Disclaimer: What is it with you and sleep?

boo: ... ... ... it's for sissies?

Disclaimer: Uh-huh. Boo doesn't own ToS. And if you're minded to sue her, don't bother, she's so poor she can't even afford laundry detergent.

boo: DISCLAIMER! Don't tel them THAT! DX

"Vincent, are you in love with me?"

Vincent blinked, staring at the ninja sitting across the table from him, her head resting lightly on her hand. Her face was deceptively bland, innocent... uncaring. Except that she had actually called him 'Vincent' instead of 'Vinny', 'Vin Vin', or some other annoying nickname, so she was serious. It was a simple question. He ought to be able to answer it without any trouble. And yet, he was floundering. Did he love her? He'd always thought that he still loved Lucrecia, but now that she mentioned it, that didn't seem right any more.

So he would think about this rationally. What was Yuffie to him?

She was like a fly, annoying, and hard to get rid of. But now that he thought about it, recently he hadn't been trying to get rid of her. In fact, he realized, he enjoyed her company. There were times when he felt altogether too old and worn by himself. She made him feel younger. She made him remember that chronologically he was sixty, but physically he was only 29.

She kept dragging him places. Failing that, she would hang around him all day whenever she decided it was time to visit him again. She'd clean his apartment, chattering at him endlessly about Wutai and all the plans she and Godo had for bringing it back to its former glory. She had thrust a kitten upon him, saying he needed a pet, and that she would feed it and train it, but he needed it. He named the black bundle of fur "Ninja", only partially after her. The little scamp liked to trip him on his way to the toilet in the middle of the night.

She was a ray of light, he decided. She kept him from succumbing to what demons he had left. She kept him sane, and reminded him that for all the terrible things in this world, there were twice as many good things. She found something wonderful in every day. Her laughter lit up his heart. He'd kill anyone that made her cry.

And yet, she was not pure light. He'd seen her fall into spirals of depression, often during long weeks of rain, or after fighting with her father. She cussed up a storm when she was angry, and went looking for fights. He'd patched her up often enough when she hadn't quite won those fights. And she still stole, and cheated, and lied. But her imperfections gave her character. Without them she would be static, and boring, and they would not be having this conversation in the first place.

He couldn't imagine life without her, he realized. He couldn't imagine her just not being there. He missed her when she was too busy in Wutai to come see him, and he missed her even more when he was busy on missions. More than that, he missed her when he woke up in the morning, and when he went to sleep at night. During the Sephiroth affair, she had always been there, and he hadn't appreciated that until suddenly, she wasn't.

Yes, he decided, he probably did love her.

"Yes." He said simply. It was nothing to be embarrassed about, after all. People fell in love every day, all over the world.

"Oh good." She said with a grin. "Cause I'm in love with you too and it would have been real awkward otherwise."

He took a sip of his beer, ignoring the stares from everyone else in the bar. Yuffie, ever oblivious, went back to re-wrapping the grip on her shuriken. The others slowly went back to whatever they had been doing before she had asked her question.

boo: Kindly review, and tell me what you think! /heart/