|megpie71 (megpie71) wrote,|
@ 2008-11-12 13:43:00
Fic: In Memoriam
Title: In Memoriam
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Characters: Nesa Conway, Elena
Rating: Australian PG
Warnings: Character death, adult language
Prompt: 10 and 1: the memory cannot keep me warm / but it never leaves me cold
The group around the gravesite was a ragtag bunch. A couple of former Turks, the ex-head of the WRO, the SOLDIER who'd saved the world a few too many times for his own comfort, a few farmers, a geologist, a computer expert, a greying journalist, and their children. The headstone didn't say much, just a name and a couple of dates. There was a scattering of earth, a tinge of rain in the air.
The blonde woman waited until the other mourners had departed before stepping forward.
"It's been a while, Nesa," she said. "Too long, it seems. Only heard about the funeral when Reno told me - he said to apologise, but since he lost that leg to the booby trap, it's a bit tricky getting out to spots like this." She blinked for a moment. "Seems the only time we're meeting up these days is at funerals, or when people are handing out the invitations. People drift apart. But then, you know that."
"Rufus says he's fine, although I'm not too sure how accurate that is. Since Tseng died, it's like the life went out of him, and he's just crumpled into a heap. We're getting old, Nesa. I think apart from Strife, Valentine and Reeve, nobody really remembers the days before the Jenova war, or knows what led into it."
"I can still remember seeing the debrief tape of you blowing up at Tseng just before you quit Shinra for good. You were so damn angry, so furious. I think I must've fell in love with you there and then. Any woman who was willing to take on the whole of Shinra for the sake of Sephiroth... well, I figured you must have loved him a lot. Of course, I kidded myself you were just another deluded fangirl. You remember how it was back then - all the secretaries picking their favourite First Class to swoon over.
"Reno's the one who told me, of course. It would have been either Reno or Kunsel, and I was never on particularly good terms with any of the SOLDIER boys. Let's face it, most of them were more balls than brains, and even the few who were smart enough to think their way out of a wet newspaper hid the fact really well. Learning you weren't interested in guys shocked me - I couldn't put that together with the way you were so angry about the General.
"When I first met you in person, back at Healin, I was still angry as all hell about the way things had played out. We'd been trying our damnedest to do our fucking jobs, and Strife's people just came into the middle of things and fucked it all up every single which way they could think of. Then at the end of it all, instead of anyone from Shinra getting any of the credit, who gets it? The fucking terrorists. Tseng was still in a critical condition, Rufus had damn near been flattened, and Rude and Reno were no damn help to anyone. Suppose I felt a bit betrayed, in a way.
"And there you were in the middle of it all. The General's fucking secretary, now acting as some kind of a head shrinker. I remember I gave you such a mouthful of abuse. Everything I'd learned from Reno, plus everything I'd heard from my sister, and all the other terms I could remember all bundled up into a single flow of vitriol. And all you did was just sit there and take it. Didn't even say anything snarky or anything like that. Just sat there and absorbed it all. Just took it in, and let me be angry. Let me drop the impassive Turk mask and just be Elena.
"I couldn't stop crying afterwards. You didn't hold me, or anything like that. You just passed me a box of tissues and left the room, left me to it. Then you came back with a glass of that horrible juice you liked so much - sickly sweet stuff, almost cloying. It took me three bottles of water to wash the taste out of my mouth, you know.
"Didn't see you again for two years, until after I'd been through the wringer with Kadaj and his boys. It was crazy, you know? Valentine pulled Tseng and I out of there, Cured us up enough that we weren't actively bleeding, and threw us onto the damn Shera before we could do more than draw breath. We arrived in Edge with the rest of Strife's gang, and while they all went up against that goddamned summon, we had to scramble to rescue Rufus from his own fucking grandstanding. Damn idiot of a man - I never said this, you never heard me say it, and I'll deny it outright if anyone asks me about it, but by all the gods there are I'm glad it was Tseng who had the care of him during those years - I'd've slaughtered him. Lucky for us Highwind had some of those net guns on hand, or Rufus would've been just a splotch on the paving.
"Anyway, after that, they threw me your way, probably for the post-rape and post-torture counselling or something. I don't remember much of it any more - think I must've blocked it all out. What I can remember is sitting in your office during my off hours, and hearing you demolish some poor bastard on the far end of a telephone line because he hadn't managed to get things sorted out to move the Geostigma cases to the church in Sector Five fast enough. I remember that set of phone calls very well indeed. You finished ripping the idiot from Healin a new arsehole, then you made a call to Tuesti, and another to Strife, then a third to Highwind, and the next day you had the whole damn ward of Geostigma cases from Healin headed over to Edge by airship. For most people, it would've taken months.
"I really started watching you then, I think. Started to see what had made you so damn useful when you were working for SOLDIER admin - useful enough for Lazard to be blocking Hojo every damn step of the way when the twisted bastard tried to get you fired. You didn't know that, did you? Hojo really had a hate on for you - he didn't just want you fired, he wanted you dead. First up for being the daughter of the guy who tried to get him sacked, but then you got to working around the SOLDIERs and hoy, that really burned his britches. When you got appointed Sephiroth's secretary, he damn near burst an artery - pity he didn't, really, given how things panned out. He didn't want you within range of his precious specimen, and how dare we let that happen and all kinds of shit he threw around behind the scenes. Of course, Hollander was busy stirring the pot in the background just as much, so between him and Lazard, Hojo couldn't get a decent runup to get you sacked until after the General had gone AWOL. By which time you'd already quit.
"Near startled the shit out of me when you came onto me, though. I hadn't thought you'd noticed. I'd been doing my best to keep things subtle, not push myself into your notice or anything like that. I mean, I thought If I came on to you, you'd come out with some polite turn-down about me being too young, or a patient, or something like that if I tried anything. So when you just asked me if I was interested, I didn't know what to say."
The woman paused for a moment, and looked around. "Look, I have to go. Marlene - you know, the Wallace kid - she's promised me a lift back to Del Sol, and I'm tired enough these days I'm gonna take her up on it." She blinked her eyes closed for a moment, and whispered, "Wait for me, please? I have a feeling it won't be long now." Another blink, and tears could be seen on the edge of her lashes. "I miss you so much, love."
The prompt for this comes from the "No True Pair" community. I borrowed the lists of prompts, and created my own lists of FF7 characters, just to see what came out. I didn't participate in the original challenges because I know the way I react to self-imposed deadlines (ie badly).