Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy 7, or the characters/places within its universe…although I wouldn't mind owning Vincent…and/or Red XIII.
She kept to the shadows as she followed the man that seemed to be full of darkness and kindness at the same time. He had a claw that gleamed in the sunlight and she looked upon it with fear. For some odd reason, she got a painful jolt whenever she looked at it. He stopped and she darted behind a pile of rubble. Waiting for him to turn back around she took a few deep breathes. She didn't know why the man in white wanted her to follow him. He told her to make sure she hid herself well, and to cover her hair and part of her face. She always did what she was told, and she had her face and hair covered with a thick black shawl.
" Only your eyes can be visible." He had told her, " Never speak to anyone. Don't draw attention to yourself."
She pressed herself against the wall of the small bar she saw the man go into a bar. Ignoring the glances people gave her because of her attire, she peeked into the window. He was sitting at a corner table. He kept glancing at the window, making her duck out of view. This is going to be difficult she thought to herself, frowning.
Vincent Valentine seemed a dark presence in the other wise bright bar. He gave Tifa a slight smile as she brought him a drink and said that it was good to see him again. He wondered what Cloud and Barrett had to tell him that was so important. In the few months following the near destruction of the Planet, he had wandered to various towns, doing odd jobs here and there. When he went to the cave behind the waterfall, he was surprised to find that it did not exist anymore. It both saddened and relieved him. Looking out the window, he saw a small shadow dart out of view.
So she's still there he thought. Even though the girl kept to the shadows, he knew he was being followed. The thing that bothered him was that the eyes that watched him felt familiar…he just couldn't put his finger on what was so familiar about them. Cloud and Barret approached his table and sat down.
" Never thought you'd actually come." Barrett commented.
Vincent stared at him. " You said that it was of extreme importance…"
" And it is," said Cloud, " the fact that it has to deal with Sephiroth makes it even more…"
Vincent tensed. Sephiroth he thought. Out loud he said, " He has been destroyed. We should not have to worry about him."
Barrett and Cloud looked at each other. Vincent gazed at them coolly, knowing that whatever they wanted to say will come out eventually. Both seemed extremely uneasy, as if they were unsure how he would react to the news.
" Come now," he said, quietly, " I doubt the news is that he somehow survived."
Cloud frowned. Leaning in and said just as quietly, " Before he went insane, it seems that he was really close to a woman…you could even say that they were boyfriend and girlfriend…"
Vincent shook his head, " Sephiroth was not one to give into the weakness of falling in-"
"love?" interrupted Barrett, " We found out that this woman had a child. It's unknown whether it was male or female at this time."
" Is this child dangerous? How old?" Vincent asked, his concern growing. "If Sephiroth had a child, that means that the planet may still be in danger. For all we know, someone who was loyal to Sephiroth could have already gotten to this child."
Cloud grimaced. " It has to be at least 10 years old. As of yet, I'm hoping that it's just a normal kid. Afterall, how much harm can a child do?"
Vincent, without realizing it, stared hard at Cloud. " When it is a child of the most dangerous man that walked this planet, I say that if it wanted to, it could cause a lot of damage." Suddenly, Vincent got up and stalked toward the window. One thing that annoyed him was being spied on. There was a loud crash and a scuffling of feet as someone ran away from the window. Vincent arrived in time to see a shawl wrapped head disappear around the corner.
" Who was that?" asked Barret, who had followed Vincent. Vincent shrugged his shoulders and turned to face Cloud.
" Do you have any idea where we could look for the child? Or even perhaps, what it may look like?" crossing his arms, he asked.
Cloud shook his head then shrugged. " For some odd reason, I'm thinking of Junon. We could start walking tomorrow morning. It would do Barrett good to get some exercise."
Barrett turned red in the face as he turned on Cloud. " What's that supposed to mean you spikey-headed jerk!" he demanded. Cloud smirked but his look quickly turned into concern when Barret tackled him. The two started to wrestle on the floor while Tifa demanded that they stop before her bar was destroyed.
Vincent closed his eyes and sighed. This would prove to be a test on his patience. His thoughts turned to the girl who had followed him to the bar. Strange that one so young was interested in him. Children gawked at him yes, but they never made a move to approach him. Sighing, he told Cloud who was in a headlock under Barrett's massive arm that he would return in the morning. Cloud, who was trying desperately to release himself, barely had enough room to nod before Vincent stepped out into the street.
The girl huddled in an alleyway trembling. She had never been so frightened as to see that man stalk up to the window. The man in white would not be happy with her fleeing. He would call her weak-minded and a coward. Cradling her head in her hands, she tried not to cry. It wasn't because the man scared her, it was because she felt lost. As if she had no say and had to obey whatever the man in white told her to do. He kept promising her that he would tell her where she came from. The only thing she remembered was a large cannon of some sort. Giving in to the tears, she silently sobbed out the grief she had been feeling for the past few days. The man in white had been particularly mean to her, refusing her meals and sending her to the closet. The closet was always full of spiders…she hated spiders. After wiping her eyes with the back of her hand, she slowly stood and made her way to the edge of the city of Midgar. It was a strange place that she would love to explore, but the man was planning a trip, and she had to follow him until she got a sign from the man in white to stop and reveal herself.