Chapter 3 The truth

"Vincent! I think he's alive!"

Tifa sighed heavily, her eyes became full of sadness and concern, "Yuffie, Vincent is-"

"I know what you're going to say, Tifa," Yuffie interupted, "But it has to be!"

Tifa shook her head, then looked back at her friend, "How can you be so sure?"

"Be-cauuuse," Yuffie began, between excitement and frustration, "It just has to be! Sh-she said something, like, 'he'll die without me!' it just has to be him! Who else could it possibly be??!"

"Well, who was on the phone?" Tifa asked eagerly, a little more convinvced.

"I-I don't know, but whoever it was she must know where Vincent is!"

Tifa shook her head again, "Yuffie.."

"Oh come on guys! You have to believe me!!!!"

Suddenly the door opened, "Ok I thought I would-" Cloud stopped when all the girls turned and stared at him, "Uh sorry, I'll just-"

"No wait!" Yuffie haulted him, stretching out a hand then scooping up a big portion of her dress and running at the swordsman. Cloud blushed a little, it looked so embarrassing! "Vincent!! He's alive! But he might be dying!! We have to find him before he dies again!!" Yuffie blurted out all at once shaking the confused man.

Cloud's glowing blue eyes widened, half embarrassed, half surprised. "Huh?"
"DON'T YOU GET IT? WE HAVE TO FIND VINCENT AND LIKE RIGHT NOW!!!" she screamed at him, shaking him even harder.

"Yuffie thinks Vincent is alive," Tifa tried to explain.

Cloud blinked, "Vincent? Alive?" Cloud shook his head. "That isn't possible!"

How can I convince them? Yuffie asked herself. "We have to find him!"

The room fell silent.

"Doesn't anyone believe me??!" Yuffie asked desperately.

Silence..

"Fine!" Yuffie growled, heading for the door, still dressed in her wedding gown. "If you don't believe me, I'll just find him myself!"

Cloud grabbed her wrist, "Yuffie.. Wait.. ...I'll come with you.."

"What are you saying?" Tifa said, shocked.

"Maybe...maybe Vincent is alive.." Cloud began, doubt in his eyes, "We'll never know if we don't try to find him."

"B-but Cloud-"

"We have to try Tifa."

Tifa nodded understandingly.

Cloud turned toward Yuffie, "So, where did this phone call come from?"

"Um.. have you ever heard of a place called, "Arisu?"

Cloud thought for a moment, "I've heard of it..." Yuffie's heart lifted, "but I'm not exactly sure where it is.. " it fell, "Cid might know though. He's always bragging that he's been 'everywhere.'"

Yuffie grinned with excitment, "All right! Let's go then!" Yuffie sprinted for the door but Cloud stopped her. She looked at him, "What?"

He looked at her seriously, "I think there's someone you need to talk to first."

Her heart froze. She knew. Kazuo...


Yuffie found Kazuo just outside of the village. When he saw her he ran to her scooping her up and spinning her around, "Hey! Who's my beautiful girl?"

"Pl-please.. put me down."

"Sorry," he laughed, "I guess this would have been a more proper greeting!" He tried to kiss her, she turned away. His smile faded. "What is it?"

Yuffie took a deep breath, "Kazuo...I think we've found Vincent.."

He stared at her silently for a moment. "Yuffie.."

"Pl-please." she interupted, "Let me finish." she let out a shaky breath, "Kazuo, I got a phone call from a place called, "Arisu" I think.. I think Vincent is there.."

Kazuo's frown turned into a scowl, "And?"

"And.." She looked up at him, "Kazuo, if Vincent is alive it changes everything."

Kazuo was too furous for words, he ran from her without even a 'goodbye."

"Kazuo!"


So it had begun, that incredable journey. Yuffie, Cloud, and Cid were the only ones who embarked on that journey. Everyone elses hearts were full of doubt. Cloud and Yuffie had asked Cid about this place called, "Arisu," They were lucky, Cid knew of the place, but he didn't seem to want to remember. He had told them that Arisu was a dark gloomy place or in his word "A damn Rat Hole". It was a hard place to find, it was far, far, out in the middle of the ocean. Not many knew of this place. Not many even knew it existed at all! And practically no one knew the way. Except Cid, he had remembered the way, even though he'd rather forget.After a couple of days they were able to find this mysterious place.

