PROLOUGUE

PROLOUGUE

"Damn…you…"

He was answered by laughter. Inhuman. Mocking.

He ran blindly. Reality and nightmare intangible.

"I can't see you anymore."

Vincent looked at her slender hand, gently entwined with his.

"Forgive me."

Sadly he looked at the dark haired angel before him, placed his other hand atop hers...

…As it swelled into talons.

"Never."

Bone snapped too easily. Blood fountained.

Chaos smiled.

"If I can't have you…No one will…"

"DAMN YOU TO HELL!"

The image shattered as he punched it.

Laughter.

"Damn ME, Valentine?"

The visions increased with fury, each worse than the last.

"You first."

His younger self and Lucrecia, naked and entwined as they made love-

-Chaos raping her

SMASH!

Hojo's twisted face, eyes shining with glee.

"Should have kept your hands to yourself, Turk."

SMASH!

Lucrecia reaches a bloodied hand toward him as she lay on the dissection table.

"Monster." Her gaping abdomen was a dark rose in bloom. "You murdered my son!"

SMASH!

"Vincent!"

His heart stopped.

"Not her….NO! DAMN YOU! DON'T YOU TOUCH HER, DEMON!"

She was so small in Chaos' massive arms, gray eyes softly pleading as Chaos lustfully ran his talons down her face and chest.

The demonic forms of Hellmasker, Death Gigas and The Gaian beast stood beside him, silent but mocking.

"I can see why you care for this one so. The resemblance is startling." One talon raked too hard, blood flowing freely. She whimpered. "Even reacts the same to my touch…"

Death Penalty was drawn in an instant. They roared with laugher.

"You point that toy at me?" One talon cupped her chin gently as the other stroked her hair, the threat obvious. "Better to point it at yourself, my friend, if you wish to kill me."

Before his eyes, the skull like visage shifted…became his own.

"For I am what you will become, Vincent Valentine! It is your destiny!"

Snap!

The primal howl that tore from Vincent's throat seemed to shake the heavens, drowning even the howling wind and repeated roars of Death Penalty…

"VINCENT!"

The voice was a slap to his senses. Reality regained control.

"…Yuffie…"

The young ninja struggled under his weight as he pitched forward, doing her best to calm his shivering form as she embraced him.

"Gawd, Vinnie…You scared the shit out of me! Are you ok?"

Awareness slowly crept into Vincent: He was in the plains outside Wutai…half naked and…Yuffie…she was…holding him…

"…What's happening to me…"

Yuffie bit her lip. Vincent's sleepwalking had begun a week ago, plagued with nightmares of Chaos she could not understand. But never had they been so violent. Never had she'd seen Vincent lose control like this.

"It's alright now, Vinnie. I'm here now." She helped him to his feet and half dragged him. "Let's get you back home."

"…How did you know…where to find me?"

She paused.

"She told me...in a dream…"

It began to rain.

##

The image of Vincent and Yuffie vanished as she touched the water.

*Perfect.*

The light of the cavern, a spectral glow of supernatural origin, refused to touch her. It was as if she was darkness given form and purpose, cloaked in an attractive shell of slender, pleasingly curved flesh. A beauty more to distract than stir the heart. Her blue-black hair was the only visible sign of this darkness, a freefall of ebony down her back. Calmly smoothed out the wrinkles in her red sweater and eye-catching miniskirt.

Reached into the pocket of her lab coat for a small pair of glasses that complimented her Violet eyes. Pinned her Shinra ID to its lapel.

Lucrecia Tartarean.

"Soon, my love. So very soon."

She smiled at herself in the waters.

The alien reflection of Jenova smiled back.

##

Premium Spirit Productions Presents

In association with Square Pictures

OBSIDIAN

A Final Fantasy VII fanfiction by Sentora

Final Fantasy and its characters belong to Square. Just borrowing them for this crazy fic. The new ones belong to me, so ask nicely if ya wanna use 'em ok?

##

Chapter 1: Light on the Darkside of me

The world had changed much in two years.

