A Little Piece of Me

He had never expected her to part with it, honestly. Of all the memories of the past two years, this one was the most clear to him. And still, after six months of having it, he still couldn't believe she'd actually entrusted it with him.

"Just in case…"

He winced, the sharp point digging in his skin, just above his heart. Putting his back to the group, he unzipped his shirt slightly, and reached into the hidden pocket on the inside of the shirt. It was damaged, that much was to be expected, after being stowed away secretly in the pocket beneath his armor, and above his heart.

"I mean…if you ever need me…"

Holding it delicately between his two fingers, he winced inwardly. He had damaged it, like he had damaged her. It was in two pieces, broken probably from a recent blow he had taken. The fights, they had started up again, and yet ended so quickly. Not like last time, when they had to journey all across the land to finish the fight. This time, they'd come to them.

"This way I'll be there…"

Still, he was ashamed for breaking it. It was precious to her, and he swallowed. They had been her mother's, and it was all she had left of her. But with the way she had given it to him, with the words she had said, it wasn't her mother's anymore. It was hers.

"Always…with you..."

He absent mindedly rolled the teardrop-shaped piece between two fingers as he contemplated her. That look, that smile, she'd given them to him just a few moments earlier. It had been a smile that said 'I told you so'.

"It's not a big deal…"

He had tried to give it back to her. He couldn't take it, he wasn't worthy of something that precious to her. And obviously he had proved that little fact. Still, she had decided to repay the favor, he supposed. He glanced over towards the crowd, and watched as she twirled the ring on her finger while talking to Vincent.

"Just take it…"

Reaching up to his right ear, he grazed the earring that was there. The harsh wolf features that matched the ring he had given her. A little piece of him; a way to try and make up for everything he had done, and everything he was about to do. She'd understood, though. She'd always understood him. There was no denying that.

"You can give it back when you come home…"

He stopped rolling the long piece, and replaced it back into his pocket beneath his armor and above his heart. Reaching up with one hand, he popped the back of his earring off, placing it into the pocket beside of the broken piece. Taking the other half that was still of use, he stabbed his ear once before finally finding the hole.

"Unless you want to keep it…"

He placed the back on to it, and noticed the significant difference. It wasn't as cold as the wolf, and it was lighter and less harsh. He removed his gloves, letting his fingertips graze the surface of the tiny stud, still warm from being in his pocket. He turned his head, meeting her eyes, and she smiled at him. He tentatively returned it, his fingers still touching the small pearl.

"It isn't much…"

He walked slowly over towards her, remembering how she had given it to him the night he left. Part of him thought the only reason she gave it to him was because she believed he was never coming back. Maybe then he had believed that to be true, too. But still, he was glad to have that much, even if it felt wrong to take it. It hadn't, however, felt wrong when she had placed the tiny object in the palm of his hand, and then closed his fist into a protective ball around it with her own hands.

"Just try..."

And then kissed him.

"To keep it in your heart..."

When he reached her, this time, it was him who kissed her.

"A little piece of me..."

He couldn't fix the broken earring, but maybe he could fix her.

A/N: The italics are Tifa speaking to him in his memory. The shortest thing I've ever wrote. Did anyone else notice the fact Tifa only had one earring in the movie? I mean, I think I noticed because they put such detail into the left one, but the right one isn't there...like seriously, it isn't there! I wrote this while listening to Strange and Beautiful Aqualung...I'm in love with that song. So this is where inspiration led me. I don't think it's all that great, but it works for me!