They had arrived.

Looking out over the town, Cloud and Yuffie could see why Cid would rather forget all this. It was a small town before them. Crumbling shacks served as houses, stores, hospitals and every other convience. Although it was a dark and gray town, it wasn't all bad. There was a small church in the middle the dusky place. It wasn't perfect, not exacly like the church in Midgar, but it glowed compared to almost everything around it.

Now the search would begin. But where would they look first?

"Let's try the hospital," Cloud suggested, "That's most likely where he is, if he's alive."

Everyone agreed.


When they entered the hospital there were serious doubts that they would find Vincent here, and even if they had found him there was no way he could be alive! The facility was terribly below standards. Small puddles of blood and dirt mixed were found splattered on various places on the floor. Dust was practically a fog, tattered sheets served as doors. The whole place seemed pointless! You would die here!

Yuffie ran to the front desk, the woman behind it didn't even have a chance to ask "May I help you?"
"Hey I'm looking for a man, his name is Vincent Valentine!"
CRASH!

Yuffie spun around at the sound of glass braking. She spotted a broken glass pitchure on the floor but couldn't figure out who had dropped it.

"Vincent Valentine?" the woman repeated. "Hmm let me see." she opened a tattered notebook that sat on her desk. "Hmm... let me see... I'm sorry, there is no one here by that name."

"Are you sure?" Yuffie insisted.

The woman looked again then shook her head, "I'm sorry."

Yuffie couldn't accept that answer but forced herself to say, "Thank you..."

Yuffie Cloud and Cid left but Yuffie couldn't help but notice the suspicous girl who ran out before them.


Yuffie spent the rest of the day and half of the night asking around town about her fiance'. She only had a old picture of him from when they all had first met. Cloud had insisted on the picture! Vincent never wanted to be in it, but Yuffie pulled him into it. She smiled a little as she recalled that day in her mind, but only reflected for a moment beffore continuing her search.

"Have you seen this man?"

After exhausting herself Cloud had to insist they they retired at a hotel for the night..if there was one..


The next morning Yuffie rose bright and early continueing her search. She had dreamed about him all night. Now she was more determined than ever!

Cloud and Cid found her later, after scolding her about leaving without telling them where she went they also joined her in her search.

"Have you seen this man?" she asked a stranger leaning against a building. He shook his head.

Yuffie wasn't even thanking people anymore, she had started to feel like she had a time limit and there was no time to be courtious.

Cloud could tell she was discouraged and frustrated. "Don't worry, we'll find him." he told her, trying hard to disguise the doubt in his voice.

She stared at the ground as they walked. "Yeah...I know.." she said smiling a little.

As they walked Yuffie couldn't help but have her attention caught by the beautiful singing coming from the church they were passing by. She was very surprised. What did these people have to sing about? If she lived in a place like this she would kill herself! But even still it sound nice..

Just as they walked pass it the singing faded out and people poured out of the small church. She looked back once, then took a second take.

"That girl.." she whispered to herself, refering to a rather pretty black girl who had come out of the church.

Cloud heard her, "Hmm? What girl?"

"That girl!" Yuffie pointed, "Wasn't that the girl who ran out before us at the hospital the other day?"

Cid glanced at her, "Yeah? So?"

"So?" Yuffie shook her head, "I'm going to talk to her!"

"Huh? Y-Yuffie! W-Wait!" Cloud ran after her.

Rushing at the girl Yuffie began to wave her arms madly and shout, "HEY! HEY!"

Now either the girl recognized Yuffie or she thought she was utterly insane. The girl ran from Yuffie, hiding behind people in her attempt to escape.

Yuffie cornored the girl, then pounced! The girl shrieked and ran out of the way but before she was able to escape Yuffie grabbed her wrists and pulled her down. The girl screamed but when the citizens tried to help her Yuffie pulled her shurikan off her back. She glared at the people. "Hey, I'm pissed enough to do it too!" when the people backed away she focused her attention back on the girl. "Eeeek! Stop! I know nothing!"

"Where's Vincent?!"

"I don't know! I don't know!"

Yuffie raised her shurikan higher, "Tell me!!"
"Eeek! No! No!!"
"Yuffie! Don't do that!" Cloud shouted pulling Yuffie off the poor girl.

"What? Hey! Lemme go! Lemme gooo!!"

The girl shrieked once more then hid behind a familiar face.

It took Yuffie a moment to recall, "You! You're that women from the hospital! Where is he?! Where is he?!!"

After comforting the frightened girl behind her she calmly asked, "What do you want?"

Yuffie wacked Cloud in the nose with her hand, making him let go of her. "Ow!"
"Please.." she begged, intertwining her fingers, "Please, do you know where Vincent Valentine is."

The women was reluctant, but after glancing at the girl behind her she said, "You had better come with me."


Cloud, Cid, and Yuffie were led to a small shake on the other side of town. It seemed condemed or something the way people avoided it as they passed by.

Once they were on the porch the women opened the door, letting Yuffie inside. Cloud and Cid started to follow but the women put up a hand, "Please, just the girl."
A few bright colored blankes hanging in the doorwats made they place alot homier but it was still a dump.

"Follow me please."

Yuffie's heart raced as she became excited and worried all at the same time. Was she leading Yuffie to Vincent? Or was she just leading her to his grave?

As she continued to follow behind the woman she began to nerviously bite her thumb nail. Please be alive.. Please be alive...

Finally they reached the back of the cabin. The women turned to a door on the left, opened it, then beckoned Yuffie.

Yuffie took a deep breath bracing herself. This was it. The truth. Before she entered the woman surprised her by grabbing her arm. "Prepare yourself. He's changed more than you know."

Yuffie didn't quite understand but she nodded anyway.

The room was dark only a small window shone light into it. Things that looked like baskets hung from the walls, along with cobwebs and a few other things Yuffie didn't recognize. A man sat on a stool in the middle of the room, his bare back turned to her. His shoulders were slumped forward, he seemed to be working on something but Yuffie couldn't tell what.

"Miss Trombly? You're home early. How was practice?" he asked.

Yuffie stared at him emotionally in dead silence. Her stomach twisted in knots. ...C-can this be? ...Is this real? ...Am I dreaming?

"Miss Trombly?"When no one answered him, he stood, slowly and turned toward her. He stared at her for a moment, his long black hair hanging in his face. His crimsin eyes were lifeless, with no light reflecting off them. Yuffie smiled as a tear trickled down her cheek. Vincent...

He smiled a little, "It is you isn't it?" he asked.Yuffie's smile faded slowly, she stared at him confused. What? What's wrong? I'm right here! Don't you know who I am? She blinked a few times to fight off the tears but still didn't answere him. Oh..

Vincent frowned,"Who's there?"

Yuffie lifted her head, she bit her lip then blinked back a few more tears. "Vincent.." she began softly, her voice cracking emotionally. "It's me," she raised her voice a little but it still seemed to come out in a breathy whisper, "Yuffie.."

Vincents face became cold, "Get out... GET OUT OF HERE!"

Yuffie was shocked, her tears began to consistantly flow down her cheeks. She hardly knew how to react! The only words she could get out were, "Vincent, No!"

"GET OUT OF HERE I SAID!" he attempted to walk but tripped and fell.

"Vincent!" Yuffie ran to his side and tried to help him, "You're going to hurt yourself!"

Vincent flung her hand off with his arm. He gazed upward, his eyes tottering wildly, lost, not knowing where to settle. "DID YOU HEAR ME?!!" Vincent pushed her back out of the room then flung his arm around shutting the door. He pasted himself on it, panting heavily. He heard her desperate crys from the other side of the door. "Vincent, please! Please!" He flinched as he forced himself to ignore them. Her every cry pierced his aching heart so bad he wanted to cry. "Go away... Just go away..."

Author's Note: DA DA DA DUM!

Sorry I took soo long to update, busy with life and things.. If things aren't clear enough in this chapter they will be explained in the next.