This fic started off as its own thing, but it turned into the other half of a trade (which I was more than happy with!). It's basically an alternate version of Chapter 5 ("Furniture") of this fic (https[:/] [.net]/s/13920026) told from Cloud's POV instead of Sephiroth's. The gift I got as part of this exchange is located at this link (https[:/] [.net]/s/14011501) and it's very sexy and probably my favorite thing ever.
To my dearest: The prose in this is a bit thick (maybe), but I'm satisfied with it, and I hope you are, too. Please never stop writing, but I must especially beg you never to stop sharing it with me.
(Thank you to AO3 user Beneaththesheets (Jay) for giving this a look before I posted it!)
'When you pray, enter into your inner chamber,' that is, your inner heart, 'and having closed the door,' that is of your senses…there with a pure heart and a clear conscience, and with faith unfeigned, 'pray to your Father,' in spirit and in truth, 'in secret.' This can be done best when a man is disengaged and removed from everything else, and completely recollected within himself. There…with everything, in general and individually, excluded and wiped out, the mind alone turns in security confidently to the Lord its God with its desire. In this way it pours itself forth into him in full sincerity with its whole heart and the yearning of its love, in the most inward part of all its faculties, and is plunged, enlarged, set on fire and dissolved into him.
—Saint Albertus Magnus
Even through unending noise and chaos, Cloud never took his eyes off Sephiroth.
He didn't want to, would never want to, but even if he had, it would have been impossible.
I hate you.
Cloud's pulse couldn't be still in Sephiroth's presence. It careened past and through his inner edges in a rolling, tumbling fervor, wanting to stiffen and jump out of him—Cloud would spit blood if asked, his bare life force, ready to be pulverized completely if only to be closer to his master. Sephiroth's vitriol was unapologetic and close to smothering them both, humming and pulsing down in a rancorous wash over Cloud's cold, twitching face and wide-stretched mouth. Cloud accepted Sephiroth's fingers over his tongue, welcoming them with an eager supplication and eyes hooded in a desperate green, tasting something like oil on his leather gloves, tasting sweat and murderous sex.
Sephiroth's fingers curled as Cloud's shivering voice soiled the last merciful bit of distance between them, chittering and lilting inaudibly under the wailing and toiling of sirens—and yet Sephiroth had heard him the whole time, he knew it, because with each strangled plea, every Please, every Let me be of service, Sephiroth's features had contorted, burned, twisting in psychotic, miserable fury, ready to spill Cloud's blood.
I'll kill you.
Sephiroth wouldn't say it aloud, far too possessed by it to speak it, but Cloud heard it just the same.
I'll make you regret it.
That much he had said, somewhere inside all the throbbing madness, and Cloud didn't question it, never would have thought to, but he couldn't fathom it. He accepted it in an instant, though only out of the sea of obedience that had risen up to brine his innards; Sephiroth was a superior being, his will surely indisputable, and it made sense for a lesser organism, an insect such as Cloud, to find him so incomprehensible—but Cloud's mind struggled around the idea that he could experience something such as regret beneath this creature of phenomenal beauty and endless power, such a force of refined will, of an ancient, new mother, of divine fatherhood without end, for under Sephiroth he was in Paradise.
Without even trying, Cloud knew had found the Promised Land. With Sephiroth's permission, he would have wept.
The room could have ripped to pieces around the energy between them. It should have, and Cloud thought, Sephiroth must be the one holding all this together . Sephiroth's mouth hung open, ripe with the taste of recent death, of an escaping soul; Cloud—the clueless, gangly boy from Nibelheim—had expired, replaced in gradual waves with Cloud, the perfect military partner —even now, in such a weak, mewling state, he could feel a new strength tightening in his veins, a strength of mind and body that had not belonged to him only hours ago—and Cloud, the perfect sexual partner —a body and mind that would accept any imposition, any intrusion, that would adore Sephiroth without end, opening itself to incessant, sadistic abuse with the perfect, innocent joy of a virgin, a child. This was the love Shinra had long promised him, had whispered of in so many moments between grainy television programs and droning radios—but no, this was better , this was something unspeakably fierce, whirling hot under Cloud's flesh even as pairs upon pairs of hands fought to pry Sephiroth from his wilting body, a body that had been reduced to scrap, a mere object without its own consciousness.
For one brief, clear moment, the last of Cloud's dying soul brushed against his new mind, the new absence inside him, and at that moment of contact, he understood at once and with total omniscience that what Shinra sought would forever be lost on them. They had missed the point of all this, being too cold and mechanical, too methodical, dead in their search so long as they lacked this lust for passion, for a real spirit. For just one portion of a second, as so many bodies struggled to pull Sephiroth from him, to separate him from Sephiroth's possessive arms and fevered, brackish smell, Cloud could see through to Sephiroth's heart, into and beyond the shattered silver mirror of the boy Sephiroth used to be. A sense of desperate longing seized him at the sight of it, a need to sink down beyond Sephiroth's flesh and run his hands over each splinter and crack, to measure how deep the damage ran with the analytical prowess of a military strategist that grew in him now with his still-soft hands, with his wet, pink mouth, and with his own soul. Cloud saw every tiny piece of Sephiroth and knew it was his destiny, his life's eternal mission, to love Sephiroth, to save him, to give him everything; as this new being, this fresh, perfectly subjugated vessel of love, Cloud knew he must receive every piece of Sephiroth's brokenness and violence, his confusion, his essence, until there was nothing left—until Sephiroth could, at long last, close his eyes and go to sleep.
Cloud loved him. He knew it now, knew that he had to enter Sephiroth just as much as Sephiroth had entered him, had become a portion of the meat of his body, of the physics of his soul. Cloud knew he must open himself wide, a new flower for all of Sephiroth's rage, accepting and adoring his new world of servitude, of domestication, of this ceaseless, torturous, fervent, consummate love.
He wanted to call out to Sephiroth. He wanted to beg Sephiroth for so much, for a future in which nothing could separate them, a new Eden where there could be no barrier between their bodies or their innermost places. He wanted to stretch his hands and touch Sephiroth again, if only for an instant; Cloud was sure that if he could just feel his master one more time, he would scream, losing himself completely from the pure feeling of it all, but he remained silent, receding into himself to wait for Sephiroth's return. As deep as the pain of separation was, Cloud would wait.
He suddenly felt very rested, enlightened, for surely there could be no force stronger than this. Cloud had fed into the energetic field of memories that whirled around Sephiroth, and something calm inside him, between them, understood that they would soon meet again.
Cloud would be ready. As furniture, a weapon for Sephiroth to employ as he saw fit, it was his job to remain on standby until the time came for him to serve his purpose.
With a small, soft sigh of relief, he closed his eyes and prepared to wait.