Catching Glimpses Chapter 11
To Each His Own, Part 1
"Figures. Wherever Reno goes, you find trouble."-Rude Texiera
I have just realized that I have made no necessary disclaimer in this story, so here seems to be as good of a place as any to include it. I do not own Reno (though Gawd do I wish I did! J ), materia, Cid and Shera Highwind, Palmer, Rude, Elena, Reeve, (etc.) Shinra Inc., Junon, or any of the places documented in this fic. On the other hand, I do own Dinah Selby/Kiyara Shinra, Azrael Maiden, Joshua Highwind, Katania Highwind, Raven Highwind, and Faye Texiera, (pronounced Ta-share-a) so stay away from them! Hee hee hee Well, if you have my permission to use them (like Diego does) then it's okay, but otherwise no. Anyway, the lucky folks at Squaresoft own all of the aforementioned people, places, and things, and I got no profit whatsoever from this story besides the profit of my own (and others') enjoyment.
Two days before the events of chapter 10
Faye fell into step beside Rude as he came out of the bar.
"What'd you find out?" she asked, shedding her jacket in the Costa del Sol
heat and throwing it over one shoulder nonchalantly.
Rude jumped. "What the-Oh. It's you." He grinned sheepishly, then returned
to her question. "Reno was here, all right. He was thrown out of the bar
around 10:00 on Saturday night for nearly breaking a guy's skull."
Faye grinned. "Typical Reno. What else?"
"There is nothing else. The last person to see him was the bouncer
who threw him out."
"No one else saw him?" Faye asked incredulously.
"No one in there, anyway," Rude replied, jerking a thumb behind him to point
to the bar. "I was wishing that Reeve was here, though. He's a lot
diplomatic than me. I nearly got thrown out myself."
Faye hid a small smile at that. "I wish he could have come too. But he's
the president of a large company, and practically the mayor of Midgar. He
can't just leave it on a whim, like we can." Then she frowned. "But to get
back to the original topic, I asked around in the different shops. No one
there had seen Reno either."
A cry came from behind them. "Wait up!" They halted and turned as Elena came
dashing up. She pushed her hair out of her eyes with one hand. "Whew! You
guys walk fast," she panted. Elena was not very tall, with short blonde hair
and innocent, trusting blue eyes. She was dressed casually, as were her
companions, and always took great pains with her appearance.
"Did you find anything?" Rude asked, patiently waiting for her to gain her
Elena saw the way they were looking at her expectantly. "Aw damn. You guys
didn't find anything?"
Rude shook his head as Faye answered, "All we found out was that Reno got
kicked out of the bar around ten on Saturday night. You?"
Elena nodded. "Well, yeah, I did, but I don't know where to go with it."
"You were at the hotel, right?" Faye asked.
"Yeah. The manager had Reno in the records, and he told a wild story about
being awakened in the middle of the night with gun shots coming from the
room next to Reno's, belonging to a guy named Dan Selby."
"Figures," Rude muttered. "Where ever Reno goes, you find trouble."
"Apparently," Elena went on, ignoring the interruption, "When the manager
knocked on the door, Reno called out something like 'Everything's fine. Just
go away!' Then about ten minutes later, a motorcycle roared to life outside.
When the manager went to the window, he saw Reno and Dan Selby riding off
together. Then several big men, in all black clothes that looked like thugs
ran out and tried to start the remaining motorcycles."
Elena paused to grin. "The manager said that their cursing could be heard
throughout the town. The thugs came back in and asked for a room, the terrified
manager gave it to them, and they left two days later."
"When did this happen?" Faye asked.
"Saturday night," Elena replied. "But there's more. When I asked our friend
the manager if anything else odd had happened, he said yes. He had heard
gunshots on Sunday night, around 10:15 P.M, and they sounded like
they were coming from the dock."
"Junon!" Rude and Faye said in unison.
"Exactly my thought," Elena answered, looking slightly smug.
