Reno: Through the Eyes Chapter 4

By Kain Servant

Rude dusted his navy blue suit off with his fingers, and moved through the crowded Wall Market, trying to touch as few people as he could. It was hard.

Filthy people…none of them bothering to give themselves a chance in the mirror…or shower or anywhere, even once a week. He was loathe to even been on the same street with them – to feel their dark, depressed eyes staring dully up at him…the sunglasses were but a thin protective wall.

His query was a little better than most, but everyone needed a little work. Reno looked clean and self-conscious as he strolled along through the crowd…but he wore his clothes sloppily, and smeared his body against the people he passed. Rude shuddered and followed him carefully, observing the people they moved with. Who was Reno with, or going to meet? Who was his idol…his angel? Where was his heart? Rude wanted to stab the heart out and be away from the filthy people as soon as possible.

The shadowing continued for a few more minutes, until Reno finally wound up at the entrance of the only nice restaurant in the sixth sector. Jewels of Iron… Reno straightened his plaid, unbuttoned shirt, and his baggy khaki pants, took another swipe at his overgrown hair, and then stepped inside. Rude smirked confidentally. He was going on a date…all Rude needed now was a peek inside, and the game was over.

As he went for the peek, the host, or guard, of the restaurant – a big man with a scowl on his face, blocked his path. “Following him? Not very wise of you.”

Rude stared the man in the face for a moment, then calmly said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Mister Thunder doesn’t walk around with no security for nothing…he’s probably the best street fighter in Midgar, maybe even in the world.”

“I know…since when did strangers start caring if I get hurt. Do you even know who I am?” Rude glared at him for a moment, and the guard slowly backed down, shaking his head slowly. “Now…get me a table for one.”

“Yes, sir.”

The guard swiftly handed Rude over to a waiter, who smiled politely as he glided through the restaurant and led him to a booth, provided him with a menu and silverware, and disappeared with a promise to be back. Reno was nowhere in sight.

Damn. Of all places to take him. Rude took off his sunglasses and peered around, straining his neck to get a glimpse of the slick-haired rockstar. But all he could see were dignitaries flashing fake smiles, rich men wooing uninterested young women, and of course, the occasional happy couple. Damn them as well – where was Reno?

“Looking for someone?” A smooth feminine voice questioned from across the booth wall. Rude inspected the wall for a moment, then, as inconspicuously as he could, poked his head around the side to see who it was. A thin trail of smoke met his vision, obscuring a starlet from his view. Blonde hair and a gorgeous face and body wrapped in revealing attire, she sat with her legs crossed at her thighs, one arm on the table and another holding a long, slim cigarette. She smiled and tilted her head, “Well?”

“Looking for you, girl.” Rude grinned and put his arm onto the seat to steady himself, “Any chance I could get us some time together?”

The girl smirked and turned her head away, “Might want to try buying a new face before you ask questions like that. But I will sell you information… that is what you want isn’t it?”

Rude continued to grin, “Maybe a little more.”

“Uhm…sir?” Rude looked up from his awkward position sprawled out across the two seats to see his waiter returned with an order pad in his hand. Rude slid back into his own seat in a fit of coughing, then ordered his food – his neck burning as he heard the girl laughing softly behind him.

When the waiter had gone again, Rude stood up and strode to the next booth, sitting boldly down next to the beautiful woman. He put his palms down on the table, “Information. Do you know Reno Thunder?”

She was still laughing softly…but at the sound of business she sobered up slightly, “Know him? Well…not personally – but of course I know who he is. Everyone knows who he is.”

“Right.” Rude toyed with his shades, “Well he’s in this restaurant right now, with a girl.”

“Well of course he is – walked in right before you did.” Rude growled,

“Yes, I know. Where is he?”

She moved her hand on top of his and patted it softly with a condescending smile, “Well that sort of information will cost you.”

“What the hell? He’s in this restaurant, I know that! Do me a favor and just tell me where he is.”

“Shh…” She put a finger to her lips, “You don’t win girls talking that way.”

Time was being wasted – Rude just wanted to find Reno and get out of the slum as fast as he could. With a sigh he reached for his wallet and opened it, flipping it open to where she could see, “Rude Harper, Turks organization. I hate to be pushy, but I’m in a hurry, and your government demands this information.”

“The Turks? Ohh…well in that case…he’s around the corner to the left, four tables down. You don’t have to be so rude…” Rude grumbled a thank you and rose to leave…she touched his hand as he went, “Oh, and tell Tseng that Elena says hello.”

“Sure.” Rude grumbled as he swaggered off, donning his shades again. Just one look was all he needed…Rude prided himself in his artistic talent – once he saw the girl the first time he could hold her image in his mind for as long as he needed to.

Rude rounded the corner brushing past a few waiters with trays full of food. Everyone in the restaurant was so depressed, living in their miserable lives for their own gain. It was a good enough reason to take advantage of them through the Turks. They weren’t competent enough to live their own lives, so he and Tseng would live their lives for them.

Reno was facing Rude as he walked along, and a girl dressed in a forest green dress and a matching bow in her hair sat opposite to him. Rude couldn’t see her face yet…so he continued to walk, watching Reno’s face as he did. Reno was happy, and nervous. His eyes tense, as if every word he said was being weighed and judged. But he was happy…whoever he was with obviously meant something to him – it would do very well. “I’ll see you in work later on this week, Mister Thunder.”

Rude passed the table and glanced back, staring into the face of a girl with piercing green eyes, a sad smile, and auburn hair that fell across her face and down her back. Sad…how the hell could Reno be having so much fun with someone who was that sad? They were on two different planes…aw hell, it wasn’t his business. His job was done!

Adjusting his sunglasses, Rude took his leave of the sixth sector, the filth of the town falling away from him as he left, and the girl’s face burnt into his memory.


“Feeling better?” Aeris smiled as Reno slid into the booth. Reno nodded quickly, smiling back at her,

“A lot in fact, thank you for taking care of me.” Reno looked her up and down. She looked absolutely gorgeous, gorgeous enough for him to fling himself at her feet and beg for her to take him…but he would stay cool. “You look beautiful.”

Aeris blushed, “Thank you. I bought this dress for special occasions. I guess this is one of them…” She fingered the soft fabric thoughtfully as the conversation died. “So…you have another concert today?”

“Yeah…” Reno sighed, “Another one. Can’t live any sort of life anymore unless I’m singing through it.” A waiter came, took their orders, and left promptly. Reno played with his napkin for a moment, “You ever been to a concert?”

“Yes…well, sort of. It was after school, they had a little party for the graduates – and a school band played there. It was fun.”

“So you might want to go sometime?”

“I won’t promise.” Aeris winked, “I’ve heard a lot of reviews about your music. All rage and vulgar…not at all like you…”

“Like me?” Reno dabbed at his mouth with the napkin and looked at her through curious eyes, “And what am I like?”

“Well…from what I’ve seen of you so far…” She quickly guarded her statement and Reno smiled. She was very smart, and so damn pretty…everything he could have asked for. “You are quiet. You don’t talk as much as most men…you seem reserved, and act as if you’re trying to hide from someone or something that is after you.”

Reno grunted, “Yeah, my life.”

“Sure, your life. Don’t be afraid of it. I like men who are bold and can command the room and tell me what to do. It makes me feel safer…”

Reno continued staring at her as the drinks came…he picked his up slowly, “So…you think I’m weak?’

Aeris shook her head quickly, “No, no. Not weak. I…I don’t know what I’m saying, let’s just not talk about it…”

“Alright.” Reno sipped his drink thoughtfully. This wasn’t going quite as well as he hoped. He wanted Aeris badly, but it seemed she didn’t, and even worse – she was picking at him. He tried to push his defenses away and try again, “So do you like selling flowers, is it a family business?”

“I like selling flowers…but no, it’s not a family business…I don’t think. My parents are both dead – I’ve lived with an adopted mother since I was a little girl.”

Dammit! Why couldn’t he bring up a safe topic? “Oh…I’m sorry. I can’t seem to stay far enough away from my parents – even now they’re trying to meddle in my life…”

“You don’t seem like the kind of guy who would hate his parents.”

Reno shrugged and took another sip, “I guess some people aren’t readable from the outside.”

“You have proven so thus far. Oh…” Aeris reached up and touched his chin, “You didn’t shave today.”

What, was there something wrong with that too? “Yeah…guess I forgot. You come here often?”

“No…unfortunately. I don’t make enough money – but I come here and look at it a lot…I always wanted to go on a date here.”

Reno tried to listen as she talked, but his head was starting to hurt again. Angrily he shook it and continued, “Oh…well I’ll try to take you here as often as I can. I wish we could do something else this week, like maybe go to a movie or something, but I have a tour starting tomorrow.”

“Well…” Aeris looked down, “We haven’t even started dinner yet.”

“I know…” Reno grabbed his skull in one hand and began massaging his temple, “Hey…do you like poetry?”

“Poetry? Hmm…yes I do. Stuff about angels and heaven…why, do you write poetry?”

“Well…yeah, I write poetry and songs and stuff. I wrote a song about you once…maybe I can sing it for you sometime.”

“A song?” Aeris blushed. “Di-did you ever sing it in front of a crowd?”

It was Reno’s turn to look down, into his drink. “Yeah…every concert – I was hoping you would be there one time to hear it.”

Aeris’ face reddened further, “Oh…I had no idea you were so infatuated with me. It’s cute.”

“Yeah…” Damn, where was his creativity when the girl was right in front of him? “I’m sorry…I’m just having trouble talking to you now…I don’t know why.”

“Just be yourself – you’ll do fine.” Aeris tried helpfully. Reno shook his head,

“I…my head hurts.” He put his head down into his arms, “Talk to me for a while…I’m sorry.”

Aeris hesitantly put her hand on his head, a bit surprised by the abruptness of Reno’s action. Slowly she squeezed his skull…gently, and then began to speak soothingly, “It was so funny, watching you these past few years…always walking by and staring at me like a little boy, yet too bashful to ever talk to me. I’m glad you’ve finally grown into the man you are now…maybe it hurts sometimes – but this is what your life is. What you’ve made…I’m sure you can live it better than anyone else. I’ve grown too…while you’ve been growing, and I’ve been through my relationships and through my own pain – so I can sympathize. Pain always ends in healing or death…you’ll find the right way.” She stooped and kissed his forehead gently, and Reno tingled all over, but still his head throbbed with pain.

Slowly he raised his head, took her hand in his, and kissed it gently, “Thank you…you are even more gentle and kind than I had hoped.”

“I’m honored…”

“But my head still hurts.” Reno mentally slapped himself for sounding so childish…and that only made his head ache worse.

Aeris sighed, and then took his skull in her hands again. Reno felt some sort of light warmth run from her hands to his head…and slowly the anger of the headache faded into a dull roar in the background. “That’s the best I can do.”

“What was that? Materia?”

“Yes, a healing materia. It was a gift from my real mother.”

“I’ve never owned any materia – my own body is good enough for me.”

“Well sometimes it helps.”

“Yes…” Reno looked up and smiled, “Thank you again.”

Aeris tossled his hair, “You’re still such a little boy.”

That was what she made him feel like. But he still had to try, “Come on…I’m not hungry anymore, want to take a walk around town?”

Aeris smiled, “Alright.”


Rude smiled proudly down at his artwork, a mirror image of the girl he had seen in the restaurant. Next to it lay a real photograph of her, and a folder containing information about her. He read it off as Tseng stared curiously,

“Aeris Gainsborough…22…sells flowers in various sectors of midgar…you can see her physical specs. Pretty.”

“Good work, Rude…I-I really can’t believe this.” Tseng continued to stare down at the pictures, waiting for someone to wake him up. Rude tried,

“Believe what, sir?”

“Well…it’s just so perfect. We’ve been ordered by President Shinra to capture this girl anyway…been trying to get her for several years, actually. It’ll be killing two birds with one stone.”

“Apparently she’s the last of the Cetra…or something equally as boring. The fact is…we can bring a proposition to Reno tomorrow…putting the girl’s life on the line in his eyes. He’ll be forced to join us…since he cares for her. Of course we can’t kill her even if he doesn’t join us…but he will – so it won’t matter. You’ll soon have a new partner, Mister Harper.”

Rude nodded and turned away, “Your genius always amazes me, sir. Oh…” Rude stopped, “By the way, Elena says hello.” Rude smirked, then closed the door behind him.

Elena… Tseng’s head went back against his chair as he thought for a moment…Elena – it had been a long time. She was probably still looking for her favor. Tseng picked up the drawing of Aeris gingerly, staring at it for a moment…then he smiled and tossed it aside. “Guess it’s time to take care of unfinished business.”

Chapter 5

Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic