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Shinra's Finest - Midgar's own boys in black
Never gonna live this one down 
22nd-Oct-2005 12:43 am
prove yourself

Ilea made a small pit stop home to change out of her suit and pick up her usual supplies, and then she was off. Luca lived not too far away from away from her (company housing after all), but even if he had, she'd have gone three sectors out of her way to change. She took few luxuries; this was one of them. She hated the suit, it was too constricting. She couldn't move right in the pants, the jacket was a little too stiff in the shoulders and she'd kill herself before she got anything on that button-up shirt, and if she'd had to wear the suit on her jobs she wouldn't even have lasted the first assignment. Blood was a tough stain to wash out of white. So was dirt, dust, or any other sort of grime she had to get herself in half the time. She liked black much better, something light, something tight, something just one layer so she didn't have to worry about any excess fabric.

There was a little wire round around her belt, a thin metal cable of five twisted fibers that she wrapped around a protrusion from the edge of the roof. Ilea had little trouble rappelling down the few feet to Luca's top floor windows. She checked the back first (the front would have been suicide, anybody on the street could've seen her) but it was quiet in the back and if she was quick, she wouldn't be seen. Luca's dark curtains were thrown open to the early morning sun. Ilea swung her legs up and wrapped them around her cable, hanging upside down and lowering herself slowly until just the top part of her head was in view of the upper edge of Luca's bedroom window.

She almost let go and fell. It was just supposed to be a peek, cursory visual reconnaissance. But she just hung there, her mouth open in shock. To her credit, she hadn't made a sound. After a few moments of stunned silence Ilea pulled herself back up to the roof, snapped her cord back into her belt, and stood there for a moment wondering what she should do. She'd told Drake she'd call him as soon as she found Luca, but this was too good of a chance to pass up. She'd call him later, after she was in. Besides, she was still digesting the three things she'd seen.

One--Luca in bed with another man. That was definitely a man. Whether or not Luca had been aware of that fact at the time he'd brought him home was irrelevant. Luca was in bed with and had one of his legs twined around a man. That brought her to Number Two, which was that Luca's boxers (or what she could see with his pants gathered about his knees) had most definitely had ducks on them. Duckies, even. The fluffy yellow kind with the big eyes. Looked like somebody had got them in the kids section of the mall, except they were definitely Luca-sized. She wondered what other kinds of feathery or furry friends he had hiding in his underwear drawer. The Number Three that Ilea noticed was the bruise on Luca's head. That was no ordinary bruise, somebody had hit him hard with something blunt. Or he could've just had really rough sex. That other guy in his bed looked like he could've put up quite a fight if he'd wanted to.

Ilea let a look of disgust cross her face (since nobody was looking) at the fact that she'd just thought about Luca Manwhore Whitney doing one of his favorite pastimes. She'd originally thought of him as the straightest man on the planet, but perhaps desperate times called for desperate measures. Or he'd just been covering up all along. She smirked, another rare emotion to cross her face. Luca Whitney was never going to live this one down. This was payback on the order of blackmail material.

Ilea went back into the building, padding silent as a shadow down the stairs and to the top roof of the floor. She stood in front of the door, tarnished silver letters reading 518. Reached into her belt and pulled out her picks, but found that she didn't need them. None of Luca's four locks were at all in use. She put her picks back, drew her gun (a precaution she always took) and opened the door. It swung open silently. She hid behind the wall, satisfied that no sound came from within the apartment. Didn't seem that either Luca or his mysterious man lover were yet awake. Ilea padded inside softly, threading her way through the living room, by the couch and to the bedroom door, which was wide open.

She made it as far as the doorframe when the other man woke up, bringing his arm from where it rested beneath his pillow, one smooth arc of black, the barrel pointed right at her. Or where she had been a moment ago. Ilea rolled out of the way, firing a shot as she came up, already halfway inside the room and at the foot of Luca's side of the bed. It was a warning shot, right over the other man's shoulder, close enough that he would feel the bullet pass before it lodged itself in the wall. She stood and pointed her gun back to Luca's secret boytoy. She didn't want to kill him if she could help it, that had definitely not been in her orders. But she'd had to do unauthorized kills before, and if circumstances demanded it, she would. She still wouldn't like it, and probably neither would Luca. Bad for inhouse relations, see. Especially if it was someone who was just obviously a little jumpy in the mornings. And very groggy too from the way his eyes didn't seem to be able to focus clearly on her.

Slum trash. If Luca were to ever pick up a man, it would be from the slums.

If Drake's phone call hadn't woken him up, the sound of that bullet being fired definitely would have.

"Good morning, sunshine," Ilea said softly, pulling out a second gun with her other hand. "I am going to enjoy writing up this report, Whitney."

22nd-Oct-2005 11:50 am (UTC)
Even once the Sleep materia had worn off just before dawn broke, he was already so exhausted that he just kept on dozing. First off, his bed was creaky, but it was rather comfortable if you knew just how to lay. Second off, there was a really warm body to cuddle against, and although that wasn't something he was used to while sleeping, it didn't seem to alarm his subconscious in the slightest.

What did alarm him was the unmistakable sound of a gunshot in his bedroom, and his eyes snapped open to witness two people having a little face off in the general vicinity of his bed. And fuck were his legs cold.

He could figure why Hoth would be pointing a gun at an intruder, but he wanted to know why he was in bed with Hoth in the first place, and why Ilia was that intruder. ........Ilea.....

All of a sudden, the color left Luca's face, and he fell right out of bed in his hurry to yank his pants back up. Apparently he'd tossed and turned a little too much and--She saw the boxers. My life is over.

It took all of his willpower right then to not tell Hoth to go ahead and shoot the bitch. Then he could just dispose of the body. She was small. She could fit anywhere.

Instead, he gritted his teeth and stood back up, glaring coldly at the barrels of her guns. "Put the fucking guns away, Linny. And for the record...no. Just...no, no, no, no, no!" She probably thought he and Hoth had...all night... Augh. Luca knew they hadn't. He totally wouldn't have woken up with his clothes on if they had.

"This isn't what you think it is, so don't go planning up how to write any reports before I even explain myself." And by explain himself, he meant break her ar--No, no. Keep it cool Whitney.

"He's an...old comrade. You get me? He was here because we had business. I was here because Jack..." He trailed off. Well, he could just leave out the sex part and say Jack had drugged him, but...he didn't like getting his revenge that way. He wasn't going to rat the bastard out.

He'd prefer to pound his face in himself and be done with it.

"I lost Jack when we were doing our work in the slums last night, and some guys, um...caught me by surprise, and it got ugly. So I came back here to recuperate." How embarrassing. He had to tell her he'd actually been caught off guard by no-name hoodlums. But there was no way he could mention being high out of his gourd without ratting out Jack or getting himself into trouble.

It was a rather flawless story, and it was probably a little easier to take him seriously without having to see his boxers anymore. Still, he shot an angry look towards Hoth--one he hoped his friend could somehow sense without seeing.

"Now Linny, can you tell me why you're in my bedroom? Because if you're that desperate for a lay, you could have just called."
22nd-Oct-2005 07:05 pm (UTC)
Ilea was never much for confrontations. The killing that was part of her job usually required more stealth and a large element of surprise. But she wasn't here to kill and in her general experience, a face off with guns was a sticky situation.

"On three," she said, thinking that for once Luca had some sense coming out of his mouth. Even if it was sense that was covering his own ass. "One...two...three." She dropped her guns, and put them back their holsters. She made sure Luca's lover did the same before she turned to her colleague, still wary of the other man in the bed. She'd noticed that it wasn't just the morning sun that brought his half-lidded eyes a strange glow. He was SOLDIER. Obviously, Luca and this guy went way back.

"Now Linny, can you tell me why you're in my bedroom? Because if you're that desperate for a lay, you could have just called."

