The Reckless Desire

*Disclaimer: I do NOT own Final Fantasy VII or any of its content or characters. They belong entirely to Square Enix. This piece was made as strictly a fan based story.

**Author's note: Hey guys! This is going to be an interesting fic for me as there is a co-author to this story. We will be alternating between chapters. This first chapter was written by myself and I am currently awaiting her to finish the second chapter. Hope you guys enjoy! reviews are always welcome and appreciated!

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On a high cliff's edge stood a young blonde man, peering out into all borders of the skyline, he watched his village of Delos from above and gazed out to watch the village's inhabitants continue along with their lives. A thin layer of smog weighed heavily in the air from various machines and factories. Infantrymen weaved through the village, ensuring that the area was free of any sign of a Lydian solider; the rival village to Delos.

Lydia was located roughly 150 miles away from Delos. Close enough for them to wage an attack on them at anytime. Soldiers of Delos were on duty endlessly. Despite the war spanning over the duration of some 20 years now, the cause of the war was still unclear. Citizens of Delos, including the soldiers, were advised against digging into the past. The history books of Delos were kept locked away in a location of which was only known to Delian leaders and high ranking generals. It was only said that it was Lydia who'd first declared war, out of fear that the technological and mechanical advancements of Delos would lead the Delian army into plundering other villages for province.

A mere 21 years of age, the strapping young man bore the scars of countless battles and encounters with enemy soldiers. Even so, his face retained its perfection, untainted by any scars. His eyes glowed a cerulean blue, a feature shared by almost all of the Delian soldiers; the cause of it remained a mystery. On the top of his left wrist was a tattoo of the head of Fenrir; The fearsome gray wolf that was believed to have been the guardian of Delos some 500 years ago. This mark was only worn by the highest ranking of soldiers, who had earned their place as a guardian of the Delian people. The young man's name was Cloud Strife, son of Ajax; the most respected general in the Delian military. He paused for a moment and turned around to see a fellow soldier standing behind him.

"Cloud, your father wants you to patrol the border, Lydian citizens have been spotted nearby." the young soldier said in a stern, monotonous tone.

He nodded and proceeded to descend from the cliff with an immensely large sword resting against his shoulder. Soon after descending down onto flat land, he spotted his motorcycle, disassembled his sword and placed them into the side compartments of the motorcycle. Cloud reached into his pockets and pulled out his goggles; he went forward and straddled the motorcycle and raced through the village towards its outskirts. Keeping watch at the borders was a task Cloud was often appointed responsibility for. As one of the strongest and most skillful of the Delian soldiers, warding of Lydian infantrymen was almost child's play to Cloud. Cloud's motorcycle halted in the grassland area which was located in the between the villages of Delos and Icarus. Icarus was once a small, peaceful village that was densely populated by families. It serves now as the median point between Delos and Lydia. The majority of denizens of Icarus had moved on since the war's beginning, fearing that their land would be reduced to a battle ground between the two warring villages. Some citizens still remained and turned the small town into a supply market. A clever move, Icarus remained neutral between Delos and Lydia so as to receive the patronage of both villages. Cloud began to set up camp for the evening; perimeter patrol was a days long task that was rotated every few days to a different soldier; however; Cloud's father often insisted that Cloud alone should be responsible to guard the outskirts. Cloud finished his ready-made meal in silence and then retreated back to his tent for the night.

Cloud woke up to a clear day. The air was cool and crisp. He gathered all of his camping supplies and mounted his motorcycle and drove in the direction of Icarus to gather more supplies and food for his stakeout. Once there, Cloud wandered through the town, entering different stores and bargaining with the owners. Cloud remained on alert as he shopped, well aware that Lydian soldiers could pass through for the same reasons. Passing through the market section of Icarus, Cloud paused abruptly as something hit his boots. At his feet was a small coin purse which had fallen from the back pocket of the woman standing in front of him. Cloud reached down to pick it up and gently tapped the woman on the shoulder.

"Uh. Excuse me Miss." Cloud said after clearing his throat.

The woman turned to face him. She was tall with a slender frame that still showed signs of a muscular build. Her hair was long, flowing down to her hips and raven black. Porcelain skinned and rosy cheeked, Her eyes were of a chocolate brown with the smallest hint of a garnet red surrounding the pupil. A rare beauty. Cloud swallowed heavily in nervousness and reached out to hand her back the purse.

"Oh, thanks!" she said in a relieved tone.

As he extended his arm out for her to retrieve her purse, she looked at his wrist and saw the mark of Fenrir. Her expression instantly changed as her eyes gaped open in fear. She snatched the purse out of his hands, causing Cloud to flinch a little, being taken off guard by the sudden movement. She immediately turned around and walked quickly away from him. A citizen of Lydia, the young woman fled from the sight of the Delian soldier.

Cloud watched her with a confused expression as she bolted away from him. ' Why did she feel the need to flee the sight of me' he thought to himself. Curiosity had come over him and he followed the young woman's path to see where she was going and why she was running from him. This area of Icarus was desolate, populated only by the houses that had previously belonged to families before the war. looking to the sides in search for her, he moved forward. In an instance, a fist came shooting out from behind a wall and struck him directly on the side of his face.

"AH shit!." Cloud exclaimed, rubbing the side of his cheek with his gloved hand.

As he looked back up he saw the same raven-haired woman rushing toward him at an incredible speed. Realizing that it was an attack, Cloud immediately dodged her attempt at a clothesline hit and grabbed a hold of her arm, swinging her back. As the woman hit the wall, she groaned in pain but immediately stood back on her feet, now enraged. Racing toward him again, She dodged every one his attempts to swing at her and she grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and slammed him to the ground. Coughing and rising from the dust, Cloud could tell that she was still there despite not seeing her. With the sudden snap of a twig, Cloud reached out to grab her arm again and swing her out of his way. She returned with a force that he'd never seen before. For every one of his attacks, she had the perfect counter move. Finally, he was able to grab a hold of her by the throat. As he pinned her against the wall, he reached for his sword quickly and rested it against her neck. Both fighters were breathing heavily, the young woman grimacing at the sharp point of the sword, staring him directly in the eyes with a fierce glare. Cloud's expression softened somewhat, completely captivated by this woman's features. He'd never encountered a soldier who matched his level of fighting skills, let alone a young women who had appeared to be so delicate at first glance. He lessened his grip around her throat and pulled his sword away, leaving only a small nick. They still hung on to each others' gaze and after a moment, the woman began to turn away to run.

"Hey wait a second."Cloud pleaded to her. He found himself having an intense curiosity about this woman who had put up a better fight than any soldier he'd ever encountered.

She stopped abruptly and turned to him. She looked at him and raised her eyebrows in confusion, waiting for him to respond.

Cloud smirked a little at her, "Who are you?" he asked with a voice filled with peculiarity. "I mean..what's your name?" he asked in a phrase that seemed a little more welcoming.

A sarcastic expression came over her face. "Two minutes ago you were going to kill me and NOW you want to know my name." "I would think that a little backwards..wouldn't you?" she laughed.

Cloud blushed a bit. 'She's got a sharp tongue.' he thought to himself.

"Well I didn't kill you, so, because of the fact that I just spared your life I think I at least deserve to know your name." Cloud pleaded in a coy tone.

She sighed and turned her head away for a moment only to turn back to face Cloud.

"My name is Tifa Lockhart." she said in a shy tone.

"I'm Cloud Strife." Cloud replied with a soft smile tugging at his lips.

There was a short pause between both of the fighters. Tifa's lips slowly curved to form a small smirk as she stood in front of the gorgeous blond soldier; completely captivated by his deep blue orbs. It was as though the heavens had placed all of its glory into his eyes. Cloud found himself staring at her feminine frame; she seemed so delicate but behind her feminine disposition, was a fierce warrior capable of taking on even the most skilled of fighters.

"I'm going to take a shot in the dark here and assume that you're from Lydia." Cloud joked, breaking the silence between them.

Tifa chuckled quietly. "Nothing gets passed you does it." she said sarcastically with a cheeky expression written all over her face.

Cloud's lip curved to the side slightly to form a small smirk; amused by her wit. Tifa found herself to be completely in engulfed by Cloud's appearance; that unusual spiky sun-kissed hair that seemed to defy gravity and those eyes...she'd never seen such eyes. Breaking from her gaze she turned her head to the ground, clearing her throat as she did so.

"Well, Delian solider..I bid you a good evening." Tifa said with that same cheeky expression. She gave him a small smile and began to walk away from him.

Cloud was left with an insatiable curiosity about her. He'd never been drawn to anyone like he'd been drawn to her. Cloud simply smiled and watched as she walked away. She turned back once with a sweet, yet small smile on her face. She quickly turned away as though she were hoping that he was not staring back at her. As she disappeared from his sight, he turned and waked away. After gathering the last of his supplies, he began to walk back to his motorcycle and drove off back to his camp sight.

