A/N: So I came up with this while I was listening to the new album by Louis XIV, Slick Dogs and Ponies. Their new single, the first song on the tracklist, is called "Guilt By Association" and the words go something like this: "Don't have to do the crime, to do the time--it's guilt by association."
I'm not sure why, but it made me think of Vincent and Yuffie, and I realized that I hadn't written a one-shot for them in a while, which (as most of you know) I rather enjoy doing. So here you go, only, for a change, it's from Vincent's third-person POV, as opposed to Yuffie's.
Writing Vincent losing his temper is such fun.
Vincent really didn't know how he got himself into these types of situations.
Then again, when he thought about it, being friends with Yuffie Kisaragi probably did not help things. Maybe that was why he was currently in the Junon Prison, sharing a cell with Yuffie and a man who was staring at them like they were winged spoons. Other than the three of them, there was no one to be seen. Even the guards seemed to be absent. Besides the man who had first thrown them in with grim satisfaction, no one had come by. Vincent had the funny feeling that they had been placed in the darkest, coldest cell in the prison and that it was the furthest away from any sort of human company.
Which made sense, really, considering the mess they'd gotten themselves into. Or rather, the mess that Yuffie had gotten herself and Vincent into. Vincent just seemed to be along for the ride with Yuffie, no matter what they were doing. She was like a tidal wave—there was no stopping her destructive force once she set her sights on a destination.
Yuffie was currently trying to dig her way out of the cell with her fingernails, but Vincent was fairly certain that that would not get her very far, considering the whole place was made of six feet of poured cement and reinforced steel. The prison in Junon was world-renowned for being the most heavily policed and hardest to escape from, with the Corel Prison coming in a close second.
"Damn, I can't believe they took my shuriken," Yuffie muttered, scraping fruitlessly at the wall.
"You're going to make your hands bloody," Vincent said. He was sitting on the only bench in the room, staring at the wall in front of him like it was the most interesting thing in the world.
"Well, it's not like you're doing much to help the situation, Vincent," she snarled, scratching at the stone with renewed vigor. She squealed with pain and stuck her fingertips into her mouth, making audible sucking noises.
"Soon they'll give us our one call," Vincent said.
"So we can get in touch with someone."
Vincent sighed. "I'm going to call Cid. Maybe he can come bail us out."
"You actually think Cid will pay the bail on this?" Yuffie asked disbelievingly.
"You don't think he will?"
Yuffie snorted. Vincent declined further comment.
"You gonna eat that?"
Vincent turned to the man in the corner who had addressed him. "What?"
"I said, are you gonna eat that?" he repeated impatiently, pointing at Vincent's hair.
Vincent stared at him blankly. The man glared, huffed, and crossed his arms. Yuffie did not notice the exchange.
"Vincent, if you hadn't started shooting at those guys, we wouldn't be here, you know," Yuffie suddenly said after a long moment of blissful silence. Vincent sighed.
"If I recall correctly, Yuffie, you are the one who attempted to tackle Rufus Shinra."
"Yes, but you fired the gun."
Vincent glared at her. Yuffie did not recoil. Yuffie was good at many, many things, and one of those things was withstanding the power of Vincent's glare.
"Don't you try that crap with me, Vincent," she said. "You know that doesn't intimidate me anymore."
Vincent knew that, and sometimes he regretted it, while other times he did not. On the one hand, he had problems communicating with people (Yuffie liked to call him socially retarded), so being intimidating was the best way to keep others away from him. That way, he never had to deal with awkward situations like the one he was in now. On the other hand, it came in handy to have someone around who didn't run screaming when he forgot himself and accidentally tried to shake hands with his razor-sharp gauntlet. Especially when dealing with irate people whose fingers he had lopped off.
Vincent eyed the man in the corner opposite him, who was studying Vincent's hair like it was something delicious. He wished the guards had not found every single gun on his person. Even the one in the thigh holster. Oh, that had been unpleasant.
Just as Vincent was flexing his hands in preparation to fend off the greasy man sharing the cell with them, a guard appeared. He sighed in relief.
"You," he said, gesturing at Vincent. "Come make your call."
"Vince, who're you gonna call?" Yuffie asked.
"If it's Cid, I think we—"
"Get a move on," the guard snarled. Yuffie crossed her eyes and stuck her fingers in her ears, but the gesture seemed lost on the stoic man.
Vincent followed the guard out into the hallway with the phones.
Twenty-four hours earlier
"Y'know, I think we should go to Junon."
"Why?" Vincent asked.
"Because I heard there's a parade going on there," Yuffie replied. "And this mansion is super boring. In fact, you're super boring. I think I need to take you out so I can hang you over the clothesline and beat the dust out of you."
"I've seen old ladies do it with rugs."
"Yuffie, why are you here?"
"Why do you keep asking me that, Vince? It's been four months already—you'd think you'd get tired of asking."
"Don't you have a country to run?"
"Bah, I like this stuffy old mansion better than my stuffy old man, so get over yourself and let's go to Junon. We haven't gotten out in weeks now."
"We are not going to Junon."
"We so are."
And when Yuffie set her mind to something, she always got what she wanted.
"What the fuck do ya want?" a gruff voice barked into Vincent's ear.
"Cid," Vincent said.
"What? Vincent? That you, buddy?"
"Yes. Cid, I am in need of your assistance."
"Oh, no, I see where this is going. Yuffie again, ain't it?"
"Please, Cid, I will explain later. I only have four more minutes to talk to you."
"Where the hell are you, Vince?"
Vincent sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose with his uncovered left hand. The guards had taken his gauntlet when they admitted him and Yuffie. "I am in Junon Prison."
Silence from the other end.
Vincent held the phone away from his ear for a few moments, wincing as the seconds on his one time phone call ticked away.
"Are you done yet?" he asked.
"Hold on a damn minute," Cid choked, gasping for air. After a few more choking breaths, Cid rasped, "Okay, I'm good. Now, I'm guessin' you want me to come get yer sorry ass?"
Vincent cleared his throat. "Not only that, but we will need someone to assist us with bail."
"How much is the bail?" Cid asked with an apprehensive note to his voice.
Vincent told him.
"What the fuck did you do, Valentine?"
"Well, it wasn't something I did, per se, but something Yuffie did."
"Oh, man, guilt by association. That's what'll get you in the end. So gimme the details before you—"
"Time's up," the guard said.
"I'm sorry, Cid, but my time is up. Please send assistance." Vincent hung up the phone and followed the guard back to his cell.
Twenty-three Hours Earlier
"Yeah, sure, I can drop you off in Junon. Luckily, they have a landing strip there, and I just love to fly so—"
"Sure, sure, can we get on with this, please?" Yuffie asked impatiently, downing several tranquilizers and swaying dangerously in her spot. Vincent briefly entertained the notion of knocking her over the head and dragging her back to the mansion, but knew she would just wake up and still want to go to Junon, parade or not. Yuffie was just that way.
He had a bad feeling about this trip.
"Pardon my friend's rudeness," Vincent said to the pilot, attempting to smooth his now-ruffled feathers. "She gets airsick very easily, and as a result, is cranky when faced with air-travel."
The pilot nodded in understanding. He was a redheaded, freckled individual with a crooked grin and a Gongagan accent. "'Aight, I understand. Anything for members of AVALANCHE."
"How long's this gonna take?" Yuffie grumbled.
Vincent tried one last time to convince her otherwise. "We don't have to do this."
"Yes, we do, Vincent. I want to see the Moogle Parade."
The pilot piped up. "It'll take about four hours from here to Junon, ma'am."
"Okay, let's get this show on the road," Yuffie said, hopping into the tiny aircraft and buckling her safety belt. Vincent made sure his cloak was secure and followed her.
"So? Any luck? Who'd you call?" Yuffie fired questions at him in rapid succession.
"I tried Cid."
"Is he coming?"
"I don't know."
"You don't know?" Yuffie sneered at him.
"That is a lot of bail."
"Yeah, and we all know you don't have any money, Vinnie. Otherwise you woulda fixed up that smelly mansion ages ago."
The guard showed up again and gestured at Yuffie. "Time for your phone call."
"Yuffie, I suggest you try calling Godo."
"What?" she screeched. "That old fart? No way, Vince! No freakin' way. He'll just give me hell."
"He's the only person we know that could pay this bill, Yuffie."
