Forgotten Childhood

Prologue

The doctor held the baby in his arms. She wasn't even crying, which he found amazing. Most newborns seemed to only be able to cry, but she possessed an almost angelic quality that made her seem special somehow. He walked back into the hospital room and took a look around.

The room was less than what he would have liked to work with, but given the financial situation in Midgar, one couldn't be picky. There were only two machines in the forlorn room- one waiting for repairs, dusty in the corner. The other was a simple heart rate monitor that was attached to the woman lying on the adjacent bed.

He quickly walked over to her and saw that her eyes were wide open. She smiled at him, and he felt immediately at peace. If he had known who exactly she was, he would have understood the reason he felt so happy. Of course, he didn't, so he assumed it had to do with her beautiful facial features that her daughter would one day inherit.

"Excuse me, Mrs., ummm….," he said, quickly flipping through her clipboard to see where her last name was.

She laughed weakly and shook her head. "Ifalna is fine."

The doctor blushed at his fumbling, but nodding in agreement. "Ifalna, your daughter's been waiting to see you."

Ifalna smiled and took the precious cargo from the doctor's hands. She looked up at him, then moved her glance towards the door. The doctor turned around and noticed a handsome man standing there.

The doctor rushed forward and extended his hand. "Dr. Gast, I presume? It is an honor to meet you, truly an honor."

Dr. Gast walked into the room and smiled down at his wife and child. He ran his fingers over Ifalna's cheek, and heard her sigh with contentment.

"I'm sorry I'm so late," he said softly. He kneeled down to face Ifalna. "I was in the middle of-"

Ifalna placed a finger over her husband's mouth and shook her head. "I know your work takes a lot of time. It's alright."

"But, I should have-"

She smiled. "It's alright."

The doctor once again felt that peacefulness, and he saw Gast smile and nod his head. He flipped through his clipboard, wanting to leave the couple alone, until he came across a form that needed to be filled out.

"Excuse me?" he said, glancing up at them. Once two pairs of eyes greeted him, he continued. "I have to fill out this birth certificate. What's your daughter's name?"

Dr. Gast and Ifalna both looked at each other. Ifalna blinked.

"What did you want?" Ifalna asked.

"Oh, I don't know….," he said. "I'm just happy that she's beautiful and healthy. You can pick a name."

Ifalna thought for a moment before smiling. "I know. Aeris… that's a pretty name, right?"

"Aeris." Dr. Gast looked at his daughter and smiled. "It suits her."

The doctor nodded. "Alright, her name is Aeris. If you could just fill out these other areas…"

~*~*~*~*~

"All neural activity seems normal, no diseases or other negative traits found."

Lucretia smiled as she heard the diagnosis of her newborn son. She clasped him warmly in her arms, unreasonably happy about this sign of love between herself and her husband.

As if on cue from her thoughts, Dr. Hojo himself entered the hospital room. The hospital was stylish and elegant, exactly what one would expect from the only hospital maintained by ShinRa Corp. Each room was blindingly white, with a television hung in one corner of the ceiling for the patient's enjoyment. There was a closet that held a few choice pieces of clothing, as well as one wall made up of clear glass. Lucretia had been staring out of this overly-large window until the doctor started to give his prognosis. The sky was so beautiful above the plate.

Hojo walked up to the doctor, who bowed his head in recognition. Hojo smirked and glanced at the bundle of blankets his sometime love was holding. The look on her face made Hojo sneer. Her emotions were too complex for him, a man of science, to understand. He needed facts and data, and this child would help him in his career, no matter what it's mother might think.

"How is it?" Hojo asked the doctor. Receiving a blank stare, Hojo irritably clarified, "The boy."

The doctor looked relieved. "Yes, all of the diagnostics ran well, and he seems to be in perfect shape. No abnormalities of the body or mind, and a strong heartbeat. He scored high on reflex tests, as well as simple cognitive abilities. Your son has an excellent body composition, sir."

Hojo sneered at the last comment, preferring to let the acknowledgement of his fatherhood remain a mystery. "Yes, well, he is my son."

The doctor's face became panicked. "Oh, of course, of course, I didn't mean to put it that way, I just-"

"Silence!" Hojo ordered, and the doctor immediately slammed his mouth shut. "Fill out the required forms and let him live with his mother… for now." Hojo glanced back once more at Lucretia and their new son. He made a sound of disgust and left the room.

Lucretia closed her eyes at Hojo's antic display. He was first and foremost a scientist, and emotions were something he had failed to grasp despite all of his brilliant work. He would never be able to love her the way she loved him, no matter how hard she tried. There was once another man who had loved her, possibly still did, but like a fool she had gone to Hojo. That other man had tried time and again to prove his love to her, but at that time she could only see him for a Turk. Or maybe, like her current love, she saw him only as an experiment.

She sighed. Thoughts such as these were pointless now.

"Lucretia?" the doctor asked with surprising gentleness in his voice. "I need to fill these out…"

"Of course," she said. She gently rocked her son in her arms and looked at the doctor. "Please, go on."

The doctor nodded. "Okay… what's your son's name?"

Lucretia looked down at him and smiled. A story came to mind form her childhood, a long lost fairy tale. A handsome warrior who protected the innocent and defeated evil.

"Sephiroth," she said, smiling down at him. "His name's Sephiroth."