Final Fantasy VII: 25 Years After the Fact Chapter 2

The Truth About Lucas

By The Ionic Butterfly

The cast party was beginning to bore Lucas. He never had been much for parties. He sipped his fruit punch wondering if it was spiked from his seat as he watched Aeris dance with Benito. He supposed it would be more fun if he actually got up out of his seat and mingled a little, but his mind was too far-gone to concentrate enough to do that. His mind trailed through the wondrous day's events. It had definitely been one of the best days of his life.

From that moment he had first seen what he called his "psychological" mother and father at his table, to the moment Aeris had kissed him and made him admit he really cared for her, the day had been one happy roller coaster ride for him. He prayed silently to his gods that this day would never end. His parents had told him to bring Aeris over when they got through at the cast party so he knew they must have been setting up a small private party. He was becoming impatient, wanting to move on to the next surprise the day held for him.

Hands covered his eyes and he heard a giggle. He felt warm breath against his ear and shivered, trying to get away. "I saw what really went on behind the scenes, lover boy," Janica giggled in his ear.

"So!" He laughed, grabbing at her hands.

She let go and sat down beside him, smiling at him. "I told you a long time ago you two were meant for each other. Why did you fight it for so long?" she asked.

"Fear of rejection, maybe?" Lucas answered.

"Who'd reject a cutie like you?" Janica said, pinching his cheeks.

Lucas groaned at her and she laughed. "Now all we have to do is get you a date."

"No sir. Not me. I'm going to be a priestess, remember?" Janica said raising an eyebrow.

"Like anyone in the world can be totally devoted to his religion," he muttered. He saw Benito kiss Aeris' hand as the dance was over. "Here she comes."

"Well, hello, Miss Strife! Or can I call you Miss Neko now?" Janica asked.

Aeris stamped her foot toward Janica. Janica got up and ran away quickly. Aeris rolled her eyes and sat down beside Lucas. "She knows, huh?"

Lucas nodded. He looked at his watch. "You about ready to go?" he asked.

She smiled and nodded. "They told me I had to go to your place..."

"Yeah. Why do I get the feeling something's up?" he asked.


Lucas paused at his door wondering if he should use his key or knock. Aeris made the decision for him by knocking on he door and calling out, "Pizza's here!" in a richly accented voice.

"Pizza? Who ordered pizza?" Aeris heard Cait Sith say as he came to the door. She giggled when he opened it and let out a curse word.

"Surprise!" Lucas said grinning at the people inside his apartment staring with dumbfounded looks on their faces.

Aeris bent down slightly to hug Cait Sith tightly. "Wonderful show, sweetie," he said. She raised up and thanked Reeve and hugged his neck tightly too. "That really was wonderful, sweetie," he added. "I already said that!" Cait Sith yelled.

"Well don't leave me out while the hugs are still plentiful..." Barrett said, coming forward to give Aeris a hug so big her eyes bulged a bit. "That's what acting was meant to be. Jes' what you did up there tonight."

"I'm next," Nanaki said, bounding toward Aeris. She smiled and bent down to hug him. She kissed his head too. His tail swished a bit nervously. "I wouldn't mind seeing that play again," he said.

"Not bad, not bad at all." Yuffie came forward to hug her on-going student. She had helped Cloud train Aeris to fight. Aeris bowed her head respectfully. Yuffie returned it grinning then wrestled Aeris into a hug through a fit of giggles.

Ryouji winked at her and simply said, "Good job."

Her mom and dad just looked at her smiling and she knew they approved of her acting now, even though she felt she would never act again. She saw her mom jab Tomas in the arm pushing him forward. He walked over to Aeris and she grinned at him. She knew he was embarrassed having to hug her in front of everyone, so she made a big show of it to cover for him.

"Oh, Tomas! I know you thought I was a goddess on that stage! You don't have to tell me!" she laughed, making him grin. She stole a quick hug from him then. She then looked around for her youngest brother. "Deus?" she called out.

"Right here!" he called, running out to hug her tightly.

Lucas shook hands with everyone, taking his congratulations with smiles. He got a hug from his mother though.

