Shinra Inc. And Relationships
By: Jason Tandro

I had to change yet another episode concept because I'm sick of discussing politics and am eager to get back to the quick punchy stories. So I'm changing this one and I'm gonna punch out the next three stories pretty fast, so here goes.

Nobody could say that Reeve didn't know how to play the game. Alan Messier (the CFO of DevCom) payed him a visit a few days after he'd put his new money-saving policies into motion.

"So, Reeve," Alan said, not bothering to wait for permission to enter Reeve's Office. "I understand you've come up with a plan to try and bring your company out of its financial slump."

"I don't recall extending you an invitation. Due diligence is completed and you have precisely 15 seconds to leave my office before I call security," Reeve said flatly. His patience with Alan had long since been worn out since their last encounter.

[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. And Communism]

"Well as a partner of yours I'm sure our lawyers would be very interested to know about these plans. You see if you had this ability to dig yourself out of debt yourself and had us buy off your divisions to help cut overhead then you, in effect, cheated us," Alan explained.

"How so?" Reeve asked.

"You sold us aspects of your company under false pretenses. That alone could result in a lawsuit," Alan said. "And besides if you had these plans during the due diligence phase and you did not disclose them… well that would be a very serious offense indeed."

Alan's voice while maintaining the same smug aire it always had softened somewhat into what was clearly a threatening tone.

"Well no, these plans have only recently come to light," Reeve said. "So we have nothing to discuss."

"Doesn't matter whether they did or not. I can guarantee you that I have enough evidence to shut you down," Alan said, dropping his condescending tone and becoming ouright hostile. "When we bailed you out the plan was to let you wind yourselves down into running a simple Mako operation that would not become a threat to us. If you're planning on becoming a competitor it's my job as Chief Financial Officer to shut you down. Seems to me like you'd have to prove to a court that this new Mako system you're designing wasn't something you had during due diligence and somehow I doubt Bosker is good at record-keeping."

Alan had a point. Reeve's mind was running riot through the possible outcomes and none of them were good for Shinra.

"I can prove that this new plan, in fact, came from nobody currently associated with Shinra," Reeve said.

"Oh really?" Alan asked. "And how do you intend to do that?"

"When DevCom announces its plan to sue Shinra Inc. for falsifying records, I will announce my intention to resign and hand the company over to the man who did come up with the idea," Reeve said.

Alan folded his arms. "You're going to turn Rufus Shinra into a scapegoat to save your own skin?"

Damn, Reeve thought. They knew about Rufus being the one behind it all too.

"I don't intend to turn him into a scapegoat," Reeve said. "It was his idea and his alone. He deserves to be at the head of the company. And since he wasn't with the company during due diligence he withheld, nor falsified anything."

This was a rather foolish gamble. Alan didn't seem the type to be easily intimidated or bluffed, and Reeve didn't really have any intention of giving up Shinra Inc unless he had to. Alan rubbed the back of his neck uncomfortably.

"You play one hell of a hardball, Reeve," Alan said his tone changing slightly. Was it respect? "But I doubt you have the ability to go through with that. No matter. We launch into space next week. I'm sure you heard that DevCom has taken over the launching of the Shinra 26. We're confident that with the launching of a space exploration module we'll become the new power in industry. Then we won't need a lawsuit. We'll just crush you the good old fashioned way, Reeve."

It had definitely not been respect.

Reno, Rude and Cissnei were finally able to sit together again without anybody bringing up the embarrassment of Rude's part-time profession.

[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. And Part-Time Jobs]

"So, Cissnei," Reno said. "We should probably talk huh?"

"What about?" Cissnei asked.

"Well, I…." Reno rubbed his hair.

"I better go get us some more drinks," Rude said, stumbling away. He had already been through 4 shots himself.

"That man loves to drink, huh?" Cissnei asked.

"Occupational hazard. Especially when your bosses are idiots," Reno explained. "But listen I-"

"No, Reno, listen to me," Cissnei explained. "While working with you has made me realize you're not as big a jerk as I used to think, things would never work out between us."

"Uh… but why?" Reno asked, slightly taken aback.

"You're too unpredictable. While that's the side of you that I'm sure most women would find fascinating, it doesn't make you a good choice for a solid relationship. At best we'd have a fling but one person always ends up hurt in those," Cissnei sighed. "Or both."

Reno turned away from Cissnei and folded his arms. "Yeah… well I'm not really great at commitment anyways."

Cissnei nodded. "I didn't think you were."

There were a few minutes of a tense silence.

"For what it's worth, I'm sorry that I was an ass to you. You're a great girl," Reno said. "You deserve somebody who will treat you right."

"For what it's worth," Cissnei added. "I'm really sorry that person couldn't be you. You're not a bad guy, you know?"

Reno smiled weakly. He sighed and then turned back toward the bar in general. "So where do you think Rude got to?"

There was a loud smash from the back of the bar, the music playing stopped and Reno and Cissnei saw Rude stumbling up off of the floor and sliding towards them.

"Damn… Jukebox…" He muttered before passing out over his chair.

"Yeah it's time for us to leave," Reno said, lifting Rude over his shoulders and dragging him out of the bar.

Tseng and Elena were strolling through one of the parks in Sector 8. Tseng didn't know why he felt like now was the best time, but he'd been thinking about it for many months now.

"So the Shinra26 is about to launch," Elena said. "Things are so crazy these days. I really wish things could go back to the way things were."

"I know the feeling. Rufus and Reeve are trying hard, even though they aren't working together anymore. And DevCom wants to shut them both down," Tseng sighed. "It is kind of crazy huh?"

"It's kinda hard to find something to cling to when all of this stuff is happening, you know?" Elena asked.

Tseng nodded. "I know exactly what you mean. And that's why I've made a decision on that very subject."

"What do you-" But she stopped. When she turned back to look at Tseng he was down on one knee. "What are you doing?"

"Elena, life as a Turk, life at Shinra it's always been a little crazy. I don't know how the two of us wound up together but being with you has made everything a little bit easier for me to handle. I don't want to ever lose that," Tseng said. He pulled a small box out of his suit jacket. He opened it to reveal a small but tasteful white gold ring with a small 1 karat diamond.

"Elena, will you marry me?"

Elena blushed crimson and fell to her knees admiring the ring that he had picked out. For an uncomfortably long amount of time- or so it seemed to Tseng- she said nothing at all. Then at once she swooped down on him, wrapping her arms around him and pulling him tightly into a passionate embrace.

"What the hell took you so long?" Elena asked, half-laughing, half-crying.

"I'm a fool," Tseng replied. "I'll take that as a yes?"

"Of course you idiot," Elena smiled, kissing him.

The two sat together alone in the park for many hours before the sun finally set.