One Black Wing
My first attempt at KH fanfiction and at the slightly more hardcore yaoi, so please don't kill...
Summary: Sora and Cloud run into each other after their fight in the Coliseum. He may leave, but he will never forget...
Sora blinked, and backtracked a few steps to the little niche he had just passed. He had thought it was just a doorway, but it was really more of an alleyway. A few barrels were stacked to one side, the remains of one in the corner. But what had caught his eye was the black feathers littering the ground.
Cautiously he approached the stack of barrels, peeking over them. A sudden explosion of feathers startled him, before he realized that they were all attached to something. A single black wing wrapped around the blonde man he had fought earlier, the one who had been tricked by Hades. What was his name? Cloud, or something. He remembered it made him think of fluffy things, but the man was anything but fluffy.
A discarded shoulder plate and clawlike brassy metal glove lay to one side. The man's icy blue eyes were cast down at the ground, resolutely glaring at it. The tattered red cape was thrown over one shoulder, bunched over the wing and draped on the other side, covering the arm and caught up over the knee, which was drawn up to the chest. The other long leg was thrust out straight on the golden dirt ground. A fine layer of dust was on the man's boots and pants, adding glitter to the black.
The huge blade the man had fought with was nowhere to be seen. He looked oddly defenseless without it; smaller, timid, beaten. But then, Sora supposed, it did count as beaten to be carried out unconscious over somebody's shoulder.
Without looking away from the indeterminate place on the ground he was staring at, the man lifted a hand and dragged it through the wing wrapped around him. He raked his fingers through the downy blackness several times coming up with a handful of loose feathers, which he flung on the ground to join the others. He repeated the process from the joint of the wing down through every inch to the flight feathers at the tip, the process oddly mesmerizing.
He was... preening. Except, the process was lackluster, devoid of the sensation of pride that the word tended to denote.
Both battle-worn hands came up, running over the wing from joint to tip, top and bottom, smoothing down the ruffled feathers. A single bruise marred the beautiful pale skin of the right bicep, where Sora himself had hit him earlier. Regret for hurting such a beautiful, otherworldly creature jolted Sora.
Finally tearing his frozen gaze away from the ground, the blonde turned it to the sky, closing his eyes against the glare of the sun and wrapping his arm around it to reach vainly for the feathers where the wing attached to his back. These were ragged and not shiny the way the rest were, sticking out at odd angles, a testament to continued inability to reach that section.
The man tried anyway, stretching towards the base in vain. His brows furrowed in frustration, and finally he dropped his hand in his lap with the other one, fingers limp in defeat. He gently bashed the back of his head against the gray stone wall, eyes still closed. The wing tightened its embrace around his body.
Sora couldn't stand to leave anyone, much less such a fascinating man, in such a state of defeat. Softly he padded around the barrels, kneeling soundlessly beside the man and reaching shy fingers towards the ungroomed base.
Cloud slumped in an alleyway off the arena of the Coliseum, hidden behind three barrels stacked on their sides. Sighing, he unbuckled the shoulder plate and jerked the metal claw off his hand. The Buster blade was somewhere in the stands, and there, he supposed, it should stay.
He'd been tricked, defeated, and by a child no less. True, the child was a Keyblade master, but that didn't make a difference, or at least not much of one.
His ribs twinged where the Keyblade had slammed into them, and he marveled that such a slim, almost girlish frame could produce such power. If the 'blade' wasn't actually a blunt weapon, what would that strike have done to him? It was a good thing it didn't do the same damage to Cloud it did to the Heartless.
He flung his cloak around over his wing, pulling it up to cover his left side. He wrapped the wing around the right. Ebony feathers rustled, claiming his attention for a moment. He stretched it and flapped once, scattering feathers across the alleyway.
With an inward mutter, Cloud pulled the wing around him again, reaching up to pull his fingers through the black, silky down. How he had acquired to wing he had no idea. Why there was only one? Well, he expected that had something to do with Sephiroth. Everything had something to do with Sephiroth. Cloud couldn't escape him. He was like his own personal sliver-haired reaper.
Slowly, meditatively, he worked his way down the wing, scattering loose feathers everywhere. Maybe it was a sign of his own guilt. Maybe the Keyblade should have done away with him as it did with Heartless.
After all, he had to be heartless, didn't he? What kind of monster would set upon a child with a live weapon, especially one as dangerous as the Buster blade just because someone had promised him something?
He imagined again the Keyblade master; pure untouched, a determined fire burning in those deep blue eyes. Soft heart-shaped face framed by spiky locks of brown hair that shone almost gold in the full sun, smooth thin arms and legs. God, the boy was beautiful even in that ridiculous red jumpsuit of his.
Cloud ran both hands down the surface, inside and out, of the wing, smoothing the feathers back down. He tilted his head to the sky, which was clear and deep and blue, sapphire blue and cloudless, the sun's rays spreading across its vaulted depths. He closed his eyes against the glare, reaching for the base of his wing, which was located just out of reach of his fingers.
He tried anyway, just as he always did, because he knew that it looked horrible, ragged and unkempt. But, just like always, he could no more than brush the tips of the feathers, much less smooth the mussed and rumpled down or soothe the tightened muscle that connected it to his back.
Eventually he gave up and dropped the hand into his lap, tightening the wing around him and letting his head drop back against the cold stone wall. It would never work. It would never work, and it was just a distraction anyway.
Deep blue eyes like the sky, a blunt weapon shaped like a key, soft spikes of hair waving in the breeze, thin body twirling and bending as he avoided attacks left and right.
A soft touch at the base of his wing startled Cloud straight into the present, and he whirled about to see the flesh and blood version of the images in his head, cheeks lit by a slight blush as he held the offending hand close to his chest.
"I-I'm sorry. It's– um, I was watching..." the boy stuttered, red suffusing his face.
"It's... all right." Cloud said slowly, once again facing away from the boy. Once again came that tentative touch on the base of his wing, this time stroking, once, then again, nimble fingers combing through the down and scattering little bits of nightshade fluff.
Cloud released the wing's tight hold around his body to allow the boy greater access, and winced as the stiff muscle screamed.
"Are you okay?" The young, confident voice was softened in concern, doubt marring his features. "Am I doing something wrong?"
"No. Nothing wrong." Concern for him? Cloud didn't deserve concern. He didn't deserve this consideration. Didn't deserve the attention of a pure heart. Couldn't he tell the wing that he was so reverently stroking was black? Fallen, tainted, guilty?
The fingers continued smoothing the feathers, their warmth and gentle pressure relieving the pain. Cloud liked this. He could practically fall asleep right now. But that would be leaving himself open, at the mercy of the boy stroking his wing and anybody else who happened to come along.
Then again... why was that such a God-awful thing? If Sora had been able to defeat him when he was on-guard, at his best, what did it matter, if he was here, sitting down with no weapon and his back turned, if he was awake or not?
Slowly Cloud fell asleep, and as he drifted off he dreamed. He dreamed of those fingers touching him not only on the wing but in other places, that shy caress moving down his chest, stomach, and further.
The soft, silken touch of the down hypnotized Sora. Over and over he ran his fingers through, long after the feathers had stopped coming out and were all in place, felling the wing itself relax first, then the man it was attached to. Only when soft, even breathing reached his ears did he realize that he had fallen asleep.
The blonde head was nestled in the circle of his shoulder, the torso slumped against him. Both arms were limp, the single wing wrapped loosely around his black-clad form. Sora blinked. Cloud never struck him as the type to be trusting enough to just fall asleep. If anything, he seemed the exact opposite.
His face was beautiful when he was asleep, smooth and almost innocent, with blonde spikes falling around it. Sora couldn't help himself; he touched one cheek softly, barely ghosting his fingertips down across the man's lips, caressing the curve of his jaw, stroking the arm beneath the tattered cloak.
A soft moan escaped the man's lips, eyes fluttering open, staring right into Sora's. His hand froze over the other man's. Ice blue eyes bored into him, but for once instead of being frozen solid they were soft, burning with some unnamed fire. Strong fingers gripped his, one hand coming up to cup Sora's cheek.
"I'm sorry, I thought you were asleep, I mean–" He was babbling again.
"Don't be sorry." The man's voice was intense, deep and slightly rough. Something in it touched something deep within Sora, some chord that had never been struck before. There was some deep and incommunicable need in his tone.
Slowly the older man slithered closer, forcing Sora down from his kneeling position into a sitting one, the blonde practically in- no, actually in- his lap. The hand on his cheek slid down to lay two fingers over his lips, parting them slightly. His head was laid on Sora's leg now, wing outstretched, eyes never leaving Sora's.
He laid Sora's hand on his chest, leading it down, further onto his stomach. He was warm, firm and finely muscled, trembling a little under Sora's hand. It was an entirely new sensation, feeling someone else under his fingertips, someone so close to him, someone so warm. It was... nice. It felt good.
Sora brought his hand up on his own, stroking it down the man's stomach again, trailing it back up and stroking down again, repeating it over and over. Cloud's hand that had been on his found his leg, tightening around the calf. The hand on his lips tensed, sliding down across his chin and following his jaw to his neck, finding a nerve where it connected to his shoulders and stroking it, applying gentle pressure. A shiver ran down his spine, hot tingles spreading from the on-and-off pressure.
Without meaning to his hand slipped further down, past where the shirt ended, and something came alive under his hand. The hand on his leg jumped over his hand, holding it there and guiding it, eyes fluttering half closed. Cloud's other hand fled down his chest, stroking the nipple through the cloth. Sora gasped at the sensations being caused, feeling heat building in his lower area.
He realized that the fire in the man's eyes not only had a name, it had many; passion, desire, need. It was the fire that Cloud had lit within him.
Carefully, tentatively, he bent down and kissed the man on the lips. He drew back at first, eyes flying open in shock, but then his mouth was devouring Sora's, his hot tongue flashing between Sora's parted lips as he unzipped the red jumpsuit Sora wore and his hand found Sora's bare chest this time. His pants became unbearably tight across his crotch.
The man's eyes were glazed over in lust, but in them was a message just for Sora, one that said, "I want you and only you; only you can do this to me." Sora couldn't help himself; he kissed him again, this time uncertainly joining the battle of tongues. It was weird, it wasn't usual, but it was good, God it made him feel good inside.
His hand pressed against the man's pants of his own accord, feeling him respond and he himself respond in turn. The blonde moaned into the kiss, hand kneading Sora's sensitive stomach. He felt so hot all over, thought, 'Is this what passion is? Desire? Is this love?'
And then it was all gone, suddenly, Cloud on the other side of the alleyway, wing extended as if to take flight, blue eyes wide and hurting and frightened, no hint of the ice that had been there when they fought. It was over, and it had been so short.
"I'm sorry." the man mumbled. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't do this, I'm sorry."
"What? What's wrong?" Sora stumbled to his feet, trying to ignore the sensations still running through his body.
"I... No. This is wrong. You're so young."
"I'm fourteen!" Sora protested.
"Exactly." The man was collecting himself, drawing away from Sora and closing his eyes behind an icy barrier, retracting the wing until it lay tight against his side.
"Go. Fulfill your destiny. Be the Keyblade master. Forget about this." The blue eyes were all ice again, impassable as a glacier. But hidden deep behind them was unbearable pain.
Sora went. But he knew he would never forget.
Cloud stayed at the Coliseum. He watched competitors come and go. He watched Sephiroth arrive and promptly take over (he had taken over; the idiots in charge just didn't know it.) He watched, from a well-hidden distance, the Keyblade master return and compete, crushing his opposition each time.
He watched each and every fight that Sora was in, watched his technique and power improve, until he was all whirling beauty with an odd-shaped blade, flashes of silver and red and pale skin and spikes of brown hair, dealing incomprehensible damage even with a blunt weapon.
He fought in his own league, the Cup that Sora had beat him to win, protecting Sora's record because Sora was special, and Sora had defeated him and therefore no one else would.
But he was fallen, guilty, a monster. Even more so than before. He hadn't been forgiven, oh no. He had condemned himself even more. Forcing a child just because he adored him-hah! Sora probably hated him now.
But, oh, the memories of those hands on him, touching him in ways he had never imagined he would outside of dreams. Of feeling that thin, soft body beneath his hands, the boy's skin oh-so-hot, burning. Of shy, gentle lips on his, of exploring the hot cavern of his mouth with his tongue. He had wished it would never end.
But it had been wrong of him to do it, wrong of him to continue once he woke up enough to realize what he had been doing. Wrong to tempt the boy with his body's reactions without even knowing his feelings. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Was he even capable of doing anything right?
Cloud had taken to staying in the little quarters they had given him, a permanent fighter. He would lay on the bed, not moving, for hours on end, perhaps longer if no busybodies came to make sure he ate. Were it not for the constant challengers he probably would have fallen completely out of shape.
The wing had not been groomed in ages; not, in fact, since Sora had come and so gently taken care of the neglected back. His room was covered with shed feathers, and he knew he drew attention to himself with the explosion of black feathers that occurred when he fought.
