By now, it should be plainly and blatantly obvious that what I write is smattered with gay sex, or implications thereof. In this case, it's most of SOLDIER, and also implies the fact that Hojo screwed around with a few things and SOLDIERs can have babies like girls. There are other things implied, referred to, and just plain done, I can't put it all here or it'll ruin the plot.
For those of you who get cheezed at me for 'not following the story-line', this is an alternate reality. Sephiroth managed to convince Genesis and Angeal to stay, so Zack didn't kick the proverbial bucket. However, Hojo did decide to have some fun, and Cloud is now counted as a SOLDIER, but at the lowest rank.
If I owned Final Fantasy then 13-2 would have turned out a lot better and there would be an announcement that 7 was being remade for all consoles. As it is, I don't own it, and heck, they probably hate me for what I do to their characters if they read this stuff. It's a fan-fic.
To Be Loved . . .
Cloud rested his head on his arms, trying to ignore the rattling of the canister as Marleen shook up another martini for her 'father'. The tiny bar known as Seventh Heaven was a favorite retreat for the members of SOLDIER, but Cloud's mind wasn't on that.
Zack laughed nervously beside him. Someone in the bar must have told a joke or something. Cloud's head felt like a sledgehammer had hit it. For that matter, so did his stomach. With a disgruntled face, Cloud made the short trip from the edge of the bar to the garbage can and threw up.
Sephiroth raised an eyebrow. He had an idea what was up; it was probably the same reason he was avoiding the alcoholic drinks his partner and friend, Genesis, was downing so readily.
"Genesis, until we know just who that bastard screwed with . . ."
"I'm the one who screwed you, remember?" Genesis said. Shiva help him, he was so different when he was drunk. Looser lipped, too.
"I mean which of us he changed." Sephiroth returned. "You might want to lay off the booze."
"So, you made SOLDIER, huh, Cloud?"
Cloud glared up at his sort-of childhood friend. "Yeah." he grumbled.
"You should be drinking." Tifa grinned, helping him back up to the bar. "Or are you already too plastered?"
Zack sighed. "Your stomach again?"
"We should head back." said Angeal, paying for the drinks. "I'll drive."
Cloud made a face. Wasn't he supposed to try to actually keep foods and stuff down? He shook his head.
"We're not that far off." said Zack. "I'll walk him back."
"Ok." Angeal replied. He let Sephiroth climb in the front, forcing Genesis into the back of the car before driving off.
For a while Zack and Cloud walked in silence.
"Not stopping Hojo sooner." Zack scratched the back of his neck. "I mean, we knew he was doing something to the SOLDIERs, but it wasn't until he got his hands on Sephiroth that anyone really paid it any mind. And then, you passed the exam, and he got his hands on you for your initial dose of Mako. Angeal and I practically tore the lab apart to get you, but . . ."
"It's alright, Zack. I made it out ok, and Sephiroth is alright, too."
Zack was silent.
"Did something happen?"
"Sephiroth got sick on his last assignment. Outright puked right after they finished, and didn't stop until he collapsed. They brought him back on a stretcher, and ran several tests. Almost did an MRI on him when Sephiroth moaned and held his lower stomach, close to the pelvis."
Cloud's hand subconsciously touched his own body there. "Did they find anything?"
"Yeah, but Shin-ra has him under orders not to say anything, apparently. But he's the reason all of us SOLDIERs have been under watch, and tested. We just don't know the results." Zack saw Cloud had put his hand on his lower stomach. "Hey, buddy. Is something wrong?"
Cloud let his hand drop and swallowed. He'd wondered why, even though he'd been accepted, it had taken him a few weeks of repeated tests and near-picklings of Mako before he'd been allowed to train. There were frequent gaps in his memory, which didn't help with things, either. And then, his motion sickness had gotten worse. Way worse. As in, he'd get sick just walking. So, on the pretext of getting it for someone else, Cloud had purchased and used one of those wonderful family-planning sticks.
