Outside of the constant video feed, from 1800 hours to 2000 hours Sephiroth was granted “free time” to do as he wished inside of his bedroom. He was more active during the day once they attempted this practice.
Hojo kept an eye on what he did, but never put a stop to it. It was mostly quiet things to keep him occupied. Reading, both a few picture books he was allowed and chapter books he was encouraged to read. Sometimes he continued to color and sketch. On rare occasions he talked to Ceecee.
Most of the technicians just brushed her off as a figure of Sephiroth’s imagination. For some reason Hojo had a strange interest in her. He only questioned the boy once or twice and received short noncommittal answers. Ceecee simply was not something he wanted to speak about.
But Hojo listened to Sephiroth’s one-sided conversations. What he learned from them was anyone’s guess.
She was one her stomach watching him. Her head rested on her folded forearms.
“You shouldn’t pick at your scabs like that,” she said. Sephiroth didn’t respond, but stopped fidgeting.
“You haven’t been here in a while,” he said softly.
“I felt tired,” she said, “But I missed you.”
“Are you still tired?” he asked.
“Yes,” she said, “but I’d rather stay here with you for a while. I can rest later.” Sephiroth nodded and kept quiet. The blinking red eye of the camera unnerved him. Ceecee paid it no mind.
“Tell me one of your stories,” she said.
“Why?” he asked.
“Because you make up such good ones,” she said, “I like them.” Sephiroth fidgeted with his arm again.
“I don’t think the professor likes me talking to you,” Sephiroth whispered. She smiled.
“Why would he care?” she asked.
“He says you’re not real,” Sephiroth said, “I made you up. You’re only make-believe.”
“Well then you have one great imagination,” she said, “one of the best I’ve seen. With an imagination like that, who cares what that old fart thinks.” Sephiroth let out a brief snort. He covered his mouth and stole another glance at that red eye.
“Come on,” she goaded, “just a little one.” He thought for a moment.
“Well…there was a dragon…”
Her eyes were closed now. He couldn’t tell if she was breathing or not. This was happening more and more often.
“Ceecee,” he whispered, crawling a little closer.
“Mmm,” she said.
“Are you going to leave?” he asked.
“…No,” she sighed.
“Does seeing me make you tired?” he asked.
“Seeing you is the only thing that keeps me going sometimes,” she said, “keep talking to me.”
“Do…Does the professor not like you because you know something about my mother?” Sephiroth asked. Hojo had always been curt whenever Sephiroth had dared to ask. Professor Gast said he didn’t like to think about it.
“Yes,” she said.
“Oh,” Sephiroth replied. He moved a little closer still.
“Sometimes I wish she was just like you,” he said.