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

Hika-chan: This is a little intermediate story from "Empathy" and the sequel "Beautiful Nightmare." Actually it porbably occurs somewhere in Beautiful Nightmare, but whatever. *overture starts playing* Oh crap the story's starting I gotta go! *runs off stage*

Angel or Demon

A FF7 Fanfic by Hika-chan

Ralena opened the case and looked upon the blade that Sephiroth once weilded, the Masamune. She was almost afraid to touch it. She knew all the blood that was on the blade, all the pain that remain hidden within it's folds, all the emptiness and insanity that was held captive in the grip. But a vauge memory and a gut feeling haunted her, causing her to want know exactly what happened. A familiar silouette of the figure that she saw so many years ago, she wanted to be sure if it was him. Now was one of the few chances she would have to do this without having to worry about the others, Sephiroth was at school, Aeris was at a neighbor's house, and Vincent was at work.

Not long after the fall of midgar she had gone with several salvage teams to see what could be used from the old Shinra HQ. Somehow she had made it to Sephiroth's old room, and hidden in a small hole in the wall under the bed she had found her old chocobo doll, still there even six years later. True it was very worn, but it had been her toy for ten years before she had given it to the SOLDIER. She had gotten one distinct feeling off the doll, five words. The regret after completion of a mission and the words, "I'm sorry Ralena, forgive me."

Bracing herself as always she focused on her memory and lay her hand upon the hilt. Within seconds brief flashes of a thousand bloodstained screams, and crimson pleas rushed through her mind as she traveled back to the day, a year after Sephiroth left her with the Telly family.

* * *

William ran into the house covered in sweat and out of breath. "Jessa! They've come for her!"

The woman stood dropping her book to the floor, "How did they find her?"

"I don't know. Where are the children?"

Panic and fear was evident in the woman's voice. "They went to play with Helen's kids, but they should be back any minute. How can we warn them?"

"I don't know but we don't have much tim-" The opening of the door cut off the man's voice as his wife rushed to his side. The light from the reading lamp only got as far as the man's waist. His knee high black boots were partially covered by his jacket and the blade held behind him could not be fully seen as it extended above the door frame outside. However the lack of light could not take away from the bright green eyes of the man. Behind him stood a figure in a suit. The second man stepped forward, he had short brown slick backed hair.

Cole, the current head of the Turks, looked around the small living room and made a dramatic sigh before looking at the couple. "So Mr. and Mrs. Telly isn't it?" the couple didn't respond. "I shall get right to the point, where is the girl?"

"What girl?" he answered defiantly, "We only have a son."

"I didn't say she was a relative, where is the girl you've been hiding?"

"I don't know what you're talking about, my wife, my son and I live here alone."

Cole looked the man straight in the eye, "Then why are you so scared that we're here? You must have done something."

The wife spoke up from behind her husband, "We've done nothing wrong!"

"Jessa please."

"I repeat, then why are you so frightened?"

William answered him calmly, "Who wouldn't be with ShinRa employees waltzing into their homes. Especially a Turk."

"True, true. I can see how you would be freightened of that. Such a simple, nice couple. Living your average lives here in the big city of Midgar. Before I get off the subject I shall get to the point. Give us the girl and we will leave you to live your simple lives, you might even recieve an extra nice bonus for your cooperation. But..." He paused to gauge their reaction, "if you refuse, my comrade here shall be forced to... deal with you and then we shall take the girl anyway." Jessa tried to make out the man behind Cole upon noticing this Cole smiled, "You do know who he is don't you?"

He made a breif motion with his hand and Sephiroth stepped into the light. The gasps from Jessa and William caused Cole's grin to grow. "So I take it you have heard of him. So tell me; what is your choice?"

"We don't know who you're talking about," William said flatly. Jessa was clung to her husband's side eyes watered and tears streaking down her face.

"Oh come come now, her features aren't that common, perhaps you've seen her at least. Red hair, hazel green eyes, about fourteen or fifteen years old."

"I tell you again, we don't know!"

A chuckle escaped the Turk's lips, "What do you know Sephiroth, good people do still exist. Too bad their endangered, you know what to do." Cole turned and headed out the door before he was three steps from the house the couple was dead and the house was starting to catch fire. Sephiroth stepped out of the house a few moments later a doll in his hand and his sword straped to his back. "This is definitly a girl's toy. Played with but fairly new." He scanned the surrounding area, and he caught sight of a boy in a familiar alley way and pointed, "there."

Cole looked over just in time to see the boy run out from the alley towards his burning home. He wasn't really that much of a boy. Sixteen at the least, he screamed for his parents as he ran towards the house stopping just outside the door. "Why aren't you doing anything!?" he asked the strangers standing outside.

"Because," Cole answerd pulling a silenced gun from his coat, "we already did." He could see the realization cross his face and instant before a bullet went through his heart. The Turk walked over picked up the boy and tossed him into the inferno like one would throw a log into the fireplace. He turned and saw his "comrade" heading toward the alley from which the son had emerged.

The alley was very dark, whatever streetlights used to be here had obviously been burned out. He knew someone was here, he could hear their fast paced breathing and gasps. The light from the blazing fire completely shadowed his face and caused his hair to appear a light orange color. He stood at the end of a dumpster. In the corner, huddled up against the wall and dumpster was the young red-head he had been looking for. He tapped the side of the dumpster with his hand and Ralena's wide green eyes looked straight into his. Tears were falling from her eyes and she had looked up at him with such honest, unbridled, all consuming fear.

