The supervisor of the newly converter reactor was giving President Shinra a thorough tour of the facility, dutifully replying to all questions the President had about their progress.
'How soon before the reactor will be 100% free of mako waste?'
'I would say another two weeks, Mr. President. We have removed the majority of the reservoirs and now only have the pipes to clean out before new material can be passed through them.'
The President nodded in approval. 'Excellent. I shall be looking forward to any further reports you have regarding the progress of...'
Rufus didn't have time to turn towards the voice before he was thrown to the ground and pinned there by a Turk.
'What happened?' The blond asked to no one in particular.
'Apparently, someone doesn't like the fact that you are visiting the reactor.' Tseng replied grogilly.
From the corner of his eye, he could see the blood beginning to stain his white coat. 'Where did he get you?'
'Just my shoulder, sir. I will be alright.' Tseng assured him. 'Your safety is my main concern, please stay down until we tell you it is safe to get back up.'
Rufus nodded in understanding, watching the injured Turk get to his feet. Turning his head to follow Tseng, he saw Rude apprehend the would be assasin, who was still trying to put up a fight. Rude had no problems handling the individual and threw him into the back of a car, racing to headquarters.
'Alright boss, let's get you up.' Turning towards the speaker, Rufus nodded and got himself to his feet. 'Are you hurt at all there boss?'
'Not really, Reno. Just a few scrapes from the fall. Where's Tseng?'
'He's heading to the hospital now.' Reno assured him. 'The medics told him that they wanted to bring him there to see how much damage the bullet caused. You know Tseng, he'll be fine. C'mon, let's get out of here.'
Without waiting for a reply, Reno grabbed hold of the President, rushing him to his nearby vehicle.
'We're going to the hospital, Reno.'
'Sir, we have to get you to a secure....'
'We're going to the hospital, Reno.' Rufus restated, his tone leaving no room for debate.
'Alright boss. Alright. It'll probably be a while before we can see him though.' Reno tried to reason. 'And a hospital isn't exactly a secure area. We really should get you somewhere...'
'No more arguing Reno. We're going to the hospital, that's an order.'
'Any news on Tseng's condition?' Rufus asked the head nurse.
'I'm afraid not, Mr. President.' She smiled sadly. 'All we know at the moment is that they are looking at his shoulder and assessing the damage.'
Rufus sighed, frustrated. 'Very well. Thank you.' He then returned to the waiting room, sitting next to Reno.
'You really should head home, sir.' Reno attempted to reason with the blonde. 'There will be Turks assigned to your home until we deterine that that idiot was working alone.'
'I'm not leaving until I see him and know he's going to be ok.'
Reno put his hands in the air, sighing. 'Fine. Have it your way boss. I'm just trying to do my job.'
'You are doing your job, Reno. You're next to me, guarding me.' Rufus reminded him.
'Fine. Fair enough.' Reno was silent for a while, until he realized something was not yet done. 'Hey, no one checked you out yet!'
'I'm fine, Reno.' Rufus assured. 'That's Tseng's blood on my jacket, not mine.'
'Yeah well still. You're getting checked out.' Reno made the small trek to the nurses station, requesting that the President's physician be sent down immediately in order to examine him.
Thirty minutes later, the President walked out of the room after being treated for minor scrapes and bruises, along with his twisted wrist which he injured after falling on it when Tseng threw him to the ground. He and Reno both returned to the waiting room to wait for any news.
'Uh, yeah boss?' He replied, confused.
'No one has called Elena yet to inform her of the shooting.' Rufus said, voice void of any emotion.
The red-head slumped in his seat. 'Shit, I almost forgot about that. Plus no one has told Amber yet either.'
'I'm not injured therefore she has nothing to worry about. Tseng on the other hand was injured therefore I believe Elena needs to know right now more then Amber.'
'That bullet was meant for you, boss.' Reno reminded him, while reaching for his phs. 'That makes it her concern just as much as Elena's.'
'So, how do you think the tour is going?' Amber asked, sipping on her coffee.
'Let's see, Rufus will probably be listening "intently" to the supervisor. He'll nod every once in a while and pretend to understand the mumbo jumbo that the guy is telling him while secretly thinking to himself "what the hell did that guy just say?"' Elena joked. 'Seriously though, I think it's going fine. It's just a routine visit that has to be done by the President. They should be done soon.'
'I would like to hope so.' Amber agreed. 'Five hours seems like a long time to tour one reactor.'
'Yeah.' Elena said, worry creeping into her voice.
Amber sensed her change of mood. 'You don't think something happened to Rufus or anyone else do you?'
