Hello again everyone! Welcome back to the forth and final installment of OH GAIA!! I'd like to thank you all with your patience with my slow updates and your kind reviews and encouragement. I get this big goofy grin on my face every time I see a new review or favorite or story alert so thank you all so very much! Now, on with chapter four!
Zack could claim, truthfully, at this moment, he was the happiest man alive. He and Cloud were sitting on the beach at Costa Del Sol at twilight, watching the sun set. Zack had just said something funny and Cloud was laughing his high, clear sounding laugh and, Gaia, he looked beautiful. The falling sunlight was illuminating Cloud's feathery hair, making it shine in the fading light and his eyes twinkle with mirth. But the best part was Cloud's smile, the way his mouth turned up at the corners, revealing straight pearly white teeth. Zack found himself leaning closer to him and gently turning Cloud's face with his hands. Cloud blushed slightly and his lips parted as Zack moved closer, tilting Cloud's face up until Cloud's breath was mingling with his own. And then, as Zack's lips were about to connect with Cloud's, Sephiroth appeared.
With him, came the cold wind and black clouds filled with rain and thunder to pound into the once calm beach. The tide rose and fell with a chilling gray tint but, worst of all, was Sephiroth himself. He stood tall as he calmly strode over to the two sitting on the ground. Before Zack could blink, Sephiroth had Cloud thrown over his shoulder and was turning away.
"Wait!" Zack cried out, and the silver haired man turned slowly to face him.
His voice low and mocking, Sephiroth said, "No one touches my playthings," and then he disappeared as a wave crashed over him. Zack heard the sound of Cloud's voice crying out in terror, and then everything went black.
Zack woke up in a cold sweat. His eyes danced around the room with fear. Where am-what? he thought, then relaxed. He had just noticed Cloud lying on his chest asleep and realized that that must have been a dream. Sighing with relief, Zack ran his fingers through Cloud's hair but froze when he saw the man sitting across from him. Instinctively, Zack held Cloud tighter to himself protectively.
"Sephiroth," Zack breathed.
The man in question sat quite calmly facing the spiky haired duo, an eyebrow raised, and a small twisting of the lips. "Relax Zackery. I am not going to eat you. Or him," Sephiroth said, gesturing at Cloud. "However," he said with a small frown, "I am almost certain there is some relationship lore stating, 'One will not steal another's love interest.'"
Zack sat on his couch as if frozen there. He could feel his blood begin to boil in anger as he said, "One will not steal another's love interest'?! That's rich coming from you!" He could feel Cloud stirring against him at his loud voice but didn't care.
Sephiroth raised his eyebrows yet again, "Why Zackery," he noticed Cloud's eyes fluttering open, "whatever are you implying? Are you suggesting that Cloud mean's more to you then a mere friend?"
"Yes!" Zack said, proudly, "I love Cloud so much more than you ever could Sephiroth!" Zack felt hands on his shirt tighten and he looked down to see the object of his affection looking up at him, mouth open in shock.
Zack's yelling at someone, Cloud thought hazily, as he fought the black waves of exhaustion.
"-coming from you!"
What was he talking about? Cloud wondered. He opened his eyes in wakefulness to hear Sephiroth in the room. Cloud suddenly realized the rather *a-hem* compromising position he was in with Zack. Oh shit! he thought before Zack's next words caused him to look up at his friend in shock.
"I love Cloud so much more than you ever could Sephiroth!" Cloud's hands tightened on Zack's shirt reflexively as Zack eyes met his own. "More than my own life," Zack murmured, so that only Cloud could hear him.
"You-me-Zack?" Cloud gasped. "Are you-I mean-seriously?" Cloud's eyes filled with tears and blinked as they slowly made their way down his cheek.
Cloud was crying. He didn't mean to make him cry. "I'm so sorry Cloud," Zack said, sad that he was hurting Cloud but wanting to get his feelings across to him. "I know you're firmly with Seph but," he took a deep breath, "but I haven't stopped thinking about you since the day we met. I've never seen anyone so beautiful in both body and spirit. Anyone who worked so hard to reach their dream. I love you so much that I-"
"Stop talking," Cloud said through his tears. "Why are you telling my own thoughts about you?"
"What?" Zack asked, thrown by this information. He looked over at Sephiroth who had been silent through this exchange. "But what about you and Seph?"
It was Sephiroth's turn to respond, "What Cloud had for me in the beginning was merely hero worship. Through the time we spent together, I learned that he had joined SOLDIER to become like myself. However," Sephiroth glanced over at Cloud for confirmation, "I believe we are friends now."
Cloud nodded and stood up out of Zack's embrace and walked over to Sephiroth.
Cloud wiped his eyes and untangled himself from Zack's arms. He walked over to Sephiroth and stood in front of him. "I'm sorry Seph," Cloud said, "I never wanted to hurt you but now I realize that, yes, your more of a friend to me than a boyfriend." And then the tears came again. Only this time, Cloud was crying for the man he was turning down, instead of for his own disbelieving happiness.
"Cloud," Zack said, feeling the younger boy's pain.
Sephiroth stood up and used one of his hands to lift Cloud's face to look at him. "Cloud, I am not upset. You have taught me, through my time with you, about compassion. And love. The love I feel for you and Zackery is different than the love you feel for each other. You two are my friends and I wouldn't wish for anything more than that." He smiled then, a small but happy smile that reassured Cloud's decision and dried his tears away.
"Wait a second," Zack said on a sudden thought, as he walked to stand next to Cloud. "Why did you date Cloud in the first place? Did you like him back then?"
Sephiroth's smile turned mischievous. "No I did not. But you did Zackery."
Both Zack and Cloud blinked then said, "Eh?"
Sephiroth chuckled. "I knew that you Zackery, were in love with Cloud, but I was not certain of Cloud's feelings towards you. I have come to see that, when you are in a relationship with someone, you are closer to them emotionally than you are to other people. So after several conversations, I had confirmed my suspicions on Cloud's affections."
Sephiroth said all of this with the air of someone who had been following an enemy agent for months and had successfully gained every bit of information on them.
"And now," Sephiroth continued, "the difficult part." He placed his left hand on Cloud's right shoulder and adopted a very serious expression. "Cloud, I am truly sorry but I do not believe this relationship is working out. But I do hope that we can still be friends."
Cloud gapped slightly then said, "Sooo, you're breaking up with me?"
Sephiroth nodded solemnly.
Cloud couldn't help giggling at this. Zack joined in with his loud laughter and Seph chuckled as well.
"Well Spiky," Zack said, after the giggle fit had subsided. "Not to make you seem like you need a boyfriend to survive or anythi-ouch!" Cloud punched him in the arm but kept grinning.
"Any who," Zack continued, rubbing his arm, "Would you like to be my boyfriend Cloud?"
Sephiroth murmured something about "bathroom" before exiting, giving the two boys some space.
Cloud turned to look at Zack and his smile softened into one of love. "Yes," he said looking into Zack's eyes. "I'd like that very much."
Zack's arms wrapped around Cloud's thin waist while Cloud's wrapped around his neck. Zack brought his head down and kissed Cloud's lips. It was short and sweet and when Zack pulled back, he rested his forehead against Cloud's.
"I love you Cloud."
"I love you more Zack," Cloud chuckled and Zack joined in before cutting it off with another, longer kiss. The two stood there, holding each other, kissing, and grinning goofily (not necessarily in that order). The idea of spending the rest of their lives together suddenly sounded very very nice.
Sephiroth watched the two boys kiss then turned and walked out of Zack's (and now Cloud's) apartment. In truth, he was happy that his young friends had found love in the other. He had learned a lot from their example. The next time he saw his special person, he would tell them of his feelings.
"Sephiroth!" a voice behind him yelled. The Demon of Wutai turned around and stared at Genesis as the man ran towards him.
"Genesis. It is good to see-" he was stopped by flowers suddenly being shoved into his face.
Genesis's face was slightly red and his hair was windswept, like he had been running. "I was walking towards the meeting when I ran into Cloud," he said, his face reddening even more. "He said that he was planning on breaking up with you because he felt like he was just being a burden and he said your favorite flowers were bluebells so I thought I'd cheer you up and-"
"Genesis, shut up."
Sephiroth's mouth met Genesis's and said red warrior threw his arms around Sephiroth's neck while still holding the flowers as the kiss turned more passionate. When they broke apart, Genesis laid his head in the dip of Sephiroth's neck. "I've been waiting a long time for you Seph."
Sephiroth closed his eyes and buried his face in Genesis's hair. "I know," he said, wrapping his arms around his friend. "But now I can be with you and we can both be happy. I now know what this feeling is and I know I want to share it with you Gene."
Genesis sighed happily. "Now that we have that settled," he grinned slyly, "my place or yours?"
A couple notes I would like to add: I think Sephiroth would be someone who turns to books in the hope of finding out what regular people feel and his favorite flower is bluebells because it is the same shade of blue as Genesis's eyes XD. This story was a product of my sweat, love, and tears and I hope I portrayed the characters well. Thank you again for all the wonderful reviews! And another special thanks to my big sister and friend for reading and editing my work were it needed it!
I hope to see you all again in my next story!