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 3

It was mid morning by the time Valentine made it back to Seventh Heaven. He had taken the time to back track to the alley where Reno had said the woman from the bar had disappeared. The ex-Turk found a bloody cloak, and another of the lovely but deadly silver laced daggers. It was a match with the ones that he had removed from the beast’s skull earlier. There was a blood trail leading back to the ruins. But, of the woman, there was no sign. Having seen the damage these creatures were capable of causing, the gunman held little hope that she had gotten away. If she hadn't...well...maybe her death had been quick.
While he was on the way back, Tifa called, asking him to pick up a prescription for Yuffie. She was quick to point out that the Doctors had expected for the ninja to have at least a slight infection, animal bites were after all, inherently dirty, and that the recuperating girl had spiked a pretty good temperature during the night.
Tifa met him on the stairs. She was carrying a tray back down to the kitchen. Vincent noticed that it was still full, the food practically untouched.
The woman's wine colored eyes were worried,
"I couldn't get her to eat a bite." She gave the gunslinger a hopeful look, "Maybe you could try...?"
"Hnnn." Valentine deftly took the tray from her and continued on up the stairs. He just about dumped it, when Marlene came barreling out of Yuffie's room, almost running him over on her way down the stairs.
"Sorry, Uncle Vincent."
Her cheerful voice floated back up to him as he let himself into the young woman's room.
Yuffie was sitting up against her pillows, listlessly picking at the wraps on her arms. Vincent set the tray down, along with the package of meds. He reached over and trapped her hands gently in his.
"Don't scratch Yuffie."
The girl flashed him a miserable look,
"Heya Vin..." He could feel her fingers still twitching.
"The damn things just won't stop ITCHING!"
The gunman settled in the chair Tifa had left by the bed and let Yuffie have her hands back. He motioned at the eggs, bacon and potatoes on the tray, all the while just LOOKING at her. The young woman squirmed back into the pillows and made an alarming face.
"Mmm... not hungry." She sighed and wiggled her fingers, "Besides, It really hurts to hold a fork."
Vincent's elegant eyebrow arched up and he casually picked up the fork, then scooped up a little bit of egg and potato. Yuffie just stared in horror at him, her mouth open in astonishment. With his enhanced reflexes, it was easy to get the fork in and deposit the food in her mouth before she snapped it shut. A hard, crimson eyed glare promised dire consequences for her if she spit it out. The girl slowly chewed the mouthful and swallowed. The gunman had the next forkful ready before she could refuse.
Yuffie managed about one third of what was on the tray, then her face paled down to white and she closed her eyes, throat working as she convulsively swallowed. Alarmed...Vincent grabbed the empty trash container by the bed. All he could do was watch and then help support her as she fought and then lost a short battle with her stomach. After she was done losing all of her breakfast and then dry heaving, he helped her lay back down. Studying her pale, sweating face for a moment, the gunman went to the bathroom and rinsed a washrag in cool water. He realized when he returned that tears were slipping from under her closed eyelids and sliding silently down her cheeks. She didn't say a word while he gently wiped her face.
"Maybe a little weak tea would stay down better… hmm?"
He quietly suggested. The young woman just nodded.
The ex-Turk emptied the rest of her breakfast into the trash and took the whole mess downstairs.
Tifa winced when she saw it.
"I am so sorry Vincent." Her face, as she glanced up the stairs was full of concern. "Is she okay?"
The man poured hot water over a tea bag.
"It is common to be nauseous after a head injury...but ..."
His voice trailed off. He didn't know how to put into words that the young ninja just didn't seem herself, even with the head injury and fever.
Tifa took the cup of tea he had made and added a little bit of honey and lemon, she knew that the combination was good for a sick stomach.
"That was an awful... bloody... gruesome... killing scene the other night, Vincent. Even by our standards." Her red flecked glance slid his way.
"I wonder how much of it Yuffie actually WITNESSED." Tifa shuddered, even with the horrors she had been witness to in Niebelhiem, at least she had not had to watch a friend get EATEN after they had been killed.
"Just because she SAYS she doesn't remember much, that doesn't mean she wasn't conscious while it happened."
Valentine just nodded his understanding of what she was trying to say. They had all tried to get Yuffie to piece the events of that night together for them, but her memory of it SEEMED to be vague at best. The emotional trauma along with the physical was evidently bad enough that she wasn't even willing to TRY to dredge it up out of her memory.
Yuffie seemed to be asleep when he returned to her room. Valentine carefully set the cup of tea down and settled back into the chair. He would be here when she woke up.
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Ice made it halfway down to what she considered her HOME before her conscience stopped her. The smell of the injured female had been strong on that predatory male. Evidently the girl had been infected a lot worse than Ice had originally thought. The lingering scent that the man had carried told the female that the young woman she had saved was awfully close to the virus's saturation point. The antibodies she had given the girl had not been enough to prevent a "Change"! The female huffed sadly…it had been an outside chance at best. If the virus had been that easy to control…Shinra would have thought of it a long time ago. Titan had created the problem it was HIS responsibility….this was out of her hands now. Ice dropped her head and slowly moved on.
The female did okay until she passed the dark hole where Sergeant rested. She just stopped and stood rocking from foot, to hand, to foot in indecision for a minute then with a soft HUFF,(CRAP!} Ice turned around and headed back up and out.
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Valentine was prowling around in his own mind when a soft moan from Yuffie jerked him back to full awareness. He had pulled the blinds in the room so that his companion could sleep easier. In the dim light he saw that her eyes were partially open, but she was not awake. Another soft moan escaped her lips, then,
"No...no no….please… no." This was a soft whimper.
The man had enough experience with nightmares to know one when he saw it. Yuffie's conscious mind might not want to deal with the trauma, but her subconscious also had something to say about it.
The gunslinger leaned forwards to wake her and as he did, a stray beam of light flashed across the fingers of his gauntlet. Yuffie's sleep glazed eyes dreamily followed the gleam. Vincent realized that he had an opportunity to get the information that they needed without traumatizing the girl anymore than she was already. He knelt down and rocked his gauntlet slowly back and forth. The shimmering play of light captured Yuffie's sleeping mind and held it. He could tell by her breathing that she was trapped right at the cusp between waking and dreaming.
"Yuffie…," his words were soft and deep, "Tell me what you see."
The dreaming girl sighed,
"Vincent... I'm scared..."
"I know...you are safe here with me... tell me, what do you see?" Vincent crushed the guilt that tried to rise, they needed to know what had happened.
Vincent knelt, a captive in his own right as Yuffie told of the first horrendous minutes of the attack. He listened to her fear and pain as she held the thing off of her throat. She evidently did not see the young man get attacked but she was aware and unable to move, when the creature went after the woman. She was crying silent tears as she realized she could not help and could only witness. Vincent listened in rising horror and anger as the young woman described in terrible, clear detail how the black monster had immobilized her friend, tore her throat so she couldn't scream, and then brutally raped her. When it was sated, the thing had finished killing her and made a meal off of her dead flesh. GODS! no wonder Yuffie didn't want to remember this. The young woman became acutely distressed, even in her dream state, when she described the second creature casually breaking the boy’s neck. Vincent had to stop when her terror at being approached with a needle threatened to wake her. It took every ounce of Vincent's iron willed control to ease his friend back into a deep sleep, and get out of that room before he lost complete control.
As the gunman staggered down the stairs, he was locked in a battle for control with Chaos...the demon had ridden his wave of rage right up to the surface and was threatening to escape. He leaned against the bar taking deep breaths, each one accompanied by a rumbling growl. Tifa had started forwards when he came down, but seeing his crimson eyes flashing from red to gold to red. She stayed back, not wanting to distract him. Finally, he managed to push the demon back. He slashed a burning crimson look at Tifa,
"Get Cloud...I know what happened to Yuffie the other night."
It took a couple of hours for Cloud to make it back from his delivery, Vincent refused to tell Tifa a thing. He wanted Cloud there before he revealed the horrifying facts. Once he had himself under a semblance of control, he went back up to the room, gently woke the young ninja and coaxed her into drinking a little tea and broth. He thought that maybe her fever was abating a little. When he heard Cloud's bike, he excused himself and went back down to the bar.
Reno and Rude wandered in and at Valentine's crooked finger, they joined the small group gathered at one table. Reno's red eyebrows flew up when he saw that all three of them had BIG glasses of whiskey {or brandy in Vincent's case} in front of them. Tifa was visibly upset.
The two Turks listened to the crimson cloaked man and Reno cleared his throat nervously. Things were getting ready to go from bad to worse.
"Yo... we aren't here on a social call." He glanced around the table. "How is Yuffie?"
He cringed at Tifa's hostile look and almost panicked at the growl that came from both Cloud and the gunslinger. Rude slapped him upside the back of his head. The red head put up his hands in defense.
"Hey... I meant physically. LOOK... you need to see this." He opened his phone. "This was filmed earlier at the labs."
The Turk turned the phone so they could see it and started a video. There was a technician evidently running some tests. At their puzzled looks, Reno explained,
"This is one of the guys that retrieved the dead body of our friend last night. Evidently he cut himself on one of its teeth while they were taking photo's."
As they watched the guy suddenly staggered, Tifa covered her mouth as the mans body started violently changing shape. He dropped from a bipedal stance to all fours, legs and arms buckling and shifting to accommodate the change. What had been hands became dagger talon-ed weapons. The man screamed as his back and rib cage changed shape becoming more arched and deeper. They unfortunately got a clear view of the man's face elongating into a short wide muzzle, its gaping mouth full of large, sharp slashing teeth. There was NO intelligence left in its black, black eyes as it launched itself, taking down and mauling the person who had been its lab partner. The monster caused and took a huge amount of damage before the security guards were able to… put…it…down!
Reno closed the phone and spoke softly into the deafening silence.
"So... How IS Yuffie?"
Before any if the stunned group could answer, the door to Seventh Heaven opened. The red head blinked in pleased surprise when the woman he was sure was dead, stepped in out of the late afternoon sun.
"YO...I thought you were dead!"
The woman shook her head and made a running motion with her fingers.
Reno snickered,
"Yeah I'm not surprised."
Tifa drug herself up, mind still not processing what she had just seen. The woman's pale, pale eyes studied her solemnly as she went behind the bar.
"Do you want tea again?" The woman gave a slight nod in answer.
Vincent silently watched the strange woman, Chaos had stirred uneasily along with the Galian Beast the minute she had walked through the door. As she walked past him, on her way to a back table, a shift of her cloak wafted her scent to the gunman.

"BINGO." Chaos coldly rumbled.
It was a match for the blood trail that the Galian Beast had tracked into the ruins. Valentine was just starting to uncoil when an inhuman scream echoed through the bar. It originated from upstairs. On it's heels there was the sound of a door being shattered and a pale silver streaked, black maned beast came hurtling down the stairs. Reno and Rude spun, drawing their weapons and Cloud tried to get up. Valentine's gun cleared its holster, but a heavy weight slammed into him pinning him and Cloud against the wall for a minute. The pale eyed woman had thrown the table at them. She flowed across the room and intercepted the beast's leap for the door.
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Ice had known she was screwed the minute she had stepped back into that bar. Not ONLY was the red cloaked predator there, BUT the two males she had met before AND the smaller blond were there also. All of them screamed ALPHA male to her senses. She managed to order her tea and walk calmly to a back table. The girl was here and she was saturated to the point that "Change" was eminent. Ice saw the dangerous one starting to rise just as the "Changing" woman screamed in fear, shock, and pain. Catching the edge of the table with both hands, Ice flipped it at the seated males. Damn it! She did NOT need anyone else getting infected.
Ice did not "Change." This was going to be bad enough without having four alpha males down her throat, feeling challenged in their own territory. She hit the changeling broadside and took her down to the floor. Sharp teeth snapped at her face, slicing a deep gash along her cheek. The woman managed to get a forearm up, letting the young one concentrate on it, she would rather deal with a damaged arm than anymore scarring on her already screwed up throat. It took her two tries to get the terrified new one pinned under her. Using her body weight as she ignored the claws digging at her flanks, back and hips, she pressed the thrashing creature down, holding her for a precious minute as she reached for one of her silver daggers….then Ice recoiled in shock as she got a good look at the form struggling under her. THIS was not possible! Somehow the girl had managed a first generation “Change” …a mercy killing was not the only option here! Without thought her hand darted under her cloak and she just managed to get a syringe full of her antibodies out of her pouch and jammed into the heavy muscle under the changeling’s jaw. It released her arm and howled at her. A flash of black and crimson, and something grabbed her shoulder, biting deep then jerked, this enabled the changeling to roll her, trapping her underneath its muscled body. Ice fought to keep those teeth off of her and battled her own body's instinct to change to a form that she could better defend herself with. The woman was almost to the point of pulling her last silver laced dagger when she felt the body over hers shudder, than scream as the full pain of Change engulfed it for the second time.
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Vincent and Cloud managed to get the table off of them just as the woman took the beast to the floor. The gunman had Cerberus drawn and aimed, but was stopped as Chaos' hissed,
"I WOULDN'T DO THAT...I AM PRETTY SURE THAT….THING….IS YOUR LITTLE FRIEND."
"WHAT?" The ex-Turk sprang forwards blocking any shot Reno or Rude might make. He saw the flash of the hypodermic and he MOVED. He buried his claws in the woman's shoulder and tried to yank her off of the thrashing THING that used to be Yuffie. All he succeeded in doing, was shifting her weight enough that the beast flipped her over and pinned the stranger to the floor. Valentine froze when it raised its long muzzled head and howled, he could see Yuffie in those terrified eyes and he realized she was AWARE of what was happening. Then they rolled back to white and the ex-Turk's enhanced hearing picked up the hideous sound of bones popping and crunching as the beast form reverted back to that of a naked, unconscious Yuffie Kisaragi.
The woman pushed the young ninja's limp body off and scooted back, trying to get her feet under her. Vincent checked that Yuffie was breathing and seemed unharmed, then he gently covered her nakedness with his cloak. As he straightened up, his crimson gaze caught sight of the hypodermic needle. The man remembered Yuffie's whispered words earlier..."Vincent I am scared" and her terror... And the rage he had been controlling for the last few hours just EXPLODED.
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Ice had just managed to get to her feet when she was hit by a savage black and crimson terror armed with gleaming gold claws. She managed to draw her wrist knife and deflect the first two lightening strikes, but his weight bore her back to the floor. She ended up under the man, her knife arm pinned by his hand which was unnaturally strong and his gauntlet's talons wrapped around and in her throat. Her breath was instantly cut off. The trapped woman arched up once against his hold mostly to protest against the pain. Her pale eyes met his hot gold/crimson one. The male’s face was a mask of true rage, glowing eyes narrowly slitted, pale lips pulled back to expose strong white teeth in a predator's smiling snarl.
"OH SHIT! I am so... dead ," she thought.
The extreme fear of being pinned by an alpha male...no… an ENRAGED alpha male had her right at the edge of Change. Making a supreme effort she forced her body to go limp, and she looked away from those terrifying eyes. At the same time she dropped her eyelids, lifted her throat a little against his cruel grip and turned her head slightly to the side. Her body language screamed...don't hurt me...I am helpless... I submit. Her vision was starting to tunnel. Her body could deal with many things, but her brain needed oxygen to function. Right at this moment, it wasn't getting any.
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Reno watched in total shock as the gunslinger PURPOSELY blocked his and Rude's shot. He was sickly fascinated when the black and silver thing transformed into the sometimes obnoxious young woman they knew as Yuffie. The Turk started to relax a little as the gunslinger checked her over and, taking off his tattered crimson cloak, covered her rather nice, naked body with it. (SHAME on you...you perverted asshole...} He sighed and shook his head. It was pretty bad when HE even considered himself a pervert.
The quiet man's head came up and the red head got a glimpse of Valentine's face. He involuntarily stepped back as the demon ridden gunman spun and launched himself at the woman who had just staggered off the floor. Reno was amazed when the female's reflexes were fast enough that she actually deflected the first couple of strikes that Vincent made with that lethal gauntlet. The attacks were so fast that they blurred.
It didn't help her in the end, the ex-Turk had her back, pinned on the floor, his claw buried in her throat, in a couple of heartbeats. Reno froze, he hated to even THINK about taking on the man and what he carried inside, but as he watched, the woman became passive, the one hand he could see slowly making the same sign, over and over...Please...! Still the red head hesitated, Valentine wouldn't kill a helpless woman. Reno watched that slim hand settled slowly to the floor...Would he?
"SHIT!" he strode forwards and pressed the muzzle of his gun against Vincent's temple. Rude's eyes flew wide behind his shades, but he stepped up and backed his partner.
Reno hissed.
"Let her go Valentine."
The raven haired head lifted slightly and the low inhuman growl that rose from the man, froze Reno's heart.
"Shit…Shit…Shit!"
Then a glimpse of black and Cloud was kneeling down beside his friend, talking in a low tone, trying to pry that golden gauntlet off of the bleeding throat.
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"GO AHEAD...DESTROY IT!"
Chaos's voice purred with the pleasure of having a helpless victim to toy with. Vincent tightened his claws, oddly disappointed that the woman wouldn't fight. All he could feel was the rage singing through his veins, being amplified by the ancient, cruel being whispering in his mind. He felt the cold barrel of a gun against his head...no matter... he would deal with that fool...after. Someone wrestled with his locked hand and he recognized Cloud, but the man's soft words didn't reach through the pounding in his head.
Then, a rumbling voice rolled through and interfered with the oldest of his demons.
"The female submits...back off
It was the deep voice of the Galian beast. Killing a creature that had willingly submitted was ...wrong... to its animal instincts. The beast/demon pushed hard... disrupting Chaos's control.
"BACK OFF... master of mine."
Vincent's mind cleared a little, and the pale eyes of his victim drifted back to catch his for a moment. There was no fear in that fading blue, just a calm acceptance. Valentine jerked his hand off of the soft skin and sank back, his breath coming in shuddering gasps. Cloud caught him around the chest and pulled him the rest of the way off as the woman's body jerked and then curled into a ball at the pain of getting a breath down her damaged airway.
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Ice gagged, choking as her throat locked up in a spasm of pain. Then she gagged again as she forced air through it, into her starving lungs. The woman curled into a ball, and just concentrated on keeping her airway from closing off as she struggled to breath. She felt a hand on her back and chose to ignore it as the least of her worries right at the moment. Slowly…. The woman pushed herself up until she could sit with her back against the bar and was surprised when the male with the fiery mane helped her. He left as she coughed and swallowed the blood leaking from re-opened scar tissue. Panting, Ice did a quick once over, checking to see what damage other than her abused throat she was dealing with. Her forearm was chewed up and broken, there was blood running from the deep gouges on her sides and back. And her face burned with the fire of a siblings bite. The wounds that the changeling had inflicted were treated by her healing factor as if they had been caused by Titan. CRAP! The only way these were going to heal was to get them coated with her own healing saliva. There was NO way she shutting down to heal anytime soon. A flicker of motion and the man was there again with a glass of water. Oh well, there was no helping it. She met his pale green eyes in a direct stare as a warning, and then Changed.
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Reno watched as the woman struggled for air. He didn't know who sounded worse, her or Valentine as he fought for control. The redhead helped her when she tried to sit up, then left and got a glass of cold water to help soothe the coughing and gagging she was doing. He knelt down to give it to her and the pretty thing glanced up, her pale blue eyes piercing through his. Then her whole body rippled as its structure went from human to animal. Her arms lengthened, became heavier muscled and her slender hands broadened, the fingers becoming shorter and tipped with black talons. The blue eyes, silvered, narrowed and tilted.
"Oh... My... GODS!"
Reno was backing up as fast as he could as her face pushed out into a long narrow muzzle, and a deep wide skull. The lightly tanned skin seemed to stir in a invisible wind as it was covered in short fine golden fur. The woman's cinnamon hair became a long, thick, rich red mane that extended over head and neck to disappear underneath her shredded cloak. It took a grand total of ten seconds for the transformation to be complete. The red head knew his eyes had to be bugging out. She had a Gods be damned tail!
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Ice watched as ALL of the humans put more distance between them and herself. Several weapons were pointed at her including the odd three holed one of the predatory male. The dark haired bartender grabbed the crimson wrapped form of the girl and dragged her back as well. REALLY...as if she would have gone through all of this trouble to now just jump out and attack them. HARUMPH...She would never understand humans. Ice folded her feet one over the other and wrapped her tail around them to help balance her so that she could use both of her hands. Grasping the broken arm she pulled and twisted, listening for the muffled click as the bones locked back together. Then... patently ignoring everything else, she went about cleaning the deep gashes in it with a firm, warm, soothing tongue.
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Yuffie woke suddenly from a terrible nightmare...and then realized it wasn't one. The red on gold creature from the night of the attack was calmly sitting not ten feet away from her, carefully licking it's arm. Without a sound the ninja launched herself at it, only to get tangled up in a crimson cloak. She staggered and caught herself on the startled animal's thick mane. They were face to face. Yuffie doubled up her fists and pounded on it, as it reared up in surprise. She was sobbing as she pummeled it.
"Why me, and not him? How dare you kill him! Why did you do this to me?"
The distraught girl didn't fight when she was pulled against the creature's surprisingly silky fur and held there, while she cried. She didn't even protest when a warm, soothing, remarkably dry tongue cleaned her face, and then gently licked the tears from her eyes.
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Ice caught the girl's hands with her good one and stared into the distressed face. Pulling the weeping woman in against her warm, broad chest, the were-beast sadly huffed at her and gently did what anyone would do to offer comfort. Using her soothing tongue, she gently cleaned the young woman's face of the running tears, then pushed her back towards her friend
Her hands flowed through one simple phrase...I am so... sorry."


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