"I'll Keep Running"

Lisa N. (a.k.a Silver)

And, to add, a note about the fic: It may not be completely accurate. In fact, I know it isn't...mostly because it's been awhile, but I'll add that Elena probably wasn't a member of the Turks then and's a little odd. I apologize for that...



She looked up. Dressed in a pale pink dress with a short-sleeved, small coat, her knees dug in to the soft dirt, and she felt the flowers brush up against the material of her garment. She was immersed in them - surrounded by the plants that she so loved and cared for in the abandoned old church on this dull, unvisited corner in Midgar. But now...

Just as she thought she was hearing things, the noise came again, and her head jerked up, her eyes darting forward to look towards the entrance of the church. It came from outside of the two huge ornate doors. And it came again. The sound of footsteps. She shivered, and a chill of fear ran through her. But she didn't move.

Then, her fear was acknowledged as the main door creaked open. She shrank back into the bed of flowers, as if hoping to disappear. Her emerald eyes stayed fixed on the door, and she recognized the figure that walked in. Recognized, but not with relief.

The man stepped forward so that he stood on the edge of the wooden floor that led to the small garden. He wore a navy blue business suit with a small logo on the front - not anything new to the girl kneeling a few yards from him. He wasn't an unfamiliar face.

"So this is where you've been hiding out. We thought so." He leaned against one of the old, splintering wooden pews that lined the entryway.

She stared coldly at him. He seemed way too casual, from the way he stood to the way he ran a hand through his long black hair. It wasn't the first time that Shinra had sent the Turks group out to find her. She'd escaped every time so far, and getting away from Tseng alone would be simple. She talked to buy herself some time to figure a way out.

"So you've come to try and take me back to Shinra again." The flower girl's voice echoed angrily off the walls of the huge building. "Why?"

Tseng gave a symathic smile. "Aeris, Aeris. You know why. You belong to Shinra. Your place is there. Besides, wouldn't you much rather live there than on the streets of Midgar?"

She felt a wave of hate ignite inside her, but she kept her mouth in a firm line. She had a house, a foster parent. But she didn't dare tell Tseng that, or it'd be easier for them to find her.

"Who ordered you to come here?" She demanded, keeping her eyes on him.

Before he answered, she watched as his eyes quickly flickered up and then back to her. "Well..."

Aeris realized in a split second that possibly Tseng was not alone and was trying to keep her occupied. Not caring that he still stood there, she whipped around and had to catch herself to not let out the strangled sob rising in her throat. Behind her, only feet away, was yet another Turk, dressed like Tseng, but not as organized. Reno's fiery red hair identified him as he stepped out from under the shadows.

She stepped sideways. It was almost impossible to keep on eye on both at once. Now what am I going to do? There could be a third one. Rude, he was called. The third Turk. Where was he?

"Heh, trapped. Maybe we'll get that extra raise now, eh, Tseng?" Reno tapped the short silver rod he carried against his shoulder.

Aeris panicked suddenly. The two stood on either side of her.

Before she could move, she heard a scuffle from up above and heard something rolling, and then, looked up as a large object came plummeting down towards the group. She took this opportunity to dash out of the way. And before Reno or Tseng could move to catch her, they had to jump to avoid the wooden barrel that broke in two when it hit the ground.

My flowers! But she had no time to worry about them now. Turning, she grabbed hold of the old wooden railing of the stairs, and began to run up, stumbling in her haste.

She reached the top, and a wave of thoughts ran through her head. She didn't hear any signs of persual. Why weren't Tseng and Reno following her? She heard Reno yell "Elena!" angrily, but she didn't stop and look back.

Her question was answered as he reached the top of building, her feet unsteady on the rickety wooden catwalks that lined the level. A figure stood in her way. Dressed in the Turk uniform with short golden hair, the woman was unrecognizable to Aeris. Maybe she was a new member to the force...but then, where was Rude? Was he even here? If he was, there was no escape.

The woman who must be Elena gasped in surprise. "! Tseng, she's up here! Tseng!"

Aeris' convidence grew as she watched Elena's face and her nervous actions. Quickly, she pushed past her, and ran, shoes thudding on the old wood to the end of the platform, where there was an exit. Not daring to look, she threw her weight against the old door and tumbled out, thankful to be out in the open.

Then she ran. She ran and she didn't look back.



"Fool! You idiot!" Tseng circled angrily, although taking care not to step on what was left of the foliage. "What were you doing?!"

Elena sniffed, trying hard not to let them see the tears that welled up in her eyes. "I'm sorry, Tseng, but it was dark, and I couldn't see. The barrel was empty, and I accidently tipped it over trying to look down."

"You were supposed to come down the stairs," Reno snarled impatiently. "I thought we had taught you to listen when we tell you things."

Elena looked down, her viison blurred by tears.

"Oh, nevermind, it's your first excursion with the Turks force. We'll let you off the hook. But no screwing up next time." Tseng said. "Get off the flowers, both of you, you're ruining them."

"Pssh, they've already been ruined." Reno snorted, but he stepped away.

"Come on, we're wasting time. But now that we know she comes here a lot, it'll help." Tseng motioned to his companions and they exited the church by the main door, stepping out in the dim streets of Midgar.



Yet, not far away, a figure hurried past a few people, still running as mud splattered on her lilac dress and the basket she held under one arm banged against her side. She kept running, although her legs ached and she thought of stopping.

When she finally reached a turn on the street, she slowed down, pausing for a moment to catch her breath as she leaned against a cold stone wall. They'd attempted to kidnap her numerous times before. She knew they'd try again. She'd escaped each time. She'd been lucky and ran.

How many more times would she have to run?


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