Prompt: Rufus and Sephiroth, first impressions

Warnings: Mild language and patricidal thoughts


"Ah, Rufus, there you are!" President ShinRa beamed, an expression Rufus privately thought made his face look even rounder and more fatuous than usual. "Come here, boy, I want you to meet General Sephiroth."

At ten years old, Rufus already strongly disliked his father. He disliked being called 'boy' even more. But he'd heard a lot about Sephiroth – the man who was already being hailed as the 'Conqueror of Wutai', even though Wutai's conquest was far from complete. He was supposed to be a deadly fighter of legendary capabilities, and a strategic genius.

His eyes flicked to one side, but the latest Turk to be assigned to him was standing back far enough that he was just out of sight. A pity, because Rufus wanted to know what his reaction to Sephiroth was; Tseng was from Wutai. It seemed almost impolite to introduce the two of them. It wasn't something Rufus usually cared about, but Tseng had lasted longer than most Turks assigned to him, and the dark-haired man had an exacting view the rules of polite behaviour. Unless there was some reason for violence – which Rufus had already seen firsthand Tseng was more than capable of – courtesy should be observed.

His father believed wealth absolved all sins, and had appalling manners.

He'd ask Tseng for his impressions later, he decided. The reason why Rufus hadn't done anything to drive this particular Turk off quite yet was because Tseng was quite willing to discuss things with him rationally, even if they weren't normal topics for a ten-year-old boy to concern himself with.

Lifting his chin, Rufus crossed the room to where his father stood, Tseng trailing silently after.

He wasn't quite sure what he'd expected, but the figure beside his father wasn't it. Sephiroth was tall, but he wasn't big; if it weren't for the leanly muscled chest showing in the V of his coat, Rufus would have thought him appallingly skinny. He was pale, as if he'd never seent he sun, and his face was almost girlish. His hair certainly was, falling to his waist.

Then there were the things about him that were just strange: his hair was silver, even though he looked like he was barely out of his teens, and his eyes were slitted like a cat's. They stared at Rufus, cold and green, from a face as impasssive as if it had been carved from marble. With the pale skin, stark black leather and that cold, cold gaze, there was something... ominous and slightly inhuman about him.

Rufus suppressed a small shiver.

Then those eyes left his, and looked over his shoulder. Sephiroth inclined his head in a gesture that had become familiar to Rufus over the past few months; an almost-bow, a move that could convey anything from polite acknowledgement to disapproval to irony. This seemed more respectful than anything, and although he couldn't see, didn't even hear a whisper of movement from behind him, he still had the impression that Tseng responded in kind.

"Look at him, my boy; the very best fighter the ShinRa labs could create! Bred for it, in fact! There's a lot of money invested in you, isn't there, Sephiroth?" The President cackled. "And you're paying off nicely!"

Cold green eyes became positively icy as they turned to look at the President. His chuckles died off uneasily, and Rufus noted with a feeling of satisfaction that although the President was supposed to be in charge of Sephiroth – owned him, if some of the things Rufus had heard were true – he was more than a little afraid of his company's 'creation'. With a feeling of vicarious glee, he watched his father squirm.

"Yes, well, he's doing excellent work with our fighting forces." The President chuckled again, although it was slightly weaker this time. "General, this is my son, Rufus. He might not look like much now -"

Asshole, Rufus thought venomously, although it didn't show on his face.

"- but one day, I suppose this will all be his." There was an undertone of something – doubt perhaps, or discontent – in his voice as he waved an arm at the grand entity that was ShinRa Electric Power Company. "Not that I intend to retire anytime soon, of course!"

Some day, it would all be his. Rufus was certain of that. There would be no changing of minds, no sudden replacement 'sons' because this one didn't meet with his father's approval. Even if he had to help his father 'retire' in a more permanent manner, sooner than the rotund man anticipated. In fact, that was an event he looked forward to. Some day, he would see the old man dead, and his would be the hand responsible.

Some day, he thought as he took his leave of both his father and ShinRa's legendary Silver General.

And as he left, he couldn't help but think of the brief flicker of something he'd seen in cold green eyes.

A flicker that said, Some day.