"Wake Up Call"

Rated R

Characters belong to Square Enix

"Wake Up Call" belongs to Maroon 5

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Reno nearly skipped from the elevator to the door of his condo.

"Five days apart, but I'm home early. She'll be so happy."

He stopped at the door and nearly threw it open, but then hesitated. It was 3 AM. She was sleeping. He wanted to wake her in… a special way. He opened the door slowly and slinked inside. Locking the door behind him, he slipped off his shoes. As he was removing his jacket, a sound stopped him. Was that a moan? It sounded male. Shit, did someone get in? But Tifa's tough, she wouldn't be overpowered.

He pulled his gun from his shoulder holster and crept towards the open bedroom door. Whoever was with her was in for a big surprise. He centered himself to charge into the room when a new sound made him pause.

"Mmm, Cloud."

Reno's heart sank.

No way, no way, no way, yo! He risked a peek around the doorjamb and there was no mistaking the sight: Cloud Strife fucking his woman. In his bed! There were even candles lit for fuck's sake! Words from over a year ago echoed in his brain.

"Let her go or I'll take her from you."

"Just try it, Spike. You had your chance, yo. She's mine now and nothing will change that!"

Reno supposed he was wrong about that. He readied his gun and stepped into the bedroom

Walking quietly to the side of the bed, approaching Cloud's right and Tifa's left, Reno raised the gun to Cloud's head and cocked it. Tifa gasped at the sound.

"You got about ten seconds to get offa my wife and outta my house, yo!"

Cloud froze and looked up at Tifa's face. There was fear for him in her eyes. He gave her a slight nod as if to say, "It's okay," and slid off of her. He stood up and turned to Reno. Then looked at the gun.

"Now, Strife!" Reno bellowed.

Without a sound, Cloud picked up his strewn about clothes from the floor and walked out of the bedroom. Reno's gun followed his every move.

Reno continued to point his gun towards the living room, listening to the rustle of clothing as Cloud redressed, but not seeing anything. The image of Cloud riding Tifa was burned to his retinas, framed in a red that rivaled his hair. He stayed frozen until he heard the click of the front door shutting. That jerked him from his reflection and he turned to his wife.

"What the fuck, Tifa?" he asked, lowering his gun.

She was sitting up now, gripping the sheets to her chest. Tears were streaming down her cheeks.

"Reno, you're home early," her voice trembled out.

"Oh, I'm sorry. That must make this okay then, huh? I should have called to warn you so Strife could get off and get out."

"Please, Reno." She was eyeing the gun he was flailing about in his rage. It was still ready to go off.

"How the fuck could you do this to me?" His fists went up to the sides of his head, the pushed down to the floor. "Did our vows mean nothing to you?" The gun pointed to her. "Or did I miss the part about till death do us part, or a mission keeps me away from home a few days?" The gun swept back and forth across the room.

"I never meant to hurt you," she sobbed.

"Oh, fine fuckin' job you did, yo." Again the gun swept across the room. "And in our bed! In our bed, Tifa!" The gun pointed at her again.

Tifa pulled the sheets tighter to her chest. "Reno, please, put the gun down."

Reno blinked at her, then at the gun. He'd forgotten he was even holding it. He reset the hammer and turned on the safety. He then set it on the dresser to his left. Hand now empty, he leaned it against the dresser, closed hid eyes and took a deep breath.

"I wasn't going to shoot you."

"I know," she sobbed, "but I was afraid it might go off. I…I didn't mean for you to find out like this."

She looked at him, leaning on the dresser, his eyes closed. The candles' flames lighted his hair in the dark, reflecting the red from his spikes and down the length of his ponytail. She loved him so, but there was no hope for them now. She belonged to another, her childhood love. She tore her eyes from him, put her face in her hands and cried harder.

Reno listened to her sobs. Her crying used to tear at him, but he felt numb to it at the moment.

"How long has this been going on, Tifa?" he asked with his eyes still closed.

A hiccupped sob was the response.

"How. Long. Tifa?"

She pulled her hands away from her face to mumble, "Three months."

"Three months," he repeated. He looked up towards the ceiling to back track time in his mind. "That's around when this investigation first started."

Tifa nodded. "You were gone so much. And you couldn't tell me where you were. I was used to that but not for so long a stretch. Cloud was around the bar more, helping out and he, we… After the first time I felt so horrible and I just wanted you to come home. I hoped I had him out of my system for good. But I was wrong and he just kept haunting me and…"

"Enough, enough, enough!"

Reno kicked the dresser, causing its contents to rattle. He put his hands in his hair and clenched his fists.

"You don't care for me anymore."

"I do, Reno. I do," she replied, leaning forward.

He whirled towards her and began flailing his arms again.

"No, you don't. If you still gave a shit about me, about us, this wouldn't be happening. You would've come to me and told me and one way or another we would have dealt with it, yo. You wouldn't be cowering in OUR bed with HIS scent all over you. And I wouldn't be saying," he paused and dropped his fists to his sides, "get out."

"What? Reno, pl…"

"Get your shit and get out!"

He didn't yell it. He didn't have to. The hurt and anger in his eyes were enough. Tifa began sobbing again as she climbed out of the bed. She looked up and walked towards him. She reached out and tried to touch his face but he flinched back. She brought her hand back over her mouth and walked past him into the closet. He watched her grab for the suitcase and then headed out into the living room

He wasn't sure how long he stood there, his body shaking and his mind reeling from the evening's events. He heard her packing and crying. He closed his eyes. He would not, WOULD NOT cry. This was her fault, the fucking… No, he couldn't think of her like that, not yet anyway. He heard a sniffle that was a bit louder than the others and turned around. She was holding the suitcase and looking at the ground, her usually silky hair frizzy and mussed. She looked pathetic. Good.

She looked up and took a breath to say something, anything. But there were no words. She tore her eyes from him and walked towards the front door.

"Leave your key."

He'd be damned if her and Strife were ever in this place alone again.

Her eyes widened and she gasped. This was really happening. She pulled her keys from her pocket and tried to remove the door key but her hands were shaking too much.

"I c-can't."

Reno walked over to her.

"Give 'em here."

He took the keys from her and with his ever steady hands swiftly removed the key from the ring. He slipped it into his pocket and handed her back the rest. She took them and they both jumped slightly as their fingers brushed for only a moment.

He brought his hand down and stepped back from her. Then he jerked his head towards the door. He watched her turn and start heading out again. She opened the door and paused, starting to turn back to him. She didn't complete the gesture but walked out, shutting the door behind her.

"I'm so sorry, Reno," she murmured to the closed door. She headed to the elevator and stopped again as she heard his bellow of rage echo down the hall. She sighed and continued her steps out of his life.

Reno leaned against the back of the couch. The scream had made him feel a little better but not much. He reached into his other pocket, pulled out his phone, and dialed. He listened for the other end to pick up and spoke before the other could.

"Rude, come over. Bring smokes. And booze."

"Got it."

They hung up. Explanations would wait till he got there.

Rude would be there in twenty, thirty minutes tops. What to do till he got there? He couldn't bring himself to go back into the bedroom. Those candles should really be blown out. Fuck it, let them start a fire. Who cares? Music, that always made him relax. Not too loud, though. The occasional yell from his place was not uncommon, but his neighbors would only take so much. He turned on the radio. Click.

"Bang. Wake up call, caught you in the mornin' with another one in my bed. Don't you care about me anymore? Don't you care about me? I don't think so. Six foot tall, came without a warnin' so I had to shoot him dead. He won't come around here anymore. Come around here? I don't think so. Woulda bled to make you hap.."

Click.

Not a good idea. Not unless relaxation meant going out and committing homicide. He allowed himself a chuckle at that thought.

He walked into the kitchen and started rummaging through the cabinets. A head start on Rude wouldn't hurt. It would probably help, actually, when he had to explain all this to his partner. He poured a shot a lit up a smoke. As he drank he shook his head.

How could this happen? They were happy, weren't they? He thought they were trying to have a baby. A lie. How many lies were there? Each time she said, "I love you," in the last three months. Every, "Please come home soon, I miss you?" At what moment did he actually lose her? The first time Strife got inside her? Or did it take a few times? Shit, just how many were there?

The cigarette burned. He did three or four shots and contemplated just how fucked up his life had become in the last hour. Before he knew it there was a soft knock at the door and Rude stepped inside. He spotted Reno and walked toward the kitchen.

"Are you smoking in here? Where's Tifa? She's gonna throw a f…"

"You're not gonna believe what I came home to, yo," Reno interrupted. "I finally get home after our week of shit and I find Strife fucking my wife. And it's even more absurd that that rhymes, yo!"

Rude's jaw dropped.

In between drags and a couple more shots, Reno told his story. Rude calmly took it all in as Reno paced and flailed about the kitchen.

"Why didn't you shoot him? You woulda had every right. It was dark, you weren't sure."

"Yeah, that woulda been great! Everyone's favorite Turk shooting the planet's angsty yet loved hero. No way. He had my woman, he wasn't gonna have my repented name too."

Rude nodded at that logic and walked to the couch. He sat down and pulled the bottle of Jack from its bag, setting it on the coffee table. Reno grabbed his and a second shot glass and went to the couch. He looked at the bottle.

"You so know me, my man," he grinned.

"You were mine first."

Reno laughed and sat down next to him. "Thanks, partner," he said, looking at the floor.

Rude glanced to him and nodded, filling the shot glasses.

"I'm filing for divorce on Monday."

The next couple hours was spent drinking. Well Reno drank most of the bottle. And he vented, wondering what happened. He was trying to figure out what to do next. And dreaming up creative ways to torture and kill Cloud. Rude listened, nodded, agreed and added his own opinions.

"Hangin's too good for him," Reno started.

"Burnin's too good for him," Rude added.

"He should be torn into little bitsy pieces and buried alive!" They finished together followed by a chorus of drunken laughter.

After Reno had relaxed a bit, Rude got up and went into the bedroom. He wanted to clean it up a bit so it would be easier for Reno when he finally had to go back in there. He turned on the bedside lamp and blew out the candles. He removed as much evidence of the evening as he could, putting Tifa's clothes in the hamper and straightening the sheets on the bed. He figured Reno would probably end up tearing them off the bed anyway. Maybe he'd burn them. Feeling he'd done his best in his inebriated state, he went back to the couch. Reno was leaning back on it with his eyes closed. Maybe he'd actually be able to sleep tonight. Or at least pass out into a drunken coma. Rude sat back down next to him. Reno took a deep breath.

"Mmm, water," he mumbled and staggered into the kitchen.

He grabbed a glass and filled it from the sink. After a few gulps, he brought the glass to his forehead to cool himself. He suddenly realized he was playing with his wedding band, moving it up and down with his thumb. It was a strange habit but he did it all the time. He set the glass down and looked at his left hand. With a yell, he pulled the ring from his finger and threw it out of the kitchen so it sailed across the living room and landed who knows where.

Rude jumped at the yell and watched the ring fly by. He looked to Reno. His hands were gripping the edge of the sink and his shoulders were hitching with sobs. Rude got up and walked towards Reno. Rude knew he needed to get this out. With the shed of tears, the healing could begin. Rude put his arms around Reno and let his partner cry on his shoulder.