The Orphans of Cerberus

BY : Fetherhd
Category: Final Fantasy VII > General
Dragon prints: 1741
Disclaimer: Square Enix holds all rights the the FFVII world and its characters. This is a not for profit fanfiction

The Orphans of Cerberus Chapter 16

Whisper walked to where Vincent was bracing himself up. The Were stopped and glanced back once to take in the sight of his sister who was crouched by Sergeant's still form. The female was rocking slightly, hands slowly stroking down the ragged muzzle as if the great beast was only sleeping. The White then continued until he was beside the ex-Turk. Valentine was surprised when the Were turned, pressed as close to the gunman's side as he could and then sat back on his rump, toes folded. The gunman felt that long prehensile tail creep around to wind along his hips. Whisper blinked slowly, his crimson eyes were dull and the big male looked almost shell shocked. The Albino was still holding that lethal little hand gun and when Vincent very slowly and carefully tried to take it from him, the ex-Turk found that those blunt fingers were locked tight around the pistol's grip, one finger still resting in the trigger guard. Vincent just did not have the strength to pry it loose. His vision kept fading and worse, he could hear his heart beat laboring as it hammered away.
Chaos had been preoccupied with trying to keep Vincent unaware of how seriously he was injured, keep his pain level to at least unbearable and working to block the arachnid's venom along with the Were's virus. It only took a moment for the Demon Lord to assess the situation. An accidental shooting could kill you as dead as an intentional one, and the demon knew he could not handle anymore damage to his host's failing body.
"BE CAREFUL…..VALENTINE! AS YUFFIE WOULD SAY…I DON'T THINK WHISPER IS AT HOME RIGHT NOW."
Both the gunman and his "guest" winced as there was a rustle and Reno knelt down in front of them, blocking Whisper's view of Sergeant's still body. The man's pale hands slipped into Whisper's creamy mane. His strong, long fingers worked at the tense shoulder muscles, trying to find certain pressure points. Vincent felt the body that was pressed so tightly up against his twitch, and at the Galian's urging, he slid his good arm around the broad back giving the beast as much tactile contact as he could. It wasn't a lot. Without the arm to support his weight, his back had to do the job and THAT was pure torture, even with Chaos trying to dampen the fire that raced across it. Black spots danced across his vision but he didn't let go. He felt a shudder pass through the Albino and Reno nodded as the grip on the gun loosened.
"Yo… big guy. Why don't ya let your good buddy Reno take this."
The Turk had both hands around that broad white one, his long index finger slipped behind the trigger so it could not be pulled.
"Here… why don't ya trade me what you have… for what I have."
Reno kept his voice soft and steady. Vincent just knew his eyebrows were crawling right off of his forehead as the red head offered the Were his beloved E.M.R.
Whisper blinked, and something shifted in those red eyes. The White glanced down at the weapon that was engulfed in his fist and covered by Reno's hand and then he convulsively tried to drop it. The Turk deftly caught it one handed. As he passed it over to Vincent, he did not release his hold on the male's now limp hand.
He tugged lightly on it,
"Yo…why don't we go check and make sure there are no other nastyies lurking in that passageway, Hmmmmm?"
Vincent repressed a hiss as Whisper's long tail lightly brushed his back when it traded its death grip on him to twine around one of Reno's legs. He felt Chaos's slight sigh of released tension as the White calmly went with the Turk and Valentine re-pocketed the hand gun.
"GODS, I AM GETTING TO OLD FOR THIS SHIT!"
The Galian beast snickered softly,
"What…. you become a prospective daddy and all of a sudden you can't HANDLE a little excitement…I mean… really….passing out at the slightest provocati…."
Vincent pinched the bridge of his nose and took a shaky, horribly painful breath…he could see this becoming a huge distraction so, he weakly came to his eldest demon's rescue…
"Galian…..Shut up!"
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Yuffie slipped up beside the ever silent Ice….she understood grief…Gods…she had experienced her fair share of it in her short life. But…she had NEVER pulled the trigger on someone she loved and the girl instinctively knew that this stunned, silent apathy that the two Were's were exhibiting wasn't healthy grief. The ninja nudged the golden female slightly with her shoulder but Ice did not even look her way. When Yuffie lifted her hand hesitantly to try and pull the Were away from Sergeant's bulk, one side of Ice's velvety lips lifted, showing her elongated canines in a silent snarl.
