EDIT: As I was editing and reuploading the old chapters, I accidentally overrode this one. Apologies if you saw ch 12 when you expected to see chapter 18.

Thank you to all the amazing people who have read and reviewed! I'm still trying to upload about once a week, but next month the assignments are going to crush me, so we'll see how we go then! I'm sorry I lied about it being once every two days. Overestimated my abilities.

Also wanted to report, I have a beta on board! All credits for improvements in grammar and cohesiveness will go to JigokuYume :) (who has been with this story since 2009. Long time reader love!). This chapter was not beta-ed, because I am a bit of a noob and couldn't figure out how to send documents out. This will change!

(If you are all interested, my tumblr moniker is collectedutterances . Find me, ask me, follow me there, I will be posting updates on the story and my writing process, hopefully! And in the future, I'll probably respond to fic prompts there too :) )

I want a Yuffentine romance but I also want it to be realistic, but a realistic romance requires time and real interaction to develop, but I want him to just HURRY UP AND KISS HER ALREADY.

I suffer from the same feelings as all of you.

Chapter 18 has Yuffie feeling sick on an airship, as always.

The rest of our journey out of Bastillion is fairly uneventful, with the remaining monster encounters being much more manageable. I don't really want to talk about it, so I'll fast forward to when we finally get to our rendezvous point, where Cid had been waiting and probably £$%£^ up a storm and wringing his hands like a distressed old lady.

I'm being unfair to him, but isn't that image funny? Cid, going "$^£$^! %^&$%^!" and throwing his hands up in the air and wringing them, combining profanity and caring. It's just how Cid feels to me.

Once we are safely on the Highwind and the familiar bursts of nausea do their little dance in my gut, I flop onto the deck face-down and allow myself to relax. That was just a test mission. Am I really able to handle the Shinra infiltration? Then I remember the stakes, and the doubts leave. For Vince, yes.

He doesn't make a sound, but Vince is here, kneeling next to me. I don't know how he did that.

"You're an idiot," he says quietly.

"What?" I yelp, pushing myself up and instantly regretting it as the motion causes my uneasy stomach to protest vigorously. "If I wasn't sick now, I'd beat you up for that."

"I should beat you up," is his reply.

"What happened to mopey sulky Vinnie?" I stretch my hands forward and lie face down again. "If you're going to scold me, which shouldn't happen by the way, I'm about to empty my insides and I'm not going to take it."

"Yuffie." Something in his voice makes me look up, a tremor that I recognise.

"Vince?" I ignore the vehement protests and sit up properly, so that I am facing him.

"Why did you do that?" He's avoiding my eyes again.

"Do what?"

"Rush into the water. Act foolishly and risk your life. You could have died. In fact, even with the encounter with that Tonberry earlier, you could have..."

"I taught you to fight. I practically raised you … for a year! You're not supposed to nag me!"

"Is there no way I can persuade you to sit out the Shinra mission?"

"You got that right, buddy."

"Please, Yuffie."


"I could make you."

"How? You gonna tie me up and hang me somewhere? Break my arms and legs?"

"Are you giving me ideas?"

"I'll crawl into the Shinra HQ if I have to, broken legs and all!"

"You're being childish."

"So are you!"

"I don't want to see you get hurt!" He's finally raised his voice.

"Well, you're so afraid of killing me anyway, why don't you let someone else do that job, then you won't need to angst all over it!" When these words leave my lips, I realise that I have said the wrong thing. His face instantly shuts down, replaced with the emotionless mask that I've been seeing too often. "Vince!" I say, grabbing onto his arms. "I didn't mean it. I really didn't. You know how I am with words sometimes."

He doesn't say anything, but he doesn't push me away either, which is good. I don't disgust him yet.

"Vince, I'm going to hug you now. But I warn you, I may throw up all over you." I throw my arms around him and pull him close.

"I'll carry you to the side before that happens." His arms come up and he's holding me tightly too.

"I'm not going to die. No one, not you, not Shinra, not fate, chance or luck, are going to get to me. I'm Kisaragi Yuffie, and I make my own destiny." Bold words, I know, but I'm young.

"You're not indestructible." His voice is muffled against my shoulder.

"I don't need to be. I just need to be fast."

"One day you won't be fast enough." The idiot is avoiding my gaze again. I'm getting really tired of this.

"I'm sorry to interrupt," says Cloud, who obviously isn't. "I need to speak to you. Yuffie first."

"Ugh," I reply. Someone else to nag me. "You really don't have to say anything, you know. Vince here is already doing a great job."

"You disobeyed explicit orders. If all three of us had been severely injured or killed by that monster, who would have led the prisoners out? You would have doomed all of them to a slow and painful death, after feeding them the hope of escape. Do you know what you almost did to them?"

"Really. Cloud. I can feel all sorts of things fighting to come out." I give a few dry heaves to illustrate my point. Cloud backs away a little, but his face is still stern.

"You're not going to be able to avoid this, Yuffie. When we get back, I'll have a discussion with AVALANCHE again, and collectively we will decide if you're fit for the Shinra infiltration mission."

"You are not going to leave me out of that!"

"Yuffie, we're not looking for a big damn hero to swoop in and save the day. Reckless actions like that simply endanger your life and the lives of the people around you. I was looking for responsibility, maturity and the ability to keep a cool head under desperate circumstances. I feel that you have not shown that."

"I can't sit back if Vince is in trouble."

"Even if it jeopardises the mission?"

"My mission is to find a cure for Vince. Get my hands on his super secret file, and maybe disembowel Hojo along the way, as a bonus." I know I'm being flippant, but the feelings that sent me forward earlier towards what I thought was certain death are still unsorted and scary in my head, so again, I resort to my facade.

"What we're going for is bigger than that." Cloud does not sound angry, just serious. "We are fighting for our planet's survival. You have to understand, and not only understand, but accept that."

"I know," I say, feeling all the energy leave me at once. I try to keep the trembling out of my voice as I keep talking, knowing that I'm getting dangerously close to tears. "You think I don't understand? I know that female-Nanaki that we have to save is mega important. I know I have to follow orders. I know all that, but as soon as I see Vince in danger, something inside me snaps, ok? I don't know if I can control it. I will try, but I can't guarantee it won't happen again."

Vince has been holding my shoulders gently, motionless the whole time, but now he speaks out.

"I too cannot promise to hold the rescue mission as the highest priority."

Cloud turns to glare at him. "I haven't gotten to you yet."

"If Yuffie is imperilled in any way, I will ensure her safety, or die trying."

"Vince!" I lift a hand to punch him weakly on the chest. "Stop talking about death. Mine or yours are now taboo subjects."

"Yuffie." Now he chooses to look at me.

"Are we really going to start this again, Vince? In front of Cloud?"

"If necessary," he replies.

Cloud lifts a hand to cover his eyes. "What am I going to do with the two of you?" he groans.

AN: Will the Shinra mission ever happen? Will this story ever end? WILL THERE BE ANY REAL ROMANCE UGH YOU STUPID WRITER?
I know.

I am aware that Yuffie and Vince are bickering like small children. But you have to admit, they're still technically teenagers despite all they've been through, and after the stress and near death experiences, all that emotional tension has to be released somewhere.

If anyone thinks Yuffie is being childish, it's partly because she doesn't have to be the mature, responsible one anymore. She still thinks she does, but on a subconscious level, she's relaxing that, and seeing Vince more as an equal rather than a child she needs to protect. Might go more into this on my tumblr.

Your reviews make my day and keep me motivated to write! If you leave signed in reviews, I will reply! Please click that review button and share your thoughts with me!

Also, I will be making a massive edit of Y&B starting from chapter one, mostly to remove all the typos/grammatical errors that bother me every time I reread it to check that I'm keeping the story straight. :) I don't know how the follow notifications work, but I hope they don't spam you!