Darkness Falls Chapter 33

By Gemini83

Vincent and Yuffie held each other tightly as the fire engulfed them. Surprisingly, it didn’t hurt.

Vincent opened his eyes slowly, realizing that he was still alive, “what just happened?”

Yuffie looked around, and saw that the wraiths were either gone or burning away on the ground around them.

“I don’t know Vince,” she replied.

Vincent let Yuffie slowly help him to his feet.

He coughed into his hand, which came away red.

Vincent looked at it, and grimaced, realizing it was definitely not the red of his cloak.

“You look like hell,” whispered Yuffie.

“I’ve seen better days,” replied Vincent.

He faltered forward, and the young ninja moved to catch him in her arms. Vincent leaned against her shoulder, resting his head on her neck. He sighed tiredly.

Then a growl came from behind him, and Vincent knew they were still in danger.

Yuffie’s body went rigid with fear, “don’t...move.”

There were still several Drahk left alive, eager to spill their blood.

Vincent scowled, “Yuffie...my belt.”

The ninja felt for Vincent’s belt, her hand brushing up against a handgun.

“You know how to use it?” asked Vincent.

Yuffie shook her head almost imperceptibly, “but I’m a quick learner.”

Vincent pulled a sardonic smile, “you would have to be...do it!”

Yuffie grabbed the handgun, raised it in the direction of the wraiths, and fired. The kickback nearly floored her, but she braced herself and fired again, emptying round after round into the dark figures.

Vincent spun around, holding onto her waist with one hand to steady himself. With his other hand, he drew his most powerful shotgun...

Scores of the beasts fell, but there were still too many for the two to take on alone. All too soon, they ran out of rounds. Yuffie set her back against Vincent, drawing her shirukens. Vincent raised his hands, now armored claws. He was too weak now to completely transform, but he still had some fight left in him.

The two grinned savagely at their enemies.

“I never thought I’d go like this,” stated Vincent, “dragged down by sheer numbers.”

“Don’t worry Vince,” returned Yuffie, “I’m with you.”

The ex-Turk sighed, “and there is none I would rather spend my last moments with.”

Yuffie’s tone became serious, “Vince, what you said...about loving me...was it true?”

Vincent nodded, “you are my heart and soul now.”

Yuffie smiled back, “well, we’ll just have to straighten things out when this is over.”

“We will,” lied Vincent.

They weren’t going to live through this, and both of them knew it.

Any further comment was silenced as another blast of light blinded them...

Reeve, Elena, and Barret stood back to back, ragged and weary. They were dead tired, and in no condition to fight, but the Drahk wraiths circled around them like vultures around carrion. The three waited for an attack. It came, but not in the form they expected.

“Grand spark!” came a cry from behind the demons.

The Drahk wraiths let out shrill screams as they were engulfed in wave after wave of electricity. One by one, they fell to the ground, dead and convulsing.

A figure came out from the darkness, revealing himself as...

“...Rude!” shouted Elena.

Yuffie and Vincent opened their eyes once more, to find all their enemies had been decimated. Nothing remained now but burning husks wasting away on the blazing fields. The fires soon died down, and a figure slowly treaded its way through the smoke.

Yuffie’s eyes widened, not daring to believe, “Nanaki?”

Vincent nodded to the Cian warrior, “cut that a little close, don’t you think?”

Red shrugged, “sorry, I got a little, preoccupied.”

“Thanks,” said the ex-Turk.

“Don’t mention it,” replied Nanaki.

“Wait a second,” pleaded Yuffie, “you KNEW he was alive?”

Vincent nodded, “I became aware of him just after the first blast.”

Yuffie turned to the quadruped, “so you were the one who did that?”

Red nodded, “I’ve been working on fine tuning the Cosmo Memory.”

Vincent nodded his thanks again, “how did you get back? We thought you dead.”

“Let’s explain when we join up with the others,” replied Nanaki.

“Fair enough,” answered Vincent.

Yuffie was still trying to make sense of it all while they trekked back to meet the others. Then something crossed in her mind, and she punched Vincent lightly on the arm.

“What was that for?” asked Vincent calmly.

“Two things,” answered the ninja, “first, you should’ve told me Red was alive earlier.”

“Well,” said Vincent, “that might have thrown off the sneak attack.”

“Fine, whatever...” she grumbled.

“And second?” he asked.

Yuffie smiled, “you could have told me you loved me before.”

Vincent remained silent.

Yuffie turned to look at him, and tried to hide a laugh as she saw his cheeks were as red as his cloak.

“Well,” answered Vincent slowly, “a man gets...”

“Intimidated?” suggested Red.

“I wouldn’t go that far...”

“Oh of course,” smiled the Cian, “let’s just say...’apprehensive’ then.”

Yuffie threw her hands up in dismay, “oh, it doesn’t matter. For a person who almost had her ticket punched, I don’t feel that bad.”

“I do, and you should as well,” countered Vincent, “it seems strange to me that you’d feel otherwise.”

“Yes, but you’re weird,” joked Yuffie.

“I still care about you...”

Yuffie’s expression turned softer, and she turned to Vincent with slightly teary eyes. Vincent responded by wrapping a timid arm about her shoulders.

“Well then...” hazarded Red, “let’s get out of this alive, then catch up on old times later.”

“Couldn’t have said it better myself,” said Vincent.

Elena couldn’t believe her eyes. It was Rude! Of all the people to save them, it was a person who was supposed to be dead.

“You old dog!” laughed Elena, “is it really you?”

“Of course,” answered the Turk calmly.

Barret laughed, “has to be. No one else could just pop up like that and still talk in two word sentences.”

“How did you make it out?” asked Reeve.

“We jumped ship,” came a voice from behind, “bailed out in an escape pod before she blew.”

Elena turned around, “Reno!”

Reno waved back, then re-shouldered the weight he was carrying. Shera was by his side. Between the two of them, they were half-dragging a barely conscious Cid.

“Barely” being the operative word, for the Captain was keeping up a steady stream of curses to make even a hardened sailor blush.

“Somebody help me out here,” he groaned, “I’ve had to listen to this idiot’s talking all the way over here.”

“I wouldn’t complain so much if you weren’t so heavy,” retorted Reno, “especially for such an old cuss.”

“Quiet dear, save your strength,” whispered Shera to Cid, “at least we’re still together. Thanks for coming after me.”

“I had to,” answered Cid, “I cared too much to let you go.”

“So does that mean I get to stay with you this time?”

“Oh definitely,” smiled the pilot, “you get into far too much trouble without me to look after you.”

Shera straightened her glasses and remained silent.

“God I love it when you do that,” whispered Cid.

Shera smiled at him.

“Oh spare me all this maudlin nonsense,” groaned Reno, “isn’t my job hard enough as it is?”

Barret laughed, “give it a rest kid. Cid, you look like hell.”

Cid nodded, “I’m getting tired of doing this crap, somebody get me a Goddamn wheelchair.”

Barret barked out another laugh, “I think I have a better claim to it, but I’ll be fine.”

Barret was standing completely on one leg now, while Rude began to prepare a leg brace for him.

Cid grinned up at him, “you don’t look to great yourself. How do you feel?”

“Like someone threw me in a blender, then glued me back together,” answered the large bear of a man.

“That sounds about right,” laughed Cid harshly.

“Come on guys,” said Yuffie, “no time to be resting on the job.”

The others turned around.

“Well,” said Elena, “will wonders never cease? You made it out too Red?”

The Cian merely nodded, “just in time to save our friends here too.”

Yuffie sniffed, “Vincent would just have turned into his hunky other form and torn them apart. Right Vince?”

Vincent sighed, “I feel a bit too tired to do that just now.”

Reeve looked to the horizon, “come on guys, our destination’s that way.”

The others turned to see the Fortress of the Ancients not too far in the distance. No one had mentioned it yet, but Kaede and the others still hadn’t turned up since the landing. They had been too busy fighting the army of wraiths to pay it much mind. Perhaps that’s why Kaede hadn’t been seen, he had bypassed the wraiths while the others held them off.

“Maybe they went ahead while we were fighting these guys,” suggested Barret, “never really thought about ‘till now.”

But perhaps it was because they were too frightened to think of any alternatives, or because there was only so much one could deal with at a time.

Elena shuddered, “those...Horsemen will be there.”

Reeve hugged her, “don’t worry, it’ll be alright. And when it’s over, we’ll go on a real vacation, just you and I.”

Elena smiled up at him, and held him closer, “I’d like that.”

“Come on people,” grunted Cid, “let’s move out.”

And just like that, the group was on its way to the one place where it would all end. They were walking, slowly but surely, to where the fate of the Planet would be decided once and for all...

...The Fortress of the Ancients...

And Heaven help them if they lost...

Author’s Note: Chapters are just streaming out from my fingers, sixth in 36 hours! I hope that doesn’t mean the quality of writing has declined. Anyway, I am finally within spitting distance of the ending. WARNING: almost exclusively Kaede from here on in, if you’re growing used to all the bouncing around. Unless I get tired of writing, which I don’t anticipate happening just yet, I’m still going to give you two endings, but I will try to tie them together or something. As always, thanks for reading. Catch you later.

P.S.: Why are there so many attempts at jokes now as opposed to the rest of the story? Simple, I am naturally writing like this, perhaps as a side effect of making so many back-to-back action chapters. Sorry if you don’t like it, please bear with me. That is all.


Chapter 34

Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic