An Angels Pain
Chapter 1: Blood
Vincent propped himself on the couch then dipped his head back in the sincere hope of cracking it and relieving the incessant pain. After a few dips and turns, he cursed quietly as he realized his efforts were made in vain. He massaged his stubborn neck and decided that he’d just deal with it for now. With his intentions placed on distracting himself from the pain in his neck, he picked up his current book and turned to the page saved with a photo. Yet instead of reading, he took a moment to regard the bookmark. A photo of Cloud and Tifa on their wedding day. They did look sweet together, Vincent had to admit. Tifa had looked stunning that day, with her white gown and slightly pink face, her smile so genuine and so…happy. It was then Vincent remembered the look on Tifa’s face when he ruined it all. No. Not him. Chaos. It was Chaos who ruined the wedding. The demon hated Tifa. Absolutely hated her. And with that mindset, Chaos had not planned on leaving that wedding without Tifa’s blood staining his claws. Not a difficult task considering his host also held an endearing hate for the beautiful brunette. Vincent knew that he didn’t entertain the idea of Cloud and Tifa’s wedding, but he passed the feeling as a selfish weakness. A weakness Chaos took advantage of. Chaos gained control of Vincent’s body without the host’s permission and ruined the wedding, using the shared hatred as a bridge to control.
“Damn…..” Vincent hissed. He wished he didn’t hate the girl, for the reason for the abhorrence was rather silly. Cloud. It was because he wanted Cloud. He wanted him bad enough to develop an unhealthy hatred for the one who Cloud truly loved.
Then again, Chaos turned that love/hate situation into a weakness that the hellion could use as an opportunity to kill Tifa. Which he almost achieved. Almost.
Vincent had regained control through a valiant mental battle with the demon, but when he had returned, he found the wedding hall in shambles. Guilt overwhelmed the gunslinger and he left, vowing never to return to see the couple ever again.
It pained him to make that decision. To leave and not return would mean he’d never see Cloud again, but if that ensured the safety of Tifa, then so be it.
Regardless, the picture still made his blood boil with jealousy and without a second thought, he flung the photograph into the hearth where the picture and the memories stirred upon sight of it could be burned away for all eternity.
Or so he thought.
He looked back upon his book only to be interrupted by a loud rapping at his door. He groaned as he heard his front door’s locked be picked followed by the sound of the door opening and closing. Only one person would be so bold as to break into the former Turk’s abode. After announcing herself, no less.
“Yuffie…..” the gunslinger growled irritably as the hyperactive ninja made her way into the den where he sat. He groaned, because for one reason or another, the pain in his neck returned at the sight of the young woman.
“Hi Vincie!” she chirped in an almost sing-song fashion.
“I don’t understand why you knock anymore…..” the crimson-eyed man said, an irritant tone edging his voice.
“You’re right. I’ll take that into consideration next time…..” She said more to herself than to Vincent.
“You know, you could be a little more stealthy, considering your ninja heritage…..”
“Maybe you could give me a few lessons!” Yuffie’s face beamed at the opportunity.
“Hardly. No lesson could improve you…..” Vincent scoffed.
“That was harsh.” She replied solemnly.
Vincent shook his head, tossing a stray strand of his ebon-hued hair back in place. “So why are you here?”
“I came to see how you were doing!” she replied matter-of-factly.
Vincent cocked a suspicious eyebrow. “If it matters that much to you, I’m fine. You know the way out…..”
“Vincent Valentine! You know better than to lie to me!”
“You’re right. I do know better. That’s why I told you the truth.”
“C’mon Vincie! You can tell me! I am your friend!” she pouted.
“Gee, I’ve never known a true friend to steal Materia for their own selfish ambition…..”
“Vincent, I’m hurt. That’s the second time you’ve insulted me. You must be in a really foul mood.”
“Actually, that’s how I cheer myself up.”
Yuffie frowned and looked down; gloss tinting her slightly closed eyes. Vincent took a moment to regard the ninja then promptly scoffed.
“Enough. Your fake tears aren’t helping my mood…..”
“So you ARE in a bad mood!” Yuffie shouted, pointing an accusing finger towards the former Turk. Vincent, realizing the word trap for what it was, conceded and nodded.
“Regardless of my mood, I know you well enough to know you didn’t come all the way here from Coral just to see how I am. Why are you really here?”
“Something happened back home.” Her tone suddenly grew very soft and morbid. “I thought you would have heard-”
“Heard?” Vincent interrupted. “From who? If you haven’t noticed, I’m a bit isolated…what happened?”
Vincent mentally pushed away the rage in his mind at the sound of Tifa’s name. “What?” he prompted.
“Tifa…..is ill.” The words came out with obvious difficulty as Yuffie’s eyes glossed over with what Vincent knew to be real tears.
“Ill?” Vincent echoed.
“The doctors say that she won’t make it. I’m almost afraid she’ll…..” Yuffie stubbornly shook the thought away. “No, she’s stronger than that. But Cloud-”
“Cloud?” Vincent interrupted, concern tainting his normally stoic tone.
“He hasn’t left her side since she was struck down with the illness. He’s in no danger of catching the disease, but his depression may leave him…..” Yuffie paused, noticing Vincent’s visage, one of agony.
“Vincent?” she called softly.
Vincent didn’t hear her. All he could think of was Cloud, a person so full of life to be lying in depression next to his beloved. He knew depression too well and the anguish nearly cost Vincent his own life. He couldn’t allow that to happen to Cloud, no, not to his Cloud…
“Yuffie.” He beckoned.
“What is it?”
“Take me to Cloud.”
To Vincent’s discomfort, Yuffie had insisted that they take Boca, her Gold Chocobo, back to Corel. The former Turk despised the creatures and it seemed that every time Vincent touched the obnoxious birds, he’d leave covered in golden-hued feathers. Regardless, the ride lasted but a few days and when it was over, Vincent nearly shot the bird for trying to bite him.
“I hate chocobos…..” he growled irritably as they approached the clinic. Yuffie smiled, in spite of her saddened mood. They walked up to the desk where the young nurse sat, buried in paperwork.
“Excuse me…..” Yuffie tried to interject, but the nurse was too busy to take any heed of the ninja.
“Excuse me.” She repeated a bit more forcefully. Yet no response was earned.
Yuffie’s eyes narrowed. “EXCUSE ME!” she screamed, causing the entire waiting room to go silent. The nurse looked up, sized Yuffie up, the asked, “May I help you?” Vincent rolled his eyes.
“Yes, can you tell me where Tifa Strife is?”
“Tifa Strife…..” the nurse repeated the name a few times while shuffling through a packet of papers. She stopped and pulled out a pink sheet. “Oh dear…..”
“What is it?” Vincent asked calmly, although he already had a feeling how the nurse would answer.
The nurse paused then said, “I’m sorry. Tifa Strife died at 11:07 this morning. They are preparing her body for the funeral service right now.”
Yuffie’s eyes grew wide with shock and she fell back. She couldn’t believe that Tifa was gone. She turned and fell into Vincent’s arms where he comforted her as best he could. After a moment of quiet sniffling, Yuffie backed away.
“Thanks, Vincie. C’mon, let’s head to the Villa. I’m sure that’s where Cloud is.”
Return to Archive | next