Clearer Understanding

A one-shot fic giving a glimpse of pre-game early relationships between Reno, Rude, Rufus, Dark Nation, and Tseng... Mainly a Turk Shinra ficlet. Little to no spoilers.

Onyx hued fur, so thick that stroking parts of 'Nation made one's fingers lost in the rippling onyx tide. The snout was long tipped with a wedge of wet black flesh that flared in interest or snorted its disgust. Padded paws were silent, save the hind that clicked from time to time against the tiles. Retractable fore paws would stay sheathed more often than not. At times they swatted the occasional offensive pillow, ball of paper, or annoying owner. At other, rare spans where the Turks failed, the claws came out, and ripped through flesh and the fangs tasted blood.

Feline in play, it purred a gurgly pur as it was stroked; its long tail was raised in a sensual question mark as it padded by its master's side. Yet it growled… and barked when someone knocked at the door.

Granted it was rare that 'Nation barked since it was rarer still that someone was permited to knock in the vice-president's door... but it had barked, something Rude pointed out that fact when Reno insisted Dark Nation was a cat.

And Reno would counter, saying it purred and played like a cat, therefore it was a cat.

"You think like you are, eh partner?" The red haired turk had proclaimed, hashing the old saying until it was barely reconizable. In reply Rude had lifted a 'brow, silently inquiring by expression alone if that meant that since Reno didn't think half the time if he even existed... Reno had gone off to sulk after that, Rude's amused chuckle following.

It was something they argued about, on the clock -when it was prudent to do so and they were bord enough- and off.

It was a bored Turk's debate, a dusty arguement taken out and quibbled over for no good reason save that it was familiar and safe. When you were starting something new -and while not novices both Turks were new, with each other and with serving the Vice President- familiar and safe was the best way to go. So they argued about it in quiet -quiet was relitive with Reno of course) tones on the way to the Bosses (AKA Tseng's). Rude's voice quiet, his expression cooly dictated his opinion was a startling contrast to the explosive frusteration Reno induldged in.

Little wonder when they finally got into the "man's office" (Reno's words, not Rudes') that Tseng gave them a flat annyed look that said louder than words 'I know what you were talking about'.

Cooly bulling over formality, Reno threw himself into his chair and spun it around so he was facing the wrong way about. Rude took his chair with more grace and less noise, barely checking the urge to grit his teeth at Reno's blantant show of informality given in form of greeting.

"Yo, boss man. What's with the summons, yo?"

Not one to stall, Tseng gave them both a quick nod of greeting and cut to the chase. "There's been a situation that's come up... a complaint from the vice president. A complaint, and an answer."

Silence, both Turks froze. Both wondered what that meant. A complaint could have been anything, a nice way to say "go kill someone" or it could have meant that they'd pissed someone off and would be the ones killed. Tseng feigned ignorant of thier tension. You didn't become a top Turk by being oblivious to body language after all. He shuffled some papers on his desk, at last coming to the one he wanted. Tseng shook it out and then cleared his throat, making both of the younger Turks hop. Reno and Rude stared, and waited, and Tseng allowed the tension to build for a while. Fussing over the state of the page, giving them both covert looks over the paper that could have meant anything from "You screwed up" to "I'm enjoying playing with your heads, aren't you liking it?".

Finally, right when Rude was about ot say something polite but under the lines of hurry, Reno's going to explde soon, Tseng began to read from the paper. It was lined, white, and looked very unlike any report paper Rude had ever seen.

"Tell those new Turks, that Dark Nation is a Panther-hound, Tseng. And that they both owe me twenty Gil, since they're both wrong. Reprimand them for gambling on the clock, and tell them next time they want to know something about 'Nation that I can talk. Despite Father's belief to the contrary. Rufus."

In his lightly accented voice Tseng offered both a chuckle and a reprimand of his own. "Have we learned something, gentlemen?"