Title: No Prince Charming
Chapter 1: Something More
Author: Stephanie aka Chiigusa
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the FFVII characters. They belong to Square.
Summary: Elena is down because Tseng is still recovering after being attacked by Sephiroth. Reno attempts to cheer her up. Some stuff happens. I don't like being spoilery, so just read it. :P More chapters to come.
The blonde Rookie sat at her desk with her head propped up by her elbows, while her chin rested in her palms. She was worried about her boss. He had been in recovery for far too long. Mostly, though, she was anxiously awaiting his return so that they could go out on the dinner to which he had so kindly invited her. She stared at her half-open office door for any sign that she would find out when he would be returning to work.
She heard footsteps and the creak of her door opening, breaking her out of her daze as she sat up straight, fumbling with the papers on her desk and trying to make it look like she was doing something. When the flabbergasted blonde looked up, she saw that it was Reno. Who else would rudely enter her office without knocking? She let out a sigh of relief that she wouldn't be getting in trouble for daydreaming during work hours. "Oh, it's just you."
"Wow, thanks, Elena. That's what every guy wants to hear," Reno retorted with his signature smirk, shaking his head, reaching up to scratch some of his disheveled hair. Elena rolled her eyes, collecting her papers and putting them in a neat stack as he watched her carefully, asking, "What're you doing sitting in this stuffy office?"
"My work," she said, eying him, curious as to why he even bothered to stop by if he was only going to bother her. She was content with sitting here with her daydreams.
"Yeah, right. Looked like you were just sittin' there starin' off into Tseng land," Reno said, folding his arms as he leaned against the doorframe.
She looked appalled from this accusation, "W-what? I wasn't--"
"Uh-huh," he said pointedly, "Try to deny it all you want, 'Lena. We all know. Except Tseng, I think."
She leaned back in her chair, folding her own arms before saying, "Well, not that you care, but for your information, he asked me to dinner right before…well, you know."
Reno let out a laugh that sounded almost cruel to her, "Are you serious?" She nodded innocently. "'Lena, come on, you know why he did that, don't you? Or are you really that naïve?"
She didn't understand what he was saying, "What do you mean?"
"I mean that he just asked you to dinner because he knew Sephiroth was around and that he was probably going to die, so he figured he'd do something to make you happy right beforehand," Reno told her casually.
Her mouth fell open at his words, "W-what? No way. Tseng isn't like that. He wouldn't do that…would he?"
"That's what I would do, but who knows, maybe he's different," he shrugged, unfolding his arms and crossing over the room, taking a seat on the edge of her desk and ruffling some of her paperwork in the process. Elena watched him crush the little work she had managed to get done today and sighed inaudibly. She tended to be a pushover when it came to her fellow Turks, so she couldn't do much about it.
After a minute of silence passed, she finally asked, "What are you even doing here?"
"Saving you," he replied, looking down at the young blonde sitting in her desk chair.
"From what?" she asked with an arched and curious brow.
"I knew you'd be sitting her moping about Tseng in your dark, depressing office, so I thought I'd come and make you leave for a while," he let his eyes trail around her office, "Or at least take you a different room in this goddamn building. This is one of the darkest ones here. Worse than the science lab practically. Jeez, 'Lena, would it kill you to open the blinds once in a while?"
She let an annoyed groan escape her from his comments and from having to go somewhere with the only Turk that seemed to relentlessly criticize her, before she let herself comply, "Fine." It was true that she had been looking for an excuse to leave her office, but honestly had nowhere to go. Maybe he already had a destination in mind. At this point, she almost didn't care where he was taking her because she needed to do something to get her mind off of Tseng. She pushed her chair out, stood up stretching, causing her back to crack slightly before pushing her chair back in.
Reno grinned at her, "Come on, 'Lena," he said, jumping up from the desk. He reached over and grasped her arm, pulling her around the desk, "Don't want you gettin' away," he said, looking back at her with bright blue eyes that seemed to sparkle with mischief.
Elena couldn't deny that she was confused by her coworkers actions, but she let him drag her by the arm out of her office and down a few halls, "Where are we going?"
He shrugged his shoulders, not glancing back at her, "I thought we'd go to the Shooting Range room for a while."
"Oh, why didn't you just say so?"
"I'm a Turk. I keep secrets," he said, his natural smirk forming again. She let her eyes roll, as was her natural reaction to his usual smartass comments.
They walked down a few more floors before coming to the room that contained spare handguns and targets. He held the door open for her, letting go of her arm finally, "Here you go, miss," he said, bowing his head as she entered. She shook her head, reaching up to brush annoying strands of her loose hair out of her eyes. She let her eyes scan over the room. She hadn't been to ShinRa's shooting range in a long time, mostly because she had been too busy doing actual shooting as they had been following AVALANCHE and Sephiroth all over the world. She walked to the table with various handguns scattered across it, fully loaded. She watched as Reno picked one out with ease, but her weapon selection was a serious deal for her. Reno had been trained with his rod, so he just used a gun for the hell of it occasionally, but she liked getting used to the feeling of all the different ones she had. She put her finger to her lips in thought before finally choosing one. She picked up the handgun, inspecting it carefully before standing beside Reno at the marked line from which to shoot at the targets.
She squinted her eyes, getting the target in view and held her gun up carefully before firing a shot, missing the center by an inch and a half. She mumbled "damn" under her breath. Reno eyed her out of the corner of his eye before carelessly shooting his at the second target in the room. Elena was checking her gun over again before Reno casually asked, "So, what do you see in Tseng, anyway?"
The question startled her, and she looked up at him quickly, "What?"
"Seriously, what do you like about him? Sure, he's a good boss, but other than that, what is there?"
"Well…um," she started, not really sure she wanted to have this conversation with him, "I…I don't really know. I just like him. I can't really explain it."
"Pfft," Reno replied sarcastically, "That's real convincing, Elena."
"What? You want me to confess my love for him or something?"
"Not exactly, but it doesn't sound like you really like him. Sounds more like you just look up to him cause he's your superior and you're the goody goody Rookie Turk trying to impress him," Reno said, aiming his gun and firing more accurately this time.
"Hey, I am not a goody goody. Just because I follow the rules does not make me a goody goody," Elena said, narrowing her dark eyes at him before aiming at her target and firing, the shot hitting even further away from the center. She let out a frustrated sigh, "I really don't think we should be having this conversation while I have a gun in my hand."
"Why not? Isn't it more fun that way?" He looked over at her and raised his eyebrows in amusement.
She looked away from him, "Whatever, Reno."
He let his smirk appear again at her tone, "You completely avoided the main point of what I said, you know."
"Hmph," she said, aiming her handgun carefully. After a moment, she forcefully said, "I will like whoever I want, however I want. I don't need to tell you the details."
"That's your call….but, I still think you're wasting your time," he said, shrugging his shoulders, glancing at her.
She turned her body and put her hands on her hips, gun still in hand, "And why am I wasting my time? Hmm?"
"Because you're never going to get anywhere with liking him and there are other people who would rather be with you or, hell would love to be with you," Reno said, finally looking her in the eye. His words surprised her, mostly because she wasn't used to having such intimate conversations with him in the first place. It was usually him telling her how to be a better Turk or her looking incredibly annoyed with him. It was just how they were, so why was Reno acting this way all of a sudden? She couldn't put her finger on it. Maybe he was just bored, but still, usually he went out to the bar with Rude when he got bored at work. So, why was he even bothering to try and spend time with her? He never seemed to care before.
"Oh, really? Like who?"
Suddenly Reno's dazzling blue eyes had a more sheepish expression to them as if he just realized what he said to her. He shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly, "I…I don't know. I'm just sayin'. I'm sure other people like you and that you should stop fussing over Tseng."
She eyed him curiously for a moment, "Maybe…but, it doesn't seem like anyone else has any interest in me, so I guess I'll just decide when it's right for me to give up on Tseng." In her head, she was still hoping it would work and that the two of them would finally go out to dinner, but in the back of her mind, she truly doubted any of it would happen. Usually, she chose not to listen to the back of her mind.
He turned his eyes away from her, mumbling, "Better give up soon."
"What was that?"
"What? Oh, nothing," he said, flashing her one of his classic grins.
"What is up with you today?" she asked, eyebrows knitting together as she looked up at him. She had no idea what could possibly going on in his twisted mind, and a part of her didn't want to know, but this whole thing was just too weird, even for her.
Reno looked back to her with innocent eyes, "What do you mean?"
"Well, this is the first time you ever seemed to actually care about my emotional well being or actually seemed to care enough to spend some off-duty time with me," Elena told him.
"I don't need to 'care enough', I already do care. You're one of the Turks. It's like a code or somethin', Elena."
"I don't mean as just a Turk. I mean, as like a friend or…I don't know. But, more than just a fellow Turk."
Reno appeared to be thinking hard, then he looked away from her as though he was hurt by her words, "I can't believe you don't think I think of you as a friend."
'Way to go, Elena,' she chastised herself as she thought, 'Once again, you should insert your foot into your mouth.' She let out a sigh, "Well…it doesn't really seem like you do. You're always cutting me down and criticizing me. And I'm never invited with you and Rude to go out after work."
He met her curious dark eyes with his now serious blue ones. With his expression, he wanted her to know how serious his words were. It was not often Reno was serious, so he wanted it to be an important moment, "Elena, listen, I criticize you because I think you got a lot of potential, but you just don't try hard enough during work sometimes. But, you're learnin' and you're definitely doin' a lot better. I see that. Hell, you work harder than I do and you'll probably be a better Turk than me in a couple months," he took a breath, reaching up to scratch his head before continuing, "I didn't know you didn't think I thought of you as a friend 'cause of that. I like workin' with you. You're fun. And sometimes I'm only teasin'. You're just too serious, 'Lena. You gotta learn to make fun of yourself once in a while," he shrugged his shoulders. "Oh, and you're always invited to come with me and Rude for drinks. Didn't know you needed a written invitation. We just thought you were always busy and never could come, 'cept for that one time at Wutai."
She felt her cheeks lightly flush in embarrassment. She had been holding such contempt for Reno all this time, but he really did mean well. She wished she had known. Maybe now they could built a better friendship, and she could spend some more time outside work with the other Turks. "Oh…I didn't know," she said quietly.
"Don't sweat it," he said, "I didn't know it bothered you so much. You should've said somethin'."
She nodded, "Yeah, I guess. I just wish I would have known this sooner."
"Really? Why's that?" he asked, genuinely curious.
"Well, now I can spend more time with you guys outside of work," she said, almost shyly.
"Good," he nodded. "We'll look forward to it."
She nodded with him before turning away awkwardly. She lifted her arms to aim her gun, after all, that's why they were there. She fired another shot, missing the target by a couple inches again. He looked over at her, "You're holding your gun wrong, that's why you keep missin'."
"What? I am not!" she said defensively.
He offered her a smile, "Come on, 'Lena. I'm just tryin' to help."
She pursed her lips, her defense deflating. "Fine, how should I hold it then?"
"Line your arms up more…and cup your hand on the bottom of your gun so you can steady it more," he told her.
She tried to imitate what he just explained to her, "Like this?"
He shook his head, "No…your arms aren't---Let me show you."
He stepped over to her and moved behind her, his torso gently pressed against her back. Her eyes widened slightly as she had not expected him to show her while also being so close. Her entire body tensed up as he moved his arms around her and over hers. She sucked in her breath, "Jeez, 'Lena, relax. Your arms are really tense. That's your first problem. Loosen up a bit."
"R-right," she did her best to relax in this incredibly awkward and unexpected situation.
"That's a little better," he said, his hot breath floating by her ear. He adjusted himself, so he was looking over her shoulder at the position of her arms. "Right, just line this up a bit more…" He moved her arms accordingly for her shorter stature. "And move your hand there," he put his long fingers over her now stiff hand and moved it under the bottom of her gun. "Is the target in your range now?" She nodded silently. "Okay, now fire," he told her, his arms still around her.
She fired her gun and managed to shoot the middle of the target perfectly. She was even amazed. "Wow," she mumbled under her breath.
"Good," he said, "Now that wasn't too hard, was it? Just remember to do it like that and you'll be assassinating people with ease."
"R-right," she replied, still very aware of how close he was, "A-are you going to let go anytime soon?"
"I'll think about it," he smirked at her over her shoulder, while some of his red locks fell over his forehead. He seemed almost amused by how nervous she seemed to be by his close proximity, "Am I making you nervous?"
"N-no…I just mean, you showed me how to do it, so wouldn't a good teacher let his student do it on her own?"
He sent her a charming, but somehow sincere smile, "Well, I guess I'm not a good teacher 'cause I don't want to."
"O-oh…well, then, um…" She was at a loss for words. What was he doing? Why was he doing this? Was she going crazy or was Reno actually flirting with her? And why was she so nervous about it? And what was that tingling sensation she felt go through her when he put his arms around her? What in the hell was going on?
She cast her dark, nervous eyes over to him to meet his own that were looming over her shoulder. "Elena, I've been wanting to do this for a while…"
"What?" she asked innocently, "You mean, t-teach me how to shoot correctly?"
He shook his head and more loose crimson fell over his forehead. "Why do you think I told you all that stuff before?" Before he even let her answer, he continued, "I want you to get over Tseng. I hate that you have a stupid, pointless crush on him. I hate watchin' you have a crush on him. Some days it really kills me…" He moved his hands gently up her arms, which were still, but now shakily, holding up the handgun. They crossed over her shoulders, went lightly down her sides, then wrapped around her middle. She let out a light gasp at this sudden feeling, swallowing the large lump that had managed to grow in her throat and looked forward again, her eyes slightly wide. He continued, lowering his voice and moving his lips close to her ear, "I wish you would look at me like that…" He held onto her tightly, as though he was afraid she would run away at any moment, but she was too stunned to move a muscle. His words sent chills down her spine, and she felt her body almost trembling. His words were barely a whisper when he spoke again, "Elena, I'm sick of pretending… I want you to know how I feel, how I've always felt about you." Without another word, he spun her around slowly in his arms so that she was face to face with him. She let her gun drop to the floor, but barely noticed it even existed anymore. She stared up at him with wide, astonished eyes. Her mouth was hanging partly open as one of his hands pressed against her back in an effort to pull her closer. The other moved to her neck before his fingertips found their way under her chin to tilt her head upwards as he leaned down. He pressed his own partly open lips against hers, letting his eyelids slowly slide close. Her eyes were still wide open as her mind tried to wrap itself around this. Reno was kissing her. Reno was kissing her. She would never have expected he felt like that in a million years. How could she have worked so closely with him and never known he felt so strongly for her? She had to admit, it was flattering. And she also had to admit, that he was pretty attractive, especially now as he kissed her. She had never seen such a serious, but passionate expression on his face and suddenly felt herself kissing him back. She couldn't explain why, her body was doing the talking for her, and she let it run its own course. She let her own eyes close as the kiss deepened. She had never felt such passion in a single kiss her whole life and wondered why Reno had been hiding this for so long. He held her tightly as his mouth opened more to engulf her in the kiss as he noticed she was kissing him back, which seemed to intrigue and encourage him. The fingers that were under her chin moved to her smooth cheek, then tangled in her light hair. She felt her entire body tingling and for some reason found herself enjoying this more than she thought she would. A soft moan escaped her throat as she felt his tongue slide into her mouth and massage her own. She felt her hands move to his sides as the kiss continued. She thought she heard something that sounded like her name emit from his own mouth against her lips. She felt her lips curling upward into a smile as he kissed her more passionately and forcefully.
"Well, well, well," a harsh, feminine voice sounded through the room. The two immediately pulled apart as though they were two teenagers and their parents had just walked in on them doing something naughty. Though they mostly pulled apart out of being so startled. Reno let out a quiet sigh that his moment had been broken too soon and sent Elena an apologetic smile. She was too stunned with the entire situation and it took her a moment to take in everything.
"Damn, I thought it was someone important, "Reno said as he looked at Scarlet in the doorway.
"I hope you two know inter-office dating is usually forbidden around here," she said, choosing to ignore his comment.
"Well, it's a good thing we were just kissin' then," Reno said, stuffing his hands in his pockets.
"Kyahahaha, I think you were about to do more than that. Lucky I caught you two," she said slyly.
"Yeah, real fuckin' lucky," Reno said, annoyance clear on his voice. He looked down at Elena as she glanced up at him nervously. She saw a strange gleam in his eye. It looked a lot like longing, and for some reason, her body was telling her the same thing. She was longing for his touch again. She had just a taste and definitely wanted a whole glass.
"Do I need to escort you two back to your offices? Or maybe I should just file a conduct report?"
"I think you need to just leave," he told her harshly. He didn't want to deal with the other woman, who so rudely interrupted his first kiss with the woman he had been dying to kiss for the past year.
"Suit yourself," she stood up straight, "Better close the door if you don't want more spectators." She laughed maniacally as she departed the room.
