The Cry of the Planet Chapter 11
Thinking of You
By Edyn Cross
Unlike the trip from Midgar to Costa del Sol, Costa del Sol to Nibelheim seemed to fly by. Vincent tried keeping his mind occupied by thinking about the upcoming job and other various things, but his thoughts always trailed back to her. Beautiful Lucrecia. He had only just met her a few hours ago and he was already fascinated with her. No matter how hard he tried to keep his mind focused on his work, he found it impossible. He knew that he shouldn't be thinking about her, but all he had to do was remember Lucrecia saying his name and his heart sank to his stomach.
The only thing that Vincent was particularly worried about was Professor Hojo. Vincent has had past experiences with men like that and has learned that they can become very dangerous to themselves and those around them. They lay back in the shadows doing nothing but waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. That was part of the reason why Vincent didn't like Hojo, but the main reason was that Hojo was clearly interested in Lucrecia and VERY possessive of her even though it was obvious that they weren't a couple. Talking to Lucrecia with Hojo around was like trying to take a bone from a rabid dog.
While Vincent was thinking about ways to get around Hojo to be able to speak to Lucrecia alone, he almost laughed out loud. He couldn't believe that he was worrying about having to go through that scrawny short man with the greasy hair to see Lucrecia. Vincent chuckled to himself thinking Hojo won't be a problem at all, and chuckled even louder thinking about how foolish he's acting over a scientist.
The three scientists didn't talk to each other very much for the rest of the trip. Gast had buried himself in a pile of documents he produced from his briefcase, Lucrecia had brought a novel along for the ride, and Hojo seemed to be doing nothing but staring at a blank space on the wall.
Noticing the connection between Vincent and Lucrecia when they met reminded Gast of the first time he saw the picture of the Cetra, Iflana. After the Jenova Project is completed, Gast decided he would spend his time trying to locate Iflana only so he could meet her just once. Just once would be enough. Gast knew that President Shinra would approve of the new project with Iflana as a live, walking and talking Cetra is all that the President needed to complete his own project. The problem with the current Ancient specimen is that Gast feared that it isn't alive enough to serve the President's needs. Although he would never say it out loud, the President's personal agenda isn't at the top of Gast's list. Not even close.
Gast's need to meet the Cetra, Iflana, was growing more and more each day, and seeing the electricity between that Turk and Lucrecia today wasn't helping either. He moved the picture of the Ancient from his file folder to his inside lab coat pocket. He knew that he should keep Iflana a secret from Lucrecia and Hojo until the current Jenova Project is complete. There was no need to occupy their minds on something else when the current item requires their full capabilities. That, and Gast had been thinking about Iflana enough for all three of them.
Gast looked a few chairs down and saw Lucrecia with her hands on the table and her chin resting on them like a bored student in class. Her eyes were lowered and it looked like she was closely studying the contents of a book, but Gast noticed with amusement that she was on the same page that she was thirty minutes ago. He supposed she was thinking about her encounter with Vincent judging by the dreamy look in her eyes. Gast was beginning to like Vincent, too now that he thought about it. Despite the Turk's obvious dislike of his current assignment, he had been nothing but polite and courteous to the three of them and Gast felt that meant a lot. Especially coming from a Turk.
Professor Gast smiled to himself wondering what was to become of Vincent and Lucrecia and his Iflana.
Lucrecia sighed as she caught herself reading the same paragraph in her book for about the sixth time now. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't keep herself focused on her reading. She knew she felt something when she met that Turk today, but she couldn't decide whether she liked it or not. What she felt was different than what she felt for Professor Hojo. With Hojo, she felt like she had a common interest. They both shared the complete love for science and everything else was secondary. Everything. This was different. Vincent was different.
Lucrecia went back to trying to read, her eyes went over the same paragraph for the seventh time now, but she didn't notice it as the novel already lost her attention. Vincent Valentine. The name echoed in her head and all she could picture the Turk looking into her eyes and handing her coat to her. His jet-black hair, pale skin and dark blue eyes mirrored in her thoughts. She finally came to the realization that the Turk was pretty much the sexiest man she had ever seen in her life. That Turk was no Professor Hojo.
She had spent her entire life around men like Hojo and Gast. All the talk about science always made her feel like one of the guys when she was in the laboratory. They were men she could relate with. Always with their noses in some document or another and not spending much time on appearances. But, when she thought of doing things with Vincent, she thought of spending a night on the town in Midgar. A nice dinner, quiet talking, and enjoying a play at Midgar's extravagant playhouse. Things she had never done not even while in school. The fact that Vincent was a Turk didn't bother her at all in fact it just made him seem that much more mysterious.
Her thoughts of Vincent were cut short when her eyes made their way to where Hojo was sitting. He hadn't spoken to her since they came in from Costa del Sol and he hadn't let his eyes meet hers either. She got the feeling Hojo was mad at her for some reason, but she couldn't think of anything she had done that could have upset him. She supposed it was her speaking to Vincent, as they obviously don't like each other very much. Lucrecia actually found it quite flattering that Hojo would get jealous of her talking to Vincent because she had never noticed Hojo expressing interest in ANY woman, let alone her. Her thoughts of Vincent were farther back now in her mind when she thought that a man like him would never have any interest in a plain woman like herself. He probably had half a dozen women waiting in Midgar for his return, all standing in line. Those Turks were all the same anyway, vocal advocates of the one night stand.
Lucrecia looked at Hojo again, smiling a bit to herself thinking she may have more in common with him anyway. After all, there is Hojo's Experiment to worry about and drooling over some Turk was the last thing she should be doing and if Professor Hojo found out, he would be furious. She smiled wider now thinking that she had pushed what remaining thoughts she had of Vincent out of her head and returned to her novel. After reading that same paragraph for the eighth time now, she heard Vincent say her name in her head and she resumed her school girl day dreaming.
That little whore. After what Hojo witnessed today, he wasn't so sure that Lucrecia would be the right host Specimen for the Experiment. She had just one look at that Turk and she was about ready to give herself to him. He just knew it. Hojo was going to need his Experiment to get started soon before that little tramp ruined it all for a pathetic Turk.
Until the start of the Experiment, Hojo was going to have to make sure that Lucrecia doesn't do anything stupid. Anything stupid with a certain Turk that is. Hojo knew that for the time being, he was going to have to do more than just tolerate the girl, but once her participation in the Experiment is complete, she will no longer be needed. Until then, he needed to play nice, no matter how much he disgusts himself in the process.
Hojo knew that Lucrecia was fond of him, whether it was his mind or God forbid his body, he was going to take full advantage of that fondness. He believed that fondness was the only contributing factor in Lucrecia's participation and even though she said that she would do as he requested, he wondered what would happen when the time came for her to fulfill her duty.
He looked over at Lucrecia and saw her still reading her novel. Hojo stood up from his chair, stretched his thin bones, walked over to Lucrecia with his hands behind his back and sat in the chair next to her. He watched as he looked up at him, surprised to see him smiling his queer smile, and took her hand.
Lucrecia raised her eyebrows looking at Hojo.
"Lucrecia," He spoke softy. "When we get to Nibelheim in a few hours, would you care to tour the town with me tonight? The crew will be moving all of our luggage and equipment and Gast will be supervising the laboratory setup, which means it will just be you and me."
Lucrecia blushed, Flattered by Hojo's seemingly growing interest in her. "S Sure! I would love to."
"Excellent," Hojo hissed. "Now tell me about what you're reading there."
Gast frowned watching the interaction between them and didn't like what Hojo was doing one bit. This is the first time Gast has seen Hojo show anything other than annoyance and frustration with Lucrecia and it so conveniently happened after Lucrecia displayed more than a liking for the Turk. Lucrecia had been with Gast since she got out of school and he would openly admit that she is like a daughter to him. He just didn't want to see her get hurt just because Hojo wanted to rub Lucrecia in Vincent's face.
He decided that he may need to keep a close eye on them, not just for Lucrecia's sake, but Vincent's too.
Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic