Title: Turks and Turks
Author: Zalia Chimera
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Pairing: Mild Tseng/Elena
Summary: Elena has dated a few men since becoming a Turk, but none of them had ever seen her how she wanted to be seen.
Elena had tried dating, back when she was still a rookie Turk and didn't have the knowledge that she had now. It had seemed like a good idea at the time, dating, finding someone to spend time with outside of work who wasn't another Turk. Reno and Rude weren't bad exactly, but they treated her like one of the boys which could be a little frustrating at times.
There'd been someone from the Science Department, kind of geeky but smart and interesting, until she'd realised that she hated scientists, especially ones who were involved in creating messes which she then had to kill. She still insisted that she couldn't remember his name whenever Reno asked. It was a lie of course, but she didn't think that he had been bad enough to deserve being killed by Reno who was still holding a grudge for that mission. Besides, holding the threat of Reno over the man's head worked great for blackmail purposes.
There had been that guy from Accounting who she'd met while accompanying someone to a party. It had been going great for a couple of months until he'd taken her aside for a 'discussion'. The discussion had basically boiled down to him telling her how great it was that she was a strong, independent woman, but being a Turk was a bit too strong and independent but he knew a department that wanted a secretary and that would be a great job to fill the time until they had kids and she could just stay home with them.
She'd heard that he'd gone impotent, but hadn't felt the need to check up on that. The photograph Reno had taken of his face as she kneed him in the groin was more than enough.
She'd really thought that she'd had something special with George from City Planning. They'd even sort of moved in together. Half her stuff had ended up there somehow anyway.
It had lasted until she realised that she scared him. Admittedly, she could probably have handled the situation better than she had, but when someone comes at you, screaming about you being a ShinRa murderer, you don't tend to think of the consequences before you shoot to kill, or at least you didn't when you were a Turk. George hadn't said anything, but he hadn't made any move to comfort her either.
She'd made sure that all of her things had been gone by morning.
She'd come to the conclusion that there was a good reason that Turks tended to stay with Turks.
Elena looked up sharply at Tseng, flushing a little in embarrassment at being caught off-guard, and over such a silly thing as that. He smiled at her and it still surprised her sometimes how much a small expression like that could blunt and warm the sharp angles of his features. "You looked to be miles away," he said with a touch of amusement.
She made a non-comittal noise and took another sip of her wine to avoid answering the implied question. It was a nice red, from a village on the Costa del Sol. Expensive, but they were paid well and it was oddly gratifying to know that Tseng didn't mind taking advantage of the Turks' generous expenses account to take her to a nice restaurant, even if it meant bending the rules a little. She glanced around at the packed tables full of very wealthy people and raised an eyebrow. And using Turk reputation to get them a reservation and a good table too, apparently.
"This is a nice place," she said finally, smiling back at him.
"The President recommended it," he replied wryly.
Well, that explained the menu not actually giving prices of things, if Rufus ate here. She felt a little out of place, but that was balanced by the fact that she could probably quite easily blackmail everyone in the room with the things that she knew. There was one of the executives from Weapons Development, for example, with a girl who definitely wasn't his wife and probably wasn't even legal.
The waiter approached them and the way he talked and offered them the dessert menu was so flawlessly polite and polished that she knew that he was terrified of them. Tseng gracefully accepted the menus and passed one over to her, his fingers brushing deliberately against the back of her hand. He wasn't afraid of her and there was no hint that he thought she was unfeminine or should have worn something more appropriate than her suit.
Elena flipped open the menu, feeling a little like a child let loose in a sweet shop at the sight of all of the beautifully presented desserts. She was rather curious about what Tseng would pick.
A phone rang and Tseng sighed softly. "Excuse me," he said apologetically, before reaching into his pocket and pulling out his PHS. Elena didn't mind much; any call made to Tseng was probably important. She amused herself by watching irate customers turn pale when they realised who they were glaring at for using a phone in the restaurant.
"Of course Sir."
She looked up when she heard the phone snap shut, Tseng slipping it back into his pocket.
"Reno and Rude are meeting us," Tseng said, switching smoothly from man to Turk. "Are you armed?"
Elena nodded smartly, standing up and stepping towards him. She was always armed these days and the flash of pride that she saw on Tseng's face at her reply sent a warm feeling through her because it was pride in her for being herself, for excelling at what she did, not because she was pretty or because someone could brag about dating a Turk. It was more satisfying than she'd ever thought would be possible, to be seen as a fellow Turk.
Tseng clasped her shoulder briefly and together, they headed to the door.