"We'll go…together." said Yazoo weakly, his injuries and the healing ran beginning to overcome him.

"Together…we'll play." Said Loz as Big Brother grunted weakly. He stood, feeling lightheaded as Yazoo too rose shakily too his feet, the materia in their arms shining brightly. Big Brother grunted again, and then turned, raising his sword as he yelled and charged. Loz and his brother raised their arms and roared briefly before discharging all their stored power at once, overloading the materia in a blast of flame.

Together…we'll play…together… he thought as the fire and rain took him. His world fell silent, and he opened his eyes to find himself in a vast whiteness. His injuries were gone, and he was no longer feeling weak…but he was alone.

"Yazoo?" he asked, turning this way and that. "Yazoo?" He twisted frantically, fear beginning to fill him. "Yazoo! Kadaj! Big Brother! Mother!"

There was no answer, and he slowly sat down, crushing his knees up against his chest as he sniffled.

"Mother…" he moaned softly before he began to sob, the tears flowing down his face. He half-expected to hear Yazoo or Kadaj tell him not to cry, but there was nothing, and utter misery filled him as he put his head against his knees, shaking with his sobs.

"Mother…" he whined. "Mother….Mother…Mother…" he sobbed, repeating the word like it was a mystical charm that would make everything better. That was what Mother was supposed to do, wasn't it? Make everything better? But Mother wasn't here…A horrible thought filled him. What if Mother didn't like him? What if she thought he was a crybaby, like Yazoo and Kadaj, and had decided to leave him here? He shook his head frantically. No, Mother wouldn't do that, she loved him! She loved him!

But then, why wasn't she here, telling him that everything would be alright and comforting him?

"Mother…" he moaned again, rocking as he cried. He suddenly felt a hand gently stroke his hair, and a wild hope surged through him. "Mother?" He said hopefully, looking up. A beautiful brown-haired woman in a pink dress and red jacket stood in front of him, looking down at him compassionately. "Mother?" He asked again.

The woman gently shook her head, and the disappointment and despair that flooded through him made him cry even harder than before, the sobs wracking his body fiercely.

"Mother…Mother…Mother…" he sobbed, again repeating the word over and over, each repetition a desperate plea. Mother was supposed to make everything better, make it so he didn't have to cry anymore, but she wasn't here. She didn't love him. She thought he was a crybaby and had left him here alone. He moaned helplessly, crying harder than ever as arms encircled him and the woman pulled him into an embrace.

"Ssh…it's ok, Loz, you don't have to be sad anymore."

"Bu-but Mo-Mo-Mother le-left me here!" he said through his tears. "I'm a c-crybaby, so she doesn't lo-love me and left me here!'

"Ssh…everything's ok, just let it out, it's all right. You don't have to be brave, not for me." The woman said soothingly. Her words, so like the words he had imagined Mother would say, broke something inside him and he howled in anguish, leaning into the embrace desperately and sobbing, crying for hours as she comforted and soothed him, telling him that it was ok; that he wasn't a crybaby and that he was brave and strong and that it was ok to cry…

Eventually his tears began to run out and he whimpered, sniffling as he felt her wipe his eyes. She looked down at him and smiled.

"There, all better. Come on Loz, they're waiting for you." She turned to look at something off to the right, and he twisted his head to follow her gaze.

Yazoo and Kadaj stood in front of a door of white light. Yazoo smiled, looking happier than Loz had ever seen him before.

"Come on, Loz. Why were you crying? Everything's fine, there's no reason to be sad."

"We're here, Loz. You're not alone. Come on, we'll go together." Kadaj said, smiling softly as he unintentionally echoed the words Yazoo had said not so long ago.

"We'll play…together…" he said. He looked at the woman, so sweet and caring and everything Mother should have been and wasn't. She smiled at him.

"It's ok Loz, I'll come with you too."

"Yeah," said a new voice, a man with long black hair emerging beside Yazoo and Kadaj. "We'll all go, and we can all play." Loz smiled, fierce joy flooding him as he stood and took and eager step towards the doorway before faltering suddenly.

"Wh…where's Big Brother?" He asked uncertainly. The woman smiled at him.

"Cloud still has things he has to do, there's no place for him yet. Don't worry, though. You'll see him again, and then we can all play together forever."

"Forever…" he whispered as she reached up and put a hand on his shoulder.

"Forever…." she agreed as she began to walk, guiding him toward the others. Kadaj and Yazoo leaped at him when he reached them, hugging him fiercely. Joy filled his heart as the woman smiled at them.

"We'll play together…" he said as he hugged them back.

"Together…" they agreed.

As the five of them walked through the doorway of light, the woman's hand again on his shoulder, Loz knew that even though Mother didn't love him, these people did, and he knew that he had finally come home.

And that he would never be lonely again; he and his brothers and their new family would always be together, and they would always be loved.



Inspired in part by "Child's Play," by "Rose9999 and Black Kat"