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Reno didn't like to admit that he lived for it, the delicious sensation in the pit of his stomach. The one that only Yuffie inspired. He had only to think of her and he could feel it. His skin tingled, his heart sped up and he knew from watching himself in the mirror that his pupils expanded until you could barely see the bright green around them.

"You look evil." Elena had told him once when she'd caught him watching the object of his affections. Not that she'd understood. It was his secret, his best kept, most cherished bit of shivering delight. Reno the Turk was in… something with an enemy. He couldn't bring himself to say he was in love with her or even to entertain the serious possibility. But Reno was definitely in something with Yuffie. He was fascinated with her, he could admit that much. Reno the Turk was fascinated with Yuffie Kisaragi the teenage ninja, heiress of Wutai, member of AVALANCHE and all around klepto.

When he could laugh about it the whole thing was seemed just too much like a bad play. Or maybe it was a Turk thing, wanting what you couldn't have. Tseng wanted the Cetra, Elena wanted Tseng, Rude wanted Tifa and Reno was panting after a girl crazier then he was. Hell, maybe he and Rude could just set up lawn chairs at the next fight. Let Elena and Tseng have some bonding time. The rookie and the stiff could fight AVALANCHE and he and Rude would just relax on the sidelines and watch their ladies beat up on someone else for once…

When he couldn't laugh about it Reno tried to drink or smoke or fight until he could. He dragged Rude to seedy bars and used any excuse to start a fight. He played pranks on Elena. He bothered Rufus and Tseng until they both drew guns on him and ordered him to get gone. He went on dates and more then dates with almost any girl that had all her teeth in her head. But sooner or later Reno was alone in the dark and he ran out of places to hide.

Out would come his best memories of her and down he would sink into them. Her impossibly thick black hair, shining in the sun as she aimed that massive shuriken. Her wide eyes rimmed by lashes so long they almost looked fake. Those legs that went on forever. Hell, that slim form in general. The times, too few in number but extremely precious to him, that she had been with in a foot of him during a battle. Close enough to touch though they never did.

But it was her smile that broke him every time. He found himself thinking stupid things, ideas better suited to some whining poet then a Turk. Sappy concepts like that the very first smile had to have been like hers. Wide as the sky, bright and perfect, just a bit feral. The world could end in that smile. He hoped his would. It was the last thing he wanted to see before he went. Then Reno would hold his breath, close his eyes and feel the bottom drop out of his belly like he was going down the biggest hill on a rollercoaster. The feeling grew until it was everything and he was wrapped in warmth. Like Yuffie was right there and she holding him right then. He could picture her tanned limbs around him. Arms around his neck, mile long legs around his waist, her forehead against his. Still and silent like she didn't want to let go off him either.

But sooner or later he had to exhale and come back to his solitary bed. That's when it hurt so much Reno nearly doubled over. That's when he could almost hate himself for this inability to let whatever this was go. That's when he could almost hate her for standing just outside his reach but almost constantly in his sight. Sometimes he even swore this was the last time, that he wouldn't think of her anymore. He banished Yuffie from his thoughts and for a minute or two he was just a very tired, very empty man in a messy Upper Plate apartment.

Then he'd feel that slight drop in his belly. The faint prickling of his skin that signaled that she was back and he was hers and that was always how it was going to be. He sighed, the relief almost too much to bear. She wouldn't leave him alone even if he was dumb enough to try to make her go. Comforted Reno would sigh and lay back, his face turned away from his window. He fell asleep and dreamed of roller coasters and the black haired girl strapped in next to him, screaming and laughing and smiling like the end of the world.


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