Title: Dreary Decisions

Summary: After Deepground, Vincent just wanted to accept his fate in life and move on from Lucrecia. Unfortunately, fate is not so kind. Now, he must choose between saving the woman who still holds a piece of his heart, the man trying to win over his heart, and vengeance against the man seeking to ruin everything he holds dear.

Warnings: Explicit yaoi, graphicness, swearing, smoking, gore, angst, etc., etc.

Note: This is my first attempt at something that is serious, but not twisted. Be nice? Or not, I'll just delete it in that case. The next one should be longer.

Crimson eyes looked around the barren bar before settling on Marlene. Walking over to the small girl, metal boots clattering against the clean floor, he peered down at the child. "You told me to be here by five..." he said, voice dark and deep even though the brown-eyed girl smiled warmly at him.

"Yeah! Don't worry, Mr. Vincent, Daddy is here! So is Yuffie, Cloud, Tifa..."

"...What about the others?"

"They'll be here soon," Marlene said with a wide smile, patting the seat next to her in the booth. Following her silent command, the gunner sat down beside the girl, listening to her talk about Denzel, Cloud Tifa, and Barret as the hours ticked by. Once the other members of Avalanche began to filter into the empty bar, Marlene scampered off, leaving Yuffie to take her place.

Listening to the young ninja ramble about materia for a few hours, the ex-Turk looked around the room, unable to focus on her words as something nagged at his mind, taking note of Cait and Reeve talking to Cloud, Tifa and Barret talking with Marlene happily seated on his lap, and Denzel lounging with Nanaki, the gunner paused. Scanning the room again, the frowned, cutting into the Wutaian girl's lengthy diatribe about her father's ruling of Wutai while communicating openly with ShinRa, Inc.

"Where is Highwind?" Vincent cut in.

Shrugging, the ninja replied, "Who knows? Old Man probably got drunk and forgot that the party was today. Eh, Tifa will call him later to complain." Nodding slightly, the gunslinger took a sip of the water that Tifa had left for him, continuing to listen to the ninja as the night slowly dragged on, the party seeming to hold tightly to the hands of the clock and slow it from ticking away the hours. Every time the gunner attempted to sneak out of the party, Marlene, Yuffie, and Tifa brought him back. The one time he blatantly strided to leave through the front door, Reeve called him over for a lengthy discussion on the ongoing endeavors of the W.R.O. and how well the populace and destroyed cities were rebuilding their homes.

Eventually, to the gunner's lackluster delight, the festivities died down and the members of their group settled down in their rooms upstairs. Following Marlene to his spare room, the gunner sat down on the bed, nodding to the young girl in appreciation before he sat down on the bed in the dark. Marlene closed the door behind here, leaving the brunette to the taciturn night as lied back. Listening carefully through the silence, he could make out the muffled sound of Tifa as she spoke on the phone, voice muffled as she threatened someone that if he was drunk, she was going to beat him severely.

Assuming that she was speaking to the missing pilot, the ex-Turk pulled out his own phone going through his messages. Ignoring the nameless numbers, he went directly to his voice-mail, one of the few things he managed to figure out on his own. Skipping past Yuffie's messages, the brunette paused at the sound of Cid's voice.

"Hey, Val! Yer comin' to the party tonight, right? If ya need a ride, let me know; Shera's drivin' me up a fuckin' wall with all her double-checkin' my fuel ta make sure I got enough ta get there an' back. If ya ain't there, I'm comin' down to yer fuckin' hole-in-the-wall apartment an' I'm kickin' yer sorry, broodin' ass out of there fer a good time! Got it? Heh, see ya in a few hours, Val!"

Frowning, the ex-Turk replayed the message. There was no hint that the pilot was drinking in his voice; exasperated, yes, but not even the slightest bit tipsy. Listening to his options, the brunette pressed a button, listening to the brief ring as it dialed the aviator before going directly to voice-mail.

"Busy now, leave me a fuckin' message an' I'll get back ta ya. An' stop takin' my fuckin' materia, Brat!"

Staying silent at the beep, the gunner hung up before trying again. Still getting no reply, he could not help the nagging feeling that grew in his mind. Throughout the incident with Deepground, the gunner had not spent as much time with the pilot as he did during the Meteor debacle. Granted, it had been within a shorter period of time, the brunette could not help but feeling as though he had been avoiding the blonde. Was Cid avoiding him in return now? As much as he wanted to believe that the message he received earlier proved otherwise, a knot grew in his stomach. Was he upset for seemingly avoiding the gruff blonde? Did Cid give up and finally decide to end their 'friendship?' Was he forgoing all of his offers to drink together?

Giving the number one more try, the brunette sat up, growling softly at when he was sent to voice-mail again. Hanging up, the brunette made sure he had everything that he had brought with him before exiting through the window. Swiftly scaling the building, the ex-Turk hurried across the rooftops, making his way out of the lifeless slums, he walked over to Healin, practically scaring Reno into swallowing his cigarette.

"What's up, Valentine?" Reno asked as he puffed on his cigarette, hacking on the smoke. "Trying to scare me into eating my cigarette?"

Sounding un-amused, the brunette calmly states, "I need a ride to Rocket Town." Confronting the blonde seemed far better then letting despair and nagging guilt fill his mind.

If Cid was not going to come to him, he was going to come to Cid...

Review if you want more.

Also, I'm looking for ideas and/or prompts for stories. Got any?