Due to an accident in an old Shinra lab, Reno is turned into a baby.
Baby Reno: Part 1
"We're not supposed to be here," Rude fully expected it when Reno chose not to listen.
"Relax, nothing bad will happen." They were in what was left of an old Shinra lab. Reno was feeling bored that day and decided to do a little exploring. He never expected that after poking machines he shouldn't be poking, there would be a strange explosion.
Rude rushed to get his partner out of trouble, but in his place he did not find the grown up Reno, instead there was a baby version of him swimming in the clothes that were too big now. "Reno?"
The baby looked at Rude and Rude looked at the baby. A few seconds passed like that in complete silence, before the child started screaming his little head off in an effort to make his 'uncle Rude' pick him up.
Rude picked up the crying child and gently rocked him in his arms, while singing an off key lullaby. Reno quieted, not because he liked the lullaby, but because maybe if he was quiet, his dear uncle Rude, who was certainly no singer, would be quiet too. "Reno, it's really you, isn't it?"
The child had the same eyes, the same hair, though without the ponytail part and Reno's goggles atop his head that served to prove even further how much smaller he was now.
Rude took one last look at the machine that had caused this strange effect, memorizing every detail about it in case he needed to describe it later. Then he left towards the new Shinra headquarters.
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Upon arriving at HQ, Rude went to Rufus' office to inform him of the latest happenings. Rufus and his current Turk guard on duty, Elena, looked at Rude as he arrived carrying a baby. "A child? Where did he come from?" The boy looked familiar, but Rufus couldn't figure out why.
There was a moment of silence as Rude tried to find a way to explain this. While he gave the situation some thought and chose his words carefully, Elena spoke first. "You see, it all starts with a mommy and a daddy..."
"I didn't mean to ask that," Rufus clarified.
"He's Reno," Rude finally revealed the truth clear and simple, or maybe not so clear.
"He's Reno's child?" Rufus got an idea. "Let me hold him for a moment, come here little Turk." While holding the baby he made a pose. "What do you think of this for positive publicity?"
"Are you going to do the entire shaking hands and kissing babies publicity thing?" Elena inquired.
"If it works," Rufus kissed the baby's forehead.
"So who's the poor unfortunate soul, er I mean, who's the baby's mother?" Elena asked.
"This isn't Reno's son. This is Reno. He turned into a baby after having an accident with an old Shinra machine," Rude explained.
"You could have told me before!" Rufus immediately gave the baby back to Rude. "I remember Hojo mentioning that something like this happened once. The effect should end in a few days and he'll be back to normal. Until then, I guess you'll have to baby-sit."
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The Turks' office, currently occupied by the four main Turks, was filled with Reno's complaints from being held like a common shopping bag, even if he wasn't fully crying yet. "Rude, that's not how you hold a baby," Elena scolded. "Give him to me."
Rude gave her the baby. He was getting tired of having his little partner kick him, even if he couldn't kick too hard being so small.
"It's okay, aunty Elena's here," Elena gently held little Reno. "You know, he's not so bad as a baby." Reno yawned and closed his eyes, falling asleep. "I'll put him somewhere so he can continue his nap." Elena left.
Another moment of silence passed as Rude and Tseng continued taking in the situation. Maybe dealing with a baby Reno for the next few days wouldn't be so bad. "Elena will baby-sit. The rest of us will continue working normally," Tseng concluded, since she seemed to be the only one who knew how to properly handle a baby.
Time slowly passed and eventually, Elena returned with a crying Reno. "I couldn't find a baby bottle in this entire building!" She was clearly losing her patience.
"We don't have any baby items here, why would we?" Tseng mused.
"For an emergency like this," Elena reasoned. "Here, Rude, try to keep him busy while Tseng and I go shopping."
"You want me to go?" Tseng wasn't looking forward to shopping for baby things for Reno.
"Yes, we need a lot of supplies," Elena insisted.
After Tseng and Elena departed, Rude was left alone with Reno. "Don't cry, partner. Aunt Elena and uncle Tseng will be back with lots of toys for you very soon. Until then you have uncle Rude to play with." Reno continued crying. "It's okay, I'll try to find some food for you." The offer wasn't enough to make Reno stop his crying until he got a hold of Rude's finger and bit him. "No!" Rude removed his finger from Reno's mouth and the red haired child started crying again. Rude sighed in defeat and let little Reno chew on his finger. The things he did for his partner, Reno better appreciate this.
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"What do you think of this one?" Elena held some baby clothes for Tseng to see. The pants were baby blue, the shirt was of the same color, but it had a picture of a fluffy white bunny. The set also included white bunny slippers and a white bunny hat with long fluffy ears.
"It's okay," Tseng sounded bored.
"That's what you said about all of them. I like this one. Let's buy it." Elena threw the outfit into their shopping cart along with the other baby clothes.
"Do we have everything we need now?" Tseng liked Elena, but shopping was boring.
Elena pouted. "If you want to leave I'll finish shopping by myself. It's just that, sometimes it's nice to pretend I'm shopping for my own child."
This caught Tseng's attention, "your own child?"
"I don't have children but I want to, someday. If the right man asks me to marry him," Elena hinted.
Unknown to them, Yuffie was in that same store. She saw a baby tshirt with a picture of a materia and wondered if she could find one in her size. Sadly the store only appeared to have clothes for babies, but Yuffie wouldn't give up. She was determined to get that shirt even if she was never able to wear it, she would just put it on her teddy-bear.
Elena and Tseng moved to the toy section. It could only be so long before little Reno got bored of napping and playing with paper balls and airplanes and demanded some real toys.
Walking to the toy area in search of materia themed toys, which she had been secretly collecting, Yuffie spotted Tseng and Elena. She hid in a large pile of plushies and tried to listen to their conversation.
"I'm getting kind of hungry," Elena placed her hand on her stomach, but Yuffie was too far to hear.
"Let's have lunch after we pay for this stuff," Tseng agreed.
Elena noticed the plushies. "Look, they made plushies of the Turks," she picked up a Tseng plushie. She would pretend it was for Reno then keep it to herself. She also added to the shopping cart a plushie of herself and plushies of Reno and Rude. The last two were actually for the baby. She also took a moogle, a chocobo, Cait Sith and Red XIII for the baby.
"Elena, don't forget the baby bottle. That's what we came here to buy," Tseng reminded.
"I think they're over this way." As soon as Tseng and Elena left, Yuffie breathed in relief.
The materia stealing ninja had stayed perfectly still, hoping that she wasn't caught spying and it worked. After witnessing that scene, she couldn't help it but to jump to conclusions. "Elena is having Tseng's baby, wait until I tell everyone!" Yuffie jumped out of the plushie mountain and noticed something, "materia plushie!" She glomped it.
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After buying all the necessary baby supplies, Tseng and Elena had lunch, then returned to Shinra HQ. They found Rude suffering from a headache thanks to Reno. The baby thought that his head was a drum and kept hitting it with a pen and a pencil. If Rude tried to stop him, Reno would start crying, making his headache worse. To Rude, Tseng and Elena looked like angels of hope coming to rescue him from the hyper sugar high baby. Maybe giving him candy wasn't such a good idea after all.
Tseng examined the area. "Why is this place such a mess?"
"I put Reno on the floor for just a second and he crawled away." He conveniently let out the part about giving him candy before that. Rude had lost count of how many times Reno crawled under a desk or table and he bumped his head trying to catch him.
"We brought all the necessary baby supplies. Go change him into some baby clothes while I prepare his milk and don't forget the diaper." Elena took some of the bags Tseng was carrying and handed them to Rude.
Rude then went off to get Reno ready. Looking at the baby clothes he found bunnies, kittens, moogles, chocobos and other funny looking outfits. From all of them he chose the moogle. Soon Reno was wearing fuzzy white clothes with little wings and a moogle hat. "Okay Reno, your aunt Elena will give you some milk very soon so try to sit still until then." The only answer Rude got was a sudden cry. "What's wrong? Don't you like your new clothes? Don't blame me. I wasn't the one who picked them." The crying continued.
"Rude, what's going on?" Elena came with a bottle of milk, followed by Tseng. "Does he need a diaper change so soon?"
Rude looked at baby Reno then at Tseng and Elena. "I don't want to do it."
"I'm not going to do it," Tseng declared.
"I don't want to do it and I'm not going to do it," Elena added.
They looked at each other, trying to appoint someone to change Reno's diaper. "Someone has to do it or he won't shut up," Tseng felt the beginning of a headache.
"Rude, you're his partner, you do it," Elena insisted.
"But I don't know how to change a diaper," Rude complained.
"I'll explain as you go along," Elena offered. Reno was certainly a very noisy baby. The Turks suddenly found themselves feeling sorry for his mother.
"Alright, I'll do it," Rude finally agreed, having been left without a choice. Following Elena's instructions, Rude changed Reno's diaper. It wasn't easy since Reno wouldn't stay still, but Rude was thankful it was over.
Elena fed Reno his milk. Reno was quite hungry and wasn't satisfied with just one bottle of milk. "I think he needs some baby food too. Tseng, hold him while I get some."
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Giving Reno baby food turned out to be quite an adventure. What started as a meal for a baby turned into a food war, as little Reno refused to let anyone escape without a good amount of baby food thrown at their face.
"It's quiet," Elena's voice was hardly above a whisper.
"Too quiet," Rude added.
"Alright team, move out!" Tseng commanded.
Elena did not look too happy with that idea. "Wait, it could still be dangerous!" Her warning came too late, Tseng placed a pot on his head, grabbed a frying pan as a shield and left their shelter made from a side-turned table.
The tiny red haired enemy saw his target and threw a handful of baby food.
Tseng blocked with the frying pan. "You're going to run out of ammunition eventually! Move the fortress!"
At their leader's command, Rude and Elena lifted the table, still using it as a shield and moved it closer to their adorable little enemy. Tseng returned to the fortress. "How is the situation?" Elena inquired.
"This doesn't look good. He still had a lot of food left," Tseng was interrupted by baby food falling on the floor near by.
"It's an ambush!" Elena was right, baby food started to rain upon them.
"He tricked us, he wasn't throwing the food as hard as he could before to make us get closer." Reno was a clever baby. "Retreat!" Tseng never thought he would be saying that word. The Turks did not retreat, but this was a special case. They ran away, being hit by the baby food as they went.
Rufus quietly passed by and peeked in. "I only wanted to see how things were going, but looking at your current state says enough." He continued on his way, looking back only once, to take one last glance at Tseng with a pot on his head and at all three adult Turks covered in baby food.
"He must think we're incapable of handling the situation," Tseng was very frustrated.
"Are we?" Rude wondered.
"This is no time for doubts," Tseng took off his helmet and dropped his shield. "I'm going in!" Even if he turned into a baby food snow man, he wasn't going to show any fear.
"He's so brave," Elena sighed dreamily.
Tseng charged and Reno was prepared for the attack. "Give me all you got, the leader of the Turks will not be defeated by a little ba-ah!" To challenge little Reno was a bad idea. He threw baby food, hitting Tseng right on the face. Tseng didn't see where he was going and stepped on some baby food that was on the floor. He slipped backwards, did a funny slippery dance in a futile attempt to regain his balance, and landed face up at the foot of Reno's baby chair. Reno dropped the bowl of baby food down at his fallen enemy.
"Tseng!" Elena rushed in and slipped, landing on top of Tseng. "At least he is unarmed now." Tseng's brave sacrifice would not be in vain. Elena struggled to get off Tseng, but that only resulted in more slipping. Finally, after many embarrassing, yet oddly enjoyable, failed attempts, both Tseng and Elena were on their feet.
"I think the worse is over" Tseng breathed in relief, but his conclusion was wrong.
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The day was absolutely exhausting for the Turks and they were all too happy when night finally came. They decided that since Rude was Reno's partner, he should stay with him. Rude agreed, thinking it wouldn't be too much trouble, since Reno should be sleeping all night, or at least that's what Rude thought.
Tseng was woken up at two in the morning by the phone. "Hello?" This better be important, anything less than an emergency that threatened all of Shinra could wait until morning.
"Can I take Reno to your place?" Rude sounded positively exhausted.
"Rude? You woke me up to ask me that? Couldn't it wait until morning?" Tseng was annoyed.
"I haven't slept all night. Reno keeps crying for no reason and waking me up," Rude begged.
"Why didn't you call Elena? She knows more about babies than I do," Tseng reminded.
"Elena said 'feed him, change his diaper, sing him a lullaby and don't call me again or I'll shoot you tomorrow at work.' She sounded dead serious too," Rude explained.
"Not a bad idea," Tseng grumbled.
"I can't do this," Rude was absolutely stressed out.
"Survive this one night and tomorrow Elena will take care of him, then I will take care of him the night after that." Without waiting for Rude's reply, Tseng hung up and disconnected the phone.
