Reunion Chapter 6

By Janet Monstwillo

Reeve stood in front of Raieyana's door, took a deep breath, and knocked lightly.

"Come in," she said.

Reeve walked in. "Hey," he said, "I put the kids to bed. They're cute. Tell me Raieyana. When are you going to tell them who I am? When do I get to start doing what I'm supposed to as their father? I want to work out visitation, child support, anything, but damn it, these children of mine are not going to grow up not knowing me. I owe it to them and to you and to my own parents. I'm just not going to leave for Junon in a day or two and forget that I brought kids into this world. I..."

"Reeve." Raieyana broke in. "I never said you couldn't help. But this has to be done gradually. It'll be a bit of a shock to the kids. And seeing you again will be a bit of a shock to me. I've gotten used to doing things on my own." She shivered. She got up and got another blanket from the closet. "So," she said lightly, "tell me about Alcor. And what's new at Shinra."

Reeve shrugged. "Alcor deals in thermal energy from the Lifestream. We've just begun to turn a profit, but Shinra has reemerged with this 'Macroreactor.' I personally think they're trying to drive us out of business to buy out the land our power plants are on so they can get the Mako. Jack...Reno, he's really settled down. Actually does a pretty good job as my partner, considering the circumstances we're under. Maybe you can come see it all sometime."

She smiled. "Maybe I will after our little meeting with everyone is over."

He glanced at her. "Raieyana...I...(love you--still)...sleep well."

She hugged him softly. "Thanks. For what you've offered to do for the kids. No matter how you ever got involved with Cloud and the others to begin with...sometimes I think that you have the best intentions now of all."

(I just love money, Ray. That's all it is. And I want my kids. And I want you.) He turned to leave. "I'm next door. If you need anything...just holler."

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

Scarlet was irate. "Alcor would have been out of business long ago if I was the sole decision-maker."

Heidegger laughed. "I have a funny thought when I picture that. You know, Scarlet, you would have driven Shinra into obscurity if you were left alone. Who's responsible for Edinborough? The Macroreactor? I guess I'm not the ass you think I am."

Scarlet raised an eyebrow. "Shinra would be more successful if you thought I was more than a piece of ass."

"Dressing the way you do, you should be glad that I think my piece of ass has any mental functions at all. I'm amazed that Rufus ever appointed you to the executive board. As a general rule, the person you're screwing isn't your most intelligent acquaintance."

"Heidegger, Scarlet." The arguing co-presidents were interrupted by the Head of Science and Technology, Professor Lucas Shelding. Coincidentally, he was also the captain of the company softball team, area champs for three years in a row!

"Yes, Luke?" said Scarlet, gazing at him in way she thought was seductive.

"In searching in the ruins of the original Shinra building, I've found dome startling documentation of the late Professor Hojo's early experimental Soldier treatments."

"You're mixed up," said Heidegger, "Professor Gast did all of the original Jenova experimentation."

"Actually, no. Gast did tests to try and prove Jenova was an Ancient. Hojo assumed she was and immediately began experiments using her cells, genes, and DNA--involving animals and humans. He was encouraged by the president to find a way to make men faster and stronger for a new army called Soldier. Now the men who received the treatments are ill. Using his laboratory documents and diaries, I think I can figure out what's causing this...illness. And, of course, find a way to improve on the process. I may have in my hands the way to create another Soldier who can fight like Sephiroth...but without the danger of Sephiroth. Of course, I'll need some more funds."

"Will three million gil cover the first year?" asked Scarlet.

Lucas nodded. "Probably."

"Then get to it," said Heidegger.

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

"Sleep little Raieyana. Tell yourself you're strong. Think right now you're safe and sound, but soon those thoughts will be proven wrong. Life is what you make of it--however all lives are shaped by destiny. Some things have to happen, must happen, because it was kismet. Decided by fate long before your soul graced the Planet. Right now you regard me as the enemy. But your worst enemy can be the person closest to you. And Raieyana--more things than you realize are inevitable...

"You have been fooled by your belief that you have free will. Maybe you choose the person you are with, but sometimes that is chosen for you. And sometimes if you are unwilling...

"So listen now, and here my prophecy. You think I am evil, but every moment I name you in my prayers. A child will be born unlike any other this world has known. Unaltered itself, but born of parents changed and shaped by the hands of science and its false god. That child...your child..."

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

Raieyana awoke. (My child? Aeris, or Ishmael?) She suddenly realized the presence of someone else in her bedroom. She squinted at the dark form as it moved closer and stopped at the side of her bed. "Who are you?" she whispered. With a light pressure, he held her in place as he climbed onto her bed and straddled her. "What the hell are you doing?" she hissed.

He placed his hand over her mouth and said softly, with an edge to his voice: "Be quiet, little Raieyana. This moment has been postponed for longer than it should have been." She writhed in his grasp, but she was weaker than she was seven years ago. Then, she had barely defeated him, anyway.

"Cloud. Let me go and leave now, and I won't say anything. I swear." She saw him shake his head, even in the dark.

"It's you who'll be quiet. A scream, or a loud noise would wake your children in the next room. And they would be the first ones to try and help Mommy. The less you struggle, the faster this will be over." He leaned closer. "Just pretend you're having a bad dream." A pause. "Or pretend you're with Reeve," he added, with a hint of sarcasm. She got an arm free and slapped him across the face.

He ignored her and started pulling off her pajama pants. "I forgot that was a weak point with you," he said.

"Cloud, please, no," she pleaded. His blue eyes met hers and for a moment she saw the remorse in them. For a moment she thought he would come to his senses. She was wrong.

"It won't be too long if you cooperate," he said coldly. With her last ounce of strength, she attempted to throw him off of her. He grabbed the bedpost and steadied himself. He grabbed her roughly and held her down, banging her head against the wall. Raieyana closed her eyes, prayed and let go. And then she started to sob. Cloud had finally succeeded.

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

Reeve had started slipping into sleep when he was awakened by a soft thud on the wall between his room and Raieyana's. Puzzled, he got up and put an ear to the wall. (I may be imagining this, but she's crying in there. And what was that bang?) Then he heard a piercing cry which was almost immediately muffled. Reeve ran out and stood outside Raieyana's door. He paused, and then threw it open.

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

Raieyana had tried to stay quiet. She didn't want to get hurt and she knew Cloud wouldn't be in her house much longer. But there was something involuntary deep inside her which had decided there was one more chance to prevent this. And the soft cry had escaped just before the deed was done. But Cloud muffled it and it had been so quiet she was sure no one had heard her. Besides, she had heard the soft moan from Cloud and knew she had tried too late. It was over. Mission accomplished. And he had enjoyed himself. Still inside her, he taunted her.

"This isn't so bad, now is it? Maybe next time, if you're more willing, there'll be some pleasure in it for you." His hands had been all over her and still they roamed freely, trying to get some response from Raieyana.

The door flew open. Somehow between the time Reeve started walking towards him and the time Reeve threw him off of Raieyana, Cloud managed to get his pants zipped back up and Raieyana covered by a blanket.

"What the hell were you doing?" asked Reeve. "If you come near Raieyana again, I swear to God, you motherfucking lunatic, I'll kill you! Got it Strife? You're dead. Leave her alone." He threw Cloud out the open doorway and shut and locked the door.

He gingerly sat down next to Raieyana. "You're okay, right? Did he give you another black eye? I heard the bang and came right over. Stopped him before he had a chance to do anything, thank God. Right, Raieyana?" He looked at her. She was staring into space. He reached for her hand. She jerked away and started to cry again. "Ray?" Reeve had forgotten to use her proper name and reverted back to the old nickname. "Are you okay? What did he do to you?" She took a shuddering breath, then exhaled.

"He...well, what the hell did you think he did? What would he want to do? But it wasn't Cloud himself. We both know that..." she said, with a strange look in her eyes.

"God, Ray, I have no idea. Not with him. He's just nuts."

She looked him straight in the eyes. "Think hard. Cloud...he..." She shivered. "he...raped me."

He looked at her in shock. (Ray, I failed. I vowed to protect you and I failed miserably.) She slowly leaned and rested her head on his chest. He placed his arms around her and held her; she didn't recoil from his touch this time. "I'm so sorry I didn't make it in time," he said.

"It's not your fault. More things than you realize are inevitable." She paused, and softly sighed. "I still love you," she whispered.

"You shouldn't, especially now. I've always failed to protect the ones I love. You were safer when we were estranged."

She shrugged. "I'd rather be happy than safe. I know what it's like to be happy. I've never known what it's like to be completely safe. I'd rather be here with you now than safe somewhere else."


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