Day 19: In formal wear - Prompt by me
Cloud sipped his champagne, straightened his tie and vest, and tried not to look too out of place. The last time he’d been wearing a suit, Sephiroth had been bleeding to death at his side. Needless to say, he was less comfortable in formal wear than he ever had been before in his life. He was grateful to Sephiroth for convincing him to discard the dress jacket from his outfit for the night. He was uncomfortable enough without being burning hot.
“You look miserable,” Zack commented glibly at his side. “Are you that bummed that the President is making Seph do the rounds with him?”
“Obviously,” Cloud muttered into his third glass of champagne. “I hardly know any of these people. And even if I did I would rather be at home or training…”
“No wonder you two get along,” Zack chuckled. “You’re both total recluses. I saw him not thirty seconds ago staring at the floor looking like his brain was dripping out his ears while he was being introduced to some business owner from halfway around the world.”
“He’ll be grumpy all night,” Cloud muttered, finishing his third glass. “Damn it. I used to be able to get drunk at these parties…”
“Welcome to Soldier,” Zack laughed softly. “You’re basically never going to get drunk again. Ah, there’s your boyfriend now. Do you want me to see if i can steal him for you?”
“He’s busy,” Cloud muttered, accepting a new glass of champagne from his best friend as Zack flagged down a passing waiter. “And he doesn’t want to draw too much attention to us. Something about Hojo hanging out around here and needing to not seem interesting…”
His eyes lifted, fixing on Sephiroth as he gave a slow bow to a businessman he was being introduced to. He didn’t shake hands with anyone, and it delighted Cloud quietly to see where Sephiroth drew his lines with people who were not him. Not even the president was touching him as they wove their way through the crowd. Cloud gave a small smile as Sephiroth’s gaze slid over to him, and saw the look returned in his lover’s beautiful green eyes. Cloud lifted his glass to him and took a slow sip.
“Look at you two, making goo-goo eyes at each other.” Zack teased mildly, ruffling Cloud’s hair. Cloud withstood it with a scowl. He’d gotten used to Zacks’ roughhousing, and knew he would only be encouraging the First by responding. “Poor Sephiroth. He hates these parties, you know.”
“He told me so this morning,” Cloud agreed, watching Sephiroth be drawn back into the discussion before him, his silver tie glinting as he turned, a perfect match for his hair.
He looked beautiful, with the dark suit, and his hair spilling neatly over his shoulders. The drink in his hands had gone untouched, but Cloud could understand why. The only reason he’d been spending his time drinking champagne was because he had nothing else to do. Without the buzz of alcohol, it was not a terribly exciting drink.
“You know, you look pretty good,” Zack mentioned after a moment. “I’m surprised he’s not crawling all over you.”
“You didn’t see him at home,” Cloud snickered. “He couldn’t keep his hands to himself.”
"That’s what I like to hear," Zack laughed, slinging an arm around Cloud and pulling him close. "No wonder you’ve been so chipper recently. And hey, with him in bed, you get, like, mini mako-injections year round, right?"
"ZACK!" Cloud yelled, shoving him off as his best friend burst into hysterical laughter. "You ass!"
"Easy on the cursing, you’ll offend the ladies!" Zack replied cheerfully.
"Zachary," a low voice purred, sounding wicked and sending a thrum of excitement straight to the core of Cloud. "Are you being a nuisance?"
"Nah," Zack replied informally, even as Cloud reminded himself to snap a salute. "Lieutenant Strife and I were just chatting."
"I see," Sephiroth purred. "Why don’t you go accompany the President, Commander Fair? I believe he has been wanting to show you around. You are, after all, the youngest First we have ever had."
"You mean aside from you," Zack teased.
"My age was and remains classified," Sephiroth replied. "Away with you, Zack. Go make friends. You’re better at it than I am anyway."
"You kids have fun!" Zack patted Sephiroth’s shoulder as he jogged past him to join the President with a wide, genuine-seeming smile.
"Having fun?" Sephiroth purred softly, looking back to Cloud, tall and regal in his formal clothing.
"Not even close," Cloud straightened, shifting and rolling his shoulders.
Sephiroth smiled at him, and Cloud sent him a smile in return. When the General inclined his champagne flute, Cloud brought his up to touch it.
“To not being alone,” Sephiroth murmured as their glasses touched. “Even at stupid parties.”
“To not being alone,” Cloud repeated, giving him a warm smile as their glasses rang on contact. Both of them took a long drink.
"You look incredible," Sephiroth murmured as he took a sip of champagne.
"You too," Cloud whispered, reaching out to slowly stroke his hand over Sephiroth’s lapel as though he were straightening it, despite the fact that it was already immaculate. "How long do we have to stay here?"
"Hours yet, I’m afraid." Sephiroth murmured. "I wish I could offer you some amusement."
"That’s alright," Cloud said, shaking his head a little. "Honestly, it’s enough entertainment to watch these morons try to buddy up to you."
Sephiroth chuckled so abruptly he almost snorted champagne. It was all Cloud could do not to double over. As it was, he felt his cheeks reddening with amusement and embarrassment.
"Amusing is a word," the general said when he’d managed to get the bubbles out of his nose. "At least you are here. I’m sorry I will not be able to be a proper gentleman to you tonight. However, at the banquet there will be good news."
"Tell me?" Cloud asked. "I could use some good news."
"As you know, Zachary sits at my right hand," Sephiroth said, waiting for Cloud to nod. "Tonight you will be at my left."
"Oh…" Cloud whispered. "That’s… Seph, I’m not even a First yet…"
"You will be," Sephiroth said calmly. "And even before you are, I want you at my dominant hand’s side. Zack is as close to my equal in power as any can be, but you are, to borrow a phrase from the Turks, my partner."
"You’re just trying to make me blush." Cloud whispered, ducking his chin.
"Maybe a little," Sephiroth confessed. "It looks good with your hair."
He sighed as the boisterous sound of Heidegger’s voice called for him. “I’m being summoned by ‘Gya Ha Ha.’ Try to enjoy the part if you can, Cloud.”
"I’m looking forward to taking you home, if nothing else," Cloud replied with a soft smile. "Getting you out of that suit is going to be as much fun as seeing you in it."
Sephiroth’s low chuckle stayed audible in the air long after Cloud had watched him wander off to join Heidegger in schmoozing with the upper crust. He sighed, turning back to his lonely glass of champagne, and spent the rest of the evening circling the room, pretending to be social and avoiding eye contact with the greasy looking Professor Hojo, who seemed to always have his eyes on him over the course of the night.
Day 18: doing something together - Prompt by boomchickfanfiction<3<3<3<3<3<3<3
Cloud had arrived at training early that morning. One thing about having Sephiroth there to wake him up, he was almost always on time to his morning appointments now. He yawned as he stepped into the training room where he and Zack met for their weekly mentoring sessions.
He stared at the empty room for a moment, blinking. Usually Zack was up well before him, and was already running through forms in the training room before Cloud got there. His endless energy started early and went late into the night, and Cloud couldn’t imagine anyone being fully able to keep up with him. But this time, the room was deserted, aside from a slip of paper in the middle of the floor. Cloud walked over slowly, staring down at it a moment. His name was written on the top of the folded paper in pink glitter pen.
He picked it up slowly, fearing what was inside. The glitter pen suggested that Zack was in a playful mood. The last time he’d been like this, Cloud’s training for the day had been to unravel an extremely convoluted series of clues in an enormous scavenger hunt that lead him to a bench with a box of donuts.
He opened the letter with trepidation.
“Cloudy!!!” It read, with three exclamation points following his name. ”I’m skipping training to hang out with my girl today. She finally agreed to an actual date, and I have missions the rest of the week! Don’t worry though, I’m sending in a replacement. You’ll like him! Work hard, man! I’ll tell you all about the date when I get home!”
"Seriously, Zack?" Cloud muttered to the letter, sighing to himself and shaking his head. "You ass…"
He shoved the letter into his pants pocket, seeing nowhere else to put it, and unwilling for anyone else to see the gel pen writing and the glittery address. He paced around the room slowly, then settled in to stretch, finding no other way to spend his time. He leaned over his legs, smiling as he found he could grip his heels with his legs straight. He really was improving on flexibility.
"Who will he have picked though," he muttered to himself. "Kunsel’s lazier than I am about training, I can’t imagine him being a hard-ass to anyone. Luxiere is one of Zack’s least favorite people, so I doubt it’s him…"
He stretched and wondered about it for the fifteen minutes he’d been early, rolling his shoulders and pacing the room as he prepared for what could be anything.
When the doors opened, at six a.m. on the dot, he turned to face his trainer for the day with a set stance and determination. Until he saw who it was.
Silver hair glinted. A smirk tilted pale lips wickedly. Green eyes glinted in delight. Sephiroth strode through the door, Masamune held in one hand, and a training sword tilted behind him in the other. His coat whipped around his calves as he walked, the sound of his boots on the floor echoing in the empty training room.
"You have got to be shitting me," Cloud said blankly, staring up at him. "Sephiroth?"
"I beg your pardon," The man’s eyes glittered with restrained laughter as he spoke. "That is General Sephiroth or Sir to you."
"You’re Zack’s ‘replacement?’ You said you had an important meeting today!"
"This is important," Sephiroth replied with a shrug. "Enough chat. If I am to train you today, you will be trained. Start if off with fifty laps. I expect you to be done in ten minutes, Soldier."
"You are so sleeping on the couch," Cloud growled at him, even as he took off running, glad he’d stretched before hand.
The moment he hit fifty laps, he turned towards the center, expecting a cool-down from the silver-haired man who’d watched him with that same infuriating smirk. Instead, he was tossed a training sword. He only barely caught it, staring at the blade just a moment, before lifting his eyes to see Sephiroth blitzing towards him. He lifted the sword just in time to catch Masamune’s first swing. The sword sang as it moved through the air. Cloud had never seen it up close before.
He gasped as the hit drove him back into the wall, but even through his shock, he realized that he’d been hit with the flat of the legendary blade and not the dangerous edge.
“Defend yourself.” Sephiroth ordered blankly, attacking again.
Cloud struggled to keep up. He knew Sephiroth was holding back on him, but their skill levels were still completely distant from one another. It was all he could do to keep his sword between Masamune and his body. The idea of managing to work in a counterattack seemed ludicrous.
It felt like hours before a swing of Masamune wrenched the blade from Cloud’s grip, sending it flying across the room to embed inches deep in the wall. Cloud gasped for breath, lifting his hands in surrender.
“Not bad,” Sephiroth commented. “Take another twenty laps.”
“I hate you,” Cloud replied breathlessly, turning to start running.
“Fifty pushups for sassing.” Sephiroth replied, laughter definitely hidden in his voice as he slid Masamune to rest in the corner of the room.
Cloud growled at him, dropping to start the assigned pushups, sweating and panting already. He watched the first few drops of sweat fall off his face before looking up to glare at Sephiroth. The man stood before him, arms crossed with an infuriating smile on his face. Cloud grit his teeth, and worked harder. He’d show Sephiroth. He’d kick this training ass if it was the last thing he did. He would wipe that stupid smile off his fiance’s face.
He had never thought someone would make Zack’s training routines look easy, but by the end of the three hour training session with his lover, he was lying flat on his back on the floor, trying to breathe through the spots in his vision. He barely even noticed when Sephiroth sat next to him.
“You’re quite good,” Sephiroth murmured, his hand tracing up over Cloud’s limp arm, starting to massage the trembling muscles there. “Easily as good as Zack was at this point in his training.”
“You think?” Cloud managed to ask through his gasping. “I feel like I got hit by a train.”
“You got hit by me,” Sephiroth replied with a shrug. “That is much worse than a train. Do I still have to sleep on the couch?”
“If you promise to massage all the aches you gave me, I think I’ll let it pass,” Cloud gasped, lifting a weary finger to point at Sephiroth “But only this time.”
“A pity,” Sephiroth said, leaning down and kissing the tip of Cloud’s finger. “I enjoyed watching you work. You are beautiful in motion.”
“Asshole.” Cloud accused softly.
“Want to watch me in return?” Sephiroth asked with a soft smile. “I was thinking it has been a while since I tore up a VR room.”
“Promise to take your shirt off while you’re fighting and it’s a deal.” Cloud replied, giving him a worn smile.
Sephiroth chuckled softly and bent to drop a kiss to Cloud’s lips, patting him on the chest and standing. “Meet me there when you can stand up again, then. And don’t forget to cool down. It would be a pity for the two of us to have such fun watching one another and then be too stiff to enjoy the evening together.”
Day 17: Spooning - Prompt by me!
“Cloud?” a low, cautious voice called, sounding almost uncertain.
Cloud blinked open his eyes, turning over in bed to look towards the doorway. It was the middle of the night. He’d fallen asleep still waiting for Sephiroth to join him in bed. From the fact that the silver haired man was standing in the doorway watching him, still fully clothed, Cloud guessed that he had not come to bed until now.
“Seph,” he glanced at the clock, “it’s two in the morning. What are you still doing up?”
“I was reading.” Sephiroth murmured, his eyes on Cloud as he spoke, unnervingly bright.
“Is something wrong?” Cloud asked, sitting up stiffly and rubbing at his eyes. “You have your ‘I was in the labs’ voice on…”
“I read Frankenstein,” Sephiroth muttered. “I didn’t intend to finish it, but it was…Engaging.”
“Oh,” Cloud blinked, tilting his head. “Are you coming to bed now that you’re finished?”
“Do you think the monster was evil?” Sephiroth asked instead of coming closer. “The way he was made, the injustices done to him…Do you think they were at fault for his actions, or was his very existence evil from the beginning? Was being created like that enough to destroy any hope of humanity? Was the darkness inside of him all along, or something external dragged within and left to fester…”
“It’s…Still two in the morning,” Cloud murmured, rubbing his eyes again. “And it’s been years since I read Frankenstein. I remember some big points about the plot but not, you know, deep things…”
Sephiroth stood still in the doorway, looking strangely lost. He nodded slowly at Cloud’s question, and averted his eyes, his lips pressed together tightly and the glow in his eyes not fading.
“Seph,” Cloud called softly, beckoning to him when Sephiroth made no motion to come closer. “Come here.”
Sephiroth moved over slowly, ducking as Cloud lifted his hands to twine them behind Sephiroth’s head. He slid his hands through the silky mass of his hair, drawing him down gently. Sephiroth followed the touch spiritlessly, like a puppet. Cloud made sure that he settled with his back to him, knowing full well that he should be worried for his love, but too tired to think on it for long.
"Under the covers," Cloud yawned, pulling Sephiroth close in his arms and curling around him as best he could, despite being 2/3 the general’s size.
Sephiroth shifted to comply. He gave a full-body shiver, as though he were freezing cold. Cloud nuzzled into his hair.
"I can’t answer yet about Frankenstein’s creation," Cloud yawned into Sephiroth’s hair, "But I can tell you that I don’t think you’re evil. Or a monster, if that’s what you were thinking."
"Maybe that’s the same problem as what has happened with your memory of the book though," Sephiroth whispered dully. "That you don’t have enough knowledge of the details to make an educated statement."
"Not possible," Cloud muttered, shifting and wiggling until Sephiroth’s head was pillowed on his bicep, his arm curled back to tangle in Sephiroth’s hair and his other hand resting over Sephiroth’s stomach. "I would know."
"Go to sleep," Cloud murmured wearily, kissing the back of Sephiroth’s head. "I’ll answer you better when I’m actually awake. All you need to know for now is that you’ll never be like The Monster."
"Why not?" Sephiroth asked, his voice heartbreakingly small.
"Because I will never let you be alone."
He was almost asleep when he felt Sephiroth’s hand cover his own softly, tangling their fingers together on his side. He let out a flicker of a smile, and fell asleep with Sephiroth’s warm body held close against him.
Day 16: Morning Ritual - Prompt by boomchickfanfiction<3<3<3<3<3
Cloud woke up when Sephiroth did, as always. There was no alarm. He sighed as Sephiroth shifted out from under him and replaced his chest with a pillow, curling up. He was still so tired. He felt like he ought to remember what he’d been doing the night before that had made him so tired, but sleep was beckoning, and so much closer.
