Rating: T (PG-13)
Theme + Number: 13) Water, 34) Joke, 45) Never Mind, 64) Fall & 87) Second (mako_reactor)
Characters Included: Rude, Tifa, Reno, Elena, Tseng
Warnings: Talk of sex, alcohol.
Summary: Reno had a habit of picking on Rude...
Wherever you go, I’ll be with you
Whatever you want, I’ll give it to you
Whenever you need someone to lay your heart and head upon
Remember: after the fire, after all the rain,
I will be the flame
I will be the flame
- The Flame, Cheap Trick
Reno had a habit of picking on Rude whenever the opportunity arose. He never missed an opportunity and after a few years of working with him, Rude grew aware of this and was easy to accept it. He would look at Reno from over dark glasses as if to tell him that his sense of humor was, in fact, less than amusing, but even if Reno understood the message, he disregarded it and continued his picking at the taller, dark-skinned man he called his partner.
It was lucky for Reno that Rude was incredibly patient with him. Had he not been, he would have probably punched Reno square in the jaw, and Reno had been on the receiving end of a punch from Rude- during training- and he knew that if he annoyed Rude enough and the darker skinned man did in fact punch him, he would most likely end up with a fractured jaw. But, the odds of Rude actually hitting him were very slim, so he continued his poking fun at his friend as much as he could.
After about an hour or so though it was easy to tell that Rude was getting annoyed at his younger, loudmouthed partner, because every time Reno would open his mouth to poke at Rude for something, the darker man would merely glare at him from over his glasses, and the younger man would give his best pout, snapping his mouth shut.
It didn’t really stop him, just discouraged him for a little bit, because in a matter of minutes, Reno would be right back at annoying Rude to the point where he was ready to hit the younger man.
Elena sighed, tapping Reno’s head softly with her water bottle. “Are you trying to get him to punch you?”
Reno gave her that cocky grin of his. “Nah. Rude would never do that, yo. Would ya, Rude?”
Rude didn’t even bother to turn to look at the two younger Turks when he answered, merely kept his gaze ahead of him. “Maybe.”
Reno pouted folding long arms across his chest. “That hurts, yo.”
“Then stop annoying him,” Elena told him, rolling her eyes.
Reno hid a smile as he turned his attention back to the alley below them. Elena was always coming to Rude’s defense, and Reno knew that it was because the two of them had been an item, however briefly, a few years before. Back after Tseng had gotten wounded by Sephiroth, he had become distant, for a while, from his Turks and had turned all of his attention to caring for and looking after their boss. That was when Elena and Rude had been an item, for a few months, but there was no discomfort between the two. It had ended mutually, both caring about a person they weren’t dating more than each other, in a romantic sense at least. Still, Reno often wondered if either of them thought about hooking up with each other randomly seeing as neither was actually dating someone right now. But, then again, Rude wasn’t exactly the ‘hooking up’ type, even if he had slept with the person before like he had with Elena. Or so Reno assumed, he didn’t really know for sure. There was no way Rude was going to share that kind of personal information with the gossip king of Edge.
“Laney, you know it’s all in good fun.”
The blonde arched a thin eyebrow, narrowing brown eyes at the man, obviously not believing him. “Really?”
“It is, yo. I’m just trying to get him to admit he likes that Tifa chick.”
“Reno, leave Rude alone.”
“What? Everyone knows he does. Hell, he admitted to me once that he did, yo.”
“Reno, just drop it. Focus on the mission.”
The redhead turned clear blue eyes to his partner as the darker man turned his gaze on him. “Enough.” The tone in that one word left no room for question: Rude was getting annoyed.
Reno scowled, focusing on the street once more. In truth, he had only been trying to help. Rude had liked Tifa for years now, and Reno was getting tired of his friend just watching her from a distance. Why shouldn’t he tell her he liked her? So he was a Turk, big deal. It wasn’t like they were enemies anymore, and besides, Rude was a good guy. If Tifa didn’t see that, well, then she didn’t deserve him. Yep, Reno loved Rude like the older brother he never had, and he was, in fact, very protective of the man. Rude could like Tifa as much as he wanted, but a) he had to say something to her about it, and b) if she didn’t see what a great guy Rude was, Reno just figured ‘fuck her’. Not literally of course. Then again, if Rude wanted to, and she was willing, hell, Reno sure as hell wouldn’t hold it against him, but again, Rude wasn’t the ‘hooking up’ type of guy. Too many morals for that, or so Reno assumed. Funny, really. He could kill without a problem, but hook up with a girl? Unheard of.
Tseng’s voice came over their ear pieces. Smooth and crisp. Reno didn’t even have to look at Elena to know she was smiling just at the sound. “The target is entering the alley. Reno and Rude, you head down. Elena will cover you from the roof.”
Reno nodded, even if Tseng couldn’t really see it. “Got it, boss.”
As the two male Turks made their way off the roof, Elena called out to Reno. “Don’t fall.”
The redhead merely smirked. “What? Don’t wanna tend to my injuries?”
For the second time that night Reno almost fell out of his chair laughing. Rude watched his partner slip further and further into his drunken state with mild amusement. He had to admit, most of the time, while Reno was drunk, he was rather amusing to watch. He was, in fact, waiting for Reno to actually fall out of his chair, but so far he had managed to catch himself before he fell to the floor.
A nice red tint had taken over Elena’s cheeks, and it wasn’t just as she laughed at Reno who was trying to right himself again. Rude knew that meant she was drunk. It happened so rarely that the signs weren’t easy to miss. Her skin would burn red, she would laugh uncontrollably, shake her head rapidly when she was trying not to laugh. Deep down Rude knew that if Tseng had decided to accompany them to the bar, Elena wouldn’t be drinking as much as she was.
Rude sighed as he picked up the empty glasses from the table and made his way through the crowded bar to the counter, placing the glasses down. Tifa shoved some hair away from her face, casting Rude a small smile. “Thanks.”
Rude nodded slightly, glancing around. “Crowded tonight.”
She nodded. “Yeah. Happens every once in a while.”
He nodded again. “Never mind what Reno said before. He’s a little drunk.”
A nice pink color crept across her face. “Oh…it’s okay. He’s not the first guy to say that.”
Rude nodded, rather grimly. The last time Tifa had made her rounds and stopped at their table Reno, in his drunken state, had decided it would be a good idea to make a very perverted comment about the size of her breasts. The only reason Rude hadn’t hurt him for that was because Reno was drunk. “He still had no right to say such a thing.”
“He was drunk. It’s alright.”
She gave him another smile, the blush still burning her face. “Did they want another round?”
Rude nodded slightly.
“Alright. I’ll bring it over as soon as I get the chance.”
“Sure thing. No problem.”
Rude watch her for a moment longer, then made his way back to the table, watching a drunk Reno get slapped by an equally drunk Elena for pinching her rear.