The second in what might become a series of drabble-esque Turk ficlets. I like doing ficlets that hang together, but I usually run out of ideas before that happens. Also, there might be a lapse in regular postings from me for a while – I've gotten caught up in counts let's see, just about seven different original projects, none of them short-term. So, enjoy what you get, because there will only be irregular ficlets and one-shots for a while.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters or placenames depicted herein; they belong to Square-Enix and I am deriving no money from this work of fiction.


To Elena, the world is full of colours.

The clear blue of the sky and the yellow-white of sunlight greets her every morning when she wakes up. After that, it is the thick, rich colour of plain coffee that brings her to full consciousness, tainted only by a lighter swirl of cream as she stirs it into the cup.

The calendar on the the yellow wall of her apartment is sharp black and white with a cheerful picture of a cross-eyed chocobo, telling her that today is yet another work-day, the last before the weekend.

Normal days are muted pastels and soft greys, the darker shades of cars and people's hair as she passes them in the street standing out, the neon signs shut down for the sunlight. Normals days are drawn in crayon and crumbling chalks, calm and simple and nice, and she prefers them that way.

But she never gets that many normal days.

Most days are different, not different-bad but different-sharp, the colours no longer pastels and greys but harsh and painted with the biggest brush anyone could ever find. It is oil-paint, thick and runny and never drying properly.

She knows that she is yellow and blue to the bone – the yellow for her hair and the blue for her eyes – because the navy doesn't suit her, even now that she's had it on for years. Yellow and blue and baby pink, because somewhere inside she still hides innocence for the simple reason that if she doesn't, she'll go mad.

Tseng is black and blue, the colour of a bruise at midnight, reeking of duty and boneheaded loyalty, but she can't blame him for that. He's only ever done the job that's in front of him. His office is a strict greyscale drawing, with the pale yellow of his paperwork the only splash of colour in the place.

Rude is much the same, but he is blue in blue, painted and drawn in blue pen and acrylics, because even if acrylics are softer than oils, they are still harder and drier than watercolours, chipped along the edges but still a thick layer of colour between the real Rude and the rest of the world. Acrylics become like rubber, like plastic, when it's painted too thick, and on Rude, she thinks the artist should have been a bit more careful.

Sometimes, when the paint cracks, she smiles at him and hopes he can see her through the black of artificial night.

The different days are bad enough, but the bad ones are worse. They're a smeared grey and black, charcoal and watercolour with too much colour and too little water. Watercolours don't conceal, they show, paints the shadows of what is and lets what is stand on its own. Watercolours are her favourite, have been since she first picked up a paintbrush and got scolded for staining her pretty dress.

Even then she didn't care.

When she's on a stakeout, cold and shivering, the paint runs like little rivers down her neck and into the puddles on the blue-and-grey street. She sits there on an upturned crate because it's not her turn yet – no one takes stakeouts alone, and this time Reno's with her, shoulders hunched up and head pulled down so far that she's sure that the rain doesn't reach him.

He watches the all-night-take-away across the street – Tseng says there's a drug-cartel in there and Rufus Shinra in his crisp gauche and strict gold pencil never tolerates that someone else is cornering his market – with a sort of focused concentration that she wishes he put into his paperwork. And as the charcoal turns to mud around her, she watches him.

Reno is grey for the cigarette smoke, poison green for the drinks and the addictions he claims he doesn't have, blue for the blue suit that hides blood – and he's blue in a more fundamental way than any of them, because they hang up their coats and take off the shoes when they come home, but he sleeps in his; she knows because she's seen him do it – sickly yellow-pink for the colour of his skin on Sunday mornings, Mako-green for the Mako-eyes, red for the hair and the whites of his eyes after drinking for too long.

And he is painted in watercolour and blood.