Title: All These Things That I've Done
Summary: Watching the plate fall was only the second-worst thing Reeve ever had to do while in the employ of Shinra, Inc. Quick character study of Reeve. Inspired by a line of Cait Sith's from disc 2.
Word count: 905
A/N: The line of Cait Sith's: "I went an' told Aerith's Mom about her death. Yes, an' Miss Elmyra was cryin' herself silly... So was little Marlene..."
It was the flowers, bright and cheery and fragrant, that made his head hurt. He'd never seen so many flowers in one place before; well, not in Midgar anyway. Yes, there were too many flowers. That, Reeve told himself, was why his head was spinning.
He stared at the door with trepidation. 'You spineless bastard,' he berated himself. 'How long are you going to stand on her doorstep?'
And before he could stop himself he was knocking.
The aging woman who opened the door had definitely been pretty at one time, maybe even beautiful, but years of worry and sadness had taken their toll. There were lines on her forehead and bags under her eyes, and her long, once-auburn hair had faded to a much lighter brown color, streaked with gray.
"More blue suits," she said, eyeing Reeve warily.
'You should probably tell her your name.' He cleared his throat. Keep this professional. "My name is Reeve Tuesti. I work in..." He trailed off, looking over her shoulder into the room behind her. There was a little table with a lacy tablecloth spread over it, and there were flowers everywhere, and she was everywhere, all over this room. 'Keep this professional. Keep it ...You never met her in person.'
Utterly defeated, Reeve looked back at Elmyra Gainsborough.
"Will you come in?" she asked uncomfortably.
Reeve shook his head. "I can't stay long. I'm just...this is just my lunch break."
She continued to watch him, distrust plain on her face. Just a week ago, Reeve had sent a couple of Shinra flunkies to kidnap Marlene, with explicit instructions not to harm anyone. She'd been a useful bargaining chip in getting the Keystone 'when did you start using four-year-olds as bargaining chips?' , but he'd let her go after it happened. After it happened, the sight of the little girl in her holding cell made him sick to his stomach.
As if on cue, there was the little voice coming from the top of the stairs – "Who's here, Miss Elmyra?" Then her face appeared, and as soon as she saw Reeve, Marlene shrieked in terror and ran back upstairs.
"What is it, Marlene!?"
"It's him, it's him!" she shouted from somewhere upstairs. "He's the one that stole me!"
In an instant, Elmyra's countenance changed from apprehensive to downright hostile. She seized a broom that had been propped against the doorway and began swinging it at Reeve. "Get out!" she shouted. "We don't want you here!"
"Believe me, I don't want to be here!" Reeve shouted in reply, stumbling back and trying to fend the broom off at the same time. The whole scene was almost comical.
"Then get out!"
"I can't, not until you listen-"
"Shut up, I'm not going to listen to any more of Shinra's lies!"
"You don't understand, I'm not here because of Shinra!"
"I don't care!"
'...I can't even say it, I...'
"...I'm here because Aerith is dead!"
The broom hit the dirt path with a gentle thud.
"It was...just three days ago," Elmyra said softly, almost in a trance, "that awful dream I had, where she spoke to me, and said..." Reeve thought she was going to faint on the spot. Instead, she turned and went back into the house, opting instead to collapse into one of the chairs. She held her head in her hands, beginning to sob.
"You took Marlene, you're one of them, but you-" She shook her head. "Why did you come?"
"Because-" 'Great, now your voice is cracking' "-I came because I knew no one else would."
Elmyra looked up at him. "Then, then...thank you."
The last thing Reeve saw as he left the house was Aerith's mother crying with all her heart, and Marlene running down the stairs shouting anxiously, "What? What happened, what's wrong?"
Somehow, Reeve ended up on the train, and he ended up missing his stop twice. He knew he had to get back to headquarters, people would be wondering where he was, but he looked up out the window at the huge Shinra skyscraper and the sight of it made his stomach turn. He kept his head in his hands and he stared at the grimy floor of the train, because he could not bear to look at the city passing by.
'I made this city... did I make the people's suffering, too?'
He'd never forgot how proud he'd been on the day he presented the idea of Midgar to the Shinra board. They all looked around at each other and nodded and said it was the best idea they'd seen yet, and Reeve was so happy with himself, because back then he still thought if he could make the right people happy, then he himself would get all he needed.
But what did he need?
"Why did you come?" she had asked.
'Because this is what I've resolved myself to doing. Following Cloud and the others and picking up the pieces wherever I can.'
Now more than ever Reeve saw Cloud and the others were the ones he should follow. Why, why was he still working for a company that wouldn't even tell a mother when her only daughter...
Now more than ever Reeve was determined to see this thing through. Now more than ever he saw the greed in that damn company, and what he'd do to fix it if he had the power to...
A/N: So what I was trying to get at was, having to go tell Aerith's mother about her death is what made him want to create the WRO. The thing about Reeve is that he seems to hate being helpless above all else. In chapter 6 of DoC, when the WRO gets it's collective butt kicked for the second time, Reeve gets really freakin' depressed and says stuff like, "I'm so ashamed. I'm supposed to be a hero." It seems to me like it's not just all the WRO people that were killed then that was bumming him out, but mostly it was the fact that he hadn't been able to do anything to stop it from happening. So yeah, that's what this was about. XD