Anyway, here's an attempt at a Rude/Tifa, set post A/C. Be forewarned that this is my first time in making and posting a fic.
Tifa looked up as the door to the bar opened. Recognizing the stoic figure making his way to the counter, she carefully replaced the glasses on the sink and turned towards him.
“Rude! What brings you here? Is everything all right?” Tifa’s brows knitted in concern. While not unwelcome, Rude seldom came without his boisterous partner.
Rude stifled the urge to smile. Typical Tifa, to be so concerned about everyone, even old enemies. Keeping up his emotionless façade, he replied,
“Wanted to talk.”
Seeing the confusion in her eyes, he added, “…if that’s okay.”
“Of course! I’m sorry, it’s just that… um… I never thought I would hear you say those words. About wanting to talk. Not that there’s anything wrong! It’s just that you’ve never been the talkative type. Unlike Reno. Or me. Which is good, in a refreshing sort of way. And… and…” Tifa took a deep breath and blushed. “I’m babbling again, aren’t I?”
“So what do you want to talk about?”
“Thank you. For curing Geostigma.”
“Actually, I should be the one thanking you. For bringing me here when I was unconscious.”
Rude’s face remain impassive though he was inwardly scowling at the memory of Tifa laying motionless in the church, her body bruised and battered by Loz. He tried to exact revenge on the silver-haired clone. Too bad he was unable to finish the job. He wanted to make Loz pay for hurting his Tifa. His Tifa? Where did that come from, he wondered.
“How are you feeling? Reno knocked your glasses off when you were battling Loz and Yazoo. Are you okay?”
Rude opened his mouth to answer but the words died on his lips as Tifa reached up to touch his cheek. She lightly caressed it as she preened at his face to search for any traces of injury. Rude closed his eyes as he struggled to regain control of his emotions.
His eyes flew open as he felt his glasses sliding off. With lightning-fast reflexes, he captured her wrist in an iron-grip while taking care not to harm her.
Tifa blushed and ducked her head. Since meeting the tall, silent Turk in front of her, she had always wondered what color his eyes were, if they were as handsome as the rest of him. Part of her felt ashamed at her intrusion into his privacy, but the curious part of her compelled her to push on. Slowly, she raised her eyes to his, pleading.
She held her breath as Rude remained silent. Looking closer, however, she noted the subtle emotions playing on his features, but before she could decipher them, she felt the grip on her wrist loosen.
Grinning, she resumed her task of removing his glasses.
Rude blinked a couple of times to allow his eyes to adjust to the bright lights. His eyes drank in the sight of Tifa without the familiar tint of his trusty shades. She looks even better in full color. He noticed that she was appraising him just as intently as he is her.
Their eyes met and Tifa gasped. Rude had the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen. The coffee brown swirls were so intense and expressive; she felt that Rude had just allowed her a glimpse of his soul.
They continued to stare at each other. Rude began to feel uncomfortable without his glasses. He felt naked. Tifa’s intense stare only made matters worse. He started shifting on his feet, wondering how he could get his shades back.
His discomfort was not lost on Tifa. She handed him his glasses.
“Here. If it makes you uneasy, you should wear them. Thanks for taking them off for me though. I feel honored.”
Rude nodded as he accepted his glasses. To the surprise of both, he slid them into his coat pocket.
“Just not used to it. Feel vulnerable.”
“It’s just me, Rude. You can be yourself around me. I won’t judge you.”
“Come on. We’ve known each other for years. Even before the whole Shinra ordeal. We’re friends, Rude.” Tifa laid a hand on his arm for emphasis. Rude detected the faint scent of strawberries.
“…Never bared myself to a beautiful woman before.”
Tifa froze at his words. Did he just call me beautiful? Tifa knew that men patronized her bar as much for her cleavage as for her drinks. But Rude did not seem like the ogling type. Could it be that he finds her genuinely beautiful?
She suddenly found herself very self-conscious. Her hair, she remembered, tumbled messily down her back. Her clothes were too tight, her face was tired and haggard; in short, she was a total wreck. How could he possibly find her remotely attractive? She diverted her eyes to a particularly interesting crack on the counter.
Rude, meanwhile, was mentally kicking himself. Did I just say that? Seeing the surprised expression on her face, he hoped she would not think him a pervert who is hitting on her. He honestly was not planning on an admission; the words just flowed from his mouth.
Shyly glancing up from her sudden fixation on the counter, she noticed a faint blush on Rude’s cheeks. Trying to lighten the mood, she said, “I’m sure you say that to every girl you meet.”
“I’m not Reno.” I don’t hit on any living creature who wears a brassiere. I don’t flirt in a pathetic attempt to get into a woman’s pants. I don’t say things I don’t mean. I don’t want to hurt you, intentionally or otherwise.
So many underlying meanings floated with those 3 words. But Tifa understood them.
He did not know what to reply, so he just nodded. An awkward silence filled the room. Rude started to feel that maybe he overstayed his welcome.
“Getting late. I should go.”
Replacing his glasses on his face, he turned towards the door. Before he could take a step, Tifa suddenly called out.
He turned, an eyebrow cocked in question.
“I had fun chatting with you. Until tomorrow night?”
Rude blinked. The gentle smile on her face gave him hope. Maybe she likes him too.
Hesitantly, as though unsure of himself, Rude asked, “Walk you home?”
Tifa responded by grabbing her coat and taking his hand. Rude looked down at their joined hands .
Tifa’s breath hitched in her throat when Rude took off glasses and gave her a heart-stopping smile.
“Can’t wait until tomorrow.”