Summary: Tifa has a stalker problem on her hands.
Prompt: There's got to be a good reason
Word Count: 2,992
A/N: Second prompt for 5_prompts on lj, and this is a college AU. This one is a little on the naughtier side, but can still remain in the rating it has. Also, I tried for humor again, but I'm not sure if it came across that funny. I seem to be able to do drama with no problem, but humor doesn't come out as easy. And if you're not a fan of SephAerith, then this fic isn't for you! But anyway, please enjoy!
And a big, big thank you to those of you who reviewed the first story. Thank you for your kind words!
Nudge, nudge. Poke… poke.
Tifa could feel her eyebrow twitching in irritation at the continued distraction from the test in front of her. Really, was he dense?
"Want to go out with me this weekend?"
She ignored him and tried to concentrate on the complicated equation that could get her points off if even one decimal point was out of place.
"You know you want to."
"Ow! Stop pulling my hair!" Tifa huffed and raised her hand, catching the professor's attention. When he looked up and gave her a severe look, she let out a short breath. "May I please move closer to the window? I'm having trouble seeing the numbers in this bad lighting," she fibbed, hoping he would believe her.
"Fine. Move over there," said the old man, pointing toward the back. And right behind the person she had been trying to get away from. She was tempted to remain in her seat, but she had already disturbed practically the entire class with her interruption.
Getting up, she nearly dragged her feet as she moved, but when she was close enough, she purposely stepped on his foot so that he understood that she was close to being pissed.
"Ow!" he hissed, pulling his foot back.
Luckily he left her alone for the remainder of their testing period, and when it was time to turn in their work and leave for the day, Tifa grabbed her things and nearly raced out the door, hoping to avoid her stalker.
"Shit," she muttered, ducking into the ladies' room and hoping that he hadn't seen her go in. What the hell was wrong with that man? Why couldn't he understand that she wasn't interested? Well… maybe that wasn't the entire truth. She was interested, but there were so many things to take into consideration.
A group of girls entered the bathroom while giggling and talking about an attractive man they had just passed, and Tifa wondered if it had been him… He had taken a sudden interest in her and no matter how many ways she said no to him, he wasn't backing off.
Any other girl would've killed for the opportunity to date Zack Fair, and even more so when he was the one doing the chasing. They had known each other for a couple of months now, and Tifa had even tutored him a while back to improve his math, why was he suddenly romantically interested in her? He was a doof and he made her smile, but never had she detected any kind of romantic feelings between them. Tifa sighed and rubbed a hand across her forehead, trying—unsuccessfully—to ward off a headache.
After doing her business, washing her hands, and stalling as much as she possibly could, she finally stepped out of the bathroom, hoping that she didn't look as if she was trying to escape. Letting out a relieved breath when Zack was nowhere to be found, she began to walk normally, searching her purse for her phone so that she could try locating one of her roommates.
"Boo!" a deep voice called right behind her.
Had she had her phone in her hand, she would've flung in his face in surprise, but all she did was jump and drop her book bag, spilling loose papers and a few of her drafting pens on the floor.
"Sorry!" said Zack with a grin. "I didn't think I'd frighten you so much."
"Yes, well, your stalking tendencies are what really scare me now," Tifa huffed, cramming her belongings into her bag and then beginning to walk away briskly.
"Why do you hate me so much?" he asked, lips forming a small pout.
His words made Tifa stop and stare in surprise. "I don't hate you!"
His blue eyes seemed to brighten up at her words. "Then there has to be a good reason for why you won't go out with me!"
Tifa let out a short breath and began to walk again, Zack falling into step next to her. "Look… you're a cute guy and all—"
"You think I'm cute, huh? Score!"
She couldn't stop the blush that bloomed across her cheeks, since she really hadn't meant to say that. "That's not the point!"
"Oh, but for me it is," Zack said, smiling brightly and slinging an arm across her shoulders. "So… why do you keep turning me down?"
Tifa tried to wriggle out of his grip but he held her snugly against him. The blush on her cheeks had cooled only slightly because they were getting curious looks from various students they had passed; she knew that this would be the latest piece of gossip within the hour. "It's complicated."
"Yes, it is!"
"Have you really not thought about it? Have you forgotten that you and Aerith had a bad break-up and that she's now one of my roommates?" Tifa questioned him, incredulous.
"Teef… we broke up a year ago!" Zack said with a bemused grin. That was her reason?
"Look, there's that universal law that you never date your friends' exes, and you fall under that category. It would make things weird and tense, and as much as I like you—yes, get that smug look off of your face—we can't get involved. I care about Aer," Tifa said, shoulders sagging a little.
Zack sighed and ran his free hand through his hair in "What if she was okay with it?"
Tifa gave him a suspicious look. "And how would you possibly know if she was?"
"We don't actually talk, but I do happen to know that she's been seeing another guy for the last few months," Zack said, slyly steering Tifa towards the direction he wanted them to go. "I think it's only fair that I get to date whoever I want now, too."
Tifa pondered his words for a second. "It's good that she's finally seeing someone else, but this has nothing to do with what we're talking about. It's not like she's dating my ex."
Zack scratched the back of his neck as he looked at her.
"She's dating my ex?" she nearly shrieked.
"I know nothing."
"But you just said that you knew she was dating another guy!"
"It doesn't mean she's dating Sephiroth—shit, I mean, uh—"
Tifa narrowed her eyes and stopped walking, forcing Zack to stop with her. "So she's been dating Sephiroth. Why didn't she just tell me? She's been so secretive about where she goes Friday nights. It's not like I would've flipped out! I don't even think of Seph as more than a friend anymore!"
Zack shrugged and began to pull her along again. "So… does this mean that you'll date me now?"
Tifa sighed and looked up at him, only then realizing how comfortable she felt with his arm around her shoulders. "I'm not sure yet. You've done nothing but annoy me for the past month. Besides, we don't know each other all that well."
"What are you talking about? We knew each other since before I started to date Aerith! In any case, that's the whole point of dating, you know," Zack snarked, stopping with her in the parking lot and in front of his car.
Tifa looked around in confusion. "What are we doing here?"
"I'm about to take you home with me," Zack said, wiggling his eyebrows.
She shoved him away from her and glared.
"I'm kidding! I just thought that you would want a ride home?" He gave her the full effect of his baby-blues and hoped that she would cave and give him the chance he wanted to be with her. "I'll share embarrassing tidbits about my roommates," he said, sing-song.
Tifa caved at that and shook her head to herself. Was she really such a gossip? No, she was just curious about the private lives of some of the most handsome men she knew. "Okay, but you need to give me some good information. Who's living with you now?"
Zack grinned and gave her a loud kiss on the cheek before he opened the door for her. "Well, you already know Seph. And there's Angeal and Genesis. We also had a new guy move in just last week. Last name Valentine," he said as he got into the driver's seat.
"Oh, so you live with Vincent Valentine?" Tifa asked, interest sparkling in her eyes.
"What?" Tifa asked, looking at him strangely as he pulled out of the parking lot.
"Don't tell me you like the moody quiet ones with too perfect hair," Zack moaned.
"Why not? He's handsome and smart…"
"But he's a total basket case!"
Tifa rolled her eyes at his reaction. "Why do you say that?"
"Because I think he's hated me from the first night he moved in."
"For no apparent reason?"
Zack shrugged and drove in the direction of Tifa's home—a massive house that her father had left her in an inheritance and which now housed about six girls; he had his own way of finding things out, and it hadn't been through Aerith. "Well… no. it's just hilarious to see him get riled up so I've been playing jokes on him. I guess he just doesn't like it. Still, he deserves it."
"No guy should be able to have hair like his," Zack snickered.
Tifa smiled slowly before she broke into laughter. "Ah, so you're jealous that he's hotter than you."
Her laughter grew at the look on his face. "Well, you're right. He does have amazing hair for a guy, plus, his eyes are the most intriguing color I've ever seen."
"Teef, you're killing me here!" Zack groaned, slamming his head on the steering wheel when they caught a red light.
Tifa felt pity for him and then shrugged. "But I happen to like guys with blue eyes much more."
"Really?" Zack asked, hopeful.
"Oh, yes. Angeal and Genesis have amazing blue eyes."
Zack glared at her and began to drive, deciding to punish Tifa with his silence.
When he pulled up in front of her home and still he hadn't said a word to her, Tifa sighed. "I was just playing with you," she muttered.
"You also hated me less than an hour ago," he replied.
Tifa scoffed. "I did not!"
"You nearly broke my toes when you stomped on them!"
"Well, I was trying to take the test in peace, and you kept interrupting me," Tifa said, feeling sheepish.
Zack removed his seat belt and turned in his seat so that he could focus entirely on her. "You have to know that I'm a stubborn guy, and that I really, really like you. So, I'm going to be around, bugging you until you can't take it anymore."
Tifa was fighting really hard to not smile at his words. "Is that a threat?" she asked quietly.
He moved forward and turned her chin so that he could look into her sweet, brown eyes. Slowly, he moved in and let their lips brush against each other a few times, his hand cupping her cheek, and Tifa imagined her knees would've weakened had she been standing.
Pulling back, she had to hope that she wasn't blushing as if she'd never been kissed. She'd dated her fair share of guys, but Zack seemed to be unlike her past boyfriends. He was funny, gorgeous, and he hadn't given up when she had blown him off for weeks now. She needed to talk to Aerith as soon as possible because her resolve was starting to crumble…
"As much as I'd love to sit here and kiss you senseless, I need to get back home and avoid Vincent's wrath," Zack said, grinning mischievously.
Tifa let out a breath and shook her head. "What did you do to him?"
"I ate his cookies."
"Without his permission?" Tifa asked, incredulous.
"I live in a frat house, Teef. If there's anything lying around anywhere without your name on it, it's fair game," he said, chuckling. The next words he added mostly to himself: "It's how Genesis stole my hair gel."
Tifa stifled a giggle. "…were the cookies any good?"
"Yeah. Though they were a little funny looking, shaped like stars or something," Zack said.
Star-shaped cookies, huh? Sounds like the cookies Yuffie had been making two nights before… Wow. Suddenly all of her friends were being secretive about the men they were dating. Where was the trust? And their friendship? Tifa sighed to herself and reached for the door handle, but Zack had already raced out of his side and was opening the door for her.
"Thanks for the ride," Tifa said walking with him up the bricked path and towards the front door.
"Will you at least think about going out with me?" Zack asked, moving to stand in front of her.
Tifa still looked hesitant. "Well, it'll all depend on what Aerith says to me…"
Zack looked slightly defeated at her words, but nodded.
"Do you… want to come in for something to drink?" Tifa offered, if only to wipe that sad-puppy look off of his face.
"Yeah, I'd love that," he said, following her inside her home. His eyes took in every detail, and he was pleasantly surprised to note that the house was not a total chick house. The furniture was simple but it suited the house and the colors. He stopped to admire pictures of the girls and their families, which were on the mantle above the fireplace. He grinned at the one of Tifa in a sundress, probably five years old, missing a tooth, and sitting on her father's shoulders.
"Why don't you have a seat and I'll get you the drink. Would you like some cookies? These I made myself," Tifa said, smiling.
"That'd be awesome," Zack said, taking a seat and waiting patiently yet hiding the giddiness he felt at being allowed to spend some time with the girl who'd been filling his thoughts for a while now.
Tifa made her way towards the kitchen and paused when she heard a strange squeaking noise coming from the laundry room. She frowned and picked up a bat—which belonged to Yuffie and had been left on the floor, Tifa noted in annoyance—and approached the room, forgetting all about the big strong man she had waiting for her in the living room.
She pushed the door quietly and readied herself for an attack… and nearly shrieked in alarm. "What the hell?"
"Tifa! Oh, Gaia!" Aerith screamed from the other side, perched atop the washing machine and in the company of a very half-naked Sephiroth.
"A little heads-up would've been good, Aer!" Tifa called quickly closing the door.
"Tifa, I can explain!" Aerith replied, pulling on a shirt as she chased after her friend.
"Please don't!" Tifa shuddered, trying desperately to burn the image from her mind. What the… why the hell hadn't she locked the door?
"Don't be mad, please!" Aerith said, breathless.
The darker brunette turned to look at her and smirked. "I'm not mad, though you could've told me this sooner. I could've made Zack's job a little easier."
"What job?" Aerith asked, looking disheveled and flushed.
"Hey, nice legs," Zack drawled, grinning as he took in Aerith's state of dress.
"What are you doing here?" Aerith nearly screamed, moving down the hall and out of his sight.
"Trying to get Tifa to go out with me. But she's been refusing out of consideration of your feelings," Zack called, standing.
"If you still want me to go out with you, stop ogling her legs," Tifa warned, eyes narrowed.
He held up his hands in surrender and motioned towards Aerith. "I'll wait in my car."
Tifa nodded and turned back to her friend. "Look, I'm seriously not mad. We've both moved on and apparently you forgot to tell me it was with my ex, but I can get over this if you tell me that it's okay for me to go out with Zack."
"Uh, I—yeah. He and I are ancient history," Aerith said, still reeling over having gotten caught in a compromising position and then learning that her ex-boyfriend wanted to date her best friend… Things would be tense for a while, but she knew that she didn't have the face to tell Tifa that she couldn't date him. At least not anymore… "You know, despite all that happened between us, he was a good boyfriend while it lasted."
Tifa smiled and would've hugged her, but not while the memory was still fresh in her head. "Thanks, Aer. Now go back over there and get yours!" she called as she turned and made her way out, hearing the mortified, choked sound coming from Aerith. She laughed to herself and jumped into the car with Zack before he could attempt to open the door for her. "I… really need to get my mind off of what I just saw."
"Hey, and I know just the way," said Zack, revving the engine of his car. "How about cheese burgers and curly fries at this amazing place I know, and then a stop at the make-out point overlooking the city?"
Tifa punched him on the arm.
"We're not in high school anymore!" Tifa exclaimed. "But I will accept that burger and then maybe a movie. How does that sound?"
"Well, it sounds just as good. The theater is dark enough and no one will be able to see me trying to kiss you senseless if we sit way in the back," Zack said, winking.
She punched him again.
"Owww! Tifa, I'm going to get a bruise at this rate!"
"Well, stop being so fresh with me and let's go!"
"You know, I don't think I'll like this abusive relationship—"
She kissed him this time—just to shut him up, of course.