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The Secrets of Esper
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June 2007
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Reeve Tuesti [userpic]

Who: Daatu and Reeve
When: After Daatu and Zack's last date
Where: ShinRa flats and the surrounding area
What: Shopping and coffee!
Warning: Way too much caffine ingestion.
Status: Closed.

It was...as always a beautiful day. Daatu was out and about having gotten the day off. She was going to go spend her paycheck, after bills of course...on something frivolous. She almost never did that. The date with Zack just a couple of days before had put her into the clouds and she had yet to come back down.

Every now and then -- for seasonal holidays, or just because -- the stores surrounding the ShinRa flats set up their stock on racks outside and held giant sidewalk sales. Reeve had been carefully hoarding parts of his pay checks for just this occasion, and after he closed up his office and made his way out of the building, whistling merrily. It was only six PM, but for Reeve, this was taking a half day.

Oh they were having a sale! Daatu could have squealed as she saw a goodly many books she had been eying on the sale racks. She snagged a book on small home appliance repair and improvement, one on architecture of Esper, and a couple of bargain books on the mythology of Esper and Gaia. She'd never been to Gaia...but the place fascinated her endlessly...

It was in the mythology section that their hands collided -- Reeve (who, when surrounded by this many books, tended to forget his surroundings entirely) was reaching for the same book on Gaian mythology as she was. He blinked apologetically as he came back to the real world, smiling sheepishly. "I'm very sorry, miss," he said, withdrawing his hand politely. Ladies first, his mother had always taught him. But he couldn't keep a small pout off his face.

Daatu blinked, having also been off on lala land. "N-no..it's okay... There is one more copy left..." He...was pouting...and it was cute. damn him... Then she recalled who it was, why his gentle face seemed so familiar...He was the head of engineering at Shin Ra. She blushed as red as her hair and handed him the other copy, just as someone reached for it.

"There is?" Reeve brightened immediately, looking. "Perfect!" His smile grew even more abashed as he took he quickly snagged the other copy, casually brushing aside the other would-be book thief. "Sorry," he said, handing her the copy. I tend to get a bit over protective about my literature."

She took her copy and gave the now angry book thief a glare that...would make most men go pale. then she was back to herself, quiet and rather unassuming. "I been eying these books for an age...waiting for a sale..." She admitted softly, fiddling with an escaped curl of red hair.

Reeve chuckled. "Well, its not like you ever have to wait very long... I swear, these shops take any excuse for an outdoor sale... Holidays, construction successes, sunny days..." Absently, he plucked a few more books from the shelf, reviewed his prospective purchases, and prudently returned one to the shelf.

"I am Daatu..." she said, pretending not to know his name. It might be best if she pretended to not know him really. truthfully she did not know him outside of work...and work always screwed things up with people when they found out what she did for a living.

"Reeve Tuesti," he responded, holding out a hand to her. He knew she looked familiar, but he hadn't quite put face to location, yet, or else he'd have spazzed. "I work at ShinRa headquarters," he said, carefully understating his position as he considered her. "Haven't I seen you around there?"

She took his hand and nodded in answer. "Most likely..." Here we go...cue the spazzfit.. "I uhm..work there as well.."

Reeve frowned, clearly still searching to work this out in his own mind. "Which department...?"

She hung her head and stepped back before speaking. "Turks..." She whispered almost inaudibly, fully expecting Reeve to run off or...freak like everyone else did.

Reeve blinked, and paled noticeably, but he was far too well trained to run screaming. Besides, he knew (academically) that Turks only killed the people they were told to. Now, however, he mentally placed her in a neat black suit and recognized her instantly. "Of course. Aren't you usually with a few Soldiers...?"

She saw the pale...and her weak smiled fell completely. "Uhm... You don't have to make nice... I'm...used to people just freaking out... makes it hard to get to know people if they know about my job..." Soldier? the only two she hung out with were Zack and kefka...

The only two, but a rather notable only two, especially with the infamous rivalries between the two branches. He blinked, looking at her. "Well, sure your department has a reputation, but..." OK, so they were completely utterly terrifying but....

"That does me no good when trying to make friends..." She finished softly. "And yes... I...have managed to befriend a couple of them... " She said softly, leaving out which she dated and which she discussed her panties with...

