Diamond and Cobalt

Sort of missing-scenes. Three possible ways Diamond’s attack on Rufus’ office might have gone, two possible explanations for the look in Rufus’ eyes, one possible explanation for Jenova exposure. (And a partridge in a pear tree~. Or maybe that should be a president in a penthouse…). Drama, I-3, in-game

Character(s): Reno, Rufus Shinra, Tseng


Reno ran up yet another flight of pitch black stairs, shouldering through hysterical clerks, and interrupted his silent swearing to count off the sixty-seventh floor. He would have liked to swear out loud, but didn’t quite have the breath for it. Besides, it was impolitic to swear at his employer, even in absentia.

The absentia part being rather the point at the moment.

He broke out of the yammering pack at the sixty-ninth floor and vaulted up the last two flights to haul open the door to Rufus’ office. Just in time. The president of Shin-Ra was staring point blank at the approaching energy shells without moving.

Reno didn’t waste time wondering what the hell Rufus thought he was doing. He tackled his employer efficiently at the knees and yanked him down under the desk as the window glass all shattered. The first shell hit the chair directly above them and the absurd thought crossed Reno’s mind that maybe this was why executive chairs were so huge and heavy. He pulled his jacket loose and bundled it over both their heads, and then the world was exploding.

Reno knew it was over when he could hear his own voice again, pronouncing breathless curses on Rufus, his clothes, his cats, and the Science Division for good measure. He threw off the jacket and took a shallow sip of air, cautious of the temperature. When all seemed well he allowed himself to lean up on one elbow and finally glare at Rufus.

“Are you trying to make us look bad, or something?” he demanded in disgust. “We’re supposed to keep you in one piece, remember? Play chicken with the fucking artillery on your own time!” An alarming crack of laughter answered him, and he looked more warily at Rufus, who hadn’t moved. The focus still burning in Rufus’ eyes put the energy shells to shame. Reno rewound that idea and replayed it again, thoughtfully. “You didn’t actually think you could stop it, did you?” he asked slowly.

Rufus looked at him, and Reno almost jerked back from that searing blue. “I didn’t think I could stop it. But I could have met it.” Rufus’ lips pulled back off his teeth.

Reno thought about this for a long moment before nodding agreeably. “You’re a cold enough bastard you probably could. But I don’t feel like being unemployed, so can we get out of here?”

Rufus snorted and sat up and Reno relaxed again.


Things were starting to explode before Tseng realized that his employer was not at the evacuation point where he should have been. He winced a little as he climbed the stairs to Rufus’ office, thinking what Veldt would have had to say about such carelessness. Fortunately, the universe was more forgiving than his mentor had been, and the ordinance had not quite reached the windows when Tseng pushed the door open. He had just time to cross the office, duck briskly under the desk and pull Rufus down with him.

He waited patiently for the crashes of shattering construction materials and the cracking peals of explosion to end.

When they had he pushed the remains of the desk off of them and regarded Rufus evenly. “If you want to commit suicide, sir, I’m afraid we’re going to need advance notification.”

“It would have been fitting,” Rufus answered, just as evenly, fixed stare now directed at the ceiling.

Tseng concealed a frown; so that really had been… “And let Hojo win?” he murmured.

Rufus’ eyes flickered, blinked, focused.


“Move,” he ordered, much more sharply, making to sit up.

Tseng assisted him, silently, to his feet with a tiny, satisfied smile.


Tseng stood from the side of Rufus’ seared body and looked around, mouth tight. “Rude.” He gestured and Rude nodded, pulling out the Cure that either he or Reno usually had stashed on them somewhere and taking Tseng’s place.

Elena, looking pale, gulped and offered, “I’ll call a team from the clinic.”

“Confidentially,” Tseng specified and let her retreat to a corner, out of sight of their employer and his injuries, and turned to Reno.

“You get ahold of Dr. Svalin.”

Reno’s jaw dropped. “Svalin? Tseng, are you crazy? As injured as his is, the conversion would kill him!”

“The clinic has enough healers to recover his condition,” Tseng said, quietly. “But not totally. The conversion, if it takes, can restore him completely.” He flicked a look at Rufus and away again, reassured that he was still breathing. “He does not tolerate weaknesses. You can hardly deny he has the willpower to convert successfully.”

Reno’s following glance was more considering. “I can’t deny he’s got all the marks of a top candidate,” he admitted, slowly. “But would he want that?”

“He can discuss it with Svalin, himself. I just want her present and prepared.” Tseng ran a hand through his hair, mind casting ahead into plans for the near future. “For all I know, there’s a treatment short of the full SOLDIER conversion that will still work.”

Reno gave him a long, narrow look, and a corner of his mouth curled up. “You want him to take the full course, though,” he said, very softly. “You like the idea of that son of a bitch being even more dangerous.”

Tseng didn’t dignify that with an answer.

Reno shrugged. “All right, I’ll get her. I assume you’ll tell the other divisions that they can postpone the death match to see who takes over?”


Reno blinked. “Um…”

“Let them fight with each other. It will keep them busy and away from him until he’s recovered.” Tseng smiled a very small, very sharp smile. “And if they happen to get out of line, I’m sure Rufus-shachou can address the problem when he’s recovered.”

“I always knew you didn’t like the section heads very much,” Reno observed.

“Besides,” Tseng added, “while we’re in Heidegger’s division on paper, we report directly to Rufus. He wrote that in when he became president.”

Reno’s smile matched Tseng’s. “How nice.”

He sauntered aside pulling out his phone, and Tseng drew Rude back as the clinic team thundered up the stairs. Reno was wrong, he thought as he watched the team get to work. Tseng couldn’t really imagine Rufus getting any more dangerous than he was.

He just had a feeling that Rufus would need every advantage he could get in the world that seemed to have come upon them all.