Shinra Inc. And Valentine's Day
by: Jason Tandro
Author's Note: Yes, I'm a little late to the bat with this one. But now that the so-called holiday is over, let us mock it thoroughly. This bashing of the lover's holiday comes with love from me and my wife.
"So did you hear that 50 Pages of Bondage Smut got made into a movie?" Rude asked Reno as the two sat pouring through magazines at their local sex shop.
The place was the sort of sordid dingy affair that you might picture, with rows upon rows of costumes, toys, position masters, literature, movies, sex dolls, male and female masturbatory aids and of course magazines. Rude was busy perusing Lonely Unwed Wutai Vixens while Reno had more domestic tastes and was flipping through Midgar MILFs.
"Yeah. Elena made Tseng go see it," Reno replied. "She's calling it 'art'."
Rude scoffed. "Art. It's porn and it should be happy to be porn. Putting a top hat on a hooker doesn't make her a saint. At best it makes her a classy whore."
"I concur. I mean it's like you're making love to a woman, you do your business and then she spends an hour afterwards talking to you. You don't want to be rude, so you listen as she prattles on about stuff you don't care about. And then you notice you're starting to itch... you know... down there... and you look at this girl who is still talking and you're like 'whoa, are you clean'? And she goes 'No, I'm not.' And you go 'Well why the hell didn't you tell me?' And she goes 'I did tell you just now weren't you listening?' And you weren't listening because all you wanted to do was fu-"
"Guys," came the voice of Cissnei as she showed up from behind a display, specifically marketed with 50 Pages branding. "Are you seriously on about that drivel?"
"You don't like it either?" Reno asked.
"I appreciate that it has made BDSM a household name, I would just appreciate if it was an accurate depiction of the lifestyle. I wouldn't claim to be a plumber and then just smash some dude's pipes with a hammer and go 'Oh well, close enough'," she replied.
Reno and Rude exchanged an incredulous look.
"What? I thought that was on point," Cissnei replied.
"Leave the metaphors to us," Reno said.
"We're not even that good at it nowadays," Rude sighed.
"You shut your word hole, Rude."
"Anyways, do you guys have dates for Valentine's Day?" Cissnei asked. "Well I guess a date for Rude and a sacrificial virgin for Reno."
"She doesn't have to be a virgin. As a matter of fact I was going to ask you," Reno replied, setting down his magazine and setting it on the rack next to Oh My God Grandma What Are You Doing On The Cover Of This Porn Magazine Weekly.
"Are you seriously asking me out on a date?" Cissnei asked folding her arms.
"Is that such an alien concept?"
"Well the last time you took me out on a date, you decided to order out my virtue in a to-go box," Cissnei shrugged.
"First, I told you to knock it out with the metaphors. Second, it's not like you were a virgin before we went out. You knew what it was then and what it would be now. Two adults having fun," Reno retorted lazily.
"Fun. Yeah. Well stud, here's a pro tip. When the girl is actually having fun, she doesn't have to repeatedly assure you she's having fun."
"Oh come on you loved it. I could tell by," Reno was suddenly aware of not only Rude but half the patrons of the shop staring at him. "Well... your noises."
"Oh please, any woman worth her salt knows how to fake those," Cissnei shrugged.
Rude couldn't help himself and with a slightly twisted smile he turned to Cissnei and said. "Prove it."
She smacked him on the head with a nearby copy of Lesbihonest Monthly and walked out.
==Shinra Inc. And==
"You know, every year it's the same damn thing. There's a huge amount of pressure to find a date for this stupid occasion," Rufus grunted, putting on a red tie to pull together his red and white suit for the holiday.
"Perhaps your father shouldn't have invented it as a means to bring in extra gil on greeting cards, candy and porno," Reeve said, smacking Rufus's hands away from his pathetic attempt at a Full Windsor knot. "You're approaching 40 and still can't tie a tie?"
"I can do a Half Windsor. Or as my dear departed dad lovingly called it: The Slob Knot."
"Well, we can do better. Over, around, under, all the way around, under, down. It's not that complicated."
The two men stood awkwardly close to each other as Reeve corrected the tie in the middle of Rufus's office, which was now decorated in floating red heart balloons and little Mako powered fountains that spewed red light and more floating hearts. There were heart-shaped banners hanging around the walls, dozens upon dozens of pots filled with candy hearts all throughout the building. The janitorial service had even gone through the effort to extend Rufus's desk to give it the very rough shape of a heart.
"They certainly rub your nose in it don't they?" Rufus asked.
"Oh relax. You're going to do the same thing you do every year. Find a cute young thing sitting at a bar downstairs, buy her a drink, chat with her, and then seal the deal with the three words every young girl wants the hear: I am rich."
"If you're going to win a woman, you might want to wear a grey tie, what with that movie being such a big hit this year," said Scarlet entering his office dressed in what could be generously called a festive dress: bright red, with a slit all the way up to her thigh. The dress also had a sash on it with a bow about her waist and showed more than enough cleavage.
"No, no, I don't want people to know I'm into that stuff," Rufus said.
"Whoa, wait a minute, know?" Scarlet asked. "You kinky little thing."
"You are as easy as your dress, Scarlet," Rufus shrugged. "It was a joke. How goes the festivity downstairs?"
Scarlet sighed. "I don't know. I think I'm getting old. Time was the boys would get in line for the chance to be with me. Now, hardly any lookers."
"Hey, I'm sure you'll find somebody Scarlet. If nothing else it'd be my privilege to take you out tonight," Rufus said.
Scarlet raised an eyebrow. "Are you asking me out on a pity date?"
