[personal profile] clandestine_terrors
Title: Angel In Hell 1/4
Author: [livejournal.com profile] sphinxofthenile 
Fandom: FFVII - Advent Children
Pairing: Reno/Kadaj (none in this chapter)
Rating: PG (PG-13 overall)
Warning: references to experiments
Summary: Sometimes a brief meeting can change lives.
A/N: Written for [livejournal.com profile] lightrobber Song: Prelude 12/21 by AFI.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

---

"This is what I thought,
I thought you need me,
This is what I thought so think me naïve,
I promise you a heart you'd promise to keep,
Kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep"


---

The Nibelheim labs were probably the last place on Gaia any sane person wanted to be, and yet there I was, wandering around aimlessly at such a damn late hour and waiting for the President to show up after the ’Lab-tour’, so I can finally fly us home and get wasted with Rude in one of the cozier bars of Midgar.
 
I still couldn’t understand why for godssake did Tseng choose me for the job. Me, who can’t sit straight for five seconds and needs a cigarette at least every half an hour! Of course you don’t smoke in the lab of that sickfuck Hojo unless you want things worse then your head being ripped off happening to you, and I currently just wasn’t in the mood for that.
 
The rooms were filled with all kinds of glass and metal equipment, microscopes, Bunsen-burners, incubation chambers and tonns of other stuff I didn’t even want to know what they were used for. At least I didn’t have to take the tour as well. The place could freak me out even without the knowledge of what exactly was going on there.
 
Now, mind you, I’ve killed more people than I could count on the hands of the four of us Turks, but the Prof had always been known to be demented and I had the dubious honor of witnessing direct proof to that.
 
Just as I was leaving behind another chamber with a faintly glowing green tube in the middle with a sickeningly human-like silhouette floating inside I chose not to look at, I caught a glimpse of a small shadow disappearing at the nearest corner.
 
Tapping my EMR carelessly on my shoulder, I quickly turned the corner to see who was there, and my eyes widened with shock. Illuminated by the bright, artificial light I saw a child so beautiful it took my breath away.
 
He couldn’t have been more than three years old with stunning platinum blonde hair, and I was utterly surprised that they let such a young one roam around alone at such a place so late in the night.
 
"Hey, kid! What are you doing here?”
 
"I live here.” He looked up at me innocently with huge, long-lashed eyes, and I gulped audibly as I stared into eerie mako-green, cat-like irises. Suddenly I realised that his hair wasn’t blonde, but indeed pure silver, falling back from his face to reveal the perfection of a porcelain doll.
 
I felt like my ribs were just about to smash my heart.
 
"Who are you?” I managed to choke out.
 
"The Professor calls me Subject!” He chirped, then looking around he leaned closer, a small smile highlighting the mischief in his eyes. "But you know, I have another name. Wanna hear it?”
 
I just nodded, still stunned by how he resembled…
 
His silvery laughter was perhaps the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard.
 
"I’m no-ot tell-ing, I’m no-ot tell-ing!” He chanted with innocent mockery, and he laughed again in that endearing, tinkling way only children can.
 
I let out a sigh and searched my pockets for the last chocolate bar I knew I had somewhere, putting on my most charming smile. Me, willingly sacrificing a chocolate bar! Dear God. But for some unfathomable reason, I just had to know.
 
"Look kid. If you tell me, I’ll give it to you.” I offered him the sweet.
 
"What’s that?” He eyed it suspiciously. My jaws dropped.
 
"Don’t tell me you’ve never seen…” Oh, crap. Of course he’s never got his little hands on anything like that. It seemed cruel even to me, and trust me when I say my childhood wasn’t exactly a bed of roses either.
 
"Here.” I opened the wrapping for him. "Try it.”
 
For a moment it seemed he would refuse. The next he was busy munching the chocolate like a greedy little chipmunk. I couldn’t help but laugh. I reached out to ruffle his hair, but he jumped back with amazing speed.
 
Damn, the kid had reflexes. And that suspicious look was back on his face.
 
I instinctively held up my hands and made sure I looked straight into his eyes as I apologised. The tension slowly left his small body, and soon he was smiling again.
 
In my chest something ached. I wanted to take him by the hand and lead him outside, to take him away from this horrid place, this madness.
 
Then I did something I thought impossible.
 
I slowly leaned closer not to scare him, and cautiously put my arms around his fragile little form. I, Reno of the Turks was hugging a kid! Willingly and on my own incentive. Scandalous.
 
But when I felt his thin arms finally sneaking around my neck and tugging at my hair, I suddenly felt an odd cozy warmness and relief that I hadn’t been pushed away. I gently tightened my embrace, then reluctantly let go.
 
"That was good! Funny, but good.” The little one giggled and gave me a radiant smile. "What’s your name?”
 
"Reno.”
 
"I think I like you, Reno.”
 
I was taken aback by such childlike honesty and innocence. I felt something bitter in my throat, I wanted to shout at him not to like me, not to trust me or anyone, guidelines I had a hard time learning on the streets, but I just forced out a faint smile.
 
"I think I like you too, kid.”
 
"Kadaj.”
 
"Sorry?”
 
"My name is Kadaj.” He was smiling again with that lively, mischievous light to his eyes, such a beautiful and somehow heartbreaking sight…
 
Then he just yawned and rubbed his eyes with that tiny fist of his.
 
"Well, I guess you should be going back to bed, Kadaj. It’s getting really late.”
 
"Okay.” He blinked sleepily. "This is my room.”
 
He pointed at the nearest one in the long line of alike white doors. I opened it and motioned for him to get inside, which he did.
 
"I share it with my brothers, but they came for them again earlier tonight.” He jabbered, and my stomach started churning. So there were others? Other kids at the non-existent mercy of that bastard Hojo? I didn’t dare to imagine what might be happening to them right now.
 
"Will you come to play again tomorrow?” He asked between two yawns as I tucked him into bed. I looked into those hopeful emerald eyes, the bitterness suddenly back in my throat as I thought about the flight home that awaited me and that didn’t seem quite as tempting as just an hour before.
 
I wanted to explain him why it was impossible for me to come back, but when I opened my mouth to speak, the words that came out had nothing to do with my intentions.
 
"Of course I’ll come back.”
 
Hearing it he smiled faintly, contentedly, then his eyes fell closed and he drifted away to sleep. I brushed a silky silver strand out of his face, then left silently, careful not to wake him.
 
When the chopper took off, it felt like I was carrying a goddamn heap of rocks in my chest.
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