...when your best friend lies in a hospital bed, half dead and doped up on morphine, a little insignificant thing like the flavor of your alcohol isn't top priority.
The pitter patter of cool, polluted rain pelted Midgar with its mild acidity. From his perch high above the city, the blue-clad man stared as drably garbed men and women hurried out of water's way, scurrying like rats to the nearest spot of dry safety. Cars and other larger vehicles inched their way along the roads, desperately making their way through the clogged streets. The city was a mess whether sunshine or rain; feigned security or national disaster.
A punch, a kick. Flashes of electricity and fire. A splattering of blood...
Another shot glass of cool, clear liquid was placed before him... he wasn't sure what it was this time, nor did he care. When you can die at any moment in a thousand painful ways... When your job involves everyday actions such as spying, torturing, and kidnaping the innocent... When your best friend lies in a hospital bed, half dead and doped up on morphine, a little insignificant thing like the flavor of your alcohol isn't top priority.
Rude sipped this shot slowly, savoring the flavor for a moment as he stared silently at the television before him and realized that it was a potent Nibelheim vodka. A haggard reporter stood before the collapsed ruins of Sector 7, one of Midgar's densest and most impoverished areas. Thousands dead or otherwise missing. The Turk removed his sunglasses, placing them silently on the bar table. Rubbing the back of his neck wearily, he finished up the shot and placed it back on the table, nodding to the bartender as he turned back to the plexiglass window.
Flying bullets. A crackle of magic. A button. An explosion...
AVALANCHE. He heard the telecaster finish up his report. The now infamous terrorist group had been formally named as suspects in this cruel act of merciless destruction. He wondered if anyone actually believed such a blatant lie. Just another corporate and political cover up to add to the hundreds already on the list. Outside, electricity flashed, accompanied by the low rumble of thunder, it's accomplice. Partner. Brother.
Rude smiled sullenly as he raised another shot of vodka to his lips, downing it like water. He mulled over this thought as he made a another silent motion to bring forth more liquid comfort. The bartender removed the empty glass, somehow understanding. Rude was there by himself, and he was never a man to drink alone.
Reno, Reno, Reno...
He could remember the first time he saw the brash, loud man. Turks training. Obnoxious, insubordinate, a smart ass through and through. Ignoring his inherent talent in the art of spying and warfare, coupled with the skill with which he handled his electric nightstick, it was a mystery how he got so far in Shinra, how he made it as a Turk. More mysterious still was how he would end up befriending the silent, stoic Rude.
Another flash of lightning, this one less extravagant as the one before.
It was supposed to be a simple job; a job like all the others. He was to accompany Tseng in the capturing of the Cetra girl while Reno distracted AVALANCHE with the plate's destruction. The crashing plate should have killed the terrorists. Shinra should have won.
Rude sighed, remembering the look on his friend's face upon receiving his orders. Less than pleased, but orders were orders, and it was his job. Despite Reno's sloven outward appearance, he never took orders lightly.
But something went wrong. AVALANCHE knew and they were too quick. They arrived before Reno got the chance to detonate the blast and attempted to stop him. Attempted to get in the way of his duty.
Something flashes across the redhead's gaze, something Rude can somehow make out from on board the helicopter. Nobody gets in the way of Reno of the Turks. He knows what his friend is thinking. It is all too easy to read the man.
A flash of electricity, his nightstick brandished. Yes, the job should have been easy, but Reno's adversaries are fueled by something different, a kind of vengeful rage that the Turk lacks. The woman, a bartender Rude recognizes from a spot he frequented years earlier, pummels him with her fists. A large, enraged man with a gun grafted to his arm sending bullets careening his way. The swordsman known as Cloud Strife...
Electricity in the air. A bullet to the shoulder. A pyramid spell. Sword meeting flesh.
Reno stands back, injured, knowing he is defeated, but still holding the detonator in hand. He makes a motion to the helicopter pilot, a wry grin spreading across his face, hiding the pain behind his eyes as blood drips down his limp arm to the steel ground below, soaking through the fabric of his suit.
He presses the button and uses the last of his fading strength to jump to the safety of the helicopter. Away from the view of his victorious opponents, he finally gives in, falling limp. Unconscious.
"We're closing up in ten, sir."
Rude was shaken from his reverie by the voice of the bartender. Looking to his watch, he noted the time... 1:50. How could so much time go by so quickly? A force all its own, abstract yet powerful. An element unlike fire or earth. Uncontrollable, ticking away the years, days, seconds of life. Rude shook his head. He knew he had to stop thinking...
A flash of lightning, a rumble of thunder.
Reno... Flashy. Intense. Electrifying. The lightning to Rude's softly booming, low and less noticeable thunder. One edgy, the other calm. One wiry, the other large and well muscled. Fiery red hair and cool green eyes. Smooth and bald with hidden subtle brown eyes. Yin and Yang. The same, yet so different. Accomplices in duty. Partners, inseparable. Brothers in every way but blood.
He finished up his final shot of alcohol and placed the glass on the table as he pushed the stool in and barely felt the edge of a buzz that was usually a sign of a good night. Usually, but tonight was anything but usual. Pulling the coat on and grabbing his sunglasses and keys from the table, he left the bar knowing Reno would be fine.
In the end, he always was.
Outside, the rain continued.