All FF7 characters and places are Copywrited to Square Soft. They are not mine *pout*

Beautiful Nightmare

A FF VII Fanfic By Hika-chan

CHAPTER 1: Starting Over

Kalm had grown into a very busy town, at least half the survivors of the former city of Midgar had moved there after its destruction. It had been a year and a half since then, Vincent and Ralena had grown closer, but had remained in separate rooms. Barret had moved to North Corel to help rebuild the town. Marlene and Elmyra went with him, mostly because Barret did not want to have to worry about Marlene being alone while he worked. Tifa and Cloud were living together in Nibelhiem, Yuffie went back to Wutai, Cid back to Rocket Town and Red back to Cosmo Canyon. Reeve went to Gongaga to help rebuild and had Cait stay at Gold Saucer to help raise money for his efforts. Reno stayed to help out at Kalm for a little while before moving to Junon with Elena and Rude. Each of the existing cities grew and a few new hamlets had appeared.

The tide of technology had changed since then, especially in terms of producing energy. Mako had been abandoned as a power source, it's number one replacement was solar energy, other areas took advantage of the wind and water as an energy source.

Ralena lived on the southeastern edge of Kalm in a large house she shared with Sephiroth and Vincent. Right after the disaster at Midgar they had used it as a place in which to temporarily house some of the orphans from Midgar. The real orphanage finally cleared out enough to take care of all the orphans a season before, as it turned out most of them had just gotten separated from their parents and were happily reunited.

Sephiroth was about five now and they were going to have him start school within the next few months. Today Vincent was taking care of him, so Ralena was free to relax for a day. It was nice to get away from the town for a while, to ride around, just her and Haretia like it used to be. She was happy to not have to worry about her powers. Out on the fields she didn't have to worry about anyone else's emotions imposing upon her own. Even though it had become easier to control over the months she still always had to have some measure of control. Out here she could let it all go. She was on her way to the chocobo farm on Haretia, there was a male chocobo there that the blue chocobo had grown quite fond of, and she was thinking about buying it. As it turned out the green chocobo that Haretia was so fond of was one that had been owned by Cloud and AVALANCHE, so after one call she was able to get it for a relatively cheap price. She picked up some greens and headed back out towards Kalm.

When she got home she put the new chocobo in the gated field with Haretia. "Now listen up girl, I expect you to tell your new friend how things work around here k?" The chocobo squawked and she patted her neck before feeding both some greens and heading back into the house. "Vincent! Seph! I'm back!"

She heard a steady thumping on the wooden floor coming from the living room. "Lena, Lena! Look what I did!" Sephiroth came running around the corner with several pieces of paper in his hand. She kneeled down beside him and Vincent walked around the corner as they talked. Ralena began to flip through the pictures as Sephiroth said what each one was. "That one is… is Haretia, and that's one's a dog, and that's us outside our house. Vincent drew that one."

Ralena looked at the picture, it was her, she grinned up at him. "Well I think they're all beautiful, you're almost as good as Vincent."

"Really?"

"Yeah really." She ruffled his hair and moved forward to whisper in his ear, "Guess what?"

"What?"

"I got a new chocobo out back, why don't you go check'em out?"

"Really? Wow!"

As he ran out back Ralena and Vincent followed standing on the back porch to watch him. "I didn't think you drew."

"I used to draw with him when he was young, in… happier times."

"If you hadn't noticed these are happier times Vincent. No ShinRa, No Meteor, No Jenova…No Hojo."

"It's been so long since any life like this has been available to me that it is hard to believe."

"Yes I know. I finally have a home, a family." Vincent raised a brow at her and she laughed, "More or less. It's almost perfect don't you think?"

"… Almost. What's the green one's name?"

"huh? Oh he's Thunder."

"...?"

"Don't look at me I didn't name him."

After breakfast one day Ralena spied Vincent teaching Sephiroth how to read and write. Whenever Vincent played with or taught him he actually seemed happy, she watched them and idly flipped through the mail.

"Vincent?"

"Yes?"

"What are all these calls to Junon? One of these isn't Reno's or the others' numbers."

"There's a doctor there."

"A doctor? What for?"

He lifted his claw, "This."

She glanced at the phone bill then back up at him, "I don't understand."

"Keep practicing Seph, I'll be right back." He walked up to Ralena and took her into the kitchen. "I've realized I can't get rid of this, but I think perhaps this man might be able to give me something that looks a bit less… disturbing."

"How can you be sure?"

"It's the same man that put on Barret's gun arm."

"You want a gun on there?" she asked sarcastically

"No, something that looks more like a real hand. Anyway he's set up in Junon now."

"I see. Well then when do we leave?"

"What?"

"Come on. We can go to Junon visit my brother, maybe we can even go to Costa Del Sol afterwards, and we can take Seph with us."

"Won't it be dangerous?"

"A little, but we'll be with him. Why don't we just make it a nice long vacation? Then we can go and see everybody and Cid can take us from Rocket Town to Wutai. Then we can get back just in time for Sephiroth to start school." He opened his mouth to say something but she put a finger to his lips, "So it's a trip?"

With a resound sigh he nodded, "Yes."

"Great, I'll tell Seph, call ahead to Reno and we can leave in…two- three days."

She ran out as he put a hand to his head, "How in the hell did I fall in love with such a stubborn woman?" Vincent stopped as soon as the words left his mouth. Did he just say what he thought he did? Did he say "love"? He went into a silent meditation upon the word until he was disrupted by a tugging on his pant leg. He looked down and saw Sephiroth holding up a piece of paper.

"Is this a good 'k'?"

The next morning Ralena awoke a bit warmer then she expected. Whatever it was lay against her back. Perhaps Sephiroth had another nightmare. She rolled over and realized she was quite mistaken, Vincent lay next to her, his hand was lying upon her waist. The would-be vampire must've come into her room that night. "Hey," she whispered, "Vincent." His red eyes opened slowly and if she didn't know any better she would swear he was blushing. "You know, if you wanted to sleep here all you had to do was ask. Or did you just have a bad dream?" she teased. He was about to answer back when she planted a feather light kiss on his lips. "You're real comfortable but we gotta make breakfast." She got out of bed and put a robe on over her pajamas. "Can you go see if Sephiroth is awake yet?"

"Of course," he said getting out of bed, he was wearing some loose pants and no shirt. She cast him a sly smile and headed down stairs. As she started breakfast she pondered the unexpected yet pleasant action made by Vincent. She smiled wondering if all those little glances and smiles she gave him had helped encourage such behavior. Her smile spread into a small grin, gee she might have to do that more often.

The day before they left Ralena awoke at some time during the night, once again in Vincent's arms. She turned her body towards his, careful not to wake him. She stared silently at his features, barely visible with the quarter moon's light coming in through the window. She lightly traced his jaw line with her fingers following it with her eyes. She then moved them over his lips before brushing a strand of hair behind his ear. As her hand rested on his neck his eyes opened, she smiled gently and he did in kind.

"What time is it?" he whispered.

"I don't know."

"What are you doing awake?"

"Looking at you." He seemed confused and her smile grew ever so slightly. "Just… the way you are… mysterious, dark and handsome. It's almost like... a beautiful nightmare, except…"

"Except?"

"Except I'm not afraid."

He smiled with a sigh, moving his hand to her face, "Is there nothing you are afraid of?"

"Only that this is a dream, and when I wake up I'll be alone."

"There is no need to fear that," he moved his head in slowly and kissed her, gently at first, but it soon grew deeper. Before they knew it their passions accelerated as one, each fueling the other, till nothing existed, save each other.

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Hika-chan: We're gonna leave them alone now... Maybe I'll go back and... elaborate later I dunno.

*blushes* ahh I can't bring myself to write lemon!!! *runs and hides*