This was written for a Halloween challenge on Live Journal's shinrabadboys. It is a one-shot horror story for Halloween! Enjoy!


Kadaj flicked out the last of the lights, smiling at the memory of Reno and Rude running interference with Yazoo on Tifa's brood. The young woman's busiest night of the year was All Souls' Day but she wanted the kids to have fun begging for treats which was, apparently, tradition or something. Kadaj knew nothing about it, he'd just willingly given away bits of candy that Cloud had bought and left in a bowl by their door.

The apartment he shared with Cloud was dark, just the way Kadaj liked it since his eyes were so sensitive to the light…But this evening it was just depressing because Cloud was gone on a delivery and might not make it back until morning.

He wished now that he'd taken Yazoo up on his offer to come stay at Reno's. Their couch might not be the most wholesome of beds but it beat sleeping in an empty apartment…

The slender young man passed the nightlight-lit kitchen and the ticking clock down the long, dark hallway to their room. The small bedroom held only a bed and a low chest of drawers and had just a single window through which faint light stole. It wasn't enough to lift the darkness, but the kitchen's faint light cast a soft, fuzzy-amber glow beneath the door frame. Kadaj liked it to be so dark—he, Yazoo, and Loz were all three so sensitive to light that even overheads gave them headaches. The bedroom managed a depth of darkness that defeated even Kadaj's sharp vision, and it was a relief to be surrounded by such comforting darkness.

Sighing, he undressed down to his skin and slid between the covers, falling quickly into a deep sleep.

He wasn't sure how much later it was when something woke him, but he opened his eyes in the blinding darkness, suddenly alert. He heard the ticking of the clock for a long while before it came again—the creak of feet on the floorboards.

Just when he was starting to get nervous, the door opened and he saw Cloud's familiar form outlined by the faint light from the kitchen.

"Oh, thank god, I thought I was going to have to kick some burglar's ass," Kadaj laughed.

Cloud laughed a little and closed the door behind him, trapping them both in darkness again. He neared and sat down on the bed to take off his boots and socks.

"Was it cold out there?" Kadaj asked, sitting up to twine around his broad shoulders and yelping at the cold radiating from Cloud's skin. "I guess it must've been, you're freezing!"

"I am freezing," Cloud agreed, his voice husky and low. "I think I'm getting sick."

"You sound like it," Kadaj said, concerned. He hugged Cloud's shoulders tight again before feeling his way around his clothing to help him undress, but the clothes were oddly unfamiliar. "Did you change clothes? Where's your cloak?"

"I got soaked on the way to Kalm," Cloud said, moving in the darkness as he undressed. "I had to change."

"Oh." He felt Cloud return to the bed and was suddenly a little worried about him. He wasn't acting like himself. "You must be getting sick, you're a little out of sorts…"

Cloud laughed again but his hands were gentle when they touched Kadaj.

"I'm just feeling a little off. Come here," he said, and then hesitated. "Unless you're worried you'll get sick?"

"I'm not," Kadaj laughed, finding his cool, bare flesh in the darkness. "Come here, let's get you warmed up!"

He slid his arms around Cloud's shoulders and sighed a little when the man's mouth brushed against his jaw, seeking in the darkness. Cloud's sharp teeth nipped him, teasing a path down his throat and back up to his mouth where he lingered, suddenly warm and hungry.

Kadaj thrilled a little at his heat, surprised. Cloud was a giving lover but was always so restrained with him, as if afraid he would shatter if things got too rough. Maybe being sick was good for him, because the mouth that moved over Kadaj's was anything but restrained—it was devouring, full of sharp teeth and Cloud's plunging, insistent tongue. Kadaj swept his hands up Cloud's taut, muscled back and gripped the nape of his neck, holding him close.

"I knew you could handle it," Cloud whispered, sucking on his lower lip. "I knew you weren't as fragile as you seemed."

"I never said I was," Kadaj said, a little surprised at his pillow-talk. Cloud wasn't a talker under any circumstances. "Less talking, more kissing."

Cloud laughed against his lips but complied, lowering his larger body down on top of Kadaj's so that the young man could feel the full, ready heat of him. He closed his eyes and moaned, spreading his legs to cradle Cloud's, letting his hands sweep along the man's skin.

Cloud's strong hand lifted to cup his head, to hold him still for that bruising mouth. Kadaj arched against him, needy and ready with just a few touches—but it was always that way with Cloud. No matter how reserved, no matter how cautious, his lover had only to give him a soft smile and a soft touch and Kadaj was ready to go.

"Do you know how much I love you?" Cloud whispered, his breath skittering over Kadaj's lips, spilling over his throat when the man lowered his head. "Do you?"

Kadaj moaned again, pushing up against him when Cloud bit him hard, leaving a mark that would bruise on his pale neck. He whimpered a little, arching his back to offer his chest to those slowly descending lips.

"I love you more than anything," Cloud told him, and sucked one hard little nipple into his mouth to graze with teeth and probe with tongue, to bite and suck, bite and suck until Kadaj couldn't tell anymore if it hurt or not—it all just folded together into something warm and amazing that puddled in his groin and grew. "I wasn't sure at first, Kadaj—but now I realize that nothing will ever keep me from you."

"I love you, too," Kadaj whispered, moved by it, sobbing softly when Cloud moved to his other nipple to give it the same abusive and loving attention. "But I've always known it, Cloud."

"I was so lost for so long," Cloud whispered, laving him with his tongue, teasing his skin. "I was so alone, trapped inside myself, and then you came along and set me free…"

Kadaj smiled, tangling his fingers in Cloud's spiky, untamed hair. It was tangled and coarse like it always got after he'd been riding the Fenrir.

"I can't tell you how much I love you," Cloud sighed, and bit his way down Kadaj's trembling belly.

Normally, Kadaj would've demanded more foreplay because he loved being with Cloud and looked for anything to make it last longer. Tonight, however, he was keen with desperation, moved by Cloud's whispered, oddly sad words. He wanted his lover and he wanted him now.

Cloud's soft mouth slipped over him, bowing his back as the man put strong suction on just his head. Sharp teeth rasped him and Kadaj cried out, bucking against Cloud's slender, heavier body that kept him pinned down to the bed. He tightened his grip on Cloud's spiky hair, trying to force him down, and the man complied. He sucked Kadaj down, all the way to the base, and paused there. It was amazing, and Kadaj gasped at the way Cloud sucked and swallowed, sucked and swallowed to make a rhythmic, stroking pressure that made him hurtle towards climax. Always before Cloud was reticent in his attentions, unsure of himself but still so skilled—there was no hiding now, now sign of insecurity—Cloud devoured him with hungry confidence and Kadaj lapped it up, reveling in it.

He writhed against the bed, moaning and whimpering, letting go of Cloud's hair in favor of gripping the sheets hard. His hips arched, straining against that sucking mouth, flanks and belly tight with tension. Pleasure danced through him like electricity, forcing those moaning sobs from his mouth, tightening his whole body to narrow explosive pressure into one point.

"Cloud," he whimpered, shuddering hard, trying to thrust against him. "I'm gonna—"

Cloud's hard, firm hand wrapped around him, squeezing tight even as he drew his mouth off of him.

Kadaj wailed in frustration, denied his orgasm, his straining erection throbbing in Cloud's calloused hand.

"Not yet," Cloud whispered, and Kadaj caught the mako-glow of his blue eyes, darkened with desire. His toned, slim, but so well-built body slid back up and his mouth found Kadaj's in the darkness to give him a lingering kiss. "You cum with me inside you…"

Kadaj shivered, eyes closing when Cloud rolled his hips up. He felt his lover kneel between his spread legs and let himself be moved into position—his knees bent up, his hips lifted onto Cloud's knees. He wanted to touch him and kiss him, to suck on his gorgeous cock, to kiss the soft skin behind his knees and tease the scar on his belly, but Cloud's frantic need had translated to him and Kadaj could only desperately want Cloud's body inside of him. Dimly, he realized that Cloud hadn't gone for the lube, but somehow his body was slippery when it slid against him. Slippery and warm, but still rather cool.

"You're so cold," Kadaj moaned, trying to relax as Cloud slowly, teasingly worked inside of him.

"Make me warm," his lover whispered, his words broken as he pushed past the tight ring of muscle inside Kadaj's body to slide deep.

Kadaj cried out, letting his legs fall, lifting his hands to Cloud's shoulders to drag the man down tight atop him. It always felt so good, so right with Cloud. He rocked his hips up and felt Cloud finally begin to warm in his embrace, his breath hot against Kadaj's neck, his body tight and tense.

"Yes," he moaned, biting Kadaj's throat. "God, yes—this is what I've needed…so long…"

Kadaj clung to him, twining around him, rocking in time with Cloud's frantic, slamming thrusts. He wasn't remotely gentle, but he didn't need to be. The friction of his hard belly rubbing against Kadaj's swollen cock combined with the amazing thrust of his own hard body brought the boy to climax within moments.

Kadaj's pretty back bowed beneath him, a startled and pleased cry breaking from him as he ruptured in orgasm, his cum hot between the press of their bellies, his body writhing as it sang through his senses and just kept going.

Cloud could always do that to him, as no other lover ever could—bring him and bring him some more, a climax that would continue until he himself finally came and fell still. It was no different this time, and Kadaj grew breathless with moaning, clutching Cloud tight and bucking beneath him so hard the man shifted over him, sliding his corded forearms beneath Kadaj's shoulders and gripping them tight, containing his violent movements with his own roughly thrusting body.

"It's so good," he moaned, his hot tongue finding Kadaj's ear even as the boy latched onto his throat with sharp teeth, biting in his frenzy. His hips drove faster, harder, slamming Kadaj into the mattress with his force. "Fuck, why is it so good?"

The word startled Kadaj a little—Cloud never cursed. He pulled his mouth off of his lover's throat and breathlessly told him, "Because I love you."

Cloud made a low, pained sound in his throat and came with a violent lunge of his body, sobbing above him in relief and satisfaction.

Kadaj moaned in time with him, feeling slippery heat fill him. He hugged Cloud close, his bigger body finally warm now, almost feverishly so.

"I love you," he whispered, closing his eyes in contentment.

"I love you, too," Cloud said, falling still atop him. "So much, Kadaj…you just don't know…"

Cloud rested above him for a long while before moving away.

"Where are you going?" Kadaj complained, missing his warmth.

"I'm just gonna shower," he said, and Kadaj could hear the smile in his voice. "I won't be long."

He went into their bathroom and flipped on the light, momentarily silhouetted in all of his spiky-haired glory before he closed the door behind him.

Kadaj settled back with a sigh, but a few moments later he heard the trilling of his cell phone. Annoyed, he flung back the covers and stalked through the dark apartment to locate his flashing and ringing cell. Without even looking at the cover, he flipped it open and said, "Kadaj."

"Hey," Cloud said, and coughed a little.

Kadaj laughed, and asked, "Are you calling me from the bathroom? Cloud, seriously, you know I don't have that many minutes—"

"What're you talking about?" Cloud asked, and he didn't sound teasing. He sounded like he was in the middle of a rainstorm…which was probably the shower. "I'll be home in a few minutes, I'm just outside of the neighborhood."

"Cloud, this isn't funny," Kadaj told him, suddenly nervous. The sound of the shower was loud, as was the thundering of his heart. "I know you're home, dork, we just had fantastic sex. Stop trying to scare me, it won't work."

"Fantastic sex?" Cloud echoed, and Kadaj heard the faint honking of a horn, the sound of a busy street.

He very nearly passed out.

On wobbly legs, he made his way back into the dark bedroom and towards the master bath as Cloud told him, "Sweetheart, I'm too sick to give anyone sex, fantastic or otherwise—it's sleeting out here and I think I'm coming down with something…"

"Cloud," Kadaj whimpered, pushing open the bathroom door. "Please tell me this is a joke."

"Pneumonia is no joke," Cloud told him. "What is going on there, Kadaj? You sound scared."

"I am scared," the young man whispered, bright light spilling out over him from the bathroom. The shower was so loud it nearly drowned out Cloud's voice.

"Sit tight, baby, I'm almost home…"

The line went dead.

Kadaj swallowed his fear and yanked the curtain back, steeling himself for some frightening vision.

There was nothing inside, just water swirling down the drain.

Kadaj saw spots swarm up over his vision and fought it back, determined not to pass out and be at the mercy of some unknown entity or some frightening stranger. The flesh he'd touched had been real. The mouth that had kissed him, those hands that had explored him—all of those things had been solid.

He jerked away from the shower, dropping his cell-phone in the process, leaning on the sink to calm himself, panting. Morbid curiosity forced him to look up, to face his fears that it wouldn't be just his own reflection in it.

The shower's hot water had coated the mirror in steam, but it wasn't the only thing there.

Written on the mirror was:

I am he

He is we

We are me

Kadaj stared at it, mouth agape and heart pounding. He ran from the bathroom, flipping lights on in his wake, tearing through the dresser's junk-drawer to find the disposable camera that Cloud had tossed in there after Marlene's birthday. Trembling with nerves, he fumbled it around to face the right direction and ran back to the bathroom, half expecting it to be gone.

It wasn't, it was still on the mirror, the tips of the letters only now beginning to pool moisture and run. Shaking, he lifted the camera and snapped photo after photo of it, every second expecting some frightening, ghostly visage to loom into the mirror next to his own shadowy form.

When it did, he almost shrieked before he realized that it was Cloud, dripping wet and shivering.

"Good, you got the shower going for me," he breathed, teeth chattering. He gave the camera a quizzical look, and then his beautiful face fell into the beginnings of alarm when he saw Kadaj poised for flight, backed against the sink like an animal brought to bay, his green eyes so large they nearly popped from his head. "Kadaj? What is it?"

"Cloud!" he whimpered, so relieved it was him—really him this time! He flung himself against the strong, wide chest that had weathered so many of his tears and tantrums, shaking with relief and nerves.

"Kadaj, are you alright?" Cloud asked, worried, forgetting about being drenched, being cold—his little lover was distressed, afraid. He held Kadaj's slender, shaking body tight.

"Cloud, look at the mirror!" Kadaj whimpered, hiding against Cloud's chest.

Cloud looked. He saw his own face and chest, the top of Kadaj's head, all of it distorted by cloudy steam from the shower.

"What about it?" he asked, trying to soothe his small lover.

Kadaj's head shot up and he craned his neck around. The writing had run in rivulets down the mirror, but it was clearly still there.

"Don't you see it?" he asked, panicked, pointing at the mirror. "Someone was here, Cloud! Someone came into our bed and pretended to be you! I had sex with some stranger, Cloud!"

His voice ended on a tinge of hysteria, but Cloud was only shaking his head, confused.

"I don't see anything," he soothed, and cupped Kadaj's cheek. "I think you had a nightmare. I shouldn't leave you alone so often. The door was locked when I got here, Kadaj—no one came in, I would've scented a stranger."

"Then scent me," Kadaj snarled, pushing up against him. "Tell me I haven't had sex tonight!"

Cloud blushed and gave Kadaj an embarrassed smile, murmuring, "Kadaj, you always smell like sex to me, it's one of the things that drives me wild about you."

Defeated, Kadaj slumped against him and dropped his head. His lover didn't see anything, wouldn't acknowledge that anything odd had gone on tonight.

"Do you think it was a ghost?" he whispered, wrapping one arm around Cloud's shoulder, poking his nose into the cool, smooth, delicious skin of his swan-like throat.

"I think you had a nightmare," Cloud repeated, and hugged him close. "Here, let me shower. You want to join me?"

Kadaj shook his head and backed away, though he was chilled and could probably use the hot water. Still, it might take awhile before he could comfortably use the master bath again—the memory of yanking back the shower curtain was too vivid for comfort. He shuddered a little and hugged himself, trying to smile when Cloud gave him a soft, comforting kiss and quickly cleaned up.

When Cloud got out of the shower, though, Kadaj noticed something he was sure hadn't been there before. On Cloud's throat, on the same side where he'd just pressed his nose and a soft kiss, there was now a love-mark. It was the exact same place where Kadaj had so thoroughly bitten that stranger just a half hour or so ago.

Scowling, Kadaj asked, "Cloud, are you playing some kind of joke on me?"

"What?" the man asked, drying off.

Kadaj touched the mark, saying, "That—where did it come from?"

Cloud touched it, wiped the mirror off to have a look. His wide shoulders moved when he shrugged and he said, "I don't know, Kadaj. Maybe I'm seeing someone else?"

He turned from the mirror to grin at him, teasing him.

His eyes were darker blue.

"It wasn't there a moment ago," Kadaj weakly told him, startled by the change. He knew Cloud's eyes better than he knew his own, he loved the startling color of them—and this wasn't it. Cobalt instead of Caribbean-blue, but still full of teasing and love. Maybe it was the light in the bathroom. Maybe Kadaj was losing his mind.

Maybe Cloud wasn't alone in there.

I am he

He is we

We are me

"Let's go to bed," Cloud said, taking his hand.

Kadaj gave him a lingering, worried look, but he didn't resist. At least, this time, he knew it was Cloud.


"Kadaj…did you take these photos?"

Kadaj looked up from his book to find Cloud standing in the hallway, a troubled look on his face. He'd gone to the store and had, in his thoughtful, sweet way, recalled that Kadaj had dropped the camera off for processing. Now, he stood there holding the stack of pictures in hands that shook.

"Cloud?" Kadaj whispered, standing and dropping his book. He neared, reaching out for them.

Cloud held them out and Kadaj took a look.

It was there in film what Cloud hadn't seen—the words:

I am he

He is we

We are me

Kadaj's own shadowy form with the camera, and, in the mirror, another figure behind him.

It was a face Kadaj knew only from Sephiroth's memories. Familiar spiky hair, the X-shaped scar on his cheek, cobalt blue eyes.

Kadaj looked up at Cloud, afraid he'd see those same eyes looking down at him, professing a love that didn't belong to him any more than Cloud's beloved body did.

"Cloud," Kadaj whimpered.

Cloud looked disturbed.

Cloud looked afraid.

"For now," he whispered, and closed his eyes.