Maybe he was never meant to do what he wanted with his life. It seemed most likely; the Turks were, after all, ShinRa dogs. Trained and kept only to carry out the President's orders. The only choice they really had was - the time of their death.

If they were lucky.

Reno called himself lucky many times in this life he was forced to lead. The life of fulfilling orders. Not that he didn't enjoy it. He did. He had his fair share of pleasant times, just like everyone he'd known. He'd partied and got drunk more than enough in his time. He'd bedded many women and men alike. He'd even managed to fall in love once or twice. He'd made friends.

Many good things happened and only now was he able to really, truly cherish them.

There were not many things a Turk could do wrong. Even an order fulfilled in a way not predicted could be excused, had it been proved that other actions were better in given situations. Sometimes, Tseng docked his pay or had him put on charge for being late with reports, being lazy and generally doing something not as asked.

There was only one serious offense: treason. That meant not fulfilling an order, letting go of an enemy, or anything that could be labelled as "plotting against the well-being of the ShinRa Company". That could have been many thins, Reno mused. Funny how he did none of them and yet, yet...

Here he was. Waiting for the death sentence to be carried out, just like that.

It was his own fault, to be honest. He knew it very well. A few days ago, he still had a chance. A few days ago, Tseng had told him that he was about to be executed for a crime he certainly never commited. Because everyone believed he did. Treason. Betrayal, too. And Tseng warned him, for him to escape. Reno was a Turk, after all. He could have hidden somewhere. He could have vanished easily, started a new life far away from Midgar, perhaps somewhere in Wutai. He could have been safe.

He didn't leave, even though Tseng wanted him to.

And now, here he was, with his boss' - his lover's - gun aimed straight at his head. Elena and Rude were there, also. The four Turks, gathered at the outskirts of Midgar, together for the last time. The bond between them was about to break forever. So, in silence, they stood, waiting for the moment to come.

For the moment when Tseng would pull the trigger and it would all end.

The Turks had no dreams, no ideals. They had no lives they could lead. They had nothing for themselves. Reno was no exception. And yet, at this short moment before those long fingers finally moved, he knew he had something, after all. It was not a dream, nor an ideal. Staring at Tseng in the setting sun (the last sunset in his life; might as well enjoy the view while it lasted. Kind of poetic, wasn't it? To die with the sun. Would he rise again in another incarnation, just like the sun always did?), he had something, hidden so deep in his heart, nobody could take it away.

It was forgiveness for leaving already. Forgiveness for doing wrong, even if his only wrong was not denying the accusations.

Funny. Tseng's eyes at that short moment held more emotions than ever before. There was regret there, sadness that could never be matched. Confusion, because for once, the leader of the Turks was lost, wondering whether he was really doing the right thing. Love. There was always a kind of love there, Reno noticed. Maybe Tseng wasn't the best when it came to showing how he felt, but in his eyes, it was always there. Hidden most of the time, as the world around them couldn't see it.

They'd been lovers for such a short time. They'd loved each other since both could remember.

Reno regretted it much more than he let on. This whole situation, it was ironic. Almost. The most important person in his life was to become the most important person in his death. His killer. His murderer? The one to end it. Tseng called it his duty; he wouldn't let the others handle the execution, even if this was to be the hardest thing he was ever forced to do. How sadly amusing, Reno thought as he stared into those dark eyes that held tears never to be cried.

The Turks had no freedom, because their life never belonged to them. And they agreed to that, leaving behind their past as they joined the ranks of ShinRa, devoting their existence to protecting the President. Reno always wanted to be free; he was never one to fall in the line smoothly, after all. He had his little freedom all this time; in his slacking off, in his drinking, in sleeping with countless girls and guys, in ignoring orders and doing everything his way. Doing everything his way... was what led to this, in the end.

Freedom. He didn't think any human being was ever free. After all, even if one could leave everything behind and go ahead, following the sun or trying to reach the horizon - there were still limitations. Even walking straight ahead without stopping and ever looking back would be interrupted by the need to eat, to sleep, to breathe. Tiredness would appear and then, freedom would end. Limitations. Needs. How could one ever be free?

Was death freedom, then?

So, he was not meant to choose the way he wanted to live. Yet, he chose the way he wanted to die. Like a Turk. For those people gathered here with him, he was no traitor. They wavered and hesitated, because they knew he'd never betrayed them. Maybe they would have thought otherwise, had he escaped when there was a chance. But he did not. That was when they realised - it was his choice for once.

To die. To pay the final price for the freedom he craved for. A rat from the slums that would never admit he had a dream, after all. Cherished and hidden, so that it would not fade away even as all else was taken from him.

The last rays of sun coloured the clouds a nice crimson hue that Reno was really fond of. It made everything just that much warmer. Was there place for warmth in a Turk's life? He didn't know. But he liked the scenery. He liked the way those rays fell on Tseng's raven hair, giving them a distinct impression of fiery red, like blood. He liked how they seemed to reflect in Elena'a eyes as the youngest of the Turks tried hard not to cry, or in Rude's shades that the man never seemed to take off.

It all just seemed so... fitting. So easy.

As easy as pulling the trigger at sunset...

The end