Shattered Dreams & Sleeping Pills Chapter 17
Trust No One
"Where are we going?" she asked, struggling to keep up with his brisk pace.
"For a walk," he answered, neither slowing nor turning.
"Pretty fast walk."
He stopped and turned to face her. "If you don't want to come, just go away."
"Well you didn't leave me much of a choice there, did you? If you weren't after Marlene or Barret, then who were you after?"
He stayed silent for a moment, looking at her through his dark sunglasses. "Curiosity killed the cat," he muttered to himself. Turning slowly, he walked away.
The apathetic crowds made way for him, unaware that they were even doing so. He walked through them unchallenged, heading even deeper into the heart of Wall Market. Tifa watched him go, then sighed and shook her head. Pushing her way through the crowds once more, she struggled to keep him in sight.
Rude stopped when he reached a little known area behind Corneo's mansion. He was away from all the hustle and bustle of the market now, and stood with his back to the entrance, waiting to see if she would follow him.
The wall of graffiti that now stood before him seemed to represent the gloomy, sometimes rebellious air of the slums. 'Fuck Shinra', it read in large, green spray-painted letters. A padlock sealed shut the entrance to a tunnel that had once led out of the city. Shinra had discovered it and closed it down with the help of then-struggling businessman Don Corneo. He struck a deal with the company, agreeing to help stop the illegal emigrants from opening the tunnel up again. In exchange, Shinra paid him a lot of money to keep his business afloat. Corneo got paid enough to build his mansion directly in front of the entrance, killing any hopes people in the slums may have had that they could open the tunnel again. Needless to say, Corneo was not well liked among those who hoped to get out of Midgar.
"Hey! Hey, wait up!"
"Does it look like I'm going anywhere?" he asked with just a tinge of sarcasm in his voice.
She made a face and walked towards him. "What's with you eh? Why'd you bring me here, of all places?"
He nodded towards the wall. "Look at that and tell me what you see."
"Do you know who put it there?"
"People. Again, why? What does this have to do with Barret and Marlene?"
"Rebels wrote that. Not very well, but they wrote it."
"What's your point?"
"Rebels are in the slums. They-"
"That's nothing new. Look, why don't you just tell me whoever it was you were trying to kill, so I can leave?"
He said nothing, and continued to look at the massive wall of graffiti. She waited for a minute; then, convinced he wasn't going to say anything, turned around to leave.
"They killed my dad."
She stopped and looked back over her shoulder at him. He hadn't moved since she'd gotten there, but now he was standing with his hand on the wall. Funny, she thought, I never heard him move.
An awkward silence followed his statement. Tifa moved towards him as silently as she could, not wanting to break it. She put a hand on his shoulder and he turned his head to look at her.
"Why'd they kill him?" she asked softly.
He shrugged. "I didn't even like him. I don't know why I care that he's gone so suddenly."
"Because he's gone so suddenly."
He looked at her strangely, not quite understanding what she was saying.
She sighed and moved away. "You weren't ready for him to leave yet. You may not have liked him, even thought you hated him, but now that he's gone you think you may have changed your mind about him."
"Since when are you the expert on the subject?" he asked, turning and sliding down the wall so that he was sitting on the ground.
"My dad's gone too you know."
He thought about that for a minute. The idea that she could be as lost as he was startled him. He'd never thought there was anything to her. She was always just a face in the crowd.
"Did rebels do it?" he finally asked.
She shook her head. "Shinra." When he said nothing, she continued. "He was always just the guy who got mad if I stayed out past curfew. After mom died, he changed, and got too busy with his work to pay attention to me. I hated him for it I guess, but I was still sad when he died." She sniffed a little, then coughed. "I wish he were here now."
"You had a curfew?"
She glared at him. "I'm from out of town. It's a lot smaller where I come from, and yes, we all had curfews. Whether you paid attention to them was a whole other story."
"So you've lost both your parents?"
She nodded, kicking the ground with the toe of her shoe and biting her lip. Nibelheim wasn't a pleasant memory, it was a painful one.
He stood up and dusted off his pants. Walking over towards her, he stuck his hands in his pockets and was relieved to find that someone in Wall Market hadn't stolen his gun at some point. He wasn't supposed to pay for the thing in the first place.
"Do you wanna go get something to eat?" he asked.
She looked at him, puzzled by the sudden emotion in his voice and the quiet way he spoke to her. Shaking her head, she looked back down at the ground.
"Where do you live? I'll walk you home."
"Thanks, but I can take care of myself."
"Maybe, but I'll walk you home anyway."
She smiled at him and nodded. He put his arm around her shoulders and the two of them walked through the crowds that parted before them. They took comfort in each other's misery, and left behind them the wall of graffiti that shrieked a warning neither saw, nor noticed. Above the 'Fuck Shinra' was another message. It was written in sloppy handwriting, and seemed to be going crooked. In spray-paint the colour of blood it cried out for caution.
'Trust no one'...
Romance?! Has she gone COMPLETELY insane? Yeah well, don't worry, she's not really that insane, just a little sick at the moment. Sick as in her health is beginning to fail. Yes, she realizes that she's also talking about herself in the third person, so maybe she's a little insane. If you tell her what you think about her currently crazy story she'd really appreciate it though. She knows she will. Really.
Go To Chapter 18
Return To FF7 Fanfic