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19 January 2007 @ 11:23 pm
An FFVII Fic  
Title: Say Goodnight and Go (chapter 1)
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII (Original Game Canon for the most part, but a lot of influence from back-story given in Dirge of Cerberus.)
Characters/Pairings: Gast, Hojo, Lucrecia, Ifalna, Vincent, Sephiroth (Hojo/Lucrecia, Lucrecia/Grimoire Valentine, Gast/Ifalna)
Rating: PG-13 (For mentions of sexual relations, human experimentation, ethics)
Words: 2,052
Summary: This story revolves around the past of the researchers of the ShinRa company, starting with the beginnings of the Sephiroth-Project and most likely ending with the death of Gast.
Status: 1st Draft.
Comments requested: Any comments welcome from grammar to characterization. I mostly want fans to let me know if my time-line of events flows well and that my characterization works well. What are my weak points and what are my strong points?



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The ceiling shifted in and out of focus. Lucrecia had lain perfectly still for minutes now, gazing up at the white tile. Her legs spread akimbo, arms folded loosely over her stomach. The last beads of sweat had dried moments ago and she had managed to discover that there were exactly twenty four and half tiles across the length of her room. She had begun a sort of imaginary chess game with the tiles when she heard Hojo adjusting the belt around his waist. The clattering of the buckle caused her to glance in his direction. He did not return her gaze though, instead, lifting his hands to adjust his tie.

His eyes finally came to rest upon her form and slowly blinked, pushing up his glasses with his index finger. “We’ll know in a couple of days if the desired results have taken place. I have high hopes that this will not have to be a repetitive process.” He turned his back to her and picked up his lab coat from a nearby chair, pulling it on carefully. She said nothing in his leaving. “I have work to attend to in regards to preparation for this experiment. Gast is expecting us later, but wishes me to assure you that you may take your time,” his voice gave off a bitter tone, slightly rolling his eyes.

He reached for the door and hesitated for a moment, looking back at her once more in her state and shaking his head slightly before walking out. The door shut quietly behind him and she continued to lie there, recounting the tiles. She had become used to this sort of arrangement. She knew he would not stay and stroke her hair or touch her hand ever so gently, asking questions about how she felt. She did not expect it of him and he did not attempt to surprise her by proving otherwise.

This was not a romantic gesture, merely the prelude to the bigger picture of things. They had not discussed artificial insemination; she never gave him a chance to bring it up. She had thrown herself into his arms to forget the man she had shattered on the ground. She was asking for forgiveness from the wrong man, but he still gave it regardless.

She slowly pushed herself up from the mattress. The linens shuffled quietly beneath her body and seemed to give a comforting whisper. She looked to window, overlooking the peaceful countryside of Nibelheim. The sun was slowly dipping beneath the horizon and its rays pierced through the branches of the tree at her window, casting a shadow of wicked fingers against her wall.

She let her feet touch the floor at last and she stood to move to grab her robe from her closet. She resisted the urge to sprint into the bathroom and throw herself into a scalding shower, letting her skin blister from the heat. She instead took careful steps, counting each one from her closet door. There were sixteen.

Her hands came to rest on the knob of the shower and she looked at it for a long moment. The antique fixture seemed to fascinate her for a moment before she slowly turned it, hearing the shower patter against the tub rhythmically. She laid her robe on the lavatory and stepped into the warm spray. She lowered her head and let the roar cover her ears.

I believe we’re finally onto something Lucrecia.

Her head jerked up suddenly, looking through the water. She only came to face an empty wall in front of her. She shook her head and began to bathe quickly. She could still hear him at times when she least expected it, like a phantom jack-in-the-box. Out of the silence of her mind he burst forth, pulling her up from the depths of her thoughts. It hadn’t been long since she had finally repressed the nightmares. Gast, who had been the first to take concern in her wellbeing since the accident, had been a shoulder to cry on. She could never thank him enough for everything he had done to make sure her days after the accident had been comfortable.

As much as she had to thank ShinRa for allowing her to pursue her theories and her experiments, it was a cruel joke sending Vincent to be her bodyguard. Now that he knew everything, there was no point in pretending anymore with him. What was she going to make up for in the first place? How did one go about apologizing for situations that could have been prevented?

Stepping from the shower she grabbed her robe and pulled it around her, letting it cling to her damp skin. Everyday had almost a particular pattern to it. She woke up, grieved, lamented until lunch, despaired until dinner and returned to sleep. She did all this carefully though. One must learn to grieve carefully when there are others around. She couldn’t stand to have Gast worrying over her when he had larger things to attend to. It was more important for her now to focus on the latest project. Everyone in the department was thrilled.

She would have to put her guilt into the chest at the foot of her bed though and don a more pleasant weight to bear. If not for Gast and Hojo, then for the company itself. It wouldn’t do the team any good to see an unhappy mother to be. She could not help but smile whenever Gast would go on about how they would all be great figures in history if everything went according to plan. Gast had already made his fame with the discovery of Jenova, this next step would merely be an added footnote to his list of accomplishments.

She added the last finishing touches to her make-up as she moved to the closet and carefully chose an outfit. She wondered how much longer she would be able to fit into her normal clothes. She thought how awkward she would look moving about the lab in her condition. While Gast would politely assist her, she had no doubts that Hojo would see her as a mere barrier in his way. He was quick to aggravate when he could not work quickly. She had made the fatal mistake of getting between him and his work before.
She picked up her lab coat that had lain carefully next to Hojo’s only moments ago. She slipped it on slowly, the starched fabric almost abrasive feeling against her showered skin. She decided to let her hair hang loose down her waist for once, she wondered if Hojo would notice the difference. She already knew the answer to her musings, but it was always something to look forward to if maybe one day he would start to take notice of things. He did once before. Why was it men suddenly changed once they acquired their prize?

The stairs which led down to the labs always gave a sinister creek. As professional as they all were, she couldn’t help but feel like she was stumbling upon a group of mad scientists from a play. It was the atmosphere of the place, it made you look over your shoulder whether you believed in ghosts or not. She pulled her lab coat around her tighter and stepping to the final floor she could see the dirt kick up from the floor in the lamplight.

Gast’s voice was clearly heard down the hall, commenting to Hojo about biological cycles and how things have to be timed right. Hojo seemed to be muttering back assured replies. Lucrecia stepped in the doorway and watched as Gast lifted a syringe up to the light and examined it. The contents were a deep amber color. She couldn’t help but keep her eyes fixed upon it. Was that her daily dose of medicine? Or was it her lunch in the future? She had barely noticed Gast’s gaze upon her, until he cleared his throat.

“Lucrecia, I’m glad you could come down. I know you have so much to prepare for; I hope you didn’t rush down here on our account.” Gast glanced back at Hojo who hadn’t even bothered to look away from his computer console, staring deeply at various esoteric figures. Lucrecia also looked to Hojo for a moment, before turning to Gast and giving a tight smile.

“Of course not, I need to be here to know the rundown of the future procedures. I don’t want anything to be held back because of my ignorance,” she kept her voice down and folded her hands unconsciously over her stomach. Gast nodded and looked back at Hojo once more before waving Lucrecia out of the room.

They walked a distance from the room before Gast finally stopped to look down at her. “If you are having second thoughts Lucrecia, I have no problem with taking you off the project.” He laid a hand firmly on her shoulder, looking down at her with seriousness and care.

“No, I am more than willing to continue with this project Doctor. I volunteered after all; I certainly would not back down, no matter what the cost.” She looked up at him and hoped her face conveyed nothing but bravery and selfless thought. She was relieved when Gast finally broke into a gentle smile and patted her shoulder warmly.

“Of course, I should know better than to question you by now. Remind me to let you smack me next time I treat you like a girl straight out of her study days.” He gave a soft chuckle and began once more to walk Lucrecia towards the stairs. “Hojo has become rather quiet these days, perhaps I should thank you for that? He doesn’t even try and argue with me anymore.”

Lucrecia bit her bottom lip in thought before smiling and giving a soft laugh. “I think he’s just very excited about the project, I know he has worked so hard to get this chance. This is a big moment for us all, like you said before. He’s just…very focused.” She nodded firmly as if to even convince herself that what she was saying was true.

“Ah, yes, very focused to the point he doesn’t seem to be sleeping.” Gast lowered his voice, an edge of concern rising along it. “I caught him down here in the early hours of the morning last night, said he hadn’t slept all night. I would hate for him to wrap himself around this to the point he started to lose his mind.” His brow furrowed.

“I’ll speak with him Doctor. I’ll try and convince him to sleep late for a day.” She touched Gast on the shoulder now and gave him a reassuring smile. Gast laughed once more and shook his head.

“I wish you luck then. Maybe he’ll listen to you, women are always better at being persuasive.” He gave a sigh and turned his head back down the hall, looking at the light coming out from the lab. “Look I’ll grab the latest charts and I’ll meet you in the dinning hall. Perhaps I can drag Hojo from his chair and have him eat with us while we go over the reports. Some interesting data has shown up I wanted you two to look at.” He turned and walked back to the lab quickly. “Save us a seat!” He called back waving his hand at her.

She shook her head and made her ascension up the stairs. She didn’t expect Hojo to move and give them the pleasure of joining them. Nor did she give hope to persuading him to rest his eyes. She merely attempted to act like she had the power to move him still. She knew the reigns had been taken quite a long time ago.

Leaving the stairwell she moved passed an all too familiar door. She didn’t bother knocking. She knew it wouldn’t do any good, no matter how badly she wanted to see him. What was only twenty-six steps from her own room was really a few million miles away from her heart. Distance never seems to measure up in the heart. Even if she were a breath away from Vincent, she could never reach out to him again. The chasm was far to wide.
 
 
 
genus draco >>> dragon eyegenus_draco on January 24th, 2007 07:23 pm (UTC)
The first thing I'd like to say is there is very, very little wrong with this piece (not to say anything is ever 'wrong' with any piece.) You do well grammatically aside from a typo and a few jarring sentence fragments.

I don't have enough of a mind to go through and find the minor grammatical errors right now (I might make a mistake myself!), but I can help you with some other things.

I mentioned above you have a few jarring sentence fragments. Just as an example...

"She already knew the answer to her musings, but it was always something to look forward to if maybe one day he would start to take notice of things. He did once before."

I know what you were going for here, but it might be better to seperate it for a more isolated feel. Like so...

"She already knew the answer to her musings, but it was always something to look forward to if maybe one day he would start to take notice of things.

He did once before. Why was it men suddenly changed once they acquired their prize?"

You might want to tinker with the first sentence too -- it seems a bit long to me. Maybe something more like, "She already knew the answer to her musings, but she looked forward to the day he would start taking notice of things." Of course, this is just a suggestion!

I also noticed you used the word 'she' a lot to indicate motion or to start a new sentence, which is fine in moderation. If you use it too much it has a tendency to break the flow of the events. Take this snippet for example...

"She picked up her lab coat that had lain carefully next to Hojo’s only moments ago. She slipped it on slowly, the starched fabric almost abrasive feeling against her showered skin. She decided to let her hair hang loose down her waist for once, she wondered if Hojo would notice the difference."

Try linking things together or starting sentences in a different way instead to achieve the effect you'd like!

Other than that you did very, very well. I really enjoyed the number game you played with in this chapter. I just love it when people incorporate little thought processes like this. It really shows how Lucrecia's mind works.

As a scientist she's naturally very intellectual, which I'm guessing is detrimental to her ability to cope with emotions. You pull this off exceedingly well.

Gast is wonderfully emotionally grounded and Hojo is as nefarious as he should be. One thing I truly can't stand is when people try to convince me Hojo had an emotional capacity. You didn't try to sell me something I just didn't buy and I appreciate that beyond words.

As for the timeline, I really can't say. It's been too long since I've played it and I'm finding myself progressively rusty. I can say nothing really jumped out at me as being off about it though.

As always -- if you have any questions or need anything clarified, don't be afraid to ask! I'm always up for it.
Donna: Thank youanimecrush on January 25th, 2007 04:16 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for your concrit! I really appreciate any help with grammar because I always get stuck on small things. Really, you have no idea how happy I am to see these things pointed out to me. I definitely understand what you are pointing out and I agree that there are changes in some areas: such as the overuse of "she" in some parts. I think maybe that was due to the fact I was afraid of sudden tense change? Because when I read it now I'm like "D'oh! Oh I should have worded that better.." But these are always good things ^^.

One thing I truly can't stand is when people try to convince me Hojo had an emotional capacity.

Agreed. Also when they try to say he was "totally bishounen because Sephiroth is so handsome". I can't see Hojo as being emotional, especially after playing Dirge of Cerberus. He mocks Lucrecia several times during the flashbacks so... I just can't see Hojo being snuggly with the woman.

Anyways, thank you so much for your feedback!
genus draco >>> dragon eyegenus_draco on January 25th, 2007 08:36 am (UTC)
I'm glad you understood and appreciated it. I always try to make it coherent and reasonable. :\ I can't stand it when people can't tell me why something is wrong or off. So frustrating!

"I think maybe that was due to the fact I was afraid of sudden tense change?"

I agree! I think you were so concerned with not making it disjointed, you accidentally made it just that. Don't feel bad, I do it a lot myself and end up having to go over things many times.

"Also when they try to say he was 'totally bishounen because Sephiroth is so handsome'."

The first thought that came to mind was, "LIES! All lies! D:" I stand by my panicky and denial prone self.

You're very welcome! I hope I helped you out with this. I look forward to seeing more.