The Story of Vincent Valentine Chapter 8
The Candle Burns Too Long
Planetary Year- 1904 --- 2/15 Nibelheim
Lucrecia was happier than she had been yesterday. Her work had been able to relieve her mind of the tension she and Vincent had experienced yesterday. Strangely enough, or so some tiny part of Lucrecia thought, when her mind did wander, it was not towards Vincent, but towards Hojo.
She had seen it as simply Hojo's awareness of what was around him when he'd handed her a drink. There was nothing strange about that. That was what she'd first remembered hearing it: "Hojo is an asshole." Who had said that? Lucrecia couldn't remember... Who would say something like that, though? Why would someone have a problem with the Professor, anyway? Hojo was... He was a great man...
Vincent had the chills. He'd slept like a stone last night. He'd woken up hours later than he usually did, but he didn't care. He felt much better. As he put on the uniform dark suit that the Turks wore, more from habit than anything else, he decided to apologize to Lucrecia. He'd really been jumpy, and hadn't meant to snap at her. Yet... He felt as though something was wrong. There was something in the air, present in the same way that foreboding weather is to a sailor, and danger is to a deer. He just didn't know what to do about it. He shivered, and left his room for the lab. He didn't want to be last. He didn't want to be too late. He would act. Now.
"What is it, Hojo?"
"Nothing! I already told you. I just want to see what you're doing."
"Go away. I can't work with someone over my shoulder like this."
"Fine. Just run all sequences."
"Of course. I'm not an idiot."
"Do you have a problem, Professor?"
"Do you, Hojo?"
There was something in the air, of course. Jenova all but laughed. Vincent had realized that Jenova was around. Jenova loved playing along the nerves of her puppets. Jenova had them all hot and bothered, without realizing it. Their confusion was like a fine wine, their mixed emotions; a sumptuous meal for Jenova to feast on. Now Jenova did laugh. Of course, Hojo did too; and after Hojo's "love potion", Lucrecia laughed right alongside them. Now Jenova would taste something infinitely finer than confusion. She would sup on passion. She bent the Jenova within Lucrecia, transferred by Hojo, towards him once again. Soon, all too soon, Lucrecia would be taken by Hojo, through Jenova. And Jenova's children would be born.
"What is it Vincent?"
"Nothing really, Lucrecia. I just wanted to apologize for yesterday."
"Oh. Well then, apology accepted."
Vincent paused. Lucrecia seemed rather curt today. How odd.
"Is there something else?"
"Er- No, it's just that, well, are you okay, Lucrecia?"
She glanced up from her specimen jar and looked at him. "Of course I am. Why wouldn't I be?"
Vincent scratched the back of his head awkwardly. "Oh, I don't know. You seem to be distracted."
"Well, this vial is fairly dead. This specimen won't live much longer, and I just want to get all I can out of it before it dies."
"Oh. All right then. Sorry to have bothered you."
He would usually have left, without waiting for an answer he didn't expect from Lucrecia. But he didn't want to. He was tired of waiting. He locked the door, and kissed her softly. As that night before, they kissed more, and more. Endlessly... This time, caught in the passion, Vincent took it a step further... And Lucrecia didn't argue.
Vincent had lost the game. His pathetic heart was nothing compared to the indomitable will of Jenova. Love did not come to those who waited. The candle had died, having burned far too long. Vincent's flame was snuffed by Jenova. The lights in Lucrecia's mind, and in her room also went out. When they went back on, she remembered nothing of her sudden feelings for Hojo. Nor of their night together. As always, Jenova won. All competitors were left in the dust to rot.
Jenova had patience. All but infinite patience. Jenova could wait a week, a month, a century, if it was necessary. Jenova had to wait. Jenova would have to wait until her child was born. Then she would win. No one could stop her from rising again, with all her children. Monsters, they called them. They would be punished for this insult. Punished a thousand times over.
Planetary Year- 1904 --- 3/4 Nibelheim
Vincent heard sharp sobs coming from the bathroom. He knocked lightly. "Hello?"
"Vincent!" The sobbing continued.
Vincent burst into the bathroom. Lucrecia was on her knees, crying uncontrollably into her hands. "Lucrecia!" He shot over to her, and put his arm around her. "Are you all right? What's wrong, Lucrecia?"
"Oh Vincent!" The crying stopped only long enough for her to speak, before the tears continued to ripple out of her.
Realizing she was too shook up to help him help her, Vincent gently picked her up, and all but effortlessly carried her to a big, soft chair in the main hall.
After countless tissues, reassurances, and deep breaths, Lucrecia was able to speak. "I-I don't understand it!"
"I don't know why." She buried her head into the cushion for a moment. "I'm with child."
And how Jenova laughed.
You'll have to forgive me if this chapter is a bit awkward. I rarely write anything this "personal." Oh well. Hope you're enjoying the story. It all ends soon, so hang onto your seats!!! --- Leok
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