Don't Forget

Katherine still enjoys the cakes at Chrono Rabbit and Vincent makes every effort to meet up with her when she insists they do lunch. He likes listening to her as she talks about her day, the high points and the low, but even more than that he likes the way the light flashes off her wedding ring. He knows she likes it, too, because more than once he's seen her staring at it with that beautiful smile on her face.

She accidentally scrapes her fork across her dish and apologizes for the disturbance. Vincent smiles and dismisses the unpleasant sound as inconsequential even as feint remnants of a nightmare creep like darkness into his mind's eye, a devil's voice announcing the fists of grudge...

But he's fine. Really. He promises, even.

"Gary, how many girls do you plan on juggling? This is the fourth one!" Vincent suddenly overhears. The smiles wipes off his face in an instant and Katherine frowns as he pales. She murmurs his name, but he ignores it, can barely hear it, as he peeks over his shoulder.

There's a couple seated in one of the booths, a little redheaded woman and a lean Asian man, and the woman is talking on a cellphone. She's grimacing into space as the person on the other line talks and her partner looks exasperated.

"Vincent, it's over, right? There's no more..." Katherine's voice is in his ear and it calms the tempest of his mind. He knows she can't possibly even begin to understand the raging torrents in the aftermath of the climbing nightmares and Astaroth's childish teasing and praising, of risking a fall into that abyss and being chased by distorted visions of torment, but he recognizes her efforts.

She could know about it all, but she'd never understand.

They were both all right with that.

"God, you're such a pig!" The woman at the other table says as she snaps her phone shut. "Sorry about that..."

The Asian man sighs, "Your brother is getting in way over his head, Mel."

"Yeah, I know."

"I wonder if he's ever heard of that curse? Woman's wrath or something."

"Huh? What's that?"

"Hey, Katherine," Vincent says as he pushes himself from the seat. "I'm gonna head back to work now, if that's all right. Got to look for errors in the newbies' Java, you know?"

Though he can see she's put out, he can also see that Katherine accepts this. "Sure. I'll see you at home later, okay?"

He leaves, fervently pushing memories of glowing sclera and falling sheep away.

He's okay. He's fine. But he doesn't think he'll be back to normal any time soon.

A/N: Katherine's good ending. Good game, yes?