Prophecy's Refrain

BY : butabara
Category: Final Fantasy VII > General
Dragon prints: 777
Disclaimer: I do not in any way own FFVII or its affiliates. I make no money from writing this story.



Chapter 24

Harmony stared at the shadows of the leaves on her ceiling. Kadaj was sleeping next to her. It had been awkward, laying with him after their encounter. She had tried to think of a way to say what she needed to say, but could think of nothing that wouldn't upset the Remnant.

She wasn't really even sure how she felt about it. She liked Kadaj, sure, probably even more than liked him- She cut those thoughts off immediately, not ready to deal with that and this.

She wouldn't say that she didn't enjoy herself, quite the opposite, actually, Kadaj was mind-blowing, but… this was just something she wasn't ready for. She was no-where near emotionally stable enough to deal with a physical relationship of this magnitude.

But how could she say it? 'Hey Kadaj, you're an absolutely amazing lay, but I think we need to take it slow.'

Yeah, right. That would go over so well.

Meanwhile, Kadaj was not asleep, as Harmony thought. He had tried, but the thoughts flying through his head made his head swim and the room almost seemed to spin.

'Is this what it feels like to be afraid?' He thought to himself. He knew that Harmony was awake as well, her occasional sighs causing his muscles to tense. He hoped she didn't notice.

He realized without too much internal argument, that the emotion he was feeling was anxiety. And he didn't like it, not one bit. He was terrified of the talk that Harmony had spoken of. Would she be angry? Would she kick him out? Would she never want to speak to him again? What if she-

'Stop it.' He snapped internally. 'I'm being ridiculous. She liked it, she told me not to stop. And I'm sure her other lover's never asked permission.'

'Her other lovers were before her rape, Jackass.' his mind supplied the answer he least wanted to know.

He scoffed, instantly regretting it when he felt Harmony tense beside him.

"Kadaj?" She asked hesitantly.

"I'm awake." he answered. His worry that she would turn him away multiplied when the girl sat up, pulling away from him and hugging her knees to her chest.

"Good. Can we talk?"

He sighed. "Yeah."

Harmony's mind swirled. Everything she hadn't wanted to say tumbled out in a flood of jumbled, incoherent words.

"Look I like you I really really do-even more than like you but really Kadaj this is all just so fast and we only just met not even a full month ago and I've already done things with you that I never thought I'd ever-"

"Stop!" He said, more loudly than he intended. "Just say what you need to say, you're stating the obvious." Even to his own ears, he sounded irritated and unapproachable.

"We need to-"

'This is it, she's going to tell me that she doesn't want me-'

"-slow down. I like you, and I like being with you… most of the time, anyway… but we need to slow down. I'm… I don't think I'm ready for… I'm not ready to-"

With an internal sigh of relief, Kadaj cut her off, gently placing a finger to her lips. "I understand." He said, his voice warmer than before. "I'm sorry, I couldn't stop myself before. You should know, Hari, that I'm not known to be a patient person. But I'm trying." His heart was fluttering madly, his pulse pounding in his throat. He swallowed the feeling down, along with his anxiety. She was okay. They were okay. She wasn't going to kick him out of her life…

'Wait a minute.' He thought. 'Why the hell do I even care?'

The answer struck him hard enough that he physically blanched. He saw Harmony's lips move, most likely asking if he was alright. He simply nodded his head, laying down and dragging her back with him.

He tucked her head into the crook of his neck and let his heartbeat lull her to sleep, and then carefully slipped out of bed. He tucked the blanket around her, dressed silently, and with one last confused look at the woman on the bed, he slipped out of the room.

Yazoo would know.

!$%^&*()

"So, what did you do that made the rest of them hate you so much?" Cissnei quietly asked Yazoo. The two were hiding high in the boughs of a massive pine tree. That had been a painful climb.

"Shhh!" He hushed her. She took a moment to let her gaze roam over his face. He had pulled the collar of his turtleneck up over his face in a make-shift ninja mask and had his hair tied in a knot at the base of his neck.

"You're taking this way too seriously." Cissnei chuckled.

"Shhh!" He hissed, "Shush! She'll hear us! Use hand signals!"

Cissnei sighed. "Like I said. Taking things too seriously." She sat quietly after that, wondering to herself how exactly Yazoo knew the TURK's hand signals.

!$%^&*()

Loz awoke feeling a strange vibration against his side. After taking a moment to figure out where he was, he realized that the vibration he felt was actually Sassi as she shivered in her sleep.

Giving a small sound of concern, the Eldest Remnant rose from the thin mat on the floor of the cave and carefully slipped outside the waterfall. He climbed to the top and dressed quickly, before gathering Sassi's clothes and trying to avoid getting wet when he returned to Sassi's side. He lifted the sleeping woman into his arms, smiling when she sighed and nuzzled into his chest, and left the cave, heading back to the cabin as fast as he could while carrying a passenger.

!$%^&*()

Kadaj sat in utter silence on the porch swing. He had taken a while to search for Yazoo, but he knew that even as a Remnant himself, unless Yazoo wanted to be found, he wouldn't be. And so, after a fruitless search, he returned to the cabin, though he couldn't make himself go back to Harmony.

'What is love?' He though to himself. He knew the basic concept, of course, he knew the signs and symptoms. He ran through them in his head.

'Can't stop thinking about her. Check. Can't sleep without her next to me. Check. Hate it when she cries, helpless when she smiles. Check, and check. Would give her anything if only she would ask. Check.'

But did he really love her? So soon? She was right, it had only been just under a month since they met. Just a few weeks since she brought them out here.

And more - that he was even capable of love completely blew him away. She was changing him. Slowly, but surely, and with a hand of silken steel, she was changing all of them. Yazoo's smiles held no malice. His laughter was no longer the psychotic ringing it used to be. Loz was more open, more willing to learn and accept, more willing to be accepted. Hell, even that blasted red-headed TURK wasn't quite as obnoxious as he used to be.

He looked up to the sky, darkest blue with little diamond specks. So absorbed in his thoughts, he failed to notice a dark shadow coming upon the cabin.

"Harmony is asleep?" The gravelly voice startled Kadaj out of his thoughts. He looked up to see Vincent standing before him, Sephiroth at his side.

"Yeah." He answered. He gave not a moment's thought before asking the one question that Vincent Valentine hated more than anything in the world. "Have you ever been in love?"

Vincent froze, and even Sephiroth looked uncomfortable.

"Well… yes." Vincent answered.

"Did it change you?" Kadaj continued, looking back to the stars.

"Yes." Vincent said, the pieces falling into place. To the gunman's surprise, he found a smile threatening to spread across his face. "But it's nothing. It changes you, but you find that those changes are the least that you're willing to give to her."

Kadaj only nodded.

"What you have to ask yourself, Kadaj, is not how she is changing you. Not what you've already given. What would you give her?"

"I know your story, Valentine. It might've looked like I wasn't listening, but I heard it. You gave your own life for someone else. Is that what you want to hear? That I would die for her?"

"What would you do for her? What can you offer her?" Vincent said.

Kadaj looked the gunslinger in the eye, pouring every ounce of determination in his soul into that one, piercing gaze. He was angry that Vincent seemed to doubt his resolve. Seemed to doubt his feelings, or the truth behind them. Seemed to twist the conversation around and make him think even harder, damnit!

"Everything she wanted, I would lay it at her feet. I would hand her the world on fire." He nearly snarled.

"That isn't love. That's obsession. This is the last advice I'll give you, Remnant. The last question I'll ask. What makes this supposed devotion to her any different from your devotion to Jenova?"

!$%^&*()

The Dread General listened to Vincent as he talked. In the time that the men had been with Harmony, he had never heard the demon-host say so much, nor anything with such depth.

He knew he hid it well, his loneliness. He knew that the others viewed him as empty, hollow, cold, and unapproachable. And that was okay. He liked it that way - the only people who knew any better would never betray the fact that he actually had feelings.

But they knew. They knew when he would sneak out of the cabin at night, unable to stand the sickening knowledge that the man who gave him life, the man responsible for half of his very existence, was Hojo, and that he was sleeping under the same roof. Hojo, who had tortured, experimented on, and even raped -yes, raped, his own son- not only him, but many others as well.

His last vivid memory of his world was standing in the bowels of that cursed Midgar Reactor with Zack, trying to find where Hollander's secret lab was hidden. The other's had informed him of the events after that. Of going to Nibelheim and finding the documentation about his birth, and the false certificates of his 'Mother'. Jenova. That despicable creature. How he hated the knowledge that her blood, her very life, was in him. Especially now, after knowing what she was. He hated knowing that -even in the future- the blood of all of those people… Of Aerith… was on his hands, staining not only the flesh, but the soul beneath.

He harbored no illusions of himself: He was a SOLDIER. The SOLDIER. He had blood on his hands… but the blood of an enemy killed in war was much different than the blood of a child slaughtered out of nothing but insane vengeance.

As Vincent finished his conversation with the young Remnant (Sephiroth always felt strangely bare around the three of them) he allowed himself a small epiphany. He followed the man into the cabin, but stopped him before the two separated to go to their rooms.

Vincent stood frozen once again that night, looking down at the gloved hand resting on his forearm.

"What?" He asked, when Sephiroth only stared at him.

The General was at a loss. He wasn't used to feeling stripped, vulnerable. He spoke, hating how his voice seemed to catch, hating even more how hopeful he sounded.

"Will you… will you tell me about my mother?"

 



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