Hello! I bring you all an update, since I couldn't let the year end without one. Thank you so much for all the reviews and the favorites for this story!


Aerith sighed to herself when she heard another small growl being emitted from the man walking next to her. He hadn't been too happy with their predicament, but at the moment it was their best cover. Besides, no one had stopped them so far and she'd only had to use her power twice before.

"I know you don't want to wear anything that associates you to Shinra, but we'll be out of here soon," Aerith muttered, slipping her hands into the pockets of her white doctor coat.

"I never realized how confining these helmets could be," Zack replied in irritation, scratching his neck just under the grunt helmet Aerith had made him put on. She was right, of course, and so far they had avoided standing out too much, never mind his impressive height.

"You never had to wear one during your time here?" the brunette asked, smirking when she realized that Zack was probably too muscular to pass off as a grunt.

Zack grunted. "I went from the academy straight into the rank of Third Class SOLDIER. Grunts are for guys who have to work their way up from the very bottom."

Green eyes rolled in irritation. "Please, don't be so modest," her voice dripped with sarcasm.

Her companion shrugged. "I've always been good. Not Sephiroth level, but a few years from getting there."

Aerith was inwardly impressed, though on the outside she looked disinterested. The man had to realize that his bragging was not going to win him any points. At the end of the hallway they had just turned into, there was a man with a rifle standing at the door on the far end. He stood straighter as they approached, and cleared his throat.

"I'm sorry ma'am, but only those with proper clearance can be on this floor," he said quickly.

Aerith sighed and her eyes glowed momentarily. "But I do have proper clearance," she said in a sweet voice.

"Uh—yes, of course," the man nearly stuttered, quickly opening the door with his own key when something in his head commanded him to.

"I'll be borrowing that keycard, too," Aerith said as she and Zack stepped onto the other side.

A quick nod as he handed it over. "Anything to help, ma'am!"

Aerith took the key and both she and Zack began to walk down another hall.

"Your powers are a little scary," muttered Zack.

The vampire smiled, showing a little fang. "I know." They came to another door and she somehow knew that this was it. "Get ready. We don't know what we'll find here."

Zack nodded and sniffed the air for any useful clue. "She's here." At Aerith's raised eyebrow, he replied, "Her scent is different, but she's part wolf. I can still smell her."

Aerith nodded and they used the keycard to get passed the door and into a lab with various, advanced looking computers. Beyond the computers were glass walls with metal examining tables, various medical tools, and cameras. Zack's growl reached her ears once more and Aerith waved a hand at him, trying to silently placate him. "Where?" she asked, removing her gun from the holster at her hip.

"There," said Zack, pointing towards another set of doors with numbers on them. After a thorough check of the lab, they found it devoid of any scientists or other Shinra employees.

"Get her out and I'll hack the computers to take any information that may be useful to us," Aerith said, approaching the machines and leaving Zack to do his business.

Tearing off the helmet, he approached the doors cautiously and glanced inside, finding various cages on the other side. Using the keycard to open the door, he left it open and walked inside, sniffing slightly and catching scent of blood and drugs in the air.

The wolves in their cages reacted to him with growls and whines, recognizing his strength. His nose took him towards the cage at the other side of the room and he kneeled to look inside. "Hey," he said, tapping the bars softly.

The human looking girl came awake with a start and she only shifted her head to look up.

"Go away," she nearly slurred, her eyes unfocused.

"I'm kinda here to rescue you," said Zack, driving his fist into the lock of her cage, making the keypad sizzle with electricity before exploding. "Can you walk?"

"Hobo drugged me up," she replied.


She giggled faintly and nodded, her eyes closing again. Zack dragged her out and was thankful that at least they had given her a standard shirt and set of pants, even though her top seemed to stick to her body with sweat and some blood. She was dead weight in his arms, though it didn't matter because she was pretty tiny and he could throw her over one shoulder.

The other wolves began to howl and Zack felt pity for them. He wondered if he could set them loose before he and Aerith left so that they could run amuck in the building. But then… they would probably get killed.

"Kill them," the girl in his arms whispered.

"Why?" Zack demanded.

