Disclaimer: I don't own FFVII or any of the characters used in this fic. I am making no money off of them.
Helpless When She Smiles
When Yuffie came to, she was blinking into a dark room that she didn't recognize. She sat up and rubbed her forehead as her head pounded rhythmically. What had happened to her? Her stomach gave a rumble of hunger and suddenly it all came back to her. She was… she was pregnant. Along with the thought, the tears came. What was she going to do now? She was twenty-one and pregnant. She didn't even know what Vincent would think or say. What if he really did want her to get rid of the baby?
Her tears stopped when something dawned on her. There was a little life growing inside of her despite what Vincent or anyone might think or say. There was a child growing inside of her, and just the fact that he or she was half Vincent's was enough for Yuffie to love the kid with all her heart. But now, Leviathan, it meant that she wouldn't be able to try to get her voice back. Even after she had her baby, she just couldn't risk the treatment because she had someone who would be depending on her, and only her.
There was a knock at the door before someone entered and opened the curtain to let the setting sun in. Tifa smiled at her and sat at her side. "Are you okay? You had me and Cloud worried for a moment, but Reeve sent a medic over to examine you and she told us that you were okay and that you needed rest."
Yuffie nodded and smiled, taking out her phone and waiting for Tifa to do the same. Does Cloud know that I'm… you know?
Tifa nodded. "I told him about you being sick and getting dizzy before I went to check on you in the bathroom. He was the one who told me to take you to get a test judging by the symptoms you had."
Wow, never thought Cloud would be so thoughtful. Did you ask him not to say anything to anybody?
"Yeah. We didn't even tell Reeve because this is your news to tell. Listen, are you going to be okay when you leave? You can stay here in the guest room if you'd like," Tifa offered with a gentle smile.
Yuffie shook her head. Thanks Tifa, but I'll be fine. I think I need a bit of time on my own today. I need to think about what's going to happen now. How I'm going to tell Vincent.
The older brunette nodded in understanding. "Whatever you need Yuffie. Just know that we'll be here for you for whatever you need. You're a part of our family. You're like the sister I never had and Lilly loves you so very much. Whatever happens, we're here," she said.
Yuffie smiled and hugged her tightly, pulling back and patting her heart before pointing at Tifa. She stood and walked with Tifa towards the front door. It was getting late and she wanted to be in the seclusion of what had become her home, before it got dark. I'll come visit you soon again. I think I need to go see Reeve tomorrow. Now that I know that I'm gonna have a baby, I can't take the treatment. I just can't risk it.
"Take care of yourself Yuffie," Tifa said seriously. "And remember that you need to eat for two now. And also, if you decide to tell Reeve that you're having a baby, see if he can get you a good doctor to examine you and the baby. I don't think I want to recommend the doctor who took care of me and Shera," she said with a smile.
Yuffie smiled too and waved before walking off slowly, her thoughts on the little being growing in her stomach and what Vincent would possibly say when she told him that they would soon be parents.
Vincent watched her sleep in his bedroom; she was on her stomach, and her arms and legs were spread out and taking up almost the entirety of the mattress. She was snoring so softly that he barely heard her, and all the longing and the feelings of missing her came back full force. The feelings in his chest he had felt once before with Lucrecia, but he could admit that those feelings hadn't been as strong as what he was feeling now. He had loved Lucrecia with all his heart, but deep down inside he had resigned himself to never being the priority in her life. Lucrecia would never leave behind all that she cared for in order to be with him.
Yuffie was the exact opposite. She was so passionate about everything, and when she did something, or loved someone, she did with all her heart and soul. She was the most amazing human being he had ever met, despite her little eccentricities. He wanted to make her happy, and he would've given anything to give her her voice back. But he couldn't, and he couldn't keep her from trying to find a solution to her problem. Reeve had been overseeing the treatment plan and wouldn't allow Yuffie to be in harms way. All Vincent had to do was be by her side and hold her hand through it all. And that was exactly what he would do. He pressed a kiss to Yuffie's forehead before he pulled off his clothes and made for the shower. He was dead tired, but a shower was first in order to wash off all the dirt from the mission as well as to sooth his tired muscles.
