SECOND CHANCES, chapter 4
The morning sun slowly drifted into the room and into Tseng's sleepy eyes. He cringed and finally sat up, looking around the room. There were two couches in the villa's room, and Rufus was no longer on his couch. The sweet aroma drifting into the room annouced that breakfast was currently being served. He got up and was greeted by mocking laughter as he entered the kitchen.
"Nice 'do." mumbled Reno just as he took another bite of his pancakes. He and Rufus burst into laughter. Tseng just looked at them, still too sleepy to understand the situation. He was too tired to put up with Reno's jabbing yet, so he decided to go to the washroom first.
"Well HE's not a morning person." said Rufus playfully, watching the Turk leader walk off with his nice new and not to mentiom extremely short hairstyle, compliments of his favorite red-haired Turk.
Reno chuckled. "Well this is nothing, just wait for it..."
The scream nearly knocked them all out of their seats.
* * * * *
Scarlet sighed. She was in a lot of trouble. Somehow dear Rufus had discovered a little too soon that she had the mako reactors working again, but how? Obviously a spy was keeping tabs on her.
He had sounded very steamed, and even threatened to have her executed. And she cuoldn't sleep her way out of this, as blondie knows every single one of her tricks. How she missed her former partner in crime.
But what bothered her the most was the fact that he had changed so much lately. Before, he would do anything for her at her command, he was that much obsessed with her. Perfectly understandable, as most men in the building were.
It was probably that ancient. Of course! She popped into his life and he turns into a goody good. She's probably got evil ancient powers that control his mind and actions.
So now we know the source of the problem, she thought with a smirk, now to dispose of it.
* * * * *
The little box lifted into the air, held up by a single cable. From inside the tram, Reno waited for the goldish plant-like building to come into view. "Ladies and germs, welcome to the Gold Saucer."
"Oh! I can't wait!" said Aeris. Rufus laughed at her delight and quickly caught Tifa's eye, who looked away quickly. They hadn't told anybody about their little 'chat' the night before, and the memory brought a slight smirk to his face. He had learned a lot of valuable information.
"Do you think we can go on some of the rides, Tseng?" asked Elana as they stepped off the tram.
"We'll see, Elana." said Tseng uncomfortably. "We're here on business."
"Oh lighten up, Spikes." smirked Rufus. "We've got some time before AVALANCHE shows up, as we took the helicopter here. You two ought to go have fun while you have the chance, it's on me."
Tseng nodded, but frowned at the new nickname that Reno had given him earlier. It'll take a long time for that to die down. But knowing he'd eventually get the Turk back, Tseng kept his face expressionless and followed Rufus into the Saucer. He didn't quite understand why they were even at this miserable tourist trap, but he knew it had something to do with a key of some sort. For some reason, he felt as if they were following AVALANCHE, but somehow ending up one step ahead of them all the time.
Rufus led them into the hotel and straight into the President's suite. His migraine had deceased since he sent the command to Midgar to shut off the reactors and remove all of Scarlet's rights until he returned to deal with her, but it seemed that things were getting worse.
Aeris now had proof that something serious is happening to him, though she hadn't brought up last night's events, and Reno hasn't seemed to mention it to anyone. Guess the little runt is finally learning when to shut up and save his butt. He stepped into the master bedroom of the suite and dropped onto the kingsized bed, staring at the ceiling.
But in a few seconds, Aeris's face came into view. "Hey Rufie!" she chirped cheerfully as he sat up, startled. Now how did she get in his room? He knew he locked it and the room is very secure. He decided he didn't want to know.
"'Rufie'?" he asked, and she shrugged and smiled. "Is there something you wanted, my dear?"
She nodded, her beautiful emerald eyes glimering in the light. "I just wanted to know if you'd like to come with me around the Saucer..." She trailed off, awaiting his answer.
"You mean, accompany you for a get-together of entertainment?"
She laughed. "If you're trying to say a date, then yes, that's what I mean. So do you wanna come?"
He gazed into her eyes. "It'd be my pleasure." She cheered and took his arm when he stood up.
* * * * *
So what do you think we should do?" asked Tseng. Elana looked at the map on the wall.
"Let's go to the theatre!" said Elana. Tseng nodded reluctently. Rufus had told the two to have a little fun, with a look of mischief in his eye. He had told the other three the same, but had seemed to be putting more pressure on him and Elana. As they headed off to the theatre, he wondered why he felt slightly reluctent to be spending time with Elana.
Sure she was new and he barely knew her, but that wasn't it. Even though the Turks are supposed to know each other inside an out, so they'd know each other's actions in an emergency. Maybe reluctent wasn't the right word. Hesitent fits better.
But why is he hesitent to spend time with Elana? Out of all his Turks, she was the least obnoxious, and actually talked. Rude was trustworthy and a great friend, but even his "..." was enough to annoy Tseng. Maybe it was the cute way Elana half-smiles when she's in a good mood. He shook his head. He shouldn't be feeling that way about her, should he?
"You don't need to be watching me so closely." glared Tifa. Reno smirked. He was sitting right beside her, not taking his eyes off her. He was really beginning to enjoy this away mission.
"But President Rufus has ordered us to watch you and make sure you don't do the slightest thing against him. Is it me or does he not trust you?" Then his eyes started wandering south and she slapped him.
"Try that again and I'll kick you so hard the very *thought* of having children will be painful!"
The redhead cringed at the threat, then covered it up with his trademark grin. "Just taking the watching to a new level, that's all."
Rude snapped his fingers to shut them up. Where they sat now was the great play house of the Gold Saucer, where the worlds cheesiest plays occured. It had been Tifa's decision to come here, and the Turks had to follow because they were ordered to watch her, and maybe because Rufus was in the room and he agreed to her suggestion.
He had a feeling this night wouldn't hold much entertainment.
* * * * *
Reeve looked up from his computer to see Scarlet entering the room. "Yes, Scarlet?"
"I've just discovered that our President is serious danger." She dropped a profile picture of Aeris into his lap. "This woman may look innocent, but she's slowly brainwashing him, controlling his every move. If we don't stop her, something could happen to Rufus!"
He raised a skeptic eyebrow. "And why are you telling me? Go send a team of SOLDIERS down there or something."
"I can't, she's already made Rufus remove all of my power. You're the only one who can do it without getting caught. You've got that little robot of yours down there, right? Just one shot from a distance and dear Rufie is save! Reeve, I beg you, please! For the good of the company!"
She left the room, and Reeve returned his gaze to the green-eyed brunette. "For the good of the comapny..." He went back to his computer and punched in the new commands.
* * * * *
"Congratulation!!" announced the usher when Rufus and Aeris walked in. "You are our 100th couple today! You two will be the leads in tonight's show!!!!"
"Excuse me?" asked Rufus.
"Oh, now, it's not hard, Just play it however you want to and the rest of the cast will cover up for you." said the usher.
Aeris' eyes brightened. "Oh, can we Rufie?"
Rufus gazed into her eyes. "If you'd like to." The usher motioned for them to follow and Aeris grabbed Rufus' hand and pulled him along.
Tifa slapped Reno's wandering hand away just as the curtain rose and the narration began. "Long, long ago....An evil shadow appeared over the peaceful Kingdom of Galdia....Princess Rosa was just kidnapped by the Evil Dragon King, Valvados. what will become of her? Just then, the legendary hero, Alfred, appears!!"
"Alfred?" repeated. "This sounds interesting!" He nearly burst out laughing as the Knight twirled onstage, followed by a less enthused Rufus.
"What's going on here?" muttered Tseng. Elana shrugged.
The Knight struck an annoyingly dramatic pose. "Oh......You must be the legendary hero....Alfred! Please...please save Princess Rosa!" He knelt on the ground. "Now......please talk....to the King!"
Now a man in a King's costume twirled onstage and took on an even more dramatic pose. Rufus would've been laughing if he weren't so embarrased to be on the same stage as these two. "Oh, Legendary hero, Alfred. You have come to save my beloved Rosa...On the peak of a dangerous mountain...dwells the Evil Dragon King, Valvados...Who's kidnapped Princess Rosa."
"I hope this is one of those stories where the hero dies." muttered Reno.
"shut up, Reno!" glared Tifa. "I'm trying to watch this!"
"But...You can't beat the Evil Dragon King now!" continues the King. "Talk to th one who can help you!" The blonde President turned to see a wizard twirl on and stand next to the knight. Since he hadn't taken on an encredibly pathetic pose, he chose to speak to the wizard.
"I am the great wizard, Vorman." announced the wizard. What do you wish to know?"
Asking about the Princess' measurments flashed in Rufus' mind, but he forced that thought away. That would earn him a slap from Aeris. "Oh, great wizard, Vorman......what are the Evil Dragon King's weaknesses?" he asked. This was humiluating. He hoped Aeris realised he's embarrassing himself just for her.
"Ahh, the weakness of the Evil Dragon King. It must be, it must be..."
"A stake through the heart!" cheered Reno. More than a few people in the crowd turned around to glare at him.
"Yes, it must be....True Love!" said the wizard. "The power of Love...is the only weapon that can withstand the fangs of the Evil Dragon King!"
The narration returned. "Oh what is going to happen next..." Oh....legendary hero....look!"
Rufus turned to see a large dragon costume 'flying' onto the stage by a cord. In his arms rested Aeris. "Gaaaaaaaah! I am the Evil Dragon King...Valvados! I have not harmed the Princess...!"
"Crap." muttered Reno. Tifa glared at him.
"I have been expecting...you!" continued the dragon.
"Please help me...Legendary hero!" cried Aeris. Rufus smirked slightly at this.
"Gaaaaaah! Here I come, Legendary here...Alfred! I already know...your name!"
"This play sucks." muttered Elana. Tseng shot her a sympathetic look. He was actually enjoying this. Maybe this would take some of the pressure off him. Too bad he forgot his camera.
The wizard spoke up. "And now...Legendary hero...! Here is what will happen...to your beloved......" He knelt a little too dramatically. "A kiss! The power of True Love!"
"Heck ya!" said Reno. "It's just getting interesting now!"
Rufus flicked his hair from his eyes and grinned. He walked up to Aeris and leaned his face close to hers, and...
...And saw Cait Sith with a small sniper gun. Out of instinct he grabbed Aeris and spun around just in time to feel a sharp pain in his left shoulder. He collasped to the ground.
The Turks and Tifa jumped up from their seats and ran on the stage. The gragon gulped and turned to the crowd. "Gaaaaaah! Not even True Love can stop me!" The curtain closed immediately just as Aeris knelt next to Rufus and took his hand. His eyes gazed into hers for a moment before he passed out.
"Come on," said Tseng "Let's get him in the suite and cast a healing materia on him." Rude nodded and picked up the blonde.
"Well," said Reno "The hero came *close* to dying."
TO BE CONTINUED
Another chapter out! I think there may be about two or three more chapters in these series! I'm hoping to have the next chapter out by the end of this week.
DISCLAIMER: As usual, I don't own FF7 or the charactors, sadly. But at least I own this fic!
That's it for now and remember that I love getting reviews!
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