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SECOND CHANCES ~ chapter 2

*sighs* This is the second time that I've written this chapter. My other computer-->the one that happened to be the one with internet access<--crashed! I lost everything! My ICQ, games, and not to mention at least ten awesome stories I was working on! So I'm typing this chapter on my other computer while I wait for the other to get fixed. So if you're reading this, I either got my internet back, or I'm at a friends house and I uploaded it from a disk. I'm writing this while my internet's down, obviously.

DISCLAIMER: I don't own the FF7 charactors, but I'm trying to talk to Squaresoft about it.

By the way, this story WON'T make sense unless you've read the first chapter.

* * * * *
Aeris smiled to herself as she hung up. Cloud was obviously worried about her. She looked at Rufus, who was leaning against the wall, arms crossed. "Now what's going to happen?"

"All in good time." he said, tilting his head, watching her. She was so beautiful. Why Sephiroth could even think of killing her was a nightmare. "Hey, just out of curiousity, but you wouldn't think of running off on me, would you?"


He shook his head. "Never mind. You ready to take a long boring boat ride?"

"Oh it can't be that bad!"

It won't this time, he thought. Tseng walked into the room. "Sir, the helicopter's ready to take us to Junon. Are you ready?"

"About time." said Rufus, leaving the wall to stand on his own. He put his arm around Aeris' shoulder and led her from the room.
* * * * *
"Yo babe how's it going?" Reno laughed as he came up to a very sick looking Elana who was leaning against the edge of the boat.

She raised her head slightly to glare at him. "Thanks for the sympathy. Don't you have some bar to get drunk at?"

Reno shrugged. "Saw Cloud sitting in there. Didn't feel like kicking his spiky butt today. Maybe later."

"Don't you think you should tell Rufus that AVALANCHE's aboard?"

"Nah. Rufus seems way too interested in Aeris to care. am I the only one who thinks he's up to something?"

"You're just steamed that Aeris turned you down yesterday."

"Stupid Cetra."

Elana laughed slightly. "Can't blame her. If it were me I'd go for the cute blonde too."

"And what about your precious Tseng?" said Reno coldly. Elana turned away.

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"Suuuuuuuuuuure you don't. Anyways, let's go in. I need more seasick pills. The last ones are wearing off."

Elana turned back to glare at him again. "You had seasick pills the whole time, and you didn't tell me?"

Reno shrugged. "Thought you looked cute with that greenish color." He laughed as she chased him off, bumping into a crew member along the way. and if they'd been more observant, they'd notice his mako blue eyes. But they didn't, and Cloud just glared at them. He didn't chase after them, though, he couldn't risk blowing his cover. Besides, he had to look for Aeris and see if she's alright.

At the same time, Aeris was wondering the same about Cloud. Sighing, she looked out the window and watched the blue water drift by. She'd taken a seat by the window, while Rufus, Tseng, and the bald man stood in the center, talking about something or other.

"...very helpful on our side," said Rufus "He'll be a great help for us." He turned to Aeris. "Enjoying yourself? I warned you it would be boring."

"I'm alright." she smiled. Suddenly out of the corner of her eye, she noticed a very large black crew member peering in at them. This man was the same man that she'd seen with Cloud and Tifa when Tseng captured her. If he was aboard, then Cloud and Tifa were definately on as well. Then he's alright, she thought with relief, then once more began to wonder what Rufus was up to.

Just then Cloud came up to the black man, and they spoke to each other for a minute, before Cloud managed to get Barret to walk off. Aeris silently thanked the Planet. She had no idea what would've happened if Tseng and the others had spotted Cloud. Rufus had finally confided that what everyone else thinks he's doing, is totally the opposite of his true plans, so she wasn't allowed to let the others know what she knew. That in itself was confusing, but he keeps promising her that she will know his plans.

"Well," said Rufus "It's getting quite boring here, don't you think? Shall we go for a walk around the deck?"

"Uhhh, sir." said Tseng "Isn't there a rumor that Sephiroth is aboard? And if AVALANCHE found out, they're sure to have snuck aboard. I don't think it'd be a healthy idea to wander around-"

"You know Tseng, you worry too much. You're becoming a little too much like my old man. Life is way too short. Enjoy it while you can."

"So you don't believe they're aboard."

"No, I'm positive they're aboard. I'm just not going to wander straight into them." said Rufus as he held his arm out for Aeris to take. She accepted it.

Tseng raised a suspicious eyebrow, but shrugged it off and opened the door for the President, him and Rude following him out the door.
* * * * *
Tifa leaned on the railing and peered over the edge. Cloud and Barret wandered off somewhere, and she didn't feel like joining them. She wondered if Aeris was safe. Cloud said he'd seen her with Rufus, and that she looked calm, but Tifa still felt worried. The President had a very cruel reputation. She fiddled with the cuff of her uniform. It felt too uncomfortable, too fancy.

Too Shinra-like.

How she hated that company. Because of Shinra, she lost her father, friends, hope, and hometown. From the corner of her eye, she noticed moving figures.

