HAI GAIZ. For this fic I tried a sort of different approach to it. It's more like... a bunch of little flashbacks and snapshots that help you get the bigger picture (or at least in theory :P). The beginning and end are present time, and the little 2-3 paragraph bits inbetween the little flashbacks underneath each reason are present time too. I hope that makes sense. It should. Anyway... I'd just like to say that Lazard/Sephiroth/Cloud is AWESOME JA I WANNA WRITE IT SO HARD. Oh and this is unbeta-d, so all mistakes are my own.
ALSO this is dedicated for the wonderful xiaa! she is so nice and is such an amazing artist and I love her. Thanks for the help shaa (L)

Disclaimer: I don't own Final Fantasy VII. Or Firion.

note: for all you poor saps who tried to read this without page breaks, they've been re-added. ffnet wasn't being very nice when they took them away...but it's readable now, ahahaha.

Cloud tapped the end of his pen against the cover of his notebook. The glow from the television gave off enough light so that he could read the words written in it if he strained his eyes a little.

He relaxed into the couch some more. General Sephiroth's apartment was cold, dark and scary when you were the only one in it this late at night. The blanket over his shoulders was comforting, but not nearly as comforting as a certain something else. Oh well.

The show he was watching was called Firion's Love Fighter. This guy dealt with couples and their problems. Normally he'd rather run laps than watch this stupid program, but right now he was desperate. Today there was a newlywed couple who seemed to be annoyed by everything the other person did.

Make a list, Firion had advised them about twenty minutes ago. Make a list of the things that bothered you about your spouse. It was all about recognizing problems so you could work constructively towards solving them.

Did he and Sephiroth have problems? ...Yes. They were going through a rough spot (a rough spot Sephiroth probably didn't even know existed, Cloud realized). Cloud looked around the empty apartment one more time, then glanced down at the notebook in his hands. He frowned at Firion as he dodged a furious slap from an angered, scorned woman and flipped it open. Some notes from class were in the front. He went to a fresh page and clicked his pen.

Sephiroth. General Sephiroth of Shin-Ra Electric Company. Was this really necessary?

Yes—yes it was. The television was muted and Cloud got to work.

When it was done, Cloud read over his short list. It was weird, writing things down, looking for reasons, but the teen was surprised to find that he already felt a little bit better already.

Cloud took a deep breath. Time to confront some of this stuff, then.

He re-read the title and smiled some despite himself. Reasons Why Sephiroth is a Bad Boyfriend.

1. He's never around.

It was Friday. Fridays were awesome. Friday was the last day of classes before the weekend. This Friday in particular was exceptionally perfect. He was going to see Sephiroth. 'They' were relatively new; they had hooked up about three weeks ago.

Sephiroth had always been there, watching his practices and training, among other things. Cloud had thought he had exceptionally good timing, always managing to spot the General. But then the man had approached him one day and had stiffly, so politely it was nearly painful, asked Cloud if he wouldn't mind becoming "significant others."

Cloud smiled at the memory. The strap of his duffel bag didn't hurt as much as it usually did as he lugged it through hallways and up stairs. Sephiroth had said that they'd go out to dinner. That was nice, but what Cloud was looking forward to the most was falling asleep in the man's arms. It had been a weird little fantasy of his ever since he had seen Sephiroth for the first time on a recruiting poster.

Cloud scanned his keycard finally and stepped inside. The place was empty, dark, cold. Cloud frowned and investigated, poking his head in every room. Sephiroth could have been asleep somewhere, after all. But eventually he had to conclude that the guy wasn't home. Well, okay—he could wait. He was probably busy.

Cloud waited and waited and waited. His stomach kept growling but he didn't eat, just in case Sephiroth was about to come in and still wanted to go out.

It was late—very much so—when Cloud crawled into Sephiroth's bed, tired, dizzy and sick to his stomach with worry. Neither he nor Genesis had answered their phones. Where were they?

Cloud fell into an uneasy sleep eventually, right in the middle of redialing.

Sephiroth came back at eleven in the morning the next day. Cloud was pacing in the kitchen when he heard the door click open.

The General was smiling. Masamune was on his hip and he had some sort of granola bar in his one hand. Cloud hadn't eaten since lunch the day before. The smile slid off Sephiroth's face when he noticed Cloud standing there (he seemed to realize that he had missed their engagement).

"Seph," Cloud croaked, stumbling forward. He squeezed the man's chest. "Where were you?"

Sephiroth explained, pressing Cloud to him, that he had been busy and had worked all night, forgetting about their plans.

Cloud noticed the bags under Sephiroth's eyes and instantly forgave him. They both laid down in bed—after Cloud had eaten of course. Cloud finally got to sleep in Sephiroth's arms like he had wanted, and even though it wasn't quite when he had planned, it was still great.

Cloud smiled faintly. Sephiroth was never around. The office was like his real home, and his apartment was like a beach home he only visited on occasion. That had been a sort of nice memory, though.

On screen, Firion consoled a crying woman while the husband glared at his back. Poor guy. Cloud adjusted his blanket and continued going over his list.

2. When he is around, his mind is always on business.

This Friday, Cloud came home with a smile on his face. Sephiroth was already there—for sure; he could smell food cooking the second he walked inside.

Sephiroth was at the kitchen table, hunched over reports. Papers were spread out over almost the whole surface, and his laptop was sitting off to the side.

Cloud's smile got smaller, but he hugged the man from behind and kissed his ear. Poor General, always working.

"Can you take over with dinner?" Sephiroth asked quietly, not looking at him. He scribbled something down.

"...Sure," Cloud sighed. He backed up and peeked in the pots. Good stuff... better than the frozen dinners at Angeal's place, anyway. That man couldn't cook to save his life.

Cloud ate dinner later across from Sephiroth by himself (the other man's food had been stuck in the fridge for later when he wasn't so busy), very close and yet so not close. He went to bed while the man was still working.

Scowling, Cloud threw the blanket off him and onto the floor. Getting angry all over again hadn't been the point of this exercise. Firion had said so.

"Dammit," Cloud breathed, flopping onto his back. This is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.

Regardless, he pressed on.

3. He's cheap.

Sephiroth took Cloud's hand as they walked through the executive parking lot. Sephiroth's car was near the front, due to his position, but it was still quite a walk from the barracks, where they had just been. That was fine though; the General's hand was warm and it was nice to stroll along with him like this. They were in plain sight—anyone could see them—but the older man didn't seem to mind. Cloud was bubbling over with happiness.

"Happy Birthday," Sephiroth said again, unlocking the car when they got out.

"Thanks," Cloud said shyly.

Once they got moving, Cloud stared out the window and wondered where they were going. Birthday dinner was always awesome.

He hadn't been expecting to go through the drive-thru at McMidgar's.

"Normally I would never eat what this place calls food," Sephiroth said as they waited at the little window for their grub, "But since it is your birthday, I'll make an exception." He smiled, warm and kind and Cloud found himself smiling back even though he didn't really want to.

Sure, he was always going on about how great this place's food was... but honestly he had been expecting something a little bit more romantic. His boyfriend was loaded, and here they were, waiting for a guy almost wider than he was tall to locate barbecue sauce.

"Mmm," Cloud grunted as he chewed a bunch of fries on their way out. It wasn't totally Sephiroth's fault, after all. The guy didn't know much about 'proper birthday behavior,' and Cloud decided not to hold it against him too much.

Besides, the look on Sephiroth's face when he bit into his chicken and came back with a thin bone with feathers still on it in his mouth made everything worth it.

Why did that keep happening? He'd be pissed, then he'd be amused, then in love all over again, then pissed and back at the beginning.

Sephiroth kept him on his toes, that was for sure.

Uh-oh. The next one made him wince.

4. He gets angry easily.

"Wider," Sephiroth said for the tenth time. Cloud bit his lip and fixed his feet.

It was quiet in the training room. It was after curfew, so most people were in bed by this time. Cloud had been struggling in his swords class recently though, so he had asked for a little extra help. Luckily he spent all his extra time with the General of the army he was trying to get into; he got to learn from the best.

This wasn't quite as fun as he had pictured it, though. Sephiroth was usually a kind and patient man. Now, however, he was annoyed and tense and Cloud was too.

Masamune swung out again, slowly for his benefit, and Cloud tried to block it with the new move he had been working on. The training sword was wrenched out of his grip again and clattered to the floor. This particular maneuver had given him lots of trouble—the stupid angle was so wrong and he'd never need it in a real fight where you blocked all normally and not all from the side like that—

Sephiroth voiced his less-than-happy thoughts. One green eye squinted shut and his brows drew together.

"If you're not going to even try, I see no reason for me being here," he growled. Cloud's head snapped up. Sephiroth looked disgusted. His voice was not nearly as calm as it usually was; the words bit as he spat them out. "I'd appreciate a bit of effort, Cadet. You'll never get better or get into SOLDIER with that kind of attitude."

