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 Orphans of Cerberus Ch. 37

Marion lowered herself gingerly onto the communal pad that they had made so that all of them could rest together. She felt Ice shift her swollen body so that the Vet could stiffly curl around her. The closeness provided comfort in a situation that was seriously lacking in this commodity. It also allowed the little doctor to keep a close eye on her companions. Careful hands stroked over the golden female's sides and the woman's bruised lips tightened a little as she traced each rib. Ice was having real difficulties swallowing the lab "Cookies" that they were provided with for their nutrition. Even when Marion soaked them in water she could only coax the depressed female into eating a very minimal amount. All three of them were losing weight but it was becoming an alarming situation with Ice. The pregnant Were's three remaining kits were draining a body that was not receiving enough calories to sustain them and itself.
Reaching over Ice, Marion ran her hands through her other bed companion's tangled chocolate mane. Gentle fingers engulfed one long, delicate, shell like ear, lingering for a moment at the metal tag that had been pierced through the tip. The Vet winced at the heat she felt radiating off of the sleeping ninja. Marion was getting very concerned about Yuffie. The researchers had been inoculating the Changeling with stem cells from Ice's baby for a week now. She wasn't sure what protocols Angel and Duprey were following, but the scientist in her could see that so far the results they were getting were not good. Yuffie spent most of the time (when she wasn't strapped to an exam table) huddled in a sick, feverish ball….and when the girl had found out were these injections were coming from…a sick, feverish, hysterical ball. It had taken both Ice and herself hours to calm the girl down after Duprey had cruelly told her that her injections were made from cells harvested from Ice's sacrificed kit. Yuffie still spent a large part of her coherent hours silently weeping.
The simple act of their cell being opened had three pairs of eyes springing open, and three bodies tightening around each other, seeking moral support. All three of the females watched as Shadow silently entered their cell to deliver their daily rations. Marion flinched, stifling a reflexive whimper, as one talon-ed finger beckoned her forward. NO…she wasn't due for her daily round with Duprey and then Shadow for a few hours yet! It wasn't much, but the woman's body (and mind) NEEDED all of the time it could get between the agonizing sessions to buffer itself against the sadistic researcher's brutality.
Angel always checked to see if she had kindled before giving her to Duprey and she always cast Cure when the man was done. Even with Shadow being as gentle as possible when he took her, after a full week of this abuse, her insides felt battered and bruised from the daily "attentions" that were being forced upon it.
The male's golden eyes watched impassively as the woman reluctantly got to her feet and shuffled over to him. The black turned a little as she approached him, and the end of Shadow's long prehensile tail curved around to disappear into the thick mane that engulfed his upper body in this form. An odd, bright look slanted Ice's way and then turning to focus intently on her, had the woman shifting a little to block any view from outside of the cell. The Were rumbled at her and as he turned to leave, his tail whisked around and slipped up Marion's shift. The scientist squeaked and just managed to close her thighs as a small package was placed there. To anyone watching, it just looked as if the male had indulged in a quick grope. Marion could hear their guards snickering as the beast exited the room…and DAMN IT…if her cheeks didn't burn in embarrassed response.
The vet was rather glad that the daily abuse had created a painful hitch in her gait when she walked. It did not arouse their watcher’s suspicions when she shuffled awkwardly back to the bed after picking up the bowl that held their rations. Marion breathed a soft thanks to Ice's brother when pulling the package out underneath the blankets revealed an Emergency Military Ration…and a small, soft peach that had been pitted and sliced. The Vet would wait until the semi darkness of the night shift and see if she could mix a mash together and get it into Ice.
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Chaos landed on the outside balcony leading into Ice's upper floor room. The moon had been bright and with his preternatural vision the demon had searched far into the night, stopping only when it became to dark to fly the low level search grid safely. Valentine, knowing full well how tired his eldest demon was, suggested that the proud being land here rather than dealing with the Shinra security forces that were scattered across the mansion grounds. The more exhausted Chaos became…the shorter his temper. (and lets face it…THAT particular leash wasn't very long to begin with!) After a couple of incidences where Vincent had to scramble for control before the demon splattered an arrogant and…unintelligent…. guard, the Host had decided that maybe they should make their landings up here.
Of course…the one time that they had come across a guard SLEEPING at his post…well…. The man's injuries had occurred AFTER Valentine had forced a shift! His demons were NOT the only ones having anger management problems!
