This is no hope beyond despair. (CidxVincent yaoi)
Notes: My first FFVII related fic. Kind of old, however I still like it. Originally was part of a trilogy, however I'm partial to it standing alone.
Crimson Skies & Bloodstained Dreams
For a time the nightmares had ceased, allowing the poor battered mind of Vincent Valentine a chance to rest in some semblance of peace. Yet with the final defeat of Sephiroth, the dreams that had once plagued him returned, twining themselves about the chambers of his mind, corrupting his thoughts with nightly hauntings of a past that he cared not to relive. With it brought a depression so dark and hopeless that he had become withdrawn from what little of society he had mingled with over the past months, ever shutting himself away in darkness in an attempt to forget all the had transpired. Perhaps, if he could will himself into his eternal slumber once more, he could find peace and lapse out of all knowledge. Alone in his cold, dark crypt he remained. After all, here he belonged, just another countless number among the dead. By all natural laws, Vincent should have died long ago. He cursed whatever cruel force had kept him from the blissful void of death, for death was the one thing he longed for. An end to all pain and remorse, all regret.
The shadowy figure of Vincent Valentine sat amid the flickering candlelight in the dark prison he called home. Though the elaborate chamber was a far cry from the dank crypt in which he remained self-imprisoned in death-like sleep for over two decades, it suited his morbid tastes. Candles lined the stone walls, keeping vigil over the black satin bed in which he sought to continue his slumber, which often he contemplated to make permanent.
How easy it would be to simply slit his wrist, lie down across that bed, and fall into an everlasting rest. He wondered if anyone would miss him, or even notice that he was gone. He assessed that in all likelihood they would not. It wasn't as though he was something of a social butterfly. In fact, the only time he ever left his midnight crypt was when the supplies ran out. In public he was regarded as a freak, something dark and to be avoided. He was certain that young children were frightened of him and others sought to avoid him, not that he blamed them. He was hideous; a mutated, deformity with a claw for a hand, and eyes that glowed like garnets.
Unloved. Unwanted. Living a miserable existence of darkness and depression. It would be so easy to just end it. It was these thoughts that had driven him to this end.
Lifting his revolver in the dim candlelight, he placed the cool muzzle against his pale brow. It would be a clean death, painless. Though he supposed he was used to pain now. Mental, emotional pain that gnawed at his soul tormenting him. Physical pain was naught. He felt nothing now except for the dull throbbing numbness leftover from too many memories, too many heartaches, too many nightmares, all now as far and distant from him as his lost love. Dying would be the easy part now, for life no longer held meaning. He supposed it hadn't for years now. Then again, he supposed a lot of things, for his life was devoid of any definites. He was just there, a being without a place, a lost soul crying out for attention. No, that wasn't it, he convinced himself. For part of him would have to still be clinging onto his humanity if that were true. Whatever had been human, sane, righteous within him had died when he should have those many years ago. Now he was going to end it.
A click resounded off the stone walls as Vincent cocked the hammer. He prepared himself for a long awaited end to it all. His mind numbed, and his vision blurred into a dark haze before his eyes fell shut. A tapered finger curled around the trigger, and a smile crept across his lips. Satisfied, yes he was satisfied with this end. It was a release. Slowly he began to squeeze. He welcomed the encroaching darkness.
A sharp knock broke upon his world of timelessness. Groaning audibly, Vincent turned toward the door. Would he not even be granted the smallest amount of pity, as be allowed to take his own life in peace? At that thought, a single tear slipped down his ivory cheek.
Heedless of the presence of another outside his prison, Vincent repositioned the muzzle.
Another knock. 'Vincent, I know you're in there.'
Cid. He should have known. 'Go away, Cid.' He managed to croak out, his voice raspy and slightly alien to even himself after months without use.
'Not until you tell me what the fuck's happened to you.'
Why couldn't he just leave him alone? Allow him just a moment's peace to return to that state of living death, and let him end his suffering once and for all. Another tear slipped from his garnet eyes, pooling with the other drop that clung to his chin. 'Please go away. I'm fine.' His voice wavered. Of course, he was by no means fine and he knew if Cid had any brains about him, he'd realize that. He prayed to whatever being that would listen, Cid would accept this and leave him to curl up and die.
Still, Cid did not leave. Instead he continued to press the poor broken angel for answers, until Vincent nearly shrieked for him to leave him be. The tone in Vincent's voice was horrific telling a story of man who had lost all hope, but Cid sensed something even darker lurking beneath. Pounding upon the door, he demanded to be let in, but to no avail.
Vincent had since resigned himself to numbness, as he lingered on the brink of his demise. He hadn't wanted it this way. He wanted to be allowed a simple, quiet death at his own hands. He didn't want to be found. Here he wished to remain until the stars fell. Forgotten by all. Why did Cid have to intrude upon something that had been so intricately planned?
So immersed in the bleakness that surrounded him, Vincent didn't notice when Cid kicked in the door only to stop dead in his tracks at the tableau unfolding before him: The pale form of Vincent in stark contrast against the blackness of the satin sheets, revolver pressed against his brow. Finger poised on the trigger, he squeezed.
Cid flew at him, dropping to his knees before him. 'Vincent ... Vincent ...' He whispered in an effort to calm and comfort his friend, before reaching to lower the gun. Vincent recoiled instinctively. His grip on the revolver remained painfully tight, as he struggled to grip the trigger once more and put a final end to his misery.
'Vincent, stop it.' Cid grabbed his wrist and forced him to relinquish the gun. He kicked the firearm away from Vincent, who frantically tried to grasp it. A sob of frustration tore from him as he watched the gun skid across the stone floor. 'Shh ... let it go. Let it go.' He repeated the mantra, drawing the shuddering form of his friend into his arms. For a moment Vincent felt nothing other than the numbness of knowing he had failed. He would be forced to remain within the world of the living. But even that thought now seemed distant. Then the world snapped back into action, and he became intensely aware of his surroundings. The blood pounding in his head, the flickering light of the candles, Cid's warm breath on his chilled skin. A wave of nausea hit him, and he buried his face in Cid's bomber jacket, clinging desperately to the leather, as though holding on for dear life ... or something, at least.
A stinging slap woke him from his numb delirium, and he stared at Cid momentarily before another slap was administered.
'You sorry fuck.' The pilot hissed through gritted teeth, hoisting Vincent from the bed and slapping him again. Any other time, Vincent would have retaliated. Instead, he took each blow in hopes that Cid would lash out on him so violently that he would slip into a blissful coma.
'If you don't fucking care enough about your life, then think about those who do care about it.' As if to drive the point home, he administered yet another slap.
Eyes narrowing, he glared sullenly at Cid. 'No one even knows I'm here ... no one would even care.'
'Shut up, Vincent! You'll give yourself a nosebleed.' Cid snarled, slapping him again before adding dangerously. 'Fuck you. Fuck you and your goddamn angsting!' Turning sharply, he dragged on his cigarette. 'Why? And don't you fucking dare say Lucrecia. You did nothing. Don't you think you've atoned enough for past sins?'
A tear coursed down Vincent's cheek.
'Ah fuck it, Vincent. Why?' Gripping Vincent's frail shoulders, he shook him violently. 'Answer me!'
'I wanted to.'
'No! Why ... why did you want to? What makes you think you're so fucked up that this is the only way out? Is it because you think you're alone, Vincent? Is that it? We're all alone. You, me, Cloud ... we're all just as fucked up and alone. You don't see us making a career out of killing ourselves.' True, he wasn't handling this matter the best way he could, but he was damn tired of seeing Vincent perpetually a walking death wish.
Eyes downcast, Vincent listened to his friend, finding not one shred of hope in those words. For if they were true, they were all damned.
The blatant avoidance infuriated Cid, and he snapped. Shoving Vincent down to the ground and coiling his hands about that pale throat in a grip that was too tight, he sought to choke the answers from him. 'Why? Answer me, goddamnit.'
Vincent had seen Cid mad -practically livid at times- but never had he seen him lash out so violently on anyone before. And for one wistful moment, he thought Cid might finish the task for him. The dangerous tone in Cid's voice as he ticked off random names and obscenities made him think otherwise. 'Fuck you and your fucking atoning. Fuck Lucrecia, fuck Sephiroth, fuck Hojo ... fuck them all. You did nothing ... nothing Vincent. It was them. They betrayed you. Lucrecia betrayed you.'
At the mention of her name his chest seized, and before he could suppress it, he found himself sobbing brokenly beneath the pilot's grasp. 'I'm so fucked up ... so very fucked up.'
Sure, Cid had seen Vincent in the lowest state of depression countless times before, but when Vincent actually cried it was heartbreaking. He looked like a cracked china doll that been carelessly shoved aside, once cherished, now forgotten. Bereft of words, Cid removed his hands from Vincent's neck, brushing away the fading red crescent shaped marks that marred the ivory skin with the back of his hand. Rocking back on his heels, he looked away from the broken angel. 'We're all fucked up, Vincent. We all are.'
Sniffing, Vincent pulled himself into a sitting position, drawing his legs to his chest, and hugging them. The nausea had returned, and he ached all over. At the building pressure in his head, he groaned.
A pang of guilt hit Cid at his friend's condition, and he muttered a muted, 'Sorry.' That was as close to an apology he ever got. By his philosophy, if he hit you, you must've had it coming.
Blinking away tears, Vincent whispered, 'No ... I shouldn't have.'
'Fuck it, Vincent. I was an asshole.'
Vincent gave a dry humourless laugh, 'For a moment I was hoping you'd finish it.'
'You know I wouldn't.' When Vincent didn't respond, Cid cursed softly before drawing the delicate form of his friend into an embrace in an effort to convey love and concern to the hopeless creature. Fingers twining in ebony locks, he cradled Vincent's head to his chest, and for a moment he tried to fathom the world without him. It was too heart wrenching to grasp. If only he could see how much Cid cared for him, perhaps then he would see past the gloom that lay before him, and see that there was hope beyond this despair. Instead, Vincent merely clung to Cid like a shipwreck victim clung to a lifeline, fearing that if he let go he would drown in the whirlpool of doubt and despair that already threatened to consume him. Buried in the protective warmth, he didn't notice when Cid lifted him to lie upon the bed.
Startled by the sudden change of gravity and the withdrawal of warmth, his eyes flashed open. Cid smiled at him and instructed him to rest. When he began to protest, the pilot assured him that he would remain close by and keep watch over him. Satisfied, Vincent closed his eyes in an attempt to recollect his thoughts. He heard Cid wandering about the room, and the familiar click of his gun being unloaded. Making a mental note of this, he drifted into the welcome forgetfulness that sleep brought.
He awoke some time later, and found Cid curled up in a nearby chair lazily puffing on a cigarette.
'Hello sleeping beauty.' Cid flashed him a smile.
He blinked several times, before asking, 'How long have I been out?'
'About two hours.'
'I had thought of waking you because I was bored ... however I thought better of.' He hadn't wanted to risk having his throat torn out by inadvertently startling him.
'Oh.' Burying his face in the pillow, he tried to block out the world around him. Though things had calmed and settled, he was by no means better. The despair still held him in a vice grip that threatened to strangle all hope from him. The bleakness remained, as did the desire to simply be done with it all. He longed for complete peace, and knew that he would only find such peace in death. But he would hold on for Cid. Hold on just a bit longer to appease his friend insistent prying. Though, the aviator had never been one to tell Vincent what to do -those honours were left to Cloud and Tifa- he always held an air of concern for him. Unlike the others, he wasn't interested in telling him how to live his life, he merely checked up on him at times to see that he was faring well.
From beneath the curtain of ebony that covered his features, Vincent watched Cid stand before settling beside him on the bed. A sad smile crept along Cid's lips as he brushed several strands from Vincent's pale brows. 'You okay?'
He didn't respond. Instead he just lay there quietly allowing his friend to try his efforts at soothing his battered mind.
'Dammit Vincent. Answer me.' Though the frustration was evident in his voice, it was more pleading than angry.
