Here it is! The sequel to Strawberry Kisses, so if you haven't read it, check it out. There are some allusions to that fic in this one that may not be understood if you don't read the first fic. Enjoy…
Disclaimer: I don't own Final Fantasy VII or any of the characters used or mentioned in this piece of fanfiction. I am making no money off of them…
Yuffie groaned in her sleep when the monitor on the bedside table let out a cry. She opened her eyes and listened as the monitor continued to transmit from the bedroom next to theirs, where there was a three-year-old child in his own little bed. She looked over to Vincent to tell him that it was his turn to see to the kid, but she saw that he wasn't there. She smiled when she heard his deep, gentle voice carry through the baby monitor as he tended to their son.
They had been married for a little more than four years, two months after their friends. Tifa and Cloud's wedding had been amazing. The pair had married in the backyard of Yuffie and Vincent's home, since they had a huge backyard filled with trees and wild flowers that posed a very sweet setting. Cid, Vincent, and Barret had built a gazebo for the occasion and they had done a beautiful job.
Very few people had been invited and only one photographer and reporter had been allowed for the ceremony. During the party, as everyone had enjoyed the cake, Tifa had pulled Cloud off towards the gazebo. The view the both had made there, surrounded by the white wood, white roses, Tifa's beautiful, flowing white dress, and Cloud's black tux had been amazing. Yuffie hadn't resisted taking pictures of them from afar, and luckily, no one had noticed that the newlyweds had been looking for privacy. That had been when Tifa had told him that she was having his baby.
Cloud had hugged Tifa so tightly and had then kissed her, making it another beautiful scene between them. Afterwards, he hadn't even wanted his wife to be on her feet for too long and he wouldn't let her do anything on her own. Tifa had looked at Yuffie and rolled her eyes towards Cloud, who had asked her for the fiftieth time if she needed anything. They had partied for the rest of the night and had then retired in the early morning.
A little more than a week later, Yuffie had told Tifa that Vincent had asked her to marry him and had even given her the ring on the day Tifa had married Cloud. He had asked her to dance at a distance from the party and had even gotten on one knee to ask her to marry him properly. Yuffie had almost cried and had toppled him over with a fierce kiss and a hug.
They had started the wedding preparations quickly and had even managed to get Godo to let her and Vincent marry in Wutai. Two months later, after a year of them being together, Yuffie and Vincent had married, and Godo had walked her down the isle. Her old man had looked at her tearfully and proudly, happy to have been able to give her away to a good man who would make her happy. Amidst the petals of cherry blossoms, and white roses, Godo had given her his blessing and had accepted Vincent as a son.
Only the Avalanche gang, Reno and Rude, and a few elders who had helped raise Yuffie when her mother had died had been present. Rufus Shinra had sent his apologies for not assisting, along with a generous gift consisting of several thousands of gil. Reno, who had delivered the check, had said that Rufus wouldn't take back the gift that he wanted them to have. Vincent had been adamant in returning the money, but Yuffie had convinced him not to, and together they had agreed to put it back into restoring Wutai. Godo had been even happier.
After the wedding, they had spent two weeks in Costa del Sol for their honeymoon, and had hardly left their hotel room, and only because of Yuffie's insistence. She had wanted to see the ocean at least once before they had to return to Edge and its dank and rainy weather for most of the year. After their honeymoon, Vincent had taken to helping their old friends with anything they needed, since neither he nor Yuffie had a job or needed one. He often helped Cloud with deliveries, and Reeve with the WRO. Cid called him sometimes to help him with building things or for repairing. Yuffie took Marlene and Denzel off of Tifa's hands a few times a month to give the other woman a break, and when things got hectic at the bar, she helped Tifa bartend too.
Then, about four months into their marriage, Vincent had been the one to broach the subject of having a baby. Yuffie could admit that the thought of having children had scared her to death, especially when she had been twenty-two, but she knew without a doubt that she loved Vincent and he loved her. A baby would make him happy. So, the baby had been planned, and Vincent had been relieved to hear that he was fully fertile and that his children would be conceived normally and they wouldn't inherit any of the things that had been done to him. A scientist in the WRO had run all the tests for him when they had gone to Reeve for help in the matter.
Thankfully, after the first time they had been together, Yuffie hadn't gotten pregnant. She had just visited a gynecologist that Tifa had recommended and had been receiving a contraceptive shot each month in order to not get pregnant. Though she had been a virgin when she had been with Vincent, she had known about pregnancies and contraceptives and what a woman had to do in order to not have a baby when they didn't want to. After she and Vincent had set a date for their wedding, she had told him that she had been taking care of herself in order to not have a baby. Vincent had understood her reasoning and after they had gone to get his tests done, he had realized that they would've had a child a long time ago if she hadn't taken care of herself.
