Disclaimer: All characters and concepts except for the general storyline belong to Square.

A/N: A random snippet. What happens if you wander around the FFVII world without a) equipping things and b) carrying Softs. -.-; Yuffentine.

Soft Touch

The wind whistled across the plains, and it seemed to Vincent he could hear it for the first time in days. Blessed silence, brought on by the most unlikely of fiends, the scourge of the plains. But it had to end swiftly. All of this did.

His eyes travelled over the stone girl before him. He had no Softs. He rarely carried them with him, protected as he was from such afflictions. But Yuffie, being Yuffie, refused to take precautions.

"If you think I'm gonna wear a sissy ribbon, you've got another thing coming! There's just no way in the world, vampire boy. I hate ribbons!"

And now she had been turned to stone by the dragon-like creatures that roamed the plains. He cocked his head on the side and looked at her, frozen in a half-angered, half-horrified position, crouched slightly as though she were about to leap out of the way. Impressive, that she remained balanced, even though she has been petrified.

Vincent looked about him, considering. He could carry her and risk shattering her, or he could lose time and wait until the effects of the monster's attacks wore off. He glanced down at his claw and stubbornly looked away again. So carrying her was out of the question. Despite her annoying, childish tendencies he did not want to harm her in any way.

"So what am I to do with you?" He pondered aloud. The wind was the only thing that responded, lifting his ebon mane and tugging at it insistently. He should be gone from this place, as quickly as possible. But the wind didn't stir her locks, and her voice didn't disturb the silence.

Vincent wondered why he found that so unnerving.

His mind drifted back to the question at hand, and he began to pace as he pondered, tossing the question in his mind. Eventually he decided there was nothing for it but to make camp and wait until the effects of Soft wore off. He glanced down at the Sniper CR and grimaced at the low level Heal materia there. It was of absolutely no use to him whatsoever in his current situation. He wished rather half-heartedly that Cloud was not carrying the prime materia, and sat down in the middle of the grassy field to wait.

It did not take very long before he started to feel like an idiot.

So he looked around, noting very calmly that there were no fiends approaching, the sun was getting close to setting and there were no Chocobos in sight. He looked back at his hands in the silence, and idly wished he had two thumbs to twiddle.

It was only a very short time later that he looked up again, half hoping to find something to occupy his time. The plains stared back at him, grass waving innocently at him in the wind.


For lack of anything else remotely interesting to look at, he looked at Yuffie. His lips pursed disapprovingly after a moment.

"To look at you, one would not think you were raised in Wutai."

A pause.

"Look at yourself. You have not even the pride in your appearance to bother with doing up your shorts correctly. As a Turk, I took pride in my uniform… you don't take the slightest care in your daily appearance."

Vincent stood up and walked over to stare down at the statue of Yuffie.

"Nor do you have the decorum appropriate to a Wutaian lady. Your manners are absolutely atrocious. I am surprised your father, whoever he is, did not turn you out of his house."

He pondered this for a moment.

"Or perhaps he did. You have never spoken of your parents. In fact, your past has been presented to AVALANCHE more obtusely than my own… you have never even mentioned Wutai."

He looked at her, at the exquisitely shaped eyes and the stone skin he knew was a darkly golden tan, the skin of a Wutaian. He frowned slightly. How did he know that she was from Wutai? And certainly he knew. It was a truth as deep as his bones. A feeling of complete rightness. She was Wutaian.

"…I wonder why I know this about you? I cannot even remember my youth… I know… I know I am also Wutaian… though the demons and my long slumber seeped the colour from my skin, leaving me but black and white…"

He blinked his red eyes, suddenly sorrowful for the skin tone he had never cared for, and the place he could not remember. He looked down at the petrified young ninja and reached out to touch the stone curve of her cheek.

"Such a shame. This is what you would be like… if you were a model Wutaian lady. You are so full of life… I would not wish you to be like this always. Still and silent, like the moon. And unreachable. Unattainable."

He came to himself suddenly, and snatched his hand back from her cheek. Were anyone around to see it, he would not have been able to hide the pain in his eyes.

He paced away and sat down away from her, where he could not harm her with his taint.

It was a while after darkness fell that he caught movement in the darkness, and saw Yuffie blink and wrap her arms around herself. He saw her start to shiver and cursed himself for not getting a fire started. He stood up and she jumped.

"Vinnie! Gawds, you scared me. What happened? I'm freezing!"

Vincent's human hand began to unbuckle his cloak, as though it had its own ideas about its owner's stoic appearance.

"You were petrified, and unfortunately we are running low on supplies… the Heal materia Cloud allotted us is… useless." It was the kindest word he could ascribe to the cursed orb. He handed her the cloak, and she took it immediately, hunching her shoulders as she bundled herself up within the still-warm scarlet fabric.

Her eyes closed and she enjoyed the warmth of the cloak for a few moments before she saw fit to reply.

"Man, that doofus is so gonna get it for not giving us a decent Heal materia. And a Restore without even a Cure2! I ask you. Man, what a…"

"Yuffie," Vincent reprimanded her quietly.

"What? I'm petrified for, like, DAYS, and all you can do is protect Cloud. Vinnie, you are such a stiff… you know what I call people like you? PARTY POOPERS!"

Vincent pulled out his Fire materia, and wondered why on earth he had been so unhappy when her chattering had stopped.


A/N: I know it was random and stupid, but seriously. Have you ever been totally out of EVERYTHING and with nowhere to go and get healed? And have you ever wondered what happens after battles when people are petrified and frogs and stuff?? No? …well, you're probably normal then. Please review!