Catching Glimpses Chapter 7
A Rude Awakening
"Reno, Im gonna freakin kill you for this once I find you."-Rude Texiera
Earlier that same day
"Why isnt he answering?" Rude muttered to himself, tapping a finger
against the desk he was leaning on as he held a cell phone up to his ear.
He was a tall man, taller than Reno, though physically broader as well. He
was completely bald, and always wore a pair of dark sunglasses.
"You know Reno. Hes probably turned the thing off," his wife said wryly
from where she was curled up in a chair with a book. Faye was short and
physically tiny, with short, curly brown hair and wide brown eyes. She was
a native of Mideel, and a rather quiet person.
The couple was in their Midgar apartment, one that they had moved into together
just recently. Unpacked boxes and bags littered the apartment, telling the
"Yeah, but still
its not like Reno. He always leaves his cell
phone on," Rude said doubtfully.
Faye waved him off. "Renos a big boy, Rude. Hes more than capable
of taking care of himself. You know that as well as I; in fact, probably
Rude had to smile at her optimism. "Youre right, Faye. Renos
probably just sleeping off a hangover somewhere."
"See? Im right. Even you said so." Faye looked pleased with herself.
Rude grinned. "Thats why I married you. That incurable optimism!" He
picked her up suddenly and spun her around.
Faye shrieked with laughter. "Eek! Put me down, Rude!"
"You know you dont really want me to put you down," Rude teased.
He continued to spin her, and Faye continued to giggle helplessly.
Suddenly, the cell phone that Rude had been using a moment before rang. Instead
of putting his wife down, he simply shifted her so that he was holding her
up with one arm and reached for the phone with the other.
"I havent been held like this since I was three years old!" Faye said
with a laugh. Rude smiled, then picked up the phone. "Rude here."
"Rude? This is Reeve."
"Hey there, el presidente. What can I do for you?"
Reeve groaned. "Dont tell me Reno got you calling me that
Rude smiled. "Yup."
"I give up. Anyway, I was actually calling about Reno. He was supposed to
meet me at a bar today, but he never showed up."
Rude felt the smile melt off his face, and he set Faye down. She looked up
at him curiously, wondering what had caused the sudden mood change.
"Yknow, normally, Id say Its okay; Renoll end
up calling me later and saying that he was sleeping off a world record hangover
or that he had some girl over or something like that. But he was going
to get drinks with me, and you know as well as I do that Reno just doesnt
blow off drinking," Reeve continued.
"Yeah," Rude answered.
"So I was wondering if youve heard from him."
"I havent since Friday. He was leaving the building; seemed to be heading
for his favorite bar in Sector 7."
"I hadnt seen him since Friday either. I checked the apartment, but
he wasnt there, and it didnt look like anyone had been there
Rude looked disturbed.
His wife tugged on his shirt. "Rude, whats going on? Is it Reno?"
Rude ignored her for the moment. "Thats really odd
"You bet it is!" Reeve answered. "So what should we do? You know Reno better
"You know Reno; hes probably off somewhere drinking after forgetting
all about meeting you. Just in case though, ask around. Maybe his secretary
or someone will know where he is," Rude replied calmly.
"Okay. Good idea Rude. And youre probably right. Hes probably
fine." Reeve sounded reassured.
"Probably, but its not definitely, so Id rather make sure. Ill
make the rounds of his favorite haunts while you ask his co-workers and
"Got it. Im already in the building anyway."
Rude shook his head. "Dont you have a life besides work?"
"You know better than to ask that question. The answer is no. Okay, Im
gonna go now. Bye Rude!"
"Bye, el presidente." Rude hung up the phone and reached for his jacket.
"Whats going on, dammit?!" Faye planted herself in front of Rude and
glared angrily. "Dont you tell me anything?!"
Rude easily picked her up and set her down out of his way. "Reno was supposed
to meet Reeve for drinks and never showed up."
"Uh oh. That cant be good."
"Thats what we thought, so Reeves asking around at work, while
I check out Renos favorite places." Rude shrugged into his jacket.
Faye immediately reached for her coat as well. "Im coming too!"
"No way, Faye. For one thing, someone needs to be here in case Reno or Reeve
or someone calls. For another, the places that Reno goes are not safe for
Faye sighed. "Fine," she replied sulkily.
"Ill be back in a few hours, Faye." The door slammed behind him.
Faye sat back down with her book, but her mind wasnt on it. "Dammit,
Reno, where are you?!"
