Adversary Chapter 14
Costa Del Sol, 0004 N.C.E.
She sighed in depression. There wasn't anything she could do to help her friend, at least nothing he would let her. He wanted to be alone, with no sympathy or pity dealt to him as consolation for his self-perceived failure. Discarding any joy in the fact that he'd healed remarkably fast and that he would be back fully back on his feet in a matter of days, he lay solitary, day after day, eating next to nothing and talking to no one other than to give simple responses and commands.
"Yo." She looked up from her book on modern electronics and saw the broad-shouldered blonde friend of Crono's standing above the table, somewhat awkwardly. She pushed her glasses back up onto her nose.
"Yes?" He shrugged and pulled out a chair from under the table and slumped down in it with a heavy sigh.
"I dunno. I'm just bored as hell. Figured you might have something to talk about." He said, playing with the strap on his goggles. She sat up, somewhat surprised, and looked down at her book.
Don't really think this is gonna interest him...
"Um...well...have you talked to Crono at all?" He shook his head.
"Nope. Dude ain't said a single word but 'leave me alone'. Well, okay, thats three words, but you...like...know what I mean, right?" He corrected himself. She tapped her fingers. She didn't want him to think she had to be technical around him just because she was "smart."
"Well, what do you usually do for fun?" She posed the question. He took her bottle of eyeglass cleaner and wiped off his blue lens with a tissue.
"Well, I...uh...oh...sorry, mind if I...?"
"Not at all."
"I skate, work out, box, chill, read, watch TV...you know, the regular deal for a regular dude. Nothin' spectacular." He replied. She snatched his response.
"Read? Really? What kind of books?"
"Well, you know...like...comics and stuff." He murmured sheepishly. She laughed.
"Oh, well that's cool. Everyone's got their own tastes and all."
"Yep. How 'bout you? You're pretty geniusy so I hear." Lucca waved her hand.
"Don't believe everything you hear. I just like to read, I don't have any more talent than anyone, I just spend my time a little differently, that's all." He looked at her, dubiously.
"Ohhhh, I see. Modesty, I gotcha. That's cool. You know, I'm not really stronger than most people, I just lift heavy stuff a lot." She smiled.
"Yeah, and you just choose to wear really small shirts to create the illusion of being muscular, right?"
"Sure. That too."
"You guys want some food?" Cloud called from the doorway, a wireless phone in his hand. Leon perked up.
"Hey, man, I thought you'd like, never ask. If it's pizza, I'll worship you, man." Cloud chuckled.
"Okay, well start building that shrine there, kid. Pizza it is." He came into the room, and sat down with them. He'd been making a conscious effort to be more amiable towards them in these difficult times. He didn't want to make a bad impression on them, or set a bad example for his son.
"You rule, dude. Hey, how's the wife an' kids? They holding out okay?" Strife nodded, solemnly.
"Yeah. They're doing good. As long as we can keep Truss busy we're okay, he's happy, we're happy, y'know?" Leon nodded.
"Well, it's good that we're all gettin' used to each other. Kinda like a big...really...really weird family. Especially with the BlueMiester. He's a character, man."
"He's really not that bad." She said to them, closing her book. "If you got to know him, you'd see what I mean."
"Hey, I tried, but he thinks I'm an idiot or something. I think the guy needs to chill himself out, we're all in this together, after all."
"He likes to work alone. He doesn't feel comfortable hanging around with a bunch of other people all the time." She explained, defensively.
"Yeah, but he still shouldn't treat me like a moron. I mean, what the hell is he so special for anyway? Oooh, look at me, I can burn shit with my bare hands...I'm like sooo much better than you." He mocked, waving his hands. She wasn't laughing.
"Well, you do teach people how to treat you, Leon. Remember that." She said, and she took her literature and left the room, slamming the door. Both men winced.
"So, do they deliver?"
His barely twenty-one-year-old body felt as if it had atrophied horribly in the last few days. He felt so weak and unconfident it almost scared him. Clutching his sheathed katana in one hand, he lay back on the mattress, the closed curtains not letting any light into the room, not that there actually was any light outside to let in. His heartbeat echoed throughout the room, the only audible sound for the hours and hours on end he spent in self-inflicted solitary confinement. He wasn't sure when he would be back on his feet, either. Their eager estimates were probably just feigned to cheer him up, anyway.
He flopped over on his side, feeling the cool air from the floor vent drifting up towards his face. It was then that he noticed the clear glass of water on the nightstand beside his bed.
Lucca must've left it there when she came in this morning...didn't notice...
Lazily, he reached over and took a drink, moistening his dry throat. Not long after, he proceeded to down the whole glass, and put it back, turning over again, somewhat refreshed. Breathing a little slower and deeper now, much more relaxed, his mind began to stray from his troubles, and think of things in a more euphoric fashion. Being depressed wasn't going to help anything, right? At least now he could get some sleep without feeling sick with guilt.
Thirty minutes later...
Crono's eyes snapped open at the sudden sensation on his shoulder. A light, almost feathery touch against his clothed skin, yet it was enough to wake him up, given his attuned senses and reflexes. Eyes darting across the room, he saw the drawn drapes blowing in the breeze let in by an open window. The moonlight dimly illuminating the room. Carefully, making sure not to entangle himself in the sheets, he rolled over quickly, and braced himself with his elbow to keep from rolling off the bed. In the poor visibility, he could only make out an outline from his vantage point. The outline of a woman.
An absolutely stunning woman.
She moved closer, her form coming into the moonlight slowly. Her black outfit was taught to her body, revealing all of her amazing figure, and she dipped her head down slightly, bringing her face into view. Her complexion was very fair and clear, and her eyes were long and thin, her long black hair falling just below her shoulders. She gave him a coy smile, and brought a finger to her lips, moving forward.
Crono's eyes were wide, he was completely baffled. Who and what in the world was going on here?
"Hi." She said in a whisper, kneeling on the mattress next to him. His mouth opened, but no words came. His voice wouldn't cooperate. "I know this is an odd time, but it's the only time I could find."
"I think I figured out what's been going on...there's so much to tell you...I don't even know where to begin."
Who are you?
"Did you worry about me? I'm sorry, baby." She slid up next to him.
Who the hell are you?
"Don't worry, I take care of myself pretty well."
"What are you talking about?! Who are you?" He almost shouted. She tensed up, worriedly.
"Shh! Come on! Keep your voice down, everyone's asleep." She moved to touch his arm, but he pulled away quickly.
"No. If you can't tell me who the hell you are then just get out of here, alright?" Her lips played into that same knowing smile.
"Why do you really care who I am as long as I stay...right here..." She almost hissed. Crono froze.
She nodded slightly, almost as if she had read his mind.
No way. She's not like her...
Her hand traced up his neck.
She reached around behind his shoulders and slipped the glove off her other hand.
"You're so different..." He mused in a toneless voice, in pure shock. She looked at him, quizzically, her lower lip pushing forward slightly, almost pouting.
"You don't like it...?" His heart raced.
"I...yes...well, no...I...Yuffie, what happened? What did they do to you?"
"What's it matter...just relax." She undid his headband, folding it over her finger and tossing it aside. Slowly, he began to bring his shaking hands up to her waist, holding her, almost as if to prevent himself from falling off some invisible ledge. That calm expression never left her face as she continued, sliding her fingers under his shirt and pulling it up over his head, as he drew his arms out of it. She sat back on her heels, and brought his hand to the end of her top outfit. He was shivering despite the warm climate.
"Shh...don't be scared..." She was too late. He was practically paralyzed, given the situation. "We got pretty close before, remember? Now we don't have an audience..."
This isn't right...what the hell is she trying to do to me?
Using his hand as a puppet, she removed her top, slowly revealing to him that she in fact was as beautiful as she appeared to be, underneath. He stared in awe at her, noticing the red tattoos that ran up her arms and across her chest. He couldn't make out what they were in the relative darkness. Before he could say a single word she pulled herself against him, and pushed him back, their flesh pressed together, and began to kiss him. She could feel his wavering breaths and rapidly beating heart in his chest.
"Please. Just relax." She almost begged, running her teeth and tongue down his neck. He winced as he felt her nails scraping along his ripped torso, almost as if the skin was lightly pricked at one point. She whispered in apology, returning back up to his face, and looking down into his eyes.
He knew it was no use to ask her again why she looked so odd, for she would give him some irrelevant answer and start distracting him again, yet, staring directly at her in between her advances, he studied her carefully. Her hair was longer and shinier than he remembered, her eyes weren't wide and bright like they usually were. Her face was longer and her features were softer and fairer, and she definitely moved much more smoothly and knowingly than before. Any traces of a still-young girl were gone. Yet there was still something about her, something that kept him from resisting entire, something that tied this woman and the girl he remembered together by a faint thread.
But who really cared?
Her efforts to calm him down finally taking effect, he began returning her kisses and caresses, groaning in muffled approval as she intertwined her legs with his, soft cloth swishing against denim. She knew he wasn't going to resist her anymore, and began to grind against him, his inexperienced mind reeling in pure rapture. He'd never been this close to anyone before, nowhere near it. Questions were the farthest thing from his thoughts now, his brain feeling slightly dizzy.
