He was gone.

The battle raged around him, still. Cloud was screaming something at him, and Vincent was vaguely aware of the electricity crackling overhead, but he couldn't bring himself to care. He was gone. Cid was gone. And now, as sudden as the thunderclap that struck his ears as numb as his heart, life was no longer worth living.

It had all happened so quickly. Vincent couldn't remember seeing the beast leap or hearing its claws rip the life away from his lover, just turning at a flicker of movement and seeing the lifeless, mutilated body on the ground. He hadn't wanted to believe it, still couldn't quite believe it, but there was no arguing with the sightless sapphire eyes staring up at him. He couldn't bring himself to look into those eyes again, let alone draw them closed. He wanted them to stay that shade of bombardier blue he'd fallen in love with for every last moment they could. His eyes would be clouded and closed so painfully soon, but for now, the rain kept them clear.

The rain.

Heaven's tears.

His tears.

The air was filled with the rank, sour smell of burning hair. Cloud was screaming louder. He pushed it away, closing his own eyes, trying to remember perfectly the first time Cid had come to him in the night. They'd both known, somehow. For the first time since his hellish, nightmare-driven sleep, for the first time in his life, Vincent hadn't locked the door. Cid hadn't knocked. He remembered the scent of cigarettes and engine oil, remembered the awkward silence before the quiet growl of "Fuck it" and the equally awkward kiss that followed. He remembered how quickly the kiss had evolved into groping, into biting, into rough, grappling, scratching, hair-tugging, mind-blowing sex. He remembered the comfortable heat of Cid's body next to his, keeping his scarred body warm through the night.

Every night.
But now, his sleep would be as cold and bitter as the rain.

Vincent knew what he had to do. Blood tears blurred his vision when he opened his eyes, but the shine of the Death Penalty glinted through. It was the only thing left for him in this cruel existence, the only thing that would free him from the cold, unfeeling darkness. He chambered a round slowly and brought the gun to his head.

Wait for me, Cid.

He squeezed the trigger

He was kicked in the face.

He struck out with his claw, an almost palpable anger lighting up his every nerve. How dare they? How dare they deprive him of this last right, the only end to his pain? How could they not understand how black his soul had become, how irreparably tainted by scars past and present? How could they...

Vincent Valentine shuddered. He felt very suddenly perplexed, and a little silly, although he wasn't sure why.

"Fuck, Vince, what the hell do you think you're doin'?"

He squinted up at Cid through a haze of blood, slightly amused through his confusion at the used-up Phoenix Down feathers caught in his lover's hair. "It...made sense a second ago."

"Can't leave you alone for five minutes," Cid tossed away an empty Hyper bottle and grabbed Vincent's good hand, pulling him to his feet. "Jesus, you're in bad shape. Hold still."

Vincent winced as a rough, gloved hand swiped at his forehead, clearing away the blood there. He swatted it away, mildly annoyed, and stooped to pick up his headband. His mind still felt heavy from the aftereffects of the Sadness ailment, and while he could only vaguely remember his train of thought while he was afflicted, he recalled enough to feel distinctly embarrassed. He felt better as he tied his hair back again, and better still as a familiar hand was laid lightly on his shoulder.

Cid was grinning at him when he straightened up, in that irrepressible, almost manic grin he wore more and more often these days. "Shit, Vince, don't tell me I actually had ya worried!"

"...a little," he admitted, holstering his gun. The mud had gotten into it, and it would make that night's meticulous cleaning a little more difficult, but he didn't mind. The rain did more good than harm. It had finally put out Cloud's flaming hair, for one. For another, there was definitely something divine in the way it plastered Cid's clothes against his body, clearly outlining and highlighting a good number of Vincent's favorite parts.

A very quiet smirk crossed over Vincent's face, showing, as ever, more in his eyes than his lips.

"Cid...let's go back to our room."


12:35-1:58 11/05/06

Identification: Project WU (Weepy Uke)

Organization: Society Against Vincent's Emasculation (S.A.V.E)

Inspiration: Countless horrible death/angst fics

Gestation: Several months

Saturation: Four Evanescence songs on loop

Dedication: Pyrasaur, who sparked it, and Ashley, who was the first to know