What happens when personal demons get involved with Reno?
“Can you hear that?” He asked the group and Elena picked something up on the wind.
“It’s a music box?” She said as they stood in the trees at the back of the amusement grounds. Reno heard it, he shuddered and looked away before coming face to face with Rufus.
“Something I should know?” He said keeping eye contact with the redhead.
“No boss.” He said but his eyes betrayed the lie.
Back home on the side of his rather messy bedside table was where the music box sat, playing that exact tune. The off note where a tooth in the box was damaged struck at the same point as the one at home, the one he’d found scavenging in the slums when he was a kid. He looked to Rufus who looked up and down his younger counterpart.
“Really?” He said, not even changing his tone. The sultry deep voice of Rufus ShinRa even caused the vampire to cock his head for a moment.
“It’s just I have that tune on an old wind up music box at home.” His face went bright red. It sounded pathetic. “I found it in a dumpster the same… err… key is off tune on it too.”
“Now that is interesting.” Rufus looked at him a little more softly. Reno didn’t like to talk about his past much. It was a bad one and it wasn’t one the President could see him wanting to talk about with Vincent and Elena stood near him. “Okay well we need to press on.”
Reno was glad the President let that matter slide. His annoyances were lost for the moment as Rufus lay a hand on his shoulder and the group moved on. The redhead moved alongside Vincent as they came to large security fences. It was curious to see them in good condition, as the rest of the area was an utterly decaying mess. Vincent wasted no time in getting the other side and barely pausing to aim he shot the padlock off and let the others in.
They headed down the road feeling a little less confident the closer they got to the funfair. Vincent disliked the idea of Sephiroth at any cost but hadn’t needed to voice it. The others felt the same way and seeing the carousel eerily lit in the background they all noticed the half broken rollercoaster shadowing over the park reminding them of the fallibility of age. Rufus shook his head and turned to face the horses that bobbed up and down on their mechanics.
Rufus spotted the figures on the carousel that moved out of time from the mechanical din of Fur Elise, once Rufus had liked that piece but his jaw tightened as he saw the redhead staring straight ahead.
“What is it?” Vincent asked looking to the hot-headed Turk who for one of the rarest of occasions stared at the mechanical fairground ride.
“Reno!” Elena shouted him but he was seeing something none of them could. Something he had prayed to forget since he was a child.
The young redhead had got no chance to see such things because they lived in the Slums. His mother had talked about it, when she was sober enough, about how she had been up there, had seen blue skies and nights that were lit by the moon not by Mako. He used to sit open mouthed at her feet on those rare sober occasions. She would tell him that her dad took her to a fair. He remembered the eager smile when she mentioned the carousel.
It didn’t last long, his father came in wasted on some drug, handed her half of whatever cut it was and gone to the back room to spin it out. Reno hated the drugs, hated the anger that came when they ran out. Hated that everything they had ended up being hocked (pawned) in some local shop for a few gil to get beer, smokes and once in a while food.
Reno’s food had come from begging outside the Bee, the slummiest dirtiest place on the face of the planet and under it. People traded in flesh and as soon as he was old enough his father packed him off there to work. Still after meeting Rufus ShinRa on a train going to a client he’d enjoyed beating the shit out of him and then subsequently because he had pulled it off without a Turk getting to him that day he was offered a job.
What Reno wouldn’t do for the man in the white suit wasn’t worth mentioning but right at that moment it was forgotten and why? The carousel was going around, the tune hitting the bum note and he wavered. A little redhead of five years old, actually him if he were to be precise, waved as he passed the Turk by and Reno’s heart thudded.
“Reno!” Elena tried to get his attention. The Turk watched as Tseng’s sword cut cleaning through him and through the horse he was riding. The small child fell either side, sliced clean in half and Reno let out a shriek before he suddenly had Elena’s palm hitting one cheek. “Reno!”
“Shit sorry.” He looked at the group now staring at him. “Yo, just memories.” He sighed and picked up the electro-rod he had not even noticed he had dropped.
Tseng and Rude however had not even noticed the arrival of the troop the other side. Rude watched the motions and the horses themselves had a horrid glean to them of wet soggy flesh, the animals screamed pitifully as they moved around on spiked poles slicing up and down against them and Rude’s ears rang with the racket.
Tseng however made a quick solution to the issue in his mind. This place seemed designed to drive people to insanity and he wanted no part of it. His sword was arced in one smooth motion through the first beast and though it did not go all the way through but the noise ceased.
“Better.” He muttered before viciously swinging through to the next. “Rude…”
Rude wasted no time in swinging his fists to the next, the metal bar warping and twisting under the pressure he placed on it. The horses, one by one, slowly falling silent as the Turks took them out. When the noise abated and the two Turks looked up the carousel had stopped spinning. The night sky had returned to a silent fallen ash background.
“Sir we can’t just wander around like this for the rest of eternity. I mean if, if Sephiroth is here we’re quite screwed.” Rude finally voiced.
“I am aware of that.” Tseng said rubbing his forehead and trying to think of how to get to the President. “Okay we’ll just have to try and think of…” He looked up and spotted movement.
“Reno?” Rude looked at the redhead who moved towards them. Rude and he had been partners long enough to know him whatever state he was in. Reno walked forwards, a large open gash where Cloud had struck him years ago. He moved forwards to the edge of the ride.
The two worlds collided for a moment. Reno extended his hand out to where he had watched the childish version and at that point Rude did too. Both Turks reeled backwards from a pain to their chests which sent them both flying backwards. Reno stood up and swaggered back towards the carousel and Vincent slid in front of him.
“What happened?” He asked his voice a deep dark rumble on the night sky.
“Rude.” He said weakly. Vincent stepped up and the area lit up again and the music began to play. “Stop the noise!” Reno screamed as he passed out and Vincent failed to get to him in time. Rufus ran forwards to get to the redhead but it was too late. The two worlds crossed. Rude ran forwards towards the redhead and then…
It was all gone. Black. Rude could feel a body near him on the floor. Wherever he was it was not the fairground. He hated footsteps and then a light, the smallest amount of light showed they were in a cell. Rude looked down, the slither of red hair explained who he was with.
Vincent spotted Tseng stepping down to follow Rude. Rufus spotted his head Turk and moved forwards just as Reno and Rude disappeared. Whatever curse the President let out came out in Wutai and gratefully so Tseng noted. He looked at Vincent, Elena and then Rufus.
“Well fuck me if this isn’t just getting more and more complicated.” Tseng mumbled.