Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in this story

This story is to Michaela and Mitts. I am totally new to Final Fantasy, but I was inspired to write this little teaser after watching the movie. I hope you will enjoy it, and please do leave a comment or two when finished. Much obliged.



The Virus. One millionth of the size of the human body, yet it is one of the most efficiently evolved organisms no advanced weapons can kill. No guns, no swords, no special talents or powers…nothing. It is a just organism, for it does not discriminate between race, gender or age. It has only one purpose; to breed, to live and to spread. It procreates through the blood, feeding off each heartbeat, poisoning the body, weakening the immune system until the body breaks down into a pale shell of dissolving flesh emptied of the spark of life. Although a terrible disease, it had the right to coexist with life on every planet. It was just as much a child of Gaia as the humans – as Cloud.

His breath was hot, but continuously slowing down. The battle only drained his body of the precious energy he so desperately needed to get well, but he couldn't give up. His lungs were screaming for air, his brain fighting for every impulse stolen by the tired muscles, which were commanded through frantic stubbornness. But in fact, Cloud was dying, and he knew it. One final battle. He couldn't win the infection that had spread through his entire being, but he could at least win against Sephiroth. He had no other choice. He had been the last guardian of the people against the evil of Sephiroth, but now this gate of protection was being breached. He had to win the final battle before his body exhaled the last breath. He looked up in the sky. Sephiroth was taking his ultimate leap from the air. His sword was held high and the blast would be a tremendous one. Cloud tightened his grip around the handle of his own sword. The winds were howling and the sky was as silvery grey as Sephitorth's silky hair that flowed over the shoulders of this evil warlord. The strike came. Cloud raised his weapon – then it all turned black.

Sephiroth wiped the hair from his face. The young lad was motionless on the ground, barely breathing. Sephiroth raised the sword again, ready to take the final assault. The boy wouldn't even notice his swift death. An evil smirk twisted the corner of the thin and slightly blue lips into a victorious complexion. This was easy – too easy.

Not much could be said about Sephiroth's heart. It was as frozen as the icy landscapes surrounding this part of the world. A mantel of glaciers kept his soul confined in hatred and memories of terrible experiments he had to suffer through as a once loyal Soldier of Jenova. And he has suffered since, feeding off the only emotion he could remember from his human past; abhorrence. His only purpose since that time of pain was to drag as many as possible into the hell he has been living in. If people could not hear his cries, he would make them feel his pain.

But as always, hatred had a loyal companion; its coach that carried it through the ages of man and it was called Pride. Sephiroth had his pride even if it sprung from evil. He would not take advantage of a disease to win the final battle. That was unworthy to him. He didn't care about the boy, but the greatest warlord ever would not go down in history as a coward taking advantage of a virus to gain power. No! Cloud, as much as he was despised by Sephiroth, was nonetheless acknowledged for his prowess and endurance. He was the only worthy fighter being able to stand against the warlord. That deserved more. The sword slid back into the sheath. Sephiroth bent down and placed one hand behind the neck of the boy and one behind his knees.

Cloud felt that he was soaring through the air. He knew he was dying and thus he smiled. He was soon to go home; home where he belonged.

One week had passed and the nightmares were endless. A fierce war was raging on, on the internal canvas of his eyes whilst the body was slowly winning the battle against the infections. The young man was drained of energy, but the skin was slowly regaining a pink shimmer as life returned to the numb limbs of a fading boy.

Sephiroth stood by his side. The bed was his own and no one had ever as much as touched the surface of the cold, black sheets, let alone slept in it. And neither had Sephiroth. His past had since long tainted the peace in his heart and mind. He couldn't sleep, for he dared not to shut his eyes. He saw only fear and pain. There was nothing that caused him so much fear as the fear of facing the darkness of his own soul; the soul that was beyond salvation. As it was now, he had chosen to give Cloud one last chance to a fair fight and thus accepted the responsibilities of having to nurture the lad into health.

