Shinra Inc. And "The Gay"

Author's Note: I am probably going to piss off a lot of people with this story. Just know that it's all in good humor and that I have two gay siblings who I love dearly. This is not a shot at gay people, but at the ignorant mindset and stereotypes about them.

Everybody in Shinra Inc had their own personal weakness. That one thing that they just couldn't help themselves over.

Palmer had alcohol. He described himself as a "social drinker", which basically meant he would not go to any social event where booze was not served.

Heidegger loved guns. The bigger, the better. He never went anywhere without his rifle, except in the Shinra Tower where open weapons were prohibited by anybody except Turks and Security Personnel.

Rufus was, of course, obsessed with money and all the fine things it could buy him. And he had such a tight grasp on the political purse strings that Midgar went into a depression because of his gambling problem.

Reno was, by all accounts, a consummate ladies man. He had never had a relationship that lasted more than an evening and his ideal woman was one who had her own cab fare.

Scarlet, on the other hand, had gossip. She loved a good bit of news and loved the attention that sharing that news with others gave her. So when she and Rufus were walking down the corridor of the 64th floor, her heart began to flutter when she saw Reeve eating lunch at the employee café with somebody who was not his girlfriend. In fact, it was not even a woman!

"Who is that?" Scarlet asked.

The man wore a dark business suit and was clasping Reeve's hand as they discussed something. Reeve smiled weakly at whatever this man was saying. They stood up, hugged each other and the man left the café. As he passed by Rufus and Scarlet they saw he had black hair in a stylish cut. He was clean shaven, but had a slight scar at the bottom of his lip.

He nodded curtly and made his way towards the elevator.

"But no… who the hell was that?" Scarlet asked, watching the man enter the elevator.

She turned over to see Reeve sobbing his eyes out. A waitress brought him a tissue and he wiped his eyes. Scarlet had never seen Reeve so desperate.

"Wait a minute… those two couldn't be…" Rufus began his annoying habit of piecing together clues that were not there.

"What are you getting at?" Scarlet asked.

"The hand-holding, the sobbing, the scent of lilacs on that guys shirt… don't you see what it means?" Rufus asked.

"What?" Scarlet asked, a little more impatiently.

"Reeve is gay!" Rufus burst out laughing. "I always knew it! I told everybody! I even made it the theme of his last birthday party but you all said I was crazy!"

"You are crazy," Scarlet hissed. "There's no proof of that?"

"Look at his cup," Rufus instructed.

"What?" Scarlet asked.

"Look at the man's cup," Rufus said more forcefully.

Scarlet glanced through the window. "It looks like he's drinking tea."

"You see!" Rufus shouted. "What kind of man drinks tea for lunch? Shit, for that matter what kinda man drinks tea?"

"You had tea this morning," Scarlet observed.

"Oh my God you're right!" Rufus gasped. "But… I mean… it's his fault!"

Rufus turned back to the window and scowled.

"What are you talking about now?" Scarlet asked, increasingly feeling like she had never been more out of the loop.

"We've been working in close proximity for two years now. He did it! He gave me the gay! Remember when you guys tried that new age crap on me! I started to like it! I even switched to a mandarin-scented laundry detergent!" Rufus burst out crying.

[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. And Stress Management]

"Oh come on, Rufus. You're being ridiculous!" Scarlet laughed.

"Am I? Well we're getting this crap right out in the open right now. I don't wanna shame the man right now, considering it looks like he just got dumped, but I'm calling a staff meeting. Everybody in the conference room at 1 PM!"

Scarlet led Reeve into the conference room, her arm around his shoulder. He was still red-eyed from having cried through his lunch. Elena was on his other side, and even the generally inhumane Hojo had a look of concern upon his face. Only Heidegger, Palmer and Rufus sat with no expression.

"Okay, now that everybody is here… wait we're not all here. Where's Reno, Rude and Tseng?" Rufus asked.

"At work," Heidegger explained. "They're still dealing with the riot in Junon."

"Oh yeah," Rufus nodded.

[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. And Accountability]

Reeve took his usual seat, a completely defeated expression on his face, as though he would break out crying any minute now. Elena sat next to him, rubbing his back affectionately.

"Okay, seriously?" Rufus asked. "What the hell is this all about?"

Reeve let out a shuddering gasp and began to speak. "I… I just found out… my mother…"

"His mother passed on," Scarlet sighed, looking almost ready to wipe a tear from her own eye.

"Oh… I'm really sorry," Rufus said. And he looked it too. "It's a shame you had to hear it from your gay lover."

Scarlet slapped her head, Elena gasped and Reeve turned his head towards Rufus. The murderous expression his face was so unfamiliar that Rufus slid back slightly.

"What did you say?" Reeve asked.

"That guy… in the café. He was your boyfriend right? Or, rather… 'life partner'?" Rufus asked.

"That was my father!" Reeve shouted, now standing. "What the hell is wrong with you?"

"That was your dad?" Rufus asked.

"Yes!" Reeve shouted.

"Damn, what's his secret? The dude doesn't look a day over 30," Rufus exclaimed.

"I don't believe this," Reeve cursed, sliding back into his chair.

"Hey, look I thought I had caught 'The Gay' from you alright? This isn't an easy time for any of us," Rufus explained.

Reeve looked ready to jump up again, but kept his seat.

"The Gay? You can't catch it. Homosexuality is a personal life choice that comes with a long time of soul searching, and some even believe that people are just born that way," Reeve explained.

"Oh god, man. Your mom just died, does nothing stop your politically correct whining?" Rufus moaned.

At this Scarlet marched over to Rufus and slapped him in the face. Rufus fell backwards out of his chair.

"Damn it!" Rufus cursed, dragging himself up off the ground.

"And even if I was gay, what difference would that make?" Reeve asked. "Would you treat me differently if I were a homosexual?"

"I'd choose a different stall in the decontamination showers!" Rufus retorted.

Reeve fumed, but didn't say anything. The whole table grew silent.

"I'm gay," Palmer said, quietly.

"Nobody cares, Palmer. You couldn't get a date anyways," Rufus cursed.

"Oh like you could," Reeve snapped. "You wear the same damn white trenchcoat every week and you think I'm into you? If I was gay, I could do so much better than you!"

"Oh who you gonna get? Heidegger?" Rufus laughed. "At least I have a good haircut."

"What's wrong with me?" Heidegger demanded. "I'm a military man. In perfect physical shape."

"Perfect physical shape?" Hojo protested. "What the hell kind of fun house mirror have you been looking at in the morning?"

"Says the scientist man!" Heidegger shouted back. "You'd be lucky to get a date with Creepy Sam in accounting."

"Creepy Sam?" Palmer asked.

"Tall guy. Buck teeth. Always wants to talk about the pressure points on various animals… Creepy Sam," Hojo explained. "He puts me to shame…"

The whole conference room was shouting now, Rufus and Palmer exchanging swipes, Hojo and Heidegger cursing back and forth. Reeve stood against the back wall and began pacing furiously.

"Guys, please calm down!" Elena shouted.

"Reeve, are you-" Scarlet began, but was cut off by Reeve jumping across the table and beginning to strangle Rufus.

"Oh my God!" Elena gasped.

Palmer threw a pencil sharpener at Heidegger, who retorted by flinging his binder back. Hojo withdrew a scalpel from his lab coat and was jabbing it threateningly at anybody who got near him.

Rufus was gasping for breath and shouting. "Damn it Reeve! If you kill me I swear to God I'll bang you mom in heaven!"

This sent Reeve into an even more vicious rage, lifting Rufus straight over his head and slamming him down onto the conference table, snapping it in half.

"C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER BITCH!" Reeve shouted.

Scarlet sighed. "This had gotten way out of hand."

"Do we have to?" Elena asked.

"Yeah. I think we do," Scarlet sighed.

And, in front of everybody, Scarlet and Elena kissed.

Palmer stopped throwing things, Heidegger rubbed his eyes, Hojo smiled sheepishly and Reeve blinked. Rufus did nothing, the shock of hitting the table had knocked him out. Scarlet and Elena split apart.

"Now, will you guys act like grown men instead of children already!" Elena sighed. "Reeve, I know Rufus said some unbelievably stupid shit, but killing him won't solve anything."

"And Heidegger… Palmer… you two guys are the best of friends. How can you be so cruel to each other?" Scarlet asked.

"Hojo… is it necessary to bring that scalpel everywhere?" Elena asked.

The men all rubbed their arms and regarded the floor, embarrassed at themselves.

"I'm sorry man," Heidegger said, hugging Palmer. "I didn't mean to say such cruel things."

"I love you buddy!" Palmer sobbed.

Reeve bent down over Rufus and began to pat him. "Hey, wake up!"

Rufus stirred slowly and opened his eyes.

"Jesus man, what the hell happened?" Rufus asked. "Just let me die already."

"No, I was out of line," Reeve explained.

"Wait you all are cool now?" Rufus asked, looking around the room. "What stopped you killing each other?"

"Well it all started when Elena and Scarlet kissed and we-"

"Elena and Scarlet kissed?" Rufus gasped. "And I missed it! Do it again, ladies!"

"Hell no," Scarlet cursed.

"What do you think we are? Prostitutes?" Elena asked.

"No, I think you're lesbians. Share the love, bitches," Rufus smiled.

Rufus awoke two days later in the hospital wing. "How the hell did I get here?"