"Well, there's food and drinks in the kitchen," Tifa said gesturing toward the kitchen.

Lucas placed his hand on his stomach and made a face. "I got enough at the cast party."

"I was too busy dancing to eat," Aeris said, going to the kitchen.

As everyone made to follow her, Ryouji cornered Lucas. "A few words with you please?" he asked grinning.

Lucas scratched his head. "Of course."

"Is it official?"

He nodded.

"Mr. Strife knows, and he doesn't like it," Ryouji commented.

"No father is supposed to like his little girl's boyfriend," Lucas said. "Do you and mother have any complaints?"

"Save for the fact she is not Wutanese, not really. But I dare you to let me find out you were treating her like anything less than a lady," he whispered.

Lucas nodded. "I want to treat her just the way you always taught me a woman should be treated."

"Good. Now, another thing. Are you serious about this acting thing?"

"It was fun. Not my calling for sure, but it was fun."

"Good. You can be more than an actor," Ryouji said. He sighed. "You sure you know what you are doing, kiddo?"

"Yeah. I can't believe she cares for me too. That is what is so amazing to me," Lucas said as Bonnalee rubbed against his leg. He picked her up and scratched her head, making her purr.

"Well, if you need to talk, you know my PHS number. I'll always be just a phone call away. But I want you to remember everything I've taught you about women and how to treat them. If you treat her bad... I'll find you and you'll pay," Ryouji said grinning.

"Yes, daddy," Lucas said laughing a bit.

Even though Ryouji felt the Lucas was joking, he liked to hear the word "dad." Since he could never have children on his own, he was glad Yuffie let him take care of him. He stood looking at the young man before him and remembered the first time a scared little boy had called him "daddy."


Ryouji had just returned to Wutai after working for Reeve in the HQ building for eight years as a janitor and uncertified nursery care attendant. He loved kids and loved taking care of the sick ones. He had returned to find Yuffie had a son even though it wasn't maternally hers. She had also sworn she'd never marry.

Yuffie had showed up at his door early one morning in a panic. "You have to help me! Please! I don't know what else to do! I don't want to lose him! Help, please!" she was saying, going so fast he barely understood her.

"Yuf, calm down. What's wrong?"

"It's Lucas! He's...He's sick or something. He's in the infirmary being treated by the doctors, but they are saying they can't do anything for him! They said he's gonna...gonna... Ryouji, do something! They said he's gonna die!" she said, her eyes watery.

"What!?" he said, getting a touch of panic himself. He had met the kid once or twice. He was almost four, and the sweetest child he had ever met. And that kid had taught Yuffie not to be so damn selfish all the time. Yet he was dying? "Take me to him right now," he said, not wasting any time.

Yuffie led him to Lucas. The doctors seemed to be just standing there shaking their heads. Ryouji rushed to the kid's side, and felt his forehead. Lucas' eyes slowly opened to look up at him. "What's wrong, kiddo?"

"My chest hurts..." he admitted softly.

Ryouji was unbuttoning Lucas' shirt as he asked, "Did you get hit or anything?"

"No," Lucas whispered, closing his eyes, his head lolling to the side.

"NO! Lucas! Look at me, Lucas! I need you to keep your eyes on me, okay?" Ryouji said, looking into Lucas' eyes when they came back open.

"Meow..." Bonnalee mewed by Lucas' side. She was watching with a tail flicking nervously.

Ryouji checked his chest and then noticed something right below his left pectoral. "Lucas? How'd you get this scratch?" he asked.

Lucas didn't answer.

"Come on, kiddo. I need you to tell me. It's really important. You aren't in any trouble, I promise."

"She was so pretty... I wasn't going to hurt her... But she went down my shirt and she bit me," Lucas said.

"What bit you?"

"A pretty spider. She was shiny black with a red spot," Lucas said, smiling.

"I'll bet she was," Ryouji said smiling back at the kid. "Where did you find her?"

"In my attic," Lucas said. Ryouji had found it weird that Yuffie had given him the house where the cats lived at such a young age, but it seemed to work out okay for the kid.

"Yuffie, get a bottle. Go to the attic NOW and get that spider for me alive. Hurry, time isn't abundant," Ryouji said. Yuffie had taken off before he finished.

