Author's Note: A short, sad Yuffentine, to fill the gap as I struggle with the next chapter of Convergence. At one point it's too dry, the next I'm afraid the content is going to get me banned. If someone wanted to steer me in the proper direction, I'm open to ideas. PM me and I'll give you my msn address.
Anyway, I suppose it should be said that this is in no way connected to Convergence or any of the other stories connected to it. It stands on it's own.
Enjoy, and don't forget to review.
It had been one week, three days, four hours and twenty two minutes since he showed up at Seventh Heaven, wearing that stupid fake smile and telling everyone that everything was okay. It wasn't. He knew it wasn't, she knew it wasn't, and anyone who believed him was just stupid.
Of course, she was too angry with him to speak to him, let alone call him on his tremendously absurd fib. She'd seen the Protomateria, and she knew how he got it back. No one in their bleedin' right mind could be fine after that—especially with amount of 'not fine' he had stored up before said occasion.
So she kept to herself, which was fairly ironic, for now that everyone was 'convinced' that Vincent was okay, they turned their pitying attention to the ninja.
"Gawd, Teef. How many times do I have to tell you, it's not me who needs to 'talk', okay? So buzz off already!"
The barmaid looked sceptically at her younger friend, a mistrusting look on her face. "Yuffie you're not yourself. You're keeping to yourself, not talking to anyone and you constantly look like you're brooding over something."
She scowled, "I do not!"
Tifa arched an eyebrow, but shrugged, wandering away.
Stupid Tifa, she just described Vincent, not Yuffie. "I don't brood," said the princess, folding her arms over her chest. Stupid lying vampire. "Curses!"
She yelped, stumbling forward, away from the unexpected voice behind her. With a glare she turned back to find none other than Vincent, Mr. Perjuries himself. "Oh," she muttered, throwing her shoulders back indignantly. "It's you."
He was still wearing his cloak but the collar wasn't pulled up around his face like it usually was. She squinted at the difference it made.
"Yes," he replied cautiously. "It is I."
Her foot tapped impatiently on the ground, trying to cover up the fact that she was anxiously trying to figure out why he looked so fake. "So..." she uttered. "What do you want?"
He looked uncomfortable. This was the Vincent she knew. He wasn't fooling her. "To speak to you," he said finally. His eyes dropped to the floor momentarily before they snapped back to her face, but she caught it.
A small triumphant look stole her countenance. "Why?" There was the discomfort again. She took a step toward him. "You never wanted to speak with me before. Oh, don't get me wrong, I know you loved it when I rambled on at you, but these things just never worked the other way around." She was edging closer, a wry smile on her face. "So Vinnie, why?"
"You have avoided me for a week."
And three days, four hours and thirty... a glance at the clock... seven minutes. "So?"
He blinked, crimson eyes surprised at her complete admittance. "So, I want to know why."
She chuckled. "No you don't."
His brow furrowed.
"You're just acting like you want to know, so that I'll think you're different. So that you can fool me like you've fooled the rest of them." She laughed at his pained expression, tossing her hair out of her eyes. "I know you too well, Vinnie."
"I'm fine." It sounded like a recording: he said the same words to everyone over and over and over.
"Of course you are. You've had to relive the worst moment of your life over and over, get reminded constantly of the monsters living in your skull, got the only thing keeping you from going completely bat-shit crazy yanked out of your chest by a Sviet and nearly died trying to save the planet."
"Chaos is gone," he uttered defensively.
"So?" She gave him her best 'you're an idiot' look. "Are you telling me that because he's gone it doesn't still hurt that the woman you loved put him there in the first place?"
"She saved my life."
"And made you a monster."
He took a physical step back, and Yuffie sucked in a harsh breath. She had meant to be venomous, but it was never her intention to go that far. "Listen, I'm sorry, Vince. You know I don't think..."
"That I am a monster." He nodded, but he didn't seem to believe it. "I have forgiven Lucrecia for what she did to my body."
The ninja's eyes flickered up to his face, and she tried to keep the question in her mind from escaping. In the end, the question won. "But what about what she did to your heart?"
He didn't reply at first, ruby eyes scorching hers, almost begging her to take the question back. Yuffie's eyes stared back, however, never blinking: relentless.
"I am fine." Each word was pronounced precisely, so there could be no mistaking what he said.
The ninja fought the urge to laugh, and it instead came out in the form of a wry grin. "You're lying to me, Vinnie." She saw the flash of frustration in his eyes, and her grin spread. He wanted to tell her the truth, but he couldn't figure out why.
"It's because you trust me, Vinnie," she answered for him, shrugging nonchalantly. "I'm about the only one in this room that you do. That's why I can tell you're lying to me, you see. You can hide it from the others, because you don't trust them with the truth. Me, however... Well, let's just say that even though your head is running around in circles trying to formulate lies to keep me from worrying about you, the minute you walked in the door a week ago..." three days four hours and forty two minutes "... your heart told me everything I needed to know."
He didn't seem pleased with this fact and suspiciously the collar of his cloak was once again up where it belonged, hiding his face. "This is ridiculous, Yuffie."
"Is it, Vinnie? Is it ridiculous because every word I've just said is a lie? Or is it ridiculous because every word I just said came out of my mouth, and therefore must be completely absurd."
"Stop it, Vincent. I'm your friend; why are you hiding this from me?" She saw his eyes flash and within an instant he grabbed her arm, pulling her close to him. She snarled and tried to remove her elbow from his grasp, but with no avail. "Let me go, you big brute!"
"Do you understand what you are doing, Princess?" he spat, lip curled. "Don't you see you are unravelling everything I have tried to fix? You said yourself 'lighten up, Vinnie' well here you have it, and you don't speak to me anymore."
With a final snarl she jerked her arm out of his grip. "You weren't fixing anything Vincent! You're just pretending, and faking, and lying. How is that going to fix you?"
He scoffed. "You are just a child, how could you possibly understand?"
Her eyes widened slightly. "Understand? Understand what, exactly? Understand what it's like to have sinned? You supposedly allowed Lucrecia to die, even though it was her own choice that landed her in that mako crystal."
"I should have done more to change her mind."
"Doesn't count. I just about killed you all by stealing your materia."
"I was a Turk—I lied and murdered for a living."
"Oh, and a ninja doesn't have any blood on her hands." He went quiet, and Yuffie made a mental note of her point above his. "So what else don't I understand?"
"You..." He checked himself; reigning in his temper and rashness, dropping the volume and the tone of his voice several levels. "You have never loved. You cannot begin to imagine the pain of loving someone with such..." he trailed off as he looked away, voice thick with conviction. "You cannot possibly know the pain of unrequited love; to know that you are always second in her thoughts to another."
One week, three days four hours and fifty four minutes she sobbed and sobbed, because in his eyes she could still see the undying love for that bitch.
"Can I not?" she whispered, looking up through glassy eyes. There was so much emotion there it hurt. It physically hurt to let him see it, because for all this time, she'd been pretending. It hadn't been until she saw him fall, fall, fall from the skies after his battle with Omega that she was awakened to the foolishness of it all. What good was life if you were constantly hiding behind a shield? So she cried, she screamed, she failed to sleep while he was gone. She mourned the battle, she mourned her friends and she mourned the man she had fallen in love with. Now she mourned the look in his eyes when he realized what she was saying.
"Shut up." She was turning away. Her task was finished. She let the guard slip away long enough to taste the pain, and now she decided she had had enough. "I understand, Vincent. Believe me."
She closed her eyes once to drown out his voice and when she opened them again, their sparkle (not really, but the sheen of tears is easily mistaken) returned, along with the smile that hadn't seen light for one week, three days, five hours and one minute. "Hey, Tifa! Turn up the music, I love this song!"
Author's Note: I had orginally added more to this, but I took it out. I didn't want to give any hint of hope toward the future. I live in a fantasy world when it comes to wishing Vince would wake up and kiss the shit outta that ninja, because he's so, so messed up. Anyway, I wanted to write something that sort of balances the extreme 'ya right-ness' of Convergence.