My take on the classic fairytale. Set in an AU that is still the FF world, what if Yuffie was forced to go to Nibelheim's dark mansion as a servant to the lord there? Yuffie being Yuffie, we all know that nothing will stand in her way, servant or not! (T rating because selling your children ain't cool.)
AN: I'm not sure if this has been attempted before, but I decided to write this one day out of the blue. So here is my first foray into the Yuffentine realm!
YUFFIE AND THE BEAST
Chapter One in which Yuffie is sold and she meets her new employer and owner.
I realise I hated him then. That very moment, his hand poised above the sheet, pen clasped tightly. He signs the contract, sealing my fate and there is a smile of relief on his face.
He has sold me. Sold me for a measly five hundred million gil, to cover up the debts that he had amassed, to save his honour, so that he would not be remembered as the leader who bankrupted Wutai. I sneer a little. Instead, he is now the leader who has nobly sacrificed his heir, his daughter, to ensure that Wutai will be able to bear her head with honour among the larger and richer nations.
I hate him, but I cannot blame him. All that money he has spent and lost, all of it had been on an insane quest, a puff of smoke he tried so eagerly to reach and make real. He had tried to bring the dead back to life. I laugh bitterly but also with some regret, for he had been seeking ways to resurrect my mother. For this, I can almost forgive him, almost forgive the fact that when I lost my mother, I lost my father too as he fell into insanity, where he began his fruitless search to cheat the grave and steal her away from Death's embrace. For too long, he had been in the grip of this lunacy and when he finally finally came to his senses, it was too late. This five hundred million gil that he is selling me for is hardly even an eighth of the sum that his madness has cost Wutai, but it is a start.
To be sure, I could have denounced him. I could tear the veil away from the eyes of the people, start a coup, overthrow him and become Lady Kisaragi, Ruler of Wutai, but I do not. For one, I love Wutai, and I am forced to admit, the people love and respect my father in a way they do not love and respect me. I am the White Rose of Wutai, but more often than not, I hear myself whispered as the Wild Rose instead, the lady heir who flouted tradition, the crazy ninja girl who was a disgrace to her family, a burden on her long suffering father. The younger generation adore me but the old ones, the ones with the real power – they see me as an empty headed chick, only capable of squawking my head off and making a whole load of noise, unable to rule. I am desperate to prove them wrong, seething in anger at the injustice of it all, and had I time, I would have been able to prove to those old fogies that I could be as good and even better than Godo by far. However, doing so now would only split my already weak country into civil war, and the rich vultures hovering around would have no hesitation to swoop in to feed upon our carcasses after our own decimation. I will choose not dethrone my father and shame him publicly because this will be my last act of filiality. He may have forgotten our bonds of blood but I owe this to my mother. With this I can finally severe my ties with him, and I will owe him nothing.
As I leave Wutai with the escort of an armed guard (my father knows me and my skill with weaponry too well and he will take no chances on so lucrative a deal), I try to drink in all the sights of my beloved city. For all I know, this may be the last time I ever see it.
It is not as if I had not tried to resist Wutai's descent to the depths that it wallows in now. When my father's madness had reached its height, I had long begun protesting as much as I could without shaming him inadvertently–
Let me start again. Gawd, that earlier part was too stiff and totally not me. I blame Vincent, he was supposed to be taking everything down word for word, but of course he has to try to make everything sound bigger and grander and use words likes "inadvertently" and "filiality". Anyway, jumping ahead of myself there. You haven't even met Vincent yet!
As I was saying, Wutai was pretty messed up, Godo had screwed up, and there was only me, the Great Ninja Yuffie left to save the day. So he sold me and I hated him. That's all there is.
Oh yeah, the letter. The one from Hojo. It was all crap and all creepy like Hojo always is and NOT ONE MOMENT did I believe a word of it –
(There are several blots on the paper here as if a pen has been fought over and dropped several times as the combatants struggle for control.)
Hah! Quick fingers and quicker elbows! You always forget that lesson Vinnie. I see I didn't teach you well enough. We're losing the plot here, so yes, the letter. Hojo wrote, offering to pay five hundred million gil in exchange for the lovely Wutaian princess.
I'm getting nagged about historical accuracy and other stuff, so here, Hojo's letter, word for slimy word, exactly as that git wrote.