The day she had taken the home pregnancy test and found out that she was pregnant, Vincent had been in Rocket Town, helping Cid out with some repairs he had been working on for his house. When he had arrived late that night, she had been waiting for him, her pet ferrets curled up in her lap for warmth. She'd told him that she had taken the pregnancy test and that it had come out positive. Yuffie had never seen that look in his eyes before. A look of wonder and pleasant surprise, and best of all, happiness. That night he had made love to her so gently, she had almost cried in his arms because of the intensity.
He had taken so much care of her during the next months as their baby grew inside of her, sometimes Yuffie had to admit that it was irritating. But really, it wasn't fair on her part to call him irritating when she had made him go out and buy her brownies with extra fudge from the market in the middle of the night. She really hadn't had any nasty cravings like anchovies and ice cream, but she had been craving sweet foods like cakes and pure cake icing. She had gain quite a lot of weight, but Vincent had never commented about it, and had always found ways to make her look beautiful, even when she had been a crying mess because of her soaps, or when she was feeling weepy for no reason at all. The mood swings had been few, but when he had gotten wind of a rush of hormones, Vincent would mysteriously disappear and return thirty-minutes later, telling her that he had been checking the land for monsters. Yuffie had known he was making up the excuse because, really, she hadn't seen a monster around the land in months.
Though Vincent avoided her when she was hormonal, he had been there to hear their son's heartbeat the first time, and had felt the first kick with her. He had been present at every doctor's appointment and at the birth of their son too, and Yuffie swore she saw tears in Vincent's eyes when he held the baby for the very first time. She smiled to herself in the darkness and got out of bed before walking into the adjacent bedroom. She stood near the doorway and watched Vincent in the dimness of the nightlight he had turned on as he handled their son.
"Did you have a bad dream?" Vincent asked the boy.
Oren Kisaragi Valentine was sniffling and rubbing eyes identical to his father's in color and shape. He nodded his little head and clutched a stuffed chocobo to his chest. He was sleeping in his own little bed with sheets of Cait Sith dancing around—a gift from Reeve for Oren's third birthday. What had once been a baby blue nursery had turned into a "big boy's" room with white stars stamped all around the ceiling and walls. The entire room was made up of an "outer space" theme, complete with pictures of the solar system, curtains with stars, and the white carpet with blue stars and moons. There were toys strewn everywhere, and Vincent had banded her from buying their son any more. Next to the bedside table, there was a picture of all three of them together, hugging and smiling at the camera, even Vincent, which Oren had chosen and had become his favorite. Yuffie looked at her two men and smiled to herself.
"You know that while your mother and I are here, nothing will happen to you. We'll make the monsters go away," said Vincent gently. "But monsters live in the mountains, not in your closet. You're safe here."
"Okay," said Oren, blinking big eyes at his father and then turning and spotting Yuffie by the door. "Will you stay with me, momma?"
Yuffie sighed and nodded. "Only until you fall asleep, okay? You're a big boy and big boys aren't scared of monsters. Don't believe what Reno says sweetie. There are no monsters in the closet," she said before kissing Vincent's cheek and sliding into the twin sized bed with her son. She wrapped her arms around him as the child settled into her familiar embrace.
Vincent watched them for a moment and smiled despite the hour and the fact that Oren hadn't even bothered to ask him to stay. He supposed that small children would always prefer their mother's. He'd seen it in the Strife's son as well, who was seven months older than Oren, and Vincent had seen the child prefer Tifa over Cloud many times before. He moved forward and brushed his lips over his son's forehead gently, doing the same to Yuffie as she smiled at him.
"Goodnight poppa," said Oren as he snuggled into Yuffie's arms.
"Goodnight Oren," replied Vincent before he walked off to his and Yuffie's bed.
"Next time Reno tells Denzel and Marlene scary stories, you go play outside, okay?" Yuffie asked the child.
He nodded sleepily. "Can we go see Zack tomorrow?" he asked with a big yawn.
"Sure," said Yuffie. "Now go to sleep baby. I'll be here to watch over you," she said gently, humming a gentle tune that had always helped the child get to sleep. She couldn't remember where she had learned the lullaby, but she had a feeling that her mother had sung it to her when she had been her son's age.
