"Yuffie? Are you there?"
"Tifa? What's up?"
"You wouldn't happen to be anywhere near Nibelheim, would you?"
"About a day away, as the Shera flies. Why?"
"Apparently, Vincent's been seen in the area."
The other line was silent for a long time. When Yuffie finally replied, she sounded as if she was shaking from barely repressed anger.
"He promised he'd stay away from there! We made him promise!"
"I know. Could you go and get him, please?"
"With pleasure." A click signified the end of the conversation. Tifa stared at the handset for a while, smiling slightly, before moving off to open the bar. If anyone could…persuade…Vincent to remain in the land of the living, it was Yuffie.
Yuffie spurred her chocobo onwards, eyes shining like gimlets, her teeth a solid wall of enamel, and a thousand words whirling in her brain.
Most of these words had been taught to her by Cid.
What is his deal? I told him what would happen if he ever went back there…
The entire AVALANCHE crew were sitting around the Cosmo Candle, feeling very pleased with themselves. Meteor had been averted, Sephiroth was thin slices, thanks to their Illustrious Leader, and the world had been saved from certain destruction.
Of course, since the destruction had been averted, there was a lot of speculation as to exactly how certain the destruction had, in fact, been. In the coming weeks, the members of AVALANCHE would accordingly find that many institutions were remarkably tight with anything other than praise.
But, for now, they basked in their glory, and the heat of the Candle. There was a lot of small talk being made, along the lines of their respective plans.
"So, Barret, what's next for you?" Nanaki asked, as he lay sprawled by the fire.
"I guess I gotta go back to Corel, pick up the pieces." He seemed a little uneasy. "I gotta say, though, the way things are in Corel right now, it's no place for Marlene." He stared into the fire, and said no more.
"What about you, Red?" Cloud asked.
The quadruped turned and looked at his leader. "I suppose I shall remain here. These canyons need a protector."
The man nodded, and looked to the right of the fire, where Vincent was being pestered by Yuffie. Again.
"Tifa, help! He won't promise not to go back to that freaky mansion!"
Tifa turned, and scowled. "Vincent, don't you think that that's a little unhealthy?"
"Vinnie!" Yuffie glared at him. "Raise your right arm." When no such action was forthcoming, she grabbed his right arm and hefted it skyward. He offered no resistance.
"Now, repeat after me." She cleared her throat. "I, Vinnie, do solemnly swear not to go back to that freaky mansion."
"Vincent, I think that she's right. It's not healthy for you to lock yourself in that coffin."
Vincent took a moment to wonder whether or not Tifa ever listened to herself. That had to be one of the strangest sentences he had ever heard that hadn't issued from the White Rose of Wutai.
He chuckled internally at the mental image of coffins bearing the Surgeon General's warning: "Warning! Not Intended For Use On The Living! May Be Hazardous To Your Health!"
As he tuned back in to the Yuffie Show, he realised that she was still waiting for him to speak.
"Fine. I won't go back to the Shin-Ra Mansion."
"Vinnie!" Yuffie barked. Well, yipped, really. "You have to promise!"
With a long-suffering sigh, he elaborated. "I promise I won't go back to the Shin-Ra Mansion."
"Good." Yuffie smiled sweetly- always a sign that she was up to something. She leaned in close to him, and despite himself he leaned back an incalculably tiny amount at the invasion of his personal space. "'Cause if you do, and I find out you're in the box again, I'll burn the building to the ground. If I'm in a good mood I might let you out first, but don't count on it."
She nodded, satisfied, and turned back to the group.
And now he's just gone back again? Stupid bastard. Wish I had a megaphone…
It was the middle of the night when she arrived at the supremely creepy town. Seriously. This town was like twelve on the Corneo scale.
She rode through the town and pulled up outside the dilapidated mansion. Hefting the Conformer, just as a precaution, she made her way to the gate.
She was quite surprised when she ran smack into a red-cloaked back. He seemed to be fiddling with something on the ground, but Yuffie wasn't in the mood to notice fine details.
"Vinnie!" she hissed. "What the hell do you think you're doing back here? Didn't you listen to me? I told you I'd come and kick your ass if you even thought of it, and…" she trailed off as it occurred to her that Vincent was still preoccupied with something that closer inspection revealed to be wires. Wires trailing from the recesses of Vincent's cloak to the doors of the Shin-Ra Mansion.
"What is that?" she asked as he produced what looked like a small black pen shaped object, with wires attached to the bottom and a red button on the top. Her gaze was drawn to a grey block at his feet, and she stooped to examine it.
She frowned. "No, it looks like Semtex to me…" she paused as Mr. and Mrs. Ears told Mr. Brain exactly what Vincent had said. "Wait, what do you mean, 'closure'?"
Vincent depressed the button.
Well, what do you think? I was forced to write this after reading some of the works of Pen Against Sword. Damn you, PAS, damn you. The question I put to you is: would you like to see this continued? I'm perfectly happy to leave it as a oneshot, but if you want I can add a plot somewhere. It's up to you, and the Plot Bunnies, of course.