"Because Hojo has experimented on them one too many times. They've lost their human sides because they've gone mad. All they have now is the madness of an animal. I've seen it," she muttered tiredly.

Zack sighed and it hurt some primal part of him to kill his own kind without giving them the chance to be free again. He knew what captivity felt like, and even though he was a little crazy and violent himself, he hadn't gone completely over the deep end.

Aerith stepped up to him and looked the girl over. "Ready?"

The tall man nodded and jerked a head over his shoulder. "Think you can take care of them?"

Green eyes didn't need to look to know of the creatures in the room. She could taste the madness and the death. She nodded and let Zack walk away before she drew her gun and entered the room. The wolves snarled at her and began to throw their bodies against their cages, baring sharp teeth and crazed eyes.

Tilting her head to the side with a sigh, she pulled the trigger quickly and making sure that that their deaths were quick and relatively painless. After all, despite what some of her actions showed, she was not big on causing others pain.

Sighing to herself, Aerith's head jerked when she heard the sirens and alarms go off outside. Rolling her eyes, she checked her weapons and made for the door. She'd later give Sephiroth a piece of her mind for cursing her with Zack's presence on this mission.

Tifa came to with a start, eyes snapping open and quickly taking in her surroundings and the fact that she had been stripped of her weapons. The drug had worn off and she didn't appear to have been touched inappropriately…

She was inside of a small room, no windows and only one door. The walls were a boring gray and her fingers were itching to just punch her way through the concrete. She had the strength for it, and to tear her captors limb from limb, but she was curious to see where she was and who had been foolish enough to take her.

She didn't have to wait for long as she heard the locks and bolts being removed from the other side. Sprinting to the back of the door, she narrowed her eyes when her nose twitched and she picked up a familiar scent.

The man stepped away from the door and Tifa's arm swung out, slamming into his nose before her knee rammed into his chest, dropping him to the ground. Wrinkling her nose in distaste, Tifa stepped out of the room and was greeted by various weapons pointed directly at her. At the back of the room was her captor, looking amused and completely smug.

"I didn't think it would be so easy to just snatch you up off the street," he said with a long sigh.

"Why didn't you just approach me instead of going through all of the dramatics?" Tifa asked flatly.

"Would you have willingly come with me?" he asked.

Tifa thought about it for a moment and then a less than friendly smile slipped over her lips. "I guess we'll never know now."

"Are you two done with your childish bickering?"

Tifa looked up in surprise when her eyes landed on another person she hadn't seen in many years. She frowned to herself as she wondered what the two men were doing in the same room. "Reeve."

Reeve nodded and smiled slightly, motioning towards Tifa's captor. "You remember Weiss, don't you?" he asked.

"Yes," Tifa said, nonchalant.

"The princess and I go way back," Weiss said with a feral grin, fangs sharp and only slightly threatening.

Reeve ignored the male vampire and turned back to Tifa. "You leave yourself too distracted when you're out in public."

Tifa let out a scoff and crossed her arms over her chest. "What did you bring me here for? I'm a little busy today."

"I know you and your companions are getting into trouble. Why did you risk breaking someone out of the Shinra building?"

Crimson eyes narrowed. "How did you know that?"

Reeve smiled serenely. "I know many things," was his vague reply. "I don't know why you're doing it, though, and I'm worried that you'll get yourself killed."

"Why would you worry? We're merely acquaintances; we barely know each other," Tifa said in a curt tone.

The older vampire grunted. "I knew your father, Tifa, and you know this. That story that he hid your sickness from you are lies."

"I don't want to talk about this. Now, I would appreciate it if you told me what you want so that I can go," Tifa cut in. She ignored Weiss, who looked amused at the whole situation.

Reeve sighed and approached her, planting a heavy hand on her shoulder. "I know the reality of what happened the night Genesis turned you. The only problem is that you've refused to hear me for the last hundred years."

With the news of Genesis' possible betrayal from another source, Tifa realized that it was possible that what Reeve was telling her could be true. Still, she didn't have the time to delve back into the past at the moment. She needed to return to Aerith and make sure she was safe. Vincent would take care of her, but Tifa had to know that both her friends had made it out of their mission in one piece.

