Love and Marriage - A Tale of Terror

WAI! Finally a continuation of the Marriage Is a Wonderful Thing story!

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Sephiroth regarded the ceiling of the shower as he soaped his hair, reflecting on his life. The tepid water he usually- or at least for the last three years- bathed with splashing down his back as he scrubbed the soap into his long hair. He'd never liked getting it cut and Kathryn never said anything about it, so he simply let it grow. It wasn't like HE was paying for the shampoo and water.

His mind returned to the reason why he took baths with rather cool water now. Kathryn. Of course. She liked her baths hot. In fact, she got cold easily and often had icy cold fingers and toes. He didn't mind so much, just when she put those cold hands on the back of his neck.

During Kathryn's bath, he'd been reading through his old journals, laughing at some of the things he'd written. He realized now that he'd never stood a chance in the world against her. What Kathryn wanted, Kathryn got, and that was the end of the subject. He had grown to respect her, and he could finally admit to himself that he would be upset if something happened to her. He heard her tell him often enough- even in public places- that she loved him, but he simply couldn't understand how she knew what exactly to call what she felt.

Her cooking had certainly gotten better, or, he'd gotten used to it and didn't care anymore. A thought suddenly occurred to Sephiroth and he let his hair slip from his fingers to fall with a soapy plop on his chest and thigh, "Shit! Today's her birthday."

He hurriedly finished his shower and got dressed, he'd been forced to wear the occasional color other then black and today he was wearing a white shirt under his black leather coat and dark green pants. Kathryn looked up from her cold cereal and blinked, "Hey! Wait! Where're you going?! If you take the car-" she was cut off by the door closing. "Damn him! Wonder what got into his britches this morning." She thought back, unable to recall saying anything derogatory. They still had fights, mostly for old time's sake, but sometimes they were real and did hurt.

Kathryn sat back down at the table and picked up the phone, dialing.

* * *

Sephiroth regarded his ringing cell phone with dread as he was stopped at a red light. He pondered the merits of just letting it go to voice mail or answering and getting chewed out by Kathryn. Finally, he reached over and pressed Send. "What?" he asked. He simply wasn't much for words, only Kathryn seemed to understand that and fill in the words he didn't want to say or couldn't.

"Sephiroth-" Sephiroth sighed when the voice that spoke was Shinra's, "Avoiding someone?"

"Was busy," he lied calmly and pressed the gas, getting back up to the speed limit once the light turned green, "We're not coming to work today." Shinra was silent. Sephiroth rarely took days off. Kathryn had been given numerous days off, and she took them liberally.

"There was a slight thing about appointments with Hojo today..."

"Oh, so he put you up to calling me. Send my apologies, but today's booked." Sephiroth smirked. His, though meager sounding, three years with Kathryn had expanded his vocabulary and social skills, usually in ways that would get a normal man fired. Sephiroth liked job security, as Kathryn had put it once.

There was a sigh on the other end, "Hojo had this planned for weeks..."

Sephiroth frowned slightly, letting his annoyance taint his voice, "Neglected to inform me of that," he pointed out.

"You were informed, Sephiroth, last week-"

"Oh, the post-it note. Who'd remember THAT?" Sephiroth smirked, amused now. He had somewhat forgotten the note, but he'd certainly been noted for his ability to remember minute details about people and battles. Shinra probably wasn't amused. Hojo was probably pissed.

"Yes... The post-it note."

"Either way, today's not good. Gotta go," he quickly pressed the end button and heaved a sigh. "Damn Hojo," he muttered under his breath. He realized that he'd begun to curse more often then he'd ever done before, but mostly when speaking to Kathryn. She encouraged him to speak his mind with her and didn't really care weather it wasn't popular belief or not.

He pulled to a stop and stuffed his cell phone in his pocket before getting out of the car. He stalked up to the door of the fancy restaurant he'd pulled up to. He'd seen the place a few times while Kathryn drug him shopping, and he'd been right about the word, he'd come to dread it. Coming up to the front desk of the restaurant, he smiled somewhat at the man standing there. Lifting a hand, taking his reflective sunglasses off and stuffing them into his pocket.

"Reservation for two at seven tonight," he said, pondered a moment then added, "Non smoking." The young man behind the desk hurriedly wrote that down and nodded with wide eyes, watching as Sephiroth left once more, putting his sunglasses back on and climbing into his car.

Once again his cell phone rang and he answered, "What?"

"It's ten, Sir," Zack's voice said somewhat nervously, "I was-"

"Reschedule for tomorrow, something came up," Sephiroth interrupted.

"Hai, sir," Zack said and hung up after he heard the dial tone that indicated that Sephiroth had hung up. He sighed, turning to look at Cloud and Yeri, "He said we'd do it tomorrow. Something came up."

"I hope it's nothing bad..." Yeri said softly, she rarely spoke up when in large groups, but she'd been working with Cloud, Zack and Sephiroth for almost a month now and she felt more comfortable with them. She had been dismissed by everyone but Sephiroth had taken an interest in her. She pushed her dark blonde hair back from her face and looked down at the floor as Cloud and Zack looked at her.

"I don't think so. He didn't sound angry or anything."

"You can tell the difference?" Cloud asked Zack. In all the time he'd been working with Sephiroth, he still couldn't figure out when Sephiroth was upset until he got hit. His inability was part of why he wasn't a first class soldier.

Yeri giggled softly at the boys and shrugged slightly, "I'll go back to my room then." She turned and was about to start off when Zack stopped her.

"Hey, just cause Seph's not here doesn't mean we can't practice," Zack pointed out and reluctantly Yeri nodded, as did Cloud. They drew their swords and ran through some simple blocking and attacking moves.

* * *

Kathryn sat on the couch, her back against the armrest, feet tucked under her. She stared blankly at the page of the book she was holding. She couldn't concentrate enough to read and therefor simply stared. Her mind was on other things, like how she and Sephiroth had been together for as long as they had and actually managed to fall in love with each other.

You'd think that under the circumstances, we'd hate each other, instead, we're rather close. Though he's never told me he loves me, I can tell. He's much different then I'd imagined he'd be. He talks a lot too. I never imagined that he'd gone though so much as a kid.

Kathryn looked up when she heard the door open and smiled at Sephiroth as he came into the living room and flopped down on the couch with her. Leaning over, he read the title of her book and lowered his brows, "Strange," he commented softly and dug in his pocket for something. "I think you should wear that black dress you bought last year and never wore," he told her and reached around behind her head, clipping the necklace he'd pulled from his pocket.

Kathryn smiled at him and kissed his nose. "Why? Are we going somewhere?"

"Yes. Seven tonight."

She beamed at him and set her book aside, putting her arms around his shoulders, "Where?"

"It's a surprise," Sephiroth returned her embrace, pulling her into his lap and looking into her eyes. "See? I didn't forget your birthday."

"It's amazing!" Kathryn exclaimed, "You didn't forget this year! Now, if you remember our anniversary it'll make history!" He chuckled softly and pulled her close, putting his face into her hair and taking a deep breath. "I have a surprise for you, too," she said softly into his ear as she ran her fingers through his still somewhat damp hair.

"Hmm?" was his only reply.

Kathryn pondered a moment then smiled, turning her face to whisper into his ear softly, "Well, it won't be here for a while, but I hope it makes you happy, daddy."

Sephiroth blinked a few times, wondering what she meant then it suddenly clicked in his mind and he held her back from him to look at her face. "You're pregnant." She nodded, watching for some sort of reaction. He thought about it a moment then decided, "Okay," he held her against his chest once more and rubbed her back with one hand.

"You're happy?" she asked, unable to gauge his reaction as any specific emotion.

"Yes," he replied and kissed the top of her head, feeling her relax against him. Inwardly, Sephiroth dreaded what Hojo might try. He knew that Hojo would try to inject Kathryn with Mako, but not what else he would try. Sephiroth worried silently for a moment, then spoke up, "You know... you'll have to stay within my sight from now on..."

"I know. I thought about that before I stopped taking my pills. I want this, I'm ready for it."

Sephiroth tipped his head back to look at the ceiling for a moment, "I want it too," he said finally and shivered slightly as Kathryn kissed his neck softly, working her way up to his earlobe. His eyes fell closed then he gave a soft moan, tipping his head slightly toward her. After a moment, his lips found hers and they fell back on the couch, Sephiroth's hands roaming as Kathryn clutched his back, her thighs framing his hips.

Kathryn looked up at him with a slight smile, "Are you going to make love to me now?" she asked

"Yes," he said softly.

"Right here?"

"Yes..."

* * *