Chapter Fifteen: Mother Knows Best.
Minerva: Minerva stirred from where she dwelled in the Lifestream. Something was amiss. Seeking out her chosen one, the auburn-haired poet, she watched as the woman and the silverette approached him. 'Beware, my child,' she said to him in his mind. 'Their tongues drip with lies.'
*Sephiroth: Seeing Genesis stir and come /somewhat/ to his senses, Sephiroth made the man sit upright by pulling the auburn hair with his hand. "Genesis." The man repeated as he shook him once more. "You need to tell us where...'Minerva' is, where Angeal is....where those humanoids are located. Where are you operating from?"
Genesis: Genesis whispered a response to Minerva, "I know, dearest~..." He re-focused his eyes on Sephiroth, and barely registered that there was a woman not too far from behind him. Not paying much attention to Sephiroth, the rusted poet sighed and realized...wait, where was he? He was bounded--his rage, temper, it clicked. "Release me...!" he hissed, in an urgent tone.
Tifa: Tifa listened intently....dearest? Who was Genesis talking to? This Minerva? She was more than a little confused but remained in place, part of her afraid of just what Sephiroth would do to Genesis to get this information.
*Sephiroth: Sephiroth shook his head, the auburn was /still/ as adamant....What made him fight so? He was obviously talking to....that manipulative bitch. The silverette tightened his grip on Genesis's hair, and struck Genesis's cheek with excessive force--with his free hand. "Cooperate with me." Sephiroth brought his face closer to the auburn's, to intimidate him. "Where are you located? Eastbound, where?"
Minerva: 'Do not tell them anything.'
Genesis: As soon as he was struck, the auburn's ear heard nothing but a reverberating /zing/--the power of Sephiroth's palm was intense. Letting out a low growl, the auburn mustered up the strength to fight back, and began pulling himself out of the chains again. Simply refusing to look Sephiroth in the eye, completely lost--hearing Minerva speak again...."I won't, don't worry." Genesis lurched inwards and head butted Sephiroth. "No!"
*Sephiroth: Sephiroth pulling himself back lightly, and healing himself almost instantly--tucked his hand just beneath Genesis's upper arm, and lurched him violently to the side, so that he hit the ground on his bare side. The auburns ribs rattling, Sephiroth stood and pressed his boot roughly onto the poet's navel. "Stop talking to her, she is lying to you..." He spoke tensely, completely irritated by the unsuccessfulness of the situation.
Minerva: 'Lies!' Minerva screamed, filling the auburn's hair with her rage. 'He is the decietful one! He will disrupt the blance, he will unravel the fabric of the world!'
Minerva: (*mind, not hair. Soooo tired.)
Genesis: The cinnamon haired body landed on his side in pain, soon flattened and mauled by Sephiroth's boot. "Nnh!" Genesis let out a rather random whimper, his brain & mind searing with mental anguish. Her screams reverberated through his eardrums, it felt as if blood were beginning to seep through the deceitful communication...."Aghhhh !" Genesis writhed in his chains, wanting to cup each side of his head and hold it together...he snapped his head sideways, pressing it onto the cold, concrete floor in effort to apply pressure to his ear, to make it stop,...cold sweat began enveloping his cold, tired body. "I know, I know...!" He shut his eyes rather tightly, and....
Tifa: That was it.....no matter how much Genesis had hurt them, no one deserved this....Tifa took a step froward and grabbed Sephiroth's shoulder, pulling back from Genesis with probably more force than necessary, "Stop it!" she yelled "Can't you tell this is not working and it's definitely not helping!" She stepped between the two, craning her neck to look up at Sephiroth, "Leave, now." she glared, practically daring him to argue with her. "You are not going to keep hurting him like this, you've done enough damage already...." she hissed, rage bubbling inside her.
*Cloud: Cloud nodded as he heard Zack speak...he remembered, he'd never bring himself to forget something like that. The blonde went ahead and let the black haired man leave the vicinity of his room, and Cloud...Cloud took a seat on the floor, his back leaning against the bed. "We just need a little time..." he sighed to himself, letting his mind calm from the mental turmoil.
*Sephiroth: Sephiroth, a bit unnerved by Genesis's scream and Tifa's too--stood back in silence. "The only true damage is being wrought by Jenova. You don't understand. She is posing as Minerva and deceiving Genesis!" Frustrated, as rare as it was--Sephiroth lurched at Genesis again, completely livid at Jenova for utilizing his friend in such a horrid manner. He kicked at Genesis's side, and then his clavicle. "Genesis, talk to ME."
Minerva: 'Insolent wretch!' the Goddess cried. 'You dare compare me to that rotting alien carcass?! Listen well, Genesis. I have blessed you with many gifts. If you refuse to obey my orders, they will all turn against you! THis man is lying to you to secure his own second chance at life! He must not be allowed to live!'
Tifa: Tifa utilized her full strangth and pushed Sephiroth fully away from Genesis "STOP!" she yelled as she pushed him against the wall of the garage, "You want him to listen to you but you're beating him up, that has got to be the worst way to build trust I have ever seen!" she was no longer holding back, her voice growing in volume. "Now leave before you end up killing him!" she stepped away and pointed towards the door, blocking the path to Genesis with her body.
Zack: His slow and heavy movements down the stairs were obvious as his mind was reeling in slow motions and gestures. When he reached the base of the stairs, he headed towards the lounge chair, a landmark in his mind so to speak, considering it was indeed where he had first encountered Cloud since his awakening. There wasn't much else he could do right now and his fatigue was steadily draining him of his lifeforce. So with a heavy body, Zack fell backwards against the soft pillowing of the furniture piece, remaining in an upright sitting position. His eyes almost immediately, as if right on a set schedule, began to force themselves closed, opening widely just once when he heard muffled and barely audible yelling coming from...outside? He wasn't sure. And his body wasn't willing to let him find out, that emotional encounter with Tifa and Cloud had really taken a lot out of him it seemed, and the last thing he could do before blackness engulfed him was curse himself for this lack of endurance he had found himself burdened with.
Genesis: Genesis widened his eyes in sheer discomfort, and sputtered out a few coughs. "East, Sephiroth, ease!" Suddenly, Minerva screamed yet again--and the auburn burned with pain. "Mm-Minnerva." So much noise, in his head...so much noise, outside his head...screaming. The voices charred and mixed within his drums, Minerva's rage and fury searing his body and mind both. He wouldn't deceive her, he couldnt let the all powerful Goddess down--she was in pain, poor...her, he had to help her, he couldnt fathom losing the only real being he had left...Wearily, Genesis let out a low, pained sentence: "I'll kill you Sephiroth.." He mumbled it as Tifa confronted him, not really understanding what was going on in the physical world...
Minerva: 'Choose...'the Goddess whispered, a deadly ultimatum in a soothing voice. With that, she withdrew from Genesis, left him to decide his own fate. She had to leave, and prepare for the worst.
*Sephiroth: Sephiroth would have reflexively pushed Tifa back by letting his palm meet her right clavicle--but the woman stepped aside herself in a matter of moments. Kill him...kill him..."I don't plan on killing him. That would be the last thing I want." Sephiroth softened in demeanor and felt a bit broken..when he heard Genesis say the exact opposite of what he just stated. He let his eyes land on the quivering cinnamon, and flicked his eyes back at Tifa. "Do what you must, but don't let him go." 'I can't lose him again..' Sephiroth sighed lightly...and took a step back. He loathed the situation that he was in, with their friends...
Tifa: Tifa nodded curtly at the man before stepping further away and looking towards Genesis....he looked so broken. She kneeled next to the man and reached out, taking him by the shoulders and gently pulling him into an upright position against the wall. She looked him over, examining his injuries, some of them reopened and bleeding anew. She stood and went to the med kit that was kept in the garage, bringing it over and pulling out the basic Cure materia and casting a couple times before going about cleaning the blood off of him with a rag, dampened with a small amount of rubbing alchohol, remaining silent as she did so, eyebrows knit in concentration.
Genesis: Genesis obliviously refused to hold eye contact with anyone, and winced when he was heaved upright, his body aching copiously. "I already chose, dearest..." the auburn spoke in a rather defeated, broken voice...He was absolutely nothing like his old self--his voice was usually filled with charm, confidence...now he had none of that. The poetry and literature he dearly loved and cherished, hadn't been graced with the touch of his lips for years. Now, he quoted blindly--desparate to cling onto all he thought he had left. The Goddess and Loveless. "Infinite in mystery....is the Gift..." Genesis blinked profusely as Tifa applied alcohol and rubbed over his wounds. Feeling a little better thanks to the cures, the auburn paused in thought...letting his lips quiver slightly from the sudden feel of coldness around him. He was cold...he was very cold.
*Sephiroth: Sephiroth decided to stand back and lean against the wall, keeping an eye out for Tifa just in case anything happened. He folded his arms over his chest, and was pleased that Tifa knew not to fully cure him...there was absolutely no telling of what the auburn'd do, especially in this sort of mental state. . .and his normal self, Sephiroth sighed slightly, Genesis's normal self was already spontaneous as it was. The silverette just didn't see the fiery passion bubble within the other anymore. Tifa...seemed so caring, even though the man had nearly killed her a couple times. She had a warm heart, and he didn't understand why she would go about and help him anyway. Perhaps it was just common human nature?
Tifa: Tifa realized the man spoke to Jenova.....Minerva.....t he one who was polluting his mind. Angeal had told her about how Genesis was before, a poet. She looked at him when he spoke again, it sounded familiar. He shivered....he'd lost too much blood, and being half naked in the unheated garage wasn't helping. She set the rag down and went to the small sink on the adjecent wall, filling a cup with water and bringing it back to him, holding it to his lips to drink. She watched him carefully for any struggle, but he just seemed too tired....too broken to....his state cried out to her caring instincts, pushing the things he'd done away for the moment. "What it that you're saying? It sounds familiar...." she said quietly, feeling the skin of him shoulder....ice cold.....he needed covering soon or his body would go into shock.
Genesis: Genesis didn't react to the cup nearing his lips, and let the water slide down his throat anyhow. He coughed lightly, and heard a gentle murmur before him. Who was that? The voice sounded familiar. Trying to focus on the image n front of him, he realized that it was that one woman...he had seen a few times before. "...Pride is...lost. Spare the sands...the seas, the skies. Light and dark spread afar..." It was as if someone were trying to play a broken guitar, completely out of tune....The auburn was mixing up his versus, not really remembering the order or the rest of it anymore. The woman's hand. Was warm. He liked the heat, and longed for further comfort...His eyes now rested on the point of impact....those nimble fingers and /that/ delicate hand.
*Sephiroth: Sephiroth remained quiet where he stood, and decided that he would not interfere until asked. Or until something major happened....he would've informed Tifa of the play he was reciting, but figured now was not the right time to do so, let alone speak. She seemed tense in demeanor, and rather shaken herself. She just didn't understand how Genesis and Sephiroth worked with one another...Yes, he needed Angeal...but wondered.
Tifa: "Loveless......Angeal said you loved that play...." she mumbled, recognizing the broken verses. Tifa looked around the garage, searching....there, resting next to a pile of bike parts, a flanel blanket. She left the man's side once again and took the blanket, shaking it out before leaning over him and wrapping it around his shoulders and holding the edges together at his collar. He needed to be shown some form of caring....comfort....som ething more than what she had been told he had lived with for almost a decade. "He really cares about you....talks about you a lot." She placed her hands on his shoulders now, feeling the slight shiver of his body, rubbing him lightly through the blanket. "Misses you....."
Genesis: Genesis was saddened when the kind hand left him, but soon felt great relief when a warm blanket coated his rather deprived skin. Despite the fact that chilled chains were still kissing and caressing his body. Out of the ticker of words that trailed out of the porcelain lips before him, one word, name, in particular came out extremely more vivid than the others. Angeal. Genesis at out another suppressed shiver escape the core of his body..."Angeal....Angeal is dead." The auburn was too blind to realize what was true, what was right in front of him. His heart ached, and yearned for his friend. Throughout the years he...lived without all. He never had another c lose friend. Never. All he wanted now was to please what he had left, the Goddess. And the Goddess was /always/ right...right? "He's dead..." Genesis trailed, shifting his hesitant gaze to the floor.
Tifa: Tifa held onto the man, continuing to rub at his shoulders.....what was he talking about, Angeal had spoken with him, cared for him when Sephiroth had brought him back here wounded. "Angeal...he's not dead....don't you remember. He's back from the lifestream....if he wasn't, I wouldn't even know who he was, but I do....he healed you here before....remember?" she spoke gently, but with logic, keeping her voice soft. He had been thoroughly messed with by Jenova....his mind invaded....the sight pained her to look at, but she kept her eyes on him, wishing for him to see the truth of her words in them.
Genesis: Genesis, weary of lies and speaking, began shrugging one of his shoulders to get her hand off. All she said, that may have been true, but...he still felt the same. Angeal, Sephiroth. They weren't truly here, they weren't meant to be, The former friends needed to go back where they belonged, the life stream. Genesis was a hero in his own eyes, saving the planet in his own way by...keeping the worldly balance. He'd send them back no matter what, even if it costed him his life. "They should be dead. . ." And they needed to stay that way. Feeling anger resurface within his stone cold body, Genesis clenched his teeth--Minerva. He couldn't let her down, he wouldn't give in to these liars, villains. "Release meeeee." He seethed calmly, disillusionment still in his eyes as he looked up at her.
Tifa: Tifa sighed....he was so convinced by Jenova....by Minerva that they were lying.....how was she supposed to convince him otherwise...whatever she did, she had to try something. She felt his shrugging her hand off and she released with that one, but moved it to gently hold his chin, keeping him looking at her with hisclouded...confused looking eyes. "I can't do that. I can't let you go back to hurting the people I care about. I know they should be dead, trust me, I helped kill one of them before, but they're back for a reason. The planet is returning it's fallen heroes to life to help defend herself." She kept her voice steady, but there was conviction, feeling in her words, "She can't defend herself against Jenova so she's brought people back to help in the fight. Why else would those who have returned be the focus of the attack. Jenova knows they have returned to destroy her and wants them.....wants us all gone, out of the way." She needed to find a way to convince him that the voice in his head wasn't his goddess....she wracked her brain....what could she say.... "She's hurting you, I can see it......why would your goddess hurt you so much?"
Genesis: Genesis shook his head, completely annoyed and overwhelmed with her words. He /knew/ that the planet regurgitated it's heroes for a reason. He just didn't want to....he needed to..."Minerva knows best...." he trailed, shifting his eyes from Tifa to Sephiroth and furrowing them. "Leave me alone." He said sternly, bending his knees and curling up into himself a bit more - doing his best not to let the blanket fall. He wanted to be alone, more than anything.....the auburn needed to think, needed time...alone. If they didn't let /him/ go, he'd make /them/ go. Curling his hands into fists, Genesis realized that he would go ahead and try to escape, break the chains...once he had a little more life and energy in him, he'd bend them to his will and ...leave.
Tifa: Tifa could see him changing....something in him. He was obviously conflicted, and to be honest, that meant she had made /some/ progress.....he was thinking about what she'd said at least and no longer begging to be released. She moved her hands back to the blanket, pulling it snuggly around his shoulders once more. "You're right....Minerva does know best....but the one you're referring to isn't her, just an illusion meant to hurt and manipulate you." She stood up from him "Listen for the real Minerva...." she stepped away from him and looked back at Sephiroth, heading to the garage door and nodding her head for him to go first.
Genesis: Genesis turned his head away from them both as soon as Tifa made her final remarks. He was stubborn, and he didn't want to listen to the others...He just didn't know. Like his earlier thoughts, he just wanted to be alone. And think.
*Sephiroth: Sephiroth glanced from Tifa to Genesis...and then back to Tifa. "I can't leave him like that. He'll get out of it...once he's had some rest." Sephiroth didn't make the slightest movement, and stayed still in position against the wall beside the door. "Go ahead and finish preparing dinner. I'll be here."
Tifa: Tifa glanced from Sephiroth to Genesis, "I don't trust you alone with him...." she spoke bluntly, she also wanted to give the red head time to think without the silverette hovering around, seeing as all he had managed to do was aggravate him. "....look, you come with me and we'll come back and check on him within half an hour. He's not going to regain enough strength to escape in that amount of time." she spoke very quietly, just loud enough for Sephiroth to hear.
