The Cry of the Planet Chapter 20
By Edyn Cross
The group made it back to Nibelheim from the Mako Reactor without trouble.
Hojo kept to himself the entire way and every now and then he would mumble
something or lightly chuckle to himself lost in his own world. Vincent also
kept to himself thinking mostly about Professor Gast and what he had told
him the previous evening. He wanted to help Lucrecia more than anything,
but he was afraid that she didn't think she needed it, let alone want
Around early evening, the four Shinra employees made it back to the Mansion tired and ready to relax. all of them except for one that is. Without a word Hojo slithered quickly up the stairs and to the room with the basement stairs were located.
Gast shook his head, "That man is on a mission. Lucrecia, why don't let me take your bag? Then you can head back to your room and clean up for tonight."
Lucrecia nodded handing Gast the bag and went upstairs to her room.
Gast turned to Vincent, "I'll be in the basement with Hojo for the majority of the evening preparing our samples. If you need anything, you know where to find us."
Vincent nodded. Gast took his leave to the basement leaving Vincent alone in the Mansion living room. He walked over to the bookcase looking for something to keep his mind on besides a certain female scientist. He silently went through the books until he found one to his liking, then settled in an armchair in the living room reading and waiting for Lucrecia to get ready.
After about forty-five minutes and three chapters of reading, Vincent heard a door open then shut upstairs and light footsteps walking closer to the stairs. He stood up, put down his book and went to the lobby in front of the stairs. What he saw next made his heart bleed.
Lucrecia, dressed in a small sleeveless white silk dress descended the staircase. Her chestnut brown hair was out of its customary ponytail and was flowing like a mountain stream past her shoulders. She had removed her glasses and even took to wearing a bit of makeup. As she reached the bottom of the stairs and stopped in front of Vincent, her flower scented perfume engulfed Vincent's senses and made him feel lightheaded.
Obviously a little embarrassed, Lucrecia kept her brown eyes on the ground and stood uncomfortably. Seeing Lucrecia like this, Vincent wanted to pick her off her feet, carry her back up the stairs she came, and do things to her that only he was able do.
"Lucrecia," Vincent said sounding choked. "You..."
...are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life.
"...look very nice," Vincent said.
Lucrecia turned her head even more towards the ground, "Thank you. I brought this just in case I would go out one evening. Considering we just got the specimens today, I think this will be my last opportunity to feel like a woman for a long time."
Vincent could only manage a small smile as his heart melted. There was so much he wanted to tell her, but didn't know how. Vincent emotionally felt things, but putting so much time in as a Turk his job taught him how to push feeling down inside of him. Now the time had come and he wanted to tell her everything, but he just didn't know how.
"Shall we?" Vincent said offering his elbow.
Lucrecia blushed and accepted it with a smile.
Vincent gave Lucrecia a tour of the small town as promised. Arm in arm, they spoke of various things, mostly Lucrecia and about her past. Where she went to school, how she met Professor Gast, and how much she loved her work. Vincent spent most of the time listening, as that is his nature. He never grew bored listening to Lucrecia speak of her life and her future, what she wants and what she has. Vincent didn't like talking about himself, but would answer any question Lucrecia had about him without a second thought.
"You know," Lucrecia said as they sat down to dinner. "This is exactly what I needed."
Vincent pulled her chair out for her and then sat down, "What do you mean?"
"I mean tonight," Lucrecia said smiling. "I have been working non stop for the past several months and now that I think of it, I haven't had any time for myself."
Vincent just smiled.
"It's by choice though, I'm afraid," Lucrecia said. "Professor Gast is always trying to get me to take some time off or take on less work, but sometimes I feel like I'm running in circles and I can't stop."
"He just wants you to be happy," Vincent said. "And maybe he's right, Science isn't everything life has to offer, Lucrecia. There are so many other things out there that could make you just as happy."
Lucrecia looked at him thoughtfully, "Like what?"
