015. But the Flame Has Not Fallen
Lead singer Yuffie Kisaragi of "The Mighty Gods" has a record as a wholesome girl-next-door type. But after meeting Vincent Valentine, a classical pianist in an indie band, scandal never looked so fun.
Yuffie is in a J-rock (W-rock, really) band called "The Mighty Gods." She's the lead singer and head guitarist, as well as the only one in the group who speaks in Midgarian at concerts. In three years of bar performances, small concerts, and being human advertising for Wutai, she's never once done anything to detract from her "decent kid, if a little weird" reputation.
That's actually a pretty big surprise. She combines rock music with classical Wutaian stuff, and has a burlesque/Vaudeville atmosphere to her live shows. Like some Vaudeville numbers (and faintly reminiscent of Tori Amos), she will take breaks from singing and instead ad-lib monologues. Most of their songs are fast and dance somewhere between black humour and sweet romance, with subtle sexual innuendos on the side. You'd think she had LOTS of drugs, crazy sex, wild parties, and the like. But she doesn't.
And then The Mighty Gods do an opener for AVALANCHE!. In fact, they play right before AVALANCHE!— their slot is close enough to the actual show that they're still getting their crap offstage while AVALANCHE! is moving on. Once they're done, though, Yuffie heads out back and smokes an herb roll (essentially, a hand-rolled cigarette with no tobacco, just various teas leaves and herbs).
There, she meets Vincent Valentine. He's AVALANCHE!'s classical pianist, as opposed to the keyboarder (that's Cloud Strife). The two strike up a conversation. They're fairly different, but they hit it off okay, and the attraction is definitely there.
Sleeping with a member of a rival band doesn't make the rest of The Mighty Gods happy. Things in TMG start falling apart. When Chekhov admits that she wants to get married, Yuffie realises just how apart they're falling.
And the media has a field day. AVALANCHE! may be an indie band, but they're extremely popular. All of those Glitterati-based television shows start peering into Yuffie's life, and being the bug under the microscope isn't pleasant at all.
Not only that, but Vincent's past seems every bit as mysterious as her own is clean. Something very odd happened to him five years earlier, but nobody is willing to talk about it. Hell, most people don't even know what it is.
Yuffie's most famous ad-lib moment, one that a very nasty person televised, occurred during a live performance of "Dancing." In that ad-lib, she commented on the various means of suicide open to Wutai's tourists, and how a great deal of tourists seem magnetically drawn to them.
"And you tell them, 'no surf here, surfing kill', and that's a lie. It's not surfing that kills you, it's the sharks. You say to the ones who visit Da Chao, 'no jump, jump kill', but it's not really the jumping," she said. Cackling, she added, "It's not even the falling that kills them. It's that sudden stop."
A particularly infamous quote from that speech is, "And they just can't seem to stop. They all sign their names at the bottom and dance, dance, dance their ways to the top. They do it every time. They just can't stop themselves from doing it, they can't help it."
Alternate Band Name:
016. In the Empty Corners
In her dreams, Gracie Evans speaks a language she doesn't know, does things she could never do, and is obsessed with Materia. When worried, she signs her name YK. Sometimes, she has the strangest feeling that the only person she can trust is Vincent Valentine… a man she knows well but can't remember meeting.
Before she goes on and undercover mission, Yuffie uses hypnosis to seal away her memories of being Yuffie Kisaragi. In the process, she becomes her cover story: Gracie Evans, a dead Junon cop.
Her cover is safe, but her life isn't. She has COMPLETELY forgotten her involvement in Avalanche. She barely acknowledges that Wutai exists, knows nothing about Materia, and couldn't pick somebody's pocket if her life depended on it. In addition, the feelings she had for Vincent and Reeve? Gone.
Reeve has assigned Vincent to watch her. She makes her reports to him. She trusts him. And as Gracie, she's falling in love with him.
But Vincent wants Yuffie, not Gracie. For him, dealing with Gracie day after day is tiring. He just wants his Yuffie back.
The fic itself tells two narratives: every odd chapter (1, 3, and 5) tells the ongoing story of Gracie and Vincent. Every even chapter (2, 4, and 6) tells Reeve's story.
The fic ends with Yuffie's trigger phrase, "Wind's Vacant Beauty," but no indications as to whether things turn out well.