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Ask Blog for the OTP: SephirothxCloud from FFVII
tomowowo:

Day 24: Making up Afterwards - Prompt by boomchickfanfiction<3<3<3<3<3
That morning, his only concern had been how tired he was. He’d patrolled all night thanks to Sephiroth’s reassignment. Coming into battle again in the morning had left him only twenty minutes to rest. He could remember how annoyed he’d felt at the rain pouring down around them as he marched out onto the battlefield. He remembered the traitorous part of himself glancing over at the wet Sephiroth with a twinge of desire and affection before blocking the thought out and turning his attention to the fight he’d be entering.
Now he was gasping for breath, half-gutted and uncertain which would come first, bleeding to death or drowning in the soaking rain pouring down from above him. He didn’t even have the strength left to turn his head to the side. And even if he had, he might have just as easily drowned in the mud all around him.
He hurt. He hurt all over. He was dying. There was no doubt of that. The only thing keeping him from screaming in panic was his own exhaustion. He didn’t have the energy to panic. He lay there, trembling and trying to breathe through the choking rain, and thinking of the men he’d be leaving behind. Of Zack, who would never understand why he’d tripled up on duty because Sephiroth would never admit that fault to him. Of Sephiroth, who was still blaming himself for the deaths of his best friends, and would blame himself forever for Cloud’s death as well. The thought of Sephiroth welled tears in Cloud’s eyes. He didn’t want to leave him.
He struggled to reach into his pocket, gasping at the effort it took, gritting his teeth against agony as his movement awoke the pain in his side. He clenched his hand on the ring in his pocket, feeling unreasonably happy that it hadn’t fallen out. He clung to it and tried to keep breathing.
"Cloud!" someone screamed from nearby, their voice muffled by the terrible storm. Cloud tightened his hold on the ring, hoping he wasn’t imagining things. He needed to tell Sephiroth that it wasn’t his fault. He needed to live long enough to tell him. He breathed in and choked, his eyes rolling back in his head as his body tensed, trying to cough and overwhelming him with pain as it forced his torn skin and muscles to awaken from numbness.
"I need a medic!" the voice bellowed, loud as thunder over the pouring rain. And then suddenly the rain above Cloud cut off. He breathed for a while before opening his eyes slowly and painfully. It was hard to focus, but he could see silver hair and green eyes, and not much more than that mattered to him.
“I’m sorry,” Sephiroth whispered, his hand cupping Cloud’s cheek, leaning over him to shield him from the pouring rain. “I’m sorry. This is all my fault. Hold on, Cloud.”
Cloud wanted to tell him not to be stupid. He’d already forgotten what the argument was about. He couldn’t remember much at that moment, aside from how much the hole in his side hurt and how he couldn’t be sure how much of the ground around them was wet from the torrential downpour and how much of it was his own blood. He couldn’t get the breath to tell Sephiroth anything. If the man hadn’t been leaning over him, Cloud doubted he could have lasted much longer before drowning.
“The medics are coming,” Sephiroth whispered, stroking his hand over Cloud’s face, his right hand pressing down hard on the wound in Cloud’s side. Cloud didn’t have the energy to do more than flinch and grimace at the touch. “Just hold on a little longer.”
Cloud’s vision was going dark. He wished it wouldn’t. He didn’t want his last sight of Sephiroth to be the strained, frightened look that his handsome lover was giving him now. He would much rather remember Sephiroth smiling. But his body could only take so much abuse, and the world faded away.
When it came back, the ceiling was white and he felt very dry and warm. It was a far cry from dying in the mud in the rain. Cloud knew he probably should have been worried for his health, or concerned about the others, but for a moment he just closed his eyes, sighed, and reveled in the feeling of not being dead. He lifted a hand wearily to rub at his eyes, blearily noticing the heart rate monitor attached to his pointer finger. It wasn’t comfortable, but he knew better than to remove it. The last thing he wanted was for the machines to start screaming about his heart stopping.
He looked down at his other arm, intending to look at the IV attached to his elbow. He never got around to looking at it. The silver splayed across his blanket-covered legs caught his eye.
Sephiroth was asleep at the bedside, seated in a chair, his hand resting over Cloud’s forearm. His hair had fallen over his face, and it shifted slightly with every breath he took. Cloud could see dark circles under his eyes. The last time he’d seen Sephiroth look that tired, he was coming home from a seven day mission when he had only slept twice.
“Oh Sephiroth,” Cloud whispered, his voice barely a rasp, sounding strange and foreign to his ears, as though it belonged to someone else. “how long have you been waiting?”
“Cloud?” Sephiroth rumbled, his eyes flickering open at the very sound of his whisper-thin voice. His hand tightened gently around Cloud’s forearm, and the young man in the hospital bed got to watch his blurry green eyes sharpen and focus as he came awake, their pupils widening and then thinning to perfect slits.
“I’m alright,” Cloud murmured, rubbing at his eyes again. “Just tired.”
“You’re awake,” Sephiroth sat up, shifting to sit on the bedside proper, stroking his hand through Cloud’s hair and resting his palm over his forehead. “How is your side?”
“Dunno,” Cloud replied, wincing when the words grated in his throat. “Can’t feel it.”
“The medication is working then,” Sephiroth murmured, his face serious as he pushed the nurse call button. “That’s good. you were in a lot of pain when they first got you here, though I doubt you remember.”
“I’m sorry too,” Cloud said, voicing the words he hadn’t been able to say on the battle field. He gazed up blearily at Sephiroth’s serious, worried face, even though he was looking to the door and not at Cloud. “I lost my temper. I’m sorry for not listening better.”
“Cloud…” Sephiroth trailed off, turning to him once more.
His brows twisted and his lips parted. Cloud could only watch him shake his head slowly and lean over him, pressing a kiss to his cheek before lying carefully over him, ear-to-ear. He could feel his breath hitching against his own chest.
“I’m so glad you’re alive,” Sephiroth whispered into the pillow, shaking his head. “I don’t care about the fight. I don’t care if you wanted to leave me forever or never speak to me again for how cruel and stupid I was. I’m just so glad that you’re going to be okay.”
Cloud couldn’t reply, and he knew that if he did it would be a slightly brain-addled, weak reply. Instead he just rubbed Sephiroth’s back, closing his eyes and revelling in the feel of Sephiroth’s breath against his cheek.
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tomowowo:

Day 24: Making up Afterwards - Prompt by boomchickfanfiction<3<3<3<3<3

That morning, his only concern had been how tired he was. He’d patrolled all night thanks to Sephiroth’s reassignment. Coming into battle again in the morning had left him only twenty minutes to rest. He could remember how annoyed he’d felt at the rain pouring down around them as he marched out onto the battlefield. He remembered the traitorous part of himself glancing over at the wet Sephiroth with a twinge of desire and affection before blocking the thought out and turning his attention to the fight he’d be entering.