He had called him 'Cadet.' What an asshole!

"I'm trying as hard as I can!" Cloud shouted back, at the end of his patience as well. Never had he raised his voice at Sephiroth before. "Not everyone's perfect like you are, Sir. I thought that you, of all people, wouldn't be a dick and would actually fucking teach me." He turned away, "Guess I was wrong."

There was silence for a moment. Then Sephiroth said from behind him, "...I am sorry, Cloud. I suppose I got frustrated. You're right—"

Cloud had none of it. He ached and was sweaty and gross and Sephiroth had the audacity to accuse him of not trying!

"Fuck you," he said harshly, storming out of the room.

Tomorrow he'd have to make up with the man, but for now, he was happy to rage a little. He went straight to his bunk, rather than back to the General's apartment. Stupid, stupid, stupid jerk.

There he was, angry again. Cloud stood up and turned the lights on. Sephiroth got angry at him for the littlest, stupidest stuff when he was in a bad mood. He was unfair and unreasonable.

Cloud paced, catching sight of the calendar and gritting his teeth. Today went perfectly with the next line on his list.

5. He forgets important anniversaries.

As soon as Cloud heard the softly murmured "Enter," he flung the door open and practically skipped inside. His excitement was making him giddy and high and loopy, but that was okay.

Sephiroth was at his desk, clacking away at his computer, and he looked up. He smiled when Cloud scampered over to him, pulling the heavy desk chair and the heavy man in it back a few feet before plopping in his lap.

"What's got you in such a good mood?" Sephiroth questioned in between an onslaught of deliriously happy kisses from the Cadet in his arms.

The smooches stopped suddenly. Cloud leant back, too surprised to be embarrassed. Sephiroth was smiling down at him, obviously glad for the distraction. An ungloved hand slid up the back of his shirt and started rubbing gently.

Shrugging on the inside, Cloud looped his arms around Sephiroth's neck and leant forward to peck the tip of his nose. "It's an important day."

The General glanced at his calendar; the little box for the day was empty. "How so?"

Cloud went still, ducking his head and staring down at the exposed part of chest not covered by coat. The hand stroking his back was warm and here Sephiroth was, happy to see him and available for once, touching him and everything—but Cloud wasn't feeling it anymore.

He hugged the man's neck softly and rested his head against his shoulder. "...No reason," he said quietly, getting up after another few moments. Sephiroth's face went from content to slightly confused.

"I've gotta go," he said, trying to smile. He disappeared out the office door before he could be stopped.

...Maybe it was silly of him to keep track of time like this. Exactly three months ago they had first gotten together. Didn't couples celebrate these little anniversaries all the time?

But Sephiroth didn't care or had forgotten, so the day wasn't special for him. Cloud was just being stupid.

What was he supposed to do? Mark all the days on Sephiroth's calendar? That wasn't the point; he wanted his boyfriend to remember all on his own.

But then...did Sephiroth even know? The man was unique. He wasn't aware of so many things, and Cloud knew that. His General was in many ways just as new and awkward (if not more so sometimes) in all of this as he was.

Now I feel kind of bad.

...Well, sure, some things weren't his fault. But others...

At any rate, they'd help each other out. Learning experiences were in order. Feeling slightly happier, Cloud plopped back onto the couch. The closest pillow smelled like Sephiroth's hair; he must have taken a nap on it very recently. Cloud hugged it and kept reading.

6. He spends more time with his friends than he does with me.

"Shut up, Genesis."

"Look, I'm just saying—"

"Can it, Gen."

Cloud laughed with delight, trailing behind the three strongest SOLDIERs. They were 'bickering' as usual. Angeal and Sephiroth's attempts to get Genesis to shush weren't working.

The redhead put his arm around Cloud's shoulders and spoke into his ear quietly, "The brat could use a good spanking, don't you think? You met him once, didn't you?"

Rufus Shin-Ra seemed to have the wrath of quite a few people, not just the regular army or SOLDIERs or Turks exclusively. The three older men had just returned from a meeting that the Vice-President had attended, and Genesis had already devised some sort of plan where he could beat the blond up and get away with it.

"Yeah, I met him once." He and Rufus had once been in an elevator alone together, but he didn't think that counted. Otherwise though, he had once been roped into delivering the teen's breakfast by the cafeteria staff (he gave in to those old ladies far too easily). That had been an interesting day.

Cloud smiled at Angeal who tugged at him, pretending to try to get him out of Genesis's grasp. He said mildly, "I didn't think he was all that bad a guy. He was nice to me."

Genesis let him go. "Well, of course he was nice to you," he said disdainfully.

The two Commanders were accompanying Sephiroth back to his place. Cloud had caught up with them on his way back from lunch. There wasn't anything else to do today; relaxing and maybe watching a movie together sounded nice.

A few yards away from the door Genesis said suddenly, "Oh, Seph—want to train with us?"

Sephiroth smiled. It wasn't the kind, sort of shy one he occasionally gave Cloud; this was more predatory, thrilled, ready for a challenge. Cloud didn't even try to argue—he had already lost him.

"Have fun," Cloud sighed. Sephiroth looked at him fondly, quickly unlocked the door and ushered him inside, then left with the other two.

Cloud had promised himself he wouldn't be one of those crazy people in relationships that regulated what the other did. He couldn't anyway—how did a Cadet expect to boss the General around? No, he was all for letting Seph do what he wanted when he wanted, but... this wasn't the first time he had been blown off for Genesis and Angeal. He loved them, seriously he did, and he knew Sephiroth did too, but... it still kind of hurt.

Sighing again, Cloud looked through their movie collection for a funny one, since now there wouldn't be anyone to hold him when he got scared.

Here I am again, he thought bitterly. Earlier that day Sephiroth had disappeared with the two of them for a few hours. At the current moment he could have been working, with them still, or who knows what.

It was really getting old. Just some time with him, that's all he wanted.

7. He's so bad at keeping his apartment orderly.

Nothing. The bar of soap was there, the squeezy tube of body wash too, but no...

Cloud looked at the shelf he was groping along blindly. Sure enough, it was gone.

"Sephiroth!" He yelled at the ceiling. He might have heard the man say something back over the sound of the water so he shouted, "Where's the shampoo?"

He heard footsteps. Then the bathroom door opened a crack and Sephiroth said, "I think I used it all. Sorry."

Cloud blinked. There had been almost a whole bottle a few days ago.

"All of it?" he echoed, outraged. The older man had already disappeared though.

"Stupid, vain little..." Cloud grumbled as he ended up using the body wash in his hair, "always takes hours... hair, hair, hair!" Cloud adored Sephiroth's hair in so many ways but he was entitled to bitch at it a little.

When he was done he unhappily went to the kitchen. It was getting to be around lunchtime. The fridge revealed only peanut butter, cauliflower and protein shakes. Where was everything? A quick search of the cabinets revealed only a little can of deviled ham.

"Where's the food!"

"Zack ate it all, I'm pretty sure."

Wherever Sephiroth was, he had better stay there. This always happened—Sephiroth or someone else would use up all of something in the house, it didn't matter what it was, and Cloud would be the one who got screwed over.

"We need to go shopping!"

"Mmm-hmm." It sounded like Sephiroth wasn't even paying attention.

Cloud grunted and left, going to the cafeteria. He wasn't going to perfectly take care of everything this time; perhaps Sephiroth would learn to take better care of things around his home.

If that man was in charge of this all the time everyone would be dead.

Right now there was a load of laundry that needed to be done, a pile of dirty dishes in the sink and seriously like only seven things in the fridge.

If Sephiroth expected him to be some kind of fucking housewife, then he needed to be taught a lesson or two.

8. He's not affectionate enough.

As soon as he came into sight, Cloud tackled him. Well, he had tried, but no one could manage to catch Sephiroth off guard like that ever, so he was stopped. Even so, he knocked the General back a foot.

"I missed you," he cried, squeezing as hard as he could. This latest mission had stretched on for a full three weeks. They hadn't been separated for this long before, and Cloud had been brave and strong the whole time but had missed him terribly. But it was all good; he was back—back.

One of Sephiroth's arms curled around his back and he was pulled into a quick hug. They couldn't exactly stand here and catch up, surrounded by SOLDIERs and such, so Cloud backed off and unhappily went back to class (he had cut his third class to wait and greet the men when they came back), letting Sephiroth do all his General-y things that needed to be done.

Later, when they finally had time to themselves, Cloud had attached himself to Sephiroth's side like a barnacle and refused to be removed. His cheek was pressed against a strong shoulder and he was halfway onto Sephiroth's lap, breathing in the scent of him again and so happy he was ready to burst.

"How did it go?" Cloud murmured, pressing a few wet kisses to Sephiroth's jaw and chin.

Sephiroth grunted out a "fine" and rested his head back on the couch, utterly still. Cloud wrapped a muscled arm around his shoulders and cuddled up against his side. Often times he was the one who seemed to be begging for touches and took the initiative in things like this. Sephiroth just needed to be coaxed sometimes, he had discovered. In no way was he like those whiny girlfriends who whined about how they're not held or kissed enough; he did expect some stuff though.

He tried to tug Sephiroth down on top of him a little, but Sephiroth suddenly stood up, gently pushing him off. "I believe I am going to go to bed," he said quietly, nodding once at him before retreating to his bedroom. Cloud gaped at his back, right side now very cold.

"...Maybe I'm being too hard on him," Cloud whispered to the ceiling. Sure, Sephiroth was not... the most affectionate of guys, but not affectionate enough? Maybe Cloud did wish that he was kissed more often and all, but there was no doubt in his mind that he was loved. That love was just showed in different ways, maybe.

That made Cloud go back over his list, frowning. Some things had to be considered.

9. He doesn't always keep his promises.

"I'll definitely be there," he had said.

The letter had come in the early morning, when he had just woken up and was checking over gear before he got his breakfast. The mail sack had seen better days, but it was functional for now and Cloud accepted the envelope from the other Cadet who was distributing it.

It was from Sephiroth. He had heard of the battle yesterday—apparently they were calling it "The Battle of Asgard" already.

He was a Corporal now. His actions yesterday (he had just been doing what was right, what he had to do to protect his friends and fellow fighters) had earned him a little place in the world that was Shin-Ra. When they got back home to Midgar there would be a little reception that honored the dead and congratulated all those who would earn promotions after the battle or who were promoted on the field, like he had been.

Sephiroth promised to be there.

Now Cloud stared out at the formal military officers and the flashing cameras in the back, only feeling slightly insignificant as his CO's were awarded more stars or fancy titles. His bunkmates were in the small audience, safe and sound thanks to him and that made him kind of proud. However... Sephiroth was absent.

He had promised in writing, in that little letter sent to him out in the battlefield with priority mail from the General, and he hadn't showed up. From what Cloud understood he had a mission of his own. That wasn't his fault, he couldn't help that—but still, Cloud stepped forward to receive his own little bit of formal recognition for his efforts and couldn't feel anything but happy.

Only one left. Cloud sighed, letting his head press into the carpet. He had bonelessly flopped off the couch and onto the floor but had been too drained to get back up. Everything was so fucking confusing and tough. Though, when it was Sephiroth, he really couldn't have expected anything else, right?

10. He never says "I love you."

"Sephiroth," Cloud panted, clinging to the man's shoulders. Sephiroth's hair was all in his face and sticking to him but neither minded.

The man answered with a content, "Mmm."

"I love you," he sighed breathlessly, relaxing. It wasn't the first time he had said it, and as usual Sephiroth didn't say it back. That was usually no problem—he didn't expect The Silver General to love him anyway, but after a moment like the one they had just shared, he still...?

"Bye! I love you!" Cloud called, waving happily as his boyfriend strode to the door in full uniform. There was a parade today (one that he unfortunately couldn't attend, due to making up a test in one of his classes) and Sephiroth would be marching in the very front. He was grumpy about this and hadn't stopped complaining for hours, but Cloud knew he probably got some sort of amusement or satisfaction—even if only a little bit—from it.

Sephiroth turned back, smiled at him charmingly, then left. Cloud titled his head a little bit; it was becoming more awkward after each time he said it. Maybe Sephiroth really didn't feel the same at all and didn't like it when he said something like 'love'...

Cloud was furious with himself.

What kind of brat was he, getting mad over the fact that Sephiroth didn't say "I love you?" The man loved him, that much seemed to be obvious, even though he didn't voice it.

Half the reasons on that list weren't even proper reasons. Sure, almost everything bugged him in one way or another, but that didn't mean Sephiroth was a bad boyfriend because of them! He was Sephiroth, who was kind of cheap, kind of stingy, kind of a dick sometimes and who he only saw a few days a week, but he was his and perfect for him and why was he still here?

Sneakers were crammed onto his feet, and Cloud crumpled up the paper and shoved it in his pocket.

He could teach Sephiroth how to be a 'better boyfriend.' In a relationship people had to help each other along, right? He would work hard. Maybe some things Sephiroth could work on, but for the most part Cloud realized that he liked the man the way he was. Going over each individual reason on his list made him think.

"Thanks Firion," he told the television. He hit the power button on the remote while Firion was in mid-speech about something, then grabbed his keycard and raced out the door.

He had to find him. Cloud needed to go talk to him, kiss him, ask him how he was. There were many things about Sephiroth that were not perfect... but then, there were many things that were.

He knocked twice on the big wooden door when he got there, then swung it open and barged inside before waiting for an answer. Luckily there he was, sitting at his desk, rubbing a temple with one hand and squinting at a computer screen with the other.


Cloud cut him off, literally crawling over the desk and falling into the other's arms. "Sephiroth," he said, voice almost choked. He looped his arms around Sephiroth's neck and declared, "I love you. You know that right?"

Sephiroth understandably seemed surprised. He didn't seem to mind having a visitor at the moment though and tucked Cloud's head under his chin. "...I do," he said softly.

Cloud sniffed and kissed him, grabbing his cheeks and squeezing and refusing to let go until he was good and done.

"...Hello," the General said again when Cloud stopped, rather stupidly. Cloud giggled, butting their foreheads together softly. He didn't give an explanation, just stayed there in his awkward position.

After a moment Sephiroth's hands drifted to his elbows, then up to his shoulders and down his body. They slid past his pocket, and the man almost disinterestedly pulled out the piece of paper in there that had made noise. Cloud didn't notice for a few seconds, then said loudly once he did, "Seph-!"

Too late. Sephiroth curiously unfolded it and glanced over it. He went still, and slowly his eyebrows drew together.

This looked bad, and Cloud knew it. He said quickly in a rush, panicking, "I was watching Firion's Love Fighter and he said to make a list and I did but then I realized I love you and most of those reasons aren't even true Sephiroth, I was stupid to get all mad that you brought me to McMidgar's on my birthday and I'm sorry I know you love me and it's okay you-"

Sephiroth shot him a look, and Cloud immediately quieted. He seemed to be struggling to understand, and after a long moment he seemed to go for the easiest thing first. "...You didn't like it that I brought you to McMidgar's for your birthday?"

Cloud couldn't help it; he laughed. He laughed and then shook his head. "No—it's fine. I know you know I like their food and you brought me there since you know I'd like it." Sephiroth still looked painfully confused though, and he added hesitantly, "...But, uh, sometimes on birthdays people like to go somewhere fancy and special. I guess I was kind of disappointed for a minute but I'm not now! It was a great birthday-"

More frowning. The General glanced at the title again and said, twisting his mouth, "I am... a "bad boyfriend," then?"

"No!" Cloud blurted. He looked right into the green eyes he liked so much and said seriously, "No. ...Maybe there's some things we need to work on, you know, like most people do! But no Seph, you're great." Cloud felt absolutely, absolutely terrible.

"...I see."

"I was just kind of angry," he moaned. "I'm good now—you've gotta believe me."

Sephiroth went back to running his fingers through soft spikes, which was a good sign.

"You know," Cloud said quietly, "It's our sixth-month anniversary."

Sephiroth's neck audibly cracked as he whipped around to look at his calendar. "...It is," he said after a moment, sounding so horrified Cloud instantly forgave him for forgetting.

Cloud was suddenly struck with a thought and said urgently, "If you want you should make a list too! If anything I do pisses you off, I've gotta know so I can try to fix it, you know?"

The older man nodded slowly. Cloud fretted and must have looked so distraught and upset Sephiroth tried to soothe him; he kissed his forehead and placed the paper on the desk, flattening it with his right hand.

"I may try that," he said softly. "This is all to make sure we are even more compatible, right?"

"Yes," Cloud clarified, nodding vigorously.

"Then I will. But..." he paused and smiled at him, letting Cloud know that he really wasn't mad, "I don't think I can think of ten things that I don't like about you, Cloud."

"It'll be easy." Cloud smiled shyly, then laughed and flinched away when hands skittered up his sides. Yup, Sephiroth wasn't angry. He reached for the paper and meant to tear it up, but Sephiroth stopped him.

"I'd like to hold on to it, if you don't mind."


Sephiroth seemed to consider this. "So I can make sure I'm not doing too much of anything on it."

Cloud couldn't argue with him. He grabbed him and kissed him again, getting the man's attention away from the letter for a while.

He had a feeling that their rough spot would be smoothed out soon enough. Of course it would.