Final Fantasy VII: Legacy Chapter 2
The Changing Face of Evil
By Melissa McClendon
6 months later
Tifa Strife's eyes slowly fluttered open and found she was in complete darkness. She felt disoriented for a moment, trying desperately to remember the last thing that happened. The Highwind had been attacked by mercinaries and somehow, everyone on board had been captured. How did that happen? How could they have beaten us all?... I must be in some kind of prison... Where's Cloud? A cigarette being lit suddenly caught her attention. " Cid ?"
" Yep ." He replied roughly after exhaling.
" How long have I been out ?"
" Couple of hours ."
Something was wrong with his voice. He sounded like he was in a great deal of pain... He was wounded... I remember seeing the blood... " How's your wound ?" Her tone harbored deep concern.
" It'll heal ." He replied in a neutral tone before inhaling.
I don't remember seeing Shera... Oh God, something must have happened to her... " What happened to Shera? I didn't see her ."
Cid tensed up. Those damned bastards! Cid thought bitterly. Attacked my ship while I was trying to propose to my girl... " I locked her in the closet before I was captured ." I hope that love-happy numbskull Vincent finds her when he gets back. If he gets back... Cid thought ruefully. Hell, he and Lucrecia just might decide to stay in Costa del Sol a few more days...
Tifa shook her head, realizing he wasn't in social mood. Cloud's alright. She reassured herself. If anything, my husband can take care of himself,... maybe... Tifa's dark eyes flew up as the cell door opened. Cid and Tifa had to quickly shield their eyes from the blinding light.
" Captain Highwind, the boss wants to see you ."
" Well ," Cid threw the cigarette down and stamped it out with his boot. " Maybe I don't want to see him ."
" You don't have a choice, Captain ." The guard replied coldly, patting his weapon with an unspoken warning.
" Cid, don't start a fight. Just see what the man wants ." Tifa pleaded.
Cid sighed, disgusted with the whole situation. " Fine. I'll see what the stupid @#%! wants ."
Vincent Valentine tried to keep the gold chocobo as steady as possible, careful not to wake the angel sleeping in his arms. Lucrecia... Lucrecia Valentine... He thought with a smile. He seemed to have been doing that a lot lately, hadn't he? I can't believe she agreed to marry me. I can't believ she'd really my wife... mine.
They had a few more miles to go until they reached the Highwind, from there they'd move they're things to their new home, the remodeled Shinra Mansion in Nibelheim. It had been at Lucrecia's insisting that they move into the mansion, Vincent wanted nothing more to do with the place.
Darling, I've finally decided where I'd like us to live.
Oh really, where, Lu?
In the old Shinra Mansion.
What? Why would you want to live there?
Its been a place of sorrow too long, Vincent. I want to bring love and laughter to the mansion, our love and our children's laughter.
Whatever makes you happy, Lu. That's all that matters to me.
That had been the first time Lucrecia had ever mentioned children, specifically, their children. He had to admit, he liked the idea of a couple of little girls running around with soft violet eyes, silky brown hair, and the same face as their mother.
Sons, on the other hand, were a different matter. True, he would love to have a few sons as well, to protect his beautiful, mirror-image of their mother, daughters. But any sons he and Lucrecia would have together would pose as potential threats to this newfound peace.
But it shouldn't matter, should it? I wasn't Sephiroth's father. Vincent's heart suddenly wrenched at that reminder of such a painful memory. I should have been Sephiroth's father. I should-- Vincent quickly ended those thoughts. He and Lucrecia purposely didn't speak of their past for that very reason. It opened up old wounds that only caused them pain and suffering. Sephiroth and Hojo were two names that should never be mentioned in the Valentine household.
" Warrkkk!!" The gold chocobo suddenly bucked, throwing Vincent and Lucrecia off when gunfire exploded in the air.
Vincent reacted with lightning speed, pulling Lucrecia back behind a tree for cover. " Vincent?" She whispered, her eyes wide with fright.
" Shhh..." He drew his gun, the Death Penalty, before looking over at her. He bent over and gave her a quick kiss. " Everything's going to be fine. I'll protect you ." Her heart wrenched as he jumped up and opened fired. But who's going to protect you?
Vincent dropped back down beside her, reloading his gun. " Try to get a hold of someone on the PHS ." She grabbed it out of his pocket on command.
Lucrecia dialed the Highwind's number, trembling with fear for Vincent's life. She silently began to pray as the PHS continued to ring. Vincent suddenly cried out in pain and fell back against the tree. She dropped the phone when she saw the blood seeping through Vincent's shirt. " Vincent !!"
