Disclaimers:  I do not own Final Fantasy VII or any of its characters.

Notes:  Rufus suffers a hangover in his office.  Introduction of an OC!  If Rufus seems way out of character, I’m sorry.  But this
is my first time writing anything in his POV.



Risks and Wagers



Part Three


Rufus sighed as he rubbed his fingers over his temples while trying to read the report lying on the desk in front of him.  He
couldn't get through it.  He was almost certain that he had read the same line at least five times and still couldn't grasp anything.  
Rude had handed it to him over an hour ago as he had been told to do, and yet Rufus just couldn't concentrate on the thing.

It was all his own fault really.  His office was nearly complete so he had seen no reason why he shouldn't start using it.  Now he
understood the true depth of his folly as he suffered through an agonizing hangover amidst the hammering and other vastly
annoying sounds of the workmen finishing what was left of the repairs.  He winced at the harsh sound of a drill starting and
clamped his hands over his ears in an attempt to muffle the noise.  The effort didn't help much and each second that ticked by
only sent stab after stab of needle-sharp pain through his skull, his stomach roiling in barely contained nausea.

He glanced up as the drilling ceased and growled at the man who was on his knees fixing some wiring across from his desk.  
The sight was not a pleasant one and he felt his stomach flip again as he slammed his finger down on the intercom button to
announce to anyone within earshot of his office, or that of his secretary's, "I want everyone to understand that if I see ONE
more ass crack from an overweight electrician . . . or ANY workman for that matter . . . I SWEAR I am going to shove my
shotgun somewhere he will NOT find pleasant!"  He practically jerked his finger off the intercom button.

When the man in front of him jumped and hastily adjusted his clothes, Rufus sat back in his seat and rubbed his aching head
again.  Today was a horrible mess.  He sighed, then looked around again, only to catch sight of something much more
interesting.  He felt a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth as he allowed himself to softly utter what was on his mind.  "Either
that, or send in someone whose ass I wouldn't mind seeing.  Hmm, him for example."  He smiled then, as the object of his
attention turned just a bit.  He certainly was attractive.  A mop of dark wavy brown hair covered his head.  He had a cute face,
his pale cheeks still showing the telltale signs of his youth, the gentle roundness giving him a more boyish appearance.

The young man seemed to notice Rufus' attention and flushed slightly under Rufus' intense scrutiny.  His warm, chocolate eyes
turned down to the floor as his ears and cheeks took on a pinkish hue.  There was a young woman in front of him, another
worker obviously - if Rufus judged by her work belt alone - and she smiled as she looked between the young man and Rufus.  
Strawberry blonde hair was pulled back into a loose ponytail and she twirled a loose strand between her fingers as she regarded
the two of them.  A laugh erupted from her mouth a moment later as she clapped her hand on the brown-haired youth's shoulder.

She spoke softly, but it was loud enough for Rufus to hear.  "I think he wants to bend you over that desk and fuck you into next
week."

The young brunette cleared his throat, his blush darkening considerably.  "Ana!  I'm not that kind of guy!"  He quickly started
packing up his equipment, his eyes darting around the room at the other workers, as if afraid of their reactions.  No one seemed
to be paying attention though, no one but Rufus at any rate.  He never met Rufus' gaze though, perhaps avoiding him on purpose.

The woman - Ana - snorted and leaned back, crossing her arms over her chest.  "You wouldn't be so uptight if you got laid.  
You don't even masturbate.  And don't try to lie, I do share a room with you."  She motioned a little in Rufus' general direction.  
"He's hot and he's looking at you like you're a ten-course dinner!"

The young man growled, but kept his eyes submissively lowered.  "Looking does not mean that he wants to . . . to . . . sleep
with me."

Rufus smiled, finding all of this quite amusing.  "All in good time," he said, raising an eyebrow to the two of them.  He laughed
when the young man flushed a bright red.  It was quite entertaining to torment this young man.  And his female friend was only
making this more fun for him.  Rufus leaned back in his seat, fully content with the idea of admiring the brunette's slim body, his
headache temporarily forgotten.  Rufus wasn't particularly interested in starting any relationships at the moment, but this young
man was quite easy on the eyes.  A one-night stand would not be an unwelcome event.

Rufus' fun was interrupted abruptly by someone clearing their throat.  The young president looked over, only to see Tseng
standing in the doorway, a folder tucked snugly under one arm.

"You can molest the workers later," Tseng chided softly, walking over to the desk in a few easy strides.  The workman and his
female coworker passed the Wutaian on the way out and Tseng discreetly cast his eyes over them.  He gave Rufus his full focus
barely an instant later.  "I can't say anything about your taste, sir.  He is quite attractive."  Tseng’s opinions on Rufus’ romantic
interests were not something new.  They had discussed many things while Rufus had been infirmed.  There had been little to do
besides sleep and talk at the time.  And it was difficult to keep a strict employer/employee relationship when said employee often
had to help you bathe and use the restroom.  Reno wasn’t the only member of the Turks that Rufus had become friends with.  
They were almost a family, a strange albeit twisted family, but a family nonetheless.  He’d never admit to that of course.

Rufus sighed as he watched the brunette leave his office.  Chances were he would never see that particular person again.  Mostly
because he had absolutely no intention of stepping foot into this office again until it was completely finished.  He just couldn't get
any work done like this.  However, he blinked in surprise as the blonde women ran back into the room and slipped a piece of
paper across his desk to him, winking as she did so.  Then she was gone, a distinct skip to her step as she strode out.

Rufus took the paper and chuckled over the contents.  Quite intriguing.

From just down the hall, there was an indignant squawk and Rufus knew immediately that it was from the brunette.  "You did
WHAT?!"

The woman's voice responded, barely loud enough to be heard.  "Well, you certainly wouldn't have done it!  You never do!  
You're too damn shy for your own good!"

Tseng raised an eyebrow.  "What does the note say?  If you don't mind me asking, sir."

Rufus folded it and tucked it into a pocket.  "It's just a simple note . . . telling me that he is gay and single.  It also gives me all
the information I need to contact him later if I want to.  As well as a potential meeting place if I'm interested."  He shook his
head, fully intending to go to that meeting place and hoping the brunette would be convinced to go there as well.  Suddenly, his
day was looking far brighter and he was feeling remarkably better.  He turned his attention to Tseng and the file that the man
held.  "And what's this?  I wasn't aware of any missions."

"There was an incident with Reno last night," Tseng replied, pulling the folder from under his arm.  "I took it upon myself to
investigate his current situation and I've just returned.  Here is my report."

Rufus nodded and opened the folder that had been handed to him.  "And what is his situation?"

Tseng let out a soft breath.  "I believe I already handed you the report on the altercation earlier this morning."

The president couldn't help but chuckle ruefully.  "With all the ruckus going on here, I haven't even finished reading yesterday's
reports."

Tseng shook his head.  His composure never faltered as he gave his verbal report.  "He sustained several injuries in a fight.  From
what he has told me, he was somewhat intoxicated at the time and had difficulty defending himself during the assault."

Rufus frowned.  "Is he in prison or a hospital?"  He scanned through the report Tseng had given him for a mention of Reno's
whereabouts.  Reno was his friend and he didn't like the idea of his friend in either of those two places.

"Neither, sir," Tseng answered with a shake of his head.  "He is currently under the care of Cloud Strife at Seventh Heaven."

The news was hardly comforting.  Rufus clenched his fist, suddenly overcome with a sense of anger.  His good day had
disappeared in a heartbeat.  "That little shit is gonna win the bet!  Fuck!"

Tseng blinked at the blonde‘s outburst.  "Sir . . . whatever bet the two of you have, he is in no condition to do anything about it.  
Aside from his physical injuries he is also suffering from illness."

Rufus brushed that comment aside with a wave of his hand.  "Reno has more charisma than the devil himself.  This illness of his
gives him a chance to stay close to Cloud and get under his skin."  He frowned, closing the folder a bit more forcefully than he
needed to.  He had no doubt that Reno really was ill.  Tseng wouldn't have allowed the redhead to remain at Cloud's if he was
faking.  And he knew Reno wouldn't have gotten himself hurt or sick on purpose just for the sake of this bet.  But he had hoped
to get to Cloud first himself.  The likelihood of that seemed slim now.  Well, perhaps he could pay his dear employee a little visit
to make sure his health recovered.  At the very least, he'd be able to strike up a conversation with Cloud while he was there.

"Thank you, Tseng.  Is there any other business?"  Rufus found himself grinning and couldn't stop it even if he had wanted to.  
A delightful plan was forming in his mind and he could hardly wait to get to Seventh Heaven to carry it out.

"No, sir."

"Good.  Have my car ready.  I'm going to pay Reno a little visit."  He made no excuses about his reasons for the visit.  There was
no need to.  Tseng would follow his orders, no matter what he said.

"When do you wish to leave, sir?"

Rufus smiled as he rose to his feet.  "As soon as possible.  I have an appointment to keep, but it shouldn't take too long."  He
unconsciously ran his fingers over the pocket he had placed the note in, his smile only widening.

Tseng said nothing.  He bowed respectfully, then left the office.

Rufus didn't waste another minute.  He was out the door and away from the incessant noises of the workmen shortly thereafter.  
It wouldn't be long before he was in the appointed meeting place, an empty office two floors down.  Of course, many offices
were empty in this building right now.  Construction hadn't even been completed yet.  Rufus' own office was the closest to being
done and it still had quite a bit of work left to it.

He could hardly wait to find out if that handsome young man had been convinced to join him there.  If he was lucky, perhaps he
could persuade the youth to participate in a bit of fun.  It would be a lovely way to spend the morning.  A great way to relax
before visiting Reno and Cloud.


*****


Reno scowled up at the ceiling.  He was bored out of his mind.  There was nothing for him to do except lie there and look at the
ceiling.  He'd tried to sleep again, but his mind kept rebelling against the idea.  So all he could do was what he was doing at the
moment.  He wasn't even near the window, so he couldn't look outside.  Well, he could, but all he could see from where he was
were the other buildings and a rather dismal cloudy sky.  He sighed and shifted his gaze to that skyline, idly wondering if it was
going to rain again.  It probably would.

The door opened and Reno glanced over to see Cloud walk in.  The blonde tilted his head, looking at Reno with curious concern.  
"How are you feeling?"

Reno sighed again and looked back up at the ceiling.  "Twenty-seven."

There was a brief moment of confused silence before Cloud spoke.  "What?"

Reno huffed out a soft breath, because any other form of laughter would make his ribs ache.  "There are twenty-seven cracks in
the ceiling.  You ought to do something about that, yo."

Cloud made a soft unidentifiable sound and approached.  He sat on the edge of the bed and placed the back of his hand to Reno's
forehead.  "Later.  How are you feeling?"

Cloud's hand felt cool against Reno's aching head and he let himself enjoy it for a moment.  He closed his eyes and let out a
pleased sigh.  Then he honestly answered the question put to him.  "I ache all over and I'm sick.  Adding boredom to the mix
adds up to pretty fucking miserable."

The blonde was quiet for a few seconds.  "I can imagine.  Denzel was the same way."  He took his hand away from Reno's
feverish skin and stood.  "I'll see what I can do."

Had Reno been feeling any better, he would have suggested the perfect way of spending the time.  As things were, he knew the
answer before he even suggested it.  Hell, he was in a bed, so why not put it to good use?  But he kept the idea to himself,
deciding he'd rather not get kicked out of the house while he was still ill.

Cloud was quietly contemplating, perhaps trying to think of something that wouldn't lead Reno's mind into a gutter.  Of course
he didn't know that it was already far too late for that.  Reno's mind was constantly skewed to the more baser physical delights.  
"I suppose a game of cards . . ."

Before Reno could even take a breath, the thought was firmly planted in his mind and a grin was on his face.  His voice was
quick to pitch in an idea.  "Strip Poker?"

A deep scowl came over Cloud's features.  "No," he said sharply, his eyes narrowing.  "I'll see about getting a TV in here.  
Perhaps that will be enough to entertain you."

As Cloud walked out the door, Reno called after him.  "Okay, but let me know if you change your mind about the strip poker
game, yo!"

He fell back to the bed, feeling like an idiot.  He shouldn't have said that to Cloud.  But he hadn't been able to keep his big mouth
shut.  Not really a surprise there.  He was often getting himself in trouble with all his back talk.  He shrugged.  Didn't matter now
anyway.  He'd just have to work extra hard on cracking that shell Cloud kept around himself.


*****


Rufus entered the vacant office with his usual calm demeanor intact.  He wasn't about to lose his senses here and now, not when
there was a chance for some fun in his immediate future.  It had been a very long time since he'd gotten laid and the conversation
with Reno last night had only made matters worse.  He thought back, wondering when he'd had his last intimate encounter with
someone.  Honestly, did a hand-job from a rather burly male nurse - while he was lying in a hospital bed after WEAPON's attack
- count as a sexual encounter?  He'd been so drugged out of his mind that he barely recalled the incident or the feelings he'd
received from it.

He was mildly disappointed to find that he was alone in the office.  However, he allowed a fleeting hope to linger.  Perhaps that
Ana girl was still trying to convince her shy friend to come here.  Rufus hoped she would be successful.  If not, then he'd just
have to take his frustrations out on Reno.  On second thought, perhaps he would be able to convince Cloud to entertain him.  His
mind drifted over various scenarios that didn't have a very likely chance of success, only to have his attention drawn back to
reality by voices approaching the room.

"Ana, please . . . I don't think this is a good idea."

"You need to get laid," the young woman said pointedly.  "You're going to get laid.  You are twenty-years old for fuck's sake, it's
about time someone popped your cherry."

Rufus found himself amused by the crude words, even more so when he heard the choking cough the young man issued.  "A lot
of people wait until they're ready."

Their voices were just outside the door now.  "Look, I know you want to do it.  But . . . you just don't do anything about it.  You
don't even touch yourself.  That can't be healthy."  There was a pause and Rufus wished he could see what was going on
outside.  "Unless you plan on joining the priesthood, I suggest you go in there and have a little fun for a change."

The door was suddenly thrown open and Rufus was barely able to suppress a laugh as Ana all but shoved the young man in
before shutting the door behind him.  "Now, you stay in there until he's finished fucking your brains out!" she yelled from the
other side of the door.  "Trust me . . . you'll thank me later!"

The young man turned to face the closed door.  The way his shoulders were shaking, Rufus was certain he was glaring at it.  
Then he turned to face Rufus and all the anger drained away from his features.  He bit his lip, a blush tinting his cheeks.

Rufus chuckled and took a few easy strides across the room to his current companion.  "Your friend . . . she has a very unique
way of doing things."

The brunette sighed and glanced back at the door again, twisting his hands together nervously.  "She's not my friend.  She's my
sister.  My very nosey older sister."  He swallowed and snapped his eyes up to meet Rufus' steady gaze, then dropped them to
the floor again.  "So . . ."

Rufus couldn't stop the snicker from issuing forth.  This young man was just adorable when he blushed.  And the air about him
fairly screamed innocence.  If what his sister declared about his virginity was true, Rufus was sure he'd have some good fun
today.  "Well, since you are here, would you at least tell me your name?"

"What?  Oh!"  His eyes went wide, as if horrified that he had neglected to inform the blonde.  "Oh, I'm so sorry.  M-My name is
Nicodemus Seriyev.  I . . . I'm sorry for not introducing myself sooner, President Shinra, sir."

Shaking his head, Rufus smiled.  "There is no need to be sorry."  He reached forward and tucked a stray strand of soft brown
hair back behind Nicodemus' ear, not missing when the young man's blush darkened considerably at the affectionate touch.  "It's
very amusing to hear someone call me 'sir' with such nervousness.  Please, calm down.  I won't bite . . . unless of course you
want me to."

The youth gulped and took a step back, nearly stumbling over his own feet.  "Mr. President . . . Sir . . . I . . ."

Rufus shook his head.  "Please, call me 'Rufus.'  This is not the time for formalities.  Is there something else I can call you?  
Nicodemus is a mouthful.  Perhaps there's a nickname you're fond of?"

Nicodemus nodded shakily.  "N-Nicky.  M-My parents used to call me Nicky.  Ana still does."

"Nicky it is then."  Rufus smiled.  He decided the best tactic in this situation would be to keep his young friend calm.  He
wouldn't get anywhere with him if Nicky kept jumping at every little thing.  With that intention, he stayed among safe topics.  
"So, is Ana short for anything?"

Nicky smiled a little, nodding slightly.  "Anastasia . . ."  He chuckled softly, visibly calming.  "She’s always hated her name for
some odd reason."

Rufus nodded and opened his mouth to try and coax more from the young man, only to be silenced as the door suddenly burst
open.  The unexpected action caused Nicodemus to jump - startled - straight into Rufus' arms.  Rufus couldn't complain and say
he didn't appreciate the contact.  Nicky jumped back again quickly, trembling with nervousness.

Rufus broke his attention away from the cutely blushing brunette to look to the door, only to see Ana standing in the open
doorway, a scowl on her pretty features.  "You two aren't naked YET?  Man, Nicky . . . I knew you were slow, but come ON!"  
She put her hand to Nicky's back and shoved, causing him to stumble again.

Rufus caught the young man out of instinct and smirked, barely noticing as Ana moved around them to place a bag on the cloth-
covered desk.

She sighed and motioned to the bag.  "Sorry, not much in there except some sandwiches and snacks from the vending machine
down the hall.  But I want you both to have enough energy to do the horizontal tango."  She pursed her lips and regarded the
room, then the two of them.  "I'll pick up some ointment in case you give him any rug burns.  Those can be a real pain in the ass
. . . and could be literally if you do it right."  She clapped her hands together sharply, pointedly ignoring the gaping expression her
brother was throwing her way.  "Hey, you could just bend him over the desk.  That'll save on the rug burns.  Of course, he'd
probably just end up with bruises . . ."  She made a soft sound in the back of her throat, perhaps considering other possible
locations and positions, then shook her head.  "Maybe you should just nail him up against the wall."

Nicky went bright red at that and finally pushed himself away from Rufus.  "ANA!!!"

Ana ignored his outburst and merely smirked as she walked back to the door, waving over her shoulder.  "You'll thank me later,
baby bro!"  She paused in the doorway and looked back, staring pointedly at Rufus.  "Please make sure he can get home.  If he
can't walk on his own, be so kind as to get him a ride.  I'm sure you can afford a taxi."

Nicky whimpered as Rufus easily agreed.  Once Ana was gone again, Rufus threw his head back and let out a good laugh.  That
woman reminded him of Reno so much in her attitude that he couldn't help but be tickled by it.  "She is unique, I'll give her
that."  When he got no answer from the brunette, he turned to regard Nicky.

The young man's shoulders were shaking, and yet he was eerily silent.  Rufus reached out and placed a hand on the other man's
shoulder, only to frown when the brunette practically jumped out of his skin.

"Whatever is the matter?"  Perhaps this entire idea was unwise.  Rufus inwardly sighed, seeing that he might not be as lucky as
he had earlier assumed.

Nicky cleared his throat and turned again, distress clearly in his eyes.  "Look, my sister thinks she knows what I need.  I . . ."  
He flushed deeply.  "If I said no . . .?"

Rufus softly ran his hand back through his hair.  He could see the fear in those beautiful brown eyes.  This would not do at all.  
As horny as he was at the moment, he was not about to resort to raping someone.  And that would be what it was if he were to
take Nicky right now.  Without preamble, he pulled the young man into his arms, not stopping even as Nicky's muscles all
stiffened in response.  He simply held him, making no move to do anything more as he spoke.

"If you say no, then you mean no.  And I will respect that.  You have a beautiful body, from what I can see, and it would be a
crime to violate it in such an atrocious manner."  He let out a soft breath and released Nicky, then moved to head for the door.

Nicky cleared his throat, stopping Rufus in his tracks.  The President turned back, watching as the timid youth fidgeted.  "Is
there something else?  I mean . . . I know I'm not ready for . . . for . . . THAT.  But Ana is right about one thing.  I am kinda
curious."  He bit his lip, his eyes fixed firmly on his shoes.

Rufus felt a smile curling the corner of his mouth.  He stepped closer to the brunette.  Gently, he tucked his fingers beneath the
young man's chin and tipped his face up, forcing the youth to meet his gaze.  "There is plenty we could do, my dear Nicky," he
whispered, then pressed those few inches closer and sealed their mouths together in a soft kiss.

He pulled back a moment later, utterly pleased by the response his action received.  Nicky had leaned in to him.  His delicate, yet
callused fingers were softly clutching at the fabric of Rufus' jacket.  His eyes were closed, his pink lips parted slightly.  It
seemed to take him a moment to notice that Rufus was no longer kissing him and when he blinked his eyes open, he looked away
sheepishly.  "Sorry.  I must seem so naive to you."

Rufus didn't argue.  Instead, he settled his hand on Nicky's cheek and turned his face toward him again.  "Naivety isn't always a
bad thing.  I, personally, find it refreshing.  There's so many things I could teach you.  Only if you want me to, of course."

Nicky nodded without hesitation.  "Please," was all he spoke.  Yet, his actions said far more than mere words could convey.  He
pressed closer to the blonde executive, his trembling arms reaching to wrap around Rufus' neck.  Rufus reciprocated by looping
his arms around the youth's waist, clasping his hands together behind him.  Nicky leaned up onto his toes - being a few inches
shorter than the blonde - and slowly closed the distance between them.  His breath was hot against Rufus' cheek as he exhaled a
barely whispered phrase that echoed deep in Rufus' body.  

"Please, teach me."



To Be Continued . . .