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24 May 2006 @ 08:25 pm
Contemplations - Cloud/Sephiroth (Part 1)  
SUMMARY: Sephiroth comes and visits Cloud in the now empty apartment and they discuss Kadaj, mothers, and life in general. Yaoi warning for parts 2 & 3.

Cloud: Having an empty house was different now, and Cloud admitted that having complete silence in his home again was unpleasant. He had taken to wandering about it aimlessly when he had finished all the housework and checked around for something to feed himself with. Out of habit, he had mistakenly made too much food, having fallen into the assumption that he would be cooking and feeding more than himself. It was a fact that made his large apartment seem all the more empty to him, and he almost didn't want to be here anymore.

He hadn't heard any word from Kadaj, not certain if the smaller male was still out at the beach or what. He admitted being disheartened by this, but he didn't allow it to show too much except for when he found himself staring in that pathetic hopefulness that Kadaj would call him and tell him something. It never happened, and he had quickly scolded himself and taken his leave, simply staring out the window aware of the fact that he had pushed too hard in their last encounter. It had turned back on him, and his own failings had chased Kadaj and his brothers off. There was a shadow of doubt that they would ever return again, probably because of something that he had done. He hadn't been what they needed... and so they had left. He should have expected it.

Lying in bed alone, he didn't feel any better. The wall wasn't the most interesting thing to stare at, but it was better than nothing. He wasn't used to sleeping alone anymore, usually Kadaj crawling into bed with him to sleep beside him. His bed felt rather large without the smaller male to fill the other sections of it, and he had eventually pressed himself against the wall, resting his forehead against it in an attempt to preserve some feeling that he wasn't alone in his bed. It worked well enough... he managed to slowly drift off to sleep with the wall his own companion.

How his mother would be ashamed at his ability to chase people off... it would always happen. She was there in his sketchy dreams, shaking her head and sighing longsuffering at him. She didn't have to say anything to let him know her disappointment, her blue eyes telling him that he would never understand... which shamed her memory. He murmured in sleep, shivering as the single whispered, "momma" left his lips, pressing himself harder against the wall in an attempt to grasp any sort of comfort.

Sephiroth: There had been an odd hollow sensation within him throughout the day, that very sensation Sephiroth found had been far too distracting as he tried to concentrate onto his little practice partner earlier. He had attempted to place a name to what he felt within but even as he did that it felt foreign, something emotion he had never truly felt, or ever allowed himself to feel and it was proving far too difficult to categorize it. That was the sole reason why he had ended the useless practice session hours ago, considering there was no point in attempting to improve something when you could no focus your mind upon it.

Yet even as he slowly travelled through the barren streets of inner Midgar afterwards, the feeling had still not left him and he realised that despite not minding isolation he still felt rather… alone. It had confused him at first, and still continued to do so throughout the rest of the day when the feeling only seemed to increase.

No matter what he did nothing seemed to make it fade into nothingness, the way he usually felt when given time to himself. He felt within him the need to see Cloud, the foreign emotions of loneliness feeling completely wrong to him and there was no other way he could think of to change the situation.

That was how he’d found himself floating outside of Cloud’s bedroom, legs crossed beneath him as he sat in the air contemplating if he should enter. He couldn’t feel Kadaj within the apartment and the memory of his lover informing him of the brothers little excursion came to mind. It were obvious that they were still out on their little adventure, and judging by how distant the connection he felt between himself and Kadaj, they wouldn’t be returning anytime soon either. That meant that there was no risk in inviting myself within Cloud’s apartment, considering the reason for his ‘banishment’ from the building in the first place was due to their benefit.

Coming to a decision, Sephiroth moved himself towards the window, one which he had become very familiar with during his stay within this very room, and pushed it gently. He felt the corner of his lips upturn into a satisfied smile when it gave way slightly and without waiting a moment longer he pushed the window open wide enough to allow him t slip in.

The room was dark as he entered and the feeling of isolation seemed to magnify upon entering. His eyes narrowed and brows knitted together into a frown at the discovery while he absently closed the window again before unsheathing Masamune and placing her next to the clear plain of glass. His footsteps were silent upon the floor beneath as he quietly made it over to where his lover lay, body pressing itself up against the wall in sleep. He stood standing over the bed, silently watching the figure thoughtfully and yet, it wasn’t until the near-silent word for his mother slipped by Cloud’s lips, that Sephiroth realised who the emotion within him was connected to.

The guards upon his shoulder were easily removed, Sephiroth moving to place them quietly upon the floor before kneeling upon the mattress, the soft surface dipping beneath his weight as he put more pressure on the springs. Lying down alongside his lover, Sephiroth loosely slipped his arm around Cloud’s waist and leant forward pressing his lips to his lover’s ear as he lay there silently beside Cloud’s sleeping form.

Cloud: She was scolding him with that look again. It was the kind of look that she used to give him when he would come in covered head-to-toe in mud and dripping with water from the recent rain. He had probably been attempting to get inside where it was warm and had dirtied the house with his presence and need for play, but she never said anything to him even as her hands settled on her hips and that stare was levelled at him. She wasn't angry just... disappointed. That look was far more guilt-wrenching than any other that she would give him.

