Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII belongs to Squaresoft/Square-Enix. The Pink Panther song belongs to...whoever it belongs to. Me no own. You no sue.
A/N: I'm ALIVE! XD Now that aside...Another one of those past-midnight musings, but this time, I actually typed it up. This is not a one-shot, only part one of two. What would you call that? A two-shot? Anyone know? BTW, yeah, I know the title of this thing is: Of Cheesy Dialogues and Clichés, but the title down there says: Of Cheesy Dialogues and Bullshit Clichés. This is because the title and summary for the fic is supposed to be 'G', and I don't wanna risk anything with the word 'bullshit'. So yeah.
Warnings: Slight OOC maybe, but then again, it is slightly crack.
Of Cheesy Dialogues and Bullshit Clichés
Chapter One: Of Cheesy Dialogues
Tifa hated soap operas. In fact, she absolutely loathed them. They were so…full of bullshit clichés. She had always wondered why people (and a lot of them, too, she mused) adored them. They were so predictable, and the cheesy dialogues irked her to no end. If there was one thing that she could ban from the world of television, it would be soap operas. Nope, not commercials, not violence, nor, ah-, the stuff that are inappropriate for the virgin eyes of children of Marlene's age, but soap operas. …And that sufficiently sums up just how much she hates them.
"Argh! Who the hell watches soap operas at 11:49 PM anyway!"
With a miraculous touch of a button, the T.V screen went black in about a nanosecond. Alright, so it wasn't that miraculous; it was just called a remote.
And so the brunette stood in her bar, furiously wiping the stubborn dirt off the countertops, grumbling incoherent things under her breath. Today was not a good day. There were very few days on which a particular kind-hearted, generous, loving and caring Tifa Lockheart could be so…moody. It just happened that today is one of those days. She kept convincing herself that it was not her fault; rather, it was the evil doings of a…certain monthly visitor, shall we say.
A certain redhead sitting in the corner of the bar raised one perfect left eyebrow. Sensing the dangerous aura that was emanating from the brunette, he decided to act smart for once, and silently inched away…millimeter by millimeter (inside his head, the Pink Panther theme song was playing itself over and over).
Right. Keep it up. Only about, uh…10 meters left to the door.
…Some say self-talk is an efficient way to promote self-confidence or to keep the intoxicated sane. And some say talking to yourself is the first sign of insanity. However, Reno was neither of the former. He was very abundant when it came to confidence, and he was not under any influence of any drugs…currently. So the logic settled on the latter.
But I'm not insane!
Oh no, you've gone well and beyond that.
And if there are two voices in your head? …Completely deranged. Let's just leave it at that.
Getting back to the current situation at hand, the ex-Turk had managed to steadily move away from the brunette quietly, while still sipping the whiskey in hand. He had some kind of sixth sense that told him that if he was to say anything right at that moment, the swollen balloon of Tifa's pent-up frustration might just pop…and he might just get hurt. At least, he thought it was a sixth sense (and he was so damn proud of it too); normal, common ordinary people would have called it 'common sense' instead. Nevertheless.
Suddenly, the door to the bar opened, revealing three already drunken men ready to get even more drunk. Their abrupt, loud and noisy presence shattered the stiff and dangerous atmosphere…only to be replaced with an even stiffer and more dangerous one.
"Can I get you anything?" To the drunken, her voice sounded sweet and chirpy. To the only un-drunken in the bar besides Tifa herself, her voice sounded sweetly dangerous…and chirpy because she knew the moment her self-control disappears, she would have a sweet, sweet time taking out her frustration on these poor, innocent drunkards.
Reno gulped. This was not good. If he doesn't get out of here soon, there would be bloodshed (alright…so if he did get out of there, those drunk people would still get pummeled to death and there would still be bloodshed, but hey, that was beside the point). Cold and calculating (perhaps not so much of the 'cold'), he began to inch away from Tifa faster, centimeters by centimeters this time, thinking that those stupid, stupid people who hadn't a clue as to what they were in for would be a good enough distraction to keep Tifa occupied.
…And the T.V was turned on.
"…Oh, Robbie! I don't know what to say!"
"Well, whaddya know? They still have these kinds of programs at this hour!" slurred one of the drunk men.
"Are you sure they're not the R-rated ones?" slurred another.
And the three of them burst into a slurred, drunken laughter.
"You don't have to say anything… I understand it all now… Everything was just a stupid mistake. I'm so sorry…"
The so called actor dubbed "Robbie" had lifted his lover's hands and gingerly held them in his own. Slowly, he kissed her hand, eyes never leaving hers for an instant.
"I'm so sorry for everything…everything. Can you forgive me?"
Tears welled up in "Robbie's" lover's eyes, and Reno swore he saw a vein popping on the side of Tifa's head.
"Of course! And I'm sorry myself, I should have never-"
"Hush now… I know."
The girl practically burst in tears and clung onto her lover's shirt like there was no tomorrow.
"Robbie… Oh, I love you…"
"I love you too…"
Unfortunately, no, wait, scratch that- fortunately Reno didn't get to see the couple skipping away happily ever after into the sunset, hand in hand with a big fake smile plastered onto their faces. This was not because the entire thing would've been overly mushy and would've made him gagged, rather, because Tifa's level of toleration by now had reached its limits, and Reno was an eager audience to the upcoming action.
As the infinitely patient woman called Tifa finally cracked it, Reno watched in childlike glee, whilst still clutching the whiskey in hand, inching away ten centimeters by ten centimeters slowly towards the door, all this time thinking: slow and steady, like Lena always says when I'm driving. He also bore in mind that before the whole thing had gotten out of hand, he had left money on the counter, as to free himself of a guilty escape. By now, Reno was teeming with pride. He felt extremely proud of himself for being so smart, although others could argue that he was stupid enough to not bolt out of the door while he still had the chance…but, once again, that was beside the point.
2 more meters! And she's almost done with her pummeling too! Perfect timing! You're ingenious, Reno!
…Self-talk was one thing, but self-praise?
Just as Reno's hand had reached the door handle, Tifa looked up, evil gaze still in place, like a predator about to pounce on its prey.
Automatically, Reno's hand shrunk away from the door handle as he cowered in fear.
"WHAT!" she snapped angrily.
"RENO! I can't hear a bloody thing you're saying! Speak up!"
Jumpstarted and terrified, he managed to squeal out, "I'm sorry! I swear! I'm sorry for whatever I did wrong! But I wasn't going to leave without paying! The money's on the counter! Really! If you don't believe me, check it yourself!"
Tifa raised an eyebrow at him, but the redhead only stared back in fear. Reluctantly, her eyes darted to the counter, where – sure enough – were Reno's payment for his drinks. Tifa set his eyes back on him. Her gaze was still piercing, and it sent shivers down Reno's spine. Suddenly, her anger subsided as she gave a long, weary sigh. Seeing her mood shrinking (sort of like a deflating tyre, Reno noted), he sighed too, although it was more in relief.
Reno's gaze automatically landed on the three, drunken, and unfortunate men. They looked-, well…disheveled would be a nice way to put it. Tifa traced his gaze, and her eyes landed on the men. They whimpered in either pain or fear (or probably both), and Tifa let out another mighty sigh.
"12 o'clock. Bar's closed."
The bravest one out of the three reached forward to drop their money on the nearest table, before backing away slowly to the other two. After one last look, they all made a mad dash out of the bar.
"Come again soon!" she called out. Her voice was stoic and devoid of all emotions, but Reno could've swornthere was a trace of a smirk gracing her lips.
"Now then…" She turned back to Reno, who only returned her a look of pure horror. "Oh yeah, sorry about that… Not having the greatest day, you know…"
"Uhh… Yeah, no worries."
No WORRIES? Talk about sarcasm…
She grinned suddenly, all cheerful and happy again, back to the 'normal' Tifa mode. "You finished with that whiskey?" she asked, smiling warmly as she reached for the glass in his hands.
Reno sighed again, thanking every deity in the universe that the 'storm' had passed and he was well and truly alive…at least, for now. "Yeah," he said, handing over the glass.
"Hmm… Sorry again 'bout that…"
"Don't worry about it."
