Rufus Shinra (shotgun_poetics) wrote in ffvii_ac_rpg,
Rufus Shinra
shotgun_poetics
ffvii_ac_rpg

Rufus and Tseng and Booze, oh my! (4/4)



Rufus: That was... definitely not the response Rufus thought Tseng would have to the suggestion that he take down zombie minions. Most unusual. And somehow Rufus had a few shreds of... decency? Something, he couldn't put his finger on, that told him not to push the issue. Not that he would even know how to handle Big Important Issues like that... not even while sober. Oh, great. He was caring. And the only way to handle that was to look -- oh hey. Interesting window that was off to the side... ...His attention was brought back with an "anyway" which prompted Rufus to feign disinterest in a sidelong glance -- an act that proved to be less than effective when he smiled, despite himself. An action that he quickly tried to hide with a, "You're just sayin' that I don't need ya because you don't wanna have to dive in with any nets the next time I fly off a building."

Nice save, Rufus. Really.

"Hmph. Like to see you last in my job... Y'have to deal with a whole buncha people. And they're all whining about electricity and family dying and Jenova and then Dio's trying to cheat us and the phones won't stop ringing..." He raked his fingers through his hair, suddenly feeling a bit too aware of the fact that he probably sounded like he was complaining and in public no less. Where people could hear what he was saying. Best to shut up on the matter. Besides -- the office futon was surprisingly comfy. And it wasn't all that bad, really. Quite exhilarating. Or something.

"Fine..." There was more resignation to his response than he planned, but most of Rufus' efforts were focused on staying rooted to that stool. "I'll get the composers on it right away. Hell. I could probably write you somethin' myself. Th' Ballad of Tseng. Dust off my piano 'n everything." And he could. It had been... probably a bit too long since he had played and... well, he had never composed anything, but it couldn't be that hard... could it? "I think yer thinking of Cait Sith. He was sort of a beastie.... or... or... wait. I know this! That creepy talkin' thing. I think he lived with Hojo or something." He paused thoughtfully, trying to corral his thoughts back into place. Which was... difficult. They were darting around like schools of fish and his head was starting to feel a little strange and numb. "...Hojo was weird."

Rufus should have seen the laughter coming. How that had managed to slip was beyond his comprehension. He had even somewhat forgotten it. It had been so long ago ago that he had met Tseng. And Tseng had been older than him and more mature and furthermore Rufus couldn't believe that he had just used the word 'cool' in a sentence that had nothing to do with temperature. Blegh. Best to just pretend it didn't happen except... yeah, that was not going to happen. And who was he to be calling him a brat? Even though... well... Tseng wasn't entirely wrong. But still. His eyes cracked open slightly at hearing it suddenly turn into a compliment. That was, well, strangely... nice. Unexpected. He raised an eyebrow, keeping himself from saying anything sarcastic for the time being. Somehow. Then he chuckled softly, under his breath. "Nice people are boring... Wouldn't wanna surround myself with 'em. Might rub off on me."

Finally awake. Again, Rufus looked to whatever it was Tseng seemed to fervently want to show him only to... well, that wasn't fair. Big hat. Tiny person. He growled menacingly and attempted to set Tseng on fire with a very piercing glare, then baritoned, "I am not tiny. I..." And then... he wasn't entirely sure how or why, but it was all just a little too funny and... that little speck of a person had hair like he did and... then Rufus was laughing. Or at least halfway laughing. Stifling it. He sounded like an idiot, he was certain. Like a crazy idiot, trying not to laugh and hoping no one was looking at him as he leaned against the bar for support and shot his friend an angry look that didn't quite look angry. "Have I told you lately that you are the biggest asshole I know?" He breathed in, slightly calmer, though now his head hurt quite a deal more and it was somehow all Tseng's fault. "Because you are, y'know. You totally are."


Tseng: "Psh," Tseng shook his head, looking somewhere over Rufus's shoulder and unable to keep the slight smile from creeping over his face. "Like you would be able to jump offa buildings without a net. Then I'd have a - a pancake for president. Friend. That'd be weird." Then he really was cracking up, imagining a little buttermilk pancake wandering around in his friend's trademark coat, barking orders. He managed to get ahold of himself, and cleared his throat as Rufus went about detailing the many headaches of his job and...that was too bad, really. Tseng drew his eyebrows together in something of a thoughtful frown. He would have to remember that in the morning. Being Vice President would probably mean taking over at least some of the less-pleasant things Rufus did... and then maybe his futon would stop being the primary home base. Not that there was anything particularly wrong with the futon. It was a lovely futon. ...He was so very tired.

Tseng yawned, and then forced himself to sit up straight. Slouching was going to lead straight to an unconscious heap on the floor if he wasn't careful. "I'd like that," he said, idly folding the edges of a paper napkin with neat, somehow exact hand movements. Granted, each fold took a lot longer than usual. "Be an original, you know? Maybe y'could moonlight as a composer in your spare time. If ...you had spare time." Tseng's thoughts drifted, listening to the sound of Rufus's voice in the background, with none of the words actually registering until...oh. Hojo. Ew. He had been so creepy. Tseng had gone into the science wing only under extreme duress for that exact reason. And there had been the whole matter with Aeris... "Fucken scientists," he said, and then paused. "Is that unpro- un.pro.fessi.onal. of me? I don' like them. Always messing with what's supposed to be." Aand it was entirely possible he was going off on a tangent, there. Tseng sighed.

"Are you saying I'm not a nice person?" It was hard to look offended and hurt when all you felt like doing was laughing until you fell asleep somewhere warm and soft, but Tseng tried it anyways. "I am the soul of courtesy, I'll have you know. Ask anyone."

He glanced over with a raised eyebrow as Rufus burst into...well, could that be called laughter? Maybe he was having an asthma attack. Did the President have asthma? Suddenly Tseng couldn't remember. It couldn't have anything to do with the little napkin drawing he'd done. Except, it kind of seemed to. He smiled just slightly, and then turned his attention to the square napkin once more. "I know. You haven't told me lately, but I know. 's kind of like an honour." Carefully, carefully. Tseng's face became a mask of concentration as he frowned down at the little square before him. Dimly he registered that they were really going to have to get out of the bar before one of them fell asleep in earnest.

"Ha!" Goal accomplished, he beamed a victorious smile, and then reached out to tuck a tiny paper bird into his friend's front coat pocket. It wasn't exactly a peace offering, but perhaps the short jokes were finished for the night and besides Tseng was too sleepy to be properly witty. And the idea of arguing without proper wit was just too terrible to contemplate.

"There. Detente?"


Rufus: "If I was a pancake, that would make me a cannibal." Rufus gave him a serious and slightly disgusted look at that idea, even though Tseng was, well, losing it. And sure the notion of being pancake-ified was amusing if not for the whole reality where he wouldn't really turn into something that was cooked on a griddle. ...But... pancakes should not be eating pancakes. And Rufus liked pancakes. They were delicious and he so rarely had them because they were such a pain to make in the morning. Especially when Rufus had important presidential things to take care of. Not to mention the fact that pancakes involved cooking and cooking shouldn't involve Rufus. "...pancakes sound good..." he mumbled under his breath, sleepily. They sort of sounded good. More in principle than for want of food. He hadn't eaten since... a while. But the thought of eating with all that alcohol in him didn't sound altogether that appealing. Oh, what to do.

Rufus had been halfway expecting something sarcastic at the idea that he could compose up some grand masterpiece of a theme. He could do it, couldn't he? Far stupider people had written music and Rufus was classically trained. Back when he was eleven. But that kind of stuff didn't just leave a person... did it? Oh, what was he signing up for here? And it wasn't like he could back down, now. Especially if Tseng took him seriously. He nodded stiffly, swallowing air and shrugging off second thoughts. "I'd havta practice and clean off the piano. It's... a little dusty." He glanced at Tseng only to realize that he was making horrified faces. Oh, Hojo. Rufus had always been a bit... on edge around the man. Regarded him as a fool but put up with him because... well, he had yet to find a replacement at the time. Still, it hadn't kept him from calling him a second rate scientist... to his face. "Hojo was a moron. Freaky. Had them beady eyes and ew..." He shook his head, then pinched the bridge of his nose. No. More. Sudden. Movements. "...'sides," he managed out, "Yer probably the most professional person I know."

He thought a second, rolled his eyes dramatically at his friend and then added, "An' yer the nicest person that I know. Really. I could only dream of bein' as nice as you. And approachable too. Great member of society. A man above all men. O Captain, my Captain! ...I... need to stop that." He made a face like he had swallowed battery acid and then focused back at the counter. Blah.

Once recovered from his stint in the land of giddy amusement, and with breath hitching a little from laughter, he leaned back against the bar again, as comfortable as possible with that grin on his face. "Y'should be honored. I'm great company. Most people don't get to know that... Nope..." And then he trailed off a little and for some odd reason his forearms were a lot comfier this time and his eyelids were so very heavy and Tseng was doing something to yet another napkin so he would probably stay lucid long enough to keep watch and...

He jolted back up in his seat at a sound that was far too loud for his senses, scowled and turned to the offender, who just so happened to be a somewhat uncharacteristicly happy Tseng with a little napkin paper bird that was tucked into his pocket. Détente? Eh, could be. But he still growled and raised an eyebrow to his friend. "It'll take more than that--" But, staring at the bird, he tapped it and it had little movable wings and he was really just too tired to even stay angry anymore. "Fine. I can't make these anyway. End up lookin' like a mess an' all ugly and stuff. You're off the hook. For now."


Tseng: "Dusty?" Tseng shook his head in deeply serious disapproval. Well, mostly serious anyways. He wasn't openly giggling, so that was something. "Don't you have maids for that sort of thing? Or did you fire the last one for moving your things around again?" His tie was definitely choking him now. With a tremendous effort, Tseng took his weight off the counter and set to rectifying the problem. Rufus chattered on at his side. He listened for keywords while absently contemplating the likelihood that he would now have to make pancakes in the morning, considering he'd brought them up. It all depended, he supposed, on how much Rufus was planning on remembering in the morning. Then he caught something that, to be realistic - had to have been a trick of the alcohol. Or the music? Probably the alcohol.

"I'm not nice." Tie suitably loosened, Tseng glanced around in horror to see if anyone had heard. "I am not approachable either, I'm... I'm mean. Intimidating." He nodded, folding his arms against the bar and leaning his head against a hand once more. A yawn escaped from the depths of his chest, lengthy and exhausted. Tseng ducked his head against his shoulder to cover it. "I'm a mean old man."

"You are good company, though." His chin, he found, was very comfortable in the crook of his shoulder. He had a very good view of the lapel on his suit jacket. "You're funny. Even when you're angry." Tseng made a noise that sounded suspiciously like a snort, and then laughed. "Especially when you're angry."

It was getting harder and harder to think clearly. Not that he'd been feeling particularly sharp for some time now, but it was starting to feel to Tseng as though he had to dredge every weighted thought up from the very bottom of ocean depths. His eyelids were rapidly losing their battle with gravity. And... Rufus had a little paper crane in his pocket. It was all just too slightly surreal. Tseng chuckled softly to himself. "You just never had the patience for it, is all. Busy practicing other things." He closed one eye and pointed a finger gun at Rufus, mimed pulling the trigger. "Bang. 's more useful than stupid paper folding anyways."

The earlier warmth of the room seemed to be seeping out from somewhere. Possibly an open window, but all of a sudden, Tseng felt rather chilly. It'd be nice to have something.. a nice warm fire. He tapped the particle board counter with one finger, expression changing to one of idle amusement. "Hey." He stared at the counter intently for a moment, trying to tell whether the wood had been stained or not. "Do you remember...that other bar? Back in Costa?" It hadn't really been their fault. More of an accident than anything else. Something had been being celebrated, maybe, but that part was lost now in the alcohol. Only a vague memory of the smell of charcoal, heavy on the warm wind. Crackling orange light. Someone enjoying the whole thing entirely too much. Tseng laughed a little to himself. "I wonder what happened to that place."

Rufus: Rufus looked away sharply as if embarrassed and flicked back a particularly annoying strand of hair. Oh, the maid. The unemployed maid. "Yeah. Something like that." Tseng wasn't entirely right about the maid. She had moved a lot of his things around. Which, probably sounded a lot better than... well, the final straw had been that morning that he had actually come home to sleep and she had dropped all the pots. And considering how rarely he cooked... she just had to be stupid to be cleaning cooking implements that were not dirty. Not to mention waking him. Therefore she had to be let go. It wasn't like he needed her. He barely lived there as it was. It was all justified, really. And it was probably a good thing she was gone because... Rufus knew that should she repeat what got her fired in the morning... Her firing would most likely have more literal connotations to it. His guns could be very unforgiving...

Tseng's abject horror at being called 'nice' nearly sent Rufus into a fit of giggling, which would have been most... frightening. He had been kidding. Had that point been lost on his friend? Lost amidst all that booze. But... he wasn't about to correct him. This was much more amusing. So he sat back and watched the Turk go on and on and on, ghost of a smirk playing on his face until he seemed pretty much done. "Fine. Fine. You're not nice. You are most assuredly a mean old man. The kind that chases kids off their lawn at gunpoint. I like you that way." Placing both elbows on the bar, his grin widened, a little more smug as he added, "Besides. ...You make me look far better by comparison." He couldn't have left it a full on compliment. That would be... odd. Rufus wouldn't know what to do with himself. "And I'm not funny when I'm angry. I'm terrifying when I'm angry."

Sliding his elbows forward from their spot on the bar, he tried his hardest to get comfortable, leaning his chin against the palms of his hands and somehow very conscious of that little paper crane that now called his pocket its home. He couldn't squish it. That would be... well... that would be bad. He was quiet a moment, considering blurred thoughts, running through his storehouse of names because this little crane would be needing a name, after all. After mumbling "Forgotten Metropolis" under his breath, he shook himself a little, trying to wake up and registering that Tseng was talking about... something. And that it was a bit colder in in the bar, for whatever reason. "Bah. You can shoot and fold stupid paper and swing around that sword... thing. I've got a mean signature... When'd it get cold in here?"

Looking around a moment, it seemed that there were also a whole lot less people, which suited Rufus just fine. It wasn't so much that the shift in atmosphere was getting to him, more that it was bothersome and he wasn't wearing a turtleneck that day and... he was just not altogether a cool weather person. But before he could continue going off on an internal lament concerning how stupid the bartender was for letting the door stay open, Tseng managed to get his attention. Rufus had never really been one to intentionally dwell on the past but... that day would be one that he would never forget. The screaming. The flailing. The way everything just seemed to disappear in a haze of smoke. And before he knew it, that smile was back on his face and he chuckled lightly. "I couldn't get that smell out of my hair for weeks. Y'did some good work there, covering up that we were ever... there." He smirked and shook his head, not quite noticing anymore how muddled and tired his sentences were and snickered as he remembered another great detail of that night. "Remember how everything just sort of shot up into the sky when all the booze blew up? And those chicks all ran out screaming in Costan cuz they had all that 'highly flammable' hairspray on? ...We should check it out sometime. I think they rebuilt." Not that it would catch fire again. And not being up in flames, it would probably be more... boring, but mostly, as he added : "For old time's sake."

He grinned innocently, the sound of popping flames still playing in a wonderful, endless loop in his head.


Tseng: "I wouldn't chase kids off my lawn," Tseng said insistently, shaking his head and then..oh movement had been a bad idea. He pressed his hands firmly on either of his temples. "Don't - don' even have a lawn. Got asphalt. Doesn't need mowing I guess, so it's not all bad." Absently, in the part of his brain that was still marginally sober and watching all this with amusement, he noted that these - the endless streams of consciousness that replaced conversation - were yet another reason he didn't tend towards getting utterly smashed. Though it was a bit late for that now. "You are too funny when you're angry. Your face gets all snarly and kind of pink sometimes and..." backtrack backtrack. "Well, I'm sure it's terrifying for other people," Tseng quickly amended, the gesture then made somewhat disingenuous by the fact that he burst into laughter shortly after.

All this good humour couldn't possibly be healthy, really. The laughing was certainly starting to hurt his stomach. Tseng cupped his face in his hands. When his head had gotten so heavy he had no idea. "Like a bowling ball," he muttered, and giggled quietly some more. He thought he heard Rufus mumble something about a metropolis, but figured that if it had been important, he'd have said it louder.

"You have a nice signature," Tseng said, nodding made difficult by the angle at which he was holding his head. "Took me forever to learn how to forge. 'Course that could be because it's all loopy an' I'm used to sticks." He spared a hand to reach down and trace lines on the bar counter that could have been a word, in some long-lost foreign language. "Little houses. Sticks. This one looks like a ski slope." After a moment he caught himself, folded the hand into a fist on the countertop and sighed. As a general rule Tseng saw no point in entertaining aimless nostalgia. Sleepiness and alcohol combined never spelled good things for his general rules. "Anyways."

He watched Rufus out of the corner of his vision as his friend recalled the Costan incident. It really had been one of the most spectacular and irresponsible things he'd ever done. Even then, though, Rufus's uncharacteristic glee had proved an irresistible draw, and in the end Tseng had to admit, the memory of orange flames curling around the support beams and licking the rafters as smoke poured out of every open window and doorway in the building... it was not an unpleasant one. "And when those pieces of whatever - they landed in the ocean and they were still on fire?" He nodded, a smile creeping unconsciously across his face once more. Everything had been swallowed up in billowing clouds of smoke, the night sky, the stars, the moon. In his memory, people ran in a flailing panic, illuminated only by the orange-yellow blaze behind them. In a way it had been the day Tseng decided Rufus was irreparably insane. It had also been the day he decided he didn't care, he thought, or maybe he'd said it out loud. It was getting harder to tell, you.

"They did rebuild, I'm pretty sure. We sponsored the building crew." Tseng yawned widely and covered his mouth. "So it'd make - make - hn, 'scuse me - make sense to go and check it out again. See how they're doing. For old time's sake," he added, mirroring his friend's words and fighting off the increasingly overpowering urge to go to sleep right here on the counter. He would probably wake up with bruises, he reasoned with himself. Or at the very least Rufus would draw on him.

"Mmkay." With altogether more effort than it should have taken, Tseng sat up straight and cracked his neck. "I make a motion. Vice presidential motion." He grinned at Rufus. There may come a day when Tseng would tire of the sound of his new title. Today was most definitely not that day. "You wanna head in the direction of the car? 's getting kind of cold in here." And not everyone was wearing long all-encompassing coats, he felt like adding, but didn't. Tseng was too tired to get into a battle of barbed wit at the moment, and he really didn't feel like starting it if there were a possibility he wouldn't win. With a graceless, liquid sort of motion, Tseng slid off the barstool and stood up and, wow. Legs. Right. "Come on," he said, without waiting for Rufus to agree.


Rufus: "Lawns're overrated anyway." He waved a hand ineffectually before smothering a yawn with it. "Mine kept dying. Dunno why. Guy kept watering. Maybe it was suicidal." Words said so very seriously. It could have been, though. That damned front lawn just saw fit to die until he paved it over. But it seemed the gardener was doing something right, considering the greenery by his pool was always alive. Plants were stupid anyway. Always seeing fit to die when they really didn't do much else. But he was starting to lose the point of all of that... all of that thinking. It couldn't have been all that important. Especially considering the way his mind jumped from one idea to another in a matter of mere seconds, forearm striking the bar like dead weight as he shot Tseng a sour look. "I don't go all pink," he growled, but the damage was done and he was left wondering. Did he? Rufus had never really looked in a mirror while angry so he wasn't entirely sure. He never really thought about it at all. He could remember his father going dangerously red when angry and that... just made him feel a little more nauseous than he had been. "At least I... what do they call that vein on your forehead? Somethin' silly..." But Tseng was already laughing and probably didn't hear him and so Rufus folded his arms in front of his chest and scowled darkly. Yeah. Real funny.

But perhaps it was just humor that he wasn't capable of "getting." Rufus had been told that he had a strange sense of humor. Darker. As if threatening interns wasn't supposed to be funny. Whatever. And he didn't quite get what Tseng was talking about bowling balls for either. Tseng didn't seem the type to bowl and if he was... well, he never invited him that much was certain. And for a moment Rufus felt left out of something until he started picturing the Turk in bowling shoes and one of those ugly little shirts and... he was finding it hard to not snicker quietly to himself...

Somewhat placated by the compliment on his 'loopy' signature, he let down his guard slightly, turning to look as his friend went on and on about 'sticks' and... what? Oh. Wutaian. He raised an eyebrow, watching his friend trace out characters on the particle board, perhaps with a bit too much open interest in what was going on and knowing... virtually nothing about Wutai's written language. Tseng had to be fargone to be bringing up his former home and past and... apparently he realized that too when he abruptly stopped. Something softened and flickered on the blond's face before he forced a smirk. "I bet my name is not translatable into Wutaian..." He paused thoughtfully. "Well, I'm preeeeetty sure there are other names they'd find appropriate for me out there, but... that might hurt my fragile feelings."

It was funny and yet sort of a sobering thought. Unfortunately not literally a sobering thought.

Rufus laughed as the memories kept pouring in. Whatever he didn't remember, Tseng probably did and pieced together it really was some feat. Truly it had been one of the more amusing nights of his life, especially of his younger days. Work had been horrifically dull as vice president but everyone once in a while he had these moments of reprieve --bouts of insanity that it then occurred to him... usually seemed to crop up when he was in the presence of liquor. And that stoic respectable Turk. Sort of a tag team effort. "I can't even remember how the fire started... just how beautifully it burned. All th' colors of the rainbow. 'An the sirens coming along and people shaking their heads in horror." He then made a choking, giggling sound before composing himself better. "Think we were even drunker that day. 'S a wonder we're still 'round. Must've had more stamina back then t'be able to do all that so trashed. We're old."

"And I'm not insane. 'S all your fault. You're older than I am. S'posed to be a role model or something."

His arms looked rather comfortable again but... Rufus didn't feel like entertaining thoughts of sleep on that bar. Again. "Yeah... We should go there. Make sure they're complying with the fire codes'n'all. Make sure they're not using the money for more mascots or something. Have some drinks... go to the docks 'n set sail... Pina coladas..." He trailed off, punctuating his final words with a long yawn. Apparantly those really were catching.

Pausing for effect at the "Vice Presidential Motion" but unable to keep himself from grinning, Rufus tapped the bar as if thinking before turning to his friend. "Hn. Well, I have considered your motion, Mr Vice President, 'n I believe I approve." And at that moment he wondered for a second, just how boring it would have been to have some stuffy, bumbling yes-man as he second in command. Whoever his vice president would have been had... everything not gone wrong... Rufus probably would have fired him or shot him and now... well, the business sometimes felt like it was going to shit and Rufus didn't sleep every night but at least there would be entertainment. And... Oh, Tseng was leaving. Right. He swiveled around a little on the stool, carefully trying not to fall over as he lowered himself onto his feet. All going well. Just... pay attention and follow the man with the ponytail and... he was awfully fast for someone so drunk. Rufus would have to quicken his pace. Which he did until... oof. Walked right into him. "Think m'brakes are out. Or the ground pushed me. Can't be sure." His head hurt. "Shouldn't've drunk that last one... I think..."

He blinked, for a split second pondering whether he could fall asleep standing up. That would be bad. Instead he nudged Tseng forward. Best to get to the car before they were ambushed. Ninja or pirates or something.

"Forward, mon capitan!"


Tseng: Because the idea intrigued him just a little, Tseng couldn't help but wonder what his friend's name would be in the Wutaian language. It wouldn't translate directly, probably, but it could get close. He screwed up his face in thought, slowing a bit as he headed for the exit. Squiggles danced in front of his mind's eye, unrecognisable for a moment before they snapped into focus. Tseng had always privately found other languages rather fascinating. "Rufusasu," he mumbled, and then laughed triumphantly before being nearly thrown off balance as Rufus knocked into him.

"The ground did not push you," Tseng said, in a voice that might normally have been irritated, but alcohol seemed to have dulled the edges in his person, and instead the admonition came out sounding mildly amused. "That's what you said when you kneed me in the back of the leg and I fell into the ambassador from Corel." Or maybe that hadn't actually happened. No one from the little mining town seemed to fit the description of 'ambassador,' though several of them had come to complain to the then-President of the company. And Tseng had certainly been in on a few of those meetings. He sidestepped out of the way, and then slung an arm around Rufus's waist distractedly to ensure that he'd keep up. Some people could take forever to get to the car otherwise, and they'd end up sleeping on the gravel path, and that would be incredibly painful.

Finding the car was relatively easy: it was the last one in the lot. Tseng supposed most of the other patrons had walked, considering... well, considering something. There was a reason for it, that he knew, and eventually it would come to him. Rufus was very heavy all of a sudden. "D'you have rocks sewn into your coat, or something?" It seemed like rather a strange thing to do, but then occasionally Rufus could be strange. "You know, I'm not so sure it'd be a good idea to go boating like this. Hm? Everything'd be all ...tippy. And then we'd fall overboard or crash into something and - " There it was. Tseng frowned.

"Oh. Driving." Despite relatively high tolerance and trained reflexes, Tseng severely doubted that keeping a car on the road was within his capabilities at the moment. Especially when walking was proving difficult, and. Was he listing to one side? Yes. Tseng straightened up quickly. "How's - that gonna work?" It was a mark of how drunk he was (as so many other things that night had been) that he asked Rufus. Generally problem-solving was considering to be Tseng's unofficial job. Except when it was his official job. Okay, his head was definitely hurting, now. He shook it, and then headed in the direction of the car, dragging Rufus alongside.

"At least the car's still here."


Rufus: "I told you... that time... there must have been an earthquake or somethin' because... Because... Because..." He turned to give Tseng a smug look which just ended up looking more like a lopsided grin than anything else. "I would never dream of embarrassing you." Which was perhaps one of the biggest lies of the night and one so obvious it was almost a joke. Rufus had been, in all actuality, trying that one for a while up until it actually worked and Tseng went mysteriously flying forward. How he hadn't burst into laughter then and there -- walking away from the meeting as if nothing had happened, was beyond him. "An he wasn' ambassador... he was just. He was... some idiot who needed t'shower more..." He laughed weakly, trying not to think about how nasty and soot covered everything in the mining town was. Including the people.

As testament so his state of being, Rufus didn't raise a stink when the Turk apparently tried to aid him in standing upright. No stubbornness about how he could carry his own carcass to the car, or that Tseng was surely just as drunk as he was and why was he touching him? Any of those would have probably rendered one of the most powerful and influential men on earth vomiting in a foul smelling alleyway and besides -- he had already automatically thrown an arm around Tseng's shoulder in an attempt not to fall over so there was no point in having a fit over it.

Especially considering his legs went all mutinous on him and he was probably doing very little to bring himself over to his car. If anything he was probably just slowing Tseng down. And possibly inadvertently pulling down on his friend's hair everytime he attempted to put one foot in front of the other and walk like a normal human being. "Pffft. Y'... you can't sew rocks. How would'ja get the needle through them? You would have to drill holes and then it would be like some big ugly necklace thing. String 'em round. Like Christmas tree ornaments." Somehow that made perfect sense. Somehow. "And we'd just haveta make sure... steer the boat somewhere where there's nothing. Not up by the glacier. Iceburg!"

And with that little outburst, Rufus was left sagging, all dead weight, momentary clarity making him thankful that no one was about to witness this wonderful moment in the life of the seemingly very irresponsible, alcoholic president. But... that was immediately gone, amusement at their current predicament overriding it. How were they going to get back? "Don' look at me. You're the one that wanted to get me drunk. Yer fault. Maybe... maybe together we make one sober person?" His face brightened a moment, apparently unable to properly do math all inebriated as well.

"If the car wasn't here... I'd... Do something. Not sure what. Prob'ly can't kill you. Damnit."


Tseng: "You wouldn't sew the rocks, idiot," Tseng felt obligated to point out as they came nearer the car. "They'd be in your coat, like, in the lining. If there was a lining." Privately, he had to admit to at least a small amount of relief at the car's appearance -- still there and perfect as always. Not that he could control the circumstances of the world around them, but if anything had happened to the car, it would have been Tseng's fault. That was just the way things worked, and Rufus confirmed this truth of their friendship a moment later. "I didn't want you drunk," Tseng began, before realising how it sounded and dissolving into laughter. He waited a moment to catch his breath and then sighed, relieved and resigned."I don't think it works like that, no."

The night air was decidedly chilly, especially when held in comparison to that of the bar. Tseng, vaguely, was glad for the warm weight of his friend, even though Rufus was more weight than warm at the moment. Getting inside the car. Right. That might lead to less standing. He stared at the car for a moment, while listening to Rufus make vague threats against his life, before realising what was wrong. "Driver's side," Tseng mumbled to himself, turning and then walking purposefully around the back of the car.

"Tch." He made a face, while searching with his free hand for the keys to the car. "You could have me killed. 's sort of the same. Less satisfying perhaps. On a personal level." He was definitely babbling, now, or at the very least continuing on speaking when the thought behind what he'd wanted to say had long since past. Ah, there were the keys. "Though, I'd totally haunt you." Tseng opened the door, not quite managing to untangle himself from Rufus at the same time. "You'd never get anything done. Much more productive to- whoops -" Somehow he'd fallen into the car. It was lucky, Tseng reflected, that the seats had been there to catch him. Funny though. Had he lost his balance?

"You pushed me."


Rufus: "Isn't lined. I'd look all puffy 'r something." Rufus made a face and tried to pull himself up a little more only to slouch down further against Tseng. He was almost on the verge of mild frustration with himself when... Well. Tseng had worded what he said really wrong. And soon enough Rufus' laughter was joining his and he managed to smirk toward his friend, raising an eyebrow. "If you wanted me sober you have a funny way of showing it." Which... really didn't sound all that better. And he wasn't even entirely certain if he was trying to make it sound normal or not. Still... the laughter continued... trailed off as they got closer to the car.

It wasn't that Tseng had made him get drunk. Rather... most likely the other man had just tried to keep up. As if Rufus had any intention of staying sober in the least bit. Besides... He probably hadn't been that entertained. Amused... in quite some time. He almost wondered if that had been the intention of the night, but then shook his head. He had to be extremely out of it. Like that would be realistic... okay. So Tseng was all about covert ops and reading people and reading Rufus seemed to be a cakewalk to the Turk. And it probably wasn't altogether that surprising to anyone within the walls of Shinra that the president had been working more and... leaving the office less. So he wouldn't put it past Tseng to drag him out to get him away from it all.

He had the distinct feeling he was thinking about this far too much.

Thankfully they were at the car soon enough. The driver's side at that and Rufus had to wonder if Tseng had forgotten to toss him in the passenger seat or if he was going to have him scoot on over or just toss him in the back because... well... because... It would be bad if Rufus crashed his own car. He wouldn't like it. He'd only have himself to blame and he wouldn't be able to kill Tseng or have Tseng killed as was so eloquently brought up. That would have soured things. Rufus scowled a little. "You'd be the most annoying ghost. Prob'ly start moving things around or jus' being an assho--" And then he wasn't sure how it happened, but in the drunken, tired, blink of an eye, Tseng was toppling forward into the car and... Rufus wasn't entirely certain whether he still had an arm around his waist or if the Turk had instinctively grabbed his coat but suddenly he too was pulled halfway in the vehicle. And damnit. The motion was too fast. His head was suddenly pounding and Tseng's legs were bony and while that solved their "getting into the car" problem, he still needed to close the door and that would involved climbing all the way in and then what were they going to do? Best to take these things one step at a time, the tiny bit of rational thought in his brain told him as he grabbed hold of the door handle, gingerly trying to climb in the car with Tseng still there and damnit. He was being annoyingly tall again. Which gave Rufus free reign to attempt to force the door closed. Which... really wasn't working at all.

"Move in, stupid. Gotta close th' door."


Tseng: "I would be the best ghost," Tseng said to the ceiling of the car. He was a little dizzy from the fall, but he figured that would wear off soon. It was nice and dark inside the car, too, with none of that irritating silvery moonlight. "I could spy on eeeveryone, and they wouldn't even know I was there. Then if they did I could just scare them. Maybe they'd give me money. I guess I wouldn't need money if I were a-- what are you doing? Stop squirming or I will kill you, I am not joking, I wouldn' even hafta sit up."

It figured, really. Tseng had just gotten comfortable, and while the downward motion had been rather abrupt, the whole being horizontal part he approved of ferociously. The seats were even comfy, in a leathery sort of way, and of course, it had to be totally ruined by whatever Rufus was trying to do. Apparently it involved a lot of moving and disrupting his rest. With an enormous sigh, Tseng lifted his head and leaned up on one elbow just enough to see what was going on. "Oh. The door - yeah."

He yawned again, which was completely infuriating, and sat up at the minimum angle required to scoot backwards in the seat. "I guess that's a good idea. Could be...raccoons or something." Another sleepy giggle. Moved free and clear of anywhere near blocking the door, Tseng immediately lay down again. It was as though all his bones had just turned to lead in the last half-hour or so. Curious. In any case, there was no point in fighting it. There were occasions when mind over matter would prevail, but he had a feeling alcohol had taken care of the mind part.

"Wake me up if there are raccoons."


Rufus: "Right. It's... it's... it's pointless for you to even bother threatening me. Dun know why you even do it," he grumbled halfway under his breath, perhaps sounding a bit more annoyed than he meant to. But it was well warranted. While he was sitting up all uncomfortable like, his friend was looking a bit too content, laying all over his leather interior. It wasn't fair. Even scooted back, he was still taking up the entire front seat and how were they going to get back? Or rather, that was a moot point. How was Rufus going to get any sleep? Stupid car...seat... hog... person.

Finally managing to slam the car shut and locking everything up with a quick glance outside -- knowing that all manner of creepy prostitutes could be wandering around, he gave one of Tseng's legs a vindictive shove, feeling altogether like he was suddenly the more sober one. "An asshole in life is an asshole in death. Where'm I s'posed to go?" The words were ground out a bit too forcibly and why hadn't he just stayed still for that little outburst? Because just when he momentarily thought that he was sober, suddenly the world was tilting or maybe he was. Rufus wasn't entirely sure, nor did he care because everything was sort of out of focus. Or really out of focus. And Tseng was prattling on about raccoons.

"Shut up. Need ta lie down. Makin' too much noise." He somehow managed to sound slightly ferocious before everything in his brain went completely haywire and he vaguely recalled hitting something... not really soft per se, but warm. Comfortable. At any rate, it wasn't the ground and it smelled somewhat of coffee. Perhaps gunpowder. And a sound that was not unlike a metronome was lulling him off to sleep. Almost. Until logic reared its ugly head and he thought for a moment that maybe he should concede and let Tseng have the front of the car... even if it was his car and oh, the mere thought of opening his eyes again made his consciousness scream and spin around in protest. Funny how he could feel this dizzy even with his eyes shut. Screw logic. He was tired and the windows were tinted anyway.

"Don't even wake me up if Meteor comes back. Raccoons can go fuck off..."


Tseng: Tseng opened his mouth to tell Rufus exactly where he could go, in his most professional opinion. It came out: "Hmph." All right, so he was tired. Not prone to moving. Or, apparently, thinking at the moment. He could practically hear his brain shutting down, or maybe that was Rufus chattering away about something. Meteor? Tseng didn't care if Meteor was coming, he wasn't getting up and besides it was probably only a trick to make him move so that Rufus could take his spot. If he thought Tseng was going to fall for that, he had entirely another thing coming. Ow. Was there an elbow in his stomach? No matter.

He yawned, decidedly warm despite the night chill in the air. Perhaps alcohol really did do something to keep you warm at night, though he was fairly certain he'd read that it was a myth, and that alcohol in fact constricted your blood vessels, making you colder in the end. Why he could remember something like that, and not whether he had Rufus's keys was a detail better left examined in the daylight, he decided. Something was definitely squashing him a little, but not enough that it was uncomfortable, and certainly not enough to make him want to get up and do anything about it. Sleep lapped at the edges of his consciousness like ocean waves, dragging him inexorably into peaceful blackness.

"If you snore I'm killin' you in your sleep," he said, and vice president or no he would do it. Headaches were forthcoming, he could feel them in his head, throbbing with vengeful promise and waiting for even the slightest noise to tip the scales. Tseng drifted off smelling something like coconuts, and maybe something like fire and his dreams were filled with the sound of Costan bars burning to the ground.

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