*Sephiroth: Sephiroth let his eyebrows move slightly, showing off his irritation in the slightest way. Who was she to tell him how to handle Genesis, one of his best friends? One that he knew much better of than she did. He'd known the auburn for quite a long time, and this was simply how they both worked with one another. "I can do whatever I want with him. He's none of your concern." It was cruel, true, and blunt--all in one. Sephiroth kept his emerald optics fixed on Tifa's maroon ones--"But I'll comply. For now." The silverette went on ahead and exited the garage--soon re-entering the living room. He didn't glance back once at Tifa, and proceeded to the kitchen and leaned against the counter, waiting for further instruction to finish prepping dinner.
Tifa: Tifa let Sephiroth leave, shutting the garege door behind her as she followed, looking back once more at Genesis, still curled up in the blanket, before heading back into the house. She knew she had irritated Sephiroth and honestly didn't care, the way he treated Genesis was cruel and uncalled for. She went into the kitchen, noticing that the turks had left, probably on business, their personal problems taking too long for their taste. She turned her attention back to Sephiroth, "You can;t do whatever you want with him, he is still a person, a close friend of yours from what I recall and if you cared for him at all you would treat him as such." She paused, opening a few boxes of pasta and throwing them in the boiling water. "And is very much my concern....he's being held prisoner in /my/ garage and has threatened the lives of the people /I/ care about. In no possible universe is he /not/ my concern." she stated as she moved around Sephiroth, putting the biscuits in the oven.
*Sephiroth: Sephiroth continued listening to her speak, it felt oddly familiar....It was like she was a sort of female version of Angeal. Lecturing him about Genesis, and consoling them both during the aftermaths of their fights...The way she just /cared/. It truly did seem like she was acting like Angeal at that very moment. "This is how we've always been. For the most part." Sephiroth's demeanor remained apathetic as Tifa went about making the food. "He may be in /your/ garage, and he may have threatened the people /you/ care about--but that doesn't make him someone for you to automatically care for. It actually proves the exact opposite. I don't understand your actions. I thought you strongly disliked him."
Tifa: Tifa leaned against the counter across from Sephiroth after setting a timer for the biscuits, trying to figure out how to explain why she was caring for him. "I can tell the difference between someonecontrolled and someone acting of their own free will. He had the same look in his eye that you did before the lifestream cleansed you, only difference is that there's something else there. I can see the person Angeal has told me about still in there." She took a breath and turned away, going to stir the pasta, "I may not like him, but that doesn't mean I'm going to leave him to suffer at the hands of Jenova, or at the hands of you." she added, shaking her head a bit. "Now I know why Angeal was so necessary with you two...."
*Sephiroth: Sephiroth let out a slow, and steady sigh from the words that Tifa managed to sew together so easily. "That's...interesting." Sephiroth glanced at her, seeing that she had just put on the timer for the biscuits. "Because I don't see him there at all. Just a few fragments of his original character and personality. He is lost, and the only way I can get him back is by finding Angeal and defeating Jenova." Sephiroth paused for a moment, watching her go over to the stove and stir the pasta....a few moments later, he commented--"You're just like Angeal...I admire the fact that you care for....humanity." Humanity in general, it seemed. Just as he had thought...
Tifa: "Thing is, if you take those fragments and put them together, draw them out, there's a chance he'll come to his senses on his own." she stopped her movement at his next words....did he just...compliment her? "Just like Angeal? Coming from you....I guess that really means something....and caring for humanity, you should try it sometime." She leaned against the counter behind her, just a few more minutes and dinner would be ready.
*Sephiroth: Sephiroth took in her words calmly, he was always one to absorb information, opinions....it was one of his strategies of some sort. He learned from different people's personalities, reasonings, everything..."Genesis was never one to cooperate with once angered....or mental, like he is now." It pained Sephiroth to say it, but he never showed it. "I do, but in my own way. Not as effective as yours or Angeal's. I'm not used to it." The man was blunt, and came straight to the point whenever he could. "I just hope that you are correct....and maybe he will find himself again."
Tifa: Tifa sighed quietly, the dynamic between the two was complicated to say the least and it had her seriously wondering how to handle /both/ of them. "It's worth a try, keeping him somewhat calm might let him think without his fight or flight reaction setting in.....let us get through past the madness." Tifa thought about her own words.....she was really trying to help the man who had....no, she wasn't going to think about it, it made things that much more complitated and frustrating, He's someone in need and that was all that mattered at this very moment. She had a chance......she just had to step lightly.....and maybe keep Sephiroth out of it for the time being. The timer beeped, pulling her out of her thoughts as she automatically went for her oven mits, proceeding to remove the casserole and the biscuits out of the oven....food, Genesis was probably hungry.
*Sephiroth: Sephiroth noticed Zack stir on the sofa in the living room....and let out a gentle sigh. "I suppose. I'll wake Zack." The silverette went over to the couch, and shook the male by the shoulder. "Zack, get up." He removed his hand from the other, and glanced back at Tifa who still stood against the counter in the kitchen. "Food for Genesis? And Cloud?"
Zack: His eyes blinked repeatedly as they worked to clear themselves, Zack let out a soft hum as his thoughts became coherent slowly. Sephiroth's voice broke through his daze impatiently. He pulled himself once again into an upright position which he must have lost when he dozed off. The dark haired man blinked a few more times, his wide blue eyes darting around the room carefully as he tried to comprehend the words around him.
Tifa: Tifa was in the middle of draining the pasta when Sephiroth asked about the others, "Yeah, I'll go get Cloud, then bring Genesis some." she said, setting the pot down and moving the full strainer next to the casserole dish on a plate to catch the excess water. She looked over to the other two for a sec before heading upstairs to get Cloud, assuming he was still in the bedroom. She opened the door quietly "Cloud?"
*Cloud: Cloud was still slumped up against the side of his bed on the floor. As soon as the door creaked open, he glanced over almost immediately--but relaxed as soon as he realized it was Tifa. "Yeah?" He scratched the back of his head gently, eyes still looking at her rather wearily.
*Sephiroth: Sephiroth nodded at Tifa and went ahead and let her leave. It was best she take care of Cloud - besides him or Zack....because of their recent returns. It was all happening so quickly, so abruptly..."Sephiroth glanced back down at Zack once more, and shook his the black haired male on the head once more after seeing him sit up. "Zack. Dinner..."
Tifa: She entered the room and stood next to where he was sitting, "Dinner's ready, wanna come downstairs?" she held out her hand, "Or should I bring some up for you?" she tilted her head, her demeanor much more relaxed than before, Cloud had that effect on her.
*Cloud: Cloud nodded, "I'll come down," he stood up after he completed his sentence, and continued wearing his rather seemingly content face. Advancing towards the also seemingly relaxed woman, Cloud raised an eyebrow. "You okay?" He placed a hand on her shoulder as he now stood beside her, facing the door. "Come on." He smiled faintly.
Zack: "Oh...sure. Thanks." he stated with insincere gratitude. After some brief time to think, he was less than impressed at the others intrusion on his and Cloud's personal problems. Despite the fact Sephiroth had never been one for subtle gestures when it came to social interaction. He stood from the couch and stretched his arms above his head, feeling his muscles protest as he did. The dark haired man walked past Sephiroth towards the dining room, without anymore regard for him.
Tifa: Tifa smiled gently at him, "I'm fine, you?" she asked, squeezing the hand on her shoulder lightly before turning and walking towards the door with him. He seemed a lot better than when she'd left before, a lot less on edge, so they must have had some sort of conversation....somethin g of an understanding and that made her extremely relieved.
*Sephiroth: Sephiroth's eyes never left the other's as he replied, stood, and stretched. If anything, he was pleased at the directness of Zack's actions. Eat. That was the main point. And it was time for the very much so - long awaited dinner. He went ahead and made his way to the kitchen table as well, and continued waiting around for Tifa to return with Cloud. . .Sephiroth purposefully ignored the obvious tension between him and Zack. And Cloud, when he'd come down. . .
*Cloud: Cloud nodded, "I'll be fine, in time." The blonde let his hand slide off of her as she proceeded to the door, and followed after, "Anything been goin' on downstairs?" He asked casually.
Tifa: Tifa entered the hallway and proceeded to the stairs, pausing for a second at Cloud's question, quickly pondering how to word what had been going on. "Just the usual....I spoke with Genesis.....he's still crazy, but I think I might have gotten through to something of the real him." she said, voice carrying the same casual tone as the blonde's as they stepped onto the ground floor.
*Cloud: Cloud continued to follow Tifa and listened thoughtfully. "You talked to him? Did he say anything?" He was concerned for how it all went, but Tifa looked fine...So Genesis...was still crazy? The blonde wondered if that man would ever get a grip and just be himself again...whatever 'himself' exactly was, that is. Cloud stood on the ground floor and would only proceed into the living room and kitchen until Tifa did.
Zack: Zack stood behind a chair for a moment when he reached the dining table, glancing once back at the Silverette with unmasked scorn before pulling out a chair and sitting. He may have been reacting a little sensitively though and he was aware of that, his hard expression faltered and he looked away from the other. The air was becoming tenser with each passing second.
Tifa: Tifa sighed, "He's being influenced...controlled by Jenova who is masquerading as his goddess, Minerva." She said, remaining at the bottom of the stairs. "He thinks....I'm not sure what exactly he thinks....but it makes him want to kill the people who have returned." she looked a little weary at this, but shook it off, "He did start reciting his favorite play, so, I know the real Genesis is still in there.....it's just getting to him that's the problem." she sighed again before turning and heading towards the kitchen.
*Cloud: Cloud furrowed his eyebrows in thought as the information she gave sounded completely outdated and over spoken judging by her sighs and body language. He followed her into the kitchen after understanding the whole situation, and almost immediately recognized Sephiroth--who now stood near Zack. Doing his best to ignore him, Cloud approached the kitchen counter and begin shuffling some food into his plate. "Zack, come on. You need this more than any of us do."
Zack: "Right, right. I was just waiting for all of you!" He beamed up at the blond, despite the evident annoyance playing on his features after his previous thoughts. "I'm not that hungry though, I'll grab a plate in a minute, I just need a moment to wake up." Zack laughed awkwardly and patted his stomach, in an absolutely pathetic attempt to make said blond smile.
*Sephiroth: Sephiroth noticed the evasive attitudes of almost everyone in the room. He went ahead and waited for the others to eat--and then he'd go ahead and help himself. The silverette needed to replenish his energy from the day's earlier exertions, and knew well that Zack needed to eat the most as well...the way that blonde obviously ignored him, it was silly. He glanced at Tifa, and wondered what was on her mind currently--aside Genesis and his actions.
*Cloud: Cloud sighed gently at Zack's response, and went ahead and continued helping himself. Glancing at the table, Cloud noticed Sephiroth was just nearby....so went ahead and made his way to the living room sofa. It was best to stay away from him, he didn't even want to do so much as just look at the man...the way he had been treated by him so far during his new life in this world--was not pleasurable in any way. It irritated him, and he just couldnt handle it at a time like this. Cloud also figured that Zack couldn't either. Now, taking a seat on the sofa, the blonde ate quietly and kept a casual eye on Zack and Tifa - making sure he'd know if they'd eat or not.
Tifa: Tifa smiled at Zack before pulling out enought plates for everyone and setting them on the counter, grabbing one for herself and dishing up some pasta, chicken-broccolli-cheese casserole spread over it, and grabbing a still warm biscuit from the tray. She noticed Cloud avoiding Sephiroth and wasn't the least bit surprised, it seemed no one in the room, including herself, was too pleased with him....to say the least. She set her food down on the dining room table after debating sitting with Cloud, but deciding it might be easier to sneak off to the garage at the first chance....without Sephiroth, if she stayed away from the blonde.
Zack: The young man sighed and rested his head in his hand, he would wait until the others had cleared the area a little, his legs were still tired and he wasn't at all hungry, plus he was more concerned with making sure Cloud was alright but...why was he sitting on the sofa? Was it him? The thought, though he was aware was irrational, also saddened the man. It was more than likely Sephiroth, if Cloud was still anything like Zack personality wise, and the man just standing there only added more discomfort to an already tense situation.
Genesis: Genesis watched the pair conversate and exit the garage. Now was his chance....to escape. Struggling and tugging at the chains, Genesis realized he was beyond tired. He needed a real bed, real warmth, real food and drink. Worn out, he sighed, his wounds paining him still. "Ho!....Goddess..." He furrowed his eyebrows in discomfort, and frowned tiredly. "Where are you, true Goddess..." he was beginning to doubt everything all over again...why was he being tormented so? That woman...she had a point, didn't she? Minerva...
Minerva: Minerva heard the auburn-haired poet call out to her, disturbed by his words. 'True Goddess'. Had he given in to their lies? Rushing from her plane of existence, her realm within the Lifestream, Minerva eased into Genesis' mind. "What is it, my child?"
Genesis: "I don't understand what they are saying...How could you lie to me? You wouldn't, are they really that deceived?" The auburn asked in pure confusion, desperate for truth and understanding now that the other two hindrances were out of the vicinity...
Minerva: "They are not deceived, my child. They are the deceivers," Minerva replied. 'I would never lie to you. I am the true Minerva. Jenova is no more, and now her vassals serve me.'
Genesis: Genesis furrowed his eyebrows in thought, and rubbed his cheek onto his shoulder in order to scratch it a bit. "...And are you sure of this...?"
Minerva: 'Have I ever lied to you before?' As shesaid this in her soothing, motherly voice, a figure appeared in front of Genesis, clad in green and white.
Genesis: Genesis seemed a bit baffled as he lay his now widened eyes at the figure before him..."..M..Mother." He couldnt understand....she was seething one moment, and then calm and kind the next. Was she testing him? Unable to speak, Genesis just watched....a bit hypnotized.
Minerva: Minerva opened her arms to Genesis, smiling and bathing him in her divine beauty. A single white wing emerged from her shoulder. "My child," she said, "Why do you doubt me so?"
Genesis: Genesis let out a hesitant, gentle sigh, having trouble remembering how to breathe. Something /clicked/ in his head...Minerva didn't have a white wing. She was a Goddess with brilliant armor, blonde excellent hair and a porcelain face. Something was amiss..."My Goddess Minerva does not bear a wing." The auburn was soon reminded of Angeal....he had a wing like that. White and pure~Oh where /had/ Angeal gone? ...But he was one from the Lifestream..."M..Minerva ..." Genesis remained transfixed on her, unable to move at all...and that woman earlier, what was she saying about her? Jenova...But Jenova was dead? How was that possible...Genesis ripped his gaze from the 'Goddess' and looked downward, lost in thought.
Minerva: "Minerva bears what she wishes, when she wishes. Once more, you doubt me, Genesis." Reaching out, Minerva put her hand under the auburn's chin, gently raising his head and forcing him to look at her. "Have you let these traitors poison your mind?"
Genesis: With a clouded thought process, Genesis couldn't understand very well. Minerva the Goddess, it just made no sense for her to....why did she need alien matter to help her eliminate the people disrupting the lifestream? Before he knew it, a spark touched his chin and he was soon lost within her eyes again--drinking in her very being. "Why do you need....why are your Gifts aiding you? That is not befitting of a Goddess..." Maybe he /had/ been poisoned. Not by the others...but her, the very woman before him.
Minerva: Anger sparked behing the luminous eyes of the Goddess. How dare he, a mortal, question her ways? "And what is befitting of a Goddess, Genesis?" she asked, her voice quivering with rage. The insolence! "Am I not entitled to use whatever I wish to meet my goals? Am I not entitled to doing whatever I see fit? Do you wish for me to parade about the city in all my splendor, squashing the traitors beneath my feet? What would I be then, but a terrible giant?"
Genesis: The auburn felt his heart skip a beat at the rage coated words. He tried his will, he already came this far..."No...It just seemed odd to me. Aliens...pertain to Jenova. And Jenova is cunning..." Genesis's eyes winced as soon as they were exposed to the bright optics of the 'Goddess.'
Minerva: Realizing her rage was not getting her anywhere, that the anger was merely driving the auburn further away, Minerva's expression softened. She knelt down and ran her hand across the poet's hair. "Do you not trust me?" she whispered in her wise, motherly voice. "Can you not just trust in the Goddess you worship, even as she stands here before you?" She paused, closing her eyes. "Jenova's time has passed. She /is/ dead. What is left of her rots in the Lifestream, too scattered to be of any threat. Why should I not make use of what she has left behind before disposing of it as well?"
