Rude had never been more humiliated in his life. Overnight every single piece of clothing in his closet had been dyed a horrible shade of pink. Somehow even the clothes he was wearing had undergone the horrifying transformation. He swore to himself for what seemed like the hundredth time to never get drunk again. He made this insistent vow every week yet Friday night would roll around and he would be next to Reno and on drink number four before he thought drinking was a bad idea again. He would remember to keep it this week however as he had a more consistent reminder than a hangover, that reminder being horridly pink and staring him in the face. How Reno had managed to convince him that drinking on a Sunday night was a good idea he'd never know, but Reno was good at convincing people to do things they knew they shouldn't.
He sighed and opened his dresser fearing the worst but found that he hadn't been scared enough. Reno had tried to dye his pants pink but they had turned purple. It was then that Rude realized that Reno must have been slowly dying his clothes for quite some time now as Rude hadn't been able to find some of these clothes in weeks. He didn't know how he had ever been so unobservant and he mentally slapped himself for letting his guard down even a fraction around the wily red-head. He flipped open his PHS and placed a call to Tseng, hoping that he might be able to procure a new uniform for himself without having to go through the gut wrenching humiliation that was sure to plague him if he had to walk through the Shinra building wearing such an unorthodox and wretched color. He didn't like his odds.
"Rude? Why are you calling so early?" Tseng sounded confused, but not surprised. Rude could tell from the slightly amused tone in the mans voice.
He cleared his throat, "Sir......Reno's dyed my clothes pink." He could hear Tseng clear his throat in an obvious attempt not to laugh and he couldn't blame him. He knew he would find this funny later, but at the moment....well, at the moment he would like to beat his redheaded friend until he turned some fun colors.
"Unfortunately we don't have any of the old uniforms anymore. We just sent in for new ones at Rufus's request. Apparently blue uniforms make us stand out so we have to get black. They should be here in a few days. Until then, however, you'll have to make due." Tseng let out an uncharacteristic snigger.
Now Rude understood why Tseng had had such trouble controlling his laughter. "I understand sir." And he flipped his PHS shut without a goodbye. He ran a hand over his face and groaned inwardly. This would undoubtedly be a long day.
He took a shower and got dressed without pausing to look in the mirror. Feeling that sometimes it's just better if you don't know how ridiculous you look. He straightened his tie with as much dignity as he could muster and left his room to find the culprit to his dilemma red-handed and passed out on his sofa. Reno was literally red-handed from the dye he had used to make Rude look like a pissed off business clown. Rude had no idea what he had done to get his clothes tampered with, but he decided then and there that he best earn his punishment. He searched through his desk and found the tool to Reno's humiliation, a bright green permanent marker. He didn't know what he was going to write on Reno's face, but he felt he had to do something. He walked over to the sleeping Turk and at a lack of words crude enough to show his anger he simply began scribbling over Reno's entire face. Reno didn't start once and Rude realized he must have drank quite a lot to be out this cold.
He stepped back and saw with some satisfaction that Reno now closely resembled a three year olds drawing of a christmas tree. He capped his marker and left for work with a small triumphant smile.
After he entered the Shinra elevator he knew he should have chosen the stairs over the glass walled compartment he was riding in now as no one ever really used the stairs. Since he didn't think of it sooner he was now going to be on display for everyone to see in all his pink and purple glory. He sighed and pushed the button for his floor. It was going to be a really long day.
Reno walked in to work about the time Rude had finished his morning coffee. Thankfully Rude had spent most of the morning in his office and hadn't had to deal with any taunting, but he knew it would come eventually. Reno, however, was about to get teased mercilessly by Elena as she still held a grudge against him for the time he dyed her hair pink. Reno had something for pink dye that made Rude wonder about him, but he didn't have much time to ponder the idea as Reno had just whipped Rude's office door open so violently that it slammed into the wall adjacent to it before it's momentum shut it.
Reno was livid. Rude could tell he had spent all morning trying to scrub the marker off his face, but much to his delight he had had limited success. He now gripped the edges of Rude's desk so hard his knuckles were white and he leaned his face close enough to Rude's that he could count the pores on his nose.
"What the hell did you do to my face!?" Reno was practically frothing at the mouth in fury.
Rude didn't answer immediately, instead pulling out another file and giving it a glance over while Reno tried to stare him down.
Reno slammed his hand on the file, successfully preventing Rude from working on it. Reno was angry and by Shiva he was going to let Rude know it. "I said, WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO TO MY FACE!!!" Reno started to crumple Rude's file in anger but the bald man quicky pulled it out of his hands and placed it neatly into his desk drawer.
"I believe, I got payback on your face Reno." Rude pointedly pulled at the lapels of his fluorescent pink suit jacket.
Reno looked down at Rude's clothes, confused for a moment. Then the color of the uniform suddenly dawned on him. "Oh yeah... I forgot I did that. Sorry partner, been doing that for weeks now. I had it planned that the new uniforms would be in today so ya wouldn't have to wear pink all day but they got delayed in shipping 'cause of somethin' stupid."
Rude blinked, confused. Reno had known about new uniforms and he hadn't? "How did you know we were getting new uniforms?" He held back his desire to laugh at Reno's green face, which Reno seemed to have forgotten about for the moment.
Reno laughed and plopped down into the chair across from Rude's desk, "I kept ya outta the loop pretty well huh?" He laughed again, "I've been grabbing your memo's from Tseng off your desk while ya weren't paying attention. Pretty smart eh?"
Rude ran his hand over his face. How the hell had he not noticed that all memo's from Tseng, which were generally a daily occurrence, had suddenly stopped?
Reno laughed again, "I got you pretty good this time partner." He leaned back in his chair and propped his feet on Rude's desk as Rude pulled out his slightly crumpled file and went back to work, a small grunt his only response.
Reno spent most of his time at work in Rude's office just talking. He didn't need Rude to respond to anything he said, he just needed to hear his own voice. Rude paid attention most of the time as Reno's stories were far more interesting than his paper work and he occasionally gave a small nod or head shake or whatever gesture Reno required to keep his stories going. It was kind of comforting listening to Reno drone on and on without a care in the world and Rude knew he had heard most of these stories more than once, but he didn't truly care.
Sometime after lunch Tseng walked into the office as Rude finished his last file for the day. He cleared his throat to get Reno to stop his story about a recent bar fight he'd been in, one of many bar fight stories, and then he held up a file and placed it on Rude's desk.
"I've got a job for the two of you. President needs body guards for his meeting with the head of a small company we're trying to incorporate into Shinra. It's the usual job. Stand and look menacing, keep an eye out for any idiots who think they should kill Rufus, and try not to die yourselves in the process. It's scheduled for next week but considering how fickle our President is about his schedule lately I figured I'd let you know in advance. Hopefully by then we'll have our new suits and," he looked at Reno's green face with a smirk, "a way to remove that permanent marker." With that Tseng turned on his heel and left.
Reno rubbed his face and scowled. He had forgotten all about Rude's 'payback' from this morning. He supposed that he probably deserved it, but he still had plans to get Rude back for it somehow. The crap he'd been getting from Elena any time he so much as poked his head out of the office was enough to make him feel rather vindictive.
Author's Note: As promised, I am remaking this story! Same plot line, same events, same characters, I'm just making sure its grammatically acceptable and that scene near the end that has made some of you so angry with me will now be created instead of left to be all cliffhanger!
R&R!!! I still appreciate reviews on this story!