A Death Missed Most – By Ashford2ashford

Disclaimers: Cid: She don't own us damnit! Now leave her alone!!!

Pairing(s): Ya know, there's a slight hint of Cid/Vin…

Summary: A little fic about Vincent After Cid is long gone…depressing at first, but then quite cute. And I'm sorry it ended abruptly!!!

Cid was dead…there was no denying it now…and although it had happened so fast, so quick and painless, and the Highwind had fallen down in a dead slump, his lips still fixed in a smile, as if he hadn't known he was dead, Vincent Valentine still felt the quilt and anger and aggression burning up inside of him, making his fists clench.

Vincent looked back now, at the grave that was dusty after so many years, that was crumbling to the ground with only one name remaining on a slab that seemed to be as new as the say it had been placed there…Shido…

Cid…

The tall male leaned towards the grave and brushed aside moss and grass, his fingers pulling apart the wetness and the slime. The other hand he bore dangled limply at his side, the once golden metal rusted to such a degree that it looked more like old copper than shining gold.
He sighed, peeling away dirt from the name and then picking out the crusted dry bits with his long fingernails. The second name became clear now…
Haiwindo…

Highwind…

A smile graced pink lips and crossed a pale thin face as the name became readable once more. Several pieces of the grave were lying scattered all over the place now, the moss having been the only thing holding them to their places, but the name was still there, now clear and readable…and that was all that mattered…

"Hey Mister…what'choo doin'?"

Vincent turned to reply and then stopped in his tracks, his eyes fixed on the small figure now stood staring at him with wide blue eyes. The eyes were azure, a kind of glittering, thoughtful-looking, wise azure…a kind that Vincent had only dreamed about for so many long years.

He stared open-mouthed, not daring to speak.

The figure leaned closer, and Vincent's heart took a gentle wrench in his chest.

A young boy, probably a resident's child.
Vincent looked around.
There were no houses around this area for miles, surely?

The boys hands were dirty, the black dirt and (Vincent swore) oil staining the nails and fingers. For such a young pair of hands, the skin was awfully calloused, several cracks and areas of peeling, hardened skin all over them, as if the child had worked for a lifetime since he were born.
The boy wore only a vest, which showed the arms that gave the impression that strong muscle lay underneath the skin; they too were dirty and covered with scratches. The trousers were a pale green and they were baggy…like the trousers that were always baggy in the heat of battle, the ones that Vincent had never really looked at before, but remembered strangely in so much detail.

Then there was the most unnerving thing…

The boy's hair was swept back and shone blonde in the pale light of the setting sun…

"Mister? Are yoo okay?"

Vincent looked up. The boy had spoken again and this time he swore there was an expression of Cid; be it a facial expression or a growl in the voice, it was there. Now the slightly tanned youthful face was twisted into a confused and concerned face, and soft bushy blonde eyebrows arched slightly.

"Mister?"

Standing from his kneeling position and looming over the small child, his red cloak wrapped around him, Vincent looked down and petted the child's soft hair, amazed at how soft it was under his fingertips.

"I am fine, little one…I apologise if I caused you any concern." Vincent assumed his words were a little complex at first, but then the child grinned a boyish cocky grin and brushed his nose slightly with one arm, a motion that still remained lodged in Vincent's memory.

"S'okay, Mister. Yoo looked real sad there. I thought you were dead at first…was gonna go call someone fer help, ya know? What's wrong? Whose grave is that?" The boy was extremely confident and spoke in a manner that suggested he spoke his mind too.

Vincent sat down next to the child, watching with some form of amusement as the child sat down next to him, staring at the grave also. He sighed and then smiled again, noticing the wise yet gentle azure eyes gazing up at him questioningly.

"What's your name, little one?" Vincent cursed the question as soon as he had spoken it, somehow knowing the answer. He mouthed it with the child.

"Cid." Came the reply.

How was it that even when it was expected, it still came as a shock?

"Cid, hm?" Vincent kept the smile on his face, turning to the grave once more, "Well, Cid. I'm sitting here because it's the same date a friend of mine passed into the lifestream. This is his grave. I haven't been here in a while, so the grave got damaged, but I managed to keep the important part."

The boy got on all fours and squinted at the grave as if suspicious.

"He died today?" He asked, an innocent enough question.

Vincent nodded and then replied, "Yes…he was killed in battle. A very noble death. He went peacefully."

The boy smiled and then grinned.

"It's my birthday today!" He announced.

Vincent's heart took another wrench and then he shook his head, remembering that his suspicions were being confirmed, and so things like this were to be expected.
"Happy Birthday, Cid." He murmured, unsure of whether the question was aimed at the grave or the child.

"Thanks." The boy murmured, now kneeling before the grave, his eyes scanning the name with a mix of horror and interest, "His name was Cid too, Mister?"

The raven-haired one kept his smile frozen on his face and then coughed. "You may call me Vincent, little Cid…and yes…that was his name. A name I'll never forget."

Turning around and then grinning, the boy, Cid, nodded and laughed, a soft hearty laugh that still ached as familiar in the mind of the tall male. He wiped his nose on his arm again gently and then scratched his matted blonde hair.
"'Kay, Vince!" He giggled, standing tall and stretching a hand out to shake Vincent's human one, "My name's Cid. Don't got no other name! Don't got no family either! I'd like to say I live here…but I don't…I travel."

Vincent looked at the smaller hand in his and then mused, "Aren't you a little small to be travelling alone?"

The boy shook his head, defiant, "Nuh uh! I got my spear!"
Vincent's heart caught in his throat when he saw the homemade spear, the way the boy held it, with such skill, such grace, and such…pride…
"Cid…" Vincent murmured, tears fresh on his face now.

"Hey mister! Don' yoo cry! I be okay, yeah? I might not look like much, but I can kick ass!" The boy patted Vincent reassuringly on the shoulder and then scanned the landscape; bravely searching for a battle.
"And I do not doubt that." Vincent smiled, standing and spreading blackened wings.

The boy stepped back.
"Are yoo an angel?" He asked, eyes wide.

Vincent shook his head and then took off, waving to the boy, "No…I am Vincent."

He looked down at the small boy, watching him go, and then suddenly kneeling and picking more bits of moss and leaves away from the grave, placing his little spear at the side of the grave.

Vincent wept, and then realised he had another mission to do now, another adventure.
"I'll protect you." He motioned towards the boy, although the boy could not hear him, "This time I'll protect you…Cid Highwind."

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Ashford2ashford: Well…that's the end of that! I hope it's to everyone's liking. It's not often I write Final Fantasy Fics is it? Aw well…try to R and R it, and I'll see you all soon!