Reno: Through the Eyes Chapter 3

By Kain Servant

Reno was chuckling as he exited the elevator and moved back into the cramped back-quarters of Giami’s car.

Giami raised an eyebrow at him with a querying gaze. It wasn’t very often Reno came out and laughed openly. “Is…Tseng a funny character?”

“Yes.” Reno leaned back and slowly wiped the smile from his face. Somehow he felt more confident after leaving the ‘interview’, like he could take the whole world on our scream his lungs out for two weeks. Hah. “We really hit it off.” He guessed he could thank Tseng for something. The meeting had only taken twenty minutes out of his time.

“Well that’s wonderful, wonderful really – Tseng is an important man, so its good to gladhand people like him.” Giami shuffled in his space and pulled on his cigar, “I don’t really like him myself…no offense, just a personal…thing. He scares me.”

“He’s blunt.” Reno murmured, turning his eyes once again to the road as they hurried along. Maybe he would be able to see Aeris again on the way home.

“Yes, blunt. Just like you. I don’t even know why I like you, I can’t hold a decent conversation with you. You just grunt and thank me a lot.”


“See, see what I mean?” Giami shuffled again and blew a long puff of smoke out the window.

“I’m money.”


“You like me because I’m money, and as long as you stay friendly with me I’ll keep paying you.”

Giami blew his lips and brushed Reno off, “And then when you do talk I don’t understand you. What’s this? Money? Does it look like I care about money? I’m here because you’re a great kid and I hate to see talent wasted.”

“Alright.” This time Reno saw Aeris before the car passed. She was wandering a different street this time, her face slightly sad – probably from low profit for the day. He felt a rush of courage…perhaps today, after his wistful thoughts of day prior, was time to change himself.

“Stop!” Reno ordered. The command was activated in a timely manner. The driver was just a coiled spring. Reno put his hand against the seat in front of him to stop from falling forward, then turned to Giami, “This is my stop. I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”

Giami was having a difficult time understanding Reno today, but he shrugged it away with his same greasy smile, “9?”

“Yes.” Reno got out of the car and shut the door. His manager drove away with another sharp screech of tires.

Reno swiped at his hair and brushed at his shirt, shaking the butterflies from his stomach. She was standing almost directly across the street, not looking at him, just walking slowly along. With a deep breath, he plunged over the asphalt barrier to the sunshine beyond.

“Hello.” Reno tried to control the nervous tremor in her voice. Her head spun quickly to him, and she smiled politely,

“Good afternoon.”

“I would like to buy a flower, please…” What was he going to say? ‘Oh please tell me I’m not going to buy a flower and walk away again!’

Aeris’ smile brightened as she took the gil, and then handed him a open ivory rose. Her voice was teasing as she spoke, “Is your hobby drying flowers?”

“Hmm?” Drying flowers? What was drying flowers?

“Well…” She scraped her toe against the pavement and looked down, a bit embarrassed, “You never give the flowers to anyone.”

“W-what?” The nervous tremor almost squealed out from his voice, “How do you know that?”

Scarlet bloomed to her cheeks and she continued to look down furiously, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said anything – I know you only do it for your own reasons.”

Reno sighed in frustration…his tense nerves mixed with her confusing riddles were giving him another headache. Slowly he knelt down to look into her eyes, “Tell me.”

“You never give the flowers to anyone…well…because, you don’t have a girlfriend!” Reno flinched, and her eyes grew sad, “Well, everyone in Sector 6 knows it…I live near you, I would know if you were seeing anyone.”

“Well, it’s just that – err…not that-“

“I don’t know why you’re embarrassed, I would be proud of myself. It’s not that you couldn’t get anyone. Right? I mean, you are the sexiest man in the world.” She blushed again and had to turn her head away…so Reno rose politely to allow her a moment, almost blushing himself at nearly throwing himself at her feet. Not that he had a lot of…pride.

“You’re just saving yourself for the woman you truly love.” Now Reno did blush…damn this woman could read his mind. She took that as incentive to stop being coy and start teasing again, “Right? Maybe some old sweetheart at home…you aren’t from here are you?”

“I’m from Kalm.” The headache was intensifying and his vision got a little blurry as he tried to settle out what was happening. He had been worrying that he wouldn’t be able to talk to her, and now she was basically opening the question he always wanted to answer. The one that they always cut off at the end of his shows, and all of his adoring fans never bothered to look into.

“No, it’s not a girl from home, it’s…um, actually, miss Aeris…”

“Yes?” Her eager eyes awaited the answer – glowing with all the energy that made him adore her and her life. Clumsily he held the flower he had just purchased out to her,

“These times..I-I-I” Reno swallowed, “I really just wanted to give these flowers to you.”

Silence. The large eyes stared.

“Awwwwwwwwww…” A mawkish croon came from behind him, and Reno whirled hurriedly to see Iva Evans, shopping basket held in thin arms, his neighbor – the leader of the woman’s corner, and the biggest gossip in sector 6.

Reno was so busy running through the ramifications of gossip in his head, that he barely noticed as the flower was pulled gently away from his reach. He simply mumbled out, “Sorry.” To the ground as his feet led him away as quickly as he could…not a run, he was above running away from a situation…he would just walk away.

Inwardly his head buzzed…so much to take in, so many emotions tangled into a web, and his head nearly throbbed from the anguish of it all. As he turned the corner he pulled the aspirin bottle from his pocket to dump the remainders of its contents into his system.

It was empty.

With a roar of frustration he took off at a slow jog, still debating in his mind whether the day was the best or worst of his life.


Carl at the medicine shop was used to seeing Reno in at least once a week to buy a bottle of aspirin. The cadaverous old pharmacist smiled as Reno looked up through gritted teeth and squinted eyes. “Reno, I guess I should say I’m sorry to see you here again. Headaches bad again?”

“Yes. Two bottles today, I think these headaches are getting worse.”

“I may have something better!” Carl smiled wanly and then turned to shuffle through his hundreds of glass and plastic containers on the shelf behind him. “Hmm…hmm, no no that definetly wouldn’t help. Hahahaha!” His cackle was disturbing, but Reno didn’t really notice anymore, he muttered,

“Just give me some damn pills, Carl.”

“Aha! Here we are, just got them in yesterday. ‘Flash’.” Carl waved the small white plastic bottle in Reno’s face, displaying that the contents were 50 pain-relieving pills. “Developed by ShinRa labs themselves, these are not quite…standardized drugs yet, but the information said they were completely safe and very effective. Stronger than aspirin, it will help you sleep as well, if that’s what you need.”

“Not standardized? You mean they are illegal?”

Carl laughed again, “Boy, they were made by the ShinRa. They’re legal.”

“Alright, Thank you. How much?” Reno dug the extra amount out of his pocket and handed it over, then grabbed the bottle. Two pills were in his mouth by the time he was out of the store.

Reno took a deep breath as he began the walk of three blocks to his home. He had planned to read and write a bit that evening, but perhaps he would just sleep…maybe think over the short run-in he had just encountered.

He still wasn’t sure what it had been, so he was trying not to think about it. He had been stupid. The first time he had really talked to the girl, and he had confessed that she was the only girl for his heart. That was…not only sappy, but deserving of rejection. He was being silly for idolizing her so much without being brave enough to approach her. But he had now…and he really screwed it up too.

But she had taken the flower. She was…shocked, of course, but it didn’t seem she was apalled. So did that mean he should pursue it further?

No. That was being too optimistic…and he had never been more than realistic his whole life. She was just being polite, he needed to grow up and accept that he couldn’t just tell girls on the street he loved them and wanted to marry them. That was what six year olds did.

Slowly the pain in his head ebbed away..and a relaxing, lethargic feeling settled over his body. Maybe that was all he really needed, just to lighten up and accept that he couldn’t pick only one option to love…he was sure there were really nice girls everywhere, and he could pick one out and tell them he was Reno Thunder and they would swoon straight into his bed to stay with him for the rest of his life.

Heh…he stumbled on a crack in the pavement, and barely caught himself before he fell. Mrs. Parsons leaned out her window to ask if he needed help, but he waved her away. He was just a little sleepy. Must be fun…being retired and having nothing better to do than…sit around your front porch and make people didn’t fall down outside.

Better than concerts. Concerts were so noisy…hurt his head…something came from his mouth, which Reno surpressed, but could almost swear that it would have been a giggle. He felt like he could reach up and pull his head straight off because it was floating.

He took another step.

Warm lights swam around him, and now Reno was quite sure it wasn’t just that he was sleepy. Maybe…two pills had been too many. If he drank a lot of water, he had heard…it would…ah he didn’t remember what he had been thinking about.

He took another step.

Sometime while his legs were still in the motion of walking they decided to stop working and he crashed to the ground. He would have been embarrassed, probably mad at himself – but around the same time the dancing lights swarmed over his vision and he faded away, laughing about how funny the ground felt.


There was no period Reno felt between when he lost consciousness and when he regained it. He simply floated through the bright endless light and thought far-fetched thoughts of how easy life was if he could simply do something that he knew naturally he couldn’t possibly do. So he laughed at himself, he laughed and laughed until his side hurt. And that was the first feeling he had when he awoke.

And there were two gorgeous eyes looming over him. “What did you take? Mr. Thunder…I know you can hear me – what did you take?”

Slowly the room around him focused…a room he didn’t quite recognize. It was nice, kind of cozy…reminded him of back home in Kalm. He used to always lie on his bed with his hands behind his head and think of how perfect his life would be as soon as he could get out of the house. Perfect. Hah. He began to chuckle again, this time painfully.

SLAP! A small hand visited his face rudely and he jerked up from his relaxed position, putting his own hand up to nurse his jaw.

“Owwww…why did you do that?” He looked defensively at the figure standing over him. It was Aeris. Dammit!

“I asked you a question, what did you take? If you would stop giggling like a little girl for a few seconds maybe you could find the time to answer me.” Her hands were on her hips now, and there was a firey light in her eyes that suggested she was offended by his actions. He held his hand up,

“Sorry…I don’t know what happened. What I took?” What did he take? Slowly he slipped his hand into his pocket, “I have the bottle…”

“Flash.” Aeris picked the white bottle up from the table behind her and held it in front of his face, “There’s something wrong with these pills…I examined them and it looks like they’ve been injected with some sort of energy I don’t quite understand…” She dropped the bottle on his lap and started chewing on her thumbnail, “How long have you taken these?”

“What are you, my doctor?” Reno slipped the bottle back into his pocket and flopped back down on the bed, “I’ve never taken them before today.”

“Good, don’t take them again.” That was an order. Then her commanding tone faded into something more…self-conscious, “No…I just know a lot about healing and materia, so Mrs. Parsons had me take care of you.”

“Thank you.” Reno looked around him. There was a window behind him…outside the street lights had faded enough for it to be night time. How long had he been asleep? When he turned back, Aeris’ eyes were still on him expectantly,

“Do you feel well enough to stand up? I don’t think Elmyra will appreciate such a sexy stranger sleeping so close to me.”

Reno’s face flushed, “Ahh…yeah I feel okay.” Gingerly he climbed from the bed and stretched to his full height…he really didn’t feel bad at all – rather refreshed in fact. “I bought the pills for headaches, but I guess aspirin will do.”

“Aspirin will be fine.” Aeris smiled and then approached him. She put her hands against his chest, and he nearly jumped…but it was just to smooth out his shirt, which she did in a pure motherly faction. Reno cleared his throat – now that he was fully awake and aware, once again he was nervous,

“Look…ahhh…about that thing today, you know with the flower and everything, I…that was sudden, right? I mean, I’m sorry, I-I shouldn’t have done that. It was stupid.”

“Oh?” Aeris looked up and smiled, “I thought it was kind of sweet.” She backed away from him again and then motioned to the table, where his cigarettes, wallet and guard stick were laying, “There are your things. You are right though, it wasn’t quite the appropriate time to bring it up. You should have at least asked me on a date or something first.”

Was that a pickup line? It sure sounded a hell of a lot like a pickup line. He looked down and fiddled with the buttons on his shirt, “Well…I yeah – I know. Thanks…for taking care of me and stuff…I guess…I’ll be going now.”

“Oh…” Her smile faded again, and that almost killed him. He was always making her unhappy or angry or something, why couldn’t he ever say the right things?

“Hey!” He thought of something just before he reached the door. “Why don’t you come to one of my concerts sometime?”

“It’s too loud…I don’t like all the screaming and banging noises.” She shrugged apologetically. He understood…neither did he. “But look…why don’t we go on a date?”

“---A date?” So it had been a come on. Jeez, he was dense.

The smile broke through again, “Yeah, you could take me out to dinner or something…”

“Dinner? O-okay…but…” Dammit. “But it would have to be tomorrow…or else I’m going out of town for two weeks.”

“Tomorrow sounds free.” Aeris pondered for a moment as Reno drank her on, nearly faint from the reality of what was currently happening to him. “Just stop by the house…does lunch sound good? 12?”

“Yeah that sounds fine…I have a concert later that night anyway.” That was easy. That was really easy…he hadn’t even had to ask her! “Alright…uhmm…” Stay cool, Reno, stay cool. “Thanks.” He flashed a smile to her and then opened the door, “I’ll pick you up tomorrow then?”

“Sounds like a plan!” Aeris smiled, handing him his possessions. Which he had forgotten. Which made him feel even more like an idiot. She didn’t seem to notice though, she just looked up at him with a motherly expression again and repeated, “No more Flash pills.”


“Good night!”


Aeris smiled as she watched him leave the room…Reno Thunder, a little boy that was too scared of girls to look her straight in the eye. Who would ever believe her?

She felt sort of…manipulative, just pushing him around like that. But he was cute, very good looking in fact, and he had been trying to work up words to say to her for months, she had watched him. So it was just a little push, that was all.

Still smiling she stood for a moment, then walked into her room and closed the door behind her, dropping on her stomach onto the bed. It felt good to be assertive…it had been a long time since she had dated Zach, and…that was over, she had to get over it.

Aeris could feel Reno’s good spirit hidden within, it was just disguised…he seemed a little confused about it himself. And wherever he had gotten those pills…she sighed and closed her eyes. She didn’t want to think of dating some drug addict musician, and she wanted to believe that he had just picked up the pills by accident and would drop them.

One date…she would have a date with him, and that would make her decision about who Reno Thunder was.


Reno never remembered having that much trouble sleeping before. It was as if every butterfly in the city was attacking his stomach. So many questions ran through his mind, leaving as quick as they came…all the possibilities, nightmarish or good beyond hope, everything he needed to do…and above all the question of why she was going out on a date with him in the first place.

She just…prodded him into it. And he knew that if she had not been so forward the question would never have touched his lips. Besides performing in front of others for years, he had the tact of a corpse around Aeris. He didn’t know why, with hundreds of women throwing themselves at his feet every day. Reno had no problem dealing with them…it was the fact that he was the one actually interested in her…and that he was so interested. That must have been why he was a little…choked up.

A little choked up. He chuckled to himself and rolled over. He had never felt more like an idiot. And she had still gone happily along with her date plan. He would never understand women…

Reno knew he needed sleep for his long week ahead, but his excitement was that of a small child before Christmas. Atleast he didn’t have a headache…thankfully the pills did have their promised pain relief, and in a greater quantity.

He still considered taking the Flash pills. With Aspirin he constantly pulled his bottle from his pocket, and still he could rarely control his headaches. Now two pills and he had a day free of the pain altogether.

But Aeris’ warning stuck in his head…and he wanted less than anything to upset her by taking them again, especially that now he had a chance with her. A foot in the door. Someday soon she could truly become his flower.

That was a very happy thought. And it was the thought that remained in his mind as slowly he drifted from the happiness of reality to the satisfaction of slumber.

Chapter 4

Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic