Sephiroth saw the note on the bed as soon as he walked into the room he met Cloud in, the white paper obvious against the dark green bedding Cloud had chosen to replace that awful purple and red.

'Prepare yourself and wait for me naked.' Sephiroth wasn't sure whether to be amused, or irritated by the blunt command written in the note...he decided on amused, it was the first time Cloud had really given him a command, even if he did send it through a note. Sephiroth told himself that it was a good sign, an indication that Cloud was developing a bit more of the self-confidence he'd need if he was to be a SOLDIER. probably wasn't a good enough sign.

Sephiroth had time for a shower before Cloud would arrive, and he let his mind wander as he got ready for him. He couldn't put Cloud's promotion off much longer, he was already showing more of his enhancement than some SOLDIERs 3rd class did, but Sephiroth didn't think Cloud had enough self-confidence to handle himself in an all-SOLDIER unit. He'd asked Zack for his opinion just last week, desperately hoping that he was wrong, because if Cloud crashed and burned not only would he end up with a new handler, but Hojo would be...displeased with him for 'wasting' his time with Cloud. And Zack had agreed with Sephiroth, that Cloud wouldn't be able to handle the hazing he'd get when he joined an all-SOLDIER unit as one of Hojo's pet projects. Apparently he did alright with the troopers, but according to Zack he wasn't comfortable dealing with SOLDIERs apart from Zack and Sephiroth himself. And much as Sephiroth enjoyed the way Cloud tended to give in to him, it wasn't a good sign for his ability to take care of himself, any more than the way he let Zack tease him without really fighting back was.

Cloud's obvious arousal when he returned from the labs was normal, but the slight scowl on his face most certainly was not and Sephiroth was still trying to work out what that meant when Cloud barked an order at him.

"Bend over the table and shut your eyes." Sephiroth blinked in surprise at Cloud's blunt demand, but complied, recognising what a good sign it was that his handler was actually telling him to do something instead of just lying there and letting Sephiroth decide what happened. He loved the way Cloud was so willing to let him have control when they did this, but it was one of the reasons Sephiroth worried about Cloud's attitude and behaviour. He heard Cloud opening his pants, but the blond didn't bother to take the rest of his clothes off before pushing into him.

Cloud wasn't using the skill Sephiroth had taught him in the last two months; it didn't precisely hurt, but it didn't feel good either, and Cloud had always made sure of tat before. It didn't honestly matter, he'd been hurt this way with Angeal sometimes, and even with Zack very occasionally, and this was about making sure Cloud still registered as his handler and staving off his 'withdrawal' symptoms, not about pleasure. But still, Sephiroth shifted a bit to make it feel better for him. Cloud didn't comment on his movement and he followed that up by starting to move his hand towards his cock, lifting his torso to get to it, and using his other hand for balance. But Cloud pushed him back down with one hand, seizing the moment when Sephiroth's balance was shaky, and pinned Sephiroth's wrist with the other hand.

"No, I don't want you to come this time. Got it?" Cloud's harsh question came out almost as a demand and Sephiroth bit back on his urge to protest: he didn't need to come for this to work but Cloud better have something good in mind. And in a corner of his mind he knew that it wouldn't make a difference if Cloud didn't have something good in mind, not if he'd finally figured out how much power he had over Sephiroth.


"Good." Cloud released Sephiroth's wrist and stroked his back almost soothingly, moving harder and faster, climaxing in just a few more strokes. He pulled out and Sephiroth could hear him undressing, but refused to move until Cloud told him to: if his handler wanted to exert his power over Sephiroth let him deal with having to give Sephiroth order for even the simplest thing. On some level Sephiroth knew how petty he was being, he would never have pushed like this with any other handler, not even Zack, but Sephiroth had grown used to the control Cloud allowed him and resented having to give it back up. It was a ridiculous feeling, he'd always known that at some point Cloud would demand the control he could exert so easily if he could survive life as a SOLDIER, but he wasn't sure how to stop feeling this way.

"Come over here now." A definite order, and Sephiroth resisted the temptation to ignore the implicit order that he open his eyes and force Cloud to make it explicit. Cloud smiled at Sephiroth as he approached the bed, holding out a tube of lubricant to him, and stretching out with his back to Sephiroth once he'd taken it.

"I want to feel you inside me again. Prepare me, take me and make it feel good for me." Sephiroth didn't think he'd ever heard that sort of sensuality in Cloud's voice before, and he wondered absently if he'd missed out on something by taking advantage of his near passivity in bed.

"But...Cloud..." He hated stumbling over his words like that, but Sephiroth couldn't understand why Cloud wanted him that way, none of his other handlers had, and Sephiroth really didn't think he'd done a very good job the one time he'd experimented with topping, at Cloud's suggestion.

"If you don't get started then I promise you that you won't get to come at all tonight. I want you to fuck me, and to do a proper job of it." Sephiroth still hesitated, shocked by this new assertive behaviour from Cloud, and trying to work out if the Mako was finally starting to change his personality. "Gri'tal'la-"

"Cloud, please, don't. I'm doing what you want." Sephiroth fumbled the lid of the lubricant open in his panic as he cut Cloud off before he could complete the trigger phrase.

"Thank you." Cloud's appreciation of Sephiroth's obedience was clear in the way he went almost passive, letting Sephiroth move and manipulate him to make this easier for them both, and Sephiroth was baffled by Cloud's change of attitude after how aggressive he'd been before. It might be easier on Cloud if he took him into his mouth while he stretched him, but Sephiroth refused to do that after Cloud had taken him, so he settled for reaching around to stroke Cloud while he prepared him. Sephiroth had enjoyed it when Zack had kissed the back of his neck, so perhaps...he pressed his lips against the nape of Cloud's neck, to distract him, kissing his way up to just behind his ear, and biting lightly to tug on his earlobe, winning a gasp of pleasure from his handler.

"Ah, that's good. Do it again?" Not a command, a request, but Sephiroth complied swiftly rather then risk Cloud turning it to an order, biting on his earlobe a bit harder this time, and tugging harder as well, enough to leave marks from his teeth when he shifted to kissing his way down the side of Cloud's neck. He bit down where Cloud's neck joined his shoulder just as he slid his third finger inside him, and that was enough to make Cloud spend over his hand with a moan.

"Should I stop now?" Sephiroth did his best to hide the hope he felt that Cloud would let him stop this fooling about and get back to something more comfortable, but Cloud stiffened at his words.

"No! Keep on going, then, when you think I'm ready I want to feel you inside me, properly, not just your fingers." A definite order, and one Sephiroth didn't dare refuse, so he kissed the back of Cloud's neck one more time, stretching him for a few more moments until he hardened again, and replaced his fingers with his cock. He pushed in slowly, keeping his strength leashed under tight control in case he hurt Cloud, moving just as slowly as he withdrew and thrust in again, not risking pushing the pace up until Cloud started moving himself, pressing back to meet Sephiroth as he thrust. He paused when Cloud climaxed again, but obeyed a growled order to keep going, stopping once he came himself, and pulling out as he softened.

"Cloud?" Sephiroth hesitated, wondering if it would upset his handler if he asked, but continued when he made an encouraging noise. "Might I ask what that was about?"

"Yes, I'll explain it now." But first Cloud reached for the lubricant and rolled over to face Sephiroth. "Here, stroke me while I talk." Cloud pulled Sephiroth's hand to his cock, and reached down to prepare him, as if he hadn't taken him less than an hour ago. But Sephiroth obeyed, moving slowly, without any protest from Cloud. "I knew that there had to be something special about being taken, or you wouldn't prefer it so much, but you didn't make it feel good that first time you tried it, even if you didn't hurt me either. I figured it would be easier for you to make it good for me after a Mako shot, considering how I react to them, but you never picked up on any of my hints, and you said no that first time when I made the offer."

"And you were tired of waiting."

"And I was tired of waiting, yes. I was going to make it an order today anyway, but then...I was angry at something else, and I took it out on you." Sephiroth wondered if Cloud was going to apologise for that, but he didn't not verbally anyway, kissing Sephiroth as he came in his hand and rolling onto his back. "Come and ride me, then we'll shower together." Cloud didn't explain himself either, and as he obeyed Sephiroth decided that yes, his handler would be able to deal with being in an all-SOLDIER unit now.

But he shouldn't be thinking about that now and Sephiroth focused himself on wearing Cloud out as quickly as possible, noting almost anxiously how much harder it was to do than it had been that first time. He hadn't expected Cloud to grow stronger from the Mako shots quite this quickly, and it was somewhat frightening considering that Hojo planned to make Cloud his equal or his better. Sephiroth had thought he'd have six years or more to work out how to deal with a man who was stronger than he was physically, now he suspected he'd be lucky if it took two years, and he couldn't help feeling jealous of Cloud for that. Professor Hojo had been asking about how well Sephiroth thought Cloud was doing, far too often for his taste, so he decided to take a measure of petty revenge and dialled him directly, even though it was the middle of the night.

"Yes?" Sephiroth felt a bitter pleasure at the sound of Hojo's voice, angry and impatient, telling Sephiroth that he'd woken the scientist up.

"Professor Hojo, you wanted to know when I thought Cloud was ready to join an all-SOLDIER unit. He has just shown me that he has the self-confidence to match his physical strength and handle himself among other SOLDIERs." Should he reveal just how strong Cloud was? Probably, yes, he should. "I would say that currently he is around the group average for a SOLDIER 3rd class."

"Then why didn't you tell me before now?" Sephiroth had incited Hojo's anger, he would not flinch now that it was directed at him, but...he shouldn't mention what he'd done to test if Cloud was ready, that he'd been waiting for him to make some sort of sexual demand, or give a firm order to approve his promotion.

"Because it would look bad if your special project wasn't at least average when he joined the other SOLDIERs. And he only reached the level of the weakest SOLDIERs 3rd class last week."

"That recently?" Now Hojo sounded approving, and Sephiroth didn't like the thought of pleasing the scientist that much, although it would make things easier, for him and for Cloud. "Very well, his promotion should come through by the end of the week."

"I will tell him so when he awakes. Please, I think the next Mako shot will put him about equal to the best of the SOLDIERs 3rd class, and Cloud did agree that you should pause the shots at some point, to allow him to take missions that will take him away from me for more than a week..."

"You want me to tell him that I'll be pausing the shots after that one." Hojo clearly felt that Sephiroth had no right to make that sort of request, and Sephiroth would have agreed if Hojo had interpreted his words correctly.

"No, not exactly, I know your decision is the final one on that subject. I just wanted you to talk to Cloud about scheduling that pause when you give him his next Mako shot."

"That is reasonable enough. I will do that."

"Thank you sir." He was reluctant to actually thank Hojo, for anything, but Sephiroth didn't want to be chided over his manners, or lack thereof, and the man was doing him a favour. Not that it mattered, since Hojo hung up on him as he spoke. He glanced over at Cloud sleeping in the bed, and decided to join him, wrapping his arms around the boy, before going to sleep himself.