Reno let out a breath of relief before he reached out to put a hand on Elena's shoulder in order to shake her out of her apparent daze. She seemed startled and looked up at him shyly, her cheeks flushing immediately. He also seemed a bit embarrassed for his actions, but did not regret them one bit. "So, what now…?" she asked quietly.
"Hell if I know," he told her honestly.
"I'm sorry…I don't know what to say," she let her eyes downcast to the floor.
He watched her with a small smile, reaching out to put a hand against her soft cheek, "Hey, it's okay. I didn't mean to freak you out, or anything, I just…wanted you to know."
She cautiously looked up at him, her cheeks reddening even more at his touch, "I got the message." She bit her lip nervously, and said under her breath, "…That was a nice kiss."
He smirked slightly before it softened into a smile he rarely displayed for anyone, "Yeah, it was pretty damn good. I didn't think you were gonna kiss me back. You're one hell of a kisser."
She reached up to coyly brush hair out of her face, "O-oh, thanks. I didn't think I was going to kiss you, either. But…I-I enjoyed it, if you couldn't tell." She studied his features carefully since, after that kiss and his words before the kiss, he seemed like a totally different person to her. She felt as though there was something there…something she never noticed before. An attraction. A desire. A longing. Not really like lust. It felt different than her feelings for Tseng. What were her feelings for Tseng? Maybe this felt different because it was concrete. She knew he liked her, and she knew she felt something. But, was it more than just physical attraction? If it wasn't, then why was she feeling so nervous? Maybe there was something more? Maybe there could be something more?
Her head was swimming. Too many thoughts and not enough brain space to contain them all. She felt like she was going to faint from everything.
Reno appreciated the fact that she enjoyed the kiss, but now he noticed from her expression that she seemed to be troubled, "You okay, 'Lena?"
She nodded slowly, "Yeah…I'm just having a lot of thoughts."
"Care to share?" he asked, gently.
"I don't know. They don't really make sense…I-I'm just feeling really confused," she said honestly.
"It's okay, Elena," he looked at her with sparkling, meaningful eyes, "You can tell me anything."
She could tell he meant it, "Well…I just--this whole thing…I don't know." Her mind was working faster than her mouth, and she barely knew where to start. "Okay, well, that was a good kiss, obviously. Top notch. I'm just trying to figure out what I feel… 'cause I've never…felt that way before. A-and this feels different than my crush on Tseng." Reno visibly twitched at the mention of the name. He admire his boss sure, but now he felt like he was waging a war the other msn knew nothing about to win Elena's affections. "Sorry," she mumbled, noticing his outward cringe, "I don't think this is just, you know, me being lusty. It might be something more…"
His features brightened, "Are you sure? 'Cause I definitely feel something more than lust with you, Elena. But, kissing you was the only way I could really express it."
"Oh, I know, I could tell," she had felt emotion in his kiss and knew he felt more than just physical attraction to her. Maybe that was why he never seemed to have a relationship. He just seemed to have constant flings with random women he met at bars.(She usually heard about it from the other female employees at ShinRa, not that she really cared…or did she? Was that a pang of jealousy or dismay she felt every time she heard the latest gossip on him?) Maybe he did that to cover up his true feelings. There were so many maybe's and possibilities, she didn't know what was the truth. "I'm sorry…this is just all so sudden. I don't know what to think."
He stroked her cheek lightly with his thumb, "It's okay. I know I kinda sprung this on you. But…if you let me, I want to show you what it would be like if we were together… Just give me a chance."
She was not used to this new and different Reno. His entire demeanor was different after he shared his seemingly most intimate secret with her. He wasn't being arrogant or teasing her or any of the usual things he did that seemed to annoy the living hell out of her. This softer, gentler, kinder Reno was definitely more attractive, and the young blonde wanted to get to know him.
"Okay," she said softly. She wanted to see what all of her feelings were about and see if this was something more….something that could be more.
"Okay?" he asked, just to make sure. She nodded, and he smiled genuinely at her, "Well, I'm going to start with this."
Reno leaned down slowly and met her lips gently, kissing the young blonde softly and wanted to smile more as he felt her kiss back. He only hoped her confused feelings would soon be worked out. He knew he had a bad reputation around the company and hoped that wouldn't bias her thoughts too much. Even so, he knew he probably had to prove to her that he could be there for her, and he was ready and willing to show her that side of him, a side he had never shown anyone. But, he felt as though she deserved it.
To Be Continued...