Premonitions II-A: The Long Week of Hell

BY : Hippo_and_Friends_with_Benefits
Category: Final Fantasy VII > General
Dragon prints: 1604
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 9: Return to the Tower

Wednesday, January 30, 0008

Three Days Until the Wedding

9:00 a.m.

Cloud and Tifa, having been awake for a couple of hours, were seated at the kitchen table. They had just finished breakfast when Tifa felt her cell phone buzz.

"Yuffie's on her way to Midgar Tower now," she announced as she checked her phone.

"Where?" Cloud asked, perplexed.

"It's what they renamed the Shinra Headquarters," she clarified. "There's now three or four companies on just about every floor of that place."

"What company is she interviewing with?" he asked.

"She chose Garret and Brown," Tifa continued.

"Who?"

"They're a start-up company," she said. "I don't know what they're about, but they're a start-up company."

"Never heard of them," he dismissed.

"Almost all of these are start-up companies," Tifa pointed out. "The world's changing, especially in this new timeline. Private ownership is thriving." She then paused, and became solemn. She stood up and walked toward the window, staring ourside into the town square with her back turned toward her fiancé.

"Everything okay?" Cloud naturally asked.

"I'm just wondering what we're going to find today," Tifa replied softly. "I'm wondering if...I'll see him again today."

"It is possible," he agreed.

Tifa sighed.

"Cloud, I know you two didn't get along, but I really want him to walk me down the aisle."

"He never found out the truth about what happened back at Mount Nibel," Cloud reminded her. "When we find him, we'll tell him."

Tifa continued to look out the window. She was constantly hoping for the best, where she would find her father, but also preparing herself for the worst, where she would not.

"I think if we don't find him," she continued, "I'll ask my cousin Tobin instead. You remember Tobin, don't you?"

"Of course I do," Cloud replied. He then looked up on the wall to see a recent framed picture of Tobin. He had brown, buzzed hair, and the same chestnut eyes that Tifa had. Cloud then turned his attention back to his fiancée.

"Sorry to be a downer," she apologized. "This turned out to be a lot more overwhelming than I expected."

"No worries," he assured her. "That's what I'm here for."

He then turned his attention to Tifa's body. Again, he scanned her, again observing how her tee greatly showed her back curves, and how good her jeans made her butt look. He was now well aware she was three days away from becoming his sexual partner as well as his best friend; he was beginning to lust for her.

Tifa, meanwhile, turned her headl slightly to smile at him, and quickly noticed his eyes on her backside.

"Are you checking me out?" she asked him.

Cloud quickly raised his eyes to make contact with hers, but it was too late. She had noticed.

"I-I-I," he hopelessly stammered.

Tifa smiled, and turned to face him.

"I want you to check me out," she said.

With that, she took her shirt and rolled it to expose her midriff, just like on their ill-fated walk outside Nibelheim two days earlier. She then walked over to Cloud, took his hands, lifted him to his feet, and pressed her lips against his.

"Three more days and you'll be seeing a lot more," she whispered.

10:00 a.m.

Yuffie entered Midgar Tower, and stopped for a moment in the foyer. The last time she had been here, she had been taken prisoner by the Shinra. Now she was there for a job interview. It truly was an odd twist of fate.

The atmosphere was completely different; the regiment of security guards had been replaced by a lone receptionist. All Shinra logos had been removed, replaced by pictures of mountain, waterfalls, and other wonders of nature.

Yuffie, of course, had disguised herself; she had sprayed her hair blond, and was wearing sunglasses. She had a guide stick in her left hand, pretending that she was visually impaired. She also brought a pseudonym with her.

Cid was behind her, pretending to be another applicant. Unlike Yuffie, he had opted to go as himself. He simply wanted to get everything over with.

"Good morning," greeted the receptionist. "Can I help you?"

"Devon Tanimoto," Yuffie replied. "I'm here for the interview. Garret and Brown."

The receptionist briefly checked the computer.

"That would be floor thirty-seven," she replied.

She then looked below Yuffie's waist, and gasped.

"What is that...….thing?" the receptionist asked.

Red XIII was also with them. He had also been brought as a percaution, in case anything went south.

"It's my service animal," Yuffie replied.

"Okay," the receptionist agreed with a sigh. "You can use the elevators in the back."

UPSTAIRS...

Yuffie sat in Garret and Brown's human resources department, with Red XIII sitting patiently at her side. The interviewer, who had introduced himself as Zeke, sat across from her. He was young, but grossly obese. He had spent the last several minutes asking Yuffie basic interview questions, and she was beginning to grow inpatient. There was a computer that was right next to Zeke; all that would have to happen was that he would have to leave to talk with this supervisors, allowing Yuffie to hack into it. Unfortunately, he continued to babble on.

