#90 – Mother, Where Art Thou?

Lucretia: “Oh, my little angel.”

Originally Published: 6/1/01 . 22 pages

Synopsis
After being gone for so many years, Lucretia comes around looking for Sephiroth. Can he accept her into his life?

Ramble Milestones
-First appearence of Lucretia

Original beginning notes for this ramble: I’ve been waiting to write this ramble for awhile, and now it’s finally here! Now, in this ramble I’m dealing with my own screwed up interpretation of the events in FF7. There is a lot of heartbreak in this ramble, so be prepared. *hugs sephy in advance*
There are a lot of tears in this ramble, that’s for sure. Lucretia starts off as kind of pathetic, but it’s pretty awesome when she punches Hojo right in his mousey face. But her optimism of making them a family makes you cringe, doesn’t it? Also, the “subplot” involving talking on the phone is pretty weak. The only good part is when Tseng starts to tell off San Diego.  This one begins the big build up that will take us straight to ramble 100. Sephiroth’s past really starts to come out here, and there’s more drama than laughs.

(we’re in loser land. there we see hojo, stripped to the waist, chasing around kuja, who’s only in his underwear…..you can imagine what kind he wears. anyway, the other losers are nowhere to be seen. kuja does not look too happy to be chased, and hojo has a predatory expression.)

Kuja: “Can’t I get changed first? I still have my nails to do!”

Hojo: “Absolutely not, my pretty little pet.”

(he cuts kuja off with a grin. kuja stops and hojo goes up to him and slides an arm around his waist, pulling kuja against him)

Hojo: “I have you now.” *leans in to kiss him*

(but before he can, there’s a knock at the door, and kuja turns his head, distracted. hojo ignores the knocking and starts to place kisses down his neck)

Kuja: “I believe that is the door.”

Hojo: *between kisses* “I am not answering it now.”

Kuja: “What if it’s the others?”

Hojo: “I don’t think they could possibly be done with their picnic now. Not with Heidegger.”

Kuja: “It could be important.” *tries to get away* “Maybe it’s a shipment of frogs or some other disgusting thing for you to experiment on.”

(he manages to squirm away and stands there looking annoyed, arms crossed. hojo scowls and heads for the door)

Hojo: “This had better be important. And when whoever it is is gone, we’re going into the bedroom.”

Kuja: *sigh*

(he opens the door and then stands there dead in shock. standing before him is a fragile looking woman, pale, with brown hair, small framed glasses and dark green eyes. she’s dressed simply, and smiles slightly. hojo’s jaw nearly hits the floor)

Hojo: *stutters* “L-L-Lucretia??”

Lucretia: “Hello, Alexander.”

(in the background kuja sighs dramatically, and flops on the couch, starting to flip through a magazine)

Hojo: *still in shock* “What are you doing here?”

Lucretia: “Oh, I have several reasons mostly, but part of it was because I wanted to see you. I still love you, Alexander.”

Hojo: *nearly falls over* “Oh–is that so?” *sweat drops* “Lucretia, this is unexpected. I–“

Kuja: *lightly, as he flips through the magazine* “Hojo, are we going to have sex or not? I’m not waiting here all day.”

Hojo: *one million sweat drops*

Lucretia: *frowns* “Alexander…who is that you’ve got back there?”

Hojo: *tries to block the door* “No one, Lucretia. No one at all.”

(kuja gets up and comes over, shoving hojo to the side and staring at lucretia)

Kuja: “Who is this?”

Hojo: *seeing that he’s lost* “Kuja….meet Lucretia. This is Sephiroth’s mother.”

Kuja: *looks her over* “Ah, yes. Hojo has told me about you. You’re the one he pretended to be in love with to make Vincent jealous.”

Hojo: *eyebrows practically jump off his face*

Lucretia: *eyes grow wide* “What…?”

Hojo: “Oh, Kuja! You’re so funny!” *pats him on the shoulder* “Now why don’t you go put some pants on?”

Kuja: *sighs and starts to walk away* “First he won’t let me put them on, now he wants me to. Can’t he make up his mind?” *leaves*

Lucretia: *glares at hojo* “Is that *true*, Alexander?”

Hojo: *sweat drops* “…… ….. ….That’s not quite the *only* reason why I took an interest in you.”

Lucretia: “You also wanted me for your experiment, is that right?”

Hojo: “….To put it *bluntly*.”

