Written for 'Speedy Speck'. As you already know, I don't own Final Fantasy or anything in relation to it. Square-Enix/Squaresoft does.
But I still happily accept reviews, of course ^^
"Just one last report...one last report...one...ugh. I can't do this." The moon was set high in the night sky and Elena had never been so tired. Except on one occasion when Reno had forced her to come to a bar and ended up getting her drunk. Well, that was more of a hangover, but you get the picture.
Yesterday at work, Elena had been 'slacking off', according to Tseng. The truth was that Reno had put superglue on Elena's most expensive, most frequently used pen, and she had a fit for at least an hour before Tseng came into their office and told her to 'make the most of the situation'. Then, because of her antics, he punished her with 'late-night report duty'. She didn't even know that phrase existed.
Her tiresome chocolate eyes roamed up to the chrome clock on the wall. 2 am. It left her wondering why she didn't just look at the digital clock sitting centimeters away from her on her desk.
"...And now I'm talking to myself." She muttered. "Shut up, Laney! No, you shut up, Elena! How about you-"
The clinking of keys awoke the blonde Turk from her inner argument. And when the door opened to reveal Reno, she was certain that she was going mad. Or hallucinating, at the very least.
"Reno?" She squeaked.
The redhead almost had a heart attack, which made sleepy Elena feel a surge of pride.
"Holy f*** Elena!" His hand was on his heart, and he slammed his back against the office door, resulting in its closure. "Warn me next time you're gonna scare the crap outta me like that!"
Elena felt slightly more awake now. "Warn me when you're gonna enter the office at 2am like that. You don't think I was scared too?"
He smirked, released the pressure he was placing on the door and walked closer to his female colleague.
"Babe, when aren't you scared?"
Elena frowned. "You didn't answer my question as to why you're here."
"You didn't even ask." Reno looked confused, until he realised that she must have been as tired as he was after he woke up with a hangover. "Man, you must be tired. To have not even got yourself a coffee when you're practically dead on your desk."
The blonde Turk groaned in reply. "I was concentrating too hard...Tell me today is a Sunday?"
Reno grimaced. He felt slightly sorry for the girl. "No, actually it's a Tuesday."
She slammed her head on the table, and only arose once Reno planted a nice, hot cappuchino beside her, the wafting aroma filling her nostrils with their mouthwatering scent. "Drink up."
After she had quickly downed the hot drink, she stopped staring at the redhead, who was returning the gaze.
"What?" She asked, both frowning and blushing.
He smirked. "Just making sure you enjoyed the rat's milk."
Elena almost threw up, much to Reno's pleasure. Obviously she wasn't thoroughly awakened yet.
"Laney, relax. I'm kidding."
"So, why are you here, Reno?" Elena asked, trying to ignore his irritating joke.
He walked towards the Turk's fridge, practically answering her query. "Ran outta crap. Got hungry. Came to claim what's mine."
That was the problem with Reno. He didn't know boundaries. And he didn't know how to save gil, either.
"Whatever. Just don't touch my lite yoghurt. That's my lifeblood. It's what's keeping me a size 8." Elena added sternly, tapping her pen against the desk in thought, faster as she heard him sneer.
"Women. It's not like we care what size jeans you wear." Reno remarked, grabbing several bottles of booze and a tub of jaffa flavoured ice-cream before planting his butt on the couch.
Elena stifled a giggle. "In that case, would you mind if I grabbed a spoon?"
"No probs." He replied, the two tablespoons of orange ice-cream which was crammed in his mouth almost dropping out.
"Men..." She muttered, finishing off the last sentence of her last report. "Yippee! I'm finally done!"
She did a little victory dance, Reno intently watching her hips with a satisfied grin. "Keep dancing..."
She blushed and immediately stopped as she noticed Reno's wandering eyes. "I think I'll be going now."
"Aww, but it was just getting good!" The redhead moaned, his spoon clanking against the almost hollow ice-cream tub.
Elena turned the handle which would lead to her freedom. She could taste it in the air with every movement her hand made. Reno was staring oddly at her, wondering why she was so slow to open the door.
"It aint rocket science Laney. Turn it. Or...are you contemplating staying here and getting sugar high with me?" Reno joked, licking his jaffa covered lips. "You know, tonight would be the perfect night for a kiss."
The door wouldn't budge. Horror stricken, Elena pulled the handle as fast as she could, and when nothing happened, she kicked the door with all her might. "Aargh!!! Open, freaking stupid thing!!!"
Reno's aquamarine eyes widened. "Woah, psycho much?"
She felt a hand push her away, and within the instant, Reno was attempting to open the sealed door. To both of their dismay, the door didn't make the slightest of movements.
"Well," Reno began, "I guess that's it. Sugar time, baby!"
Elena didn't look very convinced by his idea. "Ah...I don't think so. I'll just be jumping out of the window, if you don't mind..."
The redhead looked disappointed as he lowered his ice-cream spoon mid-dance. "You know, that's a really long drop. I'm not bad enough for you to want to commit suicide, am I?"
Elena grimaced. "Almost, but not enough."
After a moment of silence in that crowded, dim-lighted room, the blonde Turk finally asked the inevitable. "So...What do we do now?"
A devious grin formed on Reno's face, making Elena wish she had never asked.
"Don't even think about it." Elena said both quickly and sternly. "I'll be having a shower, while you organise sleeping arrangements. Unfold the couch for me. You can sleep on the floor."
Reno looked depressed, until a million new comebacks settled in his mind. "What are ya gonna get dressed into? That shower is s'posed to be for getting ready for gym, so you've got no clothes."
"Are you idiotic? I have my gym uniform. I didn't wear it today, so it'll be fine." Elena retorted, pulling open a drawer and taking out the clothing. A disgusted look formed on her face, matched by Reno's proud one. "You knew this was coming all along, didn't you? You purposefully made me get my finger stuck to my pen so that I'd get after hours work, and then you planned to come and meet me here. And then you pretended to get scared so that you could 'accidentally' lock us in here, and you made sure that I'd be wearing short-shorts and a singlet! Well guess what, Reno!? I'm gonna stay in my Turk's uniform so that you can't get all horny and-"
Reno was laughing now. "Hey, hey, hey! Slow down, Einstein! You're too quick for your own good! And you can stay in your uniform for all I care. Get all sweaty...hehe..."
Elena punched him hard in the eye and stormed off towards the shower, throwing her gym clothes on the office floor. "F*** you Reno."
Reno looked up just in time to see Elena give him the finger. He couldn't wipe that grin off his face, even as he began to unfold the couch.
Elena almost cried at the fact that there was no lock on the bathroom door. This was torture. Was life trying to tell her something, other than to make sure to keep the shower's glass door fully closed at all times?
She took a steady step into the hot, sure stream of water droplets that cascaded down her body. It had such a soothing effect after a long, exhausting day at work, and it was as if every drop of water carried not only the dirt from her body, but also her stresses. She could have stood there for hours, letting her mind wander into the land of contentment. But as the demanding voice of her male co-worker sounded through the door, she let out a long, half-hearted sigh in defeat. Why did she even bother?
"Babe, bed's ready!"
"Don't call me babe!" She yelled back, her forehead creasing in distress. She was tired, and she knew that with Reno around, sleeplessness was practically inevitable.
"'Kay then." Reno remarked. "Laney, bed's ready!"
He's such a jerk.
Giving up, Elena reluctantly pressed the shower button, sighing as the flow of water came to a sudden halt, and her stress returned as if it had never left. Taking a step out of the glass shower and into the steam filled bathroom, she took the crimson coloured towel off its rack and wrapped it around her body, thankful for its warmth. Speaking of warmth, since when was it warm?
"Hey babe-" Reno's shock of red hair managed to show behind the bathroom door, and as it opened on its hinges, Elena's fist headed towards it.
She let out a cry of pain as the door slammed shut and her fist smacked into hard wood. She bit back a long line of curses as she heard Reno's infuriating chuckle, and trying to take her mind off it, turned to face the bench where she had left her uniform.
Which only made matters worse.
"Reno!!!" She screeched. Her uniform was gone, and her gym clothes were in their place. "Give me my suit-NOW!"
Behind the door, Reno was having trouble holding back his laughter. "Oh...you...you don't mean...these?"
A sopping wet, fully drenched black suit came flying towards her, landing at her feet in a puddle that made her cry.
"Reno!!! You f***ing asshole, dickhead, jerk," She yelled any name that came to mind at him, kicking and whining in a desperate fit. She was having a really tough night. "Bitch, retard, idiot-"
"I get it, Laney. Just get dressed and get out here." Reno interrupted her whinge, still chuckling. "It's 3am."
3am. That meant she would have to start work in 5 hours, which meant she would get 4 hours sleep at the most. Life sucked.
After a moment of collecting herself, Elena dressed herself in the slutty looking gym outfit and attempted to creep out the bathroom.
Though she got what she was dreading when she opened the door. Reno's infuriatingly cheerful face.
"Hey Laney. You sure took your time."
Now Reno had two black eyes. He was going to have a bit of explaining to do later on at work.
Elena tiptoed across the soft carpet floor, towards the fold-out couch Reno had set up. It was nothing exciting, especially considering the fact that the blanket was just a makeshift, made from the sapphire blue curtains of the office. And the office didn't have many windows. One, to be precise.
After a minute of gawking at the result of Reno's horrid bed-making, Elena turned towards the black eyed Turk and frowned thoughtfully. "Okay, Reno. You know the saying "Ladies first"? Well, that rule applies here."
Reno's aquamarine eyes looked up from their position on his co-worker's ass and he gave her a crooked grin. "I don't think so, babe. I go by the saying, "He who makes it, takes it"."
With that, Reno bounded into the bed, only to his displeasure finding it awfully uncomfortable. The springs were practically bulging out of the thing Tseng called a matress.
Elena smirked. "Comfy, hun?"
He winced as he rubbed his now aching back. "Yeah, well, it's better than the floor. Have fun down there, by the way."
She couldn't think of a comeback to that, and she was now left with two choices. The floor, or Reno. She could have kicked him off, but she doubted the chance that she would win that battle. And besides, knowing Reno, he'd probably try and turn it into a make-out session.
She chose the floor.
But after 10 minutes of unexplicable discomfort and freezing cold, Elena regretted her choice. And although she knew Reno wouldn't stop his inhumane chatter if she got in the 'bed', she didn't have much choice.
So without a word, she slipped under the unsatisfying warmth of the blue curtain and rested her head on one of the red cushions that originally decorated the couch.
"Wise choice, Laney." Reno remarked, eyeing the girl who was curled up in a ball, facing the opposite direction. Naturally.
"Though you know, they say a huddle is always the best warmer upperer."
She didn't do so much as twitch.
Reno sat up slightly to get a better view of the resting blonde. "Laney?"
Once again, there was no reply, and Reno frowned at this. "C'mon, Laney, don't ignore me. I'm sorry, okay? I'm sorry for being a guy."
That resulted in Elena turning over to face him. He could have stared at her face all night, and he inwardly wished that she would fall asleep facing him. She looked heavenly.
"What else are you sorry for?" All heavenliness instantly faded.
Bitch. He almost said. With a sigh, he instead replied, "For eating the last of the ice-cream."
She made an exasperated face which Reno was quick to end. "And for soaking your uniform in the toilet."
Elena's brown eyes became murderous.
"Oops. Shouldn'ta added that bit..." He muttered.
"I'm holding you responsible for all of this, I hope you realise." Elena said, her face flushed a bright red colour.
"It figures." He added.
Another awkward silence filled the atmosphere, leaving the two Turks alone to what little thoughts were filling their minds. Elena tossed and turned, trying to get into a comfortable position, while Reno twiddled his thumbs, wondering whether or not to say what he was going to say to the Turk lying next to him.
He opened his mouth to speak, but Elena beat him to it.
"Reno...I never thought I'd ask you this, but...am I too much of a pessimist?" Maybe it was the lack of sleep that had led to her asking such a question, but either way, Reno was happy.
He didn't mean to be modest, but when Elena, Elena of the Turks, said something like that, it struck some invisible chord inside him. A chord he thought needed to be repaired. "Nah. That title suits me more than anyone. I'd say you're more of a...pretentious control freak."
The name he called her sounded more like a question than a statement, especially when it was alongside a dubious and awkward smile.
Elena found it quite cute. She poked her tongue out at the redhead, a playful smirk forming on her face that she was sure he had inherited from the man lying next to her.
"Oh? I won't argue with the 'control freak' part, but 'pretentious'? You're one to talk, Prince Charming."
Reno laughed then. Not some fake, irritating sound he made because he pulled off a prank, but a sincere, almost heartwarming laugh that made Elena smile all the more.
"Prince Charming, 'Lena! That's a good one." After several moments recollecting himself, Reno continued. "So then, what other words would you use to describe me?"
Elena raised a finger to her chin as if in thought. This game was becoming rather entertaining, so she decided to play along. "Hmm...That's a hard one. How about...Ah, of course. Overconfident. Cocky. Arrogant. Um...Selfish. Ladies man. Prankster of Shinra."
In her head she added, 'beat that, hotshot.'.
"Asshole?" Reno suggested, surprising Elena with his reply. "Really awesome EMR wielding guy that knows kung fu?"
Elena laughed in return, and Reno's face lit up in almost the same way hers had. Who knew spending a night with Reno could turn out half decent? Well, at least, for now.
"Yeah." She replied in between giggles. Her voice was so youthful at that moment, Reno almost felt like he was lying next to a child. A pretty one at that.
The awkward silence that had once formed had now turned into a companiable atmosphere, somewhat like the feeling a youth would get going to their best friend's sleepover. Comforting, enjoyable, and to a degree, even exciting and mysterious. It was as if at that moment, the whole world revolved around the two Turks. And Elena liked it.
"'Lena?" Reno mumbled, his voice sounding more slurred and quiet with each passing word.
"Yeah, Reno?" Elena asked in reply, smiling at the fact that although the curtain was the only blanket, she felt a strange sense of warmth.
"What are you afraid of? I know you're a Turk, but everyone's scared of something." Reno asked, rolling over to look the blonde woman in the eye. Once he had locked her gaze, he didn't want to move.
Elena had a smug look on her face, as if she had just caught a spider. "Even you?"
"Even me." He admitted.
"Well," Elena continued, frowning as if contemplating the question. "I'm actually scared of clowns. Ever since I was two."
Reno looked intrigued already. "Is there a story behind it? 'Cause if so, I wanna know!"
Elena nodded. "Yeah. I was at a country fair once with my parents...I had a love of chocobos, so Mum and Dad took me to the chocobo farm at the fair, and there was this one big fat chocobo with creepy red eyes. I was about to give it a pat, when...It just...The chocobo...It ripped off the costume and in its place was a clown. A really tall, really red, beady eyed clown. And it had this wacky laugh. I can never forget that laugh. I still have nightmares about it. Ugh. I can still hear it in my head, and I can still hear my scream..."
To both Reno's surprise and horror, he heard her sniffle. And he didn't want to be mean, so he patted her on the shoulder. "There...there?"
"Oh yeah," Elena added. "And then I watched the movie 'It'."
Reno gave her a sympathetic nod. "Ah yes. The clown that eats kids...That says a lot, Laney."
As if nothing had been said at all, Elena said cheerfully, "Okay, your turn!"
Reno couldn't deny her that little bit of satisfaction. "Mexican walking fish."
Elena's face instantly morphed into an expression of dumbfound shock at his bizarre fear. "Mexican walking fish?" She asked, just to be sure she had heard right.
He nodded sadly. "Mexican walking fish."
"Mexican walking fish." Elena repeated in comprehension, staring blankly at the roof as she did so.
"Mexican freaking walking fish." Reno muttered.
When Elena had finally grasped the concept, she asked, "Why?"
He chuckled. "Laney Waney, you're really slow, just so you know."
She blinked in confusion.
"I'm Reno of the Turks. I aint scared of anything!" And then he laughed again, in that annoying, jerky way that Elena despised. But for some reason, in this case, she didn't really mind.
And she didn't even notice that she had fallen asleep.
It was 7:30 am and Rude was headed to the office to get a head start to the day. He reached the office door, and as he expected, the key was already placed inside.
He grasped the cool metal key and turned it in the lock until he heard a satisfying click. The door opened up a notch, which Rude pushed forward, entering the darkened room.
As soon as he did so, the light scent of coffee and jaffa ice-cream filled up his nostrils, making a smile form on his weary face.
But, when he walked over to the couch where he knew his colleagues lay, his smile turned into a fully fledged grin.
They wore soft smiles on their faces-faces that were turned towards each other. They had fallen asleep talking to each other, he knew. His work here was done. Now all that was left was to wake the two sleeping giants up.
And that would end up being an interesting story.
Phew. What you have just witnessed would have to be probably the longest one-shot I've ever written. But it was fun ^^