Ah well. Sephiroth did the same thing, except he did it on purpose. Even in the three years Cloud had been here, he hadn't really talked to the silver-haired man. Given, Sephiroth was not an easy (or pleasant) person to talk to, but there had been no point in it for Cloud, otherwise he would have. All curiosity with the mysteriously acquired wing was gone.
A knock came upon his door. He didn't answer- he never did. Phil (that stupid goat...) opened it anyway, grimacing as he always did at the little flurry of feathers that swirled away from the door. That's right, grimace at the monster. Grimace at the black swirling cloud he surrounds himself with.
"Cloud. You're up. New challenger."
Wordless, Cloud rose from the bed, pulling the tattered red cape on and grabbing the blade in the corner. Phil stood aside as Cloud swept by him, for once with no snide or peppy comment. Cloud was pretty sur he had started rooting for the challengers.
No matter. Cloud didn't care what he or the rest thought. He was pretty sure he knew, anyway. For now he made his way to the arena, and beat the latest cocky challenger into the dust.
Battle over– almost not worth getting out of bed for– Cloud returned to his room, slamming the door shut behind him. He set the Buster blade against the wall, unfastening the cloak and leaving it on the floor. He flopped on the bed as he usually did- and finally noticed what was out of place in his room.
The Keyblade master grinned at him from his place in the corner, a halo of black feathers caught in his spiky brown hair, wearing black jeans and a red t-shirt. No more ridiculous red jumpsuit. No more oversized yellow shoes. He had grown into his limbs, but they were still stick-thin. The same silver crown charm still hung on its chain around his neck. The same sapphire, deep-sky blue eyes sparkled from among the soft cloud of black.
Sora, age 17, stood up, dusting feathers from his hair and clothes.
"Hiya. Bet you'd forgotten all about me, eh?"
Normally Cloud would be angry, perhaps even furious, at such an off-hand dismissal of what filled his every waking minute. But with Sora there in front of him, every facet of his being filled with life, happiness, fire, how could Cloud be angry at that?
"No." he stated. "You were the one who was supposed to forget."
Why was Sora, this blast from the past, here of all places? Why would he want to enter Cloud's own little circle of Hell? Cloud searched for a reason, and quite honestly could not find even one.
"How could I forget about you? You were the first- the only- one who's ever made me feel that way."
Cloud blinked. Say what?
"We got back home. Me, Riku and Kairi. Riku tried to seduce me a couple times. It wasn't the same. I told him to go back to Traverse Town and work on that Leon guy." Sora gave his wide, cheesy grin and locked his fingers behind his head, rocking back and forth on his heels.
"But... Why?" Cloud managed. "What I did- everything I did was wrong."
"What do you mean? You had what you wanted willingly offered an you refused because you thought it was wrong. Not everybody can do that."
Sora was coming closer and closer, little maelstroms of feathers swirling around his feet. Cloud didn't move from where he was sitting on the edge of the bed. He didn't respond to what Sora was saying, just stared into those deep blue eyes and saw what was offered there.
Forgiveness. No, not forgiveness. A place where there was nothing to be forgiven because no mistakes were made.
He could feel the heat of Sora's body, and when the other male's hand cupped his chin he realized that those eyes were only inches away from his.
"I couldn't forget. There were times that I didn't think of it, yes, but I never forgot. I fell in love with you that day. You turned me away because I wasn't ready, and I respect that. I'm ready now."
Sapphire eyes closed, and those warm lips met Cloud's moving gently against his. Cloud couldn't help himself. He stood to wrap one arm around Sora's thin waist and kissed him back.
"You know?" Cloud mumbled beside him in the bed. Sora turned over to look into the light blue eyes focused on him. It wasn't often that Cloud volunteered to talk.
Sunshine streamed in the window, illuminating the pair in the bed, bare shoulders and backs visible above the sheets, turning the nightshade wing that emerged from one man's back into sparkling obsidian. The wind rustled the palm trees outside, accompanying the faint sound of waves hitting the shores of Destiny Islands.
"Yeah?" Sora asked.
Cloud wavered for a second, then spoke up. "I used to think that any room I was in was my own personal hell. But when you join me, it's more like floating in the sky."
Sora blinked, then ran a hand through his love's blonde hair.
"Well, good. That's what Clouds are supposed to do, isn't it?"
Cloud glared. "Sora! I get enough of the bad name puns without you, too!"