A/N: It all comes to a close! This is the final chapter and I thank everyone who has commented, faved, and put this on story alert! I appreciate the support and after three years in the making, Cid and Shera finally get their respective happy endings. Please, check out my other fics! *shameless self promotion XD*
Epilogue: Summer Virga
"Lying in the long grass
In the sunlight,
They believe it's true love.
And from all around them,
Telling them of love,
And the way it breathes."
-Enya "Flora's Secret"
Raye came into the house and kicked off the high heels she'd managed to wear without causing a scene and then went into the bedroom to pull off the bridesmaid dress Shera had made her wear for the wedding. She flopped onto the bed in nothing but her underwear and bra and sighed contentedly.
As the redhead crossed her arms in front of her, Cid walked into the room, already having loosened his tie and was in the process of removing his dress jacket. He glanced keenly at Raye, a smirk creeping across his face.
"Ya better put some clothes on, Girl," he said. "I'm enjoying the view."
Raye laughed. "Is that so? Well in that case, I'll keep 'em off a little longer so I can tease you."
Cid fumbled with the last button of the starchy white dress shirt he'd worn and grinned widely. "An' if you keep that shit up, you might get fucked. Know what I mean?"
Raye sat up. "Well, I'm game anytime you are…if you can handle me, that is."
He sat down next to her and placed a hand on the small of her bare back. "Your wild nature dun scare me anymore. I've handled you plenty o' times."
Raye snorted. "Yeah, manhandled me." She reached across and pulled a pillow off the bed they now shared and hit him in the face with it.
"Oi!" he yelped as he put up an arm defensively.
Raye got up from the bed and opened a drawer and pulled out a pair of denim shorts. Then she opened another drawer and pulled out a purple tank top and put these items on as Cid kicked off his dress slacks.
"Man, Shera sure is showing," Raye remarked. "Let's she…she's like 6 months along now, I think."
"I'll say one thing's for sure, that ceremony on the beach was hotter than hell," Cid responded. "Remind me that if we ever get married to have the wedding in the fall or spring."
Raye chuckled. "Ha ha…yeah."
Cid pulled on a blue tank top and a pair of shorts as well. It was late summer and the season was just about to change to fall, yet it was still warm enough to wear lighter clothing. Raye had been going to school while working in the shipyard, and in order to save her several trips to Junon, she'd begun living with Cid there and the couple would often come home to Rocket Town on weekends. This particular weekend, however, was Brad and Shera's wedding, and Raye had been in it.
Brad had been overjoyed that Shera was pregnant, but not wanting a child to be born out of wedlock, they had decided to get married and have the ceremony at Costa del Sol. Shera had made her own wedding gown as well as Raye's bridesmaid dress. Cid wasn't in the wedding party, but he sat in the audience, his eyes not only fixed on watching Brad and Shera tie the knot, but he gazed at Raye nearly the entire time, for she had looked gorgeous in that long, baby blue dress carrying a set of flowers in her hands.
He ventured a tiny smile at her. "You sure looked great in that dress, Raye."
Raye pulled her tank top over her head. She wrinkled her nose up. "You think so? I hated it."
He chuckled. "I know ya did, but…you really did look purty."
She smiled and pulled on her shorts. "Well, you looked nice in that suit. I didn't think you owned one, to be honest with you."
"Ha ha…I didn't…" he told her sheepishly. "I just went out and got one…figure I'll have to be wearin' it more with these W.R.O. meetings an' shit…"
Raye laughed softly. "You'll more than likely have to wear your dress blues for those, Cid." She came up and kissed him on the cheek. "And I rape men in uniforms."
Cid laughed. "Is that so? Well, then, I guess they better hurry up an' give me an excuse to wear mine!" He paused. "Or you could just…you know, fuck me stupid right now."
He grabbed at her waist, but she pushed him off her, radiating with amusement. "You had your chance, you horny bastard."
"Yeah, well, I might have to take my chance back then!" he exclaimed, tossing his shirt on and then starting for Raye.
She backed out of the room, turned, and then scampered out the back door with Captain close on their heels. She looked back over her shoulder to see Cid was still chasing her, and she made a beeline for the hilltop that overlooked Rocket Town. Cid caught up to her, then reached out and grabbed her by the waist. They tumbled to the ground beneath the large, lone oak tree and rolled about in the tall grass and flowers locked into a wrestle.
Cid happened to glance up at the billowing clouds that filled the sky, their dark grey bases taking on a wisped appearance, and Cid could clearly see it was raining up in those clouds, but that rain would never make it to the ground.
"Hey…ain't that a purty sight…" he said, staving off Raye who was straddling him.
She followed his glance upwards. "What is, Cid?"
