Disclaimer: I don't own, SE does. Still. -pouts-

Warning: grammar, angst, violance, m/m relationship, probable violation of canon and alternate ending to the game

AN: This was written for Animama at LJ.


Sephiroth was seven when he first met the man.

He was immediately fascinated. The young boy had never seen anything that was as perfect as that epithome of beauty. Not even his mother could compete with that, the floating, long black hair, the white porcelain skin, the delicately drawn, elegant features.

„Who is he?" The child asked with innocent curiosity, and was rewarded by a hard tug on his hand.

„Just a failure. You shouldn't pay attention to him, son; we have much more important things to do."

- - -

Sephiroth was ten when he saw him again.

Nothing had changed. Everything was as he remembered, perfect. He stood before the huge tank filled with ugly bright green liquid and watched him through the thick glass, placing one tiny hand on the cold surface.

For a minute he wondered what could be the color of the man's eyes. For some reason he couldn't quite explain, he guessed the beautiful stranger had the same green eyes as him, the ones no one else had, and that thought made him uncomfortable. With a small frown he took away his hand and abruptly left the laboratory he wasn't supposed to be in.

Sephiroth didn't like his eyes.

- - -

Sephiroth was fourteen when he finally left the old Nibelheim Mansion for Midgar.

He stood before the tank for a long time, trying to memorise every small detail of that face, even though he already knew it as well as his own. They told him this creature wasn't worthy of his attention; a twisted monster, a useless specimen…

Sephiroth didn't know about the experiments conducted on this man. They would never tell him. He didn't know who he was or what he did to deserve this fate – they wouldn't tell about that either. He didn't know if he was ever to come back and see him again.

The only thing Sephiroth knew was the fact that when he was with this man, the tantalizing voices whispering inside his mind were quiet.

- - -

Sephiroth was sixteen when he was appointed General.

He commanded the troops on the battlefield. He ordered the SOLDIERs to burn down villages and leave no survivors. He agreed to the torture of prisoners in order to attain valuable information and it was his blade that shed the most blood on missions.

Soon enough, he learnt to hate the color red, the one that kept on disturbing his dreams together with screams and pleas and those damned, piercing whispers that tore into his soul.

He never hated the clothes his father gave to his beautiful specimen, though.

- - -

Sephiroth was twenty-four when he first died.

The war was over and the dreams finally faded, giving their place to more pressing matters and fears. Life didn't come to a halt just because an age, an age of hatred and suffering and destruction had come to an end. It was succeeded by a time of bitterness.

Everything went wrong. Everything.

First, Genesis. Then Angeal. Lazard. Hollander. Hojo. And the voices were stronger than ever before, grating on his ears and rending his body and mind.

Without his pillars of strength, his knees betrayed him.

- - -

Sephiroth was thirty when he came back.

Ready to shape the world anew, he followed the guidance of the voices that became one dark and powerful call in his heart. Past fear and consumed by hatred, he walked the surface of the planet once again.

He killed. He took. He laughed.

But when they finally confronted him, the lowly humans who dared to think they could win against him and save their worthless kind, he lost focus.

He saw him, his beautiful angel, and for a moment he thought he lost his mind, because everything was as he remembered from twenty years ago; faded memories coming back to life in a heartbeat, awakening a whirlpool of emotions in the heart he thought dead.

But the voices were relentless, and he lifted his sword to finish all who dared to stand in his way. The humans fought him, and for a moment he wondered why they bothered to try, when they were all so weak. So unworthy of Mother's blessing.

The voices assented and laughed.

Then he felt a body crashing into his own, strong arms holding him tightly, and he realised that this had been their plan all along. They didn't want to defeat him, they wanted to get through his defences.

Why?

They couldn't defeat him no matter how they tried. He was his Mother's chosen one, she made him stronger than the very earth he was walking on, and she showed him his way when he was consumed by shadows. She…

Sephiroth noticed with sudden dread that he could no longer hear the voices whispering sweet promises into his ears. His mind was eeriely quiet, and though he called out with all his strength for them, they did not respond.

Silence echoed in his soul, and his fingers lost their grip on the hilt of his weapon.

He was pulled into an embrace even tighter than the one before, his head rested on a lean chest, on soft red fabric he instantly recognised, and a gloved hand slid into his hair falling all around the both of them. He didn't understand it.

What was happening?

He never felt this weak in his entire life than now, with the protective arms around him and those beautiful lips whispering sweetly and soothingly into his hair, a hand covered in metal gently stroking his back, and Sephiroth felt his body tremble.

Why?

His whole body tensed to push the man away, but he simply collapsed back against the lithe form before him, sliding to the ground and burying his face into the junction of neck and shoulder, into black strands so soft against his cheek.

The horrible void inside him threatened to consume him, cover him in dark emptiness deeper than the one already embracing him, and he felt too perplexed and numb to fight it.

But it hurt.

Memories, cutting deeper than blades ever could, feelings that threatened to overwhelm him swirled inside; a thousand shade of gold and blue, enchanting yet so painful. He remembered promises, sweet, oh so poisonously sweet words that he now knew were nothing but empty lies, tender touches nothing, but imagination.

„It'll be all right, beautiful. Everything… everything will be all right." The warm, deep voice he never heard before whispered soothingly into his ear, soft lips seeking his own, and as he got lost in the sensation, Sephiroth knew that this time, it was the truth.