Reunion Chapter 8
By Janet Monstwillo
"Laida." Heidegger smiled as the Head of Weapons and Machinery walked into Scarlet's and his joint office. She smiled back and tossed her ash-blond hair.
"So, I had our little worker at Alcor spread the word in Junon. About conspiracy...danger...and what-not. My plan wouldn't have worked with Reeve Jordan out of Junon. I had her start a little scare. Jack Reno's probably on the phone beggin' him to come back right now."
Scarlet leaned forward. "So, what is this...plan?"
"Oh, I don't know," said Laida coyly, "we need something big...something huge...that Alcor--and Reeve--can be blamed for. Now what could we do to Junon that would ruin them?"
"That's what we're asking you," said Heidegger dryly.
Laida rolled her eyes. "As you know, I've had agents buy us some property in Upper Junon. That's where it will start."
"It?" inquired Scarlet.
Laida grinned, her eyes excited. "Fire. Deliberate arson. We come in--at the appropriate time, of course--and save all of Junon from burning to the ground. We let Alcor burn. We will be heroes, and then we'll prove how our friends Mr. Jordan and Mr. Reno started the whole thing."
"How long until the 'Great Fire of Junon?'" asked Heidegger.
"A week, maybe two. I have to let Reeve start to feel secure. Who knows? Maybe he won't even survive the fire. That would be awfully good for us. It's easy to blame someone who can't defend himself. Reno's just a drunk, stoned idiot. He's nothing without Reeve."
* * * * * * * * * * * *
"What are the rest of us supposed to do?" asked Yuffie, angrily. "I don't enjoy sitting on my ass, either."
"Look," said Reeve, "if there is anything up with Shinra, we would throw them off by all coming."
"You don't seriously think you an' Raieyana are gonna hold off the Shinra by yourselves, do you? Why can't we all come? You think we ain't up to it, dontcha?"
Reeve shook his head. "That's not it at all, Barret." Everyone looked up in wonder as Cloud sauntered back in.
"Barret," said Cloud, "he'll call for our help if there's a problem. This is just a precaution."
Reeve looked at Cloud with scrutiny. (Nice. You're defending me. Look, I can hold my own in an argument. But...what...what happened...to his sword?)
"Besides, Barret," said Tifa, "we can go and visit those sick ex-Soldiers and maybe get some idea of what's the problem."
"Will you be all right, Ray?" asked Lia.
Raieyana nodded. "I can take care of myself. And Reeve will be with me."
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Reno was waiting in a helicopter right next to the ruins of Midgar, where Reeve had told him to meet them. He squinted at the two figures approaching him from the horizon. (It's Reeve...and somebody else...) Reeve and Raieyana reached the helicopter.
Reno raised an eyebrow. "You told me you were bringing someone who could help us."
Raieyana shook her head. "Last time we met, you insulted me then, too. I guess I should expect it from someone like you. After all, my father always said you were a tactless idiot."
His eyes widened. "That's right! You're Amine's kid, aren't you?" His eyes checked over her body with a pleased expression. "Although I daresay you've grown up. Come up into the Alcor helicopter." He lowered his hand. Raieyana glanced at Reeve.
"Jack, she doesn't trust you," said Reeve. She grabbed Reno's hand and he pulled her into the helicopter. Reeve climbed up, without aid.
"Reeve's a better pilot than I am, and there's only two seats," said Reno, with a grin, "so I guess the little Amine will have to sit on my lap."
She shook her head disgustedly. "I wouldn't want to get you hard or something," she said.
Reeve caught her eye and gave her an amused smile. "I guess her daddy told her a lot about you, Jack," he said with a laugh. Raieyana plopped down on the floor.
"But, seriously, it's not safe for her to be sitting on the floor," Reno said.
She shrugged. "I think I'll take my chances. The floor doesn't have any ulterior motives, unless..." She shook her head and laughed. (Wow. That's been the first time I've laughed since Cloud...) Reno and Reeve talked on the way back to Junon, but Raieyana was silent for the remainder of the trip.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Outside of his office, Reeve turned to Raieyana. "I've got to do some things. Jack will give you the grand tour, won't he?"
She made a face. "Look," Reeve whispered, "he'll say a crude thing every once and a while, but he would never take advantage of a woman. He'd rather go rent one off the streets. He won't hurt you."
"Reeve," she whispered back, "I just don't like him. But I'll go. I won't be away for very long, though."
"So," said Reno, "what's your first name?"
"Raieyana. That's beautiful. I hope you didn't take what I said on the way over here personally. I wasn't very serious."
"The only thing that offended me," she said, "was when you said that I'd grown up. I've been grown-up for a long time."
Reno shrugged. "Maybe. But I remember going out drinking after hours with Reeve and sometimes Tseng, and he would talk about his beautiful little daughter. You know, I always thought Tseng Amine fell in love with Aeris Gainsborough by watching his daughter grow up."
She looked at him in disbelief. (How could he know who my mother was?)
He looked at her expression, and chuckled. "Raieyana, he told me she was your mom. And besides, you look an awful lot like her. Anyway, here's my office. Let's take a look."
Reno walked in the door and saw Lavana. He noted with disgust that she was wearing an even skimpier outfit than usual.
"So, is Reeve back?" she asked.
"Lavs, why don't you leave a good man the hell alone? He doesn't want your skanky ass."
Lavana noticed Raieyana. "Reno, who's the little lamb?" she asked.
"Do you remember Tseng Amine?" Reno asked. She nodded. "That's his daughter."
Lavana gave her a once-over. "She looks like him. Just, like, the posture and the attitude. She carries herself like him. But, tell me now, is Reeve back?"
"Why do you care?" asked Raieyana. Lavana gave Raieyana a look of amusement.
"So," she said, "the girl has a crush on Reeve, does she? She's a little young for him, I think." She started to walk out. "Oh, and honey," she whispered loudly, "put off having kids as long as possible. I can tell that when you do, your hips will get huge. Be happy with the little virgin hips you have now."
"Sorry about that," said Reno, "she's the company slut. But I guess every company has at least one."
Raieyana looked at him. "Tell me the truth. Have she and Reeve ever, well, y'know..."
"Raieyana, I have no idea. Do you have a thing for Reeve?"
"Look," she said, "everything that bitch said was way-off. 'Put off having kids' because my hips will get huge? That's a laugh. She should have seen how small they were before I had my kids!"
"You have kids?" asked Reno, totally surprised.
"Well, twins. I've only been pregnant once."
"Are you single?"
She had no idea how to answer that question. (I hope I'm not...) She blinked back the tears that burned her eyes. "I can't answer that," she said, "because I'm not sure. The only thing that I know is that I am in love with someone, and I think the feeling's mutual, but the situation has been getting more and more awkward. We get one issue settled, another pops up."
"So you're not into Reeve..."
Reeve walked in. "Why are you constantly trying to find out who people 'like,' Reno? That's none of your business."
"Come on, Reeve," said Reno, "you want to hear her answer as much as I do--maybe more. I know you want her."
Reeve and Raieyana looked at each other. "You know," she said, "the reason why Alcor isn't successful is the fact that the company is run by juvenile imbeciles."
"Look, Reno. It's more than 'wanting her' with Ray. We have two kids together."
Reno threw his hands up in the air. "How come I'm the last one to find out the important things?"
"Actually, he didn't know himself until a couple of days ago," said Raieyana.
"You two are confusing me! How old are they?" asked Reno.
"Well, Reno..." said Reeve "...Six and a half...but, if I had known you were gonna give Raieyana the third degree, I wouldn't have sent her with you. By the way, where's Lavana? I'm trying to avoid her."
Lavana stepped inside. "I thought I heard you call my name," she said, "by the way, your sister's friend or whatever--she's kind of pretty. For her type."
"Not friend, Lavs," said Reno, "l-o-v-e-r. That news makes you pretty happy, I'll bet."
"That's why I don't tell you things, Reno," muttered Reeve.
"Lover," said Lavana, "your lover? Have you told her...about us? What kind of thing we have?"
"Had. A long time ago. Nothing since."
"That's right," she said, "you've had nothing. For a long time. My theory still stands."
"The only thing it takes to resist you, Lavana," Reeve said, "is taste."
"To each his own. Here's the new figures on the people who have left Junon. Don't say I don't do anything around here."
"I'd say you do everyone," said Reno.
"Except you," she said, "I drew the line at creatures without spines. I am discriminating in my choice of men..." Lavana turned on her heel and walked out of Reno's office.
"Fire her, Reeve," said Reno.
Reeve shook his head. "If I do that, she'll go to Shinra. I can handle her. I just shouldn't have hired her in the first place."
* * * * * * * * * * * *
"God, am I tired," said Reeve, tearing off his tie and throwing it over the couch.
Raieyana looked around Reeve's small apartment. (This place is tiny. I wonder if he even has a...spare bedroom...) "I can't believe the entire city is so quiet. It's only ten o'clock. It scares me," said Raieyana, "while I was growing up here, sometimes we would run around until long after this time, clubbing."
"Clubbing?" Reeve gave her a disgusted look.
She rolled her eyes. "Like when we were fourteen and here to visit Aula. We would visit the teen clubs. They're all closed now. One was a bar last time I was here. Another one was that deli." She smiled. "That was an interesting conversation we had in Reno's office."
"I am so sorry about Lavana," said Reeve, "she's a bitch and I should have kept her away from you."
"Reeve? Did anything ever happen between you and Lavana?" Raieyana asked.
Reeve sighed. "When I was like eighteen, in business school. She was my first. And she won't let me forget it. To top it off, I think she's seduced most of the men in the company because she thinks it makes me jealous. It just makes me ill. I'm not ashamed about what we did, though. I was young, and it was a long time ago. Everyone has a past. I made some mistakes. A lot of mistakes."
Raieyana laid down on the couch. "Just get me a blanket," she said, "and I'll be fine right here."
"No," said Reeve, "I'll sleep on the couch. You can have the bed."
"Why? I won't get a good night's sleep in strange place, anyway. I don't have to spoil yours. Go sleep in your own bed."
"If you make me get up, I'll refuse to sleep. Go to sleep. It's your place, Reeve. I'm imposing on you."
He shook his head. He draped a blanket over her and kissed her lightly. "Feel free to come at any time and kick me off the bed. So when you come to your senses..."
"If you don't go now, I'll throw a pillow at you," she threatened.
"Then I'll leave. I remember how hard you throw pillows."
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