Lucretia: *coldly* “You were always a cold bastard, Alexander. Unreachable. It was always about your work. I thought that was why you didn’t show me any extra attention. But it all seems to fall into place now. You never loved me at all. You loved Vincent. And you wanted to make him jealous because he loved me instead of you.”

Hojo: *clenches his fist* “If it makes you happy he *never* loved me. *Ever*. No matter how hard I tried! And you loved me before, even before I tried to seduce you!”

Lucretia: *wipes away a tear* “Yes… I hate to say it’s true. And I still love you, Alexander… Though I don’t even know why…” *sighs and looks at the ground* “Poor Vincent. So many things went wrong.”

Hojo: “Don’t worry about Vincent’s heart, Lucretia.” *looks away* “He found his own true love.”

Lucretia: “If you loved him, why did you hurt him?” *looks up* “Is it because he was against the experiment only? That doesn’t seem to be enough.”

Hojo: *sets his jaw* “I have no reason to explain any of my actions to you.”

Lucretia: “Why not? I’m in love with you! You ruined my life, and you don’t even love me, and I still can’t help but love you, Alexander! The least you could do is satisfy my curiosity!”

Hojo: *clenches his eyes shut* “I…..cannot. That is something I *cannot* explain to you, Lucretia.”

Lucretia: “Perhaps you might tell me something else then.”

Hojo: *opens his eyes* “Perhaps. What is it?”

Lucretia: “I want to see my son.”

Hojo: *blinks* “Sephiroth?”

Lucretia: “Yes, Sephiroth, where is he? I haven’t seen him…since he was a newborn baby…”

Hojo: “….Just in that building, over there.” *pause* “Find him, and you’ll find another.”

Lucretia: *wipes away a tear* “Thank you, Alexander. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and I think… I think it is time for me to face what has happened and make do with my life, no matter how it has turned out.” *she glares at him for a second* “Don’t think I won’t come back. We have a son. We should talk with him.”

Hojo: *gulp* “If you can get him to speak to me.”

Lucretia: “I’ll leave you to…..whatever unmentionable things you were about to do. Good-bye for now, Alexander.”

Hojo: *softly* “Good-bye.”

(he watches her walk off, and then shuts the door and leans against it, looking daze. kuja, who has put some pants on, comes back in)

Kuja: “I wasn’t sure which pants to put on, but I decided on the leather since it does flatter me so.” *looks up and blinks* “Where did she go?”

Hojo: “She went….to see Sephiroth.” *he sinks to the floor*

Kuja: *looks at him strangely* “Well… Are you coming or not?”

Hojo: “No… I’d like to be alone for awhile.”

Kuja: *shocked* “….Are you certain?”

Hojo: “Yes.” *brings his knees to his chest* “Leave me.”

(kuja gives him one last look and turns to go, and hojo just bows his head.)

……………………………………………………………………………………..

(meanwhile, in the ramble room, sephiroth, vincent and lark are sitting on sephiroth’s bed, him in the middle, with a picture album on his lap. he points to a picture of himself as a baby, a stuffed toy in his arms)

Sephiroth: “There I am at 6 months. Still no traces of evil.”

Lark: *coos* “Aw! I don’t usually think babies are cute, but you’re adorable, Seph! Where did you get that cute stuffed animal?”

Sephiroth: *looks at vincent* “Where else?”

Vincent: *to lark* “Hojo could hardly bother himself with raising him.”

Sephiroth: “Thats why I’m screwed up!”

Lark: “Aw…honey…” *pets his arm*

(sephiroth turns the page, and then there he is at about four, glaring at the camera, with a large cut across his arm)

Sephiroth: “Here I am at four….do I seem disturbed to you?”

Lark: “Where did you get that cut on your arm?”

Sephiroth: *scowls* “Where else? Another experiment of his. You can still see the scar if you look close.”

(he turns the page again and there he is at about 12 managing a tiny smile for the camera)

Lark: “Ah ha! *There’s* a smile!”

Sephiroth: “That’s because Vincent took the picture…” *barely glances at vincent before adding* “And I was in love with him by then.”

Lark: *eyes widen slightly* “At twelve? Goodness.”

Sephiroth: *shrugs sadly* “There was no one to show me any kindness except for him… It was natural….for me…to fall in love with him.”

