[..Book 4..]
[..Promises..]

[..1..]

Laying out on the couch, the teenager was using the red haired male's lap as a pillow. He had his hand rested gently on her side, and would sometimes stroke the slightly exposed flesh. The television screen across the way played some old comedy film that he had nabbed from Ienzo's collection of various genres. Most of the jokes were unfunny in this day and age, as it was probably something that belonged to his parents in their youth and taken in along with him when he was a child, but both would share a laugh or two at how lame some of the parts truly were.

They just enjoyed each other's company, which had become far less than its norm over the past weeks. Lea spent most of his time training and Yuffie was left to her own devises, most often than not annoying her friends or working at a shop for some extra munny. However, when the pair did get together, trouble often followed or even just little moments that made Tifa and Aerith give all knowing smiles that annoyed the young ninja.

The sliding of his hand against her midriff broke her out of her thoughts and the idiotic film they were currently viewing. She lifted her chocolate coloured eyes and gazed up at the fiery haired male. He seemed extremely focused on her round face, as if studying every inch of her and committing it to memory, and his smile relaxed. The bliss that the man appeared to be in unnerved the woman and she frowned.

"What are you doing," she asked, attempting to sound annoyed.

"Just watching," he answered with that smile never fading. He did, though, tear his gaze from her and moved his attention to the screen across the room from them. "Been thinking..."

"Don't hurt yourself," she teased, finding it odd at how quickly she relaxed.

"Oh, ha-ha," he said with a small pout. The expression faded into a smile when the ninja flashed him one of her own, eyes even lighting up with mischief and glee, and he draped his hand over her hip. "But really, I was just thinking of something. Ever wonder what would happen if you wouldn't have stolen my wallet that day?"

"I didn't steal it," she replied, even adding a childish huff, "I found it."

"In my pocket," he countered playfully. They shared a smile, and even a small laugh, but Lea was the first to sober up. He became serious quickly and stared down at her gently, the corners of his lips twitching between a straight line and a frown. "Seriously though, I've been thinking about that. Where would I be without you?"

"I.. don't know," she confessed, turning her gaze to the floor. "But isn't this where you want to be?"

"I don't want to be anywhere else."

"Seriously?"

She looked up, staring at him and locking gazes with him. He nodded with a smile before leaning down, pressing his lips against hers. She twisted on instinct and returned the kiss, feeling his finger drawing circles on her exposed stomach. She could feel his smile widening as the exchange was deepened, his hands exploring her body simply. A moan bubbled in her throat and just as it was about to escape, someone cleared their throat.

The two parted quickly; Lea's hands flying up and Yuffie pulling herself from his lap. They both whipped their heads around and sights focused on the doorway to the living room. There stood two figures, one familiar dark haired woman that wore a smile while the other, a blond with pretty blue eyes, stood stoic. Yuffie's face heated up and turned various pinks and red with a blush, while Lea appeared nervous.

"Hey, guys," the red head said with a sheepish grin.

"Sorry about interrupting but Ienzo is looking for you, Lea," the woman said, appearing as if she was holding in a giggle.

"Oh shit," Lea replied as he bounced to his feet. "I completely forgot about having to help him out today!"

"Huh," Yuffie blinked, still dazed from the kiss and the embarrassment that followed.

"Sorry," he said then leaned down, pressing his lips against hers in a rush. "I'll come by later to spend some more time with you. Promise," and then he was gone.

There was a silence that followed his departure. Yuffie had to tear her gaze from the wall, which she'd been staring at in surprise, and her sights settled on the couple in the doorway. Tifa still wore that all-knowing smile that she had been for the past month while Cloud seemed wore between annoyed and disappointed. Neither spoke and it was beginning to wear on the ninja, who managed an awkward smile and a shift in her seat.

Then Tifa laughed, "Nothing's been going on, huh?"

"Oi, shut up," Yuffie whined and grabbed a pillow, hiding her face. "Just shut up!"

[..2..]

Leaving out a whine like no other, Lea collapsed backwards and stared at the ceiling. He glared when a pair of blue eyes entered his sight and even swatted shamelessly at the figure that hovered above him. He grunted, no real words, but enough to get the point across that he wasn't in the mood for the scientist. He heard him chuckle before he left his sight, side stepping and turning slowly.

"You have a visitor," the teenager said. "It would be wise that you see them. It seems important."

"Send them in," the red head muttered and sat up. He turned his emerald eyes to the retreating figure, who just nodded before disappearing out of the room and around the corner. He huffed and reached over, nabbing the directions for the desk that he was attempting to put together for the teen. So far he'd managed to build it then watch it fall apart. Needless to say, he was becoming far more annoyed with the situation than probably necessary.

