Catching Glimpses Chapter 16

Merrily We Go Insane

By Kiyara

"Just couldn't stay away from me, huh?"-Reno Lynley


Reaching the top of the stairs, Reno looked wildly around. The door to the weapon room that he had discovered earlier was wide open, and he saw Kiyara there. He froze. She was sitting on her feet on the floor, batting at invisible ghosts around her golden head. But it was what she was batting with that really scared him. A very sharp, wicked looking knife that she had obviously gotten from one of the cabinets of weapons.

"Reno! Reno!" Reeve was yelling into the phone that Reno still held in one hand, but the redhead ignored it. Reeve could wait. Kiyara obviously couldn't.

Reno bolted down the hall and into the room. As she saw him approaching fast, Kiyara raised the knife up to her neck, obviously meaning to slice her jugular vein. He dropped to his knees a few feet in front of her with a bone-jarring thud that rattled the floorboards, and as he slid the last few feet up to her on his knees, Reno dropped the phone on the floor. He grabbed her wrists and pulled her arms away from her neck. He wrenched the knife out of her hands and flung it across the room, where it embedded itself in the floorboards, quivering.

Kiyara stared at him, shaking badly, her blue-gray eyes wide. She was talking so fast that he almost couldn't hear her. "She needs help--Where is her help? Where is her mommy? The evil, evil bad, bad man did horrible things to her. Alone, so alone." She continued babbling, and began to try to pull her arms out of Reno's grip.

Reno knew how strong she was, and acted accordingly. He pulled her to him, and held her tightly, with her back pressed up against him, effectively pinning her arms. Kiyara didn't seem to notice. She continued staring into space and babbling.

"Reno! Who is that?! What's going on! Answer me, dammit!"

"Later, Reeve!" Reno yelled, hoping that the phone would pick up his voice.

"Help her, help her…" the blonde hissed. Reno felt a chill run up and down his spine for no apparent reason.

"Kiyara?" Reno asked in bewilderment.

She continued her whispers. "Help her, help her…"

"Kiyara!" he shouted in her ear, desperately trying to reach her.

Kiyara's lament changed to, "Help me, help me." For the first time, she seemed to notice him, and turned around to look up at him pleadingly, her frightened eyes wide in a suddenly pale face.

"Help you what?" Reno asked in concern.

She ignored him once again and continued. "Help me, help me."

Reno tried to reason with Kiyara. "Look, Kiy, why don't you calm down and tell me what's wrong, then I can help you."

"Please help me, please help me…"

"Reno Lynley! If you don't pick up the freaking phone I swear to God I'll-"

Reeve's yells were drowned out as Reno bellowed in her ear again. "Kiyara! Answer me, dammit!"

She barely even flinched. "Heeeeeelp meeeeeeeee." Her words were coming out slowly now, as if she was having a hard time speaking.

And suddenly, Reno knew what it was that she was going through. He had seen it before, and he mentally kicked himself for not realizing it earlier. It was shock. It just had to be a coincidence that it looked like what Damaya had done. It just had to be. His brain firmly refused to accept the other possibility, that it was something more. And the best way to get rid of shock would be to give her another, smaller shock, like cold water. He didn't see any way to half drag, half carry her to the nearest source of water, which would be the bathroom, so he did the next best thing.

Then, reaching one hand back as far as it would go while keeping a tighter grip on her with his other hand, Reno braced himself. Sorry. He whipped his hand forward and caught the side of her cheek in an open handed slap. The sound cracked around the room, and the force of it snapped her head around.

The slap seemed to have the opposite affect on the blonde. As his flaming red handprint grew on her cheek, Kiyara exploded.

"Nooo!" she screamed. "I'm not a backup for Sephiroth! I'm not!"

Reno's eyes grew wide. Is that what this is all about?!

There was a muffled obscenity from where Reno had dropped the phone, then Reeve's voice was heard. "Sephiroth!?"

Kiyara fought wildly to break free of his grasp, but Reno was holding onto her too well. She got one hand free and clawed at his face, leaving five red, bleeding slashes running down one cheek. Reno swore, but just tightened his grip.

After a minute or two of holding onto the raging, screaming woman, Reno could feel her beginning to break free. And he knew that once she did, she would go right for the knife again. Her fury seemed to be giving her extra strength, and it was giving her a definite advantage over Reno.

She continued her tirade. "No! I'm not like Sephiroth! Not at all! Hojo, get your filthy hands off me! Get away! No!"

"Reno! Who is that!? What does she know about Hojo and Sephiroth?!"

Reno grunted out an answer. "Kinda busy…right now…el presidente."

Kiyara twisted in an odd way and lunged forward, dragging Reno with her. Reno was unable to get his balance in time, and fell over, landing on top of her. He found himself looking down on her beautiful, raving face. Kiyara was unfazed. She tried to push him off, still yelling somewhat incoherently. "Get away from me, Hojo!"

Something inside of him whispered, "Kiss her…" It was the same voice that had made him think, the steak knives! when Damaya had gone running into the kitchen. It had caused him, when he was in the hospital after the Pillar incident, to ask, "Where's Aimee?" It was the voice that had prompted him to go to Costa del Sol a week ago, starting this whole thing.

So before Reno really realized what he was doing, he lowered his head to hers and their lips met. For a half a second, she seemed to freeze, but when she came out of it, Reno realized Kiyara was kissing him back. Everything in his head, mouth, and beyond exploded in a flash of colorful sensations. He had been kissed before…hell, lots of times before, but never before had it felt like this. The few seconds for which the moment lasted seemed to last for an eternity, and everything around them slowed to a standstill. Kiyara's arms snaked up around his neck, pulling him closer in the bruising, jaw-cracking kiss.

That same voice decided then to speak up again. "Stop."

First you tell me to kiss her, then you tell me to stop. Make up your mind already!


In his head, Reno sighed, but did as he was bidden. He pulled back, propping himself above her on his elbows. He found that her wide, blue-gray eyes were looking up at him in bafflement.

"D'you remember what happened?" Reno asked, managing to act as if he pinned her like that every day.

There was a slow nod in reply, then realization dawned in Kiyara's eyes, and her arms shot back to her sides, away from him.

Reno peered at her. "Care to enlighten me?"

Her only answer was a shove that pushed him off of her. Reno rolled to the side of her, and came up in a crouch as Kiyara leaped to her feet, eyes blazing. "How-could-you?!" Every word was short, clipped, and dangerous.

Reno stood, holding his hands open, palms facing her in self-defense. "Hey, you-"

Kiyara crossed the room in a flash. "How could you take advantage of me that way?!" Every word was accompanied by a poke to his chest.

Reno decided to fight fire with fire. "Hey, you were goin' nuts!" he bellowed back.

Kiyara glared at Reno, eyes glittering angrily. "Yeah, well that sure as hell didn't give you the right to climb all over me!"

Reno found himself becoming inexplicably angry. "I wasn't climbing all over you, dammit! You actually think I'm interested in you that way?!" He barked out a nasty laugh as he looked her up and down. "You may have a nice body, sister, but you're nothing compared to some of Midgar's finest."

Kiyara's hand moved so fast Reno barely even saw the blur. His head snapped around with the force of the slap, then he turned his head back to her, fingering the rapidly growing red mark on his cheek. "Heh heh. Now we match."

"My god are you a vile, malicious bastard! I'll bet even your mother hated you!"

"Hey, I'm not the dumb bitch whose mother abandoned her to an evil scientist!" Reno roared back.

In the shocked silence that followed, Reno knew that he had gone too far. Once again, her hand moved almost faster than he could see. This time, however, it was gathered into a fist. The punch seemed to start a mile behind her, and unfortunately for Reno, ended directly in front of her. The hard fist buried itself in his solar plexus. His air escaped him in a rush, and the Turk folded over like a cheap card table. Her other fist connected with his jaw, spinning his head and sending flecks of blood and spittle out of his mouth. Kiyara's hands shot out, giving the tottering Reno an angry shove. He fell to the ground with one hand wrapped around his injured stomach, gasping for air.

Kiyara stomped on the fingers of Reno's outstretched hand and spun viciously. Reno yelled and yanked his hand back when she stepped off of it. Kiyara walked out of the room in long, angry strides, her face dark with rage.

Reno's only answer was ragged, heaving gasps and a low moan. Finally, after he had recovered enough, the Turk managed to crawl over and pick up the phone. "I'm here," he mumbled through a jaw that felt broken.

Reeve sounded relieved, but still pissed. "What the hell happened?!"

"Me and my traveling partner had a, uh…domestic dispute." Reno massaged the lower half of his face. "Aww shit. I think she broke my jaw too…"

"What?" Reeve asked.

Reno shook his head, then remembered Reeve couldn't see the gesture. "Never mind."

"What was with the Sephiroth comment?!" Reeve sounded somewhat panicked.

"I don't know, Reeve. I'm going to ask her once she calms down a bit."

"Who the hell is she?"

"I don't want to say over the phone. A lot of people are looking for her, and I'm doin' my best to keep her safe."

Reeve sighed. "Fine. Now I want you to explain to me just what the hell is going on and where you've been!"

Reno grinned. "Later boss. Just get down to Tifa's bar, in Sector 5. We need you."

"You're with Tifa?" Reeve sounded incredulous.


"And, Reno, as much as I would like to, I can't get down there today. Why don't you tell me what's going on now, or I can send-"

"No!" Reno cut him off. "Reeve, don't send someone else. I only want someone that I can completely trust who's good with computers, and that would be you. I don't care who you know who is trustworthy; I want you. I won't tell you over the phone. It's too important. And why can't you come? This is of the utmost importance. Can't you cancel?"

Reeve sounded frustrated. "No, Reno, I can't just cancel. It's a very important meeting with some of the elders of Cosmo Canyon about the safety of the Planet."

"Okay. Then can you come tomorrow?"

Reno heard the clacking of keys being tapped. "Hang on… Let me check…" Reeve muttered indecipherable phrases to himself as he went through his list of appointments for the next day. "You say this is very important?"

Reno nodded. "Extremely."

"All right. I'll be there tomorrow, at about eight in the morning. Does that work?"

"Perfectly. And whatever you do: make sure you're not followed."

"Can do. I take it from the computer expert comment that you want me to bring my laptop?"

"And whatever security passes and other crap that you might need. Hey, by the way, did we ever computer index all of Hojo's shit?"

Reeve jumped on the other end. "Hojo?! Why do you need to be going through Hojo's trash?!"

"It has great relevance to my traveling companion," Reno said with mock gravity. "Just get down here tomorrow, Reeve, and I'll explain everything. And was it computer indexed?"

"Yes, it was."

"And do you have access to it?"

"I'm one of the few that do."

"Good. We'll need to access it tomorrow. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got business to take care of."

"Reno, what have you got yourself into?! Hojo and Sephiroth?! Reno! Don't hang up on me, dammit! Don't hang-" Reno hung up.

With a sigh, Reno replaced the little beat up phone in his pocket. He knew what he had to do next, and he wasn't particularly relishing it. It was something he hated to do, and was very bad at sincere ones. Apologies.

Reno moved out into the hallway, and followed the strains of a tune on the violin downstairs. Kiyara was seated on the stage again, this time playing a quick, angry sounding piece. As Reno walked around to the front of the stage, he also got a view of the front of her head. Her eyes were shut as she played, and silent tears were dripping down her face through her closed eyelids. Reno immediately felt like the scum of the universe. That is, until she spoke.

"I'm not crying because of you, and if you think I am, you're crazy and a dumbass to boot." She spoke with her eyes still closed as she finished the song.

"Lovely," Reno muttered to himself. Then: "Hey, what was that up there?"

She sounded disdainful and mocking as she played a few last notes. "You actually think I'm going to tell you? Listen, brother, you may have helped me this far, but you're stupid if you think I trust you."

Then Reno did a double take. The duffel bag that she had gotten from Shera was at her feet, and it looked like it was packed. She was wearing her jacket, and looked ready to leave. "Kiyara?"

The blonde ignored him and set the violin and bow down, then jumped off the stage. She threw her duffel bag over one shoulder and turned to face him. "Where are you going?"

Kiyara looked at him defiantly, twin tear trails standing out on her face. "Why do you care? I'm just a 'dumb bitch,' remember?"

Reno looked down at his feet and shuffled uncomfortably. "Aww, shit, Kiyara. I didn't mean it."

She raised an eyebrow. "Oh? Well, that's nice. Have a horrible life!" She moved toward the door, but Reno grabbed her by the sleeve.

"Wait," he said. She spun, looking ready to kick him. "Hear me out first," Reno said quietly. "Then if you still want to leave, go right ahead."

She folded her arms over her chest. "I'll still want to leave. The only reason I stuck with you in the first place was because I thought you could help me. I thought you would help me. Obviously, I was wrong. Once you're done blabbing, I'll be out that door so fast your head will spin. I don't need to stand around here just for you to insult me and make feeble passes at me."

Reno ignored her comments for the most part. "I came down here to apologize, but you're just not going to make it easy for me, are you?"

Kiyara looked at him grimly. "Did you expect me to?"

Reno sighed. "No. But Kiy, you-"

Her eyes blazed, and she snapped, "Don't you 'But Kiy' me!"

Reno held up his hands in an attempt to pacify her. "All right. I just won't address you then."

She ignored his sarcasm. "Good."

"So, where are you goin'?" Reno asked again casually, trying to buy himself extra time to gather his thoughts.

In response, Kiyara sighed and looked at her watch. "You have three minutes." She pretended to yawn. "The clock is ticking."

"If I convince you to stay, will you explain what happened upstairs?" Reno asked.

Kiyara snorted. "Have fun convincing me. There's no way you will. But if by some miracle I do stay, then I'll tell you everything."

"Kiyar-S'cuse me. One-who-is-not-to-be-named, I'm…" His face lost the usual malicious, sarcastic expression, and assumed one of earnesty and honesty.

"So sorry. I'm truly, deeply sorry. First of all, I shouldn't have kissed you for as long as I did. You were right. I did take advantage of you, and it was wrong. I really regret it, and I can promise you that nothing like it will happen again."

He was rather enjoying the look of shock on Kiyara's face at his eloquence and contrition. "Secondly, I shouldn't have yelled back at you when you started chewing me out. It looked like you had just gone through hell, and I just jumped on you."

Kiyara hid a small smile with the back of her hand.

Reno noticed. "What?"

"Through words and actions," she said quietly.

Reno grinned. "Right. I jumped on you through words and actions. And I deserved that bawling out too." He paused for a moment, collecting his thoughts, then plunged onward. He held her gaze frankly.

Kiyara found herself enjoying this new, honest Reno, who looked at her steadily with no deceit or mischief in his eyes.

"And most of all, I regret my last comment to you. It was nasty, evil, and totally uncalled for. I'm very sorry for everything, One-who-is-not-to-be-named."

Kiyara chuckled softly. It was just so endearing that he wasn't using her real name… No. No. Stop it. You're leaving. He's a bastard. That's the way things go. You were better off and happier on your own.

"Don't go. I got through to Reeve; he's coming tomorrow. With his help, and with mine, we can find out more about you, your past, and how to get rid of those goons that're following you." He looked at her steadily. "But the groveling stops here. I will not beg." He straightened up proudly, and looked down on her, waiting for her answer.

In reply, Kiyara turned and moved toward the door. Reno sagged. Just as her hand went to the door, Reno's voice called out. "Kiyara. Don't go."

Kiyara turned, her hand on the doorknob, outlined in the light coming from the sun streaming in the open door. "And why not?" she asked the forlorn figure.

But the answer didn't come from Reno.

A strange voice spoke in her head. Do not go, little one.

Kiyara looked around, confused. Who said that?

There was a deep bass rumble that sounded like a chuckle of some sort. No, no. You cannot see me.

Who…who are you?

I am the mouse in the sewers; I am the president of Junon in his mansion; I am the animals, monsters, humans, and trees. I am everything.

Are you…are you the Planet?

There was another rumble. Very good. The prophets made a wise choice after all, I see.


There is not time for much, but I can tell you this. You, Kiyara Maiden Sheenra, are to be the savior of the Planet, along with Reno Lynley.

Kiyara snorted. Reno isn't exactly hero material.

Nevertheless, the two of you are to save the Planet. Together, not apart. Stay, little one. Do not go.

And what if I don't stay?

It sounded regretful. Then we shall be forced to take action. Action that you probably will not like.

What kind of action?

There is no time. Just remember this: stick with the other human, Lynley. Together, you are the key to the Planet's salvation.

No, wait! I've got all kinds of questions!

But it was gone. "Dammit," Kiyara muttered softly. The entire interchange seemed to have taken up no time at all, because Reno was still standing in front of her, seemingly searching her face for an answer. She felt an overwhelming surge of emotion for him for a minute, and her eyes widened in horror as she beat it back. What the hell was that?! Those were positive emotions, for Reno of all people. More than positive, it almost seems... Shaking her head violently, her face came up and blue-gray eyes met with emerald.

"Well?" she asked him. She wasn't planning on going out and facing the Planet's wrath, but then again, she was not about to let Reno off the hook.

Reno shook his head slowly. "You shouldn't have to rely on me to tell you why you should stay. If you feel the need to do that, then just go. I've already said everything that needs to be said. I'm not going to beg, Kiyara. It's your decision, not mine."

Kiyara shut her eyes for a moment, seemingly thinking. Then, slowly, she pushed the door shut, and the sunlight faded. She opened her eyes again and met his hopeful green gaze for a moment. "I'll…stay."

Reno grinned happily at her. He felt like cheering and shouting, but instead, all he said was, "Good."

"And thank you," Kiyara said, cutting through the growing silence.

Reno looked puzzled. "For what?"

"You saved me up there. If it weren't for you, I would have carved a big slice out of my jugular."

Reno looked slightly uncomfortable. "Don't mention it. Consider my payment as you elaborating on what that was all about."

Kiyara nodded slowly. "You deserve an explanation."

"C'mon. We can raid Tifa's fridge and you can tell me everything over some sandwiches."

Kiyara gave a small smile. "Okay." Somehow she knew, though, that she should keep her odd conversation with the enigmatic Planet to herself. Someday, she would tell Reno. But instinctively, she knew that now was not that day.

The two started back up the stairs together, acting as if nothing had happened. But Kiyara knew that things could never be the same.

* * * * *

That night, Kiyara tossed and turned on the unyielding hardwood floor for hours. Tifa had done her best, supplying blankets galore, but the floor just came right through the bedding. Like the princess and the pea, Kiyara grumped to herself.

Finally, when she rolled over and something dug into the sensitive part of her back, making all of her limbs convulse, Kiyara had had enough. That's it! I'm tired of this!

Scooping up the layers of blankets, she padded down the hall, being careful to keep quiet. The sounds of drunken carousing could be heard from the bar downstairs. It wouldn't do to have some dumb drunk hear some noises and decide to investigate. She tapped on the door to the guestroom. A small strip of light was visible beneath the door.

Reno's voice came back immediately. "Who is it?"


"Go away. I'm not decent."

"When are you ever?" Kiyara retorted. After the events of that morning, the two of them had returned to their habit of malicious teasing--with a vengeance.

She pushed the door open and went in. The illumination was coming from the small lamp on the end table next to the couch and the sliver of moonlight apparent through the un-shuttered window. Reno was in the bed, lying on his back with his hands behind his head, staring at the ceiling. He sat up, glanced over at Kiyara, and promptly fell off the bed laughing.

Her golden hair had once been in a ponytail, but now it had been destroyed by her constant tossings and turnings, the elastic having worked its way down through her hair, and stray strands stuck out all over her head. She was wearing pajamas that had been loaned to her by Shera. The blue fabric of the pants was now rumply and wrinkled, and the faces of the little brown monkey designs grinned impudently. The strap of her white tank top was falling down one shoulder, and she was trailing blankets behind her like the train of some fancy gown. A pillow was tucked under each arm, and she was grinning rather ruefully.

Kiyara looked down at herself, and her smile became even wider. "I do look kinda funny."

When Reno had recovered and scrambled back up into the bed, he asked, "What did you want again?"

Kiyara dumped all of her blankets onto the couch across from Reno's bed and jumped onto it. "The floor's uncomfortable. I'm staying in here."

Reno gave her a crooked smirk. "Just couldn’t stay away from me, huh?"

His answer came in the form of a pillow that hit him in the face. "I'll take that as a yes." He flung it back at her.

Kiyara had cocooned herself in the blankets, curling up in them happily. She caught the pillow that Reno threw and placed it under her golden head. She reached up and flicked the light off.

Reno muttered rebelliously to himself. "What makes her think that she can just march in here, take the couch, and turn the light off as she pleases…"

"Bad night, Reno," said Kiyara's voice from the darkness.

"Why thank you, Kiyara. And horribly sour dreams to you."

After a few moments, Kiyara's deep, even breathing signified that she was asleep. Reno envied her, and glared at her still form. "How come you get to sleep and I don't?"

Of course, there was no answer.

Reno sighed. Maybe countin' sheep? But by the time he got to 30, Reno was bored, wide-awake, and had shot all of the sheep.

After tossing and turning for another half-hour, Reno finally faced what was keeping him awake. "Damn you, Kiyara," he whispered.

What I felt for her today, when I kissed her, was more than just lust. There, ya happy? Can I get some shuteye now? But sleep was still elusive. Reno stared at the ceiling, his emerald eyes glowing slightly in the gloom as a cause of the Mako injections he had received as a Turk. …And maybe I'm becoming attracted to her? His eyelids still wouldn't close. …Because of who she is, not because of her looks and body. There, that oughta please whatever's keepin' me awake. But it didn’t. Aww hell…

Reno glanced over at Kiyara, lying on her side, facing him, and that one glimpse quickly became more of a prolonged stare. God, she's beautiful…

Moonlight streamed in through the window, bathing the contours of her face in silvery light, making her seem far less harsh and hostile than during the day. Long eyelashes fluttered over her ethereal countenance, and her pale pink lips were half-open as she breathed softly. Trim, muscled body was hidden beneath the covers as she pulled at the blanket in her sleep. Her waist-length blonde hair was spread out along her pillow and behind her; it looked even more golden than usual, with silver flecks dancing through.

In short, she looked like a goddess.

Reno found that his mouth had gone dry, and he worked it furiously to get moisture back into it. The motion snapped him out of whatever reverie he had fallen into, and he turned over so violently that he almost fell out of the bed. What in the hell am I thinking?! This is Kiyara for God's sake! The bitch!

But somewhere, Reno knew that he just couldn't think of her as a bitch any more. Swearing to himself, he angrily pulled his pillow over his head. "There, I hope you're happy now, you evilly perverse unknown being," he growled aloud.

"Reno, I'm willing to bet that this 'evilly perverse unknown being' of yours is your brain," came Kiyara's amused mumble. Her sleepy giggle rang in his ears.

"Aww, shut up," he grumbled with no real conviction.

It's all thanks to you, you evil thing, that I won't be able to get some shuteye tonight. I've disgusted myself too much. I'll never… Reno yawned. fall… The thought trailed off as he drifted off to sleep.


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