Unsure of what to do, the young woman dropped back to check on Vincent. What she saw when she reached the downed gunman had her heart stuttering in fear. The man was bleeding from side, thigh, and from a nasty looking hole just above and to the left of the hip that Cerberus was holstered on. It looked bad but the ninja breathed a silent sigh of relief when she realized that that particular wound was slowly closing, albeit not nearly as fast as his wounds usually did. Her relief was cut off instantly when she tried to put an arm around Valentine's shoulders and his pained "Hnnn.." coupled with an odd flutter of his black lashed eyelids made it clear that the man was on the edge of passing out. She quickly unbuckled his cloak ( The fact that the ex-Turk didn't protest, frightened her more than anything else.) and leaned him forwards so he could cross his arms over his knees and rest his head on them. She did not have to remove the soft black shirt whose texture she had so enjoyed earlier, it had been shredded.
At her first sight of Valentine’s ravaged back, Yuffie sucked in a sick breath…
"Holy SHIT….Vincent!"
Then it took her two tries to get,
"Oh Gods! RENO…get over here!" past her dry mouth and numb lips.
The ninja saw Ice's head snap around at the panic present in her voice and the female straightened away from Sergeant and strode over towards them. Reno had to physically move Yuffie's frozen body out of the way as he arrived in record time. The Turk didn't say a word as he took in the shredded muscle, splintered bone, and rent skin. Yuffie dragged her eye's away from the horrid sight just in time to catch the look of despair that crossed the red head's face.
"Isn't he supposed to heal almost instantly?"
Reno spoke quietly as he turned his attention to trying to get the rag of a shirt off without hurting the silent gunman. Whisper had come up, as silent as his namesake, and the Were reached around the red head, gleaming silver claws making short work of the torn material.
Vincent turned his head, shifting so that his cheek rested on his crossed arms rather than his forehead. Dark gold eyes opened and it was Chaos' rough burred voice that answered the Turk
"NORMALLY…YES…I WOULD MANIFEST AND HEAL THE HOST'S BODY AS HE RESTED. WITH THIS INJURY, I NEED TO STAY IN HERE. THAT GODS CURSED VIRUS IS INTERFERRING WITH MY ABILITY TO REPAIR THIS QUICKLY. I MANAGEDTO HOLD THINGS TOGETHER SO THAT THE GALIAN COULD FIGHT, BUT I AM HAVING REAL PROBLEMS GETTING VINCENT'S SPINE PERMANENTLY REPAIRED, AND I AM JUST BARELY PREVENTING HIM FROM BLEEDING OUT…"
Chaos' glimmering eyes dimmed for a moment as he snarled something in an ancient tongue….Yuffie had the distinct feeling that what he said, wasn't very nice. When the demon's attention returned he sounded….very tired.
"THE DAMAGE IN HERE IS PRETTY EXTENSIVE, AND TO COMPLICATE MATTERS, THAT…THING'S… VENOM IS A PARTICULARLY NASTY MIX…..MY HOST IS VERY…ILL…RIGHT AT THE MOMENT. IT IS TAKING EVERYTHING I HAVE JUST TO KEEP IMPORTANT THINGS LIKE HIS HEART, LUNGS AND BRAIN FUNCTIONING. I NEED TO CONCENTRATE ON JUST KEEPING VALENTINE… BREATHING…. BEFORE I CAN DEAL WITH THESE SURFACE INJURIES…."
Reno…ever the Turk glanced at Yuffie…
"I don't think he can travel like this."
Chaos snorted softly, then hissed as that slight movement caused immeasurable pain.
"I AM KEEPING THE HOST SUPPRESSED RIGHT NOW….IF HE WERE AWAKE….THE PAIN WOULD BE INTOLERABLE, EVEN FOR HIM."
Yuffie almost panicked as the demon's eyes closed wearily in Vincent's deathly pale face. Without thinking, she shook the man's still shoulder and Chaos' eyes popped open as he growled another nasty sounding curse at her in reaction to the pain. The young woman realized that the Demon Lord must be feeling everything that he was preventing his host from feeling. She turned to were she could meet Ice's concerned gaze.
"Ice…would your little spit trick work for Vincent?"
Chaos answered before the Were could.
"NO….ALL I NEED IN HERE IS A DAMNED INFECTION ON TOP OF EVERYTHING ELSE!…ALTHOUGH…WHAT THE TURK DID FOR GALIAN WAS….HELPFUL."
Yuffie's heart sank as she saw Reno's red eyebrows, shoot up. The young woman realized that Chaos was not exaggerating about Vincent's dire condition. That was probably as close as this proud, ancient being was ever going to come, to admitting that he needed help.
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Reno didn't hesitate he removed his materia from its slot on his E.M.R and shifted to were he could see the disconcerting gold gaze of the demon gleaming out of the gunslinger's white face.
