Theme: Vertigo

It is a chasm, a huge yawning cavernous maw waiting for him to make his first fatal misstep. It is the precipice of a new and gaping blackness that waits for him in his slumber and haunts him when he's awake. He does not know fear, but knows a scanty shadow of an emotion that might be a little like fear. It is an immense undertaking, a step forwards over virgin thresholds that might give way at any time.

"Vinnie, it's just a cup of coffee. Gawd, get over it."

He grumbles, and hunches his shoulders forwards to preserve his anonymity. Why, he doesn't know. What could possibly be wrong with Vincent Valentine sipping a cup of coffee with his dear 'friend' Yuffie, in one of Edge's trendier establishments?

"Look, Vince. I'll take a sip to prove it isn't poison." she says, pouting at him in silent accusation.

He considers telling her that it is technically poison, as a measure of liquor has been added to the coffee. He decides not to, figuring that it would make him seem weird. Not as weird as he looked, dressed in his gothic attire in a modern day city, but weird nonetheless.

It isn't that he hasn't discovered the joys of coffee, or the more dubious 'joy' of alcohol. He was a Turk, after all. Turks can hold their liquor, even if they cannot hold the contents of their stomachs (or company secrets, for that matter) after the consuming of liquor.

It is just that it seems like once he puts his lips to that cup and tastes the sweet swirl of too much sugar and too much milk and too much of everything except sweet, life-giving coffee, it will make the experience solid, tangible. It will place a seal on some aspect of these feelings and worries that bubble up inside him and last like froth on his lips, always on the tip of his tongue but hanging on for dear life.

Yuffie leans closer to his face and takes another deliberate sip. She wears a scowl, and not a great deal besides; shorts and tanks is her religion, she says. He feels a warm rush of blood to his cheeks that he knows will not get there, but he curses it all the same. Why does she lean so closely? People will get The Wrong Idea.

The Wrong Idea haunts him, because it has occurred to him that someday The Wrong Idea may become The Right Idea, and if The Right Idea ever becomes popularly known, another Wrong Idea will fall into circulation, and he will become known as a cradle-snatcher for sitting and not drinking coffee with his young and attractive friend.

His young and attractive friend belches in his face, as if to make a point. She is nothing if not eloquent. Her sophistication, as evidenced by a coffee-and-brandy foam mustache that clings determinedly to the soft curve of her lip, is also not in question.

For the moment, the Wrong Idea is still the Wrong Idea. Coffee is still coffee, no matter what alcohol proof it contains, and he is still worried. But then he looks at her, with her froth mustache and her soft skin and her radiant life, and he realises that there is no way The Wrong Idea can become The Right Idea, because there is no way Yuffie can desire such a thing.

Sighing, he stands back on the edge of his own personal chasm, and prepares to take the plunge. He lifts the coffee cup to his mouth with a smooth and practised indifference and begins to drink.

Except, there is no coffee. There are only tiny feathered marks where Yuffie's lips have been, overlapped by broader marks where his have touched. Yuffie grins at him, licking her lips to rid herself of her flavoured facial foam.

"Didn't think you were the type who went for indirect kisses, Vince." she winks.

He tumbles into the chasm. It is not nearly as dark as he had thought it to be.

Yeah, just fluffish. Too long for my other (upcoming) flashfic collection.