Temple of the Ancients.
Author: The Magic Rat
Warnings: Ridiculous sexual antics, rough but consensual sex, fuzzy love.
Word Count: 5,971
Website – Ex Libris: www.winter-wood.net/ex-libris/…
Live Journal: delaese.livejournal.com/profil…
Disclaimer: All Final Fantasy Seven characters, places and situations are the property of Square Soft/Square Enix and are used without permission and without intent of plagiarism or profit. Metalocalypse, the members of Dethklok, and lyrics to Dethklok songs belong to Brendon Small, Cartoon Network and Turner Music. Copyright for all stories and original characters such as Badger the Roadie is with the author, and may not be published, copied, distributed or archived without the author's prior written consent.
Summary: Two Turks, one Temple.
Author’s notes: For adarkworldfantasy. Really hope you like it, hon!
“Crossroads” © Don McLean.
Cloud was not a big fan of Turks, but even he was a little taken aback by Aeris’ refusal to help Tseng. It was one thing to defeat an opponent. It was another to leave a very badly injured man to slowly bleed to death in hellish agony. As Aeris blithely strolled to the altar that would lead them into the temple proper, Tifa knelt beside the bleeding man, touching the black hair. The fact that Tseng let her was a clue as to how bad he felt – Tseng wasn’t a fan of people playing with his hair. Tifa and Cloud exchanged glances, each silently indicating their opinions of Aeris had just taken a nose dive.
“We can’t just leave him,” said Tifa.
“No,” agreed Cloud. “We’ll ask someone to stay with him. Who’s close?”
Tifa thought, then looked at Tseng. “You have three choices – Vincent, Barret, or Yuffie.”
Tseng looked up at her, dark eyes fevered with pain. “Yuffie?! What did I ever do to you?”
Tifa sat back and raised an eyebrow, gazing at him.
“What did I ever do to you that was that bad
?” he amended.
“Fine,” said Tifa. “No Yuffie. No Barret either, I think. He’s not fond of Turks. That leaves Vincent.”
“Cloud what are you doing?” asked Aeris sharply from beside the altar. “Come on, we have to go.”
“We will,” said Cloud.
“We have to hurry!” she insisted. “Sephiroth is inside.”
“Tifa is calling Vincent to come sit with Tseng,” said Cloud, clearly exasperated. “We’ll leave as soon as he gets here.”
“Are you really going to try to tackle Sephiroth?” asked Tseng as Tifa spoke to someone on the phone.
“We’ve got no choice,” said Cloud. “If he gets to the Promised Land he’s going to rip the planet to pieces and leave Avalanche and Shinra battling over a rock not big enough to stand on.”
“Too bad Zack’s not here,” said Tseng.
“Zack?” said Tifa, closing her phone. “What would Zack have to do with this?”
“He was the only person who could ever handle him,” said Tseng. “Sephiroth was crazy about him.”
Cloud and Tifa looked at Tseng, then at each other, gradually taking in this information.
“So they were friends?” Tifa asked slowly.
“That’s one way of putting it,” said Tseng. “Administration was in the process of moving them in together. If you have a tiger on base, it’s best to set him up with his favourite handler.”
Aeris made a squeak of hurt and indignation. Tseng turned his head to look at her, his golden skin damp with sweat. “Oh I’m sorry, didn’t you know you’d been dumped? I thought Ancients were tuned into things like that.”
Aeris turned and stormed into the depths of the temple, Cloud sighing and heading after her to prevent her from getting her ass kicked by some random monster. Tifa just shook her head, doing her best to keep Tseng from bleeding too heavily.
“You’re a naughty man and that was mean,” Tifa chastised gently.
“Maybe,” said Tseng. “I may not be a saint, but even I know better than to leave the man my dead lover asked to look after me bleeding to death on the floor.”
“I always did think it was a bit out of character for you to have slapped her,” said Tifa.
“She’s lucky I didn’t pop her head off like a dandelion.”
Tifa giggled. “You’re terrible.”
“I have to be, it’s the first question on the Turk job resume. Are you terrible?”
“They’ve changed it since I joined,” said a quiet voice. “Mine asked me my name.”
Vincent knelt down beside Tseng, and Tifa rested her hand briefly on his shoulder before rising to her feet
“I have to go,” she said.
“Tifa,” said Tseng, “Zack’s name should still bear a great deal of weight for Sephiroth, and Zack would not want him to do this. Perhaps love can do what strength cannot.”
She nodded. “I’ll remember that.”
She chased after Cloud and Aeris, as Vincent drew out his materia to heal Tseng’s injury as well as he was able.
“Good to have another Turk here,” said Tseng.
“Former Turk,” Vincent quietly amended.
“Turk,” said Tseng, firmly. “A former Turk never would have come.”
Vincent smiled faintly. “Then maybe I should report you for giving information to the enemy.”
“Oh don’t be ridiculous,” said Tseng quietly, allowing Vincent to help him to lie back on the stone floor. “You know as well as I do there is always more than one story in play where Turks are involved.”
“Do you really think having Tifa mention a dead lover to a madman will be helpful?”
“He’s already on a blood-hunt,” said Tseng. “If Zack were still drawing breath he would be levelling mountains and parting seas to help him. If we can use that devotion to stop Sephiroth… so much the better.”
“Do you think it would work?”
“Do you have a better plan?”
“Yes,” said Vincent, using a Cure materia to close up the worst of the wound. “But Cid says the rocket won’t fly, so going to another planet is out. How are you feeling? Is this helping at all?”
“No…” Tseng said, his voice tight with pain. “Seems to be making it worse…”
“I have morphine…”
“Where did you get morphine?!” demanded Tseng. “You have morphine and you’re not sharing?”
“I’ll share,” said Vincent quietly. “You need to rest. Is anyone coming for you?”
“Eventually, but not until I am officially listed as overdue in four more days.”
“Then I’ll stay with you,” said Vincent quietly. “It may be that many days before Cloud, Tifa and Aeris come out of the Temple. Is that why you stole the keystone? To keep it from Sephiroth?”
“To keep it from anyone,” said Tseng. “Rufus was planning on having it shot into space. Probably not the most practical idea, but no place on this world would be out of Sephiroth’s reach. Hojo did his work too well.”
There was a long silence as Vincent prepared the morphine injection. Tseng watched him as he knelt on the stone floor, tinted gold by the torchlight reflecting off the walls.
“Vincent…” began Tseng.
Vincent shook his head. “I don’t want to talk about Sephiroth, Tseng. He is too raw a nerve for me now.”
“Is he your son after all?” asked Tseng.
“It doesn’t matter,” said Vincent quietly. “He was hers.”
Tseng fell silent, waiting for Vincent to put together a bed for him out of bedrolls left by Tifa and Cloud. Then, once it was made, he allowed Vincent to help him onto it.
“Once a Turk, always a Turk,” Tseng quipped gently.
Vincent smiled faintly and gave him the morphine. “Go to sleep, you’re hallucinating.”
When Tseng next awoke, it was very late at night, and outside the temple was a storm in full rage. Wind was causing the surrounding trees to crack and snap, and the rain fell so hard it sounded like the rush of a waterfall over stones. Thunder boomed, shaking the ground as it chased the eerie silent crack of lightning. Tseng drew his hand up to carefully touch his injury, and found it wrapped in gauze and sealed with the sort of plaster normally found on casts.
“He managed to chop two of your ribs in half,” said Vincent. “If his aim had been a bit better he would have done the same to your liver.”
“I was happier not knowing that,” said Tseng.
“You’ll be okay,” said Vincent. “I’ve been using the materia on you. It seems to be working. But you won’t be climbing through windows and hacking emails for a while.”
“You really do have a jaded outlook on what Turks do, don’t you?”
