It's Good to be Alive! – Chapter 1: Vincent's Motorcycle

Summary: Vincent on a Motorcycle, Cloud with bad ideas.

Author: Illusor Meaneld

Disclaimer: I did not create, and do not own the characters from Final Fantasy 7. They are owned by Square-Enix, and I am simply borrowing them for my own (and hopefully your) amusements.

Vincent looked down at the handlebars grasped tightly in his right hand.

What had convinced him to agree to this? He sat rigidly on the motorbike, the engine puttering softly but so far the Ex-Turk hadn't garnered the courage to start moving.

Why had he allowed himself to be talked into this? The answers to his questions eluded him, no matter how hard he reconsidered; still he sat motionless on his bike. For almost a year the misfit group of heroes once known as AVALANCHE had been teasing him about his lack of transportation. Vincent shook his head, remembering the glint in Cloud's eyes as the Self-proclaimed SOLDIER had brought out this fixed-up motorcycle some random fan had given the blonde.

Why? Vincent questioned his sanity once again. His forlorn sigh seemed to drag away down the mountain; he stood in the middle of the winding road leading through the pass towards the Chocobo Farm. Several members of the group had decided to meet up there. Cid was holding a party in celebration of his firstborn child, and had decided to pick everyone up at the farm.

This is incredibly stupid. He thought firmly, His gaze lifted to the sky, intensely blue with just a handful of white puffs floating across it, the sun was slowly setting, and with a sigh Vincent realized if he didn't move along soon it would be dark before he reached the valley. Already the mountain winds were bitingly cold, tugging insistently at the tattered ends of his thick red cloak. Resignedly he finally twisted his leather-gloved hand on the handle, the engine roared, the bike shot forward mere moments after Vincent settled into it, somehow Cloud had learned that Vincent knew how to ride. The ex-Turk reflected sourly that it had been easily 40 years since he had ever touched one, and Vincent had never considered himself very good at it. As if to emphasize his mental claim the bike staggered underneath him, his breath caught in his throat and impulsively his grip on the handles tightened. With another scream the bike launched forward, Vincent barely avoided riding straight off the cliff face.

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! He decided that at this point he probably would have rather walked across the mountain. But as he watched the road blur past a chill stabbed through him as he realized he wasn't sure he remembered how to stop.

Which one is the front, and which is the back brake? Panic set in, cooling him faster than the winds could. Impossibly his speeds seemed to be increasing, the cold air whipped past him stinging his eyes and dragging tears across his face. He tried to loosen his hands but they refused to respond, his metal claw seemed embedded in the grips. So preoccupied was he with his plight that he didn't notice he was drifting into the other lanes until a loud and insistent honking snapped his attention to the road ahead. A giant cargo truck bore down on him, and for a moment Vincent was frozen by the headlights. Then as the adrenaline flooded his system and his Turk training snapped in he swerved to the side. His gut wrenched as a sound much akin to crunching tin-cans met his ears, his world spun and for one confused moment he saw the road from all directions. Then everything was replaced with blue and Vincent realized he was somehow air-borne. Before the import of this situation could dawn on him his breath exploded from his chest as he was driven painfully into the ground. The impact tossed him up again and now gasping he stared in horror as he rolled in the air and the rocky sides of the cliff came up to meet him again. He squeezed his eyes shut tucking his head down as the rocks shoved into his stomach, Pain seared his back racing down his arm as something heavy collided with him, his momentum didn't stop there as he rolled further down the steep cliffs, his vision was darkening and stars seemed to flash along the backs of his eyelids, straining to remain conscious Vincent peered out just as he fell against his own bike, that had somehow twinned itself into his decent. Fire burst across his belly and knives drove into his back and shoulders. Still trying vainly to gasp for breath Vincent gave up trying to track the pain barraging him. His consciousness quickly faded as the bike and the rocks his descent had dislodged clattered down the mountain with him, Battering and stabbing him slicing across his pale flesh. Finally a large stone met with his forehead robbing him of all awareness. His limp form toppled down still further, even after the wreckage of the bike had snagged itself on a rocky outcropping, the red and black form slumped to a halt under the trees that lined the mountain's trails.

Cloud sighed heavily toeing the grass absently as Tifa chatted amiably with Cid, Nanaki was laying peacefully on the ground, apparently napping and the Cait Sith doll sat emotionlessly next to the big beast.

"How much longer are we waiting here?" Cloud finally chimed in, ignoring the fact he had quite rudely interrupted Tifa's discussion. Tifa rolled her eyes and glanced at Cid pointedly, as though she wondered about the same thing.

"Well…" Cid scratched at his stubble, his head upturned in thought. "Lemme see, Reeve's already back home with Shera, Yuffie insisted on meeting us here, didn't want me to pick her up." He ticked the names off with his fingers, "Barret should be here any minute. And then… after that we're just waiting for Vincent." His gaze traveled to Cloud, "Hey wasn't Vin getting' a ride with you?" Cloud blinked and then his face twisted into a grin.

"Oh yeah! Don't worry about him… He'll be showing up pretty soon." He chuckled to himself, "You guys remember how we're always saying Vincent needs some sort of transportation right?" Cid and Tifa both stared at him, The later interrupting quickly,

"You didn't get him a Chocobo did you? I thought he was allergic!"

"No, no… I didn't get him a chocobo." Cloud corrected hastily,

"I can't really see Vin driving a car around…" Cid muttered,

"You can't afford a car on your income Cloud!" Tifa exclaimed in some alarm.

"No! I didn't get him a car!" Cloud snapped,

"A helicopter would also be way out of your range!" Tifa reflected,

"You better not have gotten him some kinda Airship!" Cid growled,

"NO!" Cloud shouted, waving his hands to stop the influx of even more outrageous suggestions, "I couldn't get him a Chopper! And HOW would I get him an Airship? NO! I got him a Bike!" He finally managed to announce proudly. Cid and Tifa both froze, mouth's agape at him.

"You mean…" Cid began still staring in disbelief, "That that poor man is pedaling his way up that mountain on a BICYCLE?"

"NO! No, a Motorcycle! A Motor bike!" Cloud cried in exasperation, Throwing up his hands.

"Can Vincent even ride a motorcycle Cloud?" Tifa asked warily,

"Sure he can! According to Rude all Turks can use them!"

"Uh…" Cid and Tifa exchanged glances, "Cloud… you do realize it has to have been at least 30 years since Vincent was a Turk." Tifa began, "They might not have used Motorcycles back then."

Cloud waved the argument off, "Don't worry I asked about that part. They did."

Cid snorted skeptically, "Does poor Vin even remember which one is the Front brake, and which is the back?" Cloud suddenly appeared less certain,

"He should… I mean, it's not something you forget right? … they don't change that around on bikes…. Do they?" Tifa looked confused,

"Front and back? Why should that matter?" Cid scrubbed at his chin again,

"Well… y'see if you're riding a bike, and you hit the Front brake first… you'll send yourself flying over the handle-bars." Cloud shuffled a little nervously in place, Tifa turned to stare at him again.

"You gave him that custom bike that one kid gave you didn't you." Cloud's head lowered a little further,

"I'm sure he'll be alright… he's… probably walking it or something, I bet he chickened out!"

Cid and Tifa once again shared a look. "You dared him." It was a statement, and Tifa sighed heavily. "I sure hope you're right Cloud."