Final Fantasy VII
A New Beginning
Notes: The characters are not mine,
and the story is! This is just something cute (and probably a bit cheesy) I've been wanting to
write about what happened to Kadaj and his brothers after the end of
Advent Children. It's my first time writing Aerith, so I hope
It was a strange and new feeling, to be bathed in warmth when he had felt so cold a moment earlier. And pain . . . he had been in so much pain. Now . . . now there was none. He was well again, and he felt so safe. The warmth traveled through his entire body, and he savored it. It was not just physical. He could not even begin to describe it. All he knew was that he wanted to keep feeling it.
Slowly he opened his eyes. He was laying on his back in a field, staring up into the face of a woman---a beautiful woman, with eyes that were green, like his. He recognized her voice. She had been the one speaking to him when he had lain, helpless, in Big Brother's arms. Her brown hair was mostly tied back, with two locks falling over her shoulders. She smiled gently, kindly, and Kadaj could see that she did not judge him, as many had done. It was as if . . . as if she understood him completely, and still cared. Was this what a mother's love was like? It must be!
He reached up for her. "Mother . . ." he said softly, raising into a sitting position. "Mother, you're here. . . ."
She continued to smile as she knelt beside him. Slowly he moved forward, his arms outstretched as he started to hug her. She drew him closer, allowing and encouraging his childlike embrace. "It's alright now," she said softly, running her fingers through his cropped hair. "You won't suffer any more, Kadaj."
He snuggled close, burying his face against her shoulder. This was what he had longed for, for so long. Yazoo and Loz, too. They had all only wanted the unconditional love of a mother. They had been condemned by most in that lonely world, but they had not been understood. They had never been understood, until now. Or . . . he was understood now, anyway. . . . He was. . . .
She could feel him tense slightly. "What is it?" she asked.
"Yazoo and Loz," he answered. She could hear the sadness and regret in his voice. "They aren't here. . . . They won't get to be with you, Mother. . . . We've all wanted it, so badly. . . ." A stray tear slipped, splashing on her mini-jacket. "We just wanted to find you and be with you. . . ."
"I know." She continued to hold him comfortingly, moving her hand over his back. It would probably be hard for Cloud and the others to think of him as a misguided child, but really, that was what he was. He and his brothers had committed wrong actions, but they had not known that what they had been doing was wrong. They were innocent, only wanting to be with their mother.
Jenova had not treated them well. They had been pawns under her manipulation. And she was not one who would be forgiving of failures. But they did not understand any of that. They did not know she did not truly love them. They had not met her. But because of that, and the fact that all they had wanted was a mother's love, Kadaj had decided that Aerith must be his mother. She was what he imagined a mother would be like.
Now she spoke again. "Maybe they aren't as far away as you think, Kadaj," she told him kindly. She knew that his brothers had also passed on. Cloud would have joined them, had it not been that it was not his time yet. She had sent him back, but Yazoo and Loz were to remain with their sibling.
"They're not here," Kadaj answered. "So they must be far away. . . ."
She opened her mouth, about to reply.
"Hey, Aerith . . ."
She glanced up, turning slightly at Zack's voice. He gazed down at her, an expression of both slight amusement and concern spread across his features. She looked at him questioningly.
"You're not really gonna take care of all three of these guys, are you?" he asked in an undertone. Kadaj did not seem to hear.
She smiled, also in amusement as well as mischief. "They need a mother," she replied simply. "We did talk about this, Zack."
"Yeah, I know, but . . ." He shook his head. "They're going to be such a handful. . . ." Then he started at the sound of other voices nearby.
"Kadaj, you're here!"
The silver-haired young man looked up with a start, his eyes widening. Aerith released him then, and he leaped up, running toward his brothers in excitement. She smiled gently, slowly getting to her feet as she watched them. They were delighted to see each other, and to be together again, and that came across very clearly, despite the fact that they were not especially affectionate with each other.
Kadaj looked to his brothers, each in turn, happiness and joy in his eyes. "I've found Mother!" he exclaimed now. "She's here! She's been waiting for us!"
"We saw her too!" Loz declared ecstatically.
"She said that we can stay with her now," Yazoo answered. He spoke in his quiet tones, as always, but it was clear that he was just as thrilled as the others.
"And play," Loz said.
Kadaj nodded quickly. Suddenly a brief fear struck him. Was Mother still there? He looked back, relaxing as he saw that she was, and that she was smiling knowingly. She was not going to leave. Now he was truly happy. They had a home.
Aerith turned back to Zack, who was also watching them. "Now, surely you're not going to tell them they can't be here," she chided lightly.
He sighed. "No . . . of course not," he said. But he was certain he was in for a wild ride. He could easily imagine those boys getting jealous if they thought Zack was spending too much time with "Mother." And he had to admit that he was not looking forward to that.
Aerith looked firmly into his eyes. "They'll just have to get used to you," she said.
He shook his head. It was amazing, the way she always seemed able to read him like that. But then again, this was Aerith they were talking about. Zack had rarely ever even seen her fazed.
Now she took him by the hand. "Come on," she encouraged. "I'll introduce you to them."
He went with reluctance. The brothers all looked over, eyeing him up and down with suspicion in their eyes. He hoped that he appeared friendly as he looked back. He added a half-wave, but their expressions did not lighten.
"Who are you?" Kadaj asked.
"Are you here to play?" Loz wondered.
Yazoo did not speak, but instead tilted his head to the side.
"This is Zack," Aerith informed them calmly.
"Hey, guys," Zack greeted. Inwardly he kicked himself. That probably sounded as lame to them as it did to him. They were still regarding him as if he could be a possible foe. He swallowed hard. Aerith had better have a plan for how to solve this.
And she did. "This is your father," she said in a cheery tone, wrapping her arm around his.
He turned to stare at her in disbelief. Father? What was she thinking? And would they buy it? He looked back to the trio, hearing one of them speak.
"Father?" Kadaj repeated.
"We were never told about our father," Yazoo mused.
They and Loz exchanged glances, seeming to be silently conversing among themselves as to what to make of this new information. Zack shifted nervously, alternately watching them and Aerith. She could tell that he wondered if this had been a good idea. And she had to admit, she wondered herself, for a brief moment.
At last they looked up again, studying Zack in silence for a long moment. He shifted uncomfortably. All those emerald eyes, staring at him, seeming to be penetrating into his soul. . . . It was just a weird feeling. Even more so because it reminded him too much of his old friend. But these three were not that person. They were their own persons. And he knew he would have to remember that.
Finally Loz stepped forward. "Let's play, Father," he suggested hopefully.
Zack blinked in surprise. He had not been expecting that one. He opened his mouth to reply, then glanced back at the other two. Kadaj and Yazoo were still silent, but did not look hostile any longer. They seemed to have accepted him too.
He turned his attention back to Loz. "O-okay," he stammered, still feeling overwhelmed. He sneaked a look at Aerith as Loz hurried off ahead.
She merely smiled. "You see? We can be a happy family," she declared.
Zack managed a lopsided smile in return. "Yeah . . . I guess so," he agreed, before turning to follow Loz. Well, hopefully she was right.
Aerith stayed behind with Kadaj and Yazoo, who both hugged her blissfully. Gently she put her arms around them, watching with some amusement as Zack and Loz began to spar. Yes, she was certain, everything would be alright.