AN: For vincid-vinseph club on deviant art, which had a list of prompts to use.
Pairing: Vincent and Cid
Warnings: Bad language, a relationship between two men, angst and character suicide. Also, cigarettes, but I don't know if that counts.
Age had not been kind to Cid Highwind. In the twenty years since he had helped save the world, he had begun to suffer. The alcohol he would knock back, and his chain smoking hadn't helped. It was his lungs that had gone, leaving him wheezing and gasping for air, first when he ran, then when he went up stairs, and finally when he walked. The doctors had been very sympathetic and kind as they had told him that his remaining time on Gaia might be counted in months not years. They'd been patient as they tried to tell him he would have to be in a wheelchair, that even walking was too much for him. They'd listened patiently as he had screamed and cursed, then doubled over trying to gasp in air. They'd exchanged looks of sympathy as Vincent had taken Cid from the room, holding him close, telling him that it wasn't the doctors' fault.
Cid sat in his wheelchair, on the balcony of his and Vincent's house, staring without seeing at the sky. He was shaking with rage. He couldn't help it. Since he had found out, he'd found himself overwhelmed with anger. It wasn't fair. He snarled in frustration. He and Vincent had had so little time together. Vincent had gone from being his lover, eager enough to pounce on him in the shower, to his carer, lifting him into the bath.
Vincent wasn't affected by age. He was still twenty seven, hair pure black, without a single grey hair, no wrinkles on his face. When they were out together, they weren't viewed as a couple any more. People thought Vincent was a kind son, taking care of his ill father. Cid hated that. He was furious. There was a lot of hatred in him now, and the only thing that diluted it, stopped it from drowning him, was the love he felt for Vincent, that Vincent felt for him. Vincent was still a young man, with a young body, and it bought Cid a great deal of shame that he could no longer satisfy the other the way he once had.
Vincent walked in, handing Cid a cup of tea, and placing his own down on the table. He walked back into the kitchen, returning with a plate of sandwiches. He placed it down next to his glass of tea, and sat beside Cid, smiling softly at him. Cid reached out and took one, returning the smile. His anger subsided as he saw his love's red eyes. Vincent leant and kissed his hand. Cid laughed, feeding the sandwich to Vincent and being fed in return.
"Thanks Vinny, lunch is great."
"You're welcome. How are you feeling?"
"I'm good." Cid answered instantly. The other couldn't know he resented him for his youth, or that he was frightened of death. As soon as he had spoken he doubled up, coughing heavily. Vincent stroked his back until the coughs subsided. He flinched, stroking Cid's shoulders.
"It's okay Cid. You're a fighter." Vincent's voice was shaking as he spoke. He couldn't bear to think of losing Cid, but he knew it would be soon. He knew Cid was losing the fight, no matter how many times they told each other he wasn't.
Cid shook his head, lighting up a cigarette and bringing it to his lips, inhaling deeply.
"It's okay Vin. I hate you having to see me like this, but I've had a good run of it. I saved the world, hell, how many people get to do that?" He leant against Vincent as he finished the cigarette. "And I met you. We've had somethin' special." Vincent held his hand.
"Other than dying? Nah, not much Vinny, just... well, I wish I could have made it up to the stars you know? It was a dream... I'll do it in the lifestream."
Vincent leant over, kissing Cid, trying to memorise that scent, commit it for eternity. Cid was still handsome in his eyes, even with his weakness. Cid squeezed his hand.
"How about you Vin? Any regrets?"
Vincent looked down and nodded. There was a big one, one so big he was scared of telling Cid, but he wanted him to know.
"I... I've loved every moment with you Cid. It's been perfect. I'm just scared. I'm scared of being alone forever, and..." This was the worst bit. "My memory isn't perfect Cid. Give me a thousand years, ten thousand... I'll have forgotten your voice, your face..." He shuddered, and Cid embraced him, stroking his hair.
Cid let his love lean against him for a few moments, overwhelmed by guilt for resenting the other's immortality. Compared to Vincent, he had it easy. He thought for a moment, then spoke, determined not to let Vincent angst. He might have been old and bitter, but he wasn't useless yet.
"Vin... try not to let think about it. Just... well, let's not waste what we've got left. Let's make memories." He smiled slightly. "How about... how about going up into the sky once more? My old ship's still in working order, and... well, it's risky, but it isn't like my health will get any worse." He turned to Vincent, hoping he could see the desperation in his eyes. Vincent nodded, smiling at him, taking his wheelchair and pushing him to the ship.
Cid smiled to be settled behind the controls of the ship again. This was where he belonged, not trapped in a wheelchair and waiting helplessly for the end. This was where he always wanted to be. His hands moved over the controls automatically, lifting up into the air. Vincent was sat nearby, watching him, also smiling. He was glad to see his lover so content.
Vincent stayed quiet, watching. His thoughts began to wander as he stared out of the window. He thought of what Cid had said.
"Cid, what would happen if we got the ship to fly straight up?"
Cid shrugged, looking over at him.
"The ship couldn't take it. It'd fail, might even explode." He went silent, focussing on his flying, knowing that this might be the last chance he had to do it. He was still smiling at him.
Vincent sat in silence, thinking over what Cid had said. The idea of an explosion filled his head. He grabbed Cid's hand.
"Cid... do it..."
"What the fuck are ya on about Vinny?"
"This high up... a fire or explosion, it would kill me. It'd kill the demons too..." He spoke, voice shaking with hope.
Cid frowned at the thought of his lover wanting to die. He could see the sense though, and he'd rather have been a true captain, going down with his ship, than dying in a hospital bed.
"We can't leave it to chance Vin." He kissed him again, mind whirring. He grabbed a scrap of paper, scribbling the calculations of where it would be safe. Over an ocean would be their best chance, then hopefully there would be no damage caused by the wreckage. His thoughts were calm, accepting. He glanced up, seeing Vincent pacing.
Vincent looked at him.
"I want to... but the others..."
"We'll make a film. I can send it to them from here, then they'll get a chance to see it before..." He paused. "They can see it and understand." He turned to his love, grasping his hands as he explained to him what he had to do.
A short while later, Vincent stood beside Cid, staring at the lens of the video camera. He spoke, voice stumbling a little.
"I'll miss you, all of you, but this is the best way we can see of ending it. I'm sorry I didn't tell you, it wasn't our idea when we headed out. It's alright if you're upset, or angry, but this is for the best. We're going to be together always."
Cid wrapped his arm around his waist and began to speak.
"You guys look out for each other, and the kids. I'll be watching from the lifestream, and if you mess up too bad, I'll remember it and tease you rotten later."
Vincent leant back against Cid and kissed him softly on the lips.
"We've had a good life. I'm glad I got to meet you all... just please... please try not to hate me. It's what we have to do. I'm so honoured to have spent time with you, fought alongside you, and been your friends. Vincent Valentine."
Cid held Vincent, letting the other rest on his shoulder.
"I'll see you guys later. Be good. This is your captain speaking, for the last time. Cid Highwind." He reached forwards, switching off the camera. "We don't have ta do it Vinny. I haven't sent it, ya don't..."
"I want to." Vincent replied. "You send that off, I'll get ready." With that, he left. He changed into his best suit, and picked up an oil can. He walked through the cockpit, splashing the petrol around, coating the surfaces. Cid looked up at him. He'd dressed in a favourite pair of jeans and a t-shirt, one that he'd been wearing when they first met. He was still flying. Eventually, he moved away from the controls, getting unsteadily to his feet.
"I sent it. We're over the ocean. You look amazing Vinny. You always do."
Cid nodded, face serious, letting Vincent help support him so that they could stand together. He pulled a packet of cigarettes from his pocket.
"One last cigarette." He lit it, inhaling deeply, remembering his doctors' advice not to do that anymore. It didn't matter now, not when they were dying anyway. His free arm was around Vincent's waist. Eventually, he dropped his arm to the side, and Vincent's arms wrapped around his shoulders.
Vincent leant, his lips brushing over Cid's. They pulled away for a moment, gaze turning to the stars visible through the window. Cid reached out, pulling a lever and making the ship begin to rise, before leaning back in. Neither of them bothered saying they loved the other. It was already known. Cid's lips met Vincent's with passion now, kissing him fiercely, with devotion and possessiveness. Vincent kissed back, grip tightening.
Cid dropped the cigarette.