Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII with all it's characters, story, events and settings belong to Hironobu Sakaguchi and T. Nomura. 1997, Squaresoft (yes, I'm aware it's "Square-Enix" now). My fanfiction with their stories and all original characters, however, belong to me.


Since it's Vincent's birthday today (the 13th), I wanted to celebrate it by writing a short story about his birthday.

This isn't really a pairing of Vincent and Aeris, nor is it a romantic fic. I just thought it would be a cute idea.

Reviews are very much appreciated!!

(Updated Oct. 20 / 2007)


Lonely Birthday

Cold October evening. It rained that night. October has always been that grim. So cold and so dark. Just like inside.

He sat by the window and watched the falling leaves outside this thin barrier of glass. They danced in the wind, in tints of copper and gold. How many times hadn't he seen the same scene repeat itself before his eyes? So many seasons, they all passed him by at least fifty times by now. But he had lost count so long ago. To him, they all looked the same.

Vincent's crimson-red eyes beheld the wind scatter leaves all around outside the window. Indifferently, his eyes followed one leaf, then another, as they got lost amongst thousands of others.

"What date is it today?" He heard a soft voice ask from behind. He turned his head, and from the corner of his eye, he saw Aeris sit with her back facing him, on a chair not too far from him. She glanced at Barret.

"Oh, uh," Barret mumbled, "...It's the – uh – 13th."

"Okay, thank you, Barret." She then placed her hand against her chin and narrowed her eyes in deep contemplation. "The 13th, huh?" she repeated to herself almost inaudibly, "October 13th...I could have sworn there was something special about this day- AH!"

That sudden shriek caught everyone's attention, including Vincent's. They all looked at her quizzically, but Aeris rushed out of the room, seemingly too absorbed in her own thoughts to notice anything else.

"What's gotten into her all of a sudden?" Cid asked while he smoked on his cigarette.

"Mebbe she 'membered sumthin'?" Barret guessed.

"Yeah, I have to agree, though. I also feel like today's some kinda day I should remember."

Vincent soon lost interest in the conversation going on between these two. Discussing what date it was bore no significance to him whatsoever. Not surprisingly, his sight soon returned to the window.

His mind strayed off to a particular memory. He recalled the very same group sitting around a bonfire in Cosmo Canyon at one time. Their muffled voices seemed to grow sharper, until he could make out every word of the conversation...

"When is your birthday, Yuffie?" A sweet, cheerful voice spoke. Vincent turned his head, only to notice Aeris standing some distance away with both arms behind her back. Vincent certainly found that question a very random thing to ask. She just blurted it out of nowhere, if only to break the silence.

"What?" Yuffie looked over at Aeris.

"When's your birthday?" she repeated, still retaining the same kind tone.

"Umm...November the 20th."

Aeris smiled, "Hey, that's quite soon! Only, what...3 months until then?" she then walked up to Cid, and asked him.

"What about yours, Captain?"

"Mine's in February," Cid said.

"Really? Mine is in February too! What date is yours?" she asked him with increasing curiousity.

"The 22nd."

"Oh, you're a Pisces then. I thought you were an Aquarian like me. I'll remember it, though!"

It didn't take Vincent long until he could feel a familiar pair of green eyes lingering on the back of his head. He then felt the presence of another person nearby. When he looked around again, he saw Aeris standing in front of him, smiling down at him in her usual manner. At that moment, he wondered what she was hiding behind that mysterious smirk. Her eyes seemed beseeching, searching for something as she gazed into his. He then realized he was next.

She leaned closer to whisper, "And what about you, Mr. Valentine?" she breathed playfully.

'And if I told her...what difference would that make?' he thought to himself bitterly.

Aeris, however, persisted and obviously expected an answer.

"It's on the 13th of October." He squeezed out a hushed whisper.

"I see," she kept her voice down. Vincent nodded as a response. "I'll try not to forget." she added with a quick pat on his shoulder.

'Yes, and you probably will forget.' He brooded internally. That didn't matter, though. It's not like anyone would remember it anyway. But that was fine, he was used to it. He barely thought of his own birthdays. All they did was to cause him bitterness and make him feel terribly lonely and forgotten. Yes, all they did was to add another year to his already old age disguised so well behind this mask of some pathetic man.

