D'aww! You guys are great! X) Thanks so much.
Kudos to Stoic-Genius for making me giggle with this line:
"Tell me Zack and Cloud weren't acting naughty in Aerith's mother's house. Ooh I'm telling..."
I never really thought of it that way. xD BUT I DO NOW.
Warnings: Y-A-I-O! The fangirl in me, she squeals… And yeah, other such babbles of warnings etc. can be found in the first chapter. Nyergh.
Rendezvous- Chapter 10
Zack has difficulty getting down from the high that Cloud gives him, and Aerith and Maria have difficulty getting over the continuous surprises that Gaia has to offer as well as each other's general presence. Cloud finally becomes willing to show Zack just how much he means to him.
-Insert goofy grin- … -cough-
…I could get used to this…
It was the first thought ringing through Zack's mind as he woke, his eyes slowly opening to a sunlit room and a breath of air against his still bare chest. He let a decidedly goofy smile spread across his lips, before running a hand along Cloud's shoulder as the blonde stirred slightly. It didn't take much more coaxing, before sleepy blue eyes rose from his chest to gaze up at Zack's eyes. Cloud offered a small smile, before laying his head back down and murmuring a sleepy 'good morning'.
"Morning to you too, featherhead," Zack replied teasingly, as blue eyes raised once again, an eyebrow cocked in feigned annoyance.
"Kettle calling the pot black," The blonde replied mockingly, lowering his head once again to nuzzle against Zack's skin as he muffled a yawn against the Lieutenant's chest. The blonde then habitually let out a low groan as his pager buzzed, before he sat up abruptly.
"Shit!" The blonde hissed, snapping his pager off his belt just before Zack's cell started ringing.
"Yellow?" The Lieutenant chimed, before a much less cheerful voice reverberated down the line.
"Would you possibly have anything to do with the missing cadet at all?" Sephiroth asked, straight to the point, "Considering that I myself am missing my Lieutenant also, I thought you may be a little more informed than I…"
"Shit," Zack mimicked Cloud's realisation in a mutter, "Yeah, we had some things to do in sector five, and we fell asleep."
"Where on Gaia would you fall asleep in sector five? I presume you're well aware of the kinds of things you can catch in the slum hotels," Sephiroth murmured disapprovingly, "Surely a little bit of… alone time… would not be worth the risks?"
Zack rolled his eyes, before offering the General a clipped explanation and apology.
"I know this is a big ask and everything," Zack hesitated, "But do you think that Cloud and I could have the day off?"
There was a long silence on the other end of the line, and Zack pulled it back from his ear to make sure that Sephiroth was still on the line.
"Is this for personal reasons?" Sephiroth finally murmured, and Zack could have sworn that Sephiroth was rubbing his temples whilst talking.
"Yeah, but not what you think. It's just really important," Zack replied hesitantly.
…How much about this should I be explaining? He's toeing the line with all of this, and…
"Very well," Sephiroth replied with a sigh, interrupting Zack's musings, "You have a meeting today. I have to be in Tuetsi's office at the same time, an unavoidable engagement, unfortunately. Who do you propose I send in your place?"
It took Zack all of two minutes before a small smirk crept along his lips. Damien might hate him for it, but it would benefit the other first in the long run.
"I'm sure Major McConnahy is up to the task," Zack replied lightly, and he heard Sephiroth let out a small 'hmph' of amusement before agreeing to the suggestion.
"I'll get everything organised then," The General murmured, before falling silent momentarily.
"Are you alright Seph?" Zack asked cautiously.
"I was going to ask you the same."
"I'm…" Zack paused, his eyes meeting Cloud's as the blonde smiled up lovingly, "I'm going to be just fine. Thanks for this."
"Take care, Zachary," the General said softly, a smile licking at his words, before he hung up the phone.
Zack offered a soft smile at the phone before placing it back in his pocket and resting assured that Sephiroth would have everything fixed up within the next ten minutes, just like he always had before.
…Gaia, you'll never know how much I appreciate you, Seph…
"You okay?" Cloud asked, the blonde offering a concerned gaze as Zack leant over to place a kiss on Cloud's forehead.
"Yup. Let's go get something to eat," The Lieutenant grinned, as Cloud nodded and hopped to his feet. Zack smiled to himself before following Cloud out the door.
Zack hated awkward silences. He especially hated walking into them when he was in such a good mood. Aerith and Maria were seated at the kitchen table, both of them clearly livid as they loosely cradled cups of tea. Elmyra offered a knowing smile from the kitchen as Cloud and Zack entered the room, but said nothing as she continued doing the dishes. Zack felt a pang of amusement as Cloud timidly took a chair beside Aerith and offered a shy smile in the young lady's direction. Thankfully, Aerith tightly returned the gesture.
"Good morning Cloud," She said softly, the grip on her tea cup tightening slightly, "How did you sleep?"
"Very well thank you, how about you?" Cloud asked, his smile growing a little more confident before falling abruptly as Aerith whipped her gaze to Maria.