"What is you past work experience?" he asked.

"I've worked as a waitress at the Seventh Heaven bar," Yuffie replied.

Zeke smiled.

"I've been a big fan of Avalanche," he said. "Did you know Cloud Strife or Tifa Lockheart?"

"A little," Yuffie replied, worried for her real identity being revealed.

Zeke smiled again.

"What were they like?" he asked.

Yuffie decided to humor him with a lie, hoping he would move on.

"Cloud was nice," she said. "He was good to everyone and everything around him. Tifa, now, she was mischievous. She loved passin' gas, and shutting all the windows and fanning it all around."

"Wow," he replied. "Okay, let's continue."

Please leave, Yuffie thought, still eying the computer in front of Zeke.

"Have you ever been fired?" he asked.

"No," Yuffie replied.

"Good to hear," he said.

She again eyed the computer, and began to twiddle her thumbs.

"Why should we hire you?" he asked.

"I'm easy going," she replied. "I don't question. Just tell me what to do and I'll do it."

"That's what I had been hoping to hear," he said.

Yuffie was growing impatient; he was never going to leave his spot.

"Do you have any criminal history?" he asked.

Suddenly, she got an idea.

This might work, she thought.

"Actually, there is something on my record," Yuffie replied.

Zeke's face became stern.

"Could you explain it to me, please?" he asked.

"When I was fifteen I threw rocks at a garage and I got holes in it," she said.

Zeke immediately jotted this down on his notepad.

"Well," he said, "if you'll excuse me, I'll need to discuss this with human resources. Would you mind waiting here?"

"Not at all," Yuffie said.

Zeke nodded, stood up, and walked into the next room, closing the door behind him.

"Bingo," Yuffie whispered.

With that, she quickly hopped out of her seat, and sat in Zeke's. She pulled out her USB drive and got to work.

MEANWHILE...

"So," began Cid, who was seated in Garret and Brown's reception room awaiting his turn, "what does Garret and Brown make?"

"Money," the receptionist replied.

"I mean, what does it do?"

"It makes money," the receptionist replied.

"What kind of degree do you need?" Cid then inquired. "You know, to work here?"

"A bachelor's," the receptionist replied. "We have more positions open if you're interested."

Cid then felt his cell phone buzz. He took it out and look at it, noticing that Shera had sent him a text.

"Four more days until my birthday!" her text read.

Cid sighed. This is all she's thinking about?

He quickly sent her a smile emoji.

The phone then buzzed again, and Cid remembered why it was all she was thinking about.

"What's coming off first?" the text asked. "Top or bottom?"

Cid eagerly began to text back.

"I'm sorry," the receptionist suddenly apologized, "we don't allow cell phones in the lobby."

A Cid begrudgingly put his away, the door opened, followed by Yuffie and Red XIII escaping the room she had interviewed in.

"I've got it!" she announced. "Let's go!"

A moment later, Zeke appeared through the door way.

"Get back here, you sneak!" he demanded.

He then began to pursue her, only to trip over his own foot and fall on his face.

"Let's get the hell outta here!" Yuffie insisted as she and Red XIII disappeared out the front door.

"Shinra, they ain't!" Cid shouted gleefully as he followed them.

LATER...

11:00 a.m.

"Well," said Yuffie as Tifa opened her front door to admit the former, "I did it."

"You got it?" Tifa asked hopefully.

"I got it," Yuffie verified as she pulled the USB drive from her pocket with a grin.

"Did everything go okay?" Tifa asked.

"Mostly," Yuffie replied. "Nothing too bad happened until the very end."

"Nothing 'too bad?'" asked Tifa skeptically.

"Forget it," Cid dismissed as he followed behind her. "Start-ups know dick." He then turned to Tifa. "Well, let's waste no more time."

Tifa, Cloud, Cid, Red XIII (who had shown up behind Cid) and Yuffie walked over to the laptop set up at the kitchen table. Yuffie sat down and placed the USB drive in the port, starting the upload.

The loading bar then appeared, marking the percentages.

"Come on, papa," Tifa whispered as she squeezed Cloud's hand. In a few more moments, she would have the answers she had been seeking.

And then, a file appeared on the desktop screen.

"Here it is," Yuffie said as she clicked on it.

Tifa squeezed her fiancé's hand again, and realized that her palms were sweaty.

And then, Yuffie sighed.

Tifa looked at the screen, and felt the sickening feeling of her hopes quickly fading.

The characters displayed in the file were not even any recognizable letters; they were a bunch of odd-looking symbols. Nothing was readable.

"Fuck!" shouted Cloud angrily. "They must of known we were coming!"

"'They?'" replied Yuffie. "'They' don't exist anymore, remember?"

"I meant the Continental Governor," he clarified.

"She wouldn't have access," Cid pointed out. "Midgar's on the Eastern Continent."

"It doesn't matter," Tifa said sadly. "It's just gibberish."

"Guys?" called Yuffie.

"Maybe they were in the process of wiping everything?" Red XIII suggested.

"Guys," Yuffie repeated.

"I'd kind of like to go back there and kick all their asses!" Cid exclaimed.

"Guys!" shouted Yuffie at the top of her lungs.

Everyone became silent.

"It's not gibberish," Yuffie continued.

"W-what do you mean?" asked Tifa.

"It's coded," Yuffie clarified. "These are computer codes. I recognize them. The info's there; we just can't read it."

Suddenly, all three of their ears were greeted by the sound of the front door opening.

"She's right, you know," Cait Sith announced as he hobbled into the parlor. "Shinra used a coding system to protect their info from anyone who didn't like them. Namely Avalanche."

"You could hear us?" Yuffie asked.

"I'm a cat," Cait Sith reminded her. "I have great hearing."

Tifa then turned to Yuffie.

"Can you crack it?" she asked.

"No can do," Yuffie replied. "It's beyond my knowledge. Only Tobias Ryan can crack a code like that. You know that big house you can sometimes see from the Highwind when you're near Costa del Sol?"

Cloud and Tifa nodded in unison.

"He lives there," Yuffie finished. "He's the best code-breaker in the world. Everyone calls him the Translator."

"Well," Cloud began, "let's take it to him and have him decode it."

"No!" Yuffie immediately objected. "I can't go anywhere near that place!"

"Why not?" Cloud asked, although he already knew the answer.

"I kind of pissed him off," she replied.

"You mean you stole from him," Tifa corrected.

"Stole, pissed off, it's the same thing," Yuffie sighed.

"Look, we know where the house is," Cloud said. "We'll go see him and get it decoded in your place."

"You won't be sorry," Tifa added.

"But you might," Yuffie warned.

Tifa gave Yuffie a skeptical look.

"Why?" she asked.

"That's a crazy house," Yuffie answered.

"You mean it's designed funny?" Cloud asked.

"That place is full of booby traps," Yuffie explained. "And you have the biggest boobs that I know."

"Thanks," sighed Tifa.

"Sorry," continued Yuffie, "I couldn't resist. But, seriously, that house is full of dangerous traps. The ones that cause bad things."

"How bad?" asked Tifa.

"Like, death, bad," Yuffie clarified. "Now, when you get there, there's a gate with a metal detector in front of it. It won't open until you've relieved yourselves of all your weapons. I'd say half of the people who went in there never came out."

"Question," Cloud inquired. "If he's getting people killed, how come he's not getting arrested?"

"Because he records his 'guests' and broadcasts them on social media," Yuffie replied. "He's got thousands of fans. Including the Continental Governor."

"Bismark's a fan?!" Tifa exclaimed.

"Hence, they don't arrest him," Yuffie explained.

"We'll survive," Cloud assured her. "So you might as well look for a date for the wedding."

"A what?!" Yuffie exclaimed in surprise.

"A date," Tifa repeated.

"I don't need a date," Yuffie dismissed.

"Who would you dance with, then?" Tifa asked.

"I can dance with myself without twerking," Yuffie assured her.

"Just bring a friend," Cloud suggested.

"And dance with him?" Yuffie asked.

"It's just a friendly dance," Tifa assured her. "It's not like you two have to marry."

Yuffie gave Tifa a skeptical look.

"Did you say that to Cloud?" she inquired. "Look what happened!"

"Just find a damn date," Cloud commanded.

"It's not a priority," Yuffie dismissed. "I'm just happy you two are finally going to have sex."

Tifa rolled her eyes.

This again, she thought.

Cloud, meanwhile, had another idea.

"Most couples at weddings have sex on the wedding night," he began. "It's not just the bride and groom."

Yuffie's eyes widened.

"I'm pretty sure Tseng and Elena will," Cloud continued.

"I know Shera and I will," Cid added. "She turns eighteen at the stroke of midnight."

Yuffie nodded.

"Okay," she said. "You've talked me into it."



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