Yuffie has a problem and Vincent is the cause. So she does what she is the best at. She steals from him...
Disclaimer/claimer: They belong to SquareSoft/Enix no matter how much I want it to be otherwise.
I am a thief. Quite a good one if I say so myself. Of course, sometimes it can get me into a lot of trouble but who doesn't get into it? Right? Anyway, once I stole materia from AVALANCHE who were my friends. I felt sorry for them but... Wutai came first for me. It still does though I have found other methods of obtaining materia it needs. And they forgave me and I helped them to save the world. But it's an old story. One that you certainly know and I have moved on since then to higher goals. So you may ask, what am I doing right now? Well, I am in trouble. A lot of trouble. An I-had-a-stupid-idea-and-pissed-off-Vincent kind of trouble. Uhm. THAT kind of trouble.
And to think it started out as an innocent joke.
I fought it, honestly. Full out nails-clawing-teeth-biting-legs-kicking fight with all of my power. I called forth reinforcements, included special equipment, even went as far as to ask Tifa for help... And all in vain. I was defeated before I could retaliate against the enemy and bring him down in glorious show of skill and level-headedness on my part. And I put all blame for last few sentences on my father and his insistence I study military tactics to become a better leader. It messed up with my head, seriously.
I really fought it.
Great Ninja Yuffie Kisaragi, the best Materia Hunter to ever live, beaten by a simple crush.
Garrrh. And on HIM of all possible people I could have fallen for. Doesn't that just put the crown on it? Yes, laugh all you want. Yuffie Kisaragi, Princess of Wutai and one very sexy girl is in love with Vincent Valentine, the great Mr. Dark and Moody himself. Don't you feel sometimes that life is too cruel? I did save this frigging planet and this is thanks I got? Well, I won't bother next time.
I was in a predicament once I realized the fact. I didn't want to have a crush on him. So I did the natural thing and fought it. I have already mentioned how that ended. After that, stage two: denial. Vincent? Oh, he's a friend. You know, the silent-doesn't-talk-much kind of friend whom I see occasionaly. No, really. He's just a friend and... Stop laughing Tifa, damnit, he's a friend! Do you hear me, Tifa? Do you hear me? HE'S JUST A FRIEND! And no, I'm not denying it and what do you mean I told you otherwise? I was delirious that time. Yeah, I ran high fever and was talking nonsense. That's it. Yes, that's what I want to believe.
Denial worked for a week, not more. Sneaky Tifa always managed to turn a conversation to the subject of Mr. Valentine and I capitulated once more. Okay, I like him, I admitted to myself. And to Tifa who coaxed the admission out of me. But what could I do about it? It's not like he even knew I existed. Strictly speaking, he did. It is kinda hard not to notice me with my loud mouth and a penchant for annoying everyone in the perimeter of, say, twenty meters. So he knew I existed but he didn't know how I felt about him and I doubt he'd feel the same even if he did. Time for stage three: acceptance of the feeling and dwindling down its importance.
It's just a little crush, la la la...
You know, it's unfair. Here I am, trying to come to terms with my feelings for him, while he is holed up in that gross mansion of his in that spooky Nibbelheim. It's definitely not fair. He should suffer too, my wrath at least, to let him know I'm not happy about liking him when he doesn't reciprocitate. And it was this line of reasoning that got me into my current trouble. What kind of trouble you ask? I didn't tell you? Oopsies.
It's close to midnight and I'm trying to put as much distance between me and Nibbelheim (and subsequently Vincent) as I can. It was a stupid idea but I'm a teenager. I'm allowed to have them, aren't I? It was supposed to be easy. I sneak into the mansion, find Vincent's materia and get out before he knows I was there. Then, few days (weeks, yeah, he deserves to be parted from his materia for weeks) later, I come back and He-he, Vincent, didn't you lose your materia recently? Lookie, I have it. Funny, huh? You should be more careful about where you put it. It would, hopefully, pass as a not so funny joke and help me to soften the pain of my rejected crush. I don't have to say it didn't go that easy.
I got into the mansion and I found his materia. In the basement! Next to the coffin! Can you say EWW? So I crept closer, all ninja-like and stealthy and reached out and - something moved in the corner! I grabbed the materia without thinking and bolted out of there like I was chased by demons from hell. And if Vincent saw me stealing the materia, then I probably was.
I am on the run. I haven't noticed anyone close and maybe, just maybe, I overreacted down there. It's not that I'm afraid of Vincent. I know he wouldn't hurt me. It's more like, if he caught me down there, he used to sleep there, maybe still does, it was like his bedroom. And how would you feel, being caught in a bedroom of a guy you have a crush on? Embarassing and awkward because I know if he found me there and asked me what I was doing, I would stutter and say something idiotic and totally, absolutely, completely lose any chance of him having a regard for me as something more than a walking, five-feet-two, bright-colored, dressed-in-green-and-brown annoyance.
There really isn't anyone trailing me. Figures, my imagination had to work overtime to pull that on me. I slow down and look around. I will camp here and move on in the morning. Even if Vincent finds the materia missing, he can't pursue me in the night, right? Right. I settle down and go around the usual routine of unpacking the bedroll, making sure Conformer is close at hand, eight mastered materia orbs nestled safely in their slots and generally preparing for few hours of undisturbed sleep if I'm lucky.
Crunch of a twig in a darkness. Damn, I'm not lucky tonight. I tighten my grip on the shuriken and am about to throw it when the oh-so-familiar voice sounds.
"That's me, Yuffie."
He emerges from the darkness, tall, imposing, red cloak and eyes and golden claw and everything and he takes my breath away and... How do I know what he looks like when I can't see him? Stupid crush! Be gone, I tell you! Go, go, go! You hear me?
"You have something that belongs to me," he says and my eyes kinda slide to the side where the materia I nicked from him is safely tucked away in a pouch.
"Do I?" yes, that's it, girl. Play dumb, maybe he leaves and... Yeah, yeah, self-deceiving doesn't work. "Heh, you're right Vinnie. I didn't mean it. It was a joke. I'd give it back, really."
He waits patiently as I bend down, retrieve the pouch and hands it to him. Please, don't let our fingers touch or brush or... Shit! His hand touches mine and I can't help but shiver a little and I'm sure I'm turning red. Get a grip! You're a ninja, for Leviathan's sake, not some awkward teenage girl with a crush of the size of Meteor. He's just Vinnie, not some godlike, so-devastatingly-handsome-it-should-be-a-crime man who is right now staring at you with his strange and mysterious eyes that have a colour of blood and is speaking to you. Speaking? Damn it, girl! Focus!
"W-what?" I squeak and oh god, it's so embarassing and I have no idea why the ground isn't opening and swallowing me whole. Maybe if I use my Earth materia I can get the desired effect? Worth a try.
"Are you all right, Yuffie?" he repeats.
"Yeah, just peachy, never been better, don't worry, I'm totally all right."
Is it just me or have I overdone it? Nope, it isn't me, I have overdone it.
"I don't believe you."
The nerve of him! How does he dare to accuse me of lying? How would he like to have Conformer shoved up where it isn't comfy, huh?
"Because I stole from you? C'mon, Vinnie, I told you it was a joke."
"You are blushing," he can see me in the dark? Not fair! "And you shivered a moment ago. You aren't all right."
"Well," when he puts it like that. Damn Vincent Valentine and his perceptiveness! "I am tired," good excuse, girl. "I was about to go to sleep when you showed up, so now that you have your materia back, you can leave me to it. It was great to see you again, bye Vinnie."
He stands there and I can't see him at all but he can see me and I bet anything he is looking at me with his head slightly cocked to one side, thinking about what I just said and contemplating his next course of action. And he takes a step... forward, closer to me. Eep!
"Why did you steal my materia?"
"I told you, it was a-"
"Truth, Yuffie. It wasn't a joke."
"You call me a liar?" good, pretend to be angry with him. That will shut him up. He takes another step and I fight the instinct to step back because his closeness does funny things to me and why can't I affect him that much?
"Why are you nervous?" he sidesteps my question just like that.
"I'm not. And did you call me a liar?" perseverance is the key. Perseverance is the key. Perseverance... He's so close I can see his eyes glowing dimly in the darkness and I shiver again inspite of myself. Why does he do this to me?
"You're shivering again," Vincent notes. "The night isn't so cold even if your lack of attire can contribute to the feeling of cold. Do I make you nervous?"
No. No! NO!
NO! I didn't want to say that. I'm taking it back but... it's late for that, isn't it?
"The same reason I took the materia."
"And it is..." he coaxes me and I think What the hell! What's the worst that could happen, anyway? Confession time.
"Life isn't fair and I wanted to..." this is hard and it will make me sound stupid and petty but I won't go back now. "I wanted to do something to you as a revenge because it's not fair that I am the only one miserable."
He just looks at me without saying anything and so I plunge ahead and say the most cheesy thing I have ever said but I don't care because it's the truth and he wanted me to tell him the truth so I'm going to.
"I have stolen from you because you stole something from me first. My heart," I snap my eyes shut. Don't look at him, don't look at him, don't look at him.
"Look at me, Yuffie."
And I do. Pathetic, but I'm in love with him and he's standing close and I don't want to think about anything else but him and so I obey. He is gazing down on me and I don't see him laughing at me or anything. He understands and maybe... no, don't hope, it's foolish.
"I'm sorry," he says. Well, good thing I didn't hope so I'm not disappointed but then, what is that lump in my throat and stinging in my eyes? Wait, he continues. "I had no idea."
"Don't worry 'bout that Vinnie," I try to mask my hurt. "It's okay, really. I got your materia and it helped, it really, really did help," I'm trying to convince him as much as I'm trying to convince myself. "Things like this happen all the time, so don't lose your sleep over that."
I turn away from him so he won't see the tears that gather in my eyes. Don't you dare to cry. Not in front of him and not over him. I still feel his presence behind me. He doesn't move for some time. What is he waiting for? I told him it wasn't his fault. He should take the materia and get away before...
Oh. He steps closer and hugs me from behind. My subconsciousness betrays me (it will pay later when Vincent isn't hugging me, oh yes, it will) and I lean back. His chin rests atop of my head.
"You really like me?"
That's... let me count... fourth time tonight he asked me that. He's awfully chatty, dontcha think?
"I dunno. I just do. It's hard to explain, it's a feeling, an emotion. You can't explain something like that."
"No, you can't," he agrees and he's still holding me! Take that! But why? It's a little nagging question and I decide that for now it doesn't matter. But then he releases me and I spin around to face him and his face is unreadable. "How did you find out you liked me?"
What kind of question is that? Are you enjoying this, Vincent? And why do you ask? But I'm going to answer. I have gone this far, I can go a little further.
"I... I was thinking about you a lot and when we met I found myself staring at you and... then it somehow clicked and I just knew," I shrug and attempt to smile. It's strange to discuss it with him but I don't mind, not really. "Why do you ask?" Hey, I can question him, too.
He shakes his head and then takes my hand and pulls me closer. What the...
"No reason in particular, little thief."
Huh? What is he talking about? Well, I get the thief part. I am a thief. Although, Vincent has never called me that. Cid and Barret yes, but not Vincent. What is going on here?
"I'm sorry about that materia. It was childish and stupid-"
"I didn't mean materia."
He didn't? Then what? Suddenly, it is like a lightbulb has been switched on in my head. Oh. My. God. It can't be. It's too good to be true. Inside my head I am jumping up and down in glee. He likes me too. He likes me too. He...
"Vincent, if you don't kiss me right now, I swear I'm-"
He cuts me off when he does exactly what I asked.
I am a thief. Quite a good one if I say so myself. Of course, sometimes it can get me into a lot of trouble. Other times it is quite rewarding. I stole materia from Vincent Valentine as the means of revenge. But it wasn't the only thing of his I had taken. I got his heart too just like he did get mine. And no one can persuade me now that revenge isn't sweet. It tastes like him.