Cloud followed Sephiroth, almost running to keep up with the taller man's angry strides. He knew they had to hide the full extent of their relationship, at least enough that there wasn't any proof and the department heads and up didn't suspect. Funnily enough he was the one who came up with most of their schemes to get time alone together.

Sephiroth kissed Cloud deeply as soon as the door was shut behind them, keeping people from knowing what they were doing - Sephiroth had said the best thing about joining SOLDIER was being free of the cameras always on in the labs. Cloud didn't resist the way Sephiroth dominated their kiss, but he responded eagerly as the older man pulled him into his bedroom. He'd finally got past his inhibitions enough to let his own hands roam as freely as Sephiroth's did, and when he got his erection he pressed it into Sephiroth's thigh instead of trying to hide it the way Sephiroth always tried to hide his, even if Cloud had only realised that recently.

"Do you...want to have sex with me?" Sephiroth pulled away slightly to ask the question, a strange uncertainty in his voice.

Cloud didn't know what to do, or what to say. Sephiroth wanted to have sex with him! Who'd say no to that?

"Cloud Strife, if you do not say anything I will be forced to assume you don't actually want to do anything about this." And Sephiroth's hand slid between their bodies to press against Cloud's crotch.

"Please, yes!" Sephiroth blinked, he seemed almost surprised by Cloud's reaction, but he untangled himself from Cloud and began stripping matter of factly. Cloud fought the urge to look away, but he couldn't keep from blushing as he watched that magnificent body emerge from beneath Sephiroth's leathers. Sephiroth didn't even seem to realise there was anything erotic about what he was doing. And somehow that made it even hotter.

Cloud should be undressing himself around now shouldn't he? But somehow that paled besides watching Sephiroth, right up until he climbed up onto the bed, knelt facing away from Cloud, somehow folded his arms behind his back and bent over, legs open, offering himself.

"I don't have any strong enough restraints, but this should make sure I'm not in a position to inadvertently hurt you." That snapped Cloud out of his frozen shock, and scrambled forward, pulled ineffectually at Sephiroth until he sat back up and turned around to face him.

"W-wait! Wh-what are you doing?" That might have been what made Sephiroth turn around to face Cloud more than his actions.

"I will not risk hurting one of the only two people to treat me as anything other than a weapon, or the only person who objects to relying on me to do almost everything." Zack didn't seriously expect the General to do everything was Cloud's supremely irrelevant thought then. He pushed that aside to focus on the uncharacteristically fragile seeming man in front of him, stroking his hand through Sephiroth's hair.

"Why do you think you'd hurt me?"

"Twelve years ago Dr. Hojo arranged a very convincing demonstration of why it would not be a good idea for me to 'fraternise' with anyone unenhanced. I lost control of my strength, and killed one of the boys he brought in to demonstrate from internal injuries, and the other one died of Mako poisoning." So what, Sephiroth had Mako-laced sperm? He couldn't believe it was that concentrated.

"Are you sure it wasn't some sort of set-up? I..." Cloud had assumed Sephiroth would top, since he was obviously more experienced, but whatever he wanted, just...not like that. "I'd rather not do it the way you suggested."

"Then what do you want me to do?" Sephiroth paused, and swallowed before continuing. "It might have been a set-up, but I wasn't willing to risk killing someone just to 'get off'. And I refuse to risk you." It was wrong for Sephiroth to be acting so submissively, but...

"Undress me, please." And Cloud hadn't known Sephiroth could blush, even with faint pink flush that showed on his cheeks as he bowed his head and slid to kneel at Cloud's feet, starting with his boots. Sephiroth almost fumbled his task once or twice, but he also looked like he was enjoying it, a small smile on his face throughout, more emotion than he usually showed. Then he leaned in and kissed Cloud again, taking charge with the ease that had made Cloud expect he'd top. But instead of just giving in to that kiss and melting into Sephiroth's arms Cloud decided to try and take charge of the kiss himself, pushing his own tongue into the other's mouth. Sephiroth surrendered to him with an almost alarming ease, but Cloud pushed it out of his mind until he pulled back. "What do you want Sephiroth? I think you want me to take charge, so you don't have to make any decisions, or think about anything, but what do you want beyond that?"

"Take me? Please?" He shut his eyes as he spoke, bowing his head and shivering delicately.

"If that's what you want." Cloud laughed, kissing Sephiroth on his temple to see his reaction. "But we'll need something to make it easier." He knew that much from overhearing barracks talk. "And you do know there are other options, don't you?"

"But I want you inside me." Something in his voice...Sephiroth continued speaking, in a different tone, albeit still submissive, before Cloud could isolate what he'd noticed. "And I should clean myself inside first...I'll be back shortly, with something that should work." But he didn't move, and even though he'd opened his eyes he wasn't looking above Cloud's chin. Cloud put a hand beneath Sephiroth's chin, lifting it to kiss him.

"Hurry back then." And that seemed to be enough for Sephiroth to leave, letting Cloud think about what he was going to do. Sephiroth made it very clear he wanted to submit, but how...He was worried about hurting Cloud, not about being hurt himself, Cloud got the sinking feeling that if he hadn't suggested lubrication Sephiroth would have happily done without.

"I think this will work." Sephiroth was standing in front of him, holding out a jar of some scented oil, Cloud nodded, taking the jar and setting it to one side. He lay back on the bed, pulling Sephiroth down with him, knowing that the General was letting Cloud manhandle him like this, so it had to be something he needed. He kissed Sephiroth nice and slowly, enjoying his reaction, even as different as it was from what he'd expected.

"Can you...suck me? But I want to stretch you, while you're doing that." Cloud reached to pick up the jar Sephiroth had brought as the other man moved around on the bed until he could take Cloud into his mouth, leaving his own groin near Cloud's face. He was large enough to make Cloud feel a bit embarrassed about his own not quite developed genitilia, and grateful that Sephiroth didn't want to take him, but those thoughts were driven from his head by the feel of Sephiroth's hot mouth around him. Cloud opened the jar and pulled Sephiroth's hips towards him so he could return the favour before he started to prepare his lover, and Sephiroth stopped.

"Cloud, please, don't!"

"I'm not going to let you come, just distract you while I'm stretching you out. Don't let me come either."

"Yes Cloud." Sephiroth returned to what he'd been doing, and Cloud began to take Sephiroth into his mouth, not as deeply, noting the odd taste to him, vaguely sour and salty. Then he slid one finger into his lover, slowly, stretching him gently, adding a second finger, using his focus on how Sephiroth was reacting to distract him from the pleasure of Sephiroth working at his groin. It went pretty quickly, and Sephiroth didn't show any sign of pain, not even when he thought his lover was ready for him. He pulled his fingers out, and slapped Sephiroth's ass, hardly believing his daring.

"Enough." Sephiroth obeyed instantly, pulling away from him and sitting back on his heels to watch Cloud with more emotion on his face than ever before, even if Cloud couldn't read it. Cloud rolled onto his back, and slicked himself up as well. "I want you to...straddle me. And...sit...take me into you. Then..." He wasn't sure how to describe what he wanted, wasn't even sure it would work, but Sephiroth seemed to understand. Cloud wasn't strong enough to really control Sephiroth, except with words, but this would give his lover the choice of how to move.

Sephiroth immediately moved to swing one leg over Cloud's hips, sitting down and reaching behind him with one hand, guiding Cloud into that tight heat. But he just stopped moving once Cloud was fully seated inside him. It took a few moments for Cloud to understand what he was waiting for, and he reached to take hold of his hips, 'lifting' Sephiroth, and setting a rhythm he enjoyed.

"Play with your nipples." Sephiroth didn't seem to know what to do with his hands, and Cloud understood his fears, even if he didn't share them. Then he gave himself over to the feeling of Sephiroth moving over him, reaching out to jerk him off as he got closer to coming himself. Sephiroth spilled his seed over Cloud's chest, looking surprised by that, and Cloud came just after, relaxing in boneless pleasure.

Sephiroth worried at his lower lip for a moment before he climbed off Cloud and lay beside him.

"May I clean you up?" He was asking permission?

