Here it is, the last chapter. Sorry if it seems a little short. I felt that if I drew the story out any longer it would get boring and convaluted. And besides that, I kind of like the flow and direction it headed in. I love to leave a little something up to my reader's imagination. And who knows, I might go back and do a little work on the last section. I still feel like it needs a little something else, but I can't figure out what just yet. Anywho, I hope you enjoy it! Hopefully, I'll start work on another one soon or try to finish up one of my other stories. See you!
Elena giggled as she stumbled slightly out of the bar.
"You sure you're not too drunk?" Reno asked as he protectively put one arm around his intoxicated co-worker.
"I'm fine! Would you quit worrying,"she said rolling her eyes and pushing his arm off. "Though I'm slightly pissed that I didn't get you drunk." Reno shrugged as they casually strolled down the street.
"I guess my tolerance is a bit higher than you expected," he said with his trademark grin. Elena looked out at the street.
"I should get a cab or something," she said.
"Nah, let's walk. It's a beautiful night and you, missy, need to sober up a little. Plus, I want to make sure you get home safe." Elena looked over at him, a little surprised.
"Okay, let's walk then." The two walked in silence for a bit, listening to the sound of the city around them.
"So, why did you really come to the bar tonight?" Reno asked. "It was a little out of character for you." Elena shrugged.
"I don't know. I was just sitting on my couch, watching the news and eating take-out and I realized how sad and pathetic that was. So, I decided to come and find you," she said.
"You were sulking about Tseng again, weren't you?" Reno said. Something in his voice caught Elena's attention. It wasn't his normal teasing. There was a hint of sadness, maybe?
"Yea, I suppose I was," she admitted. "It's just, I know he knows. Sometimes I think he ignores me just to torture me." Reno shook his head.
"Tseng's an ass. It would do you good to get over him and fast," he said. "You deserve better than that." Elena stopped and looked at him.
"Since when did you care?" she asked. Reno stopped walking and looked at her.
"I've always cared," he said softly. Elena just stared at him. This softer side of Reno was something foreign and new to her. Reno sighed and rolled his eyes. "It's, ah-, I just-, I see the way he treats you and, you, you deserve someone who really cares about you. Someone who will treat you right."
"I suppose. But I can't seem to find that guy," she said, looking to the ground.
"What about the one standing in front of you?" Elena looked up, taken aback. She stared at him a moment, not really knowing what to say. "Look, I know this is probably out of the blue and crazy, but I, I really care about you, Elena. I see how miserable you are, and it kills me. I want to see you smile more often, like tonight." She stared into his eyes, and thought back over the years she and Reno had been working together. Everything started to make sense. All the invitations out, all the little things he did to watch out for her. He cared for her all that time, and she had never noticed because she was blinded by Tseng. The right one was in front of her the whole time.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said anything. Forget it," Reno said as he shoved his hands in his pockets and started to walk away. Elena grabbed his arm and stopped him.
"Do you really mean it? Everything you said?" He nodded. Elena looked away, feeling confused. He could sense her confusion. Perhaps that's what led him to do what he did next. Reno didn't know what possessed him to do it, it just felt right. He leaned in and kissed her. But what shocked him most, was that she kissed back.
"So, are you going to invite me in, or just stand and kiss me in the hallway?" Reno asked when they had stopped kissing. Elena giggled and stepped back to let him in the apartment. "You remember everything now? I'm amazed," he said as he walked over and sat on the couch. Ten-ten ran over and hopped on his lap.
"Well, not everything. I remember most of what you said, but I still have no clue as to how I ended up naked in your bed," she said as she shut the front door and walked over to sit next to him on the couch. Reno grinned mischieviously and glanced at Elena
"All I can say about that is it's a shame you can't remember," he said, scratching behind Ten-ten's ear. Elena rolled her eyes and shook her head. Despite her recent development of feelings for him, Reno was still annoying as hell at times. She watched as Reno set the cat on the floor and begin playing with it. It all seemed surreal. That she would spend one night with Reno and suddenly her whole outlook on things would change. Sure, there was still a little bit of feeling left there for Tseng, things like that don't disappear overnight. But she could feel a definite tug on her heart towards Reno's direction.
"So," Reno said as he sat back and looked at Elena. "I know you can't just shut off your feelings for Tseng, but um, are you willing to give us a try?" he said softly. Elena looked at the ground, thinking, remembering. All the things Reno had said last night. All the promises that he wasn't like Tseng. All the gentle caresses and kisses. She looked up at him and started deep into his eyes. Was she willing to intrust her heart to him? Maybe not completely yet, but she was willing to give him a chance. She nodded.
"Yes," she said softly. Reno smiled, and leaned in to kiss her once again.