A/N: Here we are, my fine readers and reviewers: the last chapter. Thanks to all your positive feedback, I have decided to do a sequel. ^_^ I've already gotten some pretty good suggestions for it, but if any of you want to give me any ideas, or just some things you'd like to see happen in it, let me know. I'm open to all ideas. It might not be as deep as this one, but then again...you never know. :)
Disclaimer: I don't own Final Fantasy VII or any of its character.
The noise of the city of Edge was at its loudest in the center square. The citizens crowded all around, going in a myriad of directions. Cars and trucks drove by, children laughed as they ran through the streets. Spring had finally come, and the warm air was inviting after long months of hiding from the cold.
Tifa's eyes scanned over the stands before her. She looked at the many different fruits and vegetables offered, wondering which would be the best to have for tonight's meal. It was a special occasion, after all. Cid and Barrett were coming back to Edge, and Marlene was so excited about seeing her father again, she wanted to do something special. Tifa decided to help the young girl cook a meal for everyone.
"Here," Marlene said, depositing a couple peppers in the bag Tifa held.
"Will that be all?" the man running the vegetable stand asked.
"Yes," Tifa replied. She quickly paid him, then both her and her daughter were making their way through the crowd, back toward Seventh Heaven. On the way, they met up with Shelke, the young woman pulling herself away from the other stands she had taken interest in. Not having bought anything, she was quick to join her friends, then three of them silently heading back home.
Things had gone back to normal. It had been three months now since Vincent left Seventh Heaven in search of Kadaj. No one in the home had seen him, or the three remnants, since. Cloud had received a call from Vincent about a week after he had left, and he assured them that everything was fine. Sephiroth was no longer a threat, and they wouldn't have to worry about the remnants any longer. But he wouldn't elaborate, and Cloud was unable to get much out of him.
The blonde had talked to him a few times since, but not about anything too important. And they still weren't quite sure what the ex-Turk was up to.
Tifa often thought about Loz, and wondered what had happened to him and his brothers. She could only hope that the three of them were together, and that they had finally found peace.
The three women finally made it home. They approached the bar, Tifa first spotting Cloud as he sat outside, just beside his bike. Denzel was nearby, listening intently as Cloud explained the bike's finer workings. She couldn't help but smile when she saw them.
"Hello, everyone," a deep, monotonous voice said, catching all of their attention. Tifa and Shelke both turned around, surprised to find none other than the red-clad Vincent standing in the street behind them. He stood with a light smile on his face and his arms crossed, looking with same as always.
"Hello, Vincent," Shelke was the first to greet him, brightening with a smile.
Cloud lifted his eyes, surprised and smiling. "Vincent. Been a while."
"What are you doing here?" Tifa wondered, having so many questions and only thinking of one to ask.
"I thought I'd pay you all a visit," Vincent replied casually.
"That's great!" Marlene chimed in, "Dad's visiting, too. You can all visit together."
Vincent couldn't help but smile as he stared down at the young girl, "I can't stay for very long, though."
"What have you been up to?" Cloud asked, making his way toward him as he wiped his greasy hands off on a rag. "What about Kadaj and his brothers?"
Vincent's smile took on a different note. He looked away from them all as he spoke. Tifa could have said he almost looked embarrassed. "I bought a house in Nibelheim."
"Really?" Cloud said.
"The three of them are living there with me now. They're all making an effort to try and live differently, but suffice to say...they still need a little help."
"Where are they now?" Tifa wondered.
Kadaj sat down on the old pew, testing it at first to make sure it wouldn't break under his weight. Once he was sure it would support him, he relaxed. He rested back, crossing his legs as he stared up at the bright sunshine. It came in through the broken ceiling, bathing him, his brothers, and the rest of this old church in its beautiful rays. It felt so comforting. He closed his eyes, basking it in.
Yazoo was walking nearby, his eyes to the ground, taking in all the little things here and there that littered the floor-broken planks of wood, pieces from pillars that had fallen, shattered glass and broken chandeliers. It was all among the flowers that grew along the floor, along the border of the pool.
Loz sat on his knees, sifting his hand through the flowers that he had once found so disgusting. It wasn't much that he had come to like their scent; he just liked the thought of giving some to a certain someone.
"I don't know why people left it like this," Yazoo said softly, kicking at a piece of wood. "Why has no one ever tried rebuilding this place?"
Kadaj opened his eyes, looking around. "We could rebuild it," he suggested.