"If you want to." Sephiroth sounded as sleepy as Cloud felt after that, but Cloud woke up when Sephiroth began licking him clean, ending by taking Cloud into his mouth again, and swallowing when Cloud came again.


Cloud was not going to let how he felt about what he'd been doing last night show, or even give anyone hints about what had kept him away from his barracks until almost curfew. It wasn't as if his relationship with Sephiroth was anything other than an open secret, but he didn't need anyone to know that they'd actually fucked at last, or that the General had bottomed willingly. Everyone'd assumed Sephiroth was fucking him, and had been for a while, but no one envied him for that, not since Sephiroth made sure he ended up with lots of bruises, going up against much better opponents, and sometimes broken bones when the General bothered to spar with him personally. Cloud didn't mind that, Sephiroth made sure he got good medical treatment, or healed Cloud himself for injuries the infirmary wouldn't bother to treat. They'd discussed it at the beginning of their relationship, or rather Sephiroth had explained how it had to be, and Cloud had agreed. It was worth the pain to have the chance to learn better and faster.

"Listen up! We've got a bunch of SOLDIERs who're willing to train you lucky sons of bitches for an hour or so. You'll be sparring with them. Try not to embarrass yourselves too badly."

"The way Strife always does?" Cloud couldn't tell who'd said that, but it didn't matter, no one could do that well against Sephiroth, and the others seemed to see that.

"Better than you could do."

"All of you get down and give me fifty push-ups!" That was nothing. But the SOLDIERs were coming in by the time they'd all finished, mostly 3rd class, with a few 2nd class, and Zack.

"This one's mine."

"The General's you mean."

"Perhaps they share." Zack ignored the comments about that, so Cloud would do the same, but he wasn't looking forward to embarrassing himself in front of his class again; he did that enough sparring with Sephiroth.

"Please tell me we're starting with something simple." Cloud didn't really expect to get what he was asking for, but it was worth a try.

"I wouldn't be doing you any favours if I took it easy on you. Come on, I've got you until lunch, and I'd rather do this somewhere a little less crowded." And that meant Zack was planning a bit more than any scripted kata...not a surprise, but at least Cloud wouldn't have too much of an audience for his impending humiliating defeat. Of course he wouldn't have the chance to see how the others screwed up either.

"Is that allowed?" Cloud wanted to ask if Zack had arranged this just for his benefit, but he didn't quite dare in front of his instructors.

"Yeah, only the 3rds will be staying here. It was the same when my class got our spar with the SOLDIERs." Zack began to pull Cloud out of the main gym as he spoke.

"Oh. I see. They're left with the least promising candidates, right? And I only get to work with you 'cause of..."

"I did want to see how good you are for myself." Zack had found a smaller training room and ducked into it, shutting the door firmly behind them.

"Like I'm good enough for you to bother with that." Cloud had no illusions about his skill level, he never won a sparring match and he always ended up in awful condition.

"Sephiroth doesn't agree with that assessment." He didn't know how to counter that, even if Sephiroth was only taking an interest in him because he wanted to be with Cloud there were easier ways than wasting his time 'sparring' with Cloud, and always holding back so much. Then Zack smiled at him in a weird way, not quite a leer, but close. "Speaking of Sephiroth he was acting a bit odd today. I think I saw a smile on his face once or twice. You got laid last night huh?"

"You're supposed to be sparring with me, not gossiping, aren't you?" Not that sparring was any better an option, not really, but at least then he wouldn't...

"At least one hour sparring, otherwise you're mine until you have to report in for lunch. Mind half my class were being treated after their spars." Cloud winced at that, he knew he'd be one of the ones who ended up needing treatment, Zack was second only to Sephiroth. "Now tell me what he's like in bed."

"You really think I'm dumb enough to talk about Sephiroth and my sex life without him there?" Cloud drew his blunted sword and attacked Zack as he was speaking, it was his only chance at getting even a single blow in, and Sephiroth had taught him not to cling to foolish pride.

At least Zack knew he wasn't in good enough condition to have enough breath to talk while he was sparring...not with any of the opponents he usually had anyway, so that bought him at least an hour when he wouldn't have to worry about Zack's questioning.

