Love Over Duty
Vincent opened the door to Seventh Heaven and walked inside, closing the door behind him.
Tifa was at the counter wiping it down. "Sorry we're clo-oh Vincent!" She gave him a small smile. "Sorry thought you were a customer. I decided to close early today."
He nodded in understanding, staring intently at her, noticing how she wouldn't meet his gaze. "What's wrong Tifa?"
She looked up at him startled. "What makes you think something's wrong?" she asked.
"You won't meet my gaze, something you have always done unless you're nervous. When you travel with someone you tend to learn their habits."
She sighed, still not meeting his gaze. "It's not for me to say. Yuffie's looking for you." She said quietly. "She'll tell you."
"Where is she?"
"The same place she always is when she needs to think."
He nodded and walked out.
Tifa stared after him sadly, knowing what happy news awaited him but also the bad news that went with it.
Vincent found Yuffie on the roof of a warehouse on the edge of town. She looked tense while watching the sun as it got lower in the sky.
He walked up behind her and sat down, pulling her back against him. She wasn't surprised at all, she never was. She was the only one in AVALANCHE he couldn't sneak up on no matter how silent he was, she just always knew he was there somehow.
She leaned against him, resting her hands on his thighs as he settled his chin in the crook of her neck. "Tifa said you were looking for me."
She sighed. "Yeah I was." She said quietly, dreading the bad news she was gonna have to tell.
"What's wrong Yuffie?" He lifted his head and turned hers to face him. "You can tell me."
"I know I can Vincent. I always can."
Vincent was real concerned now. She never called him Vincent; it's always 'Vince' or 'Vinnie'. Personally he preferred the former.
"There's good news…involving you and me. Then there's the bad news." She turned her head away again, leaning it back to rest against his shoulder.
He kissed her temple before resting his head back in it's previous position. "Tell me." He said gently, knowing from her body movements that she was dreading what she was about to say.
"Vince. I'm…I'm pregnant."
They sat in uncomfortable silence as Yuffie fidgeted, waiting for his reaction. He didn't move from his position. "You're sure?" She nodded slowly. "Why is this bad news Yuffie?"
She sighed in relief. "That was the good news." She said smiling. She turned and their lips met in a kiss she wished would last forever. She turned completely around, wrapping her arms around his neck and tangling her fingers in the raven hair she loved so much. His hands roamed, running up and down her sides as they fell back, the kiss never breaking.
Yuffie knew now wasn't the time. This is what had lead to their child being conceived in the first place. But she didn't want to stop, she wanted this feeling to last forever, she didn't want to tell him the news that could possibly tear them apart.
She broke the kiss, still resting on top of him. She kept her head on his chest, listening to his rhythmic heart beat as she moved lightly up and with his breathing.
He understood, like he always did, and just ran his claw through her hair lightly, his other hand gently tracing circles on her back.
"What's the bad news?" He asked quietly.
"Is there something wrong with the baby?" Worry creeped into his voice.
"No." she assured him softly.
"Then what is it?"
"Vince, you're part Wutaian right?"
He nodded. "My mother was, why?"
"What do you know about Wutaian traditions and laws?"
"Not a lot."
She sighed again. "I thought so."
"Just tell me Yuffie."
"I'm pregnant Vince. Pregnant and unmarried. In Wutai, since I'm the heir of the Pagoda, it could mean death for me."
Vincent's eyes widened.
"I'm born from the pure Kisaragi bloodline. According to tradition I've tainted that noble bloodline by conceiving a child with you, because you are only half Wutaian. In my country people would call you a half-breed. You yourself could be put to death for touching me."
He sat up and she clung to him as he took in what she was telling him.
"My father has set up an arranged marriage Vincent. I got the message this morning. If I do not return to Wutai he will send people for me." Tears came to her eyes as she buried her face in his chest. He sighed, wrapping her tightly in his embrace. "Dad's forcing me to live up to my title as heir to Wutai and tradition states that I must be married before I can become empress."
"Is there nothing that can be done?"
"No. If I wasn't of royal blood I could just give up my family name and leave Wutai forever but since I'm no commoner that doesn't apply for me. I'm of royal blood and by conceiving a child with you, a part Wutaian and with me being unmarried, I have supposedly shamed my country and my family."
She was crying now, tears falling, but she refused to let a single suppressed sob escape. He rested his chin on top of her head and rocked her back and forth, trying his hardest to calm her while keeping calm himself. This can't be happening. He thought. I love her yet I cannot be with her because of what I am. They'll put her to death because of what we shared.
"I'm returning to Wutai to face my father Vince. And I don't want you to come." She said quietly.
"No. I will not let you face this alone."
She looked up at him with pleading eyes. "Please Vince! They'll kill you!"
"Then they kill me, I don't care. It is my child as well as yours. I am to blame for this problem as well." He kissed her forehead. "We will both go to Wutai. We will speak to your father and see what can be done. If nothing can be done then I will get you out of Wutai for good, I will allow no harm to befall you or the baby."
She sighed, tears still streaming, and nodded. "I love you Vince. And if given the choice I'd choose you over a loser royal any day."
He smiled sadly. "I love you as well Yuffie and I'd die so you could live if I had to."
She gave him a quick kiss. "I hope it never comes to that." She said quietly before their lips met again.
The kiss broke and she turned so her back was against his chest again. She laced her fingers with his claw while his other hand rested on her stomach gently, lovingly tracing invisible lines and circles over where their child grew. Yuffie smiled and laced her free hand with his, bringing them up to gently kiss his hand. "It's there Vinnie. Our kid is there."
He kissed beneath her ear softly. "I'm happiest person alive at this moment."
"Same here." She whispered as they watched the sun set together.
The ride to Wutai was quiet. The rest of AVALANCHE had insisted on going and they were all currently on board the Shera.
Vincent stood behind Yuffie the whole way, holding her close and resting his hands over her stomach as they stared out the bridge window.
Though he refused to show it Yuffie knew he was scared. And so was she. Even though he had promised to get her out of Wutai, if she was sentenced to death it would be hard to get out unscathed.
"Damn traditional laws." She said quietly and he tightened his hold comfortingly. "Normally I'd say screw tradition but in this case I have no choice."
She sighed. "They may make an exception for us. Since I'm the only heir to the Pagoda they just might make an exception. It's a slim chance but it's a chance."
He kissed her head. "Then we can only hope."
"Hey." They looked up at Cid on the captain's platform. "We'll be in Wutai in about ten minutes." They nodded.
Cid stared at them sadly as their embrace seemed to tighten. "You guys ready for this?"
"As ready as we'll ever be." Yuffie sighed, turning her gaze back to the window as Wutai came into view.
"The Shera'll be there."
They looked back at him questioningly.
"After we drop you off, we're not leaving. If you need to make a getaway the Shera'll be ready."
"But Cid." Yuffie protested. "If we we're sentenced to death they could come after you too. You could all be killed."
"We don't care." A voice said from the doorway. The two lovers turned to look at Cloud and the rest of AVALANCHE. "We're not gonna let them kill you just because you love each other. It's not right. So we'll be there to bust you out if we have to."
Yuffie looked about to protest but stopped, knowing nothing was gonna persuade their friends once they had their mind set. She gave them a small, grateful smile and nodded. "Thank you."
The all nodded as the Shera began it's decent.
An escort was there to meet them when they landed. They bowed as Yuffie walked off the Shera, Vincent at her side.
"Welcome home My Lady." A middle aged man said in Wutainese as he straightened up. "I am Hatchiko. It is an honor to meet you. I have been ordered to escort you."
Yuffie nodded. "Thank you Hatchiko. Once we reach our destination I must speak to my father immediately. It is of great importance."
Hatchiko nodded. "Understood My Lady."
Yuffie indicated Vincent. "My companion will be accompanying me."
Hatchiko nodded once more then turned and led them towards the Pagoda.
Vincent admired how Yuffie could go from the sarcastic, carefree ninja he loved to the commanding princess before him.
His hand lightly brushed her arm, an action that was missed by the escort but meant the world to Yuffie. It meant she wasn't alone, that he was with her and always would be, no matter what happened.
Hatchiko left them alone in one of the many rooms and went to fetch Godo.
The two sat down and Yuffie wrung her hands nervously, wishing she didn't have to do this, wishing she and Vincent were home. Their home. Vincent noticed and placed his human hand over hers, lacing their fingers together.
"I'm scared Vince."
He ran his thumb over her hand comfortingly. "I know. But don't be, I'm here and no one will harm you. I'll die first."
She leaned against him, head resting on his shoulder. No one was there to see them so it didn't matter.
The door opened and they sprang apart. Godo walked in followed closely by Hatchiko.
"Yuffie. You've finally returned. I'm glad to see you dear." Godo said in greeting as he walked to them.
"Dad. Could we speak to you alone please?" She cast her eyes to Hatchiko.
Her father studied her before nodding. "Hatchiko."
Hatchiko stepped forward. "Yes My Lord?"
"You are dismissed. I will call you when I have need of your services."
Hatchiko bowed before exiting the room.
"Now what is it you so urgently have to speak to me about?"
Yuffie looked to Vincent and he gave her an encouraging nod.
She took a deep breath and started to explain.
By the time she had finished Godo had collapsed into a chair, his face in his hands.
"Yuffie. Do you realize what you have done?!" He asked, voice laced with anger, close to rage. "You have tainted a bloodline that has remained pure for over a thousand years!"
Yuffie bowed her head, leaning against Vincent once more.
"I thought I had raised you better! Raised you to uphold our traditions!"
Tears came to her eyes.
"And worst yet you gave yourself to a half breed!" Yuffie glared up at him as he said this. "If he had been full Wutaian an exception could have been made but since he's not there's nothing I can do! A half breed has never been allowed to rule and never will!"
"Stop it!" She shouted angrily, jumping to her feet. "Stop calling him a half breed! He may not be full Wutaian but he's still a man, the same as you or any other damn royal! I don't care about tradition! I say screw it! The only reason I came back was because you would have dragged me back if I hadn't!" Vincent stood, placing his hands on her shoulders to try and calm her. She just brushed him off and continued. "I love Vincent! I gave myself to him because I love him and I am damn proud to have his child!"
She was breathing heavily as she leaned back against Vincent, resting her hands on the arms he wrapped around her waist.
Vincent looked up and met Godo's glare. "Is there anything that can be done? Anything at all?"
Godo's eyes softened as he saw how gentle and loving Vincent was with his daughter and sighed. "There is but I already know Yuffie will not agree to it."
"What is it?"
"We could remove the child before it actually grows. It'll be as if it never happened and nobody would have to know. You would be banished from Wutai while Yuffie marries and takes her birthright. You would never see each other again but neither of you would be killed."
"Our baby would." Yuffie growled. "You'd kill it before it got a chance to live. No. I won't do it. I refuse."
"Yuffie the only other choice is death. That's the law and even I can't change it."
"No. If that's the only way then so be it, but I won't let you kill my baby." She glared at him, trademark determination and stubbornness plainly showing.
Godo sighed; the pain of what he was about to do etched in his face and voice. "I don't want to do this. Guards!"
The door opened and four armed guards walked inside, weapons drawn. Vincent pushed Yuffie behind him, drawing Cerberus.
"I don't want them harmed." Godo commanded. The guards nodded, drawing blow guns. They fired at the same time. Vincent was able to block three of the darts with his claw but the fourth slipped past his defenses and pierced his neck. He immediately felt groggy and swayed, falling to his knees before blacking out completely.
"Vincent!" She dropped down beside him and pulled the dart from his neck. A knock out dart. She glared as the guards readied another shot but Godo raised his hand. "It is not necessary to shot her. Just take them both to a cell and report back to me."
The guards nodded and two bent down to lift Vincent's unconscious form while the other two grabbed Yuffie's arms and marched her to the door. She made them stop and turned to Godo. "Let me ask you something dad. If mama hadn't been a Wutaian, would you have still married her?"
Then she let them take her out the door, leaving the question unanswered.
The guards left her and Vincent in a cell with one barred window and a small cot. It was clean surprisingly but it was a cell nonetheless.
The guards were kind enough to lay Vincent on the cot before they left, saving Yuffie the trouble of trying to lift him. Maybe it's because they know who I am. She thought as she sat down on the cot, moving Vincent's head to lay in her lap. The drug would wear out in a few hours but she wished he was awake now. She wanted him to hold her, to tell her everything would be alright.
Tears came to her eyes as she thought about what she had said earlier. I am proud to have his child but in doing so I have condemned us to death. Maybe I should have done what dad wanted. Vincent would have been banished but he would be alive while I would have died. I wouldn't last long without him with me.
She shook these thoughts from her head. No. I would never let them do that to my kid. And I know Vincent would never have left.
She combed her fingers through his hair as she leaned her head back against the wall, closing her eyes and trying to get her mind off of what she knew would happen in the morning.
I have to try and get Vince out. It's my fault he's here. I'll talk to dad, maybe he can just be banished. And I don't care if he wants to go or not. I'll kick his ass out myself if I have to.
That was here last thought as she let sleep take her.
Vincent gave a small groan and opened his eyes, still groggy from the dart.
How long have I been out?
He realized his head was in Yuffie's lap as she slept, her hand in his hair.
When they had first started out Vincent was nervous every time they had moments like this; he wasn't used to the feeling and was still nervous about the contact. But Yuffie had changed that. She'd changed him from the dark, brooding person he'd once been to the man he was now. And he was grateful for it.
