Title: It's Always the Cute Ones
Author: joeanne
Pairing: Vin+Cid, implied Cloud+Tifa+Aeris
Rating: PG

A/N I do not own Final Fantasy or any of its related characters and situations. No infringement of copyright is intended or implied. This story exists for pure sugar. Please brush your teeth upon finishing reading this fanfic.

It was a sunny day as Cloud and his entourage marched to North Corel to stock up on supplies. The three girls headed the party, Tifa and Aeris chattering away about whatever the hell women talked about. Yuffie would try and interject a comment on occasion, which would send the other two into hysterical tittering laughter.

Next were Cloud, Vincent and Cid. They were not walking in nearly as even a line as the women, their gaits being somewhat different. Trailing behind were Barret and Red XIII discussing Red's history as a test subject. The heroes were a strange group but they were united in a common goal to stop the world from coming apart at the seams threatened by a madman long thought dead.

As the strange assembly traveled, Vincent overhead a particularly interesting tidbit from Red and drifted to the back of the party to join in the discussion. This left the two blonds alone. Cid decided to use this opportunity to ply Cloud with a particularly troublesome question.

"Cloud, can I ask you something?" Cloud looked up at the blond pilot. "I know you were with Shinra, the whole SOLDIER thing," Cid said. He didn't even pause as he slipped out the crumpled package from underneath his goggle strap and extracted a cigarette.

Cloud shrugged. "Sure, ask away."

"Well," Cid started. He lit his cigarette and took a puff. "Vincent put his hands down my pants the other day. Scared the fucking shit out of me. Said it was some sort of Shinra bonding thing. Did your buddies ever pull that kind of crap on you?"

"Yeah," Cloud answered. "Sephiroth and some of the others did that all that time. It helped maintain morale."

Cid nodded, a thoughtful expression on his face. "Just checking," he muttered. He looked up and noticed that Yuffie had left the other women alone and moved faster to join them.

Cloud sighed as Vincent strolled forward, matching steps with him.

Cloud scowled. "You owe me," he growled.

Vincent discreetly tossed the younger man a small sack of gil. He asked in a soft voice, "Do you think he bought it?"

Cloud rolled his eyes. "I don't know. I guess. You can't really tell with him," he admitted.

They walked on in silence for a few moments. "So are you going to do anything about it or are you just going to keep groping him?" Cloud asked.

Vincent said, "I have thought long and hard on this matter, meditating in my spare time. I have laid in the darkness consumed by my agonizing torment. Although I have sinned too greatly to deserve such kindness—"

"You're going to jump him the next time we make camp, aren't you?" Cloud asked bluntly.

The almost imperceptible smile was all the answer Vincent gave.

Cloud shook his head. "You're pathetic."

Vincent snorted. "Look who's talking. You have two gorgeous women falling all over you and you can't decide between them."

"But it's hard," Cloud whined.

Vincent felt no sympathy for him. "Right. If you absolutely had to choose, who would it be?"

Cloud thought this question over very seriously, searching his deepest thoughts and feelings. Finally, he answered with what his heart truly desired.


Meanwhile, Cid had drifted toward the front of the line, walking in tandem with Tifa and Aeris. "Where'd the brat go?" he asked.

Tifa shrugged. "We're not sure, but our materia's still here which means she hasn't gone far."

"So are you going to tell him anytime soon? It's kind of mean to lead him on, isn't it?" Aeris asked.

Cid cracked his neck. "Nah. If the bastard wants me he's going to need to put in some fucking effort. I'm not just some cheap date you buy dinner and she spreads her legs," he said.

The two women giggled. They were used to Cid by now and were no longer offended by his colorful way with language.

"Besides," Cid said with a wink. "Everyone wants to be chased once in a while, right?"

Tifa and Aeris shared a knowing smile, oh yes they did.

Yuffie suddenly reappeared, her arms laden with strange fruit. After snagging one, Cid decided to rejoin Cloud in the middle of the hard-traveling heroes. Yuffie watched him go, an annoyed expression on her face. "Seriously, what is up with those two?" she asked, tossing the other women a piece of fruit. "I mean, what the hell does creepy boy want with an old fart like that?" The ninja frowned and took a petulant bite of fruit.

"Well," Aeris said. "Have you even seen Cid when he's working on something and he has that real intent look on his face?"

"And he's shirt's off," Tifa continued.

"The sun's just starting to rise and it hits just right shining off his hair," Aeris added.

"And emphasizing those gorgeous blue eyes."

"And his tight ass."

Yuffie stared at them like they had gone insane. "No."

"Then you wouldn't get it," Aeris explained.

"And Vincent's not half bad himself," Tifa said.

"Oh, that claw does it for me every time," Aeris admitted.

Yuffie blinked in shock. "Wait a second, I thought you two were into Cloud."

"We are," Aeris said. "We love him."

Tifa gave Yuffie a confidential wink. "But that doesn't mean we can't admire the scenery."

The young ninja shook her head and rolled her eyes. "Freaks, I am surrounded by freaks." She retreated to the back of the line, hoping to find some sanity with Barret and Red XIII.

Tifa and Aeris were alone again. They smirked at each other. "So who do you think will crack first?" Tifa asked.

"Oh Cid, definitely. He just doesn't have the patience," Aeris said.

"Huh, I think it'll be Vincent," Tifa remarked.

Aeris was genuinely surprised. "Why?"

"He's been in a coffin for thirty years. That's got to do something to your libido," Tifa answered.

Aeris made a noncommittal noise and they walked in silence for a few moments. An idea popped into the pink-garbed girl's mind. "How about a wager?" she asked. Tifa raised an eyebrow; she was intrigued. Aeris took that as an affirmative to continue, "Winner gets a date with Cloud."

The brunette fighter didn't hesitate, "Deal. But how will we know?"

A sneaky grin stole across Aeris's face. "We'll take the room next to them in town." Her voice dropped to a low murmur. "I bet Cid's a screamer."

A red flush covered Tifa's cheeks as she giggled. "Oh, you pervert. It's always the cute ones, isn't it?"

Aeris just smiled.

The End