This is the last chapter (surprise!) so please enjoy! If you're interested, please read my ending comments as well (helpful insight/my dumb explanations on why this fic is the way it is).



It's been a full week back at Banora and I haven't called Sephiroth yet. He said call when I had a break, and I've been busy with the harvest…but now that I have some time to myself, I'm almost scared to call. I'm afraid to say the wrong thing. I want to wait…wait and tell him face-to-face. I think he'd appreciate that more. I think, I'm not sure, Sephiroth's hard to figure out. I've done a lot of thinking, and I really do want to keep us together. Yes, I do love women, but Sephiroth's something different. He's always been kind to me…at least he has always tried. And even without the sex, I'm still really attracted to him. It's like the more we put it off the harder I get for him. I just…feel like sometimes we drift too much. But even then, I've always liked him.

I've fucked up so badly. I hope he can forgive me…

Genesis pulled out his cell phone and called Sephiroth. He heard the grumbled 'hello?' come through and he wondered if Sephiroth had been sleeping this entire time. "Sephiroth, it's me. You said to call when I wasn't busy."

Sephiroth rubbed his eyes and checked his clock. It was around noon, but he hadn't gotten out of bed today. "How are you?"

"Good. Mom's bonkers as usual, dad's quiet, Angeal and I have been working out in the fields all day. A lot of good apples to pick, probably best year I've seen in awhile. Though, it would have been nice to bring you here."

Sephiroth smiled at that. "If only I could have. I'm sure it would have been better than what I've been doing."

"Tell me about your week."

"The mission was to attend a banquet and roam around doing nothing until Wutai warriors dropped in from the ceiling. It was staged. The men were real, but I suppose it was purposefully set up through the President to give everyone something to talk about. I asked for a brief break, though. I went to the doctors because you told me to, and it seems I broke something. So I've been sleeping ever since."

"I hope you didn't strain yourself during the banquet."

"I didn't. They just fell in and I killed them rather quickly."

"At least it wasn't anything dangerous. I'm glad to hear you're resting, at least. Sometimes you go overboard when you shouldn't."

Sephiroth chuckled, "I get bored when I'm not doing anything."

"Well, you clearly have me, that means we could do something."

"Only when you're around, which is unpredictable. I think Lazard wants you to work overtime."

"Well, he does know I'm trying to get into 1st class. Maybe he's just helping me out?"

"If you get into 1st class our schedules will probably sync up better."


"Yes, that's usually how missions are scheduled. By class."

"Hmm…just thinking about it has me rising."

Sephiroth laughed lightly at his words. "I hope you're not going to jack off while you're talking to me."

"It kind of sounds like a good idea, but I'm outside. It'd be a little bit awkward to jizz on nature."

"I don't know, you seem like the type who is capable of doing anything for a first time."

"Mmm…" Genesis looked around at the cliffs and trees before he smiled. "Speaking of first times…I've been thinking about us quite a lot lately. You know, we've been dating for a full year."

"It seems we have."

"And you know I've been very patient with you. And you know I wouldn't pull anything without knowing you were comfortable with it…"

Sephiroth had a feeling he already knew where this was going.

"I'm really committed to you, Sephiroth. I think I want to be with you until there's nothing left of us. You're all I have ever wanted or needed."

Sephiroth smiled at that. He felt a bit embarrassed, but he didn't interrupt Genesis.

"I want to know if you're ready. If you're…prepared to be completely committed to me and only me." Genesis paused. "Because when I get back I think you and I should spend some time together without any interruptions."

Sephiroth knew he was talking about sex. He might not have said it, but the way he talked was filled with the sultry longing for love. The thought of it sent chills down Sephiroth's spine. "Well…when you get back can we talk first? You know how I am. I'd rather hear this in person so I can make a better decision."

"Of course. If you really aren't ready I won't push you to it."

"I think I just need some convincing. Not that I don't trust you, but the act itself has always seemed like an extreme to me."

"We can start soft and then get into the rough kinky stuff."

"Soft, hmm?" Sephiroth remarked. He was curious to hear what Genesis meant by that.

"Yeah. I'll start by gently pulling down your pants, kissing your abdomen as I make my descent onto your throbbing manhood. When I feel like your body is relaxed enough, I'll give it sweet kisses, along with the soft spots of your inner thighs. And once you start to rise I'll drag my tongue slowly, gently up your shaft, stopping before I hit the tip, and go back down so I can hear your heated moans of pleasure…"

Sephiroth for some reason thought that sounded…pleasuring and funny at the same time. "I think I might like that."

"Oh you will. I'll butter you up so that you're begging for me to take your virginity away."

Sephiroth loved that thought. Was that even possible for him? He'd find out he supposed. "Then it's a date."

"Oh yes. Definitely." Genesis looked at the sun and then over at the fields. "I should get going. I'll call again if I find time. If not, then I'll just come home and get started on those pants of yours."

Sephiroth chuckled, "All right, Genesis. I'll see you later."

Genesis hung up and sighed when he heard someone near him. He looked and saw Angeal standing there staring at him. "What?"

"You'll drag your tongue slowly, gently up his shaft?"

Genesis turned bright red, "Dude. You eavesdropped?"

"Well you're not exactly quiet."

"That was a private conversation!"

"Whatever, you were bound to tell me anyway."

"Fuck you."

Angeal couldn't help but laugh. "Look at you, getting all flustered. I'm assuming you didn't tell him that you're a moron and started waving your dick around for the girls to come after."

"No, I'm going to tell him when I get back home because that's personal and it's something he deserves to hear in person." Genesis rose and brushed his hair out of his face. "I wish you'd stop making me sound like a bad person. I already know what I did was wrong…"

"Then why make him think you're going to have sex with him? He's going to dump you once you tell him what you did."

Genesis shrugged, "I don't know. I just can't bring myself to act differently…I don't want to worry him."

Angeal rolled his eyes, "Well...whatever. You keep leading him on, it won't change anything."

Genesis sighed, "Yeah. I know. You don't need to remind me."

His friend turned from him and started to head back down the hilly area. For a moment there Genesis couldn't tell if Angeal was completely turning his back on him…or if he was just imagining it.


By the time Genesis and Angeal left Banora and began their returning trip to Midgar, Sephiroth was feeling much better. He had healed dramatically, but he had made sure to prolong his time off. As the days had counted down he felt more and more agitated about the night he'd spend with Genesis. He wasn't sure if he was ready for such commitment, for such a lustful and loving act. For Sephiroth it was…something scary. He didn't want to throw himself about to anyone or anything, he wanted to reserve himself to one person. In fact, he had never thought he'd have sex…ever. He was always far busier with more important things…

But now that Genesis was in his life…it was probable.

The anxiety and anticipation kept building up until it was merely hours until Genesis would be home. He was obsessively pacing in his room, brushing through his hair nervously as he kept looking into the mirror. He wasn't exactly sure what Genesis was completely expecting from him.

When he heard the knock on his door his heart started to hammer in his chest. He had never felt like this before in his life… Did that mean he was completely and positively serious about being with Genesis? He wouldn't feel this sensation if he wasn't. This was…love, right?

Sephiroth didn't open the door, Genesis had gotten it himself. When the redhead slipped in Sephiroth could feel the room already fill with the soft scent of the apples, the perfume of Genesis's skin…

He knew he had to talk first, but seeing him after all this time had caused his emotions to skyrocket. "Genesis…"

Genesis looked at Sephiroth before giving a weak smile, "Sephiroth." He hesitated, absolutely terrified of Sephiroth's judgment. He knew this was the end. It didn't matter what he had to say, Sephiroth had the final say…. "Well. Let's…talk before we do anything."

"Okay…" Sephiroth replied. He sat down on his bed and watched as Genesis sat beside him. Was he supposed to ask questions? Go first? Or would Genesis do all the talking? He felt so helpless…

Genesis merely had to think things through and how to word it all without making Sephiroth too upset. He knew that no matter what he said the ending result was going to be the same, but there was a way to make it a lot less painful for Sephiroth… "Okay. Um. Look, I have something really important to tell you that…I've wanted to tell you for a long time. I wanted to wait until we were in the same room though before I said anything."

Sephiroth was confused. Were…they still talking about the same thing? He thought Genesis was here to convince him about having sex…

"Sephiroth, I love you. There is…nothing else in this world that would make me happier. Being with you is…is everything I could ever want. I hope you understand that."

"I…understand," Sephiroth responded somewhat embarrassed.

