Genesis wanders around Kalm.
Genesis did say that work needed to be done, but he never said what or how it would be done. He couldn’t afford to lie anymore--he had no clue what to do, except gather as much information as possible about what in the Goddess happened in the past several years. All he knew was that he finally defeated his demons, and that he was ready to be a real hero for the Planet. People walked right past him, not recognizing him. For once, he felt relieved that people didn’t know who he was. Years ago, it would have been a huge blow to his ego. Now? He just shrugged, knowing full well that anonymity has its advantages.
“How long has it been?” He whispered, stopping in the middle of a square full of ruined buildings. Festive fires brightened the town, but they only existed in the corner of his blue eyes. He knew that it had to have been at least a few years because Weiss looked and older and bigger since he last saw him, but he had no idea what Nero looked like now. Upon thinking of the younger brother, Genesis gasped and kept walking, opting to listen in on what people were saying, and ask any questions he could without revealing who he was. He still couldn’t afford to take any risks.
He remembered Kalm being considerably smaller, and a lot less damaged since he last saw it. He knew that no place was immune to war, but Kalm? Not even the most battle hungry warrior would think of attacking a place known only for a nice inn, and a few shops thrown in for good measure.
“It makes me sick to think of how much misery they caused,” a woman behind Genesis said.
“Who?” He turned toward her. She stood with a few other people and they all looked like they’d been through trauma that would take years to recover from.
The woman blinked. “Who? Have you been living under a rock? Deepground, of course.”
/Why, yes, dear lady, I actually have been living under a rock. Deep under the ground, in fact/, Genesis wanted to say, but he didn’t. Instead, he nodded. “Might as well have. I just got here, and I’m just looking for answers. Why was this town attacked?”
He didn’t like the answers he heard, and when he found that Deepground attacked the whole world, he flat out hated the answers. Kidnappings, the “pure”, Geostigma, monsters, horrible soldiers, and since these were mere townspeople, Genesis knew that what they were saying was the tip of the iceberg. When the woman mentioned that the WRO would know more, he simply gave his thanks and moved on, about ready to crack up when he found out that WRO meant “World Regenesis Organization.” A part of him thought that maybe it was about him and the hope that he would help rebuild the world. It’s the least he could do, he figured as he continued walking through the wrecked town, listening in on everything from gossip to grumblings about Shinra, Deepground, and all those who suffered because of both.
“If it’s not one thing, it’s another,” he muttered, wondering about Sephiroth. No one mentioned him, and Genesis didn’t feel like asking about his former friend. Not now. He had plenty of questions with answers that added even more questions. He didn’t doubt that the Silver General would add to the equation eventually, but people in Kalm only talked about Deepground, especially the Tsviets.
As soon as he heard that word grumbled admist beer and bonfires, he stiffened. When he heard “Nero the Sable” and disappearing WRO soldiers, his blood ran cold. He remembered Weiss’s younger brother, knowing full well that he always would, even if a million years passed. Genesis heard some other names like Rosso, Azul, and Shelke, but they meant nothing to him, except as reminders of what researchers did with his “Project G” genes. He did, however, note with interest that Rosso’s took the color red and painted the town with it. Black and red; those were Genesis’s favorite colors. He wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry from the bitter irony. Genesis did neither, of course. Instead, he thought of Nero.
The boy had been polite when they first met, but he exuded a power that Genesis had never seen in anyone so young. In fact, he never saw it in anyone, not even in Sephiroth. He also noted with amusement, that Nero spoke in a stilted, poetic manner, but his voice--Genesis shook that memory out of his head, or at least tried to. He sensed that neither of the brothers meant any harm, but Nero made his heart almost stop by simply looking at him. Despite his own legendary prowess, Genesis knew that certain people simply weren’t messed with, and he realized the easy way that Nero ranked close to the top, if not the top, of the list.
Weiss had a similar aura, but his was a little more common. Sure, he exuded charisma as if it could form its own being, but Genesis could name at least a couple people that shined in a similar light. Genesis simply thought, “star athlete type” and that’s all he needed to think. He seriously doubted much had changed with Weiss, except for being an actual Emperor.
“Emperor...” Genesis sighed, not out of surprise, but rather knowing that someone with such a rank would be difficult on the best of days. He got a taste of it barely a couple hours ago. “He has guts, I’ll give him that.”
