Disclaimer: This chapter is so delayed because I was trying to buy FFVII from Square. My plans failed miserably, and I still own nothing you recognize.
Yuffie glared at the letter Reno was trying to hand her with a vehemence normally reserved for Godo.
"That is sooooo completely, Tifa! She would think she could make it up to me by throwing a goddamn party! Who the hell does she think she is, like cake and brownies are gonna fucking fix the fact that she sent me to my already impending, RAPE-FILLED doom!!!"
Reno scratched the back of his head thoughtfully, but a mischievous gleam was present in his eyes. "Well…now that you mention it… some brownies sound nice right about now…"
Yuffie threw a halfhearted kick at his shin. "Argh! You! You would consider brownies the universal peace offering…" She trailed off, sticking her tongue out at him.
He smirked in response. "You love it, babe." The redhead snaked an arm around her waist and dragged them both down into one of the squishy armchairs in the living room.
It had been months since the confrontation, and they had decided to stay in Reno's old house together. It was cozy, convenient and they had a lot of memories there. Yuffie wouldn't admit it to anyone, but she still got that excited, knotty feeling in her stomach when she wandered into the kitchen and thought about her and Reno's first kiss. It was girly, and completely unlike Yuffie, but every woman—even tomboy Yuffie Kisaragi—was allowed a few moments like that in life.
Godo had, of course, given conditions to letting the couple live together. This was after he had nearly tried to disembowel Reno upon first meeting him. Yuffie smirked a bit at the memory before gazing down at the ring finger of her left hand with an odd look on her face. The emerald engagement ring fit perfectly but she still wasn't sure how the idea of Reno as her fiancé made her feel. She knew she loved him, and would probably want to marry him someday, but she hadn't wanted her engagement to be rushed or forced. But Godo had spoken, and it was more acceptable to the Wutai public if she was living with her fiancé instead of just boyfriend, so she would do it for them. It would probably be years before she and Reno actually got married, which suited them just fine.
Reno had noticed her pondering. "I can return that and get you a diamond, if ya want." Yuffie sighed before craning her neck up to kiss him.
"Moron. I've always liked emeralds best. I just don't want you to feel obligated…"
It was his turn to scoff. "Stupid brat. I think we both know its gonna be a while before we tie the knot, and I would've liked to have done something a little more romantic and suave than be escorted to the jeweler by your father and then just hand you the rock with him watching, but other than that…" he trailed off.
She grinned. "Just checking to make sure you weren't gonna be fine with it now and then get cold tootsies down the road."
Reno's smirk was cocky as always, but laced underneath with a tenderness. "Princess, my feet have never been this hot."
"…yeah, I guess you do have sexy feet. My legs are still better though."
"Way to kill my momentum."
"Fucking love you, brat."
Against her better judgment, Yuffie had let Reno talk her into attending Tifa's party. The barmaid was referring to it as a "reunion," and Yuffie again found herself scoffing at her nerve.
"She's just so…so…SO! SHE'S JUST SO!" Her ranting had been a constant stream of profanities and incoherence since leaving the house.
Reno sighed. "Yuffie, just shut up for a minute and listen to me." His voice was uncharacteristically serious. "Ever since we got back from you bitching out your friends, you've been fairly miserable. You hide it well, but I can see it. You may be a ninja, but there ain't a lot you can hide from a Turk, we were trained to see through that shit. As badly as they wronged you, you still love them. They're still your friends. If you don't have them, who do you have? You've got me and you've got your subjects back in Wutai. And how much fun are they? They'll just sit there worrying about offending the future Lady of Wutai and you'd die of boredom. And you need people in your life other than you boyfriend slash fiancé slash whatever the fuck I am. So you are going to go to this party, and you are going to listen to what they have to say and then you are going to start forgiving them. I'm not saying it's all gonna happen at once, but you have to at least start the process. They were weak, and they were stupid and they know they fucked up. Now it's your turn to accept that people are people and they do dumb shit. And they take advantage and they can be scum. But at the bottom of that all, if they're still good people, you have to be a good enough person to forgive."
There was dead silence in the car for five heartbeats.
"…And there goes my serious quota for the year." Reno grinned over at the ninja.
"You know something, Reno? I think…you're right. I'm not saying I'm wrong to be so angry I could kill all of them, but you're right too. For once." She forced a tiny smile.
The road flew beneath the tires of the car and the Seventh Heaven came into view. In a matter of seconds, the car was parked and she was making her way towards the door.
As soon as Reno and Yuffie stepped foot into the bar, all conversation stopped and the air almost seemed to thicken into a tense fog. The whole of AVALANCHE was there, along with the rest of the Turks, Rufus and some of Yuffie's co-workers from the WRO. All eyes turned to the doorway and Yuffie rolled hers in response. She was fed up with the bullshit.
"Gawd! I'm not gonna freak out, okay? Just go back to your conversations people…" Yuffie announced to the whole room. The noise level picked back up again as the crowd did just that.
Reno saw Tifa winding her way through the tables and guests and gave Yuffie a small nod and a touch on the arm before making his way over to Rude and Elena. He'd be watching from the other side of the room, but the women needed some semblance of privacy.
Tifa had reached Yuffie by then. Darkened amber eyes met slate gray. "Yuffie… we're all really glad you came tonight." Tifa let out a small smile.
It was in that smile that Yuffie saw her old friend, the martial artist she had fought alongside all those times. The woman who had given her a room in the bar for as long as she needed when Godo was being impossible with suitors. She even saw a little bit of Aeris in that smile.
Aeris never would have done what everyone else had, but Aeris also would have been the first to forgive and forget. It had been Tifa first and then Aeris who had convinced the others to let Yuffie stay after she had stolen and deceived them. They had forgiven her.
Slowly, the younger woman's face lit up in a grin. "Tif, I wouldn't have missed out on your cooking for the world." And then she hugged her with the patented Yuffie Hug of Death and Suffocation. The whole bar had gone silent again to watch the scene, ending what little privacy they'd had. Most of the people were smiling happily. Reno just smirked from behind a beer and shook his head.
It was later that night that Yuffie found herself back in the kitchen helping Tifa finish up some of the food she'd made for the party. It was a situation she was familiar with, and to be honest, Yuffie felt light and happy with forgiveness.
"Yuffs…you know that I really am so, so sorry about what I did, right? I was stupid and I should have done…anything except what I did. I see that now." Tifa's eyes were huge with remorse and Yuffie grinned for what felt like the millionth time that night.
"You're back now, Tif. The real you, not that weak, dumb imitation. I dunno what happened to bring her here, but she's gone now and that's what matters. Just like my inner, sneaking materia thief is absolutely gone."
Tifa gave a loud laugh of disbelief. "Uh huh, sure Yuffie. I'm not arguing that my
stupid side is dead and buried but your inner thief is freaking immortal."
"Yeah…well…at least she's entertaining!"
Tifa shook her head, before an idea seemed to strike her. "Shiva! I almost forgot! Don't go anywhere, I'll be right back." And she was gone. Yuffie had only to wait a half a minute before the barmaid had returned with an excited grin etched onto her face.
"Vincent and I spent tons of time working on this as…kind of a begging-for-forgiveness gift. It's mostly from me, 'cause I was the stupid bitch, but he helped me out just 'cause he's Vincent." From behind her back she drew a piece of materia.
It was red, it was mastered and it was Knights of the Round.
Yuffie spluttered for a good minute before smacking herself in the face and then pinching her arm.
"How on the Planet did you get Cloud to give this to you to give me??????!?" She finally managed to choke out.
Tifa's smile turned sly. "I didn't. I borrowed Cloud's Knights of the Round, mastered it up so it created a new one, and then mastered that one for you. So now you've got your own."
"Tifa…if this is how you make things up to me, could you possibly hand me over to like… twelve thousand more serial killers? 'Kay, thanks." Yuffie chose that moments to brush her bangs out of her eyes, and in that moment Tifa finally noticed the sparkly emerald on her finger.
