I was trying my best to think up something thoughtful for this chapter, but I failed in all of my attempts.
I guess Vince really isn't a very devoted guy in my personal opinion. Oh well.
Also, if I finish the next chapter, there'll be a note for all of y'all.
Forever Fields of Grass
He never questioned why he's still standing next to them after so long , and he really starts to wonder after a while.
Why he's able to listen to them and watch them and stay there, when he'd rather be somewhere else; somewhere calming and quiet not loud and raucous.
And one day they're walking through a field of green that seems to go on for miles, and Vincent really starts to wonder why, because he remembers he's supposed to hate long distances, he's supposed to hate the bright blue sky with it's sunny companion, he's supposed to hate the open expanse that seems to signal to any predator that they are a huge buffet of mouth-watering hoers d'oeuvres who's bones they could use to pick their teeth, and he's supposed to hate being with a group of people who talk like there's no tomorrow which helps with the predator pin point of their location.
So during the night, as everyone is going to bed and embers are all that is left of a once confident flame, he turns towards their unofficial leader and offers his personal opinion on their current status.
"We should stop talking."
"What's that now?"
Cloud turns toward him and raises a questioning eyebrow, which Vincent ignores in favor of staring him down. Cloud, being the thick-headed Soldier that he once was/claimed to be did not understand.
"We. Should. Stop. Talking."
"What, do you mean right now? Jesus Vincent, I know we don't say the smartest things sometimes, but do you have to be so rude about it?" Vincent can't help but close his eyes and furrow his eyebrows, inhaling in an attempt to stop the onslaught of responses that he could rape their leader's ears with.
This happened a lot, actually.
"No, when we're out on the field."
Cloud finally seemed to understand what he meant and crossed his arms, closing his own eyes and tilting his head up towards the starry night.
"I've thought about it. About not talking when a monster could be lurking around the corner; I am fully aware of when there is danger to my comrades, Vincent." Cloud finally uncrossed his arms, turning towards one of their travel bags to search for a blanket. Vincent couldn't help but wish harm onto Cloud at that very moment.
Does he believe that I will be satiated with such a non-chalant response? Vincent had barely finished forming another question when Cloud threw a blanket at him, a smirk on his face.
"But I also assessed the amount of psychological stress that would pile up on our comrades, and weighing one against the other I decided on the lesser of two evils. Good night Vincent." And with that, Cloud found a comfortable position on the soft earth and Vincent was left with his own company, which did not include the sleeping bodies in his general vicinity.
Vincent couldn't help but feel a little down-trodden by Cloud's quick and thought-out response, contrary to what he believed he would receive if he ever questioned anything their schizophrenic leader tended to do, but he supposed Cloud was their leader for a reason, not just because two beautiful women preferred him as their figurehead over Barret.
However, before Vincent could properly berate himself for not thinking out his question, he heard a snicker come from beside him and he glanced down, his eyes flashing in contempt. Who dared to laugh at him in his moment of failure?
"Did you seriously just ask Cloud to make us stop talking? I don't think he'd be able to even if he wanted us to shut our traps."
"I have noticed a reoccurring theme whenever I attempt to hold a private conversation." Vincent couldn't stop the smirk that crossed his lips as their resident ninja sat up from her makeshift bed with the usual incredulous expression she wore whenever she was in an argument.
"Hey, if you're talking about my interruptions, hold your tongue mister, since half of those 'private conversations' are ones you have with yourself." Ouch. Vincent's smirk was wiped from his face while a grin grew on his companion's as their figurative fencing match began.
But as soon as it had started, Vincent seemed to notice the energy drain from both participants, his companion's usual spunk replaced with a much more serious aura and himself suddenly feeling much more tired than he previously thought he had been in response.
"What is it?" he asked, hoping the question would rid the atmosphere of the unusual professionalism.
"It's not my fault you don't want us to talk, is it? I mean, I do say pretty dumb stuff sometimes, but I didn't think I rode you that hard." Vincent brushed off the terrible analogy, but his eyes twinkled at the sudden troubled look on his teammate's face.
"Don't worry. If the problem was with you, I would not have hesitated to confront you directly."
Her expression changed immediately into one of comical frustration, which Vincent had to fight back the reflexive response of laughter to, which he did so by taking the blanket he was currently sporting and draping his companion in it.
"Hey! What's the deal?" Even though the question was loud enough for him, he knew their conversation was quiet enough to not be heard by anyone other than her and himself. They were both trained in stealth, after all.
"You seemed cold," Vincent smoothly replied, but suddenly decided he should of chosen a better response as her immediate explanation for his concern was the covering of her breasts.
"I noticed your amount of clothes, Yuffie. Clothing amount." She rewarded him with a mischievous grin for his flustered response. Vincent let out a sigh of comical frustration.
"Should I watch out? Y'know, since you seem to be obsessed with the amount of clothing I seem to wear." Vincent couldn't help but bring his hand to his face as Yuffie giggled into the blanket.
"I do not remember any incidences of this obsession," Vincent calmly replied, but a fear seemed to creep up his spine at the look Yuffie was giving him. One that said to him that actually, they happen a lot.
"Pfft, don't give me that. You always tell me 'Yuffie, you shouldn't wear such bright clothing' - "
"Only because you're a ninja - "
" 'Yuffie, why don't you wear more clothing, it's cold' - "
"Because we were in the mountains!"
" 'Yuffie, why do you wear any clothing? I want a booty call' - "
"At least you LOOKED like you wanted to say that."
Yuffie's grin seemed to expand as Vincent turned his back on her, laying on the floor and exhaling. Crazy girl. But he couldn't help a smirk from appearing on his face.
"So Vincent?" Yuffie asked, a seductive tone in her voice that Vincent rolled his eyes at, even if she couldn't see it (she was rubbing off on him).
"Yes Yuffie?" He turned around and propped himself up on his arm, giving her an unamused expression.
"Why'd you tell Cloud to make us stop talking?" Yuffie's expression was curious, not playful like it usually was. Vincent attempted to come up with a suitable response at such an inquiry.
"Because I don't want anyone to get eaten by a stray beast that happens to hear us," Vincent was able to lay back down as he said this, his back turned to Yuffie once more. He was suddenly tired, and had fulfilled his conversation quota for the day.
"Awww, you care about us Vince!" Vincent paid Yuffie no mind, but was surprised at something placed over him. He peered down to see what it was, and noticed it was a blanket, turning to give Yuffie a questionable look.
"It's yours," Yuffie motioned to it, but continued to talk, "And you do care about us, don't you? Goodnight!" Yuffie turned around and bundled up in a ball, covering herself with a different blanket, becoming silent.
Vincent stared at her back before he laid his own back on the ground, staring up at the stars. So that's what it was, wasn't it? He cared about them?
Preposterous, he didn't care about anyone at all. He'd never, after all his years of Turk training, cared about anyone. At least, he didn't believe he could anymore. Especially after Lucrecia. He loved her, but he couldn't allow himself to love anyone - couldn't care about anyone - after he let her die… He shouldn't be able to. He didn't deserve to be able to.
But that's what it was, wasn't it? Vincent shook his head. No good would come of this. He wasn't able to protect Lucrecia, so how would he be able to protect his new comrades?
But images suddenly began to run through his head as he thought this, of the time he'd pulled Aeris out of the way of a gryphon, of the time he'd summoned Odin when Barret and Cid were almost flattened by a dragon, when he'd turned into Galian Beast to protect Cloud when he had been put to sleep and Tifa was busy trying to wake him up. When he saved Nanaki from falling off a crumbling cliff. And when he had cured Yuffie of a poison before it became disastrous.
He was able to protect them, wasn't he?
Vincent found himself slightly elated at the thought that they might actually need him like he needed them and couldn't help but smile as he drifted off into sleep, the awareness of how close his friends were to him comforting.