After the destruction of Meteor and Sephiroth, the members of AVALANCHE found themselves busy helping repair the damage done by Shinra by starting with their hometowns. Nibelheim, Corel, Kalm, and Rocket Town were all being expanded to support the refugees from the nearly destroyed Midgar. Employment was no longer scarce with the restoration of the Space Program, Mt. Corel's Coal Mining industry, farming and reconstruction work.

Former Urban Development Manager Reeve Bannon, better known as Cait Sith, had found a remarkable solution to the energy crisis: Midgar had been transformed by the energies unleashed by the Lifestream and Meteor, crystallized into the world's largest chunk of Materia. One that produced a clean, nearly limitless power not unlike magic, a gift from Aeris and the planet. Devices and reactors had been designed to harness this new resource, Mako generators a thing of the past.

For the first time in ages, the future looked bright.

Even the Turks had been rejuvenated…with a twist: No longer the feared Gestapo of Shinra, they had become a military police of sorts under the leadership of the surviving originals: Specializing in Criminal Investigation and Mercenary work. There was still some distrust of the growing organization, but even that was beginning to fade with time.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the revitalization of Wutai. Or rather, how it came about.

Perhaps it was best to start at the beginning, right after the destruction of meteor…

##

"You're going back to that coffin, aren't you?"

Everyone had expected Vincent's request to return to Shinra Mansion. He had avenged Lucrecia and helped defeat Sephiroth. They decided to respect his wishes.

Well, mostly everyone.

"It's where I belong."

The gang had seen many unusual and scary things during their journey...Yet none was as shocking as when Yuffie calmly walked up to Vincent, and for lack of a better term, exploded.

"You arrogant, selfish, spineless…ASSHOLE!"

Even Vincent flinched.

Yuffie practically radiated with anger, gray eyes blazing, seeming even taller than her victim. Even the motion sickness the Highwind inflicted was temporarily banished.

It was a sight they would all fondly remember.

"How dare you! How dare you crawl back to that gawddamn mansion and get back in that gawddamn coffin and turn your gawddamn back on the world?! Is this how you respect Lucrecia's memory? Only a coward would take the easy way out!"

Now that got a response.

"You have no right to judge me, Yuffie Kisaragi." He hissed. "You can't even begin to imagine the atrocities I've committed… can still commit…This is my only means of redemption. Now stand aside."

Normal Vincent was enough to unnerve most mortals. Angry Vincent could freeze hell over with one glare from those icy crimson orbs. Even Hojo had been sane enough to recoil in fear when Chaos lurked in those eyes like a ghost.

Yet Yuffie defiantly stood her ground. Dared the beast to strike her down. Dared to look the devil in the eye.

"You're right, Vincent. I can't imagine the depths your sins." Her voice had maturity beyond her years. Planet only knew where it came from. "I won't try to. But I know from experience that running away from your problems doesn't solve them."

"What would you suggest then, Miss Kisaragi?"

Yuffie ignored the sarcasm. Smirked. "Come with me."

And the devil blinked.

"What?"

The smile vanished. Yuffie drew herself proudly to her full five feet.

"I still intend to restore Wutai…But I'll need help. I need someone with your skills, and can dedicate everything to the task. If you truly wish to atone, for Lucrecia to rest in peace, then make sure no one repeats the past errors that have brought you here."

She held out her hand.

"Will you help me, Vincent Valentine?"

A heavy silence fell, one that felt like an eternity as Vincent stared at her hand. His vision seemed to blur…adding long dark hair to her youthful face, darkening those stormy gray eyes to a luminescent violet.

Lucrecia…

Tentatively, he raised his human hand and placed it in hers.

"I shall…Yuffie Kisaragi."

A collective sigh of relief was heard, but Yuffie ignored it. She beamed at the dark gunslinger, placing her other hand over his. Her cheeks reddened despite herself.

"You won't regret this, Vinnie." She murmured. "I promise."

Cait Sith went and ruined the moment.

" *Sniff.* *Sniff* Our little Yuffie's…*Sniff* *Sniff*…All grown up!" He started bawling, the Moogle patting him in on the back as it bawled as well. "I'm so haaaappppppyyyyy!"

Yuffie's eyes widened, sputtering as everyone laughed. "Shaddup, you stupid furball! It's not what you think!" She looked up at the confused Vincent, stared at his hand in hers and turned ten shades of red before settling on a deathly white. "Uhhh…I'm…gonna…gonna go throw up now! Move it, Vinnie!"

Vincent watched her flee to her corner in the engine room. Blinked as he rubbed the hand she held.

And hidden with his cloak…broke into a genuine smile.

##

Yes, things had changed. Even Wutai was no longer recognizable, well on its way to returning to its former days of glory.

It was a new golden age.

Unfortunately, fate has other plans.

##

Thud.

Vincent tried hard to repress a smile.

That could only be Yuffie.

Possible more drastic than the change in the world, was the changes wreaked on the former Turk. While not entirely earthshaking, his friends knew he was no longer the dark specter of revenge they found in the Shinra Mansion.

He was still serious of course. Still the soft-spoken actions-speaking-louder-than-words-type. But life had slowly crept into those garnet eyes, slowly awakened the long dormant soul of the man he used to be. Emotions once frozen now found root, softening and coloring his rich voice like wine. Memories and habits long forgotten returned slowly but surely. He even sometimes dressed in the styles of the Wutainese, always red and black, of course.

Vincent Valentine, self-proclaimed monster and unredeemable by self-admission, was becoming human once more.

One would say it was because of a certain someone, despite much protest.

He set down the pen and looked at the annoyed young woman as she stalked toward his desk. Tripped and fell facefirst but sprang back up like nothing happened. Placed her hands on her hips and glowered at him, lightning in those stormy gray eyes.

"Da Chao's tits, what the hell ya doing?!!"

"Um, working?"

Two years had changed Yuffie as well. More physically than mentally, thankfully. The potential Vincent had seen in her when they first met had manifested, shedding the awkward, coltish figure for the slender curves and maturity of the young woman she now was. The green and white flower patterned Kimono she wore added to this maturity, stirring emotions he had not felt in years. One didn't have to look deep in her eyes, however, to see the mischievous and spunky materia thief that fought Sephiroth at his side…

She scowled at his answer. Already pissed about the Kimono Godo forced her to wear, tripping her nearly every step, Yuffie let her Retainer have it.

"You are supposed to be relaxing! That means no paperwork or anything resembling work!"

"This is how I relax, Yuffie. You know that."

"Not today!" Yuffie growled. After last's night fiasco, she was determined to keep an eye on him. Even if she had to handcuff him to the bed.

Yuffie fought a blush at that one.

And as if he heard that hentai thought, he leaned forward, chin resting on his fist, and blasted her point blank with those eyes that haunted her guilty dreams.

"What would her highness suggest then?"

She wanted to strangle him. Scream at him. Kiss him.

Despite his aloofness, Vincent berated himself internally. Stop encouraging her!

Talking to each other had become a chess game of sorts. Annoying as hell too. Vincent wasn't as blind to her growing affection of him as he pretended. Nor was he immune. There were a hundred reasons why he shouldn't even think of looking at her that way, especially after last night…

Last night weighed heavily on his mind...more than the earlier, less destructive experiences of before. Of all the horrible images Chaos had shown him during his madness, none frightened him as bad as the last one. It had attacked the foundation of everything he had come to cherish these two years, with doubts he could not ignore.

Was he attracted to Yuffie…because she reminded him so much of Lucrecia?

The resemblance was there. Both had that fiery spirit that could warm as quick as it could burn. Where Lucrecia was more refined in the womanly art and charms, Yuffie didn't restrain or quiet that same spark that drew him to Hojo's former assistant as she did. Lucrecia's perfect beauty stirred a fire within him. Yuffie's soothed his soul and made him complete.

They were two sides of the same damned coin. Vincent got a headache just thinking about it.

"You're doing it again." She accused.

"What?"

"Don't you play innocent with me, Mr. Valentine." Two years had taught her to read him like a book, much to Vincent's chagrin. "You're brooding about last night I bet. That's why-" she leaned onto the desk and unleashed the full Kisaragi wrath as she locked eyes with him. "You're gonna get off your ass or regret it."

He opened his mouth to protest it but she shushed him with a finger.

"Dad can handle the army drills, paperwork and whatever else. Now listen to your empress like a good Retainer should!" She grabbed him by his claw and pulled him out the chair. "Play for me!"

Ah, he fought another smile. Of course.

Of all his newfound memories he rediscovered, none surprised him as much as his hidden talent for music. It just came to him out of nowhere, pieces of music he'd written so long ago. It became an outlet for him, finding it easier to express through music what he couldn't with words or actions. Yuffie had not only encouraged it, but had taken great pains to set up a Conservatory within the Pagoda as a gift, complete with a grand piano. Where and how she'd gotten it was a mystery she refused to tell, grinning suspiciously whenever asked.

It was a guilty pleasure for Vincent. Yuffie would always curl up beside him whenever he played, resting her head against his shoulder…playing with his hair…Such nearness sometimes drove him mad but he always relented. Suffered in sweet agony as her warmth seeped into his very core, basking in her personal scent of jasmine…

But this time was different as he played for her. The music did not relax him as it always did. Instead it set his skin ablaze, despite the melancholy, haunting music he played…music his body remembered though his mind did not…

Yuffie felt the change in Vincent the moment he began to play…but last night had begun catching up with her…

"Vincent…?" she asked sleepily. "Is this a new one? Sounds so sad…."

Vincent stopped in mid note, staring at her in horror.

"What's wrong?" Lucrecia craned her neck to stare at him in worry. "Why did you stop playing?"

"N-Nothing, Yuffie."

He resumed playing, until Yuffie fell asleep beside him. Only then did he stop, forcing himself to remain calm even as he trembled.

"Valentine, you sly dog. Playing the song you wrote for Lucrecia to her replacement?"

*No! I'm awake! Why now?!*

Chaos loomed over them, stroking Yuffie's hair and cheek. She murmured, snuggling closer to him. Vincent stood ramrod still, his mind whirling in confusion.

"Why stop there?" Chaos chuckled. "Play for her! Or have you forgotten the rest!" His hands raised of their own accord, playing that same damn song even as Vincent fought for control. "She'll be putty in your hand and claw, just like Lucrecia was!"

"Leave me be, Chaos!" He hissed. "I will not succumb to this! I not will release you!"

"Release me? You think I'm doing this out of boredom?" Chaos snorted. "It's time you finally learned the truth about yourself, Valentine. I have waited so patiently for this moment, but I can take the time to crush this little dreamworld you've been living in!"

"What nonsense are you babbling about?"

"You'll see…as I wreck everything you cherish, Valentine. Saving your delicious new girlfriend for last. And she will taste all the sweeter as I take her and drink her blood as you watch!"

"Vincent!"

Chaos' laughter echoing in his ears, he turned to the now awake Yuffie. "…I apologize, Yuffie. I'm just not in the mood to play right now."

*What the hell is wrong with me? Playing that song! Seeing Lucrecia! Chaos standing in front me while I'm awake!*

She nodded. "It may be better if you get some sleep."

Vincent barely had time to ponder her words before he suddenly felt so tired…catching a yellow glint before the darkness engulfed him…

Yuffie gently pulled him over to the wall, tucking the Seal materia into her kimono.

"Sorry, Vinnie."

She stroked his hair lovingly…then stood, rigid with quiet fury.

"Who the hell are you and what are you doing to my Vincent?"

The room grew darker than it should have been. One of the shadows in the corner blinked Violet eyes, perfect even teeth shining in what little light remained as it smiled.

"Impressive. You're more skilled than I thought."

"Skill hell. I'd recognize that stench anywhere." Yuffie hissed. "But you can't be what I think you are."

"That's right, Little girl." The shadow mocked. "You have no idea what I am. Your tiny mind can't even begin to comprehend."

Yuffie bristled. "Vincent Valentine is mine, bitch! You can't have him!"

The shadow giggled. "You imply that I gave him up in the first place, Yuffie Kisaragi. Just because I've been away for a while, doesn't mean he still doesn't belong to me."

Despite herself, Yuffie felt a chill.

"Who are you?!"

The shadow smiled again, glasses flashing in the light.

