All Roads Lead to Love

By Nanaki Lioness

"So...explain to me why we're here again."

Reno raised his eyebrows. The mission was simple enough. Yet this rookie Turk didn't seem to understand what had been asked of them. Find AVALANCHE and eliminate them. How hard could it possibly be?

"Elena..." Reno sighed wearily. "We are here to seek and kill. It's what Turks do. It's our job."

"Oh..." Elena paused. "But they have weapons!"

"So do we," Reno countered. It was obvious Elena had never been in battle before. Her new, shiny pistol was still in the pouch hanging by her side. It had never been used, never even been held. Just placed there, more than likely to just be forgotten about. Reno ran his hand along his own gun, feeling the worn metal under his fingers. He'd used his gun a lot, until he had gotten himself a night-stick. But he still carried the pistol with him. It was his good luck charm. He smirked. Good luck for him, bad luck for the person on the receiving end of the bullet. He felt his night-stick again, and pulled the long staff-like object from his sheath. He held it in his hands, ready to strike.

"Reno, have you forgotten about what they done to you at Sector Seven?!"

What did Elena know about Sector Seven? She had been employed simply because Reno had been 'out of action' thanks to AVALANCHE. He hadn't forgotten about Sector Seven. He had the scars to prove it. AVALANCHE would pay; he would make sure of it.

"Of course not," he replied. "Elena, how about you go find something to do? Rude and I'll wait here until they arrive. You just let us know if you see anything, and then report to Tseng."

"T-Thank you Sir," Elena stuttered and ran off, heading out of the trees, soon out of sight. Reno knew she didn't want to fight. She wasn't cut out to be Turk material, in his eyes. Just some girl, seeking glory, but not wanting to do the work needed to achieve it.

He turned in Rude's direction. The other Turk was waiting patiently nearby. He walked over to him, nodding in the direction Elena had run.

"I sent her off to find something to do," he explained. "I can't see why President Shinra employed her to replace me! She's useless!"

"...she has her virtues" Rude said. Reno raised an eyebrow.

"Where, exactly?" He asked. Rude simply shrugged, his way of saying he was bored with the conversation. He kept his sunglass- covered eyes at the entrance of the clearing.

They were waiting at a place named Gongaga, where they had heard from Cait Sith AVALANCHE were heading. Reno smiled as he remembered Reeve's moogle toy. He remembered they day he had been unveiled clearly. Reeve had been ecstatic about the robotic animal. The Turks had just looked at him. They couldn't see what the fuss was about. Reeve had a cuddly toy. Big deal. When that got around the Shinra Building, he'd be laughed at and talked about. The latest gossip in the building never stayed in one place for long. But more importantly, the Turks didn't want to waste their time with toys.

Reeve had explained that the toy was a moogle named Cait Sith, and that he could be used to spy on AVALANCHE. Then the Turks become interested. The man went on to explain there was an in-built camera and communication device built into the moogle's stuffed body. He had the idea to place Cait Sith at the Gold Saucer, where AVALANCHE would be sure to stop at one time. And when they met Cait Sith, he would be posing as a fortune teller. He would tell their fortunes, make up something bad, and then seem concerned enough to accompany the group to make sure they stayed safe. The plan seemed foolproof.

And it was. AVALANCHE had fallen for it.

Now the annoying moogle was out of their hair and following AVALANCHE around, probably bugging the hell out of them. His cheery manner that Reeve had programmed seemed always out of place. Reno smiled at the thought.

He looked around the surrounding area. Gongaga didn't exactly have much going for it. There was a reactor that had blown up, that Tseng and Scarlet were investigating now. And there was the small town that hated the Shinra for what had happened. And if Reno remembered clearly from a few years back, one of the best SOLDIERs Shinra had trained had come from this small, backwater town. Sephiroth's right hand man, in fact. Reno also knew the SOLDIER - Zachary something, he couldn't remember - had been quite friendly with Cloud, the current leader of AVALANCHE. The spiky haired kid had changed since Reno last saw him back then. And from the glow in his eyes, obviously made SOLDIER. Must have re-taken the test, Reno thought, 'coz last I heard he didn't make it.

He turned his attention to Rude. He was still staring at the entrance of the clearing.

"Whatcha thinkin' about?" he asked his friend. Rude turned to him, raising his eyebrows over his glasses.

"...nothing," he replied before turning his attention back to the entrance. Reno smiled slightly, recognising the look. It was almost as though he wanted AVALANCHE to arrive, and Reno knew it had nothing to do with wanting a fight.

"So who do you like?" he asked. Rude turned to him, trying to conceal surprise. Reno looked at him expectantly. Rude could never hide anything from him.

"...Tifa," he answered softly, blush spreading across his cheeks. Reno's eyes widened in surprise.

"Ohhh..." he said. "But poor Elena! You...her..." he had gotten the impression that their latest addition held a torch for Rude. Rude shook his head.

"No, she likes Tseng." Reno was even more surprised.

"But Tseng likes that Ancient," he said. Elena's got no chance, he thought to himself. Tseng's so hung up on the Ancient, it'd take her dying for him to finally open his eyes and look elsewhere.

Neither of them noticed a small group of people enter the clearing, both too wrapped up in their conversation. But Elena noticed the new arrivals from where she had just arrived back from scouting the area. She approached them, knowing she wasn't wanted with Reno and Rude. She wanted to talk to somebody, anybody, even a complete stranger,

"What are they talking about...?" She heard a man ahead of her, probably the leader, whisper.

"They always do this," she answered for him. He turned in shock, and then jumped and stepped back as he saw who it was. Elena failed to notice his reflex. "They always talk about what girls they like. They're impossible..." she noticed who she was speaking to suddenly. That spiky hair...she couldn't miss it anywhere. The name clicked on her mind. She was talking to the leader of AVALANCHE, Cloud Strife. "Ahh!" she squealed. "Oh no!!" She ran past the group and up to Reno and Rude. "They're here!" She yelled. "They're really here!!" Reno knew she was about to say something about Cait Sith actually working, and interrupted before she could get the chance.

"Thanks, Elena," he said, "we'll deal with it from here."

"Right," Elena answered. "I'll report to Tseng!" She ran off in the direction of the reactor, where Tseng was. Reno stepped forward, eyeing the group over. They appeared to have another addition to their planet saving club, he noted. He looked the new member over. It was a young girl, no older than about sixteen, holding a very deadly looking star shaped weapon. The eight slots for Materia were full, which surprised him.

The girl's brown eyes locked onto his. He was actually beginning to like her appearance. She had short, brown hair and captivating eyes. The clothing she was wearing seemed to blend in with the background around them. He smiled slightly at her.

"You're new," he said to her. The girl simply tossed her hair haughtily, and didn't answer. She kept her gaze locked on Reno's aquamarine eyes. "You're pretty young to be hanging around with terrorists," he stated. And beautiful, he mentally noted. Rude likes Tifa so I guess I can like her...

He saw Cloud whisper something to Tifa and then the Ancient girl, Aeris. They nodded and fell into a battle stance.

"What about me?" The girl Reno had been speaking to asked. "Can't I fight?"

"We only just met you," Cloud answered. "How do I know you're not gonna run off and leave us stranded, and missing our Materia again?" The girl shook her head.

"I wanna fight!" She said. "I wanna show you I can!"

Tifa and Aeris exchanged a look, and then Aeris stepped back. The girl smiled in delight and ran to join Cloud and Tifa. Reno sighed. They wanted a fight. He tapped his night-stick in his hands. Lucky he was in the mood. He turned to Rude.

"Don't go easy on them just because they're girls," he said. Rude nodded and fell beside Reno, holding his fists up.

AVALANCHE were quick to react, Reno noted, as the new girl held up her star weapon and cast a summon on them. Ifrit, he saw, and mentally cursed. The summon hit them strong, and Rude looked annoyed. He held up his fist.

They're in trouble, Reno thought.

"Grand Punch!" He yelled, holding his fist in the air and bringing it down with such a force it made the ground shake. The girl lost her balance on her feet. Reno almost ran to her, to ask her if she was alright, but restrained himself. He threw Rude a look, which he understood.

Don't hit the girl and I won't attack Tifa.

Rude nodded. They both knew what that meant. Focus every attack on Cloud Strife.

They done just that, seeming to wear the man down. But the young girl seemed to have an infinite amount of Materia, and began to get the better of the two Turks. Tifa was quick with her fists, and she too seemed quite competent with magic. Rude checked his watch, and remembered they were supposed to be meeting Tseng about now. They needed the chopper to get back to the Shinra Building, and he knew Scarlet would leave without them. He gestured to Reno, and ran off without a word. Reno stayed behind a moment longer to admire the girl. It was a mistake; Tifa hit him with an Ice spell. He shook the effects of and looked at the young girl again.

"What's your name?" He asked. The girl almost attacked him, but lowered her shuriken.

"Yuffie," she answered.

"Well, Yuffie," Reno said smoothly. "How about you and I go to dinner when this is all over, ne?"

With that, he followed on Rude's heels, leaving AVALANCHE shocked that the Turks should retreat from a battle.

But Yuffie was happy. The man liked her! She smiled in glee. When she had the group's materia, maybe she should take up on that offer of dinner.

Author's Notes: I know it's different, and maybe not what a lot of you were expecting. But this just seemed right. I hope it turned out okay! Let me know ^_^

Nanaki Lioness' Fanfiction