AN: For albedosreqium, for FF7-Pairings-Fanclub on Deviant art. She wanted something with Tseng and Genesis, and I did this, I hope it's alright. This probably wasn't what she had in mind, but there was no way I could compete with her fic Bibliophile, so I took a different approach.
Warnings: Drug use, imprisonment, first person narration.
"Thank you Tseng." Rufus said with a smile, stepping to the side so that I could leave. My duties for the day were finished, as Rufus was now safely back in his room and protected from attack. I do love my job, I love spending time with Rufus, but I'm always glad to have a chance to rest at the end of the day and relax. It had been a long day today – someone had pulled a gun on him at a speech, and then fled into the crowd. That had been dealt with. I never miss a shot.
I pull my PDA from my pocket, checking the time and the scientists' schedules. This isn't a secret I should keep, but it gives us both a great deal of happiness, and I couldn't leave him. This is the only thing that I keep from Rufus. I am Rufus', I know that, I acknowledge it openly. I see no shame in being his most trusted guard, his dearest friend and his. Every other thing I own, my thoughts, my memories, my life, are Rufus' possessions. But I want to keep this as mine. Rufus knows the basics, but what he doesn't know is why I do it. I'll take that to my grave.
I head down to the laboratories, heading towards that cell, a path that has become familiar after so many years of walking this way. I know my treatment is working, and I pull the key from my shirt. It hangs on a string around my neck, next to my heart. I keep him close at all times. The key clicks in the lock, and the door opens. He's sat on the bed, his focus absorbed in a book. I give him a new book almost every week, and he reads them all. He never says anything, but I think it's helping bring him back to reality.
As I push the door open wider, he looks at me, gets up from the bed and runs into my arms. I can't hold back a smile, cradling him to my chest. He's always so delighted to see me. I stare down at him, and see the hints of red in his hair. He's grinning up at him, eyes shining with an emotion I can't place. Maybe relief, maybe desperation. He's recovering, getting better. The scientists are managing to heal him. I stroke my fingers through his hair to reassure myself that he is real, that he will get better.
I like spending time with Genesis, I love holding him in my arms, but I can't help feeling guilty about this. He was always so free, so passionate, and now the only way that he can recover is if he submits, if I can keep him subdued. Before I found him again, the scientists' were finding their own way of doing it, hurting him. My way is better. My way doesn't involve restraints or pain.
I take his hand, guiding him to a separate room. It was such a simple solution, a cure to his madness and struggling. A way to keep him quiet and safe without pumping him full of toxic chemicals. But I still hate it. I kiss his fore head, and he sits down on the bench, letting me work. He's happy to see me, I can see that in his eyes, but he still deserves better. I give him what I can. My hands don't shake as I set up the equipment, set a glass of water to the side for later. I work silently. I don't talk to him often. We understand each other without words.
When it is ready, I guide him to lie on the floor, his head near the start of the pipe. He takes it in his mouth, inhaling the fumes of the poppy. A drug well known among my people, one that will keep him relaxed and malleable, so that he can be treated. I settle down so his head rests on my lap, and I stroke his hair with one hand, the other hand holding his.
I wait, watching as each stage goes through in turn. First a rush of physical pleasure, which leaves him breathless, gripping my hand as he continues to inhale. Then he relaxes in my arms, my hand slipping from his grasp. This is useful for him, this extended period of relaxation. It frees him from physical pain, and more than that, it eases his anxiety. I see him most days, and even when I don't, someone else will. Watching him like this, I observe unemotionally, scientifically. I distance myself because if I don't, it would destroy me.
I am glad he has some relief from the stress he suffers. I keep stroking his hair, looking down at him with devotion. His breathing is slow, calm, so different from the frantic madness he suffered before I began my treatment. I tilt his head up to look at mine and see his irises have grown, his pupils shrunk to pinpoints. It shows that the drug is having the intended effect. I let him continue, moving him away when it was time.
He lies in my arms, floppy, relaxed. I dip a finger into the water glass, run it over his lips, helping ease their dryness, before tilting it against his mouth, letting him sip. I move him onto a cushion, knowing he could stay in this calm state for several hours.
I don't know whether I like him being calm. It isn't him, it's not my Genesis. The Genesis I trained with, flirted with, would never have suffered the indignity of having to rely on drugs. He would never have submitted to the labs. Yet this is the best that Genesis can have right now. My lips begin to move, and I whisper Loveless to him. In his drug induced haze, he smiles at me, and my heart does a flip. Even now, even only a shadow of his former self, his smile sets my body aflame. He's so beautiful, and he is recovering. Eventually, he'll recover enough to talk, and we can argue about ancient literature the way we used to. He's not so frightened, now that I administer his treatment rather than a scientist, and his hair is returning to its red lustre. I lean down, inhale his scent and shiver.
He's addicted to the opium I bring him, but I tell myself that that's not why his face lights up on seeing me. I couldn't face it if it was that. Reno says that when he brings the drug, Genesis looks upset, so I tell myself it is my presence that causes such delight. He's disappointed if it's not me. As a Turk, drugs are off my menu. Even alcohol is meant to be indulged in only a little, in order to ensure that we don't spill secrets. But just like Genesis, I am addicted. So addicted I cannot live without.
It's not the heady scent of opium which fills my mind, leaving me desperate for my next hit. It's the spice and cinnamon of Genesis, his smile, his fluid movements. I am not abandoning him, and when he's better, I will wean him from his addiction. Nothing could wean me from mine. Genesis, my poppy, is too strong a drug.