Disclaimer: I own nothing and make no profit from this fanfiction.
Chapter Nine: Zack and the Curse
Cloud was pardon the pun, on cloud nine. He was going to Marry Aerith, and by the gods they would be announcing it that day too. He was definitely a little bit nervous all day, Snow noticed it at work and asked him what was going on, but Cloud said it had to wait.
However there was an odd interruption at work, and he came out to see the president of the United States, Rufus Shinra standing there in front of him.
"P-President Shinra!?" exclaimed Cloud in shock.
Cloud immediately struck his pose as a former soldier, Rufus chuckled and shook his head. "At ease soldier." said Rufus.
Which was when Lightning appeared from behind Rufus, with the turks around her of course. Cloud looked confused. "What is this all about?" he asked.
"Can we speak privately?" spoke Rufus.
Cloud nodded, and they made their way onto a private jet, at this point Snow wasn't even going to ask, after all he didn't feel like arguing with the damn president.
Once on the plane, Cloud saw Vincent was sitting there, and he looked around confused.
"So this whole curse thing and the turks, I did some looking into on." said Lightning.
"Which is why I was called here." spoke Rufus.
"Wait what does the president have to do with Aerith?" asked Cloud.
"Let me explain." said Rufus.
"A long while ago, the Sephiroth project was put into affect. From it, certain genes with enhanced cells, which truthfully came from a UFO in New Mexico were used to enhance soldier's genes. Sephiroth was the product produced, the best general in the history of the United States. Of course the genes were used on other soldiers as well, something that was obviously known to them when they signed the waiver." said Rufus.
"A waiver that wasn't easy to read." growled Cloud, he'd found out a while back about this, and wasn't happy with it. In fact it had been a huge media scandal, the scandal had Rufus's father impeached from the white house which was when vice president Rufus had taken over.
"Right anyway, Sephiroth went crazy and we all know what happened next. Lives were lost, the project was shut down, and professor Hojo was arrested. Zack Fair, a soldier died. Which was when we were drawn to the attention of Aerith. Now her case has been on file for years, many odd instances have happened in her life, all resulting in deaths. A so called curse is around her, but the truth might alarm you more Cloud." said Rufus.
"And what is this so called truth?" spoke Cloud.
"Aerith, is Sephiroth's sister." spoke Rufus.
Cloud's heart plummeted, his eyes were wide, Lightning and Vincent looked away and Cloud felt his mouth go dry.
"What?" asked Cloud choking on his words.
"Aerith doesn't know this, but she and Sephiroth were separated at birth. They were both children of the late Professor Gast. He had fallen in love with a woman, she had twins upon birth, but Hojo was developing the project and wanted to use both children as specimens in it. The mother ran with Aerith, Sephiroth was taken under Hojo and experimented on. Aerith's mother died and we didn't find her until the odd occurrences began. She was labeled a delinquent because we'd already seen what was happening with Sephiroth. We were unsure of what Aerith might turn out to be like. It turns out, they couldn't be more different if they tried. Aerith was in the foster care system because by the time we found her, Hojo said he had everything he needed with Sephiroth. Aerith has always had strange abilities Cloud, inhuman abilities, and we're not sure what causes it around her, we're not sure but Sephiroth's abilities surpassed anyone else who was ever in the project. So obviously something is strange in their genetic make up." spoke Rufus.
"Enough." said Cloud.
He stood up and looked Rufus dead in the eyes. "Why did Zack die? Why did he really die?" said Cloud.
"Because he was killed when Sephiroth went crazy, when Zack died he was trying to defeat Sephiroth." said Rufus.
"So essentially you killed Zack." said Cloud.
Rufus nodded. "It was no accident, I can tell you that." he said.
Cloud gulped and looked down and away. "So it wasn't Aerith, right?" he said.
Rufus shook his head. "No but, I thought you needed to know why we've been trying to get to her, her genetic make up is the key to finding out why Sephiroth was so much better, and why he went crazy." said Rufus.
"Can it wait?" asked Cloud.
"Yes, but why?" asked Rufus.
"I don't care about her genetic make up, or what she is to you. To me...she's my future wife. And I really want to marry her before talking to her about this." said Cloud.
"You would marry the sister of the ex-general who killed your best friend?" asked Rufus.
"Aerith and Sephiroth are different people." said Cloud.
"You know you're right." said Lightning standing up, she walked to Cloud's side.
"And at this point, that's all that matters." said Lightning.
Vincent looked at Rufus and nodded standing next to Cloud, they landed and were about to leave when Rufus spoke up again. "Vincent." he said.
Vincent looked back. "Don't you wish to know about Lucrecia?" asked Rufus.
Vincent turned. "What about her?" he asked.
"Lucrecia went through a science experiment." spoke Rufus.
Vincent moved back, Lightning looked to Cloud and they nodded staying by Vincent's side.
"Lucrecia birthed three miniature Sephiroth's. By using the genes of Sephiroth spliced with the genes of herself and one other donor. Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo came to be." said Rufus.
Vincent nodded. "She died of course, but those three were the beginning of another project, Cloud I'm sure you remember the results of it." said Rufus.
Cloud grimaced. "I do." he said.
"They went crazy at the same time as Sephiroth. Except that Yazoo survived. Vincent, the third donor was you. Hojo thought it was him, but Lucrecia changed it behind his back. It turns out, she really did love you." said Rufus.
Vincent looked away, gritting his teeth a little. "So what are you saying?" he asked.
"You're Yazoo's father." said Rufus.
Vincent didn't look pleased but he nodded nonetheless. "So where is he?" asked Vincent.
"Currently under holding." said Rufus.
"So what does this mean?" said Cloud.
"That Aerith's DNA if compared to Yazoo's and Sephiroth's might give us the answers we seek. Vincent's DNA is now involved in this as well." spoke Rufus.
"Your military just does whatever they want, don't they?" said Cloud annoyed.
"Actually, Lightning knew about some of it, but only those directly involved knew about all of it." said Rufus.
"Aerith's not going to lose her mind." said Cloud.
"It was the alien DNA that caused them both to go crazy." said Vincent.
"Jenova cells." said Lightning.
"Maybe, but how can we know truly?" said Rufus.
"You ARE NOT experimenting on Aerith!" roared Cloud finally.
The others looked surprised at his outburst. "I don't care how they're related! I won't let you hurt her!" exclaimed Cloud.
"Do you really think you can stop us Cloud?" said Rufus.
"Maybe he can't, but WE sure as hell can." said Lightning suddenly. Vincent nodded. "Indeed, they will have my help as well." said Vincent.
The three of them finally left, Rufus's plane took off and Cloud sighed. Lightning smirked at him. "So why didn't you tell us you two were engaged?" she said.
"Well um, it was supposed to be a surprise." said Cloud with a blush.
"We won't tell anyone, is that what tonight's big dinner is about?" said Lightning.
Cloud nodded. "Please be there." he said.
"We will be." assured Vincent.
Cloud went back to work, which was when Snow grabbed him. "Hey what was that about?" he asked.
Cloud sighed and began to explain everything except the engagement to Snow, at the end of it, Snow was definitely perplexed. "Fucking hell, sounds bad." he said.
Cloud nodded. "I'm not sure how to tell Aerith that...Sephiroth was her brother." said Cloud in shock.
Snow shook his head. "Well hey, whatever happens, you got us, remember that, ok?" said Snow.
Cloud smirked and nodded, they went back to work, finally at the end of the day, Cloud met up with Aerith. She looked at him leaning in.
"You seem worried." she said, wearing a silver dress.(Amano style)
He smiled a reassuring smile at her. "Hey Aerith." he said.
"Yes Cloud?" she asked.
"I have to tell you some things I learned today...I hope you'll understand." he said.
Aerith sat down and Cloud explained about everything, and what they wanted to do to her. She looked definitely pale by the end of it, before she looked at the ground.
"I knew there was something off." she said.
Cloud nodded. "I hope this doesn't...change things." he said.
Aerith looked at him. "Do you still want to marry me?" she asked.
Cloud smiled. "More then anything." he said back.
She smiled at him. "Then it changes nothing." she said holding his hand.
With that the happy couple went to the fanciest restaurant which they'd booked. Everyone was already there waiting for them. (except Mateus and Kuja, Aerith had informed Kuja by email) They looked around at their gathered friends, happy to have them all there, Cloud squeezed her hand a little, she looked so gorgeous that night.
"Everyone, we have an announcement." said Cloud out to them.
But that was when...everything went black, gas had hit them all and knocked them out, they'd been captured by Rufus Shinra.