A Kiss Upon A Tide

More loyalty-porn! It’s the new year, and after Recent Events Tseng is particularly susceptible to the rightness of his place at Rufus’ side. Post-game, very loosely in the Lullabye for the New World Order AU continuum. Porn, D/s, I-4

Character(s): Rufus Shinra, Tseng
Pairing(s): Rufus/Tseng

Years of living in Midgar had blunted Tseng’s senses, but there were still times of the year that tugged at him. The seventh moon, when the lovers bridged the skies. The tenth moon, when a tiny wooden canal wound its way through Little Wutai for a single night to bear lanterns down its length before being packed away in sections for another year. The turning of the year was the worst of them, but normally even that was no more than an itch in the back of Tseng’s head, a memory of smoke on the night air and the sway of human bodies tracing the path of life through every city in the land, a faint tug at him to go and mark that path for the dancers as he’d been trained to for so many years. Normally, he could bear it with, if not perfect equanimity, at least outward calm and perhaps an inward rude gesture or two in Leviathan’s direction on the bad years.

That, however, had been before Rufus had set his hand on his own destiny.

Tseng stepped back from the door of his city apartment, resisting the urge to keep backing up or to let his eyes follow the light trailing from Rufus’ every gesture as he stepped inside. No moment of Rufus’ presence had been without a faint glow, ever since they’d come back to Midgar, but the new year had fanned that fire, and their journey itself had stripped away the dimness from Tseng’s sight. That light pulled at him, like the desire to mark the paths of the city’s life only far stronger; it closed over him like water as Rufus stepped past him into his home.

“You’re sure I’m not interrupting?” Rufus asked him, head cocked, eying the dark, patterned kosode1 that Tseng wore. “Were you going out?”

Of course Rufus knew about the festival; these days there were very few things about Midgar he did not know. Tseng shook his head, trying to focus on the question instead of the burning of Rufus’ will and soul. “That would be… uncomfortable for everyone.” The most traditional immigrants would be the most torn between begging the only fully trained priest in the city to officiate, and ignoring the exile as law dictated. Tseng had just wanted the little extra comfort of rightness that proper clothing could offer tonight. “Besides,” he added lightly, closing the door, “you sounded a bit desperate when you called.”

Rufus kicked off his shoes and stalked into the living room, movements restless. “Not desperate, I just… needed to be somewhere every little thing wouldn’t be a fight.” He thumped down onto the couch in a slouch that threatened to put yet another tear in the battered jeans he’d worn over.

Tseng had to admit that, even with the worst of the old guard removed, Shinra was still a constant struggle to rebuild. He couldn’t blame Rufus for wanting time and space away from that, however overwhelming his company was to Tseng in this season. “I can’t promise never to argue with you,” he murmured, “but at least you know you have the final word.”

Rufus glanced at him, mouth quirked. “Do I?”

Clearly, Rufus was remembering some of their more epic arguments. Any other day, Tseng would have said something dry, something to tease Rufus’ sense of humor, but tonight, with the brightness of Rufus’ spirit in his eyes, he said simply, “You are my lord, and I am your servant.” He almost had to close his eyes as the words took up the resonance of the changing year and rang his own spirit like a struck bell, true and pure and right.

When he looked up again, Rufus’ eyes on him had turned dark, and he held out a hand. “Tseng. Come here.”

Caught by the brilliance that followed Rufus’ hand, Tseng came to him and sank down to the floor before him, smoothing his robe under his knees with an old, practiced sweep of his fingers. He knelt there, surrounded by the brightness of Rufus’ presence, waiting to know what he required.

Rufus leaned forward and caught his chin, stroking his thumb along the line of Tseng’s jaw. “Are those gods of yours really that strong?" he asked. "That they could make you leave everything that ever formed your life, to come here?” The flick of his fingers took in the apartment, with its mats and screens and discreet shrine, and Tseng’s words and actions this night, none of them part of the ways and customs Shinra had shaped in Midgar.

Tseng smiled faintly, ruefully; Rufus saw so much, and yet he still seemed to find this hard to believe. “The gods were not that strong. You were. You are.”

Tseng had understood young that he had greater strength than his brother and lord, and his disquiet at that had grown along with his strength, year after year. His training in the Temple had only given the disquiet sharper form. So many of the signs that showed a firm minister and a yielding prince were signs of overturning or stagnation. Biting Through, The Power of the Great, Opposition, The Preponderance of the Small.

The Wanderer.

That had been the sign in Tseng’s heart when he’d finally fought his way through his fears and doubts to a decision to leave. He had hoped, among other things, to remove one danger from his brother’s house. And that was why, underneath the incandescent rage when he’d first set eyes on Rufus and understood he had been manipulated by the gods from start to finish, there had been a seed of relief. Tseng was a powerful man, thoroughly trained in mind and spirit and body, but Rufus was stronger yet. Serving that strength, Tseng could finally take his rightful part, could yield to his lord without fear, could be at ease in the proper order of the world that even the gods and their machinations must be subject to.

“When I am at your side,” he said softly, looking up at Rufus, “you make the world right.”

Rufus’ eyes on him softened. “Tseng.” There was pleasure and possession in that naming, and Tseng wasn’t surprised when Rufus slid off the couch to kneel over his folded legs, both hands coming up to close around Tseng’s face and tip his head back so Rufus could kiss him. Tseng leaned into it, pliant in Rufus’ hands, mouth opening under Rufus’ demand. He almost swore he could feel the heat of Rufus’ aura burning around those hands as they slid down Tseng’s throat to his shoulders, pulling loose his robe and stroking it down to hang from his arms. When Rufus finally drew back it was hard for Tseng to let that heat go, and Rufus smiled down at him as he swayed forward. “We will make the world right, yes,” he said, and Tseng swallowed at the force of Rufus’ spirit flaring around him.

“Yes, Lord,” he answered, just a little breathless, giving himself to Rufus’ will without reservation, and he nearly moaned with the surge of rightness through his senses.

Rufus brushed a kiss over his forehead and murmured, “Turn around.”

Tseng turned, hands spread against the denseness of the mats, starting to stretch out under Rufus. He flushed a little to realize just how disordered his clothes were as he felt his hair sliding over his bared shoulders and back.

And then he felt Rufus’ hand on his skin pushing his hair aside, baring his nape and closing firmly over it.

A shudder of heat shook Tseng so hard his arms gave out and he collapsed down to the floor, breath completely gone. He still didn’t know whether Rufus understood everything this gesture meant, but he certainly knew it was the mark of his command over Tseng. And to feel Rufus laying such definite claim, knowing or not, to his rights over Tseng’s life and death undid Tseng every time. Tonight, feeling so clearly the weight of Rufus’ spirit, it nearly struck him senseless. He lay still under Rufus’ hand, panting softly for breath.

“You’re mine, Tseng,” Rufus said quietly, fingers tightening until Tseng gasped. “I won’t let go.”

The words fell together with Rufus’ kiss, earlier, the brush of his lips over Tseng’s mark of exile, and wrote their meaning in sweetness and fire down Tseng’s spine. The bone-deep knowledge of place, of belonging at this man’s side, broke through Tseng like a wave cresting and set him trembling. “Yes,” he whispered. “Please.”

Rufus’ thumb stroked against the skin of his nape gently. “Shh.” His other hand slid up the back of Tseng’s thigh, pushing his robe with it until Rufus was pushing slick fingers slowly into him. The small corner of his mind dedicated to irreverence managed to wonder whether Rufus had brought his own lube or had fished Tseng’s out of the couch cushions. It eased Tseng back from the edge a bit, the familiarity of Rufus’ hands on him like this, though the hand on his neck, holding him down, still put a hot shudder through him. The slow stretch and slide of Rufus opening him up eased the desperation of that need, comforted him with the assurance that it would be met. The promise of Rufus’ fingers driving deeper steadied him.

He still made a faint sound of protest when Rufus released his nape to slide a hand down his back and pull his robe the rest of the way off. “Shh,” Rufus told him again, low and sure. “You belong to me, whether my hand is on you or not, Tseng. Remember that.”

Tseng bent his head, flushed with the heat of his response to those words. “Yes, Lord.”

“Good,” Rufus purred, fingers twisting slowly deep in his ass. “Now, once again—come here.” His hand on Tseng’s hip urged him up.

It took a moment for Tseng to gather himself enough to move, under the weight of Rufus’ spirit in this small space, but after a breath he rocked back onto his knees in the muddle of his robe, resting his forehead on his crossed arms. The delicate brush of air over his still-bared nape made him shiver. This too felt right, though, to be spread out and opened, all of him offered to Rufus. He moaned softly when he felt the roughness of Rufus’ jeans against his thighs and ass and realized Rufus hadn’t bothered to undress himself while he’d been stripping Tseng naked, body and heart. “Rufus, please,” he whispered, hot and breathless.

“Yes,” Rufus answered him, bedrock surety in his voice, and then he was pushing into Tseng, stretching and filling him. Body-feeling ran deep and fast alongside spirit-feeling, wrapping around each other into a current of pleasure so heavy Tseng groaned with it, hands clutching at the floor, at his robe, at anything to anchor him while Rufus fucked him hard and slow. But there was no anchor in this except Rufus himself, Rufus who held Tseng still for every stroke the same way he held Tseng in his right place in the world. Tseng gave himself to that strength, spread himself wider for Rufus, surrendered his soul and senses into those hands, and cried out as they closed on him tighter.

Pleasure wrung him out hard, and the velvety edge of Rufus’ moan swept an extra shudder through him. Rufus kept him up on his knees, fucking him harder even while Tseng’s muscles melted as all the built-up tension in him released at once. Tseng panted, cheek pressed against the mats of the floor, and groaned softly when Rufus buried himself deep, hips pressed tight against Tseng’s ass. When Rufus finally eased him down again he just lay there for a while, savoring the slow stroke of Rufus’ fingers carding through his hair. “Thank you,” he said at last, softly.

“Shouldn’t that be my line?” Rufus asked, leaning over him on one elbow, smiling. “Thanking you for your service?”

Tseng turned slowly onto his side, looking up at Rufus. His shirt was pulled up and his jeans hung open, and his hair was rumpled. He should have looked like a college student in the middle of an energetic party.

He didn’t.

Tseng bent his head before the radiance Rufus wore so easily, before the knowledge and responsibility that shadowed those bright eyes after the last year. This was his lord, the one who made a true place for him in the world. “My service is your right.”

After a long, silent moment, a firm hand lifted his chin and Rufus kissed him gently. “Know that I will never take that for granted.”

Tseng shivered as the words slid over him, sure as Rufus’ touch. “And that’s why,” he murmured.

Rufus snorted and stroked Tseng’s hair back over his shoulder with light fingers. “After all your hard work, I should hope so.” His fingers slid up to caress Tseng’s nape again, easy and possessive, and a thread of heat wound down Tseng’s spine.

He could still feel the changing of the year, but it didn’t pull at him any more. The year, and the world, turned now on the one prince great enough for Tseng to yield his will and service to.

Tseng bowed his head again and rested under Rufus’ hand.


A/N: Tseng’s casual wear should probably be a noushi (casual or visiting wear for kuge), not a kosode (only outerwear by the period when the buke had already taken power), but we’re already making a glorious mishmash of times and cultures, and kosode are sexier than noushi, so there you go. Picture a fairly casual kimono.back

Last Modified: Dec 11, 11
Posted: Dec 11, 11
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  1. synecdochic


    (sorry, that’s about all I can manage at the moment.)

    (Also, how do you manage to get them naked so quickly when it takes me thousands of words to get them to decide they’re going to talk instead? dammit.)

    I am particularly fond of how, even in the depth of what probably counts as religious ecstasy in a very particular way, Tseng wonders where the fuck Rufus got the lube. (I also love that Tseng has learned to keep lube in the couch cushions.)

    1. branchandroot Post author

      *hearts* Incoherent is /good/.

      To be honest, I think it all comes down to Rufus. They do exactly what Rufus secretly feels like. If he’s feeling toppy and sexual, they’re naked like /that/. If he’s feeling unsure of himself, it’s al about the talking. Tseng is just that attuned to Rufus, on some level, and he runs up the signals for whatever Rufus wants. I’m not sure he’s entirely aware of that, but I suspect Rufus is.

      *snerks* Tseng is so practical. And he’s totally learned about the couch cushions; he buys flat bottles and packets instead of round ones just because of that, I am convinced.

      1. synecdochic

        *laughing helplessly* I bet he never imagined “practicalities of stashing lube” to be one of his major considerations. I mean, logistics is kind of a Turks specialty, but …

        And, ha. You’re probably right; Tseng is so very much a reflection of Rufus’s moods and what Rufus needs. Even his snarky and grumpy moods are in a very large way influenced by Rufus; if it isn’t “grumpy at Rufus in order to get him to listen” but actual grumpiness, he will usually only allow himself to indulge it if it isn’t going to fuck with Rufus, and there’s a pretty good chance Rufus could snap him out of it very easily. (And I bet Rufus learned a long time ago how to manipulate Tseng’s moods entirely with his own body language for the times when Tseng is grumpy and Rufus doesn’t want him to be.) I totally do think Rufus knows — it’s that “uncanny ability to sense the emotional currents of the room” thing again. (And no, I don’t think Tseng does. He knows that Rufus can read him, he knows Rufus can influence him, but I don’t think he knows how subtly Rufus can influence him.)

        Also, I loved the image of Rufus kind of wrecked and looking like a grad student at a party except totally fucking not.

    1. branchandroot Post author

      *grins* Isn’t he?

      The idea really caught me, once I started thinking about it. I mean, Lullabye has so many hints of this, and I have to figure it would come out really strongly sometimes.

  2. Callie_R

    Oof, steeaamy~~~ All of your Rufus/Tseng powerplay!fics are so, so delicious – thank you!

    captcha: STUD Yes, yes they are XD