late, i know. pretend this was posted on dec. 24. also-i am TEH LAZY and didn't want to write in reno-pov, but i wanted him to explain his hate for christmas. so just pretend like he wrote all this in renospeak. so it can be responded to. also, for anyone unfamiliar with final fantasy vii who doesn't know what reno looks/is like, this is the quintessential reno. the artist got it spot on.
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-S
"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.