Final Fantasy - All Series Fan Fiction ❯ Ephemeral Existence ❯ 10: Swords ( Chapter 11 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Ephemeral Existence
A C/S Story
Warnings: YAOI, kinda AU, violence, lots of drama, screwed-up minds, boys kissing (did I mention screwed-up minds? Yeah)
Disclaimer: Not mine. Phooey.
Chapter 10: Swords
“STOP!” Cloud yelled and this time, the fighting slowed down. All of the men and some of the girls in his group protested; the others gazed at the blond in question. Cloud lowered his head, pointing to the ex-General of the Shinra Army. “I'm going to deal with him alone. The others should stay back.”
“Don't be foolish!” Vincent shouted, scowling at Cloud.
“Stop trying to be a hero!” Yuffie yelled.
Why…?” Tifa asked, blood dripping on the side of her face. “You know you can't handle him alone! We have to work together like you said to beat him!”
“She's right,” Red XIII said, making his way over to Tifa. He muttered a few words and the wounds on Tifa's legs healed. “Where did you get the idea that you can pull this off alone?”
“Yeah,” Barret said, laughing humorlessly. “This ain't like you.”
“Are you trying to prove yourself to something?” Cait Sith inquired, catching everybody off guard. Who knew that the robot could be perceptive at times?
“If you are, then what?” Cid asked, walking up to him. He squinted into Cloud's face, and even blew a smoke ring at him, yet Cloud didn't even react. “Cloud?”
Cloud didn't move and neither did Sephiroth, but after a moment of silence, Cloud spoke quietly, solemnly, “You have no idea who you're dealing with.” I've spent many weeks with this man alone and that`s including the weeks those scientists messed with my body-- why does it feel like I know a lot about him when he didn't tell me anything about himself that much? “I mean, if you want the probability, it's eight to one, but even so,“ he muttered, shaking his head. “I know I'm not being optimistic about this, but violence and force isn't always going to solve problems.”
Sephiroth smiled in amusement and descended to the ground, his wings vanishing and his legs returning. Masamune came into his hand, but it seemed that he didn't intend on hurting anybody right now. “I suppose you're right, Cloud Strife.” Cloud looked up and gasped. This was the first time in public that Sephiroth had acknowledged him directly with some sort of… respect? “Before I change my mind and really lose my temper, would you prefer to compromise?”
Yes, that was the deal, Cloud thought. Their eyes locked and the intensity between them rose; it reminded Cloud briefly of the times he spent with the Turks. Every time he was with them, it was as though he was walking on the edge of insanity; the same could be said for Sephiroth, but he realized that this was deeper because they knew each other at a much more intimate level. “Yes.”
His friends gazed at Sephiroth and Cloud in shock.
“What the hell is going on here!” Barret shouted, voicing everybody`s thoughts. “Who are you,” he pointed at Cloud accusingly, “and what did you do to Cloud?”
Cloud sheathed Ultima and gave his friend a look; it wasn't a glare, it wasn't anything menacing, but it was a look that expressed the intensity of the situation and that he didn't like anybody intervening in fragile moments like this. He needed to handle the situation meticulously. Like chess, one wrong move, one wrong word could screw everything up even though he had practiced this with Sephiroth yesterday. Maybe he and Sephiroth were being too direct, but they had already demonstrated their struggles as planned…
“Barret, I know what I'm doing,” Cloud reassured him.
“Then why do you hesitate?” Vincent quietly challenged. “Does it bother you that Sephiroth could kill you at any moment?”
Cloud smiled and walked over to Sephiroth. The ex-General glanced at him, probably baffled, but Cloud grinned again as though to say `Trust me'. “Remember how once we wanted to settle this problem, the troubles of the Planet, by talking to Sephiroth instead of fighting against him?” Some of his friends nodded, but the suspicious ones like Vincent, Barret, and Yuffie seemed skeptical about this. “Well, this is the time. Don't take this for granted because he might change his mind, being capricious he is.”
“What is that supposed to mean?” Sephiroth burst out, and suddenly, Cloud felt as though they were back in Sephiroth's private room, bickering at each other and trying to mess with each other's minds. “I dare you to repeat that again, Strife.” He glared at Cloud, pointing his weapon at him. “Or have you forgotten the wrath of the Ancients?”
Cloud wanted to laugh, but he knew he couldn't because he didn't want his friends to get any ideas that he had other relations to the ex-General. It was bad enough that they were suspicious since Cloud and Sephiroth to them were acting strangely. Also, since Zack wasn't there to chide his friend like before, it was even more suspicious, but Cloud assumed that Zack was amusing himself as he watched his two best friends bicker like children. “How are we to remember your so-called wrath when we haven't truly experienced it?”
Sephiroth glowered at him. “Your insults will not be tolerated.”
“You tolerated them before!” Cloud yelled, taking out his sword and thrusting it upon Sephiroth's chest. Sephiroth raised a hand and he and Cloud disappeared into 4D space, whereupon they were surrounded and isolated from the others. It was just the two of them once more; they were alone, vulnerable and weak.
Or maybe not.
Cloud retreated from Sephiroth, lowering his weapon and chuckling quietly.
Sephiroth snorted, rolling his eyes. “So much for that practice, hmm?” he questioned, advancing on the blond slowly. “Why did you do that?” he inquired, and Cloud smirked. “Have you forgotten our relations to each other?” He held out one of his gloved hands, turning it into a fist. “Do you want your friends to be suspicious of you?” Another step closer, but Cloud didn't make a move. “You're really asking for it.”
“Asking for what?” the blond inquired. The smile on his face was wiped out the moment Sephiroth grabbed him, pulled him towards himself and kissed him deeply, shocking Cloud, both of their weapons falling to the ground. Cloud tried to resist him because he was so confused and he didn't know why Sephiroth had kissed him again. He couldn't even ask that question because Sephiroth would tell him the same answer of “I don't know” and then they would be lost and--
Sephiroth had a hard grip on him, arms encircled around his waist, and even though Cloud could stab and cast spells on him, he didn't. Instead, he melted in the warm embrace, returning the kiss like yesterday. This is so wrong, he thought miserably. How could this be wrong if it feels so good? Maybe it was wrong because he had no control over this and neither did the ex-General.
Sephiroth was the first one to break the kiss and he stayed where he was, his body pressed against his puppet. He gazed at Cloud for a long time, silver eyes dark and deep with many emotions. “A compromise,” he murmured, voice low and enticing. Cloud shuddered in pleasure; his body was betraying him as his arms wrapped around Sephiroth's neck. “That's what you wanted, isn't it?” he asked and Cloud nodded. “We already made a deal, but there is something else I have inform you.”
“What?” A sudden dread came over him.
Sephiroth turned away in one graceful movement and sighed. “You know that you have this habit of… rebelling against me.” A pause of silence; Cloud urged for him to continue. “When the scientists-- doctors-- whatever you want to call them finished examining your body, they noticed the excess mako that makes you who you are.”
“What about it?” Cloud said slowly; he had a bad feeling about this. Never mind the fact that Sephiroth had kissed him and he had returned it-- this was far more serious. “I'm well aware of the things that Hojo did to me. Are you saying that they found something new about it?”
“One of the reasons why I never left you out of my sight is because of that,” Sephiroth explained impassively. “True your powers were neutralized when you were in the Promised Land, but now…” He shook his head. “I don't know the effects of you not using your powers for that long since it was neutralized and restricted. After you returned to the Planet, I actually thought that I didn't give a damn, but I did, thus the reason I'm telling you this now.”
“In other words,” Cloud stated, walking towards Sephiroth. “Are you saying that I have to figure out a way to vent out the effects of my powers because they weren't being used for a long time or something bad will happen?”
“Precisely,” Sephiroth answered calmly, but everything about him expressed utter worry, which baffled Cloud. “I don't know what the effects are, but it is best if you don't lose control in general. Zack wasn't aware of that fact, but he probably figured it out by now.”
“Shit,” Cloud cursed, letting out a sigh of frustration. “Losing control…” Another moment of the sickening silence. Cloud felt like he was on the edge; there were too many things going on at once and he didn't know what to do. “Sometimes, I wonder why is it fine if you lose control and unleash your wrath upon us, but then if it's me…”
“I didn't have to inform you about this,” Sephiroth said darkly. “I didn't have to do this at all. I could have kept you in my abode and never let you see true daylight. I could have destroyed that materia that Zack had relinquished to me. I could have had those scientists perform other experiments on your body, treating you like the traitor you really are. I could take everything away from you like before because this time, Cloud Strife, you have much to lose.”
“Sephiroth…” Cloud trailed off. Those words pierced him like a million swords, but he refused to be treated like this. “I know you could,” he said softly, placing his hands on Sephiroth's arms gently, “I know you could strip me of everything I have.” He paused there, looking deeply into the other man's eyes. “But I know that you won't.
Cloud smiled sadly. “Because if you really wanted to do that to me again, then you would have right now.” He leaned closer, tilting Sephiroth's face to the side. For a moment, he had control because Sephiroth was too shocked to do anything. “I wish I knew why you did the things that you did, but I'm glad that you did them anyway.” He paused, thinking deeply. “I wish I knew a way to thank you because it would be disrespectful otherwise, so…” he trailed off, unsure about the things he was going to do next.
At this point, he didn't know if he was doing the right thing, because he never done this before. “I'll truly keep my part of our bargain.” He hesitantly pressed his lips against the ex-General's, sealing his own fate. “I'm Zack's, and I'm yours.” Sephiroth's eyes widened in utter surprise and Cloud pulled away, his hands resting on Sephiroth's shoulders again. “Isn't that what you wanted, Sephiroth?”
He received no answer, but the moment Sephiroth straightened himself and waved his hands to bring them back to the abyss. Cloud knew that Sephiroth had agreed to the conditions they set for each other. He smiled at him and joined his friends who started bombarding him with questions.
“Is it over?” Tifa asked, staring at Cloud hopefully.
“Yeah,” Cloud said, turning around. “Let's go.”
“Just like that?” Barret inquired, heaving his shoulders. “What did you guys talked about?”
“What's the catch?” Yuffie questioned, crossing her arms.
“It's not going to endanger anybody so you don't have to worry about it,” Cloud answered, nearing the exit, yet none of his friends followed him.
“I bet it has something to do with you,” Vincent said calmly. He glanced at Sephiroth thoughtfully and continued, “Knowing your self-sacrificing nature that is.”
Red XIII frowned at Vincent. “I agree.”
“In the end, it is none of your concern,” Sephiroth stated, gazing at them coldly. “And if you press on him any further, I will change my mind and destroy all of you traitors.”
“Who are you calling traitors?” Cid snapped, glaring at him. “It's not really your concern to intervene.”
“Oh, but it is,” Sephiroth said, smiling menacingly. “You--”
“Sephiroth,” Cloud interrupted. “We'll take our leave.”
“Hmm,” Sephiroth muttered, waving one of his hands to open the exit of the Crater. “That you all will.”
“And we shall,” Cloud smiled at him. “Sayonara.”
The forcefield slammed down with a loud thud and everyone in his group headed to the Highwind. Some of his friends were talking, but he didn't mind since he missed them so much.
“Hey Cloud,” Tifa commented, walking next to him. “Why did you say that?”
“Eh?” Cloud questioned, gazing at his best friend. “Say what?”
“Sayonara,” Tifa said, grinning. “You don't say that to your enemies, silly.”
“Yeah, I know,” Cloud said, smiling in return. Tifa blinked, probably confused, and Cloud laughed, patting her shoulder. “Never mind it, Tifa.”
The fightress shrugged. “If you say so.”
Cloud continued to smile. He would never tell his friends about himself and Sephiroth until Sephiroth decided to intervene his life again. Because he knew that despite Cloud's words, this wasn't the final good bye.
This was only the beginning.
Zack at that very moment - ROFL Yep.
IT'S NOT OVER! There's like, ten more chapters. And maybe more. I don't know. x.x
Happy REALLY early Valentine's Day! *throws Hershey's Kisses out at readers*