"Family."

Then it was gone, everything normal again.

Yuffie plopped down beside Vincent's sleeping form, leaning on his shoulder.

Vincent hadn't been the only one with weird dreams lately. And Yuffie's recent ones have been eerily accurate lately. Da Chao knows what would have happened if she hadn't dragged Vincent in here like that dream warned her too.

That 'woman'. It couldn't have been…They destroyed every piece!

"What's happening to us, Vinnie?" she asked him. "Heroes and Princesses are supposed to live happily ever after…"

She snuggled close to him, finding comfort in his presence, and fell asleep.

##

Reno floated in darkness. Warm...content...

"Renoyld..."

!

"My poor Renoyld..."

Only one person knew his true name.

The dark dreamworld began to disperse, Reno opening his eyes.

*...Momma?*

"Wake up Renoyld..."

"Reno?"

The hazy, dark haired visage faded, replaced by a worried Elena.

And a hell of a migraine.

Squinting, cursing to himself, he recognized the infirmary at Turk HQ. Rude, impassive as always, loomed into view.

"...I knew the Lifestream was overrated."

Elena scowled at him. "Don't you dare joke like that Reno!" Embarrassed by her outburst she quietly added. "You scared us..."

At her words, multiple complaints along his body made themselves known. Felt like someone had beat the hell out of him with a baseball bat...

Half remembered images mixed with the pain: It was a hostage situation the Turks had been called in to resolve...He and Rude were going in to dispatch the terrorists while Elena and the others freed the hostages...Then...what?

Damnit! Why couldn't he remember?

"We should let Reno rest, Elena." Casting one last worried look at him, she let the larger man lead her out of the Infirmary, leaving Reno alone to his dark thoughts. One in particular.

I haven't dreamt of Mom in a long time...why now?

In the hallway, Elena refused to be silent anymore.

"How long are we going to pretend, Rude? When it kills him?"

Rude took his time answering.

This hadn't been the first time. Back then they could blame it on his drinking, with no one the wiser.

But this time...Rude had allowed himself to get separated from Reno during the assault. The screams...the sounds of bone breaking and tearing flesh...Rude had followed them to a scene from hell.

Blood splattered walls. Torn apart bodies. Reno kneeling among them, his aquamarine eyes a fathomless black.

Elena had the misfortune to arrive then, scream when she saw Reno covered in their blood, thinking it was his own...and he sprang at them with this inhuman growl...

Never had his blackouts been violent before.

"Until we know what we're dealing with, Elena."

But Rude had a sinking feeling he already knew. And if he was right, despite how he wished otherwise, Planet help us all...

Author's note!

Heyya Minna!

I'm new to Fanfiction net, and this is my first attempt at a Final Fantasy fic. The result of a theory developed between me and a friend when we discussed Vincent and some of the mysteries the game didn't quite clear up, and the story that spun out of it begged to be written. I hope you stick around long enough to for me to explain what's going on, and enjoy the story. It will make more sense as I continue, but I warn you, things will get pretty wild.

Comments and Suggestions welcome. Especially about Vincent. I hope he doesn't seem too OOC, but time and circumstances do change people somewhat, and I wanted to reflect that. Don't worry, Vincent will have a lot to brood about soon, especially after the crap hits the fan.

Next time!

Sentora.

P.S. If you guys don't mind, could ya do me a favor? Sometimes it helps me to pick voice actors for the characters, so I can imagine how they would speak the lines, expressions and all that. I got most of them, some I can't really decide. Tell me if they're suited to the role, or if you have better suggestions.

Vincent: David Borenaz (Angel from Angel)

Yuffie: Reese Witherspoon (Who plays a Yuffie like character in Freeway and Freeway 2.) Or Lacey Chabert (Party of Five and Lost in Space.)

Lucrecia/Jenova: Alice Kirge, the Borg Queen of Star Trek: First Contact.

Rude: Lawrence Fishborne (Look at the original art. Look at LF in the Matrix. Nuff said.)

Reno: Stephen Doriff (Thanks Catalina!)

Elena: Alicia Silverstone

Chaos: Keith David (Goliath from Gargoyles)