|megpie71 (megpie71) wrote,|
@ 2009-01-20 19:38:00
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII, post game, pre-AC.
Rating: Australian PG
Notes: Taken from the 0TP prompt list - "Rufus Shinra and Nesa Conway: It was a dark and stormy night--". I didn't join the community or participate in the challenge there, since I know full well what I'm like with deadlines. I did grab the prompts, though, and some of them tickled my fancy.
A lot of time and effort had gone into the placement and building of Healin lodge. It was in a beautifully chosen valley in the Midgar ranges, beyond the desolation caused by the reactors of Midgar city to the south. From the correct rooms, you could see the ocean, and from every window there was a view of greenery. The gardens varied from the formal Wutain style through to unrestrained wilderness, depending on the tastes and wallet of the patient. The staff were well-trained, and no expense was spared to ensure the experience of recovery in this expensive private hospital was unparalleled in its luxury, elegance, and atmosphere.
However, Nesa Conway sometimes found herself thinking, it would have been a better idea on the part of the designers and engineers to be thinking less of the trappings of luxury and more of the basics of infrastructure. While a small diesel generator, such as the one which had graced the machine room of her parents' house, may well have taken away from the calm and quiet ambience of the lodge, it would have also meant the frequent electrical storms generated over the Midgar ranges didn't plunge the place into utter darkness. Reaching for the torch she kept in her desk drawer, she made her way out of her office and up to the rooftop. Might as well enjoy the free lightshow, as she wasn't going to get anything else done until the power came back.
In the year since the coming of Meteor, the fall of the Shinra corporation, and the collapse of everything which people had come to think of as being "normal" prior to that (including most of the mako reactors - the eruption of the Lifestream through the Planet's surface had pulled the mako channels the reactors tapped out of alignment) there had been any number of upheavals. The most obvious was that the heir to the Shinra family's wealth and power had been sent here, along with the tattered remains of his bodyguard, to recover from having the top floor of the Shinra tower falling on him. Three major surgeries, six months in a critical condition, and numerous smaller surgeries later, it appeared he was on the way to recovery - or rather, he had been. The new plague, which people were starting to call "geostigma", had hit him hard, and the best medical minds in the Healin Lodge were hemming and hawing about whether or not he'd survive it. On the one hand, Rufus Shinra's will to live was incredible. On the other hand, he was not a well man, and surviving such an infection would require considerable physical resources.
Nesa, who'd been assigned Rufus Shinra as one of her patients almost as soon as the man arrived in Healin, and had remained as the chief psychologist on his case despite numerous tantrums, outbursts, and threats on his part, was optimistic for him. In her (unvoiced) opinion, Rufus Shinra was too bloody-minded to die of a disease when he'd survived two tons of concrete, an energy blast, and the malice of most of the members of the Shinra corporation board of directors, including Professor Hojo. That he was sitting out in the middle of an electrical storm in a metal wheelchair on top of the tallest building in miles, holding an umbrella, did nothing to alter her opinion.
"Challenging the elements again, Rufus?" she asked, one corner of her mouth quirking up in a smile.
The man looked around at her. He was starting to get used to the loss of vision on one side, even if the surgeons were still hopeful of being able to restore his left eye. It was one of the things which made Nesa more than cautiously optimistic for the man - he had an unrelenting streak of practicality, which meant he didn't tend to spend long hours worrying over what he couldn't change, but instead changed things to suit him. Usually, he'd have one of the Turks (it tended to be Rude, who could be counted on to remain silent) standing by his left side. Tonight he appeared to have given them leave... or, since Nesa could hear Reno yelling about being locked in from where she was standing, given them the slip.
"A pleasant night, is it not?" he replied.
A flash of lightning, and an almost instantaneous thunderclap. Nesa blinked the spots from in front of her eyes, and sat herself down on the concrete near the wheelchair. On the left side, since it appeared Rufus wanted at least the illusion of being alone, for now. They watched the lightning for a few minutes.
"I'm not suicidal," Rufus said. "Despite what everyone thinks."
Nesa nodded. "I know," she said.
"I don't plan to die," he continued. "I'm going to fight."
"Very few people plan to die, Rufus. I don't know that I've met one yet."
"Even working in SOLDIER?"
Of course he'd be aware of her past, Nesa thought. "Even working in SOLDIER," she said. "Actually, the SOLDIERs were the ones who expected death the least. They survived all kinds of things, the SOLDIER process being the least of them. The few who died in ways which didn't involve their corpse being scattered across the landscape tended to look affronted when they were shipped back." A small snort of laughter. "Not one of them made a will."
She was looking straight ahead, so she guessed rather than saw the turn of his head. "I hear most of them have died now," he said. "Many of them got caught up in the call to the North Crater."
"I know," Nesa said again. A wry smile. "Most of them would have given their lives for the General. I suppose it's the way they would have wanted to go."
A pause. Another flash of light across the sky. A few seconds, another rumble of thunder. The first heavy drops of rain start to fall.
"I believe that would be my cue to head downstairs," Rufus said. "Would you care to accompany me?"
Nesa shook her head. "It's been a while since I felt the rain on my face. I'll stay up here for a bit."
Rufus nodded. Neither of them mentioned the streaks of dampness on her face. The rain would wash away the evidence of her tears for the lost, the same way the thunder had hidden his screams of fury at his circumstances. Tomorrow, they'd both get back to the business of living.