AN: For ShadowhaloedAngel, a one shot I've owed her for quite a while! This was my first time writing Shera.
Warnings: Fairly ominous due to Turks.
Shera had never been cut out to be a heroine. Being a hero was something that would suit Cid, at least judging by the action movies that the other watched while she was working. He looked like most of the leading men, and shared their attitude. Shera looked like, and was, a wallflower. But she couldn't face having her friend die. She'd wanted to save him, and had acted without thinking.
At that moment she had been ready to die, and he'd saved her. They had been friends, and both of them were willing to give up their lives for the other. She'd been prepared for a quick death, sudden pain, but not this.
She'd humiliated the company, destroyed years of preparation by stopping the launch. They weren't going to allow her to get away with it. Cid and her had been called to Midgar from Rocket Town, to work in the transport department. Cid had seemed a little uneasy, but Shera had seen it as a fresh start for both of them. That had been a mistake.
The first time she had realised she was in real trouble was when she got into the elevator for work, having arrived early as always, and a Turk had joined her. The redhead, who she had seen wandering around the transport rooms before, fiddling with things, grinned at her cheekily, but didn't push any buttons.
She'd nodded, trying to avoid eye contact. She felt sick. No one ever wanted to see the Turks, let alone be in a space with just one of their number. They were ill omens, and whilst she was willing to bet that most of them weren't bad people, she would rather not have to test her theory. She stared at the wall, thinking through her week, and flinched back slightly.
On the stairs on her way home she had passed a Turk. There had been one at reception. One in the coffee room. As she thought through the last few days, she realised that they had been everywhere, following her every move, like monsters from a horror film. Her shadow. The man was still grinning at her. The lift journey didn't normally take this long.
She glanced up, to the panel which displayed the floor they were on. Transport was floor 25. They were going past floor 37. 38. 39. She felt dizzy, but gripped onto the rail. She was not going to collapse. The Turk frowned at her.
"Are you alrigh' Shera?"
He knew her name. She sighed. Of course he knew her name.
"I'm..." Words failed her, and she stood there opening and closing her mouth like a lost fish. The Turk moved closer.
"Keep breathing. In'n out, like this." He gestured with his hand. "Yeh, keep like tha'. In, 'n out..."
She followed his instructions, and the world came back into focus. He grinned at her.
"Sorry. We rigged the bu'ons today, wan'ed to make sure you came to the righ' place, an' we hoped you would panic less."
Shera was feeling worse than ever, but managed to use the strength that she wasn't using to hold herself up to arch an eyebrow.
"Yeh, it didn' work. Anyway, boss wan's to see yer." The doors opened, and he gestured for her to get out. Her legs didn't move the way they wanted. They were shaking, and jelly, and she couldn't stand, but the thought of falling was worse. Face pink with embarrassment, she stumbled through the door. After the first couple of steps it got easier, and she was able to follow the man at her side.
She'd never seen so many blue suits before. She tried not to look at their faces, but caught a glimpse of one girl who she had always thought was Heidigger's secretary. She wondered who else in the company wasn't what they seemed. The redhead knocked on a door, then pushed it open, and numbly Shera walked inside, the Turk behind her. The key clicked, locking her in the room, and she felt sick.
"Take a seat please Shera." The voice that spoke this time was level, calm, and very different from the slum-accent of the other. She made her way to the desk, transfixed by the speaker, feeling like a mouse about to be devoured by a cobra. The chief Turk smiled slightly at her, dark eyes fixed on hers, and she trembled, fiddling with the hem of her skirt in a desperate attempt to do something before fear made her seize up entirely.
"Thank you for coming."
She giggled slightly at that, even though she knew it wasn't appropriate. She hadn't had much choice, and they both knew it. She looked down again, scared if she looked at him for too long, she would be hypnotised.
"I was hoping that we could talk about what happened in Rocket Town?"
She nodded, letting out a soft noise of assent which sounded a little too much like a squeak.
"Reno, you may leave." The man continued, and once they were alone, he spoke again, voice still calm but a little amused. "The President was not happy about your actions, and has ordered you put under surveillance, at least for a short while. I have persuaded him to allow my men and women to handle that, and I suggest that you do nothing you aren't meant to. That being said, I was impressed by your actions. You were brave if foolish to stand up for your boyfriend-"
"He's not my boyfriend." She muttered, without thinking, and was met by a laugh.
"So you do have a voice." Something about the way he spoke made her think that he had already known the nature of the relationship she and Cid had. He continued. "That's good to know. You were brave to stand up for your friend, and I admire that, though you should probably have found a less public way of doing it. I was hoping that you would take some time to explain to me the problems found on the ships, and similar problems that could arise."
She looked at him uncertainly, and he seemed to sense her question.
"Yes, for sabotage purposes. Don't worry, I have no intention of using any method against ShinRa vehicles. It would be too embarrassing for the company for our vehicles to be destroyed."
Shera knew you didn't say no to a Turk, but she felt uneasy.
"I'm meant to be at work."
"You called in this morning to say you were sick, but that you'd be there in the afternoon."
She accepted this new information, knowing she couldn't fight it.
The man spread blueprints over the desk, then went and made them both some coffee. Whilst her hands shook as she drunk it, she couldn't help noticing that this was the first time she had ever been made coffee. She spent her life as the intern, the one who made coffee for those with real jobs.
She worked with him until lunch, and was horrified to discover that he was a charming man, with fast wit and a skill at telling stories, even if she doubted they were true. He had a quick mind, and valued her advice and experience about the airships.
Eventually, she had told him all she could, and asked to leave. He nodded, then got up to show her out as she stood. Rather than opening the door, he reached up and turned off the security camera, and her knees went weak. She crashed to the ground, and he crouched beside her.
"Shera?" She looked up at him and whimpered. "Shera, listen to me. You aren't in trouble. The President said that I should kill you, but I suggested that I should take the opportunity to speak to you first. I had the information about the aircraft weaknesses on file, but the two of us are the only ones who know that. You have shown yourself to be an asset to the company, and you will be allowed to live. But you must keep this quiet, do you understand?"
She nodded, not trusting him. He was a Turk, you couldn't trust Turks. But she believed him, and she was grateful.
"Don't mention it Shera. Don't ever mention it."
The two of them exchanged a smile, and he opened the door. The redhead Turk was waiting outside, escorted her to the lift, and got in beside her. He pushed button number 25, one hand fiddling with the strap of his EMR. Shera again tried not to look at him.
In his office, Tseng turned the camera back on and continued his work.