Chapter 1

The young man trailed kisses down the back of the warm body next to him. A low purr came from the sleeping form. The man lifted his gaze to meet the other's.

"Good morning."

"'Morning," a hand came up to brush sleep from the eyes, "what time is it."

"Almost five, I should go."


Silence. The man gently caressed the pale back and leaned down to place a kiss on the neck.

"I could get you a job."

"I have a job."

"I mean a real job."

"You're gonna be late."


"I ain't gonna be your private whore, Rufus. I couldn't do that."

"I didn't mean that. I'll get you a job at Shinra Inc, there's lots of things you could do."

"It just wouldn't work. I'm no the type."

"You could if you just wanted to."

Lips closed over lips and the tongues tangled for a fleeting moment.

"You better go. Or I'll have to charge you for over-time." His evasive smirk was met by serious eyes.

"Will you at least think about it?" Rufus rose from the bed and found his clothes neatly folded on the worn-out arm chair in the disgusting green color.

Reno pulled himself up at the head of the bed and rested his chin on his knees. It was still dark outside his bedroom window, but the moonlight found it's way in through the open curtains and played over his features.

Rufus slipped in to his jacket and dug out a bunch of bills out of his pocket. He placed the gil on the bedside table and ran smooth fingers along Reno's jawline before carefully lifting the chin and claim the lips for one last kiss.

"What's this?" Reno asked, indicating the money which seemed to be more than the usual fee.

The young blond smiled, his thumb stroking the soft lips. "Over-time."

One more kiss; this one the definate, the last, the good-bye.

Reno continued to stare out through the window long after the door had slammed shut.

"The President asked me to tell you that these papers should be signed by five p:m and back at his desk."

There was a scent, familiar and well needed. Rufus looked up.

"And I thought you might need this, sir." A cup of coffee was placed infront of him.

"Thank you, Disa, you're an angel."

"The papers on his desk at five. Don't forget this time."

Rufus leaned back in his chair and lit a cigarette. He glanced at the white Shinra marked clock just above the door. Almost three. He found his cell-phone and flipped open the small lid covering the dial.

"Enter command after the beep," the static voice sparked.

The beep.

"Call Reno."

"Call Reno," his own distorted voice echoed back at him in his ear and the number was dialed.

"Hey, 'tis Reno, I'm at the office right now. Call back later or leave a message with my secretary. After the beep."


Rufus shut the phone again. The office, he mused. With his foot against the desk he pushed away and made the leather chair spin around, facing the panorama window, lit up by tiny spotlights which tricked the few plants on the sill to stretch upwards. The grey Midgar expanded beneath him, the slums well hidden by the Plate and it's glass skyscrapers which shadowed the luxorious privat estates that had sprung up in recent years.

The reactor in Sector 5 was the only evidence from this height that there actually was a Sector 5 underneath the floating city. He's out there somewhere.

"Your's or mine?"

A moment of hesitation. "Mine. My rent just went up."

"Alright, I'll see you back at Maud's, Reno"

"Yeah, see you, Biggs."

The man had been eyeing the two young men for a long time. He seemed more confident when one of them left and started walking towards Reno who did the same.

"You looking for some fun?"

The man nodded. "How much?"

"Depends on what you want," Reno shrugged.

They were in an alley. It was always an alley, always the smell of old garbage, always something wet on the ground which stained the fabric on the knees, always a siren sounding somewhere in the distance.

"You like that?" The eyelids shivered as the man's head fell back against the red brick wall. "You like the taste of it?" His hands held a steady grip in Reno's hair.

Reno didn't answer. He did what he'd gotten paid for and concentrated on being anywhere but right there in that alley.

"You know what I like the taste of?" The man pushed into Reno's mouth, one of the hands were released form the red hair.

Reno looked up from his position on the ground, not really having any choice since his hair was pulled back to tip the head up. Being caught like that perturbed him but he knew panicking wouldn't do any good. He smiled, that slow seductive smile that he only used for his customers. The smile he always felt dirty for using, for making them think that he was begging for more when all he wanted to do was to get the hell out of there as quick as possible.

Something glimmered in the man's hand as it returned from within the pocket to which it'd strayed before without Reno noticing. A knife.

Reno barely managed to dodge the first stab, rolling over to get up to his feet.

The man grinned. "I like the taste of blood," he hissed, "especially pretty boy's blood."

Once more he lunged at Reno who had to throw himself to the side to avoid getting ripped open by the sharp edge. Reno cried out as the next stab took in his left shoulder.

The man laughed, Reno's blood had already stained his pinstriped suit. He attacked again but this time Reno stopped him with a swift kick to the ribs. The man got a hold of his leg just as he doubled over from the impact of the kick. They both fell tumbling over each other to the ground. The knife gleamed and came down with full force.

There was a knock on the door. Rufus lifted his head from the desk, blinking, then running a hand through the blond hair in an attempt to straighten it.

"Come in."

The door opened.

"Sir, those papers were due on your father's desk ten minutes ago." Rufus's secretary folded her arms over her flatt chest and tapped her foot against the tiled floor.

"Shit," Rufus swore, "I forgot. He called, didn't he? Was he mad?

"Ask me tomorrow if I've gotten my hearing back by then."

"Sorry about that, Disa. Give me five minutes and I'll finish them off."

"Very well then."

A polite cough startled both the vice-president and his secretary. They turned their attention to the door from where the sound had come.

"Tseng," Rufus acknowledge the man who leaned against the door frame, a tiny smirk playing on his lips.

"Sorry, didn't mean to scare you."

"Of course you didn't," Rufus smiled. "Disa, you can go home for the day, I'll handle the rest by myself."

"Very well then," she repeated. On her way out she gave Tseng a disapproving look.

Casually, but with the same elegans that never seemed to leave Tseng, he dropped into the chair.

"She's trying to seduce you?" he asked while fishing out the pack of cigarettes from his breastpocket.

"Nah, think she's a lesbian."

Tseng smirked, an expression he seldom used within office-hours. "Of course you do."

Rufus pushed the papers infront of him away for what seemed to be the one millionth time that day. "Business or pleasure?" he asked.

"Business, I'm afraid," Tseng hooked his right leg over the left knee.

The young VP sighed. "That's what I was afraid of. So shoot. What is it that you need? A signature I assume since that's about all I'm good for in this company."

"Something needs to be done about the current situation in the Turks. Ever since Nobutaka died there's only been me and Rude. It's just not working out anymore. Last week Heidegger sent a SOLDIER rookie out with us because the mission we were on took at least three people to accomplish it. Damn kid could hardly tell his left arm from his right."

Rufus nodded thoughtfully. "You could very well recommend someone to the Turks if you wanted, Tseng. I'm sure my old man would listen to you. Hell, you're one of the few people he actually listens to if Heidegger isn't around to drown everyone else's voice out."

"I had someone I thought would be cleared. Found him in the Seven river two days ago."

"Sorry to hear that."

Tseng shrugged. "Shit happens even in this perfect world," he said sarcastically. "Problem is we're still one guy short, and that needs to be sorted out asap."

"Have you checked in SOLDIER?"

Smoke trailed up towards the ceiling as Tseng snorted in dislike. "SOLDIER has been nothing but a bunch of good-for-nothings since the day Sephiroth left."

"Maybe it's about time the Turks found better SOLDIER recruits then."

"If we weren't one man below our usual strenght then we might have been able to do just that. Besides, we track down the people Shinra tells us to track down."

"Ok, ok. I see your point, Tseng." Rufus tapped a pen against his lips as he considered something.

Tseng reached for the ashtray on the desk and stabbed out his cigarette. "You know someone?"

Rufus looked back at him again. "I might," he said, "I might."

"Great," Tseng stood up. "Have Rude bring him in. You want to interview him or do you know he's good?"

"He's good but I'm not sure he's interested."

"Rude will get him interested."

"I don't think that's such a good idea actually. I'll just handle it myself instead to begin with, ok?"

"Great, you handle it. Just handle it before the end of the week. I'm going over to Junon on Friday and it would be good if Rude didn't have to keep the scums of Midgar under control all by himself."

"I'll try my best." Rufus stood up as well and put his jacket on. "I didn't know you were going to Junon, for how long?"

"Not decided yet. They suspect there might be a spy in the company, currently active in the Junon Navy. I'm going over to dig into it thoroughly."

"You can tell me all about it over a drink. I've had enough of this place for one day."

Reno stumbled in to the small diner in Sector 5 just about the same time as Rufus and Tseng exited the vice-president's office in the Shinra building.

"Shit, Reno," Biggs got up from where he'd been sitting at the counter and walked over to his friend who's face was dirty and bruised.

Reno held his jacket closed tight around him, almost as if he was freezing.

"What the hell happened to you, man?"

"Can't talk here," Reno whispered. "Have to go somewhere safe."

Sometimes the dark alleys could be a haven. A haven filled with nightmares.

Reno opened his jacket, showing his blood soaked T-shirt to Biggs.

"Shit. 'S that blood?"

"What the fuck do you think. It's not like I spilled a Bloody Mary over myself and are freaking out because the shirt is dry clean only." Reno had to giggle. He didn't know why but he had to.

Biggs glared at him. "Get a grip, Reno, you're loosing it." He fumbled with his pack of cigarettes, lightning one, handing it over to the redhead, then lightning another for himself. "Look, it's no big deal. People get killed every day in the slums, no one cares."

"Damnit Biggs, you saw that guy, it was easy to tell that he was from above."

"What? That John you mean?"

Reno just nodded, inhaling on his cigarette while he nervously walked around in a circle.

"Fuck, what happened?"

Reno shrugged. "He had a knife, he tried to stab me, he did stab me," he revealed his injured shoulder. "I killed him. Shit, I killed him."

"You have to... you have to do something. For fuck's sake Reno, just stand still for a second will ya?"

"Do something? You got any suggestions? I sure could need some advice right now."

"You have to get out of here. You got anywhere you can go?"

"Yeah, I'll just go home to grandma Papen who bakes cockies and makes her own lemonade. What the fuck do you think. I ain't got nowhere to go."

"Shit, Reno, just think. No one who owns you a favour or anything? You have to get out of here before the police gets you."

"Everyone I know would sell me out for 50 lousy gil, you know how it works."

"Are you sure you've got no one." Biggs tossed his cigarette and lit a new one. "Shinra might be after you as well."

Reno looked up, and blinked.

"Sure you've got no one?" Biggs repeated.

"You know what?" Reno said calmly. "There might be someone after all."

Chapter 2   |   Fanfiction