Story: Vagrants Rhapsody (chapter 3)

Authors: NineCalaveras

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Chapter 3

Title: Festival of Reassimilation

[Author's notes: Again...I apologize for the god-awful lyrics of my make-believe songs. When I upload the files, I have to go over them and edit a few things, so I see how ridiculously cheesy my story gets at times. Then again, I never claimed this to be great, simply something for fun. Perhaps during summer break I'll go back and re-do some of these chapters. After all, you can always make a story better.

They awoke later in the morning groggy and disoriented. Hair tussled and mussed, Tifa and Yuffie came out of their bedrooms at the same time, muttering 'good mornings' as they shuffled down the hall. Pausing at the bathroom, they looked to one another for a moment before the fighter gestured for the ninja to go on. The girl smiled her thanks, shuffling into the bathroom with a yawn. Tifa continued past the bathroom into the kitchen, where she proceeded to make breakfast.


Feeling the need to expand on things a bit, she set out to make pancakes, taking out the necessary bowls and ingredients to make the batter. A moment later, Yuffie joined her in the kitchen, seating herself at the table. "Ooh! What'cha gonna make, Tif?"

"Pancakes...Is that all right?"

Yuffie grinned. "Can't wait. I'm starving!"

"That's good, cuz I never make a few pancakes." Tifa began to mix the batter. Glancing back at Yuffie, she asked, "Where do you plan on going to next?"

Yuffie shrugged fiddling with the beer cap Tifa had tossed onto the table earlier that morning. "I'll stop by Cid's I suppose...but I dun' wanna impose on 'em. I'm annoying enough. Imagine someone trying to take care of a baby with me around!"

Tifa frowned slightly. "Yuffie, you're not annoying."

Yuffie grinned, "Nice of you to say, Tif, but we both know that isn't true."

"Well...all right, you can be a bit of a pain sometimes-"

"Hey, you weren't supposed to agree with me!"

"'Re-lax'!" Tifa mimicked, glancing at the younger girl over her shoulder with a grin. "I was only kidding."

Yuffie stuck her tongue out at her. "Big breasted jerk." She mumbled.

"Pesky thieving runt." Tifa returned with a laugh.

The ninja ran a hand through her hair, smiling softly. "Sooo..." she propped her feet up on another chair. "We're going to that festival today, right?"

Tifa sighed. "Yeah...sure. Why not."

"Great!" Yuffie said with a genuine smile. "It'll be fun, you'll see!"

"Yeah loads of fun..." Tifa grumbled.

Soon the pancakes were ready, and setting out the syrup, butter, and whipped cream, the two began to eat. The ninja hadn't lied when she said she was hungry, for she consumed her first three pancakes with such zeal and voracious enthusiasm that Tifa couldn't help but stare.

When all the pancakes were gone, Tifa stood to clear the table, however, Yuffie waved her off. "Go on. I'll take care of this. It's a fifty-fifty deal. You cook, I clean."

Tifa blinked rapidly, "Um, thank you, Yuffie, but you don't have to-"

"'Course I do!" the girl said, proceeding to clear the table.

Tifa nodded and muttered her thanks choosing to lean against the counter as she watched Yuffie work. That had certainly been unexpected. The ninja had never offered to do such things before, as far as Tifa remembered. "Time's have changed." Tifa said with a small sigh.

Yuffie glanced at her sharply. "Geez, come on, Tif. You're starting to sound old!"

"I feel old."

"You're only...what? Twenty-four? You're so not old!"

"Twenty-three actually."

"Yeah, like I said, you're not old."

Tifa smiled absently. Glancing at the clock on the wall, she frowned softly. "I guess we should get ready if we want to get to that crafts festival early."

Yuffie frowned as she looked up from washing a plate. "What's the rush?"

"I like being, we'll have first pick on what they have to sell."

Yuffie nodded. "You go ahead and get ready, I'll finish this."

"You sure you don't want me to help?"

"I wouldn't be a good house guest if I told you 'yes'."

"All right..." Tifa said shoving off of the counter and going to her room. There she chose a pair of dark shorts, a black tank top, and a navy blue vest. Slipping on a pair of sneakers, she snagged a hair-tie from her bedside table and pulled her hair back into a messy ponytail. Going back to the kitchen, she saw that Yuffie had finished and had gone back to her room to change.

Biting her lip, Tifa glanced back at the hall for a moment before going into the garage, flicking the light on as she opened the door. The truck, with its paint peeling, mud and dirt covered body illuminated by the dull light of the overhanging light-bulb, Tifa felt a sense of loss and longing wash over her. A deep-rooted filling that squirmed in her gut, tightening her throat, and causing her eyes to turn overcast.

"You're never gonna work..." Tifa breathed, disdain creeping into her voice as her face turned cold.

"Tifa, what're you doing?"

Tifa jumped at the sound of Yuffie's voice behind her. Turning, the fighter glared. "Geez, Yuffie! Why do you have to keep scaring me like that?"

Yuffie held her hands up with a smirk, "Hey, hey, hey! You're the one who's rusty! I'm a ninja, remember? You can't forget these things, Tif!"

Tifa rolled her eyes. "You ready?"

Yuffie was dressed in her old khaki shorts, the material frayed and worn, and her old orange sneakers, which looked ready to fall apart. Her shirt was a yellow tee that, again, cut above the navel. She wore her old orange gloves and thrown over her shirt was a long beige jacket whose sleeves cut at the elbows.

Tifa raised an eyebrow. "You've got a thing for your belly button, don't you?"

Yuffie grinned, lifting her shirt some. "'Course I do! It's just so darned cute! Don't you think?"

The fighter rolled her eyes as she grabbed her purse from the kitchen table. "Come on, the town square isn't that far off. Just a few blocks or so."

The two left the house, Tifa leading and Yuffie following. The morning was clear and bright, the sunlight turning dewdrops into diamonds. The two women were a sight to see, should any of the citizens of Tiesmire glance out their windows as they walked by. The ninja, feeling playful, took to balancing on the curb. She held both her arms out at her sides so as to keep her balance. "Hey, Tifa!"

Tifa glanced back at her. Seeing what Yuffie was doing, the woman smirked slightly. "Kinda big to do that, don't you think?"

"Yer just jealous cuz your rusty. That's what I'm gonna call you from now on. Rusty. Come on, Rusty. Let's see you do this!" the girl taunted.

Tifa tongued her cheek, "All right, here, watch this, Ms. Fancy Feet." the woman stepped onto the curb, placing one foot after the other as she balanced herself with her arms. "Easy!" she exclaimed.

Grinning like a devil, Yuffie gave Tifa a slight shove from behind.

"Hey!" Tifa cried, struggling to keep from falling off the curb. "That isn't fair!"

Yuffie cackled, "Life ain't fair, sweetheart!"

"Tell me about it." Tifa said, shaking her head, but she was grinning.

They continued like that until they reached the town square. They earned many stares from the other early festivalgoers, but the two were in high spirits and were not deterred by the judgmental looks. As they neared the end of the curb, Yuffie lost balance and slipped off, stumbling in an attempt to regain composure. Tifa went to her aid, grabbing her arm so that she steadied. "You okay?" the woman asked.

The ninja nodded, a mildly surprised look on her face. But that quickly disappeared as a smile spread across her face. "Guess you're not so rusty after all, Rusty."

Tifa laughed and gave Yuffie a playful shove.

Turning she stopped as she spotted Smithly and his wife near one of the booths. The man waved to her, and she waved back, smiling sheepishly. Yuffie, seeing whom she was waving to, grabbed her hand, "Come on! Introduce me!"

Sputtering, Tifa cried, "Hey-!" but she could only sigh in resignation as the young girl dragged her to the elderly couple. Smiling politely, Tifa nodded to them both. "Mr. Smithly, Mrs. Smithly. How are you two this morning?" they nodded in turn.

"Fine, just fine." Mr. Smithly said. He gestured to Yuffie, "And who is this lovely young lady with you?"

"Yuffie Kisaragi, at your service!" Yuffie stuck her hand out, and Smithly shook it, chuckling in amusement. "Ah...I've heard a lot about you."

"Only half of its true," Yuffie said with a wink.

Smithly chuckled again.

Mrs. Smithly, her gray hair covered by a black shawl, extended her hand, smiling sweetly. "Mrs. Smithly. Pleased to meet you dear."

"Right back at ya." Yuffie said, shaking her hand firmly.

Tifa, clearing her throat, nudged Yuffie with her elbow. "If you'll excuse us, Mr. Smithly, Mrs. Smithly." She nodded to them, Yuffie giving them a wave as they walked away.

The festival was already beginning to thrum with life as people came, walking between booths. The air was filled with a small din, laughter and conversations clashing into one another in an ambience of sound. Tifa and Yuffie stuck close together as they maneuvered through the thickening crowd...however, only one of them was nervous.

Tifa didn't realize how used to being alone she had become, and this truth didn't become blatantly apparent until now that she was stuck here in a place of deep social connection. The noises and activity made the fighter's stomach turn to knots. This type of atmosphere was a distant memory that had paled and withered over time. Now, however, it was all around her, pulsating and moving and changing. Tifa found herself unconsciously grabbing Yuffie's arm and stepping even closer to her.

The ninja, feeling the tension in the woman's touch, turned to look at her companion with an inquisitive look. Seeing that she was preoccupied with all that was going around her, the girl decided to get the woman's attention a different way.

"Geez, Tifa. Look, I know I'm hot n' all, but can't we wait till we're some place private?"

Tifa's eyes snapped onto Yuffie's face, her cheeks immediately flaming. "W-What?" Then, looking down at her hands, she quickly let go of the ninja's arm. "Sorry..." she mumbled.

Yuffie shrugged. "I didn't mind that. It was just that you seemed tense."

Tifa bit her lip as she looked around her. "I'm not used to this." She said quietly.

"And you say you're not a hermit..." The younger girl rolled her eyes. "Come on." Grabbing her hand, Yuffie led Tifa to one of the nearby booths. "We'll cycle around, m'kay? Don't look so twitchy."

"I'm not twitchy!" Tifa exclaimed, earning herself some looks from those around her. Hunching her shoulders some, the woman moved to the other side of the booth.

One by one, Yuffie and Tifa visited each booth, examining what each vendor had to offer. Both admired the creative trinkets each vendor displayed, their skill in craftsmanship shown in the designs and assembly of their goods. Yuffie always spent a little more time on the jewelry, her eyes turning wide at the sight of bracelets and rings. It was at one particular jewelry booth, that Yuffie picked out a necklace.

This necklace, with its thin silver chain, had a pendant of a butterfly, it's wings decorated with what looked like obsidian. "Tifa!" the ninja cried, holding the necklace up to the fighter. "This is perfect for you!"

Tifa took the pendant in between her fingers. "It's pretty." The woman said, smiling softly.

Yuffie held the necklace up higher, screwing her face up as she examined it. Then, glancing once at Tifa, she said. "I'm buying this for you."

At this, the woman glanced at her sharply. "What?"

Yuffie ignored her and turned to the vendor, reaching into her back pocket. "I'll take this, please."

"But Yuffie-"

"Shush!" The ninja said, as she handed the money. Unhooking the necklace, she held it up. "C'mere."


Yuffie stamped her foot. "C'mere, Rusty! Or I'll pop you in the lip."

Tifa sighed as she stepped toward the girl. "That's one way to put a necklace on somebody..." she grumbled.

"Hair please."

Tifa lifted her hair away from her neck and Yuffie stepped forward, reaching around her. "Stupid hook..." the girl muttered as she fumbled with the latch.

The fighter stiffened at the feel of the girl's breath against her neck. Biting her lip at the light contact the ninja's finger's made against her skin, Tifa tried to distract herself with something else.

When Yuffie stepped away, Tifa was positively red in the face.

"It looks good on you! Beautiful in fact!" the ninja said proudly, placing her hands high on her hips.

Tifa only muttered a small 'thank you' as she crossed her arms.

Not noticing her companion's discomfort, Yuffie turned and her eyes brightened. "Oh look! There's a band setting up over there!"

Tifa looked in the direction Yuffie was looking. "Well there's the music Smithly promised..."

Yuffie grabbed Tifa's hand. "C'mon, let's go see what they're gonna play."

Learning there was no use in fighting, Tifa allowed the younger girl to drag her clear across the town square to where the band was preparing to perform. A crowd was already forming around them. Worming their way into the heart of the crowd, Yuffie tapped her foot impatiently whilst Tifa glanced around her anxiously.

One of the band members tapped the microphone, getting a slight feedback as he did so. Speaking into the mic, he muttered. "Testing, testing..." When all seemed to check out, he waved to the crowd and smiled. "Howdy folks!"

The crowd answered him back simultaneously and his smile widened. "Nice to see y'all here today. Well my name's Orvan and I'm the lead singer and one of the guitarists for our lil' band, Meteor!"

"Catchy name..." Tifa grumbled.

'Orvan' proceeded to introduce the rest of the band. There was 'Edgar' the bassist, 'Neal' the drummer, and 'Bob' the other guitarist.

Yuffie giggled at the last name. "Heh...'Bob'."

Tifa gave her a weird look.

"Now here's a little number," Orvan began, "That I'm sure a lot of you will recognize."

He strummed a few notes on his guitar and Tifa's ears perked at the melody. "Hey, isn't that-"

"OHMIGOD!" Yuffie jumped into the air. "Yes! Yes!"

Other young girls joined in her glee, while the male portion of the crowd groaned collectively. Tifa, bewildered, watched as those around her began to dance and move. Yuffie turned to her, and the fighter paled.

"Let's dance, Tifa!" the girl exclaimed, already bopping to the beat and music the band made.

"Uh...Yuffie I think I'll sit this one out..."

Yuffie glared at her. "Tif, yer borin' me! Now come on! Don't you know how to dance?"

"Of course I do!" Tifa said, sounding indignant. "It's just..."

Yuffie grabbed her shoulders and shook her. "Stop thinking so much and move! Get your mind off that truck! Forget about time! Just dance will you?"

Sputtering, Tifa didn't fight as the other girl grabbed her hand and twirled her about. "That's it!" the ninja said, laughing.

Tifa began to sway her hips to the beat, only slightly at first, then more and more as the song progressed. A smile grew on her face as her movements matched those around her. People gave wide berth to what they could only perceive as two beautiful women having fun and dancing their hearts out.

"'Take destiny and chance and you'll find the romance of the ages, locked within steel cages, separate, until you set them free, so come with me...Come with me!'"

The music was different from the original song. It was much more raw. Faster, less dreamy, and more energized. Tifa found she liked this grungy, adrenaline-fueled version of the song better opposed to the original's slower, techno pumped version. The music, which pulsated from the speakers and amps, seemed to flow out and wash the crowd in its essence. It drowned Tifa, filling her chest and head with a light headed abandon that caused her to close her eyes and throw her hands up in the air.

And then, just like that. The song was over.

The crowd, coming out of its trance, clapped and cheered their appreciation. Yuffie, pink faced and out of breath, looked to Tifa, who was in a similar state. The girl was looking at her with what seemed to be admiration and joy. "Wow, Tif. You really got into it, didn't you? See! You had fun!"

Tifa, smiling meekly, nodded.

The rest of the day was spent dancing to Meteor's music, the butterfly necklace swinging from around Tifa's neck and glinting in the sunlight.

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