Tiptoe

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Rating: PG
Pairing: Scarlet/Aeris
Notes: Extremely belated birthday fic for the lovely Siory. I hope you like it--I haven't written anything for a few months, so I feel weirdly out of practice. XD 1,100 words.


The girl is young. Just past twenty, if memory serves, and there's that strange look in her eyes that shouldn't come from a slumgirl. She's young, naïve, but the way she smiles it's like she has the wisdom of the ages.

Long brown hair, pretty face, big green eyes-- she's a sight to see, hands tied while she sits stiff and dirty on the floor of her cell, still smudged and bruised from the fall of the Plate. And Scarlet sees. She looks through the crack in the door until she's seen enough, and despite her gaze the girl doesn't lift her head. Pride, Scarlet thinks, and wants to tear it out of her. This slum girl, Cetra filth dares to sit in a Shinra cell and look like she knows just how things are going to go.

"The Planet talks to you. Isn't that what you think?" Scarlet laughs as she swings into the dank, small space, shutting the door behind her. The lock scrapes shut and the guard outside knocks his gun against the wall, and Scarlet feels a little safer. This Aeris could have all the powers of the Planet, but even she couldn't break through a door that thick without help.

"So," Scarlet says, hips swinging as she steps forward, "how's the service?" She tips her head back and laughs, loud and coarse. Then she answers herself: "Hospitality isn't a high priority for prisoners, especially not Hojo's little labrats." She sweeps some hair from her face, observing the girl, watching for any signs of reaction.

Aeris looks up. Apparently the name -- Hojo, Shinra's famous scientist -- rings some sort of bell: it's unsurprising, really, since she supposedly spent her early years in the man's care. Her eyes are a startling shade of green, but Scarlet meets them easily. "Well, I'm only here for one thing."

As the head of Weapons Development, Scarlet knows enough about guns and bombs and materia to make most people's heads spin. She has knowledge, experience and, most importantly, enthusiasm. There is very little on the subject of warfare that she doesn't know.

So the idea of White Materia… Scarlet suppresses a shiver and takes another step towards Aeris. She has no idea what its function is, but that is exactly what she intends to find out. While Hojo does his useless experiments on the girl, Scarlet has her own in mind for the materia. She wasn't around years ago when the mother was captured, and now she wants to work out what it does, how it works, where it came from. There is any number of things that it could do, and she intends to find out and use it for herself.

But first she must get the materia from the girl, and she has a feeling that this will be the most difficult part.

"Your materia." Scarlet holds one hand out, palm up, the other resting on one hip. "Give it to me."

Aeris looks at her, then looks away again, saying nothing. There is still that stubborn pride in the way she sits. Scarlet feels the hot lick of her temper rising.

She strides forward, closing what little distance is left between them. "Fine," she hisses, grabs the girl by her hair, and yanks her to her feet. Aeris lets out a yelp of pain and her hands flex behind her back; but she is bound by metal, and the cuffs don't give. "Give it to me or I'll take it from you."

Aeris stares up at her and smiles, despite the sharp pull on her hair. "Then take it."

Patience has never been one of Scarlet's virtues, and Aeris has pushed her enough. She gives another tug on the hair in her fist and pushes the girl until her back is against the wall; her eyes are screwed up against the pain in her scalp, and this time it is Scarlet who smiles. Keeping one hand curled in Aeris' hair, she reaches out and pats the other against her chest.

The fabric of Aeris' dress is thin, and Scarlet can feel the curves of her through it. Reaching around to search the back, her fingertips brush against the solid curve of Aeris' spine and the girl shivers against her.

Eyebrows lifting in surprise, Scarlet curls the fingers at her scalp little tighter, tipping Aeris' head until it hits the stone behind her. She may be the last living Cetra, but her affinity for magic is useless without materia to use.

As Scarlet's hand sweeps down to Aeris' waist, she considers her next course of action. The hand in the girl's hair is useful for keeping her subdued, but she can't finish her search without reaching further. "Hm," she murmurs, watching the little hints of discomfort twist into Aeris' face. "Stand still."

Letting go of the hair in her grip, Scarlet slides a leg between the girl's thighs and pushes it against her. Aeris stiffens, but Scarlet pays it no mind. She runs her hands along the girl's stomach, her hips and thighs; her hands take the place of her leg and search between the girl's. Glancing up at Aeris' pretty face, Scarlet is pleased to see some of that pride worn away and replaced by disgust. How pathetic.

Straightening, Scarlet begins, "I don't see why you don't just—" and breaks off as she notices strands of Aeris' hair falling loose around her face. Before the girl has time to defend herself, Scarlet reaches forward and grabs her by the hair again, pulling harder this time. Her fingers rake along Aeris' scalp, searching; they twist the materia from her braid and close quickly around the orb, tearing hair out with it.

Aeris lets out another cry of pain and closes her eyes, though she still stands tall. Scarlet is too triumphant to care.

The materia is warm against her skin, and she rolls it around in her palm, examining the way it glows. It is like marble, unevenly patterned, illuminated by an inside light. "Perfect," Scarlet purrs, and allows herself a slow smile.

When she leaves, Aeris is still pressed with her back to the wall, hair half-loose but her head still held proudly high. She watches Scarlet's back as it leaves the cell, and the door closes behind it, squeaking with age.

It doesn't matter, Aeris thinks. The Planet speaks to her, even now, the thinnest whisper; Scarlet cannot use her Materia.

Aeris will escape as soon as she can. And who will be the victor then?

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