Weiss did exactly what he said he would do. No, he didn’t flood out the hotel or destroy the toilet, but he stayed in the shower for so long that he lost track of time--something he rarely did. Quite naturally, he didn’t crack open his skull, but he scrubbed like he had radiation on him and didn’t stop until the soap vanished. He scrubbed whatever clothes he had too, especially the whiskey cloak. Weiss associated such alcohol with everything wrong in the world. His brother, however, never agreed. He even remembered Nero talking about how “Jack knew and understood.” Weiss swallowed any hint of lumps in his throat. He saw his brother in his mind’s eye. Nero still slept, but he stirred a bit.
“Rest, Nero,” he whispered after the shampoo disappeared in his white hair. He bit his lip so he wouldn’t be tempted to say anything more. He knew that if he did, he’d burst into a pool tears and he couldn’t have that, not with Genesis around.
By the time he finally finished, he could barely see his hand in front of his face, thanks to the endless amount of steam, but he felt clean, which Weiss considered next to divine. He didn’t see Genesis in the room and he thanked the powers that be for that. For once, he didn’t feel like being stared at as he crawled into warm, soft bed. He didn’t even look at himself in the mirror, also unusual for the Immaculate Emperor. Weiss just wanted to sleep, enter the dream world, and hold his younger brother.
When Genesis finally returned to the room, his jaw almost dropped to the floor. He slowly walked around the bed, realizing that the moon had to have been in love with Weiss. He looked peacefully radiant under its shine as his white hair spilled over the pillow. Genesis recalled looking at Sephiroth under the same light.
Genesis never said it, but he sure thought it, knowing full well that he’d be doing it pretty often. /No wonder he is known as the Immaculate. He went from pretty duck to perfect swan/. “Goddess...” The Crimson General leaned against the window, deciding to risk his tongue. “There is no hate, only joy, for you are beloved by the goddess. Hero of the dawn, Healer of worlds.” Weiss moved a bit, but didn’t wake up. Relieved, Genesis looked over at the old cloak hanging over the opened bathroom door, and decided that the younger man would look even better in a White Mage’s robe. He wondered what Nero looked like now, but couldn’t imagine him looking that much different than the last time Genesis saw him. Sure, the boy was good-looking in his own right, but his eyes--Genesis again stopped thinking about it. Yes, Nero could rival Weiss in the appearance department, but he didn’t shine at all.
“Why does it matter now?” Genesis shook his head. He had no idea what Weiss was talking about when he mentioned Nero being inside of him, except that it had to have meant that the younger brother had died somehow. Only, one doesn’t wake up after dying, they go to the Lifestream. Genesis sighed, realizing that he had so many questions, he couldn’t begin to count how many.
“What are you looking at?”
Genesis gasped, his heart tightening at Weiss’s sleepy voice. The new “brother” still had his eyes closed, but he couldn’t have been completely asleep. Irritated at being startled, Genesis simply said, “You.”
Weiss covered his eyes with one of his arms. “Me?” He chuckled. “Don’t get any ideas.” He rolled over, making sure that he covered almost all of the bed.
“Don’t flatter yourself,” Genesis replied as he removed his cloak. He had to admit, he was attracted to the Immaculate young man, but he had no intention of doing anything more than just stare. Genesis had a feeling that Weiss was off-limits to just about everyone, including him. “We leave in the morning. I have a lot of questions to ask you.” He tossed the cloak and his red coat over a chair and removed the rest of his clothes. “We need to head to some place called Edge.” A few people in Kalm had spoken of that place and how it surrounded Midgar. He knew that it was risky, but he felt confident that it would pay off since he’d have a much better chance of figuring out what was going on since his slumber and what the hell to do now.
He grabbed a bed sheet that fell on the floor and flopped on the couch. A part of him felt a bit irritated that he allowed Weiss to take over the bed, but thoughts of Angeal calmed him. Genesis wondered with amusement how Angeal would have dealt with Weiss and Nero. He knew that his best friend would have refused to join Deepground without hesitation, but would Angeal have tolerated Weiss’s mouth? Probably. Genesis pressed his lips together. Angeal had always been the “long suffering one”. No one in Kalm mentioned either one of them, not that it surprised him much since they seemed to have forgotten Sephiroth.
/That means he’s dead along with Angeal/. Genesis closed his eyes, knowing full well that it couldn’t have been for the same reason his childhood friend died. He knew that there was no way Sephiroth would have stopped at Nibelheim. Yes, he knew that the Silver General had been defeated there, but there was no way he would have been defeated easily. Genesis didn’t believe for a single moment that he was dead. Weiss suffered a brutal loss and he didn’t die, so why would Sephiroth? Genesis groaned. Yet another question.
/Whatever/. He decided to sleep on it since he had nothing better to do in the middle of the night.