The day had gone by quickly, full of training and preparation for the journey the next day. Everyone agreed that Lia, Camilla, Blake, Drake, and Quake would be a great addition to the party. They were all gathered in Lia's dining room for dinner. Raieyana sat and picked at her plate. (This is too much like the Last Supper for my taste. Or maybe like my last meal before I go to the electric chair.) She got up. "We have an early start tomorrow and I'm tired, so I'm going to wash up and go to bed."
"Sounds like a good idea," said Yuffie, getting up as well. Vincent and Reeve stood up simultaneously.
"Boy," said Reeve, yawning, "I'm exhausted." He quickly followed Raieyana. Vincent and Yuffie left the room without so much as another word.
"What was that all about?" asked Barret.
"I know exactly what it's about," said Cloud.
"Yup," said Cid, "me, too." Everyone waited, expecting to hear their explanation, but they went back to their desserts.
"So?" said Barret.
"I said I knew; I didn't say I was going to tell you," said Cid.
"Why you little drunk bastard..." Barret leaped across the table, aiming for Cid's neck.
Tifa grabbed his collar and yanked him back into his chair. "With everyone so tense, sleep sounds like a very good idea to me," she said.
Cloud snorted. "I don't think sleep is what those guys had in mind," he said, referring to Reeve and Raieyana, and Vincent and Yuffie.
Tifa threw her napkin on the table and got up. "I'm going to bed before I lose my temper. However, this solution has come a little too late for some of us." She stormed out of the room.
"Well," said Lia, "I guess the vote is for bedtime. Everyone has rooms, right?"
"Pssst, Lia," Camilla whispered loudly, "I live here. I'll just go back to my house." The joke put everyone in a good mood, except Barret, who was still sulking over Tifa's scolding.
Cloud heard a strange sound coming from under the table. He lifted up the tablecloth and looked. (Aww, Red's purring. He's sound asleep, curled up like a kitty. Wonder if he'd like a catnip mouse?)
* * * * * * * * * * * *
"Big day tomorrow," said Reeve.
"Yes," said Raieyana.
"Ray, you have me worried," he said, "you've been acting weird all day."
"Guess I've just been excited for tomorrow, like everyone else. Oh, by the way, Cloud came on to me."
Reeve looked at her. "Tifa came on to me the other day."
Raieyana laughed. "So that's what that whole thing was about!"
"What thing?" he asked.
"Yesterday, I think it was," she said, "Tifa came in here and she asked me, 'What does he see in you?' And so I say, 'Who?' She says, 'Oh, Cloud. And Reeve. I just thought you might know, that's all.' So then she goes into this whole big thing about how much better she is than me, blah, blah, blah, and the entire time, I'm thinking, 'If she has this wonderful opinion of herself, maybe that's what Cloud doesn't like.'"
"She told me Cloud had the hots for you the other day," he said.
"Is that the word she used? 'Hots?'"
Reeve shook his head. "That's my own personal addition," he said, "and believe me, Ray, it suits you."
"I know." She glanced at him. "You would look pretty decent yourself, if you ever wore something besides that boring suit."
"Only decent?" Reeve threw a pillow at her. It missed by a wide margin.
She picked it up and put it back on the bed, smiling sadly. (How many more moments like this would there be, if I didn't have to... Or moments with Ish, if he hadn't of...)
They were startled by a loud bang on the wall. "Ray, who's next door?" asked Reeve.
"Yuffie, I think," she said. Then they heard Yuffie's moan of "Ow, my head," and Raieyana's guess was confirmed. "Well, all I have to say is that those two must have a fairly interesting relationship over there; that's for certain."
Reeve acted offended. "I'm not interesting?" He pulled her towards him and kissed her softly.
Raieyana was pretty sure what he was getting at. She pulled away. "Reeve..." (What are you going to tell him? You're not in the mood tonight? This is the last night, your only night left with him.)
"It's okay, Ray," he said, "if you don't want to..."
She shook her head. "I was just going to tell you that I love you."
"Well if that's all..." He pulled her close again. "...I love you, too."
* * * * * * * * * * * *
"Vincent," said Yuffie, "maybe we should tell the others about us."
"Well, that wasn't exactly the most eloquent scene after dinner. Actually, we probably came off as pretty strange."
Vincent shrugged. "They already think that I'm strange."
"Not me. And I'd like it to stay that way. As it is, they think I'm really selfish," said Yuffie.
"The one thing I can say for you, Yuffie Kisaragi, is you are definitely not as selfish as you appear on the surface."
Yuffie rubbed her sore head. "At least somebody gives me credit for my good qualities."
"I think they all would, if they knew you like I do," he said.
She laughed. "I don't think my poor head could take that."
Vincent's eyes widened. "I didn't mean if they knew you that well! I hope no one else ever gets that pleasure."
"Except you?" asked Yuffie.
He kissed her. "No one ever will but me, if I have it my way."
* * * * * * * * * * * *
At about one in the morning, Reeve sat up, having woken up from a startling dream. Raieyana, in his arms, was forced to sit up along with him. "Reeve?" she said, opening her eyes, "you okay?"
He got up and walked to his bag. "I need a smoke," he said. He looked at her sheepishly. "I'm trying to quit."
"It's nothing to be ashamed of," she said, "I've been known to have an occasional one myself."
Reeve was amazed. "Really?"
She shook her head. "No. Just trying to make you feel better about it. Just crack the window. Lia can't stand the things and would kill me if the room smelled like smoke." Her words died. (Not the greatest choice of words, considering tomorrow--no today, I won't be here anymore.)
Her remark had shaken Reeve up as well. His fingers were trembling so much, he could barely light up his cigarette. He took a long drag; it gave him no pleasure. (I doubt Lia's ever going to kill you, Ray. Especially not if I... Gotta get a hold of myself. It was just a dream.
"Some dreams are premonitions...") Sephiroth's voice rang through his head, like in the dream.
"Reeve," said Raieyana, "what's bothering you? Did you have a bad dream?" (Can he know? Will he try to fight it? Does he hear Sephiroth's voice, too?) She got up and touched his arm. It was still shaking.
"Sometimes, sometimes," he whispered, "I wonder if you're just a dream."
She leaned on his arm. "Maybe I am," she said, "but not tonight."
He put out the half-smoked cigarette and held her tightly in his arms. "Then we have tonight, even if you've gone by tomorrow," he said.
"Reeve...it is tomorrow," she said.
"Well then, I just want you to know that I love you, Ray, and I would never do anything to hurt you."
"I know. But today is going to be a long day. Today is the end."
He held her at arm's length and looked her in the eye. "The end of what?"
"Sephiroth," she said, "what did you think I meant?"
He shook his head. "I was just being stupid."
"Reeve, you're not stupid."
"Well," he said, "we all say stupid things."
"What you said wasn't stupid."
"Fine, it was a very intelligent thing to say. Anything to stop this pointless arguing. We should probably try to get some more sleep."
Raieyana smiled. "For once, I was having a good night's sleep."
"Sorry for ruining it," he apologized.
"I've ruined enough of yours," she said, "I guess we're just a couple of God-forsaken insomniacs."
"God-forsaken. What made you say that?" he asked.
"Lack of sleep."
"Fine, Ray, I get the hint."
She looked at him. "No more bad dreams after this. Either of us. Big day today."
He pulled her back into bed with him. "Deal," he said.