“I have a jaded outlook on life in general. I couldn’t even die right.”
“Such a little ray of sunshine,” said Tseng. “No wonder Cid calls you ‘Eeyore’.”
“That was a private email, Tseng.”
“Then change your password. Honestly, a retarded Boundfat could have guessed ‘Lucrecia’.”
“We’re not supposed to use that word,” said Vincent. “Didn’t you take the sensitivity training?”
“Yes but I never noticed the word ‘retarded’ ever applied to persons with developmental disabilities. They’ve generally more common sense than the so-called ‘able-bodied’. So are you going to change your password?”
“Will it do any good?”
“Probably not, but it will give me something to do on those long boring stake-outs.”
“You mean besides Reno?” asked Vincent airily.
“Oooooh… very good,” said Tseng, grinning. “Touché! I knew you were still a Turk. But he doesn’t play with me anymore. He’s found someone and he’s being very cagey as to whom it may be.”
“Cloud,” said Vincent.
“CLOUD?! You’re kidding. I don’t want Cloud getting short blonde ‘angst’ germs all over one of my best Turks.”
“I think Reno is well-saturated by now,” said Vincent.
“Terrible,” said Tseng. “No wonder he didn’t want me to know. Isn’t that always the way, though? Tales within tales within tales. And we’re not allowed to see how it ends.”
“I skipped ahead,” said Vincent morosely. “I peeked at the ending and didn’t like it at all.”
“Vincent,” said Tseng quietly, “I don’t think you’re done quite yet. A little broken, yes. But not done.”
“I’m dead, Tseng.”
“Only on paper,” said Tseng. “Veld still speaks highly of you.”
“Another dead Turk still drawing breath,” said Vincent. “We should form a club. Is he ever going to be able to return from the shadows?”
“He has, in a way. He’ll be home in a month, staying with Rufus.”
“That’s something, at least. I remember that time. I thought we would all be slaughtered for the crime of knowing our duties too well.”
“The Old Man had reason to fear us,” said Tseng. “He trained Rufus to handle us too well. Then Rufus took the reins from his father. We were out of control. I sleep better working for Rufus.”
“I loathe sleeping,” said Vincent. “Like little slices of death that bring only nightmares. Yet I feel like forcing myself to live through the horror of my lack of action somehow cleanses me.”
“Vincent there is nothing you could have done,” said Tseng. “You could not stop Hojo, you could not stop Lucrecia. Both were determined to see the experiment through. And you were only a rookie Turk at the time. An underling. You were powerless.”
“I should have spoken up.”
“We all should have,” said Tseng. “We should have screamed our protests to the hills and beyond, but what good would it have done? The Old Man was even experimenting on his own son. We couldn’t have stopped that horror any more than you could have. I know you loved her. But, short of murder, we could not have stopped anything that was happening.”
“I don’t think I can kill him,” Vincent suddenly blurted out, as if the words could no longer be contained. “I came to settle up with Hojo. I don’t know if I can raise a hand to Sephiroth.”
The thunder boomed, shaking the temple, as if some unknown god objected to Vincent’s feelings. Vincent flinched, as if he expected some invisible specter to strike him, and Tseng reached a hand out to him.
“Vincent… come here. Come lay beside me. It’s cold, and it’s far too late for this sort of talk. Things will seem less hopeless in the light of day. Let’s just… try to stay warm and get some rest.”
Vincent seemed uncertain, as if he really didn’t know if he wanted to risk sleep, and the nightmares sure to follow. At last, he nodded.
“Perhaps you’re right. Are you all right? Are you in pain?”
Tseng thought about that. He was okay now, but already he could tell the morphine was wearing off.
“I will be soon.”
“All right. I’ll take care of it.”
Vincent gave Tseng a little more morphine, and checked his bandages. Then he tended to the fire so it would burn more slowly, warming the space in which they slept. Finally Vincent got onto the pallet with Tseng. The two huddled against each other, pulling up the blankets. Then Tseng sighed.
“Valentine, you are cold as death.”
Vincent drew a deep breath, and coughed. “Sorry. I keep forgetting to breathe.”
Tseng thought about that, dark eyes darting as he pondered the significance of this statement. “Forgetting to breathe?”
“Tseng I’m dead. You read the reports.”
“Yes but Veld told me he has conversations with you regularly!”
“Just tell me you don’t snore.”
“I don’t snore,” Vincent said dutifully.
“I have no idea. If it helps at all, no one in the crypt ever complained.”
As Tseng gave serious consideration to giving Vincent a swat, Vincent’s cell phone made a loud coughing noise. He reached a clawed hand across Tseng to pick it up, opening it and reading the text message he had just received. He sighed sadly and closed the phone, setting it aside. Then he seemed to think better of not answering and sat up to text Cid back.
“Personality clash?” asked Tseng quietly.
“No,” said Vincent softly. “But I think he’s developing feelings for me.”
“And you don’t approve of being chased by big smelly loud-mouthed chain-smokers?”
“I think a man who has had every dream he cherished stolen from him need not be falling in love with the dead.”
“Maybe that’s his choice to make,” said Tseng.
Vincent stuck Tseng full of more morphine, effectively ending the conversation until morning.
“That was rude,” said Tseng when he woke up twelve hours later.
“No,” said Vincent, “that was a pre-emptive strike against a conversation I did not wish to have. That
Tseng looked in the direction Vincent indicated, and saw Rude and Reno standing in the temple with them, both drenched from the rain. Reno waved coyly. Rude just looked wet and grumpy.
“Why are you two here?” asked Tseng.
“Orders,” said Reno. “Rufus said, and I quote - ‘Find the son of a bitch and ask him why he’s not answering my calls and kick his ass for worrying me,’
“Tell him Sephiroth turned my phone into spare parts and nearly did the same thing to me. Are you going to take me to the hospital?”
“We can’t,” said Reno. “You’re a lot safer here. There’s a monsoon coming in. You’re going to be trapped here at least a week. We’re heading deeper into the temple. We have to make sure Cloud gets the black materia out of here. Things are getting strange, we don’t know if it’s Sephiroth’s doing or not but we have to make sure Cloud gets the black materia.”
“All right. Tell Rufus I’m fine, I’m being looked after. Don’t let him get all upset worrying. Do either of you have a spare phone?”
Reno nodded as Rude passed Tseng a spare cell phone, then they slipped away, heading through the opened gate into the temple.
“Interesting,” said Vincent. “Rufus worries about you. His old man treated us like toy soldiers.”
“Rufus loves us,” said Tseng. “And we love him. You should really consider coming back as a Turk.”
“I think I’m a bit past that,” said Vincent quietly.
“You were a good Turk,” said Tseng, his voice equally soft.
“I let emotion cloud my judgement. I let my emotions rule me too much.” Vincent sighed loudly as his cell phone coughed. He drew it out and looked at it. “Too many emotions.”
“Do you like him?”
“It doesn’t matter if I do or don’t,” said Vincent, putting the phone away without responding to the text.
“Why doesn’t it matter?”
“Because I don’t believe I have what he needs. I’m…. not what I used to be.”
“Which one of us is?” said Tseng. “But things don’t improve if we don’t let them. Why don’t you just share what’s on your mind?”
Vincent shook his head, then quietly sang a verse from a song that Tseng didn’t know.
<center>“I've got nothing on my mind. Nothing to remember,
Nothing to forget. And I've got nothing to regret.
But I'm all tied up on the inside.
No one knows quite what I’ve got.
And I know that on the outside
What I used to be, I’m not… anymore...”
“Vincent…” Tseng said, “It’s not…”
Vincent walked away, heading outside into the rain. Tseng closed his eyes and sighed, then reached for the Cure materia to further repair his injuries.
“Damned princess,” grumbled Tseng. “Thinks he’s the only man in the world who got dumped by some bint who couldn’t make up her mind.”
Vincent did not stay away long. No matter what his feelings were on Cid or Rufus or the Turks or anything else, the monsoon would soon be tearing at the land in a full rage, and he had no choice but to return to the temple. He paused in surprise as he saw Tseng upright, his cast removed from his ribs. He was more surprised to notice Tseng had built a fire and made dinner.
“You’re well,” he said.
“No,” said Tseng. “Not entirely. But I have been over-working that low-level cure materia you have. I don’t like being hurt and helpless.”
“You’re not planning on going into the temple, are you?”
“No,” said Tseng. “Not without direct orders, and even then I would question them.”
“Another change,” remarked Vincent. “The old man would have never let us question orders.”
“Rufus is not his father,” said Tseng. “We love him. And trust him. And he loves and trusts us. It makes things run much more smoothly and pleasantly. “
“He does a good job of hiding it.”
“He’s a bit like you,” said Tseng. “He has a gentle, loving heart, and he’s not interested in having it fed to him.”
“So he’s intelligent.”
Tseng made a noise of exasperation. “He’s scared. Part of my job is teach him not to fear. He’s young and has little life experience. He spent most of his existence locked in a room. Also a bit like you.”
“So are you going to try to hook Rufus up with Cid also?”
“No I am going to try to hook him up with Reeve. Rufus needs someone compassionate, funny and gentle.”
“And I need someone loud, smelly and obnoxious.”
Tseng chuckled. “Question not the matchmaking skills of Yenta-Turk.”
“You are aware that a Yenta is actually a meddlesome old gossip, not a matchmaker.”
“Also usually a woman but I’ve never been one for letting facts get in the way. Now sit down and eat your dinner. You’re too skinny. You never call. You should be more like your cousin. Why aren’t you dating a doctor?”
“I tried dating a doctor, that’s what started all of this.”
Vincent walked over to Tseng and seated himself down on the floor beside the fire. He accepted a bowl of stew, looking down at the contents.
“Didn’t I see these mushrooms growing on the side of the temple?” Vincent asked warily.
“Yes,” said Tseng. “And if you bought those from a farmer’s market they would be eighty-three gil a pound. I know this because Rufus eats them on his ice cream.”
Vincent kept staring at the mushrooms. “I’ve heard of pickles and ice cream, but never mushrooms and ice cream.”
“All I ask is he doesn’t make me try it,” said Tseng.
“And yet you are going to force me to eat a bowlful of something you found growing on the side of the wall.”
“If you want to eat dry rations, that’s your business.”
Vincent picked cautiously at his food, then tasted it.
“It’s not poisoned,” Tseng said dryly.
“Yes it is, it has mushrooms in it.”
Tseng just let Vincent pick. He knew from conversations with Veld that Vincent had issues with food, so there was no point taking his behaviour personally. He just let him eat in his own time and way. Then when dinner was finished and their campsite tidied, Tseng lay back on the pallet, closing his eyes.
“How are you feeling?” asked Vincent.
“Sore. Tired. I’m not sure. Just… very glad to be alive. I cannot explain to you how it felt… to have that sword cut through me.”
“Probably not much different from when the bullet tore through my stomach,” said Vincent.
“I suppose not,” said Tseng quietly. He drew a slow breath, then sighed it out. “So much pain, all for profit.”
The torches in the room flickered and blew as a wind buffeted the temple. Outside, they head the distinctive snap and groan of a tree broken off and falling over, its final death-throe sounding like the fist of a petulant god hitting the ground. Tseng drew out his borrowed phone and quickly called a number. He broke into an uncharacteristically wide smile as it was answered.
“I knew you’d be scared,” he said affectionately.
Rufus Shinra was beside himself. “The whole house is shaking and there’s no one here!”
“You’ll be fine.”
“I will not! There are monsters!”
“Where?” asked Tseng, smiling.
“I’m sure they’re someplace
!” said Rufus indignantly. “It’s a big house!”
“Rufus, just get into bed and snuggle down with your kitty. Who is there with you?”
“No one! Every damned Turk I own is out chasing Sephiroth!”
“All right. You just settle and I will make sure you have somebody with you as soon as possible.”
“Thank you, Tseng.”
Tseng ended the call, sensing Vincent staring at him.
“How old is this man?” Vincent inquired.
“On the outside, twenty-one. On the inside, at eleven PM at night with a storm brewing, I would say nine. If the power goes out, he’ll revert to three pretty damned fast. I don’t know what his father did to him, but he does not like to be alone in the dark.”
“Not many people would be as understanding of his fears as you are,” said Vincent.
“He’s the closest thing I’ll ever have to a child,” said Tseng. “I suppose you understand all too well how it feels to worry about a grown man as if he were a child.”
Vincent managed a smile. “I suppose someone has to worry about Sephiroth. I’m not sure anyone else ever did. Not that I was much help, lying in a coffin, too sick and in too much agony to move. Do you really think mentioning Zack might help stop Sephiroth?”
Tseng was going through his small leather address book, looking for someone to care for Rufus. “I don’t know. I do know that Zack could get him to literally eat from his hand. And I know Zack would be devastated to see what happened to him. If it works… well… it doesn’t seem to me we have much to lose.”
Tseng found the number of a Turk he knew to be off-duty and called her. Soon Rufus would have company, and be able to sleep. Now if only he was in his own bed, and not here in this temple, feeling the wind creep around him like the ghost of a stray dog.
Tseng closed the phone and settled back on the pallet once more. They remained in comfortable silence for a while.
“I like storms,” said Tseng, breaking the stillness. “I always found them comforting. Something romantic about them as well.”
“Romantic?” Vincent questioned.
“Like taking a lover to a scary movie,” said Tseng. “Every time that wind howls, it makes you want to snuggle closer.”
“Never figured you for a romantic.”
Tseng opened one eye and looked at him. “Is it working?”
Vincent sighed heavily. “I should have known that was coming.”
“Come on,” said Tseng gently. “Lie beside me. Hasn’t it been long enough since last someone held you?”
“It was last night. And you snored in my ear.”
“Come lie beside me,” said Tseng.
“Why? Honestly, why
? I wish just once someone would understand I’m just not in any condition to share emotions with anyone!”
Tseng sat up, feeling a knot of concern in his gut for Vincent as his companion’s voice took on a definite tone of hysteria. The cell phone chose that moment to cough, and rather than acknowledge Cid, Vincent smashed the phone against the wall. Then he stood, his body tense and rigid, trembling hard as his fists clenched and he fought back the tears. Tseng pushed aside the covers and stood up, approaching Vincent from behind and resting his hands on his slender shoulders.
“Vincent,” said Tseng, “No one is going to force you to do anything you don’t want to. But unless you let some of that pain out… nothing can get better.”
“I can’t let it out,” Vincent whispered. “If I start screaming, I’ll never be able to stop.”
Tseng gently turned him around so they could face each other. Tseng looked into the red eyes, like garnets back-lit by fire. He wanted to say something to him, anything, just to ease the pain and confusion, but everything he could think of just sounded like empty platitudes. Maybe they were.
Tseng had not intended to kiss Vincent; it just happened. Frankly it was the only comforting thing he could do, and he wasn’t expecting a positive reaction at all. But it seemed Vincent decided he needed some human interaction after all. Maybe he just hadn’t realized how starved he was for simple, basic affection. Sometimes Tseng forgot he needed it as well, and it wasn’t uncommon for him to go months without it. There just always seemed to be too much to do to worry about it…
Tseng ended up on his back on the pallet with Vincent on top of him, their bodies writhing in a strange dance as they tried to maintain direct contact and undress at the same time. Guns, gauntlet, holsters, suit jacket, cape, headscarf, dress shoes, bladed ankle-boots… they all joined one another in a strange orgy of tangled clothing. They were naked on the blankets, the only piece of clothing remaining was one long glove covering Vincent’s left arm. That was fine, he was entitled to his secrets, such as they were. It really didn’t matter to Tseng – he’d seen the reports.
There was no softness to their lovemaking; no gentle touches. This was wanton animal mating between two people who liked very much to pretend such things were of no interest to them, that other things were a more worthwhile use of their time. The fact that Tseng got on top had less to do with Vincent’s personal preferences than it did who thought to use certain combat moves first. That soon became the whole point of the game – who could subdue whom. To anyone looking in, it would look like two men each intent on raping the other, save for the laughter. At one point Tseng was pinning Vincent down by his head with one hand while trying to guide himself into him with the other.
“I’m trying, dammit!”
Vincent tried to lunge away, but succeeded only in flopping gracelessly onto the floor, Tseng falling on top of him and, as a result, penetrating much more forcefully than intended.
“Sorry,” said Tseng.
“Are not,” Vincent grumbled.
“Well, not so you’d notice, no,” admitted Tseng.
Tseng knew he wasn’t going to last, not after having gone several months without sex. Starting, coincidentally enough, about the time Reno met Cloud. And Vincent wriggling deliciously beneath him as he attempted to escape was doing nothing to slow the inevitable. Vincent stopped wriggling and looked over his shoulder at Tseng as the younger man groaned loudly, biting Vincent’s shoulder and shuddering as he came.
“I’ve had flu shots that took longer,” said Vincent.
Tseng lazily rolled off of him and onto his back on the bed. “Well I won round one, I think I’ll just concede round two.”
“Oh you think so,” said Vincent, eyes glittering with mischief. Moments later, he was a gigantic purplish were-beast. Tseng let out a screech that should not have come out of a senior Turk and leapt off the bed.
“SO NOT HAPPENING, VALENTINE!”
Vincent leapt, catching Tseng and pinning him to the floor, raising a cloud of dust. Moments later, Tseng was getting roughly shagged by a hairy werewolf.
“This is revenge for me falling on you, isn’t it?” asked Tseng, feeling the claws cut into his hips as Vincent thrust and growled.
Vincent made some sort of wuffing noise that may have been confirmation of Tseng’s suspicions. Tseng had nothing against weird sex, but if someone caught him getting banged by a werewolf he wasn’t sure he’d live it down.
“I suppose I should just be happy it’s not the one with the chainsaw,” he grumbled as Vincent made a freakish wailing howl, claws leaving bleeding rents on Tseng’s flanks. Slowly, the mighty creature moved off of him and collapsed to the floor, Vincent once more.
“Well that was the oddest thing I’ve ever done in the heat of passion,” said Vincent, panting as his pale skin gleamed in the torchlight, slick with sweat.
“Was a first for me, too,” said Tseng. “and if you tell anyone I’ll have you neutered.”
Vincent shook his head. “I won’t. Are you all right?”
“I’m fine,” said Tseng, wincing as he slowly sat up, blood running down his thighs. “I think I’ll use the cure materia on these slashes, though. They may be a bit hard to explain.”
Tseng hunted for the crystal-like ball of green materia, while Vincent made his way to the bed. There was silence, save for the storm outside, still raging like a wild thing in a cage. Tseng cleaned his new injuries, then healed them as best as he was able before he slid into bed beside Vincent and reached for him once more. This time their coupling was quiet and relaxed, bodies tangled together amidst the jumbled blankets, Tseng thrusting slowly into Vincent’s lean body. They made love peacefully for a long time, finally reaching a gentle climax and collapsing together in their own spent passion. They lay, panting, the wind that managed to creep into their chamber cooling their bodies, but neither bothered to pull up the covers just yet. Tseng grinned, exhausted, as he noticed Vincent was thinking about something.
