I'll Remember

(By "So sad! But this song needed a fic." Zarla)

Say goodbye...

To not knowing when

The truth of my whole life began...

It was something that he knew that he was going to have to deal with someday. He knew when he emerged from his sleep, standing in the coffin that had been forcibly locked over him, and realizing that he had not changed...he felt the same as he had before, as if not one day had passed. The only proof he had that he had slept at all was the nightmares, and his long black hair, which he was forced to tie back to keep from his eyes...hair that had grown without control for so long...

He had been asleep, and the only proof that any time had passed was his hair...he was frozen in time...

He had suspected it when he had awoken, but now the truth was conclusive...he was not aging...

He knew this because he was aging...

And although he had wandered his whole life, seemingly without purpose after killing Sephiroth, now he felt as though he knew what he was doing. He felt as though his life had meaning...ever since Sephiroth had died, and Highwind had asked him...

Asked him to stay with him...

And that's when he felt his life finally gained true meaning...he wasn't trying to atone for his sins, he wasn't trying to find a way to apologize, to make up for what he had done...he was simply living each day to the next, learning how to live life normally without fighting monsters or sleeping in inns, learning to live without the thought of death hanging imminently by at the hands of Meteor or Sephiroth...learning to live without guilt, to think of tomorrow and today, not what had happened before...

Learned to devote his life to one simple objective...not to apologize or atone, but to dedicate his life to making one person happy...the one person who made this possible.

Years passed. Years passed and Vincent found the quiet life satisfying and meaningful. He stayed quiet, not saying anything while Cid and Shera talked, but never did get married in the end. He knew that they were supposed to be together, and he stayed in the background, the shadow, who fixed things for them while they slept, who quietly mended Cid's clothes, who did things to make the pilot happy in a futile attempt to thank him for providing him with few things he had always wanted in his life...consistency and safety.

Shera eventually died, her health having detioriated over time from too much exposure to Cid's smoking and from the work that she thanklessly did while he slept, and one day her suspicions came true, and a part of the new rocket that she and Cid had been trying to build had exploded, killing her in her weakened state and almost fatally injuring Cid. Vincent had found him, dragged him back, and went back to see if Shera was still alive. She was not, and he buried her quietly, not sure of what else to do. It had been months since he had spoken more then a few words, thanks and questions that barely had any substance. Over her impromptu grave, he thanked her work and her hospitality for letting him stay, set some flowers, and went back to care for the living.
Cid recovered physically with help from Vincent, but he never seemed to completely recover from Shera's death. He blamed himself for it and began to smoke even more heavily then he had before. Vincent was worried, but remained silent.

He took on her roles in the house, doing things that she used to do and staying in the shadows, not sure of how to console him or what to say. Vincent had no idea how to deal with someone dealing with this kind of pain. He didn't know how to deal with it himself.

He stayed and did things she did, not sure of what else to do.

It took Cid a few years before he seemed to finally put it behind him and become his old self. Vincent was beginning to see him change, his already light blond hair becoming a lighter tint, his slower motion, and his frustration at his bodies reluctance to do things that it had once been able to do. The stubble was also becoming lighter, but Cid was at least slowing down his intake of cigarettes, something Vincent was relieved to learn.

Years continued to pass. Vincent remained himself, his body never changing, his hair never changing color, but just continually growing. Vincent didn't even bother to cut it, so it just grew until it began to exceed his back. Cid's hair was also getting longer, and apparently Cid didn't feel like cutting it either.

Over the time passing, Vincent slowly began to talk to Cid more, not sure of how else to make him feel better. Cid in turn responded, and the two usually began to have long talks over breakfast, over their lives, what they had done, what they wanted to do, and how they weren't sure where they were going. The more they talked, the more Vincent admired the pilot. He always thanked him for putting up with him, but Cid always responded with thanking Vincent for not leaving him alnoe.

Cid often felt useless, as age began to catch up with him. The more useless he felt, the more dependent he became on Vincent, which he hated and constantly apologized for. Vincent felt responsible for Cid, and as time grow by the devotion he had for him in return for giving him room and board simply changed to a kind of devotion. He wanted to make Cid happy, that was all. He had lived at the house for so long it was hard to imagine being anywhere else, and he couldn't think of anywhere else he wanted to be.

Other dropped by occasionally, showing their own signs of aging. Vincent watched as Marlene grew, becoming a child, a teen, and finally a young adult in front of his scarlet eyes. She used to ask him why he didn't change at all, but as she grew older she seemed to understand. She grew up to be a strong, intelligent woman, and he was glad for Barret. The large man had calmed down considerably now that he had dedicated his life to his daughter, and she loved him for it. He was quieter and spoke with less of an accent, and he was more civil and kind then had been before. It took a shorter time then with Cid, but Vincent eventually could also see signs of aging in Barret, no doubt from the strain of raising a child.

Nanaki came by, and from the awkward silence that came from the two of them, they knew that they would far outlive the friends that they so cherished.

That was what Vincent knew now.

