Hey guys! Sorry this took so long, and while I had had other things in mind, my muses decided to end Angel on a happy note. So here it is, the last chapter, I hope you guys enjoy it! Work has kept me crazy busy, but I'll try to update more! BTW, Kel the dog was actually based on my dog that died last month… I thought if he couldn't be with me then he could be with Vincent's family… I rescued him much like Vincent does in this chapter, and he was old and passed away. I wanted to add him, but before I couldn't write it without being really sad, so I've had some time… so here ya go. Like always, I own nothing!
Chapter 11: Always
Red eyes opened up as the muted, early morning sun came though his black curtains. It took him a few moments to orient himself to what was happening, the warmth next to him familiar, but the little hand curled around his was new. He looked down at his daughter, who was still sleeping peacefully, his hand in one of hers, and her bear in the other. His eyes moved from Yuki to her mother, then angel that he'd made his again the night before. A smile came to life on his face, but he knew he had things he had to do that day, and he couldn't waste time staring at them… at least not too long. He moved Yuki a bit, which partially rousted the girl.
"Daddy?" she whispered, her now free hand coming up to rub sleep out of her eyes. Vincent put a finger up to his lips, and the girl quieted. "I'll be back soon," he said softly before pressing a kiss to her forehead before repeating the motion for Yuffie. The little girl curled up with her mother, and fell right back asleep. He dressed quickly, leaving his claw and cloak where they were. He was just going into town, and didn't really feel the need to wear either. He went downstairs and saw the kitchen light on; soft voices could be heard as he neared the door.
"I can't believe he came and rescued her in the first place…" The male voice was definitely Cloud, and then a female voice that sounded like Tifa piped up with a giggle.
"That's because you're dense most of the time Cloud Strife. We all knew, well everyone but you that he loved her, but couldn't reconcile that with what happened in his past. He reminds me of someone else I know."
Cloud chuckled a bit, "yeah… well at least I got my act together eventually, right?"
"Right, and from what I overheard last night, it seems that Vincent just got his own act together… he was really sweet…" A romantic sigh could be heard from the barmaid, and her husband was probably shaking his head.
"You aren't supposed to eavesdrop you know."
"Well, I was coming up the stairs and they were in the hall, what was I supposed to do?"
"Go back down the stairs…"
"Cloud, be reasonable! It was really romantic though, he just whispered 'Marry me' to her, and she went into a typical Yuffie reaction… it was really sweet."
Vincent found himself smiling a bit, and he wasn't sure why. Maybe because, even after all his screw ups, his friends still thought it was a good thing that he'd finally proposed to the kunoichi, or maybe just that they cared enough to gossip about him. He pushed the swinging door open and Tifa stopped talking, looking over as the gunslinger walked in. He shook his head a bit and walked over to the coffee pot and quickly drank down a cup. "I'm going into town, in case Yuffie or Yuki come looking for me." He turned and looked at the married couple. Cloud had a small smile on his face, obviously one of understanding, and Tifa was blushing a bit, having been caught gossiping. The raven-haired woman cleared her throat a bit, "what are you going for?"
Vincent was surprised to hear himself chuckling a bit at Tifa's discomfort, and he shrugged a bit… "Just a ring… maybe some donuts. Yuffie likes chocolate for breakfast."
The martial artist blinked and turned even redder, and Cloud just smiled. "You'd better not hurt her again…"
The gunman shook his head, rinsing out his coffee mug, "I've done enough of that to last a lifetime, and yet she still wanted me in her life enough to have Shelke reinfuse me with Chaos… you have nothing to worry about where Yuffie is concerned. She's my responsibility now, and I will see to it that she has a good life from now on… I owe it to her, for making me realize how stupid I've been." He placed the cup in the strainer and walked passed, patting Cloud on the shoulder, then giving Tifa a little squeeze on her upper arm to let her know that he wasn't angry.
Tifa turned and looked at Vincent as he walked by, not being able to stop herself from blurting out, "she always wanted it to be you… standing with her at the alter. She told me before her first marriage… before she even knew she was pregnant."
The gunslinger nodded, looking at them both with a sad, but hopeful smile. "I know, and I'll be back soon." He picked up his house keys from the hook near the door and slipped out into the cool morning air, he was pretty sure it was going to be a harsh winter in Nibelheim this year, but he was equally sure that nothing could dim his spirits. He closed the gate behind him and slipped his hands into his pockets, the slight, crisp early autumn breeze tugged his hair back, and he was rather enjoying himself when he heard a rather pitiful cry coming from an alley he was passing. It sounded like an animal, and he turned the corner, seeing a very skinny, tiny dog stuck between two garbage cans. Vincent moved the cans so the little stray was free, then turned to leave, but the black and tan Chihuahua wagged it's tail and started to follow him, in fact it stayed close all the way to the jeweler, and even waited outside for the gunman to come out with a very tasteful ruby ring.
He knelt down and gave the dog a little pat, he looked like he'd had a hard life, he was cute but missing an eye and his foot seemed hurt, so he couldn't help but pick him up. The puppy licked Vincent's cheek when he cradled him in his arm, and a small sigh escaped the gunslinger. "Yuki will like you…" he said softly, before heading home.
Wind chimes sang through the blooming sakura trees as the long processional made it's way through the streets of Wutai. Women of all backgrounds wore traditional kimono, and the men seemed equally handsome in their yukata and hakama, the children carrying paper lanterns and flowers, showering the couple with light and life, the wind causing the delicate pink petals to flutter around, blanketing everything in a fragrant pink snow.
The bride was dressed in traditional wedding kimono, and even if it had been her second time donning them, the bright smile on her face told everyone that the Lady of Wutai was making this walk of her own accord. Flanked by all her friends and daughter, her hand rested on her plump belly, Yuffie had had another miracle come to her life. It turned out that with some corrective work and a year to heal, she was able to conceive another child. It had been a year and a half since Vincent had proposed to her, and while there had been unrest in Wutai, they'd held off getting married. The last of her ex-husband's family had been dealt with, so they'd decided for an early spring ceremony, not that they cared that their son would be born in a few weeks. It wasn't like they followed tradition, they had each other, and the wedding was really just for everyone else.
They made it to the temple and waiting at the door was a dark haired man, in formal robes the same color as his eyes. Her hand found Vincent's and he led her through the doors, smiling at her as a joyful laugh escaped the Ninja Queen.
Vincent sat to his wife's right, the tiny woman took the large throne on the fifth floor of the pagoda, his was little more then an armchair, and he had no problem with that. His hand absently running over Yuki's dog's head, Kel was his name, and he'd had quite a happy life with them since he'd been rescued, and even though he was getting old, he was always hopping on his lap for a pet. Yuffie looked over and raised an eyebrow, "you're son is challenging the Pagoda at 12… aren't you worried?"
The gunslinger looked away from the dog and shook his head a bit, his long ponytail slipping over his shoulder. He was wearing red and black still, but when he helped with official business, he put on his Lordly robes. He didn't do the ruling, Yuffie did, that was why she sat in that chair, but that was just fine with him. His wife was good at it, and even though she was nearly forty now, she was still the most beautiful woman in the world. "Lazarus will either beat you, or he'll train more. I have materia ready if we need it."
Yuffie sighed a bit and reached over to scratch the little dog behind the ears before she heard steps coming up the hall. "He only wants to beat Yuki since she beat it at thirteen." The gunslinger only nodded as his dark haired son came through the archway. He looked like his father, with his mother's coloring. He already was handsome and he was still a boy, he had little doubt he would develop his mother's beauty as their twenty four year old daughter had.
The Lady of Wutai stood in front of her son and smiled a bit. "You, Lazarus Grimoire Valentine, are here to challenge the Pagoda and the Five Mighty Gods of Wutai. Are you ready to proceed and become a true ninja of the Kisaragi line?"
"I am," the boy stated, his voice firm and stance rigid. Vincent smirked a bit as the fight started, knowing that neither his wife or son would go easy on each other; and he'd probably have to heal them after the match. Twenty minutes later, the gunman was doing just that, and Wutai had its newest ninja.
Once Laz had left to tell everyone he'd succeeded, Yuffie came to her husband and sat on his lap as she'd done hundreds of times before, letting Kel sit with her instead. She laid her head in the crook of his neck and smiled softly. "We've got some amazing children Vince."
He nodded, kissing her softly on the forehead and she snuggled closer. "That we do, but they have an amazing mother, so I'm not surprised."
The Lady giggled and moved to kiss him softly on the lips. "You're pretty fantastic yourself mister. Cloud and Tifa need us to come to Edge next month to help Zack and Yuki plan the wedding."
Vincent sighed a bit, "why can't they have it in Wutai… then we don't have to travel."
The ninja smacked him lightly on the side of the head and laughed softly. "Oh please, you know you're looking forward to a vacation. Besides, we're rich and Yuki's the bride… so we have to help pay for everything. They want to have it in Aerith's church, they can't do that in Wutai."
The gunman made a little noise before kissing his wife's neck tenderly. "I guess a vacation will be good. We rarely get time to ourselves."
Yuffie laughed softly before giving him a rather passionate kiss. Vincent pulled back a bit after it, and whispered, "I have a meeting in twenty minutes, and you can't tempt me now."
The kunoichi smirked a bit and nibbled on his neck, "you… me… room… now."
He sat her that the dog on the floor, before standing himself and leaning down to kiss her again. "I promise, if you let me finish these trade talks, I'll take you so hard you won't be able to stand for a week."
Yuffie grinned and nodded, gripping his collar in her hands and pulling him closer. "I'm keeping you to that mister!" The couple walked out of the Pagoda together before separating. The other Mighty Gods might have thought it strange to hear the Lady's laugh floating on the breeze, but it was so common now, it just brought smiles to her advisors faces. Wutai was happy and flourishing under the House of Valentine, and it was evident with their Queen and her crimson Angel. It really was true, that happiness always seemed to find everyone eventually, and Vincent and Yuffie were no exception.