A/N: Hello, chaps! Oops I did it again.
Anyway, this is a story I wrote a while ago and thought I'd put it up for you to read. I hope you enjoy it and if you do, please kindly leave a review!
-HK

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy 7 (c) Square Enix
Pairings: Sephiroth/Cloud, Zack/Angeal
Setting: Crisis Core


"Cloud!"

The blond in question turned from walking down the corridor, eyebrows raising as Zack bounded towards him excitedly.

"What's up?" he asked curiously. Zack came to a stop right in front of him and grinned.

"I need your help." The black-haired SOLDIER shoved his hands deep in his pockets, trying to calm himself down as he continued to bounce on the heels of his feet. "See, I wanna run an experiment and I need you to be part of it."

"Have you spoken to Angeal about it?" Cloud asked fearfully. If Zack was doing this without his mentor knowing it probably meant it was something bad.

"No! That's the thing," Zack leaned closer to whisper conspiratorially. "It's an experiment to see how Angeal will react to certain, how shall I say... unexpected situations!"

"...and what exactly do you need me to do?" Cloud grimaced, unsure whether he really wanted to hear the answer or not. He was forced to wonder about it longer though as Zack didn't answer and instead grabbed his arm to run off down the corridor.

When they arrived at their destination, Cloud's eyes were wide and he felt faint. Zack had taken him up to the SOLDIER floor, but specifically the section where the First Class's has their own rooms. Cloud could see that not far from him at all was a door with a plaque on the outside, reading 'General Sephiroth'.

He was so close to Sephiroth's room! That was where the General slept, brushed his teeth, combed his hair and... he was going to stop there.

"You with me, Cloud?" Zack snickered, waving a hand in front of the Cadet's face. Cloud immediately blushed and ducked his head, embarrassed that he'd been caught staring. He hoped Zack wouldn't think anything more of it than 'hero-worship'.

That was one conversation Cloud did not want to have with his best friend. It had been bad enough having to tell Tifa he was gay when she asked him out.

"Alright," Zack said, leading him over to the room with Angeal's name on the door. "Since Angeal is out training with Genesis and Sephiroth right now we can go in." He opened the door and stepped through, turning back to see Cloud's eyes darting around in terror. "Come on! The point is to get caught. It's the experiment!"

"I don't want to get kicked out of Shinra!" Cloud complained as Zack pulled him in harshly.

"You won't," Zack laughed. "I promise. Besides, I'm going to explain afterwards that it was just an experiment anyway."

Cloud frowned but gave in for the moment, allowing Zack to pull him through the mini-apartment until reaching the small 'living room' and heading over to the closet.

"Come on, get in." Zack said, his face blank of emotion for the moment as he opened the closet and gestured for Cloud to enter.

The blond had frozen again, his eyes wide in shock. Did Zack realise what he was asking him to do or was he seriously that stupid? The lack of emotion on his face seemed to suggest he had no idea... but just because his friend didn't know did not mean he was going to go along with it.

"I'm not getting in, Zack." he said in a quiet but firm voice. He needed Zack to know he was serious about this.

"Don't be frightened," Zack said. "I'm coming too! There's plenty of room, see?" Apparently thinking Cloud was afraid of small spaces, Zack jumped into the closet to show how much room there was.

"I'm not getting in." Cloud said again, more firmly than last time.

The sound of a door opening suddenly came from the open doorway of the room they were in and Cloud gasped, looking over his shoulder. Angeal was back, and by the sound of it he'd brought Genesis and Sephiroth with him!

"Quickly!" Zack urged, reaching out to grab his wrist. Cloud struggled as hard as he could while being silent at the same time. There was no way he going to hide in a closet while Sephiroth was in the apartment!

His efforts, however, proved to be pointless when Zack finally dragged him in and shut the door with a bang. Cloud cringed, clutching Zack's shirt and burying his head in his shoulder.

"Relax, I doubt they heard it," Zack whispered.

Cloud would have argued, but he was too busy cringing at how pathetic his situation was. Not only was he in the closet at Shinra in regards to his sexuality, but now his best friend had forced him into the closet in a literal sense as well!

And the voices had just entered the living room.

"That's weird," They heard Angeal said. "I could've sworn I heard something slam."

"Maybe one of your closet doors came open before and a breeze shut it again," Genesis said with a sigh.

Cloud, despite his attempts to ignore what was happening beyond the doors of the closet, couldn't stop himself from holding his breath in anticipation for the General to speak. Hearing his voice so close would be such a benefit of the situation that Cloud might even be forced to thank Zack afterwards.

However, if Sephiroth was in the room with his friends, he obviously felt no need to comment on the mystery of the slam.