(lark looks at him as he turns the page. next is a picture of sephiroth at about 16, and he’s posing with vincent now, both half dressed as they sit on the bed, holding one another)

Lark: “Aw…”

Sephiroth: “There I am at sixteen, after Vincent figured out the timer on the camera.” *he smiles slightly and runs a finger over vincent in the picture* “This was the only time I could remember being happy…when finally someone loved me.” *he hangs his head and a tear slides down his cheek*

Vincent: “I believe that is enough memories for you, my angel.” *he takes the photo album and closes it, placing it off to the side* “Oh, my angel.” *hugs him*

Lark: *feels a bit awkward* “Maybe I should go…”

Sephiroth: *sniff* “No, Lark. Don’t.” *pulls away from vincent* “I’m sorry. I feel like an idiot.”

Lark: “Don’t.” *puts a hand on his arm*

Sephiroth: “….Don’t tell anyone I get like this.”

Lark: “I won’t.”

(then there’s a knock at the door, and sephiroth frantically wipes his tears away)

Sephiroth: “Come in!”

Irvine: *pokes his head in* “Hey, howdy, Sephiroth. Sorry ta bother ya, but there’s some lady at the door that insists on talking to ya.”

Sephiroth: *looks confused* “Who is she?”

Irvine: “Says her name’s Lucretia.”

Sephiroth: *freezes*

Vincent: *slowly* “Did you say Lucretia?”

Irvine: *nods* “What should I tell her?”

Sephiroth: *looks at vincent* “You… You don’t think….”

Vincent: “I will see, my angel.” *he gets up* “Tell her to wait a moment, will you, Irvine?”

(irvine nods and leaves. then sephiroth panics, getting to his knees and grabbing vincent’s good hand)

Sephiroth: “She wants to see me, Vincent. What should I do?

Vincent: “Let me speak with her first, angel.”

(he turns and gives him a kiss on the forehead. sephiroth watches him leave before turning to a stunned lark)

Sephiroth: “My…mother…”

Lark: “What a strange day.”

Sephiroth: “She’s…come back to see me. But why? After she–after she abandoned me.” *hangs head* “I suppose I can’t blame her. Who would….want to be the mother of a freak?”

Lark: “Stop it. You are not a freak.”

Sephiroth: *shakes head* “I can’t face her. I can’t.” *he gets up and leaves the room before lark can do anything*

Lark: “Sephiroth! Come back!” *follows*

…………………………………………………………………………………..

(meanwhile, vincent goes outside, where lucretia is sitting on the porch swing. she rises in surprise when she sees him, and stands in shock a moment. vincent stands before her, leaving a lot of space between them)

Vincent: “Hello, Lucretia.”

Lucretia: “Oh…Vincent… This is a surprise.” *looks behind him* “Where is Sephiroth?”

Vincent: “I must talk to you first, Lucretia.”

Lucretia: “Oh… I…” *pause* “Is something wrong, Vincent?”

Vincent: “Perhaps.”

(he comes over and sits, and she sits beside him)

Lucretia: “Alexander told me to come here… Oh, Vincent, he told me the truth, of what happened back then.”

Vincent: “Hm.” *looks away* “It is all my fault.”

Lucretia: “How can you say that?”

Vincent: “It is my fault Hojo did that to you.”

Lucretia: “Nonsense, Vincent. I was in love with him anyway! It wasn’t your fault at all!” *puts a hand on his arm* “I broke your heart, and for that I apologize.”

Vincent: “There is no need to apologize when your heart belongs to another. That is the fault of the fates.” *pause* “Besides I…”

Lucretia: “Oh, yes, Alexander told me you found someone else. Who is she?”

Vincent: *closes his eyes* “Hm.”

Lucretia: “Oh you need not worry about my feelings, Vincent. I’m glad you found true love. I was never out to make you unhappy.”

Vincent: *eyes still closed* “I didn’t mean for it to happen, Lucretia.”

Lucretia: “Huh? What are you talking about, Vincent?”

Vincent: *eyes still shut* “I didn’t meant to fall in love with him.”

Lucretia: “Him?” *pause* “Alexander?”

Vincent: “No.” *his eyes open and he looks at her* “Sephiroth.”

Lucretia: *utter shock* “Y-You….you’re in love with *Sephiroth*?”

Vincent: *hangs head* “It is a long story. But yes, and he loved me. But…but things are different.”

Lucretia: “Oh? How so?”

(before vincent can say anything else, lark comes running around the side of the ramble room and comes up the porch steps. she halts abruptly when she sees vincent and lucretia)

Lark: “Oh.” *blink* “I’m sorry. I was just– I’ll go inside.” *heads for the door*

Vincent: “No, please, Lark. Stay.”

(lark stops where she is and looks at lucretia)

Vincent: “Lark, this is Lucretia. Lucretia, this is Lark, a good friend of mine….and Sephiroth’s girlfriend.”

Lucretia: *blinks and then looks at vincent* “But I thought….” *looks at lark* “Hello, young lady.”

Lark: *looks uncomfortable* “Nice to meet you.”

Vincent: “Lark, I think it would be all right for Sephiroth to join us now.”

Lucretia: “Yes. There are so many things I want to say to him.”

Lark: *bites her lip* “Um….there’s a little problem.”

Vincent: “What is it?”

Lark: “I….can’t find him.”

Vincent and Lucretia: “What?”

Lark: “He kind of ran away, and I don’t know where he went! I’m sure he didn’t leave the ramble complex, but I looked everywhere, even in that tree he likes, and I can’t find him.”

Lucretia: “Oh dear… This is all my fault.”

Vincent: “Nonsense, Lucretia.” *to lark* “Please find him, Lark. Lucretia and I have some more to discuss in the meantime.”

(lark nods and runs inside)

Lucretia: “Perhaps this was a mistake… I should have stayed away…

Vincent: “No, Lucretia. You have made the right decision.” *pause* “But there is something more you must hear, even if you do not wish it.”

Lucretia: *gulp* “What is it?”

Vincent: *look straight ahead* “….It is about your son… And how so much went wrong.”

…………………………………………………………………………………..

(lark goes into the ramble room, where all the ramble girls, rufus, rude, irvine, reno, seifer, zell and reeve are gathered there, doing stuff. lark comes in, and surveys the room, but sephiroth’s not there. she turns to go)

Reno: “Hey, Lark! What’s up?”

Lark: “Have you seen Sephiroth?”

Reno: “No…”

Lark: “Dammit!” *she leaves*

Reno: *confused* “Okay….”

(suddenly the phone rings. everyone looks up, but no one really reacts, and they all just kind of look at each other. then it rings again)

Rufus: “Oh for crying out loud…” *picks up the phone* “Hello, Rufus Shinra, President of Shinra Inc. here. Not only are we the only Mako business in town, we’re the one with the lowest prices! You’ve reached the ramble room. How can I help you?”

Reeve: *mutters* “By the time he’s done with his speech the person at the other end is half asleep.”

Rufus: *frowns* “Oh. It’s you. Hold on.” *holds out the phone with a sigh* “Irvine, it’s your brother.”

Ramble girls: *except shell* “Which one?”

Rufus: “I don’t know…one named after a city.”

Irvine: “Yee haw!” *takes the phone* “Howdy!” *pause* “Oh, hi, Dallas!”

Ashley: *sigh* “Dallas is my favorite state.”

Seifer: *frowns* “It’s my least favorite.”

Zell: “Actually it’s a city in Texas.”

Seifer: “Shut up, chicken-wuss.”

Reno: “Hey, you guys don’t think Sephiroth ran away again, do you?”

Rufus: “I hope not, because this time I’m not going after him.”

Noelle: “Hey, at least you didn’t have to go to Pokemon. *Pokemon*!!”

Irvine: *loudly into the phone* “Well kiss my grits! You’re kiddin’! That’s great!”

Reno: “What is?”

Irvine: *covers mouthpiece and announces* “Billy Bob might have a shot at carnival this year!” *he looks at Lizzie* “You know, he still talks about you, Lizzie.”

(Lizzie shudders and irvine goes back to the phone. everyone goes back to what they were doing, and shell just kind of sits there, as if she’s trying to think really hard for a moment)

Shell: “What was the name of the one that got arrested again? Philadelphia? Luxembourg?”

Rude: “Houston.”

Shell: “Oh yeah… I’ll never forget that ring he gave me.”

Rude: *sigh*

……………………………………………………………………………………

(meanwhile, lark has paused in her search for sephiroth. she’s leaning against a wall, thinking aloud…)

Lark: “Okay, let’s see. I’ve checked every possible place he could have gone to be alone….and nothing.” *pause* “…But Sephiroth doesn’t *always* like to be alone when he’s sad.” *pause* “So who could he go to?” *thoughtfully* “Well, he doesn’t have many friends besides me or Vincent…..” *she smiles suddenly and snaps her fingers* “Of course.”

(so she goes to tseng’s room and knocks on the door. she can hear the muffled sound of crying from inside, and after she knocks, it stops)

Tseng’s voice: “Who is it?”

Lark: “It’s me.”

(there’s the sound of muffled voices first, then…)

Tseng: “Come in, Lark.”

(lark comes in and sees tseng sitting on the bed, sephiroth’s head on his lap, crying. tseng’s stroking his hair. lark just kind of stands there for a moment, absently shutting the door behind her)

Lark: “I’ve been looking for you, Sephiroth. ….Vincent wants you to come meet Lucretia now.”

(sephiroth starts sobbing harder and clings to tseng. tseng pats him on the back, pries seph off of him, whispers something in his ear, and motions for lark to follow him. he shuts the door to his room, and they go across the hall to a closet, which tseng unlocks, and they go inside. tseng shuts the door)

Lark: “Why do you have keys to this closet?”

Tseng: *gives her a look*

Lark: “Oh.”

Tseng: “Anyway, I didn’t want to talk in front of him.”

Lark: “What’s the matter? Why is he so hysterical?”

Tseng: *sighs* “He doesn’t want to see his mother.”

Lark: “He *doesn’t*?”

Tseng: *shakes his head* “He says he can’t possibly look her in the eye.”

Lark: “Why?”

Tseng: “…. …. ….He said he hates her.”

Lark: “Hates her, but he doesn’t even know her!”

Tseng: “Well, you can you really blame him? She left him with Hojo to be abused.”

Lark: “Well….I’m sure she had her reasons. And now she’s back, isn’t she? I’m sure she’ll apologize!”

Tseng: *sighs and shakes his head*

Lark: “Are you on his side?”

Tseng: “I see where he’s coming from, Lark.”

(lark presses her lips together, thinking for a moment.)

Lark: “I think he should put the past behind him and give her a chance.”

Tseng: “You try and convince him of that.”

(they leave the closet, and go back into tseng’s room, where sephiroth is sitting up, knees drawn to his chest, sniffling)

Lark: “Sephy…” *she goes and sits next to him and runs a hand through his hair* “I really think that you should go see your mother.”

Sephiroth: “No, I hate her.”

Tseng: “Don’t you think you should give her a chance?”

(sephiroth shakes his head and starts to cry again. tseng shoots lark an ‘i told you so’ look, but she’s determined. she shakes his shoulder)

Lark: “Sephy! I’m sure your mother had her reasons for leaving you! I bet she’s really sorry. Won’t you at least try and talk to her?”

Sephiroth: *after a silence* “….. ……. ………. ……………….How can she even understand her how her absence made me?”

Lark: *quietly* “You could tell her.”

Sephiroth: *looks up and wipes at his eyes* “….. ….Where is she?”

Lark: “On the porch.”

(wordlessly he gets up and leaves the room. lark tries to follow him, but tseng grabs hold of her wrist to make her stay, and she doesn’t protest, she just kind of looks after where sephiroth has gone. sephiroth goes to the porch, the evidence of tears still on his cheeks. he walks out onto the porch, and turns to the swing, where vincent and lucretia are still seated. they don’t notice him at first, and he takes another slow step. then they both turn and look at him. vincent quickly gets up but says nothing, and lucretia turns and looks at him, her mouth open a little in shock. sephiroth takes another step and another before he stops and just stares at her, tears in his eyes once more.)

Lucretia: *stands up quickly and whispers* “Sephiroth?”

(sephiroth runs to her and falls to his knees, wrapping his arms around her and leaning against her. lucretia sighs and starts to cry, putting a hand on top of his head.)

Sephiroth: “…Mother…” *a tear falls down his cheek*

Lucretia: “Oh, my little angel.”

(she gets down on her knees and hugs him tightly. sephiroth loses control and starts to sob into her. she cradles him, soothingly holding his head to her shoulder, her eyes closed as she cries silently herself)

Lucretia: *whispers* “Oh, my baby…. I’m sorry… So sorry…”

(and vincent gives them one last look and walks off)

……………………………………………………………………………………

(meanwhile, in the ramble room….Noelle is on the phone, chatting away happily. shell is painting her nails and rude’s, reeve is reading some computer magazine, reno and irvine are reading seventeen, Lizzie, seifer, Ashley, zell and Katie are playing cards…)

Zell: *puts down 2 cards* “2 6’s.”

Seifer: “Bullsh*t, chicken wuss.”

Zell: *turning them over happily* “Ha ha! Wrong! Take the pile, Seifer!”

Seifer: *has practically the whole pile* “Dammit!”

Ashley: “Seifer, if you didn’t call BS *every* time Zell’s turn came up, you wouldn’t have half the freakin’ deck!”

Seifer: “It’s not my fault he’s a stupid liar.”

Lizzie: “He hasn’t lied once.”

Seifer: “Shut up! I know what I’m doing!”

Katie: “You’re losing.”

Seifer: “Shut up!” *pouts*

Shell: *admires the hand she just finished painting* “Look, Rude! We’re both pretty in pink!”

Rude: “….That’s what I was afraid of, Shell.”

Reno: *pointing to something in the magazine* “Look, Irvine, people are still falling for that line.”

Irvine: *reads it and snorts* “Oh come on! Even I don’t use that one anymore!”

Noelle: “Okay, Austin, baby. I’ll talk to you later. You know I love ya, hon. Bye!” *she pauses and holds out the phone* “Reeve.”

Reeve: *looks up* “Hm?”

Noelle: “San Diego wants to talk to you.”

Reeve: *pales* “Uh….no. I don’t want to talk to him.”

Noelle: “Come on! He’s been waiting to talk to you! Just say hello.”

Reeve: “The last time I tried to ‘just say hello’ to him I ended up on the phone for an hour and half while he talked about moisturizer! And don’t even get me started on what happened the time before that!”

Shell: *perks up* “Ooh. Moisturizer? Let me talk to him.” *she grabs the phone*

Rude: *heaves a sigh of relief*

Ashley: “What did Austin have to say?”

Noelle: “Plenty.” *grin*

Reno: *mutters unhappily*

Zell: “3 10’s!”

Seifer: “Bullsh*t!”

Zell: “Ha ha! Wrong again!”

Seifer: “Dammit!”

Girls: *sigh*

……………………………………………………………………………………

(meanwhile….a short time later…a lifeless looking sephiroth is following lucretia towards loser land)

Lucretia: “So like I said, Sephiroth, Vincent told me everything. And I don’t think I can ever apologize enough for what happened to you, but I’ll try my best to make it right.”

Sephiroth: “…………”

Lucretia: *stops and turns to him* “I love you, Sephiroth, even if you don’t love me. You’re my son, and I have *always* loved you. I want you to know that.”

Sephiroth: *sniffs and nods as he wipes at his eyes*

Lucretia: “Come on, sweetie.”

(she takes him by the hand and they go to loser land where she pounds on the door. no one answers after a long stretch, so she pounds on it again. finally the door opens, and hojo stands there, still striped to the waist and looking pretty lifeless)

Hojo: “Lucretia, and Seph–“

(before he can finish talking, lucretia sets her jaw and punches him in the face. sephiroth’s jaw drops, and hojo stumbles backwards a little, a hand going to his face. he’s not hurt at all, but it still hurts, of course)

Hojo: “Lucretia! What was–“

Lucretia: “How dare you hurt my son! After all I did for you, after all I suffered, you *abuse* him! You took him away from me without so much as letting me hold him, and you *hurt* him!” *she’s crying* “How *could* you be so heartless?”

Hojo: “Don’t try and brainwash me with your lies. They were experiments, Lucretia. You knew what this would involve before you even agreed to it. Don’t go accusing me of hurting him when you yourself knew what would happen!”

Lucretia: *shakes her head* “Vincent was right. I never should have agreed to this. Never… Ever…”

Hojo: *looks at sephiroth* “So what do you think of your mother, Sephiroth? The woman who ran away after you were born because she was disgusted by the Jenova she was injected with. She didn’t seem to mind that you had more of it than anyone.”

Lucretia: “That’s not true!”

Hojo: “Yes it is! All of us have been infused with Jenova, Lucretia. Not just you. But it was always about you, wasn’t it?”

Lucretia: “It was never about me, Alexander! It was about you! You and your experiments! They were the only thing you really loved, and you destroyed everything that might have even meant the slightest thing to you in the process! Sephiroth, me, even Vincent, and you *loved* him!”

Hojo: “He didn’t love me!! Sephiroth never loved me! All I had was science, so I became it.”

(then kuja pokes his head into the room, looking annoyed)

Kuja: “Could you keep it down, please? I can’t hear my soap opera.”

(everyone looks in his direction, and then he leaves. a period of silence follows)

Lucretia: *sighs as she breaks the silence* “This fighting will get us no where. We could argue and point fingers all day about who is more to blame for all the suffering. But it’s over now, isn’t it? We can move past it. That’s why I came back in the first place, to start fresh.” *glances at sephiroth* “We’re a family. I think we should get on with our lives and act like one.”

Sephiroth: “………….”

Hojo: “I don’t think that’s possible.”

Lucretia: “We can try, can’t we?” *pleads* “Sephiroth? Please?”

Sephiroth: “……. …….. …..Very well.”

Lucretia: *to hojo* “See? He agrees.” *pause* “Well, Alexander?”

Hojo: “If he is willing, I am as well.”

Lucretia: *smiles* “I knew it would all be okay.”

(sephiroth glares at hojo not too happily)

Lucretia: “I’ll come back tomorrow, and we can all do something fun together.” *pause* “I know!” *claps her hands together* “We can go to the zoo!”

Hojo: *blinks* “The zoo?”

Sephiroth: *quietly* “I’ve never been to the zoo.”

Lucretia: “He’s never even been anywhere as normal as the *zoo*, Alexander. Come on.”

Hojo: *sighs* “Fine. Anything but the circus.”

Sephiroth: *shudders*

Lucretia: “This will be wonderful!”

(she goes over and gets hojo by the hand and walks over to sephiroth, taking his hand as well. hojo looks unhappy, and so does sephiroth, but she’s smiling)

Lucretia: “We can be what we always should have been.” *smiles at them both* “What I’ve always wanted.” *happy sigh* “A real family.”

(but sephiroth and hojo still don’t look happy)

…………………………………………………………………………………….

(meanwhile, back in tseng’s room, lark is sitting on the bed, vincent and tseng besides her, and they’re just sitting there, doing nothing, not talking either for a long time…….)

Vincent: “It was strange seeing her again.”

Lark: “Huh?”

Vincent: “Lucretia.”

Lark: “Oh. Right.”

Tseng: “It must have been so weird for him… Seeing his mother for the first time… I mean, I was just a kid when my mother died, but at least I knew her.”

Vincent: “I barely knew my mother or my father.”

Lark: “……I just saw mine the other day….. I guess… I take some things for granted…”

(then the door opens, and sephiroth comes in, looking totally serious. they all look up at him expectantly)

Lark: “Sephy–“

Tseng: “Sephiroth—“

Vincent: “Ah, angel. You have returned.”

Sephiroth: “I am going to the zoo tomorrow.”

Others: *blink*

Tseng: “What?”

Sephiroth: “My *parents* are taking me to the zoo.”

Lark: *quietly* “Oh.”

Vincent: “….Hojo–?”

Sephiroth: “Yes. *Mother* insisted.”

Vincent: “I see.” *pause* “Do you want to talk, my angel–“

Sephiroth: “No.” *pause* “No, I… I just want to be alone awhile.”

(no one objects as he turns and leaves)

Lark: “Do you think he really…?” *goes to move*

Tseng: *stops her* “Better just leave him alone.”

Vincent: “I think it would perhaps be a good idea if some of us went to the zoo tomorrow as well.”

Lark: “I guess… But I hate the zoo.”

Tseng: “I haven’t been to the zoo since I was little.”

Lark: “I bet a few of the others would want to come along.”

(then the door opens and reeve comes in frantically with the phone, receiver covered)

Reeve: “Tseng! San Diego’s doing it again! You have to tell him off!”

Tseng: *getting up and going to him* “I thought I told you not to talk to him anymore!”

Reeve: “He was laying a guilt trip on me! I felt bad!”

Tseng: “You’re too nice, Reeve.” *grabs the phone and starts to leave the room as he says angrily into the receiver* “Hello?…..Yeah, it’s me. ….Oh you should be cursing, man, because do I have some choice words for you!”

(the door closes, leaving lark and vincent alone. vincent sighs and closes his eyes)

Lark: “…Sephiroth didn’t look happy.”

Vincent: “We can work from the past, but not when the foundation is too shaky to build upon.”

Lark: *turns and looks at him* “Huh?”

Vincent: *opens his eyes and looks at her* “I know what Lucretia wants. I do not know if it is possible.”

(lark sighs and leans over, resting her weary head on his shoulder, and vincent puts an arm around her)

TO BE CONTINUED….

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