Author's Note: A small distraction. I kind of like this piece. It's short, it's angsty. I have more of these on the way, ps. I might just stick them into the same story as this, so I don't have drabbles wandering aimlessly through FF. net.

Comments would be appreciated. I like it- but I can see places for improvement. Steer me in the right direction, if you would.


When he came home… and what a funny thing home is… when he came home, easing himself through the screen door at Tifa's Seventh Heaven, trying with every ounce of effort within him to keep the thing from squeaking on it's hinges, it was she who found him first.

The first thing he noticed was her eyes. Lilac and grey, like precious stones: welcoming and comforting simply in the familiarity. He had to look deeper to find the emotion, and he was slightly taken back at what he found.

She had not moved. She sat on a stool at the bar, half swiveled and her body twisted to look at him. He had not moved. As soon as he saw molten amethyst in the darkness his attempts at silence were shot and he let the door swing shut behind with a screech and a clatter, because the aforementioned emotion had rendered him immobile.

She had been crying. That much was obvious. Whether it was homesickness, exhaustion, bitterness, sadness, or as he most feared, worry, he could not tell. A glass was sitting on the bar in front of her, the crystal shimmering in moonlight.

Beyond red scratchy eyes however, lay the answer. Sorrow, despair, but as he both suspected and hated, worry lay precedent. It was quickly replaced, however: half with something akin to relief, and half with something startlingly similar to fury.

"Vinnie."

His palms were sweating. Her voice was so soothing. He gave in to the urge to close his eyes and savor it. "Yuffie," he replied, belated.

"So you made it back, finally, huh? Good, I guess this means I can go to sleep now. Been waiting up for ya, ya see."

His eyes snapped open. "I beg your pardon?"

One corner of her mouth curled up in a rather sardonic smile. "Yeah, yeah. All night. All week. How many weeks?"

His heart pounded in his chest. Three. He did not need to say it, he had a feeling she knew quite well. "Yuffie…"

She was already sliding off the barstool, approaching him. "Sorry Vince, I gotta do this," she said, wearily wiping at the dirt in her tired eyes. She reached out, grasping for him. Her hand connected with the cool steel of his gauntlet and she gasped loudly, eyes shooting to his face. "You are real."

He blinked, brow furrowed.

"You would not believe the number of times imaginary Vincent has walked through that door."

He wanted to scoop her up and take her away: Away to three weeks ago, where the hurt couldn't touch her.

Her hand hadn't left his gauntlet until that point, wherein which she drew herself away from him, nodding acceptingly. "Well, thanks for saving the world, Vinnie. Thanks for not dying. Thanks for coming back." She paused and turned toward the stairs. "I was so worried."

He grabbed for her, but she slipped away.

…As did the barstool, and the walls around him. Yuffie's unfinished glass did not, but grew, revealing a woman encased within, hands clasped, head bowed.

"I'm so sorry."

Three weeks since Omega, and this was where he was. She was close, he could almost smell her perfume, but a dead woman could not comfort him, especially when his comfort was required to ease the hurt of knowing his heart lay elsewhere, in scary and unfamiliar territory.

Crimson eyes strayed from the suspended scientist, and he heard her laugh. Her. Which her? Both laughs could make his heart soar, his blood rush, his stomach sink. One laugh could bring him to tears, the other make him want to fly.

He didn't blink. He didn't speak. He didn't move. He didn't pick himself up and go back to where he belonged—back to her.

She was so worried.

She was so sorry.

So was he. He bowed his head and clasped his hands. So, so sorry.


Author's Note: You know what to do. It's the responsible, proper thing to do. Vincent would be proud.