Day had broken, and she still wasn't there. He stalked from room to room, trying to find her. An animal, caged by his own reliance. His fingers twitched, wanting to tear, to rend. He couldn't stand her, because she wasn't there.

With a flurry of blows, he reduced the bed to shreds. The beast inside him growled in pleasure. He'd ruined the bed. Her bed, that smelt like she did when she fell asleep after a long day of causing mischief. Her bed, where she'd laughed and cried and smiled at him with that strange, catlike grin. It was gone. Like her.

Sighing, Vincent folded himself onto the ruined mattress. His arms ached, still feeling the need to rip and tear at something. At anything. They were good arms, strong and muscular, perfect for pain. But they were better at pressing her warm body closer to his when the dusk was breaking, silently entreating her not to go again. Still not good enough, it seemed.

Yuffie Kisaragi. Ever since he'd known her, it had been...complicated. The others thought they were anathema to each other. To a certain extent, they were. She was loud, bold and bossy. He was quiet, dark and independent. But it was like yin and yang, as Yuffie would have said; they balanced.

But the opposing forces between them were still there. As eagerly as she might fall into his arms when she came home, as fervently as he would cloak her in the warmth she taught him to possess, there were still problems. Her work, for one. She was a materia hunter to her very core, searching the world for adventure. He had lived in a coffin for several years, which had been quite adventurous enough.

When she was there, they fought. Often. It was the little things, like how she left her shorts lying around the house, or her strange tendency to eat the butter straight off the knife. It really was like living with a stray cat. A stray cat that would always purr in his arms when the argument was over, and steal out of the house without a sound as he slept.

But he really couldn't stand her when she wasn't around. When she was away, every little thing she did bugged him. The way she'd leave missed calls on his phone to say she loved him infuriated him. The little x's she put on the bottom of her letters drove him into a rage. The way she bought a box of chocolates every time she came home and gave it to him, to 'help with your goddamn mood swings, Vince'. The fact that she was still finding a way to love him, when he had no way to return it, drove him crazy.

If that wasn't bad enough, she haunted him. She never appeared before his eyes, but somehow stole into his mind without being there. Just her absence riled him. The fact that there were no shorts lying in the hall, and none of her favourite snacks in the fridge were even so much as half-eaten was as bad as a sagahin on his back.

It had been a while since he'd realised what the feeling was. Nero's darkness, reports of his death, the slap she gave him when he finally returned...It was none of that. It was when she'd gotten kicked out of her dad's house in Wutai. He'd come home, and there she was, wearing his red dressing gown and cooking an omelette, just as if she'd been there her whole life. She said that the look on his face was priceless.

She hadn't explained what was going on until a week had passed. And in that week, the trap had been set, and the gunman snared. So subtly that he, and maybe even she, didn't notice it, she changed him irrevocably. She was like a drug, and he was completely addicted. Who needed rainbows and sunshine when Yuffie was around?

He'd asked her why, on the Wednesday, and she grinned. She told him later that night, her reasons escaping between moans and gasps, floating past her lips and into his as they kissed. He was the one who broke the embrace, retreating in his own chastity. She'd grinned, and wished him a good night. That good-natured wish may as well have been a malicious jinx; either way, he would have stayed up all night thinking about her.

When he'd come down the next morning, Yuffie simply grinned and told him to make her some breakfast. As he was flipping the eggs and frying the bacon, he realised that he was never going to get rid of her now. And he honestly didn't mind. It would occur to him, vaguely, and weeks later, that he was being taken advantage of. Yuffie was the one in control of the relationship, drawing him into doing new things as if he'd done them thousands of times before. She'd marched into his life, and just about stolen it. He could live with that.

But, for all that, was it actually love, or just pure need that drove him to do the things he did? He'd thought of the question many a time, in that lonely, empty house, and he couldn't seem to find the answer. He couldn't now, lying back on Yuffie's ruined bed, knowing she would insist on sleeping in his until he got it fixed. That would be fun. He sighed deeply, breathing in the scent of his life, mixed forever with that of a mischievous ninja. His phone buzzed, and he read the message.

"Hey Vince. I'll be back by noon. How's your pms? :3 Yuffie"

He grinned, almost laughed. It was the little things. But he knew that he'd still be lying there, awake, on her ruined bed, when she came in.

It was complicated.


Well, there's my second Valentine's oneshot, and I don't think it came out quite as nicely as the first...But, oh well. Vincent is a hard nut to crack. I thought maybe he'd be the possessive type, but who knows?

This was written for my Valentine's project this year, entitled 'Let's hear it for the introverts!' Although Vincent doesn't truly fit into the introvert archetype, he does have a small hint of it, especially in the later appearances chronologically, where he seems to become less of a brooding loner than he was in the game. (This is a subjective point of view; I base it on the fact that he talks every so often, and even makes jokes, in DOC. So, less 'leave me alone', more shy, perhaps?)

Looking at my writing, it's changed a little since I was away...Not in a bad way, I think. Blame it on classical literature.