Canon: Advent Children
Theme + Number: 30) Hand, 33) Smile, 47) Wishes, 55) Logic & 63) Quick
Characters/Pairings included: Tseng, Elena
Warnings: Another slight mention of slash.
Summary: If only he knew, she would be alright.
“I’m fine, Elena.”
She, of course, ignored him, gazing down intently at his wounded hand. The skin was looking closer to its normal color, the wound itself looking less gruesome. Truthfully if she hadn’t been there when he was poisoned she would even have been able to tell he had been poisoned. He was pretty much back to his old self. Well, minus the fact that she insisted he rest a little while longer and was being treated, in his opinion, like a child by the younger Turk. Not that he didn’t appreciate her concern. Actually, he found it rather endearing that she was so worried about him. Amusing and misplaced, but endearing all the same.
He had to admit, she looked rather cute gazing down so intently at his hand, her brow furrowed in concentration. He honestly couldn’t remember a time she had looked that concentrated. It was…amusing, and he had to remind himself not to laugh. It, after all, would most likely insult her and was not very true to his nature.
Her chocolate colored eyes jumped up to his face with an almost startled look. He even found that amusing. She looked like a child caught with their hand in the cookie jar and despite himself he smiled at her. “I am fine. May I have my hand back?”
She pulled her hand away lightning quick as if he had scolded her, or perhaps as if he had somehow burned her pale, pale skin.
“It’s alright, Elena. Thank you for your concern.”
A brilliant shade of pink splashed across her cheeks as she looked away from him mumbling a ‘welcome’ under her breath. She looked rather adorable.
He had to admit, Elena had a certain charm to her, now that he actually studied her face. She had this almost childlike innocence to her, in appearance at least; smooth, round, fragile features that made her seem years younger than she actually was. Maybe it was her large eyes. They always seemed to be screaming innocence.
Maybe that was why he tried not to look her in the face too often: her eyes made him uneasy. Okay, he was admitting it- only to himself of course- but that little rookie’s face made the leader of the Turks uncomfortable. Though he knew she was tough as nails for the most part and could hunt, track and kill as well the rest of them- even if she did have a tendency to share information at times with people she shouldn’t- there was something almost innocent about her still, like all the things that they had seen and done didn’t phase her.
Tseng had no such innocence. He couldn’t actually remember ever having that kind of innocence, though, logically, he knew he must have at some point, but he, for the life of him, couldn’t think of a time when he had. He thought, perhaps, that was a sign of having been a Turk for too long: you seemed to forget the more simple, innocent things that life had to offer. They became inconsequential. You had no time for simple or innocent or pure. You were hired killers hidden behind the guise of bodyguards. Simple was not an option.
Nothing was ever simple.
Nothing was ever clean.
You were never clean.
“Hmm?” He turned to look at her eyes, once again filled with concern. Well, he must have been drifting of in though again. He had been doing that a lot since he was wounded by Sephiroth. It seemed like so long ago, but it had been less than five years. Being that close to death, he assumed, taught you some things about life, and made your mind tend to wander. Not that he usually let it happen in front of the other Turks. It wouldn’t have looked good, after all, if their leader just gazed off into space.
She tilted her head to one side as she looked at him. “Are you feeling alright?”
The edge of his mouth twitched, that almost smile she was so used to. “I told you I was fine.”
She didn’t believe him of course. Not that he had expected her to. She was a stubborn one.
She lifted one small hand up towards his forehead and on instinct he grabbed the wrist tightly between his had, lowering it quickly, tensing then that small hand brushed over the scar Sephiroth had inflicted through his clothes.
He obviously hadn’t realized how strong his grip actually was, because her quiet whimper made him release her as quickly as she had his hand before.
She pulled her tiny hand back to her and gazed down at the offended wrist shaking her head. “No, I apologize, sir. I should not have just reached out like that. I should have warned you.”
“So I’m back to being ‘sir’ now, am I?”
Her eyes jumped up to meet his and she had to blink, like she always did, at their intensity. “Sir?”
“I thought I told you to call me by my first name.” She knew she must have been mistaken, but she could have sworn she heard teasing in his voice. No, she had to be mistaken.
That faint blush tinted her skin again as she looked down at her hands. “It isn’t appropriate, sir.”
“You have no problem calling me by my name before.”
“I should not have, sir. It is inappropriate to address your boss by their first names, especially when they are working.”
“We aren’t working.”
“We are on a mission, sir.”
He sighed. “This isn’t a mission, Elena.”
She glanced up at him from under her honey blonde hair. “Sir?”
“I had to go to Wutai either way. Rufus decided it would be better if I did not go alone. That is why he asked you to accompany me.”
Right. Doesn’t want to let his lover get lonely. She was surprised she had been so bitter, even inside her own head. That wasn’t like her. Not at all.
“So, please, Elena. Call me by my first name, alright?”
Her eyes jumped to his briefly, shyly, and she nodded.
She wasn’t eating. Oh, she was doing a good job of pretending she was, pushing her food around on her plate to make it seem like there was some missing, but he wasn’t fooled. Enough time around a moody Reno had taught him that trick all too well. He sighed, putting his own utensils down and placing his plate on the table next to the bed. “Elena?”
“Hmm?” She skipped her eyes up to meet his.
He motioned to her vaguely. “Come here.”
She hesitated. Honestly she wasn’t looking forward to being that close to him again that quickly. She had, much to her dismay, replayed the very intimate situation she had caught Rufus and Tseng in over and over again. Now she was sure she wouldn’t be able to look him in the eye, and a deep part of her was jealous. She would never admit it of course, she wasn’t the jealous type after all. And it wasn’t as though she had an actual reason to be jealous, or at least not as jealous as she was. She felt very much like a betrayed lover, which was ridiculous, because she wasn’t Rufus’s lover- not that she would have wanted to be- and she certainly wasn’t Tseng’s. Yep, her jealousy was irrational, but it was there.
And now Tseng was looking at her expectantly so she put her plate aside and went over to sit on the bed below where his legs were. It amazed her how two days ago he was practically at death’s door and here he was, sitting cross-legged, looking as healthy as ever, eating a meal. Fascinated her indeed.
He tilted his head at her. “Is something the matter?”
She shook her head, only slightly. “No, si-Tseng.”
That damn almost smile again. “Then why aren’t you eating?”
“Not hungry I suppose.”
He didn’t believe her. She could see it in her eyes. “Something is bothering you.”
“No. No, not really.”
“Elena.” That one word made her take a deep breath. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. Really. I’m just…thinking.”
She shook her head. No, she would not tell him. “Nothing of importance.”
“I am sure that isn’t true.” He reached out and patted her hand awkwardly. “If you are thinking on it so intently, than it must be important. At least to you.”
She shrugged, not daring to meet his eyes.
“I never did thank you, did I?”
Now that made her meet his eyes. “Pardon?”
“For helping me. I never did thank you for it.”
“Oh. There’s no need sir.”
He gave her one of his all too rare smiles, placed a firm hand on her wrist and brushed a quick, soft, chaste kiss across her lips. “Thank you, Elena.”
Her heart sounded loud in her ears, and she silently cursed him, wishing he knew how desperate she was for him to truly kiss her.