The Orphans of Cerberus

BY : Fetherhd
Category: Final Fantasy VII > General
Dragon prints: 1711
Disclaimer: Square Enix holds all rights the the FFVII world and its characters. This is a not for profit fanfiction

The Orphan's of Cerberus Chapter 14

Ice carefully picked her way, leading the group through a tangled mass of twisted metal. They had been slowly moving up through the Deep for a long six hours. This back way did not have as much girder climbing as the usual route she took, but this was compensated by the fact that it was many miles longer. And… where they did have to climb, the metal beams were terribly dilapidated and more difficult to negotiate. The two men in the Troop were very much handicapped when it came to climbing in this steel jungle. The Were snorted quietly and was glad she was in front where she could hide her grin. Lets face it, the humans only had two hands and NO tail. How DID they manage in their every day lives?
The female stopped for a moment, inspecting the rotting steel and tracing the most likely path with narrowed silver eyes. Ice very much wanted to be making better time. Between Vincent's sensitive senses and the Were's in depth knowledge of the ruins, they had been incredibly lucky so far in that they had managed to avoid any run ins with the mutated monsters that called this place home. Long ears slanted back as she listened to Reno's rasping breath, and picked up the softer sound of Yuffie and Whisper panting. They were going to have to stop and rest soon. The only one of the Troop not showing any sign's of physical stress was Valentine. This did not surprise the cinnamon female, she had felt the power and vitality that was contained within Chaos, and it only stood to reason that the winged Alpha's strength would be there for the altered human Alpha to draw upon as needed.
With a soft grunt of effort, Ice pulled herself up to stand on the platform leading into the next level. The map in her head told her they were only a couple of levels down from one of the entrances to the surface city. She turned and offered Reno a hand up, only to have her body lock up in a spasm of pain as she reached down to him. The sharp, glass like fire in her bones and the burning itch that ran across her skin were forewarnings of an eminent Change. A soft…Hnnn….escaped her in shock. She had not experienced a Change that wasn't self triggered since her early adolescence, a time in a Were's life that was notorious for its wild hormone swings. Totally embarrassed by her sudden lack of control, Ice fought her body's traitorous need to Change. With an iron will she brought the transformation to a stand still, but the unexpected hot knifing cramps that shot through her abdomen had her curling reflexively in shock and pain. This skewed her balance enough that she slipped off of the edge of the platform.
Reno had looked up and had his hand around Ice's strong wrist in preparation to hoisting himself up. The only warning he had that something was off, was an odd sibilant hum from the female.
"YO….you okay I….?"
was all The Turk had time for as the Were's silver eyes widened in shock, then changed to slate grey. Her body seemed to spasm as she slipped over the edge.
Reno tightened his grip, but was practically jerked off of his perch as he tried to support the female's full, falling weight. Ice weighed considerably more than her frame let on and it wasn't helping that her muscles were jerking and sliding as if she were caught in a seizure of some kind. The man just did not have the grip needed to support both of them. Reno was swearing as he managed to hook a leg, temporarily stopping his slide. The Turk knew that this tenuous hold would only save them for a few seconds.
A soft rumble warned him not to be startled as a blur of white swung by him to latch on to Ice with three limbs. Whisper formed a basket with his powerful body to shepherd the female to where she could get some hand and tail holds. From his upside down position Reno had a clear view of the seemingly bottomless drop. He could see Valentine braced further down on the girders where there was some free air space. The gold glimmering in the gunslinger's hot crimson eyes combined with a hint of red and black mist coalescing around his still form, showed how close the man was to releasing the winged Chaos if a mid air catch was needed. This brought an odd twisting pang to the red head's chest. He was amazed that the pale, tormented man would even consider Shifting to one of his OTHER despised forms to save someone as corrupt and useless as a hated Shinra Turk. Especially one who had done something as…evil… as dropping a section plate on thousands of innocent people… Of course…. the demon probably had orders to catch only Ice. Yeah that was probably it.
"Hold on Reno!"
Flowing silver and chocolate heralded the arrival of Yuffie. The Changed woman got a hold of him and swung the man around to where she could bracket his shaking form between her compact, warm body and the girders, it only took a moment for him to get a firm hold again.
"Got it?"
This was whispered in his ear and at his quick nod the ninja scampered up the steel. Reno watched with no small amount of envy as Yuffie was sure to anchor that strong prehensile tail before she moved either her hands or feet. The damned girl was PROBABLY taking lessons from Whisper on how to move safely through this twisted ruin. GODS….he WANTED one of those tails! The woman's honey gold eyes were swirling with a mix of laughter and concern as she hung back over the edge to offer him a hand up.
A quick scramble and Reno was beside the ninja giving Ice a hand as she pulled herself over the edge with a helpful boost to her behind from Whisper. The Were female seemed more than a little dazed and out of sorts. Whisper hung back and gave Valentine a similar boost up and over.
Reno hid a smile at Yuffie's jealous…
"HEY…hands off the package, SNOWBALL!…."
The startled widening of Vincent's red eyes gave an indication of where the beast's strong hands had been placed for the relatively unneeded help.
Whisper's smugly smiling head popped over as he was the last to he pull himself up.
The White's laughing, slanted look, and sly shrug convinced everyone that WHERE ever his paws had been placed, it was anything but innocent.
Whisper had been stunned when his normally sure footed sister fell. The Albino had surged UP as Reno lost his grip, and he was at the redhead's side in the time it took to draw a breath. Swinging out, he managed to get his hands and a foot on Ice and get her firmly pressed between himself and the rusting steel. The White almost dropped her again when he caught the full brunt of her scent…. HOLY SHIT!….Whisper snapped his jaw shut. He was pretty sure he KNEW what had happened up above and as he helped his sister over the rim, he couldn't help but wonder if SHE was aware of what was behind the problem. He doubted it, she had been away from the Troop before ANY of them had reached sexual maturity. He was tempted to verify his theory by tonguing her as he pushed her up, but figured that their perch was too precarious to risk distracting her. He would just have to try and sneak it in later. Ice would probably brain him if Chaos didn't get to him first. This thought caused a small shudder to ripple through him, BUT he had to be SURE before he said anything.
Whisper shifted to the side as his Alpha moved up to finish the climb. OHHHH…..Well now…. but wasn't that just NICE. Red eyes blinked dreamily as the crimson cape (yes…the man had ACTUALLY washed the thing and returned it to his shoulders as he left HOME) slid one way baring the gunslinger’s tight, well muscled, perfectly shaped, black clad… ass… as it moved past the male's long face. For a second Whisper's blunt fingered hands just…. hovered… DAMN…He was doomed, he could not help himself. After all, Vincent could sprout wings if he fell while being distracted. Each hand cupped a cheek, thumbs nestling coyly BETWEEN as he pushed the man up and over the edge. The White sighed blissfully as he gave both of the man's firm buns a light squeeze in the passing.
Snickering softly as he heard the Alpha male's chosen mate protest his actions, Whisper hauled himself up last. Oh yes….that little grope was well worth a little chewing out. Still…. when the demon ridden gunslinger turned to pin him with a LOOK, the White did his level best to look innocent.
The first thing Valentine did after giving Whisper a long, HARD… look was to check on Ice. The cinnamon female SEEMED to be all right and when pressed she just shrugged and signed,
"Just tired, got a little dizzy."
"THAT WAS A FLAT OUT LIE!" Chaos sounded seriously offended. "I THOUGHT THAT WERE'S COULDN'T LIE?"
"Hnnn…I don't believe either Ice or Whisper ever came right out and SAID that."
Vincent agreed with the ancient being though, Ice was hiding something. And when he caught the wide eyed, disbelieving look that Whisper shot his sister's way, the ex-Turk started to worry a little. He determined that maybe he had better keep a close watch on the female.
Oh GREAT!….Vincent couldn't help but cringe a little as the Galian beast made it clear he approved of Chaos's plan.
"Are either one of you ever going to tell me what exactly went on between you and Ice?"
All he got in response were two smug…resounding…"No’s!"
It was mutually decided that the group needed to take a rest and eat. Valentine and Reno had been sure to bring some of Ice's M.E.R's, AND bottled water to wash the goopy rations down. Yuffie looked at the one that Vincent gave her and made gagging motions. She shot the gunman an outraged look when he made it clear that he did not need to eat.
"Oh no you don't. There is no way I am having to eat these things if you don't!"
Ice looked up from where she was sitting, toes invariable folded one over the other. The female looked positively nauseous as she forced herself to eat and her narrowed silver eyed glare was a threat in itself. Whisper just held his pack, licking his lips in a sick way. He also planted his rump, folded his toes and gave the gunman a look that said… I am not eating THIS until you do. Reno grinned, and ignoring Vincent's glare he managed to give a fair imitation of the way the three Were's were sitting, minus the coiled tail of course, he toasted the gunslinger with his pack.
Fine….Valentine had eaten many of the military rations while he was an operating Turk, they had to have been improved in the 40 or so years since he had last been forced to eat one….OH…. as Yuffie would say…GROSSNESS! NO such luck….his total disgust was wrapped up in the three simple words that Chaos spat out..
Being as how he had seen some of the things that the demon CHOSE to dine on….Vincent felt that this wasn't an understatement. Even so, the gunman managed to down the whole pack and even sucked some (trying to ignore Whisper's suddenly bright and avid gaze) off of a finger as it was trying to slide in an oozy, almost living way towards his hand. He then crossed his arms, gleaming claws tapping a restless tattoo on his forearm while he let loose of Chaos a little so that the demon could glare at the rest of their little Troop. By the Gods if the Dark Lord had to stomach the gross stuff, even by proxy, everyone else was damn well going to eat it and LIKE it.
Dr. Marian Beckett gave the small medical bay a last quick once over. The Captain of the airship must have finally decided that continuing the search was NOT an option when the leading edge of the oncoming storm had finally hit. Her medical equipment had taken a bit of a beating before the man had managed to wrestle the ship into a position where it could be anchored to ride out the worst of the bad weather. The mighty machine was still rocking and an occasional shudder would pass through its sturdy frame, but it had stilled enough that she could come down and make sure things were in order in her newly acquired department.
The young woman gave a satisfied nod….everything was as it should be. She ran an admiring hand over the state of the art miniature MRI scanner, marveling at the money that had to have been spent in order to provide the highly advanced, hi-Tech machines that were being transported to be used in her assigned task. A couple of days ago, she had been happy just to have access to a regular x-ray machine and the power to run it.
The woman had just been finishing her stint as an intern when the mighty Shinra Corporation had collapsed. The resulting power shortages and economical upheaval had made practicing her chosen medical field impossible. Just being able to scrape together the supplies she needed to treat what patients she had was difficult to do, and actually making a living….that was a joke! Lets face it, when people did not have the resources to take care of their families, their pets and livestock were moved to the bottom of the priority list!
Luckily, her secondary specialty had been on the veterinarian care and medical treatment of Chocobos. These useful birds were even more in demand now, and there was always a need for a good inexpensive Vet that knew how to deal with them. This fact had kept her from starving. There was absolutely NO call for the exotic species medical training she had gotten her Masters in. Almost all of the zoos had collapsed after Meteor and lab primates were not usually afforded medical care. This is why it had come as a complete shock when Dr Angelique Destinie had contacted her. Shinra's top research scientist had needed a Veterinarian who specialized in Primates to operate as her hands, eyes, and ears in a top secret research project that she was organizing to take place in the small, isolated town of Neibelhiem. Evidently, the good Doctor was conducting invaluable research where she was at and could not physically be away from the ongoing experiments that were taking place at Shinra's main laboratory. All Marian had to do was keep Shinra's prized specimen's healthy, perform what tests the good Doctor ordered, and most importantly, report her findings to ONLY Dr. Destinie. Marian had been promised a very good paycheck and a huge bonus when the research had been completed.
