Categories > Games > Final Fantasy 7 > Rain


by KevehKins 0 reviews

Disclaimer: All characters and settings in this story are based upon and are the property of Square Enix unless otherwise stated. No profit has been made from this piece of fiction.

Category: Final Fantasy 7 - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama,Humor - Characters: Reno,Rude - Warnings: [!!] [?] - Published: 2016-08-03 - 3220 words

The purpose of a mirror is threefold.

First off, it exists to make stupid faces in when you happen to glance at it as you're walking by. Or when you've had a really rough day and you're lugging about that weary melancholy that makes you pause to consider the possibility that you could just say "Fuck this" and go off to pursue your wacky dream of opening a tea shop atop a near non-traversable mountain. Or become a professional G-Bike player and spend the rest of your days shaking hands with Dio after every tournament you win and trying not to stare at his Dio-dick, ever protruding from his 'wrestling trunks'.

For reasons I have yet to fathom, nothing perks me up so much on these days as doing my best Mog the Moogle impression into a mirror, eyes crossed and expression set to maximum goof.

That's a lie. There are countless other things that perk me up just as well or even more.

But it's still fun to do. I even have a mirror above my toilet for the sole purpose of doing it while I'm taking a piss. Just for that delightful double whammy of relief.

Secondly, a mirror is used for facial analysis, which encompasses a hefty amount of activities. They range from the young teen watching their expression morph from neutrality to crestfallen horror as a tiny lump on their cheek marks the beginnings of what is soon to be a lively, sneering fucker of a zit - their starter for ten – to the groggy adult on a Sunday morning, trying to find the remainder of their face and apologise to it for everything they drunkenly put it through the night before.

Thirdly, and this is perhaps the most rarely occurring of a mirror's uses, a mirror is used to stare into your own panic filled eyes as you try to kill time until your peace-eating mellow kicks in by going on an internal diatribe about the things mirrors are used for.

This particular activity is a risky one, because you never know beforehand exactly what kind of self-reflection the reflector's going to stir up inside you. If you're lucky, it'll spark nothing and you'll just stare blankly into your not-your eyes, devoid of thought until you reach Nirvana.

If you're less fortunate, your mind will wander to woe and worry and all those inner grievances will work their way to the surface. The ones you have about yourself. Some you know to be true, some you're unsure about.

It's the latter I'm experiencing right now, standing in Rude's pristine impersonal bathroom, avoiding a less than pristine Rude who's deeply personal at present. Nirvana isn't being forthcoming. My mellow hasn't materialised in spite of my gulping down more of the delightful little Tranquiliser pills than I could count. I run my finger along the satchel, nestled in my jacket pocket.

It's empty and I can't remember how many were in it before I got here.

Not enough.

Because I'm still standing here, panicked and uncertain, staring at a reflection with darker bags under the eyes than I recall having, skin clammier than I recall feeling.

And I'm still aware.

Still aware that what I'm doing, standing here in the shitter, is trying to flush Reno down the drain because Reno's just not up for dealing with what's outside that door.

But lo and behold good ol' me has gone and clogged the proverbial toilet. So I'm doing what all decent guests do in another person's bathroom, blindly grasping for anything to kill time until the well's full enough to flush again, so to speak.

Anything to avoid thinking about the shit.

So here I stand, trying to fixate on toilet metaphors and mirrors and other mundane things because my mind is persistently trying to wander towards the shit I can't deal with.

I run my hand through my hair, frustrated. In spite of the potentially record breaking number of Tranquilisers I've taken, my mellow is taking its sweet ass time to set in.

I know why, of course. Potentially record setting anxiety attacks have a way of slowing the course of calming substances, no matter the amount. The mounting frustration probably isn't helping either, but saints alive all I want right now is to feel the gentle tingle of that ever soothing pill peace creeping up my arms and framing my vision with that wonderful blurry haze on the edges.

Mental blue balls, that's what this is.

There's an irksome twinge of guilt underneath all the unsettled churning and stabbing fear in my diaphragm. It punctuates every painful word that annoying little fucker of a voice whispers in the nether regions of my skull. I shouldn't be taking for this. I should be sober. Because the man on the other side of that bathroom door is far more immediately broken than I and with good reason, but I just can't deal with it.

A good Turk will do what it takes and this'll take one serious mellow and a hell of a lot of alcohol.

Or at least that's what I tell myself, cursing shitty Tranquiliser all the while because I'm still aware enough to know that I'm doing it.

Telling myself…and trying my damndest to believe it.


I glance over at the window. Again.

A light rain has graced the musty streets of Midgar with its presence. The window panes are flecked with little droplets of water. I've been periodically picking a couple of the little fuckers and watching as gravity did its work and brought them streaking down to the window sill.

So far I'm two to three in picking which drop wins the race.

"About to be two to four." I mutter as I watch the drop on the right merge with another little ball of water and plummet downwards, passing my little lefty guy out.

"Merging with another drop, the raindrop racing equivalent of performance enhancing drugs." I say, glancing over the armrest to the man lying on the couch behind me. I'm laying with my legs thrown over one side of the armchair, my head resting against the other. Rude's on the sofa perpendicular to the chair. My back is to him, or rather the back of my head is to him.

He's staring at the window as well, flat on his front with his head turned to face it. But his mind is gone somewhere far beyond the realm of raindrop racing and there's no pulling him back, in spite of my many comments as to the appeals of the sport over the last two hours.

Two fucking hours of sitting here while cue ball behind me plunges deeper into his emotional chasm.

If it weren't for the tremendous amount of Tranquilisers coursing their way through me and imbuing me with the greatest hazy calm that I've experienced, I'd have long since washed my hands of this whole friend turned counsellor stick.

Not as if the patient's open to it anyway. Rude is markedly unresponsive to all my efforts to rouse him from his moping, not just to the thrilling spectacle that is raindrop racing.

Along with its many other impracticalities, rain is useless for alleviating grief.

But I tried other means, including but not limited to my wondrous sense of humour and the offer of three, count 'em, three rounds of drink on me.

Never let it be said I'm not a good friend. But it takes two to make a friendship and right now Rude is about as reciprocal as Tseng to whimsy.

I push myself up in my seat, pivoting so I'm resting my right elbow on the armrest closest to the couch he's comatose on and look him over, scanning up and down the lifeless living lump that is the present John Rude.

I'm not sure if it's the fuzzy light gleaming in through the window, or if he looked like it when I got here, but Rude's complexion is pale. He's the colour of something you'd accidentally grow in a Petri dish – living, sure, but unhealthy for all involved.

I drum my fingers on the armrest, trying to ignore the murmurings of my own frustration in the back of my mind. My mellow, my wonderous glorious mellow that hit me like the world's most comfortable freight train after thirty odd minutes of staring at myself in the bathroom mirror, is starting to morph.

This kind of buzz needs stimulus and I'll be damned if it's getting wasted waiting for Rude to get over his moping little stupor.

"Yo Rude, let's get out of here man." I say, trying to sound jovial, probably not getting that flustered bite out of my voice. "Fuck this laying around, you need to get to the bar, get hammered and get out of your head."

I raise my eyebrows, hoping it makes me look expectant. More likely it just makes me look stoned out of my tree, which isn't far from the truth.

I wait a moment, but the silent lump of human flesh on the couch remains so.

My expression turns to a scowl and I look away towards the window.

It's still raining, Rude's still moping and there's a familiar, discomforting prickle beginning to take root in me. I ignore the even more unsettling twinge of fear that accompanies it, clinging to the peace as best I can.

But I know I have to do something soon.

I sigh, a big, obnoxious, loud and restless signal of a sigh.

No response from the sofa of sorrow.

I pick out two droplets on the window. Again.


I check my watch.

Three hours.

I bump my head against the window, close my eyes and exhale. My tranquillity is long gone, replaced by sheer agitation and a sort of intoxicated wooziness. The edges of my vision aren't quite hazy so much as a moving mash of colours now. My mind is running like a Chocobo with a haste materia shoved up its ass.

Fuck Tseng, for putting me in this situation.

Fuck Rude for being such a fucking buzz kill.

Fuck that fucking niggling voice in my head making comparisons that don't need to be made and dragging up memories that don't need to be remembered.

And fuck waiting.

Something clicks in me at that thought and any semblance of control I had over the anger bubbling up and making knots in my chest just vanishes.

Fuck waiting, I'm doing.

I turn on my heel and stride straight over to Rude, he's lying on his back now, staring up at the ceiling. I tap him on the chest with the back of my hand, a little harder than necessary.

"Get the fuck up. We're going. Now." I say, fighting to keep my voice at an even keel.

No response.

I clip him across the face with the back of my hand.

That gets his attention. For the first time since he met me at the door he makes bleary, bloodshot eye contact with me. There's the automatic angered response to being slapped written in his expression and something else I can't discern and don't care to. I just want him up off of this fucking couch so I can get the hell out of this average apartment in this average building in this average neighbourhood and off to more than average fucking stimulus.

"I've done my time watching you mope like a fucking baby. Get the fuck up, we're going."

I reach down and grab him by the collar and pull. He comes up easier than I thought, probably not expecting it.

I plant him on his feet before he has time to catch up with what's happening but as soon as he's fully vertical his hand clenches around my wrist and wrests his collar from my grip.

That indiscernible something in his expression from before is front and centre on his face now and a heavy wave of shame feels like it's battering at the door to my being, trying to wash over me as I realise it's a look of disgust, or disappointment, or both. But my hazy rage is rooted too deep now for anything else to hold sway and nothing occurs to me other than to defend myself from it.

But I don't get the chance, Rude's already attacking again with the first words he's spoken all night.

"What the fuck is wrong with you?" His voice quivers, he sounds as though he's exerting every screed of restraint in himself to keep it steady. I ignore the warning.

"I'm not the one blubbering like a fuckin' kid, Rude!"

The words reverberate off of the walls, humming back at me.

"Boo-fucking hoo, a mission went bad. Get the fuck ove-"

I don't get to finish the barb before there's a concentrated pain in my left eye and a dull throbbing in my elbow and all of a sudden I'm flat on my ass looking up at the ceiling. Rude looms above me, furious and breathing like he's just run a marathon. I make to push myself up but Rude is faster. Wrapping his arm around my neck he starts dragging me towards the door. I try to drag the heel of my boot down his calf, struggling to get free of his grip at the same time, roaring and swearing all the while.

He pays it all no heed and then I'm moving backwards faster than I can process until I crash back first into the hard stone of the wall. I wince and cry out. A furious snarl rises from the back of my throat but as soon as I open my eyes and see his own staring back at me it recedes and I'm left just standing there with my mouth agape.

There's a cold, indignant fury blazing in Rude's eyes. Along with tears.

"You think this is about the fucking mission? Gunner is dead! I got her fucking killed, Reno! I got her fucking killed!" He roars and despite myself there's an icy terrified sensation trickling down to the pit of my stomach, already unsettled as it is. His voice is cracking.

"Gunner is dead." He repeats, "Do you think I give a shit about you waiting for me to 'get over this'? Get over this? Get fucking real, Reno. How about that, huh?"

I swing for him, a wild, desperate right hand. I don't know why I do it. He moves his head, the blow finds no purchase and I feel his shoulder connect with my sternum. He slams me against the wall again, pressing his forearm into my chest, an iron grip on the collar of my jacket. My gut is deprived of all air from the impact, but I'm struggling with all the fear of the crook who knows he's caught, trying to scream at him to get off of me but he holds firm.

All that comes out is a pained sort of whimper that leaves me infuriated. The words are rocketing around inside my skull now, booming above all else.

Burn, corpse, work, no, small, kill, problem, live.

Rude sees it in my eyes. I know he does. He doesn't relent.

"I said get fucking real! Huh?! Who do you think you're fucking fooling? Mr. I'm Too Fucking Cool to Let It Get To Me? You think I don't see it? Do you?! You think I don't know why you take those tranqs?"

There's a thump and the nerves in my left shoulder let loose with wails that hurtle to my brain. Rude continues pressing his knuckles into it, right where the scar would be, right where the hollow point bullet once made its home.

"M-my shoulder…myshouldermyshoulder…" I splutter, voice raspy.

"You do, don't you?" He says in a venom laced whisper, still pressing his knuckles into the ridges of my shoulder bones. "You think I'm some fucking idiot? Huh!? You think you're so far above everyone else that they can't notice? Is that it!?"

I plant my foot against the wall behind me and try to push off, but what strength I have left is fast fading and I'm dimly aware that I'm shaking my head and breathing in rapid, shallow gulps, even though the winded sensation has gone out of my gut.

Rude doesn't even have to resist the push, there's nothing behind it.

"When was the last time this actually hurt Reno?" He asks, twisting a knuckle right into the point where the bullet entered. I stop my feeble struggling, try to meet his gaze, try to look him in the eye but something I thought wasn't there won't let me and I hate it for that. I stare instead at the rain flecked window and resist the urge to plead that he leave my peace alone.

Fragile as it is.

But he presses on.

"Gunner's dead less than two days and you have the fucking nerve to tell me to get over it? You!? You aren't even man enough to admit why you really take those pills. Are you?" He says, his voice is a low, thunderous and fury filled rumble.

I say nothing. For a moment we remain there. His fist has stopped digging into my shoulder. His grip on my collar is still iron fast. The apartment is silent but for the light patter of water on the window panes. Then, with a shove, he pushes away from me, releasing his grip. I can feel his stare, daring me to look back into his bleary, bloodshot eyes and let him see that all he's said is truth.

Another silence takes hold, unusual in its lack of pregnancy. In fact it's entirely devoid of emotional charge and that fills me with a hopeless sort of terror.

Everything in me screams to get away from it, this horrible fucking silence.

So I do.

Without a word I drop my head and turn my back away from the wall and slouch out of the door.

I can feel him watching me, can feel his gaze boring into the back of my skull. I can feel the disgust, the rage, the disappointment that it carries. But worse than that, I can feel the nothingness in it too.

I blink and somehow I'm outside of his building, staring across the street at my efficiently inefficient car as the rain collides with and latches to my skin, flattening the wild spikes of my hair to my scalp. I'm still taking in those shallow, frantic breaths. The thin flesh around my eye is starting to swell up.

I notice that my wonderful border of colours around the skirts of my vision is fading.

I turn away from the car and walk down the street. Keeping an eye out for any neon lit pharmaceutical crosses as I shuffle through the soaked streets of Midgar.

Keeping an eye out quite literally, as the other's swollen shut.

I start laughing.

Maybe crying.

It's all the same, I think.

Author's Note:Well hello, long time no see. I've gotten rusty since last we conversed. Ye still look pretty spry, though.

Chapter written to "Nights in White Satin" by The Moody Blues. Any and all feedback is much appreciated.

Take it easy folks,

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