It's hilarious when plot bunnies get ahold of you, isn't it? This one demanded to be written all in one sitting, and well, here we are!
This was actually only supposed to be, like, three pages at the longest, but obviously that didn't happen. It ended up at twelve. Lol. Hurray for stories that are four times longer than originally planned! And now I want to try writing some Cloud/Tifa because they are my OTP! *goes starry-eyed*
Another quick note: Galian is in his Dirge of Cerberus form here. To be honest, I actually much prefer the original design, but, well, the DoC one was more appropriate for this situation. Nrrrr.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, for I am not an executive or anything resembling one at Square Enix! I'm just Saya Moonshadow, a fan who happens to love Final Fantasy VII...a lot!
Summary: Yuffie Kisaragi fears very few things, and to the Galian Beast's surprise, it isn't one of them. Yuffie/Vincent.
Still Not Afraid
By: Saya Moonshadow
She is a very strange little human.
The Galian Beast is fairly fierce, as far as demons go (though it's honestly tame compared to, say, Hellmasker), but even it likes to stop and think about things that confuse it every once in a while. And the little ninja girl, whom it has christened "Little One" in lieu of her actual name, confuses it greatly.
For one thing, she doesn't seem to be afraid of it - of any of them, really, even though other demons are afraid of those that dwell within the Host. Galian Beast, Death Gigas, Hellmasker, Chaos.
(Even though Chaos was ripped away and now resides back in the Lifestream, where all things will inevitably go. It misses him sometimes; he was the only one who ever bothered trying to explain things to it.)
It lets out a huff as the large wolf it has just torn open with a Berserk Dance falls, blood on its claws, and turns to face the Little One. She hasn't fared very well during this battle, it notes with some concern - she is sitting on the ground, completely exhausted and with deep claw marks running down her left arm. More claw marks adorn her bare stomach, the red contrasting the tan of her skin.
The Host is still completely out of it, and the Galian Beast doesn't feel like giving up its corporeal-ness just yet, so it stalks towards her, quietly. When she notices its approach, she looks up and gives it a tired smile that quickly turns into a painful-sounding cough. Red is flecking her lips now.
It is beginning to get worried, and it doesn't like that fact.
"Hey, Galian," she says, and she's the only human to call it that and not by its full title, "you alright?"
It huffs back at her in reply. She nods as if she understands its language, though it knows that, at best, all she has is a general idea, and she has obviously taken its huff for a "yes".
"I think...think I may've bitten off a li'l more'n I can chew," she says, and she's not attempting to stand up. Her wounds are bleeding very badly, and it notices that the blood flow is not slowing down. She will need curing, as it believes the word goes, but being a demon, it has no idea how to go about using those bright, shiny orbs that she and the Host and the rest of their Pack use on a regular basis. Nor does she appear to have any of those shiny orbs that would help cure her, either.
Try to find a potion, Hellmasker's voice tells it. In the bag.
The Little One blinks confusedly at it when it starts nudging her pack with its snout, but doesn't move even when it begins to carefully dig through it. Its claws tear the fabric a bit, which she frowns at, but after a minute, it has come to the conclusion that there is nothing of any use in the damned thing. No potions that will help stop her blood from flowing at such an alarming rate.
It looks at her and wishes it could speak.
She looks back, and a small smile appears on her face. "Nothin' good in there, huh? Guess we didn't pack enough..." She slumps a little, breathing hard and holding her stomach where the slash marks are. "Damn wolves," she mutters. "They got me good."
The Galian Beast merely watches her and frowns. What is its protectiveness over this human girl? It does not like to see her in pain, and this confuses it because it feels this way about no other human. Even the Host's pain is usually inconsequential to it, but somehow, this little girl getting hurt seems like one of the worst travesties that could occur.
(Death Gigas doesn't like seeing her in pain, either, though he is also the only one to point out that the only time the Host ever seems to transform in battle these days is whenever the Little One gets hurt. It is an odd thought.
Hellmasker enjoys her pain the same way he enjoys everyone else's pain, but even he seems to be uncomfortable with feeding off of hers - and coming from the Avatar of Pain, this is truly something. Even the Host doesn't know what to make of this information.)
It still remembers its panic when she was engulfed in the Darkness during the Host's fight against that dark man, the one with the strange metal wings. It had practically gone into a frenzy, and only sheer, iron willpower had let the Host keep himself from transforming into it right then and there and going on a rampage.
That same panic had gripped it not moments ago upon seeing those wolves rip into her flesh while she was distracted with another of their pack, and in return, it had ripped into their flesh. But revenge wasn't enough to heal wounds, and it was becoming concerned very fast about the way her skin seemed to be going paler by the second.
Will she let it touch her, it wonders. It has the biggest urge to be near her, to curl up by her and lick her wounds, somehow ease the pain it knows she is in right now, but the question is whether or not she will let it do so without trouble.
Just because she is not afraid of it doesn't mean she wants it touching her.
"Hey, Galian..." Her voice is weaker than normal. "How come you haven't turned back? Vince is usually back out here by now..."
It huffs at her again in reply, still crouching somewhat uselessly by her tiny form, though it knows she will not be able to make this one out. The Host has yet to awaken from the sleep that the transformation causes him, and it looks like he might not awaken for a while yet. So for now, she's stuck with just the Galian Beast. Galian.
He cannot come out, Little One. I am sorry.
To its surprise, it sees its own massive paw reaching towards her and hurriedly withdraws it before she can take notice. It must not touch her. It does not know how she will react, and if she reacts badly, then there will be trouble.
This is the human that the Host has a hard time getting out of his head, and who he actually enjoys thinking about and being with, not that he's ever likely going to admit it to anybody. Even himself. But the feeling he gets from thinking about the Little One is different from the feeling he gets from thinking about anyone else; it's something...very pleasant, and strangely exciting. Very different from the usual distress or annoyance that being around people seems to bring.
And though the Galian Beast and its two cellmates may also protest otherwise, the Host's feelings for her have transferred at least in part to them as well.
It snaps out of its thoughts and looks at her again, and marvels at how even though its covered in the blood of the enemies it's just killed, she is still not showing any signs of being afraid of it. She looks a little scared, but not of it in the least. What she fears is the repercussions of her wounds and their current lack of any healing items. She's not afraid of the thing that could very easily finish the job right away. Funny how that works out.
"I...I need some help...I don't think I can walk..."
Nor should she be walking, not with those injuries, it knows. She'll lose more blood if she moves too much, and she's lost enough already.
To hell with it. The Host will be upset if the Little One dies, and the Galian Beast knows it's being honest with itself when it thinks that it would be too. In her current state, she won't be able to put up much of a fight, and besides, she is in need of help.
It reaches out for her again, this time slowly, watching her watch its enormous clawed paws as they extend towards her. She seems curious, but again, not afraid.
She hisses through her teeth as its paws take a hold of her arms, aggravating the injured one, and begin to pull her towards it, still slowly so as not to alarm her. "Galian, that hurts!"
It gives her another huff. I know, Little One.
Slowly, carefully, it bundles her into its arms and then onto its back as it goes down on all fours, trusting that she will know what to do by now - it's given her plenty of time to figure it out. For a moment, she sits on its back and doesn't do anything, but then it feels her small hands wrapping weakly around its horns, and it is satisfied. It sets off at a leisurely, yet still fast, pace so as not to jar her too badly, though it can still hear her occasional hisses of pain as her wounds are aggravated.
If it remembers correctly, there is an uninhabited cave somewhere around this area of the Nibel mountains, and...well, if that uninhabited cave now has inhabitants, chasing them out won't be but the work of a moment.
It finds the cave easily, and sure enough, there is now something living in it - though nothing too serious, and a few menacing growls are enough to send the smaller beast yelping out into the night.
The Little One laughs breathily as it carefully lifts her from its back, placing her down on the floor of the cave. "That was mean," she says, looking up at the Galian Beast with tired eyes that still hold too much pain for comfort. "But thanks anyway."
