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 Orphan's of Cerberus Chapter 25

Yuffie stood on her hind legs, leaned on the door frame leading into the bathroom, and folded her arms. Shadowed, honey eyes followed the wisps of steam as they swirled through the damp air. The Changeling idly admired the slender silhouette of Vincent's body that she could see through the shower curtain, as the man stood almost motionless under the hot spray. The fact that the ex-Turk did not seem to realize she had even opened the door spoke volumes as to his state of mind. Something had really thrown the dark gunman into a tailspin and the girl was desperately trying to think of a way to pull him out of it before he slammed into the ground and shattered himself.
Strong talons tapped a nervous tattoo against a chocolate striped forearm. WHAT had happened last night? It had to have something to do with Chaos. The gunman was always on edge when the big demon was active but this was far beyond his usual moody behavior. Yuffie had seen Valentine angry, and upset…she had even seen the man shed a tear when he was in the cave with Lucrecia. She had NEVER seen him weep like he had done that night in her arms. He had refused to answer any of her worried questions, and she had stopped prying when he had brokenly apologized and just turned his back to her. The young woman had folded herself around his long frame as best she could and just held him, thinking that Vincent seemed more like a lost soul now than he ever had before. If she wasn't careful, she was going to lose him as he sank back into his own personal hell.
A soft sigh escaped thin lips and Yuffie felt her tail coiling nervously around her waist as the shadowed form reached out and turned the water off. Yep…the man was NOT himself, he startled as he opened the curtain and saw her standing there. Actually, with Valentine…it was more a hesitation and widening of crimson eyes, most people would not have caught it. But the ninja had no problem interpreting those subtle signs. Over the years, she had made a study of reading the man.
He recovered without even blinking.
"Yuffie…it's very early, shouldn't you still be in bed?"
The ninja gave what only could be described as a very unladylike snort.
"Hey if you can be up at the butt crack of dawn, so can I. Sides…. Somebody told me that you make a, and I quote, fricken wicked …peel the damned skin off your tongue, drag your ASS outta that fuckin coffin, gods be damned… SOMEONE… wake me up… cuppa Jo?"
One elegant eyebrow crooked up.
"That SOMEBODY wouldn't be Cid…would it?"
Yuffie stifled a snicker…
"Yeah, the old fart sure has a way with words…don't ya think?"
"Yes, he most certainly does."
For a precious second, light glimmered in Vincent's eyes and the feelings he had for the Sky Captain warmed his deep voice. Then, it was almost like a spasm of pain crossed the man's face and the spark dimmed, leaving the crimson as dark as old blood.
The Changeling unfolded her arms and stepped forwards to lay a warm hand on that pale, water dappled chest.
"Vincent, if you are stressing about vacating and allowing Chaos out last night, don't. He really was very civilized…he didn't POUND Cloud or anything. As a matter of fact, he probably saved Dr. Beckett's life. The big, winged jerk has even been really NICE to me, helping me when I was airsick and even though he thinks I am a child (well he calls me, a warrior child…) he is really…."
Valentine moved so fast that the ninja was still prattling on before she realized he had her shoulders in an almost painful grip. The obviously distressed gunman started to roughly shake her.
"Gods… Yuffie…stay away from him! That dark one is NOT nice! You can NOT trust the beast. Even if he SEEMS civilized, NEVER…FORGET…Chaos is a Gods cursed DEMON. Under the right circumstances, he would not hesitate to maim you…hurt you…or, Gods forbid, RAPE you. The BEST that you could hope for is that he finishes his fun quickly and then kills you!"
The man punctuated his statements by shaking the girl hard enough that Yuffie was starting to see double.
The young woman didn't say a word so stunned was she by the raw panic present in that usually stoic voice. She did close her own powerful blunt fingered hands over his wrists, not releasing them when he realized what he was doing and tried to stumble back.
Yuffie's words froze in her throat as she caught a flash of gold in the red, she did not see Chaos rage or demonic hate, what she saw in that subtle glimmer was a deep sorrow. Then…it was gone, and what was left was just…broken.
"Promise me Yuffie…"
This was a ragged whisper as the gunman placed his hands on either side of her head, flat against the wall and rested his damp forehead in the crook of her neck and shoulder…
"I couldn't bear it if …I…HE…hurt you! PLEASE…promise me…!".
For once in her short life, Yuffie was at a loss for words. What in the nine HELLS had happened!
The girl drew a deep breath and gently rubbed her hands in circles over the scarred back. Her sensitive fingers faltered when they grazed over the long ridges that twisted over the man’s shoulder blades on either side of the strong spine.
"Okay…Vincent, I promise that I will be always be on my guard if I have to deal with anything that currently resides in your body other than you. Will that do?"
The dripping hair shook and spattered cold water on her as the man whispered.
"Me too, Yuffie…you have to be careful around me also…"
The Changeling clamped down on the snarl that tried to escape…DAMN.. she THOUGHT that they had gotten past this a LONG time ago!
“Okay, Vince….whatever you say."
Vincent took a ragged, shuddering breath and pushed himself away from her. One long fingered hand reached past her and plucked a towel off the rack. Yuffie was suddenly very aware of the total naked package on display in front of her. The beast side rose, and the little ninja had to ruthlessly squelch the sudden desire to lick every drop of water off of that tall frame. NOW was not the time! Yuffie was incredibly thankful that this current form could not blush, else the White Rose would have been deepest scarlet.
A soft …ahem…jerked her gaze from where it had …settled…. back up to Valentine's lovely alabaster face.
"So…do you still want that coffee?"
Cid gave up on sleeping after the second drop into nightmares. HELL… the ones his OWN mind was coming up with were ALMOST every bit as bad as the one Chaos had inflicted on him. At least the demon generated one had provided some pleasure! (wanted or NOT!)
The Captain ended up in the galley, perusing his collection of teas. He was trying to decide between something soothing, to ease his wired up nerves…or something stimulating to compensate for the lack of rest. Piloting the great airship was NOT as easy as he made it look. He could not afford to be drowsy at the wheel navigating over and through these mountains! With a heartfelt sigh, the man settled on the stimulant. He was no fricken Vincent Valentine that he could function for days without sleep!
Highwind was up on his toes digging the box out of the back of the cabinet when a blue clad arm reached past and plucked it out for him. SHIT! Highwind jerked back and sideways almost falling in his surprise. His hip slammed into the hard form of Rude, and the Turk automatically reached out to steady the Captain. Cid could not help himself…he flinched away from the physical contact. DAMN! He was trapped between the counter the wall, and the rather intimidating bulk of Shinra's guard dog. HELL… he had not realized that Rude was this big!
That dark brow twitched down a notch…
"You okay Highwind?"
"I am FUCKIN fine! Mother Gia…do you fricken TURKS always have ta sneak up on a body like that. Ya nearly gave me a shitting heart attack!"
Okay…maybe something stimulating WASN'T a good idea. Cid's nerves were practically thrumming. He took a shaky step back only to run into the wall…his insides suddenly twisted as flashes of being this close to another male and unable to get away, rolled through his mind. Rude tilted his head slightly and the pilot got a glimpse of slightly narrowed chocolate eyes as the Turk backed up a pace. Cid balled a hand into a fist, and hissed out a breath he hadn't realized he had been holding…DAMN IT ! It was just a fricken nightmare! Why was he having such a hard time getting his brain to believe that? The Captain watched as Rude schooled his face back into its' usual unreadable mask. Hells bells….did the Turk suspect what had (frick… HADN'T) occurred last night between him and Chaos? Of the two…this was the Turk that probably had the insight and intelligence to figure it out! Oh that was just the icing on the cake. The Captain was having enough trouble sorting out where he stood on his sexuality WITHOUT everybody on the Gods be Damned ship figuring it out before HE did!
Rude carefully reached out with the box of tea, his body relaxed and unthreatening.
Cid took it and gave the Turk a sheepish smile.
"Sorry bout snappin at ya, been up all damned night.
The big man just cocked an inquiring brow and stepped back.
"Nightmares….bad ones." was all the Captain said.
Vincent visibly winced as he walked in and caught Highwind's last statement. The gunman had not expected anyone other than Yuffie and himself to be up at this early hour. Of course, he chastised himself, at least one of Shinra's best would be up at all times. It was the Turk's job to keep an eye on things. Cid glanced his way and hastily busied himself at the counter. The ex-Turk surreptitiously watched his friend, a trick well honed by his years as a Turk, while he went about making some coffee. What he saw alarmed him. The Captain's usually tanned face was markedly pale, and there were tense lines furrowing the high brow. Vincent also noticed the grey smudges under shadowed blue eyes and around Highwind's unusually quiet mouth. The pilot's movements as he put the teapot on to boil were….careful, as if the man was holding himself together by strength of will alone.
Anger stirred and it was directed towards himself and his dominant demon. Self recrimination made the gunman lash out at the monster he hosted.
"Mother Gia …CHAOS…does that look like he is dealing…."
A softly rumbled sigh cut him off mid sentence.
Concern and surprisingly, sorrow, wove through the dark voice in equal measures. It effectively shut down the rage that Valentine was directing towards the demon. Vincent closed his eyes, wishing like HELL that he had never been dug out of his coffin in the first place. He didn't need the demon to remind him that the events that occurred last night were a direct result of his actions. The Dark One might be willing to share in the blame but the reality was…HE, Vincent Valentine, was the one at fault here. Cid was the one paying the price for his cowardly actions.
Chaos shifted… uncomfortable in this new role of giving support rather than being his usual hateful self.
The Demon sent a couple of images his way as to what he planned on doing to said Gods and Vincent had to work hard to squelch a particularly nasty smile of his own. He almost felt sorry for them…almost.
Curious… he just couldn't help himself, after all, these were Gods they were talking about.
"Are you powerful enough to really do that?"
Yuffie had come into the galley and Valentine was not surprised when the Changeling froze and looked hard at Highwind. The gunman knew from experience that the young woman was VERY good at reading the subtle nuances of body language. As her honey eyes flicked his way and narrowed, those mobile lips lifted in a slight snarl. Vincent wondered if she had put two and two together, he wouldn't put it past her. As Cid turned and started rummaging through the fridge, the girl slid up beside him and deftly filched the egg carton right out of his hands.
A firm hip nudged the Sky Captain out of the way..
"You go and sip your tea old man…me and Rude, we'll make breakfast this morning."
The Turk just stared at her for a minute then he shrugged and turned towards the stove.
"You prep, I'll do the actual cooking…we wouldn't want to poison anyone, or Gods forbid, set Highwind's baby on fire."
The Captain didn't complain or blister the air at the ninja's high handed take over of his kitchen as he normally would have. He just put some sugar in his tea and shambled over to the table. Chaos growled softly at the lack of spirit in the man.
"Is there anything we can do to help?"
This was directed softly at the demon…the gunman could not BELIEVE he was asking Chaos for help in this.
The Dark One was silent as he studied the pilot through Vincent's eyes.
Vincent hastily looked away as Cid caught him staring. The pilot froze, then glanced down at the tea in his hand.
"Hey Vince…you wouldn't be making that sludge you call coffee… would ya?"
Marion came back to the real world slowly. For a confused second she wondered how she had gotten into her own bed, and WHO did the warm, soft body she was pressed up against, belong to? The hand that was draped over a softly moving ribcage lightly brushed over satiny fur. Ah, Ice was sharing her bed, hmmm, now why was that? AH SHIT….memory of those horrendous computer records and a frightening trip to the Medical Bay came screaming to the front of her mind. Then, because there was no shock to cushion and no drugs to block them, the emotions of the night before caught up with the Vet. The woman tucked her forehead down against that broad, strong back she was facing and tried to stifle her sobs a little as the hot tears flowed.