As he lay there underneath the clear night sky, the fire illuminating his glowing sapphire eyes, he still could not get Tifa out of his mind's eye. Delian women were very meek and, at times, very shallow and superficial; too dainty at times in fact. Cloud found himself smiling lightly at the mental image of her. He broke from his reverie and prepared to sleep.

It was the second morning of perimeter patrol and with no signs of any Lydian infantrymen, Cloud (still unable to shake the image of Tifa from his vision) got on his motorcycle and drove back to Icarus. Half of the reason being to purchase a hot meal, the other secretly hoping to find Tifa there again. Cloud walked through Icarus and saw no sign of Tifa. He stopped at a tiny cafe on the corner of town and after finishing his meal of fish and chips, he wandered aimlessly through the village until something caught his ear. Cloud's head cocked to the side when he heard the sound of someone shrieking. Pulling his sword from his holster, he followed the screams. As he approached closer and the screams became more clear, he could hear other voices as well. He came to find a brawny, greasy and frankly disgusting man terrorizing a young woman. Cloud turned his back to the wall of the alley, peaking over the edge to catch a glimpse and listen in. As he perked his head from the edge, he saw a familiar, raven-haired woman with her back pinned against the wall.

"C'mon baby, this won't hurt a bit if you'd stop trying to fight it." One of the men said, his hand placed on the wall beside Tifa's head.

He pulled her chin up with his pointer finger and thumb and pulled her hair back tightly causing her to yelp slightly. "Be a good girl now.. won't you?"

Tifa pulled from the man's grasp by shaking her head and spat in his face. With a stern and disgusted look on her face she looked at him straight in the eye. "Go fuck yourself.." she said and began kicking from him.

The man turned his face away, wiping away the spittle from his face. He chuckled and put his hand on her throat, holding her against the wall. He pulled a knife from his pocket and held it against Tifa's neck.

"Now you've pissed me off." the man said in a gritty voice, sinking the knife into her shoulder, causing a deep wound. With Tifa screeching in pain, He slowly lowered the knife down to Tifa's waist and sliced open the leather belt that was holding her skirt. Tifa kicked and caught him directly in the groin. The man let out a deep growl, took the knife and used the back of it to smack her across the back of the neck; knocking her directly to the floor.

A rush of anger flooded Cloud as he ran out from his corner and yelled out in wrath, stopping as soon as the sword had swiftly pierced through Tifa's attacker in the stomach, catching him completely off guard. The man slumped over against Cloud's sword and as Cloud pushed him off with the bottom of his foot and walked over to Tifa who was still unconscious. Cloud gently picked her up and swung her over his shoulder and carried her to his motorcycle. He placed her gently in front of him with her body completely resting against his chest and drove off to his camp site. Once there, Cloud gingerly picked her up and rested her against the pillow in his tent. He began to stroke the side of her face gently with his finger tips, admiring her features. Tifa's brow began to furrow as she slowly came to. The pain from the stab wound in her shoulder suddenly came over her and she winced, inhaling deeply.

"Shh..." Cloud said, still stroking her hair.

"Cloud?" she said, still processing everything that had just happened.

Cloud nodded in return. "Yeah, it's me." he said in a soothing, quiet voice.

Tifa attempted to push her self upright when she yipped in pain and quickly fell back against the pillow.

"You shouldn't move, you're suffering from a serious injury..you're going to need medical attention." he said.

"No no...I'll be find." She said, her face still wincing in pain.

He smiled gently and gently pushed her back to rest her head. With calm eyes, he looked into her mahogany ones and told her

"Take it easy.. you're safe." He left her side for just a moment to retrieve a pot of warm water and a dish cloth. He walked back over to the tent and dipped the cloth into the water.

"Try to hold still...this may hurt a bit." Cloud told her quietly, moving her hair behind her back to get a full view of her injury.

Tifa braced herself by inhaling a deep breath and Cloud pressed the warm cloth onto her wound as tenderly as he possibly could. He leaned over to retrieve medical supplies from his pack and pulled from it, a needle and stitching thread. He offered his hand to her and she gladly grasped at as she flinched while light pain-filled moans escaped her lips.

"All done." Cloud told her in a soothing voice as he began to bandage her shoulder.

He helped her to sit upright and handed her a hot cup of green tea.

"I could have handled it myself you know." Tifa stated outright in a defensive tone.

Cloud chuckled quietly. "Really?" "So I guess next time I should just leave it to you to get yourself killed next time."

Tifa's lips pulled to one corner with an unamused expression.