Author: Thank you very much to whom ever wrote the reviews on the Cissnei story or favored it. It's given me a little more confidence to write another chapter of this, and I must apologize if Cissnei sounded a little bit whiney in this, but she's young and has been through Hojo destroying her family and taking away her friends and then being sort of "enslaved"/adopted into the same company that destroyed said family and friends. You'd be kind of whiney and crazy too. (Oh, I've been considering that there could be a chance for romance in this fic, but most of Cissnei's love stuff is kind of one sided, sadly... ^^;)

Also, there is a reason for the whole Ryo thing popping up here and there, but that's yet to be revealed.

Aaaand… As for the ones that were talking trash about this fic, screw you live journal bitches up the ass with a spiky pole. _ (You know who you are. D: )

The Final Fantasy characters/world belong to Square.

Anyways, here is the next chapter of the story. Please enjoy. =)


They stood there looking into their reflections within the cold metal doors of the Shin-Ra tower's elevator. Tseng said nothing and merely waited without words, and without an expression to offer the young girl that stood beside him, staring into the same surface as his adopted daughter. He instead, rather nonchalantly, allowed her to drift off into what he thought to be the silly daydreams of a child, letting Cissnei lose herself within her own thoughts.

She was no daydreamer though. She was putting serious thought to this meeting when she realized that she was completely clueless about what sort of person this president's son was. There had never heard much of him before now, as though he was some secret weapon, to be kept hidden. Tseng never mentioned much about him, but according to Tseng at least, when she did ask about him, this boy wasn't exactly what you would call "nice", which was understandable; he is the son of the ever-ruthless President Shin-Ra after all. She understood that now, though the understanding did nothing but send her young mind deeper into contemplation amidst the growing awkward silence within the elevator. She was Tseng's daughter, and at the same time, he was a total stranger to her.

A wandering mind imagines all sorts of things and the wandering mind of a young girl knows no limits. And so it was that young Cissnei had started to imagine what this unknown boy would be like, to prepare for a confrontation that would be impossible to prepare for. She knew of his father. She knew he loved money and power more than anything, and she knew him to be indifferent towards most other things. She would not be in Shinra's walls if the president were the caring sort.

But she didn't know of this son of his. She was optimistic, she wanted friends, anybody would do, but her senses told her to stay away from him. Nevertheless, in a very innocent, optimistic way she still had hopes that he wouldn't be mean to her. Although, some say that truth is a deaf listener when it comes to hearing what people wish for things to be like. Unfortunately, the odds were leaning towards him turning out to be a bit of a brat, so Cissnei started to think of various ego-busting plots of dastardly design.

No mind games for today though, for Tseng had already laid down the rules for their get together. On this day, there was to be no name calling or getting into trouble with this one, but in Cissnei's heart hung this hanging, nagging ominous feeling, the sort that makes your heart skip a beat and your stomach dance, that somehow there would be trouble, and, in a crazy way, she loved it. She loved every anxious, heart pounding moment of it all, for in her boring life she wanted to stir up some chaos in this overly ordered prison of a place, or so she viewed it. Cissnei wanted to find her adventure, and Shinra's son would give her that. Somehow this little girl knew it, too.

Although, at the same time, this feeling also brought to her nothing more than a hanging anxiety, and in a small attempt to find solace she couldn't help but feel the need to shift her shaking fingers around the soft pockets of the denim jacket that she was wearing. In her nervous effort she had found a small, grooved stone in one of the right pockets to preoccupy her shaking fingers with. It was a worry stone for times like these, when one is annoyed with worries. She roughly rubbed at the smooth surface of the stone, attempting to clam her nerves and tame her mind into focus as she waited by her foster father's side. Yet, her worry and excitement persisted like an eddy in a current within her small frame. It wasn't Tseng's ever-overbearing presence or the potential of Rufus being the worst person on the face of Gaia that she now minded; it was that annoying ever-present feeling of trouble brewing.

As the doors to the elevator slid open to the topmost floor of the Shin-Ra building, they stared, no longer at her own reflection, but at the large polished down lobby floor in front of her. The man next to her, Tseng, then took the small girl by the arm led her quickly past the turns of the corridors, dragging Cissnei past the secretaries' desks. As they moved past them, one introverted brunette had tried shyly to greet Tseng but failed greatly as he sped by with the girl in tow. Try as she might, the young girl that he was dragging now was nearly tripping all over herself to keep in pace with the break neck speed her future boss was going at. No blame to her though, as I doubt that there would be anybody who could keep up with that pace, save for maybe Reno, but that's another story, I'm sure.

"Up those stairs is the office." Tseng turned, mentioning to her, his hand motioning towards the stairs, "We'll head up there now, but keep in mind to behave your self." He had added in his rush, drilling the reminder of politeness into the young brain again.

As he took her hand again, he began to lead her up the tacky purple stairs they had seen from the desks. It was the only color in the room, though she felt that they could have chosen better colors to cheer the place up, to say the least. Up and up they went, up Shin-ra's cheap royal rug and into a bear's den to face the beast inside… and they were late. Shinra hates lateness.