"Yes, but you wouldn't be the one being pitied," Rufus replied. "I'm having the same problem. The only way I can get a woman is by flashing my cash."
"What a hard life you lead,"Scarlet smirked.
"No, seriously. Just because I'm rich doesn't mean I don't crave love. Wild, tantric, Satan-shaming sex with young naive girls just isn't enough," Rufus continued.
Rufus then gagged as Reeve tightened the knot too tight.
"Whoops, sorry about that," he said as he loosened it and started over.
"Well you certainly make a good case for it, but I think I'll have to pass," Scarlet said.
"Why?" Rufus asked. "I mean, we both know each other rather well. I'd go so far as to consider us close friends. And you know I won't pressure you into anything you don't want to do."
Scarlet folded her arms. "Well maybe I want to do those things, but don't want to do them with you."
Rufus tilted his head to side.
"It's nothing personal, but I mean like you say we are good friends and nothing ruins a good friendship like getting intimate. Especially since we have to work together," Scarlet replied.
"Well I guess that makes sense. But that still leaves us wanting for dates," Rufus folded his arms. "How is it this hard for rich, intelligent, attractive people to find dates?"
"Yes, you people have all the trouble," Reeve sighed, finishing up the knot. "I'm going to go buy some groceries and then sit down to a TV dinner. Alone."
Reeve walked out of the office, leaving Scarlet and Rufus alone to themselves.
"Man, what a whiny bitch," Rufus scoffed.
==Shinra Inc. And==
Hojo had done something rather unusual and took it upon himself to call a staff meeting. Of course, thanks to his incredible pull around the office and how seriously everybody took him, three people showed up: Palmer, Heidegger and Scarlet.
"Well this is a fine how-do-you-do," Hojo said, pacing about the room. "I had a great Valentine's Day idea and you're the only ones who feel its worth their time."
"Actually I'm here because you said there would be coffee and donuts," Palmer said.
Hojo mumbled something mildly death-threaty and then pointed to a small table near the door where a box of donuts and decanter of coffee were sitting. Heidegger joined Palmer, leaving only Hojo and Scarlet sitting at the table. Hojo put his head down on the table and sighed.
"I'm sure your idea was interesting," Scarlet said consolingly, patting Hojo on the back.
"It was. It was an idea to feed the Bombs of Corel a special diet to make them glow red and white and then use them as lanterns," Hojo explained.
"Ah. Well, you're really good at those monster things," Scarlet said. "But I guess since you won't be doing that do you have any Valentine's Day plans?"
"I'm not exactly a romantic type," Hojo replied.
"Well, your idea of a romantic first date involves strapping a woman down to a lab table and performing blood tests. Maybe look into the 50 Pages of Bondage Smut crowd," Scarlet teased.
Hojo chuckled. "Oh like you've never been strapped down. Though I suppose I could change my routine and try an actual date."
"Yeah. Just find a nice girl who you like and respect, but who is also hot enough that you want to do unforgivable things to her. Then tell her in no uncertain terms that you will bend over backwards for the chance to see her lady parts," Scarlet explained.
Hojo rubbed his chin. "You've had an interesting love life."
"You have no idea," Scarlet replied. "One last thing. If at any point you find yourself with a bouquet of flowers that do anything other than look and smell pretty - that is to say bite, sting, speak, poison, shriek or even do a little dance - then you've done something wrong."
== Shinra Inc. And ==
Reeve sat in the employee cafe for the special Valentine's Lunch that the company had prepared. Heart-shaped grilled cheese with tomato soup. Reno had joined him, along with Tseng and Elena.
"So, no dates again this year?" Tseng asked.
"It would seem so. You two are the only ones in the company directors who have a lover," Reeve explained.
"Hey I can get a date. The tricky part is finding a girl I haven't already slept with," Reno explained.
"You might need to leave town for that one," Elena said taking a sip from her glass of milk, which had been dyed pink with food-coloring, making it look unpleasantly like stomach medicine.
"Oh ha ha, I'm sorry we can't all have the perfect love life like you and your boo here," Reno scoffed.
"Well not perfect. But calling the woman back after might be a start," Tseng added.
"Oh, and 'the best sex of your life' is not a romantic present. You'll need to buy something," Elena added.
Before Reno could retort, Rufus and Scarlet arrived and sat down beside them.
"Okay, I can see Rufus not getting a date, but come on Scarlet, you have to have found somebody," Reeve said.
"Oh yes, I found a hot young 25 year old guy with a great body. Tanned, muscular, a wearing jeans so tight there was no question about what he had to offer. He comes on to me with the line 'I've always wanted to bang a MILF.' And I died a little inside," Scarlet groaned.
Reeve put his arm around Scarlet's shoulder and patted.
"As for me, I decided that I don't need a date to make me feel happy. I have more money than the world. If I need a little attention, I can buy it," Rufus commented.
"And 'love'?" Reeve asked.
"I get enough filial love from you guys," Rufus said. "I love you assholes."
Reeve chuckled and used his other arm to pat Rufus's back.
"What about you Reeve?" Elena asked.
"Oh me?" Reeve stood up on his chair and smacked his chest. "I'm taking Geneva out to dinner and a movie." He then began to shove his finger in each person's face, except Scarlet. "Suck it. Suck it. Suck it. Suck it!"
He then leapt off the chair and ran out into the hallway, presumably to tell more people to suck it.
"So that's still going on huh?" Elena sighed.
"Who the hell is Geneva?" Reno asked.
"She's the head of our legal department. She's a bit character who's sometimes been seen around here," Rufus explained.
The group gave Rufus a queer look.
"That is a bit employee of course. A rarely seen employee," Rufus explained. "Say, is that a fourth wall?"