Ilea let out a quiet sigh; she hated that nickname. But nothing short of a headshot was going to get him to stop using it. She considered it briefly, it'd certainly get rid of a thorn in Turks's side (and in hers), but she unfortunately had to admit they needed him right now. Especially since Jack and Baldur were down.

"Whitney," she said, ignoring his suggestive comment. She just wanted to get this over with as soon as possible. "Drake called you this morning for an emergency meeting. Since you didn't show up, I'm here to drag your sorry duck-covered ass back to the office."

She looked back over to Luca's SOLDIER lover. She'd been in the Military Academy, she knew what went on there. Nobody came out of the military straight, and obviously not Luca, if he was still holding onto someone.

"Get yourself dressed, Whitney, we're going in five." And if she had to club him in the head and drag him all the way back to Shinra herself, so be it.
22nd-Feb-2006 01:16 am (UTC)
Luca had to curse inwardly at the information Illea offered. If Archer had tried to contact him, then he was in serious trouble. And the excuse he had just given Ilea might not be enough to cover his ass. So then did he need to prepare to give the total and complete truth?

No. As much as he wanted to leave Jack black and bruised, he had no desire to 'tattle' as it were. And that would also admit that he'd gone and goofed off with Jack and put himself in that bad situation. Suddenly realizing that he had no idea what had happened the night before, his eyes narrowed. What HAD happened to Jack, anyway? Had he gotten hurt? Was Luca in serious shit for not protecting him? Or had something happened to Baldur?

Feeling rather mixed emotions and not wanting to deal with them right now, he stood up and marched right for Iliea, ignoring the fact that she was armed. He just grabbed her shoulder and kept pushing until she was out of his bedroom. "We're leaving when I'm fucking ready to go," he ground out dangerously before slamming the door in her face.

He then turned and looked to Hoth, sighing and letting himself look miserable as he moved to change his clothes. It wasn't like he had to be afraid of Hoth seeing his expression anyway.
22nd-Feb-2006 07:17 am (UTC)
Well, good morning to you, too.

Despite the moment of displeasure, the slight soldier gave a wistful sort of smile to the woman before she was manhandled out of the room, tossing the gun back to the bed, and running one hand through his hair to resettle it after sleeping much longer than he anticipated… at least a good five hours must have passed. And, miraculously, he had not been snapped at by Luca, yet, that morning – he could only assume the devil was ice-skating. “Friend of yours?” he inquired wryly as he stood, a smile tugging at the very edge of his lips.

“She seems nice enough – absolutely no bedside manner.” To be more specific, Hoth was not particularly fond of being shot at mere seconds after waking. It had been a good shot, too – enough to make the point that she could have been much less attentive to her bedside manner. Much, much less. Not that Luca was any sort of shining example of personality first thing I the morning. Never had been, in any sort of recent memory; though memories escaped Hoth so easily, these days.

“Now, what’s this about ducks on your ass?”

Maybe, if he kept Luca distracted long enough, they could even avoid ranting at one another anew over the underhanded use of sleep material. Hoth had never been one to play entirely fair; it came from having such a small stature. If he had to bite someone in the kneecaps to keep them off his back, he would do so with pleasure.
22nd-Feb-2006 07:55 pm (UTC)
Luca was quick to turn on Hoth and snarl a bit. "Nothing! She's obviously smoking some bad shit, okay?!"

He then turned back to his closet, yanking out a clean blazer and shirt. "Linny's no friend of mine." Luca didn't have friends, of course. "She's the annoying type that makes me glad she's usually off on missions. Zhi's hardcore anal retentive like her, but he doesn't get on my nerves. Linny kinda...has it out for me, thanks to how we met, so...try not to piss her off. I just don't need to be written up for what she saw."

He'd taken a shower the previous night, so he just dressed right there--very sure to change to plain grey boxers first. He didn't bother tucking his shirt in, but he did stand in front of his mirror and attempt to manage his tie. He was tempted just to leave it crooked, and growled again in frustration.

