Everyday, there was always that brief stretch of calm between when Denzel and Marlene left for school and when the bar opened. As a child, Tifa had been quite restless and never tired of moving, but now, that little breath of stillness she had during that stretch had become precious to her. It was the time she took to relax, read a book, go shopping, meet up with Yuffie if she was visiting and just let go of everything.
Today was no different. Tifa had already made her coffee and was planning on giving the bar a good, long overdue cleaning, when she suddenly heard the creak of the door opening . About to tell the person that the bar hadn't opened yet, she stopped when she saw who it was.
"Tifa. You, look like the type of girl who can tie a tie properly," Reno drawled out as a greeting. He held up a navy blue tie expectantly.
"Good morning to you too," Tifa said, a smile flitting across her face despite herself.
He raised his eyebrows hopefully. "So? Is that a yes on the tie?"
"And why can't you tie your own tie?"
He held up his other hand, wrapped in several bandages. "I might have…cracked a few knuckles." When she raised an eyebrow, he quickly added, "Hey, don't give me that face like I'm some violent brute or something. The guy deserved it."
"Reno, you are a violent brute," Tifa replied wryly. "What kind of Turk uses a stick instead of a gun?"
Reno was silent for amoment. "Okay, you got me there," he conceded after a pause without any hint of shame. "So? Tie?"
"And since when do you wear a tie?"
"Since I decided that wearing a tie would proably freak Elena out, especially since my hand is all damaged." His eyes took a wicked gleam. "Because then she'll want to know how and before long, she'll be wondering why and it'll just bother her, day and night, that I'm suddenly acting different."
"Elena," Tifa said in disbelief.
"You wouldn't believe how much she freaks out over random things." Reno leaned, his voice low and conspiring . "Like last time when Tseng decided to switch the pairs, she got all paranoid that maybe she had done something to Tseng mad."
"Because she was paired with me." Reno grinned proudly at that. "But man, did she bitch about it all mission…"
"I see…" Tifa said slowly, having gotten more insight into the Turks hierarchy she had in this conversation she had the past three years. "And now... what is this, revenge?"
"Exactly," Reno said with glee. "You know you want to be a part of this."
She gave him one last critical look, but the curiosity had already taken hold. Giving a dramatic sigh, she held out her hand for the tie. "Come over here."
Reno's face all but glowed. "Yes ma'am."
Admittedly, as Tifa leaned in and began to go through the motions, she felt a little awkward. Not only were the motions slightly unfamiliar to her, but at this distance, she was able to feel the warmth radiating off Reno. For a moment, she wanted to giggle at the absurdity of it all, somehow feeling like a teenager again, stuttering at the slightest contact with a boy.
Reno, oddly enough, had gone quiet as she worked and only when Tifa looked up from her work did she realize that his eyes had been on her and she felt a curiosity grip her as she wondered what he was thinking, wondered if she might figure it out if she looked long enough. But his face was unreadable, his crooked grin revealing nothing.
"There," she said as she finished. Reno looked into one of the glasses to check himself out. "Enjoy tormenting Elena."
"Will do, will do," he assured, admiring his distorted reflection. "Not bad … You know. For a girl."
Tifa rolled her eyes in good humour. "Get out of here."
"Fine fine, I'm going…" He walked to the door, stopping only to turn around and glance inquisitively towards the back room. "Damn, your coffee smells good. Make me a cup tomorrow, okay?"
As she watched him swagger out, she felt her stop for a bit. Taking a few moments warp her head around around his parting words, she tried to figure out what felt off when it hit her.
Did he say tomorrow?
Author's Note: Sometimes, an author just really needs to write a ridiculous piece of fluff that has no plot. Fortunately, this will short and relatively harmless. No more than five chapters. Promise.
Tell me what you think so far?