Shine on You Crazy Diamond

Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.

He placed the key through the hole and turned it until a desirable click was heard. Pushing the door back, red hair adorning a pale face floated into appearance long before the man who claimed ownership of flamboyant traits could merely whimper for attention's sake. His tall frame slithered through the shadows without any indication of desiring the guidance of artificial light. Crimson fluid trailed down ivory skin and dripped from twitching fingertips onto the expensive carpet. Blood stained; he knew that aspect far more extensively than any human being walking this dead end of a planet. Oh well, he sardonically thought to himself, the mark would leave room for questioning. Plus, chicks loved a man who lived dangerously.

Reno shrugged off his blazer and tossed it onto the counter after removing a pack of cigarettes from the lapel. Gripping onto the small packet as though his life depended on it, another callused hand reached out and flipped on the light switch. For being such a notorious slob, the condition of his apartment far from related to his personal appearance and office space at headquarters. The kitchen, aside from having a plate or two residing in a spotless, stainless steel sink, was immaculate. Marble floors sparkled like a diamond in the rough and garbage ceased to exist in its can due to the Turk's consistency in taking it out every morning before work. The living room, in all its plush carpeted glory, was equally flawless. A plasma screen television set was positioned against the wall beside a fully functional fireplace. The glass coffee table sitting dead center in the middle of the room added a classy touch to the place as a cushy black couch awaited patiently to comfort whoever chose to relax on its airy cloud-like surface. It didn't have much, but Reno liked it that way. The simpler the quarters were, the more comfortable the atmosphere.

A single cigarette hanging from parted lips blazed to life with a single flick of the plastic lighter. Along with his trademark jacket, Reno unbuttoned his disheveled white shirt as well and removed it from narrow shoulders. It had been a late one tonight. Later than he had originally thought during debriefing. Marcus Vasquez, a rival against the Neo Shinra uprising, was planning a revolution of massive proportions. A revolution that would blow a resurrected, barely ready to walk Shinra right out of the water. Since Reeve had been on vacation for the week, Vice President Yusuke took the reigns and decided to do something uncharacteristic to the president's own methods of attack. Something that Reeve would find distasteful and means for dismissal. Vasquez had a family; loving wife, a daughter, and a son. Nothing would hit a man harder than to take him down through the destruction of a foundation which structured his otherwise meaningless existence.

Directing himself through the kitchen, Reno discarded his stained scarlet letter into the trash. The assignment had been to take out his confidant and remove the inhibition Vasquez received through this one individual. The assassin was to execute the mogul's only son and he was to do it without the help of his two comrades. It didn't seem difficult. He had killed many on the account of being simply being asked to, so without reservation, he entered into the delirium midnight enticingly cloaked its vigilantes in. The only thought plaguing an otherwise one track mind was the hope of finishing this contract in time for a quick drink at the local bar.

Snaking his way through security, unloading various bullets through a silencer wherever he felt necessary, Reno snuck into the Vasquez mansion. The blueprint Yusuke had constructed was precise, every twist and turn the murderer choosing to take leading into familiar terrain and ultimately to the door which hid behind it the unsuspecting mark. He placed a steady hand on the doorknob, twisted, and slowly opened the blockade responsible for separation. The room was dark; the silvery glow of an evanescent moon doing nothing to assist Reno's perception of blurred surroundings. Footsteps, soft yet quick, resounded closer and closer to the bed as he cocked his gun and took aim.

"Daddy?"

A young child no older than five years old sat up in his bed and rubbed at tired eyes. Messy ebony hair stood on ends as his tiny mouth parted to reveal a missing front tooth. Time stood still and left a misinformed Turk to watch with wide eyes what his imagination had perceived to be a nineteen year old spoiled brat choosing to live at home until the glorious day daddy moneybags croaked and left behind his multimillion dollar corporation. There was supposed to be a freeloading teenage sty sitting up on that bed. A full grown sty, not his blast from the past rug rat self.

"What the fuck?"

The youngster screamed bloody murder in tears after noticing the imposter in his room. Reno's hand shook as sweat beaded at his hairline. He had never killed a kid before. Parents and even a pregnant woman had made his list of hits but never an actual bright eyed, bushy tailed child. There were other options available. He could pocket the gun, sneak out the window, scale the walls, and flee from the estate, pretending he had never been there to begin with. But, of course, that cowardice would mean Vasquez overthrowing Shinra and Rude, Elena, Reeve, and himself being out of work. It caused his mouth to dry and the sweat to escape from unguarded pores when the right decision became evident. It was the price to pay for loyalty.

Unloading three shots, Reno slipped the weapon back inside his jacket and escaped before Marcus Vasquez and his lovely wife could rush in to discover their little boy dead amongst blood and cartoon sheets.

Reno opened his barren refrigerator and pulled out the bottle of vodka located on the bottom self. He never believed in God. Not as a child growing up in the slums and certainly not now as a capable adult. The Turk possessed more faith in the untimely death he would undoubtedly suffer at the hands of his atheism rather than, ironically, the being which could salvage him in the end. Death had rounded every explored corner and yet here he stood, in the well kept kitchen, alive. His extended lifespan only seemed to prove how stubborn God was in making his existence known through countless displays of divine intervention. What number was his survival rate over death at now? 363?

Cigarette smoke poured around a dour face in thick blankets. He was a murderer. A man who was paid in equivalence to the amount of blood he shed. Looking back, his entire life had been truly an act of malice. Violence in exchange for survival. As an urchin in the Sector 5 slums, Reno spent the majority of his day wandering alone in search for a safe and decently comfortable place to sleep that night. Unfortunately, in his search for sanctuary, the orphan often encountered gangs who didn't smile too gently upon lost little boys. He had gotten the piss kicked out of him the first time, stabbed the second time, and branded with those infamous scars under his eyes the third time. The fourth incident ceased to exist because early the next morning, the boy who everybody thought couldn't came back with a butcher's knife and proved he really could. It had not only been his first but also most gruesome murder to date.

Drugs, sex, and violence had defined a troubled youth. It had made him hard and especially hip to the true stature of human nature. His first sexual encounter was with a hooker who had given him crabs at the age of fifteen. His drug of choice was cocaine laced with a potent amount of mako. It was whiskey or nothing and his entrance exam into the Turks had been to take out the mother he never knew. Reno would never forget the first time he had met Tseng. He was a quiet, reserved Wutaian who had approached the red headed bastard in a seedy bar and purposely spilled his drink on him. The slum dweller fumed and blindly rushed into a fight he was more than sure to win.

Reno not only got his ass kicked that night but the proposition of a lifetime.

Keeping the bottle of vodka in one hand and cigarette gripped between tight lips, he reached into his abandoned jacket and pulled out the weapon of choice for this night's accomplished mission. The eyes of the young Vasquez child haunted him; his piercing screams penetrating into ringing ears. Another perpetual scar on a dull conscience. There were so many knick and stigmas that had accumulated throughout his span; he wasn't so sure the surface had room for any more evil deeds. If Reno was lucky, maybe his brain would discard the previous tyrannies to make room for new ones. It was his only hope when it came to possibly forgetting tonight's nightmare.

Sighing, Reno retreated to the couch, placed the bottle on his coffee table, and stubbed out the cigarette on the carpet. It was bittersweet, how the eyes of the child he met tonight resembled the ones belonging to the mother he never knew. Large, innocent, and so naive. She sat petrified the moment those naive orbs caught sight of the son she barely wanted. The woman recognized her flesh and blood instantly granted their nineteen years apart; the red hair coming from her own head and probing green eyes a genetic parting gift from his father. She had cried, but it wasn't for the obvious reasons.

One bullet to the heart was all it took to bring down Aoi Morrison. As a reminder of his highest degree of masochism lacking regret or hesitation, Reno had kept his mother's file. That had been much to Tseng and President Shinra's dismay.

Sweet, crystalline fluid flowed down a hungry throat. The alcohol contained a bitter afterthought but Reno enjoyed the sensations nonetheless. Placing the glass bottle back upon its own breed of material, the professional gripped onto the pistol and picked its contents up to look it square in the trigger. He had loved this gun. It had traveled along with him and destroyed far more people, objects, and establishments than his EMR ever could. But don't get it wrong, he loved that EMR. After all, it was his reward for obliterating part of his family tree and an impressive reward at that. The rod was his first love when it came to Turk weaponry, but his pistol, that was his essence, his standing ground.

Reno's fingers trailed the barrel of his pride and joy. He had taken this bad boy through a lot of twists and turns; murder missions, hijackings, and to fights against AVALANCHE where he was sure he would do something more drastic that just badly injure those pests. AVALANCHE, rejects from all around the world joining together for one common purpose - to annoy and destroy. Reeve, being a former member, conceived the genius idea of merging the terrorist hero group with Neo Shinra in hopes of not only making Shinra stronger but also more straight laced. Reno could only snort. How hypocritical to employ Turks, murderers, under a "virtuous" organization. Reeve could be a nice guy but that kindness had the potential to make him a real dumbass.

The chamber to the gun opened allowing all the bullets, except one, to explode boisterously upon the table in union. Reno immediately closed the object as to entrap the little instrument of death in its confines before pointing the gun at the television set. Ten years as a Turk had caused him to become an evil shot. It was as though the constant adoration of the beautiful grand finale melding iron birthed gave him the ability to almost directionally will a bullet. It took him a year of training and assassination attempts to fully comprehend the true magic of a hand gun. Such a magnificent instrument, the only magnificent instrument he would willingly submit his life to.

"My"

He remained pointing at the television.

"Mother"

Pointed to his temple.

"Punched"

Television

"Your"

Himself

"Mother"

Television

"In"

Himself

"The"

Television

"Nose"

Himself

"What"

Television

"Color"

Himself

"Was"

Television

"The"

Himself

"Blood"

Television

"R"

Himself

"E"

Television

"D"

Himself

Somehow, he knew it would be this way. Demons were a funny thing, never leaving you alone until the day you die. Immense trauma brought about by nothing more than guilt, if you really philosophically though about it, was fate's way of letting you know that you screwed your life beyond repair. With the huge schism between angel conscience Reno and his corporal self, his DOA date was long overdue. Smirking, Reno placed his finger on the trigger, the gun never in its prime steadier than it was at this moment. Fate smiled - sharp teeth glinting in the moonlight as greedy eyes burned in thirst for blood.

RING! RING! RING!

Frowning, Reno placed his death certificate beside him, picked up the phone sitting dockside by the couch, and dejectedly declared, "This phone has caller ID so if this ain't important, I will come find you. And trust me when I say, my little visit won't be for a friendly conversation over a cup of English Tea."

"You're really grouchy when you first wake up, Turkey, you should work on that."

A single red eyebrow quirked up as his mouth significantly dropped, "Brat?"

"Actually, it's Yuffie but I'll let that slide for just this once. Listen, I need to talk to you, do you have a minute?"

"No."

"Great! Look, seriously, my dad isn't too fond of the name Shinra so he wouldn't be too keen on me asking. There's been letters coming to his pagoda...threatening letters...and, well, I need your help."

Reno sighed, balancing the phone between his shoulder and neck while fishing for another smoke, "Why don't you just ask one of your idiot friends?"

"Because," the voice whined on the other end, "they would have to go through all their paperwork crap with Reeve and do some kind of stupid background check on the situation! By the time they get all their official jargon done, the old man would already be dead and buried. Please, Reno, I'll pay you if you want."

"How do you know I don't wanna go through all that official jargon either? Helping you would mean losing my job, twerp, and if I have to choose between a job and a person I can't stand, well, frankly, I'm gonna go with the one that keeps cigarettes in my pocket and booze in my bloodstream."

"Clean the wax outta your ears, jackass, I just told you I would pay you!"

"You catch more flies with sugar, honey."

"You know what? Forget it! I can pick someone far more skilled and willing drunk with their eyes closed."

Reno snorted, taking a drag from his cigarette, "Good luck."

"What is it going to take for you to agree to this?"

He remained quiet for some time, the phone still cradled by his face. With the paycheck he got every week, there was nothing materialistic Reno had wanted and couldn't go out and buy. But, there was the ninety-five percent chance that if he went out of his way and did this favor without consulting with the president first, Reeve would combust. Also, AVALANCHE would be equally, if not more, pissed when they found out their own personal ninja twit came to a Turk with her problem before consulting one of their own.

"You know what? Out of the goodness of my heart, I'll do it."

"Out of the goodness of your heart? Blame your decision on something else because we both know you don't have a heart."

"Well, then your dad better get on his knees and pray that I grow one. You know, like his life depends on it...Oh wait, it does. Sucks for him. Later," Reno proclaimed before inching the phone closer to the hook.

"Wait! Okay, okay, geez, I'm sorry!"

He placed the phone back at the side of his face with a victorious smirk shining through, "Time and a place?"

"Time and a place?"

"To brief me. My crystal ball's in a shop so unfortunately to crack this I need some word of mouth based information."

"Oh, right! Meet me tomorrow at Turtle's Paradise at 8pm. I'll bring the letters and fill you in on some possible suspects."

"Peachy. Until then," the red head drawled before hanging up the phone. Sighing again, Reno yawned and got up from the couch. That was strange. His information was unlisted and he told anyone at Shinra if they gave out his home number he would straight out castrate them. Who had enough balls to loose their balls? Probably Rude or Elena. Where personal affairs were concerned, if it didn't involve either one of them, it didn't involve restraint.

Tonight, he chose to sleep in his own bed rather than pass out on the couch. After all, he had a sour puss to deliver to all the boys and girls of Shinra, Inc. A smile materialized on a gaunt face. Staying alive one more week to burn his co-workers wouldn't hurt any. If anything, it would make it more likely for him to die faster and with a smile on his face.

Reno : 0

God : 364