Disclaimer: I don't own Final Fantasy or its characters...blah, blah, blah. I do own Loren, though. SO HAH!Err, right. Enjoy!
Loren relaxed on the couch, taking a sip from a Pepsi. 'Just watching the battle going on and on is making me sleepy.' Loren thought. She had Final Fantasy VII on 'auto pilot', which was basically having Cloud cast Regen, Yuffie casting Big Guard, and Red XIII defending, and letting the monsters bash on them so that their Limit Breaks could fill up.
"Training is fun and boring at the same time when you can find a way around having to run around because the creatures do not fill up the gauges fast enough" Loren yawned.
The bug-like monsters continued to bash up Cloud and the others. Regen wore away. Loren crawled over to the controller and had Cloud cast Regen again.
"I bet Cloud would be so pissed by now because he is getting his ass kicked but taking no damage. Oh, well. When they are all good and pissed I will end their suffering and have them do overkill to the bugs."
When Loren stood to walk back to her seat, her foot snagged the carpet and her Pepsi spilled all over the Playstation. Her eyes snapped to the television. The screen was frozen and the sound was like a scratched record. Loren cursed under her breath and was taken aback when the characters began to move. Cloud moved first and began to walk toward the screen. The graphics changed to look like they did in Advent Children, though he still had the huge spikes and not the more subtle ones that were in the movie. A voice broke through the repeating noise of the battle theme, and it chilled Loren to the bone. It sounded like Cloud's voice from Kingdom Hearts, but it had a deeper and slightly more melodic tone to it.
"What do you think you're doing?"
Loren had her eyes glued on the screen.
"What is your problem?"
Cloud stared at her through the screen, his eyes brightly shining with hate through the screen.
"WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?"
Loren screamed as Cloud's head popped through the screen of her TV.
"DO YOU THINK IT'S HUMANE TO LET THOSE STUPID INSECTS CLAW THE HELL OUT OF US WHILE YOU'RE DRINKING A COKE?"
Loren cowered in the corner of the room while Cloud pushed the rest of the way out of the TV. Red XIII and Yuffie followed right after. Red XIII bared his fangs and claws and Yuffie and Cloud readied their weapons. Loren began to cry. Cloud stuck his sword in front of her face, silencing her.
"I don't need your bawling! I should kill you for treating us so cruelly!"
Loren's face contorted to anger. She glared daggers at Cloud.
"I was not controlling you! If you wanted to fight so badly, why will you not kill them yourself! I should not have to be the one controlling you in a battle! You should take initiative like the monsters and fight without me pressing buttons that tell you what to do! You are not an idiot Cloud…or are you?"
Loren broke out into tears again and Cloud looked to the others for help. Red XIII shook his head and Yuffie shrugged. Cloud hung his head in annoyance and bent down to look at Loren.
"Um, hey, I'm sorry alright? You're right about the initiative thing and…hey! I'm not an idiot!"
Loren stared at him. His blue Mako eyes were slicing into her and she felt a chill go up her back. The eyes were too bright, too clear…
"Where are the others?"
Cloud cocked his head to the side before understanding. He looked to the screen to see all the others wandering around searching for him. Tifa looked directly at the screen and pointed at him.
"Look you guys, it's him! Let's go!"
Everyone began to barrel towards the screen. Loren screamed again and so did Cloud. He had to run away! He had put Tifa out of the party for a reason. She was constantly throwing herself on him, telling him to save her from the creatures that were trying, very successfully at that, to devour her. She always considered Cloud to be a person—or thing more the like—that had to be constantly worried over. He hated that and replaced her with Yuffie. Even Yuffie, who, whenever she got the chance, looked at his ass, was preferable to Tifa. Cloud grabbed Loren's shoulders.
"Hide me! Eep! Tifa is coming closer; you've got to hide me! Red, cover me! Yuffie, conjure a smoke bomb or something!"
Loren pointed with a shaking finger to the closet in the room and Cloud ran inside of it. It was quite extensive in size and the clothes that were inside draped all the way to the floor, providing great hiding spot.
