By Pip Malloy
A/N-First in my 28 series...All fics of this series are inspired by a piece of fanart. This particular one is for the stunning artist Pinku Hana Panda. Go to her page and enjoy!
When he was born, they said he tore his mother in half, and the doctor baptized him right there with her blood. He was called trouble and passed around for fun until he was old enough to call himself Reno. He still passed himself around.
Women knew him for a hot mouth and cold heart, another form of Sweet Prince they could inject into their bodies. A true child of the streets, stealing his way through the life he stole.
His hair was two shades lighter than the colour of his mother's blood, and from the first time he spilt it, he discovered he had a taste for it. Eyes were once a shade of blue so pure a girl could read her future in it, but they faded into mako green, hardened with every year, and it wasn't long before a girl not only saw her future, but her past in them. With a switchblade smile, he carved himself a name in those streets, walking the razor's edge until a man in blue suit pushed him off, taught him what it really meant to kill.
And then they didn't call him trouble. They called him terror, and he lived
up to the name.
Mama told her good, clean-cut girls don't do that and she wouldn't do it, didn't know what a bad girl wouldn't do, just what she did. You'll be my little lady, my golden girl, and sit up straight you unclean little cunt. Mama didn't mean it.
Mama didn't mean it.
Elizabeth was a pretty girl's name, never mind what you're father named you, Elena was a slut's name, an unclean name, and you're not a slut, her mama said, right before she'd put out her cigarette and the lights. And she'd listened, because mama didn't mean it, and the next morning she'd have another dress. Never mind she didn't like dresses.
Eighteen was her magical number, and when that birthday hit, she discovered just what bad girls did. They joined the Soldiers; they kicked butt. And when those butts came back, it was the same old song and dance, a new dress in the morning and mama didn't mean it.
She was twenty two when she took an assault-rifle to Squadron Sixty-Six, and this time, mama meant it, and the point was driven home with armour piercing bullets. The next day, she didn't just have a new dress. She had a new life. Blue always did look so good on her.
And she wasn't unclean anymore. Just one of the untouchables.
Hard to do drugs when a high felt like a low and they all felt the same.
He was ten when he lost the ability to feel. He was ten when he went to live with her, his aunt, the pretty, little redhead with a complexion so pale it made the moon weep crystal meth tears.
All she taught him over the next five years was his own worth, and he only found that out when she sold him to a leering man with dead eyes for Dime. The night he died, he took five hundred gil and her life with him.
War suited him fine, and finally finding an action as unfeeling as himself taught him to feel. He learned how to feel pain, and when he learned how good that felt, he taught everyone he met, until one day he met a fat man in a thin suit, who taught him one thing and told him another. The next day he was reborn into a Soldier mold, but a butler's suit replaced fatigues.
They never asked questions in his next life, and he never offered answers, simply sat and watched, served Them their drinks of apathy and sucked in the smoke of their cigars. And when he died the second time, it attracted the attention of another redhead, but this one had cigarette burns to match his own, and when he met the man with Hell in his eyes, he knew he wouldn't die again.
But he was renamed, from remorseless to ruthless to Rude.
He was old when he was young, but he hid it well.
For ten years, he made his way through life from club to club and bed to bed, the roofs over his head were always made of cards, but he was a pro-fes-sion-al court-I-san, a streetwise slut with exotic looks and strange eyes, junkie eyes to match his veins.
And then the angel of death had come for him, and he'd never seen anything so beautiful. This, he thought, was the ultimate lover, the perfect high, and if the devil were half as beautiful as this creature, hell wouldn't be so bad.
With a gun to his head he made a choice and slid off the pseudo sparkles of under Midgar's knives and landed tangled in a web they called Shinra. With a blue suit replacing his heart, he was to play the spider, but first, first they would shoot ice through him, purge him of any underclass taint. Wouldn't do, wouldn't do, wouldn't, couldn't, work.
They told him he had no use of a heart, so he gave it to the angel, to his teacher, and promptly met the woman who held Armageddon in her womb and Hell in her eyes. And his teacher in her palm.
Seven days, he was told, seven ways to die, and in those seven days he lost his heart, lost his love, and gained a student. This time, he knew, it was he with Hell in his eyes, but faithful, oh so faithful to the Man, to the woman, to them all, he became the black knight, the honour in dying alone.
And he taught his children how to kill.
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