“And what is going through your mind just now, Mr. Valentine?” he asked, his breathing finally beginning to slow.
“I was just remembering that making love to you in my Galian beast form was not the strangest thing I have ever done,” said Vincent.
“Oh?” inquired Tseng politely, and rather warily.
“No.” Vincent cleared his throat, then, after some hesitation, spoke. “Lucrecia liked to dress up as a goat and make me dress as the god Pan.”
Tseng roared with laughter, rolling on the mattress. Vincent just grinned weakly.
“Not every woman could make me do that,” he said.
Tseng just kept laughing until his throat hurt. “Valentine… we need to teach you to say “no” to women.”
“Yes,” Vincent conceded. “Because thus far just thinking it isn’t working.”
Still giggling, Tseng drew him close. They drew the covers up and huddled together against the storm, falling asleep in each other’s arms.
Morning came, and Vincent was tidying the campsite up in thoughtful silence when Tseng awoke. He pushed the covers aside as he sat up and watched his companion, concerned for him.
“Are you all right?” Tseng asked.
Vincent started, looking toward him, eyes large. “I didn’t realize you were awake.”
“I just woke up. Are you all right? You look… very preoccupied.”
“I am,” said Vincent. “I was thinking about last night.”
“Is that good or bad?” asked Tseng.
“Neutral,” said Vincent. “It was fun. It was… many things. Liberating in a way. I thought keeping all my emotions locked up would keep me safe, but… the world looks so much brighter now that I let a few of them out. My body left the casket, but until last night my mind had not.”
“Does that mean you’re going to start taking Cid’s calls?” Tseng asked gently.
“I don’t know,” said Vincent. “But I think I will at least allow myself to consider the option. Especially since he seems to think I’m worth the effort. What about you?”
“I’ll be okay,” said Tseng. “I have someone waiting for when I’m ready. Someone who understands what I am and loves me regardless.”
Both paused as they heard someone jogging across the stone walkway leading to their chamber. Tseng fought back a smile as he saw that it was Cid. The large pilot was trying very hard to look as if he had not run there with a sick knot in his gut, driven by pure emotion to look in on Vincent. Tseng was endlessly grateful Cid had not popped in last night while he and Vincent were mating like rabid animals. It probably would have torn his heart straight out of his chest.
“Hi!” said Cid, trying to sound jovial, despite the expression in his eyes, and the way he could not seem to stop trembling. Tseng rolled his eyes and began hunting for a pack of cigarettes. He didn’t smoke often, but now seemed like a good time.
“I didn’t expect to see you here,” said Vincent.
Cid was coming unglued rapidly. The man was not an idiot. Tseng was naked, and frankly the chamber stank like a dog in heat. He likely had a very good idea what Tseng and Vincent had been doing last night. He looked ready to come apart.
“Yeah well you didn’t answer your phone and there was that storm last night, and all the trees came down and I was… y’know… worried that maybe you got hit by a falling tree or maybe some stones fell down or…”
Cid was shaking and babbling. He looked ready to cry, and when Vincent walked over to him, Cid could not meet his gaze.
“I had some things to work out,” Vincent said to him softly. “And… you were one of them.”
“Oh yeah?” said Cid, trying desperately hard to sound as if he was only mildly interested and not scared to death in the least. “Come to any conclusions?”
“One,” said Vincent. He reached out his hand to take hold of Cid’s, drawing closer so he could look into the blue eyes. “But I need you to promise me you’ll be patient with me. This falling in love business didn’t go so well for me the last time it happened.”
Cid pulled Vincent close and held him so hard Tseng could nearly hear the bones crunching. Pulling out his cell phone, Tseng called Elena. She was thoroughly grumpy.
“The man does not sleep,” she complained.
“Never mind him,” said Tseng. “How about dinner next week?”
Maybe it was time for both himself and Vincent to leave their respective caskets and just get on with life.