"I just want you to be safe," Reeve said quietly. "Take Weiss with you when you return. He is a valuable warrior and it helps that you two already know each other. His powers of causing confusion for enemies can be a great asset."

Tifa's gaze slid over to Weiss, who gave her a challenging look, before she nodded once. "If all you wanted was to give me a bodyguard—" she was interrupted as she turned for the door.

"If Shinra finds out that you didn't kill those werewolves, they'll come after all of you," Reeve said gravely.

Tifa's eyes narrowed in suspicion now. "How did you—"

"I already told you that I know a lot of things, Tifa." He approached her so that he was facing her once more. "They will send out their SOLDIERS. In the last five years, they have been training them in how to kill us."

This was news to her. How the hell hadn't Genesis known this? Or had he been keeping it a secret? "Maybe it'll be a good idea to kill SOLDIERs on sight, then," she murmured, tone detached.

"You'd set back all that our kind has won. We're not hunted, and we're left to live like the humans do. If we are featured on the six o' clock news because we killed some humans—even SOLDIERs—people will begin to fear us anew," said Reeve seriously.

"People already fear us, Reeve. And what universe are you living in? I'm a killer for hire when the occasion calls for it. Humans would be right to fear me and those like me," Tifa replied.

"Not all of us are trained killers, Tifa," was Reeve's quiet reply.

"Look, I really don't have time for this. I need to go and make sure that Aerith and Vincent are safe."

"Vincent is with you?" Reeve asked in surprise. "I'm shocked you managed to find him."

"Unlike you, Vincent always comes when I call him," Tifa said coolly, reaching the door once more. "This girl we are taking from the building is the key to this whole mess. She has to be hidden, and even when Shinra will come after us, they won't have her to further their plans."

"What is she?" Reeve asked.

Tifa turned to look at the kind hearted vampire, not allowing herself to be swayed by the mask of caring. He was one of the oldest and most experienced vampires she knew; he could charm his way out of any situation with that face. Tifa also noticed that he asked 'what' instead of 'who.'

"She's someone who needs our help. I may have become a trained killer, but I like to think that there's a tiny shred of humanity left in me," Tifa said before she had grabbed her weapons from the table near the door, and stepped out.

Reeve looked at Weiss and motioned for the door. "Protect her with your life if you need to."

Weiss nodded once, face solemn, and then made after the woman.

Fists clenched, Reeve stepped into another room. "She's stubborn," he muttered.

His old friend chuckled and nodded. "Takes after you, doesn't she?"

"I would've wanted her to live and die as a human, not a monster like us, Angeal."

Angeal grunted. "It's too late for that, isn't it? Genesis' personal vendetta against you is the reason why she lost her humanity."

"And why Sephiroth lost his as well," Reeve reminded.

"He needs to be put down no matter what. Better that your kid does it soon, before Genesis talks too much," Angeal said, blue eyes taking in the look of anger on Reeve's face.

"She'll hate me even more if she finds out who I am to her, and that the man she knew as a father wasn't really who she thought. What if we push her to Genesis' side?" asked Reeve as he paced the area.

"Look," Angeal started, leaning forward in his chair, placing his arms against his knees. "Genesis would deserve all that's coming to him. He may have raised Tifa as a vampire, but he did it for selfish, petty reasons. We need to win Tifa over before Genesis has a chance to poison her against us."

"What is Genesis going to gain with all of this?" Reeve muttered. "Aside from some stupid retribution."

"We both know the answer to that. Genesis always did want to live forever. What better way than to kill us and remain unrivalled? He probably thinks he'll be spared so that he can live on to be the only vampire in existence."

"They'll never succeed in killing all of us," Reeve countered.

"No, but our numbers will be reduced until they force us back into hiding. Genesis is a fool. Tifa is onto him, and if her powers develop at the rate yours did, she'll soon have the proof of his betrayal in her head."

"With the information that you've been passing to her from my own visions, she's confirming what she has been able to See in her head. But we're still manipulating the situation and she won't be happy about that at all," Reeve said, taking up his guns and slipping them inside of his coat. "We should leave and see how they fare with their little rescue over at Shinra."

Angeal stood and followed him out the door. "That girl is trouble."

Reeve grunted and smirked. "Reminds me of our younger years."

"We're not old," was the flat reply he received.

"We're going on nine hundred years, Angeal. Many would say that we are," Reeve chuckled.

Angeal merely rolled his eyes and shrugged. "Let's just go see what these babies are up to."

Reeve smirked and followed him out the door.

"Idiot! What did you do?" Aerith snapped as she ran out into the main portion of the lab and saw that Zack was growling low in his throat.

"I didn't touch anything! I think that they must've had some kind of silent alarm in her cage because I was just standing here," Zack snapped, looking out of the little window high on the door.

Aerith locked the doors but knew that they wouldn't hold in the soldiers with the firepower. Then she began to scan the lab, trying to locate a different exit. "Come on," she motioned for a different set of doors, a distance away from where the girl had been. "We can't use the doors, so we'll go through the vents. Think you'll be able to fit through them?" she asked, pointing upwards as soon as they entered what looked like an office.

She shoved the grate on the ceiling and it left a small space to crawl up into. Climbing up, Aerith looked around and shook her head. "Look, it'll be big enough for me and the girl only. I'm going to take them out so that you can get out through the main door. Though you should stay here just in case."

Zack was frowning at her as she pulled herself into the vent shaft, but she didn't have the time or the desire to take care of his ego. Besides, it appeared the small sadistic side of her that enjoyed driving the wolf over the edge.

Crawling through the space of the vent, Aerith was thankful that the space wasn't as confining as she had thought. Taking the next bend that led into a different direction, she could hear the sounds of soldiers approaching, guns cocked and ready to break into the lab. Staring down through a grate, she counted at least ten so far, and before they could noticed she was there, she removed the slab and silently dropped back onto the ground on stealthy feet.

Taking the first one while he was turned away, all she did was slam her fingers into a pressure point that rendered him unconscious; she knew Tifa would've killed him, but she didn't want to cause unnecessary death. Not if there was no need for it.

The next one she punched in the stomach, knocking the wind out of the man before punching him across the jaw and sending him flying headfirst into the closest wall. The thump alerted the others, and she had only two seconds to take cover around the corner before they began to fire their guns.

She hoped that Zack took it as his chance to escape with the girl, otherwise Aerith would hand his ass to him later. Now though, she needed to watch her own ass before it was shot. Smiling to herself, she removed a small, round device from her pocket and pushed the red button in the middle, throwing it into the direction from where the men were still shooting.

Counting down the seconds, she heard their bodies drop heavily. Glancing cautiously around the corner, she saw them all passed out on the floor and with speed took down the hall and towards the door to the lab Zack had been in. He was already outside and by the stairs, waiting for her.

"We need to go up because they're coming from below and the elevators would be a waiting trap," Zack said.

Aerith nodded and both ran up the stairs as the sounds of heavy, echoing footsteps reached them from below. "What's your bright idea once we get to the top?" she asked.

"We'll steal a helicopter," Zack replied, and Aerith could practically hear him grinning.

Aerith scoffed. "I can bet you anything that they have those fitted with tracking devices."

"It's a good thing we're going to crash it somewhere outside of the city, isn't it?" Zack asked. "Call your friend and let her know that we'll need someone to pick us up."

Instead of snarking about him giving her orders, Aerith sent out the call to Tifa through their minds. It was really the only reason she was surprised why when they burst through the door on the roof, that a hand came around her neck and a gun was pointed to her temple.

"Breathe and I'll blow a bullet filled with holy water through your pretty little head."

Sephiroth and Tifa arrived at Vincent and Cloud's location within minutes. They were situated on a roof of a building across from the Shinra headquarters, a sniper gun resting on the ledge, and with Vincent glancing through it every few minutes.

Cloud looked bored and a little annoyed as he glanced up and his eyes settled on Tifa. "What's going on? Any word?" she asked.

Vincent shook his head. "Aerith was able to download information from the computers and then she wiped it clean. She hasn't checked in since then."

Tifa frowned and moved closer to the ledge, eyes on the building. She tried to focus on connecting with her friend, but all she was getting back from her was a sense of exhilaration. "She's fighting," she muttered after a moment.

Sephiroth and Cloud stared at her. "You can… see what she's doing?" the ex-General asked.

Tifa shook her head. "We have something like an empathic bond, and we can communicate through our minds, but this is largely due to her telepathic-like powers. I can sometimes feel what she's feeling, too."

Cloud approached her side and looked at her. "Were you able to settle your business?"

"In a way," Tifa replied vaguely. She'd lost track of Weiss, but she had no doubt that he would show up soon. Her business had been with the man at the bar, but talking to Reeve had shown Tifa just how easy it was for their plans to be discovered by outside parties. Reeve was right, though, and they had to start making plans to leave the city as soon as possible.

'They're sending soldiers after us and we're headed for the roof. Zack says that we can take a chopper and crash it somewhere outside of the city. We'll need a ride back.'

Tifa frowned at the half-baked plan. "It's too risky," she whispered to both herself and Aerith.

"What?" Cloud questioned; Tifa raised a hand to stall him.

'Don't worry about us—'

The connection was cut as a wave of apprehension washed through Tifa like the feel of a religious cross in close proximity. 'What's going on?' she prodded urgently.

'Turks. On the roof of the western side of the building.'

"What other weapons did you bring?" Tifa asked Vincent.

"Why?" Vincent asked, slinging his sniper rifle across his back and lifting a heavy box at his feet.

"We need to blow up a few floors," said Tifa, pointing in the direction Aerith had told her. "The Turks have Aerith and Zack on the roof there and we need to divert their attention so that they can escape."

Vincent pulled out a wicked looking weapon that seemed like it could cause a big bang and handed it over to her; she then passed it on to Cloud. "You do it. Vincent and I are going to offer them the cover they need. As soon as we hit the helicopter pad, fire."

"Getting into trouble without me?" Weiss asked, feet landing quietly on the roof.

Tifa shrugged. "You wandered off. It's your own fault," she replied with a smirk.

Cloud's eyes narrowed on the stranger as he took a whiff of his scent and knew he was vampire. His familiarity with Tifa irritated him for some reason, but he made no comment. Instead he watched Tifa continue to semi-flirt with the other man. The change over her was startling to say the least, from the focused killer he'd first met. "Are we doing this or not?" he snapped, his voice coming in a low bass growl and his eyes shining with an impending change to his wolf.

Tifa gave him a careful look before she nodded and motioned for them to follow her as she began to jump the roofs of several buildings. Finally they reached a taller structure they would need to climb in order to get closer to the Shinra building.

She pointed up towards the helicopter landing on the side of the massive tower. "Wait a few minutes for Vincent and me to get up there, and then blow the floors underneath. The lights are off, so there should be little to no casualties," said Tifa, checking her weapons.

"How are you going to get off from the landing?" Sephiroth asked, inspecting the drop from the helicopter pad; he knew from memory that it was fifty-two floors down.

"We'll jump," Vincent said.

Cloud and Sephiroth stared at him.

"Your wolf can handle the drop?" Weiss asked them.

"I suppose," Sephiroth replied. "We've never tried that kind of distance. Your kind can do it?"

Tifa nodded. "As long as we have the training for it. Vincent doesn't need to worry about it, but Aerith and me will be fine."

They turned to look up at the building again and Tifa concentrated on Aerith. 'What way are you facing?'

'North. You can come up behind the one who's holding me, but the other two are facing us. These are trained Turks, Teef, and they'll fire off at you immediately and probably won't miss.'

'I can take a bullet, Aer. We'll be there soon.'

'Be careful,' Aerith said with a mental sigh.

'We will be. Stay out of the line of fire,' Tifa said. She turned to look at the men, subconsciously seeking out Cloud's clear blue eyes. "Stay out of sight. I get the feeling that the Turks will have called reinforcements. If we need to separate, don't go back to the bar. Just lay low for a few hours and wait for our call. If it doesn't happen, make sure you're not being followed before going back to the bar."

The men nodded and took their places, and the wolves stared as Vincent pulled off his coat and they heard the sound of flesh tearing before two long, leathery black wings sprouted from his back. Sephiroth and Cloud stared as the vampire shook himself and droplets of blood fell onto the rooftop from the torn flesh of Vincent's back. "That's…"

"Disturbing?" Cloud muttered as Vincent grabbed Tifa around the waist and Weiss' arm to pull them both up into the air.

"Very much so," Sephiroth replied.

The blond nodded and readied the weapon, looking through the scope as the vampires ascended. He wondered just what kind of trouble they were all getting into.

"We'll only have the element of surprise for a few seconds. Make them count," said Vincent.

Tifa and Weiss drew their guns and began to take aim, the air rushing by them loudly as Vincent began to rise higher. 'We're on our way, Aer. Take the wolf and the girl to the ground when I tell you.'

'Will do,' her friend replied. 'Just try not to get one of us shot.'

As soon as Vincent had them right at the rooftop, Weiss and Tifa opened fire and the Turks took cover. Before the suits could retaliate, the massive explosion went off, the building rattling with it and shaking underneath their feet.

Vincent dropped them in front of Aerith and Zack and took the girl from their arms before jumping off of the side of the building as bullets rained in his direction. The roar of the fire drowned the sounds of the bullets, but after handing Aerith a weapon, Tifa found herself staring down her barrel at the redhead, his own gun pointed at her chest.

"Stealing from the president don't look too well for you," he said with a leer.

"Neither does trying to create some super monster to kill us off," Tifa hissed.

He shrugged and removed the safety from his gun. "You know, you were supposed to kill off that wolf." He nodded towards Zack. "Been lying about your jobs? Did you know that it'll only earn you an execution order?"

"I'm not very easy to kill," Tifa replied, rolling her eyes.

"With a well-aimed bullet through the heart, you'd be just as dead as any human," he said, his aim never wavering.

"And who is going to do it? You?" Tifa asked derisively. "You may be Shinra's right hand, but remember that I'm the one who gets called in to the jobs you and your little friends can't do."

"You think you're so bad, don't you, little girl?" Reno asked, dropping his gun on the ground. "Why don't you fight me like a man and see who comes out on top of who?"

Tifa narrowed her eyes before she dropped her own gun and charged at him. He evaded her first attack, moving far quicker than she had assumed he could. Throwing punch after punch, she only managed to graze his cheek and leave a cut across his cheekbone.

His leg came up to slam into her abdomen, but she darted to the side, slamming her fist into his ribs and hearing the satisfying crunch. He groaned and held his side as he evaded more hits, but the pain had caused him to become clumsy and Tifa took the advantage, sending her knee right into his gut. When he doubled over, she rammed her elbow into the middle of his back and her foot into his jaw as he hit the floor.

When she went to punch him in the face again, he caught her wrist and twisted, pulling her to her knees. Snaking an arm around her neck, he began to squeeze. Gritting her teeth, Tifa tried to find purchase to stand, but the rubble between her feet impeded it and she head-butted him with less force than she would've wanted.

Reno cursed as he fingered his bloody lips and stumbled to his feet, attempting to attack her again. Tifa used the movement to curl back into a flip, her feet slamming under his chin and nose hard enough to break more bones.

Roaring in pain, Reno tried to attack her once more, but the floor underneath them shook harder, sending them off balance before it gave way and they were both tumbling three floors down into the deafening fire. Cursing to herself, Tifa stumbled away from the heat, knowing that fire was one of the definite ways of killing a vampire. She was surrounded and there was no purchase anywhere for her to jump her way back up through the roof.

She had lost the Turk somewhere amongst the flames, but she honestly didn't care at the moment. The man had been something other than human or wolf, and it troubled her that she hadn't been able to sense exactly what he was.

"Do you need some help there?"

She looked up and glared when she spotted Weiss' head of white hair. He winked at her and Tifa felt Vincent drop down next to her, wings close to his body and away from the fire. "How are they?" she asked.

"Fine. Zack overpowered the bald one after your friend used his powers of confusion," he said, pointing up at Weiss. "Aerith seemed to have lulled the one with the black hair. He walked away," Vincent said with a frown. "I couldn't tell if she used her powers or if he let her go."

Tifa found that oddly suspicious as well. "One of theirs is here in the fire," she commented as Vincent pulled her close.

"Let them find his ashes," Vincent said in a cold tone.

Tifa remained silent as they rose the three floors and back up. The helicopter had also gone up in flames, having fallen through its own hole, and they had demolished a large portion of the building but at least they were all well and relatively unscathed. "Why do you suppose they didn't put up a bigger fight?" she asked, once Vincent set her on her feet.

"It's either a trap or… a trap," said Zack. "Though I suggest we get the hell out of here."

Aerith nodded and gave Tifa a reassuring smile as they approached the edge of the building and looked down. "See you all later," the lighter brunette said with a smile, before both jumped, certain that the men would follow. The air was cold and their speed would've killed any human, but as the ground rushed up to meet them, both landed with equal strength, creating small craters around their feet.

"Split up and use different directions to approach HQ. We don't want to be followed," Aerith said to their companions when they landed.

Everyone ran off in different directions, taking to the shadows at speeds not perceptible to the human eye. Once she was safely away from the Shinra building and the wreckage they had caused, Tifa slowed down her steps and began to think over what she had seen. Surely if the redheaded Turk had been physically modified, then the others had been, too. It annoyed her that so much had been going on and that Genesis had been hiding it from them. Why? Was his thirst for power so great?

Rounding the corner into an alley, Tifa paused when the fog of a vision began to approach her mind. Though, to her surprise, she wasn't completely overwhelmed and rendered blinded to her surroundings. She continued to walk, the vision superimposed over her regular eyesight.

She could see the images as if they were ghostly specters in the alleyway, but she didn't stop her quiet walk. It was—it was about her… and someone who seemed familiar but she couldn't make out his face.

"The end of all vampire kind approaches, girl. You're a fool to not take my side. How can I persuade you?"

"There is nothing that you can possibly give me that I would want," she snarled, crimson rivulets tracing a path down her face, chest, and arms.

"Nothing, you say? Not even your precious pet?"

She surged to her feet as blond hair and blue eyes in a battered face was dragged over to her side. Touching fingers, much too gentle than she had ever seen herself do, to his face, she shook her head. "You were supposed to be in hiding."

Cloud grunted and rubbed blood away from her cheeks. "You look like you're crying tears of blood," he muttered. "Don't do it, Tifa. With your power at their disposal, they will be unstoppable."

"If I don't accept, you'll be dead."

"Then let me."

Tifa shook her head and got to her feet, eyes as cold as ice as she looked up. "Don't hurt him anymore. If you can guarantee his safety, I will join your side."

"No. Don't do it, Tifa!" his voice practically croaked out.

"A wise decision, girl."

"What do you want me to do?"

She could only feel the sickening smile, but not see it. "I want you to kill your father."

Tifa's eyes narrowed as the vision began to dissolve with those words. Her father? The man had been dead for more than a century! Unless… unless…

Only one person could possibly know the meaning of the vision would be Genesis. Stopping at in the middle of the alley, the rest of the vision finally registered. The vision had shown that Cloud would become her lover again, and that she would come to… care for him.

No. She wouldn't allow that to happen. Not only to keep the wolf safe, but because she didn't want to give herself such a weakness. Though she had plenty of pleasant memories of him as a human, she didn't want to care for a man who was not vampire. Not only was it one of the biggest taboos, but caring for him would eventually result in her betraying her own kind. She needed to see Aerith as soon as possible to discuss the vision and hopefully change it from running its course.

With a stronger resolve, she began to make her way towards the bar. She'd use any means available to keep Cloud away.

Yay! Update on the last day of the year! I know it's been a long time, but I promise that I have plenty of updates coming up, and a new story ready to be posted. It's possible that it'll be up tomorrow and it'll be a Vincent/Yuffie. I really hope everyone enjoyed this chapter with all its confusing new characters. There were more mysteries and twists here, so hopefully next chapter will solve some of them. Anyway, as always I dedicate this baby to Valk and hope she, as well as you all, enjoyed reading. I promise that there's more CloudTifa stuff in store for this fic, even when it doesn't look like it now.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe New Year's, and I'll see you all next year! ;)