Happy New Year.
Author: The Magic Rat
Warnings: Too many idiots in too small a space.
Word Count: 3035
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Just start at ‘Porcupine Love’ and go from there.
Disclaimer: All Final Fantasy Seven characters, places and situations are the property of Square Soft/Square Enix and are used without permission and without intent of plagiarism or profit. Metalocalypse, the members of Dethklok, and lyrics to Dethklok songs belong to Brendon Small, Cartoon Network and Turner Music. Copyright for all stories and original characters such as Badger the Roadie is with the author, and may not be published, copied, distributed or archived without the author's prior written consent.
Summary: It’s a new year’s party like any other – everyone is stuck with a bunch of people they don’t like.
Author’s notes: It’s canon that Reno has something of a crush on Tifa, so I thought it would be cute to let them play with that. Additional lines contributed by the Pointy-Eared Bow Twanger.
Written for the Valenwind-luvers New Year’s Resolution contest!
Well they had all spent stranger New Year’s Eves, but they would all be hard put to remember them. They were trapped on the Highwind, which was currently lying dead on the side of the Northern Crater, while a pile of mega-monsters called Weapon tore up the landscape. Cloud had lost his marbles and gone off with Sephiroth, and Tifa, Cid, Barret, Vincent, Nanaki, Cait and Yuffie now found themselves trapped in the conference room aboard the Highwind with Rufus, his Turks, Heidegger, Scarlet, and Reeve.
Hojo knocked on the door to the room. “It’s cold out here!” he complained.
“We’re trying as hard as we can to open the door, yo,” said Reno, leaning against the wall.
Barret snorted, and Reno smiled faintly.
It looked like every high school dance ever – a group against one wall, a group against the other wall, and little likelihood of anyone crossing the floor. Scarlet looked at Rufus.
“Aren’t you going to let him in?” she demanded.
Rufus gave her a sidelong look. “No, but I will be happy to let you out to keep him warm.”
“Good luck in that
dress,” muttered Yuffie.
Scarlet turned on Yuffie and glared. Reeve brought his hand up to his mouth to hide a grin. Cid just sighed, and walked to the door.
“Whatever. We will let you in under two conditions.”
“I don’t take orders from grease-monkeys!”
“Okay, well, nice knowing ya. Oh and by the way – I’m a fucking rocket scientist.”
Cid walked to a chair and sat down in it heavily, looking tired. Hojo kept pounding at the door but no one paid any attention. There was a long silence, until Rufus’ stomach growled and Tseng, Elena, Rude and Reno began acting like mother hens. Heidegger threw his hands up in the air in annoyance.
“Stop the war, the baby needs feeding!”
Tseng grabbed for his gun, and was knocked to the floor by his fellow Turks, trying to prevent him from doing something he had a slight possibility of regretting.
“Do you pay them extra for the comedy routine?” Barret asked Rufus as the pile of Turks wiggled on the floor.
“They worry,” said Rufus softly.
“Oh for heaven’s sake just STOP IT!” Tifa suddenly burst out at the group, her emotions overwhelming her. “Can’t we all get along for one damned night?! The crater blew up, monsters are tearing the place to shit, Cloud is GONE, possibly DEAD, AND EVERYONE IS BICKERING LIKE A BUNCH OF SPOILED CHILDREN! JUST STOP IT! TSENG LET HOJO IN. HOJO ONE WORD OUT OF YOU AND I WILL PERSONALLY BASH YOU OVER THE HEAD WITH A BROKEN PIECE OF RUSTED REBAR!”
“….understood,” said a voice behind the door.
Tifa sat down on the floor and began to cry in earnest, overwhelmed with everything she had been through. She was exhausted, mentally and physically, and simply had no more strength for the bickering and back-biting happening around her. Reno, of all people, surprised the lot of them by cautiously approaching her. He knelt beside her on the floor, while Tseng went to let Hojo in. Rude looked to Barret while indicating Tifa with his thumb.
“Marine drill sergeant?”
Tseng pulled open the damaged conference room door, and Hojo shuffled into the room. He paused, looked around, and opened his mouth. Tifa pointed a warning finger at him.
Hojo found a chair and sat down, crossing his arms and sulking. Tifa looked at Reno, who blinked his green eyes at her. Cripes he was prettier than she was. Was he actually flirting with her? Cloud had teased her once that Reno was a bit sweet on her, but until this moment she never believed it.
“And what are you up to?” she asked, trying to sound stern, but unable to manage the energy it would take to really be gruff. Reno wasn’t fooled for a moment.
“I’m a Turk, I could be up to anything,” he said softly, smiling.
An involuntary little laugh escaped her. “You’re cute,” she admitted.
Rufus’ stomach growled again, and once more the Turks began acting like nervous mothers. They fanned out to survey the room, and finally located a vent about seven feet off the floor, which they focussed on like cats. Reeve walked to the door and opened it, checking out the hall, and winced as he saw the destruction. They were effectively trapped in the room. He closed the door.
“Well no going anywhere through that mess. Rufus are you all right?”
“He’s fine,” snarled Heidegger.
Tifa wiped at her eyes, still trying to recover from her outburst. “Are you fine?” she asked Rufus.
“I’m not dying but the Mama Cats don’t seem to understand that,” said Rufus, indicating his Turks. “It’s just that if I get too hungry I tend to faint and throw up and forget where I am and other things.”
Reeve picked up Cait Sith and walked him over to the vent, then held him up to look inside it.
“Can you get in there?”
“Piece of cake! I’ll have a look around and be back in a jiffy!”
Cait Sith climbed into the vet. Tifa sighed heavily and leaned back against the wall.
“Best New Year’s ever,” she muttered, pretending not to notice as Reno adjusted his position to sit beside her.
“Any resolutions?” asked Rufus.
“Yeah. I resolve to never care about anyone ever again. What about you?”
“I resolve to see if I can get Reeve pregnant,” said Rufus.
Reeve rolled his eyes. Hojo opened his mouth.
“REBAR!” shouted four voices. Hojo slumped into the chair and sulked once more. Tifa looked to Cid. “What about you, Cid? Any resolutions?”
“Yeah I resolve to never take a sleeping pill and a laxative at the same time again,” he mumbled, half-asleep.
Yuffie rolled her eyes and threw up her hands. “He’s single, ladies! The line forms to the left! What about you, Vincent? Do you resolve to stop being so talkative and interactive?”
Vincent was glaring hate and death at Hojo. Yuffie decided to leave him alone and looked to Tseng. “What do you resolve? To sand that dot off your forehead?”
“I resolve to let him kill you if you say something like that to him again,” snapped Rufus.
Barret looked to Reeve, trying to keep people from turning on each other. “What do you resolve, Reeve?”
“I resolve to shamelessly kiss up to my boss until he gives me a transfer,” said Reeve, yawning.
“To where?” asked Reno.
“Toy division,” said Reeve.
“Do we have a toy division?” asked Rufus, clearly confused.
“OH MY GAWD!” exclaimed Yuffie. “DO YOU HAVE A TOY DIVISION? It’s the only part of the damn company I hope survives! I totally grew up with Shinra toys! They were the only people that made anything cool for girls! You have Becky the Builder and Engineer Annie and Sally Speedster and… HOW COULD YOU NOT KNOW YOU HAVE A TOY DIVISION?!”
“It’s a big company,” said Rufus.
“What did you play with as a boy?” asked Tifa.
“I refuse to answer that on the grounds that you’ll laugh,” said Rufus.
“I had a complete set of Princess Kitty toys,” said Elena. “Made me what I am today.”
“A disgruntled lesbian?” said Cid, eyes closed, looking as if he would like a nap.
“A disgruntled lesbian who wants to know where her damned magic pony is,” said Elena. “I babysat fifteen weekends in a row to earn money for that thing and it never arrived.”
“So what you are saying is that no one made
you play with Princess Kitty,” said Reno.
“Princess Kitty rocked,” said Yuffie. “She had a magic pony and
a sword that glowed in the dark!”
“Well that settles it,” said Barret. “Gotta cancel the Princess Kitty toys, they’re a damned bad influence on women.”
Cid had opened one eye and was looking at Rufus. “How could you not know you have a toy division?”
Rufus shrugged. “Last week a man walked into my office and started babbling about getting inventory for the garden centers before the beginning of spring. I didn’t know we had a garden division either!”
“So what are you doing now?” Barret asked Reeve.
“I design neighbourhoods,” said Reeve.
“It doesn’t make any sense to me either,” said Reeve, “I applied for a job in the animatronics division.”
Rufus turned his head to look at Reeve, grinning. “Well now you have
to go out to dinner with me, don’t you?”
Reeve just put his nose up, looking very arch and offended. “I’m not going out with you anywhere until you get rid of that little kept toy-boy you think I don’t know about.”
“BUSTED!” Yuffie shouted gleefully, pointing at Rufus.
Rufus looked at Barret. “I’m sorry, Barret, it’s over, you’ll have to move out.”
“I AIN’T NO SEX TOY!” Barret griped.
“Despite occasionally acting like a dildo,” said Cid.
“Highwind, how would you like to learn what it’s like to be a toilet plunger?” said Barret.
“Isn’t anyone interested in my
New Year’s resolution?” asked Scarlet.
“To start wearing underwear?” said Reeve.
She glared at him. “If you were straight you would probably appreciate me more.”
“All the straight men who would appreciate it if Scarlet kept her kitty in a cage, raise your hand,” said Barret.
Elena put up her hand. “The lesbians too.”
Scarlet looked around at the sea of hands, then looked to Hojo, still seated in the chair.
“Well you didn’t raise your
hand,” she said.
“I was threatened to not participate in this conversation,” he grumbled.
“Well for everyone’s information, I am
wearing underwear,” snapped Scarlet.
Reno opened his mouth, then clamped both hands over it before he said something that would start a fight. Cid looked up at Vincent, who was leaning against the wall, arms crossed, head down, seething in hatred for Hojo. Cid gave Vincent’s cape a light tug, drawing his attention.
“Hey, what’s your resolution?”
“What’s yours?” Vincent asked Cid in return.
“I told you.”
Vincent shook his head. “That’s not a resolution, that’s common sense.”
Cid shifted in his chair, a little uncomfortable. He was spared having to say anything when Rufus’ eyes rolled back in his head and he folded up like a piece of cloth, slumping to the floor. Moments later Cait Sith appeared in the vent.
“There’s no food! The portion of the ship with the galley is gone! All I found was three rutabagas and a beet!”
“RUTABAGAS?!” Cid ranted. “WHO THE FUCK HAS BEEN HIDING VEGETABLES ABOARD MY SHIP?!”
“ME, Mr. Grumpy-pants,” said Tifa, as Reeve helped Cait out of the vent. “Doesn’t anybody have anything?”
“I have some chocolate-covered almonds,” said Hojo.
“Doesn’t anybody have anything other than Hojo?” said Tifa. Hojo glared at her.
People began checking pockets and bags for food. It was Barret who struck pay-dirt.
“Lookee here!” he said, opening a small cupboard. “Iced tea in a bottle and some granola bars. Luke warm tea now, I guess.”
“Are there sunflower seeds in the granola?” asked Rude.
“Why?” asked Barret. “He allergic?”
“I don’t know if you would call it an allergy, yo,” said Reno, “but my resolution last
year was to never be stuck in a room with Rufus Shinra after he’d been eating sunflower seeds ever again.”
“I think all the Turks made that one,” said Elena. “That and to never give Dark Nation tuna ever again.”
The Turks shuddered at a shared memory. If Rufus had been conscious he likely would have been offended. Barret read the ingredients listed on the package.
“Oats, pumpkin seeds, almonds, dried apple, honey… nope, no sunflower.”
Tseng helped Rufus to sit up, and they managed to wake him up enough to get a few nibbles of food into him. As they waited for him to feel better, Cid looked to Vincent once more.
“So what’s your resolution, there, Vin?”
“How about taking a course in how to attract women?” said Hojo smugly.
Vincent launched himself across the room like a missile. He didn’t reach for his gun, he didn’t shape-shift, he gave no warning at all. He slammed into Hojo and within seconds there was a shrieking, whirling, ball of blood and violence.
“Did I not tell him to keep his mouth closed?” said Tifa wearily.
“Isn’t someone going to help him?” demanded Scarlet.
“Nah,” said Cid. “Vincent seems to be doing fine.”
“I meant Hojo!”
No one moved. Finally Reeve got up and walked over to the battle.
“Vincent if you kill him we’ll have to stare at his corpse until we’re rescued.”
“We can throw him into the hallway,” said Yuffie helpfully.
Reeve, Barret and Tseng finally managed to pull Vincent off Hojo, dragging him away from the object of his hate and passing him to Cid.
“Why do I hafta hold him?” demanded Cid as Barret dumped a skinny, wriggling, angry gunslinger into his lap. Cid found holding onto him was something of a full-time job.
