Summary: Quick Halloween story, as Cid and Vincent try to find something suitable to wear for the Halloween party. One shot.
Warnings: Swearing, male x male and female x female relationships mentioned
Cid perched on the edge of his armchair, watching Vincent. The pale man was curled up in his seat, reading a book, quiet and letting a candle provide the light he needed. Vincent's eyes glowed softly and Cid lit a cigarette. It was calm and quiet here, and Cid was happy, but he worried that it wasn't good for Vincent to be so cooped up. The other had been imprisoned for a long time, and he wanted to try and bring him back into society. Whilst they had been battling Sephiroth, the ex-Turk had been active, but now he remained inside their cottage aside from when he was working for Reeve.
"Hey, Vince..." The man looked up, and Cid smiled slightly at the way the gunner stretched, folding over the corner of his page and turning to face him.
"What is it Chief?" Vincent asked, voice soft, a little amused. He could tell Cid had been thinking for a while, and was curious as to where this conversation was going to go.
"Has Reeve mentioned the Halloween party to you?"
The ex-Turk arched an eyebrow, and Cid found himself fidgeting. Vincent was very good at shaking his confidence at moments like this. He swore under his breath, then sat back to look up at him.
"Look Vince, it's on the 31st. We have to dress up, all of AVALANCHE will be there, and some of ShinRa – those Turks you saved will be there." He hesitated, then used the final fact which he hoped would persuade the man he loved. "Reeve really wants you there, he's using red and black decorations for your sake."
Vincent paled a little. He didn't like parties. He'd been alone for a long time, and finding himself surrounded by people made him feel sick.
"Chief, do you want to go?"
"Hell yeh." Cid answered. "It'd be great to see everyone again." He hesitated. "But I won't go if you'll be at home panicking. And I ain't gonna force yer."
Vincent thought for a moment. He knew Cid was willing to abandon his own fun for his sake, and he wanted to do something for him. He took a deep breath.
"I'll go. But we leave when I've had enough alright?"
"Brilliant." Cid answered, hopeful that once they had arrived at the party, Vince might actually like it. He wouldn't have asked Vincent if he'd believed that the gunner would have hated it the entire time. He wasn't cruel, he just wanted him to be well and to relax.
"You said we had to dress up?"
"We have to dress for Halloween." Cid admitted.
"Fancy dress?" Vincent said with a slight sigh.
"Yeh. We'll find something you like."
Vincent settled back into his chair, arching an eyebrow and looked at him curiously.
"You can suggest outfits. I'll tell you what I think of them." He drummed his fingers on the armrest. "And don't suggest anything too appalling or I'll change my mind about going."
Cid pursed his lips, tilting his head. He frowned slightly.
"What about a vampire?"
"No. Yuffie would laugh at me forever, and I've spent enough time linked to coffins."
"I could just let Death Gigas out. Plus I'm pretty much sewn together anyway."
"I could let Galian out."
"Shit Vince, you aren't making this easy." Cid muttered, wracking his mind for further ideas. His eyes lit up.
"No. Cid, please try and be sensitive. I'm haunting myself."
"I have had enough of those." Vincent screwed his face up in disgust. Cid moved closer, embracing him, stroking his fingers over Vincent's messy hair. He hadn't realised it would be this hard. The last thing he wanted was to upset the other. He should have known a demon was a bad suggestion.
"Sorry Vince, I'll find something good for you I promise."
"What about a mummy?" He suggested.
"Chief..." Vincent leant back against Cid's hand. "I've spent enough time wrapped in bandages. And before you suggest it, not a nurse. I don't want to think about Hojo."
Cid frowned a little at that. He had some degree of sense, even if Vincent would have been cute in a nurse's outfit. He considered for a few moments, then smiled.
"What about a cat?"
"Nanaki would chase me." Vincent answered, arms crossed.
"Cid, I am a zombie." He moved closer towards him. "Brains?" He asked, head tilted to one side, smiling shyly. He sat down on Cid's lap, nibbling on the pilot's ear. "Braiiins."
Cid arched an eyebrow. "No. I can't trust you as a zombie. What about a policeman?"
"I can't trust you if I'm a policeman." Vincent muttered, and the two of them laughed nervously, despairing of the possibility of finding something worth wearing. They sat in silence for a few moments, searching for ideas, and then Cid's eyes lit up.
"Elena, ya can' dress as a dominatrix for Halloween." Reno said patiently, picking at a rubberized piece of peeling flesh on his arm. The party was going well, though when he had lurched towards Tseng, asking for brains, the head Turk had simply said he would be happy to oblige, as gaia knew Reno needed them.
"I'm not a dominatrix. I'm a vampire."
Reno glanced over at Elena's outfit – short leather skirt, PVC corset, fishnet tights, heels, long black silk gloves and a knife on her side, and decided that wherever Elena was getting her idea of vampires from, he wanted in. His gaze wandered over to the woman at Elena's side. Shera was cradled against her, the shy scientist in a plain white dress and barefoot.
"An' what's girly doing?"
Shera opened her mouth to answer, and was interrupted by Elena.
"She's my innocent virgin. All vampires need one." She snuggled Shera to her chest, and when she spoke Reno noticed that she was, in fact, wearing fake vampire fangs. He rolled his eyes and wandered away from those two, instead wrapping his arms around Rude's waist.
"Hello officer. You gonna arrest me?"
Rude smirked, nodded, and reached for his cuffs.
Across on the other side of the room, Rufus and Nanaki sat – Rufus on a chair, and Nanaki crouched on the floor. The two of them had unofficially designated it the corner for those too sensible to dress up – Rufus was too professional for such foolishness, at least in his own mind, and Nanaki was worried he'd somehow set the outfit on fire. Reno, however, had described it as the 'fuckin' borin' corner', and that name had stuck.
Rufus smiled as he saw Tseng walking past in his ever-present blue suit.
"You didn't dress up either?" He petted the seat next to him. "There's plenty of room with us."
Tseng smirked at him calmly.
"With respect sir, I'm here as a Turk."
"You're off duty tonight."
"I know. But I am in a Turk-suit. My outfit is that of a Turk."
Nanaki and Rufus exchanged confused glances, as they tried to decide whether or not that counted as an outfit.
The two of them turned as a brunette figure walked in, dressed in black, with a red cape around them and a golden arm glinting under the edge of the ragged fabric. With a flourish, they moved their arm, revealing the facial hair, and Reeve bowed to the assembled crowd, who began to laugh. Even Rufus smiled.
"You do a better Vincent than Vincent does. If you're both here at the same time it'll get confusing." Rufus didn't doubt for a second that Vincent would turn up in his usual outfit. As they watched, Cait bounded out from underneath "Vincent's" cloak, with a pair of puppy ears and a dog's tail over his normal ones. The strange creature did a couple of bows, then headed over into the back, looking for darker corners to investigate.
Cloud was sat on a bar stool, the white sheet he was wearing draped across his shoulders, then falling limply to the ground. He was here as a ghost, and he felt like one. His mind kept straying to the friends and enemies that had been lost, to her, and to him. He'd been Zack's ghost for a long time, and this was a foolish choice of clothing. He smiled weakly as he found himself being shoved face-first into cleavage, pulling away to gain some air and finding himself facing Tifa, who grinned at him from beneath the brim of her witch's hat. He waved, then flopped forwards back onto her chest. She petted his head sympathetically through the sheet, knowing her friend was sulking.
A moment later, Cloud yelped in shock as a hyperactive schoolgirl in the form of a kleptomaniac ninja pounced on him. Tifa shoved Yuffie away, to a whine of complaint from the girl, and continued to comfort Cloud.
A short distance away, Denzel, in full SOLDIER regalia in child size, was trying to show off. He waved the foam sword that had come with his outfit above his head, trying to thrust and cut the way that he had seen Cloud do. Normally, he'd have asked Cloud for help, but the older man seemed to be distracted so he gave him space. Marlene however didn't seem aware that the young boy didn't know what he was doing, cheering and clapping even though it made her halo bounce and her wings flap as though she was trying to get airborne.
The party continued, and Reeve pushed his way through the crowd, to perch on the stool next to Cloud. Cloud carefully extricated himself from the comforting position he had found on Tifa, and turned to his occasional-employer and friend.
"Do you know if Vincent's coming today?"
"He said he might. But he doesn't really do parties."
"You don't think my outfit will upset him do you?"
"It won't Reeve. You worry too much. Just relax."
At that moment, the double doors swung open. Everyone turned in unison to watch who was arriving. Vincent strode in, black trench coat stretched out behind him, and a black leather stetson perched on his head, hair hanging down loose. A vivid red scarf was tied around his neck, to cover the scars, and he was wearing a black shirt and trousers, his image finished by black boots with silver spurs that glinted in the light. He pulled a pistol from his pocket, spinning it around his finger then firing at a balloon, popping it. He walked up to Tifa, sweeping his hat off of his head and bowing.
"A pleasure to see you ma'am."
Silence fell throughout the room, as everyone stared, stunned. They were surprised enough that Vincent had shown up, let alone that he had bothered to get into an outfit. It suited him, there was no doubt about that, and Tifa was left fanning herself with her witch's hat. The only noise was the creaking doors as they swung closed, before Tifa finally nodded in acknowledgement, swallowing audibly.
The doors opened a second time, and again the figure was met with stunned silence, though for a different reason from before. Cid walked in, head high, in a mid-thigh length brown dress, knee high black boots, and a brown Stetson. He was holding a silver toy pistol, and hadn't bothered to shave.
"What the fuck's that?" Reno shouted out, from his position on Rude's lap.
Still walking with confidence, Cid marched into the centre of the room, and then bent his knees in a curtsey. He looked up, meeting Reno's gaze, and winked.
"Halloween's meant to be scary."