DISCLAIMER: Just like the previous disclaimer, I don't own any of the FF7 characters you see here-Square Soft does.
~*Chapter 3*~

The following day, the group woke up early so they decided to clean out the remaining rooms of the house. They split into three groups again, this time the three groups were Reno and Jessica, Rude and Tseng, and then Rufus and Elena. Okay, I think we'll tackle one of the side rooms. Elena says. Alright, we'll handle the library in the basement...so I guess the other side room goes to you guys. Reno says, looking at Rude and Tseng. The two men nod and then everyone goes to their designated room.


In the side room they had chosen, Elena and Rufus look around and then start going through all of the cardboard boxes that are lined up on both sides of the wall. Hey, can you remember when this used to be our sitting room? Rufus asks, glancing up at their surroundings. ...Yeah, I remember...(laughs)...I also remember when you got in trouble for knocking the table over and breaking mom's favorite vase. She made you sit in the corner for a half hour. Oh god...don't remind me. Rufus rolls his eyes and then laughs himself. But I remember when you spilled your grape juice all over the carpet and cried for two hours straight, because you were so scared that you would get the same punishment. he adds. Not true! I did not cry for two hours straight! Yes, you did. No I didn't! Yes Elena, you did. (laughs) Come on, lighten up will ya? they smile at each other and then go back to looking through the boxes.


What is all this stuff anyway? I thought there was just an old library here... Reno wonders, looking around the basement room that seemed to be half laboratory, half library. I guess it was the original base of Shinra's scientific research. The Nibelheim reactor is close too and I know they did research on it, so I guess this would be the most convenient place for all their equipment. This doesn't seem as old as everything else up there, they must have had this developed after everyone else left. Reno looks at some of the papers on the table as Jessica dusts off some of the books. ...Damn I can't make any sense outta this shit, I'll tell Tseng and let him decide what to do with it... Hey Reno, you think we should show him this? Reno walks over to Jessica, who is flipping through an old book filled with experiments, details on Jenova, and information on creatures in the area and how they react to certain amounts of Mako. Yeah, here I'll get the other two volumes...damn this is a lot of pages! he flips through one of the other volumes, looking at the last page which was numbered 1257.

They carry the books over to the table and continue on to the very back of the room. Looks like someone's own personal study hall back here... Jessica mentions as she looks at the desk, and the books strewn all about. Seriously...okay I don't think we should clean' this per say...we should let Tseng see it first. And Rufus too? Reno rolls his eyes once more at the thought of Rufus but then nods. ...I suppose so. Jessica looks away for a minute, and then shakes her head. I really don't see why you two hate each other so much. I'm surprised you two aren't brothers, you act like it even if you don't physically look it. Because he's a pain in the ass! Not to mention annoying. I resent that, you know...if he were my brother I'd jump off a bridge. Oh like you aren't those things? Reno...how can you say that? Maybe if you didn't tease him so much, he wouldn't bug you. Yeah, maybe. I'm surprised you like him so much.

Jessica blushes and then her eyes go wide. H-how do you know that?! Elena told me, it was one of the only ways I would come down to dinner last night so she told me. Oh, well...I only asked her not to tell Rufus so I guess if you know it's alright. As long as you promise not to tell him either. Aw...fine! Geez, relax will ya? Damn, I was only joking! Reno shrugs, and then they start to go back upstairs to find Rude and Tseng.


You know, I think we're almost done. Tseng looks around the room that despite their efforts, is still filled with boxes. Rude, hearing the sarcasm in his voice just chuckles. Let's keep going for a few more minutes, then we'll stop and take a break. Tseng suggests, sighing and returning to his work. Good idea... Rude responds quietly, opening two more boxes to look at the objects inside. The house is completely silent as the men work, but then suddenly Tseng looks up with an unnerved look on his face. Rude? Do you hear something? No...what do you hear? Sounds like pounding...wait, no...someone running. Tseng steps outside the room, finding that he is almost trampled by Reno. What the hell are you running for?! Jessica comes running up and seeing the look on Tseng's face, she backs away. Reno pants for a few minutes and then begins to tell Tseng about the current situation of the basement library.

...We can't start cleaning the library yet. Hmm...and why is that? Because it's not just a library as we thought... Reno what are you talking about? Reno continues to catch his breath as Jessica helps to explain. We went down there and there is equipment, papers on scientific experiments, research papers on Jenova and hundreds of books containing all of that information as well. Tseng thinks for a moment and then closes his eyes. Alright, Rude can you finish this...or at least some of it? he asks. Yeah, go on. Thanks...I'll go but I want to have Rufus come with us, he'll need to see this too. That was our plan. Reno says, still out of breath. Tseng looks toward him and then back at Jessica. I can wait, there's no reason for you two to get burnt out over all of this. Speaking of which, why were you running? Jessica starts to speak but Reno shoots her a look. Tseng sighs and rolls his eyes. Well, either one of you tells me or I'm not going down there.

Fine! Fine! On our way back up, I saw something with red eyes so I poked it with my nightstick and of course it was a bat... I told him not to poke at it but he insisted, he thought maybe if he did it would fly away since he thought there was only one. Yeah, well...it seemed like a good idea at the time. Turns out there's a whole damn nest of them down there. Stupid @#!%*$! attacked me so I told her to run, she was quick enough that she only got scratched. I got bit on the wrist when I tried to kill one of You amaze me, Reno... Hey! Like I said it seemed like a good idea at the time. Well, let's just hope you don't have any more of those ideas. Now let me see that wrist of yours. Because if it bit you, it must be a vampire bat. You're going to need medical attention. Now, Reno. (grumbles) Fine, stupid ass bat...I swear if I see it again I'm gonna- Just roll up your sleeve, Reno. You can kill it later if you absolutely have to. Reno does as he is told and Tseng inspects the wound.

Jessica will you please go get our First Aid kit out of the bathroom? Tseng asks. she runs up to get it and Reno starts to whine. Awww...whaddya gonna do? All that's in there are bandages, medical tape, cotton swabs, and...PEROXIDE! OH HELL NO TSENG! IF YOU ARE THINKING OF EVEN GETTING THAT SHIT NEAR ME I'LL BEAT THE HELL OUTTA YOU! Reno yells, snatching his arm back and trying to run. Tseng grabs the back of Reno's jacket so he can't go anywhere. Sorry Reno, but if I don't put some of it on there you are going to get badly infected. Nooooo!!!! No! No! And NO! I do not want that on me! It burns! Noooo! Oh stop your whining already, grow up Reno.

Jessica comes back down with the medical kit and then laughs at Reno. Trying to go somewhere? Shut up! Geez...what got into him? He's scared of peroxide... I am not scared! I just hate it...it burns! Boo-hoo, poor baby. Tseng pushes Reno into a chair and holds him down. Jessica can you put it on him? Then just put a bandage over it, he should be fine then. I think so, as long as he doesn't kick me. Jessica gets the bottle and some cotton swabs out as she watches Reno flailing his legs in her direction. Tseng takes a deep breath, and then yells at Reno. RENO SHUT UP, STOP TRYING TO KICK HER, AND TAKE IT LIKE A MAN!!!!! Reno stares at him shocked, since he had never seen Tseng so angry before. He stops, and then Jessica puts the peroxide on him. Owww oww oww oww oww! he whines, struggling to get away. I'm almost done, Reno. Just hold on. she puts a bandage on him and then closes the medical case. Tseng releases him as Jessica goes to throw away the used cotton swabs. I think I'll let you recover before we head on... he comments, looking at Reno's exasperated expression.


Back in their designated room, Rufus and Elena have finished unpacking the boxes and have sorted out the items into three piles. One of them was things to keep, another was things to get rid of, and the other was things undecided on. Rufus starts to clean some of the furniture off, when he notices Elena looking at a picture on the wall. Normally, he wouldn't have thought anything strange of it but Elena looked as pale as she was when she had seen her mother's favorite candles. Ele? Hey, are you alright? When she finally answered, he had to stand right next to her to hear what she was saying. Do you think mom and dad were really that happy? Rufus glanced up at the picture and then sadly looked back at his sister. he finally replies. He then sits silently next to her for a few moments lost in thought, before he realizes that she is crying.

Ele? Ele what is it? ...I...I miss her so much...... ...Y-yes...s-she was always s-s-so loving and k-kind... ............I always t-thought s-s-she would c-come back one day...I n-never g-g-got to s-say goodbye........ ...............I know, neither did I... .......I w-wish s-she were here h-h-helping us clean r-right now.......we could s-sit here and talk a-about all of our m-memories with her.......... Elena shakes with sobs and Rufus tries to reach out and hug her, but she just pushes him away. Ele...Elena come here... he says quietly. Elena continues to cry as she lets him pull her into a tight hug. Shhh...it's alright...I know how you feel Ele, I miss her too.........

Tseng, Reno, and Jessica come into the room and the minute they see Elena crying, they rush over to her. Oh my God, what happened? Tseng asks, reaching out to her. Elena? Elena answer us, please! Jessica pleads. You in there? Reno looks into her eyes. ...I-I'm sorry, I was j-just thinking about s-s-some things........... Elena mumbles. Rufus looks at Tseng and lets go of Elena so he can try and comfort her. Reno motions for Rufus to follow him as Jessica and Tseng fuss over Elena. Rufus, I'm really sorry, this looks bad and all but we kinda have a situation right now... ...(sighs) Ah...alright what happened? Reno pulls him outside of the room. Remember the basement library we were supposed to clean up? Well, it's not just a library...it's a laboratory too and there is all this stuff down there-books, research papers, experiment plans, equipment- So you want me to take a look at it? Is that it? Yeah, Jessica and I thought it would be a good idea for you and Tseng to see it before we started to clean it up. Look, I'm really sorry... Just let me see if Ele's gonna be alright, okay? If she is, then I'll go with you. That's fine.

They go back in the room and Rufus sighs with relief at the site of Elena calming down. He walks over to Tseng who is now sitting in a chair, holding her close. Elena? Are you going to be alright? There's a problem I have to help take care of, but if you're not I can just- I'll be fine Rufie, you j-just go help them okay? Jessica explained what's g-g-going on and I understand. I'll be fine, really. I think I'll just go take a nap or something... Rufus frowns but then nods his head. Very well, but if you need anything... It's fine Rufie, I can take of myself...really. Don't worry about me. she stands up and takes a tissue that Jessica has offered. Tseng stands up as well and walks to the door. ...Okay well, if there is an emergency or you do need to talk to someone, Rude is in the other room. he says. ...It's okay Tseng, really you guys...thanks but I think a good nap might help me... Elena says, looking at everyone and managing a weak smile. The group nods and then reluctantly leaves the room.

Once they are out of earshot, Elena's composure fails once more...she sinks back into the chair and buries her head in her hands, beginning to cry. (sniffles)....Why did it h-have to happen to y-y-you......? she looks up at the picture of her smiling mother, and tries to regain her composure again. When she does so, she stands up and slowly walks to the door. She turns around and looks at the room one more time. ...Maybe a nap will help... she exits the room and heads for the staircase, hoping that her thoughts won't invade her dreams, causing nightmares. Unfortunately for her, hoping just won't work.