Canon: Advent Children
Theme + Number: 1) Starting Out, 2) Journey, 23) Shinra, 32) A friend in need, 40) All the way
Characters/Pairings included: Tseng, Elena, Reno, Rufus Shinra
Warnings: Reno being Reno. Nothing too bad, just a joke.
Summary: Tseng and Elena start on their journey together to Wutai.
Spoilers: None in this part.
It wasn’t that she didn’t like being close to him. The truth was she did: she liked it a little too much for her own comfort. She didn’t object to standing next to him in the office though. How would that of looked? The rookie asking to go against orders. Scandalous! Surely that would have sent up some red flags- not that she wasn’t sure her crush was company knowledge by now. As a matter-of-fact, she was sure even he knew about her crush on him. Not that he would ever say anything of course; he was too much of a gentleman for that. He had to know how embarrassed she would be if he came out and told her that he knew. She would have, honestly, wanted to crawl under the floor and remain there for the rest of her days.
She had to admit though that standing next to him in their boss’s office made her heart race. Foolish she knew, but just his mere presence seemed to make everything in her go into overdrive. She could feel him breathing more than hear him, pick up the distinct smell he always had, feel the warmth of his hand less than half a foot away from her own.
She shifted slightly, folded her hands behind her back figuring that maybe that factional amount of extra distance would do her some good. It wouldn’t, she knew, but it was the effort that made her feel a little better.
Her boss raised a delicate blond eyebrow at the movement but said nothing about it. Not that she had expected him to. Rufus Shinra never wasted a word; he said what was necessary and nothing more. Perhaps that was a good thing because it could mean she would get out of there faster.
Her gaze jumped instantly to her boss’s face. He was studying her with an almost amused expression. “I thought you wanted to hear where you were going.”
“I do. Sir.”
“Then please, in the future, pay attention when I speak. I dislike having to repeat myself.”
She could feel the blush creeping along the back of her neck. “Yes, sir. Sorry, sir. It won’t happen again.”
“See that it doesn’t.” Rufus reclined slightly in his seat as he gazed at the two Turks in front of him. “You will be going with Tseng to Wutai. Do you know why?”
She shook her head slightly. “No, sir.”
“Tseng has some unfinished business there he must attend to. You will be joining him on the journey. Safety in numbers and all that. Understood?”
A small nod. “Yes, sir.”
Elena sighed as she turned to face Reno. There were times when she adored the man: he was funny and loud and amusing and being around him was quite amusing at times, but he was unprofessional and could be a general all around nag which often served to annoy her too much to enjoy his company. “Yes, Reno.”
“What’d the boss want with you and Tseng?”
Elena shrugged. “Tseng is going to Wutai. I have been asked to join him on the journey.”
Reno tilted his head to one side as he chuckled. “And you didn’t object?”
“He is a friend, he has to go, I was asked to join by our boss. I see no reason for me to have said no.”
“Except for the fact that you are head over heels in love with Tseng.”
She pursed her lips and gave him a cool look. “I don’t see how that is any of your business, Reno. Besides, you overstate. I am not, as you put it, ‘head over heels in love’ with anyone. I merely like him.”
“Enough that you want to bone him.”
“Perhaps, but that doesn’t make it any less true.”
She sighed shaking her head as she started her way down the hall once more. This was one of those annoying time he was so good at.
Reno fell inline next to her wrapping an arm around her shoulders. “Come on, Laney. Don’t be mad at me. I’m worried about you, yo.”
She looked at him with a quirked eyebrow. “Worried about me?”
“Well, yeah! I’m worried you won’t be able to make it to Wutai and back without jumping him.”
Damn Reno and his damn smirk.
Tseng rarely shared information about himself. She knew that, but she didn’t however understand why he wanted to make the trek to Wutai rather than use one of the company helicopters. To her it would have seemed simpler, easier, but he wanted it this way and she did not argue. The company car did just fine, but she was still wondering, of course. How could she not? He hadn’t even said a word to her since they got into the vehicle. Truth be told he seemed rather distracted the whole time.
She watched him quietly from her side of the car, turning her gaze away every time he caught her looking at him and finding something outside to focus on as they drove past it. For the life of her she couldn’t figure out what was on his mind and she would have given a million gil just to know.
“Is there a problem, Elena?”
She blinked slightly as she turned to look at him, his eyes still intent on the road. “No, sir.”
“You seem rather distressed.”
“No, sir. Just thinking.”
“About anything in particular?”
Lie, her brain screamed. Lie through your teeth! “Not really, sir. A bunch of random things I guess. I suppose I did not sleep well last night and my mind is wondering.”
“Ah, I see.” His intense dark gaze skipped to her briefly before returning to the road. “If there is anything you would like to talk about, you can speak to me, if you wish. This will be quite a dull trip if we do not speak from time to time.”
“Yes, sir, I suppose it will be.”
“Are you sure you are alright, Elena?”
She nodded before she realized he couldn’t see her with his gaze on the road. “Yes, sir.”
The edge of his mouth twitched slightly as if her were fighting a smile, or perhaps a smirk. She couldn’t tell which. “I do hope you have enough trust in me to speak to me openly.”
She blinked and looked back out with window. “Yes, sir.”
“Good.” There was a small silence, an uncomfortable one for her. “Good.”