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     It really couldn't have been anyone but Reno. When it came to slums, drugs, and sex, the redhead was master. So, when the need arose for an undercover agent, he'd been Rufus' first choice. Not that he was ever his second- but now, as he watched Reno shake violently in the chair across from him, half bent over a wastebasket too ill to even curse, Rufus wished he'd sent someone else.
     The drugs were off the street, their dealers dead in a ditch, but they were still haunting the Turk, prowling his insides with needy claws. Rufus had seen it before, many times, had used withdrawal to get information, a sort of self-inflicted torture. Oh, and how those junkies had writhed and pleaded him for just a little bit, just a taste or touch or smell. To think Reno was going through such pain- and quietly at that- made his usually unmovable will falter.
     It should not have been Reno. Not with his history, not with his tolerance. He took a deep breath, something his counterpart seemed unable to do, and steeled himself. Reno could have refused, he and the Turks were close enough now for such things, but the man had readily agreed. This could not be laid at his feet, though the silent, hateful glares he was receiving from behind Rude's dark glasses said otherwise.
     "I'll take him home, sir." The man stated, softly for the sake of his partner's aching head.
     As Rude began to pull Reno out of his seat, he stepped around the desk and shook his head. "No. He stays."
     "Sir, he's in no fit state-"
     "You're dismissed."
     Rude's hands curled into fists at his side. "Sir, he's been gone for two months, let him go home."
     "I want his report."
     "He can't even stand, sir."
     "You are dismissed."
     The atmosphere darkened and Rufus could have smiled if he'd not been so bent on being a hardass. Rude's love for his partner was a weakness and, Shiva save him, he couldn't help but pick at it.
     "Sir, he's done enough. Let me take him home."
     "You don't trust him in my care, Rude?" He inquired coolly, "You think that I might take advantage of him? Is that it?"
     Rude raised his chin. "No, sir."
     "Hm. Perhaps it's you that hoped to take advantage?"
     "Boss, don't be a dick, yo." Reno quavered, hugging the rubbish bin. "Rude, he ain't gonna hurt me. S'okay. Go on."
     "Jus' go on."
     "Fine." Rude spat, turning to leave.
     "See you in the morning." Rufus farewelled pleasantly.
     He heard the 'fuck you' under Rude's breath as he went, but that only gave him a deep sense of satisfaction. It was nearly as gratifying as making Tseng turn red in the face. Which, he'd only done that one time.
     The sound of Reno dry-heaving woke him from his smug musings and he turned to pull the man's hair out of the way. The long tresses were dyed black, harsh against the pale skin. He missed the fiery red already. It would need to be remedied as soon as possible.
     "You reek." He sighed, "It's one thing to sit among shit but did you have to roll in it?"
     Reno wiped his mouth with his sleeve and glanced back at him with dull eyes. "Jus' did what you asked me to, yo. Why you gotta be such an ass to Rude?"
     "It's good for him. Stand up. We're going upstairs."
     Moving away, he waited for his order to be obeyed, only feeling a small pang of guilt when Reno gave him a wounded look before rising. His knees quaked so violently beneath his own weight that Rufus was reminded of a time not long ago when their roles had been reversed.
     The lodge was small and stifling, nothing like the luxury he was used to. His body ached and his ego was tearing its hair. All he wanted was to get up and move to the porch, to breathe in the fresh night air. Tseng and Elena were gone for the evening, leaving him with    Reno and Rude, who he'd sent away early. He could manage getting into bed on his own but the distance from his chair to the deck seemed so far.
     His pride bristled. For who? For Rufus Shinra? Fuck that. His arms gave a wobble of protest as he hefted his weight from his wheeled seat, knowing he could have gone at least to the door in it but wanted to prove he didn't need to. Two steps in and he was sweating, obstinance alone keeping him moving forward. Alas, it was not enough.
     Hitting his knees hurt, and keeping himself from falling in a heap sent shocks of agony up his bad arm. He wanted to roar in anger but settled for a grunt of stifled pain. The door creaked open and the footfalls that followed were as soft a cats stride and he cursed beneath his breath. At least Rude wouldn't have said anything.
     "Had to piss boss?" Reno asked, squatting down on those muscled haunches to look him in the eyes.
     "Get out."
     "Fuck that, yo. I think this's the first time I've seen ya on yer knees." The Turk sniggered, "Reno likey."
     His whole body shuttered and his breath would only come in short gasps. "Reno."
     "Want me to help ya up?"
     "Mhm." The redhead stood and looked down at him with a look aimed along his delicate nose. "Naw. Ain't gonna, yo."
     "I'll kill you."
     "Maybe, or maybe I'll get a raise." The head of Reno's EMR bumped his cheek and pushed back his hair with a tenderness a weapon shouldn't have been able to harness.   "Come on, boss. Get up. Don't embarrass yerself, yo."
     When he got a hold of that stupid fucker he was going to sew those pretty lips shut and then fuck him until he died. "Help me up. That's an order."
     "Ya look pathetic."
     "Ooh," another kiss from the EMR, "Boss, that almost sounded like please."
     Rage brought him upwards before his ailing vessel could hinder him. He staggered forward and Reno backed up but he had to have his hands around that insolent fucking throat. "I'll teach you to be mouthy with me you filthy slum whore." He snarled, fisting his shaking hands in the other man's rumpled dress shirt.
     "Hey now," Reno's smile was soft and his eyes glittered, "You ain't never complained about me bein' a whore b'fore."
     "You ever disobey me again-" he had to stop to gasp and he felt Reno's arms slip beneath his own, taking his weight.
     "Easy, yo. I followed orders." He purred, leaning in close. "Yer up ain't ya?"
     The memory made his frown deepen and Reno noticed before he did. "Do I really smell that bad, boss?" The Turk mumbled, leaning heavily on the back of the chair. "Or you thinkin' somethin' dirty? I ain't in no shape to be givin' you my dick jus' now. Maybe tomorrow, yo."
     But he knew that this sickness would last at least a week or so. He didn't plan on being that patient, but he could give Reno tonight at least. "Shut up and move."
     Reno's sneer was weak, but he did as he was asked, slowly and sloppily. Rufus followed behind him, close enough to catch him if he fell but not so close that gave away his intentions. He did not at all care for the way Reno's ass disappeared in those shitty slum pants. After a bath, he'd be sure to dress it in a nice pair of sleep pants.
     The redhead paused at the elevator, hitting the button and then standing there leaning on the wall. His chest heaved and he was pouring sweat, but he didn't fall. Rufus' stomach twisted with a mixture of pity and pride at the scene, though he'd really rather it be him making the man pant so desperately. "Would you like me to carry you, Reno?" He questioned as the elevator arrived, mostly serious.
     "Not a chance, yo." His companion huffed, "I ain't yer princess."
     The upward movement of the lift worsened Reno's vertigo and Rufus said nothing as the man fell into him twice before pressing himself against the glass and tilting his chin upwards, perhaps to keep the bile within him and not all over the tile. That neck seemed to stretch for miles and having it bared just so made Rufus' dick twitch. "You'll need to bathe."
     "Come on, boss, jus' let me sleep. I'll crash on the floor, if it's yer sheets yer worried 'bout."
     "We're you raped?"
Reno looked at him, those cocksucking lips parted in a feeble gape. "Gaia... What kinda question's that?"
     "I think it's a reasonable inquiry."
     "Ya would, you pristine bastard." The man quavered, knuckles whitening around the support bar running the circumference of the space. "An' no. Not that I was awake for, anyway. Tseng'll find out when he goes o'er the footage from my C.I.D."
     Rufus' eyes flicked to the bandage just beneath Reno's collarbone where his camera implant had been removed. He wanted to see those recordings for himself and then he would set them aflame. To think someone else had laid their hands on his property burnt his innards with a vengeful hate.

     He wanted to scrub Reno raw.