Armageddon Days

Rufus/Reno, Reno/Rude. NC-17. ~30,000 words. Illustrated. Co-produced with Ponderosa.
With President Shinra starting to clean house, Rufus seems like a lost cause, but Reno’s got orders to follow.

“Well, fuck me.”

The sprawl of bodies at Reno’s feet looks a hell of a lot like something he’s seen in one of Rude’s trashy pornos. There’s a haze of smoke in the air, tangy like fired ether. A few grunts and the long, shuddering groan of some guy shooting his load snags Reno’s attention.

“Get your skinny, naked asses outta my way, will ya?” Reno says, e-mag jabbing the chick sprawled against a chair, stoned out of her mind. She’s got perky tits and a rock on her finger, and a look on her face that says she thinks he’s here for the fun. He cracks her one on the wrist when she reaches for him, and her face tries to twist into a pout. “Fuck. This so ain’t worth it.”

Reno steps over her and onto the guy trying to stuff his face in her crotch, ignoring the sucker’s indignant grunt to scan the carnage for his assignment. The girl behind him moans. Reno grits his teeth.

It’s not even noon, and the first glimpse Reno gets of Rufus Shinra, Vice President, is the kid giving it up the ass to some society slut.

“Yo,” Reno calls, stepping up and over a coffee table scattered with enough drugs to buy off his fucking apartment building at street prices. Something crunches under the heel of his boot. He gets about as close as he figures is safe, because that whore he’s doing has talons like a few of Hojo’s pet projects, and from the clawmarks going down Rufus’s back, doesn’t mind using them. “Yo, Rufus!”

Rufus snarls something under his breath, stopping long enough to glance Reno’s way. That glance turns into a nice long look, going right from Reno’s face to the sloppy lines of his suit, lingering on his cock and back up again. Reno knows the kid’s got blue eyes like his daddy, but right now, they’re just glassy pools of ink black.

“Who’re you?” Rufus asks. The chick makes a mewling noise letting Rufus know she’s not so happy he stopped, but he just mutters a quick, “Shut up,” and asks again. He licks lips flushed and swollen like he’s been sucking dick along with all that diamond dust.

Reno shifts, weight slung on one hip. “Reno,” he says.

Rufus’s gaze skips on down to Reno’s crotch again. He pushes sweat-damp hair back from his face. “D’you have a big cock, Reno?”

Letting out a low whistle, Reno shakes his head. Bad enough to get nailed with this job in the first place, and walking in on his employer’s son in the middle of a living room orgy was a bit much to take stone cold sober. Getting hit on by the hedonistic little slut takes the cake.

“I like it fine enough,” Reno says. “Ain’t heard no complaints.”

Rufus licks his lips again. “Good,” he says, the look on his face about half a step better than a leer. “Get your fucking pants off and you can give me a taste of it.”

“Doesn’t that just sound like a real shitload of fun.” Rufus’s attention is obviously back on the girl, so Reno says, “C’mon, kid. That’s enough cunt for one morning,” and hooks an arm around Rufus’s waist to haul him off her.

Rufus looks pissed off all of two seconds before his eyes go addict bright. He sprawls loose-limbed and easy on the cushions, not one bit concerned watching Reno drag the girl to her feet and shove her in the general direction of the door. “You don’t like sharing, Reno?”

Reno’s got to admit the kid’s not half bad looking, slim and a little soft, with a face that’d be nice to look at if he wasn’t high and a cock that might be pretty once he got cleaned up.

“See, that depends,” Reno says. He keeps on clearing the room, cursing when it takes a hell of a lot more effort to get the unconscious ones up and moving than it might be worth. One of the shitheads even tries to bite him. “You fucking stink. Go get a shower while I send your toys home.”

If the prospect of Reno being a little greedy for Rufus’s attention seemed to turn the guy on, killing his party ticks him off pretty damn fast. He snarls something about what the hell Reno’s doing and gets to his feet just as Reno finishes up with kicking the guy and girl near the doorway out into the hall.

“I know you’re blitzed, kid, but I’m thinking it’s pretty damn obvious what the hell I’m doing.” Reno turns around, flipping the e-mag dangling from his wrist up onto his shoulder. “I’m here to ruin all your fun.”

Rufus is the type to burn hot and fast, since as soon as he’s close enough he’s got an arm around Reno’s neck, still looking for some action. The kid’s breath tastes sweet, probably drinks he’d been knocking back to kill the taste of mako gels, which is better than what Reno’d been expecting. “You don’t look like it,” Rufus says, falling back against the wall and dragging Reno with him, legs spread ready and waiting for it. “You look like you’d be a good fuck.”

Reno slaps a hand on the wall to brace himself but doesn’t do much to discourage Rufus from nibbling at his mouth. “You really want to get off that bad?” he says, getting a hand on Rufus’s cock before he remembers the state it’s in. “Son of a bitch. What the hell were you fucking?”

Rufus lets out a ragged moan when Reno wipes the mess right on his stomach.

“Aren’t you a real piece of work.” Rufus looks like he’s ready to blow, but Reno’s pretty much lost whatever scrap of sympathy he might’ve had for leaving the guy with a nasty case of blueballs. “Yeah, I heard you the first time,” he says when Rufus grabs at his wrist, trying to get Reno’s hand between his thighs. Figuring he’s already going to need a change of clothes, Reno pats the kid’s ass, giving him a little encouragement that turns out he doesn’t need to get his legs up around Reno’s waist.

“You tossed out everyone else, so hope you’re planning on giving it to me good and hard,” Rufus says, grinding against the front of Reno’s shirt. Something flickers in Rufus’s eyes as he brings his mouth close to Reno’s looking for a kiss. “Seen your pretty face before. Never fucked you.”

“Nope,” Reno agrees. Rufus is dead weight in his arms but next to nothing compared to the thugs Reno’s had to haul around. “You gonna be able to take it standing up?” He elbows open the bathroom door.

“Fuck, yes,” Rufus says. He tries for the kiss again, making an angry little noise when Reno turns his head away.

“Good.” Reno dumps the kid in the middle of the shower stall. He thinks about flipping on the water but doesn’t bother, just turns on his heel and slams the bathroom door behind him.

Reno has a cigarette lit and hanging off his lip by the time Rufus starts beating on the locked door. “Take a shower, kid,” he says, giving Rufus a few points for creative cursing. He stares at his palm warily, lifts it to his nose, and makes a face. Muttering, he freshly scrubs his hand off on his pants before getting his cell out of his pocket. He flips it open with his thumb and breathes out a long stream of smoke. “Trust me, you need it.”

Tseng picks up after the second ring.

“The kid’s no good,” Reno says, taking another slow drag. “Little slut. Uses, too. Fuck, you hear that? He’s pissed because I wouldn’t stick my cock up his ass.”

“Perhaps you should have,” Tseng says, his smooth voice followed by the quiet rustle of paper.

Reno grunts and kicks the door, smiling grimly when Rufus’s shouting goes up an octave or two. “Hell no. I don’t want my dick near whatever else he’s stuffed up there. Kid’s so high and hard up for it he’d probably try to fuck a chocobo.”

“This assignment is temporary, Reno.” There’s a touch of warmth there, like when he’s holding back a laugh. “I’m sure you’ll be able to keep him from molesting any innocent poultry.”

“The birds can fend for themselves, boss,” Reno says. He eyes the door, not trusting the sudden silence or the following quiet patter of water. “More worried about my own virtue here.”

“I wouldn’t be.”

Reno grins. “I’ll let you know if he does something interesting, but don’t hold your breath.”

*

“Are you blind?” Rufus snarls, snatching his arm back. “Prick me again and I’m going to jam that needle straight in your fucking eye.”

The tailor isn’t fazed, giving an apology that’s too smooth and practiced to be sincere. Reno scratches nails through his hair and lets out a slow, deliberate breath. They’ve been here for two hours or more, wasting time on a fitting that should have taken, according to Tseng, no more than a half hour. Typically, nothing satisfies Rufus, the cut unflattering or the fit too snug, or the fucking white not white enough.

Once he’s sure he’s not going to wring the skinny little asshole’s neck, Reno looks up. The kid’s watching him again.

Been looking at him like that the whole damn afternoon. Ticked, yeah. A little wary, because he’s not sure just what to make of Reno yet, so maybe a bit curious, too. Over it all is a silver-spoon sneer hanging like a stench in the air. Rufus watches him like he might be a half-decent fuck for a piece of worthless gutter trash.

At least he cleans up nice, even if his eyes are still bloodshot and ringed in red from being awake the whole damn night shooting himself up with shit. Reno’s got a few things in the car to take care of that — Shinra’s orders this time — but doesn’t much like the idea of adding more drugs to the cocktail swimming in Rufus’s blood.

“See something you like?” Rufus says. His free hand strays south, fingers light on his cock.

“Yeah.” Reno digs out his lighter, keeping his hands occupied with flicking it open and snapping it shut again. He’s dying for a cig but not near rude enough to light up in here, especially with all the shit the tailor’s got to put up with already. “That’s gonna be a damn fine suit.”

The tailor does a bad job at covering up a snicker. Reno grins at the furious glare Rufus throws him in the mirror.

“You’re such a fucking asshole,” Rufus snarls. His outstretched arm quivers, the pins bristling in the fabric catching the light.

“What, because I won’t stick my dick in yours?” Reno eases back on the couch, the foot propped up on his knee bouncing lazily. “Y’know, even I got standards.”

Rufus’s look turns considering. Reno gives the tailor points for beating a hasty retreat, wishing hard that he could make a break for it, too. The guy’s not the type to turn chicken shit just because some brat is about to throw a fit. The headaches just aren’t worth sticking around for.

“You think I’m a bad fuck?” Rufus says, whipping around when Reno nearly kills himself laughing. It’s just like the kid to get pissed off because he thinks Reno’s insulting his talent. “Fucker, what the hell are you laughing at?”

“Shit,” Reno says, scrubbing a hand over his face. His cheek scratches against his palm. Didn’t even fucking have time to shave before he had to pick up the little princess. “You think I’m keeping it in my pants ’cause I figure you’re a bad lay?”

A cocky smirk twists Rufus’s lips. “Does that mean it’s because you can’t get it up?”

Reno’s last few chuckles fade fast. Anyone else would’ve shut up by now, either too embarrassed or pissed to keep talking, but Rufus just looks smug like he figures he’s right. Reno knows the kid’s still at least halfway to high, since there isn’t much in the way of junkie jitters going on, just like he knows Rufus is naturally more than a little fucked up in the head — have to be with this kind of life.

But the kid’s actually fucking serious.

Reno stands up nice and easy, saunters towards the little dais Rufus is standing on for the fitting. It gives the kid the extra inches he needs to stare down at Reno, but all he’s doing is starting to look eager like he figures something good’s about to happen.

“You want me to fuck you right here?” Reno asks, foot braced on the platform’s edge. “Maybe do that pretty mouth of yours since you like running it off so much.”

Rufus’s tongue flickers over his lips, a quick flash of pink before his eyes jump down to Reno’s crotch again. He doesn’t have to utter a damn word, looks like he’s not going to, but then he says, “If you’re just dicking around with me–”

“What’re you gonna do if I am?” Reno takes the step up onto the dais, forcing Rufus off and following until he’s got the kid backed up against the mirrors. “Tell daddy I’m a cocktease?”

For a moment, Rufus looks as if he’s going to pull out the petulant act again, but even that doesn’t mean it’s a surprise when one slim, pale hand ends up cupped over Reno’s dick.

“I’m not a cocktease,” Rufus promises. He squeezes once, rubs the flat of his hand over flesh just starting to thicken. His eyes go bright behind heavy lids, lips parting on a small, eager breath. In three days, this is the farthest Reno’s let him go since that first time. “I’ll let you shoot it wherever you want,” he says. “Right on my face if that’s what you like.”

Rufus doesn’t wait for an answer, already on his way down to his knees when Reno’s cell rings. Reno shoves a hand in Rufus’s hair to yank the kid’s head back, letting him stay down there if that’s what he wants but not giving him a chance to nuzzle up to Reno’s cock and get friendly.

“Yo,” Reno says, grinning when Rude’s where the fuck are you rumbles through the line. “About to get a blowjob from the slut.”

There’s a long pause from Rude. Rufus’s hand clutches at the leg of Reno’s slacks, taking it to mean that he’s finally going to get a taste of Reno’s cock. His mouth is open, waiting for it, tongue tracing the inside of his upper lip.

“You’re gonna let him get on your dick?” Rude asks. Reno doesn’t miss that there’s no trace of it being a bad idea to fuck Shinra’s son — daddy knows his boy’s a whore. “With all the shit he does?”

“He’s looking pretty damn eager for it, partner,” Reno says. Rude gets the clue fast enough, making a considering sound low in his throat at the purr in Reno’s voice. “You want to listen while he sucks me off? Bet he’ll make it loud and wet for you if you ask him nice.”

“Bet you’ll make it loud, too,” Rude says. “The kid’s going to be pissed, Reno. Why do you have to go and make it harder than it’s got to be?”

“I ain’t the one making it hard.” It takes Rufus all of half a second to shove his face in Reno’s crotch, giving up a loud, easy moan, probably turned on by the fact that Reno’s treating him like he’s cheap.

“Shit,” Rude says. “Don’t tell me you’re going to let him do it.”

“Said I could blow my load all over his pretty face, partner. Sounds really fucking tempting to me.”

Rufus runs the flat of his tongue over Reno’s fly, one hand picking open the button and the other sliding down to cup Reno’s balls. He’s making more noise than he needs to, eager little moans let out on short puffs of breath.

“Slow down, baby,” Reno says. “Make it good.”

Rude’s silent for a moment, then says, “Tseng knows what you’re up too, doesn’t he?” From anyone else, there’d have been a note of accusation rolled into the question, but with Rude, it’s just plain asking if Reno’s sure this is a good plan.

“His idea,” Reno says. Truth is, he isn’t sure this is a good plan either, but Tseng’s never steered them wrong.

Rude makes a noncommittal grunt. “How long are you planning on stringing the kid along? If he’s as bad as you say he is, he’s not going to last more than a few days before he tells you to fuck off.”

Reno grins. “Bet you the tab at Bitters he won’t,” he says, and flips the phone shut before hauling Rufus off his dick for the third time today. “C’mon, kid. We don’t want you being late.”

Reno backs off to readjust his dick and whistles for the tailor. Rufus is up on his feet snarling curses peppered with a few creative threats, but Reno ignores it all to settle himself back down on the couch.

“Waste of fucking time,” Rufus hisses. His hands curl into fists. “Fuck this shit.”

“How about I make you a deal,” Reno says, curving his hand over his own cock this time. It’s cheap and transparent, right up Rufus’s alley, so it does the trick. “You shut the hell up and get this fucking fitting over with, and I’ll give you more than just a taste of my dick.”

Rufus steps back onto the dais, smoothing down the front of his unfinished suit. In the mirror, his eyes are wary, giving Reno a glimmer of hope that he’s going to ask questions instead of being stupid enough to take the deal at face value.

“Fine,” Rufus says. “Get that idiot back in here.”

*

Reno stays back in the shade to scan the crowd. It’s not a bad turnout for a gig so early in the morning, mostly the new employees with their families and a smattering of students. The parking lot is quiet except for the distant noise of traffic and Rufus’s sharp cadence blaring over the loudspeakers.

By the time the kid got halfway through his speech, the crowd was eating out of the palm of his spoiled little hand. Rolling on towards the finish, they’re hanging onto every word, ready to lick the dirt right off the soles of his shiny boots.

After watching Rufus in action for the past few days, it makes a bit more sense why old man Shinra wants to see his boy cleaned up. Makes sense why he wants the kid to be the face of ShinRa, too. Get the dicks out his mouth, stick in him a nice suit, and Rufus is close to as pretty to look at as he is to listen to.

Rufus trots down the stairs, the casual smile on his face melting straight into a look that’s stuck somewhere between vicious and sullen. “Get me the fuck out of here,” he says, snatching the chilled drink offered up by an attendant and shoving it right back at her with a snarl once he figures out it’s just flavoured water. “And get me something real to drink, my head is fucking killing me.”

Reno takes hold of Rufus’s arm just above the elbow and steers him to the limo before someone makes an issue out of his attitude. Shoving the kid into the back, he raps on the tinted glass with a knuckle before he’s even got the door closed. “Supply dry up, Rufus?” he asks, casually tossing another water bottle straight into Rufus’s hands.

There’s barely even a pause between Rufus’s startled silence and the bottle smacking the bulletproof glass beside Reno’s head. Reno grins.

“Fucking son of a bitch,” Rufus snaps, looking like he’s trying to figure his chances on strangling Reno with his bare hands. “You run off my friends, cut off my dealer, what the fuck are you trying to do?”

Reno flips out a cig and lights up. Rufus hadn’t been much more than a little sulky after he realised no matter how many times he switched hotels or tried to shake Reno off his tail, Reno’d track him down and kill the party. Mostly, Rufus had been pissed that after all that, Reno just wouldn’t fuck him. “You don’t really need an answer for that, do ya?” Reno asks.

“Asshole,” Rufus says, but there’s no heat in it. The kid mellows out far too easy. Reno’s pretty sure it’s because Rufus thinks this is all temporary, just a little bump in the long road of suck and fuck and shoot up.

The thing is, Reno’s still thinking the same way. Rufus will find another dealer, either tempt his friends back or find more with the lure of drugs, sex and money. The kid’s got the potential to be exactly what Tseng hopes, but Reno’s getting damn tired of hauling Rufus around.

Rufus holds his hand out expectantly. Reno cocks an eyebrow and lets a cloud of smoke puff out around his cig.

“The water,” Rufus says, snapping his fingers impatiently.

“You want it, you get it yourself,” Reno says, flipping out his phone. He needs to call Tseng to fill him in on the latest, but that can wait. Leaving the kid alone is asking for trouble, but if Rude’s free, Reno needs a quick beer and someone to bitch at.

Reno picks up on his mistake about two seconds after the fact. Rufus’s whole demeanour changes like quicksilver, going from stuck up little snot to an eager slut about to get some. He slides onto the seat beside Reno, pushing the bottle out of his way. It’s obvious he wants to, but he doesn’t touch Reno just yet. Too many times Reno’s led him on and then slapped him off.

“Wasn’t an invitation,” Reno says. If he had to pick a reason, and if he wasn’t so sure Rufus would fuck anything at least halfway attractive, he’d say Rufus thinks he’s playing hard to get. Except the kid just isn’t that stupid.

“It sounded like one,” Rufus says.

For once, Rufus smells good. There’s a hint of sweat from standing in the bright morning sun, the something clinging to his skin made warm and spicy by it. Reno gives himself a swift kick in the ass when he realises he’s actually giving some thought to finding out what Rufus’s mouth tastes like when he hasn’t been sucking down drinks as fast as he’s been sucking cock.

“What’re you gonna do when some asshole’s got a gun to your head, Rufus?” Reno says, slinging his arm along the back of the seat. “Offer him a blowjob?”

The shift doesn’t make Rufus blink. He gets a few points tacked onto his card for that. “Isn’t that why I’m stuck with you following me around? It’s your job to make sure some asshole doesn’t.”

“What if I’m the asshole?” Reno snaps the e-mag dangling from his wrist into place, the metallic click nice and loud in the cool air. “You keep acting like your daddy, tossing money at people, and you’re gonna end up splattered all over a wall right after he does.”

It’s not the hard edge of metal tracing down the side of his neck that has Rufus stopped short. “What the fuck are you talking about?” He tilts his chin up when Reno lays the e-mag across his throat, but he’s not afraid of it.

“One of these days, you’re gonna find somebody who just ain’t happy with table scraps. You give him money, he’s gonna want more. Sure, you’d make a good fucktoy,” Reno says, cutting Rufus off before he can say it. “But what’re you gonna do when he’s sick of pounding your pretty little ass and he wants to be the one holding the goodie bag?”

Rufus hasn’t been quiet about the fact he’s just waiting for his old man to die, or what he’s going to do once Shinra kicks it, but he shuts up now. It’s easy to see the suspicion in his face, the gears turning while he tries to figure if Reno’s getting at more than he’s saying out loud.

In the end, Rufus goes for blunt, saying, “Are you telling me that you plan on being the one to do it?”

Reno laughs. “Fuck, no. Shitty as it gets, I like my job.” Which is pretty much the only reason he’s putting up with Rufus’s shit and trying to teach the kid a thing or two at the same time. “Point is, what the hell are you gonna do about it if I was?”

Rufus’s expression slides towards sulky before jumping to pissed. He opens his mouth, but Reno cuts him off with, “Telling daddy ain’t gonna do you any good.”

“Why the fuck not?” Rufus snaps.

“What’s he gonna do, order me to shoot myself in the fucking head?”

Rufus looks ready to snap out something else, and instead of the insult that it was probably going to be, he says, “What?”

Reno sits back and treats himself to another good, long drag. It’d be just like Shinra to keep his boy in the dark. Filling the kid in is a call Tseng should make, but Tseng’s not here, and Reno doesn’t much like the thought of losing an opportunity just to check in.

“Your daddy never told you about Administrative Research, huh,” Reno says, not bothering to make it much of a question.

“I know it’s a fancy name for the Turks, and you’re one of them,” Rufus says, and it doesn’t come out like an accusation, or annoyed like how Rufus usually sounds. He’s being cautious. It makes Reno grin.

“Yeah, I’m a Turk.” Reno flicks his cig into the neat little ashtray to cup the side of Rufus’s neck. The kid’s skin is warm, his hair baby-soft. “You think he’s paying me the big bucks to just play bodyguard?” he asks, rubbing his thumb down the line of Rufus’s throat.

Rufus’s eyelashes flutter but he doesn’t relax. Reno’s got to wonder if he started out being this responsive, or if all that fucking’s got him conditioned that way.

“What does he pay you for, then?” Rufus gathers a leg under him, rising up and probably meaning to sit himself right down in Reno’s lap. Reno puts a bit of pressure on his throat, barely enough to be uncomfortable.

“I’ll tell you what,” Reno says. “You go ask your momma, and when you got it figured out, you let me know.”

“Bastard,” Rufus hisses, jerking away. “Fuck you, and fuck off dicking me around.” Instead of going for the intercom, he starts pounding on the glass separating them from the driver. “You can just get the hell out. I don’t care what fucking waste of time I’m supposed to do next.”

The light near the intercom blinks. Reno hits the button, says, “Keep going. And hit the locks, would ya?” and catches Rufus’s wrist right before the kid manages to deck him one. One good jerk has Rufus sprawling in Reno’s lap, but for once, he’s not the least interested in sex. Before he can get his balance back, Reno shoves him to the floor and jams a boot right up against the back of his neck.

“You wanna watch it, Rufus.” Reno leans forward, rescuing his cig out of the ashes, using his weight to hold Rufus down. The kid’s close to screaming, not doing a bad job of fighting to get free right up until Reno switches to a knee instead and pins one of Rufus’s arms behind his back. “See, you wanna say that I can’t touch you, right? Daddy’ll have my head. But the thing is, sweetheart, if I thought for one second old man Shinra had the balls to take me down himself over something like messing you up, I’d be playing it a hell of a lot safer. Probably,” Reno says, easing off, sliding easily onto the seat as Rufus rolls over and wheezes. “Or I’d just kill you.”

This time, there’s red-hot anger plastered across Rufus’s face, but there’s a good bit of shock, too. He gingerly touches his cheek, rubbed close to raw from the carpet, then scrubs a hand over his mouth before spitting. Reno can’t figure out right away if the kid looks better as flawless as he was or roughed up a little. He’s going to need to hit that with a potion before the photo op at the hospital’s new wing.

Keeping a wary eye on him, Rufus eases back up onto the leather seat. “You’re insane,” he says, making a vain attempt to smooth the wrinkles from his suit.

“So I been told,” Reno says with a shrug.

Rufus goes on as if Reno hadn’t spoken. “My father–”

“Thinks we’re both a waste of time,” Reno says, sinking lower on the seat and tucking his arms behind his head. “Not sure if he’s right about you or not.”

Predictably, Rufus’s eyes narrow, and Reno heaves a sigh, thinking it’s going to be another spoiled rich boy fit thrown right in his face.

“What do the Turks have to do with my mother’s death?”

“Didn’t say nothing about that,” Reno says.

“You implied it.”

Reno shrugs again. “If you think so.” He doesn’t much care about keeping Shinra’s dirty secrets, and if the kid goes hunting, he’s going to find the Turks stamped all over it. It’s what Tseng wanted, but Reno’s still not so sure dangling the bait wasn’t going to backfire on them. “You think that’s really the sorta thing you should be asking me? Could be I’m–”

“You’re not my father’s man,” Rufus snaps. “You wouldn’t do half the shit you do if you were.”

“So, what?” Reno says. “You’re gonna trust me, just like that?”

“I’m supposed to trust you with my life, aren’t I?” Rufus reaches cautiously for the bottle rolling around on the floor, pretty much saying he wouldn’t go quite that far. He twists off the cap, pausing for a beat with the bottle to his lips before taking a quick sip. His gaze slides away from Reno to fix on the lanes of traffic. “Start telling me the things my father keeps from me, and I’ll make your job easier.”

Reno lets out a short barking laugh. “Now that’d mean I’m gonna have to trust you.”

“Yes, you are,” Rufus says, smiling. “If you haven’t been lying to me like the son of a bitch I think you are, then why would you care?”

For once, the kid’s got a point. Reno figures that’s a good enough reason to keep this game going for a little while longer.

*

“Rude, you bald motherfucker, that better be you,” Reno mutters. The phone’s fallen right beside the bed, lit screen floating in the very corner of his vision. It’d be easy to reach out and grab it, find out if he dialled the right number or even just fucking dialled, but his arm’s turned into lead.

The room still stinks of sex and smoke, the cig he’d propped in the ashtray last night long since burned down to nothing. Reno licks his lips and wishes he had one right now. Just a tiny hit to stop the jittery feeling in his stomach, the smoke purring in his lungs, that sweet curl of–

Rufus’s tongue between his lips, licking at the edges of his teeth, tasting sharply of alcohol and a hint of sticky sugar. The kid is flushed, hot, eyes bright with something that doesn’t have a damn thing to do with drugs. Slim fingers tug eagerly at Reno’s clothes, push inside his pants to wrap tight around his cock. Rufus is on his knees in seconds, dragging it out to breathe a moan over the damp head.

“Knew you’d have a fucking gorgeous cock,” Rufus says, tongue licking delicately at the slit. Reno spreads his legs wide, curls a hand over the top of Rufus’s head. “Tastes so fucking good, too. Can’t wait for you to fuck me. Can’t wait for you to fucking pound me with it,” he murmurs, lips moving down the length of Reno’s dick, back up so he can smear them wet with precome. “Make me scream for it.”

Reno groans, rolling flat onto his back with an arm flung over his eyes. He licks his lips again. The sticky mess on his dick is starting to dry, itching like crazy. Itching like this urge he’s got to get Rufus back on his cock, feel all that wet heat clamping tight around him, watch Rufus’s throat work as he greedily swallows down every last fucking drop. The sounds he made are still echoing in Reno’s ears, making his nerves jangle and cock feel thick.

“Gonna fucking kill him,” Reno says, which doesn’t at all match the big grin plastered right across his face. The kid knew how to suck dick, liked using his tongue and got Reno’s legs feeling weak in no time, got him trembling with the need to just grab Rufus’s head and fuck his face till he couldn’t breathe. “Gonna fuck him, then I’m gonna kill him.”

He drifts off for a minute, resenting the fact that he’s almost enjoying this. Or maybe more annoyed that it feels like he should resent it, and he doesn’t, so he’s not quite sure which way’s up. Things are still hazy.

The tiny pinprick on his thigh burns. It’ll start to hurt as soon as he does, but he reaches down to scratch it anyway, blunt nails–

dragging over the cheeks of his ass, boldly pushing between to touch the hidden, hot flesh of his hole. Mouth still full of his cock, Rufus groans, eyelashes fluttering open to look up at him. The pressure on Reno’s cock changes, like Rufus is trying to grin as he rubs at tight muscle with a dry fingertip, waiting to see if Reno’ll say no.

Reno lets out a long breath, scrapes his bottom lip with his teeth. He glances down and watches his own fingers rubbing at the base of his dick, not sure when he decided jerking off sounds like a good plan. But then he’s got a hand on his cock and it’s almost, almost–

too much, the edge of Rufus’s teeth scraping over the slit. Tugging on his hair just gets another groan out of him, urges him to do it again, to start sucking on the very tip of Reno’s dick. It’s hard and fast, driving him straight to the edge of coming, everything wound up so tight that if Rufus had waited just one more second to nail him with the pressure injector, it would’ve taken Reno a hell of a lot longer to figure out what the fuck happened.

Reno’s grip tightens, and he gives up on pushing into the tunnel of his fist. He’s not going to–

let Rufus push him flat to the bed, let Rufus play with his cock, tonguing the slit and lifting up to show him the precome stringing from the tip, caught on Rufus’s bruised-red lips.

“You hauled me all the fucking way across town because you’re horny?”

Reno’s eyes snap open. The room tilts sideways and does a little half-spin before he manages to shake it off. Even with the drugs still pumping through his veins, it’s easy to tell Rude’s taking stock, sizing it all up and figuring out that something went sour.

“Fuck, Rude,” Reno says, trying to get his hand off his cock, thinking about maybe taking another stab at sitting up. But all he wants to do is drag Rude on top of him, get something nice and firm like Rude’s thigh pressed up against his dick. It’s not the drugs that are making him think that way — they’re just letting him know it sounds good, reminding him it’s been a while since he had Rude crushing him into the sheets. “Little fucker nailed me with something. Ran off.”

Rude sits down on the edge of the bed after picking up Reno’s cell. The bounce of the mattress makes Reno’s stomach flutter. “You whip your dick out before or after?”

“Before.” Reno grins again. “Figured why not, yeah? Kid’s not getting much, didn’t give me a lot of shit lately, why not?”

“I’d say this is why not,” Rude says, punching in Tseng’s home number.

“Shit, partner,” Reno grunts, finally getting his body to cooperate enough to roll halfway onto his side. “He’s not a bad looking piece. Little slutty, even for me. Got a mouth like a fucking whore.”

Rude makes a sound that either means go on or shut up. Problem is right now Reno’s not too sure which. So he shuts up, or tries to, and listens to Rude give Tseng the two and a half second version of what’s up.

“You want to go right back to where you left off, or are you going to put your dick away and get to work?” Rude says, dropping the phone onto Reno’s stomach. “The boys will have his trail pretty soon. The kid’s sloppy.”

“You gonna give me a hand?”

Rude gives him a look.

“Right, right. On the clock, got it.” Reno stretches, flopping back on the pillows afterward with a satisfied moan. He grins at the look Rude’s still giving him. “How d’you figure on us letting him party for a while?”

“You really think I’m going to listen to you after you let him shoot you up?”

“Fuck, c’mon, that ain’t fair. Didn’t let him do shit.” Rude rumbles something, and Reno ignores it. “Stick some of the boys on tracking down his shithead dealer again. Let the kid get cosy. Longer we take to find him, longer he’s got to stew.”

Rude scratches at his chin with a thumbnail. “How long?”

“Couple days. Don’t know about you, but I’m gonna have lots of fun dragging his lily white ass back to daddy kicking and screaming.”

“You know, partner,” Rude says evenly, “that sounds like a plan to me.”

Reno grins and heaves himself up beside Rude, swinging his feet to the floor. He clutches Rude’s arm, needing to pause for a minute when the furniture starts to dance again, and Rude says, “You want something?”

“Not half as bad as it was,” Reno says. His hand slides off Rude’s sleeve. “Don’t know what he got me with, but looks like he didn’t want me just flaking out on him.”

“Maybe he hoped you wouldn’t be too pissed off if he played nice.”

“Maybe.”

The thing is, Reno’s not as ticked as he should be. Rufus managed to pretend like he had his act together for over a week. To Reno’s way of thinking, that’s more impressive than if he actually had cleaned up. It’s exactly the kind of thing Tseng’s looking for, and when you slap it all together — his charisma, the lies, how he waited for an opportunity — Rufus doesn’t look much like a one-trick pony anymore.

*

It’s easy to spot Rufus through the crowd: he’s got the biggest table, the best seat, the most sycophantic dickheads grouped around him vying for a shot at pounding his ass.

Rufus is killing himself laughing at some guy stomping his way back to the couches, completely ignoring the pretty boy plastered to his hip. Reno grins, vicious satisfaction warming his blood as Rufus freezes for all of two seconds before grabbing the guy and trying to jam his tongue down the fucker’s throat.

By the time Reno climbs the stairs to the little platform, Pretty Boy’s got a hand rubbing against the front of Rufus’s pants, grinding against his thigh like the guy just doesn’t care who sees him cream himself. Rufus is back to barely paying attention to him, sipping from his bright mako-green drink with his eyes on Reno instead.

Reno takes some time to size up Rufus’s crowd. A few are drunk, couple stoned, one or two looking like they’re riding so high nothing but a bullet to the head will get them down again. A girl with glowing streaks in her hair gives him a pretty smile. Reno winks back and makes his way straight to Rufus, e-mag thumping lightly against his leg.

Reno flips the e-mag up into an easy grip and runs his knuckles down the side of Rufus’s face. “Baby,” he says, laying the Wall Market accent on thick, “why d’you gotta be running off like that?” The guy finally stops humping Rufus’s leg, but doesn’t let go of his dick. “You know I miss you.”

“Fuck you, Reno,” Rufus snaps. “I’m sick–”

Reno cracks the e-mag off Pretty Boy’s wrist, still smiling when Rufus yelps a curse and jerks back. He slams it into the guy’s crotch, adds a sharp jab to his throat to have him gasping. “I think you got somewhere you gotta be, yo,” Reno says, and fists a hand in the guy’s shirt to haul him to the floor. He stays right where Reno puts him, whimpering, rolled up in a tight ball of pain.

Their little corner of the dais goes quiet. Most of Rufus’s friends are staring at Reno, only a few at the guy on the floor. Nobody cares about helping him out if it means they’ll miss the show, or if it’ll drag them straight into the middle of it.

“Why the fuck do you have to be like that?” Rufus says, and slumps back on the couch. His drink sloshes, almost spills. He drops his feet on the table, crossing them at the ankles. “I’m pretty fucking comfortable right here.”

“Fuck, Rufus,” the guy with more piercings than Rude says. “Who the fuck is this motherfucker?”

Reno grins wider, showing teeth. If he had to guess, Pierced is the one Rufus is always complaining about having no imagination. “My baby didn’t tell you?” Reno says, and since he’s looking for it this time, he catches the flicker in Rufus’s eyes. “He just don’t got time for you anymore, fuckface.”

Before Rufus can sputter, or work himself into a tantrum, Reno kicks his legs off the table. Grabbing the tie dangling loose around his neck, Reno winds it round one fist until the knot is shoved up against Rufus’s throat.

“Shit,” Rufus snarls, trying to pry Reno’s hand free without putting down his drink. “Fuck, ease off. You want me to be able to wear that fucking thing tomorrow?”

Reno doesn’t let go, just draws off and slaps him across the face. Rufus’s cheek flushes red immediately, bright and livid like the shock in his eyes. Off to the side, some chick gasps. “You got a dick up your ass so often, baby, don’t know why you bother to get dressed in the morning.”

Flipping the e-mag back into his hand, Reno uses the butt of it to shove Rufus’s chin up. The kid’s eyes are mostly clear, a little glassy, probably nothing but a few drinks and some weak tablets in his blood. His hand hovers in the air, halfway up to his face, and that’s when it hits Reno that it’s the first time someone ever dared raise a hand like that to daddy’s little boy.

“Don’t go lying to me. I know you like it rough.” Reno lets go of Rufus’s tie, smoothing his hands down the butter-soft silk of his shirt. It’s the same one Rufus had worn to the last gig Reno’d managed to drag him to, looking not all that worse for wear all things considered. “You like it, being treated like trash. Just a couple wet holes to fuck. Gets you so fucking hard.”

Reno fists both hands in the shirt, jerks, and it gives up about as easy as Rufus does. The buttons pop, seams tearing with the thick sound of wet silk ripped to pieces. The glass slips right out of Rufus’s hand and shatters to pieces on the floor.

“I know you’re looking to get fucked,” Reno says. Taking a handful of Rufus’s hair, Reno drags the kid to his knees on the floor, wrenching his head back and a little to the side. “How about it, sweetheart,” Reno murmurs in his ear. “I’ll hold you down while they take turns giving it to you.”

Rufus starts snarling curses, struggling to get free. Aside from giving him a quick, hard shake, Reno ignores him and targets one of the bigger guys in the group. “What d’you think, you want to fuck him right here?”

“What the fuck are you doing?” Rufus snarls, and Reno’s not sure if Rufus’s shouting at him or the guy, since all the guy’s doing is giving Reno this look, wondering if he’s serious or not. “Kyuzo!”

“What’s the matter, baby?” Reno flicks a glance at the table, figures it’ll do, and flings Rufus down on it face-first. Glasses scatter, hit the floor in pieces as Rufus struggles to get a handhold. Reno gives him time to get a good look at everyone, the ones grinning at Reno or laughing at Rufus, and the ones just too damned stoned to give a shit.

Rufus lets out another furious string of curses, most of it lost in the heavy beat of Midgar’s music of the moment. Reno shoves his head down, fingers splayed over his skull, grating his cheekbone hard against the table when he just won’t quit.

“They’re not interested in helping you,” Reno says quietly, just for Rufus’s ears, letting the accent slide. He twists a hand in Rufus’s ruined shirt, stripping the rest of it away. “They’ve all seen you laid out just like this before. Seen you moaning like a whore for something thick and hard shoved up that pretty little hole.”

The guy named Kyuzo leans forward, a look on his face like he’s been waiting for this for a long, long time. His wide hands cup the smooth curve of Rufus’s ass while someone else gets a hand between Rufus’s legs to fondle his cock and balls. Rufus chokes on a plea, and Reno shoves his head down harder when it comes out as a please tacked onto Reno’s name.

“Whores get taken advantage of, baby,” Reno says. He’s keeping a close watch on Rufus, waiting for that little sliver of surety that Reno’s just not going to let this happen to get swallowed up by the panic in Rufus’s eyes. “And you make a fucking gorgeous whore.”

There’s a rush of harsh words and rude laugher. The kid’s shaking, struggling as hard as he can to get away from the greedy fingers pushing down the back of his pants. Another guy, the one Rufus had been laughing at earlier, slides to the edge of the couch, a hand on his crotch and his gaze fixed on Rufus’s mouth.

“You want them taken out, you fucking say it,” Reno says, but he doesn’t ease up. Not yet. Rufus’s eyes are wide, glistening in the flickering light. The guy feeling up his own cock goes for the zip, looking like he’s ready to rub his dick right over Rufus’s face. “You or them, Rufus. That’s the choice they’ll give you.”

Rufus shudders violently, and Reno glances down. Kyuzo’s hand is shoved all the way down the back of the kid’s pants, arm flexing like he’s got a thick finger stuffed in Rufus’s ass and already fucking him with it. Reno’s grip goes tight on his e-mag. He looks back up to see Rufus with a hand out, trying to keep the other guy from getting a few fingers in his mouth.

“Them, fuck!” Rufus screams. “Fuck, Reno, don’t let his happen to me,” he pleads, voice cracking, and Reno lets him wrench his head free. He slides halfway off the table, screaming again when Kyuzo just won’t let him go and his hands claw at the floor, too damn close to all the broken glass.

Reno’s already up, slamming the table into the knees of the guy who was just so fucking eager to get at Rufus’s mouth. The chick who’d been groping Rufus’s balls goes down next, losing breath in a sharp grunt when Reno jams the e-mag up between her legs for a shot to the pink. She goes down in a screaming heap, electricity crackling in the air.

Nobody else tries to get close, every last one of them drawing back as Reno rounds on Kyuzo. That fucker’s looking like he’s about to piss himself, shouting for someone to help him fight off Reno. Reno grins, satisfaction singing in his blood as Kyuzo goes down, the thick, meaty thumps of metal on flesh knocking him flat on his ass.

But he doesn’t play it smart and stay the fuck down. He clambers up, snarling in Reno’s face, grabbing a broken glass and going for Reno’s throat. Off to the side, Rufus is finally scrambling to his feet, clutching at the railing with a hand clamped over his mouth.

It’s another scream and the sickening snap of bone, the wet punch of it through flesh that stops everybody short. Kyuzo’s on the floor again, staring in horror at the white, white bone of his shattered arm. One of the chicks shoves him away, losing a shoe as she crawls over someone else who’s too out of it to realise no one’s having fun anymore.

Reno starts forward, meaning to grab the fucker’s arm and break every last one of his fingers. Halfway there, Rufus makes a sound that jerks Reno right out of the red haze settling on his brain. Reno stares down at Kyuzo, the shithead’s face twisted with revulsion, eyes still shiny bright with fear.

“C’mon.” Reno hooks an arm around Rufus’s waist, half-lifting, half-dragging him through the mess. It’d be easier to just fling the kid over his shoulder, but from the looks of things, Rufus is about ready to break. “Legs up, baby,” Reno says, hauling Rufus closer and smoothing damp hair back from his face. There’s blood on Reno’s hand, leaving stark streaks of red on Rufus’s face, but the kid doesn’t notice. “Hold on tight.”

Reno starts for the stairs as soon as he’s got a good hold on Rufus, e-mag up and ready. One of the guys Reno laid out makes a grab for Rufus, and Reno’s got a second to tag him as the one that wanted to fuck Rufus’s face before smashing the butt end of the e-mag into his face. Bone crunches, and the guy falls back, screeching.

“Fucker,” Reno spits. Rufus’s grip on his clothes tightens up, and the kid makes some sort of sound. Reno gives him a quick glance, but Rufus is looking at the dais. “Get outta my way, would ya?” Reno says, elbowing a gawker aside. A few people scramble out of the way when Reno threatens to jab someone else with the e-mag, and from there it’s clear sailing.

The car’s right where Reno left it. Rufus is still clinging to him, shaking like he’s crashing hard. The engine purrs to life as Reno opens the door, bundling Rufus into the cool interior before he gets ahold of himself enough to try to fight Reno off.

“Go,” Reno says, slamming the door.

Rude glances at them in the rearview mirror before pulling out nice and slow. “You made one hell of a mess in there, didn’t you, partner.”

“You broke his arm.” Rufus shoves away from Reno, lunging for the door. Rude flicks the locks and Rufus screams again, rattling the handle like everyone always does even though it won’t do any good. “You snapped it,” he says, eyes wide. “Fuck. Oh, fuck.”

Reno strips the e-mag off his wrist and flicks it aside with a shrug. “The old man’s gonna be pissed. Find someplace for me and the kid to crash tonight, would ya?”

Rufus whirls on Reno, hands grasping at the front of his jacket. “Yuri… you… fuck, his face.” Reno strokes a hand down Rufus’s side, giving him blank eyes. “His father’s–” Rufus cuts himself off, tongue flicking over his lips. “We have to–”

“Go back?” Reno shakes his head. “You wanna go back and help the dickheads who were gonna rape you?”

Rufus’s hands go slack. He looks at Rude, then back to Reno. When he sinks down, starts to slide into something that Reno’s afraid will be too much like a numb daze, Reno tucks him close. There’s still blood on the kid’s face, more smearing from Reno’s clothes to his bare chest.

“Why couldn’t you have just left me the fuck alone,” Rufus says. Reno expects him to push away, but all he does is rest his cheek on Reno’s shoulder.

“Yeah, ’cause you were doing great on your own.” It’s unfamiliar territory, having Rufus halfway in his lap like this when the kid’s not trying wriggle a way into his pants, but Reno’s been around long enough to figure Rufus out. He doesn’t want Rufus to calm down yet, though, so he keeps the sweep of his fingers along Rufus’s cheek light. “You think it’s my fault? They turned on you soon as they had the chance. I didn’t matter one fucking bit.”

Rufus shivers again, not saying anything. Reno slides a hand down to cup the side of his neck, not all that surprised to find his skin cool, a little clammy. He tilts Rufus’s face up and doesn’t look too hard at the kid’s eyes. There’s another hard truth on the tip of his tongue, something else to drive the point he’s been trying to make for a couple weeks home. Instead he leans down, touches his lips to Rufus’s and kisses him, soft and slow.

He still mostly expects Rufus to shove him away, but the kid just kisses him back, mouth opening easily for the gentle push of Reno’s tongue. Rufus makes a sound as close to broken as Reno’s ever heard from him, a needy little sob moaned straight into Reno’s mouth. It’s taking him longer to get over the shock of having one of his parties crashed — it’s worse than Reno thought it’d be — this time. Rufus’s arms go around his neck, clutching again, and the wetness trembling at the corners of Rufus’s eyes finally spills over. Reno brushes them away with his thumb, palm curved over Rufus’s cheek.

When he’d decided how it was going to go, Reno hadn’t really thought Rufus would fight as much as he did. The kid seemed more like a slut than a whore, like he’s always desperate for a fuck, and Reno just never bothered to think about why. Right before it all went down, Reno’d have put a bet on Rufus just rolling over and spreading, eager for it.

Rufus pulls away, drawing in a slow breath. He rests his head in the crook of Reno’s neck, and when he opens his mouth, what comes out is, “I thought they were my friends,” which is a hell of a long way away from the proposition Reno figured it’d be.

Rufus isn’t all that younger than him. A couple years, tops. But it’s the first time he’s ever seen Rufus shaken up enough to really sound like the sheltered little kid Reno’s always thinking of him as.

Burying his fingers in Rufus’s sweat-damp hair, Reno glances up in the mirror. Rude’s watching, definitely listening, so Reno gives him an easy grin to let him know it’s not quite as bad as Rufus is making it out to be.

“Told you what happens when you keep on giving it up like you do,” Reno says.

Rufus lets out a bitter laugh, sharp and black like when he’s talking about his old man.

When Rufus doesn’t say anything else, Reno hooks a hand under his knee and hauls him the rest of the way into his lap. Rufus settles down easily, eyes still closed, breathing evening out a little more each time Reno strokes a hand down his spine. Reno’s not sure if Rufus realises how much he craves physical contact or not. With all the fucking Rufus does, he gets it, even if it’s only because everyone who ends up in Rufus’s bed passes out there.

“How many bodies did you leave back there?” Rude asks.

“Not a one,” Reno says, glancing out the tinted windows to see what sector Rude’s heading for. “Just a couple broken bones and a few fuckers with their balls jammed up their throats.”

Rude lifts an eyebrow. About a year ago, there’d be no way Rude’d have let him go in there solo, let alone solo without a wire. Tseng probably won’t be too tickled pink Rude let him handle it alone this time around, especially if it means shit comes down because he fucked up someone belonging to one of Shinra’s business partners.

“I’ll pick you up tomorrow morning,” Rude says, swinging into an alley behind a mid-to-low end hotel.

“Thanks, partner.” Reno nudges Rufus, rousing him from a light doze. The kid blinks a few times, peering blearily at him. “C’mon, baby,” Reno says. “Think you need more than a cat nap. Like a shower.”

Rufus doesn’t say anything, just crawls out of the car and stands with his hands shoved in his pockets. Reno exchanges a look with Rude, knows they’re both wondering if the kid’s playing at something or if he’s just that rattled.

Rude hangs around until Reno picks the sorry excuse for a lock. Seeing as it’s an emergency door, Reno’s not so happy with Rude’s choice, even if it fits the bill for a nice hidey-hole. Leading Rufus inside, Reno picks out a likely room and works on the door for about two beats before the lock snicks.

“You pissed I took ‘em out?” Reno asks, leaving Rufus standing just inside the door to make sure the curtains are closed tight before flicking a lamp on.

“Yes,” Rufus says, rooting around the cabinet for the television remote, “and no.” He strips off the ruins of his tie before flinging himself down on the bed, already starting to settle back into one of his petulant moods.

Reno grunts. After shrugging out of his jacket, he folds it up to keep the blood from staining anything in the room and heads for the bathroom. On his way, he flicks the volume down and gives Rufus a look just in case the kid wants to make noise about it. There’s no real big need to get Rufus to ground, but they don’t need anyone nosing around, either.

Reno washes up fast, red water swirling down the sink. He skins his hair back from his face and keeps an eye on Rufus as he wrings up a cloth. There’s a sheen of tears and sweat on the kid’s face, mixed with the blood. If old man Shinra saw his kid now, he’d probably pop something screaming for Heidegger.

“Here,” Reno says, tossing the warm cloth to Rufus. “Wipe your face.”

Perched on the edge of the bed, Reno gets to work on the minibar. It takes a good minute to get into that sucker, which just plain figures. What he wants is a good beer, but it looks like the hotel’s trying for snazzy with its selection, mostly mixes and a few premixed, a bit of ice and some fancy chilled glasses.

Reno holds out one of the smaller bottles and a glass. “You want a drink?”

Rufus eyes it for a moment before accepting. He stuffs the pillows behind his back, sitting up enough to set the glass on the bed, cracking open the bottle to pour the whole thing out. “Did my old man tell you he didn’t like the people I choose to spend my time with or what?”

“Something like that,” Reno says, running a hand down Rufus’s thigh. The kid doesn’t startle, which Reno takes to mean either he’s settled down a hell of a lot more, or he’s banking on getting more than a little caress out of it. “Mostly, your daddy just don’t like you. Don’t like me much, either, but he figures I’m the only one who’ll put up with your shit long enough to get you to where he wants you.”

Rufus stares at the golden shine of whiskey in his glass before taking a sip. His face twists a little like he’s not used to hard liquor straight up.

Reno lets his hand rest just above Rufus’s knee. For all the careless fucking he does, the kid strikes him as the physical type — probably still clinging to his momma’s skirts if she were around. From the way Rufus got on in the car, Reno’s pretty damn sure giving him a bit of comfort’ll go a long way in the plan, but he’s antsy about getting right down to it.

“Image is getting important to daddy,” Reno says, ignoring the itch to be out there bashing heads with Rude instead of in here playing games. He lifts his hand from Rufus’s leg, letting the tips of his fingers graze the bruise already forming on the kid’s cheek. “Big man wants the respect money can buy.”

Rufus’s face darkens. Reno expects him to jerk away, but he just downs the rest of his drink and says, “I need to take a piss. And a fucking shower.”

“Sure, baby,” Reno says. “You just leave that door open.” He settles back against the pillows as Rufus heads for the bathroom.

“You can just-”

“Leave it open,” Reno says.

Rufus looks like he’s going to argue, but lets it slide. He leaves the door about halfway open, which is not far enough for Reno to be comfortable, but still far enough.

As soon as the hiss of water starts, Reno flips out his cell. It’s not a huge surprise when Tseng’s voicemail kicks in. A glance at the bedside clock says it’s near three in the morning.

He keeps an eye on the kid while filling in the details missing from Rude’s quick and dirty report from the car. Steam obscures the mirror, billows out in dense clouds. If Rufus is trying to boil himself alive in there, then he’s more shook up than Reno figured. With him, Reno really has to wonder if it was having his friends eager to rape him that did it, or something else.

Like all that talk about old man Shinra, and Rufus without a nice cocktail of drugs to take his mind off it.

Still, by the time the kid wanders out with a towel slung loose around his hips, he doesn’t look as haunted, or as sullen, as he did before.

“Hungry?” Reno asks. Room service is out, but in a place like this, it’s easy enough to scare up some snacks. Being nice to the kid right about now can’t really hurt.

“Not really,” Rufus says. He hovers by the edge of the bed, gaze skipping from Reno to the cell phone dropped next to the pillows. He looks like he’s thinking about saying something else but doesn’t, setting a knee to the bed and resting a hand on Reno’s shoulder. When Reno doesn’t push him away, the kid swings a leg over and settles himself in Reno’s lap again.

Reno strokes a hand down Rufus’s side, pale skin fever-hot under his palm. It’s been a good long time since he’s had to seduce someone. Rufus doesn’t need any help giving it up, but Reno has the feeling it’s going to take more effort than it’s worth to get the kid to just hand himself over like Tseng wants and have it mean something.

Tongue darting over his lips to lick them wet, Rufus says, “I didn’t fuck anyone, you know.” He winds his arms around Reno’s neck, stretches just enough to have the towel slipping low.

Catching Rufus’s hands, Reno pins them to the bedspread, forcing the kid to lean close enough for him to see the tiny white specks in the blue of Rufus’s eyes. “You saying that hoping you’re gonna get a chance to now?”

Rufus’s answer comes out as a moan, a shiver running through him. Reno’d say he’s surprised the kid wants to fuck the guy who just offered to hold him down for a gangbang, but he’s not. Rufus doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense, especially when he’s letting his dick do the thinking.

Rufus noses his way under Reno’s chin, dropping a wet row of tiny kisses along the line of his throat before Reno tips his head back, lets Rufus nibble at the curve of his jaw. He’s got to admit the kid knows what he’s doing.

“I didn’t fuck anyone, I swear,” Rufus insists, like he figures it’ll make or break his chances. “You can feel for yourself.”

Reno’s eyes are on his face when that scared look sneaks back, plain as day that Rufus is remembering that fucker’s thick fingers stuffed in his hole. He tenses up, makes a sound low in his throat, and instead of pushing away, presses closer like he’s already desperate to get off, his mouth sealing tight over Reno’s.

Winding his tongue past Rufus’s lips, Reno keeps the kiss slow and easy, just like in the car. The kid makes another sound, half-angry, but mellows out between one breath and the next, melting into it. Rufus’s lips are soft, his mouth tastes like whiskey and water. It goes on a hell of a lot longer than Reno’d planned, one kiss turning into another, then another.

Reno lifts a hand to cup the side of Rufus’s face, easing back until it’s just their lips barely touching. “I’ll sleep with you,” Reno says, tucking damp strands of hair back from Rufus’s eyes. “But I’m not gonna fuck you.”

Rufus shudders, lets his breath out in a rush. “I thought so,” he says. “Prick.”

“Take what you can get, baby.” Reno strokes his hands down Rufus’s sides, lets a hand rest on the kid’s hip, thumb tracing tiny circles just above the sharp jut of bone. The towel’s gone, leaving nothing but the smooth, bare line of Rufus’s body for Reno to follow from shoulder to thigh and back again. “You don’t want to cuddle, you can sleep on the floor.”

Rufus flings himself down beside Reno, curled up on his side facing the windows. “You’re such an asshole.”

“Looks like,” Reno says, settling down behind Rufus to sling an arm over his waist, fingers lazily stroking the soft dip of his belly. “And you still wish you had my cock in your ass right now.”

Rufus makes a sound like a quiet moan. “Bet it’s really fucking sexy.”

So the kid might be talking about Reno’s dick, but with the pale curve of Rufus’s ass pressed up snug against him like that, Reno’s thinking it’d be really fucking sexy seeing that pretty little hole of Rufus’s stretched wide around it.

“Bet you it is,” Reno says.

*

“How long you figure Shinra’s gonna scream at him?” Reno asks. He’s kicked back in Tseng’s fancy, high-backed chair, legs sprawled and the e-mag dangling from his wrist.

Rude blows on the surface of his coffee. “Heidegger’s with them.”

“Well, shit.”

Tseng turns from the window and lifts a hand to his ear to mute the receiver. “It seems to be going much as we anticipated. The President has terminated Rufus’s accounts.”

Reno rubs a thumb over the little rock he plucked from Tseng’s sand garden. He winces, says, “It’s the kid’s own damn fault, but what the fuck am I gonna do with him now?”

“Our plans remain much the same, Reno.”

Reno’s fist clenches around the stone. “Fuck, boss, I know that, but you gotta listen to me.” Tseng arches an eyebrow and Reno ploughs on, already imagining the hell his life’s going to be from here on out. “The kid’s driving me crazy. You’re not with him 24/7, boss. You don’t have to listen to him whine.”

Predictably, Tseng’s response is an easy smile. “It can’t be quite that bad.”

Reno flops back in his chair. “Oh, yeah? You try it, see if you don’t want to wring his skinny neck when he starts complaining ’bout how long it’s been since he got some.”

Rude makes that thoughtful noise as Tseng says, “Then the solution should be obvious.”

“Not too sure about that,” Reno says. “The last time I let him get a taste of my dick, the little fucker jammed a street hypo in me.”

“Maybe you shouldn’t have made him wait so long,” Rude says, but it’s easy to tell his heart’s not in the joke. Rude hasn’t liked the idea much since day one.

“I can make the kid jump through hoops for a kiss, but c’mon. He’s paying more attention to my ass than he is to anything I’m trying to tell him.”

“Regardless,” Tseng says. Reno grits his teeth. “Addicted to you or to the power you represent, we have little choice. He’s already proven to make an excellent figurehead. If that’s all he’s ultimately good for, then that’s what he’ll be.”

“But-”

“Reno.”

Reno heaves a sigh. “Yeah, yeah. I’ll see what I can do.”

“Good. Be ready to collect him as soon as the President is finished shouting ultimatums. I want him out of Heidegger’s immediate influence.”

“I’m on it, boss.” Reno drops the stone back into the sand and jerks his chin at Rude.

It’s not that he absolutely hates the idea; he’s got to admit, as plans go, it’s simple and effective. Rufus responds easily to any amount of attention, and giving the kid something more than a good fuck will go a hell of a long way.

Just outside the door, Rude says, “You like the kid.”

Reno slings an arm around his shoulders, chuckling. “He’s not half bad sometimes. The boss is right, he’s got promise. But you’ve seen him, partner.”

“You’re not bringing him back to my place.”

Letting his arm slide away, Reno stuffs his hands in his pockets instead. “Hadn’t thought about that. Shit.”

“Didn’t think you had.”

Shoulders hunched, Reno watches the patterns of the dull grey carpet pass by under his feet. He’s going to have to take Rufus back to his place, and already it sounds like a monumentally bad idea. Practically shacking up with the kid.

“Go shake up his dealer some more. Don’t be surprised if you hear tomorrow morning that I blew my own damn head off.”

Rude claps him solidly on the back and breaks away when the hallway splits. A couple minutes later, Reno’s chatting up Shinra’s secretary waiting for the kid to make an appearance.

Heidegger’s annoying laugh is the first thing Reno hears. He glances up, skipping over him to find Rufus. The kid looks more than pissed, he looks livid, and ready to clock big ugly a good one. Reno can’t really blame him.

Rufus’s scowl wavers for just a second when his eyes meet Reno’s.

“Yo, Mr. Vice President.” Pushing off the desk, Reno double-times it up the stairs, insinuating himself firmly between the two and hustling Rufus along. “Been waiting for you. Gotta go, we’re late.”

Heidegger’s beady little eyes narrow. “Reno, the President-”

Reno hits the brakes at the bottom, still keeping himself between Rufus and Heidegger. “Told me to keep his son on schedule. What, you got something he needs to sign?”

A sick, dark red creeps over Heidegger’s face. Since baiting the guy is like shooting ducks in a barrel with a cannon, Reno just leaves him sputtering on the steps with the secretary trying not to giggle.

It takes Rufus all of ten seconds to start being a pain in the ass firing off questions and not waiting for answers.

“Look, kid. Shut up and keep walking. I can still smell his stinking breath.”

“Stop fucking dragging me around!” Rufus jerks out of Reno’s grip, whipping around to level that spitfire glare at him. “This is your fucking fault.”

“Nope, sorry. I don’t think so.” Reaching for him again, Reno misses by an inch as Rufus backpedals a couple steps. “Look, d’you want to hang around here with assface or come with me and blow off some steam?”

A bit of Rufus’s anger trickles off into suspicion. Reno figured he’d take it as an invitation without even bothering to think, but when Rufus says, “I’m sick of you dicking around with me, Reno,” the words don’t match the look in his eyes.

“Isn’t that just too bad.”

“I’m fucking serious,” Rufus snarls. His shaking fingers clench into a fist. “You think I don’t know what you’re doing, stringing me along?”

“And here I thought I was looking out for my own ass. Fuck, kid.” Drawing in a calming breath that doesn’t do him any good, Reno drags a hand through his hair. “I figured you could use an hour on the range. Blow the shit out of some target pretending it’s your daddy’s face. That’s it.”

Rufus gnaws on the inside of his lip like he’s considering it. Content to give the kid a minute, Reno finds a nice piece of wall to hold up. “Can’t hurt to learn how to shoot, either. It’d make my job easier,” he says after a bit to give Rufus a little nudge in the right direction.

“Did he tell you to teach me?”

Reno lets out a slow breath. It’s a good opening, probably the best he could hope for. Rufus is even primed to think the worst of his old man. What Reno doesn’t trust is talking about shit like that on Shinra’s turf.

“C’mon.” Reno pushes off the wall. “The last thing your daddy wants is for you to kick the bucket early. And I’d kinda like it if it wasn’t my fault when you do.”

At least Rufus is smart enough to know something’s up. He shuts up and follows Reno to the gleaming row of elevators, still not breaking his petulant silence when Reno swipes his card and keys in a code instead of selecting a floor number.

Half a minute into the ride, Rufus says, “Well, did he?”

Reno shakes his head. “Not so much. You ever notice your old man doesn’t give a shit if you’re incompetent or not, just so long as you don’t cause trouble?”

Rufus’s face clouds. That’s answer enough.

“You might want to keep on thinking about it.”

A cheerful chime cuts through Rufus’s response. Reno puts a hand on the door to keep it open and nods at the brightly lit room. “Guns are on the right. That’s what you’re looking for.”

Rufus steps out, takes in the room. Reno steps up beside him as he says, “Who said I wanted a gun?”

“I did.”

The cases are spit-shiny clean, rows of solid black weapons with neat stacks of ammo beneath. Reno keys the lock and the glass slides smoothly aside. He picks out one of the mid-sized handguns for Rufus along with two boxes of bullets, enough for decent practice after the kid works out his latest family issues.

“Here. Show me what you got. One clip.” Reno pops the mag into place, clicking the safety on before tossing it to the kid.

Rufus manages to catch it without fumbling, earning himself a slow grin from Reno that fades fast once it becomes pretty damn clear the kid’s just going to stand there and do fuck all.

“What’s the matter?” Reno jerks a thumb at the waiting target. “Go for it.”

Slowly, colour creeps up Rufus’s neck, and it looks a hell of a lot better on him than it did on Heidegger. “I’ve never fired a gun before,” he says, grinding the words out.

“What?”

“I said,” Rufus snaps, “I’ve never fired a fucking gun before. Are you deaf or just stupid?”

“That sure as hell ain’t no way to ask me to show you,” Reno says.

“Fuck you.” The gun hits the counter and Rufus heads for the elevator.

Reno waits until he figures out his card won’t work from this floor before bothering to speak. “Now you’re just looking for a reason. But you gotta tell me, where d’you think you’re going?”

Rufus’s face is too much like an open book for him to hide his frustration. The kid’s got no money and without it, no friends, and that means nowhere to go but home to daddy. “Why do you always have to jerk me around?”

Rufus isn’t waiting for an answer, which Reno figures is a good thing since he doesn’t have one. A couple weeks ago, he would’ve said because he could. Now, he’s not so sure. Habit, maybe.

“Because I’m an asshole. Just get over here, will ya?” Picking up the gun, Reno flicks off the safety and sends the earplugs skidding along the counter away from Rufus’s hand. He slaps the gun into Rufus’s open palm. “Pay attention.”

Reno steps back to let Rufus take his place in front of the target. He settles behind Rufus, feeling the kid tense up and giving the guy a break for once by not ribbing him about it. “You want to hold it just like that, yeah, but cup the butt in your other hand.” Rufus gets his hands in the right place straight off, but Reno still can’t talk himself out of sliding his arms around the kid, his hands over Rufus’s holding onto the textured grip. “Two-handed’ll help your aim starting off. All you gotta do is squeeze the trigger. Squeeze it, don’t pull.”

In the corner of his eye, Reno sees Rufus’s tongue flicker out to wet his lips. “Got it?”

“Yeah, I’ve got it. Squeeze, don’t pull.” Rufus shrugs out of Reno’s arms, prickly like always when Reno gets close and sex isn’t on the menu.

Reno snags the earplugs and hands them over. “Good. Try to at least hit the whitespace.” He backs up a fair distance, watching and waiting for Rufus to get the balls to take that first shot. It doesn’t take as long as he’d expected, but he’d been dead on about the kid’s aim. The first couple shots don’t even nick the paper.

“Shit, what’re you doing. C’mere.”

Reno shows him again, even going so far as to get Rufus to put his hands over Reno’s on the gun, showing him how to hold firm without squeezing the shit out of the thing while Reno takes a shot. With Rufus being a couple inches shorter, it’s awkward, but it pays off. The next time Rufus tries, he nails a solid shoulder hit and a few in the gut.

“Don’t go for the warning shots,” Reno says. “If you pull a gun on anyone, I want you to aim for lethal, got it?”

Wetting his lips again like he’s nervous, or maybe getting off on the good vibrations, Rufus lowers the gun. His arms are shaking only slightly, which is a heck of a lot better than the jittery anger he had coming out of Shinra’s office. “Why?”

“I’d think that’d be pretty damn clear, kid.” Reno shrugs. “Tseng told me once that if I drew down on somebody, I’d better mean it. But that’s a load of bullshit. ‘Course you’re gonna mean it.”

Rufus eases his grip on the gun, working the kinks out of his fingers while he waits for a real answer. There’s this feeling in Reno’s gut a little like pride that the kid’s finally learning something.

“If you ever point a gun at somebody, you’d better shoot to kill. Anybody who aims one at you isn’t gonna give you time to think about it.”

Something like fear flickers in Rufus’s eyes, or at least close enough to it. Chances are he never thought much about someone trying to off him before. Reno knows he still thinks his old man’ll protect him, and that’s just not good enough.

Waiting until Rufus empties the clip, Reno asks, “What’d your daddy tell you?” and gets another surprise when the question doesn’t get Rufus’s back up.

“The usual shit. I’m a embarrassment to the Company.” Rufus grabs the spare mag Reno’d filled and jams it back in the gun. “You know he cut me off,” he says, the familiar bitterness back in his voice.

“Yeah, figured he would. Not like he hasn’t done it before,” Reno says, pretending not to notice the sharp look Rufus sends his way. It isn’t the first time Reno’s eased off enough to be nice, not even the second or the third, but it’s hard to blame the kid for being suspicious. “You cooled down pretty quick.”

Rufus doesn’t say anything to that. He turns his back to Reno and empties another clip, refusing to hand it over when he’s done until Reno shows him how to reload it. His aim is still crap, the frustration showing clear on his face and in his stance. But he doesn’t call it quits or blame Reno’s shitty teaching.

After the fifth clip, Reno’s damn bored.

“Yo, kid.” Two shots echo loudly, one right after the other, followed by a low snarl. “Rufus! Fuck, give it a rest.”

Rufus turns, his face flushed and eyes way too bright. He’s got the gun in a shaking, two-handed grip that Reno wouldn’t even trust Tseng with. Nice and easy, Reno pushes away from the counter he’d been leaning on to pry the gun out of Rufus’s hands.

Reno still hasn’t told the kid he’s not going to foot the bill for a hotel room or send him home to daddy. He’s not so sure he wants Rufus crashing at his place, either, but it’s not like he’s got a lot of choices left.

Rufus won’t go back to the plush Shinra digs without a fight. And none of them want him that close to his old man. Tseng said to step it up. So the kid’s shacking up with Reno whether he likes it or not.

He doesn’t much want to know how Rufus is going to take it. Either way, Reno’s going to have one bitch of a headache by midnight.

Reno’s phone goes off before he can break the news. Happy for the short delay, Reno tugs it out, his relieved, “Yeah?” cut off mid-syllable by Tseng’s voice snapping like a whip over the line.

“Are you in the building?”

“Yeah. Was just about to bring the kid home.”

The look on Rufus’s face goes from annoyed to shocked to curious in the space of a blink. “I don’t-”

“Hang on a minute, would ya?” Reno turns his back to the kid, eyebrows trying to crawl up into his hairline as Tseng rattles off a set of orders that has his pulse tripping. It’s been a long, long time since Shinra came down hard on anybody’s ass like that.

“Who’s calling the shots here, boss?” he asks. “It don’t sound like the old man’s kind of deal.” It’s too messy for Shinra, too calculated for Heidegger.

“The President.”

Reno’s quiet for a heartbeat. “No shit.”

“Nothing has changed,” Tseng says. Reno snorts. “Your progress?”

“Shit, boss.” Reno flicks a glace at Rufus, wondering why the kid’s not screaming at him demanding to know what’s going on. Unlike his hands, Rufus’s gaze is steady. “Haven’t told him yet, if that’s what you mean.”

“I’m sure you realise time is running short. Use his stay in your apartment to our advantage.” There’s an edge to Tseng’s voice that Reno recognises as impatience. More than that, though, he sounds worried.

“Yeah, I know. Said I’m on it.”

“See that you are.” The line goes dead.

Muttering a curse, Reno slams the phone shut and jams it back in his pocket.

“What haven’t you told me?” Rufus asks.

Reno plasters a grin on his face and gives the kid a glance of it over his shoulder. “What Turks do.”

The gleam in Rufus’s eyes turns more calculating than curious. Even with Reno prodding him along, he hasn’t done shit trying to find out on his own. Old man Shinra likes it that way, all the mess tucked away while the ones who made it bring his son to heel.

Rufus says, “What does that mean?” and Reno’s actually proud.

“It means you’re coming with me. You got anything that isn’t white?”

Rufus glances down at his suit, a nice expensive number that Reno had to threaten him to wear. “Why does it matter what I’m wearing?”

That pride evaporates in a puff of annoyance. Now the kid would start asking questions. “Look, just… c’mon.”

Heading for the elevator, Reno hits the call button. In the car, finger jammed on the door open button, he jerks his head at Rufus, and the kid actually follows without another barrage of questions.

The kid recognises the Turk’s lounge when they get there, and not because Reno’s ever brought him by for a visit. The place looks like the Turks, lazy and sprawling with patches of chaos and order. Tseng’s obsession with neat stops at the threshold where the clash and meld of their personalities starts.

“Why can’t you just tell me instead of dragging me around?” Rufus says once he gets a good eyeful.

“Honestly, kid, where’s the fun in that? I’m gonna show you a damn good time, so just enjoy the ride, would ya?” Heading for the lockers — too many emptied now, a dozen of them just sitting there taking up space nobody would use anyway — with Rufus hot on his heels, Reno keys open his and hands the kid a pair of slacks and a jacket. Reno’s clothes are going to be too big for him, but it’s all that’s on hand. “Put those on.”

“Are you going to tell me why?” Rufus doesn’t even look at the suit, doesn’t even bitch and call it trash like Reno would’ve figured.

“Maybe you wearing my clothes just does it for me. You gonna put it on or what?”

Even though Reno’s seen the show before too many times to count, it’s always a little fascinating watching Rufus shrug off that teeth-grinding brattiness as easy as Reno’d shrug off a shirt. Most of the tension just melts from him, his body going loose and languid, the light in his eyes dimming down to a glow.

But he’s learned at least something in the past couple weeks, because when he moves in close, his arms sliding up around Reno’s neck, he’s not pushing for it like he used to. Still, Reno’s got to admit Rufus’s body feels good against his. Skinnier than he’d go for on his own, but good.

“You’re full of shit,” Rufus says, startling Reno into a chuckle. Of all the things he expected to come out of Rufus’s mouth, that wasn’t it. “You’re not interested in me. You never were.”

Shows what the kid knows, because Reno’s feeling pretty damn interested. Rufus would be one good fuck, probably take it any way Reno wants to give it to him. Habit makes Reno’s first instinct to push away – what’s he been trying to do for the past couple months if not get Rufus to quit wasting all his time fucking around and getting high?

Reno pulls in a slow breath. There’s a little taint of sweat on the air, the tinge of violence from the range and something else good he recognises as just the way Rufus smells. Figuring it’s almost down to all or nothing, Reno’s hands slide down Rufus’s back to settle with fingers spread wide on the sweet curve of his ass.

The way Rufus’s lips part, eyes clouding for a moment, makes it even better.

“You really wanna know what I haven’t told you?” Because he’s there, and because it’ll keep Rufus off balance and on edge, Reno gives into the tiny niggling temptation he’s had for a good while to bite at the smooth line of Rufus’s throat. “You’re coming home with me.”

A rainbow of emotions parade across Rufus’s pretty face. Reno gives him a smile for once instead of a smirk, fingers stroking slowly closer to the crack of Rufus’s ass. “You’re fucking lying,” Rufus says, his hands clenching into fists behind Reno’s neck. “No fucking way you’d take me back to your place.” With more strength than Reno would’ve given him credit for, he tries to break away. Shaking his head, still smiling, Reno just jerks him closer. “You asshole. You expect me to-”

“You don’t want to?” Pulling his hands away to rest on Rufus’s hips, Reno watches the waver in Rufus’s eyes that says the kid wants to, and wants to bad. “I’m not sending you home to daddy, and you’re tapped for cash. You gonna blow some hotel manager for a room?”

Instead of making it easy, Rufus snaps, “Why? Why not make me go back to my stupid father?”

Feeling like he’s walking on thin ice, Reno shrugs. No matter what Tseng says, it’s too early to bring the kid in. He’s still too much of a wild card, and still too naïve. “Because the fat fucker annoys the piss out of me. Now, are you gonna get dressed, or you want me to do it for you?”

Rufus’s grin is fast and feral. “You could just get me naked and stop there.”

His mouth hovering over Rufus’s, the kid’s soft exhale of breath tasting sweet on his tongue, Reno says, “Put the damn suit on.”

Rufus doesn’t have enough shame or enough motivation to do anything but start peeling off his clothes right there in front of Reno. Probably counting on Reno enjoying the show so much he’ll get what he wants.

So Reno leans back against the lockers, arms crossed, and enjoys himself just fine.

“Are you going to fuck me at your place?” Rufus asks, sulking only a little after Reno brushes him off for the second time. He hauls on Reno’s black slacks, which fit him fine enough around the waist but are going to give the kid troubles if he has to run. Reno’s not counting on that happening.

“Now?” Reno says, just to be a dick like Rufus expects. This job has him a little worried that Rufus has finally fucked up bad enough for Shinra to write him off. It’d be stupid, considering the general populace likes old man Shinra about as much, or maybe even a little less, than Reno does. But it wouldn’t be the first or the last time Shinra did something stupid.

“Tell you what.” Reno tugs the jacket’s shoulders into place, running his fingers under the lapels down to hold onto Rufus’s waist again. “I’ll be thinking about it. You gonna trust me enough to do what I tell you and get through this job?”

Rufus’s tongue darts over his lips. He leans in closer, always so hungry for someone to touch. “Where are we going?”

Since it seems like such a good idea, and since Rufus’s lips are already slick, Reno leans down those couple inches to bring their mouths together. Rufus melts into it, moaning low in his throat so sweet and honey-thick. His mouth is warm and easy, more than willing to let Reno lead. And when Reno pushes his tongue deeper, turns the kiss harder, hungrier, Rufus just moans louder.

That first jolt of nerve-searing pleasure as the kid starts grinding cock-to-cock shocks the shit out of Reno. His breath skips on a groan and Rufus echoes it, pushing harder, faster, doing a damn good job of getting himself off. Reno doesn’t so much let Rufus keep going as much as he just can’t find the will to peel the kid off him when it feels so fucking good.

It’s been weeks since the last time Reno managed to ditch the kid somewhere safe long enough to get messy with Rude.

Breathing heavy, Reno pushes Rufus back, keeping his hands on the kid and holding onto that warm twist of pleasure in his gut hoping it’ll keep Rufus from thinking it’s an outright rejection. By the way Rufus’s watching him, it works.

*

Reno clamps a hand over Rufus’s mouth before the kid can let loose with that scream showing on his face and fuck everything to hell.

“Baby, c’mon.” Holding Rufus’s head still with his other hand — still holding the gun, the same one Rufus had been practicing with — Reno whispers, “Don’t scream, baby. Don’t make a sound.”

Wild blue eyes flicker to the warm body. Blood soaks into the deep carpet, a viscous black stain creeping slowly closer. Hot, frantic breaths warm the back of Reno’s hand.

“Little fucker deserved it,” Reno says, keeping his voice easy, soothing. He knew the kid didn’t have much to do with the real violent shit, but he never figured Rufus would react that badly to seeing Yuri kick it. “It’s still them or you, remember? He deserved it.”

Saying it like that, Reno almost believes it himself. Seeing the guy so eager to rape Rufus makes it a hell of a lot easier to dismiss the body as trash. Yuri might not have deserved to die, but Reno doesn’t honestly care.

“I’m gonna let you go, baby. Don’t touch him, don’t say anything. You got it?” Reno waits for Rufus’s nod, then waits a little bit longer, watching his face. Satisfied the kid’s not going to puke his dinner all over the damn place, Reno gives the back of his hand, still clamped tight over Rufus’s mouth, a little kiss.

When he lets go, Rufus just stands there for a second, eyes darting from the gun in Reno’s hand to the body. Then he makes a sound, a quiet whimper in the back of his throat, and that seems to jerk him back from wherever he was drifting.

“Reno,” he says in a harsh rasp. Reno grins and gives him a proper kiss this time, only making it rougher when the kid tenses at the feel of the gun pressed into the small of his back.

There’s a damn good reason Reno really loves his job.

“You killed him,” Rufus says, like he’s trying to believe what he’s seeing. It’s what people usually say the first time.

“I told you to be quiet, baby,” Reno says, pressing the gun’s barrel to Rufus’s lips.

Fear makes Rufus shut up, and Reno feels a twinge at that. It could go either way, Rufus trusting them or fearing them, but Reno’d kind of prefer trust. Fear makes people do some stupid shit.

Taking his hand as if they were out for a friendly stroll through the park, Reno leads him through the dark corridors. The place isn’t half bad; a little overdone for Reno’s tastes, but then he’s never really gone for Wutai meets gutter trash.

In the car on the way over, Rufus had been the one giving directions to the Cirko’s townhouse. Once he’d found out Cirko was making noise, the kid assumed Shinra was paying him to shut up, and sent Reno in person just to piss him off. Reno had to give him credit; that’s usually how it went.

The location and architecture made it a snap to get in – sure, it looked impressive, all those alcoves and balconies and big fancy plants, but Reno always likes it when people’s bad taste got them in the end.

Rufus crowds close, his hand trembling. Reno’d call it an act, an excuse, but Rufus’s slim fingers twined with his are clammy.

Pausing by the entrance to a swank sitting room, Reno tucks Rufus against his side and listens. “Shit.”

Instantly, Rufus freezes. His mouth is open, but the obvious question on his face doesn’t make it into words.

“Cirko and his woman aren’t here.” Glancing at the clock, Reno figures it’ll be another twenty minutes, tops, before the mister and missus stumble their way home from Shinra’s little dinner party. “We’re early,” he says, and lets Rufus go to trot down the stairs to the artfully arranged seating area.

“We’re waiting?” Pale enough that the dark doesn’t do much to hide it, Rufus hesitates to follow, looking back down the hallway towards Yuri’s body. “Here?”

Reno pats the cushions. “Have a seat, baby.”

Rufus takes one cautious step down. “You’re serious,” he says, his voice quivering with strain. He notices it, too, and swallows as if it’d help.

“Yeah.” Reno drops the gun onto an expensive-looking side table, hardly surprised when it’s the dull echo of synthetics instead of solid wood. Cirko only likes to think he’s something big. “You gonna sit down or what?”

Like a puppet with half it’s strings snapped, Rufus crosses the room and curls up on the wide couch as close to Reno as he can get. The kid’s still scared – or in shock, maybe – but Reno’s not surprised anymore when Rufus’s craving for touch gets worse when he’s like that.

It’s when Rufus starts clinging to the person who fucked him up in the first place that Reno gets confused.

Rufus wets his lips, wipes them dry and licks them again. He starts off looking anywhere but at Reno, so Reno catches his chin to make him look up.

Taking the kid on a job was a bad, bad idea. In Reno’s experience, though, object lessons go a hell of a lot further than just plain talking.

“I thought- I thought you were going to…” Rufus tries to pull away and winces as Reno’s grip tightens. Through the thin barrier of his cheeks, Reno can feel the perfect lines of his teeth. When Reno eases up, he says, “You’re going to kill them. All of them.”

A grin splits Reno’s lips, and he’s knows it’s nasty, and it creeps the kid out, but he can’t stop. “Maybe,” he says. “Maybe. I’m gonna off the wife.” Rufus’s breath goes shallow, his fingers twisting the edge of Reno’s jacket. “Me and Cirko, though, we gotta have a little chat.”

“About-”

“You know what about.”

Rufus closes his eyes, letting all his air go slow like he’s afraid he’ll shatter if he’s not careful, and whispers, “Fuck, Reno.”

“This is the job, kid,” Reno says, settling Rufus more comfortably against his side. He lets go of Rufus’s chin, stroking it once before drawing his thumb gently over soft lips. He’s got to admit, the kid’s growing on him. “And I like my job just fine.”

Rufus’s eyelashes flutter. He acts like he’s not paying attention to a damn thing except Reno’s hand sliding through the hair at his nape, but Reno can hear the gears churning. For all the stupid, crazy shit Rufus does, he’s not a dumb kid.

“Yeah, now you’re getting it, baby.” More eager for another taste than he should be, Reno tilts Rufus’s face up to his. “It’s all about the job,” he says, his lips moving against Rufus’s in mock kisses between words. “The Company. Not the man.”

“Not my father,” Rufus breathes. His eyes open, the ice blue of them so vibrant it hurts. “Not my father.”

This time when he kisses Rufus, Reno tumbles the kid straight into his lap and doesn’t let go. It’s been so fucking long since he’s had a decent assignment, so much time putting up with Rufus’s bratty shit that it’s finally getting to him. He’s gone fucking crazy, and all he can think is if Rufus moans like that for a kiss, the sounds he’d make spread out flat on his back with Reno’s cock up his ass would be fucking heaven.

“Didn’t let me get my dick in you last time, did ya,” Reno says, catching Rufus by the back of the neck to keep him right when Reno wants him. “Jammed that fucking hypo in me and took off.”

“You wouldn’t fuck me.” Fingers scrabbling at the smooth leather, Rufus hauls himself up, his leg sliding over Reno’s. When Reno tugs on his hair, a warning to stay still, he just moans and ignores it, too desperate to care. “Fuck you, you weren’t going to fuck me.”

“Maybe I wanna fuck you right now,” Reno says, and it’s a solid kick to the guts to realise it’s true. The kid’s more than pretty, sweet in all the right places. And nobody’s had a taste of Rufus’s ass for weeks. Not even gotten close.

Reno’s mouth goes dry and instantly floods wet again just thinking about how fucking tight that gorgeous little hole will be.

Before Rufus can say no — Reno doesn’t want to hear it, doesn’t want to take the chance he won’t listen — he gets a hand between Rufus’s legs. The kid’s not quite soft and getting harder, rocking into the little squeeze Reno gives him like it’s the best damn thing he’s ever felt.

“You’re crazy,” Rufus says, breathless but like he means it. There’s still something off about him. Too much fear making him strung out. It should be enough to make Reno back the fuck off, it shouldn’t make him want the kid so goddamn bad.

Biting at Rufus’s lips, Reno murmurs, “Maybe.” He’s got to be out of his mind to do this now, to want this now, when he’s been brushing the kid off like a fly for weeks.

Rude nailed it, saying Reno liked the kid. Way too much if all he’s supposed to do is manipulate Rufus into doing what they want.

“Won’t fuck me here, either.” Rufus’s voice trembles only once. He’s into it, would probably let Reno bend him right over the couch and pound him. Knowing that makes it even harder to work up the energy to slow Rufus down. He makes that disappointed noise but backs off, staying curled up on Reno’s lap like an overgrown cat. “Knew it,” he says. “I knew it.”

“Yeah, you’re a fucking genius.” Reno scrubs a hand over his mouth. He’s more on edge now than he’s been in weeks. His dick’s killing him for giving up the chance to have the kid’s smart mouth, and it’s not listening when he tries to tell it there’s lots of time later. Tseng wants him to fuck the kid, Rufus wants to get fucked, and right now, Reno’s having a hard time thinking up reasons why he shouldn’t.

He strokes a hand down Rufus’s spine, struck again by how responsive the kid is when Rufus’s back arches, and Rufus says, “How long?”

Reno shrugs. “Ten minutes, maybe. We just got here early.”

Rufus looks like he’s going to say something else and doesn’t. Settling down again, his head nestled in the crook of Reno’s neck and a hand curled on Reno’s thigh, it’s probably easy for the kid to forget they’re hanging around waiting to murder somebody.

Reno’d forget, except he’s looking forward to it.

Lights flicker through the dark, car after car passing by. Rufus gets tense every time and Reno doesn’t do much to calm him, letting the kid ride the nerves. Reno’s listening for the telltale sound of footsteps, that drifting murmur of conversation that people almost always have on their way back from a party. Talking about the food, the drink, who snubbed who and who wore what. Pointless shit they don’t get a chance to regret wasting their time with.

Keys rattle, hit a table. The lamps in the darkened living room brighten slightly by remote sensor, warm and inviting. The wife breathes a huge sigh of relief, complaining that only men get the comfortable shoes so he should count his lucky stars.

Rufus quits breathing when Reno picks up the gun.

“Are you coming to bed, or do I lose you to the late night news again, honey?” she says, dropping her glittering purse on a low table beneath the ugliest painting Reno’s ever seen.

The first shot drowns out his response. She stumbles back, blood blossoming on her chest, ruby red against the gaudy tarnished gold of her dress. A second shot to the head takes her down, a wet gurgle dying on her lips.

Rufus clutches at Reno’s jacket as Reno stands, wide-eyed and silent in the chaos as Cirko screams for his dead wife and Reno fires another round into the wall beside his head.

On Cirko’s face, shock turns to slow anger. He stares past Reno to the kid and hisses, “Shinra.”

“Yo, Cirko. Up here.” The guy’s gaze rests on Rufus for a moment longer, then he turns to Reno and the gun. “There ya go. You wanna cry a little more or get down to business?”

“My son,” he says. “Where’s my son?”

Gesturing with the gun, Reno waits for Cirko to stand up and move away from the body and the doorway. “Y’know, I don’t like your son, and I don’t think I’m gonna like you.”

“If you think you can- you can terrorise me into forgetting about what that slutty piece of trash did to my boy.” He clams up as Reno closes the distance between them, either groping for more words or the balls to say them with a gun shoved in his face. Reno’s always hated this part, where they get self-righteous, shouting their soapbox indignation.

“Hey, c’mon. I’m right here, y’know. That ain’t nice.” Cirko flinches when Reno grabs his tie at the throat and tries to cover it up with a glare. “I like that slutty piece of trash just fine, so maybe it’s time you shut up, huh?” Using the gun, he nails Cirko in the gut and gets a faceful of bad breath for his trouble. Cirko goes down, wheezing.

“Oh.” Reno grabs a fistful of the man’s thinning hair to jerk his head back. “Your worthless son’s dead too,” he says, and smashes the gun into Cirko’s face.

Cirko howls, hands flying to the bloody pulp of his nose. Casually, Reno tosses the gun to his other hand and shakes out his fingers, pacing a couple steps away.

The kid’s still quiet, watching the whole thing with a kind of stunned fascination on his face. His eyes flicker from the sad sight Cirko makes to Reno, and Reno grins.

“See, I like it when I don’t have to go wasting time explaining myself,” Reno says. Jobs like this are always about putting on a show, and usually his audience doesn’t hang around long enough after to properly appreciate it. With Rufus sitting there watching him, Reno feels inspired. “You know just why I’m pissed off.”

“You’re just one of Shinra’s dogs,” Cirko says, blood smeared lips pulled back to bare teeth gritted with pain.

Expression unchanging, Reno draws off to nail him with a solid kick to the ribs. He goes down again, hacking and clutching at his chest.

“And you’re a fat pain in my ass, but you don’t see me calling you names.” Reno perches on the edge of a glass-topped coffee table, idly turning the gun over in his hands in that time-honoured tradition of hitmen everywhere. “Your son — Yuri, right? — he would’ve gotten off easy if you’d kept your mouth shut. Bit of surgery, bit of downtime, he’d be all set with a nice bruise to impress the chicks with.”

Cirko sucks in a whistling breath and rolls onto his back, making noise like he’s still got something to say. Reno gives some serious consideration to blowing a hole in his foot, but Cirko’s already proved he’s a screamer. One more headache is something Reno sure as hell doesn’t need.

Sighing, he stands back up. “Your kid pissed me right the fuck off, Cirko.” Reno eyes the man’s outstretched hand, fingers curved like claws into the carpet. It’s messy, not classy, but Reno’s going for effect instead of style, so when the urge hits he goes right ahead and steps on Cirko’s fingers, grinding them under his heel. All his weight, a quick twist, and there’s the satisfying snap of bone. Since Cirko’s got his mouth open like he’s gonna scream anyway, Reno kicks him in the face to shut him up.

“He spreads easy, Cirko, but my baby over there ain’t no whore.” Crouching, Reno grabs Cirko’s flabby chin, not caring about the blood smearing onto his fingers. “Your boy was gonna rape him, and you know it. From the way you stink, you got shit for brains, but you know it.”

Rufus makes a sound, swinging Reno’s attention from Cirko to him. Before Reno can ask what’s up, Rufus shakes his head.

That warm, glowing pride is back again. Rufus is handling himself just fine.

“You think I was gonna let that happen, let the little fucker get away with it?” Thankfully, Cirko doesn’t say anything. Reno’s damn tired of his bitching already. “And now, ’cause you wouldn’t shut the fuck up, he’s a pile of meat in the other room leaving a stain on that worthless knockoff carpet of yours.”

“You son of a bitch,” Cirko says, spittle and blood flecking his lips. “Fucking bastard, Shinra can’t just-”

“Fuck Shinra,” Reno says, surprising Cirko into silence. Bored with the gun, pointless to hold onto it when he’s not gonna use it, Reno tosses it to the kid. “Fuck Shinra,” Reno repeats. He jerks the e-mag free and snaps it into place with a practiced flick as smooth as the curve of Rufus’s ass. “Your son fucked up, so he’s dead. You’re dead too, fuckface, you just don’t know it yet.”

Reno stands up, knuckles white. He’d been the one to hold Rufus down. He’d made the offer, gave those useless cocksuckers the opportunity to do it. He did all that, but he didn’t make one of them lay a finger on the kid. They did that all on their own.

Reno doesn’t use the charge. It’d be over too quick. Cirko tries to use his arms to protect his face until the bone in one snaps. Reno cuts the wretched sound he makes short with another blow to the head.

He’s angry, disgusted with the guy for giving up so easy, but not furious. The rhythmic thunk of metal on flesh is too familiar for him to get lost in, each strike too calculated. The minutes still blur, though, stretching on and on. Reno eases up when it looks like he’s going to pass out, waiting for the haze to clear so he can begin again.

Cirko knows which blow kills him. They both feel it, the moment bone finally gives under the brutal, incessant beating. Cirko’s chest is crushed, caved in on itself. He’s still breathing, barely, blood bubbling at his lips. Stepping back, Reno cleans the e-mag on the lining of his jacket and watches Cirko die.

“C’mon, baby,” he says, offering Rufus, still sitting on the couch right where Reno left him, a hand dyed red.

Rufus stares at it, his breaths fast and uneven but his eyes startlingly clear. “You did that for me,” he says.

Reno smiles, slow, easy, satisfied. “You know it.” He snaps his fingers at Rufus for the kid to hurry it up, and this time, while Rufus’s hand is still trembling when Reno takes hold of it, it’s for a completely different reason.

*

Reno catches Rufus eyeballing the place, trying to get a feel for it as they pass through the maintenance tunnels to the freight elevator in the back. The kid was quiet on the ride over, chewing on the corner of his lip like he is now. Thinking hard.

Reno lets him go right to it, flashing back on the memory of that lip caught between his teeth too often for his comfort. He’s got spare energy, always does after a job, and this time he’s got no Rude to help him burn it up.

“You live here?” Rufus says to break the silence.

“I pay the rent,” Reno says. And keeps his stuff there. Most of the time, though, he crashes at Rude’s.

Fuck, he’s missing his partner right now.

The kid goes quiet again. Reno taps his fingers on the wall, impatiently watching the numbers count off. Why the fuck did he have to go and pick an apartment on the fifteenth floor?

He sees Rufus move out of the corner of his eye, feels the kid press up against his side in one long, willing line a second later. The blood on Reno’s clothes is tacky, stinks like the labs.

Rufus hesitates when he touches it, but it doesn’t make him back off. He just finds a bare patch of skin at Reno’s throat and asks, “Do I get to sleep with you?”

Reno settles an arm around Rufus’s waist and closes his eyes. There’s no way he’s got the patience for this game now. He wants to fuck. He wants it rough, and hard, and he wants it now. But when he does the kid, it’s not supposed to be like that. It might frighten him off. Could scare him more and fuck up the whole deal.

Rufus doesn’t know that, can’t read Reno’s mind like Rude can, so he spreads his legs to get his dick rubbing up against Reno’s thigh, and gets a hand on Reno’s cock while he’s at it.

“You want to get your dick in me,” Rufus says. His slender fingers work over Reno’s cock, gaining more confidence when all Reno can do is groan. “I’ve been fucking dying to get a real taste of it.” He nips at the hinge of Reno’s jaw, moaning encouragement Reno doesn’t need as Reno’s hand slides down to cup his ass.

“Baby,” Reno says, another moan echoing in the empty space as Rufus goes up on his toes, legs spreading wider. The kid’s pushing for it now like he wasn’t before. Reno’s primed, he knows it, and he’s done biding his time. “I’m not fucking you in the damn elevator.”

“Why not? Up against the wall,” Rufus says. His fingers trail down over Reno’s chest, his breath skipping as he finds a thicker patch of blood, still wet. “Fuck, come on. I’ll be the best lay you’ll ever fucking have. Just bend me over and give it to me.”

Reno’s control snaps like Cirko’s little finger. “You want it like that?” he says, whipping Rufus around to hit the wall. Just like the kid asked for.

Rufus gets his breath back fast. “Yes,” he breathes. “I want-”

“A fuck is what you want.” Reno kicks the kid’s legs apart, shoving a knee between them. When Rufus starts to repeat himself, Reno gives him a quick, vicious shake. “You better watch what you ask for, ’cause I’ll give it to you.” Reno’s teeth none too gently scrape the delicate shell of Rufus’s ear. “I’ll do it just like you said, Rufus. I’ll rip your fucking pants down and fuck you dry.”

Now he’s scaring the kid. Rufus is quivering from more than the hot touch of Reno’s breath on the back of his neck, but the twisted little fuck is still hard for it even when he’s scared shitless. Eager for anything he can get, already addicted to something he’s never really had.

The kid’s right where Tseng wants him, and Reno still thinks the whole plan’ll come crashing down around their ears if Rufus ever gets his own way.

And then Rufus lets out the sweetest moan Reno’s ever fucking heard. With that gorgeous ass grinding against him, Reno’s sure he’s going to say fuck it and fuck the kid right there. It’d be good. Fucking better than good, it’s what he needs.

The happy chime of the elevator stopping at his floor barely makes it through the pounding in Reno’s skull.

“Fuck.” Before he can lose it completely, he drags Rufus out of the elevator. The maintenance room is cluttered with boxes and debris, old rusted pipes and just plain crap. Not one bit of it’s been used in years.

Since about the time Reno moved in, and ShinRa changed a few house rules to fit him.

Grip tight on Rufus’s wrist, Reno can feel the kid’s bones and his machine-gun pulse. Through the doorway to the fire stairwell, up one flight. Rufus stumbles halfway, and Reno hauls him right back up again, trying to tell himself he doesn’t give a shit about the shocked look on the kid’s face. The one that says the kid’s hurt, physically, but that’s nothing compared to the sting of rejection gnawing at Rufus’s gut.

Reno swipes his keycard and hustles Rufus inside. The apartment’s dark, cool. A little slice of calm outside all the chaos Reno swims in. Coming back here’s supposed to knock him down a few notches. Somewhere to kick back, drink beer, deal.

But there’s Rufus standing in middle of the fucking hallway, cursing him out for pumping up the lights on blast. The kid’s face is flushed, a couple red smears on his throat from Reno’s bloodied hands. He’s shaking — spent the whole damn night shaking — and running on a full head of steam.

“Shut up, kid. For fuck’s sake, shut up!” Reno fingers dig brutally hard into Rufus’s arms. His knuckles fucking ache he’s holding on so tight.

And just like that, he’s hit with this sick twist in his stomach at the thought of honestly hurting the kid. He sucks in a couple deep breaths but it doesn’t help. It doesn’t do shit to drown out Rufus’s voice.

“You want me that bad?” Rufus says, nothing but a kid playing with matches looking for something bigger to burn. “Afraid you’re going to like it that much?”

Reno’s grip tightens, a warning he can’t get out through the tight clench of his throat, and all Rufus does is let out this little hissing breath like it feels good.

Then he’s talking again, getting Reno’s blood boiling hotter. “Want me on my knees for it? Want to just shove me face down?” He bites at Reno’s throat, a noise echoing quietly between them, and Reno figures he tasted blood. Cirko’s blood. “I’ll get my legs wide for you,” he says, a tiny tremor in his voice. Reno’s hands go to his hips, start pushing him towards the bedroom, and Rufus flashes one of those slow, fuck-me smiles. “Push my dick back so you can get a good look at everything. Everything I’ve got.”

Rufus stumbles again, tripping over the two steps leading into the bedroom, and this time, Reno catches him. Not just catches him, but jerks him closer, groaning for it when the kid starts grinding cock-to-cock like before.

Reno goes for Rufus’s mouth, hungry for the taste of Rufus on his tongue, eager to see the kid’s lips bruised and swollen from his teeth. Rufus lets him get close, goes so far as to lick at his mouth, but moves just enough to keep Reno from getting what he wants.

“You’d get off on roughing me up a little.” Rufus breathes the words into Reno’s mouth with a low moan. “What’re you waiting for? I said I want it, want you to shove me around. Mess me up. Fuck me up.”

Reno’s going to do it, can feel it churning dark in the pit of his stomach. Knew he’d do it before he even got the kid home. All that eagerness to please rolled up in one tight little package, Reno’d have to be more than dickless not to want it. Deaf, blind, stupid, he’d probably still want it.

Reno gets a hand in Rufus’s hair, short strands of it silky soft, only a little damp, between his fingers. He jerks the kid back, sizes him up. Rufus looks so fucking good. Would look better spread out under Reno, that pretty dick dripping wet and his ass slicked up, body clutching at Reno’s fingers begging for Reno’s cock instead.

Before Reno can take that sweet mouth again, before he does something really stupid, he shoves Rufus away. The kid stumbles back a couple steps, and Reno gets a good look at the shock and dismay and pure disbelief stark on Rufus’s face right before he slams the door shut.

Gulping air, Reno sags against the wood. He squeezes his dick, trying to take the edge off and only making it worse. Screaming, Rufus curses him out and beats on the door. Reno bares his teeth in a grin and doesn’t even try to wipe if off his face. It’s déjà vu, except this time Reno’s balls are aching as he digs out his phone.

It takes two tries to hit the right speed dial. By the time Reno fumbles open his fly, gets a hand on his dick, Rude’s voice is purring in his ear.

“Fuck, Rude. I screwed up, man.” Reno drops his head back on a moan, fucking his fist as slow as he can manage. “You gotta come over.”

“What the hell did you do? The boss said-”

“I took the kid. On the job,” Reno says, losing breath on another bubble of sound. He lets go of his cock long enough to spit in his palm, and for a minute, he can’t get enough air back in his lungs to talk. “Offed Cirko. Rude, baby, if you don’t get your gorgeous black dick over here and shove it up my ass, I’m gonna mess up the kid.”

There’s silence for a beat, then, “You’re serious.”

“Locked him in the bathroom again.” Reno grins, touches his tongue to his teeth. “I’ll take care of him after, partner, promise.”

“Quit jerking off, Reno.” Over the line, Reno can hear the sound of keys and a car door slamming. The relief is almost enough to make him listen. “I mean it. If I’m coming over there, you’d better have something left.”

“Where’re you? How long you gonna take?”

“A couple minutes. On 5th, buying my damn groceries. Lucky for you, I bought beer.” Behind Reno, Rufus lets loose with another string of curses foul enough to make a hooker blush. Rude whistles appreciatively. “What’d you do to the kid?”

Reno shoves away from the door, phone tucked against his ear. “Might’ve messed around with him some,” he says, taking the time to toe off his shoes and nothing else before dropping onto the bed. “He’s good, fuck, he’s good. Built to fuck, partner. Hardwired for it.”

“Didn’t I tell you to get your fucking hand off your dick?”

Reno grins. “Yeah, but since when did I listen?” Still, he quits jerking off this time. Too wound up to just sit there, he gets up, paces out to the living room. “Shit, you here yet?”

“Why, planning on meeting me at the door?”

“Could,” Reno says. “Could say hello with a smile and a hard on.”

“Still dressed?”

“For about another five seconds. I heard that. You’re fucking outside, aren’t you, you bald fucker.”

Reno can feel Rude’s grin. “That’s no way to sweet talk me.”

“Fuck you,” Reno says, ignoring how much it sounds like Rufus, or how his slacks are just barely clinging to his hips as he heads for the hallway. “Fuck you, fuck your groceries,” Reno sings into the phone, snapping it shut and tossing it aside to rip open the door. Rude’s standing there with a couple grocery bags, and he can’t wipe the eager grin off his face. “So why don’t you get your dick out and fuck me, yeah?”

“Do I get to take my shoes off first?” Rude asks. Even with the shades in the way, Reno knows where he’s looking. So Reno backs up a couple steps, locks the door as Rude drops the bags, and then finally, fucking finally, Rude’s got one of those wide hands on his ass.

“C’mon, c’mon,” Reno says, going for a kiss and struggling out of his blood-crusted jacket at the same time. “On the bed. Do me on the bed, good and hard, partner.”

Rude follows, dropping clothes on his way. “The kid do this to you?”

On cue, Rufus starts up again, more screaming, more pounding on the door. Reno doesn’t doubt the kid can hear them, every last word, knows exactly what they’re up to. Hot on the heels of a sort of vicious satisfaction, Reno wonders what it’d be like to let Rufus in on the fun.

Not really listening to Rude, Reno strips off his slacks instead of answering. Rude catches him around the waist when he crawls onto the bed, drags him back so his ass is snug against the thickening heat of Rude’s cock. Fine cotton rubs Reno’s bare ass, his thighs, making him moan low in his throat and his skin go tight and tingling.

“Shit, Reno, he did, didn’t he?”

“Did what, fuck, Rude. Get your goddamn dick in me already.”

Rude’s weight settles along Reno’s back, bearing down until he drops to his elbows. Teeth graze his neck once before digging in. Quick and rough, Rude bites him again, slamming Reno’s system with rapid-fire jolts of pain as Rude’s hand wraps warm, firm, around his dick.

“Made you this crazy for it,” Rude says, his voice rumbling against Reno’s back.

From the bathroom, Reno hears his name. Rude caught it, too. There’s still anger in Rufus’s voice, just more desperate. He’s probably got a hand on his dick, jerking off listening to them. Reno can picture it, practically fucking feel the kid staring at him through the door, those blue eyes gone dark, heavy.

With a ragged shout, Reno bucks Rude’s weight off. It’s too easy, so it just pisses Reno off more. “Son of a bitch, Rude,” Reno says, rolling over to grab at the back of Rude’s head. He hauls Rude down for a biting kiss, nearly blowing his damn load when Rude’s hand slides up between his legs. Thick fingers, fucking perfect fingers strong enough to crush bone, push dry at his hole and make him lose every scrap of air in his lungs on a grateful moan.

“Not fucking you dry,” Rude says. “I like you wet, partner. Slick.”

“Fuck, don’t make me wait. Can’t fucking do it.”

Rude gives him just a taste of pressure, hot friction as one fingertip pushes against tight muscle. Then it’s Rude’s turn to moan, his eyes darting up to Reno’s face. He wets his lips, says, “Been a long time since you’ve been this tight.”

“C’mon, baby, go a little deeper.” Reno scoots down, his knees falling wider as Rude’s other hand settles on his thigh. “Let me really feel it before you slick me up.”

Rude drags in a breath. His dick’s heavy, hot against Reno’s thigh, searing straight through skin and muscle to bone. Precome smears Reno’s skin when he moves.

Reno bitches and moans when Rude just rubs at his hole, makes his hips jerk and muscle twitch in anticipation. It’s been so fucking long since he followed through. With Rufus it’s all a tease, one continuous build-up and then, nothing. Enough to drive a guy fucking nuts.

“Rude, fuck, Rude, baby, c’mon- fuck.” Rude presses in and Reno’s thighs tremble. It’s better than good, it’s fucking fantastic, all that slow pressure and then more as Rude curves his finger, pushes at the inside of Reno’s body to make sure both of them feel it.

In between one breath and the next, Reno hears Rufus go silent.

“Just like that, yeah,” Reno says, his hand tangling in the rumpled sheets when pressure turns to friction. Rude pulls out nice and slow, heat building up, scorching along Reno’s nerves. More pressure then, hurting in all the right ways, more friction, and before he knows it, Reno’s fucking Rude’s finger asking for another.

He’s got this picture in his head: Rufus with his dick in his hand listening to them fuck, the kid’s face flushed and sweet mouth wide open. Imagining what Rufus would see, Rude fucking him like this, he figures the kid would probably hate that Rude pounding him is getting them all off.

Rude pulls away, going for the nightstand and the lube tossed in the drawer. Reno runs a hand down the long stretch of his chest, dipping down to find the tight, short curls at the base of Rude’s dick before getting a handful of his balls. Rude lets out one of those sexy little grunts of his Reno doesn’t need to hear to know he likes it.

Since Reno likes hearing it anyway, he tugs again, and his grin’s full of sass when Rude grabs his hair.

“Taking too long,” Reno says. “Called you over for a quick bang, y’know. My balls are fucking killing me.”

Rude mouths at the hinge of his jaw, just enough teeth to make it good and enough tongue to make it better. He doesn’t say it, but Reno knows he’s trying to bring him down. Dull that edge that’s carving Reno up.

Rude figures it’s probably safer, if the kid’s going to be staying the night. And Rude’s probably right. It’s just Reno’s not in the mood to wait.

Reno sucks in a breath, looses it again as Rude takes his mouth, kisses him rough and hard and leaves his cheek stinging from the scrape of stubble. Fingers are back at his hole, slick and warm. Reno arches into it, feeding Rude moan after moan hoping Rude’ll quit teasing and give it to him.

Something clatters to the floor in the bathroom. Rude drives two fingers in him to the knuckle, and Reno’s toes fucking curl.

“Not going to take much to get you off, is it, partner?” Rude’s goatee scrapes Reno’s ear, a spine-melting thrill curling down his spine to settle in his stomach from the sound of Rude’s voice. “Should thank the kid for getting you primed for me.”

Reno says something about flowers, tells him to hurry up, tells him fucking harder when Rude’s hand is already slamming up against his ass. He lets every noise building up in his throat spill free with a kind of edgy relish as Rude’s breaths go short and choppy.

And when he reaches down, grabs hold of Rude’s cock, Rude jerks his hand away and shoves his knee almost flat to his fucking chest. His own groans echoing loud in his ears, Reno barely hears himself asking for it. He gets one arm around Rude’s neck, clamps the other tight across Rude’s back. Thick muscles shift under all that dark, shining skin.

“Finally gonna fuck me?” Reno licks at his lips, tastes salt. He sees Rude’s mouth curve at one corner before his vision goes blurry for a second when the slick head of Rude’s cock presses at his hole. It stretches him open, eases in just until it burns. Reno squirms, hating it, loving it, wanting the full, heavy weight of Rude inside him as much as the sharp-clawed pressure forcing his hole wide. Breath hissing between his teeth, Reno says, “Fuck, what’re you doing? Give it to me already, would ya?”

Rude waits, maybe for Reno to catch his breath, maybe just to make him crazy. He waits until Reno’s sure he’s fucking around, planning on pulling back out and leaving Reno there with his hole aching and balls ready to burst.

And then it’s one long, sweet push, the air in Reno’s lungs gone thick as warm honey. His nails dig into Rude’s shoulder, his head falls back, his mouth open on a ragged groan. It aches, fuck, it’s all throbbing, pounding ache, stretched wide and filled up so slow. It’s like it’s never going to fucking stop, just keep on getting better and worse and better again. Rude shifts, thrusts in hard that last little bit to have his balls slapping up against Reno’s ass. The knot in Reno’s throat loosens, dissolves, and he swallows the groan stuck there down with the butterfly anticipation messing him up.

Reno’s got no time to think, no time to fucking breathe before Rude starts fucking him, slamming him with these long, hard thrusts that echo straight to his bones. He tries to meet Rude halfway, match the rhythm, and can’t do it. All he can do to hold on and take it, try to breathe.

When it hits him, it fucking nails him to the sheets. He gets a flash of Rude’s face — hungry, starving for it like him — before there’s nothing but riding out the tight burst of pleasure, the electric sizzle dancing through his system. He hears himself moaning, nothing but wordless noise, sucking in breath after breath to lose it all over again. His come spills between them to mix with their sweat, more wet, suffocating heat.

Rude grabs the back of his thighs, bends him in fucking half while he’s still dizzy with it. Fucks him harder, holds him tighter, the ache where Rude’s fingers are digging in probably already turning to bruises. Reno couldn’t care less. He’s high on the smell of sex, the sound of Rude’s voice. He’s waiting for Rude to lose it, forcing his body to clamp down tight on Rude’s thick cock, and he can fucking feel Rude’s dick jerk inside him. He echoes Rude’s groan, arching up into it, dragging his nails down to grab Rude’s ass, get Rude’s come shooting as deep inside him as it’ll go.

For one long, hazy moment, Reno stays exactly where he is, limbs shaking, his whole body aching in all the right places. Rude’s head lifts from the crook of Reno’s neck, and Reno turns to kiss him, breath hissing against Rude’s lips at the sharp sting of a bite on his throat he didn’t know was there.

He winds his tongue into Rude’s mouth, slow and easy. The edge is gone, replaced with lazy contentment. Reno lets his hands slide down Rude’s arms and stretches, dropping back to the sheets with an explosive sigh.

“Better than blowing shit up,” Reno says, worming a hand between them. His come’s warm on Rude’s stomach, slicking his fingers as he traces the edges of muscles. His skin tingles from it, little curls of excitement still shifting under his flesh. He stretches again, this feeling nested at the base of his spine like a good buzz.

Rude rolls over onto his back and tucks his arms behind his head. “I forgot milk.”

Reno grins. “Who needs milk? You got beer,” he says, shifting closer to make the tangled sprawl of his legs with Rude’s more comfortable.

Rude makes that low, considering noise, like he’s thinking about going for one now. Too bad they forgot to stick them in the fridge.

“You know, you got blood in your hair,” Rude says.

Absently, Reno scratches at his scalp. “Yeah, messy business, beating a guy to death.” Because his stomach’s itching, he nabs the corner of a sheet to wipe it off. Companionably, he wipes off Rude’s, too. “Think the kid offed himself in there?”

“Listening to you howl, partner, he probably whacked himself to death.”

“You’d have to fuck me a lot harder to get a howl out of me, y’know.”

Instead of a comeback, Rude slaps his stomach, and quirks a smile when Reno gives him a nice, theatrical moan. “So, what are you doing with the kid?”

Reno scrubs a hand over his face, blows out air. “He’s staying here till his old man cools off.” He’s not looking at Rude, but he can feel the bastard’s thousand-word stare. “Yeah, okay. I know what y’mean. But fuck, partner,” Reno says. “With the kid.”

Reno glances over, see’s Rude’s cocked eyebrow. Heaving another sigh, Reno pushes himself up and leans close, licking at Rude’s collarbone because it’s there, and Rude likes it. “Don’t mind shaking the kid up. Don’t really mind freaking him out, either. But if I’m gonna fuck him, partner, no way I’m gonna do it like that.”

Rude’s hand settles on Reno’s back. “That’s what I figured,” he says. “Got to watch your back.”

The tangled hunk of lead in Reno’s stomach eases. “He’s not so bad.”

“Bit of a whore,” Rude says.

“Yeah, but whores ain’t so bad, either. Smart.”

“Cocky.”

“Nothing wrong with that.”

“You like the kid,” Rude says again.

Reno winces. He’s still not sure when the fuck that happened. “Yeah, I like the kid. And now that he’s finished jerking off in there, he’s probably gonna get sick of listening in and start beating on my damn door again.”

“You locked him in there.” Rude gives him another kiss, a light brush of lips, and rolls off the bed to his feet.

Sinking back down, Reno admires the view. Rude’s ass is as toned as the rest of him, and that shiny glint of metal at the head of his dick has Reno’s mouth watering. He’d have to make some time to suck Rude off real soon.

“Where’re you going?” Reno asks.

Rude raps on the door with a knuckle before flicking the lock and swinging it wide open. Reno bolts upright at the kid’s sharp intake of breath.

Rufus is on his knees, his shirt hanging off at the shoulders. The jacket’s wadded up in one hand, his other hand’s clutching at his undone slacks. There’s a wet smear on his stomach, and another on his thigh. From here, Reno can see a teasing hint of his dick.

Rufus’s gaze is glued to Rude’s crotch, and Rude lets him get a good, long eyeful before saying, “I need the shower.”

Rufus looks stunned for all of ten seconds. He scrambles to his feet, gaze flicking between Rude and Reno. It’s more cock than Rufus has seen in weeks, and for once, the kid doesn’t know what to do about it.

“Lots of room on the bed,” Rude says, and walks by Rufus to fiddle with the shower. The scratches on his back stand out in vicious red relief.

Rufus lets out a breath like a moan and drops the jacket. He hesitates at the doorway, waiting for Reno to give him the go ahead. Even when Rude closes the door behind him, the kid just stands there.

“What’s the matter, kid?” Reno leans over to dig a lighter and a pack of cigs out of the nightstand.

“What the hell, Reno,” Rufus says. It doesn’t come out as an accusation, either, or the start of a tirade. Rufus’s voice is barely there.

“You figure I didn’t like it up the ass or what?” Reno takes a long drag, smoke purring in his lungs. With that edge gone, he’s up for another round. Just the way he’d planned it out that night in the motel. “Just gonna stand there?”

*

“You’re fucking with me,” Rufus says. “Dicking me around again.” The look on his face says he hopes to hell not. There’s this raw hunger in his eyes, in the way he holds himself. Rufus can’t look away, gaze jumping from Reno’s face to his dick, down the long line of his legs, the marks on his throat.

“Nope,” Reno says. “I’m serious, kid.”

“After he fucked you.”

“Yeah, after he fucked me.” Reno stretches his legs out, crosses them at the ankles, and lets the kid take a good look. “You want to have a feel for yourself?” He takes another drag, clove-scented smoke curling slowly between his lips, and narrows his eyes to tiny slits of pleasure. “Got plenty of time.”

Rufus sets a knee to the bed, wary. Waiting for Reno to slap him off. Can’t blame the kid. Can’t blame him at all.

Reno takes another quick puff and puts the cig in an empty tray. “Rufus, baby,” he says, getting to his knees. “C’mon.”

Rufus peels off his shirt with short, jerky movements. The slacks go next, slapped down on the carpet. Reno reaches out to snag his wrist, and from one heartbeat to the next, Rufus’s angry distrust evaporates in one of those small, hungry noises of his.

“You fucker,” Rufus says, hands on Reno’s shoulders, his chest, his hips, never staying too long in one place. “Don’t you ever fucking lock me in there again.”

“How much shit did you break?” It takes him a couple tries to grab Rufus’s wrists again, slowing the kid down before he goes off. Rufus takes a breath, draws in another as his eyes go heavy. The whole damn place reeks of sweat, come. Sex.

“Nothing,” Rufus breathes. “Listened to him fuck you. Fuck, Reno, you sounded so good. Wanted it to be me.”

“I know, baby,” Reno says, surprised that he means it. When he urges Rufus to stretch out on the soiled sheets, the kid goes easy. Already hard again, squirming as Reno’s hand brushes up the inside of his thigh. “Gonna let me fuck you how I want?”

“Fuck, yes,” Rufus hisses. His legs fall wide, and for the first time Reno can remember, there’s not a mark on him. Nobody else’s bruises, no needle pricks, just all that pale, smooth skin, and the darker flush of his cock and balls. “As hard as you want.”

Reno chuckles, but it strikes a chord. He was too close to hurting the kid once already. Fuck knows he wouldn’t mind roughing Rufus up a little; hell, he knows the kid gets off on it. Fun times for all. What he doesn’t want is to be like every other fuck, every other jackass who got a taste of Rufus’s ass. Like Yuri who deserved a fucking lot more than just a bullet to the brain.

Reno knows he’s an asshole, but he wants the kid’s loyalty more than he wants a cheap fuck.

“Maybe I don’t want to give it to you hard, baby,” Reno says, stretching Rufus’s arm out on the pillows beside his head. “You want that, I’ll give it to you. Anything you want.” Hearing himself say that, say he’ll give Rufus anything, hits him like a kick to the nuts. He’s already planning on handing the kid ShinRa on a sliver platter, he just didn’t figure he’d be part of the deal.

Reno shifts to kiss the inside of Rufus’s arm, lips brushing a trail up to the kid’s armpit. Between the cheeks of his ass, Rude’s come is warm, slippery. Breathing a moan, Reno licks at soft skin, tastes salt. “You gonna tell me that’s all you want?”

“I can take it,” Rufus says. “You didn’t have to fucking call him, I could’ve-”

Propping a hand on the other side of Rufus, Reno leans over him to bite at his chin. “Didn’t ask that, did I? Asked if you wanted it rough now. Or if you’re gonna let me have some fun.”

“We’re going to fuck,” Rufus says, half a question he sounds afraid to hear the answer to. “You’re going to let me get a taste of your dick.”

“Shit, yes. Gonna get a taste of yours, too, baby.” Reno takes a long look down the line of Rufus’s body, from mouth to dick to toes and back again. “Planning on enjoying it.”

Rufus moans, the tension in his muscles melting away. He shifts under Reno, fingers curling in the bright tail of hair spilled over Reno’s shoulder and tugging.

Reno brings his mouth close to Rufus’s, teases soft, parted lips with teeth and tongue. “You want a kiss?” he asks, and doesn’t wait for Rufus’s yes. The sharp tang of come explodes onto his tongue, and he moans into Rufus’s mouth. Goes deeper, chasing the taste of it, wanting more. “Knew you got off in there,” he says, words muffled and slurred by more kisses when Rufus doesn’t let him stop completely. “Should’ve guessed you’d eat your own come.”

“Rather eat yours,” Rufus says, his mouth curved in that eager little smile of his. He drags a hand down Reno’s stomach, lingering near Reno’s navel where some of Rude’s come is still smeared. He moans, long and low, full of want, when his slim fingers find Reno a hell of a lot more than just interested. “Fucking love your dick,” he says in a breathy rush, his knee brushing Reno’s side. The kid can’t keep still, arching into Reno’s hands, desperate for every touch. “Hurry up and get it in me, I want to feel it.”

“Pretty sure that’s what you’re doing right now,” Reno says, nudging Rufus’s chin up so he can lick at the kid’s neck, fighting off the urge to bite down hard enough to mark. He’d figured Rufus would go right for the goods, start jerking him off like last time, but the kid’s playing with Reno’s dick, taking the cue to keep it slow.

Reno’s breath hisses. The kid’s got some fucking clever fingers, tugging on foreskin, rubbing at the slit to slick up his fingertips. Toying with Reno’s balls like he’s never felt up a pair other than his own before and he’s loving it. And when those fingers start creeping a little further between Reno’s legs, find the stickiness of Rude’s come dripping form his hole, Reno’s stomach flips.

“Go for it,” Reno says, settling back on his knees, spreading them nice and wide. He slips an arm under Rufus to lift the kid up off the bed, pulling him close. “You like it loose and wet like he does, baby?”

Rufus’s reply is a harsh moan. Reno gets a hand on his dick, taking over playing with himself as Rufus licks at his chest, tongue hot and wet on a path to bite at Reno’s nipple. The kid’s fingers are light at his hole, sliding up and down the cleft like he can’t believe Reno’s going to let him sink one in. Reno’s getting pretty damn close to telling the kid to quit fucking around and do it, but Rufus scrambles up on his knees, one hand on the bed and bent over as low as he can get.

“Your dick,” he says, nuzzling at Reno’s hip. “Give me your dick.”

Reno grins, pulling a hand down his cock to bare the glistening head, and holds on at the base, his fingers fanned out over his balls. “Gonna suck me good?”

“So fucking good,” Rufus promises.

And the kid delivers, fuck, does he ever deliver. He licks at the slit, making those noises low in his throat like it’s the best damn thing he’s ever tasted, sweeter than sugar. It’s nothing but lips and tongue on Reno’s cock, barely a scrape of teeth when the kid gets too excited, cramming it down his throat so fast he chokes.

Reno smoothes a hand over his hair, twines a few strands around his fingers to slow the kid down again. Rufus arches into that touch just like all the others. A thick moan hums around Reno’s dick, and his fingers clench, jerking Rufus out of the rhythm.

“Thought you were gonna get a feel of my ass, too, yeah?”

Rufus lets loose with another one of those moans, so loud and so good Reno’s stomach quivers. That’s all the encouragement he needs to get his fingers back at Reno’s hole, pushing at slick muscle this time instead of just grazing over it.

“All the way,” Reno says, cupping a hand over Rufus’s hollowed cheek. “Get nice and slippery for me.”

Reno drops his head back on a ragged breath when the kid goes for it, stuffing two fingers in his ass just like that. The ache flashes hot for a second before settling into a slow burn. Keeping his own heavy breaths quiet, Reno listens to the wet sounds of his dick pumping steadily into Rufus’s mouth, and the kid’s fingers moving in his ass.

“Just like that, baby,” he says, rubbing a thumb at the corner of Rufus’s lips. He drags the lower one down, nudging it in beside his cock, hissing again at the soft, wet heat sucking at him. “Yeah, knew you like it wet.”

Rufus drags his fingers free and his mouth off Reno’s dick at the same time. His mouth hovers at the tip, saliva stringing form his lips to the shiny mess of precome and spit. He stays like that for a moment, fingers stroking Reno’s hole, before he licks his lips and the string snaps, hitting his chin.

Reno jerks the kid’s chin up, breathing fast. All he wants to do is get Rufus back on his dick, see the kid’s cherry-red lips clamped tight around the thick length of it and watch those pretty eyes go opaque when he shoots his load straight down the kid’s throat. Or fuck, on his face. Rufus said he’d take it on the face.

Groaning something that sounds way too much like the kid’s name, Reno leans down to lick the taste of himself off Rufus’s lips. He gets that precome smeared on Rufus’s chin while he’s there, and next thing he knows, he’s got the kid hauled up for another rushed, sloppy kiss.

Reno presses his thumb into the centre of Rufus’s palm, says, “C’mere, baby, lemme see those fingers.” He spits on the mess of Rude’s come, still holding on as he pushes Rufus back to the sheets. “Spread your legs, yeah, there you go.” He runs a hand up Rufus’s thigh again, pushing the kid’s balls up to get a good look at his hole.

There’s nothing but a sweet, pink flush to Rufus’s asshole. Shocked to hell and back again the kid hadn’t stuffed a couple fingers up there while he was jerking off, Reno skims a fingertip between the cheeks of his ass. The kid’s tight, way too tight for the slut he is. But nobody’s touched him in weeks, and when Reno pushes his thumb gently against twitching muscle, there’s barely any give. Reno groans, and Rufus’s hips jerk, thighs tense and trembling.

“You like what you see?” Rufus asks. He pulls his hand out of Reno’s loosened grip, rubbing his fingers together.

“Yeah. Yeah, I like what I see,” Reno says. And does he fucking ever, his chest squeezing tight as Rufus reaches down, slides come-smeared fingers between Reno’s. Rufus rubs the mess of it right over his hole, giving himself one finger smooth as silk and his mouth falling open on a breathless moan.

“Can’t wait,” Rufus says, rocking his hips into it. He goes nice and slow, fucking just that one finger, getting more of Rude’s come on Reno’s hand than inside himself. He’s watching Reno watch him, Reno’s gaze jumping from the gorgeous stretch of Rufus’s hole to the kid’s face. “Wanted you to fuck me so bad,” he says, like Reno still needs convincing. “That first fucking day.”

The kid would’ve fucked anything back then, and still Reno gets this tiny flipped-stomach thrill hearing it. He sure as hell didn’t want to get his dick near Rufus that day, even if the kid was just as pretty as he is now.

Twining his fingers with Rufus’s, Reno slicks the rest of Rude’s come onto his own. He pulls Rufus’s hand away, enjoying instead of ignoring the pleading sound Rufus makes in the back of his throat. Just to hear it again, he puts a fingertip to Rufus’s hole and barely pushes, stroking that first tight ridge of muscle inside and out.

Reno brings Rufus’s hand up, licks the kid’s palm, and holds on to feel Rufus’s fingers flex, looking for something to grab onto. “Didn’t want you,” he says, pushing his finger in straight to the knuckle to wipe away Rufus’s slapped-in-the-face look. “Thought you were a worthless, spoiled brat.” Leaning over him, elbow digging into the pillow beside his head, Reno nudges at the kid’s mouth with his own. “Hottest fucking thing you ever did was prove me wrong.”

“You’re such an asshole,” Rufus says, and grabs onto the back of Reno’s head to pull him down for another rushed, feverish kiss. Rufus’s tongue lashes against his, still so fucking desperate, and Reno can’t do a damn thing except kiss Rufus back, harder and hotter until the kid’s writhing under him.

Rufus jerks away with a gasp, sucking down air like a drowning man. Reno hooks his finger, pressing against the inside of Rufus’s body all the way out until the kid’s hole is stretched wide around it, delicate pink flesh trying vainly to clamp tight. Rufus’s back arches off the bed and his fingers claw at the sheets, bottom lip caught between his teeth.

“Still a brat,” Reno says, “still so fucking pretty,” and presses a slow, open-mouthed kiss to Rufus’s belly on his way down to have a look. “You like having your hole wide open like that, baby? Something nice and thick shoved up your ass?”

Rufus’s eyelashes flutter, spilling wordless noise into the air as Reno rubs at his hole with a second finger. He starts cursing under his breath, calling Reno shit worse than just a cocktease, and Reno just grins.

“Anybody ever tell you, you got no patience.” But Reno doesn’t give a shit about the kid’s patience right now, or teaching him lessons, or trying to get it through his head that maybe, just maybe, he shouldn’t be putting out so easy. Because all Reno really wants is for Rufus to keep moaning like that.

Reno puts a hand on Rufus’s thigh, pushing the kid’s leg up and out so the light falls just right to show him everything. His lips part on a tiny puff of breath when the pressure holding him out gives way and he’s got two fingers sliding in nice and deep, muscle contracting tight again.

The bathroom door opens, making Rufus jerk. His eyes fly to Rude as he visibly clamps down on a quiet whimper of pleasure.

Reno brushes his mouth over the side of the kid’s knee. For all the times Rude’s been around, Rufus has never made a pass at him. Sized him up plenty, looked like he’d cream himself just imagining what Rude would look like naked, but that’s it.

“You hanging around?” Reno puts his free hand on Rufus’s belly, presses down when he angles his fingers up. Rufus moans and scrubs hair back from his face, and quits staring at Rude like he’s afraid of the guy when the ache gets to be too much to keep from squirming.

Rude finds his slacks in the mess on the floor and hauls them on. “Beer’s still cold,” he says, giving Rufus a quick once over before heading for kitchen.

“You guys just fuck?” Rufus asks.

Reno swings his gaze back to the kid. He doesn’t think much about what Rude is, because that’d be messing with a good thing. “Yeah, something like that,” he says, stretching out over Rufus and drawing his hand back. Reno smears the mess of spit and come onto the kid’s balls, pulls on his dick a couple times. The kid didn’t even soften up a bit despite looking nervous. “Rude’s Rude. You’re gonna get to know him just fine, baby.”

In Rufus’s eyes, there’s a gleam of understanding. Reno figured the kid didn’t bother looking into Turk business, but maybe he’s wrong. Maybe the kid’s been doing a hell of a lot more than Reno’s giving him credit for.

If either one of them were on Shinra’s side, it would’ve been bad news to underestimate the kid.

Shit like that can wait for later. A slow fuck’s good and all, but Tseng sure as hell didn’t hire Reno for his conversational skills. “You gonna get your legs up, or chat?”

Rufus smiles, licks at his lip. His legs go around Reno’s hips, drawing tight to pull Reno down. “Finally giving me your cock?”

Reno drops down on his elbow, twisting to spit on his hand a couple times and slick himself up. Settling the head against Rufus’s hole, pushing just a little, he can feel muscle clench tight in reflex. Rufus moans for it, hips shifting restlessly. Reno slips in an inch, a couple more, and the kid’s squirming so fucking much he’s sure he’s just going to pop right back out again.

“Relax, baby,” Reno whispers, slapping a hand down on Rufus’s hips to pin him down. Rufus’s spine arches up off the bed as Reno gives him a little thrust, and the way Rufus sounds, the way his body tightens up, makes it feel like the kid’s a fucking virgin.

“Keep moaning for me, just like that,” Reno says, words scattered between half-assed kisses. He’s got to fucking work to get his dick in the kid any deeper, his skin gone slick with fresh sweat. His fingers slip off Rufus’s hip, nails scoring skin. Patience gone, Reno grabs at the back of the kid’s knee, shoves his leg up and drives in those last few inches with a couple hard, short thrusts.

Rufus freezes with his mouth fallen open, a whimper of a moan trembling on his lips. A shudder goes through him, muscle rippling around Reno’s dick like he’s in the middle of coming, and then kid’s body goes limp in Reno’s arms.

“Fuck, you didn’t,” Reno says. To make sure, he gets a hand between them, finds nothing but sweat-slick skin and Rude’s come drying tacky on Rufus’s cock. “Son of a bitch.”

Rufus stretches, lazy, languid, and gives Reno a wicked little grin before tightening up his muscles again.

Groaning low in his throat, Reno says, “You like a dick up your ass that fucking much?” Eager to find out how long the kid can keep it up, he starts off nice and slow, shallow thrusts that turn stuttering as Rufus’s sweet hole clutches at his cock.

“Fucking love it,” Rufus breathes. He licks sweat from his upper lip, his eyes sliding shut as Reno’s thrusts slip deeper.

Bringing his mouth close to Rufus’s, Reno says, voice low, “Enough to get off hands free?” and drags his lips along the sharp angle of Rufus’s cheekbone before the kid can kiss him.

Rufus’s, “Yes,” is lost in a harsh breath.

The kid’s finally stopped asking for it harder and doesn’t seem like he’s one bit disappointed that Reno’s sticking with slow. For all the times Reno’s caught Rufus in the middle of fucking somebody, or walked in on the kid jerking off with Rufus hoping he’ll join in, it’s never been this smooth, this easy. There’s time for lazy kisses, for Reno’s hands to shift over soft skin the same way Rufus’s hands glide over his.

Reno’s breath comes harder, faster. He’s thinking about picking up the pace, getting himself off first and then worrying about the kid. Not having a clue when the hell he closed his eyes, he opens them again, surprised to see Rufus’s face twisted with pleasure.

Like he can feel Reno looking at him, the kid’s eyes snap open. His mouth opens, too, a ragged groan spilling from his lips. Then his eyes shift out of focus, widen, and Reno’s got all of a heartbeat as Rufus’s hips jerk and cock swells thick against his belly to figure out that the kid just lost it.

Satisfaction a drug in his veins, more of a heady kick than a good shot of Dust, Reno seals his mouth over Rufus’s, swallows down every last noise the kid makes. Warmth floods over Reno’s stomach again, thick and clinging.

Pretty fucking limber for somebody that doesn’t do a damn thing, all Rufus does is groan when Reno pulls back and pushes both of his legs up, gets his ass lifting up off the bed. His fingers clutch at Reno’s shoulder without a bit of strength left in them.

Reno’s body’s screaming at him to go faster, get the fuck off right now, and Reno grits his teeth, torturing himself with the endless build-up of pressure at the base of his cock to fuck Rufus right through the lassitude. The dazed look stays on Rufus’s face even when the kid starts coming around, shifting to meet Reno’s thrusts again instead of just taking it.

Reno thinks he’s ready for it when it hits, but he’s not. Orgasm slams into him like a jolt from his own fucking e-mag, too hard and too fast for when the sex is this slow. It kicks the breath out of his lungs, strings him out in a taut, shivering line above Rufus with his face pressed against the kid’s shoulder, teeth digging into flesh. Everything narrows down to the harsh rasp of his own breath and the way Rufus clings to him, grinding against his dick. Reno feels the kid’s ass go slick around him, tired muscles trembling to tighten up, hold him in.

He feels Rufus start to go limp again and gathers the kid close. His cock slips a little as he rolls them over, hands sliding down immediately to cup Rufus’s ass, getting the kid sprawled just right. He figures he should’ve expected it when Rufus cuddles close, limbs loose and easy, draped like a living blanket on his chest.

It doesn’t take long for Rufus’s fingers to start wandering, either. He shifts to the side, pressing kisses into the hollow of Reno’s throat as he traces the edges of Reno’s ribs.

“Never liked it slow,” Rufus says. “Always thought it was boring.” A wave of exhaustion crashes into Reno, sapping at the warm haze settled in his brain. “Wasn’t boring,” Rufus says in a rush, feeling the shift. “Felt good, Reno, so fucking good.”

“Yeah,” Reno says. The kid’s stung his pride, though, and with Rude out there clattering around in the kitchen, food’s starting to sound good. “Glad you-”

“Never had it slow.”

Reno glances down. The kid’s not looking at him, eyes somewhere on his chest. Rufus’s neck is stained with red creeping slowly up to his face.

Rufus shrugs as if it’s nothing. “Just wanted to fuck. Get high and fuck,” he says, and for the first time, he sounds like he’s not so proud of it. “It’s all anybody wanted.”

Reno gives himself props for holding back the what’re you telling me that shit for? that’s on the tip of his tongue. Tseng’d be proud. Besides, he knows just why the kid’s spouting that off. He’s not feeling sorry for Rufus. Never really has. But the reason the kid turned out like he did kinda ticks Reno off.

“Got lots of time to cuddle later, baby,” Reno says. If he ends up keeping the kid around as long as he’s planning, it’s more than enough time. “You hungry?”

Rufus doesn’t hide his disappointment at being kicked out already, but says, “Yeah, a little,” instead of bitching.

“Rude’s cooking,” Reno says. He catches the kid’s face in both hands and gives him another kiss. And ends up getting lost in it, turning one into a couple into a dozen. In between one and the next, he dumps Rufus on the sheets beside him. “Go bug him for a beer.”

Reno’s halfway to the bathroom before Rufus shouts his name, making him grin. It fades a little at the edges when he closes the door behind him, hoping he won’t find Rufus curled up in a bitter lump in the bed when he gets out.

Reno flicks on the water and drags the tie out of his hair. He takes his time in the shower, washing his hair twice to make sure the blood’s out, picking the dried stuff out from underneath his nails, soaping up. Then he stands with his face in the spray, letting the water beat cool on his skin. Trying not to think too hard.

Over the hiss of water, he can hear the dull murmur of voices. Rude’s low rumble, Rufus’s startled laugh. Reno’s lips twist in a smile. Rude’s probably telling the kid the one about the two chicks and the fur coat.

He’s thinking about just lazing around in the shower for a couple minutes more when his stomach starts growling. Tseng wanted the kid to start paying more attention to him and Rude, and Reno wants to see it happen. Rufus’s reactions to Tseng up till now have been pretty vague.

Reno hauls on clean pants over damp skin, his wet hair combed back in a tail. Rude and the kid are at the breakfast nook, Rude leaning against the wall and Rufus perched on a stool, devouring a sandwich. Rufus looks up, taking it all in from Reno’s bare feet to the thin line of water trickling down Reno’s back.

“Where’s mine?” Reno asks, hand on his stomach.

Rude holds out a beer. “The kid was hungry.”

“Shit, Rude, that’s real chicken,” Reno says. Rufus smiles and takes another bite. “You know how fucking hard it is to find real chicken in this dump city?”

“I ordered Wutai. Ten minutes.”

“You’re damn lucky,” Reno says, “damn lucky you’re a good lay.” He’s not sure if he’s talking about Rude or Rufus there, but it’s not like it matters. He flops on the couch, knees wide, and cracks open his beer.

And he can practically hear Rufus thinking.

“You order any for him?” Reno asks.

“Stop talking about me as if I weren’t here,” Rufus says. Both Reno and Rude turn to look at him. “You don’t have to handle me.”

Reno laughs. “Well, fuck, kid, since when?”

Rufus snatches up a pile of papers, sending a pen skittering to the floor. Reno glances at Rude for some kind of explanation, and only gets a shrug in return.

“I’m fucking sick of my old man,” Rufus says. Which isn’t news to Reno. “I’ve been thinking about it. I want my own money.” Reno looks up, into Rufus’s eyes. Sees what Rufus’s doesn’t say: My own power.

Rufus pushes the few magazines and the remote off the coffee table and slaps the papers down. Reno tilts his head, recognises them as part of Rufus’s old dealer’s territory.

“You got a plan?”

“Yeah,” Rufus says. “Yes, I’ve got a plan.”

Reno swings his gaze to Rude. “Is it a good plan?”

Rude shrugs and takes a swig of beer. “Dicey. Complicated.”

“I don’t like complicated,” Reno says.

“Fuck off, Reno,” Rufus snaps. “Listen to me. You chased him off, right? It’s up for grabs, and I want it.”

“Look, Rufus. If you think I’m letting you fucking near a supply of Dust-”

Rufus scowls, looks over Reno’s shoulder to Rude like he’s asking for help. And shocks the shit out of Reno when he gets it.

“Have a look at it, partner,” Rude says.

“You serious?”

Rude gives him a steady look before tipping his bottle up to drain it.

“I want the money,” Rufus says, the flare of temper gone. “Not the drugs, Reno. The money.”

“Money’s good,” Reno says, scooting to the edge of the couch. “Show me what you got.”

By the time Rufus is done, and they’ve hashed out a couple details, the floor around the coffee table is littered with empties and takeout boxes. Rufus is still kneeling on the floor, and Rude’s moved into the living room, leaning back in a chair with his hands folded over his stomach.

“Fuck,” Reno says. He scratches at the side of his neck and glances down the hallway, then back toward the bedroom. He goes for his jacket, ignoring the blood to dig for his phone before remembering it’s still on the couch where he tossed it.

“Boss,” Reno says when Tseng picks up. “The kid did something interesting.”

*

Reno leans back on the railing, his hair whipping around his face in the wind. A couple hundred stories below, the string of traffic looks like it reaches halfway to Kalm. Ash flutters from the tip of his cig, picked up on the air currents to skim by Tseng’s face.

“The President is concerned,” Tseng says, earning himself a grin.

“Y’know, boss, I’ve always liked that about you. So damn diplomatic.” Reno takes a long, satisfying drag, the smoke streaming from his lips swept away. “Shinra’s shitting his fancy pants.”

Tseng’s lips quirk. He turns to the brightly lit suite beyond the balcony doors. “And has been for quite some time. AVALANCHE moves quickly.”

Reno follows his gaze, pride and lust and a thrilling cocktail of half a dozen other things stirring in his blood when he finds Rufus’s pretty face in the crowd. Rude is a dark, ominous shadow beside him. Even from here, Reno catches the protective vibe his partner’s giving off.

“So does the kid,” Reno says.

“There are plans to move Rufus to Junon. Officially, Rufus is needed to spearhead a new development with the underwater reaction. The media will speculate that the President is concerned for his son’s safety.”

Reno snorts and crushes the cigarette butt under his heel. The same media that blamed AVALANCE for the Cirkos’ deaths would spin that story. “Shinra’s fucking with us. He knows the kid’s ours. Shipping Rufus off to Junon is gonna do the same thing pulling me off him did, boss. Nothing.”

“He’ll require an escort. I’ll see that you’re detained in Junon as long as possible.”

“Well, y’know. Shit happens.”

“Indeed it does,” Tseng says. He tugs at his cuff and touches two fingertips to his earpiece. “Speaking of, Heidegger is bellowing.”

“When’re you gonna let me off him, boss?” Reno asks as Tseng pushes open the glass door.

“Soon. Rufus,” Tseng says, stepping back to let the kid out onto the balcony with a nod. He closes the door again, cutting off the sound of some society chick’s tinkling laughter.

The kid looks good. His hair’s different, shorter, but it still feels the same in Reno’s hands. It’s the way he carries himself that’s really changed. Cool, distant, the kid’s got presence now. Only when Rufus figures nobody else is watching does that same old look creep back into his eyes.

Reno jerks his chin towards the shadows at the other end of the balcony. When Rufus passes by, the wind shoves the warm, sweet scent of his skin right in Reno’s face. Sparks follow in its wake, and Reno trails after him, magnet and lodestone.

Rufus steps up to the railing, sucking in a quick breath and letting it out slowly as Reno’s arms slide around him to brace on the chilled metal. “They’re all idiots,” he says, his voice already gone thick.

“Yeah,” Reno says, closing the distance between them until Rufus’s body is a solid line of warmth against his chest. “But they pay the bills.”

Rufus laughs, low and free and so fucking sexy. Taking the risk, Reno dips his head down to let his breath wash warm over Rufus’s ear, and the kid melts right into it, offering up his neck for a kiss.

“I want you to fuck me,” Rufus says. He shifts, his ass snug against Reno’s dick. And moans when it starts to thicken up. “When they’re gone, I want you to fuck me right here.”

Reno closes his eyes, breathes. His hand slips off the railing to press flat on Rufus’s belly, guiding him into a slow, grinding rhythm. Through the layers and layers of clothing, Reno imagines the tight heat of Rufus’s body, his mouth gone wet and full thinking about the way Rufus will moan and writhe for him.

“Anything you want, baby.” Reno touches Rufus’s hip, reluctantly drawing back as Rufus turns and their lips touch. “Anything you want,” he says, and means it.

End

7 Responses to “Armageddon Days”

  1. Mata Says:

    So damn good. Really, this slutty Rufus was very well done!

  2. Anna Says:

    Amazing. Very, very well done.

  3. Arcane Says:

    Creative character portrayal… In my quest for well-written FFVII fics, finding this masterpiece is like discovering an oasis after getting stuck in a desert for so long. You know, this fic really, really needs some sequels [making puppy eyes]. Something like “Farther than guns will go”, but have characters more in consistent with this fic’s.

  4. rattyfleef Says:

    Holy crap. Thumbs up ALL OVER THE PLACE. Fic like this makes insomnia worthwhile.

    Things wot I liked: *great* pace re: description of process and rate of revelation. God I sound overtrained and pretentious. But I mean it; I never felt rushed, and I never got bored. And I’ve got diagnosed attention issues *g*.

    REALLY liked the characterization. Rude being this WALL of calm dressed up in sex and weapons, Reno bouncing all over the place from one emotion to the next, and ten points for making me like Rufus. I’ve played all the games–multiple times–been reading fic for years, and I have not liked Rufus until now.

    Great action scenes; both the physical details and the characters’ responses. I envy your mad dialogue skillz. And I want to haul Tseng off into a corner somewhere but that’s not hing new :D

    So. Uh. God I always feel like a moron when I give feedback, which is why I usually chicken out and delete it before sending. But this was too awesome. Yay for you!

  5. Nyx Says:

    Uh excuse me, that was. Brain-meltingly good. I am pretty much incoherent right now? It’s 2am and I just finished this fic, and WOW, man, this was absolutely incredible. I love the way you’ve written Reno here, and him calling Rufus “baby”? Brilliant. Perfect. Brb, reccing this to everyone I know.

  6. Bravo Says:

    Awesome! Your Reno is very cool here, very in character of FFVII. The transformation of Rufus was written very well. The delay of their real intercourse is very good setting, which Rufus had longed so desperately, and when it was achieved, it inspired Rufus greatly to go out of his former life pattern. This Reno was really smart and cool, as the true resource of Rufus’ power. The pictures are awesome too! Thanks a lot you wrote such a excellent fiction.

  7. Bravo Says:

    Hm, I like the picture in which Rude was looking at Rufus with such mocking expression.

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