A few minutes later, he was fast asleep. Yuffie smiled and smoothed her fingers through Oren's hair. She knew all the people around the world thought the same of their children, but Oren was a beautiful kid. He'd just recently had a haircut and his black shiny hair was slightly spiky, and it made his face resemble her features more than Vincent's. The rounded shape of his sweet face, his cheekbones, and his nose resembled her, while he had Vincent's coloring, eyes, and his smile. Caring for the three-year-old was just as tiresome as it had been when he had been a baby. Except that now he walked and used the bathroom by himself, and it was easier to tire him out and then put him to nap. He was best friends with Zack Strife, Tifa and Cloud's little son, and he loved going off with Vincent to visit Cid and Reeve. And though Yuffie found it hard to believe, he absolutely loved to spend time with Reno whenever the Turk visited Tifa's bar and found them there.
As Yuffie continued to watch the boy as he slept, she smiled to herself in memory. Life with a baby had been the most stressing time of her life. Forget Sephiroth, and then the trio that had tried to bring him back. Not even the fight against Omega had been such a trying experience. Tifa had agreed with her, since she'd had a baby of her own when Oren had been born. Vincent had tried to help as much as he could with the baby, but he had known even less than Yuffie.
She had had to deal with most of the midnight feedings, since she had breastfed the boy for the first months of his life, and she usually had to deal with the crying and the fussing. Also, during his third and fourth month, Oren had taken to crying for three hours straight, every day at the same hour, for many weeks. Despite receiving advice and tips from Tifa concerning colic, the boy had enjoyed screaming his lungs out and usually wanted nothing to do with Yuffie and Vincent had been out on and errand.
At one point, she had sat down and cried with Oren because he hadn't wanted anything at all. She had changed him, fed him, and burped him. She had tried a bath, and then putting him to sleep, but upon waking up thirty minutes later, he had resumed his crying. Vincent had arrived from speaking to Reeve to find her bawling next to the boy's crib as the tiny thing screamed his lungs out. He had been clearly torn as to who to try to console first, but Yuffie had pointed to the baby and he had gone to Oren first.
Once in his father's arms, the infant had gradually calmed and then gone back to sleep. As soon as he placed the baby back in his crib, he turned to Yuffie and found her still crying silently. At the moment, she had felt like a great big failure, and had told Vincent quietly as they walked out of the nursery. What mother couldn't get her son to stop crying? Vincent had simply pulled her to his armchair and into his arms. Without a word, he had pulled her into a kiss and had made love to her there, until she was too exhausted to feel like a failure anymore. He had then caressed her face and told her that she was a great mother, to never believe otherwise. After that moment, she'd had no doubts of that. Having her hormones still getting used to having a baby had probably been to blame, but she had needed to hear those words from somebody, and hearing it from Vincent had been the best thing in the world.
Yuffie smiled and was thankful that they had gotten past the adventure of Oren's first teeth, when he learned to crawl, and his first steps. The terrible-two's had been just as bad as his colic stage, but they had gotten through it, and while she had been a doormat for her son, Vincent had been the stern father figure that had stopped Oren from being a spoiled brat. He really was a sweet boy and Yuffie had Vincent to thank for that. She eased her arms from around him and set the boy in his warm bed, tucking the blankets around him before kissing his sweet smelling hair.
She walked slowly back to her room, leaving on the nightlight and slipped back into bed with Vincent. He wrapped his arms around her and pressed a kiss to her lips. "I'm going to kill Reno for telling him scary stories," she mumbled as she pressed her back to his chest.
Vincent made a noncommittal noise, on the brink of sleep. He loved his son more than his own life, but Yuffie was right. Reno was a dead man for keeping them up at such an ungodly hour of the night thanks to his ridiculous stories. Ceasing thought, Vincent drifted off to sleep with the scent of his wife lulling his senses.
"Zack!" yelled Oren as he and Yuffie entered the Strife's home from the back door.
"Stop yelling," said Yuffie sternly. "Your uncle Cloud could still be asleep."
"He is," Tifa confirmed from where she stood, making pancakes for the family. "You two want breakfast?" she asked with a grin.
"That would be great," said Yuffie. "We were going to come over to see if you and Zack wanted to go get some breakfast at that place downtown, but I forgot you were an early bird."
Tifa nodded. "Marlene and Denzel are back in school, so I like to get up to make them breakfast. Zack should be washing his teeth, go get him and tell him that the pancakes are ready," she said to Oren.
"Okay!" said the boy happily, racing towards the stairs.
"Be careful with the stairs kid!" Yuffie called.
"Yes, momma!" her son called. He peered into Zack's room and smiled when he saw that he was pulling on some clean clothes. "Pancakes are ready."
"Yay!" said Zack, blue eyes shining brightly. He had dark blond hair, almost a sandy brown, and his eyes were also as blue as his father's. He had Cloud's face, but his sweet attitude and easily smile were all Tifa's. "Wanna go wake up my daddy?" he asked his friend.
