A/N: I own nothing, except the plot bunnies and Dr. Dunlass. Reviews are carrots to the plot bunnies! Slash, hints of rape and underage prostitution ahead. You've been warned.
"Close the door," the order came from the redheaded patient's mouth as mako-lit eyes darted their gaze around the small room. "Are there any cameras in here? Recorders?"
Evan eyed Reno for only a second before moving to not only close the door, but lock it as well. "No, the medical bays are not watched, save for in the hallways." Reno gave a small nod at the reply, but those eyes kept roving over the items in the room for a moment or two longer before relaxing just a bit. When the doctor finished locking the door, he pulled a chair closer to Reno's bed, then settled in it and waited for whatever the Turk would tell him.
He wasn't prepared in the least for what was uttered.
"I don't know what ShinRa is telling the public about what happened with Sector Seven. I do know that whatever they're saying, it's a lie. I was the one who dropped the plate. Not AVALANCHE. And I know that eventually I'll forgive Tseng for picking me to do it, too. But not just yet. That bastard knew what he was asking when he tapped me for that fucking job. And he knew I'd do it, and what it'd cost me, and he's a royal dick for picking me."
That startled the good doctor, and he frowned a little as he regarded the Turk. "Why is that?"
Reno's laugh echoed in the room, hollow and bitter. "I'm -from- the slums, doc. Not Sector Seven, though,"
Evan was curious now. "What one, then?"
"Two." And -that- earned him the soft gasp that Reno knew would be coming. Sector Two was, without question, the worst of the eight sectors. The crime lords refused to keep their houses there out of fear for the lives of their families, though they certainly did business there. Gangs were numerous, there was little by way of actual housing. It was awful. Growing up there had to be difficult at best. Evan could only imagine what Reno might have had to do in order to survive there. And after a brief contemplation of -that-, he realized that having grown up in the slums, even if he was in Sector Two and not Seven, it had to have been very difficult to drop the plate.
"People you grew up with..." he trailed, sympathy evident in his tone of voice.
"Exactly." Reno stared at his doctor for a moment or two, and in that short time, Evan could have sworn that the Turk could see straight into his mind. "Tseng knew, and he still made sure that it was me who dropped that fucking plate. Bastard son of a bitch..."
"What was it like?" Evan had to ask. Had to know. "Growing up in Sector Two, I mean. Obviously you beat the odds and got out of that place, but..."
"How did I do it?" Reno finished the unasked question. Evan nodded. "I owe Rufus ShinRa a lot for that, actually," he replied quietly. "Ma died when I was eight. And don't believe a damned word about what it's like livin' in the slums. An eight year old can actually do pretty nicely. Especially a lil redheaded waif like me. I was cute enough to get handouts by the old mommas livin' around there, they took pity on me for a lil while, at least. But a kid grows up, right?" He smirked here, and the look was laced with suggestion enough to draw a blush to Evan's cheeks. "You know what there is to do in the slums, don't you? There aren't many choices." Dr. Dunlass gave a little nod - Reno knew any doctor worth their snuff knew damned well the options available to anyone growing up in the slums. Organized crime, a gang, or prostitution.
"I was good at what I did. I stole some, yeah - but everyone did. But for most of my cash I worked for a brothel. Nothing as nice as the Honeybee Inn or anything, but I made good money, and men paid a considerable amount for a kid like me," he smirked. "The fancy suits from up here would venture down to hire one of us... and for one night we'd be used - but we'd have more luxury at our fingertips than we encountered our entire lives before that moment. Like carpeting. You've no idea how NICE carpeting is." He frowned to himself there, brows furrowing for a few seconds before looking back up to Evan. For a short moment? Evan could have sworn he saw the little kid that Reno had once been - street smart, but scared of what he knew he'd have to do to keep himself alive. "I heard the rain for the first time in my life. I still remember it. It was the sweetest sound I've ever heard in my life. I forgot the man who was fucking me. Forgot everything - and got lost in that sound. Nothing mattered except finishing this job and getting out there in time to feel that rain on my face." Nostalgia was clear on his face - it had obviously been a potent memory for him, and Evan could only imagine what Reno might be feeling, even now as he remembered it all. "I still love the sound of rain. It's cleansing."
The doctor nodded a little, offering the Turk a small smile. "It is," he agreed quietly, "It's very relaxing, too." That earned him a softer look from the Turk - one he was fairly certain wouldn't be shown too often, or to many people.
"But yeah... it was one of those 'trips' to the plate that Rufus saved my ass. It was this lavish party thrown by one of the ShinRa Company's partners. There were mountains of food, gold and silver everywhere, and of course, behind the scenes - sex. All one needed to do was discretely leave the main party and head for one of the side rooms to find someone, like myself, ready and waiting. I was fourteen. Rufus was nineteen, and his friends were very rebellious. They stole away to one of those rooms as soon as they could, pulling the President's son along with them as though Rufus -wasn't- calling the shots. But as soon as that group stepped into the room, I knew who ruled them all. Even then, Rufus ShinRa was something special. Someone powerful." He looked oddly at Evan, as though contemplating whether or not to continue. Apparently, the answer was 'yes', because he spoke again - perhaps a little more hesitantly at first. "He took me first - demanded to, really. I don't know what he saw in me, or what I did to impress him, but he came back near the end of the party with a huge plate of food, and an offer. While I stuffed my face, he talked about joining SOLDIER. Said that it might be my only chance, and that he thought I had what it took. At least to join up. I remember asking him why he wanted me to join up so badly. That kid's got a damned good poker-face, I'll tell ya."
Reno smirked here, then closed his eyes for a few long seconds. Whether he was actually tired or whether he'd just done it to remember better, Evan couldn't tell. Rufus wasn't the only one with a good poker-face. "He kissed me then, just once, and his face gave away nothing when he drew back, as though the kiss hadn't been anything but business. But he said that he didn't want someone like me stuck in the slums any longer. He gave me a few extra gil and a PHS, saying that his number was programmed into it, and to call him if I wanted to take him up on the offer. I told him I'd think about it. Fuck, a kid from the slums? In SOLDIER? Yeah, right. I thought he had to be yanking my chain. But he sat with me while I ate, which struck me as odd at the time. I mean, what rich guy sits next to a slum rat and gives them fancy food? He told me it was to make sure no one walked in and accused me of stealing it." He laughed quietly then, made a motion that Evan could only guess was to lift his hand for one reason or another, and winced - thinking twice about the action and resuming his relaxed position.
"I almost threw the PHS out the second I left the party. I wanted to forget all about Rufus ShinRa and his pretty little offer. What the hell would the son of the President of the most powerful company in the world want to do with me? Why would he want to help me? I asked myself that every minute of the next day, and even as I went to work that night. I should have been focusing on my job, though."
Evan winced. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what had happened. Distraction was a wonderful thing sometimes, but a painful and dangerous pasttime for prostitutes. If a customer noticed the lapse and took offense?
"I called Rufus that night, though I wasn't sure how I had the mind to do so. He sent Tseng out to pick me up. Nevermind that I was too young, supposedly, to join any of ShinRa's forces - I was desperate, and Rufus was the President's son. Rufus patched me up, himself, too. He's surprisingly good at first aid. Next thing I knew, though, I was in SOLDIER." He smirked, shaking his head a little and wincing at the motion.
"Didn't do too well though. Not there. I wasn't exactly good at being all 'military' and 'proper'. Six months in, Lazard was begging Tseng to take me into the Turks. I was driving his officers batshit, apparently."
The Turk yawned, and Evan managed a small smile. "Well, you've done well for yourself, it seems. And you do need to get some rest. You're going to be tired for a while as your body heals. Don't push things." He stood, moving to the side of the redhead's bed, making sure the pillows were still behind Reno's head properly, then reached his hand out to wrap around Reno's wrist - checking his pulse. "Just relax for now."
The redhead gave a tired nod, closing his eyes at the prompt - he looked exhausted after all of that. Who knew talking could drain a person so easily? He had an odd feeling that there was far more to the tale that Reno hadn't gotten a chance to tell him, but...
Perhaps this would be enough. Perhaps this would help him - being able to tell *someone* about it all.
He left the Turk to sleep, flicking the light switch by Reno's bedside to send the room into semi-darkness. A single extra once-over was given to his patient before he unlocked the door, slipping through the portal, then closed it behind him with a soft click. A warning glance was given to the blond man who sat in a chair nearby, looking as though he wasn't in the least bit concerned with anything or anyone there - Reno was not to be disturbed. As though he'd just gone to the hospital wing of Headquarters to find a place to read a book - which was tucked into his slender hands, a page turned as blue eyes scanned the paper. "He'll live, sir," Evan found himself uttering, drawing that cold gaze over to himself. Only, it didn't -seem- so cold. The book was marked, closed, and slipped into Rufus' white coat pocket.
"What's his status?" The Vice-President nodded toward Reno's room. "We need him back as soon as possible."
Work wasn't the only reason Rufus ShinRa asked that question, though he had to give the man kudos - he didn't let on at all that he'd cared one lick about the redhead, only his father's company. "He's healing well enough, but these things take time. He won't be back to his fullest for two weeks, sir."
Rufus gave a small nod, then stood and headed for the exit. "I'll try to get his partner in to see him from time to time. I'm told a good mood speeds up healing."
Evan didn't dare smile. "It does. Have a good evening, sir."
The blond nodded, then slipped out the hospital wing, and only Evan caught the backward glance he gave to Reno's room, just before disappearing from sight.
A/N: Yup, that's it for now. I might write some ficlets revolving around this story, but this will stand alone - and will not have another chapter to it. It was meant only to provide insight into Reno's past - or at least the past of the Reno that *I* write. :-D No, it's not official that Reno is from the Sector Two slums. Nothing I've written is 'official', really - except his red hair. I tried to explain why, in the game, Reno seemed to have green eyes, and in Advent Children, those eyes were very much *blue*. And I tried to explain some of his devout loyalty toward the ShinRa Electric Power Company. Hopefully it isn't too cliche. Though I have a feeling it is.