"Are you ready yet Lyria?" Cid yelled up the stairs. "How #$%&- long does it # %&&% take a woman to get ready?"
"Yeah you were about good in an hour, right Vincent?"
The team had met up about three hours later, after taking taxis to various stores around Midgar. Lyria, Tifa, and Yuffie had depleted the four thousand Gil they were given, spending atrocious amounts on shoes, getting Lyrias hair and make up done, buying various accessories, and jewelry. Tifa had sheepishly phoned in the middle of their shopping to ask Cloud if they were done and if they had any money left, could they possibly have it? Cloud had sighed and obliged, transferring the money to the couples bank account so Tifa and the other two could polish it off. When they had finally arrived at the hotel they had immediately run straight up stairs to the room theyd designated as theirs, with the cab driver in tow, carrying all the boxes. Barret, Cid, Vincent, Cloud and Red had returned after an hour and decided it was probably easiest to relax at the bar for a little while, as Lyria got ready. Now, two hours later, they were still waiting.
"Well, whats taking so long?" Cloud asked.
"Why dont you go up again and check? Unless of course, youre still recovering from when you tried to get up last and Yuffie pushed you down the stairs " Red smiled, remembering Clouds attempt.
"Shut up, Red I have an idea lets go rent a car "
"Why?" Vincent asked. Cloud surmised that Vincents appearance was probably similar to what it had been when he was a member of the Turks, except now in a black suit, instead of a dark blue one. At Tifas firm insistence, hed had his hair cut, far shorter than it had been and several locks in the front always fell in front of his eyes, lending a charmingly boyish appearance, until one got a look at his eyes and noticed their icy look and blood red color.
"So Cid can go too," Red answered, guessing Clouds thought.
"Huh?" Cid glanced up. "Whatre you talkin about?"
"As a chauffeur. You could get them in unnoticed and then wait in the chauffeurs lounge in the parkade "
"For how %&#% long?"
"Therell be drinks, Cid," Vincent assured him.
"Oh. Ok, thats different then."
"Just make sure you have your PHS on in case we need you."
"So you know what to do?" Cloud asked Vincent.
"How many times have you asked Cloud? Six?"
"All right, all right sheesh "
"Whats the time?" Red asked.
"Almos eight " Barret glanced at the clock on the wall. "Considerin its starts at eight thirty you better go get that car Cid theres a rental place jes down the block though, so you can get it fast an rent a uniform too."
"Im not stupid Barret well, not as stupid as you "
"Shut up, fly boy."
"Fly boy? Better than bein a mangy dog "
"Excuse me?" Red said indignantly.
"Er at least I got both arms "
Vincent drummed the fingers of his left hand on the table, making a metallic ticking noise.
"Argh " Cid grumbled.
"You gonna call him spiky headed, Mako-eyed moron now?" Cloud asked sarcastically.
"Whos a spiky headed, Mako-eyed moron?" Yuffie asked curiously, entering the room with her hands in her pockets.
"Cloud," Vincent answered quietly.
Yuffie laughed out loud. "Yup, he sure is, isnt he? Lyrias ready, but shes kinda nervous shes waiting in the lobby."
"Thats to be expected. Shes surprisingly shy sometimes," Red said.
"Come on already, she wants to go " Yuffie said impatiently, leading the way into the hotel lobby.
Lyria stood near the reception desk, chatting with Tifa. All traces of the brash makeup, hairstyle and clothing she had worn were gone except for the rose tattoo. She wore a black sleeveless and backless gown fastened at the neck in a similar halter style with a jeweled red rose. The gown reached to the floor and let the tips of her opened toed red shoes peek through. Ruby earrings, black gloves with red embroidery lacing up the wrists, and a strange choker type necklace that appeared to be a seamless gold ring with round red jewels in it every few inches completed the outfit. Her hair was flowing down her back, slightly curled, with streaks of gold offsetting the deep chestnut color and her skin almost seemed to glow in the warm light of the hotel.
"Hi everyone " Lyria said shyly, turning around and letting the slightly flared hemline of her dress twirl. "How do I look?"
"We told you already, Lyr, you look incredible," Tifa told her. "It wouldnt hurt to hear it from you four too though " she added critically.
"I wish I wasnt married " Cloud murmured, earning a smack in the head from Tifa.
"You look real nice Lyria " Barret added.
"A vision," Red pronounced.
Lyria glanced expectantly at Vincent, shy smile lighting up her delicate features.
"Are you ready to go?"
Lyrias eyes registered slight disappointment. "I suppose so."
"Cid should be around in a few minutes with the car " Red glanced out the window at the streets of Midgar. "There he is good luck you two, dont get in trouble."
"Dont worry about us, Red. Well be fine," Lyria promised, exiting the hotel and holding up her dress as she walked down the stone steps.
"Here," Barret handed Vincent several clips of ammo. "Im assumin you got a revolver with you?"
"Yeah. Is this nine millimeter?"
"You think Im stupid too? I know what t put in a revolver "
"Thank you." Vincent pocketed the bullets and headed out the door after Lyria. He caught up to her as she reached the bottom of the stairs.
Cid held the door of a stylish luxury car open and helped Lyria in. The pilot was wearing a slightly rumpled uniform and a rather sour expression. "Get in already, were gonna be late "
"Not bred for a life of service, are we Cid?" Lyria teased as Vincent sat down next to her.
Cid grunted and slammed the car door. A few moments later he took his place behind the wheel and the vehicle roared to life and sped down the highway.
"Christ, Cid! Youre going to get us killed!" Vincent exclaimed.
Lyria tilted her head to the side. "You know, thats the first time Ive ever heard you sound startled before."
"It doesnt happen very often."
Vincent shrugged. "Training, I guess. Turks arent supposed to show emotion."
"Thats so different from the life I know "
"It didnt say it was any better."
"I know you didnt."
"You two talk too much," Cid snorted, swerving around a corner and down a ramp into a darkened parkade.
"And to think I worried about our safety inside the ShinRa building. I didnt know getting there would be half the fun " Lyria said, kicking the back of Cids seat.
"You kids behave or Ill turn this thing around and well go straight home," Cid answered sternly.
"Is that materia in that necklace Lyria?" Vincent changed the subject and examined the choker Lyria wore closely.
"Uh huh. Yuffie lent it to me; Ive got quite a few here, actually."
Lyria giggled. "Well, if youve got a gun or two, I cant be totally defenseless."
"Something like that."