*Gasp* WHAT? ACE HAS GOTTEN OFF HER LAZY ASS AND ACTUALLY DONE A CONVO? Yeah, enjoy it while it lasts, buddy boy. Not going to happen much. LMAO. Naw, did this one because Xana dearest was too busy and I owe you guys...what, a billion infinity chats if we're doing this in turns? xD I try to do it a bit more often. Here you are though:
Sephy has come to warn Vincent with a big red talk-to-the-hand stop sign that Jenova is on her way and is probably coming for his brain and pseudo-virginity. Plus, at the very bottom, what I COULD have said when Vincent was asked to describe Tifa and Cloud's relationship. DO enjoy, won't you? *salutes*
Vincent had wandered back into the crypt. He had no real desire to reenter it or the memories of that dark time that it held, but for lack of anything better to do, he had. Almost just to see if he really remembered it the way that it was. As it turned out he did. The place was netted with cobwebs and dust, collecting over the coffins of the former house owners, and moldering, failed experiments. The coffin in the center was not as dust coated...but was beggining to fade back into obscurity. He remembered the puff of dust and all around tiredness that had seemed to fill the room when the coffin lid had first burst open. Of course, that had been long ago, and there had been plenty of time for the dust to resettle. He hesitated a moment, then stepped to the center of the room, tracing a finger through the coat ofdust...he'd always felt, each of the three times that he'd disturbed it, that it was wrong to do so. That feeling of respect had left him now. There was nothing to respect here, really. Just skeletons and one very tired man, touching back for a brief moment on a dark time which he'd really rather not remember.
Sephiroth had spent many hours in thought after his return from speaking to Strife. It seemed that things would grow more complicated if the other man could not place aside what had happened, not that Sephiroth could place blame on the man, it simply made things harder. Jenova. Jenova. She was alive. She had spoken to him. Mocked him. Controlled him and then left him. The laughter was still fresh in his mind, and the desire to silence it made him rise. He would speak with Valentine. The man was more rational than Strife, though each man: Strife, Valentine, and even himself were all mad in some way. He strode past the books, the strange science instruments for whose meaning long-dead Hojo only knew. He knew where he would find the red-cowled man, and he headed for the room that Sephiroth did not enter...the room with the coffins.
Vincent didn't bother to make a shape or a sign in the dust, just a name, which he quickly wiped out at the sound of boots coming down the hall. It didn't matter what sound the boots made, though he probably could have analyzed it to figure out just who it was. There was only one other person in the whole house. He stood idly at the edge of the coffin as he waited for Sephiroth to come upon him, fingering the decayed and ragged silk inside of the coffin. It had been soft as a mourner's pillow, late years into the night.
Sephiroth appeared in the doorway. His green gaze did not linger on the scene, immediately fixing his stare on the other man. "We must speak."
Vincent's head lifted to meet his eyes. There was something there...guarded, but definitely anxious about something. He let his hand trail off the coffin, leaving another line in the dust as he walked toward the exit. "I assume you'd rather discuss outside?" he asked. The air of death didn't bother him, but it did to most.
Sephiroth gave a curt nod, almost as if acknowledging the question of some SOLDIER recruit, an old habit that would never leave him. He turned on his heel, his hair and coat fluttering around the corner as he strode down the hallway, pausing outside the library door.
Vincent followed at his usual pace, which, these days, was fairly leisurely. When he caught up with the general, he brushed a strand of hair that had snuck past his bandanna back behind his ear. "What is it that we need speak of?" His wings fluttered lightly behind him, giving a cape-like effect, reminiscent of the cloak he had worn those long months just after his awakening.
Sephiroth's gaze fell on the man's crimson eyes, or what he could see of those dark eyes when the shadows of the hall seemed to cast both men into the dark. The only things truly of light seemed to be Sephiroth's silver hair and the glitter of the other man's clawed arm. "I was visited by something of the past."
Vincent's eyebrow crept upward. "Care to elaborate? There are many 'things' in both our pasts. You'll need to narrow it down."
Sephiroth's lips twisted into a strange grin that seemed to express an emotion of wryness, irony, and regret. "Jenova is alive."
Vincent met his eyes for a moment, saw what was there, and dropped them a fraction. "Ah," he said simply, his eyes staring past Sephiroth as he considered the idea. There was a long moment where nothing was said, contemplating all the pain that that creature had put her through-not even good enough to let her die, and be at peace. And there was, of course, all the pain she had cause himself and all the projects through the years since her discovery...he met his eyes again. "And..." he said quietly. "How do you know this? Though I don't think I really need ask..."
"She spoke to me." He kept his gaze on the other man, the grin gone from his expression and nothing but his usual guardness so that one could never tell what he was thinking. "I have told Strife. I must tell you she intends to contact you."
Vincent's mouth turned down at the corners, somewhere nea a grimace. "Really. Well I'm glad she's given me the honor of being bothered with," he said dryly. "Any idea what she wants with me?" He paused. "And how is Strife?"
"Strife is still not in his mind." Sephiroth would not elaborate further, he found that explanation good enough. "What She wishes with you...is serious."
Vincent's wings fluttered at the tips. "I really don't think either of our predicaments can get much more serious than they are. And I've always been quite good at taking bad news." He smirked slightly. "What does she want?"
Sephiroth's lips twitched into another strange grin. "She said She is coming for you, the Shifter. And for Strife. She does not want me for I failed Her."
He chuckled darkly. "Funny. I was under the impression that she'd really already got us all. Ah well. I'm quite used to sitting and waiting to be struck down by something." His dry sarcasm faltered. "Is there anything I can do to stop this?"
Sephiroth shook his head. "If I can do nothing...there is nothing you can do."
He remained silent for a moment, then met his eyes with a slight false smile and a hint of defiance. "I suppose it's like a natural disaster. Nothing to worry about if you can't do anything about it."
"We shall do what we can. But protect your mind, Valentine. She will get inside of it."
"What I can protect, I will. Be sure of that." He'd had enough experience with it, he thought silently.
"I believe she will contact you first. She wants nothing with me."
He nodded. "I'll be prepared," he said calmly, with no uncertainty. How much good being prepared would do, only time would tell.
Sephiroth considered what else to say. He had given what advice, if you could call it advice, he could. But he remembered how easily She had been in his veins, laughing in his mind...could Valentine suppress such things? "If She contacts you. Tell me."
"I had planned to. No reason to keep that to myself." He couldn't really be sure. But he would try. Better than letting it go without a fight. He'd learned that the hardest way.
Sephiroth nodded again. "I will leave you now." He didn't know why he felt the need to announce this, he was merely going to return to the desk in the library and yet...no, he would remain. Strife would come to him here.
Vincent thought of something. "Before you go...you said you spoke to Strife. Does he know where you are?"
Sephiroth paused midturn and glanced over his shoulder at the man, his green eye still very visible through the curtain of his hair. "Yes. He will come here."
One thing just after another. If he had any dignity left, he might wish he wouldn't see him in this state. But much higher on his list was the fact that if Strife was coming here after speaking with Sephiroth, there was little question of his motives. "Does he plan to try and kill you again?"
"Yes." Sephiroth knew without a doubt.
Vincent sighed. "I suppose I'll just have to try and rationalize with him then. Though that may be difficult if he has not regained all that he lost yet..."
"I will contact him again to speak with him. I do not fault him his anger or desire. But he will be needed to fight Jenova."
Vincent nodded. "I only hope his mind can be reconstructed to what it once was." Vicnent thought for a moment. What was it exactly that had caused Strife's mind to break? The stress of the entire Meteor Crisis could very well be the cause...but that made little sense. Strife had been strong until there very end, until...Vincent cast Sephiroth a look, indecipherable. "Did you break his mind?"
Sephiroth's expression twitched as his only indication that the other man's words had hit a chord. "I did not break his mind....Jenova did. I was merely a tool."
Vincent registered the quick twitch and a brow rose, only to fall with realiztion of exactly what chord had been hit a moment later. A sour one, no doubt. "My apologies. Old habits die hard, or so I've heard." His lip twitched slightly as his mind mulled over that quick flicker in expression.
"You can ask Strife. He will come here." Sephiroth looked off for a moment, as if looking past the walls and earth that surrounded the mansion basement.
"I have no doubts as to that," he affirmed, mouth turning downward slightly at the idea of that meeting. Not as disturbing as the idea of Jenova, perhaps, but still potentially quite unfriendly.
"The woman, Lockhart, is with him." He let his gaze fall back to the raven-haired spectre. "I think our reunion will be...tense." A slight turn at the corner of his lips indicated amusement he found in such a thing.
Tifa?" his face registered in slight surprise. Tifa was one of the few ex-members of AVALANCHE that he could bother reffering to by her first name, and one of the very few that he could more than somewhat tolerate. "I couldn't agree more," he said, a bit absently as he though. Tifa would be there? That more than complicated things.
"What do you know of this woman?" He felt no desire to attempt to enter her mind and what he knew of the woman was only that she fought with gloves...he remembered such a thing from the battles between them.
"She is..." he searched for the right word. "...compassionate. More importantly, she is level-headed, or more so than nearly anyone else formerly involved in the Meteor Crisis. She would not come into a situation like this without going for what she thought was the most logical choice, and that which her instincts tell her is right." He sighed. "Considering the circumstances, what she thinks of the situation is obvious."
"She wishes me dead. I am sure of that." He turned his gaze away, analyzing this information about the woman. "What is her relation to Strife?” He could easily extract the information from the man's mind, but he wished to heal him...not hurt him.
"She has always felt something for him," he said vaguely, thinking. "When you do little aside from watch everyone around you, you begin to notice such things. I believe she may love him...but from all that I have seen, that love is one-sided."
"One-sided love." He went through memories, the blur of the City of the Ancients returning to him and suddenly clearing, as if water had suddenly stilled. "He loved...this Aerith."
Vincent nodded. "I do not know if her memory yet prevents him from reciprocating Tifa's feelings, but when I was with them, it did."
Sephiroth nodded. He had the information he needed on this Tifa Lockhart. "I have not sensed any others...but Strife and Lockhart will be here soon. I will need you to meet me with them."
Vincent smirked slightly. "I'm not exactly going anywhere."
Sephiroth mirrored the smirk. "No. Neither am I." He turned on his heel and began to trace his steps back to the library. "I will tell you when I sense that Strife is coming. Until then, protect your mind against <i>Her</i>"
A dark, gleeful <i>giggle</i> punctuated that last statement. Vincent watched Sephiroth move away and sent his mental counterpart a scornful message. <b>Since when do you</b> giggle<b>?</b> <i>Oh, I have my moments.../i>
Aceles56:((I could say this in a couple of short, but non-Vincenty and mean ways. "She moons over him day and night, and he doesn't give her the time of day." "Here's an example of their relationship. "Hey Cloud, I made you a pie-" "...WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING IN MY HOUSE! I DON'T WANT YOUR PIE! I WANT AERIS! *sob sob* *squishes pie* ))