Turk Pride

By Tini

The moon had a hypnotizing effect on those who let themselves to be taken in by it.

Reno was one of the lucky few that let it wash over him. He stood on the balcony adjoining his luxurious if messy apartment in upper Midgar. Leaning out into the night and staring at the moon, he could almost forget his many troubles for once. It was tempting to lean out farther, even farther still, and slip. "Accidentally," of course. Oh, poor Reno. He probably just drunkenly stumbled out, as usual, and tripped. Fell. Was gone.

He wondered sadly if anyone would miss him. Giving a short laugh, he removed his ever-present sunglasses from the top of his head and put one of the earpieces in his mouth, reflectively. 'Drunkenly stumbled out,' was exactly what they would say. Is that all anyone ever thought of him? He was just a jerk, who would make mean-assed comments to anyone who spoke to him. They would counter back with the accusation that he was a drunk and he would get pissed and storm off, presumably to get drunk.

Or maybe he just came out here to think. Reno kept a shell around him, but it wasn't for his job. It wasn't for the protection of the world, so he could go out and kill heartlessly.

It was for his own protection. Underneath the shell lurked a man who had seen too much. His past, God, his past. He had grown up in the slums, seen it all. By the time he was thirteen, he had seen more than most grown men. He had always been afraid of it. Not afraid of what lay ahead, but afraid of what lay behind. For some reason the notion that his shell might crack meandered around in the back of his mind.

And when it did, his past would seep out, and he would be weak. In the end, he always knew his past would be the death of him. And he was deathly frightened. He had never spoken of his past to anyone, not even Rude, except in small snippets. Most knew he had grown up in Midgar, in the slums, but that was all they knew, for that was all he allowed them to know. Once or twice he had hinted to Rude about bits of his growing up, but Rude had never been one to prod, and seemed either content or disinterested with any information about the former life of his best friend.

It almost seemed odd, calling Rude just a friend. He had known the man since he had joined up with Shin-Ra, over ten years ago. Ten years was a long time. He had thought of the man as a brother for awhile now.

Even Elena, who Reno constantly complained and argued with, was like a sister. He joked with her frequently about having 'saved her butt more times than he could count,' but, he admitted to himself, she had saved him numerous times as well.

Then there had been Tseng. In the family of the Turks, Tseng was the father, the watchful eye. He made sure things went smoothly, and he was the only one the other Turks would admit their problems too. Reno often remembered being unable to handle a situation, and telling Tseng of it. Instead of ridiculing or mocking them, as the other members of Shin-Ra would have, Tseng listened and cared to help them. The realization of how much Reno missed Tseng shocked him. He hadn't really had a time for mourning, but he had himself convinced that he was just a cold, heartless bastard. After all, who needed emotions? They just got in the way of things.

The fellow Turks were a family, his family, the only one he had anymore. And he didn't appreciate half of the things they did half as much as he should have. But in his own way, he did. He knew in his heart that if the moment came, he would take a bullet for either of them without a second thought. The way he was, he probably deserved a bullet or two.

Again, the edge of the railing beckoned him...no. That was too easy, too cowardly, too stupid. Life was too good. In his own weird way, he meant something. He had his 'family', they weren't a normal family, but they cared about him, and if there was nothing else, there was that to cling to. Without thinking he climbed up onto the railing of his balcony, stepping on the thin brick ledge on the other side. He clung to the rail behind him for a moment, nervously, before letting go and staring back up at the moon that had entranced him earlier.

It was like the dealer in life's big poker game, and he had to be careful of which cards he kept. If he wasn't he could be dealt a hand he couldn't possibly play through. Reno glared up at the moon, staring it down. "I'll stay..." he whispered into the night.


The end, and not a bad one I must say! I think too many stories give Reno too much crap for being shallow, and I think he needed this to redeem himself. I know, a bit depressing, but this one needed to be all him. He is my favorite character, you know. Just a little vignette about everyone's favorite redhead.
     Luv all y'all! ^_~

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