For two weeks they had been searching with nothing to show for it. The dark Lord had flown every day for many more hours than he rested. Even the Galian beast was feeling the strain. That one had spent his fair share of energy following old sign that Abraham's people and the forest wolves came across. Inevitably these trails ended where a copter had landed. Once the enemy was in the air…they vanished without a trace.
The Host was fairing no better than his demons. While they searched, Vincent insisted that his two "residents" keep him awake and aware when he gave up his body. Even though this was exhausting to the man neither demon had fought him on the decision…They understood his reluctance to sleep alone as memories of Duprey and his sick depravities haunted their collective dreams.
Chaos sucked his wings in tight and quickly slipped through the French doors leading into the room. He pulled up short at the sight of the lit fire. Motion by the fireplace had his wings flaring slightly then the demon relaxed as Cid Highwind straightened up in his chair blinking sleepily.
"Bout fricken time you came in."
The pilot poured a big mug of steaming tea from a pot he had sitting in the fire and pushed it into the demon's cold hands.
"Gods be damned…Ya bat winged fucker….I expect one of these shitten nights yer wings are goin to fuckin shrivel up and fall right off if ya don't get yer ass in before it gets colder than a northern witch's titty out there!"
The man pushed those large hands up towards the sharp fanged mouth.
"Go ahead…drink yer damned tea, it'll warm yer ass up…mother fucking Gia, ya'd think that between the three of ya, ONE would have some friggin brains!"
The demon Lord opened his mouth to defend himself when Vincent snatched control and put the cup to his more blue than grey lips.
"Don't argue with him…you will just lose."
Golden eyes blinked and Chaos found himself sipping the hot, spicy sweet fluid. It sent a sluggish heat through his frozen limbs and the dark one knew his brows were trying to crawl right off of his head. This stuff wasn't half bad. He made the mistake of looking up and caught the Captain staring at him. Those cerulean eyes suddenly narrowed.
"What…did ya think I don't know my damned teas well enough ta pick one you would friggin like?"
Again Chaos opened his mouth to answer only to have his Host fill it with HOT tea.
"Holy crap…don't answer that…it's a trick question!"
The gunman sounded almost panicked and the cold muddled demon gladly relinquished control as the gunman pushed forwards.
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Cid casually reached out and plucked the cup out of Chaos' hand as the demon's form shifted to that of Valentines. His other hand steadied the gunslinger as he staggered. Without missing a beat (or spilling a drop of the precious hot liquid) The Captain shoved the cup right back into Vincent's cold hands.
"HA…and don't think that doesn't go the same for you, dumb ass…flying around in the fricken cold and dark at all hours of the night."
The gunman opened his mouth presumably to protest the pilot's high handed attitude. One blunt, calloused finger stabbed out and poked him hard in the chest.
"Hell….do ya think it'll help the shitten girls, if ya fucking kill yer collective selves afore we find em! Shut yer mouth and drink your damned tea!"
Highwind winced inwardly as his friend's eyes shuttered themselves at the mention of the missing. Damn…he was aware that things were bad here. BUT…. Chaos' subdued reaction to his bullying gave the Captain all the clue he needed as to just how bad it was inside of Valentine's head. Still, Cid kept a hard blue gaze glued on the man until Vincent obediently took a drink of the steaming liquid and then quietly cleared his throat.
"Its good to see you too….Chief."
One broad hand crept up to run itself through bristly blonde hair, then dropped as Highwind rubbed the back of his neck. The pilot had not been a frequent visitor here since the incident with Chaos. Cid was having difficulties coming to terms with the fact that he was very attracted to another male. Oddly, and this freaked him out more than anything, the fact that he was having sexual fantasies about something that was not human bothered him less then the fact that Chaos wasn't female. Now just how fucked up was that!
Even so…the few times that he had made the run to deliver supplies, the man and the demon had engaged in a subtle,(and rather exhilarating, he was willing to admit) dance of attraction. Chaos had not been aggressive about what he wanted, but he had not allowed the pilot to avoid the attraction he was feeling. Cid was surprised to find out that being courted by something as ancient, erotically attractive and incredibly powerful as Vincent's eldest demon, was not only a turn on, but was also a tremendous amount of fun! The fact that Ice…in the early stages of her pregnancy, not only didn't seem to mind her mate's divided attention but had actually participated a couple of times in the Demon Lord's pursuit of him….made it just that much harder to resist the pleasure that Chaos managed to give him just tantalizing glimpses of.
After the last visit…he had such a guilty conscience about even thinking about this that he had sat down and had a long and revealing talk with Shera. The woman had listened and rather than condemning what was gong on…she had sighed in what seemed like relief and confessed that their marriage was not what she had expected and that if his heart was divided (and NOT just by his love of the sky!)…maybe they should take a hiatus so that he could work out just where he needed to be. The Captain had not been home since then… AND… to avoid thinking about the situation, he had pushed himself, his ship and his crew to the breaking point. He was paying the price for this with a disabled engine when he had gotten Vincent's first call for aid in the aerial search. After waiting ten days for the parts he needed to make repairs, the Sky Captain had finally thrown caution to the wind. Knowing that Vincent And Chaos would drive themselves into the ground until they found the women, Highwind had stripped his crew down to the bare essentials and made the dangerous run on an engine that at best was just unreliable.
Actually…. they had been lucky that when the bitch finally blew, it hadn't taken the whole damned ship with it! Cid hid his distress at the dead look he saw in is friend's dark crimson eyes…there wasn't even a hint of gold there.
"Hell Vince….when ya called I was friggin trapped in Costa Del Sol with engine problems. I finally got tired of waiten for Gods be damned parts and risked the flight anyways. We…uhmmm…blew the main getting here…She's flying on the fricken auxiliaries."
One elegant brow crept up, the ex-Turk looked like he started to say something, then Vincent's eyes flashed gold and his hand jerked up to fill his mouth with tea. Cid grinned in relief at the show of life from Chaos.
"Hell…don't ya worry…we'll fly the shitten search patterns even if that bat winged fucker has to tow us!"
The smile disappeared as the pilot earnestly searched Vincent's tired face.
"The three of ya have gotta know… I got here as fast as I fuckin could…right?
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Vincent swallowed the mouthful of tea that Chaos had dumped in his mouth, arbitrarily silencing the "pot calling the kettle black" comment that the gunman had been about to make. The demon was right, it was delicious….Cid had picked one with some spice in it that went a long way towards warming him up. The gunman had tried to keep out of what was going on between Chaos and his friend. The pilot didn't need him muddling up the water anymore than it already was. Still…when Cid had been delayed in coming, Valentine had been worried that there was irreparable damage done to their friendship.
Chaos snorted softly…
"I TOLD YOU, CID WILL COME AROUND AND ACCEPT ME. HE JUST NEEDS A LITTLE TIME."
The man took another careful sip of the tea….
"Ever heard of the term…over confident?"
There was a rumbling growl…
"HMPH….ALTHOUGH…HIGHWIND NEEDS TO BE INTRODUCED TO THAT TERM. HE COULD HAVE BLOWN HIMSELF INTO OBLIVION FLYING LIKE THAT. SOMEONE SHOULD KICK HIM IN THE ASS FOR TAKING SUCH RISKS."
Vincent had a sudden vision of some of the hair raising aerial maneuvers that the demon had pulled, avoiding icy, SOLID rock cliffs and tall trees that could not be seen until almost to late as they flew at unsafe low levels in the dark. The gunman choked, almost snorting hot tea through his nose. At Highwind's questioning look, Chaos hissed,
"DON'T YOU EVEN GO THERE…. HOST!"
Cid pounded his back a couple of times and when Vincent could finally spit some words out…is was a heartfelt…
"It's okay, Chief…we are ALL very happy that you were able to come. Your expertise…and moral support are very much needed."
Cid just studied the gunman for a long moment as he lit a cigarette.
"Um hum…so what the fuck gives with Reno….I know I am damned tired… but Hell… I 'm pretty fucking sure I saw a shitten tail attached to his fricken ass!"
Vincent took a minute while he dressed to explain to the Captain some of the things that had happened since the attack. Hearing that the Turk was now a Were did not seem to faze the man but his blonde brows twitched up when Abraham's true origins were revealed. The blonde casually removed his smoke from his lips,
" Ah…. well hell…that fuckin explains it!
The gunman turned as he re-strapped his holster on. Crimson narrowed as he studied Highwind's innocent face.
"That explains what?"
"Why yer letting Reno play with Abraham….seems ta me like a great way ta fricken kill the ole boy off!…shit… I'm just a crusty ole sky jockey though…what the hell do I know."
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Valentine's long strides took him towards the library, he had left the panting Cid far behind in his rush to get to there before something "permanent" happened. He had forgotten that the Patriarch had mentioned that he would be instructing Reno and Whisper in Family protocol before the meeting tonight. A soft rumble from Chaos did not slow him any.
