Despite being one of the most bad assed fighters on the planet and the only one who could have defeated Sephiroth again, there was always some lingering sadness in Cloud Strife's mako eyes, something that just screamed 'little boy lost'. At least it looked like that to Reno. The Turk blew smoke up through his ragged fall of bangs and flicked the butt of his cigarette to the ground. It pissed him off royally that Rufus wanted him to follow the hero and keep track of his whereabouts. There were other people who could do the job and other things Reno could be doing that were better suited to his talents. He absolutely hated being the shadow behind blondie.

Reno pursed his lips in thought and tapped his baton against his leg. His distaste for the assignment was probably the driving force behind Rufus' instructions. It was always a bad idea to underestimate the vicious bastard. If Reno had kept his mouth shut and his objections to himself someone else might have gotten the assignment. Oh, but no, Reno had just had to say something smart assed about Rufus expecting trouble from the goody-good Strife. Rufus had raised an elegant eyebrow and indulged himself in a malicious smile, taking an inordinate amount of pleasure in informing Reno that he was now a babysitter.

Fuck. Reno considered another cigarette, but his pack was getting low and Strife showed no signs of leaving his ruined church any time soon. Better to save them in case it was another night spent lurking outside the ruins. Reno was under no illusion that Strife knew he was there. He probably took pains to make sure that Reno was bored as shit and miserable because of it. Bastard. Shouldn't he have been helping to clean up the destruction in Midgar? Reno thought all the environmentalists were giving their time to bring the city back to life. Even that scary fucker, Valentine, had been seen helping, but only after dark, Reno sneered to himself.

Instinctively, Reno glanced around after daring to think of Vincent Valentine. The man was downright creepy and had the unnerving ability to just appear at any time. Reno was willing to bet the last gil in his pocket that Valentine could read minds and knew when he was being slandered. Reno bounced on his toes in the growing chill of early evening to try and warm up his body. It was getting colder every day.

"C'mon, Strife, hurry up. You're keeping me from a warm bar and a warmer glass of whiskey," Reno mumbled unhappily to himself.

"You could always stop following me."

The quiet words had the Turk swallowing a yelp and swinging his baton around in a head level strike. Metal clanged and shrieked in the quiet stillness as the baton met the barrier of the huge sword. Mako eyes glared at him over the crossed weapons and Reno shivered at the hint of anger in their eerie glow. Strife shouldn't have been able to sneak up on him like that. His fault for letting his concentration lapse.

"Don't you have anything better to do, Reno?" Strife asked. "A Shinra to follow blindly?"

Reno narrowed his own eyes at the implied subservience. "Damned right, I do," he retorted. "but some people think you bear watching. My bad luck I got the job."

Strife snorted and swung his sword into the sheath at his back. He turned his back on Reno like he wasn't worth worrying about and walked calmly to his motorcycle. It took another second for Reno to lower his weapon and make his way to his own bike. So, Strife knew he was being followed and didn't care. Even worse, he found Reno only to be an annoyance.

"You little bastard," Reno murmured under his breath.

His only answer was the powerful roar of the black bike starting up and heading back to town.