[p]airing: gen. Mostly.
[s]ummary: ...Who needs enemies? Vincent loses control of our favourite demonic canine. Yuffie and Reeve take advantage of the situation.
[n]otes: Ohgodit'sdone. I think. Thank GOD.
This story is dedicated to my cousins' puppy, Ginger, and my own dog, Sirius. They and what I know of wolf cubs provided most of the inspiration for how Galian behaves.
And, of course, many thanks to Cait, my dog-breeding friend who set me straight and did a little field research for me.
With Friends Like These
"Yuffie-Yuffie, Tifa said I couldn't have a puppy!"
"Why would you want a puppy?" She asked into the cell phone, glaring at her now-painted toenails.
She was going to kill Gorky. Kill her. With lightning. And pain. And— and— and— no, there was no death good enough for Gorky.
SHE WAS GOING TO AVENGE HER POOR PAINTED TOENAILS, OH YES SHE WAS!
...As soon as she got off the phone with Marlene.
"Um, didn't you never want a puppy?"
"Nope, I never did! I have five kazillion cats, Marls. It's not like I can just... You know. Get a puppy. They wouldn't get along."
"Oh. Well, c'n I have a kitten then?"
Yuffie blinked. Kids usually did want pets, didn't they?
"Marls, sweetie, none of my cats have any kittens right now."
"Yeah. How 'bout calling Vincent and asking him to hang out for a while?"
"Vincent's a person, silly!"
"Well, yeah, but he's got a..." How to phrase this? In a way that wouldn't get her killed? "You know what, never mind."
"No, no! Tell me tell me!"
"He'll kill me."
"I promise not to tell anybody you told me!"
"He'll find out. And then kill me."
"Pretty please~! I'll get Cloud to make you milkshakes!"
Fuck. Where had Marlene learned that trick?!
Who cared? Milkshakes!
Yuffie sighed. She was going to die. "Okay, you didn't hear this from me, but Vincent's got a great big puppy inside him. And three other people. But the puppy's the fun one. He comes out a lot."
Vincent blinked. And, had he not known that there was no way to hear blinking, he would have sworn Marlene had heard him do so.
"Pleeeeease?" Marlene begged. "Yuffie-Yuffie's coming, and Reeve's gonna be there and—"
Marlene squealed. "YAY!"
"Mind if I come in?"
Tifa sighed, shaking her head and opening the door wider. "Reeve! Of course! Yuffie's already in the living room. Something about candy? And Cloud's making milkshakes."
"Vincent and Cid here yet?"
"Shera's in the kitchen. Cid's out back smoking. Barrett's having fun running the bar."
"But no Vincent. Or Red?"
"Not yet, no. Neither of them have¬—" She stopped, smiling.
Speak of the Devil, she thought.
"—I am behind you, Reeve." Vincent said.
Reeve jumped and turned. "Omni, Vincent, don't do that!"
"Vincent!" Marlene cried. "Yuffie and I are trading candy!"
Red glared at all the humans at the table. "This would be easier if it didn't require hands," he said.
"Oh, quitcherbitchin'," Reeve laughed. "Hey, Vincent, you got any red threes?"
A pair of red threes landed in front of him.
He looked up.
Vincent was staring at his neat pile of cards. Apparently, Vincent had played poker in Gold Saucer in some sort of professional capacity, before the casinos had gone underground.
Reeve watched him. Sure, Vincent had a tendency to choose a particular item in a room and fix his gaze on that, preferring to talk to people out of the periphery of his vision. But this was ridiculous. He was staring at that little stack of cards as though they were about to run away, or say something deep and insightful.
Beside him, Reeve noticed, Denzel was eating a hot dog.
"Tifa's going to kill you for eating before dinner," Reeve said.
Reeve added the threes to his threes and stuck the matches on the table. He glared at the other players. "Red, do you have any green twos?"
