Cid and Shera's last few hours together before the launch of Shin-Ra 26.
Before the Rift
It was official, he wasn't getting any sleep tonight. Cid got out of bed and wondered around his empty house. The latest version of Shinra's rocket would be launched tomorrow. this one would not be unmanned as its predecessor had been, this time Cid would be there, realizing his dreams.
He made his way to the kitchen and picked up the kettle to heat up some tea. Immediately the lack of weight told him it was empty and he recalled drinking the last bit of tea before going to bed. He could make some more tea himself, but Shera's tasted much better. He looked out the window towards where the rocket was set up and noticed that the lights at its base were on. Surely Shera was up late, fussing about every little detail long after the other mechanics had retired to their rest.
Cid exited his house, the cool night breeze welcoming him into a quiet night. By the light of the moon and stars he could tell that the weather was nice and they would likely have the clear skies he wished for tomorrow.
He made his way closer to the rocket and sure enough, Shera was there. "Triple checkin' everything again?" Cid greeted with an amused shake of the head.
Shera smiled and nodded as he gave a hearty laugh. "What brings you here this late, Captain?"
"I couldn't sleep so I was going to drink some tea, but it ran out." Cid replied with the simple truth, not really meaning anything by it.
"I'm sorry," Shera apologized. "I'll go make more tea." She hurried off swiftly despite the late hour and her lack of rest.
Cid shrugged, he wasn't sure what she was apologizing for half the time, and he didn't think there was anything that merited an apology now, he had not been asking for one. As usual, he took it to be a habit of hers, not realizing that she apologized because she actually thought she should. A sudden shout interrupted his thoughts and he dashed towards the source of the voice. Monsters didn't often get close to town, but this one, a Nibel Wolf, seemed to have wondered away from its pack.
Cid cursed, the creature was growling at Shera with predatory eyes. He had left his spear at home, not thinking that he would actually need it. Then something surprising occurred, in a swift motion, Shera retrieved a rather large wrench from her tool belt and delivered a sharp hit to the beast's head as it launched towards her. The monster staggered back in a pained dazed and Cid took the opportunity to finish it off with a solid punch to the face.
The beast fell, completely knocked out, and Shera let out a breath of relief. "Thank you, Captain," she smiled somewhat shyly. "You even got it in one hit, that's pretty amazing."
Cid was about to mention the fact that Shera's hit had weakened the creature considerably and express his positive surprise, not having expected her to be so strong and in control of the suddenly dangerous situation, but the praise distracted him. Instead he smiled proudly, "I guess it is." He examined their surroundings and found that there didn't seem to be any more monsters around, but he wasn't about to risk it. "I'm going to stand guard, I can't sleep anyway and I wouldn't feel right about leaving the rocket alone before the big day. How about that tea?"
"Oh, right, sorry," Shera hurried off to make the tea while Cid watched her run off with a smile. Quite a smart one, that Shera, a bit quiet, but stronger than she realized, in more ways than one. Maybe they could work together on that airplane he was planning to build after he got back from outer space. He was planning to do it alone, but she was quick to pick up on everything and exceptionally knowledgeable, so she'd surely have some valuable ideas to contribute. She was far too cautious for his liking, but maybe he could find a way to remedy that.
It wasn't long before Shera returned with the tea. She tried to go back to her testing, but Cid stopped her. "You've tested this thing enough, everyone else is sure it's ready, quit being so #&?! paranoid, sit down and let's drink some tea." He motioned for the space next to him on the ground, his back leaning against one of the long metal poles that held the rocket in place.
She didn't want to refuse the invitation, she did enjoy his company, so she stayed. The thought of testing the oxygen tanks one last time still nagged at her. She would just have to do it tomorrow before the launch and with any luck, that bad feeling she had would only turn out to be her, as Cid said, worrying too much about nothing.
Several hours later, when the sun finally appeared in the horizon, Cid's first thought was 'it's about #&?! time!' He had been awake and alert the whole night and he was still bursting with energy. Shera on the other hand had fallen asleep a couple of hours ago, her head leaning on his shoulder. It was still early, but he should probably get changed and see about eating something before the launch, though he was too excited to have much of an appetite. "Shera, wake up, it's morning!" He cheerfully declared.
Shera opened her eyes, slowly at first, then when the knowledge of the world around her surfaced, she jumped into alertness. She wasn't in her room, she never left the rocket on the previous night, she never finished her tests of the oxygen tanks and there was so little time!
"C'mon," Cid helped her to her feet, excited about the day's events. "Time to get ready for the big launch. I don't feel like eating much, but you look like you could use some breakfast to calm your overactive worries." He led her back to the house, certain that was all she needed to be cured of her undue worries.
Never one to protest to Cid, Shera walked with him, enjoying the feeling of his arm around her shoulders and wondering if the reason for it was that Cid was too caught up in the excitement of the big day or something else. He was always so open and not afraid to speak his mind, he was brave, strong, and passionate about his dreams, qualities that she admired in him.
As they entered the house, she automatically began to make tea, Cid loved tea. "What are you planning to do after this?"
"After the launch?" Shera asked, more so to fill the silence than for clarification. She understood the question, she just didn't know the answer. "I haven't thought about it. I suppose that even if more rockets are made, it might be a while before that. I mean getting to outer space is quite the accomplishment, but it takes up a lot of resources and there are not many revenues, not unless Shinra finds a way to turn it into a business, maybe a tourist attraction of sorts..."
"Space Tours!" Cid laughed as Shera placed tea and toast before him. "I bet we'll get lots of customers if we include your tea as an in-flight beverage," he joked.
Shera laughed and sat across from him at the table with her identical breakfast. "I guess I really should think about what I'm going to do after this..." Maybe Shinra would move her to work on more profitable ventures, she could be offered a job at Junon.
"You stay here and help me work on my airplane," Cid replied.
Shera paused, taken by surprise. "You want me to stay and work with you?" She had heard Cid speak of the airplane before, it sounded like a personal project, yet he was inviting her to work on it by his side. "I'm not sure if Shinra would... I mean where would I stay if... Maybe they'll transfer me and..." She muttered her words quietly, unable to find a way to express her racing thoughts.
Cid didn't quite catch everything she said, but there was something in there about a place to stay. "You can stay here. You didn't think I'd kick you out after the rocket was done, did you?"
She could feel a blush creeping over her cheeks. She lived in his house now, but only as a coworker who needed a place to stay. His invitation somehow felt more long term, more personal. Shera smiled, "thank you." She was filled with a powerful emotion she had not felt before. She had a future ahead of her that was filled with something other than only her career at Shinra, she liked the feeling. She could hardly believe that Cid was apparently interested in her, she had told herself that it was only wishful thinking on her part, but he was inviting her to live with him and share in his work, so there had to be something there. Shera was happier than she ever recalled, she would be sure to share that happiness with Cid. She silently vowed to always be there for him, to support him in any way she could, and to never let him get hurt...
If Shera made a difference when helping Cloud and Vincent (or whoever your third party member is) free Cid from the debris after the oxygen tank blew up on the rocket, then she must be decently strong. If she was a playable character, I imagine her weapon to be something related to the tools she uses. I'm currently revamping my Shera fansite, the new version should be up in a few days, and that put me in the mood to write about her and Cid.