Title: Smiles
Rating: K+
Characters: Tseng, Reeve.
Status: Completed, 445 words.
Summary: Reeve stopped smiling the day that Holy defeated Meteor.
Notes: Inspired by screencaps of Reeve Tuesti from Dirge of Cerberus.

[[ ... One-Shot ... ]]

Reeve stopped smiling the day that Holy defeated Meteor.

Tseng didn't see him every day though, so it took him a while to notice, took him a few weeks of stopping in and watching as Reeve conducted business and deftly took to controlling the WRO as smoothly as though he'd been born to it.

In some ways, he had at least been groomed for it, and the world was lucky to have him. Even if his smiles - always restrained anyway - had stopped. Instead of smiles, he would tilt the very corner of his mouth, and somehow, it only served to underscore the fact that the last time he'd smiled had been at a company party. Well. That was the last smile Tseng had seen.

(Reno and Rude had forcibly taken over the DJ's booth - honestly, Reno had forcibly taken it over; Rude had simply stood and menaced at anyone who dared act like they were going to take it away - and Reeve had been lingering near the door, clearly looking for his chance to make his escape. Scarlet had been swept up into a sloppy dance with a very drunk Heidegger, and everyone in the room did their best to keep their expression as serious as possible. ... Everyone except for Reeve, who had stumbled out the door, laughing so hard that his face must have hurt. His sides certainly had given the way he'd been clutching at them, tears streaming down his face.)

It was a good deal harder to meet with Reeve and know that those smiles were gone, that it seemed like not even Reno's very best antics - the latest one involved a series of chocobo and an impromptu race with Reno insisting very loudly that he was certainly not too damned big to be a jockey, thank you - would bring them back. If anything, Reeve's expression had drawn closer, his brows furrowing slightly and his lips pressing together, and Tseng had very nearly missed the wet in his eyes.

But the light had been bright, had caught and glinted, and even if Reeve composed his expression quickly, it didn't take away the fact that Tseng had seen. It had hurt, had caused this twisting pain in Tseng's chest. Reeve didn't consider himself one of the victors any more than he considered himself one of the Turks, and that was wrong. Reeve deserved to be counted among the victors.

Had there been justice in this new world, this dream that Reeve was building and Rufus was funding and AVALANCHE and Shinra both were defending with everything they had, those smiles would have been on Reeve's face.