Red tried to separate the cards in his deck, at last huffing and glaring at Yuffie. "I quit. This is insane. Yuffie, take my cards."
Yuffie squealed with joy and took Red's cards, as well as the matches. "Fwa-ha-ha, I win!"
"Do not!" Denzel hissed. He set the hotdog down. "That wouldn't be fair! Let's split 'em!"
"Fine, fine. You get.... none, and I get... all of them. How's that?"
"It's only fair, Yuffsters."
"What would be fair," Yuffie snapped, "would be for us to divide them equally between all of us. You want to do that?"
"Nah, you and Denny here can split 'em."
Yuffie sighed and gave Denzel half the cards.
"Vincent, are you unwell?"
It was Red who asked.
Reeve looked over at Vincent.
He was staring at the hot dog, nose twitching, eyes flooding red.
"Fine," Vincent said.
Red huffed. "Is it Chaos?"
Vincent shook his head. "Galian."
"He wants meat, doesn't he?" Yuffie asked.
Vincent nodded. "I should— I should—"
And with that, Vincent stood. "Yuffie, take my cards. I need—"
"Well. That was weird," Denzel commented, snagging a few of Vincent's matches.
Tifa glared at the steaks.
Really, having an indoor grill was useful for the bar. And life.
But if she had another instance of the damned thing nearly going out on her, she was going to trash it. Completely.
She turned around and nearly ran into Vincent.
He was staring at the steaks.
He jerked, still staring. His nose twitched. Was he... Sniffing?
"Vincent? Are you alright?"
He blinked. "Of course."
Sometime after three AM
Yuffie found Vincent standing in the kitchen, staring at the refrigerator.
He seemed to be doing a lot of staring, lately.
She opened it up and took out a Tupperware dish of Tifa's fried chicken. "Want some?"
Vincent looked at her and swallowed. "Don't do that."
"He's still close to the surface, isn't he?"
"He is... begging."
"He wants it, doesn't he?"
Yuffie shrugged. She put some chicken on a plate and microwaved it.
Vincent gripped the counter. His fingers left dents.
"Cool it, Vinnie. Why don't you come in the living room with Reeve and me? We're having an insomniacs anonymous meeting."
She shoved the chicken into his hands and walked out.
"Hi everybody," Yuffie said as she walked into the living room. "My name is Yuffie, and I have a problem. I'm an insomniac."
"Hi, Yuffie," Reeve replied. "Hey, Vince, you brought chicken!"
Vincent blinked and set it down on the table.
Yuffie sat down on the couch, not wanting to think about what had happened the last time she'd sat on it with Vincent. Vincent sat beside her.
"So, why are you here and not with Cid and Shera? Or stomping around, burning random bits of Nibelheim down?" Reeve asked.
Yuffie smirked. "I was with Cid and Shera, but they headed over here, and, well, I didn't feel like going back on a ship so soon, you know?"
"Did Marlene promise milkshakes?"
Yuffie laughed. "Gawd, you're good."
"'Course I am."
Yuffie took a bite of pizza. It was cold, but the hamburger meat was still good.
Beside her, Vincent twitched.
"Hey, Monster Man? You okay?"
"Yes," he replied.
She popped one of the hamburger meat pieces off the pizza, tossing it into her mouth.
Vincent groaned. His body jerked.
"I can smell—." He groaned again.
She turned to face him.
His eyes were wide, and the eyeball had flooded red. The expression on his face was wild. The poor guy was even biting on his lip— with lengthened canines.
"—It's— meat," he cut off a groan by biting his human hand.
His chest heaved.
"The meat is bothering you?"
"Yes." He stopped, groaned again. "Yuffie, don't. Make it go—"
"Sorry, Vinnie." She pushed the plate of chicken away. One of her fingers brushed the chicken.
She turned to look at him.
Horn stubs sprouted on his head even as his canines lengthened even more. The stubs grew into full-fledged horns. His hair turned white, blue-purple fur sprouted on his face, his right hand— wherever she could see his skin. His face formed into a wolfish snout while his body grew.
Soon enough, instead of Vincent, it was Galian sitting next to her. Well, squatting.
Yuffie blinked. When he wasn't chowing down on monsters, Galian was... kind of cute, actually.
Maybe he wouldn't chow down on her if she fed him.
The finger that had touched the chicken snagged a piece.
"Hey, Galian," she murmured, "want chicken?"
She offered him the chicken.
Instead of taking it, he leaned down, his lips peeling back. He bit into the chicken, licking and nibbling. Every now and then, his tongue (and sometimes his teeth) made contact with her fingers.
His tongue was warn and rough, and scraped against her skin.
If it hadn't been so disturbing to have some sort of wolf-dragon-horn-thing eating out of her hand, the feeling of his tongue on her fingers would have been faintly erotic.
"You're just like a puppy, aren't you, big guy?"
He picked the chicken bone clean and then began to lick it. And then he locked his teeth on the bone, tugging.
She let go.
He pulled the bone into his mouth and began to eat it. It made crunchy sounds in his mouth. He put his hands down on the floor, eventually manoeuvring himself onto the floor. And then under the table, where he laid down and crossed his paws.
He set the bone on the floor, occasionally picking it up and chewing.
Within minutes, he had reduced the chicken bone to a greasy stain on the floor, which he soon licked up.
Yuffie felt her eyes bug.
That was just... physically impossible, right?
"Vincent, you know you're going to be hoarse as all fuck when you change back, right?"
The beast ignored her.
Or, rather, misinterpreted her words and crawled forwards.
WE PARDON THE INTERRUPTION, BUT THE FILMING OF THIS FANFICTION HAS BEEN PAUSED DUE TO YUFFIE'S BRAIN RUNNING AROUND IN CIRCLES, SCREAMING "OH GAWD THE CUTENESS!"
...OKAY, SHE'S CALM NOW.
Galian put his head in her lap.
Reeve started to laugh.
"Reeve!" She hissed. "Stop laughing! Do you want to draw his attention?"
Galian's tongue lolled from his mouth.
Tentatively, Yuffie placed a hand on his head.
He began to pant and dug his head deeper into her lap.
O-kay, not good. NOT good. At all.
Yuffie shifted so that Galian wasn't trying to bury his nose in her crotch ("Damn you, Reeve, STOP LAUGHING!") and scratched the Beast behind his ears.
He let out a low whine.
Yuffie continued to scratch.
She heard a faint thumping sound.
She looked up and realized that Galian's tail was thwack-thwack-thwack-ing against the couch.
"Oh god, he's wagging his tail." Reeve cackled and then stood. "I'm going to go get my camera."
"Don't you DARE," she tried to say, but she had to cram her fist in her mouth to keep from laughing.
Galian whined. Again.
She continued to scratch behind his ears, and then slipped her hand to the buckles of the cloak. She slid the cloak from his waist, freeing his tail and giving her access to his back.
She scraped her fingers along Galian's back, digging her fingernails into his skin every now and again.
Leviathan help her, but he had such soft fur... Like a kitten's.
Reeve returned. He held his camera in his hands. "Say cheese!"
"Independent Materia!" Yuffie replied.
The camera flashed.
Yuffie continued to stroke Galian's back, her hands sliding down the line of his spine. His back arched against her hand, as though he were begging for more.
Reeve moved towards them. He leaned down and grabbed a piece of chicken. He offered the chicken to Galian, who picked the meat from the bone.
"Cheese," Reeve murmured, snapping another photo.
Galian sat still for a long moment before snarling. He snapped at Reeve's fingers.
Reeve moved backwards.
Yuffie petted the Beast, her fingers scratching him just above his tail.
He whined and leaned forward, pressing his chin and belly to the floor. And then he rolled over.
"A great big puppy," Reeve said, his voice soft. He continued to take pictures.
Galian didn't respond well.
"I think it's the light," Yuffie said at length. "I don't think he likes the flash."
"I am so sending these to My Bloody Valentine."
"Vinnie'll kill you," she replied, bending down to rub his belly. In response, the Beast's right leg twitched. His tail continued to wag, thumping against the floor.
Just under that ruff of fur on his chest, Yuffie's fingers dug into his skin. She twitched her fingers, jerking them to as a fast a rhythm as she could (for the record, that's fast), her nails digging into his skin.
The Beast whined. His right leg curled up and began to kick, a lazy, half-hearted motion.
"Not good enough for you, huh?" She grinned, the expression stretching from one side of her face to the other. She sped up just a little, quit jerking her thumb.
That lazy, half-hearted kicking motion turned into a full-blown "trying to scratch his chest" kickfest.
His eyes half-closed, his tongue lolled from his mouth in a dopey doggie grin.
Reeve continued to photograph.
Galian rolled into her scratching, his lower body wiggling and his leg kicking.
Yuffie couldn't help laughing.
"Oh god," Reeve groaned. "Oh god, he's going to kill us, isn't he?"
"Oh well. It's worth it."
11:00 AM, the "next" day
Vincent woke literally under a table. His body had twisted into an odd position, and his right leg was curled against him for no apparent reason.
"Vincent, you're awake," Yuffie said. She was wearing a wide grin.
He found the expression terrifying. It was unnatural to smile like that before noon.
Of course, Yuffie had always been hideously cheerful. And she'd been deliberately obnoxious about it, as well.
In her right hand, she held a photograph. In her left, she held an envelope filled with more photographs.
Cloud leaned over her shoulder, also smiling, and said, "Next one."
"Photographs?" He inquired. His voice sounded... different.
He cleared his throat.
Cloud and Yuffie started, staring at him as though he had grown a second head. And it had been Death Gigas.
"Of you," Cloud replied.
He felt what blood he had drain from his face. Had this been any other place, and these any other people, he would have chided himself for letting his emotions show so easily.
"What?" He asked, his mouth running dry.
His voice was still hoarse. Thanks to the demons, he was immune to human illness. So why would he wake up hoarse?
Tifa walked in. "You're not looking at those again, are you?"
Well, not really. But the sound she made didn't deserve the term 'laughter'. The sound boded far too ill for him to call it a laugh.
He cleared his throat. Again. It felt as though something were burning inside. What the hell had happened?
"You know, Vinnie, Galian is actually kind of cute when he's like this!" Yuffie turned the photograph around.
Had Vincent been a weak fool, he would have fainted from shock and embarrassment.
Oh who was he kidding?
Fainting would be a blessing. A blessing.
...A BLESSING, DAMN YOU, WHERE WERE THE ANGELS AND THE HOLY CHOIRS TO USHER HIM INTO SWEET OBLIVION?!
"We didn't even have to encourage you. You did it all on your own."
"Vincent, are you alright?" Tifa asked.
'No,' he wanted to say. 'No, Reeve took pictures of me when I thought I was a dog. That tends to preclude alright status.'
Instead, he avoided the question. "What... other pictures are there?"
"Tons!" Yuffie chirped.
He felt his heart sink low in his chest. Cliché as it was, he felt the bottom of his stomach literally...
"Reeve took like twenty of me petting you, and that was before you started kicking your leg."
There is no God.
"And he's already scanned them into the computer..."
That's not so bad. I can live with Tifa making one of them her desktop wallpaper.
"...And emailed them to MyBloodyValentine."
...There is a God. And he hates me.
The possibility of his terrifyingly rabid fans knowing about the demons, much less seeing one, made him want to strangle Reeve.
No. No. No physical violence against allies. Against friends. Even the... untrustworthy ones.
But oh, would he have his revenge.
Reeve might make a mockery of him, but he would have revenge.