Reeve's Epic Quest

A/N: Wow, I think this may well be my worst title yet… :S Ah well. Anyway, this is an epic saga I've wanted to write for a looooong time, but never quite gotten around to… until now! :D Prepare for a tale of adventure and daring, where geekery and strength collide, friendships are lost and won and one man can make a difference that will last… forever. ;P I've never written Reeve before, so apologies for if this sucks. Oh, and I own nowt. Right then, let the nightmare begin! :D Oh yeah, and this thing ignores OTWTAS, Case of Denzel, because that's a total retcon. In other words, I'm sticking with my original game canon, as always…;)

… … …

"Hey, you! Yeah, that's right, you! What the hell d'you think you're doing?"

Reeve took a step back, but it was too late. The men were advancing on him, glaring. They'd seen, all right…

Two hours earlier…

"Here, lemme tell ya fortune for ya… okay, says here that you're gonna have a bright future with lotsa-lotsa-lotsa-SYSTEM ERROR! SYSTEM ERROR! SHINRA PROTOTYPE NUMBER TWO HUNDRED AND EIGHTY THREE HAS ENCOUNTERED A PROBLEM AND NEEDS TO CLOSE! APOLOGIES FOR THE INCON-INCON-INCON-"

Reeve swore and raced to the other side of his office, grabbing the fire extinguisher just in time as Cait Sith Mk 283 burst into flames. After coating the doll in foam, he went back over to survey the damage, and immediately ascertained that it would have to be consigned to scrap. Bloody cheap budget.

Reeve had been trying to get the thing to work for months, now. It had taken over his life. Every waking minute was spent programming, building and testing the thing. And it still had the same goddamn error. That wouldn't have been so bad, but some bright spark had configured all the Shinra software so that, in the event of a hardware failure, the same message would be read out. Cait Sith was supposed to be a spy. Spies for Shinra weren't very effective if they said they were from Shinra. Reeve knew that AVALANCHE wouldn't be stupid enough to think that Cait Sith was a living creature, so he could get away with a couple of errors every so often, but not if Cait went and spilled the beans in the process.

But how do I fix it? If I try and reprogram it and alter that part of the code, I'm technically breaking Shinra copyright and they could sue me for all I'm worth… I could try and get permission, I suppose, but by the time the bureaucracy's over with, AVALANCHE will have blown up all the reactors and then some… goddamn it…

Reeve groaned and ran a hand through his long black hair. There was another solution, he supposed, and that was to fix the hardware, but he didn't have a clue where to start. If he didn't know what the problem was, and he was the expert in the field, nobody else would be able to help him.

Maybe it's because I'm using cheap materials

Reeve didn't really believe it, but he couldn't think of anything else, so hey.

Okay, say that's what's wrong… How do I get more expensive stuff, then? They're not going to increase the budget for this; they already think it's ridiculous. They're only humouring me because otherwise I'll kick up a fuss about sector seven…Oh, Ifrit, that's tomorrow, isn't it? All those years of work and just, damn. I wouldn't want to be a member of AVALANCHE this time tomorrow evening, that's for sure…

He sighed and flopped down into his chair, leaning back and closing his eyes. Some engineer he was, not even being able to fix a simple robot. Well, hardly simple, he thought with some pride. The personality chip alone is a work of art. But then Reeve had been fiddling with robots and personality chips and circuits all his life, so he really had no excuse. And hadn't he already built a mini Cait Sith that had worked fine, a few years ago? He was pretty sure… but where on Gaia had he left the thing?

Think, Reeve, think…You showed it to mum, and she said…

five years ago

"Ooh, it's a little kitty cat! With cute little booties!"

"Er, yes, mum, I didn't know what to get you, so I… er… got you this."

"Oh, you shouldn't have! I'm going to put him on my mantelpiece, along with all the other little bits and bobs you've got me for Mothers' Day over the years… Your dad's going to be so jealous!"

"… I doubt it. Anyway, it'd be a bit of a waste to put this one on a mantelpiece. Here, let me show you… just a minute… where's the switch… there!"

"… Oh! It walks!"

"Mmhmm. Talks, too. Watch."

"Howdy, doll! The name's Cait Sith, an' I'm ya walkin' talkin' kinda pointless but oh-so-loveable pet thing!"

"Oh, Reeve, he's right, he is adorable!"

"Now, you see, that's what I said, and all the guys at work were like, 'for the love of Ifrit can you shut that thing up cos it's annoying as hell' but there! Proof! Cait Sith is not annoying! They just have issues! Ha!"

"…"

"… Er… I mean… Er, so, er, he comes with a mog that he can, er, sit on… er…"

"Thank you, love. I'll cherish him, you mark my words…"

So mum should still have Cait… but she's not at home today, is she? I got her and dad a free ticket to… oh, damn it, I'll have to wait until tomorrow. I'm not going to that place, not after those wrestlers tried to molest me last time… 'group room'… I thought it'd be girls!

Reeve sighed. He knew his parents wouldn't appreciate the Honeybee Manor, anyway (he'd given them the ticket as a 'present', after winning it in a raffle. If he'd had friends, he'd have given it to one of them instead).

With a grumble, Reeve stood. It would seem that Cait was a lost cause for today, but he could still work on some other projects. First, though, he'd need materials. And if you wanted materials on the cheap, there was only one place to go…

Reeve took off his neatly pressed white shirt and pulled on the grubby grey polo neck that he kept at the bottom of his drawer. Off went the fitted trousers and on went the ripped jeans. Loafers were swapped for a mismatching pair of holey trainers. Reeve mussed his hair into a fuzzy, spiky style and then nodded.

You can take a guy out of the slums, but you can't take the slums out of a guy. Time to get some materials!

With a grin, Reeve stepped out of his office and headed for the elevator.

Present

"I, I swear, I didn't touch anything, I swear!" Reeve gasped, backing away with his hands up. He could feel a bead of sweat rolling down his forehead as he looked wildly around for an escape. No luck. Oh, Ifrit, sweet, hairy, flaming Ifrit, he was going to die…

One and a half hours ago

Everyone who'd ever lived in the slums knew that if you wanted to get materials, 'that battery guy's shop' was the place to go, and Reeve was no exception. The problem, as Reeve saw it, was that:

a) 'That battery guy' was a total ripoff

And

b) Reeve had a lifetime ban after his lucrative thieving career as a teen

He hoped the guy wouldn't recognise him, but Reeve was still nervous. He knew that slum folk didn't carry their guns for show. He loved it here, as every path and junk heap held a million childhood memories, but he knew his standing at Shinra would make him ideal for target practice. You could love the slums, greet them like an old friend and smile at the thought of them, but they'd never return the favour, and, like as not, they'd knife you in the back.

And that is why you have to love them!

Reeve grinned to himself. What would the President say if he could see his Urban Planning Director here right now!

(Yeah, yeah, all this is very amusing, Reeve, but we're here for a reason, remember? Bite the bullet (literally, probably) and get some stuff to tinker with. And then run like hell.)

Reeve snorted again, imagining the headlines if he was caught robbing 'that battery guy'. He could see it now… oh, Ifrit, he would kill to see President Shinra's face! He laughed out loud, and an old woman hurried past him with a worried look, clearly afraid of the insane gentleman in the grey shirt. That made him laugh harder.

Grinning, Reeve headed out of the train station and through Sector Seven. Damn it, there'd be transport problems after tomorrow. How was anyone from above the plate going to get to Wallmarket?

Somehow, I think you'll be the only one annoyed about that, Reeve-dear.

He sighed, the grin disappearing.

Let's see… South from the station, through Sector Seven and then the play park North of Sector Five (and, if you go further South, there's the church and then the Access Gate… now that I think about it, Midgar isn't a very travel-friendly city, is it? I'll have to bring it up in the next board meeting)… then it's across that veritable obstacle course that masquerades as a path, and then there's a little turn, and then it's Wallmarket… oh, I hope that's right… it's been too long…Hang on, isn't the play park after the obstacle course? Oh, for Ifrit's sake, and I can't even ask anybody because then I'll get mugged! Damn it!

Present

Reeve gulped as one of the men punched a fist against the opposite palm. He looked like he could beat Reeve up with his little finger. His biceps rippled as he let out a menacing growl.

Fifteen minutes earlier

Reeve had finally made it to Wallmarket, after about a million wrong-turnings (and an attack by a fricking Hell House, for Ifrit's sake!). He'd been almost-mugged twice (not bad!) but Reeve never went into the slums with money in his pockets, so that was okay. Casually, he strolled over to 'that battery guy's place', and put a hand on the doorknob.

"Freeze," said a gruff voice behind him, and Reeve felt the barrel of a gun press against the base of his skull. Cursing, he slowly turned round.

"Yes?"

"You. Are. Banned. For. Life. Sonny. Jim," 'that battery guy' growled, and judo-flipped Reeve over his shoulder. As Reeve tried to get up, coughing dust, 'that battery guy' stomped into his shop. "Don't let me catch you here again!"

Reeve swore. "Just 'cause you can't get any paying customers!"

The guy didn't hear him, as he'd already slammed his door. Reeve stood, brushed the dust off the seat of his jeans and groaned.

Now what?

He was damned if he was going back empty-handed!

There was the junk pile near the shop, but Reeve knew that 'the battery guy' would have already taken all the best stuff. He supposed the only place left to try was the gym. They wouldn't miss one (or maybe two… or maybe three) small pieces of exercise equipment, and if all else failed, he could just nick a set of dumbbells and maybe try and get himself some muscle over the next few weeks. He supposed he was a bit of a kleptomaniac, actually, but old habits died hard.

So… gym it is!

Which all explains, quite nicely, really, how Reeve ended up in a face-off with ten angry wrestlers who'd caught him trying to steal the belt from their best treadmill.

… … …

A/N: Kehehehe, that's all for now, folks! :O Can you bear the suspense? (Yes. It's not very exciting.) Shut up! :'( (Sataninasandpit what the hell am I on?) A-hem! Anyway, so yeah, please, please, please review, because I will send my pet Zemzellet round to your house to wreak its revenge otherwise. Kyahahahaha! Ooh, and can anyone spot the place where Zara *completely forgot* the geography of the Midgar Slums? :P But yeah. Review, please, and tell me what sucks.