Woo, my final chapter in All For Revenge. I'm almost sad to see that's it's finally over. I really enjoyed writing this, and all the reviews that I received from all of you that showed that you enjoyed it as well.
I still don't own Final Fantasy 7. But I hope someday that I'll own something important that other people will write fan fictions on and say that they don't own it. Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?
Chapter 10: My Final Decision
Bodies littered the floor around Tifa's feet. She ignored them as she stepped over them and proceeded to the elevator. Did anyone in ShinRa actually think that those wimps would have been able to stop her? They had only seen her capabilities as a Turk for a short time, but she thought she deserved more respect than this.
'Still,' she thought as she slid her still active employee card into the elevator's slot, 'things are going to get a lot harder on the top floor. President isn't going to be stupid enough to leave himself unguarded.'
The thought that she would have to fight Tseng or even Rude was not a foreign thought, and she was at finally at ease with it. If it happened than it would happen. She had wasted enough time already second-guessing herself on this. And while there was a small twinge in her heart at the thought of killing the man that she loved, she ignored it. He had chosen his path and she had hers. There was no doubt in her mind that he would kill her if he were given the opportunity. She couldn't afford to be weak towards him.
She wasn't surprised to see three guards with machine guns waiting outside the door for her. She simply scoffed and before any of them could react, she shot forward and slammed her a kick into the face of the front guard, dropping him immediately. Grabbing the shocked second guard, she snapped his wrist to make him drop his weapon and pulled him in front of herself to use as a shield from the final guard.
"Go on," she snarled at him. "You think I care if you shoot him?"
The last guard hesitated and she used the opportunity to shove the guard she was holding at the other. They slammed against each other and she quickly cast a lightning spell on the two. They fell as quickly as the last guard had and she glared up at the end of the hallway that would lead to the stairs to the President's office.
Some one was standing in the way. Tall and imposing. Just looking at him made Tifa feel furious.
"Get out of the way," she snapped at Rude.
"You know I can't," he told her.
She replied silently by pulling out her ShinRa supplied Peace Maker and pointed it right at his chest.
"I'm going to say this once more. Get out of my way… or else," she growled the last part at him.
Rude gave a small sigh before he began to walk towards her. It was not a run or an attack, just a calm stride, as if she didn't even have the gun, or worse yet, as if he didn't believe she would shoot it. She cocked the pistol to show she was serious but he paid it no mind.
"Rude, get back!" she yelled at him, but he ignored her and kept walking.
Her arms trembled as she fought to keep her gun steady. Every thought in her mind was screaming at her that she had to kill him but her hands didn't seem to want to respond. It would be so easy, all she had to do was squeeze her finger and it would be all over. But when his chest met the barrel of her pistol she still hadn't shot it.
The material of his jacket brushed against her gun and he just stared at her. Even with his sunglasses, she could feel his stare bore into her. She was shaking uncontrollably by now. His silent dare, telling her to do it, was only slightly less terrifying than the actual thought of him dying.
She couldn't do it. As much as she had tried to convince herself that she could do what needed to be done, in the end she was just a fool in love. She couldn't even try it; too afraid of what her world would be like if she did kill him. She was too weak, but even as tears streaked down her face, she didn't feel an ounce of regret.
Dr. Jones had said that it all came down to numbers. He had been right. Rude was worth more to her than to her revenge, no matter how much she had tried to tell herself that wasn't true. She had been forced to lie for so many years, she had thought she had gotten pretty good at it. But it seemed she had lost her knack for it. She couldn't lie to herself for any longer, she loved Rude and Hell would freeze over before she could hurt him.
When he took the gun from her, she didn't fight. He pulled her into a hug and kissed her. And even when she heard her own gun go off and felt the bullet tear through her stomach she didn't feel as if it was such a bad a way to die.
Tseng sat in his office as he stared upon Miss Lockheart's file. He had actually found himself wishing that his usually instinctive first impressions had been off when it had come to her. The moment she had stepped into his office he had no thought that she would last long but he wished that this one time, he had been wrong. Rude had seemed to be so happy with her, and now he had been given the order to kill her if Reno had failed.
It was too cruel, but something the Turk's had to do all the time.
His PHS rang and he picked it up. What he heard didn't surprise him.
"All right. You know what to do now."
Less than five minutes latter, DECEASED was stamped across the file in bold, red ink.
It's not everyday that somebody can wake up and wonder why they are not dead. It's an unusual experience. While there can be happiness about the fact that you are still alive, there is too much confusion about why you are still a part of the living world to really enjoy it.
This was what Tifa was feeling when she awoke. Her side ached terribly, but aside from that she found herself to be quite comfortable in a fluffy bed that had the smell of a loving home, a smell she had not experienced in a long time.
It was even more shocking to see that Aeris was looking down at her with a smile.
"Awake now? I admit I was getting a little worried," she said in her soft, yet happy voice.
"W-what…" was all that Tifa could manage.
"Rude and Reno took you here. They asked me to take care of you until you were better."
"They were both here?" she asked.
"Yes. I was scared to death when they showed up but they told me that all they wanted was to make sure that you were all right. A Phoenix Down and a few cure spells did the trick just fine, and you should be on your feet within a few days," Aeris replied. "Truth be told, they don't usually show up unless they're trying to capture me. They don't just visit me anymore; they must have thought that there was no one to trust you with on the Plate."
"You mean, they don't always try to capture you?" Tifa said.
Aeris blushed lightly and said nothing before turning back to Tifa.
"They told me that the Plate was no longer a safe place for you to be at. You can stay with me and my mom for as long as you like. They said you might want to get out of Midgar, but I have a feeling that isn't an option for you."
"Thank you," Tifa said. "I'll think about it. But for now, I think I need to just rest."
"Of course," Aeris said as she stood and left. The door shut silently behind her and footsteps faded into the distance, letting Tifa know she was alone with her thoughts. She rolled over onto her side and faced the wall. She was too confused to think about too much right now. She just wanted sleep. Decisions could be made latter.
Tifa did end up staying with Aeris. The home she had been offered had been too comfortable and loving to refuse. They lived together for a few years, and all the while Tifa wondered about Reno and Rude, mostly about Rude. Aeris would talk about them sometimes trying to kidnap her, but Tifa never saw them herself. She supposed she would if she spent a lot of time protecting her friend like she had wanted to but the Ancient insisted that she was fine and could take care of herself. There was a part of Tifa that knew that she wouldn't have been able to face Rude if she did see him, so she didn't argue with Aeris about it much.
Aeris had brought home a stranger one day that she claimed had saved her from the Turks and Tifa had almost cried when she realized it was Cloud. He had joined an organization called AVALANCHE and Tifa was pulled back to the Plate of Midgar when Aeris had been captured by the Turks. She soon found herself chasing after Sephiroth, the murderer of her town, and realized that Cloud must have gone into some kind of delusion about him being there. His obvious instability kept her from saying anything though, and she let him keep his fantasy.
There seemed to have been so much that had happened. She met the Turks many times, but every time they pretended that they didn't even know her. She said nothing to them either, too afraid of what the others would think. There was a new girl with them, Elena. Tifa tried not to think too badly of her, but she was sure that she was an idiot. It was slightly insulting that they thought that blond a better Turk than her. Still, she was loyal. Maybe it had just been jealousy that this girl was close to Rude while Tifa had to fight him that made her so venomous.
Aeris even ended up dying, which tore Tifa up like nothing else. She remembered the one time that she actually had a real interaction with Reno since she had left him in her apartment, trapped by his own device. It had been in Wutai and she had been looking for Yuffie (and the Materia that had been stolen) when Reno had suddenly came up and grabbed her, demanding to be told that what Reeve had told him was a lie. When she told him it was true, she had been shocked beyond all belief to see him burst into tears and collapse into her arms. But when she had seen him later while he was rescuing Elena, nothing showed how upset he had been, other than the slight redness to his eyes. She never asked him why he had reacted that way. It was too obvious. After all, she had fallen in love with the enemy too.
And finally it was over. Holy was summoned and Sephiroth had been killed. Everyone went his or her own separate ways. Tifa didn't try to hard to stay in contact with any of them. They always called her, and she would answer and talk with them, but she never would call them. There seemed to always be a great distance between her and all of her friends. She knew all of their pasts. She knew why Barret hated ShinRa and she had helped Cloud finally figure out that he'd never really been a part of SOILDER. But they didn't know her. They didn't know that she had been a part of the Turks, even if it was an infiltration attempt. It was something she was ashamed of, and Aeris had never spoke of it to the others either. It was something she had never wanted to think about again.
Eventually she took a small apartment in Junon. She wasn't sure why she had chosen this place of all places, but it was a loud city, which kept her busy and kept her distracted.
It was about a year after the whole mess had finally resolved itself when Tifa was sitting in her sofa with a book. She had been reading for a few hours, but she hadn't really been paying attention to it. None of the words had really made it to her brain and she was considering just putting it down and taking a nap when a knock on her door made her look up.
The thought of just ignoring it stayed in her head for less than a second. Yuffie had made a mention of coming over for a visit and Tifa knew that the girl would attempt to break the door down if she didn't answer soon enough.
"Coming," she called and went to open it.
"Hi Tifa," Rude said when she saw him.
She just stood there, staring at him. He said nothing other than his short greeting and Tifa found her mouth too dry to say anything.
So she kissed him.
She supposed it wasn't the clearest thinking on her part, but she couldn't stop herself. She just jumped him and kissed him as hard as she could. His arms wrapped around her and pulled her closer to him, not objecting to her actions at all.
Really, the instantaneous actions would have been comic if it weren't for the fact that she hadn't seen him for so long.
"What are you doing here?" she asked after they had finally let go of each other and he nudged her inside so that he could shut the door.
"I came to see you," he responded.
Tifa sighed. She didn't expect to get more than that out of him.
"President ShinRa is still in charge of this town and right now we're trying to build our way back up," he explained. "I… I wanted to see you again."
"Why?" she asked.
His eyebrows raised behind his glasses in a "You have to ask?" sort of way.
She paid it no mind. "Why? Why come after all this time? Why did you shoot me and then save my life in the first place?"
Her voice didn't rise but she could still feel the stress she was feeling escape through her breath. It was amazing how he could still stir such strong feelings in her after so many years of separation.
Rude frowned. "It was Reno's idea. He was supposed to apprehend you but just incase he didn't get you out of Midgar safely I had to make it look as if you had died to keep you safe. Aeris was the only one we could trust you with down below, so we took you there."
Tifa ran a hand through her hair and leaned against a wall. "But why now?"
"I couldn't stay away any longer. It killed me to see you with the enemy and not be able to talk to you. I couldn't say to you that I loved you or that I spent every night dreaming of the one time we had spent together." One hand reached out for hers and the other pulled off his sunglasses. "I don't want to have to do this anymore. I don't want to have to stay away anymore. I want to be here with you, if you'll still have me."
Tifa was slightly caught off guard by his long speech, though she really shouldn't have been. She pulled him close and kissed him. It was tender, and they just stood there basking in each other's presence for a while.
"I never dared to think that I could have this. It never seemed possible," she breathed.
"I'm still involved in ShinRa," he warned.
She shook her head and smiled without having to think about it at all. She had beaten Sephiroth, and ShinRa was no longer a threat to the planet. She had done what she had set out to accomplish. "I don't care. I was too stupid to realize what I had. I'm never letting go again."
This was much shorter than what I had originally intended but I had a whole bunch of detail that I just decided to cut out of the last chapter. It was unimportant drabble that detracted from the story line and I just didn't like it.
I hope that everyone liked my story. If this is enjoyed by even one person than all the headaches and writer's block that I went through to write this whole thing was infinitely worth it. Especially the Aeris/Reno fans. I realized that I hadn't put a lot of stuff in there for you guys so I wanted to show that he did love her, even if it was portrayed in a sad way. I didn't give away much of what was going on between them, and I'm sorry for that. However I am thinking about possibly making a side story to this showing their relationship. This may or may not happen, as I'm getting ideas for other stories that are not in FF7. My anime obsession is starting to rise again, so I may dabble in that for a while instead.
Please R&R. It would be greatly appreciated to hear what you thought of my story.