Pairing: Tseng x Coffee
Theme set: Alpha
Rating: PG-13, I guess?
Tseng thinks that there's nothing quite as soothing as the buzz of caffeine, the sound of the coffee maker bubbling next to his ear-- he was a little too loud a few minutes ago and he thinks it's a good thing he's the only one left in the building.
Reeve's rough, drunken kiss reeks of coffee splashed with Mideel rum (he's had too much, Tseng thinks); the Turk pushes him away and reaches behind the exec to get at a still-warm cup.
The pillow behind his head is soft and definitely his favorite; but he likes the old, chipped, Wutaian souvenier mug printed with 'ten tips to good health', that was currently balanced on his stomach and used to prop up the book he's reading even better.
As the nurse fishes around in his newly-acquired bullet wound to get at the slug still buried inside, Tseng bites the inside of his cheek and comforts himself with the thought of a hot cup of coffee and extra cream-- and maybe a splash of 90 proof Costa whiskey.
He's roasting potatoes in the oven for dinner; in the meantime, he's also searching the Shinra network for instructions on how to fuse mako with the ultimate cup of espresso.
The newspaper always gets soaked when he holds it over the mug to keep the rain from diluting his coffee when the 'paper could fit fine under his jacket and could also be keeping /him/ dry-- Reno thinks it's weird and tells him this but then again, the redhead never does do paperwork.
Chocolate doesn't mix well with coffee and he hasn't perfected making mocha cappucinoes; but when he experiments, Tseng thinks only of the end result and what would /definitely/ follow.
Happiness is a hot, not-quite-scalding styrofoam cup of coffee warming his hands when he waits on the platform for a train if traffic in Midgar's too heavy to take the car.
He never did figure out how to take the phone off the hook at home from work, but he thinks that the coffee maker in Shinra HQ works just fine.
The handles probably don't count, but even if they did, Tseng doubts the cup can hear him.
It was called the SHX model 739 and he sees it every time they get up close and very... /very/ personal.
Tseng doesn't understand why some people consider having just-below-boiling coffee dripping down their faces torture, but maybe they just can't appreciate the burn and anticipation.
He nearly died the one time someone tried to shoot him in the middle of breakfast; Tseng owed his life to the now-shattered cup and swore never to drink with sugar substitute again.
It was hard trying to keep the mug from spilling, but worth it in the end.
He'd burned his hand on the coffee maker once, made a sacrifice to the Planet and after that, all was well.
Heavy cream and lots of sugar.
Only when he chokes on it, and...
... that's what they made the little plastic lids for.
The wind from the chopper's blades kicked up too much dust into the air and his cup so when he got a mouthful of sand and had to regretfully dump it out the side, he thinks Heideggar's scream of pain and surprise was a lucky break and almost worth it.
He wasn't allowed more than two mugs a day when incapacitated, so it was almost with relief that Tseng sank back into his cushy office chair, all wounds healed, and began catching up on paperwork.
Once in the morning with a bagel, most of the morning while doing paperwork, lunch, dinner, assignments, but most importantly, overtime.
Tseng sometimes doesn't feel so great about using heavy cream over the milk he used to like, but he doesn't let it bother him when Elena had mentioned something about chocolate being lke men: the richer the better-- he supposed it applied to coffee as well.
He hasn't burned his hands on coffee since the word 'hot' became taboo in the Turks' lounge after Reno had yelled it when sliding a mug, filled to the brim, across the table.
Like heaven-- and maybe the high junkies get after jacking up on mako-- only in the mouth.
Tseng's sometimes torn between the coffee maker at work versus the one at home when he's done with paperwork for the day with time to spare and ends up alternating between the two.
He has no idea how long the shelf life of coffee beans is, but it doesn't really matter 'cause the issue's never come up before.
It's nothing, new, actually, but if the bleeding doesn't stop in a couple minutes, then the coffee was going to taste awful.
Tseng wishes he could dump the chicken soup out his window and brew himself a nice big tub of coffee, but he doesn't really have the energy or motivation to do anything but allow Aeris to guilt-trip him into drinking her stupid soup.
When the coffee maker starts, it's music to his ears.
You can see the stars from the roof of Shinra HQ-- they're hazy and greenish, mako-tainted-- but Tseng's too busy with something else to notice or care.
Home is a lofty, cushy penthouse suite in an apartment up on the plates and a humble your-boss-just-died-prepare-for-promotio
He never did quite get the concept of coffee liqueur until he stumbled across it in a specialty wine shop while hunting down a rare Icicle vintage.
High on caffeine, having not slept for thirty hours straight on a stakeout in the middle of winter, Tseng's not as anxious about the outcome of this assignment so much as getting everyone home before they all froze to death.
There's nothing quite like sitting out on a porch in Wutai watching the summer storms come and go thundering ferociously, with a cup of ice-cold coffee cooling you off between rains.
Tseng's tied at arms, waist and legs with a cloth gag in his mouth but the only thing he can concentrate on is the slowly cooling mug of coffee on the terrorist's desk, wondering what kind of beans they used.
Every time there's an assignment out of the city, Tseng always makes sure to check out local markets to buy more coffee beans as souveniers and gifts... but mostly for himself.
Shinra HQ's vending machines were ancient and probably about to break down, but it made the best coffee in the building and Tseng almost wished it didn't because the lines got way too long.
So far, he's gotten roasted Costa Cappucino, Spiced and mulled from Wutai, Mocha from Kalm and the classic from Mideel.
After adding the cream, Tseng looks into the cup and smiles.
There's nothing innocent about the cream in the shape of a heart the waitress had carefully added, but Tseng only thinks that she knows too much.
He's got a new espresso machine (some assembly required) and as he pops the last piece in, Tseng thinks about tomorrow morning and how his life's gonna change.
There's a cloud, Tseng thinks as he spits out a mouthful of blood, back pressed against the trunk of an old tree, that looks like a coffee maker and suddenly he feels a little homesick.
Anyone looking up from the plates can see the silhouette of a Shinra chopper against the sky; they can see it drop a couple feet before recovering, too, when Tseng had narrowly saved his mug from spilling all over the controls.
He knows it's heaven when after five mugs of coffee and several hours past midnight, no urgent assignments have come in and nothing's broken into his apartment with two machine guns and a belt of bombs strapped to its waist.
So there was coffee and then there was the kahlua he'd gotten from Costa del Sol and Tseng thinks he's had a little too much 'cause hell, when was the last time he'd gotten so hungover he could barely function the next day?
It's too bright to look at this morning, and Tseng knows that it's a good thing he ran out of the coffee liqeur last night and the next assignment in Costa del Sol isn't due for a couple months.
It's when the moon starts reminding him of a spot of cream in black coffee that Tseng realized that something might be wrong.
The ground (and, consequently, the entire building) had been shaking earlier, but that wasn't what had made the waves on the surface of his coffee.
He used to cut it short and spike it-- that was back in Wutai and also before he found out what longer hair could do and how much more fun it was to drink coffee like that.
He's been trying something new, and after the first sip with something like stars exploding in his mouth, he knows he isn't going to be trying anything else for a while.