Author's Note: Thanks for the patience, and the reviews. I'm actually not pleased with this at all, haha. Feel free to rip it apart, it only makes me try harder next time. There are typos and things, I'm sure, so don't bother to point them out. Uhh what else is wrong with it? Oh yeah, I get rambly when I should be focussing on the pure hotness of Yuffentine Shmex. Sorry. End is kinda nice though.

She sat on the toilet seat lid, knees up to her chin and her ankles crossed, her arms circling her legs. Decked out in only Vincent's shirt she found herself feeling unbelievably cold as the sweat on her skin began to cool; a condition she was invariably unused to dealing with without Vincent's arms wrapped protectively around her, shielding her from the icy drafts of the ShinRa Mansion. On the counter next to the sink her cell phone sat, a red light blinking in the top right hand corner. She swept it up immediately, flipping open the screen and sighing thankfully when the name "Tifa Lockheart" flashed before a text message appeared.

"What do you mean, 'Vinnie's a jerk-off'?"

A scant smile touched the ninja's lips and the snapped the cell phone shut again. Within a brief number of seconds the phone started to vibrate and a familiar ring tone cracked the silence of her bathroom retreat. The phone snapped open again and she raised the speaker to her ear, waiting.

"… Yuf?"

"Hey Teef," she replied, her voice lacking its usual excitement to hear the voice of her best friend.

A moments silence on the other end betrayed Tifa's perception. "Uh… how are you?" she asked tentatively.

"Oh fine," Yuffie lied, but they both knew her fib wasn't very convincing.

"What is all this about Vincent, Yuffie?"

The ninja sighed. "Teef, have you heard anything about some horrible conspiracy by any chance? Are there any creatures running around unchecked? Has Sephiroth come back in remnant form again?"

"Woah, woah, woah, Yuffie. What are you talking about?"

"You know, tall guy, long hair: really crazy bangs. Tried to destroy the planet?"

"I know who Sephiroth is, Yuffie. What I don't know is why he has anything to do with Vincent, or you for that matter."

Yuffie's forehead connected with her knee as she sighed wearily. "Thing is, Teef, I don't know myself. He came home today."

"Wait, what? Sephiroth?"

"Vinnie, Boobs: Vinnie. Pay attention."

"Well you're kind of jumping all over the place." The woman on the other end paused briefly before continuing. "Is he safe?"

"Not a scratch on his body," Yuffie sighed, ignoring the suggestive chuckle from Tifa. "Yeah, yeah, he was well searched." She could almost see Tifa raising her eyebrow.

"You're usually more… cheerful… after…"

"After Vinnie comes home?" she substituted, knowing Tifa's real meaning. "Yeah. Usually. But like I said, Tifa, he is the biggest of dick-wads and I really feel like just… just…" She thrust her arm out, her fist connecting with thin air. "Punching him in the gut!" Her chin dropped back down to her knee as she frowned.

"What did he do?"

"It's more like what he didn't do," Yuffie corrected. "I still have no idea where he was for most of the past month."

"He hasn't told you?"

"He says he couldn't tell me where he was going, or how long he would be gone, or what he was doing, because he didn't want me tagging along. Stupid jerk thinks I can't take care of myself."

Tifa hushed her. "That's not true, Yuffie. He cares about you, that's all. He doesn't want to see you get hurt: ever."

"But he's allowed to run off by himself and get into god knows what kind of trouble? Teef, he was there by himself: not even Cloud knew where he was. I wish I could just get up the nerve to go back in there and yell at him, or apologize, or just kiss him."

A silence settled around them, broken by another of Yuffie's forlorn sighs. "Dilly dally shilly shally." They both recited. A little chuckle cleared the air.

"I was so angry with him, Teef. Not because I didn't get to go, or because he didn't tell me, but I was so worried! I called him every day and each time I got his voice mail. I almost thought listening to that would make me feel better: at least I'd hear his voice, right? But then I remembered he couldn't figure out the damn phone and the entire thing is me telling him how to record his own message."

