Reunion Chapter 31

By Janet Monstwillo

Raieyana turned and saw Laida slit her own throat with a small dagger. She checked the timer on the center column. (He was wrong. This plate doesn’t fall in fifteen minutes...all of the Midgar ruins left standing above the slums will crash.) She saw the keys for Reno and Reeve’s cells. She grabbed them and dashed over.

Cloud and the others who had been put into a forced sleep awakened groggily. He glanced around and saw a figure huddled over...where Raieyana’s baby was. Then he recognized the figure. (Lavana.)

As Cloud approached, Lavana held a small pistol to the head of the child. "If you come closer, I’ll kill him," she warned. He grabbed the gun.

Lavana set down Patrick and ran after the gun discharged into Cloud’s shoulder. She raced past the bewildered guards, heading out of the ruins of the city.

Cloud withdrew his sword. (You’re not getting away that easily, bitch.) He cast Ultima on her. He caught up with her and decapitated her with his sword. Or he attempted to. He had thrown the Lowlellean into the ocean and the Ultima Weapon just did not have as strong of a blade. Instead of making a clean cut, the blade glanced off the bones of her neck, merely severing her jugular vein. Leaving her to bleed, he limped back to his son.


Meanwhile, Raieyana struggled with the locks on Reeve’s cell. (I have the key...why won’t it open?)

Someone approached her from behind. She whirled around. "You cannot open these cells without swiping a Shinra keycard," said Martin softly. "I will use mine."

"Why are you helping us?" asked Raieyana.

"Sometimes," he said, "although very rarely, the powers that be will allow the soul of a person on the Planet to exit into the Lifestream before their time in this plane is completed. The soul willingly departs and trades places with a soul in the Lifestream. Another soul is allowed to use that body--for a purpose."

"You want me to believe that you’re not the Shinra scum that used to inhabit that body?" she asked in disbelief. Then she noticed something...about his eyes. She could almost see the longish red hair, the aquamarine eyes... But she could see the love. Her mouth formed the name, but she made no sound. (Ish...)

"Hey, the bitch that started this is over here," called one of the few remaining guards.

He placed a finger to her lips and nodded. "Free them now. I will occupy the guards."

"All of them? But you’ll..."

"I know, Ray. This is destiny. I have to do this. Before, I took the easy way out. When today is over, Reeve won’t have lied to my parents." He stepped out and started shooting the guards.

Raieyana turned to the lock. It opened easily. Reeve crawled out. "Go get Reno," he said.

"Are you okay?"

"Get him out!"

This time, the battle was going in the good guys’ favor. Raieyana dashed over to Reno’s cell and opened it.

"Raieyana," he said, looking into her eyes, "is what Shelding said true? About the plate?"

She nodded.

"You gotta get the hell out of here! Why is everyone fooling around, trying to kick those guards’ asses, when they should be hauling ass back to the damn Airship before they get crushed when the rest of this fucking city falls down?"

"I don’t know."

"And you can’t leave Shelding’s body there. What if a wacko scientist tries to clone him or something? I don’t want some dumbass parading around saying he’s Hojo III."

"I don’t know how to stop that, Reno."

Reno ran his hand through his hair. A faint smile tugged at his lips. "I do."

Barret shot the last guard. The Shinra side had gone down completely under casualties. There was a casualty among the party, but only Raieyana would know. Martin Black’s body lay in the pile with the guards, but it was the only one filled with bullets from the Shinra guns.


Legolas checked the clock on the pillar. "Ten minutes to detonation," he said.

"We don’t have enough time to get to the Airship," said Vincent. "But we’ve succeeded in our goals, at least."

"How the fuck can you sit there and say that?" asked Reno. "We don’t all gotta die here. I can override the bomb sequence."

"Then why don’t you shut your ass up and do it?" said Barret.

"I can’t stop it from exploding. But I can rig it up to start another countdown. One for a Mako explosion."

"Not a Mako explosion," said Yuffie.

"It’s the only override code I know. Shinra never taught me how to save things, only how to destroy them. But if I wait until the countdown on this clock gets really low, like one minute, I can enter the override command and get you fifteen more minutes."

Cid breathed a sigh of relief. "You’re pretty damn awesome, Reno, that’s all I’m saying."

The group started making a hasty backtrack through the path from whence they came.


Raieyana stared up at Reno. "You can get out in fifteen minutes, right?"

He just looked at her.

"Dammit, Reno, answer me!"

"I don’t know if you guys can get out in twenty-five minutes... Raieyana, if you don’t leave now, you’re gonna die."

"How can you let them leave when they don’t realize that you’re doing a suicide mission? I don’t care how much you’ve fought with them, they’ll feel guilty and it will tear them up inside if they knew they left you behind to die."

" many people have I killed? If I don’t do this, it’s like I killed more. By not saving all of you. After Sector 7...I’m just trying to make up for it."

"And you weren’t going to tell me? You weren’t even going to say good-bye?"

"You have to go, now!"

"I can’t leave."

Reno shook her. "They’ll all come back for you in a few minutes. You’ll kill them all if they think they have to try and save you."

"I thought you loved me."

"I do. I wouldn’t be doing this otherwise. Once, you gave your life willingly to save the people you loved. It’s my turn." He drew her close and held her tightly. "No tears. It might tip the others off. No matter what, all of you have to get into the Airship and fly as far away as possible. The Mako blast will scorch the ground all around Midgar." He kissed her on the cheek.

Raieyana hurried to join the others. She called back to Reno. "I..."

"I know, Ray, I know. You gotta go now."

She ran as best as she could on her bad ankle, holding back her tears. (But I made a decision...and it’s too late. I waited too long, and now it’s being made for me.) She saw Yuffie up ahead, lagging behind as usual. "Come on," Raieyana said, "we have to hurry!"

* * * * * * * * * * * *

The Airship waited on the ground, the occupants looking for their last member to emerge from the ruins of Midgar. The others had chatted a little earlier, when they were waiting for Reno, all except Raieyana. Now they all stared towards the city with a growing feeling of dread.

"If Reno implemented the new countdown when the old one reached one minute, we have precisely two minutes and thirty seconds before detonation. And we have to be some distance from the city to withstand the blast. We must leave within the next minute," said Red XIII softly, hoping he could not be heard by Raieyana.

"We aren’t leaving without Reno," said Reeve harshly, "he risked his ass out there and we can’t abandon him."

"I’m not going to have everyone here die because he could not get back on time," said Tifa, "when our time runs out, we have to leave whether he’s here or not."

"If we leave, we’ll all be fucking murderers!" yelled Reeve. "Don’t you realize that? Raieyana, don’t you have anything to say about this at all?"

Her shoulders sagged a little bit more. "We better leave now," she said softly, "we’ve probably waited longer than we should have." She looked away so no one could see the tear roll down her cheek.

The Airship took off, towards Kalm.

Reeve grabbed Raieyana by the shoulders and turned her around. "Why the hell did you say that? What the hell is wrong with you?"

She shook herself loose from his grasp and turned so she was once again facing Midgar.

"What is so damn mesmerizing about Midgar? If he comes out, it’ll be too late, because you decided to leave. If..."


Reeve touched her hand. "He wasn’t planning to make it out, was he?"

Her eyes glittered with tears, but Raieyana did not remove her gaze from the ruined city.

He checked his watch. (Twenty-five seconds.) The Airship was still moving away at a steady speed. "Ray..."

"It’s not my fault...I tried to talk him out of it."

"You did all you could..."

"But at the same time, it is my fault. He told me he wouldn’t have done it if he didn’t love me. So it’s my fault."

"It’s not your fault. He made a decision. It’ll be hard, but you have to realize..." Reeve’s words trailed off as he recognized what he was trying to tell Raieyana. The exact same things she had tried to tell him...about her own death. ( was destiny. Maybe if he hadn’t met Ray, he would not die today...but if he hadn’t met Ray, there is probably no chance that he would ever reach the Promised Land. At best, he would float along eternally in the purgatory that is the Lifestream.) "Ray, you can’t have love without pain. It always hurts. That doesn’t mean that love is bad. But pain is unavoidable. You gave him something special. You gave him something he thought he’d never know. You gave it to me, too."

"All I give people is death."

"Everyone who’s born dies."

"It wasn’t his time," she whispered.

"Who are you to say that, Raieyana? You didn’t even know your own time."

"Ten seconds," said Vincent softly.

Midgar was no longer in sight, but Raieyana stood transfixed as a green glow burst through the sky and swallowed up the horizon. Devoid of all emotion, she silently walked into the Airship from the deck.

Everyone else on board was silent. Then Patrick, in Cloud’s arms, began to cry.


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