New World

Healen - Part Two

“I just don’t understand,” Reeve told the others onboard the Shera. “We could not locate any huge materia inside the device.”

“Maybe we stopped them before they could put it in.” Cid suggested.

Cloud, Tifa, Reeve, Barret and Cid left Junon so they could go track down the other two devices. They didn’t know if the other two were armed so they figured it was best to check.

Since Barret and Reeve knew what the devices looked like Barret asked to be dropped off in Corel to check the second one which he assumed would be located in the WRO office in Corel. After dropping off their friend Reeve and the others were on their way to Edge to locate the third device. They were all standing on the bridge in silence when Reeve received a call. Everyone was silent while Reeve took the call.

“I just got off the phone with Reno,” Reeve informed the others. “They have Miles hostage. I guess he was planning on attacking Healen personally but was interrupted by the Turks.”

“Why does he have a grudge against Shinra?” Cid asked the commissioner. “Didn’t he use to work for ‘em?”

Reeve did not have an answer for Cid; he was kind of curious himself. When he was doing his background check on Miles it looked like he had an uneventful carrier on the SOLDIER floor. Although he was using salvaged employment records the information he was able to find showed Miles worked in the materia room up until almost a year before the fall of Shinra since that’s when the file stopped. Many of the records after that were hard to come by due to chaos following Shinra senior’s murder.

“He was fired for allowing prisoners to escape when they were being held captive by Hojo,” Tifa explained automatically as soon as Cid asked the question.

Up until this point she was standing next to Cloud in the back of the bridge. Both her and Cloud had been so quiet since boarding the airship Cid and Reeve almost forgot they were there.

“Rufus signed off on his dismissal so he blamed him for ruining his life.” She said blankly almost as if she was talking to herself.

Both Cid and Reeve looked at her confused wondering how she knew all this. As if sensing their confusion Tifa explained.

“He talked about it a lot when I was his prisoner,” she explained.

“So is the plan still Edge or should we go Healen?” Cid asked the group.

Up until this point Cloud had been standing at the back of the bridge leaning against the wall with his arms folded. His head was down as if he was resting his eyes but he was just thinking while half-listening to the conversation around him. Hearing Cid’s question he looked up at the group.

“Drop us off in Healen,” Cloud told the pilot speaking for himself and Tifa.

“After you drop them off we will go to Edge and search for the last device,” Reeve told the Captain.

It didn’t take long for Cid to reach Healen where Tifa and Cloud disembarked leaving Cid and Reeve to continue on to Edge. When they entered Healen it looked as if the top floor of the hospital had caught on fire because the blast zone was charred and smouldering.

Cloud and Tifa went straight towards the mayor’s office assuming that is where the Turks and Rufus would be located.

When they entered the building they found Rude sitting at his desk with his feet up on the table and Reno lying on a couch across from him. The two quickly sat up straight as soon as they notice someone enter the room.

“Where is he?” Cloud asked upon entering the room.

Knowing who they were referring to Reno and Rude got up from their seats and walked them down into the basement. The basement was large and sectioned off with a broiler room, storage area, and multiple other rooms Cloud and Tifa had no idea what they were used for. The Turks took them down a hallway and stopped at a heavy metal door with a small glass window in it and a food slot towards the bottom.

“Is this a prison cell?” Tifa asked the Turk.

“Sort of,” Reno answered. “We put them here but this is the first time we’ve had to use one.”

“We are sort of the police around here,” Rude explained.

“Oh please,” a female’s voice said from down the hall.

They all look over to see Elena standing a few feet away with her arms folded.

“The only thing in this town that needs policing are Reno and Rude after a night out at the pub.” She said as she walked towards them and stopped by the door.

“But still,” Reno explained to Elena. “Aren’t you glad we put these in?” He motioned towards the steel cell door. “Abduction, interrogation, a hostage; just like old times,” he reminisced with a smile leaning against the wall.

Cloud looked through the cell window to see an empty room with a basic metal cot. Miles was lying on the cot with his eyes closed as if he was sleeping. Cloud could see he had a big black and purple swollen eye and noise with traces of blood around his noise and shirt.

“What happened to him?” Cloud asked.

“Interrogation,” Reno responded nonchalantly. “We let Elena have a few minutes with him.”

Cloud and Tifa looked at Elena a little surprised and curious as to what drove the nice petite woman to be so aggressive.

Sensing they were looking for a rationale.

