Final Fantasy - All Series Fan Fiction ❯ Trapped in Paradise(With Someone You Hate) ❯ Part VIII: Complications ( Chapter 8 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]

Part VIII: Complications

Shortly after the door closed and Reno was gone, Cloud was very nearly overcome with the desire to call him back. This, of course, was just not going to happen. Cloud couldn't imagine allowing himself to be so emotionally vulnerable, not after everything he'd been through.

Instead he locked the door and went to the fridge. There were still a couple beers left, so he snagged one on the way to the living room. He really did have a lot of things to think about, though a part of him wished that he'd taken a shower with Reno anyway. The Turk probably looked really amazing soaking wet and soaped up…but he was getting side-tracked.

Tifa's message had confused Cloud terribly and Reno's reaction hadn't done much to shed light on the issue. He was tempted to call Tifa to see if she knew anything else on the matter, but doubted it would do any good. Anyway, they would probably end up getting into things he wasn't ready to talk about, at least not until they were face to face.

It seemed to Cloud that the bottom line was that Rufus had played them both for fools and now he was stuck with a deceptively simple question: What mattered more to him? His feelings for Reno or the fact that Rufus had been toying with their personal lives?

Now the reason this question was so deceptive was because the answer seemed so simple. Of course his feelings for Reno meant more to him. For the first time since Aeris's death, he felt close to someone in a way that had nothing to do with childhood promises or shared experiences. He'd felt a connection last night and still felt it. Rufus's transgressions and manipulations seemed small in comparison.

What truly bothered him were all the stupid questions that rose up in his mind. It was like when he'd wondered what might have happened had he never met Aeris.

His new scenarios had less to do with the worldwide crisis or existential musing and more to do with his sorry state of affairs before all that had gone down in this lonely, overpriced beach house. When Cloud thought about Aeris, it all came down to fate and destiny, but he had a hard time relating those concepts to his far less mystical relationship with Reno.

It did feel a little bit too perfect, though. Of course it might not have been fate so much as a well-planned scheme working out quite well indeed.

Cloud found himself thinking about his interactions with Reno over the past two years. Well okay, even he had to admit that he'd noticed Reno paying an extra little bit of attention to him. There was also that leering business that had been going on even back when they were officially enemies. At the time Cloud had thought that Reno had just been acting perverse and obnoxious to get on his nerves, but now he had to wonder if Rude hadn't been the only one harbouring an illicit crush. Not that it mattered all that much, though it did sort of make him wish that he'd heard more of that conversation they'd interrupted in Gongaga.

What the hell had Reno been waiting for? In the two years after Sephiroth's first defeat, Cloud had become pretty much neutral to the wreckage that remained of Shinra. He'd let bygones be bygones and when Reno started calling him with work, Cloud had been as civil as anyone could be to someone who had tried to kill him on multiple occasions.

Reno had been clearly interested in him for quite some time and he wondered why he hadn't opened up to him sooner. Maybe if he'd seen Reno's less obnoxious, oddly charming, unbelievably sexy side earlier, they wouldn't be in this ridiculous situation.

The beer was starting to make Cloud feel a little fuzzy. Though it was hard for him to get drunk, it was pretty easy for him to sustain a buzz. While it was sometimes nice, Cloud put it aside for now. He wanted to think as clearly as possible.

Perhaps he was looking as this all wrong. He should try to see this from Reno's point of view.

If Cloud had started developing an attraction for Reno and been unsure about the Turk's reaction, it would have been complicated to say the least. Though Cloud handled his feelings quite a bit differently than Reno did, he supposed he could understand if Reno had been trying to take careful steps. Maybe he'd been waiting for the right situation and really, it wasn't his fault that the perfect opportunity just happened to coincide with one of Rufus's plots.

Well…maybe it was a little bit Reno's fault considering the little assignment Rufus had given him. Reno had probably imagined that he was getting away with something slick by using it as an excuse to get closer to Cloud. The irony was staggering.

Yet even if the situation was starting to tie up in a neat little package of miscommunication and duplicity, Cloud was still feeling like an emotional wreck. He wasn't mad at him or feeling particularly betrayed. It had been pretty apparent that Reno had been in the dark about most of Rufus's little game and anyway his feelings had seemed sincere. Cloud couldn't deny that gut instinct.

All things considered, Cloud was still absolutely crazy about Reno.

He ended up drinking a little more before the day was done. Rum because it reminded him of Reno and Cloud really could be an emotional masochist sometimes. Tifa would have told him to stop feeling sorry for himself and do something about it, but he was still mulling things over.

Cloud eventually progressed to thinking about all the things he should have said after hearing that voice message. He really shouldn't have been so harsh or jumped to so many conclusions. They could've talked it out….

Cloud went to sleep on the couch. When he'd tried to sleep in his bed, it had been impossible. The essence of sex and Reno had lingered.

The last thought he had before finally drifting off was that he seriously regretted letting the Turk walk out that door.


Rude had always called him a lucky son of a bitch.

The hotel was still booked, but by luck and circumstance Reno found out that there was a rentable room above the bar. He didn't have much gil left but the bartender thought he was cute and had cut a deal with him. So long as he patronized the bar and bought their two drink minimum, Reno could stick around until he left Costa del Sol. Though he'd told her he wouldn't be staying long, he really didn't have a clue.

It was a good deal, though. He figured he'd have to do a lot of drinking to keep himself from thinking about Cloud.

That evening, Reno wasn't very successful in his endevour to not think about a certain blonde and ended up spilling most of the story to the bartender. In the back of his mind, the part that was still somewhat sober, he felt sort of bad for the girl. Reno was doing his best not to name too many names and so the story ended up coming off as absurd and melodramatic.

Of course, the reality wasn't that far off but without knowing them and their complicated past, she really wasn't getting the full picture. At least she was making the appropriate noises and offering some degree of comfort. Naturally, Reno already knew it wasn't his fault but it was nice to have the validation of someone else. She also told him to give Cloud a little bit of space. Maybe they just needed some time apart after being thrown into such an intense relationship in so quickly.

It was a little surreal to realize that he'd only been in Costa del Sol for a week.

Reno supposed that the girl was giving him good advice, but he couldn't shake the feeling that would lose Cloud if he let him think shit over for too long.


`This is Cloud Strife. Leave a message.'


Reno exhaled slowly and tried not to sound as drunk as he was.

“Hey, it's Reno,” he spoke into that horrible void, “I know you said that you needed some space and I'm still cool with that and all. I'm just calling to say…I found a place to crash. It's above the bar, just ask for Abby, and she'll take you upstairs. Buy a drink to make sure she's doubly friendly about it. I'm not trying to put on any pressure or anything, I just…I'd really like to see you before we get outta here.”

He ended the call before he said anything too stupid. All things considered, Reno was pretty sure he hadn't come off desperate or needy.

As much as he was loath to admit it, he was most certainly feeling both of these things. In the beginning of his attraction to Cloud, he'd been mostly thinking that he'd be a good fuck. Things had gone decidedly beyond the physical, and it was frustrating Reno on a very deep and profound level. His feelings had progressed far beyond an idle crush or the desire for sexual conquest, and Reno was starting to imagine the possibilities of something meaningful and long-term.

Now, it was no secret that Reno enjoyed sex. Back when the Turks had been a much larger operation, the running joke had been to warn all the new recruits about Reno's libidinous ways. The truth of the matter was that Reno flirted more than he got laid. While the occasional pleasurable one-night-stand wasn't terribly unusual, an actual relationship was pretty rare for Reno. It was always so complicated given his chosen profession. His significant others would always worry too much or ask too many questions that he couldn't answer.

Cloud knew what was to be a Turk, better than most considering he'd once been a target of assassination. The idea that he could be with someone in a semi-normal relationship was exciting for Reno.

He took a shower when he realized he smelled faintly of sex and Cloud. As he dragged his drunk, tired, and slightly aroused body into the room's narrow bed, he couldn't help but think about how depressing it was that he missed Cloud so much already.


When Cloud woke up, he felt like shit. Sleeping on the couch had been uncomfortable and his dreams had been intense and erotic. He was aroused and frustrated, lonely, and feeling sorry for himself.

Cloud made the active decision to call Reno today. He was pretty sure that he still had his number from back in the days when he'd run deliveries for him. Maybe talking it out would be better because he certainly wasn't getting anywhere on his own.

Cloud picked up his cell phone from where he'd left it in the bedroom and walked around with it. He found himself getting anxious thinking that Reno had probably spent time mulling over things as well.

What if Reno was mad at him now? What if he'd decided that Cloud wasn't worth his time? He certainly wouldn't blame him….

Yet he couldn't just leave things the way they were.

Cloud turned on the phone and found himself checking his messages. Maybe it was just habit or maybe he was stalling, but in the end he was glad that he did. There was one message waiting for him and much to his surprise, it was labeled “RENO”.

Anxious, eager, and more excited than he should have been to hear anyone's voice, Cloud listened to what the Turk had to say. His heart was pounding as Reno's words sunk in. Cloud had to listen to it twice to make sure what he was hearing was true.

He wants to see me, Cloud thought, both incredulous and elated.

Cloud calmly turned the phone off again and put it aside. He sat down on the edge of the bed and thought long and hard. He thought about all the what-ifs and possible outcomes; he thought about how much Reno meant to him and how lonely and miserable he'd been last night.

Fuck it, Cloud dismissed any lingering expectations and fears. He was going to see Reno.


Someone was knocking rather insistently on the door. Reno woke up slowly, feeling a little fuzzy due to last night's alcohol binge. At least he didn't have a hangover.

He groped for his cigarettes, found the pack, but accidentally ended up knocking it to the floor. Reno groaned, growled, and then chuckled ruefully. Some people called him graceful, but he certainly didn't feel like that now.

More knocking sounded on the door as Reno retrieved his pack and snatched a cigarette from the flimsy little box. He was feeling grumpy from a poor night's sleep that had been haunted by absurdly vivid dreams about Cloud.

“Who the fuck is it?” Reno snapped loudly as he lit up.

The knocking abruptly stopped and was followed by a very quiet reply, “It's me…Cloud.”

Reno began to curse but for altogether different reasons. He'd been hoping Cloud would take his phone call to heart but hadn't really been expecting that he'd show up so soon.

“Shit!” He swore as he put his cigarette out and fumbled for his pants. “Fuck…Don't go anywhere! I'll be right there!”

Reno tugged on his trousers in record time and zipped them up with one hand as he made his way to the door. In his haste, he didn't bother to button up his fly or find a shirt. Cloud had seen him in less and Reno was only interested in being presentable enough to answer the door.

He flung it open and eagerly met Cloud's slightly troubled gaze. The blonde looked anxious, not to mention a little bit wild-eyed. It didn't appear that he'd gotten much sleep either.

“Hey,” Reno breathed.

“Hi,” Cloud's troubled gaze became something more intense and Reno noticed how those unnaturally blue eyes were looking him over.

Arousal began to make his pulse race as he realized that he was disheveled and barely dressed. Reno could see the desire brewing in Cloud's broody expression. He licked his lips and silently dared him to make the first move.

Cloud's throat worked as he tried to say something. The words stumbled, became meaningless. “Reno…I…I needed to….”

“I know,” Reno replied as he reached for Cloud. He grasped the front of his shirt and pulled him close. The door slammed suddenly, leaving them alone and practically drowning in the passion of shared emotion and too many things unsaid.

It was a rare occurrence that Reno was almost speechless but he was feeling that now. All he could think to say was that he understood the jumble of feelings conveyed in Cloud's eyes.

Cloud's fingers skimmed up Reno's side and he flattened the palms of his hands against his chest. They were close but the scant space between them seemed stifling.

“Cloud,” Reno panted softly. He wanted to tell him that he was glad that he'd come around, but the words just weren't there.

The empty space between them grew smaller as Cloud leaned closer. Reno could feel his breath lightly fanning his face as Cloud finally said something coherent.

“It doesn't matter to me,” he whispered.

Reno's head was swimming. Having Cloud so intimately close was driving him crazy.

Just fucking kiss me already, Reno thought frantically, but instead he gasped: “What?”

“What Rufus did,” Cloud's tone was strained with emotion. Their eyes locked and Reno could tell that he really didn't want to be talking right now. Yet he supposed that some things needed to be said.

“It doesn't matter to me,” Cloud repeated, “All I care about it is how I feel about you.”

“Okay,” Reno replied. Clearly Cloud was doing a lot better with this whole coherency business at the moment. The irony was staggering but Reno didn't really give a shit about irony right now.

When Cloud didn't do or say anything else, Reno struggled to focus past his racing heart and surging hormones. He really needed to say something more meaningful than `okay.' Reno imagined that this was about the time most people said something like `I love you' but Reno had always found that phrase completely inadequate. Love was such a vague term anyway. Reno loved sake and sleeping in, and those small pleasures were nothing compared to how he felt when he was with Cloud.

“It's cool,” Reno managed as he clenched his fingers tightly around the fabric of Cloud's shirt. He brought his face closer to Cloud's so that their lips were nearly touching. “Now will you please kiss me, for god's sake? This tension is fucking killing me, yo.”

Cloud chuckled very softly as he complied with Reno's request. The quiet amusement faded away as the kiss deepened and the lonely night caught up to them.


They didn't make it to the bed. Instead they ended up having sex against the wall not far from the door. Though clothing was shed quickly and other preparations were rather hasty, once Cloud was inside of Reno…the world shrank down to just the two of them and time seemed to stand still. Cloud enjoyed the intimacy and the constant contact of their bodies. He could watch Reno's every expression while they fucked and their mouths never seemed very far apart.

It was a little frenzied because one night apart had felt like an eternity. New passion and strong emotions intersected powerfully. It impacted on their union and intensified every touch and kiss. It was agony, it was ecstasy. It was a thousand things that Cloud didn't even think could be properly defined.

Reno clung to him and whispered praise in his ear; he was flushed and his eyes were wild. Cloud knew that he would never forget how he looked at this moment. The Turk's emotions were raw and undisguised.

If Cloud had ever doubted the sincerity of Reno's affections, he could no longer deny the truth. This was no simple fling or groundless affair. Words had never really been Cloud's forte and he could find no words for his lover in the midst of such an intense encounter.

Yet he knew that it meant the world to him and he knew that he would never let anything so small and petty get between them again.

To be continued….