Author's note: More Reno/Tifa goodness! I must say that I am sorry to all Cloud fans, but moody boys tick me off and they make great plot devices/scapegoats! Enjoy!
Rated M for language and some adult themes, just to be safe.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, I am paid nothing, but I enjoy playing with FFVII's characters! :D
A Broken Heart Can Be Mended
Tifa sighed and looked at her watch. It had been an hour since she had sat down in the quiet restaurant. It looked like it was going to be another depressing dinner alone. Even when she felt her phone vibrate against her leg, she knew it wasn't good. She pulled out the cell phone and opened it before opening the text message, snorting when she read it. It was from Cloud.
"Sorry, I just can't," she read softly before rolling her eyes. "At least he sent a text message. That's a slight improvement."
She looked around and caught the eye of her waiter. He made his way over to her and smiled.
"Are you ready to order or are you still waiting for the other party?" he asked.
"I've finally given up on that lost cause," she said with a sad smile. "I'll have the garden salad with house dressing to start and fettuccini Alfredo, thank you."
"I'll have the same thing," a male voice said before plopping himself in the chair across from her.
"Are you the other party we've been waiting for?" the waiter asked icily, feeling defensive of the gentle woman who had been waiting patiently for her guest for over an hour.
Reno didn't seem to notice as he just smiled up at the waiter. "Nope. I'm just the cute substitute that shows up to rescue beautiful young ladies from dining alone after their stupid boyfriends ditch them. It's kind of my specialty."
"Can I get you a drink sir?" the waiter asked.
Reno pointed at Tifa's glass and nodded. "Just bring a bottle of that."
Tifa glared at him once the waiter had left. "Reno, I'm not in the mood tonight."
"How long did Spikey leave you waiting this time?" he asked.
Tifa sighed and leaned back in her chair. "An hour."
"Geez, when are you going to kick his ass to the curb, Teef?" he asked with a frown.
"Well, I may not have to," she said as she opened her cell phone and turned it so he could read it. "I think I just got stood up and dumped!"
"Sorry, I just can't," he read aloud before snatching her phone from her and hurriedly began texting.
"Reno, what are you doing?" she asked worriedly.
"I'm just telling that stupid chocobo head what he can do with his lame text message," he answered, smiling as she tried to grab the phone from him.
"Reno! Don't you dare!" she growled.
"Too late!" he said as pressed send just as she grabbed the phone from his hands.
She quickly opened the sent folder and read his response. "Your text was as lame as all your self-pity and whiny-ass need for solitude. You suck? Reno, seriously?"
He shrugged. "What? His text was lame and he does suck."
Despite the sadness weighing on her heart, she couldn't help but smile slightly. "The text was lame, but you suck? That doesn't even sound like me."
He winked and smirked. "That was the point, babe. He'll read that and know it sounds more like me. Then while he's off moping around wherever he ran to this time, he'll start to wonder, how did Reno get Tifa's phone? That'll eat him up inside imaging all the wonderfully twisted things we could possibly be doing together."
The waiter almost dropped the salads he had for them when he heard the last part of Reno's sentence. "Sorry," he mumbled as he blushed slightly and quickly hurried away.
"Way to go Reno," Tifa said. "You just traumatized our waiter with your lewd implications."
"Hey! I didn't say we were going to be doing anything twisted," he protested with a smile. "I was just saying that Spikey would be imaging all the twisted things I would be doing to his virginal barmaid friend, that's all."
Tifa blushed slightly and narrowed her eyes. "Virginal barmaid?"
"It's not an accusation, yo," he said as he took his bite of salad. "I'm just saying that you could be the biggest whore in Edge and he would still see you as all virginal and untouchable."
"So…are you calling me a whore or a virgin?" she asked dryly.
"Um…here's the wine you ordered," the waiter stammered. "Your food will be out shortly."
Reno smiled across the table. "Now who's traumatizing our waiter with their lewdness?"
Tifa blushed again and laughed softly. "Well, I just got dumped and you're a Turk. We are entitled to be lewd." She jumped slightly when her phone vibrated on the table. She frowned and picked it up. Her eyes widened when she saw another text message. "It's Cloud."
Reno smirked. "Well? Are you going to read it?"
Tifa chewed her lip for a moment before smiling. "What the hell? Why not?"
"That's the spirit!" Reno said encouragingly. "But you have to share with the class."
She laughed softly and nodded. "It says, 'Why is Reno with you?'"
He held out his hand and smirked mischievously. "May I?"
"By all means," she said as she handed the phone to him.
He read his response out loud as he typed it. "Because you are too stupid to show up for our date. Don't text me anymore because we are about to hit the sheets. And send!"
Tifa shook her head and smiled at him as she took her phone back. "You're a pervert, Reno."
He touched his heart and smiled. "Really? Thank you! I try so hard and to finally have the recognition I crave…" he trailed off as he wiped an imaginary tear from his eye. "It just feels so good!"
Their food arrived and their conversation switched from tormenting Cloud to other things, though Tifa had to switch her phone off to avoid the interruptions that seemed to be happening at regular intervals before dessert arrived.
When the bill arrived, Tifa took it to pay for both herself and Reno. He protested, but she just held up her hand and smiled.
"Reno, this has been the most entertaining night I've had in a long time," she said as they got to their feet. "It's my treat. How about you just owe me one?"
He smiled and nodded. "You're on, babe."
Tifa paid their waiter and they both walked out into the chilly night air. She shivered slightly as a cool breeze circled her before moving on. She didn't move away from him as he put his arm around her shoulders. In fact, she actually enjoyed the physical contact and allowed herself to sink into his casual embrace as he walked her home. It wasn't a long walk, so they walked in silence until they reached Seventh Heaven.
"So, are you alone?" Reno asked as he noticed the lights were all out. "Where are the rugrats?"
"Do you mean the children?" she asked pointedly.
"Fine," he said as he smiled and rolled his eyes. "Where are the children?"
"They're with Barrett," she answered. "He finally took a vacation and the children really wanted to visit him, so I am child-free for the next two weeks. That reminds me, Barrett was supposed to text me when they got Wutai. They were picking up Yuffie too." She flipped open her phone and gasped slightly.
Reno frowned. "What is it?"
She looked up at him and smiled mischievously. "The children and Barrett got there, but there are fifty text messages from Cloud! And four missed calls! He actually called! Reno, if you ever leave the Turks, you should set up your own business for scaring the senses into neglectful friends and boyfriends!"
"I'd make a fortune," he joked. Outwardly, he was smiling, but inside, he was disappointed. He had hoped she had finally seen what a moron Cloud really was for not seeing the amazing woman that was living so close to him, right under his nose.
He was pulled from his thoughts when her phone rang. She laughed and he noticed a devious lilt in the soft notes of her laugh. She winked at him before answering.
"Hello?" she answered innocently. She held the phone away from her ear and stifled a giggle as Cloud ranted. "Cloud, calm down. Listen, I'm sure you want to talk about this, but I really can't. Reno will be back any minute and…" she trailed off as Cloud continued in his rant. She looked up at Reno and mouthed, say something.
He smirked. "Babe, get off the phone! I'm not done with you yet! I found a picture of that hot position I was telling you about."
"Reno, just a second. I'm almost done," she said with a smile. "Cloud, really this is not a good time to do this."
Reno took the phone about to press it to his ear, but held it away as Cloud's voice got even louder. He covered the mouthpiece and whispered, "Who knew such a depressing chocobo head could be so damn loud?" Tifa laughed and shrugged as she watched Reno finally put the phone to his ear and grin. "Hey Spikey! It was my understanding that you dumped our beautiful Tifa here and that makes her fair game. Now I appreciate that you may regret your decision, but I must respectfully ask that stop blocking my cock. Thanks yo!"
Tifa laughed as he snapped the phone shut. "He is going to be mad when he gets home."
"He'll get over it once he realizes we were just pulling one over on him," Reno assured her.
"You're not going to tell him, are you?" Tifa asked with a frown.
Reno was surprised and looked down at her questioningly. "Well, no, but I just figured you would. You know, just to smooth things over with him."