She earns a full-fledged bark for her thanks. You are welcome.
Now for the harder part. Her wounds are not bleeding quite so badly now - at least, it doesn't think they are, but instead, the flow of blood is becoming rather sluggish. Is that a good thing?
In a way, Hellmasker informs it, still feasting on the amount of pain coming from her. It means she's bleeding less. But a sluggish flow also means she's been bleeding for a while. You need to find a way to slow it down so it can scab over.
Did that mean that she was dying, then?
No. Not necessarily. But it is likely she will if you don't do something fast. Warm her up first; lost blood means she can very easily freeze to death.
It still has the Host's cloak around its waist. Vaguely, it wonders how that came to happen - isn't the thing usually around the Host's shoulders? - but it decides that that's a question for a later day and begins the task of attempting to take the red garment off without ripping the leather belts holding it closed.
Unfortunately, its claws are too big and clumsy to make sense of the leather straps, and so it decides to try sliding it down its hips instead and merely stepping out of it.
The Little One is watching it with tired curiosity, but it pointedly ignores her as it focuses on its task. The damned thing won't come off, and its body is simply not meant for the kind of movement needed to do it.
It manages to get its tail and one leg out, when the other one catches on the red cloth and yanks, causing the Galian Beast to let out a yelp and overbalance, toppling gracelessly over in a large, blue-furred heap.
A strange sound fills the air a second later while it is still lying there, stunned from its fall, and it takes a moment before it recognizes the sound as laughter. The Little One is laughing fit to burst, clutching her injured stomach and laughing so hard that tears are coming from her eyes and making tracks down her dirt-streaked face.
Once she sees it glowering at her, she attempts to cut her laughter off, but cannot quite manage to stop a few more giggles from escaping. "I'm sorry!" she says, wiping at her eyes and accidentally smearing a little blood on her left cheek. "It was funny!"
The Galian Beast huffs at her. It was not.
"I'm sorry for laughing, Galian," she smiles. "If you come here, I'll give you a hand. OK?"
It stares at her.
It touching her is one thing, because she obviously knows that that contact was going towards helping her and getting her out of the night air, but for her to want to touch it? No hesitance whatsoever? What is this?
Cautiously, it wriggles towards her, making her giggle again, and sits up when it is near enough for her to touch it. Her small hands make quick work of the buckles holding the tattered red cloak around the Galian Beast's waist, and within seconds, the damned thing is off and in the dog-like demon's paws.
It snorts with satisfaction and then lays it carefully on top of the Little One, who just looks dumbfounded at the action, even as the red cloth covers her face up. She pulls it down and wraps the cloak around herself, which pleases the Beast, but still looks completely and utterly confused.
"Were you...were you really trying to take this thing off so you could give it to me?" she asks.
It chuffs at her. Of course.
She nods, still confused, but thankfully decides not to press the issue. "Oh. Well, thank you."
And now for her wounds. It reaches for her again, taking her injured left arm in its paw instead of reaching for her stomach - because doing that will just scare her no matter what, it knows, so it's better to show her what it's doing with the less-serious of her injuries first - and inspects the four long clawmarks with fierce yellow eyes.
The Little One is utterly still, perhaps wondering just what it is doing now, but she still doesn't look scared. Odd human. She was more afraid of tiny spiders not even the size of her eyeball than she was of any of the Host's three remaining prisoners. One of whom was apparently having a love affair with a chainsaw and who feeds off of pain fresh from the source.
The wound looks dirty, though the Galian Beast notes with some satisfaction that the blood flow has indeed stopped. Watching her face warily, it lets it tongue loll out from behind its teeth. She is still not afraid...?
Though even Yuffie Kisaragi will jump in shock when a gigantic demon suddenly decides to lick her arm, wounded or not, she does not pull away. Perhaps she is merely too shocked to move, but the Galian Beast chooses to continue cleaning the clawmarks running from her shoulder to her forearm instead of dwelling on this.
"Wha...what..." she stutters, falling silent when it gives her another look. "Shutting up." she squeaks.
Once it is satisfied that her arm wound is clean and not a threat any longer, it nudges her upper body, where the red cloak is still clutched. One more to go.
"Galian, what are you-" the Little One begins to ask, though it can tell she understands what it wants. "You...you're cleaning me? Licking my wounds for me? Why?"
Another bark is her answer. Obviously because they need cleaning, Little One.
It notes that she is indeed nervous now but still not scared as she lets it push her onto the floor and peel the cloak away from her stomach. Oddly, her face is no longer pale but faintly red. It frowns at this but then shakes its head. She laughs when the white hair on its head tickles her nose, just barely holding in a sneeze.
Carefully, very carefully, it licks the wounds on her stomach, noting with anger just how deep they are - this is the worst wound of the two she received in that battle, and it is still bleeding. Bleeding slowly, but her blood is staining the Host's already-red cloak an even darker red, and getting all over her skin and her orange shorts in the process. The sight is a distressing one.
She twitches when it licks the wounds on her stomach, giving a small yelp of pain, and her hands are fisted in the material of the cloak and her face is once again pale with agony. She does not yelp again, but small sounds of discomfort come from the back of her throat, as it continues its self-appointed task, and once, it thinks it even hears a muffled sob.
Finally, the job is done, and the wound is clean and bleeding only a little bit. The Galian Beast lets it face relax into a doggish grin, its tongue lolling out of its mouth. But when it turns to look at her, seeking congratulations and thanks for its efforts, it notices that she seems on the verge of passing out.
Her eyes are scrunched shut with pain, and she is biting her lower lip so hard it's a wonder she hasn't punctured it by now. The Galian Beast nudges her with its snout, whining softly.
Does it still hurt that badly?
The Little One opens her eyes and lets out a breath in a whoosh that ruffles its white hair. And then she smiles at it, and the smile is only a little painful. "Thank you, Galian. It's not so bad now."
She is shivering now, and, remembering Hellmasker's words about freezing to death, it wraps the cloak around her once more, taking care not to press her wounds too hard. She still looks cold and still shivers, however, and so it gives into instinct and pulls her towards itself.
She doesn't protest when it curls itself around her, tail wrapping around her leg and one arm draped protectively over her body. Instead, she merely sighs and closes her eyes with a smile that is more content than pained.
"That's better. Thank you."
It huffs at her again, knowing she'll catch the meaning behind its various noises. After all, if she managed to get the gist of nearly everything else, then this one should be no problem at all.
You are welcome.
She drifts into an exhausted sleep a moment later, and the Galian Beast follows her after a little bit. When it awakes, it knows, it will be back within the Host's mind and the Host will once again have control over the body, but at the very least, it wants to see the expression on both their faces once they wake up.
As Chaos would have said, it was bound to be "priceless".
When Vincent Valentine wakes up, he is aware of the fact that he is strangely comfortable. Which is odd, because he appears to be lying on some kind of cold, stone floor, all the while missing his signature red cloak. He growls lightly, still not opening his eyes for they are always light-sensitive after a transformation; he swears, if that stupid dog has gone and lost his favorite red cloak, he'll-
A yawn that is not his startles him into going still, and it is with complete and utter shock that he opens his eyes to see that his red cloak is in fact right in front of him. And moreover, it appears to be wrapped around one Yuffie Kisaragi, Princess of Wutai and his fellow member of AVALANCHE.
Most shocking of all, he is, more or less, spooned against her back, one arm draped over her and his legs entwined with her own. He feels his face going hot, and knows without a doubt that if he does not get up and let go of her right now before she's conscious of her surroundings, then Yuffie will kill him. Goddamn Chaos, he just had to go and take away his immortality when he left, didn't he?
He freezes. Dear Phoenix, please just kill him now.
"Y...yes, Yuffie?" he hears himself reply.