Cid began to sit up as Raye slid off him. He pointed to the sky. "Virga."
"Virga?" she questioned.
"Yeah…it's rain that falls but never reaches the ground."
Raye blinked and looked at the clouds with him. Captain lay down in the grass next to Cid, and he relaxed with his back against the trunk of the tree. "Yeah…it happens a lot in summer when it's hot…it's raining in those clouds, but it's evaporating before it hits the ground." He sighed. "Sure makes for an amazing sight, though."
Raye leaned back and rested her weight on her hands. "It sure does." There was a silent moment before she spoke again. "Cid?"
"Um…back in the house, you said if we ever got married, you'd want a ceremony in the spring or fall…were you joking about that or…?"
"Well, actually, I really was half serious," he said. "I've considered the option." He paused to scratch under his goggles. "I think we make a pretty good team if you ask me."
"Yeah, but we've had some pretty heated fights," Raye said.
He shrugged. "It's a part of any relationship, I think, but…if ya think about it, we really don't fight much." He looked over at Raye. "What about you?"
Raye shrugged. "I think it's a possibility in the future," she said smiling. "But let's just see if we can get through the first year of dating without killing each other. Trust me, I've come close…"
Cid laughed a little. "And I haven't?" He put an arm around her. "If you wouldn't be so stubborn sometimes…"
Raye raised an eyebrow and cocked her head to look at him. "The same could be said about you, you know."
Cid chuckled. "Well, it's part of the package, you know." He looked down at her and then reached out to grab her chin so he could look her in the eyes. "But I think it's worth it, don't you?"
Raye smirked and snorted amusedly. "Yeah, I suppose."
Cid held her gaze for another long moment and then he leaned down to kiss her, parting her mouth with his and allowing his tongue inside to dance with hers. They broke away after several moments and he held her face with both hands.
"You know I really do love you, right?" he asked. "I mean, I know I dun say it a lot, but…you know that, don't you?"
Raye held his right wrist. "Yeah, of course…and you know the feeling's ditto, right?"
He smiled softly. "Ha ha…yeah…"
"Even if I don't say it?"
"Even if you don't' say it." There was a pause. "And what kind of loser uses the word 'ditto'?"
Raye slapped him hard in the stomach. "Who are you calling a loser, Blondie?"
Cid jerked and held his midsection as he glared at her. "Gawd, not so damned hard…shit that actually hurt. An' who you callin' blond?"
"Well I don't see any other blondes on this hill," Raye pointedly said, but before he could come up with a retort, she pulled him down into the grass with her and climbed on top of him. "But you're a damn good looking blond if I ever saw one."
Cid's arms wrapped around Raye's waist as a single leaf fell from the branches above them. "Ya think I'm pretty sexy, huh?"
Raye's face filled with mischievousness. "And you think you're real cocky." She nodded up toward the tree. "You know, fall's just around the corner and we won't be able to be out here like this for long. I say we make the most of it while we can."
Cid grinned, knowing exactly what she meant. "Oh ho…you're creative, woman." He rolled her over onto her back and divulged himself of his shirt completely as she undid the button of his shorts and pulled down the zipper. "I'm down with that."
He leaned down to kiss her as he pulled away her own clothing. He nibbled on her neck, and as he pulled off her panties he purred into her ear, "What would yer daddy say if he knew what kind 'o hanky panky we been playin'?"
Raye snorted and laughed. "I don't think I'm in any position to give a shit, Cid." She tilted her head back as he licked her neck hungrily. "Besides, I think it's safe to say he knows I've been sleeping with you."
Raye lay back in the grass with Cid, the blades brushing against her naked body. She could hardly believe that only a year and a half ago, she'd punched Cid out on the streets of Junon, fought and argued with him for months after that, all the while struggling with her own surfacing feelings for him. Yet, now, she knew for certain that she wanted no other man, and no other man could complete her like he did.
For once in her life, Raye was truly happy. Her father was in better health and making more now than he ever could in his lifetime, and he didn't have to work nearly as hard. Brad was in culinary school, now happily married, and had a baby on the way. And while Mark was still very ill, he was having more good days now than bad with the treatments and help the doctors and researchers were giving him as they fought to find a cure.
As for Raye, she could not be more content. Cid was right when he said everything would work out; she was going to school, getting on-the-job training, and she had found somewhat of a kindred spirit and soul mate in Cid – she loved him and he loved her. She wondered, at first, why it was she fought so hard to give into her feelings, and then she realized that she had been afraid to do so all this time.
Raye closed her eyes as he made love to her in the grass beneath the trees as the summer virga passed over against the bright blue sky above them. It was in this moment that she realized that she had found her happy ending.