Chapter 3:

"… A coffee machine," Reno murmured, and fell back against a wall. Tifa stared at him.


"I think… no, but… but Scarlet said…"

"What, Reno?"

"But then Scarlet's a liar, 'course… an'… but… I mean…"

"RENO!" Tifa yelled, grabbing a fistful of his hair. There was a clatter from behind the door, and she jumped. Had the thing in the other room heard her, or was it just coincidence?

"Reno," she continued, more quietly this time, "what is it? What's wrong?"

He didn't get a chance to answer, because at that moment the door to the adjoining room was flung open. Blinded by the light, Reno and Tifa shielded their faces with their hands, as a figure in the doorway gave a low laugh.

"About time. Tell Tseng he's fired." Rufus Shinra flicked his shoulder-length blonde hair. "I expect my personal bodyguards to make a bit of an effort to come to my rescue."


"You may look at the coffee, but you may not drink it, because it is mine. If you want something to drink, wait until it rains. As far as I know, there is no way out, and there will never be. I have been trapped here for over a year. That said, I would face death threats if I showed myself in public, so maybe it's for the best. My computer works. Have you ever tried online gaming? I've built myself a miniature empire. Much less dangerous than the real thing, and less prone to collapse. It's 'Tifa', isn't it? Forgive me, it's been some time since I needed to know the names of the members of AVALANCHE, and I always thought of you as 'the one with the breasts' anyway."


"Not at all. By the way, I think there's some food in the fridge. No idea how long it will last. I've never needed anything other than coffee to survive, myself. As for entertainment, the television works and you get a nice view through the window. You can see the whole city. I frequently look through that window, and view the city through the tinted glass. Sometimes the view is cloudy, though. Well, I'm sure Reno knows all about the clouds in Midgar."


Reno felt his blood freeze over. If that wasn't an 'I-saw-everything-and-I'm-going-to-blackmail-you-with-it-until-you-collapse-into-a-heap-of-quivering-misery' statement, he didn't know what was.

Prez boy had seen.



After a week in Rufus Shinra's company, Tifa was ready to shoot herself. Selfish, egotistical, downright evil, the man was unbearable to talk to for more than a couple of seconds. She'd verified his claim that there was no way out of the building. At one point, she'd asked him why he hadn't asked if he could get out the way they'd got in. He'd replied that she and Reno would have already got out that way if they could, because they were too stupid to appreciate his scintillating wit.

Tifa flipped up the top of her PHS, hoping for the thousandth time that day that she would somehow, suddenly, miraculously, have reception. No such luck.

To make things worse, Reno was strangely obedient to Rufus, pandering to his every whim. Tifa felt oddly jealous. What sort of relationship did they have, exactly? And he'd been brushing her off recently, trying to keep a strange distance between them. There were only three rooms with working power (Rufus' lounge, his en-suite and his bedroom), and yet she was lucky if she saw Reno twice a day.

"We have to get out of here," said Tifa, cornering Reno as he passed through the doorway between the bathroom and the lounge, and pressing him up against a wall. "We have to get out of here, or that man will die." Tifa cracked her knuckles menacingly, moving closer to the Turk.

"Er..." Reno began, but was cut off by a drawling voice which sent spasms of annoyance through Tifa's body.

"I do have a bedroom, you know. Or the bathroom, if you prefer. I find a doorway just a little too public. And while I would love to see you naked, Tifa, the same cannot be said for my dear Reno. Oh, and Reno, I've left a list of your tasks for today on my bedroom desk. Kindly complete them before the hour is up. I think I shall sleep now." Rufus crossed to the couch and lay down. Tifa growled.


"Evil excuse for a human being? Oh, yes, I quite agree." Rufus smiled benignly and closed his eyes. "By the way, I am now picturing you naked."



"Prez boy, please, I'm beggin' ya-" Reno began. Rufus gave him a sharp glare.

"Don't call me that."

"Kid prez, I-"


"Sorry, sir."



Alone in his bedroom later that night, Rufus sighed. Operation: seduce Tifa Lockheart was not progressing successfully. Why did the only woman within a thousand metres seem impervious to his charms? Great Leviathan (he'd picked that phrase up from Tseng), women used to fall over themselves to sleep with him! He was young, rich, handsome and an utter bastard! Tifa should be sneaking into his bed, despite his best efforts to get some sleep at night! And he hadn't had a woman for over a year…

There was only one thing for it, Rufus decided. Reno had stolen her heart. It was time to tell, and set it free. And if she still wouldn't sleep with him, he'd see if he couldn't locate the good ol' manip materia.


Reno wasn't stupid. Well, he did stupid things, acted stupid, talked stupid, liked stupid stuff and knew a heck of a lot about stupid, but underneath it all he was a pretty un-stupid guy. IQ of 151, no less.

So when Rufus got that evil gleam in his eye, Reno didn't wait to see how things would turn out. He jumped out of the window instead.


Tifa followed, using one of Rufus' white dress thingies as a parachute.


Rufus chuckled and got a megaphone out of the cupboard.


This tale does not end well. If it's any consolation, Reno managed to slide/fall/climb down the rubble without dying. He and Tifa met at ground level, embraced, and went back to Turks' HQ. Then Reno remembered Rude (he remembered him just as he appeared in the doorway, goddammit) so he and Tifa beat a hasty retreat to an inn in wall market. They were just paying their fare for the night when a smug voice rang out overhead:

"Reno did it! I saw him! He and Cloud got it on, and then their experiments with the E-mag rod went horribly wrong! He murdered Cloud! Kill him! Oh, and Tifa, I'm SINGLE!"

And thus Tifa lost her faith in all men, and Reno lost his head.

Tseng rescued Rufus, and was re-hired.

Rude still fancies Tifa.

Elena still fancies Tseng.

Tseng still fancies Rufus.

Rufus still hates everything.

Such is life.


So! That's my very silly fanfic, written on a caffeine high between 2am and 6am on the 1.9.09! I hope you enjoyed it. Concrit to do with the pacing, ending etc will be ignored, because I originally wrote this for myself, and then put it up on the off-chance that other people might want to read it; it wasn't written for an audience. On the other hand, comments on writing style are fair enough, I guess, as this is how I write. ;)