"Am I okay?" Lucas asked.

"Sure, kiddo. You're fine. I just need you to stay awake, all right? Tell me more about how pretty she was," Ryouji said in attempt to keep him awake.

The doctors scuttled over. "Prepare some water and get me some tweezers so I can make the anti-poison," Ryouji told them.

Yuffie soon returned, and Ryouji left it to her and Bonnalee to keep him awake while he carefully prepared the anti-venom shot to give Lucas. He left the spider alive in the bottle she was captured in.

"All right kiddo. Are you man enough to deal with a little bit of pain?" Ryouji challenged.

"I can take it!" Lucas said courageously.

He handed Yuffie a wet cloth. "Put that over the wound. We'll bandage it up in a second after I suck the poison out," he whispered.

"Poison?" Lucas asked.

"Hold on, kiddo," Ryouji said, carefully inserting the syringe into Lucas' left arm.

He started to cry out, but he bit his lip, determined to show Ryouji how strong he was. When the medicine hit him, he felt so sleepy. "Master Ryouji...I can't stay awake...." he complained.

"It's okay now. Close your eyes and relax," Ryouji said. Lucas passed out. Ryouji placed his hand on Yuffie's to lift the cloth. He lowered his mouth to the boy's wound and began to suck out the poison, spitting it out every few seconds. Soon all he was sucking was blood, and he quit. He took some gauze and medical tape and made a bandage.

It took a moment for Ryouji to settle down and realize Lucas was okay. He kissed the child's forehead and then looked at Yuffie. "That damn thing is over there in that bottle. Here's your chance to kill it before I do."

Yuffie quickly killed the spider. Then she whirled on the doctors. "You are pathetic. You were going to let him die. You didn't even know he was bitten by a spider!"

"But...he didn't tell us! We're not psychics!"

"Yuf, what they don't know about is kids. They won't admit something they know they'll get in trouble for openly. He knew better than to play with spiders. So he knew he'd get into trouble. Therefore he didn't admit it until confronted," Ryouji said. He looked back to Lucas. "Would you object to me taking him home with me to watch him? He's gonna run a fever for a while..." he asked Yuffie.

"Not at all."

Later that night, Ryouji was placing a fresh bandage over the small wounds on Lucas. He was still asleep. Suddenly Yuffie was behind him. "How is he?" she asked.

"Doing great. He'll be awake and fine in the morning," he said.

Yuffie looked up at Ryouji. After a moment she threw her arms around him crying. "Hey now...come on," he tried to calm her. Ryouji had known Yuffie for a long time, and he knew it took a lot to make the woman cry.

"I was so scared I was going to lose him... I love that boy so much! Thank you, Ryouji Thank you so so so much! Anything you want... name it and it's yours," Yuffie said, still crying.

After a few moments when she finally began to settle down, he looked at her. "Yuffie, I know you consider yourself to be his mother and will never marry. But I would love nothing more to be as much of a father to the boy as I can. He'll never have a father since you won't marry. And you have to admit that I'm the closest thing to a husband you'll ever have. Let me be the closest thing he has to a father."

The next day, Lucas, alive and kicking, actually asked Ryouji to be his daddy. How could he refuse the child's request?


"I'm just nervous I'm going to screw things up," Lucas admitted.

"Well don't be. The more you obsess over it, the more you will screw things up," Ryouji said.

"And what are we discussing over here?" Yuffie asked, walking over.

"Guy talk," Ryouji said, folding his arms and grinning at her.

She gave him a dirty look. Ignoring it, she looked to Lucas. "You be careful. That girl is a handful."

"Now you tell me. I found out the hard way that you helped train her to fight!" Lucas said, still aching a bit from the memory.

"What do you mean?" Yuffie asked.

"I mentioned one day that you personally trained me to fight. She said she could fight too, so we thought it'd be fun to have a friendly sparring match in the gymnasium. It wasn't long until I felt as if I was fighting you, Master Kisaragi! Sure, her father trained her with a sword, and that is her best tactic. But when she kicked me in the chest and I FLEW through the air to hit the wall on the other side of the room... Let's just say I still get teased about it," Lucas said, laughing a bit.

Yuffie smiled. "She always did try so hard." She reached over and petted Bonnalee on the head. "I can't believe this cat is still alive... She's so old. She is just a bit older than you, Luc." Bonnalee suddenly began hissing at Yuffie.

"Bonnie! Quit that!" Lucas said harshly to her. The cat jumped from his arms and ran to his bedroom. "Yeah, she is pretty old. But you'd never know as young as she acts."

"Lucas... You aren't... keeping her alive, are you?" Yuffie whispered.

"By what means?" Lucas asked, lowering his eyebrows.

"By means of your little gift," Yuffie said.

"What little gift?" Aeris asked, suddenly behind them.

"Nothing. But, no Master Kisaragi, I'm not," Lucas said quickly. Aeris surprised him by placing her arm around his waist. A sudden wave of giddiness made him grin and chuckle a bit.

"I'm sorry to interrupt, but I was wondering if I could talk to you alone, Lucas," Aeris said.

"Ah, no, please. Don't mind us. We should be over there with the adults anyway," Ryouji said, grabbing Yuffie's arm in attempt to drag her away. She frowned and slapped his hand so he'd let go of her. He rubbed his hand and grunted at her. "Damn, woman, must you be so abusive?" he laughed.

As they walked away, Lucas winked at Aeris and slipped into his bedroom. She followed and they kept the door open since they were out of view of everyone. "What is it?" he asked quietly.

Aeris just smiled and took his face in her hands. "I just need a bit of confirmation. Are we dating now?"

"Well... Yeah, I sure hope so," Lucas laughed, brushing a stray hair out of her face.

"I wanted you to make it official," she giggled.

Lucas thought for a moment. "Would you be my sweetheart?” he finally asked smiling.

Aeris nodded and kissed him happily. When she pulled away to break the kiss, Lucas fought for a little more time.


After a few hands of cards with Cait Sith, Deus noticed his sister was missing. And for that matter, so was Lucas. He had felt kind of weird meeting Lucas, who was the other one that was watched the way he was. He wondered if Lucas even knew that because he himself wasn't supposed to know. Deus handed the cards to Cait Sith and began searching the apartment.

They weren't in the kitchen with the rest of the people. "But it still doesn't make sense. The Shinra corporation was evil to the core, with plans to make a Neo-Midgar. So when you guys rebuilt it, you named it exactly what they wanted it named. Why?" Deus heard Tomas arguing. Deus had no idea what he meant and didn't want to stop to hear. He kept looking for his sister and Lucas.

He saw the bedroom light on, and he quietly walked towards it. He peeped in the room and his heart stopped at the sight he saw. His sister was sitting on the bed beside Lucas, kissing him the way he had often seen girlfriends and boyfriends kiss. Was Lucas Aeris' boyfriend? Why hadn't she told him? He moved away from the door and went back to the front room.

As he sat deep in troubled thought over what he had just seen, his father walked into the room. "What's the matter, Amadeus? You look a lot paler than normal," Cloud said.

"Huh? Ah, it's nothing," Deus said, running his fingers through his silvery hair.

"Okay. Have you seen your sister?"

Deus absently answered, "Yeah, she's in the bedroom with Lucas...NO WAIT!"

Cloud had already headed off to the bedroom. He tried to keep his temper down as knocked on the door. Cloud had seen plenty of frightened creatures in his life, but the look on the kids' faces made him fight a grin. "Aeris, I asked you not to do this," he said.

"Daddy..." she said, standing up.

"Mr. Strife..." Lucas said.

"Lucas, I want you stay away from my daughter," Cloud said simply.

"Huh?" Lucas asked.

"For what reason!?" Yuffie yelled, suddenly behind Cloud.

"You know why," Cloud muttered.

"Wait a minute..." Lucas started.

"Dad, leave her alone," Deus said.

Soon everyone was in Lucas' bedroom. "Tomas, Deus...Out," Tifa said when she realized what was going on. Reeve, Nanaki, and Barret felt it was best to leave it between the other six. Just the parents and the kids...

"Daddy, what possible reason can you have for me not to date him? " Aeris asked.

Cloud folded his arms and looked at Lucas. "Just leave her alone now before it gets too serious," he said.

Tifa bit her lip and turned away from the look in her daughter's eyes that was begging her to get her dad to shut up.

"WHY?" Yuffie asked.

"Yuffie, you know what he is," Cloud said.

"What do you mean, what I am?" Lucas asked.

"Cloud, I didn't think even you would stoop that low. He's not anymore evil than your own son Amadeus," Yuffie huffed back.

"Evil?" Aeris asked.

Lucas shuddered as he thought he might understand. But Cloud wasn't supposed to know... Only he, Yuffie, Ryouji, and Bonnalee knew... His eyes began darting nervously from one person to the next.

"You don't know that," Cloud said. "Deus has a legitimate excuse. He was given Jenova cells. But there is no explanation for Lucas. None whatsoever. And I don't want Aeris mixed up in it if he is."

"What are you TALKING about?" Aeris cried out. She knew the reference to her brother was referring to the way he looked almost exactly like the man named Sephiroth. But that was explained by the cells even though Deus did not know that.

"Master Kisaragi, DOES HE KNOW!?" Lucas cried out a moment later. He could not control his fear that was causing his body to shake.

She swallowed and looked to him sadly. "Yes, Lucas. Everyone who fought to save the world knows."

"But... you never told me! Why didn't you? Why did you leave me to feel betrayed like this?" Lucas yelled.

"Lucas? What is going on?" Aeris asked, taking his hand.

"You don't know then?" he asked quietly.

She shook her head.

"Let go of his hand, Aeris," Cloud said. "He might be evil."

"I'm NOT evil. Only once have I done harm, and I wouldn't do it again unless absolutely called for," Lucas spat at Cloud through clenched teeth.

"YOU don't even know that, Lucas!" Cloud yelled back.

"Master, why didn't you tell me he knew? Or any of them? Why?" Lucas asked softly.

"Hello? Can anyone hear me? Yoo-hoo? You guys? Please tell me what the HELL is going on!" Aeris yelled.

The room fell silent for once. "Why don't you tell her what you are, Lucas," Tifa said quietly. Everyone stared at her. "There is no sense keeping her in the dark. Who's she gonna tell, anyway?"

Aeris lowered her head into her hands and felt like screaming. Why wouldn't anyone tell her what was going on?

Lucas saw Aeris lower her head, and he got scared. What if she hated him once he told her? He finally had her, and he feared losing her. He still felt betrayed by his parents.

"I don't think that would be such a good idea," Cloud began.

Ryouji spoke up and began arguing. Tifa and Yuffie jumped in too. Aeris looked to Lucas. "Please?" she asked quietly.

"Aeris... Promise me you'll let me explain afterwards... Well no, I can't explain... I'm so afraid you'll agree with your dad once you know," he whispered.

"I have a very open mind, Lucas. You know that. Please though, tell me," she said, and kissed his forehead for reassurance.

"Master, I know I swore never to tell this secret unless it was important. I deem this very important," Lucas said, taking Aeris' hands. He placed his over the palms of hers. "Just... Just be quiet for a few moments. All of you, please," he said, bringing courage up from the pit of his stomach. He turned to Aeris. He tightened his hands slightly and stared at their hands for a few moments.

Suddenly, the lights in the room dimmed. Lucas heard a bit of commotion, but he continued. Remembering that Aeris' favorite color was pink, he moved his hands from over hers. He watched her face as her eyes lit up at what he had left in her hands.

Aeris stared at the small pink balls of light in her palms. Her heart seemed to warm up for some reason. The orbs rose slowly, and stopped at her eye level. She smiled and gave a small giggle. She reached a timid finger up to touch one as they combined to make one orb. It was almost like a shining bubble. As soon as she touched it, it burst into millions of multi-colored sparks that hung in the air and died out after a moment. The lights returned to normal, and Lucas let out a heavy sigh.

Aeris smiled at him. "They gave you materia! I remember when I was young I used to play with it too... So they haven't destroyed all the materia and you have some!" she said excitedly.

