Final Fantasy VIII

Tseng and Elena's Wedding
By Vivian Edmonson [ 02-08-00 ]

Chapter 1

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 hills.

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 his skin.

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 me?

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 at her.

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.

Chapter 2

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 walked away.

Fifty gil says he wonít comb his hair, said Reeve.

And fifty more says he wonít wear a tie, added Rude.

Chapter Three

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 your shirt!

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 Turk.

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 the bride.

She nearly fainted as he pressed his lips to hers in their first kiss as husband and wife.

Chapter Four

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 envy.

Yo, Reeve! a voice came in as the melody changed. Mind if I cut in?

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 chest.

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.

Chapter 5

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 in Junon.

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.


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