It didn't help that his mind was on other things, like the kiss he shared with Yuffie before he left and one before it. His mind reeled at the idea that he enjoyed it, probably more than he should have without actually dating her. A thought crossed his mind, would it be so bad if he did make whatever they had going on official? He wasn't sure, because with the way things were changing so fast, he didn't want to ruin anything more. So deep in his thoughts, he hadn't noticed the footsteps approach or the shadow cast over his shoulder.

"Lea."

"Huh," the male yelped and whipped his head up, obviously started. He half-turned and stared, noticing the blond standing behind him. Confused, he pulled a face and placed the directions aside, "is there something that I can do for ya?"

"I want to talk about Yuffie," the man replied, something protective in his tone. "Tifa sent me."

"You're lying," Lea responded. When it appeared the other man was about to protest, he lifted a hand to silence him. "Isa used to be a lot like you. Don't pretend that you don't give a fuck about her, because you do. And you don't have to worry about me hurting her, because I'm not going to."

"I'm not worried. If you do manage to screw things up, not only will you have to worry about her kicking your ass, you'll have to worry about me as well," he said, sounding almost amused now. "I don't think you're that stupid."

"Hey," he bound to his feet and pouted. "I'm not stupid, period."

"You were looking at instructions upside down."

"What," he blinked and glanced at the packet next to him. He frowned and his head fell back, a groan escaping him. "You've got to be kidding me. This is going to take forever!"

"I could help," Cloud added, scanning over him.

"Really," Lea perked up. "Don't you gotta get back to the girls?"

"Aerith is over. They're quite busy."

"They pickin' on Yuff," he questioned.

Cloud nodded. "Yeah."

"Well then," he snickered and tossed the packet at him. "Let's see how good you are with a screwdriver."

[..3..]

The next afternoon Yuffie stood at the counter and tapped her fingertips against the glossy top. The lunch rush had long since disbanded and now she was left with just herself and whatever straggler appeared for something to eat. It was boring but she could very well leave until her shift was over, which wouldn't be for another hour or so, or if the other girl came in early. It was enough to drive the youngster insane but at least Aerith promised to stop by at some point to chat until Yuffie pretended to work.

Releasing another sigh, the ninja glanced out the window with a small frown. She scanned over the few couples and groups that lingered the streets at this time, searching for any familiar faces and much to her surprise she found two. One brunette that often teased her for her choices walked along side a man dressed in a guard's uniform, both seemingly lost in conversation as they crossed the street and advanced towards the shop.

She grinned as the pair made their way to the door, the man stepped ahead and opened it, and allowed her to walk into the shop first. Yuffie couldn't help but roll her eyes when she saw the light colour of a blush on Aerith's face. It still didn't take long for the brunette to skip over to the counter and lean against it, the dark haired man joining her side moments later.

"Hey, Yuff," she greeted happily. "Think we could get something to drink?"

"Hey Aerith, Dil," Yuffie replied before flicking Aerith's forehead to get her off of the counter. "What do you guys want?"

"Uh, surprise us!"

"You sure," she glanced at Dilan, who just nodded. She shrugged and knelt down, digging through the small refrigerator under the counter. She grabbed two bottles of soda and popped back up, placing the items on the counter. "Five please and thank you!"

"Thank you—"

"—I've got it," Dilan replied as he plucked a bag out of his pocket. He handed over the payment easily, much to the girls surprise, and Yuffie glanced at Aerith with a look. He blinked and glanced at her as well. "Is there something wrong?"

"Noooo," Yuffie grinned and leaned against the counter. "Just wondering if I'm missing something."

"Missing something? Oh," Aerith's eyes widened and she reached over, slapping her friend upside the head. "Yuffie Kisaragi, that's just wrong!"

"Oh come on," she whined, "I'm just having—Oh. Hey, Ienzo."

"Hello," the boy greeted as he approached the counter. The other two glanced over at him at the same time and gave some form of silent greeting; a wave and smile from Aerith, and a nod from Dilan. "I was wondering if I could borrow Dilan for a moment, it seems that there's a small issue and we need some assistance." He paused, glancing from the male to the brunette, then to Yuffie, "if its not too much trouble of course."

"Oh sure," Yuffie announced melodramatically, even waving her arm wildly through the air. "Take away my amusement!"

"Uh, sorry," he replied awkwardly, then glanced at the others.

Aerith smiled, "Go ahead. I'll speak you with you later, Dilan."

He just nodded and the two males exited the shop. The two women were left standing there in the empty shop, staring in the direction of the door. A silence took over for a brief moment before Yuffie whipped her head around and grinned at Aerith.

"What was that?"

"What was what," Aerith questioned as she turned to Yuffie.

"THAT. With Dil," Yuffie answered with a sly smile. "You two, y'know?"

The brunette grasped and playfully pushed her friend, "Don't you even!"

[..4..]