Lucas bit his lip and looked to Yuffie for help. "No, Aeris. He doesn't have any materia. What he just did is natural."

"Huh?" she asked, confused.

"I don't have materia. I use my mind to do that. I think it'd called pure magic, although I could be wrong," Lucas admitted.

Aeris stared at him for a long moment. "Magic?" she finally whispered. Only once had she seen pure magic, but that was used by a man from an entirely different world. "Are you from this world, Lucas?"

He shook his head. "There's no telling. No one knows who my real parents are. I can't answer that question."

"What do you do with it?" she asked.

"I try to help even though healing magic isn't strong with me. I like doing illusions like I jus did for you. I haven't found a real use for it though."

"This is why you can't be with him, Aeris. He doesn't know his own potential. And with the particle concentration theory, he just might not know it until it is too late," Cloud said.

"So you think you that he is evil?" Aeris asked.

"I know I am not evil," Lucas said.

"He has the same potential as Deus, Aeris," Tifa said.

"He has way more potential than Deus," Cloud said.

"Liar!" Yuffie countered.

Aeris stared into Lucas' eyes when the parents began arguing.

"They never told me anyone else knew," Lucas said quietly but clearly.

"Is it just the magic? Is there anything else?" Aeris asked.

"No, nothing else that I know of," he said.

Lucas watched timidly as she thought for a moment. Then she smiled at him, the adults oblivious to them for the moment. "I think it's kinda neat," she admitted.

Lucas grinned in return and hugged her. "Let's play this down until your dad leaves. It'll be best, I think," he whispered in her ear. She nodded.

"Lucas, I don't know if I can handle it or not," she said in a louder voice, one she was sure would catch everyone's attention. Sure enough, Cloud held up a hand to stop the argument. Everyone had heard her words. She put on a sad expression.

Lucas fought a grin and tried his best to look heartbroken. "I don't want to push you. Whatever you want to do then. But you have to at least be my friend."

"Yeah, you'd have to be my friend. But just give me some time to consider this, okay?" Aeris bit her lip to keep from laughing. She had seen her mother fold her arms and Cloud grin slightly from the corner of her eye.

In attempt to show Aeris up, he nodded slowly and then looked at the ceiling. He took a deep breath and then stood, pushing past everyone and went to the bathroom.

Aeris sighed deeply and Ryouji and Yuffie went after Lucas. She looked up at her parents. "But he makes me so happy," she complained.

"Aeris, you're still young. There are plenty of other guys that would be a lot safer than Lucas that can keep you happy," Cloud said.

Aeris looked up at her father. She took up the argument that always turned the focus from her to something else. "Didn't Aeris Gainsborough have magic?"

Tifa looked to Cloud and answered. "Not exactly. She had power but not magic."

"But she was different," Cloud said.

"And so is Lucas," Tifa said before Aeris could say it.

"No, because she was…" Cloud began. Aeris knew it always took forever to kill arguments about her namesake. She had no problem easing out of the room as her parents argued a bit.

She saw that Tomas was speaking with Barrett about his cybernetic arm. Reeve, Cait Sith, and Nanaki were deep in conversation about some strange happenings near the Ancient Forest. And she saw Deus huddled in a corner, his knees to his chest and his arms wrapped tight against them. She sensed something was wrong with him.

He looked up at her as she approached him. "Why didn't you tell me?" he asked in a high pitched voice.

Aeris sighed and sat down beside him. "Tell you what? That I was dating Lucas?"

"Or that you even liked him that way."

"Deus, partly because it has happened so fast. Something about this play did it. I had never even wanted him that way really until I kissed him during rehearsal," she said.

"Dad isn't going to let you have him," Deus said simply.

"And how do you know this?" Aeris asked.

Deus bit his lip. He wasn't sure he should tell her what he knew. "Just a hunch," he finally said. He saw Lucas emerge from the bathroom and hug Yuffie. He had to talk with him. He had to find out if he knew about the men watching them. He saw Lucas give Aeris a wink before going into the kitchen.

Deus looked back to Aeris and raised an eyebrow.

"Keep this quiet. Daddy doesn't want us together for some odd reason. So we're acting like we're not until he leaves," she admitted.

Deus grinned. He was glad she told him that. He hugged her and then stood up. "Whatever makes you happy," he said. "I'm going to get something to drink. Want something?"

Aeris shook her head.

Deus went into the kitchen and saw Lucas pouring himself a drink. He had to know and he had to take his chance. He walked over to Lucas and looked up at him.

"Hey Deus. How are you?" Lucas said politely.

"You and I need to talk. In private," Deus said quietly so that Reeve or Cait Sith or any of the other conspiracy believers would not hear.

Lucas looked at him while sipping his orange juice. "Aeris did say he was a protective little thing," he thought. "Sure thing. Where do you want to go?"

Deus looked around. There were too many high heads in the room. Maybe if they went outside, Deus could prove what he was about to tell Lucas. "Can we go outside?" he whispered.

Lucas gave the boy a strange look. He looked much more serious than just a protective little brother did. Lucas felt his heart race as the thought of Deus knowing the truth about him crossed his mind. There was too much knowledge hiding behind his eyes and it was scaring Lucas. "Yeah, we sure can," Lucas said. He sensed the urge to not let the adults know there was something important that must be discussed. He walked over to his phone and picked it up. He dialed his own number.

"Hey Janica. This is Lucas. Deus was wondering if you would show him that little relaxation thing that gets you energized when you are feeling all sad and stuff," he said to the busy signal.

Deus grinned. He could learn to like this guy. He was just as conniving as he and Aeris were. No wonder he and Aeris had made such great actors onstage.

"Thanks," Lucas said hanging up the phone. "Come on, Deus. She's gonna show us."


Lucas could see the light in his kitchen window from the random bench he and Deus were sitting on. It hadn't taken much to get them out of the apartment, but this would need further explaining to Aeris later on. "Now. What is all this about?" Lucas asked.

"What I'm about to say to you… Look, you just can't repeat it, okay? It can get both of us in trouble since we are sitting in the same boat. It's really strange and I don't even know why they want you, but if you think you're going to have to tell someone, then I'll shut up right now. This is something I haven't even told Aeris. I don't even know who knows. Dear Ancients, I'm rambling," Deus said quickly.

Lucas then wanted to know what Deus was talking about by saying they were in the same boat. He knew Deus was full of Jenova cells and that made him a danger. Lucas had magic, which made him a danger. But how that had anything to do with anything, he didn't know. "I won't say anything," he finally said.

"Good. Geez, now where do I start?" Deus thought for a moment. He sighed. "Have you ever read Nanaki's book? The one about what really happened with the man named Sephiroth and Shinra? And my dad?"

Lucas nodded.

"Do you believe it?"

"Master Kisaragi says it is true. She would not lie to me and I know it is true."

"Good. Then do you know that they think either you or I are Sephiroth reincarnate?" Deus asked.


"You heard me. Did you know that?"

"Deus, what the hell are you talking about?" Lucas asked.

"Don't get mad. Geez. It's the truth. I mean, look at me for crying out loud. I look just like the guy. The Jenova cells are why they watch me. I don't know why they watch you, but I know that they do," Deus said.

"Who are they?" Lucas asked, confused.

Deus looked around as if he were looking for someone. "You can't tell me you have never got the feeling someone was watching you. They watch us constantly. In Nanaki's book, there was a force called the Turks. They still exist as undercover spies of some sort. They spy on us and watch our every move so that we will not turn into Sephiroth."

Lucas had to freeze. He was on the verge of calling Deus a nut case and walking away. But when Deus knew that he felt as if he were watched all the time…

"These people are so scared of repeating the mistakes of the past, Lucas. They monitor everything we do. In the entire world, we are the only two they watch. They watch me because of the Jenova cells. I'm sure you know a reason that they watch you. I've seen one once. They wear black or blue suits. Only Reeve knows. And I guess Cait would know, too. But our parents don't even know. Our parents are supposed to watch us, but then they can't see everything," Deus said.

"Why are you telling me this?" Lucas asked.

"I don't know for sure. I just feel like there is something wrong and things are about to start happening. I thought you'd like to know this."

"Reeve has done this?" Lucas asked.

