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Tuesday, March 1st, 2005

Time:8:25 pm.
Mood: pensive.
What can you say is truly yours?
Can't say a helluva lot is. The physical things are bought with money from ShinRa that they could take away at any second, an' it's hard to find a seriously original idea. There are an' have been so many people in the goddamn world; ever thought about that? D'you know the statistical improbability of comin' up with somethin' that no one's ever thought of before? I don't either, but I figure it's gonna be fuckin' tiny, an' if somebody else thought of it first, it ain't truly yours. Feelin' pissed? Somebody else has before. Wanna kill somethin'? Somebody else has before. Followin' that logic, I don't really own the physical things--no matter how much I love the bike an' the 'Vette--an' the feelings, emotions, an' ideas aren't 'truly mine', either. So that leaves people an' memories. You can't own people, so then I guess what really belongs to me are my experiences an' my memories. Nobody else can ever have or take away what happened t'you in the past--no matter how much you might wish they could, sometimes--, an' that's what makes the memories belong to me.
blood drawn: 9 fired shots - shoot me

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2005

Subject:cartoons, beauty, & regrets
Time:2:49 pm.
Mood: tired.
How would you react if you were placed into 'Alice in Wonderland'?
I dunno; I'm not really familiar with Alice in Wonderland. Never read it. I've seen the kids' cartoon once, but I was chasin' my nephew around my living room at the time, so I wasn't really payin' much attention. There's a little blonde girl, right? An' like a disappearin' purple cat or somethin'? An' some frosty bitch shaped like a card? Fuck. I dunno.

Drabble on beauty.
When he worked for the Don, he'd hear the b-word over and over again as a stranger grunted and sweated over him, touched him. In the beginning, when he was still just a kid, he would shut his eyes and pretend not to hear it. Eventually, though, he learned how to make them say it; how to move and smile a certain way. He learned to use it to further his own devices.

He jokes about it now; calls himself pretty. He knows he has high cheekbones, delicate facial structure, deft hands, striking eyes. He knows because a multitude of men have touched those parts, told him that. But he never, ever uses the other word. To Reno, beauty means only bad.

Have you ever regretted a wish you made? Why/what happened?
Reno has always been of the no regrets mentality. If you live a life like his, you can't be open to regret, because that opens the path to a conscience and hell, if he ever grew a conscience, he'd be pretty much crippled for life. But he does have a wish that maybe wasn't very intelligent. When he was very young, his family (at that point, only he, his mother, and two younger siblings) always got letters and things from his mother's brother in Junon. He always remembered Reno's birthday, always sent little trinkets and items that he knew would interest the boy and his brother and sister, always seemed to be thinking of them. Reno wished that his uncle would come to Midgar. Eventually, he did when Reno was six; he moved in with them, helped his mother pay the bills, played with the kids… He was a good man. And within a year, he had been killed in an accident in the factory that he worked at. Midgar seemed to suck the life out of people like that. Reno, being six, couldn't help but feel like it had been his fault. He knows now that that wasn't the case, but the superstitious part of him still feels a little prod of guilt sometimes. Even at six, he had been very aware of Midgar's ability to kill people, and he had still wished that his uncle would come to see them.
blood drawn: shoot me

Saturday, February 5th, 2005

Time:8:12 pm.
Mood: bored.
What does the word 'love' mean to you?
Depends on what kind've love you're talkin' about. If you mean like family love, loyalty, an' shit like that, then it means everything. It's the only constant I've got, the only thing that's really important. It means my ma back when she had six mouths to feed, workin' hard makin' shoes in a dangerous factory during the day an' doin' unspeakable things for work at night. It means watchin' my nieces and nephew scream an' run an' play.

Reno had had a best friend once; one who he laughed with, talked to, fought alongside, killed with, stole with, done stupid adolescent shit with, for seven years. They had watched each other's backs; saved each other's lives countless times. He had been like a fourth brother. He had been a constant fixture in the crowded Alastare apartment; had even lived there for a time. Reno had trusted him with everything. And he had gotten burned for it, both figuratively and literally. After that, it had taken him a long time to put value on that kind of brotherly love again. It had been really difficult to trust anyone other than family; it had taken years to really trust Rude, and even now, once in a long while, he finds himself looking at the bigger man and feeling a momentary pang of doubt. He and his onetime fourth brother had spent nearly every moment of every day together for seven years and the Wutain had still been able to betray him in such a way that he's not sure that it could have been much worse. He has a hard time opening up to people, looking at them and feeling something besides suspicion.

The shrink would probably tell Reno that he has trust issues.

He might be willing to admit that one.

If you're talkin' romantic love, then it doesn't mean shit to me. I haven't been "in love" 'cause I honestly don't want it.

All he really wants, most of the time, is a quick fuck. He likes sex a whole lot, to put it mildly, and he's gotten incredibly good at picking up women. Usually it's the "wrong" kind of women; the ones that boys' mothers cluck their tongues and shake their heads at when their sons bring them home for dinner. Sometimes it's some young innocent who he can't resist. Rarely, he does come across a woman interesting enough that they "date" for some length of time. It's never a serious relationship, and the longest stretch of time that one of these girlfriends lasted was two months. Reno tends to get very bored very quickly, and the interesting women tend to be very strong and impatient with him. Somebody'd have to be damn fascinating for him to settle down a little bit, and even then, he can't deal with monogomous relationships; he needs space to run if he wants to. Maybe that's the whole problem; he can't stand to feel tied down. Maybe it's that he's afraid to let anybody get really close. He won't admit that he's afraid of anything, though, not to himself.

Whatever it is, the concept of
love love has always been foreign to him, and always made him laugh a little bit. Things like Valentine's Day, romance movies, guys bringing flowers and chocolate hearts ... That's always both cracked him up and brought out the cynic in him. A romantic, he is not.
blood drawn: 50 fired shots - shoot me

Sunday, January 30th, 2005

Time:8:47 pm.
Describe what your "happily ever after" would be like.
I've done a hell of a lot of things in twenty-three years. Mostly bad. I've never really had much of a conscience, not when it comes to people I don't know or give a shit about. I've cheated, lied, stolen, robbed, fought, intimidated, done drugs, whored, blackmailed, kidnapped, tortured, maimed, electrocuted, shot, garroted, killed, assassinated, murdered... Look, I've just always done whatever I've gotta do for me and mine to get by, and ignored everybody else. It's worked for me, and I'm not sayin' it's botherin' me now, but it's a way of livin' that doesn't really go with happily ever afters. Chances are damn good I'll die before I get any kind've a chance to try for a happy ending.

Sometimes he detachedly wonders how he'll die. It's morbid, but it's a very real concern.

Maybe his luck will run out while on a job and some lucky sonuvabitch kid will catch him in a lung with a long knife. Maybe he'll collapse to the urine-puddled, jagged pavement in a back alley in some shit slum sector and die choking frantically on his own black-red blood.

Maybe he'll finally go too far or be judged ineffective and be shot in the back by someone from ShinRa, most likely Rude or Tseng. Maybe he'll die in whichever's arms or with whichever's hand on his shoulder, listening to whichever apologize.

Maybe one too many red lights will be run on his motorcycle and an SUV will plow into him. Maybe it will take four excrutiating hours just to extricate him from what's left of its hood, during which he'll die of a crushed skull or caved in ribs.

Maybe his mother will find out about what really happened to Lian. Maybe she'll convince his sister that she's feeling well enough to make a meal for the family, and maybe he'll die convulsing on the floor under the table with her beady eyes staring down at him in triumph.

Maybe he'll finally drink himself into a coma, like Rude always says he's going to.

Fuck knows, really.

He's not sure he could ever even be really happy. It would take a fucking miracle to make something good out of the mangled car wreck that is his life. No, a happy ending isn't possible at this point. He's done too much, seen too much, known too much.

The kind of person I am? We don't get happy endings. We wash up at the sewage treatment plant in Sector 4, unrecognizable and unmourned.
blood drawn: shoot me

Saturday, January 22nd, 2005

Time:4:18 pm.
Mood: mellow.
What's the furthest away you've ever been from the place you were born? How did you get there? Why did you go? Did you return or even want to come back to where you came from?
I never traveled as a kid; slumrats don't usually too far. Once or twice, a few friends an' me went to the very edge've the city an' were stunned by the green fields that we could see off in the far distance. As an adult, I do most've my business right in the city. I travel sometimes, but it's to the same places, mostly; Rude usually takes the travelin' assignments, 'cause he likes gettin' out've the city, an' I like stayin' in it. Out've the couple've places I've been, though, the farthest was prob'ly Junon; I've been there a bunch of times, though the first was when I went there with Tseng an' Rude on one've my first missions. Got there by private helicopter; one've the perks've my job is bein' trained an' licensed to fly ShinRa's fleet of choppers, an' havin' the clearance to take one whenever you need to. We did some work in the lower levels of the city, which wasn't so bad if you could ignore the fish-smell that was fuckin' everywhere; a lot've it reminded me've Midgar. The upper levels, though, the air was so clean that it was actually hard for me to breathe. That's another reason I don't leave Midgar a lot; I've spent my whole life breathing the polluted, nasty air, an' it makes breathin' clean air really hard. Honestly, whenever I'm away, no matter where I am, I just can't wait to get back to Midgar. The place can be a bitch, but it's my city.

It's been a shit week. I'm so fuckin' glad it's Saturday an' there're no weekend hits or leg breakings or missions or anything. I think I'm gettin' a drink with sure_shot_honey tonight; should be interesting. I've got this weird feeling that things're gonna devolve into a drinking contest an' I'm gonna get my ass kicked.
blood drawn: 1 fired shot - shoot me

Sunday, January 16th, 2005

Subject:childhood memories.
Time:5:28 pm.
Mood: guilty.
Describe your funniest childhood memory.
You've got balls to ask me that, Doc.

I wasn't home that much; spent the days pullin' jobs with the Dig boys an' the nights workin'. When I was home, though, me'n my brother Kimael were pretty inseparable; he followed me around an' I pretended like I hated it. We were pure evil on wheels; the entire fuckin' apartment complex hated our guts 'cause we did a pretty good job've terrorizing all the ones that you could terrorize without bein' shot at. When I was 17 an' Kim was 13, some goddamn stupid man with too much money on his hands decided that he wanted to help "the poor children in the slums", an' that the best way to do it would be to--get this--rebuild the public pool that we used to have in Sector 2. There had been one back when we were younger, built by another wannabe mother to the world, an' it had gone bust fairly quick, after one summer. People had constantly broken into it, pissed, done all kinds've shit. So, instead of providin' better schools, clothes, methadone clinics, hospitals, food pantries, or anything useful, the pool got rebuilt, with even better security and cleaner water an' the whole nine yards.