"But Gen," Angeal complained. "Those doors don't open easily!"

"Maybe there's a monster hiding in it." Genesis replied lazily.

Cloud whimpered slightly and his hands tightened on the material of Zack's shirt. He just knew they were going to open the door and find him there.

What a sight that would be. Cloud and Zack hiding in a closet together.

"Come on..." Zack muttered under his breath. "Open the door already!"

"What?" Cloud hissed quietly, looking up into Zack's face with a betrayed expression on his own. Zack grinned guiltily back at him.

"Uh, sorry Spiky. It's just that... this was the only way I could think of to finally tell Angeal I'm gay and I didn't wanna do it alone!" Zack apologised.

Cloud didn't respond. He couldn't.

So, what, Zack's gay? And he likes Angeal? So he's... he's going to come out of the closet! And he dragged Cloud with him so he wouldn't be the only one!

Having thought it over, Cloud decided it was time to start struggling again. Maybe if he got away from Zack and hid in the back corner of the closet no one would notice him when Zack finally stumbled out. The black-haired boy's presence did tend to demand attention, afterall. Then, after they'd all gotten over the shock and left to go about the rest of their day, Cloud would sneak out and-

The closet door opened.

"Z-Zack?" Angeal stuttered, eyes as wide as saucers. "Cloud?"

"Hi Angeal!" Zack grinned, trying his hardest to keep a hold on Cloud now that the younger boy had begun struggling ten-times more than before and was whimpering. "We're in the closet!"

"I... noticed." Angeal managed to say.

"But," Zack said, tightening all of his muscles and suddenly pushing Cloud as hard as he could out the door. Angeal stepped out of the way quickly and Cloud landed on the ground with a thud. "We're coming out!"

Jumping out and landing on his feet, Zack grinned at the three spectators before promptly turning to Angeal and kissing him on the mouth.


When Cloud finally managed to stand up, he kept his eyes fixed on the ground. Now that he knew Sephiroth was actually in the room his embarrassment was even worse. He'd just literally been pushed out of the closet!

Sneaking a glance across at Zack and Angeal, Cloud was a bit upset that his problem couldn't be solved as easily as that. Angeal had responded almost immediately, gripping Zack's head and kissing him back to show that the feeling was mutual.

"I suppose you're an innocent bystander that Zack somehow managed to pull into the closet?" Genesis asked Cloud, gaze turned to the blond after he got over the initial shock of seeing his best friend kissing his student.

Cloud looked up at Genesis and Sephiroth sadly, hating the idea of openly admitting to being gay in front of the General but also not liking the idea of lying either.

"The thing is, Sirs," Cloud said softly, quivering with nerves. "I'm-"

"Spiky's gay too!"

Cloud choked on his words and turned to stare at Zack, who was no longer kissing Angeal and seemed perfectly happy outing Cloud to his friends.

The one thing that Cloud didn't know, though, was how Zack even knew!

"Ha, you should see your face Cloud." Zack laughed. "But seriously, you were so obvious it wasn't funny."

"That doesn't mean-!" Cloud clenched his fists and silently fumed. Sometimes, Zack could be so incredibly stupid. Just because he thought it was obvious didn't mean everyone else did as well! But they'd know now, of course. All because of Zack's stupid plan.

"Zack," Angeal said gently. "You probably should have asked him first."

"Oh come on!" Zack whined. "There was no way he was gonna come out of the closet without my help!"

"Still, maybe he wasn't ready." Angeal turned to Cloud with an apologetic look on his face. "Sorry about this. We'll keep this quiet if you don't want anyone-"

"Angeal! Stop, okay? Seriously, I thought it would have been easier than this but apparently not. What's wrong with you, Seph? Why are you standing there like a brick? Don't tell me you've been completely oblivious to the fact that Cloud's been crushing on you?"

Angeal's words had calmed Cloud somewhat as they were spoken, but now that Zack finished speaking and was staring at Sephiroth expectantly, Cloud believed there was simply no salvaging the situation. Two of his biggest secrets had just been exposed to the people in the room, and Sephiroth was one of them!

"Zack," Sephiroth said with a sigh, his voice making Cloud weak at the knees despite his sick feeling of embarrassment. "I believe you've done enough damage today."

Damage.

Damage.

So that was it then. The last remaining flicker of hope in Cloud's heart was extinguished and he wilted, his shoulders slouching as he stared down at the floor again. It was inevitable, really, that Sephiroth would reject him. He was a 1st Class SOLDIER, after all, and Cloud was just a Cadet.

"I was just trying to help!" Zack said, shooting Angeal a pleading look.

