Final Fantasy - All Series Fan Fiction ❯ Missions ❯ Chapter 8

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

Mission 71: Time Bomb

It all began with Reno's bright idea and Cloud's stupid acceptance of that bright idea. This was nothing new as trouble usually begins with one of Reno's ideas. Marlene's birthday had gone very well, though Barret wasn't pleased that Shinra had sent a representative with a gift, that had been Reno's mission. Barret kept a close eye on said gift but later deemed it harmless when he saw it was some kind of model building kit. What could it hurt to piece together toys, even if they were Shinra toys? The man with the gun arm had been going to anger management training at Tifa's insistence and became a little more tolerant of Shinra, though he did it with gritted teeth and angry glares.

It was the day after Marlene's birthday when Reno was hanging around the Seventh Heaven as he usually did, along with his red chocobo, Blaze. Cloud had no deliveries that day, Tifa was there as well, being the proprietary of the business and Barret had stayed over for an extra day. Marlene and Denzel were upstairs playing with the new toys she got for her birthday. Denzel was thankful Marlene wasn't one of those girly girls who played with dolls or else she would force him to play with her and he didn't want to do that. All the girls around them were a bit tomboyish anyway, so Marlene wasn't a pink princess either.

Marlene went downstairs to show everyone her creation, a small time bomb she made from the building kit Reno got her for her birthday in the name of Shinra, further upgraded with parts from the expansions packs Reno talked Cloud into getting, assuring that explosives were the perfect gifts for a girl who was becoming a young lady, because women love explosives. "Look what I made!" Marlene held up the round device that ticked suspiciously.

Denzel didn't know what that thing was; he didn't know what the kit was for because neither of them read the instructions. The device didn't appear to be special, it wasn't a car or airplane or train, just a round thing, yet Marlene assured she had put it together correctly by instinct or something like that, thus Denzel wisely decided to be cautious.

"How nice," Tifa wondered what the ticking was for and spotted a small display with red numbers. It wasn't the time of the day, but a number counting backwards, perhaps a sort of chronometer. "You see, Barret? I told you everything would be fine, this is a very good gift with intellectual value that encourages creativity." She passed it along for everyone to get the chance to see Marlene's creation, while Barret grumbled quietly and counted to ten.

Reno examined the time bomb, he knew exactly what it was, "here Cloud, you hold it."

Cloud didn't like the look in Reno's eyes, he should have known listening to him and giving Marlene that time bomb building kit was a bad idea. "What do I do with it?"

"Pass it to me," Tifa encouraged, convinced that it was nothing but a harmless hot potato game, maybe the round device would play music when the time ran out, then the one holding it would have to sing along. Tifa received the bomb and passed it to Denzel who had a bad feeling about it and tossed it forward as soon as he got it.

Barret caught the bomb and it beeped. Marlene ran for cover behind the counter and Denzel followed her, not really knowing why, but he knew it was best not to question his survival instinct. "Take cover!" Reno yelled. Blaze jumped over the counter following Reno while Tifa stood confused until Cloud tackled her behind the counter, she didn't see the explosion that followed, but they all heard it.

When they peeked out from behind the counter, with Tifa scolding Cloud for being so wild, Barret was letting out a stream of colorful curses, his gun arm was damaged with sparks flying from it as it went haywire and a rain of bullets followed. All those present took cover again, until the ammunition ran out and the crisis passed.

"Barret, how could you!" Tifa scolded angrily. "We were just joking around; you don't have to be such a sore loser! Sure it was cheating to run away from the hot potato, but you didn't have to overreact like that. You made a mess, the walls are full of holes and you broke Marlene's toy. You should be ashamed of yourself, just be thankful no one got hurt."

"I didn't do it, this #$%& thing blew up on its own!" Barret argued.

"Nonsense, it's just a toy, it's perfectly safe!" Tifa insisted, scolding and upset.

"It's from Shinra!" Barret emphasized, frustrated and angry.

"Cloud made sure it was alright and he even got the expansion packs to match the starter kit, it was a perfectly safe toy, right Cloud?" Cloud nodded his head at Tifa's critical look, unable to utter a single word. He knew that opening his mouth would inevitably lead him to inserting his foot in it. "Barret, I expect you to clean this mess!" Tifa ordered.

"But my arm isn't working, besides, I'm telling you that #$%& thing was a real bomb, it blew up!" Barret complained.

"That's enough!" Tifa's glare made all those present back away slowly. "You will clean this up and fix the holes in the walls, now!" Defeated, Barret went off to fix the damage, grumbling about the evils of Shinra. Tifa took a deep breath, then tried to look calm so the others would stop looking so frightened, "I'm sorry about your toy Marlene."

"That's okay," Marlene wasn't sure what there was to be sorry about, the bomb had worked exactly as it was supposed to. She knew she was being mischievous, but there was a certain rush of satisfaction that came upon getting away with it.

"I have to go now," Reno decided it was best to leave before someone blamed him for what happened, "come on Blaze, time to go home."

"I have to go make a delivery," Cloud made up an excuse to leave.

"I thought you didn't have any deliveries for today, Tifa recalled.

"I forgot about it, but I just remembered it so I have to go now," Cloud, Reno and Blaze left.

Tifa watched them exit the Seventh Heaven suspiciously, but she soon shrugged it off and let them be. They were probably running off to bet on the chocobo races or something, Blaze was not only fast but also well trained as a battle chocobo since Reno had been taking him to work with him since he was a chicobo. Reno was banned from the Golden Saucer, but that didn't stop him from sneaking in and entering the races before anyone could stop him. Surely they were just running away from the possibility of being asked to help Barret clean, not that Tifa was planning to do that, it was his mess to fix all by himself.

End of Mission 71

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Mission 72: Delivery Boy

Cloud lay in bed in his pajamas, light blue adorned with pictures of little clouds. He was blissfully staring at the ceiling, he didn't need to get up today, he had the day off from his deliveries due to having broken his toes. It was Reno's fault of course; most of Cloud's disasters were Reno's fault. To compensate for the incident, Reno was given the mission to go on Cloud's deliveries, which was harder than it sounded.

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"Come in, come in!" Mukki insisted when he saw the new delivery boy. "You're so much more cheerful then Cloudy, oh don't get me wrong I love Cloudy, but he's always so gloomy."

"I'm only here to deliver this box," Reno was certain he didn't want to know what was in the box.

"No, no, you have to come in!" Mukki smiled, looking even creepier in his pink sweat suit, he had apparently been getting ready to start exercising. "Your hair is so red and shiny; you must let me brush it!"

Reno backed away slowly, he felt sorry for Cloud, if this was his job no wonder he was depressed. Reno was really started to worry, when a loud "wark!" put Mukki in his place.

Mukki looked at the big red bird, so brightly colored and festive, but so dangerous and threatening. What if the chocobo pecked his face full of holes? "He doesn't bite, right? Oh those lovely feathers, may I have some to decorate my hair?"

"Wark!" Blaze spread his wings threateningly, causing Mukki to jump back.

Relieved that he had his dear chocobo with him, Reno held out a clipboard, "sign here!"

Mukki took the offered pen with a shaking hand and signed, taking the box and watching as the cute new delivery boy hopped on the fabulous but dangerous red chocobo and dashed away like a run away prince from a fairy tale.

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The next delivery was similar to the fist in terms of the client, but quite different in other aspects, while still remaining alike. "I thought I banned you!" Dio was sure he would never be free of the red haired trouble maker running around his Gold Saucer.

"I'm here to bring a package that's all," Reno handed Dio the box who signed for it without complaints. "Since I'm here I might as well have a look around..."

"No, no, you are banned! The chocobo on the other hand is another story. I watched the last race and let me say I've never seen such a magnificent creature." Dio looked at Blaze with adoration, which caused the chocobo to back away. "The strength, the speed, the endurance, the elegance, this chocobo is special!"

Dio was in the middle of his speech when Reno hit him on the head with his electro-rod, "stay away from my baby!" Then he hopped on Blaze again and they hurried away.

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"We have one more delivery for today," Reno petted Blaze; he didn't know how he would have survived the day without him. Fearing the worse, Reno jumped off the chocobo in front of the house of the last delivery and rung the doorbell.

The door was opened by a little old lady who looked harmless, "is that box for me?"

"Yes it is and I need your autograph right here," the lady signed and received the box. That last delivery was easy so Reno was relieved.

"You look more cheerful today Cloud, that's good. Is that the red haired boy who's always picking on you, Reno was it? I knew you two were good friends deep down. How about some cookies?" The old lady offered.

Reno could not turn down cookies so he happily agreed, not even bothering to clarify that he wasn't Cloud and Blaze wasn't him. The old lady really needed to go to the eye doctor.

"Have you thought about what I asked you before?" The lady inquired while Reno and Blaze were happily eating cookies. "It would make me so very happy."

Reno had no idea what the old lady was talking about, but she was the sweet grandmotherly type, whatever she wanted couldn't be bad. "Sure, I'll do it, no problem."

"You will? Oh thank you, how about we get started on the preparations tomorrow?" The old lady smiled happily.

"Sounds good to me!" Reno had no idea what he was agreeing to, but it wasn't his problem anyway, tomorrow Cloud would go back to making deliveries. Besides, how much trouble could this be? It was just offering a kind old lady some help; Cloud would have probably done it anyway.

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The next day at the Seventh Heaven, Cloud was about to leave to go on deliveries, his recovery vacation was over. He went down stairs to have some breakfast and was greeted by a newspaper to the face thrown by Tifa, "you have no shame!"

Cloud examined the news article on the page that collided with his face. It was an announcement proclaiming that a certain rich old lady was engaged to a man by the name of Cloud Strife.

End of Mission 72

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Mission 73: Baby Vincent

As it always happened with DDR, everyone gets competitive and tries much harder than they would have otherwise. Some make it a duel, such as Cloud and Rude. Others just want to have fun and instead trip over their own feet, like Reno. There are also those who win with ease without trying too hard, like Tifa. Such is the way of the DDR.

There is also the classic occasion of inevitably dropping something while trying to follow the arrows. The case was not Rude, though it would have been ironic if he dropped his sunglasses then stepped on them while playing DDR, since it was Reno who usually clumsily stepped on Rude's sunglasses. This time instead, the one who dropped something was Vincent of all people. The item, light as a feather, slipped out mysteriously from under his cloak and was blown away by the breeze of the red cloak as Vincent danced.

The item was a picture which fell at Marlene's feet. She curiously picked it up and returned it to Vincent when he was done with the DRR song, asking loudly and cheerfully, "is this your baby picture?"

Vincent tried to take the picture immediately, but Tifa's hand shot out first and grabbed it, "let me see! Aw how cute!" With her announcement the Seventh Heaven, which had been declared the official DDR battle arena, was filled with curiosity and the picture was inevitably passed around, much to Vincent's annoyance.

Since he knew they wouldn't stop asking, Vincent explained, "I found those pictures in the Shinra Mansion," among some old things that used to belong to his father and were set aside buried under a mountain of other random things long ago.

"This is the baby I was looking for!" Rufus exclaimed when the picture was passed to him after going through the Turks. The baby's big bright red eyes matched the Shinra logo perfectly and they stood out against the child's ghostly pale skin and long black hair, it was like a black and white picture with one detail in a bright color.

Everyone was confused and Vincent had to asked, "why would you be looking for my baby picture?"

"Not yours specifically," Rufus explained, "I was looking for a baby to feature on the ads promoting the new line of Shinra baby toys. This baby will be the new face of Shinra!" Rufus held up the picture proudly.

Vincent snatched away the picture and hid it in his cloak, "I'm not a baby anymore."

"You don't need to worry, I'll just have my people recreate a computer generated version of you as a baby, it will be perfectly realistic, I'm sure," Rufus reasoned. This time everyone was in his favor, encouraging Vincent to appear on Shinra's ads. Even Barret, who clearly hated Shinra, decided that it was a good idea so that Vincent could influence them for the better, since it was clear Shinra would never just go away.

Vincent frowned, in an expression much like an emo Cloud, different from his baby picture where no one could tell if he was pouting or grinning. He knew he was doomed as long as that picture existed, so there was only one thing to do. He retrieved the picture from his cloak along with a lighter, because real men always carry lighters even if they have no use for them, then he burned the picture to ashes.

Before Tifa decided he needed to be decapitated for the mess. Vincent scooped up the ashes in a napkin and handed it to Rufus, "you may use my baby picture if you wish," he was certain there was no other picture aside from the one that became ashes in existence, so he assumed he was safe. Having his baby picture all over Shinra would be worse than dealing with everyone's complaints about his action anyway.

Rufus grinned and handed the ashes back to Vincent, "you should keep that one, I already have a copy." Simultaneously Tseng, Elena, Reno and Rude showed their PHS' where Vincent's baby picture was displayed in perfect high definition, in even better quality than it had been on paper. "It's already been sent to the databases at Shinra and we have many secret backups."

Vincent was about to protest but stopped, he understood he wouldn't be able to win anymore; he too had been a Turk after all. Turks never let an opportunity to gather blackmail slip by and once they have it, there's no stopping them.

End of Mission 73

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Mission 74: Tricky

"I'll do it!" Yuffie exclaimed at the top of her lungs as she entered the Seventh Heaven.

Tifa, Reno and Vincent looked towards the new arrival, taking note of her unusual attire. "What are you going to do and why are you dressed like that?" Tifa inquired.

Before Yuffie could say anything, Reno cut in, "is there a party? Why haven't I been invited? I'm going to crash it if you don't invite me!" Determined, Reno stood up and marched away, he stopped, turned back, finished his drink which had already been paid for, then marched towards the door again. "You just wait; I'll have the best samurai costume in the entire party!" He ran outside.

Yuffie pouted and crossed her arms indignantly stomping her foot. Her wooden sandal sounded off against the floor, "samurai? I'm a ninja and there's no party!" Reno was already gone and could not hear this.

"Then why are you dressed like that?" Tifa repeated the question.

Yuffie was wearing a royal blue kimono with pictures of golden shurikens on it. "I just thought I should wear something special today since it's my first day as a model," Yuffie ginned from ear to ear and posed with one hand behind her head and the other at her waist.

"Really, you're a model?" Tifa wasn't expecting that, "when did it happen?"

"Oh you know," Yuffie made her way to the bar and sat down next to the quiet Vincent, "stardom came so fast!"

Tifa rolled her eyes, "don't let it go to your head."

Yuffie flipped her hair; she was wearing a big golden bow on her head, to match the one around her waist. "Don't worry, we won't forget all the little people when we're famous, right Vincent?"

"If you say so," Vincent muttered, he wasn't sure he wanted to be included in the conversation and didn't know why he was being included.

"Look at him, sitting there getting inspired," Yuffie laughed, "so, when will be getting started?"

Tifa looked in confusion between Yuffie and Vincent, the bar tender's perplexity matched that of the man in the red cloak. He spoke uncertain, "what do you mean we?"

"I model, you sculpt, that's how it works," Yuffie reviewed, "I'm the answer to your request. Remember how you needed a model for your sculptures? Well, I'm here!"

Vincent shook his head, "I don't need a model to base my sculptures on, I need some tools to help model the sculptures," he remembered his innocent request from not too long ago. He had asked Reeve if he had any tools he could borrow, but Reeve sent him to Rufus, who must have passed the mission on to the Turks, who misinterpreted his request.

"What about my modeling career?" Yuffie dramatized, "my fifteen minutes of fame can't end now, not before they even start!" She pouted indignantly, "just what are you sculpting anyway? What could be better than me?"

"I promised Cid I would sculpt a rocket for him, in a much smaller size than a real one of course. I also told Nanaki I would sculpt him next, in life size, he wants to put the statue next to Seto," Vincent explained.

"Can you sculpt me next?" Tifa suddenly chirped.

"Very well, I will add you to the waiting list" Vincent agreed, "I will sculpt the rocket, Nanaki and then Tifa, after that I will rest."

Yuffie gritted her teeth in indignation, "what about me?" Before Vincent could answer, she hissed, "fine, be that way, you're probably intimidated because you know there's no way you could capture my true beauty!" She got up and began to leave, "I'm still keeping my payment!" She waved some pictures around; they were of Cloud playing with dolls.

"I don't want to know," Vincent looked away.

"It can't be," Tifa gasped in shock as Yuffie left the Seventh Heaven, "I requested a mission for Reno to play dolls with Marlene, I wanted to help Cloud get back at him, but somehow Reno must have tricked Cloud into taking his place and got some blackmail out of it too."

"Turks are tricky," Vincent simply stated.

Tifa eyed him suspiciously, "didn't you used to be a Turk?"

Vincent cleared his throat and tried to change the subject, "so, do you think Reno really believed Yuffie was dressed up for a costume party or was he putting up an act to escape?"

"I don't know," Tifa ironically replied, "Turks are tricky."

End of Mission 74

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Mission 75: Prank

He was terrified and he didn't know it was the work of karma guided by his own hands, but that aside he was very afraid. He had a good reason to fear for his life if he was ever discovered, but he was unaware of it, instead fearing because of something else.

Reno of the Turks, the resident troublemaker of Edge had done it again; he sabotaged Cloud's shampoo, sneaking upstairs and down again unnoticed. He was surprised to arrive at the Seventh Heaven to see Cloud at the counter, while the delicious scents coming from the kitchen told him that Tifa was there, cooking.

The delivery boy's hair was just as blond as ever and Reno pouted, impatient for his trick to work. He couldn't have discovered the prank, he would have complained if that was the case. Was it just that Cloud stopped washing his hair? That would be gross.

Then Tifa exited the kitchen behind the counter, her hair a bright red. Since her hair was black, and black is a stubborn color when it comes to changing, it took a few washes for it to lighten and become red.

Tifa knew Reno would be insane to try to prank her; he always played jokes on Cloud, but never her. She was the bartender and cook who made his meals and drinks, no one was stupid enough to mess with the person that handled their food, not even Reno. Thus she blamed it on the shampoo; it was a new brand that she was trying for the first time. Even so, it wasn't so bad, her hair looked nice.

Reno remembered how he once walked into the Seventh Heaven to find Cloud hugging Tifa while calling out his name. He didn't know that Cloud was only complaining to Tifa and found the scene creepy. Terrified Reno ran away, he thought Tifa had dyed her hair red as part of a Reno cosplay to please Cloud. He never once questioned that the sabotaged shampoo bottle belonged to Cloud, he could totally picture him using girly shampoo.

Tifa found Reno running away to be odd, but assumed he remembered he had something to do. Cloud didn't understand, Tifa had not complained about her hair so he thought she dyed it on purpose. Cloud didn't like it because it was Reno's color, but he didn't say that to Tifa to avoid offending her.

Reno came to several conclusions that day. One, despite the creepiness of the situation, Tifa looked good as a redhead. Two, Cloud did not wash his hair anymore. Three, Cloud was obsessed with him.

End of Mission 75

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Mission 76: Look

Reno of the Turks, red hair, goggles, silly grin, hardly ever shuts up. Rude of the Turks, no hair, sunglasses, serious expression, hardly ever speaks. Total opposites, best friends. Unlike Rude, Reno liked pranks, from the silly to the elaborate, though the simple improvised jokes were his favorites.

"Hey Rude, look behind you, it's a giant lime green moogle!" It was a simple joke as old as time, but Reno could never get Rude to fall for it and look. The red head pouted as Rude ignored him and continued enjoying his food. The Turks were at the Seventh Heaven where Tifa always welcomed them as her best customers, much to Cloud's annoyance.

"Give up," Tifa laughed, "no one falls for that kind of joke, unless it's an idiot."

Cue Cloud, the delivery boy went downstairs with his last box of the day. "I'm going on my last delivery now, I'll be back soon."

"Okay," Tifa smiled, she had some secret plans.

"Cloud look out, Sephiroth is right behind you and it looks like he's going to glomp you like a fan girl!" Reno pointed to the empty space behind Cloud.

Cloud jumped in shock, his expression terrified. He dropped the box, its contents shattering on impact. He drew his sword and prepared to defend himself against... air. "There's nothing here!"

A collective fit of laughter invaded the Seventh Heaven, "made you look!" Reno chocked out his mocking words between laughs, "you fall for it every time!"

"Sephiroth hugging Cloud is less likely than the giant lime green moogle," Tifa sighed, "I rest my case," Cloud could be rather dense at times. That was the reason why Tifa planned to do something special for Cloud that would let him know beyond the shadow of a doubt that she was interested in him.

"You!" Cloud turned his rage towards Reno.

"Cloud!" The delivery boy froze at Tifa's scolding voice. She raised her index finger moving it from side to side in a sign of 'no'.

Cloud pouted, put away his sword and picked up the box he dropped. He stomped out of the Seventh Heaven angrily. Tifa never took his side when he wanted to kill Reno, life wasn't fair.

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When Cloud returned, Tifa had already put her plan into action. She was wrapped up as a present waiting for Cloud to find her. Unfortunately, she fell asleep in her box, which Cloud mistakenly delivered to Rufus. At least he didn't drop the box, but that also meant Tifa didn't wake up until she was in Rufus' office, with Cloud gone. Tifa stormed out in a fury, Cloud would pay for this.

Just outside of Rufus' office Rude and Reno were walking down the hall. Tifa exited the office and went in the opposite direction towards the elevator. "Rude look, it's Tifa and she's wrapped up like a present!" Reno pointed.

Rude paid his partner no mind and kept walking without looking back.

"I'm serious, she's right there. It's Tifa in gift wrap, look!" Reno tugged on Rude's arm, but the tall man could not be moved. "I'm telling the truth this time, honest!" Rude disappeared down the hall with Reno uselessly trying to drag him in the opposite direction. Instead the red head was dragged along as Rude walked, unable to make the larger man turn around. Tifa left and Rude never knew what he had missed.

End of Mission 76

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Mission 77: Paintball

Reno smiled as sweetly as he could and Reeve backed away. He was stressed enough as it was, the last thing he needed was Reno showing up by surprise at his WRO office. "I was thinking," the conversation was off to a bad start. When Reno bothered to think about something it was because he was plotting mischief. "You look really stressed so I thought I should help you relax. The president says I'm not embracing the new Shinra enough. I asked him if hugging the building would be enough, but he didn't sound satisfied." Reno remembered the odd looks he got while attempting to hug the building, his arms outstretched against the wall. "Anyway, I'm doing a good deed here so just go with it. I'm taking you to the shooting range for a game of paintball."

"No!" Reeve screamed in (rather squeaky) agony. It was too late, Reno had already decided that it would be done.

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The day came and the Turks lined up in their paintball suits at the outdoor shooting range. Tseng was briefing them as if they were about to go into a real battle field. Reeve arrived right on time being carried by Cloud. "Put me down! Have you forgotten what I've done for you, ingrate!"

Cloud set the frightened Reeve down, "sorry, the Turks paid me to deliver you here. They said they would put me out of business if I refused." His advertisement did say he delivered any kind of cargo. That did not exclude living cargo of the kicking and screaming variety. He really needed to work on a new ad.

Tseng looked completely serious, "that is our target." He pointed at Reeve, sounding very much like an army general. "Let the battle begin!" Sometimes, you just had to go with the flow. Sometimes, you just had to listen to Reno even if his ideas were a little crazy. It was especially one of those times when the possibility surfaced that Reno had found a new victim. He had someone to bother outside of Shinra and the Turks, for the sake of their own peace and quiet, would support that.

Frightened beyond belief, Reeve let out a high pitched squeak and dashed away. He didn't even bother to suit up or grab a paintball gun. He knew he wouldn't stand a chance either way.

"Fire!" Tseng announced, he started sounding more like an executioner than an army general. Cloud jumped aside as Tseng, Reno, Rude and Elena began to shoot paint at their helpless victim. Soon Reeve was coated in red, blue, green and yellow.

Not daring to risk his life, Cloud took cover behind the equipment shed. It was the only really safe place in the large land of the shooting range. He peeked out and yelled advice, but didn't do much else. He wanted to be safe but couldn't help it but to watch the event unfold. He made a mental note not to get on the Turks' bad side. He knew firsthand how lethal Reno could be when a prank. Getting the Turks mad was a death wish. Perhaps they had been holding back all along.

The multicolored Reeve crawled away from the merciless Turks. He saw a pair of shoes and looked up to see Rufus Shinra, all geared up for paintball. "You came to save me!" A flicker of hope came and went.

Rufus grinned, all the frustrations that Reno caused him resurfaced in his memory. Misery loves company. "You know, my weapon of choice is a gun." The last thing Reeve saw before passing out, was a massive storm of black paint.

End of Mission 77

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Mission 78: Turbulence

"Reno," Elena hissed quietly as she entered the pilot's cabin of Rufus' private jet. "Why are the motion sensor's in the cargo hall going off?"

Seconds passed and there was no reply.

"Reno!" Elena called again louder. She listened and realized that Reno was absentmindedly humming something. Annoyed, she pulled one side of the headphones he was wearing, the sound of music escaping, then she let it go.

"Ow!" Reno complained as the headphone recoiled and collided with his right ear. "What are you doing over here Elena? Change of plans?"

"Yes, but not in the flight schedule. Our plans for a peaceful trip have been canceled. We have an intruder in the cargo hall. He's probably out to kill the president. I told you to check the jet but you just had to go to that souvenir shop."

"Quit whining, why didn't you check the jet yourself?" Reno retorted.

"Because I was guarding the president!" Elena argued. Reno set the jet to auto pilot and exited the cabin followed by Elena. "Where are you going?"

"To get rid of the intruder you can't get rid of yourself," Reno replied smugly.

Elena pouted and glared, "I didn't say I couldn't take care of this myself. I just said that it's your fault it happened!"

"That still doesn't solve it," Reno pouted in returned and they began a staring contest.

The contest was broken by loud footsteps signaling that the intruder was entering the passenger area ready for a fight. Rufus woke up from his in flight nap and yawned loudly. "What's that noise?"

"Turbulence!" Reno and Elena replied at the same time, their rushed combined voices reaching a high volume.

Rufus frowned, "you don't have to yell and since when does turbulence make any sound?"

"It's special turbulence..." Elena smiled innocently while Reno bolted to the end of the hall.

"What's his problem?" Rufus looked to the end of the hall to see Reno leaning on the door connecting the upper area to the cargo hall below.

"Exercise," Elena guessed. She tried to find something to distract Rufus with, "um... sir, no offense but your hair is... well, kind of messy." It was not a lie; Rufus' hair had somehow been ruffled out of place while he slept. It was Reno's idea of a stupid joke.

"It is?" Without a second to waste, Rufus rushed to the bathroom and locked himself in. He examined his hair in the mirror and pulled out several brushes, combs and hair products from a few compartments.

While Rufus was oblivious, the intruder knocked down the cargo hall door, throwing Reno several feet forward. The redhead scrambled to his feet as the tall and muscular intruder approached. "I'm going to crash this plane with your leader on it," he laughed evilly and dashed like a hundred ton runaway train towards the pilot's cabin.

"Stop him!" Elena yelled. She and Reno each grabbed one of the big man's large arms, but were easily thrown away.

"You're not getting away with this!" Reno was the first to recover. He jumped on the man's back, hitting him on the head with his electro-rod repeatedly. The man couldn't get rid of Reno, but he wouldn't get knocked out and kept yelling threats at the 'secret agent' as he referred to Reno.

"Turn the volume down!" Called Rufus' voice from inside the bathroom.

The intruder threw Reno off him, but Reno kept jumping back and hitting him repeatedly. "Stubborn secret agent!" The intruder growled grabbing Reno by the neck.

BANG! The large intruder fell limp as blood flowed from the back of his head.

"Get him off, get him off, get him off!" Reno struggled to escape from the weight of the corpse that fell on him until he finally managed to crawl out.

"I... I did it, I stopped the crisis!" Elena cheered.

Reno curiously looked at the weapon she held. "Is that Tseng's gun? Why do you have it? I knew it you are sleeping together!"

Elena's face turned tomato red, "what?!" She tried to explain, "It's just that Tseng forgot it at my apartment, that's all. He was there for... work."

Reno didn't buy the excuses, "a man doesn't trust a woman with his weapon unless he trusts her with his weapon."

"That was redundant and made no sense," Elena observed.

"Never mind, let's clean up this mess," Reno concluded. The Turks quickly cleaned up the mess, hid the body and mopped the floor.

By the time Rufus was done with his hair, everything was back to normal. He sat in his comfy chair calmly. Reno had returned to the pilot's cabin and Elena hovered nearby as if waiting to see if he wanted something. In truth, she wanted to make sure Rufus didn't realize what was going on. "I would like a cocktail... and you should play that movie from before, it sounded good. What was it, some kind of spy movie?"

Elena smiled innocently, "yes, I'll tell Reno to play the movie and go make your cocktail right away." Thus the flight continued and there was no more turbulence.

End of Mission 78

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Mission 79: Brothers

"I'm what?" To say Cloud Strife was shocked was the understatement of the century. "That's a lie!" It better be a lie, he desperately needed it to be a lie. "You're lying; you made that up to bother me, you..." He stopped short of breath and leaned back on the front counter of the Seventh Heaven.

Behind that very same counter Tifa stood frozen like a statue, eyes wide, mouth open, every inch completely still, save for the tightening of her grip around the glass she had been cleaning when she heard the news. The glass gave in and shattered, causing Tifa to jump in pain and disappear into the kitchen to clean her hand.

Cloud didn't notice the event that had transpired with Tifa and the glass behind him. He just stared forward at Tseng. This was Tseng of the Turks, the serious and responsible leader not known for his pranks. He wasn't Reno, his words were not so easily disregarded. Cloud wanted him to be Reno so he could roll his eyes and ignore him, maybe even swing his sword at him. But this was still Tseng, the leader, the serious one, the one who wouldn't play such a cruel joke on him.

"I wish I was..." Tseng admitted, he knew that the truth would be difficult to handle for both Strife and the president. Reno of course knew, but he was back at headquarters bothering Rufus against his better judgment. However, it wouldn't be long before he realized that it was best not to infuriate the man who paid him and moved on to bother Strife.

"She never told me," Cloud gasped breathlessly. "She would have told me." He clung to the possibility of everything being one big mistake.

"Think about it," Tseng reason, his expression as serious as ever. "Would she have told you? He came and went, he left, just like that. It was a remote town in the middle of nowhere. He didn't need to worry about his reputation out there. There's no other explanation about why she wouldn't tell you, she couldn't, it must have been... difficult."

Tifa reappeared from the kitchen and took her previous spot behind the counter in silence. She didn't hurt her hand too badly, just a few shallow cuts that would no doubt begin to fade by the next day.

"Shinra Mansion," those two words left Cloud's lips and he shivered involuntarily. Maybe that was the reason why he went to that little town, maybe he stayed there, then they met and... he didn't want to think about it He desperately didn't want to believe it to be true. He bit his lip to stop the agonizing scream that threatened to escape his throat at the realization that it could be very true.

Then it happened, Rufus Shinra walked into the Seventh Heaven dragging Reno by the ear. The redhead complained every step of the way, as it was natural, but the blond president didn't release him until they stood right in front of the counter, facing cloud. "Strife," Cloud jumped upon being addressed by Rufus.

"Strife," the ex-soldier repeated, "yes, Strife, not Shinra."

"Why is it my fault?" Reno protested, rubbing his pained ear. "Everyone believed it. Elena was already making a fuss before I realized what was going on. Even Tseng and Rude believed it."

"I know," Rufus voiced, "it was all my fault for being unclear, I was upset and caused a misunderstanding. I don't blame you, Reno, I just needed to let out my stress on someone. Take it like a Turk," he sounded almost apologetic, but not quite, certainly not. There was a pause before Rufus' voice's turned aggressive again, "actually, it is your fault, because you're the one who let her out in the first place!"

"Rufus," Cloud's expectant voice interrupted the exchange between Rufus and Reno. "What does this mean?"

"The Turks overheard me." Rufus paused, searching for the right words to phrase it.

"Ranting," Reno supplied.

Ignoring Reno, Rufus continued, "thinking aloud about having recently discovered that Dark Nation's puppies are not pedigree. Reno stupidly let her run off while he wasted time at the Seventh Heaven, instead of walking her like he was supposed to, her puppy's a mutt. Recently I acquired some documents that indicated I might have had a sibling, or rather half sibling from Nibelheim. The man in question, still a boy then, was confirmed to have died in the Nibelheim fire. The timing was just bad I suppose. The two events have nothing to do with each other, but speaking of both things all at once made the Turks misunderstand and somehow believe that we were brothers."

"Then we're not?" Cloud held his breath waiting for the absolute confirmation.

"No," Rufus confirmed.

Cloud let out a breath of relief, "that's good to know."

Rufus pouted, "what's that supposed to mean?" Indignantly, because truly, he didn't want Cloud as his brother, but really, Cloud should have been honored, Rufus left, dragging Reno out by the ear again.

Cloud just stood there looking like a huge weight had been thrown and consequently lifted off his shoulders. He found that he at least had that much to be thankful for, he wasn't a Shinra, never mind the benefits that could bring to a poor broke guy like him, he didn't think that deeply about it. Tseng soon followed after Reno and Rufus, which left Cloud to loiter around the bar and Tifa to go about her tasks of cleaning glasses that were already clean out of lack of anything better to do.

Cloud was feeling peaceful, for the most part, until the next day, Reno showed up with a wagon full of puppies and tricked him into taking one. After all, Rufus' couldn't keep them all, plus it would be good for Shinra's image if they gave away puppies.

End of Mission 79

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Disclaimer, I don't own Final Fantasy VII. Mission 71 is a sequel to Delivery 42. Mission 72 is a sequel to Delivery 43, requested by Sharem. Mission 73 was requested by Sonica Foxie. Mission 74 is for kikofreako and Firehedgehog. Mission 75 is for demonlifehealer and it's a sequel to Delivery 45. Mission 76 is a companion drabble to Delivery 48. Mission 77 is based on the Shinra RPG from the shinra database live journal community. Mission 78 was inspired by the movie Knight and Day, which I also don't own.