It added another year between him...and her. That one woman he had loved and treasured so much. Only to abandon her...let her face the worst...

However, Vincent shook off these many thoughts and memories pecking at his brain.

Back in the present, he gloomily returned to the window once more.

Later the same evening, when everyone had retreated to their rooms in the gloomy ShinRa mansion, Vincent heard a soft knock on his door. At first, he thought he had imagined it. But then another knock echoed through the room. He would have left it to Cid to answer, but since the man was already asleep with a loud snore, Vincent decided he would see who it was at such a late hour.

Opening the door to a tiny crack, a lovely pair of green eyes beaming loving kindess and a warm smile greeted his vision. Surprised, Vincent didn't know what he should say. He opened the door further.

"Aeris." He confirmed.

"Hi." she replied, still smiling. Vincent, thinking he should say something, ran his fingers through his long hair in confusion.

"I just wanted to show you something," she added, rather timidly.

"'Show me something'?" he echoed, puzzled.

She nodded, then added quickly, "Can I come in?"

Fumbling in hesitation, the man nodded his head. Aeris entered the room. Vincent closed the door behind her.

The lights had been dimmed greatly and it was difficult to see, but Aeris's eyes soon adjusted themselves to what little light the room possessed. There stood two beds separated by a small table. She noticed Cid snoring away while he still wore all of his clothes and lay on top of the covers of his own bed.

Aeris giggled at the sight. She then turned to Vincent.

"I don't mean to intrude, Vincent," she began, "I just wanted to see you because I have a surprise for you," she announced.

He gazed into her green eyes, silently asking for an explanation. In return, she smiled at him and added playfully, "But I'll only give it to you if you close your eyes first!"

Vincent didn't like the idea of a 'surprise' one bit. He hesitated for a moment, clearly feeling very uncomfortable. Nevertheless, he conceded and closed his eyes reluctantly.

He heard Aeris fumbling with something that sounded like the crumpling of paper, then he heard her say, "Alright. You can look now!"

Vincent opened his eyes. In front of him, Aeris held something up in her hand for him to see. It looked like a flower made of leather strung up on a keyring. Small, round buttons of copper made a circle shape in the middle of the brown flower. "Happy Birthday!" she congratulated him, but kept her voice down.

"A key chain." Vincent noted as he inspected the object in her hand.

Aeris nodded. Vincent still inspected the gift, then looked at Aeris, unsure what to say. He looked rather confused. Aeris realized she should tell him her intentions with this gift.

"This isn't a regular keychain," she remarked softly, then went on to explain, "A while ago...you said you have nightmares, right? So I...cast a Shield and an Esuna spell on this. But these spells aren't like the ones you would normally cast. These are a lot stronger, and they'll last."

Vincent took it, then held it in his real hand just looking at it, then back at Aeris. With a warm smile, she concluded, "So, to be short; it will repel nightmares when you wear it. I'm sorry I took so long. I spent most of the day just trying to figure out how to assemble this. I hope you think it's okay at least."

Somehow, her words, this gift, everything had struck a sensitive string in this man's heart. For a moment, he didn't quite believe his ears.

Why? Why would Aeris, of all people, even care for something as insignificant as his birthday? Why would anyone care? And why even bother spending her precious time on making him a gift?
Her kindness just never ceased to amaze him. It warmed his heart to the very core.

He accepted the gift with a polite nod of the head.

"Well, then. I won't be bothering you anymore. Have a good night...Vincent." Aeris still smiled back at him, then headed for the door. She reached for the doorknob, when she heard him call her name from behind, "Aeris?"

She turned around to look at him.

"Thank you." he said sincerely. Aeris beamed at him with delight. She then closed the door behind her.

Vincent, now alone in the room, brooded upon Aeris' words, and her kindness. But most of all, the significance of her present.

He clutched it tighter in his hand, then he put it under his pillow before he lied down on his bed and switched the light off.

That night, he lay awake, thinking of many things. He granted himself a small but happy smile.

Perhaps not all birthdays are so lonely and bad, after all.