She shook her head. "Reno, the man dumped me in a text message! I know he's still hung up on Aeris and he feels guilty for feeling anything for any other woman, but I was his friend since we were kids! He owed me more than a one-line text. He broke my heart a long time ago. This text was just the final nail in the coffin of our relationship."
"So you're not going to take him back?" Reno asked.
"There's nothing to take back," Tifa said as she looked at the ground. "It's time for me to move on."
He nodded and smiled slightly as they lapsed into silence, Reno unsure of how to end the night. Normally his nights ended with him being wasted, him getting slapped for trying to pick up the wrong girl, or him in bed with a woman who succumbed to his charm. A night with a friend, who was a girl, just didn't happen enough for him.
"So, I'll see you around?" Tifa asked, breaking the silence.
He nodded and smiled as he took step back. "Tomorrow's payday, beautiful. And as you know I like to donate a lot of that paycheck to the Seventh Heaven liquor restocking fund."
Tifa laughed and nodded. "I'll see you tomorrow then." She surprised him when she leaned up and kissed his cheek. "And thanks again for what you did tonight. I really enjoyed spending time with you."
"Me too," he said quietly as he looked into her eyes. And suddenly he could stop himself from leaning in and kissing her softly on the lips. To his surprise, she didn't pull back. Instead, she leaned into the kiss and gently wrapped her arms around his neck. He rested his hands on her hips and pushed her until she rested against the door of her bar.
He lifted his head and they both took a deep breath. "I should…I should go, Teef," he stammered.
"Don't go, Reno," she said quietly. "I want you to stay with me."
"I can't," he said as he stepped back. "I don't want to be a rebound guy."
"Reno, you are the rebound guy," she said with a small smile.
He smirked and nodded. "Yeah, but let me put it this way: I don't want to be your rebound guy. I want to be something, just not your rebound guy."
She smiled and nodded. "Okay…but you still owe me one, right?"
He smiled brightly and nodded. "I still owe you one, babe! Goodnight!"
She watched him walk down the street before turning and entering the bar. Who knew that a gentleman lurked deep within Reno? She locked the door behind her before turning and heading through the back and up the stairs to the apartment above the bar. She was halfway up the stairs when she heard a loud knock on the door of the bar. She frowned and debated whether or not she should open the door. She wavered a few minutes and decided she should go and see who it was…just in case they were in danger.
She hurried back across the bar and unlocked the door before pulling it open. She stepped back a bit and frowned.
"Tell me, would you think me less of a gentleman if I told you I don't give a rat's ass if you want me just as a rebound guy?" he asked seriously.
Tifa raised her eyebrows. "What?"
"I know I said I don't want to be your rebound guy," he said as he shook his head. "But as I was walking down the street, I thought to myself, damn! Tifa Lockheart wants you! And you just walked away! You're dumber than Spikey! So then I thought, fuck it! I want her and she wants me and I have never been a plan ahead kinda guy. I'm more of a grab life by the balls dude, so I figured I had to grab life by the balls and…"
"Reno," she interrupted. "You're rambling."
He laughed nervously. "Yeah, I am, aren't I? You know what, I should probably just leave before I make an even bigger ass out of myself."
"Reno? Would you think me less of a virginal barmaid if I told you how happy I am that you are not a gentleman?" she asked with a smile.
"Hell no," he said quietly as he waited for her to invite him in again.
"And would it make you feel any better to know that I have thought you were pretty sexy for a while?" she asked as she drew him into the bar.
"Hell yes," he said with a smirk as she closed and locked the door behind her.
"And how would you feel if I told you that this has nothing to do with Cloud or getting even with him in any way?" she asked.
"I would feel extremely turned on babe," he said as he pulled her into his arms. "Where's the bedroom?"
"Upstairs," she said as she untangled herself from his arms and eagerly pulled him up the stairs.
They made it into her room and just stared at each other, neither sure what the next step should be. Tifa blushed slightly and slowly began to remove her sweater. Reno took the hint and pulled his jacket off, tossing it to the side impatiently. Tifa laughed at the speed with which he removed his jacket.
He held out his hand for her and she took it happily. He pulled her into an embrace and put his mouth near her ear.
"I'll make you feel good," he promised.
Tifa nodded. "I know you will," she whispered before he kissed her again.
Tifa yawned and stretched the next morning as the sun began to shine though the window. She was about to get to her feet, when an arm tightened around her waist.
"Where are you going beautiful?" Reno asked sleepily.
She laughed and settled back against his chest. "I was about to check the time, but If you want to keep holding me, that's totally fine too, babe."
Reno laughed. "I've never been called babe myself. I kinda like it, yo!"
Tifa rolled her eyes and turned so she was facing him. "Of course you like it! You're a compliment whore."
He smirked as he looked down at her. "Do you think you're the first person to call me a whore?"
She smiled sweetly. "Hell no."
He laughed again and began raining kisses down upon her face. "That's for teasing me."
"If that was supposed to be a punishment, you failed miserably," Tifa said as she propped her head on her arm as she looked into his playful aquamarine eyes. "Reno, if I ask you something, will you be honest?"
He shrugged and nodded. "Sure. Shoot."
"Will I just be another one night stand for you?" she asked, almost fearing the answer.
Reno smiled and gently touched her cheek. "No way, Teef. I like you more than that! But you have to be honest with me. You're not going to go running back to Cloud when he comes back here begging for your forgiveness, are you?"
She shook her head. "Absolutely not. I realized something last night. He's not only a horrible boyfriend, but he's a pretty terrible friend if I don't warrant anything more than a text message standing me up and dumping me all at the same time. Then, he was only angry because you were there. I happen to love myself enough to say I'm better than some part-time girlfriend and I deserve to be one man's first and only choice. I told you last night my heart has been broken for a long time, but…and not to make this some sappy romance novel moment…my heart began to heal last night just because for a few moments, I was the center of your attention."
"A few moments?" Reno asked as he made a face. "Babe, I gave you hours of my best moves last night!"
Tifa rolled her eyes. "I was talking about dinner, you idiot. Everything after that was just icing on the cake."
"Icing! Damn, I forgot about icing," he said mockingly. "Oh, well, maybe next time."
Tifa laughed and playfully slapped his arm. "You are such a pervert."
He smiled and nodded. "I know. Listen, I'm late for work, so I'm gonna have to do a screw and run kinda thing," he said as he disengaged himself from her arms. He hurriedly pulled on his pants and shirt before dropping to his knees to find his socks. "But I'll be back later with my paycheck. Should I stop by my place to pick a pair of pj's for our next sleepover or what?"
"Why would you need pajamas?" she asked innocently as she watched him hurry around her room. She pointed to the missing socks. "There they are."
"Thanks, yo!" he said as he pulled them on quickly. "So, it's too soon for another sleepover or am I going to be a one night stand for you?"
"You'll never be a one night stand if I can help it, Reno," she said sincerely before smiling wickedly. "You won't need pajamas because it is going to be a naked sleepover."
He smirked and bent quickly to kiss her passionately on the lips. "Sweet! Those are the best kinds of sleepovers! I'll see you later Tifa!"
She laughed as she rolled on her back after he ran out of her room and down the back stairs before slamming the door behind him. She giggled even more went she heard him yell out, "I think I'm in love babe!"
She sighed, loathe to start her day, but knowing she needed to get going now or she would never be able to get up. She never would have guessed that Reno of all people would pull her out of her Cloud funk and force her to start living again. And she couldn't believe just how alive she felt when she was around him. True, he was always bouncing off the walls like a kid who had too much candy in his system and you had to match his energy level if you wanted to keep up with him, but he had breathed new life into her.
Did he truly love her as he had claimed to everyone in the neighborhood? Maybe. Did he enjoy being around her? Apparently. Was he what she needed? Hell yes and she was glad to have him around. She had spent so much time building up her love for Cloud only to have it come crashing down around her. This time, she was just going to sit back and enjoy whatever was building between her Reno. Her heart needed some time to heal, but it finally felt like it was on its way.
Tifa groaned when he phone vibrated, alerting her to a new text message. "Cloud, I swear if this is you again…" She didn't finish her sentence because she was smiling like an idiot. "Oh Reno," she sighed when she read his text message.
"I totally meant it, babe. I really do think I'm in love."
"Me too," she whispered before happily flinging off her sheets, finally ready to start her day.