When they had finally reached the top floor, floor 70, the president's office, Tseng finally let go of her hand and set the small red haired girl free from him. She straightened herself up and took in the huge sight of the office in front of her and gaped at it all. The president's desk was enormous, well lit, with a view, and surprisingly clean. And, next to amongst the array of screens, monitors, and soft, yellowed lights sat an equally enormous man, nestled comfortably within the plush of a rather large and important looking purple chair. The office's wealthy, modern look was so much in her eyes, and it was so beautiful.

That bastard didn't deserve all of this, she thought, thinking of all of the kids back in the slums who had grown up with absolutely nothing. She had always listened to the adults in the slums back home when they spoke of Shinra and had taken in and absorbed every word they said as truth. They used to say that Shinra caused the situation under the plate and it's president, and that he was to blame for everybody's pain and suffering. Every time the orphanage went without food, Shinra was to blame, every time the orphanage lost power, it was Shinra's fault. Dirty drinking water, Shinra, overpricing, Shinra, polluted air, definitely Shinra, and when one of them died from it all…

She quickly shook the terrible thought from her head and attempted to refocus on the present. It took every muscle in her to keep a still and composed look upon her face as she stared at the face of that corrupt old man in front of both her and Tseng. President Shinra leaned forward from his chair and addressed Tseng as he started moving himself out from behind the massive desk.

"Ah, Tseng, you're late. How unusual of you."

"I'm sorry sir. There were some…minor distractions along the way." Tseng apologized, bowing slightly in respect.

"Be sure not to let it happen again then. Now, we have business to discuss."

"Yes sir." Tseng replied obediently.

The large man was now out from behind his desk and moving towards Cissnei. She tensed up as he patted the top of her head, as though she were a pet dog. She felt every hair on the back of her neck stand up in resentment as soon as she was touched.

"So you're the girl I was hearing about! Welcome to Shin-Ra, you're going to make a fine employee some day, little girl." He stated, his words full of phony exuberance

"I don't…want to work for you." She replied boldly, narrowing her eyes at the fat man.

"Haha. Now why's that?" He laughed.

"Because you're evil." She growled.

Taken aback by the unexpected words, he raised his eyebrows at the fiery child, now glaring, in front of him. He sneered and threw a cold, dirty look her way, something that frightened Cissnei and made her run back, hiding her face behind her foster father.

"Bold words, but you don't have a choice." The president sneered, "You're going to make this company a lot of money in the future, child. I expect to see results."

"I have to go Cissnei." Tseng stated, looking over towards the cinnamon haired child, who was now staring back at him with large brown eyes, full of questions. Hesitating, he managed to pull himself away from her, turning to follow the President out into a different room to discuss important Turk matters. Dangerous matters at that; possibly filled with death and the like.

She was completely alone now, left by herself without even being officially introduced to Rufus, as though he was never a big issue to begin with. Perhaps they forgot all about their play date. Feeling the bitter sting of neglect she turned towards the desk and kicked it, letting out a shout of frustration into the empty room.

"Don't be so ticked off at everything he does. You're not special. My old man's always like that towards new people." Said a voice from the corner of the one corner of the room.

"Huh…?" Cissnei sounded.

Curious, she wandered towards the place where she had heard the voice come from. From beyond the massive desk she found, hiding behind a pillar, a blond boy, about her age, sitting down, legs pulled up to his chest, and with the sternest look she'd ever seen on a kid her age before. She gawked, staring at the oddity before her.

"Man you're slow. Don't you know who I am?"

"You're…Rufus Shinra?"

"Correct."

"Well…uh…I'm Cissnei!" She said smiling politely in counter to Rufus's sour attitude.

"…Yeah…. Okay. That's nice. Now leave me alone." He said, crossing his arms and turning his body away from her.

Rufus paused for a moment and turned his head slightly to see that she had not left him yet and frowned slightly.

"Why aren't you leaving?" he complained.

Cissnei shrugged and leaned forwards on her hands.

"Got nowhere to go." She replied simply.

"Hmph."

"So, why aren't you leaving?" she echoed him.

"You'd probably just follow me…"

"No I wouldn't."

"…."

For a while, there was nothing but silence between them and the quiet hum of electricity.

What the heck is his problem?! I came here to be his friend, and now I find out that he's beyond bratty. He's completely unsociable! Cissnei swung her feet a little impatiently to her thoughts as she cursed her luck at being stuck alone in a room with Rufus all day. There must be a way through that thick armor of his… and that's when a simply devious little plan floated into her head, making her grin mischievously at her play mate, like a cat with a bird.

Rufus had barely the time to look over at her when he saw the blur of a red haired child catapult into him, arms outstretched and fingers wiggling to tickle him.

"What are you…hahaha…hey! Stop that! Ahhahha. Hey! Hey! I'm telling your dad on you!" he screamed in the middle of his loud fits of laughter.