He was sitting by Cid's bed, watching the pilot sleep quietly. He had begun doing this since Cid had his seventieth birthday, because in his heart he was afraid that he would never again wake. Cid denied this heavily, claimed that he was in top condition, said he would never die in such a "pansy-@#@" way. Vincent was frightened.

He realized on that same day, Cid's seventieth birthday, just how much he cared for him. He was frightened and worried and didn't want him to die. He didn't know what he was feeling, he felt it was too premature and unreturned to call it love...

That was until he put his hand on Cid's shoulder that day, after he had blown out the one candle shaped like the number seventy, and smiled at him softly that Cid looked up at him with his watery, slowly dimming blue eyes. "Vin..."

"Hmm?" Vincent wasn't sure what he was saying. He had never heard that kind of tone before. "What's wrong?"

Cid smiled to himself and turned his eyes back to the cake, folding his hands underneath his chin. "Nothin'. That's what."

Vincent sat down in the chair next to him, leaning on the table himself. In his years with Cid, his body language had become less formal, as had his speech. He didn't know it, but he had adopted some of his mannerisms, just as Cid had adopted some of his own. The very gesture he was using now was borrowed from him.

"I don't understand."

"I dunno, Vin..." Cid sighed and cocked his head slightly to one side. "This kind've #$%^ really gets y'thinkin' 'bout life an' death an' all that #$^#..."

"Don't worry, Highwind..." Vincent had never gotten out of the habit of calling him that. "You won't die so easily."

"Pff, 'm not scared of dyin'." Cid made a derisive noise and turned to face Vincent slightly. "This jus' gives me some perspective on my life, that's all."

"What kind of perspective?"

"Well, jus' how much you're a part of it."

Vincent didn't know what to say. His heart jumped. "Highwind...?"

"Yeah, I lived with Shera..." Cid toyed with a glass idly, his voice not even changing tone. "But you an' her are different...I don't know."

He flicked the glass over. "Jus' th' ramblin's of an old man..."

"Highwind...? What do you mean?"

"Heh...'m goin' to die soon anyway..." He turned towards Vincent. "Vin, d'you love me?"

Vincent just stared at him and stammered for a second, not sure of what to say. "Well, I mean...I do care about you, but...I mean...um..."

Cid laughed quietly. "No wonder you keep hangin' out with someone as useless as me."

He turned back to the fallen glass. "I wonder if you'd believe me if I felt th' same..."

Vincent just stared at him. "You mean..."

Cid then laughed with more force. "Technically, Vin, we're married."

Ten years had passed.

Vincent sat by his bed every morning, watching him breathe, feeling relieved with every rise and fall of his chest. Cid's hair had gone completely white long ago, and now was getting long. Vincent's hair now brushed the floor when he walked, and he was forced to put it up to keep it from getting in the way.

Just like before...

Cid opened his eyes weakly and turned his head slightly, staring at Vincent. "#%&#, y'still here..."

"Of course I am...are you hungry...?" Vincent sat awkwardly, feeling his throat tightening as he tried to keep his voice calm. He had to bring him his food now that he was getting so weak...

"No....not really..." Cid pulled one of his hands from underneath the blankets, staring at the wrinkles and veins that were now so apparent. "Vin..."

"Highwind..." Vincent felt tears rising in his eyes. The tone in his voice...he couldn't leave him now, he couldn't die...he just couldn't...

Say goodbye

To not knowing how

To cry, you taught me that...

"Vin...y'know...I never really...said sorry for...all th' #$^# I've done to you..."

"Highwind, you don't have to, really." Vincent was wringing his hands, running his flesh hand over his claw, something that Cid had never mentioned or insulted him about, unlike so many others. "Why are you acting like this...?"

"Ah #^#%, Vin...I can feel it already...don't think I'll be aroun' much longer...."

"Highwind, don't..." Vincent could feel a tear running down his face at the thought, and his voice cracked sharply. "Don't say that..."

"Vin...don't cry..." Cid reached out and touched Vincent's claw softly, and the seemingly ageless man took hold of it tightly. "C'mon...'m jus' some scruffy pilot...that's all..."

"Don't say that, Highwind, you know that I..."

"I know..." Cid closed his eyes. "I know, but I don't think I'll ever understan' why..."

And I'll remember

The strength that you gave me

Now that I'm standing on my own...

"Here, take this, Vin!"

"Highwind, no! You need that more then I do!"

"Take it an' shut up!"

Memories of old battles, where Cid often gave his all just to keep Vincent alive, where Cid protected him...

Memories of old conversations, where Cid constantly bolstered him, told him he was a good person, convinced him that he deserved to live, told him that his life had meaning...

Memories of nights spent crying, spent telling Cid things that he knew that he would hate him for, and having nothing happen to him, having Cid continually tell him he was a good person...

Memories of times where he tried to emulate him, learned from him, and began to try and be as strong as he saw the pilot being...

For all the confidence that Cid had given him, the constant reinforcement and positive regard...

And I'll remember

The way that you saved me...

I'll remember...


