A/N: I challenged myself to write a minimum 500 word fic centred entirely around Vincent Valentine's voice, so here goes. Word count is 600 exactly, by the way.


You know, he was never one for words. That's not to say he didn't have anything to comment on, because everyone could always tell he was silently judging them behind those crimson irises that never missed a single stumble or slip up. He was kind enough though, to simply roll his eyes, or glare, instead of actually saying something about it.

He saved his words for more important occasions.

I found I wished he talked more—he had the kind of voice a girl could listen to for hours. Well, this girl anyway. It was deep and rough and melodic. There was danger and hesitancy and urgency, and when you listened close enough, sometimes—only sometimes—you could hear laughter.

I always paid close attention to everything he said, in case I was to catch that hint of amusement. Perhaps he was recalling an old happy memory, from before ShinRa or Lucrecia or Hojo or Sephiroth. Maybe he was being cynical and sarcastically commenting on one of Cloud's unwise decisions. More often than not, he was trying not to laugh at me when I did something totally stupid.

Gawd, I made myself look like such a moron over and over just to hear him say "Yuffie, you're being childish," while straining to keep from cracking a smile.

There is no laughter in his voice now. It's cracked and dark and rushed, like he has something very dire to say and a very short amount of time in which to say it. It's strained and ugly and deep, and it's anything but calm.

"Yuffie, Please."

"Did I ever tell you," I say, and I try not to let the weariness and the fatigue show through in my own words, "about the time I kissed a frog, to see if it would turn into a prince?"

He chokes on his laughter, because it's foreign and inappropriate but he can't help it, because he would rather laugh than cry.

He'd been laughing more lately, and I took all the credit for that myself. He was still far below word count next to my scale, but he listened and engaged when he was addressed. I chalked the change up to the fact that back in the day, he had really nothing meaningful to say to me; and like I said, Vincent saved his words for important occasions.

I guess I was an important occasion to him.

I merited his conversation (limited though it may have been) and his greetings and his farewells, when others got a nod or a wave.

His voice was low and soothing, yet exciting like the roll of thunder from an incoming storm. When he dipped his head next to mine and whispered to me his deepest most thoughts (I've missed you; You're beautiful; Don't leave me; I love you; I can't breathe without you;) his voice was sultry and sensual and masculine.

It was sincere, and I can hear the promises ringing on his voice now as he holds me, vowing to me that he won't let go. Leviathan help him, if he ever lost me...

"Tell me you love me," I say. I'm not sure if it sounded how I wanted it to, because I'm losing control of my vocal chords, because of being so damn focussed on breathing and all. In and out, Yuffie, you can do this. Just hang on.

He dips his head next to mine and he sounds husky and sultry and sincere. I tell him he sounds super lame, and the next (last) time he tells me, there's laughter in his voice.