Reunion Chapter 29
By Janet Monstwillo
"What do you want us to do, Captain?"
Cid looked up. "Some damn full-fledged pilot you are. Land it outside the city ruins. I dont want to parachute down into a pile a scrap metal, thats for sure. Itll be easier to go it on foot." He glanced at Shera. "You know, I think the kid actually has a mind of his own. Its just so rarely used that I fear..."
She smiled. "He just wanted to double-check with his captain. I think it shows how much respect the crew has for you. They dont need you; they just want to do what you want, though."
"Shera, you do understand that this might be it?"
She looked at him, puzzled.
"This may be my last mission. I aint no young little thing anymore, and this is gonna be some great unknown power were messing with. I dont know if I can...if I will...hell, what Im trying to say is..."
"I understand. You want to say good-bye, thanks for the laughs. I think I see what youre getting at. Im touched, I really am, but arent there a few more important people that you should be talking to? After all, Im just your housekeeper."
"Youre more than just that. Shera...you...I...you saved the Airship, for crying out loud!"
"Fine, I can shoot a gun. I dont see why youd waste time on...are you practicing your last hurrah speech on me? You should say it a little more emotionally, but overall, its rather good."
"This isnt some speech, and if it was, this isnt me practicing. Ive already waited too long to say it, but Im not going to let it turn into too late. I dont care what I said before, what I thought I thought... Dammit anyway... Look, Shera, you may be a dumbass, but then, so am I. And youre the most important thing in the world to me. Id never admitted it before because I was so afraid that if I let my feelings close, then when I would lose you, it would hurt too much. But when I heard...everything about those Gens attacking Rocket Town, I realized that it hurt just the same whether I told you how I felt or not. And I still would feel empty if you were gone."
Shera was quiet. "Cid? This isnt like you at all. I dont know what to say."
"You dont have to say anything. I havent been blind for all these years. I was the one that had to speak. You have been so good to me after I have treated you so shitty... I just know that if everything ended now, I wouldnt want you to remember my facade--"
"Look, I read it a book. Anyway, Shera, I only want you to remember..." He lowered his voice and mumbled something so fast that Shera couldnt understand him.
"I... I love you." He leaned in and kissed her. Then he pulled back and scrutinized her face. "Why are you crying?"
"Because Im so...happy."
Cid pulled her close and held her tightly. "Im sorry that I was so bad to you...Im so damn sorry... I never meant nothing I said to you before."
"I know you didnt mean it...I...couldnt have stayed otherwise. I understand completely."
"Cid? Its time to go."
Cid looked up at Barret. "Alright. See you later, Shera."
They started walking towards the deck. Barret gave him a bemused expression.
"What the hell are you looking at?"
"Damn, Cid, its about fucking time, thats all I have to say."
Cid narrowed his eyes. "None of your business. Why dyou have to go and stick your nose in it?"
"Destroying the Shinra once and for all aint my business? What the hell is my business, then?" He looked at Cid. "What did you think I was talking about?"
"Nothing...just never mind."
"Oh, you thought I was talking about that? Ha, Cid everybody else knew it but you. We were just wondering how long it would take your dumbass to find out. Cmon, lets go destroy Shelding and get the former Shinra spy and former Turk back."
"Why couldnt you just say friends?"
"Jus a man of words, I guess."
* * * * * * * * * * * *
"Maybe you could tell me what the point of all this is," said Reeve to the man who entered the holding cell where he and Reno were chained.
"Look, I just take orders. All I know is that you must be some sort of criminals."
Reno snorted. "Why dont you just come out and say you have no thought of your own so you swallow whatever shit Shelding throws at you."
"Could you can it for once, Reno?" asked Reeve, exasperated. "Look, buddy, I know you have to follow orders, but Im going to tell you right now, were not criminals. We surrendered ourselves over to Shelding because he threatened to destroy Junon."
"Junon? I just heard that..."
"What did you hear, kid?" asked Reno.
"We were massively defeated. We had grossly underestimated the Junon forces. Just so you two know, I dont follow Sheldings orders any more than necessary. The only person with authority over me is Laida."
"Lets reminisce, Reno, about the ol Shinra-treachery-allegiance crap. I remember it well. Lowers were lackeys for people higher up. The higher ups promoted their lackeys when they got promoted. It was kinda like gambling."
"Im sure that Laida doesnt give a damn if we keep you guys locked up or not, but in this case, I am afraid of Shelding. I heard he went beserk earlier today. So I really dont want to end up on his bad side today. So I gotta take Reeve to him now. Somebody else will come for Reno."
Reeve shrugged. "I wont struggle. I knew what I was getting into when I surrendered. I dont blame you, but I have a little advice for you. Get out of the Shinra mess as soon as you can."
The room was dark except for the crack of light that escaped between the two black curtains. Reeve squinted, trying to adjust to the sudden change of light. (Shelding, you would take the brightest room in a Gelnika and adjust it to satisfy your warped desires.)
"They all hear the calling, whether they realize it or not. They all feel the coming radiance, though they may not all come to see it. This child is a beacon to more than just one frail woman."
"I wouldnt call Raieyana frail," said Reeve hotly.
"What would you call her than? Sickly, weak, dying? Though you never betrayed her whereabouts to me, in your haze of pain you relayed many of your own fears. You truly believe that Raieyana isnt well."
Reeve was silent.
"Please dont blame Lucas Shelding. I think you know, perhaps, that he was little more than an empty vessel, anyway. He thought himself more than willing to allow me back into the physical realm through his body. Although he fought me when the time came just as much as anyone. As you fought my son when he possessed your mind."
"What happened that day was foretold centuries before. I could not have changed those events, even if I succeeded against Sephiroths will."
"Well, Reeve, today was predicted at the dawn of time. If there is a creator, it intended for this to occur. And I, Hojo, intended it to occur from the day I created a child from my own son and that Ancient. Sephiroth was perfect; I planned to combine his cells with every successive offspring from Raieyana on, to build the perfect Ancient. With Sephiroth gone, though, there was a need to find another with almost as much strength as he. Isnt it a marvel, how even in the Lifestream, I could use the communication channels of the Jenova cells to reach Cloud Strife one night six months ago? I never intended the incident to be so violent, but in my desperation..."
"Shelding, did you call me in here just to prove you were insane?"
"The transformation is complete. Hojos mind in Lucas body. My legacy made it simple for him to create the super-Soldiers and then implant my DNA into his own body. I am just trying to explain to you why I have to call the Reunion. Many of my experiments have run far away. I need to call them back to me."
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Raieyana turned to Barret. "Is this the way?"
He peered through the twisted metal and past the collapsed buildings. "Were in Sector 3, but near the center. We can get to where the power controls were from here. I sure hope we find Shelding there."
"Im going to kick his ass!"
Everyone turned and looked at Shera.
"What, do you guys think Im gonna be demure after what he did to Rocket Town with his Gens?"
"I dont know if this battle will be purely physical," said Red XIII.
"But part of it will be, Red," said Yuffie, "and thats where we come in."
"Are any of us strong enough for this, though. Im just not sure..."
"Nothing in this worlds sure," said Vincent, "nothing is completely trustworthy. Not when Hojo is involved in any way."
"Keep moving," said Cloud, "we have to find Shelding. We have to save them." (Reeve, Reno, and my son.)
Raieyana followed the group through the ruins of a floating city she had never seen, moving towards the deathplace of a creator she had cursed her whole life. To save the child she never wanted to have, and to make a decision she never wanted to make.
Darkness descends as I descend
Night creeps along the horizon
I see the distant oblivion
The monster creeps into the shell of a man
The world shudders in horror
Only the pure can see everlasting disease
Quietly I turn to my only dream
There was a time when the only time I was cured was when I healed myself
Then I was revived by hope
Now I know the only time I am injured is when I hurt myself
The pain can never be too much to bear
I have more to carry than my own
My eyes scan the clouds
The storm tears up the trees swaying to the gust of the wind
Patience is a virtue
Ive been patient for an eternity
Now the time has come
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