Night Out With the Turks
Rod pouted as he placed the unopened bottle of whiskey on the table. “Tell me
again why it’s my turn to pick up the tab tonight,” he grumbled as he
slumped down in his chair, his thick, reddish-brown hair falling onto his face.
“Because you lost the bet,” his partner instantly replied with a smug grin that twisted the tattoo on the right side of his face. Jared continued to smirk while he snatched up the bottle and unscrewed its cap. “You said that Reeve would take us out drinking if you asked, and he didn’t.” He held up the uncapped bottle and there was an instant scramble as everyone picked up their empty glasses and thrust them in his direction.
Having the longest reach of everyone at the table, Rude smiled with satisfaction as his glass was the first one filled. This was their third bottle of whiskey so far that night, after several rounds of beer, and he had a rather comfortable buzz going on. The whiskey was strong, if a bit on the cheap side, the bar tab wasn’t his concern and he was out with a group of friends; the night promised to be good.
“You should know by now he only does it if I ask.” Reno chuckled and made sure his was the second glass to be filled. Like Rod and Jared, he’d shed his black jacket and the sleeves of his white shirt were rolled up to his elbows. On the left collar of the mostly unbuttoned garment, one could just make out the characters monogrammed with white thread. The same characters were repeated on the long, shiny earring that brushed against his right shoulder when he tilted his head back to drain his glass dry in three quick swallows.
“One day we’ll figure out what blackmail material you got against the old guy,” Rod said and held his filled glass cradled between his palms.
“I think he does it just to get under Ru… R’s skin.” Her cheeks taking on a hint of red, most likely from almost mentioning Rufus’ name, Elena tried to hide her blush by drinking.
Reno snorted as he shook another cigarette free from his pack and lit it. “Oh, please. The man and I have a fun time talking.” He appeared offended by the others’ comments, his expressive face wrinkled and his eyes narrowed.
“That and he likes to ask lots of questions about what’s going on, and you usually tell him the truth,” Rude remarked once he finished his whiskey. Kali leaned across the table to refill it for him, and he gave her a smile in appreciation. She returned the smile and, once certain she had his attention, gave him a slow wink that was a signal that she wouldn’t be adverse to taking him home for the night. Feeling the night get a hell of a lot better, Rude nodded once and tried not to grin. The Turks knew that he and Kali had a sort of arrangement going on, one that benefited them both but wasn’t any sort of relationship other than the ‘buddies with benefits’ type, but right now, he didn’t want the attention shifted from his partner to him. Someone always ended up teased on these nights out and he wanted to make sure it wasn’t him.
Reno wrinkled his face a bit more and then laughed. “Well, as long as he’s paying, I mostly tell him the truth, and we’re both happy. Not like there’s anything to hide since he mainly wants to know if we’re using Mako at all.” He tapped his empty glass against the table and stuck his tongue out in Kali’s direction. “What, I don’t get any because my cock’s not big enough?”
So much for not attracting any attention, Rude thought, but all Kali did was laugh and pour some whiskey into the bastard’s glass while he blew smoke in Rude’s direction. “Not big enough and your ass is too pale,” she replied, the crass words in stark contrast to her cultured voice. As she spoke, she tucked back a lock of her long, dark hair and smiled sweetly at Reno, who didn’t seem to take the insult personally.
“No one compares to Rude,” Reno remarked as he lifted the glass as if in a toast to his partner.
“I don’t know,” Tosh drawled while he claimed the bottle from Kali. “Something to be said for cute, pale asses.” He leered at Reno and poured himself a drink.
Rude’s smile faded and he slid his sunglasses down his nose enough so he could give Tosh a stern look. “Some ‘cute, pale asses’ are as good as branded,” he warned and resisted an urge to look in his partner’s direction. Reno didn’t always appreciate being reminded that he was Rufus’ or have that fact pointed out to other people, but Rude was getting tired of Tosh’ attitude. The guy had proven himself a decent Turk in the last few months, dependable in a fight and pretty inventive when under pressure, but he had a thing about authority that was pretty common in most Turks. He didn’t seem to like being told that something was out of his reach, and once he’d heard that Reno’s ass belonged to the president, he’d been trying his best to get into it.
“If we’re gonna be talking about Reno’s ass then I need a hell of a lot more whiskey,” Rod complained as he pushed away from the table. “This time, I’m getting two bottles.” Everyone at the table laughed as he walked away, even Reno, who threw a pretzel at Rod’s head.
“Oi! It’s because it’s so damn sexy, that’s why we’re talking about it!” he shouted, loud enough that the whole bar had to hear. Then he threw a pretzel at Rude, who easily caught it in his right hand. “And it’s not branded yet, asshole.” There was no true malice in his voice so Rude assumed that he hadn’t really minded the remark.
“Give it time, “ he told his best friend. He meant it as a joke but there was a dark undercurrent to the words. Rufus was still obviously upset at discovering what his father had made the Turks do while he’d been the Vice President and had kept Reno very close for the last few days. This was the first time Reno had been ‘allowed’ out to play. “You’ll do something to piss him off again and he’ll break out the branding irons.”
Reno’s smile flattened for a couple of heartbeats while he toyed with his earring. “That’s not exactly how I got this.” He spoke the words rather quietly, so much so that Rude almost missed hearing them, and if it wasn’t for Pamela suddenly changing the topic, he would have asked Reno just what exactly he had meant with them. Rude still had his suspicions about that damn earring, especially since Reno never gave him a straight answer about it.
“Look, you’re cute and all, Reno, but I really don’t understand the fuss,” Pamela said as she poured the last of the whiskey into Reno’s glass. Like Tosh, she was still new enough with the Turks that on a night out after work, she kept her uniform zipped up and tie fastened, when even Elena had removed her tie and opened her coat a bit. Pamela’s shoulder length black hair was pulled back into a ponytail that swayed back and forth as she shook her head. “I mean, I saw your goods the other night and you’re much too scrawny.” Her smile grew stronger as she slanted a look in Rude’s direction. “There’s something to be said for screwing a guy who weighs more than you do.” Looking back at Reno, she began to chuckle as she rested her elbows onto the table. “Saw a good bit of R that night, too, and let me tell you, I can understand why you’re so willing to bend over all the time.” She blushed a little when she said the words, but she was getting the hang of all the dirty talk and insults that Turks exchanged with each other.
Elena and Kali both became very interested in the conversation; Elena even began to fan herself with her gloved right hand. “Oh my, I second that. He’s got *such* a nice body, and those eyes….”
“Mmmm, I adore his shoulders, and he’s got a pretty fine ass of his own,” Kali contributed to the conversation, a dreamy smile on her face. “Not to mention that voice of his.”
“Hey! Who the hell asked you bitches?” Reno yelled as he thumped his empty glass onto the table. “First off, you need to stop drooling over R and do something about that tight-assed partner of yours,” he said, his eyes narrow with anger as he pointed his left index finger at Elena. “Secondly, he’s off-limits to you two.” His glare was directed at Kali and Pamela, both of whom were busy giggling at his reaction. “This shit goes both ways!” he announced and tugged on his earring. “The only bit of ass he’s gonna fuck is mine! I gotta put up with his damn possessiveness and stupid rules and anal shit about keeping my damn feet off the couch so that means no sharing. Now give me that damn bottle,” he snarled and snatched one from Rod’s hands.
Jared was laughing so hard that he looked about ready to fall out of his chair, Elena seemed torn between glaring at Reno for the crack about Tseng and laughing as well, while Tosh frowned at Reno. For his part, Rude just shook his head and wished he’d thought to record that proclamation on his phone to be replayed whenever Reno bitched about his lover. He’d known for a while now that it wasn’t just Rufus who was unwilling to end the relationship, especially after he’d noticed the way Reno was growing out his hair and barely slept in his own apartment any more. Still, he could have done without having that fact shouted out loud in a below-Plate bar when he wasn’t nearly drunk enough to think about his friend’s fucked-up relationship.
Yet he couldn’t resist making a crack of his own while Kali refilled his glass, the whisky a pleasant, tingling heat in his veins. “So when’s the wedding, hmm? You two are practically living together, he’s given you some impressive jewelry and you’d look so pretty in a dress.” Sadly, the last part was true. He had the suspicion that Reno had kept his hair mostly short and spiky to hide the fact that with it down, he could do a decent job of passing himself off as a woman. Reno hadn’t bothered with pulling it back tonight since they were off-duty, and the brilliant strands falling around his pale face hid the sharp angle of his jaw and made his full lips more noticeable.
Reno flicked another pretzel in his direction. “Fuck you, Rude.” He clutched his full glass of whiskey to his chest while he glared for several seconds, until he either felt he’d gotten his point across or wasn’t drunk enough to put up with the teasing.
“I don’t know, just think about it,” Rod said as he helped himself to something to drink. “You’d have half of the company that way and wouldn’t have to work. You could laze about on the couch all day waiting for the man of the house to come home and eat the shitty meal you cooked for him.” Beside him, Jared did actually fall out of his chair, he was laughing so hard, and didn’t bother to get up from the floor. He just reached for his whiskey and drank between the bouts of laughter.
Kali nodded in agreement. “I mean, I’m sure he’ll make you sign a prenup, but you’d still make out pretty good. Someone like R has too much pride to let his ‘missus’ work.”
Shoving his chair away from the table, Reno fumbled with his belt. “Fuck you all. I’m not a fuckin’ woman, I’ll have you know. Nothing scrawny about my di-“ He let out a loud yelp as Rude yanked him back down.
“No nudity before the sixth bottle, that’s the rules,” Elena pointed out with a disapproving frown before she sipped her whiskey. “And no complaints when your nude pictures get posted on the Turks’ message board.”
“I hate you all,” Reno sulked as he scooted his chair back to the table. “You’re just jealous because I’ve got a rich, sexy boyfriend.”
“Uhm, I’m not really into guys, even pansy ones like you who look like girls,” Jared called out, still seated on the floor. “Though you do have a cute ass.” He let out a loud yelp when Reno slouched down in his chair to kick him.
“That’s it, we’re sparring tomorrow and you’ll see how much a pansy-ass, girly boy can beat your head in.”
“Doesn’t help that you’re paired with Rude, you know,” Kali pointed out, her expression serious but a teasing note to her husky voice. “I mean, most men look a bit girly standing next to him, let alone guys like you.” While she spoke, her left hand began to rub up and down Rude’s right thigh.
“Oh, yes.” Elena nodded several times. “There’s Rude and Tseng, and then there’s you. It’s rather unfair, I think.”
Reno gave her the finger. “As if you even notice any guys with the way you moon over the boss,” Reno said. “Why am I sitting here and taking this shit?”
“Because Rufus is too busy socializing to have sex with you tonight,” Rude couldn’t help but say. “Oh, and Rod’s buying.”
Tosh’s leer made a comeback. “If you’re tired of being picked on and looking for a bit of action, Reno, you can- ow! What the hell?” He scooted his chair back from the table, and judging from the foot that had glanced off the side of Rude’s when he’d kicked the stupid asshole, he’d been kicked more than once.
“I think you’re going to spar with me while Reno’s bashing Jared’s head in tomorrow,” Rude informed the rookie. He was getting tired of this shit; not that he thought that Reno would fool around with Tosh, but the idiot was going to piss off Rufus and then it would be Rude’s problem. Tosh’ normally tan face paled and Pamela seemed to purposely be forgetting that her partner was seated next to her. Rude smiled and held up his right hand, flexed his fingers until his knuckles cracked and thought about how he’d be able to have some fun in the morning. Tosh moaned deep in his throat and rubbed his hands over his cropped blond hair, his face now covered with a sheen of sweat and his eyes wide with fear.
“Don’t kill him, Rude,” Elena grumbled as she fought Reno for one of the bottles of whiskey, crowing in delight when she managed to pry it from his fingers. “Tseng always gets in a bad mood when he has to fill out all the paperwork for a deceased Turk.”
“Nah, I’ll just beat some sense into his thick head.”
Reno’s good mood seemed to be restored, now that someone else was being picked on. “Yeah, you can show me that new move you came up with, the one that left that idiot actually mewling last Tuesday.” He grinned from ear to ear, his eyes shining at the thought of violence.
“You boys always have to have your fun,” Kali practically cooed while her hand settled on Rude’s hardening cock. He had the impression they weren’t going to wait for the sixth bottle tonight and see who ended up naked. Well, ended up naked *here*.
Elena laughed and unzipped her coat the rest of the way, revealing the fact that she’d unbuttoned a good bit of her shirt. “I’m not a boy but I want to see that, too. Rude always comes up with the best moves.” As she talked, some guy who looked almost as tall and as wide as Rude came to a stop behind her. Everyone at the table became aware of his presence; Jared got off the floor while Elena, Pamela and Tosh moved their seats slightly so they were facing the man a bit.
He was dressed in tight jeans and a shirt that might have been white at some point but was various shades of pale grey now, save for the sweat stains around the collar and beneath his arms. He looked like most of the men in the bar, if not a bit on the big side, some below-Plate guy out to spend the night drinking and hanging out with his friends. Leaning closer to Elena, he smiled and motioned to the empty whiskey bottles.
“Ya doin’ some serious drinkin’ tonight, darlin’? Why don’t ya come join me and my friends, eh?” He was clearly trying to look down her unbuttoned shirt and placed his left hand on the back of her chair.
A look of annoyance crossed Elena’s pretty face. “I am going to get Tseng’s permission to shoot the next man who calls me ‘darling’.”
“He’ll give it, I bet a night’s tab on it,” Reno mumbled as he sipped the drink now held in his right hand. Everyone at the table nodded and didn’t take him up on the bet.
The man frowned and pulled back a little. “Eh? Was that a ‘no’?” His brows furrowed as he scowled at Elena.
“Yes, it is indeed a ‘no’.” She snorted in derision and motioned with her left hand around the table, her right hand playing with the hem of her coat, not far from where she wore her gun. The rules were no visible weapons or weapons that could be tied directly back to the Turks, such as Reno’s baton, while they were out drinking, but there was a reason why Elena, Jared and Rude had kept their coats on all night. “I’m already drinking with friends.” She wasn’t outright rude to the idiot, but she made it clear she didn’t think much of him or his offer.
He pulled back a bit before he stood up straight, his arms crossed over his chest. “What, ya Turks are too good to hang out with the people you’re slummin’ with long enough to have a few drinks? Ya think you’re better than us? A bunch of killers?” He motioned to Elena and Pamela as he sneered. “Or is it ya only bend over for that fancy president o’ yours? You’re all so pretty, he hire ya for how good ya look lyin’ on your backs?”
Rude blinked in shock, not because Kali had removed her hand from his crotch but because of what he’d just been called. “I am *not* pretty,” he said, the words mostly drowned out by Reno’s loud laugh and hand clapping.
Still clapping his hands, Reno slinked up from his chair and leaned his right hip against the table. With his loose hair, shirt practically falling off his shoulder and the fact that he couldn’t have even weighed half as much as the guy who’d just insulted them, he didn’t appear to be any type of threat. Yet everyone at the table noticed the particular gleam in his eyes and the cruel smile on his lips and began to shift away from him.
“While I admit we Turks are pretty damn hot, I have to tell ya that you’re really off the mark there, asshole.” His smile grew all the more cruel while the guy turned toward him. “And for the record? I’m the only one who bends over for the president, I thought we made that perfectly clear earlier.”
The man sneered some more as he looked Reno up and down. “Such a fuckin’ pretty boy ya prolly bend over for anything with a dick bigger than yours.”
“Nah, I’m not a stubby-dicked asshole like you,” Reno remarked as his hand closed around the neck of an empty whiskey bottle. When the guy realized that he’d just been insulted, he managed one step forward, his hands balled into fists and rising into the air, before Reno moved. There was a blur of red, white and black and the guy was lying on the floor by Elena’s chair, his face bleeding from where the bottle had smashed into it. “OI! Bar fight!” Reno yelled as he charged at the guy’s friends.
Everyone scrambled from the table – except Elena. “You all right?” Rude asked before he went to watch Reno’s back during the fight.
“I’m fine; Tseng made me promise not to involve myself in any fights tonight,” Elena explained, all the while she was busy kicking the guy by her feet in the crotch. “Go have some fun.”
Not needing any more encouragement than that, Rude began to shove through the crowd to get to his partner. Of course Reno was in the thick of it, holding one guy in a headlock while he practically gouged an eye out and busy kicking someone else with his right foot. Rude grabbed the guy who was about to break a bottle over Reno’s head and sent him flying into the crowd before he began swinging at whoever was closest and not a Turk. He was glad he’d kept his gloves on as a nose broke beneath his right fist, blood splattering through the air, and thought about how he was going to make Reno pay his dry cleaning bill this week.
Kali and Pamela were fighting back to back, proving that it didn’t take brawn to hold their own against men twice their size. Kali’s long legs were rather effective at kicking the shit out of anyone who came too close, while Pamela proved that she had a very mean right hook again and again.
Tosh seemed to try to be watching Reno’s back as well, but got swept by a sea of bodies toward the bar. Rude made sure that he wasn’t getting the shit kicked out of him and left it at that; while Elena wasn’t physically joining the fight, she had her gun out and would make sure none of them got into any serious trouble. Jared and Rod were actually whooping it up on the other side of the room, laughing and yelling as they pounded on anyone stupid enough to get too close.
Reno was laughing as well as he sucker-punched one guy and kicked another in the crotch, a dervish in motion as he spun about looking for new victims. Someone thought to grab his hair… but didn’t do more than yank out a few strands before Rude broke his hand and then his jaw. Reno flashed him a smile in thanks before ducking to avoid a punch, causing the guy to stumble right into Rude and be knocked unconscious.
As fights went, it was a bit on the pathetic side since the bar had only been half full and the patrons not much of a challenge, but Rude was still smiling and enjoying himself. While he couldn’t completely cut loose, it was nice to beat the shit out of someone determined to do just that to him first. A night out drinking with friends, an ample supply of whiskey, and now a fight. All that was left was going back to Kali’s apartment and this would be the best night he’d had in weeks. He just had to make sure that nothing happened to his partner or Rufus would have his hide.
As it was, Reno held his own to the end, for once not pulling something reckless or stupid enough to get him in over his head. The fight was over with in under ten minutes, Rude and his fellow Turks the only ones left standing. Rod, Reno and Jared began to riffle through the wallets of some of the unconscious bodies on the floor and left a huge pile of gil on the bar while Rude and Kali went to fetch the remaining whiskey on the table. Kali’s arm was draped around Rude’s waist and her long hair was tousled in a very becoming manner; he’d wait until he got rid of his bloody gloves before he combed his fingers through it.
“Please tell me you don’t have an early shift tomorrow,” she asked as she bumped her left hip into his right thigh.
He smiled and looked over to his partner. “Reno, make the boss late for work tomorrow, okay?”
Reno grimaced as he wiped his hands down his blood-splattered and torn shirt. “Fuck, I don’t think that’s gonna be much of a problem. He’s probably gonna break out –“ He sighed and tried to brush back the hair falling onto his face. “Yeah, he’ll be late tomorrow, partner.”
Trusting his friend, Rude then turned to Elena and gave her a look over the rims of his sunglasses. She pouted a little as she wiped the toe of her right shoe clean with the asshole who had started the fight’s shirt. “Oh, I’ll do my best to make sure that Tseng’s not upset about you coming in late. He might let it slide if Reno stays out of trouble for the day.” She gave Reno a significant look.
”Hey, I’m gonna be damn lucky if I can sit down all day tomorrow once Rufus sees what happened to one of his shirts,” Reno complained and fetched his coat. “That should put the bastard in a good mood for a day or two.”
”Then why did you wear it out tonight?” Jared just had to ask, his long bangs falling to mostly cover his black eye.
Reno’s smile just then was so wicked that Rude felt a physical jolt through his body in reaction to it. “Because I know I won’t be able to sit down at all tomorrow.” He seemed rather pleased with himself as he waved goodbye. “Bet you’ll know how I’ll feel, Kali!”
Kali laughed and waved goodbye. “That’s what I’m counting on!” She glanced up at Rude, a pleased smile on her face. “So, no early shift tomorrow.”
”No.” He hefted the half-full bottle of whiskey into the air and motioned toward the door. “Ready to go home now?”
“I thought you’d never ask.” She turned to look at the remaining Turks and waved again. “Good night, children!”
Rod seemed to try to shout something lewd but the words were garbled by the fact that he was also drinking at the same time, while Pamela and Jared cheered them on. Tosh was busy looking for another intact bottle of whiskey but paused in his search long enough to give them a thumb’s up sign, while Elena waved while she talked to someone on the phone, most likely Tseng.
Feeling utterly content, Rude went with his coworker to his car, a huge grin on his face that only grew wider when he noticed that Reno’s bike was already gone. He shook his head and thought about how his friend was a little too eager to go home and face his ‘punishment’ for the ruined shirt and bar fight. A great night out, and then the last shift of the week spent with a too tired and aching Reno to be any real trouble. Life was good, Rude thought as Kali’s hand settled on his ass.
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