Now he was gasping for breath, half-gutted and uncertain which would come first, bleeding to death or drowning in the soaking rain pouring down from above him. He didn’t even have the strength left to turn his head to the side. And even if he had, he might have just as easily drowned in the mud all around him.

He hurt. He hurt all over. He was dying. There was no doubt of that. The only thing keeping him from screaming in panic was his own exhaustion. He didn’t have the energy to panic. He lay there, trembling and trying to breathe through the choking rain, and thinking of the men he’d be leaving behind. Of Zack, who would never understand why he’d tripled up on duty because Sephiroth would never admit that fault to him. Of Sephiroth, who was still blaming himself for the deaths of his best friends, and would blame himself forever for Cloud’s death as well. The thought of Sephiroth welled tears in Cloud’s eyes. He didn’t want to leave him.

He struggled to reach into his pocket, gasping at the effort it took, gritting his teeth against agony as his movement awoke the pain in his side. He clenched his hand on the ring in his pocket, feeling unreasonably happy that it hadn’t fallen out. He clung to it and tried to keep breathing.

"Cloud!" someone screamed from nearby, their voice muffled by the terrible storm. Cloud tightened his hold on the ring, hoping he wasn’t imagining things. He needed to tell Sephiroth that it wasn’t his fault. He needed to live long enough to tell him. He breathed in and choked, his eyes rolling back in his head as his body tensed, trying to cough and overwhelming him with pain as it forced his torn skin and muscles to awaken from numbness.

"I need a medic!" the voice bellowed, loud as thunder over the pouring rain. And then suddenly the rain above Cloud cut off. He breathed for a while before opening his eyes slowly and painfully. It was hard to focus, but he could see silver hair and green eyes, and not much more than that mattered to him.

“I’m sorry,” Sephiroth whispered, his hand cupping Cloud’s cheek, leaning over him to shield him from the pouring rain. “I’m sorry. This is all my fault. Hold on, Cloud.”

Cloud wanted to tell him not to be stupid. He’d already forgotten what the argument was about. He couldn’t remember much at that moment, aside from how much the hole in his side hurt and how he couldn’t be sure how much of the ground around them was wet from the torrential downpour and how much of it was his own blood. He couldn’t get the breath to tell Sephiroth anything. If the man hadn’t been leaning over him, Cloud doubted he could have lasted much longer before drowning.

“The medics are coming,” Sephiroth whispered, stroking his hand over Cloud’s face, his right hand pressing down hard on the wound in Cloud’s side. Cloud didn’t have the energy to do more than flinch and grimace at the touch. “Just hold on a little longer.”

Cloud’s vision was going dark. He wished it wouldn’t. He didn’t want his last sight of Sephiroth to be the strained, frightened look that his handsome lover was giving him now. He would much rather remember Sephiroth smiling. But his body could only take so much abuse, and the world faded away.

When it came back, the ceiling was white and he felt very dry and warm. It was a far cry from dying in the mud in the rain. Cloud knew he probably should have been worried for his health, or concerned about the others, but for a moment he just closed his eyes, sighed, and reveled in the feeling of not being dead. He lifted a hand wearily to rub at his eyes, blearily noticing the heart rate monitor attached to his pointer finger. It wasn’t comfortable, but he knew better than to remove it. The last thing he wanted was for the machines to start screaming about his heart stopping.

He looked down at his other arm, intending to look at the IV attached to his elbow. He never got around to looking at it. The silver splayed across his blanket-covered legs caught his eye.

Sephiroth was asleep at the bedside, seated in a chair, his hand resting over Cloud’s forearm. His hair had fallen over his face, and it shifted slightly with every breath he took. Cloud could see dark circles under his eyes. The last time he’d seen Sephiroth look that tired, he was coming home from a seven day mission when he had only slept twice.

“Oh Sephiroth,” Cloud whispered, his voice barely a rasp, sounding strange and foreign to his ears, as though it belonged to someone else. “how long have you been waiting?”

“Cloud?” Sephiroth rumbled, his eyes flickering open at the very sound of his whisper-thin voice. His hand tightened gently around Cloud’s forearm, and the young man in the hospital bed got to watch his blurry green eyes sharpen and focus as he came awake, their pupils widening and then thinning to perfect slits.

“I’m alright,” Cloud murmured, rubbing at his eyes again. “Just tired.”

“You’re awake,” Sephiroth sat up, shifting to sit on the bedside proper, stroking his hand through Cloud’s hair and resting his palm over his forehead. “How is your side?”

“Dunno,” Cloud replied, wincing when the words grated in his throat. “Can’t feel it.”

“The medication is working then,” Sephiroth murmured, his face serious as he pushed the nurse call button. “That’s good. you were in a lot of pain when they first got you here, though I doubt you remember.”

“I’m sorry too,” Cloud said, voicing the words he hadn’t been able to say on the battle field. He gazed up blearily at Sephiroth’s serious, worried face, even though he was looking to the door and not at Cloud. “I lost my temper. I’m sorry for not listening better.”

“Cloud…” Sephiroth trailed off, turning to him once more.

His brows twisted and his lips parted. Cloud could only watch him shake his head slowly and lean over him, pressing a kiss to his cheek before lying carefully over him, ear-to-ear. He could feel his breath hitching against his own chest.

“I’m so glad you’re alive,” Sephiroth whispered into the pillow, shaking his head. “I don’t care about the fight. I don’t care if you wanted to leave me forever or never speak to me again for how cruel and stupid I was. I’m just so glad that you’re going to be okay.”

Cloud couldn’t reply, and he knew that if he did it would be a slightly brain-addled, weak reply. Instead he just rubbed Sephiroth’s back, closing his eyes and revelling in the feel of Sephiroth’s breath against his cheek.

tomowowo:

Day 23: Arguing - Prompt by me!
Cloud paced inside Sephiroth’s tent, a pit of anxiety in his stomach and rage coursing through him. Every moment he waited he got angrier. Every second he thought about what had happened on that battlefield his rage grew deeper. He clenched and released his hands as he paced, just to give his restless body something to do until his fiance arrived. He was grinding his teeth together in stress, mentally playing through all the things he wanted to say—all the things he should have done right then and there instead of holding still—all the ways it could have ended so much worse than it did.
He tried to calm himself down, at least for a little while, but all his calm vanished in an instant when he heard the flap of the tent open. All the calm discussions he’d considered having flew out of his mind, leaving only the rage he’d felt out there when Sephiroth intervene.
"What the fuck was that out there today?" Cloud snapped the moment Sephiroth stepped into the tent. “I had everything under control, and you just fucking swooped in like I needed saving!”
"I was just looking out for you." Sephiroth’s voice was far colder than his words as he walked into the tent. He looked more impatient than upset, and Cloud’s temper ratcheted up even further. "What are you so worked up over?"
"What am I so—I almost stabbed you, you moron!" Cloud could feel his face heating up with rage. "I’m a second class Soldier, not a duckling for you to protect!"
"Your hair begs to differ," Sephiroth said with a low chuckle.
Cloud slapped him as hard as he could. It took a huge amount of effort to keep his hand flat instead of punching his smug face. The contact rang loudly in the small space, though it didn’t so much as turn Sephiroth’s head. It did, however, wipe the humor out of his expression.
"I’m not a joke," Cloud warned darkly in the silence following the slap, staring up at Sephiroth with eyes that must have been glowing.
Sephiroth’s wide eyes narrowed slowly, and his lips, which had briefly parted in shock, closed and tightened. It was like watching a lake freeze over.
"I will not tolerate assaults against officers, Lieutenant." He growled.
"You can’t just hide behind your rank every time I’m mad at you!" Cloud pointed sharply at Sephiroth, glaring at him.
Sephiroth’s expression stayed icy and distant. He looked down at Cloud as though he were a distasteful surprise rather than the man he claimed to love. Cloud stepped forward aggressively, pressing his finger into Sephiroth’s chest.
"You promised me this wouldn’t happen. ‘I will not mix business and pleasure’ in those exact words! Did you just forget, or did you only say it in the first place to get me into bed?”
He barked every word, knowing full well that half the camp could hear him and not giving two shits. He might play dress up sometimes, but he’d sooner keel over dead than become just another damsel in distress for Sephiroth to save.
"Back. Off." Sephiroth warned darkly, his words sharply cut as he stared down at Cloud from inches away.
"Make me." Cloud spat back, holding eye contact with the General. He would not be intimidated like this.
"Fine," Sephiroth growled. "You want to be on your own in battle, you’re on your own. Consider yourself reassigned. Report for evening patrol in ten minutes, Lieutenant Strife. If you can handle it after today’s fighting." He ended the words with a dark smirk, apparently expecting Cloud to back down with the threat of more work after a long day.
"I hate you so much," Cloud snarled into Sephiroth’s face before whirling and stalking out of the tent.
The ring on his finger burned. He considered, for a moment, throwing it into the mud in front of Sephiroth’s tent. He yanked it off his finger, staring down at it for a moment before shoving it into his uniform’s pocket and stalking off to meet up with the patrol team. He could feel the mako boiling in his blood with anger. There was no way he was sleeping anyhow. He wouldn’t back down from Sephiroth’s challenge. He wasn’t going to be his toy. And if Sephiroth had a problem with that, then Cloud wouldn’t be his husband either.
To be Continue tomorrow…
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tomowowo:

Day 23: Arguing - Prompt by me!

Cloud paced inside Sephiroth’s tent, a pit of anxiety in his stomach and rage coursing through him. Every moment he waited he got angrier. Every second he thought about what had happened on that battlefield his rage grew deeper. He clenched and released his hands as he paced, just to give his restless body something to do until his fiance arrived. He was grinding his teeth together in stress, mentally playing through all the things he wanted to say—all the things he should have done right then and there instead of holding still—all the ways it could have ended so much worse than it did.

He tried to calm himself down, at least for a little while, but all his calm vanished in an instant when he heard the flap of the tent open. All the calm discussions he’d considered having flew out of his mind, leaving only the rage he’d felt out there when Sephiroth intervene.

"What the fuck was that out there today?" Cloud snapped the moment Sephiroth stepped into the tent. “I had everything under control, and you just fucking swooped in like I needed saving!”

"I was just looking out for you." Sephiroth’s voice was far colder than his words as he walked into the tent. He looked more impatient than upset, and Cloud’s temper ratcheted up even further. "What are you so worked up over?"

"What am I so—I almost stabbed you, you moron!" Cloud could feel his face heating up with rage. "I’m a second class Soldier, not a duckling for you to protect!"

"Your hair begs to differ," Sephiroth said with a low chuckle.

Cloud slapped him as hard as he could. It took a huge amount of effort to keep his hand flat instead of punching his smug face. The contact rang loudly in the small space, though it didn’t so much as turn Sephiroth’s head. It did, however, wipe the humor out of his expression.

"I’m not a joke," Cloud warned darkly in the silence following the slap, staring up at Sephiroth with eyes that must have been glowing.

Sephiroth’s wide eyes narrowed slowly, and his lips, which had briefly parted in shock, closed and tightened. It was like watching a lake freeze over.

"I will not tolerate assaults against officers, Lieutenant." He growled.

"You can’t just hide behind your rank every time I’m mad at you!" Cloud pointed sharply at Sephiroth, glaring at him.

Sephiroth’s expression stayed icy and distant. He looked down at Cloud as though he were a distasteful surprise rather than the man he claimed to love. Cloud stepped forward aggressively, pressing his finger into Sephiroth’s chest.

"You promised me this wouldn’t happen. ‘I will not mix business and pleasure’ in those exact words! Did you just forget, or did you only say it in the first place to get me into bed?”

He barked every word, knowing full well that half the camp could hear him and not giving two shits. He might play dress up sometimes, but he’d sooner keel over dead than become just another damsel in distress for Sephiroth to save.

"Back. Off." Sephiroth warned darkly, his words sharply cut as he stared down at Cloud from inches away.

"Make me." Cloud spat back, holding eye contact with the General. He would not be intimidated like this.

"Fine," Sephiroth growled. "You want to be on your own in battle, you’re on your own. Consider yourself reassigned. Report for evening patrol in ten minutes, Lieutenant Strife. If you can handle it after today’s fighting." He ended the words with a dark smirk, apparently expecting Cloud to back down with the threat of more work after a long day.

"I hate you so much," Cloud snarled into Sephiroth’s face before whirling and stalking out of the tent.

The ring on his finger burned. He considered, for a moment, throwing it into the mud in front of Sephiroth’s tent. He yanked it off his finger, staring down at it for a moment before shoving it into his uniform’s pocket and stalking off to meet up with the patrol team. He could feel the mako boiling in his blood with anger. There was no way he was sleeping anyhow. He wouldn’t back down from Sephiroth’s challenge. He wasn’t going to be his toy. And if Sephiroth had a problem with that, then Cloud wouldn’t be his husband either.

To be Continue tomorrow…

tomowowo:

Day 22: In battle, side-by-side - Prompt by boomchickfanfiction&lt;3&lt;3&lt;3&lt;3
"How you holding up, Spike?" Zack’s voice called over the roar of battle and the clashing of blades.
"Mako is AWESOME!" Cloud called back, blocking a bullet with the flat of his blade and cutting down the shooter. "I’ve never felt like this before!"
"Tell it to the press team, Soldier!" Zack laughed, turning to fight his way through the opposing ranks with a cocky salute and a wink at Cloud.
Cloud grinned at his back. It was the first time he’d seen his teacher leave his side on a battlefield. He was being trusted not to die. Finally.
He shouldn’t ahve been this excited, he knew. These people might have been terrorists, but they were still people. If they hadn’t formed a reasonably sized army, Soldier never would have stood against them. But they wouldn’t allow any more reactors to be destroyed. Too many people had lost their lives to Avalanche’s cause. At least these poor idiots had signed up for the slaughter, unlike the families who’d lost everything in the wake of the explosion.
He heard the swordsman behind him just in time. Metal shrieked as their blades met and Cloud didn’t hesitate to use the advantage of his unnaturally enhanced speed and strength against the unfortunate grunt. He was certain that later he would remember splitting the man’s skull with some form of remorse or disgust, but for the moment all he was aware of was the glorious rush of battle. Even the overpowering stench of blood had become nothing more than a piece of background information to his heightened senses.
A terrible crash of thunder echoed through the screaming of battle, and Cloud glanced over to see Sephiroth standing tall amid the chaos, illuminated by the electric spell he’d just cast. There was a wicked smile on his face, and his hair billowed behind him like a banner.
Cloud turned back to his own opponents with his heart soaring in pride and delight. There was no creature on Gaia that could rival his Sephiroth for beauty and pure power. He knocked aside an attacker’s blade and swept forward, running him through in the same motion. He heard steps approaching from behind and whirled to face the next to oppose him. 
A firm presence collided with his shoulder halting his turn mid-way through.
Cloud shifted his grip on the blade automatically through his surprise, slicing towards the new presence at his back. He saw the flash of silver just in time to halt his blade before he impaled the man he loved. His battle-heightened attention snapped from his own blade hovering almost-touching Sephiroth’s side, to the warrior he’d turned to face in the first place. He watched, gaping, as Sephiroth cut the attacker down.
Cloud caught a breath and felt fury well inside him.
"I had it under control!" he snapped at the General, his blood already boiling from battle.
Sephiroth shot him a look, arching a perfect eyebrow. He even had the audacity to give Cloud a condescending smirk. Then he was sprinting with inhuman speed towards the enemy’s forces, driving them back with sheer force of presence. A call for retreat sounded from the other side.

Cloud was left standing there, surrounded by the bodies of warriors he’d killed, mako singing through him. He tried not to buckle under the crushing realization of exactly how useless Sephiroth thought he was, despite how far he’d come.
~To be Continue tomorrow~
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tomowowo:

Day 22: In battle, side-by-side - Prompt by boomchickfanfiction<3<3<3<3

"How you holding up, Spike?" Zack’s voice called over the roar of battle and the clashing of blades.

"Mako is AWESOME!" Cloud called back, blocking a bullet with the flat of his blade and cutting down the shooter. "I’ve never felt like this before!"

"Tell it to the press team, Soldier!" Zack laughed, turning to fight his way through the opposing ranks with a cocky salute and a wink at Cloud.

Cloud grinned at his back. It was the first time he’d seen his teacher leave his side on a battlefield. He was being trusted not to die. Finally.

He shouldn’t ahve been this excited, he knew. These people might have been terrorists, but they were still people. If they hadn’t formed a reasonably sized army, Soldier never would have stood against them. But they wouldn’t allow any more reactors to be destroyed. Too many people had lost their lives to Avalanche’s cause. At least these poor idiots had signed up for the slaughter, unlike the families who’d lost everything in the wake of the explosion.

He heard the swordsman behind him just in time. Metal shrieked as their blades met and Cloud didn’t hesitate to use the advantage of his unnaturally enhanced speed and strength against the unfortunate grunt. He was certain that later he would remember splitting the man’s skull with some form of remorse or disgust, but for the moment all he was aware of was the glorious rush of battle. Even the overpowering stench of blood had become nothing more than a piece of background information to his heightened senses.

A terrible crash of thunder echoed through the screaming of battle, and Cloud glanced over to see Sephiroth standing tall amid the chaos, illuminated by the electric spell he’d just cast. There was a wicked smile on his face, and his hair billowed behind him like a banner.

Cloud turned back to his own opponents with his heart soaring in pride and delight. There was no creature on Gaia that could rival his Sephiroth for beauty and pure power. He knocked aside an attacker’s blade and swept forward, running him through in the same motion. He heard steps approaching from behind and whirled to face the next to oppose him.

A firm presence collided with his shoulder halting his turn mid-way through.

Cloud shifted his grip on the blade automatically through his surprise, slicing towards the new presence at his back. He saw the flash of silver just in time to halt his blade before he impaled the man he loved. His battle-heightened attention snapped from his own blade hovering almost-touching Sephiroth’s side, to the warrior he’d turned to face in the first place. He watched, gaping, as Sephiroth cut the attacker down.

Cloud caught a breath and felt fury well inside him.

"I had it under control!" he snapped at the General, his blood already boiling from battle.

Sephiroth shot him a look, arching a perfect eyebrow. He even had the audacity to give Cloud a condescending smirk. Then he was sprinting with inhuman speed towards the enemy’s forces, driving them back with sheer force of presence. A call for retreat sounded from the other side.

Cloud was left standing there, surrounded by the bodies of warriors he’d killed, mako singing through him. He tried not to buckle under the crushing realization of exactly how useless Sephiroth thought he was, despite how far he’d come.

~To be Continue tomorrow~

tomowowo:

Day 21: Cooking/Baking together - Prompt by me!
“Goodnight, sweetheart,” Cloud whispered, tucking Sophie into bed and stroking his hand over the blanket covering her tummy. “Sleep well, okay? You’ve got a birthday tomorrow.”
He flicked the lights out carefully, turning on the small carousel night-light Sephiroth had brought home for their precious little girl. Sophie hummed and murmured to herself in her sleep, shifting around, but falling still again, nursing at nothing for a moment before settling in to sleep. Cloud let out a slow breath and walked back into the kitchen.
“You read her Mr. Brown can Wark again?” Sephiroth murmured, looking up from where he was slicing dough into thin strips.
“She loves it,” Cloud said defensively, blushing despite himself. “She likes the noises…”
“I don’t blame her,” Sephiroth chuckled. “You make an adorable chocobo.”
“I’m not above sabotaging your shampoo,” Cloud warned with narrowed eyes before walking over to look at what Sephiroth was working on. “How goes the baking? It looks very… Pie-ish.”
He eyed the purple apples sitting before the pie crust with thinly veiled suspicion, but he was careful to keep his expression neutral. He knew Sephiroth’s quirks well enough by now to recognize unsteady ground when he saw it. The appearance of dumbapples in their kitchen was not unprecedented, but the last time it had happened Sephiroth had vanished into the night and come back spattered in dragon blood and unable to put his wing away.
"I know cake is more appropriate, but pie is all I know how to make," Sephiroth murmured, peeling the purple skin off the apples, not lifting his gaze to Cloud. “I hope she will still like it. It is very sweet."
"Seph," Cloud said softly, stepping forward and placing a hand on his back. "She’ll love it.” He hesitated, watching Sephiroth’s sure hands work for a moment, certain he knew who had taught Sephiroth to make Banora White pie, and feeling the words burning inside of him. Finally, he took a deep breath and steeled himself, speaking them aloud, despite knowing they might hurt his lover. “And I’m sure they would have loved her…"
Sephiroth bowed his head, giving up on the pretense of peeling apples, standing before the kitchen island with his head bowed and his shoulders shaking. Tears would not come for him—they never did—but Cloud wrapped his arms around him anyway, and held his lover close while he mourned.
“i’m sorry,” Cloud whispered. “I wish…”
“Me too,” Sephiroth whispered roughly. “Angeal would have liked you a lot. Genesis probably would have tried to steal you for his own.”
There was the faintest hint of fond humor in his sad voice, and Cloud nuzzled into his shoulder, lifting a hand to rest over his husband’s heart. Sephiroth let out a slow breath, standing still a moment with Cloud holding him.
“Sorry,” the tall man murmured. “I should have found a recipe that wouldn’t make me like this.”
“Make you like what?” Cloud rubbed Sephiroth’s chest gently. “Pensive about remembering your friends? There’s nothing wrong with taking a moment, Seph. And there’s nothing wrong with remembering them. I know I like hearing about them, anyway. And I’m sure Sophie will too.”
“I hope so,” Sephiroth murmured, picking up the apple again, his hands mechanically starting again from where he left off. “Though I will have to get better and not…Falling apart thinking about what happened.”
“I’m always here if you want to talk,” Cloud gave Sephiroth a tight squeeze, lifting hopeful eyes to him. “But I won’t push.”
“I know you won’t,” Sephiroth murmured, casting him a hollow smile. It didn’t reach his sorrowful eyes. “It doesn’t feel right. My daughter not knowing them. They were…Family. Or it felt that way. They probably did not feel the same. I’m sure Genesis didn’t, at least. Angeal probably would have been flattered.”
Cloud hummed softly in understanding without trying to butt in. When Sephiroth fell silent for a while, Cloud pressed a kiss to his shoulder, then went to pull on his own apron, returning to set in to slicing the lines of dough for Sephiroth, eventually flattening out the extras and carving out Sophie’s name in the pie crust. He heard Sephiroth chuckle and looked over to see the man watching over his shoulder.
“Adorable,” the General commented. “We’ll have to be sure to get a picture before we cut it.”
Cloud looked at him, and the sad look still lingering in his eyes, and the flour on his apron, and gave him a tender smile in return.
“I love you,” he commented softly. “You aren’t alone, okay?”
“I know,” Sephiroth said softly, dropping a kiss on Cloud’s lips before turning back to weaving the strips of pie crust over and under on top of the pie with a tremendous dexterity. “And that is enough. But it doesn’t mean I don’t wish they were still here too. At least some of the time.”

“I know,” Cloud said, nodding slowly, watching his perfect husband lay the cutout name across the top of the pie. “I know.”
high resolution »

tomowowo:

Day 21: Cooking/Baking together - Prompt by me!

“Goodnight, sweetheart,” Cloud whispered, tucking Sophie into bed and stroking his hand over the blanket covering her tummy. “Sleep well, okay? You’ve got a birthday tomorrow.”

He flicked the lights out carefully, turning on the small carousel night-light Sephiroth had brought home for their precious little girl. Sophie hummed and murmured to herself in her sleep, shifting around, but falling still again, nursing at nothing for a moment before settling in to sleep. Cloud let out a slow breath and walked back into the kitchen.

“You read her Mr. Brown can Wark again?” Sephiroth murmured, looking up from where he was slicing dough into thin strips.

“She loves it,” Cloud said defensively, blushing despite himself. “She likes the noises…”

“I don’t blame her,” Sephiroth chuckled. “You make an adorable chocobo.”

“I’m not above sabotaging your shampoo,” Cloud warned with narrowed eyes before walking over to look at what Sephiroth was working on. “How goes the baking? It looks very… Pie-ish.”

He eyed the purple apples sitting before the pie crust with thinly veiled suspicion, but he was careful to keep his expression neutral. He knew Sephiroth’s quirks well enough by now to recognize unsteady ground when he saw it. The appearance of dumbapples in their kitchen was not unprecedented, but the last time it had happened Sephiroth had vanished into the night and come back spattered in dragon blood and unable to put his wing away.

"I know cake is more appropriate, but pie is all I know how to make," Sephiroth murmured, peeling the purple skin off the apples, not lifting his gaze to Cloud. “I hope she will still like it. It is very sweet."

"Seph," Cloud said softly, stepping forward and placing a hand on his back. "She’ll love it.” He hesitated, watching Sephiroth’s sure hands work for a moment, certain he knew who had taught Sephiroth to make Banora White pie, and feeling the words burning inside of him. Finally, he took a deep breath and steeled himself, speaking them aloud, despite knowing they might hurt his lover. “And I’m sure they would have loved her…"

Sephiroth bowed his head, giving up on the pretense of peeling apples, standing before the kitchen island with his head bowed and his shoulders shaking. Tears would not come for him—they never did—but Cloud wrapped his arms around him anyway, and held his lover close while he mourned.

“i’m sorry,” Cloud whispered. “I wish…”

“Me too,” Sephiroth whispered roughly. “Angeal would have liked you a lot. Genesis probably would have tried to steal you for his own.”

There was the faintest hint of fond humor in his sad voice, and Cloud nuzzled into his shoulder, lifting a hand to rest over his husband’s heart. Sephiroth let out a slow breath, standing still a moment with Cloud holding him.

“Sorry,” the tall man murmured. “I should have found a recipe that wouldn’t make me like this.”

“Make you like what?” Cloud rubbed Sephiroth’s chest gently. “Pensive about remembering your friends? There’s nothing wrong with taking a moment, Seph. And there’s nothing wrong with remembering them. I know I like hearing about them, anyway. And I’m sure Sophie will too.”

“I hope so,” Sephiroth murmured, picking up the apple again, his hands mechanically starting again from where he left off. “Though I will have to get better and not…Falling apart thinking about what happened.”

“I’m always here if you want to talk,” Cloud gave Sephiroth a tight squeeze, lifting hopeful eyes to him. “But I won’t push.”

“I know you won’t,” Sephiroth murmured, casting him a hollow smile. It didn’t reach his sorrowful eyes. “It doesn’t feel right. My daughter not knowing them. They were…Family. Or it felt that way. They probably did not feel the same. I’m sure Genesis didn’t, at least. Angeal probably would have been flattered.”

Cloud hummed softly in understanding without trying to butt in. When Sephiroth fell silent for a while, Cloud pressed a kiss to his shoulder, then went to pull on his own apron, returning to set in to slicing the lines of dough for Sephiroth, eventually flattening out the extras and carving out Sophie’s name in the pie crust. He heard Sephiroth chuckle and looked over to see the man watching over his shoulder.

“Adorable,” the General commented. “We’ll have to be sure to get a picture before we cut it.”

Cloud looked at him, and the sad look still lingering in his eyes, and the flour on his apron, and gave him a tender smile in return.

“I love you,” he commented softly. “You aren’t alone, okay?”

“I know,” Sephiroth said softly, dropping a kiss on Cloud’s lips before turning back to weaving the strips of pie crust over and under on top of the pie with a tremendous dexterity. “And that is enough. But it doesn’t mean I don’t wish they were still here too. At least some of the time.”

“I know,” Cloud said, nodding slowly, watching his perfect husband lay the cutout name across the top of the pie. “I know.”

tomowowo:

Day 20: Dancing - Prompt by boomchickfanfiction&lt;3&lt;3&lt;3&lt;3
WATCH THIS VIDEO FOR THE DANCE PART
"What’s the point of this?" Cloud growled.
"It improves dexterity, mobility, and elegance in battle," Sephiroth replied. "Most Soldiers learn some form of dance to augment their training, and simulated performance is as valuable as simulated battle."
"…Do all of them wear dresses too?"
"No," Sephiroth replied with a wicked smile. "But you must admit, it adds to the effect. And it looks incredible on you."
"Besides,” he continued, gesturing mildly between them, “we’ve already learned the movements. From here, there can be only one final step to perfect this, which is to behave as though it were a performance. Think of it as a dry run for when the two of us will inevitably work together. We need to learn to move around each other, do we not?"
"You sound like you’ve been rehearsing this speech all night," Cloud groused, hiking the frilly red skirt and storming onto the dancing stage in front of the empty audience conjured by the VR room. "Let’s get this over with."
Cloud’s heels clicked against the wooden floor of the stage, and he glared down at the frills of his dress. He knew it would swish so nicely about his ankles if he would let it fall and walk like a lady, but he was damned if he wasn’t going to put up resistance to this. He might love dresses, but that didn’t mean that Sephiroth had to know he was enjoying this. If he did, Cloud doubted he’d ever be able to get into a pair of pants again off the clock.
He turned back to glare at Sephiroth, but couldn’t help but soften his glare to something less angry and more lustful as the tall man stepped up behind him, a distinct swagger in his steps. Cloud bit his lip, trying not to be too obviously turned on by the tight pants and low-cut shirt. He averted his eyes, feigning annoyance.
"You look incredible." Sephiroth reiterated, holding out his hands to Cloud, waiting for him to accept the starting stance.
"Jerk," Cloud muttered. "One of these days I’m going to make you wear the dress. First the miniskirt and now this…"
"Are you ready to dance or not?" Sephiroth asked, still standing there, waiting for Cloud to take his hand.
“Fine,” Cloud muttered, placing his hand inside Sephiroth’s, taking a half step to the right, standing opposite him with his face turned away dramatically. “But you owe me for this.”
"Computer," Sephiroth called. "Count down from five and start music."
"Five," Said the computer.
"Your heart is beating so fast," Sephiroth whispered. "You’re sure you’re not excited?"
"Four,"
"Maybe I’m just annoyed," Cloud muttered, cutting a glance towards Sephiroth, tossing the hair-extensions back over his shoulder.
"Three,"
"You’ll be grand," Sephiroth said, softly and soothingly. "Just let the music lead you to me."
"Two,"
"You always act like you’re in charge," Cloud muttered, lifting his chin haughtily. “Ever think it might lead you to me?”
"One."
Cloud was delighted to have had the last word, listening to the soft huff from Sephiroth before his time for thinking was over. The first strain of music triggered the dance routine he’d drilled into his memory. He snapped out the hand Sephiroth wasn’t holding with a dramatic fling that would have done their rigorous ballroom dance teacher proud. He tossed his head back, trying not to feel foolish, and turned sharply to face Sephiroth with a sharp clack of his heels on the wood.
Sephiroth snapped his gaze to Cloud before turning sharply to face him with the entrance of the energetic violins to their music. His hand lifted, sliding up Cloud’s leg to rest on his hip, and Cloud placed his hand over Sephiroth’s shoulder, glaring at his superior smirk and tightening his grip in warning.
And then their cue struck. They stepped together, sharply. ‘Slow quick quick’ Cloud thought to himself as they moved in tandem.  He let the mantra fade into the background of his mind as the basic step vanished and Sephiroth lifted him with perfect ease, slinging him through the air as Cloud kicked behind himself, twisting just-so and only barely managing not to land on the trailing end of his dress. 
Sephiroth’s smirk deepened briefly before he assumed the serious look that was customary for this sort of dance. Cloud stepped closer, drawn in by the hand pressed low against his back, stepping so close to Sephiroth that if one of them missed a move, the other would tumble over them. His chest pressed against Sephiroth’s, and their foreheads almost touched as they looked down during the intense pattern of steps.
Then Cloud braced himself for another flip, tossed lightly into the air and held there, back bowed and his head thrown back as Sephiroth swung him around his own back as though he weighed nothing. He still looked blank and distant. Cloud’s eyes narrowed. This dance was supposed to be passion. He would make Sephiroth feel it until he lost that distant, focused look in his eyes.
His heels beat out a violent rhythm against the floor as he and Sephiroth danced, every movement perfected, in absolute synchronicity despite their difference in side and the dress trailing behind Cloud. He upped the intensity, letting his reservations and embarrassment go in favor of fighting for Sephiroth’s full focus. He couldn’t be his equal with a sword yet, but he was damned if he was just going to be a prop for Sephiroth to dance with.
He hooked his leg in Sephiroth’s arm at the perfect time, dragged forward by the intimate hold against Sephiroth, his left leg dragging, held straight behind him. Sephiroth pulled him flush against his body, and Cloud tilted his head back, taking in the disinterested look on Sephiroth’s face during the pause in music for the dramatic pose. He closed the distance between them, catching Sephiroth in a brief, fierce kiss. When they parted, the look of distance was long gone, replaced by faint shock and a touch of a smile on the silver-haired man’s face. When the music moved on, Cloud was half a beat ahead of his lover, taking the upper hand for once.
Sephiroth caught up quickly, but his touches were suddenly more passionate, on the edge of violent. Cloud gave him a fierce grin that was part delight and part challenge. He pressed against Sephiroth in the close moments, grinding against him in a way that ought to have embarraseed him to the point of blushing and stuttering, but that combined with the music and the heart-pounding dance felt absolutely right. 
He felt powerful, and Sephiroth followed his lead. He dropped at the final moment of the song, boneless, tilted back in a dangerous fall. A firm arm caught him around his torso, leaving him hanging securely in Sephiroth’s arms, with his lover’s wide hands splayed on his back.
They stayed there a long moment. Over his own heavy breath, Cloud could hear Sephiroth panting too.
“Computer,” Sephiroth purred. “Let no one enter.”
“Understood, General.” The computer intoned above them.
“You,” Sephiroth growled, drawing Cloud up from his back-bending final move. “Are a handful.”
“And you,” Cloud purred, hooking his leg around Sephiroth’s back to draw them closer together, flush against one another as though they were still dancing, “love every moment of it.”

He laughed into the kiss as Sephiroth’s lips pressed against his own and his hand slid up the high slit in his skirt. If Sephiroth wanted to blow off the rest of dance practice to make use of their alone time, Cloud had no objections.
high resolution »

tomowowo:

Day 20: Dancing - Prompt by boomchickfanfiction<3<3<3<3

WATCH THIS VIDEO FOR THE DANCE PART

"What’s the point of this?" Cloud growled.

"It improves dexterity, mobility, and elegance in battle," Sephiroth replied. "Most Soldiers learn some form of dance to augment their training, and simulated performance is as valuable as simulated battle."

"…Do all of them wear dresses too?"

"No," Sephiroth replied with a wicked smile. "But you must admit, it adds to the effect. And it looks incredible on you."

"Besides,” he continued, gesturing mildly between them, “we’ve already learned the movements. From here, there can be only one final step to perfect this, which is to behave as though it were a performance. Think of it as a dry run for when the two of us will inevitably work together. We need to learn to move around each other, do we not?"

"You sound like you’ve been rehearsing this speech all night," Cloud groused, hiking the frilly red skirt and storming onto the dancing stage in front of the empty audience conjured by the VR room. "Let’s get this over with."

Cloud’s heels clicked against the wooden floor of the stage, and he glared down at the frills of his dress. He knew it would swish so nicely about his ankles if he would let it fall and walk like a lady, but he was damned if he wasn’t going to put up resistance to this. He might love dresses, but that didn’t mean that Sephiroth had to know he was enjoying this. If he did, Cloud doubted he’d ever be able to get into a pair of pants again off the clock.

He turned back to glare at Sephiroth, but couldn’t help but soften his glare to something less angry and more lustful as the tall man stepped up behind him, a distinct swagger in his steps. Cloud bit his lip, trying not to be too obviously turned on by the tight pants and low-cut shirt. He averted his eyes, feigning annoyance.

"You look incredible." Sephiroth reiterated, holding out his hands to Cloud, waiting for him to accept the starting stance.

"Jerk," Cloud muttered. "One of these days I’m going to make you wear the dress. First the miniskirt and now this…"

"Are you ready to dance or not?" Sephiroth asked, still standing there, waiting for Cloud to take his hand.

“Fine,” Cloud muttered, placing his hand inside Sephiroth’s, taking a half step to the right, standing opposite him with his face turned away dramatically. “But you owe me for this.”

"Computer," Sephiroth called. "Count down from five and start music."

"Five," Said the computer.

"Your heart is beating so fast," Sephiroth whispered. "You’re sure you’re not excited?"

"Four,"

"Maybe I’m just annoyed," Cloud muttered, cutting a glance towards Sephiroth, tossing the hair-extensions back over his shoulder.

"Three,"

"You’ll be grand," Sephiroth said, softly and soothingly. "Just let the music lead you to me."

"Two,"

"You always act like you’re in charge," Cloud muttered, lifting his chin haughtily. “Ever think it might lead you to me?

"One."

Cloud was delighted to have had the last word, listening to the soft huff from Sephiroth before his time for thinking was over. The first strain of music triggered the dance routine he’d drilled into his memory. He snapped out the hand Sephiroth wasn’t holding with a dramatic fling that would have done their rigorous ballroom dance teacher proud. He tossed his head back, trying not to feel foolish, and turned sharply to face Sephiroth with a sharp clack of his heels on the wood.

Sephiroth snapped his gaze to Cloud before turning sharply to face him with the entrance of the energetic violins to their music. His hand lifted, sliding up Cloud’s leg to rest on his hip, and Cloud placed his hand over Sephiroth’s shoulder, glaring at his superior smirk and tightening his grip in warning.

And then their cue struck. They stepped together, sharply. ‘Slow quick quick’ Cloud thought to himself as they moved in tandem.  He let the mantra fade into the background of his mind as the basic step vanished and Sephiroth lifted him with perfect ease, slinging him through the air as Cloud kicked behind himself, twisting just-so and only barely managing not to land on the trailing end of his dress.

Sephiroth’s smirk deepened briefly before he assumed the serious look that was customary for this sort of dance. Cloud stepped closer, drawn in by the hand pressed low against his back, stepping so close to Sephiroth that if one of them missed a move, the other would tumble over them. His chest pressed against Sephiroth’s, and their foreheads almost touched as they looked down during the intense pattern of steps.

Then Cloud braced himself for another flip, tossed lightly into the air and held there, back bowed and his head thrown back as Sephiroth swung him around his own back as though he weighed nothing. He still looked blank and distant. Cloud’s eyes narrowed. This dance was supposed to be passion. He would make Sephiroth feel it until he lost that distant, focused look in his eyes.

His heels beat out a violent rhythm against the floor as he and Sephiroth danced, every movement perfected, in absolute synchronicity despite their difference in side and the dress trailing behind Cloud. He upped the intensity, letting his reservations and embarrassment go in favor of fighting for Sephiroth’s full focus. He couldn’t be his equal with a sword yet, but he was damned if he was just going to be a prop for Sephiroth to dance with.

He hooked his leg in Sephiroth’s arm at the perfect time, dragged forward by the intimate hold against Sephiroth, his left leg dragging, held straight behind him. Sephiroth pulled him flush against his body, and Cloud tilted his head back, taking in the disinterested look on Sephiroth’s face during the pause in music for the dramatic pose. He closed the distance between them, catching Sephiroth in a brief, fierce kiss. When they parted, the look of distance was long gone, replaced by faint shock and a touch of a smile on the silver-haired man’s face. When the music moved on, Cloud was half a beat ahead of his lover, taking the upper hand for once.

Sephiroth caught up quickly, but his touches were suddenly more passionate, on the edge of violent. Cloud gave him a fierce grin that was part delight and part challenge. He pressed against Sephiroth in the close moments, grinding against him in a way that ought to have embarraseed him to the point of blushing and stuttering, but that combined with the music and the heart-pounding dance felt absolutely right.

He felt powerful, and Sephiroth followed his lead. He dropped at the final moment of the song, boneless, tilted back in a dangerous fall. A firm arm caught him around his torso, leaving him hanging securely in Sephiroth’s arms, with his lover’s wide hands splayed on his back.

They stayed there a long moment. Over his own heavy breath, Cloud could hear Sephiroth panting too.

“Computer,” Sephiroth purred. “Let no one enter.”

“Understood, General.” The computer intoned above them.

“You,” Sephiroth growled, drawing Cloud up from his back-bending final move. “Are a handful.”

“And you,” Cloud purred, hooking his leg around Sephiroth’s back to draw them closer together, flush against one another as though they were still dancing, “love every moment of it.”

He laughed into the kiss as Sephiroth’s lips pressed against his own and his hand slid up the high slit in his skirt. If Sephiroth wanted to blow off the rest of dance practice to make use of their alone time, Cloud had no objections.

tomowowo:

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.
high resolution »

tomowowo:

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.

tomowowo:

Day 18: doing something together - Prompt by boomchickfanfiction&lt;3&lt;3&lt;3&lt;3&lt;3&lt;3&lt;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.”
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tomowowo:

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.”

tomowowo:

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."
"Cloud…"
"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.
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tomowowo:

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."

"Cloud…"

"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.

tomowowo:

Day 16: Morning Ritual - Prompt by boomchickfanfiction&lt;3&lt;3&lt;3&lt;3&lt;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.’
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tomowowo:

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.’

tomowowo:

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."
&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;-
"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.
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tomowowo:

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.