Locks


The sun is shining, the grass is growing, the birds are flying. And Yuffie is removing Vincent's belts. Her soft fingers (surprisingly soft, given her background and profession) dance in unwitting circles over the places where his skin is most sensitive. He gives a groan, half full of annoyance and half full of something he doesn't want to admit exists, and rolls away.

Quicker than a flash, she has him pinned between her knees. She scowls like a petulant child, hits him in the shoulder, and gets back to the task in hand. He lies back, the knowledge that only a layer of leather separates his skin (every cell of which seems to be standing on tiptoes, reaching upwards to the warm woman on top of him) and her bare calves burning deep in his mind.

"Yuffie, do not do this." he moans, knowing that it will do no good. The ninja always got what she wanted, and right now she wanted his clothes to be off.

"Come on, Vince. We have to do this sooner or later. It may as well be sooner." she mouths, biting her bottom lip in concentration.

She cannot understand why her gun-slinging comrade wears so many belts. She understands, on one level, that it is most definitely not about keeping his trousers attached to his surprisingly lean frame. And that it is even more definitely not a fashion statement.

Deep in the depths of her heart, she completely understands why he wears so many belts, just as she understands why Red XIII tries to act so mature and Cloud is still trying to overcome the discomfort he feels around Tifa and Denzel. She understands that Red acts mature because he is scared of being a child at the wrong time, and that Cloud is uncomfortable because he's making sure that he's him, and not Sephiroth or Zack or anyone else that Tifa and Denzel might lose if he finds himself.

And she understands, in the deepest depths of her heart, that Vincent's belts are just one more symbolic layer of the restraints he places upon himself to prevent him from becoming a monster.

But Yuffie rarely visits the deepest depths of her heart, because she is too busy enjoying life. And so she understands but doesn't understand, choosing instead to accept or change things as it suits her.

Her mind idly compares undoing Vincent's belts to opening a treasure chest. There were locks to unlock, and the treasure would be him. It would be worth the effort.

In the end, she triumphs over his (admittedly feeble) efforts. His belts slither to the floor, and she yanks off his trousers without ceremony.

Underneath the leather, the blood pools. The wound on his thigh weeps red and demands her attention. Her Restore materia is at home (or so she says).

Smiling, she takes a photo of his boxers on her phone for future reference. Then, she grabs a potion, and gently begins her work.


A/N: Just thought I'd start this collection with a little bit of a fluffy fake-out. Hope you enjoyed it!