The Airship had picked up Cloud, Reeve, and Raieyana. However, Reeve had not even exchanged a greeting with Raieyana because it had come so quickly after they met up at Costa Del Sol. Raieyana was walking towards the Airship's bathroom.
"Wait, Ray," he said. She walked even faster. He caught up with her and put a hand on her shoulder. "Stop. Are you mad at me?"
"No, Reeve," she said.
"Then what is it?" he asked. "Hon, look at me." She did. "Your face..."
"Yeah," she said, "my face. Can I go to the bathroom and fix it up now? No, materia didn't work."
"What happened?" She ignored him, and opened the bathroom door. And saw Yuffie and Vincent. In the midst of a major make-out session. They glanced up at Raieyana and Reeve.
"What?" said Yuffie, "it helps me keep from being quite so airsick." Raieyana shut the door.
"What happened, Ray?" asked Reeve, rather forcibly.
"Look, Reeve, I don't want to talk about it."
"Ray," he said, "if you tell me who did this to you, I assure you they will get what's coming."
"Fine, Reeve. It was Sephiroth," she said. She finished sarcastically. "Do what you need to do, Wonder-boy. Unfortunately, you happen to be one of my biggest problems at the moment."
"Why am I a problem? All I do is love you," he said.
"Not in my dream," she said, "that's what worries me."
"Why don't you tell me about this dream you keep having."
She shook her head. "It's just a dream. I need to focus on my translation. I need to learn how to undo what Aysta's done. Even though there's so much damage that I will never be able to repair. But I have to keep going. To save the Planet. To avenge Ishmael. He will not have died in vain. Well, I have work to do, so if you'll just leave me for a little while..." She kissed him. "...maybe we could have fun later," she finished.
Reeve smiled. "Okay, finish your homework."
Raieyana went into the command room to get to work on the last part of the translation. Reeve started to go to the bridge to tell the others to leave her alone. (I wonder if the incident with Cloud scared her into coming back here? If she's afraid to be near him without someone else around?) He turned around and was face to face with Tifa. "Hey, Tifa," he said.
"What is Raieyana doing?" she asked.
"Oh, you know, just working with the last portion of that Ancient translation," he replied.
"It's really terrible how Cloud went berserk on her, when he likes her so much. Yeah, he told me so. Something about her being absolutely perfect, like a new-and-improved Aeris."
"Really," said Reeve. (This is all interesting Tifa, but frankly, I don't want to know who has the hots for Ray. After all we're together, aren't we? I mean she told me she loves me. That has to count for something, right?)
"So Reeve," said Tifa, "we don't really know each other that well, and I kind of guess..." She looked at him and smiled. She leaned forward. "I really would like to," she said softly.
(What should I say? Ray and I never said anything about not telling anyone about us, but I didn't know that no one knew we were kind of hooked up. But then again, I didn't see the Vincent and Yuffie thing coming and wouldn't have seen it, except we kind of walked in on them. But Tifa is coming on to me and I want her to stop...) Tifa leaned forward and kissed him. Reeve quickly pushed her off of him. "Stop," he said.
"Why?" asked Tifa. "Don't you like me?"
"Sure," he said, "but me and Ray are kind of, well, kind of together."
She gave him a knowing look. "Probably not for long. Cloud has a tendency to get what Cloud wants," she said.
"Yeah, well, I really don't think Ray's going to be touching him with a forty-foot pole. Besides, even if she did go for Cloud, what makes you think I would even want you anyway? You're not quite my type," said Reeve. (Didn't want to hurt her feelings, but if she insists on being pushy, hey, I'll push right back.)
"I'd like to know what your type is, Reeve. If you change your mind, though, I think you know where to find me." Tifa walked up the stairs to the deck.
Reeve continued going to the bridge, shaking his head. (Does she seriously think I wouldn't prefer Ray to her after that little scene? She wants to know what my type is. Hell, I don't even know myself. But what is my type, anyway...classy? Well, a little bit. Definitely has to be kind of smart. But devoted, that has to be it. Ray is really committed, to everything she does. That has to be it. I want a woman who's committed. To me, for one thing. And that pretty much sums Ray up, I think. But Tifa, well... The only thing to possibly describe her? Overwhelming...)
