How Cait Sith Finally Got His Bonus
Word count: 2800
Summary: Mayhem wrought by an unknown assailant lands Reeve, Tseng, and Sephiroth in a very intimate situation.
Prompt: Reeve/Tseng/Sephiroth: snark contest – "you're not the only one who appreciates the ridiculousness of all this."
Believing it to be Saturday morning, Reeve Tuesti slowly woke from a particularly sticky hangover. He groped at his face, intending to pry his eyes open – and missed.
Or rather, his hand overshot the mark and landed on someone's face, it just happened to not be his own.
Reeve let his fingers rove across the features, hoping at once that he would either recognize them as belonging to a devastatingly good-looking intimate acquaintance, or that he would realize he was still safely dreaming. Long, narrow nose…high cheekbones…lush, fuckable lips…
"If you don't get your fingers out of my mouth I'm biting them off."
Voice: deep, resonant, and murderously sexy…heavy on the murder. Reeve's hand froze. It couldn't be! Sure he'd been drunk last night, but not that drunk! Not that he'd have minded, of course: no red-blooded post-pubescent humanoid would have minded. It's just that Sephiroth himself would never have allowed it – unless he'd been even more hammered than Reeve…
A windy sigh seemed to steal all the breath from his lungs. Weird thing, though: Reeve hadn't sighed.
From beyond the apparent Sephiroth came a low, soft, Wutaian curse. "Not again…"
Now Reeve's eyes opened of their own volition. Copious silver hair lay beneath him like a blanket, and to his left, Sephiroth lay so close his chin rested on Reeve's shoulder.
To his left, Tseng scowled up at the ceiling.
Reeve lurched upward, or rather tried to – something pinned his left side to the floor; probably that overmuscled SOLDIER, he thought. Then he realized he couldn't feel his left arm. "What in the hells?"
Sephiroth turned and stared at him. "Tuesti, what are you doing in my bed?"
"We're not in your bed," Reeve replied tartly. "It seems we're on your floor. Care to tell me what's going on?"
Tseng spoke before the other two could escalate. "Mr. Tuesti, if you would please brace your hand on the floor. Sephiroth, at the count of three, we're sitting up. One, two, three."
Reeve found himself sitting through no effort of his own beyond a bit of elbow leverage. He frowned over at Tseng. "Hold the phone, you said 'not again' – not what again? And again for whom?"
Sephiroth's deep voice rumbled through Reeve's chest. "Look. Down."
Reeve looked down and shrieked like a little girl.
His head sat atop broad, powerful shoulders that should have belonged to Sephiroth. Correction: his head shared residence on those shoulders, with the original owner and Tseng besides. Reeve tried to faint but only succeeded in lolling over on his neck.
"Pansy," Sephiroth growled.
"We're Hojo's new pet, aren't we?" Reeve groaned in a despairing voice. "Let's just jump out that window and try to impale ourselves on the glass, on three – one, two –"
"If that were the case, we'd be naked and floating in a mako tube," Sephiroth muttered, "probably with wires attached to our –"
Reeve did his best to block out the SOLDIER's next words and hoped to hell he wasn't speaking from experience. He shrugged a little, trying to get his coat to fit better around his arm without ripping the back seam out. Looking down again, this time resolved not to panic, Reeve took stock of their bizarre fashion statement: his own coat hung unevenly, framing bare and muscular pectorals that had to belong to the General; dangling off-center, Tseng's necktie made a rather dashing accent against the left nipple; leather pants hugged him in an altogether unfamiliar yet not unpleasant manner; and… "Hold on, who's got the silk undies?"
Tseng rolled his eyes and grumbled, "Well forgive me for having a little taste."
Between them, Sephiroth snickered.
Tseng shot him a patented Turkfire Glare, the sort that usually brought Reno to heel and Rufus to orgasm. "If you're quite through, I was going to share what knowledge I have of this particular type of magic."
"By all means," Sephiroth murmured graciously. "I take it this isn't as weird as it seems?"
"No, it's that weird all right," Tseng replied, "but it's not unique. There's an active black market in defective materia, the sort of things that a prankster would have all too much fun with."
"Pranksters, eh?" Sephiroth frowned. "How does one contact this black market, Tseng? I may have a payback to arrange…"
"Don't worry, if we find the culprit the payback's on me," Tseng stated firmly. "There won't be any place for them to hide."
Reeve cleared his throat and regarded the other two. "How long does this last, then? And what happens when it wears off?"
"I've seen it go within 24 hours," Tseng said. "But…"
"But what?" Reeve and Sephiroth blurted in unison.
"I think a lot depends on who did this and why. If it doesn't dissipate by tomorrow morning we may need to figure this out before it can be reversed."
"You mean, we might be stuck like this?" Reeve shouted, gesturing wildly with his right hand.
"Until the culprit releases us, more than likely," Tseng grumbled.
"Well, I suppose now is as good a time as any," Sephiroth mused.
The other two turned their heads to look at him.
"Gentlemen, I don't know how to tell you this…"
"You?" Reeve snapped. "Sephiroth, of all people!"
Sephiroth glowered poisonously at Reeve. "No, you idiot, I didn't do this to myself! No, I'm afraid it's something worse."
Reeve's mind spun. Mako poisoning? Jenova mind control? What new hell were they about to confront? "Well? What is it, man!"
"I have to piss."
"So piss, we won't watch," Reeve replied, almost laughing.
"You don't get it," Sephiroth whispered menacingly. "I don't have any hands."
"I'm disadvantaged," Tseng stated quickly. "Right handed, stuck on the left side." He waved awkwardly to illustrate.
Reeve took a few seconds to let this sink in before smacking himself on the forehead. "Come on, SOLDIER, can't you hold it?" he snarled.
"No," Sephiroth purred, taking a step toward the bathroom, "that's your job, Tuesti."
It seemed that, in the limb department, Sephiroth had the advantage on both of the other men, as he had executive control of the legs. Before Reeve could come up with any kind of argument, he found himself in the bathroom helping Tseng with the trousers.
Sephiroth sighed toward the ceiling as the two unmatched hands fumbled about. "Good thing I mentioned this early, or we'd be in a world of hurt by now."
Finally Reeve managed to get the equipment in position. He ordered his brain to stop pondering the philosophical and social ramifications for holding Sephiroth's penis in such a humbling manner, aimed it at the toilet, and glanced away.
Sephiroth didn't even try to hide his amusement as he said, "Er, Tuesti? Watch where you're aiming that."
Reeve blushed and focused on the task at hand. As the stream abated, he cleared his throat and asked as blandly as he could manage, "Shake or paper?"
Sephiroth chuckled. "I'm tempted to dare you to bang it on the edge of the commode, Tuesti. You know how SOLDIERs are."
"Very damn funny." Reeve shook it delicately, then made to tuck it back in before recalling that he had only half the number of hands necessary for the job. "Eh, Tseng? A little help, here?"
The necessity seen to, Sephiroth turned to leave the bathroom.
Tseng craned his head to look at him. "Aren't you going to wash your hands?"
Reeve and Sephiroth both shot Tseng a glare. "It didn't drip!" Reeve snarled, while Sephiroth muttered, "They're not my hands."
"Ahem!" A tiny voice from near floor-level caught their attention.
Reeve waved and made to crouch down, but Sephiroth kept his back ramrod straight. "What is that thing doing here?" the General snarled, aiming a kick.
"No, you fool!" Reeve shouted, reaching around as though to grapple with the man and poking him in the navel. "He might be able to sort this out for us!"
"You look like you're all having a fine time!" Cait Sith observed jauntily, his tail waving back and forth like a clock pendulum.
"We're in a bit of a jam, actually," Reeve confided. "Bit of a pickle, here."
The little robot cat clapped his paws together. "Oooh, pickle jam! Sounds right tasty!"
"Tseng," Sephiroth muttered, "put it in the recycling bin for me."
"No!" Reeve hissed. "Just let me try, all right?"
Sephiroth scowled and looked away. "Fine. But if it speaks again, I'm having it."
"Cait, I need your help," Reeve said firmly. "We've been the victims of a terrible magic, and I need you to find the antidote. Can you do that?"
"Oh, it sounds verra dangerous," Cait Sith murmured, pacing back and forth. "Verra dangerous…but you know I'd do anything for you, Reeve! I might need some help, though."
"Whatever you have to do," Reeve answered steadily, his faith in his creation unwavering. "Whatever you need, you have it."
"I may need to pay some people off, you know. Materia isn't cheap, and I'm not a thief."
"You have the access codes to the WRO maintenance account. I'd call this a situation in need of professional help, wouldn't you?" he asked the other two men, his expression hopeful.
"Most certainly," Tseng replied.
"It spoke," Sephiroth growled through clenched teeth.
"Okay, then!" Cait Sith burbled happily. "I'm off! See you when I have the cure!" With that, he bounded out the open window and away.
"So…" Reeve murmured. "What should we do while we wait?"
"Too bad I don't own a piano, that would have been fun," Sephiroth observed wryly.
"I hope you didn't send your familiar on a suicide mission," Tseng mused. "I still think it's most likely a prank, but it could be something more sinister, in which case…"
"What?" Sephiroth snarled. "Believe me, I don't want to be fused to you two for the rest of my life!"
"I thought you had it all figured out!" Reeve growled, pointing an accusing finger at Tseng's head.
"Well excuse me for guessing!" Tseng snapped. His hand flailed a bit, groping for a phone, a gun, or a handy paperweight.
From the tension through the shoulders, Reeve guessed that, had Sephiroth access to the arms, he'd have just pushed the two of them into separate corners.
Lacking that option, Sephiroth sighed, closed his eyes, and headbutted first Reeve, then Tseng. "Now now, children," he chided in his most sarcastic voice, "fighting on the playground? For shame. Tseng, you say you've encountered this before, and it's basically harmless?"
"Annoying, but yes," Tseng muttered, rubbing at the side of his head.
"I find it curious," Sephiroth murmured, turning toward Reeve, "that you had no idea, Reeve. Never seen this before? And then your little cat comes along to save the day…"
Reeve gaped open-mouthed for a moment, then sputtered, "So I'm either stupid or lying, is that it?"
"No, not at all," Sephiroth replied amiably. "There's no reason you couldn't be both."
Reeve pulled his fist back to hit but quickly saw the futility of the gesture. Besides, he felt reasonably confident that, if Sephiroth wanted to do so, there would be a whole lot of hurt coming his way in retaliation even without hands.
"Ah, screw it," Sephiroth stated, heading for the wet bar. "Reeve. Tseng. If you both please."
Opening the bottle of Gongaga whiskey proved much simpler than their escapade in the bathroom. Reeve lifted the bottle for Sephiroth to drink first, as this was, after all, his home and his booze. Then Reeve helped himself to a fiery mouthful, hoping that it would take the edge off the weirdness of the day – that, or let him sleep it off.
As Reeve passed the bottle to Tseng's hand, the Turk nodded and said, "I don't usually drink whiskey, but as it seems we're all sharing the gut and nervous system, I may as well indulge just this once." He tipped the bottle back and proceeded to take a profoundly generous swig, wiping his mouth with the back of his elegant wrist when he was done.
Reeve and Sephiroth both stared at him as though they'd never seen a man determined to get drunk before.
Twenty minutes later, the empty bottle sat abandoned beside the bar and a fresh one found itself popped open without so much as a thank-you-ma'am.
Sephiroth had decided to lounge in his oversized leather recliner, a decadent piece of furniture that dominated one corner of the room. Reeve sprawled his arm over one side, Tseng draped his arm along the opposite armrest, and Sephiroth let his head loll against the plush back cushion.
Into the silence, Sephiroth started to laugh. It wasn't a happy sound, but the stuttery bark of a manic dingo with hiccups.
"You're not the only one who appreciates the ridiculousness of all this," Reeve offered, edging away as best he could given the length of his neck. "But I'd really appreciate if you didn't laugh like that. Or at all, for that matter."
"The pie shop."
Reeve blinked as the non-sequitur bounced off his alcohol-fogged brain without sticking. "Come again?"
"Last night, I went to the pie shop," Sephiroth stated, his voice excited. "You know the one, the only one worth mentioning?"
"Right next to the Wutaian diner?" Tseng asked, his tone thoughtful.
"That's the one! Were you there?"
"Last night? Yes, yes I was…"
"So was I!" Reeve blurted, the pieces falling together. "Or rather, the newsstand right across from both of them. I go there every Friday evening."
Sephiroth sounded curious. "The newsstand…do you mean the one that sells that magazine with the pictures of young, naked –"
"Yes! Yes, that's the one," Reeve spluttered.
Sephiroth pursed his lips. "Mmhmm. Now I know what to get you for your birthday, Tuesti."
"Who else did I see that night?" Tseng murmured, ostensibly to himself but loudly enough to hopefully forestall another round of bickering. "There was a motorcycle…"
"Oh, vengeance shall be mine!" Sephiroth snarled.
"I already called dibs," Tseng reminded them both, his tone lethal.
"I thought I saw…but no, it couldn't be," Reeve mused, frowning. "He doesn't play pranks like that."
"Any man may prank when pushed to his limit, Mr. Tuesti," Tseng observed grimly. "Even me."
Sephiroth raised an eyebrow and bowed his head slightly. "Tseng, I'm impressed."
"Don't be. In Turks, it's a survival tactic."
"In SOLDIER, prank plays you," Sephiroth chuckled. "Sounds like we're not so different after all."
Reeve caught himself yawning. "Gentlemen, I vote we get some sleep. Cait Sith should be back by morning, hopefully with the counterspell."
"Good idea," Tseng agreed. "Bed, then?"
Sephiroth smirked. "Very good idea. But I should tell you, there's a little something I like to do before I go to sleep at night…"
Reeve gave him an incredulous look. "I do not need to know this!"
"Oh yes, you do," Sephiroth purred, leaning his head close enough to kiss him. His lips brushed across Reeve's as the General murmured, "You've got the coordinated hand."
Cait Sith sat on the railing outside the bedroom window and tried not to laugh out loud. All his work would be for nothing if he were caught now, but he just couldn't resist getting some footage of this. Not that he was in the market for more blackmail material, but it never hurt to keep a bit of extra leverage under your hat.
Speaking of under the hat, the tiny extortionist patted his crown fondly as if thanking it for keeping the antidote hidden so neatly. If only Reeve wasn't such a cheapskate, this wouldn't have been necessary, but even a robot cat had needs, and Reeve hadn't even put him on the regular WRO payroll. At least this little prank had paid off with the access codes; Cait Sith thought about all the toys he could now buy for himself and treats for Nanaki, and smiled.
He'd put them right in the morning, and he had all night to come up with a damn good cover story. Fortunately, he knew enough about Zack Fair to know the man would never deny credit for such an elaborate prank, as to do so would make him seem less the artist than the real prankster and he'd never go for that. No, the paybacks would be strange and nasty, and probably last quite some time – but Zack would remain Cait Sith's unwitting accomplice.
Cait Sith felt a momentary pang of conscience, an artifact granted him by his creator. His ears and whiskers drooped, and his eyes glimmered with tears. He considered telling the truth, to spare an innocent man from a cruel, cruel fate.
Then he decided to buy Zack a new motorcycle instead.