The bar was dim, smoky, and quiet. It was just what Barret needed right now. There was too much noise in the world, too much activity, too many things wrong with the place that needed fixing. He wasn't looking for any of that tonight. No, he figured he'd earned himself a day off. He wanted a few hours of piece and quiet and he'd beat down any man who tried to disturb him.

The few patrons lingering in the bar keep to themselves, hiding away from the world in whatever shaded corner they'd found. Good for them. They could keep to themselves, which meant they'd leave Barret to himself. Bypassing the shadows, he walked straight up to the bar, his broad and bulky figure drawing wary looks from a few of the patrons. Yeah, they knew not to mess with him.

A slight raise of his hand was all it took to bring the bartender over as Barret took a stool next to a familiar-looking, passed-out redhead in a rumpled suit. Seemed like he wasn't the only one taking a night off.

"Ev'nin', mate. What'll it be?"

"Scotch on the rocks. Light on the rocks."

A muffled groan proved that the redhead was at least still mostly conscious. He lifted an empty sifter in an unsteady hand, head raised barely a fraction above the counter, his face obscured by a disarray of bangs. "One more, yo."

Barret took one glance at the sorry figure on his right and made a decision. "Put that on my tab too."

"Thanks." The redhead let his head fall back on the counter. Barret didn't make the mistake of thinking he was passed out this time.

He waited until the bartender moved off before striking up conversation. "Been a bit since I've seen your face around Midgar." Another time he might have been offended sharing the bar with an enemy, but the night didn't seen right for quarrels. Barret knew he didn't really feel up to one, and his companion probably wouldn't be able to put up one anyways.

The comment was met with a muffled grunt. "Jus' 'cause y' haven't seen me don't mean I haven't been around, y'know."

Their brief conversation was put on hold again as their drinks arrived, clear glasses clinking as they were set on the polished counter. Barret tossed a few notes on the counter, enough to cover both their drinks and probably most of the sizeable tab he guessed his companion had rung up. Judging by the bartender's smile and nod, he'd got most of it.

Amber liquid swirled in his glass as he picked up the sifter, taking a short sip before setting the glass down again. He didn't feel like getting drunk anymore.

Minutes passed in the silence of the bar and the redhead still didn't move. Barret poked him once in the shoulder, testing to see if he really had passed out. A low grunt and awkward swat answered his efforts.

"You gonna drink that?"

The redhead sat up, glaring slightly at Barret before downing his drink in one go. Judging from the color and smell, Barret would have guessed it was straight vodka. Barret caught the redhead by the shoulder before he could slump on the counter again.

"So, what are the Turks up to nowadays?"

Reno glanced between him and the counter before shrugging, propping his head on his elbow as he looked over at Barret with an unfocused gaze. "Not much really. Not anything, actually."

Barret accepted that with a grunt. Either they were planning something and Reno wasn't going to say, or they really weren't up to anything. Not much sense in prying, even drunk he had a feeling Reno still knew how to hold his tongue. Barret searched for a change of topic and came up empty. Really, he knew next to nothing about the guy beside him.

"Hey, do you think I'm attractive?"

The question threw Barret for a moment, and he stared over at Reno like he'd turned into Sephiroth. He gave the shock a minute to wear off before he actually considered it. "Yeah, you're not bad for a bloke." Hard to really judge much in the bar when the guy was practically falling off the counter, but he remembered from past encounters that Reno had always been easy on the eyes. The girls certainly hadn't stopped talking about his looks the first time they met, though they'd had a few comments on his personality. Something about slime and grease if Barret remembered properly.

Reno snorted and rubbed his face in the hand that was supporting it. "I thought so. He's an idiot."

Barret raised an eyebrow. This was certainly not a conversation he'd ever expected to be having with a Turk. But then if someone had told him yesterday that he'd be hanging out in a bar with a drunk Turk, he probably would have shot him. Still, curiosity got the best of him and he couldn't stop himself from asking. "He?"

Silence sat between them for several long minutes before Reno turned to him, red-rimmed eyes staring at him with as much seriousness as a drunk could muster. "Would you do me?"

"I'll try anythin' once."

Reno lurched to his feet in an instant, grabbing Barret's arm and weakly tugging him towards the exit. "C'mon."

Temporary insanity must have seized him. That was the only way to explain why he was even contemplating this. At least he wasn't the only one that seemed to have taken leave of his senses. Barret's problem wasn't so much that he didn't want to, 'cause really, he would try anything once and Reno certainly wasn't a bad choice to try. But he shouldn't. Drinking was okay, he could excuse that as just being nice, but this was going a bit closer to fraternizing with the enemy and he wasn't entirely certain he was okay with that.

Then again, it'd been a while, and they were both professionals. It'd sort itself out, he knew, and Reno didn't seem like the type to stick. They could do this, kick out whatever bug had crawled into Reno's brain to make him suddenly want to, then go back to killing each other the next day like pros. No problems. Once that was all worked out in his head, Barret was a bit more eager to follow along.

Reno led them through Midgar's back-streets, stumbling more than once, but still heading in a mostly straight path. The apartment building he stopped in front of was at least one of the better ones, though still in the lower end of Midgar's housing accommodations. Barret took one look at the twisting stairs that rose up above them as soon as they got inside and knew he'd have to sling Reno over his shoulder to get them both up all those. But Reno bypassed the stairs, lurching down a short hall to collapse against the wall in front of the elevator.

They stayed silent for the long minutes it took until the elevator finally reached the ground floor, Reno appearing lost in thought and Barret unsure what to say in a situation like this. He stared at the peeling paint above Reno's head, his gaze drifting down every now and then to run over the redhead's figure.

Reno stumbled away from the wall as soon as the elevator doors opened, almost falling until Barret caught him. That seemed to be a prevalent pattern for the night. When they finally got up to Reno's apartment on the sixth floor, Barret's arm around Reno's waist was the only thing keeping the Turk consistently upright.

"Thanks," Reno mumbled as he fumbled with his keys, having obvious difficulty finding the right key and then getting it to go in the lock.

Barret resisted the urge to sigh in relief when Reno finally unlocked the door. They entered together, Barret supporting Reno over the threshold. The door clicked shut behind them, locked with an absent flick of the wrist before Reno turned to him.

The kiss was unexpected. Barret's mind had been lagging behind the reality of exactly what he'd talked himself into, at least until he found somewhat cold lips pressing against his own. It was like a bucket of ice water was dropped over him, shocking him into realization of what, or more precisely who, he was about to do. He froze for an instant, almost thinking about stopping. Then he saw the quick flash of disappointment that crossed Reno's face, and he knew he wasn't going to leave, at least not for a few hours.

Taking hold of Reno's waist, he leaned down and kissed Reno like he meant it. Barret knew he wasn't the best kisser in the world. He'd had enough relationships to knew where his strengths and weaknesses lie, even if this was a lot different from his past relationships. Reno didn't seem to care about Barret's level of skill, but then the redhead wasn't exactly working with all his guns either. Between the two of them it was probably one of the most disorganized kisses he'd ever had, but there was a force in it that made up for that.

A tug on his shirt started Barret moving. They shed clothes as they staggered awkwardly through the sparse apartment, stumbling more than once as Barret relied on Reno's impaired sense of direction to get them into the bedroom. They ended up on Reno's thin mattress in just their skin. Reno was beneath him, Barret's weight pressing the redhead down into the mattress. A quick thought flashed through Barret's mind, pointing out that Reno was vulnerable like this. Barret was bigger, stronger, and still armed despite his lack of clothing. He could literally do anything he wanted to Reno right now and the redhead couldn't stop him.

He pushed that thought away as a pale leg wound over his hip and focused instead on the naked flesh beneath him. Resting his arms on either side of Reno's head, he leaned down to taste the exposed skin of Reno's neck. The girls were right when they'd called Reno a beauty, and Barret had a feeling even their complaints would melt away if they saw Reno like Barret was seeing him now. But the girls weren't here, so it was easy to forget that he was AVALANCHE and Reno was a Turk. Instead they were just two men, naked and needing pleasure.

Barret was distracted out of his thoughts by a warm hand fondling him between his legs. He was already fully-hard in Reno's hand, and not an unimpressive length judging by the look on Reno's face.

Reno looked up at him with an off-center grin. "You gonna use that?"

The words brought a smile to Barret's face and he rocked his hips forward, shifting both their bodies on the mattress. "Yeah, I think so." He let his hand trail down Reno's side until he reached his leg. Cupping his hand under the flesh, he lifted Reno's leg to join the other hooked around his waist. "What d'you think I should do?"

The look on Reno's face was well worth the teasing. A frown crossed the redhead's pretty face and he opened his mouth to say something.

Barret didn't let him get that far. He leaned down, suddenly hungry for more than Reno's touch, and let his tongue slip in Reno's open mouth. That seemed to be the spark that ignited both of them and suddenly they were moving, hips thrusting hard while their hands grabbed, groped, scratched and fondled.

Reno's hands moved away, scrabbling frantically at something on the floor before they returned to Barret's length and spread something slick on him. He wasn't about to complain. Grabbing Reno by the ass, he pushed the redhead up the bed, breaking the possessive lock he'd held over Reno's mouth as he did so. He moved Reno up far enough to line up his hips, feeling with his hand to make sure he got the angle just right.

Both hands, metal and flesh, clasped around the pale hips beneath him, holding Reno still. One sharp thrust and he was inside. Distantly he heard Reno cry out but he was too busy sucking in a breath. He forced himself to stop, to freeze where he was, buried deep inside welcoming flesh. It had been a while since he'd been inside something this tight and warm. Glancing down he watched as Reno panted, obviously surprised at the quickness with which Barret had entered him but not put off by it. If Reno felt pain, he didn't show it. Instead the redhead arched, shifting his hips in a subtle request for more.

Barret wasn't about to let him down.

Lifting his hands off of Reno's hips, he let himself move, slowly at first, helping Reno get used to the length inside of him. Reno was helping him, arching his back and using his legs to lift himself off the ground to a better angle, moving with each one of Barret's thrust. Their voices mixed with their saliva, grunts and moans filling the air while Barret was filling Reno.

Nothing existed outside the mattress and their thrusting bodies. There was nothing. Barret felt himself fall loose of his past ties, an unnoticed weight lifting off his shoulders between the space of one breath and the next. He let go and took Reno with him.

Passion swept him away and he felt like a wild animal, starved then loosed from his cage. He needed and Reno gave. Thrust after hard thrust was met between Reno's wide-spread thighs. The redhead's hair slipped loose from its messy ponytail, spreading like blood over the pillow as Reno's head fell back, his eyes glazed over in mindless pleasure. Barret felt hot, heavy and weightless all at once.

Reno clenched beneath him, nearly stealing Barret's breath away as he found himself surrounded by an impossible tightness. He let go as Reno's body arched one last time, a soft sigh slipping from the redhead's lips before he melted back against the mattress. Barret's hips slowed, then stilled as he finished spurting inside of Reno. Sticky liquid pasted their chests together, more fluid spilling down Reno's legs as Barret thrust in lazily one last time.

Blue eyes watched him, radiating contentment as they both fought to even their breaths. Neither of them moved. Barret felt like he was trapped, stuck here in this moment of time and he could honestly say he didn't mind. He was happy, for the most part, and sated, a good kind of tiredness washing over him. If he didn't move now, he knew he was never going to, so he pushed back, letting his member slip out of Reno's body before he slowly rolled over onto his side. Reno rolled with him.

There wasn't much room on the mattress for both of them, but they shifted around until Barret was on his back with Reno draped half across his chest. The redhead was the first to close his eyes, exhaling in a soft sigh before his breathing settled into an even pattern.

Resting his head against a thin pillow, Barret let himself join Reno in sleep.


Barret was a little disconcerted when he woke up and he wasn't in his own bed. At least he felt good, better than he had in weeks, which meant wherever he was he'd slept damn well. He shifted his weight to the side, only to freeze as a grumpy voice chastised him.

"Stop moving, Barret."

He raised an eyebrow at the lucid reply, Reno's voice clearer now than it had been last night. "I thought you were drunk." Considering the amount of alcohol he'd guess had passed Reno's lips, the man should be having a sizeable hangover, though he certainly didn't sound like it.

Clear blue eyes looked at him through a mess of red hair, a delicately pale cheek resting against Barret's chest. "Not that drunk."

"Oh." Well, that saved him from some awkward morning-after conversation, which meant that he could turn the conversation to why Reno had started all this. "Who was that 'he' you mentioned last night?"

Reno shrugged, a fleeting cloud of emotion passing over his face before disappearing completely. "Doesn't matter anymore." The redhead was silent for a long moment. Barret would have thought Reno'd gone back to sleep except for the blue eyes still staring at him. "Do you want breakfast?"

"Y' actually have food here? Don't ev'n look like y' live in this dump."

Reno shrugged again, taking the criticism as the affirmative it masked. Barret watched as Reno shifted to sit up, his eyes following the expanse of lightly scarred pale skin revealed as Reno got out of bed. The redhead didn't even bothering grabbing clothes on his way out of the room.

"You coming?" The words drifted lazily through the apartment.

A smile quirked on Barret's lips as he slowly started to move.