|Master of the steel bird
Author: Nephilim Rising PM
As the American aircraft carrier 'Yorktown' is sinking, Sephiroth faces a choice between saving no one and saving an enemy. WW2 AU, Battle of Midway. Sephiroth x Genesis. For Sphinxofthenile.Rated: Fiction M - English - Drama - Sephiroth & Genesis R. - Chapters: 2 - Words: 10,701 - Reviews: 19 - Favs: 22 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 12-07-09 - Published: 12-01-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5551513
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Summary: WW2 AU. Battle of Midway, June 1942. As the American aircraft carrier Yorktown is sinking, Sephiroth faces a choice between saving no one and saving an enemy.
Disclaimer: I own nothing or no one. Why would I need to, anyways?
A/N: I am so happy you liked it! ;) I was a little doubtful, since it's a very militarized story, which not that many people like. Anyways, enjoy the second part and I am off to the reconstruction of the battle of Crecy :D
Gift to the enemy.
The bluish-green waves were lazily licking Sephiroth's heels, rolling in and back, cooling his naked skin. Having barely escaped death's claws, the young Lieutenant Commander lay on the beach of the small island, thinking of nothing, remembering nothing, vacant emerald eyes staring at the fleecy clouds above.
He didn't even want to think of the reasons he saved the enemy's life or remember he has just lost a whole squadron.
Genesis sat on the sand somewhere by the Wildcat, however, he didn't wish to turn just to find out whether the latter was still therein. Genesis. The Lieutenant Commander inquired the Japanese pilot's name for the sole reason of being stuck with him on the small unmanned island for who knew how much time. Weeks? Months? Perhaps, even years.
If he could survive, that is.
When Sephiroth woke up on the wet sand and prepared to continue the flight, he discovered that one of the chassis was damaged by the landing and, unless he could fix it with whatever means available on the plane's board, they were imprisoned on the small piece of land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
He and the enemy.
A bigger wave rolled in, upcast spray of salty water falling on his face and Sephiroth brushed it off with a subconscious gesture.
Genesis understood English and spoke it well, with just a slightest trace of a Japanese accent, which in different circumstances he would have found amusing. It made him think that the redhead had previously been to the United States or Britain.
Just as Sephiroth recalled Genesis a long shadow fell on his face, having shielded his eyes from merciless sunlight, and the said Japanese pilot took a seat by his side, handing him a huge shell filled with crystal clear water.
"It's fresh," the remark rang with the same melodic notes the Lieutenant remembered from hearing that voice for the first time. Having shrugged indifferently, he accepted the shell, brought to his lips and avidly gulped the contents. Although being fresh, water still tasted of pungent salt.
Intrinsically, he didn't care about the redhead's presence. They were enemies insofar as their countries were at war with each other. Sephiroth could neither say he hated the pilot, nor say he sympathized with him.
"I appreciate it," his indifference was nonetheless polite. Something inevitably sparks between the two tied with a bond of sharing a saved life. Since he hasn't yet died, Sephiroth assumed Genesis wasn't going to avail himself on the opportunity and cut his throat in his sleep. He could have done it while the Lieutenant was weak and helpless.
The shadow quivered, moving away, and bright sunlight lashed his eyes again. Having absently shaded them with his hand, Sephiroth stretched on the warm sand, again thoughtless, again hollow.
He will rest and then think of what to do next.
In the evening glows of lurid fires embellished the dark line of the horizon, painting it with all shades of red and crimson, and a cacophony of inimical sounds was wafted to their ears. Obviously, the battle of Midway wasn't yet over, and that uncertainty begot the question of who was winning, which, however, hung silently in the warm air between them. From time to time one of the pilots cast a glance towards the dark waters, making it unnoticeable for the other, as both were hiding behind the mask of complete indifference. Admitting concern was equal to admitting a weakness, which was hardly a wise choice in the presence of an enemy.
A smaller fire burnt on sand between them. Having gathered some damp twigs in the tropical forest and then let those dry in the sun, Sephiroth was able to light a fire with matches he found on board of the now useless Wildcat and just a drop of fuel. They had to use it sparingly due to obvious dearth otherwise none of them was going to last long.
Genesis contrived to catch a large fish in the fresh streamlet and now it was slowly broiling, that being their frugal dinner. At least, for now they will not die from starvation.
It appeared as due to some acquiescence both pilots agreed to work together in order to survive.
Suddenly Genesis began humming in Japanese, keeping his azure eyes downcast, fixed on long fingers twiddling with a hollow shell. In moments like this Sephiroth was suddenly willing to forget they were enemies and surrender himself to a simple human liking for the redheaded man in front of him.
Maybe, if circumstances decided otherwise, they could have become friends.
"What is it?" Having listened with delight, the silver-haired Lieutenant didn't notice when a quiet question passed his lips.
"Poetry by Motoori Norinaga." The redhead drawled with an accent, then paused, thoughtful for a moment. "Asked about the soul of Japan,
I would say
That it is
Like wild cherry blossoms
Glowing in the morning sun. That is how it would sound in your language." He finished with a smile, which was not meant for him. It was just a reminiscent smile, born out of depths where warmth still lingered, lively, sparkling depths and thereat war, hatred had little power. Yet.
Sephiroth stirred smoldering embers under the meal and inquired, having succumbed to curiosity, "Where did you learn English so well?"
"Oxford University." The silver eyebrows arched. "Are you surprised? Admiral Yamamoto graduated from Harvard. We are not barbarians there, you know."
The last words betrayed his caustic indignation and umbrage, as though he expected Sephiroth to treat him as one before the latter even spoke.
The Lieutenant Commander shrugged, having remarked with nonchalance, "I never implied you were."
The silence, interrupted by exploding bombs, lingered, mantling them with thick veil of unspoken anxiety and demurs. They both hoped their country would win, and those hopes, although never voiced out, were battling each other with no less ferocity than the steel ships in the open sea. Their hopes had no right to exist on one island. They knew it.
After all, they were enemies.
"You must be from a wealthy family." Sephiroth finally tore the web of heavy quiescence between them, however, abstaining from displaying any feelings. The conversation was meaningless, curt, strained.
Genesis nodded, having taken his part of the meal out of the fire. "You can say so."
There was something underneath his casual replica, a hidden irony woven into patterns of yet deeper acerbic aversion, yet his mysteries concerned Sephiroth little; more so, as per the redhead's reluctance, he had a perfect right to be tacit. "Where are you from?"
Genesis wanted to change the subject and he assented, "I was born in Yorktown, Virginia."
There was nothing left to ask without delving deeply into personal details, which none of them truly wanted, so the meal went by in utter silence. By the time they had finished eating, the horizon died, immersed into darkness and unwonted stillness, leaving them guessing the outcomes yet again. Then Sephiroth got two blankets from the cockpit and handed one to the redhead, spreading out the other on the soft sand under the clear unmarred welkin.
If not for the war raging in the ocean, the island would be a small paradise. He must have said it aloud, for the Japanese pilot uttered an incoherent replica. Sephiroth turned to ask again, his silver eyebrows creeping upwards in genuine amazement as he understood that Genesis was laughing.
…In the morning two swollen bodies in Japanese uniforms washed up on the shore. They dragged them out of the waters and buried in the tropical forest under the evergreen trees with huge succulent leaves. Together.
The conversation started out of sheer boredom. His forehead covered in sticky sweat, Sephiroth has spent last three hours before sunset underneath the Wildcat, attempting to fix the chassis. The problem turned out to be minor and by morrow or the day after that the Lieutenant was expecting to see his steel bird fly, however, Genesis wasn't supposed to suspect anything. Sephiroth wasn't prepared to answer the obvious question.
What will happen to the redhead?
Genesis appeared out of the slightly quivering air with another shell filled with fresh water and held it to his lips, while he avidly drank. The heat was debilitating, having dried the Lieutenant's uniform which now adhered to his skin, hindering him, each movement in the rough, salt covered clothing unpleasant.
When the redheaded pilot brought the shell for the second time, his palms unnoticeably slid under Sephiroth's neck to keep it steady, the intentions nothing but chaste. Then Sephiroth recalled a fickle sensation of being carried in those arms more vividly than he should have and, engrossed in his reminiscent thoughts, lingered in the redhead's embrace longer than he should have, feeling the latter's sapphire gaze burn.
Having caught himself thinking that the touch was not at all upsetting or unpleasant, Sephiroth stirred, leaning back against the sand to resume his tedious work on the chassis, but Genesis didn't leave, having settled therebeside.
"Tell me, Sephiroth, why did you go to war?"
The tone was casual, quite disinterested, so he took it as a sign of idle curiosity and didn't expect Genesis to want a genuine answer.
"I was given an order. Are you satisfied now?"
Genesis' lush lips curved into a smirk that reeked of such superiority, as though he knew Sephiroth better that the Lieutenant knew himself. "I am not. Those like you don't just follow orders."
Sephiroth put the instruments aside and raised himself on the elbow, his face showing all vexation he felt at the moment.
"Why do my reasons concern you so much?"
"I wish to know why you saved me." The smirk disappeared, yet in the tilt of his head, in the glimpse of sapphire between auburn tresses, like this he was still laughing. "I am a Zero pilot on Akagi… was on Akagi, since my carrier is no more. I am sure I've shot down many Americans that day."
It didn't escape Sephiroth's heed that Genesis was talking about the loss of the Japanese carrier with indifference, his pose on the sand natural and calm. To him defeat mattered little or so it seemed.
Realizing that, Sephiroth bitterly inquired, "Does it make you proud?"
The redhead didn't expect a question like that and thus didn't have any time to hide behind fallacy. "It doesn't."
That was the answer Sephiroth needed.
"But you still love your country, don't you?"
Thereat he was wrong, for cerulean eyes blazed up as two bottomless stars he so well remembered, and Genesis snapped, "Don't think you know everything about me just by making some apt guesses, Sephiroth. I hate Japan and I serve because I don't wish to share Haru's fate! Maybe, then I can become a hero for both of us."
'Who was Haru,' Sephiroth wanted to ask, yet his redheaded interlocutor wasn't obviously in the mood to give him any explanations. He has already said too much, so instead the Lieutenant chose a less painful subject, "I don't see many reasons to hate your own country."
"My parents betrayed me, Sephiroth." Genesis acrimoniously traversed, letting his feelings show anew, which was unexpected. They were not in a confession room. "They preferred I became a kamikaze rather than returned home alive, whereas I would rather die myself than come back to their loving embrace." So Genesis turned out a spoiled rich child, who never understood how it was to live without parents at all. Whatever the reason was, it, most likely, will sound worthless. "They told me I'd rather die than continue disgracing them, but I am not dying for any country or cause."
Instead of answering Genesis slowly extended his hand and his long refined fingers ghosted over the marble face; the touch was again strangely pleasant, as that of a sculptor marvelling his creation. Sephiroth followed the slender hand with his eyes until it slipped under his collar, moved away thereupon, feeling slightly taken aback at the redhead's impudent behaviour. His azure eyes were softly glowing in ensuing darkness, yet the spark immediately died out with his cold, curt, "You are forgetting we are enemies, Genesis."
The redhead leapt up to his feet at once, turning so that the Lieutenant could no longer see his eyes, just the slender frame, dark and faceless, outlined by dwindling sunlight and auburn hair gilded in their fading caress.
"The notion of enemy is a flaw of human perception," the melodic voice was distorted by anger and he didn't like it, albeit could do nothing now. "Nature doesn't know hatred or prosecution, they were begotten with us."
Genesis disappeared from his sight with a disdainful scoff, dramatic and arrogant, true to his suddenly revealed nature, however, unmistakably offended. Sephiroth shook his head. What did the redhead expect from both of them?
Having shaken annoying sand grains off his uniform, Sephiroth rose and strolled towards the fresh streamlet.
Did the redhead mean his last words and what difference did it make? They were human and until then there could hardly be any sympathy between them, more so since soon he will be forced to give Genesis up to the government.
Perhaps, the latter suspected it.
Having slipped out of his uniform, the silver-haired Lieutenant threw it into the fresh water to wash salt and sand off it. It was already turning threadbare, the cloth faded and most of the ensigns were lost. Usually he would be dissatisfied. Right now he hardly cared.
Discarding the rest of the slough, Sephiroth stepped into the stream and cupped his hands to scoop a handful of refulgent in the moonlight water. After the sultry summer day its flow on his skin was refreshing, intoxicating almost, as clear droplets fell onto his silver hair, tangling between the long locks like sunlit dew.
He heard faint steps after the flap of wings and the tropic bird cut short its rollicking song. Apart from them, there was no one on the island, so this had to be Genesis and the pair of prying eyes had to have belonged to the redhead.
Why did he come?
Until he finished washing the uniform, through semidarkness the Lieutenant could feel azure gaze upon him, nearly tangible and so shamelessly desiring it sent shivers up and down his bare spine that had little to do with the coolness of fresh water.
…In the morning Sephiroth woke up, dithering in the chilly wind, with Genesis' head resting on his shoulder and somehow desire to push the redhead away died, barely having flared.
Somehow, secretly from the whole world and, likely, from himself as well Sephiroth was glad to feel someone's presence by his side for the first time since Angeal's death.
Even if Genesis was an enemy.
The screaming man in his dream was a burning torch, flames lavishly poured over his frame so that features, concealed beneath the tongues, were no longer possible to behold. Sephiroth couldn't tell whether it was Angeal or not, only that the bomb had hit Yorktown and he had to flee, yet his legs, rigid and heavy, could not move, remaining glued to the floor despite his inhuman efforts to budge.
The Lieutenant Commander awoke with a jerk in the middle of the night, realizing he's been clutching the thin blanket in his hands in a desperate attempt to cover himself from the chill and the horrors of his dream.
Angeal burnt in the engine compartment while he was flying his Devastator. He's never seen his friend die. Only imagine.
The moon bled silver onto the dark waters as, tottering, Sephiroth neared the ocean and knelt by it on the wet shore, cupping the acrid salty liquid with his trembling hands to wash his face.
It was insane, the war, however with some cold rationality he knew that mankind needed wars. What was it? A flaw in the grand design, if there ever was one?
The water burnt.
Genesis slipped by silently, but not until he spoke did the Lieutenant realize that the redhead was watching him, likely, for a while.
"You don't need to tell me you've lost someone, it is all reflected in your eyes," the pilot's voice was soothing, enveloping, but Sephiroth couldn't allow himself to seek consolation in him, for they were destined to be enemies, confining themselves to tepid politeness. Not more.
But for all that when the slender yet strong palm settled on his shoulder, he didn't move away. He didn't move at all, dropping his silver head onto his chest to aimlessly watch specks of moonlight dance on the ocean, piercing the dark waters and illumining its bottom.
It was logical for him to leave, but instead Sephiroth found himself speaking, "You must have felt it, too, otherwise you'd never see it."
Genesis' reflection joined his in the mirror-like depths, quivering, distorted, yet beautiful nonetheless. Sephiroth could no longer deny there was sympathy between them, however caged and broken it might be.
Genesis' fingers stroked his cheek, slowly, almost thoughtfully and he leaned into that evanescent silent touch, suddenly craving it and wishing the redhead would not stop.
"Ah, how astutely of you to say that," the melodic voice continued with mocking fondness, as arms flowed around his neck from behind, bringing his silver head closer to the redhead's chest. "However, you are right. Consider it honesty for your veracity. Don't you wish to forget at times, though?"
Sephiroth ignored the obvious question, "How did you lose Haru?"
That name has once slipped from the redhead's lips, as the latter was carried away by his feelings.
For a moment Genesis tensed behind him and he thought he would not answer until the pilot regained his composure, whispering, "As devoted traditionalists as they are, my parents could not accept that their only son loved another man. They banished me and executed him," the touch faded into a warm kiss of gentle summer wind. "Isn't it cruel?" The redhead rose to leave. "I suppose I should be grateful they were my parents and not Haru's."
Genesis' answer was a cold chuckle vanishing into the starlit night.
They were kissing on the sand, dominating and submitting alternately, fighting even now while lavishly offering love and caress. Genesis lithe body was firmly trapped between his thighs underneath, a naked curve upon curve, scorching as sand they lay on, venereal in its passion and begging him for more.
He could have stopped if the redhead's palms were not stroking his thighs in a continuous exquisite manner. He could have stopped if the lips on his tongue were not so lavishly soft.
For a moment they froze like that, panting, gasping, aroused and in that pause Genesis' refined fingers slowly traced thin lips, opening his mouth while gently countering it. Suddenly Sephiroth recoiled only to be stopped by almost breathless whisper, "Don't go… please… you are killing me…"
He could have stopped if he knew how to find an excuse.
"We are enemies, Genesis." It was worthless, drowning in a faint mocking smile on swollen lush lips, "If you hate me, why did you save me then?"
Genesis was smug. He was no less.
"Don't confuse pity and attraction."
"You lie. I know you do."
