Look My Way
Part Five: Surrender

Summary: Clouds tries to tempt Sephiroth and gets somewhat tangled up in his own inexperience.

Almost shaking with shame and trepidation, Cloud knocked at the General's door. He didn't want to think about what was going to happen, didn't want to think about the fact that he had ruined any chance he might have had at becoming important in Sephiroth's eyes. Self-pity. It had always been a vice of his. So Sephiroth hadn't succumbed to his clumsy, adolescent attempts at seduction. So what? Cloud could see now that it wasn't important, that he should have just told the General to begin with. Zack had pretty much said flat out that Sephiroth wasn't going to take him as a lover unless he made the first move. If then. Well, he hadn't really. He'd been offering himself obliquely, still expecting Sephiroth to act on those hints of promise.

And Sephiroth hadn't. Which was understandable. Cloud probably wouldn't be too keen to trust taking a new lover if his last one had taken a knife to him in the bed they shared. Cloud shuffled his feet and knocked again. He'd botched things. Really, seriously screwed everything up.

The door opened smoothly, silently, and there stood Sephiroth, regal in all his stern glory. Wordlessly, the General stepped back and waved a hand inside.

Gulping thickly, Cloud stepped into the General's living room and turned around to meet his fate. But when he again faced the now-closed door, Sephiroth wasn't there. Cloud blinked bemusedly. He understood, flinching, as a hand descended lightly on his shoulder from behind.

"Cadet Strife." The General's voice was soft and deep, but Cloud ached at the lack of the easy intimacy with which he'd so recently said Cloud's name.

"Yes, General?"

"You abandoned your assignment. Why?"

Cloud hesitated a fraction of a second before answering. Then he sighed inwardly. There wasn't much point in lying about it now, was there? "I was thinking, sir."

"Thinking?" There was a mocking undertone to the General's deceptively soft voice.

"Yes, General."

The grip on Cloud's shoulder tightened, un-gloved nails digging very slightly into the flesh. "About what?"

"You, sir."

"Plotting more ways to bring me to heel, were you?"

"No!" Cloud gasped, tears pricking at his eyes. "I was hurting. I wanted you so badly but Zack said I would have to make the first move but I couldn't tell you and nothing I did was working and you didn't want me because I'm a scrawny, weak little brat and I just wanted to find a way to get you to notice me and I forgot all about courier, sir, I really did forget, honestly..." Cloud sucked in a deep breath and bit his lip, effectively shutting off the stream of babble that insisted on falling uncontrollably from his lips.

Silence. Then, a voice that held nothing of mocking and everything of deep regret. "That was why you were crying on the practice field?"

"Yes, sir," Cloud whispered almost voicelessly, waiting for the blade to all.

"Then I owe you an apology."

Cloud's eyes flew wide and he turned around. "Sir?"

Sephiroth jerked his hand from Cloud's shoulder, his eyes dark and cold. Suspicious. "You've been acting…strange lately. Then you didn't show up for work. And I saw Hojo watching you, and I thought…well, it doesn't matter what I thought."

"It does to me…sir."

A long pause, followed by a slight, almost silent sight. "I thought you were like the last one. The one Hojo sent."

Cloud sucked in a quick gasp. "Hojo sent her?"

Sephiroth's eyes narrowed. "I'll have to speak to Zackary about keeping his mouth shut, it seems."

Cloud flushed and shook his head. "I asked him, sir. I wanted to know about you, sir. Wanted to know whether you…" He faltered and took a step back.

"Whether I what?" The cold voice turned to ice.

"Just…whether you would be interested in me or not, sir."

"Why?" A simple question on the surface, but with many layers and ripples beneath that deep, cultured voice.

Cloud took a deep breath, staring up into Sephiroth's frozen green eyes. "Because I love you. Because you're warm and gentle, and you care about me. Because you're careful with your soldiers' lives and concerned about their well-being. Because no one else seems to recognize how wonderful you are. And…" He flushed a deep, unrelenting scarlet. "Because no one's ever made me feel the things you do, just by looking at me." Cloud looked down then, lifting a hand to scratch nervously at his head.

The silence spun out between them, and Cloud's nervousness built and grew. Finally, he felt the gentle brush of fingers beneath his chin, urging him to tilt his face upwards. Lips—those deep, sensual lips—met his in a soft caress, claiming him, burning him even as they only barely touched him, and Cloud wrapped his arms around Sephiroth's shoulders, pulling himself up against the older man, surrendering to Sephiroth's cool embrace.

Finally, Sephiroth pulled back, his eyes hot like melted emeralds. "I made a mistake, Cloud. I thought you were like the rest of them, but you're not, are you? Those seduction attempts," he laughed softly, and Cloud smiled, joining in on the joke. "They were real, weren't they?"

"I-I tried to tell you, but I didn't know how." Cloud frowned, his arms tightening about Sephiroth's shoulders. "It was all so overpowering. And you're you, and I'm…just me."

Sephiroth chuckled and unwound Cloud's arms from his shoulders. Taking one calloused hand in his, he led a bemused, unresisting Cloud through the door to the bedroom. "Just you?" Sephiroth murmured as he lowered Cloud onto the bed, vertical pupils dilated with budding arousal. "That, Cadet Strife, has been enough from the beginning."

Cloud gasped and sighed in pleasure at Sephiroth's gentle caressing, moving as the man directed as each article of his clothing was discarded, piece by piece. He swallowed thickly, suddenly feeling vulnerable and lost as the cool air of the room drifted over his skin, muting the heat between his thighs. Hesitantly, he whispered, "Sephiroth?"

"Hush, little warrior," Sephiroth murmured, running soothing fingers through Cloud's unruly spikes of hair. Then he stood and released the clasp on that single buckle that strained across his chest. "I'll be gentle this time, I promise." A feral gleam flickered behind the startling green of his eyes. "Next time," he shrugged. "Well, I am a beast, after all."

Cloud shook his head, reaching out for Sephiroth even as his blood pounded in his veins. This was what he wanted, what he craved. "Not a beast."

Sephiroth chuckled and quickly stripped off the rest of his clothing, dropping it carelessly to the floor in front of the bed.

Cloud gasped as his arousal spiked, sending waves of pleasure dancing through his body. He couldn't take his eyes off Sephiroth's creamy, lithe form even as the man slithered onto the bed and covered Cloud's body with his own, one muscled thigh slipping easily between Cloud's legs to press against his aching sex. A panting moan tore loose from Cloud's throat, swallowed by a fierce, savage kiss as Sephiroth devoured his lips. His fingers clenched in Sephiroth's long mass of silver hair, Cloud gave in to the kiss, parting his lips and submitting to his General's hot, demanding tongue. It was like nothing he'd ever felt before, wrapped in strong arms, encased in a cocoon of emerald protection and possessed by cool green fire.

They moved together, a shifting sea of give and take, Cloud's hesitant explorations encouraged and returned by firm touches and deep, sucking kisses that pulled marks to the surface of his pale skin. By the time Sephiroth entered him—gently, slowly, to accommodate his untried young lover's adjusting body—Cloud was panting and writhing, his nails scoring deep ridges into his General's back as one strong hand wrapped itself around his straining arousal. And Cloud knew, as his body reached its peak and spilled over into unrivaled ecstasy, that even as he submitted to Sephiroth, Sephiroth—his Sephiroth—was surrendering to him as well.