A/N: So I've had a million ideas for Sephiroth and Aeris floating through my head, but I went back and played FFVII, Crisis Core, and even read the books (where the ideas came from—Sephiroth was supposed to be her lover originally, not Zach!). I wanted to make sure I knew his character the way we see it now as opposed to how it was after FFVII. I do, and I love him even more in Crisis Core.

I plan to churn a few of these out in the next months, kind of as side projects, and I hope everyone enjoys them. I know this pairing can be hard to find on here. This is almost total AU. The only thing canon about it are the characters and the universe they live in.

Picture them young, perhaps 20 or so. Old enough to know better, too young to care.

Enjoy! R & R if you liked or have any constructive criticism.

"Running Scared"

They were running.

She could hear him laugh every few seconds, his pale hand tugging hers, his eyes bright and his lips stretched in a wide smile. But she could also hear the other two behind them, gaining on them every second, growing closer and closer. He has having the time of his life and she was scared shaking, too new to the strange dynamics of the trio her friend had become part of.

They didn't scare her, really. But they were chasing them, running them down like dogs, all because he had decided it would be fun to mess with them while they were training.

Only men. Really.

Angeal was a nice man. He had immediately been her favorite of the two, his soft smile and friendly ways warming her instantly. But the other one—he was violent, unstable. He was good, at least as far as she could tell, but like her Sephiroth there was a deeper dimension in him that relished in what he did, took pride in excelling at violence and murder. It always made her feel slimy, even when it was Sephiroth emitting that killing energy.

He tugged her around a sudden corner, jerked her through a doorway, and the lock slid home.

His hand came up to rest against her mouth—she was breathing hard, too used to sedentary behavior—but he was calm and unruffled. His smile was still big, his ego obviously still intact. And it only got bigger when they heard the two men rush by the door, down the corridor, off along the winding trails in the building. He had thrown them off their course, always that one step ahead of everyone behind him. Part of her wanted to punch him, dent that solid muscle and hard exterior, but part of her wanted nothing more than to reach up and pull his face to hers.

"You're incorrigible."

"They deserved it," he said, his words breathy with laughter he was suppressing.

"You should learn to be the bigger man in these situations."

He leaned over her suddenly, his eyes gleaming in the low light of the unused training room they had ducked into, his hand curling around under her jaw.

"I am always the bigger man." She smacked him lightly on the chest, and he shook again with silent laughter. "They should not have provoked me."

"They're your friends, Sephiroth."

"Indeed. Otherwise they would be in much worse physical condition."

She huffed as his arms came around her, and she felt him nuzzle the hair away from her ear. Her eyes closed, her body delighting in the warmth, in the physical presence of the being surrounding her. He was so large, so solid.

A tender, tentative kiss was pressed to the delicate skin right below her ear, and she felt more than she heard the moan slip from between her lips.

It always pulled her nerves, made them sing like bowstrings. He was so sure of himself in everything but this. Never too hard, never too demanding, always asking permission in the only way he could allow himself. He wouldn't just come out and say it, let her clear the air finally. No, he had to be complicated. He was always complicated.

And then a tongue, the moist muscle sliding along the soft shell of her ear, and her hands tightened around the cloth of his sleeves, fingers tight and knuckles turning white from pressure.

She felt more than she heard him chuckle, the sound nothing more than a deep rumble in his chest, and she felt retaliation was the only option she had. So she jerked her head away and then forward, her own small mouth now leaving a trail of openmouthed kisses along the sinewy length of his long neck. His arms tightened around her, his breathing growing shallow.

She let her body do the thinking from then on, letting her chest press against his as his arms tightened impossibly, one leg sliding up his own to find the one position that would allow him to slide between her legs, his body fully against her. It was always the most beautiful feeling, having him so close. She wanted it to last until the stars burned out and the planet faded away.

Their lips finally met, crashing together as he hauled her smaller frame up the door and plastered her between the cold metal surface and his own hard heat. She could feel him tremble against her, hardening against the soft skin of her thigh, and her stomach burned fire at the thought that he might actually let them get a little further than a few stolen kisses and his hands running across her skin. Just the thought of him finally allowing her to touch him, of him finally touching her, caused her to groan, her hips flexing uncontrollably against his. She felt his hips dig into hers, flexing and straining against the leather of his pants, as his hand trailed down her side and somehow slid between them.

Finally. Finally they were going to do something other than move at the maddeningly slow pace of a snail in all this fumbling around. She was giddy with excitement and burning with arousal, her nerves humming with the anticipation of his feeling his hand finally—

And then a jiggle of the knob next to her waist.

They both stopped suddenly, eyes meeting, before he quickly pulled her from the door and across the training lab to another door, this one larger and obviously made for transporting large items into a warehouse of some sort .

"Stay quiet."

His eyes were lighting up again, the thrill of the chase taking over his spirit, and she sighed even as she felt the smile break out on her face.

He loved this. It was fun to him, and she couldn't deny him the little bit of happiness he found in life. But damn if she wasn't all worked up and left with nothing to do about it—and him, he looked like nothing had even happened, like it hadn't even bothered him. As they moved through the doors into the large warehouse beyond, she willed her body to calm down. It wasn't the first time they had been interrupted. It wouldn't be the last.

She looked up at him again, his thin lips red and puffy from their kisses, his silver hair mussed about his ears, and grinned again.

One day they would stop running.

One day she could chase him, too.

One day, she would catch him.