Chapter 1 – Dark memoirs

Reno yawned widely as he shuffled the papers on his desk unnecessarily. He smirked as he heard an impatient sigh coming from the doorway.

"Reno..? Could you hurry it up a bit please? I would like to get home sometime before Christmas."

He laughed quietly "What?" he said in mock surprise "You wouldn't want me to get all these muddled up now, would you?"

"Reno, they're not in order anyway, I've been watching you. You're purposely messing around because you know I can't go home until you finish." She said, stifling a yawn.

"Hey, you really think I don't wanna go home too, 'Lena?" he said, still grinning.

"You're not going home anyway, remember? You have to stay with me, coz it's safer after that thing with Cloud." She rolled her eyes at the thought

Two days ago, Reno had got himself into trouble, yet again, with Cloud. Well with Tifa, to be precise. Tifa had told him to forget it, but Cloud wasn't thinking the same thing. He swore to get revenge on the red-headed Turk. Perhaps calling his girlfriend a stupid sex-addicted whore, and asking how much a night she was wasn't the best idea he'd ever had. The trouble Reno and his mouth caused them all.

"Oh yeah. Stupid spikey-haired fuck. Why he was sticking up for that bitch he calls a girlfriend I don't know. Did anybody even hear what she called me first? She called me a red-headed, self-obsessed wan.."

"NO! No Reno, I heard what she said, I don't need to hear it again, thank you."

A dog howled somewhere over in the distance. Elena clutched tighter onto Reno's arm

"Oww…Elena, circulation." Reno said loudly

"What about it?"

"I'm losing it." She looked down at his arm where she had it in a white-knuckle death grip.

"Oh…sorry…" she said loosening her grip.

"Awww…whassup? Scared of the dark?" Reno said, teasingly

"NO! I'm not…I've just..seen a lot of thing that happen round here."

"Oh yeah?" his voice suddenly menacing and sour, "I've been in a lot of thing that happen around here."

Elena looked up, shocked by the sudden change in his tone of voice. The two deep-red tattoos on his cheek-bones contrasted brightly against his pale visage. He looked back down at her. The sourness seemed to melt away from his aqua-marine eyes.

"Sorry, didn't mean to bite your head of. It's just…being here. It brings back memories, bad memories, from when I was a kid." He said softly

"It's ok… I shouldn't have started…"

There was a long silence. Elena looked back up at Reno; the smirk had come back to his face. He was so much better looking when he smiled, Elena thought. She slapped herself mentally. She didn't mean that. She wasn't attracted to Reno in any way. It was dark, and she was tired, her mind was getting carried away. Yes, that was it. But she could not deny that that the red-head was far from bad-looking.

"Don't worry 'Lena. You got me to protect ya if anything happens." Reno said, a grin still wide across his face

She laughed as she took out her keys and opened her door

"I don't know where you gonna sleep Reno, but I'm sure we'll find somewhere." She said absent-mindedly, not noticing the smirk on his face.

"Well you got a double bed, don't you?" he said, amused

Elena tried to hide her face when she found herself blushing. She never knew when to take him seriously.

"All right, all right 'Lena. Joking. I'll just sleep on the floor. That's where I usually end up by morning anyway."

They stepped into Elena's apartment, slightly squinting in the light.

"Don't know how you live like this 'Lena." Reno said, sounding slightly disgusted. Elena didn't even need to ask what he was talking about. It was the perfect tidiness of her apartment.

"Yeah, and it's gonna stay like that, even with you here, right?" she said, amused.

"You wanna bet?" he said, flinging himself on to her couch.

Elena walked into the kitchen to get herself a well-earned coffee.

"You want anything Reno?" she shouted back into the living room.

"Yeah, anything. I'm dying of dehydration and starvation in here."

She chucked him a bag of chips and a can of soda, and sat down with her coffee. Reno looked at her.

"Well, I figured you wouldn't want anything healthy." She said, smiling.

Reno smirked. "You know me too well." He said, cracking open the soda.