By Ridia Seascar
Author's Notes: Thanks to Rachel for the title! Longer than I thought it would be; but fun to write. ^.^; Rydia helped me. She pointed out almost all my spelling errors as I made them... lousy sister.... *mutter*
The clatter of the so-called Quiet Key keyboard filled the lounge. The incessant ticking of a small clock upon the wall beat out a counter to the uneven keystrokes. A pause, momentary, blissful silence, before the clatter of keys continued. Reno groaned, dropping his magazine onto his face, and flailing an arm over it as if to seal himself away from the world. Rude looked up from his own magazine, 'Midgar People', and glanced over at Reno. The tall man smirked at the title of Reno's choice: 'Honey Bee'.
Elena, meanwhile, was picture perfect concentration. Chocolate eyes almost crossed, she pecked away at the keys, rarely looking at her well-trained hands. Tongue sticking between her teeth and pointing towards the ceiling, back hunched as she leaned over the laptop sitting on the coffee table before her. She had a mission, and she had to do it. She *had* to prove to the others that she was worthy of being a Turk! She sighed in frustration, squeezing her eyes shut before returning to her screen. Dark circles were under her eyes: she'd been at it for hours. A half empty mocha sat cooling, forgotten: it was not the first in a brave, long line of coffee drinks to have graced that coaster in the last day.
Reno moaned as if in pain and sat up, the naughty magazine sliding down his face and lading in his lap, flipped to a rather saucy page. His bleary eyes locked onto the diligent form of Elena. "Rude... I thought hacking only took a little while. I mean, in the movies they have it done in five minutes flat!" he shook his head, dropping his eyes to the magazine and taking it up into his hands, "What's taking so long?"
"Movies are movies." Rude explained, being slightly acquainted with the world of hacking, though nowhere near Elena's expertise. "This is real life, Reno. Not a fantasy world written by some drunkard with no idea what he's talking about."
The door opened, admitting Tseng. Used to his presence, neither Reno nor Rude bothered to snap to attention, though each offered their own, silent, greeting: Reno sending a casual wave and Rude merely nodding in Tseng's direction. Had Elena of not been so wrapped up in her duty, she should have been at attention in half a heartbeat.
"How's it going?" the older Turk asked, stepping further into the room. He held a white box in his hands: doughnuts. He took the lid from the box, dropping it onto the table before plopping onto the couch, relaxing against the arm and placing his feet on the table, though away from the doughnuts, Heavens yes.
"Not certain." Rude said, eyeing the doughnuts before finally picking out his favorite, a raspberry filled one covered tickly with confectioner's sugar. Biting into it, a small snowing of white found it's way to his suit, which he quickly brushed away.
Tseng unbuttoned his jacket, letting it hang open over his white shirt. Pulling a pack of cigarettes from his pocket, he offered it around, Reno and Rude each taking one, before placing one between his lips and pulling out his lighter. The others provided their own lights.
"Almost... almost... AH! NO! NO!!! You stupid dumb fucking machine! GAAAH!!" Elena screeched, jumping up. Her eyes were clenched shut, her lips pulled back in a snarl as she muttered wordlessly before slowly melting back into her proper seat and slipping down to the floor. Propping her back against the front of her couch, she pulled a white strip of cloth from her jacket's pocket and tied it around her forehead, a red dot in the center mimicked Tseng's bihndi - a center of Ki, the third eye. Also on it, written in Wutaian script, was the word Gonbare, which translates to You can do it.
"She's been this way for hours." Reno explained to his relaxed boss as he snagged a chocolate iced bar from the box. "She's almost cute when she's ready to shred that thing." he took his cigarette in his fingers and shoved the end of the chocolate bar into his mouth, biting off an almost rudely large piece and proceeded to chew it with his mouth open.
"Reno. My magazine." muttering, the redhead handed 'Honey Bee' over to Tseng, it's proper owner, who rolled it up and stuck it into the inside pocket of his jacket, patting it fondly. "I'm sure she'll be done soon.... I hope... She *does* have that determined look..."
"YEARGHBLE!!" Elena screeched, slamming her hands down onto the keyboard. Her eyes flew open. "Yes! YES!" her typing resumed, redoubled, twice as vehement, and twice as fast. She was on a role. Hopefully.
Rude raised a brow, taking another bite of his pastry, red jelly clinging to his thin mustache. "Hmn." he wiped it away, licking it from his fingers. "Maybe we should get her a fresh mocha?"
"No. More. Coffee." Reno whispered. "Leave her alone, maybe she'll finally get it done."
"Yes! No! Ye- wha? What? Whoooa.. Okay.... wait, no, no *way*... um, OH! Okay, alright..." Elena tightened the bandana determinedly. "You're going down!" she winked to the screen, then giggled. Not a nice sound, rather reminiscent of some small, furred creature on speed. "Hmm.... almost.... almost....... no! DRAT!"
Tseng winced. "Sounds like she's in pain."
"Ooohohohohohohoh! Aaaaah! ACK! Huh? Oooh, yeah..."
"Or like she's getting a bad screw." Reno offered. Rude frowned in a distasteful manner. Reno shrugged, "Not my fault your girls usually sound like tha-" he dodged a maple bar launched in his direction by the taller man. It hit the wall with a sickening splat sound, hanging there for a moment before sliding slowly, slowly down the painted wall and lodging itself firmly behind the couch Reno sat on. He sat up quickly, causing the couch to slide back on the uncarpeted floor, squashing the doughnut firmly with another squishy sound. Unfortunately, it was the cream filled kind. Lemon shot it's way up the wall in a fountain of citrus goodness. Landing, of course, on everyone's favorite Turk's head. Reno was not happy.
"Oh, almost.... just about... AH-HAH! Got- eh? WHAT!? ERROR!? ERO-frickin'-OR? NO!! GAWD DAMN IT!!" Elena's face was red, her hands fisted up, mouth wide open, a scream of defiance ripped it's way from her throat. "Die! DIE! MWHAHA! Die you vile Satan spawn! Bwhaha! BhwhahaHa! Haha! HAHA!!! HA!!!!"
"She's gone loopy." Tseng commented. The other two agreed. Reno was still trying to remove lemon cream form his hair. "Think we should get a psychiatrist for her?"
"I kinda like her like this." Reno grinned.
"You're too cruel." Rude muttered.
"He's a sadomasochist." Tseng muttered.
Abruptly, Elena's laughter, screams, and yes, even tears died away. Silence prevailed. The three males were afraid to look in her direction, feared whatever they might have seen, what horrid things had happened to make that sudden silence. Perhaps she had died. Finally, Tseng chanced a glance, and was surprised at what he saw.
Elena sat, looking rather triumphant with herself. She wore a large smile, her eyes were closed, and she sat up straight. Her hair was in disarray, as if she'd just walked through a windstorm.
"Are you... done?" Tseng asked tentatively.
"You finished it?"
"Did you get in?" Rude questioned.
Elena looked confused. "Eh?"
"Did. You. Hack. Them?" Tseng enunciated more clearly.
"Oh, that? No..." Elena shook her head.
"But, you said you were DONE." He appeared exasperated. Reno passed out.
"Oh, I'm done, the computer just crashed." She shrugged, then smiled, "Buuuuut..."
"BUT?" Tseng prompted.
"I finally beat MineSweeper!" she shouted triumphantly, jumping upon the coffee table and posing. "OH YEAH!"
"Don't you use the mouse for that?" Reno muttered, his face against the cushions of the couch.
"Um-huh. But I hacked it and reprogrammed it so I could use the keyboard! I hate this touch sensor mouse thingy on this laptop! Eww."
Tseng fell back into his seat. "You... didn't hack them then? Like we asked you to... hours ago?"
"No, I didn't hack them. But I did get a password."
"........ And that is...?"
"Wouldn't ya believe it? 'MineSweeper' that's what got me so interest- Tseng-Sama?"
Tseng was lying on the floor, twitching.
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