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[Fic] FF7 - And You Never Said Goodbye (Rufus/Reno, Reno/Rude)

Title: And You Never Said Goodbye (Unfinished)
Fandom: Final Fantasy 7
Pair: Rufus/Reno, a small scene involving Reno/Rude
Timeline: A year after Advent Children
Category: Yaoi, Angst, Depression
Warnings: Blatant homosexual sex, rimming, masturbation, death in the form of suicide, slightly AU (I think)
Rating: NC-17
Words: 6,805 This is an UNFINISHED fic.
Fic Type: Fiction Novel
Credits: None of the characters are mine. They are a product of Square Enix. Everything else, mine.
Summary: Reno trying to move on after Rufus' death in AC.


Reno rolled over in the large, empty bed, the sheets clinging precariously close to his body and making a kind of shish sound as he moved. One arm was thrown haphazardly over his head, his other hand rubbing his eyes. Would the loneliness ever fade? Would the emptiness subside? Would the pain, the misery, ever end?

These were questions that could not be answered, no matter how hard he tried or how many times he asked them. The answers seemed to be there, just beyond his reach, floating in front of him, blurred and obscured by a haze that always surrounded them. When he reached to grab hold of those answers, they jumped away from him, almost in a mocking manner, as if to say “Nyah, nyah, you can’t catch me.” But, that didn’t stop him from trying. He did that now. He reached out into the darkness, feeling that those answers that he so desperately needed were there, masked by that ever-present haze, and grabbed at them. To his surprise, he grabbed something physical. It was cold, and felt like a million tiny balls were in his hand. It was hard, yet it was also malleable; he could twist it and turn it in his hand, manipulating it around his fingers to grab a better hold of it.

He pulled on the object. A soft click was heard and then the darkness seemed to be blasted away by a sonic scream that was white and it filled his eyes obscenely, making them water. He pulled his arm down that was over his head to cover his face and curled up on his side in a fetal position, sheets screaming in protest at the sudden movement, the other hand still clutching the cold object between its fingers as if it were a life preserver. His knuckles turned white from the pressure of holding onto the small object.

One by one, his fingers released the object and he heard it click back into place again, a soft metallic cling emanating from the round balls as they collided with each other from finally being released from the warmth that was Reno’s hand. He slowly pulled his arm down that was covering his face, his other arm flopping down beside it.

He stared blankly at the wall that the bed was pushed up against. How many nights had he laid there, counting the imperfections in that slab of concrete? What was the last count? Wasn’t it 1,037 imperfections? He tried not to think about it. The imperfections on the wall reminded him of his perfect being – his perfect angel.

“You never said goodbye….” His voice seemed to offend the silence, reverberating against the walls and echoing back into his ears. His voice seemed louder than the whisper he actually spoke in. He wondered, just for a second, if he had screamed. No, no one had come to his door. No on had come to break the locked gate down. No one had come pounding on the wooden guard. He was still there, locked inside his prison of loneliness, emptiness, misery and hate.

Loneliness, because his angel was not there. Emptiness, because the bed felt so huge without him there. Misery, for the loss of him. Hate, for the fact that he couldn’t save him. In his mind, he saw blue eyes, blonde hair, and porcelain skin, perfect white clothes. He saw a devilish smile, a hint of something lustful in the eyes, and thin, perfect hands brushing the longish hair out of his face. He saw a white sheet, covering the beauty that was. He saw a cold, metallic chair with wheels in a corner. He saw the blue markings that seemed to be the only scar, the only imperfection, the only thing that marred this gorgeous body, claiming that he was diseased.

This was his angel. This was the perfect human that Reno knew. This was what he could never have again. He sniffed. He could still smell the cologne. It was a unique, expensive and exotic blend of cinnamon and musk, tantalizing the olfactory senses, teasing the others. It was what you first remember about him: the smell.

Reno was brought back from his reverie by the sound of footsteps outside the door. The cologne was imbued into the crisp, white cotton sheets that he laid on, a small indentation on one side of the bed that belonged to someone else. There were no white clothes on the floor, and the wheel chair had long been folded up and discarded, probably sold for scrap.

He reached for the nightstand beside him, grabbing hold of the hair tie that he took off every night. It was now a habit. His angel preferred to have his hair loose. He sat up, gathering the loose hair and imprisoning the strands within the tie.

He fell back onto the bed, sighing, exasperated. How long had it been? The days seemed to melt together. He closed his eyes, the first rays of sunlight invading the room, adding its eerie red-orange hue to the stark, cold white light that flooded his prison. He rubbed his eyes, removing the sleep from them forcefully.

He heard whispers from beyond the bedroom door. He sighed and lay perfectly still, trying to hear what was being said beyond the door. He couldn’t quite make out the words, but he had heard his name once of twice. It was mentioned, briefly. He recognized one voice. Rude. His only other friend in this world. He heard a female voice, and several other male voices. He didn’t know who they were. Frankly, he could’ve cared less about them right at that moment.

He pulled the sheets up and over his head, curling himself up into a little ball, as if that would be able to shield his pain from himself. He bit his lip to keep from crying. It was moments like this he wished that his angel could be there for him, could hold him and tell him everything would be all right. He bit his lip until his teeth tore through skin, crimson liquid pouring to the surface. Reno tasted metal on his tongue and laxed his jaw. Tears streaked down his cheeks, falling onto the soft pillow below him. He grabbed the pillow, pulling it over his face just enough to muffle, to silence the sobs that seemed to find their way out of his mouth uncontrollably.

He laid there, clutching the pillow, the sheets pulled up over his head, weeping for what seemed like ages, until, finally, sleep came overcame him.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


“Your hair… the color of flame, like your soul.” A hand reached up and pulled loose the tie, flame red hair falling around bare shoulders, finally free of its confines. “The color, not a usual color, but, it somehow strangely suits you.” Fingers ran through the loose strands slowly, as if trying to memorize the silky feel of them.

“You are so beautiful….”

“No, I’m not. Just brash and making amends for the fact that I was stupid and ignorant in my youth.” Sadness spilled out from a mouth lined by pinkish red lips, swollen and bruised. A thumb ran over those lips, the head nestling itself into the rest of the hand, the fingers running through the mane the color of fire.

“You are not stupid, nor are you ignorant, Reno.” Jade green eyes looked up into ice blues.

“I was. I still am. I’m a stupid fool for you, Rufus.” A smile played across the other’s lips. Reno caressed the other man’s cheeks softly with his fingertips, running his thumb over soft lips. Rufus caught his thumb between his lips and nibbled slightly on it, sucking.

“Damn, Rufus, you know how to turn me on….”

“I do, don’t I?” A devilish smile played across his thin lips. Reno sighed and laid his head on Rufus’ chest. “You’re beautiful when you smile. You’re just so… beautiful.”

Hands pulled Reno’s head up forcefully. He stared into the sea of ice blue that was Rufus’ eyes. He saw, for the first time, anger in those eyes. Anger directed towards him. He was scared.

“Beautiful?! Me?! Look at me! I am not beautiful, Reno. My body is covered in the markings that signify that I have the disease, that I am incurable, that I am going to die. I am ugly. So very ugly.” Reno sighed and looked down, feeling as if he would cry, wrapping his arms around the man that he loved. “But… you’re beautiful to me….” Rufus smiled and wrapped his arms around Reno’s slender frame.

“Then…. That’s all that matters, then….” Reno looked up at him, smiling. He had a smile, a look of contentment on his face. No longer was the anger there. The anger was replaced with joy and love. Rufus leaned up slowly, his mouth parted slightly. He placed soft lips upon Reno’s own, which he accepted gratefully. Reno’s tongue sneaked past Rufus’ lips, invading his mouth. His tongue danced along Rufus’, as he shifted position to be completely on top of the other man.

Rufus’ hands glided down Reno’s back, still slicked with sweat. His hands grabbed hold of Reno’s ass, squeezing softly. Reno pressed his lower body into his, the heat from their growing need making the air underneath the covers very warm. Rufus wrapped his legs around Reno’s back, pulling Reno in even closer to him. Reno rubbed his groin up against his, his hard on caressing against Rufus’ ever so slightly.

Rufus emitted a moan of pleasure and broke the kiss, panting heavily. Reno looked into his eyes and saw passion and need. He knew instantly what Rufus wanted. But, he would make him wait.

Reno slithered his way down Rufus’ body, leaving a trail of petal soft kisses in his wake. He stopped at his nipples, grasping one in his mouth as he lightly bit on the soft, pink bud. A gasp of pleasure came from the blonde’s mouth as he arched his back. Reno grinned to himself as he softly suckled on the hardening nipple. His hand trailed up Rufus’ sides, softly caressing the smooth skin, until finally, fingers wrapped around Rufus’ neck loosely, rubbing the sides, fingers trailing the delicate muscles of his jaw line.

Rufus leaned down, grasping a finger into his mouth, panting heavily.

“Reno….”

“Shh…. You are going to love this.” A hint of evil in his eyes, he glanced up at Rufus. Rufus looked down at him, a quizzical look on his face.

“What do you mean?” Reno looked down towards Rufus’ erection, grinning evilly.

“You’ll see.” He began to kiss his way down again. Soft, slow, deliberate. He dipped his tongue into the blonde’s navel. His other hand, once at the jaw, now manipulated the sensitive nipple that Reno had worked so hard on.

Suddenly, it dawned on Rufus what Reno had in mind, and he sat up on his elbows, eyes wide, panting.

“Reno…!” He couldn’t finish saying the words that were forming on the tip of his tongue, for Reno had reached his hard member and gave a soft, teasing lick right on the head. Rufus shuddered and fell back onto the bed. Reno gave a smirk and made a sound deep in his throat as he took the head into his mouth, his teeth grazing against the velvety flesh. He suckled on the head, driving Rufus wild.

Rufus thrashed around the bed wildly, moaning, panting, gasping. His back arched, his legs drew in to close around Reno’s head. Reno wound his arms underneath Rufus’ legs, grabbing hold of his sides and held him there, preventing him from moving too much.

Rufus let out a whimper and bucked his hips into Reno’s face, wanting more. Reno laughed softly, and pulled one hand down and through Rufus’ leg. He grasped the long, hard erection and began to pump it slowly, up and down, up and down, his thumb rubbing against the tip.

Reno smiled as Rufus moaned softly, gripping at the sheets and twisting them into giant clumps around him. His other hand that was holding him down was now by Reno’s side. He pulled his hand up to his mouth, wetting the index and middle finger.

“Ready, love?” Rufus blinked, as if dazed, his chest heaving.

“Ready…? For what?” Reno grinned and took that as a yes. He pressed his middle finger up against Rufus’ tight hole, demanding entrance. Rufus arched his back and pulled the sheets around him, gasping. Once Reno’s finger had successfully invaded the tight hole, he began to pump his finger in an out, going at the same pace as his other hand on the erection. Sweat poured down Rufus’ face as he tried to not thrash about wildly, afraid that he would come before Reno had a chance to fuck him.

He arched his back, gasping as Reno slid another finger into him, still keeping that incredibly slow pace. Reno lowered his head and gave a soft kiss to the tip of the hardened penis, tasting the salt of precum on his lips. His tongue snaked out and dove into the tiny opening, wanting more. Rufus bit down on his lip to keep from screaming. His body felt as if it was on fire; so many different pleasures surging through him. His mind had no idea how to react to the invading fingers at his anus, the strong, firm grip on his erection, and the evil, wet tongue darting in and out of his tiny opening at the tip of his penis.

Then lips wrapped around the head, sucking softly. He bit down harder, almost drawing blood. The lips moved further and further down, going lower with each pump of Reno’s hand. The heat from Reno’s mouth just added fuel to the fire. Rufus thought that he would burn up. Sweat trickled down his face and body.

Soon, fingers, hand, and mouth were moving at the same rhythm. Invading, pumping, sucking. This was too much to bear. He felt as if he was going to explode. And just when he felt his orgasm reaching up, about to burst, Reno stopped and pulled his fingers out, letting go of his erection, and pulled his warm, wet mouth away. He whimpered, his hard member quivering, wanting more.

“I think that’s enough of that….” Reno slowly crawled on top of Rufus, licking up the sweat off his chest, kissing away salt from his brow. He reached in between his legs, grabbing hold of his own need, pumping it softly. He made no pretense as to what he was doing, or what his intentions were. Rufus looked down at Reno’s slowly pumping hand and licked his lips.

“Take me… Take me, Reno.”

“As you wish, love.” Reno stopped pumping his member and placed the head right at Rufus’ opening, ready to take the man that he loved more than anything and make him his. He pressed his member slowly into Rufus, panting and moaning. Rufus grabbed hold of Reno’s shoulders, flame red hair sticking to his skin from sweat. He bit his lip.

It was always like this, whenever Reno pushed himself inside. It hurt, but only for a little bit. Once Reno began to thrust up into him, he would stretch, and it would be fine.

And that’s what Reno did. He began to thrust, slowly, in and out of Rufus. Rufus wrapped his legs around his back; trailing his hands down the sweat slicked skin, running his fingers through wet hair.

He felt something liquid fall onto his face. He looked up and saw sweat pouring down the sides of Reno’s face. He was panting and moaning softly. With each thrust, a sound came from his lips. Reno had his eyes closed, a look of concentration on his face. Rufus leaned up and kissed the sweat off of his jaw.

“What are you concentrating so hard about?”

“Trying… not… to… ah… come…” Rufus smiled and pulled his head down to him, kissing him softly.

Reno, in his passion, kissed back harder and more fervently than Rufus had kissed him. He slid his arms around Rufus’ back, almost crushing Rufus to him. Rufus wrapped his arms around Reno’s neck, moaning into the kiss. Reno began to pump harder in and out of Rufus, moving only his lower body, rocking the two back and forth.

Rufus broke the kiss, panting. “Harder, Reno… I want all of you…” Reno obliged by lifting himself back up and slamming his groin against Rufus’ ass, the tip of his penis hitting home and grazing against Rufus’ prostate. Rufus let out a scream of pleasure, scratching at Reno’s shoulders, blood mingling with sweat.

Reno looked down at his lover, and liked the sheer look of pleasure that graced the usually stoic face. He slammed again. Another scream of pleasure. Again. Another scream escaped Rufus’ lips.

“Reno… I…. Oh… ah…. I’m going to…. Ah… yes… cum!” Reno moaned loudly at those words; he didn’t know how long he could last anymore. He saw Rufus’ member quiver, tighten, and then, Rufus arched his back, yelling out in ecstasy as the milky white fluid poured forth from his erection and onto his stomach.

Reno watched as Rufus ejaculated all over the front of his body. He enjoyed watching the liquid pour out and squirt, messing up his beloved. He grew even more excited watching it. He slammed home one last time before he felt the tightness and then the explosion. He closed his eyes, falling onto the man below him, stars obscuring his vision.

Rufus ran his fingers through Reno’s hair, holding onto him tightly as they both breathed heavily.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Reno woke up, his sheets wet with sweat, his stomach covered in the milky white fluid that he had seen in his dream. Except this time, it was his own.

“Damn….” He whispered softly to himself and got up, the sun now high in the sky, it’s light washing over his nude body. He grabbed a tissue from the box on the nightstand and slowly wiped himself off.

“I miss you….” He spoke to no one in particular and ran his fingers through his hair. He grabbed a pair of boxers and put those on, sitting at the edge of the bed.

“Gonna have to wash those sheets now,” he thought as a knock was heard at the door.

“Yo, Reno! Ya alive in there?”

“Yeah, just a sec!” He quickly got up and put on his pair of leather pants, leaving the top button undone as he walked bare foot to the door. He turned the knob on the lock. The lock gave a slight clicking noise as it was released, and Reno opened the door.

“What cha want, Rude?” He stared at the bald headed man in front of him, leaning against the door, one arm over his head, his free hand in the pocket of his pants.

“We were just wondering if you wanted to grab a bite to eat.” Rude pointed with his thumb over his shoulder to several people behind him. Reno didn’t recognize them.

“Prospective clients?” He arched an eyebrow, staring at the figures behind Rude.

“Yeah, so if you wanna eat, since they’re paying, you might as well get dressed.” Reno pulled out a pack of cigarettes from his other pocket and put a tobacco filled stick to his mouth, lighting it with a cheap lighter that he had bought at the convienience store down the street.

“Give me five minutes.” Rude nodded, and turned to the clients as Reno closed the door.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Lunch was exhausting. The clients had the usual questions. What are your credentials? How can we trust you? Are you sure that you can handle this? Yes, yes, and again, yes. Reno took a drag off of his cigarette and stared out of the window, onto the horizon. The sun was directly overhead, making the water from the lake nearby look like reflective glass. The chatter between them and the clients got old, stale. It was just a formality, really. If they wanted to hire them, they would.

Reno stood up and pulled his chair back. Rude looked up at him, a look of worry on his face.

“Just need to go to the bathroom.” Rude nodded and Reno bowed apologetically to his hosts. He moved away from the table and asked a nearby waiter where the bathrooms were. The boy pointed and gave directions to him, and Reno thanked the boy for his kindness, making his way towards the toilets.

The door opened easily and swung back into place behind him without even a creak. He walked to the nearest stall, pulled the metal door closed, and slid the lock into place. He sat down on the toilet, running his fingers through his hair and over his face.

It was tedious, the lunches that him and Rude were always going to. What would they talk about? Since the fall of ShinRa, new families came into wealth and power. Those were their clients now.

He had nothing in common with the newly rich. He had nothing to speak to them of. Small talk was all it was – casual questions asked in order to gain some knowledge into the other person’s life. He and Rude became masters of small talk. How old is the charge? What are their interests? Where do they like to go? Stuff like that.

What Reno hated was when the questions were directed towards them. How late do you usually stay up? Are you an alcoholic? And the dreaded, are there any significant others in your life?

Reno never knew how to answer that one. Yes, there was someone. And no, there wasn’t. How could explain that he loved his former boss? How could he explain that he was in love with Rufus ShinRa? How could he express in his limited vocabulary that when he dreams, he dreams of blonde hair, blue eyes, thin lips pressed into a gorgeous smile?

He couldn’t. So he usually tried to leave before the conversation became directed towards him and his life. He would wait awhile; let Rude start getting them to laugh. They would forget all about the previous questions about him and just keep going with the conversation. He understood that the questions were important to ask; no one would want to see him or Rude in bed with another woman when they were supposed to be looking out for their child.

And yet, necessary as they were, they had gotten annoying. Reno stared at the plain metal door in front of him. Sighing, he pulled out a pack of cigarettes and lit one. Memories came flooding back to him.

He remembered a time when it was Rufus sitting on the stool, and him on the other side. The memory brought a smile to his face.

“Rufus! Come on! Let me in there!” He heard more sounds of vomiting coming from beyond the door. Rufus’ voice came back, hollow, loud.

“I would… if I could stop…throwing up…”

“You’re just wasted, that’s all.”

“Fuck you, Reno.”

“Well, fuck you, too, sir.” He heard the lock slide open and Rufus walked out, staggering slightly. He didn’t wear his usual white suit tonight. No, he wore a pair of khakis with a black turtleneck. Rufus wiped the spittle from his mouth with the back of his hand.

“What the fuck is that shit, Reno?” Laughter.

“It’s called whiskey.”

“Well, I’m never having that shit again.”

“All the more for me.” Reno suddenly saw a finger in his face as Rufus walked passed him, his other hand in his pocket. He stopped in front of the sink and washed his hands.

“That’s the last time I’m ever going to go drinking with you.”

“That’s fine, I don’t care. But you wanted to go out and drink, and no one else wanted to come with. So, you got me: Reno the Alchy.”

“Bastard, I hate you.”

“I love you, too.” Rufus turned around quickly, fist aimed at the Turk’s face. Reno grabbed his hand before it could do any damage. The fist loosened, and he let his grip relax slightly. The hand slid into his. He entwined his fingers with Rufus’, pulling him closer to him, wrapping his other arm around the blonde’s lower back.

Rufus’ eyes went wide and before he knew it, Reno had kissed him squarely on the mouth. But, to Rufus’ amazement, he didn’t fight back. Oh, no, instead, he did just the opposite. He wrapped his arms around the flame haired man’s neck and kissed him passionately.

Soon, clothes were flying everywhere and Reno pressed Rufus over the sink. He knelt down behind him. “How undignified,” Rufus thought. But, his thoughts were lost as he felt something wet lick around his anus. He moaned. His mind turned to mush. He couldn’t think.

Now, it was seeking entrance. Reno’s tongue slid into the tight hole, wiggling in and out of the narrow space. His hand reached up through Rufus’ legs and grabbed hold of his erection. His hand slowly slid up and down the shaft, Rufus trying hard not to scream.

Rufus stood there, bent over the sinks, completely nude, with Reno’s face right up against his ass, tongue fucking him while his hand pumped his hard member. That was the first time Rufus had ever had any type of homosexual encounter.

Hell, that was the first night Rufus had ever had sex.

Reno stared into his hands. “I’m fucked up,” he thought as he wiped the thick fluid from his hand and flushed it down the toilet. He zipped up his fly and went to the sink, washing his hands. He dried them off with a paper towel as he exited the bathroom, headed back towards their new clients.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


“So, whose the girl?”

“Her name is Khaya. She’s the heir to the Fumaro clan.”

“Never heard of them.” Reno took a drag off of his cigarette and leaned against the wall in the narrow kitchen.

‘Well, for 50 million gil, they’re well worth the time away from the apartment.”

“I sure as hell hope so. I hate leaving this place alone. Doesn’t feel right.” Rude looked up at the other man, sighing.

“Listen, Reno, it has been a year since Rufus had died. I think it’s about time you let go of it.”

“Rude, you don’t understand….”

“The hell I do! You loved him, Reno; you loved him more than even your own life! I can understand that you are heartbroken, miserable, but, pretending that Rufus is still around and that he’s here, that’s insane!” Reno stared at his friend for a long time. Did he really pretend that Rufus was still around?

Yes, he did. He never once thought that he did. But, now it all made sense. Talking to him, laughing at his own jokes, setting a glass down full of whiskey for two people, absentmindedly setting the dinner table for three. And yet, Rude had never spoken to him of this.

“Dude, Rude, if only you had told me that I was acting stupid, maybe I would have cut it out sooner.”

“I thought that you’d get over it by now. But I have to say something. The Fumaro’s would like us to move into Khaya’s suite of rooms at the mansion.”

“What?! That’s…. That’s insane!”

“Apparently not,” Reno threw down the local daily newspaper and read the headline to Reno. “’Fumaro Heiress Attacked In Home,’ that’s what the local paper says.”

“How in the holy fuck did they manage that?!”

“The bodyguards said that they must’ve been drugged, and were pulled off of guard duty for the girl.”

“Hold up, the guards did that?”

“No, they were drugged and fell asleep.”

“Oh, whew. I thought that if the guards had done that, then they must really want to off the girl.”

“I have a feeling that is the case for other people in the family, but for Khaya’s immediate family, that is not the issue.”

“Well then, let’s pack. When’s the car going to be here to pick us up?”

“Now.”

“Great….” Reno heard a horn bellowing outside. He ran to the door and opened it, hollering at the driver.

“Jesus Christ, give us some time to pack, fucktard!” He slammed the door shut and stalked off to his room, muttering obscenities to no one in particular.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


The ride to the Fumaro mansion wasn’t long. IN fact, it was relatively short. They did not know that the giant house ten blocks down was theirs. The outside was imposing, with wrought iron gates and heavy granite stone. The place was a fortress. How someone could manage to sneak in and attack the Fumaro heiress was beyond Reno’s depth of knowledge.

The gates creaked open and the car drove them slowly. Reno and Rude both stared at the giant building in awe.

“Look,” Rude pointed out the window to the garden shrubs.

“They’re shaped like letters….” Reno blinked and squinted, staring at the greenery. “Wards of protection. There’s one for peace. One for prosperity.” He turned to the driver. “Excuse me, but what exactly does the Fumaro’s do?” The driver turned and answered him.

“They are a family that made their fortune selling charms for protection, wealth, and the like.”

“Magic-users.” Rude whispered as the car came to a halt. Reno’s door was aligned perfectly with the mansion’s front door. There was a woman with jet-black hair standing in the doorway wearing a black corset and a skintight skirt akin to Morticia Adams. She had a shawl wrapped around her shoulders and her hair was in braids. Lips ruby red and skin moonlight white. She was gorgeous. Reno pulled Rude’s chin up from off of the floor and wiped the drool from his mouth.

“Easy there fella.”

The driver came over to the side of the car, opening up the doors for him. The woman smiled and took a step towards them.

“Welcome to my house. I trust that you will find your stay here pleasant.” Reno gaped at the ghostly beauty.

“Your house?”

“Why, yes, of course. I am Khaya Fumaro, Third Regent of the Inner Circle, Heiress to Fumaro Charms and Sorcery. Won’t you please come in?” She motioned to the door and stepped aside. “You may leave your bags, Uthgar will take care of your belongings.”

A man of slight build walked out dressed in a three-piece suit. He bowed to Reno and Rude before turning to Khaya and bowing to her.

“Madame,” he spoke softly and turned on his heel, heading towards the car. The trunk was popped open already so that Uthgar may be able to grab the suitcases.

“Well, now that everything’s taken care of, let’s go eat, shall we?” She turned on her hell, walking straight into the house.

Reno and Rude followed, taking in every single crack in the building’s structure and memorizing them.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Dinner passed uneventfully. More small talk. He was glad when dinner was over. Khaya seemed to avoid those personal questions about Reno that he hated to talk about, and focused more on Rude that night. Reno counted himself lucky, “Perhaps, since we are staying a long time, when would like to get to know one person at a time,” he thought.

The food was great. Such a luxury that only money could offer: your own personal chef. Uthgar showed them to their suite of rooms that connected to Khaya’s on the north end of the mansion.

“I regret that the Mistress Khaya is unable to talk with you tonight. She has a ritual that she must perform before the hour of midnight.” And with no more words, he bowed and walked off.

Reno and Rude entered into their suite. The bedrooms were located off to each side; a library/study room sat in the middle, the living room right before them. French doors opened up onto a large balcony overlooking the rest of the estate.

“Dayam….” Reno whispered as Rude whistled. They each walked into a room for claiming. To their surprise, their bags were already sitting on the bed that each had wanted. They walked back out into the living room, finding the giant screened TV to their liking. Rude turned it on and the local news flickered into being. He quickly changed the channel, trying to find something interesting to watch. He paused when he saw a boxing match show up on the screen.

Reno yawned and got up.

“Hey, Rude, I’m going to bed, man. I’m exhausted.”

“Alright, Reno. G’night.”

“Night.”

Reno walked into his room, shutting and locking the door behind him. He tore down the sheets on the giant bed. “At least I won’t have to think about Rufus being here. I can’t smell his cologne,” Reno thought as he took his shirt off and threw it onto a chair haphazardly. He took off his boots and set them neatly beside the bed. He unbuttoned his pants and folded those up to lay on the chair with his shirt. He crawled into bed and shut off the lamp sitting beside his bed.

He pulled the sheets up and snuggled into the soft pillow underneath his head and slowly drifted off to sleep.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Jade green eyes flared open. They saw a face, leaning in close. Reno jumped back and scrambled for his gun. He cocked it and held it straight at the woman who had pulled up a chair to sit next to the bed.

“Reno, put down that archaic weapon. I am not here to harm you.” He sighed and put the gun back in its place.

“Damn it, Khaya, I could’ve shot you.” She turned and stared at him, her expression stoic and holding none of the cheer that was previously shown on her face when Reno and Rude entered into the mansion.

“And exactly how would you have shot me? You are in a house of magic – physics hold no sway here. Time, material – all these things bend to my will, and mine alone. Sit.” Reno sat, as commanded. She seemed perplexed. Perhaps that’s why her expression was so cold, so distant.

“You miss someone, someone that you loved. Cherished. Almost, worshipped.” Her brows furrowed and she seemed to stare past him, beyond him. Reno blinked. She wanted to get to know him now? It was, what, 2:30 AM? He yawned and chucked this strange circumstance to being tired and that she was just a weird girl.

Then he remembered. He had locked the door.

“How in the holy hell did you get in here?”

“I unlocked the door.”

“How? The lock is on the inside.”

“I told you, the laws of physics hold no sway here in my domain. I can bend space at will, and make it seem as if my hand was reaching through the door to unlock the door. Now, be quiet.” Reno’s jaw dropped.

“Magic, my ass,” he thought as he leaned against the headboard. She stared at the window behind him, and then nodded her head.

“It’s settled then.” She held out her hand and spoke some words. The words seemed to crawl along Reno’s spine, giving him the willies, making him shudder. They sounded like a spider’s web, intricate, delicate, and just strong.

A vial full of a liquid the color of Reno’s eyes materialized into her hand. She handed the vial over to him.

“You wish to see Rufus again?” Reno blinked.

“How…?”

“Don’t make me repeat myself. Do you wish to see Rufus again?”

“Yes, I would love to!” Reno’s eyes widened. He had a feeling that it had to do with the vial in her hand. And he was right.

“Take this. Drink all of it. It is fresh, so it shouldn’t have a taste to it.” She got up and walked over to the door. Reno stared at the vial in his hand, making it roll around in his palm.

“But, what does it do?” She stopped, one hand on the door as she turned to look at him.
“It gives you the power to the see the living more clearly, and the dead as if they never left.” She walked out of the room, and shut the door behind her.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Reno sat there until dawn, staring at the vial in his hand. He sighed and rubbed his eyes. After what Khaya did last night, he couldn’t get back to sleep.

He stood up and walked slowly over towards the heavy velvet curtains, pulling them aside so as to stare at the lovely gardens just beyond the clear glass. The sun lit up the room as he turned and set the vial the mysterious jade green liquid on a set of drawers while he walked to the bathroom.

Minutes later, he emerged, a towel wrapped around his waist, flame red hair soaked and sticking to his skin. The door to his bedroom opened and Rude walked in, wearing the navy blue suit that he always wore. He turned to Reno and his face flushed bright red.

“Oh, sorry, uh, Reno. I didn’t know that you were, uh, naked.” Rude swallowed hard and Reno smirked, lighting up a cigarette.

“Why, Rude, you’re flushed. You just can’t stand the fact that I’m so damned sexy, can’t you?” He walked slowly over towards Rude. Sweat started to form on the bald man’s brow. He blinked.

“R-R-Reno?!” Lips met lips, the towel now lying haphazardly on the floor. This is what Rude has always wanted. It was hard for him to sit there and watch his friend break down after the love his life met his end. He remembered Reno clutching the lifeless body of Rufus, his hands covered in the crimson liquid that was pouring out from the massive head wound. He remembered the saltine tears flowing freely down his cheeks. He remembered the screaming, the crying, the sheer pain and agony in Reno’s voice as he questioned God and the like.

Then Reno pulled back, placing one hand between them at Rude’s groin, feeling the hardness underneath the blue slacks.

“My, Rude, you really do want this….” He licked his lips and leans in for another kiss, pushing Rude onto the bed as he slowly began to jerk Rude off through his clothes. Rude gasps and shut his eyes tight, grabbing hold of Reno’s arms as he felt electric waves of pleasure coursed through his body. His mind went into a fog, a fog that smelled of Reno, tasted like his mouth, and felt of his hand on his crotch. It was then Rude’s eyes opened and pushed Reno off of him. Reno fell onto the floor in front of the dresser, staring up at Rude.

“What are you-!”

“You need to stop this, Reno! You’re acting like a fucking whore! No, not just a whore, but a cheap two gil whore!” Reno sat there, staring up at Rude. He got up suddenly, and grabbed his towel. He took two steps to the door and opened it, his head in his hand.

“Out.”

“Reno, look, I-“

“GET OUT.” Rude stared at the flame haired man for a while before taking the first step, adjusting his pants and shades as he walked.

“If that’s what you want then, fine.” As he crossed the threshold, he could have sworn that he saw Reno shaking, as if he was crying. He didn’t stop, but continued to move on as he turned his face away from the shaking man.

Reno slammed the door shut and fell onto his bed, crying vocally now as he punched his fist into the soft mattress. Would he ever find happiness? Would he ever regain that which he lost? What was wrong with him?

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


When he awoke, he was completely nude. Although there were no sheets or blankets covering him, he felt as if he was burning up. He walked to the mirror and looked at himself. He found the vision blurry, a blob of red. He tried to focus his eyes, but it hurt too much. He grabbed a pair of boxers lying folded on the dresser and put those on before coughing and falling back onto the bed.

As he fell back onto the bed, his body became cold. He wrapped himself up in sheets and blankets, coughing. He tried to sleep, but his body temperature fluctuated between hot and cold, and he was constantly covering himself up and then throwing them back off. No one came to see him, no one checked up on him. He was alone, truly alone. He never felt so miserable.

He slipped in and out of consciousness the rest of the day and night.


^^ Comments welcome.

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June 2007

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