FF7 Wing Prompt

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Busy typing notes to himself on his phone over how his meeting with Lyda Doucha, the formidable head of her family’s transportation company, Rufus was startled from his thoughts as the device chimed about an incoming call. Seeing that it was from Tseng, he accepted the call with a slight frown; he was due to arrive back at headquarters before the hour, so anything that couldn’t wait until then didn’t bode well. “Yes? What happened now?” If it had something to do either with the contracts for the new construction or a certain redhead, things were about to become very unpleasant.

“Sir.” There was a certain pained note to Tseng’s voice just then, along with a slight pause, which clued Rufus in to this matter being about the latter, dammit. What trouble could Reno find by checking out a construction site? If he’d gotten into the explosives somehow…. “I’m afraid there’s been an incident.”

“And by incident, I take it to mean that a certain idiot has somehow caused enough trouble to ruin both your day and mine, yes?” Rufus switched the call to speakerphone so he could pull up the news app in an attempt to see if any items about explosions or mass destruction had made it onto the network; the Turks had done their job well enough to cover up Reno’s involvement, as always, but there’d probably be something out there about a gas explosion or the such. Yet so far, nothing.

“Sir… Rufus.” Oh, it was never good when Tseng went with his name like that. “I think it’s best that you report to Medical as soon as you return. Some things… need to be seen rather than explained.”

His fingers pausing on the screen of his phone, Rufus frowned even though the Head of Turks couldn’t see him. “How bad is it?” How bad was Reno?

“Just… come here,” was all Tseng said before he ended the call. Rufus thought he heard some shouting in the background, thought he heard *Reno’s* voice, loud and displeased, and then there was silence.

The rest of the ride was an anxious one, spent with him looking up whatever information he could over the network and finding little; if something had happened during Reno’s assignment, the Turks had done an excellent job of covering it up. Normally that was a good sign, was what he wanted, but Rufus’ nerves were on a knife’s edge by the time they reached headquarters and Rod opened the car door for him. Tseng or another Turk must have sent some sort of message to the man, since he hustled out of Rufus’ way and then fell in step behind him, Cyril a quiet shadow, as Rufus stalked toward the elevators. “Are *you* going to shed any light on what’s happening?” he snapped while he pressed the button for the Medical level and then keyed in his override code.

Rod gave a cold stare to someone who attempted to step in before the doors closed and then shrugged. “Just was told to get you here as fast as possible, Sir. When I asked for more detail, Cyn sent back one word, and that was ‘Hojo’.” He even held up his phone with the message displayed to show it to Rufus.

There was a sinking feeling in Rufus’ stomach at mention of the name; the scientist had caused so much damage with his experiments, was part of a legacy that Rufus strove to cleanse from *his* company. Had Reno and Rude come across something when they’d checked out the site of the former headquarters before the construction began to reclaim some of the land?

Now even more anxious to reach the Medical department, Rufus cursed the time it took to reach the floor, even though it couldn’t have been a few more seconds at that. Once the doors opened, he was out of the elevator and striding down the hall, which would have been suspicious in how empty it was if not for the fact that a possible medical emergency had occurred. Reaching his objective, he pushed open the doors – and stepped into chaos.

“-damn things under control!”

“How tha *fuck* do ya suggest I do that, huh? Got a fuckin’ manual on these things, do ya?”

“Think calling Strife will help?”

“How? He’ll probably want to run them through with a sword!”

“Then what about some ideas of your own?”

“How ‘bout ya back tha fuck off an’ stop pokin’ us with shit!”  

Rufus stared as feathers fluttered about in the air, some a glossy black and others a pearlescent, soft grey; he caught a grey one as it drifted in front of him, the feather about as long as his forearm and tufted at the one end. Gathered across the room were the Drs. Alim and Cavish, along with several of the Turks – including Reno and Rude. Including currently *winged* Reno and Rude.

There was a large black wing protruding from the right side of Rude’s back as he sat on a medical bed, sunglasses askew, usually impeccable suit torn in several places and smeared with pale soot. His wing twitched a little as he seemed to stare at an even more rumpled Reno, who was standing a few feet away, an equally large, grey wing attached to the left side of his back that constantly flexed and spread about as he jerked his hands through the air, a feral expression on his face as he argued with Tseng and the doctors. “Back tha fuck off!” From the sounds of his gutter accent, Rufus judged his lover to be more than a little stressed at the moment.

His lover. Wings. Hojo. Feeling the beginnings of a headache from this mess, Rufus twirled the feather between his fingers as he approached the stand-off. “So, I’m to assume that the site isn’t safe quite yet?”

The sound of his voice had the doctors jerking their heads in his direction while Reno’s wing extended outward, which caused several pieces of equipment to be knocked about. While Dr. Cavish yelped in dismay, Reno approached Rufus with a fierce scowl on his face. “Fuck no! Stupid fuckin’ hidden labs an’ booby traps an’ fuckin’ *wings* and FUCKIN’ BASTARD HOJO!” He grabbed onto the lapels of Rufus’ white overcoat as he spat out the last part, his aquamarine eyes blazing and lithe build trembling with rage, yet didn’t lash out at Rufus other than in a verbal manner; his wing, however, continued to flex and unflex behind him, keeping the others at bay while loose feathers floated about them.

Rufus stared back in a calm manner as his left hand threaded through his lover’s fiery, tangled hair. “Are you done? Any more ‘fucks’ to be had?” he asked as he tightened his grip on the strands and gave a slight tug.

“Eh, fuckin’ quacks an’ their fuckin’ tests,” Reno muttered, sounding a bit less peeved now that he had Rufus’ attention. He closed his eyes as he shuffled forward a little, his wing curling around the two of them; Tseng stiffened, as if to rush forward, but a shake of the head from Rufus arrested any action.

Rufus eyed the appendage now that it was up close – the gleaming feathers, the seamless integration into Reno’s back, the way it seemed to respond more to his lover’s emotions than thought. “Well, you did grow a wing at some point today, I think they’ve cause for concern. Add to that the fact that Hojo seems involved somehow and yes, you’re screwed. Sorry.”

It was interesting how the feathers rustled about when Reno huffed in anger and pulled back, the scowl back on his face. “An’ who ordered us to go there, eh?”

“Yes, yes, but I didn’t know you’d – what, run across? Fall into?”

“Ground collapsed, Sir,” Rude supplied for him. “We were just about done when it happened, too.”

“Shitty bastard must’ve had a hideaway lad or somethin’,” Reno mumbled as he picked at a feather. “Just our fuckin’ luck ta find it.”

“Yes, well, I didn’t expect there to be anything like that when I sent you out.” Rufus batted the idiot’s hand aside before he damaged the wing and glanced over Reno’s shoulder at Dr. Alim. “What’s the prognosis?”

The middle-aged doctor appeared nervous as he ran his hands through his disheveled hair. “We took some blood and a couple of scans, and… well, it’s *Hojo*, Mr. President. From the little I’ve seen so far, I think it’s similar to that of the First Class SOLDIERs, but he was probably experimenting with something else since the Turks don’t have the same Mako exposure. I would think that the wings will come and go once they calm down and gain enough control over them, but… this probably isn’t the most conducive environment for calm.”

“Ya think?” Reno spun around, causing Rufus to curse and duck as the grey wing once more flared out and nearly took off his head – as it was, an expensive looking monitor went crashing to the ground. “So what, just deal with it an’ hope they go away?”

Rufus ducked beneath the lashing wing and hoped he wasn’t knocked out in the process as he pressed against Reno’s right side; there was a suspenseful moment as he felt feathers brush against him, but the wing once more curled around him, cocooning him in soft, gleaming grey. “Yes, that’s exactly what you’re going to do.” Across the room, Tseng stood with his hand hovering near the front of his black blazer, as if to reach for his gun, while Elena, Rod, Cyril and Kali also were at the ready to follow their leader if he went after Reno to prevent any harm to Rufus. The only one who appeared calm was Rude, who clutched at his wing and frowned as if attempting to will it away. “And to facilitate that, I think it’s time we went home.”

“Sir! I’m not sure if-“

“There are more tests that we can-“

“Perhaps it is best that he’s in a familiar-“

Rufus cut them off with a wave of his left hand. “You should have all of the samples you need, and if not you know where to find him. We’re going to try that ‘calmer’ environment and see if it’ll help with his… control issues.” He could feel Reno’s body stiffen against him, the wing curl tighter against his back and side, but the idiot kept his mouth shut for once.

Stepping away from the cloak of soft feathers with some reluctance, Rufus removed his outer coat and held it up to Reno. “See if you can’t keep it still until we get to the car.” It probably wouldn’t be wise to use the helicopter just then.

Gritting his teeth as he fought with his wing, Reno let out several sharp breaths before he managed to furl the new appendage close to his back. “Damn thing issa pain in tha ass.”

“Seems par for the course for you,” Rufus muttered as he draped the coat over Reno’s shoulders, mostly covering the wing, and smiled in face of the glare he got for the comment.

Rod and Cyril came to escort them to the car, along with Tseng. “You do realize that we’re uncertain if there are any side effects besides the wing,” the Head of Turks warned him.

Rufus managed only a slight smile as he urged Reno into the elevator in front of him. “I’ll take every precaution – handcuffs the entire time as soon as we reach home.” His lover’s surly expression faded from the glower into something rather pleased. Meanwhile, Tseng’s grew more pained.

“I’m… certain you’ll be very… inventive with your… security protocols, Sir.” Tseng sighed as he pressed the bridge of his nose between his fingers.

“Hmm, very inventive indeed.” Rufus caught at another drifting feather and fought not to smirk just then. Later he would have to deal with the problems stemming from a contaminated work site and whatever other surprises left behind from Hojo, but for now….

But for now, ‘feather play’ was about to take on some very interesting new dimensions.

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