Catching Glimpses Chapter 2

That's An Ouch

By Kiyara

"Are you looking for a fight? If you are, I'll sure as hell give it to you!"-Blonde boy


"Damn, I must be losin’ my touch. How could I have let such a puny little kid fool me like that!" Reno muttered angrily to himself through gritted teeth as he raced after the puny little kid in question.

The red headed Turk stopped when he got onto the bridge that led to the rest of the town. "Where the hell did he go?" Reno scanned the streets. The moon was still behind the clouds, making it tough to spot the boy. Suddenly, he spotted a running figure. It looked like he was headed for the beach.

Reno gave a grin of triumph and dropped off the edge of the bridge onto the cobblestones below, absorbing the shock by landing in a crouch. He stood, then sprinted to and down the stairs that led to the beach. Then he stopped on the sands of the beach. "Where is he this time?!"

"Right here!" Reno half turned at the last second to see the blonde boy swinging a piece of driftwood like a baseball bat at the Turk’s unprotected head.

Reno lashed out with his foot, skewing the other man’s aim and causing the blonde man to hit Reno on the shoulder instead of the head. It still hurt, though. A lot.

"Goddammit!" Reno yelled in pain. He retreated for a moment, clutching his shoulder. The other man dropped the driftwood and backed off as well, massaging the hand that Reno had kicked. They stared at each other for several, long seconds. Reno broke the silence. "Who the hell are you?" he asked.

"That’s for me to know and you to never find out," the boy replied, watching Reno warily.

"Great. A smart ass," Reno announced to the clouded heavens.

"And you’re not?" The boy began to stretch, pulling his limbs into seemingly impossible positions and cracking his knuckles.

Reno shrugged. "Good point. But how do you know so much about me?"

The boy stopped stretching and faced Reno. "Oh, come on now. Everyone’s heard of the big, bad Turks, and the red headed devil that was the worst of them all, before he joined President Reeve and the new Shinra. I know who you are, Reno Lynley."

Reno laughed. "Ooh, scary. You know who I am."

"Enough talk. Are you looking for a fight? If you are, I’ll sure as hell give it to you."

That reminded Reno why he was here having this conversation in the first place. "You’re damn right I want a fight!"

"Bring it on, then." The young man settled into yet another unarmed combat pose, this one showing Reno that he knew what he was doing. Grinning evilly, Reno pulled out his nightstick, and began to flick the switch that would make it crackle with electricity.

The boy darted forward swiftly and kicked it out of Reno’s hands to land in the sand several feet away. He backed off again just as quickly, leaving Reno gaping at his empty hands. "What the…"

"Unless you can find me another one of those somewhere, we’re fighting hand to hand. I have no desire to become a barbecue, and it wouldn’t be fair if you had one of those and I didn’t, now would it?" the boy said.

Reno shrugged. "Electrocution, beating, it’s all the same to me. How you want your lesson to be taught to you is up to you."

In response, the boy suddenly stepped up close enough to hit Reno, and aimed a hard punch at the red headed man’s face. Or, he aimed a hard punch where Reno’s face had been an instant before. Reno had seen it coming and ducked. Then he threw a punch of his own, managing to strike the boy in the face hard enough to break his nose.

The boy hissed in pain, trying to back away, with his hand over his nose. But Reno was too quick for him. He punched the blonde in the stomach, causing the boy fold over as the breath went out of him. The young man gasped out something softly.

Reno leaned in cockily. "What was that?"

"I said, ‘what lesson?’!" the boy answered, standing and delivering Reno a kick of his own. Reno staggered back as he took a hit to the ribcage. He winced as he heard ribs crack.

The boy used his advantage fully, striking Reno in the ribs again. Reno dropped to the ground, arms wrapped protectively around his chest. The blonde grinned, aiming a kick at the downed man. But aiming was as far as he got. Reno rolled into him, sending the boy toppling to the ground.

Reno leapt to his feet, with a smirk on his face. "Guess where I learned that one, kid." He viciously kicked the boy in the ribs, then the head. "C’mon, junior. You gonna lie there all day, or are you gonna fight?"

The young man rolled the opposite way, avoiding Reno’s next kick. He blearily stood, hands out in the air for balance. Apparently Reno had kicked him in the head harder than he had originally thought.

Reno paused, waiting to see if the boy was going to drop down unconscious. He didn’t. The blonde shook his head and blinked several times, then he seemed to be all right.

"Damn, what is with this kid?" Reno muttered.

The boy dashed closer, and delivered an uppercut to the bottom of Reno’s chin. Reno felt his teeth clack together, and he was sure that he had lost several teeth this time. While Reno was still reeling, the young man’s fist shot out, slamming into Reno’s right eye.

Reno roared in pain, feeling sure that he would have one hell of a shiner in the morning. He struck out blindly, managing to catch the boy in the kneecap. The young man cried out and fell to the ground. Reno was still trying to get his eye to open, and couldn’t press his advantage before the young man jumped back up to his feet.

They traded blows for several minutes, each collecting bruises, and the boy also getting a black eye, but neither being dealt a serious blow.

Then the blonde threw a punch at Reno’s other eye, trying to blind him. Reno reacted quickly, catching the slim arm and bending it in a direction it was not meant to go.

For the first time, the boy cried out; his voice ragged. He dropped down, cradling his arm and whimpering with the pain. He managed to get a hold of himself, then looked up at Reno resignedly, waiting for the kick to the head that would put him out like a light. That was when the moon finally came out of the clouds. And with the new light, Reno found out something that he hadn’t realized before when it had been dark.

"Holy shit," he breathed. "You’re a girl!"

She looked up at him defiantly. "And what if I am?!" There was no mistaking it. Her face, with its high cheekbones and full, pale lips was distinctly feminine, as was her voice. The bloody, twisted nose was out of place in that face.

Reno, for once, was lost for words. "I…you…how…holy shit!"

She leapt to her feet, then scrambled out of his reach. "Yeah, I’m a girl," she called to him. "And what of it? Surprised that a mere girl could beat the crap out of you like I did?"

Reno regained his voice. "You did not beat the crap out of me! I’m not the one with the broken arm!"

"Yeah, just the way that I’m not the one with the black eye and broken ribs!" she retorted.

With the woman standing in a shaft of moonlight, Reno got a much better view of her. The top of her head was maybe about up to his eye level, making her about 5’5". She was probably, like him, in her mid 20’s. Her long, thick golden hair had come out of the ponytail during the fight and was arranged around her face in disarray. Her bangs curled slightly and ended just above her warm, blue-gray eyes. Her nose was a bloody mess, and she had bruises all over her face. She was still beautiful, though. It was obvious that, uninjured, she must be a knockout. She wore a pair of baggy, olive green pants and high black boots. A gray tank top was draped over her slender torso, and a dark brown jacket was thrown over her slight shoulders. It was obvious, though, that she must have bound her chest to make herself look like a man.

Reno decided to give up on the "who’s injured the most" contest and tried a different tack. He shook his head in amazement. "Where did you learn to fight like that?"

"What’s it to you?" she asked, still warily watching him.

"Look, I’m not gonna hit you," he said simply. "And, to be honest with you, I’ve never see anyone as good as you are. Excepting myself, of course."

"Yeah, right. Like when you didn’t hit me and broke my nose," she replied sarcastically. "Okay. Why are you being honest with me? It doesn’t sound like you’ve ever tried being that before. And oh, there goes that famous Turk modesty."

"I don’t hit girls, no matter how much of a pain in the ass they may be," Reno retorted, growing sick of her sarcasm.

"Ooh, how gallant," she said caustically.

They stared each other down for several seconds. Then the woman turned away and started walking to the stairs that led to the town, still cradling her arm.

"Where are you going?" Reno asked loudly, picking up his nightstick from where it had gotten kicked at the beginning of the fight.

She stopped. "To sleep, where all people who are in their right mind are right now!" She continued her walk up the stairs.

"Look, I’m sorry, okay? It’s not my fault that I thought you were a guy! I mean, you were the one pretending to be one!" Reno called to her, following her.

The young woman turned at the top of the steps. "Y’know, I think you’ve done enough damage for the night. Why don’t you just go away!"

She marched away indignantly. Reno dogged her, still curious about this mysterious woman. "Where’re you from?" he asked.

"Fuck you!" she called back over her shoulder.

"What’s your name?"

"Just go away, dammit!"

"Are you staying at the hotel?" Reno referred to the villa that had once belonged to President Shinra, then Cloud Strife, then the town of Costa del Sol. Cloud had sold it to the town several years ago, and the town had remade it into a beautiful hotel.

"Yes! There, I answered a question! Now will you leave me alone?!" she shot at him angrily.

"Answer two more and I will," Reno lied.

"Fine. What?"

"Why would you want people to think you’re a man?"

"That’s a rather obvious one, don’t you think?" she said over her shoulder, still walking to the hotel. "It’s a well known fact that men will usually get harassed and bothered less than women. Of course, the opposite goes for this situation…" Reno got the weird feeling that she was holding another reason back.

"Okay… One more. What’s your room number?"

"Hell, no! I ain’t giving you my room number!"

"I’ll leave you alone," Reno tempted.

She sighed loudly. "I’ll tell you, but I swear to God that if you show up at my room I’ll kick your ass all the way back to Midgar. I’m in room five, okay? Now just go away!"

"Hey, that’s right next to mine! I’m in room six!" Reno called up to her.

"God, are you a-" The girl suddenly stopped and fell to the ground. It wasn’t the kind of fall that would result if she had tripped, either. It looked as if she had just suddenly blacked out.

Reno ran up to where she was lying in a pitiful heap on the street. "Damn," he muttered. "Unconscious." Apparently, he had kicked her in the head harder than they both had thought. Reno felt a surge of guilt, then he suppressed it. She had started the fight, not him.

He carefully picked her up. "If there is a God, please don’t let her wake up," Reno muttered. "I really don’t feel like being punched any more."

He carried her into the hotel, where there was no one awake to see their entrance. Reno climbed the steps to the second floor, where he stopped at room number five.

"Here it is." He tried to turn the knob, but it stuck; locked. "Shit."

Reno swiftly went through her pockets, and came up with a small, golden key, which he turned in the lock. The door swung open, and Reno stepped inside. He replaced the key in her pocket. Reaching around his burden, he hit a light switch.

The room was exactly the same as his own, except that it had a window to the street. There was a bed, dresser, and small bathroom, along with a small black and white TV. Reno laid her down on the bed, and went back out the door, making sure to leave the door open. He went into his room next door and rooted around in his small suitcase, coming up with a blue Cure materia. Reno hurried back into the girl’s room, placing the materia into a band he was wearing on his arm.

He muttered, "Cure!" The healing light shone out of the materia and onto the girl’s battered body. The bruises and broken nose faded away as if they had been nothing more than painted on. Reno went out quietly, locking and closing the door behind him.

Reno returned to his own room, casting Cure on himself as well. He was still going to be in some pain in the morning, and he would still have an amazing black eye for the workers at Neo Shinra to rib him about, but at least his ribs weren’t broken any more. He removed the bangle from his arm and tossed it onto his suitcase. He discovered that his clothes were covered with blood from the girl’s broken nose, and he quickly shrugged out of them, throwing on a pair of baggy camouflage colored pants and a brown tank top.

Reno collapsed onto the bed. Before he fell asleep, though, he wondered about the girl in the room next door. Who was she, and what was a woman with her skills doing in Costa del Sol? Before he could ponder it any more, Reno fell asleep.


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