Cloud gets taken by Sephiroth when he looks for him in the mountains. Leads to a relationship, but the past can never truly be forgotten. dark themes sc zc
How could he? Cloud felt tears rolling unnoticed down his cheek as scenes from a few moments ago overtook him. It was Valentines Day...he had just wanted to see Zack, but he. No...he still refused to believe that it happened. Zack had told them that he needed to go down to the slums for a bit, told him that he would be back soon and to wait for his surprise. Cloud, being the naturally curious person he was, decided to follow him...discreetly of course. What he had seen was now scarred into his memory for life.
He had been in Sector 6...or was it 7? It didn't really matter. There had been a church with flowers all around it, intrigued at what Zack had been doing in a place like that, Cloud followed him inside. What he saw once inside though made his heart stop in his chest. There was a pretty girl with long brown hair, in fact she looked mildly familiar, but that's not exactly the point. The point was that Zack's mouth was connected to hers!
Cloud didn't stay any longer than that...he couldn't stay any longer that. Now he knew what they were talking about when they described every second in hell lasting an eternity. The blond ran from the building as quickly as his legs would carry him. He ran until his lungs ached and his veins pumped battery acid. He had to get away from there.
So here he now sat huddled in some hallway near the SOLDIER barracks. What had possessed him to come here he had no idea. The most logical thought would be that this is where he was so often that the destination was permantely ingrained in his brain. He was like a GPS with certain coordinates, be it from him to break the routine.
How he could he ever have thought that Zack could care for him in the first place? He should have known that it was all a lie. No one could ever love him. The adults, and hell even children, of Nibelheim had ingrained in his mind rather clearly that he could never be loved. It was probably just a big joke to him. He was probably laughing with that girl in the church right now. Well fuck him! He wasn't one to be played with, and he would damn well tell Zack that the next time he saw him...that is if his heart would ever stop breaking.
"Are you all right?" The silky smooth voice washed over him, and Cloud didn't even need to look up to know who that was. Of all the people to find him right now, like this, it had to be him. His idol, his previous infatuation, his reason for being here in the first place. Sephiroth. It could all be summed up in a name like that.
Cloud quickly wiped the tears from his eyes, though he doubted it would do much good. His face was probably way too red and tear stained by now to cover up the fact that he had been crying. The blond turned blue eyes until they caught Sephiroth's. He was staring at him with...was that concern? No it couldn't be...why would Sephiroth care about him, no one else did.
After all of the countless hours that Zack had held him and told him he wasn't as worthless as he thought he was, it seemed sadly ironic that it had been him to make him feel so dejected and unwanted. "I'm fine...sir" He added the sir as an after thought, it's not like they were friends or anything. Sephiroth was his boss...it was Zack he was friends with.
That's right they were best friends, or as best of friends as Sephiroth could ever be with with anyone. Cloud remembered how Zack had laughed when he had told him about his infatuation with the General. He had said that was natural, but that he would never want to be with anyone as socially stunted as Sephiroth anyways. Well he had been with Zack instead, and look where being with the social butterfly got him.
"Where's Zack?" Of course of he would ask that. Cloud couldn't go two minutes without being reminded that he was only what he was because the SOLDIER had taken it upon himself to make him his very own charity case.
"I dunno..." God he sounded pathetic. Like some broken kicked puppy. He had never been good at masking his emotions, especially not in times of distress.
A hand shot out, startling Cloud from his moment of reprieve. Not knowing what else to do in a situation like this, the blond timidly took the hand offered to him and was quickly pulled to his feet. That was all the contact there was though. Sephiroth soon pulled away and went back to looking stoic and untouchable.
"I would have thought you would have been with him seeing as how it's Valentines Day and all." He paused for a moment. "He's been blabbering for weeks about how he was going to spoil you." Sephiroth had meant it to be a lightener in the dim mood surrounding them, but it only furthered to crush Cloud's spirits.
Cloud swallowed a lump in throat, and tried to swallow with it the overwhelming sadness that was threatening to pool out. Sephiroth had been talking to him hadn't he? What had he said? Oh yeah he wanted to know why he wasn't with Zack being doted on. "I wouldn't know...if you'll excuse me sir."
He had started to walk away when a hand on his elbow held him in place. He still couldn't think of what had made him do it, but it didn't it change the fact that he had. Cloud spun around and awkwardly placed his mouth on Sephiroth's. He could feel the man go rigid and after a few seconds Cloud pulled away in absolute horror.
The sad part was that Sephiroth looked about as shocked as he felt. "I'm sorry...I'm so sorry..." He stammered and turned to walk away, or rather run with his tail between his legs, when a hand on his elbow stopped him. Not just stopped him, no stopped Cloud could deal with, the hand spun him around and crushed him up against the nearest wall.
Sephiroth had pinned him up against the wall and took no time in crashing his lips back to his. Cloud felt his head swimming in passion as he tongue danced with Sephiroth's. In the back of his mind he knew this was wrong. That he was with Zack and that this would probably kill him if he knew, but it didn't matter at the moment. He wanted to hurt Zack and he found the perfect way to do it. Revenge always was a bitch.
Cloud felt a hand roughly push up his thigh, and in response wrapped both of his legs around the pale haired man's waist. Sephiroth's tongue had by this time left his mouth and was now traveling down his neck, biting at his sensitive pulse whenever the need arose.
Silver hair fell across his face making sure he was surrounded in a curtain of white. In the back of his mind Cloud thought he heard footsteps, but he was too engrossed in the pleasure to really take notice, that is until those footsteps happened to speak. "Hey Seph I'm glad I'm not the only one who's gonna get lucky tonight."
No. No. No. No. Not him...not Zack! Sephiroth's lips froze on his neck as he was probably trying to find a way out of it. Sephiroth's hair had hid him well enough so that he hadn't been seen yet, but that wouldn't last for long. "So buddy who's the lucky one?" Sephiroth's mouth traveled to his ear and whispered a short 'I'm sorry' before pulling away from him entirely.
Cloud slumped against the wall and heard a sharp intake of breath. He could just imagine in his mind Zack's goofy grin fading to a look of shock. The blond could only guiltily stare forwards. Zack deserved this didn't he? He had cheated on him right? Slowly he turned sapphire eyes towards his lover and his heart broke a little at what he saw.
"Cloud?" The blond's eyes teared slightly when he saw the absolute broken look on Zack's face. Then his eyes slowly traveled to his hand where he was holding a bundle of the strange flowers that had been in the church, and his anger suddenly returned. He slowly walked over to where Zack stood there frozen, Sephiroth was just standing in the background staring at the pair with a guilty expression.
With more will power than he knew he had, Cloud angrily slapped the wretched flowers from his lover's hands. "Happy Valentine's Day." He stood on his tip toes suddenly and touched their mouths together. Zack didn't respond to the kiss, but really Cloud hadn't expected him to. After pulling back and winking ,Cloud all but ran back towards his barracks where he could cry his heart out in peace.
Sun filtered through the blinds as Cloud rolled over in an attempt to evade them. God even his dreams now were depressing. He still had no idea what they meant, the dreams that is. Personally he had no recollection of the events ever happening, but then again his head was a jumbled mess so for all he knew he could be living someone else's life.
What if he really wasn't the Cloud from Tifa's childhood? It wouldn't be too much of a stretch seeing as how his life was probably the most fucked up thing possible at this time. Was the dreams he was having about Zack just some twisted manifestation of his relationship with Sephiroth? If that were true than why was Sephiroth himself in the last dream?
Cloud buried his face further into the soft cotton pillow, even in his dreams he couldn't escape the clutches of his silver haired angel. Not that by any means he would want to, but really that's beside the point. The worst part of these dreams was that he was actually starting to feel a connection with this Zack, and even worst Reno. Cloud snorted in disgust, Reno for fucks sake!
It was now early October. It had been about a month since he had left the mansion up north, a month since he had last seen Sephiroth. Had it really been only that long? To him it seemed more of an eternity. Ever second that he spent away from the pale haired man was one second that he wished he wasn't living anymore. It was absolutely unbearable to be separated from him. Cloud could tell he had gone into a sickly depression, and if he could tell than you could almost bet everyone else had a pretty good clue.
They had asked a lot of questions when he first got back, they had asked and he had avoided them. They had tried to get him to open up and resume his roll as their leader, they had tried and failed. They had tried to get him to eat regular and you know maybe see the sun, and they had ended up having to clean up spoiled food and deal with Cloud's apathy. So they had pretty much stopped altogether and left him to his misery, and rest assured he had a lot of misery.
Time seemed to have slowed down, or more rather come to a complete stop. The day Sephiroth walked out the door was the day Cloud stopped living. Every moment he was awake was filled with complete agony, but the asleep moments were all the worst. The dreams he had been having had grown a hundred times worse. It was like even though he was gone Sephiroth still wanted him to suffer as much as possible.
Sephiroth had pretty much completely dissapeared from the face of the earth after Cloud left. It was almost as if he had never resurfaced in the first place. Shinra was still on high alert due to his past attack on the president, and because of a break in by some ex-SOLDIER the security had been doubled. So even if he wanted to continue his quest on ridding the world of Sephiroth and the Shinra, both had lead him to a dead end.
Not that he even wanted to fight anymore. What was there to fight for? Before he was in an never ending quest to rid the world of the evil that is Sephiroth, to get revenge for what he had done to him and his family, to get revenge for Tifa. Now though...now what was he supposed to do? He couldn't pretend that he hadn't fallen in love with him, and if given the choice he knew he couldn't kill him. Could he tell the rest of them the truth? Could he tell them what had really been going on the few months they were in those holding cells. Somehow he thought he was too much of a coward to be able to do something like that.
Barret had been going on and on about how they should go look for the ex-SOLDIER who had broken into Shinra Headquarters, and really they should, but Cloud didn't even have the will anymore to leave the bed. Barret had been adamant about how the SOLDIER could join them and with his help they could once more go after Sephiroth. This thought had made Cloud's will crumble even more. In fact now that he thought about it he was probably procrastinating the whole matter so that he could somehow protect Sephiroth without even really protecting him.
Cloud was startled out of his thought by a knock at the door, he didn't even need to hear the voice outside to know who it was. It was the only person that always visited him, the only person that never gave up no matter how many times Cloud pushed her away. In an almost bored tone Cloud greeted her. "Come in Aeris." And if he told her to go away it probably still would have had the same result.
They had been staying at the remote Northern reason in a settlement called Bone Village. The village was full of archaeologists who were digging for remains of the settlers who used to live in the Sleeping Forest. The Sleeping Forest, just the sound of it gave him a chill. In truth he could almost bet that that forsaken forest had been the cause of his recent nightmares, either that or his guilty conscience.
The door to the hotel room creaked open, and with it something invaded Cloud's senses with the scent of cinnamon. Cloud removed the pillow from his face to see that Aeris had timidly entered carrying with her a tray of french toast and orange juice. "How'd you know it was me?" Cloud didn't even bother to answer her, he instead sat up and stretched his back, cracking a lot of muscles as he did so.
She seemed to be content with his silence, and instead of pursuing her answer continued the one-sided conversation. "You know I talked to Reeve today to try and find out more about the SOLDIER who invaded Shinra Headquarters." Still no response, in an attempt to make the emptiness go away Cloud grabbed a piece of the toast and shoved it into his mouth. "He said he didn't know who it was...but you know I think he's lying and when he mentioned Reno being there he seemed."
Cloud's attention sparked and he interrupted her before she could finish. "Reno was there?" The brunette seemed a little shocked by the break in his normal apathy, and did her best not to show it on her face. Tried would be the key word there, just because Cloud was an open book didn't mean he couldn't tell when other people were...Sephiroth was the only one that was made out of stone. Damn it really was amazing how many things could lead back to one person. Sephiroth...if there really is such a thing as a god on earth than he was sure the pale haired angel would have his names written in the stars as being just that. But that's seriously not the point at the time, what is it that they were talking about?
"Yeah Reeve definitely mentioned something about Reno." Aeris seemed to pause as if she was trying to remember something. "Is he the one with the funny red hair or is he the bald one?" Cloud tried desperately not to scoff at that, truthfully he didn't even know why he cared so much. Of course he could always blame the damn dreams, but really there is only so many times one could use that excuse. Bright green eyes blinked and Cloud once again realized that he was still in a conversation.
"He's the one with the hair." His voice was gruff and sounded annoyed if not a little pissed. Fucking hell! he was was getting defendant of Reno! What next would he sleep with his fantasy SOLDIER if he had the chance? Though if his last dream was any inclination than his little dream world would definitely not have a fantasy ending. Even in the dream world he managed to fuck his relationship up. In his defense it really wasn't his fault he attached his face to Sephiroth's. Zack had cheated on him, anyone would do the same.
"Oh..." Apparently Aeris had no idea why he was so interested. Well for that matter neither did he, it was just a hunch. "Why do you care if Reno was there...I mean" She leaned in close with a small smile on her face. "Do you know something I don't?"
Cloud also leaned close so that his lips were right next to his ear. "Aeris..." For some reason he heard her draw a sharp intake of breath. Apparently he could be intimidating when he wanted to be. "I probably know a lot you don't." Cloud withdrew from their close proximity, and that was when a thought suddenly occurred to him. Aeris had made a cameo in his dream...she had been..."You were the other woman!"
Aeris's eyes widened at that, and she was looking at Cloud as if he had gone made. Which you know if Cloud was going to be honest with himself he would have to say that that wasn't too far from the truth. This however proved to be a window of opportunity to find out if his dreams were real or not. He was going to track down Reno, but you know with Aeris right here in all her glory there really wasn't much of a point in interrupting the busy Turks life. Of course for the moment he hadn't thought about what he would do if the dreams actually were real, he would just cross that bridge when he came to it.
"Cloud...umm what are you talking about?" Did he detect a hint of fear? Though she could just be scared for her life because her best friend is a fucking psychotic who has pretty much been comatose for the last month. The sad part was that the dreams were getting to him so much that when he looked at Aeris now all he could see were her lips connected to Zack's.
Cloud shrugged in response, he might as well get it over with. That whole now or never phrase really did have meaning now. "Aeris did you." His voice cracked as he tried to choke out his question. For fuck sakes what was he twelve and still going through puberty. "Did you know a SOLDIER named Zack?"
Of all the responses he expected Aeris to have to that question, the all out fear that was evident in her face wasn't one of them. The color had drained completely from her normally rosy cheeks, and her eyes had gone impossibly wide. Was what he said really so shocking? More importantly did she know somebody named Zack? If she did than that meant...no he didn't even want to think of the possibility that those dreams could be real.
"Zack?" Her voice and eyes were far away, and Cloud would admit to anyone right then that he was feeling a twinge of fear. "Why would you ask me something like that?" Well if he was feeling a little afraid it was nothing to the fear in her voice. With her fear his seemed to all but dissipate and all that was left was blinding anger.
"Why? Why!" Without really know why Cloud flung the nicely prepared breakfast across the room. "I really don't want to answer that question right now, not when I have so many I want to ask you!" Aeris flinched when he flung the tray, and Cloud would have felt bad...really he would have if he had the energy left in him to give a shit.
"Why don't you answer me a question Aeris?" Cloud snarled and the girl backed away as if threatened. "Why is it that I keep having dreams about someone I've never met...the same someone that you seem to know?" During that little spat Cloud had gotten remarkably close and now had Aeris backed up against the wall, an arm slammed on either side of her head.
Aeris wasn't even coming close to looking at him, in fact she seemed to be looking everywhere except him. "You're having dreams about...Zack." Her voice was completely broken and Cloud saw an unmonitered tear slip down her cheek as she said it. He would have felt guilty about making her cry if it wasn't for the overwhelming sense of feeling betrayed.
"Funny, but you don't seem all that surprised by this fact." With one hand he tipped Aeris's face up so that she could see him, and with the other he placed a hand on the bottom of his chin. "Could it be that you know something about this? Could it be that you've been lying to me this entire time?"
This statement seemed to snap her out of her daze, and angry green eyes seemed to light up the entire room. Cloud was vaguely reminded of how Sephiroth's eyes had done the exact same thing on many occasion, but for the good of his sanity he pushed that thought to the back of his mind. "I never lied to you Cloud, and I would appreciate it if you didn't attack me like this."
Okay well she kind of did have a point, though he hated to admit it. He had no proof other than a feeling that she had done anything wrong and here he was ready to condemn her to death. With downcast eyes, Cloud quickly backed away from the wall giving Aeris some much needed room to breathe.
"I'm sorry Aeris...it's just...well..." The brunette put a hand up to silence him and that familiar smile came back to her face. Normally he would have been annoyed to see that pity smile, but now he was almost relieved.
"It's alright Cloud, I understand." She immediately bent over and started to clean the mess that used to be his breakfast up. Talk about a neat freak, the entire time that was probably all that was on her mind. "If you really are having dreams of Zack than no one can blame you for how you're acting." Cloud could feel his anger once again bubbling to the surface, but he did his best to suppress it, this was not the time. "But it's not me you need to talk to about that." Cloud was about to ask who that was, but Aeris answered it before he had the chance to be a smart ass...he was almost dissapointed. "Umm well Reno...you need to talk to Reno." Damn did his life suck!
Leave it to Zack to put him in a position like this. God dammit it was fucking cold! Reno moved around as quickly as possible to try and raise his quickly falling body heat. The worst part of it all was that little smug bastard hadn't even told him to bring a coat. There Zack was all bundled up from head to toe without a care, and he was freezing his ass off in his suit.
They were currently hiking up a freezing cold mountain somewhere in the northern continent after they had received a lead from Reeve in Headquarters. This was all well and good you know, he wanted to find Cloud just as much as Zack did, but they had been hiking up in the middle of nowhere for almost a month now. He was cold, tired, hungry, and had frostbite in pretty much every place imaginable...yes even there. Through all of this hell they hadn't found a single thing, nothing, nada, zip...well you get the picture.
The weirdest part of all of this was that he knew that Zack was on to something, or at least used to be. It was odd how the entire area held a small sense of deja vue, like Cloud had been there moments before and still had his image imprinted in the snow. Though it was a cold trail, and the clues were getting fewer and farther between. Wherever they were Reno had a sick feeling in his gut that they were long gone by now.
As Reno struggled waist deep in snow up the side of yet another mountain he decided to voice his opinion. "Hey Zack ever get the feeling that there's nothing out here?" Zack faltered a little, but didn't stop hiking.
"Do you mean do I think Cloud's not here, or are you just talking about life in general?" Zack turned his head a little and shot him a smirk. Leave it to him to be the most annoying brat possible over such a simple question.
"I don't know why you insist on always being such an annoying bastard...you know exactly what I mean and yet you continue to piss me off all the same..." Zack still didn't stop in his trek, but Reno could see his shoulders shaking in laughter even if he couldn't hear it over the wind.
"Ah lighten up Red...it's just fun pushing your buttons...don't take it personally." Oh he did not just say that. Here he was being a nice upstanding guy this whole time, and while freezing his ass off the little bastard was going to try to piss him off for fun. Well two could play at this game.