Oren nodded and grinned. "Uncle Reno says that your dad looks like a chocobo's butt," he said conversationally.
Zack shrugged. "Maybe, but daddy gets mad when someone says that to him," he said as they entered his parent's bedroom to see his father sprawled out on the bed, a pillow over his head. "Uncle Reno says your dad looks like a vampire."
"What's a vampire?" asked Oren with a frown. His friend shrugged, not knowing either. "I'll ask momma when we go back downstairs. Should we wake him? Won't he get mad?" he asked Zack.
The youngest Strife shook his little head, sending spikes nearly identical to his father's all over his eyes. "Uncle Reno said that he used to make uncle Rude wake up quick by squeezing his nose shut," said Zack with a grin. Oren looked on curiously and wondered if he would get to taste the pancakes really soon. He was hungry.
"We should plan some sort of vacation. Maybe take the kids to Icicle Town, or to The Gold Saucer," Yuffie suggested as she poured two cups of coffee for her and Tifa. "They need to get out and see all the great places we have. They're old enough now, and you were right, traveling with a baby would've been such a bad idea."
"I think you're right, but I don't know if Cloud will be able to take off an entire week to be with us. He's had so many deliveries, and now that he's expanding, he has to manage employees and all that," said Tifa as she placed the pancakes in five different plates and placed the ones left in a special container to keep them warm for Cloud.
"Well, if we can't get him to go, maybe I'll just leave Vincent behind too. It could be just you, me, and the kids. We can even invite Shera," said Yuffie as she took a sip of her coffee.
"I don't think Cid will want Shera to go. She's finally expecting," said Tifa giddily.
"No way!" said Yuffie. "The old man finally made her a kid! Oh, I need to call him up to bug him about it," said the ninja evilly.
Tifa giggled and shook her head. She was about to say something else when there was a loud yell from upstairs. "Zack Strife!" Cloud yelled as the two tots nearly flew down the stairs to hide behind their mother's.
"What did you do?" Tifa asked her son.
"Nothing," he said evasively, sitting at the table just as Marlene and Denzel walked downstairs, followed by a very aggravated looking Cloud. His spikes were wet and falling over his eyes as he pushed at them angrily.
Yuffie gave her son a look as he looked at her with wide eyes. "Did you help Zack do that?" she murmured.
He nodded fearfully and looked at Cloud as the blond stormed over to the breakfast table. Zack looked guilty as he took a bite out of his pancake. "We only wanted to wake him up so that he could eat with us," he said in a whiny voice.
"And for that you had to throw cold water on me?" asked Cloud darkly.
"Well, we couldn't open the hot water," said Zack as Oren bit his lip guiltily too.
"You shouldn't be messing with any type of water," said Yuffie to her son, making him shuffle his feet. "If you'd used hot water, you could've burned him. He would've had to go to the doctor and he would've been in pain."
Tifa gave her son a scolding look as well. "This better be the last time I hear you playing with water or waking up your father unless I tell you to, okay young man?"
Zack nodded. "We tried holding his nose closed, but he wouldn't wake up!"
Cloud just sighed and walked further into the kitchen to get a dry rag to dry his still dripping hair. He could see that his son and his best friend were on the verge of tears. His eyes met Tifa's and he saw her give him a soft look. He realized he had been working nonstop for a while now, and he had been spending little time with his youngest son. Marlene and Denzel were usually up later than the three-year-old, so he got to see them every evening, but he only saw Zack in the mornings before going to work. "How about I take you guys out on Fenrir today, hmm?" he asked the boys, his initial anger and irritation at being woken up dimming to nearly nothing. "I'll take you both to see where my friend Zack's sword is."
"Yeah!" said Oren and Zack in unison.
"Don't you have to work?" asked Tifa with a smile.
Cloud shook his head. "I'll have someone else take the deliveries for today."
Yuffie gave Tifa a pointed look and the brunette nodded. "Cloud, Yuffie and I were talking about taking the kids on a vacation. Maybe we can take them to see the snow at Icicle Town, and then we can spend a few days at the Gold Saucer?"
"That sounds great. I'd have to figure out a way to take off a week or two, but it can be done," he said ruffling Denzel's hair and patting Marlene's shoulder when the two cheered as well.
"You think you'll be able to handle these two all the way to where that sword is?" Yuffie asked skeptically.
Cloud thought about it for a moment and sighed. She had a point. The way to the sword was rocky, dusty, and long. Having two kids on a motorcycle wasn't really the best idea. "How about I take you both to get some ice cream instead?" he asked.