"I guess so...but what are we going to do about this?" Yazoo gestured to the large pool of water.
"We'll leave it."
"Who ever heard of a church with a big pool of water in the middle?"
Kadaj was about to respond, but didn't when he heard a noise. Yazoo and Loz heard it as well. Both of them turned their attention to the front door, where the soft rustling noise came from.
Yazoo narrowed his eyes suspiciously, crouching down and lifting a plank of wood from the floor. He stood back to his full height, watching the entrance carefully. He saw the slightest flash of red, then without a second thought, flung the piece of wood its direction. It flew through the air, hitting its target precisely.
A man screamed, crashing flat on his back.
The middle brother made his way to the front door, and Kadaj watched him bend down and grab hold of their intruder. Without much effort, he picked him up and hurled him through the air. Reno landed on his stomach in the center of the auditorium, groaning in pain. He mumbled something under his breath as he went to push himself up. He was kept on the ground though, and pushed flat again when Yazoo sat on his back. The remnant leaned over him, holding him by the hand to keep him from attacking.
"Look what I found," Yazoo said with a smile, "I've always wanted a pet, do you think Vincent will let us keep him?" He mockingly petted the Turk's head while he cursed at him.
"Yazoo..." Vincent's reprimanding voice came to their attention before the man even stepped into the church. The three of them look to the entrance as Vincent came walking it, looking as unenthusiastic as ever. Behind him came Cloud and Tifa, the two of them seeming weary in their presence.
A smile immediately came to Kadaj's face. He flung himself out of the pew and walked over to the newcomers, his attention solely on Cloud. "Hello, brother," he greeted, a joyous, innocent smile on his face.
"Hi," Cloud said awkwardly.
"Hi, Tifa," Loz greeted her, stepping up to the three of them as they stood together. He held out a bunch of flowers he had picked, offering them to her. She accepted them with a thank-you, while Cloud eyed him suspiciously, before his attention was grabbed by Kadaj again.
Vincent made his way over to Yazoo and Reno. The remnant remained straddling the other man's back, while Reno's annoyed eyes begged Vincent for help.
"What are you doing here?" Vincent casually asked the Turk, not feeling very inclined to help him at the moment.
"I'm just keeping an eye on things. President's orders," he explained. "Can you get him off me?"
Vincent smiled, turning his attention to Yazoo and gesturing for the remnant to get off. Yazoo rolled his eyes, but complied.
Reno pulled himself to his feet, brushing off his jacket and glaring daggers at the remnant. Yazoo only smirked, letting his gaze linger on him, before he turned away and walked over to his brothers. The Turk was left standing by Vincent.
"You can leave," Vincent said flatly, "And tell ShinRa he has nothing to worry about."
Reno grumbled something as he walked past him, making his way to the front door again. He passed by Yazoo, meeting the remnant's challenging glare before he walked out completely. Yazoo's gaze was on him long after he was gone.
Vincent shook his head softly, laughing to himself inside. He remained a step back from the others, watching the three remnant's interact with Cloud and Tifa. He wasn't paying attention to what the youngest brother was saying, but his eyes were alight with joy as he talked to Cloud. Loz was silent, but he was happy just because he was in the presence of Tifa again. Yazoo was also happy, even though he didn't show it. Vincent had learned to tell the young man's hidden emotions apart in the three months he had lived with them.
Three months, he pondered. It didn't feel like the day he had first found Kadaj was that long ago. Time had flown, and after spending so many decades alone, he was learning what it was like to share his life with people again. Not in a million years would he have thought this was how it would be. He didn't know how long it would last, or how long it would be before he could finally trust the remnants on their own...
But he wouldn't complain. After all, long ago he had done a great sin. And this was his punishment.
He laughed inwardly, so that no one could see.
All things considered, he rather enjoyed this punishment.
A/N: Ah...We have come to the end of a long journey. lol I just want to thank everyone who took the time to read my story. Even if you didn't review it, I hope you enjoyed it. XD
And thanks to all the people who gave me little pointers and took the time to help me improve my writing. Whether is was my typos, my geographical blunders, or the stuff I did that defied physics. LOL Thank you.
And to all you reviewers, this story as it is would not exist without you guys. :)
So...keep a look out for that sequel. Not sure how fast it'll get up here, but you shouldn't have to wait too long.
So, until next time... XD
P.S. Happy Holidays!