"I love you so much that…I respect any decision you make. Whether you hate me or disrespect me…I would not fight your emotions toward me because I could never think poorly against you." Genesis took in a deep breath. "So…what I'm going to tell you, it…it's going to upset you. You're…going to make a decision and I'll respect it and I won't fight you on it because I don't deserve to fight against what you have to say."

The confusion settled back in. "I…I don't understand. What are you saying?"

"Look…it's…complicated. You and I sometimes fight and drift apart. When we're far away I doubt what we are. But when we're together I notice I'm just acting stupid. But…" He hesitated. "But when I went to Banora something happened."

"…." Sephiroth started to feel the high emotion start to plummet. He was growing anxious, curious about what Genesis was about to reveal, but also fearing it, too.

"Sephiroth, I couldn't tell if I was prepared to be with you and only you. I thought that I was being desperate because I'm stuck here in Midgar. I doubted the two of us for awhile…I thought that…that I was just acting impulsively. I believed that maybe I wasn't in love with you. I…thought that I was pulling you into a false relationship. But I couldn't tell, I was confused about it all. I convinced myself that there was only one way to tell for certain. I acted irrationally…I'm a complete moron in doing this…" Genesis sighed and finally said it, "Sephiroth, I cheated on you when I was in Banora. I slept with an ex-girlfriend because I wasn't sure if I really liked you or if I was just confusing what I really wanted." He started to rush the subject. "But afterward I started to regret it. I had everything with you and I threw it away. I should have talked to Angeal, or you, or…just…anyone but I didn't. We're so secretive about ourselves that I thought I should solve it myself, and then I ended up doing the wrong thing…"

Sephiroth looked completely torn at the news. Genesis had gone and fucked some girl back home? "I'm not sure what to think of you right now…."

"I…understand. I don't deserve to have you as a partner. I'm…such a traitor toward you. And I feel so much regret. I don't understand why I doubted us. I…I don't understand why I did it at all." Genesis sighed. "I know saying that I'm sorry won't mean a thing…but I really am. I've wasted a year of your life…you deserve someone much better. I just…I just wish I wasn't…"

Sephiroth held up his hand, "Just stop."

Genesis waited as the silence fell over them. He didn't know what else to say. Well…what could he say that would make it any better? He rose from his spot as Sephiroth still hadn't said anything else. "I'm…sorry. I'll leave you alone from now on. And…hopefully over time things can fix themselves…"

Sephiroth grabbed Genesis's arm and got up himself, facing the redhead. "Where are you going?" Their eyes met, Genesis was the first to look away. "You said…you loved me. You said that you would respect my decision, but you haven't even bothered to hear what I have to say yet."

"I…well…you're going to dump me…."

Sephiroth shook his head. "No." He hesitated and then grabbed onto Genesis's shoulders. "I'm angry at you, yes, but I know the feeling you experienced…the confusion. Perhaps you reacted like an imbecile because of it…but I'm not going to let you just walk away like that. Genesis…I…love you, too. I wish you could have seen that before you acted so ridiculously…"

Genesis didn't get it. Was…Sephiroth still keeping him?

"I didn't want to spend today like this. Tell me…about her."

"What…do you want to know?"

"Why her?"

"She…was my ex. She had a bad run with a previous boyfriend. She's…pregnant with his kid, and he ran off on her."

"And…when you were with her?"

"What…about it?"

"Did…you like it?"

Genesis wasn't sure if he should be truthful or not. "She…she was nice. But you know, it was just like sleeping with Rufus or Lazard. It's just sex…there was no connection. It's not like what I have with you. I don't even need to be intimate with you to feel something strong. I…just wished I had realized it earlier, but…I'm just a fool."

"Did you…use protection or anything?"

"Well…no because she was pregnant. It didn't really come to mind."

Sephiroth sighed and he looked away from Genesis. He was confused about how he should handle this. One side of him wanted to tell Genesis to get lost and to forget they were ever together…but the other side was so hurt and so pained because he was in love with him. He wanted to have a faithful partner. Would Genesis be faithful to him now? It was the first time in a whole year….it was an accidental slip-up. He didn't want to forgive him, and he didn't have to, but he just needed to know if staying with him was the right thing to do.

Parting would…be so hurtful. But would staying with him be detrimental? Would they ever be the same way?

Sephiroth looked into Genesis's eyes for a long time, searching for the answer in those blue eyes. He saw the pain, the regret, the worry, the sadness…

"I really don't appreciate how you could throw us away like that so easily. Maybe it's hard to stay a secret from everyone, especially for so long…but the feelings we shared should mean a lot more than the pain we have to go through. If you're committed to me…I want you to show it. I want to know…if you're really committed…" He pulled him closer to him. "I want to be with you, but if we're together you can't be with anyone else…from this point on. Because if you falter again then it's over for good…and I don't mean just the relationship. Everything will be gone. Do you understand that?"

Genesis nodded his head. "I do."

Sephiroth kept watching those eyes. They seemed truthful to him, he could see that Genesis meant to stay with him….

He leaned in and kissed him then, allowing his hands to gently glide through Genesis's hair, against his neck, and soon to pull on the boy's clothes. This feeling was strong and wild, he felt heated and hungry for the action that he had never experienced before. He roughly ripped at the belts of Genesis's pants, slipping his trousers downward to get them out of his way.

Genesis merely accepted the advances. He couldn't believe that after all the this time of believing he was done for with Sephiroth…that he would be instead having the greatest intimate act with him.

They both had their clothes dropped and made their way into bed, Sephiroth dominated Genesis roughly as he pinned him down and gave him several harsh kisses. Their hips ground together and at first they couldn't control themselves at all. Genesis couldn't help his initial reaction to wrap his legs tightly onto Sephiroth's hips, yearning for the feeling of Sephiroth's cock in him. Yet, Sephiroth pushed away the muscular thighs and reached over to his nightstand. He reached into the drawer and fished out a condom which made Genesis calm down.


"You fucked a whore, Genesis, why do you think?"

Genesis didn't argue at that. He really doubted there was anything wrong with her, but if it made Sephiroth feel better he'd let him do what he wanted. Besides, bringing her up while trying to have sex would be really awkward…

"Get on your stomach," Sephiroth ordered.

Genesis obeyed and he felt Sephiroth press against his back, his silvery hair cascaded around him and showered him with soft scents. Sephiroth didn't take his time at all, his emotions were guiding him to enter as soon as possible. The redhead hadn't expected the quick entry, so he let out a surprised yell that made his hands clench the sheets. The feeling was so familiar for Genesis, and for an instant he thought back on his mission with his friends, how he was handled so harshly with the base leader. Yet, that very thought was pushed from his mind. This was far different, far more sensual and caring. Sephiroth's touch was like a soft caress against his body, and that was what made his roughness more appealing. After the initial shock of raw pain, he started to feel the euphoria kick in. Genesis let out several heated gasps as he tried to catch his breath with the rhythm of Sephiroth's thrusts. Yet he was having difficulty doing so because Sephiroth began to kiss the crook of his neck, gently biting into his skin and growling deeply against his naked flesh. It was as if all the interaction going on was confusing Genesis's body on what he was enjoying the most. He wanted to let Sephiroth know that he enjoyed the kisses and the thrusting, but there was no way for him to communicate it at all. His mind felt too high and flustered with the sensual moment to be able to say anything. Sephiroth's hand then slid down the sides of Genesis's ribs and settled against the firm hips, getting a good grasp on them while he playfully kissed the boy. His partner was already lifting his rear up, trying to spread himself open further for better access. It was an involuntary action from Genesis. The feeling was just too great. The ramming of Sephiroth's cock had to be felt completely and deeply, and Genesis's body seemed to want more and more of that. Sephiroth took the invitation and continued his thrusting, the feeling was so natural and uplifting to move his hips in such a way. It was something he truly never experienced before, and now he was feeling the urge to continue the rocking as the thick muscles would tense and relax against his manhood. As the motions became repetitive Sephiroth started to pick up his pace, driving harder into Genesis so that the end of his tailbone could be felt coming into contact with him harder than usual. Genesis clenched the bed and closed his eyes, moving himself against Sephiroth to get the fullest thrusts. He was breathing hard, the throbbing inside him was hard to not enjoy. His sensitive areas took it all in, feeling each throb as if it were a shockwave, reverberating it to the rest of his body, yearning for him to react. When Sephiroth had gone faster it was just too much, and Genesis started to let out louder gasps, moans of complete satisfaction escaping him with each heavy, deep thrust that entered him. He wasn't thinking of acting anymore. The actions just happened and he had no control over them.