Then she realised it was President Rufus himself with Aeris, the man who'd taken Aeris away, and some bald guy. She quickly grabbed a mop and began cleaning the floor, hiding her face so that she couldn't be recognised. They stopped walking not far from where she was.

"Sir," said Tseng.

"Don't call me sir, Tseng. Rufus will do."

"Sorry, but I would like to speak to you about the current mission, but privately."

Rufus looked around. There's no one nearby except for that lowly crew member cleaning the deck. He flicked some hair from his eyes. "There's nothing to worry about," he said. "You can tell me right here."

Aeris didn't listen as they talked. Instead her attention was attracted to the water. She didn't know why, but it fasinated her. Then the crew member steped in her view, mopping up the floor. Aeris watched this person for a while, wondering what it was like being a slave, when she suddenly realised that she herself was a slave.

Rufus rarely left her side, he watched over her every move. She supposed she did owe him, as he saved her from Hojo. But he always had at least one guard nearby, obviously to keep her in line.

The crew member accidently knocked his hat off, and suddenly a lot of hair fell across the face. "Tifa?" asked Aeris. Rufus looked away from his conversation, and glared at the brunette girl who stood, clutching the mop in fear.

"Well," he said. "A spy."

"Want me to terminate her, sir?" offered Tseng, and Aeris' eyes widen. Tseng snapped his fingers, and Rude grabbed Tifa's arms and held her in place. The mop dropped to the floor with a bang.

"No!" said Aeris in protest. "Don't touch her! Rufus!"

The blonde brought his hand to his chin in thought. "Hmmmmm, so AVALANCHE did make it aboard. This can't be good." He flicked some hair from his eyes. Tifa didn't say anything. She was looking back and forth from Aeris to Rufus, back to Aeris. Finally the young blonde sighed. "No, I suppose if I killed you, Aeris would be a tad bit depresssed. But I just can't let you go free. You're coming with us now.

Rude released Tifa and the two girls sighed in relief. Rufus snapped his fingers to regain everyone's full attention. "We'll be docking in Costa de Sol soon. Let's get back in the cabin, shall we?" Without waiting for an answer he walked off, Tseng right behind him. Rude stayed slightly back to keep an eye on Aeris and Tifa. Aeris had earlier decided that Rufus secretly ordered Rude to guard her. Tifa grabbed Aeris' arm and leaned closer to whisper as they followed Rufus from a distance.

"What's going on Aeris?" she asked.

"I don't even know myself. He keeps promising to tell me later. He did save me from Hojo though." the cetra answered.

"He hasn't hurt you or anything, has he?"

Aeris shook her head. "No. He's always looking over at me and keeping me within reach. And he keeps asking me not to run off."

Confusion grew on Tifa's face. She opened her mouth to say more, but they had reached the cabin. From the windows, the marina was easily visible. Aeris resumed her previous seat and Tifa sat down beside her, obviously trying to keep as far away from the three ShinRa members.

From the corner of his eyes, Rufus caught Tifa's glare and he smiled on the inside. Not only did he have Aeris, but he had someone whose head he could mess with. He hadn't entirely changed, he'll always be Rufus ShinRa. If the feisty little brunette didn't trust him, he sure as heck wasn't going to do anything to make her think he was an angel.

Rude and Tseng left on some irrelevent mission he came up with, and he sat on the seats ajacent from the girls. "Enjoying the trip?" he asked sweetly.
* * * * *
"LARD!" laughed Palmer suddenly as he bounced into the head office of Shinra Inc, but was dissapointed to find Scarlet already sitting in the big chair. "What are you doing here?"

Scarlet ran her finger along the chair's arm. "I like this chair. I think it suits me perfectly. What are YOU doing in here?"

Palmer looked down at the floor with sudden great intrest in his feet. "I was hoping on using the chair and flying all over the room with it. Those wheels are always well-oiled."

"Well I'm sorry," said Scarlet with a roll of her eyes, "but you can't play with the spinning chair today. Someone MATURE is using it today. Why don't you go gross out Reeve or something?"

"Because Rufus has assigned him to some spy work. Lousy little runt gets all the fun jobs 'cause he wasn't the only one who was screwin' around behind the former boss' back so Rufus see's him as 'dependable' HAH!"

"I've got an idea. Rufus is out of town, what if we order those other mako reactors rebuilt? I'm beginning to miss the playroom since it took up so much energy. We can always take a vacation when dear Rufie gets back."

"I'll get right on it." said Palmer as he nodded and closed the door and a very loud "LARD!" could be heard.

Scarlet rolled her eyes, looked around the room, then went back to spinning the chair around and around. "Kyahahahahaha!"
And that's it for chapter two! Keep watching for chapter three!

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This might or might not be my last post before the Christmas holidays. What does everyone think of me writing a fic about the charactors getting in a snowball fight??????? Well, if I don't write one, lemme just say:

HAPPY A MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


p.s. I live reviews!!!!!

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