Title: #007: Descent
Rating: T
Pairings: Cloud/Tifa
Word Count: 493
Summary: Sometimes descent doesn't necessarily mean depression; sometimes it leads to something much more worthwhile pursuing.

Tifa shifts her weight to her left and gets ready to strike, her eyes narrowing as she judges the distance of the grounds. It was a fairly sized arena, contained within an abandoned warehouse, its four corners marked by pieces of chalk.

Her opponent's face is one of wary trepidation. Cloud stands opposite, crouching awkwardly with his fists clenching and unclenching as if unsure of what to do beyond tracking her actions. His hair is disheveled and he rakes his hand through it twice before scuttling a few feet sideways into a pillar when Tifa closes in.

She begins slowly at first, teasing and gauging the limits of his boundaries. Out of pity, she had decided to grant her partner a gracious five second lead but when he doesn't take the offensive, she charges. The strong, steady current of cold air whips around her legs as she sprints then swings her right arm back, releasing the punch and feeling it connect against Cloud's palm, which tightens.

Instinctively Tifa drops down, fists her free hand into the collar of his shirt, tugs and heaves. She has a point to prove. With a groan, her opponent's back collides onto the cement and he lies there for a moment, stunned then jumps to his feet, and counters with an elbow jab. There is a bead of sweat trickling from his forehead, his breath coming out in short spurts.

Grinning widely now, Tifa ducks then feigns to her left to give herself a wider berth. She rolls to her side, knocking away another half-hearted punch and slams her fist into his shoulders. Surprised, Cloud stumbles but doesn't quit, yanking her vest then reeling her in as he falls for the second time. She makes a tsking noise because this means it's time to play dirty.

"Give up?" he rasps into her ear.


Her cry seems to startle the challenger but before he could further restrict her movement, Tifa twists her body, digging her knees into his limbs. He pants heavily, his hands darting out and gripping her waist securely. In comparison, her breath is light, a soft breeze blowing quietly against his flushed cheeks. She relaxes a fraction and the space between their bodies decreased to minimum.

Tossing her head, Tifa says mockingly, "Give u-oomph!"

Suddenly, Cloud jerks her forward and crushes his lips to hers. His tongue forces her lips apart while his fingers entwine in her hair, gradually stopping to play with the strands on the nape of her neck. He deepens the kiss as she begins to respond, smirking when Tifa gives a satisfied moan and wraps her legs around his.

Finally they break apart and Tifa rests her forehead against his, her voice smooth like silk as she murmurs, "Like I said, I win."

AN: *scratches head* Is this work-safe? I marked it as a T and Twilight probably does the same thing magnify times ten but now I'm not so sure.

And it just struck me today as I was writing this; does Cloud even know how to fight hand to hand combat? Take away his gigantic knife, will he still keep the record as best fighter in FFVII?