Overhead, the sun was barely peeking through the stormy clouds. Rain would spill soon enough, but whether you'd be alive to see it, you didn't know.
You stumbled along shakily, filled to the brim with the guilt of knowing that you had simply failed at being a good companion to Cloud. You were supposed to stand by him, to be someone he could rely on, even if you lacked the same muscles and...quite frankly, such a big sword.
Yet here you were, beaten and bruised, staggering through the Midgar wreckage and trying to find your way to the church. Your friends were all fighting in the heart of the city now, but you had become too frightened, too cowardly, to keep going. In all this chaos you just wanted to find some kind of haven...even if it meant being completely alone.
It would be hard to face them if they (hopefully) made it and reunited with you after all of this. What would you even tell them?
“My bad guys, but Sephiroth kinda scares the shit out of me and I don't feel like dying today.”
Hell, it wasn't even Sephiroth you were all fighting against. Just his remnants, but still.
You didn't want this.
“Fuck it, I'll be a coward then! I don't care anymore!”
Cheeks stained with tears, you eventually collapsed against one of the toppled pillars, sitting on it and clutching your side. It felt so shitty, knowing that even Denzel and Marlene would probably be more determined than you were right now.
But...you'd felt it then. When the Behemoth had descended over the memorial square you'd been brushed with that cold and icy hand. Death was beckoning you, just daring you to return there and fight with all you had. It scared you so much you ran in the completely opposite direction and never looked back, which led you here, winded and wounded.
You only intended to rest for just a single moment or two, but that ended up being a bad mistake. For, you didn't quite realize it yet, but you were not alone there. Though it felt that way at first, a shadow grew from a higher standing, eventually casting over you, and when you sensed it, you forced yourself however nervously to look around and upwards.
There, standing with a sick and smug little grin, was the Remnant you most recognized.
Shoulder length silver hair and cat-like greenish eyes, he gave you a look like he had already won. You instantly shot to your feet but Kadaj leapt down too, black leather blurring before he was suddenly standing before you, his bladed weapon held out and hovering threateningly before the gullet of your neck.
“It's funny that you decided to run. I thought for sure you'd fight with the rest of those idiots. But maybe this is the smarter choice...” he circled you slowly like some sort of sleek, polished, metallic vulture. “Or it would have been if I hadn't caught up with you...all alone...poor little thing...”
You shivered uneasily. You did realize now how terrible your decision had been. At the very least, with friends you had people you could fall back on, people to rely on, people to take care of you.
People who needed you just like you needed them. Now you were totally isolated and facing death again anyway.
“It's funny, you're right.” you summoned up the confidence to provide a rebuttal. “You're mocking me for being alone. Yet you don't even have a mother.”
Kadaj twitched, stopping in his tracks and glaring at you fiercely. You sensed you'd gained some kind of leverage here by ticking him off, so you bravely pushed those buttons harder:
“You're so desperate to get JENOVA back, what remains of her at least. Yet what is she? A loving figure who took care of you? No, she's nothing but some liquid in a box-”
“SHUT UP! SHUT THE FUCK UP!”
Kadaj was instantly upon you. He switched the blade for a good old-fashioned glove and grabbed your neck tightly, squeezing it like he was trying to choke the words away. “You don't know anything! She loves me!” he growled right into your face.
You panicked quickly and grabbed both of his wrists. It really seemed like he was going to kill you!
At least...until it didn't. For in what seemed like all too quick of a change, he suddenly relaxed again, loosening his grip while still keeping it close, and breaking out into an almost delirious, strange smile.
“Ah...but why am I getting so angry?”
Suddenly, he thrust your body up against a broken pillar nearby, pinning you to it and making you wheeze again. You coughed and struggled while he just continued clutching onto you.
“I'll believe what I want to believe about Mother, but in the end, it doesn't matter if you take her away from me. Because I've found something better anyway.”
Your nails were desperately clawing at his hand then, trying and trying to urge him to let go of you. You kicked and squirmed against the stone he had you held up to, heart pounding and chest becoming more and more pained. You'd already suffered the carnage and exhaustion of that initial attack back among the others, he could so easily kill you right now if he wanted to. You really would die alone then...and it really would be a tragedy.
What did he mean by that anyway!? What could he possibly want more than JENOVA!?
You were in no position to be asking any questions right now, but he seemed to read your mind regardless, as he suddenly smiled knowingly and let you slip down gradually from your higher perch. While still in his clutches, you were at least more level with him now, and he leaned in far more easily to your face. You gazed into those strange eyes of his, trying to understand him before he even said anything.
Somehow, you could already tell.
A person just as lonely as him. A person too cowardly to stand by those who needed them. A person...who didn't even have a proper family either.
Kadaj had his logic. You were perfect for one another, weren't you?
His gloved hand switched tact, going from a strangling hold to a far gentler clasping of your chin. He never even had to say it, but the kiss he forced upon you, and the way he tousled and gripped your hair just to make it deeper, pinning you between his body and the stone behind you...it made things all too clear.
He might not be able to retrieve his precious 'Mother'. He might not even be able to become what he was a smaller part of.
But at the very least...he'd have you.
And you'd have him. Whether you liked it or not.
Neither of you would be alone ever again...