Wasted Chapter 2

Meeting at the Bar

By Lila

"I just don’t see why you hired her." Tseng spoke calmly, but his steely eyes flashed with anger. "She’s 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 Heidegger’s office muffled both men’s voices, but she looked as though she knew they were discussing her.

"I don’t 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 wasn’t 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 doesn’t make you good with a gun. This is a very different kind of job than she’s 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. She’s 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. "I’m a businessman. It’s my job to make sure you have what you need. It’s 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 don’t?" He was pretty sure he knew the answer already.

Heidegger smiled. It wasn’t a nice smile. "You’re finished. Not only with Shinra, but elsewhere, too. We can’t have pieces of scum like you drifting around loose, can we?"

He pictured ramming Heidegger’s coffee cup into his face. "I understand, sir."

Heidegger seemed to relax. "Good. Now-"

Tseng went on. "I just don’t think it will work. Sir, it’s my job to keep the Turks’ image. Without proper training, there’s 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 wouldn’t 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.

"We’re 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 wasn’t 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 Elena’s 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 don’t think I can be a Turk." She straightened the uniform she wore, arching her head proudly. "I can do it. I’ll show you, sir. You’ll be glad you hired me."

It wasn’t me that hired her. Tseng looked again at his superior. How can I get out of this?

Heidegger was looking smug, knowing Tseng couldn’t do a thing. The latter sighed in defeat, while inwardly making a decision.

"All right, Elena. We’ll wait and see what you can do."


The bar was more crowded than Rude had expected when he walked in. Usually this crowd didn’t 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 Turk’s 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 didn’t 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. "Who’s the poor fool who’s taking my place?" He took another swig, downing the strong liquor quickly and easily.

"We’ve already been over this, Reno-"

"You sound like my grandmother."

"-She’s not ‘taking your place’, she’s-"

Reno choked on his drink. "She?!"

Rude waited patiently as his friend began raging.

"They’re 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.

"I’m not kidding, Reno. My point is, as Tseng already explained to me-"

Reno snorted in disgust. "The Ripper giving you trouble again? That guy’s so full of shit you’d think it’d be comin’ outta his ears." He was quiet a moment, then said, "How is she?"

"At what? Looks, or professionalism?"


"Well, she’s 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. "Here’s 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 we’ve broken her in."

"Yeah, guess that makes sense," Reno said thoughtfully, signaling for another drink. "Of course, she’ll make us look like complete idiots."

Rude realized he hadn’t 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 didn’t 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 couldn’t tell. Rude’s 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 didn’t seem to notice. "No, I don’t 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 wasn’t seeing it. He was seeing something else, something that had happened a long time ago…

Chapter 3

Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic