Final Hikari: -enters auditorium stage and stands in front of microphone with Genesis and Cloud- Attention all readers and fic characters! Hello all FFVII characters and readers! This is my first Final Fantasy VII fic. I've been on nearly a year now but in the smaller RPG communities, so--
-spotlight slides off stage and strays into crowd-
Final Hikari: …
Random Person in Crowd: -cough- -cough-
-spot light lands on Aerith-
Zack: -leans out from behind curtain to wave-
Aerith: -blushes, waves back embarrassedly-
Final Hikari: -.- Zack, you're supposed to keep the spotlight on me!
Zack: Er, right! -moves light-
Cloud: That was getting to be too much of an autobiography for one disclaimer anyway.
Final Hikari: -light back in place- Right! Any questions?
Random Member: -raises hand-
Final Hikari: Yes?
Random Member: If this is a Genesis fic, why do you have Cloud with you?
Final Hikari: Well…
Genesis: -leans over and grabs microphone- She has over 180 pictures of the freak! What do you expect in the disclaimers?
Final Hikari: -exhales loudly- Well, why you have the microphone do the disclaimer!
Genesis: -scans crowd, looking bored- Final Hikari doesn't own anything Final Fantasy. Technically, the very laptop she types on was a present, the album she's about to put on is a bootleg from an eBay seller, and the iPod she'll be using is only-
Final Hikari: -grabs microphone- Enough! And for the readers, please enjoy the story!
All That's Left Behind
Like Last Time
Banora village had been chosen for its seclusion as the ideal location to keep the pasts of certain individuals a secret. It lacked the bustle of cities like Midgar and created many distractions from the modern world with its location near the coast. A prime example of this was that the area's main export; a type of apple called Banora Whites, or as the locals dubbed them, dumbapples.
The exporting of the apples was controlled by the town's landlord and his family. Their home was on the top of a hill, surrounded by the infamous apples. Despite the size of the mansion, Rhapsodos Manor didn't have many inhabitants. The family of three was seldom present at the same time. The only unusual guest was a girl they'd taken in since her parents had been reported missing by the rising Shinra Electric Power Company.
Genesis Rhapsodos looked over his book to see her leaning against the windowsill, gazing out the window with a curious expression. He looked over her head and out the open window the see the figures of a few local children climbing over the gate. She fidgeted slightly, biting her lower lip.
The dumbapples are in bloom… he thought randomly, looks like somebody's out there stealing them…
He wouldn't have been so aware of her actions if it weren't for recent disappearances of her parents. She had other family but none were local and acted reluctant to take her as their responsibility. She was much younger than him and had been distinctly worried about her parents' whereabouts since arriving at her home to find it empty.
Shinra hadn't released any information since saying they were missing. Nobody in the village or Midgar had seen them since them or the other scientists that disappeared. His parents had high-ranking places in Shinra and at first he'd been persistent with getting information from them. Like anything involving them, it had proven to be futile.
As anticipated, she jumped at the sound of her name. She forced a smile, her eyes remaining nervous and slightly distant. "There are some kids trying to climb the gate."
He lowered his book completely and glanced out the window saying, "Want me to call security and have them chased out?"
She shook her head in saying, "I don't care, but won't your parents get mad?"
He shrugged in response as her gaze returned to the window. "Only my mother gets bothered and she's away."
He lifted up his book and read a line but didn't absorb a word of it before glancing up at her again. She noticed he was still watching asking, "What?"
"You look particularly interested in them. Who is it?"
She squinted saying, "Well…it kind of looks like Angeal's with them."
"Huh." Genesis said, his interest shifting from dark thoughts about Sekai to what would compel Angeal to accompany some of the petty thieves. He'd seen Angeal taking apples from a few other trees, but he'd never once set foot on Rhapsodos Manor uninvited.
He reached over for his bookmark as Sekai observed them saying, "Actually, he's with them, but he isn't really with them."
Genesis smiled to himself as he marked his page and closed the book. He kept his expression slacked saying, "That's very disturbing."
She turned to him asking, "That Angeal would steal from you despite the honor rants? They're only getting longer as time goes on, too…"
"No." Genesis replied, smiling at the young girl. "That I understand the difference between being with somebody and being with that person."
She scowled at him saying, "Don't be sarcastic."
He grinned saying, "Well, it was a very poor way to word things. If you weren't so stubborn I could probably teach you a slightly more advanced vocabulary."
