It was just starting to get dark, and Reno stood watching out one of the two large windows at the front of the crappy apartment he and Rude had been shoved into together. 'Apartment' was an awfully generous word for the place, and 'prison cell' might have been more fitting. Seriously, he had a fucking curfew? He hadn't had one of those since his idiot stepfather had tried to reign in his wild ways when he was a boy of twelve. He was glad the asshole hadn't had one of these stylish ankle bracelets to enforce it with… though he really did regret the scars on his cheeks he'd gotten as a result of one of his more foolish nighttime adventures. Sometimes, though, chics dug them and thought he was a badass, so he didn't mind all that much. Reno wasn't a guy who worried much about what he looked like, after all.
Suddenly, a very large, orange tabby cat leaped up onto the window sill, meowing sweetly and rubbing his head up against Reno's arm. He grinned, reaching out to scratch his kitty behind the ears. Only pussy I'm going to spend any time with in this town, he had joked the other day. Chics didn't seem to dig a former Turk who wasn't allowed out to play after dark. Being locked up in this damn dump of a town sure was killing his sex appeal. He'd even lost his best opening line… "Hey, baby, want to see my nightstick?" He sighed in mourning.
"What the hell do you want, I fed you already," he said to the cat, though he continued to pet him and was glad for the company. It was lonely here a lot of the time, and Pissy always seemed to sense when he was particularly bored or down. At least he'd been allowed to keep him if nothing else, though that was never up for negotiation as far as Reno was concerned.
"Mrrow?" Pissy replied, purring like an engine, the little bell on his collar jingling as he enthusiastically expressed just how much he loved Reno. At least someone did.
"If you stay off the table when we're playing cards, I'll get ya some tuna from that little stand you like tomorrow," he offered in a sugary voice he used only for his cat, though he knew it was pointless to try to bribe the outgoing feline. Every week, without fail, someone cried foul and demanded a new hand after interference from Pissy. The kitty simply continued to purr and rub his head against his human's hand, not a care in the world. Reno envied him, and decided that in his next life he was going to come back as some hot girl's cat so he could innocently watch her change and shower all the time.
Movement on the street down below caught Reno's attention, and he grinned. Finally! He watched as Aeris waved goodbye to Rude and Tseng at the corner, then headed off in the opposite direction to her home (which he assumed was a hell of a lot nicer than this place). Reno felt rather pathetic that he was reduced to staring out the window and waiting for his friends to get done cleaning up the Harbor, but what else did he have to do? Expert Fucking Mechanics had much better hours than City Beautification grunts, apparently, possibly because Cid was a bit lazy, and the working conditions were a hell of a lot better. He'd actually had fun today! The downside was returning home to a quiet, empty apartment with only his cat for entertainment. He didn't miss having to clean up the polluted Harbor all day, but he had missed his comrades.
He continued watching as the two men approached the block of housing they'd been assigned to, probably the dumpiest section of the entire base. Thanks, Cloud. They seemed to be having a serious conversation as they approached and didn't notice him watching at the window. When they reached the shared door that would lead inside to their separate apartments, Rude and Tseng both stopped before entering, then began to do something so strange that Reno blinked several times, wondering if he was losing it. Or maybe they were.
Right there on the street in front of their building, first Rude, and then Tseng, started awkwardly removing their clothing. First their shirts, then their shoes and socks, and finally both men were down to their underwear right out there in the road, though Rude was still wearing his sunglasses. Reno stared in shock a moment longer, then cracked open the window and let loose a loud, shrill catcall he had long ago perfected.
"Woohoo! Looking good, ladies!" he shouted as his friends looked up in alarm. He was rewarded with the middle finger from Rude, and even the usually proper Tseng made a gesture he was pretty sure translated into something like "Up yours." He burst out laughing, watching as they opened the lid to a nearby trashcan and threw all their recently removed clothing inside. Then they both ran to the door and quickly headed inside, clearly hoping to avoid any more stares and whistles.
Reno was still laughing as he heard their footsteps on the creaky staircase leading to their living quarters from a small shared lobby, listening as the door across the hallway opened and closed. A moment later, just as Rude opened their door and stepped inside, he grinned as the sound of Elena's surprised laughter reached his ears. These walls were fucking thin, but sometimes it was a good thing, he smirked to himself.
"Dude," Reno said, his pale complexion now bright red with amusement. "What the fuck, you guys are doing free strip teases for the whole base now?"
"We stink." Rude said simply, shrugging as he stood there in his bright red boxer shorts and sunglasses. "Be grateful we did that."
"Oh, I am," Reno laughed. "I just wish I had managed to swipe Cid's PHS again, that would have been an awesome picture!"
"Shut up, Reno," Rude grumbled, heading past his friend toward his closet-sized bedroom. "We're not all as good at lying as you are. Mechanic my ass…"
"Haha! Hey, I helped free Barret when he got stuck in the john today. I was meant for this job, you kn- Oh GODS, you DO stink!" he suddenly exclaimed, holding his nose and backing up several paces.
"What the hell did you expect? You saw that body… and that wasn't even what smelled the worst. We were puking half the fucking day. Aeris felt so bad for us that she promised to try to find us something different to do tomorrow." Rude entered his room and emerged a moment later with a change of clothes in his arms, though he held them well away from his body. "I'm going to take a very long shower."
"Please do," Reno said, trying not to gag. Gods, he was glad he'd been quick enough to offer his services to Cid's department that morning. "Holy shit…"
"Go to hell," Rude muttered, though Reno could tell he wasn't really all that mad, just tired and a bit cranky that he smelled like ass.
"Aww, don't be like that, honey," Reno said, having taken to using the term of endearment as a joke after the Turks were divided among the two adjoining apartments in what was clearly a more beneficial arrangement for the other half of the group. "I even brought you home a sandwich from the pub. It's in the fridge."
"Really?" Rude suddenly looked a lot happier, clearly as sick of the cheap frozen food they'd been supplied with as Reno was. "Wow, thanks Reno."
"No problem. What are best friends for? Now for fuck's sake, go shower, you're stinking up the whole place!"
((Author's Notes: For more about our Turks, please check out my multi-chapter fic 'On My Honors,' as well as 'So Hard To Find Good Help These Days', 'Tasks for the Turks,' 'Sabotage,' and 'Desperation Dating.' As always, every read and review is special to me and I am honored to receive them. Thanks a million! ~ JenesisX ))