Chrome Spark Chapter 7
By Chris Homer
SUMMARY: After Battling with Chromer and Lelin, they give Cloud and co a cryptic clue in where they are going. With that, they consult Red and Reeve, who are patching up Cosmo. Cait gives them some information which may be helpful. Meanwhile, Jessie has recovered, although still hadn't said a word really to Barret and co. This is where we continue.......
In Mideel, Barret and Elymra were back over Jessie's bed. The young woman had fallen asleep again, reminding Barret of the fact that he hadn't had any sleep in a while now. He glanced at Marlene, who had dozed off in Elymra's arms. Again, a twinge in his heart, he wondered if he could care for anyone more than Eleanor.
Returning to his former thought, Barret shrugged off his drowiness, and continued to watch Jessie, hoping for a more encouraging sign of her improvement. She wasn't panicking and had smiled a few times, but other than that, it was as you were.
Elymra looked at Barret, seeing his tiredness. Elymra was twisting with her feelings as well. How much did she care about Barret. Since her husband's death, the only thing which kept the void in her heart full was Aeris. When she died, she didn't know what to do in life, and it was Barret and Marlene who after the war, they stayed with her, until Tifa and Cloud also came to Kalm.
It suddenly occured that she needed them, like she needed Aeris. Although she was back, and Elymra was eternally happy, there was something missing in her life, something that a daughter couldn't be 100% responsbile for.
Elymra stood up and walked to Barret.
"Barret?" she said. He looked up slowly. "How long has it been since you've got some sleep?"
Barret stirred, but didn't answer the question. Elymra nodded.
"I thought as much. Go, you won't be much good to Jessie in that condition." she said. Barret, not using at being told what to do, glared at Elymra at first in suggesting such a thing. But then he thought better of it.
"'Kay, suppose you're right. There's an inn nearby. I suppose I could get 40 winks there." Barret smiled.
"Hey, Elymra." said Barret.
"Yes?" said Elymra.
"Thanks." said Barret.
"For what?" Said Elymra.
"For being yourself. For being a friend, for managing to put up with me, for being no nice to Marlene, I suppose, you are the closest thing she has to a mom, now." Barret finished. Elymra blushed a bit.
"Elymra....." said Barret.
"Yes?" repeated Elymra.
"I was just wondering........would you like to get a late-night snack with me, here, before I doze off?" Barret was a bit embarrased, he didn't know how to put the words 'Do you want to go out?" Elymra knew though, and was a bit embarrassed herself, but she smiled again.
"I'd love to." she simply said, still smiling.
She held her head, and Barret, gingerly, but without any regret, with his good hand, grasped Elymra's in his strong grip.
"What the......." said Red, even he was stunned by the concept of there being a hidden rainforest in an Antarctican equilivant.
The room was silent for a few moments more, before Reeve broke the silence.
"This new idea is extraordinary. A former Cetra paradise, and still here after 5000 years, in perfect condition."
"Yeah, but if Sephiroth gets there, it won't be perfect for long." said Cloud, finally finding his voice.
Tifa turned to Aeris. "Aeris, don't you know anything about this, being a Cetra yourself?"
Aeris stood looking thoughtful. "I never knew about the whereabouts, but Ifalna in one of her voices told me something about a land, no-one knew existed, where life can be at peace. I thought at first it was the Promised Land, but that can never be. I wonde if this forest area is the place she meant?"
"Well, one things for certain. We ain't gonna know with our asses sitting here?" said Cid. "Come on, they get ourselves in gear and get there before Sephiroth turns it into a charred cinder."
"Hold it, Cid. We're tired. Maybe we should get some sleep first before we take off, it is late." said Red.
"I don't need any freaking sleep!" yelled Cid, then ironically, he yawned after it. "Maybe, but leaving that place for Chromer and Lelin isn't going to give them any favours." said Cid.
"I can stay awake and channel my energy into the area, in a meditation." said Aeris. "If the place was originally made by Cetra preserving, then some of their essence is still there. I can contact you if danger arrives there." said Aeris.
"You sure you'll be O.K?" said Reeve, concerned over the young Ancient.
Aeris smiled sweetly. "Of course. I have eternal sleep for almost a year now, I think one all-nighter isn't going to be too damaging." Everyone smiled at that, even Cait, if a robot could smile.
"O.K, Red, do you mind if Aeris stayed with you. So if she finds something, she can wake you, and the rest of us can be easily connected without Barret cursing us out?" said Cloud.
"Fine by me." said Red. "I'll probably be awake anyway in my studies. With the re-building of Cosmo, this was one of the few unwrecked places, here, I can be at peace, and many of the books I used are here, and are relatively undamaged."
"Red, are you O.K?" said Tifa, seeing a tear come out of Red's eye.
"Yes." he said. "Just thinking about how this occurred. It probably wouldn't have if Grandfather was here." Another tear fell. Aeris touched him. "It's all right, Red."
Red sniffed once more. "Go, my friends. You look like you've just been through a war."
Cloud turned. "We did."
As everyone left, Aeris went into a corner where she could meditate, listening for the calls of the Cetra, if any danger would soon come.
Red looked at the young Cetra. 'She is beautiful.' Red thought. 'I wonder if there is one of my kind like that.' With a shrug, and little hopes, he went to look at his grandfather's studies, with a grudging intention of ripping Sephiroth's soul right out of Chromer's body.
Barret and Elymra were down in the hospital cafe. It was a small area, but it was good for them, just talking, whilst eating. (Although hospital food isn't exactly well renowned for good reputation.)
Near them, Barret noticed that Tseng and Elena were there as well. It was obvious that the two of them had the hots for each other ever since they were reunited. Elena enjoyed Tseng's company more than anything. Rude was too secretive and Reno was too upfront, but Tseng had a charm which he seemed to have collected since he first joined the Turk's.
Barret shrugged himself. He wondered if he could love like that again. He looked at the woman ahead of him. Despite Elymra coming close to 40, she inherited (if possible) some of her 'daughter's' looks, and she defintely looked much younger than she was percieved to be.
It was then Elymra started to blush. Barret then reliased what he just thought was what he just said. 'Great.' Now Barret started to blush too. Both started to laugh.
Soon they started to talk about everything. From Barret introduction to AVALANCHE, to Dyne and Marlene, to Elymra's husband, and Aeris growing up. General chat as well, what was favourite food/drink/music, etc. Barret seemed to be getting even closer to her than ever.
"Barret." said Elymra.
"Yes?" said Barret, his voice slightly quieter than normal.
"Are we.....you know.....do you think we're too old for this?" said Elymra. Barret laughed.
"You look like a 25 year old. I'm under 40, just about, hey, we don't need to be....you know.....love in that way, but I would love you as my companion, my friend, my wife." He smiled.
Elymra was a bit stunned, especially after the last word. She had spent much more time with Barret and Marlene than any of the others, almost a year in fact, she never reliased how close they were getting. Elymra bent over the table to Barret, closing her eyes.
A scream from upstairs woke them up. Even Barret in his tired state seem to have woken up.
It was definetly Marlene's scream.
Elmyra and Barret, along with Rude (who was having a cup of tea at the time) ran up, Tseng and Elena also ran, although a bit slower.
As they entered the hospital room. Marlene looked.....excited. her scream wasn't a frightened one, more of an excited one.
Barret immediately went to Marlene, about to ask her what was the matter, when his answer was answered for him.
That didn't come from Marlene, Elymra or Elena, but it was a female voice. He looked at the bed.
And there was Jessie, sat up, and smiling.
Barret was screaming madly, happily, but madly. He had called Tifa and Cloud on the PHS, as the other original members of AVALANCHE, they had to see this. Cloud had told him about Aeris, so he didn't disturb her. However, Reeve and Zack also came up, which surprised Barret.
Jessie had practically risen from the dead. Her oredeals with Lelin would have put any normal woman into a state which would have made mental people look sane. But Jessie was not normal. An original members of AVALANCHE, she was strong, and she had survived death once, she could survive it again.
Jessie had a problem speaking, her words a bit croaky, still weak, and probably a bit frightened, but she at least recognised the figures of Barret, Tifa and Cloud. She didn't know anyone else.
Then, Barret remembered something. He looked at the Turks. It was them who kill.....no, it was Reno, and he wasn't here. No, no, it was the damned Shinra! He didn't like the Turks much, but Shinra had ordered them to drop the plate, and he hated Shinra even more. He wondered if Jessie knew it was one of the Turks who killed her.
Everyone introduced themselves to her. Jessie immediately warmed to Zack, who had kissed her hand, and held it warmingly, as had Reeve, both being 'gentlemen callers' as if you were. The Turks however, were harder to introduce, as it was their company who killed her in the first place. She recognised Tseng, as a man she knew from the cell. She shuddered slightly. She also recognised Elena, although not fully. Rude introduced himself last, a bit nervous, didn't know what to say. Jessie just smiled at him, and paid him compliments for coming to see her.
"Jessie, how are you know?" said Tifa, just as a doctor came in.
"I'm......getting there, tifa." she said, with difficultly. "That......bastard practically ruined.....my life, despite......giving it to me again. It was like.......when I first got shot.....and crush..." She stopped, suddenly recognising the uniform of the Turks. Elena sensed the look as well.
"You......It was one of you.....who did this." Jessie soon became very aggitated and weak. Elena tried to speak.
"Jessie, it wasn't us. It was the Shinra. We didn't want innocent to die. It was just our job.....like yours was. Many people died during your blowing up of the reactors. Are we any different?" said Elena.
"Besides, it wasn't any of them. It was a man named Reno." said Reeve, then wished he hadn't as Rude gave him a frightful look.
Jessie was about to speak again, but Barret shushed her, and said "He won't harm you, I promise. If he does, I'll shove a walking stick up his as...."
"I'm sorry if I have to interrupt, but Miss Halberd needs her rest." (Yes, it a name for Jessie, I don't know her real second name.) said a doctor. "She has been under a real ordeal, and I'm sure, you don't want to do any more danger."
A grumbled murmur went through the crowd. Finally, everyone, except Barret left.
"Can I stay, to watch over her?" said Barret. "Just in case, she has another fit?"
The doctor smiled. "She has gotten over the worst. Many people in her conditon wouldn't even get this far. She's a survivor. Besides, you look a little worse for wear. Why don't you and your wife go and have a re..."
"Wife? I'm not married?" said Barret.
"Then whose the woman outside with a child?" said the doctor.
Barret looked out of the window. Elymra and Marlene were sitting down.
Under his breath, but with a smile he said "Dang woman." Out loud, he said "She's just a friend."
The doctor looked at him and smiled. "O.K, then wife to be, the way you two were looking at each other." The doctor left.
Barret gave a humph as he left. With a smirk, he said "What a jackass."
He turned to Jessie. She had fallen asleep. Barret decided he could sleep here if he could. He went out to see Elymra, and explain the situation. Elymra agreed, she and Marlene would go to the inn, and Barret would stay here.
Barret smiled at her. The feelings were returning, and life was starting to look up for him.
In Cosmo, Red was sleeping on the table he was working on. Aeris, however, hadn't moved an inch from where she sat, still in meditation. Or at least asleep.
Suddenly, her eyes blinked open. She stared at Red and walked over to him.
"Hey, wake up." said Aeris, softly.
Red mumbled in his sleep, but slowly stirred. "Aeris.....I'm sorry. I was tir.."
"No need to worry. We've got to fiind the others. It's an emergency."
"What?" said Red.
"They've arrived." she said.
The sleep that Jessie got earlier obviously had done more because within 30 minutes after falling comosse again, she woke up, and tip toed ot of the room to where a sleeping Barret lay. She tapped him on the shoulder, her injuries were not as bad as first hoped.
"Hey, Barret." she said.
Barret woke up, and at first, thought it was Elymra but then his vision cleared and it was Jessie.
"Hey, what are you doing up?" he said.
"I was about to ask you the same thing." said Jessie, her voice, surprisingly, more clear now.
"You've got to go back into bed. Your injuries are pretty intense." said Barret, looking at her. Her pink nightgown made her look good, but Barret was not interested.
"Hell with that. We've got a lot of catching up to do." said Jessie.
"So?" said Barret, and scopped Jessie in his arms. Jessie, probably the heaviest of the females, around 145lbs, (I estimate Yuffie at 80, Tifa, 98 and Aeris just over 100) was still easy prey for Barret, who was near 300lbs. Barret heard Jessie giggle. It had been a long time since he heard her laugh. It was good to hear it. Without reliasing it, a tear came down Barret's face, as he laid her down in the hospital bed.
"Barret? What's wrong?" said Jessie.
"Just thinking about the times we used to have. I missed you a lot." said Barret.
"Likewise." said Jessie.
The two of them conversed into the night, about times past and times present. Apparantely, Jessie had been faking the sleep and had overhead what Barret and the doctor were saying about Elymra, and Barret had gone red, an emotion Jessie had never seen him do, unless around Marlene. It was about 6 a.m when a ring on the PHS caught his attention.
"Yeah?" said Barret.
A few moments of listening, and Barret's face turned into a hard look of determination. He pocketed the PHS and went out the door.
"Barret, what's wrong?" said Jessie.
"We're about to kick the ass of the person who did this to you." said Barret.
"What?" said Jessie.
"Last night, Aeris contacted her race, the Cetra, if danger appeared in a hidden Cetra land...thingy. Anyway, the bastard Lelin who did that to you, and his son, who is actually a good guy, but is being controlled by Sephiroth, are there, apparently waiting for us. So, we are going to mop the floor with this asshole!" he finished.
Jessie's face turned into a hardcore of determination, a look that Barret hadn't seen since her technology days at AVALANCHE. "Let me come with you." said Jessie.
"No way. Too dangerous. Besides, you're not up to it." said Barret. As Jessie looked ready to plead, Barret gave a final 'No', but then a kinder 'Goodbye.' and slammed the door.
Jessie turned to her drawer and took an object. She smiled. Cloud had given it to her in case of contact, knowing she would want a piece of Lelin as well. Despite her condition, it was unlikely that Lelin could stop her with this item.
"Sorry, Barret. I'll be damned if I can't kiss his ass."
Without a word, she put back on an outfit bought by Tifa, and quickly walked out. Injury, or no injury, this one was personal.
To be continued......
CHAPTER 8: COMING HOME
The battle with Chromer and Lelin comes to a final point. With everyone attacking it seems like they don't have a chance. But a final Jenova created by Lelin and powered by Sephiroth may just be their undoing. But if Jessie has anything to say about it.......
* By now, you have have seen that there is some romance in the air between Barret and Elymra. Reason? He is one of the few people who rarely gets a romantic issue in the fanfics. But that's not all, I plan that almost every character will get a romantic issue in my fanfic in my 5 part series. Heici and Chromer will die in Part 5, most likely, but will have some kind of quick relationship with Yuffie and Aeris respectively.
However long term, Barret, Cid and Tseng have been decided, and I can't live a lie, Tifa and Cloud will go together. Sorry, Aeris fans. I thinks she great as well, and believe it, it was a bloody hard choice, but I think tifa deserves Cloud more.
However, the others? I NEED HELP!
I don't know whom to put Jessie, Yuffie or Aeris with after the deaths. If you can, can you help me? Here are a few possible choices:
Jessie: Rude, Zack, Reeve
Yuffie: Reeve, Reno.
Aeris: Zack, Reeve.
I'm not going to include any new characters as well. (Except in Part 5 with a female version for Red briefly enters)
Any other ideas are welcome. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you and keep reading.
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