CHAPTER 17

I LOVE YOU TOO

When Vincent woke up a few hours later he found himself lying on a hospital bed. He quickly sat up and looked around. He was in a small hospital room. He saw Tifa sitting in a chair beside the bed.

"Where am I?" he asked looking at her. "What happened?"

"I had to knock you out so the doctors could take a look at your injury," she replied. "Sorry."

He gripped his shoulder, suddenly feeling pain. "Where's Yuffie?" he asked.

"She's fine," the tall woman replied. "Her wound wasn't as serious as it had first looked."

"So she isn't here?" he asked.

"She's here. She headed to the balconey after they wrapped her wound and she woke up," Tifa said. "When she came to she insisted she was better. She bounced out of bed the minute she woke up. She even asked about you."

"Me? Why?"

"She was worried about you. She thought you were hurt because you didn't go see her."

He looked surprised about that. "She was worried? About me?"

Tifa nodded. "She told me to tell you to go up and see her when you were feeling better."

"Why?"

"She didn't say but I think you should."

"All right."

He slowly slid off the bed. When his feet touched the floor his shoulder started to hurt again. He grabbed it and staggered slightly.

"Do you need help?" she asked worried.

"No, I'm just feeling a bit woozy that's all."

She saw him smash his fist against the door before he opened it, a loud bang echoed in the room. "God, I hate doctors!" she heard him mutter as he opened the door and stepped out of the room.

Vincent headed down the hall ignoring everyone and everything. He had only one thing on his mind and he wasn't about to let anyone get in his way. Yuffie, why do you want to see me?

By the time he reached the balcony he was feeling like his old self again. He looked around and spotted Yuffie. Her back was turned to him. He could see she was leaning over the railing and looking out over the city. Her short brown hair wavered slightly in the breeze.

"Yuffie," he said.

Upon hearing his voice she turned around and smiled at him. "Vinnie!" she exclaimed. "How are you feeling?"

"Better, thank you," he said. "What about you?"

"I'm all right," she replied. "I was lucky. I had you and the others to help me."

He joined her at the railing. They stared over the city for a few minutes.

"How are things for you?" he asked after a silence.

"Okay I guess," she answered. "But.. you were right."

He looked at her. "Right about what?"

"I shouldn't have come with you," she replied not meeting his gaze. "I almost go you killed."

"Yuffie, don't talk like that," he said turning to face her. "It was good you came."

She looked at him out of the corner of her eye. "It was?"

He nodded. "If you hadn't come I wouldn't have gotten as far as I did. You saved my life. I...I'm glad you came."

She turned to face him now. He looked away. "You are glad I came?" she asked.

He nodded. Another silence. Then, "Vincent?"

"Yes?"

Yuffie took his hand which cause him to look right at her. "Are you just saying that?"

He shook his head. "If you hadn't been here Hojo would have killed me. I'm just sad you got hurt like you did."

She laughed that weird laugh of hers. "Don't worry about it, Vinnie, I'm fine."

"But I feel responcible," he argued. "If I hadn't of been so angry and so blind by my obsession of finding a stupid book this never would have happened!"

"Book?" she said pulling something out from behind her back. "You mean this book?"

He stared at her and the book in her hands for a moment in disbelieve. "When? What? Where? How?"

"It was on Hojo's computer desk," she replied. "I grabbed the book when I ran into you. I knew you'd want it."

He took the book from her. "Thank you," he said.

Then he did something that surprised her. He leaned down and kissed her. Not on the cheek, not on the forehead, but on the lips. Softly and slowly. It seemed to take hours.

When he finally moved his face away he saw that Yuffie's huge eyes were even bigger and she was blushing. He was suddenly embarrest that he'd shown so much gratitude over that stupid book. He looked away.

"Um.. er... sorry about that," he mumbled.

She giggled.

"What's so funny?" he asked, refusing to make eye contact.

She put her hand on his again and put her other on his face. Slowly she turned his head back toward hers until theirs eyes met. "I've been wanting you to do that for a long time, Vinnie," she said slowly. "I just didn't think you would ever do it in this life."

His scarlet eyes locked with her fawn brown ones. They stayed there a moment.

"Thank you for getting the book for me," he said again. His voice grew emotional. "I did, do care about you. I just never realized how much until.." his voice trailed off.

She noticed sudden tears streaming down his cheeks. "Vinnie-Vincent, are you... crying?"

He closed his eyes to stop the flow. "I'm sorry... I just never understood.. could never figure out how... how you could... read me so well.. almost like..."

"Lucrecia?"

Lucrecia...

That's when he realized something. He remembered back to the day he, Cloud, and Yuffie had gone into Lucrecia's cave. She's told him not to come near her. Her voice had been emotional. She seemed to be trying to say good bye...

She wanted him to move on. Wanted him to continue his life and not live in the past anymore..

She loved me anough to let me go.. or hadn't loved me at all?

Now his tears flowed freely. He slowly sank to the floor of the balconey and wept into his hands. Yuffie, not sure what was wrong, sat down beside him.

"Vincent?" she said putting a hand on his shoulder. "What's wrong?" Suddenly he pulled her into a hug. "Vinnie...?"

"Just... just let me hold you... hold something..."

She said nothing. The only thing she could do was try to comfort him. She let him cry on her shoulder, as if his heart had broken. She wasn't sure what was wrong but she felt a sudden wave of emotion sweep over her.

"Please don't cry," she pleaded her voice breaking. "If you cry I'll have to cry too."

He let her go just then and stared into her eyes. For a moment she thought she'd done something wrong. Thought she'd offended him.

Slowly he stood up and pulled her up as well. "Yuffie," he said wiping his eyes. "What.. how do you feel?"

"About you?" she asked.

He gave a half nod.

"I.. I feel... like..." she stopped. What are you afraid of, girl? Just tell him your feelings! He isn't going to bite you! She took a deep breath and said in a rush. "I love you."

He stared at her. She took a step back. Now you've done it! You made him mad! I knew this was just a little girl's fantasy!

He reached out for her. She shied away. "DON'T TOUCH ME!" she screamed.

Vincent grabbed her shoulder and pulled her toward him. He held her in a crushing hug. She would have struggled but she sensed something in the embrase. It wasn't malicious. It was loving.

What? What's he doing? What's going on?

He let her go and looked down at her. He cupped her chin in his hand and made her look at his face. She saw he was smiling.

"Vincent?"

He let go of her face and took her hands. "We'd better get back to the others," he said his smile as soft as dove's feathers.

His smile made her smile too. He wadn't as cold as she had first thought. He wasn't a vampire either. He was just himself. And... he does care!

"Okay."

Before they headed back he leaned over and kissed her again. This time it held more than gratitude. It held something only she could understand. She felt his strong arms wrap around her again.

Just as he let her got he leaned his face over and whispered in her ear. "I love you too."

He moved away from her. "The others are waiting."

"Yeah...," she said not wanting this moment to end.

He took her hand again. He smiled and she smiled.

Yuffie's smile held the realization that she had finally found someone who loved her for her and not what she could give him.

His smile was that of someone who'd been searching everywhere for answers and comfort to an old pain. He knew now that the answers had always been right in front of him. Just like the one who'd been his comfort all along...

THE END

A/N

I tried to make the end fluffy but I don't think I did well. I hope it was okay. I'm sorry if I make them act totally unlike themselves. This was an emotional moment. Besides, Vincent needed a good cry. :sweatdrop: I think I'll make a collection of short stories staring these two. I really like these characters. They have good chemistry.