ffvii: zeno: keyed

title: keyed
series: crisis core
prompt: n/a; zack/reno
notes: (03/16/2012; 414) for tenacitas; in which the little things are awfully telling

Three seconds. It takes three seconds too many for him to realize that Rude is staring, and Reno is about three ale too deep to really care. His hand curls over his keys lethargically, but they’ve been partners long enough that Rude humors it as a warning—however late and half-assed it might be. He averts his eyes, giving him the option of damage control should he want it, but Reno hasn’t had nearly enough to buy into that. Rude is an open book. He’s going to say his piece, regardless. Anything further, on his part, would only be justifying the attention. And besides, he has had just enough to feel dangerous. So he just grins and swirls the remaining liquid in his bottle.

“Gil for your thoughts, yo.”

Rude glances at him sideways, then again at his keys, then somewhere off into the distance. And Reno thinks, yeah, there are a few reasons why he never flashes them longer than it takes to pop the cap off a beer… not the least of which is to protect the kill-switch bypass on the ring, but also for the personal nature of what they are. And one, in particular, that cannot be explained away (in professional terms) to the likes of another Turk—not when it belongs to First Class quarters.

Not that he’d gone out of his way for it. Really, Fair had all but thrown the damned thing at him, laughing off what was a blatant security violation with some throw-away excuse like how ridiculous it was to think that a dead-bolt was going to keep a Turk out. And that Reno was free to “crash” anytime. Not that he ever did. Not when the SOLDIER was out of town, anyway. There was never a real reason to have it, but there was never a real reason to give it back either. So he kept it, like an obscure trophy… just the same as he imagines Zack still does, with his spare key.

Wherever or whatever condition that happens to be in.

It’s sentimental as fuck, no matter how you went about it, he supposes.

But Rude unexpectedly skips over that one and touches his apartment key, instead. “You should change your locks, you know,” he says, tactfully—because he recognizes it, Reno realizes. Because it hasn’t been re-keyed since Nibelheim… which was almost four years ago, now. Because…

Reno smiles bitterly into his drink. “I know.