Reunion Chapter 13
By Janet Monstwillo
"Can you believe it? And we were really considering letting him in on the secret of Undor-Hai. I thought he was my friend. The way he talked about Ray. Like she would have slept with him or something if he hadn't gotten control of himself. Like she would have...when she can't even..." Reeve sighed and took a drag of his cigarette.
Vincent was silent for a moment, then spoke. "And if she seriously cared for Reno..."
Reeve laughed. "I will buy admission to hell just to be there precisely when it freezes over and I can buy a sno-cone from ol' Beelzebub himself."
Vincent shook his head. "He wouldn't have left you at Edinborough without good reason. Either something you said...or something Raieyana said...led him to believe that you would be better off without him. He wouldn't have said anything to you if he didn't feel really guilty about it. Maybe he fell for Raieyana hook, line, and sinker. He wouldn't be the first."
"Ishmael was the first," said Reeve.
"I was thinking more along the lines of Cloud. But he doesn't bother you. But then again...he's been nowhere to be seen."
Reeve pulled out another cigarette and lit it off the old one. "That's because maybe he finally realized that the next time I see him, I could kill him and be happy."
"Okay," said Vincent, "but he never used to bother you."
"That's because he hadn't... Well, he..." He angrily took a drag. "He raped her, Vincent. And I was in the next room. And I couldn't do a damn thing."
Vincent was quiet. "Look, Reeve..."
Reeve cut him off. "And now...she's pregnant again. By him. And she could get real sick. And die. But she's having the baby anyway...because she thinks the big man in the stars--who makes her life a living nightmare--decided that it was supposed to happen. And you know, Reno's suggestions made me so mad...because...this has affected her. She shrinks away to my touch...anyone's touch. And he said that..."
"He said what?" Waving away clouds of cigarette smoke, Yuffie entered the room. "Vince, you're gonna get lung cancer if you talk to Reeve much longer. I...I want to know about Raieyana."
"How much have you heard?" asked Reeve.
"Just the whole thing. And I thought maybe you'd like a feminine point of view to give your conversation new depth and perspective. Besides, the two little ones are taking naps and Kati's learning how to juggle or somethin'--Raieyana's watching her--and I... I guess I'm curious."
"I've just been going off about Reno."
Yuffie laughed. "Reno...he electrocuted me once. Vincey cured me."
Vincent visibly blushed at the pet name.
"But, I think that Raieyana," said Yuffie, "possibly...could have been attracted to Reno. You know the whole...wrong side of the tracks thing. But he worked with her dad, and just thinking of the people who work with my dad...ick." She shuddered.
"Hey," Reeve protested, "I worked with her father. I wasn't a Turk, but I knew the guy. He had a framed picture on the desk, and he would take out his little bottle of glass cleaner and clean it at least twice a day. He adored her, even though he hardly saw her. And me...I worship the ground she walks on. But Reno...I could easily kill him. Put his body in the refrigerator behind my old apartment building."
"Well," said Vincent, "I guess it's a good thing for him that he left." And Vincent made a mental note to tell Raieyana that he knew a place where she could go if her baby was really predestined like she thought it was. Because, if it was some special thing that the stars had aligned for, there would be someone--something, looking for that baby. And when push came to shove, he knew there was only one person who could sympathize with Raieyana's situation. Lucrecia.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
It had been six weeks since Junon burned. Raieyana looked at the beautiful blue sky. It was a perfect spring day. She could smell the lilacs as she watched the children play. Playing in the backyard of their new house. Reeve had bought the house outside of Junon. They had only stopped in Undor-Hai to pick up Raieyana's things and the children. She still felt guilty about just taking off that way. Lia had been with her through so much...but Lia said she understood. The need to try and forget everything, to build a life with Reeve, for the children to get to know their father. And Reeve was a wonderful father. (That's why the whole thing with Reno was just foolish. Maybe if I had no one to worry about except myself... But I have a responsibility to my kids. Reno would have been no father. But that doesn't stop me for blaming myself for his departure. Ruining his friendship with Reeve.)
Reeve's closest friend in the world was now Vincent. He and Yuffie had come over to visit a couple of days ago. Raieyana still felt guilty. Reno had been his business partner. (And now he's back with the Turks...I know he is. He tried the good side of the road and got flattened by a delivery truck. I think he cared about me...in his own strange way...but that's not the way things happened. I'm with Reeve. And I'm damn well gonna make the most of it.)
* * * * * * * * * * * *
The Alcor building had been nearly totaled by the fire. All of the business of the company was being done from the little associate office across town. Reeve went to work every day, and came home to his kids and their mother. But that didn't quite satisfy him.
"Vincent, Yuffie, I want Ray to marry me."
Neither one of them were surprised by Reeve's statement. Actually, they both had wondered why Raieyana and Reeve never had gotten married. In fact, when the entire group found out that Raieyana and Reeve had been apart for the greater part of the last seven years, they marveled at it. This was the greatest love story since the play "Loveless." But here they were, listening to Reeve's serious voice, telling them how he wanted her to marry him, and they cracked up.
"Well," said Yuffie between giggles, "I don't think she'll ask you. She's too old school for that."
"I don't know if you're ready for marriage Reeve," said Vincent, "you're not even thirty-five yet. Maybe you're too young."
"Sure, you two sit there and laugh, but I'm serious."
"So are we," said Yuffie, "we just have spent some time in disbelief that maybe you'll finally...pop the question? Nah...he's bluffing."
Vincent chuckled. "The only reason they're not already married is the fact that her father couldn't come after him with a shotgun and demand the kids be born in wedlock."
Yuffie sighed. "Our wedding day. Such happy memories."
This time Reeve joined them in the convulsive giggling. "But, seriously, Vincent. How did you ask Yuffie?"
"I didn't ask Yuffie. I asked Godo--to spare my life. When Yuffie told him she was pregnant, he threatened to castrate me! I told him that would be a good idea--unless he actually wanted more than one grandkid."
Yuffie had to get her remark in. "If Vincent had gotten down on his knee in front of me..." Vincent looked at her, expectantly. She gasped, trying to hold in her laughter. "...I'd still be laughing! It would've been a new world record. The longest a person has laughed after receiving a marriage proposal."
"Well now that I know how not to do it, do you, Vincent, have any suggestions?"
"When you said, 'do you, Vincent,' I had a major wedding-day flashback. Not happy times."
Yuffie glared at him, and then Reeve. "Why don't you think I would be of any help? I am the only girl here. I think I would know how a girl would want to be asked more than either of you."
"Ummm, Yuffster," said Reeve, "you're in a relationship where you're happy whenever your husband stops being Chaos long enough to get you pregnant again. You wouldn't be the expert on normal rela--"
Yuffie slapped him playfully. "My suggestion," she announced, "is that you just ask her, but wait for the right time. Make sure you two are alone--so no one else's presence would sway her decision either way."
"If she loves me, she would say yes in front of everyone else in the world."
Vincent smiled. "She loves you, and I truly think you have very little to worry about."
"You think I have a little something, though?"
Vincent grinned. "Who knows? She might not be the marryin' type."
Reeve shook his head. "Next time I want to propose, remind me not to ask advice--from either of you, at least."
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Raieyana glanced through the kitchen window. (Reeve and Yuffie are out there, playing with the kids.) It was a nice thing to watch, kids playing in the dusk. (I remember when I was kid...on a day like this. One of those days you never want to end.) She remembered the long night seven years ago she had never wanted to end. (The eve of my death. I dreaded it with every fiber of my body. But the night itself was so perfect...every moment so beautiful...but I had no hope. Couldn't have imagined anything like this.) She checked on the chicken she had baking in the oven. This would be the first time her kids would ever eat meat.
"Looks nice," said Vincent, walking in from the living room.
"Thanks," she said.
"You know who is a goddess," Vincent said, "when it comes to chicken? Shera. I sure hope Cid tells her once now and then that he at least appreciates her. It's more than that, though Cid's one of those people who can't reveal their emotions."
He looked at her. "What?"
"I've thought about it a long time, tossed the statements around in my head... But your story about Sephiroth just doesn't add up."
"Do you think," he said angrily, "that I would lie about that? About...about Lucrecia?"
Raieyana looked him straight in the eye. "If you really are thirty-four...that makes my existence at my current age not only improbable; in fact, it makes it totally impossible. If you were only eighteen when you were a Turk--wait, if you were even sixteen, that makes Sephiroth eleven when he died. But I was sixteen! And I am his daughter, although sometimes I wish it weren't so, I am. There's a gap somewhere."
Vincent sighed. "You're correct. Sephiroth was exactly twenty when he died. He had acute acceleration of growth, otherwise he couldn't have become a hero in the war with Wutai. Hojo was able to keep Sephiroth's body from prematurely aging, but he couldn't stop his hair from turning white. I was twenty-three when Sephiroth was born. After Hojo's...experiment on me...I slept, for a long time. When I joined Cloud and the others, I estimated my body had aged around four or five years. So I said I was twenty-seven. I found out later that it had really been around twenty years. But no one has noticed the hole in my story...until you."
"Well, that's because I've had good reason to roll it around over and over and over in my head. Sephiroth was--biologically--my father. It's actually kind of funny he only had four years on me."
"Yes," said Vincent, "Sephiroth was younger than Cloud; yet, ironically, Cloud idolized him."
"Tragically, many idolized him. Some still do." Raieyana snapped out of the awkward mood and smiled. "Would you mind making us a salad?" she asked.
Vincent gasped. "A salad? Me? You know I only eat raw meat dripping with blood." He wrapped his cape over his arm and ran towards Raieyana. "I'd like to try a taste of your sweet blood," he said, with a horrible Transylvanian accent.
She shrieked and he chased her around the kitchen. "If you don't make the salad," she threatened, "I'll have to do something I never wanted to do...I'll make garlic bread to go with dinner."
"Ack! Anything but...garlic bread." Vincent smiled and calmly went to the fridge and hauled out a head of lettuce and some other veggies.
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