by: General Quistis & Zhakeena
Extra Author's Note from GQ: The official theme song for this fic is Penny Dai's "Ni Yao De Ai". ...and "Slow Jamz" by Twista featuring Kanye West and Jamie Foxx.... and "Milkshake" by Kelis... and "The Way You Look at Me" by Christian Bautista...why? Because these are the songs that are always playing whenever we are trying to finish this. Feh.
Chapter Sixteen: And They Lived...
Months later... December, to be exact...
"Hey, hey, hey! Look what I got for President Rufus!" Reno said proudly while showing off a jock strap. Elena raised an eyebrow while looking ridiculously at the jock strap. "What is that for?" she asked in confusion.
"It's for his birthday, silly!" Reno pointed out. "You think he'll like it?" he asked while examining it with a sly look on his face.
"Why would you even give President Rufus that?" Elena asked in confusion.
"As if he'd wear that..." Tseng replied as he continued to wrap his own gift for Rufus.
"Well, he would like that, Reno. He'd like to throw that outside in the garbage," Vincent pointed out with a calm smile on his face.
"Har har, very funny, boss!" Reno pointed out with a sarcastic look on his face as he sat down beside Elena on the couch and grabbed some wrapping paper spread across the coffee table of the Turk Lounge. "It's his birthday party tonight! Isn't that fun?" Elena said happily.
"And it's not a costume ball anymore, thank God." Vincent was thinking, recalling the time when he had to dress up like a woman to play Tifa's mom... and to play her father was Sephiroth. He shuddered at the thought.
"I thought he hated parties? What convinced him?" Tseng asked.
"Tifa did." Vincent said simply.
"Hmm... so your daughter is really hooking up with the Prez, huh?" Reno asked with a mean smile on his face. Vincent just stared blankly at him. "Very funny." was all he said simply, trying not to mind. He just got up. "Are you sure you Turks have sent out all the invitations already?" he asked, regaining his composure.
"Affirmative, sir!" Elena, Rude and Tseng all said in unison. Vincent turned to Reno. Reno just smiled at him. "Heh heh. Yeah. I did. I was just trying to see if I could surprise you coz you're too serious." he told him. Vincent just shook his head before proceeding to the door. "Well then, I'm off to a meeting." he told them before he got out.
"He's a better boss than you are, Tseng," Reno pointed out.
"#$!!!" Tseng cussed in Wutaian because of annoyance.
"Whoa, translate that in English, man!" Reno said.
"Never mind. You'll get very offended." Tseng told him as he grabbed the scissors to cut some adhesive tape.
"Anyway, you don't mind, do you?" Elena asked him.
"No. In fact being a Turk boss is one of the worst things in my life! Imagine spending the whole day monitoring all of your activities and checking for errors and... stuff like that." Tseng ranted.
"Of course I miss the big salary... but... at least I'm more relaxed now as a subordinate... Besides, it's simply boring just holding a clipboard the whole day and staying inside the building patrolling around aside from escorting the President and doing special missions. I'd rather do the dirty work that you guys do." he continued with a proud look on his face. "...and I shouldn't be complaining much now because I also like the salary at this point. President Rufus increased them, thank goodness." he told them.
Reno was still bothered by the Wutaian cuss that Tseng had mentioned to him a while ago. "Aw c'mon, Tseng! What did that Wutaian cuss mean?!" he asked.
Tseng pretended not to hear.
"Speaking of Wutaian or anything Wutai... you think Zack's finally in Wutai?" Elena asked.
"I don't know. Who delivered the invitation to Yuffie anyway?" Reno asked.
Rude just raised his hand. All eyes turned to him in curiosity.
"You bald-headed oaf! Why didn't you tell us anything?!" Tseng wailed.
Rude just raised his eyebrows.
"Yah! What's the scoop on Yuffie and Zack?! Are they together again?" Elena asked, shaking Rude violently. Rude just kept quiet, trying to regain his composure.
"You're asking the wrong person." Reno told them.
Elena just frowned. "Hmf... well there's got to be a way to make him talk..." she muttered.
Reno smiled evilly at him. "Hey, Rude. Spill the beans or else I'll tell President Rufus that you love Miss Lockheart!"
Elena and Tseng gaped unbelievably at Rude and Reno. "Wh...wha?! Rude and Miss Lockheart?!?" they both exclaimed in unison.
"Traitor," Rude pointed out to Reno. Reno just smirked. "Okay, Rude... the beans or the risk of getting a salary deduction," he said with the same evil grin.
"....." Rude stopped to think. "....." He looked up to the ceiling. "....." He scratched his head. "......" He opened his mouth in an attempt to say something, but closed it again. "........ hm." He held his chin thoughtfully.
"Geez, Rude, I know you hate making speeches, but I think you're just stalling," Elena said, on the verge of exploding."That's it! Next time I'll see the Prez, I'll tell her about you and Miss Lock--" Reno was cut off when President Rufus entered the room.
Rude made a sound. It wasn't a cry or a shriek or a squeak, maybe something in between... but it expressed extreme shock and surprise in the Rude way.
"Go ahead, Reno. I can't wait to hear the rest," Rufus said. Apparently, he had been listening outside the whole time... He eyed Rude suspiciously.
"Eh... hehe," Reno said, clearing his throat and fiddling with his collar. "Er... as I was saying..." he said with a restless look on his face.
Rude got up in an instant, "NO! Uhm... Okay... I... I admit I once liked her... but now it's gone... I mean, the feeling is gone... and... I don't like her anymore and... oh I hate making speeches!" he began hesitantly and nervously.
Rufus raised an eyebrow. "What?" he asked.
"I don't like her, sir." Rude said.
But Rufus misunderstood, "WHAT?! You don't like my girlfriend?! You..." he began.
"NOOO! Not in the sense that... I don't like her to be with you but... I don't like, like her... uhm..." Rude stammered nervously. His whole head was turning red already. Elena raised her hand to Rufus, "Oh, sir, I think he means that he's not in-love with Miss Lockheart anymore!" she pointed out.
Rufus's mouth dropped open. "You were in-love with Tifa?!" he demanded. Rude just fell silent for a while before uttering an embarrassed, "Yes." and shrank.
Rufus just snorted while clenching his fists and teeth. "Salary deduction....." he sneered.
"Anyway, have you seen Tifa?" Rufus asked.
"Uhm... I think she's with Mrs. Strife. Uhm..." Rude began, but Rufus snarled at him, "How the bloody hell did you know?! Were you spying on her?"
Rude just bit his lower lip in shame. "N...no but..." he began.
"Never mind!" Rufus growled before stepping out of the room.
"Whoa..." Reno reacted much to his total amusement.
Rude fainted. At least he had a valid excuse not to say what he knows about Yuffie.
"Aaaah, Midgar again." Lord Godo said, feeling so pleased upon breathing in fresh unpolluted air in Sector One once he got down from the chopper.
"Is this... Midgar?" Yuffie asked in awe, looking up at the skies. They weren't being blocked by smog anymore.
"Yes, my dear. This is Midgar. President Rufus has done a great job during his first few months of Presidency, don't you think?" Lord Godo asked.
"Indeed," Zack said.
Lord Godo passed to him the many luggage that he and his daughter had brought along with them for a 2-week stay in Midgar. "Here you go, sonny. Take that to our rooms." he said before proceeding back to the chopper. Yuffie was stunned. "Where are you going, daddy?" she asked.
"I have to talk to the President regarding Urban Development in our country." Lord Godo told her.
Yuffie waited until the chopper took off into the skies, off to the ShinRa Tower. Yuffie snatched some of the heavy luggage from Zack. "Nyuk nyuk. Heavy, huh?" she teased, seeing the agonizing look on his face because of too much weight.
"Hell yeah! It's so unfair!!!" he wailed.
Yuffie snapped at the bellboy, "Hey man! A little help here, please?" she asked.
The bellboy placed their luggage on a cart and went inside ahead of them. Yuffie nudged Zack to come along with her already inside the Sector 1 hotel.
Zack took a good look around the lobby. "Wow... I don't remember the lobby being this pretty. I guess I was too busy carrying luggage the last time..."
"Oh, you silly...." Yuffie said, playfully punching his arm. She trailed off when she saw two women going towards her. "Oh. My. Gawd."
"YUFFIE!!!" Tifa and Aerith waved at her enthusiastically.
Zack covered his ears. He knew what was coming next.... "EEEEEE!!! TIFA! AERITH! HI!!!" Yuffie ran towards them and hugged the two of them at the same time.
"Yuffie! How have you been?" Tifa asked, hugging her back.
"Yuffie! We missed you! Any new stuff?!" Aerith asked, also hugging her back.
Yuffie let them go and smiled happily. She commenced the story-telling, in her usual hyper manner: "Oh, you know, Wutai's the same as it's ever been, and Daddy's fine... The weather's nice, oh, and you know, I'm a better ninja than ever since I'm training all the time and bla bla bla bla...." Tifa and Aerith listened to her intently, occasionally throwing comments here and there. Zack was just amazed since the girls understood her hyperactive story-telling... whereas he didn't understand a word of it.
They were in a line for the reception. Zack, in a confused daze, moved with Yuffie, Tifa and Aerith in the line as they shared their anecdotes, gossip, current events, opinions, predictions, dream interpretations and so on... When it was their turn to register, the receptionist cleared her throat. Yuffie didn't notice her at first, but the receptionist cleared her throat again. Zack tapped Yuffie's shoulder. "Oh... right. Sorry," she said meekly. "Could I have the keys to our room?" she asked, getting her ID's and things.
"Your name, please?" the receptionist asked patiently.
"Yuffie..." she rummaged through the stuff in her shoulderbag. "Kisaragi..." she got her wallet. "Oh. Right. Yuffie Kisaragi-Knightblade." the receptionist said with a pleased smile on her face, cutting Yuffie.
Tifa and Aerith gasped.
"All right," the receptionist said, typing a few things into the computer. She then got a key-card from somewhere. "Here you go. Room 709," she said, handing her the keycard.
Before Yuffie or Zack could say "Thank You!", Tifa and Aerith were already shaking Yuffie. "YUFFIE?! You didn't mention him!" Tifa said, pointing at Zack. He frowned as a reaction.
"Well... I thought it was kinda obvious?!" Yuffie said, blushing.
Zack just smiled sheepishly but somewhat proudly at Tifa and Aerith. "Heh heh," he laughed weakly. "It was... sudden. Just a private ceremony in Wutai a month ago..." he explained.
"But... WHY?!" Tifa asked, still in shock.
"Hey, I know I'm young and I'm only 20 but... daddy got so excited especially at the thought of having grandchildren..." Yuffie pointed out with a silly smile on her face.
"You sound regretful," Aerith pointed out with a disappointed look on her face.
"Nope." Yuffie and Zack both said in unison with proud looks on their faces.
"Well, glad to know that you two are finally together," Tifa said with a sweet smile on her face, offering a handshake with Zack. He eagerly shook hands with her, then turned to Aerith who was smiling proudly at them. "I'm so happy for you two," she told him.
"Thanks. Heh heh..." Zack said, smiling sheepishly.
Tifa glanced at her watch and scratched her head. "Oh dear... I have to go. Are you going to attend the party tonight?" she asked.
"Why do you think we're here in the first place?" Yuffie asked with a wink. "And your real engagement to Rufus? I wouldn't miss it for the world!" she added. Tifa blushed slightly. "Eh... thanks. heheh." she laughed weakly, feeling embarrassed because passersby were already looking at her curiously. She has been all over the news lately... and she's not really used to all the glitz and glamour. And least of all, the paparazzi...
"Not again...!!" thought Tifa in exasperation. "Well, then Aerith, I think we'd better leave right now." she said, taking Aerith's hand and waving goodbye to Yuffie and Zack. "We'll see you tonight," Aerith told the two.
"Byeeee!!!" Yuffie said happily, waving goodbye. She and Zack watched as Tifa and Aerith exited the hotel.
Zack turned to Yuffie. "Well... we have three more hours to kill before the party..." he told her.
"Yeah." was all she said with a blank stare. She giggled, "Nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk!"
He raised an eyebrow at her. "?"
She nudged him with an elbow which made him react in pain. "Ow!"
"Race you upstairs to our room!" she cheered before dashing off.
"Argh! So unfair!!!" he wailed before going after her.
Note from Zhak: WOW! We finished this! Hurrah hurrah.... (Although I don't understand how Milkshake could be related with this fic. Oh well.) Hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed writing it. (If we did enjoy it... j/k) Thanks for those who had faithfully read this up until this chapter. And... er... review.... please? We'd muchly appreciate it.
Oh, and if after this you're a die-hard Yuffie/Zack fan already... well, I personally couldn't be prouder. XD Although it would seem a bit strange. Nyuk nyuk nyuk...