Just a quicky.

They say that in battle, the greatest acts of bravery and strength happen when it looks like all hope is lost; when the losing battle becomes a massacre, and when a chance at victory doesn't even come into your frame of reference so much as making it out alive, or dying in a way slightly less painful than the guy who just went beside you, who is lying in the muddy trench and finally stopped screaming after an hour and a half of it.

I learned that in the most desperate situations, a man can surprise himself.

We were two specks on the outskirts of a city that moments ago had stood on the doorstep of a disaster; the cool green hues of the Lifestream were beginning to recede back into the Planet, and the windswept plains were the backdrop to the slow, dramatic realization that we were still alive. For a man who had spent thirty years in a coffin mourning the deprivation of a burial, I found it interesting how glad I was at the revelation.

The world let out a breath, the dust settled, and we ripped our eyes off of the sky to the people around us.

She had been beside me through it all, comforting me with her smiles, even through the tears that swelled in her eyes. When our work was done; when we had evacuated as many people from the city as we could and we took our leave, I had stood beside her, and without hesitating, I held her hand.

I answered, when she asked me "Vinnie, are we going to die?" that yes, we were.

Then it was over, and we were still standing, still breathing. I was still Vincent, and she was still Yuffie, and we were still holding hands.

The end of the world was behind us, but the moment of true panic was the instant in which I discovered that I couldn't bring myself to let go of her fingers that were wrapped securely in my own; when I realized that this future I was granted was not worth having if she was not in it.

A man can forget his crippling fears in the face of true terror. For me, it was at the beginning of what was meant to be the end, when a young girl's silver-grey eyes looked up at me, that I found out what I was truly worth; what I was able to overcome. Unsteady and unsure, I touched her face. I traced her brow and her jaw, and my eyes carefully examined her lips as she licked them in anticipation.

"Is it over?" she asked, and I said no, because the light had just turned green, and the flag was waving, and the Planet started spinning again; even if we weren't ready for it.

With one kiss I saved us both from a future of uncertainty. With one kiss, in the most dire situation, a man proved his worth.

A/N: Comments are welcome. ~Lynn