His knees lifted until they hit the wall and could go no further, unable to curl up into the foetal position to hide himself from that look that haunted him. She was disappointed, and it was all his fault. If only he had turned to get her, to think of her instead of assuming her dead... to be a hero and chase after something that would forever change his life and make him nothing more than a guilt-ridden husk at times. That look made him feel like he was seven again, and not even the sweetest smile that he could come up with would soothe her. If he was older, he would spit a curse at his father and stalk off to avoid her look.

Now, Cloud simply shuddered against the wall before his mind was alerted to something moving in his room. The shift on his mattress indicated that he wasn't alone, and for the barest of moments, he let out a pleased noise as he thought that Kadaj had forgiven him and come back to rest with him once again. He almost immediately shifted himself back against the firm weight at his back, turning his head so his ear pressed more towards the affection. He was not yet alone to see her staring at him in disappointment.

The build was wrong though, larger than his body and more muscular feeling than the last time that Kadaj had been in his bed. His blue eyes flicked open and glanced back to regard whomever had invaded his bed, finding himself staring at Sephiroth. He wasn't disappointed with the sight, but there was a small pang of despair that no... Kadaj had not and probably would not return.

Before he knew it, he turned himself in the older man's hold and curled himself up against Sephiroth's firm weight, his arm curling up against his own chest as he buried his face into Sephiroth's chest. It was warm and inviting, chasing away some of the dark feelings that were swimming around in his mind. He had forbade Sephiroth from coming here, but he no longer considered the truce as more than a tie to secure Sephiroth... he trusted the older man. "What are you doing here? It isn't our day to meet," he murmured softly, though he felt relieved to have his lover in his bed again.

Sephiroth: Sephiroth moved to tighten his hold around Cloud when he felt the other press back up against him. Sighting the slight hint of blue shining though the darkness, the mako highlighting their colour as they glowed softly within them. He said nothing in response to being recognised, remaining silent as slowly the feeling of loneliness within him faded slightly.

As Cloud moved within his hold, he accommodated the move, shifting himself in order to allow the younger man to curl up comfortably against his frame before replacing his firm hold around his lover.

Though the touch was more than welcome, Sephiroth still couldn’t help but feel the pang of concern within him as his own softly glowing eyes peered down to view the top of the blonde hair. The question spoken was quiet and would have gone unheard if it weren’t for the complete silence within the dark bedroom and he found himself unable to answer for a long time as he lay there holding Cloud within his arms.

Shifting himself slightly, he moved down to rest his cheek on top of Cloud’s head and finding quietly that the soft blonde hair beneath his touch seemed to calm some of his own fears which still crawled beneath the surface. His fingers played absently along his lovers back, tracing small patterns as he spoke, his words just as quiet as Cloud’s so as not to disrupt his lover in any way. “I had a desire to see you.”

Cloud: For some reason, Cloud didn't want to move from the warm hold that Sephiroth held him in. He allowed the embrace to chase away bits of his own black emotions and take refuge in his lover's arms for a little while, since he seemed convinced that it would only be Sephiroth to pay him visitations anymore. He dared not think about what would happen if he managed to chase away the older man in the same way that he had lost Kadaj and his brothers because it was a thought that caused a shudder to run down his spine and made him curl tighter against Sephiroth's warmth.

He nodded his head a little from where it was placed and sighed heavily, thankful the older man had come to see him. He normally wasn't dependent on having someone else around, but it had been a difficult transition to come home for a few days and not have anyone there with him, not even the noise of other people living in his house. He had buried Sephiroth with too many of his problems, and he wouldn't do that for tonight, since the older man had made a special trip to his house to come and see him. "I am glad that you came..." he managed to say with a normal voice. "It's been awhile since you were here... but admittedly the last time wasn't the most pleasant of situations."

He finally managed to pull his head away from Sephiroth's chest and looked up at the older man, releasing his clingy grip and simply curling his arms tighter to his bare chest. "Are you... staying the night with me or just checking in?"

Sephiroth: It was impossible to miss the shudder which ran through Cloud’s body, the tremors along the younger man’s frame enough to tell him that something certainly wasn’t right. Perhaps Cloud was still upset with the matter concerning Kadaj? It was a good possibility considering the state he found his blonde lover the other day and knew that though he showed no signs of it after their initial talk, that the topic was hardly forgotten by the younger man.

During the short silence between their words Sephiroth allowed his gaze to run over the room even if he weren’t truly seeing them but through them, imagining the rooms past them. The silence and solitude never bothered him, finding it rather relaxing to be in such situations as it allowed him to reflect upon this past and allow him the chance to calm his mind… but he knew that despite his lover’s indifference to his own solitude, that Cloud was one who needed others around even if the younger man gave off the feeling of something otherwise.

The fingers tracing patterns along Cloud’s back paused briefly in their work when the mention of his last stay within this room was voiced. It had been quite some time since then “It has been quite some time since I last was within this room… and though that time was difficult for all involved, I do not regret the majority my actions.” He was more than certain that Cloud knew of exactly which action he regretted and though he tried not to dwell upon his past actions too often, being within the room itself brought back the memories of what had transpired.

When Cloud’s body against him relaxed and the head against his body moved, Sephiroth leant forward placing a light kiss to his lovers lips before pulling back to regard the younger man. “I will stay the night if you wish it… or if you prefer me to leave I will do so.”

Cloud: Cloud began the painful process of pushing down all the emotion that was threatening him, bottling it up where it would be safe from showing to anyone else, where he could dwell on it when he was alone again. He didn't wish to burden Sephiroth anymore than he had, and he would make sure to keep his thoughts to himself as it seemed that their relationship was slipping one-sided in the information giving. He knew that Sephiroth had been subjected to his moodiness and depression a little too much as of late, and he would not see it happen again. He told himself that he needed some emotional distance from his problems to keep them from spilling over on Sephiroth... something he considered would chase the older man away from him.

At the underlying topic of their last encounter in his bedroom, he found one hand rising to brush against his throat where he had once been subjected to a brutal choking. The marks were long gone, along with the previous bite marks that had come days before. The memory was still there, but he knew that he had already forgiven Sephiroth for those actions. He doubted it would happen again for as long as they were together. "Any actions you regret, I have already forgiven you for," he murmured softly.

He leaned into the kiss a little and sighed heavily, closing his eyes as he gathered himself again. "I enjoy your company, and I'm too used to sleeping with another person in bed... it is different sleeping alone." He left it at that, not about to bring up any other related thoughts on the topic. His mother's displeased look faded for a time until he was alone to be battered with it. "Where have you been since we last met?"

Sephiroth: There was a subtle shift within him, the action almost unnoticeable as the feeling of loneliness faded. The hollow sensation which had been plaguing him for most of the day fading back into nothingness. He said nothing in regards to what he was sensing, remaining thoughtfully silent on the matter as he quietly regarded his lover. Sephiroth had a hunch as to what could be going on, considering the slowly fading feel of emotions he felt within himself. He would make no mention of it for the time being, deciding to observe and wait until he found out more concerning this current matter.

Sephiroth didn’t miss the brush of fingers against Cloud’s neck, the memory of how that came to be forcing his gaze to shift its position up until his lover’s eyes came into sight.


It was one thing he didn’t deserve nor was he asking for. His actions of the past were something that couldn’t be changed no matter how much forgiveness was given. “Forgiveness… is one thing I do not seek or desire, nor is it anything I deserve…” He began, his voice sounding oddly loud within the quiet of the room, even to himself.

Releasing one arm from around the younger man, Sephiroth ran his hand travelled up along Cloud’s body until he reached the back of his lover’s neck. Playing with the few blonde strands he could find, a small playful smile curved at his lips as he pressed a quick kiss to Cloud’s forehead. “Then you will be with my company for the night, considering I’m rather comfortable where I am.”

At Cloud’s next question Sephiroth remained quiet for a short while, his mind quickly thinking back to the events which had happened since his last meeting with his lover. “I have been within the Midgar ruins training.” He said quietly.

There had been more to it than that, considering his mind had been focusing upon the possible family revelation exposed to him after their journey to the supermarket. With each swing of his sword, it allowed him to focus upon his inner thoughts and look back upon what was said and even if the subject at hand were truly possible at all. There had been some progress upon that topic, but his own thoughts had been sporadic when he attempted to focus at some parts, forcing him to centre his attentions on clearing his mind instead or risk losing himself far too much into the question at hand.

Cloud: "Being forgiven is not for you to decide," Cloud replied softly, keeping his voice barely above a whisper, and his softly glowing blue eyes dropped down to stare at the older man's chest instead of his lover's eyes. He thought for a moment about what he wanted to say on this subject as it wasn’t one to be taken very lightly, given the vast and bloody history between them that still lay relatively untouched with conversation. He intended to keep it that way until he was feeling better. "It was me who came under attack... so it is me who decides when you deserve forgiveness for what you have done. Whether you want it or not... I have forgiven you for that incident."

Subconsciously, he tilted his head back against the fingers playing with some of his hair, finally settling his hands back against the older man's chest before he slid slightly closer. It was enough so that their space was not simply friendly but personal and warm as well. He appreciated the distraction from his dark thoughts. "Stay... as long as you like," he murmured. It was not an offer he made lightly, but Sephiroth often was a nice distraction from things he didn't want to think about.

He nodded his head to what Sephiroth had been doing, though he thought it was probably more than that. He found that Sephiroth had never been very forthcoming with actual details on what happened when they weren't in one another's company. It was just a veiled mystery that he wasn't sure if he should push for more about. No, he would leave it for now, given how well the last time he had pushed... he had lost Kadaj completely. He didn't want to risk it with Sephiroth, so he instead changed the topic of conversation. "Tell me something... what was Jenova like to you? When... you were on your mission to become a god... what was she like?"

Sephiroth: Even despite the quiet voice Cloud spoke with, Sephiroth found he could do nothing but remain silent upon the matter himself. His lover did have a point and yet deep down he knew that if things had not gone the way that they transpired after that event occurred, that Cloud’s forgiveness would not have been given so easily. He knew deep within that no matter what the action, there was always a consequence which resulted.

When he felt his lover’s head tilt back against his touch before he felt Cloud’s own touch against his chest shortly before the small gap left between them disappeared a little more. The gesture didn’t go unnoticed as Sephiroth’s gaze remained firmly locked upon the younger man as Cloud spoke. “And what if I never wish to leave?” He questioned his voice remaining quiet yet held a serious undertone to it. Not that he every truly left Cloud’s side, even if he wasn’t there in a physical sense.

Sephiroth found his eyes widening slightly in surprise at the abrupt change in topic, not at all expecting such a question to truly ever be asked by any, least of all Cloud. There was a long thoughtful silence that drew out between them as his thoughts drifted back to that time, the fingers toying with the end of his lover’s blonde hair slowing in speed as his thoughts drifted elsewhere.