"As far as I'm concerned," Sephiroth said. "It's not up to you whether someone else comes out or not. But since the damage is done, it is now up to Cloud to decide if he will stay out or go back in."

Zack's mouth fell open and he turned to Cloud instantly, waiting for a reaction of some sort. When the blond remained facing the ground and didn't move, Zack took a small step forward.

"Spiky? Please stay out? It's not that bad, really! I mean, I'm gay! And so is Angeal! I thought Seph was... but maybe not. I'm sorry, though! Really! Can you forgive me?"

"We should leave him to think about it, Zack," Angeal murmured. "It's a really big change for someone who's not ready."

Zack's face melted into an expression of sadness and he drooped his head, slowly walking towards the door of the room with Angeal following behind him. Genesis then also followed them out and Sephiroth turned before hesitating.

When Zack, Angeal and Genesis had left, Sephiroth quietly closed the door and faced the Cadet.

"I'm s-sorry Sir." Cloud muttered, not sure why he was apologising but feeling intimidated by his hero's presence.

"I will not think any less of you if you choose to go back into the closet, Cloud," Sephiroth said quietly, succeeding in making Cloud cautiously look up at him.

"I just..." Cloud shifted awkwardly, his face scrunched slightly as he did his best to keep his sadness on the inside. If he cried in front of the General as well it would be the end of the world. "I've only ever told one person before and it was a really bad experience. Today... has cemented it in my mind that coming out will only ever be bad."

He ducked his head again after that, his bottom lip quivering. Did he seriously just say that to Sephiroth? Did he?

"No one laughed at you," Sephiroth said, taking a cautious step towards him. "No one called you a faggot. No one made crude jokes. No one was disgusted. Was it really bad, or just embarrassing?"

The General's words startled him and he looked up again, surprised to see the man much closer than before.

"M-maybe just embarrassing," Cloud whimpered.

"In that case," Sephiroth murmured, taking another step and reaching out to cup the boys chin gently with a gloved hand. "Perhaps you would feel better if I embarrassed myself as well?"

Cloud swallowed nervously, every single one of his nerve endings on fire from Sephiroth's touch and his head reeling from the close proximity. And that voice... it took all of his self control not to swoon like a schoolgirl!

"P-perhaps."

Sephiroth let go of Cloud's chin, much to the boys annoyance, and straightened slightly.

"I am gay also."

Sephiroth tilted his face away a few degrees but kept his eyes on the boy, obviously embarrassed by his confession despite his amazing ability to remain calm and collected.

Cloud was gaping like a gold fish.

"Really? You are?" he gasped, immediately regretting his outburst and snapping to attention as Sephiroth took a step back. "I mean... Sorry, Sir!"

"At ease, Cadet," Sephiroth said, a soft smile on his face as he gazed down at the boy. "But yes, I am."

Cloud breathed slowly, trying to let the new information sink into his brain. Sephiroth was gay.

Still... that didn't mean he was interested in a small Cadet. Cloud frowned at that and nervously looked at his feet. What had he been thinking? There was no way he'd ever-

"I hope you are trustworthy, Cadet," Sephiroth said suddenly, interrupting his train of thought.

"Of-of course, Sir!" Cloud said quickly, looking up again.

"Then you'll keep this secret in the closet with you?" Sephiroth asked, one eyebrow arching dramatically on his forehead. Cloud was momentarily distracted by it before he frowned in confusion at what the General had said.

"...Yes?"

"Good."

Cloud barely had a chance to take another breath before he was suddenly shoved backwards and stumbled into Angeal's closet, a squeak leaving his mouth before it was covered.

His mouth was covered.

By something warm. And soft.

Cloud melted. His entire body seemed to be made of jelly and he couldn't hold himself up anymore because he was so shocked and happy. Thankfully, two strong arms circled his waist and supported him, the larger body of Sephiroth pressing him into the back of the closet as they kissed.

No daydream came close to this. As Sephiroth gently pushed his tongue into the boys mouth and Cloud mewled pathetically, he knew he was in heaven. He had to be.

Then the lips left his and he made a sound of complaint which turned to a hiss of pleasure when they came back on his neck.

Feeling slowly came back into his body and he reached up with his arms to Sephiroth's hair, clutching it gently with his hands and marvelling at the softness. He seemed unable to stop gasping from everything Sephiroth was doing and felt his face flame in embarrassment.

As Sephiroth lifted his head again, Cloud stared into the man's eyes.

"So," Sephiroth said huskily. "You're happy to stay in the closet for now?"

Swallowing nervously and trying to press himself more firmly against the General, Cloud fluttered his eyelids and said, "As long as I get to keep this secret with me."