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Khazed. It was just three Ancient glyphs, but the word khazed had Raieyana completely stumped. (Could it be derived from the word zeld, shield, or is it from zehd, death? Either way the first syllable is from kha, sacred energy. Sacred shield, or sacred death...) She scanned the surrounding words. Ina- killer. Nefomire- beloved. (Okay, beloved killer...then this has got to mean sacred death. Oh! Brainstorm! It means sacrifice. So, "the one who is the sacrifice dies by the hand of a beloved killer." Doesn't quite fit with "the black materia must be surrounded by the white on a sword of thrice-tempered adamantium." Oh, I see...the sacrifice is killed "with this sword." Oh God. My dream. Am I to be sacrificed? It is my sword. Reeve stabs me with it in my dream. So I know what has to be done. To end this all, I must give my life. Should I tell anyone, should I tell Reeve? No, no one should know. I accept the fact that this must happen, and cannot be prevented, but would anyone else accept it? No. They would stop it at any cost and the cost would be not destroying Sephiroth before it's too late.) She stood up, scattering her translated pages over the floor. She picked them up, stacked them, and set them down on top of the Ancient scrolls.
(No time to bother with the rest. I now know all I need to. Can I handle this? Can Reeve handle this? I forgive him now already, but could he forgive himself afterwards? I need to tell him something so he will know how I feel, without telling him our destiny. How can I hint to him that this tragedy would, in actuality, be a triumph? Not a defeat, but a victory for us all? What do I tell him? The only regret I have is that he must be the one to kill me. Yes, it is much more painful to die by the hand of someone you love than by the hand of someone you hate. Did Ish wish that Aysta had killed him so I didn't have to be the one to... Ish, I miss you. You were the one who always assured me everything was going to be okay. But now you're gone, and I will be soon, and I just want Reeve to know even if this happens, I'd still love him. And I will. So how do I tell him that?)
* * * * * * * * * * * *
It was about six o'clock in the evening when Raieyana emerged from the command room, tired. "So Ray," said Reeve, "did you get all the information you need?"
She nodded. "I think so. It's probably going to be hard going in the crater though. I was stupid to go by myself last time. We should probably get some help from Undor-Hai. A few fighters, and Lia would probably come, and we all could prepare and go through some weapons training."
Reeve looked at her. "Training?" he asked, a little indignantly.
"Oh Reeve," she sighed, "a few lessons on those knives would be a great help to your present 'cut in half first, ask questions later' technique. With that, miss once, and you're in a bad situation. You should master them, really. Everyone should master at least one weapon."
"Ray, pray tell me, what weapon have you mastered?" he asked.
"Weapons," she said, emphasizing the 's.' "I've mastered the staff, double-edged sword, and twin sabres."
She withdrew two long thin blades too long to be knives, but too short to be swords. "Sabres," she repeated. "It's really not a pleasant time if you get cut or stabbed or sliced with one or both of these. As an added plus, almost no one else uses them. So it confuses the hell out of most enemies. Which is good, because the crater is probably filled with more of those wolves and other mutant creatures."
"Mutant creatures?" asked Yuffie, who was a most interesting shade of green.
"We are definitely stopping for aid in Undor-Hai," said Cloud.
Raieyana noticed she was surrounded by everyone else. "How much of this have you heard?" she asked.
"Well," said Ruther, "the first thing I heard was 'cut in half first, ask questions later.'" He grinned at Raieyana.
"C'mon, now that was an example of what not to do," said Legolas, "I learned that twin sabre are these things that nobody knows about and they really confuse people."
"Would Lia be an asset to our party?" asked Red XIII.
"Of course," said Raieyana, "and she has lots of people who would love to help us, since it has been so boring over there."
"Wonder what it's like to live in a place that's boring..." said Barret.