Premonitions II-A: The Long Week of Hell

BY : Hippo_and_Friends_with_Benefits
Category: Final Fantasy VII > General
Dragon prints: 1580
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VII or any characters therin. I am making no money off of this work.

Premonitions II: Crisis Core

Chapter 4: A Dangerous Reunion

10:00 p.m.

After the party had ended, Tseng and Elena were sitting on their sofa. She was barefoot, reclining sideways; he was sitting upright, giving her a leg rub through her jeans.

"You think they trust us?" Tseng asked.

"I think Tifa does," Elena replied. "But Cloud doesn't seem too sure."

"I can't really blame him," he said. "We did kind of try to kill him. Not that we had much of a choice; we needed to keep roofs over our heads and food in our fridges."

"It's a weird situation," Elena agreed. "Maybe it'll get better with time."

"You think they'll invite us to the wedding?" he asked.

"I doubt it," she replied. "But who knows."

Tseng continued to rub her legs, but she was not feeling much. She was well aware why, but she just had to ask first.

"Are my pants in the way?" she asked.

"Kind of," Tseng replied.

"Hold on," she said with a smile as she got up and approached the windows. "I can't have anyone looking in and seeing me!"

Elena closed the blinds on the front windows. She then made her way back to the couch.

"That's better," she said.

She then turned her back to Tseng, unzipped her jeans, and slipped them off, revealing a pair of rather flattering white panties. She then reclined on the sofa again as Tseng resumed his leg rub.

"You seem happy," he pointed out.

"Well, it's not everyday a girl gets her legs massaged," she said with a smile before kissing him. Her smile then faded from her face. "She's looking for her father."

"Didn't he die?" Tseng asked as he continued to rub.

"She seems pretty sure he didn't," Elena said.

"We both know our former employers forged records left and right," he pointed out.

"Maybe she'll trust us more if I help her," she suggested.

He gave her a concerned look.

"He's dead," Elena assured him. "It'll be a dead end. But she'll trust us." She paused. "And Cloud will, too."

Tseng continued to rub her legs. He then worked his hands up her left leg to where her panties stopped and her skin began.

"Oohh, Tseng!" she purred.

"What?" he asked with a smile.

"I've never had my butt massaged!" she replied.

"Like it?" he asked.

"Love it," she answered.

And their lips met.

MEANWHILE...

11:00 p.m.

Cloud and Tifa were alone a short distance from Nibelheim. They were walking, hand in hand, down the same path they had walked that morning. The reeds were still there, but the bees and butterflies were gone. It was even more tranquil at night.

Suddenly, Tifa stopped them.

"Hold on," she requested.

"What is it?" Cloud asked, wondering what might be on her mind.

In response, she walked a couple of feet in front of him, turned to face him, and smiled. She then rolled up her shirt and tied it, exposing her midriff.

"It's for you, isn't it?" she asked with a smile before kissing him.

She then took his hand again, allowing them to resume their walk.

"What's on your mind?" he asked. "You seem quiet."

"Just six more days," Tifa said with a smile. "I still can't believe we're getting married. In a good way, of course."

"I can't wait," Cloud agreed. "We probably should pick a honeymoon destination, though. And a wedding party. And a guest list."

"True," she said. She then looked him in the eyes. "That reminds me. Mind if I ask you something?"

"Shoot," he approved.

She had been tempted to ask him all night. but she was concerned he would say no. Still, now that they were alone, it would probably be the best time to ask.

"Can we invite Elena and Tseng?"

Cloud stopped again, and was silent, but for only a moment.

"Sure," he replied.

I'd rather not, he thought. But if they're Tifa's friends now, it would be wrong of me to say no.

Tifa was visibly surprised.

"Really?" she asked. "You're okay with it?"

"The Turks weren't evil," Cloud replied. "Neither was Reeve, who we were going to invite anyway. They were just employees depending on a paycheck. Rufus, Hojo, Heidegger, Scarlet, and Palmer were evil."

Cloud smiled and kissed her. He then placed both of his hands on the small of her back.

It sent chills up her spine. The feeling of his fingertips on her bare skin was almost too much for her already. She knew she had to control herself before a wave of passion fired through her.

Cloud was having the same struggles. He wanted to take her back to the house and make love to her, but he would always respect her wishes. It was a hard thing to resist. Even the feeling of her bare skin could set things off. He was sorely tempted to move one of his hands down and let it rest on her butt through her jeans.