"Pft. No way." Cissnei grinned as she continued her tickle torture on the squirming blond child.

She took in the sight rather pleasingly as she watched him twist and turn, laughing uncontrollably through the torture. Now this was what kids should be like, she thought to herself, proud of the work she had done.

He launched himself sideways away from her, kicking himself free from her hands and setting down on his side a foot away from her reach.

"Aha….ha…haa. phwew" he gasped, fidgeting a little from the aftershock of being tickled for the first, and possibly only, time in his life. It was an odd feeling, laughing like that.

Grinning and gasping for breath he had carelessly let down his defenses on her. It was such an unexpected move, and he was caught off guard in the middle of an important thought; thoughts about his father, and thoughts about success. This time though, before Cissnei started to edge in for a second attack, he caught himself before he began berating himself again. He stopped suddenly, realizing that he was still next to Cissnei, grinning like a fool and completely unreserved in front of her. Rufus jerked slightly, and quickly sat up again, catching Cissnei's arm in the process.

"…don't….don't do that again." He instructed, staring sternly at her.

Her smile slowly faded and he started to become painfully aware that he had somehow hurt her feelings by bringing their playtime to a sudden halt. Kids weren't meant to be so serious, he knew this, but he couldn't remember a time other than this when he was a kid. He was born to become a leader, and he knew that she was going to be twisted to serve him one day, twisted by his own father. Whatever good times they would have, would not last. He knew it, and it hurt. He wasn't allowed this childhood that Cissnei was trying to create with him, and she was too new, too naïve to realize this yet.

"No…we can't be like this." He said slowly and calmly to the girl next to him, as he let her arm go.

"Why not?…" she spoke silently, her head drooping down sadly.

"Because…having friends is a weakness."

"Why, though?" she continued to question him, feeling a strange mix of anger and sadness all at once.
"…Cissnei." He replied, looking down, hiding the emotion in his eyes behind his bangs. "Do you know… what I am?" Rufus asked.

Cissnei tilted her head before answering him.

"President Shinra's son."

"Right, but do you know what I will be?"

She paused again, shaking her head to him.

"I'm going to be president too one day. That's what I'm told, and that's what I will be. Now…do you know what you will be?"

She shook her head at his question again, naïve innocence showing in her brown eyes.

"You're going to be a Turk one day. A slave, a servant, and you will never be able to not be one."

"That's not true!" she exclaimed objectively.

"Oh is it now? What makes you think that you can stop anything this company does? Look how huge it is. Shinra controls the entire world. Don't you get it? He can kill you if you don't help the company."

To hell with the world, Shinra controls us too. Rufus thought.

Rufus was right, she realized. It was all too real. The memories of her parent's death flooded back to her now, as though they had broken through the wall a dam, and flashed one by one through her mind . Hojo, the deafening fire of gunshots followed by motionless corpses falling in slow motion to the ground, heavy and dead, hitting the floor like heavy sacks of flour, and a house swallowed up and eaten by flames; it had been a nightmare come to life. It was her nightmare. Was she to end up exactly like them one day if she fought back against her captivity? Servitude could save her, but was the cost of her freedom, of her soul, really worth it? How unsettling to have so many questions in the mind of one so young.

She shook her head, lowering herself down to sit next to Rufus. The two fell silent again next to each other, as both of them stared downward, too stubborn to cry.

Rufus felt a twang of guilt in his heart as he slowly looked over at Cissnei. He stared at her, and soon found that she was staring back at him in the same way, both wanting to be comforted, both wanting to somehow express something that was beyond their years, beyond their ability to express, the fear of being alone.

Cissnei felt herself wanting to cry. She didn't want to face death, and certainly didn't want to be alone. To face death would mean that she wouldn't have to be a servant, but to become a servant would mean solitude…for all she knew, possibly for a very long time… Instead of tearing up, the small, fragile red headed girl found her self leaning fully into the young Rufus Shinra, embracing him and hiding her face within his white outfit.

Rufus tensed immediately upon feeling her touch, and forced himself to relax and regain his composure again. He stared at her, slightly apologetic for his earlier harsh words, and rubbed her hair gently, almost petting her in his attempt to comfort her. He was uncomfortable, nevertheless he let her soft soul penetrate and touch into his own frosted one.

Setting his head upon hers, still stroking her for a time, he gathered his thoughts, thinking of something to do, for something to amend their problems.

He paused, his ice blue eyes fixated down at her now.

"Cissnei?" He asked, drawing her attention upwards towards him from his shirt, "Do you want to escape from here?"

Cissnei smiled weakly at his request.

"Yeah… Let's fly away from this cage." She gently replied with a calm smile.

And so began an adventure unlike any other, in which friends took flight on wings unbound, upon peril filled paths which none could ever turn from, into the darkness to find the light once lost.


Warren: In case you didn't notice, this chapter took a while to write up. We apologize in advanced.

Author: Yeah…College eats one's life at times. Much love and thanks for the ones that have been reading and enjoying this fic, by the way. ^~^ Review please!