swordage: Vincent Valentine. Gloomy. As always. (x vincent van kickurass)
[personal profile] swordage
Title: Filth
Series: Final Fantasy VII
Rating: R
Summary: Oh man, I suck at summaries. I'm not even sure what this is about. Uh, Vincent/Cid/Jenova love triangle or something. I had way too much fun with it.

"It's over," Cloud murmured. "It's over. It's over."

"He's calling," rasped the dark-haired man, kicking weakly at the blankets that had been carefully tucked around him. "I have to go..."

"He's dead," Cloud hushed, adjusting the quickly-warming cloth over the other man's brow. "It's over. There's nothing to go to."

"I have to, have to go..." Mako-bright eyes slivered open, then flinched shut against the faint candlelight. "I have... He's calling..."

"Cloud." The blond didn't look up at Vincent's arrival, holding his attention on the feverish man before him. "Rest. I will keep watch."

"He can't be calling," Cloud muttered. "He's dead."

Vincent considered that for a moment. "Perhaps. It is possible that Jenova is what calls; it is possible that she is attempting to bring those carrying her cells together so her influence may grow."

"That thing in the tube," Cloud said firmly, "is dead."

"That was a Cetra," Vincent informed him. "It was overtaken by Jenova's cells and used only as a vessel to contain them."

"How can you fight a disease?" Cloud hissed, and his eyes were on the man muttering fevered snatches of desperation.

"I don't know," Vincent shrugged. "I didn't."

Cloud flinched at that, then stood. "Your watch," he mumbled, brushing past Vincent.

The wind snaked around the tent, whipping cold through the flap as Cloud left. Then silence, or as close as it could get with the mountains throwing snow and ice and chill wind at them. Vincent watched the shifting of the bed-bound man, idly stroking the icy metal of his fingers with his good hand. The single strap around the man's midsection would hold him for now, but as they nursed him back to health more restraints would be required. The power Jenova granted was significant, and not to be underestimated.

Vincent noted and filed away the fact that this small encampment nearly buried in snow was most likely the largest concentration of Jenova's cells, and thus the individuals involved were likely to experience the alien's attempts at control or influence. He'd known there was a reason not to mention that Cid had somehow shown up in the middle of the night. Hallucinations were not new to him, but certainly unsettling.

"This kid is done for," pronounced the very real-looking apparition, leaning over the fevered body just settling into sleep. "How'd he survive up here anyway? This place is a fucking deathtrap."

Hallucinations could be perfect, Vincent scolded himself. They were, after all, made of one's own thoughts and memories; checking their veracity against those same thoughts and memories was ridiculous. Besides, Cloud had yet to react to Cid's (Jenova's) presence. That alone was indication that-

"Are you just gonna mope there all night? Nevermind, stupid question. At least sit down, Vincent, you make a guy's legs hurt just watching you." Cid set the example by tossing himself down next to the tangle of blankets, pulling out a cigarette and lighting it almost before it touched his lips. Vincent watched impassively. This hallucination was certainly more coherent than the last ones Jenova had sent to him. Her attempts at Lucrecia had been half-hearted at best.

"C'mon, sit," Cid wheedled. "I'll give you one of my cigarettes-"

"I dislike them," Vincent said automatically, wincing slightly as he realized he'd given in and acknowledged the thing's presence.

"He speaks!" Cid laughed, twirling his lighter absently and scratching at his stubble. "You gonna sit or not?"

"I will stand," Vincent murmured, sighing. Cloud would be asleep by now, or attempting to, so there was no one to overhear him give in to his delusions.

"No, I think you'll sit," Cid said with a shit-eating grin, and Vincent sat. Hard. Without having told his body to do so.

"No," he hissed, pushing himself up again. Cid arched an eyebrow and blew out a lungful of smoke. "I will stand."

"Sure, sure." Cid waved permission. "It's your call. So how's Spikey doing? He's hatin' my guts, probably something to do with that chocobo last week-"

"Shouldn't you already know?" Vincent interjected, not wanting to hear the pretense of a story. "He carries your cells as well."

"If you must know," Cid chuckled, "He's a total lightweight. Allergic to everything - ragweed, goldenrod, mako, me. Hojo gave him a diluted solution of dead cells to build up immunity. Didn't work. So he's got just enough to give him the benefits and keep me alive without me being able to talk to him. Not like this, anyway. Isn't this a nice conversation?"

"Very," Vincent agreed dryly. "Thrilling, in fact."

"See, that's why we keep you around, Vincent. Your lovely sense of humor." Cid ground the cigarette out on the sole of his boot, which Vincent's memory had kindly provided with the proper scuffs and scrapes. "Your girl Lucrecia was such a stick in the mud. Always about her darling son and all the lovely mistakes she made. But you wouldn't know anything about that, would you, Vincent? Tied up all your loose ends, gave her a bit of lead between the eyes." Cid grinned, flicking the lighter on and off. The small light it gave off was just enough to touch his face - or perhaps Jenova couldn't interact with the world outside her chosen form. "Can you do it again, Vincent? Can you shoot another one?"

"I cannot," Vincent said softly. "If you know anything of me, you know that. Lucrecia was already dead."

"You kill whatever comes close to you," Cid chuckled. "You're a monster. My monster."

Vincent shuddered. "I am nothing of yours," he growled. "Enough of this-"

"Death and destructions to all that you touch," Cid purred, flicking the lighter faster. "You bring only chaos."

The billowing heat that loosed itself through Vincent's belly made him gasp with shock. He shuddered again, doubling over in a convulsion - it felt as though his spine were trying to leap from his back, to split his skin open like a cocoon. His arms instinctively wrapped around his sides, and he shuddered again as blood slid warm over his hands. There was a cool stretching across his back. Wings. She'd forced Chaos' wings through. And held the transformation there.

The lighter burned a steady orange, and then clicked off.

"Cigarette?" Cid offered. Vincent reached out a sticky-red hand to take it. They were quiet as he lit it, leaning over and curling his hand around the fire-warmed lighter.

"I really don't know why you lock this shape away all the time," Cid said absently, reaching out to stroke the back of his hand along the edge of a wing. "It's lovely. Does exactly what it's meant to, nothing more or less."

"It is my sin," Vincent said softly, voice slightly unsteady. He held back a cough and reminded himself not to inhale. "Such things are meant to be private."

"It is you, Vincent." Cid shook his head, reaching out to take the cigarette and inhale from it. "Stop being so old. Your friends don't mind it. I don't mind it."

"Of course you wouldn't," Vincent sighed, giving into temptation and gently flexing a wing. The sensation was as real as any of his own limbs. Unmuted by full transformation. It felt just as wrong.

"Come here," Cid said gently, and Vincent went, not sure if it was of his own volition. Cid's hands gently touched his cheeks, and he flinched back; they stayed with him, calm and forgiving. Kneeling before the other man (his hallucination, Jenova's chosen form) he closed his eyes as if commanded.

"It's a beautiful form," Cid whispered roughly, the callouses of his fingers harsh on Vincent's cheeks. A thumb brushed his lips and he shuddered, feeling with crystal clarity the dual sensation of that same motion over Chaos' fangs. "You're beautiful, Vincent. Almost too beautiful." Gentle fingers touched his ears, stroking the pointed tips of Chaos' ears simultaneously. Vincent heard a small mewling sound and was reminded of the sleeping man not a foot away, feverish and dazed under Jenova's call. "Yet you hide yourself away." A palm slid over his shoulder, firm between his shoulderblades, pressing against the buds of muscles that held his wings trembling above his back. "Show me, Vincent."

Lips against his own, and Vincent arched back, eyes flying open at the sudden agony tearing through him. Cid's hand on his back held him close as he thrashed, fighting the change he instinctually knew would be his last. Chaos' snarl tore loose from his throat, and Vincent fought that down too, pushing so hard against Chaos he thought he might be pushing at himself instead -

Chaos flashed their left hand out, the hard metal claws curling through Cid's chest. Cid gasped, once, twice, and blood bubbled between his lips. He fell against Vincent's chest, cold and unblinking.

Vincent breathed in. The wings were gone. Chaos was silent. He breathed out. The body in his arms faded, leaving only a death-cold chill in his grasp. Jenova was quiet. He breathed in. The storm had passed, and the deep light of morning curled against the sides of the tent. He breathed out. The fevered man curled up beside him slept deeply still, and Cloud was only just stirring in the other tent.

He breathed in. He breathed out.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-02-27 01:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] owleyes-arisen.livejournal.com
This is just so - perfect. That's the only way I can describe it. Cid!Jenova and Vincent fighting so hard against Chaos - I love it.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-03-02 12:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] empty-geas.livejournal.com
This is a very delightful and engaging story. I love the dynamics of it, of Vincent being the one most aware of what's going on because he's the farthest gone. His 'I don't know how to fight it because I didn't' line is a wonderful sort of lead in to Jenova's attempts to win him over completely to its side.

The depth and texture of the hallucinations was very nice. And it was interesting to have Jenova take that form to get to him and that toward the end he can't deny that fighting Chaos is, at least in part, fighting himself. It's a fine bit of irony that it's that part of himself that saves him at the last too, lashing out at the sending Jenova was using. Your FF7 stuff involving Jenova really is very fascinating, I love all the little dynamic shifts and possibilities you tease out in them. Out of curiosity, who's the feverish one? Somehow alive Zack?


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