'I suppose.' He whispered before trying to bury himself within the sheets.
'Not good enough.'
Flipping onto his side, he narrowed his crimson eyes, 'What then? Do you wish I would tell you a lie and say that I'm fine, when heaven knows I will never be fine.' His voice faltered, and he diligently swallowed a sob. But the action was enough.
'Vincent ... oh Vincent.' Cid murmured, curling himself around the poor creature. Sure, Cid had experienced his fair share of let downs and disappointments, however he knew that nothing could compare to what had befallen the man before him. It broke his heart into tiny shards of crystal to fathom even a minute fraction of the inner torment that plagued Vincent. No one deserved to experience such endless torture. He'd take away the pain had he the means. Hell, he'd take it all upon himself if it would ensure that Vincent would never suffer from those nightmares again.
He felt a dampness on his neck, and knew Vincent was crying again. What he wouldn't sacrifice to end those tears.
He drew away slightly, and tipped Vincent's chin. Part of him wanted to whisper soft words of comfort, but he couldn't. The depth of Vincent's own personal Hell was so great that no simple words could appease the raging flames of anguish. So he kissed the tears away.
Vincent tensed beneath his touch. He didn't deserve to feel the touch of another, but he quickly found that he could not will himself to pull away. It had been so long since another being had shown him any form of affection. Sighing into the contact, he revelled in the sensation of being loved.
But the contact broke as abruptly as it had started.
Through damp lashes Vincent stared at Cid, as a wave of cold understanding washed over him. He was a monster, and for that reason alone he would never be loved. He moved to stand, but was stopped by Cid's lips grazing along his. Numb with shock, he allowed Cid to lavish him with soft kisses. His body had ceased to function properly, and his mind wouldn't allow him to form coherent thoughts, all he knew was Cid was holding him, kissing him, loving him. And he gave into the affection, allowing Cid to slip his tongue in his reciprocating mouth in an action that was both desperate yet loving. How good it felt to be wanted.
Drawing away from the warm haven of Vincent's mouth, Cid trailed delicate kisses along the pale column of his throat. Vincent moaned at the sensation, and curled his arms about Cid's shoulders, drawing him closer into the embrace.
One of Cid's hands worked its way beneath the dark fabric of Vincent's shirt, while the other fumbled with the many buttons. Gently he slid the garment off, revealing smooth ivory beneath. Cid nearly wept at the sight of the scars that marred his otherwise flawless skin. Hojo was a madman. The evidence of his suffering was proof of that. He shuddered to think of what cruelties had been bestowed upon one as undeserving of pain as Vincent. Tenderly, he pressed kisses against the scars as though the gesture would make them fade. Then he returned to that beckoning mouth, making sweet love to it until the two found themselves equally nude. Marvelling in their differences, bathed in candlelight, Cid held him down and loved him. Their bodies twined together, as ebony merged with gold and their souls melded as one.
When the act was complete, Cid withdrew and pulled the shuddering form against him and held him close until he drifted into a peaceful slumber, the promises of love still lingering upon his lips.
But there was no such peace for Vincent. What they had shared had only augmented his self-hatred and worthlessness. He had loved once and he had failed the one person he loved and respected above all else. He would fail again. How could Cid love something as undeserving and worthless as he? He was a plague to all those who had cared about him, a black cancer upon their lives. Tears flooded his eyes as he pressed a soft kiss to Cid's lips, and gently disentangled himself from his sleeping form. He wouldn't allow Cid to suffer with him.
His movements were stealth, cat-like, as he moved from the bed to where Cid had hastily discarded his jacket. Fumbling through the inner pockets, he located a single lead bullet. His salvation. He crossed the room and retrieved his revolver, before settling on the edge of the bed. Without hesitation, he slipped the bullet into the chamber and cocked the hammer. He glanced a final time at the peaceful form by his side, and closed his eyes and squeezed.
A shot rang out and dreams were shattered. And a fallen angel sprawled across a midnight shroud with a bloody halo adorning his head, as broken cries filled the stillness that followed a violent end.