"Yes. He's just trying to protect the world. I mean, I don't feel evil. I don't think I am Sephiroth. I don't think you are. But Reeve spends money trying to prove it. He's also trying to prove that particle concentration theory using me. It's crazy. I know I must seem crazy, but you have to believe me."

"Particle what theory?"

"Particle concentration. It's a really iffy thing my doctor came up with that has Reeve quaking in his loafers. Think about it. Dad destroyed Sephiroth in the Life Stream, right? Dad saw him burst into particles that were then recycled into the Stream itself, right? So what is somehow the particles could focus into one being when they were reincarnated? Wouldn't that mean Sephiroth was reborn basically?"

"No. It wouldn't. The Stream would purify the particles, the same way it purified your father from the Mako poisoning."

"But! Dad fought Sephiroth within the Stream. That meant the Stream didn't purify him. He was still evil when dad killed him."

"Because he was too much for the Stream to handle on its own. Your father cut him to bits that the Stream could handle."

"Oh really? Many don't think so. Because the Stream is supposed to be all-powerful. It should not need the help of a mortal. It is just a theory after all. It's a very debatable one, but it has Reeve scared. I've never told anyone these things. I just felt it was safe to tell you since you are the other one they watch. Is there a legitimate reason that they watch you?"

"Yeah. There is," Lucas said.

"Can I know?"

Lucas looked at the kid. He knew a lot more than what he was telling Lucas. And Lucas wasn't sure what he wanted to do with all this new information. Heck, it couldn't hurt to show the kid. Everyone else knew anyway. And it was kind of important that Deus know. He sighed.

Lucas lifted his foot and stared at his laces. Deus looked, too, wondering what was so interesting about his shoes. Then the laces began to untie themselves. And then, just as swiftly, they retied.

Deus was no fool. He looked to Lucas and nodded, not really believing this man had magic. "And you've had magic all your life?"

"For what I can remember, it has always been there. I thought only my parents and I knew, but apparently all the old world saviors know. And I told your sister a while ago."

"Aeris is very special. If you hurt her, I'll kill you," Deus said quite seriously.

Lucas wanted to laugh, but the boy's emerald eyes gleaming made him hold that thought. "I don't think I could hurt her if I wanted to. She's a much better fighter than I am. And she has a stronger heart than mine. She'll end up hurting me," he admitted to calm Deus.

"I don't particularly want you hurt, but I'd rather it be you than her. But you watch yourself."

"Yes, Mr. Strife," Lucas said not able to fight a grin this time.

"Please don't call me that. I am not my father," Deus said.

A bit of silence fell. "So these guys just watch us all the time?" Lucas finally asked.

"Yeah, to make sure we aren't becoming Sephiroth and destroy the world. If you watch behind trees and corner carefully, you can sometimes see them," Deus said, pushing some silvery strands of hair behind his ears.

"I've felt them before," Lucas admitted. "But do they tell others what they see? Like if I were to stand up and just start reciting lines from my play would they report it?"

"Stuff like you and I talking, no. And they are most likely too far away from us to actually hear what we are saying. They just watch. And the report unusual stuff. They will report your shoelaces, and they will most likely wonder what is being said right now. We are two very dangerous kids according to Reeve. He's really glad we turned up in families that he is close to. It's stupid. But I just get this feeling that... nevermind."

"No, what? Tell me."

"It's nothing. Don't worry about it. It's just me being paranoid. Just promise you'll take care of my sister if anything happens."

"Anything happens? Is something going to happen?" Lucas asked.

"I feel like there is. Something big may be going down. And I know Reeve has his eyes turned in the wrong direction. Just make sure Aeris is okay. And let me know anything that is weird, okay? Now that you are aware of these things, maybe you can help me solve other puzzles," Deus said.


"Yeah. Like how you got magic. I've done a lot of research on you and know that you don't know who your parents are, but I'm sure it has something to do with some kind of experiment. Now that I know why they watch you maybe I can find out more. And another thing. Why in the hell they let me be pumped full of Jenova cells when they know that the cells is what made Sephiroth go insane?" Amadeus asked, looking directly into Lucas' eyes.


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