A few hours later
Faye checked the clock for what seemed to have been the umpteenth time, and
found that only three minutes had gone by since she last checked. She threw
down her book and jumped up in exasperation. "Thats it! Im tired
of being the one who waits behind!"
She marched off to her bedroom, and when she emerged a few moments later,
she was a completely different woman. She wore a pair of old, ripped and
torn, tight jeans, along with a plain, dirty white T-shirt and a black leather
jacket. She had mussed up her hair and face, making it look like she was
a not-too-well-off woman.
Faye examined the image in the mirror. "Perfect!"
She left a note for Rude on the counter, and quickly snatched up the cell
phone and put it in her pocket. Faye hesitated for a moment over one of
Rudes guns, but she ended up taking it and placing it in the opposite
Faye locked the apartment door behind her and caught a train to the rebuilt
Sector 7, where she knew there was a bar that was one of Renos favorite
haunts. Faye figured she could start there after hearing Rude mention that
he had seen the redhead going to there on Friday after work. She caught some
odd looks on her way there; her neighborhood was not a place where the slum
residents usually showed up.
She walked along the streets to the bar, finding it quickly and easily. Faye
paused outside the door for a moment, contemplating what she was about to
do. Am I insane? She chuckled at the question. Of course I am.
Insane with boredom.
Faye took a deep breath and strutted in as if she owned the universe. Inside,
it took her eyes a moment to adjust to the semi gloom. Smoke trails curled
around their owners heads, and the low buzz of deep-throated men talking
filled the place. Big men that looked like they belonged on the open road
in a trucks cab sat everywhere, playing cards and drinking. Throughout
the room, Faye saw only about three other women, and they all looked like
I probably should have dressed up as a guy
Faye mused, noting
all of the curious and interested glances she was getting. She marched up
to the bar and ordered a beer.
The bartender raised an eyebrow, but did as she asked. Faye flicked a gil
chip at him and took a sip of her beer.
"Hey, Im looking for a friend of mine. Maybe youve seen him
she said to the bartender casually.
The man grinned toothily, exposing that his front teeth were blackened and
rotting. Faye resisted the urge to shudder. "You have no idea how much I
hear that, lady. Itll cost ya."
"How much?" Faye kept her gaze on him steadily, and the man seemed to realize
that she was serious.
He leaned in close to her across the bar, and Faye could feel his warm and
reeking breath on her face. "1200 gil."
She recoiled in horror; half at the price and partly at his breath. "No
The bartender shrugged. "No money, no information."
"Ill get it from someone else at that price, thank you very much!"
Faye drained her beer, then made as if she was going to leave.
"Hey, wait!" the bartender said frantically. Faye sat back down. "Ill
bargain. Ill bring the price down to 850 gil."
Faye pondered it for a moment, then shook her head. "Nope." Again, she began
to stand, and the bartender stopped her with a hand on her shoulder.
"No. Now let me leave to find a place where I can get good information for
a good price!"
"Wait! My final offer: 250 gil." The bartender smiled at her again, and Faye
barely managed to stop herself from knocking out the rest of his teeth.
The bartender sighed in relief. "All right, who you lookin for?"
"A man, about this height-" Here Faye demonstrated with her hand. "-And skinny.
Bright red hair in a ponytail, lots of weapons, takes offense easily. Fights
well, and has lots of weapons. Wears a blue Turks suit. He may have been
in here last Friday."
The man thought for a moment, then shook his head. "Im sorry, lady,
but I dunno who youre taking about. No one by that description has
been in here, and I was on duty on Friday. I woulda remembered him."
Faye would have sagged in disappointment, but she saw a look on the guys
face that made her pause. It looked furtive and secretive. Faye was almost
certain that the man had seen Reno, and he was lying. She came up with a
plan to weasel it out of him.
"Yknow, Id like to ask someone else, just to be sure." Faye swiveled
around, looking around the bar. "Who else was here on Friday night?"
The bartender frowned. "You doubtin my word, lady?"
She grinned. "You bet your boots, I am! In my experience, bartenders almost
always forget their customers."
"They do not!" he answered hotly, outraged.
"I have yet to meet one who doesnt," Faye said tauntingly.
The bartender shook his head angrily. "Well, ya met me! I remember that guy!
He beat the shit outta one of our regulars. He was tough as nails!" He looked
"Yeah, yeah. What did he say and do? Did he give any hint of where he might
be going after that?" Faye asked eagerly.
"He said he was going to Costa del Sol to do some serious drinking,
and that Midgar had gotten boring. He said he was coming back today, around
one or 2 oclock. He said he wasnt telling anyone where he was
going so he wouldnt be disturbed, and he paid me handsomely not to
" The man recoiled and stopped talking. "Aw shit."
"Its all right. Hes been missing, and were looking for
him. Look, heres your 250 and a little extra." Faye handed him some
"Gee, thanks, lady." The man eagerly pounced on the money and began to count
it. Faye decided to get outside, then call Rude on his cell phone with the
news that she knew where Reno was. He wouldnt be happy that she had
left the house, and would be angry that she had gone to a bar in Sector 7,
but Faye knew he could never stay angry with her for long.
Faye stood up and walked to the door. She was so preoccupied with what to
say to Rude, that she didnt notice how the conversations had stopped
and everyone was looking at her expectantly. Two men stood up from a table
near the door right when she passed them, and one grabbed each arm and lifted
her off the floor. The entire place erupted with cheers, laughter, and catcalls.
The two men carried Faye off to the back room, with whistles coming from
the people behind them. Faye screamed, kick, fought, and bit, but her diminutive
size was working against her.
"Put me down!" she shrieked, kicking at one of the men. The kick fell pitifully
She wriggled in their grasp, fighting to break free.
"Save that for later," one man said, then he and his companion sniggered
nastily. Faye felt fear spread through her, but she hid it.
"My husband will kill you for this!" Faye strained for the gun in her pocket,
but she couldnt reach it or the cell phone.
The men laughed. "Yeah, right."
They set her down for a moment, and before she could do anything, one of
them was sitting on her while the other bound her hands and feet.
"Leave me alone, or youll regret it!" she snarled. The men laughed
and picked up her now trussed up form, continuing on their way.
Faye made herself go limp in their arms, as if she had fainted, but the men
just chuckled and tightened their grip on her. Then they reached the room
in the back of the bar. It was a lot like the front room, filled with about
thirty smoking, laughing trucker types. But these men all wore a black leather
jacket with the same weird symbol on it. The symbol looked like a twisted
The two men dumped her unceremoniously on the floor.
Faye immediately tried to run, but one of them easily grabbed her by the
collar of her jacket, and she swung to a halt, gasping and choking.
"Welcome, to the Silver Dragons hideout," a laughing man said, stepping
out of the ranks of men. He was large and beefy, with fists like ham and
purple spiked hair.
"And what, pray tell, is the Silver Dragon?" Faye asked coolly, her eyes
darting around, looking for an escape.
"You didnt know?" the leader asked. "Were an infamous gang."
With a sinking heart, Faye remembered where she had heard the name before.
They were a gang known best for their savage rape and murders of young
"Nope, cant say I ever heard of you," Faye said calmly.
"Thats too bad," the man answered. "Why dont we show you why
There were shouts of agreement, and the men pressed in on her. Faye gave
a furious yell and kicked out, but there were too many men surrounding her.
Laughing and jeering, they began to kiss her sloppily.
Suddenly, there were yells, and Faye felt the weight of the men come off
of her as the men were sent flying. Gun shots rang out as Elena appeared
"Elena?" she asked in shock.
"No time for that now," the blonde woman replied, her blue eyes sparkling
angrily as she cut Fayes bonds. Elena gave her a hand, and Faye jumped
to her feet. Looking around, she saw Rude engaged in furious combat with
"Go with Reeve!" Elena instructed her, throwing herself into the fray.
Reeve was suddenly at Fayes elbow. "Cmon!" He turned to lead
her off, but Faye paused.
"But what about Rude and Elena?" she protested.
"Theyll be fine, Faye, and you know it. You and me would just be in
their way. Now come with me!" Reeve answered impatiently.
"Faye, this isnt a good time to be stubborn. Listen to me for once,
for Gods sake! Go! Ill be fine!" Rude called out. He appeared
to be fine, too. He and Elena were firing off round after round from their
guns, quickly and efficiently drilling holes through mens heads, lashing
out at whoever was stupid and got too close.
Faye began to turn and leave with the waiting Reeve, but then she saw the
man with purple spiked hair. He was standing behind Rude and Elena, and was
taking a careful bead on Rudes back with his gun. Time seemed to slow
to a standstill. Faye knew that Rude wouldnt be able to turn and stop
the man in time, so she acted.
Her hand shot into her jacket pocket, coming out with her gun. She flicked
back the safety, said a quiet little prayer in her mind, and squeezed the
trigger. The noise was deafening. Her eyes closed in reflex as she put the
safety back on and replaced the gun in her pocket. Then Faye slowly opened
her eyes. The man was on the ground, blood pouring from a neat hole bored
into the back of his head. Rude turned for a moment, and his eyes met
Fayes. He knew what she had done to save him. Then he turned back to
the ten or so men in front of him.
Faye felt physically sick, and wanted to drop to her knees, but she managed
to stumble out of the room with Reeve, where she found that the denizens
of the bar were all sitting very still and staring. She dropped into the
nearest empty chair, and put her head in her hands. "I just killed someone."
Her voice was soft and quiet, as if she were a frightened child.
"You had to," Reeve replied, a little taken aback. He sank into the chair
across from her. "He would have killed Rude."
A terrified cry came from the backroom. "We surrender! Oh God, we
There was silence for a moment, then five gunshots rang out. Then everything
was quiet again.
did they just
?" Reeve asked, looking perturbed.
Rude and Elena walked out of the backroom together.
"Oh God." Reeve mimicked her position, putting his dark head in his hands.
He ran shaking hands through his black hair. "They just killed them after
Faye sat still for a moment, then she raised her face. It was cold and
emotionless. "They deserved it, Reeve."
Reeve stared at her, his brown eyes wide with the horror of what had just
happened. "But they
"They were bastards, Reeve."
Reeve stared for another moment, then nodded.
Rude looked around the silent bar. "None of you saw a thing, did you?" he
There were vigorous nods of agreement as the entire bar called out in unison,
Rude crouched by Fayes chair. "Are you all right?" Behind the sunglasses,
his eyes were full of concern.
"No, Im not all right!" she burst out. Then, quieter: "I just killed
someone, Rude. He was alive and well one minute, then the next he was dead."
She held her hands in front of her face and stared at them as if they belonged
to a stranger.
"Lets get out of here." Rude pulled Faye to her feet and half carried
her out to the street. Reeve and Elena followed. "Thanks for the help, guys,"
he said. The two took the hint and called their own taxi.
"Taxi!" Rude raised a hand, and a yellow checkered taxicab stopped. Rude
gave their address, and the car sped off.
Faye leaned against Rudes chest, shaking.
"God, do I wish you hadnt seen that or had to do that," Rude said
"I killed someone, Rude. I killed someone!" Faye sounded hysterical.
"They were going to hurt you, Faye." Rudes voice was calm and
"I know they were going to hurt me, but I still killed someone!" Tears
began to run down her cheeks.
"Are you hurt, Faye?"
She shook her head forlornly.
"Why did you go there?" he asked gently.
"Because I had heard you mention to Reeve over the phone that it was where
Reno had gone after work on Friday, and I was tired of sitting at home. So
"Dont do that again!" Rudes voice was full of reproach.
"I know. But please, Rude, I cant take this right now
" Her voice
and eyes pleaded with him.
He was immediately full of remorse. "Im sorry, Faye. I was just so
scared that youd be hurt
Faye snuggled closer to him. "But Im not."
"But you almost were."
"I dont think I can win this argument."
"Did you find a clue as to where Reno is?" Faye asked, her voice muffled
by his chest.
Rude shook his head. "Not a thing. But Im going to kick his ass when
he gets back for causing us all this trouble
"I know where he is."
"You what?! I went to that bar myself and found nothing!"
"Well, Rude, you dont exactly have a way with people
It put us
out of 300 gil, but Reno was planning on going to Costa del Sol yesterday.
He was going to spend the night, then come back around 1 or 2 oclock
Rude frowned, glancing at his watch. "But its almost 10 oclock,
and hes not home. We checked his apartment and cell phone a couple
"Something bad must have happened to him
" Faye trailed off.
"Well go to Costa del Sol in the morning to see if we can find him."
"How did you find me?"
"Me and Reeve met up during the day to compare notes, and neither of us had
anything. So we called Elena too, but she hadnt heard from him either.
But she came right over, and talked to us about when she had last seen him,
which was a little later than when we saw him. Then I invited them back to
the house with me, and I found the note you left. They insisted on coming
with me to get you. When we got to the bar, it was all abuzz with talk of
the dark haired girl that had been dragged to the backroom kicking
and screaming. You know what happened from there."
There was no response.
"Faye?" Rude looked down at her, and smiled. She was asleep on him.
"Gnight, Faye." He kissed her on the top of the head.
"Reno, Im gonna freakin kill you for this once I find you " Rude muttered angrily as he watched his angel sleep. The cab sped on through the darkened streets of Midgar.
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