GODS…how could anyone who claimed to be a human being commit those atrocities on ANY living creature? Let alone ones as sensitive and intelligent as the Troop! And what about Valentine's claim, of having been turned into an unwilling "specimen" along with Cloud? The silver lacework of scars she had seen on his torso and back were certainly evidence enough that he wasn't exaggerating. And she found it hard to believe that ANYONE would be a… willing… Host for something as frightening and dangerous as Chaos!
Mother Gia…what had she gotten herself roped into? The woman had NO delusions as to why the Turks were with them….She couldn't just quit. And there was NO way in HELL she was going to torture Whisper and Ice. Marion closed her eyes and stuffed the blanket against her mouth, not wanting to wake her bed companion with her emotional outburst. What was she going to DO?
There was a soft rustle. The scientist stiffened a little as Ice huffed softly and rolled over. Strong arms gathered her up and the Doctor found herself cradled and then rocked gently as long fingers stroked through her hair and down her back. The woman felt an odd rumbling vibration deep in the cinnamon female's chest, but the only thing that escaped her mouth was a soft shushing sound.
HELL… this only made the Vet feel worse,
"ICE….Ice…WHAT are you doing here?"
Marion knew that the Were could not answer her…and this fact made her cry all the harder.
"Yuffie told me you CHOSE to leave your home and come with Valentine. Hell…from what she said, you showed them the route! How could you make that decision…. how can you even be around us with some of the things Shinra did to you and your family?"
The words were muffled, trapped in that silky, sweet smelling mane. WHICH… was now more than a little wet.
"Why don't you hate ALL of us?"
Strong fingers slipped under her chin and Marion allowed the cinnamon female to lift her face out of its warm, but soggy pillow. There was a huff of warm breath and the woman flinched in surprise when a soft, dry tongue stroked across her cheek, then very gently over her closed eyes. The Vet knew that this was intended to be a gesture of comfort and it was, strangely enough, very soothing. The effect was ruined though when there was a loud rumble from the vicinity of Ice's flat belly. Marion's eyes popped open and she had to stifle a giggle.
"That had better not be your stomach agreeing with your tongue about how good it thinks I taste?"
Ice reached out, poked the woman a few times in the ribs. When she was sure she had Marion's attention, the female solemnly shook her head. Giving the Vet a wicked grin, she distinctly mouthed the words.
"No…you are way too skinny to eat!"
It was later, after she showered, that Marion found herself in the galley being waited on by Yuffie and, will wonders never cease, Rude. The big Turk it seemed, was a wiz in the kitchen. It only took a couple minutes of whispered conference with the Changeling for the quiet man to whip up a delightful breakfast for herself and Ice. Reno and Whisper had evidently come down shortly before her and they were almost finished. Hell, could that male put some food away…and NO, she didn't mean Whisper. For a skinny guy, Reno could pack it away! Cloud was not eating but he had helped himself to a cup of coffee. He took a sip and jerked like he had been shot. Sending a dark (well if sky blue could ever really be Dark) glance Vincent's way the swordsman poured about half a carton of cream, then ladled several huge spoons of sugar into his cup.
The Captain was also there but the man did not seem to feel well. Highwind was unusually quiet she noticed, and NOT eating. He just sat and sipped at the incredibly strong coffee that Vincent had whipped up. The Vet found herself wishing that the gunman had been around when she was pulling all-nighters in Vet school. Mother Gia…this wicked black brew was probably the reason the demon ridden man never seemed to sleep. The pilot looked like he needed the pick me up. For that matter…Something OTHER than her difficulties must have occurred during the night. Yuffie kept shooting concerned glances between the Sky Captain and the gunman. Marion frowned as she too, studied the demon ridden man. Vincent was sitting quietly at the end of the table…pushing food listlessly around on his plate. Valentine was even paler than usual, and those usually brilliant eyes were distant, dark, and flat. The porcelain skin around them was shadowed. More telling then this, was the fact that the long, leather clad fingers that were holding the fork, had a very slight tremor.
With a sigh, the Doctor pushed her plate back.
"Gentlemen….we seem to have a problem."
Marion pinned Reno with a hard look,.
"It seems that I can't quit…but I REFUSE to follow the procedural guidelines on the tests that the main lab wants performed on Ice and Whisper."
Vincent's head snapped up. Cloud also jerked to attention. The Vet noticed that sky blue eyes sure as Hell could blaze. Valentine carefully set his fork down and Marion knew that Chaos was active by the way hot gold glimmered in the crimson glare he sent Reno's way.
One long sharp talon skewered the table top.
"Dr. Becket…if you wish to end your employment with Shinra, Chaos and I would consider it a…pleasure…to help you ."
Marion watched in utter fascination as Reno turned stark white. Rude shifted his bulk into a more defensible position.
Valentine smiled….it was a nasty smile, full of sharp, white, elongated fangs.
"As a matter of fact, Chaos has volunteered, and I quote, to remove everything that even hints of Shinra off of the face of the planet, if you wish to…ah…terminate…your contract."
The Doctor heard Rude softly whisper….Mother Gia!
Valentine heard him too.
"Chaos also asks me to remind you that YOU are all Ice, Whisper, and Yuffie have….you will at least treat them with kindness and respect. If you quit, he will not allow his …children… to be raised in a Shinra lab."
CHAOS' children…Oh GODS! She had assumed that one of Ice's brother was this litters' sire. She had a sinking feeling that the Dark One would not hesitate to destroy anything that he felt was a threat to Ice's babies. No… she did not want to be responsible for a blood bath and she was sure that was where this was heading. The Vet rubbed her aching head with a shaking hand.
"No I am not a quitter…but I could use some help in figuring a way to get these tests done…without causing my friends any discomfort."
Reno snorted softly…
"YO...Let me see that list."
Marion wordlessly handed ALL of them a copy. Reno's red brows lifted.
"HEY…Says here you need a sperm sample from Whisper…what's so terrible bought that."
The man stared in shock as Whisper flashed to beast form, bared his teeth and planted his ass on the floor, tail tucked tight. Vincent and Cloud hunched in on themselves while Cid looked on with interest.
Valentine pinched the bridge of his nose.
"Reno…they get the sample by electrically stimulating your prostate."
At the Turks look of...what’s so bad about that...the gunman growled.
"It is the equivalent of having your EMR shoved up your ass and then switched on high."
Oddly enough it was Highwind that stiffened up in outrage,
"That is fucking Barbaric!"
The Turk's lips pulled down into a grim line and those pale eyes flashed.
"YO…fucking…barbaric don’t even come close!"
The redhead was very familiar with how his weapon worked, it did not take much for him to imagine how using it in that matter would feel.
"Is that really how it's done Doc?"
Marion nodded.
"AND they don't anesthetize the specimen to do it."
"Mother Fucking Gia…fricken scientists…" Cid jerked himself shakily to his feet. "I gotta go get my shitten pre-flight checks done…HELL…"
Cerulean eyes touched on Vincent's face for a moment, reading the fact that this had been done to his friend MANY times down in the labs. The sound of the blonde's heartfelt swearing drifted down the hallway long after he had left.
Reno brought the Vet's attention back to him.
"I can make sure ya get the sample ya need…and I won't hurt Whisper to get it…unless he wants me to."
Red brows waggled at the White.
Marion had to be sure he understood.
"Reno….I need samples from both his human form AND his beast form."
The Turk casually stood up.
"Hell …no problem Doc…what kind of friend would I be if I didn't accept ALL the parts that make Whisper special."
The big White grinned as Reno ruffled his mane,
"Come on big guy…we gotta date.."
The Vet cleared her throat as they got to the door and when Reno turned, one brow cocked inquisitively, the Vet knew she was bright red.
"Reno…don't bottom."
Both red brows flew up.
Marion bit the bullet and bulled through.
"Use protection and DON"T bottom….if you should tear, there would be a fluid exchange…."
Pink lips pursed a little as Reno digested this.
"Yo…I get it."
The man lightly cuffed a broad shoulder and Marion found herself joining Yuffie as they dissolved into a fit of giggles at Reno's comment to the plainly excited Were drifted through the empty doorway.
"Come on Whisper…lets go play… MAD… Doctor."

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