What t$#%?$#%?

BY : larch
Category: Final Fantasy VII > Yaoi - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 516
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VII, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Instead of investigating as he called it—Cid called it spying—crime scenes and the circumstances of murders or attempted ones, Vincent was stuck at home.
Not his home, Cid’s home. He kept trying to remind himself it wasn’t his room anymore. It wasn’t his bathroom. His toothbrush wouldn’t be on the counter; Cid did what he wanted with Vincent’s favorite towel.
Somehow thinking he didn’t live here, didn’t sleep here, didn’t spend the time enjoying Shera’s meals or Cid’s… behavior, made him slightly depressed and he didn’t know why. It was just a towel, his toothbrush had been destroyed, and there were far better rooms. He’d always found it annoying when Shera actually attempted a rush job on dinner, mixing cooking and work and everyone spent the time picking cogs and gears out of their food while Shera took a nap in hers. Cid’s behavior either made him feel embarrassed and ashamed or Cid wound up with a bruised jaw.
He figured it was just fatigue from his wounds and spent most of the day napping. Cid had gone back to work, promising he’d check with Cloud in case they found anything new. He also decided not to mention Sephiroth, who was behaving himself nicely thanks to the Jenova in him having been destroyed.
Vincent wondered if the point of throwing the strange bomb was to kill Sephiroth, or just Jenova. He didn’t get very far on that subject and fell asleep.
Sephiroth had wandered off from boredom, and Shera came home after working hard on part of the new Rocket.
Shera took a shower after coming home and curled up on the couch in clothes she wasn’t sure if she’d left them on the floor because they were dirty or because they were clean. The shower itself was uneventful, but it was rare for her to clean up after work. Usually, she stayed in her filthy rags and never noticed how many layers of dirt, oil, and grease were on her. Today, though, she’d helped Daren unclog a drain full of pieces of a human and she wanted the smell and the feel of blood and flesh off as soon as possible, with no offense to the patient who was napping in the next room.
Shera’s five minute long channel surfing was interrupted as she heard a knock at the door. "Who is it?" she yelled, getting up.
There was no answer, just another knock at the door.
"If you want the captain, he’s not here right now," she said, almost at the door.
"Daren?" she asked. "Daren is that you?" She opened the door. Then she screamed.
She had no clue who was at the door. She had no idea why he was swinging a knife back to slash at her. She had no idea where the control of her legs went. She had no idea if time had slowed or sped up. She had no idea why he wanted to kill her.
She closed her eyes; it was all she could do.
She heard soft footsteps behind her and a gun going off. How she knew it was aimed in her direction with her head turned the other way and her eyes closed she didn’t know and certainly didn’t care. She felt something singe her hair and the edge of her T-shirt and felt something warm and wet, and slightly gooey hit her face. She opened her eyes and there was no one there. She looked down and saw the mystery man, sans knife and sans head.
She turned around.
Vincent was casually standing in the doorway. Daren had sneaked over and changed his bandages, but none of his wounds were well enough to be uncovered. Vincent’s shirt was missing, revealing more bandages, and that he stil didn’t have any tanlines. He was holding a gun the way Cid held plane parts—expertly and possessively.
"Vincent—how—?" Shera managed. The only light in the room was cast by the flickering TV set, and most of it was obscured by the furniture.
"I have expert eyesight. Don’t worry, I never miss," Vincent said. He still had the bandage over his eye.
"Too bad your hearing could use some improvement," someone said behind him. Before Vincent could turn around, there was a hand over his good eye and holding his head. There was another one on his hand over the gun, twisting his arm and pulling his fingers backwards. Two snapped painfully and he dropped the gun. His other arm was pinned between his attacker and his back
There was a gunshot and he heard the TV screen shatter. Shera screamed it was suddenly muffled, followed by ominous silence. Someone’s sharp boot met with his shin, knocking him off his footing and he was suddenly on the floor, nose first, breaking it.
One of his attackers had their feet on his shoulders, keeping him from moving his arms. Someone else pressed his head into the carpet and he felt a familiar pain in his arm.
He remembered where it was from as the feet left his shoulders. It was a syringe needle.
* * * * *
"Open up!" Cid yelled, banging on the door. "Open up or I’ll tear the damn hinges off and roast you over your burning house with my spear!"
The door unlocked and opened. Daren, more disheveled than usual, opened it. "You already took it off its hinges."
"Well, I’m going to do it again even if it’s already open! Now move over and start fixin’ this guy again!" Cid yelled, shoving Daren out of his way and dumping Vincent’s limp and unconscious body on the table. "Well, get goin’!"
"Would you at least tell me what happened this time?"
"No fucking clue, I come home, the TV’s busted, there’s a dead guy on my porch and the door’s left wide open. I found him drooling all over himself and he pissed all over my rug."
"Well, that means his kidneys are in good shape," Daren said, holding Vincent’s eye open and pulling his ophthalmoscope out of a drawer.
"And just where the hell do you think you’re going to put that?" Cid asked.
"I don’t like the look of this eye of his."
"You fuckhead, he injured the other one."
"No… hold on a minute… oh dear."
"And that means what exactly?"
"It means as much as you hate me you keep bringing me the biggest jobs. Mr. Highwind, this man has mako poisoning."
"How the hell does he get mako poisoning in Rocket Town?"
"I was going to ask you that."
"Don’t you get smart with me!" Cid yelled. "Where’s Shera? All three of us are leaving!"
"Shera’s not here. She fixed the drain hours ago. She said she went home."
"There’s no one at my house unless you count the dead guy on the porch."
"Maybe she went off with … with whoever your friend was. The one that dragged you outside."
"You mean the human lamppost?"
"Tall, bright, makes nice décor, doesn’t say much, and not something you want to walk into."
"Oh, right. Yes, him."
"He’s outside. I found him while I was comin’ over. She ain’t been with him."
Daren said nothing.
"Hey, I’m yelling at you!"
"I noticed."
"Well, do something!"
"What do you want me to do?" Daren asked. "I’m a doctor, not a magician!"
"Maybe if you just answered some questions," Sephiroth asked, suddenly in the doorway.
"Fine. Go on, Mr. Lamppost."
Sephiroth cocked his eyebrows at that.
"He started it," Daren said, pointing at Cid. "But really, I’m not… not hiding anything, I’m not dealing with anyone, I don’t know where Shera is, and… and I’m sorry, but… I can’t help your friend here. I really am."
"You’re lying," Sephiroth said, narrowing his eyes. "You’re hiding something."
"Okay, fine, I admit it. There… there is a way to… I’m going to warn you now it’s considered unorthodox and it could cost me my job, which I’ve lost three times already. I have no clue how often, or how well it’ll work—"
"You’re lying again," Sephiroth said.
"Okay, so it’ll work, it’s just illegal. There is a way to fix mako poisoning, Shinra used to use it all the time, but—ow, my arm doesn’t go that way! What did I say?"
"How’d you know? You work for them? When? I want answers!"
"He can’t answer you if you if you keep talking and he can’t help if you break his arm," Sephiroth said, taking Daren from Cid.
"Fuck off! Get yer own damn victim, he’ mine!" Cid yelled.
"I was in college at the time. My… a family member was in Shinra. They got me the reports on it for my thesis paper."
"And what about you losing yer job? You keep yer damn pants on with this guy or—"
"Yes, I’ve heard all your threats before. It’s nothing like that. I’d rather… not talk about it. I was blackmailed… so to speak. I’d like … to just leave it at that. Ow," Daren said, rubbing his sore arm.
Cid grunted and conceded this round to Daren, but the fight wasn’t over. It was never over for them; Cid wouldn’t let it end if he died.
"Ow. Oh, geez, thank you, Mr. L—Mr. Uh… I didn’t catch your name," Daren said, shaking Sephiroth’s hand.
"Oh… isn’t that nice," Daren said as his eyes rolled backwards and he fell on the floor.
"Great, you killed him," Cid complained. "That’s my job."
* * * * *
"…I…wha…" Daren asked as he suddenly woke up. "Why am I wet?"
"’Cause I dumped water on ya," Cid answered. "Twice. Now get off the floor."
"Oh my God, I had such a nightmare."
"I said get off the floor!" Cid yelled.
"You were going to kill me, I mean really kill me. Well, that part was normal. You dragged your friend in again and you said Shera was dead, and then that young man said he was Sephiroth and you called him a lamppost and—"
"Hey, Dr. Dumbass! Stop babbling and get off the floor like I said!" Cid yelled. "You gonna fix Vince or do I have to break your neck? That mako ain’t gonna go away on it’s own."
"Yeah, yeah," Cid said, yanking Daren off the floor.
"Oh my God! The most infamous psychopathic killer in the world is in my office!"
"Look, autographs later. Go… Go do doctor stuff."
"Excuse me," Sephiroth said, walking over and bending down to look Daren in the eyes.
"…Yes?" Daren squeaked.
"I think he’s two seconds away from using your head as a doorstop. Now, no one’s going anywhere until you get to work. And that includes me."
Daren nodded. "…Okay…"
Sephiroth walked to the other side of the room.
"Right, well, I guess this is ‘goodnight’, then," Daren said. "Take care of your friend. Keep him warm; watch how you talk to him. You’ll probably want to change the sheets once or twice a day." Daren strained to pick Vincent up. "He’s heavy, I think you should carry him home."
"What about that… that thing?"
"What thing? Oh, you’re right. I thought one of his bandages just came off. Here, I can fix his nose for you before you go. Shouldn’t take too long."
"You said you could fix him. Get to it!"
"I also said it was illegal."
"I was in AVALANCHE. How much do you think I care about something being legal or not?"
"Well," Daren said. "Considering your habit of breaking and entering, I’d say none. But that doesn’t mean I said I agreed to any of this."
"What the fuck—What—Why—?"
"I think you broke him. He can’t even swear," Sephiroth said.
"Look… I’m sorry," Daren said.
"You’re lying!" Cid said.
"No, he’s not. He’s just hiding something," Sephiroth said.
"I am not!" Daren said, rather pathetically. Cid scared the fuck out of him and he knew Cid could kill him almost instantly if he tried. Sephiroth was even more frightening.
"Now, he’s lying," Sephiroth said.
"We have ways of making you talk," Cid said.
"You have ways of making me piss my pants," Daren said, backing up a step. "Look, it’s just that it’s kinda personal."
"You saying you’re blackmailing me?" Cid asked.
"No! Nothing like that!"
"Good, ‘cause I like you better without a spine. Why?"
"I told you, it’s personal."
"So’s your spleen," Sephiroth said.
They both turned to him, very afraid.
"Take a good look at his left arm."
"It’s mechanical, so?"
"You seem rather unfazed about that."
"I… I heard it… in the papers. I mean… reports on AVALANCHE wouldn’t leave out such an obvious… detail."
"Take a look at the rest of his arm."
"It’s just—oh."
"I’d say that looks like he got a syringe full of mako injected right into his bloodstream. Now, you’re the only one within miles of a syringe. You knew he was at the house, alone with Shera. You knew he was injured. You knew the backdoor was always unlocked. You were the last one to see Shera, and all we have is the word of a man who’s been fired three times from his job and blackmailed at that. Start talking."
"I… I… it… you don’t…"
Cid smacked him on the head, reasoning his stutter could be fixed the same way as a stuck record. It didn’t work. "You… I … It’s not like…"
Sephiroth sighed. "Slowly."
"Oh, for fuck’s sake, this is going to take forever!" Cid yelled.
"Cid told me you seemed a bit too interested and far too friendly with him," Sephiroth said, nodding towards Vincent"I w"I would never!" Daren exclaimed. "I would never kill anyone… especially him… Not after what he did—uh-oh."
"Keep talking," Cid said. "Did what?"
"He… He saved my life… A long time ago. I thought he was dead for thirty years. I can’t… I can’t just hook him up to a couple of machines… and IV’s and things. Not after what… what Hojo did."
"And what did Hojo do to him?" Sephiroth asked.
"I… I don’t know. It was just in the papers and all over in all the rumors about him. Avalanche found him in locked room in a coffin… No one knows any details, it’s all just speculation…but that’s more than enough."
"I know," Sephiroth said. "I’ve met him."
"My sympathies."
"So that’s it, then," Cid said. "You quit. You’re giving up. I’d punch you’re face in, but you don’t deserve it."
"n’t n’t do it. Not if Hojo did the same thing. I… he’d hate me. I couldn’t stand to be the one to give him nightmares all over again."
"You’re a wuss," Cid said.
"I know."
"I’m not done yet. You’re pathetic and you’re a coward. He’s the only one who could possibly know where Shera is, or even if she’s still alive. If he saved your life, you’re sure doing a crap job at repaying him and this means Hojo wins. He always said he would in the end, I just had to wait for you to move in for it to happen."
"No," Daren said. "No. You don’t understand. Do youe ane any idea what it would mean to me if he thought I was the same as… as… as him?"
"He would think you’re the same as him, not caring about how he ends up as long as it’s no goddamn skin off your noose."
"Nose," Sephiroth corrected.
"He would if he could think. This is a great way to leave him in. Hojo didn’t do that."
Daren said nothing.
"Come on, Vince, we’re going’ home," Cid said, gently picking Vincent up. "Gonna get you somewhere nice and w Jus Just try not to pee on me ‘til we get home."
"Don’t… Don’t go," Daren said. "I’ll do it. Just… just don’t let him hate me, please. Don’t let him think I’m anything like Hojo."
"Hey, I’ve been having a hard enough time trying to keep him from hating me," Cid said. "But I’ll stand up for ya. Just this once, though."
Daren didn’t say anything; he just nodded and wiped his eyes.
"You really are a wuss, you know that?" Cid asked.
"I know. You might want to leave before yurn urn green again."
"As long as someone watches you," Cid said, looking at Sephiroth, who nodded.
"Look, I know it’ll probably make a big mess, but I recommend keeping him off a catheter," Cid said in the doorway, not looking back.
"He hates those."
"They’ve never been very popular with patients," Daren said, going to the sink to wash his hands.
"Before you start," Sephiroth said, suddenly very iesteested in the floor. "You’ve had this done to you before, haven’t you?"
"I…what? No…I… I mean…"
"You’re a very useless liar." Sephiroth bent down and picked up something fairly invisible from one of the tiles.
"How did you know?"
"You couldn’t have been in SOLDIER. And I believe this is yours," Sephiroth said, handing Daren a contact lens. "Cid doesn’t seem to pay attention to small details much."
"You knew?"
"Yes. And I didn’t care."

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