A/N: I lied, I changed a few continuity things in this chapter and got rid of some annoying dialogue. I only write this two years ago, but it was still sub-par, hah. Enjoy 21-year-old me.

So... It's been a while. A LONG while. Like long enough to get a Bachelor of Music degree. I AM SO SORRY, Assassin's Creed and Dragon Age took over my life!

And I am proud to say that I have not forgotten about any of my fics, especially this one. I started working on it again, since I have no school and no job! Whooo! However, I went back and read my old chapters and WOW, they look hideous. I found SO many things that bugged me. I may rewrite them, mainly to make Rufus a little more realistic. Thanks to Athenaion for mentioning that! I'm trying to make him sound four years old now. Someone let me know if I fail again! 8l

Anyway, I just wanted to apologize for not updating in more than four years, and for my horrible high school writing. Hopefully I've gotten better by now, I dunno. Half of this was written four years ago, and I hope I did a good job of fixing it so it isn't obvious. Enjoy.


Babysitting

Tseng had never been so sleep deprived in his life. He didn't like missing any sleep, because he needed to be in top condition every day. However, he would soon learn that working for Shinra meant that you gave everything to them, even your rest.

This was first exemplified by Tseng's inability to set his alarm on his phone, which would wake him in enough time to get ready the next day. The phone was easy enough to use, however, there were functions unknown to the young Turk, and it took him much longer than necessary to find the alarm. When it was set, it decided to go off every so often, because he had set it for PM, instead of AM. Not only that, but his alarm tone was extremely monotonous, and would probably wake the dead. Once that was fixed, Tseng finally got into bed, trying to forget that he was in a room next to the president's son, and that he was currently a babysitter.

However, his brief moment of peace did not last long, and the evil job of babysitting once again reared its head when Rufus Shinra had a bad dream.

There was a faint knock on the door, barely loud enough for the young Turk to hear. Though it was good that Tseng could hear, because if he didn't, the poor boy outside might have run crying to his father, making a much bigger fuss than was necessary. Tseng jumped out of bed, and unlocked the door, letting it slide open with the familiar airy whoosh. What he didn't expect was a small child to dart in and ram into his legs, attaching himself to the Turk.

"S-Sir?! What's wrong?" Tseng stammered. Had someone tried to do something, and he hadn't heard it? He'd have to change that, to put some kind of monitor in the young boy's room.

Rufus answered, his small voice muffled beyond comprehension. Tseng blushed, and tried not to think about where the boy's face was at the moment, because of his height. "Sir, I can't hear you. What happened?"

Rufus pulled his face away from Tseng, and revealed a pitiful sight; his eyes were watering, and his lips trembled. "I had a bad d-dream." It looked like the boy was still trying to control his cries, stopping his own tears before they left his eyes.

Tseng's expression went from worried to exasperated in an instant. He was tired from the day's work, and he hadn't slept for even an hour before this little interruption. He didn't want to look insensitive, but the boy needed to learn to deal with his nightmares. Tseng had learned from a young age to deal with such things, and believed that kind of strength was a virtue.

But he wasn't talking to a young, proud, Wutaian boy. He was talking to a spoiled brat who had had the luxury of running to his mother any time he wanted to. Though Tseng was a bit jealous, he was also sympathetic, since this boy no longer had that luxury. It had been stolen from him in one day, and would never be returned to him. So which was worse, losing that luxury so quickly and abruptly, or never having it to begin with? Tseng had no idea, but he didn't think it was fair either way.

"Would you like some company for a while, sir?" Rufus nodded vigorously. "Alright, come in." He moved aside, allowing the boy passage. He felt a little more comfortable around the boy, confident that he wouldn't tattle to his father about the most trivial of matters, such as addressing him incorrectly. The boy ran in and jumped onto the oversized bed, hugging his knees. Tseng followed him back inside, and switched on the bedside light. The light reflected off of the young boy's tears, accenting his watery eyes. Tseng winced at the sight, and sat down beside the boy.

"So... what is bothering you, sir?"

Rufus sniffed before answering. "Scarlet took my mamma away. She was laughing, too..."

Tseng thought for a moment, wondering why the hell the boy would dream about Scarlet. That's when he remembered the bedtime story. He mentally kicked himself, once again that day, and tried to think of a way to comfort the little one beside him. The problem with that was the fact that the boy's mother was dead, and there was no bringing her back.

"Don't worry, Scarlet didn't take your mother, I'm sure of it."

"Then who did? Where did she go?"

And that's where the trouble came in. Of course, that particular topic would have to come up, since every other horrible event that Tseng could fathom had happened right as he had thought of it. He decided to use euphemisms, to the max.

"Mother is tired right now. She needs her rest." Tseng hoped that was enough. He didn't feel like being the one to tell him of his mother's fate... supposing the president hadn't already done so. Then he didn't want to be the one to remind the boy.

"When will she be better?"

Tseng frowned. "We don't know, I'm sorry sir."

"Are you taking care of me now?"

Tseng was stunned for a moment, and tried to recover. Is that really what he was doing? Because if he said "Yes," then he might have to deal with all of those other jobs that mothers often did to take care of their children. And that may include baths. Tseng shuddered at the thought.

But really, what else was he going to say, that his mother was coming back? Or that his mother was never coming back? One answer would be a lie and would create false hope, and would ultimately lead to the boy's distrust of the Turk. The other answer would be the complete truth, but might give the boy even more trauma than was good for him. Tseng decided to ditch both of those answers, and go with the first thought.

"... Yes. Yes, I am, sir." What did he have to lose? Hell, he might have ended up doing those same motherly jobs he abhorred, even if he said otherwise. It didn't make it any easier to look the boy in the face after he said it, though.

Rufus looked up from his examining of the fabric of his pants, and stared right into Tseng's eyes. They held a mixture of shock, confusion, and a hint of relief. The corners of the boy's mouth continued to tremble for a moment, before curving upward into a genuine smile. It was then that Tseng saw the boy's true colors, and he felt a pang of sympathy. When the boy's look was too much, Tseng blushed, and looked away. He was forced to look back though, when he felt small arms reaching around him in a tight embrace, refusing to let go any time soon.

Tseng just stared at the top of the boy's head, regret filling him to the breaking point. He'd tried to hint that his mother was too tired to continue caring for him, but things never went the way he planned anymore, it seemed. His eyes softened, and he subconsciously brought his hand up to stroke the boy's hair. At first he realized what he was doing and nearly freaked, but he kept himself under control, justifying his act. I guess my fathering instincts are kicking in... Oh boy. He pushed that thought aside, thinking of what to do next. "Can you go back to sleep, sir?"

Rufus raised his head and nodded, smiling. But his features turned back to his usual. expectant stare when he told Tseng, "Tuck me in again."

Tseng's fragile fatherly exterior shattered instantly, leaving him with a pained and exasperated look on his face once again. "Yes, sir..."

Luckily, Rufus didn't need another bedtime story, and Tseng was able to get to bed right away. He collapsed onto the bed and barely pulled to covers up over his lean frame before drifting off once again. He just hoped the alarm really could wake the dead, because that's how he felt at that moment.

He wasn't asleep for thirty minutes before he felt something. He opened his eyes groggily, wiping his eyes and yawning. He turned over to see what the strange sensation was, and nearly jumped out of the bed in shock. There, in his bed, was a small, blond-haired boy, who had been snuggling up against him in his sleep. Tseng sat there, wide-eyed and breathing hard, his face screwed up and staring at that thing in his bed. One must understand that the Turk had never in his life shared a bed with anyone. He had never anticipated such an event ever occurring in the future, either. And so, when he saw the boy there, he felt nothing less than violated. Had the security guards just let him in!? Tseng supposed that was alright, but it was incredible what situation he was suddenly in.

But of course, he was unharmed, and he had to keep his wits about him. He calmed himself quickly, and attempted to solve the problem. There was a child in his bed, and he didn't want it there. However, this child was the son of the president, and therefore must be treated with the utmost respect, right? If the child wanted something, he would have it, within reason. How Tseng figured this was reasonable was beyond him, but there wasn't any time for things like simple logic. He was tired, and wanted sleep. And so he grabbed a pillow, and carefully placed it between him and the boy. Hopefully there would be no more problems. The child was safe with him, right? So he was doing his job, still. He lay back down, falling asleep right as he hit the pillow.

Tseng jerked awake when he felt that same feeling again. Something was latched onto him from behind, and it didn't seem to want to let go. Tseng took a deep breath, and eased away from the sleeping child, crawling out of the bed with the utmost care not to disturb him. He stood, and found the pillow he had placed between them on the floor by the door. Apparently Rufus had thrown it off when he realized he wasn't snuggling against a real person. Tseng grabbed the pillow and set it up neatly beside the bed, and laid down. Luckily it was summer, and he wouldn't freeze without a blanket. He closed his eyes for the last time that night, content that nothing else would keep him from his sleep.

And that's how Tseng got to where he was now. He was lying on the floor, faced up towards the ceiling, his hands intertwined on top of his stomach. And Rufus was clinging to his arm, snoozing away. Tseng's eyes were wide open, wary of his phone that was inches from his head. It was going to go off soon, indicating the time for him to get up and get ready, and go ask Veld what the hell he was supposed to do with a toddler.

He eventually gave up on waiting for the damn thing to sound, so he turned it off. He had more important things to worry about, like how he was going to get up without waking the sleeping child that was clinging to his arm.

########

There wasn't much to worry about, however, because that same child woke up shortly.

Tseng was a little irked by his own constant worrying, and how it had kept him from sleeping. Rufus let go of his arm, stretching his arms above his head. When he felt himself being released, Tseng made to get up as soon as possible, but a small fist collided with his nose, and caused him to hesitate.

"Good morning, Tseng." Rufus smiled at him.

Tseng blushed, feeling uncomfortable from both Rufus' unorthodox greeting fist, and his irritated nose. He sat up, noticing how his hair tie was missing. He shuddered, wondering how it got on the other side of the room, broken. He answered the boy's greeting, avoiding his eyes. "Good morning, sir. Is there anything you need?"

Rufus yawned, eyes squinting, and he mumbled something about being tired.

Now was his chance. All of his training as a Turk had led up to this point-he would use his skills in persuasion to manipulate the situation into something desirable, that would help him accomplish his mission quickly and efficiently.

"Perhaps you should go back to bed, sir... in your own room. I'm sure it would be a lot more comfortable than where you are now."

The boy sat up next to Tseng, rubbing his eyes. He looked up at Tseng, drawing the Turk's uncomfortable gaze. He spoke with an innocent, slightly weary tone, "But you won't be in there."

Tseng raised his eyebrows slightly in shock. Was this boy already that attached to him? He briefly pondered whether this was a good thing, or another horrible case of misfortune wrought down upon him while he answered the boy.

"I'm sorry I can't be with you all the time… but I'll be right there to wake you up later. And the guards will keep watch outside your door like they always do."

Rufus pouted. "The guards are stupid. They don't even know good stories."

Tseng was at a loss. He didn't know how to get the child to stay in his own room. But then again… He thought for a moment if that was a good idea after all. While he was getting ready for the day, the boy could be kidnapped somehow! Those generic infantrymen couldn't possibly be held responsible for such an important person. If Rufus was taken, it would ultimately fall to Tseng to take the punishment.

But at the same time, how was he supposed to perform even the most basic of necessary tasks―such as eating and sleeping―while taking care of a child? Veld have given him absolutely nothing to go on, in that regard. It was his job to protect Rufus, at all times. If he must lose sleep or even personal hygiene, then so be it.

Since the latter was a preposterous idea, Tseng planned to contact Veld as soon as possible. But since Veld was probably busy with the other Turks and the ongoing investigation, Tseng had to think of something else until he could contact the commander.

He looked down at Rufus, hoping this was a good idea. "Sir, would you like to meet a friend of mine?"

########

There comes a time in everyone's career when they have to take drastic measures, make difficult decisions. For anyone in their right mind, there would be a great amount of anxiety while deciding just the right way to go about this. On the one hand, they could lose their job and be punished extensively if they failed. On the other hand, they could succeed and nothing would come of it, other than their allowed continuation of employment. Tseng thought this through very thoroughly as he contacted one of his few friends. He supposed it would be inappropriate to ask a fellow Turk for help, but maybe it would be suitable to ask a friend? Luckily for him, all of his friends were cadets, and lived in the same building. If they were available, they could come to his aid in no time at all.

And luckily for him he knew one of them would be perfect for the job, while the others would simply stare in confusion and disbelief. They weren't trained to handle children, and they probably had no interest in them at all. Then again, neither did he… But fortunately, Shuriken seemed to have a soft spot for children.

"Aw, he's even more cute in person!" She fawned over the small boy in front of her, so close that her nose almost touched his. If she were any other person, Tseng might have felt she was just a little too close for comfort. But maybe this was an ancient motherly technique he had yet to understand, and he had yet to master. Not that he wanted to any time soon.

"Isn't he just the most adorable little boy you've ever seen? Oh, he's so precious, I just wanna hug him, and kiss him, and never, ever let him go!" She proceeded to give the boy a tight hug, but not so tight as to make him uncomfortable. Rufus simply stood in mild shock and discomfort at the sudden appearance of this strange girl.

The girl continued to fawn for a good two minutes, kneeling in front of the boy and coddling him until Tseng cleared his throat uncomfortably. Shuriken looked up at him as if wondering what could possibly be wrong with this situation.

Tseng frowned uncomfortably. "So... could you watch him for a little while? I promise it won't be long, and I'll contact Veld as soon as I can, and..." He seemed desperate to explain himself, and he was beginning to ramble, so Shuriken interrupted him.

"Tseng, I'll be here. Don't worry. I can watch him as long as you need." She smiled genuinely.

Tseng stopped himself from rambling further, and sighed. "Okay... Please take him back to his room, and don't leave. It's not that I don't trust you, I just-"

"Tseng! It's okay, go!" Shuriken looked at him with amused sympathy. At least that's what it looked like to Tseng.

He opened his mouth to answer again, but let out a breath and shut it again. He nodded, and left for his bathroom.

Rufus stared at the door his bodyguard went though uneasily. Shuriken put her face closer to his to get his attention. "Hey, it'll be okay! I'm really nice when I want to be."

Rufus looked at her, and looked at the floor, pouting.

Shuriken got a little closer and spoke more softly. "Hey, it's only for a little while. Tseng will spend the whole day with you when he's all done, okay? How about I help you get ready?" She smiled at him, trying to get him to look up at her.

Rufus glanced up, then back at the floor. "... Do I get a bubble bath?"

Shuriken grinned. "Of course you can have a bubble bath. You've been such a good boy, after all."

Rufus looked up at her, suddenly beaming. Shuriken laughed. "Now, come on back to your room." She stood, taking Rufus' tiny hand in her own (which wasn't that big either, considering), and led him back out to his own room.


Tseng quickly towel-dried his hair and combed it, so he at least wouldn't look too incredibly haphazard when he left the room. His hair would air-dry, anyway. He opened the bathroom door, and saw that Shuriken and the boy were gone, as he'd instructed them. He couldn't help but worry however, so he hurried into the closet and dressed quickly. He was surprised to find many bleached-white shirts, and just as many pairs of pants to go with, so that he wouldn't have to wear the same suit every day. He had wondered how that was to work, and was glad he didn't have to worry about such a thing. There was only one spare suit jacket though, so he would have to be careful. He assumed any extras would come out of his pay, just like phones, and other equipment. He quickly dressed and pulled his damp hair back into a ponytail, and raced out the door and to Rufus' room.

He was pleased to see guards posted, and that the guards stopped him and made him show his ID card, even though he was dressed as a Turk. These weren't slackers―he would put in a good word for them in his report. He walked in and saw the door to the bathroom was closed, and Shuriken's voice carried from behind the door. He went up and knocked. "It's Tseng."

Shuriken's voice was muffled. "Hey! We're almost done, okay? Hey, stop!"

There was splashing, and a little boy laughing. Tseng supposed that was good... He didn't know many ways to make people laugh, much less a child. At the same time, he hoped he wouldn't have to reply much on Shuriken. This was his job, after all. "I'll be right out here."

"Okay!" She sounded like she was struggling, but she was having fun, too. Odd. Tseng went to sit on the bed, waiting for them. It was still rather early, so he decided against calling Veld for instructions... He suddenly thought, since the president ordered him to do this, did he report to him now? That seemed unlikely, but this whole situation was so disorganized he had to make sure. He sent a quick message to Veld for advisement. Did Rufus have a schedule? If not, he'd have to improvise. The thought abhorred him. He was very, very grateful that Shuriken was here helping out.

Shuriken seemed to know just what to do, all the time. She pulled Rufus out, dried him, tickled him a bit to make him laugh, laughed with him... then helped him dress in his nice clothes and did his hair. Rufus struggled into his suit again, and she took it so easily... Tseng was amazed. He wouldn't have had any idea how to handle these situations. Hopefully Veld would give him better instructions, soon.

"Finished!" Yelled Shuriken. "Look at you, you're so professional-looking!"She beamed at the little boy in front of her. Somehow she had coaxed him out of his irritable mood caused by having to wear the suit, and now he seemed to be trying to impress her. "You look just like a little version of the president." She smiled, looking very impressed.

Rufus grinned. "I look like papa?"

The girl beamed right back at him. "Of course, just like him. And one day you'll grow up to be just like him―strong, smart, courageous, fair, kind―you'll be the perfect president."

Rufus beamed. "I want to be like papa."

Shuriken looked delighted. "Good!"

Rufus finally lost interest in the strange girl and looked back to the one he understood to be his actual caretaker. "Can we play today? What are we doing?" His gaze was expectant.

Tseng hesitated. "I... I don't know yet."

Shuriken burst right in, with all her worldly knowledge begging to assist. "They didn't give you a schedule? That's like, the first stop in hiring a babysitter. You want to make sure they do what you need them to do with your child. You'll most likely get one." She smiled sweetly.

Tseng frowned. "Right... I asked Veld earlier, but he hasn't-" His phone interrupted him with a generic ring tone. He decided it was generic enough to not warrant any change. He answered quickly. "Tseng speaking."

"I'm sorry to have kept you waiting." He sounded tired. Tseng could only imagine what he and the other Turks had been up to. "How have things been going with the president's son?"

"Ah―Everything is fine, sir. But I haven't received any other instructions. I'm not sure what my job is, exactly." He winced. Admitting insecurity in your job was never a good thing, at least not at Shinra.

"I understand, your job was sprung on you at a moment's notice. There was no plan to go with it. You've done well, considering. I hope I can assuage many of your concerns, now that things are beginning to get organized."

Tseng felt relief flow through him as Veld explained that Rufus would be getting a nanny by the end of the day, and a tutor would be hired. Tseng's sole purpose was to guard him. He would send reports to the president's secretary at the end of each day. That was what Tseng was trained for. He felt much more confident in his position. He hung up and turned to Shuriken, who had been keeping Rufus busy again. "... You called me a babysitter."

Shuriken laughed. "It's true! You'll see. But hey, it could be good for you. Just let me know if you need an more help, okay? It's always good to be a favorite of the president's son."

Tseng frowned. "He's four. He doesn't have favorites."

Shuriken guffawed. "Of course he does! I'm his favorite right now." She grinned. "Bye Rufus! Hopefully we'll see each other again!" She left.

Tseng watched her go, then turned to Rufus. "Do you like her more than me?"

Rufus thought for a moment. "No."

Tseng snorted lightly in amusement. He actually wasn't expecting that. "Why?"

Rufus rubbed his face. "She pinched my cheeks."

Tseng chuckled at that. "Well, she probably tells better stories. Do you want to play with your toy soldiers until I get your schedule?"

Rufus lit up and ran to get his toys. Tseng thought of as many army scenarios as he could, knowing he would never be prepared for what the boy had in store for him.

They played for a few hours (With Tseng's soldiers being easily manipulated and killed by Rufus' cunning plans) before Rufus complained that he was hungry. Tseng attempted to remedy this by calling the cafeteria on Floor 27. It was common practice for any person above Floor 59 to order their meals and have them sent up, so they wouldn't have to deal with the common rabble, because they were so very busy. Tseng wondered how many people actually went to the cafeteria every day. If everyone went at the same time, wouldn't there be huge lines, and the building would cease to function for a few hours at lunch time? This obviously wasn't the case, so he figured most people brought meals from home, or went out, and left the cafeteria food for emergencies. Besides, if you weren't above Floor 59, it probably wasn't very good food anyway.

When Tseng was a recruit (it already seemed so long ago) he usually took meals with his fellow cadets. Their floor was set up like the SOLDIER floor, with specialized meals fit for the military. When the common food arrived at Rufus' room, he found himself missing it. He figured he was important enough now to order a special meal if he wished, and he made a note to send to the cafeteria.

Rufus picked around his vegetables like any normal child would, and ate his rice and meat, babbling on about various odd things. Tseng wondered how Rufus could keep them all straight in his head when he couldn't even understand them. He understood that children were illogical, but he had yet to experience it until now.

"Tseng, you gotta finish your food or you can't play!" Rufus pointed at Tseng's plate... with some of the meat bits pushed to one side.

Tseng frowned. "I don't eat meat, sir."

Rufus wasn't convinced. "No, you won't get big and strong if you don't eat it! Mamma always says to finish all the food." He smiled as he finished all but the vegetables.

Tseng: sighed. It was going to be difficult explaining it to a four-year-old, but he supposed there was nothing else he could do. If nothing, it was conversation. "Then doesn't that mean you should finish your vegetables, sir?"

Rufus grimaced. "No, they don't taste good! I like Yori's veggies, these are nasty."

Tseng forced himself not to roll his eyes. Of course they weren't good, but he'd have a talk with the cafeteria later. "But you won't get big and strong if you don't eat them, remember?"

Rufus whined. "No, they'll make me sick."

"I ate all of mine, sir. They're fine." He's just a child, don't get frustrated, Tseng.

Rufus huffed. "Tell Yori to make them better, these are bad."

Tseng wrestled words with him for a few minutes, and eventually convinced Rufus that if he didn't eat his vegetables, he wouldn't get big and strong like his father. That made Rufus eat them, albeit with a perpetual grimace on his face. Tseng even fed him a few bites to get him started. But when Rufus saw Tseng's unfinished plate again, he started with more trouble. "You still didn't finish your meat, Tseng!"

Tseng sighed. "Sir, I can't eat it. I'm sorry."

"No, you are what you eat! You'll turn into a broccoli monster!"

Tseng blinked. Really now? "Sir, that's ridiculous."

Rufus kept at it. "You'll turn green and you'll grow sprouts out your eyes and we'll have to cut you into little pieces and feed you to the hounds!"

"Sir, the hounds eat meat."

Rufus shook his head. "They eat the enemies! Papa said Professor Hojo made special hounds that eat what we tell them."

Tseng sighed again. "Sir, if I eat meat, I'll get sick. I... won't be able to play with you."

Rufus gasped. "No, don't get sick! Please, don't get sick, we have to play!"

Tseng smiled. Victory. "Well, then I can't eat my meat. I'm special, so I have to eat lots of veggies. Then I'll stay strong, and I can protect you."

Rufus approved, going on about how amazing and cool the Turks were, but not as cool as SOLDIER, and how he was going to be president and control the world. Tseng was slightly amused.

Later, after Rufus challenged him to a contest of remembering all of his stuffed animals' names (he lost, terribly), he got a message. The secretary informed him that a tutor had been hired and he would arrive within the hour. Tseng wondered, how would the tutor keep Rufus' attention long enough to teach him anything? Rufus was extremely intelligent for his age, but it was difficult to keep him interested in something. The tutor might have to get very creative. Either that, or wait until Rufus was older. But it wasn't Tseng's place to question what the president did with his child.

The tutor arrived shortly, and began his work on teaching Rufus the alphabet, and how to write his name. Rufus surprised him by showing that he already knew how, and that he could write his father's and mother's names. He didn't entirely know what the letters meant, however, and the tutor began his colossally-difficult task of teaching the boy.

However, the four-year-old seemed to have decided that his education didn't matter as much as messing with his tutor. The poor man was at a loss. After an hour's lesson, he left. They were alone.

Rufus grinned at his bodyguard. "Can we play, now?"

Tseng deadpanned. "Sir... Did you torment the tutor just so he would leave, and so you could play?"

Rufus shook his head, but he was grinning. Tseng sighed. It wasn't his problem. He was just a bodyguard. But now he was faced with entertaining the boy until his nanny got there.

The girl was nice enough, and good enough at her job to keep Rufus occupied. She took over duties such as bathing and dressing the boy, feeding him, putting him to bed... much to Tseng's relief. The last twenty-four hours were only temporary, and now his only job was to guard. He felt much more secure in his duties.

That also meant that he had set hours to work. Before and after his duties were finished, Rufus would stay in his room with the guards outside to keep him safe. Tseng was then relieved from duty, and could go about as he pleased. That didn't mean he had much free time, however. He barely had any time to train and keep his skills sharp, let alone relax and maybe read a book. That, and he had nightly reports to submit to the president's secretary. He was beginning to learn the horrors of paperwork. He was glad that his education at home had been sufficient enough to be able to write professionally, at least. Most thirteen-year-olds would never reach his level of proficiency.

For now, he was waiting for a more structured schedule he could follow. Rufus had nothing to do but play in his room with his nanny (and occasionally Tseng himself, when Rufus insisted), and study with the tutor. He never had anywhere to go. Tseng supposed that would change soon, once everything was more organized. He wondered what Veld and the others were up to, how their investigation was going. There didn't seem to be anything to go on at all, and the city was at a loss. They wanted someone to blame. It seemed that war with Wutai was imminent, and this incident had only been a spark. Tseng didn't want to think about where his loyalties would lie if that happened. He would stay with the Turks, of course. But his home... He didn't want to have to fight them.

But in the meantime, he had his job to do. The president's son would be safe, no matter what happened.


LONG A/N Translated into present-day writing from four-year-old writing:

1) Special Episode of Tseng takes place the same year Zack goes to join SOLDIER, and it's Tseng's first mission as a rookie Turk. I don't know how he'd still be a rookie, but since with my timeline he's gonna be 25 he'll be even less of a rookie. I'll try to introduce missions gradually so that he doesn't get a ton of experience before then, so that he'll still be rookie-ish?

2) Thanks to sailor winx for the mention of FF7 information and stuff! Since I started this, I've finally had a chance to get the game systems and actually play the games. Hopefully I won't have any more trouble with making this story as canon as possible. And again, thanks to Athenaion for the advice on Lazard. I'd like him to show up later :D

3) One LAST thing. GUNSHOT ROMANCE IS DOWN AND THIS IS TERRIBLE. I found a link to the script on the facebook page though? And hates links. Why. PM me if you can't find it and you want it c:

Alright I'll shut up now BYE