direct address @chime
i feel short in the exchange

Hey Valentine,

You’re a hard guy to track down, you know that? Don’t even have a fucking phone, got me using Reeve as a gofer. Does he do impressions? You’ll have to tell me if his Cid is any good.

Anyway, as much fun as I think he was having, I finally got your goddamn P.O. box. Not as efficient as I like, but nothing ever is. Especially now. Some things are better said directly.

I know we’re both busy, but my base is still Rocket Town. Gonna have to call it something else soon, or put up a plaque. Here stood a big hunk of scrap we built a bunch of garbage around, and that’s why it’s called Rocket Town. Between you and me, I’d be sad to see it go. I can’t keep a cactus alive, but maybe a town is different.

What I’m trying to say is, you should can visit. Shera’s not coming back, so it’s just me. Your P.O. box is in Midgar, so here’s hoping you remember to check it sometime this year.

Be seein you,


Hey Vincent,

Ma always got on my ass for not sending proper thank you cards. I thought of digging out an actual card for this, but I don’t wanna run out of room. I think the joke’d be a little lost on a guy like you.

Thanks for the tea, though I gotta admit to you I don’t drink it much. Cloud never said anything, but I checked the expiration on the shit I gave him, and suffice to say I have a newfound respect for the kid. This kind is good, though. Did someone recommend it to you? You don’t seem like the kind of guy who knows about teas, even ones called “gunpowder”.

Anyway, it was good to see you. We’ve got a lot of people coming and going nowadays, me and my crew. We want to have more planes up and running soon, so the Highwind doesn’t up and break down. She’s a delicate thing, you know? (Ha!)

Business calls and social calls are different, of course. Barret comes now and then, being on this side of the world. And Yuffie’s always got big plans for Wutai, those plans sometimes involve trying to steal scrap metal. Don’t want her to hurt herself digging through junk, being the daughter of Wutai’s leader and all. Bet her dad could launch me into space by himself.

This is getting pretty fucking long for a thank you card, ain’t it? Haven’t even said what I meant to say. You’ll just have to ask me next time you visit.

See you around,


Hey Vin,

Was good to see you again. You know, you don’t have to keep bringing shit, it’s just me. Cookies were good with the tea, though. Almost like you’re getting tips? (I’ll let you keep your secrets, Valentine, don’t worry.)

Don’t got too much to say this time. Wanted to let you know that I’m gonna be busy in the next few months. The WRO wants to support us getting a plane or two off the ground, finally, not like I haven’t been calling Reeve every single day about it. But that means I’ll have more people to train and shit to oversee. So maybe let me know next time you’re coming. Don’t let this be an excuse to be a stranger, now - I gotta know you’re eating right at least!

Just warn a guy!


P.S. You didn’t seem to mind the nickname, but you don’t seem to mind anything. So let me know if it pisses you off. Been trying to do that less, generally.

Dear Cid,

As a child, I went to an etiquette school. I won’t even humor a rhetorical question - you had no way of knowing that. I am telling you this because, now, as I write a letter for the first time in decades, I remember my manners. Perhaps to my detriment, as this is my fourth attempt at a correspondence. Your messages always have such life, and I fear mine will not convey the same. I do not want you to think I do not enjoy your letters.

I am glad to hear that Reeve is giving you and yours more funding. He told me you were “dedicated,” which may have been simple pleasantries. He is loosening up a little, I am finding, but he still speaks like a businessman. Something tells me this observation from me will amuse you.

I am writing to tell you that I am busy in Midgar, likely for another month. That would bring us to July. I would like to visit then. It may be too hot for tea. I will find an alternative. I will admit that my first gift was a suggestion from a source that will remain anonymous, but I assure you I am capable of doing research on my own. Libraries have computers now.

And no, I do not mind the nickname.


Vincent Valentine


As usual, you’re a hard act to follow. Sometimes I forget when you grew up. Guess it was more common for teachers to be sticklers about penmanship. Or maybe your parents were just strict. You kind of hold yourself… Well, nevermind. The way we treat ourselves has to be learned, is all. I know that pretty well.

I don’t mean to get all down on you, Vince. It was good to get a letter from you. I had to pop home during lunch to grab something, and when I saw the envelope I’ll admit I got excited. I know you get my letters, and you read them, but getting a letter from you makes it feel… Reciprocal. You know? The boys kept asking me what the hell I was grinning about.

But when I read it later on, I felt all weird. Like how I felt getting a thank you note, all clean cut. I don’t know why you keep coming around, but I hope you don’t do it cause you feel like you have to. Tifa told me you crash with her and Cloud in Midgar. When you visit you sleep like the dead. I dunno, Vin. Do you do things for yourself?

I’ll see you next month,


Dear Cid,

I am still planning on seeing you in over a week’s time, but I wanted to respond to your letter. I believe I have been misunderstood, but the fault is mine for not being more clear. I suppose you are correct, that we learn how to treat ourselves. But so too do we learn how to treat others. Maybe some of us more directly than others. I often think we did not have similar experiences - I have never been very bright, and was always too honest by far. For this I faced some hardships, and not just in Nibelheim. I hope you understand what I am saying.

Writing is easier, somehow, than talking. How novel, to learn about myself even at the ripe old age of 58. I thank you for the opportunity.

I am reminded of my point. I will be honest. You have terrible taste in beer. You drink too much coffee. I am envious of your ability to speak freely, and of your passion. I worry that you are humoring me. I enjoy spending time with you.

I hope this letter finds you before I do, or at least after I have left. I would be embarrassed to have you read it in my presence.

With anticipation,

Vincent Valentine


I want to say I’m sorry, for presuming. I mean, I assume from your bolting like the place was on fire that I was wrong. I could say I let your fancy wine get to my head, but I’m not that much of a lightweight. I enjoy spending time with you, too. Maybe too much.

I won’t send anything after this, if you don’t want anything to do with me. Don’t want you avoiding your one point of contact. I don’t mean to insult you, I just.

I’ve fucked up a lot of my relationships. Shera looked up to me, I gave her advice, and I’m not proud of the way I wore out even her patience. I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop, you know, with everyone else. I told myself I have my work and that’s all I need.

I feel like you’re the same that way. And I think that way’s pretty stupid. You’re good looking, you’re kind, kids like you. (Kids are a good judge of character, Vincent, you gotta trust them.) I didn’t want you to fade away, not like me. I thought if I could keep getting you to come over for shitty beer and bad jokes you might, I don’t know, learn something. I didn’t really think it through. I think I was sweet on you even then, truth be told. The first time I saw you try to hide a smile I damn near thought you hung the moon.

I didn’t mind you coming and going, only that you’d say you’d be back and you meant it. That’s all it takes sometimes. I hope you did learn something, though, and that you had fun. I did, for what it’s worth.


Cid Highwind

Dear Cid,

I know it has been a while since we last spoke. Longer than I would have liked. I had to think. I understand if you’ve moved on, or if you are angry. I doubt my flight would be easily forgotten.

I find it difficult to say you were not wrong. Putting your faith in me is often a fool’s errand. I don’t necessarily condone it. However, I did not find being near you disagreeable.

No, I apologize. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed being close to you, talking long into the night. I did not dream of more. That line of thinking often ends badly, so I ignored my feelings quite skillfully. That is why I had to think, when you finally spoke your feelings. At the time, I had considered it an end to our relationship. I had to come to another conclusion on my own, not in your home, with all the endearing reminders of your existence.

I have said that writing is easier than speaking, and yet I am choosing to stop here. I want to tell you in person what I have come to understand. Your impatience is well-known, and I will admit to finding some humor in imagining your frustration, if you are reading this. I hope you are. I hope that when I see you, what I have to say does not come as too much of a surprise.

With affection,

Vincent Valentine

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