I came up with this while watching a preview for a movie. So yes, only the vague, general plot-line is actually mine. And, well, the character obviously not from the story. ^^ She's mine too. Anyway, this is AU, and I'm not really sure of the timeline yet. Probably during CC, 'cause I think Cloud's cute when he's younger. I don't know if there will be any pairings, so we'll just have to see as we go.

For those of you who have read my "Turk Oneshots", I love you all dearly. And, believe it or not, I am still trying to update. I've sort of run out of ideas, though. So, I'll be trying to work on that one too. (Yes, I know. Shameless plug.)


The shadows clung to this part of the Slums like a blanket, muffling even the booted footsteps of the man creeping through the piles of trash and scrap metal. Somewhere, the full moon was sitting on a high bank of clouds, staring down at the dismal life of Midgar's plate. But, even as dismal as the life on the Plate was, the life /beneath/ it was worse. People only went to the Slums when there was nowhere else to go, or when someone with a lot of money told them to. Most spent their lives trying to find a way out. To the golden life above the Plate. Sometimes the police would come down, try futilely to impose some order, and then give up and disappear. Even more rarely, Shin-Ra would come down, sending the Turks, or even SOLDIER on some secret mission. People often disappeared when Shin-Ra come through.

This was one of those days, a Turk slipping quietly from shadow to shadow. It was too quiet, even for such a late hour, and he kept scanning the surroundings, waiting for it to happen. Whatever it was.

The first noise made him duck back, his EMR jumping to his hand, crackling softly as he sheltered it out of sight behind his leg. There was only silence for several seconds, and then the sound of someone's strained grunting. A muttered swear, and then the bang of someone striking one of the pieces of scrap metal. The grunting started again, and this time was joined by the soft, slow squeal of metal being laboriously moved. The Turk edged toward the sound, his EMR still hidden and ready.

A girl was the source of the noise. She was perhaps seventeen or eighteen, her long, srawberry-blonde hair caught into a loose bun on the back of her head, her clothes reflecting the gothic trend creeping through the Slums: dark pants, a black T-shirt, and a long-sleeved black shirt. One of the pieces of metal had slid off its pile, trapping her leg beneath it. It was there that the girl's attention was focused, her knuckles white from the effort of moving the metal enough to escape. The man remained where he was, watching for a minute. The metal didn't move again, and, after a minute, the girl released it with a pained noise that was more than a little tinged with tears.

"Need help?" The girl gasped and spun, her leg twisting in a weird way, emerald eyes meeting cerulean. She shook her head wildly, her eyes growing wide as she glanced back at her foot. The man paced closer, his EMR now hidden up his sleeve once more, and the girl shrank back, her leg bending beneath her. He stopped, an eyebrow raised, and shook his head. "Then maybe you can help me. I'm looking for a Quinn."

The girl's eyes widened a fraction more and the man smiled to himself. He had been right. And lucky, though he would always jot it up to skill before luck. He noticed absently that the girl had shook her head - he already knew she was lying - and he stepped toward her once more, ignoring the way she flinched back. "I'll help." She drew back, wincing as her leg was pulled further into an unnatural position. Her green eyes never left him as he reached under the metal and lifted, grunting slightly with the effort. There was a loud shriek, and the girl jerked her leg free. She pressed a hand to a bloody tear in her pant leg as the man lowered the metal, and then scrambled up and away from him.

"Now, wait a sec." The girl froze, meeting the man's gaze as he turned once more to her. "Your name is Quinn, ain't it?" The girl shook her head, but the man sighed. "Look, I don't have time for this. I just wanna go home and have a beer. But I can't go home 'til I...find you."

"I don't know who you're looking for." The girl backed up a step, keeping her eyes on the man. He had time to notice there was something strange about her eyes before she spoke again. "You know I'm not her. Just go home. There is no Quinn." Oh yeah, he knew that...it had been a stupid mission from the get-go. He ran a hand through his hair and was turning away when he remembered something. He mentally kicked himself; he'd probably almost gotten himself fired.

"You're lying."

"What?" The girl looked stunned, retreating too quickly and tripping over some metal.

"The reports all describe you. Down to the weird eyes right before someone just...wanders conveniently away." The man smiled at the fear that was creeping into the girl's face. But still she pressed her ruse.

"There's got to be fifty girls in the Slums that look like me. It's the fad right now."

"Yeah, but only one of those girls controls minds." The man was in front of her now, bent down to be on eye-level. The girl's eyes were narrowed now, her lie abandoned. In fact, her eyes were changing again in response to him. The man saw it coming and out flashed his EMR, the shock of electricity only enough drop the girl. Well, well, he smiled slightly, pleased, /that had taken less time than he had imagined. Maybe he would get that beer he wanted.


I've been wanting to write a story with a meaner Reno than I'm used to. So, I may totally bomb it, but please go easy. Remember, I'm used to goofy Reno. Any critcism is more than welcome. C'mon, you know you want to push the shiny green button. Don't resist it!