End of Reason

Dark Lady Devinity

The world was slick with the laden clouds of fog and threat of downpour. Roads became washed out and dangerous to tread unless one was mastered in the art of all terrain driving. Even then, motorcyclists would have a difficult time.

This was apparent from the sight of a familiar black bike stuck in a mud filled ravine. No sign of the familiar spiky, blond haired man.

Unfortunate. As it was, he had been the first to find the abandoned bike. There was little love lost between him and the blond and he just as soon abandon both bike and owner. Yet with ShinRa on the downturn, he had to make allies with whoever he could. Pushing back wet, red strands from a pale face, he sighed.

Damn the fog for forcing him to make an emergency landing with the helicopter.

Reno looked longingly across the road to his helicopter. In the thick fog, it was nearly impossible to see. It was nothing short of miraculous that he had even seen Strife's bike. Then the Turk's cursed curiosity had gotten him in this situation; standing in the rain, soaked and reluctantly scanning the area for Strife.

There would be no finding of the younger male at this rate. He wasn't within a foot of Reno and that was about as much visibility the Turk had. Cloud seemed to have dissipated into his namesake. Knowing that he would not find the other this way, Reno unhappily walked towards the bike and peered over to the other side. There was no one trapped underneath. He had hoped to find that Strife was indeed pinned under his bike and unconscious too. That way the search could have been over quickly and Strife wouldn't have been able to argue with him. Yet that was obviously not going to be the case.

So began the journey into the bleak, unfeeling countryside.


It had been little over an hour when faded, washed out orange called out to him. He hadn't been expecting light, let alone the inviting call of a fire. Rain had started barely minutes after the fog had swallowed Reno's view of Strife's bike and the Turk now had two choices, head towards the fire or die of pneumonia.

Option One it was.

The light led him to a cave with center warm, alight in welcome and walls made foreboding by dark shadow. No one seemed to be inside, excluding Reno himself. The Turk didn't bother to look for enemies; in his eagerness, he simply burst inside the cave and made for the fire.

"You look like a drown rat."

Reno jumped at the sound of the cold, familiar voice. It was Murphy's Law- look for something and never find it. Stop searching and discover it. The red head hadn't even been thinking of Strife and here he had been, hidden away in the murky recesses of the cave.

Not wishing to show his surprise, Reno turned to face Strife with a smirk on his face. "Yo. Trying to impersonate Valentine?" he asked Strife, in reference to Vincent's ability to melt out of the shadows. Strife didn't reply.

"What are you doing out this far anyway?" Reno asked, only in what appeared to be half-interest. He had started to inspect his clothing, deciding on what to discard.

"Had a delivery. What are- Reno, keep your pants on." Strife ordered.

Reno looked up at Cloud in fake wide-eyed innocence. He had already tossed off his suit jacket, shirt and shoes at rapid speeds. At the moment Strife had picked up on the strip show, the other man was already fiddling with his belt.

"My clothes are wet, yo. I'll get sick if I keep them on." Reno said innocently. Then his tone turned cheeky. "You wouldn't be willing to let me die simply because of a technicality like pants would you?"

"Yes. Die."

"Dammit, yo. No one makes me feel loved like you."

"What are you doing here?" Strife asked. His clear dislike for the other man impregnated the air. Reno paused, wondering if it would be best to keep his clothing on. Any moment Strife could decide to throw him out into the rain. Answering seriously might be in his best interest.

"Fog's too thick for visibility. Had to land." Reno said.

Strife quirked an eyebrow, but otherwise his countenance remained stern. "Why leave the copter then? It had to be warmer than in here."

The one question he didn't want to answer. It wouldn't do to let Strife know the Turk had been out searching for him in some sort of twisted sense of concern and responsibility combined with ShinRa's growing need of allies. It was time for a lie.

"Got bored." Reno said. "But now I've got you to entertain me."

Strife didn't look pleased. Yet he didn't argue and settled back down into shadow. The night would be long and sleep would be the best means to pass it. He threatened to wring Reno's neck if the other dare disturb him, then silence settled.


Sometime during the night, the fire burned out and darkness reigned. As both men had finally found sleep before the fire had gone out, there was no one to build it up again. Rain and fog still claimed the sky as its own and a chill air settled in.

Shaken out of slumber by the sudden cold assaulting him, yet still not fully awake, Reno began to search for the nearest source of warmth. The Turk, in his state of semi-awareness, believed himself in his own bed and couldn't fathom for the life of him why his pants were damp and his blankets gone. He did not even question why the mattress would have been so hard. Then he bumped into a wall of warmth and happily curled around it, falling deeply back to sleep.

However, the warm wall happened to be Cloud Strife. The younger of the two was easily jostled awake by the sudden contact. The blond struggled against the thin arms wrapped around his waist and managed to get enough leeway to toss his left arm over Reno's head while turning sideways to peer down at the red head. It was an awkward position; Reno's hair tickled where it brushed up against his underarm and Cloud was certain his body wasn't meant to hold such a position. The blond momentarily wondered why he hadn't let Reno remove his pants when he noticed how uncomfortable it was to have the damp material pressed against his legs.

The urge to hit the sleeping man surfaced, but Cloud fought it. The other was half-dressed, still wet and obviously cold. It would be cruel. As it was, sleeping in caves was meant to be uncomfortable anyway.

Cloud would not spend the night in such a position. He shifted and untangled himself from Reno, ignoring the other man's protesting. Then he secretly thanked Tifa for her over-protective nature and the particular item she made him bring with him, grabbing the thick, black material that he had left over to his right.

He laughed. This had to be the end of reason for him.


That morning found only one body left in the rocky walled cave. Reno woke to bright sunlight pouring in at the entrance of his shelter and silence. Strife was long gone, it appeared. He had likely left the moment the rain ended and the fog lifted. Stretching, the Turk suddenly realized that there was something heavy and warm draped around his shoulders.

A rain coat.