing.

Everyone saw her die. She had no pulse. Cloud laid her to rest in the calm water beneath the temple. Even Tifa's optimism couldn't mentally bring her back. Cloud's eerie obsession was starting to scare her.

Finally, months after Sephiroth had been defeated, and after they all were given a hero's welcoming ceremony, Tifa was positive Cloud wasn't coming back for her. It was just too much to ask for. Finally giving up on him, Tifa went to New Midgar, a project in the making.

The old city, having been destroyed, was now an eternal resting place for all those killed in the Meteor disaster. Like a cemetery, people left flowers in the ruins to remember their loved ones. No one was to move or rummage through the ruins of the old city. It was the mark of a lesson learned, and the lesson was learned most by ShinRa Inc.

Now one of the bigger benefactors of the new city, ShinRa had resolved to help make the city a better place than the old one, with better living areas than the slums could have ever hoped to be. A new leader had not been revealed yet, but wary eyes kept the company on its best behavior.

Tifa had thought about opening up a new bar, but decided against it. She needed time to think about what she was going to do with the rest of her life, now that AVALANCHE was separated. They all still communicated, but they didn't operate anymore.

"What am I gonna do now?" She thought. Being twenty-five and in good physical condition pointed down the road of finding a mate. But that thought scared her to death. She'd never loved anyone other than Cloud. Who could possibly be in her future?

She called up another one of her childhood friends, Reno, who was still working for ShinRa, but not as a Turk, and asked what he was up to and if he had any friends.

"Sorry Teef, not much I can do for ya there. See, with all this construction and my sobering up, I don't have much time for partying; therefore, I've lost touch with all my guy friends. Well, except for Rude, who, by the way, has a huge crush on you. But I don't think tall, dark and bald is your type. But call me again soon, because I could use a bit of partying. You'll find someone, no problem. You're young and beautiful. Don't be surprised if some guy just falls in your lap." His brotherly advice cheered her, but didn't completely fill the void.

So, she decided to wander around the new city and see what was going to be built for entertainment and to pass the time.

ShinRa was again building a central headquarters, but it was nowhere near as huge. Still the only power company on the Planet, they found new ways to provide electricity to towns without using mako. They used different resources to lessen the strain on the Planet.

Tifa walked by, the fear of the company lessening every day. They seemed to be up to nothing, completely changed by the events that occurred because of them. But as she was still walking around with her head in the clouds, (yes, pun intended), she did not notice the scaffolding above her head was collapsing. In fact, she was so out of it, she was totally oblivious to the debris already falling around her, which included bricks and paint cans. Only when a stack of shingles fell directly in front of her did she realize the danger she was in.

The whole scaffold was about to fall down on top of her.

She would have screamed but it all happened so fast that she very nearly had the wind completely knocked out of her. She had her eyes tightly shut and her arms over her head, but to her surprise, nothing was falling on her. She opened her eyes just a bit, and gasped in shock.

A man had pushed her out of the way of most of the rubble, and was hunched over her, taking the beating as the rest of the scaffold fell.

Her eyes widened, but then shut tight again when another brick hit the concrete next to her face.

Finally, when the scaffold had dumped all its contents onto the sidewalk below, the man weakly called to her. "Are you all right?"

Tifa looked around, seeing that they were just about covered in rubble, nodded quickly, and started to panic.

The man strained to hold what seemed like a mountain of brick, shingle, paint cans and wooden boards on his back. "Don't worry... we'll get out of here." His voice seemed to falter as he locked his elbows in place.

Tifa could see a bit of daylight right behind the man's head, but it was almost too dark to see his face. All she could see was his eyes that seemed to glow an icy blue, looking down at her. But before she could say anything, a scaffold pole detached itself and fell straight across the man's back and head.

His eyes widened for a moment, staring down at her, and then dimmed as he fell limp.

Now Tifa felt what he was holding from her. The weight seemed unbearable. But the steady breathing in her ear from the man on top of her kept her calm for some reason. She knew she was going to get out of this alive and she was going to thank this stranger for saving her life. It felt a bit strange, with his body so warm against her own. His head fell just over her shoulder, nose and lips against her neck.

A voice above them called to them through the debris. "We'll get you out of there, don't worry!"

It just took the team five minutes to uncover the pair, but the man that had saved Tifa's life was in poor condition. He had a concussion, a few broken bones and numerous bruises and cuts along his back and arms.

Tifa, on the other hand, was just fine, with the exception of a few bruises on her shoulders and back, mainly from when the man pushed her to the ground. They sent them both to the hospital nonetheless, and patched them up with cures and potions. They had to put Tifa's rescuer in a hospital bed to monitor his concussion; the pole that had hit him had not been a light one.

Though she didn't have to, she stayed in the hospital, but they wouldn't let her in his room for the longest time. She wanted to thank this man. Soon, after about an hour, they let her in. The first thing that she noticed was that this man bore a striking resemblance to Rufus ShinRa. She laughed. "That can't be. He died when the ShinRa headquarters collapsed." She thought. Tifa had watched it fall herself. There was no way he could have survived. She walked closer to inspect.

He was just lying there. Looking helpless. Rufus ShinRa could never look the way that this man looked now. In a sleep of innocence, his head drifted off to the side, mouth barely parted. He was very attractive. His blonde hair spilled out over the wrap around his head, falling into his eyes. Those gorgeous baby blue eyes. Nope, no way this could be Rufus ShinRa. But, there was something that caught her eye. He had a strange scar just to the left of his left eyebrow, near his temple. It had to be a childhood wound, back when hospitals just used traditional medicines.

But it made Tifa's memory flash back to when Cloud was about to fight Rufus on the balcony at the HQ. Rufus came right up to her first and gave her an icy grin that gave her chills. But one of the things she noticed about him was a scar near his left temple. Could this man in front of her really be Rufus ShinRa, the man that supposedly died in the Weapon incident? Could it be the same man that saved her life? She looked closer at the scar.

"Excuse me, but what the hell do you think you're doing? I have a personal space range of about three feet. So kindly move yourself back." A voice startled her. She looked down at the man. His eyes were staring straight up at her with the same cold stare that she'd been given so long ago.

Tifa obeyed and stepped back. "I... I'm sorry. I was just trying to figure out who you were. I um... wanted to thank you for saving me and apologize for not being more careful... I've been kind of out of it lately. I'm sorry you got hurt for my stupid mistake."

He looked away. "It's not your fault. It's ours for stacking the scaffolding so heavily. They're not meant to hold such great weight. It was the least I could do to make sure no one got hurt because of our mistake. Is there anything else you want?" He said, impatience creeping into his voice on the last sentence.

"Well, I'd like to know the name of my rescuer. I know this may sound silly, but you look a lot like Rufus ShinRa."

"It's not silly. I am Rufus ShinRa." He looked at her indignantly.

Tifa nearly fell over backwards. "Wait wait... Let me get this straight. You were in the ShinRa building when it collapsed, correct?"

Rolling his eyes, he nodded.

"And you survived the fall virtually unharmed?" She asked breathlessly. One of their mortal enemies was still alive and quite well.

"Well, yes I survived obviously, but I wasn't unharmed. I had nearly every bone in my body shattered. It wasn't a nice stay at the hospital, you can imagine." He gave his arms a once-over. "Hm. Not as much damage left as I thought."

Tifa continued her questioning. "You were helping at the building site?"

More sighing, Rufus shook his head. "Don't look so surprised, Lockheart. I've done a lot of manual labor in my day, thank you very much. I'm not as spoiled as some may think."

"One more question. Are you sure you didn't get a bad blow to the head during the collapse? Because if I remember correctly, you saved me from what could have been a rather painful death today." She said, scratching her head.

He looked at her and laughed. "Damn, Lockheart. What on earth is going through that head of yours?"

"Nothing. I just figured you liked watching painfully slow deaths." She said rather coldly, remembering the plate that fell onto Sector 7.

"You know, it's people like you who really slay me. Here I am, atoning for a hell of a lot of sins I committed in the past, and trust me, they run through my mind everyday. The lifestream (and a hell of a lot of mako) let me survive and gave me a second chance at life, knowing the lesson I'd learned and myself knowing how many people were killed at my decisions. I know what I did wrong. I know I can't do much for those people I killed or their families. But if I started over and used what money I had left from the company to build a new city, maybe I could start a new reputation too." Someone had obviously left Rufus' speech button on, but he did have a point.

"I take the whole blame for the Meteor incident, even if it was my father who ordered Sephiroth to be born. I'll take the blame for the killing of the Planet, even if it was dying long before I came to control the company. Hell, I'll even take the blame for the plate that fell on Sector 7. I wasn't even here, but I'm a ShinRa, so it's my fault." He looked her dead in the eye. "I'll even apologize to you, for the trouble I gave you in Junon. Oh, and I'll let you in on a secret: I had that key dropped by your foot on purpose. I knew you held the solution to defeating Sephiroth. You wouldn't have trusted me if I just let you go, and that many more people would have died. When I saw that you were about to be crushed by the scaffold, I figured that as long as you lived the world would be in good hands, because when it was in my control, things went horribly awry. Is there anything else I should apologize for?" He sat up and began pulling the IV's from his arms.

Tifa, completely astounded at what he had to say, stared at him. Now that she thought about it, other than the whole Junon thing, he really hadn't been bad. And now that she knew that he didn't mean anything bad in Junon, she felt that much worse for condemning him. "Rufus... I didn't mean it like that. It just surprised me that you saved my life today. I'm sorry I was so cold. Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?" She laughed nervously, trying to make a joke. "I'll buy you a latte."

Not laughing, and not smiling, but still sounding rather amused, Rufus looked at her. "Fine. But I think you owe me more than that." He said with a hint of a smirk.

A/n: All right, the first chapter's up. I'm aiming for this to be hopefully as successful as Ice was. It's funny to look back at the beginning of Ice and see how I improved in my writing skills over that year. Now looking at the contrasts between the beginning of Ice and the beginning of this fic, I laugh at myself. I guess you learn and improve everyday! New chapter to be put up soon, I hope! Please read and Review!!!!!!