"Okay!" said Zack as Oren cheered at the mention of ice cream.
"You have to eat your breakfast though," said Tifa over the happy cries. Both boys sat down and ate every single thing on the plate.
Yuffie watched the little boys with a small smile on her face. Though she was overwhelmed at times, she loved her boy. He wasn't usually one to give into mischief, but paired with Zack, her sweet little boy turned into an evil little man. Together they had found a way to break into the pantry at her home and had found her favorite chocolate cookies. By the time she had found them, the cookies had been completely gone, and she'd had her hands full with two hyper tots. Also, they had once found Cloud's materia stash, which Yuffie had searched for, for many months and had never found. They let the ferrets free and the door to the Vincent's office open, and well, suffice to say that Vincent's library had been shred to pieces. But they were the best of friends and they shared toys and had fun playing in the mud, and painting over the walls of both the Strife's and Valentine's homes.
Oren had his own quirks at home. He had a collection of chocobos and elephants, he wouldn't go to sleep unless Vincent tucked him in, he loved carrots and hated potatoes. He was allergic to cheese, and he disliked bananas. He loved dogs and he hated cats, and he wanted to be just like his father when he grew up. Of course, Yuffie had snickered at this, earning a glare from her husband, but if that meant that her son would be a loyal, loving man, then she didn't mind at all.
She remembered that one time, after spending a few hours shopping with Tifa, she had gone home to find Vincent and Oren napping on the couch, together. Oren's little head had been tucked against his father's neck and both looked so peaceful. She had taken a picture of them that way, and the soft click had woken up Vincent, who had looked at her with a slight smile as she kissed him gently.
Vincent was a good father. He had spent almost entire nights watching over their son when he had gotten a cold or a fever, or when Oren had a bad dream and couldn't go to sleep. Yuffie didn't always let Oren get his way now, since she didn't want to spoil him, and she had learned from Vincent that it wasn't healthy for him to get his way all the time. Both she and Vincent were still new at all the parenting stuff, but their son was happy and it was the only thing that mattered now.
She sent Godo pictures of his grandson with a letter detailing all the new things he discovered, every single month. They had visited her father a few months after Oren had been born, and the old man had been absolutely falling over himself in happiness. They had visited a few more times afterwards, and every time Godo almost cried in joy when he saw both his daughter and grandson.
Though she was tired more often than not, Yuffie was contemplating the idea of having another baby once Oren was a bit older. She had to admit that having a newborn again was scary, but she wanted a little girl next. Just the fact that their kids were half hers, half Vincent's was enough for her to want another one.
She smirked to herself and watched as Cloud kissed Tifa's cheek and ruffled little Zack's spikes. She was happy that her friends were happy. If anyone had deserved happiness, it had been Cloud and Tifa. Vincent too, and Yuffie was so proud to see that he smiled more often than he used to. Everyone was finally at peace. Even Reeve had met a girl, who had been a soldier for the WRO. They had married two years before, and she was also expecting a baby. Barret was busy with his oil wells still, but he dedicated much of his time to Marlene and to a secret girlfriend he thought no one knew of. But of course she was the great ninja Yuffie, and nothing got passed her. That and the fact that she had seen them having lunch together once when she and Oren had been on their way to the market to buy some ice cream for them both.
"Do you and Oren want to go with us to drop off Marlene and Denzel at school?" Tifa asked her as she placed the empty plates in the sink.
Yuffie nodded and smiled. "Sure. I want to meet this boy that has a crush on Marley," she said with a grin as the fourteen-year-old blushed.
"As long as you don't do anything to embarrass me," said the girl with a heavy sigh.
Tifa patted her shoulder. "Don't worry, Marlene. I won't let Yuffie embarrass you in front of that hot guy I heard you talking about on the phone with one of your friends," she said with a grin as Denzel burst out laughing.
"He's a total loser. I met him once before and he's like this big ol' nerd with glasses," he said with a smirk.
Marlene slapped him upside the head. "He's not a nerd. You'd be surprised how many girls actually like him," she said darkly.
Denzel glowered at her and Tifa and Yuffie watched as the two stared each other down. Yuffie had a feeling that those two didn't feel for each other the way a brother and sister did. Besides, they weren't brother and sister because Marlene lived with Barret for half of the year and only came to live with Tifa and Cloud to finish school there in Edge. Marlene was a pretty girl, and Denzel was protective of her in more than a brotherly way. The ninja wouldn't be surprised if the two grew up to marry each other.
"All right, enough of the hot nerd. We need to get to school before you two are late," said Tifa.
"But mom," Denzel stressed. "We're old enough to get to school by ourselves. We've also trained in fighting under you and Cloud. Why can't we walk to school alone?"
"Because Zack and Oren need to get some fresh air and we need to know that you two are safe. We'll hang out farther back from you two as we walk," Tifa offered.
"Come on. It's not like no one knows who you are and who they are," said Yuffie in Denzel and Marlene's defense. At her friend's glare, she sighed. "But she's right guys. Maybe you can walk to school alone in a few months or something. We'll hang out away from you two so no one will see us."
"Great," said Tifa, who was not ashamed of being overprotective. "Let's get going!"
By the time Yuffie and Oren returned home, the boy was a mess. He had dirt smudges on his cheeks and nose, and his pants were ripped at the knees. He was tired but happy. He'd gone with his best friend and his super strong dad to get some ice cream, and they had been on the big bike that went really fast. Oren hadn't stopped babbling about the bike, even as he ran into his father's arms and told him all about his day.
Vincent listened with a bemused smile when his son stopped making any sense in what he was saying rapidly. "Slow down, Oren. I can't understand what you are saying," he said gently.
"I think he's still on a sugar rush," Yuffie put in as she sat on the couch across from son and father. "We spent the day with Tifa and Zack, and then Cloud took the boys to get some ice cream on Fenrir. Afterwards, they spent a while playing outside and that is why you see him in the state he's in," she said with a smile.
"Another pair of ruined pants," said Vincent as he rubbed the boy's back in a soothing manner, trying to get him to calm down a little.
"Come on, Vince. It's not like we're lacking money. We have enough to inherit it to our great great great grandchildren, even more than that I think," Yuffie stated as Baby and Coco, her pet ferrets, crawled onto her lap. She smiled and scratched their heads. Against Vincent's wishes, she had taught her babies to pick pockets. Once, when Cid had been too drunk to realize it, her pets had stolen his pack of cigarettes and his prized lighter and brought them to Yuffie. They'd also taken Reeve's pocket watch, and some gil from Cloud's pocket, but Vincent had forced her to give everything back and to promise that she wouldn't use her pets to further her thievery purposes. Really, her husband was no fun sometimes.
"You need to take a bath, little man," said Yuffie as she stood, placing the ferrets on the couch and grabbed the boy from his father. "You're all dirty and I need to make dinner."
Vincent stood and stopped them before they were out of arms reach. Then he wrapped them both in his arms, tickling Oren's neck and kissing Yuffie's lips. Oren grabbed him around the neck in a hug. "We love you poppa," he said with a smile.
"Yes we do," said Yuffie with a grin as Vincent leaned his forehead against hers.
"Momma?" asked Oren.
"What's a vampire?"
She sighed. "I'm gonna kill Reno."
A few weeks later, winter had arrived and Yuffie was thankful that their home had a very state of the art heater to keep the entire home warm and toasty. Oren was finally sleeping through the night and he had completely forgotten about the monsters in the closet. Reno had sported a nice shiner after Yuffie had gotten her hands on him and made him pay for telling her son scary stories and for telling him that Vincent looked like a vampire. No three-year-old child needed to know about a bloodsucking monster. The red-head had at least been thankful that Yuffie had been the one to tell him off and not Vincent, because when the gunman was angry, he could be downright scary, even more so with the gun in his hands.
As she lounged in her big, warm bed, which was missing another body, she wondered where he was. The sky was clouded and made the day seem gray. Then she wondered where her son was and frowned, sitting up. Oren usually woke her up early in the morning for breakfast, and as she looked at the clock, her eyebrows shot up in shock. It was almost midday. She stood up and checked her son's room out of habit, but the bed was neatly made with various stuffed animals sitting by the pillows. She then washed her face and teeth before she checked the entire house but there was no sign of her two loves.
As her pet ferrets crawled onto her shoulders, Yuffie walked towards the window by the back of the kitchen. She looked into the backyard and smiled when she spotted them. Oren was in a thick snow suit while Vincent watched him, wearing normal, black clothing and his red cape for warmth, and they were both standing in a snow filled backyard.
She watched as Vincent kneeled next to their son and said something to him about the snow. Then, as the gunman turned to look at the sky, Oren grabbed a small handful of snow in his gloved hands and hurled the misshapen ball at his unsuspecting father, hitting him squarely on the side of his face. Vincent jumped to his feet in shock and tried to shake out the coldness making its way down his neck.
Yuffie burst into laughter as she watched him give Oren a look and finally give up; the ice had been to far gone down his neck and chest. He grabbed the boy in his arms and hurled him high into the air as she Oren shrieked with laughter as he was caught safely once again. Vincent spotted her still laughing at him and gave her an easy, relaxed smile that had taken her time and effort to put back on his face. He was such a handsome man, and he was a great husband and father. He took care of her and made sure that Oren had everything he needed. Their son was happy. He had two parents who loved him, and he was growing in a safe environment.
Vincent motioned her to join them outside and she nodded, running off to their bedroom to find her warmest clothes, which were way in the back of the closet. It hadn't snowed in Edge for nearly three years now, since the year Oren had been born. She pulled on her snow clothes and boots and pulled on a warm hat that Shera had knitted for her. Every member of Avalanche had one in a different color. Yuffie's was a forest green and she loved it. As she made her way out into the cold afternoon, she could hear Oren babbling about the snow on his nose and asking his father if he could eat the snowflakes.
"Why didn't you two wake me?" she asked as she rubbed her hands together, trying to keep the warmth in them.
"You looked peaceful while you were sleeping. Oren woke me first and I told him to let you sleep longer," said Vincent as the child wrapped his little arms around his neck and hugged him tightly. "We had cereal for breakfast and then we came out here to enjoy the snow."
Yuffie smiled and kissed Oren's cheek, noting the rosy color on the cooled flesh. "We can't stay too much longer out here, it's too cold," she said as she rubbed at his cheeks to try to warm them. "Hey! I have an idea of something we can do before going back into the house," she said happily.
"What?" asked Vincent suspiciously. Yuffie usually had the strangest ideas of anyone he knew. He remembered that she had tried to wrap ribbons around his entire body the year before during Christmas. Thankfully, he had been bypassed in favor of a very drunk Cid and Barret, passed out on their couch because the gang had all been visiting them.
Yuffie threw herself onto the still soft snow and stretched her legs and arms out wide, moving them up and down like a window wiper. "Snow angels!" she exclaimed as Vincent gave her an annoyed look. "Come on Vince, are you scared of getting ice in your hair?" she teased.
"I wanna make an angel!" said Oren as he made his father set him on the ground.
Vincent watched his wife and son play in the snow, moving their arms and legs almost comically. Yuffie smiled up at him. "Come on Vince, don't be such an old guy. Get down with us in the snow and have some fun!"
Oren tried to rise from the snow, but he fell back heavily. "Please poppa?" he pleaded, using the exact pout that Yuffie had and had taught him how to use to get people to do anything he wanted.
Why was he such a doormat for his wife and son? Vincent wondered, laying down in the cold snow on the other side of Oren as he proceeded to move his arm and legs halfheartedly. Yuffie suddenly sprung to her feet and ran for the house. "I have to use the bathroom. I'll be right back!" she called when Vincent lifted his head to frown at her. She didn't really, but she wanted to get her camera to catch this moment of Vincent making snow angels with their son. Really, could she have asked for a better father-son moment? As she found the small camera and stealthily walked back outside, trying not to get spotted too soon. Oren was giggling as the soft clumps of snow kept falling and landing on his cheeks.
Vincent was looking at Oren with a slight smile, his arms and legs spread out wide as he watched the innocence and happiness the small child gave out with no effort at all. A series of flashes blinded him for a few seconds before he spotted his wife taking pictures of them both. He sighed; he needed to hide that thing somewhere she wouldn't be able to find it. She had gotten him in several candid shots already that she was placing into a family photo album that included images of them before their marriage, some of the wedding, her pregnancy, and several of Oren as he grew throughout the months and years.
He stood from the snow with ease and pulled Oren easily out of the hole they had dug themselves into. He picked up the boy so that he could see his tiny snow angel next to his mother's. Yuffie snickered next to them and pointed to Vincent's angel. "Why does it look like it has horns?" she asked him.
Vincent shrugged. "Maybe because I'm no angel?" he asked her.
"You may not be, but let's not discuss that now. I think you may have placed your head in your footprints and that's why it looks like your angel has horns. Don't they look great, Oren?" she asked the boy.
"I like poppa's," he replied, hugging his father and shivering slightly.
Yuffie nodded and offered Vincent a smile. "See, he likes yours too." She took the opportunity to flash another picture when Oren wrapped his arms around Vincent's neck again for warmth. "How about you two go back inside and change clothes while I make us some hot chocolate?" she offered.
"All right. Don't take too long," said Vincent with a slight smile, kissing her smoothly before walking into the house with their son.
Yuffie watched them go and looked back at the snow angels with a grin. Her life had changed drastically from what it had been five years before, traveling alone, being away from her family and friends, trying to pretend that she wanted to be on her own. Returning to Edge had been the best decision she had made. Vincent had let go of his past to be with her, to make her happy, and to give her a beautiful son. Lucrecia was nothing but a memory, far away from his mind. He had proven it to her time and time again. He was at peace with himself and it made Yuffie happy to know that she had had something to do with it.
Despite what Vincent said, he was her angel. He had saved her during the Deepground incident, and then when she hadn't had any place to go afterwards, he had given her a reason to stay in one place. He loved all that she was and ignored the annoying little things she did. He had thought that she had been the one leaving her socks in random places around the house, but that had been Coco's doing. He knew how to get into her sock drawer and dragged the sock along wherever he went, leaving her with one missing sock and with Vincent finding them everywhere. She still watched her soap opera's and her cartoons, but now Oren sat with her to watch the kid shows as they munched on dry cereal with marshmallows. She often wondered if Vincent felt as if he had two kids instead of one.
They had their ups and downs just like every other marriage, but Yuffie was happy to say that they had more ups than downs. Vincent was a hard man to get angry, but he had his moments too. Most arguments were the ones that she would start when she was beyond tired or PMSing, but also, she'd be the one who usually apologized first. As the wind began to pick up and the snow fell heavier, Yuffie made her way back into their home, pulling off her boots by the back door and placing them on top of a few rags that Vincent had placed under his and Oren's boots before. They were already dressed and sitting at the kitchen table, sipping on hot chocolate.
"I didn't take that long, did I?" she asked them.
Vincent just nodded and handed her a cup of hot chocolate after she pulled off her hat and jacket. Oren was sipping carefully at a small cup in his hands, topped with whipped cream. She took a sip and placed it on the table, moving to wrap her arms around Vincent's waist. Though she loved the way he made the hot chocolate, Vincent was stingy when it came to the whipped cream in her cup. Something about her getting too hyper when she had too much whipped cream. Please, she was the Great Ninja Yuffie, she could handle her sugar.
"What were you thinking about for so long out there?" he asked her.
Yuffie laid her head against his chest, content to just listen to his heartbeat. "I was just thinking of what you said before you came in with Oren. Even though you don't see yourself as an angel, you really are. You gave me my life back. You let go of your past in order to love me, and to love Oren. You may not be able to see it, but you're a great man," she murmured. "You're my angel."
Vincent just stared into her eyes before leaning down and kissing her fiercely. He grabbed her around the waist and pulled her easily onto the counter he had been leaning on to kiss her more easily. She pulled back breathlessly, looking for their son, but he wasn't at the table anymore and she could hear the TV was on in the living room. Yuffie turned back to Vincent and pressed her hand to his cheek. "I may not tell you often, but I'm so happy that you're in my life and that you put up with me. I never thought that love could feel like this," she whispered before kissing him.
He smiled against her lips and threaded his fingers through her hair. "Hmm… I put up with you because I love everything that you are," he whispered as she giggled and hugged him.
"Even my pet ferrets that you say hate you for no reason?" she asked in amusement.
"Even the rats that pretend to like me only when you're around," he replied.
"You know, by our next anniversary, I know what I want you to give me," Yuffie said, pulling back to look him in the eye.
Vincent nodded once and ran his thumb across her cheekbone, realizing once again how much Oren really looked like her. "What's that?"
"I want you to give me another baby," she murmured with a small smile.
He looked at her and smirked. "I think that can be arranged," he said before kissing her again.
The snow continued to fall outside the window, but Yuffie was too busy at the moment to even notice the beautiful scene right behind her. Despite all that Vincent had done years and years ago and what he had been, she loved all that he was because he could see past all her flaws and love her despite them. Not many women could boast about having the best husband in the world, but she could. He did almost all she asked of him without hardly any complaint at all, only to see her smile. She was one lucky ninja. Aside from all of his good qualities, Vincent was a very good kisser.
She had a great husband, and a wonderful son. They were her angels. What more could she really ask for?
Well, how was this one? I hope everyone liked, since I wrote it much like Strawberry Kisses, meaning that it had little dialogue and more of the character's thoughts. Was it okay? Enough fluff? Not too boring? Feel free to let me know if you'd like. Anyway, thank you very much for the reviews for my last fic, and since most of you voted for a sequel, I wrote it and it turned out much longer than the first. Can anyone else imagine Vincent tending to his son in the middle of the night?
I couldn't really come up with another name for Vincent and Yuffie's kid in this one too, but I like the name I chose. As for Cloud and Tifa's kid, I know it's cliché and all to name him Zack, but can you really picture them naming their kid something else? I can't, so I guess that whenever I write a fic with them having a boy, he'll be named Zack. Once again, thank you for your time and ignore the typos and grammar errors for the time being! See you guys and have a great weekend!
P.S. Sorry to say, but there won't be a sequel to this fic! .