Genesis: Genesis felt his heart melt when Minerva ran her blessed hand through his hair. The way her demeanor instantly softened, it stole his heart and rendered him further blind. Love is blind. She closed her eyes, and Genesis longed for them to open again. He didn't want to disappoint /her/...What a wise woman. Using what was left behind to move on forward. "Forgive me, Goddess..." Genesis blinked subconsciously, and felt himself warm up to her touch even more. It was just like....a childish crush, but he succumbed to it anyhow.
Minerva: The Goddess smiled radiantly, her eyes glimmering with a complex mixture of emotions that no human could hope to understand. She touched Genesis's cheek, and leaned in close to whipser into his ear. "You are forgiven." She stood, and kissed the auburn on the forehead. "My blessing." With that, she turned away from the pitiful figure of Genesis, shimmered, and disappeared.
Tifa: Tifa had managed to sneak away from the others, under Sephiroth's radar, grabbing a plate of food for Genesis and hoping she'd be able to make at least some additional progress without Sephiroth's presence. She snuck into the garage, opening the door quietly, "Genesis, I brought you some food...." she said, looking up at him, eybrows furrowing slightly....was the air shimmering?
Genesis: Her eyes truly were God-like, the way that they embodied so much...otherworldly promise. Feeling completely sated and replenished, the auburn felt his strength return and increase dramatically. He knew well that he'd have to use it wisely, and take in mind that Cloud, Tifa, Sephiroth--all of them were here and excellent fighters. Together, he could be taken down easily. A bit lost in the glimmers of the Goddess's disappearance, he snapped his head to the side to see Tifa enter the vicinity. He had two options, wait until she'd leave and get out of here, or kill her and get out now. The plate of food in her hand /did/ look appetizing, however...But if he were to sit there and be /fed/ since he was bound...No. Genesis continued thinking on his next plan of action for a few moments, and removed his gaze from Tifa, not really caring about her.
*Cloud: Cloud noticed Tifa shuffle into the garage with a plate of food for Genesis. He admired the way she always cared for people, despite the past differences. The blonde sighed lightly, and continued to eat--glancing briefly at Zack in the kitchen, not too far from him. He hoped the male would eat soon, and it looked like Sephiroth wasn't really moving much either...
*Sephiroth: Sephiroth flicked his eyes at Zack, realizing that the man wasn't about to eat just yet. So be it. He made his way to the food on the counter, and began shuffling some into a plate just as Cloud had earlier. They needed their strength, and Zack would soon realize this and eat himself. Seeing Tifa file into the garage alone, Sephiroth /did/ feel a tad bit concerned. If she didn't return in 5 minutes, he decided that he'd go in after her. Making his way to the kitchen table, Sephiroth took a seat--a bit irritated with the way Cloud avoided him. Couldn't he just get over everything? Sephiroth mentally rolled his eyes and didn't think too much on it. It wasn't worth it.
Tifa: Tifa shook her head lightly, the shimmers gone in an instant. She focused her attention on Genesis, he seemed a bit different, less pale, more....lively than when she'd left him before. She wasn't sure if that was a good or bad thing, did it have something to do with the shimmers? Her mind ran a mile a minute as she walked over to him, hot plate of food in hand. "I though you might be hungry..." she said, kneeling closer to him, though at a safe distance.....she'd seen him headbutt Sephiroth before and wasn't sure just what mood he was in at the moment.
Genesis: Genesis refused to speak to Tifa, and set his eyes on the plate of food rather curiously. It was heaped with chicken pasta, various vegetables and cheese casserole. And that biscuit...it looked fluffy and warm, something the auburn really wanted. He could instantly tell that it was a home cooked meal, and was even further hurled into odd memories of Angeal. He grew nostalgic, and waited for Tifa's next course of action. Would she leave it there and let him bob for apples? Or would she actually try and feed him? Hmph.
Zack: As Sephiroth returned and sat himself down to eat at the table, Zack pressed his lips into a line, finding his thoughts wondering back to his previous conversation with Cloud...hadn't he said he had defeated Sephiroth...was it three times? The young man wondered, then, just what had occurred to cause such tension...though he supposed the encounters themselves would make for a little anxiety in the blond...given Sephiroth's track record of sanity or lack there of in Zack's memories. He hadn't even realized he had been intently staring at Sephiroth until now, and feeling self-concious, he averted his gaze down to his own hand that was spread against the table. Zack decided he would serve himself some food to serve as a distraction from his own musings, he slid his chair out and stood.
Tifa: Tifa watched him carefully, he seemed entranced by the food, "I know you're probably not gonna like it but I can't release you right now so, I'll help you eat it." she explained, figuring a man who used to be a general would abhor being fed like a baby. "I promise I'll be as....dignified as possible." she said, picking up the biscuit and holding it up to him, a little bit away from his face so as to not force him to eat it.
Genesis: Tifa's thoughts were correct. Genesis would not tolerate being fed like a baby, now that he had began to think a bit more rationally on various questions and motives. He admired how she /tried/ though. The auburn wouldn't let her succeed, and...he wondered how he could get out of this. Without making a ruckus. Knowing his sword and Materia were taken and tucked away somewhere not in the garage--the auburn was forced to have to leave them behind as much as he hated the idea. Genesis quickly tensed his muscles, and snap, snap, snap....a few chain hinges snapped, and he leaned inward and quickly lurched at Tifa--freeing his ankles from their bonds in the process. "Try not to scream now~!" He grunted, deftly taking the plate out of her hand and sliding it aside professionally. The auburn gripped her wrists a split second after, forcing his body weight atop her. He maneuvered the chains that were still sliding off his arms around her wrists, and securely fastened them. She was a mere human, she didn't have soldier strength like him...he assumed. The auburn turned his torso sideways, glancing back at her legs--he turned around still weighing his body onto her navel, and tied her ankles together. Standing up with her body just between his feet and looking down--he shook his head and let his solemn gaze lock onto her surprised ones. Genesis then walked over and picked up the plate of food after stretching wearily, he was sore from those bonds...but was glad to be rejuvenated by the Goddess. The auburn figured Tifa'd sit up, so he walked back over to her...and sat across from her. Wondering if she'd scream for assistance or try to talk to him.