"I'm not stubborn!" And the only word I need to know with you is 'rhetoric'." She replied smugly.
"I bet you can't spell that."
"I bet I could read it."
He picked up his book asking, "What's that word on the cover say?"
She stared at it saying, "Um…"
"Give me a minute!" She objected, sounding the syllables out. "Oh! Loveless? The title of the book is 'Loveless'?"
He nodded saying, "It's an interesting story. You'd probably like it."
"Is it one of those stories your parents tell you not to read? It sounds like one of those romances meant for teenage girls."
"Reading material shouldn't be reserved for one gender. I'm not too far off that teenage part, anyway." He replied simply. "And-"
"So it's the literary form of a chick flick."
He rolled his eyes saying, "I wasn't done! It's quite popular now and has been reproduced into various plays. It isn't a love story either, it's about the planet."
She crossed her arms saying, "With a title like 'Loveless' that's kind of hard to believe."
He put the book down saying, "You need a mirror."
"Why's that?" She asked suspiciously.
"To look at yourself."
She mimicked him and rolled her eyes saying, "Duh. Why else?"
"Because you say you're not stubborn." He explained playfully.
She opened her mouth to object but lowered her arms and pursed her lips unhappily, rethinking any replies she'd come up with. The remnants of an argument drifted through the window and ended with a curse. Sekai looked up first at what was going on outside and whined.
"Nope. He's definitely not with them."
Genesis stood and leaned over the sofa to examine what was going on outside. Angeal had blocked a hit but received another to his jaw. He refused to counterattack, simply blocking the attack that followed. Genesis scowled slightly and reached to the base of the window, sliding the locks that kept the screen in place open.
Sekai noticed immediately and grabbed his arm demanding, "What do you think your doing?"
"Relax." He said, sliding the screen up. "I'm not doing anything dangerous, if that's what you're going to say next."
"All you ever do is dangerous." She grumbled as tried to pry her fingers away before he ducked under the window. He landed on the flowerbed below smoothly, nevertheless managing to trample a number of flowers.
"I'll make you read aloud from a history book if you don't let go." He said, watching in the corner of his eye as three of the intruders climbed one of the trees and picking apples off them roughly, taking small pieces of branch with them.
She lessened her grip slightly and he pulled away, tramping over the flowers thoughtlessly and hurrying to the scene. He heard her sigh loudly and swear less than innocently.
"Genesis!" She called after him.
Ignoring her call, he hurried over the grass and addressed the one picking a fight with Angeal saying, "Leave him alone."
Angeal looked over at him uneasily, blinking at his friend's sudden appearance. Genesis watched as he glanced over the loud swearing coming from the window Sekai was struggling to climb out of. Angeal furrowed his eyebrows and shot Genesis a questioning look. The best he could do was shrug in reply. She hadn't learned all the curses from him. Hopefully she hasn't learned them all from me…
The aggressor scoffed asking, "Is this another one of your weird little friends? It's pointless to try stopping us, it's not like a bunch of rich city slickers like the Rhapsodos family would miss a few apples. Besides, they're an object of much betting."
Genesis stopped and gave the invader a dry look saying, "You can't be very intelligent to steal from the trees on the facility with all the security that swarms around here."
Sekai didn't like Angeal much, but she didn't have much of a choice when it came to associating with him since he was a good friend of Genesis'. She respected him for being honest but couldn't help but wonder why they were supposedly both "special," though Angeal never had to be rushed off to Midgar when he was injured. Any wound Genesis received never seemed to heal naturally.
"Any security around here should be worrying about protecting the assholes that live here rather than worrying about some apples being stolen." Sekai vaguely recognized the intruder vaguely but wasn't sure of his name. He was larger than Genesis though not much taller. Nevertheless, the idea of the two teenagers fighting wasn't a positive one.
"At least I'm bright enough to word my insults properly. I'll try to use simpler adjectives if you misinterpreted my previous message."
Damn, I'd like to have said that myself… She thought inwardly. But couldn't he have called those security guards he's preaching about first? She leaned out the window and tumbled onto the flowers below; glad it was only a two foot drop. She brushed the dirt off her clothes as she stood up, hurriedly hopping hoping over the foot-high stone wall separating the garden from the grass.
"Just who do you think you are?" The intruder asked, shoving Genesis back roughly.
"I wouldn't mind a formal introduction but seeing as the situation doesn't constitute for anything calm…" Genesis replied snidely.
"All right, I have no objects to that." He replied said shortly as Angeal tackled him. Completely unprepared, they both tumbled to the ground.
The thief elbowed Angeal in the nose and at the same moment Genesis stepped back to avoid flailing limbs, the intruder's leg sweeping across the ground. Despite struggling with Angeal, his knee still managed to connect solidly with Genesis' ankle and sent him falling backward. The path was covered in gravel and she grimaced as she saw Genesis land on his elbow and scrape it against the ground.
Angeal was getting to his feet, whipping blood from his nose on his sleeve as the thief grabbed Genesis by the front of his shirt and leaned back, ready to hit him.
"Stop it!" The trespasser hesitated and looked up as the high-pitched shriek filled the air.
"Shit, we're busted!" One of the other trespassers up in a tree swore, hoping down from the branch he sat on as the sound of heavy footfalls grew closer.
The aggressor snorted saying, "Pathetic! You need a little girl like Sekai to defend you?"
The thug holding the pillow case of apples narrowed his eyes and looked down at Genesis, a disgusted look coming over his face. "You idiot! That's the Rhapsodos kid!"
The attacker looked down at Genesis and dropped him, turning on his heel and bolting toward the gate. Angeal stared after him, looking unsurprised. Genesis sat up, rubbing his elbow and watched the act. Two of his petty goons struggled with the pillow case full of apples, throwing it over the gate.
The repercussion of the thoughtless action would have been quite humorous to Sekai if her friend and his friend weren't injured. The bag didn't get much air but got high enough to land on the top of the wall. Half the purple and white apples within tumbled out and atop the head of the one who threw them. He pushed the bag over abruptly, and by the crunch and swearing on the other side of the stone wall she imagined it landed on the other intruders.
Genesis smirked slightly at them as four security guards in suits came into view, running across the lawn. Regardless, she hurried over to here he sat and knelt down beside him.
"Are you all right?"
"I'm fine." He replied, lowering his elbow so she didn't see it.
She scowled at him and leaned over to examine the torn sleeve asking, "Are you bleeding?"
"It's just a scrape; don't make a big deal about it." Genesis replied lowering his voice before adding, "It'll heal."
She leaned back and stared at him worriedly asking, "And if it doesn't…?"
He looked away from her guiltily, knowing what she was thinking. It was evident on her face and he could tell what she held back; 'like last time?' The guards reached them, asking various questions about what had happened and who the intruders were. Sekai stepped back, watching dissatisfiedly as they over dramatized the wound far worse than she had.
She stared as one of the female guards turned around, looking at Angeal as though he were a complete afterthought, "Your one of the Young Master's friends, correct? Come this way."
Angeal nodded, wiping blood from his nose before following. Sekai sighed, contemplating heading back through the open window in the library. It wasn't getting forgotten that bothered her. She felt rather distracted from what had just happened. It wasn't unusual for any type of security to think less of anybody but the person they were assigned to protect. However…she couldn't help but wonder if it was good or bad knowing how Angeal and Genesis had met and why they were treated so differently.
"Why couldn't…" She trailed under her breath as Genesis glanced back at her, smiling at her reassuringly for a moment before being pushed through the door. She forced herself to return it, hoping he didn't notice the reluctance behind it. She swallowed and stared and the closing door, clenching her fists tightly.
"Why couldn't Angeal be the one who's incomplete?"
Final Hikari: Thus ends the prologue of All That's Left Behind!
Zack: They should be relieved you actually proofread this for a change.
Final Hikari: -.- It's only the prologue, I can kick your ass outta here faster than you can say todokanai ai to shitteita no ni osaekirezu ni aishitsuzuketa.
Zack: …That's not very scary.
Final Hikari: Also, this disclaimer won't be too random! Firstly, I want to inform the readers that the only important OC will be Sekai. You can pretty much forget about the rest of them… Additionally, since this is a childhood flashback, there will be a lot of character development on her part.
Cloud: They're all groaning.
Final Hikari: …They should be happy… Well, while the story is still in its early stages I need to consult a survey! Readers, which do you like better: Aerith or Aeris?
Aerith: You made fun of my name in a parody…
Final Hikari: Okay, enough making fun of me! Now, please say in a review which you like better. Both are kinda correct since I believe she's still Aeris in the Japanese but since Aerith is her current name…and after Crisis Core I kinda came to like it. XD
Genesis: In other words she's saying it has grown on her like flesh eating bacteria.
Final Hikari: And finally, I plan to shoot for weekly updates! Thanks for reading!