Let It Snow
Reno glared at the white flakes falling from the sky with so much vitriol that by all rights the snow should burst into steam before ever reaching the ground. However, they continued to fall upon him, crystal sparkles in his blood red hair and on his black coat. "It’s fuckin’ unnatural, I tell ya."
Amused by how Reno refused to give up that particular chain of thought and dangerously close to being enchanted by the image of his lover out in the snow, Rufus folded his arms over his chest and just *had* to ask the question that had bothered him for the past hour or so. "Pray tell, what is so unnatural about snow? It happens every year around this time, so I’d expect you to have come to terms with it by now."
For the first time in what had to be over five minutes, Reno stopped glaring at the snow to direct that look toward Rufus. They stood in the center of what had once been a building in the heart of Midgar, its remnants scattered about as a pitiful reminder to what had once stood. The sharp edges of broken concrete and snapped steel bars were dulled by at least two inches of snow so white and pure it gleamed in the late afternoon’s weak sunlight. That snow made what was destroyed and useless into an abstract art garden of sorts, the air around them insulated by the falling flakes to the point that sound didn’t carry very far. No, Rufus could almost imagine that they were here alone, in some exotic, bleached out world, even though Elena and Kali were no more than twenty meters away.
"Fucking *un*natural," Reno repeated, the venom in his gaze now dripping from his voice. "It should behave like what it is, and that’s water. Not this…." His left hand slashed through the air and made some of the snowflakes whirl around as if in a blizzard. "It’s not one thing or the other."
Rufus knew that Reno always bitched up a storm whenever stuck on any outside missions during winter, and the time when he’d had to wait over ten hours for a sniper shot at a target was actually legendary amongst the Turks – not for him completing the mission, but for him daring to yell at Veld afterwards, that dialog mostly consisting of swear words and the fact that Veld’s unmarried mother obviously had a preference for disease ridden chocobos. As far as Rufus could remember, the only reason his lover was present today to continue bitching about the weather was that Veld had decided to not kill Reno over the insults because of the fever he’d come down with after being out in the cold so long and let him go with only a mild concussion. Come to think of it, that was around the time that Dr. Alim had been hired….
"I find it highly amusing to stand here and listen to you complain about something being ‘unnatural’ and see it as a bad thing," Rufus said, then chuckled when his lover actually growled. Reno’s gloved hand slashed through the air again as if to attack the flakes, and the flushed spots on his cheeks no longer were solely the blame of the cold.
"Ha fuckin’ ha. Should have known that the man who dresses like a damn snowman year round would think this stuff is normal." Reno’s face was obscured by puffs of clouded air as he complained, his aquamarine eyes shining through it a feverish gleam. "All that’s missing is a carrot stuck in the middle of your face."
Brushing his hand down his white wool outer coat, Rufus decided that he’d be amused by the turn in conversation rather than annoyed. He was in no hurry to return to work after surveying the site of what would be the latest ShinRa building, not when Reno’s insane ramblings were much preferred to boring board meetings. "I don’t know, you’re the one who’s as white as snow, not me, and who likes being stuck with long, cylindrical objects."
"Hmph." Reno flapped his arms to rid his coat of snow, appearing more like a scarecrow than a snowman at the moment. The violent motion caused his unbound hair to fly about, and out of the corner of his left eye Rufus saw Kali react as if to a threat. When she realized that Reno was merely being an energetic idiot, she resumed observing the area around them.
"You’re the one with the stupid obsession of using food during sex." Once he stopped flapping his arms, Reno stepped closer to Rufus, the scowl on his face half-hidden by strands of crimson. "And if we’re talking about your cock, isn’t it more along the line of those baby- mmph."
"Don’t say something you’ll regret the next time you want sex," Rufus warned, and was grateful for the thick leather of his white gloves when his lover nipped at the hand covering his mouth. "I can always break out some toys if you’re so disappointed; did I mention the fourteen inch dildo I bought the other day?"
"Now you’re talking watermelons," Reno grumbled once he could speak again. "And I’m getting hungry from all this talk of food. Will you finish walking around out here and making yourself an easy target for the many, *many* people who want you dead?" He wrapped his arms around his chest as if cold, his pale face even whiter than normal other than the flushed circles on his tattooed cheeks. Rufus expected his teeth to start chattering at any moment.
"In a minute." Rufus couldn’t resist brushing aside the hair clinging to Reno’s face, holding out a long strand to admire the shimmer of snow against crimson. Despite his evident hatred of the season, Reno seemed created for winter and brought to mind the darker, original versions of children’s fairy tales. Blood and snow and darkness…. "Tell me what you have against snow first. Considering the way you bitch about heat and humidity, I would expect you to enjoy the day’s weather."
Reno tried to brush his hand aside but only ended up tangling both their hands in his hair. "I hate it because it’s not normal and it’s a pain in the ass! Stuff gets everywhere and anyone can tell where you’ve been, and it just don’t sound right when it’s coming down like this." Once more glaring up at the sky, Reno let out a string of curses when a flake landed in one of his eyes.
"You know, most people consider it beautiful."
"Yeah, and most people will buy whatever bullshit you can think up to sell ‘em," was Reno’s instant retort. He huddled in his coat as if freezing, despite the fact that the coat was just as thick as Rufus’. "You’re making me stand out here just to torture me, aren’t you?"
"Now what satisfaction would I ever get out of torturing you, mmm?" Rufus smiled at the glare directed his way, letting go of Reno’s hair so he could unwind the white scarf around his neck. "And remember, the longer you put off my first question, the longer you stay out here."
Reno took a step backward and was stopped by the scarf being tossed over his
head. "Sadistic bastard."
"Yes, I believe we’ve covered that fact rather extensively." Rufus tugged on the scarf’s ends after he knotted it, a subtle warning for Reno to quit with the insults before he got carried away with things. "But not why you hate snow. Did you lose a snowball battle when you were a kid or something?"
"Hell, no." Reno remained still while the scarf was fussed over, then sighed and stepped closer to Rufus, his arms reaching out to hug him close. "There was never any snow beneath the Plates."
"What?" That answer startled Rufus, distracting him from the fact that one of his lover’s hands had slipped beneath his outer coat. "You still lived in Midgar."
Shivering a little, Reno huddled closer, clearly seeking warmth and nothing amorous for once. "Yeah, but by the time it reached us, it was more of a grey slush that froze onto everything. Thought snow was ash the first time I saw it." The words were spoken with a softness that had nothing to do with the muffled quiet around them, more a weariness that always weighed Reno down when he thought about his life before the Turks.
Rufus thought about his own childhood, the years spent at the family mansion and in boarding school, of looking out of windows upon a world turned white and being filled with a desperation to go out into it. He still remembered Tseng teaching him how to make a snowball and explaining to his father how they had been practicing marksmanship when one of Rufus’ snowy missiles ‘accidentally’ hit the bastard in the back of the head. To him, snow had always had a purity to it, a quiet strength in the way it covered everything and made it something new.
"I think that’s just another sign of your pyromaniac tendencies."
Reno pulled away at the verbal jab, his eyes narrowed but for once not in anger. "Look, I think the *last* thing you want is to get all psycho-analytical or some such shit, *Sir*. You’re the one who’s crazy enough to dress in twenty fucking layers even when it’s not cold outside." He tugged on the collar of Rufus’ coat and shivered again. "Speaking of which, gimme a couple of ‘em."
"There are more enjoyable ways of getting your very thin blood warm," Rufus purred as he used the scarf to pull his lover closer. The tip of Reno’s nose was cold but the rest of him feverishly warm, and this time it was Rufus doing the shivering. As Reno pressed even closer, Rufus fumbled to slide his hands beneath the heavy black coat, just reaching his goal when he heard someone clear their throat in such a loud manner it had to hurt. While he considered just how pissed off Tseng would be if he shot the Turk’s girlfriend in the arm, Reno managed to wriggle some space in between them.
"And another thing about this damn stuff – you can’t fuck in it. At least, *I’m* not gonna fuck in it and get a case of frostbite on my ass," Reno grumbled as he pulled Rufus’ hands away from said ass. "So go on and stand out here while in the throes of mega-maniacal glee while I thaw myself out in the car." He stepped backwards, his eyes gleaming once more, this time with passion. "You know, the car with the really big and comfy back seats."
As his lover turned around and headed back to that wonderful car, Rufus spared a few seconds to indulge himself in imagining how the site would look once winter was over and the construction crews got to work on the new building. He’d reclaim as much as Midgar as he could, further proof that ShinRa had risen out of the ashes. The slamming of a car door snapped him out of his imaginings, and it was then that he realized just how heavily the snow was coming down by the way it practically obscured the vehicle.
He was careful on the way back to the limo, mindful of treacherous footing. If walking was this difficult, driving would be a bit of a challenge as well… which meant that Kali and Elena would have to take it slow on their way back to headquarters. That should allow him plenty of time to enjoy just how big and comfortable those back seats were.
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