Author's note: So, it's been awhile and stories need to be updated. Sorry for the long wait. Enjoy!
Word Count: 1,995
By the time Sephiroth and I go back to see Lucretia, we've gone on another date and have spent quite a few hours kissing in bed...couch...grass outside...on the Fenrir...pretty much anywhere, I guess. We haven't gone beyond that, which a part of me is thankful, because I want to remember everything before we have sex again, but the sex-hungry male part of me is suffering deeply.
Sephiroth and I mutually agreed upon it, though I can tell it's mentally wearing him down too. Which is kind of humorous when I think about it, I mean, who else can say that the Sephiroth Crescent is sexually frustrated because of you?
"Good morning, boys," Lucretia greets, smiling warmly.
"Lucretia," I greet.
"Mother," Sephiroth greets lightly.
The long brown haired woman ushers the two SOLDIERs into the room and leads them over to two tables, there are a couple doctors there waiting, including Reeve, Angeal, Genesis, Zack, Aerith and Rufus. We all take a moment to greet everyone.
"How do you feel?" Angeal asks Sephiroth, clasping Sephiroth on the shoulder.
The General smiles lightly. "I'm fine. I trust Mother."
"That's good," Genesis grins, "because she's practically killed herself trying to find the least invasive way to perform this test."
Sephiroth smiles very lovingly, allowing himself a quick glance at the older brown haired woman who was talking with one of the doctors, a serious expression on her face.
"If this works, we should definitely celebrate a lovely lady like Lucretia," Zack says. "Hell, even if this doesn't do anything. Props for trying."
Angeal smiles with great mirth and Sephiroth nods his head.
"Scared?" Aerith asks me lightly, a sweet smile on her lips. "You're in good hands."
"I'm not worried," I say without thinking and then realized that I mean it. Like there is a force inside of me that recognizes that Sephiroth isn't a threat to me anymore has also reassured me that Lucretia is nothing like Hojo and would break her back ten ways from Tuesday just to ensure that Sephiroth and I don't even really realize that we are being experimented on.
"That's good," Rufus says, smoothing out his immaculate white suit. "Because we have three hard headed First Class SOLDIERs that are fiercely loyal and ready to go on a rampage at any given moment if it benefit either of you. Oh, and an Ancient that would help."
Aerith laughs musically at that, lightly slapping Rufus's arm. "Of course!"
"Don't forget a protective uncle," Reeve laughs, putting a hand on my shoulder.
"How could I?" Rufus muses.
Reeve looks at me in the eye. "How have you been, Cloud? I've been meaning to get away to see you, especially after you lost your memory but..."
I shake my head, holding up a hand to stop him. "Don't worry about it, Reeve. I know how busy you are. In fact, I'm glad that I was able to regain some of my memories before seeing you again."
Reeve nods sympathetically. "I know that this must have been very hard for you."
I shrug. "It's been fine, I've had a lot of support and great friends that did, and do, all they can to help me adjust and answer all my questions." I smile at Rufus and Aerith to let them know that both of them are in that category.
Alright," Lucretia claps her hands together. "Let's get started. All that are not part of the procedure or staff assisting, I love you, but remove your butts to the next room."
She ushers out Sephiroth and my friends, with a knowing smile on her face, assuring them that they will be able to see through the observation window. Lucretia has Sephiroth and I sit side by side on a large mental table, and of course, she put a thick, soft blanket over the cold metal up to our shoulders. She had both of us remove our shirts as she put small devices on our heads.
A part of me is still anxious to be on the table again, but I can feel Sephiroth's warmth next to me and Lucretia's hands are gentle and she is telling us everything that she's going before she does it. I can tell that it makes Sephiroth feel better, he's almost relaxed next to me.
Lucretia hesitates before putting on Sephiroth's device. She looks at him with soft brown eyes. "It's almost over, darling. There should be a warmth in your head, that's normal, but you have to let me know if it hurts, okay?" Her eyes flicker up to me to show that goes for me too. I nod.
"Yes, Mother," Sephiroth says softly.
Lucretia caresses Sephiroth's cheek gently. "If it hurts, no matter how slight, tell me." She kisses his forehead, smiling lightly at me. "You too, Cloud. This is not suppose to hurt."
"Yes ma'am," I say, amused. Lucretia nods and moves away to check some of the machines. I turn to look at Sephiroth. "She's really trying to be a good mom, huh?"
Sephiroth looks at me. "I don't understand why, she already is. Mother has been nothing but kind and gentle to me. Is that what a mother does?"
I smile. "Yeah, but my mom was like that in a different way. She was pretty hard headed. She would whip anyone into shape if they messed with her. She believed that we all needed to be confident and strong willed to make it in the big bad world out there."
Sephiroth nods slowly, absorbing the information. He pauses, "Weren't you shy when you joined the Infantry?"
I laugh softly. "Yeah, it didn't really stick until I was older."
He smiles thinly. "I'm sorry... I..."
I shake my head. "No, just..." I sigh, turning to look up at the white wall. "I'm sad that she's not here anymore but I got my closure years ago. I harbor no bad feelings for you... or Shinra... or even the Goddess." I look back over at him. "If she had lived, she would have loved you."
Sephiroth smiles more sincerely at that. "Really?"
I nod. "Yeah, she would have been like, 'that Sephiroth is so self assured! Now that's how someone is suppose to live! But don't let him go thinking that he's invincible, okay? Because if he starts to believe he's invincible, he'll start to become invisible.' Like that."
Sephiroth caresses my cheek with the pad of his thumb. "She sounds amazing."
I lean into his touch. "She was."
"Okay, boys, I need you both to lay back and relax, closing your eyes. Remember, tell me if anything hurts," Lucretia says softly.
Sephiroth and I obey. Once both of us are relaxed, Lucretia begins the tests.
Burning. A deep cold burning in my chest.
I can see the stars, like I'm floating in outer space. The sun is blazing to my left. I turn slowly and am blinded by the light. I jerk away and see Gaia, the patches of dead land but overall the planet is alive and well on the way to recovery. Something moves, I see something move on the planet. For a second I wonder if my enhanced eyes can see people moving around on the surface, but then I realize I can see the lifestream working beneath the surface.
The lifestream moves like lattice work across the planet, beneath the surface. Like a huge spider web. Billions and billions of different break offs and end points. But there is one thing that all of them have in common; they are all connect. Each life, from the weapons, to the ants, the humans, to the plants, to even the planet itself are all connected with, and by, the lifestream.
The lifestream blazed a bright blue light like the sun and then suddenly Gaia is one hunk of rock, the lifestream is gone. The entire planet is devoid of life.
Suddenly I'm standing in a field, grass and trees and animals all around. The sky darkens and looks to be on fire. It reminds me of the day Sephiroth called upon Meteor and Aerith died.
The earth cracks beneath my feet and thin blue strands of light slip from the ground and gather up into the sky, also like it did that day, but I don't see Meteor appear in the sky, but something even bigger. So big, that all life begins to die immediately even as it's about to enter the atmosphere.
Somehow, I don't really understand it myself, but somehow I know, that the blazing ball of fire heading for the planet isn't a dead rock.
It's a calamity.
"Cloud! Cloud! Cloud!"
I jerk up and stare into big blue, cat slitted eyes, the pupils are like think lines. I can see concern, worry and uncontrollable, unquenchable fear. My heart is beating so loud and so fast, I think I'm having some form of panic attack.
"What...what happened...?" I gasp, trying to catch my breath. I sit up slowly, pulling the mind thingy off my head.
Sephiroth sits back a little on his hunches, still looking tense, his face is unreadable. Lucretia takes the device and puts it away, Sephiroth's.
"You had a seizure," Lucretia says. "Your brain went into overload. It seems that the two of you manage to tap into the lifestream. I think it was sensory overload. I'm so sorry, you two. I had no idea... I should have known that..." Lucretia turns away, ashamed and upset with herself.
"No," I mumble. "You couldn't have known."
Lucretia looks like she doesn't believe that, but swallows her shame for the time being. I glance up to see Angeal, Genesis, Zack, and Aerith a few steps away, like they had all rushed in when the seizure started but didn't get far before it stopped. They are all frozen, eyes wide.
Sephiroth's face goes slack.
"Sephiroth?" I reach out and shake his shoulder. He doesn't respond. He just stares blankly, like he's lost in thought.
"Is he okay?" Zack asks.
"I think so..." I murmur.
Angeal clears his throat, relaxing his posture. "Did you guys... see anything?"
I think hard, now that the adrenaline has slowed down, my mind is clearing. "I saw... Gaia. It was like a recreation of the day Aerith died." I quickly glance at the girl dressed in pink. Her green eyes are wide. "But... it wasn't Meteor... it was something else. I think... I think it was a Cetra."
There is a long moment of silence. I stare into Aerith's big green eyes, they get wider and then cold realization passes over her face. She starts to tremble lightly.
"For real?" Zack whispers. "Is it Jenova?" Everyone tenses at the name, excluding Sephiroth who has yet to escape his thoughts.
Aerith steps close to me, her thin hands are shaking as she brings them up to my temples. She closes her eyes and concentrates. I almost feel her presence enter my mind, and as soon as she's there, she pulls back as if burned, letting out a yelp.
"Aerith!" Zack grabs her and holds her as she trembles. "What happened? Are you okay?"
"That wasn't Jenova," Aerith whispers, horrified.
"Sephiroth," Lucretia calls out to her son, grabbing his arm and shaking it frantically. "Sephiroth, please, wake up! Answer me!"
"It's not a Cetra?" Rufus asks, stepping out of the next room slowly, I can see the color drained from his face.
Aerith shakes her head, face pale. "No, I said it's not J-Jenova... but it is most definitely a Cetra."