[fic] Oedipus Tyrannus

Title: Oedipus Tyrannus
Author: joudama
Fandom: Final Fantasy 7
Rating: PG
Warnings: ...Jenova. Jenova's BAD TOUCH.
Word count: 1,689
Summary: He doesn't understand. He doesn't understand at all.
A/N: For seishonagon on LJ. This also has a start in the drabble "Synapse," because...that was the Bad Touch. I think this was probably also coming because of "Ein Sof" and how Sephiroth and Jenova got written there, too. ...BAD TOUCH. Also, this is very disjointed; do not expect "linear time." Linearity is for weenies.
Prompt: Sephiroth's intimacy complex.

--

"And as for my father..." Suddenly, he laughed. It was a bitter sound.

--

"Turn your head. Don't move. Now look up."

He was a small child, tiny in the large, sterile white room. His hair fell in his face yet he knew not to move to brush it out of his eyes.

Professor Hojo turned away, making notes and paying him no mind. He sat silent, not speaking because there was no need to speak and no use of it anyway. The professor came back, a needle in his hands, and without a word, took the boy's arm brusquely and clinically and the boy did not move as the doctor held his thin arm steady and slid the tip of the needle into his vein to draw blood.

There were no words, only the sounds of instruments beeping and humming. The professor removed the needle and an assistant came over and swabbed his arm and bandaged it with a quick and sterile efficiency, and without a glace at the child's face.

"Anything else, or are we done with it for the day, professor?"

"Put it back in the tank. If I need anything else, I'll let you know."

"All right," the other doctor said, and lifted the child as if he weighed nothing, holding him out at arm's length as he took him off the lab table. The boy walked over to the tank without a word, and the doctor lifted the child again, arms-length away, putting him into the tank.

And then the mako closed over him, and the boy drifted once more, the feel of the mako washing away the faint, lingering feel of Hojo's and his assistant's hands.



--

"I wouldn't know what it's like, since I don't have a hometown," Sephiroth said, his voice showing no emotions, simply a statement of fact.

--

He didn't understand them.

Of course, he understood the idea of "friendship." He understood the concept of "childhood friends," even if such a thing was thoroughly alien to him.

The reddish-haired one, Genesis, was small and slight and carried his head like Hojo--smug and brimming with the urge to prove himself the best as he distained everyone around him, and it made Sephiroth want to push Genesis, show him he was not as wonderful as he thought himself, as irrational as the urge was. Genesis was quick to anger and slow to calm, and underneath it all was a thrumming rage of a sort like a flame, untapped and yet there even when banked, a part of him, like the monsters that Sephiroth had fought since he was old enough to hold a sword.

Angeal was the opposite, solid and muscular, something about him reminding Sephiroth of the earth or a tree, something that was fixed and unchanging; slow to rile yet could destroy everything if upheaved. Angeal observed, but more than that, he was one who explained, made things simpler for others to easily understand. Angeal was patience, the enemy who kept its distance and let you wear yourself down, then attacked.

They were total opposites, and yet, they were inseparable. They were of the same age as Sephiroth assumed himself to be, and yet there was something young about them.

SOLDIERS, the three of them were to be, already with gleaming, mako-laced eyes, and since they were the prototypes--Sephiroth a prototype since birth, Genesis and Angeal chosen for reasons unknown to him, under the aegis of not Hojo but Hollander--they were together.

They had known each other all their lives, the poor boy and the propertied son, and they were so close that they did not need words, that their silences were comfortable; that when Genesis read aloud from his book, something in Angeal relaxed in a way that Sephiroth couldn't understand but had seen on the faces of people talking about home. Angeal laughed and joked, Genesis raged, and yet around each other there was a softening of sorts. They shared the easy touch of those who had touched their whole lives, thinking nothing of it. Sephiroth watched once when they had all three eaten together after a rough training and Angeal insisted when Genesis would have instead stalked off to lick his wounds, and there was an ease there he couldn't fathom, as Genesis nudged an apple at Angeal, who took it with a bare nod and a smile, and then elbowed Genesis and said he wasn't getting Angeal's sandwich so not to even think about it, and Genesis elbowed him back and pouted.

They touched each other freely.

Yet they never touched him. Not when they weren't sparring. It was a sudden, almost jarring realization; perhaps the jarringness coming from the fact that it had taken him so long to notice.

He watched them, feeling like an observer and not knowing why the feeling was so distasteful. Or the strange feeling he had, something wholly contradictory, on the one hand wanting more than anything to be included, and on the other wanting to rip them apart, wanting to make the comfortable look disappear forever. Watching both of them was oddly painful, and they seemed to have no idea of the contradictions he felt. They seemed to have no contradictions at all; Genesis's emotions quicksilver changeable and explosive, Angeal unchanging and sure.

They were the closest things to "friends" that he had. But he didn't understand them. He didn't understand them at
all.

--

"My mother died giving birth to me," he said, staring into the town square. He had no idea why he was talking about this. Any of it. And yet, the words were coming.

--

She started late at night, when the labs were quiet, whispering faintly in his mind.

My son, she whispered, and the words teased at him, a bare brushing. Her words were like a touch, faint and secretive, deep where no one could see. Her words echoed, slowly growing bolder as he didn't resist.

And at night, he began to look forward to it, to the prickling whispering in his mind, of a voice calling itself mother and saying that he was hers. Now that Gast was gone, there was no one who talked to him, no one who looked at him in a way different from they looked at their computers, or who touched him and smiled instead of touching him to move one of his limbs or inject him with bored faces. There was no one who paid him mind, until she began to whisper in his mind.


Don't tell them, she whispered when she first began, when she first began to grow bold, her words slickly sliding into his mind, touching parts of his mind he barely had awareness of until she grazed them. Don't tell them that you can hear me. Not yet. They'll know soon enough.

My son, she whispered, the words an intimate caress.

My beautiful, monstrous son.

--

"What am I saying," Sephiroth said, shaking his head, the words coming through the bitter laughter.

--

He didn't quite understand why he liked antagonizing Genesis as he did.

There was something, he supposed, when he stopped to think about it, in that it caused a reaction. For that one moment, Genesis' heat was focused wholly on him, even Angeal forgotten; all pretense of "friendship" stripped away in the heat of his enraged anger and thwarted ambition; in his burning jealousy.

Things never went too far, never went to the point of injury or of destroying their fragile friendship--before that one step beyond a point of no return, Angeal always stepped in, jumping in between them and blocking their blows or pulling them apart, his sword steady and unmoving between theirs or his hands blunt and strong on their shoulders. Sephiroth would lower his sword, then, and Genesis had no choice but to do the same, even as his eyes still burned. Angeal would then calm him with a joke or laugh, and soon after take Genesis away, and Sephiroth would watch them go, not understanding the way something inside him seemed hollow and emptied, and that feeling expanded inside him like water freezing into ice, filling in all the cracks and crevices and making something break; didn't understand why he could still feel the reverberations of his sword against Angeal's running up his arm or the feel of Angeal's hand on his shoulder.

He didn't understand himself. He didn't understand himself at
all.

--

"My mother is Jenova," he said, suddenly feeling as if he had to say her name, had to show that in some way he was normal, that he had had a mother, even if he had never known her.

--

It didn't take long for her words to come to pass--they knew soon enough.

He didn't know when it changed, when her voice in his mind changed from something that was almost comforting to this; from a whisper to a scream, from a caress to blows.

He reeled under it, unable to understand the rage and the anger thrust upon him, the contempt for everything and the urge to destroy, and it overwhelmed him, more than he could stand.

And so he screamed and so he raged, a conduit for Mother and nothing else, her trying to burn through him, rip him away until he was nothing, until his thoughts coincided with hers. He didn't know why things had gone to this, why what had been a comfort of sorts to this, but part of him was unsurprised. And that part didn't want to fight, wanted to let it take him over, wanted to let her make him a part of something. She wanted him, her son, so she could have him.

The last thing he remembered, vaguely, was the feeling of someone holding him down, and of a needle.

And then, after that, everything was gone.

And everything before as well.


--

"Why am I talking about this?" Sephiroth said suddenly, shaking his head. He gestured with his hand, dismissing all of his own thoughts and odd nostalgias, and walked into Nibelheim.
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