BY : Rina76
Category: Final Fantasy Anime > Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children
Dragon prints: 1515
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VII Advent Children or any of the characters from the film. I am not making money from the writing of this story.

Chapter 34. Sister

In the truck on the way to Edge for our shopping expedition, I gaze out of the window, watching the passing desert landscape. Occasionally, I glance at Yazoo, finding him strangely attractive dressed in teen's clothing. He looks like a whole other person. But when he speaks, he still sounds the same.

"Cate, I've been thinking about the day the baby comes," he begins, breaking the silence. "I want to be able to help you when it arrives, to be able to provide assistance and support. Of course, Loz is going to be there to support you as well but you need someone who knows what's happening medically speaking, someone who can assist if any difficulties occur and guide you through the different stages of labour."

Filled with astonishment, I exclaim, "You want to be my midwife?"

"Well, more like a nurse, anyway. I've patched up Loz and Kadaj's training injuries enough to qualify. And I've been reading everything I can on the subject of birth. That is," he hesitates, "only if you're all right with the idea. After what I told you the other day...what Jenova wanted me to do...I understand if you'd prefer to not have me there during the delivery."

I stare at him, remembering what he said after he cut himself with Kadaj's sword. One of Jenova's orders was for Yazoo to kill me after I had the baby and give it to Kadaj to raise. But that was back then, when Kadaj was here and Jenova was controlling them all. Yazoo is not under her control any longer and he takes orders from no-one. Loz may be the leader now but he is a gentle leader and only offers suggestions, allowing Yazoo to choose what he does and doesn't want to do, the middle Remnant still getting used to having such freedom. Yazoo spent most of his time on the hunt for Mother, trying to be a good son and please her, but he doesn't have to do that anymore. There is no search, no mission, and he is free to fill his days any way he chooses. He is not the same person that he used to be and I know he doesn't wish me any harm.

I gaze back out of the truck window, pondering the idea of Yazoo helping me during labour. I don't have anyone else on the planet who can take his place. I have no family left – not even a grandmother or even an aunt – and I guess I DO need someone there who knows what's going on because Loz, bless his big heart, will probably faint at the first sight of broken waters. He may be a hardened hit man but when it comes to witnessing the birth of his baby, he may not be so tough.

"I suppose I might need some help," I admit, starting to think that Yazoo with his mild manner and patient nature would make a very good male nurse. I know he's already used to the sight of blood and gore. He seems genuinely interested in the whole process of birthing a baby, plus he's attracted to men so I know he won't be looking at my lady-bits with anything other than a doctor's eye.

Oh Gods, do I REALLY want Yazoo looking at my lady-bits? I suddenly think in mortification. Do I really want my boyfriend's brother looking at me down there with my legs spread in a most undignified manner while all kinds of bodily fluids leak out of me?

Hell no, I don't want that at all!

Sensing my uncertainty, he says, "I don't wish to make you uncomfortable and I completely understand if you say no. I will find somebody else with relevant experience, a woman if you prefer, and I will let them handle the proceedings. I will pay them enough to keep silent about the baby and if I think they'll talk, I'll take care of it before anyone finds out."

I frown at him. "You mean, kill them?"

Yazoo answers me honestly and seriously. "If I have to. The baby's life comes first. And yours too, of course," he adds. "At any rate, please think about it. I'm here if you want my assistance."

The more I consider it, the more I come to realise that it might be difficult to find a midwife who can be trusted. I don't want somebody blabbing about my child having slitted pupils or other strange features, but I certainly don't want anyone to get killed for helping me give birth, either. Maybe I should just not have a midwife at all. Maybe I should just have Loz there and that's it. Millions of other women on the planet have their babies at home, with just their partners present.

On the other side, if there's a complication or something goes wrong, Loz won't know how to help me. Additionally, this baby is not an ordinary baby. It's part alien and I am not sure how that will affect the birthing process. If it has extra appendages, like a pair of wings for example, the baby's body could get trapped behind my pelvic bone (causing nerve damage or brain damage) or its little fragile limbs could be broken. I don't want my baby to get injured or die because I had no assistant with medical knowledge. I'd prefer not to have anyone but Loz with me when the time comes but I'm starting to realise with a sinking feeling that if this baby is going to emerge safely, someone else may have to be there. If the baby gets stuck, I'm gonna need help getting it out. Whether it's Yazoo helping me or not, I am yet to decide but it's not like I have a ton of options. I can't just show up at a regular hospital and have everyone freak out if the baby has red eyes or tentacles or blue skin like its alien grandma.

"I'll think about it," I finally answer. "I can't say right now if I'll want you there or not, Yazoo, but thank you for the offer. And I'll let you know, all right?" I smile appreciatively at him, realising what a generous proposal it is that he's offering.

He nods acceptingly, smiling back and gently touching my stomach. "I'm not trying to be intrusive, Cate - I just want both of you to be okay, to be safe."

The middle Remnant really has changed so much from before, when Kadaj was still alive. He's nicer, more considerate and shows more emotion. I hate to say this but Kadaj's death has made Yazoo into a much more caring individual.

"You really love this baby, don't you?" I ask him.

"Of course I do," he answers. "Kadaj loved this baby too. I know he didn't show it but he was so excited about having a new addition to the family. He spoke to me about how we were going to be uncles and how we could teach this kid to fight and shoot and ride bikes with us."

"Except he wanted to do it without me around," I quietly respond. "I know he wanted me gone. Kadaj hated me."

"He didn't hate you, Cate," Yazoo soothes me. "Your arrival was unexpected and inconvenient for him. He had a lot going on in his life with the upcoming Reunion and he was too preoccupied with that and with Mother to really get to know you. Deep down, I think mainly he was just jealous."

I blink. "Jealous? Of me?"

"Yes, because you had gotten so close to Loz. He thought you were trying to break the family up, to turn Loz against us. And that made him act in spite. I know he did some awful things to you but he never truly hated you."

"He did do some awful things," I agree, remembering all too clearly how many times Kadaj called me a slut or threatened to murder me, not to mention tricking me into drinking black materia so I could act as an unwilling vessel for his Mother, and giving me a near-fatal case of Geostigma – a nice parting gift before he stupidly went off and got himself killed, and nearly took Loz and Yazoo along with him.

"But he was also nice sometimes, wasn't he?" Yazoo prompts, wanting me to focus on the good side of his little brother.

Thinking back to how the youngest clone treated me, I have to admit that Yazoo's right. On a few rare occasions, Kadaj WAS nice to me. Like, the day he saved me from that cave-spider. Like when he kissed the baby through my tummy. When he comforted me after Loz's angry outburst at the lake, hugging me and rubbing my arms. When he shared magic with me in the hallway and softly stroked my hair. Sometimes, when he let all his guards down, Kadaj wasn't a crazy, homicidal Remnant with plans of world domination. Sometimes he was actually very sweet.

"He was confused," Yazoo says with much sorrow. "Jenova misled him, as she did all of us. Everything Kadaj did was at her urging."

"I know," is my empathic reply. "He wasn't all bad."

We drive to town in reflective quietness, both of us thinking about Kadaj and how things could have been if he was still here, if we had been able to show him the error of his ways. Yazoo has changed and become a better person. So has Loz. I just wish Kadaj could have changed as well, before it was too late. He had the potential to be a great man, a man we could all look up to.

Now, he's just a memory.


We reach Edge, park the truck and go into a large store selling baby furniture. The snooty saleswoman takes an instant dislike to us, ignoring our presence instead of coming up to serve us as she should be doing. Nevertheless, Yazoo and I wander around the store at our own leisure until we see a matching nursery set including a crib with mattress and bedding, a change table and a chest of drawers, all in painted white timber. It also comes with a padded white nursing chair that rocks backs and forth. I sit in it and test it out, imagining me rocking the baby to sleep. It's perfect and I immediately decide that this is the furniture for me. Until I see the price tag, which dampens my enthusiasm. If I buy that entire set with the cash Loz gave me, I won't be able to afford the paint for the baby's room or any of the other stuff on my list. Yazoo assures me he has more money of his own. I object but he shushes me and tells me that we're getting it.

We stand by the furniture and wait for the blond woman behind the counter to come over to us and complete the sale but she doesn't. So, we go to her.

