Author Note: Well, looky here! Yamiko (also known as Imperfect Paradise) has at long- last- stretched out of her Yu-Gi-Oh obsession and has hit yet another rather enormous fandom in any attempt to pry herself from the first (wow, all the good that did). So here we are; a Square Enix's "Final Fantasy" series fan fiction. Now, for all of those who follow my Yu-Gi-Oh Fictions—don't worry, I'll still contribute, you have my word, but I just wanted to do something different—at least for now. Anyway, here's my first Final Fantasy VII fic. Anyway, for those who might want to let me have it big with constructive criticism, I just have one request—please try to be discreet with me. I am new to this, after all.

Disclaimer: I don't own Final Fantasy—and you should all thank "God" that I don't… ("God" being Tetsuya Nomura—JK! I'll stop!)
Plot: Twelve years following Advent children, Marlene has grown up into a beautiful eighteen-year old woman. However, shortly following her eighteenth birthday—she is plagued by inconsistent and mortifying nightmares featuring three people she never ever wanted to see again. (Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo) However, as they continue on with no signs of ever ceasing in their production, strange and peculiar signs and events begin to come into play throughout Marlene's life. How can she be absolutely sure that these appearances aren't just in her mind?
Genre: Romance/Mystery/Horror/Drama/Angst

Marlene/Kadaj (Dark; I must warn you.)
Aerith/Sephiroth (Mild—how? You'll see…)

Warning: M/R (Restricted) (For sensuality, domestic/fantasy styled violence, possible implications of rape (forced sex), language and a few scary scenes)
-Imperfect Paradise (Yamiko)

The Charm in Anguish
By Imperfect Paradise


"The Untainted Infected"

Feeling the black water as it slipped through his fingers and trickled down his throat with every sip he took, Kadaj's eyes closed midway, feeling the insides of his bowels tingle from the effect of the malevolent black water. He could feel it… He could feel mother's energy swerving inside of him, making him more physically adept, and strengthening his already potent power.

But it wasn't complete. It wasn't potent, and he wanted more… He needed more… He needed "mother's" cells in order to gain the full effect of his desires. It killed him—to know she was out there somewhere, somewhere completely out of his reach and in the hands of someone who most likely hated her, despised her, and detested her, just like everyone else on his whole damn planet.

Shunning that nasty feeling out of his mind, he broke his hands away from their cradling grip, letting the remaining water fall back into the cradle of the forgotten city. After inhaling dramatically, he took his arms back and gracefully moved them back in an welcoming gesture, deceptively inviting his "stock" into his family's embrace like cows to the slaughter house.

The children, seeing the simplicity of Kadaj's method for ensuring their own survival (and at the same time, wanting desperately to avoid the appalling and slow-moving doom that the pitiless fates had cruelly and openhandedly handed over to them) could not see any nor bring themselves to see any flaws with what had to be the only solution to cheating their up-comings. If this was the only way to avoid what the planet had passed on to them, they were willing to try anything. After seeing their kind constantly suffer greatly from their last hours of the slow moving pain, and after watching their friends disappear, one right after the other, why not sell themselves to the mercy of a new cure? One by one, they walked slowly over towards the darkly lit beach, feeling the splashes of the cold, dark water washing up against their calves, soaking their socks as they waded further into the chilled, tainted marshes. Feeling their shorts and the bottom of their shirts soak up the fluid, followed by the comfortable yet heavy feeling pulling against their shoulders and hips, they continued to travel deeper into the pond, allowing more of their party to join them in their quest for relief.

Kadaj's eyes glinted sharply, watching as his siblings reached into the water, cupping their hands and accepting a small amount of the liquid within their palms. While the outside of the silver-haired man showed self-righteousness and even pride in the children before him, in the inside, a wicked form of glee was sending shivers up his spine. Yet, within his bowels, another feeling resided within.

Geostigma—translated, it meant "the mark of the planet." After the meteor fall, the people had begun to believe that it was the very planet itself that was wrecking havoc, or rather "vengeance" against those who had wronged it in the first place. It was a disease; one that clung to you constricted against you and refused to let you go.

Alas, Kadaj remained untainted, but although he was perfectly healthy and overly physically fit, he could still feel something clinging to him. Whispering to him… Mixing with his soul, as if the very presence itself was polluting him… Narrowing his eyes, he contemplated over the reasons.


But what can we do? We're just remnants— remnants of Mother's legacy. Until we find Mother and receive her cells, we can't be whole again!


Remnants. Remnants…

Remembering that word, Kadaj inwardly snarled slightly, doing everything he could to resist giving his feelings away to his… admiring public.

Remnant… That's right. That's what he was… That's what I am, he thought, bitterly. Whether he liked or not, he was nothing more than a remainder, or rather a remake, of his dearest mother's most prized "creation."

Sephiroth; The first son of Jenova, and the most powerful being to ever emerge from the palm of her hand… Strength, looks, build, talent and skill—with those qualities, he had been admired by all before he took his talents to a further step.

Yet he had failed, at the height of his glory, when everything was set in place and ready, his efforts proved futile to one, lone warrior whom made Kadaj feel yucky inside. Said warrior was the exact opposite of the magnificent swordsman, a man who looked at this dirty and disgusting place almost as if it had some "beauty" to its interior. Yet, the long shot placed a blockade to his better half's plans, leaving the plans incomplete for the future he sought, leaving Kadaj and his brothers to pick up the pace.


Geostigma and a Legacy aren't enough ...not for a true reunion.


Clenching his fist tightly together, Kadaj watched as the children sipped the liquid graciously, almost as if they were blessed, thinking darkly to himself, Just be patient, mother… I'll give you what you need soon. You have my "word." Eyes darting from one child to the next, surveying as each of their small, fragile little bodies fell victim to the calamity (Hah! The little kiddies never knew what hit them—how pathetic)—the silver-haired teen watched smugly as his mother was welcomed into each of her new strongholds. Yet in the midst of his personal examination, a small, meek and a rather irritating sound suddenly hit his ear drums (one which didn't fit the mood of their little party) causing his eyes to flash to some degree.


Hearing this and relaxing slightly, Kadaj slowly exhaled, directly remembering that they weren't in an entirely respectable and admiring audience. For there was one member, who did not find this experience to be pleasurable, nor particularly enjoyable.


Smirking slightly, he took a few steps backward, before turning around to face the one member of their family that was not with them. His eyes first met up with one of this dearest and more valuable comrades (though an idiot and a retard at times, Loz certainly made up with those qualities for his strength and agility) but more importantly, they fixed themselves on the small, tiny little figure who was hanging on to him, in both fear of the person who clung to and to those around her. Face like a mouse, and eyes like a timid little doe, a little girl, appearing six or so stared up at him with fearful eyes, her body tremulously shivering while in the heat of Kadaj's wicked stare.

Chuckling slightly, his coked his head to the side, before he straightened his posture and moved closer to his pettily sized spectator. "Well, well, well…" he began, eyes dancing with an unknown light, "Looks like we have a little baby mouse."

Realizing that this man was referring to her, the little girl looked up and tensed up slightly. Kadaj's eyebrows raised and fell, before he stopped before her, staring down at the little girl as if she were an ant, or some other insignificant creature that an adult could hardly care less about. Then, kneeling down before her, he reached for her chin and stated, "And your name is, little girl?"

Marlene, (eyes suddenly narrowing) reached up and slapped his hand away from her face, responding bluntly, and in the strongest voice she could muster from her age and position, "It's Marlene!" Feeling the sting on his hand, Kadaj looked back at the child (somewhat discouraged by her fiery little temper) just in time to see Loz tighten his hold on the skin behind her neck, making her squeak slightly. Seeing this, Kadaj leaned forward, looking at Marlene dead in the eye. Having recovered quickly from her minor blow, Marlene stared at Kadaj, like a frightened deer staring widely at the oncoming headlights. Taking slight satisfaction in this, Kadaj's smirk only broadened, before he asked, curiously, "You… You don't have Geostigma—do you?"

Marlene didn't say anything, nor made any movements of giving herself away, nevertheless, Kadaj knew the answer…

Kadaj closed his eyes and let out a small, 'heh,' allowing this information to sink in. How charming. A cute little attitude with a strong resolve—who knew that children were capable of housing such qualities now these days? Reaching up and patting her gently on the head, Kadaj fondly stated, "How cute you are," taking the time to laugh briefly in a friendly manner. His charm was cut short, however, when his eyes shot open, subsequently reaching over and snatching the bow away from Marlene's hair with a lightning motion. Feeling the sharp tug of her locks, as well as the sudden release of their binding, Marlene gasped slightly, watching as Kadaj held the ribbon in his hands, standing back up and staring at it strangely.

