Final Fantasy - All Series Fan Fiction ❯ Fantastic ❯ Chapter 1

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
A collection of Final Fantasy VII short stories.

Fantastic: Sector I

Fantasy 01: Guardian of the Goldfish

Cloud entrusted Vincent with a very important mission.

A boy was heard narrating... -"The brave knight stood watch over the beautiful princess. He would not let the dragon harm her, he would protect her with his life! The dragon glared at the knight with a challenge reflected in his eyes. He wanted to eat the princess but the knight would not allow it!"-

"Meow! Hiss!" -"The dragon's war cry!"-

"Ow!" -"The knight has been attacked!"-

"Vincent!" Denzel stopped his narration and Marlene rush over to Vincent. She took the cat and held him firmly in her arms. "You need to behave while you're here Dragon."

At Shera's insistence Cid had gotten a cat which meant now Vincent was not only stuck babysitting Marlene and Denzel but also Cid's cat. He didn't mind too much but with Princess around things were significantly harder. But he made a promise to his friend Cloud, he promised he would protect his pet goldfish and even if Dragon made a scratching post out of him he would keep that promise.

To Marlene's amusement Denzel continued with his narration -"and so with the two wizards keeping the dragon busy the knight once again resumed his mission to guard the princess for he is Vincent guardian of the goldfish!"-

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Fantasy 02: Sacrifice

It was late one night and in dimly lit laboratory at Shinra, a woman typed rapidly into a computer. She knew she should be getting some sleep but she could not stop her hands from continuing the swift typing. She had to finish this, there was something she wanted, needed, to know.

Finally with a breath of relief she typed the final codes and completed her secret analysis program, it was a compatibility analysis program. She clicked to start her creation and numbers appeared on the screen. "I thought he liked me more than that..." But the numbers didn't lie the way the heart could. Perhaps that was not the man for her, but there was another, Vincent Valentine.

She ran the program again this time indicating for it to retrieve Vincent's data. The numbers she saw were far more reassuring. She had assumed he only felt friendship for her but when the computer put all the information together it showed it was more than that. "Interesting..."

It was amazing what a woman could learn after entering some codes retrieving a little from the system. It seemed that on an average his looks towards her lasted longer than she thought. The rhythm of his breaths, his heart beats, a person could not detect that with the precision of Shinra's systems just by looking. "Vincent..." She considered the option, though the first didn't leave her thoughts she was now seeing her other option in a new light. "Vincent Valentine..."

She smiled; any other woman would find this scientific process to analyze her possible dates to be too troublesome but not a true woman of science like Dr. Lucrecia Crescent. "Maybe..."

The cursor moved over to another option in her program guided by her curious hand. Shinra had all the information she needed to put their DNA together in a simulation and show her what their children would look like if they had any.

But before she clicked the lights came on. "Working so late? Don't you know it's bad for your eyes to look at a bright screen in a dark room?"

Lucrecia was startled. She couldn't move fast enough to close the program before Hojo appeared behind her and saw it. "I was just about to finish." She tried to get his attention away from the screen but failed.

"Interesting, you're doing a statistical analysis before you choose your date? Good, good, that's the smart thing to do."

Though it was a compliment, Hojo's words embarrassed her. She didn't want anyone to know about that program.

"Let's try something else." He took the mouse from her hand and guided it to retrieve new data. Lucrecia and Hojo, the numbers were high, possibly boosted by data such as similar careers and scientific interests that out weighted out other things in the program.

It was then that Lucrecia decided that using her program was not such a good idea after all. Maybe it was best just to follow her heart. She got a good feeling from Vincent, as if she truly had a chance for happiness with him. He was a good man, kind, talented, smart, handsome and single. Why did she need to analyze it any further?

"How convenient that you even added an option to see our future children. Let's give it a try."

At first Lucrecia closed her eyes when Hojo clicked. She didn't want to look at their possible child because that child didn't exist and never would, she would make sure of that.

"Our son will have a lot of fan girls."

Lucrecia opened her eyes curious about what Hojo said. She saw the boy on the screen and was quite surprised. The first picture was of a baby, an adorable child but then again most babies were cute, at least for her. The next picture was of the same child as a young boy. He had silver hair and green eyes, a very cute little boy. Lucrecia wanted to pull him right out of the screen and hug him. The third picture took her by surprise. There was a stunning young man with shiny long silver hair, captivating green eyes, tall, strong and handsome. Was the man in the screen truly her and Hojo's possible son?

"What do you think? I say we make a good match."

Lucrecia's heart skipped a beat. It felt wrong to deny that gorgeous creature his life, perhaps even more wrong than dating Hojo. She wouldn't be able to live with the guild of disappointing the future female generation like that. The man on the screen deserved to live. She simply couldn't deny him existence...

That time Lucrecia made a choice. Don't forget that when you stare at Sephiroth it is all thanks to Dr. Lucrecia Crescent's brave sacrifice.

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Fantasy 03: Emergency

"Hurry!" Reno called as he ran inside the Shinra building.

"Weren't you in a hurry?" Rude asked; Reno was just standing in front of the elevators him even if Rufus had made it clear he better not be late again.

"Well you see the thing is..." Reno started and Rude didn't like the sound of that. "Look," Reno pointed at a sign that read 'closed for maintenance'.

"Take the stairs," Rude resolved, it was the only option.

"Carry me," Reno's request was followed by a long silence. "Please Rude, carry me! You're not going to abandon your best friend when he needs you the most, are you?"

"Alright..." Rude picked up his partner by the back of the jacket.

"Why are you carrying me like a common shopping bag? Is this how you treat your best friend?" Reno complained.

"Be thankful I'm carrying you at all," Rude replied, consuming some more of his vast supply of patience.

Reno complained all the way up the stairs, until finally they reached the top and Rude put him down. "Thanks, you rock!" With those words of gratitude Reno continued on his way to Rufus’ office as if the strange event never took place.

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Fantasy 04: Pliers

He often stuck out his tongue at... well everyone... Perhaps everyone except Rufus; or at least he waited until Rufus wasn't looking to show his tongue. It was a habit that had been increasing lately and getting on her nerves more and more. "Reno, please stop sticking your tongue out at people for any or no reason. It's very childish, unprofessional and annoying." She tried to warn him, to ask him to stop. Her conscience was clean in that she tried.

His response was the gesture that bothered her so much. The red head simply stuck his tongue out at the rookie Turk and went about his way.

Elena pouted, Reno was certainly asking for it and he got it. She grabbed her silvery metallic vengeance grasping it tightly in her hands. "Reno!"

If she was going to meddle in his business, his choice of being expressive, she would only receive raspberries in return... a choice he would soon regret. "Awlwawlwa!"

She grinned and he was sure he saw pure evil shining mischievously in her eyes. Then she released him when she thought he had been sufficiently punished. "Please don't do that anymore." She smiled sweetly and innocently as if nothing ever happened.

"Youwe cwuel Ewena!" That had hurt, a lot. Who would have thought the seemingly harmless talkative rookie could be so dangerous.

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Fantasy 05: First Day on the Job

Everything appeared to be exceptionally quiet around her as she walked towards the large building hearing only the sound of her own foot steps. Slow but steady, Elena made her way inside. The place looked a lot bigger than she remembered. She had been there before, having close relatives involved in the business such as her sister whom she never forgave for surpassing her in every way she could think of. Gun... This promotion would show her Elena could do just as well as Gun if not better. That's what she kept telling herself. Taking a deep breath she continued walking.

For a moment she hesitated wondering if she was heading towards the right place. There she was dressed in the usual Turk clothing, dark suit, tie, shoes. Every detail had been checked and rechecked but it wouldn't help if she arrived at the wrong place and made a fool of herself. Pushing the thoughts away she tried to look confident and continued walking.

The building had the usual people but to her it felt deserted, as if she was the only one there. Everyone was a stranger today because she wasn't here to visit; she was here to do her job. She was going to become a Turk; today was her first day as one. It was what she wanted, not always but she did now. She used to hate the Turks but now it was different.

She took a moment to think about the reason she was there. It was because of Reno. He was injured in a certain incident in Sector Seven. She had found out the details but wasn't thinking about that now. Only one question occupied her mind other than her insecurities. Was Reno the only reason why she was promoted?

She had promised herself not to be upset about it. After all, a promotion was a promotion. She shouldn't be concerned with why she was promoted but make the best of it. Still, she wondered if sooner or later she would become a Turk even if Reno hasn't been injured.

Her feet betrayed her carrying her the wrong way. She saw him, Rude about to enter a room in the medical facilities of the building. He was a Turk and the partner of the Turk who was injured, Reno.

He heard her coming and looked in her direction. She froze. "Elena?" He recognized her.

"Yes," she quietly replied.

"Did you come to visit Reno?" Rude asked. He shouldn't be surprised. A visit, if only out of politeness, wasn't all that rare.

Not knowing what else to answer Elena nodded. "Yes, if it's alright."

"Come in," Rude replied.

The man Elena saw in that room wasn't a gravely injured or dying man like the one she expected to find. He was more like a cheerful little boy who was more hyper than usual because his leg was broken and he couldn't burn the excess sugar in his system. "Hey Rude, did you bring me more chocolates?"

"Not this time. You already had too many today," Rude was right.

But Reno didn't agree, "there's no such a thing as too much chocolate! At least you brought a visitor. Elena, right?"

"Yes," she paused. "How are you feeling Reno?" It was the obvious and generic question to be asked in such a situation. Also one that, although over used, was a little inappropriate.

Elena remembered watching a reporter on TV interviewing an elderly woman who had lost her husband and two sons in the Sector Seven incident. 'How do you feel right now?' The reporter had asked. The woman could hardly speak due to her crying. Wasn't it obvious she was sad, depressed and in pain?

Though Elena thought it had been a very stupid question she mentally excused herself thinking this case was different. Other than the broken leg and a few minor scratches on their way to healing, Reno looked alright.

"I'm dying of boredom," Reno answered. "I can't wait to get out of here." It had been even worse in the hospital it was more boring there. At least in the medical section of the Shinra building Reno heard of what was going on in the company even if he couldn't participate yet.

Elena looked around the room. Reno had a big screen TV conveniently positioned in front of his bed. A controller sat in a small table beside his bed and videogames were piled up next to it. There was currently a game on a console next to the TV. The open box near the console must have been where that particular game was kept. Elena saw the word 'Zelda' written on the box with a few other things written in smaller letters.

To Reno's left on the bed was a handheld game. It was currently paused but she could still see a picture of a pink happy face on the small screen. Various boxes of chocolate lay empty scattered across the floor. The walls were decorated with posters of those who Reno admired such as the Turks legend Vincent Valentine, a video game heroine with the words 'Tomb Raider' at the bottom of the poster and other similar posters covered the walls almost entirely.

A plastic laser sword was on the bed to Reno's right. He used it to poke Rude for the fun of it as soon as he came within poking range. "Even with all his little toys he's bored," Rude spoke. Reno had been bossing him around lately, claiming that it was Rude's duty to take care of him.

"It's just not the same when I'm all alone and forgotten," Reno made a sad face.

"Right, well you didn't look bored when you were fighting that Ganon guy in the game," Rude reminded.

"Yeah well I already beat all my video games several times. I'm too much of a great gamer for my own good. I beat all the games so quickly and easy the fun doesn't last too long," Reno once again hinted that he needed new things to pass the time with. A few more video games on Rude's account would be nice.

Rude merely rolled his eyes which couldn't be seen under his sunglasses. He wore them all the time even inside and even at night. Maybe he got so used to them he couldn't imagine going anywhere without them.

"It's good to see you're doing alright," Elena sounded sincere but the words tasted bitter. Would she be demoted as soon as Reno recovered? Maybe they could use having an extra Turks around. If she proved herself, then maybe she could stay. She couldn't lose the position, she just couldn't allow that. "I should be on my way now."

"I should be going too," Rude agreed.

"Aw, you're leaving poor little me all alone? How cruel!" Reno complained, again with the sad face worthy of a chibi. That had convinced Rude many times before, but this time it wouldn't work because he really had to get to work.

"I have to go. You'll be fine on your own for a little while," Rude assured.

"Hey, before you leave, don't forget to change the video game for me. I'm tired of kicking Ganon's four five five all day. It's time for some good old classic princess rescuing. Nice seeing you Elena, glad you came to visit, just don't forget to bring me a present next!" After changing the game in the console, Rude left Reno to rant to himself and exited the room along with Elena.

Elena didn't look too happy. But it wasn't a sure thing that she would leave the Turks as soon as Reno recovered. But she had to know for sure and as soon as she had a moment alone with Tseng she asked. He assured her that she had been promoted not only because of the situation of needing another member in the Turks, but by her own merits. Even if he didn't say it directly, Elena knew she would be staying in the Turks even after Reno recovered. With her confidence restored she became more talkative as she truly was and got comfortable with her job.

Eventually Reno did recover. Rude was glad his partner was alright not only because they were best friends, but because Reno could be a little annoying when he was hyper with no fast way to burn sugar, but mostly because they were best friends. Elena stayed with the Turks and the rest of the story has already been told.

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Fantasy 06: Bartender

It was rumored that Avalanche was hiding in sector seven. It was also rumored that sector seven housed a very good bar called Seventh Heaven. Reno decided to investigate both. He entered the bar early in the afternoon. They were probably running it as a restaurant at the time but maybe they would serve drinks as well, he wouldn't lose anything by asking. He sat at the bar and waited for the one in charge to arrive, the place looked deserted, though he thought he heard noises from bellow, perhaps a basement.

"What would you like, sir?"

Reno searched for the tiny voice. Standing behind the bar there was a little girl so small she could hardly peek over the counter. Obviously she was not of drinking age; actually she didn't look old enough to be a waitress either.

"I'm waiting for the bartender, are you her daughter?" Reno had heard rumors about the bartender being a pretty young lady who was also part of Avalanche but he didn't hear anything about her having a daughter.

Marlene shook her head. She was told not to give out too much information to strangers unless it concerned the menu. Though she could sometimes be shy, when it came to playing bartender in Tifa's absence she could handle talking a little more. "I'm the bartender, would you like a drink, sir?"

Reno blinked, he had heard the bartender was young but it was to be assumed she had to be old enough to drink in order to be a bartender. That meant that she was at the very least twenty-one and this little girl didn't even look ten. "Sure... the special of the house..." Reno decided to play along until he figured out what was going on. He could be walking right into a trap for all he knew but he was a Turks so he could handle it.

"Okay," Marlene occupied herself with preparing a drink for her customer. She climbed on a stool to reach the bottles on the shelves and mixed a few different types of drinks just like she saw Tifa do it. After the drink was done she placed it on the counter in front of Reno, standing on her tip toes and raising her little arms just to reach. "Here you go." She smiled happy that she had managed to make the drink without making her customer wait for too long and she didn't spill a single drop. After being left alone so often, when all her possible babysitters were busy with Avalanche work, Marlene had become pretty independent at a very young age.

"Thanks..." Reno tried the drink out of curiosity. He was surprised to find that a child who was clearly not old enough to drink was capable of making a pretty good drink. Maybe this kid was not as young as she looked, maybe she was just short, maybe she was a specialized assassin that tricked her victims with her innocent appearance and had no mercy on the kill... No, that couldn't be it; no one could fake such an innocent face. Maybe this child was the daughter of someone who worked there, maybe not the bartender but someone. Maybe she just watched the bartender work often and learned to make drinks like that, kids learn fast. Reno finished his drink and decided that the situation was too weird not to share. He paid, left a tip and rushed out of the bar to find Rude.

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"So now I'm just waiting for the promotion. I requested it a long time ago but haven't received an answer yet. I really think I'm ready for this job now, I really do. Last time I asked they said I should wait another week for the answer. I'm pretty sure it's a yes; I'm just waiting for it. I want to know what's going on so I don't feel lost on my first day. That's why I'm here, I hope you don't mind. I'm not a Turk yet, but I expect to be one soon and I do work for Shinra so it's not like whatever information we uncover will go to a stranger. Is it okay? Do you mind if I come along? I thought I could see this as training."

When Reno arrived, Rude was talking with a blonde young woman, or rather she was talking, a lot, and he was listening quietly. "Elena, you talk too much." Reno recognized her; she was Gun's younger sister, Elena, the talkative one, hard to miss.

Elena decided to ignore that comment for the sake of getting along with her future coworkers. "Reno, I'm going to be a Turk soon."

"Good for you," Tseng was the one without a partner so Reno expected Elena to end up working with him. He didn't know that eventually Scarlet would drag Tseng all over the place looking for huge materia while Elena joined Reno and Rune in their Turk missions. The redhead never imagined that Elena's promotion, which was not being processed as she thought but rather sitting in a pile of documents in an unattended desk, would eventually be processed and approved in a rush when he had to take a small leave of absence. Dropping the plate was not really the plan at such an early stage. "Guess what I saw at the Seventh Heaven? There was a little girl playing bartender!"

"What's so strange about that?" Elena asked. "If her parents own a bar then it sounds normal that she would play bartender since she seeing that all the time. I used to play Turks with my dolls when I was little."

"No, I mean she was the bartender and she wasn't even of drinking age." Reno tried to explain.

Elena shook her head, what Reno was saying made no sense. "That can't be, you can't possibly be a bartender if you can't drink. Maybe the bartender just looked young."

"No really, she was a little girl, it was so weird." Reno had to admit it was a little hard to believe. "Let's go I'll show you."

"Rude is working and I'm helping." Elena never approved about running off to have fun during working hours.

"But you have to see this, let's go aibou!" Reno started walking back to the Seventh Heaven and away from the sector seven pillar.

"He's too sober..." Rude quietly commented.

Elena would logically think it's the opposite. "Don't you mean he's drunk?" Though Reno seemed to have no difficulties in talking and walking normally, maybe the alcohol was what made the bartender look younger.

"No, he says strange things when he's sober." Rude knew Reno all too well. He knew even the things that didn't make sense.

"Either way shouldn't we be working?" Elena brought up her concern again.

"Don't be such a workaholic Elena, Avalanche is around here so in a way, this is work." Reno reminded her. That seemed to be enough for Elena to follow Reno and Rude to the bar without complaints.

