Abligail: K, dude, I appreciate the intensity of your review, truly, but that's slightly scary ;; And less of the 'Hun', hm? I'm not your girlfriend. Yes man, I know you're disappointed, but I don't swing the correct way. Keep reading, I'll remind you.
Chaotic Pink Chocobo: Love the name! It's very cool! If I had a chaotic pink Chocobo I'd name him Pogo Thanks for the review! I was reading your profile, I love like, all of the Final Fantasy pairings that you do, but especially Vincent and Yuffie. I don't know why I like them so much, I can't really explain it, I just think that they're plain and simply great! And you know that new Vincent game, Dirge of Cerberus? I think, other than Reeve, Yuffie is the only FFVII character on there! Coincidence? I think not! By the way, Play Date at the Gold Saucer is freakin' hilarious. Wouldn't you love a date at the Gold Saucer. In fact, I'd just love a Gold Saucer, I demand that you build me one. This fic is postponed until construction is in progress! For being great, have a Pumpkin flavoured jelly bean. They're nutritious!
Ergheiz: Well then, next time I won't even check my reviews! I'll get a whole other paragraph written! That's...that's a promise I can't keep P It was very nice what you said about my story though Thanks!
Enjoy the next chapter!
The bouncer watched Elena flee through the rain, her shock of blonde hair conspicuous, even in the dullness of the storm. She was hugging her coat tightly around herself, and his eyes were trained upon her as she turned the corner, the same corner he had seen the bearded man walked round not five minutes ago. He thought back for a moment, remembering his orders, remembering what he was paid for. He stood on the spot for a moment, eyes not moving from the corner, hands twitching clumsily beside his thighs, biting his bottom lip gently as he toyed over what to do. What if she was only saying good bye to her old friend? Maybe he'd left something in her room, she was just returning it? Two minutes passed, minutes in which he had craned his head to try and see if she would return, but he soon realised what had happened, and he reluctantly hung his head, before turning round and slipping through the double doors which led to one of the stock rooms.
"I...I saw her, she was going after a man she said was an old friend of hers."
"You let her go?"
"I thought she might be coming back, she... I didn't know what to do."
"Check her room. She may have left something, a clue."
The bouncer turned and began to leave the room, mumbling a noise of confirmation, but he stopped in his tracks when the man's voice streamed after him. The voice, harsh and malignant, flickered with something snide and viciously clever, and Riole wished for nothing more than for the voice to cease.
"Oh, and Riole? Send some men to her apartment. Shake up her roommate a bit, she what she knows."
A deep frown appeared on Riole's face, and he started forward, hand outstretched as if vying for permission to speak, and one of the man's eyebrows lifted inquisitively. The bouncer stumbled over his words for a second, stuttering slightly as the man's harsh brown eyes looked deeply into his face. Finally, Riole managed to spit it out, and he murmured gently:
"It's j-just... I've never seen the man before an-and, well, I just, I don't think that she, her roommate, will know about it, that's all Sir, sorry."
"You're probably right Riole. However, we can't be sure until we try, can we. In fact, why don't you go. Make sure the men are doing their jobs." There was something in his voice which left no room for argument, and he continued grimly: "Now go on Riole. Come to me when you've seen her room."
"Yes sir, Dione, sir," concluded Riole with a sad nod, before he turned round and left the room.
Riole pushed open the door of Elena's room and peered about, lost amongst the clutter of woman's things. He instinctively went to the chest of drawers first, searching about the top, looking at notes, perfumes, everything and anything that she owned. He rifled through her drawer, gasping nervously as he encountered all manner of undergarments, but looked closer when he came across a pair of navy blue underwear with a slip of paper in them. He pulled out the paper and found that it was in fact a photograph, with five people on it.
He examined the people, mouth ajar with confusion. There was one, a red head with strange green eyes, who was pulling a strange face into the camera, pulling his bottom eyelids down and poking out his tongue. He had odd scars going down his cheeks, like scratch marks, and a pair of goggles around his forehead. Beside him was a tall bald man who dwarfed the redhead, who had an unmissable solemnity about the straight line of his thin lips, mystery aroused by the presence of the sunglasses when they were clearly indoors. The little blonde one was Elena, with a slight tinge to her cheeks as she looked to the tall Oriental man beside her, a cheeky smile on her flawless face, hand reaching nervously into the photograph as she managed a wave at the camera. The Oriental man with the long black hair was smiling serenely into the camera, obviously Wutain heritage given away by the slight upturn in his brown eyes, clear olive skin and the small dot on his forehead. Behind his head, two renegade fingers were sticking up like bunny ears, and the owner of the fingers was pretending to whistle innocently as he looked away casually, pretending not to be in the picture at all. He was a tall, lanky man, but he was still shorter than both the bald man and the Oriental man. He had mahogany-coloured hair, and a similar coloured beard, and Riole recognised him immediately. Four of the people, one of whom was the missing Elena, were wearing navy blue suits, but the man who had been there earlier wasn't wearing a jacket at all. He looked relaxed, happy, and incredibly mischievous, half of his thick hair falling before his eyes, white sleeves rolled up to his elbows. It was definitely the man he was looking for.