"Boy, does this girl have a dark taste. Almost all of her clothes are black."
He heard a thump in the room and he tensed. They were coming inside. Tifa was coming inside. Cloud slowed his breathing to a minimum and began to sweat profusely. The more he thought of Tifa, the more frightened he got. He didn't even like her appearance. Her clothing was too revealing, and her…upper torso…was too large for someone as thin as her. He heard her voice pierce through the room.
"Excuse me; do you know where Cloud is? I saw him here just a second ago."
Smoke was pouring throughout the room and Loren was beginning to cough as were the others. A huge shadow that she knew was Barret was standing behind Tifa. Loren stared in fright at the huge shady figure. She had known that he was tall, but to see him in real life was just plain frightening. Sitting down as she was, she didn't even reach his knee. She turned her attention to Tifa, who was giving her a questioning stare.
"Do you know where Cloud is?"
"Yea, we need to find the spiky-assed foo', so that we can go and kick Sephiroth's ass."
A huge spear that was better known as the Venus Gospel landed near Loren. She yelped in fright. Cid knelt down to look Loren straight in the eye.
"You f!#$& kid, we need to know where that stupid jackass is or our world will be destroyed. Do you understand that, little girl?"
Loren stared wide-eyed at the middle-aged pilot. He was so calm, yet his eyes betrayed him. His eyes were burning in anger and something resembling worry for Cloud.
"I-I do not know. Smoke was everywhere and then he disappeared."
Tifa slapped Loren.
"You lying bitch! I know Cloud is here! Where is he? Where is he!"
She was near panic in her voice and her hands were shaking against her legs. Loren grew angry then and stood. Tifa stood as well and looked Loren directly in the eye. Loren gave Tifa a cold stare that made Yuffie slowly back away. Loren quickly backhanded Tifa.
"What the hell is your problem? Cloud is a lot stronger than you think he is, and here you go, wondering where in the Nine Hells he is just because you think he is unstable or something! He is a lot stronger than you and getting near the level of power that Sephiroth resides on. That says a lot. Do not go giving anyone your sob story saying that you are worried about Cloud or that he could be in danger! I am surprised anyone even listens to you! Cloud is just fine and you do not need to constantly worry about him. If he is in trouble, that is my job to take care of that, not his worried-beyond-all-reason childhood friend!"
Tifa was struck profoundly and she stared in awe at this girl who seemed so weak just a second ago. Tifa quickly snapped to her senses and prepared to pounce on Loren when Cloud's cool, melodic voice broke through the tension.
"You know Tifa, she's telling the truth."
Tifa whirled around to face him, her face white with anger and shock.
"She's…really telling the truth? Cloud…why didn't you tell me that you felt this way?
You…you horrible person! I'm just worried about your well being! I'll kill you!"
Tifa threw herself toward Cloud.
"TIFA, UNDERSTAND THAT I WASN'T TRYING TO BE RUDE! PLEASE, TIFA, BE REASONABLE!"
Tifa screamed in anger and began to pommel Cloud with her fists. Cloud screamed and flipped her over him. He then pounced on her and pointed his sword at her throat.
"Don't get mad at me for telling the truth. Sorry, honey, but the truth hurts and there's nothing neither you nor I can do about it. I don't need you WORRYING ABOUT ME!"
With that last sentence, he had spoken softly then elevated his voice to a roar. Tifa shrank back from him, tears in her eyes.
Cloud held up a palm to silence her and turned from her.
"I don't need your crying either. Just shut up and get out of my face."
Vincent looked from Tifa to Cloud, shrugged, and shook his head. Yuffie stared at Cloud's ass, Cid lighted a cigarette, Cait Sith was checking his dice for nicks or scratches, Barret stared at Tifa in annoyance for being so stupid, Red XIII was cleaning his fur, Tifa left the room, and Cloud looked at Loren for a reaction to all of this. She was passive, no longer holding any fear towards them. Vincent, too, looked at Loren.
