Don't let the long break between updates fool you. I WILL be updating more frequently.

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Reno was stuck. He knew this would happen, his co-workers new this would happen—hell, even the people he walked by on the street knew it would happen. It was inevitable. But Reno would never turn down a challenge, despite all the warnings he got. So, of course, he dove in head first. He didn't think of the consequences or take any precautions; he just threw everything to the wind and did it.

"Mmf."

Which led him to now. Him being stuck, that is.

"Mmmf. Mmf!"

Rude looked impassively over at his friend, eyes shielded with his black sunglasses. He had been the first one to warn Reno about his actions, but did the red-head ever listen? No, of course not. The bald Turk sighed and spared one last look at the struggling Turk, before turning his eyes back to the door.

"I don't pity you in the slightest," Rude commented in his low voice.

".."

"You were the one who got yourself into this mess, in spite of the many times I told you not to do it. It's your fault."

"Mmf! MMF!"

"No, I will not help you."

Reno puzzled over how the bald Turk could have possibly understood him, before continuing to try and pry the lollipop from his mouth. The sweet treat had somehow melted against his teeth, making it impossible to even open his mouth, let alone get the damn candy out. He sighed through his nose, giving up for the fifth time in the past ten minutes, and slumped back against the chair. The wrapper of the candy—which said in bold, green letters the word 'CAUTION'—lay harmlessly across his knee.

He really should learn how to follow orders one day.

"Hm."

"Mmf?"

"I think I heard something."

Reno cocked his head to the side. Indeed, there was an incessant high-pitched sound. It was faint, but still there if you listened carefully.

Suddenly, there was the crash of something slamming open, and the high-pitched noise got considerably closer and changed to the form of words. Decidedly pissed off words, actually.

"How dare you drag me off from my perfectly normal life to teach me how to be a princess! What do YOU know about being a princess, huh?! You're a GUY!"

The two male Turks exchanged glances.

"How come I have a feeling.." Rude started, voicing Reno's thoughts, "that we're not going to like what's going to happen in the next few moments?"

True to Rude's words, the door to the room Reno and Rude were lounging in slammed open and a wary looking Reeve stomped in. Someone behind him, but apparently someone ridiculously small (since the two Turks couldn't see them behind Reeve's broad frame), was shouting out words that would make even the surliest sailors blush. However, there were no sailors in the nearby vicinity, and the only reaction that came from Reno and Rude were quirked eyebrows.

"Bring home a banshee, Reeve?" Reno asked. Actually, since his teeth were still stuck together, it came out as, "mmf mfff mf meef, meefff?"

Reeve looked bewildered, and then glanced at Rude for an explanation. Rude, calmly, pointed to the lollipop stick jutting out of Reno's mouth and Reeve nodded in understanding. The 'banshee', meanwhile, had silenced, but seemed to decide it was safer behind the new president of Shin-Ra.

"Sir," Rude said, ignoring Reno. He craned his neck a little, trying to see behind Reeve. "What was so important that you, of all people, had to fetch?" It wasn't every day the President of Shin-Ra would drop everything he was doing to do a menial task usually reserved for the Turks.

"An old friend." Reeve's lips twisted into a smile that held little mirth in it. Both Turks straightened, and Reeve stepped to the side.

Gray clashed with green, and with a teeth wrenching jerk, Reno yanked the lollipop out of his mouth. He didn't even wince.

"YOU."

Off-Road
Chapter Two: Devil in Blue
By Clara


The brief meetings Reno and Yuffie had during the AVALANCHE and Turk wars were just the beginning. The two were like north and south ends of two different magnets, seeming to attract one another and meet at the most untimely moments.

One time Reno was having dinner with a rather attractive woman. For once, he hadn't picked up a random lady at a bar—he was on a mission. This particular lady, who went by the name Jenna Goodnight, had been accused of pilfering over two-million gil from a rich fatty from Costa del Sol. Fatty hired the Turks to catch her and get his money back, promising a hefty sum for her life. He was doing a good job of getting her drunk and having her open up to him when unexpectedly a bundle of energy that was teenaged sized skidded into the classy restaurant from the kitchen. She was being followed by a group of pissed off looking chefs wielding steak knives and..

..was holding enough food to feed a seven nation army. She even had a biscuit in her mouth.

Reno blinked. "Yuffie?"

Gray clashed with green once again, and suddenly Yuffie was at his side, dropping the huge quantity of food on the table. She flung her arms around his neck, surprising everyone and Reno. He glanced down at her, mouth open but too stunned to make proper use of it.

"Reno, love!" Yuffie crowed, tracing small circles on the base of his neck with her finger. He shivered. "I was just looking for you! Where have you been?"

"Wh.. wh.."

Jenna stared at them with ice in her eyes and cleared her throat. Yuffie, startled, finally noticed the other girl. A cruel smile momentarily flashed across her lips, but it disappeared before it could be noticed by anyone other than Reno.

Uh oh..

"Reno!" Yuffie screeched, wrapping the cloth of his fancy shirt in her fists and yanking him towards her. Her face was twisted in fury. "How could you! After all these years together! And our baby.. our sweet little angel.. how the hell could you betray her with this.. this TRAMP?!"

The majority of the restaurant was now watching with interest. Reno, on the other hand, was staring down at Yuffie with more than a little shock. Unfortunately, this shock was misinterpreted for surprise at being caught.

"Look what I've turned into! Having to steal from bloody restaurants to have a nice meal!" The fury, like magic, was replaced by a flood of tears. Reno had to hand it to her—she could win an Oscar with her performance. The crying earned her sympathetic looks from most of the diners, and deadly ones at Reno from the rest. Reno's look turned dry.

"That's IT! I'm leaving you! And I hope you know, you SUCK in bed!" With a parting sob, Yuffie swept up her food and fled from the scene amidst a wave of applause. The cooks just stood there, apparently not knowing what to do.

Reno looked at Jenna, still wearing a dry look, and was met by a cupful of water to the face. He finally let a grimace slip as Jenna stormed out after Yuffie. For a long time, Reno just sat there. He was stunned over the messy reunion with the AVALANCHE girl and the important mission that was just botched. Terribly. The waiter came by and dropped the bill on the table, not meeting eyes with Reno.

He sighed, finally, and stood up, reaching into his back pocket to pull out his wallet and pay for the bill.

It wasn't there.

Yuffie took it.

Reno stood there, mind blank, then took the safest route and beat the hell out of there.

But that wasn't the only time they met. After that, they had several more hit and run collisions, one purposely messing up whatever the other was doing, then fleeing before they could have a proper fight. Not that it would have been proper, anyway, since one was a ninja and the other beat people on the head with a stick.

But now the two were standing across each other in a very dinky room, staring at each other with wide eyes. Surprise, though, was not evident on either face. Reno was too dignified for that, and Yuffie had known he was going to be there. But it was still.. weird. It meant they couldn't escape.

This time.

"Well, well, well. If it isn't Yuffie Kisaragi," Reno said, stepping closer to the smaller girl. His voice was rather thick from the lollipop. "Long time no see. I believe you still owe me my wallet."

Yuffie folded her arms over her chest, eyes narrowed. The others in the room, now joined by a flustered looking Elena, watched with rather bemused expressions.

The ninja turned her nose up in the air. "I don't know what you're talking about," she sniffed. Reno's fingers twitched, as if he wanted to grab something. Like her neck.

"Is this a reunion of sorts?" Reeve cut in. The homicidal urges were thick in the air and he felt the need to interrupt. He didn't want his charges to murder each other, after all. "Should we break out the party hats?"

Leave it to Reeve to crack a stupid joke to try and lighten the mood. The two turned as one to glance at Reeve with bland expressions.

"What is she doing here?" Reno asked at last. His voice was surprisingly level.

"Why," Reeve said cheerfully, beaming, "she's your new mission! And here I thought I briefed you, sorry, I must have forgotten. I did tell Elena, though. Anyway, you're to train this young lady in the proper way of being a princess.."

"What kind of crack-pot idea is that?!" Reno roared, his built up emotions towards the girl finally exploding like a dam. Sadly, none of these emotions were good. "You want us.. the Turks.. to teach her how to be a princess?! That's like.. that's like a toddler trying to teach a monkey how to write!"

"Hey!" Yuffie yelped. "I am NOT a monkey!"

He turned his steely gaze to her. "You're right. Monkeys are much more attractive than you."

This, of course, spurred a biting argument between the two, which was pretty much just who could yell creative obscenities the loudest. The other occupants of the room lost interest quickly, instead turning to each other with amused annoyance.

"Jeez, I wonder how those two.." Elena was cut off by a rather original expletive that escaped Yuffie's mouth, and grimaced. Rude, however, smirked, while Reeve just shook his head. "..met."

"Reno said something about her stealing his wallet after she fucked up one of his missions," Rude murmured, turning to look at the other two. They were getting uncomfortably loud.

"And there was that beach incident with the ants.."

"Reno's new motorcycle.."

"Yuffie's entire wardrobe.. I still wonder how Reno managed to pull that one off.."

"Okay, okay!" Elena interrupted. "I don't even know why I bother, sometimes.."

There was a sudden screech and the three immediately spun back to the quarreling couple. Yuffie had her hand securely wrapped around Reno's ponytail and was yanking as hard as she could while, in retaliation, Reno had his teeth sunk into her shoulder.

"Nofairlemmegoyoubigdumbjerk! Biting is against the rules! AAAGH!" She pounded on his shoulder with her free hand while still yanking his ponytail. Reno, of course, just bit harder.

The trio stared at them mildly, then turned once again to each other.

"How does ice cream sound?" Reeve asked.

"I'm all for it," Elena chirped. Rude nodded in agreement, and the three made a hasty escape. Reno and Yuffie, too caught up in trying to kill each other, didn't notice.

Unfortunately, them leaving meant that the two enemies were alone. After a few moments of severe pain, there was an unspoken truce and they released each other, one reaching up to rub the back of his head and the other clutching her now extremely bruised shoulder. They glared at each other darkly.

"You are SUCH an insufferable prick," Yuffie growled. He narrowed his eyes further at her.

"Look who's talking, brat," he snarled back. "Grow up."

"YOU grow up!"

"As much as I'd like to continue this witty repartee, punk, I have more important things to do. Like playing in traffic," Reno grumbled, still rubbing the back of his head. As far as he was concerned, pulling hair was the lowest of the low.

Yuffie threw the nearest object she could grab at him, which happened to be a plastic spoon. It hit its mark, of course. Reno responded merely by flipping her off.

*

He was having one hell of a day.

"Stupid weeds," he growled, swinging a stick to hack at the weeds that were up to his chest. "Whenever I remember who the hell I am, I'm starting a new program called 'Pave the Earth'."

Talking to himself had become one of his favorite pastimes. He wasn't that good of company, unfortunately, but it was better than the oppressing silence.

He had been wandering around for a couple of days now, having just left Wutai where, for some reason, he hadn't been given the warmest welcome. Well, they didn't even bother to speak to him at all, merely shying away and giving him frightened or pissed off looks. When he tried to ask them if they knew who he was, they simply sneered at him and walked away. Perhaps it would be better if he didn't know who he was.

To his surprise, his stick hit something soft. The soft thing jerked, and the man frowned, carefully parting the weeds to look at what he had hit. What surprised him even more was the rabbit that stared up at him with beady, terrified eyes. It had its front paw stuck in a hole.

"What the hell?" he asked no one in particular. The rabbit twitched, its ears moving this way and that. "Hey now, little fella, got your paw stuck, didn't you?"

Mr. Bunny bared his teeth. He wasn't having a good existence, at the moment.

"Quit squirming for a moment and let me help you." The tall man crouched beside him, carefully pulling his paw from the hole. Mr. Bunny blinked in confusion as the human gently released him, then didn't bother him anymore.

Well.

"Hey. Run along now, stupid. I already helped you."

Mr. Bunny, as unintelligent as he was, was extremely loyal. This.. human had saved him from being a potential lunch for a hungry fox. He hopped up to the man and stared at him, looking as cute as a neurotic, would-be narcotic alcoholic bunny could.

"Brave one, are you?" the man asked, then smiled crookedly. "All right, I was getting lonely anyway."

And with that, the man started walking again, Mr. Bunny following dutifully after.

*

Yuffie sighed and rubbed her temples. She had been in the same room for a good hour and a half now, having to listen to Elena drone on about how to act like a proper princess. Of course, the blonde girl was reading off of a paper, which made this experience even more boring. Thankfully, though, Elena seemed to be as bored as she.

"Are you listening to me, Yuffie?" Elena snapped, smacking the paper back down on the table. It was amazing how people could change after a couple of years. Yuffie clearly remembered when the two of them had been shoved together unwillingly when that pervert Corneo had gotten his slimy paws on them. The two, unlike the other harem of girls that Corneo had snagged, viciously screamed at any man who came to near to them and fought like wild animals until they had to be sedated. During that time, Elena and Yuffie had formed a tentative friendship, created by their common hatred towards Corneo.

Now, however, it seemed as if the girl wanted nothing to do with her. Yuffie couldn't blame her, though, since she would feel the same way if someone told her to drop everything she was doing and teach her former enemy how to be a princess. She sighed again and put elbows on the table, earning a dark look from Elena. The Turk picked up her papers and ruffled them with something akin to superiority.

"Hey, Elena," Yuffie said before the girl could snap at her for her elbows. "This is boring. Let's do something else."

"This is also my paycheck," Elena countered, but she put the paper down. She was looking at Yuffie shrewdly. "And what else could we do?"

"Anything," Yuffie said almost desperately, then sighed. "I really hate this, you know."

"It isn't exactly my cup of tea either," was the blonde's snide reply. Yuffie chose to ignore it, instead standing up.

"..Where does Reno stay?" she asked with perfect innocence.

Elena blinked, then gave Yuffie a shrewd look. "Why?"

"Got any whipped cream?"

*

It wasn't the first time Reno came home to a good dozen people surrounding his apartment complex. Usually he had jaded some lady into totally trashing his apartment for some reason or another, but this time it was different. This time, his stomach turned over nervously.

Something bad happened.

Something really bad.

Frowning, he bypassed the crowd and hurried up the flight of stairs to his apartment. His door was slightly open and..

There was a disco ball.

And blow up dolls dressed in his suits.

And whipped cream, everywhere.

"YUFFIE!!!"

*

At precisely three in the morning Yuffie shot to a sitting position, one hand grasping her left ear. She looked around in confusion, for a moment completely confused by her surroundings, before the events of the past couple of days sluggishly crawled back into her brain. She groaned. At least they put her in a nice hotel room.

Pushing up the strap to her tank top, she rolled out of bed and stretched. Hm. Something woke her up. She wasn't quite sure, though, just what it was.

She looked at the television. Off.

She looked at her PHS. Off. Sheepishly, she reached over and clicked it on.

She looked at her digital clock, then turned the alarm off.

Then she heard it. Someone was pounding incessantly on her door. She growled in surprise and stalked towards it, swinging it open.

A disheveled looking Reno glared down at her and she blinked in slight surprise. It was the first time she had ever seen him in normal clothing, even though that 'normal' clothing consisted of a thinning white shirt and a pair of gray cargos.

"Yooou fucking little bitch."

Yuffie beamed at him.

"You destroyed my flat," he continued, voice low and dangerous. "You also destroyed half of my wardrobe. You..." He stopped suddenly, eyes flicking down, then back up to her face. Some of the anger was gone, replaced with apathy. "...You aren't wearing a bra."

Yuffie slammed the door in his face.

For a moment there was nothing but silence. That, of course, was interrupted by Reno hammering on the door. She pondered calling the cops for a moment, then shoved that idea away when she realized he could have very well ratted on her for vandalizing his home.

Scowling, she swung the door open. Reno was leaning against the frame, his arm crooked over his head. When he saw her, he grinned.

"So, are you not wearing any underwear, either?"

Again, Yuffie slammed the door. Or tried to, at least. He managed to sneak his foot between the door and the frame, then used his shoulder to shove the door open.

"Quit being a brat," he grumbled, strolling in as if it were...well, not three in the morning. He moved over to her bed and sat down on it, then bent over and started untying his shoes.

"Hey. HEY! What the hell do you think you're doing, Turk?!" Yuffie shrieked, slamming the door shut and stomping up to him.

"Getting ready for bed, Pumpkin." He looked up at her, green eyes glinting dangerously. "If you don't remember, you signed your name with three cans of whipped cream on my bed, and then proceeded to make the rest of my sheets into toga's for your little blow up doll harem."

"So go to Rude's house!"

"No."

"What do you mean, no?!" She stomped her foot. "Get out!"

"No. You ruined my house, you deal with it."

Yuffie tried to think of reasons about why he should get the hell out of her house. It would start rumors. It was morally incorrect. She hated him. He hated her.

"...you're sleeping on the floor," she snarled, then crawled onto the other side of the bed. She could practically feel the waves of smugness wafting from his slender form as he completely ignored her and stretched out at her side.

"Goodnight, Snookums."

"Please die."

end chapter two

Yeah. I know. "WTF, it took you a YEAR to write that?!" Well, no. I didn't think I was gonna go anywhere with the fic, so I just...left it. Then felt like writing a Reffie and...continued it. Yay.