Final Fantasy - All Series Fan Fiction ❯ Fantastic ❯ Chapter 3

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Fantastic: Sector III

Fantasy 21: Hey Listen!

Some listen selfishly, others listen by adding sounds, while some listen in silence, there are those who listen selectively and others who listen at random.

Rufus only hears things that concern him, the words 'you' and 'your' really catch his attention. When the president needs to hear something, it is best to start by explaining why it concerns him, then telling him the news, otherwise he wouldn't hear it. Rufus listens selfishly.

Elena listens better to the first things said in a conversation and is always quick to reply. With Elena it's always best to summarize things so that everything that needs to be said is said before her quick answer. After that it's just a matter of filtering out the extra information and taking note of the main idea. Elena doesn't summarize, thus the other speaker must summarize to balance it out. This could be good or bad since sometimes the extra details are helpful, but other times they are not. Elena listens by adding sounds.

Rude is quiet but a good listener, even if it sometimes it looks like he's ignoring what is being said. He hears things with or without looking at people. However, those who want a response will be disappointed. You'd had to look at his face and search for a soundless reply, the hint of a half nod or an aura that seems to communicate that he understood. Rude pays attention, but he doesn't reply. Rude listens in silence.

Tseng filters out the unimportant details, listening most of the time. He prefers to look at people, but he doesn't require it to hear. He responds when needed and offers a silent confirmation that he heard when he doesnít have anything to add. Most of the time it can be assumed that if it is something important, he heard it, and if it's not important, he didn't. Tseng listens selectively.

Reno rarely listens, but sometimes he does. He's the unpredictable one of the group, sometimes he hears, and sometimes sounds cease to exist for him. If he is looking at the one talking or not doesn't matter, either way he could or could not be receiving the message. Sometimes it's surprising that he didn't hear something that he should have, and equally surprising that he heard something else that he could have missed. Reno listens at random.

Everyone listens in their own way, so it's really a wonder they can somehow communicate...

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Fantasy 22: Fairy Tale

He didn't know why he had to hold on to it. It's not like he was going to use it, but after picking it up Elena didn't want him to put it down. Maybe he could give it to Rude to carry around or maybe Elena could use it or at least carry it since keeping it was her idea. It didn't matter, he would get rid of it soon enough. Maybe he should sell it and buy something useful.

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While the others were getting some rest at the inn at Gongaga, Aeris had gone out for a little walk. "His home town..." It had been so many years ago. She never got to visit his hometown with him, she never even knew where he was from. He never introduced her to his family like his parents might have expected from his letter years ago. She had tried her best to move on, but on lonely nights like this she remembered him. She wondered if he found someone else or... She didn't want to think about the other possibility. He was a first class Soldier, he was strong and even if he wasn't with her she wished him happiness.

'Cloud you asked me his name... I didn't tell you because if you did know him, then you might start talking about him and... I can't hear his name without remembering. But then after you spoke to his parents I told you he was my first love. Why am I sad? I've moved on... Maybe it's true what they say, you never forget your first love or is it you never forget true love?' "Zack..."

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"You dropped it?"

"That's what I said."

Elena did not approve, not that it made any difference for Reno. It was just a stupid staff. "Losing Shinra property like that, how irresponsible." Elena placed her hands on her hips and shook her head.

"It wasn't even Shinra property, just something I found that I should have left on the ground."

"But you found it on your mission, what if it was evidence?"

"Evidence? Of what? We saw Cloud's group, why do we need evidence?" In Reno's opinion, Elena talked too much and tried too hard.

"There is someone ahead," Rude spoke and ended Reno and Elena's little argument. The three Turks approached quietly hiding behind bushes, rocks, anything they found on the way.

"Zack... I said I wouldn't cry for you... then why?" There was a young woman in a pink dress crying while holding the Fairy Tale, the staff Reno dropped in an earlier battle.

Elena opened her mouth as if to point out that it was the same staff Reno had found and lost earlier, but the two men shook their heads indicating that she should remain quiet so their location wouldn't be revealed. Luckily, Elena got the message. Rude started heading back and soon Reno and Elena followed.

"I thought they would be in the next town by now," Elena said. "Then we should..."

"Do nothing," Rude replied.

"Yeah, because..."

"We should give her a break even if she's the enemy?" Elena offered. "We should be considerate of her feelings? I didn't think you would say that Reno, but I guess you're right, just this once."

Reno looked confused at Elena's words. "I was going to say because we're off duty."

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Fantasy 23: Retreat

"Go!"

It was supposed to be a simple mission with no interference. He should have known otherwise. A Turk is supposed to be prepared for everything, but despite the kind of mission this was, he was relaxed and carefree as he always has been, not suspicions of what was to come what so ever.

He wanted to get this done and over with, return to Midgar, and get the afternoon off, though he highly doubted the latter would actually happened. None the less, they would all return to Midgar.

Reno of the Turks was perhaps more loyal to the Turks than to Shinra itself. He hated not expecting this twist, he hated not reacting fast enough, and most of all he hated retreating this time infinitely more then he had hated doing so in the past. This was different; this was a retreat that signified putting the mission before the comrades, which he would do without a second thought if they were regular Shinra cadets, but they were Turks.

Elena's voice telling him escape with what could have been her last breath, while Tseng lay apparently lifelessly on the ground of the Northern Crater, would ring out in his mind throughout the entire helicopter ride back to Midgar.

He felt like a traitor, and it made him miss the times when he had to run away dodging bullets alongside Rude; but Tseng and Elena were not escaping with him now. They stayed behind and he continued the mission.

Part of being a Turks was remaining cool, and composed, something that he did rather well. Carefree and somewhat playful, that day his mood was even less serious than usual. One would say he didn't give a care; but he did, which is why he continued being Reno of the Turks.

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Fantasy 24: If Someone Must

"Aren't you concerned?" A little voiced mentally whispered. It could very well be the voice of a conscience thought to be turned off.

"Concerned?" The opposing voice mentally replied. It was similar to a cartoon with a little angel and devil, one sitting on each shoulder of the main character, arguing about the protagonist's actions. "Concerned as in worried or guilty?"

"Yes both. Before you say it, I know very well that if you don't press the button, someone else will, but the delay might... it might..." The voice of guilt and pity trailed off into silence.

"You do realize that the delay won't accomplish anything right? I have all the confirmation I need from those who truly need to approve of this. By this I mean shut up and let me press the button." There was no argument against the petition and thus, the button was pressed. It's not like anyone could truly say they didn't see it coming.

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Fantasy 25: Unreal

When he opened the door to the office that he thought was still his, he found that it had been taken over by someone else. Elena received him with a deadly glare which surprised him greatly. Tseng's shock continued to grow when he noticed Reno standing in a corner of the office, wearing a tie, his jacked closed, his hair perfectly groomed and no goggles.

"..." was all that Reno said.

"..." Elena appeared to agree.

Meanwhile Rude was chattering away and giggling like a girl.

Tseng promptly stepped back and closed the door. He spotted Cloud and rushed after him. "Everyone is acting all weird!" Tseng whined.

"So?" Cloud had a big cheerful grin plastered on his face, "who cares? Screw weirdness, I have a nice big meteor waiting to fall on this pitiful planet!"

Tseng shrugged; at least the president was acting normal today.

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Fantasy 26: Always a Turk

"So you see Reno, that's why you-"

"We," Rufus corrected.

"Right," Tseng sighed, "that's why -we- can't hurt the WRO."

Reno sat on a chair in the middle of Rufus' office pouting, while Rufus and Tseng circled him like vultures.

"Understood?" Rufus ordered more so than asked.

Reno pouted even more, if that was possible, and both Rufus and Tseng urged him with their eyes to answer. "Fine," the redhead finally replied.

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The days passed and nothing out of the ordinary happened, at least nothing uncommon for Shinra. Then one day, Reno was left with cleaning duty, dusting off old machinery that Shinra no longer used. He was upset; this was not a Turk's job. However, since Shinra was reformed, it made him wonder what -was- a Turk's job?

Thus Reno decided to just do as he was told and clean. He was indignantly scrubbing the long settled dust off an unidentified machine, when he suddenly heard a beep. The spot below his hand, a big red button, was pressed, and he could faintly see a green timer light up under the ocean of dust on the control panel above the button.

"Crap!" Reno tried to disable the missiles, he really did, but alas he could not. The machine was old, he wasn't sure how to operate it, and the controls were unresponsive and covered with thick layers of dust. It was too late.

Reno shook his head as an explosion echoed in the distance. He was going to get it now, but he couldn't help it, it was an accident. "Once a Turk, always a Turk," he concluded.

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Fantasy 27: Virtual Turks

Reno's Point of View

It was a perfect replica of the SOLDIER floor of old Shinra, but this one was in Edge instead of Midgar, and this one belonged to the Turks.

"Ready?"

"I'm always ready!" There are more of us now, and this one has a liking for machines. She emailed me about testing the battle simulation in the virtual chamber. Being busy with the coding and controls, she needed someone else to fight the virtual copies while she collected data.

First came the Rookie, though Elena is no longer the last to have joined, I still call her that. For a hologram, that copy could really punch, but it wasn't too strong. Then there was Leader. I'm not sure how those holographic bullets compared to real ones, but I had a feeling it was not smart to find out so I didn't. Finally there was aibou, that fight was a bit tougher then the others, I guess there was more data to work with, or maybe Rude's just stronger, yeah, most likely. Anyhow, I still beat them all.

"These copies are incomplete, but the data I collected today will be good. I'll have better versions by next week. It's too bad most of the virtual data from old Shinra was lost in the Midgar ruins..."

"I'm not flying over there to search for old computer chips," I do have the ability to read between the lines.

She looks like she's going to say something, but instead types into the computer, bright blue nails clicking on the keyboard. She grins and the image of Sephiroth appears before me. "Not all the data was lost, this was recovered almost completely."

We were never able to explain how the virtual chamber, and the entire floor, ended in ruins.

End Reno POV

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Reno, Rude and Elena find a buggy parked near Nibelheim and the keys were left in the ignition. It just begs to be borrowed.

Fantastic

Fantasy 28: Buggy

Cloud and company had arrived at Nibelheim to find that the town was intact, which filled them with confusion and doubts for their conflicting memories. The situation of the town It didn't make sense, but they continued their journey hoping to find some answers. While the group went off to cross the Nibelheim Mountains, they left the buggy parked near town. With his head occupied in more important matters, Cloud absentmindedly left the keys in the ignition. He didn't know he would never see that buggy again.

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'He's impossible to deal with. He doesn't take his responsibilities as seriously as a Turks should. He and Rude are always talking about who they liked and who they didn't like, it gets annoying some times. At least he has a certain loyalty to the Turks that goes perhaps beyond whatever loyalty he might have towards Shinra as a whole,' Elena mused. "Reno, get out of there, Reno!" All else aside, there was no excuse for Reno to get into a vehicle he did not own and make himself comfortable as if it was his. Elena glared, she pouted, she crossed her arms and stomped her feet. "Get out!"

"No, mother, I don't want to." Reno's words were dripping with sarcasm, which only served to annoy Elena further. "Can I play a little longer, please mommy?" He didn't need a babysitter, especially not a rookie babysitter.

"I'm not your mother or your babysitter!" Elena threw her arms in the air. He had no respect for private property what so ever. She placed her left hand on her waist and pointed with her right, moving it back and forth in accusation. "You're going to get into trouble. Worse, you might get us all into trouble. This is not something you should be doing and you know it!"

Reno placed his feet on the dash and pushed the seat back. "I'm glad you know I'm not your kid or some kid you're babysitting, now stop acting like it."

That was it, Elena gave up. "Fine! Do whatever you want, but I'm not going to be a part of it and I'm... I'm... I'm telling Tseng!" In her frustration, she did not realize how childish her threat sounded.

"Go ahead tattle tell," Reno stuck his tongue at her and once again became comfortable in the soft seat. "Yo Rude, you want to drive?" He took the keys out of the ignition and waved them around like a trophy.

"You're stealing it?" Elena looked horrified. Rude remained silent, while Elena gave him a disapproving look that seemed to scream 'say something' louder than words could.

"Borrowing," Reno corrected. "I'll go for a drive then bring it right back. Rude, are you coming or are you coming?" Who in their right mind would leave a buggy sitting all alone just outside Nibelheim and expect to find it just as it was left? The keys were left in the ignition for crying out loud. The buggy was begging to be temporarily hijacked, permanently if it was as much a nice ride as it looked.

Finally, Rude spoke, "you drive."

Reno moved to the driver's seat so Rude could sit at the passenger's side. "See ya, later Elena!"

At first she ignored them while Reno took his sweet time listening to the engine purr and tuning the radio until he found some music he liked. Finally, she couldn't take it any longer. "Wait for me!" She hopped on the back seat. "I'm only going to make sure you don't do anything stupid."

"You just don't want to miss the ride." Elena chose to ignore Reno's comment in favor of looking out the window.

"We're off!" Reno stepped on the gas pedal and the buggy started moving full speed... backwards.

"What are you doing?" Elena yelled.

Reno slammed on the breaks. "It's not my fault!" He looked back; it seemed that he came within an inch of hitting a pole at the entrance of Nibelheim.

"You're the one who's driving! If it's not your fault, then whose fault is it?" Elena was already annoyed as it was and the recent event only made it worse. "We should park the buggy where it was and leave it there before you ruin it."

"Your bad mood is distracting me. You were probably wishing for something like that to happen. If you're going to ruin the fun, get out. It's not my fault I set it to go backwards, it's the fault of who ever designed this thing to look like it's set to go forward when it isn't," Reno argued.

"Maybe I should," Elena debated for a moment, but ultimately decided to stay, "forget it, let's just get the joy ride over with." The tension could be heavily felt in the buggy as Elena glared at the back of Reno's head and he played with the controls. Rude remained characteristically silent the entire time.

"There, we're on our way!" Now the buggy was moving forward as it should be. It was a smooth ride after Reno got it to work properly. The atmosphere inside the vehicle started to feel more relaxed save for the heat.

Elena occupied herself enjoying the scenery. She was feeling cranky because she was teamed with Reno and Rude instead of Tseng. Not that she particularly disliked those two; she was just upset that Tseng was stuck flying Scarlet around. "Hey!" Elena's train of thought was interrupted when the ride became bumpy. She found that instead of steering, Reno had gotten into a fight with his jacket, trying to get it off. They were approaching the river south of Nibelheim and the heat was strong on such a sunny day.

Reno tossed the jacket to the empty back seat next to Elena and poked around the control panel until he found the air conditioner. "Much better!"

Elena had to admit the air conditioner was nice. She was being cooked alive in her uniform before, but stubbornly tried to look professional.

Reno kept pressing buttons and found a way to retract the buggy's roof. At first it didn't look like a good idea with the burning sun, but up ahead was a shallow river that the buggy could cross. With an amused look, Reno stepped on the gas and crossed the river full speed. The result was refreshing drops of water raining on them just like a water park. "This is fun!" He made a U turn and repeated the action, speeding over the river several times.

"Reno you're getting us all wet!" Elena complained, but it was hard for her protest to be taken seriously when she said it between laughs.

"Then why are you laughing? Admit it, you're having fun!" Reno kept turning and going over the river.

"Oh, be quiet. I want to give Shinra a good impression." Elena mentally kicked herself for being there. She shouldn't have gotten involved; she should be back in Nibelheim waiting for Tseng after an aggravating day of transporting Scarlet.

"You worry too much," Reno stopped mid river, since it was easier to talk if they weren't having the water park experience. "Want to impress Tseng? That's fine but you don't need to be a workaholic to do that."

Elena's face turned as red as Reno's hair. Reno knew he was right and Rude had told him earlier that Elena liked Tseng, his information was always reliable. "I didn't say that!" Elena denied it as soon as she regained the ability to speak.

"It's true!" Reno already knew and Elena's face confirmed it. "There's nothing to be embarrassed about."

Elena took a deep breath; there was no use in hiding it. "So what if it's true? It's not like Shinra has any rules about Turks going out with each other. Not that we're going out, I mean... I just... I... Forget about it, let's change the subject."

"Tseng and Scarlet are going to make a stop at Nibelheim before continuing the search for the huge materia she keeps talking about. Isn't it a pity that she's dragging him around as her pilot?" Reno was clearly hinting that they should head back to Nibelheim and heroically rescue Tseng.

Elena got the message and couldn't agree more. "You can fly a helicopter too, right Reno? Maybe you can take Tseng's place as her pilot!"

Reno didn't like where the conversation was going. "Not in a million years, Scarlet is creepy. Besides putting up with her is Tseng's duty as the leader of the Turks, poor Tseng, alone with Scarlet all the time."

Elena had enough, "forget professionalism, for now... We're going to save Tseng, full speed to Nibelheim!"

"Who put the rookie in charge?" Reno tried to return to Nibelheim anyway, but the buggy didn't move.

"What's wrong? Why aren't we moving?" Elena had a bad feeling.

"I don't know," Reno tried start the buggy again and after a few attempts, the engine made some odd noises and the air conditioner shut itself off, then the engine refused to respond at all. "We're stuck."

The buggy wasn't working. Why did this have to happen now of all times? Her beloved Tseng was in danger! "We're going on foot," Elena decided. She and Rude tossed their jackets and ties aside, this would be a long walk and the heat was too strong. Luckily, since they were in a shallow area of the river, crossing it on foot wasn't a problem. Elena took a moment to reanalyze the situation. "What are the chances of the buggy working again if it's on dry land?"

"Good," Rude replied.

"Yeah, I heard this model is known to randomly breakdown then start working again for no apparent reason." Reno gave Elena a suspicious look, "you're not suggesting that we..."

Elena nodded, "you two push, I'll drive."

Thus Reno and Rude ended up in the middle of the river, pushing the buggy. "This is heavy and it's not moving! Are you sure you're not stepping on the breaks, Elena?" Though the water was refreshing, Reno couldn't enjoy it in that situation.

"Of course not and I think we're making progress. Just a few more feet and we'll be out of the river. The trip to Nibelheim will be a lot faster and comfortable after this." Elena was determined, she might not get there before Scarlet but she would arrive on time to see Tseng and give Scarlet a clear, 'stay away from him' message.

"Are you sure we're making progress? It doesn't look like-" Before Reno could finish, the buggy started to move. It slipped off the shallow part of the river towards the deeper area and was carried down stream.

"Elena!" Reno and Rude called after her.

"It won't stop, the controls don't respond!" Elena was carried down the river on the buggy, further away from her destination. "Rude! Reno!" It was no use; her teammates couldn't keep up with the speed of the river on foot.

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After some time of being carried by the river and by a miracle not sinking, the buggy got stuck on a beach south of the quick sands that surrounded the Gold Saucer. Elena tried to get the buggy started again and by some miracle it worked. No one knew how those vehicles repaired themselves, but somehow after a breakdown, they mysteriously started working again a while later. Elena guided the buggy out of the sandy beach and into the grassy fields next to the quick sands. She rounded the mountains, passed Cosmo Canyon, then had to get across the portion of the river where the accident had occurred.

"Here goes, please don't break down!" Elena stepped on the gas all the way and the buggy was able to cross the shallow river without problems, however it didn't stop there. It looked like the gas pedal was stuck and the breaks couldn't do anything about it. Elena tried to keep herself calm, she was a Turk and she needed to handle this like a Turk would. But best solution she could come up with was driving back to Nibelheim full speed and hope the buggy would run out of fuel near there.

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Reno and Rude were trying to find Elena, following the course of the river. "Your throat will get dry faster," Rude pointed out.

Reno paused in his endless ramblings. "It'll be more boring if we don't talk while we go for a nice long walk in the middle of nowhere in an immense heat with nothing to drink." The sarcasm was evident and so was the sunburn.

When Reno and Rude least expected it, they heard the sound of an engine approaching. The buggy zoomed by full speed, with Elena on the wheel, "I can't!" She made a U turn and speed by again, "stop it!"

"Jump!" Reno yelled.

"Are you insane?" Elena wasn't sure if she should be asking or concluding. Then again, she didn't have much of a choice. "Alright, I'll do it!" She used one of the ties that they left in the buggy to secure the steering wheel at an angle where the buggy would drive in circles around Reno and Rude; she intended to have them catch her. "Here I go!" Elena jumped out of the buggy and tackled both Rude and Reno. "Thanks for catching me!"

"The buggy!" Rude suddenly directed their attention towards the rampaging vehicle. The tie snapped and the wheel spun around, causing the buggy to go after them. The three Turks scrambled out of the way, trying to avoid being run over.

There was a short but steep cliff ahead next to the coast line. They jumped, taking refuge behind the cliff and witnessed as the buggy flew above their heads full speed and plunged into the ocean. With the engine still roaring, the buggy slowly sank. "That was close," Elena finally let out a breath of relief.

"Too close," Rude agreed.

"But it was fun!" Reno was back to being his cheerful, carefree self.

"It's not over yet," Elena declared, "let's go save Tseng!"

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One year later, at the Seventh Heaven, "Tifa, do you remember what ever happened to that buggy we got from Dio?" It an unanswered question that Cloud suddenly remembered now that his mind wasn't occupied with discovering the truth about his past and saving the world.

"We parked it near Nibelheim and left it there after crossing the mountains," Tifa recalled. "Later we started using the Tiny Bronco for transportation and after that, the Highwind. I'm not sure what happened to the buggy, I don't remember seeing it. Do you still have the keys?"

"I can't find them. I wasn't sure were I put them, but I guess there were more important things going on at the time. Maybe I left the keys in the ignition," Cloud concluded.

Tifa shook her head. "It was probably stolen. Who knows where it could be now."

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Fantasy 29: Tiny Bronco

His first reaction when he saw the Tiny Bronco was to stare, to stare long and hard. There it was, in Midgar. He had initially thought it had been destroyed in the entire Northern Crater incident. After obtaining the Highwind, there wasn't much of a point in going back for a small airplane that could no longer fly. But Cid had noticed, as they flew over Bone Village, that the Tiny Bronco was nowhere to be seen. There were more important things occupying his mind at the time and afterwards he started to work on a new airship and he married Shera, he had done so much, he just didn't have time to think about Tiny Bronco. He never thought he would see it again and there of all places.

"Is something wrong?" Reeve wake the pilot from his thoughts.

Cid's initial surprise melted into a stream of colorful curses and mixed in the barely coherent remarks, there was a question which Reeve somehow caught.

"This airplane? Reno come in a helicopter, dragging it through the air. He occasionally tinkers with it. To be perfectly honest, my guess is he has absolutely no hopes of ever fixing it. He said something about waiting to try it out and see how different it feels from flying a helicopter and insisted on keeping it in storage."

"Who does he think he is taking other people's things without asking?" With more curses and complaints directed at the red haired Turk who wasn't even there at the time, Cid began to do a general check of the Tiny Bronco.

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"What could be keeping them?"

"I don't know and I don't care!" If anything, Yuffie was glad that Cid and Reeve had not yet arrived. They had left around twenty minutes ago to get something from the hanger and were yet to return. Yuffie didn't mind, she wasn't looking forward to flying anyway.

Vincent on the other hand didn't seem too happy with the delay but waited anyway.

Finally, after a few more minutes Reeve returned alone. "It seems that the mission will be postponed due to lack of transportation."

"Great! I'm out of here!" If she could avoid riding on the airship, or at least delay it, Yuffie was happy.

"Is there a reason for this?" Vincent inquried.

"Cid found the Tiny Bronco and got a little caught up with it..."

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"Yo!"

"It's about time you showed up!" Cid looked up from his current task of repairing Tiny Bronco for just a moment as Reno arrived, then he returned to his work. "Don't greet me like nothing's wrong and hand me that wrench over there."

At first Reno didn't understand why Cait Sith suddenly showed up with a message that Cid was waiting at the hanger, but now it was pretty clear it was something related to Tiny Bronco. He shrugged and gave Cid the tool he was asking for. "What's going on?"

"You stole Tiny Bronco, that's what's going on! Rufus tried, Cloud did it and now you."

"It's yours? I found it laying around near Bone Village a long time ago. They said I could take it."

"Those idiots, telling people to take what isn't theirs! Either way it's fixed, so I'll be taking it back now." Feeling satisfied with his work, Cid closed everything and jumped off Tiny Bronco.

"Too bad, I didn't even get to fly it..."

"You messed it up more than you fixed it."

"That's not my fault; I'm a helicopter pilot not a mechanic."

"Then why were you trying to fix it even if you didn't know what you were doing?"

"Because I didn't think I could make it worse?"

Cid could have thrown the tool box and everything in it at Reno at that momentn but chose to simply shake his head, make a pause and finally speak words that surprised them both. "Once around Edge, that's it and I'm coming along."

Reno couldn't pass up the offer to try flying a airplane. He liked flying in a helicopter, so maybe he would like flying the Tiny Bronco too. But airplanes are different from helicopters, they don't hover, they don't take off by going straight up and he certainly don't land by going straight down.

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As Yuffie happily walked down the street, off to the Seventh Heaven, she was sure that everyone or at least most of the people in Edge could hear Cid cursing at Reno's reckless flying just as clearly as she could, when the Tiny Bronco zoomed over her head.

End of Fantasy 29

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Fantasy 30: Wyvern

Years ago... "Look at this!" Reno, the new rookie at the Turks called. He held a strange egg.

"Leave it, we need to focus on our missing," the leader replied.

Reno looked at the egg curiously. He wondered what kind of animal would hatch from it. But he knew that taking it along would be impossible. "Good bye little one." He walked over to a pile of leaves to place the egg there, but tripped on some protuberant tree roots and fell, the egg escaping his grasp. "Oh, no! Come back here!" Miraculously, the egg did not break but it rolled away and fell into a crack on the ground. It sounded as if it landed on water. Reno peeked into the crack and saw a green glow. "Life stream? Sorry little one..."

"Reno! Hurry up!"

The young Turk rushed to meet his team, certain that whatever was in that egg, had not survived.

