Characters: Reno, Rude, Elena, mentions of Tseng and the SHM
Prompt: 14) Winter (40_loves)
Word Count: 978
Author's Notes: This story will get darker as it goes on.
Warnings: Mentions of violence.
Summary:Since being attacked by the remnants of Sephiroth both Tseng and Elena have changed, for the better and the worse. They are about to be forced to face what they are and who they have become, and face what they feel for each other, or else the very things they care about may be destroyed.
When I was a little girl my mother told me that life was never simple. Perhaps I should have believe her then, but foolish me, I thought life could in fact be simple if you only tried to make it so. Funny thing, isn’t it? You can look back on all the things you thought as a child and wonder ‘How could I have been so innocent and naïve? What made me believe half of the foolish nonsense I thought was true?’ But in the end there are no answers, only regrets and lessons.
Maybe that’s the answer to this world. That life is a random sequence of events that somehow string together to either make you or break you. There is no rhyme or reason to it, no destiny, no musts or maybes. It is all a matter of choices and actions and things that we find ourselves helpless to control. Life just springs up in front of you and slaps you in the face with what it wants you to see and hear, and possibly be.
Life has this nasty little habit of never asking you what you want. It doesn’t care, it does what it wants to you, molds you into whatever it wants you to be.
Funny thing, life. How much you can cherish it and how easy you can find it is to take it away. After a while, you forget how precious life is supposed to be. It is just a passing thing, and the idea of taking it, watching it drift away, it becomes second nature. You can feel what's left of your humanity drift away, and sometimes you find it hard to remember what it was like to be normal, human, caring. As quick as the blink of an eye everything can change. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Sometimes it's hard to tell which it is until much later on.
Winters here in Edge are different than winters in other places. There is no comfort here with the tall, cold buildings and the bustle of people who are wandering the city, running around like chocobos with their heads cut off to get places. Sometimes this place was a prison of smoke and stale alcohol, downing pots of coffee. We run ourselves ragged just to survive in this world.
Reno once told me that life was a bunch of random events that happened to string together to form our destiny. Oddly profound for Reno, I must say, but sometimes I tend to agree with him. I look back at my life and wonder what led me here to this place where death is second nature and we can stare down the barrel of a gun and watch the life drain out of a person, watch the bright red blood stain the floors and never blink. Not once.
I wonder if there is a way to get back from that, a way back to normal.
Reno and Rude sat quietly watching Elena sip her coffee and scratching away in a brown leather bound book that sat perched on the table. She had been doing that quite a lot since she and Tseng had been taken captive by Sephiorth’s remnants. The best they could figure is that she used it as a form of therapy, but they never asked her and she never offered up any kind of an answer for them.
To be honest, neither she nor Tseng really talked about what had happened to them while they were held captive, and for sometime now they refused to look at each other for more than a few moments. Was this an indication of what happened to them? Did they see things that made them afraid to go near each other? Afraid to even meet each other’s eyes? The likelihood of that was quite strong, but as neither of them would talk about it, all that the two other Turks could do was ponder, and look at how their colleagues had changed. And changed they had.
True, they had always been slightly intimidated by Tseng, but in recent months he had become somewhat of a colder person than he been before, and Rude had noticed (and pointed out to Reno) that during missions he had become more aggressive, seeming to have forgotten the meaning of the word mercy and instead focusing on destroying the enemy, even if they surrendered, and while in some ways both Reno and Rude found it crueler than necessary, they refused to speak out against his their commanding officer, they found the fact that he could act as such both amazing and in some ways quite frightening.
Elena had become, in many ways, two extremes: shy and quiet, as well as loud and boisterous. Some days she was quiet and reserved, sitting there and writing in her book as though it was the only thing she knew how to do anymore. Other days she was loud and laughed and was fun to be around. Either way, she recently found it hard to even look at Tseng, let alone be in the same room as him or speak to him, not that when she had to she couldn’t be in the room with him. And it seemed, to Rude at least, that her crush seemed to diminish a little, but if that wasn’t true, then the truth was that she had found a way to avoid her feelings for him. Either way, the old Elena that had grown on them seemed to have turned out to exist now only in the leather bound pages of her journal.
The watch on her wrist beeped and she closed the book with a snap. “Mission time.”
Reno and Rude watched as the youngest Turk stood and exited the room, then sighed, standing to follow her from the room.