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

Notes:  Reno finds a surprise when he awakens.  Cloud discovers Rufus.

Risks and Wagers

Part Seven

There was a warm weight against the left side of his body.  It was comforting.  Reno shifted, pressing closer to that heat,
smiling to himself.  That was definitely another human body sharing the bed with him.  His hand slid easily over bare skin, feeling
the strong lean muscles.  He didn't know who he'd gone to bed with last night but whoever it was definitely was fit.

He struggled to open his eyes, blinking repeatedly to clear the haze of sleepiness away.  When his vision cleared, he was certain
that he was still sleeping.  This had to be a dream.  It couldn't be real.  Maybe he was dead and this was heaven.  Either way,
there was no way that Cloud Strife was really sleeping in the same bed as he was.  It wasn't possible.  Cloud would more likely
strangle him than sleep with him.  For a dream, it was a damned good one.  He pinched himself and was surprised by the spike
of pain that followed.  Okay, so it wasn't a dream.

Reno ran salacious eyes along the body beside his own.  Cloud looked perfect.  He seemed calm and at peace in his slumber.  
More so than Reno had ever seen the blonde before, even though Reno hadn't had many opportunities to witness the other man
sleeping before.  There was that one time when he and Rude had found Cloud and Tifa in the flowerbed at that church during the
time they were dealing with the three silver-haired crazies.  Of course, Cloud had been infected with the Geostigma at the time,
so Reno doubted any sleep Cloud had gotten then would have been restful.

Why was Cloud in his bed though?  Reno decided not the question his luck.  He'd just use this fortuitous moment for all the
pleasure he could get out of it.  Cloud was lying there on his stomach like a present waiting to be opened.  Who was Reno to
deny his want for the beautiful man?

Gently, he ran his calloused digits across one shoulder, surprised by how smooth the warm skin was.  He lingered on the faint
scar lines that marked the pale flesh here and there.  It was only to be expected that Could would be marked by the life he'd led.  
But the scars only seemed to enhance Cloud's natural beauty.

Biting his lip, Reno gave into temptation and lifted the sheet covering that statuesque body.  Much to his disappointment, Cloud
was wearing a pair of boxer shorts.  Reno wasn't about to let that little obstacle keep him from admiring a view he doubted many
had seen before.  Taking a glance to make sure Cloud was still sleeping, Reno tucked one finger under the waistband and tugged
it up, stretching the elastic as he peered down at Cloud's delectable backside.

He propped himself on one elbow to get a better view.  Licking his lips, Reno pushed the sheet down and slid his hand down to
caress that smooth skin.  It was soft and warm and Reno wished he were daring enough to do more than just caress.

"Mmm, Reno," fell softly from the blonde's lips and he nuzzled his cheek against the pillow.

Reno froze, his fingers still on that sweet ass and gazed at Cloud in shock.  Had Cloud really groaned his name?  He almost
couldn't believe it.  But he had heard it.  He smiled happily as he carefully removed his hand and leaned in close.  "You have no
idea how beautiful you are, do you?"

He brushed a stray bit of hair away from Cloud's face and let his fingers linger against his cheek.  In his sleep, Cloud leaned up
into the delicate contact.  With a flutter in his heart, Reno bent and closed the distance between them, giving the blonde a gentle
kiss.  He expected Cloud to wake up and immediately punch him so hard that he'd fly across the room.  The last thing he
expected was what actually happened.  Cloud not only returned the kiss, he deepened it.  Reno nearly jumped out of his skin
when he felt Cloud's hot tongue slip between his lips.  Flashing his eyes open, he saw that Cloud was amazingly still asleep.

The blonde's tongue wasn't the only active muscle.  Hands, slightly sluggish due to Cloud's sleeping state, were sliding across
Reno's body and through his hair.  Reno couldn't help but moan at the feel of those hands against his skin and dragging across
his scalp.  It felt like electricity was coursing along his spine.  He rolled them slightly, pressing Cloud's body into the mattress,
his hand working those damned boxers down around Cloud's thighs.

Any minute now the other man would rouse from sleep and Reno would be dead.  'If I'm going to die in a few minutes, I'm
gonna go happy,' he thought to himself.  The bet he'd made with Rufus was forgotten in the waves of happiness and pleasure
that Cloud's actions were causing.  Zack had mentioned Cloud, in passing, but Reno had never dreamed that the reticent blonde
had such a raging inferno of passion hidden within him.

He held Cloud close when the other man started moving his hips in slight motions against his thigh.  Reno shuddered at the feel
of something delightfully hot and hard rubbing against his cloth-covered leg.  He had a passing urge to lift the sheet away and
take a peek at the hardness digging into his thigh.  If he judged by feel, the blonde had to be packing some serious equipment.  
The thought of it left Reno groaning again.  The blonde's tortuous movements went on for only a few moments before sanity fell
on Reno like a ton of bricks.

He wanted Cloud, but not like this.  As much as he desired to touch and feel everything Cloud was offering up in his sleeping
state, he wanted more than that.  He wanted Cloud to be awake and fully aware when they did this.  He didn't want the blonde to
have any cause to regret, to deny himself.  If he was asleep, there was every chance that he would pass it off as Reno forcing
him or tricking his body.  Reno wanted Cloud to want it, to want him.

With a pain that felt as if something was tearing his heart into tiny bits, Reno dragged himself away from Cloud's questing hands
and slid out of bed.  For a moment, he stood there looking down at the writhing figure, aching to climb right back into bed, but
denying himself.  It would be better this way.  Cloud made a soft keening sound, his hand reaching out across the bed in a sleepy
sort of search.  A faint pout crossed his features, then faded away as he fisted his hands in the pillow and began to settle down

Reno made a quick check of himself and was thankful to see that his arousal wasn't bluntly obvious.  The sweat pants were
loose enough to afford him some room.  He breathed a sigh of relief and grabbed an end of the sheet, pulling it up over the
blonde and covering him to just under his armpits.

"Wakey, wakey!"  He frowned as something suddenly occurred to him.  He'd been preoccupied earlier with Cloud and his hot
body.  "Hey!  I was sick as hell!  Why do I feel so great?"

Cloud's brow furrowed.  "X-Potion," he murmured lowly.  He shifted a bit, his eyes fluttering open.  Those perfect blue eyes
widened a moment later, cheeks coloring in a vibrant blush.  Reno smirked, seeing that he must have realized he was aroused.

Reno blinked, playing innocent, and looked around.  He spotted the empty bottle in the trashcan.  "Huh!  I was THAT bad?"

The blonde nodded.  The blush had yet to fade and by the movements he was making Reno knew that he was trying to
surreptitiously pull his shorts back up underneath the sheet.  It was cute really, the way he was trying to keep his state a secret.  
With a grin, Reno darted for the door, deciding to give his lover boy a break.

"Thanks then, yo!  I think I'll hit the shower. Got any clothes I can borrow?"

"Rufus is here," Cloud said suddenly.

Reno stopped, his hand still on the doorknob.  He looked back, certain that he had heard wrong.  Rufus was here?  What the hell
was Rufus doing here?  No, he knew.  Rufus wanted to get in Cloud's pants.  He was trying to beat Reno to it.  "Oh?" he
whispered back, darting his eyes away from Cloud's face to look at his collarbone.

"He showed up yesterday and wouldn't leave.  With you well now, the two of you can leave," his words were cold, but Reno
wasn't dumb enough to take it at face value.  The blonde was embarrassed about his own physical state and angry that Rufus
had dropped in.  Reno had no doubt that Rufus had been his usual arrogant self and just ordered Cloud to give him a room to stay
the night in.  It wouldn't surprise him if Shinra had tried to get Cloud to wait on him hand and foot too.  He had a lot to learn
about how to deal with shy sword wielders with unbreakable backbones.