GODS….it would be such a relief to not have to worry about where the money would be coming from for much needed bandages and antibiotics, let alone the food for her next meal.
A harsh cough and a wave of tobacco smoke jerked her out of her thoughts, she was no longer alone. Looking up, Dr. Beckett found herself starring into a pair of narrowed, angry, cerulean blue eyes. The young woman gave the grizzled Captain of the airship a hesitant smile and shyly tried to introduce herself. Captain Highwind had been occupied keeping them airborne since she had boarded and they had not been introduced. The man regarded her extended hand as if she carried some exotic disease and his thin lips tightened around his ever present smoke.
"Didn't come down here to fucking make nice. Your stinkin Shinra ass has NO business being on board my damned ship!"
Cid Highwind was not one to keep his opinion private, this she had heard. But….his outright hostility took her by surprise. After all, he did not know a thing about her as a person. The Vet quickly withdrew the extended hand. She was NOT a social person and she hated confrontation, this was one of the main reasons she preferred to work with animals. THEY had no hidden agenda's.
Rough, calloused fingers scraped through the blonde's short hair and then removed the cigarette from his mouth to stab in her direction.
"Just came down ta give ya a fucking friendly heads up! Valentine is goin ta be royally pissed off when Chocobo BUTT tells him about this friggin crackpot scheme. The man is going to blow a Gods be damned gasket when he finds out we are heading for that gods forsaken, creepy, shit hole of a mansion and he will probably let that bat winged fucker from hell… OUT… When he finds out there is a Shinra white coat, and a fucking DOCTOR to boot, stuck on board with him." Cid's lips curled in a nasty smile. "If I was in your Shinra ass kissin shoes, I would be DAMNED sure to make my miserable presence shitting scarce when that happens…. else ya might find your friggin lucky self taking a damned short flight back to earth!"
With that, Cid turned, giving her an unimpeded view of his broad shouldered, well muscled back as he slammed the door hard on his way out.
Marian sagged against an exam table, trying to control the sudden fit of the shakes that over ran her body and she swallowed hard against the overwhelming need to expel what was in her roiling stomach. Certainly the Captain hadn't meant THE Vincent Valentine?….Angel had said NOTHING about being in close proximity to someone as dangerous as THAT particular individual was reported to be. GODS…what kind of twisted monkey business had she gotten herself roped into?
Ice was leading the group up a wide, slightly sloped, avenue. Dark, gaping doorways, and broken windows bracketed both sides of the dimly lit path and there was a hint of airflow through some of the passages that occasionally branched off to disappear into the deep. Reno followed the cinnamon female, keeping very close to her trotting heels. Yuffie flashed a honey gold look Whisper's way and as if in unspoken agreement, he took up position traveling to the left, just slightly ahead of the Turk and she traveled to the right and slightly behind. This way, either one of them could be right there if Ice had another unexplained episode. It also served the purpose of secretly bracketing Reno, their weakest Troop member, in a pocket comprised of almost indestructible muscle and bone. Valentine's powerful, intimidating presence traveled silently behind, closing that pocket and also serving as an impenetrable rear guard.
Yuffie swung her long muzzled head. The enhanced senses of this Were beast body were incredible, but it was taking some getting use to. When they had been moving in pitch blackness, her vision had been in the infrared range, it had been very odd to see her companions as heat sources rather than in her usual colored vision. Now that they had moved up to where there was a dim light, her eye's had adjusted and she was seeing as if she was in a well lit room.
Even more difficult to deal with was the whole new world of smell that had opened up to her sensitive, broad nose. She was spending a great deal of time just trying to decipher and categorize the different odors that wafted around and into her twitching nostrils. She had managed to "label" all of her companions with their fingerprint scent. Reno's was a complex mix of contrasts were as Whisper, believe it or not reminded her of a bouquet of subtle flowers. Vincent's was not much different than what her human nose had detected but there was a complex layering of hot spice and tantalizing musk that she associated with his demons. Ice….here she was a little confused, Ice had the sweet, clean smell that perfumed the air in the cherry orchards of Wuttai right after a thunder storm. But…. in the last eight hours her personal scent had been changing, the scent of fresh fertile earth and the spice of summer winds was layered in, making her signature musk, a rich and complex thing. It was a mesmerizing smell to say the least. The chocolate striped beast that was Yuffie snuck a quick glance Whisper's way. She was positive that the big male had noticed the change also…. as he kept creeping up on Ice, long muzzle lifting as he took delicate sniffs when ever the female seemed preoccupied.
Yuffie's attention centered back on Ice as the female slowed and then came to a stop. They were in a cul-de-sac. The only exit out of it, other than the way they had come, was a large archway. The ninja slipped up next to the hesitant female, and immediately saw what had stopped her. The area directly in front of and around the passageway's entrance had been layered in what looked like soft, creamy white silk. Small ruffles and banners of the stuff also decorated the walls, windows and one large, partially collapsed doorway that surrounded them.
"Damn…that really looks creepy! Let me guess, THAT is the only way outta here…right?"
Yuffie was really hoping Ice would say…naw…just brought you this way as a joke… but… no such luck.
The golden female shuddered and her hands danced.
"That wasn't here last time I came this way." Slanted silver eye's glimmered hopefully at her. "Do you have any idea what it is?"
All three Were's long, shell like ears slanted back as Vincent, ever silent, appeared out of the passage they had been following. His elegant brows furrowed down as he knelt to inspect the silk swathed arch. Yuffie slipped over to stand at his side.
"Hnnnn….this reminds me of….something?"
He slipped his hand out of its incasing leather and delicately stroked the odd material with a long, pale finger. Yuffie froze as her memory reminded her of how sweet that firm, but oh so gentle touch, could be.
(DAMN….mind out of the gutter, monkey girl….this is NOT the time or place!)
She had to hastily look away when the gunman's crimson eyes slid to meet hers. It was a good thing this beast body was incapable of blushing. Although…. Yuffie did have the odd feeling that her SCENT might have blushed, because Whisper snorted, blinked at her, and then quietly snickered.
Vincent absently disregarded the demon's opinion,
"Spiders CAN'T get that big Chaos. It is a physical impossibility."
The demon Lord snorted derisively…
Valentine held his tongue. The Dark Lord had made some good points. CRAP…a sudden unsettling thought occurred to him.
The demon was one step ahead of him and there was no trace of humor in his deep, solemn voice.
Whisper wasn't sure what the hold up was. He knew that this was the only way they had to go now. To backtrack would be, quite possibly, suicidal. The Albino moved forwards with the intention of entering the arch, killing whatever might be there and moving on. A hard hand dropped onto his shoulder, strong fingers twisting painfully into his mane.
"Ummm YO….Don't trigger the trip wires."
Reno knelt and Whisper was able to follow the line of his pointing finger. There was a definite pattern of almost transparent lines of silk laid in such a way as to be invisible against the creamy white of the silk blanketing the entrance.
The red head pulled the Were back a little and his breath hissed into a twitching ear.
"I am pretty sure I saw something BIG moving in there."
Whisper was in the process of turning to look at the man when he saw his sister stiffen up out of the corner of his eye. He also saw the weird wave that passed over her frame as she fought her body's sudden need to Change. SHIT! Without giving himself time to chicken out, the White dove forwards and shoved his nose under his sibling's long tail and between her legs. He practically lifted her hind end off of the ground as he ran his tongue over and in her nether parts, and then dropped her in order to back off, tongue curled against the roof of his mouth and teeth chattering together as he drew air in to analyze her pheromones. Whisper had been sure that Ice would be so caught up in the pain of Change that she wouldn't be able re-act. The male was trying to pick himself up off of the floor before he realized that he had been WRONG! The cinnamon female had somehow spun around and cold cocked him. Oh SHIT! There was a blur of motion and the Albino realized he had forgotten another… very …important fact. Females tended to stick together!
"OH Grossness….you PERVERT!
The male didn't even have the time to duck as Yuffie spun over the top of him (How the HELL could she move like that?) and drove both fists into the top of his head making him see stars as his jaw cracked into the floor. All the big White could do was whimper a little when immensely powerful hands buried themselves in the mane around his neck and Vincent somehow yanked his three hundred plus pounds frame clean off of the ground.
"I…am…..going….to….die!" was all that ran through his frozen mind when he looked into eyes that glowed the hot gold of burning coals and not the crimson he expected. Pale lips were pulled back to expose elongated teeth and the Albino's breath was choked off by cruel, clawed fingers tightening around his throat.
Whisper was so terrified he was sure he was going to piss himself, but his fading attention was jerked back to his sister as she started to convulse. He managed to get his hands up to pry the demon's death grip off of his throat enough to hiss out.
"Ice! You need to permit the Change. You have KINDLED."
The Albino felt those mighty hands loosen a little, so he pushed his long face into that beautiful, pale visage.
"You have got to get her to CHANGE, she is going to harm the kitlings if she keeps fighting it!"
The male felt a grateful satisfaction when, not only did his sister's form ripple into a full Change, but HE was unceremoniously dropped, as the man in red and black released his painful hold and staggered back.
Vincent had been studying the archway and was caught by surprise when Chaos sucked in an outraged breath.
All the gunslinger had time to register was Ice decking her brother with a beautifully executed round house punch and Yuffie joyfully following suite and flattening the big male into the dirt when he tried to get up. GODS be damned…what had he missed? Then Chaos surged up, and the ex-Turk had a real battle on his hands trying to keep the enraged demon from tearing the Albino Were's throat out. Valentine was almost completely submerged, The demon was at his strongest when fueled by rage. The gunman could not believe that the Were managed to find the strength to pry the demon's claws from around his throat and the world came to a screeching halt when the words he hissed at his sister registered. Chaos's rage flickered out like a candle caught in a hurricane.
Vincent had a sneaking suspicion he knew, but like HELL if HE was going to be the one to tell Chaos.
The Galian beast couldn't stand it.
"PUPPIES! We are going to have Puppies…?Hmmmmm…babies…? Mmmm….cubs….? Oh HELL, who cares what they are called! WE are going to be DADDY's!
Vincent got the sudden picture of the Galian beast with his WHOLE body a wagging, not just his tail. And he found himself in sudden and complete control of his body again. Where Chaos had been, there was now just an odd humming static.
He was more than a little concerned when there was no answer. The gunman focused in and tried a little harder,
"Chaos, are you okay?"
"Ummmm, Vincent? I don't think that Chaos is home right now."
The beast sounded a little stunned.
"What?!…where is he."
"I think he fainted." Galian snickered, "Oh Yeah…he is NEVER going to live this down. He passed right out!"
Vincent was feeling just a little woozy himself all of a sudden. Two fingers pinched the bridge of his nose and he noticed that Ice was being helped to sit up by Reno. She had Changed to the exotically ALMOST human form she had taken during her tryst with Chaos. OH GODS! Did this mean that HE was a DADDY too? Valentine decided he REALLY did not want to think about THAT right at this moment. Instead he chose to deal with the lesser drama going on inside his head.
"That is impossible Galian, Chaos does NOT faint."

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