"Can we buy that nursery set? The white one?" I ask, helpfully pointing in the direction.

The saleswoman in her navy dress and high heels looks us up and down with cold blue eyes, eventually answering in a snobby tone, "I don't think you can afford it."

I'm wearing ripped jeans and one of Loz's old t-shirts under my jacket while Yazoo is in clothes that teenagers normally wear on the streets. She must think we're a couple of punk kids with no money.

"Yes, we can," I insist, starting to dig in my worn backpack. "We have cash."

She looks at her polished nails in a bored fashion. "That nursery set is fifteen hundred Gil, not one hundred and fifty. There's an extra zero on the price tag. "

"We realise that," Yazoo replies tightly from beside me, beginning to get annoyed at her attitude. "We'll take it."

In her irritatingly snotty voice, the sales lady starts to say something about the store being very busy – which is a blatant lie because we're the only ones in here – and that they don't have any of that particular set left in stock but Yazoo cuts her haughty dismissal off.

"I SAID: we'll take it," he repeats, green eyes glittering dangerously. "If it's on your floor, it's for sale so get your men to bring that furniture set outside, now."

He leans his tall form over the counter, narrowing his iciest, most intimidating stare at the woman, making sure she can see the snake-like slits of his pupils. "By the way, you have NO idea what kind of people we are and what we could do to you, so wipe that judgemental sneer off your fucking face, you arrogant bitch."

I gape at Yazoo in shocked incredulity, much like the stunned saleswoman is doing. She takes a few steps backwards, bumping into a wall behind her. Yazoo throws money onto the counter with a curt, "Hmph," puts his hand on my lower back and steers me towards the door with him.

Once we're outside in the parking lot, I turn to look at him, bursting into surprised – and impressed – laughter. "Holy shit, Yazoo! That was so kick ass," I exclaim with glee. "You are totally my idol right now."

Yazoo's mouth turns up in a smirk, something I haven't seen him do since he lost his younger sibling. "Yes, I must say it felt good being bad again."

Still impressed, I add, "And you're the baddest brother of them all, Yaz."

"No, that title belonged to Kadaj," he states confidently, offering me his arm. "I'm just the second baddest."

I grin and slip my arm through his, both of us walking back to the truck. Soon, a couple of delivery men have loaded us up with our purchases, tying them down with ropes. We don't see that sales lady again. She's probably locked herself in the staff bathroom, hyperventilating with fear. Serves her right, being rude to customers and judging people based on their clothing.

We visit a few other shops to get paint, carpet, mirrors and light fixtures, keeping an eye out for discount sales and reduced items, Yazoo enjoying hunting for bargains as much as me. As well as the necessary things on my list, I end up with a new 3-wheeled stroller that can travel over rough terrain (in case I go walking in the forest), a high chair for meal times and a bath seat so I can bathe the baby in the tub when it's old enough to sit up. Then, when we're all shopped out, we have lunch in a quaint little restaurant, chatting about different kinds of baby food, home-schooling and other kid-related stuff. Most guys wouldn't be interested in talking about that but Yazoo is, genuinely caring about his nephew or niece and their upbringing. He wants to be a big part of my child's life and it's nice to know he'll be such an attentive uncle.

Before we leave Edge, Yazoo stops at a large flower shop, much to my delight, so I can wander around looking at all the floral displays. The scent of fresh blooms and green leaves makes me miss being a florist and I buy some night-lilies to put in a vase in the kitchen. They're all budded up at the moment but when it turns dark outside, they'll open their delicate white petals and fill the lair with their sweet perfume. They have always been my favourite flowers. Loz may not like the smell but today is a day for me, for doing what I want for once and my boyfriend will just have to suck it up or stick a clothespin on his nose.

In the truck on the way home, I look across at Yazoo's serene face, his eyes focused on the road in front of us. He has removed the baseball cap so his hair gleams in the afternoon sunlight, looking more gold than silver at that moment.

"You know, Yazoo, this has been an awesome day. I've really enjoyed spending time with you," I reveal shyly. "You've been so generous, too. Thank you."