The night had settled and the pale complexion of the sad moon was casting silvery rays through the arch windows at the head of the bed, illuminating the worried face of the exhausted boy as slight twitches told of the restless sleep within. Sephiroth had been standing there for hours, just watching and observing every feature and facial expression. He watched the young blond shivering as the cold air covered his wet skin with a slithering chill that reached deep into his bones. The young lad was chattering teeth as he assumed a foetal position to expose as little as possible of his body to the cold air. It was obvious that he was suffering from high fever, and wrapping a blanket around his body did not help. It was only soaked with sweat and further cooling the young body and exposing it to the risk of pneumonia. In some instances cooling the overheated body was good, but it also slowed the healing process.

Sephiroth was filled with resentment, but he knew what he had to do. Cloud had to rest next to something that served as an interminable source of warmth; a body. Sephiroth frowned at the thought, but with the visions of sweet victory awaiting following the fair defeat of Cloud, he removed his jacket and slowly moved closer to the sick one. He closed his eyes for he didn't want to witness his deceitful actions. Sephiroth felt he was betraying his true self, and as he rested his head against the pillow, he was determined to break the fragile neck of the blond. Now! Whilst he was still unaware.

One week later still, the silver haired warlord was once again fighting his own battle to stop himself from cutting the tiny artery pulsating weakly under the skin of the neck of the blond. The sword was trembling in his hands. Just one swift movement and it would be over.

"This can't go on," he whispered to himself. It had started the first night he spent next to Cloud. He had awakened to the soft caress of a warm breath brushing against his neck. During that fateful night fatigue had overcome Sephiroth and thus he broke years of agonizing hell as he fell asleep. Cloud had stopped coughing and shivering, and sometimes during that night, he had moved up to the warm embrace, which kept him safe. He had turned around, burying his face in the curve of Sephiroth's neck and nuzzling the tense jaws as he found a position he was comfortable with. Each warm breath was sending unfamiliar sensations through Sephiroth's skin, making him slowly scurry away from the young boy.

The next day, Sephiroth's fingers had retraced the path of those soft breezes of hot air exuded from Cloud and when the night came, his embrace was slowly and insecurely opening up again to calm the trembling body lying next to him. Each night was taking him a step closer to courageousness as he discovered the simple pleasures once lost in the past. He discovered the calmness of deep sleep, the delight of the first rays of the sun as it stung the eyes in the morning, the few moments of silence at dawn when the creatures of the night were slowly giving way to those of the waking day, and the hypnotizing enjoyment of someone lying close.

Sephiroth's home was an abandoned mansion far across the world of the living and situated between flanking glaciers that hid him from the universe. It was a lonely and cold home. The vast halls and the dark staircase that united the two wings were lined with statues that were covered in frost. Now and then, the hatred and the heat of anger exuded by the master thawed only a tiny layer of the white crystals, making it seem as if the angels were weeping in his footsteps. And they were – Sephiroth knew it. He was a lost soul, one that would never be returned to the eternal circle of life. He would be rejected by Gaia herself. An outcast and evil personified in the eyes of many, yet his only sin had been to survive the tortures Jenova.

He thought he heard voices; familiar voices. Was he dead? Cloud had no perception of time or space and although his body was forcing him to wake up, the blond chose to linger on in the safety of the darkness. Against his will, the portals to the world opened and the light pierced his head like a thousand knives. It was daytime, the sun had reached the highest point in the sky and was intruding through the massive windows. Cloud frowned and as he made an effort to move, he quickly realized his body was far too weak to even lift an arm. After a few futile attempts to get out of bed, he reconciled with the thought of having to be bound to it for a while more. He didn't know how long he had been in this helpless state, but it was obvious that someone had cared for him. Cloud had no idea who had blessed him with such kindness, but the bed was clean, as his body and hair, and medications of all sorts were on the bedside table. The young blond took time to scan the room he was in. It was very gloomy although impressive in furniture and the height to the ceiling revealed the mansion of a nobleman. Black, heavy curtains were partly shutting out the blue world behind the windows whilst candelabras as tall as a man were holding weeping candles to produce heat and light. A large fireplace across the bed had just died, but the coal was still glowing with its last few breaths.

Then suddenly, Cloud's tired eyes caught sight of something that sent waves of chill down his spine and immobilizing his body with fear. That leather coat and the sword next to it. It was Sephiroth's! Why was it there?

Cloud was beginning to panic but the fatigue had taken its toll and he couldn't move. Sweat was breaking through every pore and as the footsteps form outside the door were coming nearer, the young blond was preparing for the swift death that awaited him. It was almost as if time stood still. Before the hinges on the grand door began to screech, millions of thoughts whirled through Cloud's head.

Why was he still alive? Especially if Sephiroth was near by. Could it be that the warlord himself kept Cloud alive? No! Hideous thought. It wasn't possible.

The hinges began screeching and Cloud had to make a quick decision. It was better to pretend to be unconscious. If it had kept him alive this long, maybe it would buy him some more time until he was strong enough to escape.

Sephiroth watched his own sad complexion trapped on the surface of the water in the glass he was holding. Cloud hadn't opened his eyes since he was taken to this mansion and not one word had escaped his lips, yet Sephiroth knew exactly what the young boy needed. After a whole night of anguish, Cloud's body had been covered in sweat and was in need of liquid. Sephiroth had washed Cloud's body with wet towels and observed how the youthful skin reacted to the warm water that left trails of glistening drops on it. It was such long time ago since Sephiroth felt the delight of water on his body, since he indulged in the slight chill as Goosebumps would appear on his skin, or enjoyed the touch of someone else. He couldn't even remember what that was like, for even when he was resting near Cloud, his trousers and boots were still shielding him form he sensations of contact. He only remembered pain and devastation. Sephiroth sighed and positioned himself close to the boy. Holding him clutched in the arms, Cloud rested his head heavily against he massive chest that supported his body.

The young boy did not know what to expect, but he kept his eyes closed. Curiosity was tempting him to open them, but fear kept them shut. A careful, wet caress tingled his lower lip and instinctively, Cloud's pink tongue followed the path of the soft fingertips. He tasted the drops on his lips and realized it was water. His body was thirsty and craving for the precious liquid, however, nothing could have prepared the young warrior for the overwhelming actions of the evil warlord. An intruding set of lips merged with his own, forcing him to open the mouth. Conflicting thoughts were posing a resistance within Cloud, but he knew he had to play along. He had to relax and pretend to be unconscious. He gave in to Sephiroth's will and the cool water slowly found its way down the dry throat. The young lad tried to fight the emotions whirling up inside, but he couldn't deny that the water tasted ever so sweet from the mouth of his greatest enemy. He opened his lips even more and drank ravenously. Each gentle brush against Sephiroth's mouth left a burning sensation in his quivering stomach and he knew his cheeks must be blushing, for the young body was coming alive in a way it only did during private moments.

The warlord took another sip that he handed to the boy and kept on offering his service until Cloud stopped drinking. He had previously tried to make the boy drink directly out of the glass, but nothing entered through the lips and so he had to find alternative ways.

Cloud was slowly put down on the bed and when the footsteps grew distant again, he dared to open his eyes.

"This can't be true," he mumbled softly. It was better to escape all this, even if for a moment. He closed his eyes and fell asleep.

Sephiroth was sitting in the armchair near the bed. Cloud was slowly getting better. He was sure of that, for the boy had never before reacted so oddly to such an intimate contact. The silver haired warrior allowed himself to smile at the pleasant memories of the eager lips craving for his own and the rosy cheeks coming alive. He submerged in analysing that swift moment already lost in the past, and came to the careful conclusion that Cloud had been kissing him back. Wasn't he? If not, what was that soft little tongue doing inside his mouth? Swirling around and exploring every feature of Sephiroth. The warlord touched his lips and tried to remember that innocent little game. A kiss. It's been ages ago, but it felt good.

"No!" He reprimanded himself. "Granted, it was many lifetimes ago, but it was wrong. He was a man! They both were…it was wrong."

The howling of the mountain wolf greeted the night outside and Sephiroth prepared to lie down next to Cloud. It was almost autonomic like a heartbeat. Cloud was no longer in need of warmth or a comforting embrace. He was getting well, but Sephiroth's body was answering to a different voice than that of his logic. For the first time, he kicked off his boots and removed his trousers and slid under the covers.