Sephiroth wished he could allow Genesis to continue with his pleasurable noises, but the boy was getting too loud. Someone might hear him. He had to stop and he shoved Genesis onto his back, bending his leg up and onto his shoulder. While he entered he covered Genesis's mouth with his own and muffled another moan. Sephiroth kept up his pace and was able to smother the noises very well until his thrusts hit the right spot and Genesis let out several loud gasps of pleasure, the redhead didn't even try to hold himself back from the cries of the orgasm he had. Hearing those noises sent chills down Sephiroth's spine. But it wasn't from fear, it was as if a wave of euphoria just hit him and his body was having difficulty reacting to it. Soon after that Genesis came hard and his stomach got covered in his own mess, the creamy white substance speckled against his hard abdomen. Sephiroth felt it against himself as well, and he allowed his stomach to brush Genesis's to rub in the fluids. His actions soon set him off as well. The redhead gave another moan of pleasure, though Sephiroth was wearing a condom, he could feel the warmth growing...

Sephiroth felt his muscles burn with pleasure after the nice release and he gently lapped up some sweat that was on Genesis's chest, his kisses circled each nipple before making their way up to his lover's lips. It was a salty kiss, but sweet and zesty to Genesis.

"Sephiroth," Genesis whispered into the 1st class SOLDIER's neck, the hairs on the back of the silver-haired figure's neck started to rise. "Sephiroth, I love you."

It was good to hear those words while they experienced each other, and Sephiroth gave Genesis's full lips another lusty, salty kiss. "I love you, too."

When the fire started to die down between them and the exhaustion settled in, Sephiroth couldn't help but think about his decision to keep Genesis. He could only hope that they could stay together. He didn't want this experience to fall into shame…because it was one experience that he wanted to relive many times…


It wasn't until a month later that Lazard had news for Genesis and Angeal. The two were standing in his office waiting. So far, Genesis and Sephiroth's relationship continued to stay intimate and close. It seemed they were finally happy with what they had together, even if they ran risk of getting caught. Angeal had been surprised that Sephiroth kept Genesis around, and he had apologized to Genesis for acting so harshly toward him in such a situation. It seemed things were finally looking up for the trio…

"I have excellent news for you two. It's been awhile since Shinra has thought of upgrading the ranks. We've been taking our time analyzing everyone's portfolios to see if anyone is capable of being promoted. You two, of course, are on the list. It's been discussed between the President and myself for quite awhile, and we've decided that the two of you will go on a mission together. It won't be a normal mission. I've decided a simulation test will easily prove just as reliable as if it were real. If you two get to the end and finish the mission, you will be upgraded to 1st class." He smirked as he saw the hunger in their eyes. "I'm glad to see that both of you are prepared for such a promotion. Now please, head to the training room. It'll be monitored and we'll be watching carefully for any errors, so do think things out carefully." He nodded, "Now go."

Angeal and Genesis looked at each other before escaping the room.

Lazard waited for awhile before he smiled, "Okay, Sephiroth, they're gone." He watched as Sephiroth moved out of the hiding space he was told to stay at. "You heard everything."

"Yes…but what does it have to do with me?"

"They're going into a simulated area. They're supposed to fight a fake version of yourself at the end, but Hojo said that the one he created wasn't sufficient enough. I want you to go in and pretend to be a simulation." Lazard looked directly at him. "Trust me. It'll be a good test for them."

"I suppose simulations don't talk all that much…"

"Not all the time. Just fight your hardest, they will be." Lazard laughed. "They'll think you're a computer, they're going to try and obliterate you."

"It'll be an interesting battle, then," Sephiroth remarked.

"Head down and talk to Hojo. He'll tell you when they're ready for you."

Sephiroth had left the room prepared for battle.

Genesis stepped into the training room and he heard Hojo's voice call out over the speakers. "Try not to do anything too stupid. I dock points quite quickly if I don't like what you're doing."

Yeah, I bet he would. That jerk. I forgot how much I hated Hojo. I'll get into 1st class no matter what. A simulated test? Whatever, I was expecting a real challenge. Data programming won't be able to stop me from reaching the top. I can't believe this is happening like this…it's as if I'm dreaming. But…I'm not. I can't wait to tell Sephiroth as well, I bet he'll be glad to hear that I did the test today. And if I pass, which I know I will, it means we have more time together. Just thinking about it gives me the greatest high…

Hmm…I wonder if he'll want to 'celebrate'? Haha. I bet he would. I wouldn't mind fucking again, he's so good at it for being a complete amateur…

"Genesis, stay focused," Angeal remarked kindly to him. "If we work together, we can pass this."

"I know that. I'm hardly worried."

Angeal snorted, "That's what worries me…"

The room shot a blinding light over them and the ceiling above soon turned a deep blue, glittering in spots that soon turned into stars. The hard metal ground started to sprout the deep green grass, and the moon crystallized right before them. It was silent aside from the chirps of crickets and a soft rush of wind that brushed Genesis's hair to the side.

"Look over there," Angeal remarked as a building materialized into position, men were outside guarding it.

"Vanquish all the people inside," Hojo's voice called out to them from the heavens above. Almost as if he was a God. The very thought made Genesis crack a smile.

That crazy bastard probably wishes he was God. Though, in this simulation he very well could be. He has all the puppets of data that he created… But it isn't the same as the real thing. As beautiful as the trick may be, it is just that. A trick. He can throw what he wants at me, I will destroy it all if I have to.

They took shelter behind a rock and they quickly discussed what to do. "You jump in for an attack, I'll run after. You're good at being distracting," Angeal whispered.

Genesis snorted but concurred. "Okay." He leapt into action and surprised the guards. He was somewhat shocked that they were able to block the swings from his sword. He tried to set one on fire, but the man had a magic ward on. I see, they're all amped up on everything. This might actually be a challenge! Angeal had soon joined him and they battled separately against the guards until they had fallen down and perished.

"Huh…" Angeal murmured, "That was unsuspecting."

"Yeah. The enemy has never been smart enough to get their hands on wards."

"Well…one day they might. This is good practice. Come on." They entered the building and their eyes took in the metallic floor, walls, and ceiling. "Cozy."

Genesis chuckled, "Yeah. It's better if we don't split up, especially if they're all going to be stronger than usual. Where should we start?"

"Let's take a left. We should try and clear all the floors."

"Right." Genesis and Angeal went rushing in and continued their blood bath, though there was no blood. It was another thing that Genesis was disappointed about for the graphics. People just disappeared. That wasn't how it was like in real life. Yet he didn't complain, Hojo probably would dock points for him being a whiney bitch.

They had reached the lower level and cleared a path, their bodies were starting to become exhausted. The enemy was amped up far greater than what should be normal, as if they were fighting against their own comrades. That'd be an interesting situation if Wutai started to have mako induced warriors come after us. I wonder how that would work out for them? And the war…would it finally end?

"That's the last room," Angeal pointed. "How are you doing?"

"I'm good, I'm ready for what's up ahead."

"If it's a machine use magic. If it's a group of people, let's go back to back. If there's one person…you go for the front, I'll get them from behind."

Genesis nodded, "Okay, sounds good."

Angeal smirked, "Now let's get our reward." They rushed in and stopped as the place was empty. Their eyes searched the room and they wondered if they had entered the wrong room. Wasn't this the end?

"Where are they?" Genesis questioned as he stepped in further.

Something from above made a noise and they looked up. Sephiroth descended and landed before them gracefully, his Masamune was held carefully in his left hand, his burning green eyes opened up slowly to stare at them. A slight smile curled onto his lips.

Genesis backed up slightly. These graphics looked good. But he wondered if it matched up to Sephiroth at all? His eyes went over to Angeal. "I guess we're supposed to kill him?"

"Yeah, that's what I'm figuring as well. At least it's just data, it can't be that hard," Angeal commented.

Sephiroth listened to the two and he did feel worried. Whose idea was it to allow this to happen? They would have to realize that someone was going to get hurt in all of this. Unless he could avoid getting hit by both of them and slowly wear them out. He couldn't hurt them…at least, he didn't want to.

"Remember what I told you," Angeal hinted at Genesis before he rushed forward.

"Right behind you," Genesis replied and launched himself into the air.

The battle started quite surprisingly. Sephiroth hit back Angeal and had to defend against Genesis as he came down onto him. He thrust the boy away and sent a blast of magic after both of them before rushing in after. He quickly unsettled Angeal and had knocked him over before he had to block blasts of fire coming from Genesis. The redhead had copied his move and was charging right at him. Swiftly Sephiroth leapt up in the air and somersaulted behind the boy, thrashing his Masamune through the air and slicing the back end of Genesis's clothes. The straps came off and Genesis struggled to get the loose armor from himself while Angeal went in for the time being. Their blades struck several times, but Sephiroth had kept Angeal at bay until Genesis came back into the game. He crashed his sword hard into Angeal's and had sent him smashing into the redhead.

The two were pretty shaken up. This battle wasn't like the training they were used to. Was this machine able to die? "I can't get behind him," Angeal huffed, "We'll have to both fight him at the same time. He can't block both of us. Don't take turns, got it?"

"Right. Let's show him a thing or two."

They bolted forth and fire came swirling from both of their hands. Sephiroth sliced his blade through it, his heart started to rush as he felt both blades impact against the long blade of his Masamune. He felt himself be pushed back, his muscles tensed at the force as he had to hold against two people that were just as powerful as him. Genesis's blade came for his legs and Angeal's was moving for his neck. He defended against the one coming for his head, valuing his life far more than his limb. He tried to jump out of the way, but the rapier sliced right into his right leg, dragging against his boot and digging into his flesh. Sephiroth quickly shot as much magic as he could at the two so he could back himself up and regain himself. His flesh was showing and blood oozed from the wound he acquired. Instead of stopping he went forth and aimed for cornering one of them at a time. His blade clashed loudly against Genesis's rapier and had forced it from his hands. The Masamune licked through the air and sliced against Genesis's chest.

"Ow, fuck!" Genesis hissed and he backed away, moving for his blade, "Angeal…"

"Be careful," Angeal shouted at Genesis as he went for another strike at Sephiroth. It was quickly deflected and he jumped back just in time as Sephiroth's blade came through the air to strike him. "Remember how we fought in Banora when using just knives?"

"Yeah?" Genesis replied as he got back up, twirling his sword into a better position.

"Let's try that."

Genesis nodded and he hunkered into position, "It's worth a shot." He rushed forward and loosely sliced his blade for Sephiroth's chest but the man moved back. He kept coming forward, loosely moving around, though it was graceful as if like a dance. He collided his blade into Sephiroth's and he swiftly moved under the swords, giving a high kick that nailed Sephiroth in the chest. Genesis reached at his belt and brought out a dagger, going for Sephiroth's stomach.

Sephiroth grabbed his wrist and twisted it, but he couldn't hold on for long as Genesis rammed his body into him. He staggered back and had to defend against Angeal's sword as it came through the air right at him. He had thrown his blade! What was he thinking?

Angeal came rushing in and slugged Sephiroth in the jaw before grabbing his sword and rammed it between the man's legs. Sephiroth found that one too close of a call so he blasted Angeal back with magic before trying to get out of the terrible situation. Yet he had to defend against Genesis who was trying to slice his legs off while he was stuck there. He sliced as hard as he could against Genesis's arms and watched as he finally backed off to get a better glance at his wound. Sephiroth stepped over the blade between his legs and pulled it out of the wall. Unfortunately it had ripped up his coat, but he at least had more than one. It looked like this one was going to get scrapped…

"Let's end this, Angeal," Genesis hissed as the blood started to pool on his arms.

The two men came forward and the three blades struck together, sparks shot out at the action. But Genesis still had his dagger in hand and he lifted it up and descended it hastily into Sephiroth's left arm. He could feel the muscles and bone scraping against the dagger, but that wasn't what sent chills down his spine. It was the fact that the data had shouted in pain. Angeal and himself both jumped back at the noise, their nerves felt shaken. "Did he just…?"

"Yeah he did…"

Genesis looked at his dagger and found it gleaming in the crimson blood. "But…the others never bled…"

Angeal looked at the blade before taking in the Sephiroth before him. His leg was cut up, his arm was bleeding, and he clearly looked hurt. "Sephiroth?"

The world around them shattered and they were back to standing in the training room. Sephiroth was still standing there holding his arm as the blood carried itself onto the hilt of the Masamune and dripped down the blade. For a minute there neither Angeal nor Genesis could say anything until Genesis stepped forward. "They said it was simulated, they didn't say you were…going to be in here…" He reached out for Sephiroth's arm, "Let me help you—"

"Back off," Sephiroth snapped at him. By this time Hojo had finally entered in and he was looking rather smug.

"My my, you boys did quite the number on the 1st class hero, now didn't you? Wounded again. You're about as worthwhile as a cripple, Sephiroth. It's a good thing the President wanted to replace you with these two men, they seem to have a better hold on themselves than you."

Genesis didn't know how he felt about that. He…could replace Sephiroth? He had always wanted the spotlight. But replacing Sephiroth? He never imagined it like that. He had ignored his own wounds as the battle between Sephiroth and Hojo continued. Although, it seemed as if Sephiroth just took Hojo's words in and said none in return.

"It's a pity, really. You were quite the favorite. But no matter…I can see that the President knows how to pull you out of the crowds and can dispose of you quite easily. Seems you're past your prime." Hojo cackled at the joke. "You might want to look for a new job."

Sephiroth finally moved from the training room, ignoring Hojo and the others completely. He wasn't going to stand around and let Hojo snipe at him like that…not while he was hurt.

When Sephiroth left Hojo sighed and looked at the other two, "Well, that was quite a messy battle. You did notice the improvements on the guards, at least. I can finally analyze this data and figure out what's wrong with it. And perhaps, finally get the data on Sephiroth working."

"What about if we passed?" Genesis asked impatiently.

"Hmm? Oh. Lazard was watching, you have to talk to him about that. I wouldn't bother, I think you two did terribly."

Angeal and Genesis glanced between each other before heading out. Hojo always made it sound worse than it usually was…


Sephiroth had his coat removed and his pant leg rolled up, the boot removed as well while a few nurses wrapped up the wounds. He had left the training area, but Lazard had followed him quite easily enough. The man didn't say anything until the nurses were finished and had left the room. The blonde brushed a piece of his hair out of his face before fixing his glasses, his eyes settling on Sephiroth's body language before he continued. He could tell Sephiroth wasn't in a talkative mood, but Lazard had to break the news. "They're going to get promoted, as you can tell. They did quite well against you. But that's not what I followed you here for. I wanted to tell you that your secret isn't much of a secret anymore."

Sephiroth glanced at the door to make sure no one was around before he dragged his eyes back to Lazard, "What secret?"

"Genesis and you. Rumors have been flying around, but no one ever believes those. Now you've been seen and heard. It's obvious what you two do together." Lazard crossed his arms over his chest. "I'd tell you to stop, but that wouldn't get any type of response from you. But I'm going to warn you about something. Now that Genesis is going to be 1st class, his schedule is going to be closer to yours. It's obvious you two would like that. But you still want to keep yourselves from the media. I don't think Genesis will be able to do that. You know him quite well. He's a talker and he's a big flirt. He'll like the spotlight, and if he needs to he'll tell everyone what you two are like to each other. It'll mean more attention on him, and it'll swing a lot of your viewers onto him. You've seen how cruel he can be in battle," he pointed at the wounded left arm that Sephiroth brandished. "Think about your reputation and your career. He can replace you. Do you really want that? And really…you have no other place to go, Sephiroth. Shinra's Headquarters have been your only home. If he takes over the roost, what will you be able to do?"

Sephiroth didn't say anything in response as Lazard had laid it flat for him. All he could do was get rid of Genesis…but could he really do that? He hadn't known it was him…but it wasn't as if he followed after to make sure he was fine.

"I appreciate your concerns, but we're not together. Genesis can do what he wants as a 1st class SOLDIER. I don't care. And I never will. Whatever has been heard or seen is just a lie. I would like it if you would discontinue assuming that there's something between us. Now if you don't mind, I want to lie down, so if you're finished I'm going to leave."

Lazard kept his eyes on Sephiroth as the man had put his boot back on. "Pretend all you want to me, but give it a serious thought." Lazard left the room first and Sephiroth was by himself.

Could…any of it be true?


Sephiroth stayed in the safety of his room, but he was bothered by one person, and that was Genesis. He had knocked on the door and came in looking happy as ever, but Sephiroth was far from happy.

"Hey, I made it to 1st class! Aren't you proud of me?" Genesis stopped before him and smirked, "Maybe I can cheat the rules, too, and wear something different?"

Sephiroth didn't look at him.

"We could celebrate if you're up for it." Genesis noticed there was no response. "Sephiroth? You okay? I hope we didn't hurt you too badly. And the things Hojo said, don't believe him."

"I don't want to talk right now."

Genesis felt put down by those words. He just got promoted and Sephiroth was in a terrible mood. What could he even do about that? "Okay…" He hesitated, "Sephiroth…um. Do you want me to leave?"

Sephiroth sighed and he turned his eyes onto Genesis. "Lazard knows everything. So does the entire building. Genesis…I don't know what to do."

Genesis was struck by that. For not talking it seemed he had spilled the beans pretty quickly. "Oh. Well…" What to even say to that? "I guess I can see why you're upset." Genesis folded his arms over his chest, "Did…you want to take a break?"

"I'm uncertain." Sephiroth pointed for him to sit and he waited for Genesis to get adjusted before he continued. "Things…just started to get really serious between us. I don't want that to mean nothing…but I can't stand around and let the rumors continue."

"I…understand. We can just…cut down the time we see each other by a lot."

"That will be hard considering we're 1st class. Our schedules are going to be rather similar."

"Well, Angeal can keep me preoccupied. If anyone asks why we're not together, the obvious answer would be that we don't have to scrape for time to hang out. It'll make it seem more like we're friends and we were only together because our schedules clashed."

"I…suppose that could work." Sephiroth looked away from him, though. "Genesis. You're not going to tell anyone, are you?"

"Of course not. What would that gain for us?"

"You'd gain popularity I imagine."

"I'm 1st class now, that'll get me enough popularity. I don't need to confuse my fans with relationships."

"I see. Well…I just wanted to make sure. Lazard talked to me. I denied everything, but I feel as if he knows far better than anyone else."

"Yeah…" Genesis sighed. "At least the break will…I don't know, let us do other things. I'm not sure what. I'm trying to stay optimistic."

"We're still together…it's just like a vacation. I'll talk to Lazard to get me another mission, or something—"

"Then it'd be obvious why we're not together. We should just let things happen naturally. We don't have to force each other away."

"Like I said…I don't know what to do."

"Okay. Let me do the thinking. After tonight I won't visit you for a week. At least, I won't come here to your room. I imagine it's okay to eat together, especially since Angeal will be with us. And any missions we might have together, but we should try to keep ourselves preoccupied. I think I'll try helping Angeal with training the lower ranked men."

Sephiroth thought about what he should do. He was never an active person in socializing with the others. "That's good, I wasn't planning on helping anyone."

Genesis laughed, "You're funny. You'll at least know what not to do in case you get bored."

Sephiroth sighed and gave a curt nod. "Right. You should go now."

Genesis rose from his spot and he leaned over, kissing Sephiroth on the lips. "We'll get through this."

"Right." Sephiroth watched Genesis leave the room. It took him awhile, but as he sat there he started to hope that…it really would work. His heart already felt pained in thinking that it really would break them apart….


Avoiding Sephiroth wasn't too hard to do. Ever since Genesis became 1st class he noticed that a lot of people wanted to get his attention and his help. For the first week of their small rift it seemed Genesis was handling it well, and he found that he really didn't miss Sephiroth. It's not like I don't love him, but I'm not overly dependent on his presence. That's not a bad thing, I think? I'm sure he's doing just as well without me. Besides, this at least helps me focus on my goals here as a SOLDIER. I shouldn't have put my personal life before my career…

And the second week Genesis wasn't bothered in going to bed in his own room. It was as if it was the beginning all over again, but this time he wasn't so hung up on Sephiroth.

When the third week came around, Sephiroth finally confronted Genesis on the distance that had developed between them. The legendary Hero asked for him to come to his room and he agreed, assuming that it wouldn't look bad to anyone that might have noticed. Yet, once he saw Sephiroth's expression he had a feeling that it was going to be about something bad.

"What's up?" Genesis asked him curiously.

"Genesis…" Sephiroth stared him in the eyes. "We're drifting."

Genesis folded his arms over his chest, "You were worried that we were going to get caught. Now you're complaining we're too far apart. We can't sustain both things, Sephiroth."

"I know." Sephiroth took his time in talking to Genesis, he seemed lost in his thoughts. "Look…I…I think we should pick one way or the other. I don't want to be hung up waiting, and I don't want to feel obligated to hiding all the time. We're either together or we're not…"

"Are you saying…that you want to decide to break up to stop this rift between us? Or that we forget about hiding and we stay together no matter the rumors?"

"Essentially…yes. I'm tired of thinking we're together when we're not together at all. It's been several weeks…"

Genesis nodded, "Yeah. Well…what do you want to do? Do you want to be with me or…not?"

Sephiroth stared at him for the longest time. He wasn't necessarily thinking about what to choose, he was merely surprised at Genesis's words. "Why even ask me that?"

"I…am perfectly fine with either way. I mean, I don't want to pull you into a relationship if you don't want it, but I don't want to pull away if I'm what you want."

Sephiroth glared, "So you're saying you don't care."

Genesis noticed how pissed Sephiroth was getting. Oh god, what did I say wrong? He's getting so upset… "I care, I just want to make you happy."

But Sephiroth didn't believe him. "Genesis, we've been together for over a year and you're telling me that it's okay if I decide to end it? After what we've done together?"

"You don't have to get upset, I want to stay together, I just—"

"It sounds like you feel perfectly fine if we did break up."

"That's not even what I meant, Sephiroth. God, you're blowing this out of proportion. I do want to stay together, but I couldn't tell if you were feeling far better without me around. Now you're snapping at me just because I want to please you."

"You're acting like your feelings don't matter in this decision."

"I'll recover."

"See? You're hardly upset if I did say it's over."

"God, what do you want from me?" Genesis sniped at him. "Do you want me to beg to be with you? I don't get why you're angry at me!"

"Genesis…have you thought about me at all while we've been apart? Tell me the truth. Do you really want me back, or are you happy with your freedom?"

Genesis didn't know what to say. Sephiroth kept getting on his case he almost wanted to tell the truth, but then again, it could end really badly if he did. "I thought about you. I'm glad to have more time to do what I want, but I do miss you."

Sephiroth thought it over before he sighed and turned from Genesis. Now he wasn't sure if he wanted him back or not. The break wasn't bad at all, and when they had met up they had fun being together with Angeal. It seemed like they were already fighting just being in each other's presence without the third party member. "I'm not sure if I want you back or not anymore."

"You changed your mind just because I wasn't dying to get in your pants? That's stupid."

Sephiroth felt so revved up by those words. "Excuse me?"

"You seemed pretty hooked on being with me until you consulted me on my feelings…"

"You know what? Maybe being away from each other is the best thing. It seems we don't get along well enough to be more than just friends."

Genesis wasn't surprised by that but he had to blow up anyway, "See? God. Whatever. You know, I don't need to deal with this crap. I'm glad it's over."

Sephiroth's heart sunk, "You really mean that?"

"Well yeah, you just bitched me out for no reason and dumped me because of a stupid reason. If I knew you were going to be childish about this I wouldn't have even wasted my time."

"You know, you didn't even bother trying to get me to change my mind. Do you really not care how we end up? I thought that you'd at least voice your feelings—"

Genesis groaned, "So it's my fault we're not together? Forget it. I don't want to be with you. How's that? I mean, I enjoy being with you and I enjoy having my freedom, but I'm not going to stand around and have you criticize me. I'll pick my freedom over that any day." Genesis went over to the door and left before Sephiroth could stop him.

God. That was…I don't even know. I like him and everything, but he made it seem like it was all my fault just because I didn't assume he wanted to be with me. How could I tell? I didn't want to feel awkward if he chose to break up with me.

Ugh. Forget it. He's already decided it's over. I'll deal.

Genesis went to find Angeal and noticed he was working with a few of the lower ranked rookies. He waited around for awhile until Angeal was finished with them. As Angeal turned to look at him he could instantly tell that Genesis wanted to talk. "Something bad happen? Your face looks funnier than usual."

Genesis didn't bother sniping at him for the joke. "Sephiroth and…" Genesis quickly checked around to see who might be listening. No one. That was good. "I just broke up."

Angeal glanced around as well before he scratched his head, "What? Why?" He waved for Genesis to follow him.

The two headed for the first floor, deciding to go grab something to eat together to discuss the issue. "He wanted to talk. He said we either were together or we weren't, he was tired of this in between crap. So I merely said 'well do you want me or don't you?' because I'm fine with dealing with breaking up. He just…exploded! Said I was impersonal, wasn't putting my own feelings in the way. It was dumb." Genesis felt so steamed just thinking about it. "And we fought until he said it was over, then I agreed it was better, then he blamed me for not changing his mind! Augh. It's so confusing. I don't know, I feel like it's good that it's over."

"Really?" Angeal asked. "You used to like him…what happened to that?"

"I do like him a lot, but I'm not going to let him walk all over me for every decision I make. I feel like no matter what I would have done he would have disagreed with me."

"Perhaps this was just a misunderstanding. The two of you will probably talk later and realize that you weren't communicating correctly. I imagine you'll be back together before you know it."

"If he stops with his attitude, maybe."

"You still like him, you're not going to let him get away."

Genesis shrugged, "I already had sex with him. He probably wouldn't want me to get away. It'd freak him out thinking that I might be the type to tell someone I've been with him."

Angeal didn't want to think about what those two had done together, but he wasn't really surprised at Genesis's open behavior on the subject. "I'm sure once he remembers how big of a mouth you have he'll be running around trying to find you."

"What if I don't want him back?"

"I don't see why you wouldn't…unless you're just doing it to spite him for blowing up at you. In which case, I only have to say that you're an idiot." Angeal sat down and waited for a waitress to come up.

"I suppose. The sex is pretty great. I mean, takes forever to get him in the mood…and timing has always been an issue, but it's usually worth the wait." He saw the disgust on Angeal's face and he wanted to pursue the topic, but he moved on. "He's a good person, too, and I do like him. I suppose if he does come around it would be stupid to reject him."

"Maybe you should step up to the plate instead?"

"What would I even say? That I'm the one who was wrong? I didn't even do anything…I can't exactly apologize for him snapping at me."

Angeal sighed, "I don't know. Say you miss bending him over a table or something."

Genesis's serious look broke into a smile, "You're…you're funny."

Angeal looked him in the eyes, "I'm just running out of advice."

"It's okay…I…I could think of something, I just find your words are always better than mine."

"That's because you say things that piss people off."


They ordered their food and waited for the waitress to leave before going back to the conversation. "I'm rather surprised you two actually abided by the small break you were doing, anyway."

"Yeah. But I've been keeping myself busy with the others, so it wasn't too hard. And the three of us were always together for lunch or whatever, so it wasn't like it was much of a break."

"You two acted like normal friends in public, though, so perhaps that was the actual break. There was absolutely no intimacy."

"We were being respectable in front of you. Besides, someone could have been listening."

"Never stopped you before from saying what was on your mind."

Genesis sighed, "Yeah I guess you're right. I don't know. I can't think of what went wrong. We just…clashed. Hopefully by tomorrow or the end of the week it'll make more sense."

Angeal nodded his head, "Yeah, I hope so. I don't want to be stuck in the middle of your problems."

Genesis watched the waitress set their drinks in front of them. He could tell how badly it seated Angeal. The man was trying to be good with both of them because he was a friendly person. He never chose sides… "Don't worry…you won't be." I promise you that.


It was later that day that Genesis had decided to go and talk to Sephiroth. It was poor communication, as Angeal said. We just didn't understand each other. Things have been distant between us, we just haven't talked long enough to understand what all is going on. We can get through this…it was an accident. Maybe we'll pull together and get back together. A small huffy means nothing!

Genesis knocked on Sephiroth's door and noticed there was no answer. "Sephiroth, it's me." He didn't get a response. Genesis waited for a minute and he glanced around. "I want to talk about what happened earlier. Is that okay?" Still no answer. Genesis wondered if he wasn't in. But usually Sephiroth left a sign to tell everyone he was out, just because he was an authoritative figure on the floor, he needed to warn people where he was at. Yet, as Genesis turned the knob it opened up. He always locks it if he's out, so he must be in. Does he want me to go away? But how am I going to get things cleared up if I don't be persistent? Genesis pushed the door open and found it dark, as usual. He looked at the bed, it was a complete mess, but no body. The bathroom was empty. He edged over to the kitchen and noticed Sephiroth was inside. The man was sitting in a chair, but had his head down on the table, one hand holding onto a glass of water while the other was a support for his head. For a minute there Genesis didn't think much of it until he saw the pill bottle on the table. He picked it up. Empty. Oh god! Did he take them all? Did he try to kill himself? "Sephiroth!" Genesis flipped out and shoved Sephiroth up into a sitting position, shaking him roughly. The glass of water smashed all over the floor, but Genesis didn't seem to care. "Wake up!"

Sephiroth woke up rather quickly and he shoved Genesis from him, "Do you mind?" He rubbed his neck, "What do you want?" He snapped at Genesis.

"You scared me!"

"Scared you? You scared me. I was sleeping." Practically shook his brains out.

"Well I thought you…overdosed or something. You always sleep in your bed, not at the table."

Sephiroth rubbed his head and glared at him, "Overdosed? On what?" He glanced at the pill bottle that Genesis showed him. "Aspirin? I ran out, I left the bottle out to remind me to go get more." He grumbled, "Which I'll need thanks to the headache you just gave me."

"Well why the hell did you fall asleep out here?"

"I came in here for some medicine, I didn't have any, so I sat down and started to drink some water. My arm hurt so I focused on something else, and I fell asleep."

"Why does your arm hurt?" Genesis questioned him, still shaken at the idea that Sephiroth could have done something stupid.

"Three weeks ago you tried to hack off my limbs, or did you forget?"

"You're not any better?"

"You stabbed my arm, it's not going to magically heal over night. I have to use it every single day."

Genesis found that they were just fighting again. "Okay, sorry. I came here to talk to you."

"I hope it's important," Sephiroth growled as he got up and noticed the mess on the floor. "Great."

Genesis looked at the mess and he started to clean it up, "Look, I just…thought we had a misunderstanding this morning. We got off on the wrong foot and just took it out on each other. It's been awhile since we've talked so I'm assuming that's why we got in such a fight."

"What didn't you get about the conversation?"

Genesis looked at him as he threw away the glass, "What do you mean? I'm merely saying that we probably didn't mean what we said…"

"From what I remember, you were glad to get rid of me. I completely understand."

"What? No. I overreacted because you put me in a tight spot."

"So it's my fault?" Sephiroth questioned him angrily.

"No! Just. Ugh, this is why we fought this morning—"

"Then what did you come here for? Did you think you'd change it all?"

"You're upset, I can tell. I just want to make sure that this is the right decision. I want to leave here knowing that by tomorrow we are either together or at least still friends…not enemies."

Sephiroth moved from the kitchen, "You wanted to be friends…"

"No, I wanted more than that." Genesis came into the room and he turned Sephiroth around to face him.

Sephiroth glared, "You wanted to have sex with me. You've already done that. Why don't you leave me alone?"

"That isn't the only thing I wanted from you, Sephiroth—"

"Yeah it is. Why else did you sleep around so much? Rufus, Lazard… then that woman back in Banora. Before we even dated you were always sexually driven. You probably think if I said yes to having you back now it'd mean you could just have more of me…"

Genesis was surprised at his words. He was a great partner in bed, but this was a bit far. "Fine. If you think I only wanted you for that then go right ahead. I wouldn't have even dated you for over a year if it was just for that! God. It's like no matter what I do or say you're always against me."

"Because I have to be."

He has to be? What does that even mean? "W-What?"

"Genesis…I can't be with you. Just accept it. If it didn't have to be like that I wouldn't fight so much…"

"I don't get it. We could still be together…"

"No we can't," Sephiroth remarked sadly, but kept his firmness about him. "This morning I thought that it was possible. Who would care? It wouldn't matter, would it? But we fought. I went to Lazard. I thought we fought for a dumb reason as well. But I had to talk to someone, and since he knew and already guessed what was going on…" Sephiroth sighed. "Lazard said that if we stayed together he'd let it slip to the media. He said that Shinra would put me out on a 'permanent' mission. Do you understand what that means? I'd be out fighting until I was killed. That's a suicide mission. Even if I survived, do you know what I was threatened with? Having you demoted for your behavior and thrown out of SOLDIER. Not only that, but they said they'd allow Hojo to take on experiments on myself. I would never leave here…I'd just be shut up in a box until I died from who knows what. And you? Shamed for life from some lie." Sephiroth crossed his arms over his chest, "Of course I couldn't allow any of that."

Genesis felt depressed at his words, but he also felt angered. "You should have told me earlier."

"I don't want you fighting the system."

"Sephiroth, are you going to let them push you around?"

"Why wouldn't I? They own me."

"Is that what you really think?"


Genesis rubbed his temple. Not what he wanted to hear. "You deserve to be happy, no matter what everyone else thinks—"

"Genesis, I'm nothing but a puppet." Sephiroth turned his eyes onto him. "I fight. That is the only reason why I'm alive. I was raised to kill. I wouldn't be here otherwise. Leave it at that." He noticed Genesis was going to fight back but he held his hand up. "Please. Don't make it any harder than it already is."

Ugh. Who knew breaking up had to be this messy? Who knew getting back together was this hard? "Fine. I won't fight. We're over and done. You can kowtow to the system all you want."

"Genesis," Sephiroth responded. "Don't fight it."

"You know…maybe the world needs a new hero? One that will open everyone's eyes to the crap we have to go through? To the lies and the deceit?" Genesis turned to look at him. "If you're not going to do it than I will."

Was that a challenge? Sephiroth couldn't believe him. "Try all you want…I won't back down. I can't back down. I was raised into this…if I stop being what they want me to be…than there is no reason for my existence."

"To them, maybe. So what if you lose your title? You'd mean something to me."

"I can't do it."

"Then don't do anything at all. I'll make it happen," Genesis growled. "Besides, it's about time you had some competition."

Sephiroth didn't want Genesis as competition, he wanted him as a friend. It was the only thing Shinra's men would allow… Now Genesis wanted to compete for being the Planet's Hero? Even if Sephiroth wanted to battle the system and its ridiculousness, he couldn't turn his back on it. If he did he'd be out of a job…and possibly his life. Did Genesis not understand that? Though Genesis was fighting for their right to do what they wanted, he was also fighting Sephiroth…

It would be a never-ending battle….

"Are we friends…or are we enemies?" Sephiroth had to know.

Genesis looked into Sephiroth's catty green eyes, the sadness conveyed in them was relevant and it struck his heart as well. He wanted to comfort him but knew he couldn't. "We're friends."

"Then please keep it that way."

"I will….nothing should get in the way of that." He grabbed Sephiroth's hand for a moment, but let go so that he could leave. "Nothing."


But as time moved on, Genesis started to see less of the good in their friendship. He's merely a Hero because he's good looking and Shinra has nothing better to do with him. He gave up on us. He chose not to fight and to be with me. After what we've been through, too, I would have thought that he'd side with me in telling Lazard to cram it. No, instead Sephiroth takes the back seat to everything. He has allowed Shinra's dogs to do what they want to him. All I asked for was for him to fight with me, to fight so we could be together. He wanted us to stay together…but when it comes to fighting the only thing he's ever known? He would give up everything to keep things the way they always were.

I wish…it didn't have to be this way. But he has given up. He is no hero! He is not going to stay there for long, he will not continue to be praised for being a lapdog! I'll be on top, I'll show the world what we really are, show them what I like and not be ashamed of it. I don't care who wants to stop me, I'll battle through them all…

Even Sephiroth.

Genesis sat in the simulated world with LOVELESS in his hands, his sword propped beside him while Angeal relaxed next to him. Sephiroth was at the far end of the room, the world had made it seem as if he was standing at the end of the line, either to the end of his fate…or to where he accepted his applause. Genesis preferred fate, because today he wasn't going to go easy on Sephiroth.

He slapped his book closed and set it beside him, getting off of the simulated seat he had taken and grabbed up his sword.

I wonder how this battle will end? Sephiroth has always been great competition, but I have been getting stronger. It's clearly obvious from our last battle. How will he fair today? Will I be the victor? And who will believe me?

It doesn't matter. As long as I win...I can show them who has the compassion and the strife for being a true Hero.

Their battle was all out. Neither held back in trying to strike the other. At first it was friendly play, but Genesis started to get ahead of himself, the fury in his mind took over and began to play out before Angeal and Sephiroth both. Angeal had dropped back to watch the scene pan out, his mind was utterly confused by Genesis's actions. Never had he seen Genesis fight like this, and to find that Sephiroth was looking confused and angered that Genesis was fighting differently than usual.

"Someone's going to get hurt," he murmured to himself once Sephiroth started to up his game a notch. And to think that once upon a time they were together. They acted like true enemies or something.

Genesis and Sephiroth kept at it in a rage, prepared to completely slaughter each other until Angeal stepped in. Why is he always stopping me? I don't have time for this! "Get out of my way!" Genesis snapped. His hand burned with magic and he started to bring it forward to blast both of them, but it only backfired. Angeal's standard blade broke and the end sliced into Genesis's shoulder.

Fuuuuuuuck fuck fuck! That hurts so fucking badly! Oh my Goddess! Okay okay okay, keep your cool, don't show that you're in pain. We've got this handle. Hooo. Hero face, Genesis. Hero face. Ugh, God that…fucking hurts. Genesis felt the simulated world start to disappear as he held onto his shoulder painfully, giving a few deep breaths to calm himself. Go to the hospital wing, get it checked out. No prob, right? Things will be fine. It's a scratch. It hurts like a bitch but it'll heal. "It's nothing. I'll be fine."

Angeal and Sephiroth watched him leave the room completely astonished how he just walked it off like that. They both felt confused and irritated at the same time how it all panned out. Was Genesis being serious? He had been so intent on fighting…

"Should we follow?"

"Yes," Sephiroth remarked to Angeal's question. "Like he's going to get away that easily."

Angeal snorted at his words. "Calm down, you two fighting is dangerous. Look at this place, anyway. It's tarnished."

Sephiroth looked around the training room and noticed a few alarms going off, sparks shooting here and there, amongst other things. "It can be fixed. Besides, that's not our problem."

"It is when they realize we've been fighting in here."

"Blame it on the lower ranked kids," Sephiroth replied casually. "I thought you knew how to play this game?"

Angeal let out a bellowing laugh, "I think I like your style. Now let's catch up before bonehead up there loses his organs or something."

"Perhaps he's standing around waiting for us to show up so he can perform a dramatic death scene?"

"You could only wish."

"Hence why I said it."

Angeal smirked and the two of them continued on their way. But when they reached the hospital area, their smiles were gone. Genesis had taken a detour it seemed. "Why didn't he come here?" Angeal questioned the boy's motives. Had he died coming this way? There wasn't any blood, though…

"The fighting. We weren't supposed to be in the training room, perhaps Genesis decided to ask for help elsewhere?"

Angeal nodded, "Right. But who?"

"Scientists. Let's go."

Sephiroth and Angeal left the hospital area and arrived at the correct floor. Sephiroth's intuition was correct. They found the lovely blood splatter going straight up to the right room. A man came out looking somewhat disheveled, not exactly up to par in scientist attire. His graying hair and beard looked unkempt like his open lab coat that exposed a tee-shirt underneath. Sephiroth hardly ever saw people wear…well…normal clothes, so he didn't find it very normal at all. He wondered who this man was, he had never talked to him before. Yet, when Sephiroth looked over at Angeal, the man looked hardly amused at the sight of him.

"Genesis, is he—"

"He's not doing well. He needs to rest, and he shouldn't be bothered."

"Is there anything we can do?" Sephiroth asked. Angeal seemed to keep silent.

"Not at the moment."

"Is it okay if we wait?"

"Be my guest, but you'll have to stay out here."

Angeal and Sephiroth took a seat and decided it would be okay to wait for awhile. Genesis shouldn't be in there for that long…


Genesis's trip to Hollander's lab room was merely by accident. He had ran into him on the elevator and the man had quickly told him to follow him instead. Why did I listen to this creep again? I'm losing blood rather quickly, for some reason the wound isn't patching up as it should. The mako is doing nothing…it's like a worst case scenario here! I'm not going to die, am I? No…I couldn't. I'll recover. Hey, every time I do I seem to get stronger. I must be in top shape to face Sephiroth again. I wonder how this battle would have turned out if Angeal hadn't interrupted?

"Hollander, why isn't it getting any better?"

The odd scientist was scurrying about once he had come back inside, grabbing up plates of glass and setting up a microscope. Oh great, he's going to do…science things while I'm lying here bleeding to death. I knew following him wouldn't be in my best interest. "Hollander?"

"Calm down, boy, I'm working on it." He scurried over and got some of Genesis's blood on the glass before he rushed back to his microscope. It was a long time of him standing there fiddling with the optics, but he finally gave a dreadful groan.

"Uh…is…everything okay?" Is my blood doing funky things it shouldn't?

Hollander pulled away from the microscope and he waved for Genesis to come over. "You should see this, because what I have to tell you is very grave."

"Grave? Just by looking at my blood?"

"You'll understand once I explain it."

Genesis went over feebly and looked into the microscope. He didn't quite understand what was going on, but as he watched a group of the swimming cells he noticed that they were…dying. "What's…going on?"

"Genesis, you should sit down before I continue." Genesis took a seat carefully to listen to Hollander. The man leaned against the counter and crossed his arms over his chest. "It seems there's something terribly wrong with your blood. You see, previously you had been wounded before and had taken in mako to help heal. As a SOLDIER, you're able to have it in your bloodstream without having too serious of side effects. But unfortunately, it seems we miscalculated. Your blood isn't like everyone else's, Genesis. I'm going to tell you something you never knew about…you might not find it believable, but you'll have to bear with me." Hollander took a minute to think it over before he nodded. "When you were in the womb, you were inserted with some special cells that were supposed to help you turn into something like Sephiroth. A…super human, you might say. But when you were born, countless tests were done that showed you had no signs of this ability. Basically, you being an experiment was scrapped. You were sent to live somewhere else by adoptive parents, and that was supposed to be the end of your story."

"Adopt…ive? What do you mean?"

"Your parents in Banora aren't actually your parents."

Genesis felt so stunned, "How…do you know this?"

"Because I'm Angeal's father. I was there when they did these experiments on you, Angeal, and Sephiroth."

"W-What? Angeal…Sephiroth? What tests?"

"Hojo and I were competing against each other twenty some years ago. We had gathered cells from what we believed was a Cetra, and decided to insert it into unborn children and see how it worked. You three were the experiments. Angeal and you were thought to have failed, while Sephiroth had started to succeed even while in the womb. You were shipped off, going back to Banora where Angeal's mother was at. You were taken in by neighbors. It was easy to watch you two that way."

"Keep going," Genesis murmured, unsure if he understood it all.

"It was a coincidence that you two wanted to come to Midgar to become a part of SOLDIER. Your test results were above average, but you weren't anything special until they analyzed your background. It's how you got your way into SOLDIER. The first time you were severely wounded and got onto mako, we ran blood tests on you. It didn't seem as if you were going to recover, but upon watching your blood after awhile, it started to change. The mako had been combining with your blood and slowing down the process of…degradation."

"Degradation?" Genesis felt so confused. "What do you mean?"

"You see, if you had been wounded and left wounded, you would have died. Every time you were hurt. But instead, we put you on mako, you started to recover dramatically because it was the only thing that was actually sustaining you. Your body is dying, Genesis, and mako has been pushing it off."

"But…doesn't everyone slowly die?" Genesis questioned him.

"Of course, but you're dying faster than everyone else. It is because of the tests you had when you were a child. It seems the cells simply don't like the host. They're trying to get rid of you, essentially. And it's working. You're at your prime right now, but after this wound you've sustained?" Hollander shook his head. "Genesis…your body is going to decay rapidly."

"Decay…as in…I'm going to get really old…really fast…and die?"

"Well, not exactly old…more of…decrepit."

Genesis felt a lump form in his throat. This had to be a joke or something. "You're not serious, are you? I mean…this whole thing…" He shook his head. "I can't possibly be degrading."

"You saw your cells, how quickly they deteriorated."

"Then give me more mako…"

"I can't. The mako isn't going to work much longer. Your body is going to become completely shut off to it."

"So what am I supposed to do? How do I heal this…wound and get back to my job?"

Hollander shook his head, "The wound will heal slowly….but as for being a SOLDIER? You won't make it. You're 1st class in title, but your fighting skill is going to plummet to infantrymen."

Genesis continued to stare at him in disbelief. "So that's it. There's…nothing.."

"I'm sorry, Genesis."

He kept sitting there thinking it was a bad dream but he couldn't wake up. This…sprung up on him so quickly. He didn't believe it. It couldn't be happening. "I have to go home…I need to talk to my parents."

"You need a blood transfusion first. If Angeal gives you some of his blood, you'll at least be somewhat more stable than you are now."

"Then give it to me."

Hollander stared at him for awhile before he rose up and moved out of the room. When he returned, Angeal was with him. They didn't talk for the longest time as the blood was being transferred, but the silence wasn't going to stay for long. "Genesis, you feeling okay? You look sick."

"It's nothing," Genesis replied, though his voice felt wavy and off. "I want to go home for a few days. I…I'm going to take a few of the lower ranked men with me."

"I don't think Lazard would agree to that—"

"He will. It won't be for too long…"

"Okay. Did something bad happen? Are your parents okay?"

"Yeah…." Genesis replied. "They're fine, I'm sure. I just want to see them. I have a few things I need to do…"

Angeal didn't pursue the subject, "Well, if you need me for anything just let me know."

"Right," Genesis replied. He thought about it and wondered if he should tell Angeal about turning against Shinra. At first it was all about how Sephiroth and him had to hide…

But now…

If Shinra had been the one funding experiments to ruin his life? He had a whole new reason to stand against them….

"Angeal…can you promise me something?"

Angeal looked over at his friend. He saw the odd look and he wondered what it could be. "Yeah?"

"Promise…that we'll be friends. No matter what happens…"

It was an odd promise. Angeal didn't understand why Genesis was getting so sentimental and dreary. He wasn't dying, the man looked rather fine aside from blood loss.

Genesis noticed the hesitation and he looked over at him, "I can't tell you right now what is going to happen, but I will. Soon. I haven't thought it all out yet, but once I know I will tell you all about it. Just promise you won't discontinue our friendship."

Angeal nodded, "I wouldn't do that. It's a promise. I'm not sure what you're babbling about or why it's got you so serious, but…I'll stand by you. Always have."

"One more thing. Sephiroth. Anything I tell you….you mustn't tell him. It's important that you don't say anything. If he needs to know he must learn these things on his own." Perhaps…in a less burdening way as well.

"I promise."

Hollander came back over and checked the process before he finally stopped it, giving a good nod to them. "All right, you boys are set."

Genesis got up stiffly and slowly walked to the door. To think that I used to be a boy that had dreams. My dream to be…like Sephiroth in every single way, to beat him, to show him I was just as good as him. And to learn that I once was similar to the Hero. But I am failing, as I always have been. My future is grim and unkind. I have to act quickly to get this all done. If Shinra can ruin my life…then I can ruin Shinra as well.

Genesis made his way down the hallways to ask for his leave to Banora. It may very well be the last time he'd see his home….

And to think, Sephiroth…that we were once friends…but now we'll have to be enemies…






I hope you all enjoyed this last chapter. I wasn't sure if I was going to end it without giving previous notice in another chapter, but after my break for convention stuff and coming back to it, I've realized that it seemed like a good stopping point. This has been one of my more favored fics, but I think every new fic I write I like it more because my writing is improving each time.

I'd like to explain that I try not to be TOO ridiculous with pairings. I want to give good reasons as to why characters can be together. I really don't enjoy stories that don't give more support for why a character might like another. So that is why it took fooooreeeevvvver for Genesis and Sephiroth to be together. I didn't want to betray the actual characters by being a dumb fangirl, ya know?

And I wanted to stay somewhat true to the actual plotline, as I try to do in all of my fics (unless you read my stupid ridiculous ones, or my waaay older ones)! The one thing I did notice was that I accidentally made Rufus Shinra the VP, when really he doesn't become VP until after Genesis leaves Shinra (oopsie)! I also did seem to expand the years a bit oddly, since they seemed to JUST turn 1st class and then shit hit the fan, which doesn't seem so in the game. And Genesis's attire. I felt as if had I tried to make him change his clothes it would have just turned out poorly. So I apologize for those mess-ups.

As for everything else, I did my best to try and make this conflicting and appealing to everyone. My stories almost always turn out…sad. I'm sorry for that, but it's just how I work. I try to satisfy you all and also satisfy the games plotline (so much clashing!) so happy endings don't happen very often.

I also am leaving this fic at this ending because of a few reasons. This fic is titled Friends Before Enemies. This means that this fic is entirely based on the time before Crisis Core happened. As in, when Genesis, Angeal, and Sephiroth didn't have too much conflict and could bond. Near the ending of this chapter is when Genesis finds out his past, and that was when he goes all crazy in Crisis Core. That's why I'm not continuing further, because the friendship between these three basically crashes as soon as Genesis realizes he's degrading.

So that's why that's like that.

Also, of course Sephiroth and Genesis couldn't be together forever. I know we all wished that, but in the games it's not like that. In Crisis Core, although, I had noticed Sephiroth always seemed reluctant in confronting Genesis. He wouldn't go to Banora to face him (Zack had to do it) and it seems Zack has to do a good brunt of the work since Sephiroth doesn't want to fight Genesis. That's sort of how I figured this fic worked in. There was a possibility of something deep between Genesis and Sephiroth, and Sephiroth is merely afraid to meet Genesis and find that he's changed.

Anyway, enough of my blabbering. I hope all of you liked this fic as much as I did. Please read some of my other ones. I am uncertain when I'll come up with another fic as I am going to try and focus more on writing my own material. But I do have ideas if I ever get bored or stuck.

Please comment/review this fic.I appreciate all feedback. Tell me ANYTHING about this fic. I love hearing whether you liked or hated parts of it, as criticism is the best help for writers.

Thank you all again for reading this and sticking with me!