He smiles. "You're very welcome, Catalina. You deserve it, after everything we've put you through."

I guess I can't argue with that. After a few moments of silent driving, he enquires, "Remember when I told you about the room full of clones we found in the lab, upon our escape?"

"Yeah," I mutter. I don't think I can ever erase that from my mind: tanks upon tanks of embryos, babies and kids with the same faces as Loz, Yazoo and Kadaj. Their little unborn brothers, just floating there unconsciously in fluid, naked and helpless behind the glass, not knowing what they were or what was shortly going to happen to them.

"When we were systematically breaking the tanks," Yazoo continues, "I came across a female clone. A girl."

My eyes widening in surprise, I wait for him to go on.

"She looked about twelve. I don't know if she was an accidental development or a deliberate creation produced for future experimental breeding but I couldn't kill her," Yazoo confesses, staring at the road we're travelling on with a frown. "She didn't look at me or do anything at all but I couldn't bring myself to smash her tank. I didn't tell Loz as it would only upset him. He'd have wanted to save her and bring her with us. I thought about saving her too but Kadaj wouldn't have allowed it so I left her there. She would have died in the fire. I just hope she didn't feel it."

There is old regret in his voice, lessened by the passing of time but still present.

"I used to wish that I could have saved her. I used to wish I had a sister. But I don't have to wish anymore because you're here, Cate."

Gazing up at him, I stutter, "You think of me as your...your sister?"

He turns to look at me. "Yes. I do."

For a moment, I can't reply. I'm incredibly touched. Then, I say softly, "Thank you, Yazoo. I think of you as my brother, too."

Feeling like we've reached a new level of trust and closeness, I lean in and kiss him on the cheek. He doesn't smell like lilies anymore, his Allure having subsided since Kadaj's untimely demise, and the only perfume I can smell comes from the wrapped bunch of flowers sitting on the seat beside me. Realising that Yazoo's signature scent is gone makes my heart ache and deepens the emotion I feel for this grieving young man.

"I love you," I whisper near his ear, meaning it in a sisterly manner, hoping that Yazoo doesn't take it the wrong way. But he doesn't.

When I pull back he's smiling. "I love you too, Cate. You would have been a great sister for Kadaj as well," he tells me. "You always stood up to him and didn't back down. If he had someone like you around from the beginning to keep him in line and show him some tough love, he probably would have turned out differently."

That's high praise coming from Yazoo, although we both know that even if I had been Kadaj's older sister, even if I had been created in a tank like them with all their abilities and their telepathic connection, I still wouldn't have been able to sever his obsessive and destructive bond with Jenova. Only death could do that, sadly.

"Hey Yaz, if I have a boy, I'm going to name him after Kadaj," I announce, only just having made the decision. "I hope that's okay."

"Of course that would be okay." He sounds thrilled and his face shows it when he glances at me. "Oh, Cate. That would be simply wonderful!"

Rubbing my belly, I ask, "Do you think Loz would like it?"

"I know he would. But what if you have a girl?"

"Is there a female version of Kadaj? Like, Kadaj-elle? Kadaj-anne?

Yazoo chuckles. "Either way, my little brother would be insanely flattered to have a child named after him. Trust me. His inflated ego would burst."

On a more serious note, I venture, "I was also thinking that we should have a memorial service for Kadaj sometime this week. We could go down to the lake; say a few things. Maybe light a candle for him. Since it happened so fast, we never got to say goodbye and I believe we all need some closure. What do you think?"

I look up at Yazoo questioningly.

"I think it's a great idea. When we get home you can tell Loz." My new brother smiles affectionately and pats my hand. "I'm glad he found someone like you to look after us. Maybe one day I can take you shopping for a wedding dress, instead of furniture and baby things."

"That would be so fucking awesome," I declare with a grin, hoping that Loz asks me to marry him sometime in the near future. Even if he doesn't, I'm still the luckiest girl the world to have him in my life, and Yazoo as well. With them by my side, I don't feel like an orphan anymore. I finally feel as though I have a family again: people who love me and who I love back. People I would do anything for.

I lean onto Yazoo's shoulder, curling my fingers around his strong upper arm, staying that way for the rest of the drive back to the lair.

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