xXxDon't own anything, except the plot…maybe…I was simply 'in the mood' for thisxXx

Summary: How was she supposed to be without him? She had to make him see, to get him to understand just how important he was. She needed him like she needed oxygen…


Time moves slower when the world is at peace. For most that would be a blessing, time to enjoy their lives without the worry that tomorrow may never happen. For most did not include a certain young woman, a girl really, she'd loved and lost and fought and grown…and yet she was still just a girl to them. She'd been tried by fire and blood and still…no one seemed to see her as anything more than a child. She was twenty four years of life forgotten. She was beautiful, exotic if one were to take a close enough look. Her eyes were as deep and grey as the purest mercury, and could arguably have the same effect on any man foolish enough to get too close to her. Her body was nothing but soft curves and toned muscle, years of training showing in all things from a simple step to the way she controlled every inch of her body as it went spiraling through the air, landing precisely where she had intended. Her hair was as black as pitch, falling in silky waves down to her hips. She was the epitome of beauty; she could have any man she wanted, though she didn't much try. She had one in mind, one goal, one lust, one single solitary desire. He never acknowledged her feelings, or her, beyond a 'hello' and simple conversation. For Yuffie it was a knife in the gut every time they spoke. She grew to dread seeing him, hiding herself behind fake smiles and declarations of joy, love, and excitement for a life she'd lead elsewhere. It was always a lie, a beautiful life, but a lie nonetheless.


"Yuffie, would you mind bartending just for an hour or two tonight? Cloud and I are dropping the kids off with Elmyra and we have to pick up Barret, Cid, and Nanaki." Tifa finished wiping down the counter as she turned to the woman beside her, who had just polished off her fifth shot in as many minutes.

"Sure…" She answered in a husky whisper, the result of the whiskey burning her throat. Yuffie had her hair pulled back in a messy bun, her make up still as perfect as it had been earlier that morning. She seemed to have an affinity for dark colors, black, bronze, and gold's…which, given her current outfit, suited her well. She wore a black strapless shirt that laced up the back, on her hands were elbow length fingerless gloves, and she wore form fitting black leather pants, in honor of the one who haunted her dreams. Her face was hidden behind a mask of black and gold, coal black eye liner that accentuated the almond shape of her eyes, darker mascara, and golden eye shadow, her cheeks were dabbed with a dusky rose blush, and topping the whole thing off was a the vague shimmer of bronzer across her cheeks and the bridge of her nose. She smelled of fresh water lilies and musk, and she looked as though the weight of the world rested on her shoulders.

"Are you sure?" Tifa eyed the girl a moment longer, worry written clear as day across her face.

"Yeah, Tifa, I don't mind doing it. You better hurry…'s getting late." Yuffie nodded at the wall clock, indicating the time to be five forty five in the afternoon.

"Shit! I'm supposed to be there in an hour!" She grabbed her keys, yelled for Cloud and the two were off like a shot, racing toward Healin'.

"Drive safe…" Yuffie mumbled to no one particular. Now she just had to play the waiting game, the bar didn't open until eight and he usually came by well before that. She poured two shots, setting one aside she downed the other. She didn't have to wait long, however, as the familiar sound of heavy metal boots floated in to her ears. She glanced up as he entered with a look of mild disinterest.

"Hello, Yuffie." Vincent made his way to the bar, taking the seat across from her as she placed a shot before him.

"Evening, Valentine…" She smiled slightly as she poured herself a glass of water. Now that he was here she suddenly felt like she used to, energetic and happy. She always felt that way around him, weightless and exuberant, the sight of him was enough to send a shiver down to her toes, and if it weren't for the counter between them she wasn't entirely sure she wouldn't just close the distance between them just to see what he'd do. As it was, he did little more than offer a curt nod before taking the shot.

"What is the occasion?" He nodded at the glass in his hand.

She stared at him for a moment and she could almost swear she'd seen something akin to concern flutter behind his crimson stare. "Breathing again." She whispered with a sad smile.

"Tonight is the annual 'get drunk because we saved the world' night, I'm just getting a head start." She chuckled as he let out a slight groan.

"…I'm glad you came tonight, Vince. Eight months is too long for me to go without seeing you." Yuffie didn't look directly at him; she turned her gaze more toward the counter, clearing her throat before she spoke again. "I mean, you could come visit…just once in a while, you lonely old fuddy duddy." Yuffie turned a sweet smile on him, he stared a moment before apparently succumbing to the smile himself.

"Fuddy…duddy?" Vincent furrowed his brow, trying to make sense of the young woman's chatter.

"Eh, never mind…" She shifted under his bemused stare, giggling to herself.

They sat together, talking about various new things in their lives. Yuffie was seeing another boy…a man really, who she couldn't seem to get out of her head despite the fact that she was completely put out by his overly outgoing and charming nature. She refrained from alluding to any kind of interest in Vincent, finding it surprisingly difficult to talk about her current relationship with him. She was grateful when Vincent took over the conversation, discussing his latest expedition to the Northern Crater and what work he'd been doing with a group of Reeve's top scientists involving mako and curing the effects of being exposed, which in the last eight months had been particularly eventful. A true cure was within their grasp now, soon Vincent would have a chance to be cured of his 'immortality'.

"Do you usually drink this much?" Vincent asked as she finished one drink only to pour another soon after.

"Fuck off…" She mumbled with as much of a glare as she could muster aimed at him. "I don't have to be sober all day, ya know, 'sides, didn't you know 'Esuna' would sober you up?" She eyed him, her silver eyes smoldering behind her dark lashes.

"No…" Vincent was ill at ease around her, a familiar sort of tension that had been there for the last year or so. It was suffocating sometimes; he wanted something he'd never have. It wasn't as though he'd never had that problem before; it was more like he'd never had it reciprocated in such a way. He saw it in her, she felt exactly the same way, and she wanted him but would never have him. Too many things stopped the pair from being together in any fashion. She was still the former heiress of Wutai, which kept her in the public eye quite a bit. She did odd jobs for Reeve, intelligence gathering and tracking, which she was unbelievably good at. The sight of her in one of her funks, such as her current 'drink myself happy' attitude always took a toll on him. He had a reputation for being rather cold an unapproachable, a reputation he intended to keep up. However, now he was moderately angry, he was slightly frustrated and mostly with himself. What did he care if she were an heiress? She could be a regular girl from the slums for all he cared, he just wanted a chance. For the first time in decades he felt as though he'd paid his debt, he felt free of all his previous burdens.

"Does it repair the damage to your liver?" He tipped his glass of wine as he spoke. Yuffie snorted at him and resumed wiping down the bar. She switched the radio on, enjoying familiar hum of the music as it moved through her.

"Sunday is gloomy, Vince. Sunday gloomy Sunday." She spoke softly, the song itself playing on unaffected behind her. Vincent finished his glass of wine, nodding to her once and turning to leave. She didn't say goodbye and he almost turned to see if she was even paying attention to him leave. Maybe he'd see that familiar flicker of rage, regret, or sorrow. He didn't turn; he continued to the door without pause and left the building. His enhanced hearing did, however, pick up the faintest sound of her cries. He'd hurt her yet again, he wasn't surprised and he'd long since learned not to go back and try to repair the damage. Tifa had always been the one to act as the go between for Vincent. She had somehow worked out that Vincent truly did feel something for the girl, but Tifa knowing them as she did knew not to tell Yuffie. Who knew how the girl would take it. For now, Vincent was alone in his misery, not at all uncommon for him. He alone knew she burned for him and that made his apparent indifference that much more difficult for her to accept and come to terms with. He hated himself in that moment, hated hurting her, and by all the Gods he knew did he hate the sound of her cries. Vincent wanted to run, fly away from here…it was as if his legs couldn't carry him away fast enough.

It was ok, the bar would open and she'd have plenty of bar patrons to occupy her time. Another thought struck him and he stopped dead in his tracks, turning slowly to look back in the direction of the bar. 'Reno…' That was the one she'd been talking about. The irritating charmer who she couldn't stop thinking about. He glared viciously at the building, jealousy raring it's ugly head and thus surprising him. 'Jealous…' He wanted her, he truly wanted every inch of her, however he knew that rules were what they were and he could not just have her. It killed them both, he knew better than she how that felt. He made his way back toward the bar. He'd not let Reno make off with the first woman in nearly forty years that he'd cared for. Having another man touching that which he so desperately wanted made his blood burn. He sighed as he sat back on a tree branch, watching her skillfully serve drinks to the many men and women who had piled in as the night went on. He could hardly stand to watch as Reno touched her everywhere, obviously not caring who saw. Vincent mentally cursed himself for being so stubborn, Yuffie deserved better than to be that mans little plaything. He glowered at the red head, contemplating his next move. He'd have to wait until the bar closed, whatever he decided, and so he sat stock still in the tree, deadly crimson eyes trained on the Turk fawning over Yuffie.

'I'm sorry…' He inwardly winced, Yuffie had been as adamant as he about never saying a thing as he had been…what if she didn't want him to interfere? What if this was what she wanted? He watched, ready to abandon his plan in favor of hiding away again when a blur of movement caught his eye. Reno had pinned her to the counter, no one seemed to notice her slight struggle against him. The hired help had come and was manning the bar so she hadn't been out front. She glared, slapped Reno across the face, and shouted obscenities at the red head. Vincent felt his stomach roil at the wicked smirk working its way onto Reno's face. He ran for the back door, making his way toward her and her angry words.

"Fuck you, you're drunk Reno…get off me." She was losing steam, she had been under the influence of Whiskey yet again and had almost found her crimson desire in those empty green eyes.

"What's wrong, yo? I'm not man enough for you?" Yuffie nearly gagged as her hand was forced to come into contact with his member. "Or is it something else?" Yuffie nearly panicked, she didn't want him to say it out loud. No one knew that. "I'm not as old as him? I'm not nearly fucked up enough? What, should I see if I can dig up that shit on Hojo and get myself a demon? Would you fuck me then?" Yuffie screamed, rage burning her from the inside out.

"FUCK YOU!" She bellowed, yanking one hand loose, laughing maniacally as it connected with a satisfying 'crunch' against Reno's nose.

"You little fucking bitch!" Reno screeched at her, recoiling quickly and knocking into something a little too firm to just be the wall. He turned and the cynical glare came out in force. "No fucking way, your little undead boyfriend showed the hell up. Terrific! Now you can tell him that because you are you and he is who he is…you wont fuck me. You just lead me on and on and then cut out when it gets too real for you." Yuffie's head hung low, her eyes shadowed by her long hair. She was vaguely aware that Vincent was moving slowly toward Reno, she heard doors shut and more voices enter the bar. They were home. Reno opened his mouth to further drive home the verbal knife when a fist, which did not belong to Yuffie, collided soundly with his gut and then his face a split second later.

"You worthless PIG, I told you to stay the hell away from Yuffie." Tifa's voice allowed for no argument. Reno struggled up, suddenly found himself on his feet and was 'helped' out by Barrett and Cloud. "Yuffie…Yuffie are you alright?" Tifa turned to Vincent, who had never looked more ready for a fight in all the years she'd known him. "What happened?" He looked up, eyes burning red with rage.

Yuffie charged past them and up to her room, the ominous presence that was Vincent Valentine followed her up the stairs. He'd amend this now…


I have an obsession with this pair…