"I know you put me to sleep, too, you brat. You owe me."
22nd-Feb-2006 08:21 pm (UTC)
“I did,” conceded Hoth, “and payback’s a bitch; especially coming from you.” He went about putting the holster back on, checking the safety on the gun, and returning it properly. “But I think we can call it even – a little deceitfulness for rescuing your stupid ass sounds fair.”

With utter calm, and a blank expression, the Hoth went to Luca's side, batting away his fumbling hands and fixing the tie properly. "If I can do this blind, you should be able to do it," the slight man chided, tugging at the slim end of the tie to pull the knot up a bit higher.

Stepping away, and rolling his neck to work out the kinks, Hoth commented, "When it comes to the art of pissing people off, you are accomplished.” He bent to retrieve his jacket from the floor - he had to find it with his fingers, as his eyes were giving him no more than a bright haze of white light... it was far too bright in the morning for him to even make out vague shapes. "If you learned a thing or two about tact, you wouldn't have to be in this position."
22nd-Feb-2006 08:40 pm (UTC)
Luca wore a very pouty scowl as Hoth fixed his tie, and he was sure to reach up and loosen it a bit after. Wearing a tie properly was just too tight... He liked to breath.

"Whatever. Bite me. You were the one who decided to put me to sleep and cart me off to bed with you. Linny waking us up wasn't my fault at all. And last night was... Fuck. I don't want to even think about it." He still had a very light headache, but he was pretty used to dealing with those.

Leaning over, Luca found Hoth's jacket for him, dropping it right on his head. Turning, he opened the door and walked out of the room, ignoring Ilea's presence and disappearing into his bathroom to brush his teeth and wash his face. He felt like total shit.
22nd-Feb-2006 08:52 pm (UTC)
Hoth reached up to tug the jacket off his head, looking off in the direction Luca had gone, a frown temporarily etched into his features before he pulled the jacket over his shoulders, exiting out into the living room.

"Linny was it?" He spoke the question only to acknowledge the woman, finding his shoes and settling his feet back into them. Though he knew vaguely where she was in the room, he did not bother to turn to her. "No hard feelings about the gun thing." He laced his shoes, keeping one ear attentive on the sound of Luca in the bathroom, the sound of running water interrupted every few seconds to splash water on his face or run the toothbrush under the water, presumably.

He had no need to worry about saving face; even if he gave a damn, which Luca clearly did about this woman barging in, he had become a ghost. As long as his every movement was considered classified (already, he had told Luca too much), he would just phase out into the pattern of the wallpaper, disappearing like a vague childhood memory - like the ones that he had so much trouble grasping.

"If Whitney asks, I'm not coming back." With those words, he was out the door, slipping out before Luca could further perpetuate years-old arguments.
23rd-Feb-2006 12:21 am (UTC)
Ilea had to jump smartly out of the way to avoid Luca slamming the door into her. She scowled in annoyance, though Luca's treatment of her was really no different from the usual way he was. She figured she was just lucky he hadn't physically picked her up and tossed her out of his bedroom--that might have started something ugly she would not have wanted to explain to Drake.

Sounds of conversation came through the bedroom door, muffled. Ilea didn't really care that much to listen--whatever went in on Luca's personal life was his business alone until it got in the way of his assignment. And when that happened, it was his job to make sure it didn't happen again. She flipped out her phone, perching herself on the edge of Whitney's couch and dialed Drake.

"I've got Whitney," she said simply. "I'm in his apartment. He tells me he got roughed up last night and lost Jack. I see no sign of serious injury, I'll bring him in as soon as possible." She'd save the rest for the report.

Ilea turned off her phone and tucked it back into her belt just as the door opened and Luca stormed out, making a beeline for the bathroom and pretending she didn't exist. Just as well, being ignored by Luca Whitney was the best sort of relationship with the man she could dream of. Her eyes followed the other, small one as he walked out.

She was certain now that he was blind or close to it, his gaze seemed misty and he had a tendency to stare at points in space and not objects. He did a lot of feeling around, and missed her position by a few degrees when he turned to speak to her.

