"Why not?"


"Come on! It's not like anyone's going to laugh at your face!"


"Don't glare at me! That was a compliment!"

"Yuffie, please leave me alone."

"Fine," Yuffie huffed and jumped off the bar stool of Seventh Heaven. Currently, the ninja and the gunslinger were the only occupants. Those who wanted to get drunk came later and everyone else was still asleep.

Vincent glanced at her, the only indication that he was surprised by her acceptance with defeat. Relieved, he turned to his drink - a simple glass of water. Unfortunately, he should have known not to let his guard down until he was sure the young princess was completely gone from the room.

"Ha!" Yuffie cried out triumphantly, holding Vincent's red cloak high up in front of her.

Before Vincent could demand for his cloak, Yuffie slipped it over her head and ran out the door, the tail of his crimson cloak chasing after her like a dog. Vincent grabbed his drink and downed it quickly like a shot and prepared to hunt for the ninja.

In the dead of night, long after Seventh Heaven closed, a dark figure knelt before the door. Clicks could be heard from the person's careful tinkering of the lock. After a few seconds, the figure grinned and pocketed her lock picking equipment.

Crouched low, Yuffie entered the bar and locked the door behind her without a sound. She tip-toed cautiously, taking the most round about way to the stairs. She knew the squeaky floor boards and she'd made sure to memorize them. How else could she hope to stay undetected by the others?

Yuffie successfully reached her room without waking anyone until her first step inside.

"Ah!" Yuffie yelped as a rope tightened around her right ankle and swept her off her feet. The oversized cloak fell into a crimson puddle on the floor beneath her. She stretched her fingers to grab the red bundle, but to no avail; not even a graze of her fingertip against the smooth fabric.

At the sound of light, yet heavy foot steps behind her, Yuffie twisted around. She glared at Vincent who tied the end of the rope around the leg of her bed.

"This is dirty, Valentine," Yuffie whispered, crossing her arms.

Vincent regarded the girl hung upside down in front of him lightly. He said nothing and picked up his cloak, donning crimson once more.

"You're so smug with that smirk of yours," Yuffie glared, though wasn't as nearly as strong as she would have liked. Maybe if she could stop blushing, she'd manage to look more menacing. But how could she control the rate of her heart when he stood so close. So close she could reach out only a little and touch him.

"I was not aware I was smirking," Vincent replied.

Yuffie swore his smirk only grew bigger.

"You know what?" Yuffie began and made an effort to jab him in the chest, but because she was upside down, her judgement of depth was off. Her finger ended up against his neck.

Vincent's lips twitched into what Yuffie swore was a smile and jerked back nearly stumbling onto her bed.

Yuffie gasped, her hands flew to her mouth, "Are you...Are you ticklish?"

"No," Vincent glared at her and adjusted his mantle.

"You are!" Yuffie cried out triumphantly, then remembered what time it was and continued whispering, "Yes you are! You so are! I knew everyone had a tickle spot! I never thought yours would be the neck, though I'm glad it wasn't what I suspected. I mean, I really did not want to stick my hands-"

Yuffie quickly snapped her mouth shut as Vincent pulled out a dagger from the black pockets around her hips.

"I-I won't tell anyone I promise! Just calm down, Vince!" Yuffie stuttered. Vincent wrapped his left arm around her shoulders, the cold metal of his gauntlet raising goose bumps on her shoulder and back. With his other hand, he reached up to her ankle and paused.

"You think I could ever hurt you?"


Vincent cut the rope and caught her legs at the knee, tossing the dagger onto her unmade bed, but kept a firm hold of her shoulders and legs when she attempted to squirm her way to freedom.

"Come on, Vince," Yuffie said, keeping her eyes on her lap, "You got your cloak."

"And my materia?"

Yuffie glanced up at him and quickly looked away. His shadowy crimson gaze warmed her cheeks and stomach. The ninja fidgeted and gulped, "What are you talking about?"

Vincent sighed.

Yuffie involuntarily shuddered at the feel of his warm breath across her cheek and neck. She fidgeted again, hoping to cover up her slip. Thankfully, only a sliver of moonlight slipped between her curtains and that did very little for the sight. Although, she wouldn't be surprised if her cheeks glowed from how hot they were. It felt like someone pressed two light bulbs against her cheeks, not to mention the over worked heater down in the pit of her stomach.

Vincent tilted his head curiously. The girl in his arms fidgeted often, but not from lying. She never gave off any obvious signs when she lied. Only those who knew her best could recognize when ever she ventured from truth. The pulse he detected from the soft flesh behind her knees raced abnormally fast. Vincent wondered why.

"The sooner I retrieve what's mine, the sooner I release you."

Vincent frowned at the ninja's silence and obvious effort to ignore him. He drew her closer to him and noted his shocking discovery. Not only had her pulse increased, he could now see the color on her cheeks.

Now, Vincent Valentine never thought of himself as exceptionally attractive and never tried to woo a woman to achieve his goal. But right now long past midnight, he was tired and cared little for the integrity of his tactics.

And Vincent was truly curious.