Title: Everybody Loves Cloud
Summary: One happy, hapless day in Shinra, Cloud's hair falls into one of Hojo's concoctions - a vat of mako laced with a strong aphrodisiac meant for Sephiroth. The strangest day for Cloud ensues. Cloud x everyone in Shinra
Rated: T; for violence and potty mouth
Disclaimer: I do not own Crisis Core or FF7. Enough said.
Beta'd: Not yet!
Everybody Loves Cloud
Part the Ninth
Reno was a good Turk. Reno was a very good Turk, in fact, despite what his appearance may lead one to believe.
He did his paperwork on time - if 'on time' meant 'whenever he felt like submitting his work', which was usually a few weeks after his official debriefing and no small amount of nagging on the part of his superiors.
He also kept his office clean, although some people may have a problem with how he sometimes stacked his used pizza boxes rather precariously next to his door where people could accidentally smack into them and have the leaning tower of cardboard topple over on them.
And he was quite a gentleman to all the ladies that passed by...of course, all those sexual harassment suits that would sometimes pass through Tseng and Veld's desks would like to argue otherwise. Honestly, if he saw a good looking woman walk in front of him he was not going to be shy about passing on a compliment. Unfortunately, Reno was not very articulate, so it just came down to quick, five-fingered physical appreciation...Who needed words when his hands could speak for him?
All right. Reno would be the first to admit that he was not what one would call the 'model employee', however, the man owned a certain set of skills that made him a cut above the rest of Shinra's grunts. He made quite the excellent 'garbage man'; the was no job too dirty for his hands, no mission too hard or mundane. If Shinra Inc asked him to do something, he would do it to the letter with a grin and a two-finger salute.
And today involved an odd job for the fiery Turk that had his eyebrows going up to his hairline, not that he hadn't expected it to come, though.
Though his bright red hair, dishevelled black suit and loud, slightly nasally voice stood out like a sore thumb, Reno was very capable of blending into the background and keeping an eye out to his surroundings. Taking everything in like a fly on the wall. By the time someone noticed enough to slap him away, he was already bolting to a new unreachable hiding spot.
Since early that morning, Reno had been working the labs, keeping out of the way or deflecting
attention from himself as he kept an eye on the proceedings. Orders were to make sure the loopier SOLDIERs didn't run amok and cause trouble for the company, as they were wont to do right after their monthly mako treatments at the labs. It was a rare thing for the Turks to step in during that one scheduled day, but it made for a nice break after all of those nigh suicide missions Veld loved sending them on at times. He often called those assignments 'character builders'. The redhead was sure he had enough character to cover ten versions of himself, spanning twenty five lifetimes.
To reiterate, things were funnier than usual during injection time. This was the first time he'd ever seen SOLDIERs trying to make out with one another. Surprisingly, the men of their military had their minds on things other than sexing each other up most of the time - who knew? Reno was wondering if all of this slobbering all over one another was the mark of repression and that the SOLDIERs needed an immediate psyche evaluation, just in case this was the beginning of a downward spiral into moral decay and mental instability...
But it probably wasn't as bad as it looked to him. After all, if he really felt like a trip to the head doctor was warranted, he would need proof. Oh, how many times had Veld scolded him on an investigation half-assed? More than the redhead would care to count, in all honesty. So he would sit back, gather information, and enjoy the show.
And what a show he was getting.
SOLDIERs on the prowl and pouncing on each other, sometimes even doing it in some kind of mako-crazed packs against one singular prey. Was this normal? It would be the first time Reno had come across something like this inside of Shinra where almost everyone was so straight-laced, straight edges would be jealous. Scandals were still common, but usually within the higher echelon of the electric power company; not in the SOLDIER ranks.
But it was his job to observe and not to interfere unless necessary. And hey, maybe things will work out in the favour of lots of the SOLDIERs involved. Minerva knew some of them desperately needed to get laid. Really bad...
...All right, what the ever loving Hell?
Reno got that the SOLDIERs had the hots for each other (being in the trenches fighting a war together and seeing nothing, but beefcakes everywhere did that to a man), but why were any of them bothering with that one infantryman? Granted, the kid wasn't bad. Not his type, but not at all lacking in the looks department. Had an unfortunate case of 'too girly in the face', but it did take all kinds to make up the world and for the world to like all kinds. Maybe the kid could make someone's weird Lolita fetishes come true. Maybe. Possibly.
Okay, maybe not. Mentally, he did a rare thing; he wished the blond grunt well. Pretty as that, might wind up some weird underground boss' plaything, dressed up in pink and purple satin with a tiara on his head, so good luck weird spiky-haired kid!