"I would have slept fine if a certain someone didn't come barging into my bedroom demanding that we discuss things in more depth at one in the morning!" Aerith snapped, as Maria slammed her cup onto the table, sloshing tea over the side.
"You know as well as I do that that time is when the planet is most willing to heed to her Keepers!" Maria retorted.
Aerith said nothing, returning to her livid stare at her front door whilst Maria stared at the bottom of her tea cup.
"Might I just say that you're both looking lovely today," Zack beamed, as he pulled up a chair and exchanged a cheeky smile with both women. Aerith looked sleep ruffled and her outfit had clearly been hurriedly thrown on, whilst Maria's hair was frizzed and she was still dressed in an old Cosmonian night gown. They both met Zack's gaze briefly before turning to each other and bursting into a fit of giggles.
"You grumpy old woman, look at you!" Aerith snorted, as Maria gestured at Aerith and offered a laugh of her own.
"Weren't you taught to dress as a child?" The old woman asked, before placing her hand over Aerith's.
"Perhaps it was too early, dear, I apologise," She offered, as Aerith offered one of her usual warm smiles and nodded.
"You know I'm not a morning person, but I apologise for being snippy," the girl offered, as Elmyra let out a small sigh and rolled her eyes.
"I'll never understand women…" Cloud murmured to Zack, as he awkwardly scratched the back of his head.
"Why'd you think I turned in the first place?" Zack winked, and Cloud allowed a coy smile to slip through.
"We can hear you," Aerith smiled, rolling her eyes, "Anyway, we trust you two slept well."
Maria held a hand over her mouth then, before a small laugh burst through. Aerith blushed, as Zack raised an eyebrow.
"Did we miss something here?" Zack asked, as Aerith shook her head, her eyes flicking to Elmyra briefly, before the woman sighed and started heading upstairs.
"Alright, alright," The woman sighed again, "I'll leave you to your discussions."
Once Elmyra had disappeared, Maria cleared her throat slightly and offered a cautious glance in Aerith's direction.
"Whilst Aerith and I were discussing possible solutions, Gaia called us to her," Maria paused uncomfortably, a blush rising along her cheeks, "It was only very brief, a few seconds, but we saw…"
Aerith giggled before the elder had a chance to finish, and Cloud's eyes widened considerably, his face burning as he turned to Zack.
"Saw what?" Zack asked, the suggestions the pair had offered sailing entirely over his head. Maria and Aerith burst into laughter once more, as Cloud leant in to whisper into Zack's ear.
"They… I think they saw… us… you know…"
Zack let out a snort of abrupt understanding, before scratching the back of his head and laughing softly.
"Oh…" He said dumbly, before Maria composed herself and took his hand.
"Don't be embarrassed dear, it's a very good thing," She smiled softly, "It means that the planet is already building bonds we thought she'd broken."
…Pretty sure it means that Gaia is also a pervert…
Zack didn't voice that thought out loud however, simply offering an embarrassed shrug and a cheeky grin in Cloud's direction. The blonde blushed, smiling slightly as he then stared at the table.
"Anyway," Aerith said softly, forcing back her amusement, "All things aside, we do think that we've found a solution, but it is extremely risky."
"Beyond extremely risky," Maria added in all seriousness, "Considering that we're not even sure the planet will approve."
Zack didn't miss Aerith's slight eye roll, before the brunette offered a small smile.
"It's what we're trying to figure out here, Zack. We know that Gaia has given you in particular a lot of leniency, as you're what we call a Manipulator," Aerith explained, "Meaning that you, as well as a very select group of others, have been given the power of Gaia to manipulate fate itself."
"But the amount of leniency she has given you is as yet unclear," Maria frowned, "As there are seven manipulators in her care. All we know is that one particular Manipulator is set to change the course of Gaia herself."
"Do you think that could be me?" Zack asked, slightly breathless at the idea of so much responsibility.
"We can't be sure until we try it out a little," Maria said slowly, seemingly uncomfortable, as Aerith shifted slightly on her feet. Zack shifted his gaze from one to the other, both of which were avoiding his gaze.
"What's the problem here?" He asked firmly, as Aerith worried her lip a little and seemingly disregarded Maria's warning look before letting out a small sigh.
"If Gaia is tampered with in ways that she doesn't permit, she can become unstable in her pathways," Aerith explained, despite Maria's increasingly livid glare, "We could lose everything we've been working towards. You could actually speed up everything that's been written in fate itself. We could end up causing more harm than good."
"Aerith!" Maria gaped slightly, "You can't say that it could do more harm than good! What the planet wills is what the planet nee-"
"Oh please!" Aerith cried, voice straining slightly with strong emotion, "We're so close Maria. We're so close to having everything that we've ever wanted for our future, for everyone's future, and you're trying to tell me you don't want this?"
The older woman gave a soft sigh of defeat and placed a hand on Zack's arm, squeezing slightly. She then placed a hand on Aerith's shoulder and gently patted her, as the brunette became close to tears.
"Of course I want this. Ever since I was your age, my dear, Gaia has been speaking to me about the both of you," Maria smiled sadly, before looking over at Cloud, "And you too, Cloud. Gaia has always held a very open place for you. I've seen your varying fate many, many times."
Cloud held the old woman's gaze, before she removed her hands from Aerith and Zack and waved the blonde towards her. Cloud shuffled shyly forward, before Maria gently placed a hand on each of the blonde's cheeks.
"You're so young now. Your eyes are alight with hope, and with newfound love," Maria smiled, offering a brief glance in Zack's direction, "And most of all, you're happy. Simply seeing you like this, Cloud; it's something that I had always wanted to bear witness to before this old body returned to Gaia's embrace."
Cloud's face visibly colored under the woman's hands, and he offered a shy smile in Zack's direction, which Maria seemingly relished in. The old woman placed a kiss on Cloud's cheek and turned to Aerith, a fierce look of determination in her eyes, which the young brunette returned.
"We're willing to try this if you are," Aerith nodded, "But we warn you that for one thing it will be difficult, both emotionally and physically."
Zack nodded, images flooding his mind of what he'd already seen of the future. If he could do anything to change that, he would try.
"What do I have to do?" Zack asked, and Aerith offered a sad smile.
"You have to travel the consciousness of the Lifestream, and you have to learn. You have to see things that we otherwise would not have shown you, and you must learn things that you are not yet meant to know," Aerith frowned slightly, "Then… when you've gathered as much information as the planet will allow…"
"You have to share some of that knowledge with Sephiroth," Maria interjected, "And if Gaia permits, we can stop this."
Zack nodded, and Cloud offered a small frown.
"Is it dangerous?" The blonde asked, and Zack flung an arm around his shoulder.
"I've been Lifestream sailing before, featherhead," Zack teased, ruffling blonde spikes as Cloud wriggled slightly in his grip, "I'm becoming quite the professional."
"That doesn't stop it from being dangerous," The blonde frowned, "I remember when you scared the shit out of us that time you stopped breathing."
"There's some truth to that," Aerith agreed slowly, "But with us here, he'll almost certainly be fine. The biggest risk is when he crosses into other people's visions. As long as you remain quiet within the person you become, you should be fine."
"Person I become?" Zack frowned, and Aerith nodded.
"We're not just going into your path Zack; we'll be crossing into other's as well. I believe that you've ventured into Sephiroth's past at one point. It will be a lot like that. The only severe dangers that you may face are being drawn into the minds of the others a little too much and absorb some of the characteristics into your present day self. That's our biggest concern."
TheLieutenant nodded firmly, and turned to face the blonde underneath his arm. The blonde trembled slightly, before clinging to the Lieutenant's shirt and burying his face.
"Gaia Zack, are you really going to do this?" The blonde murmured, as Zack nodded, petting the blonde locks against him.
"But what if you get some of Sephiroth, when he's…" Cloud trailed off, as Zack placed a kiss atop the blonde's head.
"It's alright; I've got these two kooks to help me out, hey?" Zack smiled cheekily at Maria and Aerith, and Maria offered a sad smile in return before standing to get herself another cup of tea. Aerith had tears welling in her eyes, but she refused to meet Zack's gaze before heading over to assist Maria. Zack took his chance and steered Cloud outside.
He walked with his arm around the blonde's shoulders and sat down amongst a throng of flowers, just beside the waterfall. Cloud rested his head upon the Lieutenant's shoulder, and Zack was almost immediately lost in thought. He started to wonder if it was horribly too selfish of him to want to stay here, in this present, with Cloud by his side. After all, if he changed too much, would that mean that he could end up losing Cloud? After all of this time and effort to get the blonde in his arms to begin with, could he really afford to risk letting it go? So far, with everything the Keepers had told him, he'd come to realise that Gaia herself was in peril, but was there anything so wrong with living in the present? Zack knew he wouldn't live forever, and he'd often heard of people living like this very day was their last. He was starting to see the logic in maybe doing just that.
"I'm happy where we are right now, Cloud," Zack murmured against blonde spikes, "How about you?"
Cloud lifted his head from Zack's shoulder and gave a genuinely puzzled look in his superior's direction.
"Of course I am. But Zack, are you really considering leaving things how they are when we know what could happen if we keep it like this?" Cloud asked softly, and it was Zack's turn to offer confusion.
"What do you mean?" Zack asked, as the blonde turned his attention to the cascading water, "I thought you didn't like the idea."
Cloud shifted slightly, raising a leg to his chest as he pursed his lips slightly.
"I know. It's just… When I was in that… that vision thing…" The blonde hesitated, his hand ghosting along his left arm, "I was really sick, Zack."
"Well maybe you and me, maybe we could figure out a way to stop that?" Zack offered, but Cloud shook his head.
"No, it's not just me, Zack. Lots of people had it. It was confusing, but my own thoughts when I was me in the future, they were telling me all sorts of things. I was looking at memories I don't even have yet," Cloud frowned, "And horrible, horrible things had happened."
Zack was almost afraid to ask; even as he watched Cloud's eyes haze slightly, seemingly lost in his own thoughts, Zack wondered if he really wanted to know what Cloud had seen. Something about the blonde's reaction had bothered the Lieutenant.
"The future isn't just about helping me, Zack," Cloud murmured, "It's about saving you and Sephiroth, Tifa, even Aerith. Gaia Zack, what happens to Aerith is just…"
The blonde choked back a sob as his eyes watered abruptly, before he turned pleading eyes to the Lieutenant.
"It's all good and well for me to sit here and sulk about you doing this, but it's not important. Not my feelings. You have to stop him, Zack. He… He changes…" Cloud murmured, even as Zack pulled the blonde to rest against his chest, "He's just not Sephiroth any more. He gets lost somewhere, to himself."
Zack frowned, as the water continued its seemingly endless cascade down the rocky fall somehow formed in the middle of this toxic city. It drew Zack's thoughts back to Aerith's comparison of Sephiroth to a wildflower, and it started to make a little more sense to him. The waterfall, just like Sephiroth, had managed to create something surreal and almost breath-taking, in the middle of a toxic surrounding.
…If she hadn't taken that flower to the little girl, it wouldn't have been made into something as pretty as the daisy chain… It would have sat, choking on that toxicity around it, and it would have died or been crushed by its surroundings…
Zack realised then, that if there was some truth in what Aerith had said, about Zack being the next person to pick Sephiroth up, then he would have to do it. Not just for the sake of the world, but for Cloud, and for Sephiroth himself. Still, his heart beat a little harder than usual, and he gave a soft sigh before turning to meet the blonde's raised gaze.
"I'm kinda scared," Zack admitted humbly, and the blonde smiled.
"It's okay. I'm kinda scared too. That's what's meant to make a real hero though, right? When, even though they're scared, they still do something for the good of the world."
Zack's breath caught in his throat.
…Pride and honour is what makes a real hero...
But whose pride and honour?
Zack realised then that it didn't really matter whose pride or honour it was, it was how hard he fought to protect it. If he had to fight to his death for Sephiroth's, he realised that he would be willing to. With that, he stood, Cloud doing so with him, before the blonde raised his eyes in hope.
"I'll do it. I don't think I could forgive myself if I didn't," Zack murmured, and Cloud nodded in apparent relief.
"Sometimes the only thing you need is to hold a little pride in your actions. If you're proud enough of yourself to know that you couldn't do that kind of thing, then it's a good sign," Cloud said softly, as Zack smiled down at the blonde.
"You're a mind reader, kiddo," The Lieutenant teased, ruffling blonde hair and gently placing a kiss against Cloud's temple before they headed back to Aerith's house.
When Zack and Cloud walked back into the house, Elmyra was hugging Aerith, the brunette wiping tears from her eyes as her mother murmured words of reassurance to her. Zack looked on in concern, but Maria offered a soft smile and shook her head.
"Oh!" Aerith cried, straightening up as she noticed Zack, "I'm sorry, I didn't feel you come back in."
…Feel me come back in?
Zack didn't question it out loud however, and offered a grin.
"It's all good doll," The Lieutenant waved it off, and Cloud walked over to stand before Aerith.
"Are you okay?" He asked, placing a hand on her arm, and she smiled softly.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Just had to talk to mum about some stuff," She smiled, giving Elmyra a warm smile, "But it's all okay."
Cloud nodded, before heading for the room upstairs.
"I'm just going to grab my stuff, okay?" The blonde called over his shoulder, as Zack and Aerith gave a nod. Zack turned to the Keeper then, as the brunette offered a soft smile and took his hand.
"Are you alright?" She asked softly, as Elmyra gave a warm smile over Aerith's shoulder and headed up after Cloud. Zack gave a nod, a bubble of unease rising in his stomach at the strange behaviour going on around him.
"What's going on?" Zack asked, as Aerith gave his hand a squeeze and turned a questioning gaze to Maria. The elder gave a small nod, and Aerith let out a soft sigh.
"I'm going away for a while," the brunette smiled reassuringly, "But it's okay because you've got Maria here."
Zack felt his brows crease, as Aerith let go of his hand and turned to Maria.
"You know what to do if things don't go how we'd like," Aerith smiled softly, as Maria pulled the brunette into her arms for an almost motherly hug.
"Of course. Back to the canyon, and then home to Wutai," Maria reassured, "You're braver than most gave you credit for, my dear."
"What's going on?" Zack asked firmly, but neither woman gave him their attention. The Lieutenant sulked slightly, pulling up a chair as he watched the pair hug. He had no idea what Aerith's reasons for leaving were, or where in fact she was intending on going, but it seemed to be something important. Being one of the people caught in the middle of everything going on at the moment, Zack couldn't help but feel he had a right to know, and the fact that neither of the Keepers was willing to inform him, did little more than irk and unsettle his already unsteady mind.
"Oh Zack," Aerith sighed as she turned to face him, seeing the apparent sulk on the male's face, "For someone that has the fate of the planet in his hands, you sure can be childish."
Zack shrugged, offering a suddenly suave grin.
"It all adds to the charm," He replied, bringing a blush to Aerith's cheeks, and a scowl to Maria's lips.
"Not in this lifetime," She chided, and Zack grinned charmingly in Maria's direction instead. Her scowl quickly faded into a warm smile, and Zack mentally congratulated himself for managing to be a ladies man, despite being otherwise. His mother had once told him that his charm would win him the world if he kept using it like he did, and it seemed there was a little truth behind that.
"You'll find out soon enough," Aerith smiled, breaking the comfortable silence, as Zack raised a brow at her.
"I'd find out sooner if you just told me?"
"It's one of those things you have to figure out yourself."
"I hate those," Zack pouted, before giving a nod and heading up the stairs in search of Cloud. Aerith gave a small smile as he did, and Zack didn't miss the unease slipping through her gaze despite her greatest efforts.
Zack gave a small smile as he approached the bedroom where Cloud was seated on a bed and accepting some kind of gift off Elmyra. Bright blue eyes were smiling up at the woman, as she offered a warm gaze down at the blonde and pat his shoulder softly. The pair of them turned to face the SOLDIER as he stepped on a creaking floorboard, and Zack gave a sheepish smile.
"Sorry," He shrugged, "I hope I wasn't interrupting anything.
"Not at all," Elmyra smiled, murmuring a few words to Cloud before heading out of the room and passing Zack at the stairs.
"You should look after this one, he's a keeper," She smiled, her eyes once again not meeting Zack's directly, and the SOLDIER gave a polite nod.
"Will do, ma'am," He reassured, as she disappeared down the stairs.
…She's a little odd, that woman…
Zack turned his attentions to Cloud, as the blonde kicked his feet slightly; cradling the package Elmyra had given him in his arms.
"I never get presents," Zack mock-pouted as Cloud rolled his eyes, allowing a smile to slip through.
"You get stuff all the time, you just don't see them as being presents," Cloud shrugged, placing the package down on the bed beside him, as he smiled up at the SOLDIER. Zack was slightly taken aback again, as he saw that undying trust and affection in the blonde's eyes.
…What did I do to deserve you?
"Like what?" Zack teased. Cloud bit back an embarrassed snort, and gave a sidelong glance at the wall.
"Dunno, I guess you got pretty spoilt yesterday," The blonde teased shyly, as Zack inexplicably felt his blood beginning to boil already.
"You're a tease, kid," He murmured, smirking as he took a seat beside the blonde on the bed. Cloud automatically rested his head on the Lieutenant's shoulder and let out a small snort of laughter, before sighing softly and turning to the package beside him. He picked it up and handed it to Zack.
"It's kind of a present for you too, actually," the blonde smiled softly, a blush still creeping across his cheeks. Zack gave a soft smile, placing a hand on Cloud's head and pulling it towards him to place a kiss on the blonde's temple.
"You're too cute," The SOLDIER winked, before turning to the package, "So what is it?"
"Open it and see," Cloud replied, a hint of a tease licking along his words. Bold Cloud was something that Zack didn't mind seeing come out every now and again. Whilst cute and fluffy Cloud was just fine and dandy, something about smart ass, teasing, flirty, daring Cloud gave him a kick. Zack offered a decidedly predatory look in the blonde's direction, and relished a little in the fact that Cloud managed to fiercely hold his gaze in return. The blonde had a small smirk licking along his lips, and Zack had to will himself to behave.
"You'll be the death of me," The First Class murmured, before tearing open the package. It was a box, filled with a various assortment of goods that he offered a raised brow to.
"Cure materia?" Zack queried, and Cloud smiled.
"She said that one's for either of us. She thought it might be good to have something that doesn't cause damage for me to practice on, but she knows you like mastering materia too, so she thought you might like it," Cloud explained, "And this too."
The blonde held up an armlet, which Zack gave a thorough once over before letting out a low whistle.
"This is nice!" He grinned, "Where'd she find something like this?"
"Apparently you can buy them in Bone Village?" Cloud shrugged, and Zack frowned slightly. What on Gaia had Elmyra been doing to end up that far north?
"I like this," Cloud grinned, pulling out a woolen blanket with a picture of a chocobo on it.
"Awww, if you hold it up like that, it's kinda like a self portrait," Zack teased, "Looks just like you."
The blonde offered a half-hearted glare before running his hand over the fabric.
"Elmyra heard that Nibelheim gets pretty cold. She told me to hang on to it for when I head back home," The blonde smiled sadly, "Which I guess means that the entire planet doesn't have much hope for me in the SOLDIER department."
"Don't look at it like that, kid. You get your holidays soon, right? Maybe she just thought you might be going to see your mum or something," Zack shrugged, as the blonde gave a small nod.
"Yeah, I guess," Cloud replied sullenly, before Zack gave a devious grin and began poking lightly at the blonde's ribs.
"Are you getting sulky?" He asked, as Cloud snorted slightly, wriggling under the assault.
"What did I ever say about you getting down and grumpy about yourself, huh?" Zack teased, curling his fingers to tickle against the blonde's skin as Cloud flailed slightly, a burst of laughter escaping his lips.
"Dunno!" He cried, as Zack continued his assault, rolling the blonde over and pinning Cloud beneath him. The blonde squirmed and wriggled, almost breathless from his laughter as Zack let out a string of empty threats. The blonde's cheeks were flushed, and with his hips wriggling around beneath him, Zack had to forcibly stop what he was doing in favour of waking up to reality. Cloud let out a few more laughs, his eyes opening slightly as Zack eased his assault, the pair of them seemingly becoming aware of the position they were in.
Zack gave an awkward grin, staring down at the blonde innocently whilst his fingers continued to gently trail along Cloud's sides. The blonde blushed slightly, lifting a coy gaze to meet his elder's, before pointedly wriggling a little again.
"D'argh…" Zack blurted, letting out a breath of air as he let out a nervous laugh, "You're a demon, and you know that, right?"
Cloud shrugged slightly, raising a hand to lightly run through black locks, feigned innocence sprawled along blonde features.
"Dunno what you're talking about," Cloud replied teasingly, trailing fingers over the shell of Zack's ear.
"You're a minx," Zack snorted, leaning down to lightly capture the blonde's lips, before pulling back with a soft 'pop', "But as tempting as the idea is to devour you, I'd rather not make that kind of special occasion of yours to be in Aerith's mum's house, you know?"
Cloud let out a small snort at this, and Zack blinked back his confusion.
"You alright there?" He asked, and Cloud nodded.
"Yeah, just… 'Special occasion of mine'?" The blonde asked, his cheeks flaring, as he bit down on his lower lip, apparently holding his tongue.
"You know, your first… you know," Zack shrugged, scratching the back of his head awkwardly. Cloud laughed again, before shyly looking away.
"I'm not a virgin, if that's what you mean," the blonde shrugged, and Zack could have sworn he had a minor aneurism.
…Someone else… had Cloud?
A small part of Zack's selfish inner musings broke a little upon finding this out, but he swiftly pushed it aside. After all, who was he to think that Cloud wouldn't have been with someone else before?
"Oh," Zack replied dumbly, "Can I ask… who it was?"
"One of the cadets," Cloud shrugged slightly, frowning a little, "It was kind of a mistake. He made me feel like I was something more to him than just the sex, you know? But, turns out I wasn't. He was way older than me anyway."
Zack rolled over and pulled Cloud to lie on top of him, bringing the blonde head to rest against his chest and letting out a soft sigh.
"Well babe, that sucks. I kind of had a similar experience myself," Zack shrugged, thinking back to his own first time, "The guy ended up being a creep, and the experience was pretty damn awful, but it's not always like that."
Cloud nodded against his chest, and Zack felt a soft smile pressing against him.
"Yeah, I've heard too many good things about it for it all to be like that time was," The blonde snorted softly, a sign that Zack had come to realise usually meant embarrassment.
"Hey," Zack smiled softly, tipping the blonde's chin up so that their eyes could meet, "Don't be embarrassed, okay? You had a bad experience for your first time, and that's really pretty annoying for me to hear, not 'cause I'm ashamed or anything, but because the guy didn't take the time to treat you like the treasure you are. Okay? It's nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. He was the dickface, not you."
Cloud laid his head back down momentarily, before raising his eyes to meet Zack's once again and sliding up the Lieutenant's chest to rest his forehead against the First's. Zack offered a soft smile as Cloud closed his eyes slightly, pressing his nose against the elder's.
"You're so beautiful, you know that right?" Zack murmured, and he watched as a shy smile crept along the blonde's lips, pale skin flushing red slightly.
Zack felt his breath catch slightly, as blonde eyes re-opened, hazed with that same lusty disposition as the night before, and the first class let out a small hiss of air as Cloud gently nipped at the Lieutenant's chin.
"Cloudy boy, you're a freaking tease," Zack groaned slightly, as Cloud let out a small snort of laughter, "Stop doing that shit on purpose. It's still Aerith's mum's house."
"Kinda kinky, no?" Cloud laughed teasingly, as Zack bit back on a surprised laugh of his own. He had the face of an angel, this blonde across his chest; but Zack was beginning to learn just how misleading that angelic face was. For once, Zack was willing to let his inhibitions slide a little.
"I didn't know you were the kinky sort?" Zack wiggled his eyebrows, and Cloud snorted.
"You never know until you try," Cloud shrugged slightly, devilish smirk creeping along his lips, "Besides, wasn't it kind of… exhilarating… to find out that the Keepers could see what we were up to?"
Zack just about choked on his tonsils. It appeared as if he was unleashing a monster.
"Excuse me?" The Lieutenant spluttered, before Cloud nipped at his chin again, swiping a tongue across slightly stubble covered skin, and all concerns over the moderately kinky side of Cloud were wiped away.
"Show me?" The blonde whispered, eyes filling with undeniable adoration and trust once again.
"Show you what, babe?" The Lieutenant murmured against his blonde's cheek.
"Show me that it can be a good thing," The blonde murmured, and Zack felt Cloud's cheek warming against his own, as he bit back a small groan at the daring implications the blonde was suggesting.
Zack trailed a hand along Cloud's cheek as the blonde nuzzled into the touch, only furthering Zack from his self restraint.
"Cloud, is it something you really want, or are you just doing this to try and prove a point?" Zack asked, and the blonde frowned slightly, shaking his head.
"What do you mean?"
"Am I… going to be another regret of yours?" Zack asked, hoping that he didn't sound as insecure about the situation as he was suddenly feeling. Cloud shook his head.
"I…" The blonde paused, shyly looking away, before seemingly regaining his determination.
"I love you, Zack," Cloud nodded, "And there wouldn't be a thing in the world that could make me regret you or anything we did together."
It was all the encouragement the Lieutenant needed as he rolled the blonde over and offered a lazy kiss against the blonde's mouth, which Cloud all too eagerly complied to. The blonde let out a soft moan of apparent relief into Zack's mouth, and it only served to add coals to the fire, as Zack slid his hand down Cloud's side to rest beneath the blonde's left thigh. He squeezed it slightly, as Cloud wriggled a little beneath him, clothed groins coming briefly into contact as their kiss began to progressively heat up. Cloud's fingers thread into black locks, and tugged slightly, drawing a gasp from the Lieutenant as he nipped on the blonde's lower lip.
"Ah, tease…" Cloud groaned in frustration, as Zack smirked against his lover's lips.
The Lieutenant trailed a tongue along the blonde's lips, as a shaky breath left Cloud's mouth, before Zack nibbled once again. This time, he pulled the lip back slightly, so that it snapped back to Cloud's gums with a noticeable sound. Cloud let out another small gasp, before Zack trailed lips to the exposed skin of the blonde's pale throat, marring it slightly with light bites and gentle sucks, showing to the world that Cloud was, in fact, his. If the appreciative mewls and moans from the blonde's lips were any indication, Cloud was enjoying the experience thus far, and it only encouraged Zack further. The Lieutenant trailed fingertips to slide up Cloud's shirt, brushing along pale skin and reveling in the small shivers beneath his fingertips, before sliding fingers down a thin waist and resting on slim hips. He shifted his weight slightly, and ground their hips together just lightly, Cloud clenching his eyes shut and opening his mouth in a soundless cry, before attempting to thrust himself against the Lieutenant once again.
…Holy Mother of Gaia…
Zack was fast learning that he shouldn't attempt moves that would drop his own self control any lower than Cloud's, as the blonde seemingly had the situation in his control once again. Zack held the blonde's hips down, offering a small sound of disapproval, which drew a groan of frustration from Cloud. Zack allowed his fingers to shift, sliding the shirt up and off Cloud's torso with assistance from the blonde himself, before latching his lips onto one of the blonde's nipples, and sliding his tongue over the tightened bud. Cloud shivered slightly beneath him, fingers clutching at ebony locks once again as a shaky breath left parted lips above him. Zack bit down lightly, experimentally, and was rewarded with a soft moan of his name. Zack felt heat pooling to his groin almost immediately, before he hurriedly turned his attentions to the other bud and laved affectionately. He wanted Cloud to get the best experience out of this as possible, but the soft moans and gasps of appreciation spilling from those lips were driving him mad with desire.
Zack trailed kisses down Cloud's torso, feather touch kisses drawing further shudders from the blonde's body, as Cloud struggled impatiently beneath Zack's firm hands. Zack released his grip slightly, in favour of moving his hand to the blonde's straining pants. He unbuckled them relatively quickly, before sliding them over bare skin, save for the blonde's chocobo boxers. The Lieutenant paused briefly, biting back a smirk as Cloud let out a groan of the embarrassed variety.
"Fuck, why did I wear those today?" The blonde moaned, as Zack let out a small chuckle.
"I agree, you should have gone commando," The Lieutenant growled slightly, his fingers trailing over the satin fabric, and palming the growth he found there. Another groan, this one entirely carnal, spilt from the blonde's lips, and Zack slid up momentarily to swallow it with his own mouth, his fingers subtly sliding over the hem of the material and slipping in to grip at the blonde's erection. Cloud gasped into Zack's mouth, his lips twitching as his eyes clenched closed in pleasure, his head thrown back as he writhed against the First's ministrations. Zack returned his mouth to the blonde's abdomen, as Cloud impatiently attempted to wriggle free of his boxers. Zack trailed kisses down to the thin triangle of blonde hair, before pulling back the blonde's boxers to find a pleasantly proportionate length nestled amongst the patch of hair. Zack stroked it a few times with his fingers, before sliding his lips over the head and bobbing to take the blonde whole in his mouth. Cloud all but cried out, his hands desperately clutching at the bed sheets, his back arching slightly in a bliss-filled haze.
"G-Gaia… Do that again," Cloud begged, "Please…?"
Zack moaned at the pleas, an action which only encouraged the blonde to writhe more. Zack repeated the action a few times, wanting the blonde to seek his release as quickly as possible. Cloud's thrusting into the Lieutenant's mouth became a little more desperate, as Zack felt the blonde's length pulsing in warning, before Cloud was coming hard. Zack spluttered slightly at the unexpected force, but swallowed every treasured drop the blonde offered, as Cloud's entire body twitched slightly in release, Zack's name ringing through the Lieutenant's ears. Zack watched the blonde's pale skin flushing, sweat sliding off the lithe body as Cloud's breath came hard and fast, his head thrown back in the throes of his passion, until his breathing began to steady and his head began to loll forward once again.
Zack offered a few gentle kisses against the blonde's abdomen, before raising fingers to Cloud's mouth in the hopes that the wordless request would be accepted. It was, as Cloud's tongue laved and sucked at the invading fingers, wetting them with the blonde's slick saliva. Once Zack deemed them adequately wet, he slid them from the eager tongue and trailed them down his body to rest at Cloud's entrance.
"It's gonna hurt a little," Zack warned, as Cloud gave a small nod of acceptance, before the Lieutenant slowly eased a finger in. Cloud's face screwed up slightly, but when Zack began to stop, the blonde shook his head.
"It's alright, I know it gets better," He urged, shifting slightly against Zack's invading digit. After a few moments stretching, Zack entered a second finger, feeling his breath catch at how readily the blonde was accepting his fingers, and trying desperately to force away the demanding mental images of him so readily accepting his throbbing length.
"Oh Gaia," Zack murmured in spite of himself, resting a sweaty forehead against Cloud's thigh, before slowly slipping in a third finger.
Cloud was moaning softly with each stretch and thrust now, before moans softly turned to pleas, and Zack was all to glad to comply. He hurriedly pulled off his slacks and pulled Cloud's legs up to rest around his neck, the blonde looking up at him with a nervous lust fuelled excitement.
"Cloud," Zack attempted once more to offer warning, before the blonde closed his eyes and softly begged for the Lieutenant to take him. Zack could hardly bare anymore, as he lined himself up with the blonde's entrance and slowly eased his way in, groaning right until the hilt.
..Fuck me… the heat…
It was almost unbearable, feeling the blonde open up to him in a way that he'd only done for one other before him. Cloud's face was flushed with exertion, seemingly willing the pain to subside, before Zack leant down to gently press his lips against a sweaty forehead. Zack let out a sharp gasp then, as Cloud rotated his hips, Zack feeling the motion through his entire body.
"Fuck," He hissed, as he leant back to ease his weight off of Cloud's thighs, "Oh baby, you have… no idea…"
When Cloud slowly rocked back and forth again, however, Zack was beginning to realise that yes, Cloud had every idea what he was doing, and the Lieutenant let out a low groan, slowly rocking with his lover below him. The two built a slow rhythm, neither wanting to rush the experience, and savouring every burst of pleasure the other had to offer.
Cloud began to harden against Zack's stomach once again, as the Lieutenant began hitting Cloud's prostate, the blonde letting out sharp gasps with every hit of the nerves Zack gave him. Zack's fingers found their way to the blonde's hips and slowly assisted the blonde in finding a slightly better angle and faster pace. They didn't last too much longer with Zack butting against Cloud's prostate, and the blonde's body clenching heat around Zack's pulsating length, before the pair were reaching their climax, offerings of softly cried praise and muttered words of adoration exchanged until they both wound down from their high. Zack rest a sweaty forehead against Cloud's, as the blonde offered lazy little kisses along the Lieutenant's face.
"Zack…" He murmured, as the first class opened his eyes to meet Cloud's glowing ones.
"Thank you," He murmured, before the Lieutenant rolled over, pulling himself from the blonde's body and resting Cloud against his chest, drawing the quilt over the top of them.
"I love you," Zack offered in return, even as the blonde's eyes drifted closed, pulling him into a fast sleep.
"I love you Cloud, and Gaia, I don't want to lose you…" Zack whispered, his thoughts straying once again to his task at hand and wondering if the alternate world was really something he wanted to save, if it meant risking this utopia.
…Gaia help me…
A/N: Bahaha, nipple. So… hard… to write… that word…
Anyway, hope you liked! I didn't really, but I never do, so I'm ignoring me from now on. Lol.
Personally, I DO somewhat enjoy moderately kinky!Cloud. Love for him. Lol.