You took a deep breath. The meteor monument was finished.
It was killing you. You couldn't tell if he was sincere, or using you...but if he was tricking you, he was more intelligent than you had thought. He officially had you stumped. This man...was very different from the Rufus Shinra you had previously known. "Well?" The man's smooth voice interrupted your thoughts. "I'm asking for your help." You narrowed your eyes at him. This plan of his, if indeed a trick, was a very well played one. The man you had met before would never have admitted needing help. He didn't ask for anything, and if he commanded something...You were one to know just how scary he could be when not obeyed.
Helping him could be dangerous.
But if he wasn't trying to force you into his plans...helping him may be the better option.
Then again, despite the soft smile on his face, the four Turks in the room could very easily force you into helping. Maybe that's why there was such confidence in his smile. "...Fine. I'll help."
The smile grew wider, and your heart beat a little faster. He was very attractive, but he had also been the supervisor to many tragedies. So when you felt your heart race, you couldn't help but wonder if maybe, somewhere inside, you were still afraid of him.
It had been quite some time since you assisted Rufus and the others through the fight over what was left of Jenova. Even though you weren't a Turk-and wouldn't dream of dressing as one-you were let in on the actual condition Rufus was in at that time. You were also the only one not to call him President...but that was associated more to your lack of respect for him then familiarity. Though you avoided saying his name around anyone not in on the scheme he had set up, you had simply referred to him by his last name when it was just the two of you. Okay, you had called him that in front of the Turks before, but they'd given you such dirty looks that you kept it to a minimum.
At first you had used the name as if it were an insult. To anyone else; it would be. But while he was repenting for his past, he also accepted that it was part of him. And that may be what drew you to him the most.
"What do you take me for, a criminal?" You had picked one flower from the flower bed. It wouldn't kill the bush it came from.
"Well," he started, glancing in your direction. "I was under that impression, yes." You narrowed your eyes at the white covering the young President wore.
"I haven't been for a long time, so don't bring it up." You paused. "It's not like you have room to talk, Shinra." It was dangerous to say his last name aloud, but your senses were sharp. No one else was around. Besides, with the disgust you had attributed to the word, anyone that overheard would have likely thought you were cursing the electric company anyway.
He didn't seem phased. "Maybe not. But I will work on repaying my debt to this world." A pregnant pause filled the air as the two of you continued forward; the plucked flower behind your ear. "And..." You looked to him, surprised to find that the conversation wasn't over. "Maybe this is your way of making up for your crimes as well."
It was amazing how much those words had struck a chord in you. They stayed with you from then on, and though you didn't think you had earned back the respect you had lost with the planet even now...you had learned that maybe, just maybe, it was possible. That was the last day you said that name with disgust.
The respect you had for him had continued to grow, and as you got to know him, you realized just how much he had changed. Not only was he no longer using fear to control people, but he could even be called kind; even to you. And that...was something that you hadn't been given for a long time. Eventually, that respect turned to something else. A playful familiarity had overcome you, and you found that you were beginning to enjoy the time with him more and more.
And in time, you began calling him by his first name.
"Hey." You sat on the couch of the building your group was currently residing in. "When are we leaving?"
"By daybreak." The reply came, and you looked to the currently standing Rufus Shinra. At nighttime, when all was safe for him to do so, he would stay out of the wheel chair. While his plan was well constructed, it seemed he wasn't very fond of not walking on his own two feet. The moon was high and shone directly into the window. It almost made his light hair glow. Your breath caught.
"...hey." You repeated the word again. It was hard to find your voice, but if you stared at him the embarrassment for being caught would be worse than accidentally stumbling over a few words. You couldn't explain it, but you didn't want to leave his presence. While the Turks wanted to stay to protect him, you just...wanted to be near him.
"Yes?" You realized that while you had spoken first, you had stayed quiet for long enough that he was now looking at you. His blue eyes caught yours, and you found that you couldn't look away. You'd always thought that the saying about getting lost in someone's eyes was silly, but...his eyes really were endless.
You swallowed thickly. "I guess...I just wanted to say thank you...Rufus."
And while the President never seemed to get startled, you thought that you saw his eyebrows rise in surprise the moment his first name left your lips. And while he said nothing about it, a permissive smile lifted years off of him. "What are you thanking me for?"
And now that you had done all you could for him, you couldn't help but feel an emptiness wading into your heart. The company had planted its roots, and you were no longer needed to protect him. The monument was a symbol of what had come and gone, and it was the same for you. A true friendship...and love. You knew you couldn't stay with someone as wonderful as him forever, but you would cherish the moments you had.
As you stood there wondering how to say goodbye, your thoughts ran so thick that you didn't even realize someone was standing directly behind you until a familiar voice spoke your name. You turned around quickly to see the person that had wormed his way into your heart. "You're leaving?" Your throat suddenly felt very dry, and you couldn't find the words to speak, so you settled for a soft nod. The eyes that stared at yours seemed to become a reflection of your own. A sadness and longing that showed nowhere else on his well controlled face. "...I see." You both stood still for what seemed like both hours and seconds before you could no longer stand to look at the person you loved without losing your strength, and so, you broke the silent stare first as you began to walk away.
A hand caught your arm. "Wait." You didn't face him. Couldn't face him. You didn't know what he wanted, but you would hear him out. Your gaze remained locked on the ground.
"I want you to stay."
The shock that ran through you caused you to turn to face him as the sudden movement caused your tears to fall. Before you had time to process what was going on, you felt lips pressed against your own, and soon you were clinging to him as tightly as he held to you.
The monument was supposed to represent what had already passed.
But maybe it could represent a brighter future, too.