Fear. Fear the one thing that he had never wished her to look at him with, the only thing he dreaded in her. When her eyes met his he had been completely taken aback, and for the first time since he could remember he felt fear. He was afriad that she would always remember him as the beast she saw now. This unrecognizable devil from hell sent to take her from her haven back to Satan himself. He was afraid that he had just lost the only friend he had ever had. "Mako eyes..." he whispered suddenly, he had never noticed it before. He had just realized that her eyes had not always been plain hazel, they had changed at times, like when he first met her.

Neither knew how much time had passed, it was not long but had felt like forever. Sephiroth then grabbed something from his jacket and gave it to her, the doll and the tape recorder box he took from in the house. Ralena looked at the strange monster and heard one word hoarsly whispered to her, "run." She slowly raised up to a crouch, her confused fearful eyes never leaving his, after a second more she followed his command and ran.

He took a few steps after her before Cole approached the entrance to the alley. "Is she in there?"

He did not turn his eyes from where he had seen her dissapear around the corner. "No, the boy must have told her to run. Perhaps you should not have killed him, he could have told us where she would hide."

"I doubt he would have, he was probably a good person too."

"But he was younger, lower pain tolerance."

Cole gave Sephiroth sly grin, "You are a killing machine." Sephiroth followed the man back to the car. He held nothing but distaste for this man there was something different from doing what you're told and revelling in absolute chaos.

Later that night in his room Sephiroth was cleaning his blade, which he couldn't just seem to manage. He gave up eventually and hung it back up on the wall. He sat down on his bed and rested his chin on his fist and stared at it. He had told her that no one ever left the ShinRa. But then again why couldn't he? When he first thought of helping her escape he remembered that he could probably kill anyone who tried to stop him. He had no real alligence to these people. But still...

He pulled his bed away from the wall and pulled out the stuffed chocobo from the girl whose haven he had just destoyed. He stared at that for a long while, running his fingers along the seams. Staring into the formerly glossy eyes, they had dulled with time, dirt, and scracthes. He looked into them and saw Ralena's eyes in them, all of her eyes. Green, hazel, happy, sad, hopeful, distressed, content, wonder, puzzled, and fear. He blinked as he felt the barest wet touch his eyes, "I'm sorry Ralena, forgive me. Please forgive me."

A knock came to the door disturbing his would be prayer. He shoved the doll under a pillow and opened the door. Standing in the hall was one of the new Turk candidates. He wore a blue suit, lighter than those of an actual Turk's, but his shirt was untucked and not buttoned all the way, he wasn't even wearing a tie. A pair of goggle like sunglasses were on his head where his spikey red hair met his face. Sephiroth recognized him as the young man who was friends with the president's son. He assumed the boy actually had some fighting abilities and was not just being considered as a Turk due to his friendship. "What is it?"

Dispite his laid back appearance Reno spoke to him with the confidence of a soldier though lacking the proper vocabulary. "Rufus' old man's got another mission for ya next week sir, I was told to bring you the folder with all the info." He held out the file and waited for Sephiroth to take it.

Sephiroth gave Reno a queer look and took it, "And why did they tell you to do this."

"I dunno I guess they wanted to see how I react to intimidating circumstances."

"And..."

Reno gave the SOLDIER and cocky grin, "I read your file, you've never killed unless you were ordered to, and since you didn't answer the door with that blade o' yours ready I'm guessin' your not gonna kill me. So basically I ain't got a reason to be frightened of you... yet anyway."

Sephiroth grinned, "heh. You're an interesting one. You'll either go far or die to soon to find out how far you can go."

Reno looked back at him with the same cocky grin, "Anyway I gotta go," he started to walk off down the hall and held up a hand in a half wave as he walked away, "See ya around Seph."

What an odd encounter... Sephiroth closed his door and opened the file, perhaps he could talk to the president about leaving after this mission was finished. "Hmm... Nibelhiem..."

* * *

Vincent awoke late in the night, he could tell because the moon was visible through the window. But something wasn't quite right. Then he knew what it was. Ralena was gone. He sat up and looked around the room. Then he noticed that the hall way door was cracked open and it was always shut at night. He got out of bed and walked out into the hall. From what he could tell none of the lights in the house had been turned on. He looked down the hall and noticed Sephiroth's door was open, another oddity. He walked over and noticed Ralena was leaning up against the door, her wet eyes the only indication of her inner thoughts.

"Ralena?"

"Huh?" She looked up long enough to see who it was then turned her eyes back to the sleeping boy, "... oh it's you Vincent." They both stood in silence for several minutes till she spoke up again. "What did they do to him Vincent? What was he? What did they make him?" She brought her hands and chin to her chest. "Which was he Vincent? and which is worse? An angelic demon or a demonic angel?"

He put his arms around her and drew her into an embrace both looking at the boy. "Whatever he was, Hojo and Jenova saw to clipping his wings."

She smiled and closed her eyes, "Not before he saved me."

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A little more insight on the Sephiroth in from empathy.... don't know what else to say