Hello everyone, and welcome to my most recent creation. This oneshot is a giftfic for YesAnimeCharacterCanBeSexy for being the two-hundredth reviewer for my ZackTifa fic, "Turn The Page," so I offered to write a fic as a request/challenge.
Challenge: The adventures of Elena and Rude as they go sunglass shopping, with mild ElenaxRude or just friendshipfic.
Hopefully I was even remotely close, but this is the first time ever I take a challenge/request, so I don't know if I did a very good job at it. Feel free to comment and let me know how I did! Rating is just for minor language, but nothing else you should worry about.
Disclaimer: I don't own Final Fantasy VII or any of the characters used in this piece of fiction. They are property of Square Enix and I am making no money off of them…
Crossing the Line
"Where are you keeping your gun?"
"Why don't you ask Rude where he keeps his sunglasses?" Elena snapped. The red-head's partner wasn't yet with him, but she'd always been curious as to how Rude managed to keep various pairs of sunglasses on his person. As it was, she felt far too naked in the two piece bathing suit she was wearing. It had been the only she'd had available in such short notice—i.e. Rufus had told them to pack clothing for Costa del Sol just yesterday—and it was a little too revealing. The two-piece did nothing to hide her figure, but at least she had managed to find a sarong to hide her hips and thighs. She'd never been a fan of getting ogled by random men.
Reno scratched his head and couldn't help the way his eyes wandered across the exposed skin of Elena's waist. He thanked Rufus for adding fuel to his various fantasies, since they were all at Costa del Sol, enjoying a much earned vacation. But really, he had enough fantasies that included Tifa, Yuffie, Elena, and sometimes the various secretaries of their new headquarters. Sometimes he had individual time with the women, at others they were all together.
Elena watched in disgust as Reno's eyes glazed over and she realized that she didn't want to know what he was thinking about. Her nerves were already on edge because she was wearing a bathing suit, but she had never been comfortable in heavily populated places. What made things worse was that Rufus was a public figure, and even though he was wearing a ridiculous straw hat and dark sunglasses, she was wary of everyone who passed by. Having a vacation was good, but she had never been a sun type of girl. She preferred places like Icicle Town, or anywhere were she wouldn't end up looking as red as a lobster.
Her eyes darted around the beach as she sat in a reclining beach chair under some type of straw umbrella. Ironically, she had changed faster than any of the men, and she, Reno, and Rufus were waiting for Tseng and Rude. She blinked a little when her eyes came across Tseng. He was dressed in white cotton pants and shirt. She stared. Though he hadn't gone shirtless like Reno—who needed a tan, by the way—he still managed to look good. Behind him, she had to keep her mouth from hanging open a little. Wow. Who would've thought that Rude was that built? Elena sighed. Sometimes working with hot men was like torture. She needed to keep her eyes to herself and her mind on the job, even though they were now on vacation.
She blushed a little when she felt both men give her a slight look from head to toe. Maybe wearing a two piece wasn't so bad after all. A waiter walked over to them and proceeded to pass out margaritas with little straws inside to them all.
"Relax," Rufus nearly commanded once the man was gone. He could tell that all four of his Turks were more than a little agitated. "There is no need to worry about any assassination attempts. The press printed a note about me being in Junon for business. No one else knows I'm here."
"There's always some type of leak," Elena put in.
"Did any of you tell anyone else that I was going to be here?" There was a chorus of "no sir," and Rufus nodded in satisfaction. "Enjoy yourselves. Drink for the next few days and be merry. I'm sure you wouldn't have a problem with that, right Reno?" he asked in amusement.
Reno saluted and nearly chugged down the entire margarita in one gulp. Elena rolled her eyes when he clutched at his forehead. "Ugh, brain freeze," he gasped out.
"As if you need more brain damage," she muttered.
Rude smirked and walked off towards the rows of small shops, opposite the way Reno was going. That solved one question. Reno and Rude were not attached at the hip and could go places on their own. Elena was torn, not knowing which way to go. She couldn't very well hang out with Tseng and Rufus all day. They weren't exactly social people and she'd drown in the silence. So she decided to head towards the water to just walk for a bit.
Her thoughts turned inward as she let the warm water wash over her toes. She didn't know how she felt about her life so far. She had done her job and done it well, but other than that, she had no personal life. She realized that she had purposely sabotaged her last two relationships. The first had been with Tseng, who was much too jaded to be a good boyfriend anyway, and the second had been to Reeve. With Tseng, things had seemed to be okay, but he was much too into his job to really dedicate any time to her other than hot nights. She hadn't been complaining, but she had wanted more. She wanted someone to talk to, who would listen and answer back, but Tseng wasn't that type of man. So they had let it fade away until they had stopped meeting after work.
She and Reeve had tried dating, had slept together, but when it had come time to move forward, she had picked fights about anything and everything. Maybe she was the one who was too jaded for any of the men who were interested in her. She didn't want to be, but it was a price to pay for working for Shinra. Rufus had done a good job of fixing the wrongs his father had done, but his last name would forever cause the public to doubt any of his good deeds. Turk was synonymous with killer, even though they no longer assassinated people in the name of the boss. What normal male would want to date a trained killer?
She realized that she needed someone who understood what she was, but who had no further expectations than dating and sex, but who could be her friend when she needed it. Those hadn't been her dreams before she had become a Turk, but it was too late to mourn over the decision she had made now. Elena sighed to herself and winced as she stepped onto the hot sand. She had left her sandals back by the chair she had been occupying, so had no choice but to run and burn her feet the entire way to one of the nearest shops. As she stepped into one, her eyes came across Rude, who was chatting openly with one of the girls managing the shop. Figures, Elena thought, that Rude would fall for a girl who sells sunglasses. She smirked to herself and decided to eavesdrop.
"…we're happy to see you around here once more. It's been years," the girl was saying.
Rude nodded, but felt that he was being watched almost immediately after someone had stepped into the shop. He caught a whiff of her perfume and relaxed a little. He turned to find her trying to look inconspicuous, hiding behind a stand that held various hats. "Elena," he said.
She just smirked and stepped out from behind the stand. "If you were able to detect me that quick, it's a wonder I still have the job I do," she said, coming to stand next to him, a ridiculously large hat in her hands.
"You should know better than to try to spy on either me or Tseng. Reno you may have a better chance at getting away with it," Rude stated.
Elena nodded and put the hat on her head, noticing that it covered her shoulders from the sun too. Now that, she liked. "I think I like this one," she said.
Rude watched her from behind his sunglasses and just now realized how different she looked without her Turk suit on. He had never allowed himself to think of her as a real female. Elena and the other female Turks that had worked for Shinra had always been just the same as their male coworkers. He'd looked for his women outside of Shinra. It wouldn't do him any good to take in someone he worked with. It would only serve to complicate his life in a way that he didn't want or need.
"Shopping for a new style of sunglasses?" asked Elena, noticing how the girl behind the counter was watching them.
"No," he said simply. "I've worn the same sunglasses for the past five years."
Elena just let out a laugh and reached up to take the sunglasses from his face. The girl gasped and looked from one to the other. "What?" Elena asked.
"It's just… he never allows anyone to touch his sunglasses, much less remove them from his face," she said nervously.
Rude shrugged when Elena turned to look at him in question. "I think it's time you find a different style. How many of these have you bought over the last five years?" she asked.
"Buy them in bulk," he replied. "I've lost count of how many."
Elena stopped to think that over and then let out another laugh of amusement. "How many of those has Reno broken?"
"Quite a few." Rude reached into a hidden pocket of his trunks and paid for her hat.
Elena sighed and tried on the dark sunglasses and realized that they weren't so bad. She had never been one to wear them herself, but she knew it was Rude's signature style. She had seen him produce a pair from his suit more than once and wondered just how many spares he carried around with him. Her eyes narrowed when she looked up and he was wearing another pair of sunglasses, exactly like the ones still perched on her own nose. "Seriously, where are you keeping the spares?" she asked.
Rude pointed at the counter in front of him and Elena realized that the girl had just handed the sunglasses to him. "Where do you think they would fit?" he asked, twisting a little to show her that there were no pockets big enough to fit a pair of sunglasses.
Elena tried to keep her eyes off of his ass. Really now, having fantasies about her fellow Turks was okay when she was at home, not when one of them was standing in front of her. "Maybe you should try some like these," she offered, removing the ones she had taken from him and putting on a pair of square framed ones. "No?" she asked, looking at herself in a mirror stand. Well, she had to admit that they were even more out of date than the ones he was wearing now. "Keep being outdated," she muttered.
Rude just smirked faintly and turned to the girl. "When will my order be ready?"
She smiled at him in a way that had Elena raising her eyebrows from behind the shades. "They'll take a little longer this time, so try to keep from breaking any remaining sunglasses?" the girl asked.
Elena took off the squared sunglasses and put on Rude's old pair, since it appeared that he now had new ones. "How do you two know each other? Aside from doing business?"
Rude turned to her. "I worked here when I was young. This kid here was barely learning how to walk. Once I left this summer job, I was recruited into Shinra," he replied.
"So this place was the one that got you wearing the shades?" asked Elena. She was curious, since Rude rarely spoke about himself or his past. She would take any info she could get. Rude nodded and walked out of the shop with her after sending the girl a wave. "What's with the girl? Seems to me like she has a crush on you."
"I basically saw her grow up from a baby to a girl while I worked here. Nothing is ever going to happen," he stated.
Elena nodded. "But you keep coming back to the shop, right?"
"She's an old friend. Her parents believed enough in a little thug who needed a job to feed himself. I come back because I am grateful, and because they have the only style of sunglasses I have ever really liked."
The blonde Turk looked at him from behind the shades that would now be hers and felt the need to ask him more questions. That had been her most annoying trait as a rookie, but at least she had learned how to keep from talking unnecessarily now. Hmm, she had apparently forgotten the reason why she had gone to the shop in the first place, and she tried to refrain from hopping from one foot to the other as the sand burned her feet. Of course, as a Turk she was supposed to be used to pain, but forget that, she thought running off towards the water.
Rude caught up to her and watched as she let out a sigh of relief. "You okay?"
Elena nodded and held onto her hat as the breeze nearly blew it off of her head. "What kind of sunglasses did you wear while you worked there?"
Rude thought back and smirked. "You know those types worn in movies by the sheriff in the middle of nowhere?"
Elena had a vague idea and nodded, then she let out a snort. "You're serious?"
The bald man nodded and looked off into the distance, watching the waves and the people surfing them. "People had a habit of staring at my eyes," he muttered unexpectedly.
Elena looked up the man she had worked with for years and knew what he meant. It was like looking at Vincent Valentine's red eyes, or Reno's blue green ones too. Rude's eyes were a shade of green amplified even more by the tone of his skin. He was a handsome man and she wouldn't be so surprised if hordes of women swarmed him to look at his eyes if he ever took off his sunglasses. Being tall and muscular did help too, she noted, eyes roaming over his very nice chest.
Unfortunately for Elena, she wasn't watching where she was going and she fell right into a hole, hidden under water. Rude caught her arm, but only succeeded in keeping her from falling completely underwater, not from stopping the fall. He helped her to her feet and Elena was thankful that the she had her hat to hide her expression under. She cleared her throat and thanked him, not even realizing that his hand was still on her arm.
Rude stopped her and lifted a hand to smooth it over her cheek. "What are you doing?" she asked, feeling her cheeks warm out of embarrassment and something more.
"You have wet sand on your face," he said simply, showing no type of reaction, even though he was still rubbing at her face.
Elena wished she could've seen his eyes, but they were always hidden behind the shades. She was happy that hers were too, otherwise she didn't know what he could've been able to see in her own. Getting butterflies in her stomach over a man she had never thought of as more than a friend was completely unexpected. He had never shown any type of interest in her, so she might as well forget her silly, girly thoughts. She cleared her throat and stepped away from him, beginning to walk down the shore once more.
Rude sighed to himself and wondered what that had been about. He had a feeling that he had just crossed a line that hadn't been meant to cross. Elena was his coworker and even though they had kept in a tight knit group, she had never shown any type of interest in him. Besides, the boss was her ex and it would complicate things if they ever did act on anything. He wouldn't mind though; Elena had everything he liked in a woman. He especially liked the ones who talked, since he rarely had anything to say.
He cleared his throat and looked up when he heard Elena laughing. She wouldn't laugh at him, would she? But no, she was laughing at a pair of pale legs, sticking out from a mountain of sand. Reno was passed out near the shore, and various children were piling him under more sand. "He's passed out already?" she asked between sniggers. "We've only been here little more than an hour!"
"You say that like it's a surprise. I've seen Reno drink himself stupid in a matter of ten minutes," Rude stated.
Elena tried to contain her snorts of laughter and shooed the kids away as they began to throw sand on Reno's face. He may have been an idiot, but she didn't want to be an accomplice to him getting suffocated by the sand. Rude hauled up the red head over his shoulder and they began to walk back towards where Rufus and Tseng were still seated, a couple of shot glasses on the table nearby.
Rufus watched in amusement as Rude dropped his partner on a reclining chair, not bothering to fix him up to avoid any painful cricks upon waking up. "Let's bury him," said Elena. At least under the umbrella thing he wouldn't die of dehydration.
Rude thought it over and then nodded, sitting in the sand and starting to dig. Elena couldn't believe he had taken her seriously, but she took a seat in front of him, careful as to how she was sitting with the bathing suit she was in, and dug with him. She couldn't help and glance up every time their fingers brushed, but Rude gave no indication of showing that it mattered or that it was on purpose. She really was too girly when it came to men; that was one thing that hadn't changed about her.
By the time they were done with the hole and had managed to stick Reno in it, Rufus had dozed off and Tseng had gone off to get some along time for himself too. Rude held Reno as Elena pilled the sand in until all that was left was Reno's head sticking out of the sand. Elena began snickering once more and took her hat and placed it over Reno's spiky hair. Then she watched in shock as Rude produced a pair of sunglasses and placed them on Reno's face.
"Rude…" she trailed off, hands on her hips.
"You're… free to pat me down if you wish," he offered, smirking.
Elena just shook her head and turned to look at the man in the sand. "What's it like to not have a care in the world?" she asked quietly.
"You'd rather be drunk every other night of your life? Reno copes with being a Turk by drinking. Everyone else has their own way. Tseng dives headfirst into the job, the president doesn't show anyone what he's thinking. Everything amuses him. He may not be a Turk, but he was raised like one. How do you cope, Elena?" asked Rude.
That was probably the longest thing she'd ever heard come from Rude. "I don't think I want to tell you," she said, a note of playfulness in her voice. Dear God, were she and Rude flirting? That couldn't be right. She found it harder and harder to stop to blush that came to her cheek every time she realized that she and Rude were crossing some type of line.
Rude closed the distance between them and stood behind Elena, noticing the small scars on her back. She understood what it was to be a Turk, and he knew that it had to be harder for her as a woman. Women were emotional creatures, but he was proud of the Turk Elena had become. He knew he could count on her to save his life or any of the others if it ever came to that. "I know that you push people away," he said evenly, no teasing or smug tone in his voice.
Elena closed her eyes behind the glasses and realized that she was too easy to read. Maybe she should start wearing sunglasses too on a permanent basis. She turned to look at Rude and was a little surprised at how close he was. Maybe she wasn't imagining things? "And you hide your emotions behind your sunglasses."
Rude reached up and removed his shades, watching as she did the same. She had the prettiest brown eyes he had ever seen, shaped a little like almonds. They went with her face and gave her an innocent look, though he knew that she was far from innocent and that she carried burdens that not many women her age could even dream of. "Maybe you should stop pushing."
"Maybe you should stop hiding," she countered. She stared into his eyes and felt her breath leave her in a 'whoosh' when she realized that he was inching towards her face. Right there, in public, with Tseng somewhere nearby and right besides Rufus Shinra.
"Maybe you should shut the fuck up and give me something for my headache," said a slurred voice from their left.
"How about a hit with a sledgehammer," Elena nearly snarled. Reno just had to ruin the moment. She had a feeling that it was probably to late to salvage what had been about to happen between her and Rude.
"How the hell did I get into this hole?" asked Reno before Rude stuffed a bottle of water into his mouth.
"Shut up and hydrate," Rude muttered. He let out a sigh and looked at Elena, who had wandered away from their huge umbrella and was talking to a boy with a camera, the sunglasses on her face once more. He didn't really know what he would've done if Reno hadn't interrupted, all he knew was that he was still more than willing to find out if Elena wanted to give him the chance.
Elena sighed to herself and stared out into the ocean. Maybe it would be best if things stayed the way they were. She really didn't want another Tseng-episode in her life at the moment. She risked a glance at Rude and found him watching her, his sunglasses still off. Well… maybe she did need some type of distraction, she thought as she turned back to the water and began to walk towards it, but she would decide on that later. Maybe this was a line meant to be crossed, especially with a man willing to cross it with you.
Was it too abrupt of an ending? I figure that this way, the end is open to interpretation, and there may be some type of sequel in the future; dunno yet. I do hope that everyone enjoyed it, and though its way shorter than any of my other fics, except maybe one, I actually liked how I left it. But feel free to give your opinions.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but during AC we get a glimpse of Rude's eyes and they're green right? If anyone else can double check and confirm that, I would be one happy author. I just don't know if I'm seeing him correctly. Anyway, how was it? I hope it wasn't too rushed either, but I'm kinda new to this territory. All I've written for Turks are TsengElena fics, so I don't know if this was any good, or if I went too OOC with Rude and Elena. YesAnimeCharactersCanBeSexy, I hope I didn't disappoint and that it wasn't too short. Like I said up top, this is my first time to ever take a challenge and I don't know if it was to your liking. Everyone else, I would be happy to know what you think, so thanks for reading!