Seated on the couch, the teen sat with a bowl of popcorn sitting on her lap. It had been decided that it would be a girls' night in while Cloud assisted Squall with a few things elsewhere, and now Aerith and Tifa were in the kitchen gabbing away about different things as more snacks were made. This left the ninja with the popcorn and a pile of films to search through, and she would have to pick one out. It wasn't that hard but she was too busy trying to listen in on the conversation.

So far, she'd been failing.

"Yuffie," Tifa's voice rang through the air, after a small knock on the door echoed.

The ninja pulled a face and placed the popcorn bowl aside, "What?"

"You might want to come here!"

"Argh," Yuffie whined as she bounced to her feet. "Why?"

"Just get out here," Aerith shouted, adding a little giggle to her words. "And hurry up!"

"Fine," she complained while dragging herself from the couch and into the kitchen. She scanned over the room with a frown until red caught her eye, and she turned slightly and stared at him. There he stood in the doorway, a navy blue blanket in one hand and a basket of suspiciously familiar food goods in the other. She gave him a strange look, one that clearly asked what he was up to, but still questioned, "What's up, Lea?"

"I wanted to take you to see something," he answered as he shifted in place.

"But its late..."

"Kinda has to be," he replied with a sheepish smile. "So come on, we gotta go."

"Wait a second," the ninja pouted and then motioned to the basket and blanket. "What about that stuff?"

"Uhh..."

"Yuffie," Tifa groaned, rolling her head back. "Will you just go with the poor guy already?"

"Hey...!" Lea gave her a small scowl at her choice of words, but quickly smiled sheepishly when she glared at him.

"Okay, okay," Yuffie replied, ignoring the looks her three friends shared. "Looks like we're going to have to—whoa!"

"See ya," Aerith beamed as she gave the ninja one final push out the door with her red headed friend.

[..5..]

Out of breath and a jar full of fireflies, the young woman collapsed next to the red head with a wheeze. She placed the jar of insects in between her and her friend, surprised by the dim glow that the bugs produced. She blinked and her eyes skated over the candles set up around the basket of food goods and some lingering just a ways outside of the blanket they sat on, before her sights settled on the male that was currently fidgeting next to her.

"This is so much fun," she beamed, trying to get him to relax a little. It wasn't like Lea to be nervous about anything so she was slightly worried. "Thanks for rescuing me from romantic comedies and girl talk!"

"Hey, I got your back," he grinned with a gentle gaze. "Say, uh, can be honest?"

"About...?"

"I brought you out here to ask you something," he replied, fiddling with something in his pocket. "I guess, a few things. One would be... uh what would you call... us?"

Yuffie blinked, surprised, "Uh, I don't... know. What would you call us?"

"I don't know either," he answered, then pulled something out of his pocket, "So I decided that I'm going to ask you to—"

"Oh my gods," the ninja gasped at the sight of the ring box. "You're not going to ask me to marry you, are you?!"

Lea seemed startled, "What? Huh? What gave you that idea?"

"That idea! Its a freaking ring!" The ninja gave him a dirty look, somewhere between embarrassed and annoyed, and possibly confusion in there somewhere.

"Whoa, whoa," he replied, nearly leaping back comically, narrowly missing a candle. "Its just a promise ring! I was going to ask you to be my girlfriend, you know, officially! Not to marry you and—"

"Wait," she leaned forward, face inches away from his, "You were going to ask me to be your girlfriend?"

"Yeah," he said lamely, looking away and rubbing the back of his head. "Kinda lame right?"

"Why did you need a ring?"

"Oh, well, uh," he sank a bit into himself, "I just wanted to give you something. You know for when I have to go away, you've got something to remember me by. And I'll have a promise that you'll be here when I get back."

"Seriously," she asked. She didn't really know what to think; mind still reeling from the thought that he'd been proposing and nervous about everything else. This was something that she'd been waiting for but right now, at this very moment, the words seemed to ring untrue and awkward. However, one simple look into his usually mischievous eyes told a different tale; he wanted this, his words were the truth and he just wanted her.

The silence was broken by one question; "So, what do you say?"

She opened her mouth, wanting to shout 'yes', but nothing escaped. So she did the one thing she knew would give her answer clearly. She tackled him to his back and pressed her lips against his, closing her eyes when he wrapped his arms tightly around her waist. As if he was afraid she would disappear, but she wouldn't. Never.

[..the end..]

[..Author's Note..]

Yeah, not the best ending in the world but at least now its over and done. This was actually written weeks ago but I just found it in the piles and piles of files on my computer, and I just decided it would be best to post it. I'm not even sure what to say besides a thanks to all those who fav'ed, reviewed, and alerted this fanfiction. You guys are awesome.

I'm also thinking about starting a few other series like this with different pairings, so I don't know – let me know what you think?