*Sephiroth: Sephiroth noticed his rather placid former comrade get up, and figured he was about to eat. Taking another bite of the heavenly pasta, Sephiroth continued counting. And waiting. For Tifa to return. He sighed lightly and resumed eating.
Aerith: Aerith woke gently in her room, the darkness of sleep being a comfort to the tired Cetra. "Nn...huh?" She whispered as she was in her own room, alone, wondering who had brought her there for a moment before she felt her body beg for the blissful return of sleep. "mm.." She curled up under the covers gently hearing the noises from down stairs comforting her in knowing there were other people there. She closed her eyes with a soft smile, letting her mind drift into a softer sleep.
Minerva: The Goddess continued to watch the house, impressed with Genesis for having escaped. Now, her gaze moved to the flower girl who slumbered peacefully. Minerva paused, planning out her next move carefully. ' Perhaps I could make use of her as well,' she thought. Moving from her vantage point in the Lifestream, the Goddess hovered over the Cetra's bed; unseen, undetected. She pushed lightly into the girl's mind, the one they called Aerith. She spoke softly in the girl's dreams, copying her mother's voice. 'Aerith...'
Tifa: Tifa was taken completely by surprise, how was it possible for him to have recovered so quickly? The shimmers.....damnit, Jenova most likely. She struggled against the chains and him but he had the advantage in position. As soon as she could she sat herself up, staring at him sitting so casually across from her with the food. "You're free now.....I thought you'd be running or attacking as soon as you could." she said curtly, though her voice remained gentle, knowing that aggravating him at this point was a very bad idea....and yelling for help would definitely aggravate him, leading to a possibly broken neck and end of life for her.
Aerith: Aerith's face fell a little, in an almost concerned look. "nn...Mother...?" she seemed to mouth as she pulled the blanket closer, her mother hadn't spoken to her from the lifestream in a long while, and not since she'd came back at all...Her forehead crinkled a little as she felt the materia in her chest softly get hotter in warning, as if the lifestream itself were trying to get her to focus, but the throws of sleep and the want of a daughter to speak to her mother again were prevailing.
Minerva: Minerva pressed her advantage. 'My dear, how are you?'
Zack: Zack walked with heavy feet, over to the food that was laid out, it had a pleasing scent, and he knew he needed to eat...but for some reason hunger just wasn't striking him. Something unusual considering his appetite in his former life. His vivid blue eyes trailed over the meal, picking up a plate as he appraised the menu closely. He knew he could never cook something like this...canned soups and microwavable meals had often been his staples. Zack piled a small amount of the pasta and casserole onto his plate, not bothering with a biscuit, before grabbing a pair of utensils and returning to his seat. He felt it would be a chore to eat with his current lack of appetite but...surely once he began, he would start to feel a few pangs of hunger. When he was sitting, Zack's eyes lifted from the plate, this time seeking out Cloud warily.
Aerith: 'scared...mother...and lonely.' She answered honestly, her mind unable to put up its defenses, as the materia began to glow a bit brighter. 'I feel...strange, somethings, not right here mother...I miss our talks, I miss your guidance. I dont know what I can do to help the fight against this threat...Everyone else can fight, I...I can use some magic but...I feel a little useless. What should I do mother? Where have you been?'
Genesis: "Hmph." Genesis furrowed his eyebrows and focused his eyes on the food. He ate rather ravenously, casting aside proper etiquette along with his poetry. In other words, he ate like Zack would on a good day--back then when they were all in the force. He continued to give her the silent treatment, and enjoyed the food thoroughly. He'd have to tell her...about Minerva just using the leftovers of Jenova to save the planet. He had to show someone the reason, just like Tifa tried for him. They were all fighting for the wrong reasons, in his opinion....he'd show her, at least....he mentally sighed, and continued eating.
*Cloud: Cloud was near done with his food, being the first to take it all, and sighed gently. He made his way back into the kitchen, and placed his plate into the sink--noticing Zack's weary gaze. The blonde couldnt help but feel concerned for the male, but was glad he had made progress and gotten himself some food...Placing his plate into the sink, the blonde washed it casually...his mind still a bit conflicted by everyone's presence. "The food's really good..." he said quietly, hoping to cheer Zack on further with his progress of...eating for the first time.
Minerva: 'My dear Aerith, I'm so sorry I cannot help you any more than this. I...I think it is best if you didn't fight. You belong here, with me, with the rest of the Cetra. You have felt out of place since you resurrection, haven't you?'
Aerith: 'Well...yes mother, but...' she rolled a bit, as the materia started to cause discomfort, 'The lifestream brought me back for a reason, didn't it? If I wasn't needed for something, wouldn't I have been left to keep the lifestream strong? But...I miss the comfort it brought...' Sensing that it wouldn't be able to pierce to Aerith, it sent a quick shock of pain to Sephiroth, in a last ditch effort to get someone's attention. 'I...I can't leave everyone Mother...but...oh...I miss the way you feel...I'm so lonely here mother...'
Minerva: 'I know, sweety, I know. I miss you. I think the planet was wrong to give you up, my darling. It needs you here, ensuring nothing else escapes and causes trouble.'