Fandom/Pairing: Kingdom Hearts; Vincent/Yuffie, Irvine
Rating: ESRB Rating of T for Teen < alcohol, flirtation >
Summary: Vincent, Yuffie, Irvine, and the Wild West Saloon at the end of the universe.
Notes: Because my internal Vincent got all up in arms when Irvine started talking about how lonely being a sniper was.
I'm on your side when nobody is, cause nobody is
Come sit right here and sleep
...We are waiting on a telegram to give us news of the fall
I am sorry to report dear Paris is burning after all
--St. Vincent, "Paris Is Burning"
The saloon has no name; it is simply known as The Saloon. Vincent only knows about it because Yuffie does, because Yuffie listens to the Gummi Radio. He has only brought her here because she asked it; there is not much she could ask for that he would not give, and a trip to a bar at the end of the universe is no exception.
He stares at his mug of frothing beer, kept cold by Blizzard Shards, because it is a better thing to look at than the mice with their own little tankards or the children with paint on their faces (some with feathers in their hair) who are drinking what Vincent strongly suspects to be whiskey.
And because it means he is ignoring the short-haired ninja next to him who is trading smiles and laughter with an auburn-haired man who might have stepped out of a spaghetti western.
Children and mice--Yuffie calls them furries, because Yuffie pays attention to the language of the Gummy spacers--drinking and making merry.
It's a travesty and he wishes they weren't here.
Vincent turns his gaze on the long-suffering bartender, a youngish blonde whose name is probably Louise. She offers him an ironic almost smile and raises an eyebrow.
There is no way to say, "can you please serve that man next to Yuffie some arsenic in his next round" so he simply shakes his head.
He tries so very, very hard not to listen in, but he is keenly aware of every word that passes between the two.
The quintessential cowboy (his name is Irvine, he knows but can't quite begin to care) makes his first mistake, pressing one fist against the bar so he can lean against it. Perhaps he's subconsciously expressing virility; to Vincent, who is watching out of the corner of his blood-remembering eyes, it looks like a subtle attempt at intimidation.
He turns to look at the other man, without standing, and lifts his right eyebrow.
Irvine colours and looks at Yuffie, relaxing into another carefully crafted pose.
This one is less intimidating, but it's still crafted and Vincent still disapproves.
He tries not to think about the sharp, burning stab of jealousy, the tightness in his chest, the way his throat closes every time she smiles for this Irvine Kinneas.
"A dancing song for the little lady," Irvine cries to the pianist, a tiny, dusky-skinned woman with a mop of dark curls. The pianist looks over her shoulder at them, then begins to play something
Yuffie leans back against the bar and reaches for Vincent's mug. He lets her have it. She takes a long pull and makes a face, shaking her head. "I don't dance."
There's something sly in her body language; Vincent is sure that her eyes are glinting, but he can't see them.
"Don't dance? Why, pretty lady, that's a crime."
Vincent can hear the grin in her voice, the same manic Kisaragi grin he spent so many yers missing, as she tells him, perfectly at ease with herself and the world, "Then I guess I'm a criminal."
"I can teach you--"
Vincent reaches over for his mug of beer and notes, with a frisson of satisfaction, that she is giving Irvine Kinneas, Posing Cowboy, a flat look.
Irvine shuts up.
"C'mon, Vince, let's go," she says, standing and giving him a cheerful grin over her shoulder.
Vincent drops a few coins of Munny on the bar as a tip and stands. He shifts just a little, so the barrel of his rifle is more visible over his shoulder.
Irvine spreads his hands, revealing that he is wearing fingerless gloves, then tips his hat and moves to the far end of the bar, where he pesters a younger, cuter barmaid than Louise.
Outside the saloon, in the dusty streets of the desert down, while tumbleweeds rattle and the sun blares, Yuffie punches him in the arm, above the gauntlet. "You were totally jealous."
Ever careful of his emotional state, he stiffens and replies, quietly, "I was concerned."
But they both know that is only part of the truth. Yuffie declines to push the issue, however, until they are well within the ship, which Cid helped he and Auron paint and rename as soon as he stopped laughing and Vincent worked up the courage to ask.
"You were way totally jealous," she tells him again as he performs the pre-flight routine for the Sierra.
Vincent adjusts the lift and eases the Gummi Ship into the screaming speed that will send them home within a day.
"I was jealous," he admits after a few moments of quiet.
"'s cause you're dumb," she tells him with utter honesty.
He inclines his head in a gesture she can take for agreement and asks, by way of reply, "Where next?"
"Port Royal," she tells him firmly. "A ninja's gotta take on pirates sometime, right?"