“Just hang onto him,” said Barret tiredly. “Hojo isn’t it bad enough you’re evil, you have to be an asshole too? You don’t keep your damn mouth shut, next time we’ll let Valentine eat you.”
Vincent eventually realized Cid was not going to let go, and he was not about to use his formidable blades on his friend. So he stared fixedly at Hojo, eyes glowing, teeth bared, froth gathering at the corners of his mouth. He was snarling like some sort of deranged animal as Barret hauled Hojo off the floor and shoved him into his seat once more. He had some very bad cuts across his face, but it seemed Vincent had not yet managed to land a killing blow.
“Wow,” said Yuffie, watching Vincent with enormous brown eyes. “Hojo, that man does not
Vincent made a freakish, whining growl. Cid cuddled him close, grinning at Hojo.
“Well I think we know what Vincent’s New Year’s Resolution is.”
“Oh goody,” said Tseng, also staring at Hojo. “I hate making resolutions alone.”
“Look let’s all just calm down,” said Tifa. “Nanaki what’s your resolution?”
“I fear mine is rather unimaginative. It’s very similar to Tseng and Vincent’s.”
“I thought it was to stop dragging your butt across the rug,” said Yuffie.
“Terrific,” said Tifa, as Nanaki growled at Yuffie. “What’s your resolution, Rufus? Other than getting Reeve pregnant.”
“I have no resolve,” he grumbled, slowly munching his granola bar. Then he said; “I resolve to never be without a granola bar in my pocket again.”
“And?” prodded Rude gently.
“And this time I mean it. And I resolve to move my vacuous hottie out of his apartment and be a good boy so Reeve will like me.”
“Awwww….” said Tifa, melting.
“Mush,” said Barret.
“You’re just jealous,” said Rufus. “You should go out with Rude! You two have so much in common!”
“What, we’re both black?”
“Both black, both huge, both have questionable taste in accessories, Barret with that shirt, Rude with those glasses,” muttered Cid quietly, grinning.
They ignored Cid. “You’re both straight,” said Rufus.
Reno gasped loudly. “RUDE! You’re straight and you didn’t TELL me?”
“I’m straight,” said Heidegger.
“Because no man would have you,” muttered Tseng.
Before Heidegger could respond, Tifa stood up, her slender body rigid with outrage.
“EVERYBODY BE NICE! AND I DAMNED WELL MEAN IT! IT IS NEW YEARS’ EVE AND NOBODY WANTED TO BE HERE AND WE ARE ALL SAD AND ANGRY AND SCARED BUT IF YOU PEOPLE DON’T ALL BEHAVE YOURSELVES I’M GONNA DO SOMETHING I DON’T EVEN HAVE A DESCRIPTION FOR!”
“That’s because you used all your description on me,” grumbled Hojo.
Hojo apparently had decided that if Tifa could shout, then he could shout too. And he had more words to shout at her. He abruptly stood up, fists clenched, in a nearly identical pose to Tifa’s.
“MAKO SATURATION CHAMBER!”
“YOU AND WHAT ARMY?!”
Hojo looked around. Not seeing any back-up, he crossed his arms, sat down, and grumbled. Cid looked to Vincent, who was still growling.
“Hey,” said Cid quietly. “He’s not worth it. Besides, you haven’t heard my resolution yet.”
Vincent slowly turned his head to look at Cid. “I heard your resolution. It was most enlightening.”
“Well maybe you will just have to stick around and see if the one I make next year is any better.”
Vincent stared at him, blinking, as if uncertain what he had just heard. “Stick around?”
“Well yeah! I mean where are you gonna go after this is all over? I gotta say I don’t like the idea of you just crawling off to hide in a coffin again.”
“I think the time of hiding for me is past,” said Vincent. “I’m not sure why I thought it would bring me atonement. I know now it’s not what I have to do.”
Cid grinned at him. He had gone from restraining Vincent to simply holding him on his lap, and he really didn’t mind at all. Without thinking about it, or realizing he was about to, he reached up to gently push the long black hair out of Vincent’s face.
“So what’s your new year’s resolution?” asked Cid.
Vincent seemed to forget about Hojo for now. He was tall, but he was very light and slender, so it was no problem for Cid as Vincent adjusted his position to settle against him. He was tired, and Cid was warm, and there just did not seem to be a reason to pretend not to care anymore.
“I resolve to live.”