Valentine's Day Sucks!

Disclaimer: Yes, I know it's the wrong time of year for this type of fic. So? I got the idea while writing chapter nine of my What If fic and didn't feel like sitting on the idea for half a year. So here it is, with total disregard for what time of year it is. This takes place shortly after the Gongonga incident. It's the POV of a drunk guy getting drunker, so don't be surprised if Rude's thoughts ramble. And there's plenty of slurred dialogue ahead too. Typos in quotes aren't typos, that's just how they're talking. Also, I don't own FF7 or any of it's characters. But you should all know that by now.

So here we are, working on our traditional Valentine's Day alcohol poisoning. Only this time we have a rookie along for the ride into oblivion. Sweet, sweet oblivion. Heh, it's even the same damned bar we went to last year, and the year before that and, well we've been going here for a while. Ever since the owner started running his annual Singles Awareness Day Special. All drinks ninety proof or more're ten percent off. Guess he doesn't like today either. Now if only that liquid amnesia would hurry up and kick in.

"This fucking, stupid day sucks..." Reno complains from his barstool beside me. It wasn't the first time he'd said that today, but I nod my agreement anyways and Elena does the same from her stool on the other side of Reno. She mutters something, but I don't catch it.

Hell, with this mako enhanced hearing I should've. They told me, you know, I'd hear really damned good after getting all that glowing shit pumped into me. "False advertising..."

"Say wha?" Reno asks. Huh, did I say that out loud?

"Nothing." Heh, I must be more buzzed than I thought. Good. Means it probably won't be long till I forget what day it is. Yeah, that's probably why I couldn't understand Elena. She was probably just muttering about Tseng. Heh, she doesn't think anyone knows, but Reno and I know. Don't think Tseng does though.

Shame he couldn't join us. Stuck on some bullshit assignment to Wutai. He's probably chugging a bottle of Sake right now, trying not to think of that Ancient he can't have. Just like the girl I can't have, with her wine-colored eyes. No, don't go there, man. You're just torturing yourself thinking about her. Think of something else.

"Ya two're greaat." Reno slurs, reaching out to both sides and clumsily patting us both on the backs. "Ah mean it, really..." Heh, he always says stuff like that when he's wasted. It just changes depending on how many of us're here. Shame we aren't all here. Poor Tseng, hell of a day to be stuck drinking alone. Damn Rufus, separating us when we need to be, like, non-separated or something.

"Rufus's an asshole..." I proclaim to the quiet bar. Always thinking he's so big and bad and shit when he's... not all big and bad and shit.

"Damn straight." Reno agrees.

"Say what?" Guess Elena can't hear me too well from over there, what with the fog of alcohol and all. That fog kicks ass.

"Rufus fucking sucks."

"Oh. Yeah, he does. Stupid fucking Rufus, sending Tseng away." she agrees after Reno passes on my idea. They're both starting to sway a little. Wish I was doing that. Times like this, it sucks to be so fucking huge. I wonder who'll hit the floor first. Sure, Elena's got the size advantage, but Reno's got a head start. He came back from his lunch break today with a bottle of Rum, spent the rest of the day demolishing it. By time five 'o clock rolled around, he was already pretty buzzed. Cheating bastard. Wish I'd thought of doing that. Maybe next year.

I think Elena was surprised when he invited her out drinking with us. He goes 'Hey Laney, today fucking sucks, so me an' Rude are gonna go drink till we can't feel feelings anymore. You wanna come along?' Yeah, she didn't hesitate to join us. Tseng'd been ignoring her this morning before his flight out to Wutai and I could tell by the look in his eyes he was thinking of the Cetra. And her friend... no, don't think about her.

Tseng's too damn blind to see what's standing right next to him. Elena took it pretty hard, she actually looked jealous when Reno came back from lunch with his Rum. Kept expecting her to ask him if she could have some, hell, the thought crossed my mind a few times. Anyways, she looked relieved when he invited her along. Guess she expected to be stuck on her own tonight. Hell no, we... we take care of our own. She won't be stuck drinking alone if we can help it.

"Ish a fucking scam." Reno declares from his perch next to me. "Valen-fucking-tines day. Take it from me you two." he slurs while patting us on the back again. "I gots some goddamned pearls of wisdom for ya. Love ain't worth it. No, ya need ta do like me an' stick with one-night stands. Get'cher rocks off without any attachment an' ya won't hav'ta worry bout getting hurt."

Yeah, he's pretty wasted. Hardly ever hear him talking like that. Good advice for this line of work though. Since becoming a Turk, I've never had a relationship last past the inevitable question, 'what do you do for a living'. I'm getting better at dodging the question, but eventually they find out I kill people for a living and that's the end of that. Being an assassin's a damned lonely profession.

Elena must be pretty out of it, normally she'd be bombarding him with questions. He'd better hope she doesn't remember his little outburst, or she'll hound him till she finds out. She can be pretty damned persistent. Yeah, Turks are usually stubborn like that. Otherwise she'd'a given up on Tseng and he'd'a given up on the Ancient and I'd'a given up on that burgundy eyed angel who won't get outa my damned mind. Think of something else, man. Something else. Elena'll probably find out eventually anyways, but it's not something Reno likes to talk about. She'll probably have plenty of questions anyways, like why Mr. ladies' man's getting drunk on Valentine's day instead of having a one-night stand. Cause he could if he wanted to. I wonder what excuses he'll come up with.

Yeah, me and Elena and, yeah, probably Tseng're all drinking now 'cause we want someone we can't have. Like Ti... damnit, stop thinking about her! Stop fucking torturing yourself. Something else. Think about something else. Unless I've missed something, Reno's probably here for a different reason. He might have his eye on someone, he's usually fairly good at hiding it, but this time of year he's usually got his mind on the past.

I'm sure Elena'll find out eventually, three nights a year the past comes back to haunt Reno and he tries to hide from it in the bottom of a bottle. Valentine's day, her birthday, and the day he found her corpse. Hell of a way to end a relationship. He'd've died that day too if I hadn't been around to knock him out, pull the knife outa his arm, and heal him up. Guess after that, I can't really blame him for not wanting anything to do with love. 'Cept conscious choice doesn't always have much to do with it. I wouldn't be torturing myself like this if I could help it, but I can't stop thinking about her. Damnit, man, stop doing that!

"Yer mah beshst friends..." Reno announces. He's trying to pat us on the backs again, but he's leaned back too far. There he goes, all boneless looking like he's already out. Ouch. He's gonna have some interesting bruises, landing like that. Yeah, he's down for the night. Lucky, cheating bastard. Next year I'm'a gonna hafta remember to cheat too, get a nice head start. Wouldn't be surprising if Elena's thinking the same. Hell, we might not make it outa the office next year. Start drinking at lunch and pass out at our desks. Hell of a plan, hope I remember it when I'm sober.

"Heh, he'sh fuckin' washted." Elena points out. Yeah, she won't last much longer. Lucky lightweight. I need to start drinking faster.

"...leave tha botta..." I tell the bartender when he refills my shot glass. Oops, looks like I spilled some when I swiped the bottle from him. He doesn't complain, probably cause we're all in uniform. You don't wanna fuck with the Turks, 'specially when we're drunk, and pissed off, and it's our least favorite day of the year. Shit, no, this isn't a good time to fuck with us. Nope, don't wanna, something, something... Damn, just lost my train of thought.

"Wha..." Elena manages to say before falling off her barstool. Heh, she almost fell on Reno. How'd he get down there, anyways? And who the hell's spinning the room? I think... I think I was trying to forget something, but I can't remember. Well, guess my work here is done, or something like that. Kinda... dizzy...


Author's Note: As always, thanks go to Noroi for betaing. Like I mentioned in the disclaimer, I got the idea for this while writing chapter nine of 'What If: The Turks Won the Battle Beneath Midgar?'. While writing the part about the frustrating mess of unrequited love triangles I thought it might be interesting to write a fic exploring what they went through in the middle of that. It's a Rude POV because he never gets enough time in the spotlight. So, how about dropping a review, let me know what you think of it? Hey, if you leave me a signed review, I'll follow it back and leave you one if you've got any fics I haven't reviewed yet.

New note: Edited again because some site update deleted all the '--' lines I used to use to denote scene changes and seperate out titles and notes from the story. So time to slap horizontal rulers into all my fics.