A/N: Annnnd, we have the final chapter, ladies and gentlemen! Enjoy!
When Rude opened his eyes, the light coming through the window was the steely gray of early morning. The Turk sat up, painfully aware of the empty hollow in the bed next to him. When he touched the sheets, they were still warm, so Reno couldn't have been gone long. Rude swung his legs out of bed and pulled on his pants, going to look for the redhead.
He found Reno on the balcony that all the Turks' rooms had. The redhead was shirtless as well, leaning on the metal railing with his arms. A cigarette dangled from his long, spidery fingers, and his hair, pulled back into a quick ponytail, swayed in the breeze.
Reno took a long drag from his cigarette. "Hey, Partner," he murmured, not looking back. Rude stayed silent, looking at the young man. He was once again struck by the delicate beauty of Reno's body. The way his bare back was arched as he leaned on the railing, the cascade of bright red hair, the long, thin but muscular legs.
Finally, Reno turned, and Rude was a little taken aback at the pained expression on his face. "What's the matter?" the bigger man rumbled. Reno shook his head, looking back out at the city. The sun was beginning to rise.
"I don't feel too good, Rude," he said softly. The older Turk stepped forward, alarmed. "Not sick," Reno assured him. "Just…an ache. Don't know how to describe it. But it gets bigger when I think about ya leavin' me." Honest blue-green eyes drilled into Rude's.
"I won't leave you, Reno," the bald man said, refusing to look away. Reno smiled wanly.
"Partner, is this what love feels like? Like ya can't breathe when ya think about someone with anyone but yourself? Like ya got this empty hole in your chest that's waitin' to be filled?"
"Love is when you're willing to do anything for someone. When you care about them more than yourself."
Reno's eyes welled up a little. He looked down. "Well, then…uh…" His eyes darted up to Rude's and away again. "I guess I love ya, then," he murmured, taking another drag of his cigarette.
Rude looked unfazed, but inside he felt a warm feeling curling in his chest. He reached out to put a hand on Reno's bare back, fascinated with the contrast between his own brown skin and the snow-white expanse of Reno's.
Reno felt Rude's arm slip around his shoulders and he straightened, sliding his own arm around the man's waist. "I feel like we can do anything," he said softly, turning to Rude and craning his neck up to press their lips together gently. "Partner," he said when they separated, "together, we're gonna crush down the world."
As the two men folded each other in an embrace and kissed again, a cigarette lay forgotten on the floor of the balcony. Behind the Turks, the sun climbed into the sky, turning Rude's skin to a warm, glowing brown and lighting up Reno's crimson hair like a flame.
After all that time, Reno had finally found a place to belong.
So that's it. The ending didn't come out quite as I pictured it, but oh well. Also, I would like some opinions on a possible sequel, if you please. I got a super sweet review from someone who wanted me to keep writing, but this story has to end here. I'm thinking about a sequel, though. Let me know what you think; I'd enjoy writing another I think, but some stories are better standing alone, if ya know what i mean. So give me your thoughts, and thanks for reading!