"OHMYGOD YOU'RE ENGAGED!!!!!! YOU HAVE TO LET ME PLAN THE WEDDING!!!"
Yuffie shrank away from the decibels, covering her eyes and cowering a little before bellowing back. "No! NO! We are NOT getting married just yet and we are most certainly NOT PLANNING THE WEDDING NOW!"
Their voices had carried to the outer room which had gone silent, yet again. It was Elena who broke it. "You…and Yuffie are getting married?" No one even waiting for Reno's confirmation before the crowd of guests dissolved into chaos exclaiming and congratulating and all around flipping out. Yuffie emerged from the back room and Reno met her eyes. The two nodded at each other.
"BAIL!!!!!!!!" She shrieked before letting off a smoke grenade. When the room had cleared, they had disappeared without a trace, save for a note in Yuffie's scrawl.
Thanks for the awesome party, and NO WEDDING PLANS YET. We'll be around when you've gotten off the Chocobo Hypers. Hugs. Yuffs and the Turkey.
Outside the bar, outside the town limits, up on one of the cliffs overlooking Edge, Yuffie and Reno sat on the hood of the car, enjoying the night air and the stars.
"We barely escaped with our lives, I hope you know." Yuffie muttered as Reno chuckled and tightened her arm around her waist.
"Well princess, I'd rather die by an overexcited Tifa than a rapist, serial killer, that's for sure."
"True… and I kinda have Jacob to thank for a lot of things too." The redhead raised and eyebrow at her. "I do! Like… he made me realize how important my friends really are to me, even when they fuck up. And how important it is to remember Aeris's sacrifice. But more important than either of those…" She elbowed him in the ribs. "If he didn't threaten my life, and Tseng didn't force me into protective housing then I never would've gotten to be with you. I'd probably still think you were an obnoxious flirt with your head up your ass and way too many hormones."
"Well now I know I was wrong and I think you're the most amazing man on the Planet… does that make it better?"
"Mm…yeah, that fixes it. Now get your ass over here." He gently tugged her face up to his until their lips met. When they broke apart there was a pause before Yuffie smirked.
"You're still kind of obnoxiously flirtatious though."
"And you're still a bratty, ninja thief."
"Take that back!"
"I love you?"
"…I guess I love you too."
"I know I love you."
"Yeah, yeah… I know I love you too, Turkey boy. You, and only you, can hold me hostage anytime."
Reno and Yuffie were still dysfunctional as always, but they were alive and dysfunctional together.
(AN: First of all… HAPPY NEW YEAR! And secondly, I'm sooooo sorry it's been months, but now Hostage has finally come to an end!! Basically, to make a long story short, this fic turned out waaayyyy different than it was supposed to and by the time I got to when the last chapter should be, I still didn't know how it would end. I thought I'd be happy once it was over, but I'm really gonna miss this story… time to concentrate of Cataclysm now!! Huge amounts of thanks go out to all my lovely, wonderful, stupendous, fabulous, amazingly awesome reviewers! *Deep breath* AureusNocta, Kaikai PANTS, chibified kitsunes, starbrightdreamer, Serenitychan13, Vampyric Ninja, JingYee, Freedom Rionach, kawaii_lucie, Felosiyo-the-ninjah, LeRequiem, Fallen-Yuki, Rush, Leilani Daniels, Shroud of Twilight, Little Wekkaroo, Fraggy-Doodles, Diamond Moonlight, midnight 1987, Fan, Kim, Azalie-Kauriu, ariaswan, ClassicBeauty16, Lady Da Qiao of Wu, anonymous, xTxNxLx, Flaunt Your Individuality, Don'tCallMeBones, Darkened-Skys, JeanneAndHerAlters, Nanyoky, NeverAnyWhere, What A Lovely Disaster, and ChibiChibiBunny! *pants* You guys are all awesome, especially you reviewers from the beginning, you know who you are! XD Now, I know some people may not agree with the ending, but I'm pretty satisfied with it. Again, sorry for any typos, I write at night when I'm half-asleep. Anyways, drop a final review if ya feel like it, I always love hearing from you guys XD… UNTIL NEXT TIME!!!