A large piece of metal landed in a crash, leaving a cloud of dust in the air as it landed.
"Ha! Hyah!" Tifa grunted, punching and kicking a large metal box with all her might. The piece of metal proved to be heavy enough to only budge with every punch and kick that left a dent in it.
The martial artist was out in the most destroyed part of the city, beating the hell out of any debris she found lying in her sights. Is she angry, you ask? No. It was a peaceful Sunday and with the bar closed for the day, Tifa yearned for something to do.
It's been a while since she's used her martial arts and she felt like her abilities were becoming rusty. With the alcohol already brewed, the food made and frozen, the whole bar neat and tidy, what else was there to do on an afternoon? Barret had insisted on closing the bar down for at least a day for he thought Tifa had been working so hard and deserved a break. Cloud had silently agreed.
So here she was… bored enough out of her mind that she went to the outskirts of Edge in the most beat up section of the city, resharpening her fighting ability.
The pounds of her fists and feet making contact with metal rang in the air. Round house kick, uppercut, jab, hook kick. Her barrage of moves against the piece of metal began to wear it down, her blows leaving a dent larger than the last.
"The final blow!" Tifa muttered excitedly to herself as she kicked the dented metal box far into the air in a somersault. Landing from her flip, she jumped, accelerating to catch up with the box in mid air. She clenched her right fist and pulled it back like an arrow as she aimed at the top of the box with her left palm.
"HYAH!" she let out a loud grunt and released her fist, punching the metal box with a loud clang. The box went flying to the ground faster than it flew up and crashed heavily, conjuring a large cloud of dust. Tifa landed a few feet away and slowly straightened up with a huff of satisfaction and a smile on her face.
"You haven't lost your touch at all," she heard someone say behind her. She quickly turned around to see Cloud standing behind her with his arms at his sides. Tifa caught a glance at Fenrir behind him. The loud clangs of her hits had apparently been loud enough to drown out the rumbling approach of the bike.
How long had he been watching? Tifa smiled at him as she stretched her arms.
"Yeah, I guess so," she said, "How long have you been standing there? Aren't you supposed to be spending time with Marlene and Denzel?" Cloud returned a small smile back at her.
"Long enough see that last piece of action," he replied, "Marlene and Denzel were wondering where you were, so I went looking."
"Oh, I see," Tifa said smiling to herself while looking for something else to spar on, "Well I'll be here if you need me. Nothing to worry about- I just wanted some exercise."
"You know, if you want a sparring partner, I'm here," Cloud slowly said as he leaned back on Fenrir. Tifa stopped her search and whipped her head to look at her friend. A small laugh escaped her lips.
"Really? You wouldn't mind being my punching bag?" she asked incredulously.
"I said sparring partner, not punching bag, Tifa," he chuckled, getting up from leaning on his bike. He opened one of the side compartments and slid out the shortest but widest blade. Cloud then approached closer to Tifa, spinning the sword above his head and assumed his fighting stance.
"The children can wait," he said, "Ready?" Tifa stared at him for a few moments before tightening her gloves and assuming her own fighting stance. She nodded with a furrowed brow and small smile.
"Ready when you are."
Without a warning, Cloud charged, accelerating towards Tifa swinging his blade at her legs. Tifa easily dodged his attack with a back flip. Landing, she charged herself forward with her fist drawn back. At the last step, she released her fist aiming at his chest and made contact with the flat side of Cloud's sword that quickly blocked her attack. His movements were as fast as hers. They made eye contact for a brief moment before they pushed each other apart, skidding backwards on their heels.
"I've forgotten how fast you are," Tifa smiled as she assumed her fighting stance once again. Cloud merely smirked as he straightened up, slung the hilt of the sword on his shoulders and flitted his fingers as if to coax her to attack.
"Then start remembering."
Tifa blinked before charging again, this time sending a kick down at his feet. Cloud easily dodged the kick with a step back but barely blocked her other foot from crunching the side of his jaw when she followed it with a left roundhouse kick.
"Do you remember how fast I am?" Tifa teased, keeping her foot against his hand next to his jaw. Cloud chuckled.
"Yes, I remember." Blushing, Tifa dropped her left foot onto the ground and made a right round house kick aiming at his abdomen.
"Ha!" she grunted. The attack was successful, sending Cloud backwards skidding on the ground with the wind knocked out of him.
"Apparently, your memory deceives you," Tifa laughed putting her arms on her hips.
"Apparently so," Cloud dusted off dirt from his arm, "But think again." He threw his sword at her with a mighty speed, aiming at her head. Tifa barely dodged it as she sidestepped to the right, the spinning blade cutting the bare ends of her hair. The blade stuck into a pile of debris that was sitting behind her, distracting her for a full second.
Before she could turn her attention back to Cloud or even catch her breath, she felt his arm wrap around her neck with a light grip- a loose headlock.
"Apparently not," he murmured into her ear. Tifa blushed feeling his warm breath and her back up against his chest. He let go of his grip and plucked the sword out from the debris. He didn't look back at Tifa as he made his way back to Fenrir.
"Come on, the kids are waiting," he said coolly. Tifa stood there with her mouth slightly open wonderment. Cloud returned the blade into its compartment and got on the bike ready to go. He turned to Tifa, noticing she hadn't moved at all with her eyes fixed on him with a hint of blush on her cheeks. He shrugged and slightly smiled while slipping on his goggles.
"Beats beating metal boxes all day."