Tifa laughed.

"He never contacted me for three whole weeks except for one measly little phone call this morning: if you can call it that."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean he didn't even say hello. He just muttered 'today' and expected me to assume he was coming home. Lucky thing I did or he'd have seen me vegged out in his boxers eating peanut butter from the jar."

"I don't think even I wanted the mental image of that, but thanks…"

Yuffie's feet left the toilet seat and dropped to the ground, the ceramic tile making her even colder. "I should have just shut my trap and had just been happy to see him. We wouldn't have bickered, I wouldn't have… Ugh Teef, I'm so damn stubborn."

"News flash?"

"Stop teasing me, I've just been humiliated by Mr. I Art Better Than Thou Vinnie, and I don't need you to add to it."


"I don't want to talk about it."

"I think you do, Yuf. Why else would you have called me?"

Yuffie snorted. "For the simple fact of not being able to complain to Vince about Vince."

"That's never stopped you from doing it anyway."

"Well it's never gotten me into this much trouble before."

Tifa's hesitation was obvious, even over the phone. "Yuffie, he didn't…"

"No!" She jumped to her feet as she screamed it, glaring in the direction of her phone. "Tifa how could you?"

"Well Yuffie, the way you describe it is as if it's the end of the world or something. I just wanted to make sure I didn't have to kill him."

"Vincent would never hurt me, Teef. He may drive me crazy, but he'd never…" her voice broke at the thought.

"I know, Yuf, I know. I'm sorry. Listen, my cell is going to die. I think you should talk to Vincent, but if you need to, call me on the house phone."

Yuffie smiled slightly. "He's pretty annoyed with me right now, Tifa, I think I'll wait until morning."

"Want to switch phones?"

"Nah, you go to bed. At least Cloud still likes you."

Tifa's soft sigh preceded her words. "He likes you, Yuffie, he's just afraid to show it."

Yuffie's smile turned bitter. "Goodnight, Tifa."

"Night, sweetheart."

He had pulled on a pair of pajama pants not long after she disappeared: the cold draft in the room just too much to handle. He had considered crawling underneath the blankets, but it seemed sacrilege to do so if Yuffie was not with him, so instead he donned the plaid flannel, removed his gauntlet and retreated from the cold silence of the bedroom to the kitchen. He wasn't sure what he was looking for when he got there, but the mild displeasure upon seeing it empty enlightened him to the fact that he had hoped Yuffie would be there, preparing herself a bed-time snack as she so frequently chose to do.

The refrigerator hummed, but there was otherwise no life, unless he counted the something green that was apparently taking over whatever was in the Tupperware container in the back. One of Yuffie's creations, he guessed, poking at it absently. He pulled the whole thing out and sniffed it gingerly, before tossing it out (container and all) into the garbage. If anyone used the dish again he certainly wouldn't eat whatever was inside.

His feet led him out of the kitchen and down another hallway and before he knew what he was doing he was on his way to the library, Yuffie's next favorite haunt excluding their bedroom. Of course, she wasn't big on books, but there was an enormous cushioned arm chair sitting directly in front of a decently sized television, where on rainy days she could find herself lost in for hours. When he arrived the library had a lived-in look.

Said chair was home to a pile of blankets and pillows, so many it was a wonder she could sit there herself. A TV table had been pulled up to its side and on it were a couple of empty beer bottles, a martini glass and a bag of pretzels, half of which were still in the bag. He neared the chair hesitantly, but picked up a couple of the pillows with the intent of putting them away. Underneath the pillows he caught sight of purple fuzzy slippers: Yuffie's favorite. "It looks like she lived down here," he muttered to himself.

"I did."

He set the pillows slowly back on the chair and glanced over his shoulder at Yuffie, who was standing (distractingly still half dressed) in the doorway. "You'll get sick, eating junk like this," he muttered, flicking the bag of salted snacks.

"I did."

He 'hn'd' quietly. Apologize already, it called to him. Since Chaos had been removed it was taking a lot of work to stop ignoring the little voice in his head. Chaos' ideas were often miss guided and selfish, and its constant presence had all but silenced this smaller one. It was his conscious, apparently. He could remember it from when he was a Turk. The voice had been squashed into severe remission because of his work, but now it was slowly gaining precedence for once in his life.


"I never sleep in our bed when you're not here," she said suddenly. Her amethyst eyes held his for a brief moment before her gaze fluttered away. "I come down here and sleep in my chair."

His eyes widened slightly. "Every night?"

She nodded. "I'd never sleep if I had to lay in that bed alone."

"There are other rooms here, why on earth a chair?"

"Too close to the same thing."

"You must have spent some time at Cloud and Tifa's, didn't you?" When she shook her head he took a step toward her, asking why.

"What if you came home, Vince? I didn't know if you'd call first. I didn't even know if your phone was with you."

An image of his cell phone screen with eighteen missed call messages haunted his mind. That was only a week into his disappearance. "I was…"

"Hey, don't, okay Vinnie?" She was tired and upset, but despite this she was trying very hard to return to her normal self. She'd do it for him: she'd do it because he deserved to have his Yuffie now that he was home. "I'm just happy you're here now. "

He sighed softly. "Yuffie, I'm sorry."

"I said stop."

He hung his head in defeat. "Let's go to bed."

She swayed over to him, dragging her tired feet a little bit. With every once of energy she had left she stood up on her toes and kissed his lips very gently. "Goodnight," she whispered, slipping past him and sliding into the armchair.


"Yeah Vince?"

His eyes raked over her, offended. "What are you doing?"

Her hand dove beneath the blankets and produced a remote. "Watching a movie. I'll sleep down here so I won't wake you when I'm finished."


The ninja arched an eyebrow silently at him, and he felt the head-on collision of her intentions like a brick wall.

"You're still upset about…"

"Not that," she uttered sharply. "That was my own fault. I'm largely embarrassed and somewhat offended, but I was all but asking for it. I'm not angry about that."

His eyes closed briefly. "Yuffie, I am sorry I was gone."

She laughed. "Vincent, I'm used to you being gone. Its part of what we do; who we are. Sometimes I have to go away, and that's fine; but you always know where I am, because…" she fidgeted slightly. "Well I figure you care, and would want to know. Do you not think I care, Vincent?" Her eyes locked on his. "I care more about you than anything in the world."

He was silent. What was he meant to say, anyway? "I care about you too" sounded lame, and he knew that wasn't what she was looking for. Drawing his fingers through his hair, he sighed. "You understand why, don't you?"

She stared at him. The obvious type that just sang: "Vincent, if I knew why, I wouldn't be asking you." "From what I gathered," she began, her eyes still on his face, "you were concerned that I would follow you." He winced, realizing how much it seemed that she was being treated like a mere girl, unable to help herself. "I am coming to terms with this," she said, surprising him. "It's like… you kinda like me, right? I mean, you don't want me getting knocked off by some beasty in the hills."

"Yuffie," he droned, barely suppressing an eye-roll. "I more than kind of like you."

She looked away, caught between pleasure and confusion at the statement, and then looked up at him, searching for clarification. "If you do, why didn't you call? Didn't you miss me?"


Her eyes mirrored her misunderstanding.

"I thought about calling you every day."

"But you didn't," she deadpanned.

"No, I didn't," he acknowledged. "I couldn't think of what to say. More than anything I just wanted to hear you breathe." His eyes shifted away from her as her expression changed to something akin to mesmerized. "Deciding that this was not enough reason for which to base a phone call, I restrained, choosing to simply listen to that ridiculous voice-mail message you recorded on my phone."

Her jaw fell slack slightly.

"Of course, by the time I had something worth saying to you, my battery was dead and I had to wait until I could find a receptacle to charge it."

"Find a receptacle? Geeze, Vinnie, where were you, the desert?"


She stood, folding her arms over her chest, causing the shirt she was wearing to inch up on her bare thighs. His eyes were immediately drawn to it and he felt a shiver run up his spine.

"So how did you call me this morning?"

"Reno's phone."

"Reno was there?"

"Reno and Rude came to find me when Cloud sent out an inquiry. The help was much appreciated. I suppose I have you to thank for that," he said, forcing his eyes back up to her face.

"So the Turks can help you, but I can't?"

"Yuffie we've been over this, I didn't want you to get hurt."

"I'm a member of AVALANCHE, Vincent. I've saved your life!" She stepped closer to him, her hands now balled in indignant fists at her sides. "How else do I have to prove myself to you?"

He knew he should tell her that she had proved herself enough times to be worthy of anyone's recognition. He should have told her that if it had been anyone else's decision she would have been the first person chosen to investigate. He should have explained that it was his care for her that was fogging his common sense. But he didn't; instead the gunslinger grabbed her hand and yanked her closer to him, his lips colliding with hers.

At first she withheld, small mewls of protest trying to escape her throat while the dark man's tongue invaded her mouth; but the woman's defenses were soon distracted, her arms circling him and sliding over the smooth contours of his bare back.

Suddenly, with a force not uncommon with the ninja, she tore herself from him and glared demonically. "What the hell are you doing?" she cried. "I just get finished telling you again that I'm super annoyed, and you go around kissing me again. What, didn't you get what you wanted last time? Oh wait, that was me!"

Heatedly he dragged her back. "Yes, it was you, which means we're still not finished."

She snarled. "Like hell I'm going to be humiliated again. The only way you're getting anymore of this ass is if you drag me up there and rape me."

His fingers grasped her hips, pulling them against his own; his arousal making her shift nervously.

"You wouldn't dare," she breathed, trying to take a step away. His hands held fast.

"Wouldn't I?"

She knew he wouldn't have to. She was already backing toward the chair, the elastic of his pajama bottoms caught in her hooked finger. She saw the little gleam of victory in his eyes when she began to unbutton his shirt from over her chest, and gave him a stern look. "Just because I'm hot for you, doesn't mean I'm not mad. I still think you should have told me where you went."

"I agree, I should have, ideally; but ideally you would have listened to my request that you stay here rather than come with me. We both know we do not have an ideal relationship."

Yuffie's lip curled in a snarl. "Why is it so awful to consider me going with you?" she asked, sitting on the arm of the chair, her knees parting as one of his hands slid up the bare expanse of her thigh, while the other cupped her face gently.

"Not awful, Yuffie," he said, his voice hushed. "I had thoroughly considered all of the… perks… of you accompanying me."

Yuffie could not hold back a breathy laugh. Cloud had stopped sending the two of them places together, because their missions were being increasingly delayed by coitus expeditions, rather than monster termination. Vincent blamed Yuffie, and she accepted the blame heartily, for the sake of Vincent's image, but she they both knew he was equally at fault.

"Is that the reason then?" She asked. "You know, it's your fault I'm such a whore in the first place."

He drew her fiercely into his arms. "You are no whore," he uttered fervently. "Speak no such thing."

She suppressed a laugh, for as he said this, his hand spread her legs farther apart, his fingers grazing her slit that was once again slick for him. She pulled the waist of his flannel pajamas down, revealing his burning erection, and took him hot in her hand. "Was that the reason?" she asked, her voice shaking.

His hips bucked toward her as she wrapped her fingers around his girth. "No."

"I don't believe you."

He captured her lips once more and met no resistance as he positioned himself at her entrance. She shifted her hips as she perched in the chair and moaned into his mouth as he entered her, wrapping her legs around his hips. Her arms, still garmented in Vincent's shirt, wrapped around his shoulders as he lifted her, his hands underneath her as he positioned her more comfortably.

Their kiss broke with shaky breaths, and Yuffie found herself looking down into Vincent's eyes from this unfamiliar aerial height. She was bottomed out on his shaft once more; the familiar feeling of wholeness and completion engulfing her like it consistently did. "Perfect," she whispered, reminding him orally of what he was already thinking.