He screamed as he took the blow for him, the one-winged angel moving it's wings back from fatally wounding the pilot. Vincent almost died that moment, sure that the pilot could never be revived for his sacrifice...

He was wrong...and Cid had never said that he regretted that moment, that he regretted nearly dying for him...


I was a child

Who could not bend a broken wing


I looked for a way

To teach my heart to sing

Not knowing what else he was supposed to do, Vincent followed Cloud and the others, focusing on the goal of atoning for his sins, but often feeling as if he didn't belong, as if he wasn't needed, wasn't there...

Cid talked to him, told him he was needed, told him he wasn't just following along, following a bigger child who seemed to know what he was doing...

For all the kind things that Cid had told him when no one was watching...while Vincent longed for a way to tell everyone how he felt, but feared being hurt again...while he told Cid what he was too frightened to tell anyone else...

Looking for a way to find out who he was, to know what he was supposed to do...every day, Cid was there...

And I'll remember

The love that you gave me

Now that I'm standing on my own

"Highwind, you're not going to...to..." He held onto the frail hand desperately, fearing that this would be the last time that he would ever feel the blood running through his thin fingers.

"$%$# Vin...don' worry..." Cid smiled weakly. "Y'don' need me...y'll be fine..."

"No I won't..." Vincent mumbled, shaking his head and feeling his hair fall over his shoulders. "I won't...Highwind, you can't..."

Cid seemed to sigh slightly, turning his head so he could see the window. The drapes were pulled.

"Vin, could you...?"

Vincent had already gotten up, shaking terribly, as he moved towards the window, opening the drapes quietly and noting the sunlight that came into the room, spilling over the bed.

And I'll remember

The way that you changed me...

I'll remember...

"Highwind...?" He sat on the edge of the bed, taking his hand in his own, staring at the pilots faint blue eyes. "Highwind, you'll be fine...believe me..."

Cid smiled faintly again. "#$^#....I only wish...I only wish that I didn't have t'leave y'alone like this..."

I learned...to let go

Of the illusion that we can both sense

I learned...to let go

And try and withstand this...

"Oh god..." Vincent began to cry openly now, not even trying to hide his tears that left dark marks on the bedspread. "Oh god..."
"Vin...don't cry..." Cid repeated himself softly, shaking Vincent's hand to try and get him out of it. "It's okay...don't cry..."
Vincent lay down next to the pilot, taking hold of him tightly and closing his eyes, shivering horribly. Cid put his arms around him gently as Vincent breathed heavily, trying to find any words that he could say.

"Please don't....don't..."

And I'll remember...

Happy days...

I'll remember...

He looked at Cid, his tear-laden scarlet eyes meeting with Cid's now closed blue ones.

"Would you believe I feel the same way...?"

Vincent's voice was choked and almost incomprehensible.

"Cid...please don't die..."

And I'll remember

The love that you gave me

Now that I'm standing on my own

He didn't let go for a long time.

He didn't get up for an even longer time.

He never stopped crying.

I'll remember

The way that you changed me

I'll remember...(I'll remember...)

Vincent buried him next to Lucrecia, his throat so weak and torn that he couldn't even think of any words to say. He simply sat by the side of his grave, his mind replaying everything that the pilot had ever done for him, replaying everything that he had said, thinking of the happy days he had spent, the happiness that had been what he had been searching for...and knew would never be permanent.

He sobbed, unable to hide his feelings, falling near where he knew Cid lay buried and clutching the ground, hating the fact that his body continued to be young, continued to be youthful, and never changed...

He hated the fact that Cid had to die...

When he finally calmed down enough to speak, he haltingly said what had always been on his heart for so long.

"Highwind...Highwind...I loved you so much...I wish there was someway that I could be with you forever...I'll can never forget you..."

Though I've never been afraid to cry

Now I finally have a reason why (I'll remember...)

Vincent stood, dropping the wreath of flowers that he had made on the plot of earth, his face still twitching as he wanted to die as well, wanted to join him in the ground, but refused...he knew that Cid wouldn't want it that way...

He had known happiness...and now he was going to wander the earth once again...without reason, without meaning...

Without Cid Highwind...

Though I've never been afraid to cry

Now I finally have a reason why (I'll remember...)

He stood on the edge of the cliff, wearing his old clothes, his cloak billowing behind him, his recently cut hair now fluttering half-heartedly around his shoulders, studying his claw as he stared out into oblivion, into the sky, and saw the same shade of blue he longed to see again, hidden behind the white clouds that were the same color of his hair before he...

"Vin...don't cry...it's okay..."

He brushed off the lingering tears on his cheek with his flesh hand, his elbow brushing against the spear, the weapon that Cid had treasured even after he couldn't use it anymore, as he moved. He looked down, then finally looked forward and upwards, staring at the blue that seemed to stare back at him.

"Highwind...I'll remember...."

The End

(Author's Note: HOLY CRUD was that depressing or what? ^_^o Dear god, that's so sad. But da song itself is sad ANYway, so...)