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When the two Turks and the future Turk arrived at the bar, Tifa had already returned to her job and Marlene had gone down to the basement. Rude seemed to like the bartender who was actually a young woman, not a little girl like Reno had said. After their time at the bar, Reno still insisted that he had seen a little girl but no one believed him and he was starting to have his doubts about his own memories. Maybe he was in fact too sober and it somehow made him see the bartender as a little girl, big difference to who she actually was. He would go to the eye doctor after work anyway, just in case.

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Fantasy 07: Reno, the Tricky Redhead Reindeer

Vincent wasn't sure if he should feel accepted or betrayed. "Once a Turks, always a Turks." He should have known that Reno had his reasons to be all friendly and stick to him like glue. Of course, the Reno knew he was doomed and he wanted to bring Vincent down with him.

There they were, in reindeer costumes, while Rufus portrayed a much younger version of Santa Claus and Vincent refrained from shooting Reno only because he didn't have Cerberus on him at the moment. "I am never accepting another invitation from you," Vincent declared.

Reno stuck out his tongue childishly. He knew that infinite amounts of blackmail would be generated at the Shinra Christmas party and he didn't want Vincent to feel left out. Turks gotta stick together; besides, it wasn't so bad, especially since Reno was appointed Rudolf and got to wear the shiny red nose with the blinking light. It matched his hair, which was adorned with reindeer horns, and made him feel special.

After being sucked into the chore of becoming a reindeer along with the others, Vincent tried to make the best of the situation and entertain the children. However, one thing was for sure, he was not pulling Rufus' sleigh.

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Fantasy 08: A Little Nap

He took her to the theatre on an improvised plan. He knew she might like to watch that play, even if he didn't really like it. He looked around the audience curious to see if anyone known to them was there. He spotted a blonde head next to a head of dark hair. Next to them he could see many more heads like those, the rest of their bodies hidden behind the seats. Black, brown, blonde, black, blonde, black, red, red, red, silver, silver, silver, silver, blonde, none, blonde; he found that her shoulder was very comfortable and drifted off into peaceful slumber.

She felt his head on her shoulder becoming heavier as he lost all conscious thoughts and ran away to dream land. Of course, she knew he would escape to that place. His body was there but his mind was far away, soaring in the skies, she guessed. His breaths where even, expression satisfied, he must be having a nice dream and she didn't have the heart to take it away.

Eventually her shoulder fell asleep and she shifted in her seat to wake it. Then his head slipped off her shoulder, but she caught him on time and allowed him to continue sleeping half on her lap and half on his seat. She wasn't sure why the movement didn't wake him. Maybe his dream was so good he had to hold on to it.

When Cid woke up he thought he was at home back in Rocket Town and Shera was interrupting his sleep because dinner was ready. He didn't realize he was in Midgar, in a theatre and Shera was waking him up because the play had ended. He yawned loudly and stretched, then found her staring back at him, soon after realizing his head was on her lap.

For how long had she sat there? A split second passed and Cid realized that the ceiling was not familiar and the murmurs of people around them did not belong in the situation he had initially assumed he was in. Well, it wouldn't be the first time he fell asleep during Loveless.

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Fantasy 09: Lost Letters

She gave a sigh and picked up her pen, glaring at the paper she dropped it once more. She got up, walked around her room and touched her long brown hair. Her hand felt the soft texture of a pink ribbon, a gift from him that she dared not take off. With a deep breath she sat before the empty sheet of paper once more and wrote a letter, her last letter.

Her tone was cheerful, as much as she could muster, but he was warned that this would be the last letter she wrote to him. Some would say a hundred unanswered letters were a sign of desperation and the inability to move on. Just to be sure she wasn't holding on to someone who didn't want to hold her, she lowered that number to ninety and set her limit at eighty-nine. This was her last letter, her last hope, her final luxury, her one wish.

Sealing the envelope and addressing it, a thought occurred to her, "now I only have twenty-two... No, twenty-three, always twenty-three."

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Fantasy 10: Snow and Turks

The air was very cold as small snowflakes began to fall. It was winter and the skies were gray signaling the coming of more snow. "Drop it," Elena could see her breath when she spoke.

Reno looked at her. At this distance if she decided to fire her weapon he would be a goner for sure. "You're not gonna do it." Reno spoke with a certainty that made his partner wonder if he knew what kind of situation they were dealing with.

The Turks were divided. This was the final battle between Tseng and Elena against Reno and Rude. It had all started because of Reno. He began the argument with Tseng and the leader defended his point to no end, until Reno lost his patience and went for the attack. Elena remembered it clearly. She tried to warn Tseng but it was too late. Tseng was quick to recover and although he was injured he fought back. The teams were decided then as the other two Turks quickly chose sides. Elena rushed to aid Tseng while Rude prepared to help Reno.

"You can be sure I'll do it!" Elena threatened. She gripped her weapon noticing something. There was a problem.

"Didn't notice that little detail did you? You would have gotten me good with that one but you hesitated. That was your problem." Reno then attacked Tseng. Tseng moved out of the way at the last moment leaving Reno to miss by a hair. "We need more ammunition partner!"

"I'm working on it," Rude answered as he prepared the weapons to be used. Of course, there was plenty of fire power to go around or should I say ice.

"Now I wish I had fired when I had the chance." Deep down Elena knew she didn't mean it. This had to end as peacefully as possible, not with someone gravely injured or dead. But then there was Tseng. Reno attacked him by surprise. Maybe she really should have paid him back the same way. Elena shook her head. No, though Reno had injured Tseng, it wasn't the same kind of injury she would have given him had she taken the opportunity. This would have been real.

"Good to know I'll watch my back," Reno joked. That tone indicated that he had a plan. Rude had everything set up.

"Ready," the man who always has sunglasses called.

"Begin fire!" Reno joined Rude in the battle position.

"Tseng!" Elena called. She suddenly froze up. What could she do? How could they get the best weapons? Rude and Reno had the clear advantage.

"Get ready Elena! If we must go we'll go together," Tseng hugged her protecting her from the ammunition directed at them.

"Tseng!" He was gone. "You'll pay for this!" In rage Elena ran past Reno and Rude. She was hit several times but didn't stop. Rolling on the ground she managed to trip Reno and grab the weapon he guarded.

"Don't do it Elena!" Rude held his weapon ready.

"If I go, I'm taking Reno with me to avenge Tseng!" Both fired at the same time and it all ended. This time Rude was the only survivor.

"This fight has ended," Rude declared victoriously.

Reno jumped to his feet. "I'm freezing!"

"I have snow in my hair!" Elena tried to brush it off.

"It's only snow so I'm not complaining," Tseng added.

"You know Elena, in a real battle you can't go rushing in like that. I was able to shoot you seven times. You would have been killed before you reached the bomb which by the way was freezing," Reno complained.

"It's a snow ball fight not a water balloon fight," Elena clarified, for the guns of the Turks were snow balls all along. No real injuries happened; they just got a little wet and cold from the snow balls. "You cheated with that water balloon." Reno's bomb, a water balloon, was his secret weapon for the snow ball fight. "You also cheated before that by attacking Tseng before the battle officially began." That is why Tseng had to be 'injured' during the entire fight but he sill played along.

"At least I proved my point that a snow ball fight was a good idea." Reno would rethink his words soon after when Tseng showered him with snow.

"That's for attacking me too soon," Tseng took his revenge.

"No fair! I'm going to turn into a cherry popsicle!" Reno complained shivering. The other Turks only laughed. "Hey Elena do you really wish you left that rock inside your snow ball?"

"I won't sink to your level and cheat. I didn't know the rock was there until you told me," Elena explained.

"Hey it's not like I threw any rocks. In fact, I didn't get to use my water balloon because you stole it. How could I be killed by my own secret weapon?" Reno dramatized.

"Let's head back inside before we all catch colds. You know how that can get," Tseng reminded them. "If one of us catches a cold and someone else always gets it. Then by the time the first is cured, the second still has the cold and has given it to a third person who gives it so someone else. Then by the time the second is cured the third and forth still have a cold. There's always at least one of us with a cold to spread."

The Turks nodded in agreement. "That's just how we are. We're best friends who share everything, even colds." Reno thought it was amusing now, but it wouldn't be so funny if they really did get sick.

The four headed back inside the mountain cabin they were vacationing in. It had four rooms, a living room, a kitchen and two bathrooms. Elena had claimed a bathroom to herself saying it was only fair to have one bathroom for women and one for men. That left Tseng, Reno and Rude to share a bathroom.

"Me first!" Reno ran in an attempt to reach the bathroom first but he tripped on something.

Soon the something moved while Reno was still on the snowy ground. "Get off me." A voice came from under the snow.

"Rude give me a hand. There's someone here!" Reno called.

Rude quickly helped his partner stand up and assisted him in digging in the snow to see who was buried there. "Who are you?" Rude asked the figure covered in snow.

"Maybe he's a snow angel" Elena said half joking and half hopeful. Even if she liked Tseng she had to admit whoever it was would certainly make a handsome snow angel.

"I am Vincent Valentine." He shook off the snow to reveal his true self.

"What were you doing there? Taking a nap?" Reno inquired.

"Yes," Vincent spoke as if it was the most normal thing ever.

"You were taking a nap under the snow?" Rude asked.

"Yes," Vincent replied just as casually as before.

"Why?" Elena asked.

"Everyone needs to sleep," Vincent answered as a matter of fact.

"Not everyone sleeps under snow," Tseng pointed out.

Vincent nodded. "True but where a man takes his naps is up to him to decide and no one else." After saying those words of wisdom Vincent left.

A few moments passed in silence until Reno remembered something. "The bathroom!" The race was on, ending with Tseng as the winner, Rude arrived in second place and Reno slipped and got there last.

Elena smiled. She didn't have to childishly run because she had a bathroom all to herself or so she thought. By the time she got to the cabin she found the door to her bathroom was locked. The sound of a shower and singing could be heard coming from inside. Elena knocked. "What are you doing in there?"

"Watching movies and eating popcorn what do you think I'm doing?" Reno answered from inside the bathroom.

"This is the women's bathroom and I'm the only woman here so get out!" Elena yelled but Reno only sang louder.

Rude stood to the side waiting for one of the bathrooms to become free for use. Frustrated with knocking on the door and being ignored Elena turned to face him. "Tell him to come out of there!"

Rude felt that he had no choice. "Reno, Elena wants me to tell you to come out of there."

"Tell her that I'll come out when I'm good and ready." Reno answered from inside the bathroom.

Rude tried to communicate the message. "Reno says that he'll come out when he's-"

"I heard him!" Elena interrupted. "Reno, come out of there right now!" She screamed as she punched the door.

"Now I'll stay even longer!" Reno was easily amused.

Rude only shook his head. A few moments later Tseng opened the other bathroom's door only a little bit. "Rude, could you hand me my-"

"Mine!" Elena said as she rushed to the bathroom, assuming Tseng was done. She threw the door open and slipped on a little bathroom carpet. Trying desperately to regain her balance before falling, Elena grabbed the doorknob unintentionally closing the door and falling forward.

Seeing that she would inevitably fall, Tseng caught Elena. But in order to do so he had to let go of the towel he was holding to make sure it stayed around his waist. A scream shortly followed. You see Tseng had forgotten to bring a change of clothes and was about to ask Rude to go get some clothes from his room so he wouldn't have to go out in only a towel in case Elena saw him and felt uncomfortable.

"Ok I'm done!" Reno cheerfully announced coming out of the bathroom. "Hey partner what did I miss?"

"I'm not certain," Rude replied honestly.

"I thought I heard Elena scream." When Reno, as if on cue, the door to the other bathroom was opened.

Elena came out staring at her feet with her face a bright red color that rivaled the color of Reno's hair. Tseng's face was a matching color as he stood there with only a towel. Reno opened his mouth to say something but before any sound came out Elena gave him a deadly glare. "Don't you dare ask." She stomped towards the other bathroom silently promising herself that later she would either take revenge on Reno or thank him since none of that would have happened if he stayed out of her bathroom.

Tseng rushed to his room leaving a certain red haired Turks very confused. "What did I miss?"

"I told you I'm not certain. My theory is that he dropped the towel on accident at some point in time while Elena was alone with him in the bathroom. There's no way to know since the door was closed," Rude explained. He knew Reno wouldn't stop asking until he satisfied his curiosity.

"I knew a lot of interesting things would happen on this vacation!" Reno laughed.

Despite Tseng and Elena's embarrassing moment the Turks, at Reno's request, decided to involve themselves in activities 'proper of the Christmas season'. To everyone's surprise Rude suggested baking cookies. When the initial surprise died down, Reno happily accepted the idea. Tseng and Elena, who were too embarrassed to speak, only nodded.

But alas the cookie baking process turned into a battle once again started by Reno. The Turks ended up covered in cookie dough. "Don't ever try this again or you'll be spending the rest of the weekend sleeping out in the cold." Tseng wasn't amused. He accepted the snow ball fight and played along but he wasn't in the best of moods at the moment. He wondered if he would ever be able to look at Elena in the face without reliving that awkward moment and if she would ever speak to him again. Besides, it would take ages to clean out the cookie dough off his hair. Elena had shorter hair, Rude was bald and Reno didn't really care.

"It was just a little joke. It was fun," Reno was still in a good mood. He had been more playful than usual during their little vacation trip. "Besides, Lena can lick it off for you."

"It's Elena not Lena," Elena corrected sounding annoyed.

"Funny how you corrected your name but didn't comment on the part about licking the cookie dough off Tseng," Reno whispered as he passed by, meaning for only Elena and Rude to hear. Tseng also heard and gave him a warning glare. Reno wisely decided to choose that moment to go get cleaned up and left the kitchen in a hurry.

Rude felt the tension in the atmosphere and decided to leave as well. He would wait until Reno was done cleaning himself up. The earlier drama started because both bathrooms were occupied at the same time so now he would make sure to leave one free in case Elena wanted to clean off the cookie dough.

"I'm sorry, sir." Elena spoke softly while staring at the floor as soon as she was alone with Tseng.

"It was an accident," Tseng didn't say anything about it, but he wasn't happy that she was calling him sir again like when she first joined the Turks.

She nodded as they drowned in an uncomfortable silence.

"We should clean ourselves up," Tseng finally said.

"Right," Elena agreed. But the silence was longer than they thought as they tried to wait each other out. By then Reno had sang quite the concert while he took another shower, much to Rude's annoyance who was waiting outside the door. He certainly wished someone would get the bright idea to make bathrooms sound proof.

By the time night fell, the awkwardness appeared to have evaporated inexplicably quickly. Maybe it's because Reno had stopped his jokes, a wise decision, and nothing had happened to fuel it. The four Turks sat in front of a fire drinking hot chocolate as the wind howled outside and the snow fell around the cabin. All was silence save for Reno.

"Reno, drink your hot chocolate quietly!" Elena scolded.

Reno was about to reply with something along the lines of 'yes, mother' but he came up with something more clever. "You'd think she'd be in a better mood after having an affair," Reno saw the look Tseng was giving him and added, "with a delicious cup of hot chocolate." Then the silence returned.

"We should put up a Christmas tree." Elena suddenly suggested. "I used to put one up every year when there was no one home and I decorated it all by myself. I always liked putting up the tree alone but it might be even better if all the Turks participate." She didn't particularly enjoy her sister's presence, not even in the holydays which is why she decorated the tree by herself. Besides, she didn't need Gun's criticism.

"Do I get to put the star on the tree?" Reno asked.

"No," Elena firmly decided.

"Do we even have a tree?" Rude brought up an important point.

"Probably not," Elena realized. "Maybe we could get one. I saw some trees not too far from here."

"We'll choose a tree tomorrow," Tseng agreed.

The night passed rather uneventfully and soon the next morning came. It was only a weekend vacation but they might as well do something Christmasy before it ended. Of course finding a tree to decorate didn't go without incident.

Reno climbed a tree. Rude tried to climb after him but encountered some difficulties with a bird that had a nest in the tree and didn't like unknown humans. Oddly enough the bird had no complaints about Reno. Rude assumed the bird must have thought Reno was a squirrel neighbor or something. After he was done climbing, Reno came back to the ground and claimed that he wanted to decorate that tree which was of course too big.

Elena found a tree of suitable size but soon Rude brought up another interesting point. They didn't really have any decorations. Tseng decided to rest sitting on a rock. Elena sat on another rock not too far away. Reno was no where to be found and Rude went to look for him.

When Reno retuned he started putting improvised decorations on the tree even if the wind would probably blow them away. Rude started helping with the decorations. Elena wondered where Reno got all that paper but didn't give it much thought and started putting paper stars on the tree as well. Finally Tseng joined them. He never found out that Reno had cut some reports he found in his room to make decorations.

Another snow ball fight took place that day in which surprisingly all the rules were followed. That time Tseng and Elena claimed a victory.

The day passed quickly and surprisingly peacefully as all four Turks got along perfectly. "Remember last year when we got snowed in?" Reno recalled.

The Turks were still outside enjoying their free time building snowmen after their snow ball fight ended. It was their time to play in the snow as much as they wanted now that no one would find out. "I said you weren't coming this year. I must have forgotten," Tseng remembered.

Elena wasn't a Turk yet at the time. "He must have been annoying."

"No I wasn't. Besides you weren't there." Reno stuck out his tongue.

"Lucky me," Elena retorted.

"Reno with cabin fever is not a good thing," Rude agreed.

"You have to admit these little Turks vacations aren't the same without me!" The others certainly didn't argue with Reno on that.

Soon the weekend ended and it was back to Shinra with them. Things drifted back into normality but one thing was for sure. They would do this again next year and the year after that and the year after that and so on.

As Reno arrived at work the next day, the first words the other Turks heard from him that day were: "I can't wait for summer vacation!" Watching Tseng and Elena discuss something related to their work Reno whispered to Rude. "I bet those two will get together soon."

"Probably," Rude agreed.

"I say... February," Reno guessed.

"March," Rude deduced.

"You're on!" Reno accepted the bet a little too loudly. Tseng and Elena looked in their direction but didn't figure out what it was about. In the end they both lost the bet, since Tseng and Elena actually got together on New Year's Eve.

End of Sector I

Disclaimer, I do not own Final Fantasy VII and I don't own The Legend of Zelda, Kirby, Star Wars, Lara Croft or Super Mario which were referenced in Fantasy 05. Aibou means partner in Japanese. Fantasy 01 was inspired by Snow-chan and her Vincent figure that guards her goldfish crackers. Fantasy 02 was inspired by a blog entry from Snow where she wondered who would choose Hojo over Vincent and by Cherri (and my) liking for Sephiroth.