Now he had the bad luck of informing the probable father the results.
"Have they been testing you, too, Zack?"
"Yeah. Nothing really bad, but I have been wondering about the blood work and the recent sonograms."
"They were doing sonograms on you, too?"
Cloud nodded. He fished into his pocket and handed Zack the white stick.
"This looks like a pregnancy tester."
Cloud nodded. A few tears slid down his face.
"You knock up your girlfriend or something?" Zack asked, looking at the results window. "It says positive."
Cloud nodded again. "It *hic* it's mine."
"Well, if you were the one banging the girl, then yeah."
Cloud shook his head. "I mean, that's my results."
Zack gave him a screwy look. "Say what?"
Cloud tried furiously to dry his eyes. "I said those are my results." He looked up at Zack. "I'm pregnant."
"What? Does Shin-ra know about this?"
Cloud nodded. "I asked, and the sonogram tech said they had been monitoring the baby since the sonogram could see it's heartbeat. They're watching me, Zack. They asked me to kill the baby before it got to big, but I said no. I couldn't do that to a helpless baby." More tears flew.
Sephiroth kicked Hojo away from him. He had no idea why his father wanted to deal with him now. Scratch that, he knew why. He just didn't want Hojo to experiment on his baby, the way he'd been experimented on when he'd grown inside Lucretia. He'd woken the Turk under Shin-ra manor, practically begging him to wake and join the ranks of the Turks, asking that Vincent Valentine become the protector for his own unborn child. To his delight, Vincent had agreed, and was often hiding in a shadow somewhere nearby.
Vincent materialized, and Hojo backed away. While he didn't really understand, he knew that Sephiroth, the child his dear Lucretia had borne, was now with child and desperate to keep it safe. It was a good enough reason to be woken up and pressed back into service.
The actual doctor from Shin-ra walked over, noticing the Turk standing beside the door. He droned on about how Sephiroth was the most important SOLDIER Shin-ra had, and that it would ruin their reputation if he continued with the pregnancy.
Sephiroth only half-listened, his hand gently caressing the slightly hardened expanse just under his navel. He knew Shin-ra wanted his child dead, but how could he? His own mother had struggled to live when she was pregnant with him; it was his honor and desire to do something for her (despite her being dead) that made him refuse the abortion. Just like Lucretia before him, Sephiroth would struggle and fight to keep his child.
"Are you even listening to me?" the doctor demanded.
"Hmm?" Sephiroth looked over. His green-blue eyes noticed Genesis was being tested in the room across from him. "How long before I'm allowed to say something?"
"Never." the doctor said. "I have orders to convince you that it's in the best interests for everyone if the pregnancy is terminated."
Sephiroth looked downcast, the first time anyone had seen him like that. Well, aside from the other SOLDIERs when they were alone. He placed a hand on his firmed stomach again. "Do you know why I'm here?" he asked.
"Shin-ra ordered you." said the doctor.
"Because, even though my existence was killing her, my mother never gave up on the pregnancy and killed me. She believed that everything would turn out alright. And it did, until the delivery, when Shin-ra swept me away from her without even letting her see me. I saw her, five years later, sitting like some broken doll behind glass, still begging for her baby. She was so happy to see me, and tried to tell me as much as she could before the Turks took me away. She died later that day."
Vincent blinked. So that was how his beloved Lucretia had died? He had thought it had been murder, the same way he'd 'died' and had been reborn with several added features.
"But, it's in Shin-ra's best interests if . . ."
"The old man can go screw himself." said Sephiroth. "I keep my baby."
Genesis blinked. "I'm what?" he asked.
"It's in your best interests if you terminate the pregnancy now." droned the doctor.
Genesis wasn't listening. Pregnant? Was that Hojo's whole plan from the beginning? Were all the SOLDIERs like this? Had he messed around with others as well? His hand touched his lower body, and the doctor realized he wasn't getting through.
"Nurse, give me the syringe."
Genesis looked up. He saw the needle and panicked. He hated needles. It even said that in his medical files. Getting up, Genesis took off out of the room, hiding in the first place he could think of: the room across from his.
Sephiroth had been just on his way out when Genesis ran into him, shaking. "What is it?"
"They're going to kill it!" Genesis sobbed. His hands tightened into fists over Sephiroth's long coat.
Sephiroth put a hand on Genesis's back. "You're expecting?" he asked.
Genesis nodded and sniffled.
"Come on." The white-haired male walked Genesis to the living quarters, where Angeal was just walking in with Zack and SOLDIER 3rd Class Cloud Strife.
"What's wrong?" asked Angeal. He saw Genesis looked a wreck. "Is something up? The puppy's sad, too."
"Yeah." Sephiroth looked at Zack. "His apartment is the only one that probably isn't bugged."
Zack nodded and got the door. Sephiroth looked around, then settled on the semi-soft sofa. Genesis sat beside him on one side, Angeal on the other. Zack sat and pulled Cloud into his lap.
"Now, what's going on?" asked Zack.
"Hojo warped us." Sephiroth said. "For better or worse, at least myself and Genesis are expecting."
Cloud blinked at them. "You, too?"
"You're expecting as well?" asked Sephiroth.
"Actually, according to the files I managed to convince a certain Turk to hand over, we all are." said Angeal. "With about a week's space between our conception dates."
Zack just blinked. "I'm what?" he asked.
Cloud looked at him. "Like me, you're having a baby."
Vincent seemed to materialize from the shadows. "You're not the only ones. Tseng is being pulled from duty unless he agrees to the company's terms and terminates." He stepped a little further from the shadows, and they could see he had Tseng with him.
Unlike the SOLDIERs, Tseng was a career kind of person. His job came before anything else. He was cold, cruel, and calculating, and therefore would find no amount of displeasure in terminating something that got in his road. Everyone knew that, so why was the head of the Turks here with Vincent? Or was he here to rat them all out and force the termination process on all of them?
Angeal saw it first. It was an obvious hint that something was different about Tseng. The normally neat suit was untucked, and yet it still held to his frame. Tseng was further along than any of them. To terminate now meant also knowing that he'd killed an innocent.
Tseng winced, trying to pull his arm away from Vincent. His head was still reeling from the fact that he had to choose between two orders. If he obeyed Shin-ra, he kept his career until the Head of the Science and Research Department found out and killed him. If he obeyed the Head of the Science and Research Department, Shin-ra would make his life miserable, and most likely kill him. He was in a no-win situation.
"He looks shell-shocked." said Zack.
Cloud slid out of Zack's lap and walked over. His small hand touching Tseng's face snapped the man from his thought pattern. He blinked, noticing first the bright Mako-blue eyes that blinked at him. This one was in the same boat as him, even though he didn't know it yet. In fact, all the SOLDIERs, bar perhaps Sephiroth, were in the same boat.
Cloud blinked at Tseng. "You look worried." he said softly.
"I was thinking." Tseng said softly, almost wistful. It was few and far between that anyone heard even a faint trace of emotion from him, and now, his whole voice seemed filled with worry, doubt, and a faint trace of fear.
"About what?" Cloud asked.
"What to do. What any of us should do." Tseng replied. He swallowed, knowing that at least two SOLDIERs had just recently been informed of their own pregnancies. "If we obey Shin-ra, Hojo kills us. If we obey Hojo, Shin-ra kills us." He slumped in Vincent's hold, feeling the other Turk hold him close to keep him from falling. This also showed the others the fact that Tseng had probably been trying to hide the fact he'd been mulling this over for a long while. Probably long enough that, should they try to force him to terminate, he could birth and have the baby live, albeit in the special care ward for a long time.
"So, what do we do?" asked Angeal. He noticed Genesis was leaning on Sephiroth and crying.
"We run." said Zack. "There's a cave not that far from Midgar, fairly well hidden. We can hide there."
"It'll look a little strange, but we each have some time built up to use as away time." said Sephiroth. "Cloud's is shortest, I'm guessing."
Cloud shook his head. "I still have my amassed time away from my Infantry training, so I've got almost equal to two months."
Angeal looked at Tseng. "How much time off do you have?" he asked.
"A year." Tseng replied. "I haven't really used any."
"Get nine month off." said Angeal. "Give the excuse your monitoring us in our time off. Then meet us at the train to the Slums in Sector 7 in an hour."
Tseng nodded and headed out.
"One hour?" asked Zack.
"It'll give Shin-ra little to no time to argue all of us going on vacation suddenly. Take only what you can fit in a duffel bag for clothes, and bring what you can for food." Angeal said. He got up. "See you at the train."
Tseng swallowed. He knew he was early, but being casually dressed for the first time in ages made him nervous. Although a few people would have argued that dress pants and a polo shirt wasn't casual wear.
He spotted Zack and Cloud coming along. Cloud carried a single small duffel bag, while Zack carried a slightly bigger one and a backpack. Behind them came the red-clad Genesis, followed by Angeal. Where was Sephiroth?
Sephiroth suddenly materialized beside Tseng, his silver hair hidden under a cloak. Since he was the most recognizable of them, he'd taken the unfortunate liberty of changing his look entirely. And it worked, which was amazing for a guy who'd never had to try and master the oh-so-wonderful contraption known as a bra before. If it hadn't been for his Mako-blue eyes with the slit iris, Tseng wouldn't have recognized him.
They all boarded the train, then followed Zack out into the outskirts of Midgar. Twice they had to pause to let Cloud vomit; once after the train and once after the truck ride out from under the plate. It was nightfall when they arrived at the cave.
Dinner was rather simplistic, but they didn't care. For the moment, they were free from Shin-ra and Hojo's grasps. They lay out their bed-rolls inside the cave and went to get some sleep.
The two months of freedom came to an end rather quickly. They'd all agreed that they would end up AWOL for a while, until all the children were born. Then, they would return to Shin-ra together with the excuse that they had fallen sick, and had avoided returning in order to keep the company safe.
As a bonus, Tseng had tried his hardest to teach the others how to attend to a birth, seeing as how his was going to be the first. Genesis and Cloud seemed to retain the most information, followed by Sephiroth, Angeal, and lastly Zack.
They started noticing Shin-ra troops marching around the outskirts, and search helicopters doing sweeps of the area. Thanks to some women's clothes, they had been able to slip in and out of Midgar to buy food and some basic medical supplies.
It was evening when Tseng felt a slight pain in his lower body. His enormous stomach felt as though a cat had just walked down it. He made a face and tried to get comfortable to sleep. Somehow, he just couldn't, as the pain gradually got stronger. He watched as Sephiroth switched with Angeal for the night watch, and then as the sun slowly began to rise. The pain had slowly but steadily gotten more rhythmic, more intense. He panted slightly as he tried to get comfortable, and then, a sharp movement downwards. Without thinking, he threw his head back and moaned. His pants became more ragged, and he felt someone touch his forehead. He moaned again as that sharp pain came again. He knew just by touch that Sephiroth was trying to help him prepare for the baby that was already beginning to crown. The pain was almost too much, and he screamed in agony as the child came. Thankfully, they had known he was carrying only one. The person that had been at his side tried to help him settle his breathing, then held him semi-sitting as the tiny baby was passed to him.
Tseng looked down at the child. His child. He blinked. The hair was black, alright, but were those hints of red in it? Tseng only knew of one opportunity a red-head had had to sleep with him. It had been a party at the Shin-ra offices, and someone had spiked his drink. He'd woken up the next morning with a bad hangover, stripped of his clothes, and with a butt-naked Reno beside him. Come to think of it, Elena had also been there, stripped down to her birthday-suit as well. Damn, Reno could be such a man-whore.
"It's a boy." said Sephiroth. "Thought you might want to know."
A son. Tseng carefully brushed his hand over the baby's soft cheek. Even though the methods were somewhat different, he had a son. What would ever possess Shin-ra to kill something so sweet and innocent as this? He held the baby close. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he figured Shin-ra was going to have to let him re-decorate his office.
Genesis looked around. His red hair had grown just long enough for him to let it hang partially in his face, and he really didn't want to know why Cloud had known how to do makeup. He was wearing a green maternity sun-dress, and was currently in Midgar to buy formula for Tseng's baby, as well as the next few that were coming. He sighed, noticing that the cashier was staring at the seven cans of formula he'd bought.
"You know, until you know what the baby's going to eat, you shouldn't buy so much." the cashier said.
"I live with other pregnant women." Genesis said in his best feminine voice. "We share getting the baby things." He paid, bagged the formula, and headed out. Thanks to some searching, they had acquired a rather beat up old motorcycle and side-car, which they now used to get back and forth. Of course, the motorcycle was hidden at the other end of the cave, so as to not lead Shin-ra right to them.
He noticed the screams of pain and anguish first. One of the others was birthing, and by the sounds of it, it was Sephiroth. He hurried through the cave and got to the other end just as Sephiroth finished. The silver-haired SOLDIER looked awful, and it was anyone's guess why. Because Tseng had basically stolen a hand-held sonogram, they had known Sephiroth had been the worst off of all of them. The proud SOLDIER had been carrying triplets.
Sephiroth panted, glad the ordeal was over. He looked up at Angeal, who was now holding him semi-upright, and tried to calm himself. The first baby was laid in his arms, and Sephiroth cried. They weren't sad tear, though, but rather tears of joy.
"They're all boys." said Cloud as he wrapped up the other two babies. "And they all have your silver hair."
Sephiroth sighed. His apartment was going to have to change to accommodate the children, and he was probably going to have to beg Vincent to guard and protect them all from both Hojo and Shin-ra.
He looked up at Genesis. "Hey."
"Hey." Genesis sat down on a log nearby that they had basically slashed at with their swords to make a bench. He put the bag of formula cans down and looked at Sephiroth's triplets. "They look like you." he said.
"This one has your baby-face." Sephiroth returned. He smiled as the baby began to suck away at the bottle he offered the child. "Right, Kadaj?"
"So, how early are they?" Genesis asked. He blinked as Cloud put a baby in his lap and handed him a bottle.
"Two weeks. Tseng said I actually managed to carry them pretty far along." Sephiroth replied. He blinked as Kadaj paused on the bottle long enough to burp, then returned to the food.
"Vincent should be by soon with this week's food and an update." said Zack. He groaned slightly as the baby inside him wiggled around.
"You alright, Zack?" asked Cloud.
"Yeah, I'm fine." Zack returned. He looked over at Angeal, who lay silently on his bedroll. The elder SOLDIER's silence was bothering him. "Angeal?"
"Hmm?" Angeal looked over. "What is it, Zack?"
"You've been awfully quiet. Something wrong?"
Angeal swallowed. "I . . . it stopped moving."
Tseng looked over at him. Angeal was, technically, the next to birth, followed by Zack, Genesis, and Cloud. "When did it stop?"
"About an hour ago. I think . . . it might just be sleeping."
Tseng fished the small sonogram from his bag and made Angeal lie on his back. The wand trailed lightly over the SOLDIER's expanded form, and Angeal shuddered. Like the others, he wore a simple maternity dress in case of sudden labor, like poor Sephiroth. Three hours was all it had taken for the silver SOLDIER to go from the beginning to having all three born.
"Angeal, legs up and apart." said Tseng suddenly.
Angeal did as he was asked, feeling somewhat self-conscious. He winced as Tseng checked something.
"How long have you been leaking fluid?" Tseng asked.
"I'm what?" Angeal asked, more startled than nervous.
"You're leaking fluid." Tseng replied. "Amniotic fluid. You have to have that baby now."
"But I . . ."
Tseng gave Angeal an injection. "Don't argue." he said. "It's this or the baby dies."
Angeal swallowed, twisting as his body suddenly began to go into harsh labor. He gasped, but tried to remain strong. It failed as the baby began to move outwards.
Zack came over and tried to comfort him.
Vincent looked up, suddenly worried. It was daylight, and Cloud was standing outside the cave. The blonde was wearing a cape and dress, but it still unnerved Vincent that the boy was waiting outside.
"What are you doing outside?" the Turk asked.
"There's so much blood." said Cloud. "Zack sent me outside so I wouldn't get sick." He returned to a smooth rock that was just outside the cave and wrapped himself tighter in the cloak. They had run away from Shin-ra in the early spring, and now it was late summer/early fall.
Vincent stepped into the cave and saw the issue. Angeal had birthed quite quickly, but it had torn him up. The SOLDIER would need proper medical help.
"Where's the child?" Vincent asked.
"Zack has him." Tseng replied.
"Keep the baby here. I need to take him back."
"But . . ." Zack started. He swallowed.
"I'll tell them I found him alone, bleeding, with a dead child." said Vincent. "I'll return later to let you know how he fares." He scooped up Angeal, noticing that the SOLDIER had been dressed in his regular armor, save the fact it was a skirt he had bloodied instead of his standard-issue pants. He headed down to his own motorbike, a newer model called the Fenrir. He balanced Angeal in front of him and gunned the motor as he sped back to Midgar. It was a dangerous ride, considering he out-ran the train and left heavy skid marks on the pavement of the underground parking lot in the Shin-re building.
The medical team looked startled when Vincent carried the bloodied SOLDIER into the clinic. "What in the world?" asked Reno, who was in for his usual battery of immunity shots, considering he was one of the better-known company whores.
"Where was he?" demanded Lazard.
"I found him." Vincent replied. "While on my search route. He was lying there, bloodied, and a dead child lay in his arms. I left the corpse in favor of returning with one of Shin-ra's best SOLDIERs to get him proper treatment."
Angeal was attended to, and fairly soon was conscious and demanding answers.
Vincent stepped in, flicking a wire to shut off the camera that was in there. Or at least the sound feed.
"Angeal, settle." he said, placing a hand on the worn father's chest. "It's alright."
"Alright? Alright?! They said my baby was dead!"
Vincent made sure he wasn't facing any reflective material that might give him away and pressed a finger to the other man's lips. "Zack has him."
Angeal broke down in tears. "Is he alright?"
"As far as I know." Vincent replied. "Don't worry. I brought you back because you needed help. Just rest and get better. And keep up the distraught act. It'll look better towards that fat ass-hole, Shin-ra."
Angeal nodded, still crying. "Can you tell Zack the baby's name?" he whispered. "It's . . ."
The three weeks until Zack was due flew past, and he was still expecting when Genesis birthed a week later.
Cloud noticed his worries, and sat with him the one evening just outside the cave.
"Hey, Cloud." He looked over. Cloud seemed to have this bright, angelic glow around him, making him seem almost unearthly. His friend always seemed so gentle, so calm, so . . . so cute. It was hard imagining that sweet and innocent face twisted in anguish and pain, and yet, Zack knew it was coming. Cloud was going to be wracked with pain, and that innocent face would be twisted up in hurt, and there would be nothing he could do to soften the agony until it was all over.
"You worried about something?" Cloud asked.
"I'm overdue." Zack replied. He looked back up at the stars.
"Tseng said that you aren't technically overdue until after 42 weeks." Cloud returned.
"That's only a week away, Cloud." Zack reminded him.
"We could always ask him to make you have your baby." Cloud said. "But . . . you might end up like Angeal."
Zack sighed. "I think I'll wait a little longer." he said. "The baby still seems strong and active, so I'm not too worried."
Cloud looked up at the stars again. "I'm a little worried."
"I've seen this happen four times, now. I know what's coming, and to be honest, I'm scared. I both do and don't want to go through that pain, the struggle, to have my baby." Cloud looked down and placed his hand on the large belly in front of him. "We all seem to be having boys."
"Yeah, I noticed." said Zack. He looked over at Cloud again. "Can I ask you something?"
"Can . . . can you be there for me, when mine comes?" Zack asked in almost a whisper.
Cloud nodded. "Can . . . can you do the same for me?"
Shin-ra found them. It was early morning, roughly three days before Cloud was due and Zack would be deemed overdue. They were arrested, loaded into the back of a truck with only boxes lined with burlap to put the babies in. Tseng was insistent that the boxes be strapped in properly before they left, and Sephiroth second the motion. And you didn't say no to Sephiroth, especially since his father was the head of the Research and Development Team.
Cloud looked uncomfortable as they drove back towards the city. Zack didn't look that good either.
"What's wrong with them?" the soldier in the back asked.
Zack and Cloud both winced at the same time and looked onto the truck bed they were sitting on. It was wet.
"Oh, Shiva help us." said Sephiroth. He and Tseng both moved to help to pair of gasping males. Not only did Cloud and Zack have to contend with the agony of labor and delivery, they also had to deal with being bounced around in the back of a truck while doing it.
Genesis swallowed, knowing that even though all the children were born, there would be no mercy for the tiny infants when they reached Shin-ra. Sadly, he was right.
Tseng held his son close, the child batting at his long hair with his fists. Sephiroth was a little more awkward, holding only two of his children, but Tseng scooped up the third before one of the infantrymen could grab little Loz. Genesis held his and Angeal's children, trying not to panic as Cloud and Zack were forced to stand, even after what they had gone through on the trip there. Cloud's arms wrapped protectively around his twins, and Zack was doing the same with his. They didn't even know what the children were.
"Put those two in wheelchairs, yo." Reno came walking over, Rude, Elena, and Cisnei following. "What are you, dense?" He looked over at Tseng, his eyes resting on the three-month-old the head Turk was holding.
"Reno, I . . ." Tseng swallowed as Reno took the child away from him.
"So, this is why Hojo was pestering me." Reno said. "Yo, Tseng. He's a cute one."
"His name's Trevor." Tseng said.
"Trevor, huh?" Reno still held him as the group was basically marched (except Cloud and Zack, who were so weak in the legs that they were in wheelchairs) up to Shin-ra's office. Angeal joined them just before they entered.
Mr. Shin-ra was a fat, brutish, pig-headed man. The boy in the white suit beside him was slender, quiet, almost no-existent beside him.
"Dead." Mr. Shin-ra said. "I want all those disgusting little brats dead."
Angeal took his one-month-old baby from Genesis and held him close.
"On one condition." said Tseng.
"And that is?"
The boy beside the company owner looked upset.
"Why would I kill my only heir?"
"Why would we kill our only children?" Tseng countered. He indicated towards Sephiroth. "Why would you deny your SOLDIERs something that will make them fight and work harder for this company?"
"Where's your proof that they will fight harder?" Mr. Shin-ra demanded.
"We have something to come back to." said Genesis. "Something to fight for, instead of just your stupid electric company."
Mr. Shin-ra snorted. "Hojo sees the children . . ."
They never saw Sephiroth move so fast. Because Tseng's other arm was free, he had been passed Yazoo, leaving Sephiroth with only Kadaj in hand as he seemed to vanish across the room and hold his employer by the tie high enough the fat man was on his toes.
"Look at him." Sephiroth said evenly. He forced Mr. Shin-ra to look at little Kadaj. "Hojo's already had his fun. There's enough fucking Mako in my body that my sons were born to do nothing but serve as SOLDIERs. Heck, I bleed Mako if you cut me. Hojo will not touch these children. If I EVER see him near them, you'll be looking for a new head of Research and Development. Am I understood?"
Mr. Shin-ra nodded, scared half out of his whits.
However, Sephiroth didn't let him go. He dragged his fat boss over to the desk and threw him into his chair. "I want it in writing, in triplicate, for each of us." He was thankful there was a pad of carbon papers, otherwise this would take a large amount of their time, and from the crying Trevor was making, feeding time would soon be upon them. When Mr. Shin-ra refused, Sephiroth pulled out the Masamune.
Rufus swallowed, but when his father made no motion to do as he was asked, Rufus got angry. "Move over, old man." He pushed his father out of the way and wrote out on the paper that Edgar Shin-ra and Rufus Shin-ra, as well as their Secret Service, the Turks, would not in any way harm or kill the children borne to Tseng, Sephiroth, Angeal Hewley, Genesis Rhapsodos, Zackary Fair, or Cloud Strife. It went on to say that unless the children were accepted as SOLDIERs, Prof. Hojo had no right to touch said children, and that their respective fathers were to be present if and when they were accepted. He signed it, then made his father sign it. The legal white copies were handed over to Rude for filing, the pink copies were placed in the safe behind him, and the yellow copies were handed to each of the new fathers.
"Thank you, Rufus." said Sephiroth. They turned to leave.
"Wait." Rufus stepped out into the hall with them.
"What is it?" Angeal asked.
"I . . . I saw Hojo's notes. Did you all have boys?"
"As far as I know." said Genesis.
"You may want a second look at Cloud and Zack, then." said Sephiroth. "They got lucky."
Zack was laughing as his one child made spit bubbles at him. "She's beautiful, Cloud."
Cloud nodded. He looked down at his own children, one of each, exactly like Zack. Somehow, he was at peace, even though he knew his life had just gotten a lot more complicated.
Fourteen years later . . .
"Dad!" Cloud's daughter came running over. Clutched in her hands was a blue slip of paper.
"What is it, Cinnamon?" Cloud asked. He noticed the other SOLDIERs were being trounced by their kids, too.
"I got accepted!" screamed Yazoo from across the hall.
"Me too!" chimed Trevor as he bounced in front of his usually emotionless father.
"Yipe!" Zack was flat on his back. "What is it, Zephyr?"
The boy looked down at his father and pushed the paper into his face.
"Alright, just let me read it." Zack said, moving the paper back far enough to actually see it. The whole living establishment fell silent as the men read the acceptance notices their children had handed them.
"You sure about this?" asked Cloud.
"There's no turning back once you take this kind of job." said Genesis.
"Is this really what you want?" Sephiroth asked.
All the children nodded.
"I want to do great thing like you did, Dad." said Cash, Cloud's son.
Cloud nodded. "Alright."
"Besides, you got out of SOLDIER." said Loz.
Sephiroth sighed. "I was reassigned after this happened." He indicated to his left leg, which now ended just below the knee. "And you can thank a Behemoth King for this wound and your uncle Zack for saving me." He noticed only Kadaj was without one of the prized blue notes. "Kadaj? Something wrong?"
Kadaj looked at him. He had a page, but it wasn't one of the seemingly coveted blue or red pages (Blue was for SOLDIER, red was for Turks). Instead, he held the dreaded gold page. He swallowed and handed the page to Sephiroth.
Sephiroth read the page, then looked up at Kadaj. "Did you ask for this position?" he asked.
Kadaj nodded. "I wanted to be like you, but in my own way."
Sephiroth sighed, noticing everyone was looking at him. He smiled. "Well, then, I see no reason to dissuade you. I'm just surprised I never saw it coming."
"What's on the gold page?" asked Angeal.
"My son's . . ." Sephiroth smiled and chuckled a bit, "Kadaj, is going to be taking Hojo's place, as the Head of Research and Development."