Rating: Will be MA in later chapters
Length: 1,511 words
Pairings: Vincent/Yuffie, Tseng/Elena, Reno/Tifa, Cloud/Tifa, Rude/Tifa mentions of Cloud/Aeris, Tseng/Aeris and Tseng/Rufus.
Genre: Romance, drama, mystery, angst
Warnings: None for this but violence, angst, mentions of alcohol abuse/self harm, sex, rape, torture, child abuse/rape/molestation and other unpleasant situations in future chapters.
Prologue- She Came Like A Dark Angel
You’re such an inspiration for the ways
That I’ll never ever choose to be
Oh so many ways for me to show you
How your savior has abandoned you
Fuck your God
Your Lord your Christ
He did this
Took all you had
And left you this way
- Judith, A Perfect Circle
She was cold. She couldn’t figure out why exactly. It wasn’t even that chilly of a night, but for some unknown reason she was standing there under the overhang, her teeth chattering, watching the rain drip…oh! That was why she was cold! Now she remembered, it was raining! Truthfully the fact that she had forgotten was a little embarrassing and she could feel color flowing into her cheeks at the fact. She sighed wrapping her arms tightly around herself and leaning back against the building, her eyes jumping briefly to the man standing next to her. “Hey, Vinnie?”
“What do ya suppose they’re talking about in there?”
“I don’t know.”
“You think it's important?”
She scowled. “Well if it is we should be in there too!”
His gaze skipped over to her, deep crimson eyes empty. “If it was something we were supposed to hear I am sure we would be inside with the rest.”
“They don’t trust us,” she said with as much contempt as she could.
“Untrue. They merely decided we would serve them better use out here.”
“Do you trust her?”
“That woman! The one who worked for Shinra!”
Vincent shrugged slightly, a swift movement she wasn’t even sure she saw. “I have no opinion yet. I do not know enough about her to make a judgment.”
“Her being from Shinra should be enough,” she told him quietly.
”Reeve worked for Shinra.”
“As did Reno, Rude, Elena and Tseng, and they turned out to be almost allies, did they not?”
“So perhaps, Yuffie, we should wait before we judge her,” he told her tonelessly. “Have patience. They will tell us what this meeting is about when they are ready.”
“I still think it's unfair,” she said with a pout.
“Such is life.”
Her mind screamed ‘jerk’ as she turned to look at him, but his gaze had turned away from her and to the street once more. She bit back the urge to stick her tongue out at him. She was no longer a sixteen year-old girl. She was nearly twenty now, and despite her how it seemed to everyone else, she was trying to act more mature. The efforts, however, seemed futile because her usual hyper, overactive nature would always shine through and they still seemed to take little stock in what she said.
Her gaze was fixed on the mysterious man next to her that even now, after almost four years of knowing him, she realized she knew little to nothing about. He was attractive, she decided, as she watched him standing near her watching the streets with cool red eyes. There was something about him that she couldn’t quite put her finger on that made him more than just average attractive, but, for lack of a better term, gorgeous. Perhaps it was everything about the way he looked that made him that way. No matter what the reason she couldn’t help but wonder why anyone would have chosen Hojo over Vincent. Hojo of all people!
“Aren’t you cold?”
Once again his intense gaze skipped to her and she sucked in a quiet breath. “No.”
“Oh.” She sounded rather defeated. “I’m freezing,” she told him with a small laugh as her teeth chattered slightly.
“Hmm?” Her gaze flickered back up towards his face, her head tilted to one side.
He motioned to her with his human hand. “Come here.”
“Um…okay.” Her back slid away from the wall as she made her way over to him quietly, her gaze full of confusion as her teeth chattered loud enough that she was sure everyone inside could hear her.
She planted herself near him, watched him with cautious eyes, and he spread his arm wide lifting the side of his cape up as he did.
She blinked at him, her feet planted firmly where she stood.
“Yuffie, step inside the cape. It will help keep you warm,” he told her. Frankly he wanted to keep her quiet and having her complain about the cold would not have helped.
Her eyes widened as she shook her hands rapidly in front of her face. “No, no. That’s okay.”
She stopped short when he grabbed onto her shoulder and pulled her towards him, wrapping his arm and cape around her and pressing her to his side. Her face burned bright red as she grabbed him around his waist to regain her balance. Once she was sure she could in fact stand on her own feet she released the grip and looked up at him. “That was rude!”
“It will help keep you warm,” he repeated before his gaze returned to the street in front of them.
Her heart was pounding inside her chest, her face red. Why the hell am I so embarrassed? she asked herself. He’s being helpful, so why the hell is that embarrassing. It isn’t as though I am naked or anything. So why am I…shit! No! I do not have a crush on Vincent Valentine! I do not! I do not!
It seemed though that her body didn’t believe her because her heart wasn’t slowing and her face continued to burn bright red.
“And there are no leads?” Cloud’s eyes were narrowed as he gazed at the person he was addressing.
The woman in the business suit that stood across from him spread her hands in a hopeless gesture. “I told you already that there weren’t. What good would lying to you do?”
“Yer a Shinra,” Barret spat. “It's what you do.”
The woman turned her cool blue gaze to the large man. “Yet here I am, giving you information because it is what Shinra wanted.” She turner her attention back to Cloud. “No, there are no leads, none that we can find anyway.” She gazed at her nails almost bored as she smoothed down her pink shirt. “Whoever it is they must hate authority though.”
“You think it's one of us,” Cloud said tonelessly.
The girl’s eyes jumped to him shinning with laughter. She was an interesting one this girl Shinra had sent. She was his age, perhaps a little younger, and there in her eyes he could see wisdom far beyond her years. “If we did why would we come to you and give you the heads up?” she inquired with a quirked brow.
“Zara,” Tifa started as she fixed her eyes on the woman. “What does Shinra expect us to do?”
Zara shrugged a feminine shoulder. “Perhaps they figure you will investigate, but I don’t know. I was merely asked to inform you of the situation. The rest is up to you.” She shrugged once more with a strange little smile on her face. “But before I leave there is one more thing you should know. We are re-cataloging the old files Shinra had, the files with all the personal information Shinra had collected on people. As you know they have some…interesting things in there. Things about each of you that the others might not know. Things…they might not appreciate finding out through the grapevine.”
“Was that a threat?”
“Not at all Cloud. A mere warning that if there is anything in each of your pasts you think you said tell each other that you should do so.”
“Or you will.”
She shrugged slightly, a small smile on her face as she kept her gaze on the blond. “Got to amuse myself somehow. And besides, it's not nice to keep secrets from your friends,” she told him as she strode towards the door.
The cool night air hit her as she exited the building and quirked an eyebrow at the two companions outside. Yuffie instantly skirted away from Vincent, her cheeks on fire.
Zara hid a chuckle as she fixed her gaze on the young girl. “You might like to tell your friends to take what I told them seriously,” she warned the girl.
“Huh?” Yuffie’s gaze had skipped back towards Vincent but was now fully focused on the woman in front of her.
“Just….someone close to you is now involved in what’s going on, and they may be in grave danger,” she told the girl quietly before brushing past her. She stopped in front of the caped man and gave him the once over. “So, you are the one who helped Tseng and Elena after they were attacked?”
”Well, you have the thanks of their friends at Shinra,” she told him. “I can’t help but wonder something though.”
“And what might that be?”
“Whether you really did want to help them, or whether you were trying to atone for your worst sins.” She blinked at him. “Because if it was for atonement, it will take much more than that Vincent Valentine.” The tone of her voice made him wonder what she was referring to, if she could know something about him others didn’t. He didn’t get a chance to ask her though because the woman then turned on heel and strode away into the night.