I don't own anything Final Fantasy. 'Cept this story. And...I wrote this for 'Speedy Speck'. Okies, enjoy.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The young couple walked steadily through the doors to the Shinra Hall, with arms linked like Prince and Princess. The young woman looked in her early twenties, as did the taller man accompanying her. They were quite a sight. The brunette had her hair tied up in a loose bun, adorned with a bright red ribbon cascading down to her matching red dress. The glossy crimson design was strapless, tight fitting at the waist, and fell to just below her knees. Her pointed cherry high heels were stepping lightly across the shimmering tile floor, meeting the shadow of her boyfriend's own.

Despite the woman's nervousness, she cast a glance of admiration at the redhead before her. As always, and as expected, his bright red ponytail-there was no other way to describe its simplicity-was hanging loosely down his back, gliding side to side as he walked. His coal black suit was a neat one, and for once, he had worn a tie. Only after being forced to, of course.

It was a rare sight to see Reno of the Turks looking tidy and formal, and tonight was one of those rare occasions.

The nonchalant redhead met the gaze of the brown eyes he had grown to love and smiled. Though the two both had different interpretations of that smile.

Damn, she looks like the brunette version of Scarlet... Reno realised, smiling softly at his girlfriend.

That smile is so reassuring...But how can he be so calm at a time like this? Tifa wondered, glancing back in front of her, towards the elongated table she now saw.

Between the masses of plates of food on the table sat many candles, which faltered softly from the breaths and chatter of the hundreds of people that were seated there.

The candles lit up the great hall, illuminating the Shinra banners and paintings held up on the walls.

Who knew the Shinra Hall, of all places could look so beautiful? Perhaps it was the soft, glistening glow of the temporary chandelier which made it as picture perfect as a fairytale. It just went to show that with the work of human hands, any place could be transformed.

The good-natured chatter and the clinking of glassware filled the hall, providing a comforting, friendly atmosphere. Just being in its presence was enough to warm the souls of the cold. Tifa felt welcomed instantly.

"Reno?" The inquisitive, almost irritated voice asked from Reno's near-to invisible headset. "Why did you bring Tifa? She's Avalanche! She isn't welcome here, you know that."

"Shut. Up." He muttered between gritted teeth.

"Excuse me!?" He heard a gasp from the reciever.

"Tseng? Sort her out, please." Reno mumbled, swearing to himself that he would have a little 'chat' to Elena tomorrow.

Several eyes shot up as they noticed the couple advancing towards the table. They spoke words of greeting to them, however Tifa wasn't their main interest. As the two were seated, Reno began to have a conversation with his fellow colleagues, attempting to enter Tifa in it also. She preferred to sit and admire the beauty of the place than strike conversation with strangers, despite how good she was at it.

Are they...? Tifa's eyes widened in surprise as she noticed crystal resembling pieces at each guests plate. New Year Fortunes. You don't see many of those. This must be a formal occasion...

She felt her boyfriend's soothing touch on her back. "Reno...?"

He looked down at her, abandoning his conversation. "Yeah, sweet?"

She felt ridiculous as she comprehended the words she was close to saying. Instead, she continued with, "When do we eat? I'm starved."

Reno grinned at the woman with pride. "There's my girl! Food's a comin', love!"

Despite knowing it was the inappropriate time to be eating, Reno began to serve Tifa the food from the plates surrounding them. "A little bit o' this...A little bit o' that...Enjoy, hey?"

Tifa blushed under the disapproving eyes of the watching Shinrians. "I think I'll wait, like everyone else. Thanks, though."

Her objective boyfriend's eyes widened. "No way! You're special, you get to eat first."

She felt the hostility emitting from the people. "And what makes me so special, Reno?"

"Well that's an easy one." Reno pulled her close. "You're mine."

Her heart was unsure whether it should be comforted or panicked. The redhead's touch was enough to fall asleep to, but the stares Reno's colleagues were giving her balanced it out. Or possibly even tipped it far over the other side.

Tifa felt her troubles ease as she saw President Rufus Shinra walk up the small stage. He leant into the microphone and cleared his throat.

"I share the hunger of you all, and in that, I will make my speech a quick one. We will not review the year that has passed, for that is now over, and we have nothing to gain from it. Instead, we will turn towards our future, and hold our heads high. There will be perils, and problems we will face, I assure you. However, the results of our actions this year will lead us to a stronger organisation, and a better world. We each will gain different outcomes from the next year, as we have this year. Knowing this, you each have your own New Year Fortune, which we will break open before our meals. Now, enough talk. Let us enjoy what we have."

With that, the President walked steadily off the stage, and towards his own table, set with at least 50 different platters of food. Unless most of that was for his pets, that man could sure eat.

Tifa smiled at the man's short speech and looked down at her crystal. She almost feared breaking it, of what it might reveal. But at the same time, she was excited.

"We'll open it at the same time, hey?" Reno sensed her hesitation.

Tifa nodded once, her transfixed brown eyes not moving from the crystal. Biting her lip, she counted down with Reno.

"One, two, three."

It was probably coincidence. Or a fluke. Either way, the fortune revealed inside both their crystals was the same, despite if it meant anything, if it was true, or if the couple believed it.

Your fortune for the year is marriage.

Tifa could have bit that playful tongue sticking from Reno's mouth.