Author Note: After a horrible scare that her world was going to collapse (I'm not- referring to the dark matter experiment in Switzerland—sorry, people but that's totally bull crap), Yamiko is finally free of the worst of her life, and is finally ready to come back to the fan fiction world. Seriously though, guys, its been nothing short of hell this whole semester. But like those lyrics from a certain song—I'm just glad that is OVER! Anyway, here you are… the brand new spanking chapter of my newer final fantasy fiction. Probably gonna go update a Yu-Gi-Oh fic or two (maybe post a new one, or that Reno Rude mishap adventure I keep hoping to post), and probably come back to this particular fic (if not, the other one) shortly. Cheers!

Disclaimer: I don't own Final Fantasy… and frankly I'm glad I don't. Why? Because I probably wouldn't like it as much if I had totally control over it. Seriously, think about it.

Plot: What would have happened if Sephiroth had not been raised by Hojo, had not been exposed to Soldier and instead, had been brought up by a family who did not hesitate to give him authentic, undiluted, and unconditional love.

Genre: Angst/Action/Friendship/Romance/Family/Adventure/Drama/Suspense/Supernatural/Sci-Fi/Fantasy



Warning: M(R) (Restricted) For excessive cursing, some adult content, violence, combat, images of fantasy-styled confrontation, gore, human mutilation, and other implications of suggestive material.

-Imperfect Paradise (Yamiko)

If the Black had been White
By Imperfect Paradise

Prologue (Part Two)
In Safety's Embrace

Elmyra Gainsborough stared at the seedy woman with distrust in her eyes, but not without some pity concerning the condition of the proposition she had before her. It wasn't like those gangsters at Bumble-Bee manor to show any true compassion to anyone besides those in their best interest, and made the question why she should even consider taking this child under her wing. (A/N 1)

Elmyra then looked to the side and inquired, "Why should I trust you? How do I know this child isn't some sort of scheme for you guys to make a little extra dough by pick-pocketing those who attempt gestures of good will?"

The woman rolled her eyes and answered, "Please, mam… we are simply a place of business—" Elmyra indiscriminately scoffed.

Trying not to bar her teeth at this (after all, the woman didn't like this discussion anymore than Elmyra did), the woman continued, "Besides—even if that were an option, a family like yours would has absolutely no revenue to speak of… considering you're in the slums." Hearing this, Elmyra felt her insides burn, wondering how on Earth this woman managed to criticize her so easily. But before she could act on any intent to spit that intended feeling out (and perhaps even send the boy away with this horrible scandal of society), the woman continued, "But I am sure that someone like you, with such good intentions would see that it would be a mere travesty to have a three year old on the work site, yes?"

Elmyra stopped short, realizing that the despite what she wanted to think, this sleazy win-bag was absolutely quite right in her words. The woman (knowing she had won this fight) smirked and pushed the child towards the doorway, "I trust you can take care of him then?"

Elmyra began, "I didn't—"

"Or maybe perhaps we could send him to Shinra, have him get an early start in that campaign for the glory of World Energy?" You know, where your husband is fighting could probably use some boys to haul weapons, traffic supplies or maybe even contribute to guerilla warfare… I mean, think about it. They are so understaffed, so weak against their enemy. And call me crazy, do you really think Shinra is going to care if a few men get shot down or go missing in action? Not to mention if your husband does gets butchered out there, you won't be seeing any remorse or compensation for his pathetic death and then—"

What happened next was almost completely expected. Feeling her blood boil and her gaze sharpen, Elmyra didn't even hesitate when she slammed the lower part of her palm against the woman's cheek, causing her to grab onto the side of the door-mantle to prevent herself from falling over. Tasting a small amount of blood in her mouth, the Bumble-Bee manor maid looked up at Elmrya questioningly, but before she could register anything (let alone give a suitable response), Elmyra responded, with no kindess in her words.

"No one… should speak of such matters… without knowing the truth of the burdens behind it. I will take the child, if you promise never to show your ugly face on this property again—nor the intentions of my suffering… or my husband…" Tears threatened to fall from her face when those words ushered out.

She then reached for the arm of the boy and tugged him in her direction, until he was standing right besides her. The boy was so lifeless that he didn't even deliver a suitable response to such as action. Elmyra wasn't planning on doing this at first, but in any case—it couldn't' be denied that the child was indeed well better off with her. That went without saying.

All that happened in response was the woman briskly walking away, not even tossing a gesture back in Elmyra's direction. For as far as she was concerned, the brat was no longer her cause and that was that—why dwell on something she didn't even give a shit about anyway.

After the horrid lady had left from sight, Elmyra inhaled sharply, and then looked back down at the toddler, and regarded him, while with some form of distrust, but mainly just confusion. It was very odd. He hadn't said even as much as a word or something since the woman showed up on her doorstep, and right now—he wasn't even looking at her. He was just looking down at his feet, emotionlessly—looking like nothing even mattered to him in the slightest.

It was obvious that this wasn't an ordinary child, but instead, a broken one both inside and out. She then began to feel guilty, question why she had even suspected him of such contempt. She practically wanted to shun herself for even thinking such horrible things about him—when he could barely look anyone in the eye. She then started, "come on, let's go inside." She then began to turn around towards the door, indicating she wanted to go back in, but the youth didn't follow her lead at all. Noticing this, Elmyra felt her inside churn (wondering what could have happened to this poor innocent child), before she relaeshed her grip from his arm, and slowly walked over to the area in front of him and casually kneeled down. Looking at him in the eye, she said, "Hello there, my name is Elmyra… I'm going to take care of you. Do you want to come inside."

He didn't respond at all. He just continued to look down, not meeting or even seemingly want to meet her eyes.

She pointed at herself and enunciated, "I'm Elmyra… El-my-ra?"

Still nothing.

She then bit her lip, wondering what was going to become of all of this. She then gently reached out for his cheek and asked, "What's yours, young one?"

Upon feeling the contact against cheek (and hearing the prhase young one) the young boy quickly darted backwards, and flinched looking something like a terrified animal, yet not one that could pose any kind of a threat. Elmyra just stared at him awkwardly, wondering if she should continue to probe at all. Giving it a little bit of time, she continued, "Your name," she pressed, "What is your name…"

The youth didn't say anything, but looked as though he were hesitating. Then, slowly, he looked up until he met Elmyra's eyes. Upon seeing the she looked at him with some form of shock.

Those weren't ordinary eyes. No eyes on this planet ever held that kind of color—an eerie greenish blue light that was completely alien from everything she had ever seen or knew. But what really set her off were his pupils… They weren't rounded, like anyone else's… Instead, they were thin, vertical slits, looking like those of a basilisk's or some other ill creature that roamed the planes of Midgard in the dead of night. But despite all of those complicated differences, the one thing she couldn't miss, no matter how afraid she might have been, was the pain and terror embedded within them.

Feeling that familiar pity continue to engulf her insides, she then took the boy by the shoulders, gently—because she worried if she exerted any more force, the boy would break completely, and informed him quietly, "Come inside, please… I'll draw a bath for you."

It wasn't long after that, when Elmyra was rummaging from her closet upstairs, looking for apparel that would properly fit her little guest. Besides her own clothes, she had a few pieces of clothing that her husband wore during the days their youth together. Such wonderful times, when whey would watch the plates of midgar being constructed as a silhouette against the now missed solely sunrise. She sighed a little bit, realizing how much she missed them… him.

You'll never see him again, yah know. No one has ever come back from Shinra while in serving in the line of duty, you miserable little tramp.

She tensed up slightly, remembering what those unsympathetic bastards in the slums had told her when she was reminiscing about her love while he was away. And that miserable Bumble-Bee hag coldly reminded her about all the pain she faced because of his absence.

Trying to shake those thoughts from her head, she proceeded to look for something of her husband that could at least cloth the young man.

But the fact remained that her spouse was a strong and bulky man; so naturally, all his shirts were at least ten sizes to big for him. Sighing, she guessed she would probably have to go back into to town and find some clothes for the boy—because nothing in her husband's stash would even come relatively close to fitting the young child.

Hearing a small little cough behind her, she sighed knowing he had waited enough. She then settled with the smallest shirt she found up to that point (a little tee-shirt shirt sporting a cartoon-y baby chocobo and the slogan "I (heart) Midgard—a gift to her from a friend a while back) and turned around to face the boy. He did nothing but sate at her, his tiny unclothed body hidden by the pinkish bath-towel draped completely around his shoulders like a cloak. She then unfolded the shirt and explained, "Well, I'm afraid this was all I could find. You're just going to have to hold it up above your ankles, I guess." She then slowly removed the towel from the child's shoulders, and then placed the shirt over and began to gently it over the young boy's head. Once the messy tiny silver locks popped through the collar of the shirt, she rolled up the sleeves and tried to straight it out as best she could. Once it was at least in a satisfactory fashion, she pulled back, smiled and said, "There we go… Don't you look cute with your little night-shirt?"

The boy stared at her for a moment, and then looked down, seeing his new smock-like shirt—and stared at himself oddly, not understanding what or even how this whole thing had come about.

Well, whatever this thing was, it was certainly better than those little unkempt shreds of cloth those mean people had clothed him in. This was clean, soft and made him fee a little bit better. After continuing to look at himself from all angles, he slowly turned around (unaware of him doing so—being completely captivated by his new look), he then came face to face with the mirror that was positioned just inside to the closet door, which was open due to Elmrya looking through its contents. And with that, he looked at himself for the first time in his whole life—not knowing what he was looking at. For a while, he just stood, entranced by the picture before him. It was a smaller version of those people, in both height and proportion, scrawny but with shiny white colored strands covering its scalp. He then reached to touch this strange person, but when the image before him moved—he suddenly jumped back and hid behind Emlyra staring at it oddly. Elmyra nearly laughed, if not for that moment, when the boy, while peeking hesitantly behind her, began hissing at the image—as if warnng it not to come near them.

Elmyra stared, completely dumbfounded. What kind of child hisses like an animal at such an early age? She thought. Then, deciding not to completely dwell on that fact (as unusual as it was) she decided to remedy the situation, as any other responsible adult would do She nonchalantly moved away from the boy, who looked confused and looked back at the mirror only to see her in it as well.

When the image leaned down and touched the strange creature's shoulders, the boy jumped a bit, feeling that exact same touch. He suddenly sun around and looked back at the woman behind him, staring at her as if to say, how did you get in there and out so quickly? Elmyra smiled and pointed back at the door, the boy looking back at it and seeing her in the exact position. She then smiled and said kindly into his ear, "You see that? It's us, dear… It's not going to hurt you. See?" she then waved her hand, the image in the mirror doing the same and smiled, "Say hi, mirror! How are you doing?" The boy continued to stare at her reflection a moment, looking at the second woman oddly, almost as if he were studying her. Elmyra then whispered his ear, 'Well, go on… Say Hi!" Hearing this, while coming to the conclusion that whatever was in that door wouldn't harm him, the a small, tiny sparkle found its way on to the young man's features. He then lifted his hand up, and slowly began to wave at it while saying as modestly as someone of his age could verbally deliver, "…hi."

Hearing this, Elmyra gasped, causing the young boy to suddenly look at her, who instantly paled, wondering if he did something wrong. He had nothing to worry about, really. For shortly afterwards, Elmyra began breaking into tiny giggles, which shortly evolved into a charming benevolent laugh. As the boy continued to look at her (only at this moment, not looking like he was going to cry), she slowly calmed herself down, and inhaled before she modestly explained, relief clearly ridden in her words, "Thank goodness. I was afraid you couldn't talk at first, and that voice—" she giggled a bit more, "that was the most charming voice I have ever heard." She then leaned down, reached for and ruffled his hair, while teasing in a joking voice, "Where did you pick up that charm, mister? Come on, you can tell me!"

The boy did not flinch this time, and instead giggled—like he was finally getting comfortable with his surroundings and her. She smiled warmly, and thought to herself, Thank heavens… he's finally tuning up a little. That was true. The youth before her now seemed less like a lifeless broken doll, and instead was becoming the child he should be. Now, Elmyra began to feel more comfortable, and with that, happier.

Then, breaking away from him, she leaned down on her knees and asked like a mother would to her child, "Do you like hot chocolate? Do you want me to make you some?"

The boy only smiled, and reached up with both hands to suppress himself from giggling, not really answering.

Finding this peculiar, Elmyra suddenly sat up a little bit and pondered aloud, "Hmmm… 'guess you don't know what that is, huh?" The, standing up straight, she explained while continuing to smile, "Well, only one way to get acquainted with such things. I'll start the water boiling. " She then began to turn heel and to head over towards the kitchen—

But suddenly halted when she felt a tiny tug on the hem of her apron.

Blinking for a minute, she slowly turned around, instantly taking notice of the boy holding the corner of the fabric in hand while down at the ground. Worried that something was wrong with him, (oh dear, was he sick?) she leaned back down and inquired, "Yes? Do you need something?"

"… …Se… Sef—"

Her eyes widened, hearing the boy attempt to address her for the first time. "Yes?" Elmyra asked, suddenly watching the boy intently.

The boy suddenly went rigid, lookin almost as if he were in a state of nervousness, but at long last, mustered up all the courage he had and looked directly at her. Elmyra stared at the boy, and almost gasped as the most charming and sweet smile formed on his young features.

"My… name… my name es Sef-oh-woth."


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Author Note 1 – Yeah, I know… huge time jump between the two prologues. Sorry, I figured it would either have to be ambiguous (for the time being), or just a three part prologue that I am so not interested in doing. Don't worry though—you'll learn what happened between these parts soon. Trust me!

Random Note: Awl… Aint that cute? Seeing a young and innocent blood-sucking planet destroying murderer? I think I'm going to melt. … Anyway, there's the latest chapter. Also, I'm kind of in the process of looking for a beta, so uh…. (pauses) … Well, see yah guys around (leaves).