What Is Owed

*******

by nekojita

*******

Rufus suppressed the urge to sigh in exasperation as he walked – no, *was* walked – to his apartment between Tseng and Reno. That increased the simmering anger that was currently fueled by the annoying itch on the right side of his neck. His hand raised to scratch at the spot, its movement arrested when Tseng’s back became even straighter and Reno’s glowing eyes narrowed.

Forcing his hand back to his side, Rufus wondered yet again why the two men felt they had a right to be so upset with him. He was their employer, after all, and had made it clear from the start that he was not to be coddled or treated as if he was helpless and incapable of taking care of himself. Gathering all the dignity to him that he could while dressed in a pair of scrubs and a white doctor’s coat he had appropriated back in Medical, he strode forward.

Reno bit off some sort of curse and caught up with him, while Tseng seemed more occupied with talking to the two Turks stationed in front of the apartment’s door. "When did you last sweep it?" There was an edge of absolute frost to his deep voice, the usual faint trace of Wutian accent wiped away by the chill. Not that the Turks had ever been inclined to offer less than respect and professionalism to their leader – with the possible exception of Reno – but this evening found them practically bowing to Tseng, their expressions serious and bodies tense.

"Five minutes ago, Sir," Pamela answered, all rough traces of being a rookie Turk gone from her demeanor, voice as cold as Tseng’s and a hardness to her dark eyes that usually was not found on Turks until after a few years of service. Beside her, Tosh’s expression was bereft of the devilish nature that was almost always found there, his eyes just as hard and his voice silent as if he would not waste any words.

Tseng nodded in reply and motioned them away from the door, which he opened and stepped through before Rufus could. Getting very annoyed at being treated like a delicate and important package, he paused in the doorway as he prepared to speak his mind – only to be shoved through it by a hand against the spot between his shoulder blades.

"Do that again and you’ll lose that hand," he warned, voice as threatening as he could make it when his throat still ached, not that Reno seemed to care. His lover, face wiped clean but clothes still stained with blood, ignored him with a thoroughness that was equal to the attention he put into inspecting the apartment. Tseng was doing the same, not bothering to look at Rufus until he had finished his search.

Of course there was nothing to be found, not when the place was guarded by Turks and had the best security system on the damn planet, both facts that only worsened Rufus’ temper as he found the actions of his Turks to be a waste of *his* time. "What, no assassin under the bed?" His voice dripped with scorn, the only outward sign of his foul mood.

Of course Tseng ignored the scorn and barely paid any attention to him. "I’m doubling security tonight, and if you let him go to work tomorrow without an escort, you’ll be grounded for a month." The chill was gone from the words this time, not that Reno appeared to be taking them as a joke; it was well known among the Turks that Tseng never made idle threats.

"How ‘bout I tie him up an’ shove him in a bullet-proof trunk, eh?" Unlike Tseng, Reno was known for passing threats off as a joke, but nothing in his demeanor indicated that this was one of those times. His eyes glowed with an intensity that was disturbing, as if they could illuminate the room if the lights were turned off, and there was no amusement to be found in his expression. Even his hair was abnormally subdued, still wet and clinging to his skull from when he’d rinsed out the blood and slicked it back into a simple ponytail while at Medical.

"How about I shoot you both for treating me as if I was a mentally deficient child?" Rufus asked, this time managing that perfect amount of frigid wrath in his tone. Not that either Turk came off as impressed or intimidated, not when Reno’s eyes narrowed into brilliant Mako green slits and Tseng’s face appeared carved from stone.

"A child at least would have a better aptitude for learning," was Tseng’s bitter retort, and he left the apartment after the shallowest of bows in Rufus’ direction.

Not about to make his throat ache any more by yelling at someone who was intent on ignoring him, Rufus glared at the bastard’s back until the door closed behind Tseng. Then he turned his furious attention to his lover.

Reno was once again searching the place as if expecting a bomb or assassin to appear at any second. Rufus watched him for a minute before combing his hand through his hair in frustration. "Do you really believe an assassin got past the security here? To think that I had more faith in your intelligence than that."

"I don’t know, one of ‘em got past security today." Unlike Tseng and Rufus, Reno’s voice crackled with emotion, a raw anger that usually preceded something being smashed into tiny bits. Considering the damage he had done to the fool who had gotten off that ‘lucky’ shot, Rufus would have thought that he would have moved on from that phase by now.

He had also thought that he would be shown some sort of consideration other than being hauled to Medical and then home, and shoved about for his trouble as well. "I would think that you’d be pleased with a bit of excitement during ‘a boring-ass babysitting shift’", he remarked, the little amount of patience he had left this day wearing thin over Reno’s attitude.

His lover whirled around, eyes so bright that he wondered if they burned or ached, and stalked toward him. "Yo, tha’ potion musta scrambled whatevah brains ya go’ lef’ aftah tha bloodloss," Reno snarled, his gutter accent the thickest that Rufus had heard it in years. "Go wash off an’ go tha fuck ta bed." He looked ready to drag Rufus to the bedroom, except that his hands were clenched into fists.

The last of his patience evaporating over the way he was being treated, Rufus did the grabbing, his hands twisting in the still wet shirt of his lover. "You seem to be confusing our positions here, Turk. *I* issues the order and you obey them like the mongrel you are." He had come closer to dying than he liked to think about, almost done in by a ridiculously small wound, and had been treated with the utmost lack of respect by the men he trusted most in the world afterwards. It did not matter that Reno and Tseng’s quick thinking had saved him, or that they had made very short work of the person who had pulled the trigger once they had captured the man and his partner. No, what was most important was that they got past whatever bout of insanity had come over them and made them think they could belittle him like this.

Reno appeared ready to lash out of him, but instead grabbed hold of Rufus’ wrists and used that hold to force him to walk to the bedroom. "Yes, *Sir*. I’m tha fuckin’ mongrel who’s supposed ta be watchin’ out for your brain-dead ass." There was an unfamiliar edge to his voice, one that hinted at madness more than lack of control, and he circumvented all of Rufus’ attempts to not be dragged against his will to the other room with a frightening ease. Once they were by the bed, Reno dropped backwards onto it, forcing Rufus to fall as well.

While he was furious over this current treatment, at least Rufus now had an idea of what was causing his lover’s foul mood. "What, you’re upset that you didn’t catch the assassin before he fired?" He took advantage of being the one on top to straddle Reno’s thighs and used his hold on the blood-soaked shirt to repeatedly lift and slam the idiot onto the bed. "Not even Tseng knew they were there until the last moment!" The memory was still so vivid, ingrained into him by the lash of pain that soon followed it; seeing Reno and other Turks turn toward the right for no apparent reason, not until Rude pulled out his gun and Reno moved to step in front of Rufus.

His hands still around Rufus’ wrists, Reno did something just then that caused a sudden pain excruciating enough to make Rufus’s fingers spasm and let go of the shirt. "Tha’s not it!" Proving that he was still the fastest of the Turks, Reno reversed their positions on the bed while Rufus was too stunned to react.

The fury that caused Reno’s eyes to blaze like that, unchanging since the shot had been fired what felt to be hours ago, also lent him the strength to keep Rufus pinned to the bed. "You’re the dumb-ass who forgets things!" The accent was now gone, something that provided Rufus with no relief since Reno spoke with a precision he did not usually employ unless speaking words he considered to be the last whatever poor bastard he had in his sights were to hear. "Mongrels are the ones who take the shots!"

It took Rufus a minute to understand the meaning to the words, distracted as he was by the very real possibility that Reno had finally snapped enough to kill him. "What? Mongrels-" His teeth clashed together as realization dawned on him, as he relived the moment when he had stepped toward his lover, left arm moving to push Reno aside and… and make him less of a target. Only his lover’s lightning fast reflexes had shoved him out of the way enough for the bullet to only graze his neck, the wound still serious enough with the sudden loss of blood to make him believe that today might actually be his last. Then there had been the acrid tingle of potion being poured both on and down his throat, the wound small enough to heal quickly despite its serious nature.

Reno had left his side after that, not to return until after he had killed the assassin beyond any hope of revival. Rufus had thought that barely controlled anger had been over the failed attempt on his life and Reno’s bruised pride as a Turk, not anything else.

As if sensing that things had clicked into place inside Rufus’ mind, Reno gave him a virulent shake then shoved him against the mattress. "You’re a fucking dumb-ass! Why the fuck bother with us Turks if you’re just going to make a target of yourself, eh?" He looked like some type of demon just then, eyes so bright that Rufus expected to feel heat pouring from them, lips pulled back in a potent sneer and skin flushed with anger. With his hair slicked back so tightly, his features were even sharper than normal, the clean angles of a weapon forged out of flesh. Only some of the blood that had covered Reno’s clothes, face and hair had been Rufus’, most of it had come from the assassin as he had been pummeled to death with a savageness that Rufus had never seen from either Tseng *or* Reno.

Discomfort and something that felt dangerously close to embarrassment made Rufus force himself into a sitting position, hands reaching for the redhead’s shoulders. "I don’t need any damn babysitters! I will do whatever the hell I wish!" The words were snarled with such intensity that his lips were damp with spittle, yet Reno did not appear the slightest bit impressed or chastised. "I’m your boss, not a child!"

"And we’re your damn Turks!" Reno spat back, not appearing in any pain at the way that Rufus’ fingers dug into his bony shoulders. "The people who fucking bleed for you, who do whatever the hell nasty shit you want done, who *die* for you just so you can go on being a dumb-fuck of a boss!" He grabbed the earring that dangled against Rufus’ right fingers, thrust it as much forward as he could with the way it was permanently attached to his ear. "Why the hell bother with us at all, then? Why should we bother with you if you’re too fucking dumb for words?"

Rufus let go of Reno so he could backhand the insolent bastard, body tense as he watched him be knocked to the bed. He waited for some sort of retaliation, for a punch or a kick that would be almost impossible to block, and instead was stunned when Reno began to laugh. The madness from before had returned, making the normally pleasant sound brutal to hear, and the only other thing that Reno did was dab at his bleeding lip with the back of his left hand.

"See, that’s the way it’s supposed to be, you asshole. I take the hits and do the bleeding, not you." Reno glared at him, eyes focused as if he could see something other than a glowing form just then, yet continued on in that tone of voice that would be frighteningly civil if not for the lingering madness. "You tie m-." He coughed once, lips now bright with blood, then smiled, the expression a match for his tone. "You tie us to you and then you don’t expect us to do our job? That’s bullshit."

Left feeling confused and a bit panicked over that fact, Rufus hauled his lover up into a sitting position. "What do you mean, ‘tie’?" His eyes honed in on the dangling earring for a second, before he quickly looked away. "It’s just a job."

His mistake was in looking aside like that, not that he probably would have had much luck in deflecting the punch to his jaw that made him bite his tongue. "Damn you!" He moved to backhand Reno again, only to have his right wrist be caught.

"What we did for your father was ‘just a job’." Once again, Reno’s tone was too calm to be trusted, each word spoken with a rare clarity that made Rufus’ heart beat even faster. "You took us in, gave us some respect and treated us as something other than trash, so don’t you for one fucking moment think we’re just going to stand there and watch you get shot on our watch." He did that thing again, the agonizing twist of fingers that made Rufus’ hand spasm as his wrist was released. "Don’t you dare tell me that you didn’t tie us to you."

During the ride home, Rufus had idly thought of what would happen once here; there would be some sort of reproach from Tseng before the man left, and then he would have an attentive lover to fuss over him before the evening turned to more… pleasant things. He truly must have suffered too much blood-loss, he told himself, to think that was how the night would proceed. Reno never fussed over anything other than his helicopters or his drinks, and it had been insane to not expect some sort of backlash over his actions today. There had been no hope at all that Tseng and Reno would miss his impulsive actions that had taken even himself by surprise and were something he refused to think about in any depth.

Still, there was enough disappointment and residual anger to make him grab his lover’s long, wet hair and wrap the strands around his wrist in protection and possessiveness. "I wouldn’t think of bothering with such a lie, not after all the effort I put into the Turks," he admitted, even as he worried over how other people must view his treatment of them. Would the Turks become a weakness for him in the future? "What makes me want to beat some sense into you right now is the fact that you’re forgetting that you’re *mine*. I don’t let anyone take my things away from me without a fight."

For the first time in what felt to be forever, Reno’s face showed some other emotion than anger. His brows furrowed in surprise and his lips pressed together, the full nature of the bottom one making the expression almost look like a pout. "That’s a bunch of bullshit," he said, the madness gone from his voice and a hint of the familiar accent creeping back.

Sensing that things were shifting to his favor finally, Rufus settled more comfortably over his lover. "No, it’s not. I’ve invested too much in the Turks to treat them as entirely expendable, and as for you…." He used the grip on Reno’s hair to pull the redhead closer, pleased that Reno had at least taken the time to wash the blood from his face and neck. "You’re finally housebroken."

The smart-assed bastard did not have any time for an insulting quip before he was kissed with an enthusiasm that was a mix of anger and relief at still being alive, the taste of blood only fueling the passion. Rufus swore there was an aphrodisiac effect to potions and had put up with simmering lust ever since he had realized that he had cheated death once again.

Certain that his wrists were not going to be abused again any time soon and determined to have Reno show him that trick later on, he released Reno’s hair and grabbed his lover’s shirt instead, put his strength to use to tear buttons free then shoved the ruined material down wiry arms. As usual tonight, Reno too quick for him and managed to keep his arms from being trapped, but Rufus did not mind too much since his lover was busy disrobing him in return. Soon they both were bleeding anew, deep scratches left behind in their haste to rid themselves of the barrier of clothes.

The tie holding Reno’s hair back was snapped free, the clean, damp strands a cool spider-web against Rufus’ flushed skin. Now he did not mind the fact that Reno’s eyes were still glowing, not when the potent emotion had become that of desire. He stared down onto his lover’s face as his thumbs stroked along tattooed lines, for a moment haunted by what had driven him to do his best to protect the Turk with his own body. There was a flash of anger, not so much at himself but for the ridiculous emotion that he could not escape from, and then such concerns were pushed aside. Yes, he might find himself controlled by such a thing, but so was Reno if today’s reaction was any indication. He would just have to keep a tighter rein over such impulses in the future.

Lost in such thoughts, he let out a curse in surprise when he found himself being pushed backwards, onto the bed. Reno, long hair already disheveled and grin its usual wicked curve, shimmied free of his pants and underwear with enviable grace before kneeling on either side of Rufus’ hips. He reached for the bottle of lube with one hand while his other held Rufus pinned onto the bed.

"Don’t think that we’re through talking about this shit. I’m just saving round two until Tseng’s there, and then you’ll see some real ‘beating sense’ into a thick skull." His tone was light, almost mocking… *almost*. Only someone who knew him would catch that brittle, mad edge to it, and it was all the warning Rufus had before a slick hand stroked along his cock, immediately followed by the rough, painful friction of too-tight flesh.


"Reno! You-"

Reno’s body squeezed around him just then, cutting off the admonishment and making him inhale sharply, the pain still there but mixed in such an exquisite way with pleasure. That intoxicating mix was echoed on his lover’s face, Reno’s eyes fluttering closed for a few seconds before snapping back open to stare straight at him.

"*We* bleed for *you*, *we* die, not you," he hissed, both hands resting on Rufus’ chest with the fingers digging into flesh, little pricks of pain that soon became the only source of that feeling as the redhead began to move. "I’d fucking tear the company apart than let anyone else but you run it."

Oh hell, it was so *tight* and *good* and *hot* that Rufus did not care if he was tearing up his lover, not with the way that Reno kept snapping his hips down and gripping the entire length of his cock like that. His hands latched on to his lover’s hips, thumbs pressing hard against bone and fingers digging into flesh as well.

At least the crazy bastard got off on things being rough, and Rufus was more than willing to go along with it, that protective, possessive feeling from before taking over as he thought about letting anyone snatching this from him. A few more hard thrusts then he shoved Reno away, breath hissing out as his cock slipped free, Reno’s succinct complaint barely heard over the sound of his blood rushing through his veins.

There was a smear of blood on his cock as well, but Reno did not try to pull away as he was shoved toward the headboard and his legs pushed apart. He moaned in delight when Rufus thrust back inside of him, now able to push in even deeper, to put more force behind each forward movement. Reno braced one arm against the thick wood, his free hand stroking himself in time with the violent thrusts, only stopping for a moment when Rufus pulled his hips back a little more and shoved in hard.

"Rufus!"

Smiling at the sound of his name being shouted like that, Rufus snaked one arm around Reno’s chest, holding him tight against him as motion and ecstasy ruled, driving his body forward and back as fast as it could go, determined to make the pleasure even more powerful for them both. His chest was so tight that it was difficult to breathe, his head clouded with emotions and his skin so sensitive that he swore he could feel the slide of each strand of his lover’s hair against it, so maddening and delightful that his entire body tingled as if full of hi-potion. He buried his face in the crook of Reno’s neck and tasted salt instead of bitterness, a fact that jolted him for a lingering second before the orgasm snuck up and smashed through him.

Fingers clenched and teeth bit down as a maelstrom of ecstasy tore all reason from him, one of the very few times when he reveled in pure emotion free of thought and control. The pleasure spiked again just when it began to fade, Reno’s voice hoarse and words unintelligible, and when Rufus rocked back onto his heels, his lover moved with him as if bereft of any will.

The thought-dulling pleasure of release only lasted so long, and he slowly became aware of the sting of scratches along his chest, the stickiness of sweaty skin pressed together, the odd sensation of hair clinging to him and even slipping past his lips. Grimacing as he wiped the strands free of his mouth, he let his left arm remain around Reno’s waist even as he shifted a little to create some space between him, grimacing again as his cock slipped free.

The faint hiss from his lover made him sigh and wonder for the umpteenth time just how messed up the bastard was in the head. "How’s your ass?" he asked after a moment’s consideration; he figured that he would hear about it soon enough and might as well get it over with now.

To his surprise, Reno chuckled, his head lolling back against Rufus’ shoulder. "It’s hurt worse after being chewed out by Tseng." His eyes were finally back to normal, and he did not seem to be in much pain.

Rufus debated the merits of bringing up what had caused such a masochistic action then decided it was not worth it at that time. Reno had warned him that their ‘conversation’ would be continued in the morning when Tseng was present, and most likely had just been enforcing a point rather than prolonging things. Reconsidering that thought of being ‘messed up’, Rufus was not even sure if the pain had been entirely unwelcome.

He could make some sort of comment about it, and most likely would just provoke Reno to that mix of anger and madness from before that had left even him daunted. Or he could just sit here for a few more minutes before forcing his tired body and lazy lover to move to the bathroom, where he could better survey the damage done to them both and retrieve a potion. The second option was much more enticing, considering the fact that he had cheated death once today and did not feel confident of doing so a second time – not when Reno seemed determined as hell to prove a point tonight at any expense. He should count himself lucky that the crazy redhead had so far limited the damage to himself.

"Good, then you can’t bitch incessantly tomorrow about being abused and needing the day off to recuperate." He smiled in the face of Reno’s disgruntled frown and stroked his fingers along his lover’s neck. Had it been chance or an unconscious action that he had bitten down on the same area where he had been shot that day? While his wound was healed, Reno’s neck bore the red imprint of his teeth, which would only be a faint bruise by morning considering the way the Turk healed.

"Please, I’ll ‘bitch incessantly’ anyway." Reno chuckled at some private thought, his left hand reaching back to give Rufus’ hair a quick tug. "Not like ya don’t give me lots of reasons ta do just that."

Not about to resume the argument when he was ready to go take a shower – one broken arm this year was enough – Rufus pushed Reno away and slowly got off the bed. "Perhaps I should look into a muzzle for that mouth of yours."

Despite having to be sore as hell, Reno merely shrugged and moved from the bed in a show of fluid grace that made Rufus reconsider lending his lover to his scientists for a day or two. "Then you wouldn’t be able to hear me scream out your name, eh?" Reno stood by the bed, still smeared with blood from earlier, now bearing numerous scratches and bruises and his hair a tangled mess. A thought flitted through Rufus’ mind that the Turk might not be the only messed up person in the room, considering how the sight made his cock twitch and the lust from before slowly start to build up again.

"I can’t hear you scream it when you’re sucking my cock, but that doesn’t keep me from getting a blowjob from you," was his succinct retort, which prompted more laughter from Reno and seemed to diffuse the remaining residual anger between them. If only it was that ‘easy’ to deflect Tseng from what Rufus was sure to be one hell of a scathing lecture in the morning.

At least for tonight, the topic appeared to be shelved and he could dwell on something other than what had driven him to such a suicidal action. That did not mean he would not think about what Reno had said and done tonight, on what had provoked such a strong response from a man who was doing his best to deny what truly ‘tied’ them to each other and all that implied. It was almost worth what lay in store for Rufus in the morning.

*******

Return to Archive