|By : Rina76|
Category: Final Fantasy Anime > Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children
Views: 1702 -:- Recommendations : 0 -:- Currently Reading : 1
|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.|
A/N: Thank you so much to everyone who's ever read this story or given a review. Thank you for cheering Cate on with her tumultuous journey amongst the silver-haired men. Without you, dear readers, I would have stopped writing this fic years ago! I love you all :) 3
Chapter 42. My Legacy
Having two babies was tough, but also a delightful gift. We decided to name the boy Kazoo, after both Kadaj and Yazoo, but he is called 'Kaz' for short. His middle name is Samuel, after my dad. He definitely looks like Loz, only with my brown eyes. He has Loz's temper too and when there's screaming in the lair, it's Kaz, usually demanding food. At the beginning, he breastfed every single hour, leaving me with very sore, cracked nipples. I soon discovered that I couldn't keep up with his ravenous appetite and couldn't make enough milk to fill his tummy so I switched to feeding him formula in a bottle, which my poor abused boobs greatly appreciated. And that way, Loz, Yazoo and Kadaj could feed him too. Thanks to all that nutrition, my son grew big and chubby with cute fat-rolls on his legs and plump cheeks.
And the girl? I was so sure I was having a boy that I hadn't really chosen any girls' names so Loz picked one instead. Lina Maria. 'Lina' is short for my name, Catalina. I'm honoured that she's named after me and my mother, Maria Armstrong. My daughter has inherited Yazoo's personality traits - she is so placid and never cries or throws tantrums (unlike Kaz). Most of the time she just looks around at the world with gorgeous green eyes, observing, learning, wondering and thinking. Though small and petite, Lina is perfectly healthy.
Although the birth of the twins went relatively well and they came out without any issues, I had a serious health scare a few days later. One moment I was sitting on the couch at home feeding Lina and the next I woke up in a hospital bed. There was an IV line in my arm, attached to a bag of clear liquid hanging from a hook, and Loz was asleep in a chair next to me. He stirred when I spoke his name and crushed me in a tight hug, sobbing his heart out. Very confused, I asked what was going on but he couldn't speak. A doctor in a white coat came into my private room and explained what had happened.
Apparently, I started bleeding at home and had to be rushed to the Shin-Ra Medical Centre for surgery to stop the haemorrhaging. The doctor said I had to have multiple blood transfusions and was unconscious for two days but that I was now on the mend. At that moment, Yazoo and Kadaj entered the room but they didn't have the twins with them. I wanted to see my babies and tried to get out of bed but Yazoo gently pushed me back down, telling me that they were fine and that Tifa and Cloud were looking after them.
Yazoo went into greater detail about the events that led me here, informing me that he tried to stop the bleeding, giving me injections of different kinds of drugs but nothing was working, not even materia or Cure, so drastic measures had to be taken.
"We called Rufus," Kadaj explained. "You were airlifted here and went straight into emergency surgery."
"We almost lost you, Catey," Loz added sadly, holding my hand. "You died."
"What?" I whispered in disbelief.
"It's true," Yazoo confirmed solemnly. "Your heart stopped on the operating table but the surgeons successfully revived you."
"Now I'm not the only one who's died and come back," Kadaj said, smiling with tears in his eyes. "Welcome to the club, Cate."
I couldn't reply. I was still too shocked by what I'd been told.
But it got worse.
During surgery, it was discovered that the source of the bleeding was a strange growth attached to the inside of my uterus. An alien growth. It was unlike anything the surgeons had ever seen; it was fast-growing and continued to grow even after it was cut out. Not knowing what it would turn into, the medical team promptly burnt the lump of tissue in an incinerator along with other hazardous waste.
Nobody said it out loud but I knew what it really was. Even after Jenova's supposed extinction, the sneaky bitch was still trying to come back and kill me.
The surgeons were confident that they removed every single bit of that parasitic lump so hopefully, no more growths would appear. Just to be on the safe side, I underwent blood-cleansing therapy afterwards to eliminate any lurking Jenova cells in my system. Much like kidney dialysis, I was hooked up to a machine that cleaned my blood once a week. Along with that treatment, I also drank litres of Life Stream-infused water and had it delivered through an intravenous drip in my arm, wanting those little green fuckers to die. When I had my last blood-test, it came back clear of any extra-terrestrial nasties, much to everyone's relief.
The medical team told me that while they managed to save my uterus during the operation, there are scars and I may not be able to have any more children. In fact, they strongly recommended that I didn't have any more, especially not to Loz as he is a direct carrier of Jenova cells. If I did become pregnant again in the future, their advice would be to have a termination. If I decided to continue on with the pregnancy, I'd require very close monitoring, regular blood tests and ultrasound scans, and I would most likely need to deliver the baby via C-section for my own safety. That's if I made it that far. If another insidious growth appeared in my womb, it could cause me to lose the baby and possibly my life.
However, Loz and I are not planning on risking another pregnancy and so I have had a birth control implant inserted into my upper arm for continuous protection. It lasts three years and is highly effective. Loz offered to have a vasectomy but if his sperm-tubes were cut and tied, they'd just grow right back again so it would be a pointless surgery.
Even with the implant in my arm, the doctors advised us to take extra precautions during sex so as not to let our fluids mix, including always using condoms and for me not to swallow Loz's semen. Kissing is perfectly fine as there are no alien cells in his saliva. Furthermore, we have to be super-cautious that I don't get his blood on me, or Yazoo's blood, and I even need to be diligent dealing with my own children's cuts and scrapes, as they are only half-human and carry Jenova cells too. It's like a disease, a lethal virus, and I must be careful not to catch it.
The scientists at Shin-Ra are working on finding a permanent and safe cure for Loz, Yazoo and my children - to make them fully human - but we were warned that it may take years or it may not even be possible at all. Nevertheless, Loz and Yaz regularly go into the medical centre for testing, hopeful that one day they'll have brown hair and eyes, just like Kadaj, and that one day they will no longer be carriers of Jenova's dreadful legacy.
Despite all the safety measures we have to take, Loz and I remain close and still have a loving, intimate relationship. A few months after the twins were born, we got married down by the lake and special guests in attendance were Cloud, Tifa, Marlene, Denzel and Paxx Fair. I invited my foster brother Jaren (we had reconnected and were glad to be in each other's lives again) and I also rekindled my friendship with Shandi, my ex-roommate. Since she was with me at the club when I first met Loz, it seemed fitting that she was there for our marriage ceremony. Now that everyone on the planet knew about the Jenova project and its connection to Geostigma, I didn't have to hide my relationship with Loz anymore, or the fact that my children were part-alien. Instead of hiding our love, we proved it in front of the world. Or a select gathering of people, anyway. We couldn't afford to have the whole world attend our wedding but there was a small group of Turks, including Tseng, Rude and Reno.
Back when I was still in hospital recovering from surgery, Reno visited me in my room and asked how I was. It was nice to see him, especially since he called me sweetheart and bought me a large box of chocolates. While talking to the flirty redhead, I found out that he was the one who airlifted me to safety while I was bleeding. Reno boasted that nobody else but him could have managed to land a chopper in the forest amongst all the trees without crashing, but he did because he's the best helicopter pilot around. Somewhat smugly, Reno said he flew me back to the medical centre in record time so in actuality, I was probably only still alive because of him. Immensely grateful for his life-saving assistance, I cried and hugged Reno, promising that I'd never forget what he had done for me and my family. Because of his flying skills, my two kids didn't lose their mom, and their dad didn't lose his future wife. When Loz came back into the room, I noticed that he had also softened towards the smart-mouthed redhead and much to my surprise, the two work colleagues and former enemies eventually became great friends. Hence, why Reno and Rude were invited to the wedding.
I wore that long violet bridal dress I had dreamed about, Yazoo helping me make it with yards of shimmering fabric. He even helped to do up the lacing on the back of the corset on the morning of my special day. I also wore elbow-length purple satin gloves and matching lace-up boots. I carried a modern bouquet of different-coloured succulent plants, leaves and berries instead of flowers, not wanting Loz to sneeze during the ceremony. Loz wore a suit rather like his work uniform except he had a black collared shirt underneath and a dark violet tie that emphasized his emerald eyes. He looked so damn handsome I fell in love with him all over again. Yazoo and Kadaj wore similar suits and even Kaz was wearing a miniature baby tuxedo to match. Lina had on a small purple dress and with her thatch of fine silver hair, she looked like an exquisite little doll.
Loz and I wrote our own vows and we both shed tears saying them to each other. I think I saw Rude cry a little but it was difficult to tell with him wearing sunglasses and standing there like a bald, immovable rock. Everyone else cheered as we kissed, the twins watching on from their festively-decorated double stroller as their mom and dad became husband and wife. Afterwards, Tifa hugged me and whispered, "I'm so jealous." I told her not to be as one day Cloud will ask her too. It may take him ten years, but I reckon he'll eventually pop the question when he realises nobody else wants his depressing, non-smiling self. When I threw my bouquet, I expected Tifa to lunge for it boobs-first but Marlene surprised me, the girl jumping up and catching it with a huge grin on her freckled face. Denzel better watch out.
We had drinks and snacks back at the lair which was decked out in black and violet wedding decorations. We cut the cake and made sappy speeches about how lucky we were and how much we all loved each other. In the cheeky tradition, Loz stuck his head under my dress, pulled a purple garter off my thigh with his teeth and tossed it to all the single men. To his horror, Tseng accidentally caught it and hurriedly flung the garter at Reno, who grinned at his trophy and spent the evening wearing it like a lacy headband, the goofball. I think the flame-haired Turk was a bit disappointed that I didn't have any sexy bridesmaids he could hit on but he made do by flirting with Yazoo every chance he got. An amused Kadaj didn't seem to mind, especially when Reno drunkenly admitted that Daj was way more attractive now that he didn't have those creepy Sephiroth eyes anymore.
There was music, dancing, laughter and much merriment. I even thought I saw Cloud crack a smile once. Or maybe it was a wince of indigestion – hard to tell. Instead of partying late into the night with all our guests, Loz and I went into town and got tattooed - Loz's name inked under my collarbone and mine on his. We went to the same guy who did their ninja stars, someone who doesn't freak at the sight of Loz's green blood. I'm pretty sure he was a vampire or something. He certainly looked like one with his death-white skin, long black hair and strangely reddish eyes. He was even wearing a shredded crimson cape.
While our children were looked after by their more-than-capable uncles, Loz took me to a hotel where we spent the night in a deluxe newlyweds' suite. We didn't go on a honeymoon as we were reluctant to leave the twins while they were still so young, instead planning a tropical family holiday for all of us when Kaz and Lina become old enough to enjoy it.
Loz, Yazoo and Kadaj have been absolutely awesome with the kids, taking excellent care of them not only after the birth, but during my post-op recovery period and beyond. The guys don't expect me to do everything on my own and they scold me if I try to. Even though they are male, they all share parenting duties and will change dirty diapers (without retching), clean up puddles of wee or vomit and wipe snotty noses when needed. They know how to make warm bottles of milk and prepare meat, fruit and vegetables to make healthy kid-size meals (even though Kaz would eat nothing but cheese if you let him). The guys bathe and dress our now-toddlers, entertaining them, reading them books, teaching them how to use paint or pastel chalk, or taking them out for the day to give me some time to myself.
As much as the twins adore their dad and uncles, it's me they run to if they hurt themselves or get scared of something, needing cuddles and kisses from their mommy. It's still strange to be called that: "Mommy." In fact, I hear my name called hundreds of times a day, whether it's to help someone on the potty, or search for a missing shoe, or to break up a fight over a toy, or just to go look at something they have created with crayons, glue and paper. Sometimes they just call out for me because they can't see me anywhere, even if I'm only on the toilet. Just because I don't have any alien blood in me anymore doesn't mean I don't share a close bond with my children. I can't read their minds but just one look at their little faces is enough for me to know what they're thinking or feeling. I worry about them all day, every day, and at night when I'm supposed to be sleeping too. Motherhood can be exhausting at times but I love my kids more than life itself and would do anything for them.
And I love my husband too. Loz is an outstanding father, just like I knew he would be, spending hours with his children whether tinkering with Kaz in the garage or playing dollies and ponies with Lina. He often gets up in the night if they have nightmares, sitting with them in his lap and soothing them back to sleep. Not only have my husband and two brothers taken amazing care of the twins, but they have also taken wonderful care of me, ensuring I get enough rest, and that I eat and exercise and get my hair done on a regular basis so that I don't feel shit about myself. Most of all, since I have no other family left to help me, they make sure that I do not feel overwhelmed by being a mother to twins. The guys work alternate shifts at the Turk headquarters so at least one of them is home with me during the day to give me a hand with the children or the housework or the laundry or the cooking. Without the support of Loz, Kadaj and Yazoo, I honestly would not have been able to cope and I love them all to the stars and back.
As for the twins, they are getting big fast and hitting all their milestones early: walking and talking months earlier than other toddlers. They can run, skip and hop now and they are learning to ride bicycles with training wheels. Kaz looks exactly like Loz with a headful of silver hair that curls at the back, but with my brown eyes. He is a mix of both our personalities, both shy and fearless, depending on the situation. He is very much mechanically-minded like his dad, taking things apart to see how they work and putting them back together again. As I suspected when I was pregnant, he has powers. It must have been Kaz who unlocked Kadaj's door that day with a little electric bolt from my belly. Not only can he zap things with his fingers, he can also produce a defensive force-field around himself when feeling threatened. It looks like a blue bubble. He can also project it around others, to protect them from harm. The first time he did that was when his sister was learning to walk and she stumbled, Kaz raising his hand and instantly surrounding Lina with a bubble of energy, protecting her from hitting her face on the corner of the coffee table. Loz would have caught Lina before that happened but her twin brother got in first, proving how very much like his father he is.
Lina is an exceptionally beautiful little girl – she looks like Yazoo a lot, especially as her hair grows longer. I can tie it into two silver pigtails now. She is very smart and advanced for her age. While Kaz is clever with his hands, Lina is more intellectual and she can read primary school books already. She has powers too; the visions I used to have while pregnant must have come from her. She knows things that no child can possibly know and while her perceptive knowledge can sometimes be scary, she only uses her insight to help people. She is very caring and empathic – cruelty and unkindness upsets her greatly and she will do whatever she can to make somebody feel better, and I swear she can talk to animals as well.
Lina can also heal with her hands. That particular power of hers was discovered when Freddie the lizard was poisoned by a rogue cave spider and died. I was sad that I wouldn't have my little kitchen buddy anymore but Loz was inconsolable, having seen too much death in recent times, and the loss of his beloved pet was like another blow to his battered emotions. He couldn't stop crying. Our sweet daughter saw how devastated he was and did something about it. Touching Freddie's cold, scaly body with glowing hands, she brought the lizard back to life and brought joy back to her dad's broken heart.
I am truly blessed to have these two extraordinary children in my life, and I thank the Gods every day that I met Loz and became a part of this incredible family. After all the violence, evil and tragedy we've endured, the amount of love that now fills this lair is something that makes my soul sing with happiness.
Gaia may have taken away my own mother and father but in return, she gave me Loz, Yazoo and Kadaj. She gave me my darling Kaz and Lina. And although I am not trying to get pregnant, if Gaia in her infinite wisdom chooses to add to our little flock someday, then I will take that as just another blessing.
After all, accidents CAN happen...
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