Instead, he withdrew his hands, gazed over her, and backed to a neutral distance.

"What's wrong?" Tifa asked.

"Look," he whispered.

Four figures appeared over the horizon. As they approached, Cloud and Tifa could see that they were humanoid, but were encased in black armor, and had small, rectangular, neon blue dots where their eyes should be.

"Cloud," Tifa began, with concern in her voice, "who are they?"

"Don't know," Cloud replied. "But, whatever they are, they don't seem friendly."

He reach behind to draw his sword, and realized that he had not brought it with him.

"Shit," he muttered.

The armored intruders continued to approach, walking with precise direction towards Cloud and Tifa.

"Hello?" Cloud called, hoping for a response.

None of the four armored men replied. They simply continued their approach, with two specifically eyeing Cloud, and the other two specifically eying Tifa.

"What do you want?!" Tifa exclaimed.

The intruders still did not respond.

"There's four of them," Cloud said, "and I think I know who they are. Reno, Rude, Elena, and Tseng are under there!"

A moment later, one of them, having reached the appropriate distance, reached for Cloud and grabbed him. Another placed his hands on Cloud's neck and began to squeeze.

Fearing for his life, and with little time to think carefully, Cloud gripped the choker's neck and snapped it as hard as he could. To his surprise, the head came off clean, revealing wiring. The hands released, and the headless victim fell to the ground.

"A robot?" Cloud gasped as he relished being able to breathe again.

So much for these being the Turks, he realized.

Meanwhile, one of the other robots began to reach for Tifa.

She quickly responded by driving her foot into its crotch. Her ears were greeted by the sound of metal.

"Ow!" Tifa shouted.

Cloud, who was still struggling to free himself from the robot that had grabbed him, decided to bring out the big guns.

"Tifa!" he called. "Jump back!"

"But...!"

"Just do it!" he commanded.

Tifa jumped backward.

Moments later, lighting struck the robot that was nearest to Tifa, causing it to break into many pieces. Lighting then struck the robot behind it, causing its head and all of its limbs to fall to the ground.

All that remained was the robot that was grabbing Cloud.

Cloud could not cast lightning on it just yet; he would electrocute himself. Gathering his strength, Cloud flung his body forward, sending the robot flying three yards. As soon as he saw his chance, he cast lightning, destroying the last remaining robot.

Cloud immediately ran over to Tifa and hugged her.

"You okay?" he asked her.

"My foot hurts a little, but I'm fine," she replied. "You brought lightning materia?"

"I had it since the party," Cloud replied.

No need to ask why, Tifa thought. He was going to use it on any Turks in case something went south. I really hope he's a little more trusting; I know this situation certainly didn't help.

Suddenly, the reeds began to rustle. A moment later, a large, menacing mechanical contraption appeared on the path. It stood three yards tall and three yards wide. It rolled on a spherical ball, and had cannons pointing forward from each end of the "axle." Above the ball was a tall rod, supported by the "axle," with another cannon up top.

"An S-252?!" Tifa exclaimed. "Where did that thing come from?!"

"The Shinra made it," Cloud replied. "But they never used it. It was one of the few weapons they sold for private use. Anybody could get one."

And then, the two side cannons began to aim. One of them aimed at Cloud. The other aimed at Tifa.

"Shit!" Cloud shouted. "Run!"

Both Cloud and Tifa darted in opposite directions as the two side cannons began to fire, just barely missing their targets. The top one, meanwhile took aim at Cloud, and joined in the attempted massacre.

After about ten seconds, the firing ceased, and both Cloud and Tifa began to hear a clicking sound. It was the sound of the cannons being reloaded.

Cloud saw his chance, and cast lightning, destroying the left cannon, and making Tifa slightly safer.

After ten clicks, the right cannon once again aimed at Cloud, and the top cannon aimed at Tifa.

"Get ready to run like hell again!" Tifa shouted.

Moments later, both cannons began to fire. Cloud and Tifa darted as fast as they could, just barely avoiding the bullets flying their way.

Ten seconds later, the firing stopped again.

As the clicking began again, Cloud once again cast lighting, wiping out the right cannon. All that was left was the cannon on top.

"Well," gasped Tifa, "it can only aim at one of us."

Almost as if in response, the cannon aimed at Tifa, and the clicking stopped.

"Aw, shit!" she whispered.

The cannon began to fire, with Tifa darting for her life.

Cloud, meanwhile, saw his chance and began casting lightning. Just one more strike, and it would be over. He pointed his finger at the top cannon.

And nothing happened.

He was out of AP.

"Motherfucker," he whispered.

The firing stopped and the clicking resumed, but that no longer mattered; they were now completely defenseless.

"Cloud," Tifa began, are out...are you out of...?"

And then, a bolt of lightening, stronger than anything Cloud had cast, struck the S-252, causing the remaining pieces to fall harmlessly to the ground. A pile of smoldering metal was all that remained of the S-252.

"Scared me," Tifa gasped. "For a second, I thought you were out of AP!"

"Here's the damnedest thing," Cloud said. "I was. I wasn't the one who cast that lighting. That looked more like thundaga. In any case, I didn't do it."

Just then, the reeds began to rustle once more.

Tifa instinctively raised her fists.

Cloud did the same; it was his only defense now.

At that moment, the creature emerged from the reeds, and faced directly at Cloud and Tifa.

"No, I did," Red XIII announced. "You really shouldn't be strolling around at night like this. Not outside the safety of Nibelheim."

"Red XIII!" exclaimed Cloud. "You were following us?!"

"I'll be honest," Red XIII replied. "I don't trust any of the Turks."

"You saved our asses," Tifa complimented.

"Did you see where those robots came from?" Cloud asked.

Red XIII shook his head.

"I only know they didn't come from Nibelheim," he answered. "But, in any case, it's not safe out here."

Cloud and Tifa nodded in agreement.

"Come on," Red XIII commanded. "Let's get you two back to Nibelheim before anything else happens."

He began to make his way down the path in the direction of Nibelheim.

Cloud and Tifa stood alone for a few moments before they, too, began to make their way towards their hometown.

Tifa, while attempting to be strong, was in complete shock. She could not believe that someone was still trying to kill them.

"Where could those things have come from?" Tifa asked.

Cloud did not respond.

She was surprised; usually would have an answer, or at least some sort of speculation.

And then, Tifa noticed it: Cloud's face was red with anger.

She immediately became nervous. She had a feeling of what was on his mind, and realized that she needed to quickly say something.

"Cloud, I know what this looks like," she began. "But it wasn't Elena. I swear! I never would have welcomed her into our lives if I thought she would ever do such a thing!"

"That's the thing," Cloud angrily replied as he continued to march toward Nibelheim. "I know it wasn't Elena, or any of the other Turks! They're all out of a job. If they wanted to do something against us, it would be reduced to pick-pocketing and burglary. Those weren't even Shinra troops. But I know where they came from. You went to see Bismarck and I told you not to see her!"

Tifa was silent for a moment; she had to figure that he would find out that she had seen the Continental Governor eventually.

"I didn't expect this!" she immediately defended.

"Well, what did you expect?!" Cloud angrily demanded. "This was the unwanted attention I warned you about!"

"But my father!" she protested.

Cloud sighed, and, while still angry, looked at her in empathy. He gripped her shoulders, and looked her in the eyes.

"Look," he began, "I know you loved your father, and I want him to be alive just as much as you do. But even he wouldn't want you to get killed trying to..."

He stopped. It was at that moment when it hit him. It was not something that he had considered, but it made perfect sense now. Slowly, his anger subsided.

"If your father was dead," Cloud began, in a calmer tone of voice, "they would have nothing to hide. You wouldn't have been on to anything, and..."

Tifa cautiously made eye contact with her fiancé.

"They wouldn't have attacked us," she finished for him. "They wouldn't have attacked us if he was dead. They wouldn't care what I found out. Cloud! Does this mean he's alive?!"

"I think we just proved he is," Cloud said.

"You don't think they came after us for another reason?" she cautiously asked.

Cloud shook his head.

"If he was dead, they would have just announced it and blamed the Shinra."

"He is alive, then," Tifa said solemnly.

"Probably," Cloud agreed. "But, right now, it's not safe out here. We need to go back to Nibelheim where it's safe."

Tifa nodded.

Unknown to them, Karnak was watching them from behind a rock.

"Motherfucker," he grunted.



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