From the balcony outside his room, Tseng Wulong could see the
mountain range to the north which stood between Junon and Midgar.
The hospitalís convalescent ward had been placed in that wing
of the building for its spectacular view.
But today, the view of the beautiful mountains was marred by
the fiery red Meteor bearing down on the planet. Rather than
falling fast and furious, like a sentient being it hovered above
the ground, using its natural energies to wreak havoc. Itís
descent turned the crisp blue sky to a haunting black and gray.
Midgar... Tseng slouched in his wheelchair, closing his eyes
so he couldnít see the evil Meteor.
Standing to his side, Elena rubbed the palm of her hand soothingly
between his shoulders. His satin black hair rubbed against her
wrist as if to return affection.
Meteorís dark haze obscured the light of the sun, and shadows
draped over the mountain tops, creeping closer to Junon. Elenaís
comforting hand against his back lulled Tseng into a light trance.
Itís romantic, isnít it? Elena said, getting Tseng to open
his eyes. Even though this could be our last night.
Tseng reached an arm around Elenaís waist. She knelt down,
and his moved his hand up to touch her golden hair. If it has
to be the last night, I wouldnít have it any other way.
Elena drew a chair closer so she could sit comfortably next
to him. All the nervous butterflies of her previous wishes to
be so close to him were now gone. She had no other obligations
as a Turk. Her inner calm helped her enjoy the occasion. She
entwined her arm around his until their hands clasped together.
She leaned shoulder to shoulder with him as they looked out
at the shadowy veil swallowing the scenery.
I had many dreams while I was asleep, Tseng referred to his
8 days in a coma as he recovered from a near-fatal wound inflicted
by the bringer of Meteor, Sephiroth. I kept trying to save Aeris.
I didnít know why, but she kept eluding me. Now I realize she
didnít need rescuing because she was the one rescuing me.
Elena didnít exactly want to hear about the Ancient, but since
Aeris was dead, she could have Tseng all to herself. How do
you know sheíll be of any help against Sephiroth? It seems Shinraís
assumptions about the Ancients are a bit incorrect.
Itís a gut feeling...one of the better feelings Iíve had in
my gut lately, he felt at his abdomen which was now home to
a massive scar marking his sealed wound.
The sky overhead showed no more blue, now fully engulfed in
Meteorís radiant darkness. The Meteor stalled in the sky above
Midgar, its aura of pure energy pulsing all around.
So? Elena broke the silence. What are we going to do with the
rest of our lives?
Depends... Just how long of a time are we talking about?
Iím thinking of a long time. Just in case we survive.
Meteor lashed out at the planet below. Vicious whirlwinds reached
down towards Midgar, ripping up everything that they touched.
Junon witnessed the fury from far away; every whirlwind, and
every bolt of plasma energy. Meteorís assault on Midgar was
fierce, tossing debris miles into the air.
Huge exterior panels were ripped off of the Shinra Tower, and
swirls of debris littered the updraft currents. Despite the
fury at ground zero, the howling and banging was a mere faint
whisper as the sound of massive destruction reached Junon over
The building rocked violently, throwing Reeve to the floor
of the conference room. Already weakened from Weaponís barrage,
the Presidentís office suite was ripped off the top of the tower.
The floor vibrated incessantly and occasionally jolted as Meteorís
assault on the city reached its peak. Reeve remained on the
floor, hanging on tight, knowing he was just a captain going
down with his ship.
Take my city, will you!? he challenged the storm. Youíll have
to take me too!!
Everyone else, he knew, was safe in the slums...for now. The
thrashing ebbed enough so Reeve could stand up and run to the
emergency stairs. Since the calm before Meteorís massive strike,
he hadnít communicated with AVALANCHE on the Highwind. After
defeating Sephiroth, the crew barely escaped the crater alive.
As it turned out, Holy was summoned just as Aeris had prayed
before her death. Cidís quick thinking saved them as he launched
the escape vessel before the rest of the airship was disintegrated
in the lifestream.
Outside, the Highwind flew over, observing Holy as it attacked
Meteor, shielding the city from its devastating wrath. Though
Meteor breached the barrier Holy created, Lifestream energy
from all over the planet converged and consumed the menace.
The sky over Junon cleared, radiating a brilliant light blue
once again. The distant mountain range rose out of the shadows
and illuminated its beautiful colors. Behind the picturesque
splendor, the sky was no longer blemished by the evil red Meteor.
Overwhelmed by the incredible conquering off odds, Tseng bolted
up from his wheelchair to meet the joyous embrace of his equally
excited friend, Elena. A warm breeze blew his hair behind him
as he bent forward to kiss her lips.
Tseng realized his mistake right away when he bolted up out
of his seat, but he couldnít help it; he was happy. He and Elena
locked arms around each other in a tight, loving embrace. Tseng
just prayed that he hadnít reopened the scarred tissue underneath
Wisps of lifestream energy dissipated back into the earth now
that the dark nemesis was gone. Sweet mountain air blew across
the balcony, scattering a light rain of fresh flower petals
past the lovers.
As Tseng held the woman, he thought of all those whoíd made
the salvation of the world possible. Despite his attempts the
thwart them, thoughts entered his head about the most important
person of all: the lovely Aeris Gainsborough. He closed his
eyes, wishing that the woman in his arms was Aeris resurrected
from the dead for him. The excitement of the moment, however,
drew him nearer to Elena as they held each other.
Finally, as the adrenaline wore down, so did Tsengís ability
to stay on his feet. He squeezed his eyes shut as he slowly
lowered himself back into his wheelchair. That was a stupid
thing to do, he said, holding a hand against the dry, splitting
sensation in his abdomen. His doctors were still keeping him
off his feet for that very reason.
Elena softly held his hand. Oh honey... she sighed as he opened
his dark, narrow Wutan eyes to her.
Not breaking his gaze, he tightened his hand around hers as
if to keep her from moving away. Her green eyes shifted, speaking
a silent inquiry back to him.
Elena...? he said without a hint of timidness. Will you marry
She gasped and fell to one knee beside his chair. Only in her
wildest dreams did she ever imagine him posing the question
to her. Tseng turned his head and looked out to the snow-capped
mountains in the distance.
Y--yes, sir... she said exactly what she wanted to, just in
case she wasnít dreaming.
Tseng let her hand go, and he ran his finger tips down her
cheek. Please, Elena. Donít call me Ďsirí. He smiled warmly
Tears spontaneously ran from her eyes as she threw herself
at him, grappling him in her arms. Not even her reaction to
the world being saved had been so enthusiastic.
Did Sephiroth impale him through the head instead of the gut!?
Reno folded his arms and shot his colleagues a sideways glance.
Reeve put down the PHS. Donít be jealous, Reno.
Who says Iím jealous? There was never anything serious between
me and her. Itís Rude here who should be jealous.
Rude just scratched the back of his bald head. Deep inside,
he knew it had only been his shyness and insecurity that had
kept him from pursuing her.
And for Godís sake, Reno... said Reeve. This is a wedding.
Try to dress nice.
Ha! Iíll dress how ever I darn well please!
Reeve picked up the PHS and looked at Rude. I wonder if itís
too late to get Tseng to uninvite him.
Reno snatched the PHS from Reeveís hand. Hey, donít worry about
me. Iím not always a slob, you know. He pocketed the PHS and
Fifty gil says he wonít comb his hair, said Reeve.
And fifty more says he wonít wear a tie, added Rude.
Reeve slid his black gloves on once all the other electronics
connecting him to Cait Sith were in place. Heíd added a 2-inch
monitor to the back of the left glove so he could see through
the mogís eyes at all times. Hold this, he said to the robot,
placing a velvet pillow in its puffy hands then adding the ring-cases
on top. There. Tsengíll be the first man to have a toy as ring-bearer
at a wedding. He made sure both animalsí black bow ties were
straight before heading off to the chapel in Upper Junon.
He and Cait Sith parted ways once they were at the church.
The first familiar face Reeve saw was Reno. The boy wasnít too
hard to miss, his messy red hair glowing like a beacon. He approached
his colleague from behind.
Reno turned around to him and gave a silly grin. Well? he asked.
Win any bets?
Reeve looked the young man up and down. My God, Reno! You buttoned
And, Iím wearing a tie!
Congratulations, Reno. Six years as a Turk, and youíve finally
figured out the uniform.
Yeah, well donít get used to it. Whereís Rude? I have to make
sure heís not eating the cake already. Reno wandered off.
Other guests began filing in, including Cloud Strife, Shera
and Cid Highwind, Tifa, and Mayor Domino.
Tseng and Elena entered the church from the rear. They made
their way slowly up the aisle. Tseng held Elena with his left
hand and a brass and wood walking stick in his right. As they
neared the altar, Cait Sith came bounding in from one side.
Tseng didnít look at the smiling faces around him. He was also
determined to show everyone that he was well enough to stand
on his own two feet despite doctorsí orders. So far, pain in
his slashed up gut hadnít intruded on his moment.
Elena was dressed in a gown almost too pretty for her. Within
its white folds and delicate lace was a Turk after all. A strong,
no-bull kind of Turk, yet so feminine in her role as a bride.
Tseng wore a traditional Wutan kimono, but had decided against
tying his long hair into a hair knot traditional of his homeland.
Heíd been away from the continent for enough years that some
traditions were no longer a part of his life. He, too, was a
The minister began the age-old drawl of lawful matrimony, man
and woman taking their vows. Cait Sith stood near and presented
the rings; matching his and hers bands that forever linked them.
Then came the line Elena waited all day to hear. You may kiss
She nearly fainted as he pressed his lips to hers in their
first kiss as husband and wife.
After the formal ceremony, everyone gathered for the reception.
Reno ran as far away as he could as Elena did the obligatory
tossing of the bouquet. The flowers landed cleanly in Tifaís
hands. She eyed the pretty arrangement then looked over at Cloud
whoís eyes softly returned her gaze.
Reeve slid up to the new coupleís table as the band began the
music. May I? he held a hand out to Elena.
Tseng waved Reeve on. Go ahead. Though I used to be quite a
dancer, I must sit today out.
Elena kissed her husband before she and Reeve moved out to
the dance floor. Reeve, I never knew you could dance.
Reeve was very warm and compassionate. Some people think itís
a crime that I deny women my charm. Very few have ever known
me so well.
As they danced, Elena would look back at Tseng, sharing his
feelings of disappointment. He was occupied with other well-wishers
most of the time to keep him from looking to the dancers with
Yo, Reeve! a voice came in as the melody changed. Mind if I
Reno!? Reeve backed off. You can dance?
Donít let my sloppy nature confuse you. Stand aside.
Reeve let Reno have Elena for the next dance. He watched in
amazement as Reno proved himself to be quite a dancer.
This brings back memories, said Elena, her head against his
Reno thought back several years, too. For a few weeks, the
two of them had been an item, but upon his acceptance into the
elite Turks organization, their relationship ended before it
really got off the ground.
Itís okay, he told her. You and Tseng were meant for each other.
Elena inhaled the fresh smell of his cologne, glad that sheíd
always known both sides of Reno. His needy, boyish charm...
And, his unyielding, aggressive Turk side.
A while later, Palmer showed up as an uninvited guest. He immediately
made a pest of himself, demanding to know who was getting married.
Oh, Cloud said to him. No one told you? Reno and Rude finally
decided to tie the knot. He thumbed to the pair across the table.
Renoís face immediately turned red in anger.
I knew it!! I knew it!! Palmer began to dance around. Reno
and Rude are lovers!! Reno and Rude are lovers!!
Rude slowly rose to his feet, balling up both fists. But it
was Reno who leaned across the table first and slugged Palmer
with one punch that knocked the fat man out cold.
Without a word, Reno sat back down and glared an evil eye at
Cloud. Tifa giggled quietly while Cloud displayed a half grin.
Reno crossed his arms on the table and rested his chin on them,
never breaking his gaze. The only thing keeping him from giving
Cloud the same treatment was his knowledge that he was no match
for the master swordsman.
The music had silenced and gone away. The softened faces of
friends and former-enemies alike had said good bye. The sun
bowed out of sight below the horizon to end another day.
Calm waters below flickered with the lights of the city behind
them reflecting back up. The lovers overlooked the sea from
the railing at the edge of the retired military landing strip.
Though the ocean below had hosted a paramount battle between
Sapphire Weapon and Junon, the gun fire and Mako cannon blasts
were just a silent memory. Tonight had to be the quietest night
Elena felt the cool off-shore breeze, but she stayed warm with
her man nudged right up beside her. Tseng held her around her
waist as each of them reflected on the recent happenings in
their worlds, both reaching the same conclusion: being here
in each others arms.
Twilight gave way to a sky filled with winking stars. Each
one was a friend keeping constant watch over the planet. President
Shinra was there. Rufus...yes, him too. Heidegger and Scarlet
were probably there too in the midst of a supernova or something
else fitting. There was even a star for Biggs, one for Wedge,
and one for Jesse. Thanks to all of them in the lifestream,
he could have today. One of them, Tseng figured, had to be Aeris...which
ever one was the biggest and brightest.
He felt Elena in his arm, though, wondering if it should be
the last night heíd ever think of Aeris again. He was important
to someone else now.