Feeling particularly magnanimous today though, the redhead Turk watched with increasing intrigue, the journey of this infantryman throughout the day at the labs, somewhat interested in the little no-name now that he managed to invest a little thought into him. That's right, if something caught Reno's attention – even for a split second – outside of his mission objective meant he was interested. Oh, he wouldn't touch the kid with a ten foot pole (Reno did all the crazy things a man did, except touching a minor, which blondie seemed to be from the look of him), but it didn't mean Reno couldn't be interested in the fate of this poor, hapless kid stuck right in the middle of some very heavy stuff that was outside of his ken.
Plus, blond guy floundering around military men trying to come onto him, totally oblivious to their advances – priceless, right? An instant classic for some kind of sitcom. Reno would watch it, had he the time to be leisurely viewing hit comedy shows during prime time.
Reno eventually learned the kid's name; it was Cloud. Cloud? Who in their right mind named their kid after fluff in the sky? Now Nimbus...Nimbus sounded cool and awesome. Still technically a cloud, but much more awe inspiring than...Cloud. Good gravy, did that name sound ambiguously girly.
And with how he seemed to be just...getting himself into trouble, maybe the monicker was right. Of course, maybe his observations were completely wrong, but until his infallibility was proven, the redhead was firm in his belief that Cloud was a wuss and one that needed proper rescuing. Like a damsel. Or a princess. Yes, that sounded about right; girly in the face, kind of too frail looking to be a real grunt and easily dragged into situations he obviously could not say no to.
Yes, Cloud was forever going to be referred to as a 'princess' in Reno's head, from now on. If he only knew how far removed the grunt was from the that particular royal title and how the teen would react once he caught wind of such an unmanly nickname. Thankfully, they were in separated divisions and the kid would never know. Well, unless he got as smart and surprisingly omniscient as SOLDIER's resident smartypants, Kunsel of SOLDIER Second Class. And speaking of smarts, looked like he was making use of that deceptively strategic mind of his to take advantage of the object of Reno's observations.
Oh, nice. Someone managed to kiss the princess. Wasn't that sweet?
Or maybe not. In came a second person swooping in to kiss the princess, making Reno's eyebrows really go up his hairline. What in the Lifestream...?
SOLDIERs macing on each other out of the blue he believed.
People jumping each other out of nowhere he could take.
But more than a pair of SOLDIERs working their magic on one single guy? Yeah. No. Something was up. Looked like it was time to report things in to the boss man.
"Hey, Tseng. You won't believe what I'm about to tell you..."
And so the sordid tale was relayed in intricate detail, because damn the man who spoke ill of the Turk's ability to give excessive information about one thing or another. Reno laid out what had transpired since his arrival, from the SOLDIERs acting loopier than usual to the continual molestation –
Checking quickly over his shoulder, yes, he was sure that his princess was still being manhandled by somebody.
– of a single infantryman who had no name or title to him, as far as Reno knew.
"But I'm cheering for him, because the kid looks like he needs someone to be on his side."
"That's a nice sentiment, Reno," drawled Tseng on the other end, all too used to his subordinate's antics, "but please keep to your report. If there is something amiss with the SOLDIERs, time is of the essence."
"On the clock and cloak and dagger – gotcha boss."
- - c C c - -
After relaying a few more things to the senior Turk Reno was left to observe further. It was expected that the mako treatments would eventually cause the SOLDIERs to become rather volatile after enough exposure. Sure, many of these men had passed the initial exam and subsequent testing afterwards, as well as the regular surgeries and injections they received, but the Turks knew the truth; mako-mix made the unsuspecting extremely loopy, to put it nicely.
Reno decided that he needed a better view of things, heading to commandeer the security room and all of its monitors keeping track of all the levels within ShinRa headquarters. From this eagle eye vantage point the Turk was able to snag himself a prime front row seat of all the steamy happenings within the building, particularly the slowly growing chaos that was amassing on the floors where SOLDIERs were frequenting today. Someone else would be out to take a look at the mako being used today – never know if someone put something funny in the stuff again. And by again he really meant again. Damn those bigheads in the science department never knew when to leave things well enough alone. Next thing that was going to happen was maybe some guys sprouting wings or something equally as ridiculous!
With each new escapade, Reno felt a growing respect bloom for the boy who stumbled from one bit of trouble to next, never realizing the huge scandal that was brewing within ShinRa's very own walls because of him. Kid didn't have to do anything, but show up and something was bound to happen.
"Palmer, my man, you really need to curb that appetite of yours – and I don't mean for lard."
Just one thing after another for the poor princess here. At the very least everyone knew old Palmer was a mooching lech from a department that was slowly decaying into nothing. With ShinRa slowly pushing its sights onto something closer to home rather than the stars, money was being routed more to the Weapons department as well as the army itself. Why bother exploring space when you could just as easily grab neighbouring land?
