Veld suddenly understood why Tally was the way she was. It was a job, office politics never set well with him, and hence his partner was off taking care of the budget arguments along with Scarlet and then Reeve… then Palmer… it was a numbers mess and he wasn't a numbers person.
"You appear to have a headache." Tseng slid into his doorway.
"You appear to be correct" Veld responded in Wutain.
This earned a smirk from Tseng. "Take it from a countryman, you need out of this office."
Veld wasn't going to admit that the sort of relationship that he had with Tseng felt more like family than the others. Even though Veld was Costain in appearance, he had grown up in Wutai.
So had Tseng, who came over as a military school peace offering. In fact, they'd acquired quite a few talented young people from Wutai. ShinRa: like the Borg in a way.
So he smiled. "I suppose you're right." With a stretch, Veld pushed the papers to one side before he stood. "Why aren't you with the other kids, Se?" Yes, he definitely understood Tally so much more now.
He heard Tseng light a cigarette before he turned around. Though Veld gave Tseng a disapproving look, he did not remove the item. He only cared when someone else smoked because the aftertaste was horrible in his opinion. Silence followed his question. "Kid?"
Tseng loosened his tie and shrugged. He was a skilled liar, during work efforts, but this wasn't work. "I just feel tired."
Veld was going to play along for now. "Need some vacation or PT?" Veld made a show of looking at the calendar; the only vacation for the month was Rude, whose grandparents were having a wedding anniversary. The others used their personal time here and there; Veld was going to have to remind Rod that he didn't have any left to burn.
"No…" Tseng would have been horrified of Veld described his face as a pout, but he was young enough for that to be in character at times. "I just… wanted to check on you since Valentine was out of the office."
Veld pulled his jacket on. "Want to grab a beer, Tseng?" He could have quantified that with an 'and we can talk' but that wouldn't have flown.
"Sure, why not." Tseng stood himself and smashed his cigarette out in Vincent's ash tray.
They walked in silence to one of the quieter bars near the ShinRa building. It was an artsy place that Vincent had found. While Vincent Valentine had absolutely no artistic talents, he did appreciate it, so the Jazz club with art on the wall had been comfortable. Veld had to agree, it was a comfortable place to sit and talk.
Tseng waited till after they ordered to speak. His Wutain was crisp and had a little bit of a list to it that hinted to his military schooling. "There isn't anything in the handbook about personal relationships."
"No, there is not." Veld didn't need to press at what Tseng was getting to. He knew.
"Why did you put Anna and I together? I'm starting to act… very unprofessional." Tseng took a swig of his beer and sighed. "She's too young for me, she's talented and driven and I shouldn't distract her."
Veld snickered. He'd given such a similar augment.
This earned a glare from his young friend. "I don't see what's so Leviathan damned funny! We have to learn to tango."
"You're a much better dancer than Anna, more feeling; I bet that burns her. Talented sorts like that always envy the artists." Again, personal experience.
"I get the impression you're not taking me seriously." Tseng growled and lit another cigarette.
Veld frowned. "Tseng, I'm taking you seriously. I feel like you're worrying about something you shouldn't worry about. Believe me, I have been in your shoes and it caused me nothing but problems, arguments and the scar on my face."
"Valentine gave that to you? Over what?" The switch to Common was easy for linguistic people.
"Lucrecia Crescent." Veld winked and tipped back his own bottle.
Tseng gave a rich laugh from the other end of the table. "Anna would've done worse. You got off light."
"Yeah, I'm lucky like that." Veld agreed.
They ordered a few more beers and listened to the band then in a comfortable silence.
"Hey, old man?" Tseng asked during round three.
Somewhere, Tally was smiling at him.