By: Glass Mermaid
Disclaimer: I own nothing that you recognize.
AN: I admit I procrastinated with the final chapter. I was having so much fun that I didn't want the ride to end.
Also, I know absolutely nothing about kimonos, aside from what I researched on the internet. Forgive me any errors, I did my best.
One Year Later
Yuffie tugged impatiently at her collar, shifting on her knees and trying to adjust the weight of the heavy fabric of the furisode she'd been forced to wear to today's meeting. It was restricting and red and covered with black and white butterflies. Why did everyone like those floppy little bugs so much anyway? They were so… twitchy.
Jabbing spitefully at one of the aforementioned insects on her thigh, she sighed and dragged her attention back to the meeting. They were talking about roads, right? Trade routes? Checkpoints? Whatever it was, it was boring and she wanted to be outside. She wasn't even allowed to call Cid in on a rescue mission again because the grouch had instated an 'emergency flights only' policy after he told her she was wasting his precious fuel. At one point she'd even nodded off and when Reeve's not-so-subtle kick had woke her up, she'd squealed like a moron and every person in the room had stared at her, understandably. She'd had to use the excessively long sleeves of her kimono to wipe away the trail of drool on her chin.
"Lady Kisaragi," some old geezer from Nibelheim was saying, "what do you think of the preposition?"
Yuffie swallowed. "Uh," she glanced at Reeve, who looked back as if to say you should have been paying attention. She glared at him. "I'd like to hear what Reeve thinks."
Reeve's eyes narrowed, but she caught the twinkle of humor behind the fierce look.
"Of course, my lady," he nodded and began speaking. "For some time now, I have been discussing several options for furthering the reach and influence of the WRO with our world leaders. The people need to know we're here to help, and trusted delegates need to be put in place…"
Yuffie immediately lost interest and glanced longingly out the delicately carved window to her left. She'd been attending meetings like this since she'd taken her place on the pagoda and nothing ever got decided during them. She no longer cared what trade routes went where, what shipping agreements were decided on, or who got what lumber contracts. Reeve could figure it out on his own because he seemed to thrive on that kind of thing. She was much, much better at keeping the peace, she thought with an inward grin.
She glanced between the attentively listening men and women sitting around the low table, (noticing, rather bitterly, that she was the only one in formal attire) and her quick mind formed a plan.
A daring, evil, insidious plan that would require all her cunning and skill to pull off.
Yanking herself awkwardly to her feet, she kicked off her Zōri, yanked her tight robes indecently high above her knees and bolted towards freedom with her sleeves trailing like cheery red pinions in the wind.
"So long, suckers!" she crowed, darting through the sliding door and slamming it behind her.
Whooping loudly, she took off for fresh air and sunshine, leaving a crowd of bewildered onlookers behind her.
"Is she quite alright?" the Corel liaison asked.
"Of course," Reeve said smoothly, chuckling. "I'm surprised she withstood being cooped up for so long, actually. She must be growing up. Shall we continue?"
Yuffie tore off the sashes, layers and pieces of her extravagant robes, tossing them behind her while one of the maids frantically gathered her discarded garments up and called for her to come back.
Finally clad only in the camisole and boycut briefs she'd insisted on wearing underneath her finery, she raced off towards the Da Chao, knowing the maids wouldn't follow her there. It didn't matter if her people saw her dashing through Wutai in her skivvies either, they were used to her eccentricities and a little hot gossip kept the citizens entertained and out of trouble.
Scrabbling up the mountainous paths barefoot and mostly naked, Yuffie had never felt so wickedly awesome. She would have skipped out hours ago if she had known how good it would feel to have the wind skimming over her skin. Yuffie wasn't built for long hours of the silent and the still. She needed her hands covered in shuriken callous' and her throat raw from hollering! She needed blue skies in her eyes and grass stains on her heels!
"My, my, my Wutai!" she sang happily as she ascended.
By the time she reached the peaks she was covered in dust, scrapes and had a pretty big stone wedged between her toes, but she didn't mind. Taking a seat along the edge, she kicked her aching feet against the cool breeze and sighed happily.
"I totally know you're here scowling disapprovingly at me, Godo!" she grinned as she scanned the thriving town below, "but I am way too awesome to care right now!"
Leaning back on her arms, Yuffie basked in the sunshine while peering intently out over the landscape of Wutai. All of her people were down there, walking, shopping, cooking, cleaning, playing, sleeping… And most likely gossiping about her spontaneous strip tease through the busy streets.
Things were good. Things were great. Things were amazingly wonderful!
It had taken her a long time to deal with the terrible night she'd extracted her revenge, and an even longer time to move on. To make amends with their spirits and her own, she had made sure the entire Kawa family was honored upon burial, keeping their duplicity secret so that their ancient name remained untarnished. It had been painful to twist the truth to her people, but they were told that an assassin had struck the Kawa family as well as Godo, and had been killed by her hands.
She had seen the other side of the coin, and she liked to think she'd grown up and out of a world of black and white.
Wutai was growing, prospering, flourishing, and her people were beginning to accept that some traditions had to be given up while others had to be closely cherished. With Reeve's help and a bit of extravagant Shinra funding, the city itself was slowly being renovated and expanded. More and more goods were being exported and the population was increasing as people around the world heard of Wutai's expansion and moved to the continent.
"And our people are welcoming them, Godo!" she cried out happily.
Laughing to herself, she tilted her head back and decided to enjoy the tickle of the wind against her ears and try to listen for her father's soothing spirit within it all.
She tried again, straining to hear the breezes but hearing only…
A repetitious throbbing just out of earshot was disrupting her peace. Opening her eyes, she peered upwards as the thumping got progressively louder. Finally, Yuffie spotted a sleek black shape against the cerulean sky, heading towards Wutai.
A helicopter. His helicopter!
Heart leaping into her throat, she skittered to her feet and backed away from the cliffside. The last thing she needed was to end her days as a pancake at the bottom of Da Chao. Closer and closer the helicopter came until there was no mistaking the faded red Shinra logo on the side.
Screeching excitedly Yuffie took off back down the mountain, coming perilously close to tripping off the rocky slopes, breaking limbs and killing herself more than once. There was no stopping her though, not when she was on a mission. Her feet hit grass, her tender soles weeping with relief, and she hollered excitedly as the whine of the engines powering down faded away.
"Turkey's ahoy!" she screamed, waving her skinny arms wildly.
The doors slid open, and Yuffie was surprised to see that only Reno's red head peeked cautiously out, his bony body swiftly following. Where was Rude? Where was Rufus? Not that she wasn't just a tiny bit glad. They were only able to see one another once a week on Reno's days off, though Yuffie whined that Rufus could spare him for longer. Two days was as good as two seconds as far as she was concerned. She wanted the lanky, cynical, foul mouthed redhead every minute of every day, but she could never find the words to tell him how much he meant to her.
"You need a haircut," she blurted, her eyes mesmerized by the crimson strands falling over and around his face.
Reno blinked at her, smirking slightly as he looked her dusty body up and down.
"You need a goddamn wardrobe," he snorted.
She stuck a hand on her hip, doing a pirouette before him. "I'm thinking of making it the mandatory fashion law here. I think it would go over real big with the over sixty crowd, don't you?"
He looked her over speculatively.
"Don't you like it?" she asked, fluttering her lashes at him ridiculously.
"I think a better question," he muttered, his arms snaking around her and yanking her close, "is why the fuck haven't you kissed me yet?"
And so she did just that, standing on tip toes and pressing her dusty lips against his without any care for the fact that her people might be watching. She kissed him until they were both shaky and breathless and then she slid from his arms and danced away, laughing because she knew what she did to him.
Shaking his head, Reno followed, smirking slightly and swatting at her skinny bottom as he passed by.
"I ain't got time to play, kid. I've got an important business meeting to attend. I might be a bit late," he shrugged carelessly.
"You were coming to that snore fest? It started hours ago, Reno!" she yelled indignantly, crossing her arms. "Gawd, if you had showed up we could of spent hours playing Captain Make Out and Queen Kissylips under the table instead of me falling asleep on top of it! Alone, I might add."
She sniffed and strode away, a nearby maid rushing forward and draping a beautiful blue robe around her slim form. Two more maids rushed in and began binding, wrapping, brushing and… he couldn't even tell. Instead, Reno leisurely admired the length of her swathed in the azure fabric as he listened to the sound of her impatient whining.
Shaking his head as she emerged, the proverbial beautiful butterfly from the cocoon of their anxious arms, he tried to pretend it didn't affect him at all. It did though, damn it. Seeing her looking every inch the lady never failed to unnerve him. However, ladies didn't generally scowl so mutinously.
"Come on kid," he soothed awkwardly. "Let's get going. Reeve is going to burst an artery when he sees me."
"Why?" Yuffie asked curiously, yanking impatiently at the pretty chocolate colored sash around her waist.
Reno smirked secretively and shrugged, ignoring her incessant begging as she led him towards the conference room.
"He's running unexpectedly late," Reeve apologized for the hundredth time, the side of his shoe tapping an infuriated beat out of sight beneath the low table. "The WRO has the utmost respect for your busy schedules and understands how valuable your time is. Whatever the reason he's late is, it must be of the utmost urgency."
The thin door slid opened abruptly, followed by a low snort.
"I had to pick up some smokes," Reno drawled, ambling in and sinking his lanky body down to the floor. Yuffie failed to hide her ecstatic grin, wiggling in beside him in her tight new attire and beaming at the men and women still seated.
"Kidding, of course," the redhead added as he glanced at the irritated leader of the WRO. "Routine mission supply acquisitions took longer then usual."
Reeve closed his eyes momentarily and drew in a long, steadying breath before pasting on a confident smile.
"I am proud to introduce Reno of the Turks as the new WRO delegate of Wutai, to this assembly," he said as warmly as he could, his eyes falling on the surprised Yuffie.
She leapt up as nimbly as her furisode allowed, throwing herself onto the redhead in just as little time. "Oh my gawd, Reno! You're going to live here?" she cried out.
The edges of his lips quirking as he tamped down his grin and tried to act suave, Reno nodded. "This isn't some vacation though. I've got to sweet talk old ladies and kiss babies and shit," he shrugged. "The Turks were all sent out as WRO delegates. Elena got Nibelheim, Rude's in Corel, I'm in Wutai and Tseng is sticking in Edge with the boss man. Sweet deal, huh? You're stuck with me now."
The ladies and gentlemen watching the odd spectacle were conscious of being completely ignored but unable to quite put their finger on the insult when they themselves felt so intrusive.
"Gawd! Reno, you don't even know what this means to me," Yuffie said, smearing away the happy tears falling down her face. "I never thought you guys would go separate ways, you know? I always thought it would be 'Turks before perks' or something that rhymes better. 'The gun before the fun' maybe?"
Overwhelmed by love for the exasperating ninja, Reno stood and slung his arms around her, lifting her up and against him. She squealed; laughing raucously while behind them Reeve cringed and mentally formulated apology speeches.
"Time to go, Yuffie. I want the grand tour, starting with your bedroom," Reno said, carefully maneuvering the girl's wriggling, giggling form towards the door.
"Our bedroom now, Turkey," she grinned, twining her fabric laden arms around his neck. "Though you aren't allowed to touch my awesome stuff."
"Babe, I'm totally going to touch your awesome stuff," he deadpanned as they walked out of sight.
"Lame!" Yuffie shrieked, laughing, voice fading into the distance.
The silence left behind them was deafening.
"As you can see," Reeve said, coughing slightly though he didn't know if it was to cover a laugh or a sob, "not only is the WRO extremely dedicated to ensuring the happiness of our world leaders, but our employees as well. We like to think of every citizen…"
Author's Notes: Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thanks so much to everyone who reviewed so frequently. Thank you to everyone who offered their support, their thoughts and their opinions. Thank you to everyone who read this story. Thank you to everyone who enjoyed it.
I really hope you had a good read. I freaking adore these two together and it was fun as heck to write. (I also loved writing the CidxYuffie parts. I love Cid. I love writing him. If it wasn't for Reno's sexy coolness I would totally hook that rough and tumble pilot up with that little ninja.)
Shout outs to Pen Against Sword, Black Sheep of Death, Jingyee, Bruhaeven, The Sacred and Profane, Kaikai PANTS, Spikey44, xTxNxLx, MyIncentive, dollyrot, splenetic and everyone else who regularly reviewed. Thank you to everyone who just reviewed once as well. I read every single one of them and I sincerely appreciate that you take the time to let me know what your thoughts are.
Yea, that's right. I said shout outs.