The ceramic flowers were burning her hands. She gently pried her fingers away from the coffee mug in front of her and sat back in the chair balancing it on two legs. The envelope on the table sat thick and opened with blue trim around the edges. She knew that color. She’d seen in in Zack’s eyes before he disappeared. Mako blue.
Fang winced and ran her fingers through her hair. Shinra was not the route she much wanted to go. It would give her plenty of extra power, sure, but the cost was too high and she didn’t want to follow Zack in his fate. That was, in fact, the last thing she wanted. Strangely enough. Reno hadn’t said anything about his boss showing interest in her, though she could understand him wanting to play it safe considering the less flattering jobs he’d had over the years.
"Gods damn i’ all," she muttered under her breath. She moved forward to slide the envelope a little closer. It still sat unopened but then again an invitation to SOLDIER First Class was thicker than sin and she didn’t much want to read the paperwork. She’d touched enough fires in the past year. Irritated and still undecided, Fang snapped her fingers and the envelope burst into flames, dissolving from bright green to a more natural red before extinguishing. A small pile of ashes rested on the counter but Fang was already up and gathering her coat and boots. Winter had come to Midgar again.
Well, it’s been a good damn while.
Can’ imagine you lot missed me much.
Hmph. Mos’ of you.
"The hell am I doin’ here," Fang turned the wheel sharply, feeling the Subaru Outback shift through the snow and gravel. Why Inara thought a trip to the Appalachian mountains was a good birthday present she had no damn idea. It’d been snowing steadily for almost three hours as she drove deeper into the mountains in search of a cabin with an impossible address. She and Axel had only just found "Smoky Ridge Drive" fifteen minutes ago and they were still weaving along the narrow road waiting for the cabin itself to appear.
Her redheaded companion was staring out the window seemingly much more ease with the towering pines and blanketing snow. Fang glanced at him and eased the gas pedal a little farther. The Outback surged forward past the treeline revealing exactly what she’d been waiting for. She pulled in next to the porch and cut the engine. The cabin was small but elegant and fancy as all get out. Fang climbed out of the SUV hearing the snow crunch under her boots. “Well, hell,” she murmurer. “I like this idea.”
She grinned at Axel and laced her fingers behind her head. The cabin sat in the middle of a clearing surrounded by trees and coated in snow. The air was cold enough that it made her a little dizzy. It was stilling snowing but the flakes were big and slow and drifting mostly without wind. The brunette promptly began removing bags from the car and hauling them up the porch steps.
Between the two of them they had barely enough stuff for her to carry. Fang unlocked the door and stepped inside, stepping out of her snow caked boots as she did. The interior was pretty and classically victorian, just Inara’s style. The kitchen had a breakfast bar that opened into the living room. A door on the far wall had to be a bedroom. A sliding door and picture window dominated the wall opposite them, opening onto a balcony that overlooked the slope.
"I’ll give her tha’, Inara gives good gifts," Fang said kicking open the bedroom door and depositing her things onto the hardwood floor.