Story 1: A Christmas Without You

By Devlish Days

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Disclaimer: I don't own FF7... Well, that is, I don't until I finally work for Square!

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It was another normal year, another cold winter. It was Wednesday, December 21, only five more days til Christmas. Cloud and the others were sitting in the rebuilt Midgar, in Tifa's rebuilt bar. Decorations were hung around, preparing for the upcoming holiday. People besides the group were sitting down, enjoying drinks and television. The secret hideout was now gone, and the elevator was replaced with a real pinball machine.

"Well... What are you all doing for Christmas?" Tifa asked. "Because I'll probably be here, managing the bar..." Cloud took another drink. "I'll stay here and help you. I have no where else to go, anyways..." "Hey! Why don't we all stay? We could help Tifa with the bar, and maybe we could throw ourselves a party!" Yuffie said,jumping around.She earned questioningstares from everybody there. "What?" She said. Tifa smiled again. "That's a great idea Yuffie! Why don't we do that?" Everybody nodded, and agreed.

During the night everybody was asleep, except Cloud and Tifa. They just sat there, planning things out, wanting that Sunday to be the best Christmas ever. "What do you think, Cloud? What should we do?" "Well, of course we'll have to keep the decorations up... What about adding a tree?" "Yeah! And I'll make sure to have plenty of sake!" "Of course! And don't forget a cake. A nice, big cake, brightly coloured with Christmas colours, and maybe a figure or two of Santa and his reindeer and elves!"

The two were laughing at the idea of the cake, which made Vincent look up. He wasn't sleeping, oh no. He couldn't sleep for his inner demons wouldn't allow him. Instead, he just listened to Cloud and Tifa, joining in a couple times. "You might as well buy presents for your friends while at it..." He stated. Tifa looked over at him. "Oh! That's perfect! You really are a genius, Vincent! But what do we get everyone?" They went back to work, listing things down for present ideas, leaving Vincent on his own to find sleep.

In the morning, everybody was awake. Cloud and Tifa were up all night, earning theirselves a long list of ideas that they hid from everybody, andheadaches to match.Now it was Thursday, December 22. Everybody was eager to have some fun that weekend. Everybody except Vincent.

Vincent didn't think of them as friends, only allies. Well, that's what he thought everbody considered him, actually. He thought he was no more than a simple add-on, who didn't do anything except get the job done. Sure, everybody else was fine and dandy, but not him.

Noting that Vincent was in the corner, not doing anything, Yuffie walked over to him. "Hey, you okay?" He gave her a glare. "I'm fine." He spat. Cid looked over to him."Well, if you say so, then get your sorry ass over here and do some work, damnit!"He was shouting at the man, losing his balance on the ladder he used to hang up garland. Thus the result, landing on his back and swallowing his cigarette. Yuffie laughed, then grabbed Vincent's hand. "Come on, Vince! Cid's right, you need to get to work!" She dragged him over to a pile of ribbons and wreaths. "Help me hang these up, won't you? The ribbons go scattered on the garland, and the wreaths get hung on the walls!" She grabbed a few of each and put them in their respective places.

Vincent stared at the Christmas items. Eventually, he picked some up and put them up like Yuffie told him to. About fifteen minutes later, they finished, as did everybody else. Yuffie patted Vincent's back, sending a shock to him from surprise. "See Vincent? I told you it was easy! And thanks to you, we finished sooner than we would have!" It was true. After he finished his half of ribbons and wreaths, Vincent went on to help others. Such as holding Cid's ladder so he wouldn't fall over again. They finished faster than expected. And expected was about an hour.

The place was covered in decorations. Hung on the wall above the bar were stockings for everybody, that Tifa made in her spare time. They were adorable. Cid's garland was above every doorframe, and it also lined the room all around.Yuffie's ribbons were scattered on the garland.Cloud and Barret hung the Christmas cards they had received on one wall. Red XIII and Cait Sith had decorated the tree, and we all know everybody had help from Vincent. Tifa and Yuffie jumped up in joy. "The place looks wonderful! Thank you guys!"

Friday, December 23. The gang prepared their money today, for today was when they would go Christmas shopping for their gifts! Vincent decided to just stay and take care of the bar, seeing as how Tifa wasn't there, and he had no intentions of buying gifts for people. Finally, about an hour after they left, a couple people walked into the bar. "Hey, who are you? Where's Tifa!" "You don't run this bar!" Vincent glared at them. "I'm doing a favour for my friend... No, wait, it's just a favour for the owner... I'm in charge til they return from shopping." They looked a bit disappointed, but decided to stay and have a drink anyways.

A few hours later, after the drunks had left, Cloud and the others returned to the bar. A note was left on the door from Vincent.

Tifa- Closed the bar on time, like you said. The door is open. See you in the morning as well as the others. -Vincent

"Ah! He closed the bar... Wonderful!" Tifa smiled, then walked in the building. Once inside, everybody took their bags and went to separate places throughout the building, wrapping their gifts in private. They put tags on them, placed them under the tree, then finally went to get some well-deserved sleep. Vincent watched over them for a few more hours, thinking of what he would do on that Sunday. He didn't like parties, they were too loud! Instead, he thought of returning to Nibelheim, to sleep in the coffin for another thirty years. But... Chances were, Sephiroth would come back to life, and Cloud and Tifa's kids would come and awaken him once more. Fuck it. It was a chance he'd have to take. No way was he staying there with people that didn't care about him.

Saturday, December 24. Finally, Christmas Eve! Tifa was preparing the huge cake that Cloud suggested, along with Yuffie and Red. Cloud and Cid were making the little figurines, and Barret and Cait were getting out the frosting for when the cake cooled.

Yuffie grabbed the bottom piece of the cake from the oven, while Tifa gave the small, top piece to Red and carried the middle portion herself. ((If you are wondering, she placed it onRed's back soYuffie could place it on the table after she did hers.))They took them out of the pans and put them on a large tray for it to cool. There, Barret and Cait chose which colour of frosting to use. They decided on white, so it looked like snow. Then They put all kinds of decorations and icings onto it. It was looking great.

Yuffie smiled in delight at how the cake was coming along. She was going to bring Vincent over to see, so she looked around for him throughout the whole place. Vincent wasn't found anywhere in the place. So she went back into the kitchen.

"Hey guys... Have you seen Vincent? I looked all over, and he isn't here..."Yuffie's face was filled with worry. Cloud looked over at her with questioning eyes. "He isn't? But he didn't say a word to us... And he still has to put his piece on the cake!"Her eyes started to water a small bit, so she hid behind her bangs. "What if he doesn't come back by tomorrow...?" Cid came up to her and rubbed her head. "Don't worry. Even if he's a creepy bastard, Vincent usually comes back when he leaves!" She smiled, then put her piece on the cake, next to where Vincent's was supposed to go.

December 25! The grand holiday of the year, the last holiday of the year! Well, besides New Year's Eve, but we'll count that as next year. Today was the day that the group was to have their party! But they weren't going to start without their one friend, Vincent, who went missing yesterday. Vincent, on the other hand, traveled through the cold weather on foot, all the way to Nibelheim.

Vincent stared at the town before entering. "Should I really be here? Was it right to leave everybody...?" He began to question his reasons for coming to the town, and eventually sat down in front of it, trying to tame his demons inside.

Yuffie sat down in the corner of the place. Christmas without Vincent... Wasn't Christmas at all. Even if he acted cold, even if he didn't like to talk to the others, Yuffie still cared... Why did she care? She cared because she loved the man. She loved him so much! She always wanted to be with him, for him to be with her... But he was gone. He wasn't with her. She wasn't with him.

"Hey, you okay?" Tifa had sat down next to Yuffie, who was now crying. "Do I look okay! Hell no I'm not! Vincent left, he hasn't come back!" Tifa smiled, then pulled out the old PHS from their past journey. "Then why don't you... Try to call him?" Yuffie looked up, grabbed the old thing, and smiled at her friend. "Thank you Tifa..."

Vincent had finally decided what he would do. He would go back into the coffin for thirty more years, then get awakened in the future by Cloud and Tifa's kids. It was better than staying with people that only worked with you. But before he could enter the mansion, his PHS rang.

"Vincent Valentine speaking. Who is this?" "Vincent! It's Yuffie! Where did you go? Why did you leave us? Come back here right now, you here me!" Vincent had to pull the phone away from his ear to avoid going deaf. When she finally stopped shouting, Vincent spoke. "Yuffie, calm down. I'm not coming back. You were just my allies... You never cared for me. None of you... So I'm going back to Nibelheim." "Vincent! That's not true! We care about you a lot! You're not just some person that we don't care about! Haven't you ever bothered to open your eyes and see what we really think about you? And what about me! I love you, and you just run off on me!"

Vincent was left speechless after Yuffie's last sentence. "Vincent? Hello? Can you hear-" She realized what she said to him. After an awkward silence, Yuffie finally ended the call. "Vince... Just come back, please. We've been waiting for you. Don't make me come after you!" She hung up the phone, leaving a shocked Vincent behind.

"So Yuffie, how did it go?" Tifa asked."Oh Tifa... I hope he listens to me! He needs to come home! It's already 1:00 in the afternoon!" Cloud came over, along with Cid and Red. "It's okay, Yuffie, he'll come... I'm sure of it."Cloudsaid, hoping to encourage the young girl."Yuffie, just stop crying. Vincent will come home, just like Tifa said." Red walked over to Yuffie, and she patted him on the head. For once, he didn't mind.

A few hours later, around 5:00 or so, a knock was heard on the door. Yuffie got up and answered it. There stood Vincent, same as ever. "Vincent! You came back!" She jumped and hugged him, making him fall to the floor and causing everybody to laugh. Cloud kneeled down to them. "So Vince, why did you leave yesterday?" "I went back to Nibelheim... To go back in the coffin and sleep for another thirty years. I figured I would be awakened again, but oh well." Cid sighed. "Do you know what you put this poor girl through! She was crying like there was no tomorrow, ya bastard!" Vincent smiled. "I came back, didn't I?"

Later that day, Tifa poored sake' into glasses and handed out hats for everybody to wear. Yuffie put Vincent's on his head because he was reluctant to wear it. Finally, she jumped onto the table. "C'mon guys! Let's open presents!" Everybody flocked around the tree, and Cait gave them to their respective owners. When he finished, they exchanged them to the ones they wanted to give them to. Everybody was happy to receive their gift. Yuffie personally gave Vincent hers. It was a beautiful silver ring, with a design engraved on the front. Inside, it read: 'Merry Christmas, Vincent Valentine! You better remember me! From, Yuffie'. He looked at the ring carefully, taking in every little detail. Then, from out of the blue, he hugged her. It shocked everybody. THE Vincent Valentine, hugging somebody! This was odd.

"Thank you, Yuffie. I'm sorry that I didn't get you anything now..." Yuffie nearly collapsed from joy. "It's okay, Vince! I told you, I love you... I don't need anything, except you!" "And Yuffie, may you do one more favour for me?" "Sure. Anything!"

"Stop calling me 'Vince'!"

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The End

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Me: Okay, I think the ending sucked very badly, but I couldn't think of anything to write... I'm bad with endings. Tis the result of just coming out of a very bad case of writer's block. Anyways, please review! Thankers!