This is kinda ripping off another fic, but at the same time making it my own. Anyway, I haven't written for CloTi in a while, so… I thought I'd change that.

For Doctor Tifa Lockhart, the day started like any other. The routine was basic: check in at her job in the Smithsonian, then spend all day categorizing all the new artefacts that came in, pausing only for occasional coffee breaks, and a lunch break with her friend Aerith. At the end of the day, she'd catch the train home, get some pizza or something for her dinner, talk to her uncle Zangan over the phone, check her emails, then go to bed. Bed. She fantasised about her bed often while working late. Like she was now.

"Tifa!" a woman's voice shouted.

"Huh? The answer's nine!" Tifa yelled, lifting her head from her desk. She looked around to see an innocent-looking brunette with stunning green eyes looking at her, her arms crossed.

"Sorry, Aerith," Tifa apologised, blushing in embarrassment. "It's just… I haven't been getting much sleep lately."

Aerith raised an eyebrow. "Why's that?"

"I don't know, it's just…" She sighed. "Ever since that stupid stone foot got here, I haven't been able to sleep!"

"Stone…foot?" Her friend sounded puzzled.

"You know…that piece of some long-forgotten sculpture that I categorized about a week ago."

"Oh, that! Why would you be losing sleep over that?"

Tifa sighed again. "I have no idea."

Aerith gave a slight giggle as she picked up her coat. "Anyway, shift's over, Teef. Maybe you'll get some sleep tonight."

The fiery-eyed woman smiled wanly. "Well, you never know until you try." She got up from her chair, grabbed her own coat and followed her friend out the door.


Completely oblivious to the mundane conversations in that room, a man crawled carefully through the vents of the museum.

The vents… he lamented internally. How cliché can you get?

He eventually found the room he was looking for…and the object it contained. He smirked as he kicked the hatch and landed expertly on the floor. He looked around to check for guards before, satisfied there was no danger, he moved in on his target.


"Hold on, Aer," Tifa said unexpectedly as they moved to the door.

"What's up?"

"I wanna take a look at that foot."

"This is the same foot that's making you lose sleep, right?" Aerith protested mildly. "And you wanna get one last look at it before you try to get some?"

"It sounds crazy, but yes I do."

Aerith rolled her eyes and shook her head; she moved to the door. "I'm not waiting for you, OK? I'll see you tomorrow."

Tifa smiled. "Sure thing. Just you and me at the best job in the world!"

Aerith laughed as she walked out.

Tifa watched her go, then moved to the nearby Greek exhibit.


The intruder, meanwhile, was checking for alarms surrounding his prize. This was, after all, a precious object. He found no alarms of any sort, so he shrugged and went to grab it.

"Hey!" a woman shouted behind him.

Shit! Busted. He turned to spy a tall, curvaceous woman standing there in a dark coat, her gloved hands on her hips.

"You know you can't just take things that don't belong to you."

He smiled behind his ski-mask. "Oh, I can. In fact, it's kinda my job."

Her fists clenched. "You know what I mean!" Suddenly, she adopted a fighting stance: feet at shoulder-width apart, fists held out in front of her.

He chuckled disbelievingly. "You really wanna risk damaging all these precious artefacts, sweetheart?"

She gritted her teeth at the word sweetheart, but said nothing.

Noticing she wasn't going to back down, the intruder smirked and adopted his own ready stance. "Have it your way."

She was the first to move, dashing in close to hit him with her fists. He dodged swiftly, but did not counterattack. She stared hard at him and continued to throw punches. He started to block the strikes, but still did not counter.

He didn't see the heavy kick to his side coming.

He grimaced as her shin made contact with his ribs, involuntarily dropping his guard.

The woman saw her chance and lashed out. She landed heavy blows to his torso, before landing a heavy uppercut to his chin, which sent him flying. He landed heavily in front of the pedestal, where he lay still.

Satisfied that the man was down for the count, his adversary dusted her gloved palms together.

She suddenly fell to earth, landing on her front on the floor.

With surprising agility, the man had performed a sweeping kick to her legs, pulling them out from under her. He now stood over her, his mask clasped in his hand, his blue eyes staring at her coldly.

"Sorry to do this, sweetheart." He knelt down and raised her up slightly. He landed a sharp karate chop to her neck, rendering her unconscious immediately.

He moved quickly to the podium, grabbing the object and placing it in his black bag.

On some strange impulse he looked back at the limp form of the woman. She actually wasn't that bad-looking. Ah, who was he trying to kid? She was gorgeous.

Hey! his mind shouted at him. Focus on the job, not your lack-lustre love life!

He walked up to her, ignoring his mind's protests. He eventually found an ID card poking out of her coat pocket. Dr Tifa Lockhart, it read. So she worked here, huh? Maybe she could…

He hauled her up onto his shoulder and moved quickly to the getaway car outside, glancing around to see if anyone was around.

When he got into the black SUV that was parked outside, unceremoniously dumping his unplanned guest in a seat, the driver, a tall black man with a prosthetic arm, looked back at him, puzzled. "You in the kidnappin' business now?"

"Shut up," the thief sneered. "She saw my face, and she works there. Maybe she can help us work out the puzzles."

The driver cackled. "An' her tits had nothin' to do with it, right?"

"I told you to shut up!"

The dark-skinned man laughed even harder, but gunned the engine. Within seconds, they were gone.

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