"Linny was it?" he asked, his voice infinitely more amiable than Luca's.

"My name is Ilea," Ilea responded neutrally, hoping that he'd remember that and not Luca's little pet name.

"If Whitney asks, I'm not coming back," he replied and just left, without saying anything else.

Ilea stared at the door after he left, curious. She had no inkling of who he might be. He was SOLDIER, she was certain, but she didn't remember hearing of him at the Academy. She made a mental note to look him up after she dragged Whitney back to the office. It was going to be a thoroughly frustrating trip.
24th-Feb-2006 06:24 am (UTC)
Luca didn't have to ask. He could vaguely hear the short conversation over the running water, and he stared at his reflection in the mirror as his front door closed. He was still until a drop of water streaked down from his bangs and got into his eye, making him curse. After drying off his face and hands, he quickly ran his fingers through his lightly dampened hair to comb it, then walked out and offered Ilea a steady gaze for a moment, as if considering something.

Apparently having changed his mind, he veered off course and headed into his kitchenette, yanking out a box of Chocob-Os and a shallow bowl, pouring the sugary sweet cereal into it until it overflowed. He definitely seemed to be in a different mood now, and there was no double meaning or snide tone when he spoke, pouring milk into the bowl. He'd eat quick, but he needed to eat something.

"So what am I in for when I get there?"
24th-Feb-2006 08:39 pm (UTC)
Ilea's gaze followed Luca carefully as he walked out of the bathroom. He looked back at her--like he was thinking about saying something--but thought better of of it and made for the kitchen instead. Ilea looked about the apartment neutrally as she mentally rolled her eyes. Chocob-Os? How old did Luca think he was? She would have been surprised, if it weren't for the fact that she'd seen the duck boxers already. She idly fiddled with her belt, wondering if Luca was going to remember his manners and offer her a drink. Probably not.

"So what am I in for when I get there?"

"I don't know," Ilea answered truthfully. "I've never fucked up an assignment." There was just the slightest bit of acid in her tone, she managed to hide the rest of the ire she held toward Luca. Drake was either going to tear Luca a new one, or be very calm and stern about his failure. She wasn't sure which one was the worst fate, but she figured it was the latter and the one that Drake usually chose. "The good news is," she continued, "nobody's dead. Which means you just may end up surviving this, Whitney."
25th-Feb-2006 12:53 am (UTC)
Luca could have manners. He'd been known to be hospitable on occasion, but it all depended what mood you caught him in and who you were. This was not one of those pleasant situations, obviously.

He sighed, wishing his headache would go away as he shoveled the cereal into his mouth.

"The good news is nobody's dead."

He snorted, not even hearing what she said next as he muttered, "Not yet anyway..." And he wasn't talking about himself. Depending on how badly Luca got it for this, he might make sure that Jack didn't survive any injuries he already had.

He only ate half of the bowl before picking it up and carrying it into the kitchen. It was dumped into the sink, and he glanced the mess over. The dishes had been piling up for a couple weeks now... He probably would need to do them soon. Eck.

"Let's go." He opened the fridge and pulled out a water bottle for himself, twisting the cap off and taking a swig while yaking his slightly wrinkled blazer off of the back of his couch.
28th-Feb-2006 10:24 am (UTC)
"Let's go."

"Finally," Ilea thought, not even bothering to tell Luca that he looked just as disheveled as she knew he was--sex with a guy after getting a beat down in the slums. Drake was not going to be pleased this situation, but at least she did her job. She hoped Drake would put him in his place and that this was the last time she'd have to babysit big bad Luca Whitney. Or worse yet, haul him back to the office from a sexual encounter. Whitney claimed nothing happened, but Ilea didn't believe him.

Ilea closed to the door to Luca's apartment with satisfaction. Barring any trouble on the way back, it was another mission spotlessly accomplished. Well, almost. Ilea wondered what Luca was going to do about that bullet lodged in his wall. Probably just leave it there.
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