Title: In a Bind
Character/s: Red XIII, Vincent
Word Count: 536
Summary: Yuffie is like Red's personal demon, only she helped him kill one of them in the caves behind Cosmo Canyon.
Notes: I feel like I understand why Vincent's hair looks like something the cat dragged in, now.

- - -

She drives him insane. It's past mere on-the-wall status, he's sitting on the metaphorical ceiling.

It's a pity she's a ninja and she can get him no matter where he hides.

Metaphorically, of course. He'd never run and hide from Yuffie, in reality. He has some dignity, he hopes, even though she braided his mane this afternoon, and he hasn't yet summoned the nerve to slink down to the kitchen and see if Marlene will get rid of the ribbons and the beads for him - without alerting Barret, or Reeve, because Reeve will take pictures, and Omni knows that's the last thing he needs right after the paint incident.

That's the main reason he's outside, of course - Tifa nearly had heart failure when she saw the bar after that little fiasco. Yuffie had been no help, doubled over laughing at the expression on the barkeeper's face while Red tried frantically to explain that they really hadn't meant it, and they would certainly clean it up, if someone would be so kind as to wipe off his paws--

His ears twitch as he hears heavy boots across the attic floor.

Vincent pauses at the windowsill to remove his shoes, and swings himself out onto the roof beside Red. Here, they are invisible from the street. If they have to, they can scuttle almost soundlessly around the corner of the roof to safety, should anyone else come to the attic window.

"I am sorry I did not come sooner," Vincent says, appraising the mess Yuffie has made of the mane with a certain frankness. "Tifa had errands to run."

Red huffs out a breath through his nose. He is of the opinion that Tifa is more than capable of handling a few shopping bags on her own, but Vincent will insist on being a gentleman. Yuffie thinks it's old fashioned and dorky, and punches him in the good arm for it, but Red's pretty sure it's just the way Vincent is. (He was alive back then, and he doesn't remember the men who visited the canyon having any such gentlemanly inclinations.) "That's fine," he assures the dark-haired almost-human. He hopes he does not sound overly eager. "Would you mind...?"

Vincent tugs at one of the little plaits and frowns at the ribbon that restrains it. "Her skill with knots is improving. I'll have to cut it."

"The mane?" Now Red hopes he didn't gasp that the way he thinks he did. Vincent makes a soft grunting sound, and Red looks at him just in time to catch the tail-end of a small smile.

"Just the ribbon," he murmurs, and saws at the cloth with one knifelike digit. "Although getting rid of the mane would probably solve all our problems."

Red growls absently. "I can't. It's a tradition." He rests his chin on his paws as Vincent works slowly and methodically through the longer fur. "You used to have shorter hair, though, didn't you? You could cut it."

Vincent gives him a bland look. "Source of my power," he replies, briefly, and Red stares at him until he elaborates.

"...do you know of anything else that can make her sit still for an hour and forty-three minutes?"

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