We decided, Kimael an' me, that we were gonna be badass and sneak into the pool afterhours, late at night, when it was dark an' closed an' the gates were locked against Sector 2. So we did, one night that I made sure to get off from work early.

There was a lot've security an' shit, but they really hadn't been countin' on the determination--and small-for-our-age size--of two teenage boys. Plus, it didn't hurt that, at the time, I was doin' pretty good business as a cat burglar with the Digs. We got in pretty easy; just had to pick some locks, jump a few fences, an' climb a roof. I was all for just takin' off my shoes an' shirt an' jumpin' in--an' I did--, but Kim decided that he wanted to go a step further--he wanted to go naked. So he did. We swam for five minutes or so. Then, right when I got out've the water to jump back in, out've nowhere, all the floodlights came up, an' we heard voices. There was nowhere to hide an' not even enough time for Kim to get out've the water, when a bunch've girls roughly his age came out onto the pooldeck. Apparently, somebody's boyfriend's father ran the pool, an' had given them permission to come in an' have the place to themselves.

They were a little surprised to see us, at first, but we knew a bunch've 'em from our apartment complex, so we knew we weren't gonna get into any shit over it. What got funny was when the girls realized that Kim had no clothes on. He wouldn't get out've the pool an' they all thought it was fuckin' hilarious an' started gettin' into the water to make him uncomfortable. An' so he's tryin' to swim an' cover himself at at the same time an' he's yellin' for me to throw him his goddamn pants, an' I'm just sitting on the side of the pool with my feet in the water, laughing my ass off. Eventually, he had to get out've the water to get his clothes--'cause I was havin' way too much fun crackin' up at him to get 'em--, an' he did, swearin' viciously at me the whole time. Naturally, the girls all caught an eyeful, an' of course, he'd been in the water an' he was cold an' aware that everyone was starin' at him, so the shinkage was brutal.

I'm not sure I've ever laughed so hard in my life as I did that night. Except for maybe the years afterward that the girls in our apartment building tortured Kim, teasin' him 'bout the size of his dick. It prob'ly wouldn't of been nearly so funny if he hadn't gotten so embarrassed an' so pissed whenever the subject came up; his face turned this amazin' color of red that I didn't think was possible in humans. I'd snicker, an' he'd get even madder an' attack me in some way, an' we'd wrestle or do somethin' equally stupid, which was always funny to me an' annoying to him.

The last time I saw Kimael, two years ago, he was on the other side of unbreakable glass, talkin' to me over a crackly phone, an I couldn't resist bringin' up the pool. I found out that, four years later, it still pisses him off. I can remember when that would've been hilarious, but now when I think of it, all I can see is Kim with his shaved head an' his orange jumpsuit an' his desperation, an' suddenly, it ain't funny anymore.
blood drawn: shoot me

Saturday, January 8th, 2005

Time:9:32 pm.
What would a description of your *exact opposite* be like?
Huh. Seems like the great question askers're losin' their touch; this one's pretty easy.

Some sweet, naive, oblivious, happy "I couldn't hurt a fly" kid from the middle of fuckin' nowhere; some tiny little town where the worst thing that ever happened was a row of corn dying out before it could be harvested. Good with animals, bad with technology, good luck, all elegance an' calmness an' kindness. Never says anything worse'n "darn" or "shucks". Bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, wide-eyed, dedicated, hard-working, a morning person, straight edge. Brown noser, not a risk taker, cautious, quiet, easily scandalized and frightened. Meticulous and neat in their dress, behavior, an' surroundings; afraid of getting into trouble. Never killed anybody. The very idea of torture'd make the kid blow chunks, the very word "sex"'d make the kid uncomfortable. Squeamish. Never been hurt.

third person; invisible to all othersCollapse )

He simply sits at the screen for a long time, seemingly forgotten where he is. Then he shakes himself and finds it in himself to write three more stupid, forced lines.

Aww fuck, y'know who I just described, besides the elegance an' shit technology skills? Radar O'Reilly. 'Cept my opposite'd hafta be a bit more optimistic, cheerful, an' annoyingly goody-two-shoes smiley than he was.

He hits 'post', grabs a jacket and a set of keys, and blows out his door.

Those he runs into tonight will see the tenseness in his jaw and the haunted look in his green eyes and all but the most oblivious will give him a wide berth. Tonight, he needs to lose himself.

OOCCollapse )
blood drawn: 114 fired shots - shoot me

Sunday, January 2nd, 2005

Time:2:47 pm.
Mood: tired.
Shit, yesterday was bad. I was out til 3 or 4 in the mornin' after hittin' a couple've New Years parties (including the fuckin' ShinRa exec one that I had to go to as security; nobody knows how to make a borin' time out've a decent holiday like Loudon fuckin' ShinRa) an' doin' some drinking that was heavy even by my standards. Woke up at four hours later 'cause someone was poundin' on my door and calling my phone. I went to the door--after a while, cursing with every painful step--and it was my fucking sister; she was freakin' out 'cause her jackass boyfriend managed to cut his arm open an' was in the taxi down in the street, bleedin' into a bunch've towels. Her voice was high and loud and fuck but it hurt. She was taking him to the emergency room. So guess who was gonna babysit the kids? Good old Uncle Reno. She dumped them on me an' left before I could even start to think 'no'.

