A/N: Takes place sometime during FFVII the game. I leave the specific setting up to your speculation. :D
The thing that worries her most is the fact that she can't tell whether he is dead or just sleeping. She can't discern it from a pulse, because his heart doesn't beat. The ghost of his breath on her cheek is always scarce and never measured, so that even as she leans over him and tries to catch a hint of a sigh, she hears nothing. He could truly be gone. Or maybe his lungs have forgotten to heave for snoring.
His skin is always the same shade, a nearly-translucent pale that hints at blue when a light darts over it. The only luminosity here is the moon that causes his cheek to glow a sickly navy, and she gets the feeling it's laughing at the two of them. The one thing she can work out is that it isn't a fever, or any sort of sickness that can knock a person out, because he stopped getting ill a long time ago. His hand is as cold as ice when she feels it, and her anxiety builds up inside her chest because this deadness in his touch is normal. She has no indication if his dreams are passing, or if he's passed away.
It's tricky. His eyes are closed with heavy lids, as if the very world has banged them shut. And her whispers might well be a ghost's chanting, the way they ring in the hollow air. She has given up on them meeting any of his senses, but she mutters just the same. The words leave her mouth with a mixture of fear and spite, and they track a bitter taste of longing on her tongue once they're spoken.
"Wake up, Vinnie."
Because he's been sleeping far too long.
And she never asked him to save her or help her, once she'd sneaked off on her own to hunt down some materia. She hadn't wanted to share, and in her carelessness she'd encountered some monsters. The battle had gotten too rough. She had half-slipped off the mountainside, bruised and bleeding, when a cloak of red caught her and hauled her up. It had been a messy incident.
The stinging image of the Galian beast roaring, half a monster in each claw, a wound that bled fire burning in its stomach, seared through her mind. Well, she had never asked. But he had saved her. She wasn't sure why. As the last of the creatures had faded the demon he had become subsided, woozy with open cuts. And he was himself again, only quiet as stone and still as gravel. He had been dead for a long time, she knew. But he had been living death.
Now, perhaps, he's gone to sleep for good.
Leaving her full of questions and worried as heck.
She has no idea where the airship has gone, for one. Which explains why they are still stuck in a deep expanse of forest. The materia has long passed from her mind. Her only concern now is finding out how to see his eyes open again, because like a difficult spell they've been sealed with invisible stitches, and maybe he's trying to open them but can't manage.
She's not a great mage, and she knows it, but the restore materia she cradles in one palm. She continues to shift its energy into him, channeling it with the little magic she has left, the strain of mediation making her weary and groggy. The other hand she leaves open for him to take, for any hint of life, or living death, he can give her. The tears sting behind her eyes. Gawd, what a stupid situation. She isn't sure if it bugs her more that a monster could be so valiant, or that a ninja could be so brainless. She chokes on another round of muttering. She hasn't slept in days.
"Come on, Vinnie, wake up. Please."
There's a slight twitch of fingers in her palm, white-blue and freezing like ice,
And that's all she feels before fatigue consumes her.
A/N: Some situational fic written way back in 10/16/05, when I was still getting a feel for these characters. XD Thanks for reading. Comments would be greatly appreciated.