But then she stopped. She let go of his body and broke contact with his arms, her smile gone without a trace. He sat up, looking somewhat worried. What had he done? What was she doing? Without saying a word, she slipped back into her outfit, and swung her legs over the side of the bed, picking up her gloves. He felt sick and disoriented. What was happening to him?
"Where are you going?" No answer. It was almost like she couldn't hear him. She turned her face away from his, still silent. "Yuffie...what are you doing? If you want to stop that's fine. Just tell me." He moved to touch her arm, but she squirmed away. He stood up, groggily, and moved directly in front of her, so that she couldn't avoid him.
"Please say something...Yuffie...I..." He staggered back, the lightheadedness overtaking him. Crono fumbled for something to grab to brace himself upon, but nothing was available. Helplessly, he slumped down to the floor, barely leaning himself up by his arm. "Somethings wrong...I can't...Yuffie...help me...please..." He choked once, then lowered his head sluggishly until it lay on the ground with the rest of him, and then he lay there, motionless.
She sat there in silence for a few moments looking off into space. Then, almost robotically, she knelt down, touching her bare hand to his neck. Nothing. She placed her ear against his chest. Nothing.
He was dead.
She stood up and pulled the curtains together. Her hand then found the nearest light switch and flicked it on, the room instantly ablaze with brightness. Working as quickly as she could, she searched him. In his pockets he had some money, and nothing much else of value. This wasn't getting her anywhere. Her steps silent and careful, she moved across the room in search of the needed item. Stopping only once to grab his headband from the bed, she looked through the drawers of his nightstand, the desktop, the inside of the desk, finding nothing more than some brochures and religious texts that certainly didn't belong to him.
Her work was extremely precise. She took note of the way everything was before she touched it or examined it in detail, and took extensive measures to ensure that it was returned exactly to the way it was originally. Yet despite all her efforts, she wasn't finding anything. Instead of spending any more time searching through worthless paraphernalia, she grabbed the empty glass on the table, and crept over to the kitchenette in the corner, rinsing it out with clean water, drying it thoroughly, and placing it back in the cabinet.
Going back over to the bed, she removed the blankets and sheets from the mattress, and threw them to the floor, waiting to see the needle that she had stuck him with using her mouth drop to the carpet. Sure enough, the miniscule syringe tumbled out of the linen, and she snatched it up, making sure to grab the rounded end, and put it back into a pouch on her belt. The ninja then rolled the bedcovers together tightly and stuffed them into the laundry chute, where they would be gathered and washed first thing in the morning by the cleaning staff, destroying any small trace of blood or poison that might have been there.
All current angles covered, it was time to resume her search, her eyes darting around the room, wondering curiously where it could be. There wasn't many other places it could be besides the closet...but it certainly didn't seem likely to be in there...
Nevertheless, she opened the closet door, pushing the rug down with her foot in front of it as it opened. Inside were several empty hangers, and one change of clothes, almost identical to the ones he wore. Apparently he hadn't done much shopping since he'd been in Midgar, as both outfits were originally Leon's. She almost was about to close the door again, when she noticed something behind his clothing. Hurriedly, she pushed through them and sure enough, found what she was looking for.
Not bothering to question why a dedicated swordsman would hang up his blade in such a remote place, she strapped it onto her waist, and shut the closet door, putting the clothed hangers back in their original position. Her job was almost over.
Shutting the lights off, she re-opened the drapes, and stepped up on the windowsill, contorting her body through it. Outside, the city was quiet, only the noises of nature penetrated the humid night air. The slots in her belt at the sides of her hips held two black metal claw like apparatus, each which she slipped her fingers through, and fastened around her hand. Cracking her knuckles, she used the claws to grip into the wall of the building as she began her ascent. Her skills and equipment made the seven story climb relatively simple, although she felt uneasy the whole time. Once she reached the ledge of the roof, she kicked off the side of the wall, and propelled herself up and over the edge, rolling to the surface of the rooftop. She paused to catch her breath briefly before completing her last objective.
Using the large neon sign in the city square as a landmark, she triangulated down on the spot she was supposed to, and reached down into another compartment on her belt. From it she produced a simple cigarette lighter, which she flicked on, a steady flame burning in the night sky, and held it out in her hand, motionless. Seconds later a similar light appeared down on the street, signaling that her task was complete, and all she had to do now was wait. She sank back down, out of sight from any possible observer, and put her lighter away.
Then she cried.
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