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 Ch. 33

Reno swam back up to awareness and surfaced into a world of pain. For a moment the Turk just lay perfectly still, trying desperately to convince his screaming body to draw its’ next breath. Between the nasty, burning bites that punched clear through his shoulder, the deep ache of a bullet that had buried itself high in his ribcage, and a myriad of cracked ribs and torn muscles caused by Titan's less than careful restraint, Well…the man was pretty sure he hadn't felt this bad since Cloud had stuck him with that monstrous sword!
More worrisome than all of this was the sharp agony in his lower back. He had felt the impact of that last shot and had known, as his legs suddenly gave out, that it had hit in a very bad spot. Mako was an incredible thing, but it did have its’ limits. The redhead tried to move his lower limbs only to have his fears confirmed. With a soft moan, Reno let his head fall back with a thump. Fuck….talk about shithouse luck. The bad news was…. his back was probably shattered. The good news… he would not have to worry about learning to use a wheelchair because with the way his virus infected bite wounds were flaming, in very little time he would "Change" into a slavering, mindless monster.
MOTHER GIA….he did NOT want Rude to have to be the one to put him down, nor did he want that unpleasant task to fall to Whisper….OH GODS….Whisper…! With a Herculean effort, the downed man forced his unwilling body to roll off of its’ bleeding back as his pale eyes searched for the White's still form. Another soft moan forced its’ way out of the assassin's tight throat when he finally located his lover. He had counted at least six shots, and in these close quarters, even with the silver worked into the bullets, the kidnapper could not have missed. Whisper was huddled into himself, his blood stained body resting curled on its’ side. All Reno could see was the male's broad, crimson coated, motionless back. Gritting his teeth against the searing pain of trying to move, the redhead pulled himself across the blood slicked hardwood floor until he was beside the Were. Bracing himself on the bitten arm, Reno started to ease the White over onto his back only to stop as the injured male responded to the slight movement with a low, strangled, gurgling whimper.
"Shhhh….YO… Whisper…Shhhh…"
A slender hand gently stroked the tangled, bloodied mane as Reno tried to assess how badly his lover was wounded. A quick once over had the man's heart breaking. All six of the bullets had hit. Three had punched clean through, leaving large bleeding exit wounds in back, ribcage and shoulder. These were surprisingly…. slowly… trying to close. The other three lethal projectiles were buried somewhere deep in the albino's failing body.
The Turk carefully laid his forehead against the warm shoulder, loss of blood and shock had his vision spotting black and fading in and out. He just rested there for a moment, listening to each of his own slow careful breaths mixing with Whisper's halting, ragged ones. The man had been around the dead and dying enough to know that the Were needed extensive medical help… NOW. If he did not get it soon, death's door, which he was knocking at, would open and claim him. The sagging head lifted and cocked as the Turk listened to the wind howling through the eaves to fling snow against the windows. There was no way any help was coming. Even Chaos would hesitate to challenge this storm.
Reno really did not give a thought to his own condition, it would be better if he threw death's door wide open and joyfully leaped in. The alternative was too terrible to think about. Almost numb fingers searched through his pockets until he managed to find his cell. The call he placed was shunted automatically to voicemail, Rude must be in one of the many dead spots in this area. Reno had to clear his throat twice before he managed to croak out an abbreviated message describing the attack. When he did finish, his shaking hand dropped the phone. He did not retrieve it. The assassin doubted he would be answering any returned calls.
Another stolen moment with lips pressed against his lover's wonderful silken skin and then the fiery head lifted again, pale eyes searching. There… he had lost his firearm in the first couple seconds of the scuffle with Titan. He spotted it resting almost underneath the chair that Yuffie had been sitting in. One of the hardest things Reno had ever done in his life was to leave the warm bulk of Whisper (he could be of no help there, the young male needed someone with skills that far surpassed the field medicine he was trained in) and drag himself over to his weapon. The Turk would NOT permit his friends to have to be the ones to euthanize the monster he was now fated to become.
His gun arm was too severely injured to hold the piece steady and he needed it to be dead still for this. Resting his back against the chair, Reno wiggled himself around until his upper body was braced as securely as possible. The assassin flinched a little at the coldness of the steel barrel as he nestled it under his chin. The Turk's eyes had lost the mako blue gleam of battle and had faded to their usual pale green, this darkened a little as he trained his gaze on Whisper's still form. He wanted the last thing he saw before he entered the life stream to be the one who had brought him some happiness into his admittedly fucked up life. These were his last thoughts as his finger tightened on the trigger.
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Chaos and Rude dropped out of the storm and the demon landed heavily on a small knoll that overlooked a deceptively peaceful farm scene. At least it LOOKED peaceful, that was until the snow cleared a little and Rude realized that the animals that were penned were quite dead and MOST of the carcasses were being snacked upon by a large bunch of Changelings.
"HUMMM….." Chaos' gold gaze was scanning the area as he shook himself free of a accumulated layer of ice and snow.
"I SEE NO HUMAN VICTIMS, I WONDER WHERE THE FA…."
Moving almost to fast to be seen the dark one's talon-ed hand flashed out, snagged Rude's coat and yanked him back just as a bullet whined through the spot he had just unwillingly vacated. The Turk saw the blossoming flame of a muzzle flash in one of the farmhouse's upper windows as Chaos stepped in front of him. The demon grunted as a second bullet impacted into the thick muscle just above the flare of his hip. A guttural, nasty sounding curse rumbled out of the fanged mouth as the wound automatically closed, pushing the lead out.
Rude stuck his head out to look past the demon's broad form and shouted,
"HEY man….We are on your side. We're the GOOD guys here!"
At the demon's soft snort and as one elegant raven brow arched up, Rude sheepishly shrugged and slanted his shades sideways.
"What!….I have ALWAYS wanted to say that!"
With a sardonic smile, the dark form of Chaos blurred and became shrouded in red mist. The assassin drew his handgun as a hoard of Changelings, having heard the shots, came pouring out of the open doorway of the barn. Vincent unlimbered Cerberus and handed the big gun over to the Turk.
"Hnn….It looks like you are going to get the chance play the hero for a change."
The last of this was a rumbled growl as the gunman "Changed" and the Galian Beast took his place.
The usual strategy for these battles was for Whisper to physically engage the creatures while the more vulnerable gunman picked them off with well placed, silver laced bullets. Chaos always stayed internal, as with the Were's virus laden bites, his healing abilities did NOT operate on automatic as they should. The demon had to physically manipulate his host's recuperation from the inside. With Rude being the most at risk here, it was the Galian beast who would take the brunt of the physical attack while the Turk handled the longer range kills. This battle plan usually worked well. BUT…. this time, there were just to many of the monsters. As Galian engaged in a lethal flowing dance of death and destruction, and a duet of Cerberus' deep voice combined with Rude's handgun's lighter, sharper one, sang out time and time again, the pair soon realized that it was just a matter of time before their defenses were completely overwhelmed.
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Abraham clawed his way to awareness and immediately wished he had not as his body promptly emptied his stomach. His healing factor had been clearing and dumping the massive drug overdose as quickly as possible and his stomach made a perfect reservoir. As soon as he was awake enough that he could not drown in his own vomit, his body took the opportunity to empty it. The soft scrape of metal dragging across wood jerked the man’s attention away from his own misery, and sharp eyes scanned the room noting the missing persons and the blood trail that led to where that small sound had come from. At the soft click of a round being chambered the old wolf did not hesitate. The reflexes of a wild thing propelled him to slam hard into the chair that Reno was propped against. As he hit the seat, the Patriarch spring boarded over the back and twisted himself into a somersaulting barrel roll. One hand caught a bloody torn shoulder and shoved hard to the side, the other fisted and struck, knocking the firing gun away from it's intended target. The shot went wild and Abraham growled softly as the bullet sliced a path along one of his high sharp cheekbones, just missing his eye in passing. The Valet ended up crouched over the now prone Turk, his surprisingly powerful grip keeping Reno's gun filled hand pinned to the floor. The old one's respect for the young, brash redhead went up a notch as he watched the badly injured and suffering man's grim fight to hang on to consciousness. The hard grey eyes softened a little in sympathy when the soft moans turned into slurred words.
"YO….ya gotta let me…Ummm…. Don wanna hurt anyone… goin to turn inta a monster….PLEASE!" This last was a defeated sob.
Abraham examined the deep bite wounds slashed into the torn shoulder and his narrow, thin skinned nostrils flared as he sampled the various scents swirling through the smell of Reno's blood.
A gentle long fingered hand caught and turned the Turk's desperate face so that the glazing green could be held by the steel.
"BOY…hush…shhhh…listen to me! Yes… you are going to make the "Change!" Nothing can stop that now. BUT…it will not be what you think"
The soft voice deepened with authority and the hand gave the weakly struggling man a slight shake.
"LISTEN TO ME…! I promise you…this will be okay!"
Reno seemed to give up and his body sagged limply as the pale eyes cleared for a moment. The Turk sounded weary unto death as he glared at his savior.
"Yo…don't do that…That's a promise that you can't keep! You have no clue…."
The words died on his lips as Abraham triggered a partial "Change" and for a second, intelligent grey eyes gleamed at the Turk from out of a savage, wolfish visage.
"Rest assured… Boyo…That is a promise I am well qualified to make. NOW…will you lay here like a good pup and let me see what I can do to help my son?"
Abraham stared into that astonished green gaze and smiled. NO…this boy was a tricky, slippery eel and the minute he turned his back the stubborn fool would try to finish what he had started. That strong hand released its’ light grip on Reno's jaw, then settled to rest on the juncture of the Turk's less injured shoulder and his neck. Reno was well trained in pressure points and he tried to struggle up…
"YO…don't..!"
The Alpha shifted to human and those steely fingers dug deep. Reno's overtaxed body sagged and his eyes rolled back to white.
"Nighty night…son."
A quick but thorough exam convinced Abraham that both Whisper and Reno were in deep trouble physically. Cell phone service in this weather was iffy at best but the Family had long established a communications system that had worked for millennia. The Patriarch strode out into the storm. In a short moment the long, narrow, graying muzzle of a great wolf lifted to the storm ravaged sky and the deep bell-like tones of wolfsong echoed out to be carried on the wind. The solemn notes were picked up by a chorus of forest brethren. Their voices lifted and the wild music rang through the snow, leaping ahead like a living thing until it reached the ears it was intended for.
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"Shit….GALIAN…duck!"
The Turk did not have the time to wait and see if the battling beast had heard him. He sent a bullet winging so close to the demon's shaggy head that the golden mane lifted in the wake of the silver laced lead’s passage. The demon did not even pause as the shot picked a Changeling out of the air before it could land on his back. Galian had his hands full with the one that was currently trying to eat his face.
Rude twisted as a THING got past the beast and closed in to take a swipe at him. Cerberus took its’ head off as the smaller gun in the assassin's other hand brought another to a tumbling halt right at his feet. Mother Gia…. where were these things coming from? A flare of flame brought the big man's attention back to Galian as the beast powered up and rammed a fireball right down one attacker's throat. A rolling shrug dislodged a clinging monster from the demon's slashed up back and it joined its’ brother in a jittering flame covered dance. Rude watched with more than a little concern as Vincent's second most powerful demon staggered, shook it's massive head and fell back a step or two as the next wave of Changelings ghosted forwards in the driving snow.
It was getting harder to get an accurate shot as the storm settled and the weather worsened. Visibility had closed in to where if the Galian got dragged out more than a few yards Rude could barely see him. Of course… the occasional flame ball did light things up but those were getting further and further apart as the demon tired. More and more of the vicious creatures were getting past the beast and the Turk was becoming hard pressed to keep the infectious creatures at a distance. Sooner or later one or more was going to get through.
As if even thinking this had jinxed him, three monstrous shadows charged, just barely seen through the swirling snow. Rude's first shots stopped two of them but the hollow click signaling an empty chamber was a sound that froze the assassin's heart. He did not have the time to bring Cerberus to bear so the big man braced himself for the impact and prayed he could keep the snapping jaws out of his flesh.
Something silent and heavy hit the Turk from behind, knocking him to the ground. Rude managed to roll, landing on his back and he could only stare in shock at the massive, sand colored mix of wolf and man that stood over him. It snagged the Changeling out of the air, then it wrapped long arms around the writhing form. Heavy musculature rolled under the shaggy hide and the sound of bones being crushed could be heard over the wind.
HOLY FUCKING GIA….Rude had just managed to get Cerberus up and aimed at this new threat when a smaller russet colored wolf appeared out of the storm and trapped his gun arm in jaws that closed with viselike strength. The assassin froze, that was his dominant arm, he did NOT need it put out of commission. The creature let go, its’ broad nose traveling up to wuff into his face, then slid up to flip his shades off.
"HEY…."
The man stopped his outraged outburst when the she wolf lifted those thin lips in what looked suspiciously like a grin, and her form blurred. Rude just knew his mouth was hanging open as he found himself pinned by a very naked, green eyed, housekeeper and cook! The woman met his astonished gaze steadily for a second and then reverted back to her much warmer wolf form. The great beast straddling them swatted a Changeling out of the air with a huge clawed hand. The creature smacked into the ground just inches from the downed man and without thinking Rude swung Cerberus up and put a bullet in it's brain as it struggled to rise.
Deep thunder rumbled through the snow.
"Let him up, Liz."
Sky blue eyes glanced down and that thick fingered hand casually extended down to offer the Turk help up. Rude swung Cerberus up as another Changeling appeared out of the storm, aiming for the sandy beast's broad back. He needn't have bothered, it was swept out of the air by the leaping form of another great wolf, this one a rich mahogany brown. Rude allowed himself to be drawn to his feet as he watched the wolf tear out the Changeling's throat. It reminded him very much of the way the Galian beast fought. SHIT….Rude jerked away from Sandy and desperately looked for Vincent's battling demon. The roiling snow was full of the ghostly forms of the huge mountain wolves. It seemed that the Calvary had arrived.
The brown beast drew up next to Rude and a light baritone snarl rumbled out from the long muzzle.
"Justin…get the other one here…NOW!"
There was no question as to who the dominant of the pair was. The great blonde beast did not hesitate, he dropped to all fours and charged into the maelstrom of battling wolves, scattering changelings in all directions as he cleared a path to the beleaguered Galian beast. Rude watched, curious as to how his partner was going to react to the newcomer. Galian jerked up straight as the wolf pulled a couple of clinging monsters off of him. Vincent's demon dropped his head, and assumed a threat/ dominance, gaped mouthed posture. Justin backed off a pace or two and rolled his head and neck in an odd, throat baring gesture. Whatever he said to the demon had the beast coming up the small hill at a run. His form had already shifted to that of the winged Chaos as he topped the rise. Rude flinched as hot breath blew across his knuckles. His gaze dropped from the rapidly approaching demon to meet the deep, loam dark eyes of the brown wolf. The man just managed to keep his expression calm as the beast spoke in a guttural voice..
"There was an attack on the mansion, there are serious injuries and immediate help is needed."
"WHAT!" This was accompanied by a string of sibilant curses in a tongue long dead as Chaos joined them. "I TOLD THAT REDHEADED FOOL TO BE ON HIS GUARD!"
Rude turned, and without his trademark shades everyone could see the suppressed rage that made his brown eyes gleam.
"HEY…if I remember correctly…man, even YOU are not undefeatable!"
The worry for his partner must have been very clear in the dark man's face because the demon's awesome head tilted slightly as the grey visage softened. Chaos looked away first, on the pretense of scanning the storm driven snow with calculating golden eyes.
"HMPH…,"there was again that glimmer of gold as Rude found himself raked over by that same calculating look. "TURK…I DO NOT THINK YOU CAN SURVIVE A FLIGHT THROUGH THIS WEATHER. I WILL HAVE TO ATTEMPT IT ALONE."
The russet wolf nudged Rude with a moist nose.
"We will make sure that this one gets to shelter."
Chaos studied her for a moment and his aquiline face creased in a thoughtful frown.
"ELIZABETH…?"
The she-wolf nodded and her pink tongue ran out in a wolfy grin. The demon…much to Valentine's credit… did no more than blink in his astonishment. The hot gaze sought Rude out again.
"I DO NOT LIKE LEAVING YOU HERE."
Rude did not hesitate.
"If you don't get going, I am going to kick your winged, demonic ass into the sky… I'll be fine."
Chaos gave a sharp nod and crouched, bloodied wings flaring. Rude hissed a soft breath as this revealed the amount of damage the demon had taken in his battle with the Changelings.
"Mother Gia Chaos!…can you fly like that?"
Vincent's dominant demon snorted,
"DID YOU NOT JUST THREATEN TO KICK MY ASS IF I DIDN'T GET AIRBORNE?"
The Turk swallowed his smile and his concern while he gave a slight nod. The demon's dark lips lifted in a slight smile of his own and he shook the accumulating, bloodied snow off of his spread wings. Again he crouched, but
before the demon could spring up into the raging storm, he was stopped by a powerful grip on the thick main spar of his wing.
"You need to take me with you!"
The demon swung around spitting out a snarling curse only to pull up straight as he was confronted by a slender, auburn haired, very naked man.
"MORTAL…YOU INVITE DEATH BY DELAYING ME."
To the demon's amazement, not only did the man NOT let go of his wing, but he had the audacity to smile grimly up into that grey, terrifying visage.
"Mortal… is NOT one of my names. I am Griffin, a Lycan elder, first in Abraham's council, and nephew to Galian, the successor. I am a Second to the Patriarch and Alpha of the Neibelhiem pack! I have many titles… BUT…the one of most interest to you at the moment is that of…. PHYSICIAN!
The demon's molten gaze narrowed,
"FINE….I WILL CARRY YOU. I WOULD ADVISE THAT YOU… FLUFF…BACK OUT, IT IS GOING TO BE A ROUGH, COLD FLIGHT."
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Yuffie woke in the uncomfortable position of being strapped tight to a cold metal exam table. As she tried to run her tongue out to moisten dry lips, two important facts became very clear. One…she had been unconscious long enough that she had made the Change to beast form. And two…. her mouth was tightly muzzled shut. The soft clink of metallic instruments being tapped together had the ninja's honey eyes rolling, trying to get a glimpse of what was going on around her. She gave a startled blink as her frame of vision was filled by the face of what looked like a sweet, elderly grandmother. The other woman smiled and Yuffie felt her skin crawl as that dragonish smile did not reach those cold, calculating hazel eyes.
"Ah…my dear, I see that you are finally awake. Good…It was certainly worth the wait to get my hands on an excellent specimen such as yourself. I felt that waiting a little longer for you to be …aware…during this, our first session together would make it that much more…special."
Yuffie worked her mouth, but the muzzle was too tight to get anything out. All she managed was a soft grunt. The scientist tilted her head slightly and frowned,
"What was that? Oh…. I have the muzzle to tight? Hold on a sec."
The woman loosened the thing enough that Yuffie could part her jaws a little.
"There…that is better isn't it. Silly me….if I have it too tight….how would I be able to hear you scream?"
The now very frightened girl sucked in a breath as Angelique lifted a scalpel and turned it back and forth so that razor edge could catch the light.
"I think we will start by seeing how well this wonderful Changed body of yours deals with differing degree's of damage."
As that innocuous piece of metal made it's first coldly burning cuts, Yuffie managed to bite her tongue and remain silent. As the damage being inflicted by the softly humming scientist became more…imaginative…. and the sweeping cuts were placed in such a way as to create serious damage, the hot tempered ninja found some relief in letting loose with some very creative cursing. (Cid would have been oh so proud!)
The "good" Doctor frowned and the Changeling had a brief second to think… ah FUCK! Then that keen, slicing edge plunged its’ flame deep into her defenseless, soft belly, creating a large entrance for hands to explore the young woman's innards. Yuffie arched against her restraints, her body in too much shock and pain to make a sound. Angel ignored what writhing the pinned "experiment" could achieve while nimble fingers placed silver clips to keep that horrendous wound from closing. This would make it possible for the scientist to take her time as she explored the unique specimen's inner anatomy with prying eyes, prodding instruments and cruel fingers. Yuffie lost all ability to think rationally. Her abused, cut muscles twitched in uncontrolled spasms while bloody foam gathered on her lips as she screamed and screamed.


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