"Always were...Always will be...' She said softly, giving away a bit of her true character. She would NEVER take an assignment that had her killing coworkers... She'd quit first.

Reeve smiled. "Well then, I don't see what the big deal is." He frowned faintly. Granted, Reeve wasn't an expert on women, but even he could tell she seemed... well... lonely.

She gave him a relieved smile as she relaxed visibly. She slipped past the tall man, all of 4'10" she was to browse the fiction section a bit. "Good... i hate it when people get weird..."

It occurred to Reeve that this was the absolute perfect time to bolt, but he didn't seriously consider it. Turk or not, this girl clearly needed a friend. His own need for the same had of course no influence on his decision to stick around. Fiction, however, was not his favorite section. He scooted over towards architecture, one stack over, and his pile quickly doubled.

She watched him through her eyelashes, studying him. It was a habit of hers... people watching. Instead of talking to them, she watched them. She had been given plenty of hell for it too...

Reeve didn't mind, he had BOOKS. Though the stack was quickly growing precarious, and could cause problems in the future.

She slid over at the right moment and as the top two books came slipping off the pile she caught them deftly. "you ought to get a Basket..." She said softly, gesturing to the stack of them by the door of the shop.

Reeve blinked, taking the books back. "That... might be a practical idea," he agreed, readjusting his stack. "Or maybe I should put some back... I might have gone a bit overboard..."

Daatu's eyes widened. "Blasphemy! one can never have too many books...." She purred, snagging a book on Gian cuisine on her way to grab a basket for Reeve. The hand that reached for the basket had a silver and black spiral tattoo on the meat of her hand between thumb and pointer finger.

Reeve blinked at the tattoo, sorting through his books. "I agree, but I'm afraid it's a matter of money..." He paused, gnawing on his lip as he considered his two stacks of books. One, the much smaller one, he needed for work...

It would be the responsible thing of him to buy them, of course. But the other stack....

She also had the same problem. She pondered for a moment. "I bet if we pool our cash and go to the desk together they'd give us a discount because we are buying so many..." She grinned as she pulled out her Shin Ra ID. "They also give Shin ra Discounts..." she ended up smirking wickedly as she eyed him then the desk.

Reeve chuckled. "Must be because they're so close to the flats..." not that he hadn't taken advantage of that discount on occasion. Ok, many occasions. "I suppose it's worth a try..." With a sniff, he sacrificed a few of the ones he wanted for those he needed. "Ready?"

She snagged the ones he'd returned and smirked. "i bet i can wile the guy down further still..." She laughed cutely and pulled one of those, lip between her teeth... I am so cute discount me further looks before traipsing to the counter, hips swaying enough to draw the clerk boy's eye.

Reeve raised an eyebrow. He was thoroughly impressed. And she was accompanying him on all his future shopping trips

She laid her books down but came back to Reeve for his money. She smirked and tilted her head, being cute again for the benefit of the desk clerk, as if she was asking Reeve something, making it look like one thing rather then what it really was. which made the clerk green with jealousy.

Reeve chuckled softly but played along, passing her his wallet in the process and watching her trot back to the counter, shrugging at a nearby shopper who'd watched the scene, as if to say 'Women, what can you do?'

She would have made Rufus proud... She leaned over the counter and everything playing the man for all he was worth as he happily discounted every...single..book... All in all they ended up having more then enough money to purchase all of their books.

Oh yes, new best friend. Reeve grinned, accepting his bag from her. "Thank you so much."

She handed over his wallet and snagged his arm, completing the illusion without doing anything too invasive to reeve's space and she tugged him down and away form the shop, envious clerk staring after them.

Reeve chuckled. "Thank you. I may not ever be able to go back in there without the clerk attempting to murder me, but thank you."

"bah! that boy back there would not harm a fly, much less a grown man. He wouldn't know the first thing about murder..." She scoffed but then laughed out loud at the thought of the clerk trying anything with reeve.

Reeve laughed softly, stretching. "Unlike us Shin Ra gems." He shook his head, smiling wryly. "Are you going back to the flats? I'm going that direction, too..."

"I almost have to! I got all these books now!' She said, grinning. He was very nice. She caught herself wondering about him, which could not be a good thing. Then she realized that she had not a single female friend!

Reeve grinned. "Yeah... I don't know when I'll have the time to read them all..."

She lapsed into silence for a small span, contemplating things for a moment before she tugged him gently towards a Cafe. "no book trip is complete without coffee and dessert...' she whispered, gesturing to the down right sinful looking dessert in the window.

Reeve chuckled softly, stopping when she did and watching her salivate over the cake. "Would you like to stop?" he asked dryly.

"Yes..." She said softly, blushing a bit as he noticed her naked desire for the dessert in the window. it was an impulse she could not help and one day it might well get her into deep shit...

Reeve grinned. "Well, thanks to your marvelous bargaining technique, we definitely have money for a little splurge. A little more of a splurge, that is."

She gave Reeve a beautiful smile before reaching for the door and flinging it wide as she stepped within, holding the door for Reeve, as was the polite thing to do.

Reeve grinned, taking the door and shooing her in. "Ladies first."

She grinned and sauntered in, claiming a quiet table so that they could chat a bit while they sipped their coffee. It was nice to just...shop and talk.... When marina left... Daatu'd been rather sad and put out by it so she missed the outings.

"Would you like anything?" he asked, preparing to go to the counter. The scent of coffee was calling to him.

""mm whatever you're having...plus a slice of that...decadence in the window..." She purred softly, handing over the remains of her cash to pay for her meal and drink.

Reeve laughed, but he felt compelled to tell her, "I'm having more coffee than it's physically possible for a human being to ingest."

She smirked... "Oh you think so? I doubt it...." She raised her hand. "Java Fiend here..." she laughed out loud at this. Outside of Tseng, she knew of no one who drank more of the stuff then she did.

"I'll try and get the entire pot," he promised, going to the counter. The cafe was one of the few 24 hour locations in the area, so they were very familiar with Reeve's late-night caffeine habit, and he actually did return with a carafe and a slice of cake for Daatu. "Here you are, ma'am."

"Oh but you are a darling.... Smart and sweet..." She said winking at him, trying to flirt harmlessly and most likely failing miserably... "Double threat..."

Reeve grinned, taking his seat. "It's one of the best places around, really, especially if you're getting off work late..."

She nodded quietly, having...the penchant to sometimes simply sleep at work, in her office on the couch.. She wasn't entirely sure he ought to hear it but before she could censor herself... it came out. "I...sometimes sleep alone at work instead of going home."

Reeve did the same thing quite often, but usually when he'd been there too long to go home. "It is probably not healthy... For anyone..." His lips quirked up wryly. "But tempting, so often."

"I do it because i hate living alone...what's your excuse?" She asked, taking advantage of the coffee and the cake now. Doing up her coffee with enough cream and sugar to light Meteor for a full day...

Reeve shook his head, taking his coffee black. "I'm rather surprised to hear that from you..."

"hear what from me? that i despise my apartment?" she said softly. It'd gotten leaps and bounds better now that she had a cat and Zack but... she still hated sleeping alone at her apartment.

"You just... always seem to have friends around you..."

"That was...just recently... usually... Uh.. I end up alone..." she whispered softly. She snagged the cherry off her cake and plucked the fruit off it's stem neatly. eyes sliding closed.

Reeve smiled at her clear enjoyment of the cake, and let the subject drop. He was tempted to ask how she liked being a Turk or ShinRa in general, but he didn't think those would be very good topic of conversation, either, so he just sipped his coffee.

She beamed as she stuck the stem in her mouth and closed her eyes a moment. When she opened them back up she stuck her tongue out, and pulled the stem away...having tied it into a knot with her tongue.

Reeve blinked, raising an eyebrow. A slight blush spread across his cheeks. "Hobby of yours?" He asked

She laughed out loud, her sound clear and high, startling the clerk at the register a bit. "sorta..." he blushed... it was cute!

Reeve chuckled softly, looking down. "Oh..." Did he flirt with women? No, not often, and it showed.

She reached out and placed her hand over his. "hey... No need to be so shy. It's harmless flirting. Us Turks got a degree in it..." She winked at him playfully before squeezing his hand companionably.

Reeve laughed, shaking his head. "Sorry. Not required training for the execs." He was still definitely blushing, but that was fine... it made him look less like he never saw the sun.

"It's easy... Some people do it by just being cute... others...more overt." She took her hand back and regarded him serenely. He was rather handsome actually... and the blush made her want to make him squirm...

It wouldn't be very hard for her. Reeve squirmed very easily, but he seemed to be calming for now. "Do you have any pets?" he asked finally, figuring that was a safe enough subject of conversation -- one that wouldn't make him blush.

She smiled again and nodded. "A cat... Nicodemus." She, like any devoted pet person had pictures in her wallet. She showed off a Pure white cat with yellow green eyes.

Reeve, delighted, took the photo. "Oh, he's lovely!" Reeve smiled as he handed the photo back. He loved cats!

"He's a funny little man..." she said softly... going off on a short but happy tangent about how she'd come to have him. She'd saw an ad in the paper, had appeared at the lady's house for one cat, and ended up taking the white one home.

Reeve listened happily, smiling. "He's very lucky to have you. How old is he now?" he asked.

"Uhm... The vet said he was not any older then 2 years. So he's still a baby." She smiled softly as she went quiet, happy to go and just eat a bit.

Reeve smiled, nodding and sipping his coffee, letting the silence settle. This time, it was comfortable rather than awkward.

Oh but wasn't this nice! Reeve was a most wonderful shopping companion and the talking was not strained or stilted... Out of the blue she snagged her home repair book and went off on a tangent about... electronics wiring. Mostly home appliances and things, nothing more complicated then perhaps a radio.

Reeve blinked, perking up and and contributing ideas wherever he could. Mechanics were one thing he knew backwards and forwards -- what had started as a hobby in college became an obsession later... landing him where he was now. And electronics wiring was certainly something he new very well

Daatu became rather animated as she segued into weapon's design... nothing serious.. just tossing ideas off the engineer, seeing whether or not they were actually sound

That was where Reeve's knowledge failed. "I'm sorry," he said honestly. "Weapons aren't my forte. But it sounds like it could work." He chewed on his lip and then reached for a napkin, sketching out a vague diagram. "Maybe?" he asked, showing it to her.'

She eyed the diagram and tilted her head she took the pencil form him gently, fingertips brushing his hand as she slipped away to add to the diagram. "More... like this."

Reeve bit his lip, considering the diagram and tucking his head to the side. He blushed again when their fingers touched, but it was an instinctual response, his attention was on their diagram. "I think it would work," he said slowly. "You'd need some sort of immobile charging unit, and..." Reeve was gone, technobabbling merrily as he rested his chin in his hand and stared down the diagram.

She returned the jargon, hesitantly at first, not perfectly familiar but she knew enough to not sound stupid, thankfully... She'd done a lot of reading after the fiasco with Sigurd... Oh god had that been wretched...

Reeve incorporated her ideas into the sketch, smiling merrily. "This is really brilliant, Daatu... you should show it to someone..."

"I think I just did..." She said softly, blushing. It was a silly idea really... She did not think it had practical applications but if Reeve, who was an engineer said it might work...

Reeve smiled, chuckling. "Someone who cam make and test it, I mean..."

"oh.. Oh god!" She blushed to her toenails and hid her face by turning away and down slightly "Oh man awkward..."

Reeve raised an eyebrow. "Why? I'm serious, this is impressive..."

"...i just thought.. Just because you are a really good engineer.. I.. think i assumed too much..." She stuttered softly, wishing the floor would swallow her right about now...

Reeve shook his head. "No... I mean, I could try." he frowned, chewing on his lip. In truth, he probably could build it, but he often underestimated himself. "Maybe, but I've never built a weapon before, and this deserves a lot more attention."

"Well... Y-you got more pull then me... You c-could talk to R+D... M-maybe it'll take..." she said softly, still stuttering nervously. No one had ever taken to one of her ideas before...

"Would you like me to?" he asked seriously. "I will, happily."

"oh...I.. Are you serious?" She asked, Green eyes wide as she stared at him, cheeks flushed. "I...it's not... I..okay..." She finally gave in as she bit her lip and stared at him.

Reeve grinned slightly. She sounded like... Well, like him! "I can keep your name out of it entirely until we know they like it, if you want." He offered, understanding why she was feeling so shy. "But it's really a good idea, I mean it."

"uhm..okay. I don't know the process... Just me screwing around..." She drew more silly, frivolous things... but that one idea was bouncing around in her head for a while now... Since her painfully embarrassing talk with Sigurd.

Reeve smiled, claiming the napkin. "Neither do I but I'm sure it's a good idea. R&D is crazy if they don't want it." He didn't even notice how dark it had grown outside.

Daatu nodded quietly, not having noticed how late the hour had grown either... She happily sipped her coffee and started up on the subject of Gaia... wondering if Reeve had ever been there...

As it turned out, Reeve had been born on Gaia, which he confessed willingly. Midgar, as a matter of fact.

"really? OH... please tell me about it...." She said, grabbing his hands in a fit of pique.

Reeve blinked. "Oh -- you're really interested?" he asked. "It's nothing like here, but... it's not special. If anything, Esper is special..." He smiled, shrugging.

For a girl who'd never been off world... Gaia was an endless fascination to her... An endless source of wonder.....

For Reeve, it was just his childhood, and what he knew -- but he was plenty willing to talk about it for her. "I can't believe they wouldn't send you there if you asked for an off-planet assignment," he remarked.

"I am sure that they'd keep me here... I wouldn't want to go there for an assignment anyway... I'd want time off to go vacation or something..." She whispered softly, grinning as she eyed her cold coffee.

"Well... maybe some day." He smiled. "I'm sure you could stay with my mother if you visited Midgar, she loves house guests."

Oh... he'd known her all of a day and he was offering his mom's house... She wasn't a bad person...but if she had been... But she did not voice this, rather she smiled softly and made a face at her coffee.. "I got better coffee at the apartment...wanna come over?"

Reeve blinked, smiling slightly. "Are you sure you would not mind...?"

"not at all..." She said softly, more then happy to have good company to share a pot of coffee with.

Reeve smiled. "In that case... certainly..."

She set money on the table for her share and rose, taking her bags. "C'mon then. Hope Nicodemus won't bother you... He tends to bug people when they come over..."

"I love cats," he responded. "I'm sure it will be fine." He out down his share as well, collecting their books. "Lead the way."

She was more then happy to show him down the way and through the quiet byways to her apartment building. In the third floor window sat Nicodemus, the master of his domain... observing the peons...

Reeve blinked, smiling softly. "I only live half a block away.. I can't believe we've never met before.."

"OH God.. that is too funny... Kefka lives three blocks south...Reno two north...OH man!" she giggled to herself as she led him into the building and up to the third floor.

Reeve chuckled softly. "Well... ShinRa must like to keep us all in reach..." He smiles, extending a hand to Nicodemus cautiously.

The proud male cat trilled a hello and stalked close, sniffing and inspecting Reeve within an inch of his life before mewling and rubbing against him. Daatu grinned and set coffee on.

Reeve smiled, scratching Nicodemus behind his ears gently. "Hello to you, too, your majesty," he said quietly, enjoying the cat's presence.

Nicodemus purred loudly at the engineer before traipsing to the couch and eying Reeve expectantly.

"I think I'm being commanded," Reeve remarked apologetically. "Do you mind?" He paused before sitting, not wanting to be presumptuous

"make yourself at home... If Nico like you the you are more then welcome..."

Reeve smiled, sitting and letting Nico into his lap. "Cats do tend to be reliable judges of character." he agreed.

"Exactly..." She said softly, unpacking her books and shelving them according to subject. She had a whole wall of books...

Reeve had noticed, and would be examining them were he not occupied by Nico. He smiled, watching quietly. "Thank you very much..."

"For?" She asked softly, turning to go check on the beverage.

Reeve shrugged, watching her quietly. "Having me over, and spending the afternoon with me...

"No reason to thank me... really... I enjoyed the day just as much as you did..." She said softly, pouring the coffee.

Reeve smiled softly, sipping his coffee and nodding. "I'm glad you enjoyed it, too," he said, stroking Nico with his free hand.

She sat on the couch, curling up with her mug as Nicodemus slid away from Reeve to his mistress's lap, purring louder still. Daatu began to talk at random about Gaia, what she'd read... The conversation would end up lasting long into the night...