"I am not calling Godo," she stated firmly, leaving with the guard.
Vincent, in a moment of rare outward emotion, cursed under his breath. "Dammit."
"I'm tellin' you, man," the dirty guy in the corner said, "if you're not gonna eat that, it's only fair that you share. Being greedy ain't cool, man, ain't cool at all."
Vincent ignored him.
Nineteen Hours Earlier
"Yuffie, there is only one bed in this room."
"It's the only thing we could afford."
"Yuffie, you are the next in line for the throne in Wutai."
"Therefore," he said, trying to remain patient, "you are very rich."
"That's all Godo's money, Vincey. I earn all my money the hard way."
Vincent stared at her. She stared blankly back, not sensing anything wrong with this. "Godo does not allow you to use his money?"
"No, I don't allow myself to use Godo's money. That's one less thing I have to depend on my old man for, and one less thing he has to keep me tied to him."
Yuffie constantly proved herself to be deeper than she appeared.
"Let's go get drunk, you old fuddy-duddy."
And yet she always managed to shatter the illusion.
Yuffie returned with the guard close behind. He practically slammed the door behind her.
"Did you get in touch with Godo?" Vincent inquired.
Yuffie scowled. "I told you, Vincent, I am not going to ask Godo for help."
"Who did you call?"
"I called Tifa, of course."
"What did she say?"
"I couldn't get in touch with her. I got the answering machine. So I left a message."
"What did you say?"
"Eh, I can't remember," she shrugged. Vincent closed his eyes, and slowly, inside of his head, he counted to ten.
Earlier That Morning
"Vinnie, c'mon, you slow-ass! The parade starts in twenty minutes, and at this rate, we're not gonna get good seats!"
"You don't get seats to a parade, in my experience."
Yuffie stopped in her tracks, very quickly. If Vincent didn't have unnaturally fast reflexes, he would have bowled her over. She whipped around, staring at him with extremely large eyes.
"You…have been to parades?"
He stared back at her, puzzled.
"Vincent! You had a life? I am shocked!"
He narrowed his eyes at her as she turned back around and skipped ahead.
"Yuffie, it looks as though it may rain," Vincent called to her. She was not listening.
"Vinnie, I'm bored," Yuffie said. She was lying on the ground with her feet in the air. She had taken off one of her shoes, and she was currently wiggling her toes one at a time. Occasionally, she would change the rhythm of them so that they were going in separate patterns.
"Yuffie," he said, losing patience quickly. Before he could say anything else, the man in the corner spoke up.
"I'm so hungry, and you guys got so much food on you. I can smell it. Why won't you share?"
Vincent gave the man the stink eye while Yuffie looked very creeped out.
"Uh, Vince, what's he talking about?"
"I have no idea, Yuffie."
"Liars!" he wailed, pointing at them. His eyes were unnaturally large. "It's right there! You're holding it in your hands."
Yuffie looked down at her hands, puzzled, while Vincent inched towards her, uncomfortable around the man, as strange as he was acting.
At the Parade Earlier
"Woohoo! I love moogles!" Yuffie yelled over the din, waving a handful of bead necklaces. "Hey, Vinnie, can I sit on your shoulders?"
Before Vincent could decline her request, she clambered over his back, stepping on all the wrong parts of his body as she did so, making him wince horribly.
"Yuffie, I wish you wouldn't do that," he said.
"Invade my personal space without permission."
"Well, I couldn't see. I'm short, and you're like ten feet tall, so this only makes sense, right?" Her face came into view, upside down and giving him a cat-like grin. He sighed and she patted him on the head. "There, there, Vinnie. We'll find a cure for your terminal un-fun-ness eventually. I'm sure of it. Oh, look, is that Rufus Shinra?"
Vincent lifted an eyebrow. Yuffie had never before been all that thrilled at seeing Rufus Shinra. She had seen him before—not really a humongous thing for Avalanche, considering the amount of times that they had dealt with him in the past.
"He owes me fifty gil!"
Vincent's eyebrows shot up even further.
"That bastard owes me fifty gil! He's owed me fifty gil for, like, a year now, and he's doing everything he can to not pay me, that money-grubbing greed machine!"
"Why does Rufus Shinra owe you fifty gil, Yuffie?"
"We made a bet a long time ago about him getting Tifa to go on a date with him. I bet that he could, and he bet that he couldn't."
"Rufus Shinra bet against himself?"
"Mhm," she said. He could feel her nod, a full-body, vigorous movement for Yuffie. "He called Tifa, in his own words, a 'harpy with a stone-cold heart.' I told him that with the proper charms and graces, he could get her to go on a date."
Vincent frowned. "How in the world did you convince him to do this fairly?"
"I told him that if he didn't put real effort into it that I'd tell Tifa he's had a crush on her for four years."
"And how do you know that?"
"It's amazing what you find out when you get Reno and Elena drunk."
"Why, I even found out that Elena's been sleeping with Tseng for about eight months, and her favorite positi—"
"Yuffie, please," Vincent said, pained.
"Fine, fine. But this is juicy stuff. Don't you want to be in the know?"
"When do you have the time to go drinking with the Turks?"
"Ah, me and Elena go way back. She needed a buddy outside of the Turks, and I needed fashion advice."
"When did this happen?" Vincent was very confused.
"Don't worry about it, Vinnie. We don't want to confuse your simple mind."
She patted his head again.
"So I take it that Rufus lost the bet?"
"Yep, Tifa went out on that date with him, and he never paid me my fifty gil."
"I'll just have to get it from him after the parade."
Thunder rolled in the distance, and Vincent felt a raindrop hit his nose.
"Oh, god, Vincent, this is all your fault. We're only in here with Crazy because of you!"
"All my fault?" Vincent asked disbelievingly. He eyed the bit of drool coming out of the man's mouth. His hand went for the holster at his waist, but when it met empty air, he remembered once again that they had stripped him of all his weapons. His scowl deepened.
"Yes, all your fault! Like I said before, if you hadn't started shooting at those guys, we wouldn't be in here." Yuffie eyed the man across the cell from them fearfully. He was licking his lips and sniffing the air.
"If you weren't so insistent upon getting back your fifty gil, we wouldn't be in here. I was just trying to protect you."
"Protect me! Vincent, I can protect myself. If I needed your help, I'd have asked for it."
"You were about to be pumped full of lead, you stupid girl," Vincent growled, losing his temper.
"Don't call me stupid!" she exclaimed, turning the full force of her glare on him. "I am not stupid!"
"You do not do a good job of showing it," Vincent shot back.
"You jackass! I could've defended myself from those guys! I had the situation under control!"
"If you hadn't insisted we come to Junon for the Moogle Parade," Vincent said sneeringly, "then this wouldn't have happened."
"Look, it's not my fault that staying in that mansion for twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week is stunting to my mental health!"
"I did not ask you to come stay in my mansion and invade my personal space, Yuffie. You are the one intruding upon my domain." Vincent glared at her, and was surprised to see her actually flinch.
"Is that really the way you feel, Vincent? Am I that much of a bother to you?" Her eyes flashed. "Well, it's your fault we're here because you're so completely boring!" she shouted.
"If I'm so completely boring, why do you insist on being in my company every waking moment of every single day?" Vincent almost yelled.
At the Parade Earlier
People were starting to disperse as the rain came down in earnest. Fat drops were hitting Vincent in the face, and the parade was tapering off as the crowd sought shelter from the damp. Vincent wanted nothing more than to go back to the hotel where it was dry, but Yuffie had other plans.
"C'mon, Vince, I gotta get my fifty gil!" She grabbed him by the cloak and started pulling him through the crowd. He could have resisted, having superhuman strength and all, but he had a bad feeling that if he left her on her own, Yuffie would blow up the town or something to that effect.
"Yuffie, is this really necessary?"
"Yes, it's necessary! This is a matter of pride and sportsmanship, Vinnie! I need that fifty gil!"
"Do you really?"
"Well, Rufus Shinra doesn't need an extra fifty gil, that's for sure! That joker has enough money to buy all of Gaia. Besides, I could be buying stuff with that! I'm poor."
"Yuffie, you're the Single White Rose of Wutai. Your father is the Emperor. How could you be poor?" Vincent asked, rolling his eyes. The downpour was torrential now, and he was soaked to the skin.
"How many times have I told you, Vince? I don't use Godo's money. That's just one more thing for him to hold over my head."
"Fine," Vincent sighed.
After knocking many small children over and (he suspected) stealing their Moogle dolls and stuffing them in her clothing (if her now enormous breasts were any indication), Yuffie pulled him to their destination. Rufus Shinra was at the landing and take-off strip at Junon's small airport, and he was walking toward the staircase to get into his private jet. He was surrounded by bodyguards, all of them heavily armed. Vincent supposed this sort of security was necessary for a man with as many enemies and as much money as Rufus Shinra.
Before they could cross the street and enter the airport gate, a car sped past in the rain, showering Vincent and Yuffie with clods of thick black mud. Vincent idly wondered if he could be any more miserable, but then remembered that, unfailingly, every time he thought those words, situations involving Yuffie Kisaragi managed to get worse.
And according to his Turk instincts and his bad feelings about the trip, things did manage to get very worse indeed.
Yuffie, redder in the face than he had ever seen her, screamed back at him. "Because I like you, okay!" Immediately after saying that, she clapped her hands over her mouth, looking mortified.
Vincent, his brain abnormally slow after all the things they had gone through in the past twelve hours, continued to yell, partially unaware of what, exactly, he was saying. "You like me? You like me?"
"Yeah, what about it! What did you think, Vincent?"
She stared at him as he continued to blurt things out, seemingly not in control of himself, but reveling in the strange weight that was lifting off of him as he said these things. How long had he thought this?
"I think you're beautiful, you're a tease, you're intelligent, and you're a thief! You constantly steal my stuff, you never leave me alone, you never stop talking, you're always getting into trouble, you make me worried all the time, and you don't respect my personal space. You're the most infuriating person I know!"
Yuffie found her voice and shouted back, "Well, I think you're the boring-est, smartest, oldest, sexiest, scariest, funniest, and mysterious-est person I know! You're always telling me to go away, but if I go away, you'll just go back to brooding, and I can't get you out of my head, so it's like my biggest goal in life is to make you smile, but you never do that, but I like you anyway! Why can't I get away from you, Vincent!"
They both stood a few feet away from each other, panting heavily and wide-eyed. Vincent had never felt so emotionally unshackled in all of his days, and at the same time, all he wanted to do was curl up and take a nap. On top of all that was the craziest urge to grab Yuffie by the hair, turn her over the only bench in the room, and—
Earlier at the Junon Airport
Covered in mud and unrecognizable, Yuffie sprinted toward Rufus Shinra, heedless of the guards who were surrounding him and currently cocking their weapons at her.
"Rufus!" she yelled over the rain. Vincent doubted he could hear her. "Rufus Shinra, you owe me fifty gil, you cheap bastard!"
"Halt!" one of the guards yelled. "Come any closer, and we will be forced to fire!"
Vincent knew what was coming next because Yuffie the Tidal Wave had set her sights on fifty gil, and she was chugging on toward trouble. He reached for the Cerberus and sprinted after her, leveling it at the guards.
Just as shots rang out, Vincent tackled Yuffie to the ground, feeling bullets whiz over the top of his head. They both skillfully dropped into a roll on the wet ground. As Vincent brought his gun back up and fired a few rounds off in order to disable some of the men, Yuffie, quicker than lightning, skidded over the wet asphalt and took Rufus Shinra out at the ankles. Several guards made grabs for her, but none fired, too afraid to harm the former President of Shinra.
Vincent, weaving in out of confused bodyguards, heard Yuffie shout, "Rufus, you owe me fifty gil, and I'm here to collect! Nobody shortchanges Yu—"
That was all she got to say before a bodyguard leaped on her, tackling her off of Rufus Shinra, who just looked very confused. It struck Vincent that the former President should have recognized who they were by now, but then he realized that they were both still covered in mud from head to toe. With his cloak sodden and Yuffie looking like the Creature from the Northern Crater, there was no way Rufus would be able to know who they were through the pouring rain.
Vincent realized that retreat was the best option at this point, but he had to make an attempt to get to Yuffie. There was nothing he could do, however, as three men at once leapt upon him and forced his face into the ground. He heard gasps and shouts, and he figured that after the gunshots, a crowd of some sort must have formed.
He sighed as he felt handcuffs placed on his wrists.
Vincent was eyeing the bench against the wall with renewed interest when Yuffie jumped on him and smacked him in the face with her chin. He supposed that she was attempting to kiss him, but that was only after she managed to shove her tongue in his mouth. All in all, it was not unpleasant. He couldn't remember the last time he had kissed a woman, and Yuffie smelled very good. And oh, she had the most interesting way of sucking on his tongue—
"THAT'S IT! IF YOU GUYS AREN'T GONNA SHARE THEN I'LL JUST HAVE TO TAKE IT FROM YOU!"
Yuffie screamed as their other cellmate landed on them in a painful tackle, knocking the wind out of Vincent and her, if her gasps were any indication.
"Get off me and quit ruining my moment of triumph, you freaky fucker!" Yuffie snarled, attempting to kick him off of her. He had her pinned to the ground, and his drooling mouth was getting perilously close to her exposed face.
Vincent aimed a kick at him, but then the man turned his sights toward Vincent. Spit dribbled down his chin grotesquely.
Vincent grunted as the man's full weight hit him, then grunted again as Yuffie's was added to the dogpile. She was attempting to help, he thought, but she was not doing a good job of that by beating on the man, who was pulling at Vincent's hair.
"Vincent Valentine and Yuffie Kisaragi, you're free to—what the flying hell?"
"Holy shit, Valentine, do ya'll need a moment alone or somethin'?"
"Oh, my goodness! What's going on? Oh, dear, Yuffie, what have you gotten yourself into this time?"
"Yuffie? Yuffie, what are you doing? No daughter of mine will make a fool of herself on national television, and then throw herself at men with such promiscuity! Get off of him this instant, Yuffie Kisaragi, or I will disown you! Again!"
Vincent paused in choking the man above him to look at their sudden audience. Tifa, Cid, Godo, and the guards were standing there with various looks of shock, horror, and anger on their faces. Godo was turning purple as he shouted something unintelligible and Wutainese at Yuffie.
"Could someone," Vincent grunted, "give us a hand here? Yuffie, you're not helping." Despite his superhuman strength, the long day, combined with Yuffie's weight and the willpower of a man who was obviously out of his mind, made things a little difficult for Vincent to handle at that moment.
"I didn't come all the way up here to see you in a threesome with the brat and some random-ass hobo, Vince. That's some gay shit, and I—"
"So, what are we gonna do now, Vince?" Yuffie asked, snuggling up into his side. They were finally on the airship, on their way back to Nibelheim to drop off Vincent.
"I suppose we should go to Wutai so we can work off the enormous debt we now owe your father for posting our bail."
"Say, how'd he know we were in jail?" she slurred, the tranquilizers dampening her nausea but also serving to make her slightly doped.
"He says that the 'attempt on Rufus Shinra's life' was being broadcasted over every major news station on Gaia."
"Oh. Well, we don't need to work off the debt. He's my dad and all, even though I don't like to admit it sometimes. I guess we'll drop you off at the mansion, and I'll…go back to Wutai or stay with Tifa or something," she said hesitantly.
"Yuffie," Vincent ventured, suddenly cautious.
"I would like it if you would come back to the mansion with me."
"You would?" she asked, trying to sound disinterested. "I don't know…"
"Why should I?"
"Because I like you very much, as well."
Yuffie grinned up at him sleepily. "Do I have to keep sleeping in that dusty old room?"
Vincent considered it. "You could, if you wanted, try sleeping with me."
"I talk in my sleep."
"You talk while you're awake as well."
"I have horrible allergies to boredom."
"Then we can try to fix the amounts of boredom in the house," Vincent mused.
Yuffie gasped. "Vincent! Was that a joke? A bad joke, but a joke, nonetheless! There might be hope for you yet. I guess I'll have to stick around and see if we can get any more like those out of you."
"Like those?" he asked skeptically.
"Okay, well, better than those, but now I have to stay with you. It's a matter of honor."
"All right," Vincent agreed as Yuffie curled further into his side.
Vincent thought about it, musing about Yuffie Kisaragi setting her sights on something. When she wanted it, she got it, and he had a feeling he was committing himself to lots of trouble in the future.
He also had a feeling that he might actually enjoy a bit of trouble, as long as it included Yuffie.