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Present day... "It's over there!" Elena called as she shot tranquilizers at the creature, but the small dragon-like animal swiftly avoided the projectiles.

"We have to catch that thing before it causes more damage!" Tseng led the pursuit, with Rude and Elena close behind.

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Reno had just finished taking a shower after staying at Shinra overnight; he usually slept though most of his night shifts. It was not until after he was fully dressed, and after adjusting his goggles to sit on his forehead exactly the way he liked them, that he finally answered the insistent ringing of his cell phone.

"Reno where are you? We have an emergency situation! Report to the cafeteria immediately." Tseng did not give Reno enough time to answer before a voice in the background called him and Tseng had to hang up.

Reno wasn't sure what this was about. How serious could a cafeteria emergency be? Maybe it was a food fight... and he just got out of the shower. He shrugged and grabbed his electro-rod from his locker, then headed to the elevators.

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"Reno, look out!" Rude's warning came a second too late. The strange miniature dragon had already jumped on Reno and... licked him.

"Hey little guy! Stop, what are you, a dog? Dragon things aren't supposed to lick," Reno patted the creature's head and it emitted a combination between growl and purr, but it was in a happy tone so Reno guessed it was purring more than growling. "Rude, where's the emergency?"

"You're holding it," the thing, whatever it was, had been very hard to catch for Tseng, Elena and Rude, but Reno caught it effortlessly and Rude didn't know why.

"Rude, the creature?" Tseng rushed over followed by Elena.

"There is it!" The funny thing was, Elena was pointing more at Reno than at the little animal he was holding.

"I hope you're talking about this guy," Reno petted the happy little animal again; it seemed to have taken a liking to him.

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"A why-ren?!"

"It's a wyvern, Reno," Tseng corrected. They concluded that the creature was not a baby dragon but a wyvern.

"I've heard about them, the legend says that wyvern eggs need to be kept in the life spring to hatch," Elena recalled.

"Life spring... Could it be life stream?" Rude asked.

"Yes, probably, the life stream has received various names over time," Tseng agreed.

"Well, it did come out of a crack in the basement, and there's that underground cavern bellow," Elena added.

"So there's life stream under Shinra and this little guy came from there..." Reno held the little wyvern. He wasn't sure why the baby trusted him, but didn't appear to trust any other humans.

The life stream was all over the planet, and by coincidence or destiny, the currents of life had brought the egg from its resting place, to the life stream river that flowed bellow Shinra, where it hatched. Reno didn't remember that it had been him who accidentally placed the wyvern egg on the life stream, thus allowing the baby to grow and hatch over the years after recovering from its long hibernation. The baby wyvern somehow recognized Reno by instinct and trusted him as his hero, protector and daddy.

"This little guy is pretty cool. I think I'll keep him," Reno received a collective look of disapproval from the other Turks. "What? It's better than abandoning him in the city?" He did have a point.

Tseng took a deep breath and came to a decision. "Reno, I will give you the mission to watch over the baby wyvern and keep him and yourself out of trouble. This is an official Turk mission and I expect you to take it seriously." Tseng was already regretting his decision.

Reno had not been listening at all; he was playing with the wyvern. "We need to name him!"

"We need to fix the mess he made," Tseng tried to set the priorities straight but he knew it wouldn't work on Reno.

Elena pulled out her cell phone and made a call. "We need a clean up crew in the gym, halls, kitchen and cafeteria, that's an order from the Turks." She shut her cell phone before whatever unimportant employee had the chance to reply. "It's fixed."

"Good, now we can get to the important part, like naming the wyvern." Reno waited for a few name suggestions, though he would most likely end up choosing the name himself, unless someone came up with a name he really liked.

Tseng tried to remember if there was anything else that they needed to do, but could not think of anything. "It is the only wyvern; why not just call it wyvern?" It sounded logical to him, but it was too obvious so no one else approved.

"That wouldn't be very original, he deserves a better name." Reno petted the little wyvern who was dozing off in his arms.

Elena decided to participate in the naming process. "How about Chibi Turk, or Blueberry, or..."

"Dragoon," Rude voiced.

The little wyvern emitted a high pitched happy squeal that the Turks did not know if it was an approval or a yawn. "Dragoon it is!" Reno agreed.

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Holding Tifa's hand for support, Cloud took a deep breath and answered the phone. He was fine with listening to messages, but a bit jumpy about answering the phone. He didn't want to receive bad news that would be all the more shocking if he heard them live, or at least that was his logic. "Strife Delivery Service."

"Who is this?" At first the male voice came as a surprise for Reno. He wasn't even calling about delivering anything; he was calling Tifa about babysitting. True that he was using the number from the Strife Delivery Service fliers that were all over the city, but Cloud never answered the phone anyway, Tifa always did.

"Cloud Strife from Strife Delivery Service," great, just great; Cloud finally mustered the courage to answer the phone and it turned out to be a wrong number, but the voice sounded familiar. "Who are you?"

"Oh it's you; I didn't expect you to answer the phone because you never do. It's Reno of the Turks. Finally getting over your phone phobia, Cloud?" Reno laughed.

"I don't have phone phobia, I'm not afraid of phones," Cloud frowned, "I'm just a little nervous about answering phones that's all," he muttered under his breath. Tifa squeezed Cloud's hand in reassurance and nodded when he glanced at her.

"Is Tifa there?" Reno asked, taking note of Tseng's look which indicated he should hurry up and find a babysitter for Dragoon.

"Yes, but why are you calling her on my phone?" Cloud felt as if he was losing a little piece of his newly regained identity by losing his phone.

"Because she always picks it up, now put her on unless you have a babysitting service to go with that delivery service." Reno petted Dragoon who sat contently on his lag wagging his tail.

Cloud considered the possibility. The Shinra postal service was a big competitor for Cloud's small business. Reeve was the only one who hired Cloud as often as possible. "Yes, I do."

"How much?" Reno asked.

There was a pause, "Tifa how much do babysitters charge by the hour?"

Tifa blinked, she had thought this was about delivering a package, not babysitting. Then again Cloud needed all the help he could get with his business. "I guess it depends on how many children need to be watched and how old they are."

"50 gil an hour," Cloud replied. Hey it was more than he made in a day lately.

Reno knew having a pet was expensive, especially if he had to hire a babysitter because Tseng kept warning him not to leave the wyvern alone. Hopefully Reno could get the baby wyvern to trust Cloud, and Cloud should be able to handle keeping Dragoon out of trouble. "Okay, I'll take the baby to the Seventh Heaven and come pick him up after work." Reno hung up without saying goodbye, a fact that unnerved Cloud.

"Hello? Reno?" The sound of the line going dead invaded the phone. "He hung up on me... Tifa he hung up on me!"

"There, there, it's alright," Tifa hugged Cloud and tried to console him. She would have to warn the Turks to be more tactful and considerate when talking to Cloud on the phone. "What kind of deal did you make?"

"Babysitting... I hope you don't mind that I technically stole your client," Cloud confessed.

"It's fine, I'm busy with the restaurant and bar anyway." Tifa looked thoughtful, "although, it's a little unusual that Reno would call about babysitting, that was Reno of the Turks right?"

"Yeah, that's the only Reno I know," Cloud nodded. "He said he was brining the baby over here." Wait, the baby? Reno had a baby?

Tifa looked curious. "Reno's baby? Who's the mother?"

"I don't know," Cloud would just have to ask about it when Reno arrived.

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When Reno arrived at the Seventh Heaven, Cloud could only stare at the creature in his arms. "His name is Dragoon."

"What kind of crazy experiment did Shinra use on the poor child?" This was unforgivable, for Shinra to experiment on a defenseless baby and turn him into a dragon-like creature. Furthermore, if Reno agreed to let them do it, Cloud would personally make him regret it.

Dragoon gave a high pitched whining growl and Reno tried to comfort him. "Don't be mean to my pet or I'll fire you!"

"Your pet? You mean he was never a human baby? He's always been a dragon?" Cloud felt relieved but at the same time tricked. Reno didn't say the baby he was supposed to take care of was a dragon.

"He's a wyvern, not a dragon, and his name is Dragoon," Reno tried to give Dragoon to Cloud, but the wyvern clung to his daddy and refused to let go. "He doesn't like you very much..."

Tifa witnessed the scene and curiously looked at the wyvern. "I thought wyverns were extinct." Books told the tale of the last dragoon knight to ever come into contact with a real wyvern, was the legendary Kain, but that was many years ago.

"Is the baby here?" Marlene ran down the stairs. She had heard from Cloud that there would be a baby over for the day and she wanted to see him. Denzel followed close behind, also curious about the child.

Dragoon looked at Marlene and Denzel. These humans were small and didn't scare him. The children approached and smiled at the baby wyvern. Well, Cloud never said it was a human baby, they had simply assumed it was; goes to show you it's not good to jump to conclusions.

"May I?" Marlene asked.

"Me next," Denzel requested.

"Sure," Reno allowed Marlene to hold Dragoon. "He likes you two." The Turk looked at Cloud, "Strife, you're fired," he looked back at the children, "Marlene and Denzel, you're hired. Take care of Dragoon for the day, he's a wyvern and he likes chicken."

"Yes!" Of course the kids were all too happy to agree. They got to play with a baby wyvern all day and even got paid for it.

Cloud simply stared open mouthed, he wanted to say something but the words refused to come out as Reno walked out of the Seventh Heaven. "It's karma," he whispered. Well he did steal Tifa's babysitting job, so now Marlene and Denzel stole his.

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Dragoon flew around with a pair of shorts stuck on his tail, one shoe on his right paw and a shirt in his mouth. "Come back here!" Cloud Strife chased after the little wyvern who had made a mess in his closet.

"Dragoon!" Marlene and Denzel followed trying to catch him but the baby didn't want to be caught by the angry looking Cloud so he didn't stop.

Tifa watched the chaos unfold and sighed, she should have known it would end like this, but other than a messy closet there was no harm done so she could find some amusement in the situation.

Cid was just walking in when the little wyvern flew over his head. "What was that?!"

The wyvern returned, curious about the new human and thought that perching himself on the head of said new human would be safe enough.

Cid picked the creature off his head and looked at it. "Some kind of dragon?"

"He's a wyvern," Denzel pointed out.

"And his name is Dragoon," added Marlene.

Cid took the shirt from Dragoon's mouth and handed it to Cloud, "I'm guessing this is yours." The shoe fell off Dragoon's paw, "and that too," Cid looked at the shorts on his tail, "and that."

Cloud looked embarrassed and snatched the clothes. He quickly picked up the shoe retreated to his room without saying a word.

"This is a rare new pet you two got here."

"He's not ours, Dragoon is Reno's pet," Denzel explained.

"Yeah, we're just babysitting him," Marlene was certainly enjoying taking care of Dragoon, though she did feel a little sorry for Cloud as did Denzel.

"I have a feeling this little guy will be troublesome..." Cid was right, from broken dishes to accidental arson; the wyvern was in fact quite troublesome.

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Several months passed and both the Seventh Heaven and Shinra Headquarters had felt the destruction caused by the wyvern. Reno placed his pet on the desk and collapsed into his chair; he leaned back and closed his eyes. Taking care of Dragoon was certainly a big workout. Dragoon purred and chewed up some paper work.

"Reno, you can't keep him anymore," Tseng knew that Reno would be hard to convince.

It didn't surprise the leader that the redhead was soon clinging to the wyvern. "He's my baby and I'm not letting him go. Who's going to take care of him?"

"Reno, you have to let him go, let's not forget the chocobo incident," Tseng reminded.

Elena grimaced at the memory and agreed, "Tseng is right, Dragoon belongs out in the wild, you can't keep him forever."

"Just because he hunted and ate a few of Rufus' price winning chocobos, even if the birds were a lot bigger than him, doesn't mean he'll try to eat us!" Reno defended.

"I didn't say he would," Tseng tried to reason with Reno, "but clearly Dragoon doesn't need you to feed him anymore and he seems to have taken a liking to raw chocobo meat more so than fried chicken..."

"Then I'll give him raw chicken then..." Reno insisted.

"Reno..." Tseng rested his case; Reno had to come to terms with the situation himself.

"Haven't you ever heard of 'if you love it let it go'?" Elena asked.

"That's just a stupid excuse so people don't have to admit they couldn't keep what they love," Reno pouted and continued hugging the wyvern who licked his face happily and wagged his tail.

Rufus suddenly threw the door opened and pointed at Dragoon, a few golden feathers in his hand, "he has to go!" He threw the golden feathers on Reno's desk; they must have been from Dragoon's latest victim. Just as suddenly as he came Rufus stomped out and slammed the door shut.

"I heard wild chocobos taste better anyway," Rude offered.

Reno nodded, "yeah, I know..."

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Just outside of Midgar Reno, Rude, Elena and Tseng had gathered to release Dragoon. "Okay Dragoon, you're free to go. If you need anything, you know where I live. Take care of yourself." Reno hugged the wyvern. Dragoon licked him and purred then flew off as if he understood...

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Reno's Point of View

Who ever told Strife he had a good singing voice was a big fat liar. He's usually quiet and he should remain quiet. Okay, so maybe it's a good thing if he speaks a little more, no one likes Mr. Moping, but speaking and singing are two very different things; screeching and singing are even more different.

I don't know why I agreed to come to the karaoke party at the Seventh Heaven. I haven't had a turn to play yet, because Turks go last and every member of Avalanche is here. I don't even know why Tifa invited me or why I agreed to come. My questions are soon answered when Tifa comes by and fills up my glass. I'm her best customer next to Rude and the booze is on sale today; that explains a lot.

I empty my glass, the liquid burning down my throat. It doesn't take a lot for the drunken mood to be ruined for me and listening to Strife is making me sober. I raise my glass again, signaling for Tifa to bring me a refill, then consider running away for the sake of saving my ears. The guys of Avalanche can't sing. Strife may be done, but now Barret's up there poisoning the sound waves, this sucks.

Tifa refills my glass and I reconsider my options, maybe I'll endure this for a while longer, Turks are tough after all. I can take another horrible song, but it looks like Tuesti can't. He's been sitting in a corner twitching since Strife let out the first earsplitting note. He looks pathetic clutching Cait Sith like that. Maybe he'll snap and tell Barret to shut up. I would do it myself, but then Tifa will be mad and it's not a good idea to make the bartender mad.

I finish my glass again and lean back, closing my eyes and trying to mentally block out the sound while wishing for Barret to catch on fire. Even if I try not to show it, I know my expression must look like I'm being tortured, and I am.

Then a miracle happens, my wish s granted and Barret randomly catches on fire. People are yelling and running around in circles. If I still had any liquor left in my glass, I would throw it at Barret and say I was trying to put out the fire and that I didn't know alcohol was flammable. Too bad my glass is empty, but it's still amusing to watch Avalanche panic.

They finally put the fire out and Barret looks like he's okay, too bad. He's cursing like there's no tomorrow and pointing at something near the ceiling. I look up and find the cause of the fire. I had my eyes closed and wasn't paying attention, so I thought Barret really did randomly catch on fire, but it wasn't random.

I stand up and run towards him, "you're back!" Dragoon returned! I set him free and he came back. Not only that, the little guy has grown quite a bit, he is now the same size as Marlene and knows how breathe fire even if it's just a bit!

Dragoon tackled me and licked my face; his tongue is warm but doesn't burn, despite the residual smoke coming out of his mouth. "Dragoon! I missed you little guy." This time, my wyvern is staying no matter what anyone says.

End of Fantasy 30

End of Sector III

Disclaimer, I don't own Final Fantasy VII. Fantasy 25 was written for CrAze's Opposite Day challenge.