AN: It was suggested by Kalisca that I did a second chapter of this. I have been thinking about it for a while, and finally got around to doing so.
Pairing: Rufus/Reno
Warnings: Language, Reno's POV, fluff


Reno had been shocked when he first met Rufus. Sure, he had heard the rumours about the ice prince, they all had, but he never expected him to be quite so unfriendly in reality. Rufus didn't smile at him or at anyone, didn't laugh at his jokes, and glared at his uniform. The other insisted he did his paperwork, and didn't seem to even consider that Reno might have a good reason for not doing it.

Of course, that wasn't the most irritating thing about that man, though there were many things about Rufus that made his blood boil. It quickly became one of Reno's favourite hobbies to sit there and list ways that Rufus irritated him. One of his favourites was the way the other had looked at him when he had first seen him, staring at his uniform as though it was less than what the boy's creature left on the carpet. He didn't want to be treated like he was beneath shit. This was made a lot worse by Rufus's habit of adjusting Reno's outfit while he was wearing it, until it was all that Reno could do not to just push his hands away and yell at him. He wasn't some doll for Rufus to dress up and make pretty.

That was another branch to the problem; Rufus was arrogant as hell. He had no idea of what life was like beneath his tower, cut off from reality like a fairy tale princess. The slums made as much sense to him as an alien planet. He treated those around him like scum, and everyone let him because if not they could have been in trouble. That angered Reno. Rufus was nowhere near as perfect as he thought he was.

The way Rufus's gaze followed Reno, no matter where he went, began to annoy him, as did the fact he ended up called before the other with surprising regularity for all manner of mishaps and misbehaviour. He was left feeling like a naughty puppy more than a respected Turk, and he didn't like that. He felt sick when he knew the other was judging him for sleeping around, knowing Rufus had never once known the comfort of a warm body when everything else seemed lost. In Rufus's eyes, Reno felt he was no better than a whore.

So he set out to teach him. He spent more time with him, turned up on his doorstep at moments of need, throwing himself on Rufus's mercy, and the other lacked the cruelty to turn him away. He drank with Rufus, even when it brought back memories that he wished to keep buried, and he lost the will to argue as glass after glass of alcohol was given to him, thrown back down his throat until he forgot his own name.

When Rufus got sick, it seemed to be a new way of annoying Reno. Over the previous few months, Reno had begun to admit to himself that he didn't spend time with Rufus just because he had to, or even from an urge to teach the other a lesson. He spent time with the vice-president because he liked his company. Being sick meant that Rufus could no longer go out with him, could no longer do much other than curl up in bed and croak orders which visibly exhausted him.

Again, Reno tried to correct this behaviour. He didn't raise it with the other, knowing that Rufus would bite back if he tried to tell him that he worked too hard. So instead, he just imposed himself on Rufus's life, cuddling up against him.

Then Rufus had criticised his pyjamas. Reno found this rather offensive, as he was fond of this particular pair of pyjamas. They had small pairs of kissing moogles against a pale blue background, and they were his favourites. So he'd cuddled closer. It was only when he woke up the next morning, still ensnared in the young man's arms, that he realised that he might actually be closer to him than he wished to admit.

From that night on, he tried to care for Rufus better, to give him the strength to survive. He didn't think he could cope with losing him. It was shortly after he made this decision that Rufus had made his single most infuriating choice to date, when he threw himself off the top of a collapsing building, shooting all the way down. Rufus insisted that he knew the Turks wouldn't let him fall, but the fear Reno felt building up in his throat as he watched the other dive towards the ground sickened the smitten Turk, making him feel ill even years later.

When Rufus recovered, Reno embraced him hard enough to cause injury, and that was annoying too. He'd realised his feelings might be reciprocated, and was overjoyed. He'd held him close for a few moments, before facing the fact he'd injured him again, and so he was going back to hospital for another few weeks, further delaying any intimacy. Reno was fed up by now.

When Rufus emerged, he had hesitated before crawling into bed with Reno again, and that had worried him, but then they had held each other close, and Reno realised that he smelt of cologne. Finally, after months of waiting, they were together, and Reno took Rufus's surname for his own. The fact he demanded that ShinRa was spelt with a capital R was pretty irritating too, but Reno felt that overall, it was probably worth it.