Riole tucked the photograph into his hip pocket, before carefully replacing all of Elena's stray underwear, closing the drawers, and prowling around the rest of the room with a face like a Doberman, keen to find what he could. Once he got into it, the job began to become methodical, almost relaxing. He turned swiftly to the dressing table, hand outstretched to rifle through her belongings, but he stopped dead in his tracks as he noticed that his reflection was marred by streaks of red on the mirror. He moved slowly closer, eyes taking in the words, lips moving as his tongue rolled over the syllables. He shook his head as he wet his dry lips, throat constricted by the nervousness and moral issues which ran through his mind. He sighed sadly before leaving the room and heading towards Dione's office.
The mirror attached to the dressing table shone with the reflected yellow light of Elena's dressing room, but her elaborate script still flowed stark over the water-like surface.
'So sorry D. Been great, but have better things to do in my life. Thanks for opportunities. E xxx'
"Where do we go from here, Elle?"
Perched on a soaking wooden bench, dripping with rain, Elena shrugged gently and turned to Reeve. His thick hair was drenched, and it fell in front of his eyes with a dark, watery flow akin to tar being poured onto a road. His eyes were set dead ahead, his hands clasped on his knees and Elena smiled and stretched out and took one, giving it a tight squeeze. His eyes swung lazily to meet hers, and she said softly:
"I... haven't seen my parents since I became a Turk. It's been four years, no phone call, no letters. You know the rules, commitment with no apron strings. They haven't seen me since I was eighteen, but it's not to late. Reeve, please take me to see them."
Reeve ran his hand through his sopping hair, before giving it a dog-like shake and blowing the water from his face. Rainstorms in Midgar were an irregular occurrence but, when they did happen, they were torrential. Families would take their children out in rainstorms, tiny, fragile, excited little things, swamped in waxen, waterproof cloth, drip drop of water on their faces like novelty bathing.
Reeve remembered back when he was a child, when his mother was still alive, when his dad was still around, and they had taken him to the park, to play amongst the sodden wood chippings and the flooded tarmac basketball courts, skidding with his waterlogged trainers so that all he could smell was damp and tyre burn. Then his mother died of mako poisoning, from when their house pipe burst. They had had to burn the body, to avoid fear of her corpse mutating, and at that moment, when the damp and tyre burn had been replaced by burnt flesh, that was when Reeve grew up. Seven years worth of experience, twenty years worth of pent up wisdom and bitterness. Didn't help that his father, having resorted to drink, decided to make a new home far, far away from Reeve, leaving the lost pre-teen to make his own way to the orphanage. Rain was pretty much the only happy memory that he had of his mother, so that was sure a happy family. He felt his eyes begin to sting, and he turned away from Elena once more and gritted his teeth with determination.
Elena, on the other hand, being born in Costa Del Sol, was not yet accustomed to the Midgar rainfall, infrequent as the showers were, and so being soaked by something which was neither sea nor bath water was consistently unpleasant for the blonde ex-Turk. She shivered delicately in the cold as she awaited Reeve's answer and, soon enough, his head bobbed in approval and, in a hoarse voice, he said to her:
"Sure thing Elle. Costa Del Sol, right?"
Elena studied his features carefully, his head not moving, eyes wavering slightly, little bit of thin bottom lip tucked tightly between his teeth. She wanted to reach out and wipe the drops of water from his cheeks, saline teardrops which he would try and pass for raindrops. What, or whom, did he cry for? She was suspicious that she would never know, but she felt her own throat tighten, her own eyes burn for aridity. Why was she always so temperamental? She blamed it on hormones, maybe even the dreaded 'crimson wave' as Reno so politely put it. Reno...Rude, Tseng, hell, even bloody Scarlet. Reeve had brought back a slice of her life that she thought she'd never see, feel again, she was allowed to cry, damn it! Screw hormones and screw the crimson wave, she felt a downpour of tears approaching, and before Reeve could stop her, she's buried her head in his shoulder and began to weep herself silly.
Kisha stopped dancing lightly around her apartment in response to the knock at her door, placing her glass of wine on the coffee table and heading towards the door. The leviathan fish in her fish tank glugged at her, as if in question, and the young Wutaian woman shrugged her shoulders and replied:
"I don't know. It's not like anyone to call round this late."
She approached the door and looked through the peep hole in the centre of the door, but she couldn't see anything but black. She shook her head in confusion, before assuming that the glass was broken and opening the door to see who it was.
The man in front of her took his black, gloved finger off of the peep hole and stared at her simply. The three men behind him, were heavily set, bulky with muscle and as intimidating on their own as they were in a group. Kisha frowned and leaned on her leg, arms folded across her chest, mouth pouted in question.
"What do you want? Do you have any idea how late it is?"
The man in front of her pointed towards her apartment, and the three men flanking him all pushed by her and began rummaging through her apartment. Kisha tried to push at them to stop them, screaming to high heaven, but the apparent leader grabbed her by her forearms and pulled her to meet his eyes. He whipped a lock knife from his pocket and placed it carefully under her chin, and Riole said firmly to her:
"Shut up. Get in there and start talking. You know something, and we're going to find out what."
R&R please children! First reviewer gets a peanut flavoured jelly bean!