“He pissed me off,” she answered with a shrug.

“They blew a hole through her and Tseng’s new house,” Reno explained.

Elena shot the redhead a dirty look for providing too much personal information.

“Anyways,” she said changing the subject. “He will probably be unconscious for another few hours at least.”

She looked at Tifa who she could sense was tired from a long day.

“The boss reserved you a room at the inn if you want to get some rest. We have a camera on him so we can let you know as soon as he wakes up.”

It was already very late so there was a good chance Miles would not be awake until morning.

“Thank you,” Tifa said to the female Turk.

Even though all she could think of was confronting the man who tormented her she was equally tired and thought she might be in a better frame of mind to deal with him if she got some much needed rest. She looked at Cloud who knew what she was thinking and nodded in agreement. They walked towards the stairs with the three Turks following behind.

“Is the boss back yet?” Reno asked Elena as they were walking upstairs.

“No, he is still assisting with the hospital repairs,” she explained to the redhead. “With the intensive care ward destroyed they had to move dozen of patients to other floors and now the hospital is over capacity, he wants it repaired as soon as possible.” She paused for a second then remembered something. “That reminds me, he wants you and Rude to head over and assist while I watch the prisoner.”

When they all reached the main floor everyone but Elena exited the Mayor’s office. Reno and Rude walked towards the hospital while Cloud and Tifa went in the direction of the Inn.

Tifa was looking forward to sleeping in a real bed with Cloud. When they entered the Inn the innkeeper, who was expecting them, directed them to their room.

It was a standard Inn room with a closet, a dresser with a mirror and a queen size bed in the middle of the room. The two walked in and Cloud closed the door behind them.

As Cloud turned away from the door Tifa was standing near the bed. He walked across the room and embraced her. They had not had any time alone since the night Tifa was captured almost a week ago. The thought of losing her terrified him and he wanted nothing more than to hold her.

“I’m sorry,” Cloud told Tifa as he was holding her.

Tifa stopped the embrace and looked up at him.

“Sorry for what?” she asked puzzled.

“It’s because of me all this happened to you,” he explained.

He looked into her brown mako-infused eyes. Her glowing eyes were something that was going to take time to get accustomed to. Right now they were a reminder of all the torment she had to endure because of him.

“You couldn’t have foreseen any of this,” Tifa tried to comfort him.

She would never blame him for any of this. He went across the planet looking for her and as far as she was concerned he suffered equally because she was unable to protect herself.

“How are you feeling?” Cloud asked. He wanted to ask her about what happened but didn’t want to bring it up if she wasn’t ready to talk about it.

Tifa yawned. “I’m a little tired,” she replied changing the subject.

Truthfully she didn’t even know herself how she was feeling about this. Obviously she was angry at Miles for what he did to her but she was numb of other emotions. She hoped this was just due to her fatigue. She was tired but more emotionally and mentally drained then anything. Surprisingly she still felt strong physically and still had some energy considering she had not slept in almost two days.

Taking the hint Cloud let go of Tifa and they proceed to get ready for bed. They each walked over to opposite sides of the bed and started to undress. Cloud couldn’t help but look at Tifa as she was removing her clothes. He could see she had multiple cuts on her upper body and he noticed small bruises on her arms, chest and midsection. He wondered if the bruises were from fighting or from Miles.

Looking at the bruises he then noticed that her baby bump was starting to show. Looking at her stomach he wondered how far along she was. That’s when the truth really hit him; he was going to be a father. He had known this for over a week now but seeing Tifa’s belly made it more real. He felt a wave of emotions; joy, excitement, and fear at the same time.

Tifa glanced over to see Cloud staring at her. She looked down to see all the bruises on her body and immediately turned away so Cloud would not see. Usually she liked it when Cloud watched her undress but this time it was making her feel uncomfortable. Most of the small bruises on her body were needle marks which she assumed was from Miles injected her with something or taking blood. She didn’t even know exactly what he did to her since she was unconscious for most of it. She only knew the stuff she heard him talk about after she gained consciousness.

Seeing Tifa turn away Cloud snapped out of his gaze. It was not like her to turn away from him like that; he wondered if it was embarrassment from the wounds on her body.

Wearing just her bra and underwear Tifa pulled back the bedsheets and laid down. Cloud did the same wearing just his boxers. As soon as he entered the bed he pulled Tifa close and held her tight for the rest of the night.


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