Written for "ToWriteLoveOnHerArms08", with my most sincere apologies for the lateness. And as usual, I don't own anything, Square-Enix/Squaresoft does :)
Reno and Elena entered their shared office hand in hand, looking quite the young couple. Though of course, the paperwork filing Rude didn't dare comment on them, as much as the blonde would have liked him to. She was quite proud of herself, as Reno was the first boyfriend she'd had in over two years. She had held work as a higher priority than men, but in the end it had all worked out. Just as long as the two of them didn't have to go on a mission together, they'd be a fine couple.
"I'll get it." Reno offered, beaming at his cheerful looking girlfriend.
"No, don't worry, I will." Elena replied, the innocent look in her eyes somehow warning Reno not to argue with her.
"Rude speaking." At least someone in the office knew how to do their job. "On my way."
Reno and Elena watched the stoic form leave the room, both of them wondering why they hadn't done what he did sooner.
"Rude, what is your opinion on Reno and Elena dating?" Tseng asked, the personal question stunning Rude to the extent that he nearly fell out of his chair.
"I...Uh..." Rude began, scratching his bald head and wishing at that moment he had hair.
Tseng cleared his throat awkwardly, realising how wrong that had sounded. "Sorry, I didn't mean it to sound that way. I'm wondering if them being together is going to affect their work."
His guest seemed to ease back into his seat then. "Well, quite frankly...it's an irritation. They don't get anything done, they just argue about who should do what, and then head into a conversation about what they're gonna do for dinner each night."
The raven-haired man nodded his head slowly, anticipating his answer. "I'm going to have to sort them out. Thankyou, Rude. Please call them in once you get back to your office."
Straightening his tie, Rude nodded before exiting the office in a manner that looked as if he would trip over at any moment. He did.
As quickly as he had fallen, Rude tied up his shoelace and bolted out the door, making sure his beet-red face went unnoticed by his boss, who was secretly chuckling.
That made my day...
"We did 7th Heaven on Tuesday, Reno. You'd better not be trying to make up an excuse to perv on Tifa, because if you are..."
Tseng heard Elena's voice coming from down the hallway, and Reno's not too far behind.
The lovebirds are here.
"Reno, Elena. Have a seat." Tseng ordered as politely as humanely possible.
The couple did as they were told, literally. Elena was seated on Reno's lap, which didn't make the situation any more bearable for Tseng, only more of an awkward distraction. Though he wasn't too keen on asking her to get off him.
"...You're...getting along well for once." Tseng shook his head instantly. "No, forget I...Ahem. I have a mission for you two-"
"Really!? This is our first mission we've ever had together! Isn't this great Reno!?" Elena exclaimed, though she turned a deep shade of red when she saw Reno's embarrased face. "Oh, um, sorry Sir. Continue."
"Shinra has a suspect for who stole a jar of mutated seahorses Hojo made before he died. We have no clue as to what this person needs them for, but I would like you to follow them and get that jar back. This is of the utmost importance, though why, I am not entitled to say..."
Tseng unwillingly stopped again as he watched Reno nip at Elena's ear, the sight distracting him from whatever it was he was saying last.
"That's it?" Reno asked, a sly smirk dancing upon his lips.
"This person is identified as a man in his late 20's, with a black beard and short...here, why don't you use this photo as a reference? Anyway, make sure you don't let yourself be noticed by this man. He is a master in the art of both kung-fu and karate, and is not one to take lightly. Last reports saw him having a coffee at 7th Heaven around an hour ago. After you've changed into some casual attire, go there and find whatever evidence you can find as to where he has gone. You leave immediantly."
Elena's face looked puzzled. "I don't remember hearing about any mutated seahorses..."
"Babe. This is Hojo we're talking about. His lab is practically Noah's Ark, times ten!" Reno remarked, ushering for her to stand up so he could prepare to leave.
"That made sense..." Elena muttered sarcastically, as she brushed off her suit.
Tseng cleared his throat impatiently. "Goodbye now."
The blonde's face was red enough to make it possible for her to blend in with a McDonalds sign.
Elena wasn't sure if the smug grin on her boyfriend's face was supposed to be comforting or teasing, but either way, she wasn't about to let the maniac drive her brand new red convertible. Even if he did look quite appealing in his grey denim jeans and loose brown t-shirt.
"It's alright, I will." Elena retorted, her voice sweet and innocent.
"Babe, I've had a lot of experience..."
She smirked then. "Yeah, in car crashes and hit and run incidents. You're a real expert there, I've gotta say. But I think I'll drive my own car today."
"Too late." Reno practically flung himself over her shiny car door and into the driver's seat, his arm resting upon the window pane in an irritatingly casual way. "Though I've gotta say, you'd look pretty hot drivin' this thing...all you need are some sunnies. Rude's got a wardrobe full, if you're interested."
With a dark frown, Elena sat in the seat next to him, annoyed with the fact that it was her car this time, so door-slamming wasn't an option. "I'll be fine."
A sigh came from next to her. This was going to be some trip.
7th Heaven had never been so packed on a Friday morning. There were people bustling around the small bar, and Tifa wasn't anywhere in sight-only to be expected. She was probably stressing about all the breakfast orders she was being given. Though unfortunately, despite their bad timing, Reno and Elena were going to have to deal with a stressed bartender.
As they walked calmly towards the bar, Reno whispered into Elena's ear-though in the crowded environment it was a fair deal louder, "Psst. Babe, the breeze outside wasn't kind to your skirt."
For at least the tenth time that day, Elena's face flushed. Trying to look casual, she brushed down the back of her black skirt, glad she had decided to wear leggings for the mission.
"Yo, Denz, where's Tifa?" Reno asked the small boy behind the counter, Elena rather stumped as to why he was serving in such a place.
"Why should I tell you!?" Denzel retorted, louder than necessary. His brown eyes flashed with fury and his fist wasn't far behind, until it was blocked by Reno's firm grasp.
"Why not?" Reno answered, a puzzled expression evident on his face.
Elena put her hands behind her back and pretended to show interest to the menu several feet away. "Sushi sounds good..."
"You made Marlene cry!" The brown-haired boy yelled, his face flushed with anger.
"Oh, what, 'cause I didn't eat her crayon burger?" Reno chuckled at that, remembering the episode earlier that morning when he came for his daily alcohol fix-just enough to get him through a long day at work.
"Grr, it was a skittle sandwich, asshole!" Elena jumped with shock at the boy's newfound word, and almost giggled when she imagined Marlene feeding Reno lollies on bread.
"Look, whatever, that's not why I'm here. Where-is-Tifa?" Reno snapped, whatever patience he had quickly fading.
But the boy was quick with his remarks. "I'm-not-telling. Get it?"
The three turned towards the staircase where the voice had come from. A frazzled brunette walked down them, looking frustrated and almost sick.
"Tifa!" Denzel gasped, running up to her with his arms open. "You don't look too good."
"Mmm..." Tifa mumbled, brushing a strand of hair out of her eyes. "I'm okay sweetie. Is Cloud doing okay? This place is so busy..."
Denzel nodded hastily. "Yeah, yeah, everything's fine, Tifa. But can you please go back to bed? You look sick!"
With a minute of hesitation as she surveyed her busy bar, Tifa finally nodded. "Okay."
Tifa helping them was now out of the question. They had only Cloud left, and Reno hadn't ended their last meeting on the best of terms. That left only Elena. But he was certain the ex-Soldier wouldn't want to help a Turk.
"Laney?" Reno asked, an idea forming in his mind.
"I think I saw a wig saleswoman just outside. Come on."
He was right when he said that. A woman of about 20 sat at a small desk outside 7th Heaven, a huge rack of wigs for sale in front of her. There were long wigs, short wigs, fat wigs, blonde wigs, green wigs, curly wigs, afro wigs, plain wigs and monkey wigs. The list was endless.
Once Elena had stopped admiring a fancy black wig, she was met by the horrifying sight of Reno in a bright green afro-not a good sight at all.
"Whaddya think? Bouncy, eh?" Reno asked, patting his newfound headpiece with a girlish giggle. "Ooh, wear this, and we'll be 80's twins! Tee-hee!"
Elena was thankful there was no mirror when she felt the heavy weight of a purple curly afro sit on her blonde locks. "Ugh." She took the unfashionable thing off as soon as it had come on.
"Hey lady, what would suit my...damn that's a nice wig." Reno began, dazzled by the woman's long blonde wave of hair that was pinned back with a silver clip.
Despite his intentions only being of kindness, the woman was offended. "It's not a wig. Unlike that floppy red thing hanging down your back. Ever heard of a haircut?"
"You little bit-" Reno began again, only for his mouth to be covered by the swift hand of Elena.
"Haha, don't mind him. He's a bit of a -coughnutcasecough- if you get what I mean." Elena admitted, her charming smile winning the trust of the younger woman.
"Ha! Men, hey? Don't you just get sick of them?" The blonde woman rolled her blue eyes tiredly.
"Hey get of-" Reno tried.
"Um, can I buy this brown wig?" Elena asked, politely handing over a long, straight brown wig.
"Sure, that'll be 42 gil. Bargain price." With a quick exchange, Elena awkwardly placed the wig on her head, the struggling redhead under her arm not really helping.
Elena began to drag the redhead towards the bar, adding with a wink to the wig seller, "Oh and I'd be careful if I were you...This guy holds grudges."
Within instants, the 'sold out' sign went up and the woman scuttled away.
People these days...So gullible.
"Um, excuse me, Sir?" Elena began saying to the blonde bartender. "I was wondering if you've seen my Dad around here? He said he'd come here for a coffee while I went clothes shopping, and that was an hour ago. And my mobile is out of credit, so I don't know what to do."
It was a poor lie, but Cloud seemed to have fallen for it-and her, from the look in his eyes. "I'm sure I can help. What did he look like?"
Elena tucked a strand of brown hair behind her ear, revealing a gold hoop earring that Cloud seemed to be fond of. "Here's his photo."
Cloud watched her take out the photo and hand it to him, so awestruck by the young woman's beauty that he almost forgot to take it.
As he surveyed the photo, a glint of knowledge flecked in his blue eyes. "Yeah, I saw this guy. Came around an hour ago, like you said. He was reading a newspaper-Edge Eagle, I believe. When I served his coffee, he seemed to be looking pretty interested in an advertisement for the free barbecue down at the park. You'd be best off checking there. And if you can't find him, let me know and I'll do whatever I can to help you out."
Elena beamed, her brown eyes sparkling with joy. "Thanks so much! You don't know how much this means to me."
Just for the fun of it, she planted a lipstick kiss on his cheek as she left, though he didn't seem to mind.
"Hey, what was that for!?" Reno exclaimed, his face flushed with a mixture of embarrassment and anger.
Elena cocked her head to the side and fluttered her eyelashes innocently. "What was what for?"
She copied Reno's entrance into the driver's seat, wearing a pair of sunglasses from an unknown source. She smirked devilishly at her stunned boyfriend. "Too much to take in, big guy?"
"You...you just kissed Cloud Strife!" Reno gasped, pinching his arm to make sure he wasn't dreaming. "Oh my Shiva!"
"Yep, I did." She pulled her brown wig off and threw it out of the car. "But I didn't."
His mortified expression was soon replaced with a proud smirk. Having a Turk as a girlfriend was a lot of fun. So were her kisses.
"That's my girl. So, where are we-"
Elena slammed her boot against the accelerator before Reno could finish his sentence, and arrived at the park before he could catch his breath. This day was full of surprises.
"Woah. What's gotten into you?" His grin was widening by the minute. "I mean, I know women have mood swings, but this is..."
Elena silenced him with a finger to his lips, which he kissed tentatively. Pulling him by the hand, she led him towards the mouth-watering scent of cooking sausages, which Reno began to sniff pleasurably, a hint of drool forming at the corner of his mouth. "'Lena, we're getting a sausage sandwich before anything else...Speaking of which, why are we here?"
"Because I know where the culprit is." Elena replied smoothly, a bold sparkle in her eyes. "There."
She pointed towards a cluster of people who included the tall, disguised man they were after, though Reno seemed to get the wrong impression.
"Whew, I didn't think he was a she! You coulda warned me 'Lena." Reno gaped, staring at a rather obese woman's behind until he recieved a light slap on the cheek.
"I'll have to knock him out." Elena decided, a frown of concentration showing on her face, contrasting with Reno's confused one.
But before he could respond, his girlfriend's fist was upon the cloaked man's cheek, who soon crumpled to the ground, much like the wicked witch of the west. He wouldn't have been surprised if the cloak turned into a pool of liquid, with all the odd things happening today.
"Elena, you idiot! This guy is an expert at martial arts! And you're not Tifa!"
As Elena pulled the item out of the fallen man's pocket, she felt a hand clutch her arm tightly, and was swiftly pulled to the ground in a lock that she was bound by. She cried out for Reno, who was already yanking the man's cloak back, but as his face was revealed, they realised everything.
"I feel so pathetic..." Reno muttered, shaking his head sadly as he helped Elena get to her feet.
The 'culprit' was already standing and brushing off his cloak. "You did okay."
Elena huffed. "Reno, this is all your fault!"
"How is it my fault!? You're the one who punched him in the face!" Reno retorted, glaring at his girlfriend with a steely eye.
"It's always your fault!"
Rude began to whistle a chirrupy tune to himself as he trotted towards his car, leaving the arguing couple to themselves. And he couldn't forget his top hat-he was growing quite fond of the item. It hid his baldness.
"So Rude, how did it go?" Tseng asked, leaning back in his armchair with his hands in his lap. He was oblivious to how queer he had just sounded, and it was disturbing the poor Turk with the top hat.
"It went great." Rude answered with a half-hearted nod that Tseng saw right through.
"I'll organise a temporary transfer."
So how did it go? Please let me know! ^^