Shinra Inc and Sex
By: Jason Tandro
Tseng slid his pants back on as he pulled himself up off the queen-sized bed. The cotton blanket lay bundled in the corner of the bed, both occupants being too hot for it to be anything more than a nuisance. Tseng picked up a towel that had been resting on the nearby desk chair. He shielded his eyes as he turned on the lamp on the end-table next to the bed.
He proceeded to wipe his sweat-covered torso as Elena wrapped herself in the thin white sheets. She looked at Tseng as he finished toweling himself off and reached for his white t-shirt. He put it on and then slid his collar shirt over it, without bothering to button it up.
"So, um," Elena began. "Are we gonna… you know… talk about it now or later?"
Tseng had been hoping to make a quick getaway. Get dressed, give Elena a quick kiss and then bolt out the door, but she couldn't leave well enough alone.
"What do you want me to say?" Tseng asked.
Elena looked on, not sure how to respond herself.
"Look…you're my employee. That puts me in a very awkward situation," Tseng sighed.
"Puts you in an awkward situation?" Elena snapped. "My boyfriend will kill me if he finds out what happened. I thought maybe we were starting a relationship and that wouldn't have been so bad, but now a one-night stand with my boss?"
"It's not my fault you chose to cheat on your boyfriend, Elena. Besides which the guy isn't right for you to begin with," Tseng observed.
"So far he's a lot better than you!" Elena shouted. "You really do care about me, but you won't let anything happen because of some stupid code."
"Have you forgotten who we are, Elena? We're representatives of Shinra, and of the law. We sometimes do underhanded things but we are supposed to be model citizens. I take that 'stupid code' very seriously," Tseng retorted.
"Fine then! Just get out!" Elena shouted, grabbing Tseng's jacket from her side of the bed and throwing it at him. "Get out of here!"
Tseng grabbed the jacket, picked up his tie from the nightstand and walked out without another word. Elena turned off the light and cried herself to sleep.
"Good morning, good morning!" Rufus sang. "It's great to stay up late, good morning, good morning to you!"
Reeve stood next to Rufus's secretary, who was setting down Rufus's breakfast as he walked up the stairs. She unfurled the napkin with the silverware and then dismissed herself. Reeve was holding a stack of files and Rufus could already tell bad news was coming.
"You seem in a cheery mood this morning," Reeve noted.
"Got some last night. Been floating on air since sunrise, but I can see that you're about to bring me back down to earth aren't you?" Rufus whined.
"As a matter of fact I am, because I need to talk to you about that very thing. You see these files?" Reeve asked, running his finger across the top in a satisfying ruffling sound.
"The immense pile of busy work, yes I see that," Rufus sighed.
"Oh it's nothing big, just a class action suit against the company. Sexual harassment," Reeve explained. "Filed by… about half the women in the tower actually. Defendants, President Rufus Shinra, Turk Reno, Palmer, and Shinra Electric Power Corporation. Punitive damages in the amount of 16 billion gil."
"Billion?! How can they expect to get that much?" Rufus asked.
"Well not individually. The maximum in punitive damages for sexual harassment is only about 100 million gil, but there are about 160 women filing suit," Reeve explained.
Rufus sat down and took the file from Reeve's hands. He perused the documents for about ten minutes and then looked back up at Reeve.
"I need an out. What are my options?" Rufus asked.
"Well as a mere public servant my knowledge in this field is limited, but I do have a team of lawyers working on exploiting any possible loopholes to minimize the damage to the company and its reputation, but this is going to cost us some money," Reeve explained. "You personally are safe because under the new employee contract which we hammered out last year after some extreme negotiations, nobody can sue the administrative staff. They can still sue the company and about 90% of these complaints are against Reno, who is not covered by this."
"Turn him into a scapegoat?" Rufus asked.
"That would be my suggestion. Make an example of him, give a ten-minute press conference speech about women's values, big photo op and a token settlement of about 20% of the current law-suit and this ends quickly and quietly," Reeve explained.
Rufus seemed stunned. "That's brilliant. Are you getting less ethical in your old age? It suits you."
"Okay, so let's talk about Reno and Palmer," Rufus said.
Reno and Palmer had, of course, been excused from this meeting.
"Palmer made a few lewd comments near the secretary's lounge, but Reno has slept with more than 130 women in this tower! His behavior is lackluster at best. I've called you two in," Rufus pointed to Rude and Elena. "Because you're his comrades. I'll need to hear your opinions on the situation."
"I say drop-kick his ass out the back door!" Elena barked.
"Really?" Rufus asked.
"Yeah! He doesn't show any respect for women. He just uses them as objects and then tosses them aside!" Elena hissed.
"Well he probably gets drunk or stupid and wants some company. The fact that so many of these relationships have ended the way they did is an indication that Reno understands the delicate position it would put him in. I say let him off easy, he's just a kid," Tseng replied.
"Oh sure, you would say that," Elena hissed.
"I don't think a man's healthy sexual appetite should cost him his job, just because some women regretted their stupid mistakes," Tseng retorted.
"And we should just ignore the objectification and degradation?!" Elena cursed.
"These women obviously didn't mind being objects, look at what they did for him," Tseng shouted.
"Enough!" Rufus yelled. "What the hell you two? Rude, do you have any comments?"
"I'm not touching that with a ten-foot pole, Sir," Rude replied raising his hands in defense.
"I can see where Tseng is coming from," Scarlet interjected, "but I also think Elena has some valid points."
Rufus nodded. "Thank you for getting us back on topic. What would you recommend?"
"I'd recommend we pull the security tapes from Elena's room last night," Scarlet replied.
"What?!" Rufus shouted. "What does that have to do with anything?"
Scarlet rolled her eyes in the direction of Tseng. "Well it's obvious those two slept together."
Rufus turned to Tseng and Elena who were now blushing and turning away from each other. "Uh, guys? What the hell happened?"
"It wasn't anything big," Tseng began.
"We just went to a bar, had a couple of drinks and… well…" Elena continued.
The two looked at each other briefly and then turned away, reigniting their mutual anger.
"Shouldn't we get back to the lawsuit?" Heidegger asked.
"Hell no, this is way more interesting!" Rufus shouted. "Look you two, what's going on? Why can't you be happy. Elena, you loved this guy enough to sleep with him when you already have a boyfriend. And Tseng… you banged your employee!"
Elena and Tseng scoffed.
"Thank you for your tart, unenlightened approach to our sex life," Elena hissed.
"Okay, I'll be serious. You're both fired for conflict of interest violations," Rufus shrugged. "Like me better now?"
"You're an ass sometimes," Reeve grunted.
Rufus leaned over and whispered. "Shut up, I know what I'm doing."
"Hey she was drunk and didn't know what she was doing! I knew fully well about the violation, so don't can her," Tseng said.
"No, no," Elena said. "He dumped me because he was worried about this happening. Please, you shouldn't get rid of Tseng."
Elena and Tseng's eyes met for a moment, and then in a second their arms were around each other in a passionate embrace. Tseng ripped Elena's shirt off and leaned her over the table and…
"Wake up Mr. President!" Came the sweet voice of the secretary. "Your breakfast is ready."
"What?" Rufus asked.
"You should really not have stayed here over night," the secretary smiled. "You missed a date, I believe."
"Oh crap!" Rufus groaned, hitting his head on the table. "So it was all a dream. Tseng and Elena sleeping together? Reno getting sued by all the women here?"
The secretary smiled nervously. "Um, I think Elena already has a boyfriend and you're not allowed to sue Turks because their identities can't be revealed. I think it was just a dream."
Rufus shrugged his shoulders. "Oh well. Time for breakfast."
The secretary walked down the stairs and rounded the corner. Tseng slipped her a 500 gil note. "Thanks for dosing his coffee. That would have been really embarrassing if he remembered what Elena and I did."
"Yeah he thought it was all a dream, but what about the rest of the staff?" The secretary asked.
"Well they agreed to keep quiet as long as I made the lawsuit go away," Tseng said.
"And did you?" The secretary asked.
"Never you mind," Tseng smiled. "Never you mind."
Reno leaned against the toilet, a hairnet over his head and apron over his chest. A woman walked in and started.
"Oh! You're cleaning this one. Sorry!"
Reno fumed as she left. "I'll get you for this Tseng, if it's the last thing I do."