Prepare for sappiness and fluff. I hope this last chapter wasn't too choppy or OOC, and that it made at least some sense. Enjoy!
Warning: Adult situation, nothing explicit, but bypass if you're uncomfortable or not old enough. You've been warned!
Princess of Thieves
Back at her home, in her room, the tears seemed to be on an endless streak. Her eyes burned, and she was feeling a little nauseous, but nothing mattered because of the emptiness she felt in her heart. She stared out of the window as she lay in her bed. Rain began to come down in torrents and the soft pattering against the window lulled her a little, making the tears slow down as she hugged the stuffed cat Vincent had won for her a long time ago, during their Gold Saucer trip.
Giving a last, hiccupy shudder, she closed her eyes and nearly set to tears again at the image of Vincent walking away from her that flashed through her mind. "Asshole," she muttered out loud. She couldn't believe what a coward she had been for not telling him about the baby. What a coward he had been for turning and walking away from her.
She had taken the risk to get her heartbroken, but Yuffie knew that it would've felt worse if she hadn't done anything to try to stop him from leaving. Now at least, she could think that he had at least gotten a measure of what she felt for him, even though she hadn't said the words he had wanted to hear from her. She was so caught up in cursing herself and him, that she didn't see the person approaching her quietly from behind. Yuffie felt the bed shift but didn't turn; she had been wondering when Tifa would come to her room to comfort her. "Stupid bastard, can't even tell when a girl loves him," she muttered under her breath.
"Maybe if you said the words once in a while the stupid bastard would believe you a little more," said a deep voice from behind her.
Yuffie recognized him instantly, whirling around and trying to mask the fright he had just given her by glaring at him. She was a ninja damn it! She wasn't supposed to get caught unawares, even when she had assumed that Tifa was the one who had approached her. Instead of jumping into his arms, she slapped him.
Vincent started at the pain that exploded on his face and glared right back at her, his eyes narrowed and filled with angry fire just for her. "What was that for?" he snapped.
Tears trailed from Yuffie's eyes as her glare fell. "You left! You walked away from me!"
"You kissed another man and then tried to play it off as nothing when I didn't see you push him away or look disgusted by it," Vincent countered.
Yuffie huffed out a breath and looked away from his burning gaze. She turned her back to him and took the position she had been in before he had snuck up on her.
"Would you… prefer if I left again?" he asked her softly, holding his breath and not daring to make any sudden movements, lest she decide that she didn't want him back after all.
"No…" she said after a long moment. "Don't go." Yuffie knew that if she pushed him away now, things between them would never be right. She was so tired of resentments and revenge. She was tired of hurting every time she realized that Vincent wasn't at her side. She just wanted to let herself be free and happy. Yuffie's eyes closed in sensation as his arms came around her and pulled her back into the warmth of his chest. "Why did you stay?" she asked softly, her breath shuddering out as his lips settled on the spot where her neck met her shoulder.
"I stopped the pilot just as he was driving down the airstrip," he admitted. "I tried to catch up to you, but you have always been faster than me. You're a one of a kind ninja," Vincent said quietly, nearly burying his face in her hair. He had missed holding her, feeling her wonderfully sweet scent surrounding his senses. How had he believed that he could live without her?
Yuffie had to smile at his words. Her smile quickly fell though. "You turned away from me and left," she said, voice catching in a sob.
Vincent's arms tightened around her and he turned her to face him. "And I'm sorry," he said, staring into her watery eyes. "I stayed for you," he said, answering her first question. "Because I couldn't bear the thought of not seeing you ever again. Despite our differences, I enjoyed the time we did live together as a real couple. I just… I didn't want to hurt you anymore and I convinced myself that walking away from you would be the best course of action. But when I did walk away from you, it felt like I was leaving my heart—everything I was—here with you. Besides, you couldn't even tell me that you loved me yourself. What was I supposed to think?"
"I didn't hesitate because I wasn't sure about what I felt for you. I hesitated because I was thinking about how our lives would change once I said the words to your face, without some catastrophe lurking to rip the words from my throat." Yuffie's hand came up to rub his still red cheek. "Sorry, I kinda got carried away," she murmured, leaning up to kiss the skin gently. She watched as his eyes closed with the contact, and before she could lose her nerve, she leaned forward to brush her lips against his.
He answered the press of her lips, but didn't take more from her. Vincent wanted things to be different this time, if she decided to give him a second chance. His fingers combed through her silky hair and his eyes opened as she pulled away, her eyes searching his intently. He knew what she was looking for. "I love you," whispered against her lips, drawing her into another gentle, chaste kiss.
She smiled a beautiful smile. A smile that set his heart beating fast in his chest as if it wanted to burst out and go straight to her hands. But she already held his heart in her hands. She had for a long time now, and Vincent couldn't think of anyone better to give his heart to unconditionally. Yuffie looked down at their hands as he took her right one and placed it over his chest, his heart. "It's all yours if you want to take it," he said lightly.
Her eyes were beginning to brim with tears again, but Vincent saw her push them down and away for another time. Yuffie nodded and pressed her lips over the spot their hands had recently been touching. "I love you too," she finally murmured without any hesitation. She settled into his arms and together they watched the rain coming down harder, hitting her window with louder pelts. Yuffie smiled to herself. It was Leviathan's blessing, she knew.
After a long moment of drowsing in his arms, she opened her eyes when she realized that there was one more thing that she needed to tell him. First, she had only one, simple question. "Where do we go from here?" Yuffie asked quietly.
"Wherever you wish to go," Vincent said in a calm tone. "But I expect you to live with me again."
"How about… we spend some time in the Chocobo Ranch after Zack and Tifa's wedding?" she asked.
Vincent mulled it over for a few minutes and then nodded. "That sounds like a good plan. We must also call Angeal to let him know that the divorce is off."
Yuffie smiled to herself and nodded, feeling as if her heart was beginning to beat in her chest once more. When she had watched him walk away, a part of her had died in her chest. Now she felt alive again. "Vincent—" she was interrupted by his lips. And really, it was a good distraction but she had wanted to tell him about the baby. "Vincent… I…" she tried to get in between his kisses.
"I've missed you," he whispered against her lips, holding her close.
Yuffie let the tension ease from her body and hugged him back just as tightly, sinking her hands into the long mane of his hair. Though with longer hair he looked a tad more delicate, he still managed to pull off a handsome look. No one would ever truly mistake him for a woman. Especially with his height and build. Her own hands began to roam slowly, reacquainting herself with him once more. The news on the baby could wait for a little bit. Right in that moment all she wanted was to feel loved. "Who wouldn't miss me?" she asked cheekily, winking at him before drawing him down for a soul searching kiss.
Vincent just let out a relieved sigh and kissed her right back. Yuffie just hoped that no morning sickness kicked in while she and Vincent were getting down to business. It would very much ruin the moment and she was enjoying the feel of Vincent's skilled fingers on her body too much to stop now. Sighing breathily to herself, Yuffie closed her eyes and allowed Vincent to consume her, and she knew in that moment that she would finally be able to give him back all that he was offering. She wasn't afraid anymore because he would be there, in her life, for as long as she wanted him. In other words… for the rest of her days.
The wedding would be held in the massive backyard of their home. Contrary to their first marriage, this one would be a smaller event. There was a gazebo filled with white orchids and red roses where Tifa and Zack would marry, and their few guests would fill white chairs with red ribbons sitting on the green grass. The path up towards the gazebo was strewn with red rose petals, and from afar, it looked like a red carpet. Off towards the sides, were the tables for the dinner and after party, covered in white table cloths, silverware, and arrangements of white lilies.
Yuffie approached Tifa as she stood by the window, looking over the final details that Aerith had offered to help with. Though they were far away from being close friends, at least they were on speaking terms and Tifa knew that with time a friendship would be able to develop between them. From the second floor, everything looked beautiful, but Tifa knew it would look better once she was standing there herself.
"The guests are here," Tifa murmured, watching as the few close friends and close acquaintances trickled and were seated in their places. "The judge is here too," she said excitedly.
Yuffie grinned and approached the window to see what had Tifa so joyful. It was nice to see the person she loved the most in this world so happy. Her eyes were shining in her pale, beautiful face, and the dress she had on flattered her figure, highlighting her once more tiny waist. As if on cue, following Tifa's words, there was a knock at the door and Cloud stepped in, wearing a black suit with a vest the color of his eyes, and a gray tie was not a bowtie. "Ready?" he asked, smiling lightly.
"Wow, who's the handsome blond in the tux and does he have a girlfriend?" Yuffie asked, giving him a wolf-whistle that made him blush a little.
Tifa just giggled at his embarrassed expression and took his arm when he offered it. She smoothed her free hand over her dress and looked down at herself. She was in an off-white gown, with a heart shaped bust, sleeveless, and it hugged her waist and hips before flaring out from her knees and down. Her hair was in thick, voluminous waves and she was wearing a diamond chocker that had belonged to her mother and her grandmother before her. A pair of teardrop earrings that she had borrowed from Yuffie—because they had belonged to her aunt—completed her look.
They made their descent towards the backyard when Aerith called for them and told them that the guests were all present. As they stepped into the backyard of the large Kisaragi mansion, slow, classical music began to play and Yuffie took her position at the front, behind Jessie and Aerith, who would be bridesmaids. Yuffie clutched the bouquet of white lilies in her hands and started when Vincent showed up at her side and slipped her arm through his. "You look beautiful," he murmured.
Yuffie managed a nervous smile at his words. The guests stood and turned to look at them. They began to walk slowly through the trail of red roses, after Jessie and Angeal, and Sephiroth and Aerith. Zack was standing at the front of the path, looking just as handsome as Vincent and Cloud, and his eyes were all for Tifa as he spotted her when the women separated from the men. Vincent went to stand at Zack's side and he flashed Yuffie a concealed wink as she smiled and turned to look at Tifa.
She was beautiful, all smiles and a glowing, happy face. Cloud was staring at Zack, but he was smirking slightly as they walked. As they reached the front, he handed her over to Zack and they had a moment of challenging each other with stares before Tifa cleared her throat and leaned over to kiss Cloud's cheek. "Thank you," she murmured, her eyes shining a little too brightly.
Cloud touched her cheek briefly and nodded before looking at Zack again. "I don't have to tell you that I want her to be happy."
Zack felt a level of respect for a man who had known when to walk away. He nodded and held his hand out to Cloud. The blond shook it without hesitation before walking away and taking a seat with the rest of the guests. Zack turned back to Tifa and smiled at her, pulling her hand towards his lips as he led her a little higher and towards the man ordained to marry them. And so the ceremony began.
Yuffie really tried not to tune out the speech, but her mind was wandering, particularly towards her husband. The love of her life. The father of her child. A child he still knew nothing about. Her eyes met his again and she smiled softly at him, giving him a look from under lowered lashes. "I love you," she mouthed.
Vincent looked pleased and exceptionally happy to see the words coming from her mouth. He would never truly tire of hearing them, mostly because he had never imagined feeling it after Lucrecia had come into his life. The fact that another woman had captured his heart was something to celebrate.
His scarlet gaze swept over the curve of Yuffie's cheekbones, to the elegant sweep of her soft lips, and down the smooth, pale skin of her neck. Her eyes were shining in her beautiful face, and there was something different about her that he couldn't quite point out. Looking at her always managed to take his breath away, and it was mostly because he couldn't believe he had found someone that he could love with so much passion and with every inch of the heart he had thought dead to emotion. She had been the healing balm to his burnt—more like charred—soul, and he couldn't imagine himself without her now.
They both turned quickly and just in time to catch Zack sweeping Tifa into a kiss that was only a tad too intimate before the guests broke into applause. Vincent and Yuffie had been so engrossed in each other that they had even missed the rings and the vows. Yuffie hoped fervently that Aerith had thought of getting someone to record the ceremony for later viewing. Then there was a flurry of hugs and congratulations as petals of roses were strewn over everyone.
Vincent allowed Yuffie to hug both Zack and Tifa before he swept her away from the crowd and towards the safety of the surrounding cherry blossom trees—her mother's favorites, and something Godo had never forgotten—to press a searching kiss to her lips. Yuffie smiled against him and wrapped the hand holding the bouquet around his neck. She started when she felt his hands smoothing down the backs of her thighs and she broke away from his kiss. "Not here! Someone can see us," Yuffie panted, her eyes a little glazed from the passionate kiss.
"Everyone is focused on the new couple," Vincent whispered, his mouth dragging down her shoulder and towards the thin strap of her dress.
"Well… at least take us deeper towards the trees that give off a darker shade," she muttered, her hands already on the belt and button of his pants.
Vincent literally picked her up and carried her towards the shade, his eyes scanning to make sure that there were no security cameras or people around to catch them in an intimate moment. Once safely in a darker portion of the yard, he kissed Yuffie again, his teeth dragging over her bottom lip and making a delicious shiver race down Yuffie's spine. He pressed her onto a thick tree and began to inch her gown up, his mouth still plundering hers relentlessly. His pants came free and he shoved them down, his eyes only half-open as he moved lacey fabric out of the way to seek what he had needed desperately from the moment he had seen her in the simple, red dress. Vincent wondered why that particular color on Yuffie just did it for him.
Yuffie gasped into his mouth and her hands dug into his shoulders, rumpling his professionally pressed shirt as he surged forward with a choked grunt. He laid his forehead against hers for a moment and stared into Yuffie's dark eyes, almost the color of melted dark chocolate. Her own eyes took the moment to lazily peruse his face as he pulled out slowly and sunk back in with a relieved sigh.
He was a beautiful man… there's was really no other way to describe him. His long hair really did add to his allure. His slightly slanted, ruby colored eyes—the Wutain blood in him, Yuffie thought proudly—were the first thing about him that called for attention, followed closely by the long, raven colored eyelashes surrounding said eyes. His nose was straight and perfect, with an angular chin and a smooth, handsome face. And she couldn't forget his hair, the mane of soft, slightly disheveled sable; one of her favorite things to do was to wake up in the middle of the night to run her fingers through his hair while slept.
She had seen the attraction between them from the beginning and had chosen to ignore it for an immature game of power and of who had the most twisted, cunning intellect. She wondered briefly if they were on equal grounds there. Despite the drawn out mind games, neither she nor Vincent had truly won. She would call it a draw.
Yuffie smirked to herself and noticed his eyes flutter closed in sensation. Her body was quickly losing control against his and for a brief moment she worried if it was healthy for the baby. Her eyes snapped open lucidly, focusing sharply on Vincent's as his narrowed in concentration and he began to impale her in earnest. Yuffie choked back a loud moan against his neck and clutched at him for dear life.
She had been about to blurt out the fact that he needed to be careful for their baby, but he wasn't truly hurting her, nor was he being rough. He had one of her legs wrapped around his hip, holding it there with fingers digging into her thigh, while the other was settled on her behind, arching her into him at a perfect angle for her to feel every single movement of his hips.
"There will never be anyone but you," he whispered against her ear, letting go of her and bracing himself against the tree trunk as his body began to shudder.
At his words, Yuffie felt her entire world shift as her body exploded in pleasure and sensation, drawing Vincent over the precipice even before she had finished shuddering and tightening around him. They stood there holding each other for long, silent seconds, bodies shaking in the aftermath of mind-boggling release. Would it always be that way? Yuffie wondered vaguely. Her chin was resting against his shoulder, her arms around him as Vincent's face pressed to her neck, his breathing slowing. Her knees felt wobbly and Yuffie knew that if Vincent let go of her in that moment, she would fall right onto the ground.
"I'm pregnant," she whispered into his ear, even before she had a chance to really pay attention to what she was saying. Her eyes widened and she bit her lip painfully for being so… blasé about it. "Shit," she murmured, hiding her face against his shirt, forgetting her make-up and the fact that he was wearing a white shirt. Tifa had opted to leave off the blue vest for him, so he and Angeal had worn gray ones instead because the blue had clashed horribly with Vincent's garnet colored eyes. She felt Vincent stiffen slightly at her words, but he didn't draw back and for a moment, Yuffie just listened to him breathe.
Vincent was reeling as he held onto Yuffie tightly and tried to work through what he had just heard her say quietly. She was quiet against him, waiting as if she were holding her breath for his reaction. He didn't know what to feel, but none of his emotions were negative. A child. His and Yuffie's. He pressed a kiss to her temple before sliding his lips over hers. When he drew back, he cupped her cheek and smoothed his thumb over it, still aware that she was waiting for him to say something. "Is it something you want?" he asked her gently.
Yuffie felt her lips twitch and nodded, slipping her fingers over his against her face. "I was… I couldn't find a way to tell you. I'm sorry," she murmured.
"Don't apologize," Vincent said seriously, drawing her into his arms to hug her tightly. "You're… pregnant," he said, trying out the word with a small, amazed smile on his face.
"I thought that you would be angry with me once I told you. You know… for taking so long to tell you," Yuffie said, checking herself to make sure that she was presentable. Tifa was probably freaking out right about now because she and Vincent had disappeared. Yuffie knew that she'd need to make a quick stop by her room before getting back to the party.
Vincent smoothed a warm, large hand over her still flat abdomen. It did stir something in him, and despite saying that he wasn't angry with her that part of him that had allowed him to be an efficient Turk was. It was a good thing then, that he had changed a great deal, and that the good side of him—the one Yuffie had helped make—was thinking about all the possibilities for the future instead. "How far…"
"About two and a half. The afternoon at the hospital," she replied with a little smile.
He remembered that afternoon quite clearly. The hesitant touches, feeling that if he touched her too roughly, she would suddenly break, especially after all that she had recently gone through. He didn't know what to feel just yet. He felt elation, but it was a sort of serene kind of happiness. He would be a father in six and a half months. And this time he hadn't planned for it. He paused with her once they were standing under the cherry blossom trees once more. "Are you happy?" he asked abruptly.
Yuffie stared down at their entwined hands and nodded. "Yes," she said without hesitation.
"Good," Vincent murmured, leaning in for another kiss. There was the sound of a camera shutter going off, and they turned to find the wedding photographer catching their intimate moment. At the look on Vincent's face, the man quickly scampered off and left them alone.
Yuffie laughed at the expression on Vincent's face and then shook her head, feeling a great weight lift off of her shoulders. "Go back to the party, okay? I need to use the restroom," she said, beginning to draw away from him.
"Would you like for me to accompany you?" Vincent asked with a frown, reluctantly releasing her hands. Yuffie shook her head and winked before she walked off towards the house. Vincent stood watching her for a long moment before dragging a hand through his hair and checking his clothing, making sure that nothing was out of place before he walked back towards the wedding party. There was a smile on his face, and a warm feeling in his heart.
"Is it just me or does Vince look like he just got laid?" Zack asked Tifa as they made their way towards their table after greeting their guests and then having the chairs set up at the tables for the dinner.
Tifa made a face. "I so didn't need that information before eating," she muttered.
Zack just smiled and kissed her cheek. "I'll go check on Lily and Rose while we wait for the food. Sound good?" he asked.
Tifa nodded and watched him walk towards the house in quick strides. She frowned when she saw Yuffie walk out, a smile on her face. She suspected that Zack had been right and Yuffie and Vincent had being doing inappropriate things when they had disappeared. She wrinkled her nose a little, but could feel Yuffie's happiness literally emanating from her. "Should I even ask?"
Yuffie smirked, her eyes glittering wickedly. "No. But I did tell Vincent about the baby."
Tifa gasped. "And how did he take it?"
"So much better than I had originally thought," said Yuffie as they walked towards their table and took a seat. "Hey… has Zack seen Sephiroth carrying Rose?" she asked as she spotted the silver haired man sitting with Aerith, chatting quietly.
Tifa shook her head. "I guess not. He thought that the sitter was still watching both Lily and Rose. Come on, I love my shoes but they are already killing me," she said, taking Yuffie's hand and taking her to sit down. Suddenly, Tifa gasped. "Is that Jessie over there chatting Cloud up?"
Yuffie looked over and snickered. "I think it's more like a one sided conversation. I doubt Cloud is saying anything in return."
Tifa smiled. "I hope he does find someone to share his life with. He's even smiling," she nearly gushed. Cloud turned to look at them and blushed when Tifa gave him a thumbs-up and Yuffie winked at him.
"So…" Yuffie started casually. "When is the next baby on the way?"
Tifa's eyes nearly bugged out of her head. "In a couple of years!" she exclaimed. At Yuffie's smirk, Tifa glared. "Just you wait and see when the baby comes. You'll wish he or she would sleep for an entire night. Add to that midnight feedings, diaper changes, when the baby decides to throw up on you, bathing, shots, colic…"
"Please Tifa, don't hold anything back," Yuffie said, voice dripping with sarcasm.
Tifa smiled and hugged her around the shoulders. "I just want you to be prepared."
"If I got through Genesis' torture—whether by his hand or not—I can get through anything Tifa," Yuffie replied somberly.
Tifa's gaze softened as she caught a glimpse of that shadow that had slowly been receding from Yuffie's gaze since Genesis' imprisonment. "Vincent helped, didn't he?"
"Helped me heal?" Yuffie questioned. Tifa nodded. "Yes. Having him in my life has been both bittersweet and the most awesome thing to ever happen to me," she said, a smile slipping over her features and filling her eyes with contentment. The smile wilted a little at the thought of Genesis—and by default Loz—she had tried her best to return to her carefree self, but Yuffie had a feeling that it wouldn't happen, no matter how hard she tried. She was a different person now, someone different from the immature girl who had wanted revenge against anyone who hurt her. "If dad could see me now," she said quietly, her eyes suspiciously glassy.
Tifa also had to blink back tears as she nodded. "He would be proud."
"Hey… it's your wedding day. Let's not make this a sad affair," Yuffie said, wiping at her own eyes just as Zack walked over to them, Lily in his arms. The little girl was wearing a puffy red dress of her own and a crown of lilies on her little head. She was the perfect picture of adorable.
Dinner was served shortly and Yuffie was just happy that she was holding more foods down. It was the one thing that irked her about being pregnant: not being able to eat her favorite foods because of the morning sickness. After the tables had been cleared and the guests were enjoying their wine before the dessert, their attention was called towards them as a slow song began to play. Zack moved Tifa towards the gazebo, which had been cleared of anything that would interfere with their moment and he slipped an arm around her small waist. She moved into his arms with a smile and hugged him tightly to her. "I never thought this day would come," Tifa said quietly, moving slowly to the romantic beat.
Zack pressed a kiss to the top of her head and nodded. "Same here. I'm looking forward to seeing what the future has in store for us and Lily. I'm just happy that the pain is behind us."
Tifa tensed a little in his arms, but did not push away from him. "I trust you with my life, Zack, just promise me that you will never again get drunk to the point of incoherence," she murmured against his ear.
Zack nodded quickly. "I promise. I'm just… so sorry that I hurt you the way I did. All I ever wanted was to love you, and make you happy, but I had to go and screw it all up. We could've been together for a long time now," he said, brushing his lips over her bare shoulder.
Tifa smiled and slipped her arms around his neck and her fingers through his thick spikes. She couldn't wait for their honeymoon and the beginning of their lives as a married couple. "You can't regret having Rose in your life," she said, smiling at Aerith as she other woman leaned against Sephiroth.
"I don't. I just regret the way things happened," he said, eyes sad. "I'm just glad Aerith moved on and found someone to share her life with. I'm still iffy about Sephiroth being my kid's step dad, but I guess it would've happened sooner or later," he muttered.
"I think he'll manage to be a good stepfather, but he won't ever replace you as Rose's father," Tifa assured Zack. She began to giggle.
"I can't believe you said 'iffy.' That's such a girly word coming from such a manly man," Tifa teased, smothering her laughter when Zack dipped her back dramatically.
He smiled, azure eyes shining in his handsome face as he brought her back up. "Thank you, for having faith in me. I just hope you continue to believe in me until we're old and with a house full of grandkids and great-grandkids," he said with a laugh, twirling her in his arms and watching her hair and dress sway around her.
Tifa moved back into his arms and smiled. "I love you, Zack."
"I love you too, Mrs. Fair," he said. "We'll be okay. If we're together, we'll be okay."
Tifa nodded and knew that she believed him with all her heart. She had her daughter, the man she loved with all her heart, and Yuffie was happy. She didn't need anything else to be happy. "Teef?" Zack asked.
"How about we cut that cake?" Zack asked, rubbing his stomach. More laughter came from her lips and she nodded. Seeing her happy made his heart complete, Zack mused. There wasn't anything he wouldn't have done to see her happy, to see that smile back on her face. Tifa was at her most beautiful when she was smiling and he would do all that was in his power to keep that smile on her face. He was just glad that they had their whole lives ahead of them.
Yuffie stared in awe at the tiny features of the little creature sleeping soundly at her side. She had taken advantage of his nap and had taken one of her own. He was still sleeping and she was taking the opportunity to watch him. He was the perfect mix of her and Vincent. His hair was the darkest raven color she had ever set eyes on, even darker than her own and Vincent's. It reminded her of Godo's hair when he had been younger. Yuffie smiled fondly at the memory of her father. At least the grandson that he had never had a chance to meet would carry his name. They had named their son in a most peculiar way. Vincent Godo Kisaragi Valentine. Of course the boy wouldn't go by all of those names, but his birth certificate included them.
"I bet you'll wonder what we were high on when we named you what we did," she said quietly, kissing a tiny, bunched fist. She watched in amazement as the baby began to stretch and wake from his nap. Bleary, dark maroon eyes—a shade more similar to Tifa's than Vincent's—opened slowly. She would never grow tired of just watching him. He was perfect—of course, Tifa said that all mother's thought the same thing of their own babies—but Yuffie guessed that it was because he looked more like Vincent than herself.
"He looks like you. That's why he's so amazing," Vincent's deep voice interrupted her thoughts from the doorway.
From her position on the bed, she craned her head to look at him. "You're just saying that so that I don't go right to sleep tonight," she said, wriggling her eyebrows.
Vincent just smirked and walked over to take a seat on the other side of their cooing son. The baby began to kick his feet as he saw Vincent, and Yuffie had to smile at the way Vincent's eyes softened. He carefully picked up the four-month-old and held him in the crook of his arm, staring as a tiny hand squeezed his finger. "Did I hear correctly that you and Tifa are going to dinner this evening?" he asked Yuffie.
"Yeah," Yuffie muttered. "Since when do you eavesdrop on private conversations?" she asked him smartly.
"Since you speak loud enough for your voice to carry through to the next room," he replied with a shake of his head.
Yuffie just maneuvered so that she was sitting at his side on the bed, close enough to kiss him gently. "It'll be a 'girls night out' thing," she said, moving to brush her lips against the corner of his mouth, his nose, his cheekbone, and finally his jaw. "You don't mind, do you?" Yuffie looked up at his eyes when she realized that he had remained silent; he was giving her a calculating look. "Vince… have you heard about any recent robberies? I haven't had time with Vinnie around," she said, pointing at the infant in Vincent's arms.
Vincent let out an annoyed sigh at hearing the nickname that Yuffie had given their son. She had argued that he was too young to be referred to by his full name. She had a point, but he didn't like 'Vinnie' for some reason. "I truly hope that you will be going to dinner only tonight," he said.
"Hey… how come you aren't assuming that I'm seeing another guy?" Yuffie asked indignantly. The nerve of the man to automatically assume that she was off stealing something!
Vincent stood with their once more snoozing baby in his arms and settled him down in the crib in the adjacent nursery. He walked back in and in quick strides was above her over their bed. "Care to repeat what you just said to me?" he asked in a thick voice.
Yuffie smiled and wrapped her arms around his neck. "Well, if you're going to automatically assume that I'm off doing something inappropriate, why not assume that I'm off with another man?" she asked smugly, mesmerized by the dark crimson of his eyes burning into her. Would she ever tire of his eyes? Not likely. It was a good thing that Vinnie had his eyes too.
Instead of kissing her senseless, Vincent pulled her up towards the headboard, settling them down amongst various pillows—too many in his opinion—and then wrapping his arms around Yuffie's petite body. "I was just kidding," she muttered, tracing patterns on his chest with the tip of her finger. "You know that there's never been anyone but you. Of course, I'm not counting the guys I dated before you. You'd be surprised of the characters I—"
Vincent silenced her with a kiss and Yuffie snickered against his lips. "I do not wish to hear about the past men in your life."
"They were all boys. None of them were men, until… you came along," she whispered, her fingers combing through his silky, dark hair. "The happy moments you've given me are more than the unhappy ones now. I'm glad you walked into my life when you did."
Vincent watched her carefully, brushing her hair away from her eyes gently. Motherhood had settled well with Yuffie. She was even more beautiful than before, but aside from that, something had changed in her. Though she was still the cheerful, smart-talker, there was a softness to her that only came from giving birth to a child. She had her moments of hysteria when their son cried and she couldn't figure out why, but she was handling being a mother quite well. He was proud of the woman she had become. "Do you know… that despite our first clash, I first admired and was attracted to you for your skills at thievery?"
Yuffie let out a laugh. "Really? So it wasn't my feminine wiles?"
He let out a deep chuckle and shook his head. "That too," he said, tone a little mocking. "It was your thievery skills that managed to take something more valuable to me than that painting."
Yuffie's curiosity made her sit up to be able to look at him properly. "And what was that?" she asked him eagerly.
"This," he murmured, pointing to his heart. "Even before I knew it myself. You had already taken it for yourself, and I suspect that this is something that you can't easily return," Vincent said with a light smirk.
Yuffie smiled and leaned forward to brush her lips against his briefly, before sitting back and entwining her fingers with his. They had started their new lives in a new home. After discussing with Tifa for a long time, on what to do with the house that had been Godo's, they had both come to the conclusion that it was best to leave it behind. Neither had had the heart to sell the home, but they didn't live there anymore. Zack and Tifa had moved to home a few blocks away, in the outskirts of the city as well, and Vincent had sold his own home to buy Yuffie and their son a new place to start over. Cloud had moved into his own apartment in the city, and he and Jessie would soon move in together while they set a date for their marriage. Everyone had started a new life, and Yuffie liked to think that they were all happy.
"I think… that the first moment I realized I was in love with you was while I was still trying to hate you. It was impossible," Yuffie said with a snicker, settling back into Vincent's arms. "But I'm glad I didn't manage to hate you, or that you didn't believe me capable of moving on to another man so quickly."
Vincent's fingers moved in long sweeps over her arm, sending little shivers to the tips of her fingers. "Are you happy?" he asked her, almost in a whisper. She had told him so before, but always in the afterglow of making love. He hadn't asked her under different circumstances.
Yuffie nodded. "Yes. I think though… that if you had really left, never to return, I wouldn't have come back from that dark place I had been in after Genesis took me captive. I woke up, long enough to try to get you to stay, but when I realized that you wouldn't, when you walked away, I felt as if I would never be the same. But… you came back, and you healed me," she said quietly.
Her time in Genesis' hands was something they hadn't talked about at all. Vincent hadn't wanted to pry, or to make her remember something that could potentially hurt her more emotionally, so he had kept his questions to himself. It was a positive step that she was taking, talking about it on her own.
"You healed me and I love you even more for it," Yuffie said gently, reveling in the steady beat of his heart under her ear. "How can I not be happy?"
Vincent smiled to himself and thanked whatever deity was watching over them and who had gifted him with a good life after all that he had done, what he had been. "You truly are a princess of thieves," he said with a chuckle, pushing her onto her back to kiss her. "I don't think I want you to give me my heart back."
Yuffie felt her heartbeat quicken at his words and she smiled. She had stolen Vincent Valentine's heart, and that had been her biggest challenge as well as her biggest victory. She would look forward to a future with Vincent and their son. Her life had been a long, hard, winding road, but she had grown up to become a better person thanks to Vincent. There was just one thing she had to give up to truly move on. The question was… would she be able to do it?
"How is Lily doing?" Yuffie asked casually.
"She's great. Zack is teaching her how to paint, but he does it in the backyard because you can imagine the mess," said Tifa with a smile. "What about your little bundle of joy?"
"Oh, he's a little monster. He's always hungry and he hasn't gotten over the habit of sucking his thumb, which is something Godo would tell me that I did a lot when I was a baby too."
Tifa made a humming sound and nodded. She turned abruptly at the sound of a phone going off. "I think you have a phone call."
"I'll bet you it's Vincent," Yuffie muttered, pressing a button on the earpiece nestled in her ear. "The love of your life speaking, how can I help you?" she asked, aware that Tifa was also listening.
"Yuffie… what restaurant did you say you were going to be in with Tifa?"
A flash of dread raced down her spine and she let out a nervous laugh. "Why?"
"Because Aerith is on the other line and she would like to have dinner with you and Tifa. Should I tell her the name of the restaurant?"
"No, no. Tell her that I'll call her myself," Yuffie said quickly.
Vincent paused and Yuffie could picture him frowning, a suspicious glare in his eyes. Damn Vincent for being just as smart as her! "Yuffie… I know I cannot stop you from getting into trouble, but… I want you to be careful. If not for me, then for our son," he said softly in his deep baritone.
Yuffie had to smile, her heart skipping a beat. Was it really possible to love someone so much? The answer was simple. Yes. "I love you. I'll stay out of the trouble for both you and Vinnie."
"I'll hold you to that," Vincent replied. "Come home soon, Yuffie. I… love you too."
"I won't take long," she assured him before the line went dead. "You still there?"
"Yes," Tifa's voice came through clearly in her earpiece.
"Do we have a go?"
"Affirmative, White Rabbit. We have a go," Tifa replied with a smile, hovering in the air, inside Cloud's borrowed helicopter. "I have a feeling that the best course of action is to retire."
Yuffie adjusted her grip on the rope as she hung vertically, head over feet. "Is that okay with you?"
Tifa nodded to herself, her eyes on the scanners. "It's fine with me. I'll miss the adventures, but we have others to think about now," she said wistfully.
"Our last job. Cloud is so missing out on our last heist," Yuffie said, looking at the mini-computer strapped to her wrist.
"Cloud has been fawning over Jessie," Tifa said with a laugh. "And he's happy staying out of the trouble that always follows us around. I can't believe that they're engaged."
Yuffie sighed. "I guess we all have to grow up sometime. Teef… it was a pleasure working with you all of these years."
Tifa felt relief flood her. Though she had enjoyed being intellectually challenged with the various security systems they had encountered, it was best that they stop before they were caught. She didn't want to even risk having Lily grow up without a mother. Now Yuffie had the same thing to consider with little Vincent. Tifa felt a grin tugging at her lips. Might as well make this the best heist if it would be their last. "Same here, Black Rabbit. Security systems will be down in thirty seconds."
Yuffie nodded, feeling the blood rush to her head a little more. She had practiced long and hard to be the thief that she was, but it was time to say goodbye. She would do it for both her Vincents, she thought with a grin. "Let's get business done and go home," she said. With that, she loosened her grip and dropped down the ventilation shaft towards her final prize.
How was that for an ending? End the story the way it began. I hope this was good for everyone and that it wasn't too abrupt for an ending. I left a lot of things out that I did want to include, i.e. an ending for Sephiroth and Aerith, but they weren't really a big couple in this fic, so I left their future open to interpretation for everyone, otherwise, you would've gotten two or three more chapters and I wanted this story to end now, before it got too tedious. Now, I want to move on to thank everyone who made this story a success, and who invested time and words of encouragement too. Each and everyone one of you have my gratitude. I wish I could thank you all individually, but if you ever reviewed, even if it was only once, you have my thanks.
It really is sad to see this story end, but I promise to get to writing soon. I have a few projects I want to work on, but I have started outlining my next AU, which as I mentioned in the chapter before, will be a CloudTifa. It should be a different take on their characters, where Zack won't be the rival for Tifa's heart. It's all a surprise for now, but I promise to get to work on it as soon as I can. I have to see if the plot will go anywhere before I post it, but meanwhile, I will work on "Knight in Shining Armor," and "Believe." So expect updates for those soon. I must go for now—I have a cold and I can't feel my friggin' nose—but I hope everyone has a wonderful day, week, and year! Forgive any and all errors because I will go back to fix them. Thank you once more for sticking with me this long!