Disclaimer: Honestly. Fanfiction... It's... it should be inherent fact that I own nothing but the particular premise, original characters and/or locations unless DULY noted otherwise. Yeah...
By: (formerly) CursedAngelofSephiroth
Chapter 1: Fair of Deliverance
With the Planet delivered from the raging shadow of Meteor and its summoner, peace was sure to return to the lands. Midgar was abandoned to the dark abyss of time ill-memorial, as the symbol of that which ailed the Planet, now ruined and emptied. In time, all minds would likely forget that dark wound on the face of the earth, forget what pain it brought, forget the evil it birthed within its bowels of metal and mortar, forget the black plague of death it allowed to spread, forget it all as verdancy would consume it in due time. The Planet would be its own once again.
The ragtag hero gang that did the grand deed of rescuing the Planet rejoiced in Kalm, the former watchtower on the front of Midgar's destruction and site where Meteor was dispersed through combined might of Holy and the Lifestream. Cloud and Tifa; Barret and Cid; Yuffie and Red XIII; and Vincent and Cait Sith, or Reeve, for the man behind the manikin. Triumphant in the purest sense, the crew called for revelry at the local inn, complete with singing and drinking and all else that would have made a celebration, a celebration.
"Hip hip hurray, y'all!"
The inn was packed from wall to wall with citizens of Kalm and re. Cid, Barret and Yuffie sang the night away, lifted drinks swaying overhead. Reeve, come out of hiding in the slums with the refugees of Midgar, chatted amiably with Cloud and Tifa near the counter, while his mechanical alter ego, provided a show for Marlene and the other children, complete with magic tricks and fortunes. Red XIII lounged in one of the corners of the room to avoid the shifting throng. As for Vincent, he stood outside under the moonlight of the white-blue sphere in the sky, drifting slightly eclipsed by Meteor's smoldering and ever darkling shell, not stargazing in particular. Just thinking.
Well… The Planet has been saved, and Sephiroth, put to rest, like he should have been in the first place. Before, I couldn't do a thing, but now… I have proved myself at least a little worthy, a little less sinful. Perhaps with the Jenova still inside me, I can learn to cope with my pain and lead a life I might finally deserve. But… I have no idea what to do. And this bustling and sprawling world that I was once cast away from is too distracting to think properly. I need someplace quiet. Perhaps my coffin? It always had such privacy, the privacy I need now to plan my future. Sleeping between the ages isn't something I want to do anymore. But I can sleep once more, for a while, to sort out all my thoughts. Yes. Just a short while…
Vincent glanced over his crimson clad shoulder at the inn where the singing and laughter continued on within its walls, where his companions were. He'd forgo saying goodbye, no matter even if he wanted to. He was going back to Nibelheim, back to his coffin in the basement of Shinra Manor. Hopefully to become a better person, if not that then think about becoming a better person.
There arose the sound of soft footfalls on the cobblestone street that the inn abutted. Vincent unhurriedly drew his eyes to the source.
It was a man, virtually a shadow in the dark of the night. Vincent's altered eyes spied the tall body clothed in black and red and gold, a curious, billowing robe with a trim waistcoat to complement it. He sensed something akin to majesty in the air surrounding the lofty figure, yet whatever it truly was would remain indistinguishable. As the man passed Vincent by, their eyes caught. He noticed that this creature possessed golden eyes, dimly lit by some unknown source within his own body, set into a round and ghostly pale face, which was framed by fine, light hair cut short to the neck.
The golden eyes cooled Vincent's blood by a whole degree as they had come and gone. Stricken as he was by such a response that his own body put out by the esoteric man, what came next threatened to baffle him off his feet. Following in the figure's light but hasty promenade was the alien smell of too sweet flowers. Vincent found almost himself literally drunk on such an aroma that he had to lean against the wall behind him to keep from reeling.
After collecting himself from the fragrant assault on his senses, he saw the man had vanished from the street, even the footfalls of his booted feet, as Vincent had deduced them to be from their sound on the shadowy blue cobblestone. Gone like a fleeting breeze.
"Who was that guy?" he whispered in pure wonder. Never had he felt the way he did right at that moment. In the presence of anyone. That was not an ordinary man, he mused. He shook his head to clear his mind of that unforgettable scent, focusing back on what he planned to do. Leave Kalm for Nibelheim and sleep on his future. He stole one last look at the inn and nodded. "Well. Take care of yourselves."
Vincent spirited away into the star-spangled blanket of night sky, moonglow and meteoric shadow, to reflect and shape a new path in life.
"Hey, where's Vincent?" Tifa asked, probing the room for their darkly dressed companion. "He should be in on this, too."
Cloud stared into his drink with unusual intensity. Only about half a minute later did he heed Tifa's questioning voice. "Huh? Vincent?"
"Yeah. Where is he?"
"Eh… Let him be. He doesn't have to be forced to have fun, Tifa," he answered with a slight shrug of his shoulders.
"Yeah, but… I thought he would've come out of his shell a bit by now."
"WHOOHOO! Turn up the music!" Yuffie cackled like a newly inducted witch, leapt upon a table and started to dance, making up lyrics to the song now playing on the jukebox someone had brought in. "We saved the Planet, yeah, we saved the Planet, ow! We beat Sephi's butt, yeah, he's had it, wow!"
"Has she been drinking?" Cloud asked, pointing at the ninja girl rocking the table side to side. Tifa hung her head down as though she herself was embarrassed for Yuffie's display.
"How can you even tell if she hasn't?"
From Sixth: EDIT 20xx: Deleting this crappy piece of author's note. Remember folks, read old fanfiction at your own risk. I ain't gonna delete it because well, it's a reminder of the early days, though infused with stealth edits here and there from today... Also, this was from a time when one would have thought, pre-Dirge of Cerberus, that Vincent's state was a product of Jenova. So... whatever. Here to stay, biznatches.