New Blood Ch. 01byFirewolfdt©
Disclaimer 1: I do not own Final Fantasy or any of the characters with the exception of Kerri, and she would not exist without the world SquareEnix created. I did not write this story for profit.
Disclaimer 2: This story contains an original female character. If you're a FFVII purist, don't read any further. If you're here just for the smut, then you're in the right place!
Reno entered Tseng's office without knocking and sprawled in the chair facing the desk. "So, Tseng, I hear you found a new recruit," he said.
Tseng glanced up from his paperwork for a moment. "You heard correctly. She will be here this evening."
Reno propped his feet on Tseng's desk; Tseng promptly pushed them off. Not put out of countenance, the redhead grinned. "Is she pretty?" he asked.
Tseng sighed. "What difference does that make? She's coming here to do a job, not to be your personal entertainment."
Reno looked hurt, an expression that didn't fool his superior in the slightest. "I was just curious, yo. We don't get a new member every day, you know."
"Would you be in here fishing for information if the new recruit had been male?"
"Hell, no!" Reno replied, laughing. "So tell me, is she pretty?"
Realizing he wouldn't be left in peace until he answered Reno's questions, Tseng pushed his paperwork aside and folded his hands. "Yes, I suppose she is pretty. She's a skilled fighter and very intelligent, and also very young, only nineteen." The younger Turk's eyes lit up at this information. Tseng tried to ignore this and continued, "Her name is Kerri. Elena and Rude will be in charge of her training. You, Reno, will treat her with respect. I do not want to lose her because you've broken her heart."
"Hey, what makes you think..." Reno began, but Tseng cut him off quickly.
"How many secretaries have quit because of your involvement with them?" he asked.
"I never made them any promises, yo. It's not my fault if they expect more than a little fun." Reno frowned.
"All the same, I'm telling you now that she's not someone who can be replaced the next day if she leaves."
"So, you're pretty much telling me who I can fuck now, huh?" Reno said, his temper flaring, trying to provoke an argument.
Tseng didn't rise to the bait. "No. I'm asking you to finally show some...restraint. Give her a chance to settle in, at least," Tseng answered. "Surely that's not too much for you to handle. You can't possibly be that lonely for a woman's...company."
As Tseng had hoped, it was the right thing to say. The anger left Reno's eyes and he laughed. "Nah, I'm not lonely. What I am is bored, yo. I think I might enjoy a little challenge." He rose, unfolding his lanky body from the chair. "Later, Tseng," he said, giving him a little wave as he left the room.
Tseng put his hands over his face for a moment. He sincerely hoped Kerri would be able to stand up to Reno when he was on the prowl.
Kerri's heart felt like it was going to leap out of her chest as the car approached Shin-Ra Headquarters. She still couldn't shake the feeling that it was all a huge mistake, or even worse, a joke. This despite several meetings with Tseng, who didn't seem like the type to make mistakes or play jokes. She'd been so sure he would choose one of the other Academy students, someone stronger and more skilled than she. When Elena had come the last time to talk to her instead of Tseng, Kerri had been sure it was to tell her she hadn't been chosen. Instead, Elena had shook her hand with a smile and said, "Welcome to the Turks."
"Why me?" Kerri had stupidly blurted out, then mentally kicked herself. Elena had laughed. "I know what you're thinking, that there are students here more skilled than you. But Tseng didn't make his decision based solely on skill and strength. He chose the person he thought would best fit in with the rest of us. We have to be close, be able to trust each other, to survive." A hint of darkness had crossed the blond's pretty features at these words. It was common knowledge that Elena and Tseng had been captured two years ago by the Mako brothers; Kerri knew that the memory must be the cause of that expression. It was quickly wiped away, however, and Elena's smile returned. The rest of her visit was spent discussing Kerri's move to Shin-Ra's new headquarters.
Kerri learned that though not as large or as fine than the building that had been destroyed, Shin-Ra's new headquarters boasted some new additions, such as an entire floor of apartments just below Rufus Shinra's own penthouse quarters, though currently only four were occupied. It also contained a basement sparring room so the elite group could keep their skills honed. After the events of two years ago, Rufus was more reliant than ever on Tseng, Elena, Reno, and Rude, and more grateful for their loyalty than he could put into words. So, typical of Rufus, he showed his gratitude in a material fashion.
He had dedicated himself to finding new sources of power, as he refused to use the Lifestream any longer. In this he had been very successful, as in anything he put his mind to. Of course, his success had earned him new enemies. Terrorist groups who thought Rufus could have better used his money to rebuild Edge before rebuilding the Shin-Ra headquarters. These groups ignored the fact that Rufus had set up several organizations dedicated to help the poor of Edge. The most dangerous of these called themselves GALEFORCE. Their frequent attempts at sabotage and assassination attempts on Shin-Ra executives were a constant source of worry to Rufus. Worrying enough to cause him to want to add another member to the ranks of the Turks, who were overworked already.
"And that's where you come in," Elena said. "Rude and I will be training you, both in combat and office work." The blond wrinkled her nose at this, and Kerri laughed. Obviously Elena didn't care for paperwork. "So, that's about it. We'll send a car for you tomorrow evening. Have your things packed and they will be sent to your new apartment. We're looking forward to having you join us."
"Thank you," Kerri said, shaking Elena's hand again. She waited until the blond left the conference room before heading to her dormitory. She looked around to make sure the hallway was deserted before doing a little dance of joy, twirling around and hugging herself. Her dream had come true. She was a Turk!
"Miss? Miss?" Kerri looked up, startled. She had been so deep in thought that she hadn't even realized that she had arrived, that the driver was holding the door open waiting for her.
"I'm sorry," she murmured, taking the driver's offered hand and getting out of the car. She stared at the building's entrance for a moment, browbeating herself for feeling so intimidated. She was a Turk now, wasn't she? She certainly didn't feel much like one yet, however.
"Will that be all, Miss?" the driver asked, clearly impatient to be on his way.
"Oh, yes. Thank you."
"Have a good day," he said as he got back into the car and drove away. Kerri watched him leave, a part of her wishing she could jump back into the car and go back to her familiar life at the Academy. Then the steel in her, and there was a good deal of it, rose up. That life was over. She was no coward, and she'd made her choice. She was a Turk now, and the sooner she started acting like one, the sooner she'd start feeling like one. Lifting her chin and squaring her shoulders, she marched into her new life.
She was glad to see Tseng sitting in the lobby waiting for her when she entered. He stood and came forward to meet her. "Welcome to Shin-Ra, Kerri," he said. "Glad to have you here."
"I'm very glad to be here, sir," she replied. She took the arm he offered and allowed him to lead her to the elevator.
Once on board, he said, "First, President Rufus is sir. To my teammates, I'm Tseng." She nodded, and he continued. "Your things have been delivered to your new apartment already. However, we have a few matters to take care of first. Paperwork, for one. For another, I'd like you to meet the rest of your new colleagues. You've already met Elena, that leaves Rude and Reno."
"I'm looking forward to it si...Tseng."
"Hmm. So is Reno," he remarked. To the puzzled look she gave him, he said only, "You'll see."
The elevator came to a stop and the doors slid open. Tseng led her down a hallway into a good-sized lounge, equipped with a small kitchenette, a round dining table, and several comfortable looking couches and chairs. Her heart sped up when she saw the two Turks she hadn't previously met were there. Rude, a tall, muscular bald man, was standing against the wall and listening to Reno, who was lounging on one of the couches. His hair, an improbable shade of red was easily brightest thing in the room. Their attention shifted to her when she and Tseng entered. Rude's neutral expression never changed, he just gave her a nod. Reno, on the other hand, had no qualms about looking her over from head to foot. The slow smile that he gave her then brought a blush to her cheeks. She had first seen Reno when she joined the Academy, and had thought him quite handsome then, but she had never been in such close proximity to him. The man exuded sensuality when he smiled like that, and what was more, he knew it, if the cocky tilt of his head was any indication.
"Kerri, meet Rude and Reno. Gentlemen, this is our new recruit, Kerri." She noticed that Tseng's introduction didn't mention her last name, further proof that she was now one of them.
Kerri smiled and murmured hello. Rude merely nodded again, but Reno rose from the sofa and came forward to take her hand, caressing her wrist with his thumb. Kerri felt butterflies in her stomach at the contact and strove to hide how he had affected her. It wasn't professional.
"Kerri," he said in a voice that could be described no other way than seductive. His eyes held hers, she couldn't look away. "I'm very happy that we'll be working together." His eyes dropped to her body again, though her Academy dress uniform wasn't the least bit revealing. She had heard that Reno was a ladies' man. Apparently the rumors were true. She would have to be careful of this one.
Tseng sighed. "Reno." he said warningly.
The redhead grinned and finally released Kerri's hand. Without the contact, Kerri was able to think a bit more clearly, at least until he winked at her and said, "Your pulse is racing. Are you nervous?"
Kerri's face flamed, and Reno looked delighted at this, which in turn made it worse. He's a skirt-chaser, she told herself, but this didn't help.
Unexpectedly Rude came to her rescue. "Of course she's nervous, Reno. So were you on your first day, remember? Should I tell her about a few of your mistakes?"
"Aw, come on, Rude. Don't make me look bad, yo. Can't you see I'm trying to make a good impression here?" Reno grinned at his partner. "Besides, I know a few embarrassing stories about you I could share."
Rude only snorted and looked at Kerri. "Pleased to have you aboard. Try to ignore the resident idiot."
Kerri couldn't keep from laughing, which caused her to miss the flare of lust in Reno's eyes at the sound.