"Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to never was there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it. Where is there a place for you to be? No place." - Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood.


Sometimes he chooses to think about the past, after the little ones are asleep and the beloved paramour is quietly keeping to himself. He does this to reassure himself of the validity of his existence.

Bringing a blanket to cover his mate, sleeping finally in the soft loveseat, book clamped loosely in his claw, Vincent Valentine pauses to admire the man he has managed to catch now. Bending over slightly, the gaunt extends pale fingers to sweep dual-toned hair from aged face. Brushing a kiss to newly exposed forehead, he settles down beside WEAPONic form, laying smooth cheek on strong shoulder. Staring into the dancing flames across from the couch, his mind flits back to what once was, as it is often prone to.

...Back one day in early summer, before the mansions and scientists...


"You're gonna be all right, Vincent."

"But Veld...I just..."

A sigh. "You just killed a man. It's going to happen in this profession. You're going to have to get used to it."

A dark head rustles as the inn bed creaks, the fireplace the only source of light in the small room. Carmine eyes seem watery, and salt shivers on an upper lip.

The mattress dips as his companion sinks next to him. An arm finds its way around the young Turk's shoulder. "You'll make it, kid. It's hard. But you've got to remember...we're killing the bad guys, so people can live peacefully with mako energy."

A young man's sigh accompanies aristocratic nose hiding in a dark-skinned neck. "But...the bad guys also had lives, loves...Who are we to take it away?"

Fully embracing the younger man as his tears finally dampen a dark suit, Dragoon is moved by pit for the newbie. He had seemed such a strong spirit when he first enlisted, but these moments are to be expected. "We're the Turks. We get our hands dirty. In this world, this is our condemnation. To make the world a better place, we have to keep the nightmares so that others can live comfortable lives."

'Keeping the nightmares, is it?' Glancing at the sleeping man beneath his jaw, Valentine's eyes fall to the bulge in WEAPONic belly. 'Hojo was disgusting...meddling with our bodies this way. But...' A soft smile gives its rare appearance. 'Veld...when you told me that, you were thinking of your newlywed wife, weren't you? I finally understand. Keeping the nightmares to protect the people you care about...' A glinting claw falls on the rounded abdomen, thumb stroking there affectionately. A soft murmur accompanies his descent into slumber: "Chaos...don't shoulder this new, innocent life on your own...Let me protect...my family..."

Unbeknownst to the human man, gold eyes glitter between a crack in WEAPONic lashes.