Sephiroth sighed, looking down. The next moment they were kissing anew, tongues dipped deeply in each other's mouths and hands stroking skin in a sinful rhythmic ardor to the faint waking moans.
The notion of enemy is a flaw of human perception…
Genesis' pants were rigid from salt, unyielding, yet Sephiroth tore them off wildly to feel the softness of immaculate skin and hardness he begot with his lips and hands. Another louder moan passed Genesis' lips, as his body curved into a delightful arch to feel Sephiroth better, slipping between his fingers, back and forth, faster.
Lips joined with lips again, quickened breath mingled with breath, and then he raised the redhead's thighs a little to complete their love.
Not like he's never felt it before, but, maybe he didn't. Not like that. Not with Genesis.
Too much. Too hot. Too soon.
Sephiroth uttered a passionate scream, sliding into the damp warm pit and constricting inside in blissful agony. His lover pulled him up, exhaling a sound of ecstasy and flashing sapphire flames at him through tangled damp auburn tresses.
"Don't stop… please…"
However, now Sephiroth could not stop even if had to.
Before going still in each other's arms their bodies eloquently and boldly told of everything, of longing, of solitude, of loss, their lips would never speak aloud.
A destroyer with the American flag flying over its massive hulk came in sight early next morning, looming on the horizon as a menacing shadow. It most likely meant that they won the battle of Midway and Japanese lost.
Genesis wasn't wounded, sad, perhaps, but in this case he hid his feelings well.
They sat on the beach in each other's arms for the last time. Sephiroth knew he had eventually made the right choice, if there ever was right or wrong in their case.
The master of the steel bird will give up his powers to gift his enemy with freedom.
Armed and ready, the Wildcat stood on the makeshift runway on the sand shore and, when Sephiroth saw a boat detaching from the destroyer, he rose, gestured towards the plane.
Genesis understood. Having silently gathered all his modest possessions, he threw them into the cockpit, yet before climbing the ladder they had wattled the day before, turned to ask, "How can I ever repay you for saving me twice?"
Sephiroth smiled, "You already have," as the shackles closed around his wrists with a faint clang.
The last kiss was bitter, lacking any promise, however, not devoid of ennui and warmth. Genesis hungrily clung to him, twining his arms around the chiselled neck, and lithe body he once felt naked trembled, responding to the sensual caress of his tongue.
Too much. Too late.
The American boat was already close, so the silver-haired Lieutenant forced himself to take a step back and gently pushed his redheaded lover towards the cockpit, "Go."
He hastily nodded, climbed inside, hiding beneath the glass shielding, and started the engines. Sephiroth recognized that ebullient roar, which signified the plane was ready for the take off, for a moment having foolishly wished something went wrong.
It wouldn't have changed a thing.
Genesis pressed down the hammer and off went his Wildcat, losing touch with the ground and engendering a vehement gust of wind that scattered his silver hair and buried his lover's frail tracks under the sand.
Someone shouted from the boat, opened fire from the light machine gun, but the plane was already too far.
With a flicker of a smile Sephiroth followed the Wildcat with his eyes until it turned into a black indistinguishable dot in the cerulean emptiness, carrying Genesis and one evanescent night of love with it.
It changed something in him, made him realize that, to obviate an enemy, it wasn't always necessary to take the latter's life as he was used to. The Wildcat was no longer in sight, swallowed by the fathomless azure, however, warmth lingered, wan yet undying, whenever Sephiroth remembered that in the mysterious Land of the Rising Sun he now had at least one friend.
The wind was freezing as it should be in early December. Barren trees stood, reaching out for the dull skies with their black branches, their ugly twisted frames standing out against the white, faintly glistening veil of falling snow. On the ground rows upon rows of identical tombstones diverged in different directions, forming a pattern similar to the one on the Arlington Cemetery miles away from the small town on the coast.
Yet, however little in size, Yorktown bore such significance in the American history it could hardly be underestimated. It witnessed the surrender of Lord Cornwallis during the American Revolution and later on played an important role during the Civil War; it saw how America was born, battled for Independence and writhed, torn between the Union and the Confederacy.
A lone silhouette in the full Lieutenant's uniform froze by one of the unobtrusive graves. The wind stirred last brown leaves with a fringe of white tracery under his feet, threw damp snowflakes in his face, playing with waist-length silver hair, yet the man stood quiescent and silent as the nature itself. Only once he moved to hide his freezing gloved hands in the pockets of the long coat.
The former Lieutenant Commander Sephiroth Crescent was looking at his friend's grave more than three years after his death. Even after the war he didn't come here often, for neither did he want to contemplate on Angeal's death too much, nor could he offer anything to his friend now; even the flowers were not left by him. His ex-girlfriend brought those every once in a while and now, fresh and live, they stood, slowly withering, already scorched by biting frost. Sephiroth felt as though being repelled by dullness of cemeteries and endless rows of tombstones reminded him of those he killed, of those whose silhouettes he's been seeing every night no matter how much time had passed.
It was said not for nothing that underneath each tombstone a separate and whole universe lay.
Universe-memory. Universe-prison. Universe-pain.
After all, who will bother worrying about dreams and aspirations of the dead?
The silver-haired silhouette bent over the tombstone, one of the many on the Yorktown cemetery, with a name dear to him forever carved into the whiteness. He will remember Angeal's dreams and cherish them for his friend, even if there was none else.
The thin lips whispered, "Farewell, Angeal," as the silver-haired Lieutenant straightened, wincing from pain in the old wound.
How many times did he say his farewells? The hollow universe swallowed them all.
Clenching his freezing fingers in the pocket, Sephiroth threw his head back, thin lips pursed and vacant emerald eyes set against the greyness of clouds.
Oblivion was gratitude to both of them. When his superiors ordered him, the best pilot in American Navy, to fly the Enola Gay B-29 bomber to drop the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, Sephiroth resigned. He couldn't take it any longer. Of course, it didn't change anything. The bomber was flown and the Little Boy was dropped, the unprecedented bombardment resulting in thousands and thousands of civilian casualties, yet he could now appease himself, thinking that it was not his fault and that he didn't take any part in that monstrous carnage.
The gloved fingers sliding off the tombstone, Sephiroth turned to walk away. As always, he came here to remember Angeal, yet ended up recalling so much more of his pain that the ennui for the flight became unbearable.
He could no longer fly. The glistening wings were cut and, aberrant in darkness, the steel bird's master had to walk blindly on the ground.
There were faint steps on the crispy snow behind him and a toy airplane landed on the tombstone so fast he barely noticed a slender hand that put it thereto. It was a Wildcat, its older model, so meticulously crafted he could have sworn it was real even if small.
Something warm in his chest fluttered, shrunk as his fingers timidly picked up the hollow reflection of his dead dream. "I am no longer flying."
Whoever came to tempt him with the reminiscent longing for the flight erred. They had to be from the government, no less, and he was done working for the government. Subconsciously Sephiroth even expected a cold barrel of a revolver to be set against his back, yet instead it was a slender palm on his shoulder and a vaguely familiar melodic voice, slightly gibing at him, at them, "Did you think of me often?"
It was Genesis; it had to be, for no other man on Earth possessed the same beauty in his voice. Sephiroth dithered, still clenching a Wildcat model in his left hand while the right slowly moved to cover the stranger's fingers, to feel their strength and closeness.
It was unreal as before. Genesis either lived in Japan or died in the war. It was too good to be true.
"Tell my why."
"Why and not how, you ask. The other question is a much more interesting one, however, let me indulge your curiosity the way you want me to." The man with Genesis' voice was still playing hide-and-seek, unwilling to show his face. "Once there lived a boy in a cage, thinking he was free and bold until he met a stranger who gave him a steel bird as a gift, thus showing he knew none of those. Isn't it a trivial tale to be told?"
The melodic voice was playful, as though iridescent. There was only one man he knew of once that could talk about serious matters, as if they all were but a game.
Sephiroth turned and gasped even if quietly, "Genesis."
Azure reflected in bright emerald pools, laughing azure, the redhead's smile flaring as sunlight on the steel feathers.
"You still remember me. That was all I needed to know."
The small Wildcat fell on the ground, as Genesis took a shameless step that still held them at a decorous distance and lush lips gently joined the thin ones in a deep long kiss.
Entwined in each other's arms, two silhouettes stood on the lone graveyard, so close they seemed but one, silver and red being the only colors on black and white winter painting.
Behind him America was smiling her rictus bloodied smile, carved into its face by countless wars, yet it no longer concerned Sephiroth as he understood that his nightmare was truly over.
Genesis came back, enemy by fate and lover by choice.