"It doesn't look like she's enjoying your company, yo." Reno remarked idly. Gun cradled in both hands and a smoldering cigarette dangling precariously from his lips, he looked at Yuffie where she was crouched and said, "You're a hard one to follow, you know?"
Yuffie stared at him, half incredulous, half apprehensive. Yazoo, gunblade now trained steadily on the Turk, said slowly after a moment, "You. You were flying the helicopter."
Reno nodded, removing one hand from the gun in order to take hold of his cigarette. He took one last, long drag before letting it fall, and as he ground it beneath the heel of his boot an unpleasant smile crossed his face. "Yeah, that was me. Sorry I didn't stay to join the fun – I had an important delivery to make, you see."
"Where," Yazoo asked in a soft voice that was almost razor sharp in its intensity, "Is Mother?"
Reno's smile twisted, becoming instead his trademark smirk. "Can't tell you that, yo. It's classified."
And a mere instant later the silver haired man was moving, surging forwards and bringing his gunblade down in a swift, savage arc. Reno nimbly danced back beyond his reach; undeterred Yazoo leapt for him again. Shots rang out, deafening on the still night air, and like quicksilver the gunblade rose and fell, deflecting the bullets mid-flight. Reno kept firing, backing steadily away, giving himself ground. Yuffie, having risen to her feet, contemplated a course of action for only a second. She'd already run once, and besides, two against one seemed fair …
She collided with Yazoo just as he was preparing to launch himself at the Turk; it wasn't so much a tackle as it was a shove, and she was careful not to become entangled with him and fall as well. Like before his recovery was immediate; he struck the ground hard but twisted the impact into a roll, coming up on one knee. Some cover fire from Reno afforded Yuffie the time she needed to dart away, beyond the reach of the gunblade; the harsh ring of metal on metal informed her that yet again he'd managed to ward off the bullets.
"Play nice!" Reno shouted as Yuffie leapt backwards, putting greater distance between herself and Yazoo.
Yazoo didn't comply. He was moving even before Reno had finished speaking, lunging for the Turk. This time when Reno fired Yazoo didn't bother deflecting them; instead he twisted lithely aside, dodging them in a blur of black and silver. He was in front of the Turk so quickly that it was all Reno could do to avoid being impaled; he ducked low and lashed out with the butt of the handgun. The blow never landed; with fluidic ease Yazoo whirled away, and as Reno fought to regain his balance the silver-haired man delivered a roundhouse kick that threw the Turk to land roughly a few feet away. Reno scrambled to his feet as gunfire bit into the ground all around him, empty handed now as his gun had been knocked from his grasp.
Yuffie, running low to the ground, swiftly cut in behind Yazoo, and as he turned to face her she feinted to the left. He rushed her; she fell back and as he swept past she brought her elbow up hard to catch him in the chin. Her follow-through uppercut never connected – he caught her wrist in his free hand and ducked beneath her arm, brutally twisting it behind her back. The pain almost dropped Yuffie to her knees; somewhere in front of her she heard Reno swear vehemently, for the only shot he had at Yazoo now was through Yuffie.
"Does your friend want me dead badly enough to kill you in the process?" Yazoo asked softly, bending low so that his mouth was directly beside her ear.
Yuffie made a rude noise; he wrenched on her arm, twisting it further, and she caught her breath in agony. She said in a voice that wavered despite her best attempts to keep it from doing so, "He's not my friend."
"No?" Yazoo's breath fanned her hair, brushed along the line of her cheek. "He was quick to come to your rescue, wasn't he?"
"It wasn't a rescue, yo," Reno called from where he stood. Yuffie noted uneasily that his gun was trained in her direction. "I was following her and saw you attack. Didn't your mother ever teach you to never mistreat a lady?"
"My Mother," Yazoo said loudly enough for him to hear, "Is currently missing –but you know that. Tell me where she is."
"Nothing doing." Reno shook his head. "Find her yourself."
"You know, your companions –the ones we caught in the crater?- were like this too. They wouldn't talk no matter what we did to them …" Yazoo's voice, mocking, trailed off, and it wasn't hard to comprehend what it was he hadn't said.
The barb hit home; Reno produced a brittle smile. "It's a Turk thing."
"Would you be the same as they were, I wonder?"
"You'd just love to find out, wouldn't you?" Reno shook his head with a belligerent smirk. "Ain't gonna happen."
Yazoo's reply was cut short as Yuffie fell heavily to her knees, pitching forwards as to pull her captor off balance. He dropped to one knee, caught off guard, and surging forwards Yuffie broke free. She twisted around quickly in order to deliver a powerful kick, and with a snarl he staggered to the side. Had it not been for Reno suddenly opening fire he would have leapt for her again; instead he was forced to dart several steps back.
Reno's sudden shout ripped her attention away from Yazoo. She turned to find the Turk clutching his right hand with his left, the gun lying on the ground at his feet. Even from where she stood she could see the large hole in the center of his palm, could see the dark liquid seeping forth to drip onto his boots. Her eyes traced a path from Turk to the new assailant; she made a soft sound of dismay as she took in the tall, burly man holding a gunblade that was identical to that of Yazoo's. The newcomer wore a smirk that was similar to Reno's in its arrogance, and it didn't take much more than the glint of silver in his hair to inform Yuffie that this was the second of the three Cloud had spoken of.
He asked, in a deep baritone, "Do they know where Mother is?"
"She doesn't." Yazoo replied, nodding his head in her direction. He pointed with his gunblade to Reno. "He does."
"Do I?" Reno choked out, face twisted in pain. He was still clutching his mangled hand. "You want to find Jenova? You're looking in the wrong place. She fell from the helicopter after you attacked us in the crater."
The two silver-haired men regarded the Turk in silence for a moment. "You're lying." The newcomer said finally.
Reno gave a sound that was half-laugh, half-agonized gasp. "You don't believe me? Talk to Rufus."
Yuffie watched the exchange with bated breath, hoping fervently they would do as Reno suggested. There was no way in hell that she and the injured Turk could take on both men; they'd had a hard time with just one.
"Our brother wants a word with your boss anyway," Yazoo said, head inclining slightly to the side. "But if we find out you've been lying to us, friend …"
At his side, the newcomer nodded, saying, "You'll regret it."
"And as for you," Yazoo swivelled to face Yuffie where she stood, hands at her sides, fisted in preparation for combat. He regarded her for a long moment, expression inscrutable. Yuffie could feel the eyes of the newcomer heavy upon her as well. "I think I'll be seeing you again."
"I really hope not," Yuffie said, and every word was sincere.
Yazoo smiled, inclining his head in her direction before turning. The newcomer glared at her for a moment, and Yuffie had the distinct impression he was sizing her up, trying to find something impressive about her and failing. Flooded with relief that the disaster had been avoided, Yuffie gave him her own version of a smirk. His glare deepened, and he took one step forward.
"Loz." Yazoo called back to his comrade from where he stood some several feet ahead. The newcomer –Loz- turned and stalked away without a backward glance, and Yuffie watched after them until they were out of sight. She hastened then to Reno, who was leaning hard against the side of a building, injured hand cradled close to his chest. He watched her come through eyes narrowed in pain; he had, she noticed with a degree of amusement, managed to get another smoke both lit and into his mouth. She said as she neared, "You didn't have to-"
"This is the thanks I get?" He interrupted. He nodded down at his bleeding hand. "I took a bullet for you, yo."
Despite herself, Yuffie felt guilty. While the fact that she'd been rescued by anyone, let alone a Turk –and the fact that she'd needed rescuing, for that matter- didn't sit well with her, she knew that if he hadn't shown, things would be looking rather dire for her right now. "Thanks," she said grudgingly, and then asked, "Is someone coming for you?"
Reno nodded, the cigarette in his mouth bobbing with the movement. "Rude should've been here a while ago," he muttered, pausing as his face contorted with pain, "Asshole always leaves me hanging."
Yuffie almost smiled. Instead she asked. "Yazoo –how do you know him?"
"That," Reno said, letting go of his injured hand long enough to take a hold of the cigarette and take a long, deep drag, "Is confidential. Sorry."
"Sorry, my ass," She said.
The Turk smiled a little at that. "You're just lucky I was following you."
"Why were you following me? And just so you know, I caught sight of you hours ago. You're not very good at tailing someone."
"Heh. Maybe I wanted you to see me." When she snorted, he continued. "Can't tell you why, yo. It's-"
"I know. Confidential." Yuffie interrupted, exasperated.
"That's the way it is," he said with a shrug. Puffing on the cigarette he said, "You should get out of here. Find Strife." He saw her begin to shake her head and belayed her refusal. "I'll be ok. I told you, Rude is coming. Now get out of here."
She stared at him for a moment. "Alright. And thanks again."
He nodded, raising his uninjured hand in a wave. Without further comment she turned and began to run, heading for where she'd first encountered Yazoo in order to pick up her weapon. From there she began to navigate the streets quickly, still on edge from her encounter. Cloud had been concerned about the silver-haired men, and now Yuffie knew beyond a doubt that he had real reason to be. Yazoo's words came back to her; all he had said about Jenova, about Sephiroth …
As much as she didn't want to realize it, it seemed like her worst nightmare –and that of all her friends- might just come true.