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The next day was like a copy of the first, except Reno's aim had improved, which meant more baby food in the face of the three grown up Turks. He appeared to be much more energetic, even if he didn't sleep and kept Rude awake. At the end of the day, the Turks had not gotten any work done and were so tired, it felt as if they haven't slept in years.
As expected, Reno kept Elena awake all night and the same thing happened with Tseng. By the forth day, the Turks were at the end of their patience. "We need a babysitter," Elena concluded.
Rude remembered that Cloud and Tifa were taking care of some kids, "Tifa can baby-sit."
"Excellent, you will take Reno to Tifa and request her babysitting services," Tseng decided.
Rude packed Reno's toys and baby supplies; picked up the baby and headed to Tifa's house.
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"Tifa!" Rude called desperately as he went inside. "This is an emergency!"
"Rude, what's wrong?" Tifa feared the worse. "Is Sephiroth back? Is the planet in danger? What is it?"
"I need a babysitter," Rude requested.
Tifa glared, she didn't like to be alarmed for no good reason, "that's all?"
"This is an emergency! Please take care of him," Rude gave her the baby. He was now dressed as a kitten that looked like Cait Sith.
Tifa was a little confused. "What are you talking about and who is this little boy?"
"He's Reno," Rude revealed.
Tifa looked at the child. "Reno? Well he certainly looks like Reno. Who's the poor unfortunate soul, I mean, if Reno is the father, then who's the baby's mother?"
"He's not Reno's son, he is Reno. He had an accident in an old Shinra lab. He should be back to normal in a few days, I hope. Until then, could you please take care of him? He's driving the Turks insane," Rude begged.
This was Reno, a member of the Turks, but he was only a baby now. "Alright, I'll take care of him," Tifa agreed.
"Thank you, here are his baby things." Finally, Rude would get some peace and quiet.
"Babye uncle Wude!" Little Reno waved at him.
Rude's mood suddenly changed for the better. Baby Reno wasn't that bad. Maybe he could stand to take care of him for a little longer, but he really needed some sleep, and Tifa was more experienced in babysitting than he was. "Goodbye Reno, I'll come back to visit soon."
After Rude was gone, Marlene who had heard some voices downstairs, curiously went to see what it was about. "Tifa?" Tifa turned to face the girl, who then noticed the baby. "A baby! Can I hold him, please?"
"Alright, just be careful," Tifa agreed.
"Can Denzel and I play with him? We'll be very careful, I promise!" Marlene asked.
"Okay, you can play with him," Tifa smiled, she really liked children.
Denzel came after he thought he heard his name. "Did someone call me? Did Cloud come back?"
"He hasn't come back yet," Tifa replied.
"But we have someone new to play with," Marlene cheered.
"I think you two can take care of him for a while, call me if you need anything. These are his toys." Tifa handed Denzel the bag. "His name is Reno."
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Marlene and Denzel played with the baby and all was quiet until Reno wanted a bottle of milk. "Tifa, I think Reno's hungry, he won't stop crying and I'm only used to babysitting people around my age," Marlene called.
Denzel realized she was talking about him, "hey!"
"Coming!" Tifa arrived with a bottle of milk for little Reno. After he finished his milk, came the chaos of the baby food war.
"I'm happy we have a baby around," Marlene cheered.
"Yeah, he's fun!" Denzel agreed.
Tifa tried to shield herself while the children threw baby food at each other. "Stop it, all of you! You're making a mess!" Reno had woken up the kids 'inner hyperness' with some hyperness of his own. Unfortunately for Tifa, it didn't look like the baby food fight would end any time soon, since the kids simply picked up as much as they could from the floor to throw it again. This had never happened to her before, usually babysitting was so easy. "Stop!" Tifa yelled at the top of her lungs, hervoice echoing loudly.
Marlene and Denzel dropped their ammunition and looked at Tifa with sad expressions, realizing they might actually get into trouble for their battle. All was silent for a few seconds, until suddenly Reno started crying. If Tifa's voice was heard all over the city, Reno could be heard all over the planet.
Feeling completely helpless, Tifa picked up baby Reno and tried to calm him down. "Go get cleaned up," she tried to tell Marlene and Denzel.
"What?" The children asked at the same time.
"Go get cleaned up!" Such would be Tifa's luck that Reno had quieted down at the precise moment when Tifa yelled, trying to be heard over his crying. Had she known this would happen, she wouldn't have raised her voice so much. As expected, the unnecessary loudness made Reno start crying again, louder than before, if that was even possible. Tifa moved her head toward the kitchen door, gesturing for the children to leave and get cleaned up while she once again tried to end Reno's crying.
Cloud returned to find baby food footprints all over the Seventh Heaven, which he assumed by the size of them, were left by Marlene and Denzel. A baby's cries could be heard from outside. In fact, he had been hearing a baby crying for a while, but had no idea where the loud noise was coming from. "Tifa?" Shielding his ears, Cloud went in search of his childhood friend.
Once again Tifa managed to calm Reno's loud cries. She thought she heard Cloud calling, but with all the noise she wasn't quite sure. "Cloud?"
Cloud looked at Tifa, who was holding the baby. "When did we adopt another orphan?"
"Mommy," baby Reno said to Tifa.
Cloud looked at the child. "He called you mommy but he looks like Reno." He paused, letting his mind run wild with unlikely theories.
"He is Reno," Tifa confirmed.
Cloud opened his eyes wide, his jaw dropped and he began to twitch. "Could you repeat that?"
"He is Reno," Tifa repeated slowly. Taking care of a baby was a handful, even more so if that baby was Reno, the most hyper of the Turks. Cloud must have already noticed there would be some difficulties, judging by the baby food everywhere, but that was not reason enough to get that nervous, surprised and all around freaked out. "Are you alright?"
"You and Reno have a son?" Cloud screamed loud enough for Marlene and Denzel to rush down the stairs. They had already finished getting cleaned up.
"He's your son?" Marlene was curious.
"When was he born? How come we didn't notice?" Denzel inquired.
That's when Cloud's brain decided to jump start after partially recovering from the shock. "That's right; I don't remember you ever being pregnant." It didn't make sense, but with Shinra involved, anything was possible.
"He's not my son!" Tifa yelled loud enough for anyone who had heard Cloud yell before to clear up that misunderstanding.
Cloud took a deep breath, filling his lungs with much needed oxygen. He let his breath escape slowly. "Don't scare me like that." Cloud took a closer look at the baby. "He really does look a lot like Reno. If you're not his mom then who's the poor unfortunate soul, I mean, his mother, who is his mother?"
Tifa started to explain. "Well, you see, this isn't an ordinary baby."
Cloud interrupted in alarm. "You're not going to say that Jenova is his mother, are you? Reno and Jenova had a son? How is that even possible? Is he going to grow up to be like Sephiroth or worse?"
"Cloud, stop jumping to conclusions and let me explain!" Tifa urged, Cloud nodded and remained quiet. "Reno had a little accident at an old Shinra lab and this was the result."
"Is it a Reno clone or..." Cloud went back into shock. "Reno gave birth?"
"No!" Tifa was quick to deny Cloud's crazy theory. "What I mean to say is that this is Reno, he was turned into a baby in the accident."
"If that is Reno then why is he here? Shouldn't the Turks be taking care of him?" Cloud asked.
"He was driving them insane," Tifa answered. "As you can see from the state of the walls and floor, taking care of a baby Reno is not an easy job."
"And you agreed to it?" Cloud was horrified.
"I felt sorry for him," Tifa cradled little Reno, he was cute when he wasn't being mischievous.
Cloud decided to be supportive and offered to hold Reno who called him, "daddy?"
"I'm not your father," Cloud pouted and Reno looked like he was about to cry. "It's okay, don't cry. You can call me daddy if it makes you happy."
"Daddy!" Reno hugged Cloud.
Cloud couldn't help it but to smile. "You felt sorry for him, huh? I guess he's not so bad when he's this little. It's hard to stay mad at him like this."
"Actually, I felt sorry for Rude. You should have seen him. I can only imagine the state that Tseng and Elena are in. Even if they are Turks, these are hard times for them." Tifa explained. "Anyway, now that you're here, you can help take care of little Reno. Marlene, Denzel, since you two enjoyed the food fight so much, you can give me a hand by cleaning up this mess while I do the laundry."
A unanimous "aw" was heard from the two kids.
"C'mon, it's not so bad. Give Tifa a hand, she works really hard around here." Cloud felt guilty that he sometimes disappeared for so long and didn't do too many chores.
"Cloud, you can give Reno a bath," Tifa ordered.
"What? Me? Why me?" Cloud complained.
"I'm sure you can handle getting a baby cleaned up, it's not that hard. Besides, Marlene and Denzel are helping clean the baby food and I'm doing the laundry, you need to help too," Tifa insisted.
"Let's trade chores?" Cloud begged.
"The last time I trusted you with the washing machine, you flooded the entire first floor," Tifa reminded.
Cloud resigned himself to his fate, "it can't be so hard to give a baby a bath."
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Reno was in the bath tub, surrounded by bubbles and floating baby toys. He played in the water, splashing happily and getting Cloud all wet.
"Sit still so I can wash that baby food off your hair," Cloud attempted to clean Reno's hair with a sponge. Reno, hyper as he was, would not sit still and knocked the sponge off Cloud's hand. "C'mon, Reno. Stay still so daddy can get you all cleaned up," Cloud couldn't believe those words had come out of his mouth. The unfortunate delivery boy reached to get the sponge which had fallen in the bath tub, leaning in to search for it among the bubbles.
Reno thought Cloud was offering him a piggy-back ride and immediately jumped on his adoptive father's head.
Splashing sounds were heard behind the bathroom's door as Tifa walked by with a laundry basket. "How cute, they're playing in the water." She smiled, not knowing that Cloud was drowning, and walked away happily. Cloud survived, but the taste of soap would stay with him for the next few days.
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After his bath, baby Reno took a nap surrounded by his plushies, a moogle, a chocobo, Cait Sith, Red XIII, Rude and a plushie of himself. Cloud was talking to Tifa about the baby Reno situation. "For how long will he stay a baby?"
"I don't know," Tifa admitted. "I guess we'll have to wait and find out."
"Doesn't it bother you? Don't you find it suspicious?"
"I don't think there's a plan to take over the world behind this if that's what you're asking. It's really not that bad. The Turks will recover and come back to pick him up, I'm sure they'll be back for him."
"And you don't mind being his mother until then?"
Tifa smiled, the baby thought she and Cloud were his parents. "I don't mind. Does it bother you to be his father?" Cloud thought about it, while unknown to them, at that precise moment Yuffie arrived and came within hearing distance. "You don't need to do this if you don't want to."
Cloud decided he would help. "I don't mind. Alright, Tifa, I'll be the father of your child."
"Wow everyone's been getting together lately!" Yuffie, who had been quietly standing at the door, ended her silence.
Tifa and Cloud looked at her and realized what conclusion she had jumped to. "Yuffie, this isn't our baby or anything. We're just babysitting," Tifa hastily explained.
"But you're going to have your own children, right? Love is in the air. First Elena and Tseng and now you two," Yuffie shared her other mistaken assumption. "I wonder when my prince charming will come for me. I hope he brings materia."
"Forget it, Tifa, there's no way to make her change her mind." Cloud shook his head. "What was that you were saying about the Turks, Yuffie? Are they causing trouble?"
"No, I was just saying that Elena's pregnant and Tseng is the father," Yuffie revealed.
"How do you know that?" Tifa was curious.
"I saw them shopping for baby things and she touched her stomach," Yuffie explained.
"That doesn't mean she's pregnant, maybe she was hungry or had a stomachache or something," Cloud reasoned.
"No, I'm certain it's a pregnancy. Why else would they be buying baby things?" Yuffie defended her theory.
"Maybe they were buying them for Reno," Tifa theorized.
"Reno? Why, is some poor unfortunate soul having his baby?" Yuffie couldn't believe so many babies were on their way at the same time.
"No, Reno was turned into a baby and the Turks were taking care of him," Tifa explained.
"Wow, Reno got turned into a baby. At least now you two get to practice before having a baby of your own!" Yuffie teased.
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Yuffie followed the loud noise of a baby crying, to find little Reno, who had woken up from his nap. "Hey guys, the baby's crying!"
"I'm tired from all the cleaning and Cloud says he would rather keep his distance for a while." Tifa picked up the baby.
"How come? I thought he wanted to practice being a daddy," Yuffie asked.
"He said something about a near death experience and that he didn't want to talk about it. I honestly don't know what in the world he's talking about." To Tifa, both Cloud and Reno looked perfectly safe. Reno looked happy and Cloud was all wet, but a little water couldn't be the cause of his so called near death experience.
"You know Cloud; he always has his head in the clouds." Yuffie laughed, "no pun intended."
Tifa nodded in agreement, "could you watch Reno for a while?"
"No problem, leave it to me!" Tifa gave Yuffie the baby and left. "Okay little Reno, aunt Yuffie will tell you the story of the five little piggies, except it'll be the five little Turks. This little Turk is the leader of the Turks," Yuffie tickled Reno's toe. "This little Turk is the new one who has a crush on the leader. This little Turk is made up because I need five and I only know four. This little Turk is the partner of the next Turk and this little Turk got turned into a baby so aunt Yuffie tickled him!" The sound of a baby laughing soon followed.
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"Come back here!" Yuffie called after the very hyper baby. "Don't crawl under there!" She followed him under the table then squeezed in behind the couch and continued all over the house. "Almost got him, almost..." Who knew that little red haired hurricane could crawl so fast. "Tifa, Cloud! This ninja needs help!"
Tifa and Cloud both arrived nearly at the same time. "What happened?" Tifa saw the house was a complete mess. Random items were scattered on the floor, some of them broken, and there were little chocolate footprints all over.
"I don't know! Reno got all hyper and Marlene and Denzel are on his side!" Yuffie complained. Marlene and Denzel ran around, cheering for their little Turk friend.
"Stop it you two, don't set a bad example! What got into you?" Usually they were so well behaved, but the evidence was clear, Tifa concluded. "How much chocolate ice-cream did you give them?"
"Only a little," Yuffie tried to look innocent.
"How much?" Tifa insisted.
Yuffie started her story. "Well, you see, Vincent came to visit while you two were away and-"
"How much, Yuffie, tell me how much," Tifa repeated.
"I'm getting there!" Yuffie flailed.
"Vincent was here? Is he still here?" Cloud inquired.
"Yeah, he just dropped by because it's been a while since he saw everyone. He wanted to see how you two were doing. I guess he's not completely anti-social after all. I'm glad he came back for a little visit. It's important to stay in touch and everything" Yuffie tried to escape the question.
Cloud nodded in agreement, but Tifa didn't follow Yuffie's directions in the conversation. "Don't change the subject, how much ice-cream did you give them?"
"Let me finish the story" Yuffie gave up and confessed. "As I was saying, Vincent came to visit and after I explained about baby Reno, an ice-cream truck drove by, playing the classic little ice-cream truck music and everything. It reminded me of when I was a little girl and-"
"Don't try to change the subject again," Tifa warned.
Yuffie took a deep breath, "Anyway, I asked Vincent if he could get the kids a little ice-cream and he said yes. While he bought the ice-cream, I snuck into the back of the truck and stole five big ice-cream barrels. After the truck left, we got the barrels inside and opened them."
Cloud looked surprised and Tifa obviously didn't like where the narration was going. "What happened then?" Tifa urged.
Yuffie continued, "when we opened the ice-cream barrels we found that three were filled with chocolate ice-cream and two had vanilla ice-cream. I wanted strawberry. Did you know that Vincent likes strawberry ice-cream too? Marlene, Denzel and Reno ate the chocolate ice-cream and became really hyper. They were full, so they used the vanilla ice-cream to-"
"A snow monster!" Cloud readied his sword, slicing a vase in half due to the limited space. That was probably the only thing that the kids didn't knock over, and now it was broken too.
"Cloud, no!" Yuffie stepped in the way. "You really need to let me finish. As I was saying, they used the vanilla ice-cream to turn Vincent into a snow man."
The vanilla flavored snow man cleaned off some of the ice-cream from his face, to reveal that he was in fact Vincent Valentine. He was holding little Reno, who would need another bath soon.
Tifa shook her head. "At least the Turks will be babysitting tomorrow. Cloud, would you please give Reno another bath?"
"But he tried to drown me last time!" Cloud complained. "He may look innocent, but he's out to get me."
"He thinks you're his father, he's not out to get you," Tifa assured.
Cloud sighed hopelessly. "Alright, I'll get him cleaned up." He took little Reno and prepared for another near death experience.
"Yuffie, why are you poking me with a spoon?" Vincent asked.
"I'm not poking you, I'm eating." Yuffie took another spoonful of ice-cream off Vincent and ate it. Tifa decided not to ask.
xoxox xox xoxox
That night, little Reno couldn't sleep. That meant that no one in the house would sleep, or at least not Tifa and Cloud. "You should get some rest, Cloud." Tifa had been sitting there with baby Reno in her arms trying to make him fall asleep for quite some time, but the child was still awake. If she put him down he would start crying, then Marlene, Denzel, Yuffie and Vincent, who were staying over, wouldn't get any sleep either.
"I'm okay," Cloud sat beside her. His eyes were closed and he was resting his head on her shoulder, half asleep.
"I know you're tired," Tifa observed.
"I'm fine, I'm only resting my eyes. Besides, it's not fair that you do all the work around here," Cloud insisted.
"It's nice to have you back, Cloud," Tifa rested her eyes too and the next thing she knew, it was morning.
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"Good morning, lovers!" Yuffie greeted.
Tifa and Cloud woke up instantly, to find they had fallen asleep hugging, while holding little Reno. "Where's Vincent?" Cloud changed the subject.
"He left early. You know how he's always taking off like that," Yuffie reminded. "So what's the plan for today?"
"Rude is coming to get Reno, the Turks said Reno shouldn't be a baby for too long," Tifa explained.
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As expected, Rude returned to take care of his little partner for the day and peace and quiet returned to Tifa and Cloud. Rude would soon learn that maybe taking little Reno to a chocobo petting zoo while dressed as a chocobo wasn't such a good idea. "Look, Reno, a chocobo. You and I used to bet in the chocobo races before you turned into a baby."
"Birdy!" Reno reached towards the chocobo.
"I wonder how soon you'll turn into a grown up. I miss my partner, but when you grow up then I'll miss you." Rude approached the yellow chocobo, enough for Reno to pet it.
"Ride? You want to ride the chocobo? I guess it's okay." Rude placed the baby on the chocobo, but still held him to make sure he didn't fall off.
Everything was fine until the chocobo grabbed Rude's sunglasses. Rude tried to recover his sunglasses but the chocobo pecked him whenever he tried. The yellow bird finally dropped the sunglasses on the ground at Rude's feet. As he picked them up he felt baby Reno slip away and the chocobo ran.
"Reno, I'm coming to save you!" Three chocobos of different colors blocked his path, looking quite angry. "Out of my way, your friend kidnapped my partner!" The angry noises the chocobos made told Rude that they would not step aside. A battle soon began of Turk versus chocobos. The children and their parents soon left the area where the chocobos were kept for their safety and watched the show from afar.
After a fierce battle, pecked, scratched and bitten, Rude finally emerged victorious. He made his way towards baby Reno while he muttered something about evil birds. The chocobo who kidnapped Reno was peacefully napping in a corner of a little stable, assuming that her friends had devoured Rude outside by now. Baby Reno was sleeping also, hugging the chocobo like a giant plushie. "Uncle Wude!"
"Not so loud, Reno!" Rude picked up the red haired child. Soon he found himself face to face with an angry chocobo mother that thought Reno was her child. The yellow bird let out a war cry as it attacked Rude. Concluding that taking a baby to a chocobo petting zoo dressed as a chocobo was definitely a very bad idea, Rude made a run for it and escaped with Reno, he didn't look back until he was in the safety of the Turks office at Shinra HQ.
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Drained of all energy, Rude asked Elena to take care of Reno for a little while. Of course she noticed that his suit was full of holes, his sunglasses were missing and he had scratches all over. "What happened to you?"
"Chocobo petting zoo," Rude's reply was enough for Elena to understand.
Elena nodded, "you definitely need a break, Tseng and I will take care of our youngest Turk for the rest of the day." Rude would probably have nightmares about chocobos for months.
To be Continued
Baby Reno: Part 2
As Elena went to find Tseng, she heard a familiar voice. "I had to know for sure if it was true."
Elena turned to face her older sister, Gun, the unwanted, unannounced visitor. "The rumors of Reno being a baby? Yes it's true." Elena never got along with her sister.
"So the Turks are now a babysitting service?" Gun had been a Turk with outstanding accomplishments in the past.
Elena always wondered why Gun wasn't promoted to be one of Rufus' Turks instead of her. Yet Elena had promised herself to stop thinking that way. Tseng had told her before that she got there on her own and she was going to believe him. "What would you know about being a Turk?"
"A lot more than you," Gun challenged.
Feeling the tension in the air, little Reno started to complain as if he would start crying very soon. "Shh... it's okay little Reno, don't start crying now. I won't let the evil witch hurt you." Elena tried to calm him.
Gun was annoyed by her sister's choice of words, "you can't even take care of a child right. I pity him for being on the same team as you. Allow me to show you how it's done." Things between them had only gotten worse over time. Before Elena could protest, Gun took baby Reno. "There, you see? He's just fine now." The child appeared to hug her, which gave Gun a victorious grin while she watched Elena's angry glare. But Reno was not hugging Gun, he was in fact reaching for her hair. As soon as he had a sufficient amount of hair in his little hands, Reno pulled as hard as he could and Gun's scream echoed all over the building as she tossed Reno into Elena's arms and ran away.
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Elena found Tseng and the leader of the Turks noticed she was smiling from ear to ear as little Reno giggled in amusement. He appeared to be holding a large piece of blonde hair in his little hands. Obviously, if Elena was in such a good mood, that couldn't be her hair Reno had pulled out. Gun was visiting and he did hear a scream not too long ago. He put two and two together and got to the correct conclusion that it was Gun's hair that baby Reno was holding.
Elena was on babysitting duty, but that didn't mean she couldn't use the opportunity to go somewhere with Tseng, even if it was grocery shopping. "Don't you think Reno can eat other things besides baby food and milk by now? I mean those things are healthy, so maybe we should continue giving them to him, but we could also try giving him some real food."
"You do have a point, Elena," Tseng agreed. Besides, there were other foods less messy and lethal than baby food, so it would certainly be a good idea to try.
"We need groceries anyway, so I thought we should also buy some healthy food for Reno." As Elena spoke, Reno started making baby noises that sounded like complaints.
He waved his little arms around showing her Gun's hair as if saying 'I helped you, so why do you want to punish me with yucky healthy food?'
"It's okay Reno, we'll get you something delicious and nutritious," Elena smiled. As long as it was delicious, Reno wouldn't mind, but he was a bit worried that it would be more nutritious than delicious.
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Tseng and Elena went to the supermarket. Reno was placed on a baby seat on the supermarket cart. Tseng pushed the cart while Elena placed item after item in it. Reno was becoming a little bored being treated like a decoration for the grocery cart, or another can of soup. The little Turk wanted attention. Hearing his quiet complaints, which thankfully were not yet cries, Tseng started making faces for the little guy to keep him calm, quiet and entertained. Reno appeared to be amused enough.
Tseng felt Elena pulling the cart to take a turn and went along with her, pushing it into a new aisle. He was too focused on his face making to notice where they were until a certain ninja let out high pitched squeal. "Elena!"
Tseng snapped out of it and stood straight, looking serious. He cleared his throat as if nothing was going on and remained nonchalant. "Hi, Yuffie!" Elena was in such a cheerful mood that day that everyone, except Gun of course, felt like a life long friend. Seeing Gun's hair being pulled out was the most fun she had in a long time.
In fact, before heading to the supermarket, Elena placed the hair that Reno so nicely removed from Gun in a plastic bag to put in a frame later. At the bottom of the frame there would be a little plaque that read 'Gun got pawned!' The framed hair would be put on display in the Healin Lodge living room and she knew that no one would dare to remove it from there, not even Rufus.
"I see things have become more serious between the two of you, true love, is it?" Yuffie teased.
Elena blushed, but Yuffie's comment didn't ruin her excellent mood. "We're just shopping for little Reno and we needed to pick up a few other groceries too."
"We're helping Tifa and Cloud with the groceries so they can keep up with the deliveries. Cloud's deliveries piled up while he was babysitting Reno. I guess he came in the busiest day. We volunteered to come to the supermarket. Well I volunteered and dragged Vincent along when he so conveniently returned to the Seventh Heaven after more or less getting over his fear of a certain red haired baby," Yuffie joked.
"Shera, I don't want to go grocery shopping." A certain pilot complained as a certain scientist dragged him along. He looked like he was being taken to be decapitated.
"I thought you said you wouldn't mind," Shera argued.
"You asked me in the wrong time when I was distracted." Cid hated it when Shera distracted him enough to get him to agree to things he normally wouldn't agree to.
"Shera! Cid!" Yuffie was the first to notice their presence. They had not yet seen baby Reno behind them. Unfortunately, Shera started a conversation with Elena and Yuffie, which prolonged the men's stay in uncharted territory. It came to a point where Reno, who still had no idea what was going on, became so bored he managed to climb out of his baby seat and crawl away.
Reno exited the aisle and continued crawling. A few people noticed him and kept asking each other who the child was with. Finally, someone decided to pick up the little cutie and of course it was time to run. He was still very small, but Reno managed to get up and run on two legs. He saw a bottle of pink colored dish washing soap and grabbed it. He wasn't sure how to make the liquid come out, so he simply jumped on it. The plastic bottle popped open under the pressure and the pink liquid was fired out, just in time for the people who were after him to slip on it, causing a domino effect. Reno took the opportunity and escaped.
The baby Turk was quite destructive in the supermarket. Whatever was placed on the aisles low enough for him to reach, he grabbed and tore apart. The floor of the supermarket was soon becoming a mess of liquid soap, rice, ketchup, mustard, syrup, cereal and other things. An official search brigade for the chaotic rampaging baby was called into action, composed of five of the employees of the supermarket.
Reno reached the cookie aisle and hid behind some cookie boxes at the bottom. Safely hidden from the adults, he started eating cookies, which would make him more hyper than he already was. When he thought the coast was clear, Reno made his escape.
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"Attention all shoppers!" A voice was heard all over the supermarket. "Be on the look out for a baby on the rampage. The child behaves chaotically and is considered dangerous. If you see the monster child, destructive baby, please report him to an employee immediately. Do not attempt to capture him yourself. Please remain calm. I repeat, please remain calm, do not panic." As if on cue, people started to panic.
"A monster child? Where do you think it came from?" Yuffie asked.
Tseng, fearing the worse looked towards where baby Reno was supposed to be, to find nothing but an empty space as the voice was heard again. "The child can be easily recognized by his red hair."
"I'm sorry Elena," Tseng apologized as if he had lost their own child.
Elena gasped, "Reno!"
"Oh no, the poor baby! How could you let this happen?" Yuffie yelled.
"This is no place for baby Reno to be by himself. Especially with that monster child around," Vincent mused.
"They think he is the monster child!" Elena pointed out.
"What the fudge is going on?" Cid asked.
"Baby Reno is missing," Elena panicked.
Cid and Shera stared. "Reno's a father? Who's the poor unfortunate soul that had his kid?" Cid inquired.
"He's not Reno's baby, he is Reno who was turned into a baby," Yuffie explained, while Elena continued to panic and Tseng apologized repeatedly. He blamed himself because he was closest to the baby and didn't notice he was gone.
"Let us not waste any more time and search for the missing child, he couldn't have gone very far." Everyone immediately followed Vincent's good advice.
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In another area of the supermarket, a woman's voice was heard. "Out! Get out! Security!" One of the female employees of the supermarket yelled.
"Fine, fine, I'm leaving. The supermarket isn't a very good place to find brides anyway," Don Corneo, the slime ball who should have been dead, was alive. Just as Don Corneo left, he saw a baby leaving out the automatically opening doors all by himself.
An employee ran to pick him up. "I got you now!" Surely he would get a nice big bonus for catching the monster child of supermarket chaos and doom, as his coworkers called him. However, Don Corneo picked up the boy first.
"I can carry my own child," Corneo hissed. His two bodyguards looked at each other in total confusion. "What? With all those brides don't you think I should have a kid by now?"
The bodyguards knew Corneo was lying, but the supermarket employee appeared to follow his logic. "Then he's your son? Are you going to pay for all the damage he did?"
"No!" Corneo ran towards his car with his very confused bodyguards following after him. Reno let out a high pitched scream of terror and continued to scream without stopping, loud enough to wake the dead.
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Elena, Tseng, Yuffie, Vincent, Cid and Shera had arrived following Reno's screams of horror, just on time to see Don Corneo drive away like a mad man.
"My baby! Come back here with my baby!" Elena yelled.
"You will pay for this with your life, Don Corneo!" Tseng shouted.
"C'mon, we can catch them faster on my airship!" Cid wasn't sure how he got involved in whatever was happening, but he was involved. That's when they all noticed Cid's ship on the supermarket parking lot. He must have arrived after they were already inside, since the Shera wasn't something easily missed among the cars.
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Taking every shortcut he knew, Don Corneo hurried to his mansion with the crying child. "Why did you decide to kidnap the baby?" One of his body guards asked.
"I didn't, it was destiny. Did I tell you about that dream I had the other night?" Corneo yelled over the noise of Reno's terrified cries for help. Even a baby knows when he's being kidnapped by the wrong person.
"Yes you did!" The bodyguards replied at once. They really didn't want to hear about it again.
"No, not that dream, the other one, the one where I saw a boy riding on a chocobo and there was fire all over the place. This fire haired chocobo boy was sent to me by destiny to be my heir. I shall keep him, he shall be my son and I shall raise him to be like me!" Don Corneo declared and Reno screamed louder.
Don Corneo's expensive car came to a screeching halt, eating away at the tires as he stopped in front of his mansion. He happily hopped off his car and hurried inside, followed by the two bodyguards, while Reno continued to scream. Three other guards were waiting inside to inform Corneo that, while he was bride hunting in the supermarket, they had found three possible brides for him around the city, just in case he couldn't find any in the supermarket.
"Excellent, this day couldn't get any better. I have three beautiful brides and a son!" The Don screamed over the baby's crying. It felt as if the entire mansion was shaking from the force of Reno's cries. "We must celebrate! Bring me some drinks and then I will choose a bride."
While the three girls exchanged confused looks and covered their ears. One of the guards served some drinks. As Corneo reached to pick up his elegant glass cup while holding Reno with his other arm, the baby stopped to take a deep breath then let out a high pitched cry strong enough to shatter the glass. Needless to say, everyone's ears would be ringing for a long time.
"Let me hold him," one of the bride candidates took the baby. "It's okay, sweetie, no one will hurt you." Reno appeared to calm down a little bit. At least that slime ball wasn't holding him. His face was almost as red as his hair from crying. "There, there. It's alright now, honey." The woman gently rocked the child in her arms while humming a soft lullaby. She had waist length blonde hair, light blue eyes and was wearing a sky blue dress. She had a 'good girl' look which was probably deceiving.
"Hey, let me hold the kid," the second bride requested. She had short spiky black hair with bright red highlights. She wore heavy black makeup, had red eyes, possibly contact lenses, and was dressed in black and red leather.
The blonde bride looked at the punk woman. "You must be gentle with children."
"Fudge, I can be gentle!" The second bride clearly had a language like Cid's, if not worse. "Give me the da-" the first bride glared. "The darling kid." The punk snatched the boy from the other woman's arms. "You're a pretty cool kid, aren't you, boy?"
"Excuse me," the third bride spoke shyly. "May I hold him, please?" She had mid back length brown hair, dark green eyes and was wearing a t-shirt, jeans and sneakers. She was a pretty normal looking girl over all.
The punk woman glared. "I'm not putting down the cute little bas-"
"Language!" Bride number one hissed.
"I'm not putting down the cute little basket full of joy yet," bride number two finished.
Bride number three looked like she was going to cry. A few tears rolled down her cheeks while the first two brides gave her weird looks. She appeared to be alright a second ago and then she suddenly started crying just because she wasn't allowed to hold the baby? Suddenly her sad expression changed to a glare more deadly than the punk woman's glare. "Give me the #$%& kid now!" she screamed at the top of her lungs and taking the punk by surprise, she snatched the baby. Her expression changed drastically and her voice became soft and shy again. "Who's a cute little baby? You are! Yes, you! Peek a boo! I see you!"
"Interesting brides you found today," Don Corneo commented as he watched the scene. The girl with the split personality was a bit creepy, even for him. The punk looked a tad violent. Perhaps bachelorette number one should be his bride. "I have made my decision!" Corneo made a dramatic pause, expecting all three women to pay full attention. However, the three were distracted, tickling little Reno and making funny faces for him. "I said I made my decision!" The Don continued being ignored. "That kid's good, he's only been my adoptive son for a little while and he already has all the attention from the ladies. I knew it was destiny, I knew it!"
"Ah! He bit me!" The blonde suddenly screamed.
"Good choice, my boy, bride number one is exactly who I was thinking to choose," Corneo's comment fell on deaf ears.
"Told ya not to try to play pull my finger with em. The little bast-baby hates that game," the punk laughed.
While Corneo continued to be ignored, which was driving him insane, there was suddenly a loud crash. The noise appeared to be coming from the floor above. Loud noises of things being broken soon followed. There were screams, gun shots and more noise as the mansion shook. It was as if it was being torn apart. "What's going on up there?" Corneo was alarmed.
After more loud noises, the ceiling was ripped off the mansion, revealing the clear blue skies. Flying above the mansion was an airship. A pair of mechanical claws were attached to it, pulling the mansion apart floor by floor as if it was a cardboard doll house. A door was opened as the airship descended. From the door jumped several very angry looking people. Cloud was out on a delivery when he saw the ship and called Cid, who told him what happened. Cloud informed Tifa and they rushed to meet the others.
Corneo backed away. There was a man with a large sword, a woman with a murderous look who looked ready to tear him apart, a man with a red cape and a gun pointed at him, a woman with the biggest shuriken he'd ever seen and a man pointing two guns at him. The last man looked towards the door where a woman stood.
The blonde woman jumped down as Corneo cowered in fear. "When I'm done with you, there won't even be dust left for the life stream," Elena had the biggest and strangest futuristic looking bazooka Corneo ever saw in his entire life. How was she able to hold a weapon bigger than her would be a mystery Corneo would wonder about for every second of his short life. The bazooka let out a powerful blast of mako energy. The glowing green beam hit Corneo full force and in a scream of agony, he disintegrated.
Everyone else started fighting the guards, who were so shocked that they hardly put up a fight. Tifa went to get baby Reno. "Give me my baby!" She didn't wait for an answer and took Reno in her arms.
"Just who do you think you are, busting in here like that you b-" The second bride candidate who dared to speak, along with the other two, were silenced when Tifa did a spinning kick, hitting the three and throwing them several feet back against what was left of a wall.
Leaving the mansion in ruins, they returned to the airship and headed to the Seventh Heaven where Tifa, Elena, Yuffie and Shera spent the rest of the day cuddling Reno, and showering him with attention. After all, the poor child had been through a lot and they needed to show their support and make him feel better.
"Life ain't fair, is it?" Cid stated more than asked, as they watched the women obsessing over the baby. Cloud, Tseng and Vincent nodded.
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That night, they made accommodations as well as they could for everyone to stay over at the Seventh Heaven. It was as if they were all suffering post traumatic stress and didn't want to leave their precious baby. They decided not to tell Rude about what happened. If he found out his little partner got kidnapped by Corneo, he would probably have a heart attack. Being kidnapped by chocobos was one thing, but being kidnapped by that slime ball was too much.
Cid and Shera stayed on the airship, but the house was still very full since they had to make room for everyone else. The children would get beds and the adults would make due with what they had. At Tifa's half suggestion, half order, Cloud offered to let one of the guests take his bed, which Yuffie gladly accepting. Elena took the guest room bed, which left the men fighting over who got the couch.
While Cloud and Tseng discussed the issue, Vincent made himself comfortable on the couch and fell asleep. He meant to rest until the argument was decided and then sleep on the floor, since after sleeping in a coffin for so long he wouldn't mind, but he had fallen asleep. Cloud and Tseng decided to put some sleeping bags on the floor and not argue about it anymore. After all, it was no fun to argue in whispers as to make sure they didn't wake the baby. If they dared to wake the girls' precious angel, they would find themselves facing a wrath worse than a hundred Sephiroths.
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It was late into the night in the Seventh Heaven and all was quiet all around. Elena had woken up for a glass of water and on her way she tripped over Tseng's sleeping bag, since the sleeping arrangement had been made after she had already gone to bed and did not know.
Her surprised yelp woke Cloud, who was previously snoring on the floor in a sleeping bag near by. Even if it was dark he could still see Elena on top of Tseng blushing because she tripped. "Can't you two wait until you go back to Healin Lodge for that?"
The leader of the Turks shot the delivery boy a glare. He wasn't in the mood with all that happened that day. "I was just getting a glass of water." Elena quickly got up and headed towards the kitchen. Tseng decided to follow her. Cloud wasn't sure what was going on, he shrugged and went back to sleep.
In the kitchen, Tseng found Elena looking at her water instead of drinking it. She heard his quiet footsteps approaching and looked up from her water. "I'm sorry, Elena."
"For losing Reno at the supermarket, I was the one closest to him so I should have made sure he was there," Tseng apologized.
"It was an accident, we were all distracted. Don't blame yourself," Elena's expression was sad and lost in thought.
Tseng knew there was something bothering her. "Elena, tell me what's wrong."
"I was just thinking about how we got attached to Reno. What if he changes back? Isn't he supposed to change back eventually?" Elena recalled.
"Yes, as far as I know, the effect will ware off. I just don't know when." He put his arm around her shoulders as to console the sadness she would feel having to say goodbye to the little guy when the time came. The Reno they knew before would return, but they would miss the little Reno.
Elena wrapped her arms around him in a tight hug that Tseng returned. "I shouldn't have gotten so attached to him but I did."
"You would make a great mother, and I'll never forget that scene with the mako energy bazooka," Tseng laughed.
Elena laughed too, "not bad for the rookie, eh?"
"I don't think you are a rookie anymore," Tseng's mind wandered off into his memories. Things had certainly changed between him and Elena. She had gone from calling him sir to hugging him in a dark kitchen. Baby Reno was heard, he seemed to sometimes randomly wake up in the middle of the night and cry for attention as babies like to do. Tseng and Elena rushed to his room.
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After having a nightmare involving baby Reno being kidnapped by Sephiroth who had mysteriously come back to life, Tifa woke up to the sound of Reno's crying. The crying stopped but she went to check on Reno anyway. She smiled, seeing Elena holding him while Tseng watched like a proud father. She also took a peek inside Marlene and Denzel's rooms, confirming that everything was okay. Then she went down stairs where she saw Cloud in a sleeping bag on the floor.
The faint moonlight reached him from the window, he looked absolutely angelic. She was about to return to her room when she heard him call. "Tifa?"
Tifa tip toed into the living room, glancing at the sleeping Vincent. Cloud got up and motioned for her to follow him outside. The night sky was clear, lit by the stars and the full moon. "Is there something you wanted to tell me?"
"Yeah, you've been doing really good helping take care of the baby. You also take care of Marlene and Denzel. You keep us together as a family," Cloud spoke.
"I think we are a family," Tifa voiced.
"I guess we are," Cloud agreed. They hugged, enjoying each other's presence. Cloud sometimes didn't say things directly. Sometimes his words needed to be interpreted and Tifa knew how to do that. All of them were one big family and Tifa and Cloud were a couple, kissing in the moon light. It took him a while to realize how close they had become, but he eventually figured it out.
xoxox xox xoxox
"Hey Vincent... Vincent!" Yuffie shook him until he woke up. "You sleep like a rock. Guess what happened just now?"
"You woke me up," came Vincent's monotone.
"No! Well yes, but besides that," Yuffie spoke in a quiet yet excited voice. Vincent sat up, leaving enough space on the couch for Yuffie to sit down as well. He had a feeling she had a story to tell. "I went out for a walk then I heard something in the kitchen so I looked in from the window and saw Tseng and Elena hugging. Those two are a couple, I was right! No doubt is Elena having Tseng's baby. He told her she would be a great mother. Now no one can deny I was right about them!"
"I suppose there is a possibility that you are correct," Vincent was wondering why in the world she was telling him this. Perhaps it was the ancient art known as gossip.
"That's not all, a little while after that, I saw Cloud and Tifa kissing outside! I came inside before they saw me," Yuffie informed.
"You were spying," Vincent realized.
"I was only passing by," Yuffie defended. "I also think there might be a reason why Cid and Shera decided to stay in the airship."
"Because they knew there wasn't enough space for everyone here," Vincent supplied.
"There's another reason, I'm sure. Love is in the air!" Yuffie cheered.
Vincent looked a little confused, he sniffed as if searching for a particular smell in the air. "I don't know."
"Quit being so angsty, Vinnie! Why must you live in angst all the time?" Yuffie had to cheer him up if it was the last thing she did. Determined to somehow, someway, by some unexpected miracle get a smile out of Vincent, or something closely resembling a smile, Yuffie got an idea. "Tomorrow we'll take Reno to the toy store! That's a cheerful place to be. I'll take him toy shopping and you will come with me!" She wasn't giving him any choices, the decision had been made.
xoxox xox xoxox
When the next day came, Yuffie and Vincent headed off to the mall towards the toy store, after getting ready in the normal morning activities, and getting Reno dressed in a costume that Yuffie stole the previous night after talking to Vincent. She explained she wanted Reno to wear something special for the trip to the toy store. If not for the fact that he heard the word toy being said several times and concluded that he would get plenty of toys by the end of the day, Reno would have been screaming to get out of the clothes Yuffie picked out for him.
At the mall, Yuffie could be seen carrying a little ball with hands, feet and a head sticking out of it. That ball happened to be baby Reno dressed as materia. Needless to say, it was really hard to move in the costume filled with plush in some areas to make the ball perfectly round. While her right arm was occupied carrying the baby materia, her left hand was used to tug on Vincent's cape whenever he lagged behind.
Vincent didn't like the mall and the crowds. The entire atmosphere was making him very nervous. Why Yuffie appeared to be so happy to be in such a place was beyond him. "Can we leave?" Vincent's voice was lost in the noises of the busy crowd. "Yuffie, can we leave?" He repeated a little bit louder.
"Did you say something?" The ninja looked back at her uncomfortable companion. He looked so lost and scared.
"I want to leave," Vincent wasn't sure he could stand being in such a crowded place for much longer. The mall was quite full that day.
"Don't be silly, we just got here!" Yuffie was looking forward to a fun day of shopping and maybe a little bit of stealing here and there.
The little ball in her arms started moving impatiently, as much as the costume allowed him to move. "Uffy!"
"We better get to the toy store quick. This little materia is just about ready to summon a Meteor on us," Yuffie concluded. With a hopeless sigh, Vincent followed Yuffie to the toy store.
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The toy store was full of bright colors that certainly didn't fit his gloomy mood. He couldn't help it but to feel as if something would go wrong.
Yuffie was like a child poking at the toys and asking Reno in a baby voice. "Does baby matewia wike this toy?" Reno tried to reach the little soft plushie shuriken, which was nearly impossible dressed up as a materia. Yuffie decided to have mercy on the little guy before he started crying, and after making the plushie shuriken go 'squeak' twice, she gave it to him. "See, Vincent? This isn't hard. You just find a nice toy and ask Reno if he likes it and that's all- Vincent?" She looked around, but he was nowhere to be found.
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"I insist that you let me go," Vincent was dead serious as a young man wearing a cheap Cloud disguise, that was absolutely obviously a disguise, continued to pull him away. Obviously he wasn't listening to reason, so instead Vincent firmly planted his feet on the floor and refused to move.
"What's with you? You're supposed to be other there!" The Cloud impostor pointed to a chair. Next to it many children were in line looking rather impatient. "Come on, don't be shy." He adjusted his spiky blonde wig, hiding a few short brown hairs under it and approached the children while Vincent hid behind a life sized cardboard Sephiroth.
"Cloud! Cloud! Cloud!" The kids happily cheered.
"I have to go on another very secret mission," the man did a terrible imitation of Cloud's voice.
"Aw!" The kids didn't want him to leave and a few parents gave their disapproving looks. The heroes were supposed to be available the entire day for the children to get their picture taken. They would alternate their turns, so another actor had better show up to take Cloud's place. They certainly didn't want to think they stood in line for nothing.
"Don't worry, my friend Vincent will take my place here and secure the sector!" He made a pose and a silly looking salute as the children cheered. That guy certainly looked ridiculous. Cloud wouldn't like it if he saw this.
Vincent wondered what this was all about. He had seen kids with action figures and toys that looked like him and the others before. He wondered who was behind that marketing campaign and why they didn't hire the real Cloud for this. Before he could come to a conclusion, the Cloud look-alike removed the cardboard Sephiroth he was hiding behind and the children rushed towards him. If not for all the young little witnesses, Vincent felt like he could have killed that Cloud wannabe.
"Vincent! Vincent! Vincent!" The kids surrounded him like rabid little hungry monsters and pulled on his cape. Some of them even stepped on his feet saying something about his 'funny shoes'.
The store manager quickly pushed him to his seat. "You're holding up the line, get on with it," he whispered to the 'Vincent actor' and the torture began. They wouldn't let Vincent leave and he was sure Yuffie, Reno and the others would be quite upset if he destroyed the dreaded mall trying to escape. He tried his best to stay human and as calm as possible. He wished Yuffie would find him, she was better at handling people than he was.
"That's not Vincent!" A boy slightly older than the others pointed an accusing finger at Vincent. "He's a fake, he's just dressed up as Vincent, but he's not the real Vincent!" The children started talking among themselves while the parents glared, because the Vincent actor wasn't very convincing.
"He is Vincent!" A little girl stepped forward from the line and argued with the boy. Vincent took the opportunity to get up and tried to sneak away.
"He's escaping!" Another child pointed out.
"He's a fake! Fake! Fake! Fake!" The same boy from before continued.
"He's real!" The girl argued.
"He's a fake, he doesn't have fangs. Vincent's a vampire so he has to have long sharp fangs sticking out of his mouth!" The boy yelled.
"He's not a vampire, he's a human!" The girl then hugged Vincent's leg in a deadly grip. "He's a very handsome human who can make really good chocolate fudge."
"What does fudge have to do with it?" The boy was confused.
"I don't know, I like chocolate fudge, it's yummy and my older sister once said 'Vincent would certainly make a yummy fudge.'" The girl pointed at her older sister, who happened to be the one who brought her there.
The older girl immediately pulled her sister away by the arm, "time to go," and rushed out of the mall in embarrassment.
"Me next!" Another little girl, smaller than the first, held on to Vincent's leg.
"Let me go," Vincent was ignored. Suddenly he saw his savior, the materia stealing ninja. "Yuffie!" He had never been happier to see her in his entire life.
"That's right, Yuffie's here!" Suddenly from a line of cardboard figures of Cloud, Tifa and some others, jumped a young woman dressed as Yuffie, while the real Yuffie gave her an odd look.
"What's going on?" The real Yuffie asked.
The girl in the Yuffie costume whispered to her. "You're supposed to be Tifa, I'm Yuffie, remember?"
The store manager returned with none other than Rufus Shinra. "As you can see, sales are going quite well. This special promotion with the children getting their pictures taken will improve the sales even more."
"Very good, Shinra Inc. shall rise again." Rufus was about to give an inspiring corporate speech when he noticed that there was something wrong. There were two Yuffies and one of them looked too much like the real Yuffie. That Vincent also looked like the real Vincent.
"You've been marketing us?" Yuffie had been flattered by the fact that she became an action figure at first, but to be marketed in such a way and by Shinra no less, that was too much.
"Let me explain what I had in mind," Rufus began; it was a fine day for Tseng and Elena to decide to disappear. Rude had gone off to find them and baby Reno, leaving Rufus without his Turks.
"No need," Yuffie handed Reno to Vincent and chased Rufus around the cardboard display, accidentally knocking down Kadaj.
As Rufus ran, cursing the fact that he was unarmed, thinking the mall would be a harmless place to be, he grabbed baby Reno from Vincent's arms. "Do something, Reno, fulfill your duties as a Turk!"
"Ufu!" Reno squeezed the toy shuriken, making it squeak and continued saying his own version of Rufus' name. "Ufu! Ufu!"
"A hostage? That's not fair!" Yuffie yelled.
"Reno is part of my Turks team. He's coming with me," Rufus declared.
"Absolutely not!" Yuffie stomped her feet. "Where were you when he got kidnapped by Don Corneo? Did you even try to save him?"
"He was kidnapped? Why wasn't I informed of that? Clearly he's better off with me. He won't get kidnapped now." Rufus walked away with Reno.
Yuffie tried to stop him, but Vincent prevented it. "He's right, Yuffie, Reno is one of his Turks, we have to let them go."
"He was my little materia," Yuffie pouted. "This doesn't end here. I'll tell the others about Shinra's marketing issues unless I get Reno back within an hour! Then and only then will I keep my silence!" Vincent was about to suggest she told everyone anyway, but decided to remain quiet.
The little girl who had been attached to Vincent's leg the entire time finally let him go. She stood in front of Yuffie and stepped on the ninja's foot as hard as she could, then ran away.
"Ow! Come back here, you little brat!" Yuffie hopped on one foot.
"Let her go, Yuffie," Vincent spoke, "let's leave this cruel place."
Yuffie agreed to leave and as she and Vincent walked towards the exit of the store, the alarms went off. Vincent looked at her suspiciously. "I didn't take anything!" Yuffie stepped back and let Vincent pass first. Then she tried to exit herself and the alarms went off again. "Honestly, I didn't steal anything this time!"
"This time?" The manager was suspicious.
"Innocent until proven guilty," Yuffie lifted her foot to walk out and suddenly felt a cold metal hand on her ankle. "Vincent, you almost made me fall!"
Vincent removed a tag from Yuffie's foot. "This must have been triggering the alarm."
Yuffie recognized that tag. "It's from the shuriken toy. Rufus must have removed it and tossed it on the floor for me to step on as he left. He set a very sneaky trap."
"I doubt he knew you would step on it," Vincent commented.
The store manager then cut in, "who will be paying for the toy?"
He received a double deadly glare from Yuffie and Vincent, "Rufus," they agreed.
xoxox xox xoxox
Rufus wasn't exactly having the time of his life. "I can't believe this, Reno. Couldn't you wait?" The baby only complained. He needed his diaper changed and he was tired of waiting. "You can say goodbye to that bonus I was going to give you for assisting me back there." Perhaps it was best to return the child to his babysitters, but Rufus didn't want to give up so easily. He suddenly got an idea and pulled out his cell phone. "Hello, Elena? Yes, it's Rufus. I'm sending you on a mission."
Elena was a bit surprised, since everything appeared to be so peaceful. "What's the mission? Should I get Tseng and Rude?"
"I'm sure you can handle it yourself."
Elena heard a faint cry of discomfort in the background that soon turned louder and louder. "Is that Reno? Do something, he's crying!"
"That's what I was trying to tell you. He needs a diaper change. I'm over at the mall." Rufus was interrupted by the sound of the communication link being ended. The cell phone beeped as it displayed a message on the screen, indicating that Elena hung up. "She hung up on me... The Turks are not supposed to hang up on their boss," Rufus was in disbelief.
"Found you!" Yuffie pointed at Rufus and Reno, as if the crying materia baby didn't attract enough attention already.
"Let me guess, Reno's cries led you to me? Very well, I return him to you. Take good care of my little Turk." Rufus gave little Reno back to Yuffie.
"Oh sure, give him back when he needs a diaper change!" The materia stealing ninja glared. "C'mon Vincent, let's get him changed."
xoxox xox xoxox
Yuffie stopped in front of two doors, one of them had a little blue sign with a white stick figure painted on it and the other had a little pink sign with another white stick figure painted on it, that one had a triangle on the bottom half, as if wearing a skirt.
Assuming Yuffie would take care of the diaper change in the women's bathroom, Vincent stood there waiting. "I'll wait here," he voiced when she didn't move, as if to assure her she could go in and take care of everything and he would still be there when she came out, despite how much he disliked being at the mall.
"Normally, it's fine for a woman to change her child in the girls' bathroom, but Reno's a boy, furthermore he was once a grown up. I'm not sure it would be ethically correct to take him in there now," Yuffie mused. Reno was screaming impatiently and kicking as much as the round costume allowed him to. He didn't care where he got changed as long as it got done.
How Yuffie managed to gather the energy to overanalyze the situation despite Reno's cries and complaints was beyond Vincent. His brain was just about ready to explode. "No one will know."
"That's exactly what makes it even more unethical, but I have the solution. You will take Reno to the boys' bathroom and change him there." Then Yuffie overanalyzed the situation even more. "Now that I think about it, Reno might be a little uncomfortable knowing Tifa, Elena and I all changed his diapers. I wonder if he'll ever be able to look at us in the face after he grows up again."
"If he ever changes back I doubt he would remember," Vincent theorized.
"If... I hope he doesn't, but I have a bad feeling that he will." A soft little shuriken hit Yuffie right in the nose, squeaking as it made a direct impact on its target. " Alright, I get it, you need to be changed now." She handed the child to Vincent, dug into her bag which had all the necessary supplies and pulled out a soft glove that looked like a bath glove. "Here you go." She covered Vincent's metal claw with it.
Vincent had a feeling she intended to get out of this chore from the start. "I do not have knowledge or skills in such matters. It would be best if you did this."
"Gotta learn some day," Yuffie insisted and poor Vincent looked helpless. "Go on in, I'll tell you what to do. Here's the new diaper and everything you'll need." She handed him the supplies and practically shoved him into the bathroom.
Yuffie appeared to have a very special talent for ignoring people's odd looks. Although Vincent was inside the bathroom, with no one else there other than him and Reno, he was embarrassed as he imagined the looks people must be giving Yuffie as she shouted instructions behind the closed door. It took him a while to figure out how to free Reno from the materia costume and get the ordeal over with.
Vincent sighed in frustration, he better get a good amount of experience points after such a torturous task. After a long hard battle and a lot of instructions from Yuffie, who could only picture in amusement what was going on, Vincent was finally victorious.
"Yuffie!" The ninja turned in the direction of the voice and found Elena. "Rufus called saying that Reno needed a diaper change. Did you find him?"
"Yup, Vincent already took care of that," Yuffie announced as Vincent emerged from the bathroom in a cloud of baby powder. He was holding the materia baby, whom Elena soon picked up.
"You dressed him up as a materia? Somehow I'm not surprised you would do this," Elena concluded.
"Doesn't he look cute?" Yuffie gave him back his shuriken toy, which Reno happily made squeak.
To be Continued
Baby Reno: Part 3
Later, at the Seventh Heaven, Cloud changed Reno out of the uncomfortable looking materia costume and into clothes that made him look like Red XIII, aka Nanaki, who has come to visit after hearing the story of the Turk who turned into a baby. "Here he is," Cloud placed Reno on the floor in front of Nanaki. "Keep an eye on him and the kids, okay?"
"No problem," Nanaki noticed Reno was dressed like a cub of his species, which Cloud probably thought was funny. Not that it bothered Nanaki. He could still easily tell this was in fact Reno. The scent was slightly different, but he still knew who he was.
"Puppy!" The small Turk hugged Nanaki.
"I'm not a puppy," Nanaki corrected, but Reno wasn't listening.
"My puppy!" It was hopeless to try to explain it, so Nanaki let him be. Then Reno tried to climb on his back.
"I think he wants a ride," Marlene guessed.
Nanaki didn't see any harm in that, after all, Reno was only a baby now, an innocent little human cub. "That sounds alright." So the children placed little Reno on Nanaki's back and for the rest of the day he was running in circles, for little Reno would start crying whenever he stopped. After that, Nanaki certainly got plenty of exercise and was very tired. The day couldn't have ended soon enough, yet at the same time Nanaki was happy. He wondered if having a cub would be this much work.
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The night was spent at Healin Lodge, which was big enough for everyone to fit. Rufus had requested that Reno stayed there and everyone else wanted to stay, which he agreed to. The sun had already set and Red XIII could be seen sleeping soundly on the carpet at Rufus' feet. He could have a room, but he liked the floor so no one argued with his choice of sleeping there. Rufus sat on the couch holding little Reno. He wasn't so bad as long as he didn't have to change his diapers, or feed him, or any of the hard stuff.
"It's my turn," Rude extended his arms to receive the baby, whom was not given to him as he expected.
Rufus protectively held on to Reno, who was sitting on his lap wearing red pants and a white t-shirt with the word 'I' followed by a picture of a heart and 'Shinra Inc.' It was an 'I love Shinra' advertisement, but at least it was more comfortable than the costumes they usually made him wear. "I will say when my turn is over."
Rude wasn't happy with that, Reno was his partner. At first he needed a break from babysitting, as did the other Turks, but it came to a point when the group had grown used to having little Reno around and they all wanted to spend time with him.
It wasn't until later when Reno had already fallen asleep that Rude finally got a turn to hold the baby, while Rufus went off to get some sleep. After a while, Rude placed his little partner on a crib, making sure he had enough baby toys and plushies to keep him company while he slept.
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In his room, Rufus was watching a recording. He recognized the scenery as belonging to an old Shinra laboratory that hadn't been used in years. The place was a mess, it was practically in ruins, waiting to fall apart any second, but for some unknown reason the camera system was still functional, recording everything that went on in the lab. He watched as Reno, who was still an adult at the time, and his partner Rude, came into view.
"We're not supposed to be here," Rude's voice was heard.
"Relax, nothing bad will happen," Reno sounded as carefree as usual. He approached an odd machine. The large metal casing of the machine was cracked, forming a gap that was at least four inches wide, allowing Reno to take a look inside.
Rufus could see what was inside the machine from the angle the camera was positioned, so he knew what was causing Reno to look so surprised. It was a failed project, but that didn't mean it couldn't be used for other purposes. Rufus had sent a team to investigate while his Turks were busy babysitting, so he was more informed about certain things. Then it happened, there was a strange explosion and when the smoke cleared up, Reno was a baby.
Rude rushed towards Reno. "Reno?" Reno then started crying until Rude got him to calm down by picking him up and singing an off key lullaby, during which Rufus hit the mute button.
By examining some older records, Rufus was able to come up with some theories as to what had happened, but he didn't want to jump to conclusions yet. He still wondered for how long things would remain the way they were. He had a feeling that the event that was to come could only be delayed so long. Either way, they should best be prepared. He would tell them everything the next day.
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The hours slowly passed until around two thirty in the morning a soft cough was heard. Elena jumped out of bed wide awake and wondered if it was only her imagination. The sound was heard again and she rushed to Reno's room. At the door, she found Tifa, Yuffie and Shera, who had also heard. The sound was rather quiet but somehow they all heard it clearly.
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In his guest room, Cid rolled over half asleep and almost unconsciously extended his arm. He only touched the empty bed. He turned around to face the opposite direction and also found nothing but empty space. He sleepily opened one eye then slowly sat up. As far as he could tell in the darkness, he was alone. He shrugged and lay down again. Maybe Shera got up to drink a glass of water or something.
Moments later, his wife had still not returned and he was curious to know where she went. Cid got out of bed and stepped out to the hall. There was a light coming from one of the rooms. That was baby Reno's room. He stood at the door and took a look inside. The women were there and they appeared to be upset about something. They paced around the room, whispered to each other and were constantly showering Reno with attention. Making a mental note to watch his language or be murdered by their motherly instincts, Cid asked "what the, what is going on?" He almost slipped, almost.
"Reno's sick, he coughed," Shera was filled with concern and worry. She sounded as if the world as they knew it had come to an end.
"I'm sure it's nothing. Babies get colds just like everyone else. In fact, they even get them for no reason. He's a kid, it's supposed to happen." Cid stopped, seeing Shera's disapproving look. Clearly she was very worried about Reno.
At that moment Rude had decided to leave his room to drink some water or milk before falling back asleep. He saw the lights in his little partner's room were on and went to investigate. He was informed of the terrible tragedy of Reno's sudden illness that had everyone so worried. Rude wondered if baby Reno being sick would be anything like when he caught a cold as a grown up. Reno would exaggerate his cold and claim that he was dying. He would complain and make Rude spoil him back to health.
It didn't take too long for the sounds of the worried conversation to become louder as they realized that no matter how quiet they were, Reno just wouldn't fall asleep again. The poor child had a strong fever. It was then that everyone else at the Healin Lodge woke up and was informed of the tragic situation.
xoxox xox xoxox
The sun started to shine its first rays of light upon the land and most of the group had gotten little sleep that night. As they stepped outside to take Reno to a doctor, the child began to glow, floating away as life stream came from the ground in front of Healin Lodge and appeared to reach for him. There was a bright light and everything ended as quickly as it had begun.
There were no signs of damage to Healin Lodge or even the spot on the ground where the life stream had come from. There was just a very confused fully grown Reno. "Where are the lab and the strange materia?" He looked at the ground and saw the materia glowing at his feet but as he reached for it, it sunk into the ground. He also noticed that his clothes were missing, as his baby clothes were torn apart when he grew too big for them.
"Go inside and get dressed," Rufus ordered.
Reno snapped out of his surprise and rushed inside. A few minutes later he came out fully dressed to find everyone examining a spot on the ground. "Could someone tell me what happened? One second I was trying to pick up an odd materia and the next I was here."
Yuffie looked very upset. "This day can't get any worse! Our baby grew up and I couldn't even touch that rare materia. I'm going to miss Reno so much!"
"Me too," Elena agreed.
"But I'm over here," Reno tried to get their attention, but it was as if he was invisible.
"So what? We miss the baby, not you," Elena pointed out.
Tseng nodded. "It's true that we will miss baby Reno, but this is the only Reno we have now."
"Yeah, but there will be another baby soon, since Elena's pregnant and all," Yuffie reminded.
Tseng could have died there and then, the baby wasn't his. But Elena immediately denied it. "I'm not pregnant!"
"You mean Tseng and you are not expecting a baby?" Yuffie was disappointed. After they had learned to divide the work among themselves and become a little more skilled in the ancient art of babysitting, it was nice to have a baby around.
Elena and Tseng's faces became red as they looked at each other, then at Yuffie and shook their heads. Although they didn't say it, the thought of having a child did sound pleasant. Not yet, they weren't ready for a little Turk yet, but maybe someday in the future.
"I know what's going on," Rufus surprised everyone. "I sent a team to conduct an investigation."
Cloud stepped forward, looking as upset as the others. Rude, Elena and Tseng, who was currently hugging Elena to try to make her feel better, made no effort to stand between Cloud and Rufus. "Tell us everything you know."
"There are dark secrets of Shinra that not even I know," Rufus had a feeling this wouldn't be the last secret to pop out. "It was a failed experiment, Hojo was trying to clone Jenova. He wanted to make a living clone." It was hard to believe. One Jenova was enough trouble, two would be too much, especially if it was a living clone. "Jenova could not be cloned. All the clones were failures that were quickly destroyed. He tried to force the cloning process with mako energy, which didn't work either. The Jenova cells and the mako energy were left in the container of a modified reactor, thought to be a failed experiment. From the information I could recover, apparently the mako surrounded the Jenova cells, creating some kind of materia. That is what Reno found."
"And it turned him into a baby, but why?" Tifa asked.
"The materia was being influenced by Sephiroth. It was to make him return, to make him be reborn. Reno is already alive in this world, so instead it had a different effect on him, turning him into a baby. He absorbed the effect that was meant for Sephiroth, thus preventing him from returning." Finally, all the information Rufus had gathered fit like peaces to a puzzle.
