Her eyes are everywhere except on his face, flitting about from the ground to her hands and then to the sky and the big grey clouds suspended in it that were crying their tears mercilessly upon the sodden ground beneath them.

"Looks like we're stranded," she says, shrugging one shoulder up near her face, looking up at him through long dark eyelashes. It's a pitiful expression, he decides, abstractly lifting a hand to push a wet lock of hair behind his ear; one that a child might give a guardian when she has done something wrong. It looks natural on her, but it doesn't look good.

He clucks his tongue and looks away; away to the shop-keeps across the street from their park who are scurrying about to take their goods inside. It's raining just enough to be unpleasant, and although he knows it won't kill him, there is something satisfying to be said for standing beneath the sheltering arms of a tree, looking out at the bleakness of the world from a safe place.

"Wow, someone must have really pissed Leviathan off," she remarks grimly. He can barely hear her, because the rain on their leafy rooftop makes sounds like a billion marbles being dropped on hard-wood flooring, but he can tell by the look on her face that she isn't pleased.

"It's not so bad," he offers. He's not sure why, but he believes it's true. He's got a thousand and one things he should be doing: contracts, proposals, meetings and a stack of paperwork but the barrier of shelter around the giant oak gives him an excuse to stay, if even for just a little while.


She can't argue with him on that one, and what a pity, for how she loves to oppose him; to pester him with arguments until his brow gets all scrunched up and he gives up with an exasperated sigh, carding his hand through his hair.

"Don't you have somewhere you need to be?" she asks, but she's hoping he doesn't have an affirmative answer. Moments like these are always interrupted by crises, be they small or large, or even just the progression of the day. A conversation in the elevator is ended when the doors slide open. A glance across the hallway ceases when you round a corner. She takes her time in looking at him, because she gets the feeling, now that she has him in one place and he isn't bustling about, that she never actually sees him standing still. Even so, she knows he'll just be an ass if he can't get back to the office in time to put in thirty billion more over-time hours he's not getting paid for.

He doesn't answer right away, but sticks his hands in his pockets. His keys jingle. "Yeah I do."

Disappointed for a reason she's not sure of, she frowns. "You could call for a car."

She knows he has his PSH in his pocket, because she felt it when she skimmed his body for materia as they were walking through the park. He hadn't noticed: they never notice.

"I don't have my phone on me."

She smirks and subconsciously shoves her own hands in her jacket pockets. Her cell bumps her right hand as her left curls around his shield materia. "Neither do I."


He wonders why he lied, and when he can't find the answer, he decides he simply likes the rain, even though the sky is bleak and the he hates the feeling of a damp coat weighing down his already tired shoulders.

"You work too much."

He looks at her; eyes shifting from up in the branches where he had been watching the leaves rustle with every little breeze and plunk of raindrops to her face. Her eyes are wide and innocent, and it makes him nervous, but he can't quite pinpoint why.

"No I don't," he replies, defensively, although he knows that part of the reason he hasn't called for a car yet, or at least dashed into civilization is because he doesn't want to have to talk to anyone, read anything, or make any damn decisions.

"You do too." She's steadfast, as usual, in her opinion. "You're always so wrapped up in things at work you can't see the important things staring you right in the face."

He wonders what those things are, and wonders, considering he has no answer for that, if she's right. All he knows is the WRO. He wakes up every morning, drinks coffee from the same mug, gets into the same car and drives to the same building. Every morning, he waves to Yuffie on the way into his office, and from there the day commences with as many fuck ups and instances of incompetency that a man can possibly handle.

He's trapped, he realizes, and he starts to panic. He knew he wanted to give back to the planet after everything that ShinRa had waged against it, but it was equally unnatural for a man to ignore life for such a cause.

He signs papers, develops proposals, attends meetings and filters through stacks of paperwork day in and day out. His only saving grace is the glimmer of light he finds when things work out; when policies are implemented to better public safety and health; when new programs are introduced to further develop communities; when at the end of the day, his friends are always there, whether the whole system failed or if everything was a success.

The light is in her eyes when at exactly five o'clock she slides into his office, demanding he take a break; call it a day, even when she knows he'll probably go straight back to the office once their walk in the park is over. It's in that hour and half or so that he smiles and laughs and forgets about the weight of the world standing on his shoulders.

"I do see them," he says finally, softly, voice barely audible over the patter of rain.

She tilts her head, and he smiles, leaning back against the tree.

"The important things-- I do see them," he repeats; a whisper directed to the canopy above him and the pouring rain from the heavens. He thanks Leviathan and Shiva and Ifrit and whoever else he can think of for the rain; and for the excuse of standing under the sheltering arms of an oak tree with his source of light on this gloomy day.

His brow dents went he feels a fist clench around the front of his coat, and he looks down to see Yuffie's got him by the collar, and she doesn't look pleased. "How the hell can you see them, when you're not looking in the right damn spot!?"

He thinks the wetness on her cheek tastes a little too salty to be rainwater, but he kisses it away anyway, and then the drops on her nose.

Her hair is damp under his hand as he smoothes it back, out of her face. "I see you," he says; he promises. She doesn't truly believe him until his lips are touching hers, and her fingers slowly release their hold on his coat.


The breeze is chilly and the rain is still plummeting to the ground.

It's not so bad.