Story: Ex-SOLDIER Tifa (chapter 7)

Authors: Bara Aozora

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Chapter 7

Title: Chapter 7: Appreciation

[Author's notes:

A/N: Yay, chapter 7! Anyways, yeah.. FINALLY, Yuffie gets to come in! But first, I’ll have to explain the whole Jessie thing, don’t I? How did she know to come save them? How did she escape death from the sector 7 pillar? Ohoho..! You’ll see! But a quick note.. The game didn’t develop her personality much other than she likes flashy things and that she hated ShinRa.. So if she seems out of character to you.. Sorry, it’s how I imagine her to act and I don’t have much to work with.. You don’t have much to fall back on anyhow, do you? XD Also, I don’t know what age she was, but I assume she’s younger than Tifa.. Maybe 16-17-ish during Meteor. That’s just my take on it though.

Also note, Yuffie’s birthday is on Nov. 20, from what my instruction booklet says. Since it’s warm enough for them to be walking around at night without freezing to death, I assume that 3 years after Meteor would make her about 18. I’d say Jessie was about the same age.. And Tifa and Elena are 23. (Tifa’s birthday is on May 3. I assume this would take place after May.) Though.. The ages probably wouldn’t have mattered anyways. This is just me being uptight XD.

Oh. And I know Yuffie’s a part of “Intelligence” teams in games like Dirge of Cerberus and Kingdom Hearts 2.. So I don’t mean to make her not fit that role. It’ll all be explained in later chapters. Maybe. =D

Disclaimer: Don’t own FF7 or any of the characters, unless I decide to introduce a new one, which I was considering. I’ll see how I feel. XD



Chapter 7: Appreciation

“Jessie.. How.. When..” Tifa was speechless as she released Elena’s hand to take a step towards the long-lost girl. She couldn’t even will her lips to form the questions she wanted to ask her old friend. It was simply so unbelievable, that this girl everyone thought was crushed by a pillar was sitting not even two meters away from her.

How did she survive that explosion, that fall from the pillar, and all of those rocks crashing down? How did she get out of Sector 7 if they couldn’t even get into the Sector from the Wall Market? The passages were completely blocked by debris.. Was she angry with her, Barret and Cloud for not trying to see if she was alive? Were Biggs and Wedge alive? How did she know to come save her and Elena at that time and place?

..How the hell does she have such a nice airship?

Jessie stood up when she saw her old friend’s confusion. She placed a hand gently on Tifa’s shoulder, just to prove she was real, if nothing else. “How did I survive?” Her clothes were considerably different from the rebel attire she used to wear, but inside, she was still the same person. Instead of green pants and gray armor on top of a blue shirt, Jessie had a slightly less colorful tone to her outfit. Even with the different clothes, though, she still sported a red bandana as a remembrance symbol for her fallen comrades.

Tifa nodded, still not trusting her voice completely to speak. She still recalled the insecure, young teenager from three years before, so it still shocked her to no end as she looked at the girl in front of her. Tifa wasn’t surprised to see that the demolitionist had changed through that time, appearing more confident and experienced than when they were in AVALANCHE. However, she could still see glimpses of the girl she knew, that talented girl who usually kept to herself, but always got the job done. Sure, she had a few setbacks, but who doesn’t? No one’s perfect, after all.

“It’s kind of a long story..” Jessie started, an uneasy smile on her face as she pulled her hand back. It was great to see Tifa again after all those years, but it still hurt her to think back on it. At the time, she knew that AVALANCHE had made a pact with each other. If anything were to happen to some of the members, the rest would still go on and fight for World Restoration. Still, the fact that she was still alive and they didn’t even bother to check.. It would make anyone feel betrayed and alone.

A nod came from Tifa once again, “It’s okay. We’ve got time to listen.” She knew that she had to save Denzel and Marlene, but they had to plan and recruit before they could do so.. Jessie would be an asset to that kind of mission and anyways, after finding out someone survived a Sector plate falling on them after three years, you’d be able to spare a bit of time to listen to their story!

Jessie began her explanation of how she managed to survive such a disaster, “The explosion from the Sector 7 pillar threw me off of the staircase.. And when I landed, I broke a couple of bones..” She subconsciously rubbed the arm she had broken at the time, glancing out towards the direction the plane was flying. “You’d think I’d hate bombs and stuff after that, but I don’t,” She joked. “Lucky for me, though, a big portion of the Sector-separating walls and the plate left a space where I fell, so I didn’t get crushed.”

Tifa shook her head slowly, glancing away to the metal floor, “If we could have somehow gotten through that entrance.. If we tried harder to find you guys rather than assume you were dead..” Elena stood next to her, offering as much comfort as she could in this kind of situation.

“It’s all right, Tif, really. You guys just followed the pact. I understand completely.” Jessie still had one of her hands on the opposite arm, but she bent that one as well to give herself a self-hug for more comfort, continuing her tale, “..I looked for Biggs and Wedge, but I knew they were already gone, and at the time, I thought I’d die with them.” She shuddered a little, remembering how scared and truly alone she felt. “But a search team led by Rude came by, looking for any survivors, and brought me back to ShinRa. They healed me, and then asked me if I knew anything about AVALANCHE. I denied because I thought the rest of you were gone too..”

Tifa and Elena listened intently, but kept silent to allow Jessie to finish her story. Tifa still had some questions, but they could be asked later.

“I was pretty beaten up from that pillar, so I had to be hospitalized for a while, but when I recovered, I worked as a technician for ShinRa for a while, even though I was still against their cause.” Jessie grinned a little, “For a teenager to get into ShinRa’s technical team, I must have some pretty good brains, huh?”

Attempting to lighten the slightly sullen mood, she crossed her arms, “I was in a different department from the Turks, but I still had good terms with Rude and Reno because I gave them custom elemental weapons, Fire, Lightning and Ice Batons.” She glanced at the Ice Baton Elena carried and grinned, “But I quit that job at ShinRa a while ago, but I still had the ship I built while I was there.” She touched the chair she was sitting in earlier and smiled, “ShinRa let me have it for a bit of a price, even though I made more than half of it myself.. But I think it was worth it!”

Jessie, getting more comfortable with telling the story, finished off, “Reno and Rude would still call me for tech help when they really needed it, plus I think they knew that I was a part of AVALANCHE at some point. That’s why they called me when you guys were escaping. Imagine my surprise when they said that one of them was, ‘Tifa Lockhart of AVALANCHE’.” Jessie put her hands on her hips and smirked a little, “Ex-SOLDIERs, huh? I had no idea.”

“Neither did we,” Tifa said with a sigh, rubbing the bridge of her nose. She still seemed rather stressed out about the whole ordeal. “At least not until yesterday.” Tifa was kind of shocked that none of the Turks told her about Jessie. She glanced at Elena to see if she knew Jessie at all, but the blonde looked like she had never met the technician in her life.

Jessie had a questioning look on her face due to the answer she received, but she didn’t ask about it. The younger brunette glanced over to Elena, who was standing there a little uneasily. Elena didn’t know this girl, but Tifa seemed to know her well.. Jessie faced her and started to speak, “I’ve seen you before.. We’ve never really met because I was in the development department in Junon, but you’re a Turk, right?” She held out her hand for a handshake towards the blonde, “I’m Jessie, nice to meet you.”

Elena blinked a couple of times, but accepted the handshake offer, “I was a Turk, but I’m not quite so sure anymore. After a stunt like that, I think I can safely say I’ve been fired.” Elena shifted her eyes off to the side, running a hand through her blonde hair, “Plus, after what’s happened, I don’t want to work there anymore.”

The trio felt the ship begin to slow down as they approached Fort Condor, and quickly, Jessie hopped back into her seat, “We’ll stop here.. I know that there will be people in Junon looking for the ‘Ragnarok’ and us. The people here are pretty much up for anything that’s anti-ShinRa.”


The job of a ninja and a thief is never complete. No matter how many missions he or she finishes, no matter who they work for or where they live.. There is always more to do in the world. Of course, for the greatest ninja in the world, Yuffie Kisaragi, that rule was absolute. Even though she had restored Wutai’s pride and economy with all the money she made and rare materia she had, she still felt unsatisfied and unfulfilled. The exciting life of a ninja would always be the life for her. And that meant a life with lots and lots of Gil and possessions.

“Nyuk nyuk nyuk.. Easy target..” She whispered to herself while clinging to a wall beside a window. Sleep materia was definitely a thief’s best friend. The effects won’t last very long, and a sudden noise would probably wake up the victims, but none of that would be an issue for Yuffie. She’ll be in and out with a blink of an eye.

Yuffie had upgraded since her last excavation for treasure. Now, instead of targeting common folk houses, her target was a rich businessman, who lived in a mansion and had two guards right outside of the door to his safe. “Irresponsible guards who can’t seem to stay awake, right?” She whispered into the face of one of the sleeping guards. While she was there, she might as well taunt them a little up close. “Outwitted by a teenager!” She smirked, sticking her tongue out at the guard and crossing her eyes to make herself even more comical.

Well, while I’m here..’ She thought deviously, pulling out a black marker. Then, like the aspiring artist she could never dream of becoming, the thief began scribbling on the two guard’s faces. One with common sense would break in first, then leave right away without leaving a trace.. But Yuffie had much more confidence than that. Once she was finished her work of art, she stood back to admire her creations. ‘Perfect.’

Silently tip-toeing around the sleeping beauties, Yuffie pulled out her lock-picking needles. Too bad the room with the safe didn’t have any windows on the outside.. It would have made her job a whole lot easier. However, it would have been significantly less fun and exciting if it had been too easy. ‘Alright.. Just push this a little and pull it up..’ She had her ear pressed against the door, and her tongue licked her own lips as she concentrated on the lock.. ‘Almost there..’

Ring ring.

The ninja froze in place, her eyes wide with disbelief. “..Shit.” That did not just ring. ‘Ugh.. I knew I forgot something!’ She forgot to turn off the ringer on her PHS. Frantically, she reached to silence the phone, but it looked like her masterpieces had risen already. Yuffie knew that one of her adventures would lead to a battle again, and it looked like this was going to be one of them! She pulled out her Four-Point Shuriken and got into her fighting stance.

The seemingly more easy-going guard sat up from his spot and looked around, dazed and confused. He looked over to his partner, obviously clueless as to what was going on, but before he could even begin to speak, he was interrupted by his own burst of laughter. He pointed at his partner with one hand and held his stomach with the other, obviously entertained by the appearance of his comrade.

The more serious guard saw his partner laugh at him, and a vein practically appeared on his forehead, his fists clenching in anger. How dare he laugh at him when his face looked so stupid and.. He glanced at his reflection in the glass and saw the hideous, yet comical, drawings on his face. Spotting the thief facing them with a smirk on her face, he automatically knew the culprit.

“You little brat..!” The dolled up, infuriated guard called out as he charged towards her with his fist raised.

Yuffie is normally able and prepared to fight at any time.. But.. This time it was different. She took one look at the guard, charging towards her with the ‘beautiful’ image on his face, and she just cracked up. Holding her stomach tightly to minimally contain her laughter, she pointed at the man and laughed as hard as her stomach would let her. Tears of joy welled up in her eyes, but sadly, a conveniently placed electronic cage made her sober up straight away.

“Got you now, you thief!” The other animated guard called into the cage.

It was needless to say that Yuffie was laughing, or at least snickering, until she got to the jail.

Sure, it was shameful for the world’s greatest ninja to be caught by lower-class guards in such a manner, but she had to admit that it was well worth it. Plus, she had tons of people she could call when she was in a jam like this! “Let’s see..” Her Dad was out of the question. They were having another fight because she didn’t want to get married to some strange guy she didn’t know. Cloud seemed to be out on some adventure again. Barret had Marlene to preoccupy him. Cid had his newborn and his wife.. Cait Sith, or Reeve rather, was out of the question as well. She never really liked the guy. Vincent.. Nah. She didn’t know where the hell he was, and he probably wouldn’t bail her out anyways. So that just left..


Ah, how ironic it was.. The one person she would want to impress ended up being the only person she could call in her time of need. She picked up the phone and dialed the woman’s PHS cell phone number, ‘C’mon, Tifa.. Pick up.. I only get one phone call!

The device rang on the other end of the line. Tifa blinked awake at the piercing noise, apologizing to Elena, on the other bed, for waking her up. Groggily, she picked up her cell phone and looked at the display to see who was calling. It wasn’t anyone she knew, but she might as well pick it up.. Just in case it’s something important, maybe from Rude or Reno, or ShinRa about Marlene and Denzel. She cleared her throat and answered the call, “Hello?”

Tifa! It’s about time you answered!

“Yuffie?” Tifa asked, sitting up in her bed. Well, it wasn’t exactly her bed, but Jessie’s airship had cabins and she was in one of those beds. They said they’d stay for a bit at Fort Condor, but.. Their beds were just too gross. Everyone seemed to use them, and AVALANCHE only used them because they were desperate.

Yeah! Long time no talk, huh?” The energetic voice rang on the other end, “Actually, I was wondering if you could.. Bail me out of Kalm Jail?

Tifa practically smacked herself for answering the phone. She was losing valuable rest over this? She fell back with her hand on her forehead, onto the pillow she had desperately wanted to fall asleep on again, “What happened to being the World’s Greatest Thief?” The fighter stated sarcastically.

That’s World’s Greatest Ninja, Missy.” Yuffie said back, an obvious grin on her face judging from the tone of her voice. “And it was a cleverly set up trap! I’ll explain it to you if you bail me out! I know you have tons of cash buried under those breasts of yours!

Reflexively, Tifa covered her chest and looked insulted, “I don’t think that’s something you should be saying to the person who can save you, you little..!” She was about to hang up, but..

Okay, okay! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean it!” Yuffie was desperate now. She had never been caught in a prison before, and she was sure she could have picked her way out, but they took her lock-picking needles and her bobby pins! “I’ll owe you one!

Tifa was a naturally kind person. So, despite how annoying Yuffie could be sometimes, she still felt obligated to help her fellow AVALANCHE member. “Fine, but you owe me one.” And with that said, she hung up her PHS.

“All right! Thanks, Ti-“ Dial tone. Geez. Just because she called in the middle of the night doesn’t mean she has to be so testy! Yuffie hung up as well and crossed her arms, “Tch. Must be PMSing.” She laughed a little, then looked at the guard who was making sure she wasn’t calling to get someone to sneak a nail file in or something. She saluted the guard with a wink, but the man remained unimpressed, leading her back to her cell promptly.

Once back in her cell, Yuffie stood in the middle, putting her hands on her hips, “Man! Everyone has to learn how to relax a bit.” She looked over to the bed they provided her with and.. “Aw, sick!” She refused to even sit on that. The ninja also noticed that there was a toilet in the back of the room.. What the hell! They expect the Great Yuffie Kisaragi to do her ‘business’ out in the open like this?

Okay, whatever! That does it! She sat cross-legged in the middle of the cell, folding her arms and bowing her head with closed eyes. “I’ll just sit here until Tifa comes.” Of course, she didn’t know how long that would be.. But it was better than touching anything else in this filthy dump. Now what could she do to pass the time? Make shadow puppets..? Hah. With what light? She shook her head, dismissing the idea. That wasn’t going to entertain her anyways.

She ruffled her own hair in frustration as she reflected on her earlier attempt, “Why couldn’t I get the loot this time?” She asked herself out loud. One of the guards arched an eyebrow at her, but she shook her head and decided to keep her mouth shut. Contemplating the reason for her failure, she listed what she had done from beginning to end.

First, she used the sleep materia. That was a good start. Then she mocked the guards a little, wasting valuable time. Aha, mistake one. Then, she drew on the guard’s faces. Mistake two. She had forgotten to turn off her cell phone ringer. Mistake three. Wow, Yuffie was on a roll, wasn’t she? All of those mistakes ended up in one big fall in the end, resulting in her being captured and taken here.

..Well, there was a good side to all of this.

She’d get to see Tifa again.


An excited puppy at the pound. That’s the only image that came to Tifa’s mind when she freed Yuffie from her jail. The hyperactive teen’s eyes were lit up, she practically jumped out of the cell when she saw the dark-haired fighter.. And Tifa knew that if Yuffie had a tail, it would be wagging back and forth. “Tifa! I knew you’d come for me!”

“And what if I didn’t?” Tifa replied, grinning as she began to walk towards the exit. “I spent all of the money I had left on bailing you out, you know. You owe me big time.”

“Don’t say that! You did come for me and I could pay you back easily.” Yuffie declared proudly. Living her life as a thief and a high-class ninja did enable her to many riches, after all. Plus, since her father practically owned Wutai, she was considered a ‘princess’ of some sort to the country.

