The eery green glow of Hojo's lab seemed even stronger than usual that evening. The lights reflecting off the scientists pale skin gave off an almost twisted effect, making him seem even more insane than usual. On that particular evening, as always, he was working on some new experiment to present to the president. On occasion, one would have to wonder who was really running the show at The Shin-Ra Electric company. He adjusted his glasses before picking up two test tubes from a rack beside his desk.
"Yes. Yes." Hojo's hands moved delicately as the two test tubes met, the liquid ready to slide in, "Just one more drop...."
There was a strong knock on the steel door of the laboratory, closely followed by the sound of breaking glass. The same greenish glow could now be seen on the chemicals swirling together on the floor along with a hissing sound. Great, now he was in need of yet another floor treatment
"Damn It!" Anger flashed in the Head Scientist's eyes. "Those Shin-Ra imbeciles. How dare they interrupt a man in the middle of his work!?" He reached into the left pocket of his lab coat and pulled out a syringe filled with dark green liquid, a malicious smile crept up on his lips. "I'll teach them a-"
"Professor?" A husky, young voice called from beyond the door. "Are you in?"
The change in Hojo was almost instantaneous. He threw the syringe half away across the laboratory, completely ignoring the sounds of shattering glass and what sounded like a "thud" as the syringe made contact with the head of some poor lab hand. He quickly straighten his lab coat and fixed his hair, glasses and tie. Picking up a scalpel, He examined his reflection in the blade's smooth, shimmering surface before placing it on a tray and taking a seat at his desk, returning to his usual "disturb-me-and-die" demeanor.
"Please come in." The Professor called, his eyes now focused on a pile of notes left to him by his, as he would later discover, ex-lab hand.
The door opened and the young man stepped over the threshold, a manila folder in his left hand. The man was... to resort to such a pitiful word, beautiful. No. Not beautiful, magnificent. A Specimen of pure perfection. Tall, lean figure, worked to absolute perfection. Silky black hair, forming around his face, mature for his age, but still retaining a boyish charm. And those hypnotic ruby red eyes. He could have the world on a silver plater if he knew how to use those eyes. Hojo would dream about those eyes. The shear power the boy had... the shear... chaos he could unleash And yet he chose to hide them behind such... missionary work as protecting that... prat Lucrecia.
"Hello Professor." Such a voice... such a fine voice.
"Ah, Mr. Valentine, what a surprise!" The Professor rose, his hands behind his back and approached the turk, "It's not often they send you down here."
Vincent Valentine held out the Manila folder to the Scientist, "Rufus Shin-Ra wanted me to give this to you, sir. And to tell you he wanted... bubble-gum flavor next time."
Not again. That boy was utterly impossible. Hojo groaned, "Very well." He took the manila folder, looking over the contents and mumbling something about that "Impossible sex-starved little brat." When he looked up and saw the Turk still standing there, he waved his hand. "Oh, you may leave now."
Vincent nodded, bowing slightly. One of the more refined Turks, Hojo noted. "Yes. Thank you professor." He turned to leave, but just as he reached the door, he stopped. His shoulders fell slightly and he took a deep breath, "Sir, I-"
Hojo's attention turned back to the boy faster than ether of them could have expected, "YES?"
Vincent rubbed the brim of his nose. He could not believe he was doing this. He wished there could have been someone else... but Hojo was a powerful man and he knew the ways of.... Vincent blushed. He knew the rumors that had been going around about the Head of the Shin-Ra science department and to say the least, none of them were very pleasant. Still, if anyone could... "Professor...." Vincent began, "I need some advice. You see...." He took a deep breath. "I'm in love with someone."
The smile upon Hojo's face grew a mile wide as he drew closer to the turk, trying as hard as he could to act... "innocent," but still catch the young man's eye. "Is that so, Mr. Valentine? Pray tell with who?" He couldn't help himself as he arm snuck around the young Turk's back, his hand just about the touch the boy's waist.
Vincent Valentine sighed, his eyes glazed over with affection, "Lucrecia."
Again, the sound of breaking glass was heard... or was that just in Hojo's mind? His fingers twitched as he casually withdrew his arm from around the boy's middle. "You.... don't say. How... " He cracked his knuckles, "Wonderful."
"I know." The boy was completely lost in his own love-sick world, dreaming of the delicate brunette. "She's beyond perfect. Her beautiful hair, her passionate eyes..."
Hojo's fingers formed into claws, "That Whorish smile I would love to rip off her lips and dip in Mako!" He hissed.
Vincent barely caught that and had to turn around to see the brooding man "Sir?"
The elder man pulled himself back into the moment and regained a slightly clam posture, "I... I mean, yes. Yes, she is quite the catch. Well done, Valentine. Apparently that...." The Professor adjusted his glasses and gazed over Vincent's finely made figure, his eyes running up and down the length of the young man's body. "Finely made figure of yours is good for.... something."
A slightly red twinge came up to Vincent's cheeks. "Oh... No, she... she doesn't know yet."
Hojo rubbed his chin. So the young man had yet to confess his feelings, how... sweet. Sickening... but sweet. "Oh Really?"
He turned away from the Turk, his mind suddenly focused on Lucrecia Crecent. What had she done to warrant Valentine's attention. She was nothing to this department. Her theories were pure nonsense, her emotional attitude often had his assistants flocking to her side when he needed their attention! She was NOTHING compared to him. HE was a genius, a master of science! His experiments had helped this company grow to the position of power it was in now! And what exactly had she done? Simply shown up in a skirt and batted her eyelashes. Hojo clenched his teeth, "That brown-haired scientific slut!"</b>
Vincent's mind had wondered away to his precious Lucrecia once more. How beautiful, intelligent and passionate she was. The way she.... He sighed. He would never have a chance. She would never... "Professor..."
Hojo had retuned to his desk, still ranting about Lucrecia's advances, "Damn it, I should be the only one kissing those-"
Hojo froze when he felt a rushed presence approach him and turned around to see Valentine's figure bowed over before him, "Professor, I need your help!!"
The pause was awkward enough, there was no question and the silence seemed to last for ages before the Professor spoke.
"Please, Professor." Vincent begged, "I don't know what to! Without your help, she would never look at a man like me." He fell to his knees, gripping hold of the Head Scientist's lab coat. "Please. I'll do anything!"
Had Vincent been looking up he would have noticed the pleased, malicious, twisted smile growing across the elder man's lips. It was too perfect, too easy. If Hojo believed in such a thing as a higher power he would have thanked it, but such thoughts were complete nonsense. This was his golden chance... and Hojo was NEVER one to pass up a chance. He placed a hand on the boy's shoulder.
"Why my dear, sweet Vincent Valentine, of course I would be MORE than willing to help you." Hojo said, his voice sickeningly friendly.
Vincent looked up, his eyes full of hope. "You... you would?!"
"Of course I would!" Hojo held out a hand and helped the boy to his feet. Vincent gave him an odd look.
"Even after you wrote me that death threat in blood stating that if I ever spent any more time with that 'Glorious, heaven sent specimen-'"
"YOU got that?" Hojo cut him off, "That was meant for Cre... someone else." He turned away, muttering to himself again. "Damn it! I'm never trusting Palmer with my mail again!
Vincent once again leaned in to try to catch Hojo's words, "Profes-"
Hojo spun around so fast he nearly knocked the young man off his feet, "Helping others is what I live for! To help unfortunate people - like yourself -" He gestured to the young man "Poor souls with no one else to turn to..."
"I admit that in the past I've been a nasty
They weren't kidding when they called me, well, insane.
But you'll find that nowadays
I've mended all my ways
Repented, seen the light, and made a change
Vincent said nothing, clearly over in shock at the moment.
"And I fortunately know a little science
It's a talent that I always have possessed
And my dear boy, please don't laugh
I use it on behalf
Of the miserable, the lonely, and depressed...pathetic.
Poor unfortunate souls
This one longing to be smarter
That one wants to get a job
And do I help them?
Those poor unfortunate souls
They come flocking to my laboratory
Crying, "Help us, Hojo, please!"
And I help them?
Yes, I do.
Now it's happened once or twice
Someone couldn't pay the price
And I'm afraid I had to rake 'em 'cross the coals...
Hojo's mind floated back in time for a moment, once again seeing poor Professor Gast writhing at his feet, his wife screaming for mercy. Ha. Pathetic Fool.
"Yes, I've had the odd complaint
But on the whole I've been a saint
To those poor unfortunate souls"
Hojo turned to the Turk, "Now, here's the deal. I can perform an experiment on you that will make you utterly irresistible for three days. Got that, Valentine? Three days. Now listen, before the sun sets on the third day, you've got to get your sweet little... Lucrecia to fall in love with you. Truly in love with you, Valentine which means she must kiss you! And not just any kiss. The kiss of....." Why was he saying this? Such things were shear nonsense... but, "true love." Hojo wanted to spit the word out of his mouth, but controlled himself. "If she does, you'll..." He waved his hand in the air, "Be together forever."
Vincent's eyes once again flickered with a moment of hope, but then something crossed his mind, "And if she doesn't?"
Hojo's lips once again curled into a deranged smile as he rubbed his hands together, "Then you shall belong to ME forever! Doomed to be my slave for eternity until I am through with your body for my own personal pleasure and use it for experiments before locking you in a coffin in the basement of the Shin-Ra mansion!"
Vincent was certain he was hearing things. "What was that, professor?"
Hojo spun around once again, "Oh. I mean, you will have to work for me personally for the rest of your days at Shin-Ra."
"Oh. For a second there-"
Hojo cut him off once again, "So, have we got a deal Valentine?"
Hojo snapped his fingers, "Oh, yes! That's right. . . . We haven't discussed the subject of payment. I do not do this kind of work for free you know."
Payment? Vincent hadn't expected that. The Turks paid him well enough... but he knew Hojo's work didn't come cheep. He gulped.
"I'll pay you whatever you want, I just don't know if I-"
"I'm not interested in your money, Valentine." Hojo waved him off.
He didn't want money? Vincent ignored the nagging feeling in his chest and pressed on, "Well... What do you want?"
"Really, nothing of any importance." The Professor circled the man, his hand suddenly catching Vincent's chin. "What I want from you is . . . your voice."
Vincent pulled away, his hand almost instinctively going to his throat. "My Voice?"
"Exactly, Valentine." Hojo said, "No more talking, humming to your self or any kind of ridiculous chatter we have grown so used to here!"
Vincent felt completely confused, "But... what do you need my voice for?"
Hojo once again slipped into the private world of his mind, "To memorize the sounds of your sweet-"
"For research!" He snapped back to the present.
"But if I don't have my voice, then how will I be able to-"
Hojo cut him off again, waving one hand in the air, "You'll have your... Turkish charm! Your..." He reached out and touched Valentine's cheek, "Beautiful face! And don't underestimate the importance of body language! Ha!"
"Lucrecia doesn't mind a bit of silence.
She thinks a man who gossips is a bore
Yes, to her it's much preferred
For her man not to say a word
And after all, boy, what is idle prattle for?
Come on, women are not all that impressed with conversation
True ladies will avoid it when they can
But they dote and swoon and fawn
On a Bishōnen who's withdrawn
It's he who holds his tongue who gets his love.
Come on, you poor unfortunate soul
Make your choice!
I'm a very busy person
And I haven't got all day
It won't cost much
Just your voice!
You poor unfortunate soul
If you want to cross a bridge, my boy
You've got to pay the toll.
Take a gulp and take a breath
And go ahead and sign the scroll
Reeve and Palmer
Now I've got him, boys
The boss is on a roll
You poor unfortunate soul!"
The room was dead silent for a moment before Vincent dared to speak.
"Professor..." He gaped, "I never realized you had such a strong vocal range. Especially for Disney songs!"
Hojo smirked, "You'd be surprised how far my range goes. So do we have a deal, Valentine?" He offered his hand to the young Turk.
Vincent stared at the hand. He knew Hojo was dangerous, insane even... but.... to be with Lucrecia forever? Nothing could be more wonderful. He swallowed his fear and grasped the older man's hand.
"Yes." Vincent said, "But I don't understand how you could take my v-"
The hand holding his yanked him forward and Vincent was shocked to feel an arm wrap around his middle and a mouth enclosing around his. Vincent tried to pull away, but found himself frozen to the spot, the Professor kissing him firmly. He moaned as he could feel Hojo's tongue slip into his mouth and something fled from his body. After a moment Hojo pulled away, gasping for breath. Vincent made a move to ask him just what the hell he thought he was doing but was shocked to find he couldn't speak. His hand flew to his mouth, now completely silence.
Hojo smiled again, "Ah! See! You are completely speechless!"