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Vincent Valentine
10 August 2008 @ 05:24 am
I don't remember it all. It's all so... jumbled up.

We haven't spoken much, but... I get the feeling I may not want to remember.

My body has suffered while I was gone. I recognise the damage. I must have been so far gone, to reach that far back, to reach for those things. I know they bring comfort but, ordinarily, I have the strength to resist, other things to occupy me.

He never left my side. He stayed with me. He stayed with me. He's asleep now. He needs it. God, what I have put him through... what I will put him through... I want to draw back and say, "I'll be all right on my own," and let him do as he'd like, as he must. Maybe one day. Not too soon.

I'm sorry, Cid. I'm sorry. I'll try harder - I'll lean on you.

Bannie... she killed herself. The loneliness... the pain... all of it cost her so much... and I so much wanted to save her from that, though now I do see what she was talking about. It wasn't Lucrecia I recognised in her. It was me. If this body could learn to quit, if I had no one, I would have been her. I probably wouldn't have even lasted that long. I wish... I wish I had seen the signs, heard the messages beneath her words... they seem so transparent, now. I could have loved her. I would have held her. We could have had something, together. I regret that, terribly. And as much as I hate saying it, hate admitting it, don't really believe it... it was not my fault. I could do nothing. It was her choice - I could not simply take that from her.

I miss them both. I am so sorry, both of you. I did, and I do, love you. I'm sorry that wasn't enough. I'm sorry it wasn't more. Forgive me. Forgive me.

He looks like a child, now. Sleeping so deeply. So tired. How can I lean on this man...? This boy? How much can those strong shoulders take until they bend, until his knees give? I don't want him to carry me.

I just want to hold his hand.
Vincent Valentine
30 March 2008 @ 11:08 am
I can't sleep. I see it, bouncing. Bouncing into the darkness. Crying. Buried.

No good nights. Monsters under my heart. Pushing up, pushing out.

Horsehair grows thin and splits; it drops lower, closer. It doesn't fall. I take it.

He'll grab my hand.

I'll defend him from the poisons and the pain... I will protect him from the evil lurking. It doesn't fall. I take it.

I take it.
Vincent Valentine
29 January 2008 @ 06:23 pm
There is no escape.
Vincent Valentine
09 January 2008 @ 01:22 am
October 14th

It was a wonderful birthday.

Everyone was very kind to me, and wished me well. There was a party. But naturally, the gifts I value most came from "my boys."

Caleb gave me a drawing of all of us; Cid, and myself, and he and his brother and most of the crew. It's actually done quite nicely, and it's more than being biased. I think he may actually have talent there. He's a daydreamer. It's something to look into. I put the picture with all the rest on my wall.

Collen gave me a collar he'd made for Tabby, complete with a little bell, so I can hear her creeping up on me. He's been working with Quip and more frequently, the other lads on the ship that know about metalworking, and leatherworking. He's done quite well for himself. Like the Captain, he must do, and is happiest and at his best when he's working with his hands. The tool belt Cid gave him never leaves his waist. If he sleeps with it on, I wouldn't be surprised.

Quip and Iever called to wish me a happy birthday, as did the old gang. It's hard not to get flustered when so many people are flocking to you that way. At least it is for me. I'm sure Cid would have no problem. And Byron's in his element, there.

Cid cornered me after I left the party, in downbelow, and we had a piece of cake, and a few drinks, and spoke candidly. His gifts are always, though I would never admit it to anyone, the ones I cherish most. He knows me best.

He got me Sunny DeMilo's first album. I haven't listened to her sing in 40 years. I thought it would hurt, hearing her music again after so long... after I'd fallen in love to her songs... but it felt... good. It felt like it was just time to start hearing music again. It was the perfect gift - and one only the Captain would think of.

He got me a wallet too. I don't have to carry my ID alone in my pocket anymore. It had a picture of Iever and the twins in it. Cid called them "my boys". My boys. I am so very lucky.

And he kissed me. It was a good kiss. I didn't think much of it, but it seemed to mean a great deal to him.

I did the math. I'm 70 today.

But tonight, I don't feel it. I feel 27 again. I can't wait for the next year. My whole life is ahead of me.
Vincent Valentine
14 December 2007 @ 08:33 pm
I sometimes fear I'll never know him at all. Never understand him.

And then there are times where we seem more in synch than ever.

We watched a meteor shower, together, over beers and supper. Light conversation turned serious. We actually, genuinely, spoke about one another. To one another. It was a level of understanding I haven't experienced with him previously. It was as if he was yearning to tell me something, but restraining himself; like there was something he wanted to do but couldn't let himself do. Ordinarily, I would be wary of this.

But today, I'm only curious. Because I want to know him. I want to be to him what he is to me.

And then, with the twins, last night. His gruff voice reassured me too, bolstered me too, even though I wasn't afraid. He has a sway over people, a unique power - his tiniest gestures, his shortest conversations, have such an influence on those around him. Does he truly not see...? He was born for command. And more than that, he was born to be a family man. That last, I think, is perhaps not as comfortable for him as leadership. Does it perhaps have to do with Her...? Or further, his mother...?

We slept side by side in bed last night, the twins beside us; all warm and comfortable and loving. And I realised that it's finally happened. One of Cid's greatest wishes.

I've finally come home.
Vincent Valentine
03 December 2007 @ 03:37 am
I sometimes forget that I've missed over 30 years.

In my day, it was not common practice for men to court other men. Or if it was, it was not publicly made known. But since I began my life on this ship, I've learned many things. I can learn to accept and adapt to this, too.

Especially as it seems Iever and Quip are some form of engaged.

I of course am very happy for Iever; I want him to be happy. That's all I ever wanted. I'm just... not sure, how this all works. Is marriage sanctioned between men, now? Is courtship between men, engagements and however, accepted? Are there bachelors and bachelors parties? Groom showers? Are rings exchanged? Are vows the same? Is there a ceremony? Do they both wear white?

It may seem old-fashioned, but these are all things I have to consider, to look into.

The one thing I never questioned, was whether they could love each other. I know they do. I know that what they have, it's forever. It's just the paltry details that I question.

Iever says that it's not sincerely an engagement - and that they don't intend to marry - but Quip made for him a bracelet, and made some very potent promises.

... he had better stick to them.

I know that Quip loves Iever. I know that he takes care of him, I know that he makes him happy. But I just can't help wondering if he's the best for him. Of all the people in the world, is Quip the best for him? I know he is. I know he's the only one for him. I do. But I can't help worrying...

Iever said it was all right to get him a "wedding gift", after a fashion. Byron and I are looking into stoves. The one that came with the house was old when I was young, and with Iever's passion for cooking, I felt it a prudent and useful choice. I'm glad to be doing this with Byron - not just because he's infinitely knowledgeable about such things, but because it's good to connect with him again. I had sorely missed our friendship.

Christmas is coming 'round again; I'm wondering if, considering we get no new work, we might stay for a while in Rocket. Let the boys put up a real tree. I think Cid would like that for them too - and he might just enjoy it himself. We'll need to go there at any rate for Iever and Quip's... whatever it is, and at least meet Quip's parents.

It's strange but... I had once planned my own wedding. That was over 30 years ago. And now, I'm planning my son's. I never thought I would. I am so very thankful for this chance, for Iever... I'm just so damned grateful to have this life at all.
Vincent Valentine
24 October 2007 @ 08:43 am
Things seemed to have mellowed quite a bit. No excitement, no emergencies, only a few, heavily expensive deliveries. As much as Cid thrives on danger and action, I find myself thinking that I could very swiftly become accustomed to this lifestyle. I should call Cloud, and ask if this is what his life is like. Quiet. Comfortable. Happy. He's a lot easier to contact that we've contracted him. We'll see.

We've picked up card games again. It's been a while since we've had the time and the patience. I don't think I've much to gamble with. It doesn't matter. I'm well taken care of without the gil.

I've looked into bonds and college funds for the twins. If anything, seeing Thomas and Maria starting their own family reminded me of how swiftly time flows; we have a good eight years before they'll begin thinking about it.

I should really give Bannie a call. It's been a while. It's a bit late to call now, but I'll call her tomorrow after lunch.

Snootches is adapting to ship life quite well, and I think Cid is taking to his company, however unwillingly. Its good to see that he's found at least one person he can be completely at ease with.

(Shane wants to borrow 'Sense and Sensibility'. Bring it on shift tomorrow.)
Vincent Valentine
21 October 2007 @ 05:08 pm
I am still left in the dark about Byron's motivations for doing what he did. But at least, my heart is lighter for speaking with the Captain. Even, I would say, for just being with him. He's an extremely positive, out-going, caring man. It's difficult for my soul to stay burdened when around him.

I asked him if he thought it possible that I am cold-hearted. He said that I was instead aloof, but that was just my way. It's strange to think that he puts so much faith in me; to just accept the unsavory parts of me along with the little left that is good and right. It takes an incredible man to be able to accept the entirety of a person. And he is that.

I didn't tell him what Byron had done. I'm not sure why. It wasn't for embarassment for my sake, or because I believed Byron had done wrong. No. I don't know. However, I don't believe that keeping that encounter a secret will cause Cid any harm, or distress. I don't think he'd be comfortable with the idea, either. Although, he did accept the relationship between my Iever and Quip, though so far I believe it has been largely chaste. Iever may not be comfortable with that level of intimacy for a very, very long time. All the same, he accepted the relationship with no signs of discomfort. But again, that's Quip, and Iever. Not his best friends.

Best friends.


Although, he did suspect us of having a relationship previously; an assumption quite obviously not without a basis. Why this... obsession, attraction? Is it the draw of the macabre, something amazing in the horror? I am not an attractive person. Pitiable, yes, but attractive, certainly not. But that kiss, was not the embrace of pity. No. It was like lovers.

Perhaps my age shows in that I find the attraction to both sexes as something new and intriguing. Byron likes women very much - but he also kissed me. The notion is a strange one to accept, but no more than an attraction to one's own sex. I'm an old man, even if I don't look it. I'm almost 70. There's so much left to learn, to grow accustomed to.

But I have the time now. And a reason. And that's all I need.
Vincent Valentine
19 October 2007 @ 01:51 am
I was right. Nothing will ever be simple.

Some days back, after we'd returned from the botched delivery in the Tiny Bronco, Byron had asked me to do some more photographs with him. (I'm not sure why he so persistently seeks me out. I asked once, and he said I was his muse. I'm not very artistic, or creative, so it's difficult to see what he could possibly be inspired by in me.) It was a slow day; we're grounded for the delivery (which Cid made successfully), so neither of us were busy, or even slated for the duty roster. He sought me out, and we went to his room, as he'd asked before.

I don't... entirely understand, or know how to phrase what happened next. We started out innocently enough, with taking photographs. Not unusual. But there was something, a tension in him, that rubbed off on me. I was not comfortable alone with him. Not as I had come to be recently. It was almost like an... unspoken anticipation? That's not quite right either. And then... I'm not sure how it happened, but... he kissed me. Not as a brother, but like he would a woman.


Of all the things I could think, or feel, that's the one thing that consumes me. Why? Why would he? What could he possibly gain from that? Why would he want to? Why?

After, he told me that he loved me, and mentioned a 'him'. Could he have meant...? No. There's no way he could possibly know. No. Not Him. No.

But... I left with the impression that I had somehow wronged him? That he perhaps felt that I do not care for him? I told him as much, that I do, but I don't think... it was either not enough, or simply not what he wanted to hear. I don't know. I don't know about anything. I can't make heads or tails of this encounter; of Byron, his intentions, and his feelings.

I'm afraid that I've lost him, and I don't know how.
Vincent Valentine
17 October 2007 @ 02:03 am
It's hard, looking back, differentiating between what was real, and what wasn't, and it shouldn't be. I know him better than that. I know Him better than that.

But it was so... real. So believable. So... in character. It's not in character for Cid to abandon a friend - but it's quite in character for him to be embittered by someone who's crossed him. And if there's anyone who's given him more than ample reason, it's me.

I know how he feels about me. I know he cares for me. I don't know why, or how it came to be, but I know it to be true. It's in everything he does for me. Every touch, word, deed - promise. And he is a man of his promise. I will put all my faith in him. I will believe in him. His promises are my law. I will live by them.

Byron's acting strange again. I think, maybe, everything is catching up to him, and he needs to confide in someone he doesn't revere, someone he isn't threatened by. He seemed... forlorn? Resigned? Melancholy, at any rate. There was something sad in his eyes. He mentioned more photography. Why me? I don't understand.