Title: Angry Angel
WIP: 14/? // this is the sequel to pretty hate machine, and this shit is bananas//
Betaed by; goodbye_sun of the awesome editing.
Rating: R for violence & smex
Disclaimer: none of these characters are mine, sad but true.
Summary: Reno finds he is not as smart as he thinks.
Warnings: AU! Angst.
Pairings: Reno/Cloud Reno/Tseng
AN: Okay now, i discontinued this story, cause i made the worst mistake a writer can make, to write what people would like to see instead of what i wanted to write myself. So what i did when i finally found my muse for this story again, was to remove chapter 14, pretend it never existed, and then write a new chapter 14. It’s over a year since i updated this story, so i don’t think anyone will be confused anyway, odds are you don’t remember chapter 14 anyway. I promise i will finish this now, and i wont stop writing it again. If you need to catch up, which i sure as shit did before i could write anything, you can find all the chapters here just scroll down to the story.
Hey, what did you hear me say?
you know the difference it makes,
what did you hear me say?
Yes, I said it’s fine before,
But I don’t think so no more.
I said it’s fine before.
I’ve changed my mind,
I take it back.
Erase and rewind,
’cause I’ve been changing my mind.
No, it’s not that I don’t know,
I just don’t want it to grow.
14 – It’s not that I don’t know.
”Doesn’t it make you wonder?” Reno asked, shuffling through the pictures from the Constantine mansion. When Tseng didn’t answer Reno tossed the polaroids on the table with a flat sound. ”What goes through someone’s head, when they one day are someone’s husband and father and the next day psycho killer, I mean… he’s obviously crazy right?”
”Wrong,” Tseng muttered from his desk. ”October Constantine cleared his mental test completely, he didn’t even have a lurking urge to wash his hands 200 times a day.”
”Yes, really,” Tseng sneered.
”Whoa, what’s with the attitude?” Reno whistled, ”Someone got out on the wrong side of his bed this morning?”
”Reno, make yourself useful for once, go talk to Constantine’s neighbours and his superior officer at Shinra.” He held out a list with neatly printed names and addresses on it.
”Are you assigning me to door-to-door duty?” Reno asked, taking the paper from Tseng with an angry swipe, hoping the fucker would get a paper cut.
Tseng looked up at Reno, and to anyone else he might have looked bored or disengaged, but Reno knew Tseng’s pissy face better than most. ”I am. Now go!” Tseng said with a forced smile.
”What the fuck is your problem, man?” Reno asked, hand on his hip.
”Nothing,” Tseng snarled. ”Would you please leave?”
”Like fuck I will,” Reno said tossing his head in a haughty manner. But when Tseng didn’t answer Reno just sighed, ”Fine! I will go get soaked and have a couple of doors slammed in my face, but then I am going straight to Rufus, cause you are not my superior when we are here, and you can’t just waste my training and talents like that, I am sure Rufus will agree with me.”
Tseng looked up at Reno again, ”You want to know what’s wrong?” he spat, looking momentarily over at the door to their office, making sure its closed shut. ”I am tired of being your comfort blanket,” he said coldly.
”You are not…” Reno started, but was cut off by Tseng.
”No more Reno.”
”Don’t you think you’re overreacting just a little?” Reno frowned. ”What we have is a friends with benefits kinda arrangement, right?”
”Friends with benefits are we?” Tseng huffed.
”I just assumed… I mean…” Reno ran a hand through his hair in a nervous move and licked his lips. ”You’re my friend, right? And I just happen to be turned on by you too.” He smiled carefree, ”Like really turned on.”
”I can’t believe what I’m hearing!” Tseng said, blinking in disbelief. ”So, tell me this slick. When Cloud returns, then what?”
”Eh…” Reno shrugged, ”I don’t know.” A wide smile spread on Reno’s face. ”Maybe we could work it out, all three of us?”
”You are incredible!” Tseng spat.
”I know,” Reno laughed, knowing that Tseng was about to blow a fuse, but there really wasn’t anything he could do about it now. He really didn’t have an answer, he had no clue what would happen once Cloud returned, it was not like he could keep on keeping his affair a secret, it had been going on for far too long now, for it not to matter, it was not like he had just stumbled and accidentally stuck his dick into his colleague, was it?
Tseng got up from his table just when Reno’s phone let out an annoying loud beep indicating he had received a text message. Ignoring Tseng, Reno flipped his phone open, and let the text and picture load. As the picture finished loading, Reno paled deadly white. ”Tseng, shut up!” And then he pushed the phone up in Tseng’s face, ”Look.”
The photo was of Cloud, dirty, bleeding and with a gun to his head.
”Shit!” Tseng growled, and then looked up at Reno. ”Are you okay?”
”No, I’m not fucking okay!” Reno whispered. ”How can you stand here and look at this picture and then ask me if I’m okay?” his voice rose an hysterical octave.
”I didn’t mean it like that,” Tseng said soothingly.
”What if he’s dead, Tseng?” Reno said with a tiny voice. ”I have to find him, and all I am doing is running in circles, getting nowhere.”
”I agree,” Tseng said wrapping a friendly arm around Reno’s shoulders. ”Maybe you should leave me to process the Constantine mansion, and go get in touch with your other, uhm, less conversational contacts.”
Reno had gotten to the parking lot as his phone rang, he unclipped it from his belt and looked at the caller ID, it wasn’t a number he had listed. But he opened the phone none the less, pushing the receiver button. ”Reno,” he said in a business like tone.
”You wanted to speak with me,” The sombre voice in the other end said.
”Vincent Valentine?” Reno whispered in the phone as he struggled with the car door. ”Open you fucking piece of crap!” he hissed at the car.
”Oh no, it was not you, it’s the car… eh… yeah…” Reno laughed nervously, finally getting into the car. He slid in behind the steering wheel, glad to be out of the rain. ”So, Mr. Valentine, I have to ask you something.” Reno paused for a moment. ”When you were with Shinra, were there any experiments with uhm… body parts?”
”Yes, body parts,” Reno repeated. ”Like taking organs out of dead people in kryrotanks and implanting them in wounded soldiers and then making them work again.” Reno shook a cigarette out of his package, ”I realise this sounds pretty fantastic, Mr. Valentine.”
”Operation Dust,” Vincent said with a tiny voice.
”So you do know something?” Reno said surprised, dropping his cigarette on the floor of the car, wondering if he could fetch it while holding a phone, but then decided against it, and just shook out one more.
”Operation Dust was shut down ages ago, and dismissed as a complete failure. Why would you want to know about that?” Vincent asked, puzzled.
”I think they reopened the files,” Reno said with his best doomsday voice. ”Do you know what went wrong back then? Why was it a failure?”
”The test specimens started to act really strange, like… eh… like…” Vincent searched for the right word.
”Like they got more than just a liver or an arm? Like they inherited some of the person it used to belong to? Like they slowly became someone else?” Reno asked, holding his breath, not sure he wanted to answer.
”Exactly,” Vincent said.
”Holy shit.” Reno sighed, lighting his cigarette with a shaking hand, having a hard time catching the flame to light up. ”My brother got a new set of arms from Nimrod, and Constantine got his legs… Are you telling me that we killed Nimrod, only to have him resurrected in two?”
”I don’t know, you would have to find the case file for Operation Dust to make sure,” Vincent said. ”They are without a doubt really hard to come by. And I understand it that you are not really amongst Rufus Shinra’s most trusted personnel these days.”
”How the hell could you know that?” Reno huffed a little annoyed.
”I just do,” Vincent stated.
Reno took a deep drag of his cigarette. ”Figures,” Reno sighed. ”But thank you Mr. Valentine, I will find a way to get those files.” He paused for a moment, staring out at the rain on the window shield. ”Have you by any chance heard from Cloud?” He asked softly, ”I think he’s in trouble, and… and… I don’t know how to find him, maybe you know… maybe you could look for him?”
”I have him here,” Vincent said, his smile evident in the phone.
”You do?!” Reno cried, banging his knee up into the steering wheel.
”I do.” Vincent repeated. ”Want to say hello?”
”Fuck yes!” Reno laughed, not sure why he laughed, but he just felt so damn relived.
The phone rustled and the static was unbearable, until he heard a tiny voice, ”Hey Handsome.”
”Kitten!” Reno whispered, ”Gods! Are you okay? Where are you? I mean… Cloud for fucks sake, are you hurt? Did they hurt you bad? I thought you were fucking dead, man.” His words stumbled over one another eager to talk.
”I’m fine,” Cloud slurred. ”Vincent gave me something so…”
”Cloud?” Reno said softly. ”I love you.”
Cloud sighed in the other end, ”I love you too.” He whispered, sounding tired, ”Reno, there’s something you should know. Raiden, he…”
”I know already,” Reno said with a slight nod that Cloud of course couldn’t see through the phone. ”I’m sorry he…”
”It’s not your fault,” Cloud mumbled. ”I’ll see you soon, okay?”
”Cloud?” Reno asked, only getting a sleepy humming sound as a reply. ”Be safe.”
Next it rustled in the phone again, and Vincent was back. ”He fell asleep,” he stated flatly.
”Where are you?” Reno asked.
”Does it matter? I will bring him back to Tifa as soon as I think he is ready to make the distance.” Vincent said, he sounded a little annoyed to have his judgement questioned.
”Okay,” Reno answered lamely. ”Can you tell me where you found him then? I really need something to go on here, and I am afraid I ran out of options here.” He hated to admit it, but he was desperate.
”I found him in out in the wastelands, north of the sleeping forest.” Vincent said, ”There is a huge cliff there, you can’t miss it.”
”Got it.” Reno said, flickering his cigarette out the car window.
”Reno?” Vincent said in a fatherly tone. ”Don’t do something stupid now.”
”Me? Stupid?” Reno grinned, ”Never!”
”That’s what I feared,” Vincent mumbled, before he hung up the phone.
Reno sat for a while in the car looking at the rain, wondering what he should do. It could be dangerous to go there alone, but he didn’t think that now was the time to tell Tseng that Cloud was fine and would be home soon. Reno started the car, knowing this would be a bad idea.
As he drove out of Midgar, he dialled Tseng. Waiting for him to pick up. ”Did you find anything?” Tseng asked clinically.
”As a matter a fact I did,” Reno stated.
”Where are you? What’s all that noise? Are you driving?” Tseng asked.
”Yes,” Reno said. ”Look I’m calling you so you won’t get your pants up in a twist, but the thing is that I spoke with Vincent Valentine, you know, you were the one who told me to check in with less conventional sources, right?”
”Reno…” Tseng said with a warning tone in his voice.
”Anyway, Vinnie-boy told us to check into some old files at Shinra, called Operation Dust. Do you think you can do that?” Reno said with a little lopsided smile. ”And… he found Cloud, he is alive. I am going to where he found him, trying to see if I can find any leads.”
”Are you crazy?” Tseng yelled, so loud Reno had to lift the phone from his ear.
”For fucks sake Tseng, just check up on that Operation Dust, apparently back then they had already realised that the test subjects slowly got the traits of the dead donor.” Reno said, speeding up the car as he hit a broader road.
”So you’re telling me that we don’t have one Nimrod, but two?” Tseng said suddenly sounding very tired. ”There is your reason right there, Reno. Turn around the car and come back, if they are still out there, you could be in real danger.”
”Relax mommy,” Reno laughed, ”I can take care of myself.” His voice lost its mirth when he added, ”Besides its my brother, I have to do this, okay? I have to figure out if there is a way I can save him. Maybe there is still something left of Raiden in there, maybe its not all Nimrod… Maybe…”
”And maybe it is.” Tseng pleaded, ”Please turn around.”
”No,” Reno said harshly, ”I owe this to both Raiden and Cloud, okay?”
”No you don’t,” Tseng said a little sad. ”You owe it to Cloud to return and be safe.”
”Don’t do this Tseng,” Reno scowled.
”Alright,” Tseng whispered down the phone, ”I will look into Operation Dust, but hurry back, okay?”
Reno smiled wide, ”You actually sound like you care there, Tao old chum.”
”Of course I fucking care!” Tseng yelled frantic, ”You… you insolent, obnoxious… ”
”Hey, you cussed.” Reno laughed, ”Must be serious then.” When Tseng didn’t answer, Reno stopped laughing and just said, ”I will call you in an hour or two, okay?”
”Okay.” Tseng muttered sourly.
Reno shut his phone and tossed it on the passenger seat. This was going to be easy as one, two, three. He didn’t really understand why Tseng was so worried. He rapidly changed his mind as he heard a sharp whistling sound, the sound of a bullet that hissed past his head. ”What the?” he mumbled, just as the next bullet pierced his front window, cracking it in a spider web-like fashion, leaving him blind as to where he was going. Reno reached for his phone on the passenger seat, but when another bullet went through a tire, he lost control of the car, and could just hold on as it spiralled out of control. To his horror, he suddenly felt it dip with its nose, just seconds before it rolled over and down hill.