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

Rufus and Tseng and Booze, oh my! (3/4)



Tseng: Tseng snorted into his glass at Rufus's comment, unable to stop himself in time. He did however manage to curb the urge to jostle the arm Rufus was using to hold himself up with. Not that he'd admit to having to hold himself up, of course. And if Tseng knocked him over, he would probably just end up taking the both of them down. It was just Tseng's luck.

"My hair does not get stuck in things, it's called having a modicum of grace."

So Rufus wasn't exactly clumsy, but that wasn't the point. The point was... Well it was something. Something disagreeable. Tseng took a swig of his drink. Aha. The point was, Rufus kept arguing, even when it made no sense, and he was clearly outmatched. He may have - on rare opportunities - been able to best Tseng at the occasional friendly game of chess, but it would be a cold day in hell before he could drink him under the table. So obviously, being the more sober, Tseng's arguments should have made more sense and that should have been that.

That was never that, though, Tseng thought to himself. Rufus could never just let that be that, although to be fair it did take two to tango.

Tango...

Tseng very nearly lost a mouthful of his drink, and turned his head away to cough, laughing heartily at that particular image.

Okay, so perhaps he was not entirely as sober as he felt. He collapsed facedown against the bar counter chuckling weakly, head leaning on one arm. Then, as if remembering something important, he straightened a little, and tilted his head to look at Rufus.

Rufus was higher up than he remembered.

"It is not. My job. To let you drag me to the floor."


Rufus: "Are you..." Rufus laughed softly under his breath. This was all, entirely, too great a conversation for a weeknight. "Are you saying that I'm not graceful? I... that doesn't make any sense... you realize." He snickered a little more, downing more of his drink and realizing that he had perhaps taken a sip that was a bit... too much. No matter. He stared back at Tseng's long, graceful locks and had to laugh some more.

"Okay. Okay. You're graceful. Like... like a summer's breeze or ponies running through a big, fucking field. Alright. Are you meaning to tell me you never gracefully get your hair stuck in the car windows?"

It seemed plausible. Rufus knew he had seen it happen somewhere... to someone. But he wasn't entirely sure who or where or if he was just making it up at that point. Things were getting even fuzzier and warm and a little bit dim and he could vaguely remember something about pie later on that night but he had to wonder if they would ever get that far. Or to the car. He had to wonder if they were even capable of walking. And what time it was. And had they locked the--

Tseng started laughing at something. And by laughing it perhaps looked a bit more like spasming. Rufus watched him quizzically, wondering if he was missing out on some great big hilarious joke and feeling altogether a bit left out. But after a moment he seemed to be alright. Or as alright as he could be and Rufus took another sip of his drink, eyebrow raised. And he thought that he had been the incredibly drunk one.

"Bah. I could hurt myself and die. And then what?" He stared at him, grinning with perhaps a bit too much genuine amusement before nearly downing the rest of that glass and blinking drunkenly. "'Sides... You look more like you're gonna be the one to drag me to the floor. You. Are Drunk!" He burst into laughter. "I do hope you don't expect me to hold your hair back when it all comes back up." Blinking again, he cursing inwardly and put the glass back on the bar, gripping the surface once more.

"Wouldn't want you... to... gracefully puke all over your hair, after all."

Tseng: With a long-suffering sigh, Tseng pulled himself up off the counter, and sat up straight. Well, mostly straight. Sitting up was a lot harder than he remembered it being.

"If you died, I would be president," he said, relinquishing his drink for the moment to tie back his hair. "So it wouldn't entirely be the end of the world. I'd read a nice poem at your funeral."

There, that was better. It seemed, though, like there was alcohol lying about unfinished somewhere and - ah. His drink on the counter. Tseng gave the glass an appraising look and then finished it off. His worldview - Rufus, mostly, and some unwashed masses in the background - swayed.

He blinked, and then it righted itself. Probably an indication to stop drinking. Rufus had said something. Tseng frowned at him.

"If you try and shut my hair in the windows tonight, president or no president, I will end you."

He could do it, too. Make it look like an accident. Make it look as though nothing had happened, as though the target had never even existed in the first place and all those people with memories were lying. Of course if Tseng were being perfectly honest, there were certain people he could never kill now, as he might have in earlier years when the connections were fresher. Least of all Rufus, who seemed to have made a place for himself in the softer parts of Tseng's psyche. Smug bastard knew it, too, which just made things all the more frustrating.

Well, not really frustrating. Kind of funny, if you went in for all that ironical bullshit.

"I am not going to puke," Tseng said, as though offended by the very idea. Which he sort of was. He'd always held his alcohol better than Rufus, and to imply otherwise was just insulting. "You look crazy when you smile like that," he added as an afterthought. "Kind of nice, but mostly crazy."


Rufus: "Would you at least write the poem yourself? Something meaningful an' heartfelt. With olden language and a rhyme scheme and then we'd have a real live poet in office. Like to see how people take that..." He paused thoughtfully, staring at the awfully bright overhead lights. "Oh, yeah. Guess I'd be dead, huh?"

Well that was rather morbid. Kind of brought Rufus down a little. Dead, dead, dead. At least Tseng would probably be able to take care of things in his absence. Long absence. Long like eternal. He almost shuddered until he considered the notion of haunting Tseng's office and making creepy "oooooh" sounds at all hours of the day. Playing with the shutters. He snickered quietly, staring at the glass in his hands.

"Y'wouldn't kill me. Never... ever. Y'couldn't." He gave him a knowing look. A drunken, smug knowing look. "You'd miss me too much. And you'd have to adopt Dark Nation and write poetry about me and it would be too much of a hassle." He swayed a little. That could have been said much more eloquently but... it seemed to have all worked out. The point gotten across. He wasn't sure anymore and that was probably a sign that he had had far too many. He hadn't even gotten this drunk back with Alex... or by himself... Or maybe even that one time in the club. He blinked again. Felt strange. Woozy like.

Why he decided to finish that last White Russian was beyond him. But it was there and... asking to be finished. He kind of hoped that if he kept blinking like an idiot everything would come back into focus. Oh, logic while inebriated.

"Only kinda nice? Why Tseng... I'm insulted. I'm fricken stunning." He shook his head and leaned over the bar more, forearms now completely draped on that cheap wood. He had a feeling he would completely fall of the stool if left to his own devices. He let out a small laugh before leaning his chin on his arms and trying to focus on the glass in front of him. So drunk. Kind of tired and spinny. He turned a little toward Tseng. "Dun worry. You aren't bad on the eyes either. We're all too pretty for this place. ...And I'm not crazy."

Rufus had a feeling he was starting to sound crazy. He sure felt like it.

Tseng: Tseng chuckled at the backhanded compliment. He was chuckling at a lot of things, come to think of it. That would have to be curbed. At some point. Carefully he nudged the empty glass further away on the counter, lest body memory take over and serve to inebriate him further. The movement took a lot more concentration than he would have like.

"I've noticed," Tseng said dryly, leaning his arms against the bar once more. "We are fated to be the two best-looking people in the room, everywhere we go. Tragic." He smiled down at the bar counter, then turned to Rufus once more. "It would be a nice poem, you know. Something with imagery. Themes of empires crumbling."