“Yeah, well.. I have two friends with me outside. I have something really important to take care of, and I might need your help,” Tifa started, opening the front entrance of the jail and beginning to walk through the blue, cobblestone streets of the town. “It’s a long story, but I’ll fill you in. We just need all the help we can get.”

“No problemo, Tifa! The Great Ninja Yuffie, at your service!” Yuffie exclaimed, knowing she’d rather go on an adventure with Tifa than steal from petty mansions any day. Curiosity was eating at her, though. Tifa said she brought two friends with her.. She assumed one was Cloud, so maybe the other one was Barret? Still, he had Marlene to take care of, but.. Tifa would have referred to them by their names, not something as vague as ‘two friends’. Well, might as well ask! “So who are your friends?”

“Elena and Jessie,” The ex-SOLDIER replied. That brought a shocked reaction from the ninja.

Elena? The Turk? Why her?” Yuffie asked, disbelief clearly showing on her countenance. Weren’t they practically enemies to begin with? Of course, Yuffie didn’t know much about the Turks other than they were ShinRa scum who did the dirty work. And all she knew about Elena was she was captured in Wutai by Don Corneo with her. A slight shudder came from Yuffie at that thought, but she quickly pushed the memory away. She wasn’t about to recall that sickening event anyways.

“Really, really long story.. I’ll explain to you later on the airship.” Tifa sighed, a look of exhaustion and exasperation coloring her already tired looking features. Considering it was the middle of the night, and all of the events which had occurred in the past few days.. Or hell, just that night, were weighing her down. All she wanted to do now was get a good night’s rest and hope tomorrow everything somehow solves itself.. She knew better than that, though.

“..Airship?” Yuffie paled, her normally colored skin turning a ghostly white. Her last experience with an airship.. Was Cid’s Highwind. And of course, everyone knows what happens when Yuffie is in an airship.

Tifa saw the look of dread appear on the teenager’s face. One would think someone who would be turning 19 soon would have gotten over the motion/air-sickness after 3 years.. With a sly grin on her face, she arched an eyebrow at the ninja, “Could it be that you still get airsick?”

Yuffie had a caught look on her face. She quickly turned her head away and crossed her arms, a defiant expression trying to cover the shamed one; “I haven’t even stepped onto an airship since Meteor! Like I’d go through that hell again willingly.” She eyed the smirk on the other woman’s face and quickly looked away again, a little ‘Hmph!’ coming through her nose. “I usually walk, unlike you lazy bums.”

Tifa shook her head at the girl and began walking towards the airship, “Well, we lazy bums have to get places faster than your legs can carry you.” She looked over her shoulder to see if the girl was following, but kept speaking, “If we didn’t have the airship, you would have been sitting in that jail until morning.”

The ninja grimaced at the logic. That was definitely true.. She wouldn’t have wanted to be sitting there for so long. Even the greatest ninja in the world has limits to her patience! She followed after the long-haired brunette reluctantly, wondering if they were going to take off soon.

“Elena’s probably still asleep, but I had to wake up Jessie to fly this thing.. You might want to thank her. Or apologize to her.” Tifa said as she walked up the ramp and into the ship. Sure, Tifa had her chances of flying Cid’s airship before, but this piece of machinery was way more complex than anything she had ever handled. Of course she had to wake up the technician.

“Jessie?” Yuffie was still unfamiliar with the name, since she had never met Jessie in her life. She had joined AVALANCHE after the party had escaped from Midgar. She was only a part of the adventure from Junon onwards, so all of the members of the original AVALANCHE were unknown to her. Barret, Cloud, Tifa and Aeris never even wanted to speak about them, so they almost never did. Yuffie barely recalled the story, but she asked anyways. It could have been another Jessie. “Hey.. Didn’t you guys say she was dead?” She stepped up the ramp and stood beside Tifa, a confused expression on her countenance.

Tifa paused a moment before activating the switch to pull the ramp up. It really still did hurt, remembering what happened in Midgar. She was thankful that Jessie survived, but so many depressing memories accompanied that thankfulness. For a moment, the halls were pitch black, but soon lights turned on near the floor so they could see where they stepped. “I did say that, didn’t I..?” She forced a small smile onto her face, “I actually also thought she was dead until earlier today.” Tifa said softly, as if her words would awaken her blonde comrade if she were to speak too loudly.

The shorter teenager followed her closely, the new surroundings reminding her of a shinier version of Cid’s Highwind. She shivered slightly at the memory, but listened to Tifa anyways. Although it would seem unlikely, Yuffie sympathized with the girl, not wanting to crack any jokes or comments at what was clearly serious for the brunette. “Oh..”

“But I told you.. I’ll explain everything later.” Tifa paused at a door in the corridor, putting her hand near the control panel, “Down the hall is the bridge. Jessie should still be in there.” She smiled faintly at the ninja, though it couldn’t be seen very well with the current lighting. Soon, she continued, still in a hushed whisper, “I’m gonna get some more rest. It’s been a long night.” And with that said, she pressed a button to open the door to the cabin, a hissing sound emitting from the mechanism.

Yuffie whispered, after what seemed to be a bit of hesitation. “Wait, Tifa.” Yuffie reached out and touched Tifa’s arm to stop her from moving into the room. Pushing her pride back again, she spoke in an even softer tone, “..Thanks.” She had tried to say it earlier on the phone, but Tifa had already hung up.

Tifa looked a little surprised. It wasn’t like the selfish ninja to offer her appreciation as she did, and even though she did, Tifa would think that Jessie deserved more thanks than she did. Either way, it was a gesture that was well welcomed by the long-haired Ex-SOLDIER, “You’re welcome, Yuffie.” She said with a more genuine smile, which could be sensed in the tone of her whispered voice. “Good night.”

Yuffie pulled her hand back and nodded, watching as the fighter stepped into the dark room. The door hissed shut and Yuffie looked down at her own partially lit feet. With her hands behind her back, she kicked a little at nothing. It was a small gesture, but the bashful smile, that couldn’t really be seen on her face, showed that she was proud of herself for saying what she did to Tifa. So, though apologies and thanks weren’t really the ninja’s cup of tea, she felt she might as well continue this little streak of hers. It gave her a warm kind of feeling, but maybe that was because of the person she had been speaking to. Well, only one way to find out!

Moving her hands to the back of her head, she walked down the hall to the end doorway, where an illuminated sign that read “Bridge” hung. Subconsciously taking a deep breath, Yuffie steeled herself and opened the door. This room was brighter than the hallways, but that was probably because there were people asleep in the other rooms. Yuffie had to readjust her eyes for a moment before speaking, “Hey.. Anyone here?”

Jessie had been working at the computer near the navigation console, but she turned her head at the voice. This must have been the person Tifa was talking about. A previous AVALANCHE member who helped them defeat Sephiroth, huh? She looked about Jessie’s age, and judging from what Tifa had told her, Jessie couldn’t help but wonder what she was really like. “Just me here.” She swung around her seat so she was fully facing the stranger, “I’m Jessie. Nice to meet you.”

When the technician had to deal with business and meeting people, she learned some valuable communication skills. However, if she were to face a situation similar to when she was making Cloud’s ID card on that Midgar train, or when she had just spoken to Cloud in general, she knew she would revert back to her old habits. Currently, Jessie was wearing her glasses because she didn’t think anyone would be around, but now that she was facing someone, she hastily removed the spectacles. With a tint of pink on her cheeks, she held out her hand, hoping the new member of their team wouldn’t adjust to that image of her.

Yuffie smiled at the girl, grasping her hand and returning the handshake. “I’m Yuffie.” She released her hand and took note of the action where she removed her glasses, but she didn’t dwell on it. “I just wanted to thank you, yenno, for flying all the way here to pick me up.” She rubbed the back of her neck a little, a nervous smile on her face. It felt a little weird, thanking someone she didn’t even know.

Jessie replied, “No problem! I’m always willing to fly this baby.” She pat the console beside her, the smile on her face switching to a grin. She had heard from Tifa that the thief they were picking up really hated flying. Jessie just thought she’d joke around with her a little to get rid of the awkward feeling right away.

Yuffie, however, froze at the statement. If she was always willing to fly, that meant they would be flying a lot. That didn’t comfort her one bit, and suddenly she felt like jumping outside and not going along with Tifa and the others.. But she knew she would regret it. For more than one reason.

Jessie caught the look on the girl’s face and laughed a little, “I’m just joking, but we will have to fly eventually.”

How did she know..?’ Yuffie asked herself in her mind. Is it that obvious that she gets airsick? She started a sentence, “How did you..” but trailed off a little, just eyeing the girl suspiciously.

“Tifa told me,” Jessie replied, the grin switching back to the kinder smile she had on earlier.

“I should have known,” Yuffie shook her head, putting her hands on her hips. “What else did she tell you?”

The brown haired pilot looked up as she tried to remember, “Not much, except that you’re a thief and a ninja.” Jessie still found it interesting, that she was in front of someone with such skillful physical talents. It was admirable to her since she wasn’t exactly the best fighter around. Sure, she could hold herself with a gun or other kinds of weapons, but compared to Biggs, Tifa, Cloud and Barret, she wasn’t particularly up for the challenge. She was more of a behind the scenes worker, and she enjoyed it that way.. But she would rather be able to defend herself without having to rely on others. So the fact that this girl, who was her age, could do such feats.. It amazed her.

“Correction. I’m the Greatest Ninja in the World.” Yuffie boasted with a wide smile on her face. Compared to the way Jessie saw Yuffie, Yuffie probably saw the opposite point of view towards Jessie herself. Here sat a girl, who was her age, who could understand all of that technology mumbo-jumbo that she couldn’t even think about reading. She was even a pilot! Yuffie knew she wouldn’t be able to stand even being near the controls of an airship when it was in motion. She might.. ruin the controls. Either way, the ninja found those talents to be accomplishments beyond her reach. She wished she could have skills like those.

Of course, neither voiced their opinions. How strange would it be for someone you’d barely met to tell you that they admired your talents? It would be like talking to some kind of celebrity!

“You can get some rest in one of the cabins. I’ll show you to a room..” Jessie said as she stood from her seat. However, from the fact that she, herself, hadn’t gotten enough sleep and the sudden motion of standing, a sudden dizzy moment came over her and she stumbled a little. Lucky for her, Yuffie had good reflexes.

“Whoa!” Yuffie exclaimed when she reached out to steady the girl, catching her carefully, “Maybe you should take your own advice!” The ninja appeared concerned as she held onto her for a moment to make sure the brunette wouldn’t fall again. “Are you alright?”

Feeling the strong arms catch her and wrap around her, Jessie couldn’t help but relish the warm feeling for a moment. She had never been in a relationship, and she was an orphan as well, so the comfort of a hug was rare for her.. It dizzied her, so Jessie brought a hand up to her own temples and tried to center herself. She nodded a little when she was asked if she was alright, but soon regained her balance and smiled at Yuffie appreciatively, “Thanks.. I probably got up too fast.” A blush colored her cheeks, but she tried to force it back.

Yuffie shot her a look that screamed a sarcastic, ‘Yeah, right.’ The ninja knew better than that.

Then Jessie caved, “..I guess you’re right. I’ll get some rest too.” She pulled back from the awkward, accidental embrace, and rubbed her arm with an embarrassed look.

The Wutaian nodded, glad that the girl would take her advice. “Good. Wouldn’t want you crashing the plane because of drowsiness.”

“Yeah..” Jessie looked away, realizing that that could very well become a case if she didn’t get enough rest. She started walking towards the door, saying, “Tifa and Elena are probably asleep in that cabin right now.. You can stay in mine, if you want.” Jessie hoped the girl wouldn’t get the wrong kind of idea.. There were only a few beds per cabin and since Tifa and Elena were asleep already, it would be disturbing for a new person to barge in. That’s the only reason, of course! Consideration!

“Yeah, good idea.” Yuffie said, following after her, “You don’t snore, do you?” She asked with a grin.

[End notes:

July 10, 2007 Author's Note: I'll just post the rest of it without re-proofreading them. I was pretty satisfied with the later chapters XD

A/N: So there’s chapter 7! I like it, but I don’t know how others would really feel about it. It’s more of a light-humored chapter compared to the others, and it’s mainly character development and history storyline.. The love triangle that will form soon will be interesting, but it’s more like some weird kind of square or curved shape, if you add Jessie into it. XD I hope I explained how she survived well enough.. I love writing Yuffie, and now that I’ve kind of established the current emotions, I think I know where it’s going to go. I was really hung up on what to do, as most of you on know, but hey. I know you guys want me to get to the romance-y stuff already, but I kind of like the pace I’m going. I might put another memory chapter in soon, but I haven’t decided if it’s going to be 8 or 9. Anyways, hope things make more sense now and some questions were answered. XD Reviews please!


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