Fandom/Pairing: FVII/FFVII:DOC; YV, YR
Rating: ESRB Rating of T for TEEN < SWEARING, DISJOINTEDNESS >
Summary: Snapshots. Vincent, Yuffie, and why exactly she's picking the lock on his door.
Notes: disjointed. A more serious look at the Jellyfish universe.
Vintage bike. Straight body; straight, short handles; flickering, demonic looking headlight.
"That wasn't a whole hell of a lot of help, Reeve."
A girl. White thigh high socks. Purple and black shirt held up by a yellow strap. Wutaian black hair, bobbed. Black and white hair band.
"Not like I needed any, I mean I figured it out on my own anyway, but still, you coulda been more helpful."
Bumper-to-bumper, screeching, crawling, honking traffic. Muddy, rusty, vintage flatbed trucks. Shiny silver closed-rear capsule trucks. Eighteen wheelers. A few five-year-old sports cars. Nothing new, nothing shiny. A lot of towncars and square, boxy looking things.
Buckets of rust.
"Fine, fine, go brief the Squirrel Brigade."
The phone snaps closed.
Almost every car and truck is listening to its radio. Many of the newer cars have their stereos turned all the way up.
A thousand bass lines throb and pulse in the air. In the distance, dogs croon their pain.
The girl has no radio. She isn't wearing her helmet, either, which is illegal in Edge, but nobody gives enough of a shit about some nameless Wutaian bimbo to comment. They're all radio zombies. Besides, a police officer would have to get out of his car and WALK in order to arrest her. And he'd probably take somebody's bumper to the knee.
The girl doesn't seem to care. She rocks her bike slightly from side to side, head cocked to the right.
'Feeling demonic harmonic in a no-go zone,' she wails to somebody else's radio. After that, she starts making up her own words.
A stoplight turns green. Before anybody can move, it turns yellow, then red. Then it begins to blink.
Four way stop. The girl groans. At this point, they've been here for so damn long that nobody knows who got to the intersection first.
They work it out somehow. Every light after that is another four way stop. The girl threads her way through the traffic, oozing gently along the streets, until she reaches her apparent destination.
She parks the bike, throws down the kickstand, and then thinks better of it. This kind of neighbourhood, she wouldn't be surprised if kids stole hubcaps or engine parts to sell for food--or, hell, if they up and took the whole damn bike.
It only takes a minute to set a trap or four. Working with the WRO has improved her skill with that kind of bullshit.
She almost feels nostalgic. Before the WRO, if she hadn't wanted something stolen, she'd have made sure to put the fear of Yuffie into the nearest thief and ask for a little professional courtesy. Now, she uses a nasty little mine. It uses Tier I thunder magic instead of any sort of incendiary device, but it'll still discourage any sort of fucking around with her stuff.
He's on the third floor. That's all Reeve told her.
And now she knows she didn't need to hear much else. There's a red cape hanging from a sagging, just-this-side-of-rusting wrought-iron balcony. Judging from that, he's either 3-C or 3-E, depending on how they letter the doors in this complex.
She doesn't have to worry about that. The upper floors are accessible from an outside staircase, so she goes to the one nearest his balcony and works her way up, then to his door.
Black and purple shirt, strange boots, and the faint sound of clicking coming from the lock.
- - -
Very Vincenty Question: "What are you doing here?"
Typical Yuffie Non-Answer: "That balcony's gonna rust soon. Your cape is on it."
- - -
Vincent looks pretty much the same as he did the last time she saw him. It's odd to think of him living in Edge and not Nibelheim, but it's not like she had any goddamn idea where he was before Reeve started bugging him for help with the DG thing.
Funny, that. One of her jobs was to keep tabs on the remains of AVALANCHE, but she never was much good at figuring out where Vincent was, or why. Eventually, she remembers, she'd just done it the easy way and started tracing the GPS on his phone.
He asks his question again. "What are you doing here?"
"Reeve told me to go looking for you. He said you were on the third floor of an apartment complex in Edge."
He isn't wearing his cape, so she hopes for a little more visible emotion. But he doesn't give her any, he just says, flatly, "Does Reeve need help with something else?"
She finishes picking the lock. The door to his apartment opens, revealing an immaculate expanse of.... nothing. A bed, a table, a two-shelf bookcase. Only one shelf of the bookcase is full.
Not even a photograph on his dresser. And there aren't exactly a lot of boxes, either.
"Lemme guess, your interior decorator never called you back."
He says nothing.
"I guess you don't get a lot of visits from Shelke?"
"You don't know very much about her, do you?"
Yuffie is not the type to forgive and forget, and Shalua was a friend. "Who the fuck would WANT to?"
"Some people would have said the same about you." His voice is cool, distant, as if this is all completely irrelevant and does not at all affect him.
She stops, goes still. Her voice, when she speaks, is quiet. "I never spat on a gift, Vincent. And if a woman giving up her life means more to me than it does to you, then some god out there somewhere fucked SOMETHING up. A lot. And then he blew it up."
"You had something to learn, too."
And there's no reply to that, no way to laugh it off.
A Wutaian woman walks into the bar, then makes her way to the rear. From there, she takes a staircase up to the living area. Another flight of steps and she finds Marlene's room. Somebody (not Yuffie) has tacked "Yuffie (sometimes)" onto the sign that reads "Marlene".
Yuffie chuckles at Denzel's sloppy penmanship, then opens the door and sneaks in.
Marlene is asleep. The digital clock reads 2:32, so it's not exactly a surprise.
Yuffie's movements are uncharacteristically silent as she sets her laptop on Marlene's wooden toychest, plugs it in, and boots it up. It only takes a moment to load up the wireless internet connection--installed a la Reeve, their resident handyman, engineer, and nerd--and then she is accessing her WRO email.
Several cryptic messages from her agents. None of them have a high priority signal, so she'll decode them later.
And an email from Reeve.
DATE: 00:01 14/25/04
SUBJECT: 3c apt cpx on the edge
ATTACHMENT: bribe_01.jpg, bribe_02.jpg, bribe_03.jpg, bribe_04.jpg
1. How many books were on his bookcase?
2. Did he have a plant?
3. Spartan or sparse?
She is speechless for a moment.
Automatically, she clicks reply.
DATE: 02:45 14/26/04
SUBJECT: RE: 3c apt cpx on the edge
ATTACHMENT: V_digs_01.jpg, V_digs_02.jpg, V_digs_03.jpg, V_digs_04.jpg, V_digs_pan.jpg
Your pics suck.
Marlene is quiet. Her sleep is either peaceful or dreamless and Yuffie watches her for several minutes before she leaves the room.
Reeve is sitting in Tifa's living room, quietly nursing some coffee and smirking bemusedly at his laptop.
"I think he missed you," he murmurs.
She just laughs, and then settles in beside him, drinking from his coffee cup and then sticking her tongue out at his mock-aghast expression. They watch silent black and white movies until he falls asleep.
She's still awake when she hears Tifa moving around the kitchen the next morning.