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 doesnt fall in fifteen minutes...all of the Midgar ruins left standing above the slums will crash.) She saw the keys for Reno and Reeves 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 Raieyanas 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, Ill kill him," she warned. He grabbed the gun.
Lavana set down Patrick and ran after the gun discharged into Clouds shoulder. She raced past the bewildered guards, heading out of the ruins of the city.
Cloud withdrew his sword. (Youre 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 Reeves cell. (I have the key...why wont 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 youre 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 youll..."
"I know, Ray. This is destiny. I have to do this. Before, I took the easy way out. When today is over, Reeve wont 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 Renos cell and opened it.
"Raieyana," he said, looking into her eyes, "is what Shelding said true? About the plate?"
"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 dont know."
"And you cant leave Sheldings body there. What if a wacko scientist tries to clone him or something? I dont want some dumbass parading around saying hes Hojo III."
"I dont 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 Blacks 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 dont have enough time to get to the Airship," said Vincent. "But weve succeeded in our goals, at least."
"How the fuck can you sit there and say that?" asked Reno. "We dont all gotta die here. I can override the bomb sequence."
"Then why dont you shut your ass up and do it?" said Barret.
"I cant 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.
"Its 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. "Youre pretty damn awesome, Reno, thats all Im 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 dont know if you guys can get out in twenty-five minutes... Raieyana, if you dont leave now, youre gonna die."
"How can you let them leave when they dont realize that youre doing a suicide mission? I dont care how much youve fought with them, theyll feel guilty and it will tear them up inside if they knew they left you behind to die."
"Raieyana...how many people have I killed? If I dont do this, its like I killed more. By not saving all of you. After Sector 7...Im just trying to make up for it."
"And you werent going to tell me? You werent even going to say good-bye?"
"You have to go, now!"
"I cant leave."
Reno shook her. "Theyll all come back for you in a few minutes. Youll kill them all if they think they have to try and save you."
"I thought you loved me."
"I do. I wouldnt be doing this otherwise. Once, you gave your life willingly to save the people you loved. Its 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 its too late. I waited too long, and now its 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 arent leaving without Reno," said Reeve harshly, "he risked his ass out there and we cant abandon him."
"Im 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 hes here or not."
"If we leave, well all be fucking murderers!" yelled Reeve. "Dont you realize that? Raieyana, dont you have anything to say about this at all?"
Her shoulders sagged a little bit more. "We better leave now," she said softly, "weve 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, itll be too late, because you decided to leave. If..."
Reeve touched her hand. "He wasnt 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..."
"Its 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 wouldnt have done it if he didnt love me. So its my fault."
"Its not your fault. He made a decision. Itll be hard, but you have to realize..." Reeves 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. (...it was destiny. Maybe if he hadnt met Ray, he would not die today...but if he hadnt 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 cant have love without pain. It always hurts. That doesnt mean that love is bad. But pain is unavoidable. You gave him something special. You gave him something he thought hed never know. You gave it to me, too."
"All I give people is death."
"Everyone whos born dies."
"It wasnt his time," she whispered.
"Who are you to say that, Raieyana? You didnt 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 Clouds arms, began to cry.
Go To Epilogue
Return To FF7 Fanfic