Title: Promised Land
Author: F. Rivera
Characters: Sephiroth, Loz, Yazoo, & Kadaj
Summary: A tale taking place in an alternate FFVII world. Sephiroth finally leaves SOLDIER & Professor Hojo, and takes his youngest clones with him.

Chapter One
Congratulations! It's a boy, boy, boy!

Midgar

Sephiroth had finally had enough. Enough of Shin-Ra, enough of SOLDIER, and most importantly, enough of Professor Hojo. His brows furrowed as he waited for the right time to tell his psychotic father that he wasn't going to be his lab rat anymore. Shifting slightly, the paper covered cot crinkled loudly. Yeah, he was going to tell Hojo as soon as he returned to the exam room he was currently sitting in.

The door opened, and the hunched over Professor strolled in with his hands behind his back. "Ah, Sephiroth. I need more blood, hair, urine, and semen samples."

Sephiroth could barely hold back his eye twitch. "Hojo. You won't be getting anything else from me. I'm finished with Shin-Ra, SOLDIER, and you."

Hojo quirked a brow as he looked to man currently dressed in only his pants and boots. His unique, armored, leather trench coat laying beside him on the cot. "Amusing. Now, hold out your arm." He started to approach his 'son', a large hypodermic needle in hand.

"I'm warning you. Come any closer, and you'll find yourself missing a limb or two."

The less than stable scientist paused, considering the threat. A slow grin spread across his lips. "Harm me, and I'll harm them." He chuckled at the look on Sephiroth's face. "Yes, I know you know about them. The three successful clones."

"...Three?"

"Oh..didn't know about the youngest? Yes..well..he should be about six months old now." Hojo looked up to the ceiling, grin still present. "In ways, he's much stronger than you were at that age. The sheer number of tests he's able to endure without crying and yet he still has a sweet disposition. Absolutely amazing," he sighed softly.

Sephiroth's eyes narrowed. He remembered the battery of tests and how painful they were. "I'm taking them away from you."

Hojo's eyes snapped onto Sephiroth. "You will do no such thing..! My research is not yet finished!"

The silver haired man grinned. Yes. He would take the youngest clones with him. In spite. "Tell me where the youngest is located."

"No."

"No? I'll destroy all that you've researched."

"You wouldn't da–" He paused. Of course Sephiroth would. He never said anything he didn't mean. Damn it all. "You will find the baby in Rocket Town, being raised by a woman named Shera."

"If you're lying–"

"I'm -not- lying."

"If you are, I'll make you regret it."

Grabbing up his coat and unique weapon, Sephiroth left Hojo's lab. He would never have to go there again. The thought brought a rare smile to his face.

Nibelheim

Sephiroth stood outside a small, run down house. It disgusted him that his first successful clone was being raised in such a dump. And by trash at that. He had seen the father figure beat the mother. Once, he had raised a hand at the boy. A swift threat from the Great Sephiroth ensured that would never happen again.

He knocked on the door. No answer. He knocked again. This time he heard something crash and shouting. Sighing, he knocked harder. This time the door was opened by the woman. She looked like hell. Hair mused, bruises beginning to form on her face, clothes askew, and tears misting over her eyes.

Sephiroth sighed. "I'm here for the boy."

The woman looked frightened. The only reason their lives were even remotely better, was because of the boy and the money sent to them to care for him. Without that money, well...they'd starve. Looking over her shoulder, she shakily called out. "E-E-Earl...?"

"What is it now, bitch?!" Earl, came stomping out from a side room. Shooting glares at his wife and the stranger at the door. That is, until he realized who exactly was standing at the door. "I swear I ain't touched the boy."

Sephiroth stared at the man for long moments, making him uncomfortable. "I know. But now I am here to take him out of your ... less than satisfactory care."

"You can't take him. Unless, you pay a fee." Greed was clouding the man's eyes. The child was only there for extra money. Booze was getting expensive these days.

"You expect me, to pay you, in order to take something that rightfully belongs to me...?!" Sephiroth's voice was dangerously low.

Knowing something bad was going to happen, the wife backed up before running to another room. The child's room to be exact. On her way, she stumbled over a broken potted plant. The same one Earl had thrown at her because supper wasn't fixed the way he liked it.

"Damn right."

"Move, or I will be forced to move you."

"Not until I get my damned money! 50,000 Gil! I ain't taking anything lower than that."

To Sephiroth, that much money was just pocket change. But, he would never give that man what he desired. Unsheathing his sword, he spoke with a grin on his face. "I warned you." In one smooth arc, the sharp blade sliced through the man, cutting him completely in half.

He cleaned the blade, before sheathing it at his side. He then stepped into the house, stepping over the dead man in the process, and headed to the backroom where he had seen the woman go. Standing in the doorway, his eyes narrowed as he looked at the boys room. It was the size of a cupboard. He almost expected a kid with glasses and messy hair to be living there. "Boy, we're leaving. Now."

The young boy, with hair kind of like a paintbrush, scowled. "My name's Loz, asswipe!"

Both Sephiroth and the woman's eyes widened in shock. Sephiroth was the first to speak. "You people taught him to talk like that..?!"

"N-no! I swear sir! It's not my fault. My h-husband...he said crude things often. And if I tried to tell him he shouldn't speak in such a way, in front of Loz, well..he–"

"Beat you?" He sighed as she nodded. "Here. Take this." He handed over a significant amount of Gil. "Your husband is dead, move from this town, and start over."

Shakily, she took the money. She couldn't believe he was dead. She was finally ... free. "T-thank you." Looking to Loz, she kissed his forehead even though he complained, and hugged him gently. "Be a good boy for him. He's your..." Pausing, she looked up to Sephiroth.

"Father." He finished. Well, he sorta was.

Loz nodded as he watched his foster mother get up and leave. She didn't pack anything. She was starting over and didn't want anything reminding her of her past life. Except maybe, one of the only pictures of her and Loz together. Happy and smiling.

"Come, Loz." Sephiroth turned to leave when he heard sniffling. "?!" 'Oh no. Please tell me he's not crying. Anything but crying.' He mentally groaned as he turned around and saw Loz bawling. Sighing, he walked the two feet to the small, messy bed, then picked Loz up.

He couldn't believe this. The little badass was a crybaby. It just figured something like that would happen. Oi. Well, he left and they headed for the small town of Kalm. To pick up the middle child.

Kalm

By the time Sephiroth and Loz reached Kalm, Loz had only cried three times. Two of which were caused by him tripping and scrapping his knee. Five year olds could be so clumsy at times.

Sephiroth looked around, before find the small quaint home that housed the second clone. Walking over to the door, he knocked two times before he heard a distinctly female voice.

"Just a minute..!" The voice was almost sing-songy. Both Sephiroth and Loz looked at each other for moment before looking back to the door as it opened.

A buxom woman, with dark brown hair pulled back into a bun and a few wisps of silver falling free, smiled as she looked to Sephiroth and Loz. "Hello..! What can I do for you?"

Sephiroth started to wonder if he should take the second from this place. He was obviously being cared for well. But then he thought about it. This woman willingly took the clone to Midgar where Hojo experimented on him ruthlessly. "I'm here for hi–" He looked past the woman to see the child. He thought it was a boy. But, with long hair pulled up into pony tails, he thought now it might be a girl. Oh how confusing..!

The woman's smile faded. "No..." Her tone taking on a saddened quality. "You can't take him! Since my husband died, Yazoo is all I have left."

Sephiroth was glad to know that really was a boy, but he wanted to scream. What was with these people and their bad naming skills?! Just really. A normal name would be nice. But no. Now he had two clones named Loz and Yazoo. "I am sorry for your loss, but the boy must come with me now."

The woman looked at Sephiroth, noticing his features for the first time, then to the boy beside him. "You're his father aren't you..?"

"Yes."

Looking away, with tears in her eyes, she looked to Yazoo, speaking softly. "Yazoo, love. Come here. I have someone I want you to meet."

The three year old skipped over to his foster mother, smiling happily. "Who?" He chirped.

"This man is..your real father."

Yazoo looked up. Eyes widening at Sephiroth's shiny silver hair, gently blowing in the wind. "Wow..!" Cheeky grin spreading across his lips, he spoke. "Papa!!"

The foster mother smiled, while Sephiroth and Loz just stared at the boy because of his enthusiasm.

"Papa live here?" Yazoo looked up to his mum, still smiling.

"No sweetie. You're going to go live with your father."

"Mommy come too?"

Tears pricked at her eyes. He was such a sweet boy and she was going to miss him terribly. "No. Mommy can't go. She has to stay here."

Sniffle. "But mommy has to!"

Sephiroth knelt down in front of the boy. Thinking back to a movie he saw where someone had to console a child. "Your mother can't come. But you'll see her again one day." Well, whatever. Not like a three year old would remember something like that in a month anyway.

"Promise?" Sniffle.

"Yes." Doing like Loz's foster mother did, he tenderly kissed Yazoo's forehead. Mentally cheering at how that made the kid not seem so ... sad. "Let's go."

Yazoo watched Sephiroth stand before shouting, "Wait!" Then he ran as quickly as his little legs would carry him to his room. Shuffling could be heard before he ran back. Tucked under one arm was a large teddy bear, and in his hand was an old blankie.

Upon closer inspection, Sephiroth noticed that the teddy bear had a locket around it's neck that had a picture of Yazoo and his foster mother.

Yazoo turned and waved slightly as he followed Sephiroth and Loz, "Bye bye Mama..!"


A/N: Okay. I was going to end it here. Buuuut! I decided to add the second chapter, seein as how I'm stuck on the third chapter. XD
Disclaimer: Forgot this last chapter. But obviously. I soo don't own any of the FFVII/FFVII:AC characters. There. n.n

Chapter Two
Untitled

Rocket Town Sephiroth stood outside the quaint little village. It seemed like it was probably a good place to raise kids. Even if there was a large Rocket leaning dangerously and looked as though it could possibly fall over at any time, and there was apparently a man swearing more than a sailor.

Yazoo's eyes widened as he watched the man with a spear walk by, saying at least one swear word every few seconds. "Oooo! He said bad words!"

Loz looked to Yazoo and rolled his eyes. He started to say something and as if anticipating what he may say, Sephiroth spoke. "Loz."

"What? I ain't say nuthin.'"

"I didn't say anything."

"What?"

"The sentence you just said. The correct way to say it is: I didn't say anything. Not 'I ain't say nuthin.'" Sighing softly. Sephiroth started to walk into the town when he felt a small tug on his coat. Looking down, he saw Yazoo, then quirked a brow in question.

Yazoo held up his teddy bear and blankie. "Hold it, please!"

Sephiroth furrowed his brows. There was no way he was going to get caught walking around with a teddy bear and blankie. "No."

"Pleeaaase!" Yazoo pleaded as he whined and pouted.

Sephiroth sighed, once again. It seemed since he took these clones with him, he was always sighing. Luckily he already had silver hair, otherwise he just knew these kids would turn his hair gray. "Why didn't you leave them in the buggy?"

Yazoo gasped. "Hot in there!"

The former General's eye twitched. It was just a teddy bear and blankie! It didn't matter if it got hot in the buggy when the A/C wasn't on. But, before he could say anything, someone else decided to add their two cents.

"You're a stupid ass faggot!"

Sephiroth gasped and Yazoo hid his face behind his teddy bear at Loz's language. Brows furrowed, Sephiroth smacked Loz upside the back of his head. "Watch your mouth!"

Loz glared up at his 'father' as he rubbed the back of head, tears welling up in the corners of his eyes.

Yazoo peaked over the teddy bear at Sephiroth. "Papa, what's a faggot?"

Wanting to avoid that topic, especially with the clone he was certain would turn out to be gay in the future, Sephiroth started walking into town. "Let's go."

They didn't have to walk far to reach the home of the woman caring for the third clone. And this time, Sephiroth didn't even have to knock on the door. The woman was outside, sitting on blanket, and cooing to the child that was apparently trying to crawl. Though, he really didn't go anywhere.

Shera looked up as a shadow fell over her. The joyous look was replaced with a saddened one. "You're here for him, aren't you?" She watched the great General nod, before looking behind him to where the other two were standing. Smiling softly, she waved to Yazoo and Loz. Loz just stood there, while Yazoo shyly hid behind Sephiroth, peering out curiously at the lady and the baby.

Gathering the baby into her arms, she began standing slowly as she looked up at Sephiroth. "I knew this day would come. I just didn't think it would happen so soon." Gently, she began handing the baby over to Sephiroth. "Careful now...You don't have to support his head so much, since he's growing up so fast. But here.." She took his free hand, putting it on the baby's back. "Put your hand here just so if he leans back..he doesn't fall. Okay?"

Sephiroth nodded as looked down at the baby's face. He could wield the longest sword on Earth with ease, but he felt like just holding a small, delicate, infant was the hardest task because ... what if he dropped him and the kid ended up being retarded or deformed.

"Do you need any supplies?" At the silver haired man's blank look, she repeated her question with details. "Supplies. Diapers, bottles, formula, clothes, toys, carrier, etc?"

Faint blush tainted his cheeks. He hadn't thought that far ahead. Trying to cover, he said, "Actually, I was waiting to buy everything until I had the child in my care."

"Well, seeing as how I have no need for everything I bought for Kadaj, you can have it. Besides, it was your child support that payed for it all."

"My?"

Brow quirk. "You weren't the one sending the money?"

"Ah..well, it's complicated."

She stared at him for a moment, before nodding and walking away. "Go ahead to your vehicle. I'll meet you there with everything you'll need and some of what you won't..!"

Slowly, Sephiroth turned around and started walking back to the buggy. "Yazoo, Loz, come on!" The boys hesitated for a moment. Loz thinking that babies were worse than Yazoo. And Yazoo thinking babies were so cute!

The new family stood by the buggy, waiting for Shera. They had been waiting for little more than thirty minutes when she came into view, and she wasn't alone. With her was the swearing man. Who was still swearing, and this time it was about how heavy the nursery furniture was.

It seemed to be that she cleaned out the entire nursery. Every piece of baby related furniture was loaded into the back of the buggy. Then Shera showed Sephiroth how to secure the carrier and how to buckle little Kadaj in. She even brought a toddler booster seat for Yazoo.

Once they were all set, Sephiroth drove off to where their new home was going to be.

So far, Kadaj was as good as Hojo said he was, at least so far. He didn't cry, but wasn't extraordinarily loud either. Taking the carrier out of the car, Sephiroth let the boys out and gestured to the house. "Welcome home."

Loz's eyes opened wide at the house. "It's HUGE!" He gestured, throwing his arms out to indicate just how 'huge' the house was.

Yazoo, had other thoughts in mind. "It's pretty!"

"Stoopid! How can a house be pretty?!" Loz glared at Yazoo.

Yazoo huffed, hugging his teddy and blankie close. "Anything can be pretty...'cept you!"

Loz stuck his middle finger up at Yazoo, but the effect was lost on the innocent boy though it wasn't on Sephiroth. Who by the way, glared at Loz. "Keep that up, and Yazoo gets to keep all the toys I was going to get for you."

Gasping, Loz decided to behave until he got the toys.

Most of the home was furnished, only rooms not furnished were the children's rooms. And all that was too be delivered that night. Luckily, Sephiroth didn't have to buy anything for Kadaj. Thank Shera.

The first supper

The dinner table was rectangular in shape. Sephiroth sat at the head of the table, with Kadaj's high chair positioned next to him, while Loz and Yazoo sat across from each other.

Sephiroth sighed as he wiped a bit of strained peas from his cheek right below his left eye. The boys tried to hide their giggles as they ate their food. "So, I see you don't like peas."

Kadaj stared at Sephiroth, then glanced to the jar of strained peas and scrunched up his face.

Setting that jar aside, Sephiroth picked up another and read the label. "Cooked carrots."

Loz snickered as Yazoo spoke up. "He's not gonna like it..!"

Trying to ignore them, Sephiroth opened the jar, scooped up a little of the contents on the spoon and then offered it to Kadaj.

Poor Kadaj, took one bite, and promptly knocked the spoon out of Sephiroth's hand sending carrots flying. Luckily. No one was hit this time.

"See! Told you!" Yazoo popped another tater tot into his mouth, legs lightly swinging since his feet couldn't touch the ground yet.

Eyebrow twitching slightly, Sephiroth grabbed another jar of baby food. This one was called, "Chicken." Even Sephiroth had to make a face at that one. 'How the hell could this have once been chicken?!'

Taking a chance, he opened that jar, scooped up a little onto the spoon and offered it to Kadaj. He was more than a little surprised when Kadaj smiled happily, slapping his little hands on the high chair table and kicking his legs a little, wanting more.

Finally! Something the little clone actually liked! Sephiroth ended up feeding him nearly the whole jar, plus half a bottle of formula.