AN: Written for the prompt challenge I've been doing with my friends, LeRequiem and junealondra. We kinda failed at keeping up with it during the school year (though junealondra failed the least out of all of us) and we're slowly getting back into it this summer.
Disclaimer: I own nothing that you recognize and I am making absolutely no profit from this.
Prompt: Power Surge
I, Yuffie Kisaragi, usually consider myself to be a rather rational and pulled-together human being.
Okay, so that's actually a big, fat pile of chocobo crap, and we all know it, but I can generally keep my cool in a tough situation, unless said situation involves bugs, frogs that turn you into frogs, or clowns.
However, on Tuesday the 18th of January, I found myself faced with a situation that I didn't quite know how to handle and, as usually happens when I find myself in a situation of that precarious and unpredictable nature, I did what I normally do in such situations.
I flipped the fuck out.
But THAT, my dear friends is getting ahead of myself. Let's back up and I'll explain the whole sorry situation, and its eventual happy conclusion, from the beginning... ahem...
It was Tuesday, the 18th of January and I found myself rising cheerfully with the happily tweeting birds outside my window at the Seventh Heaven. In reality I actually rolled out of bed in a groggy heap, like some oozing and deformed amoeba, to slam the window closed in order to shut up the obnoxious and grating sounds of said birds' tweeting. Why was I currently residing in the Seventh Heaven, you may ask? Well, you see, we had all (as in all of AVALANCHE and the Turks and some random people from the WRO who somehow managed to score an invite 'cause Tifa's nice like that) congregated there to celebrate Christmas (slash Hanukkah 'cause Shera's Jewish and she and Cid have decided that since he's the least religious person to ever be born in the history of EVER—like, I'm pretty sure he was born and whatever god is out there was like, "eh, not this one" and Cid was like "well %*&^ you very much where's my goddamn tea?" and that was that—that they're raising their kids Jewish so, yeah, Hanukkah).
ANYWAY, tangent over, I was there for Christmas and then decided to stick around 'cause going back to Wutai meant listening to Godo harp on about my biological clock ticking and how no man would ever want me if I didn't grow up and clean my fingernails or some shit. And since Tifa is Kindness Incarnate, and 'cause we're besties with breasties (except, between the two of us, Teef's the only one with boobs of any substantial size) she let me stay.
HOWEVER, there was one fly in the proverbial ointment of my fantabulous and nearly fool-proof plan of hiding out in Edge until Godo kicked the bucket and I wouldn't have to worry about my uterus becoming impregnated anymore. Wanna guess what that problem was? I'll give you a hint. It's small, pre-pubescent and completely incapable of expressing any emotions beyond boring, monotone and lame.
Still having trouble?
Yes, yes, the child wonder slash embodiment of Vince's long-lost, forever crystallized, BITCH of an ex, was also staying at the Seventh Heaven with me. I mean... technically I guess she doesn't really have anywhere else to go, and to be honest if she wasn't everything that she is, I probably wouldn't have cared that she was there. Hell, if Shelke wasn't everything she is (and a total BITCH of a little sister on top of all of that), I probably would like the girl.
But alas, she IS everything that she is and isn't everything that she isn't, and so I am doomed to hate her for all of eternity. And the events of the day with which I am currently regaling you didn't do much to help her cause.
Anyway, as I was saying, I sludged my way out of bed in a most sleepy and unhappy manner, crawled over to the bathroom Grudge-style and began trying to make myself look presentable for the general public that is Tifa and Cloud. I don't have to try for Marlene since she thinks the sun shines out my butt now that I taught her how to throw knives like a pro, and Denzel's a smelly, stupid boy so I don't care what he thinks. And Shelke. I don't care about her, either, and she may or may not be a stupid, smelly boy. She hasn't hit puberty yet so I can't tell.
After completing my morning routine, which pretty much involved shoving a toothbrush in between my teeth for a few lazy swipes and shaking my hair until it looked only slightly less like a rat's nest, I stumbled my way down to the bar's main room. And came across the sight that would send me spiralling into the depths of such complete and utter what-the-fuckness that I wasn't sure I'd ever manage to claw my way back up from it.
What was the hideous and horrendous and generally grossness-filled sight, you ask? Well, let me tell you, it involved one Vincent Valentine with his Vincent Valentine hands wrapped around Shelke's hands and his Vincent Valentine lips mere centimetres away from hers. Centimetres, I tell you! How fucking indecent is that?
The answer: very fucking indecent. SHE HASN'T EVEN HIT PUBERTY YET!
See, here's the thing. You wanna know what the thing is? I'll tell you what the thing is. At that point in time, I maybe sorta kinda had a teensy, itty bitty crush on ol' Vinniekins. And seeing as I had already come to terms with the fact that he was never ever in a zillion trillion squadrillion years EVER going to give me the time of day, despite my being an incredibly sexy woman of ninja proportions (which just makes me extra sexy, obviously), I was doing okay with the whole onwards and upwards thing.
But to see him nearly lipping the lips off of Shelke-I-am-the-most-boring-jailbait-EVER-Rui?
Well, let's just say it stirred a little something inside my dark, ninja innards. And not a hot-and-sweaty something. Oh no, this was an I'm-gonna-ninja-your-ass-into-slivers something that was stirring, I tell you.
Because here's the other thing. Yuffie Kisaragi does not get jealous. Whenever I begin to feel the tiniest inklings of jealousy, I just steal whatever it is I am coveting from whoever is threatening to make me jealous and that's that. Problem solved, over, done with. It has served me well for twenty-one years and, until that morning, I had planned on having it continue to serve me well for the rest of ever.
However, seeing as I could not, no matter how much I might have wanted to, steal Vincent, or even just his lips, I was faced with a scenario I had never before had to face.
So what did I do?
I flipped the fuck out.
Now for the sake of any small children who may be listening to my enthralling tale of horror and woe, I won't go into too much detail of my rant. To be honest, I can't really remember very much of it since everything had kinda taken on a hazy red colouring and there was this weird pounding in my ears, but I'm preeeettty sure I called Vince a pervert and a pedophile more than once, yelled at Shelke for being a lolita of a slut and vowed to set the wrath of Leviathan upon both of them via dismemberment and zombies. And I did it all wearing my fuzzy, pink, chocobo onesie. Oh, and I maybe also threatened to call child services.
Once I was done flipping the fuck out, what did I do? As I am prone to doing when a situation gets a little too hot to handle, I ninja-ed my way out of there.
Or, in other words, I ran.
Next thing I knew, I was back in my teeny house in Wutai cuddling up to my favourite of my kitties, Burrito, and leaving Tifa a half-hysterical voicemail letting her know I hadn't been eaten by a tonberry or run away with bandits or gotten pregnant or whatever.
And then, with Burrito snuggled up against my nose all cuddly-cute and warm and comforting, I threw myself a nice, snotty pity party and cried myself to sleep.
The next few days were weird. I stumbled around in this sort of haze, screening all my calls-they were mostly Tifa calling all worried and mothering and bleh ('cept I secretly love that about her, shh don't tell) with the occasional interspersing of Reeve being all concerned boss checking on his most prized employee.
After a few days of moping, I grabbed Conformer and headed into the wilds of Wutai and killed everything I could find. Except for the fearful people I came across every so often... I just liberated all their materia and let them on their terrified way.
When I had killed off all the anger and jealousy that was sitting so uncomfortably on my chest... like that creepy painting of the little imp thing on that woman? I think it's called The Nightmare, but ANYWAY, when I had killed it all off and was as burnt out as I'd ever been, I headed in to face Godo. Stupid, resigned, and tired. But mostly just tired.
I slouched my way into his meeting room, not bothering to care that I probably interrupted some very important meeting with some very important people about some very important issue like exporting fish and importing moogles, and before he could turn purple and start shouting completely inappropriate and abusive things at me in front of all those important people, I said the six words that my dear old pops had been dying to hear since I hit puberty:
"Bring on the stupid suitors already."
Granted, those probably weren't the exact words he'd been dying to hear, but the sentiment was all that mattered. And now I'll give you a moment to let that soak in. Because, apparently, I, Yuffie Kisaragi, had just grown the fuck up.
And the look of happiness on Godo's face almost made me forget what I was giving up by finally giving in to his demands. Almost.
Now you may say, but Yuffie? What are you giving up? When you get married, you get Wutai. Ah, my sweet little cherub-faced listeners, you're right. I do get Wutai if and when I marry. I also lose any freedom to ninja about that I ever had, have to adhere to a bunch of stuffy old customs that mean jack-shit these days, AND will be expected to pop out a bunch of kids. And, may I point out, I'm twenty-one. I'm not exactly in a diapers-and-puke state of mind right now.
Still, Godo was so freakin' happy and, for a moment, I felt like the cherished daughter I had been before Mom died. Then that moment ended and I was herded off with a bunch of the palace ladies to "fix me up into something presentable."
It was gruelling and intensive and extensive and I hated everything about it. I was scrubbed from head to toe with some exfoliation crap that felt more like sandpaper than soap and buffed and polished and made up and caked up to oblivion. All the women sobbed great tears of beauty-shame over my boyish haircut, but I drew the line at hair extensions. They make that shit out of other people's hair and, I'm sorry but, GROSSNESS. Anyhoo, when hours and hours had passed and I was sure Godo had had time to call every eligible man that the freakin' Planet had to offer and my skin itched terribly and all I wanted to do was rub my eyes but couldn't 'cause I'd smudge my freakin' mascara or some shit, I was considered a finished product. And when I finally looked in the mirror, there was a very pretty girl looking back at me... she just, ya know, looked NOTHING like ME.
And even more terrifying? I just kept thinking that, if THIS was the extremes they were going to in order to get me ready to MEET my potential husbands... what were they going to do to me for the eventual wedding?
Yet the very worst part of the ordeal was that it had only been a test run. I wasn't actually going to be meeting anyone that day (not that I was looking forward to that either), they just wanted to see how long it would take to get me ready and to experiment with what they would actually be doing to me come D-Day.
Still, once they were done, I was free to go about my merry way which meant me tearing like a bat out of hell back to my house on Wutai's outskirts and scrubbing myself back to normal for a good hour until all the gunk was off my face. I'll admit, I did leave the French manicure, though... ninjas can have nice nails too, okay?
When I was done turning myself back into me, I curled up on my big squishy couch and settled in to watch some crappy horror movies until I was satisfied that my life wasn't spiralling out of my control as much as I thought it was.
About halfway through The Ring 2, at the hilarious part where the freakin' deer start attacking the car, my phone rang. At first, I was just gonna let it go to voicemail because, seriously? I was watching The Ring 2. But then I realised... I was watching The Ring 2. Plus, one glance at the caller ID and I started grinning like an idiot.
"You big buttface! I thought you'd up and died it's been so long since I've heard from you."
"Geez, Princess... I thought you of all people would have a little faith, yo. The only way I'm ever gonna die is once you finally annoy me to death."
Now, if it wasn't obvious from the completely unnecessary "yo" thrown in there, I will inform you as to my caller's identity: none other than Reno of the Turks. "Reno of the Turks?" you say. "But Yuffie, what are you doing hanging around with him? What would Godo say?" you ask. All very valid questions, I assure you. Except for the one about Godo because, seriously, when have I ever cared what my old man thought of my shenanigans? But anyway, once Shin-Ra fell and Reeve set up the WRO (which has always been funded by Rufus even though everyone pretends not to know that, but really, who else had that kind of money after Meteorfall? And besides, we were all looking for a little redemption so why shouldn't Rufus be allowed some, too? Well…. Actually, I wasn't looking for any redemption, 'cause that would involve feeling bad about my thieving and just… no. Tangent over).
ANYWAY, after the WRO got all set up and stuff and Reeve appointed me Head of Intelligence (yeah, yeah… laugh it up), I ended up spending a lot more time after hours with the former (yeahrightformermyass) Turks, kinda unintentionally. They started coming around Teef's for drinks after work and I'd be there since I'm essentially an extension of the Strife family, and then they started playing poker there and then one time Reno bet me fifty gil that I couldn't beat Rude at poker even if I cheated. SO I went ahead and cheated my little heart out and beat Rude easy-peasy. Then Reno bet me a mastered Fire that I couldn't beat Rude without cheating so I went and beat Rude again and then Reno got all huffy and tore all his ginger hair out and gave me his mastered Fire and THEN I told him I had actually cheated (did you seriously think I wouldn't?) and then he laughed and then we were friends. AND I got to keep the mastered Fire. Score one million for the Yuffster!
Anyway, ever since then I've just sorta played poker with all of them whenever they'd come by the bar and usually Reno would hang around after the others went home and then we would watch shitty horror movies together and all of a sudden we'd become best friends and it was weird. Weirdly awesome.
Right after Christmas, though, Reno and Rude had gotten sent on some mission, so for a few weeks it was just me and Elena playing Go Fish 'cause after I kicked her ass without cheating, like, ten times I figured out that she was too worried about Rude to focus on anything more difficult than making pairs, so Go Fish it was! Rude got back about a week before the Vince-ident and ever since then I'd been waiting around for Reno to get back while trying not to gag as Rude and Elena made googley eyes at each other over their cards. I'll never understand how he put up with those two before I started joining in on their poker nights (Tseng's a lameass who refuses to gamble. LAME).
End epic and important backstory explanation, and back to where we were in our tale.
"Turkey, you are so LAME! When did you get back? How was the mission? Can you tell me about it or is it super top secret? How come I'm the last to know everything, you big ginger jerk?"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, Princess, calm your non-existent tits. I believe in this situation, I am the last one to know everything. Like, when's your wedding and who's the groom?"
I groaned into the couch. "Don't remind me. And how they hell did you find out about it already?"
"I showed up at the Seventh Heaven lookin' for ya, and Teef was running around like a chocobo with its head chopped off, screaming about a wedding and when I asked for you she said you'd gone back home. And then I remembered hearing Reeve whining about how all his meetings were fucked up since a bunch of the diplomats heading to Wutai on super short notice. And then I put two and two together and then I called you and now you're fuckin' moping."
"Ehhh… yeah, I decided it was finally time to grow up I guess. Plus, the doctors have been all worried about Godo's health and all that and so… I dunno. Fuckin' responsibilities, ya know?"
I could hear his smirk. "Nah, never really bothered with 'em, to be honest, yo."
I grinned. "That's 'cause you're a lazy fuck."
"The laziest of all fucks, yo!" There was silence for a minute and then he asked again, "so who's the unlucky guy?"
"Number one, he would be the luckiest guy in the freakin' world and we both know it. Number two, he doesn't technically exist yet. Or, I guess he does somewhere, but just not now. What I'm trying to say is it hasn't been decided yet. Once Godo deems me 'ready,' and once all the eligible men arrive to woo me, then it'll be decision time."
"It is shitty. Now tell me about your mission."
And for the rest of the night I jacked up a major phone bill listening to Reno regale me with tales of his exaggerated heroics on his and Rude's completely docile mission, and wished that the Vince-ident had never happened so I could've been sitting all cozy at the Seventh Heaven without an impending wedding of doom and gloom to some guy I'd never met before who would probably end up being disgustingly rich but also… disgustingly disgusting.
"SWEET RAVING CHOCOBOS, GET THE HELL AWAY FROM ME! HELP! HELP! FACIAL MOLESTATION AND MAIMING OCCURRING, HEEEEELP!"
That was what I hollered as I ran, half-naked and trailing satin and ribbons and Gawd knows what else, through the centre of Wutai, flashing Leviathan knows how many tourists, and into the safety of my house. I think it's safe to say, Dear Reader, that it was one of my finer moments as heir to the throne of Wutai. Probably right up there in between the time I wet-willied the son of a Very Important ambassador and the other time when I projectile vomited all over the same Very Important ambassador's wife. I had food poisoning, so sue me. And… I'd maybe had a bit too much to drink leading up to that meeting, if I'm being perfectly and completely honest.
However, let us get back to the present episode. What brought it on, you might ask? Two words. Eyelash curler. Seriously, I will not even begin to go into how deadly those things look. The point of the matter is that there was no way I was letting any of my crazy ladies-in-waiting within five continents of me with those things. My eyes are like my second-most redeeming feature after my legs; hence I refuse to have them forcibly removed from my face by psychotic old ladies.
As I slammed the door to my house shut, panting around like a total loser but safe in the assumption that the only witnesses to my loser-dom would be my cats (who would not only not give a shit, they'd still love me because who is the one who feeds them? That's right), a voice drawled itself over to me from my couch.
"Well, if this is how you come home every day, I may just have to move in, yo."
I would like to take this moment to remind you that I was, at that moment in time, clad only in flimsy underwear after my sprint through Wutai. Also, the only person who ever uses the word "yo" seriously is not only my best friend, but also the biggest PERVERT the world has ever seen.
"OHMIGAWD, I'm naked you big freak! And what the hell are you doing in my house?"
As I scrambled to cover my delicate lady parts, Reno proceeded to snicker heartily at my expense, before shrugging out of his jacket and throwing it at me. He then went back to lounging on my couch and staring at me, one eyebrow raised and that stupid smirk on his even stupider face.
"So… you've downgraded from murdering innocents to simply breaking and entering?" I asked as I slipped my sexy self into his jacket, "Bravo, babes, I'm so happy the twelve-steps are working for you."
"'Babes'? Is that really the language a taken woman should use towards her non-fiancé?" I stuck my tongue out at him as I rooted around in the piles of crap on my floor for a pair of pants.
"You must be rubbing off on me. And, for the record, I am not taken yet. Godo needs to find a 'suitable' man, and before that can happen, apparently I need to, like, reform myself into a 'suitable' bride which, if it involves eyelash curlers, is so NEVER happening." I rolled my eyes. "Have you seen my pants anywhere?"
"Under your bed, like usual," he yawned, flipping on the TV as I scuttled into my bedroom, "and who's to say you're not suitably bride-like, yo? I happen to find you perfectly marry-able."
"Well, you are apparently the only man who will ever think that, unless I change my clothes, attitude, face, voice, boobs—"
"Well, they are kinda sma—"
"Renooo! You're supposed to be making me feel better!" I whined as I waltzed back into my front room, pantsless no longer.
"Sorry. Your legs are fucking sex, though. Hey, The Strangers is on. I know laughing at Liv Tyler's lack of acting skills always makes me feel better, yo."
When Reno refused to stop taking up the entirety of my only couch with his stupid lankyness, I proceeded to settle myself on his stomach, heavily and with lots of wiggling, until he finally relinquished half to me. And by half, I mean a thief's half, which is much more than a normal person's half. I always win that battle and it is glorificus.
After about thirty minutes of watching Liv Tyler be a screaming idiot, I was bored. And, quite frankly, I was getting upset about this whole marriage thing. I mean, I knew I was doing the right thing—the mature thing, if you will—but I hadn't expected that Godo would've wanted me to change so much, you know? I mean, we may have had our ups and downs in our father-daughter relationship, gawd knows when you habitually get into screaming matches that always end with ninja stars lodged in the walls, there're definitely some issues there, but I had figured that he still loved me just that way I was, materia-obsession and all. And, I had definitely hoped that my husband would love me for who I was, not as some painted-on, prettied-up Wutaiian doll presented on a silver platter.
I sighed. Reno looked over. He sighed, before getting up and sauntering over to the cabinet that contains my bottomless drawer of useless crap.
After about five minutes of watching him fruitlessly paw through my stuff, I drawled out, "Uhh, Turkey? Whatcha doin' over there?"
"I know exactly what you need, yo, I just need to find…. Aha! Got 'em." He fiddled with his face for a second and when he turned around I started choking on air.
Perched on his nose were the biggest, roundest pair of fake glasses I'd ever seen. I got them for Halloween one year when I decided to go dressed as a sexy scientist. Vincent didn't appreciate it. On Reno, though, they just looked absolutely ridiculous. Like a Tonberry in a tutu, or Cloud in a dress. Oh… wait…. Heheheh.
"Lay back down," Reno commanded in a nasally voice, squinting at me over the lenses. He snatched a pad of paper from the drawer before pulling a chair over to the end of couch and settling his ginger butt down.
"Now, Miss… Kisaragi, is it?" I nodded, playing along. "You're getting engaged soon, is that right?" I nodded again. "I see. Now, tell me… how does that make you feeeeeeel?" He drawled, one eye squinting more than the other as he stretched the last word out.
"Oh sweet Leviathan, you are not gonna play psychiatrist with me." I rolled my eyes, sitting up and shoving Reno away.
"Well fine then, I'll think of something else." he leaned back, tossing the glasses into a corner and frowning for a moment. Finally, he looked at me and grinned. It was a knowing grin, an evil grin. I liked it.
"You wanna just get drunk, yo?"
I grinned back. "Fuck yes."
Three hours later, there was much vodka. And somehow my head ended up in Reno's lap, and it seemed like the most un-weird thing in the world, which was weird since it was, ya know, Reno. Also weird was the fact that the world wouldn't stop spinning but, again, not so weird 'cause alcohol.
"Turkey, you have freckles." I pointed out. It just seemed like it needed to be said.
He tossed his head back and laughed like I'd just told the joke of the century. "You're drunk."
"So're you! At least I have the excuse of the impending end of my life, what's yours?"
"You." I blinked.
"Nuthin'…" he trailed off, running his fingers through my hair. Again, weird, but not weird. "So tell me, Yuffster, what brought all this on? An' don't bullshit me about some fuckin' responsibility or some shit, ya know? 'Cause I know that ain't it."
I groaned, closing my eyes as the world spun.
"Tell me." Reno said, and his eyes were very green.
"Ughhhhhh, okie fine, but you asked for it!" I heaved in a sigh that burned all the way down. "So, you know how I kindasorta had that weird, icky crush on Vincent like forever ago? Well, I mean, I knew it was never going to go anywhere 'cause he's all I am vengeance, I am the night, I am Batman, or whatever, so it's not like I was expecting him to like fall in love with me and father my children who would all be named awesome names like Danger Chaos Awesomepants or anything, but like…. If he was gonna end up with someone who wasn't me, it woulda been nicer if it hadn't turned out to be the resident toddler. And it woulda been even nicer if I hadn't been privy, ooooh fancy word, to their illegal makings outs. You know? And so then I was like, well Yuffie, you've pined after someone who doesn't want you long enough, and you've been stupid long enough and so I said I dun wanna be stupid anymore and what's the opposite of stupid? Mature. So I said, Yuffie-self, mature equals married so let's do it. Only then… then… then it turned into this whole three-ring circus and I'm gonna end up with someone old and ugly and fat who doesn't care about me 'cause he thinks I'm something I'm not and ohmigawd Reno, it is total suckage. Like, total. Like more suckage than Scarlet ever sucked. Which was a lot, according to Reeve although he swears it wasn't from experience and ewwww….."
I trailed off, scrunching my face in drunken distaste. When my eyes focused again, I realised that sometime during my rant, Reno had stopped raking his fingers through my hair and was frowning at me seriously.
"So… this is all 'cause Valentine didn't want you?" He asked. It was blunt. It hurt. And I guess it opened up a whole lot more hurts, 'cause all of a sudden I wouldn't shut up. I sat up and looked him in the face and poked him. Hard.
"It's 'cause no one wants me, butt-tard! Tifa has Cloud fawning all over her and Cid has Shera making him tea and Barret's got Elmyra cooking him breakfast and Reeve has plenty of ladies on the side even if he won't admit it and Rude and Elena are disgustingly cute and Tseng is asexual and now Vinnie has Shelke and it's not like I wanted any of those guys anyway but it's like I'm always being left behind or to the side or upside down and I don't even know what the hell I'm saying anymore but I know that I'm sick of it! At least if I get married, I can hope that the guy can make interesting conversation! At least I can have somebody there while everybody else is off making babies!"
Reno blinked. His face was suddenly very close to mine and his eyes were still very, very green. "What about me?"
"You? You? You're the absolute worst, 'cause you're the one who's supposed to be there! But then it's all, oh, sorry Yuffie, it's guys' night and we're going to a strip club, oh, sorry, Yuffie, but I have some super-secret mission and I can't tell you anything about it and when I get back I'll wait a month to call you 'cause I suck, oh, sorry, Yuffie, gotta go have a one-night stand with some floozy, oh, sorry Yuffie, my goddamn cigarettes are more important than you are, oh, sorry Yuff—"
And then Reno kissed me, hard, right on the mouth. He pulled away for just long enough to mutter, "Will you shut the fuck up already?" before he was kissing me again, and somewhere between the alcohol and kissing Reno, I blacked out.
You wanna know the most horrible thing about the sun? It's bright. The other most horrible thing about it? It burns. These were the thoughts running through my head when I woke up on my couch the next morning. The thoughts that came out of my mouth were "guhdkJGsdogiegheknf;;SHG." Semi-colons and all.
As my brain pulled itself from beneath its encrustation of alcohol and disgust, it registered two important things. First, there was an arm around my waist with a hand dangerously close to my up-top lady parts, and second, that arm and hand belonged to Reno.
'Ohmigawd, I've become another one of Reno's floozies!' I thought in despair, until I realized that my pants were still on, which was a good sign that I hadn't. Another good sign was that Reno was still there, seeing as I had always had him pegged as the "bang and bounce" type of guy.
However, stranger than the fact that I might've slept with Reno—and, at the very least, had intense, tonguey kisses with him—was the fact that, when I actually took the time to think the possibility through, I wasn't completely disturbed by it. Sure, there was the initial shock and confusion over what said kissy-time meant to him, but the fact that I happened… I didn't regret it. Plenty of people went from, first comes hate, then comes tolerance, then comes badass best friendship, and then comes sexy make outs. So I didn't regret it… Not then, at least.
After thinking over all of this while remaining comatose on the couch, my gaze lazed itself over to an empty bottle on my floor, and with a jolt I remembered that I was hung-over. In a half-alive pile of hair and skin and bones that were turned to jelly by feeling so shit, I gooed my way across the floor and over to the kitchen where the most beauteous creation in ever awaited me. Coffee.
When I finally had a steaming mug in my hot little hands, I curled up on the floor in a bundle of bliss, leaning back against the cabinets in contentment. After a few minutes of peace and quiet and coffee-induced delight, I heard stirring from the direction of the couch. I froze, mid-sip, dripping coffee all down my chin and over my curled-up knees. Because everyone knows brown sludge all over your face is trés sexy.
I may have decided I didn't regret kissing Reno, but the thought of actually facing him after? There was fear. And not enough coffee to counter it.
A cautious bundle of red spikes slowly peeked over the back of the couch. When Reno saw me cowering—ahem, lounging—against the cabinets, he grinned half-heartedly. "G'morning, Princess. See you're enjoying the coffee a bit too much, eh?"
I glowered. "I'll have you know that the coffee-faced look is all the rage this season. I'm just, ya know, making sure I'm extra fashionable for my wed…ding…." I trailed off on the last word, turning bright red and resisting the urge to flail like a complete moron. Which is how I was feeling for bringing up my impending wedding to a mystery man in front of my best friend turned make out partner as of one night previous.
Reno's grin slid off his face, "Yeah…. About last night…"
I stared into my mug. Silence danced a happy jig all about the room.
"I uh…" Reno began. He never picked the sentence back up again, and that was all I needed to not-hear.
"It's okay, Turkey. It was a pity make out sesh. I get it, ya know? Trying to make me feel better and all that and it's totally cool, well, it was actually kinda hot, but I get that you don't wanna be getting all mixed up in my crazy crap and so yeah it's cool as a cucumber, cool as Nibelheim in winter, cool as Nanaki's fire-tail and that makes absolutely no sense but yeah. It's cool." I flapped a hand absently, and a bit too vigorously since I ended up spilling the rest of my coffee all over myself. I blinked into the empty mug, telling myself the wetness in my eyes was only 'cause of the scalding liquid currently burning every part of me it could reach.
When I finally looked up, hoping for some sense of encouragement, understanding, or comfort, I was sorely disappointed. And Reno was quite visibly fuming. He shook his head once, muttering something under his breath before he stormed out of my house. I threw the mug at the slamming door and watched it shatter.
Only when I finally picked myself up to clean the ceramic shards from the floor did I realise that I was still wearing Reno's jacket. That night I curled up with it, coffee-stains and all.
Over the next few days a series of texts were exchanged between me and my estranged Turkey of a best friend.
The first one I received went like this: You're an idiot.
My response? Fuck you.
The next day, I got another text. You're an idiot and I'm gonna prove it to you.
My response? And again, I say a BIG 'fuck you.'
I refused to read anything into his texts. I didn't want or need the complication.
It was on the day following our second round of texts, that I stormed in to Godo in a fit of daughterly snark and demanded that he stop putting me through the ringer with "Godo's Extreme Makeover: Yuffie Edition" and start bringing in the suitors. If I was going to deal with not only the inevitable, unavoidable and, quite frankly, expected rejection from Vincent and the completely unexpected, and in a lot of ways more painful rejection from Reno, I was damn-well going to get myself a husband as fast as possible. Duty calls and all that, of course. It completely had nothing to do with being a woman scorned. Not. One. Bit.
And so the "auditions," as I will affectionately and not at all cynically call them, began. I sat in a ridiculously ornate chair at the far end of the Pagoda's receiving hall, a bodyguard on either side of me, and waited for the fun to start.
The first guy was old, balding, and read me a monologue from Romeo and Juliet. I listened with a careful smile, secretly wondering if the guy actually knew how that play ended and didn't care about the implications or if he was just an idiot.
The next guy was slightly younger, with slightly more hair and a nice smile. He was all politics, yammering on about trade routes and import and export taxes and how he could bring an influx of sheep to Wutai if we were to marry. I died a little inside.
The third guy was interesting. He was young, handsome, and—PRAISE BE TO LEVIATHAAAAN youdidnotdesertmeafteralll—even had a sense of humour.
"Well, I see this meeting is appropriately formal and awkward." He began. I grinned.
"Oh yes, awkwardness is the Kisaragi forte. I hear it's an invaluable asset when it comes to establishing lucrative trade relations." Score 5 million for the Yuffster for using the words 'invaluable' and 'lucrative.' Sometimes my own brain amazes me.
Suitor Number Three laughed. "Well, the Mahoroban Clan prides itself on its complete social ineptitude, which I've heard does wonders for socio-economic growth, so it seems we might make a rather good match."
It was cake from there. By the time Godo called an end to the meeting, we were both sitting cross-legged on the floor, laughing our asses off. Something was gnawing at the back of my brain though, some deep, unsatisfied part of me that was not happy with the lack of snark Suitor Number Three was displaying. It also seemed to be upset that he didn't have red hair. I'd always had a subconscious thing for gingers. It was kind of a problem at that moment.
Still, there were more men for me to see and so my funny, non-ginger suitor had to be escorted out and I was subjected to an afternoon full of balding, boring men, who were only interested in me for my country's fine alcohol and finer stash of materia.
Pfft. As if they were ever gonna get their slimy hands on my babies. Those glowing orbs of beauty and awesomeness are totally mine.
The next day, after sitting through four horrible auditions in the morning, a very welcome face appeared. Suitor Number Three from the day before was back.
"I see you couldn't resist the awkwardness for long," I drawled as he sidled up towards me and my stupid chair.
"What can I say?" He smiled, "My social ineptitude demanded that I… come back…" As he spoke, a commotion could be heard just outside the hall. "Huh, wonder what's going o—"
He was cut off by the door banging open and a very familiar voice wafting our way. "You actually are an idiot, yo."
Reno stood in the doorway, arms folded, eyebrow raised and that stupid, expectant smirk dancing across his stupid, handsome face. He took one look at the guy in front of me and snorted. "Think this one's gotta go back to the fifth grade, Yuff. Isn't it past his bedtime?"
Suitor Number Three drew himself up huffily, "Excuse me, sir, but—"
Reno rolled his eyes, sauntering towards the room's centre. "Oh just get out. She was never gonna end up with you anyway."
While I just sat there in shock, not saying anything, Suitor Number Three left. I think Reno might've threatened him with his EMR while I was busy in WTFland. Finally, I returned to the real world and stood up, shaking.
"You…. You…." I stuttered eloquently.
"Devilishly handsome rogue?" Reno suggested.
"Douchebag!" I finally found the word I was looking for. "You absolute and utter bag of chocobo douche!"
"That's…. disgusting, Princess."
I stalked down towards him, and poked him right in the chest. "What the hell do you think you're doing, you big idiot? I'm trying to find a husband!"
Only as furious as I was on the outside, a teeny part of me that was growing bigger and noisier was jumping around with something dangerously close to happiness.
Reno flicked my forehead. "You're the idiot for not seeing that I've been fucking in love with you for three goddamn years." He smirked twistedly. "Those guys' nights at the strip club that you brought up last night? We always ended up at some seedy bar with me fucking crying to Rude about you. And the one night stands I supposedly have all the time? Haven't had one since you started playing poker with me'n the others, yo. And those cigarettes I supposedly care about more than you? It's 'cause you and your Valentine infatuation cause me so much goddamned stress."
His face was very, very close again, and his eyes were still very, very green. "But the real reason you're an idiot, babes, is 'cause you never realised that while everybody else had somebody, you had me, yo. The whole goddamned time."
When he was done talking, I felt this weird, glorious power surge through me, like static or lightning or sheer, true relief. And happiness, there was definitely something like happiness involved, too. And then I grabbed Reno by the tie and kissed him for all I was worth.
When I was satisfied that I'd kissed him enough for the time being, I looked him right in his green, green eyes and grinned. "So…. Does this mean you wanna get married?"
He rolled his eyes. "The fuck do you think I showed up to this for? If I'd just wanted to get you to stop being mad at me, I wouldn't have even let you start meeting anyone. I just needed you to see how much better I am than any of those shmucks." He smirked.
"Oh…. So we're getting married then?"
"Only if I get to be emperor."
"When Good kicks it."
Can I just say, Dear Reader, that Wutai is gonna have the most kickass monarchy in a few years?
More important, Dear Reader, while my tale began as one of heartbreak and woe, it ended the way it should've. Vince, from what I can tell, is still happily with Shelke, although they mostly speak in ellipses and when they do speak it's all very monotone. And what I learned from the whole convoluted shebang, is that I need to be with someone who's gonna watch stupid horror movies with me, and play dress-up psychiatrist to make me feel better, and who doesn't have a stroke when I use the word 'douchebag' or make fart jokes. I needed to end up with my best friend. And, thank gawd and Leviathan and all that is good in this stupid, crazy world, I did.
One night, as Reno and I were talking wedding plans few weeks later, a particularly brilliant thought trollollolled its way into my brain.
"OHMIGAWD, OHMIGAWD, OHMIGAWD. Reno. RenoRenoRenoReno. Reno."
"You think we can get Cloud to be a bridesmaid?"
I was so gonna make him wear pink.
End notes: I thought this prompt would kill me. I've had it since September and only got around to finishing it last week. But, that said, it's light, it's a fluff-fest, nothing ground-breaking or emotional here. Hope you all enjoyed! Would love any sort of feedback positive or (politely) negative so hit the new and improved (ostentatious) review button if you so wish ^.^
Also, for those of you waiting for a BA update…. *cries in corner over the amount of fail*