Hell's Nuances

Disclaimer: I do not own FFVII!

Of Secretaries and Vertigo

He watched his cigarette grow shorter in between his fingers every time he inhaled. The red sparks consumed the tip as it came closer to his fingers at an alarming rate. He was leaning casually against the brick wall of a skyscraper, with his jacket slung idly over his shoulder. His feet were neatly folded in front of him, balancing his weight on the heels. The unpolished, black dress shoes contrasted with the grey concrete beneath his feet, making their tattered appearance more evident to an onlooker. His navy blue suit hung loosely around his form and the crumpled, white shirt underneath was unbuttoned down to his chest. His red hair rested around his face in utter disarray with rather long bangs hanging over his green, cat-like eyes. Two identical scars adorned his cheek bones on either side of his handsome face. The jagged marks burned a vibrant red, which contrasted greatly with the pale skin of his face, but matched the vividness of his hair. All in all Reno was quite a sight to behold.

He calmly finished his cigarette and after extinguishing the last sparks by rubbing the cancer stick into the dirty pavement; he made his sure way toward the entrance of the building he was so casually leaning on, up to that point while putting on his jacket. Before walking in, through the double doors, he turned around and looked up to the roof of a parking lot across the street from the skyscraper. He gave a half smirk and wink before disappearing into the said building. Even if an innocent bystander caught the action, they certainly didn't notice a bald man, on top of the parking lot with a similar smirk. That was, of course, planned because accompanying the bald man was a sniper rifle, which was pointed at one of the windows on the 13th floor.

Once in the building, Reno walked to the administration desk, situated off to the side along the left wall. Due to Reno's tremendous amount of luck, or the lack thereof, at the desk sat a young man. Reno was counting on a woman. That way, he could sweet talk her into getting him into the target's office without appointment. In case you are wondering…yes the Turks were ordered for an assassination. Surprisingly, this one was for the good of humanity (at least that's the way Reeve put it). Being, mostly, a very amiable character, it came as somewhat of a surprise for Reno and Rude to learn their assigned mission. Assassination and Reeve shouldn't have appeared ever in the same sentence, not to mention the fact that he ordered one. Reno had nothing to complain about, however. For most of his 23 years that was precisely what he did; and Rude didn't have much to protest to either.

Reno sighed to himself, knowing that the mission just became twice as hard. He rubbed the back of his head in hesitation before plastering on a casual grin and approaching the administration desk.

"Good morning." Reno rasped out leaning over the counter. Perhaps drinking the night before wasn't such a good idea.

"Good morning sir. How can I help you today?" Reno cleared his throat and looked back up at the man.

"I have an appointment with Carter. Gregory Carter." In all reality, of course, Reno didn't have any appointment. If he would it would look too suspicious that the aforementioned Gregory Carter would die on the same day as the meeting with a notorious Turk.

"May I have the name, please?" the man asked politely while pulling up the program to enter the data. Reno was not prepared for this that well, but did that ever stop him? Of course not. So, he found himself improvising.

"James…" the young man at the counter cut him off.

"Sigismund?" he asked. Reno nodded vigorously. 'If Rude heard this, he's laugh his ass off.' Reno thought. "And you have an appointment today at 12:30, is that correct sir?" the man behind the counter continued. Reno inclined his head in the positive once again.

"Alright sir, if you would proceed to the 13th floor, office number 109." Reno nodded and grinned his thanks. This was almost too easy, but Reno wasn't complaining. He wasn't exactly feeling up to any dramatic performances due to the amount of Bloody Maries that he had consumed the night before. In all reality, Reno needed to get into the office to get a paper that Reeve so much needed, not kill the guy…that was Rude's job. Reno, even though not caring much to start with, wasn't aware of what the contents of the said paper was.

Perhaps, at this time it would be a smart decision to explain to the reader the whole ordeal behind the assassination. A guy by the name of Benedict (out of all the guesses and rumors, no one actually knew his first name) decided to revive the Honey Bee Inn after the 'tragic' (coughsarcasmcough) death of Don Corneo, but extend it beyond simple prostitution. He spun out a whole company, not very unlike the former ShinRa, that put together a monopoly, which controlled most of the world's refineries. The new ShinRa distributed oil, and to get oil anywhere they needed refineries. In a way ShinRa almost depended on the Midgar's Finest Co. Refineries to be able to distribute oil to the public.

As opposed to ShinRa, which went for Vertical Integration (owning every branch in the process of getting and redistributing oil), Midgar's Finest Co. decided on Horizontal Integration (owning one branch of oil manufacturing). Benedict's company poked a rather deep hole in ShinRa's finances. Needless to say, this Midgar's Finest Co. needed to be eliminated. Reeve was not the type of guy, being the new president, to go for simply destroying a company because of a dent in ShinRa's seemingly perfect armor; but there was something that extended beyond simple competition. The schemes that went on behind what was the actual company were horrendous. Reeve didn't go into any detail on those when explaining the mission to Reno and Rude, but heck it was probably true. People were mysteriously disappearing and pronounced dead…oh and here comes the kicker: Honey Bee Inn has been getting more and more girls. Why? Because they were bought…under terrible conditions (to put it mildly).

Reno didn't concern himself with the half of it. How wrong he was to think that this wouldn't touch him.

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The man at the administration desk watched Reno walk leisurely towards the elevator. There was a light cling, signaling the arrival of the said elevator and Reno disappeared from view. The man upon seeing Reno out of sight took the cell phone out of his pocket and flipped it open, dialing a number.

"He's in." he said simply and after a moment of silence "Oh Carter is dead alright."

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Reno walked towards office number 109 trying to clear his head. The sun shined too bright for his liking, the people were way too loud for his liking, his head hurt too much for his liking… 'I should ease on the drinking before missions.' He thought for probably the fourth time that day.

He stopped in front of the accursed office door and rubbed his temples, sighed and burst through the door playfully.

"Oh Lucy I'm…" he started with a fake accent but the words died down on the tip of his tongue. The stench in the room was unbearable. Reno had enough experience to know that there was without a doubt a dead body in the room. He walked in stiffly and shut the door behind him to see a bloodied form of Gregory Carter, sprawled unceremoniously on the floor underneath the desk. There was nothing Reno could accept grab the black envelope that contained the information Reeve desired and bolt.

He jumped out of the office closing the door behind him. Immediately he started coughing and gulping in oxygen. The hallway was empty, and he was about to run, when he heard soft but definite footsteps moving towards the office. There was nowhere he could go to not seem like a suspect so he did the most 'logical' thing. He ran back into the office and dashed out the window to stand on the ledge. His form just disappeared out of the office, when a shrill scream was heard inside. 'Probably the secretary found the body.' Reno mused to himself. His soon-to-be rant about how much he hated secretaries was cut short however when he saw where exactly he was standing. Yes, it is not a very well-known fact but Reno of the Turks was scared of heights.

He pressed his body up to the building, looking for the whole world as if he was just crucified. 'Don't look down…don't look down…' he chanted to himself while trying to keep his gaze up. By doing so he looked up into the sunglasses of his companion. Rude stood up on the roof of the parking lot from his squatting position, clearly not understanding what exactly was going on. To that Reno managed a weak grin and a half-hearted wave. 'Why does this always happen to me.' He thought while closing his eyes for a second. After reopening them and seeing that the scenery didn't changed he sighed lightly 'Well, it's not as bad as it could be.' That moment a woman standing at the base of the building noticed the Turk and started screaming—

"He's going to jump!" she pointed to him wildly while other people started looking up with alarmed looks at the red-head. 'Yes, it is.' He looked up to Rude, but saw that the other stood there, shrugging as if telling Reno that there was no way out of this.

The police arrived soon enough, with a fire truck and ambulance. 'Oh this is just spec-fucking-tacular.' Reno thought to himself as he saw almost the whole main street concentrate its attention on him. Reno looked about himself and saw a wide open window to the left. If he could only move to get into that office, everything would be great. So he slid at a snail's pace towards the window hearing 'don'ts' and 'hells' with every move he made. What kind of a lunatic did they take him for? Jumping off building? Even though, he did have to admit that he probably made for quite the interesting sight.

He mad it to the window without much nuance, but when he got there a familiar figure popped its head out to glare at him. It was, to Reno's chagrin, Reeve.

"What the hell do you think you are doing?" Reeve asked seriously. Reno got the distinct impression of a strict history teacher reprimanding one of his students.

"Taking a pleasurable walk." Reno drawled, putting the most emphasis the word pleasurable while rolling his eyes. He heard an exasperated yelp from Reeve and smirked. Even now he could get to Reeve…that has got to be some kind of a record for obnoxiousness.

"Reno…" Reeve started warningly.

"I…" Reno started, but was interrupted by the president.

"I asked you to get an envelope. All you had to do was…." Reno tried interrupting, but that didn't work because Reeve continued with the rant as if he didn't hear "get a goddamn envelope and bring it to me. Is that so much to ask for?" Reno again tried calling out his name, but Reeve was on a roll "Instead of completing this one simple assignment you…."

"REEVE!" Reno shouted throwing Reeve off his high horse. There was a small pause before—

"What?" Reeve asked agitated now putting his attention back on Reno. The other simply growled.

"It's cold, I have a headache, I can't see shit because of the sun, these people are getting on my nerves, I have a bad case of vertigo by this point, and can I please mention…" he made a small pause for dramatic effect "I'M STRANDED ON THE 13TH OF FLOOR OF A SKY SCRAPER ON A FUCKING LEDGE!" Reeve gave a nervous laugh and looked apologetically at Reno. "Get out of my way so I can get into the damn building." Reno grinded out while Reeve scampered out of the way. Reno got into the building with a sigh of relief and immediately relaxed into his laid back, casual position.

"Oh please, now you can continue." He said sarcastically while giving Reeve an agitated expression. Reeve sighed and shook his head quietly. Reno of course felt worse than he let on. Before Reeve could open his mouth so say anything else Reno collapsed on the floor. Reeve sighed again—

"I should remind myself never to drink and then go skydiving." He said to himself before a few people form the ambulance burst into the office in a huff.

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Sitting cross-legged on the couch in front of her television Yuffie was mindlessly flipping through the channels. 'There has to be something good…right?' she futilely tired convincing herself. She came to a news channel and decided to just stop there. If there wasn't anything interesting, she'd at least find out what's going on.

"In other news, a man tried throwing himself off of a building in downtown Midgar." Yuffie snorted to herself, before continuing to happily munch on her cereal. "This special footage was recorded earlier today." At that point Yuffie's limp hands let go of the bowl that fell to the floor with a clatter and spilling milk all over the carpet. 'Turk-boy?'

Hey hope you liked the first chapter. There will some mystery in this story as you probably already guessed and Yuffie and Reno will end up meeting and having to work together at some point or another - anyway tell me what you think. Please review.