Holding the ribbon tightly in his hand, Kadaj regarded the strand of fabric dangerously. How funny; that the untainted member of their little establishment wore such an unfitting little garment. The color was a luscious light magenta, made of a silky, fluid like material, that made Kadaj's nose scrunch up. Why, it was almost as if were a flower, a symbol of joy, of happiness, passion and life, all embedded together in this tiny little strip of textile. A small, soft, and colorful piece had no place in the puzzle of their regime.

Rolling his eyes at the stupid little item, he tossed it over towards his other comrade, murmuring, dully, "Here, Yazoo…"

Catching the ribbon almost effortlessly, a man with long, luscious silver wisps of hair held it briefly staring at it with a similar attitude. Looking back over at their fellow brethren (the once lively and vivacious children now gazing blankly at the world in front of them, with cold, icy stares), he smiled slightly and stated to them, "Well… This won't do, now will it?"

Receiving an empty response (then again, it wasn't as if he were expecting anything from their little open-minded pawns) he firmly focused his mind on the red materia surging inside his veins (one which older brother had graciously given to them), allowing himself to call upon the magic the energy bestowed upon him. Easily casting a firaga spell, incinerating the scrap as if it were a cheap sheet of paper.

Now, being young and exceedingly prone to such childish acts of malice, Marlene couldn't help the tears the welded up in her eyes. That ribbon was given to her by a dear friend. She had cherished it and had always beamed when Tifa tied it on every single morning. It was as if the head-tie had a heart of its own. Smirking ruefully at the little girl, knowing the damage that he had inflicted had been done, Kadaj merely stepped back, and allowed himself to watch the effect of his work. Reaching up to her eyes with her minuscule little hands, Marlene stifled a few small sobs, before breaking down into a mild crying session, wanting more than anything to have poppa, Tifa, Cloud or Denzel near to comfort her. Then, remembering her friend, Marlene looked back out towards Denzel, even somewhat hoping to see him splashing through the water as he made his way over to help her, only to see him staring at her with eyes that…

Seeing the look that her companion was giving her, Marlene's face paled, and her pupils shrank, as she looked at those compassionless and overly iniquitous eyes, leering mercilessly at her, as well as a small little smirk on his face, almost as if he were pleased at the mark of her pain.

It wasn't just him though. All of the children looked at her with those callous and spiteful eyes, the pale green with the thin vertical pupil staring at her, looking almost ready to grab her and eat her up, had they been told to do so. That's what she was though… She was a cabbage that had grown inside a garden of poisonous flowers, ready to consume her within seconds once they closed in around her roots. Nevertheless, the look of Denzel was the most prominent influence of her— that cold, heated stare filling Marlene with fear over the fact that one of her most trusted affable links could turn on her so quickly. Feeling herself tremble with fear at the look of Denzel, Marlene suddenly cringed, looked away and cried, "Don't look at me like that! Stop it, Denzel! Stop it!"

Ignoring the pleads of the little child, Kadaj moved closer towards the edge of the brook, looking proudly at the children before them. Chuckling slightly, he observed, "Well, looks like we have a fresh stock… Wouldn't you agree, my brothers?"

Raising his nose slightly in the air in an arrogant conduct, Yazoo drawled, "I would say so, but tell me; dear-Kadaj—" he looked back over at Marlene (who stiffened in response to his feline-like gaze) and narrowed his eyes, "What further need do we have for this particular urchin?"

Kadaj opened his mouth, looking ready to answer, when he was suddenly interrupted by the burly-built man besides him. "No sweat," Loz began, purposefully, "We'll just make her drink the water like the rest of the little children…" With that, he grabbed her forcefully by the shoulders, and began to force her in the direction of the water, Marlene taking to struggling.

Snapping his glance over at Loz and glaring at him, Kadaj bared his teeth and stated, relentlessly, "You'll do no such thing!"

Stopping in his efforts (Marlene continuing to struggle) Loz looked at his brother oddly, blinking several times in response in a puzzled state of mind. "Wha…?" He asked, obviously confused with the methods of their family-elected "leader."

Hearing this strange request (and coming from his brother, of all people) Yazoo further fixed his glare on his comrade and inquired, "Kadaj… You have to admit that without geostigma or mother's memetic inheritance—the child is useless to us. Big brother is probably on his way already, and I am sure the other brats are enough leverage to lead him here as it is. What more could she possibly serve to us?"

Hearing these words, Kadaj regarded his Yazoo for a moment or two, as if milking in his advice and taking it completely to heart. Then, folding his arms across his chest, he nodded once before stating thoughtfully, "True. This girl is a little less special than our 'other' brothers and sisters… Moreover, she is perhaps something a little short of an inconvenience—"

Hearing this, Marlene looked down at the ground, continuing to tremble at the words and forms of those around her, wishing that this harsh reality would disappear and leave her alone.

"—still… What kind of older brothers would we be if we treated her like nothing, huh?" Kadaj continued, slowly reaching for something in his coat pocket.

Hearing this, Marlene suddenly looked up, and stared at Kadaj oddly, wondering where this atypically minded teenager was going with this. While Loz continued to stare at him oddly (looking like a kid who didn't know what hit him when he got a D on a math test), Yazoo narrowed his eyes and asked darkly, "Where are you going with this, dear brother?"

Kadaj let out another muffled laugh, before he opened his eyes and regarded his brothers with a devious expression, before he held up something so it met his eye level. Staring at the objet held carefully between Kadaj's fingers, Marlene's eyes widened.

It was another materia ball, only this was one she had never seen before. It was black in color, yet it seemed to summit a silvery-green colored light, which danced across its surface like a ghastly-lit aurora. She had heard from Tifa and Poppa that materia was good, providing energy and protection to people to use for a good cause—but the energy that was radiating from this item, shared no resemblance to her adoptive father's description. She could feel it! The unearthly cold and the unpleasant shiver it brought to her, inviting itself into her body like an unwelcome guest, sending sharp, cold, and even painful charges down her spine like violent electric shocks. But as it seemed, her views of the item in question were unmatched, for both Yazoo and Loz stared at them item in awe, a wicked form of light dancing within their eyes as their grins widened with glee.

"Amazing," Loz added, with nothing further more to say.

Taking a step forward, Yazoo continued to stare at it, completely astounded with both its magnificence and the fact that his brother was able to come across something of such importance to them, and commented, "Where did you get it?"

Kadaj looked away from them and stated, importantly, "Doesn't matter—the question is, are we going to use it, or what?"

Looking at each other briefly before looking back at Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo grinned happily (truly impressed and joyful that something like this was happening to them after such good tidings) before they both looked back down at Marlene, looking at her with eyes that looked as nerve-wracking and as merciless as a lion, stalking it's prey. Staring at her, wickedly (Marlene paling dangerously at the site of their fiendish visages) they both stated, darkly in unison, "Let's do it…"

Kadaj smirked (glad to have such compliance at his disposal from two of his most trusted allies) before he took the materia orb firmly in his hand and began to make his way over towards them.

In response and fearing the very worst for herself, Marlene began to struggle wildly, wanting to get away from these people as soon as possible. However, she was brought back to harsh reality, when she was suddenly pinned against part of the monument in the center of the island, her face and stomach pushed sharply against it, causing tears to fall from her eyes.

Smirking as Loz restrained the little infant-like being, Yazoo took the next step in preparations for their plan, reaching for the shirt of the child and tearing it off, revealing a soft, pale back, Marlene squealing in response. (A/N 1) This behavior did little more than faze Kadaj, whose eyes glinted demonically as he bent before the child, holding the materia tightly, looking ready to do the worst he could possible do with the little black orb. Holding it up against Marlene's left shoulder blades, he then moved his fingers so his hand was in a flat position and without utterly another word, he began to heavy press it firmly into the center of her flesh.

The second Marlene felt the energy being roughly injected into her, searing hot pain began to flood from the area into all the parts of her body, mixing into her almost as if it were a poison or virus, spreading and infiltrating every single part of her. Feeling herself being taken the unnatural force, she glanced back over at Denzel, seeing that vile and complacent look one last time before she fell into beaconing embrace of unconsciousness, surrounded by those cold, demonic eyes, all in which were glinting in a way that appeared as if they were grinning remorselessly at her pain.


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Author Note 1 – I know what you are thinking, and you're wrong. Look, I may write many disturbing things, but child-rape is "not" among them. Just keep reading and you'll find out what happens. I mean it.

Random Note: Well, there you have it; the first chapter of my first final fantasy fiction. It probably won't be the last, considering I have a few other ideas to give out to you people; such as Vincent x Lucrecia one-shot, plus a mis-adventure one-shot featuring Reno and Rude (noticed how I said "and"—not "x"). Anyway, that I'll be all for now. As for my Yu-Gi-Oh readers, Crimson Descends is "almost" done, and I am working on the next chapter of "Love in the Hourglass." Anyway, back to the Final Fantasy readers, and thanks for stopping by and if you could review—that would be great. I'll try to work on the next chapter ASAP, and uh… Thanks again!