He always kept his little obsessions to himself: watching her sleep, stealing her towels after she had showered so he could dry them and use them himself before they were washed, and things of the sort, for he simply assumed she would not understand. Frankly most of them he had a hard time of figuring out himself: such as why on earth he should find any pleasure in listening to a pathetic excuse for the voice-mail message instead of calling her and hearing her real voice. Yet he kept these traditions, rituals and oddities close to him, but none so close as this.

When they had first been together, it had almost been a joke. He was physically worn and tired, and she had been injured after battling a creature from the hills that had ventured dangerously close to Edge. She had saved his life that day, and it was then that all of the accumulating attributes of the Wutai Princess became clear to the gunman. He had grown to crave her bubbly attitude, he missed her when she was gone, and it never escaped him how devoted a person she was, even if it was shown best only to him. He made this clear to her as they set out on the AVALANCHE commission, but as she stared dumbly at him (out of both shock and elation) the monster appeared and proceeded to kick both of their asses, almost destroying Vincent before Yuffie took a hit meant for him and his bullet finally dealt a devastating blow.

Her self-sacrifice had been too much. He had held her tenderly, like a tiny glass object that might break if he touched it too brashly. Their kisses were light and often off-target; too exhausted and too mesmerized to care. He had entered her with unrivaled caution, his heart breaking at the prospect of hurting her any further. He winced when he broke her maidenhead, but through the pain she gripped tightly to his shoulders, urging him on. His manhood settled within her as far as she could let him, and indeed as far as he could go.

"Vinnie," she had gasped. "We fit so perfectly!"

She had uttered the word again. "Perfect." It struck a chord in his heart, that: the prospect of actually being able to produce such a sought after trait with all of the sin and the stains on both of their lives. She was once the White Rose of Wutai, a woman taught politics and violence from the day she was acknowledged as heir to the throne. He was a Turk, born and bread into diplomacy (lies) and taught everything from defense (warfare) to preventative measures concerning the safety and best interests any of the Shin-Ra information or staff (murder). The thought that together, and only together could they achieve perfection was oddly satisfying, and each time they made love he made a point of acquiring that kind of sanctity, no matter what.

The moment washed over them both, each gazing at each other, each knowing and wishing they knew what the other was thinking at that very second.

He hadn't noticed his feet were carrying them away until he set her on the desk, laying her back as his hands moved over her abdomen, pulling his length from her and slamming home again, holding her thighs as he did so.

Yuffie's eyes crossed as the sensations that were so much stronger and more vibrant than when they had been tainted by her anger and frustration. The thought of her earlier plight brought the question at hand back into her thoughts. "Well Vincent," she uttered, her voice broken as her fingers gripped to the edge of the desk, trying not to let a stack of papers get pushed over the side. "What was your… reason for…" she gasped loudly when he pushed the full length of himself into her, leaning over her trembling body to kiss her breasts. The hand not clutching the desk wound its way into her lover's hair, encouraging him as he maneuvered himself into the desk as well, his body pressed flush against hers.

His mouth was close to her ear now, and although he did not answer her questions, she could hear the small murmurings that were uttered from his lips as he began his rhythm within her once again.

"So warm, so sweet, my princess; my princess."

In response she let a shuddering breath out passed his ear.

"Sweet Yuffie, Levaithan, gods. The sins, they flee: they flee when I'm inside of you."

Her fingers dug a little deeper in his hair. "Vincent?" The brokenness of his voice frightened her, but she hadn't much time to dwell, for his words began again; much briefer, much more strangled and sounded more like sighs that actual speech. "So tight, so sweet: My Yuffie."

Her body moved in tune with his, arching and writhing with his every thrust. He angled her upward slightly, snapping his hips with more force as he watched the tell-tale signs wash over her face. Her eyes fluttered closed, her knuckles turned white where they held the desk. The muscles around him clenched tightly and her jaw tilted backward. Crimson eyes, half lidded, watched her as the first waves of her orgasm hit her like water on rock: A small whimper; a rigid body; pant, pant; "Vinceennt!"

He struggled to pull out of her before her contracting muscles brought him with her, but quickly replaced his member with two probing digits, prodding at her most tender spot as she rode wave after wave of pleasure. Her body would relax and his finger would find the place again, sending her over the edge once more.

She lay panting, finished, gazing at the ceiling in complete rapture. When it seemed possible for her to form words, her eyes shifted to Vincent, and over her heaving chest she spoke; "I still hate you right now."

He had gotten off the desk, and now grabbed her hips, dragging her to him, and gathering her up in his arms. "I know," he whispered, his lips grazing her collar bone as once again her legs wrapped around his waist and her arms clutched at his shoulders.

She did not protest when he carried them into their bedroom, laying her sweetly atop of the blankets, his hands running over the sweat-slicked contours of her body. "We are even now, yes?" he asked quietly, lying on his side next to her, his eyes roaming her still dreamy face.

She exhaled loudly as his hand cupped her breast, a breathy 'yes' embedded in its midst. "But I still expect an explanation."

A soft smile touched his lips, and he leaned over her, kissing her with a tenderness he rarely displayed. With Vincent, affection was shown in passion, in devotion, in steely resolve and fierce protection. He was a gentleman in public, but not a lover until they were away from their peers' eyes; it was then that the passion he always showed in battle was unleashed, and on nights like this night, that passion came across in a war-like manner.

Yuffie was happy for the change in attitude, hoping that with it came some compliance on his part. She wanted to know where he went: she wanted to know why he went, and most of all why he felt she was unsuitable to come with him. She knew he cared for her protection and that he wanted her to be safe, but to her, these things simply did not add up.

The kiss was long and slow, inciting new passion in them both. Sacrificing his completion the last round, for the sake of Yuffie, Vincent's urgency was magnified tenfold, but under their new truce, he withheld, his advances slower and softer than their previous bouts of desperation.

Yuffie's hands held him close to her as he hovered over her body. She wanted to feel every inch of him, touch every piece of skin exposed to her. His pajamas were discarded, his arousal pressed between then as she kept him close, her hot kisses and breath on his shoulders and neck. Her fingers ran over his muscles finding the familiar scars left behind from Lucrecia's and Hojo's experiments, the roughness of the injured tissue bringing stinging tears to her eyes. It always amazed her, when he held her in his arms and whispered the soft encouragements into her ear that a man covered with so many physical reminders of his past could possibly have anything left to give her. She damned Lucrecia on a frequent basis, even though Vincent begged her to forgive, as he had. Yuffie still held an undying bitterness, however: the woman had never really loved Vincent. No, not like Yuffie did.

The thought brought her ministrations to an astounding halt. Her eyes which had once been half lidded and glazed, widened with sudden clarity. She shifted their gaze from the bed canopy to Vincent's face, which was looking at her with an expression of confusion fogged with lust. His garnet eyes focused on hers and they simply stared at each other for what seemed like ages.

"Now you know," Vincent whispered.

"What?" her voice was carried away by her breathlessness and shock.

"That look," he explained. "The way you look at me in this very instant; that sudden clarity you're feeling right now."

"What about it?" She tried to hide it; she tried to shove it away: it was scary, it was too much.

"I had that look."

Her eyes widened more. Could he possibly know what this look really meant? Was it so obvious? Could he read her thoughts? If he knew, was he telling the truth? She knew he cared for her, bit did he…

"About a month ago, do you remember?" He paused to leave a gentle kiss on the corner of her mouth. "You came home from a fight…" he lifted himself slightly in order to see her stomach where four evenly sized scars marred her skin. "I was afraid you'd drown in the bath if you went by yourself."

Yuffie remembered. She had been bleeding profusely, and the wounds were bound to get infected if she did not clean herself up. Vincent had gone with her. He stripped her of her clothing meticulously and got into the tub with her, resting her back against his chest. She had been disgusted with herself, tears in her eyes as her blood dirtied the water around them, staining him with her impurity. She was tired and afraid, and had missed him while she was away, and so the tears did not easily stop, even as he dried her off and knelt to wrap her wounds. When he had the bandages tied, something had changed. His usual assertive self dissolved, and instead of whisking her to bed to rest, his arms circled her, and pulled her to him, his face planted in her stomach. Her sobs had returned, and her fingers clutched his hair.

He did not need to finish the story himself; the look of understanding in her eyes was enough to assure his point had been made. "I couldn't save her," he said softly. He braced himself, for usually when he spoke of Lucrecia Yuffie's defenses sprang up like a stone wall. Her fingers instead touched his lips, distracting him from finishing his statement.

"But you can still save me," she whispered. The tears that had previously clouded her vision returned as her eyes darted back and forth from each of his. "Vincent, I…" She gasped suddenly, pressing her head back into the pillows. He had entered her swiftly and without warning, the full length of his shaft sheathed in her moist passage. Hands that had nothing to hold groped for something to hang onto: one found his bicep, the other clutched at the strong muscles of his back.

The gunslinger's movements were slow and torturous, both to him and the woman writhing beneath him; her gasps and moans whispering past his ear. Each thrust was coupled with a shock of pleasure, the intensity like nothing either of them had ever felt before.

Yuffie was having severe difficulty discerning one sensation from the next. Her mind was full of thoughts needing to be thought, but Vincent's glorious body was making it nearly impossible to separate them long enough to dwell on anything. But under the surface of passion, her heart was singing and weeping and laughing all at once. How could she have not seen this before? Why was it that all of the sudden, all of her concern, care and compassion was directed at one person: one person she would put above herself, no questions asked. How long had this been going on? How long had she actually been in love with Vincent Valentine? She could only safely reply that she had no idea; that today was truly the first day it really occurred to her.

It had been his intention to ignore the feeling entirely. What they had was good enough; he loved her and she might as well love him in return. He pretended it did not bother him that she considered him a very close friend and a sex fiend, but she never said she loved him. So when it hit him so blatantly over the head that his heart had actually been ensnared by another woman's clutch, he kept it to himself, promising it would not get in the way.

When it came to expel the creatures from the caves in the hills, he kept that to himself too, but would never admit to himself why. In truth he was clinging to the prospect of atonement, or of completely selfish self-preservation. Lucrecia's downfall had filled him with darkness, but what he shared with the scientist was lukewarm compared to the inferno that burned for Yuffie. If he were to lose her… His lips captured hers in a desperate attempt to dispel the thoughts, his thrusts driving at an increasing rate.

When she came home from the fight, blood pouring from open wounds he felt the threat like never before. They had never said their relationship was anything close to permanent, it was just a matter of convenient circumstances until one or the other felt it was necessary to go. He had promised himself he would not fall for her, for he could not possibly take another Dr. Crescent episode in his life. Yet, even as her wiles and charms wrapped their clammy fingers around his heart, he had never truly feared her leaving him. He didn't know why: perhaps it was her child-like simplicity, or her fierce devotion, but she would never choose another man over him.

Death, however, was a circumstance he had not considered until he had seen her in such bad shape.

She couldn't say she hadn't noticed a change in him. Not some two days after she sustained the injuries a meeting was held in Edge and the members of AVALANCHE gathered to hear Reeve's WRO reports and his prognosis on the pest reduction problem. Things were looking up: Deepground had been purged, their information and files downloaded into the world wide network for the history books. Omega and Chaos had returned to the Lifestream, and other than the creatures that still lurked in forests, caves and jungles, the planet was in pretty good shape. Why, then, did Vincent look like the ground he was standing on could crumble beneath him at any given moment?

Yuffie whimpered beneath him, his slow and deliberate movements drawing such delightful feelings from her, but the tense little ball in her stomach was not finding any relief. "Harder," she panted, rewarded instantly as he bucked forcefully.

Lightheadedness was sweeping over her; she could feel herself being carried away with every move he made, and she desperately clung to him: the only reality in the spinning room around her. His whisperings had begun as she started to slip, and she hung on ever word uttered as a link to the deepest depth of his mind and heart. The Wutaii poetry fell from his lips with ease, in an accent nearly as flawless as hers. "Let me draw you into myself."

She tried to let him. She really did. She did everything physically possible to allow him to suck her right into his soul, but alas the physics would not permit. Time and space seemed to erode into nothing. How long had he cradled her in his arms? How long had she known she had loved him? How long had it been since he came home? It didn't matter: all of it was worthless and weightless. Their bodies collided as though they had been lovers for centuries: perfect rhythm, perfect friction, perfect heat; yet it felt as innocent and fresh as their first time.


Her fingers clutched tighter at his back and she bit down on her lip.

"Yuff—" His head was yanked down to hers, locked in a kiss as deep sounds echoed in the back of each others throats, the moans and whimpers growing stronger with every thrust.

He broke from her lips, gasping her name once more, his eyes half lidded in concentration. "Yuffie, how…"

"So close," she gasped, her nails dragging over his skin. "There, yes. There. Oh my god." A tremor shot up her spine. It was the first of many shooting spasms of pleasure that erupted in her core; the walls of her passage clenching tightly around him. She sucked in strangled breath after strangled breath as the shocks overwhelmed her, his name whispered in her futile attempt to obtain air.

His once powerful strides grew weaker; his head bent low over hers as he crumbled against her and with a final thrust spilled himself into her, her name a harsh grunt from his lips.

She was still whispering his name as he lay collapsed upon her, her soft breaths whisking across his hair. "I'm so sorry, I'm sorry. Oh Vincent. I'm sorry."

He weakly pressed his lips to whatever bare patch of skin was available to him, hushing her with gentle touches. "Shh, princess. It's all right."

The fog of her passion was slowly fading, and the thoughts that had once struggled to gain attention over the heat of her lover's touch now flooded every corner of her mind. Slowly her hands slid into his hair, whimpering as is own arms circled her lovingly. A gasp echoed in the silence as she fought to breathe, a choking feeling settling in her chest as tears filled her eyes. "I love you," she whispered, her voice desperate and shaky. She pressed a kiss to his temple. "I love you, I love you, I love you."

Vincent's soul sang at the sound of it, and his arms tightened around her. "Forgive me, Yuffie," he murmured, kissing a bit of her exposed neck. "I should have told you. I should have known years ago. I was blind, so blind." He very carefully disentangled himself from her, and after drawing them both under the covers, held her tightly to him as gentle tears rolled down her face.

"I feel like such a fool," she laughed, the sound tangling with a sob. "I am so happy that I cry, and so…" her eyes searched his for a moment. "Vincent, are you afraid?"

He took a moment to take in her countenance, his expression grim. Finally, his eyes traveled back to meet hers. "No," he replied. "I did not believe that… She had my heart… I was a… but you…"

He did not need to complete his sentences, Yuffie comprehended him perfectly. She had asked herself the same things and come up with the same answers. Could he ever love after Lucrecia? She had stolen his heart so young and proceeded to crush it, leaving him a very broken man. But she. But she was that consistent presence, that youthful laugh, the gentle touch, the open affection. She pried him out of his shell, and even if he crawled back in around other people, when he was with her he willing came out.

"You love me despite of these things, and you strive to break down every wall you face." His rolled onto his back, bringing her with him to rest on his chest. "You won't leave me," he whispered, almost too soft for her to hear.

She did not need to affirm this. She let out another breathy sigh and snuggled into his embrace, marveling at how simple things seemed to be now. All of her anger toward him was due to her love for him, and the things he did to anger her were done out of his love for her. Love was where they collided, but as he held her tenderly, enveloped in the warmth of his body, she decided that the collision was worth the ache.


Author's Note: It is finished. Lemme hear what you think, please. I love to get feedback. I've already got another Yuffentine rolling around in my head, so we'll see if I can't get that one started soon. Encouragements may help with this!