Soft lips brushed over his forehead, and he mumbled a garbled series of sounds that he hoped was a ‘good morning.’ It was really too early to be sure.
"Go back to sleep," Sephiroth murmured in his ear, his bangs tickling over Cloud’s cheek as he hovered above him. "I’ll wake you before I leave."
Cloud huddled up more tightly under the covers and tried to follow the direction, muttering a vague ‘love you’ upwards in the direction of Sephiroth. The soft chuckle that reached him from the man was his answer, and he let out a slow breath, nuzzling against the pillow that still smelled like Sephiroth. There was a scent he didn’t recognize hanging in the air as well—an acrid sort of smell that was as pervasive as it was unusual. Cloud wrinkled his nose and snuggled deeper into the pillow, trying to drown out the smell in the pillow. He had no doubt it was another of the normal scents that he’d simply never had the senses to perceive before.
He let out a breath as the soft rushing sound of the shower filled the air, the ambient noise more personal now than ever. He could hear the droplets as though he were standing in them—could hear the sigh of Sephiroth’s breathing where he stood under the hot water, and the heavy splashes as he wrung the water out of his hair and worked in his special custom-made shampoo. They were not the sort of sounds he ever would have considered soothing out of context, but he found them comforting in ways he didn’t entirely understand. They lulled him back into a light doze.
The strange smell followed him. It poked at something inside him, refusing to let him truly rest. He lay there, resting but half-awake, knowing he should think, but feeling somehow too tired to do so. This wasn’t normal anymore. A year ago, before his mako injections, this was an everyday occurrence—the sort of fugue state between sleeping and awake—but since becoming a part of the Soldier program it had vanished almost completely. Especially now that he was a second. He could function on less sleep than ever. So why was he so worn out?
He was still lying there, considering whether or not he ought to get out of bed and do pushups until his brain worked, when Sephiroth came back into the room. Cloud listened to the soft sound of his footsteps and the soft slide and creak of Sephiroth pulling on his leather jacket.
The General made a soft noise that wasn’t a part of his usual routine and Cloud cracked his eyes open, watching Sephiroth roll his shoulder with a grimace, one hand pressed over the side of his jacket. He stared from where he lay at the brief, simple motion. The smell he couldn’t stop noticing finally clicked into place, instantly and terribly recognizable. It was blood. How could he have forgotten, even for a moment. How could he have slept at all last night. Exhaustion faded in the wake of memory and a cold fear.
“Good morning,” Sephiroth greeted, walking over to the bedside and sitting at Cloud’s side, the discomfort smoothing from his face as though it had never been there. “Did you get some rest?”
Cloud shifted, sliding into Sephiroth’s lap quietly, wrapping his arms around his lover’s neck. The blanket twisted around his hips and legs as he moved, but Cloud ignored it. Sephiroth smiled softly, shifting to accommodate Cloud’s presence in his lap and twining a hand into the short hair at the nape of Cloud’s neck.
“I’ll take that as a no,” Sephiroth teased with a chuckle. “I’ll make us some coffee and breakfast while you shower. At least you don’t have any missions today.”
“You don’t have to make breakfast,” Cloud murmured, shaking his head, trying to clear the exhaustion from his brain. “I can. I don’t really need a shower…”
“As your fiance, I feel compelled to tell you that yes, you do,” Sephiroth replied, dropping a soft kiss on Cloud’s nose. “Though I don’t object to staying like this a while. We still have some time before work.”
"You should take today off," Cloud whispered, his stomach dropping at the words, clinging to Sephiroth. "You got shot yesterday…"
"I’m already back to 100%," Sephiroth said mildly, kissing Cloud’s hair, a faint and loving smile on his face. "You fret too much"
"No, I really don’t!" Cloud argued, pressing his face into Sephiroth’s chest. "We don’t have forever. I want to have every moment with you. I want to remember every moment with you! We should both take today, and just be…Together…”
"Cloud," Sephiroth whispered, gently coaxing Cloud’s face away from his shoulder to stare into his eyes. "Are you afraid?"
Cloud’s brows twisted as he stared up at Sephiroth’s face. “Of course I’m afraid,” He tightened his hand in Sephiroth’s hair. “I could have lost you yesterday. And now here you are acting like nothing happened…”
"Oh Cloud," Sephiroth whispered, a faint smile curling his lips. "Thank you."
"For what?" Cloud asked, shaking his head in bewilderment. "Being afraid?"
"No one’s ever been afraid for me," Sephiroth murmured. "Usually they’re just scared OF me."
"I just want you to stay here," Cloud whispered. "Just for one day. I want to know you’re safe, just for a day… Is that too much to ask?"
"I have a job," Sephiroth murmured. "And people depending on me. Last night was a fluke, Cloud. It did not even require a trip to medical. Everything is okay."
"But next time…"
"There won’t be a next time," Sephiroth said firmly. "That’s the whole point of a fluke. It’s not a normal thing. I’m your General. I don’t need protecting. If I don’t go now, you’re just going to end up becoming more anxious and more dependant on seeing me to know I’m safe. You need to go back to routine. And so do I."
“I don’t want to,” Cloud whispered, drawing Sephiroth closer to press his face against his jacket once more. “I want to stay with you.”
“I’m no more mortal today than I was last week,” Sephiroth whispered, stroking Cloud’s hair smoothly and slowly. “There is nothing to be afraid of. I will not be hurt. It will take more than one lucky shot to undo me, Cloud. Even a strike directly to my heart would not kill me, though it would be somewhat inconvenient.”
Cloud yanked as hard as he could on Sephiroth’s hair, and was gratified by the yelp of pain his lover gave.
“Inconvenient!?” He barked, glaring into Sephiroth’s startled green eyes. “Getting a hangnail is inconvenient! I don’t care if no one’s ever worried over you before, I’m going to no matter what! So you need to shape up and get better at being worried for! No more pretending like it’s nothing. You were hurt, Seph.” He gentled, stroking his hand through the hair he’d just pulled. “I was scared. And I’m still scared.”
Sephiroth sighed, glancing away. Cloud watched annoyance play through his eyes before it faded and settled. The General lowered his head slowly, touching his forehead to Cloud’s.
“What you feel,” he whispered, “is what I feel every time you leave our home. But neither of us can simply keep the other prisoner, Cloud. We have time. We will have more mornings together, and more missions and more fights. Nothing is over.”
“But it’s different,” Cloud whispered, pressing his hand over Sephiroth’s jacket where he’d been shot the day before. “I can’t just forget what happened.”
“I’m not asking you to,” Sephiroth pulled back to gaze into Cloud’s eyes deeply. “I’m asking you to trust me to live. As I trust you to.”
“That’s emotional blackmail and you know it,” Cloud muttered. “You’re flattering me to try and make me feel bad for being worried.”
“I’m providing an example of a similar concessions being made on my side,” Sephiroth replied with a huff. “In order to provide you context for what I am asking of you.”
“I feel sick,” Cloud whispered, shaking his head. “Just thinking about it. About what could have…”
“Go take a shower,” Sephiroth advised softly. “We’ll eat breakfast together and drink our coffee. Then we will both go to work. And I promise you, we will both be fine.”
“I want to believe you.” Cloud rubbed at his eyes, fighting tears, withdrawing his hand from Sephiroth’s hair for the first time since waking up fully.
“Oh my Cloud,” Sephiroth sighed, shifting just a little, almost as though he were considering rocking with Cloud in his arms. “You saved me last night. Nothing will harm me today.”
“I want a text every half hour.” Cloud insisted after a silent moment passed between them. “It can be one letter if you want, but I want one. Starting the moment you leave the apartment. If you’re late, I’ll come looking for you.”
“Very well,” Sephiroth agreed after a moment, giving a nod. “Every half hour. No go clean up. You still have a day of training ahead of you, and Zachary is a good enough teacher to not take it easy on you because you do not feel rested. He will take it as an opportunity to push you.”
“You’re changing the subject.” Cloud accused.
“I’m moving on with life.” Sephiroth argued, standing and placing Cloud lightly on his feet.
When Cloud came out of the shower, they ate breakfast in near silence. But they hooked their legs under the table, latched together even while sitting silently across from one another. When Sephiroth left for work, Cloud didn’t raise any more objections. He just kissed him as deep and as long as Sephiroth would allow, then watched him go. He still had an hour to kill before meeting up with Zack. He spent it pacing and stretching. Half an hour in, his phone chirped with a text message. He flipped it open to see Sephiroth’s name on the note.
“I love you.” It read.
“I love you too.” Cloud typed back, letting out a slow breath at the sign of life from his lover.
Every half hour, all day long, they repeated the exchange. By the time Cloud headed towards home, he no longer felt the same suffocating fear. He just waited patiently for his six thirty text, and smiled when it came. It was hard to be anxious about Sephiroth’s safety when he could think about more interesting things. Like the fact that Sephiroth was, according to Zack, supposed to be in an intense meeting with President Shinra at that very hour, and had taken the time to text him ‘I love you.’
Day 14: In a different clothing style (Turks uniform) - Prompt by me!!
Cloud couldn’t stop staring at Sephiroth as he slid on the black jacket and tightened the bright red tie. He’d thought, initially, that Sephiroth would look like Rude in the suit—like a well dressed brick-wall brawler. After all, he was so strong and broad shouldered, Cloud hadn’t been able to imagine him fitting in the immaculate suit like Tseng did.
Sephiroth had once again proven him wrong.
The suit was perfect. It raised a lot of questions in Cloud’s mind about the Turk budget. The cost of two perfectly tailored suits in his own size and Sephiroth’s was nothing to scoff at.
"Having fun?" Sephiroth murmured, glancing back at him as he smoothed his tie down and buttoned the jacket over it.
"I’m not exactly pleased about this whole mission thing," Cloud replied, "but it’s almost worth it to see you all dressed up."
"Hn. Blame Zack. He’s the one who suggested that our programs should work more closely together."
"Or I could blame you, since you’re the one who called the Turks in to finish your mission so you could come home early."
"But I came home early to spend time with you, so I should be automatically forgiven," Sephiroth replied loftily, walking over and straightening Cloud’s tie. "Besides, it won’t be difficult. Just a reconnaissance mission. Brief acquisition of information. You’ve read the mission documents. We’ll be home before the night is up."
"Right," Cloud murmured as Sephiroth stroked his fingers lightly down the red stripe of his tie, adjusting it intimately. "Let’s get started, then."
"This was just supposed to be reconnaissance!" Cloud yelled over the sound of gunfire, his back pressed against the wall as he took cover from the hail of bullets.
"Plans change!" Sephiroth yelled back, pulling the pin out of the custom Turk-made grenade he’d been carrying under his slender jacket and lobbing it towards the shooters.
Cloud’s newly enhanced hearing could pick up the furious screaming of the gangsters behind them. He tried not to let their venomous curses and the sounds of bullets streaking through the air distract him as he chased after Sephiroth down the alley. The General had the manilla folder of documents safely tucked on the inside pocket of his jacket. Now they just had to get it back to Tseng.
"You should have covered your hair!" He scolded as they rounded a corner together.
"Like yours is any less noticeable," Sephiroth scoffed, his ponytail streaming behind him as he ran. "They were not supposed to be there. It was a case of bad intel and nothing more."
"Well the good news is," Cloud panted, sprinting at top-speed to keep up with Sephiroth, unslinging the huge gun from his shoulder as he ran, "that Tseng is NEVER going to trust us with something like this again!"
Sephiroth let out a sharp laugh, lifting his pistol, sighting down it as Cloud ran past him behind cover. Cloud heard him fire before both of them crouching behind the row of merchant shacks and crates.
"Get one?" Cloud asked.
"I’m not much good with guns," Sephiroth replied blankly. "You may have better luck."
"I have to—" Cloud broke off his words with a gasp as a grenade sailed over the crates they’d hidden behind.
Sephiroth moved in a blur of motion, scooping the explosive off the ground. Cloud let out a breath as Sephiroth stood, lobbing it back towards their attackers with a cool smirk. Cloud felt his tense muscles relax. He hadn’t even realized he was moving towards the explosive as well until he found himself halfway there, looking up as Sephiroth threw it.
Then he heard the gunshot.
Reality seemed to slow. He watched Sephiroth’s eyes widen and his eyes shift targets. Watched his lips part softly.
His hearing was so sharp, he heard the bark of the gun and the meaty, awful sound of it striking flesh. Sephiroth jerked, and his smirk turned into a vicious snarl. Red blossomed on the white shirt beneath his suit, and the shoulder of his suit darkened with blood.
"Sephiroth!" Cloud cried, grabbing his fiance’s jacket and yanking him behind cover as the General gasped in pain.
Another bullet whizzed through the air where Sephiroth had stood only moments before. It severed a few strands of silver hair. Cloud lifted his rifle to his shoulder, peeking over the crates he’d hidden behind and sighting down the barrel. He wasn’t used to how sharp his eyesight was after the mako injections, but he didn’t slow down to think it over.
"Asshole." He growled as he spotted the shooter, gloating and laughing at his success.
He squeezed the trigger. He’d never been much of a gunman as a Trooper, but this time was personal. He hit his mark. He watched the gangsters scream as their leader fell with a hole in his forehead. He didn’t watch anymore. Sephiroth was more important.
"I’m alright." Sephiroth rasped the moment Cloud crouched next to him.
"The hell you are." Cloud murmured, setting his gun aside and pulling Sephiroth’s hand away from the hole in his shoulder.
Sephiroth winced, his hand clenching helplessly on the pavement as Cloud inspected the wound. He pulled off his own jacket and shoved it under Sephiroth’s hand before guiding him to re-apply pressure. His fiance’s pale hand was covered in blood already, and he was shaking just a little in pain. He didn’t make a sound.
"We’ve got to get out of here," Cloud said urgently. "Now. You’re going ahead of me, and you’re staying behind cover, got it?"
"Got it." Sephiroth said, his voice sounding weaker than usual.
"Get to the train." Cloud ordered.
He stood, sighting down the barrel of his rifle again and shot at their attackers. Gangsters dodged for cover from where they’d gathered around their boss’s body. Sephiroth dragged himself to his feet, a stubborn light in his eyes and his face set as he crouched behind the crates, moving towards their escape from the slums.
Cloud waited a moment, tucked carefully out of sight, then lifted his gun and fired another shot towards the gangsters without bothering to sight. He heard them shouting and scrambling again, and took it as his chance to follow Sephiroth. With any luck, they’d spend long enough hiding from his potential sniping capabilities that they’d be able to get away.
"Did you get him?" Sephiroth asked softly, sounding surprisingly calm.
"I did," Cloud replied blankly, tucking himself under Sephiroth’s arm as they rounded a corner, putting a solid wall between themselves and their attackers. "Did that bullet hit anything important?"
"Potentially clipped an artery," Sephiroth commented. "I bled quite a lot. But it is already healing."
He staggered as he spoke, and Cloud grimaced at the weight on his shoulders. He slung the rifle onto his back, gripping the wrist of the arm Sephiroth had wrapped around him and holding him firmly in place.
"Just keep walking," Cloud said, fighting back panic. "If you die, I will never forgive you, so keep walking."
"I’m not going to die," Sephiroth replied softly. "I wouldn’t leave you like that."
Cloud didn’t answer. He didn’t think a statement that asinine deserved an answer. A few inches lower and the bullet would have pierced Sephiroth’s heart. A few seconds later on pulling him out of the way, and the next shot would have hit him in the head. As strong as Sephiroth was, as impervious to damage, Cloud didn’t think even he could have withstood that.
"I’m sorry," Sephiroth murmured. "It was stupid of me. I’m not used to it."
"To what, guns?" Cloud snapped, glaring at his lover.
"To being afraid," Sephiroth replied softly. "They threw a grenade. It could have killed you…"
"Idiot," Cloud whispered, shifting closer to Sephiroth under the guise of supporting him. "That’s no good reason to get yourself hurt…"
"Hn," Sephiroth shifted, wincing, and pulled his hand and Cloud’s jacket away from staunching the bleeding on his shoulder. Cloud glanced over, and his eyes caught on the shining metal of a bullet cradled in the blood-stained cloth.
"Your body pushed it out?" He asked softly.
"I was made to be very good at staying alive." Sephiroth responded, his voice low and exhausted.
"We’re nearly there." Cloud said instead of responding to Sephiroth’s statement.
“It’s so strange,” Sephiroth whispered softly, “to have someone worrying over me like you do…”
He kept moving, but fell silent after the words, pressing Cloud’s jacket back to his still-bleeding shoulder. The moment they were on the train, he sank into a seat and leaned his head back, breathing slowly and deeply.
Cloud spent the train ride with his fingers on Sephiroth’s pulse, counting the beats of his heart. Sephiroth didn’t object. He didn’t do anything but breathe and watch the ceiling of the train. Everyone who had been in the car with them when they first boarded vanished quickly, leaving the two of them alone.
Sephiroth’s heart kept beating, and Cloud stayed close at his side. When they arrived on top of the plate, Cloud wasn’t surprised that Sephiroth stood on his own as though he’d never been hurt and walked inside, but he knew it for what it was. It was the same front Sephiroth put up when he was wounded on missions, or when he was exhausted from nightmares that kept him from sleeping, or when he was pensive and sad for reasons even he didn’t understand. It was easy for Cloud to see the lie in Sephiroth’s strength once he knew to look for it.
He followed his General quietly as he dropped the blood-stained envelope into Tseng’s waiting hands, and waved off the Turk’s uneasy gaze. Sephiroth didn’t speak to either of them, but left the room silently. He walked to their apartment and stood in the doorway when Cloud opened the door, just breathing. He’d abandoned Cloud’s bloody jacket on the train, and the blood stain on his shoulder was stark.
“Come on,” Cloud murmured, sliding Sephiroth’s jacket off his shoulders gently, careful around where the bullet had been. “Bed.”
Sephiroth followed him silently, letting out a slow breath as he moved after Cloud, his head finally lowering and his stance shifting and weakening as he dropped the mask of strength. By the time they got to their bedroom, Sephiroth collapsed atop the covers, his dress-shirt and pants still on. Cloud sat next to him, stroking his face lightly and trying to calm the fear twisting inside him.
He unbuttoned the stained white shirt gently, peeling off the fabric. Sephiroth shifted obligingly to let Cloud slide it off of him before going back to lying still, breathing softly and slowly, his eyes closed as he recovered. The wound was healed, but the blood was drying on Sephiroth’s skin, caked down from his shoulder to his hip. Cloud took his time cleaning Sephiroth’s chest while his lover rested, letting each moment remind him that they’d lived.
"I’m fine, Cloud," Sephiroth whispered into the silence after a long while. "It was just a bullet. I’ve had worse."
"I know," Cloud whispered, leaning down and kissing Sephiroth lightly. "I guess I’d just never even considered it before."
"Considered what?" Sephiroth’s green eyes were bleary and tired as he cracked them open to look at Cloud.
"That I might lose you." Cloud said softly, brushing his fingers through Sephiroth’s hair, loosening the ponytail holder and setting his long silver locks free. "That you’re not invincible."
Sephiroth stared at him a long moment, then tucked his chin and closed his eyes again. He let out a slow breath and turned into Cloud’s gentle hand. Cloud was never sure if Sephiroth was asleep before he could respond to that statement, or if he simply had no answer. Either way, he was left watching the silver general sleep off one more close call, with the horrible knowledge that if he had still been a Third and not a Second on this stupid disaster of a mission, Sephiroth would be dead.
Day 14: Genderswapped - Prompt by boomchickfanfiction <3<3<3
"What did they say?" Cloud asked, his voice soft, carefully lowered, trying to sound normal and instead hitting a note that was almost sensual in nature.
"They’ve only had one case like it before," Sephiroth’s own voice was higher and softer, but he didn’t fight it. He rolled his shoulders as he set his phone down on the side table. Everything felt different. His instinctual balance was shifted out of its usual alignment, and he had to smile a little at the change. He tucked his bangs behind his ear, turning back to Cloud. "In that incident, the effects wore off within twenty-four hours.”
"Twenty four hours?" Cloud’s eyebrows twisted upwards in distress as he looked to Sephiroth. "But isn’t there some way to change back now?"
"Not unless we can find what changed us in the first place," Sephiroth chuckled, his eyes sliding down Cloud’s form.
Cloud’s bright blue eyes looked even wider than before, if that was possible. It was probably due to the newly gentle shape of his face and the dark fringe of lashes that surrounded them. Longer-than-usual hair tumbled over his shoulder. Cloud blushed under Sephiroth’s attention, as though reminded of his state, hunching in on himself once more.
"Don’t slouch," Sephiroth scolded. "You ended up with much nicer breasts than I did, you should enjoy them."
"Sephiroth!" Cloud yelled, his voice cracking in alarm, his hands lifting instantly to cross in front of his obviously ample bosom. "This isn’t funny!"
"You don’t think so?" Sephiroth asked. "I thought the mayor’s face when we returned was very entertaining. Not to mention yours when we first changed…"
"Your coat didn’t cover anything!" Cloud cried, gesturing to Sephiroth’s new attire. “They mayor was making that face because your boobs were hanging out!”
Sephiroth petted his new chest lightly, smiling to himself. “It was an odd sensation,” he agreed, “but not entirely unpleasant.”
"I can’t believe this is happening." Cloud groaned, flopping back on the bed.
Sephiroth smirked as he watched him. He was curvier in this female form than he usually was. He took the moment to admire him, with his legs dangling off the bed and the smooth curve of his thighs and hips drawing the eye up to his loose shirt and the strangely entertaining breasts. Sephiroth had never had a partner with breasts. He found them unusually amusing now that he and Cloud both had a pair.
He glanced down at his own chest and bounced briefly, amused by the way they moved. Not to mention how strange his lower half felt…
"Stop bouncing!" Cloud yelled from the bed. "That’s so weird!"
"They’re fun." Sephiroth protested mildly, wandering over towards Cloud.
"Seph," Cloud warned, scooting back on the bed as Sephiroth approached. "We should just go to sleep so that all this will be over in the morning and we can return these clothes and…"
"You look good in them," Sephiroth purred, tilting his head. "And we bought them, after all. They will be a lovely memento."
"Would you stop looking so pleased?"
"You blush just as brightly as ever like this." Sephiroth chuckled, sliding onto the bed and straddling Cloud’s legs.
"Don’t you dare!" Cloud snapped, sitting up to shove at Sephiroth’s shoulders. "I’m gay, Sephiroth!"
"This is still gay," Sephiroth commented, gesturing between them.
"Sephiroth! You’re a woman!"
"So are you." The General leaned forward, capturing a trailing end of Cloud’s softly curling hair, twirling it lightly around his finger.
“But I don’t—”
"Why are your breasts so much bigger than mine?" Sephiroth murmured curiously. "I’m bigger than you overall, even like this. I want to see them closer."
"You want to wha—" Cloud gasped as Sephiroth slipped a hand under his shirt and slid it upwards. "Ah! Seph, don’t!"
"You want me to stop?" Sephiroth asked as Cloud arched backwards, pressing needily into his touch despite his words. He held still, his fingers resting lightly on Cloud’s soft skin in between his breasts. "But my Cloud, we are still the same people, are we not? I know you are not attracted to females, but surely you can still enjoy my touch, even like this."
"Hnn," Cloud shivered under Sephiroth’s touch, his eyes averted with embarrassment, chewing on his soft-looking lower lip. "I don’t know…"
Sephiroth bent to kiss him, rescuing his lip from his anxious teeth only to nip at it himself. He didn’t taste any different, and Sephiroth was delighted by that discovery.
His hand splayed flat on Cloud’s breastbone as the blonde melted into his kiss. He slid his hand over one of Cloud’s wide breasts, feeling its weight and stroking it lightly. Cloud arched against him, groaning into their kiss, and Sephiroth had to pull back to laugh softly.
"You always did have sensitive nipples." He teased, stroking Cloud’s bosom softly and affectionately, watching his blue eyes go hazy with want and his lips part to admit heavier breaths.
"This is so wrong!" Cloud’s parted lips and needy breathing said something different.
"Why. Because we have new parts? You are still Cloud. I am still Sephiroth. And I am certain I can still bring you pleasure. I want to see your new form. I want to experience this while it lasts. And then, when it is over, we will go back to being who we were with a strange and delightful memory of a different sort of pleasure."
"But…" Cloud pouted, his brows twisting, "Ladybits… I don’t know what to do with them… And they’re kinda…"
"You cannot look at me and tell me I am not beautiful," Sephiroth said firmly, staring at Cloud out of green eyes that had never had longer lashes—out of cheeks newly rounded with feminine curves, shoulders still broad over perfect breasts, and a shirt that clung to his six-pack no matter his gender.
Cloud gaped up at him, looking bewildered and aroused, his chest rising into Sephiroth’s hand with every breath. Sephiroth tilted his head and waited, letting his bangs fall to the side with the motion. He shifted a little, rolling his hips briefly. The pants he had picked out were very tight, in a way he found himself enjoying quite a lot.
"Please?" Sephiroth asked, sticking out his lower lip just a little and lowering his head until he could gaze at Cloud through his eyelashes. "I promise not to tease."
"Don’t you pout at me!" Cloud scolded, lifting a hand to lightly slap Sephiroth’s head. "It’s cheating!"
Sephiroth cracked a grin, nuzzling against Cloud’s shoulder, pressing kisses to his soft neck and exposed collar bones.
"I’ll be gentle," he offered. "Unless you decide you don’t want me to, of course. And you can tell me no whenever you want. You know I always listen."
"I know," Cloud muttered. "It’s just so weird…"
"I think you’re beautiful," Sephiroth purred. "Just as beautiful like this as you are handsome."
"I should have listened when Zack said you were bisexual," Cloud sighed. "He’s always right about those things."
"I’m you-sexual," Sephiroth said with a shrug. "I could care less about anyone else."
"Weirdo," Cloud muttered, glancing away. "Go ahead if it makes you so happy. Just, um… Nothing too strange, okay?"
"I’ll keep it above the waist until you beg me to go lower," Sephiroth promised, licking a wet trail up Cloud’s collarbone, nibbling at the juncture of his neck and shoulder. "Now tell me, Cloud. Are you still going to call me ‘sir’ when I make you scream?"
Despite the confusion and embarrassment, Cloud couldn’t help but laugh at his lover as Sephiroth slid both hands under his shirt and set to exploring.
Day 13: Eating Icecream - Prompt by me
Sephiroth always had ice-cream in the his freezer. Cloud first noticed the first night he slept over, when after they made love Sephiroth brought him a bowl of chocolate ice-cream while they snuggled in bed together. From then on, Cloud couldn’t help but be aware of the sweet treat popping up more and more often in his life.
It wasn’t until he moved in with Sephiroth and opened the freezer just to check how much space it had that he realized why the man always seemed to have any sort of ice cream Cloud might want on hand.
It was filled with ice cream. Filled with it. There weren’t any frozen dinners or frozen vegetables, or even an ice cube tray. There were just lines and lines and lines of ice cream of every kind. Cloud stared into the freezer, shellshocked, until he heard Sephiroth clear his throat softly behind him.
"I wasn’t allowed sweets when I was young," Sephiroth said, glancing to the side, "So I keep some around."
"This is a little more than ‘some,’ don’t you think?" Cloud asked, raising an eyebrow.
"What kind I like…Depends on the day." Sephiroth murmured. "I’ll make you a proper one, if you’d like. The sort they have in Wutai…With fruit and chocolate and layers of mochi and…" he trailed off, staring into the distance as though envisioning a future with the kind of ice-cream he dreamed of.
It had taken all of Cloud’s strength not to burst out laughing. Instead he’d smiled and closed the refrigerator. “For a special occasion,” he said. “I’m not a super soldier, after all. I have to watch my figure at least a little.”
Special occasions came and went.
"Now?" Sephiroth asked after Cloud was promoted.
"Just some strawberry," Cloud laughed. "Between you and Zack I’m getting spoiled rotten."
"Now?" Sephiroth asked, brandishing an ice cream scoop like a blade after Cloud recovered from his first mission.
"I’ll take some chocolate," Cloud yawned, "but I’m too tired to appreciate the really good stuff."
"Now?" Sephiroth asked when Cloud received the news of his test date for second-class.
Cloud hadn’t even answered. He’d been too busy staring at the paperwork in shock, and eventually Sephiroth had given up on doing anything more than laughing softly and hugging him while he tried to process the news.
Then they got the news from medical. This time it was Sephiroth’s turn to stare at the paperwork. Cloud sat across from him in the living room, his hands crossed over his stomach and his expression worried. Sephiroth didn’t say anything. He just sat there, thinking.
"Seph," Cloud whispered. "I’ll take that fancy ice cream now."
Sephiroth lifted his head, and life sparked in his eyes. His smirk was delighted and filled with anticipation for the approaching challenge. Cloud didn’t even see him move, he was so fast on his way to the kitchen. By the time he worked himself up to standing and following, Sephiroth was already a blur of motion. Cloud leaned against the wall, watching him slice kiwis and strawberries, cut up bananas, and pull out a perfect selection of ice creams. It was like watching an artist at work.
When he lifted down the tall glass, that appeared to have been made specifically for the purpose of holding ice cream, Cloud gawked at the size of it.
"Um, you’re going to help me eat all that, right?" He asked as Sephiroth set to work lining the inside of the glass with fruits.
"If you like." Sephiroth said offhandedly.
When he was presented with the towering glass of ice cream, with chocolate freshly ladled on top, Cloud stared at it wide-eyed. He lifted his hands slowly to take it from Sephiroth’s outstretched arm, stunned by the skill and complexity. It looked incredible, peaking over the edges of the glass in sculpted perfection. His mouth watered at the very sight of it. Cloud couldn’t help the soft sigh of pleasure he gave. It was a masterpiece.
"I should have said yes ages ago," he murmured, lifting the treat from Sephiroth’s outstretched hand. It was wonderfully heavy.
"So long as you enjoy it now," Sephiroth waved a hand, already cleaning up the rinds and skins he’d peeled, but his eyes fixed on Cloud. "Go ahead."
The first bite was pure bliss. Cloud closed his eyes lightly and hummed softly in pleasure. He sank into a seat, savoring the sweet taste.
"It’s wonderful." He sighed softly.
"Good," Sephiroth said with a nod. "I’ll be sure to keep the ingredients stocked."
"You’ve kept the ingredients stocked for years," Cloud teased softly.
He offered the glass to Sephiroth when he walked over to join him where he was seated, and smiled as his lover took a bite, his eyes instantly lowering until they were half-lidded with relaxation. He sighed out a long breath.
"Seph," Cloud whispered softly. "We’re having a baby."
"I know," Sephiroth murmured, setting aside his ice cream to draw Cloud into a slow, sweet kiss. "I know."
Day 12: Making out -Prompt bye boomchickfanfiction <3<3<3<3
Sephiroth watched the returning troops anxiously. He’d heard of heavy casualties. It was supposed to be a simple mission, but one piece of bad intel could send a great many soldiers to hell very quickly. In this case, it was a radio channel that hadn’t been secured by the Turks. The enemy had known where their troops were coming from. It was only by their skill that they’d survived at all, and it had taken them weeks to get everything sorted out.
It just had to be this mission where Cloud tested his stripes as a third-class.
He gazed out over the unloading transports, watching the men on stretchers being carried towards medical, and those limping being helped out of trucks. He waited anxiously to spy a head of blonde hair among the crowd.
He let out a breath when he spied Cloud standing inside the backs of a van, helping wounded disembark before leaving himself. Sephiroth looked him over, taking in the bandages on his forearm—the reduced gear he was wearing—the hint of white wrappings under his uniform third-class top. He let out a breath at the alert look in Cloud’s eyes and the easy strength with which he was passing wounded soldiers out of the truck to the waiting medical staff.
When the young man finally jumped out—with a wince that did not escape Sephiroth’s notice—he strode down to meet him, nodding to the men he passed when he was acknowledged.
Cloud spotted him quickly, and made a beeline in his direction. Sephiroth picked up the pace when he saw the urgency in Cloud’s movements. It had been so long, he thought. So long since his Cloud had marched off to do battle and left him behind. The last time he’d seen him, surely his eyes hadn’t been that hard—his face that bruised—his gait so urgent.
He lifted his arms slightly to cushion the impact, certain Cloud would run into him. He wasn’t prepared for the third to leap into his arms.
Cloud’s legs wrapped around Sephiroth’s waist, his hands gripped his cheeks tightly, and he drew him into a crushing, desperate kiss. Sephiroth had to work not to stagger under the weight, responding automatically to the deep, intense kiss. His hands lifted to brace Cloud’s thighs, holding him up as Cloud kissed him as though he were trying to devour him whole.
"I missed you so fucking much," he whispered, shaking his head, his eyes bright with mako and unshed tears.
Sephiroth didn’t have a chance to answer before Cloud had caught him in a kiss again. He held him still, supporting him as Cloud’s fervor and passion died into tender kissing, his hands shifting off Sephiroth’s face to rest his arms on the General’s shoulders, twining his fingers together behind his head. They melded there, the world disappearing but for the two of them.
Sephiroth reveled in the feel of the familiar body against him. In the touch of soft lips, even rough with dehydration. He pressed into the kiss, stroking his hands over Cloud’s back, still holding him up gently. He could smell blood on the young man, but he would not draw away from their kiss to ask. Not just yet. This moment was too important. Even he could tell. There was a reconnection in it—a re-awakening of the Cloud that was not only a Soldier. The remembrance of a life where there is more than life and death. Sephiroth understood that moment, and would stand there as long as it took for Cloud to be ready. And until then, he was more than happy to feel his warm presence, and listen to his heartbeat, and taste his lips.
Finally, the blond broke the kiss, nuzzling his face against Sephiroth’s shoulder, giving a full-body shiver against him.
“You’re alright,” Sephiroth murmured, leaning his head against Cloud’s gently.
“I want to go home,” Cloud whispered, sounding painfully young—painfully hurt. “Take me home, Sephiroth.”
Sephiroth carried him out of the disembarking area, ignoring the few spectators who had viewed their reunion. He didn’t have to hold Cloud up as they walked—his young lover was latched onto him, his legs wrapped firmly around Sephiroth’s waist, and his hands draped over his shoulders. He’d pillowed his head on one of his own biceps, his forehead pressed against Sephiroth’s neck.
They stayed that way until Sephiroth could place Cloud gently on the sofa, kneeling before him. He slid his hands lightly over Cloud’s arms, untwining them from behind his neck and urging Cloud to relax on the sofa. The young man looked exhausted, the passion of earlier eaten away by exhaustion.
“I missed you,” Cloud whispered, his eyes focused only on Sephiroth.
“I missed you too,” Sephiroth leaned forward, drawing Cloud into another, careful kiss, feeling something in him warm as Cloud tilted his head and deepened the chaste contact. A year ago, the young man never would have taken control of one of their kisses. Now he had three times just since his return.
“You should rest,” he warned, resting a hand on Cloud’s cheek lightly.
“Later,” Cloud said, shaking his head. “For a while, I thought I wouldn’t be able to kiss you again. I’m going to make sure to take advantage of all the time I’ve got.”
Sephiroth couldn’t argue with that. He shifted to sit next to Cloud on the sofa and smiled as the young man shifted to sit in his lap, tangling his fingers in his hair, and settled in to kissing his face, neck, and lips. Neither of them tasted perfect, and Cloud was obviously still stiff and aching, but Sephiroth was grateful for every moment.
Because in the back of his mind, though he’d never allowed himself to dwell on the thought for too long, part of him had been afraid he’d never touch his Cloud again either. If the young man was willing to sit in his lap and make out until both of them were satisfied in each others safety and their connection, then Sephiroth was more than happy to indulge him.
Day 11 - Wearing Kigurumis (Bonus: Sophie!) Prompt by me!
“What is it for, though?” Sephiroth asked, tilting his head to stare at the folded brown fabric and the cartoonish head gazing up at him from sewn-on eyes.
“They’re pajamas,” Cloud said, smiling sweetly and bouncing their baby lightly. “Mom sent some for Sophie, then insisted on sending some for us too! She even had me hunt down your tailor so she could get the right measurements.”
“I don’t wear pajamas,” Sephiroth commented, quirking an eyebrow at Cloud. “I don’t get cold.”
“Yes you do,” Cloud sighed, rolling his eyes. “You’re just too good at pretending you’re not. Come on. My mom made them. And Sophie’s wearing hers, aren’t you sweetheart?”
Sophie stared at him blankly and grabbed his nose in a small, chubby hand. Sephiroth smiled as he watched Cloud tilt into the touch and pretend to gnaw on Sophie’s arm, much to their baby’s delight. He winced at her shriek of joy, but kept smiling anyway.
“I think it suits her better than it would me,” Sephiroth responded, fixing the way the bright-yellow chick-faced hood sat on their child’s forehead so that it was just perfect on her chubby face. Sophie’s bright blue eyes turned to him and she kicked happily, grabbing at his finger. “I was not made for ‘adorable.’ I’m much better at menacing.”
“Oh don’t be silly,” Cloud shook his head, detaching Sophie’s hold on his nose—she was undeterred and simply grabbed his hair instead. “I bet you were just as adorable when you were a baby as Sophie is now.”
Sephiroth didn’t respond. It was an uncomfortable thought. He shifted and glanced away, not wanting to think of the labs and his baby in the same train of thought. Cloud sighed at his reticence and reached out, holding Sophie carefully in the crook of one arm and pulling lightly on one of Sephiroth’s bangs.
“Come on.” Cloud said softly. “Relax. It’s just us family here. You won’t damage your reputation or anything.”
Sephiroth sighed, then nodded. “Go change into yours first,” he insisted. “Sophie can stay with me. Then I’ll…Put mine on. Just so you can tell your mother I did.”
“Stop calling her ‘your mother.’ She’s our mother now, husband.” Cloud passed over baby Sophie, carefully untangling his hair from her chubby fingers. “And she’s more interested in you being warm at night than in my reports of what you think of her gifts.”
“Heh,” Sephiroth muttered, wincing as Sophie yanked on his hair with surprising force. “I’ll see what I can do.”
He tried to plan while Cloud was changing. The bear pajamas stared up at him benignly and he tried to keep his eyes off them. He’d spent his whole life building a fearsome reputation. As glad as he was that Cloud had seen through that enough to trust him and love him, he wasn’t certain how far he was willing to go to continue that sort of gentrification of his character…
Sophie babbled softly up at him, and Sephiroth offered her a pinky to suck on. She happily attacked it, gumming it ferociously. He smiled at the feel of new teeth that would be poking through soon. She was growing so fast. He wandered through the living room, holding her in the crook of his arm, admiring how the sweet chick pajamas made her eyes look so very blue. She must have been comfortable in it, because she already looked drowsy, suckling on his finger like a pacifier with droopy eyes. Her grip in his hair even relaxed.
“Okay,” Cloud said, his voice a little trepidatious. “Um, how’s it look?”
Sephiroth lifted his head and couldn’t help the smile that sprung to his lips. The ‘Rilakkuma Kigurumi,’ as they’d been labeled, looked perfect on Cloud. There was a faint, warm blush on his cheeks, and the tan bear pajamas looked cozy and snuggly. They were cut in such a way that when he spread his arms a little, they looked shorter than usual, as did his legs. Sephiroth found himself chuckling, even as Cloud walked over to scoop their sleepy daughter carefully out of his arms.
“It’s adorable,” Sephiroth laughed softly, bending to kiss Cloud’s blushing cheek. “Your mother chose well for both of you”
“Well,” Cloud said, cradling Sophie close against his chest as their tiny daughter yawned hugely. “All we’re missing is a papa bear.”
Sephiroth looked to the folded bear costume and took a deep breath. He glanced to his husband and daughter and let the breath out slowly, nodding carefully. He lifted the pajamas with a careful movement, feeling rather like he was headed to the gallows rather than to change clothes in their bedroom.
He stripped slowly, still staring at the smiley bear face. He wasn’t certain he was going to put it on until the moment he was buttoning it up. He sighed. It was a perfect fit. He shouldn’t have been surprised—his mother in law always planned ahead. He stood there for a moment, his eyes closed, not wanting to look at himself. Then he glanced down. The outfit was cut in such a way that it actually managed to make him look tubby. He had never looked tubby in his life. His vanity flared in his mind, and he shook it off, turning to exit the room and rejoin his family. Cloud would be pleased, if nothing else.
His lover looked up from where he’d been snuggling Sophie, and something inside Sephiroth relaxed. They were precious together as mama bear and chick. It warmed something in his chest. Cloud’s eyes widened, the same bright blue as their sweet, babbling daughter’s.
“Oh my god,” Cloud said, sounding shocked. “You can blush. I didn’t know you could blush. I’ve never seen you…Are you okay?”
Sephiroth shifted, glancing away, wishing the hood covered a little more of his face. “I believe the point of these is to go to bed. Sophie is already tired.”
Sophie yawned hugely with a whine, drawing both of their gazes. Her little hands balled into fists, and she started chewing on one of them sleepily. Cloud cooed and wrapped her in a firmer hug. He walked over to Sephiroth and leaned against him. Sephiroth sighed at the feel of his weight, and lifted a hand to rest on Sophie’s head. She was already almost asleep.
“She had a big dinner,” Cloud commented softly. “She’s growing so fast. no wonder she gets so tired.”
Sephiroth smiled and dropped a kiss to the top of Cloud’s hood. He walked with him to the bedroom, glancing to Sophie’s crib before shaking his head a little.
“Let’s have her in our bed for a little while,” he murmured softly. “She likes it better there anyhow. And I sleep lightly enough that I will wake if she is in any distress.”
“You don’t have to explain to me,” Cloud said, shaking his head and smiling up at Sephiroth. “You know I like having her nearby.”
They climbed into bed without further discussion. With the warm kigurumi there was no need for covers. Sephiroth lay across the bed from Cloud, smiling as he settled Sophie carefully between them. She yawned again and wiggled for a moment, tiny feet kicking in her precious chick pajamas. Sephiroth rested his hand over her torso and rubbed his thumb over her tiny collarbones. She settled under the warm touch of his hand, babbling softly to herself as she edged towards sleep.
“So,” Cloud said softly, lying on his side across from them and smiling at his daughter. “You like them. Right?”
“Hn,” Sephiroth murmured as Cloud’s hand joined him resting lightly over their sleepy daughter. “They are…cozy.”
Cloud shifted his hand to pet Sephiroth’s knuckles lightly in approval before resting his fingers back over Sophie’s chest, feeling her breathe. Silence fell between them as their tiny daughter fell asleep. They lay there in their ridiculous pajamas, eyes only for their precious child. The pajamas were warm, without a doubt, but Sephiroth thought they were nothing in comparison to the feeling of finally having a family.
Day 10 - With animal ears - Prompt by boomchickfanfiction<3<3<3
'Just a few minutes,' Zack had said, fighting admirably to restrain his delight and amusement. 'I'm sure the science guys will figure out what went wrong in no time.'
‘No time’ had stretched into solid minutes. Sephiroth clenched his teeth, pulling his lips back in a snarl. He almost caught the inside of his lip on one of the fangs that had sprouted painfully to life along with the damnable ears and tail. The very thought of the later made it lash angrily behind him. He could see its white and black stripes out of his peripheral vision.
Cloud stood nearby, still clad in his new third-class uniform, watching Sephiroth’s every movement with intense blue eyes. His ears were perked forward, sharply pointed at the top unlike Sephiroth’s rounded additions. The startlingly fluffy tail behind him was dead still, stiff but lowered. Sephiroth could hear him growling under his breath, and every now and then he caught a glimpse of Cloud’s own fangs when he snarled at the world in general.
Sephiroth turned back and paced the other way. He drummed his sharp claws against the insides of his palms, forcing himself not to clench his fist and draw blood. If he could have talked, it would have been at least a little less atrocious. But the only sound that would escape him in his altered state were yowls of annoyance and, at least once, a hiss when a scientist reached too close, trying to touch his ears.
Judging by the way Cloud had barked sharply at Zack in offense when their friend showed up to collect them and burst out laughing, Sephiroth had surmised that the Third was in the same boat.
Sephiroth pinned his ears back, and heard the angry sound of a furious tiger rising out of his throat in response. Cloud’s growling increased in agitated response. Sephiroth turned to pace back the other way, trying to ignore the odd, unwelcome sensation of the tail that emerged just above the waistband of his pants lashing around. At least it was less uncomfortable now than it had been when he had still been wearing his coat.
A most undignified yowling sound rose from his lips, and he cut it off sharply, clenching his teeth against the sound. Movement drew his anxious eyes, and he straightened out of his defensive crouch, looking to Cloud as the serious-faced young Soldier walked forward. Sephiroth lifted his head, staring down the young man. The part of him that was a big cat and not his usual self growled a warning that the young wolf-eared man not come nearer.
Cloud tucked his chin at the sound that escaped Sephiroth, but walked forward none the less, his ears still perked politely. His hand lifted to rest lightly on Sephiroth’s chest, pressing his palm against the bare skin there, careful not to scratch him with his long nails. He pushed, and Sephiroth wasn’t ready for him to be as strong as he was—he’d always known Cloud would make it into the Soldier program, but he still wasn’t used to his new-found power. He stumbled back into the table behind him, ending up half-seated upon it.
The young Third walked further forward, keeping Sephiroth pinned with his very presence. The low warning grumble in his throat had settled and quieted. Sephiroth stood stock still, warring between his love of Cloud and the cat yowling inside of him at being touched by a wolf. Cloud’s tail wagged behind him as Sephiroth made a soft warning sound.
Something in him urged him to scratch and bite, but he couldn’t do that. Not with Cloud’s bright blue eyes gazing up at him with utter affection. The tiger inside him quieted after a moment of being held in place by the young man’s gaze and his gentle hand. He felt his ears lift from where they’d pinned back against his skull, and his tail settled behind him.
Cloud leaned forward slowly, his hand sliding up Sephiroth’s chest to wrap around his shoulders. He leaned forward until they were chest to chest, nuzzling lightly against Sephiroth’s neck. Sephiroth let out a slow breath, lowering his head to rest against Cloud’s hair. Cloud’s ear twitched at the touch, shaking itself off into Sephiroth’s face. The General couldn’t help cracking a smile at the soft bat of the wolf ear. He stroked a hand slowly down Cloud’s back and relaxed against him, half-way seated on the table he’d been pushed into. He felt hairs he hadn’t realized were standing on end relax and smooth, and in no time he was leaning against the wolf bonelessly.
Cloud shifted his head and licked Sephiroth’s neck, not in a sensuous way. Sephiroth would have laughed if he could as he realized that the wolf inside Cloud was grooming him. A moment later, the Third yelped as he realized what he’d been doing. Sephiroth could feel his face flush against his bare shoulder, and pet his blond hair. He leaned down, and licked a trail over Cloud’s brow, letting his inner cat groom him for just a moment.
By the time Zack finally got to them with the science department’s antidote, they’d made themselves comfortable on the sofa. It had taken some wiggling, what with the tails and ears getting in the way of their snuggling, but they’d managed it eventually. Sephiroth had discovered that Cloud very much liked having his soft ears rubbed, and the blond was all but boneless against him as Sephiroth kept up a gentle massage over his perky wolf ears.
“Awww,” Zack cooed, smiling. “You two look way happier! I knew you’d have more fun at home than in medical.”
Cloud barked at him lazily and then snuggled back against Sephiroth.
“Same to you,” Zack said fondly, walking over and holding out two small bottles to Sephiroth. “Antidote. There’s one for both of you.”
Sephiroth left off massaging Cloud’s ears to take them, then shooed Zack away with a gesture, putting the vials on the side-table by the sofa and nuzzling against Cloud.
“Alright,” Zack laughed. “I can tell when I’m not wanted. You kids have fun!”
Cloud and Sephiroth lay together a long while, Sephiroth’s tail twitching and flicking now and then, eventually curling around Cloud as well. It was relaxing, he thought, not feeling as though he had to say anything. With the inability to talk, his difficulty conversing smoothly wasn’t a problem. He hadn’t realized how much stress that caused him on a day to day level until it was removed.
He would take the antidote soon, but for now, he thought to himself as Cloud went back to quietly licking his collarbone, there was nothing wrong with taking a little cat-nap.