It was a normal day in the News Building on the corner of Forty Second Street in the large and busy city of Hollow Bastion.
Normal being: at least seven people have died on the roads since the weekend; a child's skeleton had been found under a couple's kitchen floor last night; there had been a drive-by shooting down by the bank on Saturday and two people have been found dead and seven seriously injured; a teenaged mother died by the train-station as well as her unborn son– and a crapload of other shit that got out the message 'fuck, this is some sick shit, eh?'.
It was halfway through an ad-break, a quarter of the way through the usual broadcast of the depressing news, as well as maybe something like a birth of twins or something like that to lighten the mood.
The news room was humming with activity: camera-men chewing on their doughnuts and trying not to smear any sugar on the pretty buttons or lights; reporters being spoken to over the phone; make-up personnel hurrying around the two news-casters of the channel like maggots around a decapitated lam's head.
The news-casters were named Cloud Strife and Leon Leonhart:
Old school acquaintances, mutual enemies, coffee-addicts, and sadistic bastards.
"FUCK! Watch it, Strife!"
"Shut up, faggot!"
And they also had potty-mouthes.
Not the first pick for news-casters, one would think. But, apparently their obnoxiously good looks and their ability to look nice and harmless when called for were what landed them the jobs.
They'd known each other from highschool. They had a little piece of their own loathing projected to the world, instead directed at each other from a young age. Some days they would be swearing at each other so passionately that some of the female employees would leave the floor, and some days they'd get along perfectly fine, and maybe go to the bar together after the news. It just depended on the two of them.
Cloud tried to ignore the make-up woman who was fingering at his spiky blond hair hurriedly, his blue eyes staring at the laptop on front of him as he twirled his pen through his fingers.
Leon grabbed the coffee he was being offered and gulped some of the liquid hurriedly as the stage-hand quickly straitened his suit and tie, another stage-hand smearing some make-up on his cheeks as well as they could with him ducking away from them like that.
The two men sat behind a shiny white desk, a window overlooking the city below behind them, two laptops and a few other things that enforced the 'office-like' decor scattered over the shiny fake marble tabletop.
The blonde man's pen flew from his fingers for the second time in less than two minutes and whacked Leon in the side of the head again before clattering onto the floor.
"FOR FUCKS SAKE!"
"Shh! I'm reading!" Cloud hissed, eyes still fixed on his laptop, the hair-fixer-upper-person disappearing to wherever make-up people disappear to after figuring that their job was done and the universe was safe once again.
"You're looking at porn," Leon snarled, his shoulder-length brown hair seeming to crackle with his unadulterated loathing for the other man.
"It's informative," the blonde reasoned smoothly.
The brunette opened his mouth, a slew of the most foul words ready on his tongue before a the overly-pompous theme-music started up and the two men instantaneously snapped back to their respectable and family-friendly personality, straightening their postures and looking straight at the camera in front of them.
"Welcome back," Leon said smoothly, ignoring the faint 'tap' of Cloud minimising the window showing that wonderfully flexible pair of twins on his laptop and pulling up the one with the news on it instead. "There were some troubles on Highwind Airlines recently when there was a shortage of a certain beverage in the mini-bar and the pilot became rambunctious in a search for more while the co-pilot flew the aeroplane."
"He threw a hissy fit because there was no tea," corrected Cloud smoothly, the other male becoming silent so the other could be heard. Manners, it could be mistaken as. It was actually so he could listen to the other man's words better so he could laugh at him if he slipped up and make it worse if he could. "And from the skies to the roads," the blond continued to the camera, now speaking of the troubles on the Hollow Bastion roads.
The news report was, so far, uneventful. Neither male news reporter had stabbed the other male or any of the attending with their pens –why they had pens while having no papers and only laptops and a glass of water before them was something to be discussed at a later date– and there had been no swearing on camera. Yet.
"... and four people died on southern roads today," Cloud said with just the right amount of sympathy and empathy. The two men were quite good actors by now. They were quite similar, really.
"I'm sure you caused your share of victims," Leon stated flatly, grey eyes on his own laptop screen, which was filled with binary code.
And sometimes being so similar is a problem.
Blue eyes flick to the side at the other male and narrowed slightly. An experienced stage-hand shrank a little behind his camera at that movement, eyes wide and terrified.
"As did you with your disgusting little cardboard box with wheels drawn on, Leonhart," murmured the blond, voice deep and smeared with poison, his hands clasped together delicately before him.
Grey eyes are suddenly gone from the laptop screen and are now boring purely into bright blue ones.
"Don't you dare insult my car again, Strife," said the brunet in what could only be described as a snarl, perfectly poised, respectable-looking, but waves of loathing flowing from his body like that nice cologne he wore yesterday.
The rest of the stage-hands knew what was happening, and a few of the female staff members were hurrying for the door, while one or two of the others were getting out tape-recorders of their own and pointing it at the two males.
"Who, me?" questioned Cloud, placing an admittedly delicate hand to his chest, raising his golden eyebrows. "Would never dream of it, Leonhart. That bathtub can't be insulted." Turning back to the camera, which was still rolling, the blond continued where he'd left off. "Anyway, as I was saying, two elderly men-- OW! What the fuck, Leonhart!"
"Yes, Strife?" Leon answered with a polite air. Oh, no. He hadn't kicked him. Certainly not. He was polite and gentlemanly. He would never kick someone under their own desk.
Unless they deserved it.
"Juvenile, much?" Cloud snarled, leaning to the side a little so he could rub at his bruised shin. Yep. Bruised. This place was like a war-zone. He'd probably get a grenade in the face next week.
"I'm sure your company last night would know," replied the brunet smoothly, eyes looking back to his screen of binary code.
The blond froze, awkwardly leaning to the side, eyes staring up at the other male, mouth hanging a little open. A thoroughly uncomfortable pose to be in, but still. "... Low blow, man," Cloud huffed. "Low blow."
And so, the news report continued. Albeit nastily, with both men being lowered to sport of shin-kicking and bringing up embarrassing highschool dramas, old girlfriends, and bad choices. Anyone watching would know more about them by watching the report than reading any biography.
"And, what was her name?" Cloud said, counting off on his fingers. "Rin... Rinny? Rano? Reno? No, that was Rude's then-boyfriend. Rino..." The blond received a boot to the shin. The exact same spot where he'd been kicked six times previously. "AH! Oh! That's it!" he cried, snapping his fingers together. "Rinoa! Did you see her look at you when you asked her? It was glorious!"
"Shut up!" snapped Leon harshly, posture slightly hunched in his fury, hands gripping at the desk harshly, knuckles white. "It wasn't as bad as Aerith. Or Tifa. Remember Tifa?"
This was a live news broadcast.
Luckily, it was on one of the channels that was known for 'different' kind of shows, so, it was expected.
The news broadcast often lasted two hours purely from the two male's arguing.
Once, it came back from an advertisement break just in time to see Leon crack Cloud across the face with a chair, be restrained by stage personnel before the blond replied to the chair to his face by ripping the stage-hands off the other male, kneeing him in the gut, punching him violently across the jaw, and tackling him off-camera. All whilst bleeding profusely from the temple.
Suffice it to say, the news report was exciting more often than not.
That's why they had over a third of the population was watching every night.
It took a good twenty minutes for the two of them to actually get back to stating the news and let their tempers simmer down to a tangible loathing. Some people who watched the news report were convinced the whole thing was scripted, but, this is not so. The two of them were just very... creative.
A lovely girl from a different city who watched their news report on the internet sent the news station a quick and sweet email once.
'JUST FUCK. IT'D BE HAWT.
Just for her, since the two of them were in good moods on the day, they just gave the camera a one-finger salute and went back to stating the news.
"Aaaaand... we're off."
It was time for another advertisement break.
The blond smirked from his place and the brunet suddenly flinched.
"AH! Oh, GOD. OW. YOU BASTARD." Leon yelled. They were both going to have permanent bruises on their shins, and were going to have trouble walking around, no doubt. Shin-kicking may be a delightful sport, but painful in the long-run.
"Buck up, princess," Cloud huffed, taking a sip of his glass of water, eying the ever so flexible twins on his laptop screen. They were quite pretty. Maybe he could find them and give them a visit sometime. He was part of the press, after all. Information-gathering was his job. Kind of.
"Stop kicking me!" the brunet snarled, a make-up artist seeming to poof out of nowhere and start dabbing at his cheek with a brush.
"I'm not kicking you!" the blond snapped back, minimising the window again to turn to his companion haughtily. The broadcast was an hour in, and only a quarter of the information that needed to be told had been spoken of. The rest had been bickering and glaring.
"Are so!" cried Leon.
"Am not!" Cloud exclaimed.
"Are so!" Leon returned loudly.
A camera operator sighed from his place as the make-up artist scuttled off again and circled the plate of doughnuts. "They're like siblings..." he mumbled to himself, cheek against his camera, a tired sigh falling from his lips.
"Are so!" roared the brunet. They were still going.
"Am n-- OW! FUCK!"
The camera guy sighed to himself as he saw a light blinking and looked through the large boxy camera before him. "And we're back in three--"
"Up yours!" yelled the brunet furiously.
"FUCK YOU!" screamed the blond.
"Welcome back," said Leon smoothly to the camera, polite and gentlemanly as ever. "This evening there was drama in the shopping mall when four money-despensers were ignited and seven people were sent to hospital with second-degree burns..."
Somehow –because of a miracle, maybe–, all the news that needed to be divulged to the public was vulged of it's di a few minutes earlier than usual. The two men had not tried to kill each other today, but, tomorrow was a new day, and a new opportunity for murder.
"And now that you have seen all that there is to see of the news," Cloud said in his soothing voice, a few minutes left of air-time, one hand on his laptop keyboard, the other tucking a spike of hair behind his ear despite the disapproving hisses of the hair-stylists, "I will now give you a look at something that I have been sitting on for three years because Leonhart was an ass last night and today, and he deserves it."
Leon, who had been in the midst of taking a sip of his water, choked violently, some water splashing onto the shiny desk in front of him, before he could gag "w-Wha--?!" and stare at the other male.
With an authoritative tap of his laptop keyboard, instead of the two of them on the screen for all to see, a picture of Leon himself sitting on a chair in a pair of silk boxers was shown. Not only was he just sitting there, but he was with a bosomy brunette, who was putting make-up on him, and another girl who was painting his nails.
A loud echo of shattering glass is heard around the studio.
With another tap, the screen showed the two news presenters once more.
"Thank you all for your company, and good night," purred Cloud, a crooked smirk on his face.
With that, the pompous theme music started up again and the lights faded, but that did nothing to distract from the look of ungodly, stupefied horror that was on Leon's face as he still sat there, frozen, mouth agape, staring at the screen.
((END. This is for Knit . pump, because she's practically my ability to write personified, and I love her anyway. Just an idea I thought up quite a while ago and only just finished. Enjoy!))