|Level of Vanity
Author: Aura PM
A retelling of Sephiroth's story. What if he'd had someone there to help him? Could they save him from his horrible fate or be drawn into one of their own? Altering events. Seph x OC.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - Sephiroth - Chapters: 2 - Words: 5,031 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 08-29-09 - Published: 08-28-09 - id: 5338171
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter Two: Beneath the Exterior
"Who knows what true loneliness is -- not the conventional word but the naked terror? To the lonely themselves it wears a mask. The most miserable outcast hugs some memory or some illusion."
"I'm not the one that possibly killed her." Genesis was pouting a little at the speech he had received from Angeal after the incident in the training room. Sure Sephiroth was in hearing distance, but he'd gotten where he cared less and less recently as to the 'heroes' feelings.
"You were certainly ready to try." Angeal frowned at his friend, crossing his arms over his chest. "You should know better than that."
"I wasn't going to try to kill her, just cause a little damage." Genesis replied with a shrug. "Either way I'm going to the playing of Loveless. It seems as if vacation will be back on."
Angeal frowned after the leaving man, shaking his head. He didn't know what his friend was thinking these days with his outbursts. He was always left playing dad to everyone. "I have to deal with Zack a little tonight. You going to be all right?"
"Fine." Sephiroth answered, looking over one of the upper sections of Midgar from the windows of the common area. His expression was calm, like his voice, but his mind was busier than he would give away on the surface.
"Hey, Lazard said she'd be fine." He offered in the best pep talk way he could before opening the door. "You should go back to relaxing, never know when we'll be called off again."
The statement was true enough, vacations never tended to stay that way for long with the trio. Angeal was off to help his puppy with training and Genesis was mad at him again. Sephiroth was less concerned with his friends and more the pity filled gaze the new 1st had given him. "What is it she did?"
"Sephiroth." Lazard must have heard finally if he was out and about in person. "What were your thoughts?"
"On?" He felt like being difficult. He didn't want to deal with the director at the moment.
"Evelyn's prowess for beginners. What happened, from the beginning please." He stated calmly, standing near the door and waiting.
"She fought both Genesis and Angeal with almost no difficulty. Though they were both not using full power on her. She feinted after we only fought for a few moments. I thought in our short battle she was messy and barely on the level of a second class." Sephiroth answered without much change in tone, eyeing the empty sky. There was too much light pollution to make out any stars from here.
"Evelyn is a psychic. A rare one even amongst the uncommon." Lazard commented after a long moment, as if he'd been weighing on what to say, if anything. "She can often read people simply by meeting them, knowing what they will do, their intentions, sometimes down to their thoughts or memories."
"Thats why she could preempt whatever Genesis was doing." Sephiroth commented his observation aloud, remembering how it seemed uncanny whenever she would block or cast the reflect spell just in time to catch the fire.
"She mentioned he was a easy read to the medic working with her. Something about wearing his heart on his sleeve." Lazard commented with a small smirk of his own. "I hear Genesis doesn't think much of her."
"It is an interesting idea." Sephiroth had to admit it was a bit funny that Genesis' passionate nature had backfired on him.
"Reports on her indicate with some she needs to touch them to be able to read them and occasionally she has fits where she can't control what she's picking up. She'll pull too much information at once and her brain can't handle it all in that instant." Lazard shrugged. "It seems a little strange to me but the company wants her with other people capable of keeping her alive in the cases were she passes out. Like today."
"So we're suppose to babysit her." Sephiroth commented, it was an annoying prospect.
"Those are the orders." Lazard shrugged a little, as if to say it was out of his hands. "She's still going in and out of consciousness but I heard her muttering something about being lonely whenever I passed by. You are welcome to visit her in the infirmary if you like as you'll be working together in the future, I'm sure it would be a kind gesture."
Lazard left and Sephiroth frowned a little, watching the door thoughtfully before glancing back up to the blank sky.
ooooo ooooo ooooo ooooo ooooo ooooo ooooo
"I didn't mean to!" I repeated it again and again. A personal mantra keeping me from going mad then and there.
The red was so much more vivid than the rest of the colors...as if the blood was the only thing I would ever be capable of making out. The rest of the screams were somehow muted and pushed to the back of my mind. A sea of white noise coming from the sidelines.
It had been so easy. So incredibly yielding...
The blade slid through the flesh as easily as butter.
The rest of the students were still screaming, they hadn't seen the opening in the teacher as I had. They didn't recognize the weakness, I thought that they would have wanted us to respond to it, that they would have prepared for it.
My gift for murder started at the tender age of seven. My melee teacher was dead by my hand...it was an instant and everything had changed.
"I didn't mean to!"
Evelyn burst from laying down and nearly fell off the bed before managing to catch herself. The vision had been clearer than most, it was as if she'd lived it herself. Her skin was clammy and there was a cold sweat that wasn't the only reason she shivered. She bit her lip to keep the tears back.
It was almost physically painful just how clearly she could recall the man's distress. There were other jumbled images still lingering in her brain but it was difficult to gather them so she let them fade into the background for the time being. It was the overwhelming sense of loneliness that had stuck with her the most. How could a man hailed as such a hero feel as if he was completely by himself in this world?
"You didn't mean to what?"
She hadn't expected his voice, normally even if people were difficult to read she could sense their presence on some level. Her gaze instantly moving to take in the man she was even then feeling sorry for.
"It was a vision..." She shook her head, not sure what or how to explain. Most people took it personally when you could see their best and worse moments just by being near them. "Um...I'm sorry if I woke you."
It was obviously late, she didn't see any other staff lingering nearby, he was sitting near the only window but it was hard to tell if he'd been sleeping or not.
"I wasn't sleeping." That answered that. She did finally pick up a bling on her mental radar but it was muted, small. "Are you all right?"
"Yes." She answered with a nod, offering a smile. "I just had a bit of a overload. You are difficult to read, much more than your fellow officers."
"I suppose that's a good thing." His tone was neutral, he was still looking out the window. His gentle silver locks seeming iridescent in the light from outside. "If you aren't too injured I should let you get your rest. Lazard wants us to leave in another day or two."
"A new mission?" She wasn't used to having to ask questions but she sort of liked the change.
"The war in Wutai." He shrugged lightly, getting to his feet but he still didn't look at her directly. "I'm suppose to be escorting you but I won't tolerate you falling behind."
"I understand...I won't fall behind." She agreed, waiting until he was closer to the door to speak up again. "Sephiroth..."
He paused but didn't turn around. Leaving her guessing for one of very few times in her life.
"It's not your fault. It was an accident." She said sadly, unsure of what she could do to help him. "Thank you for sitting with me."
"Lazard mentioned that you were feeling lonely. That's all." He left before she could reply, frowning at himself. He generally didn't worry about women, even other women in the military rarely were of worth in battle. Being assigned to babysit one was annoying but he would do his duty. It was just that...
Though the warmth and relief, even if it was slight, he'd felt at those words...effected him more than he cared to admit. Perhaps she was better at what she did than he wanted to give her credit for...
He was back in the waiting area instead of heading to his quarters. He was looking forward to being out in the country and being able to see the stars. It was one of the things he enjoyed when he was away from Midgar.
A few days later...
Genesis had gone missing after their interaction and the war with Wutai was picking up but losses on Shinra's side were amazingly low thanks to the involvement of Evelyn. The psychic was great for finding them the information they needed to be most effective. She was better in battle than he'd originally thought and hadn't passed out again so he was slowly beginning to look at it less as babysitting - slowly.
With Genesis gone and Angeal often busy with his puppy recruit Sephiroth had little to do with no particular jobs planned for the near future. His life often circled around the almost constant needs of his position in SOLDIER.
So, taking up time in the training room was a logical course of action. Though he wasn't expecting to come across Evelyn already there. She was hardly using it for training however. The sky was amazingly blue and the sands and buildings were familiar to him. It was a recreation program that recreated the lovely landscape of Costa Del Sol. She was settled in a bathing suit and laid out on a towel over the sand.
"This is hardly approved for the SOLDIER training room." He commented lightly, he was a little amused at the idea of how Lazard would twitch if he knew she'd put this program into the computer.
"Hey, it's easier than taking a vacation and then being called back." She reasoned with a smile of her own, pushing up sunglasses and squinting a little at him. "Though you are sort of ruining the mood in that getup. Don't you ever take your armor off?"
"I am always on call, it is prudent to be prepared." He answered, sitting in one of the chairs nearby to absorb some of the shade. The room had raised the temperature to help match the feel of the place.
"It's also wise to take some time to not worry about everything. The world doesn't rest on your shoulders." She winked at him and pushed herself to sitting up. "I'd ask you to swim but I get the idea you don't even have a bathing suit."
"I believe there is one at the bottom of my drawers somewhere." He replied with a small smile, her cheerful attitude was difficult to ignore. "Though the water here isn't real."
"Yeah I know." She sighed. "It'd be nice to actually go to the beach and swim for a while. So much quieter when I'm swimming."
"What do you mean?" They hadn't really spoken much on their assignments, she was constantly busy tracking or trying to eavesdrop on people's thoughts and she'd mentioned a couple places were noisy when there was nothing around. He was naturally curious as to how her powers worked.
"Well, fish don't think like other people do. At least not on a level I can track. Forest creatures though...they worry about everything. The constant paranoia was starting to get to me. Some people are quieter than others too...but I suppose we're a bit more complex than a deer or rabbit."
"What about me?" He had been curious ever sense she'd passed out.
"You are pretty quiet. Very difficult as a read but not the worst I've met." She said with a shrug and a smile. "I like it. It's nice having a conversation where you don't know what the other person is going to say before they say it."
"Glad I can entertain you." He offered with a vague sarcasm. It was bothersome to him that even unlike his closest friends he was still so different. So separated from everyone.
He didn't have time to linger on those thoughts however, blinking slowly at the girl that had jumped up and was pulling at his arm. "Come on. We should find the company swimming pool...you need to relax too."
"The company has a swimming pool?" He watched her failing to pull him from the seat, the childlike behavior a little alien for him. Not sure how to react.
"So the guards down the hall have visited anyway." She answered, ceasing her tugging at his arm and tapping her head with a wink. "Get a suit and come on. It'll do you some good to be out and relaxing instead of always worrying about stuff."
"Am I always worrying about things?" He stood up slowly but still didn't intend on following her to go swimming. If she left he could actually train for a while.
"Aren't you? Isn't that what Professor Gast was always saying?" She seemed distant as she made the comment, as if her mind were elsewhere but it brought him to a pause.
He watched her seeming to be in another world as she made the comment. It was something that the Professor had told him many times in the past. "I should stay here and train, you are welcome to go swim though I'm sure."
She seemed to realize for the first time what she'd said and she frowned. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to...I know you respected Professor Gast. I wasn't trying to make light of anything."
"You did just accuse me of worrying too much." He pointed out wryly. He had to admit that her presence was a little disconcerting but at the same time a part of him didn't want her to leave.
"I suppose so." She rubbed the back of her head sheepishly. "I guess I should let you work then if you want. But the invitation remains open if you want to come swimming sometime."
"I'll let you know." He answered politely, with little concern he ever would.
"Stay well Sephiroth." She said softly, heading for the door as he changed the program to something else.
She bit her lip as she moved toward her quarters to change. She didn't like the idea of what she was thinking about doing...but the more she considered the more she knew it was likely one of the only ways.
If she wanted to discover the identity of Sephiroth's mother for him she'd have to spend time with that greasy jerk Hojo.
Hopefully this makes things a little more explained. Not sure if I should continue or not atm...I have the idea in my head but no feedback at all.
He was sneering, but it always seemed as if he was sneering. The head of scientific research of the Shinra company was settled in his white coat overlooking some paperwork in front of one of his dozens of experiments, unaware of the woman watching from a little ways away.
It was easy to sneak around someone when you could read their mind and know when they were going to look where...