So I had my seven-, six-, and four-year-old nieces and nephew standing in my doorway, staring up at me while my brain felt like it was going to shatter. It prob'ly makes me a bad person, but I told the oldest to be responsible an' watch over her brother an' sister, an' I went back to bed. I dunno what the fuck I drank, but whatever it was, it was just wicked; I never get hit that bad. Usually an aspirin an' some food'll cure it, but it just persisted for hours yesterday.

For anybody who's ever been around kids that age, you know that I was just kiddin' myself. The little monsters are unbelievably loud. I woke up fifteen minutes later with the sounds of giggling an' the fuckin' TV blasting. So I got up for good an' spent a miserable five hours dragging myself around my apartment after them, swearing off drinking every couple of minutes when they made especially shrill noises an' the pain in my head an' behind my eyes sparked, or when I found myself puking.

I dug out the vodka the second they left.

Out've sheer boredom, stuck in my apartment 'cause of the massive amount of snow that got dumped on the city last night, snagged this from sure_shot_honey.

survey-type thingsCollapse )
blood drawn: 2 fired shots - shoot me

Saturday, January 1st, 2005

Time:2:44 pm.
Mood:incredibly hung over.
Reflect on the past year in your life. Did you have children? Did you find 'God', forsake God? Did you marry? Break up? What was this past year like in your life?
Uhh, let's see, that's a big NO, no, no, hell no, an' not really (no relationships serious enough to be broken up). Nothin' big went on this year, really; I've had way more interestin' ones in the past. Mostly just worked an' partied. I've been a Turk for almost four years now; ain't much that can surprise me 'bout the job anymore, so there wasn't anything especially excitin' on that front. I've been on the Midgar bar/club scene for way longer'n that, so it was a lot've the same old shit there, too. Not to say either of those things mean bad; I found my fun.

Spent a lot've time this year workin' on the 'Vette. Lot've good that did; finally got her runnin' in June an' she lasted a grand total of three fuckin' hours before dyin' in the middle've Free Street. They were a good three hours, though, while the engine lasted. Got sentenced to answerin' questions on this damn thing by the company shrink back in August, but hell, that ain't newsworthy.

Speakin' of gettin' sentenced, I got picked up by the cops in March; s'been a while since that last happened; I'd like to think I've been better 'bout coverin' my tracks. Or maybe what happened the last time they arrested me just smartened 'em up. Either way, the fuckin' porkers wouldn't let me call anybody 'cause they knew I'd get out the second I did; rotted in a cell for three days til Tseng finally figured out where I was an' bailed me out. They won't be fuckin' with the Turks again for a while, though; El Presidente was rightfully pissed that the money that he hands over to 'em to keep their noses out've our business was clearly bein' wasted, an' they caught hell. An' their precinct building caught fire. Which I obviously had nothin' to do with.

Uhh, what else... Well, the Zoloms got to one strike from winnin' the pennant back in September, but managed to crash an' burn; that just about killed me an' half the population of Midgar. Seems to me the biggest, richest city on the continent ought to have the best team, but somehow, they always manage to fuck things up.

There just ain't much to say 'bout this year. What was it like? Enjoyable, I guess; I definitely had more fun than I did in the years where all kinds've crazy shit went down. Ordinary. As ordinary as my life gets, anyway. All in all, it wasn't a bad year.

Had way too good've a time last night; my head's killin' me. Fuck.
blood drawn: 4 fired shots - shoot me

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

Subject:Reno Hates Christmas, or How Many Times Can Reno Possibly Say 'Fuck'?
Time:10:37 pm.
Mood:less but still sort've annoyed.
OOCCollapse )

Reno stomped up the last few steps to his apartment's floor and then down the hall, blowing past little old Mrs. Maron with her cane and her bag of groceries. He came to his door and reached into his black leather jacket's pocket with cold-numbed fingers. He froze, and reached again. Then he reached into his other pocket. Then his pants and his inner pocket and oh fuck, he didn't have his keys. He leaned against the hard oak door and slammed his head against it repeatedly. Today hadn't been his fucking day.

He'd been stuck all day behind his desk in his shitty office on the 62nd floor of the ShinRa Building, organizing paperwork alone since Tseng had seen fit to take Rude with him and leave Reno behind. The pair of them went on a quick scare-and-tear followed by several visits to some reluctant informants, and that was it. They were done for the day after that, the shitheads; he knew it wouldn't take more than a couple've hours, and they'd be done by 2:00 at the latest. Tseng was calling it quits early, for some weird, unknown-to-Reno reason. Not for Reno, though, ohhhh no. Reno had to sit in the office, try and shuffle his cases' paperwork into some semblance of order, and "contemplate the meaning of the phrase 'self-control' " until 7:00. He guessed that meant that Tseng was still pissed about the whole "exploding gang members' heads" gung ho kind've thing he'd pulled back in Junon. It's not like he'd been able to help it; it had seemed like forever since they'd had a serious mission, and he had been wound nearly to the breaking point. He'd just gone off; Rude had'd to pry him off've the last guy he'd done in.

To make matters worse, Tseng had delegated--of all people--Palmer, the lardo head of the ShinRa Aeronautics and Space Program, to make sure that Reno actually stayed in the building and worked. The fucking midget had sat in Reno's cramped office, rambling happily about different kinds of tea, for two hours, until Reno had finally snapped and literally thrown him out. Once that had happened--and once Reno had glanced at the clock and decided that 6:30 was close enough to 7:00--the Turk had snatched up his jacket and headed for the door.

Then the lights had gone out with a low whine.

He had immediately run into the doorjamb, and it had hurt like a bitch. The low emergency lights had come up, but the generators powering the elevators had not. So Reno, swearing all the while, had descended 61 floors on foot, crammed into the tiny single stairwell with only the entire working population of the building.

When he finally reached the second level of the parking garage--two hours later--, he saw immediately that it was snowing outside when it had been 50 fucking degrees Fahrenheit this morning when he left his apartment. That sucked. He hadn't worn his helmet, gloves, or any form of warm clothing, and the Midgar wind between the tall buildings was absolutely unforgivable. Plus the snow would be in his eyes.

Reno also found that some industrious soul had keyed the brand new custom black paint job on his motorcycle. "Son of a bitch!" he bellowed, not giving a damn when others in the garage looked at him strangely as his shout echoed off the cavernous walls.

He was still swearing when he roared out of the garage--and smack into hideous stopped traffic. Downtown-Midgar-in-late-December traffic. 4000-employees-trying-to-get-out-of-the-ShinRa-Building-at-once traffic.

"Oh fuck," he breathed, staring at the bumper-to-bumper traffic that stretched all the way down Main Street, as far as the eye could see. "Fuck," he said again, a little louder this time as the wind ripped at his face, then he revved the throttle and took off down the sidewalk.

He didn't reach his apartment complex's parking garage until five hours later. After a ridiculous amount of time spent taking back roads, driving in breakdown lanes and on sidewalks, and after 45 minutes spent arguing with a rookie cop who didn't know to leave the big Harley alone, the way that veterans did. ShinRa's hefty bribes paid the porkers to leave the Turks alone, so it was always a helluva inconvenience when newbies came along and didn't know about the arrangement. It was also after a minor accident in which Reno may or may not have been driving in the breakdown lane and may or may not have scraped against a car that was driving a little too close.

He staggered into his building windblown, dejected, alone and freezing. It was dark. The power was still out, which meant these elevators were dead too. So he climbed the five stories to his floor, swearing through clenched teeth at every step as his legs popped and cracked in protest from all of the stair-traveling he had done that day.

Then he came to his door and discovered that he had somehow dropped his keys between the complex's parking garage and his floor. So he went back down the five flights of steps and combed them inch by inch in the gloom.

He found the keys on the first floor.

His legs screeched in horrible agony on the way back up.

Once finally inside his apartment, as he was stripping off his coat and sucking on his fingers to attempt to de-ice them, the lights flickered and came on. There was a blinking red light on his answering machine, so he slapped it as he passed on his way to cranking the heating dial as high as it would go.

His sister Kina's voice emerged. "Hey Reno, Christmas is off for tonight. The traffic's too insane, and Mom's not doing too hot; the lights going out really tweaked her out. Laetia's working tomorrow, so we're gonna have to put it off until next week. Happy Christmas Eve." There was a click. It was just as well they'd called it off; it was now 1:30 AM Christmas Day. His family would have worried when he didn't show.

Reno blinked, standing in front of the thermostat, snow and ice crystals slowly melting and drenching his ponytail, suit jacket, and dress shirt. Christmas Eve. He'd completely forgotten the date in all of the messiness of his day.

That would explain why the day had been so shitty. Reno hated Christmas, and it fucking abhorred him.

His mother had hated the holiday when he was growing up; she said it had been commercialized beyond recognition, and so she wouldn't do the tree or the presents or the Santa or anything but the religious part. Not that she could have done much, due to their poverty, but she could have made an effort. As a young kid, Reno had come to associate Christmas with long midnight vigil masses in the drafty Sector 5 slum church, sitting in his too-small best clothes on an uncomfortable bench, surrounded by squirming siblings. As a young teenager, it had meant the busiest time of the year. And now? Now it meant jackshit. He fucking hated it. He hated Christmas trees, Christmas lights, Christmas everything, and if that made him a Scrooge, well, bah FUCKING HUMBUG. His family did Christmas now for the sake of his nieces and nephews, and Reno liked picking out things that horrified their mothers for them, but that was it. The rest of it sucked.

Ever since he'd become a Turk and moved out of the slums, it had been his Christmas tradition to go out and get royally plastered after doing presents at his ma's house. Then he would stagger home in the wee hours of the morning with some random warm body, and sleep through Christmas and wake with only a tiny hangover and a huge issue of remembering that random warm body's name. Today, though, he was just too fucking cold and the traffic was too insane. So he changed into jeans, a T-shirt, and thousands of layers of sweatshirts, wrapped up in blankets, sat on his couch with the television remote control and a generously filled bottle of top-of-the-line whiskey and a large glass, and glowered.

Fucking Tseng. Fucking paperwork. Fucking Palmer. Fucking Rude (never mind that he had thrown Reno a sympathetic look when he left the office with Tseng). Fucking electricians. Fucking stampedes of people. Fucking vandals. Fucking new paint job on the Harley. Fucking cops. Fucking drivers. Fucking traffic. Fucking keys. Fucking no family. Fucking no bars. Fucking no one in his bed (hey, that one actually made sense). Fucking Christmas.

There was nothing on TV but Christmas specials. He flipped faster and faster, finding only holiday shows on each channel. He swore loudly, chucked the remote control, and took a long drink straight from the bottle of whiskey. Fuck the glass.

He set the bottle back down on the table at his arm, then stared at the television. He had stopped on It's a Wonderful Life. He hated It's a Wonderful Life. And he had thrown the remote control. Which meant that he would need to get up to get it. Motherfucker.

The phone rang suddenly on the table beside him, saving him from his dilemma. "What?!" he barked into it.