"Like tonight for example," Vincent replied. "Aren't you having a nice time? Getting out of the lab, touring a town you've never seen, having a nice dinner..."
"Of course," Lucrecia said and then sat thoughtful for a moment. "You know, you seem to make a lot of sense for a Turk."
Vincent only offered a small smile.
"You are also the quietest man I have ever met in my life," She said. "If it were Professor Gast or Hojo sitting here right now, they would have had ten separate subjects to talk about already and eight of them would have been about themselves."
"I like to listen," Vincent said.
Lucrecia smiled and looked at Vincent has he was going through the menu and thought, not for the first time, about how attractive he was. She had always heard about the tall, dark and handsome, but she never thought it would be like this. Why this man had any interest in her emotionally was beyond her comprehension. He was a Turk, one of the most respected organizations in Shinra and she was, well, just a lab rat.
After they finished their meals and Vincent paid the ticket, they walked out into the late evening air. The wind blew bitterly as a cold front from the northwest began to blow in. Without hesitation, Vincent took off his jacket and placed it over Lucrecia's shoulders, but this time she didn't protest.
They walked silently through town enjoying the night. Vincent walked with his hands in his pockets while Lucrecia held onto his elbow. The wind was picking up and lightning flashed the sky in the distance. Vincent knew they needed to get back to the Mansion, but he wanted this night with Lucrecia to stretch on for eternity. He also noticed that it was obvious that Lucrecia wasn't eager to head back either. They reached the Shinra Mansion entrance when the first few sprinkles of the storm began to fall. Lucrecia took off Vincent's suit jacket and handed it to him.
"Here," She said with a timid smile. "I remembered this time."
Vincent accepted it and they walked up the Mansion stairs towards their rooms in silence. Gast's bedroom door was shut, but Hojo's was still open and bed still made. When they reached their rooms Lucrecia turned to Vincent and took his right hand in both of hers.
"Vincent," She said softly. "I..."
"What is it?" Vincent said stepping closer. "Say it."
"I want to spend more time with you," She said, "This night has really got me thinking. I had such a wonderful time, I haven't felt this good in ages. I want to spend more nights like this... with you."
"Lucrecia," Vincent whispered.
"I have some things to think about," She said looking at the ground. "I'm going to bed now I think. Thank you so much for the wonderful evening, I feel so... refreshed."
Vincent managed a small smile, "I'm glad you had a good time."
"Good night, Vincent," She said kissing him on the cheek.
"Good night Lucrecia," Vincent said.
She opened the door to her bedroom, stepped in it, and started to close the door. When the door was half way shut, Vincent spoke.
"I lied," Vincent whispered.
"What?" Lucrecia looked puzzled. "When?"
"When I said you looked nice," He said.
Lucrecia felt a sadness in her stomach right before Vincent added, "I think you are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life."
Stunned, Lucrecia stood motionless as Vincent said his last "good night," and went to his bedroom closing the door behind him. She slowly shut her door and then fell back on her bed and stared up at the ceiling. Vincent's words echoed in her mind and warmed her heart.
She knew she would have to make a choice - a choice she hated herself for having to make. On one side there was Science, her devotion, and her life and the other, was a Turk named Vincent Valentine. All the work she had put into her career and all the future work waiting for her, Lucrecia wondered if that's what she really wanted out of life: To work. And of course there was still Hojo's upcoming Experiment and she wondered if being a part of that Experiment is really what she wanted. It would be the high point of her career initiating a life long Project and she knew if she took part in that Experiment, any hopes of being with Vincent would be destroyed. She honestly had no idea what to do.
Lucrecia stood up from bed, unzipped her dress, slid it off and slung it on top of her lab coat over the desk chair. She walked over to the closet and saw that she only had one hanger left. She took it back to her desk and looked thoughtfully at her dress and her lab coat. She then picked up the dress and set it aside, put the lab coat on the hanger and hung it neatly in the closet. The dress was then folded and put in the bottom drawer of her dresser.
Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic