By the time that Rufus finished with his shower and left the bathroom, the only thing left of Reno in the apartment was the lingering stench of cigarette smoke. Stepping into the empty bedroom, Rufus spared a glance at the rumpled bed and, letting the towel loosely wrapped around his waist fall to the floor, went to his closet.
He hadn’t really expected to find the man still here but had to admit that he had hoped for a little more… distraction this morning before facing his schedule for the day. The thought of Reno’s wicked mouth on his cock had aroused him during the shower, but now he sternly ignored his body’s desires as its outlet had already left for work. For all the trouble it took to get Reno out of bed, he didn’t waste any time once he was on his feet. Rufus reflected on how that was quite the inconvenience for a moment before he began to dress.
Since everything he needed was basically within reach, it only took a minute before he was almost completely dressed. Once his black silk shirt was buttoned, he began to tuck it into his white trousers and slowly realized that something was wrong. Frowning in confusion, he looked around the closet as he tried to figure out what was missing. After a few puzzled seconds, he became aware that there were several empty hangers on the cedar rod from which his dress shirts neatly hung, their presence now glaring amidst fine white fabric.
As he slowly pulled on a white jacket, Rufus pondered the missing shirts. In the past few weeks, one had been ruined when he spilled red wine onto it in response to a sarcastic but witty comment made by Reno, and the shirt he had worn yesterday still needed to be cleaned. That left three shirts unaccounted for, three shirts that by all rights should be hanging in his closet. For a moment he considered the elderly man responsible for looking after his wardrobe, but he quickly realized that the man was too terrified of him to risk losing his job – and more – over petty thievery.
Perplexed by the matter and why it bothered him so much, it wasn’t until Rufus left the closet and noticed the white heap of fabric that lay on the floor that he figured out who the culprit was. He prodded the cheap material with the leather-clad toe of his right foot, noted the missing buttons, the tears and frayed threads that were the result of him ripping the shirt from Reno before…. His cock twitched in remembrance of how Reno had dared to mock him last night as they stood in the bedroom, how he had embraced the offered challenge and torn the shirt from Reno’s pale body, had forced his lover onto the bed and….
Rufus took a deep breath to calm himself and walked away from the ruined garment. Now that he thought about it, the shirt that Reno had worn last week had been particularly fine, the expensive fabric soft under Rufus’ fingers as he pushed it from Reno’s bony shoulders. Since he had been eager for a quick fuck before attending a devastatingly boring board meeting, he hadn’t thought much of it then, other than to nod in approval at the feel of something other than cheap cotton. And, if he remembered correctly, Reno had been here on the morning of that day, had washed off, dressed and left while Rufus was in the shower.
Well, now the mystery was solved and he could relax since it wasn’t a breach in security. Yet as he combed the fingers of his left hand through his slightly damp and slicked back hair, Rufus felt growing annoyance at Reno’s assumption that he could just take what he wanted. Rufus knew all about the man’s past, how Reno had acquired the skills that made him a very good ‘retrieval’ agent for the Turks, and was disturbed to realize that he was slowly but definitely growing furious.
For the most – surprising - part, Reno hadn’t taken any excessive advantages after becoming Rufus’ lover. He seemed to delight in flinging the fact of their… ‘relationship’ in people’s faces, would strongly prefer to spend as much of a work shift having sex as possible and he could utterly decimate Rufus’ wine and liquor collection if left idle and unsupervised in the apartment for too long. However, he didn’t ask for any special favors, didn’t maneuver for a promotion or demand expensive trinkets like Rufus’s last few partners had. Between that and Reno’s refreshing irreverent attitude, his sharp wit and talent at sex, Rufus allowed the relationship to last longer than he had originally intended. There was also the fact that Reno was a Turk, was utterly loyal and (mostly) obedient to him, had stood by him after the fall of Shinra Corporation and the damage geostigma had done to his body.
Rufus, with great reluctance and hindsight, admitted to himself that he did favor Reno somewhat because of those things, that he let the redhead get away with behavior that would normally end with the offender being shot but in no way had he made it clear that Reno was able to freely partake in what was his. He did not give Reno any money outside what the man earned for work, gave no gifts other than reining in his temper when the careless idiot inevitably pushed things too far. For Reno to assume that he could help himself to Rufus’ wardrobe… that would be corrected as soon as Rufus arrived at work. Reno would soon be put in his proper place. That thought made Rufus smile in anticipation as he left his apartment, made a languid hunger build low in his belly.
‘Teaching’ Reno his place was one of the best parts of their relationship, even if Reno had to be repeatedly taught again and again. In retrospect, that was part of what kept Reno in his favor since Rufus derived great pleasure from those lessons. As he climbed into the helicopter that would take him to work, he smiled and hoped that he would have a sizable break available on his calendar for the day. The most enjoyable sessions tended to last at least an hour.
Busy going over Reeve’s previously ignored research on alternate energy sources, Rufus glanced from the thick folder of paper when he heard his secretary cry out in a high-pitched, aggrieved voice. “You can’t just go-“
The words were cut off by one of his office doors flying open to reveal what appeared to be a thoroughly enraged Reno. Behind the man were the two Turks assigned to Rufus for the day, Jared and Rod, who sent him inquiring looks as their hands reached for Reno’s shoulders. A curt head shake from Rufus made them instantly back down from their fellow Turk, and the door was slammed shut by a forceful backward kick from Reno.
“You fucking, spoiled bastard.”
From the way the insult was hissed in anger and not its usual affection, Rufus assumed that Reno had found out about his paychecks and sat back in his chair, his arms crossed over his chest. “I’ll have you know that, unlike some people, my conception was perfectly legitimate. Not only did my mother know who my father was, but they were married to each other at the time,” he calmly replied. When Reno didn’t grimace or laugh or smirk at the subtle taunt about his own parentage, Rufus began to suspect that all the anger wasn’t for show. That thought caused the hunger simmering inside his body to flare into burning heat. He always did like it when Reno put up a fight, it made the sex that much more exciting.
Stalking toward the desk, Reno slapped onto its surface the piece of paper he held clutched in his hand. His aquamarine eyes appeared more green than blue for once, bright with an anger that lent a flush to his tattooed cheeks, his lean body trembled with tension. “The richest asshole on the planet and you’re *docking* half of my salary over a couple of damn shirts? What the hell is your problem?”
“Half of your salary for the next month,” Rufus pointed out, his voice smooth and in control, the opposite of Reno’s ragged, furious tone. “Those shirts are not the cheap, barely better than rag quality ones that you usually prefer, I’ll have you know.” His upper lip curled slightly with distaste while he stared pointedly at the untucked, partially unbuttoned silk shirt that Reno currently wore.
His eyes narrowing in fury, Reno leaned in closer, his hand that rested on top of the desk now clenched into a fist. “You’re docking my pay because of a few fucking shirts?” he repeated, his tone sharpened by indignation. “What the hell is your problem, Rufus? You wake up and decide that today’s a good day to jerk me around or something? Isn’t there some other peon who better deserves you fucking around with him, eh? You’re a fucking asshole.”
While Rufus had expected Reno to bitch up a storm upon finding out about his pay, he hadn’t expected his lover to cross the line between them with so little regard. He could handle it when Reno got bossy during sex, when he gleefully pushed at Rufus’ self control to see what he could get away with, but this was nothing but disrespect. Shifting forward in the chair, Rufus rested the palms of his hands on the desk’s top and gave the Turk a cool look in warning. “I think you should stop with those insults, Reno.” He left unsaid what would happen if the command wasn’t obeyed, but from the way that Reno hissed in anger and straightened, he knew that he had been understood. “You took property from me without prior approval, hence you are responsible for reimbursing me for your petty thefts.” Recalling his intentions when he’d had his secretary contact Payroll and make the changes to Reno’s weekly salary, his expression softened and some warmth crept back into his voice. “You can always work overtime if the lack of pay is troublesome,” he remarked, his voice slightly roughened by molten desire that flowed through his veins. While angered by the disrespect shown toward him, he was also invigorated by it, by the thought of making Reno beg to take those words back.
Reno merely stared at him, for once utterly silent when the expected reaction was for him to try arguments or seduction. Confused by the lack of a response, Rufus clasped his hands together and frowned. He had counted on Reno smirking or giving him a lustful grin, being asked in a husky voice just what it was that he would require from Reno during that overtime. However, all the redhead did now was stare incredulously for several heartbeats and then jerk his hands through the tousled mess of his hair. “You really want me to pay you back for those shirts,” he muttered, an unusually cold note to his voice.
Wondering why things weren’t going according to plan, Rufus nodded and tried to regain control of the situation. He did expect to be repaid – but it wasn’t money that he was after. “I imagine that you’ve managed to destroy the ones you’ve taken already, so yes, I expect you to repay me for the shirts. You’re a clever man, Reno, I’m sure you’ll figure out something.” He actually smiled, the expression one of challenge and anticipation, the latter a warm, bubbling emotion inside his chest. Reno *always* rose to the challenge. This would be fun.
There was more silence for a few seconds, an unnatural response that managed to tamp down on some of that warm feeling inside Rufus. Then Reno suddenly burst into motion. Unsurprisingly, he began to shrug out of his black jacket and kick his shoes off, which made Rufus smile in victory and lean back in his chair. Now this was what he had counted on and looked forward to all morning.
As his nimble fingers quickly undid the buttons, Reno began to glare, the expression unusually bitter. “I don’t fucking believe this. *You’re* the one with the thing for ripping my ‘cheap-ass’ shirts so I can’t wear them the next morning, and now you’re bitching if I borrow something of yours so I can show up for work on time and in uniform.” As he spat the words out, he pulled the shirt from his body and actually *flung* it at Rufus. “Here’s your damn shirt back. As for the other two, one got ruined because of *someone’s* bright idea to fuck me against a brick wall and the other one’s at the dry cleaners. So I only owe your stingy ass for one.”
His anger rekindling at the continued insults, Rufus brushed the shirt – still warm from Reno’s body heat – off the top of the desk. “I’ll warn you one more time.” The words were curt and sharp, the only sign of annoyance that he allowed. “If you swear at me again, then I’ll-“ He was cut off as something warm, silken and dark landed on his face.
“Oh yeah, I borrowed your fucking boxer shorts, too. Ya gonna dock me for that now?” Reno demanded to know, his tone the most disgusted that Rufus had ever heard in regards to himself. When he batted the underwear aside, he found Reno in the process of pulling his black jacket on, already clad in his pants but with the belt left unbuckled.
This was *not* how the situation was supposed to go, Rufus thought as his right hand clenched around the boxer shorts. Reno was supposed to be naked, not in the process of putting his clothes on – such as they were, now. He was supposed to be doing his best to drive Rufus insane with lust, to ‘make amends’ in one of the best ways he knew how, with his lean, tight body and insanely skilled mouth and those fingers that always knew just *where* to stroke or pinch or scratch. He sure as hell wasn’t supposed to be risking death with the constant insults and stepping into his shoes, his handsome face impassive but his eyes blazing with rage.
“You’re responsible for your uniform,” Rufus pointed out, his voice chilled to a degree that usually had anyone with common sense scrambling for cover. “I fail to see how I’m to blame for any of this.” Despite his growing annoyance and temper, he was still filled with that hunger, languid no more but insistent and sharp and hot. No one but Reno dared to address him in this manner, to show him any anger and that was a very potent aphrodisiac. So he tried once more to reason with the idiot, to put a stop to things before Reno went too far. “I feel I’m being very reasonable in offering you a chance to-“
And found himself cut off with a rude gesture. “Fuck your ‘overtime’, President. In fact, shove it up that tight ass of yours and get whatever pleasure from it that you can.” While Reno spat out the insolent words, he turned and headed for the door.
Struggling to control his flaring temper, Rufus rose from his chair and just barely prevented his hands from slamming onto the top of his desk. “You’re out of uniform and impertinent, Turk. You will-“
Once again Reno cut him off but this time didn’t bother to turn around and face him. “I’ll borrow panties and a fucking shirt from Elena if I have to, *President*.” If Rufus thought that Reno was being brazen before, it was nothing compared to the obvious disrespect in which he said that title. “Now I’m getting back to work so I can pay for your shitting clothes. *Sir*.” The door was once again slammed shut, only this time Rufus was left alone in the office.
He had to take several deep breaths to calm himself, had to ignore the urge to grab whatever weapon was at hand, track down that insolent bastard and beat some manners into him. Usually he enjoyed Reno’s disregard for his station but what had just happened was almost too much for him to bear.
Once the urge to commit homicide passed, he sat down in his chair and reached for the phone. In a perfectly flat tone of voice, he instructed his secretary to contact Payroll to suspend all of Reno’s paychecks until further notice. If the man felt that he could get away with behavior like this and not be punished, he was wrong. Reno would not receive any of Rufus’ money until he apologized for his actions today. And he best pray that Rufus was in a forgiving mood any time soon.
Rude sighed as he watched Reno toss back another shot of whiskey. “Am I going to have to carry you home again?” he asked. His partner merely grinned and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
“Relax, Rude, I’m not planning on getting shit-faced tonight. Just need to take the edge off a bit, okay?” Reno set the empty shot glass on the table and picked up the remaining full one. That quickly went the way of the previous two before Reno slumped in his chair and groaned in satisfaction while he lit a cigarette. “Really needed that.”
Rude could very well imagine why and tossed a shot of his own back before he asked another question. “Are you going to bite my head off if I talk about it?” He didn’t need to refer to what ‘it’ was, and judging from the way Reno’s exotic eyes narrowed in anger, he guessed that it still was an off-limit topic.
However, Reno being Reno, his partner surprised him. Waving over the waitress, Reno motioned with his cigarette to the empty shot glasses, held up two fingers and then snorted as he returned his attention to Rude. “I was gonna wait for a few more shots before I start bitching but if you want to hear it now…..” He shrugged and ran the fingers of his left hand through his hair, made the crimson strands stand up even more. “Can you fucking believe how much of an asshole *he* is?”
There was no need to ask who the ‘he’ in particular was, and Rude would feel much better if they didn’t mention names while out in public. Reno’s choice of a bar tonight might have decent whiskey for an even better price, but the name ‘Rufus Shinra’ would most likely gain them some unwelcome attention. As it was, they’d received some nasty looks for their black jackets, which both of them quickly shed once they sat down. Even in their white shirts – and in Rude’s case, black tie – they were definitely overdressed for this dive. However, Reno must have been here before because the patrons gave their table a rather wide berth.
“You’re lucky that ‘he’ didn’t shoot you if you called him half the names you repeated to me,” Rude pointed out, and earned a particularly nasty look for doing so. “Reno… he’s our boss,” he sighed, aware even as he spoke that his partner would just ignore his advice. “How many times do I have to tell you that you shouldn’t insult the man, even if you’re….”
Fortunately, Reno finished the sentence for him, as crudely as possible. “Even if I’m letting him fuck me on a regular basis? Even if I hide beneath his desk and blow him whenever he’s stuck in a meeting with Heidegger?” Reno’s voice was thick with contempt, was bitter enough that the waitress’s hand began to shake as she set the whiskey down on the table. “Thanks,” Reno drawled as he reached for a shot glass.
“I could have lived without knowing that last one,” Rude muttered and rubbed his forehead to try and get rid of the disturbing images that filled it. Now whenever he heard that horrible laugh, he’d think of his partner crouched beneath Rufus’ enormous desk, about to give their employer a blow job. He wanted to ask Reno if he had no shame but he already knew that answer.
The whisky and cigarette gone, Reno grinned wickedly and began to play with the ends of his long tail of hair. “Wanna know what I do after his meetings with Scarlet?”
“*NO*.” Rude kicked the bastard’s ankle under the table and glared. “How many times do I have to tell you, the less I know, the better,” he grumbled. The better for him, that was. He already had enough pornographic images of Reno in his head to last a life time. There’d been too many times when he’d caught Reno and Rufus in the act, the last thing he needed to know was what he luckily missed out on.
Reno merely smiled and shrugged as he played with his hair. “Sorry, didn’t mean to getcha all hot and bothered,” he drawled, the words dragged out until they sounded almost obscene.
The trouble was, Rude contemplated as he downed his shot of whiskey, was that Reno really didn’t mean to do that. Hell, he was convinced that Reno didn’t have a clue what he felt for the bastard. After all, it wasn’t like he had a reputation for liking men, in fact hadn’t liked any guys until he met Reno. He admitted that he was definitely infatuated with his friend, was intrigued by whatever it was Reno possessed that attracted all sorts of people to him. That attracted Rufus Shinra. That particular thought was like a bucket of cold water over Rude’s head and a reminder of what he’d been trying to discuss.
“You’d need to lose the dick and grow some really big breasts to do that,” he retorted automatically. Then he settled as level a look on his friend as he could. “What are you going to do? You can’t have the- you can’t have ‘him’ made at you for very long,” he tried to explain, even though Reno seemed to have a strong aversion to logic. “It’s not very healthy and you need the money.” Not that he wanted Reno back with Rufus as he thought the relationship was one spectacularly messy explosion waiting to happen but he felt that it would go better for his partner if Rufus was the one to end things.
Once again, Reno’s eyes narrowed as his now non-existent pay was mentioned. “I’ve got some money set aside, I’ll be fine. And if I’m not being paid then I see no reason why I should hafta work.” He stopped playing with his hair and picked up an empty shot glass instead, began to roll it between his palms.
Rude swallowed past a suddenly dry throat. “You’re thinking of quitting?” he asked in a loud, squeaky voice that made the men at the table nearest them turn around and stare at him in amazement.
Looking up from his hands, Reno squinted for a second and shrugged. “Eh, there’s no sense in me working there forever if I’m not getting paid. I mean, beating people up can be fun and all but….” He shrugged again. “We’ll see how long a certain someone is gonna be a huge asshole,” he said, his voice taking on a nasty edge and his expression becoming a little frightening.
Great, just great. So Rufus Shinra and Reno were going to see who could be the most stubborn bastard, Rude thought with despair. As if the company hadn’t been through enough. Hell, as if the *world* hadn’t been through enough. He had a very bad feeling about the situation and waved the waitress back to the table with the desperate need for more alcohol.
Once the order was placed, he turned his attention to his partner. Reno was again playing with the shot glass, an amused smile on his face. With his hair even more tousled than usual, the long tail draped over his left shoulder, and Rude’s too-big shirt exposing most of Reno’s upper chest, Reno looked… well, especially attractive. There was a tingling thrill of pleasure to see Reno wearing one of his shirts, even if it had been borrowed because of Rufus.
Rufus… Rude grimaced and hoped that the whiskey got here soon. He shivered as he remembered what had happened right before the end of today’s shift, when Reno and Rufus crossed paths in a hallway. Reno pretended to act as if nothing wrong, as if he hadn’t seen Rufus at all and continued to joke with Rude, to even drape his arm over as much of Rude’s shoulders that he could reach. Meanwhile, the impassive expression on their employer’s face took on a frightening edge as he stared at Reno, his gaze lowering to the shirt that Rude’s partner wore and then to Rude himself. That expression clearly said that Rufus was in the mind to perpetrate mass carnage if given the slightest excuse.
“Do me a favor, Reno, and make up soon, okay?” he almost pleaded when he recalled how the venom in that look had sharply increased when Rufus’s gaze had shifted from Reno to him. He’d make a crazy guess and say that Rufus was *not* pleased with him right now. In fact, he’d even go so far as to say that Rufus… Rufus was acting like a jealous person. There was no other reason but that to explain why he had glared at Rude as if he wished him dead, not when it was Reno who had pissed him off.
Pausing as he exchanged the empty shot glass to the waitress for a full one, Reno gave him a disbelieving look. “What? Come on, Rude, you didn’t just say what I thought you did.” When Rude didn’t answer, Reno’s smile faded once more and his voice took on a hard edge. “Listen, I jump when that bastard tells me to jump, I take bullets meant for him and those hurt like hell, let me tell you, and I let him fuck me. What I don’t do is let him fuck *with* me,” Reno snarled then tossed back the shot and quickly snatched up another. “Asshole wants me to spend the night with him, I do it, even though my apartment’s clear on the other side of town. I sit around bored out of my mind most nights because he likes to have me on hand to fuck whenever he feels horny, and the one time I tried to leave a change of clothes there for the next morning, he flipped out.”