|Color of a Dying Heart
Author: IllaSc PM
He always loved the color red. Now it was everywhere, and I was calling his name and running and screaming and praying that the red would stop- A Yuffentine oneshot. T for blood and character death. Yuffie's POV.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Yuffie K. & Vincent V. - Words: 1,301 - Reviews: 11 - Favs: 17 - Follows: 1 - Published: 04-08-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4185375
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
And... after months and months, I'm finally back... again. #nervous laugh# In the meantime, I've been won over to anime, manga, and video games. Yay me!
Manymanymany thanks to my fantabulous beta, La Editor. I've literally never edited my fanfictions before (just scanned them for grammar and spelling), but her assistance made this fic so much better than it was at first. Arigatou!
The fudge ripple ice cream is an allusion to guardian1's beautiful Sunshine in Winter, which converted me into a Yuffentine shipper. Go read it- after you've reviewed. ;)
Disclaimer: Be very, very glad that I don't own anything.
x X x X x X x X x
He always loved the color red.
Now it was everywhere, and I was calling his name and running and screaming and praying that the red would stop-
He always loved the color red.
I thought it would be black, but when I asked him in a childish tone what his favorite color was, "red" was the one-word answer.
"Why?" I replied immediately.
His scarlet eyes didn't meet mine as he shrugged. Something about his posture told me not to pursue it; after all, he's harder to coax secrets out of than a high level materia. I dropped it right away, even though I was dying to figure him out.
"Please don't... please don't go, you idiot," I choked as I skidded to my knees next to him. A demonic visage took over his face for half a second, and he grunted in pain. The monsters were making one last-ditch effort to escape their host.
Cloud, genius that he was, assigned him as my partner to travel to Kalm to get supplies. Yeah, sure, Cloud- pair the frighteningly loud and obnoxious ninja with the reticent, emotionally constipated vamp. That's sure to work out.
My hand landed on his shoulder gently, sticky with blood. "You're not supposed to die, dang it! You're supposed to live forever, right?"
I learned his favorite color within the first few hours. Surprisingly, the more I talked to him- or, rather, at him, it's not like we had a real conversation- the more he seemed to unbend from the stoic image I had of him. He liked fudge ripple ice cream and the color of the forest after it rained and Wutai just as much as I did. I learned this generally from grunts to my yes-or-no questions.
Later on the first day of our journey, as I hummed myself to sleep, I learned that our mothers had sung the same lullaby to us.
Crimson eyes blinked hazily at me. Red, red, red. Why did it have to be everywhere? What looked like an attempt to say my name ended in a hacking cough. More red spilled out.
It was kind of strange, the way he was loosening up around me. Heck, it was downright bizarre. I mean, it wasn't like he told me his life story or anything, heavens no. But he did begin to act less like a freaking statue.
Grateful tears blurred my vision at the knowledge that he was alive, if only for now.
He had always been around, on the outer edge of things, there but not really involved. And it had never struck me before how much time we spent together. Not alone- this awful trip was our first- but with the rest of AVALANCHE. Surprisingly, he was less silent around just me. I was flabbergasted that my constant babble didn't turn him deaf and mute.
As I brushed the salty liquid from my face, I took stock of his injuries anxiously. His immortal body had already healed some of the gashes from the two dragons that had caught us off-guard.
As I got to know him, one little bit at a time, I realized that I loved this man.
I reached for my restore materia, brow crumpling when he shook his head. The movement sent a wave of fresh blood gurgling from his chest, where there was a hole that somehow wasn't healing itself.
Of course, this wasn't some bippity-boppity-boo overnight deal, the fake love that's really only a crush. Instead I realized that this affection has been right there beneath the surface of things all along.
(Red was the color of his piercing eyes.)
"Um... uh..." How the heck was I supposed to confess without sounding like a stupid adolescent? Which you probably are, I reminded myself glumly.
(Red was the color of the swirling cloak he hid behind.)
"Yes?" His voice was smooth, calm, unconcerned. Completely at a loss, I did the only thing that I could think of at the moment.
(Red was the color of the headband that held back his gloriously silky hair.)
I pulled down the front of his cloak and kissed him with all the impetuosity of my fierce little ninja heart.
(Red is the color of a passionate heart.)
His eyes widened abruptly as my fingers threaded through his hair, and for a moment his lips matched mine in intensity.
(A soaring heart.)
Then he did what I feared he would- pushed me away.
(A breaking heart.)
He backed away uncertainly, head shaking back and forth, even as I reached for him.
(A bleeding heart.)
Then his cloak whipped around him and he fled.
Red is the color of a dying heart, a fact I was painfully aware of as I held him in my arms. Shoot, my last moments with him and I couldn't control the tears enough to be coherent. Salty water mixed with a red gooey substance on my cheek from where I had laid my head to his chest.
The next morning when he got back, I tried to act normal. Cool, chipper, and confident, that's me. All the while he watched me with guarded eyes.
He swallowed slowly, then moved his lips. I bent my head so I could hear him. His breath barely tickled my ear.
Despite my forced devil-may-care attitude, the air between us was tense. I almost flinched when he put his arm around my waist. It's only to stay on the chocobo, I reminded myself severely.
"I'm... so sorry. Just didn't want... hurt you." I was amazed he could speak at all, with the rip in his throat that wasn't entirely healed. He took a moment to retch weakly. "Shoulda said sooner. Years..." Even with his trademark cloak pressed to his wounded body, the red seeped between my fingers.
"What?" I inquired in a tear-clogged voice.
At one point his human arm- the only arm he touched me with- tightened and I could've sworn I felt something feather-light brush against my hair.
"I..." His voice gave out, and I leaned back to read his lips. I love you. I smiled painfully and mouthed the words back, then kissed him for the second time, for the last time. I almost flinched as I tasted metallic vomit. He spent his last bit of strength pressing his lips against mine.
Two hours later we were ambushed; in protecting me he laid down his life.
As he died in my arms, I hummed to him our mothers' lullaby.
x X x X x X x X x
(Red is the color of a mourning heart.)
I loathe the color red. Nevertheless, each month, sometimes more often, I carry along a blood-red rose to cast into the waters of the Lifestream, as a tribute.
I'm sorry that we ended before we began.
(After all, Vincent always loved the color red.)
x X x X x X x X x