Thoughts

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There was no way to describe Reno when he was asleep. In fact, he was a flat contradiction so often that Rufus had given up trying to figure him out, if only because of the soon to follow migraine. A migraine very similar to the one building between his eyes at that exact moment, the unpleasant follow up to fighting Reno for bed space. I'm losing to a comatose floral half breed. After all, only weeds were this hard to remove ...

If he wanted comfort, he'd have to get within the other's embrace, submitting himself to a hug as Reno wrapped around him as if he were a plushy for the rest of the night. He wouldn't admit to himself that it wasn't really so bad, that it was actually sort of pleasant having the Turk coiled around him, snuggling so closely after their intimacies, an almost comforting presence ... He rolled his eyes. Reno comforting?! Yeah right. A royal pain in the rear was more like it.

Why was he doing this? There were others he could sate his desires with other than the insolent Turk, all of which would treat him with a modicrum of respect, the respect due his position, of course, but which fell over onto him by it's very nature. Reno went out of his way to not only make his life miserable with all his pranks but to insult him every chance he got.

Oh well. Rufus's lips twisted into a wry smile as he reluctantly slid within Reno's invisible range. The Turk immediately wrapped an arm around him and glomped, rearranging Rufus so that he was being thoroughly snuggled. He sighed and resisted the urge to rub his temples in frustration. There was no stopping Reno when he made his mind up, conscious or not, about something. You either gave in or got run over.

Maybe it isn't so bad ... he thought, trailing fingers lightly across the Turk's scars as he stared blankly at the ceiling. At least the annoying contradiction was pleasantly silent and still for once. Silent as death. He trailed the finger lightly down to the lips, brushing the tip caressingly across the curve, enjoying the moment of control. Yes, right now I have absolute power over you. Don't you hate it so? It was a pleasant thought, the small fantasy of holding Reno captive to his will. Don't I already have him? He's mine, isn't he? No, never his. Too independent, too unpredictable, too distant.

Rufus tangled a hand in the long red mane, pulling the Turk even closer to him I own you. Get used to it, Reno. I have every right and power to do what I want to you. I'm not letting you escape. Pleased with the odd ritual, the president let himself relax, his grip loosening just enough to let him slip into a doze, not quite sleeping and not quite awake, lingering on the edge of dreams.

The phone rang. Or more accurately, a phone rang. Which one or whose it was in the elaborately made-up apartment wasn't quite as clear. His brows drew together in frustration, What is it now?? A grumbled curse issued from the red head next to him and a click as the phone was turned on in it's second ring. Reno's voice was loud in the sudden quiet even though it was barely above a whisper. "Whaddaya want?"

Silence. "Now?" His curiosity was pricked, who would be calling Reno at this time of night? Surely not the other Turks?

Silence. "Ano ... yes ... no ... no ... can't answer that on the grounds that it might incriminate me." Another wry smile tugged at his lips, though he kept his expression as before, so as not to let on that he was awake. How very like Reno ... how very odd he had chosen to keep their trysts a secret.

Squawking as whoever it was on the phone yelled in Reno's ear, "Cripes, chief, not so loud, yer gonna wake - nevermind." Silence. "Nah, ya think?"

More squawking as Tseng, the only person it could be, chewed Reno out, "Yes, Tseng-sama, I heard you, Tseng-sama, can I get my hearing back now, Tseng-sama?"

The Turk sighed nearly silently as the phone was turned off with another click. The bed shifted as Reno carefully disentangled himself from Rufus in the effort to avoid waking him. Lips brushed across his own as his face was cupped lightly in the other man's hands, the unruly strands of his short blonde hair pushed tenderly away from his face. Then Reno was gone, vanishing silently in the darkness of the room before Rufus dared to open his eyes.

He waited patiently for the sound of the door being locked before he slowly slid out of the warm bed into the cool created air of his apartment. Feeling absurdly like a ghost, a mere phantom of himself, as he dragged the thin white under blanket with him, he slipped into the bathroom and reached for the switch. A flash of bright fluorescence ad the light was on, making him squint till his eyes adjusted. With the brilliance casting an shaft of light across the bedroom, he suddenly forgot why he had entered in the first place. Yes, there was some phantom tugging to do something, but it had dissipated almost like Reno had, here for one moment, gone the next. Sighing, he drifted out into the darker room, eyes roaming restlessly across every unfamiliar line of a room he used so rarely.

Dim light glimmered behind the drawn curtains, drawing him across the empty room to the window. He drew back the drapes to stare out into smoky haze covering Midgar. I'm not jealous ... Why should he be? It wasn't as if he cared or even desired to have the little pain around longer than it took to enjoy a moment of carnal pleasure. Yet Tseng drew obedience from the red head with a single word. Rufus had to force that obedience through pain and blackmail, only to have the obedience vanish away as Reno escaped his grasp once more ... watching the smile taunt him as he danced away. The Turk was Tseng's dutiful puppy, always waiting till he was called. Everyone knew where Reno's alliances really lay; with Tseng and the Turks. His face twisted into a snarl. Damn the Turks. Damn Tseng. Damn Reno.

The curtains twisted in his grip, brutalized as he stared coldly into the neon broken darkness of his smoking city. He had the control. Didn't they understand that? They were his to command. He was his to command. How dare he rebel, how dare he dance to another's tune! But ... but ... I don't control him ... his thoughts petered out as his hands trembled I have everything, anything, at a moment's whim ... I have Midgar in the palm of my hand ... and I can't control a single soul ... damn you, damn you, damn you, Reno.

The curtains fell back into place with a sweep of ghostly white as he released them, hiding his city from his eyes. Reno was out there somewhere, risking his life on some mission. The little fool who could barely traverse a hall without somehow being involved in some chaotic disaster ... given a gun and sent out to kill. He's a professional. That was the difference. Rufus would kill in his own defense, he even admitted to paranoia that would have made the Turk proud ... yet, Reno ... is cold ... so cold

I am the icicle, yet even I am not so ruthless, so impersonal, so uncaring, so willing to take the snake to my bed. Who was the viper here? Me or him ... Reno would come back. He expected no less from his weapon. I send you out and bring you back. My little Turks. Lifting his head high, the cool fašade slipping easily into place, he glided back to the bed, feeling that odd emptiness being filled with his usual self-assurance. Red numbers flickered quietly on the lamp stand, outlining the clock as dawn approached. Had he stood so long before the window? I'll pay for it in the morning.

Silently, he slid between the sheets, making a face at the cold as he settled down to sleep. Just as he began to drift, uneasy in a bed he used so little, the click of the door being unlocked tore him from his phantom dreamings. Footsteps near silent yet distinct, as the erstwhile Turk slid back into the room. Rustlings as Reno crawled onto the bed with all caution he was capable of in Rufus's presence.

"Where have you been?" The question was quiet, yet almost menacing, even as Rufus didn't bother to move or open his eyes.

If Reno noticed it, he gave no sign, his voice eternally cheerful even as it was a whisper. "Out."

"Hhn." Arms wrapped around him in the dark, drawing the other man closer to him, bare skin pressing to bare skin as they entwined once more. "Mission." It was not a question.

"Mission." Quiet affirmative, with none of the usual cheer, more sleepy and dull than Rufus was used to hearing. He buried his nose in the thick red hair as the Turk snuggled avidly, typical in his behavior ... yet so cold ... Smoke and metal, burning heat and ash flavored the scent of the other man now, mute testament to his nightly reign of death.

Phantom lips pressed to his neck before they trailed to his cheek, resting lightly at the corner of his mouth before they were gone. Arms tightened as the captive heartbeat thudded near his own. Then the Turk was silent and still again, once more in control, tightly leashed to his president in body, mind, heart, and soul. Mine. Fingers pressed into ruby locks, claiming possession, however illusionary, once more. All mine.

Tomorrow we dance apart again, lights that touch and move on ... Rufus bent his head to Reno's, gold mixing with red, and sighed, both ironically and contentedly, satisfied to remain in the other's arms till a dawn not so far away.

Gray light slowly washed over the world, but stood unremarked and unwelcomed in one darkened, silent room.

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