AN: Written as part 7 of the prompting shenanigans with my main gurls, Le Requiem and junealondra. If you're new to the club, see my profile for full details. If run-on sentences make you want to vomit, turn back now.

Disclaimer: SquareEnix owns everything you recognize. I am making no profit from this except immense amount of happiness and entertainment.

Prompt 7: It's Tomorrow Somewhere

.xxx.

It hurts in the way that losing a limb hurts, Yuffie thinks. That is to say, it doesn't hurt much at all (at first) because you're too busy dealing with the shock and disbelief that someone just cut off your arm or leg or maybe even your face, to notice that there's buckets and buckets of pain and agony overloading your system.

She remembers reading about this lady who was keeping a Foulander for a pet (which she thinks has got to be the stupidest thing she's ever heard of since she heard of herself falling in love with him), and the lady's friend came over for lunch one day and the Foulander went berserk and ripped off the friend's hands and face.

She imagines that she can sympathize with the friend, at least a little.

It hurts in the way that a third degree burn hurts, she thinks. Not right when you get the burn, 'cause that for sure hurts like a bitch, but then there's that awful, awkward period of time after, when it's still healing where you can't take a hot shower 'cause the steam pisses it off, and you sort of want to cry but you don't because you're too busy being upset that your beautiful shower of hotness and glory isn't so beautiful or glory-filled anymore.

It hurts like an empty tooth socket, and it hurts like a shoe that's too small, and it hurts like it hurts seeing one of your best friends be neglected and screwed over by her one, true SOLDIER in Shine-less Armor.

It hurts like it hurts when you're seventeen and the guy you're stupidly and moronically and impossibly and foreverly in love with has told you that you're the bane of his existence and he couldn't care less whether you went off and died in a hole or came down with the deadly Mideelan Plague or entered into an abusive relationship with Reno, of all the messed up people.

It hurts like that, 'cause that's what happened.

Not that Vincent had said it in so many words, of course, but Yuffie had gotten the point.

The weather didn't even have the decency to rain. Not even a slight drizzle.

Instead, she's left standing outside the door to the Shin-Ra Mansion (which he had the decency to not slam in her face, but rather closed it calmly and quietly after giving her a simple, polite "I'm sorry"), blinking in the sunlight.

She feels slightly like a turtle, she thinks, standing there and blinking slowly and sort of moving away from the mansion but not really because this was so not how she pictured her grand confession of grandness and passion going in her head. Maybe she's a turtle because she's always worn green and maybe she should stop so she won't be a turtle anymore, and aren't turtles reptiles and if you cut off a reptile's tail, won't it grow back?

It hurts like a lost limb, but hers aren't going to re-sprout from the empty sockets all new and pink and perfect, because she is a Yuffie and not a reptile.

There's something in her eye, she thinks, and maybe she's losing that, too, because everything's getting a bit blurry around the edges.

She blinks again, like the turtle she is, and it all goes clear.

She finds her feet taking her back toward the Mythril Mines and Chocobo Billy's and Kalm and eventually Edge. There's dust on the toes of her too-big boots and she thinks it's maybe in her eyes again because they're still doing that watery thing. She thinks maybe she should see an optometrist.

Somewhere, somehow, she finds herself stumbling up the steps of the Seventh Heaven, a newborn chocobo taking its first steps, and Tifa takes one look at her face, which she imagines must look sort of like a zombie's, all dead and confused, or maybe it just looks like the face of a heartsick little girl, six and scared and why isn't Mommy waking up, and then she's wrapped in her best friend's arms and she feels like she's breathing for the first time in seventeen years and ohgawd-ohgawd-ohgawd it hurts.

There's gotta be something in the air she thinks, little pieces of glass and shrapnel, microscopic, that are tearing into her eyes and making them wet and drippy and ripping up her throat and lungs and making everything ache. And Tifa's rubbing her back like the mother she lost and her knees hit the floor and she worries she'll get splinters, and there's a weird, choking, broken sound that she just can't seem to place.

"Tifa, this… this doesn't feel very good." She whispers, and the barmaid's pretty face scrunches in that way where you feel so, so incredibly sad that you almost want to laugh.

"No… no it doesn't."

There's a lump in her throat that she just can't seem to swallow, and she's sure that she didn't have any peanuts so she can't be having an allergic reaction and she doesn't think that she's allergic to peanuts anyway because turtles aren't allergic to anything and she can't stop the questions from tumbling out 'cause if she tries, she thinks she's drowning.

"Is it gonna feel like this forever?"

Tifa's face crumbles again, pain and humor, and her root-beer-bottle eyes are misty, like the last drop that you can never get from the bottom of the glass. "Sometimes… it'll feel worse. But eventually, it gets better. It gets easier. Every tomorrow makes it hurt less."

And they both struggle to their feet and Yuffie looks down at the dusty toes of her too-big boots.

"Tomorrow…" she murmurs, glancing out the window. "It's tomorrow somewhere. But here, it's still today and… and and and it's still allowed to hurt."

It hurts like a bruise, ugly and yellow and purple, and it hurts like hot water on freezing hands and it hurts like a crushed dream and it hurts like it hurts to watch your mother, your martyr, your flower girl die.

It hurts like all of these things and like none of them at all, because it really only hurts like exactly what it is.

That night she sits in her room as the moon rises and wills her lost limbs to grow back and waits for tomorrow to arrive.

.Fin.

AN: The first thing I ever posted on fanfic (back when I was 14 and dumb-not that all 14 year olds are dumb, but I certainly was) was an unrequited Yuffentine oneshot, and it was literally the worst thing to ever crawl out of my brain and die messily and grossly on a word document. Some of you may have read it (I took it down a few months ago because I couldn't handle the shame anymore), but for those who haven't just trust me on this. It involved an overly-dramatic suicide note and fireworks and general over-angsting that my 14 year old self thought encompassed Twuuuu Luuuuvv. Anyway, THIS is my attempt at writing the same kind of story, five-ish years later with a more realistic way of looking at heartbreak. Especially young heartbreak.

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