She sits up and he follows suit, trying to move away from her as quietly and inconspicuously as possible; if she realizes what happened then he's dead, dead, dead, and it's all that damned dog's fault-
Even if she doesn't kill him for practically being wrapped around her in his sleep, he's still pretty certain he might just die of mortification and embarrassment. A lose-lose situation either way, then.
Yuffie surprises him by turning around and smiling at him in that bright, happy way that makes his heart race and all thought go out of his head, and Phoenix, what is going on, what happened-
"Good morning," she says, and he swallows his nervousness before answering.
"...good morning, Yuffie."
He stands and she hands him back his cloak, which he notices is covered in dark stains - her blood, he realizes after smelling it and seeing the scabbed over clawmarks on her left arm and on her stomach. They are still raw and red and she will need to take it easy for at least a few days, but at least she is alive.
Vincent holds a hand out to her, and she takes it, letting him pull her up. "How are you feeling?" he asks. Anything to keep her from asking questions.
"Just fine!" she says brightly, though he knows the wounds have to hurt. "Don't worry so much, Vinnie, Galian took good care of me."
He stares at her in confusion. Did he hear her right? The Galian Beast, first of his Limit Breaks and self-proclaimed terror of the world, took care of her while she was injured? "...what?"
"Oh, don't look so surprised," Yuffie laughs. "It was awesome, after he got done killing those...wolf-thingies, he picked me up and carried me over here, and then he licked my wounds - yes, even the stomach wound - and gave me your cloak, and then he kept me warm, and now here we are!"
Though he feels like turning around and digging himself a grave right this instant - because now he's certain that he's going to die of embarrassment - Vincent does his best to keep up his usual stoic facade. "Ah. I...I see."
It takes the better part of an hour to convince Yuffie to let him take her back down to Nibelheim to heal her up instead of continuing the mission, and he ends up getting annoyed at her endless assertions that she "can get down the damn mountainside by myself, Vince, I don't need you hovering over me, gawd," and scoops her up, carrying her the rest of the way to the sparsely populated town despite her loud protests.
In between ignoring the way Yuffie seems to fit perfectly into his arms and trying to safely navigate down the jagged mountain paths, Vincent decides his Galian Beast could use a little questioning.
Inside of his mind, the dog-like demon can indeed talk, but instead of explaining itself, it chooses to show him what happened between itself and Yuffie the night before, and dear Phoenix it's even worse than he'd originally thought.
WHY did you do such a thing?
Because I wanted to keep her safe, the Galian Beast replies. It gives him a sly look in his mind's eye. Isn't that what YOU would do, Host?
To a point, yes - though he wouldn't have licked her wounded body. Using the cloak as a makeshift bandage was what he would have done. Or, if her wounds desperately needed cleaning, he would have gone searching for water, and speaking of which, she'd need food and water as soon as they got back to Nibelheim. She was bound to be hungry and dehydrated from the exertion and blood loss of the night before.
Yuffie's head falls onto his chest, jarring him out of his whirring thoughts. She has fallen asleep again, which isn't so surprising, really...and he needs to pick up the pace.
Unfortunately for him, the Galian Beast, Death Gigas, and Hellmasker are only too willing to continue the conversation where it left off, and it is a very harassed-looking Vincent Valentine that stomps into Nibelheim a half hour later with Yuffie Kisaragi slumbering peacefully in his arms.
The doctor at the clinic very wisely chooses not to ask, and even more wisely does not tell Vincent to leave when he begins to clean and bandage Yuffie's scabbed-over injuries.
Though, he really can't understand just why the tall, dark, red-eyed man looks so disgruntled when he commends him for a job well done on keeping her from bleeding or freezing to death, or when he exclaims over how clean both wounds already are. He has a feeling he wouldn't understand this explanation either, anyway.
AN: ...yup. I kind of love the Galian Beast, and Vincent/Yuffie is just awesome. So why not write about them? Hopefully I managed to do them all justice.
And yeah, I think the Galian Beast has this whole pack instinct thing going, and it has its own names for virtually everybody. Who knows, maybe I'll do another thing about it later on or something. It's fun to write about.
Please review and tell me what you think!