"Yo…what I did for the beast was a low level cure. In order to use a level three….YOU would have to have EVERYTHING where it needed to be inside there before I cast it."
The gold dimmed for a second.
"THAT CAN BE DONE….BUT"
Here the demon pinned the Turk with a hard gaze.
"THIS IS GOING TO TAKE A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF MY REMAINING ENERGY….IF YOU CANNOT GET THE HEALING CLOSE TO FINISHED….I WON'T BE ABLE TO MAINTAIN HIM…HE COULD VERY WELL DIE."
Reno felt his stomach sink, the healing magic wasn't his greatest strength.
Yuffie shifted hopefully, but Whisper placed a hand on her shoulder and Reno heard the White murmur softly.
"I am sorry Yuffie…you CANNOT use materia…it would be very harmful to your health."
At the young woman's stricken look the Turk hardened his resolve.
"YO….you just make sure and do your part….I can handle this end."
Those gold eyes studied him long enough that the Turk was starting to worry, after all, this was the one demon of Vincent's that you did NOT want to piss off. He breathed a silent sigh of relief when the demon's lips tightened and he looked away.
"I WILL KEEP HIM DOWN UNTIL YOU GET HIS BODY LAID OUT. AFTER THAT, I MAY NOT BE ABLE TO KEEP VALENTINE SUPPRESSED WHILE I DO THIS….YOU MUST NOT LET HIM THRASH AROUND….THAT WOULD CAUSE EVEN MORE DAMAGE. I WILL LET YOU KNOW WHEN I AM READY."
Reno just nodded, and when the gold had bled out, leaving Valentine's blank eyes the color of dried blood, they carefully laid the gunslinger on his stomach. Whisper took a firm hold on the slim black clad legs, and Ice steadied the man's hips after carefully removing Cerberus from its holster. Yuffie braced herself to hold her lover's shoulders down.
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Chaos waited until the Weres had his host firmly in hand. Then he withdrew all of the energy he was expending in order to keep Valentine under. The demon ruthlessly pulled his resources out of fighting the virus, the venom and just maintaining vital systems and turned it towards pulling all of the damaged organs, shredded nerves, severed blood vessels, shattered bone and sliced, writhing muscles back into the positions that they needed to be healed into. He felt his Host buck once against the excruciating pain this caused, then the Were's strength came into play, pinning the man down. The Ancient Being said a short prayer towards his own extinct Gods that Reno was truly up to this task, then... the demon concentrated every bit of his energy into just holding everything together as he spat out the order for Reno to GO!
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Reno knew the instant that the Demon Lord started pulling everything together because the body of the prone man bucked under the trio's restraining hands and a soft "Hnnn" worked its way past Valentine's suddenly white lips as he tried to get away from the overwhelming pain. Reno could not help the others as they fought to hold the man down. He was tapping into his materia, holding and building the energy for the moment that Chaos told him to release it. This was taking ALL of his concentration, as this skill was not one that he had truly mastered and the power surged, trying to find a way OUT!
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Vincent was hammered awake by the unbearable fire of ALL of the terrible damage in his body being inhumanely jerked, pushed, twisted and rearranged by unseen hands. It was worse than anything Hojo had ever done. He tried to twist away from the killing pain only to find that he was being restrained by three sets of hands and feet powerful enough to keep his bucking body still. Yuffie's tearful voice penetrated through the haze and the sound of his own screams.
"VINCENT!….PLEASE…be still. We are trying to help!."
The man clamped his teeth into his lips and with a supreme effort, he managed to coerce his body into a trembling semblance of stillness. Chaos rose for a brief flash and he heard the his eldest’s rough, exhausted voice push past his own bleeding lips.
“NOW...RENO!"
The ex-Turk had a split second, where all of the Weres jerked away, freeing him…. And somehow, he managed to hold against the screaming agony for what seemed like an eternity….then… blessed relief surged through him as Reno cast a High Level Cure.
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Reno almost did not hear the Dark Demon's command so immersed was he in the healing magic. What did register was that all three Were beasts were scrambling to get back before he released all of that power into Valentine. It was a relief to let it go. The energy coursed from him, through the orb he held and sank into the gunman's shuddering form. It seemed that Valentine's need was inexhaustible because his failing body absorbed all of the power Reno was pouring out and demanded more. The Turk gritted his teeth and tried to meet that demand. He had heard of people who had terminally drained themselves by trying to cheat that all powerful God…death, and he suddenly realized that he was courting that himself. Still…he thought…as a form of redemption for some of the things he had done…this would not be a bad way to go. He had the odd sensation of something ELSE in his head….and he felt Chaos's deep, gravelly voice more than he heard it.
"RENO…STOP!….IT IS ENOUGH."
Still the Turk couldn't seem to break the connection.
Powerful hands suddenly grabbed him and he heard Whisper's strangled scream as he was jerked away from Vincent, effectively breaking the energy's lethal conduit. The white male let go of him and curled into a convulsing ball. Reno dropped the smoking materia and crawled over as the Were stilled, hands pulled up to his chest, tail twitching. Whisper’s red eyes were blank, his white mane stood straight out and his lips were pulled back in a rigid, pained, tooth showing grimace.
“Whisper?”
Reno was suddenly terrified that the male had killed himself trying to save him and he found that his heart just couldn't bear that thought.
"YO…Whisper…Please?!"
He couldn't hide the sob that threatened to tear it's way out of his suddenly aching throat as he gave the beast a hard shake and whispered.
"Come on…you need to WAKE up…you haven't asked Valentine if ya can screw me into the mattress yet."
Whisper twitched, and before his red eyes lit up all of the way he inflated his throat and boomed…
"VINCENT….I need permission to screw one red headed, second ranked, TURK into his mattress."
Reno dazedly looked up to see the gunman being helped to sit up by a madly grinning Yuffie. Ice actually broke out in a silent fit of laughter when the ex-Turk glanced at the sprawled pair of males, silently taking in the way their red and white manes swirled together like strawberries and cream and dryly breathed.
"Granted!"
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Vincent watched Reno help Whisper to his feet, or it could have been the reverse. Both of the males seemed more than just a little shaky. Actually, after raking the small group with a professional eye, the gunman had to admit that none of them looked all that well. He shifted his weight and carefully took a deep breath. That breath hissed softly back out as pain flared along his back and through his ribcage… but… at least it was bearable and NOT the incapacitating agony he had experienced just moments ago. The gunman made an automatic query to the being responsible for keeping him in good health. Usually when he awoke from one of his transitions, Chaos would have his body close to totally healed. He knew that this time, that wasn't the case. He became a little concerned when all he received back was that weird humming emptiness instead of the sarcastic remark he expected from his eldest demon.
His concern grew, when he mentally poked at the ancient being and received NOTHING in return.
"Chaos…?"
"Shhhh…."
Vincent felt his eyebrows arch up at his subordinate demon's insistent hiss. The Galian kept his tone to a subdued rumble.
"The only time I have seen the Old One scramble like that was when you were so badly damaged in the Omega incident."
Well… that answered the question as to why the Galian beast was speaking in his dominant demon's stead. Chaos had been so wiped after Omega that the ex-Turk had not heard from the Demon Lord for weeks. At the time…HE had assumed that the ancient being had returned to the planet. Of course…everyone knows that you should NEVER assume anything. He felt a wry smile pull at the corners of his mouth and accepted Yuffie's strong help in pulling himself onto his feet. He was thankful for her sturdy support as a wave of pain and dizziness rolled through him.
The Galian gave a concerned sounding hum.
"Chaos said that this is the best he can do for the time being and that you should be very thankful that the Turk is with us. You may feel a little out of sorts from that monster's venom….But…. as long as you don't take anymore damage…he has everything coasting on autopilot while he gets some rest, and you should heal.
The beast's tone became slightly disapproving.
"You really should be more careful, master of mine. One of these days, you are going to push him past his limits….Then where would we ALL be, Hmmm?"
"Where indeed?"
The gunman ran careful fingers over the almost healed hole in his side that he was SURE hadn't been there when he traded places with the Galian.
"I will try to keep that in mind."
Valentine staggered as Yuffie, who had been grinning like a maniac, (A rather intimidating sight when you considered the size of those impressive canines.) suddenly sobbed and reared up to throw her arms around him.
"OH GODS… V-v-vinnie….What the HELL was that? Don't you ever do that again…your S-S-SUPPOSED to be IMMORTAL…W-w-what am I supposed to d-d-do if you d-d-d….?"
The words were muffled as the ninja had her long face pressed into his chest, and he could feel her tears running hot against his skin. Ignoring his own stiffness and discomfort, Vincent wrapped both arms around the young woman's silky, mane covered, shoulders. He could feel her shaking against him, and without thinking he dropped his good hand to make slow circles on her back, trying to ease the sobs that wracked through her.
"I am fine… Yuffie…Chaos is good at what he does."
The gunslinger's sensitive fingers paused and traced several long healing wounds that were spaced across her ribcage…it seemed that the ninja had also acquired some serious injuries.
Yuffie pulled back when she felt him part her mane to watch one deep wound as it was slowly knitting itself together. She sniffed and gave him a watery smile.
"I'm okay….Ice showed me a… GROSS… but neat way to deal with Were bites."
Vincent looked hard into her honey eyes and the girl swallowed her tears, giggled and swiped her tongue across his chin. OKAY….he really needed a briefing on just what exactly had happened after he had been injured…he remembered very little and what he could dredge up was very blurred. Ice had stepped closer to peer at the wound that Vincent had exposed and she nodded her satisfaction at how it looked. The female gave him a smile, no more than a twitch of the corners of her mouth and handed him Cerberus. Then, she turned from watching them, to glance at Sergeant's still bulk. One look at the female's sad, drawn features, and the furtive glances that Whisper kept making at Sergeant's quiescent form and Valentine made the snap decision that the briefing could wait. They needed to get out of this general vicinity first.
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Ice moved carefully through the last level before they reached the surface. They had been traveling now for a total of sixteen hours with little rest and she was feeling the strain. The group had taken a small break after moving past that gods cursed passage, for quick first aid on the human's part, (even with the healing, they had to bind Vincent's back so that the closing wounds there wouldn't break open as he moved. The man could not afford to loose any more blood.) AND a thorough tongue washing and blood removal from the Weres. (Yes… this was done with many comments of GROSSNESS on Yuffie's part and a slightly startled look from their Alpha as both Weres pinned him down and licked him clean. To give the man credit…he permitted it.) The ritual of grooming had also given Ice a chance to regain her composure. With the high emotion of the battle, Sergeant's death, the almost loss of her brother AND her new chosen Alpha, the Were female's damaged mind had finally had a small break down and the group could NOT convince her that the dark tunnel wasn't just FULL of lurking creepy crawlies. It had taken both Reno and Whisper pulling, cajoling, even threatening…PLUS… a bite on the ass from Yuffie to finally force her to go through that web incrusted opening. Soft velveteen lips wrinkled back in a small smile….her BUTT was still smarting.
The golden female spared a glance back and slowed her pace even more. They had shifted Valentine into the middle of the traveling order along with Reno. Although the Alpha male insisted that he was all right, all could see that he was not moving with his usual easy grace, and there were fine lines of pain etched around his pale lips and ruby eyes. More telling was the fact that the gunfighter had made little protest when Whisper had supplanted him as rear guard. Reno traveled slightly to the front on the gunman's left and Yuffie was traveling very closely on his right. Crimson eyes glimmered as Vincent caught Ice's appraisal of him. He quirked the corner of his mouth and gave a slight nod in her direction. Not taking his word for anything (Alpha males were notorious for hiding any weakness) Ice dropped back a little, testing the damp air that swirled around him. There was no smell of fresh blood, so she moved back to her position, and started looking for the best path to get up through this last tangle of girders.
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Steel could not believe the gift that the Gods were delivering to him. Not only had they finally managed to catch their recalculate sibling while the brotherhood was at full strength, but SOMEHOW she had acquired a FEMALE first generation Changeling.
The three brothers had been keeping a wary eye on the activity going on topside. When the storm had hit all of the aircraft had been grounded, even the great airship. Ground parties had continued the search but now that true night was falling, even these were pulling back. As the trio was preparing to slip back down into this remote section of Deepground, Shadow's sharp eyes had detected movement in the girders.
Steel moved silently above the trespassing group, his sharp green eyes assessing the little Troop's condition and his intelligent mind sorting out who amongst them needed to be dealt with first. Even as he watched, the tall male in the middle stopped, slipped a black gloved hand under his crimson cloak. The grey Alpha's sensitive ears picked up the almost silent buzzing of a cell phone set to vibrate. As his pale, cold gaze watched the group gather back around the human, lean silken lips peeled back in disgust. How could his sister and that abnormal white brother degrade themselves by accepting ANOTHER human as their Alpha? Well no matter….He signaled to the other two and then headed back up towards the ruins. He would wait until they attained the surface and thought themselves safe. Shadow was fully capable of dealing with the White and the two human males would have no chance against the might of Titan. He doubted that the little Changeling would be a threat and after he dealt with Ice, he would be sure the pretty striped female was bred. Ice was quick and could easily out distance him in the girders, even while she was in her less defensible form. He didn't know why she was traveling like that, but he did not want to give her any excuse to shift to beast form. As long as she was… Changed… he could out run her on the flat… AND when he caught the bitch… The male had to ruthlessly squelch the desire to Boom in premature triumph…he was going to finish this particular kill!
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Ice breathed a silent sigh of relief as she pulled herself up to stand on the dark, rain washed ground of Midgar. The chances of running into her brother's Troop were slim to none up here and the female relaxed her guard as she turned to give Reno a hand up. All the warning that the golden Were had was the sudden widening of the Turk's eyes and her brother's deep savage boom of triumph as he slammed into her from the side. Steel's greater weight took her to the ground as two fiery knives buried themselves in her thigh. Such was the span of the great grey Alpha's narrow jaw that the other two dagger like canines sank to the hilt across the top of the base of her tail and slashed down, cutting through the muscle and the hyper sensitive nerves that ran through that area. At the same time, the big male twisted those heavy neck muscles, and the sharp sound of her femur breaking cracked out at the same time as the terrible pain forced a thin scream from Ice's damaged throat. The female rolled desperately, drawing her daggers more from instinct than anything else…her intelligence was being overwhelmed with shock and pain. Steel released her hip and twisted with lightening speed, one powerful set of talons driving into her right forearm while those iron jaws closed over her left wrist cracking through tendon and bone, forcing her to drop her weapons. Then, knowing that he had his sister crippled in such a way that she was helpless and could NOT run, the Alpha Male dug his rear talons in and pinned the bleeding body under him.
The beast dropped his awesome head down to hiss into the writhing female's twitching ear….
"This time I am going to rip your pretty red head clean off….let's see if you can miraculously recover from THAT!.."
Massive jaws gaped, the brother fully intent on repeating the punishing killing bite he had used on his sister so many years ago.
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Whisper shot past the two slower human males, the instant that he heard Steel's angry boom. He leaped past Reno just in time to see Ice go down underneath his Alpha brother's heavier bulk. The White boomed, and dove towards his downed sister only to be intercepted by a silent, black Shadow. The second ranked male's long jaw closed over the back of the Albino's wide skull and as the heavier male rolled over his rogue brother's back, his momentum caused the White's neck to twist and crack.
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Yuffie topped the edge a fraction of a second in front of Reno and Vincent. She caught a glance of Whisper being pulled over, his neck twisted into a lethal angle by a large Black Were. The sound of Ice's arm breaking jerked the silver and chocolate Changeling's head around and she reacted as the highly trained ninja that she was. Both hands blurred as she drew the silver laced throwing knives. One skimmed across Whisper’s twisting shoulder and buried itself in the thick muscle at the angle of the Black's heavy jaw. The other flew unerringly towards the back of the Grey that straddled Ice. Vincent beat it there. He reached the beast as those lethal jaws were closing on Ice's neck. Slamming into the grey’s broad back, he jammed his gauntlet between the closing jaws. The sound of teeth skittering and screeching across the heavy metal was drowned out by Steel's strangled scream as the ex-Turk jerked them both sideways and that spinning silver knife buried itself in the Were's sleek grey side. The male twisted, knocking the ex-Turk off of his feet as the grey convulsed at the silver's stinging bite. The Alpha launched himself away from the human male, skidded to a stop and reared onto his hind legs as powerful hands jerked the dagger out. Steel's pale eyes were two livid green flames and the male peeled his lips back to expose his massive fangs to their roots. The male stalked towards the man whom he considered an Alpha threat, with lethal intent written in every line of his heavy muscled frame. Vincent had rolled when he had been thrown clear of Ice and as he rose to his knees in a sniper’s stance, Sergeant's lethal little handgun was centered on the grey's massive chest. Yuffie had shot forwards into a charge and she skidded to a stop as Vincent pulled the trigger. The gun barked out its challenge and for the first time in the years that Yuffie had known the man….he missed his mark. The ninja had a fleeting moment to remember Ice's warning about silver bullets not flying true, then a mighty black shadow rolled out of the darkness behind the smaller form of Steel….Titan had entered the fray.
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Vincent felt a brief second of odd relief when Ice's thin strangled scream of pain and fear echoed down the shaft and brought Chaos to awareness in a heartbeat.
"WHAT….?"
Was all the Ancient Being had time for before Vincent topped the edge. At the sight of Ice thrashing under the punishing form of her brother, the Demon Lord poured strength through his Host, with the hissed admonishment of….
"DON'T DAMAGE YOURSELF…. VALENTINE!"
Such was the speed with which he moved, Vincent was able to block the beast's lethal bite with a mouthful of metal gauntlet and twist the creature into the path of Yuffie's knife before it reached them. The resulting convulsion threw the ex-Turk clean off of Ice's bloodied body. As he rolled up into a shooting stance, the monster was roaring at him in a classic dominance challenge. Wanting to bring this to a swift end, Ice did NOT look good at all, Vincent pulled the trigger and could only stare in stunned disbelief as the silver bullet tumbled over the Grey Were's shoulder, raising his mane in the wind of its passing.
"YOU….MISSED….."
Chaos dryly pointed out as the angry beast stalked towards them.
Vincent was doing some hasty Kentucky wind-age calculations in his head when the mighty Black bulk of Titan toward over Steel's smaller form.
"OH SHIT!"
"Ya think…!" Was all that the gunman had time for as those powerful sharp talon-ed hands dropped down onto Steel’s shoulders. Before the Alpha could react, Titan dropped his heavy gaping jaws, closed them with crushing force over his brother's wide skull, and in a move reminiscent of what Shadow had tried with Whisper, his heavy thick neck twisted. Between the sheer power that rolled through the massive Black's muscles and the leverage created by his hold on his brother's shoulders, Steel's head was ripped off in much the same way he had planned on removing Ice's.
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Shadow had thought he had his smaller white brother in a death hold before that wicked little silver blade hit him right behind the hinge of his jaw. Gagging and choking, the Black had no choice but to release his brother's neck. Whisper twisted, lethal jaws snapping while powerful hands and feet closed on the Black's fighting form and in the next moment Shadow realized that he had made a fatal miscalculation. His white brother had always held the bottom rung of the dominance ladder and he had NEVER tried to advance his rank. The Black found himself fighting for his very life and he suddenly realized that this hadn't been because the white was not CAPABLE of advancing. Whisper’s ivory fangs tore a gaping slash down Shadows muzzle and the Black screamed as the burn of silver penetrated his insides as his brother dug his talons into his vulnerable stomach. In complete desperation, Shadow made a mammoth effort, rolled, and somehow was back on top where he could use his greater weight to pin the albino as he tried for a fatal bite. He was reaching for his brother's vulnerable throat when there was a flash of red and a buzzing, sparking rod cracked him on the nose. As the Were's head jerked up, he got a good look at a pair of slitted pale eyes bracketed by odd slashing red, then his body was twisting uncontrollably as fire rolled over it, the human male had cast Cure on him.
Groaning, Shadow managed to force his jittering body to its feet just as Whisper rolled back up into a threat posture placing his bloodied white bulk between Shadow and the human male who had been thrown heavily into a girder. A gurgling shriek jerked the black brother's eyes away from his challenger and he could only watch in horror as Titan made a successful bid for the Troop's Alpha position. Forgetting about his fight with the albino, Shadow turned and scrambled for the edge of the drop. Titan caught him just as he reached it, and the smaller Black felt his brother's massive jaw close around his spine just as the luckless Second also felt the dilapidated girders crumple under the unexpected weight. With a screech of distressed metal, the bottom dropped out from underneath his grasping hands and feet. As Shadow's broken body fell, it slammed into and ricocheted off of the steel girders, he took enough damage that his healing factor shut his systems down before the two falling brothers finally hit the bottom.
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Vincent was the first to reach Ice. The female had rolled on to her side, and was trying to curl into a fetal position. Bright blood flowed from her throat, her shattered wrist and in frightening amounts from the nasty slashing bite wounds situated over her tail and deep into the muscling of her thigh. Reno slid in beside the gunman as he tried to straighten the bloodied female out. Ice's pale eyes flashed open, and Valentine just barely yanked the Turk back in time to avoid a nasty bite. The injured female thrashed as Whisper and Yuffie arrived and the White tried to pin her down. There was nothing reflected in those pale silvery eyes but, shock, pain, and fear. Yuffie took one look at the arterial blood flowing out of the deep, wounds and grabbed the gunslinger's good arm.
"Vincent….I need to be human."
Valentine slashed a startled look the ninja's way, but didn't question her. He just nodded and produced one of Ice's precious syringes from the deep pockets on the inside of his cloak. The girl injected herself as Whisper finally managed to get his sister pinned. The White growled at Reno, and the Turk jumped to dig strips of cloth out of the albino's carrying pouch. He hesitated though when he realized he would have to get his fingers near the Were's sharp teeth and dangerous saliva in order to get the strip into her mouth to soak. Valentine switched places with the red head and directed the man to see what he could do to slow the bleeding. Reno traced a quick finger up the silky furred, bloody leg until he found the pulse point close to the juncture of thigh and groin. He balled his hand into a fist and bore down over it as hard as he could. The Turk whispered a sickened apology as he felt the broken bone there shift and grind, and the female's body jerked against her brother's restraining hands, mouth opening in a silent scream. Vincent moved with inhuman speed and got a strip of cloth into her mouth before it snapped shut.
Yuffie hissed softly as the burn of Change ran over her and she still managed to tell the ex-Turk that"… he needed to get the Were's wrist and leg set before they could heal and DAMN IT… Ice needed to get her spit glands working if they were going to help…"
The gunman's pale lips twisted unhappily….he knew how painful having broken bones set without the benefit of anesthetic was.
Chaos hissed at the gunman.
" HURRY UP…. VALENTINE."
The Demon Lord was watching red blood flow and wondering how much the iron constitution of a Were could handle before they died of blood loss.
Vincent reached for Ice's broken, bleeding arm just to jerk back as sharp fangs skittered across his gauntlet, as again, the female tried to bite.
"SHIT….!"
Chaos surged forwards and before his Host could interfere he grabbed control of their shared body. The demon straddled the female and caught her lovely face between both hands. He dropped his face until his golden eyes were starring into her pale, slivery blue ones from just inches away.
"MATE OF MINE…..YOU NEED TO BE STILL!"
Yuffie was dragging herself to her feet and she could not believe that the Demon Lord’s rough voice could be that gentle. Ice's tense body relaxed slightly at the familiar voice and her glazed eyes blinked and cleared a little.
"THAT IS GOOD… MONKEY CHILD, "
Vincent's good hand slid off of the soft cheek to cup her chin.
"NOW… CHEW… LIKE A GOOD GIRL."
Yuffie slid in next to Vincent as he shifted off of the female. Ice blinked again and triggered her healing responses. Drool started to slip out of her mouth. Crimson eyes slashed the ninja's way and Vincent tapped Ice's chin…
"Open."
The female obediently opened her mouth. Yuffie picked out the soaked cloth and stuck a dry one in. Vincent caught the broken arm between both hands and before the female could even flinch he pulled and twisted, listening for the muffled click that told him the ends of the bones were together. Ice bit down hard on her rag and gave him a very nasty look. As soon as he moved his hands, Yuffie was using her long, narrow fingers to work that dripping rag into the deep wounds. A quick look of pain followed by relief crossed Ice's drawn face but was replaced by one of pure panic when Vincent ran his hands down her leg. The gunman glanced up once in warning and saw Whisper brace himself. Then the ex-Turk tightened his fingers, both flesh and claw around her ankle and pulled. The powerful muscles of the female's leg put up a terrible resistance as Ice bucked and twisted against the pain.
Her pale eyes rolled back and the gunman heard Whisper rumble…
"No Ice….stay with us….don't shut down yet."
Reno swore softly and released his pressure, in order to put the heels of his hands against the break and push the heavy bones while Valentine maintained traction. They were rewarded with a soft click as the broken ends settled into place. Yuffie had the second rag out of Ice's panting mouth and was busy stuffing it into the bleeding gashes before they even let go.
The ninja carefully wiped each of the golden female's gaping wounds with her saliva soaked rags, changing them as often as Ice could get them soaked. The only time that the female complained was when Whisper helped her to roll and Yuffie had to work the rags into the deep wounds slashed over the thick base of her tail. By the time the ninja was done there, the female Were was shaking, and a soft keening sound worked its way past her damaged larynx. Yuffie saw Vincent's good hand sneak out to rub Ice's back in slow soothing circles and the eyes that flashed her way were a dark, unhappy gold. Yuffie hastily glanced away, unused to seeing anything but anger and hate in Chaos's hauntingly beautiful gaze.
Everybody but Valentine flinched when a ground shaking rumble split the night, Cid's airship appeared, moving slowly over the ruins. When Vincent had realized that they again had cell service, he had activated his GPS and Cid was using it to home in on their position. The closest the Captain could get to them and safely land was a few blocks away on one of the abandoned freeway systems that crisscrossed the area.
Ice was unable to stand, let alone walk, so after carefully draping his cloak over Yuffie's almost naked body, Vincent gently scooped the female up. The little group was so focused on getting the injured Were out of there, that not one of them noticed dark shadows slipping over the edge where the black brothers had fallen. As they approached the giant ship, Valentine could feel the Were's body shuddering and Ice tried to burrow in tighter against him. A quick glance showed that Whisper was hanging close to Reno's heels. His tail was wound tight around the Turk's wrist and his scarlet eyes reflected the airship’s spot lights with a bloody glow, so wide were they with fear. The gunman stopped for a minute and waited for the pair to pull even. Then he carefully knelt to where the male could also hear him. He spoke just loudly enough that Ice's ear twitched as the words ghosted over the tip.
"I …promise….that neither of you shall come to harm because of this."
Whisper gave him a small tight lipped smile, and he felt the shudders that were running over the soft body he carried,ease up.
As Vincent lead his little Troop into the airship, he breathed a silent prayer that this time….his promise would hold true.


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