AN: I shouldn't be starting another fic, but this idea wouldn't leave my head! I decided to feature Yuffie in this story too, since she's actually starting to grow on me (I used to hate her, sorry peeps). This story has a couple of themes running through it, one of which is music...so the chapters are named after musical terms and the like. I've babbled long enough...enjoy!
Chapter 1 – In Modo Di Animato
Yuffie had just about had enough.
She had divined that men were pigs, especially under the influence of alcohol. In the past hour, she heard enough "hey baby"s, "wanna come sit here?"s, and "feisty little thing"s to last her the rest of her natural born life. True, she had finally filled out, and she was damn sexy, but that didn't invite cat calls or touching.
Especially not touching.
The last man who had tried to get a grope in was clutching his waist, doubled over from the harsh treatment his family jewels had suffered. She smiled a little to herself as she flicked her eyes his way, noting the purple flush his face had taken. She grabbed another glass to dry, rubbing it down vigorously.
I honestly don't know how she did it all those years. This is gawd awful...
Her life had taken an interesting turn, to say the least. Once all the Materia collections had finished, Yuffie found herself bored and restless, tied down from the tradition laden society of Wutai. So, after a serious conversation with her father, she decided to go out into the world and make a living for herself for awhile. He gave her until she was 25 to make up her mind.
Now she was 22 and seriously considering taking it all back.
Luckily, Tifa didn't live too far, but she had the benefit of being in the quiet of semi secluded countryside. New Midgar was in a nice location, though, near Rocket Town and wide open spaces. The wreckage of its original namesake was left as a reminder, with the ruins of Shinra in plain view. Still, it was a busy place, full of displaced families and drifters.
She was running The Flower Girl now, since Tifa's energies were devoted to caring for the dozen or so children that lived in her Home. Yuffie thought it would be a good opportunity to see what "real work" was about, and maybe chug back a few drinks while she was at it. Besides, Tifa made it look glamorous somehow, and drew many attractive young men around.
But all Yuffie seemed to find were burned out forty something slobs with an attitude problem. Or grabby hands. Or were smelly.
She sighed, puffing out her green-tipped shoulder length hair—another conquest from living on her own. She'd taken to the New Midgarian fashion scene, trading in shorty shorts for ensembles that contained lots of chains, zippers, and metallic objects.
I feel so tired...and OLD.
The door opened, and she ignored it, seemingly absorbed in her work of drying the beer mugs. The figure stepped up to the bar, and sat down in front of her. She still did not acknowledge the person's presence.
"...Yuffie?" the masculine voice said, suddenly recognizing the shinobi. Her eyes shot up, and her mouth opened slightly, as she was assaulted with the mental image.
"Hiya Spike," she said mischievously, eyes darting around embarrassedly. He smiled.
"Almost didn't recognize you," he said, leaning back casually. She winked.
"A half a year in a bar could age just about anyone," she said tiredly, grabbing another glass, "But for me, that's a good thing, right?" He smirked.
"Why are you here?" he said quietly, eyes searching around the bar. She shrugged instinctively.
"Looking for Tiff, huh?" she said, staring intently at the glass in her hand. He nodded imperceptively.
Of course he's looking for Tifa. What'd ya think, he came to see YOU?
"Hard to find people when your mind's all jumbled," he mumbled to himself, fiddling with the collar of his black shirt. She answered him despite.
"Ya, well, she's running some kind of orphanage," she chattered, stacking up the glasses playfully into a pyramid, "'sides...didn't she tell you to come and talk with her, say...in a year? It's only been six months." He frowned.
"Yes," he breathed, "She did say that...I just wanted to give her something I found in Cosmo Canyon..." Yuffie perked up.
"I'll get it to her!" she said cheerfully, with a wry grin on her face. He looked at her suspiciously.
"You sure..." he began, but stopped. He smiled.
"Sounds like a plan," he said, pulling something out from his pack.
Elsewhere, Hours Later...
"Why do I have to be the chocobo?" the boy asked stubbornly, his small fists at his hips. Tifa giggled.
"Because you have the perfect hair," she said, tousling his blond locks. He scowled.
"Why can't I be a ninja?" he asked, glaring at her with bright blue eyes. Tifa sighed.
So much like his father...
"Samiel," she said patiently, "Kale and Jeremy are already ninjas. Besides, wouldn't you want your mom to like it? She loves chocobos." He grinned, unconsciously fiddling with the small pair of goggles he wore on his head.
"Well..." he said, his resolve breaking, "...ok. For Mom." Tifa grinned. Samiel Highwind was an absolute darling when he wanted to be. He gave her a toothy grin, further accentuated by the lack of a front incisor. She gave his hair another tousle before he ran off, bragging about his "awesome chocobo costume."
Her eyes lazily surveyed the scene. It was the beginning of October, and upon suggestion from Rinna, the oldest of her charges, she had begun getting Halloween costumes ready. Some of them would be easy to find, and some would take a little more work. Either way, it was a good idea she got a head start.
"And what do you have in mind, Audrey?" she asked the shy twelve year old girl who stood nervously before her.
"iwnnaboo," the girl mumbled incomprehensibly. Tifa leaned in further.
"What, dear?" she asked quietly, smiling brightly. The girl swallowed.
"I wanna be..." Audrey began, taking a deep breath, "...you. When you were in AVALANCHE." Tifa continued to smile.
"You do know what I wore, don't you?" she asked skeptically, "My fighting clothes are well..." but she didn't need to finish. Audrey nodded her head enthusiastically.
I do NOT want to see THAT on a twelve year old. Still...
"Alright..." Tifa said, tilting her head to the side, "I suppose we could... modify it slightly. Definitely need the gloves..." While the wheels turned in her head, Audrey slinked off, making towards her favorite corner, where she hid her notebook.
"You do know why she wants to be you, right?" Rinna's dramatic voice came from behind her. Tifa almost jumped. She turned around to face the fourteen year old, who was standing with a certain measure of authority, her freckled face displaying a knowing smirk. The green streaks in her dark hair made her stand out considerably, as she wanted.
Why did her hero have to be Yuffie? The gods must have it in for me...
"No, why, oh wise one?" Tifa joked sarcastically, pleased with the momentary scowl in Rinna's otherwise confident expression.
"Let me give you a hint," the girl began, eyes sparkling with conspiratorial glee, "Tall, dark, handsome, comes to visit you every week..."
Vincent. I should have known. Almost forgot that Audrey had a little crush on him...
"Ah yes," Tifa said, brushing off the comment, "That would explain wanting to wear that outfit." Rinna smirked again.
"Just keep telling yourself that..." the girl said, darting away to wreck more havoc on the world. Tifa sighed.
Which reminds me...where is he? He comes every Saturday, and half the day has already gone by...
As if reading her thoughts, she heard the soft knock on the front door. She darted over, opening the door with a smile. She didn't realize she was frowning when she saw who it was.
"Hiya, Tifa!" her high voice squeaked. The young woman was grinning, holding some sort of package in her arms. Tifa felt the smile creep back onto her face.
"Hi, Yuff," she sighed, leaning against the doorframe. The sound of footsteps behind her alerted her to Rinna's presence.
"Hiya Yuffie!" the girl shrieked, dropping her dramatic act. The shinobi gave her a quick thumb's up.
"What's up, kid?" Yuffie asked, ignoring Tifa for a moment. The girl was grinning madly, her version of a shuriken clutched in her hand. Tifa indicated that the ninja should enter, with a subtle flick of her head.
"So, who's running the bar?" Tifa asked, noticing the time. Yuffie shoved the package into her hand.
"...uhh..." she answered, trying to find the right words in her head, "...my friend...Chris. Ya. He's trustworthy, don't worry." Tifa gave her a skeptical look.
"...ok..." Tifa said warily, inspecting the package in her hands. She opened the brown paper slowly, careful not to damage whatever was inside. Rinna and Yuffie were chatting, lost in their own little world. Tifa chuckled at their rambling, and then put her attention back on the package. Once it was free of all the paper, she realized what it was.
Holy...Vincent needs to see this...
AN: Quick note. Samiel means "a slow dry wind" in Turkish. Thought it went with the last name nicely.