A/N: I do not own any of the characters herein--they all belong to stinking SquareEnix. If Yuffie and Vincent belonged to me, Dirge of Cerberus would have been an NC-17 gig made soley for my own personal use. The only thing I own is the plot, what little of it there is. And if the Japanese phrases I've snuck in there are wrong, please let me know so I can change it. Thanks and enjoy!


Although he never regretted their relationship, there were times when Vincent Valentine felt like a dirty pedophile. Watching Yuffie cut a wisdom tooth was one of them.

The pain had started a week ago. When she told him about it, his reply had had something to do with her overindulging in sweets, but she told him she was in too much pain too quickly for it to be a simple cavity. He hadn't really believed her at first, because over the years he had seen her in quite some agony over "a simple cavity," so he chalked her complaining up to exaggeration and scheduled her an appointment with the dentist. Three days later, the dentist had found her problem.

"Well, there are a couple of cavities starting, sir, but your daughter's biggest problem is the tooth growing crooked out of her gums."

He rolled his eyes at the man's assumption about their relationship (he knew he could age once more, but surely he wasn't making up for lost time?), and asked what could be done about the tooth. The dentist told them to wait and see if the tooth straightened out on its own or starting crowding in her mouth, and he could recommend options from there. When Yuffie asked how long it would take, she wasn't quite satisfied with his answer.

"Who knows?! Whaddya mean 'Who knows?'! I'm sittin' here in pure agony and all you say is 'Who knows?'!"

"Everyone's teeth grow at different rates," he explained calmly. "Some people get them quickly, but others take years."

"Years?" she asked pitifully. "My gums are gonna give me crap like this for years?"

"I believe what he meant to say," Vincent intervened, seeing the nervous expression on the dentist's face, "is that he isn't sure when he can schedule surgery for you. Calm down, Yuffie."

There were other times when he hated the age gap between them. He hated that he had to buy alcohol for her. There was no legal drinking age in Wutai, and as a part of its royal family, she had had wine with dinner since she was a child. She had grown up being taught to use alcohol responsibly. Only once that he knew of had Yuffie been completely 'hammered,' and she had been attacked by a tonberry for her troubles. It wasn't often that she expressed a desire to have an alcoholic beverage, but when it hit, he always caved to her demands, telling her that next time he wouldn't give in so easily. It was even worse when she called him while he was in the liquor store to tell him she had changed her mind.

He also hated when she asked him to rent R-rated movies for her, even though she was twenty now and could rent them herself. He had once asked her why she couldn't get them herself, to which she'd replied, "They always think I have a fake ID, so they won't gimme my movie. So I gotta get either you or Shido to rent 'em for me."

"Cid Highwind rents R-rated movies for you?"

"Well, it's more like he threatens the little punks behind the counter 'til they let me have my movie."

He had never realized how often he felt like a pedophile until he was standing in the video store that night, thinking of all the other times he had stood in this exact same spot. Sometimes, like tonight, he was alone, but more often than not, his ninja was standing beside him in line, babbling on about some subject or other that interested her. She would talk loudly and gesture wildly, swinging their conjoined hands and her free one through the air like a mad woman. People often stared and a few rudely murmured behind them. But Yuffie never noticed them, always too caught up in telling him what she planned on cosplaying for which days of MidgarCon this year or what had happened in last night's episode of her current anime obsession.

But, he thought as he took a few steps forward in line, they loved one another deeply, and that was all that mattered now. He knew that she knew she could be loud and obnoxious sometimes, but on more than one occasion, she had helped him. She had helped him to see that dwelling in the past "wasn't worth wasting all that stinkin' energy"; she had helped him move into the current decade and start his life again; and, of course, she had helped him see that loving her was nothing to be afraid or ashamed of. Even if it did make him feel like a pedophile sometimes.

He was snapped out of his thoughts when his cell phone started to ring loudly. He grimaced when he heard the song that played. Apparently, his beloved ninja had changed her personal ringtone again. It was something vaguely familiar, though he didn't listen to Wutainese punk rock and wondered where he could have heard it.

Hirogaru yami no naka kawashiatta kakumei no chigi--

He smiled slightly when he saw Yuffie's picture flash up on the screen. "Moshi moshi?"

"Doko ni iru no?"

"At the video store, as per your request. Why?"

"Think you could stop by Seventh Heaven and steal me a fifth, Vince? My gums are killing me!"