He sat up and reached his hand out, brushing hair from her face and letting his palm rest on her cheek.
One of her hands came up to his and she held his hand there as she opened her eyes. "Vince." She said, scooting closer to him so his arms could wrap around her.
"How long have I been out?" She asked.
"It's been a few hours judging by the darkness outside." He replied.
They sat in silence then Yuffie spoke. "I'm gonna talk to dad about getting you outta here. This is my fault not yours. You didn't know the laws and I did, so I take the blame."
"No Yuffie. If you go, I go. We die together. Whether I knew the laws or not I still got intimate with you. So half the blame is mine and mine alone."
"I don't wanna see you die Vince." She whispered softly, fighting off tears.
"I don't want to see you die either."
"You wouldn't have to. By the time I got to the gallows you would be on the Shera and in the sky."
She nodded. "That's the death sentence in Wutai. Hanging."
She looked up at him and he stared down at her, crimson gaze unwavering. "I will stay with you till the end. I would never leave you or our unborn child to suffer such a fate alone." He kissed her then, cutting off her protests. She moaned as he pulled her as close to him as possible. "You're a fool you know." She breathed against his mouth, clutching his shirt tightly in her fists.
They broke apart. "I know. But I'm only a fool for you." She sighed into his chest as he rested his chin on the crown of her head.
"I love you Yuffie."
"I love you too Vince. No matter what happens, I always will."
They kissed again but it was short lived as the cell door opened. Yuffie frowned. It wasn't time for them to go yet, executions always happened at dawn or noon.
Godo appeared, holding a torch in front of him.
"Come! Quickly!" He commanded in an urgent whisper.
"Dad?" Vincent and Yuffie stood. "What's going on?"
"I'm getting you out of here. Your friends are waiting for you, now hurry!"
They quickly followed him out the door.
"Dad why are you helping us? What about the law? Tradition?"
"I believe it was you who said 'screw tradition'. I'm helping you because I know what it's like to truly be in love. Besides, family is more important than tradition. You are my only daughter Yuffie, I wish for you to be happy not killed."
"Even if you are the leader of Wutai, you know if you're caught you could get in big trouble for breaking the law right?"
Yuffie. I taught you how not to get caught. I won't be caught."
She stared at him as they walked, then gave a small smile.
Two hooded figures waited outside. The tallest threw back his hood and Cloud's blonde spikes appeared. He motioned for them to hurry. "Come on!" Tifa's voice said from the under the other hood. "The Shera's ready to go!" Vincent grabbed Yuffie's hand and they hurried, leaving Godo standing there as he watched them go.
Yuffie stopped and turned back to look at him. "Yuffie, we must hurry!" Vincent said urgently.
Yuffie released his hand and ran to Godo, wrapping her arms around him. "Thank you." She whispered as he returned the hug.
"Once you're out of Wutai our laws will have no power over you." He kissed her forehead as they broke apart. "He loves you Yuffie. Watch out for him and raise that child."
She nodded. Godo turned his gaze to Vincent. "Take care of her. Protect her."
Vincent nodded. "With my life."
Godo smiled down at his daughter. "Go."
She turned and ran back to Vincent. "Oh Yuffie." She turned to look back at her father. "The answer to your question earlier is yes. I still would have married her, Wutaian or not."
Yuffie smiled and nodded before taking Vincent's hand in her own once more and joining their friends, disappearing into darkness.
As soon as they climbed up the boarding ramp the Shera took off. Yuffie watched through the window as Godo got smaller but before he disappeared entirely she saw him slip back into the shadows.
"You always were good at sneaking around you old coot." She said quietly. Vincent wrapped his arm around her shoulders and she leaned against him.
"Well, we made it." She smiled up at him. "We're still alive and still together."
He smiled. "And we still have a child on the way." He placed his hand over her stomach as if to prove his point.
They turned at Cid's shout. "Don't we get any thanks? Making us save your asses."
Yuffie smiled. "Oh that's right." She turned to Cloud and Tifa. "Thanks guys." Then she smirked up at Cid. "And what exactly did you do old man? Your sorry ass was still on the airship when dad, Cloud and Tifa busted us out, why should I be thanking you?"
"Keep it up brat." He growled. "I'll turn right back around and dump your damn bratty ass right back in Wutai."
Yuffie grinned. This is how it should be. So what if she couldn't go back to Wutai. As long as she was with Vince and among friends she didn't care. As long as she was with them all, everything was alright. She leaned against Vince, smiling as Wutai disappeared.
A/N: Another Yuffintine from me. : ) so how was it guys? review and tell me what you think.