crack, plain and simple
Much to Rufus’ disgust, the cellphone was in his hand before it stopped beeping, yet his giving in to foolish concern did not stop him from flipping it open as soon as he recognized the identify of the person who had sent the text. His foul mood was *not* helped at all by the few words he read. ‘Go to dinner without me.’
"The fucking, irresponsible bastard." He snapped the phone shut and allowed himself a moment to fantasize that his lover was across the room and so in range of having a cellphone thrown at his head. Since that was not the actual case, he slipped the phone into the inner pocket of his coat before closing a couple of documents on his laptop then powering it off.
‘Go to dinner without me’, from the man who had stood in his office that morning and swore that he would be back in time for their evening plans. Reno, who had smiled and joked about even being back before lunch, who had downplayed the danger of a mission that *Tseng* felt the need to take part in, who had bitched for the past week about how they had not had a ‘decent’ dinner yet that month. Lunchtime had come and gone, as had the time that Tseng had estimated it would take to reach the elusive contact and get the necessary information, and not a word from any of the three Turks. All the while, Rufus’ concern and bad mood had increased, only for him to receive such a ridiculous message.
Chances were split about even that either Reno was in some slum hospital, too wounded to make it back to headquarters – or to deal with Alim – or holed up in a bar with Tseng and Rude. Either option did not amuse Rufus, who swore he would throttle the idiot as soon as Reno returned home. Dammit, it was bad enough that some foolish emotion twisted him in knots every time his lover went off on a mission, that having Reno make things worse with his asinine behavior was *not* acceptable.
His secretary and the Turks had learned to be cautious around him whenever Reno was off doing his best to get killed, yet Tosh actually paled when he left the office while his secretary pretended to drop something to the floor and remained huddled beneath her desk the entire time it took him to cross the room.
"Ah, where are we going, Sir?" Pamela asked, sounding more uncertain and shy than she had back when she had first become a Turk.
"Home," Rufus snapped, and neither Turk said a word after that. If he noticed the way that Tosh had to break most traffic laws on the drive from ShinRa headquarters to the penthouse, he did not say anything since he preferred to get home as quickly as possible. Once he was there, he could try to calm his temper a little with a bottle of very fine whiskey and decide which gun he would use to shoot his lover when the bastard finally deigned to come home.
Even distracted by the thought of what sort of punishment he could use on Reno over the next few days, he soon noticed the fact that there was only one Turk standing guard before the front door of the penthouse. Rod’s uniform was more disheveled than normal, his hair flat from sweat and the left side of his face covered by a dark bruise. "President, I thought you were supposed to go out to dinner." He did not sound uncertain or cocky, but tired and displeased.
Rufus narrowed his eyes and brushed his hand along the front of his coat, as if standing within a few feet of the untidy Turk had left him disheveled as well. "Are you *supposed* to stop me from going inside?" His tone was frigid to make it known that it would be worth Rod’s life to do so.
Rod sighed and straightened his back as he stepped away from the door. "No, Sir. Just… be careful." He ignored Rufus’ curious look to stare at his fellow Turks. "Return to Headquarters."
Rod cut off Tosh with both a hard look and a quick slash of his right hand through the air. "Go." There was nothing of his usual lackadaisical manner to his behavior just then, a startling fact that was probably what made Tosh and Pamela do as their friend ordered without any more complaint. Once they were on their way back to the car downstairs, he knocked twice on the door then opened it for Rufus.
Hoping that a loyal Turk would give him some sort of warning if he was walking into bloodshed, Rufus stared at him for a moment and then went inside. What it came down to was, odd behavior or not, he trusted Rod. If it proved to be a mistake… well, he was armed.
The door was closed behind him as soon as he was clear of it, and by then his attention was ensnared by the sound of voices coming from the bedroom. He instantly recognized Reno’s voice and hurried to the room, stepping through the doorway and coming to an immediate halt from shock of the sight before him.
There were three Turks in the room, an unusual fact in and of itself. Add to
that Tseng stretched out on the bed while bereft of his shirt and with Reno
straddling his waist and pinning his wrists to pillows beneath his head, and
Rufus felt as if he had been punched in the chest. He could not see Reno’s
face as a fall of crimson hair obscured it and the lower half Tseng’s as well,
but he had an idea of what was going on when his lover yelled at Rude to finish
taking off Tseng’s pants. Rude, currently standing by the foot of the bed with
his hands clasped around Tseng’s ankles, stood up straight as soon as he
"For fuck’s sake, don’t stop now! Rip the damn things off!" Reno yelled while Rude took a hasty step away from the bed. "I can’t-" The next instant, he was the one lying on the bed, Tseng having reversed their positions with a very quick move that Rufus assumed all the Turks must learn at some point since it had been used against him upon various occasions.
Tseng chuckled and leaned over a cursing Reno. "I think this suits you much better. As for my pants, all you have to do is ask." He began to lean even closer, which was when Rufus decided that he had had enough.
"Get the hell off of him before I shoot you both," he snarled, his mind doing its best to explain such a damning situation and not able to come up with much other than his lover and the man he trusted the most had been ready to betray him. Oh, he could not forget about Rude, either, and added him to the list of people to immediately be shot.
Tseng snapped his head around to look at Rufus, which seemed to be the opening that Reno needed to push him up and off the bed. Tseng’s arms flailed about as he fell, not quite catching himself in time before his head smacked against the nightstand.
"Dammit, there’s no telling how much worse his condition will be if he has a concussion!" Rude rushed over to pick his leader up off of the floor and help him sit on the bed. It was then that Rufus noticed that Tseng’s upper right arm was bandaged, and that Rude and Reno’s shirts were splattered with blood. They had not left for the mission wearing their uniforms, but they had been presentable even while dressed in jeans and casual shirts.
Now it was obvious that they had all been involved in a fight of some sort, and that Reno’s throat was bruised as if someone other than Rufus had tried to throttle him. While Reno backed away from Tseng in a very wary manner, Rufus went over to his lover. "An explanation, please, before I follow through with my threat."
Reno tilted his head and glared even as he rested his back against Rufus. "Some asshole shot Tseng with something that’s… well, see for yourself." His voice was raspy and his expression concerned, his body trembling with either tension or exhaustion.
"I keep telling you that I feel perfectly fine." Tseng’s words were slightly slurred and his eyes unfocused; at first, Rufus thought that he must have a concussion before he noticed the rather odd smile on the man’s face. It was… disturbingly goofy.
"He’s doped to the gills on whatever it is," Rude offered, proving much more helpful than anyone else in the room. He had both hands on Tseng’s shoulders as if to hold him back.
"Of course, which is why he’s half-naked in my bedroom instead of in Medical." Even though Rufus kept his voice remarkably even and left off the ‘and on top of my lover’ part, Reno flinched and pulled away a little, only to find himself jerked back by his long earring.
Swearing once more under his breath, Reno managed to snatch free the earring and stood beside Rufus, his arms wrapped around his chest as if his ribs were injured. "We just sent Cyril off with some blood work, but we can’t-"
"I thought you were supposed to be removing my pants," Tseng said, cutting across Reno’s explanation. "For someone of your vast experience, you’re doing a bad job of it." He did not sound insulting at all; if anything, it came across as disappointed.
"Trust him ta keep his fuckin’ mouth shut!" Reno finished, his voice growing hoarse the more he spoke.
"He’s brought up some… very delicate topics," Rude added as sweat ran down his bruised face. "We felt it best not to risk anyone overhearing him until an antidote is found or the drug runs its course." He opened his mouth to say something else, only to call out Tseng’s name when he noticed his leader’s hands were now inside his pants.
"Fuck, ya were supposed to take care of that!" Reno lunged across the bed, panic clear in his hoarse voice as he pushed his hands down Tseng’s pants as well. Not sure what the hell was going on but not about to take any chances, Rufus pulled his gun and waited to see if he had to shoot anyone for infidelity or because they were a real threat.
Fortunately for Tseng and Reno, it seemed it was the latter that had gotten Reno so bothered and Tseng partially stripped; Reno, living up to his reputation of being the fastest Turk, yanked a surprisingly long and thin knife from Tseng’s hand and threw it across the room, then grabbed hold of the man’s pants so he could yank them off. Rude assisted by lifting Tseng up enough to make the task a bit easier. "Knew he had some more shit down there. Check his boxers, Rude."
"Do it, Rude," Rufus ordered, dismayed by whatever else Tseng had hidden on himself after seeing the knife. It had finally sunk into him that one of the most dangerous men on the planet was in his apartment while under the influence of an unknown drug. "Why the hell did you bring him here?"
"Because there’s nobody around here ta hear anything," Reno muttered as he got off the bed to go fetch what turned out to be a pair of boxers from Rufus’ dresser. All the while, a profusely sweating Rude removed a grinning Tseng’s underwear. "Including you."
"Put these on," Reno ordered as he returned to the bed. Tseng, not appearing bothered at all at being naked, arched his eyebrows and laughed as he accepted the silk boxers.
"Come now, you’ve already seen me naked so what’s the hurry? Don’t you want to check me for any more weapons?" Now there was a sharp edge to Tseng’s tone, as if he was taking some sort of twisted pleasure in everyone’s reactions.
"Why have you seen him naked, Reno?" Rufus asked, a completely different edge to his own voice, in no hurry at all to put his gun away.
"It’s not what you think," Reno was quick to answer as he struggled with Tseng over the underwear. "Put ‘em the fuck on an’ shut up!" he hissed at the Head Turk.
"What, you won’t return the favor and strip, either? Though it’s not like I haven’t seen you naked. Do you still have the mole on your upper left thigh?" As Tseng chuckled, Rude took to whispering something under his breath that sounded suspiciously like a prayer and Rufus tried to remember how many bullets he had left in his clip.
"I will *kill* you for this!" Reno managed to snatch free the boxers and to slide them up a now unresisting Tseng’s legs. Once they were on, both he and Rude stepped away from the bed as if trying to escape from a bomb of sorts.
Rufus supposed that was true and began to see why the Turks were doing their best to keep this a secret; Tseng was held in high regard even by people who wanted him dead, so his current behavior could be a devastating blow to his impeccable image. And it was also clear why Reno had wanted him gone for the night. "Are there any more weapons on him?"
Reno shrugged and shared a look with Rude. "As far as we can tell, no." He did not sound entirely confident, but he also was not trying to search for anything else.
"Good." Rufus looked directly at a physically shaken Rude and motioned toward the door. "Since Tseng is incapacitated, I want you at headquarters to handle any problems that arise."
Reno’s back straightened and his eyes started to glow while Rude cleared his throat in a nervous manner. "Sir, Reno’s second in command." He sounded like a man who glimpsed a faint chance at survival but for some reason was unable to grasp it.
"Reno seems to be suffering from more injuries than you, as well as is a bit more… experienced in handling Tseng in this type of situation." That earned him another glare from his lover and a chuckle from Tseng, while the explanation seemed to appease Rude’s sense of honor enough that he was already heading out the door.
"Traitorous bastard," Reno muttered to his partner’s departing back, then turned so he could easily look at both Rufus and Tseng. "We never slept together!"
"No, we didn’t," Tseng added as he stretched out on the bed, not appearing to have a care in the world that he was mostly naked in his employer’s presence. "If I was to have sex with a man, I would prefer to have it with someone who actually looks the part."
"You shittin’-" Reno had to be dragged away from the bed before he did something he might regret later on. "Fucker knows I’ma guy," he muttered as Rufus pushed him to the side.
"Which still doesn’t explain why he saw you naked." Rufus gave his lover a warning look to prevent any attempt on Reno’s part to ‘prove’ his manliness.
"We were assigned on a mission to infiltrate a prostitution ring that catered to… eccentric tastes." Tseng sounded rather pleased to be so helpful and had taken to playing the ends of his long black hair. "Reno and I were deemed the two most exotic Turks at the time and pretended to be a pair willing to put on a ‘show’ together. I must admit, even though my tastes don’t lie that way, he does a very good job of arousing a man’s interest."
Reno reached for Rufus’ right hand and tried to raise it and the gun it held in Tseng’s direction. "Ya know what? I think he’s too much of a security risk an’ needs ta be shot. *Now*. For tha good of tha Turks."
"For the good of yourself, you mean." Rufus yanked his hand free and holstered his gun, all the while giving Reno a look in warning that he would not allow such a golden opportunity to be snatched from his grasp. "So, I assume that whatever they shot you with contained a truth serum of sorts?" he directed at Tseng while Reno stalked off, mumbling something about finding a ledge to jump off of in hopes of a quick death.
Even lying down, Tseng managed to shrug in an elegant manner. "It seems
to lower inhibitions and provide a sense of euphoria. I haven’t felt this good
since the weekend Elena and I-"
"I told ya I DON’T want ta hear about that again!" Reno yelled from the living room, his voice cracking in a manner that indicated that he would soon be rendered speechless if he did not have a potion soon to heal the damage to his throat. Rufus decided he was in no hurry at all to provide said potion. "I’m already scarred for life, dammit!" Reno stalked back into the bedroom, a bottle of whiskey in his left hand.
"Yet you have no troubles telling other people about your sex life," Tseng remarked in an incredibly civil manner. "I heard about the garter belts and corsets," he directed at Rufus, who soon had his hands full preventing Reno from clubbing the Turk with the liquor bottle. "He really likes them."
"And what else have you heard about?" Rufus asked, and just managed to avoid a punch to the stomach before he spun Reno around and held him close, arms wrapped around the bastard in order to prevent any more punches. An experimental squeeze proved his suspicions about Reno’s ribs to be true and seemed to take the fight out of his lover.
Reno cut off the man before he could start spilling any more secrets. "Tseng, you know this isn’t like you. Don’t say shit you’ll regret." He sounded worried, and Rufus knew enough about the relationship between the Turks to believe that Reno’s concern was not only for himself.
The plea appeared to reach Tseng, if only for a moment. "I know." For the first time since Rufus had returned home, he sounded like his normal self. "Yet… I don’t seem to care."
Rufus thought about all the destructive knowledge that was in Tseng’s head and sighed, his arms loosening from around his lover. "Why haven’t you knocked him out yet?" he asked, all amusement over this situation well and truly gone.
"Because we don’ know if it’ll mess with the shit he got dosed with," Reno whispered, his body slumping against Rufus’. "An’ if we try ta restrain him, he can get violent. We just wanted someplace ta stash him for a while."
Left wondering how many of his lover’s injuries were from the mission and how much from suppressing the Head of the Turks, Rufus hugged him close with an arm wrapped around his hips. "Tseng, will you obey a direct order?" he asked, figuring it would not hurt to try that approach.
Tseng took a minute to consider it. "I don’t think so, Rufus. Quite honestly, I’ve had enough shitty orders in my life to not care for any of them. For the most part, yours have been easy to follow, except when you think with your dick and not your head. I don’t care if his ass is supposed to be so great, it’s just sex. Fuck him on your own time and stop traumatizing the cleaning crew."
Okay, maybe Reno had something with the idea of clubbing Tseng unconscious. Rufus unclenched his teeth and gave Reno’s earring a yank to make his lover stop laughing. The way he saw it, the drug would wear off at some point, and then he would have to deal with the real Tseng, who would *not* be pleased to find out what he had all revealed. No, Tseng was worse than a mythological dragon hording its gold when it came to secrets, and Rufus needed the man’s trust and faith. There went asking for all the mission details that the closed-mouth bastard had hid from him over the years.
However, considering his still chortling lover and Tseng’s non-existent aversion to discuss some rather intimate details, there was a possible solution. "Thank you for sharing that. Why don’t we continue onward with Reno as the topic?" His lover tried to pull free, but Rufus had a good enough hold on him to keep him trapped. "It’s either that or something Tseng will truly regret in the morning," he whispered in Reno’s right ear.
For a moment, he thought he was going to be punched or worse for his not altogether altruistic attempt to steer the discussion onto a ‘safer’ area, then Reno called him a bastard and became quiet. His gamble that Reno would ‘sacrifice’ himself to spare Tseng had paid off, and judging from the amused look on Tseng’s face, it would pay off in a very big way.
"Did he ever tell you about that time in Costa del Sol?" Tseng asked, which prompted an immediate moan of misery from Reno.
"Hmm, for some odd reason he hasn’t." Rufus smiled himself as he steered his reluctant lover toward the bed so he could be more comfortable while listening the story. "Do tell."
Tseng woke up to a pounding headache, a dry mouth and a sore throat. His memories were hazy, befuddled both by pain and flashing images, before settling on what had happened during the mission. He recalled meeting with Schmaeder and striking a deal for information, then they had been interrupted and a fight broke out. A stab of pain on his right upper arm made him clutch at the limb, his fingers rubbing against cotton gauze for several seconds before he realized what it was.
He also realized that he was lying on soft silk instead of cotton, and that the air was not scented with the sage incense he used in his bedroom to clear his mind after a difficult day. Despite the headache, he heard the sound of someone breathing, a faint rasp of a snore that Elena did not possess.
Reaching for the gun he kept on his nightstand, he hit wood instead and sat up in a sudden jerk. That made one of the men on the other side of the very large bed sit upright as well, eyes glowing with a green light as their owner blinked several times. Reno mumbled something that might have been his name, but Tseng could not understand the croaked word.
All he knew was that he was sitting on Rufus Shinra’s bed, wearing only… oh hell, he did *not* own a pair of black silk boxers, let alone wear them by choice. A pair of boxers that looked very similar to what Reno was currently wearing, although Rufus had the grace to be dressed in a white linen robe so his choice of underwear was currently unknown. Lying behind Reno, he muttered the redhead’s name and attempted to drag him back down to lie on the bed.
Tseng and Reno continued to stare at each other, Tseng’s aching brain desperate to come up with some *logical* solution of how the hell he could possibly end up in bed with Reno *and* Rufus while almost naked. Perhaps he had been knocked unconscious during the fight? He really should be in Medical, but perhaps….
All hope of there being any sort of explanation that he could live with evaporated at Reno’s wicked chuckle. "Ready for round four, big boy?"
Tseng knew there had to be several weapons somewhere in the room and got off the bed to search for one of them, determined to at least end his life with some dignity.
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