She was dressed in a black nightshift, bringing him to the realization that it was night. Her hair was jet-black and her skin looked like it was made of porcelain because of its odd glowing quality and paleness. Her passive stare at the floor shifted to him, and he stared right back with his own passive stare. The corners of her mouth crinkled downward and she turned away from him to look at Cloud. Vincent once again shrugged and left the room to stare at the moon that was shining brightly through the window.
Cloud looked into Loren's eyes to see if any reaction would come from her at all. Loren's eyes dilated and she looked toward the door.
"What are you going to do about her?"
"Nothing at all; I don't care if Tifa is mad at me for telling her the truth."
"It was actually me who told her, but you did not deny it, so that does mean that you told her, if only subtly."
Cloud nodded. He then smiled at her.
"I like your outfit. I never paid much attention before, but now that I've seen it, I like it."
Loren turned a light shade of pink.
"You think so? It is only a nightshift, but I do find it kind of enticing in a neat way."
Cloud raised an eyebrow. He touched the long silken black sleeve and chuckled.
"Yes it is, in a way. But not the way you may see it. It feels so…nice."
Loren immediately understood his meaning and pounced on him, raining blows on his head.
"You pervert, get out of my house! You disgusting…I thought you had some morals of honor!"
Cloud laughed and grimaced as blow after blow continued to rain on his head. The blows suddenly stopped as Loren was lifted into the air by Barret.
"Put me down, Barret! Let me finish him!"
"Kid, you hones'ly need to calm down. He may be a horrible stupid-ass foo', but you don't need to pommel him to death. He jus' appreciates how you look. He really does have good morals."
Loren stopped struggling against Barret and the faint color she had in her cheeks a moment ago faded away. She looked to Cloud who was brushing himself off as if nothing happened and touched Barret's arm, signifying for him to let her go, that everything was alright now. Barret complied and walked off to poke fun at Red XIII's tail, which the owner began to swish around dangerously, daring Barret to continue. Loren stepped forward to stare Cloud in the eye and promptly slapped him. He quickly raised his head and stared at her in something resembling either anger or surprise, perhaps both. Loren didn't even flinch under his bright, icy stare.
"I forgive you Cloud, but you had best not make comments like that again, lest I rip your tongue out."
Cloud pursed his lips and rubbed the slap mark.
"Okay, that's fine, but how the hell did you learn to slap like that?"
The corners of Loren's mouth twitched, trying not to smile.
"Let us just say I have had years of experience due to certain events in the past."
Cloud quickly left the subject at that and began to walk off. Loren grabbed his arm before he passed her. He looked at her in near unease and didn't move an inch. Her eyes were downcast and her touch was unusually gentle.
"I am sorry about Aeris. There was nothing I could do to stop him from killing her. Cloud…I am sorry I could not keep her alive."
Cloud touched her shoulder.
"You wouldn't have been able to stop him anyway, even if you could do something. We weren't strong enough and I doubt you could control us at the time."
"Yes, you are right. It was all cinematic, so I could not do anything even if I tried unless I somehow magically entered your world, but not even then, because I doubt I would be strong enough to even scratch Sephiroth."
Cloud winced at hearing Sephiroth's name, but took it all in good stride. He smiled warmly and walked off to stand next to Vincent. Loren cast a disapproving glance Vincent's way. She felt the evil within him begging to come out, and she didn't know how long he would be able to contain his inner demons.
Vincent could hear Chaos begging him to be let out. Chaos was yearning to "explore" this new place, this new planet, but Vincent wouldn't let it out. He didn't like the glance that Loren was sending him, but he ignored it. Could she sense Chaos inside of him? Of course, he thought. She had seen him transform several times and knew what he truly was. He sent his own glare towards her, mainly to make her turn away, but a part of him worried about her appearance. She was far too pale to be healthy, but her hair was glossy and her skin nearly glowed. Perhaps it's just the light, he mused. Maybe when she was out during the day her skin would be normal. No, that would only make her skin glow even more. All forms of light probably made her skin glow. What was wrong with her? She was shocked and crying at first, but right afterward she was passive and formal.
Vincent frowned even more, but he looked away and shoved all thoughts of Loren away. He had more pressing matters, namely Chaos. He was so preoccupied that he didn't notice Cloud speaking to him.
"Vincent! Vincent, are you alright? Answer me; wake up from your little trance thingy!"
Vincent looked down slightly at Cloud, who was only three inches shorter than him. Then again, being six feet tall was quite an accomplishment in the height world. Unfortunately, Sephiroth was an inch taller than him and Barret was four inches taller than him. Thankfully, they were the only two, so he was taller than everyone else.
"Are you alright? You wouldn't answer me after three tries, and that's pretty scary, considering I was almost yelling!"
Vincent shook his head.
"I understand. I was just thinking about things."
"You don't need to know, Strife."
"What did you want?"
"Why were you constantly calling me for? What was so important?"
Cloud shrugged again.
"I forgot. You got me so worried that my mind went blank right after you didn't answer for the third time."
Vincent rolled his eyes and stalked off to the window, his cloak (cape, cloak, whatever) trailing in the air behind him. He saw the moon shining brightly, its crescent form suspended in the midnight star-studded sky. It seemed just like the moon back in his world, yet it felt different. The moon told him that he was not on his home planet. It shone brilliantly with a vigor that told said it was still young and that the planet wasn't dying. The air in this place felt pure, no pollution or monsters plaguing it. He breathed in the scent deeply, letting its pureness fill his lungs. A jolt of pain suddenly tore through his body, causing him to hiss and double over. He clutched his head, trying to figure out what caused this. He then realized what it was; Chaos. He felt Chaos beginning to rip at his mental defenses, trying to make him submit to its will.
"Chaos, I will not let you wreak havoc on this world! I already have enough sins to atone for. I do not want another to further add to my burden!"
Chaos was obviously not paying attention because he still tore at Vincent's mental defenses. Vincent ran inside trying to get people's attention. He felt himself getting weaker and barely made it inside before collapsing. The last thing he saw was Loren's grimace and heard Chaos's guttural laughing in his mind before passing out.
Loren watched Vincent go outside the door with caution. She had to watch him no matter what. She couldn't trust him with his demons tearing at him on the inside. She felt one of the stronger demons, Chaos no doubt, prodding at Vincent, trying to make him submit. She knew it would only be a matter of time before he fell to Chaos or one of the others and transformed, creating a mess that she would have to clean up. Her hypothesis came true a moment later when Vincent grabbed his stomach and doubled over in pain. Worry welled up in her, but she didn't show it.
Vincent ran inside, trying to get people's attention. He collapsed to the floor and looked up at her, seeing her grimace, before passing out. She heard the distinct rip of clothes and knew she only had a few seconds before one of the demons emerged, so she jumped on him and pinned him to the ground. He completely transformed under her and struggled to get loose, but she was surprisingly strong. Chaos had emerged in all its violet glory and sneered at Loren. It gave a guttural laugh and snapped at her hands with its fangs, but she deftly avoided them and retained her position for hours (I have no idea how she of all people could hold down Chaos, I mean its Chaos, man!). After all of those tiring hours, Chaos was finally submissive and began to transform back into Vincent. Loren promptly removed her self from Vincent and stood over him.
Vincent opened his eyes to show his crimson orbs. He sat up and looked around. Cloud, Loren, Barret, and the others were standing over him, their eyes laced with worry. Well, all except Loren's. Her steel-gray eyes were filled with distrust, but did he see a hint of relief or was it his imagination? She turned her back to him and muttered 'You're welcome.' before walking off to a room to his right. What had she done?
A/N: If you read this, thank you so much! I know I'm not much of a writer,but I must say I think I did a good job on this one. Anyways, please review...or Seph dies! (Dun dun duun!)
Seph: What! How could you? I thought we had a great friendship going on here! I will destroy you with Masamune!
Author: You draw your blade and I'll shoot you now, review or no.
Seph: (whimper) Alright, fine.
Author: (points gun at Seph) Just for safe measure. Please review! Hee hee! XD