Through the Looking Glass Chapter 10
By Lucrecia Marionette
Strong arms held him down and he tried in vain to fight against them. However, the ghost of an injury throbbed in his chest and his muscles ached in protest. Eventually he was still and he felt warm water bathing his forehead. Breathing deeply to calm his nerves, he slowly opened his eyes.
"S, Sephiroth? Can you hear me?" ventured a wary but soft voice.
Blurry bright aqua eyes eventually focused on a heart shaped face framed by long strands of dark brown hair. Burgundy eyes regarded him worriedly and to alleviate her fears he slowly nodded; cringing as his neck cracked loudly.
Tifa smiled warmly down on him. "I'm glad." she responded with genuine concern. "You've been unconscious for quite some time."
"How long?" he croaked weakly.
"A few days."
He raised his eyebrows. "I didn't realise it had been that long."
A flash of worry marred her otherwise caring expression as she sighed sorrowfully. "Cloud's been feeling unwell too...Vincent's been the same as you. I left him asleep in the kitchen a couple of days ago and he hasn't awoken since. He hasn't transformed or anything. You've both talked in your sleep. Sometimes it was even like you were having a conversation with each other although you're in different parts of the house," she said with a quiet, humourless laugh.
Sephiroth's expression became serious and the laughter died on her lips.
"That's understandable. It all is." he muttered wearily and her brows furrowed.
"What do you mean?"
"I... had a dream. I, It was unnaturally vivid and not particularly pleasant. In fact, it was so powerful that I doubt it was a nightmare at all. He, Vincent was there." He glanced up at the beautiful woman who was listening by his side attentively. "I strongly believe that we were really there. After everything that... I did five years ago, I know it's fully possible for that to happen."
Tifa's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "You mean you both had the same dream?"
He opened his mouth to speak but found sudden trouble in vociferating his thoughts. "It's not quite like that," he started clumsily. "It was like we truly experienced everything that went on. If I had to compare it to anything, I'd say that it was some kind of out of body experience."
He started to sit up but suddenly yelped in pain as he felt a shot of agony rip through his left arm. They unanimously peered at the source of trouble and both were surprised to see that it was badly bruised. He touched it lightly and cringed at the tenderness.
"It looks like you've dislocated it; quite a while ago," Tifa commented with obvious shock. "I hadn't noticed it before."
Sephiroth pulled a grim face. "An injury of the 'dream' I fear."
Tifa nodded without much understanding; realising that there would be a chance for questions later. She mechanically set about tending to the wounds that started to appear on his body without noticeable cause; no emotion crossed her face. Stranger things had happened in the past and the last thing she wanted to do was worry her patient. Eventually, the injuries formed at the touch of invisible phantoms ceased and she sat back on her heels exhaustedly. She idly brushed aside a lock of hair which had fallen from its loose bindings and wiped her forehead with the back of her hand.
Sephiroth's eyes were closed but occasionally she would catch a glimpse of a sliver of illuminous blue-green as he dared to examine his surroundings. Eventually, the slits of colour disappeared for the last time and Tifa stood up slowly in fear of waking him and looked down upon his sleeping form.
For the first time she could remember since his arrival, he was peaceful and no worries blemished his chiselled, marble features. She recalled her one view of Lucrecia; the woman who had captivated Vincent so many years before and given birth to the man in the bed before her. She detected a noticeable similarity between the scientist and her son. They both had the same pale skin and fine features; some would almost say feminine but as she stared at him she found herself blushing at the thought of how handsome he appeared. She grinned to herself childishly like a schoolgirl with a crush and an image of her only love, the only one who had taken a place in her heart filled her mind and all other thoughts were dispelled immediately.
He gave a deep sigh and contented that he was settled, she lifted the bowl of water that had been by her side for bathing his feverish skin and wounds. Taking a last glance at his peaceful form, she smiled to herself and made her way to the door. She pushed it open silently and tiptoed down the landing in an effort to remain as quiet as possible. Sephiroth was not the only one asleep. She had persuaded Cloud to rest a while even though he had almost completely healed and Yuffie had announced that today was her day off.
Not that she does any work to take a day off from anyway Tifa thought to herself with a sigh.
With Vincent resting in the kitchen, only she and Cid were awake. While she nursed those sick enough to need help, he tended to the bar. Business had not picked up at all since she last confided in Cloud. If anything, it had grown progressively worse until now they were lucky if more then ten people walked through the bar doors in a day. She couldn't understand it. Before she had wished for a moments' peace in the hectic lifestyle; now she was internally praying for some action.
As if on cue, the aura of silence in the house and bar was decimated as there was a terrifying roar from downstairs. She was so shocked by the sudden and loud noise that the bowl slipped from her grip and smashed on the ground; the contents spraying across the walls and floor. The horrific sound was repeated, and spurned into action, she fled down the remaining section of hall and sprinted down the stairs. She darted blindly into the kitchen and screamed at the sight of Cid pinned up against the wall by his throat. Vincent, still in his demonic form had gripped the pilot's neck with a single hand and trapped him; slowly strangling him. Cid's feet dangled three-feet from the tiled floor and he was gagging violently, attempting to support his rapidly dying body by pulling Vincent's hand from him without avail.
Instinctively, Tifa launched herself at the massive, crouched demon. She ran and kicked out smashing a foot into Vincent's side. Momentarily winded, his grasp on Cid was released and he fell to the floor, holding his throat defensively and taking deep lungfuls of air. Over the initial rude introductions, both Vincent and Tifa got into clumsy fighting stances. The considerably younger woman moved her legs apart to provide a firm base and she lifted her clenched fists up to head height. Vincent was less practised in the small space and was restricted to moving on all fours like a crouched hellish cat.
Their eyes met and Tifa was taken aback to see in the place of coolly glittering ruby irises, an evil crimson light. Infuriated by her attack which had disturbed the slaying of his first victim, Vincent lashed out hitting her across the head with the back of a massive hand. The effect was like someone had picked up a tree trunk and smashed it against her skull and she fell to the floor. Her vision swam and her mind reeled whilst her limbs went paralysed and lifeless. The feline-like form of the demon pounced across the room and huge hands pinned her barely functioning arms to the floor. He roared again, his face nearer and fang filled jaws parted exposing blood stained jagged teeth.
Probably from the death of those five men she mused numbly. No fear overcame her as she saw the face of death; she had seen it many times before and she had come to accept it with calm rationality. Her body was too heavy to comply to her whim and so she lay back and allowed herself to be taken.
As the wicked visage lowered to tear her face from the bone, Vincent paused. What the hell was he doing? What had driven him to the very thought of murdering those closest to him in the world? No... This wasn't him. He couldn't let the rage overcome his senses. Not again. It was his responsibility to control it... .
He closed him eyes and shook his head violently as if believing he could throw away the very thoughts from his mind. When his eyes opened once more, Tifa gasped. The vivid red light had begun to fade away and now the human pupils and irises of the ex-Turk were reforming from the hellish glow.
From the corner of her eye she saw a quick movement and her eyes eventually rested upon the stalking figure of Cid clutching a stool in his hands. She was still too stunned to cry out; even when he raised the seat above his head. Even as it started to lower in slow motion although she knew that it was travelling at the speed of a train. A terrible crack burst around the room like a gunshot and Vincent's eyes rolled back as the hard wooden furniture smacked into the back of his skull. He almost fainted from the pain; a result that Cid had hoped for but instead, the feral rage started to build up once more.
The light returned, swamping the humanity and transforming the eyes back into those of a heartless demon; the creature Hojo had always seen within their friend Vincent. He leapt back, releasing Tifa and backed against the wall. Cid pulled the trembling proprietress from off the floor, his vision never leaving the glaring black monster. In his hand he still held the stool although now it had been badly dented and seemed as though it would fall apart at the lightest touch.
The demon threw back its head in a defiant roar and the couple felt a wave of fear rush through their veins. A bang tore them all away from the thick tension and they watched in horror as Cloud stumbled through the door half-asleep clutching the Ultima Weapon in a limp hand.
He looked straight ahead and didn't notice the crouched ebony creature until it suddenly obliterated his view. He looked up and inhaled sharply catching a glimpse of glowing scarlet orbs. He didn't get the chance to react before the huge form slammed against the partition wall between the bar and kitchen; tearing it down and creating a hole large enough to move through.
The bottles that had once been neatly placed along the wall which had captivated Vincent the first time he'd stepped through the bar doors exploded out showering the room's occupants with shards and alcohol.
The few customers that occupied the bar screamed in terror at the sight of a demon bursting through the wall towards them. Glasses were smashed and people pushed out of the way as they all cried out in panic and clambered over each other to exit the once perfect building. Only one dared to stand up to the massive creature. He threw a bottle at its chest feebly in an attempt to distract it. Bellowing in fury, Vincent ripped through the bar and smashed two clawed hands upon the man, decapitating him and tearing his chest to shreds in a single gruesome movement.
The three members of AVALANCHE watched in frozen horror at the sight of the terrible death but could do nothing to help. They continued to watch powerlessly as it threw itself against the final wall and burst out into the busy street beyond.
More terrified yelps and screams reached their ears and Tifa felt hot tears run down her cheeks at the sight. Cid closed his eyes and held his face in his hands whilst Cloud stared on still completely bewildered and confused though horrific clarity was starting to form.
The initial screams of surprise changed to bloodcurdling terror as the second victim of the demon's onslaught was hurled against the side of a building. The defenceless bystander hit the cold stone with a crack and slid down silently, his spine shattered and the back of his skull smashed in. The three members of AVALANCHE witnessed the event from the kitchen in morbid silence; their eyes and mouths open in horror. Tifa tried to breathe but found the crushing agony of what she was seeing too much to bear.
Overcome by emotion, Cloud was the first to leap forth unwilling to watch the innocent people of Midgar slaughtered at the hands of Chaos. He screamed a battle cry just as the third fell; impaled upon the ivory horns of the demon's head. He gurgled and a bloody forth escaped his lips before he slumped down uselessly.
A ring of stallholders and anyone else who had reason to defend the area surrounded the massive creature; crude weapons in their hands and fear written on their faces despite confident yells thrown at the beast.
Vincent roared in response and they backed away; a glimpse of dripping red fangs and claws was all that was needed to dissuade their otherwise 'valiant' charge.
Cloud leapt out of the breach in the bar wall created through Vincent's fury, his face an ugly shade of scarlet and fury blocking his thoughts.
"Vincent, leave them!!" he cried in a rage. "If you want a fight, take me you demonic bastard!!"
Horrified and confused looks were exchanged between the demon and the defiant Cloud by the crowd. Shocked mutterings deeper in the gathering where it was safer expressed their utter disbelief at his bravery or stupidity. Vincent seemed less impressed by the display and instead regarded the blonde haired warrior coolly, no expression touching the black, marble mask. Cloud's expression only hardened further and he took another step forward towards the impending battle. Amusement flickered in the pure crimson lights of the demon's eyes as it sensed a challenge.
Vincent peered out through the blood haze formed by the fury he had accumulated within the nightmare he had only just surfaced from. The attacks from Cid and Tifa had only furthered his rage until now he could no longer think. A figure had stepped forward; an insolent human daring to challenge him despite his anger. Just a figure. Just another moving target.
The words that escaped the warrior's lips were garbled to rage controlled ears. The figure clutched a large sword in his hand; that would make the battle much more enticing. The target stepped forward and now amusement took the place of anger in the demon's mind as he found himself unable to believe the audacity the human had to contest his supremacy. This truly would be interesting... .
Cloud adjusted his grip upon the hilt of the mighty Ultima Weapon and he felt fury run through his own veins at the arrogance of the monster before him. Before the black beast had been a friend lead astray; now he was a murderer who found a game in the bloodshed. Well play on; if this was what it took, he was prepared to join the sport... .
With a speed that surprised himself, he lunged forward slicing the air with the crystal blade of the sword as it swung in a horizontal arc passing inches from the demon. Now it was no longer play; this would not end peacefully. Recovering from the initial warning move, Cloud twisted himself and swung again, purposefully stretching so that if Vincent was within range, it would carve easily through his legs.
With catlike reflexes, the demon sprung back and the slice missed him closely once more. Not allowing his opponent time to recover, he pounced forward and slashed a claw tearing through the material and skin on Cloud's unprotected left shoulder.
The young warrior gasped aloud from the pain but ignored it as he focused himself on recovering from his attack. He felt the hot liquid of his blood seep into the dark blue tank top he wore, but gritting his teeth and feeling vaguely thankful it had not been his sword arm, he jumped back to review the situation. Vincent did likewise and the two equal opponents started to circle each other waiting for the perfect moment to make a move.
Less sure on his feet than the agile demon, Cloud was the first to make a mistake. The uneven surface of the cobbled street caught him unawares and he stumbled managing to keep on his feet but moving his injured arm awkwardly in the process. He yelped in pain and taking the cue, Vincent sprang across the gap and dived down, his head bowed in an attempt to skewer the ex-SOLDIER through the chest.
Although injured, Cloud was still too fast and he ducked back, narrowly missing the offence. He revelled in his own quick reactions for barely a second before the rest of the demon followed. Although the horns had missed him, the spike tipped joint on one of the crimson wings was slightly outstretched and it rammed straight into his abdomen. He was forced backwards as the momentum of Vincent's rush carried him onwards and he screamed from the pain as they became linked.
The crowd ran away as quickly as they could with the sight of the demon sprinting towards them unstoppably. Most of them darted away from the fight spurned on by the agonised screams of Cloud and the panic spread by the sight. Cloud released his grip on the sword and held on tightly to the wing to prevent it from going all of the way through him. They eventually stopped and Vincent started to thrash around violently to shake off the human that he had snared upon the bony spike.
With a loud snap and tortured scream from Vincent, Cloud broke the fragile extremity and fell back leaving the demon to cry out its agony at the broken wing. His eyes scanned quickly over the scene of the carnage and he quickly spotted the gleaming blade of the Ultima Weapon as it shed its pale blue glow across the day-lit street.
Infuriated further by the pain, Vincent roared and sprang between the warrior and his weapon leaving him defenceless. Cloud's eyes widened in horror as he watched one of the massive claws raise higher and higher into the air preparing to smash down on him. He nimbly stepped back cringing as the movement aggravated his stomach wound and clutched at it feebly. The hand crashed down onto the road and stone shattered from the impact. Vincent howled as the bones in his hand yielded to the hard rock and broke in surrender.
Taking every second as an opportunity and wasting none, Cloud held his abdomen and gritted his teeth as he started to sprint past the beast. Halfway towards his prize, the sword, Vincent sprung and made a course to collide and tackle the slighter fighter. Cloud caught the sight of the demon charging towards him from the corner of a wide, staring eye. Thinking quickly, he suddenly stopped and the massive black bulk hurled past him and straight through the window of a clothes boutique smashing it into a thousand pieces. He started again; running as fast as his legs would carry him hearing the tortured cries of the hurt beast behind him.
As he became literally metres from the blade, Vincent burst from the shop spraying crystal dagger-like shards across the street. Cloud felt them pelt his back like machine-gun fire but he didn't dare to stop. He could almost feel the comforting hilt within his palm now, and spurned on, he dived across the floor, skidding over the cobbles that tore mercilessly at his wounds. As he passed the sword, he reached out and grabbed purposefully, neatly closing his fingers tightly around the handle in a possessive manner. Rolling forward, he sprang to his feet and turned back. Vincent had charged at him once more and Cloud's many injuries slowed him to the point to exhaustion.
Unable to move away, he weakly swung the sword and to his shock it carved straight through Vincent's middle as his enemy made no attempt to dodge. Dark blood sprayed out from the high wound along with the millions of tiny, deep cuts inflicted by the broken glass window.
A pained and almost sorrowful moan escaped Vincent's thin black lips and the scarlet light in his eyes began to fade until only his 'human' eyes were left. They rolled back in his head and he collapsed to the floor on his hands and knees. Shards of glass protruded like ice crystals from his black skin and red blood seeped out and dripped onto the cobbles. A massive broken hand clutched at the huge slit across his abdomen but within seconds a large crimson pool formed under him and started to spread like a hideous plague across the road.
Cloud watched in horror; morbidly marvelling at how much blood the demon contained. The broken wing lay feebly at Vincent's side; the delicate ebony spokes shattered and broken. His breaths were ragged and weak; he was tired of the fight, his injuries were too plentiful and some too serious for him to continue.
The sudden cessation of the fight brought Cloud's many wounds to his attention. The deep slices in his stomach and across his shoulder stung terribly and the glass stuck in his back from the shattered boutique window sent painful prickles up and down his spine. His chest throbbed rhythmically from his slide across the hard uneven floor and his very heart and soul brought the most pain. Vincent was bowed down, defeated; shivering and weak on the floor before him.
His victory, although close, was hollow and meaningless. He had willingly raised and used his sword against a friend and as a result they had both suffered.
He sank to his knees; the slow blood loss as it soaked into his almost saturated clothes weakened him with every minute that passed.
"Vincent?" he said hoarsely and the demon shook its head sorrowfully. He reached out tentatively and placed a gloved hand upon its head. "Vincent." he whispered. "It's over."
He slowly drew back his hand as the head started to lift. Eventually, crimson, human eyes met his own; deep and tragic remorse shimmering in the ruby depths.
What kind of a monster have I become? Vincent questioned internally, his thoughts unspoken and unheard by the warrior who had been his bane. I am the kind of monster who would feel rage to such a depth I am willing to destroy those closest to me. The hand which had not been broken in the fight balled as he felt the anger of his own weaknesses rising. This was not the primal rage which had urged him on before; this was the familiar self-hatred for his own failings and shortcomings. The anger that had mourned when Lucrecia died at his hands and the anger which had poisoned those around him.
This was a human anger.
Kill me Cloud. Put an end to this tragic existence. He pleaded in his heart and eyes.
Cloud swallowed. Although he couldn't sense the thoughts of the demon, the crimson irises, the windows to his friend's soul gave more explanation than any words ever could. "It's over." he repeated. "I refuse to fight you or hurt you again. If you still have any humanity left in you, you'll do the same." His jaw set in firm resilience. "You can beat me around; you can fight as many of us as you want but stop doing this to yourself."
He stood and moved to the side of Vincent which faced the shattered front of Tifa's Seventh Heaven. He caught sight of the members of AVALANCHE watching in silent awe from the shadows of the bar like statuettes. Ignoring them in the face of something more important than anything else in that moment in time, he placed his hand on a spiked, muscled black shoulder after removing his sword gloves.
"This isn't you, Vincent." he whispered in a barely audible tone he knew detectable by his friend. "You've always been proud; from the second I saw you I knew that. Pride in yourself; pride in your beliefs. But as I came to know you, I discovered that pride came from the very fact that although Hojo had done terrible, terrible things to you, your mind was untouched." He swallowed forcefully.
"Even to this day I still have no idea what you went through; I guess that Yuffie's the only one who could possibly have a clue from reading those books of yours. You've always been so strong up to now. Despite everything, you've always kept straight and true whatever motives you use as your driving force.
"This was Hojo's final insult. What little I do know about your past with him, he tried to create you as a monster. Although he's finally achieved this through your body, you're the one who is ultimately poisoning your mind. He didn't have to do it for you."
Vincent said nothing; he didn't even move. Every word, every single syllable uttered by his companion rang true with a deafening din that threatened to shatter him. The overwhelming wave of truth was hanging precariously over his head and every new point brought it closer to collapse.
Cloud began once more. "Tifa told me about the killings." he started quietly. "From the police investigations, the five men killed were all members of a thieving band based over in Sector Five. I know that you wouldn't go and kill them without reason so they must have threatened you. But what were you doing there anyway?"
Vincent lifted his head, his eyes brimming with answers but his gargoylic face constantly impassive.
"God how I wish you could talk," Cloud murmured. "What I wouldn't give to know what you were hiding under that dark exterior of yours."
He exhaled deeply. "Only you can find the solution. I don't know what made you do this," he said with a vague wave of his hand around the area. The section of the street that their brief but dramatic battle had taken place in was now destroyed. The bar stood like a gaping hellish mouth in the side of an otherwise perfect row of quaint, old-style buildings. Smashed glass littered the street like unnatural ice to take the place of the thin sprinkling of snow which had painted the city a day or so before. Blood splattered the previously clean ground like hellish stars in a manmade sky and the bodies of Vincent's victims lay strewn across the road.
"Only you can know the driving force behind your actions and I pray to the gods that you find a solution. This can't go on. Not like this. Both of us were hurt, Vincent. Next time... Next time it could be much worse.
"But this isn't you. I know it isn't. You're not in control; not fully. You have to solve this yourself, none of us can." he ended sorrowfully.
Although the crouched demon appeared outwardly no different, as Cloud looked into his eyes there was a definite change. He couldn't quite place it but a renewed hope and faith in the workings of the universe had been sparked and he felt a sad smile play upon his lips.
He heard the sound of soft footfall approaching from behind him and he flinched as his wounds once more started to draw attention to themselves. Tifa walked cautiously to his side and determining that Vincent was no longer a threat, she slipped an arm through that of her lover's. Cid stood on the other side of the ex-SOLDIER whilst Yuffie stood on the end of the line having awoken due to the loud disturbance. It was obvious what had happened by the destruction that lay all around her but for some reason although she knew it was against all rationality, she felt no fear.
Vincent glanced at Cid apologetically. I wish I could tell you how sorry I was... .
The pilot returned his gaze with nothing but the acceptance of the unspoken regret. "Don't worry about it." he said with a weak smile rubbing his neck absently. "You were having a bad dream; it happens."
Vincent nodded solemnly and his vision flicked to Tifa who shuffled uncomfortably beneath it but didnt break eye contact. "You don't have to say anything." she said softly. "It wasn't your fault."
He looked up at the bar and the gaping hole in the rustic style brickwork stared hollowly back at him. He pulled a face and Tifa followed his stare.
"It shouldn't take too long to get that patched up." she turned back to him. "Besides, I think you have something more important than repair work to think about."
Along the crystalline, cold air carried the faint sounds of voices calling to one another. Vincent had heard them approaching long before the people gathered before him had but he had seen no reason to move. However after listening carefully to Cloud's speech, he couldn't help but feel a strong duty towards finding something to help the current situation. If he didn't do it for himself; he could do it for his friends. He could do it for all the people that had suffered as a result of his uncontrollable outbursts and for all those that would in the future if he gave into it.
Inhaling deeply, he pushed himself off the floor and stood up precariously, wobbling uncertainly for a few seconds before gaining his balance. The unnatural healing rate had already mended the broken wing and the smaller cuts adorning his thick skin but the larger wounds had only just scabbed over. He looked down upon himself grimly and sighed deeply.
"It's time for you to go." Cloud announced gently. "It's too dangerous to stay in the city. I don't think you'll find the answers you need here."
Vincent nodded in return and looked to the horizon beyond the city where the stark shadows of mountains in the distance lay like ripped black paper across the vividly coloured sky.
"Good luck, Vincent." Tifa smiled sadly.
"Yeah, I'll pray that Lady Luck sticks with ya, huh Vinny?" Cid said jovially although there was a hint of sadness in his voice.
The demon started to walk away from the group slowly but he suddenly halted as a voice stopped him in his tracks.
"Wait! Vincent!" Yuffie called and she ran after him to the puzzlement of the others. He halted mid-stride and swivelled back to face her. She ran up to him awkwardly and dug her hands into the pockets of her shorts. After a few seconds, a bright smile lit up her impish face and she pulled them out. "Hold out your hands." she instruction and he complied.
She held out a small clenched fist and opened it over his huge palms dropping a tiny object into them. His brows knitted in puzzlement and his lifted it closer to his eyes to take a look.
She had handed him a small sliver necklace with a pendant hanging from it. It was in the shape of a lotus flower with five petals, inlayed with richly coloured blue sapphires. The stem of the beautiful flower was with closer inspection a delicately carved, silver serpent, it's jaws locked around the thin silver chain. Sapphires a darker, more vivid blue than those of the flower petals sat in its head like glittering eyes. Despite its size, the object's beauty was awe-inspiring with the beautiful craftwork that could only be afforded by the richest people; hand carved with loving care in Wutai.
Vincent looked down at Yuffie an ambiguous mixture of astonishment and questions written upon his face. Yuffie's smile never wavered as she saw his reaction.
"It's for good luck." she explained. "It's meant to keep away bad spirits and demons... I thought it was kinda appropriate. I, I don't know if we'll ever see you again, so it's just something for you to remember us by."
Vincent marvelled the object and Yuffie's unexpected selflessness. It was unlike the young ninja to even give a compliment let alone such a valuable item and he felt a great reluctance to take it. He held it back out to her but she shook her head firmly.
"It's for you."
Vincent clenched his hand around it and nodded pensively. With a graceful movement, he knelt down onto one knee and took Yuffie's hand, easily encompassing it within his own. With surprising gentleness, he kissed the back of the hand and stood again. Yuffie's cheeks flushed bright red and she shuffled her feet bashfully. The observers smiled at her embarrassment but it slipped from their faces as they suddenly caught sight of the first city people to return to the scene since the fight.
Horrified screams and terrified mutterings took the place of the previous feeling of peace and Vincent's head snapped up suddenly to face them.
"There it is!"
"That's the bastard!"
"Don't just stand there! Let's go!"
"Kill it!" came the curses and threats from the huge crowd that was starting to form.
"Vincent" cried Tifa to pull his transfixed stare from the mass.
He quickly turned from them, fighting the primal anger and desire to kill that was starting to rise up within him at the sight of the mob. His eyes started to focus upon the beautiful young woman, but a sudden movement caught his eye. He flicked his gaze up to a glint of silver and saw Sephiroth standing in the battered doorway of the bar; leaning up against the wooden frame weakly. Their eyes met hypnotically and Vincent raised his eyebrows in surprise as a voice entered his mind.
"You're going now?" It asked and Vincent nodded.
"I have to. What I've done here... I cannot bear to stay. Every time I look on these people I see the images of what I have done."
"I'm sorry... it was my fault. I'm the one who made you angry."
Vincent shook his head. "It wasn't you. Right now something's wrong, something's terribly wrong. Even the slightest thing tips me over the edge. I, I don't know what's happening any more... . I need to find a cure."
"A cure? There is no cure for emotions."
"Perhaps not." Vincent responded thoughtfully. "But there is always the prevention of the results."
Sephiroth nodded weakly. "I understand. Do what you must... and good luck."
Vincent forced a grim and less than reassuring smile. He tore himself away from the aqua gaze and became increasingly aware of voices screaming his name. In a dazed state, he looked down and saw his friends jumping around wildly and screaming to get his attention. Shaking his head to dispel his dream-like state his expression hardened and the massive scarlet wings on his back opened out in an impressive display which silenced the hostile crowd. Vincent regarded them coolly without emotion and turned to face the mountains.
"If you see... Her,... tell Her that I love Her."
"She already knows. You are Her son after all."
With a powerful beat, he sprang from the floor and hovered for a few seconds before lifting off into the sky. The people present followed his path through the air until he was little more than a black speck imprinted in their vision against the late afternoon sky.
Hey wow! You're still with me!
From now on you may notice that my chapters are about half as long as chapters 1-9. This is simply so that I can get more writing done in shorter spaces of time and it also helps the fic to run a little more smoothly. It may seem a little weird at first for which I apologise but it shouldn't mess things up too badly *sounding hopeful!*
As always comments/criticism are welcome and try not to let my weird re-formetting and even weirder ideas put you off!
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