Sometimes Lucrecia drifts into the lab at night and presses her bare belly against the glass of Jenova's tank. She has never seen it respond, but her baby does; she feels it, the way it kicks and t...
It is the strangest and most extraordinary feeling, Lucrecia thinks, having one's cells call out in such a way. She is unsure of when she first became accustomed to it, the thrill, the hum of her own body; she's fairly sure it began early in her first trimester, the odd jolts of feeling in her belly both worrying and frightening her. But when she became used to it is something she cannot quite remember.
"Don't worry," said Hojo, her husband, patting the slight curve of her stomach. "This is normal."
Perhaps it was foolish of her not to question it. Of course, Lucrecia knows that this pregnancy will never be normal by other people's standards, but she and Hojo have bigger goals in mind.
She is to birth a Cetra, a baby boy, pure and good and destined for great things. He will be an example for others to follow. He will be a God among men. He will lead them to the Promised Land.
Lucrecia feels strangely drowsy; her eyes are half-lidded, her vision blurry, and as she looks down at her swelling belly she imagines that she can hear a whisper at her temple. Sephiroth, it says, and she finds herself nodding, her belly twisting, her cells screaming.
"Don't worry," says Hojo when she tells him, and his smile would be frightening if she wasn't sure she could trust him. "This is normal too."
She would question his words, but Hojo has always been so good to her: giving her a job, showing her the way the laboratory worked when she was nervous and unsure, taking her in and marrying her. Now he has given her the greatest gift possible -- life, a precious life, and both she and he will go down in the history books as great. The famous scientists who brought the Cetra back to the Planet.
Idly, Lucrecia wonders if her baby is calling out to the Planet. Is that it? Sometimes she drifts into the lab at night and presses her bare belly against the glass of Jenova's tank. She has never seen it respond, but her baby does; she feels it, the way it kicks and twists. The feeling is both more horrible and more beautiful than anything she has known before, and she finds herself in the lab more and more these days. Fingers pressed against the glass, other hand stroking her bump with all the love she has. Whispered words. Words in her ear.
Jenova. She nods. Puppet.
Now, Lucrecia is sitting with her back to the glass, the chill of it seeping through her coat and into her spine. She wants to shiver, but can't; she wants to move away, but knows she will not sleep if she does. Now, when her body cries for Jenova, it is more than her baby: it is her hands, her heart, her shuffling feet.
So she sits with her back to the glass and she says the name, over and over. Jenova, Jenova... Her fingers splay across her naked stomach, round and round over the curve of it. She reaches down, slow, so slowly, fingers sneaking below her waist and into her panties; they curl into the warmth of her skin.
Lucrecia's body twists itself up from the inside, cells screaming out to the floating body in the tank behind her. The harsh, clean light of the laboratory shines through the tank and filters out green, bright and false. Lucrecia's nails dip against her skin and she bites down on her lower lip, wanting to taste her own blood but too afraid.
Lucrecia touches herself, and the muscles in her thighs contract as she presses back against the glass. Her skin is smooth and sweat-slicked, and the green light seems to pulse in time with the jolts of pleasure coursing through her. It pulses in time with-- in time with her--
"Hojo!" Lucrecia calls, sitting up suddenly, her eyes wide. "Hojo!" The contraction fades, and she is suddenly aware that her water has broken. She still can't bear to move away from the tank.
As Hojo enters the room, Lucrecia pulls herself to her feet. He takes her arm and leads her reluctantly away, already making preparations in his mind. The time has come, but he is ready.
In her tank, Jenova twitches and calls out to Lucrecia's unborn son.