Fandom: Final Fantasy VII

Title: Household Pests

Author: Rose Flame

Theme: #18 - disheveled; in the rain; thunder

Pairing/Characters: Yuffie/Vincent

Rating: M, for language and suggestion.

Disclaimer: Don't own, don't sue.

Summary: Nibelheim's storms are different, somehow.

Notes: Brush your teeth before and after reading this; you never know how quickly cavities might form.

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In Kisaragi Yuffie's home town of Wutai, storms are considered to be, simultaneously, blessings and bloody annoying. On one hand, Leviathan sweeps the land clean, showers the dry and cracked earth with the healing kiss of tears, makes the air fresh and clean and enables their continued prosperity and livelihood. On the other hand, it means she can't go outside without getting mud all over her favourite shoes (because no matter the weather, one thing she will never bring herself to do is stick to a concrete path the whole way), she has to help rebuild the houses and structures that have been torn down by Leviathan's vague feeling that surely someone down there deserves to be punished, and her cats - her cats go crazy when it storms.

She likes storms anyway, though. In Wutai, that is. In Nibelheim, they're just plain scary.

There's something about the houses and the way the wind goes through them. There's something about the way people scurry about fearfully with no real awe for the entire process. There's something about the way the power goes out and leaves the Shinra Mansion with only the fireplace to flicker and dance with lion-light in Vincent's living room.

It's funny. In Wutai, she never even worried about the power. She was happy to sit in her little house with its comfortable nooks and inviting crannies, and read by the light of her torch, even though she probably ought to be conserving its batteries for that next materia cave she has to go visit, just in case it's coughed out another Knights of the Round for her. You never know. It could happen. She keeps hoping, anyway.

But it's different in Nibelheim. The power's out, and despite the fire there's a pervasive cold spreading throughout the house that makes Yuffie want to crawl down onto the rug and curl up on the hearth, like her cats would probably do if this weather didn't make their tails thrash and whiskers twitch and their claws lash out to pounce on anything that moved. To get to the rug, though, she'll have to walk across the floor, and the floor is cold.

She spends a few minutes debating this, rocking slightly and rubbing her arms to warm herself. Eventually Vincent glances up from his book and raises his eyebrows at her. "Is there some problem, Yuffie?"

Yuffie shrugs helplessly, and winces as a clatter from outside signals the demise of another of the tiles from their roof. "It's cold. And the storms up here are kinda scary."

Vincent's face softens so slightly, and he shifts ever so marginally, it is a wonder she notices at all. But she does, and she shakes her head frantically. "Floor's too cold."

Vincent shuts his book with a snap. Perhaps he is insulted by her refusal. Yuffie doesn't think so. "Have you ever heard the saying, Yuffie, that it must get worse before it can get better?" He beckons to her; a convenient flash of lightning makes the bronze of his claw glow golden for a moment. He makes for a tempting sight, reclined so comfortably and waiting for her to join him. She grins at him, even as she ducks her head at the volume of the resulting thunder. When she speaks, it's quietly, into her knees.

"I've heard it. I just never agreed with it, that's all. If I'm going to do something, it's going to be for the better. There's no point in making things worse. What if you get stuck at the worse?"

"There is little danger of you becoming paralysed on the floorboards before you reach the carpet, Yuffie."

"You never know," she replies stubbornly. "There's still the occasional monster hanging around, and I wouldn't be surprised if they lived under the floorboards. This place has monsters instead of rats, you know?"

Vincent's voice is very close to her when he speaks again, and it startles her into looking up. She has never understood how he can move so quietly in boots all the time. "It has rats, too." He's leaning over her, braced against the arms of the chair on either side of her. She makes a face at him.

"That's really lovely, Vincent. 'Hey, my house has monsters and rats. Wanna fuck?'"

He looks briefly disgruntled. "I hope I have never been so indecorous as that, Yuffie." But there's a hint of fire deep in his cool, red eyes and she knows that inside he's laughing. She shrugs and leans back slightly, running her hands down the length of his arms from the shoulder and tapping the fingernails of her right hand along the cuff of his claw.

"Only because your bandanna hid your come-hither eyebrows, Vinnie."

Vincent's expression says very clearly that he has never had come-hither eyebrows. The rest of him is kinder. He slides his claw beneath her legs and his arm around her shoulders, and he tugs her inexorably into his arms, like the princess she's supposed to be, but isn't.

He moves over to the fire on his knees in a ridiculous waddling motion that she tells him is the least romantic thing she has ever been a part of, and that includes barfing all over Gold Saucer while Cloud ignored her and shot things. Tried to shoot things. There was a reason swords were his weapon of choice, after all.

Vincent immediately makes a lie of her giggling declaration by capturing her mouth a little more forcefully than he usually does - possibly in an effort to make her stop talking about Cloud - and lays her gently her out along the achingly hot stone that lines the fireplace.

He pulls back, rests his head contentedly upon her breasts, and watches her. She strokes his messy hair out of his sideways face and keeps it from spilling into the ash of the fire. She can feel the claw pressing into her thigh. The wrist-joint is warming quickly with the heat of the fire. Soon it will begin to burn.

Vincent's human hand wanders up to toy with her hair. "My house has monsters and rats," he murmurs.

Yuffie always knew his eyebrows had it in them.

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A/N: Comments and criticism are welcomed.