"We can't be sure those shots were Reno," Rude cautioned.
"Maybe someone was out and could tell us?" Faye suggested.
Rude just looked at her.
"All right, maybe it's not so likely at ten o'clock at night in a small town
like this, but it is possible," Faye defended herself.
"The ferry's at Junon right now, so we can't ask the crew," Elena broke in.
"But we might as well ask around."
Rude nodded. "Let's do it."
Two hours later, the threesome met up at the dock.
Faye was already sitting on the boards, with her feet dangling over the edge,
watching the sun fade from a bright light to a series of molten reds and
electric yellows as it set.
"Anything?" Elena asked as she approached, stepping around a filthy beggar
"Not a thing," Faye replied. As Elena sat down beside her, Rude's figure
appeared at the end of the dock.
The two women turned to him, the question evident on both faces.
Rude shook his head as he strode up, his boots making the dock echo with
a thudding noise. "Not a trace. I think we've hit a dead end, ladies." The
sun was suddenly gone, casting dark shadows over everything.
"You'd think that Reno, with his flaming red hair would be pretty easy to
spot," Elena mused.
"And by all accounts, this guy, Dan Selby that he was traveling with would
be pretty tough to forget as well."
A cackle rang out from behind them. "Hee hee hee! I saw a man with bright
red hair, oh yes I did!" called out a high pitched, cracked voice, giving
the impression of an old man. The three spun, Elena and Faye sitting while
Rude still stood, to find the dirty beggar grinning at them. The three shared
a quick glance at each other before turning back to look at the man.
"And when was this?" Elena asked cautiously.
The man laughed again, his face hidden by his blue windbreaker and the dark
caresses of the night. "You think I'm going to tell you this for free? You're
stupider than you look!" Rude studied him carefully. Something about him
sounded and looked very familiar
Elena bristled as Faye stepped in. "How much do you want for it?" she asked
The man thought about it for a moment, then replied, "500."
Elena looked at him, dismayed, as Rude steadfastedly said, "No."
"350?" the man suggested.
Rude was struck again by the familiarity of the voice. The hood of the
windbreaker had a strange shape to it
"No," Faye said firmly.
The man began to sound desperate. "100?"
Rude shook his head. "50 gil."
The man hesitated, then nodded. "Oh, all right." He reached out a hand for
the money, but no one moved.
"Info first, money later," Elena said coldly.
The man sighed, exasperated. "Fine. Here's what happened. Around 10:15 on
Saturday night, I was sitting here, as usual. Right in the dark corners that
are caused by the shadows of this ship." He reached up a hand and patted
the boat that was moored behind him. "That's why I figure they didn't see
"Who didn't see you?" Elena asked impatiently.
The man fixed her with a glare that she couldn't see through the hood.
"Sorry," Elena said.
"As I was saying, suddenly, these two come into view. One had flaming red
hair pulled back in a ponytail, and I could see several concealed weapons
on him. The other was a very beautiful woman with long blonde hair. They-"
Rude stopped him for a moment. "Hang on a minute. Where'd the woman come
from? What happened to Dan Selby?"
The proverbial lightbulb went on over Faye's head. "Dan Selby had long blonde
hair pulled back in a ponytail, right Elena?" When the blonde woman nodded,
she continued. "This 'beautiful woman' has long blonde hair
Elena understood what Faye was getting at, and directed her questions to
the beggar. "Was she tall and thin? Did she have long legs? Was she wearing
a pair of baggy, olive green pants and high black boots, with a gray tank
top and a dark brown jacket? Did she have gray-blue eyes?"
The beggar nodded in response to each of her questions except for the last.
"It was too dark and she was facing the wrong direction for me to see her
Rude suddenly got it. "Dan Selby and this mysterious beautiful woman are
the same person!"
"Exactly!" Faye and Elena replied in unison.
"A-HEM!" their informant broke in huffily.
"Oh, right. Go on," Elena said.
"So they came dashing down the dock together, and it was obvious they were
headed for the ferry, which was beginning to leave. They kinda stopped for
a minute when they saw the boat moving, then your friend grabbed the woman's
hand and dragged her along with him. She jerked her hand out of his, and
really started pumping. Just from the way she pulled her hand away from his,
I could tell that she probably doesn't think much of your buddy. Suddenly,
this big guy appeared behind them-"
"What kind of big guy?" Rude interrupted.
The man fixed him with a glare before answering. "Just that, a big guy that
was full of muscles. He looked like a hired thug, or one of those old fashioned
gangsters. His clothes were old fashioned and really weird, and I couldn't
see his face. Now may I continue?"
Rude, Faye, and Elena nodded.
"It looked like they were running from Big Bad Caveman," the beggar went
on. "He whipped out a gun, and fired off several shots at them, one of which
seemed to hit your friend the redhead in the arm. The boat was already detached
from the dock, and was moving away. The woman pulled ahead and leaped onto
the boat, slamming into the side and pulling herself up. Ren-the redheaded
Rude frowned at the slip of the tongue, but allowed the man to continue.
"-Followed her a half a second later and after a moment of conversing, she
yanked him up and over the rail onto the boat. And they were outta there!
Their Neanderthal pal threw down his gun angrily, then whipped out a nifty
little cell phone and held a quick conversation. Then he left. Can I have
my money now?" A grimy hand positioned itself in front of Rude's face.
Rude looked him over carefully for a moment, then asked, "Who the hell are
"Huh?" the beggar said, sounding as if he was trying to feign surprise.
"You know Reno well enough to refer to him by his first name. Don't deny
it," Rude said, as the man opened his mouth to speak. "You started to say
Reno, then you corrected yourself and called him the redheaded man."
"So what if I do know him?" The man planted his feet defiantly. Inside the
hood, his gaze flickered from Rude to Faye to Elena and back to Rude again.
Suddenly, with amazing speed, he made a dash for the town.
Faye's foot shot out, tripping him, and the "beggar" crashed to the dock
with a thud. Elena was immediately there, grabbing him by the collar of his
windbreaker and hauling him to his feet.
Rude hid a smile. The two women he was travelling were definitely
not as defenseless as they looked.
He strode forward and pulled the hood off of the beggar's head to reveal
Cloud Strife's blue eyes glaring balefully at him; caught tightly in Elena's
Elena gasped, "Strife?!" as Faye stared at the Mako eyes.
Rude nodded. "I thought it was you. You did an admirable job of concealing
your voice and mannerisms, but I was trained to see through disguises. Why
would you give us false information?"
Cloud bristled. "So you think just because we are former enemies, that that
information I gave you was fake? Dream on, my friend. It was 100% true; all
"Well then why are you here, dressed like that?" Rude asked, looking
Cloud shook his golden head stubbornly. "I don't have to answer any of your
questions." He glared at Rude.
Cloud was fairly tall, with what had once been a warrior's trim and muscular
build. Now he was extremely thin, probably as a result of time spent on the
streets. He would have been completely unremarkable except for two things.
One was his platinum blonde hair that was tufted into long spikes and shot
off into all directions. The other was his Mako blue eyes that were so bright
they glowed in the dark. And there was something else about the eyes, that
had changed in the two years since Rude had seen their owner. Cloud's eyes
had lost the determined and naïve look they used to hold. Now they were
sad, angry, and very dead, although anger was the strongest emotion at the
"What happened to you?" Rude muttered.
Apparently, Cloud had sharp ears. "Aeris, that's what happened to me," Cloud
replied bitterly. His mouth shut, and he refused to say anything more, despite
all of their efforts to entice him.
Then Faye stepped forward, brown eyes full of kindness. "Please, tell me
what happened. You look like it would be good for you to get it out of your
system, plus I'd be curious to see what brought the savior of the Planet
down to this level."
Maybe it was the unexpected kindness in her voice, or the blatant honesty,
or perhaps even the fact that she wasn't a former mortal enemy that made
Cloud look up, smile slightly, and say, "All right."
Rude and Elena were taken aback. Elena opened her mouth to say something,
and without turning around, Faye waved a hand frantically in the blonde woman's
face to get her to be quiet. Elena's mouth closed.
A small fire of defiance burned in Cloud's expressive eyes for a moment.
"I'll explain everything if we go to the inn for me to talk, if you
tell me why you're so frantic over Reno, if you tell me who you are-" He
looked at Faye when he said this. "-and if you put me up at the inn
for the night."
Faye turned and looked to Rude and Elena. Elena nodded, while Rude shrugged,
the look on his face clearly saying, 'Whatever.' She spun back to Cloud.
"Your terms are acceptable," the small woman said jovially, grinning.
Cloud gave a small smile at that. Then he looked over his shoulder to Elena.
"I can't walk if you're still pinning me."
Blushing slightly, Elena let go and jumped back.
Cloud walked the three steps to where Faye was standing and just stood in
front of her for a moment; looming over her short frame menacingly and looking
down on her, searching her face for signs of intimidation.
Rude started forward, but Elena put a hand on his arm. "Don't," she murmured.
"It could be his form of a test." Rude stopped and watched with anxiety.
Faye met the cold and vacant gaze unflinchingly. After a moment of brown
eyes clashing on blue, Cloud spoke. "Who are you?" he asked.
"Faye Texiera," Faye replied, stepping back so their arms wouldn't entangle
and offering him her hand.
After a split second, Cloud grasped her small hand in his gloved one and
shook it gently, completely encompassing it.
"Cloud Strife," he said as way of introduction. He glanced back at Rude and
Elena for a moment. "How'd you get mixed up with them?"
Faye hoped that the next revelation wouldn't make her lose his newly gained
trust. "Rude is my husband."
Cloud blinked, but that was the only outward sign of his surprise. "Oh."
"Are you ready to go to the inn now?" Faye asked, hoping that she hadn't
lost him. This man had really piqued her interest.
Cloud offered her a rare smile. "Let's go."
Faye breathed an inner sigh of relief. The two walked off together, with
Rude and Elena bringing up the rear.
"Remind me again why we're listening to the tale of how our mortal enemy
ended up on the streets while our best friend is in trouble with some trigger
happy wrestlers?" Rude said unhappily, his gaze following the retreating
figures of Cloud and Faye.
Elena studied him for a moment, then a slow grin crept its way across her
features as the wind ruffled her blonde hair. "You're jealous!"
The time was when Rude would have just looked down on her, his face
expressionless. But after Faye came into his life, that had changed. "What?!
No, I'm not!" Rude defended hotly.
Elena's smile grew wider. "Yes, you are. I can tell."
Rude's hands waved as he denied it. He was so vehement in denying it that
he nearly fell off the bridge into the town below. "I am not! What would
I have to be jealous of?!"
"All of the attention Faye is paying to Cloud?" Elena suggested.
"Elena, I'm a grown man. Faye is just being compassionate and nice. There's
nothing to be jealous about."
Elena gave him what he and Reno had dubbed 'The Look.'
"All right, all right. Maybe I am a little jealous," Rude admitted
Faye smiled, looking like the proverbial cat who swallowed the canary. "I
"But why are we doing this? Helping Strife, that is," Rude asked.
Elena pondered that for a moment. "Because A, he's not our mortal enemy any
more, and B, he needs help. We just happened to be the ones who were here
to give it to him."
"So you approve?"
Elena nodded. "Absolutely."
Rude shrugged as he said, "To each his own."
Elena punched him playfully as they followed Cloud and Faye into the inn.
"You mean to each her own," Elena corrected, laughing and walked past
him into the hotel.
Rude stopped for a moment as he rubbed absentmindedly at his shoulder where Elena had hit him. "We really need another guy to join us " he muttered.
Go To Chapter 12
Return To FF7 Fanfic