“Mother and I did not speak much outside of what we wished to achieve. She was driven, firmly intent to regain some form of her own self back to obtain some independence and Mother did what was needed so then I could become more powerful, despite the fact that I knew she was also using me for her own gain.” Sephiroth quietly began, his gaze un-focusing for a split second before their sharp gaze returned to Cloud’s own. “Yet even though not much was truly spoken between us, there was still a strong feeling of acceptance I felt while in her presence… There was no fear, no greed, no wary words or gestures just simple acceptance as to who I am.” He knew he spoke more than what he should have, speaking far too much into things better kept silent upon but there had been no other way to describe it. He had been far too mentally unstable for the most part of his time with Mother, and before then his body had been damaged too greatly and had to focus on healing itself to think much past that.

Cloud: At the quiet question, Cloud allowed his eyes to focus on Sephiroth's face again, more than aware that there was a serious undertone drifting about with it. He knew from experience that he would have to chose his words carefully to be understood and not overdo the point he would be making if and when he decided to reward Sephiroth with an answer. "Then I suppose you never wish to leave then... for now... you can stay as you like. No one is living with me anymore it seems, so... perhaps our truce arrangements can be set aside for the time being and you can come and go as you want?" It was a generous offer, but he knew he benefited from it quite a bit.

He silently listened as Sephiroth spoke of Jenova, and it had honestly been much more than he had been expecting from Sephiroth. He would have thought the answer would have been brief, to the point and shoving the subject to the side to never be spoken of again. Instead, he was given a small picture of what the creature had been like that had kept not only Sephiroth's loyalty but the older man's love and care as well. It did seem fitting that there was an acceptance there, but he supposed he never really thought Jenova capable of that... he was obviously wrong.

He rested his forehead against Sephiroth's chest to avoid eye-contract, remembering way back in the beginnings of his misery his own experience of Jenova. He had never openly spoke of it, never realized how he too had been drawn in so easily in the early days. "She used to sing to me," he uttered in a soft whisper. It was difficult to speak of, as the memories were hazy still. "The first injections it would be soft and put me to sleep... after the mako treatments, she would sing me lullaby’s in a language I didn't know. Hojo tried to get me to talk to her... wanted to know what she said to me as I was... the only one that heard her out of the samples..." he trailed off. "Did she ever sing to you?"

Sephiroth: Sephiroth quietly regarded Cloud as his lover’s attentions focused onto his own. He was a little surprised at the offer to come freely if that was what he wished, yet felt a slight bout of relief over the fact that the truce would still remain even if it were to be put aside for the time being. Sephiroth was more than well aware that he’d only allow that small part of the truce to slide for the time being, keeping the rest in place while he allowed himself some small amount of freedom from it. He wasn’t entirely ready to do without such a thing as of yet considering it gave him some comfort and focus upon which direction he needed to remain on until he decided he was ready to step beyond it. “I believe I can allow it to be allowed to slide for a short while… and I appreciate your offer.”

He was unsure exactly how Cloud would take his words or the small views he felt towards his Mother, knowing full well his lover’s hate for Jenova. Yet he was met with no open hostilities towards the very touchy subject when Cloud did finally break the silence. Moving his arm back down to wrap around his lover as he felt the touch to his chest, Sephiroth remained quiet at the words the younger man spoke.

It was surprising that Cloud had so freely spoken on such a thing, he had to admit, and found his full attentions focused upon what was said of his lover’s time within the lab. He was more than well aware of the length’s Hojo would go in order to get what he wanted and knew it was a difficult subject for either of them to speak of. When the words trailed off, dissolving into nothing until the subject was brought back onto that of his Mother. Sephiroth more than happily allowed it to slide back into the background, knowing neither of them were ready so speak of such things.

Leaning down so then he could place a kiss to the top of his lovers head, Sephiroth remained slightly curled over as his hold around Cloud tightened slightly, and he rested his cheek upon the soft tresses. “While I was trapped within the mako crystal, long before you released me… I was comforted by the sound of her songs while my body healed itself. It was only during that time that I truly heard her sing in such a manner.”

Cloud: Cloud wasn't so sure that Sephiroth completely understood what he meant in regards to the truce, as it seemed that there was the smallest portion of uncertainty from the older man. He pulled his hands up and slid his arms around Sephiroth's neck, tangling his fingers into the older man's silver hair and massaging his fingers against his lover's scalp. "I don't think you fully understand what I mean... our truce is made up of a 24 hour meeting on certain days. What I'm offering is to take away the certain days portion... meaning you can come to me whenever you like." He didn't know why he was offering such a thing, but he thought it had something to do with not wanting to be alone in his depression. There were things he wasn't ready to think about.

He leaned a little into the kiss on his forehead, nodding his head. He remembered well the point where he had freed Sephiroth from the mako crystal back into the world. He had not been strong enough to resist the order, and he had all too willingly given up the Black Materia, forsakening everything that Aerith had done for the planet. Were he stronger, things might have gone very differently... he might not be lying here with Sephiroth as his lover.

His jaw worked in this silence of the room, remembering Jenova's songs to him. He had been too weak and in pain to avoid her soothings, and in the end... it was the start of a very long battle. Zack couldn't hear her... just him. Still, he had actually thought it to be his own mother singing to him. "Momma... used to sing like that to me, when I was very young. She..." he paused then shook his head a little. "...nevermind."

Sephiroth: Leaning back into the touch as Cloud’s hands move up and around to massage his fingers against his scalp, Sephiroth found his eyes involuntarily closing at the sensation, enjoying the feel of the younger man’s touch before he was able to regain the strength enough to open them once again. At his lover’s words, he carefully regarded the younger man within his arms, taking in all that was said. “…I see…” He quietly said, thinking over what it entailed and finding nothing negative with such a change to their arrangements. “Even when you reside here?” He questioned, wanting to make sure that there wouldn’t be any way for him to overstep his bounds.

At the mention of Cloud’s mother, Sephiroth’s attention was instantly gained. It had been quite some time since they made any mention to anything concerning such a topic, knowing full well exactly where it would lead them considering what he had learnt. His fingers found themselves playing with the small stretch of skin they came into contact with on either of Cloud’s sides, lightly caressing the area even when he witnessed the small shake of the head as his lover abruptly stopped the conversation.

“She what?” Sephiroth quietly asked, genuinely interested in hearing about his lover’s past. Of course he knew what he read in the file concerning parts of Cloud’s past, but what was written there was hardly informative past usual military needs. He had never had a true childhood before, never had what anyone could consider a normal life and he found himself almost longing to hear even a small snippet from his lover.

Cloud: Thinking a moment, Cloud tried to decide what it was that he was trying to mean. Did he want this to be a new truce or just temporary until Kadaj came back... if Kadaj ever came back. Of course, he didn't want to throw Sephiroth out just because he was taking in roommates again, but he knew well enough how well his babies reacted to having Sephiroth around. He had to weigh his options, and it was depressing to know that he couldn't be everything for everyone. He really wanted to, but it seemed he made even more mistakes when he tried. "...I won't tell you to go when I'm here. Whether this is a temporary or permanent arrangement can be discussed later... but for as long as Kadaj and his brothers are gone away, I wouldn't mind the company that you give. And... even when they are here..." he trailed off. "It will have to be discussed... too much could happen..." he murmured, an undercurrent of his previous distress coming back before he cut it off abruptly. Not here, not now.

At the prompting, he buried his face into the older man's neck to hide his face away, shuddering a little. He had probably decided too late that he didn't want to talk about this now. He wanted to run away from thinking about it, but there was no where to run to anymore... he was always backed into a corner with the subject. There was no escape for him anymore... and he knew she was as disappointed as ever.

"She... would take me in her arms and sit in the rocking chair by the window," he said softly, practically murmuring into Sephiroth’s neck. This was quite possibly the most difficult and uncomfortable thing he could speak of, but... it seemed to flow better than usual attempts. He pulled away from Sephiroth enough that he could lay flat on his back and stare at the ceiling. "We would sit with a blanket wrapped around us, and she would rock me... tell me stories sometimes." His eyes closed at the vague distant memories. "She would sing to me so I would go to sleep in her arms... I was very young and I remember only a few times..."

Sephiroth: Nodding his head to Cloud’s words, he remained thoughtfully quiet as he listened to the words his lover spoke. “I am sure that my company wouldn’t be needed here when they return and as for the days, as you said that can be discussed at a later date.” Sephiroth said quietly, his voice turning thoughtful as he considered such things happening. He knew his presence would not be taken well, it never was, not that it bothered him at all. The slight undertone of distress didn’t miss his notice, firming his resolve even further. But if the brothers were to return, his presence would cause too much strain onto Cloud, more than what his lover already carried around with him.

Was he just running away from things again though? Making it seem as though he was taking others into consideration and distancing himself emotionally from Cloud again only to isolate himself into darkness? Yet he knew if that was what it took, then it is simply something that had to be done. “Besides we still have the other apartment we share.”

Sephiroth had to admit he wasn’t entirely surprised when he found Cloud’s face hiding itself up against his neck. Tightening his hold around the younger man in reaction, Sephiroth leant forward, pressing a kiss to the top of his lover’s head as he felt the slight shudder run down his spine. He continued to hold Cloud within his arms, not relenting with the strength behind it until he felt the younger man pull away from it. Remaining on his side as he listened, Sephiroth shifted himself until his head was propped up upon the heel of his hand, while his other decided to rest lightly upon his lover’s stomach.

He had never had such treatments from anyone within his life, not that he desired them either considering he had no knowledge of such things until much later in life and even still one can not miss what they never knew. Were most childhoods done in such a manner? He never too much notice of anything Zack ever spoke to him when it came to such topic’s, he simply wasn’t interested back then in knowing how other people’s lives were outside of the military.

“It sounds rather peaceful” Sephiroth murmured quietly into the darkness, the soft glow to his eyes being highlighted as he continued to give his full attentions to the younger man lying beside him. “Are all childhoods similar to your own?”

Cloud: Not pleased with what Sephiroth responded with, Cloud felt his jaw tighten as he turned his eyes to regard the older man. His eyes hardened in the darkness as well, solidifying the tension expression that was hidden by the shadows of his bedroom, only the glow of his eyes illuminating small portions of his face. "Not needed," he repeated almost indignantly. "Perhaps not... but that doesn't mean that I don't want you around when they are here. What we have... what is forming between us..." he trailed off. He didn't even know what he was trying to say, so he turned his face away instead. "...don't say your aren't needed."

The caresses to his stomach managed to get a shiver out of him, and he shifted on the bed a little to the touch. It was not unpleasant, but he had to resist to urge to flip back onto his side and stray closer. He forced himself to remain on his back and even folded an arm behind his head so that he could use it as a mock pillow.

At the question, he remained silent a long time before he shook his head. He didn't know what other children had, and he had not spoken of his own childhood in years. The last time was possibly with Tifa long ago, only because they had the similar connection. "No... most children have..." he stopped and bit his lip. It would be too difficult to admit what it was that he never had, but he knew it had been much worse for Sephiroth... it had to have been worse. "...most children have both their parents."

Sephiroth: When Cloud’s attention snapped up towards him, Sephiroth felt one of his brows rise up in slight surprise when he caught sight tightening of his lover’s features. It didn’t remain in its position for long and shortly after relaxed and lowered back down as the younger man spoke. There was no move to interrupt the other, even when Cloud’s voice trailed off and his face finally turned its attention away from him. “I did not mean it in such a context.” He said calmly, trying to word what was floating around in his mind properly so that he could be understood. “More as the strain put upon you with my presence would do more harm then good when your company returns.”

It was part of what he meant by it, and deep within he knew that what he held with Cloud wasn’t anything of mere convenience any longer… but to allow himself to admit it to himself, to let go of the fear which shrouded the knowledge would leave him broken if they were to be realised.

A slight smile curved at his lips when he felt the shiver beneath his fingers wandering touch, finding the reaction slightly amusing while he watched his lover shift against the mattress.

The silence which stretched out between them gave Sephiroth the time to study his lover, watching him quietly as the younger man remained resting with his head against his arms. When the silence was actually broken, he found his gaze slowly drifting back regard Cloud’s face, witnessing the difficulty the younger man seemed to have as he spoke of such things.

At the mention of parents, Sephiroth said nothing. They were something he never had either of considering his childhood consisted of a multitude of scientists and laboratories. The subject wasn’t anything which he could relate to apart from the time spent with Mother. “One caring parent… is better than nothing at all.” Sephiroth said quietly, it had taken him over twenty years before he found out about the truth behind his birth and his mother and it was information he did not regret finding out, despite what had happened because of it.

Cloud: Sighing heavily, Cloud knew that Sephiroth was only trying to protect him, probably from himself most of all. If Sephiroth was sharing his bed if Kadaj ever returned, he knew he would ruin everything all over again without even trying... not that he ever had to try ruining things. It came naturally to him, it appeared. Still, Sephiroth being around him would cause a lot of friction, and he was certain another fight as well, given that he knew his babies disliked the man... with good reason.

Still, he didn't wish to be babied right now, and he didn't want to be protected with his current mood. Mixed messages, perhaps, but he couldn't stand the thought that he had been weakened by what they had together, that he would shift all responsibility for taking care of himself to Sephiroth. He didn't want that. He could take care of himself. "I have dealt with strain before... I know what it is like, and I will deal with it the same way I have dealt with in the past."

The topic of parentage suddenly turned very sour for him at Sephiroth's words. Before he knew it, he pushed himself up to be seated, hunching his shoulders over and shaking his head. He should be grateful for having his mother, but he knew he had failed her when she had needed him most. Things would have been different had his father not run out on her... he knew things would have been better. It was his father's fault, abandoning his mother like that when he was nothing more than a crying infant. It still hurt, both what he never had and what he had left behind.

...and it was all his fault. Perhaps if he had never come into the world, his father would have stayed and his mother happy. His mother deserved better than he gave... it would have been better to have no parent at all than the crime he had committed. He was to blame for that though... he could pass it off to no one, and he would never understand what she meant when he slept. "...I don't want to talk about this anymore..."

Sephiroth: Sephiroth remained quiet when Cloud spoke of being able to deal with things himself, before nodding his head in acceptance. He knew full well how his lover dealt with stress and the harsh repercussions it had against the younger man's mind and body. Cloud might not care about his own health being put into danger but it was something that he did and it was something he would make sure was avoided, even if it was something that had to be done silently. "Very well."

Removing his touch when Cloud moved to sit, Sephiroth knew instantly that he had said the wrong thing. Slowly he moved to sit up, positioning himself until he was beside his lover. Drawing one leg up against the mattress, he carefully regarded the younger man, wondering if he should have just remained silent on the topic when it had first began. He knew though that his curiosity wouldn't have been pleased one bit if he had remained silent.

Shifting himself slightly, Sephiroth's hand moved to seek out Cloud's own until it found its target and his hand covered his lover's smaller one. Pulling it over until the both came to rest on his raised knee, Sephiroth leant over pressing his lips to the back of Cloud's hand before turning them over and resting his chin against the back of his own hand.

It was quiet in the room after the younger man had spoken, the silence that he had kept then remaining as he allowed his gaze to trail Cloud's body. Slowly his catlike gaze moved along the length of his lover's arm, following the trail up along the shoulder, to the neck, over the jaw line up until the sight of Cloud's eyes came into view.

Even a blind man would have been able to sense how upset his lover was, he didn't need the visual confirmation to know such things. They both knew that the topic would not go forgotten by either of them, even considering the silence of the subject would continue for the time being. "You never gave me that cooking lesson you promised last time we met."

Cloud: Cloud stared down at the mattress in the darkness, wishing away the thoughts that had suddenly sprung up in his mind. He should have never said anything in the first place, not when he should have known that there was no one to understand what he had once longed for but had given up completely over the years. There would be none of that, nothing of what he secretly wanted and never spoke about to anyone... not even Tifa. She couldn't understand what had had gone through alone in his childhood... even as he sat quietly, he could practically feel the mental image of his mother giving him that disappointed look again.

He turned his head upon feeling Sephiroth's hand on his own, allowing the older man to do whatever with it. His shoulders drooped a little for a moment, but he managed to pull them back up so they were in a fake attempt of casual rounding. No one deserved to not have a childhood without parents... one was not enough. It might have been easier with none, so perhaps no understanding was easiest. The muscles in his jaw bulged a moment as he clenched it and silently nodded to Sephiroth's words.

"We can... do that tomorrow, if you like," he said softly. There was no point in getting upset in front of the older man, so he pushed the wash of emotion down again and tried to settle himself. "Are you afraid of losing me?"

Sephiroth: He silently took note of the younger man's body language, quietly taking in all the signs given to him before he was given an answer from Cloud. If his lover believed that he had forgotten about it, then Cloud would be clearly mistaken. Yet Sephiroth knew that now was not the time to continue such conversations, there would be time for that later.

Nodding his head slightly, as much as it could allow considering how he was finding himself comfortable in its current position, Sephiroth replied. "Food would be required at some point, so it would be a good opportunity for such things when the time arrives."

He felt himself pause slightly at Cloud's next question though, his face slowly turning to its side so then he could fully regard his lover. It had surprised him, he had to admit, he hadn't expected such a question to be asked from the younger man and it had caught him off guard. Sephiroth made no move to release Cloud's hand within his own though, even as his mind inwardly confirmed the answer to his lover's question.

"Why do you ask?" He eventually questioned, unsure of what had prompted Cloud to ask such a thing.

Cloud: Nodding his head slowly, Cloud tried to shift his attention to the thoughts of teaching Sephiroth to cook meals. He doubted that it would be difficult to teach such a skill, especially since he had taught his babies to cook a little while ago. It would only take some time, and he was patient... though, he hoped that they would both be patient and teach each other without the need to kill each other. And he hoped that what they made wouldn't be poisonous either...

"You don't really need to eat anyway," he murmured softly, nodding his head to confirm it to himself. He was technically the only one between them that needed to eat something, but he had gone awhile without eating. He knew that someone would get after him if he stopped eating again... it would probably be Sephiroth as well, since he was currently living alone. "If you want to learn, I can teach you... but we don't have to eat anything, you know."

He turned his head a little at the question posed to him, noting that Sephiroth didn't actually answer his question in the first place. He thought that he knew the answer to it, but if Sephiroth wasn't going to answer... he didn't wish to push, since pushing had lost him Kadaj. "You didn't answer my question," he murmured and sighed heavily, shaking his head. "I wanted to know... but you don't have to answer." He nodded his head a third time and turned his face away so that he was looking at the wall instead of Sephiroth. "Maybe we should just sleep..."

Sephiroth: "No I don't" Sephiroth replied with quietly. He wasn't entirely sure what to make of the situation if he were to be honest with himself and he made sure to keep his attentions entirely upon his lover. There was almost an undercurrent of rejection felt behind the words said to him, but whether he was sensing it directed towards himself or Cloud was to be debated. If he were to wager it on either though he would put his bet upon it being directed back at Cloud himself. "But that does not mean I would not join you with meals either."

Perhaps it would be more beneficial if he were to take back more normal eating habits again? He quietly thought to himself for a moment, it wasn't like he needed the food and previous to his relationship with Cloud all meals that were to be eaten were always done in solitude. Maybe it was time to change that considering that it would only put unnecessary strain upon their relationship even if the strain would be minimal.... it would still be unnecessary. "I will eat when you will eat."

He felt a small frown furrow on his brows at Cloud's response, easily sensing the hesitation behind the tone. "No, I didn't..." Was Cloud afraid of him getting angry for questioning him? Judging by his lover’s response it seemed obvious that there was a good possibility for that assumption being correct and it was a thought that didn't sit well with him either. "But to answer your question... yes, losing you is a fear I do have."

Shifting himself slightly, Sephiroth ignored the suggestion of sleep as he continued to watch Cloud in thought. "Just because I do not answer a question first off, does not mean I am unwilling to answer Cloud." Sephiroth spoke calmly. Reaching out his free hand, Sephiroth ran his fingers through the blonde hair, wishing that he wasn't wearing his gloves so that he could feel the softness to his touch. Moving his hand down, his fingers slowly curled around the younger man's chin, gently forcing Cloud's attention back upon him as he spoke with seriousness highlighting his tone. "You can not be afraid to ask things even if I do not answer to begin with, I thought we had gone through this not long before?"

Cloud: Nodding his head a little, Cloud knew that Sephiroth would eat with him if he did decide to eat something. He didn't think that Sephiroth wanted to eat given that the older man didn't normally eat anything, save when he did. He didn't want to add pressure to Sephiroth in their relationship... it could destroy them as a couple, and he had just lost Kadaj. "I know you would..." he murmured. "But if you don't need to eat... you shouldn't have to. I don't want to have any pressure put on you to do something that you normally wouldn't do..." He shook his head a little. "... eating might not be your thing, so I don't expect you to change the way that you are just to suit my needs... I'm not even sure if I need to eat either."

He knew the last part was at least a partial lie, given that he had once dropped a significant amount of weight for his lack of eating food. He didn't know if he could die from not eating, but he did seem to lose muscle and body mass when he lacked nutrition. He could still fight fine, but it seemed to bother those close to him to see him waste away in such a manner.

He turned his head just a little at Sephiroth's response, feeling the gloved fingers pushing through his hair. He let out a small noise when he was forced to look at the older man, his gaze meeting Sephiroth's a moment before flicking away to gaze off to the side. "I don't want to pressure you into giving up answers you may not wish to give," he said softly, keeping his eyes averted completely. He didn't wish to upset the older man, and he really didn't want Sephiroth to leave either. "You tend to skirt answers you don't want to give," he pointed out a little hesitantly.

He pulled his chin from Sephiroth's hold and ran a hand through his spikes, trying to smooth them down to lie flat on his head. "Would you die for me? Is that how much you care?"

Sephiroth: Sephiroth managed to hold back the next frown that threatened to appear on his face and kept his expression set at its usual neutral stance. He was more than well aware what was going on here, considering it seemed to him that Cloud was setting himself up onto the destructive path he had been on before he forced the younger man to open up to him. "You believe that eating a meal will cause undue pressure onto me?" He stated more than asked as a single brow rose up at the same time. "No Cloud, we should get into the habit of eating one meal together if we are to become more... comfortable around each other."

It wasn't exactly to say that they weren't already comfortable to some degree around one another, but there were still many barriers between them and a simple task of a meal shared together could help to break them down over time. Not only that, but he would not idly sit around and allow Cloud to walk back upon the destructive path he continued to try and walk, of that he was certain.

Sephiroth's gaze narrowed slightly when Cloud's own once again diverted away from his own and in response the fingers still around the chin tightened somewhat before he relaxed the grip. Running the pad of his gloved thumb over the skin beneath, Sephiroth awaited for his lover to finish speaking. "It is something I do without realising it and I apologise Cloud." Sephiroth began softly, it was a habit he'd picked up well in the past when he'd been the General. One habit that was so ingrained into his speech that it was a natural way for him to respond. "But if you do not pressure, you will not find out the answers that you want... as I said before, I do not mind you wanting to know things even in the beginning I'm reluctant to talk of them. I have lived a long time without opening up to somebody else so this process with you will take time, but it is something I wish to do."

Dropping his hand back down to his own lap once Cloud's chin pulled from his grasp, Sephiroth finally diverted his gaze away from his lover at Cloud's question. Would he die for Cloud? The answer was given to him long before his thoughts finished the question within his own mind and that worried him more than anything else.

He had done nothing but cling to life, stubbornly refusing to remain dead even after his life had been taken from him and oxygen no longer filled his lungs. Three time's he had been reborn with new life and three times it had ended with the same result of his death.

Death was something he knew he still did not long for, wanting nothing more than to continue his existence among the living.

Yet, the thought of Cloud's own death sent a flare of possessiveness coursing through his body, the emotion so intense that he felt his eyes narrow in response to the thought. He would do what ever was in his power to make sure that his lover's life would remain and if he had to give his own in order to save Cloud's own, then it was a sacrifice that would have to be made.

And it was that thought which frightened him more than anything else, the knowledge that despite his obsession with living... he'd so easily throw away his own life in order to protect Cloud's own.

The grip around Cloud's hand tightened, clinging to the limb as Sephiroth kept his attention firmly locked upon their joined hands upon his knee.

"...Yes, I would... if there was no other option..."

Cloud: There Sephiroth went again apologizing to him. It would have been the second time that Sephiroth had uttered an apology to something he had said, and it was still very odd to hear those two words coming from his lover. He doubted that he would get used it, not after all the history that was between them. He wasn't sure want to make of getting more comfortable around each other, but perhaps Sephiroth was right in that a routine and a common time to simply sit and eat would do them both some good.

"I suppose you're right, if that is what you want to do. I should probably eat one meal a day," he murmured, admitting his own lack of ability to maintain weight without nourishment. He didn't have Jenova cells to sustain him, not enough anyway. "For the days that we are together, we'll eat a meal unless you don't want to on any one day."

He nodded his head a little, still running the apology through his mind for the oddness he felt about it. He wasn't sure if he wanted to pressure Sephiroth into answer, especially after what had happened when he had pressured Kadaj into answering his questions. In some ways, Kadaj and Sephiroth were quite similar, so the older man's reaction could be just as explosive and hurtful if he happened to push too far. He didn't know what he would do if Sephiroth suddenly upped and left him after an argument, but he doubted he would take it very well. "If I push too much, you could grow angry with me."

He hung his head down at Sephiroth's admittance, both with silence and the words that eventually followed. He should have expected it, but it seemed to be so opposite to what Sephiroth stood for. The older man was difficult to kill at the best of times, but... for Sephiroth to willingly hand over life to keep him safe was a strange and foreign thought. It almost seemed out of the older man's character, but then... there were still some things about Sephiroth he didn't know. Perhaps Sephiroth's possessiveness was more than what was shown to him...?

His eyes flicked over to where his hand was being clutched then up at Sephiroth's face before eventually settling back on their hands. That thought must have frightened Sephiroth. The grip on his hand was enough to tell him that.

"So..." he started softly. "You love me that much... that you would throw it all away for me." His grip on Sephiroth's hand went from completely slack to tight as he slowly shifted his weight and leaned himself against the older man's shoulder, pressing his forehead against Sephiroth's neck. "...we've been dating each other for two months. Who would have thought?"