A/N: I started this story like almost three years ago. It took me two years to finish it 'cause I got bored with it early on. I'm not really sure it's worth posting...I just wanted to post it. So here. This isn't a romance story. And it's about 95% yaoi free. The other five percent is just Kadaj messing with Vincent. And warning: the writing might be a bit tedious. My stuff seemed to be really tedious back then. lol Well anyway...you don't want to listen to me talk.
Disclaimer: I don't own Final Fantasy VII or any of its characters.
Pity - Chapter One
The moon hung beautifully in the sky, shining down on the crystal forest with a beautful florescent light. Stars accompanied the eerie glow, adding to it and brightening the darkened world with the usual, natural aura it gave white trees surrounded every path that one could possibly walk, glowing softly with specks that would sparkle through the air. The breeze was cool outside, the air brisk.
Vincent Valentine walked leisurely over the path to the Forgotten City. His gaze was directed to the ground, the collar of his red cloak covering half of his face to block out the cold wind that was nipping against his pale features. Utter silence engulfed him and the entire location, not even the songs of crickets breaking through. Everythng was peaceful there, in its haunting way, as it had always been. Maybe that was why he liked coming there-everything was still quiet, giving him time to think and breathe.
It had been over a year since the incident with Deepground and life had finally started moving on for Vincent. He was more at peace with himself now, and grew closer to his friends than he would ever have allowed himself to. His past mistakes and memories were still on his mind, but they only stayed there as a simple reminder of what was, no longer having a terrible pain attached to them . . . unless he thought too hard about them. He now, officially, lived at the Seventh Heaven bar with Tifa, Cloud, and their two children, and occationally Shelke. It had been a while since he called any place home, and strangely enough, he was looking forward to returning there. Of course, after he had his breather.
He wasn't exactly sure why he was there. Whenever he wanted to relax, he would usually go the Chronicles of Yore, and gaze upon Lucrecia's frozen form. She always brought him peace. Yet for some reason, he was at the Forgotten City.
Many things had happened here a few years back, and AVALANCHE had lost a beloved member of their party. Being here again did remind him of her, though he didn't know her very well, and at the time didn't really care to. But now a small amount of regret told him that maybe he should have.
Was that was he was there? To make up for something? That was all his life seemed to be about, didn't it? He was always sorry for something, always full of regret. But no more. He couldn't change the past, something he had to accept. So now, he would walk the Forgotten City, remembering Aeris and all she did for the world, wishing he knew her better, but not grieving over the fact that he didn't.
Vincent brought himself to a halt, stopping in the middle of the path and gazing at the surrounding trees. He took in a deep breath, being aware of all the scents that the ancient city harbored. He used to come here a lot, back during the crisis of the Geostigma. Sephiroth's remnants, Kadaj, Yazoo, and Loz, had a base there, and he would watch them often. He also freed Tseng and Elena from their cruel clutches and healed them there. He began to think about all the time he spent here, and realised he didn't need an excuse for being here at all. He had been here many times before, so what would one more time matter?
He resumed his walking, glancing about the forest floor as he made his way down the path, which would eventually lead him to the the large stucture that stood in the center of the city. It was an amazing sight, and a wonder to gaze upon.
He continued onward, his senses being at rest though they still flew all over the place, taking the beauty with his eyes, the smell of the trees with his nose, and the soft sound of the breeze with his ears. His mind was empty, yet wondering so many things, subject after subject passing in and out of his thoughts.
His eyes shot open from their wary state, his gaze alert. His ears had perked to something: a faint noise, probably normally unheard to the common ear. But he picked it up, though he didn't know what it was. Eyebrows furrowing in confusion, he stopped, looking around the place and remaining completely silent.
Then he heard something, though this sound was different. This one sounded like water, being swashed around. The noise continued for a moment, as if something was caught in a stream and unable to come out. Then there was another sound, which echoed through the empty land, sending chills up his spine. It was the same as the first sound he had heard, and this time he was able to tell what it was. It sounded like a voice, gasping for air.
His hand reached beyond the rim of his red cloak, laying on Cerberus, which he slowly withdrew from its holster. Cautiously, he continued walking, following the noise. He made it quickly to the end of the path, and slowed his pace, hiding among the many trees as the large structure came into view. Also in view, was the large body of water that surrounded it, reflecting the moonlight and the glow of the trees.
He was met with further confusion, when he found what the source of the noise was. At the edge of the water, lay a person. It was a young man, naked, laying face down on the ground with his feet dangling in the edge of the water. He was soaked all over, his postion indicating that he had just climbed out of the pool, a chilling thought for how cold it was outside. But among all that, Vincent was more disturbed and confused by who the person was, since his drenched, shoulder-length, silver hair told him that it was none other than Kadaj.
But Kadaj was dead. He saw him disappear into the Lifestream from the deck of the Shera. So how could he possibly be there now?
The silver-headed teen was breathing heavily, which he was able to see even from his distance. His arms were were trying to move, weakly clawing at the dirt as he tried to pull himself fully out of the water. He was also shivering, having made his attempt all the more gruelling.
Vincent slowly stepped from the treeline, Cerberus firmly in his hand and aimed directly at the other. As he stepped closer, his footsteps threatening, the teen looked up at him. For the first time, Vincent saw his face, and when he glanced at it, he almost felt pity. It was in fact Kadaj, or some other identical clone of Sephiroth, but the smug look the teen usually carried was vacant from his face. Not like he could blame the boy; he had to be freezing. He looked confused, almost scared as he stared up at Vincent, then glanced at the gun. He dropped his gaze again, letting his face fall back to the ground.
"So cold . . . " the teen muttered, his fingers digging into the ground.
Feeling that there was no threat here, Vincent cautiously replaced Cerberus, still staring at Kadaj with wary eyes.
"C-cold," the boy shivered.
Vincent knelt down to him, placing his gloved hand softly on his shoulder. To his touch, the teen whimpered, then curled up as Vincent turned him over on his back. He looked up at him, jade eyes wide.
"What are you doing here?" Vincent asked, his voice not to sympathetic.
Kadaj looked around the place for a moment, then back up at him. He made no response. He shivered uncontrollably, his teeth chattering as his eyes began to flutter.
Vincent knew that the teen wouldn't last long out there, and if he wanted any answers from him, he would have to get him some help. He watched him, for a moment, contemplating if he should help him, after all he had conscience took over, and he was disgruntled as he began unbuckling his cloak from his shoulders. He removed it, feeling colder as the wind broke through his thin clothing. He couldn't imagine how Kadaj felt, as he wrapped the cloak around his naked body. By that time, the teen had already slipped into unconciousness.
He looked around for a moment, trying to decide what to do before he lifted Kadaj in his arms, cradling his slender body close.
He began walking again, making his way around the pool and heading towards the ancient structure. He entered into the alcove, immediately being shielded from the cold drafts, though the inside of the structure was still cold itself. He breathed heavily, walking as far inside as he thought necessary. He then set Kadaj on the ground, looming over him as he lay curled up in his cloak. The boy was motionless, water still dripping from his hair. He ran his gloved hand over the silver strands, then attempted to dry them off on the edge of the cloak. There wasn't much success.
He pulled his glove from his right hand, then took hold of the remnant's wrist. It was ice cold, and his pulse was slow. His odds of living still weren't very good. Rolling his eyes and letting out a defeated sigh, he knew that there was only one way to warm the teen. He began undoing the buckles of his shirt, feeling the cold as he bared his pale chest. He looked down at himself for a moment, gazing at his scars, then shaking his head at the things they made him think about. Now wasn't the time for such things.
He opened his shirt fully. He reached down for Kadaj and lifted him from the floor, his head lolling back, hair dripping. He pulled him closer to him, pressing the boy's chest against his own.
Kadaj was uncomfortably cold, and Vincent shivered for a moment, holding back a gasp as the teen's icey cold skin made contact with his own. He remained still and calm, and within a minute, the cold of the remnant's skin began to dissipate. He soon felt the warmth being returned, and he sat back, relaxing a bit and letting out a deep breath. Kadaj hung limply against him, his head resting on his shoulder. Vincent tried the best he could to keep his back and legs covered by the cloak, then rested his face in the crook of his neck, breathing on him to warm him. The situation was quite ackward, but that feeling went away after a moment.
Vincent wondered how long he would have to do this, and knew they couldn't stay there forever. He had to get the teen into a proper shelter, under some blankets on a warm bed so he could recover.
The confusion took over, as a voice in the back of his head wondered why he was helping the teen at all. He was a part of Sephiroth, and had killed many people on his own merit. He tortured the Turks, brought the Bahamut down on Edge, and even brought Sephiroth back. He had watched him; he was cruel and menacing. So why was he going through all the effort to keep him warm? He was using his own body heat to sustain him, clutching him so closely.
He wanted answers from him, yes. But answers to what? Why he was alive? It wouldn't matter anymore if he just let him die. But that thought was too heartless, for anyone. The teen was alone, cold, unarmed, unclothed, and . . . afraid? That would be enough for anyone with a heart to want to help him.
But that wasn't it, was it? No, and he knew it, just ingored it.
Kadaj whimpered softly, grabbing Vincent's attention.
"Kadaj?" he asked, wondering if the boy had awakened.
Apparently not, since he didn't move at all.
The remnant's shivering subsided, much to his relief. Now he had to make a decision of what to do with him. He, of course, would have to either take him to AVALANCHE or the WRO Headquarters eventually. But for now, he just needed to get the boy somewhere safe and warm. Bone Village wasn't too far away, and he might be able to make it there soon enough, or at least before morning. Deciding that that was his best choice, he pulled Kadaj away from him, wrapping him back in the cloak, then laying him back on the floor.
He buckled his shirt back up, then replaced his glove. He grabbed the wrapped-up teen again, cradling him once more, then turning and making his way out of the structure. Hopefully, he would reach Bone Village soon enough.
A/N: Please review and tell me if you wanna bother reading the rest. Hahaha!