Crayon Scribbles

It had been inevitable.

As soon as the researcher's son had reached three years of age, some imbecilic moron had given the child a box of crayons and a drawing pad. Not that it was unusual for a child to receive such gifts during a single-digit birthday, but he, as the child's father, was extremely particular about who the people and what the things were, that his child was allowed to interact with. Despite his best efforts at keeping his child isolated from such abominable influences, he had one day walked into his laboratory to find the boy doodling happily with a box of crayons and a drawing pad. The box had simply been labeled as 'From Uncle Anonymous', much to his (the father's) annoyance.

After all, when you conducted a scientific experiment, you didn't set up all your apparatus and materials in a place where a thousand and one external factors could interfere with its progress. Experiments were to be conducted under standard conditions, or even better, sterile conditions. Only then would the experiment's results be accurate, and hold some semblance of scientific value. And if the experiment involved living specimens... It would be an utter annoyance, at the very least. Living things were unreliable inconsistent, never giving you your desired results.

Fifty different people might give you fifty different types of metabolic rates. A hundred flowers might provide you with a hundred different variations in petal shapes, length, and color. But when it came down to one semi-human child... He often wondered, just how it was possible that his child could stump him and bewilder him in so many ways.

Back on the crayon issue, he had obviously been severely displeased with the blatant disregard for scientific protocol that had happened to his prize specimen. True, the specimen in question was his son, but the child was, at the bottom of it all, nothing more than a SPECIMEN. So he had confiscated all the drawings, the crayons, and the pad. When the child asked him why, Mako-stained emerald eyes glowing with unmasked curiosity, he had angrily told the child to shut up, and stormed out of the observation chamber the child had been placed in.

Minutes later, he felt a tinge of curiosity nagging at the corner of his mind, and decided to analyse the child's drawings. Maybe, he mused, the drawings would provide him with some insights into how the child's mind worked - information that had been significant to the progress of his experiment.

A glance through all the drawings was disappointing, at the very least. Nothing but a hideously-deformed sketches of chocobos, Midgar, what looked like President ShinRa, and a grassy field during a sunny day. But when he had reached the last drawing...

Suffice to say, his earlier anger was intensified tenfold when he saw what the child had drawn. He had slung a mastered Manipulate materia from the laboratory vaults into his wrist brace, and wiped the child's mind clean of any memories relevant to that knowledge. All his laboratory staff soon received the same treatment, and even President ShinRa and his cadre of Turk bodyguards had their memories doctored before they knew it.

He had to make sure, after all. Some things were best left as secrets...

Many years later...

The obsessive researcher stood on shaky feet on a rain-soaked platform, hundreds of feet above the ground. About twelve feet away from him were eight stupid people. People who he had deemed as stupid due to their failure to comprehend that they stood zero chance against his son. His son had grown into a fine specimen - something he would never openly admit - and now, these idiots still thought that they could stop him. The last thing those fools would hear would most certainly be his son's mocking laughter, as they perished beneath the steely edge of the Masamune.

Now, the bullet fired into his heart by the treasonous ex-Turk he had experimented on, finally made its presence known in his frail body. Mako and Jenova cells leaked out of the gaping gunshot wound in his chest, which had already stained his white laboratory coat with a blossom of scarlet liquid. Realizing that his time was nearly over, he reached into his pocket with a rapidly-withering hand, and grasped onto something in there, something precious.

As he fell face-first onto the platform's water-slicked metal surface, his clenched fist flew out of his pocket bonelessly, and the item he had held so dear flew forward and landed gently at the feet of a spiky-haired blond man, one of the eight that had confronted him.

The spiky-haired blond man picked up the dropped item, and studied it for a moment. Thunder erupted in the black sky above them, and for a brief moment, the object in his hands was illuminated.

"So what did the creep leave us?" asked a teenage girl with a large shuriken strapped to her back.

"Nothing, nothing at all," replied the blond man dismissively, "Let's get going, now."

The eight people trooped away, and the dropped object was once again returned to the wet platform.

If you had been near at that moment, you could have probably seen what the precious object was, before the wind blew it off the platform.

It was a drawing, executed by a child's unsteady hand. A drawing of a silver-haired child holding hands with a white-coated person with black hair and a ponytail. Above the drawing were just four words.

I love you, father.