"I won't take long," Reno replied.  His time was nearly up here.  He'd have to think of a new plan to get into Cloud's good
graces.  Not being able to hang around all hours of the day or playing on his general hospitality toward people in need would
definitely make things tougher.

Cloud sat up, the sheet bunched up over his lap.  His cheeks were still reddened and he couldn't seem to meet Reno's eyes.  "I'll
leave something for you to wear outside the door."

Reno nodded.  He gave Cloud a smile.  Then he was out of the door and across to the bathroom in a shot.  Things had definitely
gotten more difficult.


Cloud watched Reno leave and groaned into his hands.  At least the redhead hadn't seen the obvious state of arousal Cloud was
in.  There would have been no end of teasing from the flirt had he known of the raging hard-on the sheets were hiding.

It wasn't going away any time soon.  It pulsed with a deep ache, begging for attention.  Cloud rarely had to indulge his body's
whims, but for some reason he just couldn't get it to fade away on its own.  Instead of abating, his desire only burned more.  
Before he could do anything else, he would have to take care of the obvious problem his groin presented.  There was no way he
would do anything in the bed he was sitting on though.  It would be wrong.  This was Marlene's bed.

He stood with some difficulty and hurried to his own room.  As he passed the hall bathroom, he heard the sound of the shower
running.  The mental image of a naked, wet and soap-covered Reno flew though his head unbidden and he rushed off with a
fresh blush.  He didn't understand what it was about the redhead that had suddenly set him off.

In his room, he gathered together some clothes and hurried to the second bathroom.  With five people living in the building, it
was only reasonable that there was a second bathroom.  He dropped his clothes on the toilet lid and ran the shower hot.  
Shucking his boxers, he stepped under the spray and let the water rain down on him.  He lathered up a cloth and began rubbing it
across his body.  He generally made quick work of cleansing himself.  But this time he had other issues to deal with as well as
washing up.  Still, he waited until the rest of him was clean before he finally wrapped his fingers around his aching member.

He braced his arm against the wall and leaned into it, pressing his forehead against the cool tile.  A few careful strokes had him
biting his cheek to keep from groaning.  In his mind, he saw Reno, his imagination going wild with images of the Turk
showering, pleasuring himself as Cloud was doing.

He came with a grunt and a shuddering sigh.  Then he quickly rinsed himself off and got out of the shower.  He didn't know
how much longer he had before Reno would be finished and he wanted to get a clean set of clothes to the outspoken Turk.

As he dried off and dressed, he thought to himself, considering everything that had happened with Reno lately.  He had mixed
feeling about Reno's returned health.  On the one hand, it would be a relief to get him out of his hair.  On the other hand, he
almost wished that Reno could stay a little longer so he could get to know him better as a person.  Cloud wasn't the most social
creature, but he did get lonely now and again.

He gathered another set of clothes from his room and headed for the bathroom.  He could hear the water shut off and he
knocked on the door.  "I have clothes for you."

Reno's voice carried through the door.  "Thanks, yo!"

Cloud set the small pile on the floor by the door.  The clothes would likely be too large on Reno's skinny frame, but it was all that
he had to offer at the moment.  He doubted the redhead would fit into anything of Barrett's any better and searching through
Tifa's garments would be ridiculous.

Thinking of Tifa, Cloud was reminded of his other guest.  He turned and headed back toward her room where Rufus Shinra had
spent the night.  He knocked lightly.  But there was no answer.  He didn't know what Shinra was playing at, but he didn't have
the patience to deal with it.  Without a second attempt to knock and get a response, he grabbed the doorknob.

He expected to find Rufus Shinra lounging in bed and thought he'd hear a demand to be served breakfast in bed.  Instead, he
nearly tripped over the blonde executive as he stepped into the room.  "What the-"

He dropped to his knee beside the prone form and pressed a hand to a milk-white throat.  The man's pallor was a grayish pale.  
His pulse seemed slow and the heat pouring off of him put Reno's earlier fever to shame.  For a fleeting moment Cloud wished
he still had that X-Potion but he knew that Reno had needed it.

He glanced over at the bed and saw that it was still made.  It didn't look as if Rufus had made it that far last night.  In fact, it
looked like Rufus had passed out shortly after entering the room.  He didn't know what was wrong with the man, but he couldn't
deny he was worried, not to mention greatly annoyed.  This would undoubtedly cause him a good deal of aggravation.  Just
when things were getting back to normal, he was saddled with another sick person.

Shoving his arms under the body, he hefted Rufus off of the floor.  He dumped the man on Tifa's bed and gave him another look
over.  There was blood on the side of his head, from a shallow cut on his forehead.  He glanced back at the floor and saw a
small pool of blood there.  Cloud sighed.  He didn't need this shit.  All he wanted was to be left in peace.

Irritated, Cloud raised his hand and lightly slapped the man.  "Wake up."

Eyelids fluttered and slowly opened.  Rufus groaned, his hand shaking as he raised it to his head.  He couldn't quite manage it
though and the hand fell back to his side.  "What?"  His eyes were unfocused as he looked around.  When they settled on Cloud,
they slowly cleared.

"You're sick."

"A brilliant observation, Cloud."  The executive licked his lips, closing his eyes again.  "I might be in need of that X-Potion Tseng
gave to you."

Cloud shook his head.  "Too late."  He stood.  "Gave it to Reno last night.  His fever spiked and he was delirious."

Rufus turned his head away.  For a moment Cloud thought he had fallen asleep.  But he spoke in a frail rasp.  "I'll have to stay
here then and take advantage of your generous hospitality."

The mere idea of it had Cloud fuming.  A sound not unlike a growl escaped from his throat.  If he could have, he would have
punched the arrogant man.  "Do you people think I'm running a hospital?"

The executive turned back, his eyes opening a slit as an infuriating smirk played across his lips.  The bastard even chuckled,
finding amusement in Cloud's ire.  "No, but you would look delectable in a nurse's uniform."

His hand flexed, aching for a sword he didn't have.

"Ahh, I needed that, yo!"  Reno walked in, rubbing his hair with a towel.  He froze when he saw Rufus in the bed.  "What's
wrong with you?"  The towel was on the floor and Reno was by the bed in an instant.  His eyes narrowed.  "You had sex!"

Cloud spun on Reno to chide him on the baseless accusation, but Rufus beat him to it.

"I have not," he said wearily.  "Blow jobs don't count."

Reno sat on the edge of the bed and placed the back of his hand to Rufus' forehead.  "Uh-huh!  You know you can't strain
yourself.  Especially considering all that drinking you did two nights ago.  Probably went to work too, didn't you?  I bet you
didn't take your medication in the morning because of the hangover."  He snorted when Rufus didn't reply.  "How many times
were you blown?  Or did you do the blowing?"

Rufus slapped his hand away irritably.  "If you must know it was mutual.  Both times."

The Turk just grinned.  He stood again and moved to the end of the bed, effortlessly pulling off his boss' shoes and socks.  He
chucked them on the floor carelessly.  Next to go was the man's coat and Reno's fingers made quick work of unbuttoning the
next layer beneath.  Reno was more careful with these garments, laying them carefully over the back of a nearby chair.

"You know you can't strain yourself like that, Boss.  If you wanted to get off, you shoulda just had your play toy fuck you.  Or
you coulda laid back and let him do all the work bouncing up and down on your lap," he said, adding in up and down hand
gestures to accentuate the word, 'bouncing.'

Cloud listened in disbelief as the redhead showed more than an employee's concern for his employer.  And the conversation was
beyond disturbing.  "I'm calling Tseng," he announced, turning on his heel.  He'd do anything to get out of the room and away
from the sex-centered conversation.  As it was, his face was already beet red.  He only hoped neither of them had noticed.

To Be Continued ...