Visions of Sugarplums

I know it pulls away from the previous installments a bit, but I couldn't resist the chance to give them some love too. Once again, no sex, but let's say PG-13 this time for the sake of pure suggestion. It's still shounen-ai, still not appropriate for homophobes or repressed society, and I still don't own Final Fantasy 7 or its characters.

Rufus watched the two soldiers sliding across the floor and sighed. *They're certainly a lovely couple.* The genuine affection that flowed from Cloud and Sephiroth made the young Shinra a bit jealous. He's grown a hard exterior under his father's tutelage, but deep down he hungered for a little bit of romance. *I'm one of the richest people in the world, I can buy pretty much anything...*

On the dance floor Sephiroth leaned forward to place a light kiss to the side of Cloud's throat, making the cadet blush and smile adoringly.

Rufus watched on in envy. *...anything but some real emotion. I'm so sick of people who only see me as a road to money and prestige.*

"So serious'd best watch those frowns or you'll have more wrinkles than your old man before you're twenty."

Rufus frowned even more and turned to give Reno a piece of his mind, but then he saw what the Turk was doing and quickly turned away with pink cheeks. Reno was still sucking on what was left of his candy cane, but now he was pulling it out slightly, before using suction to pull it back between his lips. Something about the way he did that made the young blonde feel...odd.

Reno grinned at the blush and took the candy cane out of his mouth. He gave it one last lick then began using it to gently stir a glass of punch. "Something wrong?"

Rufus glanced down at his own crotch, watching it stiffen, and finally recognized the feeling as desire. *Ugh! What am I thinking? He's not my type at all!* He frowned and grabbed a glass of champagne from one of the passing attendants. He'd never had it before, but life was full of firsts. Any remark over his age was quickly squashed by recognition of who he was. Rufus smiled slightly, that look of fear was familiar by now. Nobody wanted to take the chance of making him upset...

"Starting on the path to alcoholism a bit early aren't we?" Reno remarked, managing to sound supremely bored.

Nobody it seemed, but the man assigned to guard him. Rufus sneered and took a sip of the champagne, and promptly began coughing on it.

Reno reached over and began rubbing the younger man's back. "Hey...take it easy. If you're going to insist on drinking at least learn to do it right."

Rufus made one final cough before he spoke. "I suppose you would teach me?"

Reno grinned. "Hell no."

Rufus blinked, that hadn't been the answer he was expecting.

"I'll show you though..." the red-head purred as he withdrew a small metal flask from deep in his jacket. "Rum...perfect for eggnog." he said as he waited for a waitress carrying the aforementioned drink to pass by. When one did he grabbed two cups and gave her a quick goose that earned him a resounding slap.

Rufus watched her stalk off with the swish of skirt on stockings, then turned back to Reno. "I'm beginning to think you enjoy being hit. That's the third one tonight."

Reno shrugged and began unscrewing the cap on his flask. "So I'm a's what you do. First, we need space to add the good stuff." He pulled one cup near and drank down about half the thick liquid. " start spelling out your name as you pour." The flask was tilted over the cup and the spicy dark brown rum flowed into the cup. "R....E....N...O! There we go!" he stopped pouring and closed the flask. The contents of the cup had turned from off white to pale brown. "Perfect every time!" Reno quipped as he picked up the cup and began drinking the spiked eggnog.

Rufus lifted one slim eyebrow and grabbed the flask from the distracted Turk. Reno coughed and quickly moved to keep from spraying his drink all over the place. "Hey!!..." Too late, Rufus had poured what was left of the rum into his own cup and was swallowing it down like water.

Rufus set down the cup and exhaled loudly. "Hmm....not bad."

Reno shook his head as he retrieved his flask and grinned. "Yeah, not bad at all Ruffie. Want some more?"

Rufus nodded. "Yes I would, but I emptied the flask."

The Turk smiled. "That's okay. I know where we can get more, as I remember your old man has quite a collection in the library."

Rufus smiled back, feeling a little rush of excitement. "Well then, let's go."

Reno grinned and took a none to subtle ogle as Rufus stood up and headed for the stairs. "Yeah Ruffie. By all means...let's."