His boots crunched across the icy streets... the snow was disgusting this time of year, muddied and blackened by the exhaust from cars.
His coat was pulled not-too-tightly around himself, so as not to crush the delicate cargo below...
He went to the site of the memorial, sadly abandoned at the outskirts of the city, the closest they could get to the actual 'ground zero' that anyone was willing to venture to, and it seemed no-one was willing to do so anymore anyway.
No-one but him.
This was the fifth time he'd made his yearly pilgrimage to this spot alone. It was the least he could do anymore with the impossibility of moving on.
There were so many places that could be called his burial spot: the old basement coffin where his hope had perished, the mako cave where his heart had died, or here where his physical body, long bereft of love and will to live, had at last lain itself down in defeat. Yet none of them were where he actually lay... his body had been neutralized somewhere inside the ruins of Midgar by the blast, but... this was the best place he had to go. This would be the only place where people could recognize he'd come at all.
At last the carved figure loomed into the cloudy sky before him, a surprisingly accurate rendition with, of course, slight artistic license taken, and embellishments made.
An angelic figure stood, lithe form twisted and leaping into the air, eyes turned up toward the heavens while demonic wings unfurled to fly... how ironic. His cloak was billowed out without a wind, frozen in place.
Frozen in time, just like he was... but his time has already ended.
For a moment longer he stared up into that ghastly familiar face, still and unmoving, unreacting. He realized that this was exactly how most would remember him. He knew better. He wasn't really like that... cast in cold black stone.
At long last, the man stepped forward, reaching to the inner pocket of his long, bulky brown jacket. From there he pulled out a small bundle of flowers, the lily bouquet wrapped along the stems in crumpled tin foil.
With a crinkling of the metallic material, he set it gingerly down on the top row of steps leading to the statue, and stepping back, swept off his close-fit hat. Unruly blonde spikes popped out from beneath as he held the small cap to his chest, and bowed slightly in remembrance.
Never thought they'd hold a holiday in your honor, on your deathday, did you? he thought sadly, They've even canonized you... though I know you wouldn't have wanted that. The air was deathly cold, and his face was shrouded in the mist of his own breath.
A small welling of tears pooled in his blue eyes, then chilled as they dropped from his red-tinged face, and were frozen before they hit the ground.
Wordlessly he then turned and pulled the hat back on as he walked away, thinking to himself bitterly, February the 14th... Happy St. Valentine's Day indeed.
Author's Ending Note Thingy: I've had this story in my head for a while as far as the simple idea of explaining why Vincent has the same last name as an Earth holiday… I figured it could always be a Gaia holiday too, named after Vincent of course.