There was silence for a moment, then Rude said, "It went that badly at the office, huh?"

Reno meant to tell him "fuck you" but he had been saying the word so often during the day that he got confused and what follows came out of his mouth in an extraordinarily calm fashion. "Palmer is a bitch, the power went out, it took two hours to get down the stairs, somebody fucking keyed the Harley, it was snowing, I cannot feel anything but my mouth right now, a rookie cop stopped me and argued with me outside in the freezing cold for 45 minutes, a fucking car scraped me, it took five hours to get from the Building to my apartment, the bike's custom paint job is fucking dead, I climbed the stairs to my floor, I didn't have my keys, I went back down to the first floor and found them, I went back up five flights of steps, my knees are killing me, I'm not seeing my family today, I'm not going out and getting drunk, I'm not picking some hot woman up, and I am sitting here watching It's a Wonderful Life, hating Christmas, and wanting to strangle myself with a GODDAMN STRING OF MOTHERFUCKING BLINKING CHRISTMAS LIGHTS." That last bit wasn't quite as calm.

Rude was quiet again. Then he said, "I'll be over in ten minutes."

Reno smiled for the first time since that morning.
blood drawn: 2 fired shots - shoot me

Tuesday, December 28th, 2004

Subject:oderint dum metuant
Time:10:48 pm.
The lanky Turk nudged the briefcase--across the damp alley's concrete--over to the other man with a scuffed dress shoe. The Junon gang lord-turned-blackmailer bent down quickly and snatched it up. A sea of gun muzzles appeared within the ranks of the ragged troops arrayed behind him as he did so, to ensure a lack of funny business from the three dangerous Turks.

"It had better all be in here," he warned as he propped the case up on his forearms and went to flip up the clasps.

The man with a tattooed red slash under each eye simply smiled fiendishly in a way that could have meant any number of things. The green eyes glinted. An intelligent observer would probably have thought that the wrong man was doing the threatening.

The one-eyed man pulled open the lid. A good-sized gun sat upon the cushioned red lining. Other than that, the briefcase was empty.

"What the f--" He began to protest in outrage--then had the good sense to glance up when a ripple of sound made its way through his soldiers standing behind him.

He looked right up into the unwavering barrel of a black 9mm Beretta 92FS Elite handgun. "What, you don't like it?" asked the wielder, inhuman smirk still in place. "It's exactly like mine."

"Where's my gil, Turk?" the man gritted, staring past the cool length of metal. Beads of sweat broke out on his forehead.

"ShinRa Incorporated doesn't take blackmail lying down, dumbshit," he told him matter-of-factly, and he squeezed the trigger.

Everything went to hell from there.

The one-eyed man thudded to the wet concrete with a neat hole drilled between his eyes, and the air was suddenly filled with bullets. Bullets that were too late for the ragtag Junon vandals. All three Turks had already begun to move by the time the first one was fired.

The Turks' speaker dove into the hoodlums' ranks gleefully, brandishing his gun in one hand and his rapidly-drawn nightstick in the other, the latter crackling with barely contained electricity. Oceans of blood formed in his wake; gaping holes ripped through lucky men, while the less fortunate screamed as 60.000 volts of pure electricity coursed through them and left them twitching, blackened messes on the floor. If the redheaded blur's smile had been fiendish before, now it was outright demonic.

The spy and intrigue shit was fine and all, but this was where he found his fun.

If that made Reno a psychopath, so fucking be it.

Write a drabble/ficlet on the word "fun".
blood drawn: shoot me

Saturday, December 25th, 2004

Subject:back from the dead (again)
Time:8:04 pm.
Mood: amused.
Describe the best 24 hours you ever had.
Best? Fuck, that's vague. I guess you mean happiest, and when I think of happy, I think of laughing, and when I think of laughing, I think of my sister's kids. There're two girls an' a boy, an' they're so fuckin' cute it's unbelievable. I'm crazy Uncle Reno to them, an' they love comin' to see me 'cause they know I've got a box of toys set aside for them to play with an' the best videogames (though I've gotta hide the really good ones, 'cause they ain't for kids) an' that I'll spoil 'em rotten. Prob'ly one've the best times I've ever had is the last time Laetia dropped 'em off with me, like she does once in a while. I played with 'em for most've the morning in my apartment, an' then we took a taxi over to the next sector an' saw a goofy-ass kids' movie that they all loved. I bought 'em ice cream next an'--Christ, but I can't believe how cliche this is--took 'em to the park for a few hours an' watched them tire themselves out climbin' around and screaming and playing. Then they came back home with me, an' I put Audrey and Miriam to bed in the one little extra room that my place has got, an' Mose--the littlest--fell asleep in my lap watching cartoons. It was a good day right up til their ma showed up late that night to get 'em an' I watched their cab drive off down the street, Laetia and her three sleeping kids inside. Fuck me, but I'm a softy for those kids.

Who would you like to see get their final comeuppance? Who is it and just what would you do with them?
HEIDIGGER. Give him an assload of papercuts, then hang him from a ceiling by his ankles with some barbed wire, an' keep dunking him into a huge fucking lake of lemon juice.

Really, if I could, I might just shoot him. Dickhead.

What do you have to be thankful for?
Control over my own life; I know it prob'ly doesn't seem like I've got much control--ShinRa Inc's got most of it--but it's a helluva lot more than I used to have. My family; we don't show it real well, but we care about each other. Not being dirt-poor, so I guess my job. My health?

What do you want for your birthday?
Fuck, I dunno. I like booze, I like women, an' I like it when my bike actually runs, so any combination of that works great. Thanks for askin', Doc; it's nice of you to get me somethin'. You know what you could do? Get my bike fixed an' then sit on it--naked--while it's running, with a bottle've Dragon's Breath vodka. That'd be perfect, thanks.

What are your religious beliefs (and if you are a deity, do you enjoy being worshipped)?
Hahaha, what the fuck? I don't think I'm a god, lady; I'm crazy, but I ain't nowhere near that far gone yet. But anyway, religious beliefs? Huh, that's funny, I could've sworn I answered this question before... Oh, right, I DID. Here it is: "do you believe in an afterlife?" Here's what I said: "Oh, hell, I don't know. Some deeply buried logical part of me is screaming no, an' an even better-hidden idealist part is screaming yes. Then, of course, there's the self-preservation instinct screaming a big fat "I fucking hope not!". If there is an afterlife, I'm goin' straight to Hell, do not pass Go, do not collect 200 gil.

When I was a kid, my ma did what she had to to keep me'n my brothers an' sisters fed. That didn't mean she didn't have any morals; she was damn religious. Went to that church in Sector 5 all the time right up til she lost it; dragged us, too, when she could. My brother and sister still take her every Sunday to this day; they're three of maybe eleven or twelve parishioners. Religion ain't too popular in Midgar these days; it doesn't put food on the table or a roof over anybody's head.

Anyway, I sneered at organized religion at the time, 'cause I thought I was the biggest badass on the face of the Planet, but I can't say all those years of being surrounded by believers didn't have any impact on me. And I don't like to think of all the people I've known over the years who've died, just being...well, dead.

Fuck it. It's just easier not to think 'bout it.

That's pretty much where I stand. I was talkin' to Tseng about that kind've shit one day--don't even ask where it came from; I still have no fuckin' clue--an' he said I'm an agnostic. I guess it's somebody who doesn't really know what to believe, which sounds about right to me.

Do you believe the possibility of a true friendship between a man and a woman?
Not unless the guy's gay. I don't know a single straight guy who's real, good friends with a girl; sooner or later, somebody likes somebody more'n friends and then they fuck and then it's all over.
blood drawn: 34 fired shots - shoot me

Sunday, November 14th, 2004

Time:9:26 pm.
Mood: cold.
Hey doc, I'm baaaaaaack. Tseng said I didn't hafta keep talking to you, but then I got pissed off at him for something and might've mentioned that that girly dot on his forehead would make for good target practice, and suddenly I've got nine questions to answer.

Do you confront your problems head on, or ignore them until you have to do something? Do you procrastinate?
Those ain't really the same question. I confront problems head on, yeah; I've never been a real subtle one, and I've never chosen inaction over action. But do I procrastinate? Hell yeah. Have you seen my desk yet, lady? It's like a fucking war zone of papers and reports and pictures that Tseng needed three months ago.

Do you consider yourself to be adventurous?
Yeah, I guess. I mean, you're not gonna see me jumpin' out've planes or any shit like that, but I like the rush of new places an' people an' things.

Who has had the most influence on your life?
The most influence? For making me who I am, my ma had a lot to do with it; she's a damn good woman. For influencing what happens to me, prob'ly Tseng; he pulled me out've a bad situation.

Does heartache make you stronger?
Hell no. It kills you slowly.

If you won 2,000 gil, and had to spend it, what would you spend it on?
That ain't too much money, doc. All the same, though, I'd prob'ly buy one of these puppies. It ain't plasma, but you only gave me 2000 gil, and it sure as hell beats the shitheap I've got now. I'd still have 200 gil after that, so I'd get this. Mmm, the smell of electronics in the morning.

What happened the first time you got drunk?
HAHAHA. Good question. Honestly, I don't really know; I dunno when the first time was, exactly, though I know I started around 12 or 13.

What makes you feel vulnerable and what makes you feel invulnerable, and why?
I feel vulnerable when people know shit about my past, or, worse, if they might know shit and I dunno if they do or not. I don't like it, and I don't know how they're gonna react. Did I mention I fucking hate it? I feel vulnerable when I'm physically vulnerable; when I'm shot or stabbed or whatever the fuck else. Invulnerable? Riding my bike through the city at night, runnin' lights left an' right, drivin' on the yellow lines, weavin' in an' out of traffic at top speeds.

What would you place in a personal ad if you were making one?
Dead sexy, funny redhead in search of adventurous woman unafraid of uncommitment and uncaring. Must be up for a good time.

What is the biggest lie you ever told? What were the consequences?
"Yeah. I'm okay."
blood drawn: 6 fired shots - shoot me

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2004

Time:7:55 pm.
ooc - posts are going to be few and far between this fall due to a busy schedule; it's going to be feast or famine. reno will be caught up as soon as possible. thanks.
blood drawn: shoot me

Saturday, September 4th, 2004

Time:8:46 pm.
How do you handle disappointment?
Not so great. I mouth off. More'n usual, anyway. Go colder apeshit than I normally would on whoever the target for the day is, knock back a few drinks, maybe completely lose my temper if it's somethin' that's really managed to get to me... I'm not exactly gonna keep quiet; unless it's somethin' real serious (in which case I think it'd be called something other'n just a "disappointment"), whoever's around's gonna hear about it.

Pretty much, I bitch like nobody's business.

Then again, s'not really like I get disappointed that often. You'd need a bit more faith in the idea that things're gonna turn out okay than I've got.
blood drawn: 4 fired shots - shoot me

Thursday, September 2nd, 2004

Time:7:39 pm.
dumbshit quizCollapse )

Actually, s'not bad at all. It's sort've close.
blood drawn: 2 fired shots - shoot me

Saturday, August 28th, 2004

Time:9:25 pm.
Mood: hot.
Would you rather lead or follow? Why? What role do you see yourself playing out over your life, leader or follower?
I've done both, an' I liked both okay. Leadin' back in the slums gave me a kind've power that I never would've had the chance to have otherwise; it was almost like a natural high. An' I was good at it, too; the Digs did damn good while I was their leader. They flourished. I was one've the most powerful people in the slums, blah blah blah, we've all heard this before. That was the good stuff. The bad was that bein' a leader makes you a big fat fucking target, and that it hands you a shitload of responsibility.

I've been following orders from Tseng -- which are really from fatass Heidigger, which are really from fatass Loudon ShinRa -- for the past couple've years, and that really ain't so bad. It sucks once in a while that I'm not leading an' I'm not makin' up the rules, so I have to go in to work at eight in the fucking morning, but overall, yeah, my vote'd be not too bad. I give Tseng a hard time about shit sometimes, but when he tells me to do something, I do it. If that makes me a follower, then yeah, I'd say I like being a follower better than a leader. Only being responsible for myself and leaving the tough choices up to my bosses is fuckin' fine with me.

And as a side note, I fucking hate Midgar in August.
blood drawn: 4 fired shots - shoot me

Sunday, August 22nd, 2004

Time:9:14 pm.
What is the most important value you would pass on to your child?
Okay, wait, slow down a minute there. You say that like it's a given that I either have one or am gonna have one. I don't and I hopefully won't. Kids bug the shit out've me. There're some exceptions, but for the most part, they're annoying an' manage to get in the way of everything. They're a helluva responsibility, too. If I did knock somebody up an' a kid came out've it, hell, I dunno what I'd tell it. I'm not the best person to be teaching anybody 'bout values.

If I did have one, though, there're a lot've things I'd want the it to have or I'd try to teach it, like intelligence, curiosity, an' confidence. But none of that's quite a value, considering that a value--according to dictionary.com (ha, look at the effort I'm puttin' in here)--is a principle, standard, or quality. I'm sure this's what most people're answering with, but I guess the one value I'd teach a kid is loyalty. It'd be damn hypocritical if I tried to tell it about anything else; pretty much any other value you can name, I don't have or I've broken in some way. Loyalty, though, is an important thing; you find the people you care about an' you stay with 'em, or you make a commitment and you stick to it. That I can understand, and that I can do.
blood drawn: 2 fired shots - shoot me

Tuesday, August 17th, 2004

Time:7:46 pm.
Mood: grumpy.
Do you believe in an afterlife?
Oh, hell, I don't know. Some deeply buried logical part of me is screaming no, an' an even better-hidden idealist part is screaming yes. Then, of course, there's the self-preservation instinct screaming a big fat "I fucking hope not!". If there is an afterlife, I'm goin' straight to Hell, do not pass Go, do not collect 200 gil.

When I was a kid, my ma did what she had to to keep me'n my brothers an' sisters fed. That didn't mean she didn't have any morals; she was fuckin' religious. Went to that church in Sector 5 all the damn time right up til she lost it; dragged us, too, when she could. My brother and sister still take her every Sunday to this day; they're three of maybe eleven or twelve parishioners. Religion ain't too popular in Midgar these days; it doesn't put food on the table or a roof over anybody's head.

Anyway, I sneered at organized religion at the time, 'cause I thought I was the biggest badass on the face of the Planet, but I can't say all those years of being surrounded by believers didn't have any impact on me. And I don't like to think of all the people I've known over the years who've died, just being...well, dead.

Fuck it. It's just easier not to think 'bout it.
blood drawn: 2 fired shots - shoot me

Wednesday, August 11th, 2004

Time:10:08 pm.
Mood: contemplative.
Is there any truth to the saying: keep your friends close, and your enemies closer? Do you have enemies? Do you have more friends than enemies?
Hey, that's hardly fair, lady; the deal was for one question a week, not three.

But there's some truth to that saying, yeah. If you're close to your enemies, you know what they're doing. If you know what they're doing, you can kill 'em before they kill you. Closeness to your enemies = good in my line of work. But if you keep your enemies closer than your friends, who the fuck's gonna watch your back when you need it?

I've got plenty of people who don't like me. Gang punks who hate me from my Dig days, people whose family and friends I've killed, people I've wronged somehow... Everybody I meet seems to find some reason to dislike me (no idea why; I'm just so loveable). I don't have many people I'd call "enemies", though, 'cause that implies that they've got a certain amount of skill; that they're at least my match. An' that's rare. I've got maybe one or two individual people I'd call enemies, an' one group in particular. My enemy list has a revolving door; ladies an' gents who declare themselves my worthy adversaries don't tend to live too long. In this business, it's kill or be killed.

I've got maybe seven or eight people I'd call friends, an' three (the group counts as one) enemies. I know you prob'ly weren't expecting that specific of an answer, but hell, you've got a fancy degree. Do the fucking math.

An' by the way, Rude, I know you're fuckin' lurking an' being creepy; don't be afraid to post comments.
blood drawn: 2 fired shots - shoot me

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