. . . House Arrest . . .

If he weren't such a moping sort of man, I would have been worried about him coming downstairs and shooting my scrawny old ass. I never thought depression would be something that would keep me in this Gods damned world, but then again, I'd discovered long ago that I was a part of some fucking cosmic joke.

And that joke didn't feel like explaining to me what the fuck was going on.

"I'm going to bring him some food now dear," Shera says, waving a hand in front of my face. I'm not a damn idiot... all the time. I must have looked spaced out or something.

"Eh, sure, whatever," I reply, the only thing that comes to mind. She knows much more about this nurturing business than I do. Puts up with me, that says enough.

Maybe I should explain myself. Always help keep the blood flowing in my old and constricting veins. Don't know who the hell I'm talking to, but I feel like talking in my crazed old head.

Now, it all started with Shera. Yes, Shera. So many things keep coming back to that woman. My wife, for the moment, until she gets some real sense. Clever as hell, but she lacks that common sense... Anyway, she comes running into the house all scared half out of her wits, and says there's some zombie creature or something in the hangar.

Zombie creature? So I got my spear. It was fucking early and I already had to go and kill something. Too bad that clever head of hers hadn't figured out how to make some useful weapons.

Well, to make a long story short, it wasn't a zombie. It was Vinny. Good old Vincent "I'm damned to hell for an eternity of sins" Valentine. Don't get me wrong, I liked the guy, even if he was a perpetual downer. A challenge you could say...

He was a little embarrassed to be found, seems like he'd been trying to get up the courage to knock on the door or something. Hell, it was funny, Shera was so flustered when she found out, went around fussing over him and all. Like he was some damned prodigal son or something.

We found him a job, to keep him occupied and all kept him going back and forth between New Midgar and all over. Sometimes he'd been gone for a while, we were used to it. My son, Samiel, took a bit of a liking to him. Played peek-a-boo and whatever silly games children played. Odd, how children don't judge anyone.

Which brings us to now. We locked him upstairs.

Now, that might sound downright weird and creepy, but this isn't a normal person. He can fool you into thinking he's normal, and to some extent he is, but he just isn't. And we locked him up for his own protection... from himself.

And we've got backup too. Seems someone's been checking up on him while he was in New Midgar. Damned stubborn backup too.

"Did he say anything?" she says quietly, while Shera's worried form comes into view. Women worry too much. He'll get human when he's ready to.

What am I saying? Vinny is human... why do I doubt that sometimes?

Shera shakes her head, and I'll be damned if she's got that sad look in her eye. He's an adult for gods damned sakes woman! Not a child! And this gets me kinda angry, so angry in fact...

"Dammit Shera! You can't keep treating him like a gods damned CHILD!"

Two pairs of angry female eyes are upon me. Shit. Shit shit shit. This is never good. Now, Shera's a handful in and of herself. But two women... especially... fuck.

"Oh?" Shera says, looking so gods damned superior, "What would you know about taking care of a suffering human being?" And she used to be so mousy. Women trick ya like that... act all quiet and fucking demure, and then you start looking at 'em. 'Cause women are... pretty. And then they start with that damn teasing.

"Yes, Cid," Tifa says, eyes narrowed, "If you've got any ideas, we're all ears." She's in that stage of her life, Tifa is. The "look I'm young and pretty and I know it" stage. Fuck, Shera is too, except she'd gone and roped me into the next stage.

Marriage. Women's revenge on men. When the demure act is finally revealed for what it is; a gods damned act. Fiction.

"Don't look at me!" I say, knowing full well that there's some sort of torture brewing behind those pretty eyes of theirs, "I'm a fucking old fool." Shera frowns at the cursing. Samiel's old enough to talk now... she doesn't want half of his beginning vocabulary to be those I take the most pride in.

They exchange That Look. The one look that no man ever wants to see two women exchanging. 'Cause when That Look comes out... might as well put up a fucking white flag. I just lost.

And I didn't even know what the conditions of surrender were yet.

"Well, why don't you try and talk with him."

I hadn't realized that I'd been cringing. My teeth hurt like a motherfucking Chocobo'd knocked into them. Temperamental feather brains...

Wait. Me. Talk with... oh Hell no...

"Just what the-"I couldn't continue, for the force of The Glare was upon me. The effect of two women using this most powerful weapon... if it had been a laser, I would have been knocked on my old arthritic ass. Yes, it's that bad. So, there was only one thing I could do.

Stomp all the way up the stairs.

Once I had reached the door to the guest room where the six footed quilting wonder resided, I was truly pissed. Really pissed. They'd gotten the better of me, those, those...

"Go away."

It was a very quiet sound, muffled by the door and the fact that Vin can't raise his voice unless someone's about to die. Tifa sometimes mumbles things like "beaten" and all... Personally? I think it's cowardice. Man's got a good head on his shoulder's, but he's scared shitless of anything normal.

"The hell I am!" I shout as I reach for the doorknob. Locked, just as I fucking figured. But this is my house, and I ain't a pilot for nothing. Good thing I keep the screw driver handy.

"You think a simple locked door is gonna stop me!" I say, inhaling cigarette smoke. When the hell did I light this thing? Doesn't matter. I know that a door without hinges... is no longer an obstacle.

So when I finally remove the fucking door, I realize why he told me to go away. That little shit. But damn is it ever funny.

"The bed sheet trick!" I spit out between what are surely guffaws, "You can fucking fly and you're trying to sneak out of my house by climbing down bed sheets!" This is simply too much. Cosmic fucking joke.

"I did not want to scare your neighbors," he replies, facial muscles tense. He seems to realize the absurdity of the statement, for he leans his forehead against his palm tiredly. Maybe in embarrassment. Serves the prick right, because of him, I'm probably gonna be sleeping on the couch for a week...

I walk fully into the room, and prop the door in the doorway behind me. Without the hinges, it's not fully closable, but it makes a good barrier against do gooders, and prying women. And it's one less exit for my quarry.

Oh yes, Vincent fucking Valentine was going to finally get his "intervention". They wanted me to talk to him... well gods damned, I was gonna talk to him. So, I start gently.

"What the fuck is up with your head!"

Well, maybe I can be gentler. But on the couch for a WHOLE WEEK. Think about that.

I could swear, I almost thought the he was gonna fucking laugh. His eyes had gotten wide, and he stares at me. Damn, never noticed how freaky red they are. Kinda cool, actually. Fucking Goth kids must go to great lengths to look like that.

"...Excuse me?" he says finally, eyes narrowing, "What is "up" with my head?" His voice is still quiet, but has gained some... intensity. Fucking shit. Now if there's ever a bad thing, it's an angry Vincent. Not that his skinny gangly body could kick my ass...

His little friends sure as fuck can. Demons with a lust for loudmouthed pilot blood. Breathe Cid, breathe. Maybe the women had a point. I'll be damned if I tell them that, though.

"SheraandTifaandIareworriedaboutya," I mumble. If he didn't catch that, he didn't let on. I notice his hand relax, and his eye get their usual "I don't deserve to be in the sun" glaze. Fucking hell, he can't even stay mad anymore without guilting something, without acting so fucking...

And it dawns on me. Sympathy, threatening, and locking him up haven't done much for him. But I know two things that will make a man right as fucking thunderous rain. I can offer one, and put the idea in his head for the other.

"Vince?" I begin waving my hand in front of his face. Gotta make sure he isn't mumbling prayers or some shit to himself. Sometimes I wonder if he's on the same plane of existence as us. I can see his eyes focus on me and he seems to be... pouting? Gods damned that's funny.

I hold out a cigarette. I remember that he sometimes smokes; maybe not as often as I do, but I recall one time sitting outside with Reeve or something and he didn't sputter when he inhaled. Besides, I know Shera'll be put off with another smoker in the house. Heh.

He takes, eyebrow raised in a clearly, "What the Hell?" expression. He looks so fucking normal when he does that... and I laugh as I light his cig. It's a standstill, for he's just puffing and I am too. Fuck, it's almost like we're old friends, standing in a room with the door off the hinge and bed sheets hanging out the window.

Gods damned, someone might get the wrong idea from this, if ya catch my meaning.

"You confuse me," he says with a puff of smoke, brows furrowed, "All of you do. What I do with my life is of no concern to you." I can't help but feel like I'm getting lectured by my fucking father, or told off by a teenager all at once. Damn, I hope Shera keeps him around; he's more fun than teasing Yuffie about her chicken legs and airsickness.

"You need to get laid, Vince."

He chokes on the drag. I wait for him to finish sputtering before I continue.

"I'm serious," I say, using the voice that I typically reserve for Samiel when he's been eating dirt or something, "A good lay would do wonders for your social skills." I crack a smirk. Alright, so maybe I wasn't entirely serious.

"Are you propositioning me, Highwind?" I almost miss the sly smirk as I sputter. Fucking hell does he ever know where to get me. No one questions my sexuality. You'd think the scantily clad women on my planes would do it... but no dickheads like—

Hold on a fucking minute.

"Did you just crack a fucking joke?" I ask, eyes narrowing and looking for any clue. Even he, Vincent "stone-faced with a cool cape" Valentine can't help the corner of his mouth tug in what I've learned is his piss-poor attempt at a smile.

Well if that isn't progress, if I've ever seen it. Maybe tonight he'll eat at the dinner table. And I'll get to gloat 'cause the touchy feely girly method only made him tie fucking bed sheets together and try to climb out of the window.

"How's about you eat at the table like a fucking human being tonight?"

He nods a reply. Well, that's a start.

AN: I finally finished this! It's been sitting half done on my computer for ages... man, I just love Cid and Vin interaction. But in the straight sense. I like them as sorta weird friends... like they are in the game. Well, this idea's been purged... maybe I can finally get to sleep! Doubtful. XD