Reno struggled to the top of the mountain, clamoring his way behind Zack who was pacing trying to get enough energy to do it all over again. "Oh yeah well I'm sure I know quite a few buttons of yours that are just waiting to be pushed...shall we see if I'm right."
Zack looked up smiling, and Reno could almost laugh at the color of his face. It was completely red with tints of purple from the weather, and his noise gave off a slight glowing effect that reminded him of a story he had heard as a kid about a reindeer. "Nothing you could say Turk could possibly get under my skin, so by all means go ahead and try."
See that's what you get when an overly cocky SOLDIER is given years of people sucking up to him and making him feel invincible. Reno wasn't even serious about the whole button thing, he just kind of wanted to get a rise out of him. But now see he had to go through with it, and he had to make it good, otherwise Zack would think that he was either bluffing or he was a coward, which he was definitely neither of.
"Alright, well just remember you asked for it." Zack scoffed and crossed his arms over his chest, obviously he didn't think Reno had anything too incriminating. If he did he probably would have been a bit more defensive. "Now I've been wonderin for a while now why you're even going through with this." Zack raised his eyebrow in question, and never being one to dissapoint Reno quickly finished. "I mean he chose Sephiroth over you before in Soldier...what makes you think now will be any different."
"Stop it Reno." There was a cold warning tone in Zack's voice, but Reno chose not to listen. He had been called out and he would not let down.
"No really Zack I don't know the whole story, only what Cloud let on, but how did it feel to watch Sephiroth fucking the brains out of the one you loved and thought loved you."
"Not another word Turk." Zack barked out through clenched teeth. His eyes were blazing like the sun, and if Reno had given it any thought he probably would have given up right then. But really when did Reno ever think?
"Did it hurt to find them in bed together...on Valentine's Day no less." Reno laughed out. "And to think if you weren't such a cheating bastard my best friend would never have gotten involved with the devil..." Reno wasn't even thinking any more, he was letting out the emotions that he had been holding back for five years, and nothing was going to stop him now. "Does it hurt to know that you were the one that did this to him! Do you even feel in the least bit bad to know that this is all your fault! How does it make you feel that he could have been spared five years of pain if he would never have met your sorry ass! Do you realize that your the one who made him go to Sephiroth in the first place! and that at this very moment his cock is probably going in and out of my best friend's ass all because of YOU!"
Reno never got another word in, not that he had anymore to give mind you, but he didn't get the chance all the same. Zack, in his furry, lunged forward knocking them both backwards and sending them rolling down the side of the mountain. Reno wasn't about to let Zack get the upper hand. In the midst of their toppling Reno grabbed at Zack's collar and connected his fist with his jaw. Though amidst their tangled limbs this caused Zack to kick forward and connect a hard aimed kick right in his gut.
They continued to punch and kick as the rolled down the mountain, finally landing in a tangled heap in an alcove. Though this was hardly noticed by the two now dizzy men, they were much too absorbed in the heat of their battle to notice anything at that moment. Zack had landed on top of Reno and as soon as he realized this it seemed to dawn on him that he had the upper hand and was not about to let that go.
"I did this to him?" Zack didn't wait for an answer, instead he crashed his fist into Reno's face. Blood splattered the once beautifully white snow but neither of them seemed to notice. "Don't you dare." Punch! "Stand there and act all righteous." Smack! "Just because you couldn't protect him do not for one second think you can blame me!" Crack! "You couldn't have him Reno...and you blame me for that." Zack punched again not realizing the damage his SOLDIER strength was probably inflicting on the small Turk. "Don't you dare for one second think that just because you're in love with him that you can blame me for that sick psychopath's doings!" With one last punch, Zack seemed to calm down and now just rested atop the stunned Turk, unaware that the most damage that he had inflicted hadn't been with his fists but with his words.