Yuffie felt hot all over.
Her face was flushed, her skin was red, she was sweating from her shoulders up. There was even a slight burning pain between her legs and on her knees.
She opened her eyes, realizing that she was in her bath tub at home. Sighing in the cramped tub, Yuffie tried to adjust herself more comfortably -- and found herself staring into a tiny pair of amber eyes.
The cub was standing up against the edge of the tub. He mewed quietly and licked her nose. "Aww~!" Yuffie said excitedly, picking the spiky-haired cub up under its arms and kissing its nose. "You are sooo cute!" She hugged the little fuzz ball tight to her chest, ignoring its squeak of protest.
There was a soft padding noise in front of her, and Yuffie looked up to see another red-furred cub balancing shakily on the edge of the tub. It looked straight at her and mewed plaintively, as if it wanted to see her but didn't want to get wet. Yuffie giggled and reached out to pet that one, too.
There was a splash, and then Yuffie felt one standing on her belly. "Hey there little guy," she told it, as it climbed closer to her face. The first cub licked her face then and she turned to give it another quick kiss.
Yuffie felt a soft thump against her shoulder and saw yet another red-furred cub swiping at her. "You kawaii little beasts!" she growled playfully, but before she could grab the feisty little demon she felt a ticklish tongue on her knee. Then it was like she was under attack!
Yuffie squirmed and giggled as they all began to lick at once, her eyes closed tight in laughter. One licked at her shoulder while the one on her tummy licked her breast. The one she had been petting was now licking her hand. The first cub licked her cheek. "Stop~!" she cried out helplessly, still laughing. From nowhere another one started licking her armpit and she squealed.
Yuffie felt the one on her belly stop licking and managed to squint her eyes open to see why. It stood there calmly, staring back at her with its grey-violet eyes -- and she woke up.
Yuffie's eyes popped open and the first thing she was aware of was how much she ached. Her head hurt, her knees felt like they might be scraped, and there was a dull throbbing between her legs. Added to that, her back was against the not-so-smooth cave floor. She was warm, though, and -- Red licked her face one more time -- she had some things to be pleased about. The big cat was curled around her on the stone.
Yuffie turned and threw her arms around Red's neck.
"Welcome back, Yuffie," Red said with a grin as she squeezed his neck. He licked her shoulder -- the only part he could reach -- and then added, "I think things got a little too hot in there."
Realizing what he meant, Yuffie blushed in embarrassment. Whoops.... Smiling sheepishly, she told him, "Heh, yeah... um... I knew better than that, sorry." She stuck her tongue out. "You're supposed to just sit there and not stay in too long, but... hey! What am I apologizing for?"
Red looked at her in confusion. One hand on her tummy, Yuffie sat back on her heels and pointed at him. "Nanaki! This is your fault, you know! Laying there being all irresistible!" Still confused, Red let out a loud grunt as Yuffie pounced on his fluffy back and draped her arms and legs over him. As he tried to look at her over his shoulder, she smiled down at him. "You're always so comfy, Red..."
"I'm glad you think so," he replied, pretending to be angry. His face gave him away, though, and Yuffie giggled. "I thought I was past being a pillow now." Even before their bonding the night before, Yuffie had often lain on or against the fluffy cat. He always complained aloud, but never once moved out from under her.
"Nuh-uh," she replied, kissing the top of his wet head. "If anything, it means that I might find more interesting ways to lay on you." Yuffie laughed when his eye widened and then laid her head against his. "Silly Nanaki..." she murmured affectionately.
Red sighed... but never moved.
Just when Yuffie thought she might drift off to another pleasant dream, Red spoke up. "What does that tattoo mean? It's Leviathan, right?"
A little surprised -- not that he had seen it: that he had asked -- Yuffie lazily raised up her right arm to look at it herself. The deep blue tattoo looped twice around her wrist, with the head resting against the back of her hand: she normally kept it covered, with a sash if not a glove. The dragon serpent, Leviathan... it was only a small tattoo, but it meant a lot.
After thinking to herself for a few minutes, Yuffie finally realized that Red was still waiting for an answer. Skipping the apology, she started out by saying, "It says that I'm a member of the Kisaragi family." And it did... her mother had had one, her old man had one...
After another moment, she went on. "Leviathan is the symbol of Wutai's strength... so the Kisaragis took that symbol when they came to power."
Underneath her, Red grunted his understanding before asking, "So what about Da Chao? Isn't that also a symbol?"
Yuffie shook her head. "Not exactly. There used to be more big villages besides Wutai, and they all looked to Da Chao as a symbol of wisdom. Leviathan, though, is held only by Wutai. He means other things, but mostly he's a symbol of strength."
Red turned his eye toward her. Even though she felt awkward talking about history while she was lying wet and naked on top of a big cat, Wutai really meant a lot to her. She felt glad that Red wanted to know more about it... even if he picked a strange time to ask.
Trying to figure out the simplest way to explain it, she told him, "Leviathan is said to control the weather, and can even calm Da Chao. They also say that he brings Wutai luck." She wasn't sure how much of that she could believe, given the state of Wutai after her dad took control.
"What about that one? Has it brought you luck?" Red's deeper voice echoed slightly in the steamy cavern.
It took Yuffie a second to realize he meant the tattoo. She laughed. "I don't know about that. It certainly never helped me 'obtain' my materia. Just think of the time I tried to take you guys'!" Yuffie blinked and shrugged self-consciously. "I mean... before this last time."
Red laughed heartily. "'You spiky-headed jerk!'" he quoted her, causing her to slap his shoulder. "How did you end up sticking with us, again?"
Yuffie waved her hand around as if it should be obvious. "Cloud recognized my awesome ninja skills!"
"Maybe he just thought you were cute."
Even though she blushed at the compliment, Yuffie growled and squeezed his neck roughly. "Are you saying you doubt the Great Ninja Yuffie's abilities!" Red just chuckled at her attempt, rolling over to the side.
Yuffie yelped in surprise, quickly changing positions to avoid being squished. She stuck her tongue out at him as she lay against his belly.
"Mmm..." she murmured, rubbing her face against his chest. "This side's even softer."
Red let out a dramatic groan and Yuffie giggled. After a minute of silence, Yuffie looked at her wrist again. "I guess it might be lucky."
Red looked at her, wondering what she meant.
"Maybe I didn't get you guys' materia like I wanted," she said quietly, "but I got all of you instead." It was another long moment before she went on. "My skills have improved a lot, being with you all, and we've found a lot more materia than I ever stole. Thanks to you, I've had the chance to fight back against Shinra... and even to square up with my dad."
She scratched Red's sides distractedly. "And I got to help you square things with your dad and just... be with you."
"But," Red replied quietly, "why don't I have a Leviathan symbol on me, then? I'm the one who's truly lucky."
Yuffie grinned despite herself, even at such a cheesy line. "Hush, you. I'm trying to be serious -- enjoy it while it lasts!" Red opened his mouth and she cut him off with a playful glare. "And none of that 'so was I' crap!" He closed his mouth.
Rubbing his side affectionately, she continued once he was sure he wouldn't interrupt. "Since I was like ten, I've had this idea that I would get revenge on Shinra and restore Wutai. Since I met you guys... I feel like I can actually do it."
Yuffie sighed. "I don't know what I was thinking. After all we've been through, I never even thought to ask you all if you would help me. Or, I guess I thought you'd say no. Either way, though, I shouldn't have taken the materia."
"That's done with now, Yuffie," Red said softly.
"I know, but..." she started, before Red silenced her with a lick to the face. She couldn't help but giggle. "No fair," she complained. "You shouldn't have it so easy to make me feel better!" He responded by licking her again.
"I'm hoping to hear one or two more of those cute roars of yours."
Yuffie's face turned bright red. "Oh gawd," she gasped, eyes wide, "I was hoping I dreamed that part!"
Red shook his head. "Cutest thing I ever heard," he teased.
Yuffie groaned and covered her face in her hands.
"Come on, Yuffie," Red pleaded, licking her face. "Please..?"
"You," she said, "are an evil, evil cat!"
"So you will?"
Yuffie growled and then broke out laughing. "Alright, alright. But just this once!" She sighed dramatically and kissed his nose. Steeling herself, Yuffie took in a deep breath and... "Rawr!"
The pair blinked, and then both burst out laughing.
Red licked the top of her head, his glowing tail twitching. "You can do better than that!" he accused playfully.
Embarrassed, Yuffie stuck out her tongue. "If you want more," she told him, "you have to do it yourself!"
As if something just occurred to him, a slow kitty grin spread on Red's face. "Turn around," he told her simply.
Yuffie looked at him suspiciously, wondering what he was up to. With a shrug, she smiled and kissed his nose once more before turning around on his stomach. The first thing she noticed was that the red fur on his belly was even softer than on his chest. The girl nuzzled against it, letting out a quiet murmur of pleasure.
Then she noticed what was pointing at her. Yuffie grinned in embarrassment as she looked at the spiky red shaft. Then her eyes widened: Red told her to turn around... did that mean he wanted her to--?
Yuffie squinted her eyes and involuntarily let out a low moan when she felt Red's rough tongue brush against her.