To further emphasize Rufus' point Reno's eyes glowed at that very moment. "So I stopped Sephiroth without even knowing it and turned into a mako freak?" Reno caught an annoyed look from Cloud and paused. "Not that there's anything wrong with being a mako freak. What was that about a baby?"
"You don't remember? Do you at least remember the explosion at the old Shinra lab?" Rufus asked.
"Yeah, I remember that, but what happened afterwards?" Reno was confused.
"You were turned into a baby," Rude explained.
"We've all been taking turns helping baby-sit," Tseng added.
"I was a baby?" Reno was understandably shocked. "I don't remember any of that. Well I'm glad that's over."
Tifa tapped her foot impatiently and placed her hands on her waist. "Is that all? 'I'm glad that's over.' You have no idea how much we'll miss the baby!"
"You sound as if the baby wasn't me, as if he's gone forever. I'm right here," Reno insisted.
"He felt like a different person to us. He was our little baby," Elena argued.
"Yeah, and we all changed your diaper so be thankful," Yuffie pouted.
Reno's expression clearly indicated that was too much information. "I didn't need to know that."
There was a strange glow on the ground. It was the same light that came when Reno turned back to normal. Life stream came from the ground and began to take shape until a little Sephiroth appeared before them. The light disappeared and it all went back to normal, save for the fact that there was a baby Sephiroth there.
Cloud stared at the scene before him. "I will never be a memory." The words replayed over and over in his head. Sephiroth certainly meant what he said, for there he was, right in front of him, except he was much smaller now. "Sephiroth!" Cloud readied his sword, but this Sephiroth was too small, too innocent, too cute, he couldn't attack the child, he was just a baby. He stopped and Vincent approached.
"Let me see," Vincent picked up the little Sephiroth. "This time he might not turn out to be so bad." All the babysitting experience would certainly come in handy for everyone.
The Turks agreed to help. Shera and Cid agreed as well. "Cloud?" Tifa looked at him, she wanted to help take care of the baby too, but didn't want to leave cloud out if he wasn't comfortable with this.
Cloud approached Vincent, who was holding the little Sephiroth. His guess was that even if in the end Sephiroth absorbed the materia from his connection to the planet's life stream, the materia's energy had been drained during the time Reno spent as a baby, so it wasn't powerful enough to bring him back as an adult.
For a second Cloud thought he saw the translucent images of Aerith and Zack in the distance, nodding their approval. It appeared that everyone accepted the little Sephiroth and Cloud sensed no evil from the child. Perhaps Sephiroth's plan backfiring thanks to Reno's interference was the best thing that could have happened. "I'm willing to help too. I've had too many near death experiences with Reno to be afraid of babies anymore."
"Near death experiences?" Reno inquired.
"You tried to drown me while I was giving you a bath," Cloud realized it sounded kind of odd to say it now that Reno was grown up.
"Maybe it's time Reno learned what it's like to babysit," Tseng determined this would be good training for the Turk.
"Just don't take him to a chocobo petting zoo dressed as a chocobo," Rude warned.
Reno blinked, "that is a story I have to hear." Vincent gave him the little Sephiroth. "Babies aren't too hard to take care of, right little guy?" The silver haired child looked at him curiously before grabbing the stray red hairs that fell in front of Reno's face. "Stop yo!" Luckily he didn't pull them out. "I didn't do things like this, did I?"
"You did worse, but don't worry, you'll have time to get the full experience," Cloud grinned.
"Yes, carrying you on my back all day was quite exhausting," Nanaki commented.
"Puppy!" Sephiroth let go of Reno's hair and pointed at Nanaki.
"Me and my big mouth, I should have stayed quiet." Nanaki had a feeling he would end up giving Sephiroth rides quite often.
It had been the end of a great adventure and the beginning of another one as they shared stories of Reno's time as a baby and prepared themselves for Sephiroth's babyhood.
xoxox xox xoxox
A week later, at the Seventh Heaven... The silver haired baby sat contently on the blonde's lap, making little baby noises, giggling and sucking his thumb. Sephiroth was giggling? Now there was something Cloud would never imagine was possible. He smiled, he didn't mean to, most certainly not, but his expression changed on its own.
Cloud was in fact so lost in the fatherly feeling that he didn't notice Yuffie walk into the Seventh Heaven, kneel so that she was at the baby's eye level and proceed to coo and squeal and make baby talk. When he did notice the ninja's presence, Cloud blinked and stared and realized that it was no wonder Yuffie found it so easy to steal materia from him if he was always that distracted.
"It's my turn!" Yuffie extended her arms towards the small child, waiting for Cloud to give him to her." He carefully handed her the baby and she cradled him in her arms. "You're so cute! Yes, you're cute! You're cute like a new born materia! Yes you are!"
"Surprisingly, he's better behaved than Reno." Tifa joined the conversation, once again Cloud failed to notice the approaching presence. He had been a bit stressed about Sephiroth, worrying that he'll suddenly grow to adult size and go crazy. Tifa kept telling him to relax the entire time while he kept jumping and drawing his sword over the smallest noise. Maybe her advice finally sunk in a little too deep.
Cloud mentally kicked himself for letting himself relax too much. Relaxing once in a while was fine, but he was so out of it he didn't even notice when people arrived. Now Reno and Rude came in without his knowledge. Then again maybe it wasn't because he was relaxed, rather the sleepless nights taking their toll and draining away his once acute senses.
"Where's Vincent?" Cloud asked. He had volunteered to take care of Sephiroth; after all he did know his mother. Then Reeve gave him a job, which wasn't so bad because Sephiroth ate like a bottomless pit and Vincent needed money for food and toys, but of course, a job meant needing a babysitter.
"I have no idea. I saw him at work, but Reeve asked him to stay for a few more minutes. My guess is those minutes turned into hours. They tell you it'll just be a few minutes and you can go, but it takes forever." Yuffie tickled little Sephiroth as she spoke.
Sometimes when Vincent was finally allowed to leave work, he was too tired to take care of little Sephiroth. Tifa, who loved kids, was all too happy to take care of him. True that she held a grudge against Sephiroth, but this was a completely different Sephiroth. She saw them as two different people, one of them an innocent and adorable little baby.
It evolved into a conversation about overtime. Reno, of course, always left even if no one told him he could go. In fact, he left even if he was told not to. He wasn't a fool and in his honest opinion, only a fool sacrificed himself for the job.
While everyone talked, Yuffie snuck away with little Sephiroth and returned with him dressed as a materia. "Look, everyone! Isn't he cute?" The room was filled with "aw" and "cute!"
"You're an evil ninja, picking on defenseless little babies." Reno gave the little materia boy an understanding look. "I know how this feels, my memories of being a baby started to return after a few days, but only some of them." Reno was thankful that only a few of his memories returned, because he really didn't want to remember certain things like Cloud giving him a bath and Vincent changing his diaper. "Poor little guy, you can't even move in there." The costume was basically a ball were Sephiroth could only stick out his head, hands and feet.
"But he looks cute, besides, you never complained... much." Yuffie reminded him. Reno's days as a baby had really been something, chaotic yet cute.
"That's because I was a cheerful baby, but Sephiroth isn't as much of a cheerful baby as me." Reno should know, that little silver hair bundle of noise was a total crybaby unless he received constant attention, opposite of what you would expect from Sephiroth. Since everyone had to babysit Reno during his baby days, they got back at him by making him babysit Sephiroth. He remembered it all too clearly.
Sephiroth cried, rather loudly, indicating that he needed his babysitter's presence right away. "What, yo?" Reno peeked over the baby's crib that had been placed in his apartment, without his permission, by the power of Rude's spare key. They had decided to give Reno a long turn to take care of the baby, since everyone else needed to recover from taking care of Reno when he was a baby. It shouldn't be a problem, since it would seem that Reno was very hyper and energetic as a grown up too.
Baby Sephiroth only smiled looking at Reno, who had at last arrived. "Goo! Daa! Baa! Goo!"
"Same to you!" Reno went on his way, back to his nice soft bed but once again he heard sobbing, followed by screams of agony and rushed to see what was wrong.
"Goo! Baa! Hee, hee!" Reno blinked at the incomprehensible gibberish.
"Sorry kid, I forgot how to speak baby. If nothing's wrong go to sleep, okay?" Reno waited for some form of sign that the baby had somehow understood what he was saying.
"E-o, hee, hee."
"Ee nnnn ooo, uba aba-ab."
Reno turned to leave, in favor of finding and using some ear plugs.
"E e nnnnn o-oo Eno! Eno!"
Reno paused, Eno? "I get it; it's my name... sort of. Well good for you that you said a real word, or close to it. We'll celebrate tomorrow, now go to sleep."
"Eno! Eno! Eno! Eno!"
"Sleep! Sleep! Sleep! Sleep!"
"Eno! Wah! Wah! Waaaaahhh!!!" Sephiroth started to cry, he didn't want to sleep; he wanted to play.
xoxox xox xoxox
-knock- -knock- The door to Rude's apartment, right next to Reno's, was opened by the sleepy bald Turk. "Rude, you have to help me! I keep telling him to go to sleep but he keeps calling me!"
"He says 'Hello Rude'... I think I'm getting this baby talk thing after all..." For a moment, Reno smiled at his own accomplishment, before he once again remembered his predicament. "Rude! Help!"
"You're the only one with enough energy to keep up with a baby," Rude observed. Reno was whining, but he was whining energetically.
"Your point is?" Reno was still yet to experience the state of extreme exhaustion that everyone else had experienced with him, but that didn't mean he didn't need help.
"Stay with him until he falls asleep. You could try telling him a story or something."
Reno mused over Rude's words as an imaginary light bulb lit up above his head. "Right, gotcha, I can do that... But if he needs a diaper change I'll come right back!" Before Rude could refuse, Reno returned to his own apartment along with baby Sephiroth.
xoxox xox xoxox
"Alright kid, I'll tell you a story like Rude said. Pay attention." Reno started while trying to think of a story.
"Eno!" Little Sephiroth cheered.
"Yes, yes, Eno is, I mean uncle Reno is going to tell you a story." After hearing Sephiroth say 'Eno' so much Reno wouldn't be surprised if he accidentally started to call himself Eno. It would be a disaster if people mistook it for Emo, then Cloud would whine that he stole his title, which he had no intentions of doing.
"Go? Okay, I'll start you little impatient chibi. Once upon a time there was a... a Turk, not quite as cool as me. His name was... um... Vincent! Yeah, the same name as the vampire dude." It was something that Reno had been saying for a while. He knew Vincent wasn't a vampire, but that didn't mean he couldn't get a laugh out of it. "An evil mad scientist put him to sleep in a coffin, of all places. Then some guy came and got him out, but Vincent was really disappointed because he wanted to be woken up by his true love's kiss, because all those fairy tales have that. The one who woke him up, Cloud, he kept pestering Vincent to get up, like a mother on a school day, so he had no choice. Vincent went on a journey with Cloud, the he met, Cait Sith who was riding on a big moogle. Together they joined the Sith, beat up all the Jedi and lived happily ever after, the end."
Baby Sephiroth did not look satisfied. It was as if he knew that wasn't a real fairytale. "O! Moo!"
"No? Moo? What? Repeat it slowly, I'm still not fluent in baby talk."
"O! Oo! Ooo! Moo!" Little Sephiroth repeated.
Reno gave it some thought. "No? You don't think my story is true? Well too bad kid, that's all I have. As for moo... Moo is over there." Reno walked over to the baby crib and picked up a cow plushie. Rufus had given Sephiroth that plushie. Why? No one knew. It was logical in a way. Since babies like milk so much, maybe they liked cows. Or maybe Rufus liked cows for some secret random reason. "Here you go."
"Moo-moo! Hee, hee! Moo!"
Reno wondered what Sephiroth could possibly want now, because he sounded like he was requesting something. "Oh, right! The plushie is Moo-moo, so just moo must mean more. You're happy to have your Moo-moo and want another story?"
Baby Sephiroth seemed to nod his little head.
"Oh yeah, it's official, I'm a total genius! Let's go out and celebrate that I can understand you!"
"More fun with uncle Reno, yes, yes!"
xoxox xox xoxox
Tifa yawned as she cleaned the bar. It was a slow night, which wasn't so bad since she barely had any energy left. She was still recovering from babysitting Reno and wondered if her sleeping pattern would ever go back to normal. She had grown used to waking up in the middle of the night and now she woke up even if there was no screaming baby to tend to. She absent mindedly picked up the baby that had been placed on the counter, cleaned the counter and set him down again. "What would you like, sir?"
"I would really like it if this kid would go to sleep, but since he's not tired, I'll wait for him to sleep while I'm having the usual." Reno was amused by the fact that Tifa didn't appear to recognize him. He was a regular customer, how could she forget? She must really be tired.
Tifa snapped awake as she recognized the redhead, Reno of the Turks, Sephiroth's current babysitter. Furthermore, that was little Sephiroth sitting on the counter. "Ifa! Ifa!"
"Reno! You can't go to random bars with a baby!" Tifa scolded him.
