(Advent Children) Yazoo was the only one of them that had any experience with the outside world....
by White Aster
Yazoo was the only one of them that had spent any amount of time outside before they'd escaped. Loz and Kadaj's training could be done in the lab's controlled environment, but there was no way to train Yazoo to interact with people, to understand them well enough to emulate them and glide between them unnoticed, without him actually studying them in the flesh.
The scientists had taken him, and at first it was just forays to the city for observation: a walk down a busy street, a half-hour at a cafe, an afternoon spent watching families at a park. The people there were so different from the scientists that Yazoo knew: louder, more animated, more unpredictable. Yazoo could only watch them, look for facial cues, and try and divine their motivations. After awhile of this observation, the scientists would give him a task, usually tied to whatever skills he'd recently learned. "Go help that woman carry her groceries." "Go convince that boy to give you his lollipop." "Go flirt with that woman and get her phone number." "Beg, earn, or steal $200 gil before sunrise." "Kill that man within the hour and don't get caught."
The outside world was shadowed and bright at the same time, loud and unpredictable. The scientists once asked him if he enjoyed going outside, and he told them that he didn't mind it. It was true. He was indifferent to it. It had nothing to do with him, beyond the scientists' evaluation of him. Besides, he understood that he would never be truly a part of it, so what was the point in forming an opinion about it?
When they'd escaped, Yazoo was the one who found their first, quiet place in a crumbling building. A base where Kadaj could sleep and heal. A place where Yazoo could start to teach Loz how to move in the humans' world. Loz's eyes had been huge the first time Yazoo had taken him to one of the more populated areas (with strict orders to follow Yazoo's lead). He'd gaped in wonder at the buildings, the sky, the people, and after the eternity spent digging through stone and corpses in the lab, even Yazoo had to admit that the dirty-wet sheen covering everything was...refreshing. So was, for once, being free to go wherever he wished, do whatever he wanted. He picked a harried-looking businessman's pocket and bought coffee from a street vendor. He watched Loz burn his tongue on it and then blow on it patiently like Yazoo showed him.
Coffee and slick-wet buildings did not make up for the uselessness of much of the outside world, of course. Yazoo made sure that he and Loz remembered that. It wasn't too hard. Those first few weeks, they would often find themselves heading back to their hideout sooner than they'd planned, drawn to curl up on either side of their restless, sleeping brother, to hold him when he wept and raved.
And on the days when Kadaj would doze peacefully, or half-wake to whisper what he'd learned from Mother, or nuzzle into Yazoo's collarbone, and the sun would shine in through the dirty windows, warming them as they lay tangled, skin-to-skin on the mattress....
There was nothing out there among the humans that could even come close.