BY : Rina76
Category: Final Fantasy Anime > Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children
Dragon prints: 1486
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VII Advent Children or any of the characters from the film. I am not making money from the writing of this story.

Chapter 36. Unexpected Offer

I'm lying in bed admiring the ring on my finger, a band of pale white gold with an oval-shaped lavender stone in the centre. It's so sparkly. After Loz and I made love last night, we went for a swim in the lake amongst the floating flowers and candles. One thing led to another, which led to us making love again, and then we got out and ate every bit of food in the picnic basket. It was quite a night.

The euphoric feeling of being newly engaged hasn't faded in the morning and now I'm picturing what kind of wedding dress I'm going to wear and Loz's reaction when he first sees it. By the time we get married, the baby will already be born and I will be able to fit into something glamourous that shows off my curves. I don't normally like wearing dresses, and I didn't wear one the first time I got hitched - back then, I wore a pants suit as I said my vows. Granted, it was made of white satin and had lace and other feminine touches on it but it was still a suit. However, since I'll be getting married to the most wonderful man I've ever met, and the father of my child, I'll make an exception just this once and wear the prettiest, girliest, most glittery gown anyone can ever dream of.

I am thinking of wearing purple this time, not white, since it will be my second wedding and I want it to be different. I would like to have a corset with ribbons up the back and a boned front (to hide my post-baby tummy flab and emphasise my new mommy boobs) and maybe a long skirt made with swirls of netting and silk. Something a bit Gothic, a bit dramatic, but elegant. I will wear black lace-up boots with a kitten heel and pointed toe. Maybe I'll even wear full-length gloves and a mini top hat with purple roses on it. Whatever the end result turns out to be, it's going to be something really awesome and spectacular.

Yazoo will help me design it, of course. The time when we were driving home from our trip into the city, Yazoo mentioned that he would like to take me wedding dress shopping one day. He wasn't just making a hopeful comment; that sly fox already knew Loz was going to propose to me and even helped plan the whole romantic lake picnic! Well, at least it will be official then, and Yazoo will be my actual brother in law. And Loz is not my boyfriend any longer - he's my fiancé. Soon to be husband. Smiling, I stretch happily in bed before getting up to make some breakfast.

I eat alone, except for my faithful lizard pal, Freddie. Loz and Yazoo have already left the lair to complete a job. They don't normally do daytime ones but they will if they get offered enough money. They're away a long time, well past lunch and heading into the afternoon. Just when I'm starting to worry that something has gone wrong, Loz sends me a text message that he's on his way home and soon, the guys return, pulling into the garage on Kadaj's bike. I don't go up to the garage to greet them because it's such a long way up that sloping corridor so I wait in the lounge room for them instead, standing up when I hear their footsteps. When Loz enters the room, he kisses me in greeting and pats my belly. Once they've removed their guns and taken their gloves and jackets off, Loz asks me to sit down because they have to tell me something. Their faces are serious. Again, I start to worry. They sit down too, Loz on the couch next to me and Yazoo on the stone-topped coffee table, and my worries increase dramatically when they inform me that instead of a job awaiting them today, they found the Turks. Reno, Rude, Tseng and Elena. Rufus Shinra was also present, along with a few other armed agents that they didn't recognise.

"You got ambushed?" I exclaim anxiously but Loz shakes his head.

"We thought we were getting attacked but Rufus said he just wanted to talk."

Yazoo embellishes, "President Shinra heard rumours that we were still alive and wanted to confirm this. Once he had his confirmation, he said there was something back at their headquarters that we might be very interested in and asked us to come take a look."

"A look at what?" I ask suspiciously, thinking that Rufus's words sounded like a ridiculously obvious trap. At the time, Loz and Yazoo thought so too but as Loz tells me, they warily accompanied the Turks back to their base, not that they had much of a choice anyway, not being flanked by all those agents and their weapons. I am shocked when Yazoo reveals what the President showed them.

Jenova's severed head. In a freaking jar, no less. Apparently, Sephiroth had cut it off her body when he went psycho and kept it like some grisly trophy. At least until the Turks found it in the Northern Crater, where it had been hidden for some years.

"Those lying bastards!" I blurt out. "They DID have her remains all along."

"Actually, Rufus Shinra alone had them," Yazoo clarifies. "He kept the remains in a secret location and didn't tell the Turks until after Kadaj died. I suppose the President thought it was safer that his employees didn't know."

Recalling the vision I had when I touched those bloodied staff identification cards that fell out of Loz's pocket, I remark, "So, Tseng and Elena were innocent, after all. They didn't lie when you interrogated them."

"No, they were telling the truth," Loz admits, looking uncomfortable as he remembers how they tortured Tseng and Elena for information that they clearly didn't have.

"We apologised for our mistake and the Turk leader graciously forgave us," Yazoo tells me. "Then he asked us if we wanted to take Mother home."

"They were obviously testing us," Loz comments. "Trying to see if we were still a threat to them. They wanted to see our reaction."

"And how did you react?" I ask, greatly curious myself.

Loz glances to Yazoo, who answers for both of them. "We'd been looking for Jenova for so long that when we finally laid eyes upon her, it was a huge anti-climax. We both stared at that jar and felt nothing. No emotion. There was no calling of cells, no urge to reunite, no family connection whatsoever. It was just a dead, floating piece of flesh."

"We may as well as have been looking at a preserved rat corpse for all we felt," Loz says in a tone of disgust. "It was kinda gross, to be honest."

"What happened to the rest of her body?" I question.

"Around the time of Sephiroth's defeat, it fell into the centre of the planet and was destroyed," the middle Remnant answers me. "The head was all that was left. That and the canister of blood that Kadaj absorbed before the Reunion."

"Tseng asked us what they should do with the contents of that jar," Loz furthers, "and I said we didn't want it anymore. I told him to burn the fucking thing. "

Rufus and the Turks were quite surprised by Loz's reply but they did as he requested, Loz and Yazoo watching with relief as Jenova's dismembered head was taken out of the jar, placed into an incinerator and burned to ashes.

"Apparently, we passed their test," Yazoo says with a small smile, "because we were then offered employment contracts."

"Wait – the Turks offered you guys JOBS?" I repeat in disbelief.

Loz nods and chuckles. "Yeah, we couldn't believe it either."

"We all sat around a big table and talked. They say we have very particular skills that would be useful to them and that if we worked for their organisation, we would be paid highly for our services," Yazoo continues. "They want to create a taskforce to ensure that recent catastrophic events do not happen again. They want to ensure that every last trace of Jenova is eradicated from the planet. They want to ensure that Sephiroth never attempts to return, and who better to help them with that than his own Remnants?"

"They said we'd get our own uniforms and guns," Loz volunteers. "We'd get new cars, or bikes if we prefer. They'd give us any weapons training we require and even teach us to fly helicopters and other aircraft. We'd be full-on Turk agents with badges and earpieces and everything."

Still astonished, I look between Loz and Yazoo. "Well, what did you say?"

Yazoo turns to Loz, letting his older brother reply this time.

"We said yes. They made a pretty convincing offer. Apart from the money, we'd finally have legitimate jobs and wouldn't have to hide from anyone anymore. To tell the truth, Cate, I'll be glad to stop hiding," Loz confesses. "And I'll be glad to give up the hit man/hired thug gig. When our kid is born, I don't them to be ashamed of what their dad does for a living. I want my kid to be proud of me and to look up to me. I want them to respect me. This job is my chance to prove that I can do more than hurt people, that I can actually do some good and make a difference in the world."

As if Loz's reasoning isn't enough, Yazoo adds, "It will be nice to have a real purpose on the planet again. If we can help prevent Sephiroth from returning, or any other evil like him, then we will only be too happy to assist. We were given special powers and abilities – it would be a waste not to use them for the benefit of all of Gaia's people. This way, we can start to make up for all the damage we did in the past."

Recognising that they've made a mature choice in accepting the employment offer, I also realise that it might create some conflicts with their new workmates.

"You'll be working with Reno and Rude," I remind them. "How's THAT gonna go?"

"Well, since we let them destroy Jenova's head, we're not enemies anymore and there's no reason to fight them," Yazoo states. "We're on the same side now."

"It's gonna be weird," Loz agrees, "but as long as Reno keeps his lips zipped and stops insulting us, I'm sure we'll all get used to working together. Eventually."

"And they also have excellent health care," Yazoo adds. "Not that we'd need it, but you might, Cate."

I glance sharply to Loz. "Did you tell them about me and the baby?"

"No! They already knew," he insists. "And it wasn't Cloud. Someone else must have seen you and me together in public, must have seen your round belly and connected the dots."

"Reno," I mutter, remembering the day I saw the ponytailed redhead in the street, staring at us as Loz dropped me off in front of a café. "Reno saw us once. I didn't tell you then because I wasn't sure it was him but now I know it had to be."

Loz gives a displeased grunt. "If that big-mouth saw us, then yeah, everyone else in the whole organisation knows about the baby now."

Seeing me beginning to fret, Yazoo says calmingly, "Rufus said he only wants to help. All Shin-Ra employees and their partners are offered the same services and benefits. You can get a full check-up: bloodwork, 3D scans and amniotic tests, to make sure you and the baby are healthy. And he promised you could have a private suite when you're giving birth, with all their top doctors there for the delivery. You'd be well taken care of and you wouldn't have to go through the public system."

Helpfully, Loz adds, "At least they know of my alien ancestry and wouldn't be shocked if our kid has green blood. I bet they see all kinds of weird stuff there."

I shake my head. "I'd prefer to give birth at home with no unnecessary interventions. If I went to any kind of hospital or medical centre, no matter how good, they might try and push me for a C-section because they think it's 'safer', or hook me up to drugs that I don't need. Not to mention the repeated internal exams." I wince, thinking of somebody shoving their gloved fingers up me to see how far I've dilated every hour. "I want to be in control when I'm birthing this baby and do it as naturally as possible, without dozens of people looking on or trying to rush the process. Thank your new boss for the offer, but I'd only go to them if there was an emergency."

"Whatever you think is best, little girl. It's your body," Loz says respectfully, knowing all too well what it's like to have people in white coats violating your privacy and performing unneeded medical procedures. "I know you gotta do all the work but me and Yazoo…we'll be there to help you too. Won't we, Yaz?"

"Absolutely. I've been studying and learning as much as I can about the subject," the middle clone affirms. "I'll assist in any way I can, or any way you ask me to."

"I know you will," I reply appreciatively. "Thank you."

The birth is still weeks away yet and so I focus back on the employment contracts that Loz and his brother have each been given and all the associated perks that come with them. I gaze at the two silver-haired men in front of me, trying to picture them both as Turk agents with white collared shirts and black pants and jackets. Maybe ties too. I smile, deciding that they'll both look very professional and fine indeed.

"Congratulations on your new jobs. I can't wait to see you guys wearing suits."

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