"Huh. Didn't know the Director of SOLDIER liked 'em young...that's gross yo."
And surprise of all surprises, the kid actually fought back. Sort of. Flailing ineffectively, Reno just watched, unimpressed yet somehow still managing to amuse the watchful Turk.
"This'll cause trouble."
Though Lazard was not high priority, the man was still an executive at ShinRa and one of the cleaner ones, to boot. A good reputation that the company could not afford to get stained; they needed at least one good patsy lying around in case someone needed to take the blame. Couldn't blame the guy for going for broke, though. Lazard Deusericus was a very hard working man and probably as repressed as the rest of his SOLDIERs. Whatever was making them act funny was also making their boss act grossly out of character.
"Should probably do something about that."
And just as Reno lifted up the PHS to make a phone call to Tseng again, an odd sort of miracle occurred.
Like some force of nature, it began to squall within the director's office, allowing Reno's princess to dash out of there as quickly as he could and having a run-in with the resident Icicle of SOLDIER, the general of the hour – Sephiroth. And right here, maybe, just maybe, Reno felt a little sorry for the kid. No, scratch that. Extremely sorry. If Sephiroth had his shots like a good boy and went loopy there would be no reprieve for Cloud, who was standing in front of the SOLDIER First.
But here was where the miracle happened.
Like a motherfrickin' gentleman, Sephiroth swept off his coat and wrapped it around Cloud. No fondling. No kissing. No inappropriate touching. Just...coat!
Reno pinched himself then. Ow! Nope. Not dreaming. Sephiroth just took off his signature coat as if nothing was out of the ordinary and draped it over the princess' shoulders. It was like watching a scene right out of some chick flick where a prince comes galloping right in on a white horse to save his love interest.
What was even – now things were getting really good!
"Way to go Cloud. You sure scored pretty good with – hey, hey, hey! Where're you going, yo?! I was cheering you on and everything! Get yo ass back there with Sephiroth!"
Just as soon as Sephiroth did the most gallant and noble of things, Cloud dashed off screen and into the nearest elevator as fast as his lanky legs could take him. Deflated and put out, Reno got back to calling Tseng and giving him a juicy report, whilst getting an update on their possibly mako poisoning situation. And what he heard on the other end did not sit well. Oh, no. The hero of Reno's mental soap drama was in danger!
- - c C c - -
So having the great boss that was Tseng Reno found out that some of the vats did, in fact, become contaminated with some foreign material. An inexplicable concoction that should have had no bearing on the results of the mako treatments, but obviously caused side effects regardless. Something to do with genetics or some such scientific mumbo jumbo that the redhead had no business knowing and made his business not to know – a black suit did not go messing around on science department grounds, if it could be helped.
A code all Turks lived by; don't mess with science! Reno was more of a demolition kind of man himself.
An order was issued. Round up the contaminated SOLDIERs and find a way to hide all of the scandals. Reno had been left with the lovely job of taking care of the one growing scandal he'd been keeping a close, almost stalkerish eye on. At this point, Cloud had endeared himself to the redhead quite thoroughly. Watching his journey from one unfortunate event to the next made the male feel like they could be friends. Like they were friends in fact. Yes, he was going to be friends with the princess!
And not a moment too soon, either. From his little hidey hole filled with security monitors looked like he had found Cloud again, looking worse for the wear. Was the poor lad in his skivvies? Sweet Minerva's pants, that kid had the worst luck! Reno left the security room in a rush, hoping to catch the kid before he got himself into another messy scandal. With an oddly exhilarated air he got down to where the almost nude teen just as he bumped into a rather odd looking Angeal. Reno heard him mumble something softly, but he didn't catch it.
Well, whatever. Reno wasn't here for SOLDIER clean up. He was here to sweep the princess off of his feet!
Cloud sputtered and the elder SOLDIER groaned out a word that sounded like 'plate' – Reno really needed to work on his listening skills. Ignoring both of them, the Turk simply picked up the blond teen with a cocky grin aimed at the zoned out SOLDIER First. Huh. Must be contaminated, too, mused the redhead.
"I'm sorry, but your butt naked princess is in another castle, yo."
And then he absconded from the scene, his princess sputtering incoherently in his arms.
Oh, yes. Reno was a good Turk. A very good one, if he could say so himself. If not for his special skills, then at least for being the fastest one alive.
Author's Note: Guess who's back with a new chapter. From Reno's POV, about the strangeness of what's going on. I know Cloud's not a wimpy princess, but since it's an 'outsider's' point of view, well, can't be helped. Sorry for taking almost a year to get this out everyone. Reno is hard to write for me and I was distracted by Tumblr.
I also apologize for Reno being so damned random. But we needed some comic relief. So there you go.
The pervert count will return with the next chapter.