Elena shook her head and smiled brightly, even if she didnt' feel like it at the moment. 'No, I'm sure everything is fine. Besides, even if something did go wrong, Tseng, Reno and Rude would be able to handle it without a problem.'
'Yeah...I guess you're right.'
The two went back to the movie they were watching, quietly drinking their coffees when Elena's phone rang. Elena put her coffee on the table and picked up the phone, recognizing the number.
'So, how did it go, Reno?'
'We ran into a bit of a problem, 'Laney.' Reno told her, sounding nothing like his usual self.
'Problem?' Elena bit her lower lip. 'What do you mean by "problem"?'
Amber noticed the change in her attitude and stared intently at the other blond. 'What happened? Did something go wrong?'
Elena ignored her for the moment, listening instead to the man on the other end of the phone. 'Someone tried to assisinate the President.'
Elena gasped, 'Is he alright? Did he get hit?'
'Who get hit!? Elena what happened!' Amber asked again, trying to figure out what was going on.
'No, he just got a few scrapes and bruises and a sprained wrist from when Tseng pushed him out of the way and onto the ground.'
It took Elena a few moments to piece together just what Reno was trying to get at. She then asked the question that she knew eventually she was going to have to ask. 'Tseng's been shot, hasn't he.'
'Shot! He was the one staying next to Rufus for the tour!' Amber cried out, tears stinging her eyes, threatenin to fall. 'Is Rufus alright??'
'They said that he'll be fine 'Laney.' Reno tried to assure her. 'He got hit in the shoulder. And tell Amber that Rufus is fine, alright?'
'Yeah. Sure. I'll tell her.' Elena tried to regain her composure and act like the Turk she was. 'Where is the President now? In a secure location?'
'No, he's at the hospital, in our wing. He refuses to leave until he gets to see Tseng and know that he's alright.'
'Alright. We'll be there in about 15 minutes or so.' Elena hung up, then turned to look at Amber and tell her the news.
'Someone tried to assasinate Rufus at the reactor.'
The tears in her eyes now freely fell. 'But, he's alright, isn't he?'
'Yeah...he's fine.' Elena confirmed. 'Tseng threw him to the ground before the bullet could touch him.'
'Thank the planet that Tseng was there to...' It then occured to her what Elena meant. She gently squeezed the blonde's hand. 'Is Tseng going to be alright?'
'Reno says that Tseng will be fine.' Elena confirmed. 'Luckily he got it in the shoulder.'
Amber rose from the couch making her way to the door. 'We should get to the hospital. I'm sure we both want to see how they're doing.'
Nodding in agreement, Elena followed the red-head out the door.
'Excuse me, we're looking for...' Elena was cut off by the person beside her.
'RUFUS!' Hearing his name, the President looked down the hall and rose from his seat, waiting for the woman to reach him.
'Thank the planet you're alright!' She started, hugging him as tightly as she could. 'I don't know what I would have done if...' she stopped herself from thinking about something like that. She instead let her tears fall freely onto his shirt, while he quietly conforted her.
'I'm fine, Amber.' He assured her, wiping the tears from her eyes. 'Scrapes and bruises are nothing major.'
'I know; I'm just so relieved that's all that happened to you.' She paused for a moment, remembering who was responsible for having Rufus in front of her now. 'Have you heard anything about Tseng yet?'
Rufus nodded his head. 'They came out about 5 minutes ago saying that they got all the bullet and the fragments out. We should be able to go visit him in a few minutes.'
'Sir, I'm glad to see that you weren't injured.' Elena said.
'Thank you Elena. I owe it all to Tseng. If he wouldn't have noticed that man, I wouldn't be here right now.' He then turned to her and spoke softly. 'He's going to be fine. One bullet to the shoulder isn't going to keep him down.'
Elena smiled. 'Thank you, sir. I'm sure he will be.'
The doctor entered the room and informed them that they could go and visit him when they were ready.
'You go first, sir.' Elena encouraged. 'That way Reno can get you out of here quicker and get you and Amber somewhere safer then here.'
'Alright. We'll only be a few minutes.' Rufus nodded and left to see Tseng, Amber still wrapped around his arm, showing no signs of letting go anytime soon.
About 10 minutes later, the two of them returned to the waiting room, informing Reno that he could visit Tseng if he wished. Reno went into the room and exited less then 5 minutes later.
'He said "thank you for coming to visit me but I want you to get Rufus out of here asap." so yeah...ready to go sir?'
'Very well. Wherever you need to take me, I'm ready.' Rufus turned to Elena, smirking. 'You take care of him, understand?'
'Yes sir.' she replied. 'I wouldn't do anything but.'