" Its alright ." He reassured her. Being a doctor, she knew he was lying to her just by looking at the wound. As Vincent cast Cure, Lucrecia grabbed the Quicksilver from his holster and opened fire.
" Lu !!" He pulled her back as a bullet grazed her arm, despite the pain his own wound caused him.
" Its not bad ." She whispered, holding back the tears.
Cold rage washed over Vincent and he could feel himself transforming into the dark beast, Chaos. She looked away as he turned into that monster, covering her ears as cries of anguish escaped their enemies as Chaos destroyed them.
Cid finally reached a richly adorned office with two men standing behind a desk that bore a striking resemblance to Shera. Rich auburn hair and bright green eyes, the only difference was their eyes were cold where hers were warm. " Have a seat ."
Cid gave the guards a go to hell look when they forced him into the chair. " Well ," the taller began. " Now that we're all comfortable ."
" Who the hell are you bastards ?!"
" We'll be asking the questions, you --"
" Calm down, Robert. He is entitled to know our names ." The taller man interupted.
" He's already taken enough from our sister ."
The taller man eyed Robert evily before continuing. " Please forgive my brother, Captain Highwind. I'm Richard Westphalen and this is Robert Westphalen ." The doors suddenly swooshed open and welcomed in another man who looked even more like Shera than the other two. " Ah, my youngest brother, Thomas Westphalen ."
" Yeah, so whatcha want with me ?" Cid tried to sound bored, uncaring.
" I'll cut right to the point, Captain Highwind. Are you acquainted with a woman named Shera ?"
Cid's stomach wrenched. What do they want with Shera?... They're after Shera!!... She must be safe, still locked in our closet on the Highwind. I hope Vincent and Lu find her soon... " Nope, never heard of her ."
" Gee, that's funny. My sources tell me that you've lived with a woman named Shera for seven years now ." Robert's tone dripped with sarcasm.
" Please, Captain Highwind ," Thomas pleaded. " Shera's my twin sister. I only wish to know if she's safe ."
Cid felt compelled to tell Thomas that Shera was fine, but the older two Westphalens prevented him from doing so. Those two give me the willies. I'm not about to tell those two where she is.
" Shut up, Thomas !" Robert growled.
" It appears Captain Highwind needs help jogging his memory ." Richard signaled for the guards to come take him away.
Thomas spoke up as soon as the doors swooshed shut. " Is it really necessary to torture him ?"
" He deserves it after what he's done to our sister ." Richard replied casually.
" The bastard deserves more ." Robert mumbled.
" Did it ever occur to you that Shera cares for him, possibly loves him ?" Thomas suggested subtly, hoping it would somehow help the man the guards had just carried off.
" Impossible !" Richard snorted.
" Shera would never get involved with someone like that ." Robert concluded.
Thomas rolled his eyes as he left the room. How little they truly know about you, Shera...
Lucrecia finished wrapping up her arm with the guaze as Vincent reloaded the Quicksilver, dead silence between them. They had reached the Highwind a little over an hour ago and went straight to the infirmary. There, she removed the bullet embedded in his shoulder and bound the wound. Now she tended her own wound as her husband prepared himself for round two.
Vincent placed the Quicksilver back in its holster and looked up at his wife tenderly, although he was fighting the urge to yell at her for doing such a damned fool thing. No, I could never yell at her. She was just trying to protect me.
" I can be so stupid sometimes ." Lucrecia finally spoke up as she slipped her silk blouse back on. " All I did was make matters worse ."
Vincent sighed as his eyes locked with hers. He couldn't lie and tell her it was the right thing to do, he whole-heartedly agreed it was stupid. " Just don't scare me like that again ."
" Just don't get shot again ." Lucrecia countered as she finished buttoning her blouse and threw his bloody shirt away.
Vincent could still see the fright in those soft violet eyes and held his arm out for her. She snuggled up against his side and rested her head on his bare shoulder. " I'm not about to make you a widow ." He reassured her.
" Where is everyone ?" She whispered, knowing something was wrong. Cid or one of the others would have been down here already if there wasn't.
" I'm not sure. I'd better go look ." Vincent left her embrace and headed for the door.
Lucrecia quickly ran in front of him and placed her hands on his chest to stop him. "We better go look ."
" No, you're going to stay here ."
" Vincent, don't make me do something stupid again ." She warned.
She gave him a piercing look that went right through her. She was about to take the coward's way out when he finally spoke. " You better stay right next to me ."
Vincent's arm left Lucrecia's shoulders when they entered the cockpit and found it was empty, just like the rest of the ship. " Where is everyone ?" She asked, hoping Vincent would know as he began examining the controls.
" Something must have happened. Cid would never have left the Highwind unattended and fully operational ."
Lucrecia bit her lower lip as Vincent went to the main computer. I hope they're alright... " Perhaps they are just hiding to play a practical joke on us ."
Vincent suddenly looked up at her. " Maybe you're right, Lu ." He turned around and leaned against the railing, crossing his arms over his chest. " Maybe they want to catch us red-handed ."
" Red-handed ?" Vincent gave her a devilish grin and she blushed when she realized what he meant. " You've become as bad as Cid ."
" No one is that bad, my love ."
" Well, I'm going to go look for the others until you decide whether you want to get caught or not ."
" Well, that shouldn't take too long ." He said to her back as she left.
Lucrecia crept to Cid and Shera's room, trying to hear them whisper amongst themselves, but she heard nothing. She decided to open the door as Vincent reached her side. " Cid? Shera ?"
" I checked Cloud and Tifa's room, there was no sign of them ."
" There's no sign of anyone here either ."
" We should go to the control room and check the surveillance system. The ship may have been attacked and they were captured,... or worse ."
Lucrecia suddenly became frightened again. " Wouldn't there have been signs of a struggle ?"
" Not necessarily. Some organizations keep it clean. They try to erase all evidence of them ever being there... Like the Turks ."
My Vincent used to be a Turk. He was the greatest Turk in the organization and the company sent him to protect me. Like Sephiroth was to Soldier, Vincent was to the Turks.
" What's wrong ?"
" I was just thinking they may have been after the team itself... They'll be after you ."
Vincent moved towards her and suddenly stopped when he heard tapping from Cid and Shera's closet. he signaled for Lucrecia to get behind him as he drew his gun.
He quickly jerked the door open and aimed.
Shera stared at them with her bright green eyes before fainting into Vincent's arms. Vincent gently lay her down on the bed as Lucrecia began examining her. "
Whoever locked her in here was in a hurry. She nearly suffucated ."
" What do you need ?" Vincent volunteered.
" A cold washcloth and a glass of water ."
Vincent ran into the bathroom, sure Shera kept those things in there. Shera began to stir. " Cid... Cid..."
" Shera, its Lucrecia. C'mon, snap out of it ." Lucrecia took the washcloth from Vincent and began running it across Shera's face.
" Where's Cid ?" She whispered hoarsely.
" What happened? Who put you in there ?"
" We were attacked. Cid locked me in there so I'd be safe. He was captured after that ." Shera suddenly panicked. " Where is he? I've got to find him. He's hurt--"
" Calm down, Shera ."
" Lu, come here ." Vincent called.
She got up and walked over beside him. He signaled for her to look down. Lucrecia covered her mouth in shock when she saw the puddle of blood. Vincent looked to her for an explaination. " I can't tell you for sure without running a DNA test ."
" More than likely though ." Vincent concluded.
Lucrecia stood up and turned around to face a complete stranger. " Vincent !"
Before she could even blink, Vincent had her jerked behind him, Quicksilver drawn.
" Please, Mr.Valentine, I'm not here to harm you or your wife ." The man slowly brought his hands up to show he was unarmed.
" Who are you ?" Vincent demanded in a cold, Turk-like tone.
" Thomas Westphalen. I'm here to see Shera ."
" Thomas ?" Shera whispered in disbelief. " Vincent, its alright. Thomas is my brother ."
Vincent nodded, putting the Quicksilver away. Thomas bent down beside Shera, taking her hands in his. " Its so good to see you. I got worried when I didn't recieve your letters anymore ."
" I'm fine, Thomas ."
Vincent signaled for Lucrecia to follow him outside, deciding to give the brother and sister time alone and for him to plan his next move.
Chapter 2 author's notes:
Okay, I know I probably just offended a lot of fellow fans out there, but deal with me here. I realize Vincent and Cid appeal to a lot of you out there and that shooting Vincent and torturing Cid wasn't such a good idea if I didn't want death threats e-mailed to me. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against either one of them. In fact, they're my two favorite fans, so hold off the death threats.
I am going somewhere with this fanfic, however, so expect chapter three soon. C'mon, use your imagination. We all know Vincent and Cid aren't going to let those two Westphalens get away with that, hopefully... I'm always open for and welcome any comments, suggestions, and critical advice on my fanfics. So just e-mail me and tell me what you thought. I hope to hear from you soon. ~Melissa "Dei"
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