"VALENTINE…I AM SURE THAT ABRAHAM HAS INSTRUCTED MANY YOUNG "IMPULSIVE" MALES IN HIS LONG LIFE. HE MOST CERTAINLY WOULD HAVE THE PATIENCE TO NOT DO ANYTHING….PERMANENTLY DAMAGING…TO RENO."
His eldest demon did not sound very sure of himself.
Vincent didn't hesitate, as he reached the library door and threw it open. His softly muttered
"It's NOT Reno I am worried about!" seemed justified at the sight that met their startled gaze.
Abraham was sprawled out in one of the high-backed chairs by the fire. His usual immaculate dress in disarray and a half full snifter of cognac held loosely in trembling fingers. The Were's flat grey gaze turned the gunman's way as he entered the room, and Valentine winced….the Patriarch looked every minute of his great age right at the moment.
"Mother Gia Abraham…are you all right?""
The elderly man slowly raised the glass and took a gulp of the amber liquor.
"That….BOY…is a menace!"
The hand sagged and Vincent sprang forward to snag the empty glass before it could hit the floor. The Patriarch of the Family pinned the gunman with a piercing look.
"I believe that giving Reno four inch fangs AND a tail… may have been a terrible mistake!"
A smooth voice interrupted as Tseng joined them,
"Hmph….. do you THINK?”
The head of the Turk's did not sound terribly sympathetic. He settled in one of the other chairs his face as inscrutable as ever. One finger tapped for a second on the soft leather and then the assassin sighed.
"What did he do this time….and do I need to kill him?"
Abraham just pinned the man with a very dirty look.
Tseng straightened up and lifted his hands in a defensive posture.
"Hey…what are you complaining about? You have only had to deal with him for a couple of weeks…."
Those steel eyes widened a little and turned to look at Valentine who just lifted an eyebrow in a …he's got you there…gesture. Something shifted in the old wolf's face and when he looked back at Tseng there was something very close to respect reflected there.
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Cid followed the gunslinger to the library at a much more sedate pace. Really…if Abraham (or Reno) had created a mess in there, the Captain didn't want to have to help clean it up! As he walked past the ballroom, his steps slowed and the man didn't seem to realize that he had stopped just inside the darkened doorway. Damn…thin lips pulled down around the ever present smoke. Two weeks….a friggin lot could happen in that time frame. Blue eyes silently followed the track that Ice and Chaos had made as they had seductively swept across the dance floor that night.
All of these years…Vincent's resident demons had been just that… demons. All of Avalanche had been thankful when they had made the occasional appearance and pulled everybody's asses out of the fire…but they had also been thankful when Vincent wrestled them back into the prison of his mind. Not one of them had cared that each of these beings had a separate and individual personality, and the demon's, especially Chaos, had reacted to their ignorance with distain, arrogance, and down right hate. Since Ice had entered the picture, the man and his demon's seemed to have reached a beneficial truce…That could very abruptly and very violently change.
Highwind had gotten an unwilling first hand view of what the Demon Lord was capable of doing if he felt the stakes were high enough. The pilot took the cigarette from between his lips…damn he had bitten through the friggin thing! SHIT….if something happened to Ice and her kits…Chaos could very well go off of the deep end. If the powerful demon decided to take revenge on the whole human race, the Galian Beast would probably back him. If this happened…Cid wasn't so sure that Vincent would be able to stop his eldest nightmare this time.
The pilot sighed, put a new smoke to his lips and flicked his lighter. Sharp eyes picked up the reflection of the small flame as it glimmered off of crystal chandeliers and Cidney Highwind suddenly froze. Mother Gia! They had been making a course change when he had seen that odd reflection on the mountain side months ago. The coordinates would be a part of the ships permanent log! Lighter and cigarette dropped to the ground, the flame fluttering out as the man's speeding form vanished down the hallway. The Captain didn't even slow down when he hit the library…he just dropped a shoulder and crashed through the heavy wood door. He came skidding to a stop as Tseng, Rude, Reno and Valentine instantly had the drop on him with a frightening number of firearms. To make matters worse, at least five different individuals shifted into their savage beast forms in the blink of an eye and an uncountable number of very sharp teeth suddenly seemed to be bared in his direction.
"Holy fucking chocobo NUTS! …SHIT…Hold up…I think I fricken know where they are!"


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