AN: Written for shadowhaloedangel for the prompt bikini. I had a great deal of fun writing this, I hadn't been plot bunnied this hard for a long time. I'm working on other fics as well, don't worry.
Pairing: Tseng and Rufus
Warnings: Sexual references and mentions of past abuse
Rufus and Tseng shared almost everything, now that they were lovers. But they both had their own lives, and it was important that they had their privacy. In their bedroom, there were two locked drawers, in which they could keep their secrets.
But secrets never stayed private in ShinRa. Tseng could easily pick locks, and Rufus had the entirety of the Turks to call upon. They both wanted to know what it was the other wanted to keep private, and despite the fact they tried not to, eventually one of them was going to crack.
Tseng was home alone, while Rufus was working late, and the drawer was calling to him, louder than before. He couldn't resist its siren song, teasing open the lock for a glimpse inside. He heard the pins fall open, but he didn't want to look, not now. This was Rufus', and it would have been wrong for him to see. He was closing the drawer again when he heard light footsteps behind him, and turned to face Rufus.
"Tseng?" Rufus asked nervously, looking uncertain. "What...what are you doing?"
"I'm not ...I thought about looking, but I changed my mind. I'm sorry."
Rufus looked at him, eyes shining with unhappiness. "I trusted you."
"I didn't look." Tseng swore. Rufus nodded slowly, opening the drawer.
"You can look now."
Despite Rufus' wealth, what he had kept most private, most protected, were personal things. The only photograph he had of his mother, and her necklace. A letter Reeve had written him aged six, when he had asked the director to kill him. The only report from school his father had acknowledged, which had said he was failing Midgarian. He'd been beaten for it, sent to the labs, but it had been worth it to be addressed directly by the man. Then details of his working with AVALANCHE, and a plaster cast of Dark Nation's pawprint. Finally, placed on top of the rest, was one of Tseng's identification tags. The innocence of these precious treasures almost brought tears to Tseng's eyes.
"May I see yours?" Rufus asked, and Tseng couldn't say no. Tseng's drawer was far less thought through, and simply contained things he wanted to keep from the other. There were a few mementos from Wutai, a letter he wanted Rufus to get after his death, his will and a lucky charm, along with a suicide katana he had felt it would be best to keep from the other. But there were also several catalogues of swimwear models.
It was those that bothered Rufus. He was accepting of the fact that his lover had been with many men and women before, understood the other wasn't immune to the charms of the fairer sex. But the thought that the other could find the wearing of swimwear...attractive... upset the young President. Rufus wasn't vanilla in the bedroom – he was happy for Tseng's Wutaian heritage to show via rope work, and sitting next to Tseng during meetings often ended up rather interesting, as they both could have wandering hands. However, he had issues with his body.
When he looked at himself in the mirror, he could see the scars left by the beatings he had received from his father, from the explosion, the faint marks left by the stigma and the incisions from the labs. There was nothing attractive there. It had taken him a long time to accept having the light on whilst they made love, and the thought of being near-naked somewhere public was a humiliation worse than he could bear.
His inability to fulfil this unspoken desire of his lover's threatened to consume him at times, stopping him from focussing his work. He hated that he got like this, he knew it was ridiculous, but it was beyond his control. He realised the other meant no harm, and didn't want him this upset, but it was hard. Rufus was not used to failure, used to achieving what he wanted, and here he could not.
In the end, it was Reno who provided the solution.
Rude sat up in the sand, helping to rub the suntan lotion on Elena, weapons in easy reach. His gaze drifted from the pretty woman in front of him to further down the beach, where Reno was splashing in the waves, paddling and squealing, in some swim-trunks adorned with moogles. Near him, in matching swim trunks, was Reeve. Reno hadn't been to the sea before, so it was proving to be quite an education for him. As Rude watched, Reno waved.
Even at this distance, Rude could see the mischievous glint in Reno's eye, and watched as he splashed Reeve, soaking him. The engineer squealed in shock, turning and running back up the beach, where a waiting Cait Sith held a towel out for him. He wrapped it around himself, shivering.
Reno ambled up the beach at a slower pace, stopping at Rude's side and falling to his knees in the sand, kissing the other deeply. The three Turks laughed, and this time it was Elena who ventured towards the waves with Reeve.
Today, the beach was theirs, hired by Rufus for private use. He and Tseng were a distance from the others, sat together in a tent set up upon the sand. Tseng held Rufus's hand, sure that the other must be overheating in his suit on a day like this, but not wanting to comment. Rufus squeezed his hand in return, gazing at the other in his pair of black trunks.
"Would you get me some water please?"
Tseng nodded, leaving the tent, returning after a couple of minutes. What he saw as he approached first confused, then stunned him.
Rufus, his Rufus, the man who hated to be out wearing less than six layers, was sheltering behind the windbreak in just a pair of bikini bottoms. As he got closer, he saw that they were deep blue Wutaian silk, embroidered with a dragon in silver thread.
Rufus looked up at him nervously, feeling that his life was out of his control. "I'm sorry. You ...I know you like this, I just..." He paused, looking away, and embracing the other. Tseng wrapped his arms around him.
"You look beautiful."
Rufus smiled faintly.
"Thank you...I...I didn't feel that I could wear white today...what with the water..." He was almost blushing, and Tseng thought it was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. Rufus didn't look like the models, but the fact he tried, the fact he had done this for Tseng, despite the problems that he had, was more attractive than Rufus could know. He leant down to kiss him, then picked him up.
"Where?" Rufus breathed. Tseng smirked.
"For now the sea. Then back to our room." Rufus held tighter to him, smile growing, though he still did feel pretty stupid.