"That was smart of you." Zack laughed as he blocked Cloud's blow, without returning an attack of his own, and Cloud went on the offensive, forcing himself to forget how much better Zack had to be than him. He couldn't afford to think about that, or he'd be defeated before he even began. But despite his initial marginal advantage of surprise Zack quickly took the initiative from him and Cloud found himself trying desperately to fend off his attacks. And he knew that Zack wasn't fighting at anywhere near full capacity, not when the other man still had the breath to tease him about how he imagined Cloud had spent the previous night with Sephiroth.

Funny, the anger he felt that Zack could tease him about last night when Sephiroth had been in such obvious pain was actually helping him fight better, and Cloud didn't understand why. He even got a chance to go back on the offensive towards the end, feigning more exhaustion than he felt, because if there was one thing he could do it was endure, keep on fighting, or whatever even when he was dead on his feet, or hurting. But then Zack finally used his full abilities, disarming Cloud easily, and stepping back.

"Enough." No point in trying to continue...a quick glance showed that Cloud's sword was well out of immediate reach, and he didn't have a back-up weapon, something Sephiroth had emphasised the importance of, but not something he had for training.

"You're better than I expected." Was that a compliment or an insult? Cloud couldn't tell, and he didn't care, but he'd come out of the spar without any real injuries, nothing more than bruises, and a few slightly strained muscles. And he'd recovered enough breath to speak himself.

"Do the injuries...normally come from 2nds...or from 3rds who don't...know their own strength?"

"Both." Zack laughed unthinkingly at that. "But I don't think Seph would like the comparison." Cloud was bewildered until he realised Zack was referring to all the broken bones he'd got by sparring against Sephiroth, and then he felt the heat in his cheeks as he blushed. "This is the first time I've done this, I was away in Wutai when I was still a 3rd and 2nd class, then I ranked too high to do this normally. I was told to only injure you if I could tell you were judging your skills wrong, or overestimating them anyway. It's supposed to be 'a salutary lesson' for arrogant cadets."

"Ah, so you were one of the cadets who needed healing then in your class?"

"No! I'm not burdened by the modesty you suffer under, but I don't overestimate my abilities. You don't overestimate your own abilities either, but I know why you're always matched against instructors now, you're too good for the other cadets and you can't risk learning to hold back yet." No, Zack had to be mistaken, but at least this was distracting him from Cloud's sex life.

"Me? I'm not that good." But he retrieved his sword, checking it over before returning it to the sheath.

"Yes you are. I think Seph saw that potential in you and that's why he got interested."

"No, it was that I don't see him as just a weapon. And you're straight, aren't you?" Cloud spoke without thinking, but he was pretty sure Sephiroth wouldn't mind Zack hearing that part.

"Yes. Are you saying..."

"I don't know. But he said there were only two people who didn't see him as a weapon." Cloud shrugged, he didn't want Zack to think Sephiroth was interested in him now. The SOLDIER'd had his chance. "And he's with me now."

"Yeah, I'm not gonna try to poach him from you, wouldn't even if I liked men. Getting down to business we were sparring for an hour and a half." He hadn't realised he'd lasted so long. From there Zack began breaking down how Cloud had fought, making criticisms and telling him what he could improve and how, interspersing the advice with lavish praise, too lavish in Cloud's opinion. Even if it did feel good.

When Zack let him go Cloud only had ten minutes to get to the canteen for lunch, but he still had to report back in to the instructors first.

"Did you need treatment?" There was only one instructor left and he looked impatient as he questioned Cloud.

"No sir."

"How long did you spend sparring?"

"An hour and a half. Zack spent almost as much time analysing my faults as we did sparring." Cloud was not going to mention his efforts to start a gossip session, even if they could be deduced from how Cloud referred to the SOLDIER. All his instructor did in response was to raise a single eyebrow.

"He'll be turning in a report on how well you did anyway. Eventually." An ironic twist of his lips implied that Zack was unlikely to turn the report in until after the SOLDIER Entrance Exams and invited Cloud to share the joke, even if he knew better than that. "Dismissed."

Cloud saluted and left, arriving late to the canteen, the last in his class, and not bothering to correct their assumption that it was because he'd needed a trip to the infirmary.


Cloud glanced again at the slip of paper Zack had given him after their sparring session. Sephiroth had used their private code to ask him to come visit after he got off training and specified the excuse...delivering paperwork. This was one of the excuses Sephiroth did the groundwork for, the instructors knew that he'd taken Cloud under his wing, so when he asked for them to have any paperwork specially delivered to him it was always Cloud they sent.

Cloud was sure that it was not normal procedure for the cadets to write a report on the SOLDIERs who'd been training them either, and that the extra paperwork involved was the reason everyone had been ordered to report back for further training after dinner. But on the other hand, this much at least could be camouflaged by the fact that Zack was one of the SOLDIERs doing this duty, and Sephiroth of all people knew how bad he was with paperwork.

"Cadet Strife, stay behind. Everyone else, hand in your completed reports to Cadet Strife when you're finished." And if no one had realised why they were doing this before they did now from the glares being directed at him. Not that it mattered. "Why that fuckwit Zack decided to..." Cloud decided that the mutter he could hear was Instructor Trepes' way of taking pity on him, the glares were turning more sympathetic now as what he was saying spread like wildfire.

"What's so bad about Brigadier Knight, Cloud?" Zack was almost as famous as Sephiroth was, at least inside the army, so he'd been recognised when he decided to play with Cloud.

"Nothing, not really. He's just terrible at doing paperwork, notoriously so. And the SOLDIERs are supposed to turn in reports on how well we did when sparring. I guess he's the reason we're doing these reports as well."

"We get stuck doing this because he's a lazy bastard? Sounds about right." Platt was the class pessimist, and he had a very dim view of the upper echelons. Cloud knew that the only reason he got away with badmouthing the officers so much was because he had family connections in the upper echelons of ShinRa itself, but they wouldn't shield him once he got assigned to a unit. It was expected for troopers to bitch about their officers a bit, but nowhere near as much as Platt did.

"Depending how these reports go they might decide to make this standard operating procedure, as a check on the possibility of personal animosities. We didn't get the chance to say 'no' to our 'sparring partners' after all." Cloud began reading through the form for the report as he spoke - obviously cadets were not expected to have the discernment to decide what the higher ups needed to know.

"You didn't get a choice, there wasn't anyone willing to argue with the brigadier, but some of us got to choose who we'd work with." Michaels was one of the better cadets and he knew it, he'd have been working with a SOLDIER 2nd class, and more likely than not there'd been a couple who wanted to test him out, or take the excuse to hurt someone. Cloud knew that he was one of the ones who'd been taken to the infirmary, he'd have asked if Michaels hadn't volunteered after what Zack had said about injuring arrogant cadets. Come to think of that...were there any records of which SOLDIERs doing this duty tended to injure their cadets? It was something he could ask Sephiroth, later. Then he read the prompt that was a problem. 'Describe any injuries incurred in the course of this training and summarise the medical treatment applied. Attach a report from Medical if there were any injuries.' But they hadn't been provided with the reports.


"What is it cadet?" There was a distinct hint of 'this better be good' to Instructor Trepes' voice.

"We're supposed to attach reports from medical if we had any injuries, sir. Are we supposed to go for the reports piecemeal, as we get to that, or am I expected to collect them all afterwards? Sir!"

"Go get them now cadet, since you're volunteering." He hadn't expected that response, even if he should have. "Ask for the cadet SOLDIER training session medical reports." But there was only one response anyway.

"Sir! Yes Sir!" Cloud stood, putting his report form down and left, heading for the infirmary at a run. He recognised the nurse at the desk, Miss Reading, and he knew she could give him the reports, but...

"I need to speak to Dr. Alexander. Or someone with the authority to release copies of the cadet SOLDIER training session medical reports to me." He did need to make the appearance of going through channels, and she returned his smile with an ironic smile of her own.

"I shouldn't be surprised you didn't have an injury of your own to treat. The brigadier probably held back a lot more than the General does." She bent down, pulling the sheaf of reports out of a lower drawer. "I just need you to sign for these here." Cloud didn't really like the idea of putting his signature on something he hadn't read, so he made a quiet point of reading through the list of reports that he was supposed to have received, and checking them against what he'd been given. It wasn't an insult, and Miss Reading just worked on something else while he did that, so she couldn't have been too offended. Some of the cadets who'd been injured were enough to make him raise an eyebrow, since they'd staunchly denied that fact, mostly these were cadets Cloud knew were the most arrogant in his class, even if they'd given up on bullying him since he'd started training with Sephiroth for some reason.

"Here sir." He handed the reports over to Instructor Trepes, and got back to writing out his own report, since he'd only gotten as far as filling in Zack's name and rank, how long they'd sparred for and starting to describe what he remembered of their spar. The instructor seemed to hesitate, but common sense must have prevailed, because he looked at the top report for the name.


"Yes sir?" The other cadet stood at attention, the injury he'd been given in sparring had obviously had the desired effect on him, at least for now.

"Take these and give them out to your classmates."

"Yes sir." Cloud ignored the catcalls of 'Thought you said you weren't injured.' and similar when Davids handed injury reports to people who'd claimed to come through unharmed, but he couldn't ignore it when Michaels reached out to snatch his pen from his hand - or try anyway, and that was enough to keep him from writing any more.

"What is it?"

"I thought you'd been injured too. The brigadier can't be that much worse than the General is."

"No, but...I think Zack has more experience sparring with us mere mortals than Sephiroth does." That was a good enough excuse, even if it was a total lie. And it made the others back off, especially with the near-heretical - at least in the ShinRa military - implication of fault in Sephiroth hidden in his statement. He knew that if he repeated this little tidbit to his lover Sephiroth would be very pleased to hear it...and he'd probably like to hear about the question Cloud had asked Zack, about whether the injured among cadets came from 2nds, or 3rds who couldn't control their own strength. But after last night he had the feeling that despite appearances Sephiroth was very insecure and had an inferiority complex, albeit an incredibly well hidden one, at least where it came to personal matters. Of course if their sparring partners hadn't let the other cadets know about the reason some cadets were injured he wasn't going to let it slip...he tended to assume that anything Zack or Sephiroth told him about the military was classified, until it was proven otherwise. He knew that by making that assumption he was insulting their professionalism, but he didn't want to flaunt the extra knowledge his relationship with the two SOLDIERs gave him.

'Did the SOLDIER analyse your performance? Y/N' Yes, definitely.

'What is your assessment of this analysis?' Cloud could go into endless detail on this question, but it wasn't necessary, so instead he focused on the most important parts. Zack had gone into plenty of detail, he'd explained Cloud's shortcomings clearly and added praise as appropriate and he'd suggested ways to improve where he'd made errors.

"Here!" Duran obviously resented having to do this, especially that he was expected to give the report to Cloud, and Cloud was sure he'd done his typical half-assed job on it, but Cloud took the report and put it beside him on the table.

"Could everyone just add their reports to this pile when they're finished please." Cloud raised his voice enough for everyone to hear him, he half expected a reprimand, but Instructor Trepes only looked at him in understanding; he was far enough behind on his own report as it was. He was the last one finished, and Cloud added his own report to the pile, shuffling them into alphabetical order as he turned to the instructor for instructions.

"Deliver these to the General's office."

"Yes sir!" Cloud finished the reordering, alphabetical by surname was the only way he knew how to organise them, since class placement was kept secret until they were assigned, and set off for Sephiroth's office at a run. When he got there it was late enough that Sephiroth's secretary was the only one present, and she told him to deliver the reports to Sephiroth's quarters.


"You are not going to spend all night reading over these, are you Sephiroth?" Cloud made his voice stern as he entered Sephiroth's quarters, he knew that his lover didn't take the best care of himself, but Sephiroth loved it when someone else took care of him instead. That was the main reason he'd accepted Cloud as a friend, and then lover so easily, Cloud was perfectly willing to admit to himself that he tended to be a bit of a mama chocobo at times, and Sephiroth responded to that, even better than he responded to Zack's rougher brand of caring.

"Not if you're here with me. I'll need to read some of them, but I can do that later, after I get up perhaps. You know SOLDIERs don't need as much sleep as normal humans." Sephiroth was on the couch, a brush frozen in his hair as he looked at Cloud with the same surprise he always displayed when someone showed any sign of caring for him.

"Yeah, you have to be able to justify having them sent here after hours. Are there any in particular you want to read first? I can sort through while you finish brushing your hair." Cloud was careful not to sit in easy reach of Sephiroth, in case they got distracted.

"Yours of course." Since Zack was the excuse Sephiroth had used to demand this. "Then whoever you think deserves extra attention." No criteria at all, that wasn't any help. Cloud frowned and decided that the cadets who'd needed attitude adjustment in the form of injuries were first priority, sorting them in the order of SOLDIER rank.

"I'm putting the troublemakers first, the ones who needed to be injured so you can see whether or not they rationalise their injuries." And that reminded him. "You might want to get someone to do some research, see if there's any SOLDIERs who volunteer to play with the cadets for the chance to hurt someone who can't really fight back." Cloud didn't really think it was likely, and he wasn't even sure if that sort of sadism would be an undesirable quality, but if it was this would be a good warning sign.

"Who?" Sephiroth looked blank. "I can see that sadism would be a bad thing for most purposes...Dr. Hojo would probably be happier if we assigned his SOLDIER guards on that basis though, but who could I trust to do this properly and feel the same way about it as I do?"

"What about Zack?" Cloud put the files aside, he'd done what he wanted to, and Sephiroth was finished with his hair, and came to join his lover on the couch, leaning up against his side, resting his head on his shoulder. "He hates bullies enough, and that's one of the things any SOLDIERs doing what I suspect these are would be. Besides, if he gets the paperwork for this in on time then he loses one excuse for his normal tardiness."

"If he can do it for this he can do it normally you mean?" Cloud could hear the humour in Sephiroth's voice. "And I can spare him to do this, he's pretty underutilised, most SOLDIERs are when they're here, especially the ones who're bad at paperwork." So Sephiroth was the only one who was overworked when he was in Midgar...why was Cloud not surprised?

"As long as they stay in shape and training to deal with any monsters eh?"

"Pretty much. Did Zack...say anything to you during your sparring session?" Sephiroth's voice turned almost nervous then. "I mean...anything about me."

"Yes. He said that you almost smiled once or twice today, and he thought I had something to do with it. Is it that rare for you to smile?"

"Yes...I...can't risk letting my emotions show, not for anything. Did...he have any questions for you? He tried to question me." Sephiroth slid an arm around Cloud's shoulders, looking for comfort, and Cloud reached up to play with his hair in return.

"Zack assumed you were smiling because we'd...made love." Cloud cursed himself for that hesitation, but he wasn't sure what term would please Sephiroth, and he wasn't too comfortable when he was speaking about his first time. "I said I wasn't going to speak about that without you there." Sephiroth laughed quietly at that, and Cloud stopped speaking to look at him, his head tilted to one side inquiringly.

"A gentleman, huh? you really see what we did last night as making love?" There was a quiet sort of desperation in his voice, but Cloud suspected that no one else would hear it.

"Of course I do. Don't you?" He didn't pause for Sephiroth to reply. "I did tell him what you said about only two people not seeing you as a weapon, and imply the other person was him. That was alright, wasn't it?" That final question came out more as a demand than a question, and he could feel a slight shiver run through his lover's body. Cloud had the strangest feeling it was a shiver of arousal, not controlled anger, or anything like that.

"Yes. He's heard me complain about how people see me often enough." Sephiroth's voice was quietly contented now and he twisted until Cloud's head was resting on his chest instead of his shoulder.

"I sort of warned him off you too. I know he's straight, I made a point of asking that, but I also reminded Zack that you're with me now." That was a sort of test, and Cloud could hear how Sephiroth's heart raced in arousal at the idea of Cloud claiming him like that.

"Thank you." For what? Cloud claiming him, warning Zack off? It was incredibly presumptuous for Cloud to do something like that. "You seem to have let him know about our relationship most effectively, but...I'd rather he didn't know about my fears."

"As far as I'm concerned what we do in bed is our business, no one else's."

"In bed...or out of it?" Cloud didn't quite understand what Sephiroth meant, and he twisted to look up into his eyes, noting the mischievous glint there happily. "I' to suck you. Might I?" He sounded so tentative, and even though Cloud knew he could, and certainly wouldn't object Sephiroth wasn't moving him so he could get off the couch. This had something to do with what had happened before...Sephiroth liked being dominated, that had been abundantly clear, was this an extension of that?

"Go ahead." Cloud slid from where he was half sitting on Sephiroth's lap to the couch, opening his legs slightly in invitation. Sephiroth gave him a strange half smile, before he bowed his head, letting his hair fall over his face and knelt in front of Cloud, reaching to open his pants with what almost looked like a sense of reverence. This time he didn't just swallow Cloud's cock the way he had before, instead he started with slow gentle licks, playing with Cloud's balls with one hand and stroking behind his cock with the other when he finally took Cloud into his mouth. Cloud reached down to stroke his lover's hair gently, trying to figure out what he could do for Sephiroth after this considering his hang-ups. Sephiroth pulled back, letting Cloud slip from his mouth for a moment...then drove Cloud's senses into overload by shaking his hair over his dick before swallowing him again. It didn't take more than a few seconds after that before he clenched his hands in Sephiroth's hair and came down his throat.

"Are you alright Sephiroth?" Cloud untangled his fists from his lover's hair, and began smoothing it out as Sephiroth sat back on his heels.

"Oh, yes...thank you." Sephiroth was thanking him? And his voice sounded almost dreamy, there was a look of sleepy pleasure on his face despite how hard Cloud could see that he was; so hard it had to be hurting him. "Was that...good for you?"

"It was wonderful Sephiroth. But what about you?" Cloud bent to capture his lover's lips in a swift kiss before pulling back to let him answer.

"What about me?" Sephiroth sounded confused, but why? Didn't he expect any pleasure from this? Cloud lifted Sephiroth's chin with one finger, and his lover obediently raised his eyes from where they were studying the floor between them

"What can I do to please you? I know you're reluctant to let me do some of the things you do." Cloud made sure that his voice was calm and patient, not annoyed, or impatient with the way Sephiroth was acting.

"Do whatever you want, as long as it won't hurt you." Sephiroth's eyes had drifted down to his lap again, where he'd gathered his hands to hide his arousal.

"Get undressed then." Somehow Sephiroth managed to obey without ever really rising from his knees, in a display of incredible flexibility, and Cloud smiled to see the precum leaking from his cock. "Spread your legs a little bit wider. I want to see you jerk yourself off." Sephiroth looked up at him, curiosity and confusion evident in his eyes, then back down to the floor.

"I don't understand." Cloud thought that every man jerked off sometimes.

"Masturbate?" Sephiroth still looked blank, was that because he didn't understand the word, or because...

"I...don't know how. C-can you give me more detailed instructions?" Cloud didn't understand how his lover could be so self-confident in normal life and so tentative in their relationship, but he'd deal with it.

"Remember what I did last night, just before you came?" Cloud waited for Sephiroth to nod before continuing. "I want you to do that for yourself, just wrap your hand around your cock and..." He didn't need to tell Sephiroth anything more he could see that his lover was beginning to do what he'd been told to do, even if he thought the grip was a bit loose. But Sephiroth seemed to figure out what he was doing wrong, and more importantly what he was doing right quickly enough, adjusting his grip. Cloud hesitated about giving him more instructions, but... "Use your other hand to play with your nipples, you enjoyed that last night." It still wasn't enough to send Sephiroth over the edge...perhaps... "Put your index finger into your mouth, then slide it into your ass, carefully." And his lover climaxed with a strangled cry. Cloud kissed him gently before going to get a cloth and a bowl of warm water to clean him up.

"I wish you could stay here overnight."

"So do I." But he couldn't, on the other hand... "We've got a day of leave in two days time. No one would care if I slept in my bed the nights before and after."