We are both worldly men and thus I will forge ahead with no preamble or supposed delicacy of feeling that so many falsely treasure. Your country, or rather, you are in debt. I am a man of considerable means and am willing to provide the funding that you desperately require. All that I ask of you is this: your daughter, the lovely Lady Kisaragi. Her repute has spread far and wide, and I know her to be charming, lively, well trained in several forms of martial arts, talented in the ways of materia and most importantly, a girl with the stomach to handle danger and unusual circumstances. I am of particular need of a woman of that mold, of a reasonably young age, but with another important prerequisite: the ability to speak Wutaian. A delicate Wutaian blossom that your glorious nation normally produces would never do; I need a hardy mountain bloom, and your daughter is one of the rare breed that fulfils all these conditions. I do hasten to inform you that there is nothing sinister in my interest, I merely wish for her to become caretaker, nursemaid and dare I hope, friend to my young, invalid son. It is through rather complicated circumstances that he requires a companion such as I have described, but as it is, I am unable to be entirely candid, making circumspection necessary. Let me assure you once again that we bear you and your offspring no ill. An agreement would be fortuitous for both parties and I look forward to your favourable reply. Once that is sent, we will work out the tedious little details that are unfortunately important, but I for one am anticipating welcoming your daughter to my mansion in Nibelheim where she will take residence, and as befits one of her gentle birth, she will receive the same treatment my son does.
The letter had been signed with a neat 'Hojo' and before I know it, I have already been callously sold away.
Oh of course my old man pretended to make a big fuss about it, I think he even cried to show the masses how sorry he was and what a huge sacrifice he was making for the good of Wutai. His popularity ratings, instead of dipping, took a huge leap up instead. Wutaians love the noble man who is willing to put his country before anything.
I clench my fists, too angry to say a word as I step onto the pukemachine that I am riding on out of Wutai, away from this beautiful land that has been my home for the past sixteen years. However, as we take to the air, my mind is occupied with other things. Airships are the bane of my life. I cannot step onto one without my insides reacting automatically, discharging all their contents recklessly. This time it is no different.
"Oh ^#%!" the dishwater blonde captain greets me. "The #$^& chunder monkey of Wutai."
"And ^$%& right back at'cha!" I tell him, between dry heaves and clasping my poor tortured gut. I've flown on this bag of bolts a few times when escaping Wutai and have a passing acquaintance with the chain-smoking captain. Foul-mouthed, but all gooey and soft inside. Cid's a good man. I feel a hand on my shoulder, and I look up, twisting my mouth a little at the bitter-sour taste in my mouth from all my vomit. Gawd, that man's eyes are sympathetic. I react immediately, pushing him away.
"Hey, I'm sorry. Heard about it. $#% hate to bring you there. You know what? One ^%$# word of abuse, you send for me, I'll come bring you out, &%$# trust be hanged!" he scowled down at me.
I lightly punch him on the shoulder. "Cid Highwind, you're a $#%& good man." I can't help it, his language is catching. And I turn away so that he can't see me cry. No one has seen me cry in years, not since my mother passed on to the cold embrace of the great Leviathan, and that ain't gonna change.
He stands by me for a few more moments and moves away to take care of the flying of that ship. I return to spilling my guts. Literally.
Seconds, minutes, hours later, I'm outside the gates of a full blown haunted mansion. Well, even if it isn't haunted, it is just crying out for a spectre to take residence in it. Not the nice friendly ghost that walks around and shakes its chains and frightens your unwelcome guests. No, the ghost that should haunt it would be insidious and bloody and once you're in its grasp you will never escape…
But here I go off tangent again. Let me get back to where I was. I am now before the MANSION OF DOOM. I see it in big bold words in my head when I think about it, and its appearance does little to relieve my doubts. I'm unsure if I should go in or not, there isn't a bell or anything in sight, the grounds are overrun and filled with unkempt vegetation, the house itself looks dilapidated, and if this guy is as rich as he is posing himself to be why are the sidewalks all cracked, the paint all peeling and the gates rusty?
"Kisaragi Yuffie." The voice is cold, but it is a while longer before I learn the true coldness of this man, the emptiness that he contains. But for now, I know nothing, and so though his voice sense shivers down my spine, I think nothing of it.
"Hojo right?" I mutter, taking in his greasy longish hair that has a really gross tint of green to it, his glasses, his neat lab coat that he wears over brown trousers, the slight smirk of his face and his eyes. His eyes are the scariest part of him, they are the colour that can only be called dishwater brown, but the malice, the angry and the two sparks of insanity that I see deep deep down, those are what characterises the man that stands before me. "Well, where's your brat that I'm supposed to be taking care of?" This man may technically own me, but nothing in the contract states that I have to be polite.
He does not seem to notice my rudeness and just opens the gate with a key, motioning for me to follow. I do as he wishes, for now, clasping my bag that contains all my important earthly possessions, falling in pace behind him, stealing surreptitious glances at him when I can.
As I walk, I wonder about him, I wonder about his son, and most of all I wonder, what the #$%^ am I doing here.
AN: I don't remember what monsters were there in the Nibelheim mansion since I last played FFVII yoinks ago, so I will be making up my own. I should also add that the Nibelheim mansion is a hazy memory in my head and so its structure and layout as in this fic is purely fictional. Ladeeda. This story was actually supposed to be really different, and Hojo wasn't supposed to be in it at all, but he forced himself in somehow. Anywho, do click that button down there and review! I want to know if this is worth continuing :D
Sneak summary of next chapter: Yuffie meets Vincent! WHOOHOO.