Wasted Chapter 2
Meeting at the Bar
"I just dont see why you hired her." Tseng spoke calmly, but his steely eyes flashed with anger. "Shes not Turk material. Look at her!"
He gestured out the office window, where Elena could be sitting quietly in the waiting room, twiddling her thumbs. She seemed to shrink into the chair, looking small and extremely nervous. The heavy door that separated the waiting room from Heideggers office muffled both mens voices, but she looked as though she knew they were discussing her.
"I dont know what all this fuss is about," Heidegger rumbled from behind his desk. He was a down-to-earth, typical businessman; kissing his superiors feet, and a bastard to work for. He wasnt typical to look at, though- a thick black beard that covered his paunchy face, his grossly obese body in a fitted bottle-green suit. In short, he appeared ludicrous. Of course, none of that mattered when he was your boss.
"She had the most credentials in the company, so I simply moved her up to Turk rank. He leaned forward, a vulgar smirk curling his fat lips. "Besides, I figured you and your boys needed a little leisure time. Gya, ha ha!"
Not only that, but he had the most annoying laugh Tseng had ever heard.
"Mr. Heidegger," he said patiently, though he was beginning to despair of ever getting through to this stubborn tub of lard. "A good Turk calls for more than credentials. There are certain skills certain attributes that are needed. A major in English doesnt make you good with a gun. This is a very different kind of job than shes used to, sir."
Heidegger leaned back, tipping the office chair precariously. "Tseng, you know I trust your judgment. But the fact is, she was only one to even meet the physical requirements to be a Turk. Shes damn strong, for a girl."
"There are more than just physical requirements!" Tseng was losing patience. "To be a Turk, you have to be strong in mind. You have to be tough, inside and out."
"Let me make this perfectly clear for you, Turk." Heidegger folded both of his hands on the desk, looking Tseng in the eye. "Im a businessman. Its my job to make sure you have what you need. Its your job to give me results. You needed a Turk. I provided you with one. Now, all you have to do is make it work."
"And if I dont?" He was pretty sure he knew the answer already.
Heidegger smiled. It wasnt a nice smile. "Youre finished. Not only with Shinra, but elsewhere, too. We cant have pieces of scum like you drifting around loose, can we?"
He pictured ramming Heideggers coffee cup into his face. "I understand, sir."
Heidegger seemed to relax. "Good. Now-"
Tseng went on. "I just dont think it will work. Sir, its my job to keep the Turks image. Without proper training, theres a large chance Elena could ruin that image."
"Then train her!" Heidegger snapped.
"It would take well over a year before we could use her, sir! And by then Reno would be back. We wouldnt even need her."
The vicious smile was back. "Perhaps you should voice these concerns to her yourself." And before Tseng could stop him, Heidegger was pressing the button on the intercom, speaking into it.
"Were ready, Elena."
She jumped visibly at the loud voice emitting from the speaker just above her head. Heidegger laughed, not bothering to release the button. Elena, blushing furiously, stood resolutely and marched over to the door. Seeing his boss wasnt about to be bothered with getting to his feet, Tseng let her in.
"Tseng and I were just discussing the future of your new job," Heidegger said languidly.
The leader of the Turks cursed inwardly as Elenas large brown eyes turned on him. That crafty son of a bitch! He knows I have no choice now! he thought angrily, then turned his attention back to the girl.
"I know you were talking about me," she said accusingly, though her voice trembled. Tseng shot a glance at Heidegger. The bearded man shrugged, as though to say, "Go along with it." Elena saw the glance and her voice grew stronger.
"You dont think I can be a Turk." She straightened the uniform she wore, arching her head proudly. "I can do it. Ill show you, sir. Youll be glad you hired me."
It wasnt me that hired her. Tseng looked again at his superior. How can I get out of this?
Heidegger was looking smug, knowing Tseng couldnt do a thing. The latter sighed in defeat, while inwardly making a decision.
"All right, Elena. Well wait and see what you can do."
The bar was more crowded than Rude had expected when he walked in. Usually this crowd didnt arrive until later. He guessed it was more of a social period than anything else- many wanted to hear more about the invasion of the Shinra building.
Still, crowded as it was, the throng parted as he walked by. No one, not even by accident, wanted to touch a Turk. Maybe there were some advantages to his job.
He made his way to the counter and ordered a double shot of whiskey. Even as he ordered, he caught sight of a man sitting on the barstool beside him, one arm in a sling, calmly sipping a drink.
"Hey, Reno," Rude said to him. "Did the doctor give you a prescription? Or did you just decide alcohol would help you recover?"
"Prescription," was the sarcastic Turks answer. "Two hours at the bar each day. Need lots of fluids." He took a gulp of his drink. "I knew you were here without turning around. Did you ever notice how quiet it gets whenever one of us comes into this place?"
Rude didnt bother answering. "You doing okay?" He expected an unpleasant retort, and, sure enough, he got one.
"Better than you," Reno snapped, then changed the subject abruptly. "Whos the poor fool whos taking my place?" He took another swig, downing the strong liquor quickly and easily.
"Weve already been over this, Reno-"
"You sound like my grandmother."
"-Shes not taking your place, shes-"
Reno choked on his drink. "She?!"
Rude waited patiently as his friend began raging.
"Theyre replacing me with a goddamned woman?! What the hell is this, some kind of-" A sudden thought struck him. "That is a low joke, Rude. Very low." Reno returned to his natural color as he came to the conclusion that his partner was simply joking.
"Im not kidding, Reno. My point is, as Tseng already explained to me-"
Reno snorted in disgust. "The Ripper giving you trouble again? That guys so full of shit youd think itd be comin outta his ears." He was quiet a moment, then said, "How is she?"
"At what? Looks, or professionalism?"
"Well, shes pretty, I guess, if you like the cute, upturned nose kinda deal. As for that other thing " He trailed off.
Reno smirked. "Lemme guess. Ditzy blond."
"No, uh " Frantically Rude tried to think of another explanation, but none came to mind. "No very ditzy blond."
"Thought as much." Reno leaned back on his stool and raised his glass. "Heres to you, Tseng. Replace me with a chick. Nice one."
After making the toast, he quickly drained the drink, leaning forward again. The stool legs landed on the floor with a thump. "You started her training yet?"
He raised an eyebrow. "Why not?"
Rude shrugged. "Tseng said not to. Something about her being useless until weve broken her in."
"Yeah, guess that makes sense," Reno said thoughtfully, signaling for another drink. "Of course, shell make us look like complete idiots."
Rude realized he hadnt touched his whiskey. He downed it speedily, willing himself to relax. He was feeling way too tense.
Reno was quiet again, looking down at his drink. Rude wondered what he was thinking about, but didnt ask, deciding the Turk would come out with it in his own time.
After a while, he did. "Hey, Rude," he said, not looking up. "Do you remember our training?"
Rude was silent for so long that Reno looked up to see if his friend had heard him, but couldnt tell. Rudes face was expressionless, as usual, behind his sunglasses- he even wore them in the dark, dank interior of the bar.
"No." He spoke firmly, loudly- too loudly, by the looks of some people sitting nearby. Rude didnt seem to notice. "No, I dont remember a thing." Without another word, he turned and strode out of the bar. Reno watched him go before turning back to his booze.
"Yeah, you do, man," he murmured. "You do."
He stared down at his glass, but he wasnt seeing it. He was seeing something else, something that had happened a long time ago
Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic