Hello, dear readers. My name is Mengde and I have a confession to make. Well, two confessions, really. First, I don't own FFVII. It's sad but true. Second, and this is the really painful one... I may posture and insist on deep, meaningful stories most of the time, but now and again at one in the morning I have the powerful urge to write some no-nonsense, existentialism-free Reffie. I know, I'm a hypocrite and a terrible person, but I hope you enjoy this piece of mine anyway. Rated T for adult situations and language (the naughty kind of both). Just an FYI, this isn't exactly fluff, unless your definition of fluff is a violent and entirely unhealthy relationship that's still fun as hell to write. Bon voyage!



Meetings

A Final Fantasy VII Fan Fiction

Written by Mengde

There is a common theme to their meetings. She doesn't have a duty, exactly, but whenever she sees him she's busy doing something, and he's off-duty but has a job to get to. They never see one another during a lull, when neither of them are occupied and can stay for more than a night. Sure, they may see one another when things are different, but they only ever meet under these circumstances.

This isn't on purpose – it's entirely coincidental, or so both of them would claim. If either of them believed in fate, they might agree that their first meeting set the standard for all the ones to come.


It is an unpleasant summer afternoon, and the sun beats down mercilessly on the mountaintop of Da Chao. Some people can shield their eyes, at least, or move to a spot where a giant statue casts its shadow. Yuffie, being tied fairly securely to the face of one of these, can do neither. In fact, the only thing she can do is sweat and wait for somebody to come and untie her.

"Would you lardasses hurry up?" she shouts. "This is really uncomfortable, y'know!"

Her friends – at least, they had sort of been her friends before she stole all of their materia – shout back various responses. They range from simple observations about sweet justice all the way to Cid's particularly offensive brand of gloating, which involves slights against her personal life and her family history.

They die down after a moment and Cloud sums it up succinctly: "We're not in a hurry to make you comfortable, Yuffie. You can wait until the Turks climb up there and get you and Elena loose. Maybe use this time to think about what you've done."

Yuffie huffs and pouts but elicits no further reactions, so she sighs and hangs limply from the ropes, waiting for the Turks to get themselves in gear and undo her bindings. After a few minutes she feels the cords around her wrists start to vibrate, and she figures that they must have started.

A second later, all the tautness goes out of those ropes. Yuffie involuntarily shrieks as she tips forward and comes to hang upside down from the ropes securing her trussed ankles to the statue face. "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?" she screams. "MORONS!"

She feels the cords around her ankles go slack too and nearly screams again, but then they tighten up, and she feels herself being pulled up and away from her impending death by falling off of a mountain. She scrapes along and over the statue face until she is on the complete other side of it.

Rude, who has been pulling her, gives a final heave and then holds her up by the cords still wrapped around her ankles. She dangles above the ground and flails around ineffectively, trying to land a punch on him and managing only to make herself swing around like some kind of recalcitrant wind chime.

"Looks like we've caught a Wutainese angelfish, partner," she hears someone drawl from behind her. Footsteps sound and Reno grabs her by the back of her head and holds her still while giving her a fairly blatant once-over. "Looks kinda small, though. Not much meat on there. Think we oughta throw it back?"

"Put me down, assholes!" Yuffie squawks indignantly.

Reno shrugs. "Suit yourself. Partner?"

Rude gives his partner a shrug and then drops Yuffie like a sack of grain. She lands on her head in a dusty heap and starts cursing fluently in several different languages. One isn't quite enough to express how pissed she is right now.

"Go take care of Elena, partner. I got this," Reno says. Rude nods and starts working at the cords that still hold Elena fast to the statue face, while Reno crouches down and pulls a knife from a concealed sheath strapped to his calf. "Here, lemme get that for ya."

Yuffie stops tugging futilely at the cords trussing her ankles and lets Reno start sawing away at them with the knife. He takes care of them in short order and returns the knife to its sheath. "You're welcome," he says with an insouciant smile.

"What, you want me to say 'thanks'?" Yuffie asks. "Screw you. Hanging me upside down and dumping me on my head and stuff. I oughta kick your ass right now."

"Rrowl," he said. "Fiesty, nice legs, and on top of that you're jailbait. There's no part of that sentence I don't like."

That earns him a kick to the groin. His expression contorts into an intense grimace and he falls to one knee. Yuffie sticks her tongue out at him. "Still nothing you don't like, red?"

Reno looks up at her, and though he's obviously still in pain he gives her a toothy grin. "Into the rough stuff, huh? Kinda kinky."

She kicks him over his head this time and he hits the ground senseless. "In your dreams, bud. Later!"

A minute later, Rude pulls Elena onto solid ground and looks at his partner, who is somehow making the very act of standing look like an accomplishment. "Good job, partner," Reno says. "Let's go back to the bar now, huh? I could really use some rum before we go back on duty."

Rude looks at him and shakes his head. "Ouch."


The next time they meet, the world is coming to an end.

Yuffie is desperately hauling rubble out of a major city street to make way for the line of cars, carts, bikes, and other transports that people are taking in order to evacuate Midgar. Vincent is working on the next street over. These are the last two to be cleared before they move on to making sure that everybody is out of the Shin-Ra Headquarters. She's already heard some radio chatter saying that Rufus is alive, in critical condition, and is being slowly moved down the stairs, all of the elevators above the thirtieth floor having been blown to smithereens by Diamond WEAPON's attack.

"Need some help, sugar?"

Yuffie started and turned to see Reno standing there, looking a bit beat-up but otherwise none the worse for the wear.

"Not from you," she says, returning her attention to the road and putting her back into shoving a large bit of debris out of the way. "Less than a day ago you were still trying to kill me."

"Things change," Reno replies, moving beside her and also pushing on the stubborn debris. "Tseng's still in recovery at Healin, which means Rufus is the CIC of the Turks in the interim… and now he's out cold, maybe for good. Chain of command's broken down. We'll have to rendezvous tomorrow to regroup, but I got all day to chat."

Yuffie keeps her mouth shut and refuses to admit, even to herself, that he's making her work a lot easier.

"So I was thinking," he says. "Y'know, assuming we don't all die, maybe you'd like to do dinner or something? I know this great place in Kalm…"

"Busy," Yuffie growls through gritted teeth. "End of the world now, dinner later."

"So you'd like to? That's great. What time d'you want me to pick you up?"

Yuffie throws him her best annoyed look. "You dipshit, you know I didn't say anything like that. I don't know what the hell your real motive is, but you're not fooling anybody with this crap."

Reno looks at her, his expression indicating genuine confusion. "Real motive? I couldn't just be interested in going out with you? There's gotta be some evil Turk plan behind this?"

"You know it." They manage to get the debris out of the road and Yuffie figures that whatever's left isn't big enough to pose a threat to the rush of traffic that'll soon be passing through. "Let's be reasonable here. I'm a sixteen-year-old ninja who hates your guts. What combination of that is appealing to you? Why don't you go hit on Tifa? She's got a much bigger rack than me and she's nice enough that maybe you can fool her."

"Maybe I like the challenge," Reno says. "Maybe sixteen-year-old ninjas that hate my guts are a fetish of mine. Maybe – " His eyes widen and focus on something behind her, and his mouth drops open in shock and what might possibly be terror. Yuffie whirls around, reaching for her boomerang-shuriken as she does so, and sees nothing but distant headlights and the ominous glow in the sky.

"The hell? What's wrong with you?" she asks, turning back around. When she does, she realizes a second too late that it was a trick, and she runs smack into his face. More specifically, her mouth runs smack into his, and for a moment her world is the rough feel of his chapped lips and the smile in his turquoise eyes.

Then she punches him so hard that he staggers back and falls flat on his ass. "You CREEP!" she shrieks. "You PERV!"

Reno wipes at his bleeding, quickly swelling lip and grins at her in that infuriating way of his. "Come on, sugar, don't tell me you didn't like it."

"Go to hell!" she splutters, completely taken aback. Before he can say anything else, she storms off in the direction of the Shin-Ra building to meet up with Vincent, keeping her back rigid and not letting her hips sway as she strides. He's going to be staring at her ass as she leaves anyway, but why encourage him?

Reno gathers himself up and dusts off his crumpled suit, watching Yuffie's back as he does so. "Call me!" he shouts after her.


The next time they see one another, two years have passed. Yuffie is attending a formal reception being thrown by Reeve to celebrate Sephiroth's defeat and to officially open relations between the WRO and Wutai. She's in her best attire, at the behest of her father she's made small talk with everyone of importance at the party, and she's bored out of her mind.

Reeve and Godo are talking about how the liaison might take shape, and while there's mention of Yuffie being made head of intelligence and espionage of the WRO, she couldn't care less about the mundane details they're discussing, so she's going to the open bar to get a drink and to try to ignore everybody.

She gets halfway there before she feels a hand on her shoulder. "Ma'am," someone says in an artificially deep voice, "I have reason to suspect you may be concealing narcotics on your person, and in the interests of security I'm afraid I'm going to have to perform a cavity search."

"Screw you, Reno," she says without even looking.

The redhead steps around in front of her and gives her a hurt, puppy-eyed look. "Where's the love, sugar? Now that the Turks are working for Reeve Love-And-Peace Tuesti, this is going to be my sole pleasure in life."

She brushes his hand off of her shoulder. "Hate to burst your bubble, but I'm kinda here as a representative of Wutai, so, um… diplomatic immunity, anyone?"

Reno grins mischievously at her, and she abruptly realizes that something in her misses seeing that expression. The other somethings in her that hate this man and his guts and want to kill him for many reasons, one of them being that kiss he stole from her two years ago, don't like it, but it's the truth.

"You let me take you in for suspicion of possession, sugar, and I'll let you hang out with me in the security office. I've got a bottle of rum, or at least the label says it's rum, and nobody to share it with. Better than this shit, right?" He waves an arm, encompassing the entirety of the reception.

Yuffie cocks an eyebrow at him and weighs her options. Stuck in a room with Reno and a bottle of rum, a man and an alcohol that she hates, or stuck in here with everyone else and an open bar. A moment's thought and she figures that she doesn't really hate anyone here that much, so staying here would just involve hating being here. If she goes and hangs out with Reno, at least she has some company that she can actively loathe, which is always more fun.

"Fine. What do you think I've got on me, Reno?"

"Does it matter?" he asks, his grin widening. "This way."

They discreetly exit through a side door and walk down a series of hallways until Reno opens one, nondescript door and motions her inside. The room contains a large wall panel full of display screens that show various views throughout the WRO Tower, an equally large desk for observers to sit at, and a pair of chairs with backs comprised of the frame and several wooden bars for support. The promised bottle of rum and two shotglasses sit on the desk.

"Make yourself comfy," Reno says. "You don't mind if I lock the door, do you? Would be kinda awkward if someone walked in."

"Whatever," Yuffie replies, not really concerned by the idea but not wanting to argue the point.

She sits down in one of the chairs and waits for him to secure the door and walk over himself. "Cozy, eh?"

"I guess." She looks at the wide array of views presented on the display screens, then leans forward and squints at one. It's currently giving a grainy, black-and-white presentation of two people kissing vigorously in a janitor's closet. "Dumbasses."

Reno moves behind her chair and squints at the display himself. "Looks like fun."

Then, so fast and smoothly that it never even occurs to Yuffie to react, he pulls a pair of handcuffs out of the inside of his suit jacket. Before she realizes what's going on, he's tightened the cuffs around both her wrists and threaded the chain around one of the bars in the back of her chair.

When precisely what's happened belatedly occurs to her, she snarls and tugs violently on the cuffs, to no avail. For his part, Reno takes off his jacket and rests it across the back of his own chair before sitting down. "Comfy, sugar?"

She tries to kick him, but he's just far enough away that her short legs don't quite reach. He clucks at her and gives her another grin, which she decides that she no longer misses. "I learned my lesson from the first time. You hit really hard."

"Come a foot closer and I'll show you just how hard," she hisses at him.

"Sure, but let's have a drink before we get to the fun stuff," he says with a wink. "It'll help you loosen up."

"Wow, screw you. I can't believe I let you talk me into coming here to hang out with you. What the hell's wrong with me?"

Reno takes his time in pouring himself a drink. He knocks it back and gives a satisfied sigh before pouring another. "Well, sugar, the way I see it is this. You hate my guts for some stuff I did to you years ago that wasn't even personal."

"Trying to bash my head in with that prod of yours isn't personal? 'Aww, sorry hon, didn't mean to electrocute you like that. Well, I did, but it wasn't personal.' Oh, SURE!" She blows an especially irreverent raspberry.

"You got a problem with detachment, seriously. That was business. This is just because I'm interested in you."

"Oh, that makes me feel so much better! I suppose the cavity search you wanna give me is just business too, eh?"

"Actually, I'm not on duty. Reeve invited me to this thing out of what I figure was the goodness of his heart. I'm heading out on assignment tomorrow, but y'know. I'll be here all night."

That is the proverbial last straw. Yuffie violently scoots her chair forward to get Reno within kicking distance and starts lashing out randomly. He almost absentmindedly deflects her blows and then kicks out himself, aiming for one of her chair's legs. Already off-balance because of her attacks, she feels the chair teeter before it falls onto its side, taking her with it.

"What do you want, Reno?" she asks after she tries to get up and fails spectacularly. "Seriously. Just what the hell d'you think you're going to gain with this?"

"I want you," he says candidly. "And I'm pretty sure you want me, too."

"Oh, totally. I am so hot for you right now, babe, you have no idea. The lies and the kidnapping and the handcuffs only make it better."

Reno snorts. "Listen, sugar, you got every right to be pissed, but I think you should give up the act."

"What act? I'm not lying when I say that I hate your guts!"

"Oh, I know you're not lying there. But come on, how much of an idiot do you think I am?" Reno starts counting points off on his fingers. "One, you know that I'd never let myself be put on security detail for some event for bigwigs like this one. I'm a Turk, not a security guard. I came because I knew you'd be here.

"Two, I'm not sure what kinda reasoning you're using to justify hanging out with someone you hate over staying in a room with people you just don't like, but I got news for ya, sugar: people don't do this. They generally tend to avoid people they despise.

"And three, the handcuffs. Who're you trying to fool, here, you or me? We both know that you could be out of those in ten seconds if you wanted to be. I mean, come on, you're a goddamned ninja and those aren't even special Turk cuffs.

"All this tells me that you want me too. I mean, sure, you might hate my guts for what I did back in the day, but come on. Hating me and wanting me aren't mutually exclusive. I never said you were desperately in love with me or any cheesy bullshit like that. Let's be realists, here." He leans forward and grabs her chair, then rights it onto its legs with a heave, pulling her up with it. "The only question left is whether you're gonna admit I'm right, or whether you're gonna keep saying that I can go to hell and stuff because of ancient history."

Yuffie glares at him angrily, cursing the blood that she feels rushing to her face. "You're so damn sure and scientific and stuff, Reno. Maybe you're wrong and you're the one fooling yourself, not me."

By way of reply he grins at her and then leans even further forward to kiss her, a long, slow kiss that raises goosebumps all over her body and sends shivers shooting down her spine. Her first instinct is to hit him as hard as she can, but she's still cuffed, so she settles for kneeing him in the stomach.

He doesn't even seem to notice, which is good, because if he'd doubled over it would have complicated giving into her second and much stronger instinct. She kisses him back as fiercely as she can with her hands cuffed behind her back, barely noticing the taste of rum on his tongue.

They break for air and Yuffie says, "Uncuff me, you asshole."

Reno gets out of his chair, walks around behind her, and obliges her. She feels the cuffs relinquish their hold on her wrists. Immediately she stands up, turns around, and throws a right cross that hits him across the face with a satisfying crack and makes him stumble. "I hate your fucking guts, Reno," she says.

"I can tell," he replies, gingerly running a hand along his jaw.

Then Yuffie grabs him by his shirt, throws him onto the desk, and jumps on top of him.

Nobody sees them for the rest of the reception. In the morning, the floor janitor cleans up the mess on the floor and bemoans the loss of a good bottle of rum.