To Heal A Shattered Heart Chapter 9

By EagleHeart

"These are the slums of Midgar?" Lyria whispered, staring about in open-mouthed shock at the hellhole around her.

"Yup. Home sweet home," Barret said, sweeping an arm around grandly. "This is as close to hell as you’re going to get…"

"People live here?"

"People survive here. Or they try to. You can’t call this a life," Tifa said sadly.

"I’d heard the slums were terrible, but I had no idea…" Lyria looked near tears as she watched a little girl in a tattered pink dress playing in the area between the worn down buildings, amidst broken glass and chunks of twisted scrap metal. "I…I used to go to school at Midgar University…I wrote a paper on the condition of the slums and how medical standards were so primitive there. I’d never even been to the slums and I made up most of the content of the paper, figuring I could make up for the grade I would get later…I got full marks…no one on the upper plate is aware of what it’s like down here…"

"We all feel the same way, Lyria…but, even if we defeated Sephiroth and stopped the usage of Mako energy, we didn’t cure every blemish on the surface of this world…not even Holy could have done that…" Cloud said, sighing.

"Let’s get outta here, this place is depressin’. I’m glad Shera stayed with Marlene on the Highwind…they’re probably down in Costa del Sol…soaking up sun and having good times…" Cid sighed. "Where’re we supposed to find Reeve?"

"I might have an idea…" Lyria said slowly. "Could I borrow the PHS for a moment Cloud?"

"You know his number?"

"I think I’ll phone one of the professors at my university…he’s the head medical professor and I think he might be willing to help…" Lyria closed her eyes for a moment, remembering the number. "Ok, here goes…" Lyria dialed and held the phone to her ear.

"Well?" Cid pressed.

"It’s ringing…Hello, Midgar University Reference Desk? Hi, could you put me through to Dr. Gabriel Lewis please? Just tell him it’s Lyria Kindred calling…sure, I’ll hold…"

"What sorta fruitcake has a name like ‘Gabriel’?" Barret whispered to Cid, who grinned.

Lyria glared at them and then suddenly exclaimed. "Dr. Lewis? It’s me, Lyria…it’s lovely to hear from you again too, sir…I can’t talk long…I don’t want to waste the battery on my PHS…I’m in the slums of Midgar actually…What?...Thank you sir…I did enjoy working on that paper, it opened my eyes to a whole new world down here…" Lyria glanced at Tifa and rolled her eyes. "I’d love to get together with you some time…we won’t be in Midgar long though…huh? Well…umm, yes I’m still single…"

"What on earth would he want to know that for?" Red whispered.

"I’m sorry to hear that, sir…Yes, I’m sure she did…Uh huh…" Lyria was silent for a few moments. "Oh would you sir? That would be lovely…three o’ clock…" she glanced at her watch quickly. "Dear me, that’s only forty-five minutes from now…no, we can probably make it…the usual method, then?…I’m not sure where the nearest station is, but we’ll do our best. Thank you very much sir…I’ll see you soon…Bye." Lyria handed the PHS back to Cloud. "We have forty-five minutes to get on the next train to the upper plate."

"That’ll be in Wall Market…but it’s heavily guarded to prevent slums people from getting up there…" Cloud said. "It’s not far really, but how will we get up?"

"Leave it to me."


"Ok, now…you four…" Lyria gestured at Cloud, Barret, Cid and Vincent, "Will be my bodyguards." The group stood outside the dress store of Wall Market, waiting around for orders.

"What?" Cid asked puzzled. "The hell you need bodyguards for?"

"A woman like me shouldn’t be wandering the slums alone…I need some protection…just look like you’ll kill anyone who looks at me cross-eyed."

"Goody." Cloud unsheathed his sword.

"Red, I hate to demean you like this, but would you act like a pet?"

"If it’ll help us get to ShinRa, I’ll do it…" Red said dubiously.

"Thanks…now, Yuffie and Tifa, this is where I need your help…come with me…we’ve got to get equipped."

Yuffie and Tifa followed Lyria into the dress store and Cloud uneasily shifted from one foot to the other. "I’ve got a really bad feeling about this…"


"It’s been fifteen minutes…what the hell are those three doin’ in there?" Cid grumbled. No one took any notice when three women in short skirts and high heels exited the building and walked over to their group.

"Cloud?" The tallest woman said, she was wearing a short black skirt and a red halter-top. Knee high leather boots and a chain link belt completed the outfit. She wore only light makeup and her hair was swept into a ponytail high on her head and was held with a diamond clip. The only other trace of jewelry she wore was a jeweled temporary tattoo in the small of her back in the shape of a rose. "We’re ready."

"Lyria?!" Cloud exclaimed.

"Us too Cloud!" Tifa giggled. "Recognize this dress? The shopkeeper remembered, bless his heart. He wanted to know if you were interested in any of the latest spring fashions…"

"The hell? What you talkin’ about Tifa?" Cid asked.

"Long story, Cid. I’ll tell you later…" Barret grinned wickedly at Cloud, who was blushing furiously.

"I feel like such…a girl…" Yuffie whined. The ninja’s one-piece green dress was tight and strapless. She had a naturally fit figure and her short hair was spiked so it stood up and curled slightly.

"We have to get going. Let me do the talking when we get to the station…" Lyria set off with Red at her heels, chatting amicably with Tifa and Yuffie. The others followed quickly and caught up just as a slouching man with an unmistakable look of wanton lust in his eyes approached the three girls. Red was growling deep in his throat as the man strode closer.

"Hello ladies…anyone of you lookin’ fer a good time? Hell, why not all three of you?" the man laughed insanely.

"You know, we’re always up for good times," Lyria batted her eyes naughtily as the four "bodyguards" approached, "but we’re on business, and these four here…" Lyria casually laid a hand on Vincent’s shoulder, Tifa slipped an arm through Cloud’s and Yuffie jerked at thumb at Cid. Barret looked menacing enough with his gun arm leveled at the man’s head. "These four like to stick to business."

The man yelped and took off at a sprint. Tifa, Lyria, and Yuffie giggled and continued on their way to the station.


"Excuse me? My name’s Lyria, Dr. Lewis told me to come here…" Lyria shyly approached the guard at the entrance to the train.

"Dr. Lewis eh? So he’s scouting for a new plaything already…dear me that was quick…" The guard glanced at Lyria’s entourage. "Who’re they?"

"Bodyguards, my two best friends, and my precious baby, Reddikins."

"Oh. Ok, well, you can get on the train. It should take you straight to Midgar U. Good luck, pretty lady. If he turns you down, there are welcome arms for comfort here…" the guard winked roguishly.

"Thanks. It’ll cost you though…"

"How much, angel face?"

"More than you could afford," Vincent threatened.

"Ah…I’ll just be letting you through then…" the guard gave the party a last, terrified glance and stepped aside. The compartment they entered was not well maintained, but it was empty. Cid and Barret stood at the doors at opposite ends of the car, to ensure it stayed that way.

"So what’s this Dr. Lewis like?" Red asked. "Why did he ask if you were still single?"

"From what Lyria’s told me, he sounds worse then Don Corneo…" Tifa said.

"Worse? Than that #&#% bastard?" Yuffie exclaimed. "Oh greaaaaaat…I want my shuriken back."

"Don’t worry. He won’t lay a hand on you. It’s me he’s been after for the past ten years," Lyria assured her. "He’s a bad tempered, lecherous old man with only one eye and it’s strictly reserved for women. But he’s the best doctor in the world so the university keeps him on staff."

"This is the man we’re getting help from to enter ShinRa headquarters?" Red asked.


"Isn’t he going to want something in return?"

"Probably. But he isn’t going to get it."

"Well…why will he bother helping us then?"

"He’s a sporting old fellow, despite his temper. He likes the thrill of the chase. He’ll let me go and try to catch me later. Of course, later, we’ll be long gone."

"Are you sure? This sounds like a terrible risk…"

"I’ll be fine…girls used to do this all the time if they wanted to get passing marks on their exams."

"I don’t like the sound of it."

"You don’t have to Reddikins; we’ve got to do it anyway, so we might as well make the most of it…"


Lyria knocked on the door to Dr. Lewis’s office. "You wait here. I’ll signal you when to come in…"

"Come on in, if it’s who I think it is…" a grating old voice called.

"Doctor?" Lyria entered the room and closed the door behind her, but not all the way.

"Lyria! So good to see you, pet! So you finally gave up, huh? Well that’s lovely…come here my darling, no sense wasting time." There was a ruffle of paper heard outside the door as Dr. Lewis swept the documents off his desk.

"Could we address a rather pressing matter first, sir?"

"Quickly my dear, quickly…"

"Well…I need to get into ShinRa headquarters…"

"Do you, darling? That’s lovely…there’s a ball going on this evening to initiate the new head of Sciences at the company…and I have a couple extra invitations…"

"Do you? Do you think you could get me and a friend in?"

"A friend?"

"Please, doctor…" Lyria’s voice had taken on a cajoling tone. "I promise, if you help us out, I’ll let you catch me…"

There was an audible click in the hallway as Vincent flicked off the safety of the small revolver in his hand.

"All right angel, but remember, you promised…and what better time to keep a promise than now…"

"Sorry, doctor…" Lyria clapped her hands and everyone entered the room, weapons leveled at Dr. Lewis. "Not right now."

The doctor was squat and had grizzled gray hair and a patch over one eye. He laughed raucously as the team entered the room. "Good show Lyria! Brought a few toys for me to play with?"

Tifa wrapped her arms around Cloud’s neck and Yuffie yelled a long string of expletives that should most likely not have been in her vocabulary.

"Ho, ho, ho…I like the young one, she’s got spunk…but you remember your promise, Lyria…" Dr. Lewis handed her two cards with a stylized version of the ShinRa logo on the front.

"Of course, sir."

"Now, who’s the one coming with you?"

"I am."

Every eye in the room turned to Vincent.

"You? This is a classy party, young man. You can’t show up looking like a cadaver."

"I’m going."

"Not looking like that, you aren’t. A pretty thing like Lyria on your arm? Unlikely my boy, highly unlikely."

"I do want him to come, Dr. Lewis…" Lyria said, finally glancing at Vincent.

"If your pretty little heart is set on it…" the doctor rummaged in his desk for a moment and tossed Lyria a roll of bills. "Go buy some nice looking clothes."

"Doctor, there must be over four thousand Gil here!"

"Buy some really nice looking clothes."

"Sir, I can’t accept this…"

"Just go, my dear! The salary of a doctor and a professor allows for a lot."

"T-thank you sir…"

"Take him," Dr. Lewis jerked his head at Vincent, "to the tailor on ShinRa Avenue. Tell the manager I sent him."

"Lyria, could we go to Chez Elle to get you a gown?" Tifa asked excitedly. "It’s a gorgeous place…it’s where I got my wedding gown…"

"Let’s go then, the party’s tonight, so we don’t have much time…"

"All right, Cid, you go get rooms at an inn near ShinRa Avenue so we have somewhere to get ready…"

"How many rooms?"

"Three should be enough…maybe four…" Tifa answered, grabbing Lyria’s arm and pulling her to the door. "Come on, Yuffie."

"Right behind ya’ Tifa!"

"Hey! Wait a minute! You took all the $#%$& money!" Barret shouted.

"Oh, bother…" Dr. Lewis pulled out another roll of bills threw it to Barret. "Don’t let your women run off with it this time."

"We won’t…" Cloud assured him. "Let’s get going too…"

Chapter 10

EagleHeart's Fanfiction