All right, so he really had no idea what he was talking about anymore, but the room had stopped spinning, and the alcohol had stopped coming (at least, he'd put the glass down,) so that seemed like a good thing. Two good things? Not important. "Anyways, it's all a moot point, because you're not allowed t'die ever." He'd lost a syllable in there, it felt like. Possibly a vowel. Was he slurring? Oh god, he was slurring. Tseng straightened up a bit, speaking slowly and concentrating very hard on his pronounciation. "Because we'd have to change the name to just - Power and Electric. And that is not nearly so catchy." He nodded, as though this were some very profound statement

Someone with a modicum of taste seemed to have finally programmed the jukebox, Tseng noticed, and found himself humming along, quietly and absently. "Would I have to wear all that white if I were President? That'd be weird." He shot an amused look at Rufus's beloved coat. How he managed to keep it so clean was beyond Tseng, but he had an idea that spending one's entire life in an office had something to do with it. The bar was a bit warmer than it had been when they'd first come in. ...How long ago had that been, anyways? There was no clock behind the bar. He steeled himself, and then spun in a semi-circle on the stool to scan the room. Wonderful. No clock, and now he was dizzy again. Why wasn't he wearing a watch? Maybe Rufus was wearing a watch.

It was suddenly very important to know the time.

Before he'd even processed the thought entirely, Tseng had a hand around his friend's pale wrist. "Hey, are you wearing a watch?" Sober, perhaps, the question might have come before the action, but there was no point in focusing on all this metaphysical speculation garbage. "What time is it?"

Rufus: "It truly s'a terrible situation to be in. No one can ever understand our plight." Laughing softly under his breath, Rufus turned a little, head lolling on his shoulders and still resting for the most part on his outstretched arms. With everything slightly blurry and the lighting not entirely as bright as it probably should have been, Tseng almost looked like he had back when Rufus first met him. Though, his hair had been shorter then. How long had it been? In hair length and time he wasn't entirely sure. He seemed incapable of counting back that far at that moment. A while. Rufus could remember being... a lot shorter back then. Especially next to Tseng. And now he was... still a little shorter. He blinked, realizing he had been staring at the same spot on Tseng's jacket for a while and then took his empty glass in hand, rolling it back and forth a little, watching the remains of the White Russian following suit in droplets.

"I like that. Crumbling things. Maybe some water. Weather imagery." He raised an eyebrow at Tseng. "But no birds. I hate birds." And he did. Especially in poetry. Although chocobos weren't all bad. Pigeons though. And doves. And albatross. And those mean electric things that hung out in the grasslands. Didn't like them. They were filthy and screechy and... He had a feeling his thoughts were starting to trail off in strange directions and let go of the glass, leaving it on its side while he laid his head back on his left forearm.

"Fine. I won't die. As long as you don't die." Rufus somehow managed an almost sober look at that point. Something vaguely serious. "Cuz then I'd have to find someone else that I would trust with th'company. An Dark Nation doesn't like everyone and I'd have to watch tv by myself and have lunch by myself and go drinkin' by myself." Finding that he didn't like where this train of thought was going, Rufus backpeddled a little and shook his head.

"Father wore all that hideous... ugly red. Y'could have the coat if you want though. I could will it to you. S'comfy. Start a tradition or something." And, that was perhaps where all logic went completely out the window. Although it sort of made sense. When Rufus tried to think enough about it. It was a nice coat. If it hadn't been then he wouldn't wear it. He snickered and looked up at the stacked wine glasses across from his field of vision, mumbling, "Tseng's... Awesome Power Company" under his breath.

Physical contact usually put Rufus on edge. So it was perhaps yet another sign that he was incredibly intoxicated that he didn't jolt or shrink back or pull away when he felt a hand on his wrist, turned and saw that it was of course Tseng. That was weird. But at least his hand was warm, not all cold and gross. Still, even though he didn't really mind all that much... it was taking a bit too long for Rufus to process why he... Oh, the time. His thoughts seemed to have taken on the consistency of syrup, as did his movements as he raised the hand that was not currently being held down and tipped his wrist just enough to let his sleeve fall a little, staring at the white gold watch's face.

And it was all a blur.

He stared in confusion a moment longer before realizing that he was not only tired but drunk and not wearing his glasses. And so he awkwardly leaned sideways a little, toward his friend. Because with logic out the window, it also didn't occur to Rufus that his mobility would greatly increase if he would bother to reclaim his right hand. He held his wrist up to Tseng's line of vision. "Can't read it. You try."


Tseng: Tseng sighed, as if a particularly difficult task had presented itself, and peered closely at Rufus's watch. Why his friend felt the need to have a watch with those fiddly little numerals on it was beyond him. Sure they looked nicer, but they were much harder to read. Ah... Tseng smiled just a little, feeling as though he'd hit on the reason right there. Fashion over function. He concentrated on the tiny clock face, thoughts turning slowly like miniature cogs themselves. For some reason, his brain plain refused to process the meaning of the clock hands in their relative positions, and he tsked in disgust.

"It's ex, eye, something o'clock. I don't know. Your pulse is abnormal."

Realising he should probably unhand the President before - well, it was possible things had already got weird - but before his good humour ran out, so to speak, Tseng nonchalantly dropped his wrist. Mission somewhat accomplished. He supposed it didn't exactly matter what time it was, so long as one of them remained conscious long enough to get back to the car and... All right, they would cross that whole 'driving' bridge when they came to it. Tseng tilted his head to one side thoughtfully, looking at Rufus.

"You know, I don't even think that coat would fit me," he said. Bothering Rufus about his height had lost a lot of its fun after the growth spurt, but Tseng still made a habit of doing it every now and then. Someone had to make sure he didn't get an overblown ego. "I'd treasure it always, though. Have a statue built, maybe." A statue would be considerably less fun to steal snacks from, Tseng thought, and veered a little too close to uncomfortably displeased. "This... 's morbid. Let's not. You know. Anymore."

Tseng was starting to have second thoughts about the process of talking at all, when he was in this state, but that was another matter altogether. He was sober enough to be slighty appalled, in the abstract background part of his brain at some things he was saying and doing, but not sober enough to actually...keep them from happening. Privately, he almost thought this was why he preferred to drink out of town. It was harder to suitably intimidate people when they'd seen you giggling drunkenly in some bar the previous night.

Not that he was giggling. Definitely not.

"Tseng's...Super Awesome Power Company. With like. Dinosaurs and shit." Tseng cracked up, leaning his head against folded arms. "They could be my bodyguards!" After a few moments, the fit of amusement passed, and he cleared his throat, looking over at the many-coloured glass bottles lining the wall across the bar. "Dark Nation might not like that, though."

He blinked, and the colours swam for a moment in front of his eyes.

"Once this is all over... or maybe when it's not, because that could take a long time, but sometime when things are quieter, we should take a vacation. Put that giant boat of yours to good use, yeah?"

Tseng sighed. Now that his head was down, his body appeared to have taken it as a sign to go to sleep. With considerable effort, he turned his head slightly to look at Rufus. Close to, his friend was very blond and very sideways. "You know, I think I maay have had enough." He paused, and then frowned slightly. "Also, my tie is choking."


Rufus: Rufus raised an eyebrow thoughtfully, arm slightly cramping from holding it up to Tseng. This was taking too long. It couldn't be so hard to just read the little watch face. Rufus had a good reason for not being able to make it out. What was Tseng's? Pfft. The alcohol. Not good enough. Retrieving his arm, he shook it out, attempting to work the circulation back into it. Which was a bit too complicated for him at that moment. More like... his arm was uncomfortable. And this should've worked.

"...It's only... nine? How is that..." He blinked in confusion. For a split second pondering upon a silly thing like what time it really was seemed important. But all of this talk on him being dead in the near future was... well, it really was disturbing. He stared down at his now freed wrist with a frown. "How's... Marisa din't find anything. Anything really that important. Are y'sure? That sounds... bad. You might have to start building my statue now. Maybe I should've gotten you a chisel for your birthday. Be useful. So the statue could wear the coat." He laid his head back down on his arm sideways once more. "And I'm not short. You're jus'... freakishly tall."

And that somehow seemed more true when he was drunk. Tseng even looked tall while sitting, slouched over in that suit. "Black is slimming... they say... maybe it makes y'look taller too. Wonder what I'd look like in all that black." Black was always so dreary though. At least to Rufus... at least while sober. But now it almost seemed interesting. Sure he wore some black but... all? He rubbed his eyes, fighting back a snicker, thinking of how it would be if he were a Turk. That would be strange... going out on missions... Being all covert. Bodyguard like.

"Would the dinosaurs wear suits?" He peeked out from underneath his arm, somehow thinking this question perfectly serious. "Would they fire guns? That sounds nice... Don' have... too much fun without me." Somehow managing to stay anchored to his seat, he folded his arms and laid his head facedown on the bar. It was pleasantly dark there. "Death sounds boring without you there to bug. ... ... ... ...Okay. 'M gonna stop talking about this too. Don't like it."

A pause.

"D'you really think my pulse is abnormal?"

He considered taking his pulse himself but... felt like he'd probably mess that attempt up and it was soon forgotten in the darkness he was staring at. It was also cooler down there. Why did he feel so warm? Must've been the alcohol. Which was also cause for that nasty aftertaste in his mouth. Blah. Most unpleasant indeed. It was bringing him down. He contemplated finding water somewhere but then... Oh, well... sailing sounded like a good idea. He pulled himself up a little, resting his chin on his wrist and staring at Tseng almost blankly. "Don't think things'll ever get quiet. We could live like this forever." He sighed and sat up, feeling perhaps a little too lightheaded for a moment. "I think we should go use that boat now. Right now... all we gotta do is... get t'the beach 'n... sail away."

And it somehow made perfect sense. Sure it was dark but the ocean was nicer at night. The moon was out and the birds weren't annoying and he could sleep someplace nice and quiet and not think about work or Jenova or Tifa or death or anything. They hadn't done that in a while... gone out on the sea. It was a marvelous idea. And... Tseng hadn't answered.

He turned with a quizzical look. "Hey... no one said you could sleep now." It didn't seem fair. Rufus was keeping lucid. Somewhat. Therefore Tseng should be as well. He reached over and -- somehow managing to not topple over, grabbed ahold of that silly little ponytail, giving it a tug, thinking Ding, dong in his head. Or saying it. He wasn't entirely sure.

Never did it occur to him that that was like yanking on the tail of a dragon... or a dragon's babies in front of the dragon. And if it did occur to him, it did once he was more properly situated on his seat, feeling heavy and weird. "I... think I've had waaaay too much. Maybe... we should leave 'r something. Before anyone notices we're fleeing on my ship..."


Tseng: "Not abnormal in a big way," Tseng said lazily. "Just, you know. Slower. Kathunk." He waved a hand illustratively to emphasize his point. In all fairness he probably should have known better than to make a comment that could have possibly been construed as detrimental to Rufus's health. Not to say that the President was a hypochondriac, but... Well. Tseng smiled into the crook of his elbow, eyelids sliding easily down.

"You could wear more black, if you wanted. It'd be whatsis...a nice contrast." He nodded. "Would look better than the dinosaurs." Though the dinosaurs might actually prove better protection. Dinosaurs were good like that, all tall and bitey and was he still thinking about this? His arm made a very good pillow. Not ideal, but comfier than the bar counter.

"Murf." Tseng snapped to, looking somewhat shocked, and then annoyed. "Did you just pull my hair?" It was a redundant question, of course, but the surreality of the situation demanded he ask anyways. "I should... Well, I don't know what I should do, but it'll be bad." He glared haughtily at Rufus, and then punched him in the shoulder, more irritably than with serious intent. "You're officially cut off, as'f now. No more drinking."

Although, the idea of sailing tipsily around the harbour was incredibly appealing. Perhaps not the smartest idea either of them had ever had, but a nice one. Nice thought.

"I suppose," he said, with the air of someone granting a great and taxing favour, "that fleeing on the ship would be all right. S'long as we don't, you know, come back to the company in flames or something."

Tseng wasn't entirely sure how they would make it to the boat in that condition, but it seemed like a small and very unimportant detail. On the ocean it was quiet and dark, without silver-haired headaches or stolen coffee stores. A distinct lack of fluorescent lighting and paperwork. Just the waves, and the decks, and perhaps Tseng had harboured a childhood ideal of becoming a pirate, but that wasn't really relevant. Why they hadn't hit upon this sooner was anyone's guess.

"I can see the headlines now," he mumbled. "Dashing vice president and his short blond sidekick lost at sea. Interns devastated."


Rufus: "I guess slower is... better than faster. Sooo ...long as it's not so slow it stops'r anything." He stared down at his wrists a moment longer, figuring that if he hadn't been so drunk he might have been able to see the blood pumping in them. Maybe it was all a farce and he really was dead. That would be bad... It was kind of a scary thought. Maybe none of this was real.

Suddenly he felt a whole lot less warm and a whole lot more creeped out. Like, pale, near-hyperventilating creeped out. He shook his head, trying to clear the thoughts from constantly spinning. Spinning. Spinning like how dizzy he knew he would be upon standing up.

"Dinosaurs are pretty ugly." He made a face, still thinking of them in little black suits. "Always figured I'd look too weird in black. Too... Light're something. It'd be weird... Change." Not that Rufus had a big problem with change. Just... that things usually seemed alright the way they were. Then things would change and he'd have to get used to them all over again and... then what? Although... He smirked a little, trying not to burst into laughter at the image playing out in his head. "If you wear all white... I'll wear all black. Think it'd confuse ev'ryone. Be kinda fun..."

Tseng's rather... obvious question, his incredulity at that action so uncharacteristic of either of them, made Rufus snicker softly, flicking back his hair again. Well... it should have been a bit scarier to do that. Instead it was just... strangely amusing. "Y'won't do nothin'. You--OW." It wasn't so much that it hurt... just that it caught him off guard. Really off guard. Like, falling off the stool off guard. And before he even knew what he was doing, he had one hand clutching Tseng's arm... probably painfully tight -- feeling perhaps a bit too much like a terrified cat trying not to fall off a roof.

It took him a second to get his bearings and realize... oh. Tseng might have wanted his arm back, after all. " S'rry..." He teetered back onto the seat, feeling a bit sheepish, brushing imaginary dust from his friend's sleeve. "Dun want anymore, anyway. Feel like crap."

He wondered for a moment if going out on the boat all drunk like this would make him seasick. And that would be... gross. He would probably end up puking on Tseng's shoes and then he'd never live that down. Still. It would be nice to literally run away from it all. Usually logic was there keeping him from even really thinking about that but... Bah. Logic.

"We'll just have to give Reno paid vacation'r something. All in favor, then... Guess I'd haveta pick up Dark or somethin.' Buy some nifty hats."

But his drunken smile was, with that mock-headline, turned into one mean little icy glare. Or as best an icy glare as he could muster. He was in entirely too good a mood that night. Aside from the strange fascination with his demise, things had been rather pleasant. "I'm six feet tall... shaddup. No one even really knows that yer VP yet, an'... I guess the interns would flee... Damned world would haveta find its own source of power." He laid his head back in his arms, still glaring at the Turk. "'Shouldn't even let you on my boat... Yer sucha asshole."


Tseng: Tseng laughed mostly silently, and patted Rufus on the back in a companionable sort of way. "I let you cut off the circulation in my arm, didn't I? Won't find a friend like that just anywhere." He smoothed his hair back, more out of compulsion than any real need to do so. He still couldn't believe Rufus had yanked his ponytail. Tseng made a private, silent oath to never let him live it down. "Besides, if you don't let me on your boat it could capsize or you could be attacked by pirates and everyone knows you are completely useless without me." He smiled, wider than he might have done normally - and really, this was why Tseng tried never to get too drunk, it made things far too amusing. "Except when it comes to zombies."

Leaning his head on one hand, he regarded the back of Rufus's head with something approaching fondness. "Did the zombies all right on your own. Kinda sloppy, but it got the job done." As a general rule, Tseng didn't like discussing the zombie incident. It made him think of Bob, the head of security, and thinking of Bob made him angry. "We should switch colours one day," he said with extra conviction to make up for the sloppy segue. "It'd...whatsis. Shake things up?"

Tseng blinked, and then suddenly found it very hard to complete the second half of the exercise, where the eyelids lifted again. His head lolled slightly, and his voice took on a lazy, half-asleep quality. "No one knows I'm VP yet because you haven't given me a parade or anything. They'll know soon. I'll need my own theme song." Somehow it never got old, needling Rufus about the parade that had been held in his honour. Well it never got old for Tseng, anyways. Occasionally, in the opportune moment when there was no one around to set an example for, he was fond of following the President around and hollering 'Roll out the red carpet!' in his wake. All right, so maybe that had only been the once. Or maybe it had never happened. ...He really was unfortunately intoxicated.

Still, though. It felt a little bit like the old days, before Jenova and AVALANCHE and explosions and stabbings. With his eyes closed, it was almost easy to imagine the last decade or so had never even happened. As a general rule, Tseng didn't indulge in pointless nostalgia, but his mind was tired, and it was a lot less morbid than their previous topic of conversation had been. He chuckled softly, and reached out a hand to tap Rufus in the head. "Shorty. President Shorty. I remember when you were little and you would scowl and it would take up your whooole face."

Another thing that never got old was bothering Rufus about his height, even though over the years he'd more or less caught up to Tseng. It was the 'more or less' that made all the difference, he felt. It made sense at the moment anyways.

"I want a captain's hat, if we're going boating."


Rufus: "The zombie had extra arms." Rufus looked up with a scowl. "Pirates... see... they only have two." Blinking drunkenly, he laid back down, letting a breath out in a short hiss. Not that Tseng was wrong, just that Rufus thought having Turks was proof enough that he couldn't entirely go it alone. Pride and all. "Did good though?" He halfway shrugged, finding the action a bit difficult at the moment. "Dunno... Didn' even think zombies existed. Got Geostigma undead blood all over me... Next time I'll save 'em for you an you can choppy off their heads. Not too many friends would promise that."

Which... probably didn't make all that much sense. Then again, the subject mostly just put him on edge. Rufus hoped there wouldn't be a next time. And if there was... sure he knew what to do. It was just all a bit... disturbing. Best not to think about these things. Wait for a subject change... Ah.

Laughing a little at the mentioning of clothing, Rufus smirked and watched Tseng out of the corner of his eye. "Can't think of you in any other colors. You'd have to be careful. Gets dirty easily. Wonder if you could last one day without any unsightly stains." He wasn't entirely sure if that was a challenge. It probably sounded like one. Especially coming from Rufus who was no stranger to making silly challenges that weren't really challenges around his friend. 'Bet you can't eat all of those bear claws' came to mind. There were probably others. His brain was swimming. Just a little.

"I didn't ask for the parade!" He rolled hie eyes, straightening out his posture and then wishing he hadn't. Suddenly the world did not feel content to sit in one place and oh -- so he was finally feeling dizzy. Actually dizzy. Not like before when the edge of everything seemed just a bit more prone to random movement. Opting to focus his gaze on the bar in an attempt to make everything stop spinning, he let out a 'heh.' "Y'can have my theme song. Annoying, repetitive thing that it is. I dun want it. Haunted my dreams. Consider it an early Christmas present. Late Arbor Day. Somethin'." Oh, it was starting to feel almost familiar -- not making sense. Rufus wondered how much of this he would remember in the morning. If he was able to wake up. It was going to be a killer day. He should have been drinking water or something.

Oh well.

"Dun touch my hair." He half growled, fixing what hadn't even been mussed in the first place, most likely doing more damage than a mere tap could ever do. "Yes, yes. And I remember when you were younger and you always looked all serious and acted like you were already thirty and I don't know why I ever thought you were cool. Even for a week... Bah. I'm. Not short and..."

Daring to look away from that anchoring spot on the counter, he noticed that Tseng looked... well... like he had dozed off, rolled his eyes and poked him viciously in the shoulder. "You know... Someone could find me all vulnerable and passed out and kill me." And it was true. It really could happen. Rufus kind of felt a little far gone at that point. Not that boating wasn't... entirely an option. It would just take a while. Or so he thought. "Fine. Y'can have your damn captain's hat. I'll find something... better. M'not sure what yet." Was there anything higher up? Rufus wasn't sure of anything except that he kind of wanted to just pass out and wake up next year. Preferably without a hangover. Or Jenova out there. Make all of this some strange, boozed out nightmare. Like none of it was for real anymore--

And that was when he jolted up in his seat a little, eyes blinking in confusion. What was that? Had he dozed off? He rubbed his eyes a little, folding his arms back on the bar and murmuring, "Admiral? Isn't that higher than captain?"


Tseng: "I'm not choppin' anything's head off," Tseng protested. "Once was enough and everything smelled all copper an' metal for weeks." He wasn't exactly sure why that memory had chosen now of all times to rear its ugly head, but for a brief moment he felt ever so slightly nauseous. Paused, held his breath, and the moment passed. "Anyway, it's like you barely need us anymore. All grown up and blowing shit to pieces with that shotgun of yours." Realising he was veering dangerously close to saying something idiotic like how Rufus had grown and... Tseng snickered quietly. Grown taller and older and proficient in the handling of weapons. Why, he would have been almost proud if the idea didn't weird him out just slightly.

"That sounds like a challenge," he mumbled, in response to Rufus's comment about all the white. "I'd like to see you last a day in my job. Dealin' with Reno...Sam...Alex. Well, Alex you mostly just stay away from." Tseng nodded officiously and smiled a little to himself. "Unless you want another haircut."

Darkness was beginning to creep in on the edges of his thoughts, the patient lull of sleep slowly becoming a constant presence. The stool was not exactly the most comfortable place in the world, but the bar was warm, and the quiet mindless chatter of other patrons had an almost comforting...white noise effect to it. "I want my own theme song. Should...strike fear into the hearts of men. An' women. An' little beastie things, like that red thing that helped Strife and his friends save the world. The first time. Before we helped." He had the uncomfortable feeling that he'd lost control of that thread of thought. Right, well. That could have been because of the monstrous headache threatening to overtake his brain at any moment. There would definitely be crushed aspirin heading into his coffee in the morning.

If they made it to the morning.

"You thought I was cool?" Tseng snickered, and then let it turn into an all out laugh. He cracked one eye open to look at Rufus, and then let it slide closed once more. "I thought...lessee. I thought you were kind of a brat -- OW -" Tseng sat up straight and rubbed his shoulder with an injured look. He glared murderously at Rufus, the effect somewhat lost as he looked about ready to fall asleep at any moment. And besides, Rufus wasn't even looking at him. "You are a brat. But, you know. You're good like that. I..." Tseng trailed off, trying to think of a way to articulate what he was thinking. It was very hard. His head hurt, it reminded him. Also, he was tired. And there was something jabbing him in the leg. Tseng frowned and dug around in his pocket, coming up with a pen. "Too many nice people in the world anyways," he muttered distractedly. "Waste of time."

He laughed a little to himself, pulling an abandoned napkin over and doodling on it while Rufus... was he asleep? Tseng tsked and shook his head, continuing his drawing for a moment. Once finished, he leaned sideways and nudged his friend.

"Look. Admiral's hat. You're the tiny one."
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