AN: For Valenwind-Luvers "New" contest on Deviantart. I was trying to think of a plot, and this one just stuck out.
Pairing: Cid and Vincent
Warnings: Mentions of domestic violence, swearing.


They had had a bad fight, Vincent thought to himself as he gazed at his reflection in the mirror. As always, he bore no new physical wounds. The damage was to his psyche. Cid's words had cut as deep as Hojo's scalpel once had, and he was left feeling uncertain. He couldn't remember what the argument had been about now. He'd been left so exhausted, he had just fallen asleep. His eyes scanned the reflection of the room behind him, settling on the empty bed for a moment before focussing on a cardboard box on the bedside cabinet.

Cigarettes.

They'd fought a lot about those recently, Vincent was forced to admit to himself, screwing up his eyes to block the memories of raised voices, words he had snarled but not truly meant. He had said some dreadful things to Cid, and none of them had been true. He needed Cid. The fact he had upset him stung deeply. Vincent was tempted to stay in the room, or else see if he could curl up quietly in the closet and sleep, safe from the outside world, like he had been in his coffin. But he knew that was weak, and that he wouldn't be able to avoid Cid forever.

He made his way downstairs, his head bowed, his mind trying to remember the precise details of the night before. He knew he'd been irrationally angry, yelling at Cid about leaving him. Thinking about that left him feeling sick. He didn't want to leave, didn't want to lose Cid. The hand which wore the claws seemed heavy, and for a moment he worried that he might have raised a hand against Cid. He'd have rather died. The stairs creaked under his weight, and he realised he could not creep up on the other. He took a deep breath, and pushed open the door to the kitchen.

Cid was sat at the counter, gazing at a cigarette, rolling it backwards and forwards across the smooth surface with his fingertips. He was in a vest top, the kind he wore when he was working on a craft. Vincent sighed slightly, knowing that for today at least he came a distant second to Cid's true love, the open air. He approached Cid anyway, sitting down beside him with his feet tucked neatly under him. Cid handed over the muesli Vincent liked, quiet, not making his normal biting comment about Vincent preferring food meant for rabbits. He stood to fetch the milk, still silent, and Vincent saw the band aid stuck on Cid's arm.

Vincent felt faint, having to rest his head on the table, panting for air to remain conscious. He shuddered, disgusted with himself. Maybe he had hurt Cid. Even if he hadn't, then Cid had injured himself on the craft this morning, when he was trying to give Vincent space. He understood that Cid liked his craft, but he only ever made mistakes when he was stressed, and he was only stressed because of Vincent.

The band aid wasn't very big, a square about half the length of Vincent's thumb, but its presence worried him. The machines Cid worked with, much like Vincent's own claws, were extremely dangerous, and if the other had been spared serious injury this time, it was simply because of luck and so was nothing to be proud of.

Cid plonked the milk down before him, shattering his train of thought, grinning up at him.
"Hey Val. Ya in a better mood than last night?"
"Yes." Vincent replied quickly, for once not protesting at the nickname. Instead, he looked up guiltily at Cid. "And I am sorry. For what I said and did. If I hurt you...I only wish to atone, if there is any way that I can."

Cid's forehead creased in concern, and he walked closer, throwing an arm over Vincent's shoulder.
"Hey. Val. No, don't get in one of yer moods wi' me. I didn't get up early and make a special trip into town jus' fer you to go and hide in your goddamn coffin again."
Vincent had the grace to blush at that comment. He hesitated, wondering what it was Cid had gone to get him. It made him feel worse, the thought that Cid might have gone to buy him a present to placate him, after he had been the one to hurt Cid. That just...it hardly bared thinking about in his mind.

Cid kissed his cheek.
"Gaia, you're fucking miserable this morning Val. Come on, chin up. I got yer a present."
"You didn't have to..." Vincent whispered nervously.
"Wait till ya see them first." Cid answered with a wide grin, walking over to the side and picking up a cardboard box filled with what appeared to be band aids. He threw them to Vincent, who caught them, looking at them in confusion. He saw a word on the side, and frowned, then looked back up at Cid's smiling face.

"They're nicotine patches Val. They're gonna help me cut down on smokin. I aint quitting, I like smoking and Hell, I need it when I got my own emo vampire to look after. But I'm gonna cut down. You were right, I don't want to lose you. I'm gonna live as long as I can, for your sake."

Vincent felt his heart fill with love, softly and gratefully whispering Cid's name. The airship pilot squeezed his shoulder fondly.
"That's my boy Val. Now, let's go and eat some disgustingly artery clogging food for breakfast..." Seeing the look on Vincent's face, he chuckled out loud. "I still need to have some fun you know Val!"

Vincent nodded.
"We can go to that cafe you like..." He rested a finger for a moment on the new band aid, touched by the gesture. He had Cid for a little longer, and he was grateful for that.