If you haven't read either "Tears of Black" or "Were He Alive", fret not, for I shall recap! In ToB, Larette Black is a Turk, who had violated her own morals when she fell in love with her employer's son, Rufus Shinra. She had been shot in the head and left for dead after she had "resigned". President Shinra didn't think that Larette was suitable for Rufus, so he blackmailed her into quiting. On her last day in the office, he shot her in the head and ordered Rude, her mentor, to dispose of the body. In WHA, an alternate time line were Zack didn't die, Larette, Zack, and Cloud worked together as mercenaries. She lost all memories of her time as a Turk. Zack Fair was Larette's first crush and a fellow townsman, and he went with her to help her get answers. While searching for Rude, they briefly met up with Tseng, who hid them in his office, and Rufus, who at once realized the woman he loved was within his reach. Zack and Larette had been found out, more or less, and President Shinra killed Zack (though there is an alternate ending for that one). I'm sorry it took so long to post, I've been having a really hard time trying to decide what direction to take the story in. If too many people hate it, I just might rewrite it...
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Cressida Hale lived a happy life with her family. She was a caring older sister and a respectful daughter, loved by those who knew her. The only thing is, her life is one gigantic lie...
After being ordered to "get rid" of Larette's body, Rude had taken her from President Shinra's office to a seedy but trustful motel. It was only like that in that Rude was practically the owner's family. As the President coldly cleaned off his gun, ignoring the nearly dead body of the woman his son loved, and was waiting for the Turk to get Larette out of his sight, Rude picked her up carefully, spotting at once that she wasn't completely gone yet... Seeing at least a small chance to bring her back and keep her alive, Rude carried her out of the back of the building to the slums, careful that no one saw. He left her in the care of Alexander and Zazah Hale, staying only long enough to tend to her wound and make sure she was in the clear. Larette was out cold most of the time he was with her, but at one time, she woke up enough for him to take her seriously.
He had just managed to gingerly extract the bullet, when her hand suddenly reached out and grabbed him, "AAAAAUUUURRRRRRGGGGHHHHH!" She continued to scream until her voice went horse, "Wha...Hn...No, don't tell him...Can't...Find out...Rufus!" Larette was under no anesthesia, nor any other kind of medicine, but still, Rude took her request seriously. He didn't know why, but he agreed to pretend to know nothing about Larette vanishing. No matter what, he would never tell her secret...
Rude left her after that, telling the Hale's to leave Larette a message. He could not risk seeing Larette again, so he had no choice but to go on with the double charade of not knowing that she had been "murdered", nor that he knew of her whereabouts. He did not like lying about all of this to everyone, but he had to in order to protect his friend and comrade...The message to Larette was that he would always be there to help her, no matter what...
Larette woke up, groggy, discombobulated, and with a pain that could never be described, even in ten lifetimes. She held the neatly wrapped gauze bandage around her head, wondering what in the world had put her in this state. Larette remembered nothing, literally nothing. Not her name, or her friends, or her family...Absolutely nothing. Everything was a complete blank, everything. She was not frightened, because for all she knew, this could have been her room, her house. It might not have been, fair enough, but she realized that because her head had been so tenderly cared for, and the fact that she was not in restraints proved that she was in no immediate danger. How she was so calm and figured that out so easily, she had no clue...
"Oh, you're awake!" A plump woman, almost elderly but still quite young-looking, came into the room and set down a tray of food for Larette on the nightstand.
She looked at the woman curiously, "Who are you?"
Always wanting a daughter, and having a kind, unmalicious heart, Zazah took pity on the poor girl, "Dear heart, don't you remember anything?"
Larette shook her head, a huge mistake that only intensified the pain, "Sorry."
Zazah was relieved to see that Larette was still able to speak and perform basic motor functions, as not even Rude was sure she'd be able to. "I'm..." She decided that it would be best to lie, because at least this way, they could all be happy. "Your mother."
Larette believed her easily enough, for what proof did she have to not to? "Mother...And who am I?"
Rude had not told them her name, in fact, he said that if she did remember it, it would be best to take a fake name. Zazah had always wanted her daughter to have this name, "Cressida. Cressida Hale."
She repeated the name, aceepting it as her own. It seemed to fit her. "Cressida..."
Zazah nodded to herself, "Yes...sweet Lucrezia would have liked that..."
"Lucrezia...?" That name...it sounded very familar..."Who's that, mother?"
"Oh!" Zazah hadn't realized that she had said that aloud, "Lucrezia...Lucrezia WAS my sister. That's right!" Zazah suddenly remembered something, "Eat while I go tell your father and brother that you're awake..." She left the room. Cressida sat up slowly, woozy from moving her head. She ate the warm tomato soup ravenously.
Zazah walked into her living room, and she guiltily sat in front of her husband, twiddling her thumbs. He was only a few years younger than his wife, but he could have passed for their son's older brother. He was reading the paper, shaking his head at the news. Alexander had wanted a daughter even more than his wife did, if that were even possible, but talking to him while he was reading the paper was a bad idea.
"Er...Dear?" She cleared her throat, rushing her words like word vomit, "That girl that Rude brought in...She's awake. And I told her that she was our daughter, Cressida."
"Who's Rude?" Their son came in and set his bag on the table. He had never met Rude, and Rude never even knew they had a son. He also never met the older sister his mother insisted he had. "Cressida's home?"
Alexander looked up at his son, "Apparently."
"Can I go meet her mother, can I?" He headed back toward the door.
She sighed, "Just a minute, Kadaj. Alexander? Do you want to greet her, too?"
He got up and set the paper down. He nodded, "...Yeah."
So all three went to her room, good intentions all around. Kadaj, Sephiroth's cousin, was thrilled to finally get to meet his older sister. Zazah warned her son first, "Kadaj, Cressida's been in an accident, so she doesn't remember anything. Try not to bother her too much, all right?"
He nodded, "Geez, I won't!"
She nodded and opened the door not a minute too late. Cressida had tried to get out of the bed, but she had fallen to the floor. She was struggling to get her legs working again. Kadaj ran over to her and helped her back into the bed. Alexander sighed, shaking his head.
"Dear heart, you shouldn't be trying to move yet!" Zazah scolded.
Cressida looked down, "Sorry, mother. I don't know what I was thinking..."
She patted her daughter's knee as she sat down beside her, Kadaj and Alexander lingering in the doorway. "Cressida, dear, this is your brother, Kadaj, and your father."
"Kadaj..." She smiled at him, "Thank you for helping me up..."
He blushed, brushing his silvery hair back, "It's nothing..."
She giggled, "You're funny. I think we'll get along great, right, mother, father? Everything'll be all right now, won't it?"
Mr. and Mrs. Hale looked at each other, "...Right, everything'll be perfect."
As time passed and Cressida became well enough, she took to walking through the slums, often visiting a church in the Sector 5 slums. She met another girl who tended the flowers there, and they became good friends...