When he emerged a good thirty minutes later, Yuffie was now curled onto his side of the bed, her face peaceful and beautiful in her rest. She had kicked off the sheets and he could see that she was wearing one of his shirts. He felt his body responding at the sight of her bare thighs and toned legs the way it usually did when he wanted her. He didn't want to act like some hormonal boy with his first girlfriend, but he hadn't seen her in more than two months, almost three. He crawled into bed slowly, pulling her gently until she was on her back and his lips flitted over hers before moving to her neck. Yuffie let out a breathy sigh and shifted so that he had more access to her neck. "Yuffie," he murmured, one hand moving under the shirt she was wearing to caress her thigh and bottom.
Her eyes began to flutter as a smile curled sleepily at her lips. She touched his cheek and moved up to kiss him, but she froze. She paled slightly before shoving him off and running towards the bathroom. He sat there for a moment, stunned, before he followed her and saw that she was bent in front of the toilet, emptying her stomach contents. He frowned and worry cramped his gut. Was she sick?
She then moved to the sink and washed her mouth thoroughly, still looking faintly pale. Vincent moved over to stand beside her as she looked at her reflection in the mirror and shook her head tiredly when she saw the dark circles under her eyes. "Are you all right?" he murmured, wrapping his arms around her waist.
Yuffie shifted quickly and turned in his arms, pressing a chaste kiss to his lips as she nodded. Now would've been a good time to tell Vincent about the 'bun cooking in the oven,' as she'd heard Barret refer to Shera being pregnant once, but she just couldn't summon the courage to tell him yet. Instead she hugged him tightly and prayed to Leviathan that she wouldn't get another bout of nausea and throwing up.
She had found out about her pregnancy almost a week before, and she had gone to see Reeve and explain to him why she would no longer take the treatment. He had been quite shocked, and it had taken her a while to make him promise not to tell Vincent, but he had complied. She just knew that Reeve had had something to do with Vincent coming back early from his mission, since he hadn't been due to return for another two weeks. Also, Reeve himself had run the tests on her baby in order to check for any type of genetic abnormalities, but thankfully, the kid was as healthy as any and growing like a normal human being. Reeve had also told her exactly how far along she was, and Yuffie had been shocked to learn that she was a little more than three months pregnant. She'd felt like a dummy for not noticing sooner, but really, it wasn't her fault that the symptoms had kicked in so late into the pregnancy.
Yuffie came back to herself when she felt Vincent's lips against hers. Damn, she wanted so very much to be with him at the moment, but unfortunately, her stomach had started to go soft and already she could see a slight bump. Vincent had come to know her body as well as his, and she was sure that he would notice the softness of what had been firm skin and muscle a few months ago. She pulled back and looked at him, shaking her head. "Can we just go to sleep? I've had a case of insomnia or something, for the past few days and I haven't been able to sleep. I'm tired and you must be too."
Vincent stared at her, slightly stunned at the fact that she was denying him. It had never happened before and it was throwing him off. He was tired too, but his desire for her outweighed everything else. But he had never been one to push things the way she usually did so he nodded and walked her back to bed, noting that the sun was coming up. He walked over to close the heavier curtains that cloaked the room in almost total darkness. Then he climbed into bed with her and wrapped around her before they went to sleep.
Tifa watched Denzel playing with Lilly, who was in her high chair, and smiled. Though he had been reluctant to get near the baby when she had been a newborn, they had certainly warmed up and Lilly loved her big brother with all her little heart. The bar was closed for the day, but she walked over quickly to the door when she saw a very familiar gunman about to knock. "Hello, Vincent," she said with a big smile as she opened the door.
"Hello, Tifa. How are you doing?" he asked her softly.
"Very good. Come in, come in. Where did you leave Yuffie? I would think that now you wouldn't want to keep her out of your sight!" she said with a big, happy smile. The smile fell when Vincent gave no indication to know of what she was talking about. "Has Yuffie talked to you about… about…?"
"I do not know what you're talking about," Vincent replied, walking over to greet the children. Tifa cringed and realized she had almost spilled the beans. Darn it, why hadn't Yuffie told him about the baby yet? "Yuffie stayed at home. She said that she hasn't been feeling good for a few days now."
"Yes, she told me that. I hope she gets better," Tifa replied, walking over to take Lilly in her arms when she started to get fussy. Denzel walked off to get something to eat and left the adults alone. Tifa looked at the gunman as he gazed at Lilly with a slight smile on his face. "Would you like to hold her?"
"I have… never held a child before," he replied, looking slightly edgy.
"It's easy. Besides, you need to start practicing for any future children you might have with Yuffie," she said with a grin, placing Lilly in his arms and fixing them from the awkward grip he had on her.