"…Although I have to admit, seeing THE great Reno, once a Turk, cower in fear in a mere girl's presence was pretty amusing," she said, grinning widely.
Reno's mind was screaming. His dignity was snatched, thrown to the ground, and stomped on by a herd of buffalos.
All that BRUTE force and you call yourself a 'girl'!
Self-control, Reno, self-control…
Reno wasn't about to take any chances, so he merely scoffed (in his mind, he congratulated himself on his very well managed manner). Tifa, noticing the obvious lack of a follow-up insult, merely waved a hand in the air.
"Don't worry, I won't blow up on you."
Reno didn't have a clue as to whether her statement was intended with sarcasm or not. Oh well.
"So, what happened? You having your period or something?"
Tifa's eyebrow twitched.
Gulp. Oh whoops…
…So much for self-control.
"Err, hey, I was joking…" He tried to sound cheery as usual, but he knew he was failing miserably by the second.
Tifa sighed again. "How'd you know?" she muttered miserably.
"Eh? What? You mean you are having your-, er, you know,- thing?"
Tifa rolled her eyes.
"Don't look at me like that," he said defensively. Every single girl I've asked that question to just denies it."
"Well, maybe they just don't want you to know, dumbass."
Reno feigned hurt at the sudden insult. "And what's with your secret loathing towards soap operas?"
Tifa raised an eyebrow at the word 'secret', but the redhead just grinned goofily, obviously back to his obnoxious self.
"They're just…so stupid." She shrugged. "I mean, for one, they're overly mushy, not to mention extremely cheesy and makes me want to gag, and they're full of bullshit clichés. How many times have you confessed your feelings to someone like that?
Reno, being Reno, answered, "Well…" and started counting his fingers.
"No, wait, I momentarily forgot I was talking to you. Don't answer that," she warned.
He smirked. "…Too many to count..?"
Tifa hit him over the head.
"That hurts!" he whined like a little kid being picked by a big bully.
Geez, she doesn't know her own strength.
"You just killed thousands of my precious brain cells!"
"Yeah, they're only precious because you don't have much of them in the first place." This time, she was the one smirking.
Reno pouted, giving her one of his irresistibly cute looks (or so he thought). She laughed.
"But seriously, soap operas are just a bunch of lies put together. Real life's not like that."
Reno tilted his head at this, and studied her for her moment. She was currently washing the dishes, and he could only manage a side view of her face, but even then, her body language told him something was off.
He suddenly scowled, realizing what it was. "It's the chocobo head, isn't it?"
She gave an automatic response rather than an answer. "Reno, don't call him-"
"Isn't it?" he demanded.
Reno sighed, taking that as a 'yes'. Over the months that he had gotten to know her, he had come to respect the fact that what was going on between the two was entirely their business. But Reno was Reno. In his dense little mind (or maybe not…), he just couldn't figure out why a girl-, no, woman like her would be moping about an emotionally stunted jerk like him who also had a major personality disorder. There are, after all, millions of other men out there better than that airhead (such as his charming self, he nominated shamelessly).
Reno sighed again. "Oh well, I'm off to bed."
Tifa's face turned towards him. Before she could speak, he had interrupted. "Early night, tonight. I think I've had enough action for one night," he said, winking.
Tifa nodded, not returning his humour.
Somehow, his sudden backing off worried her a bit. It wasn't quite like the usual Reno. She bit her lip in uncertainty, brows knitted together in confusion. What now…? She was annoyed and angry, but not quite sure why. Inside, her soul was once again raging with frustration, so she did the only thing she could do at the moment…
But from outside, Reno could only hear a muffled noise, as well as the gears in his mind working away slowly.
Brilliant, Reno. You're a genius.
A/N: I'm sorry! I couldn't help putting in Reno's alter ego in there! It's just so much fun to write. XD Anyway. Let me know what you think. Reviews and constructive critiscm are both welcomed. I have the next (and final) chapter all plotted out and some bits of it written already. This chapter is basically just building up to set the scene for the next one. You'll get what I mean when you read the next chappie. Alritey then. Click that button! XD Cheers.