"But this isn't a random bar," Reno pointed out.
"Of course not, the Seventh Heaven is the best!" Tifa had to take the moment to spread the positive publicity. "But that's not the point. You're supposed to be at home with he baby. Home as in where you live, not where you spend most of your free time."
"He won't fall asleep, so I thought we could pull out an all nighter together. You know, a guy's night out so to speak."
Tifa shook her head and picked up little Sephiroth, holding him protectively. "You know nothing about taking care of children."
"It's not like I was going to let him order a drink. It's just milk for the little guy, till he's old enough. Besides, I never said I knew how to baby-sit, I'm just guessing," Reno was a genius indeed, he had tricked Tifa into taking care of little Sephiroth. Of course when she realized she had been tricked, a true nightmare broke loose as she forced Reno to sit down and listen to her speech. Poor Reno was scarred for life, and he thought Elena was talkative; Tifa's lectures were truly deadly.
End of Flashback
"My point is, Reno continued, "that is uncomfortable," he referred to the baby materia costume.
"No it's not! Yuffie insisted. "You don't even know how to baby-sit right. You got Tifa to do all the work last time, she told me!"
-sob- -sob- "Waaaaaahhh!" Sephiroth started crying.
"I told you so!" Reno felt victorious because he was right, but it was short lived, as Sephiroth's screams erased any possible satisfaction that could come from saying I told you so.
"Okay, okay, I get it, how about the Red XIII cub costume instead?" Yuffie suggested.
"That could work, but I think we should save that one for when Nanaki comes to visit." Tifa concluded it was useful that they kept baby Reno's wardrobe, which now served as hand me downs for Sephiroth. At least they didn't have to run from store to store in a panicked shopping spree since they had plenty of supplies left from Reno's time as a baby.
"He's getting away!" Rude spoke, a rare event, catching everyone's attention. The group watched in horror as Sephiroth rolled away in his materia costume.
"So much for being less trouble than Reno, but at least he didn't try to drown me" Cloud gave pursuit, along with everyone else.
As they chased the little rolling materia baby, Elena and Tseng who were on their way to see the baby, caught him. "What are you doing to the baby?" Elena held him protectively as everyone pointed accusing fingers at each other.
"Hey!" Tifa pouted when she realized that cloud was pointing at her.
"Sorry!" Cloud was caught in the middle of the finger pointing confusion.
"Poor Sephiroth, being rolled around like a ball." Elena cradled the baby, while everyone made excuses and finally pushed Yuffie forward.
"I didn't mean for this to happen, Reno didn't roll away when I dressed him up as a materia!" Yuffie tried to explain.
"We'll take care of him from now on!" Elena announced.
So far Tseng had been nodding quietly, but after hearing Elena's words he stopped. "Don't forget we need to get up early for the next mission. We can't afford not getting any sleep taking care of the baby. It should be alright when we come back, we could take care of him then, for a few days." He stopped as he noticed that everyone was staring at him. He analyzed his words and tried to figure out what this was about, then it hit him like a ton of bricks. Tseng cleared his throat and resumed his silence, both demanding and begging with his eyes that the topic would not be brought up again.
"It's not like everyone hasn't already figured out you two moved in together." Reno received deadly glares from both Tseng and Elena for that one. Reno did the one smart thing he had left to do and pretended that he didn't say anything, both demanding and begging with his eyes that everyone would just drop the subject.
xoxox xox xoxox
The group returned to the Seventh Heaven in relative silence, save for the quiet baby sounds of discomfort and occasional sobbing that little Sephiroth expressed. They got him dressed up as a moogle as soon as they returned. It was a lot easier to move like that, even with that little bouncy ball on the end of a wire on his head, but that was a good thing because he was entertained by trying to reach the little ball and play with it.
However, as things stood, they still didn't have a babysitter for little Sephiroth. They thought about giving Reno another chance to really complete the mission this time, but when the red haired Turk started rambling about how he would be totally prepared with lots of candy this time around, because children love candy, they knew it was best not to allow Reno to babysit. Baby Sephiroth was very energetic as he was, he certainly didn't need Reno feeding him candy and making him even more hyper with all the extra sugar.
Denzel and Marlene played with the baby for a while and soon Nanaki arrived, which made them wish they had dressed Sephiroth as a cub after all, because it was just too cute to see him riding on Nanaki like that. He was still adorable as a moogle, so they decided he could stay that way.
Even Cid came by, as did Reeve and Vincent, but the three appeared to be very exhausted, because of WRO work in the case of the last two. Cid collapsed into a bar stool, receiving several puzzled looks. "Mood swings," that was enough for everyone to understand. Shera, sweet, calm, patient Shera, the woman was a complete fury when her mood swings started.
Cid missed Shera when she was nice and patient and didn't talk back to him. Now he had red handprints on his cheeks, a pair of bumps on his head and squished toes, to prove that if he dared to talk back to her, she would not hesitate to slap him, throw random items, or step on his feet. It was all only to come crying, rather loudly, in a fit of guilt soon after, seeking consolation and forgiveness from her beloved captain. Oh the joys of the approaching fatherhood.
Cid wasn't sure if he would make it out alive. As much as he knew that taking care of a baby was hard work, from his experiences caring for baby Reno and later baby Sephiroth, he wished the baby would just hurry up and be born already so that Shera went back to normal.
They couldn't very well give Sephiroth to Rufus to take care of. He would accept, but only to make the baby into an advertisement. He was convinced that he could fix his image if he played his cards right, and adopting a child without actually having to adopt one, was the perfect strategy for a nice image. He was already marketing the heroes with little plushies, actions figures and what not, the Edge mall, which was more like the Shinra mall, was full of them.
He even had plushies and toys that were Turk themed. If he couldn't make profit out of mako, he had to make profit out of something, because the WRO certainly took a large budget to stay up and running. Rufus couldn't exactly shut them down, because he had a debt to repay some would say, most importantly because everyone would be out to bite his head off if he did.
Who would babysit Sephiroth while those who were too tired recovered? Reno still volunteered, claiming that he wanted to show the world, or at least his friends, he could do it. Of course that was at the risk of an even more hyper Sephiroth, so it was out of the question. They all wanted to help, but exhaustion had settled in and it would take more than a few days to cure the extreme fatigue, especially since they were busy people and couldn't really afford to sleep in all day.
"We could send him to Gun," Elena suggested, happily remembering that event in which, as she so eloquently put it, 'Gun got pwned', her dear sister would forever fear babies after Reno ripped her hair out. Reno had no regrets, he laughed when that memory returned to him.
"Let's not torture her anymore." Tifa had heard about the incident. Elena still had her sister's hair framed with the phrase that best described the situation engraved. 'Gun got pwned' was thought to be abstract art by some of those who had visited Healin Lodge and not had the pleasure to hear the full story.
All those present who had enough energy left to move formed a circle, leaving Reno out. The red head ran around the circle of people, jumping occasionally as if they were hiding something in the middle. "We've decided," Tseng announced after a few minutes of quiet murmurs that only those who were included in the circle could hear.
"You have to take care of little Sephiroth and if you feed him too much sugar, Tifa will lecture you, then I will lecture you too." Elena explained. Tifa gave a nod of agreement.
"I won't feed him too much sugar!" Reno tried to deny it, but they all knew he would. If candy kept the child quiet and entertained, then candy he shall get. They all knew this would bring very hyper consequences, but what's life without a few risks? Besides, after giving it some thought, they realized that if they could handle Reno's hyperness as a baby, they were ready to handle a hyper Sephiroth, or at least they would try. In addition, they wanted to see how long it would take for Reno to use up his seemingly endless supply of energy and a hyper Sephiroth appeared to be their only option to make that happen.
xoxox xox xoxox
Days later, Reno stood in the middle of the Seventh Heaven absolutely mortified as he realized that baby Sephiroth had somehow crawl away while he was distracted and open a drawer filled with things meant for Reno's eyes and Reno's eyes only. The silver haired child had taken an item from that drawer, he managed to keep it hidden until his babysitter brought him back to the Seventh Heaven and he was now waving it around like a flag for the entire bar to see.
Laughter erupted all over and Reno concluded that neither Cloud, Tifa, Cid, Vincent, Reeve, Tseng, Elena, Rude, and definitely not Yuffie, would ever let him forget this event. The picture was well preserved despite the years. It depicted a small Reno, still a toddler, after getting into mischief and painting a pair of red lines on his face for the first time.
xoxox xox xoxox
The days continued to pass... Tifa massaged her temples and shook her head. "A sneeze..." she couldn't believe what she had been told, but with all the craziness that happened, she did not deem it as impossible. "You're telling me that Cloud turned into a baby because Reno sneezed on him?"
"Yes," Tifa didn't know how it could be possible and she certainly did not understand how Rude could say it so calmly with a straight face while Reno had an 'oops' expression, eyes covered by his goggles. "You must remember when Reno turned into a baby it was by the effect of mako," Rude explained.
"Then when I changed back to normal the radioactive energy left me and sunk into the planet, then Sephiroth came back as a baby and I was left as a mako freak," Reno continued.
"Goo!" Baby Cloud protested. It could have been a mere coincidence or that he didn't like Reno calling those with mako 'freaks' even if he included himself.
"But for a sneeze to cause this," Tifa held the two babies in her arms, keeping them separated. If she let go, baby Sephiroth and baby Cloud would start to fight. It was somewhat cute and amusing, but Tifa would rather preserve the peace.
"I have a cold," Reno sounded as if that alone would clear up everything.
Elena decided to explain the situation, since Reno wasn't being clear enough and Rude didn't like giving speeches. "The way Reno received mako was unusual. It causes his immunity system to behave strangely when he is sick, for example with a cold. Basically he sneezes mako, but the test results indicate that it will stop once the cold is cured. The amount of mako in the sneezes isn't enough to affect most people. Cloud is an exception, because the mako he has reacted to the traces of mako Reno sneezed on him."
"Oh..." Tifa looked at the two babies in her arms. Cloud was quite content cuddled against her, while Sephiroth glared at Cloud. "Will Cloud be back to normal?"
"Yes, the effects will not last more than a few days," Tseng replied.
"Well, that's done," Reno announced. "Now that we told Tifa everything instead of being real Turks and getting rid of the evidence like I said we should, let's just get on with our lives. So Tifa, did you get more of that drink I like?" Tifa gave Reno a deadly glare. "No? How about something else then?"
"In case you haven't noticed, I have my hands full," Baby Sephiroth had begun to get restless and was trying to break free of Tifa's grip to attack baby Cloud. "You weren't really going to get rid of Cloud, were you?"
"That's the Turks way," Reno did not admit, nor deny anything.
"He suggested it but then changed his mind and said we should keep him and raise him to be the Turks' mascot, I think he got attached." Elena revealed.
"Elena..." Reno started.
"You talk too much!" In Reno's opinion, Cloud would have made a pretty good mascot.
"If you want my opinion, this wouldn't have happened if you just covered your mouth when you sneeze." Elena's statement received mutual agreement from everyone else, save for Reno.
"But it was an accident," Reno knew this was an argument he would lose.
"According to the tests, there is also a chance that Cloud might change back with another small dose of mako." Tseng explained.
"Meaning Reno has to sneeze on him again? It feels cruel on Cloud, he's so small and adorable, but I really do need help taking care of Sephiroth," Tifa debated on what to do.
"Wah!" Sephiroth screamed for attention. From his point of view, the blond baby was an evil creature that made his daddy, the grown up Cloud, disappear and was now stealing his mommy's attention too.
"I guess we have no choice." Tifa gave Reno the baby Cloud and tried to calm Sephiroth.
Cloud wanted to go back to Tifa, and made a sad face. "Don't start crying, just wait until I sneeze on you and you can go back to delivering things all day."
Little Cloud grabbed Reno's goggles and took them off.
"Hey, give that back!" Everyone stared at Reno. "Now do you see why I said mako freak? My eyes glow all the time when I have a cold." He recovered the goggles, hoped for a sneeze to come and then for his cold to go away, or just for the cold to go away.
Cloud laughed and stuck his little fingers in Reno's nose.
"Ow! Why do kids hate my nose? Or maybe they like it too much." Everyone laughed at this, but at least it caused Reno to sneeze. However, Cloud was still a baby, "maybe it takes more than one sneeze?"
"Or maybe it doesn't work," Tifa sighed "I can't take care of both of them. If they got along it would be fine, but Sephiroth doesn't like this Cloud. At least he gets along with Cloud in his true age."
"We can take care of Sephiroth," Elena offered. "We're Turks, we can do this." Tseng decided she was right and looked determined.
So it was settled, Tseng and Elena would babysit Sephiroth, so that Tifa could take care of baby Cloud for a few days until he was back to normal, which thankfully did happen after a few days.
When Cloud was finally a grown up again, Sephiroth returned to the Seventh Heaven and Cloud once against used up all the energy he had recovered during his short vacation as a baby. Will the baby chaos ever end?
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