Rufus sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. He was irritated and more than a tad claustrophobic. All he really wanted to do was get up and walk out of his office and never come back but, he couldn't do that. Far too many people were relying on him to be there and do what he was meant to be. Still, he didn't want to be there, didn't want to be working, didn't want to be...alone.

He sighed again, lifted up the silly meaningless paperweight that sat on his desk. It was supposedly a representation of their world as seen from space. Who knew if it was accurate. He spun it around his desk, catching it just before it fell off the edge. It had been a random present from Reno for who knew what reason. Probably won it or stole it while he was drunk. It was rather odd and didn't quite fit with Rufus' image but, he'd never been able to bring himself to part with it or put it away.

Now of course, it was a moot point. It was all he had left of him. Reno had died diving in front of a bullet shot from a mad man's gun to protect him. Tseng had no choice but to shoot the man before he tried again but, it was of little consequence to Reno anyway - a mortal wound, he had moments to live. Nothing could save him but, at least he'd saved Rufus. The moment that they'd buried Reno after he'd died, diving in front of the bullet to save Rufus, colour had become the enemy. Colours haunted his dreams when he could manage to sleep - Reno's blood mixing with his bright hair, Reno's blood soaking into his grey trench, Reno's blood splattered on the carpets...

The image of the blood soaking into his clothes had haunted him. How he'd hated to see them after that! In a fit of rage, he'd thrown everything on a fire, burning his once-favoured grey clothes, swapping them for black - a colour that better suited him now. Black was the colour of grief after all and of the night. The night made him feel better anyway. Nighttime was less cheery and less offensive to him than the day with all it's brightness and cheer. The night was his one remaining comfort.

He no longer had Reno, what else was there? Perhaps if he could picture him in any other way but that of the last moment alive, he could get through each day better but, he just couldn't. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, the last image of Reno's face before he died was certainly worth that - he saw clearly love, loss, sadness, regret, hurt, relief that he'd saved Rufus, pride…so many emotions passed in what could only have been a second. It felt like it could have been a lifetime but, not long enough to say thank you never mind the million and one things he wanted to tell Reno…