Red eyes met blue and the baby smiled at him, little hands grasping at the buckles of his cape. She would be as pretty as Tifa when she grew up and he faintly wondered if he and Yuffie had a child, would he or she look like Yuffie or like him? He didn't want to get ahead of himself, because his relationship with his ninja was just starting, and he didn't even believe that he was capable of reproducing. But it was a good dream.
"You'll be a great father one day," said Tifa gently, taking back the baby when she reached for her.
"Yuffie… Yuffie has been acting strange for the last few days. Even strange for her," he said quietly, averting his eyes from Tifa's wise ones.
"She's going through something that changes a person." She was about to say woman, but that would be too obvious and she didn't want to tell Vincent something that Yuffie had to do herself. "Be patient with her, and cherish her now more than ever. Go home and talk to her to see if she'll tell you what is going on," Tifa said as she handed her daughter a bottle of milk that Denzel had just brought over.
Vincent nodded once. "Thank you, Tifa, for your time."
"Don't worry about it. Go home and sweet talk Yuffie into telling you what's going on. I know you can do it," she said with a wink as she walked him to the door. Vincent nodded once before walking out and making his way to the apartment he was sharing with Yuffie. Tifa had been very cryptic, so he had no idea what she had been talking about. All that was left to do was to talk Yuffie into telling him.
His walk back to the apartment felt shorter than previous ones due to him being lost in his thoughts about the future and the children he would never be able to father. His body had gone through so much, he couldn't risk passing anything on to a child of his, even if he was able to reproduce. No child deserved the risk of being what he was. He entered their apartment a while later and found Yuffie in her room, looking at something red.
"Yuffie?" he asked gently. She jumped at the sound of his voice and hid what she was looking at behind her back. Vincent walked over to her and tried to see what she was hiding. "What do you have there?" he asked.
Yuffie bit her lip. Maybe now was as good a time as any to tell him of his impending fatherhood. She moved forward what had been his old cloak once upon a time, but had now been turned into some type of blanket. One side was the cloak, but on the other side, it appeared that she had sown a soft type of blanket material with little chocobo's dancing around. If he wasn't mistaken, it was a baby blanket.
Vincent smiled. "Did you make it for Lilly?" Yuffie swallowed hard and hated herself for not telling him the truth, but she nodded faintly and averted her eyes from his. He hooked a finger under her chin and turned her to look at him in the eyes. The brown orbs were wide and slightly glassy with tears. "What's wrong, Yuffie? I know you better than you think, so do not tell me that you are fine. Something is going on, and I would like to know what it is. Have I… done something to upset you?"
Yuffie shook her head quickly. "No. You haven't done anything wrong. But, Vince, will you answer a question for me?" At his nod, she let out a deep breath. "Did you ever think of having kids of your own? Do you want to have kids at all?"
Vincent frowned slightly. That question was coming out a bit too much today. He shrugged one shoulder. "I never gave it much thought when I was a Turk. Turks have no business raising a family. The things we used to do were too dangerous to keep people you cared about. Then when I met Lucrecia and she had Hojo's son, I resigned myself to think that I would never find a woman who I would love as much as her. Then I died and was experimented on, and I slept in the coffin for all those years. When I woke, I never thought I would find someone to share my life with, and I realized that even if I wanted children, they would most likely inherit some of the things done to me, and that is a fate I would wish on no one."
"If you could, and there was a possibility that you wouldn't pass on anything, would you have children with me?" Yuffie asked, biting her lip nervously.
"We're still beginning Yuffie, but in the future, if was able to grant you healthy children, I would," he replied before leaning in to kiss her.
Yuffie let out a breath that she had been holding, but felt her eyes fill with tears. That meant that he didn't want any children now. How was she going to tell him about the baby now? She hadn't slept with him in a week, and she couldn't keep denying him much longer. But she just didn't want to be with him without telling him that she was pregnant. His hands were on her hips, trying to ease her onto her back, but she pushed away from him again and stood. "I'm sorry Vince," she mouthed, wringing her hands. "I need to go see Tifa for a moment. It's an emergency," she said before nearly running out of the apartment.
Vincent stared again and didn't know what to think. What the hell was wrong with Yuffie? He wasn't angry at her for turning him down so many times, but he was disgruntled that she wouldn't tell him what was going on with her. He let out a heavy sigh and his eyes moved back to the blanket that she was still putting together from his old cloak.
Meanwhile, Tifa and Cid were trying to handle a very upset ninja who had burst into bar in tears. It was a busy afternoon for Tifa, but luckily the patrons could see that she had a friend that needed to be taken care of, and Lilly had decided to take a very convenient nap as well. Cid gave Tifa a questioning look, but the bartender just shrugged slightly, telling him that she didn't know what was going on.
Tifa brought her a glass of cool water and rubbed Yuffie's back until she finally began to calm down. "What's going on Yuffie? Why are you in such a state? Did you tell…" she trailed off and bit her lip. Yuffie shook her head and a few more tears trickled down her cheeks.
Cid chewed on a toothpick, since he had been forced to leave his beloved cigarettes far away from the bar and his own home. "Uh… brat, is it just me, or have you gained some weight? You're going a little soft around the middle," he pointed out.
Yuffie sniffled even harder and more tears came. Tifa slapped his upside the head at his tactlessness. He cursed loudly and decided to move off towards a bar to take care of some men who had just walked in and settled at a corner table. Tifa turned back to her friend as she took out her phone. I couldn't tell him Teef. He said that he would've wanted kids in the future, not now because we're so new to being together. She typed with a sniffle.
Tifa frowned. "He said that to you? You should've told him anyway!" she replied.
I don't know how to do it. I don't even know if he'll want to stay with me afterwards. I'm scared, Tifa.
"I understand, but if you don't tell him, he'll hold it against you later on. You need to at least give him the option of being in his kid's life. Whether he accepts or not is up to him, and if he doesn't, well too bad for him. This baby is your responsibility and if he doesn't accept it, he can go to hell. We'll stick by you, and we'll help you raise your baby," said Tifa fiercely.
Yuffie managed a smile and squeezed Tifa's hands in hers. "Thank you," she mouthed, hoping her friend understood.
Tifa nodded and opened her mouth to say more, but a cry from the baby monitor averted her attention. Yuffie patted her hand and pointed from herself to the stairs. Tifa smiled and gave her a hug before she walked off to go see Lilly. The baby was still wailing angrily, wanting to be picked up as Yuffie walked into her room. She smiled when the baby stopped the crying immediately once she was picked up.
Yuffie sighed and soothed the little person with gentle pats on her back as she rocked her back and forth. After a few minutes of doing it over and over, she felt the little body grow heavier in her arms as Lilly slipped back into sleep, her little blonde head tucked against her throat. The ninja started when a flash of red by the door caught her attention.
Vincent watched her with a soft look on his face, noticing with what ease she was holding Lilly in her arms. He stepped into the room and Yuffie placed the girl back into her crib so that she wouldn't grow accustomed to sleeping in people's arms. Then she turned back to Vincent and offered him a sad little smile. He slipped his arms around her and held her as he felt her slim body shuddering against his. When he looked at her face, he found tears sliding down her cheeks. "Tell me what is wrong, Yuffie," he nearly pleaded.
Yuffie pulled back and let out a deep breath. It was now or never, and Tifa was right. He had a right to know, and he had a choice to make. She had taken to wearing longer shirts that hid her midriff and stomach, so she reached down and inched her top up a bit, pushing her shorts down to her hips so that a slight bump was protruding from her stomach. She then reached for Vincent's hand and pulled off his glove before pressing the warm digits to her stomach. He stared at his hand before looking up and meeting her eyes.
"I guess you're not too old and infertile to make a baby, Vince," she mouthed.
"What?" he breathed, his thumb rubbing over the skin of her stomach.
"I'm having a baby. Our baby. I was so scared to tell you, because even I admit that we're barely getting to know each other, but the baby is there. And he or she is as healthy as any human baby. I had the tests run and everything is normal." She was silent for a moment, waiting for him to say something else.
Vincent swallowed hard and a million thoughts ran through his head in a few seconds. Yuffie was carrying his child. A part of himself and of her that would depend on them for the next twenty years. He had believed that he wouldn't be capable of fathering any children, and that was why he hadn't taken any precautions when taking Yuffie. Now a baby was on the way to their lives. What if he turned out to be a miserable father? What if…… He looked at Yuffie and saw the disappointment flashing in her eyes.
Yuffie needed him, and now the child growing inside of her needed him as well. He would be there for them always. He would love them always. He dropped silently to his knees and took a hold of Yuffie's hips before pressing a gentle kiss to the bump of her stomach before looking up at her and meeting her eyes. "We may be just be beginning with each other," he murmured. "But we have a future ahead of us together. I will be the best man I can be for you both."
And her smile was so bright that he felt as if his heart had stopped. They would find a way to raise their child together, and they would find a way to get her voice back, together. He just hoped that the child that was on his way to their lives would have her smile.
A set of big brown eyes, and one set of blue watched the commotion around the newly remodeled Seventh Heaven bar. Adults were running each and every way, setting up decorations and putting up colorful balloons in every corner of the room.
There was a giant cake on a table, shaped like a cat's head, with a single candle on the top. Brown eyes looked up when he saw a familiar face near the playpen. Vincent looked down into the playpen that held both Lilly and his son, Deron. The party and the commotion was all for him, since he was the birthday boy. Yuffie had tried to con him into helping with the decorations, but according to her and Tifa, he wasn't doing a very good job at anything. So he pulled the boy into one arm and grabbed the other tot in the other arm to take her to her father. Apparently, Cloud wasn't doing a very good job either.
He had learned first hand that having a baby was hard work. He had suffered through every ache and pain that Yuffie had because he had refused to leave her alone in anything. Despite what she had said or thought, to Vincent, Yuffie had been beautiful and glowing during her entire pregnancy. Watching as her stomach grew a little every week had been an amazing process. So had been listening to the baby's heartbeat a few weeks after he had found out that he was going to be a father. He hadn't fainted at the birth of his son, but he had suffered nightmares for a few weeks afterwards. Not that he had told anyone about those. Midnight feedings had been murder, but he and Yuffie had taken turns in order to let one of them sleep an entire night. Deron seemed to think it was funny to wake up at two in the morning to play with his stuffed animals and his daddy.
Though it was hard work, Vincent could admit that hearing his son's first word and then witnessing his first steps about a month ago had been the most amazing moments of his entire life. The beautiful child he held in his arms was half his, half Yuffie's and he had inherited her smile. He handed over Lilly to her father as all the men stood outside in the backyard of Cloud and Tifa's home. Cid was watching his own son play with Denzel and a brand new puppy dog he had gotten for him. Lilly wanted to play as well, but Tifa had warned Cloud about letting their daughter get her new dress dirty, so out of the dirt she was going to stay. She was growing into a beautiful little girl with her blonde hair and blue eyes. She looked adorable with her pigtails.
Cloud looked at Vincent and smirked. "You're going to ask her today?" he murmured.
Vincent nodded once and shifted the boy in his arms. "I was trying to find the right moment, but I haven't been able to. Today will be the day, though."
"Have the surgeries improved her chances of speaking any?" Cloud asked him.
"We don't know yet. She's had both surgeries, and she is taking her medications, but the doctors told her not to try using her voice until they gave her the okay. We are… very hopeful," said Vincent with a slight smile that Cloud returned.
"Okay, everything is ready!" Tifa called to the men and the children.
They all trudged into the bar and were shocked to see what the women had accomplished in a matter of minutes. The decorations of moogles, chocobo's, and Cait Sith's were whimsical and cute. There were balloons everywhere and the cake had been moved to the long table. After they had a nice lunch, the single candle on the cake was lit and the lights were dimmed as Yuffie took her son in her arms and sat with him in front of the cake as the AVALANCHE gang sang the birthday song to him. Reeve was taking pictures, and even the Turks and Rufus had been invited to the celebration. "Blow out the candle, sweetie!" Tifa said to the one year old, who had caught a fistful of cake in a chubby hand.
In the end, Yuffie helped him and made her own wish as the light went out and everybody cheered. Tifa and Shera served the cake and sat the toddlers in their high chairs so that they could go crazy with the delicious chocolate-cookies and cream ice-cream cake.
Yuffie took a sip of her lemonade and sat on the window seat of the biggest window in the room, watching her son from afar. She was so incredibly happy. Her life was complete. She had Vincent, she had her son, and she had… she looked up when Vincent sat next to her and took her hand in his. He had long since abandoned his old clothing for a more relaxed outfit. Though when the WRO and Reeve called for a favor, he always took out his leather suit and his cloak. His hair was just as long, but he was still as handsome as the day they had met. He kissed her knuckles and his eyes shifted to their baby, who was enjoying his birthday cake.
"Are you happy?" Vincent asked her softly, happy that the people present were keeping their distance from them. Though he had the faint impression that everyone was trying to eavesdrop as discreetly as possible.
Yuffie nodded and gave him a bright smile, leaning forward to press a kiss against the corner of his mouth. Vincent smiled slightly and felt the knot in his chest relax. "Good," he murmured, reaching into his coat pocket to draw out something that looked suspiciously like a crystal rose. "Because I have something to ask you," he said, handing over the delicate rose and opening the top half to reveal a ring of silver and some type of white stones all around the band. "Will you be my wife?"
She stared at him and then at the ring for a long moment, not even realizing that the room was collectively holding their breaths and waiting for her answer. All she heard was a muffled curse when Deron hurled a piece of cake at Cid's face. Yuffie smiled and looked at the ring again. "Yes," she said almost in a whisper.
It took everyone—including Vincent—a moment to realize that she had said it. Yuffie tried again. "Yes, I will marry you," she said in a voice that was still scratchy and not as loud as it had been before. It would take her a while to heal her vocal cords to that extent, but it would happen. She had seen her doctor the day before and he had given her the okay to use her voice, but he had warned her not to go overboard. She had been ecstatic, any voice was better than none.
Vincent stood and pulled her to her feet and into his arms as she tried not to drop the crystal rose. She was crying as he squeezed around her and the room erupted into cheers at the fact that she could talk now. But her attention was all for Vincent, who wouldn't let her go. "I love you," she murmured against his ear.
He pulled back then and slipped the ring onto her finger. "I love you, too," he said before his lips met hers. "I love you, too," he whispered again before his arms wrapped around her once more.
Yuffie smiled against his shoulder and nodded. "I am happy. You and our son make me happy," she confessed once more.
The party went on to after the babies were asleep and the sun had gone down. Then the liquor was cranked out and they really celebrated and had an all out AVALANCHE bash like in the old days. Everything was back to normal.
"Are you going to tell me where we are going any time soon?" asked Yuffie in irritation. She was blindfolded and there were two pairs of hands guiding her and telling her where to step and when to be careful. She was too old for these types of games. She never would've thought that when she had been in her twenties and even her thirties, but now she had just entered her forties today, so there was a big difference.
"Patience mum," said her son from her left. "We're almost there."
"Where is your father?" muttered Yuffie as a familiar scent invaded her nose and forced many memories back that she had thought had been buried long ago.
"Right here," replied Vincent from behind them.
"Guys, you know that I have never been a very patient person. Either tell me where we are going, or take off the blindfold," said Yuffie impatiently.
"Just a few more minutes, ma," said another voice. Yuffie sighed and nodded, allowing her irritatingly mysterious children to guide her so that she wouldn't fall on her face.
Her fortieth birthday was on that very day, and Tifa had wanted to make her a party but Yuffie had had to decline. Though she wasn't ashamed of celebrating her age, and she still loved parties the same way she had when she had been a teen, Vincent had asked her to keep the day open for a surprise. And even years after marrying her angsty gunman, she couldn't deny him anything he asked of her.
Either way, her family had planned a surprise trip aboard the Shera and they had kept their destination a secret. Cid Highwind had been in on it too, and Yuffie hadn't missed the smirk on the old man's face as she had downed a sedative to help with the air sickness. When she had come to, she had been blindfolded and in the arms of her dear husband, but he had set her down after she had threatened to pull off the blindfold and ruin the surprise. That was why her kids were guiding her now.
"Okay," said Deron from her left, reaching over to untie the blindfold. "We knew that we needed to make this the most memorable birthday because it's the big 4-0. Except, this gift has been years in the making and we've worked so hard on it mum."
The blindfold came off and Yuffie stared, eyes wide. She was speechless and frozen in time as she gazed at Wutai. But this was not the Wutai she had left behind twenty years ago, when she had lost her father and her voice. That Wutai had been in the process of standing on its own two feet without the help of tourists, but it had been so far from being the great land she remembered. This was Wutai she was looking at was a reminiscence of the land she had grown up in with her mother. It was beautiful and whole, and her sons… her sons had worked on this?
"What do you mean you've been working on this for years?" she asked softly, taking in the people from high in pagoda where she had stood so many times in her youth. From what she could see, there were no more resorts, no more tourists, just Wutain's going about their lives, working and taking care of the land that looked more prosperous than Yuffie remembered ever seeing it.
"Uncle Reeve helped us," said her middle son, Dominic. "Deron is finishing his architectural degree, and I have been taking agricultural classes while I finish up high school. Nerdy Dru has been in charge of finances and numbers and we have all been working on restoring all of this for you, and it's worked," he said with a grin.
Yuffie felt a smile curling at her lips as she heard her middle son and looked at her baby, who was scowling at being called a nerd. Her oldest son was heading towards nineteen, the middle boy was seventeen, and her youngest was a few months away from fifteen. They all shared Vincent's dark hair and sharp, handsome features, but her two oldest had inherited her brown eyes, while only the youngest had inherited the reddish glow that Vincent's eyes had. And all three were now taller than her.
She turned to Vincent, who hadn't changed much through the years. He was aging, but he was aging gracefully, like her. His hair was still black, but there were slight lines around his eyes and nose. He had been so happy when he had learned that he would age with her. Normally Yuffie wouldn't have cheered that on, but she knew that if Vincent had been truly immortal, he would've withdrawn from society and from their continuing family, and would've gone back to the dusty coffin he had left behind all those years ago. He smiled slightly at her and gave her a barely imperceptible nod.
"Why did you do all this?" she asked her boys. She would've never expected something like this from her sometimes childish sons. Dominic kept a pigsty instead of a room, and she had to threaten Dru to put down his math books in order to have a little bit of fun, and she had lost count of all of the girls that called their home, asking for Deron. She was just thankful that Vincent had already talked to him about the birds and the bees a long time ago, and her eldest son knew the consequences of getting any girl pregnant so young and out of sheer stupidity. She had been twenty-one when she had gotten pregnant with Deron, but it hadn't been stupidity or just plain hormones. She had loved Vincent for a long time before they had finally gotten together.
"You knew about what they had been planning?" she asked him with a small smile. "How could you not tell me?"
Vincent grunted. "All three seem to have inherited your persuasion skills. Though the puppy-dog look stopped working a long time ago," he said with a smirk.
Yuffie turned back to look at her country before looking at her three sons. Deron was the most outspoken one and the flirt, with his short hair, he reminded Vincent of how he had worn it during his Turk years. Dominic was the prankster and the jokester, hair up in short, attractive spikes reminiscent of Cloud's, but a lot less messy and strange looking. And Dru—her baby—was the most quiet and enigmatic one—he was more like his father than his two brothers, with his long ebony hair that was tied back in a tail, a few strands falling into his eyes. All three were her life, well, four if she counted Vincent, and she did.
"Happy birthday, ma!" said Dominic as all three boys squeezed her into a tight hug.
Vincent watched them all and smiled. It was so heart warming to see Yuffie so happy. She had been happy with him through the years, but he had known that she had missed her country in some deep part of her. She never talked about it, but sometimes he would catch her with a faraway look and he had would know that she was thinking of her mother and Wutai.
"We know of all that you went through for this country, mom," said Dru. "And we worked to make it better for you. The people still love you and they understand why you left when Lord Godo died, but they are willing to look past that if you take your rightful place as ruler."
Yuffie was already shaking her head. "One thing is to see this from afar and be happy, and another is to actually stay here and rule it. My cousins have been doing a fine job at it for the past twenty years; I won't take this away from them."
"This is your mother's legacy, Yuffie," said Vincent from behind her, settling a gentle hand on her shoulder. "This is also the birthright of every Kisaragi," he said eyeing his sons.
"I will not burden one of our boys with being the heir to the Wutai throne. Don't you remember how it was for me when I was young?" she asked, turning to look at her beloved husband. "This isn't what I want Vincent. I love my country and I love the fact that you've all worked so hard to fix it, but I'm happy the way things are now. I won't force you all to uproot from our home to move here in order to take control of a country. I'm so grateful to you all, and just the fact that you've helped turn Wutai into what it was when my mother was alive makes me want to cry. Thank you so much," she said tearfully to her sons.
Her boys grinned and hugged her again, including their father in the hug this time. Vincent kissed Yuffie's head and patted all three boys on the shoulder as they squeezed around their mother. "We can't force you to change your mind, mom," said Deron. "But we can at least spend some time here as a vacation, right? I would really like—we would really like it if you could show us where our grandmother is resting," he said tentatively.
Yuffie swallowed hard and nodded. "Of course. She wasn't placed in the catacombs with our Kisaragi ancestors. My father let me have at least that. He had her turned to ashes and then spread around a special garden we had made. She's surrounded by waterfalls, cherry blossoms, and white roses," she replied with a smile, guiding them towards the garden, sliding a hand into Vincent's.
As all three teens took a moment to marvel at the sheer beauty of the garden, Yuffie stared at marble stone where her mother's name and date of birth and death were inscribed in ancient Wutain symbols. Tears blurred her vision for a moment until she felt Vincent's arms wrap around her in a warm embrace. "It's a good thing our sons inherited your warm heart," she murmured.
Vincent chuckled slightly. "My heart has never been warm," he murmured. "I was a Turk, remember? A Turk couldn't have a warm heart."
"That was in your first life," Yuffie replied. "When you woke from your coffin—as creepy as it was to find you there in the first place—you weren't the same man. You let me see the real you. You loved me and protected me. How can you say that your heart has never been warm? You loved our first son from the moment you knew that he existed, even though he was unexpected," she said with a grin. She jumped when her youngest son suddenly popped up beside them.
"Deron was an accident?" he asked in silent glee.
Vincent gave his youngest son a smirk. He knew that as the youngest, Dru had to suffer through pranks and teasing from his older brothers more than Dominic had. He could give the boy this. "Both Deron and Dominic were unexpected. You were a bit more planned than them."
"Vincent," Yuffie hissed as she slapped his chest. "You can't tell him that!"
"He's the youngest and the most picked on. Let him have this." He turned to Dru and patted the boy on the head. "Use this bit of information wisely. If you do not, then your brothers will not have mercy on you," he said as eyes nearly identical to his shined with mirth in a younger face.
"I will," he said, rubbing his hands together evilly. "And wait till' I tell them that Ella agreed to go out with me. Dominic has been trying to get her on a date for months now." He smiled to himself as he walked away from his parents.
"Okay… does Dru have an evil twin that we didn't know about?" asked Yuffie.
"Did he say Ella?" Vincent asked instead.
"Ella Strife," said Yuffie with a giggle. Ella Strife was Cloud and Tifa's second daughter. She was sixteen and was followed by fourteen year old Zack and his twin brother, Aren. Now those two had been a surprise for the Strife's, who had been quite happy with their girls. Yuffie snickered to herself, Cloud had fainted at the birth of each of his children. "Cloud is going to flip out when he finds out. Especially after Lilly started to date Rufus Shinra Jr."
"Creative with the name of his firstborn, wasn't he?" asked Vincent wryly.
Yuffie just laughed as she watched her sons wrestling each other in the green grass near the pond filled with koi fish. "I'm happy the way things are now, Vincent," she murmured. "But really, you had to give me three sons and no daughters?"
"That is not my fault," he muttered as he kissed her temple.
"Actually, it is. Did you fall asleep during your biology class or hadn't that been discovered back when you were in school all those thousands of years ago?" she asked with a smirk. "The sex of the baby is determined by the man. Tifa told me that when she was expecting Lilly."
"Interesting," replied Vincent quietly, watching with a smile when Dru managed to pin his eldest brother with an arm behind his back. "Then… I do not think it is too late for us to try for a daughter," he murmured, wrapping his arms around her waist from behind.
Yuffie actually laughed genuinely, the type of laughs he had always been privy to during her teenage years. "Vince, I'm not getting any younger. We're too old for a baby."
He turned her around in his arms and kissed her, not minding that their sons were nearby and would start to make gagging noises if they looked over and saw them. He pulled back and looked into those soft brown eyes that were shining at him. Just for him. "Did I ever tell you that I love you?" he asked, the words coming out easy after twenty years of admitting it to her and to himself.
"You may have mentioned it once or twice," she said with a smile.
That curling of her lips would always be his undoing, and unfortunately for Vincent Valentine, all three of his sons had inherited that very same smile. He just hoped that if they did manage to have a daughter, she would have her mother's smile as well. He never thought he would think it, but he loved his life. He loved his family. He loved Yuffie.
He was helpless when she smiled and wouldn't have it any other way.
I'm a house of cards in a hurricane
A reckless ride in the pouring rain
She cuts me and the pain is all I want to feel
She'll dance away just like a child
She drives me crazy, drives me wild
But I'm helpless when she smiles
Woohoo! How was that for an ending? Personally, I think this is the best ending I have ever come up with since I started to write, but that's just me. Either way, thank you so much for sticking by me and for pointing out the errors and giving me encouragement. I loved every single one of your reviews. Maybe Vince was a little OOC, but that's okay because he's happy and he has a family and I think that that would be how he would react. Also, the names of the kids could've been more creative and FFVII in nature, but I didn't really know what Vince and Yuffie would name their kids. I like the names though, so just bear with me. Ignore the typos and grammar errors for the moment! Anyway, thanks again for your time and I hope to see you all soon with a new fic!